#FPL OCD – Gameweek 35 Review: which disaster do I choose first?
Well that didn’t last long. My glorious stay into the top 10k, the point to which I had been building for 34 weeks, lasted…2 days. It was an added cruelty that we had the shortest break between game weeks immediately after my moment in the sun, and I was brought back to earth with an almighty crash. I suffered my worst GW rank of the entire season, at the most inopportune time, a 3 million plus week. I could only manage a paltry 27, and I have fallen back to 13.3k. All of that hard work undone in an instant.
As with last week, it is hard to know where to begin, though this time it is just a case of “which disaster do I choose first?” Let’s try to tackle it chronologically. Before the weekend, I had a couple of big decisions to make. My first transfer was simple: Martial to Kane, no hesitation. Then it got tricky. The two big calls: do I take a hit, and who do I captain? The first question was very tough. I had options, I had many players I could lose, primarily Mitrovic and Gabriel. The potential move I really weighed up was Gabriel to Kirchhoff but, after some deliberation, I decided that I could not justify a hit for a Sunderland defender, especially against Arsenal, and would just hope for the best with Gabriel. My second call was real toss of a coin stuff; Kane vs Aguero. Normally, I would have gone with Aguero, but one factor played on my mind: the looming Champions League semi-final. I never doubted Aguero would start – Aguero always starts when he’s available – but I correctly anticipated that he would be hauled off around the hour mark. That swung it, and Kane it was.
The first game of the Saturday was Man City vs Stoke. The first kick in the teeth: De Bruyne did not start. It had always been possible, I had to take it on the chin. The second kick: De Bruyne did not appear at all. Down to 10. I was at a barbecue on Saturday (obviously, at the first sign of summer in England), so these updates were trickling in intermittently, and I wasn’t keeping up to date with what was happening. Just before kick-off, I checked the team sheets. Liverpool vs Newcastle was the big one. The first thing I notice: Mignolet and Milner are in. Glanced across – no Mitrovic. Another kicker. Down to 9. It took a second for me to scan through the line-up. Someone else was missing. I went back onto my Twitter feed, and saw it plastered everywhere. Mamadou Sakho, temporarily dropped by his club due to a failed drugs test. I could do nothing but laugh. Players dropped I can take, players like Mitrovic who are a risk, but a failed drugs test? Down to 8. It wasn’t going to be a good week.
I ended Saturday with 9 points. 9 points from 6 players. Mignolet, Sakho, Milner, KDB and Mitrovic managed 3 points between them. It was only Aguero who did anything at all, and even that was tainted with the knowledge that I could have captained him. Anyway, I still had 5, including my captain, to go, and I had learned a couple of days earlier how quickly things can turn around.
The first game on Sunday, team sheets are in, no Gabriel. Down to 7. Bellerin managed a clean sheet, but even that was tarnished by a booking. Sanchez returned only a clean sheet point, and the top 10k was really slipping away. Leicester have been the side on which one can rely this season, and Danny Simpson managed 6 points to my delight. Then, it was all down to captain Kane, at home to a mediocre West Brom side. If I was to stay in the top 10k, I needed a huge haul. He hit the post early on, Spurs were rampant, it was only a matter of time. And then…nothing. Nothing at all. A 4 point captain, to round off a truly dreadful week.
I had grouped this week into the spell that would define our seasons. Part 1: get a bumper DGW34 team out and gain ground. Tick. Part 2: also ensure that you have 11 starters, and again make ground on those who are under-prepared. Erm…not quite. I fell into the very trap I believed would help me; I focused on getting 11 *possible* and forgot one of the golden rules of FPL – choose players who will definitely play. Sakho was one thing, but I only have myself to blame for getting myself in this predicament, and now I have a real mess to clear up.
This week, Sakho will have to go. The problem I have is that ditching Sakho feels like turning up to an earthquake with a dustpan and brush. I have problems strewn across my team, and I feel that at least one hit is necessary. I am hugely averse to having a rotation risk taking up a precious striker spot, so Mitrovic will go. I am extremely tempted by Andy Carroll, but I fear that this may be jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire, so my instinct is to go for Jermain Defoe. He has played 70+ minutes in 15 of the last 16 games, and is the main man for a team battling to stay in the division. It feels risky, but with a lot to play for and a DGW37, I may load up on Sunderland with Kirchhoff and Defoe. I need to make big strides again, and hope that this is another blip, not the way that my season will end.
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.