Well, that was a load of old sh*te wasn’t it. First week back after the International break and we post another 39pt week. 39! 3. 9. Thirty nine! Exactly the same total as gameweek 3 as well. One more sub 40pt week and there’s a real chance I get Frank de Boer’d!
To be fair when you start the week with three Liverpool players and they combine for -1pt you kind of know you’re on a hide into nothing. The only small positive is it meant the rest of the team averaged 5pts which is really not too bad.
After about 48 hours of gameweek 4 finishing I finally plucked up the courage to review the team for this write up so let’s have a look at the damage.
Well f*ck me sideways and call me Sue, I FINALLY got the GK choice correct. It’s been a long time coming. But thankfully we trusted Newcastle a little more than Crystal Palace. I had thought that both would concede but thankfully Swansea really are as impotent as expected now that Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente have left. 8pts instead of a benched 2pts is a huge relief.
At the back we had very little to celebrate. Granted, Toby Alderweireld scored 5pts but with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Danny Simpson combining for 0pts and Maya Yoshida and Rob Holding being benched it wasn’t a good week. Rotation clearly an issue for the bulk of our back five.
So, when you have Sadio Mane doing his best Eric Cantona impression in the first game of the week you kind of know it’s going to be a tough week. Over 1.5m teams had him going into this game so at least we aren’t alone. Unfortunately the rest of our midfield didn’t really do too much to pick up the slack. Paul Pogba picked up a slightly fortuitous assist to return us 5pts but with Robbie Brady scoring 2pts and Heung Min Son saving his goals for the Champions League we had no chance. I can’t really remember a time when a midfield four of mine has scored as low as 6pts but there’s clearly a first for everything.
Up top was the only positive for us. New boy in Alexandre Lacazette was given the armband and scored on his FPL Updates XI debut against Bournemouth. Missing out on bonus was a little annoying but 12pts was huge compared to the rest of our team to be fair. Romelu Lukaku scored his fourth of the season and scored us 6pts in doing so. What is worth noting is this is the second game this season that he has scored a single goal and come nowhere near bonus. Last up was our third Liverpool player but the way Roberto Firmino has started this season we can happily allow him a blank week or two.
So without dwelling on a really poor week it’s time for the Wildcard! It’s only been a matter of time but with Spurs hitting a really nice run of games and Harry Kane starting to look a little scary I couldn’t do without him any longer.
I can safely say that in all the years of playing this game I’ve never had so much trouble selecting a Wildcard team. Every draft made seems to look like it’s missing something. The sheer cost of both Lukaku and Kane has made life hard for all managers so it really seems like all Wildcards start with the question of Rom and Kane or Rom or Kane? Eventually I decided to work around the players I cannot live without and go from there.
Rom is out! One of the toughest decisions I’ve had and one I have no doubt I’ll regret. With Pogba out (a constant source of creativity) and a tougher run of games coming up I felt it was semi justifiable. Simply put, there is no way I could do without Harry Kane and building a team with both is a bigger logistical nightmare than I’d have hoped. Especially given that there are so many mid-to-top tier midfielders I want.
In goal we have only gone and done it! Our boy is back! And for the first time since the end of the 2015/16 season. For anyone that may have read this article during the 15/16 season you will have absolutely known that Jack Butland became the golden boy for us. He was a god send until his injury and we have seriously missed him. My confidence in Stoke as a defensive unit is a little ropey but I couldn’t not have him. With all that said he’s warming our bench this week as we give Rob Elliot another run out. Both GK’s actually face off this week. Let’s see if the GK selection curse has actually been lifted for me.
Our backline has seen a massive overhaul, with only Trent Alexander-Arnold sticking. Yes, he’s rotation fodder but with a nice home game this week we will keep him for the short term. Alongside him we have ‘downgraded’ Antonio Valencia to Phil Jones. I’m a big fan of Tony V but when you are looking to save some cash this is the type of move you may need to do. £1.4m saved here for ultimately the same defensive coverage. Jones now has approximately 70 hours to not get injured. Our third and last starting defender is Ben Davies. The highest scorer in FPL. Obviously. 32pts after four gameweek’s is stunning. Yes, there is the chance of Danny Rose coming back in as first choice but for now he looks a must have for the coming games. Harry Maguire get’s a mention because although he is benched this week I think he will be a big pick up until early October.
Our midfield sees a full five changes. Paul Pogba would have stuck around but will his injury midweek I had no choice. Annoyingly the lateral move to Henrikh Mkhitaryan has cost us an extra £0.2m but this seems a smart move in my view. The third highest scoring midfielder looks to have finally earned Mourinho’s trust and with Pogba out I think that will further ensure his minutes are healthy. Next up is Dele Alli. Many people understandably favouring Christian Eriksen but for me I just feel Dele Alli is about to have a purple patch. The last 18-24 months have shown that the two Spurs midfielders kind of take it in turns to excel. I’m going with my gut here that the next handful of gameweek’s will see Dele outscore his team mate given that Eriksen has been the main man so far. David Silva joins them. Pre season there were concerns over his potential for rotation given their attacking options. In reality what we’ve seen is that Silva is more important than ever. He has played 90 minutes in all four games so far and looks as good as he has in a City shirt. Watford, Palace, Stoke, Burnley and WBA feature in City’s next six gameweek’s so cover seemed essential. Emre Can makes up the last of our starting mids. Primarily he’s in for his value but also because of Sadio Mane’s suspension. With Phillipe Coutinho returning to action I was a little concerned that would eat into his minutes but now Mane is suspended I kind of feel Coutinho could well be utilised within that front three. A little speculatory but worth a gamble at such a low cost.
Our front three has a big fat Romelu Lukaku hole in it but Harry Kane is in to fill it and looking at Spurs’ upcoming run I just could not fathom going into a week without him. Two goals against Everton followed by a midweek brace against Dortmund he looks primed for a monster run. Swansea, West Ham, Huddersfield and Bournemouth are his next four and if you have are willing to run without him you have far bigger bollocks than me! 28% ownership suggests there’s quite a few of you. Alongside him we do keep Roberto Firmino though. In my opinion he is one of the best centre forwards in Europe and at £8.5m (what we have him at) he looks the biggest bargain out there. So far he has either scored 2pts or 12pts. Let’s hope it’s the latter this week at home to Burnley. Last up is Jamie Vardy. Where I have run without Rom I have decided to pick up Vardy. Aside from Liverpool in gameweek 6 (which we all know isn’t that much of a concerning fixture) Leicester have one of the most favourable runs. Huddersfield, Bournemouth, WBA, Swansea, Everton and Stoke are the other six fixtures between now and gameweek 11 meaning that with a relatively low ownership of 11% he could be a really nice selection.
So there we have it. The Wildcard is in and although I like the team I’m feeling like I’m missing so many ‘big’ names. It has to be an improvement though so let’s just see what the coming weeks bring. As always it’s your chance to vote for our weekly captain below. A couple of stand out options but we leave it in your hands.
Thanks all for reading and good luck to you all. Unless you’re above us then I hope you have a shocker!
Written by FPL Guru (@FPL_Guru_)