The morning after the game between Chelsea against Luton, many Fantasy managers will wake up with feelings of sore regret. Much had been pondered about Jackson over the week. It was the few with Sterling in their mind who were unaware of how close they were to absolute greatness. I remember the game week I brought in Mason Mount to play against Norwich at home. He had seemingly no previous stat or was in goal-scoring form at the time, but the eye test looked good. Most of FPL had Havertz in their squad. Kai finished the game with no points, while Mount scored three.
Playing FPL involves often for engaged managers a lot of pain. Weeks of pondering will lead to Caicedo scoring a brace from nowhere with the Ecuadorian’s inevitable presence in that mini-league squad sitting at the top. It is these rare opportunities like the Mounts mentioned bringing joy amidst all the sorrow that an engaged manger playing FPL lives for. Yesterday, for many Fantasy managers it was one such opportunity with has become now a missed opportunity.
The first half of the match saw both Chilwell and Jackson largely an anomaly with the major chunks of Chelsea’s attack deployed from the right-hand side. James’s understudy was pushing forward with the ball as the club captain looked on from the stands. He was accompanied there by new signing Lavia. It would be unfair to say, Luton was blown away from the very first whistle at the bridge. Despite their huge difference in golfing class, for context, Chelsea has spent three billion in transfers in the club’s history, while Luton Town has managed a total spending of thirty million. Most of the players playing yesterday for the Blues will probably cost individually around the thirty million marks. Luton did well at least defensively, much of their game went missing when in the Chelsea half, they stayed in the game, not allowing many chances.
After a single point from the opening two games, frustrations were growing amongst the Stamford Bridge faithful. The opener came after Gusto passed to Sterling, with the winger, almost rolling back his time at Manchester City, cut in through the box from the right-hand side leaving defenders in his way, and did a little shimmy, shooting past the keeper. Gusto will get the assist but the goal was all about Raheem. Sterling was off the mark for the season but Chelsea failed to press further to get the second in the opening half. Chances were few and far between, if Luton planned to stay in the game as long as possible, they were certainly able to achieve so.
Chelsea played with more vigor in the second half, must have had something to do with Pochettino’s talk at the break. Gusto combined again with Sterling; this laying a cross for the winger to score from the edge of the D box. Gusto had by then asserted himself in the match, with Sterling playing as the player used to score a bag of goals and two hundred plus points in FPL. Fantasy managers with James in their squad, or who had him in the season, will be left to rue in what could have been, the haul Gusto acquired last night, his two assists and a clean sheet meant he finished the game with fourteen points, courtesy of the two bonuses.
Further wound to the misery was the fact many managers in Fantasy had benched Gusto as their first substitute. Another case of price biases, with so much of the week still to be played, there will be prayers of a benching of any player playing in the starting eleven of the teams of these Fantasy players with Gusto in their bench. For those who had started the Frenchman, it was sort of a recovery, especially for Gabriel’s owners for the points lost over Saliba. There are a few teams with already thirty-plus points after the game. They will be hoping for an early hundred-point game week in FPL.
Much of the overall rank in FPL perhaps eventually depends on when to take that risky punt and when to not. Once a train is missed, there is no use following the herd. Instead, there should be a try of boarding another train to try and catch the train that’s left. Mbeumo is already off to a flier and Fantasy managers who had started the season with him have all benefitted with early season good ranks. Sterling, in hindsight, presented the perfect opportunity to level with what Mbeumo has done, especially for players without him in the opening weeks.
Sterling was looking sharp against West Ham, he was sure to start and get the full minutes if required, Mudryk was injured, so there were no threats of rotation, and he was playing on paper, the weakest team in the league. The signs were all there for Fantasy managers to benefit. The England winger was not after his brace, he was already heading for a sixteen-pointer at that time. To put the game beyond any sort of doubts and to further add his points tally in FPL, he teed up Jackson, in a similar fashion, Gusto had played the ball to him, for the second goal. Jackson scored his debut goal for the club, much to the relief of so many Fantasy players who had transferred him in. Sterling got the assist.
Sterling finished the game with two goals an assist, and three bonus points with a total of nineteen points on the day. He was by far the best player on the pitch, albeit he was playing against Luton Town. They are still a Premier League opposition now, and respect needs to be given. Sterling’s performance combined with the rest of the Chelsea fixtures is suggestive there will be more returns to come. His huge haul will likely make him a bandwagon in the week. His low pricing makes him an easy move from many of the failing Manchester United assets. However, Fantasy players who were there in time for Sterling’s first haul of the season will have a story to tell. It is knowing when to jump on a sheep is what makes a good Fantasy manager.