GW Points: 77
Overall Points: 249
Overall Rank: 98,168
Transfers: De Bruyne out, Mkhitaryan in
Lacazette out, Morata in
I thought I’d get this week’s write up published sooner rather than later with issues around Mane being suspended and Kompany being injured that need addressing. On the whole 77 points from a game week is a decent return but it still isn’t enough to turn an average start into a good start for the new season. There are some positives to take away from the week but it’s created more problems going forward as I’m now four transfers away from where I want to be, with only two transfers remaining in September.
Lukaku continues to find the back of the net. Picking up 21 points during the game week. He’s essential to any team.
Kane finally came good with four goals over the game week. This produced 38 points. I’m glad I stuck with him as I was fairly sure he would come good.
Salah was unfortunate to be subbed at half time against Liverpool but did grab another goal in the Champions League. He seems to be finding the back of the net quite often which is a great sign for a midfielder who is relatively cheap.
Ogbonna dropped. West Ham won and kept their first clean sheet of the season. Typically Ogbonna was benched for this game. (more details below)
After transferring Kompany in recently he’s now injured. There’s no official time scale at the moment of when he will be available but it looks like weeks rather than days.
Mane sending off. He now faces a three match domestic ban. Must be replaced.
Morata was supposed to be for game week 4 only. I’d prefer Jesus in this position due to Man City having better fixtures, but with so many other issues in the team, Morata may have to stay until the end of September.
Where has it gone wrong?
When I ask where it’s gone wrong, I’m not suggesting the team has had a terrible start, just a fairly average one. Last season I spent the majority of the time within the top few thousand teams on the overall leaderboard. So sitting outside of this position feels very uncomfortable and not where I’d hope to be at this stage. I thought it would be useful to briefly give some thoughts around why this may have happened by highlighting some key decisions:
Lacazette instead of Firmino during August. My first instinct was to go with Firmino due to Liverpool’s additional games in August. However with both Mane and Salah also in my team I felt it was too much of a risk if they had a bad month. This cost me around 23 points.
Ogbonna has been a complete disaster. I still stand by my original decision. If he played for West Ham all season at 1.5m he was an absolute bargain. This looked likely when he was selected to start the opening few games. Had West Ham got off to a good start it would have been a great move. Unfortunately they made an awful start and he now looks likely to remain on the bench. This cost me around 8 points on Monday as West Ham kept a clean sheet without him. I’m also going to be forced into a transfer if he remains on the bench. I’m currently hoping to be able to afford someone like Baines to replace him as I’ve got some funds left over at the moment.
When taking out Matip, I was undecided between Kompany or Davies. At the time there was nothing between them but I favoured City due to slightly easier upcoming fixtures so went for Kompany. It quickly went downhill from there. Within 16 minutes of his first game they had conceded against Bournemouth and he’s now injured. If he had played during this game week in both games he would have probably scored 16 points.
De Bruyne made a good start to the season in terms of his performances for City. However he was not playing advanced enough to be picking up points. He managed 9 points over three game weeks. With prices due to change I felt like he was certain to fall in value (and he did). As a result I swapped him for Mkhitaryan who had made a great start to the season and almost certain to rise in price. This grew the value of my squad but quickly turned against me with De Bruyne picking up 16 points this week and Mkhitaryan picking up 3. This cost me 13 points and a transfer.
Mane picked up a red card at the weekend. There’s been a lot of debate around if it should have been a red card or not. I’m not going to go into that but either way it was an unfortunate red card. This hasn’t cost me any points yet but will cost me a transfer.
I opted for Morata purely for game week 4. I fancied him to do well in the Champions League midweek. I can honestly say I hadn’t even considered that he might have been rested for this game. Yes Chelsea won the fixture easily however Lukaku, Jesus, Aguero, Kane and Firmino all played for their clubs. I agree they faced tougher opposition but I didn’t think Morata would be in need of a rest. Hypothetically this probably cost me at least 8 points and could have probably been up to over 20 points had he scored more than one.
These small decisions/events individually aren’t so bad. However collectively I believe they’ve cost me between 60-80 points so far this season. This is the difference between a very average start and a brilliant start. I’ve not documented them to make excuses, as I stand by all the decisions I’ve made as being right at the time. However I think it illustrates how much bad luck the team has had so far. Some might say it comes down to poor decision making and that luck doesn’t come into it. My opinion is that it’s been a very unfortunate start and the right decisions have been made along the way.
Tips for Game Week 5
If you’re not struggling with injuries/suspensions like many other managers will be. There are some great opportunities to make some proactive transfers during September. Some of the players I’d personally be considering are:
Spurs – very favourable fixtures in September. Kane and Eriksen both look like they could have a great month.
Man City – another team with good fixtures remaining in September. I’d be looking at Jesus or Aguero who are both scoring freely at the moment.
Liverpool – fixtures aren’t quite as favourable as Spurs and City but do have a fairly good run. I’d avoid Mane due to his suspension however Salah seems to have made a good start.
For my team, I’ll be looking to replace Mane with Eriksen. I’m then left with the dilemma of one transfer remaining and do I replace Kompany, Ogbonna or Morata. Chelsea have tough fixtures however I’m almost being forced into keeping him as at least he will be getting game time, whereas Kompany and Ogbonna may not get any. Ogbonna may get a run out in the EFL cup so I’m inclined to stick with him. I’ve not heard much about when Kompany is likely to be fit again, as a result I’m very tempted to swap him for Mendy. At the moment Mendy is only 0.3m more expensive than Kompany and I see him as a regular for City. Now might be the right time to make this transfer as I’d imagine Mendy will rise in value on Friday. If we wait too long the price difference will be too large to justify. On the other hand it leaves us without any transfers for September and the worry of Jesus or Aguero having huge months. My long term plan is to have a team that looks like this:
Valencia, Kompany/Mendy, Baines, Pieters
Hazard, Salah, Mkhitaryan
Kane, Lukaku, Jesus
Unfortunately I’m a few transfers away from making this happen in September but I think this will be a very strong team once I can reach it.
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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