‘Tis the season to be jolly”. Fair enough. “Don we now our gay apparel?” That’s where I drawn the line.
It’s not so much the apparel. To each his own, I say. It’s that the lyric to this timeless Christmas carol is written in Yoda speak. You know, where you put the verb in front of the subject for no particular reason. That bothers me. Especially when you consider this lyric would work just as well if it was written “Now we don our gay apparel”. Simples, yeah? I already have this Star Wars spinoff movie, Rogue One, out now watering down the franchise. I don’t need Yoda lyrics in my Christmas carols.
Ed… and breathe Steve
Right, happy holidays and all of that. It has been a while since I last checked in with a gameweek review. Three gameweeks were squeezed into a nine day stretch, and writing reviews for them all was not in the cards for me. So, now is the time to look back at these last few rounds as we approach the end of 2016 and the halfway point of the season.
Lucky for you, I have been rather productive over the last three rounds, getting green arrows in two of them and shaving 70k off of my rank. I even managed to pick the right captain last week. After finally bringing Diego Costa into my side in GW16, I gave him the armband this last round, and, while he finally managed to secure that elusive fifth yellow card, he scored a goal for me. Meanwhile, the other clear option in most people’s eyes, Harry Kane, came up empty and I was able to dodge that pitfall.
This leads me to the main talking point in this edition of the review. I think Diego Costa and Sergio Aguero have switched bodies. If you were a child of the 1980’s, then you, like me, were accustomed to the concept of body-switching. It seemed to be it’s own movie genre back then. There was “Vice Versa” with Fred Savage and Judge Reinhold, “Like Father, Like Son” with Dudley Moore and Kirk Cameron and “18 Again” with George Burns and some nobody actor. There are probably a few more examples so, for a while there, you were easily getting one or two body-switching movies a year…all of them bad.
While Hollywood may have finally come to the realization that body-switching movies were not box office juggernauts, the concept looks to have made its way into the Premier League. Maybe I would have been a bit more brave to say this sooner – Costa is now Aguero and Aguero is now Costa.
If I told you before the season started that between Kun and Costa, one would lead the league in goals, never going two straight matches without scoring, and faced no disciplinary issues until Boxing Day, while the other would have been banned for a total of seven games (six in the leagye) for violent conduct on two separate occasions, surely you would have said “Easy. Kun’s leading the race for the Golden Boot and Costa’s temper once again has sullied what could otherwise be a very productive fantasy season.”
Well, you would be wrong now, wouldn’t you? For me, this is the major storyline of the fantasy season, and, in a way, of the actual season. When Costa got that 5th yellow over the weekend, I automatically began lining up replacements for him. But, it took that one-match ban for me to realize – Costa is too good to drop for missing one match. This is the kind of logic that used to apply exclusively to Aguero. Meanwhile, after initially making a plan to make sure I got Aguero back for Week 19, I have come to realize that, for the first time in a very long time, I do not feel the Argentinian is essential. Sure, he will be back in my side at some point, and circumstances could play out where he indeed does make his way back into the side. Costa, meanwhile, looks as though he is bound to stay in my FPL squad through the end of the season, barring injury or a multiple game suspension.
With my funds maxed out (now at a team value of 104m) I have the #2 scoring GK in Heaton, partnered with “The nex Jack Butland” Jordan Pickford. In defense, I have representation from the two best defensive sides, with Danny Rose and David Luiz. I have a defender from Burnley and West Brom, both who have shown strong home form and they rotate home/away perfectly. Jordi Amat does his job, a 5th defender for minimum price that actually plays.
In attack, six of my seven starting attackers have a “star” next to them. Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Eden Hazard, Jermain Defoe, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Costa. The seventh starter is the capable-of-something-any-week as the poor man’s Gylfi Sigurdsson — Robert Snodgrass. Darren Fletcher acts as the final attacking piece on my bench. You look at the shape of my team, and you have to think at this point..”Is Sergio Aguero essential?” Because this side looks rather balanced to me and Aguero’s price tag is starting to feel a bit inflated. I mean, even throwing out the weeks where Kun was absent through suspension, on a points per matches played level, Costa is clearly ahead at 6.8 ppg vs Aguero’s 6.2. And, even though Zlatan is behind at 5.9 ppg, one has to consider how that .3 points difference on average is made up by using the extra 1.4m Aguero costs you and spending it elsewhere. I mean, that turns Winston Reid into Marcos Alonso.
So, I think I am going to try the “Forget Aguero” experiment for a little while. I am perfectly setting this up to explode in my face. But, it cannot be as disastrous as the “Use Capoue as your 4th mid” experiment went.
That’s all from me this week. There were several other talking points to discuss but I have presents to wrap and mail back to myself. I will be back at some point between Boxing Day and the New Year to not only review the week that was but to also analyze the first half of the season.
Oh, and go easy on the eggnog. I have seen it destroy lives.