The Conundrum- Michu

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It’s fair to say that Michu has been the signing of the season. Over the last few weeks however, Fantasy Coaches have been left wanting more from the Spaniard. For this week’s conundrum, I take an in depth look into his performances to try and work out the big question- Is he really a fantasy lock this year? 

Let me just start by saying that this man’s transition to the Premier League has been as smooth as anyone that I’ve seen. His current tally stands at 13 goals and 2 assists from 24 appearances- not bad for someone acquired in the summer for as little as £2 million. Considering he started in our fantasy teams for as little as £6.5 at the beginning- he has almost grown a whopping £2 million in value- tipping the scales at a healthy £8.4 now.

It’s fair to say though, that his returns in recent weeks have been dwindling. Just a solitary assist (from being fouled outside the box when De Guzman did all the hard work curling the ball in) from his last 7 games pretty much tells you that he’s running short of form. But what’s led to this drop in form?

I studied his games and opposition so far, both home and away, measuring shots taken also, and came up with this table.

 

 

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So after examining the table- there’s a few things that stand out to me.

HOME VS AWAY

It’s plain to see from anybody’s perspective that Michu is a fantasy pig at home, scoring 8 of his 13 goals there. This is mainly due to the fact that away from home, Swansea like to sit back and attack on the counter, which means they concede very few goals (only 10 all year), but also score very few (12 in the PL). To put that in perspective- They’re the 15th most prolific away scoring team in the league, with even Aston Villa netting more away from home.

We can see that all of his stats that matter to us are down when he plays away. I won’t put that down to him personally, but down to a team preference by Swansea under Laudrup. Given the fact they have 6 games away and 7 at home remaining- it’s hard to drop him based on this discovery (benching him for away games would be viable though).

1st GAME AGAINST OPPOSITION V 2ND GAME AGAINST OPPOSITION

This is where it gets a little more interesting. Here is a list of people he has played twice, with the differences between his first game and his second game definitely noticeable.

Aston Villa

1st- Blank 2 shots
2nd- Blank 6 shots

Everton 

1st – Blank 2 shots
2nd – Blank 1 shot

Reading

1st- 1 goal 2 shots
2nd Blank 2 shots

Sunderland

1st- 1 goal 3 shots
2nd- Blank 2 shots

Stoke

1st – Blank 2 shots
2nd 1 assist (lucky) 4 shots

West Ham

1st- 1 goal 1 shot
2nd- 0 goals 2 shots.

On the whole, on the first appearance Michu has netted 3 goals from 13 shots. On the second outing against the same club, he managed goals and 1 assist from 17 shots. Now on first glance it looks like he’s just been unlucky- notching more shots on aggregate than the first time, but if you watch each of the games, the shots he gets off are in nowhere near the amount of space he was allowed initially. Defenders have recognised his threat, and are quick to close him down when the ball enters the area.

The conclusion can only be one thing really. Teams are working him out- and it’s not just teams that have played him twice- I guarantee you teams that have played him for the first time in the last couple of months have seen him dismantle other outfits and set out to nullify him.

Michu is the type of player that unfortunately for us, can be marked fairly easily. He isn’t particularly fast or quick and not particularly skilful, but his asset is finding time and space in the box- especially when joining attacks from the midfield. That means if a defensive midfielder sits on him for most of the game, his chances will be rushed and his shots won’t come as easily as they previously had.

The table also shows that as the season has progressed, his outputs have returned. The 8 goals he notched in his first 12 appearances have been followed by 5 in his past 13, with his last goal coming before Christmas against Manchester United- a whole 9 games ago.

Unfortunately for us it means one thing- his output won’t match the consistency of the first 60% of the year. Yes he will have the odd game where he nets a couple, but on the whole, the statistics suggest that they are getting fewer and farther between.

What do we do with him?

Well it depends on the individuals position. If you;

Picked him up at the start then his selling price will be substantially lower than his purchasing price- so if you decide to ship him out of your team- it pretty much is for good (buying him back would be a massive waste of money). So with a selling price of 7.4, is it worth trading him out? Well the only way I could justify it would be to trade him to Sissoko (£6.0) if he maintains this impressive start playing in the hole. That’d make you £1.4 million to upgrade a Tevez/To a Suarez type.

If you picked him up later and you can sell him for £8.0+million the temptation must be fairly strong. To downgrade him to a Sissoko or even a Fellaini (now he has his role in the hole back) would be tempting, with the former freeing up enough cash to make a significant upgrade elsewhere.

Personally though- I think it comes down to team structure. Most people WILL keep him- but if you’re after a leg up or are trying to make up lost ground earlier in the year, then pulling the pin might be the way to go by taking a gamble elsewhere. In my team (which runs a 3-4-3), he is on notice. If his performances dwindle much more, then I will consider trading down a Podolski/Sturridge type and upgrading him to a Bale/Gerrard midfield premium. A home fixture vs QPR should give us a good indication of where he’s at.

Obviously trading him this week before his double is not an option- but if he fails in both games- I will be joining the flock of FPL managers who will be showing him the door. Keep an eye on @FPLPriceChanges to see when he’s going to drop in price so you don’t lose any value!

So what are your thoughts with the signing of the year? To keep or not to keep? That is the question…

@tseagrim

@FPLaddicts

26 comments on “The Conundrum- Michu

  1. stiffysexton

    I used the WC when it became available and left Michu out of my side, thus haven’t really missed him all that much. However, is it necessary that I have him for this DGW? I already have Sturridge, Johnson and Sterling……

  2. mad romeys

    I agree with you totally.
    Because I started with him and then traded him out and then back in again, I have got that 8m+ money to play with, but I recon I will probably just downgrade him to Fellaini/Sissoko, the latter freeing up some money to go probably, Ruiz>Sturridge.
    So, If Michu does not perform this DGW and Sissoko continues playing where he has played the last two weeks it will not be too bad of a result. Win, win situation.

    • kingcolesy

      Im in same situation, Im trying to lockdown a one transfer a week strategy but it seems hard every week. I rebought Michu at 7.7, and I’m looking at excuses to not go over the one trade a week strategy. In this case, my excuse can be I cant rebuy Michu back if I go Sissoko, and also havent seen him go with Arfa yet.

  3. Dan

    Am set on trading ( Sissoko/Fellaini the two obvious options) after this GW…agree with the analysis that teams have worked him out somewhat. Also, out of my 4 DGW players, hes the least Id like to keep and one has to go to field 11 the following wk.

    I got on at 6.5 so hes still great value, just the other two options mentioned look better.

  4. grinpowderdiah

    Brilliant article mate, very balanced on both sides as well – no one can argue with the stats!

    Personally, I run a 3-5-2 so the Michu decline has been noticeable in my side. I also had him from the start so I will be closely watching Sissoko who is a bargain at that price if he continues to play in the hole behind Cisse. He’s a beast of a player that’s for sure!

  5. jimbo

    that was an utterly brilliant article. Can’t believe how much attention you can pay to a player. Really helps a lot. even for my swansea defense, the fact that they concede far less away from home gives me options.

    • tseagrim Post Author

      Thanks mate! Swansea’s defence is interesting- they concede the least goals away from home but at home they can be leaky… it’s one of the rare times you’d prefer your defender to be playing away!

  6. DickieRay

    Thank you for the article. I’m still looking for options to Michu. I have Fellaini and can bring in Sissoko next GW for Henderson. That wouldn’t leave me enough cash to upgrade Michu for someone like Silva or Bale. I’m leery of picking up Lampard because I already have Mata. Hmm.

  7. Liam

    This piece is exactly why I had been putting off my form article (for almost two weeks now) trying to figure out how to write about Michu was getting more and more difficult.

    The visual aids & the depth you went to as well as the clarity of writing topped anything I could of put together on the topic.

    I had come to the conclusion he was getting figured out it is a common tactic by teams. Michu quite simply came in off the radar. His shot on target to goal ratio was also insane, he was hitting over 50% of shots in, higher than Mr. Messi!

    Against Villa at home he hit the crossbar / post twice was very unlucky not to score in that match

    Against Reading away he missed a goal from all of 6 yards

    That threat was what kept him in my squad. Come my wildcard quite simply I would of traded him out if he did not have a double gameweek up & coming.

    Sissoko is the new unknown. Like Michu he started his career in the holding midfield. I am not sure of his role when Tiote, Ben Afra get back but I strongly recommend a downgrade to Sissoko from Michu.

    Couple of things do you mind if I refer to that table in my form piece? & where did you get the shot stats from? I would love to get my hands on some shot stats

    • Liam Post Author

      Oh 1 thing I must add that wasn’t mentioned the departure of Danny Graham leaves Michu even more exposed.

      As much as he was a bit part player this season he could come on the field & change the balance of the attack. It gave Michu someone to link up with & some movement which he thirves on.

      Danny Graham is a player worthy of being in the premier league keep an eye on his cheap price tag 5.6 his streaky but he is more then a decent striker.

      Anyway back to Swansea without Graham they have what I would call 2nd string strikers (besides Michu) unproven in the premier league & unwanted by other clubs. If Michu was to get injured where would the goals come from?

      One last thing:

      The half season streak has happened to many players in the premier league before. Veteran’s of the game will know this regulary happens. Quite simply because teams figure them out via training & footage before the return fixture.

      I remember Elmander, Zaki (wiki him haha) amongst others who exploded. Its important to note because if you see it coming early enough you can jump ship (49% owned) and make up a heap of points elsewhere (particulary for those who bought him at 6.5).

      Personally I thought Michu was done before the new year. Two goals against Arsenal created a huge bandwagon & I couldn’t let go until that topped out (was about 7.7 and went to 8.4). Fixtures against Reading & Villa had my favour. Somehow I still hold him a month later.

      • Mark Payne

        The thing is he’s still great value at 7.5 if you got on early. Such a tough decision to dump him because if starts firing again you can’t jump back on 🙁

  8. Mark

    Looks like we’re back to every other year when we haven’t had a Michu to rely on. I have gone for a conservative structure with Michu and Sissoko at M4 and M5 (behind Mata, Walcott and Fellaini), with Sturridge at F3 (behind RVP and Suarez).

    Hopefully this will give a chance to have a look at all 3 over the next GW or 2 and make a decision to keep all 3 or upgrade to another prem. Michu could plummet in cost if people start getting off though – but I got on early so won’t hurt too much.

    Any ideas for a Michu trade if I already have Fellaini and Sissoko? I have tried Routledge and Puncheon in M5 this year who could make a return… maybe De Guzman if Michu is drawing more and more attention?.. what’s the news on Ben Arfa? He could click with Sissoko on return and tear up bottom half teams… Snodgrass/Pikington also look viable as an M5.

    What do others think?

    • Liam

      Kebe is a great option @ 4.6. Think cheap with the 5th spot if your lining up with that front 3 why have an expensive 5th mid?

      I have had noble (5.0), puncheon (4.4) then marveoux (4.2). Sadly I went Akpan instead of Kebe didn’t even notice him there. Kebe is a very strong 5th midfield option with the form reading are in.

      • Mark Payne

        Yeah I know, it’s a bit conservative. I was thinking with the three mid-pricers I would rotate them in and out depending on fixtures. Then re-evaluate after a few games depending on how Sturridge and Sissoko are going (didn’t want to miss both their probable price rises).

    • DickieRay

      15 points before bonus awarded with the Liverpool match to come. I dunno – maybe he can stay in my side another few weeks.

      Earlier this year I thought I had Michu pegged as bad against the better clubs. It seems he defies any consistency.

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