Yeah, so the money making international break wildcard scheme didn’t quite pay off. Only 2 of my early trades went up the required 0.2m to make some coin. BUT… 5 of the trades I made went up 0.1m, but kept their spot in the team. So if I’d waited, I couldn’t afford the team I have now. Win? Loss? I’ll let you decide…
I’ve never been a fan of the Krul/Mannone pairing as I don’t think Newcastle will hold up their end of the bargain, coz you know they’ve never done it before… So I’ve gone a more traditional up and down keeper mix with an higher priced starter and a cheapie for the bench. I don’t think I need to elaborate too much on why I’ve gone Lloris, but briefly… Spurs have the potential to replicate or even better Pochettino’s defensive solidity at Southampton and I’m happy to back them in. Upcoming games against Sunderland (away), West Brom (home) and Southampton (home) are dotted with tough trips to Arsenal and Man City, but it feels a better option than similarly priced Howard (horrid defence), Mignolet (worse defence) or De Gea (even worse again). The last option was Szczesny, but Arsenal haven’t really shown enough for me and their upcoming fixtures are arguably worse than Spurs’. Then, I’ve gone Given on the bench. Just because.
When I go for defenders I like them to be part of a team that have a good chance of some clean sheets. Any attacking returns should be seen as a bonus… Following the same mindset as the keepers, most of the top teams are not doing that well defensively right now meaning the options for premium defenders don’t convince me of value. Chelsea’s defence was considered, but their early season form suggests a slightly more Abramovic friendly attacking style which means less emphasis on clean sheets than we saw during the second half of last season. Vertonghen. If I’m backing Lloris in, I should probably get one of their defenders too right? The issue is I don’t fancy any of them to keep a spot regularly enough apart from Vertonghen, so I’ll get him thanks. Apart from the potential for defensive returns, he likes a goal from time to time too… Just not last season. He scored 5 the season before though. Next up is Shawcross. Stoke have tightened up again this season with all their games so far being low scoring affairs. It has the smell of a trend so I’m going to jump onboard, as well as their upcoming fixtures looking decent enough. Swansea are another that have the beginnings of a trend forming and I’m getting on Williams. They’ve only conceded once so far and although they have a tough game against Chelsea coming up, do have favourable fixtures after that. The D4 spot was up for grabs for most of the past week or so but I’ve settled on Van Aanholt. Sunderland have the capacity to keep it clean and after this week have a friendly run, and at 4.5m each they might prove good value. I’ve gone Van Aanholt over his teammates because he’s looking really good when attacking and is relatively free of competition for his spot. The last spot was a lucky dip from the cheapie bin and have gone for Duff. No real reason apart from he’s going to play more times than not and I don’t see many teams with him. If he ends up in my first XI at any stage this season you know something’s gone wrong… (yep, the picture says Wisdom but I couldn’t be bothered doing over).
Everybody sort of has a slight variation of each other when it comes to midfield and I guess mine is sort of vanilla, but with choc chips and some Milo sprinkled on top… I had to have a Chelsea midfielder but opted for Fabregas over Hazard. Not an easy decision, but the extra money came in handy. I do have concerns over Fab’s role in the team but he seems to be getting the job done in spite of that. Sterling should be self explanatory. Sitting in behind the strikers could see him flourish, but we should be aware of the fact he is young and could struggle at times. Lamela is my dark horse. He’s had some massive games so far (including preseason and Europe) where he’s looked like a world beater, but he’s had other games where you’re not sure if he’s stepped off the team bus and taken off the Beats… Could go huge! Could do nothing. Sigurdsson? Everyone needs Siggy. The M5 I’ve gone for is slightly more expensive than I’d normally go but he’s going to be my first sub throughout a season that could see more rotation than normal, so I wanted someone who could get the job done more regularly than any of the cheaper options. Dyer is looking superb so far and as I’ve said a few weeks back, it’s Swansea’s wingers that tend to profit when they are firing like they are.
This was arguably the hardest part of our teams preseason, and it’s only getting harder! Now that Aguero is back full fitness, or let’s say “fuller” fitness, he comes into the team and takes the highly desirable role of perma-captain. If he can stay relatively injury free this season he ends up the leading scorer, probably by a few… Welbeck! As far as his fantasy worth, he’s definitely polarising. You either think he’s going to be shit or a hit! At 6.9m (now 7.0m), he’s worth a risk and gave me the means to help upgrade to Aguero, and get a better M5 as cover without getting a Naismith or Weimann. That was enough to sell me! A late price rise for Costa gave me 9.0m left for one last striker… There was far too much thought put into the merits of picking up a Dzeko or Jovetic to double up with Aguero, and once the immediate tough games subside, I may still do that. Just not now. Then, Adebayor was a thought but I’ve already got 3 Spurs players already so that was a no. That left Lukaku, Bony and a heap of others that are either injured or new and untried. Finally, I went for Lukaku over Bony… I’ve already got a couple of Swans and although they are doing well, I didn’t want to go overboard. There’s injury concerns over Lukaku but I can see him pushing through that, and he’s due a goal isn’t he?!? We’re always up for a goal and a trip to West Brom followed by a home game against Palace feel right for big Rom to score his first goal for an English club that owns him.
So there we are! Although I didn’t make much money, the team is 10x better than it was before the wildcard so I’m happy.