GW Points: 36
Overall Points: 172
Overall Rank: 98,168
Transfers: Baines out, Kompany in
Matip out, Pieters in
If you follow this blog you will already know I’d not got off to the start I wanted. I was hoping this game week was going to be a turning points and the likes of Kane, Lacazette and De Bruyne were finally going to come good. With Spurs facing Burnley, Man City playing Bournemouth and Arsenal travelling to Liverpool (with their defensive record) I had big expectations for a high scoring week. I even had some hope that Ogbonna may pick up a clean sheet with West Ham facing Newcastle (who were yet to score a Premier League goal). Other than Mane and Salah the game week couldn’t have gone much worse. Lacazette was dropped to the bench – still have no idea what that decision was all about. Kane failed to score again. West Ham got taken apart – again. West Brom and Stoke looked like it had 0 – 0 written all over it at half time and ended up finishing 1 – 1 taking away clean sheets for both Foster and Pieters. De Bruyne once again played in a deeper role and only managed 3 points. Kompany lost his clean sheet after 16 minutes and Lukaku missed a penalty. Based on my expectations of where I’d like to finish the season this week was a complete disaster. I still don’t look at my team and think I made any obvious mistakes when it comes to selection, I think the big players that I have chosen have just been unfortunate not to have scored more points. It could be a completely different picture had Kane started the season as he finished the last and Lacazette hit the ground running at Arsenal but it wasn’t to be. I’d put this more down to bad luck than anything else.
Mane (8 points) and Salah (15 points) pretty much saved my game week from being a complete disaster. They both got on the score sheet at Anfield and Salah got the star man award. Both players have performed well in August.
Valencia picked up another clean sheet. Which is a good result but I’d imagine lots of other managers also have a Man Utd defender.
I’m relatively happy with my defence. Foster has made a decent start. Valencia has three clean sheets. Kompany I believe is stronger than Matip – should he stay fit. Pieters should be a solid cheaper option who will contribute his fair share of points relative to his lower cost. However Ogbonna could be a real issue – I never expected a big return from a 1.5m player but I did expect him to contribute a decent level of points relative to his cost. I’ve noticed a few comments on social media and on the blog about Ogbonna being a mistake. But I felt this was a small risk worth taking. To put it in perspective, he cost 1.5m and appeared to be a regular starter for a team who seemed likely to finish mid table. Based on this information I expected him to contribute around 70-80 points over the season as I compared points scored last season for defenders playing for teams who finished in a similar position in the league. At the start of the season he was the best option at that cost and freed up budget for more expensive players in other positions. I completely see that it’s not panned out as planned but it could have easily gone the other way. The issue now is that West Ham have made such a poor start that he could well be dropped. Despite their terrible start, if he’s not dropped I may well stick with him as they must surely improve at some point.
De Bruyne playing in a deeper role means he’s not been amongst the goals or assists for City during August. With the likes of Alli and Pogba, who are both valued at 6m, grabbing goals already I think I’m going to have to transfer him out.
Lacazette is another player who may need to come out. I’m not an Arsenal fan but I’ve already lost faith in them doing well this season. Lacazette being dropped to the bench against Liverpool was a very odd decision. I place a lot of emphasis on my strikers and I can’t afford to have a striker who’s even a risk of being benched. As a result someone like Morata or Jesus may be better options.
My final and probably biggest problem is Kane. His cost is huge at 8m and I expected at least of couple of goals in August to justify putting him in. This hasn’t happened. The dilemma now is sticking with him or taking him out. If I take him out, you can bet he will grab a few goals in the next game. Equally if I stick with him and his bad luck in front of goals continues I could keep falling behind. At the moment I’m favouring sticking with him for a little longer.
Tips for Game Week 4
Having made two of my three transfers for August, I’ll be looking to make my final transfer before the end of the month. Although I’ve not got off to the start that I wanted, I’ve still got faith that the players I’ve chosen are the right choices. Before moving onto some actual tips for the game week I thought it would be worth reviewing where I’m going with my team:
Foster – keep
Valencia – keep
Kompany – keep
Pieters – keep
Ogbonna – keep for now (monitor if he keeps his place or not and West Ham face Huddersfield, West Brom and Bolton in their next three games so I’ll willing to see how this pans out)
De Bruyne – transfer out
Mane – keep
Salah – keep
Lukaku – keep
Kane – keep
Lacazette – possibly keep for first game in September (Bournemouth)
All signs point to De Bruyne being the player to go with my final transfer. This needs to be done before 1st September. At this point in time I’m likely to replace him with Mkhitaryan, whose value is almost certain to rise. This would also free up funds to strengthen the rest of the team when required, I’d effectively be able to afford anyone I want in September. This could be someone like Hazard or Aguero – players who will hopefully be out of reach for some managers who haven’t left funds for them.
In terms of the game week itself, it’s the first week of European fixtures so I’d try to ensure all of your attacking players are players for clubs involved in the Champions League or Europa League. Man Utd have favourable fixtures to start the month with an away game at Stoke then a home tie against Basle. Chelsea also start the month with good fixtures, travelling to Leicester and then hosting Qarabag – they do however then face Arsenal, Atletico and Man City before the end of the month. Spurs have a more difficult start as they travel to Everton then host Dortmund. City also have a less favourable start as they host Liverpool and then travel to Feyenoord. Likewise Liverpool host City and Sevilla, which is less than ideal.
As always, feel free to share your own progress, suggest any players to look out for or provide any other useful comments below.
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