It was well documents on T6F that the last minute change to my GW1 FPL starting XI was a knee jerk reaction to the first scoutcast of the season from the guys at Fantasy Football Scout. By no means do I blame them for my reaction to their information. The fault lies from within, as months of work, effort and planning fell by the wayside based on the “what if…” situations that surrounded Gameweek 1. In my mind I am still attempting to justify the reason why I opted for a 5-2-3 instead of the 5-3-2 that I had been working with predominately, in order to find a midfield rotation, that appear on paper at least to be the best option.
Goals by Lukaku the first few weeks, along with those from Pogba and Alonso highlight the misses from my squad because of this knee jerk reaction. However moving Coutinho out before GW1 was a wise move as he continues to watch from the sidelines due to injury and the potential move to Barca. The injury to Zaha meant I had to use my FT in order to bring a viable #2 midfielder in. This was probably a blessing in disguise as I opted for Mkhitaryan, who currently leads the EPL in assists with 4 through two games.
What is really bizarre, the fact I did not start with any offensive Man United players. Both Lukaku and Pogba were slated for weeks in my squad. There was some question as to how attack-minded that Pogba would be and at £8.0, Mkhitaryan would have been another option. To start GW1 it was just Valencia who made the cut to start the season. Based on the early planning, Bailly (goal in GW2) was also in the starting XI in order to accommodate the £7.0 Alonso. The early Man United fixtures were excellent, as pundits had been discussing; WHM/swa/LEI/sto, to start the season. Yet it was De Bruyne at £10.0 who started as my premium midfielder, a player I really didn’t consider over the course of my planning.
So where do I go from here? I am still pleased with the 5 defender set, even though So’ton conceded twice to 10-man West Ham squad. Being trebled up at the back (Yoshida, Bertrand, Cedric) hurt, thankfully Yoshida picked up a late assist to salvage something from the Saints back line. The dominance of £7.0 Alonso through 2 weeks has been impressive to watch. Sure Chelsea got rolled by Burnley in GW1, but much like Kane, Alonso featured big in the attack down the right side. Could the outlay of £7.0 be worth it?
So’ton has hud/WAT/cry in the next 3 games, all of which could yield clean sheets. Could! Yet, it’s a high risk, high reward, where a single goal can mean the different between 18 points and 6 points. Shifting to Alonso now doesn’t appear lucrative with EVE/lei/ARS over the next 3 games. However the Blues looked good against Spurs on Sunday and there is no reason to believe they won’t tally multiple goal games in the next 3 fixtures.
Not owning Lukaku is weighing heavily. Much like the decision not to run with Pogba, this decision was borderline crazy. Looking at his GW1 TSB% and the fact Kane has struggled in August should have meant Lukaku in the starting XI, while playing the “wait and see game” with Kane. Unfortunately, I rolled the dice and so far have come up on the short end, based on just 2 weeks. All is not lost, Kane has some excellent underlying stats in his two early performances, I feel it’s a matter of time before he hits in August, GW3 fixture is home to Burnley.
Up front, the return of Sturridge for Liverpool saw Firmino drop a bit further to fill that midfield slot with Salah on the bench. Not a Salah fan and feel he’s going to struggle in the EPL this season. Still without Coutinho, Firmino ends up being that play maker Liverpool is missing if Sturridge can remain healthy. Jesus at City has possibly has two more weeks before he faces the transfer ax. Returning a single point in the first week and he faces Everton this week. The combined budget (£19.0) would allow me to downgrade KDB, giving me £29.0 to spend. This would also mean activating my WC before GW4. Something I was attempting to avoid going into the season.
Before all the dominoes begin to topple, we need to play out GW2 as Man City hosts Everton. A big output from City could sway my upcoming decisions on who will go and who will stay. Still I feel good about my squad, even though the numbers are representative of it.