GW23 was all a bit, m’eh. I joined the many in the community to jump aboard the Lingard bandwagon (1 point), at the expense of Son (12 points), so that wasn’t a great move in the short-term. Hazard produced another incredibly frustrating 1 point which confirms he will be leaving the building this week, and 4 of my defenders combined to give me 5 points.
Kane (c) came through, and Salah/Firmino/Jones continue to be consistent. Finished up on 60 points which isn’t tragic, a small red of about 50k to 364k overall.
Loftus-Cheek being injured, and that coinciding with Calvert-Lewin becoming a useless FPL player, has meant my team has almost naturally evolved into a 442 at the moment. My personal preference would always be to play 3 at the back – it’s so much easier for defenders to lose points – but with no third striker standing out I’m just waiting for RLC to come back now. The good thing is that my defenders do all have decent fixtures coming up, so it could be worse.
Here’s where the bigger picture thinking comes in. It would be easy to be knee-jerky and annoyed about the Lingard failure this week, but part of the thinking behind that was not just the Stoke fixture, but also the price difference. That downgrade means I have 2.2 ITB, meaning a move from Hazard to KDB gives me the money to switch Mee to Alonso.
All of a sudden the squad looks a lot stronger and I have the players I want. We know historically that the lesser teams with weaker squads tend to drop off in the second half of the season, while the stronger teams tighten up and tend to keep more clean sheets. I’ll therefore be very happy to have a back 3 of Jones-Otamendi-Alonso who I can just play every week and not worry about.
That doesn’t solve the third striker problem, but I’m hoping in the next couple of weeks someone sticks their head about the water…