That’s more like it. After a few frustrating weeks, and blanking 5 captaincies in a row it was nice to hit a century this week, with a couple of captaincy successes. The week couldn’t have gotten off to a better start, with a vintage Alexis Sanchez performance delivering 2 goals and a man of the match as captain. The 3pm games weren’t quite as kind to me as they were to some, Tom Heaton’s incredible performance at Old Trafford certainly game a lot of managers a bonus they wouldn’t have been expecting. I had to settle for a clean sheet Jose Holebas, but frustratingly the rest of my defenders & goalkeeper delivered nothing.

Remember when we were thinking about ditching Sergio Aguero!? Having been the talk of the town last week, (and this blog!), Aguero delivered 2 goals & a MoM performance to remind everyone that he’s still the best player in the game and punish anyone who went for an early sale. I was bemused that he wasn’t also awarded an assist for Gundogan’s goal, but replays emerged later on showing a slight deflection off the WBA defender – not enough surely to deny Aguero the assist – but Sky weren’t going to budge. I think those that captained him can consider themselves unlucky.

Elsewhere on Saturday a goal for Bobby Firmino was most welcome, but again it was Phillip Coutinho who was the star of the show at Anfield, rewarding his owners & captainers with a haul to match Sanchez & Aguero. Coutinho is now not as much ‘on my radar’ as he is knocking on my front door, ringing the door bell, desperate to be let in. He looks in formidable form and I can see him racking up 10-12 MoMs this season.

Sunday rolled around and I did something I wasn’t expecting to do going into the week. The lure of Eden Hazard was too much to avoid, and after Sterling’s poor performance on Saturday I decided to take the plunge and bring Hazard in as (c). It was a move that certainly paid off, Dusan Tadic who would’ve been my captain again frustrated, and Hazard again proved he is the man to own with a goal, assist & MoM. Petr Cech made way for Tom Heaton to fund the move and I’m happy now to have both Hazard and Heaton on board heading into the festive period, even if I am lighter on transfers than I would like.

Gameweek Points: 101
Overall Points: 774
Overall Position: 218


My Team

I’m relatively happy with my team now, I’m a bit worried by Tadic’s recent performances whilst I’m a big fan of his and have sung his praises on this blog, his recent scores have been very disappointing. I will hold on for now, he has a great fixture away at Hull this week so he will stay and I can reassess during the international break. Similarly, after a great start to the season, Idrissa Gueye’s points have dried up, and he’s not hoovering up bonus like he was a few weeks ago. He was very unlucky not to either score or win a penalty on Sunday, but that’s how it goes and he’s now going to miss the Chelsea game having picked up his 5th yellow. My instincts are to hold him; I think he will come good in time, and I can’t afford the transfer at this stage.
Having spent 2 more transfers than I was expecting last week I am shorter on transfers than I’d have hoped at this stage, so I won’t be making any this week. I have set aside funds to do Walcott to Coutinho at some point, but I’m likely to hold it for now, given Walcott is expected back this Sunday.

Another thought that has crossed my mind is downgrading Gueye to a super-cheap enabler in order to try and squeeze in another big hitter in place of Tadic. There are just so many players performing at the moment, it is proving hard to be patient. But the nature of limited transfers games like the Sky one means you can’t have everyone. Whilst it’s important to jump on players who are in/entering form, I really don’t want to end being short on transfers the other side of Christmas, where the fixtures come thick and fast and transfers are usually that little bit more valuable. So whilst we’d all probably like to squeeze all of Coutinho, Firmino, Hazard, Walcott, Sanchez, Lukaku, Aguero into our teams, it’s not really viable. There are bound to be frustrating days, as Ibrahimovic captainers on Saturday will attest to, but sometimes you just have to ride it out.

I made the Hazard move on Sunday because Raheem Sterling seems to be out of form, and Hazard in his new freer role is coming into form, added to the fact he’s going to be a useful captaincy option in the coming weeks. I do think there is a need to balance short term gains against longer term prospects though, and with only 26 transfers left I will be trying my best to keep my itchy fingers away from the transfer button in November.

Captain Plan

It’s another relatively straight forward week for my team. I’ll have Aguero at home to Boro on Saturday, now firmly back in favour after his performance last weekend. On Sunday I’ll again trust in Alexis Sanchez for his home tie with Spurs. If I had Coutinho in at this stage I would probably throw him the armband but I don’t quite have enough faith in Bobby Firmino to hand it to him. I’d expect Watford to try and shut down Liverpool, Watford have been very good defensively recently but as we’ve seen this Liverpool side can rip through teams on their day. A Liverpool captaincy option will certainly be a great option for many on Sunday I think.

What’s your plan for the week, will you trust a Liverpool asset over Alexis Sanchez on Sunday?


13 thoughts on “Century

  1. Justin0 November 3, 2016 / 12:40 pm

    Thanks for the write up, Lewis!

    Whilst my team isn’t in terrible shape, the midfield is starting to look a bit stale:

    Smith Dawson Holebas
    Cazorla Sterling Mane Gueye
    Aguero Lukaku Sanchez
    ITB: 0.0m

    Right now, I’m thinking Courtois and Sterling out for Heaton and Hazard which would leave me on 26 transfers to go. I’d like to stop at that stage, but Mane and Cazorla out for Coutinho and one of Gundogan/Henderson is also playing on my mind. Any thoughts?


    • Lewis Nicklen November 3, 2016 / 8:20 pm

      Maybe keep hold of Sterling & sell Cazorla. I think you could go down to 24/5 transfers & then hold tight into December


      • Justin0 November 4, 2016 / 11:07 am

        Fair point, with Cazorla still a doubt and the break coming up, it’s probably worth bringing in Heaton and Hazard for the current week. Do you think Sterling’s one to hold on to for the long term? Before I got him he scored 10, 6, 19, 2, 13, 7 as soon as I made the transfer he’s produced 1, 2, 2, 2 so I’m worried I was late to that bandwagon.


        • Lewis Nicklen November 4, 2016 / 11:12 am

          I sold him but only to fund Hazard.
          I would hold for this week if possible. He’s still playing well but not quite getting into the right positions. I think it’s inevitable he will have double digit weeks but then also runs like he’s on at the moment. Issue is he won’t pick up bonus like other mids in that price bracket to keep him ticking over.


  2. Ian Parrin November 3, 2016 / 6:43 pm

    Game Week: 100
    Season: 749
    Position: 502


    Cook S

    de Bruyne


    ITB: 2.0
    Transfers: 29

    If Aguero starts versus Middlesbrough on Saturday, he will come in as captain for Lukaku.

    Sunday captain will be Firmino or Mane, unless Tottenham’s team looks poor when it could be Sanchez…

    Liked by 1 person

    • ianp1970 November 6, 2016 / 2:15 pm

      Gone with Mane as skipper today.


  3. hutman November 4, 2016 / 2:05 pm

    Must admit I’m getting a bit annoyed at the sky game – my team is in dire need of rebalancing but ‘the captain strategy’ means that the opportunity cost of a rebalancing transfer is too great.

    Put another way on a given week across two match days – 2 players could yield 70 points quite easily considering the bonus point and man of the match augmentations. I mean that’s just absurd.

    However, the general nature of football interpretation in this country revolves around formations, systems and most importantly line-ups! Alas, we have a conflict we cant escape from – the sky game mathematical logic advises me on maximum of 1 transfer a week based on ‘captain strategy’. But when I look at my team… Townsend, Antonio, and Donald Love i know something is not right – its like walking on a downward sloping pavement.


    • hrunny7 November 4, 2016 / 2:14 pm

      Yeah captaincy choices are huge. Sky did it this way to create more traffic at their website so we just have to play it that way. Aguero makes it easy though, as long as on the other days there is a good option then you should do ok.

      I have townsend, he will be going. He even stopped getting tackle bonus but the start of the season is always difficult


  4. hutman November 4, 2016 / 3:01 pm

    Now that you say that… funny how the most obvious weekly captain picks seem to be offering the timely Sky bet ‘price boost’


    • hrunny7 November 4, 2016 / 3:08 pm

      The only one I’ve seen that has worked was Sanchez to score a brace against Sunderland the rest of them don’t. This week Lukaku to score a header 10/1. There is no way he will score a header in that game now. It’s like they know exactly which bets won’t come in. Hazard and Costa both to score again won’t happen. One of the them will probably score to keep people betting but both won’t


  5. hutman November 4, 2016 / 3:51 pm

    All ignored since I don’t gamble! I was just referring to your point about the scoring system designed to maximize user traffic into sky’s apps/website – their logic must be to get people into gambling and watching more of their live games since audience shares have dropped massively.


    • hrunny7 November 5, 2016 / 5:44 am



  6. hrunny7 November 5, 2016 / 5:43 am

    ‘So whilst we’d all probably like to squeeze all of Coutinho, Firmino, Hazard, Walcott, Sanchez, Lukaku, Aguero into our teams, it’s not really viable.’

    I wish, plus Kdb, just to be even more greedy 🙂


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