When Is Sanchez Salah?

As promoted by Josh and Brandon, the “cheaters” of Always Cheating, “set your bus team.” Meaning, if you get hit by a bus, at least you have a team set for the upcoming FPL games. Morbid as it may seen, it’s a good practice to follow, as I was caught by the New Year’s Day deadline and forget set my team for Gameweek 22. However, it worked out and I scored 64 points and a green arrow.

The last 2 weeks have been something of an oddity, the likes I have not experienced before. In the past, just like in Gameweek 22, we can forget to set our team or more importantly forget to click the ‘Make Transfers’ button to lock in your changes. We’ve been in the position, where we thought we pressed the button, failed to check the screen and went on about our business.

These incidents can happen, usually resulting in frustration and disappointment of what could have been. The last 2 weeks have caused me a moment of pause, scratching my head, I had to ask, “what the hell?” Flashback to the week leading up to Gameweek 25, I took a -4 point hit and introduced Alexis Sanchez, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Luca Milivojevic to my starting XI. Labelled as “differentials” Sanchez hasn’t been the sort of player we expected at £11.7. Just one good game (GW26 vs HUD) out of the last three and an open goal miss against Newcastle yesterday highlights the frustration Sanchez owners are faced with.

At £11.7 it was my full intention to use Sanchez as a differential captain. Seen as risky by many, especially with the likes of Sergio Aguero, Harry Kane and Mohammad Salah, consistently being the top captain options. While I decided against Sanchez in his first game for United, opting for Salah, which rewarded me with 16 points wearing the armband.

This got a bit wonky for Gameweek 26, as I intended to captain Sanchez. As posted in the run up to these fixtures, I wrote in Premier League: GW26 Starting XI on Friday:

At £11.7 I felt it was necessary to invest in the Chilean, as he’s a proven goal scorer. Known for being a perennial captain and big points returner, it should come as no surprise I will hand him the captain’s armband this weekend against Huddersfield. I am entertaining the thought of using my Triple Captain chip on him.

While I did not follow through activating the Triple Captain Chip, I had assumed I had given Sanchez the armband. In fact I paid no attention to my starting XI after I the supposed change, with Salah my vice-captain. To my surprise, coming Saturday morning watch the United game I was thrilled to see Sanchez score, but disappointed when I noticed the ‘C’ was on Salah. “When I looked at the updated points during the early games I noticed the captain’s ‘C’ was on Salah and I was a bit upset. It seems I captained the wrong red jersey by mistake, but that worked in my favor as that red jersey was worn by Salah, who finished on 30 points!” as I wrote in my GW26 Retrospect.

I knocked this off as a one time mistake that results in a stroke of luck that worked in my favor as I continued to promote the #AlwaysCaptainSalah hashtag on Twitter. Gameweek 27 was to be one of #CaptainAlexis, I posted on Twitter.

A few followers questioned the strategy, but as FPL Connect said, the underlying statistics were in favor of Alexis. Take nothing away from the consistency and attacking returns Salah has provided over the season. Many managers continue to question their own decision and a week doesn’t go by we see, “when will I learn to captain Salah?”

This week, much like last week I thought I had placed the armband on Sanchez. After the Saturday games, I was a bit disappointed to see a red arrow, thanks in part to the 4-goal game from Aguero, but Harry Kane, netted just once. It appeared Sanchez had something to shoot for on Sunday. I was away much of the morning, on a 10-mile hike, unable to access the Internet and look at my squad.

When I saw the 1-0 final score, Newcastle coming out victorious over Man United, I was disappointed, knowing Sanchez has no attacking returns. My week was ruined, regardless of Marcos Alonso on Monday. My mobile connection restored I pulled up my squad and saw 62 points as I quickly scanned my starting XI.

To my dismay I was shocked when I looked at my midfield! Salah wearting the armband and Sanchez vice-captained. I can’t make this shit up, how can I, as a fantasy manager promote and feel confident in my captain selection only to have my subconsciously captain Salah. I am sure Tom and Nick of Who Got the Assist would have something psychological reasoning behind my selections as it relates to Salah instead of Sanchez, when intent was to captain Sanchez, not Salah.

For 2 weeks in a row, fate smiled on my as my mistakes turned up gaining me 49 overall points by mistakenly putting the armband on Salah. From here on out, the #CaptainAlexis experiment is over, it’s all about #AlwaysCaptainSalah.

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