Saturday, 17 August 2013

Team Review: Wenger's Checkbook

Wenger's Checkbook, ready to roll for another season of
Fantasy EPL

'Wenger's Checkbook' has continually been evolving through the last few weeks. As most of us with FPL addictions will know, a quick adjustment can quickly turn into more than an hour working out who to pick and who to avoid. Anyway, walking into Gameweek 1, I have managed to choose a side that I feel has a lot of potential, albeit is unlikely to get off to a fantastic start given my general lack of Chelsea players.



Strategy 

After last seasons double gameweek (DGW) I managed to take a couple of points out of it. Namely I noticed that having too many DGW players led to me being handcuffed with who I had to transfer out of my side. Invariably I was missing out on value selections which other sides were quickly snapping up, and other squad issues such as injuries and suspensions were very difficult to deal with. Another cause for concern I can see with regards to the DGW is the likelihood that a lot of the Mourinho led squad will not play 180 minutes, due to the fixture away to Man U being right around the corner. I've also decided to start with Van Persie. I understand the theory behind not starting him, but after trying to bring him in last season, I found it simply too difficult and again I was handcuffing myself to playing the wildcard much earlier in the season than I'd have preferred. At the end of the day, he is the most reliable captaincy option, who can be depended on throughout the season. He also has a tendency to start the season on fire, and with over 43% starting him, if he does start in a blaze of glory you'll be left behind quickly.

Player Review

Mignolet- decided on him for the simple facts that he is a phenomenal shot stopper, who is playing in a side which I think will be more compact at the back than they were last season. Haven't conceded many in the pre-season, to add to the reasoning.

Davis- throw away position. In at 4.0, this will allow me to focus as much money as possible on other positions.

Coleman- all my reasoning for this selection can be found here!

Pieters- cheapest acquisition into the Stoke backline. Over the past 5 seasons, Stoke have produced the most clean sheets in the first 10 games of each season, averaging over 4. Given their outstanding defensive record over the pre-season, I see this continuing and thus Erik seems like a very solid, cheap acquisition.

Lescott- must admit I didn't see this coming until I looked into it more thoroughly. Joleon looked gone for all money, but with Nastasic's injury, Lescott will receive games. Given Man City are one of the better defensive units, and at a price of 5.5, the deal must be taken.

Turner- priced at 4.5, Michael produced an attempt on goal every 199 minutes, which is quite high for a defender. Was unfortunate to not score more than his single goal, but expect that number to grow this season. Nailed on and thus a 'safe' bench pick.

Baker- at 4.0 and with a likely start in GW1, I figure Baker will do for now. Having the DGW is also a slight added benefit although I won't start him given the opposition. Another throw away pick who I hopefully won't need to use, but if I do, he should at least be getting minutes.

Hazard- Out and out gun, who started last season in a blaze of glory and I suspect he'll do the same again. Still young, and if anything you'd expect him to improve further given both his age and the fact that he's already had a year in England to adapt.

Morrison- sneaky choice who isn't a nailed on starter. Given his ridiculous pre-season form in which he's bagged 5 goals, given his price and given the fact that he's done it at this level before, I'm happy to risk it for the biscuit. 

Mirallas-  all my reasoning can be found right here!

Walcott- The main attacking player in the Gunners side, Theo has all the attributes of a striker and may well player there. Thus he is potentially misclassified, and with this in mind and the fact that he was involved in 44% of Gunners goals whilst on the pitch, he is locked in my side. Should play GW1, after playing in the Scotland match recently which proved his fitness.

Shelvey- This is an Über unique selection. My thinking is Swansea will get off to a strong start and having a couple from their side will be important. The reason Shelvey gets the nod is because of a few reasons. Namely his minutes per attempt were up their with the best of them, recording a shot every 29.4 minutes, he's already scored twice in pre-season, plus a ripper on national duty. Is a nailed on starter and given his cheap price, I'm finding it hard to bypass him.

Lukaku- For obvious reasons, Romelu should be leading the line for the first two matches and that alone has me thinking goals are on the offing. Unlikely to be a long term pick, but you can assess the field before making your move. I'm thinking of moving him straight to Dzeko at the end of GW1.

Bony- Another Swansea man, Wilfried scored 31 goals for Anderlecht in the Dutch competition last season, which is for the most part quite a defensive league. The potential is certainly there, and after a very strong pre-season which included a double at Malmo in the Europa qualifier, I think Bony is someone who will quickly be brought in by the masses.

RVP- for all these reasons...

Thanks for reading, discuss my team and yours in the comments!