My turn guys (and gals of course!)… I’ve taken a little bit of a different mentality than most of the teams I’ve seen on here, but that’s what makes this fun. We’ve all got different views, ideas and philosophies…
I’ve gone for more of an even spread of players particularly in goal and defence, all with good rotation prospects. If I’ve learned anything over the years it’s that teams have better defences at home so I’m going to try and take advantage of that this season. The flow on effect is that I’ve needed to make a sacrifice somewhere. I’ve passed over both RVP and Bale for the time being as I don’t see any form to suggest they are worth the massive fees.
Norwich had one of the best defences at home last season for a team that finished as low as it did. The strengthening of the team in general can only help that. Ruddy is the main man there so he’s in. I’ve then gone for Southampton’s keeper, Boruc. Their defence has received a massive boost in the purchase of Lovren and should tighten up. As well as the experience gained last season by the two young full backs and the fact their defence was pretty solid at home too. I mentioned before about rotations. Norwich and Southampton rotate home and away games all the way up to GW8, also the home games they do have aren’t particularly difficult ones. My plan is to just play whoever is at home then reassess GW8/9.
You’ll notice I haven’t gone for any sub 5.0m players in my defence… Cole may become one of those after GW1, or I’ll trade sideways chasing form. I had to have at least one Chelsea defender and I’ve gone for him (Jose loves him). Next is Lescott who is seriously under priced. He should play the majority of the first chunk of games and has real capacity to get on the score sheet. Jose Enrique is my next pick up. Liverpool should tighten up at the back and he likes to get up the pitch to get involved in attacks. Like everyone else I’ve got Coleman, but like nobody else I won’t be starting him just yet. Everton’s defence has been a bit shaky preseason and I want to see them get their act together first. The final spot has been given to Riether. Again I see improvement in Fulham’s defence, it was either him or Amorebieta but I see Riether getting a few more points up the pitch. What I like about these picks is that Fulham and Everton’s home game marry up with Liverpool’s away games for the first couple of months so the last spot in the 3 man defence can be a choice dependent on that. Even after that Everton and Liverpool, rarely play at home at the same time.
This is where it gets tricky… Firstly. Yes, I know I have Wilshere. Yes, I know everyone says he’s not fantasy relevant. But… He started last season very late and one would suggest not 100% fit. He’s had a rest and I know he has a lot more in him than what we saw. A speculative pick up on my behalf. Anyone who saw Hazard tear it up at the start of last season agrees that he picks himself. Oscar is picked purely for the DGW and the fact he has looked pretty good preseason. He should start the No 10 role but will be out of my team by GW3. Mirallas is a common pick up and with good reason. He looked sensational at times last season, but then got injured every time he looked like he was about to blow the EPL apart! Also, Martinez will give him a little bit of freedom to not have to chase back and defend as much as Moyes did. You don’t drive a Rolls Royce in the effing mud! Whittingham will warm my bench for me. He’s on pens and frees for Cardiff and was very good last season. This spot could’ve been taken by one of several but the additional security of set pieces won me over.
This was pretty easy in comparison to the rest of the team and most of you can see why I picked who I did. Both Giroud and Benteke have had very good preseasons and come into GW1 in form. Giroud will start the season as Arsenal’s number 9 and with the talent around him may find it harder not to score (Ratboy Suarez transfer pending of course). Benteke is just a beast. He monstered some of the best EPL defences last season and now he’s committed to Villa he will only get better. The last spot is for Bony. It’s always a risk picking up a new player to England but I have a good feeling he’ll settle into Swansea’s team quickly. He’s exactly what they needed last season to allow Michu to play his game. He’ll get on the end of a few.
So that’s it! My plan in the upcoming weeks is to get rid of Cole and Oscar for form players, or a super cheap defender and maybe a Coutinho, and then I’ll just bench Hazard and Benteke. They aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. I’m also going to hold my wildcard. There will be other DGWs and they may be a little easier to manage than this one… Cheers!