FPL Gameweek 9  team reveal and tips from Rich Clarke.

Rich is an FPL veteran and has one of the most enviable records out there. Notching two top 500 finishes and eight top 10k finishes, he is the only FPL manager never to finish outside the top 35k in each of his 15 seasons.

Rich will be revealing his team on a weekly basis in the 2021/22 season; providing observations and strategies where appropriate.  

You can catch all our other brilliant FPL Gameweek 9 Team Reveals here.

FPL Gameweek 7 team reveal

Rich Clarke's FPL Record

FPL Gameweek 8 Performance

Points: 56

Rank Change: 12k - Red Arrow

Overall Rank: 135K

FPL Gameweek 8 - Brief Review

A much awaited round of Premier League games did not disappoint from an entertainment perspective. A (very) long second international break brought a lot of changes to line-ups for a multitude of reasons.

Liverpool are going from strength-to-strength, especially in away games. Their rivals for the title - Manchester City and Chelsea continue to win too, albeit less spectacularly. Guessing who will start from their teams each week though is a real challenge.

Norwich, Watford and Newcastle are now clear whipping boys for those looking to target fixtures against these teams.

FPL Gameweek 8 - My (wildcarded) Team

I played my wildcard (like many others) in Gameweek 8. My team scored 56 points and I got a third red arrow in a row, down to around 135k overall rank.

Ideally when you wildcard, you are looking for an immediate lift above rivals as you take advantage of the fixtures and form and cruise to a nice big green arrow! You are also well set for the following week, having built a fixture-friendly squad that allows you to save a transfer and continue to rise regardless..

I'm trying to stay positive about the team I now have (see picture above).  I'm also trying to learn from my behaviours and decision making - particularly in the final hours before deadline, so I don't make the same mistakes again.

Decisions, Decisions..

From what I can recall - I took a decision to go without a Chelsea defender, instead retaining two Manchester City defenders (Dias & Cancelo) and taking a long-term view that I was buying into the best defence.  The combination of Ruben Dias getting a rare rest (+ a 1-point cameo) along with Chelsea's unlikeliest of clean-sheets against Brentford makes this feel like a big error.

I also listened to a 'Deadline' stream in the last hour on Saturday morning. In retrospect I don't recommend this when on a wildcard!

Speculation over Raphinha's start and some hype around Bryan Mbeumo's potential led to some late changes in formation and bench order. I consequently left Shane Duffy's and Timo Livramento's clean sheets on the bench.

The Mental Side...

I think I had gotten into a classic over-thinking position by the end of the process. Too much consideration and consumption of material can lead to mistakes. I'm normally resilient to this but it's clear that was my state last Saturday.

As the weekend's games played out, and most of my attackers returned 1 and 2 pointers I began to feel really down. I was looking at all the big scores being posted and celebrated on social media and felt I'd really messed up.


Having reflected now - there were some genuine pieces of bad luck last week for wildcarders.

  • There was a high(er) number of cameo appearances for popular wildcard targets who would normally stay benched or have played a full game. No error for FPL managers here - just rub of the green.
  • Anyone who watched the Brentford v Chelsea game will be amazed that Brentford did not score. I based my line-up (and to an extent, the Dias over Azpilicueta pick) on the likelihood that they would score.
  • Those who were bringing in Heung-Min Son last week (I admit I was not one of these) would also feel unfortunate that his Covid scare proved false. He immediately delivered against Newcastle Utd.
  • Romelu Lukaku - pretty much on every wildcard, blanked again and is now injured before Chelsea's prime sequence of games.

It feels that going into this week, that those still holding their wildcard have a big advantage.

What matters now though, is how I manage the team for the next twenty gameweeks or so, despite the difficult one just gone.

FPL Gameweek 9 Transfer Thoughts

Buy a ticket for the Tuchel Tombola?

My first thoughts for this week are that I still do not own a Chelsea defender.

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