Feeling Fuzzy: Gameweek 21 Review
“Clearly, Chelsea is Trolling FPL Managers”
Written by @FuzzyWarbles (That’s important)
Hey there, folks. I do not have time to waste this week. There are only a few precious hours left before my country hands its keys over to that orange Monster. No, not Gossamer from the Bugs Bunny cartoon way back when. He was likeable. You know who I’m talking about. If you aren’t in the States, it makes no difference. This dummy’s influence is going to felt worldwide. So I want to get right to the main topic of this column straight away, so I can enjoy these last few hours.
Chelsea is trolling us in FPL, at every position.
Don’t believe me? Let us look at the evidence – first, let’s concentrate on keeper and defence. Chelsea tricked us when the season started. After being abysmal last season, for their standards anyway, the Blues began this season in similar fashion. They kept only one clean sheet in the first six weeks, enough of a sample size to logically conclude that there was no value in investing a premium price for Thibaut Courtois or any of the defenders. Courtois had only 13 points after six weeks. He had as many clean sheets (1) as he did yellow cards. He was averaging just slightly above 2pts per week. So his 5.5m price tag seemed an unthinkable investment.
Where is he now? The top scoring player at his position.
Of course, there is a direct relationship with Chelsea defenders. Branislav Ivanovic, a popular fantasy choice for years, started the first six weeks. While he did provide an assist in that time, nobody felt confidence in investment from the Blues back line after six weeks. In Week 4, they coughed up two to draw with last place Swansea. In Week 5, they lost at home to Liverpool, giving up two more goals, and then Week 6, where they were sliced up in a 0-3 loss to Arsenal.
Enter Marcos Alonso and 5-2-3 formation.
Alonso made his first start in Week 7 and Chelsea promptly went on a run of six straight clean sheets, they added four more to that total in the next six weeks. All the while, this Alonso fellow starts putting up attacking stats all over the place. It took a few weeks for most to catch onto this shift in results for Chelsea and their defence but, once they did, Alonso was getting the deserved attention on the transfer market. Since no one had Alonso for those first six weeks or so, how could he have helped this trolling pattern? Well, there was talk over the festive period that Alonso was having injury concerns and it was enough for the Blues to recall Nathan Ake from Bournemouth. Alonso managers felt panicked. More were selling than buying before the Tottenham match and, after Alonso was removed in that game early, even more sold him leading up to this most recent week.
So what does he do while his stock finally began to fall? Just your run-of-the-mill defender brace/clean sheet/maximum bonus 21 point kind of day. Now he sits as the top scoring defender in the game.
Moving on to midfield, where Eden Hazard has managed to troll us. He had a great start, scoring or assisting in the first three rounds of the season. I was happy to have him in my squad from the start. But then, he went the next three without attacking returns and fantasy owners flipped. His price dropped in a way I don’t believe I’ve ever seen before for a player that wasn’t injured, suspended or benched. A 0.1m drop for three straight days. I had to drop him. It was a time of season where one is concerned with building some team value.
What does Hazard decide to do? Go ballistic over a four week stretch, scoring five goals and notching two assists. I would have bought him back but buying players with a price tag is so much more difficult than selling them. You hardly ever have the funds to do it with one free transfer and you are usually having to cut an expensive player that could burn you after selling him. So what does Haz do after that amazing four week long haul? He goes the next six weeks, totaling just one goal and zero assists. He’s stayed back in my side ever since. He has to. The moment I sell him, the same thing is going to happen.
Why is Chelsea torturing me?
And that brings us to the final area of the pitch, the forward. No one has pulled a bigger troll job than one Diego Costa. We all know the story by now. Costa was consistently scoring goals right from the start of the season. The problem was, as has been his tendency in the past, he was racking up yellow cards at the same time. Three YC’s in the first four weeks and he picked up his fourth in Week 6, putting him one more away from suspension. By that point, I was ok with missing out on his points, because my logic was, when he scores, it’s more like an assist. You are really only getting three points per goal because you have to take a point away for his inevitable “yellow discipline”. So there was no point in bringing him in by the time he got his 4th yellow. He was getting two YCs for every three games at that point, the 5th one was coming this week, if not, next.
So what does Costa do? He decides to go on the longest stretch of pitch time without being disciplined in his professional career, ten matches, scoring goal after goal along the way. I finally caved in and bought him a couple of week before that 5th yellow. But, at that point, I had flipped on my view of Costa. I now looked at him as being essential. He had not gone back to back games without scoring all season, the model of consistency. I went so far as to anoint him in my column last week as this season’s Aguero. 20 goals surely, 25 perhaps. My trust in Costa, which had been non-existent for years, was now official.
So what happens? The row with Conte. The mysterious back injury. The talk of a move to the Chinese Super League for a huge bump in pay. This story broke last Friday, less than one hour AFTER I had made my transfers.
Had I gotten the news first, I am positive I would have switched him out for Kane. Instead, I had dropped Defoe for Giroud. Now Costa’s price is rapidly dropping…and he is still in my squad. I truly don’t know what to do. I didn’t want to sell him immediately, because I was seeing reports of a possible truce to the prior row with the manager. Costa is having his best season in the PL and Chelsea are certainly title contenders.
Why would he want to leave now? Why not last season, when everything had gone wrong by January? Something is telling me to take the punishment of his price drop and wait the week out before deciding what to do, cause I cannot bear the idea of selling him now, seeing a story in a day or two that all is well again with Costa and Conte and lo and behold, the Blues are hosting Hull this weekend.
I can see it now – a Costa hat trick the week I sell him.
Have I made enough of a case yet? Good.
I would love to stick around and bash City after their result against Everton or gush about the club I support, Tottenham, who are looking fantastic right now. But I gotta go. I need to mentally prepare myself for the next four years – where an orangutan sits in the Oval Office and every good footballer goes to China. I’d love to see a few come to MLS, but everything is upside-down now. The best athletes are heading to China and the US is building a wall.