FPL Manager – Gerardo L Profile
Gerardo Lopez is a serial winner of our FF Titan mini-league and we have the honour of him joining our writing team this season.
Firstly, tell us a little about yourself?
I’m Gerardo L from Mexico. I hold an MA in English Literature. I work as a test designer and as a reading comprehension teacher.
I’ve been watching the Premier League for the past 20 years. I believe life is too short to watch any other sport other than football, so I also watch La Liga or Allsvenskan when I have some extra spare time.
Have a look at my twitter page (@bitacoradefpl) and you will realize how obsessed I am with FPL.
Even though I’m a competitive player when I have bad GW I just try to enjoy the game and football in general. Other than FPL I play FF Scotland, Allsvenskan Fantasy, GAFFR (Championship Fantasy Football) and Eliteserien Fantasy.
Why do you support Liverpool?
The first I heard of Liverpool was while watching a Euro 96 game vs the Netherlands in which Steve McManaman was highly praised by the commentators.
But it all started back in 1998. I was 11 years old and Michael Owen was being heavily hyped by the media after his stunning World Cup display. I started doing research on Liverpool’s history and I loved everything about the club.
Later on in the early 2000s, when the Premier League started being broadcasted in Mexico, I immersed myself in the club even though they were gradually losing prominence in the league. Somehow, I enjoyed the underdog status every time they faced fierce rivals Manchester United.
There was always some hope the sleeping giant would be awakened. The team has a motto “This means more”. There’s a certain ineffability to it. All I can say is I feel a romantic connection with a team that has high hopes even in hard times
What is your FPL history?
- 2016/17 – 358
- 2017/18 – 3246
- 2018/19 – 17k
- 2019/20 – 11k
You are obviously a quality FPL player with your recent ORs, what is your overall strategy (gut feel, statistics, etc?)
I’m not sure I stick with the same strategy throughout a season. I’d say I’m very flexible in the sense that I can’t consider myself neither conservative nor reckless.
It’s all about timing.
There’s a lot of talk about patience as the key to unlock all the FPL treasures. However, it is the context that dictates the right strategy. I’m not saying patience is not rewarding, because if there’s something many successful FPL players have in common is patience, but there are some periods throughout the season when I simply enjoy choosing players with a high ceiling even if its for a -4, particularly when it is captaincy that is at stake and they are not highly owned.
I don’t necessarily do this when I’m chasing in my mini-leagues, as I’ve said, it all depends on the context of the gameweek.
I can’t say I’m a “stats nerd” but I give special attention to the amount of shots (particularly in the box) and the quality of those shots when deciding captaincy or when making transfers.
Overall, I prioritize stats over gut feelings these days as FPL has become such a competitive game. Gut feelings have to be very strong if I’m going to follow them in FPL.
Last season, for example, I wanted to fit in Jesus in my squad and the only way of doing so was by selling a Liverpool defender. I bought Jonny before the Crystal Palace game at the Molineux. I just had a feeling he would deliver and he did. Hits for defenders are not my cup of tea but that day I just followed my instincts.
Some early thoughts about the 2020/21 season?
We have seen an unprecedented amount of penalties given.
Referees have been excessively lenient so far and I believe these numbers are unsustainable. Yet I still believe penalties will be decisive in FPL. The current goal spree has turned Premier League into a goal fest this season.
No crowds means footballers play more freely and defenders are prone to committing more mistakes than in previous seasons, so penalties are a factor that should be considered when choosing players.
However, I wouldn’t build an FPL team around spot-kick takers, they have to offer way more than that if they are to be included in my team. Jorginho, for instance, is a player that has caught the eye of a few managers after his brace vs Palace, but he is solely dependent on spot-kicks, so I’m not sure he will keep his scoring form.
Richarlison, on the other hand, is someone who’s become a more attractive FPL option if he is to be the official penalty taker for Everton as he offers attacking threat in all departments.
It’s too early to assess newcomers as some of them need some time to start showing some form. That is the case of Timo Werner, who has disappointed quite a few FPL managers who trusted him from the start. The absence of both Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech has dented his FPL potential and it remains to be seen whether he will be back amongst the goals once those playmakers are back in contention, but it’s very likely he will profit from their creativity.
Writing off a world class player like him so early is not sensible even in FPL terms.
On the other side of the coin is James Rodríguez who has enjoyed stellar form under Carlos Ancelotti so far this season. There were many doubts as to whether he would be a good FPL asset, but his previous numbers and his fixtures were enough reasons to back him as one to own.
Who do you think will do superbly this season over 38 GWs?
It would be very easy to say Mo Salah given his consistency for Liverpool in the Premier League, so I’ll go for Harry Kane.
Only Bruno Fernandes and Raheem Sterling have amassed more points than the Spurs talisman. He records an assist or a goal every 45 minutes this season and something to take into consideration is the fact Jose Mourinho is famous for taking his strikers to the next level.
Son Heung-Min is another one to watch. He has never surpassed the 20 goal barrier but if he remains injury-free, this could be his season as he is a superb finisher who will benefit from Kane’s majestic passing ability.
Who do you think will flop awfully?
“Awfully” is the key word here. I’m tipping John Lundstram to have a really bad season.
This may sound sacrilegious as “the Lord” achieved legendary status in FPL last season. Even though he’s apparently on penalty-taking duties this season, I just can’t see Sheffield United replicating the form of last season.
The absence of Dean Henderson between the sticks has been costly for them. From an FPL perspective, Lundstram, now classified as a midfielder, will become a “two pointer merchant” with the odd goal here and there.
If I was to choose a premium asset I’d go for Bruno Fernandes. Likewise, I don’t think he will replicate the form of last season and that’s quite a statement as he’s on all set pieces and is a creative force for a high scoring team.
Predict the Premier League champions?
Liverpool are likely to retain the title.
They have won both the Premier League and the Champions League in the last two seasons, which means the project is moving in the right direction.
Manchester City are title contenders too, but Liverpool have self-belief on their side; they haven’t lost any key asset; they look like a resilient team that will be strong enough to overcome heavy defeats like the one at Villa Park last gameweek.
Team preference aside, I believe this Liverpool side is quite strong in all areas despite lacking the squad depth of other top teams.
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