9 months ago

The FPL Debate - Who's Your Captain, Son?

No beef here - just a good old fashioned debate! After the answer to last week’s debate around Manchester City proved to be “It doesn’t matter whether its defence or Gundogan as long as you buy one or the other”, the FPL World moves on and we have a whole new group of debatable subjects to discuss. Let's talk about some of the key ones and also touch on a few subjects where there is no debate whatsoever. I was lucky enough to be graced by the 2 leaders of the Wolfpack last week, this week it’s the head honcho of the podcast Season Keepers and the man with the inside scoop on Leicester City that go head to head - let's get into it! 



Gameweek 23 - Is Son the best captain? 

with @SmuelMartinFPL and @CleanWipeoutFPL

A significant chunk of the FPL Community had earmarked Tottenham vs West Brom in Gameweek 23 as a great fixture for captaincy for Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son. Liverpool and Manchester City playing against each other opens up the temptation to move elsewhere and there is no arguing that it looked like a fantastic captaincy opportunity. But then disaster struck with Harry Kane taken out at both ankles against Liverpool.

It’s safe to say that Spurs were abject against Brighton, barely threatening to look like scoring. Although there is still a fixture with Chelsea where Spurs might suddenly turn back into a well-oiled attacking machine (they are managed by Jose Mourinho — probably unlikely.), are we put off from a Son captaincy by the absence of Harry Kane, or is he still the right man for the job?


@SmuelMartinFPL – making the case for captaining Son

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple” - Dr Seuss 

"Now, I’m not suggesting the Cat in the Hat was an FPL metaphor, but to put it bluntly, sometimes just pick the easy option. Heung Min Son, the joint third-highest scoring player in the game, at home to 19th place West Brom who concede nearly 2 goals a game on their travels.

Of course, it will be easy to think of reasons not to captain Son, but ask yourself this, who is the other option? Salah vs a Man City side who have conceded once in eight games? Bruno, on a run of 5 ‘true’ blanks in a row (note - written prior to Bruno’s 17 point haul vs 9-man Southampton….oops!), playing for a United side who notoriously struggle at Old Trafford? (Again, oops….) It doesn’t scream ‘pick me’.

With 7 double-digit hauls so far this season, 4 of them at home, he’s the perfect captain material, bringing huge upside if he goes big. Yes, the loss of Kane is no doubt an issue, but it means that Son becomes a rather big fish in a very small pond when it comes to Spurs’ attack. Everything you’d want from a captain.

Heung Min Son is the go-to captain in GW23 and if you choose to take him on and go elsewhere, you better hope for a sofa big enough to hide behind."

I’m pretty sold on this. But can Matt from Season Keepers talk me around? Let's find out!

Read more: The FPL Debate: City Defense Triple-Up

@CleanWipeoutFPL – going against Captain Son

"So, do we want to captain Son in gameweek 23? Initially, I was all set to bring in Son for GW23 following Kane’s injury, but after the incredibly poor performance against Brighton, I have well and truly changed my mind! Son looked isolated against Brighton. With Gareth Bale seemingly long past his best and Vinicius unable to fill Harry Kane’s boots, I can’t see Son profiting. Yes, Bergwijn & Moura can play a part, but with Mourinho’s stale tactics enough to drive anyone mad, let alone a Spurs fan, I cannot see Son hauling against West Brom.

For all of the possession Spurs had during the Brighton game, they managed just 4 shots on target, with Son getting one of those from distance which was very comfortable for Sanchez. It was a tough game to watch as a neutral, and I can see why many Spurs fans have had enough. Mourinho blamed a ‘sadness’ in his post-match interview and that screams alarm bells to me! It doesn’t bode well in my opinion, and that is why I won’t be going near Son until a fit and firing Kane has returned alongside him. From recent reports, it doesn’t seem as though that will be happening for the West Brom tie.

Yes, they have arguably the best fixture on paper, but for me, there are now far better captaincies to choose from. Bruno, Bamford & Antonio are all players I own and would happily put the armband on in their respective fixtures. I would have every faith that they return bigger hauls than what Son will achieve against West Brom. I own him in the Sky Fantasy game so of course, I will be wanting him to return, but for captaincy in FPL I have little faith in him being the prime option now — and I don’t think it’s the right play."

Before you make your decision - let's take in the view of a Spurs fan. One of the legendary PlanetFPL duo, James,  @PlanetFPLPod!

@PlanetFPLPod – the Spurs fans view

“The first thing to note is that as a Spurs fan the absence of Harry Kane is a negative for Sonny — not a positive.

The Brighton game was dreadful and Brighton should have won by more than one goal — and they didn’t have to do much to accomplish that. They stopped Son from going in behind and that massively limited Tottenham’s opportunities.

Harry is a major miss and so is Reguillon. I’m sitting with the money in the bank to bring Sonny in because it's West Brom. Son is a brilliant captaincy option come the weekend, but I want to see the Chelsea game before I make a call. Bruno Fernandes is a very viable captaincy alternative and there are others like Antonio that could come into the equation.”



I don’t own Son - but I have the money in the bank to bring him in. If he gets through the game against Chelsea unscathed, regardless of Spurs’ performance, there’s every chance that I will be buying him and captaining him. West Brom are conceding so many goals that bringing him in, with how heavily owned he’s going to be, feels like a slightly boring, safe play, but the right one. I am expecting to captain him though Bruno might sway me the other way after his haul vs Southampton. But I give a narrow win to @SmuelMartinFPL - unless the Chelsea game is a disaster!

What do you think, guys? Who wins the debate? Let us know!

Other FPL Debates this Week

Goalonso - time to buy?

The arrival of Thomas Tuchel saw us step back in time by a few years with Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso on the scoresheet as Chelsea comfortably defeated Burnley. The sight of Alonso popping up repeatedly inside the opposition six-yard box is a regular thing historically in FPL — and he has form for doing a number on Spurs too. But is it really time to punt on a bit of nostalgia?

For me, I don’t think so. £5.6m is a lot of money to spend on an aging full back who is likely to be rotated and could lose his place at any time. If he plays regularly as a left wing-back, he becomes a hugely viable selection, but I’d want to see it for a good few games first, and by then you’ve missed Sheffield United and Newcastle. The sensible play if you want to invest in the rest of Chelsea’s good defensive run is Antonio Rudiger at £4.5m.

Is it time for Ricardo?

Is it just me that’s been waiting for Ricardo Pereira to be back in the team all season? It feels like some have been scared of buying the excellent James Justin for months waiting for Pereira to take his place. The injury to Castagne may open the door now for Ricardo to get the spot and interestingly, Brendan Rodgers switched to 3 at the back and used him as a wing-back.

Pereira is a known commodity as an FPL asset, renowned for attacking returns from full-back as well as reasonably reliable clean sheets. If he nails down the spot in the next week or two and stays fit, Pereira is someone I would consider paying the extra for, but is the sensible choice just to go for the slightly cheaper Justin? Time will tell but he could be one hell of a differential.

Mid-priced forwards. Stick or twist?  

At the start of the season, there was chatter that there were no viable mid-priced forwards in FPL, which has been blown out or the water as the season progressed. Gameweek 21 saw a lot of FPL managers make the charge for Dominic Calvert-Lewin to replace the injured Harry Kane or, disastrously for some people, the misfiring Patrick Bamford who promptly punished sellers with a 15 point haul. The mid-priced forward bracket now features capable points scorers such as DCL, Ollie Watkins, Bamford, Antonio and Callum Wilson. Is chopping and changing between them ultimately going to end in pain most of the time?

My instinct is that because they are all capable goalscorers you should pick 3 and stick with 3 unless you are moving to jump on an incredible prolonged fixture run or for double gameweek opportunities.
Oh, and keep your eye on Danny Ings. A little higher priced, but if Southampton stop having goals ludicrously disallowed, the points will come.


Things That Can’t Be Debated


Enough, surely? Some of the decisions throughout the season have been laughable, whether it's offside decisions, debatable red cards or intervening in matters that they had no business intervening in. But my ultimate bugbear is that VAR is validating diving. Contact does not mean a foul. Players like Anthony Martial anticipating contact and crumpling to the floor while a defender does his best to avoid contact and merely brushes his knee doesn’t mean it's a penalty. VAR should be used to clamp down on these offences, not to validate them and allow players to somehow get away with it. It seemed impossible for diving to get worse with VAR but somehow it has. Congratulations on sheer incompetence.

Read more: Best FPL Podcasts to Listen to in 2021

On that subject...REFEREE PUNDITS!

I almost understand why TV companies want a referee on their books to explain some of the chaos that referees are causing on a weekly basis. But could we verify that their eyes and mouths work before we put them on TV? Listening to Peter Walton telling the World that Man Utd will be awarded a penalty by VAR for a challenge on Cavani and 5 seconds later, a freekick is given.

He then proclaimed that Che Adams was narrowly onside moments before his consolation goal against Man Utd was….disallowed for offside. When you combine that with Dermot Gallagher on Ref-Watch on Sky Sports blindly backing up the officials on every single decision made….let's call it a bad job and give up, eh? VAR isn’t going away but maybe we can use them to run onto set and blow the whistle in the face of pundits when they start talking shit. Who knows… 

Moussa Sissoko handball: Peter Walton explains why referee had 'no option'  over Liverpool penalty

Luke Ayling - an update.

No more clean sheets. Still no attacking returns. Still a crap asset in FPL. Next.

Read more: GW20 FPL & Fanteam Cheat Sheet

Sheffield United...

Huge credit to them for fighting. A great win at Old Trafford. A valiant effort at the Etihad which could have got them a point if John Fleck’s late shot had been slightly more accurate, and a huge win against West Brom. Chris WIlder has managed to keep them scrapping as they have done all season after a dreadful start — but it WAS a dreadful start and one that they won’t recover from.

They’re down, and I do think it will be a tough job to bring them back up. Don't buy them, please.

Thank you for reading. Please, let us know who you think was the winner of the featured debate as well as your opinions on the other talking points highlighted on the FPL Debate! If you wish to participate in a future debate, get in touch with @rpick86 on Twitter. 

Rob Pick

Rob Pick

The latest addition to the DraftGym crew, FPL veteran and the Debate grandmaster.