Monday, 25 November 2013

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Barkley?

This is the conundrum faced by many of us at the moment. Wonderkid Ross Barkley of Everton was considered to be a "must-have" for the first quarter of the season.

An opening day goal, combined with 3 bonus points firmly put this boy on the radar for FPL managers looking for a bargain. And what a price! £4.5 million made his purchase affordable with no need for sacrificial lambs! We could all afford to take a punt at that price. Over the coming weeks his stock rose steadily, despite poor points returns until GW's 5 and 6.

The amount of managers transferring him in saw his price rise dramatically, peaking at £5.7 million after GW 8. But after boom inevitably comes bust. A steadily decreasing amount of game time has seen his price (and his points return) fall sharply. As managers bomb him out of their squads, it appears his star - that once shone so brightly - is fading rapidly.

Despite the rush to sell him, at the time of writing Barkley is still owned by a staggering 32.3% of you. But why? He's not completing matches, his points return has been poor for a while now, and Everton have some shocking fixtures coming up. GW 13 sees them take on Stoke at Goodison, but the following weeks see them play Man Utd and Arsenal away! Surely his value is only going to plummet further if his game time and form stay the same? He'll get dumped quicker than the jumper your aunt will no doubt buy you for Christmas.

I know what you may be thinking, keep the faith with Barkley, he's been given International recognition and he plays that Number 10 role behind the striker that can reap dividends if he gets it right.

Actually to be honest you're probably still thinking about those upcoming fixtures for Everton and ditching Baines/ Jagielka/ Coleman or Distin right about now aren't you...

He may be worth keeping as an option on your bench, but risking him in your starting XI may cause you more harm than good. Do you sell now while you can still get a tidy sum for him? Personally, I transferred him out for GW12 and checking back now I wish I'd done it earlier as I had him permanently benched since GW 6. Still, his price continued to rise so no real harm done.

I don't see him recapturing the form that saw him rise to the top of the points table for midfielders (he is currently down in 14th and falling). Does this justify his selection as the third most owned midfielder in the game behind Aaron Ramsey and Yaya Toure? I guess - as they say - the decision is yours...



(Please be gentle; first ever Blog post!)