Rocky times ahead ladies and gentlemen, I’ll briefly summarise GW28 and move straight into the eye of the week 29 storm.
We managed to maintain a slender 1 point lead at the top of the office leaderboard after the latest round of fixtures. In the end, 51 points in a week’s average of 43 was a decent return. Of course Pep did his usual trick and rested a few including my captain Kevin De Bruyne – nil point!! But, an excellent score from John Stones and a surprising 5 points from auto-sub Vydra just about salvaged what was shaping up to be a disaster. That, incidentally, leads me to game week 29. THE NIGHTMARE IN WAITING.
There are only 4 matches on the set list of GW29 which, in itself, is absolutely scandalous. It’s the kind of week your free hit chip is built for but, unfortunately, ours is long gone. With my Steve Bruce head on ‘we need to find another way’🙄
When Heung-Min Son pulled up against Arsenal the other day the magnitude of our plight really started to hit home. At the time, the South Korean was a one of only 4 players pencilled in our side for GW29. Now that he is almost certain to miss the coming fixtures we are, as it stands, down to 3. 3 representing players for a full game gameweek?!?! Unfeasible, unthinkable and a potential undoing of a season’s good work.
Last week’s decision to make 0 changes in order to gain an extra free transfer was a good one. It means we can make two transfers instantly and take our team up to 5 players with no penalty. At the time, it would have been 4 to 6 but didn’t take into account any potential injuries which could occur. What happens? Son’s crocked and it’s disarray. As I see it at the moment, we have only 2 potential ways of playing this.
The first would be only using our 2 free transfers but only starting the game week with 5 players. Advantages being no negative points hit and minimal squad disruption for the weeks ahead. The disadvantage quite clearly being a massive 6 players short of a full team.
The alternative second would be to use our 2 free transfers and make 2,3, maybe even 4 more changes on top of that. The advantages being a near full starting team, matching rivals up like for like. The clear disadvantages being a big negative point start and breaking up a strong squad.
I’m hoping a 3rd scenario will put into my head before I make any changes and we’ll be exploring more potential permutations but, putting the hard hat on and taking a sitting duck battering is looking the most likely option this week. Anything more than a -8 starting point would probably be pretty pointless (literally) and would disrupt our team too much for the coming weeks. The most amount of participants we’re looking at this week is 7. Not great but hopefully any lasting damage to our season will be minimal.
Scouting intel tells me my 2 main rival teams already have 8/9 players ready to start for them and with a transfer or 2 they will probably now have a full 11 a side team. This is where a well rounded squad comes in handy, we have been relying on a strong 11 for the majority of the season but at the value detriment to the bench as a result. Any changes we’ve made have invariably been full blown transfer rather than substitutions. I know my colleagues have been making little weekly tweaks in preparation for this spanner in the works game week and I have to take my hat off to them for that. We have been left in a pickle with only ourselves to blame.
In terms of the fixtures, they aren’t even great and certainly not a set you could make a long term plan from. Look for yourself..
- FULHAM V LEEDS
- BRIGHTON V NEWCASTLE
- WEST HAM V ARSENAL
- ASTON VILLA V TOTTENHAM
Where are the points at there? This could be our saving grace, a low scoring week is what we need here. There’s not a great deal to write home about that’s for sure but having only 5 players available to play is a problem regardless of the fixture quality. Had the matches been more pleasing on the scoring eye, I would have taken the starting points hit and matched up no questions asked. As it is, all I’m doing is asking serious questions with little few answers. What to do?!? At this point of writing, I haven’t a clue.
THIS WEEK’S PICKS.
So, after much intense deliberation, it’s 2 free transfers……… plus a -8 start for god sake. And we still only have 7 players involved. In terms of selections for a game week this is possibly the WORST I’ve endured in FPL. We start with 4 zero’s on the card and -8. Laughable really but if I can stay within 30 points of the top of the table after the week I’ll be very pleased.
The all important transfers are Cresswell, Tierney, Targett and Willock coming in for Son, Digne, Williams and Mitchell. The thinking here is that I’m predicting a low scoring week in terms of goals so I’ve tried to load up with decent defenders. Its making me ill to think I won’t be playing a goalkeeper.
In normal circumstances the changes I’ve made would be pretty decent but this isn’t a normal week and my hand has been forced. In terms of a captains pick, I’ve gone for the safe option of Kane but I may change that closer to the deadline.
Looking for a positive to end on, from our 7 players, 2 are TOON representatives. Is that a positive?!? I guess that sums up the week’s plight.
DIG IN, DEFEND.