#FPL OCD – Gameweek 32 Review: “I will be the ultimate tinkerman this week”
This week has been a reminder that, once one begins to fly in FPL, standards and expectations invariably change. What would have been a good week when struggling now comes as a disappointment, any abating in the ascent seems like a backwards step. A score of 63, and a GW rank of 530k, would usually be no cause for concern (more a cause for celebration), but it feels like a missed opportunity.
A 1,000 place drop is, in the grand scheme of things, nothing at all. However, with so few games remaining, it is an untimely halt in progress. I was greeted with red arrows in all of my mini-leagues, and many of my fellow FPLers, players who were a long way behind a few weeks ago, have now caught or overtaken me. Some veterans I know have charged up the rankings at an astonishing pace, hitting scores of around 80 this week, so 63 suddenly seems positively tame.
Let’s look at the positives – and there are still many. My transfer, Wijnaldum to Payet, was a resounding success. I benched Alli and played Sigurdsson – another resounding success. Fuchs has been a revelation in my side, and he delivered again with an assist, clean sheet and 2 bonus points. My captain, Aguero, scored. My bench, so often the scourge of my side this season, mustered 4 points between them. I got pretty much all of the week’s calls correct, I could barely have done more.
All well and good on the face of it, but there are niggles. The captaincy was a toss-up between Aguero, and my vice-captain, Payet. A swing of 4 points – not much, but at least mildly irritating, particularly after Aguero’s projected 3 bonus points was suddenly reduced to 1. I chose to hold off on the wildcard for the week, feeling underprepared and uncertain about a few issues. In hindsight, the players I would have brought in on a wildcard (notably Sanchez and Bellerin), performed very well, and I would have gained a significant amount of points. That brings me on to my real gripe. Hector Bellerin. You may recall, in GW29, I sold Bellerin, having not delivered a SINGLE attacking point since GW9. 20 weeks of no goals or assists from a 6m+ defender, and he was showing no real threat. Out he went, a wise move. In the 3 weeks since, Bellerin’s points? 9, 12 and 14. 35 points in 3 weeks, 11-12ppg. There are certain players who, when you ditch, you know could punish you. You take the risk, you play the odds, and take a hit on the chin. A Vardy goal, a Kane goal, a Sanchez goal – you knew that it could happen, you cannot really be surprised. Hector Bellerin, the man of 20 blank attacking weeks, has romped home with 3 assists, 1 goal and 2 clean sheets in the 3 weeks since I sold. This week, on my wildcard, I will be buying him back at a slightly inflated price, and a heap of points down. His ownership has been high, and it has done tremendous, unexpected, damage.
At this stage, we cannot really afford to have a week treading water. To get near the top 2k, I need a barrage, and this week feels like I am 1-0 down, yet have spent the 85-89th minute passing the ball around the defence. We are entering injury time in the season, and it has to be a sustained assault on those leading. There are 3 real season-defining chips: the 2nd wildcard, the bench boost, and the triple captain, and this is the week that I deploy the first. My wildcard is now active, and I have an exciting, pivotal, hugely stressful, week ahead. Every place in the squad will be assessed and reassessed, I will have the finest of toothcombs over every player, every option being weighed up to a painful degree. It is Monday afternoon as I type this, and I have already been through 10 or so drafts of my side. 3 DGWs, including 2 bumper ones, the potential to have 30 fixtures in a single week, the chance to have triple points for a double gameweeker running riot – there has never been a bigger opportunity in FPL. There are so many options, and already I have been stricken with fear, knowing that I cannot have them all.
My team will change numerous times over the next week, but there are a few key issues that I have pinpointed that may define the season. Do we keep Kane? What do we do with Leicester players? Do we go all out with 15 DGWers? How do we fit Man Utd defenders in? Do we go with the big hitters Sanchez and De Bruyne? My initial thoughts are that the only single game week player I will have is a Leicester defender. They are now grinding out wins, and I am hopeful that Mahrez will no longer do the extreme damage that he did earlier in the season (this could backfire spectacularly). Ozil has already gone from my side, as has Alderweireld. Neither will be returning. My biggest concern is Kane. I am inclined to sell and buy Martial, but that could be a huge, huge mistake. With a selling price of 9.8, I would struggle to buy him back. I will have a blinding headache for a few days.
I will be the ultimate tinkerman this week, revising and revising my team to the nth degree, trying to maximise the astounding potential of the next few weeks. I am concerned that the DGWs will be a damp squib, but I remember the glories of past years, and dreams of a Damien Delaney hat-trick suddenly swirl around my mind. The DGW, the most irresistible of all FPL sirens, the temptation luring many players to an FPL grave over the years. I may well cave and go all out with 15 DGWers, the invitation is almost impossible to ignore. Anyway, sod off, I need to get back to my wildcard team.
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.