Everton’s Lukaku and Leicester’s Mahrez haunt my nightmares

#FPL OCD – Gameweek 25 Review: If Lionel Messi misplaces a pass or two, he isn’t shipped off to Almeria, is he?

Gameweek Review Johnjoc 1

Give John a follow on twitter at @JohnOC1991


Right, here we go then. Remember last week, when I was bemoaning the Groundhog Day feel of my season, hoping that something would change? What an absolute idiot I was. What a complete, utter moron. Stagnation? Maintaining a steady rank? Why the bloody hell was I complaining? What the hell was I thinking!?

picture classic

I don’t want to talk about it. I really don’t want to talk about it but, because of the cruel, heartless ruler of this site*, I have to, against my will. (Ed.. Strike 1)

And you, you out there, at your computer, tablet or phone, basking in my suffering, schadenfreude coursing through your veins, you think this is a joke? All the blood, sweat and tears poured into a stupid f*cking game, and what does it give you back? Consistent scoring, 50-80 points, and you get nowhere. Last week, I had to score 61 just to maintain a small red arrow. All of the days, the weeks, the months, the time and effort poured into this game, the sacrifices, determination and, frankly, obsession, devoted to this horrible, evil game, just to maintain a 20-50k position. Then, one week, one single week, where you make two, maybe three, errors. That’s all, two or three decisions that seemed, at the time, sensible, that were given the green light by fellow obsessives. A slip up, a tiny slip up. If Sergio Aguero has an off game, he isn’t forced to drop down a league. If Lionel Messi misplaces a pass or two (ok, he doesn’t, but let’s pretend), he isn’t shipped off to Almeria, is he? If Bayern Munich draw a league game, Pep Guardiola isn’t relegated to coaching the under 17s. One bad week, one bad week. One bad week doesn’t make Lionel Messi want to throw the towel in, to end his career, to never return to the game again.


Much like a war veteran, it is harrowing for me to recount what happened. I still have the scars, they are yet to heal, and here you are, forcing me to parade my pain. Where to even start? Ok, let me say this. If I had left my team from last week alone, entirely alone – the same first 11, the same captain, no transfers – I would have, this week, scored 71 points. If I had simply forgotten about my squad, I’d have been sat here perfectly happy with a very strong week. But I didn’t, did I? Forget about my team? Me? Never. I had 2FTs, and was able to manoeuvre, to maximise my potential, to score some huge points.


I did, instantly, struggle to decide what to do with a transfer. However, I had a great tool at my disposal. With all of the upcoming blanks, I could shift some of the problems for future weeks. There was one man who had disappointed everyone recently, who appeared to have lost his ability to hit the target, who looked to be on the slide. He even picked up a knock in his last outing, and has at least one blank upcoming. Yes, a couple of good fixtures before that, but statistics show that fixture difficulty historically has little effect on points potential, an off-form player won’t be hitting the target against any side. An easy move, a no-brainer. Replacement? Well, the main man in the best side in the league, a team evidently capable of scoring against anyone, a guy who has hit his straps again following a lean spell. I had never been comfortable with ditching him, and now I could welcome him back. Hello Jamie Vardy, goodbye Romelu Lukaku. Goodbye 7 points.


“7 points!” I hear you cry, “that’s nothing! Inconvenient certainly, but war? Failure? What are you talking about? 64 is a decent total”. Well, next up on “John O’Connor’s tragic memories of the weekend”: captaincy. I have pledged in the past to give Aguero the armband every weekend, but this weekend was different. Leicester suddenly look a formidable defensive unit, and I was confident that Man City would struggle. I was right, I was completely spot on – they barely created anything, Aguero couldn’t get a sniff. That was until the final 5 minutes, when an excellent header, produced from nowhere, gave him 4 points. My captain? Well, Harry Kane looked set to continue his excellent form against a shaky Watford. I was being clever, I could see that Aguero was not the default captain choice that some had him pegged as. I was getting ahead of the crowd, I just happened to get trampled. Again, I hear the cries “oh well, it’s only 4 points. Once again, it’s not a disaster!” No, maybe not, but there was something else. I need to compose myself, take a break, have a cigarette and a stiff drink, maybe see a therapist, before I tell this tale.


Ok, let’s get this over with. Let’s just put this on paper, then we can all just put it in the vault, and I can move on with my life. There is a theme this week. No, not despair. No, not exaggeration, sod off. Ok, I will tell you. I believe the theme is “me trying to be a bit too clever”. Selling Lukaku, not captaining Aguero – they were risky moves. Well, here is another one. I, as regular readers will know, have struggled recently with benching decisions. I have had a very strong front 8 for a number of weeks – Ozil, Alli, Mahrez, Payet (Arnautovic before GW21), Wijnaldum (De Bruyne before GW22), Aguero, Kane and Lukaku/Vardy. Ozil, Alli, Wijnaldum, Arnautovic – the all found themselves on my bench at one point or another. Since I bought him in GW3, I have rarely ever even considered benching Riyad Mahrez. I did it once, in GW23, and he punished me (mildly) with 6 points. Even through his lean spell, I almost always trusted him, knowing what he could do, knowing how badly he could hurt me. However…


This week, I began with 5 benching options: Alli, Wijnaldum, Payet, Vardy and Mahrez. First up, Alli. I very quickly dismissed this as madness. Bang in form, home to Watford – there was more chance I’d captain than bench. Next, Wijnaldum. This was more interesting. If all of my front 8 had equal fixtures, Wijnaldum would be my default bench choice. However, his home form has, at times, been electric, and a struggling West Brom were travelling to St. James’s. If I didn’t play him this week, when would I? It was all set up for a haul. Payet. Again, interesting, very interesting. Not in sparkling form, and a potential positional change had been mentioned to me by JK, a Fantasy Football Scout regular. However, I ran a quick comparison tool, over the last 2-4 weeks, against other benching choices. I couldn’t justify it: Payet was in. So, there I was, down to the two Leicester boys. Both have set the league alight, both had the potential to hurt me.


I have seen quite a bit of Leicester recently, and while Mahrez can occasionally drop out of games slightly, Vardy has looked electric. Indeed, watching Match of the Day this week (yes, that was extremely brave of me), Vardy could easily have scored a hat trick. But, on such margins and, in Mahrez’s case, moments of genius, can FPL seasons turn. Away to Man City, statistically inferior to my other options, I had to do it – I had to bench Mahrez. And there it was – on one logically sound decision (backed up by a couple of others), my season went up in flames. So, from last week, that’s 7 points on the Lukaku to Vardy move, 11 points on Wijnaldum over Mahrez, and 4 points on Kane captain. So, 22 points, and a score of 49. That is the story of my game week.


Wait, no, that isn’t quite all. There was one other thing, something I’m missing…Ah yes, of course. My early transfer plan for the week, before I wrote last week’s article, I kid you not, was Moreno to Huth. I am not even including that in my projections, I am clinging to the idea that I would have benched Huth anyway, otherwise the thought is too unbearable. Anyway, I kept Moreno for 2 plum fixtures, and of course played him. So, from last week’s starting 11, my changes were Lukaku to Vardy, Wijnaldum over Mahrez, Aguero (C) to Kane (C), and Moreno in for Dawson. 24 points. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, my glorious team managed to scrape together a paltry 47. My season, my season that was going so, so well when I was 11k in GW13, has gone. This week alone, I have falled from 33k to 68k, my lowest point since GW7. What will I do this week? I genuinely have no idea, I am scared to make a move. Oh Groundhog Day, please come back, please, I’m begging you.


“Banter” Ryan. “Banter”. *Please don’t hurt me* (Ed – Strike 2 and Strike 3 for double use of the “B” word)


Editorial Remarks:

It is with regret and embarrassment that we are officially suspending @JohnOC1991 for a combination of reasons including:

1. Use of inappropriate language (“B” word – twice!)

2. Revealing @FantasyYIRMA as the tyrannical Dictator he really is- a truth I work hard to hide

3. Benching Mahrez

As punishment John is now banned from contributing any further articles for FantasyYIRMA.com until Gameweek26. There is no right to appeal this decision.



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.

Follow John on Twitter and read more on his blog here Go and Get the Guitar



Posted on 10 Feb 2016, in Player Selection and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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