Building on the last two seasons (83k – 2018/19, 33k – 2019/20), I’m really hoping to improve for the third successive season.
My target is to get inside 25k, as I believe, with the influx of new players each season overall and those on FPL Twitter who are more engaged than ever, it’s getting so much more difficult to hit a 4 figure rank or more.
We all dream of a 4 figure rank or higher though!
Two seasons back, after hitting a very poor season that saw me finish circa 700k, I identified a certain approach that would see me spend less time discussing my ideas with people in the FPL Twitter community.
Mark @FPLGeneral has since outlined the same approach for this new season, after struggling (by his extremely lofty standards) last season.
I found, after the awful season, that I lost my own ideas. My own identity. My own FPL style.
FPL Twitter community is fantastic and full of incredible knowledge, tools, podcasts, videos and experienced FPL managers there’s no doubting that however, it is a vast ocean of opinions, ideas and open discussion and that can have a negative affect on a conscious and sub-conscious level.
Your ideas can become lost with so much noise – it can get too much. Your conscious mind doesn’t have the ability to cope with too much information in one go.
Like when you’re first learning to drive a car.
At first, it feels completely alien to steer with your right hand whilst needing to use your left foot to push down the clutch in order to change gear with your left hand, all while either accelerating or breaking with the right foot.
Your conscious mind is limited, and struggles to process all that information that then needs to be turned into actions, but after weeks of practice and many driving lessons, the actions become embedded and it feels like second nature – that’s because your infinitely powerful sub-conscious mind has taken over.
This is what I felt had happened to me, so I made sure from that point that I wasn’t discussing my ideas with anyone but perhaps a couple who had asked, or going into the community and looking at other people’s teams/dilemmas so that my thoughts hadn’t become infiltrated by someone else’s and they remained my own.
I’ll be doing the same again this year along with the following:
- Disengage emotion – Never make a decision 24hrs after the end of a GW. Let the dust settle.
- Log off social media on bad GWs for 24hrs – it won’t do you any good as you’ll likely see those celebrating good scores.
- Be proactive not reactive with transfers.
- Replace negativity with positivity – if you’ve had a bad GW, go and do something that makes you happy.
- Cut yourself some slack – it’s a game that involves luck. We have to accept that sometimes, there’s nothing we can do.
- Don’t dwell on mistakes – build a bridge and get over it. Be happy to make mistakes, it’s the only way to learn. View it as a challenge!
- Don’t let ownership be the sole reason for a decision – if you think X is going to outscore Y, but Y has much greater ownership than X, don’t let that be the only reason stopping you captaining him or transferring him in.
- Choose a few sources/people that you trust/value/enjoy – we all need some help/support once in a while, so pick a few different blogs, podcasts, videos or people that you trust and just listen/watch/read/talk to them.
- Focus on getting the right players at the right time – team value will then take care of itself.
- MAKE SURE to celebrate/enjoy the good moments – it’s a game after all for fuck sake!
It’s mainly a result of the personnel available to me after I chose the spine of my team.
I built this team around TAA, Aubameyang, Mané, Son and Werner. These are the most expensive and most nailed of my team, but the rest were negotiable.
After I had looked around, I first went to a 352 with the last spot in midfield giving me £5.0m or £5.5m to play with.
Outside of Saint-Maximin, I simply wasn’t convinced by the options here and you have to really get to £6.0m for there to be viable options in attack however, looking at the defenders, I felt there was a bit more value to be had, in particular, Kieran Tierney, provided he plays either LB or LWB.
A player who can get me some goals/assists and clean sheets is far more valuable at the same price than a player who can only get me some goals/assists.
If you factor in that he plays for a resurgent Arsenal under Arteta and the other potential options in Armstrong and Soucek play for Southampton and West Ham respectively, it’s a no-brainer in my book.
Covering potential future transfers
For me it’s important that I’m able to get to players that I want to bring in, in maximum two moves.
There’s 6 players I either may need (damage limitation) or actually do want (Man Utd/City blank) to bring in. They are:
- Raheem Sterling
- Kevin de Bruyne
- Tony Martial
- Danny Ings
- Bruno Fernandes
- Kai Havertz
These are the players that most interest me outside of those I already own.
I am planning on getting Tony Martial in for Werner, but this heavily depends on how he performs. I’m also planning on bringing in Sterling for Aubameyang, but this again depends on how he performs.
The rest are players with high ownership that I’m interested in that could cause damage to me, except Havertz. All of which I can get to using 1 or 2 transfers:
Son > Havertz = 1 transfer
Werner > Martial = 1 transfer
Mane/Auba > Sterling/Bruno/KDB = 1 transfer
Son > James Rodriguez or Doherty > 4.5m DEF, then DCL > Ings = 2 transfers
Danny Ings is the only one I’m not particularly comfortable on, because I’m already thinking of Werner > Martial, and my other striker DCL is £1.5m less than Ings, so that one is a bit more of a conundrum if DCL doesn’t match him or do better for value.
The obvious questions
Why Mané over Salah?
Yes Salah owners, I know what you’re going to say, “but Salah beats Mané on nearly every underlying stat.” – and yes, it’s true that he does, yet Mané had just 1 less goal contribution than Salah last season, despite him being significantly less motivated post-lockdown, than Salah was (chasing Golden Boot).
Salah is a greedy player and he has penalties over Mané, which is what makes him such a good FPL asset and what has contributed to him beating Mané’s points totals over the course of the last 3 seasons.
However, if you look at the FPL points differences between Salah and Mané over these last 3 seasons, they are getting smaller, and smaller each time.
What’s more interesting to note, is that the amount of big chances that both are receiving has levelled up over the years too.
I’ve watched these two intently over the years and it is my opinion, that Mané is improving and growing as a player, whereas Salah is getting slightly worse.
There will be times this season where Mo is on fire and will outscore Mané but equally, I believe there will be times where it’s the other way around, and come the end of the season, it’s my belief that Mané will come out on top.
Why DCL over Ings?
Admittedly, I have a soft spot for Ings, I do.
I brought him into my team in GW11 last season and managed to catch the vast majority of his points on his incredible run that lead to him finishing just one goal short of the Golden Boot.
However, I cannot let my heart sway my head, and my head says £ wise, DCL will be better value at £1.5m cheaper, which is mainly down to the fact they’ve signed 3 brilliant midfield players, one of which, the exciting former Bayern and Real Madrid man James Rodriguez (be sure to check out our article on him >> https://fplconnect.blog/2020/09/08/welcome-to-fpl-james-rodriguez/).
I feel the impact of these new players, especially the Colombian maestro Rodriguez (should he be able to keep himself fit), and a potential shift in formation to Ancelotti’s preferred 4231 system, could see DCL move up front on his own and subsequently improve his 13 goal return from last season.
Don’t get me wrong, I think Ings is a fantastic finisher, I’m just expecting Everton to have a really good season and I feel DCL will benefit the most from it from an FPL point of view.