#FPL OCD – Gameweek 20 Review: Over the last 5 Gameweeks, my bench has scored…99 points
“One step forward, two steps back – that’s the key to progress”. These words, said by Mark Corrigan in the marvellous Peep Show, have been ringing in my ears this week. My attempt to break the top 10k has started to feel like a futile exercise, where I climb to within touching distance before fading away, having to start the charge from scratch. This week followed the unfortunate Groundhog Day pattern that has surfaced recently.
It was a dreadful week all round in FPL, and mine was slightly more dreadful than most. 31 points, and a gameweek rank of 2.9m – possibly my lowest ever. I feel strangely fortunate to have only dropped 10,000 places; if you are to have an awful week, it is greatly preferable to do so when those around also struggle. It was poor all around, with my only returns coming from Bellerin, Lukaku and Kane, and a late captaincy switch from Giroud to Ozil rubbed salt in the wounds. However, the real story was the continuing odyssey, the streak that looks set to match Jamie Vardy, the remarkable sequence that seemingly cannot be stopped. I have been lamenting my benching decisions for a number of weeks, and those of you that have followed my articles may have noticed a couple of players from my squad who are not included on my points list.
My team, Everton, were denied a fantastic victory by an excellent Tottenham goal. Toby Alderweireld plays a wonderful ball to Dele Alli, who controls masterfully and finishes with aplomb. I hang my head. Everton have conceded, and are struggling in the match. It looks like another one was slipping away, and we may continue to drop down the table. It takes me a few seconds to realise. That double-whammy, that extra kick in the balls. Sat on my FPL bench…Alderweireld and Alli.
It has actually become an entertaining side plot to my season. Nyom’s yellow card left my 5 week bench score at an agonising 99. 99 points over 5 weeks. If we eliminate Nyom this time (my most recent 3rd sub), it would be 99 from 19 players. Other than the ludicrous GW8, where Aguero’s haul helped me to 116 points, my highest squad score this season has been 91, and that was last week when I benched 17 points. Minus Lukaku’s double captaincy points, it would be 78. If we do not include the 5 weeks of benching woe, my highest squad score of the season has been 87. Take away the double captaincy points (Kane’s 8), and that’s 79. That is to put it into some context. My highest score from 15 players, in any single week of a pretty good season, has been 79. That’s including all of my big hitters, all of the stars of the season. 19 players on my bench, that is 19 players that I have decided will fail that week, who have no place in my team, have scored 99. 99.
20 points more than my squad in my 2nd best week. It is incomprehensible.
The worrying thing is that it by no means looks like I will be leaving bench points in the past. My move of Coutinho to Arnautovic was not terrible in itself, but it caused me to bench Alli. It has also left me with 2 free transfers yet again, and once more I believe I will use one and save the other. Olivier Giroud has done pretty well for me, but with a couple of tough games coming up and the looming rotation risk with Sanchez returning, I think it is time to ditch. After 20 weeks, I am finally set to cave in to Odion Ighalo, who has a couple of juicy fixtures on the way. That will leave me with a front 8 of De Bruyne, Ozil, Mahrez, Arnautovic, Alli, Kane, Lukaku and Ighalo. It is a benching headache of extreme proportions. I do still have my All Out Attack chip, and may choose to deploy that. If I do not, there is a huge risk of another points haul on my bench.
As my season enters a strange Groundhog Day, consequently these articles do the same. Yet again, I am left resisting big changes, as my squad is still performing. Had I played Alli and Alderweireld, I’d be looking at a score of 45 – very respectable in the context of this week. There are certainly issues – Moreno looks to be one – but with Aguero, Payet and Sanchez all firmly on my radar, I sense that I will need my 2 free transfers very, very soon. I have to hold off for one more week. With big names returning and season favourites beginning to toil, the template looks like it could be torn apart. I have to get my timings correct, and hope that it proves the catalyst for the surge that has been simmering for weeks.
Written by @JohnOC1991
John went to University, finished his degree, and got a good job in the City of London. He is now in the process of throwing it all away in favour of FPL, a game with no notable rewards for success. He firmly believes this to be the correct decision.