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Coach’s gamble: A fool and his points are soon parted

When it finally rolled around I was feeling very confident heading into Gameweek 31. Information gained from Twitter, online forums, articles and podcasts indicated to me that many players were not taking Gameweek 31 too seriously and were happy going into it short on players.

Whilst I understand the logic behind this, especially with the poor fixtures on offer I also cannot understand why someone would focus on loading up their team for the double Gameweeks but not take advantage of a week where you know others will have less players and less potential to score points.

For me personally, with some shrewd transfers and a couple of point hits along the way I was going into Gameweek 31 with 10 players which in some cases may have been double the amount of some other teams.

This extra risk had the potential of big rewards and as long as I had selected my players wisely, which I was confident I had, then I should have been on for a big score.

As the deadline approached I took one last look at my team and in a moment of madness switched my captain away from Salah and onto Stanislas. Normally I do not even look at my team on deadline day as I’ll have made my transfers in the days leading up to it but on this occasion, I believe the lack of an early kick off allowed me to second guess myself.

After seeing the captain stats confirming that almost 60 of live teams had the armband on Salah I was immediately nervous.

 

As the 3pm games went on I felt like I had made a huge mistake.

 

I tried to find a stream to watch the Bournemouth game to see how Stanislas was playing but couldn’t find one.

 

Finally in the 89th minute my prayers were answered. A goal for Stanislas! A huge feeling of relief came over me and I felt rewarded for taking such a gamble. On top of this, I’d also seen a goal for Milivojevic and assists for Walcott and King. All of a sudden it was feeling like a good week.

 

This feeling was short lived though as two minutes into the Liverpool match Salah scored. Disaster for me! With such an early goal it was inevitable that floodgates would open and Liverpool romped home 5-0 winners with Salah getting 4, an assist and 3 bonus points bringing him to 29 points. A whole 19 points more than Stanislas (not quite 22 as I later tweeted).

 

My other Liverpool players Firmino and Robertson also scored well with 7 and 11 points respectively and I ended the Gameweek with an impressive 93 points which was still almost double the average and saw me make gains in overall rank as well as my minileagues but it was a foolish mistake.

 

I can’t help but think what might have been though as captaining Salah would have given me 112 points and a climb in overall rank of approximately 350k places.

This is an example of how I took a calculated and uncalculated risk. I prepared in the weeks before to bring in players who had a game in Gameweek 31 knowing that this would be an advantage over those who were not so well prepared but I undid all of that hard work and preparation by making a foolish uninformed change to my team that was illogical and carried minimal reasoning.

Overall, I am glad that I took the risk of taking hits to max out my team in Gameweek 31 as if I had not and then taken the captain gamble on top things could have been catastrophically worse.

Going forward, I’m also set up OK with the prospect of 9 double Gameweek players in Gameweek 34 where I intend to play my triple captain chip, then my free hit in 35 before maxing out on double Gameweek players in Gameweek 37 to drop my bench boost.

Overall though, Gameweeks like this one live long in the memory of seasoned FPL players and I hope you have learned something from this article. I’m sure some of you will say that this was just a bad judgement call and it’s one that you would never do but I would say that is with the benefit of hindsight. We’ve all made rash decisions in the heat of the moment that we would later come to regret I’m sure.

Personally, I will be coming back to this article in future to remind myself that it’s OK to take measured risks every now and then but also as a warning that there is such thing as too much risk and some moves show poor logic and judgement. I urge you to do the same.

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FPLCoach

FPL fanatic and veteran having played the game for over 12 years | Stats and numbers cruncher | ex-FPLAcademy | Author of Coach's Form Guide

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