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Episode 38 of the Pitch & Pint Podcast recorded Tuesday, May 7, 2019 Done & Dusted
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Hello and welcomes to Episode 38 of the Pitch & Pint podcast, my name is Stephen and you can find me @6thGoal on Twitter.
I am done and dusted. Not sure I’ve had a worse run then what I have experienced to finish this season.
Earlier in the year between GW14 and GW22 I had 6 red arrows over a 9-week period, dropping from 97k to 145k.
Still early enough in the season to make player moves and changes to strategy to recover and finish the season strong.
With one week remaining the 2018/19 season, I’ve come off one of my best runs in FPL, between GW27 and GW33 with 6 greens out of 7 weeks, improving in the OR from 103k to 11k to run face first into a red brick wall that has brought me back to reality.
I would like to think of myself as an accomplished FPL manager, every year it seems I am learning a new aspect to the game. My previous seasons aren’t outstanding, just once finishing inside the top 100k, a 75k finish in the 2015/16 season.
This year regardless of my finish will be my best season ever. I’ve already surpassed my best point total and will finish with my best rank. I should be ecstatic.
Yet like many managers, I am sometimes over-critical on how weeks, even months of planning have failed miserably since activating my second wild card.
I spoke about this before, but do doubles and blanks always dictate using the wild card and associated chips during that period?
It’s widely accepted as the “typical” strategy and this was the first year I had held all my chips this late in the season. My strategy was no different than many other managers ahead of this period.
I used FTs to build for BGW31 and BGW33, used the FH chip in GW32 and the wild card in DGW34. The triple captain was played on Mo Salah in BGW31 and the bench boost in DGW35. Maybe this season has been an anomaly?
Based on PPG, a weekly average of 61 would usually see you inside the top 10k. That isn’t the case this season.
One mistake in my planning, not backing Man City attackers for DGW34. The highest scoring team in the Premier League and I was scared off because of rotation. Chalk it up to a lesson learned.
I compounded the poor wild card by taking a 16-point hit in GW35, to recover lost points from the Man City contingent. That ended just as poorly, KDB came off injury, Sterling captained, returned just 16 points, but more importantly I lost out on double digits from Diogo Jota and Gerard Deulofeu, both who were transferred out.
I’ve talked about season defining moments this year on my website and the podcast. You can reference episode 25, if you want to listen back.
An SDM or season defining moment is a point in the season, where a decision made or miss has adverse effects going forward.
This season, it was Kun Aguero after GW25, as he would score 8 goals over a 5-week period. This is the explosiveness the Argentine brings to the FPL game.
While missing out on Aguero, it was a decision I went a different direction on, chip strategy, after 37 weeks seems to be that SDM I will look back on and ask myself, “why?”
Next year a similar strategy could be played around doubles and blanks and it could work out perfect. This year, though, it’s been a disaster.
Speaking of disaster, let’s take a quick look at the Watford visiting Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
CHELSEA VS WATFORD REVIEW (3:39)
I was in transit to Monterey to do some scuba diving but was able to watch the first 45 minutes of the game. Can’t say the Golden Boys didn’t have some good chances.
Their play looked good early, outplaying the Blues. While we never want to wish ill on any injury, N’Golo Kante went off just 10-minutes into the game, which could have potentially opened up the attacking end of the pitch.
After the game, Javi said, “I think the result was very, very tough for us. In my opinion we didn’t deserve it. It’s true we had some good moments in the first half, a good performance, creating good chances and dominating the game because in that moment we played in the opposition half, we recovered the ball after losing it with a very good attitude and we were very ambitious.”
“We have to be more clinical in that situation, more aggressive in both areas because in the first half we had the chances and in the second half we conceded two goals from set pieces. It’s difficult to say I’m happy with the performance because losing 3-0, I am not happy.”
Troy Deeney had one of the best chances of the day with a beautifully headed ball that Kepa Arrizabalaga made a world class save on.
The second half got off to a terrible start. We’ve seen this before with Watford, put in an excellent half of football, only to be undone in the early moments of the second half.
Most recently Man City, with the help of Paul Tierney did us in with 2 goals in the first 5-minutes. On Sunday it was Kante’s replacement, Ruben Loftus-Cheek who got a head on an Eden Hazard cross to give the Blues the 1-0 lead.
Just 3 minutes later, David Luiz was on the end of a Hazard cross. Watford defense undone in just 6 minutes. Chelsea would add a late 71st minute goal from Gonzalo Higuain.
Watford are now 10th in the Premier League and can only see 8th as their best finish, if they will their final game at the Vic against West Ham.
What’s more painful at this moment, seeing Everton 8th in the table under Marco Silva. Not sure he’s learned how to motive since the dismantling of Watford last season, but the Toffees have 5 wins and a draw in their last 7 games.
Even if the ball bounces the right way in GW38, Everton would still finish above Watford on goal difference.
Before we get into some of the GW38 discussion, it’s time to pour myself the GW38 Beer of the Week.
GW38 BEER OF THE WEEK (5:44)
Last July I was able to head home to San Diego some 14 years after I left. First, it was had to believe I had been unable to get home over that course of time.
When I did, I hit Modern Times as soon as I stepped off the plane. After two rounds, I grabbed an Uber up to Rancho Bernardo, about 25 miles north of San Diego. In fact, it’s next to Poway, where I grew up.
A co-worker had told me to visit Abnormal Beer Company and it was some of the most amazing beer I had drank in San Diego. That’s saying a lot. San Diego has loads of good beer.
This same co-worker also told me to visit Pure Project, which is down near the former Miramar Naval Air Station, think the movie Top Gun. It’s now owned by the Marine, but it’s about 15 minutes south of Abnormal.
While I was unable to get to Pure Project, I was gifted a can, called Cannery Row 2.0, a collaboration with Alvarado Street out of Salinas, CA.
Originally concepted as a brewery in Costa Rica, Jess Pine running the company in the heart of the jungle but opened in San Diego.
After 18 months of planning, the plug was pulled, a friend and real estate agent called to notify Jesse of a potential commercial space in Miramar that was a former brewery.
In January 2016, Pure Project opened their doors. Now 3 years later, they have increased production capacity and are close to opening two new tasting rooms across San Diego.
From their website, “To us, beer is art.”
“We believe every beer should tell a story; just like a world class meal, a perfect cup of coffee or a timeless wine, and we aim to bring that same level of passion, creativity and artistry to the ever-evolving craft beer community.”
“We look forward to sharing our art with that movement by focusing on quality & experience to give context to the beer in your glass.”
When I got my scuba certification in April, down in Monterey, on our visit to Alvarado Street, there was a Pure Project tap take over. Unfortunately, most of the beer I desired (IPAs) were already tapped and there were no cans available.
With that said, today’s beer is Cannery Row 2.0, a a 6.7% IPA, let’s pop the top on this 16 oz can.
Cannery Row 2.0 pours a murky, thin and light yellow with a small one finger head white head that dissipates with some spotty lacing.
The smell is outstanding! Aromas of juicy stone fruit on the nose backed by tropical flavors of mango, citrus, a very subtle bitterness.’s
Let’s see how it goes down
Citrusy and mild across the palette with and a nice stone fruit presence and a big pillowly mouthfeel.
The Strata hop is well pronounced, like “passion fruit meets pot.” Light and dank with layered notes.
The Strata hop “brings layered notes of tropical fruit including; mango, passion fruit, melon, fresh berry/strawberry, and some citrus in the form of grapefruit.
Along with this comes a dank herbal note of drifting cannabis. It also has less of the catty bite other hops with the same funky dankness carry.”
Now with our beer our poured, let’s get into the FPL opinions.
FPL OPINIONS (8:34)
Let’s start in Everton, who have really come on the later part of the season. Ahead of the season, they had an excellent run, but never did they really hit their stride and were something of a letdown.
I’ve been on Richarlison’s jock much of the season, and after going through a very dry spell, the Brazilian with 13 goals on the season, but after 8 assists with Watford last year has dropped off. Maybe because he has more quality supporting him in terms of Sigurdsson, Bernard and Digne.
As for the Frenchman, Luca Digne has impressed this season. I’ve always liked watching him before he moved to the Premier League, but I missed the boat on him (and Matt Doherty). Digne is cut in the mold of Andrew Robertson, very attacking in style, can get forward for goals (4) and assists (5) combined with 13 CS.
It’s 8 CS in the last 10 for the Toffees. Pretty amazing run, they put in.
Everton coming off a 2-0 win over Burnley travel to a beat down Spurs. Wouldn’t be surprised to see them win.
From Everton to Liverpool, a 3-2 win over Newcastle, Rafa gave it his best shot, but came up short on a late Dicovk Origi goal.
Virgil van Dijk picked up his 4th goal of the season, to go along with 4 assists and 19 clean sheets.
It was another outstanding game for Trent Alexander-Arnold, now on 11 assists for the season, as he’s picked up 4 in the last 3 games.
Combined with Robertson, they have 31 total assists on the season. Not sure there have been a more convincing set of backs who have combined for assists and clean sheets then these two players.
No price will be too high for this pair next season.
Sadio Mane, coming off a brace didn’t score, but his teammate, Mo Salah added his 22 goal on the season, giving him 5 in 5 games. Now leads Mane, Aguero and Aubameyang by two goals.
…and he’s having an off year after scoring 32 goals last season but has 12 assists in consecutive seasons. Still not sure he’s was worth the 13 million price tag after some very thin weeks from 24-29.
Wolves surprising got past Fulham, 1-0, after the Cottagers had put together a nice, late season streak of wins and clean sheets. They proved to be too much as a 75th minute goal from Dendoncker gave the Wolves an important 3 points that will get them into Europe pending the outcome of the FA Cup win.
A City win and Wolves will be in the Europa League next season.
Been quite disappointed in Raul Jimenez, who’s put together a fantastic year, but it seems I’ve owned him at the wrong time.
Just one goal in the last 5 weeks for the Mexican, who I tossed the armband on this week. I only have Sin Cara to blame for that debacle. Then again, I should have known better. Couldn’t beat the match up though.
It was Doherty providing the assist for the winning goal, as he’s been filthy this year in the attacking end. He’s combined for 4 goals and 7 assists on the season, but Wolves weren’t all that impressive defensively, just 8 CS.
Think of that back line next season, Digne, Doherty, TAA, toss in Robertson. Pretty formidable back four.
West Ham, what’s gotten in their Wheaties recently? A 1-0 last week at Spurs and a 3-0 thumping of So’ton this weekend at London Stadium.
It was the Marko Arnautovic show, as he hit for a brace, his first goals since his last brace in GW21.
He could be a viable punt for the away trip to Vicarage Road, not sure Watford have any defender who can mark him up. Could end the season strong with back to back braces.
Sadly, I was one who backed the Saints during the wild card and bench boost and was really let down. Maya Yoshida picked up an assist if I recall, but nothing more.
Made the wrong decision up top, bringing in Danny Ings instead of Shane Long, both contributed to the red arrows in the last 4 weeks.
Also brought in Angus Gunn. I still like how he looks in between the sticks, but the Saints need to improve defensively. Maybe that will happen during the off season, but he’s was highly regarding coming to Southampton from Man City. Might be worth a budget buy next season as a backup.
Spurs have been bad recently. Not sure what Heung-min Son was thinking, never see the guy lose his temper, but that push was a straight red, no two ways around it. So I lose him for the final game of the season.
He’s really been off the boil since he’s returned from the AFC Asian Cup. There was no hotter midfield in the Premier League then Son, with or without Harry Kane playing.
Since GW27, just 1 goal and assist, but still finished with 12 and 8, like he did last season.
Not considering any Spurs for the final game of the season. If I had Eriksen or Moura, then I would hold, but Son will be my final transfer of the season.
One goal in their last 4 games. That’s painful!
Huddersfield has been bad this season and points have followed whoever the play. Until of course they play Man United. Pogba no form in 9 games, won’t even give him his 2 PK game and United draw 1-1 with the Terriers.
If there is any team that needs to look in the mirror and require some overhauling it’s the Red Devils. No idea how this team will look at the start of the next season.
I might even bring McTominay in for Son this week.
Let’s get into a bit of beer news.
BEER NEWS (13:08)
The best part of the fantasy season has been the FPL Beer Club!
It’s the first full year of the group, as we started a mini-league, which I only touched on earlier in the season. Now with one week remaining let’s run down the top 10, even though its really down to just 2 teams.
Winner of the league gets a beer of box. How fitting?
Yet, this DM group has been a great reminder of why we play FPL. When the chips are down, and your team isn’t doing well or maybe you got shit on mind and need to vent, possibly even a mental health check, there is ALWAYS someone around to talk with.
While the beer flows with great regularity, it’s been a good time this season and really has made it the most enjoyable season I’ve played.
I tried to repay some of the guys in the FPLBeerClub and maybe you saw some of their tweets last week.
Now sending beer to the UK and Scotland isn’t cheap. However, I got myself an international mule, who delivered 4 packaged to the Royal Post and delivered to Chef Dale, FPL Fly, Mr WP and Paul I Am.
They each received 2 cans of beer from Tree House Brewing Company, one of the best breweries in the United States.
All the hype, reviews and posts I make of Tree House beer really was well received. So glad to have been able to get them some of the finest craft beer from America.
Now, it’s time to pay some of the Americans as I’ve got another 4 shipments going to Richard, RTY9A, FPL_Sauce, you know him from the FPL podcast, The Punt, TK and FPL Jay.
Already lining up a second shipment to those guys in the UK I missed. But seeing how easy it was, they will receive more beer in the future.
I might even need to get FPL Fly a bottle of the home brewed stout I made, which he named Nuno’s Bearded Stout.
So just want to say thanks to this group for everything this FPL season. It’s been a great run and looking forward to hearing the stories from Leeds come June 1.
Going to make a concerted effort to get back to the UK for a whirlwind tour to take in a few matches.
Now let’s get back to the FPL opinions
FPL OPINIONS (continued) (15:57)
One week left, the season is coming to an end. The Premier League will be decided, and Man City need a win. A draw doesn’t do them much good if Liverpool bear Wolves.
If it weren’t for a worldly goal from Vincent Kompany, this could have been a different race headed into GW38. One of the most amazing goals I’ve seen hit.
Two goal keepers wouldn’t have kept that ball from finding the top left corner.
Coming off that win, I have no doubt City will get the business done as they have done much of the season.
Can’t discredit Liverpool, 94, potentially 97 points on the season will usually win you Premier League. You can look back and point a finger at their lone loss in GW21 to City, 2-1.
Even with the loss they would remain atop the Premier League for another 7 weeks before a GW29 draw in the Merseyside Derby. A point in the season, where Everton was struggling, as Marco Silva teams usually do midseason.
The final week of the season, what do we do with our teams? Do we hit? Swap out the injured or suspended players? Think this answer lies in what you are chasing.
For those chasing a mini-league leader, could warrant a hit if you need to round out your starting XI. I’m second in 2 mini leagues, the Planet #FPL Writers and the 90MAAT Writers, where a hit could pay off.
I’ve got Son, for those owners who are left pondering what to, here are a few options that aren’t Pogba.
Deulofeu at 5.7 is the budget options, in the last 6 weeks, he’s got 46 penalty touches, 14 shots on goal, 12 inside the box with 2 goals.
Another option, Ryan Babel, who’s nicely priced at 5.6. His numbers scare me a bit, as he’s only got 16 penalty touches in the last 6 games. 9 shots on target, 5 inside the box and 3 goals. Tack on that 7th game and he’s returned 5 attacking returns.
I really like Sigurdsson’s match up this week at White Hart Lane. Nothing really screams, “you need me in your starting XI” but he’s a model of consistency and Everton have been playing well.
I do think selecting him could hinge on the fitness of Richarlison, giving Siggy another target to possibly aim for. At 7.4, and the cog that makes Everton go, I like him against a struggling Spurs this weekend.
If you want to punt on a United player, and I mentioned him last week, Scott McTominay. Nothing flashy. Not cocky, players with his heart on his shoulder.
He’s made 4 starters in that time, returned two goals.
The final option goes back to Bournemouth and Ryan Fraser. Weeman got it done much of the season. He’s posted 7 goals and 14 assists on the season for 179 points, with 5 returns in the last 4 weeks. He’s got talent ahead of him in Wilson and King, who know where the net is.
Forward options from left field, Salomon Rondon (5.9) or Azoye Perez (6.1). The two forwards have combined for 9 attacking returns in the last 4 weeks and they travel to Craven Cottage.
Another forward I would be willing to punt on this week, Marko Arnautovic, 6.7, coming off a brace, his first goals since GW21, but they travel to Vicarage Road, where the Hornets have not kept a clean sheet in the last 11 games. There will be goals and no doubt Arnie will be the center of attention. Again.
I could even toss a bit of love in the direction of Shane Long, 4.7, as an in-form option. 4 goals in the last 6 and they are home to Huddersfield.
I’ve got to think both Ashley Barnes at 5.6 and Chris Wood, 6.3 are both excellent options hosting Arsenal, who’ve kept just one CS away from the Emirates.
They have combined for 5 goals over the last 6 games.
For those wanting to back defenders, I think you can easily look at City this weekend. No doubt at 5.2, Kompany gets another start and would be a great double up with Laporte or Ederson.
I’ll even back Luca Digne, 5.4 at Spurs, a goal, assist and 3 clean sheets in the last 4 games for 35 points!
Wolves worry me a bit at Anfield, where the Reds have been good, recording 11 CS and conceding 10 goals. Just don’t like the match up.
Time to look back on GW37 and the abysmal result that has taken me outside the top 20k.
TEAM REVIEW (20:10)
Again, I look back and ask myself “why did I decided on this player?” Fixtures? Form? Price? The answer will vary. Danny Ings was one of those players. Fernando Llorente was one of those players. Really believing Brighton were a great double game week option.
Last week for GW37 it was a 3-5-2 formation, as I was forced to use Mat Ryan off the bench, as Angus Gunn did not start. Probably a great thing, as So’ton got shelled 3-0 by West Ham. Ryan still failed but picked up 4 points.
Defense continues to be my shining star this season and will honestly consider another defensive strong team next season. Behind Laporte with 12 and van Dijk with 8, it was 20 points, as Robertson had a rare failure, just a single point.
The midfield was a disaster, as it’s been much of the season. Son was shown a straight red for s shoving incident for a -2, Salah picked up a goal, but came off injured in the 72nd for 7 points.
Pogba, my transfer in based off fixtures over form failed to return, as did Milivojevic and Sterling.
Up top my forwards were a shit show as well. The aforementioned Ings, just 1 point, coming off at half time and Ji-menez captained with Sin Cara in the stadium failed as well.
So, a paltry 42 points, dropping nearly 3k and outside the top 20k for the first time in 6 weeks.
With one week to got, the team looks very uninspiring, as I am trying to nurse them over the finish line. Much like Watford, unable to put a win on the board.
Looking ahead to GW38, I’ve got Son out, Salah flagged, didnt play against Barcelona because of concussion protocol and SHOULD play this weekend.
Ings, HIGHLY ineffective, but the Saints play Hudderfield. Could he be a realistic punt at home?
Home is the key for me this weekend, as I look at my team now, only Jimenez and my City assets are away. I won’t be transferring either, Sterling or Laporte out, so now I look at Ji-menez away at Anfield.
Looking for a forward replacement that plays at home provides a short list. Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes as Burnley host Arsenal.
I am looking at Wilf Zaha, home to Bournemouth, which would give me a double up, as I already have Milivojevic.
Fulham’s Alexsandr Mitrovic could be a cheeky punt, home to Newcastle
Finally, captain Troy Deeney for Watford, hosting West Ham.
Based purely on piss poor defensive showings, Burnley forwards get the nods, as the Gooners have secured just 1 CS on the road, all season long.
The other option, without getting into hits would be to replace Son with another midfielder at 8.8 or less.
Don’t have many home midfield options. Man United stands out, but they have been shit. While I don’t plan on dropping Pogba, I sure as fuck would not be moving onto him hosting Cardiff City.
Spurs run into a rather hot Everton team, but you could consider Moura, as I don’t have enough for Eriksen. As bad as the Spurs have been, not sure I can confidently move on them.
I would consider Sigurdsson or Bernardo Silva, both play away. I have no doubts City roll over Brighton. Neither play have been overly impressive over the last 5 weeks.
West Ham have kept just 3 CS on the road, so Deulofeu could be viable option. I have no doubt he will start. This final game of the season is really a tune up game for the Hornets, who need to find a bit of form before the FA Cup final. I believe Javi plays a full-strength team.
My final option if I replace Son, Ryan Babel as another Fulham punt home against Newcastle.
I might even consider a 4-point hit to move both Son and Ji-menez or Llorente.
After a massive Ji-menez failure last week, in fact Ji-menez has averaged just 5.6 PPG over 5 game. Not great, I missed the boat on him this season.
A must win game for Man City, as a draw isn’t good enough, I do see them keeping a CS, which bring Laporte into the captain options. Sterling, but he was rather unimpressive last week.
I own Salah and love posting the #AlwaysCaptainSalah, feel he’s got the highest ceiling on my team.
I don’t think it is time to punt on an out of form player, like Pogba.
Before I get out for GW38, let’s dip into the mailbag one last time.
This week, 2 questions coming in to the mailbag as we get ready to end the season.
From FPLBeerClub members, Mr WP
Any GW38 punts you would be willing to take? It’s always madness and as unpredictable as ever. #toumithebeergod #fplbeerclub
As I discussed earlier, I am seriously considering a punt on Ayoze Perez. Priced at 6.1 and just 2.7% ownership. 5 goals in the last 4 games, including a hat trick against SOU. Fulham crashed back to Premier League reality last week with a 1-0 loss to Wolves. The reverse fixture ended 0-0.
I am also considering Scott McTominay, 4.2, he’s played in 4 out of the last 6 games and has scored 2 goals, inlcuding the only United goal last week at Huddersfield. In the last 2 goals he’s played 90 minutes, he’s scored in both.
If you want a defensive option, going with the City captain, Vincent Kompany. Priced at 5.2, owned by 1.3% coming off an amazing goal last week, but he’s always been a player I have liked. A bit older and slower but great experience. 3 CS in his last 3 games scoring 5, 6 and 13 points.
And from FPL shoutgunnufc
“Now that son is injured my planned transfers for gw38 are scuppered, is a hit ever worth it on a final gw? could be the difference between a hazard and a pogba.”
Depending on what your final week goal is, yeah I could see taking a hit. In fact, I am considering one more this week. I own son and while I gave a list of possible replacements, a hit would allow me to replace Shane Duffy with Kompany and downgrade Son to Sigurdsson.
I already own Pogba and while I have McTominay as a punt, I can’t double on an out of form United. Hazard, could it be his final audition for a potential move? Returns in 4 out of 6 coming off 2 assists. Think Pogba and Hazard could put together good games.
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That’s it for Episode 38, thanks for listening.
I want to thank everyone who has tuned in to the inaugural season of The Pitch & Pint Podcast. It’s been a great time providing my opinions and thoughts on FPL this season.
I will host one more show this season, to review the year, called the Season Ender Bender. Look for it ahead of the FA Cup final.
Good luck in this, the final week of the FPL season, it’s been a long one and I am ready to take a short hiatus.
All episodes of Pitch & Pint are available at 6thgoal.com. You can also find them on your favorite podcast client include Apple iTunes, Soundcloud and Spotify.
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Good luck this weekend, may your arrows be green!
Thanks for listening to The Pitch & Pint Podcast, FPL from inside the six.