Whenever I look at my maiden Official Fantasy Bundesliga squad I always reach the same conclusion: I must have been out on the town on the eve of the 2016/17 season.
Alfred Finnbogason in attack, Patrick Herrmann in midfield, and Fabian Schär and Paul Verhaegh in defence - not the wisest choices I’ve ever made, with the benefit of hindsight. The aforementioned quartet ended the 2015/16 campaign in impressive form but, unfortunately, none of them have been able to kick on from last season.
At least I chose the right captain on Matchday 1! Thank God for Robert Lewandowski. Some things never change…
Lewandowski may have registered 48 points following his hat-trick against Werder Bremen, but the Pole’s performance merely papered over the cracks. For some reason, I thought it was a bright idea to play a five-man rearguard packed with goalscoring defenders, such as Verhaegh, Schär and David Alaba, labouring under the misapprehension that they would score bags of goals (worth six points each, I might add) and fire me to the top of the standings in no time at all. How wrong I was.
My five Matchday 1 defenders have scored three goals between them all season. Some of their team-mates have done all right, though: Alessandro Schöpf is Schalke’s joint top scorer in all competitions, Mainz’s Pablo de Blasis started brightly before going off the boil, and Mario Gomez can’t stop scoring for Wolfsburg in recent weeks. It’s a shame the same cannot be said for Finnbogason, Herrmann and Schär, who have all struggled with injuries this term.
Who could have predicted the importance of won duels in the Official Fantasy Bundesliga before Matchday 1? Well, I’m sure Flo knew all about them, right Flo? It might have taken me a couple of Matchdays, but it wasn’t long before I brought the likes of Anthony Modeste, Willi Orban and Sebastian Rudy - three players with exceptional records in the challenges department - into my side. The trio have served me well.
I also quickly learned not to be quite so adventurous when it comes to choosing my captain. I know I picked Lewy on the opening day, but you’ll never guess who my skipper was on Matchday 2! Yep, Fabian Schär. It’s fair to say the Switzerland international didn’t have the best of games in the 4-4 draw at Mainz, conceding three times in the opening half hour before going off with an injury shortly before half time. If in doubt, just stick with Lewandowski!
I’m sure you’ll be stunned to hear that I ditched the 5-3-2 formation after Matchday 1. With Lewy, Modeste and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all on 20+ goals for the season already, the only sensible solution is to play with a three-man attack! I plumped for a 3-4-3 formation on Matchday 25, but given the number of excellent attacking full-backs in the game (such as Sead Kolasinac, Bastian Oczipka and Mitchell Weiser, to name but a few), I wouldn’t say no to a four-man backline either.
Now that I’ve learned my lessons, there’s only one thing left to do: Try my best to close the gap on Flo at the top of our mini-league!
Happy gaming, one and all!