Overall Points: 2,275
Overall Rank: 467
Overall I was delighted with a top 500 finish for the season. This helped me to win the two mini leagues I entered into and documenting the whole process via this blog has been fascinating. This season was the first season I’ve made a conscious effort to conduct in depth research into players form and upcoming fixtures. I hope the time spent researching correlates directly to my overall ranking as I’ve performed significantly better than last season. I do however appreciate that I’ve had a lot of luck along the way, football can be incredibly difficult to predict at the best of times. The true test of the process will be if it can be replicated next season with another top 500 finish. Time will tell, as I plan to document my decision making again next season.
I plan to publish some in depth articles over the next couple of weeks, hopefully these will be useful for the start of next season when considering an initial team selection. I plan to look at the highest scoring players, highest scoring goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and strikers and a breakdown of each team including their players performance.
For this review, I’ll mainly focus on the progress of my team over the course of the season.
As we are now at the end of the season, I thought it would be a great time to take stock of which players contributed the most points to my overall total. This will be useful for next season when considering a starting line up.
Foster – 56 points (38 game weeks)
I stuck with Foster for the duration of the season. Goalkeepers tend to score less points overall so I didn’t see the value in wasting any transfers on this position or using much of my budget. He performed fairly well but I could have opted for a better option, someone like Heaton or Grant who would have been similar values and would have drawn in more points.
Coleman – 96 points (20 game weeks)
Stones – 95 points (37 game weeks)
Bailly – 79 points (14 game weeks)
Shaw – 54 points (24 game weeks)
Azpilicueta – 51 points (11 game weeks)
Williams – 34 points (9 game weeks)
Rojo – 22 points (9 game weeks)
Terry – 9 points (18 game weeks)
I tend to save budget when it comes to defenders, this can be reflected with some of the point totals above. I also had a bit of a disastrous start to the season at the back, Terry hardly featured and Shaw quickly became out of favour at Old Trafford. Prior to his horrific injury Coleman was one of the best transfers I made all season, he finished my highest scoring defender across only 20 game weeks. Bailly also proved a useful transfer towards the end of the season. Interestingly flicking through the highest point scoring defenders, none would have been available on a cheaper budget at the start of the season.
Eriksen – 189 points (25 game weeks)
De Bruyne – 187 points (33 game weeks)
Pogba – 76 points (14 game weeks)
Mane – 74 points (17 game weeks)
Ozil – 68 points (4 game weeks)
Sterling – 36 points (9 game weeks)
Hazard – 22 points (3 game weeks)
I generally build my teams from the strikers back to the goalkeeper in terms of my overall budget. This is generally because strikers pick up more points on average than most other positions. As a result my midfield is usually secondary to my strikers, on a slightly lower budget. Despite this fact I was delighted with the points total some of my midfielders contributed. I’d probably place Eriksen as my player of the season – he finished as the second highest scoring midfielder and picked me up a huge amount of points when many other managers didn’t have him in their side. I was also delighted with how De Bruyne finished the season after a patch of low point scoring towards the start of the new year. Having Ozil for 4 game weeks also represents what can be achieved when planning transfers ahead, I’d highlighted some easier games in the Champions League and decided to move for Ozil purely for these fixtures. I then took him out while he still had high value after he had picked up a good points total.
Sanchez – 302 points (28 game weeks)
Ibrahimovic – 208 points (27 game weeks)
Kane – 203 points (21 game weeks)
Aguero – 185 points (17 game weeks)
Costa – 22 points (7 game weeks)
I always use a big chunk of my budget for the most expensive strikers in the game. This comes down to the simple fact that they tend to score more points over the season than players in any other position. The first player on my team sheet was Aguero, and despite a shaky season at City with regards to his future, injuries and suspensions he still finished the season as the second highest point scorer. I then spent the majority of the season rotating between Sanchez, Ibrahimovic, Kane and Aguero. This seemed to work exceptionally well as these four were the highest scoring players over the course of the season. Having Sanchez for the majority of his point scoring form over the season also paid off massively as he contributed over 300 points. The fact that Arsenal were in such poor form and there were doubts over Sanchez’s future helped a lot, as I believe many other managers overlooked him at times.
Basic Principles for a Successful Season
I made a conscious decision this season to invest large chunks of time into team selection and the decision making process. This was an attempt to achieve a higher points total and win the mini leagues I had entered. The process seemed fairly successful and I managed to win both mini leagues. I’d generally put my success down to a few key principles. This included:
– Plan transfers ahead. I believe looking at upcoming fixtures and game ease for certain teams was vital in my success. Spotting opportunities where players may pick up more points and grow in value was essential.
– Budget wisely. It’s not surprising that some of the most expensive players at the start of the season turned out to be the highest point scorers. I’m referring to the likes of Kane, Sanchez, Aguero and Hazard. I found that saving the majority of my budget for more expensive strikers rather than defenders was beneficial.
– Don’t rush into transfers. With three transfers per month, it was quite tempting to use these up quite quickly. However towards the end of the season I found that holding onto transfers with the view of making more proactive than reactive transfers was a much better formula. This allowed me to grab an advantage by transferring in players who may have benefited from extra games in Europe or the EFL cup at short notice.
As always, share your thoughts/ideas in the comments below.
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