OVERVIEW: Merry Christmas everyone.
Gameweek 14 was a proper rollercoaster. From euphoric highs and bottom end lows and eventually settling back to an even ground.
It started off brilliantly when it was announced Mohamed Salah was on Liverpool’s substitutes bench. Most of my rivals had him as captain, what a buzz. 2 hours later he’d bagged 32 points and we are already playing catch up – Buzzkill. Then to make matters worse Tariq Lamptey, who I’d just transferred in, isn’t in the Brighton squad – no explanation given. It didn’t end there, his teammate Danny Welbeck was named as a substitute. We were on the back foot prepared for a long weekend ahead.
It turned out to be one of the highest scoring weekends I can remember and, unfortunately, our lads couldn’t take advantage. An average score of 60 and we could only manage 59, down to the afore mentioned but mainly due to the wrong captain selection. Kane only managed the basic 4 points which is bad but in a big point game week, is sheer sacrilege. Had I selected Fernandes we would have been looking at 80+ points. A slight silver lining coming when Welbeck came on and scored late saving our bacon somewhat.
59 on a usual week is a decent enough score but when your rivals are all bagging 70+, you can’t help but feel disappointed. One guy in our league scored 102 points for the week, a tremendous effort. It subsequently moved him from bottom all the way up to 4th and back into the mix. The league itself is extremely tight which makes it’s so enjoyable. Yes, I would like to be smashing them off the park by 100+ but from a competitive stand point and keeping everyone vested, a tight league is perfect. Only about 40 points separate the top 4 and despite others having great weeks we aren’t in a bad position, sitting 3rd only about 30 behind the player in pole. What’s more, we are due a monster week and hopefully it’s on the horizon.
Looking ahead to this week’s Boxing Day fixtures, I can’t help but feel Man City are where the points will be. Which players though? Only Pep can answer that. They are home my beloved Newcastle but I know there’s a potential hiding coming. I reckon it’s probably worth the risk of second guessing of Guardiola’s selection.
Liverpool at home to West Brom is another match where premium points could be there for the taking. From a personal point of view, I’m looking for the baggies to halt them in their tracks. Weirdly I don’t have any Liverpool players in my lineup. As much as I would like to get Salah into my team, I just don’t think it’s financially viable – we’ll see.
Thoughts of breaking the up the Kane/Son partnership have began to creep into my head again. Yes I was stung last time. Yes I regretted it almost instantly. But this time feels different, Spurs have had an alarming slip of form in recent weeks. It’s a fickle world fantasy football and your only as good as your previous week. Is it time to break up that marriage? Let me know what you think.
THIS WEEK’S PICKS
As I mentioned before, I’ve been looking at ways to get Salah into the side. I have spent hours this week trying to calculate the financial permutations without any sort of detriment to the team. Unfortunately, it would disrupt the team’s balance too much and put all the enfaces on one player to perform – too much risk and financially unviable.
At the end of last week’s matches, I was certain I was going to take minus points this coming week. I gave the players a real dressing down in the locker room and told them big changes were going to be made. Having had time to calm down and reflect, I’ve actually only made one transfer. This means no negative starting points but……. ITS A BIG ONE. Not in terms of a huge deal but the ethos, basis and dynamic on which our team has always been built has completely changed. We now have NO NEWCASTLE UNITED players in our squad and it’s a sad day. I can’t stress enough that this is only a temporary measure but i feel a bit empty inside. Out comes Fernandez for fitness reasons and the fact they are away to City. In comes John Stones, who has had a resurgence under Pep in recent weeks.
In terms of captain pick, I’ve really rolled the dice and gone with De Bruyne. It’s a risky Christmas but hopefully one that pays dividends. We got it so wrong last week and now we are due some luck.
KEEP SALAH ON HIS RIGHT.