The holiday period in the EPL sees a flurry of games with kickoff on Boxing Day and the start of GW18. After three weeks of red arrows, 66 points had me seeing green at the cost of 4 points. Unfortunately as holiday footie goes, managers shuffle players in and out, attempting to get the most out of their team and more importantly the win. I was left a few weeks with only 8 and 9 starting players, with a few automatically substituted in at the conclusion of the week. Still, it was not a festive period for my squad, suffering two more red arrows in GW19 and GW20, a combined 94 points, which has me at 1.1m as we look forward to GW21.
In the last 10 weeks I have saw 7 red arrows and dropped an additional 300k spots in the global ranking. However I had team value on my side, as high as 103.6m at the conclusion of GW17, but a few ineffective players, lots of transfer outs and I have lost 0.5 in 2 weeks. The struggle is real, as no decision seems to be better following the pundits, as I always seem to be a step behind this season.
One bright spot to start the year, the wild card. Much like my chips, which I have not played to date, I am considering making major changes to my squad in hopes of a fresh start to the second half of the EPL season. At this point, I don’t believe it can get much worse. Only 2 weeks has my squad scored about 60 points, which was the average I was hoping to achieve.
Four players have been at the core of my squad, Costa, Zlatan, Sanchez and Hazard totaling 44.3m! Costa has been the most consistent, outside of the no return against Spurs yesterday and the 1-game ban for yellow card accumulation last month. Zlatan started great through 4 games, but went through a period of 6 games with no returns, but since that time has returned a goal or assist since. Sanchez has been on and off my squad a few times, started off slow with his return from international duty and I moved him a week too soon before his first double of the season. Yet over the next 8 weeks I would he would find his way to my squad, always missing the big returns. Finally Hazard. He’s been very inconsistent this year, started well through 3 games, but it’s been an on again, off again love affair with him.
Chelsea continues to win and put up good numbers, but Hazard hasn’t been involved as he was in past year. GW 8-11 produce a nice run of results and returns, but since that time just one double digit return and only one score greater than 9 points. At 10.4m his target doesn’t justify his place in the starting lineup. The potential remains, especially with Hull and Swansea coming up but games against Liverpool and Arsenal leave his position on my squad in doubt. Looking beyond GW31 and G33 against Man City and Man U are the only worrisome games on the remaining schedule.
So what do I do? The WC was being held for the start of the DGW, as we hit GW27 or so but I need to do something to promote change and start that long, slow climb up the global rankings. As I write this piece I have activated the WC for GW21 starting on January 14, nine days to mull over the thought of a major overhaul. The current squad I on my screen sees just 2 players retain their position; Costa and Zlatan.