Premier League: GW20 Retrospect

The festive period has been nothing short of frustrating as we are on the eve of 2019, which can hopefully bring some new year’s luck. This season was moving along great as game week 15 ended on a green arrow, up to 81k in the overall rank. Since that time, it’s been a slow, painful slide, dropping to 162k, losing £0.7 in team value and not seeing consistency, as my patience is being tried.

Let’s start out on a positive note, in an attempt to give this retrospect a cheery, New Year’s feel to it. Ahead of the weekend, I moved Leroy Sane out and bought in bandwagon, Paul Pogba. Guess I am still one of those few who don’t believe in Manchester United. The myopic supporters feel OGS is the “second coming” and that the Red Devils are now the best team in the Premier League. Remember those days? To be fair, wins against Cardiff City, Huddersfield and Bournemouth aren’t much to get excited over, as United have score 12 goals, but more surprisingly, can’t keep a clean sheet. Now before I really get sidetracked, Pogba posted a season high 18 points, giving him four goals and four assists over this three game run. Is United for real? I think the away matches will give us a better read on them.

On the season I’ve made 19 transfers and gained 94 points! The biggest gain coming off Pogba. However the strength of one player wasn’t enough to gain a green arrow this week, as I scored 50 points, just five points shy of the top 1k and two points short of the top 100k. Pogba in conjunction with Harry Kane, captained scored me 30 points on the day. While there were many negative comments surrounding Kane and his lack of touches in the box, the Spurs front man still netted and picked up 12 points. A successful captain. No, I never had a thought to captain Pogba, still don’t and won’t against Newcastle.

The only other return on the day was a Marcos Alonso clean sheet, to go along with a rare yellow card. Again, it seems many in the Twitter community feel Alonso is a throw away, opting for anther defender, Lucas Digne, who’s team can’t keep clean sheets. Many will point to his offensive explosion of 17 points in game week 19, but realistically, how often is that going to happen? Which team will end up keeping more clean sheets? Sorry, but David Luiz isn’t a better option at £5.8, especially since many managers are in search of the all elusive attacking points. With 109 points on the season, Alonso isn’t up for discussion, partnering with Andrew Robertson, he’s an essential part of MY team.

That was it, lots of 2-point performances that continued to frustrate. How does Burnley shut out West Ham? The same Hammers team that had scored 12 goals in four games. Did Tom Heaton make that big of a change to the defense? I knew it was going to be a tough call for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to return anything against a stingy Liverpool defense, but a cheeky Ainsley Maitland-Niles goal ruined the Reds clean sheet. Then there was Ederson, who I would love to move off, but I don’t have that luxury transfer to do so. In fact taking a hit now, struggling as I am isn’t the right move. The hole is already deep enough to climb out of and I don’t need any self imposed point hits to make it more challenging.

So what is a struggling FPL manager to do? As I continue to practice patience, I am giving Aubameyang two more weeks, home to Fulham and away to West Ham. Anderson’s time in the starting XI could be coming to an end as West Ham fixtures turn. Pogba also on the blocks, I got some points and a price bump, might be time to ship him. Bournemouth assets, not sure why I still have Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson, who have suffered through rotation the last few games, but neither needed any longer. Eddie Howe has got more out of this team early in the season, just don’t see much more from them.

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