Thursday, 27 June 2013

Adios Carlos - A Fond FPL Farewell?

You've probably read the news by now. Little Carlitos "I don't want to warm-up" Tevez has agreed a move to Italian giants Juventus because "they wanted him more" than AC Milan did. He leaves behind a newly reorganized Manchester City squad that drove FPL managers bonkers last year as crazy-man Roberto Mancini played musical chairs with virtually every position on the pitch.

Personally, Mancini scared me away from so many City players during #FPL season that Tevez's move away came as a breath of fresh air to me when I heard everything was finalized. After initially admiring the work rate and tenacity Tevez showed following his move to Manchester United and the way he "stood up" to Sir Alex Ferguson when things went south and he flew the coop across town to City, it gradually dawned on me during his multiple excursions on the wrong side of sanity that it wasn't Sir Alex who had been the problem; it was Carlos.

So seeing Tevez move away initially seemed like just the kind of move that both Manchester City and us #FPL managers needed. Freed from Mancini's unpredictability, the offloading of Tevez seemingly reduces the rotation risk of City's front line by a full 33% as it leaves those minutes to be filled by Sergio Aguero and/or Edin Dzeko, unless of course a third quality striker is brought in or recalled from loan who Pellegrini decides to drive us equally mad with. But that remains to be seen.

City's forward rotation was great for City; don't get me wrong. But it was an #FPL manager's nightmare. Looking at the statistics from the 2012-2013 season, Mancini actually did a very good job of spreading the minutes around and keeping people fresh when they weren't injured. Aguero, Tevez and Dzeko averaged 51, 63 and 48 minutes per gameweek respectively, a very even distribution, while scoring 5.6, 6.3 and 6.4 points per 90 minutes each. On the face of it, Mancini did exactly what he should have done; keeping things fresh and maintaining consistent returns.

Despite the rotation, Tevez finished the year as City's up-front leader in both minutes played and points scored. From a statistical perspective, he scored 6.35 points per game to Aguero's 5.60 and based on year-end values tallied 18.37 points per million pounds in price compared to Aguero's 10.90. Financially speaking, Tevez was a bargain. At 18.84 points per million pounds in price, so was Dzeko.

So maybe, purely from a numbers standpoint, City let the wrong guy leave. Based purely on statistics, for what it's worth, the Tevez and Dzeko show, based on the 2012-2013 season, is more productive and profitable than an FPL Aguero-Dzeko combination.

When setting the City dynamic to the side and looking at Tevez strictly compared to other FPL forwards in his price bracket (9.2m at season end), he also outscored every forward in the 8.3 - 9.3m bracket quite handily. Of Torres, Adebayor, Podolski, Carroll and Cisse, only Podolski even comes close to Tevez's points and value statistics.

So we're left, as oftentimes is the case, with a double-edged sword. When looking at City coverage, Tevez's move to Juventus simplifies things and makes both Aguero and Dzeko much more attractive investments than they were last year (Dzeko statistically would be the guy to pick up due to his points/price ratio, but I have a sneaky suspicion Aguero will have a good year assuming he doesn't get assaulted in the 13th minute of the first fixture like he did last year). At the same time, Tevez's outstanding performance in the mid-premium price bracket leaves a significant void to be filled by somebody. Who that person will be is anyone's guess, as Tevez decidedly outperformed everyone else in that bracket last season.

At this point, only one thing is for sure. Carlitos can show up and caddie at the British Open practice rounds all he wants, but no one will be getting any FPL points from him this time around. He's going the way of Balotelli and Mancini, and taking all of the pointing, laughing and snickering with him.

Seeya Carlitos. Good luck.

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