Let the rollercoaster begin! Up one week, down the other as the last 4 out of 5 weeks have been nothing short of miserable and disappointing seeing my squad drop to a season low ranking of 820k, a loss of 97k spots at the conclusion of GW11. As we head into the break it’s 2 weeks of head shaking and contemplation, not to mention potential injuries and fatigue issue before return to EPL action. I am currently 119 points off the pace I wanted to be on through GW11, as my team is scoring an average of 49.18 points per week. This week’s total off 44 was 8 points off the 52 point average. I missed the opportunity to captain Coutinho, forgetting to give him the armband and rolled with Sanchez for the second week, a difference of 18 points.
Defensively, my squad is getting better, but suffered another setback this week. Along with Everton giving up 5 resulting in zero points for Williams, Holebas and Watford gave up 6 goals, while picking up with 5th yellow card on the season for a -2. West Brom was solid through 54 minutes, up 1-0 against Leicester, but just 3 minutes after the Baggies scored, Slimani equalized. This was the fifth one goal game that Foster and McAuley had allowed. Talk about the razor’s edge, these two combined for just 4 points.
I still have van Aanholt and the injured Valencia on the bench. Valencia is on the short list to be replaced due to the arm and I have a few defenders in mind including Alonso, Fuchs and Vertonghen. Van Aanholt is probably going to remain as a bench player until the January WC, on a positive note, Sunderland does play Hull in GW12. Might do me well to start him for that match.
In the middle of the pitch is still undergoing a transformation. It’s becoming evident there are template players that are a “must have” emerging after the likes of Fer and Capoue having great starts to the season. My FT was used to bring in Coutinho for Walcott, on paper it appeared to be a strong move based on Liverpool’s schedule and the fact Walcott might be a rotation risk. IT was my intention to captain Coutinho, but I forgot and Sanchez kept the armband, which was a loss of 18 points that could have turned that red arrow to a green arrow. I now have 2 weeks to debate De Bruyne versus Hazard versus Sanchez before making a decision for GW12.
Hazard has quickly shot to the top of the midfield pack with returns of 8,8,14 and 19 points the last 4 weeks. It appears his 2014-2015 form has returned, as Chelsea is playing very well since moving to their 3-4-3. Spurs and City in the next 2 out of 3 games for the Blues but neither are too much cause for concern. As for De Bruyne, he came off double digit returns in GW4-6, but a knock saw him sidelined in GW7. Since his return, his playing time was limited and has returned just 2 assists agaisnt Boro and the Baggies. Might be a cause for concern, but still feel he will return to the play we saw earlier this year. Sanchez has graced my squad twice now but feel his 11.4m price tag is worth it’s weight. While Arsenal’s record in November has been awful, the schedule appears to be in their favor with United (A) and Bournemouth (H). His continued inclusion on my squad is contingent on what Arsene could do with Giroud, up top as a starter. Sanchez, like Coutinho have a run of very good fixtures, which would have me leaning to keep both of them, sell KDB and pick up Hazard beginning in GW12.
Up top, Costa continues to find goals and stay away from that 5th yellow card, as Chelsea continues score with 13 in the last 4 EPL matches, conceding nil. As mentioned, outside of Spurs and City in the next few weeks a very favorable schedule to round out the year. Losing Aguero has hurt but still have confidence in Lukaku for at least the next 4 weeks when they play Arsenal and Liverpool back to back. Austin also picked up his 5th from the spot on Sunday and remains a good budget buy. However with back to back EPL victories, Vokes has suddenly popped up on the “watch list” with 2 goals in 2 goals, he also comes in at 6.1m, 0.5m less than Austin.
While disappointment and frustration continue, I am still on a better pace this point than I was last year. However seeing my team free fall, I wonder when it will stop. It appears every move I make ends up being the wrong move, like dropping Aguero 2 weeks ago, only to see him score 2 goals. Chances are good I will move KDB for Hazard coming out of the break, pending any major injury picked up by any of my starting XI. Another move I would like to complete is Heaton for Foster, but I’m having a hard time using a FT for a swap in goalkeepers. This too will probably become a WC move in January, unless I have a spectacular November and see the green arrows return.