Depending on what side of the ball you were own, your squad felt like the victorious Liverpool or more likely, Arsenal on the butt end of a 4-0 thumping. For me, I came through GW3 shining, as we head into the international break. I finished the week on 63 points, that’s 20 points better than the weekly average, but well of the high of 109 points (played bench boost).
When Saturday’actions came to a close, I had gained nearly 1.4m spots up to 828k and was sitting on 42 points from 7 players (avg. of 6 pts/player). This was well over the 17 point average, as Lukaku turned into Blankaku with 1.7m handing him the armband (this included the top 50 managers in the world). Thankfully, I could breath easy knowing I had Kane on Sunday to finish the game week.
Saturday was a good fantasy day, as I continue to live dangerously with a treble of So’ton defenders. Bertrand, Cedric and Yoshida combined for 18 points, that’s now 2 out of 3 game weeks in which the Saints have recorded a clean sheet. Out of the break they play WAT/cry, with the potential of 2 more CS. Valencia and United recorded their third CS of the season, while providing no attacking return, he did bank 3 bonus points for 9 points on the week and 20 points on the season.
Vincent Kompany, as well as the entire Man City team have disappointed. Last week I transferred KDB in favor of Eriksen. The clean sheet from Kompany away to Bournemouth, was shattered by a rock from Charlie Daniels, arguably the best goal on the season. City’s fixtures are mixed out of the break; LIV/wat/CRY/che, which now puts Kompany on the short list to be transferred. My only target, Marcos Alonso.
There are no illusions, Foster is my shot stopper and never had any inkling to start Rob Elliot. Newcastle has looked shaky at best on defense. Yet they did play West Ham, who seems to be the laugh stock of the EPL this season. Elliot tossed up 7 points on the bench, while WBA gave up a 77′ header to Crouch to spoil the clean sheet. Still high on the Baggies defense with bha/WHM out of the break before facing Arsenal.
Gameweek 3 was the first week for Eriksen in my starting XI. Again, expectations were high for Spurs against lowly Burnley at Wembley. Unfortunately, the Spurs lacked creativity and spark against the Clarets and Eriksen didn’t return any offensive points. Still, I feel good about this moving as the fixtures are solid through GW8; eve/SWA/whm/hud/BOU.
It’s been a pleasure to watch United playing such beautiful, flowing football with Pogba and my man, Mkhitaryan seemingly all over the pitch. It was a 5th assist for Mkhitaryan over 3 games, as he continues to be an enabler in the midfield. Still a bit light on the shooting stats, but if he continues to produce assists, he’s well worth his £8.1m price tag.
Seeing Aguero start on the bench in favor of Jesus, as the lone forward was awesome! His 21′ goal sparked further excitement of big returns, but it was not to be. He did however record 3 bonus points, finishing on 9 points for the game. Sunday it was Firmino, on a goal/assist and 3 bonus points who powered Liverpool to a 4-0 ass whooping of Arsenal!
The remainder of the weekend relied on Harry Kane. Captained again, he failed to return, but much like the previous two weeks, he had solid underlying stats. Not sure how much longer I can continue to promote this point and have with him in my starting XI. To date, I have scored just 6 points from my captain selections. I would of had better chances at captaining one of my 5 defenders to return! Even an average return on my captain selection would see me 20-30 points higher than where I currently sit with 159 total points.
With the international break upon us, we now have 2 weeks to prepare and make decision as it relates to our squad. Ask me today, I don’t plan on activating my WC. I don’t feel I have pressing issues that need to be addressed. Sure, Kane isn’t scoring, but his stats are there and we will be out of August in a few days. Defensively, I don’t plan on shifting my formation from a 5-man defense. However I might shift from a 5-2-3 to a 5-3-2, capitalizing on a plethora of midfielders who continue to return.
None of my league standings are overly impressive, however I do have green arrows all around, which is more than many other managers can say, headed into the break. I am just 11 points off my 2016/17 total to this point in the EPL season. Not stellar by any means, but considering the total scores of many managers this weekend I will continue to have a positive outlook.
The only negative I have to point to, outside of Kane not scoring, the fact I have only gained £0.2m to start the season. Prices have appeared more volatile to start the season, but historically, that statement doesn’t really stand up. Colback and Jesus have each lost £0.1, while only picked up £0.1m from Mkhitaryan. I do expect some price increases this week; Firmino, Mkhitaryan and potentially Foster.
Look for numerous updates as the international break starts. I have lots of thoughts on a variety of subjects. Also thanks to those on Twitter, as I feel I have received some better information and updates than from some of the forums I frequent.