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Season 2, Episode 49 of the Pitch & Pint Podcast recorded Tuesday, September 17, 2019, Captain Fail
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Hello and welcome to Episode 49 of the Pitch & Pint podcast, my name is Stephen and you can find me @6thGoal on Twitter.
Now with business out of the way, let’s get started.
Game week 5, the first weekend back after the international break, where many managers rode in, after GW4 on a high that saw the community’s average score of 57 points.
During the week off, I hinted at 12-15% of FPL managers had activated their wild card, however the reality was just 6.3% across FPL used their first, while 6.5% of the top 1k activated theirs.
Numbers weren’t as high as I expected. Many FPL managers clamored on about have 4 weeks of game data to make “an informed decision.”
I had that after two weeks and feel my wild card was justified.
So, with numbers coming out my ass, we will look at the top 1000 managers, as this is an important group I follow to help gauge what players I should consider.
This week, I got a bit of love as I added Tammy Abraham. Boom! Hat trick!
Watford…ah yes, the Hornets, it looked bleak at the break, but they should some real character and determination.
We will look back on the 2-2 draw at Vicarage Road.
I will look forward and give thoughts on players and where we turn after another week that saw only 3 CS.
Is it time to move those premiums out? Liverpool didn’t struggle like City did but conceded a goal.
City, what a collapse? Now I missed the game, but conceded 3 goals, to a team that was supposed to get lit up last weekend. City, what happened?
Finally, I will review my GW5 squad with an eye towards GW6 and how I plan on improving my team, while banking 1.2 million.
All that and more today on the Pitch & Pint Podcast.
WATFORD REVIEW (03:43)
Driving home from Los Angeles, I was able to catch most of this game while on the road. Can’t explain the disappointment after just 32 minutes seeing the Golden Boys down 2 goals.
It seemed it was going to be more of the same at the Vic against Arsenal.
This was the first game with Quique Sanchez Flores at the helm, after the dismissal of Javi Gracia after GW4.
For me, I felt this was going to be “more of the same” as Watford came out in a 4-2-3-1.
What was more frustrating, to see fucking Andre Gray leading the attack as a lone forward.
Not sure I will ever accept him as a viable forward. I mentioned Gray on the COTC on Planet FPL when speaking to James, Suj and Adam, ThreeFiveWho.
Gray, at best is a super sub, not a starting forward, he’s proven NOTHING since being at Watford and I just don’t think he can fill a lone forward role.
What I was hoping to see Danny Welbeck get the start, but the former England international wasn’t even on the bench.
QSF claimed there was “still an issue with his fitness.”
After the game, Sanchez Flores said, “basically for the first match the most important thing is to take the players who are more fit, or with more minutes played, or this kind of thing because it’s safer I think, for the immediate performance.”
As I said, more of the same. Not what Watford need, but I feel it’s what we are going to get with this retread.
To what degree Welbeck needs to train in order to be deemed “fit” wasn’t answered.”
We need a plan with Danny,” said the head coach.
“We need to recuperate the best version of this player. Now, with the impact sometimes, he’s a little bit in pain, so we need to clarify what is the problem.”
Disappointing to say the least, especially facing his old team, Arsenal.
Watford was exposed early as Ceballos won the ball with an outlet pass to Kolasinac, who carried it down the pitch and slotted a pass to Aubameyang, who fired a low shot past Foster for 1-0 Arsenal.
Frustrating and it felt like many of the previous games, the defense, abysmal.
About 10 minutes later, is was Ozil with an outlet pass to the upstart Maitland-Niles with a sharp, low cross from the right of the 18-yard box that was sent home by Aubameyang. 2-0 and Arsenal were rolling.
While all appeared lost, the numbers on the day tell a completely different story.
Watford dominated possession with 52.4% 31 shots! 31!
Compare that to only 7 from Arsenal. The Hornets also put 10 shots on target.
The second half was complete domination by the Golden Boys, relentless on the attack and unfortunate not to get more past Leno and that hapless Gunners defense.
Tom Cleverly got the Hornets on the board in the 53rd minute when Deulofeu intercepted a Sokratis pass and the ball ended up in the back of the net to make the score 2-1.
In the 81st minute, substitute, Robert Pereyra, attacking the 18, would be fouled by David Luiz, putting the ball at the spot, the Argentine calmly converted as Watford drew level.
Ismaila Sarr introduced in the 54th minute came on but was a bit nervy and hesitant with his decision making but shows promise to stretch the pitch and widen the Hornets play going forward.
Cleverly had another great, late chance that was bound for the top corner, but deflected off Luiz.
Deulofeu missed a few curlers from the left that just missed the far post, but it would be Abdoulaye Doucoure who nearly sent the Vic into a frenzy with a nice pass from Sarr.
Doucoure in the 92nd minute won the ball of Nelson just outside the Watford 18-yard box and found Sarr off his right, just over the center circle.
Sarr drove into the Arsenal 18, with a great pass back to Doucoure sitting in between 3 Arsenal defenders as he put a low shot on goal to Leno’s right.
Just not far enough to his right, as Leno made a nice, but routine save.
This week Watford showed heart and determination, maybe it was Arsenal just falling to pieces, but the domination we saw in the second half was we’ve come to expect from our club.
I wish I could say it’s going to get better, but next week the Hornets travel to the Eithad and a replay of the FA Cup final from last year.
City, coming off a shocking loss, hopefully Watford isn’t a doormat in GW6.
It’s time to crack open our beer of the week here on the Pitch & Pint Podcast.
BEER REVIEW – NEW CALILFORNIA IPA (08:03)
Today from Karl Strauss Brewing out of San Diego comes New California IPA, a collaboration with Russian River Brewing out of Windsor, CA.
It’s a 6.5% West Coast IPA brewed with Strata, Eukanot, Amarillo and Idaho 7, not one of my favorites.
It’s been since GW3 that I had a Karl Strauss beer, one of the San Diego originals that opened their doors in 1989.
Last August it was Aurora Hoppyalis, a West Coast IPA brewed with the “C” hops.
This time around it’s a new talk on the West Coast IPA, a favorite of mine and many others, however just a bit bold for some of you pansy asses who drink light beer.
This IPA isn’t for you.
The company’s first brewpub, Karl Strauss Old Columbia Brewery and Grille, located on Columbia Street in Downtown San Diego, opened in 1989.
It was the first brewery of any type to operate in San Diego since 1953, and the first-ever brewpub in San Diego.
At the time the craft brewing industry was in its infancy and the American standard for beer was light, mild and mass-produced, but Chris Cramer and Matt Ratner, two college buddies, felt that the country was ready for beers with more personality.
Cramer believed that “If we could get this style of beer into people’s mouths, we could create converts.
Today, I am one of those converts, growing up in San Diego Karl Strauss was easily recognizable and readily available.
It’s with that, I tip my glass in honor of Karl Strauss.
Russian River needs no introduction, wild recognized worldwide because of Pliny the Elder and the once a year brewing of Pliny the Younger that coincides with San Francisco Beer Week.
Russian River recently opened a new facility, north of Santa Rosa, in Windsor just 15 minutes north, the facility has helped increase production and availability of their highly coveted hoppy ales.
I debuted Pitch & Pint with Russian River’s Pliny the Elder back in July of last year and am excited to be revisiting it with this New California IPA.
Let me just say, NEVER turn down an opportunity to grab and enjoy a Pliny.
I look forward to FPL Chef’s opinion on this DIPA.
Let’s pop the top on this 16 oz can.
This IPA pours a medium golden yellow with a frothy, white head and excellent retention.
The smell right out of the can is a tangerine and graepfruit, with pineapple and passion fruit along with floral and herbal notes.
There’s a balance of the tropical fruit with piney hop resin that gives comes off bitter.
Let’s see how it goes down…to me, this beer is more Karl Strauss than Russian River.
It’s got a big tangerine and grapefruit up front with a biscuity backbone interspersed with some floral and herbal notes, as well as grassy earthiness.
Overall, it’s a solid take on a West Coast IPA but just lacking a bit of West Coast pop for my liking.
Now with our beer poured, it’s time to look at the top 1000 managers.
TOP 1000 MANAGERS (11:18)
If there was any advantage to monitoring this group, then I might be a genius, however that isn’t the case.
Like many FPL managers, I am struggling weekly to pick the right starting XI and who to tap as captain.
Remind me NOT to give it to KDB again this season.
Thanks for fucking us Pep!
This is the second year I have followed this group, in an attempt to improve my transfers, in an attempt to stay ahead of the curve.
Interesting to see 4 players who all exceeded 60% started in the top 1k including Salah, De Bruyne, Aguero and Pukki.
We look at Salah still, owned by 63.6% (42.5%) in the top 1k compared to Mane at 15.5% (19.8%).
Even captained, Mane can’t really hurt me much, the best bet is to still put your money on Salah for a million more.
I don’t see Mane ownership going much past 25%. AT 11.6, it’s an either/or ownership for these Liverpool midfielders.
Thinking about both, just 2.7% have doubled up across FPL and 4.2% in the top 1k. Not worth it.
By way of comparison, it’s works to your advantage to bring in Sterling and KDB, owned by 33.6% in the top 1k and 14.9% across FPL.
Toss in Aguero for the City attacking triple and 16.2% of managers in the top 1k have this combination.
Final word on the top 1k, do what you feel is right for your team.
Let’s break for a bit of beer news…more like a beer road trip.
BEER NEWS – THE AMERICAN DREAM (12:07)
As mentioned in the introduction, I had the opportunity to roadtrip south to the Los Angeles and beach cities this last weekend.
While the goal of the trip was to pick up a puppy for my wife, I left yearly Saturday morning, to allow time for some beer related stops.
There were three on my list, which could have easily doubled to 6 or more, but trying to fit everything in and make time for my friends, something had to give.
First stop on the list, Downtown Disney to buy my wife a small token of my love. Ended up picking up a charm but was more surprised to see Ballast Point Brewery and Kitchen.
This restaurant opened January this year, the first ever brewery in Downtown Disney.
To be honest, no interest to check it out, since Ballast Point, in my opinion is no longer craft beer, since it’s owned by Constellation Brands, who bought the craft brewer in 2015 for 1 billion dollars, as the brewery continues to lose shares in the craft scene.
I also had an hour to kill before heading west to El Segundo Brewing, just south of LAX.
Now had it not been for Mark, aka Triple Captain, I probably wouldn’t have stopped here, but he showed interest in Steve Austin’s Broken Skill IPA, a 6.7% IPA designed by Steve Austin brewed with Citra, Cascade and Chinook hops.
A four pack ran me about $16US. I didn’t hang around, snagged a few cardboard coasters and was headed back to the car to hit, undoubtedly the mecca of craft beer in the south bay, possibly most of Los Angeles.
Monkish Brewing Company. Located about 15 minutes south of El Segundo in Torrance.
This beach city was a former stomping ground for me, as I lived there about 1995 for much of my United Airlines career.
Unfortunately, the craft beer scene was nowhere as big as it is now and many of these places didn’t even exist when I was there.
Monkish ALWAYS receives glowing reviews. Their can releases are epic and always pull long lines.
The actual brewery and tap room are tiny but their beers, amazing.
There was no can released the Friday before, so when I got there, no cans were being sold.
There were some Belgium bottles for sale, but none of them were of much interest to me.
I started looking down the tap list for an IPA or DIPA.
There were three that fit the bill. Let my Angel Sing, a DDH DIPA with El Dorado, Vic Secret and Citra hops coming in at 8.2%
The next was Be So Flully, a DDH DIPA with Motueka, Citra, Galaxy and Amarillo with milk sugar and an ABV of 8.3%
The milk sugar turned me off just a bit, even though I am not against it, I decided to pick up a 2-quart growler of Rins in Riffs.
This was a DDH DIPA with Citra & Galaxy coming in at 8.4% ABV.
Waited about 15 minutes for my growler to be filled, just taking in the experience. Guess I should have popped for a pint while waiting but decided against it.
This growler was to be given to Andrew, when I got to Huntington Beach.
Growler in hand, I left Monkish, got back on the hellish 405 freeway and headed south to Huntington Beach.
We decided to meet at The American Dream, a tap house and burger bar, overlooking the beach and Pacific Ocean.
A great location, as we walked up to the bar and open seats. On a Saturday!
Andrew knew the bartender and made small talk, as the beer menu was presented. Probably no less than 60 beers on tap!
I decided to start with low ABV and refreshing, which led me to the sours.
First up was a 4 oz taster of Stush from J Wakefield Brewing out of Miami, Florida.
This Berliner Wisse was a sour ale with a refreshing lemon zest.
Highly drinkable and refreshing on a very warm, beach day.
I followed Stush up with Stone Fruit Oro from The Good Beer Company.
Not new to their fruited sours, this was the first time I found it on tap and the first time I’ve had it with stone fruit.
This sour was barrel aged with peaches and much like the Stush, this sour went down crisp, clean and easy with a nice and mild peach aftertaste.
After finishing this sour, the bartender was pouring Jammiest Bits of Jam from Sour Cellars, another SoCal brewery out of Rancho Cucamonga.
This was a 4 oz taste of their golden sour refermented with boysenberry.
It was hit the spot and was very refreshing.
With beer flowing it was time to graduate to the IPAs and had a taster of Citraholic Supercitrus, a 7.1% American IPA out of Beechwood Brewing in Long Beach.
This IPA has a real big orange zest on the nose, with an IBU of 80, it was very hoppy, but a bit too much zest for my liking and decided not to go with the full pour.
That led to RIIP Beer Company, just a mile or so up the road in Huntington Beach and their Super Cali IPA, a 7.2% West Coast IPA brewed with Citra and Mosaic hops.
This is your definitive WC IPA, clear, big hop bite, juicy and delicious, partnering well with my Impossible Burger and side of fries.
This was one of those places I could have sat for another hour or so with Andrew, good beer and conversation, as well as a great bartender.
The final beer of the day, The Patsy from Barley Forge out of Costa Mesa, another SoCal beer and my go to beer but this was the first time I had seen it on tap.
This was a big, big coconut flavor, more so then what you taste in the can with a nice rye flavor. Love this beer!
We left The American Dream after that pint and move the party to Andrew’s place, where we broken open the Monkish growler.
Rise and Riffs was hazy, and honey colored with a nice fat head.
Big tropical tones on the nose and palette with pineapple and mango, with a hop bitterness all the way through.
Great beer, just my second Monkish beer, as I found Foggy Window at a craft beer near my house back in August.
Always great to experience quality craft beer on the road, this quick road trip to SoCal was no exception.
Time to look ahead and players to consider going forward.
PLAYER CONSIDERATIONS (18:05)
Looking at the transfer stats on Fantasy Football Fix, it feels good to see the top 4 transfers in are all players I own.
That should equate to price rises in the coming days.
It’s quite surprising to see Tammy Abraham, off the back of a hat trick and 7 goals in the last 3 as the top transfer in.
However, as of today’s show, 406k new managers on Abraham ahead of Liverpool.
This is NOT the Liverpool and City teams we saw last season.
City has already conceded 6 goals, including 3 last game week to Norwich, while Pool has conceded 4 with just 1 CS.
In my opinion, premium defenders are no long worth their price, which includes TAA. I can’t see paying 7.1 for 3 assists and a single CS.
I understand he’s the second highest scoring defender, but he won’t see my starting XI.
Need to see Alisson back between the posts and some consistency before I look at Liverpool defensive assets.
Zinchenko is on the bubble for me, City, as I said have conceded 6 goals compared to 3 last season after 5 weeks.
I could use that 5.5 elsewhere and either downgrade Zinchenko or find another 5.5 who appears to be good value.
City has some good fixtures, WAT/eve/WOL leading up the break followed by cry/AVL/SOU out of the break.
At the least, he’s a hold, but if you don’t have City coverage in defense, I feel it’s a hold.
I did go in on Ainsley Maitland-Niles, which looked to be a great move until Arsenal gave it away and let Watford back into the game last week.
He’s 5.1, playing in an advanced role down the right side and when compared to AWB, looks a bit more impressive, with 2 assists to date and a 0.4 savings.
However, can we trust that Gunners defense? I don’t want to look at AMN based purely from an attacking POV. Need to see that Arsenal will be able to keep some CS.
Let’s move back up to the forward spot, I mentioned Abraham, two braces and a hat trick for 7 goals in his last 3 games.
So, it’s no wonder many are buying into him ahead of home game against Liverpool.
52k FPL managers moved off Pukki ahead of City, but the Finn got business done. AGAIN!
A 12-point returns with a goal, assist and 3 bonus, against last year’s league champions.
Nothing short of impressive as Norwich hit a nice stretch though GW19!
The next 3 games; bur/cry/AVL.
United, Everton and Arsenal are the more difficult fixtures, but none of them will have me moving off Pukki the rest of 2019.
In my starting XI article on Friday, I mentioned Aubameyang, but decided to run out Haller and Abraham, as a 2 for 1 instead of the straight swap for Kane.
Aubameyang hit for a brace against Watford, giving him 5 on the season as Arsenal have a great run with Villa at the Emirates in GW6 and United away in GW7, followed by a sea of green through GW16.
After his two goals, I feel he is the premium to own, Kane struggling with Son back and Aguero struggling at Norwich, as Jesus is back.
I didn’t board the Barnes bus, with 4 goals in 3 games to start the season, but it’s been 2 games with no attacking returns.
I still feel he carries value, priced at 6.7 with NOR/avl/EVE in the next 3 games.
A look inside the numbers of Callum Wilson and you will see the Cherries forward, who started at 8.0, now priced at 7.8 has scoring attacking returns in each of his first 5 games.
After his brace on Sunday, he’s scored 3 goals and 3 assists on the season.
Wilson continues to lose ownership, as more than 400k have moved off him since the start of the season.
He’s been a model of consistency and the Cherries still have a good run.
Mane was the big winner last weekend, 2 goals, giving him 4 on the season, 3 in the last 2 weeks.
Still not playing that game with him and Salah, still on the Egyptian with no intentions of moving off.
But, if you need budget, it’s not hard to justify moving to Mane to improve elsewhere in your starting XI.
For the first time all season, Sterling’s ownership is declining.
Already 75k managers have move off, going to Son at 9.5 and Mane at 11.6.
Last week I mentioned Lamela, he returned a goal this week, still a good shout at 6.1, but Son is the preferred option, if you can spare the budget.
Cantwell and Buendia continue to play well for Norwich, both are budget buys that you should consider, to help stretch that budget.
Cantwell the obvikous choice at 4.9, owned by 29.7% in the top 1k and 18.8 across FPL.
Buendia could be a challenge, he’s got 4 assists on the season, but cheaper than Mount or James, two of the hotter prospects at that price point.
GW5 TEAM RESULTS (24:33)
Time to look at my GW5 squad out of the break.
It was disappointing going in on a red arrow, not unexpected, as this year is oddly paralleling last year.
Last season after 5 weeks I was on 295 points with an OR of 613 and a TV of 102.0.
This year it’s 289 points for an OR of 810 and a TV of 101.8.
Oddly enough the arrows are the same to date. If things continue down this road, I should hit a nice green until GW15.
Wishful thinking, I am sure.
Out of the break I used both my transfers on Abrham and Haller, combined they averaged 8 points each, but realistically, it was all Abraham’s doing with the hat trick.
On the week, 57 points and a 125k green arrow to 810k.
I sit on just 289 points, still 11 points off my goal of 60 PPW.
It will come. I was disappointed to see AWB start, maybe I should have kept him in the starting XI with Lundstram in the #1 bench slot.
I didn’t. Then KDB didn’t start, as I captained him, and I didn’t want to see him on the pitch in order to get AWB’s 6 points.
That didn’t happen either. Then Cantwell drops his second goal of the season and I was left looking at 12 points on the bench and Lundstram against So’ton, a no return.
So those were the negative points of the week, as for the highlights.
My forwards, Abraham with 14, Pukki with 12 lead my squad to the overall score of 57.
Thankfully Mount and Salah each chipped in with 9 points, but a disappointing 5 points from my City players.
Defensively, it continues to be struggle, just 5 points from my starting 3 defenders and Pope was spot on with 3 points.
I still like the look and feel of the team. Like many managers I do have some quality defenders in AWB, Keane and Zinchenko, but I am even considering downgrading them to push more budget into the attack.
Looking ahead to GW6, I am considering Maitland-Niles. I know he defense was quite suspect against Watford, but at 5.1, he’s starting every game, getting forward and providing some returns.
Son is looking interesting, as I touched on him earlier. I had thoughts of upgrading Mount to Son, but it would cost me Haller, who would downgrade to a 5.0 or less forward.
I do like the look of my 3-4-3 and not willing to dump Haller after just a single game week.
Fixtures are good through 12, so he will get more opportunity for returns before I consider his fate.
Realistically, I should roll my FT, as there are no pressing issues in my starting XI.
That leaves me with Cantwell and Lundstram in the first two bench slots.
Thanks to the community for some questions coming in ahead of GW6.
First question from Kenny McDowell, “Worth taking hits to move from a heavy to light defence to bolster forward line? Or hang on to the defensive big hitters of last season?”
As I mentioned, I am not for holding premium defenders. In fact I moved most of them when I hit the wild card ahead of GW3.
Right now, I am reconsidering the slew of 5.5 defenders I own in AWB, Keane and Zinchenko.
I didn’t start AWB, as he was flagged, but United did pick up the CS.
Still very little consistency for ANY defender to date and I won’t back the premiums because of their attacking returns.
I wouldn’t hit though, I would use your transfers and prioritize who you want to move out, in what order and go from there.
Who knows, maybe a week or two will shed some light on defenses we might be able to support.
Based on FDR, Norwich City, Burnley and Spurs have the best defensive fixtures to GW8.
I was hoping that Burnley would contain BHA on the weekend, but they didn’t.
If you aren’t on Pope, I would look at Burnley, in fact I am still looking at Lowton.
From James at Planet FPL, “Watford have now had 86 shots this season. Only Man City & Liverpool have had more. Can they finish top 4?”
Can’t tell you the last time I saw a winless team, in 20th with the third highest total attempts, as James pointed out 86, third behind City with 102 and Liverpool on 91.
The big difference, just 4 goals through 5 games for Watford, where City and Liverpool have 16 and 15 respectively.
It’s just a 4.7% conversation rate for the Hornets and that is where we continue to struggle, putting that final in the back of the damn net!
Relegation? Won’t happen, this team is too good to finish in the bottom 3 this season.
If the second half of the Arsenal game is any indication, Watford will be just fine, goals will come, even though it’s been a very discouraging start this season.
No way does Watford finish in the top four for total attempts.
Still remember MANY thin games last year with very few total attempts.
This is a positive sign for the Golden Boys, not that I think it helps this coming weekend at the Eithad.
From Paddy, FPL King of The Kind Podcast, “
“Is Richarlison still a big cunt?”
Odd you should ask Paddy. I actually drafted him in my son’s starting XI squad, okay, it’s really my OTHER team under his email and at this point in time don’t have any intentions of coming off him
I think he still looks dangerous and has the skills to bag 15-17 goals this season.
Yeah Everton do have City in GW7 and Spurs in GW11, but it’s a pretty nice looking run of games to GW14.
And the second part of the question, “Should managers look to Martial now he’s back again? And should we wait one more week on Tammy as it’s Liverpool next?”
I bought in on Tammy out of the international break, maybe I was concerned about his price rise, so I caught that.
Liverpool isn’t impressing me at the back. They still have the firepower going forward, but without Alisson, their defense looks a liability.
That’s not to say they won’t get their CS, but feel that Abraham will rise again this week and with Pool not playing their best defense, you might be able to sneak a goal, possibly 2, even at Anfield.
Just watch the caution flag, he picked up. Not that I will read much into that because its not stopping managers from bringing him in.
As for Martial, I pass for now. He’s more of a confidence player and want to see what he can do before I toss 7.6 in his direction.
I think you have 3 games before United’s fixtures improve. Give it time, I think there are other good midfielders you could get into for the meantime until we see Martial do something of interest.
Thanks King, for the question.
From FPL Beer Club member, David Geckle, “Are there any teams you think we can count on for clean sheets?”
Short answer. Nope. Those bets were on Liverpool and City and neither have been very impressive through 5 weeks.
Not putting much into clubs like Villa, Palace, Southampton or West Ham to be more stout on defense and keep more CS then Pool or City.
At the moment, I’ve got one player from United, City and Everton, each at 5.5 but even those I am not locked into.
Rest assured there will be a swing during the season and we will see more discussion at 5 at the back, again.
That time, isn’t now and I won’t struggle waiting for defenders to start keeping clean sheets, while falling further behind.
Thanks, David, enjoy the UK trip!
Finally, from Robert @rmoorebetter, “Which player hyped in the first 5 weeks will people look back on and think, why did a chase that band wagon?”
Thanks Robert. I think we have already seen one in Martial.
Gained over 700k new managers in 2 weeks after 2 goals in the opening 2 games, picks up an assist and injury in GW3 and it’s been a mass sell of of over 700k!
Think he will be like that all season for United and ask me now, I am not planning on going back in on him.
Mason Mount might all in this category as well as Daniel James.
Both are bargain midfielders doing bits early on.
Both players have 3 goals, Mount with 31 points and James with 23.
As youngsters we will see them struggle this season but have started off the season on fire.
Ashley Barnes has slowly come back to earth after 3 excellent weeks yielding 4 goals.
Shut out in the last 2, we are still seeing managers jumping on Barnes, another 89k last week as he is now owned by just over 10% across FPL.
Finally, Dani Ceballos, a bargain at 5.7 for ARS when he moved on loan from Barce, but Unai Emery hasn’t made him a 90 minute man in the midfield.
He’s played bits in all the first 5, posting 2 assists with lots of chatter about him because of what he possesses, his skill and potential.
Not sold on him until he’s regularly getting 90 minutes.
Those are some I will be watching closely, a few I have jumped on because of a performance or the fact their price is going to rise.
Robert’s final question, “Is Watford’s short preseason the reason for their slow start? I think they played fewer preseason games than most teams.”
Watford played 5 games this preseason and looked good ahead of the start of the Premier League.
What has happened between August 4 and August 11, the end of preseason and start of the league?
Complacency. The team was very settled headed into the season, but Watford was struggling much of the second half of last season.
As late as GW35, we were in 7th in the table with an outside shot at Europa League. Yet 3 consecutive losses to end the season and the 6-0 thrashing by City in the FA Cup Final and it seems the Hornets have remained in a hang over from last season.
I still believe Javi Gracia was the right manager for the club.
I also believe Gino Pozzo and Scott Duxbury made some good, off season moves to bring in Dawson, Welbeck and Sarr, all of whom should be starting in my opinion.
That’s what we haven’t seen, change.
The team struggling, but we stick with Andre Gray up front with 3 supporting him.
I understand that Welbeck might not be 100% fit but now, with Sanchez Flores, we need to bring this new talent into our starting XI.
Sarr played last week, looked a bit indecisive and timid, but I feel he will stretch the pitch and give us a bit more width.
By the numbers we played our best game of the season. 31 shots! Not sure we saw that many last season, as James highlighted in his question, Watford are third on the season for shots, but our goal conversion is in the shitter at just under 5%.
The Hornets need to find the back of the net, that’s the bottom line. Giving up 1 or 2 goals a game can be overcome if you capitalize on the opportunities on the attacking end.
That is where I think Welbeck and Sarr will be worth their weight in transfer fees but we need to get them into the starting XI.
Goals and winning change the outlook for the team. I can’t pin these loses on Foster in goal or the defense struggling. We need to get the offense sorted, start scoring goals and I think the rest will work itself out.
<queue Spanish Flea>
That’s it for Episode 41, thanks for listening.
Hopefully I can build on this green arrow, my second of the season.
Not to sound like a broken record, but it’s still early and if your captains aren’t hitting and you are struggling, don’t sit back and wait for players to come into form.
Make that change. Use that FT or activate that wild to spawn your squad on before the next international break.
Change, early change is what got me to where I am and right now I feel content running out a 3-4-3, but rolling one FT gives me a few options in 2 weeks.
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Thanks for listening to The Pitch & Pint Podcast, FPL from inside the six.