2015/16 FPL SEASON ANALYSIS: Chief Writer Sam Austin's "Face Facts"
The 2015/16 Premier League season is over, culminating in one of the biggest sporting shocks in team sport. Leicester City's rise from nothing into something, from chumps to champs, has filtered its way into every crack and drain of life as we know it. In the FPL the Foxes dominated player selection, and were consistently the top performing players throughout the season. In our debut season as pundits The Hype Team was treated to a whirlwind of an FPL season, and each member of our team will take his time to describe his season, as a whole and on a personal level. First up, our Chief Writer Sam Austin, who provides the The Hype Train with its Weekly Wildcard differentials, tackles his Team of the Season and provides a brief recap for his beloved Liverpool. Was it 'his year' in the FPL?
About The Hype Team
The Hype Team are the three founding members of the The Hype Train that run its social media accounts, constantly update the website, and do extensive research into the Fantasy Premier League. The expertise we provide in a wide and expansive FPL community is providing cutting edge statistics, up to date developments, beautiful graphics, and picking weekly wildcard 'differential' players. We pride ourselves on our unique, colourful branding, and our persistent endeavour to not just scream to the rooftops the obvious in our realm of fantasy football.
The 2015/16 season was the first for the Hype Train, and we'll be back for seconds in the 2016/17 FPL season.
Face Facts: Team of the Season
By Hype Train Chief Writer, Sam Austin
Going with the four-four-two was easy, really easy. Consistency was key in my selections for the team of the season, and that is all anyone can ask for when partaking in the Fantasy Premier League. Unfortunately for the messiah that is Sergio Aguero he didn't make the final cut, he wasn't in any of the provisional teams drawn up for the sole reason that he scored half his goals in four games. Peppered performances along the way meant that he was at most times an expensive liability until the close of the season where he turned on the firepower. There were thirty eight gameweeks and there were times it was unwise to back the Argentine striker, there were better investments in the defensive options. Manchester United's Chris Smalling, Big Toby of Spurs, the technically gifted Fuchs of Leicester, the rapid Hector Bellerin of Arsenal were FPL essentials and worth every bit of their value. Alongside them was also Aaron Cresswell of West Ham who has had an amazing season under Slavan Bilic at left-back. Picking a defence was easy, and the fact that they were some of the most heavily selected defenders says that the sentiment was shared by one of the largest groups in the FPL. Originally I was hesitant on picking Toby because he was a Spurs defender, but I had my hand forced by form, as everyone should remember the Lilywhites had the worst defence from all top half teams in the 2014/15 season so there was plenty of reasons to be sceptical. The Spurs defensive options were so good that I abandoned all preconceived notions and take the plunge. The special mention of the defenders chosen goes out to Christian Fuchs who spent most of his time as a wildcard option regularly selected in our weekly picks. The Austrian only played thirty games and hoarded bonus like it was nobodies business, he stormed up the rankings and became an unbelievable option that was also considerably cheaper than Complimenting the defence was Jack Butland who had both value in points and price, he was the total package and before he got injured Stoke had been a different beast with him in the team, his value to the Potters invaluable once he left the squad. I have selected Gomes from Watford just because he was the stable of heart of Watford this year and farmed save and penalty points to make other keepers jealous, and for such bravery he gets a spot in my fifteen. Midfielders were easy, and don't need much explaining. Keeping with the theme of consistency Mahrez, Ozil, Payet, and Firmino were solid for most of the year and they each had long purple patches that made them locked-in options. Dele Alli takes up the spot on the bench, he would have been in the main eleven were it not be for the fact that I never actually had him in my personal team all season, Ozil, Payet, and Mahrez were all early locks and not having Sergio Aguero as well allowed me to diversify my midfield portfolio with more expensive attackers. Alli did feature a lot in my scout picks for The Hype Train, but I remember his impact early on in the wildcards when he was barely selected, he scored in the fixture and since has never looked back. Lastly, the forwards I have chosen to lead the team were again easy picks, and both consistent options in comparison to more expensive options. Vardy and Kane were the two Englishmen that scored forty nine goals between them, both cheaper than a certain Argentine, and at one point you could have paired the duo with Romelu Lukaku, my final pick, during his purple patch which also coincided with Harry Kane finding form and Vardy's record breaking streak. For the majority of the season this was a safe forward three, the FPL holy trinity, the only dilemma was who to select as captain each week, and that wasn't if you had that feeling Mahrez would have another one of 'them games'.
Liverpool Season Analysis
By Hype Train Chief Writer, Sam Austin
The Red's have ultimately had a mixed season, there have been extreme highs and also horrible lows. From reaching two cup finals, and losing them, to the big wins over Manchester United, Chelsea, the double over Man City, the thrashing of Everton in the Merseyside derby, and the away trip to Southampton in the League Cup were highlights of the season. Klopp's side also had arguably match of the season against Borussia Dortmund at Anfield in the Europa League which no words can even describe. It is easy for many to pick apart Liverpool's season as a failure because they could have done so much more in terms of actually winning trophies, but there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic now the dust has begun to settle. Many Liverpool supporters have to remember that Jurgen has inherited a squad in the image of Brendan Rodgers, it was always going to take time and there is great reason to proud of the season even if it didn't amount to much.
There have been foundations laid and Liverpool have the summer to improve, retool, and re-imagine themselves which makes them a great wildcard option for the next season. Also, despite the disappointment of not reaching the Champions League group stages there is a resounding opinion that it is better to have avoided the fixture congesting Europa League if it means focusing on domestic duties next year, Liverpool need that, they need to earn a top four spot with Klopp at the helm with his own crew. Patience has been something the Red's need and as a club in radical transition that very thing, patience, has been in short supply with expectations of instant success. For the most part Liverpool haven't represented themselves as valid FPL options so it is easy to enjoy the new Klopp regime without having points on your mind. Liverpool have been a team of hot flashes of talent, the displays against Everton and Manchester City are evident of that, one match they will be unstoppable, and then the next it is like the team have just met in the car park an hour earlier. Clubs in the bottom half loved playing Liverpool because they were normally suited to playing on the counter which hurt Liverpool, they also relied on set pieces, which was the biggest crux of the defensive displays from the whole squad. The Red's dropped three points to Crystal Palace, Newcastle, Watford, and Swansea; and that is just the teams Liverpool lost too, there were also plenty of draws along the way too, including Everton in Rodgers last home game, Norwich at Anfield, Newcastle at St James, West Brom in both fixtures, and Sunderland also came back from two goals behind to get a point from the fixture in Merseyside. Inconsistent is a word that has been used all season, but it is clear to see that Liverpool were consistent in dropping what would otherwise be considered 'easy points' by a club of their standards. Those points dropped against lower half teams were what left an impression on the season, and they cost Liverpool a place in Europe.
All over fan forum fans are all the more happy to commend the big victories, but having sat through draws and losses to most of the teams scrapping in the bottom half it is why the season a mixed bag, you literally didn't know what you were going to get. Quite honestly, and this is coming from one of the devout faithful, it is genuinely surprising to see us in the top half and only a few points off West Ham who had been credited as having a good season. Perspective is everything and it was easy to get carried away with Kloppomania, too many had expected instant changes in form, there were signs in patches, and hopefully once they are fixed up with a few new faces then perspective can change once more. Once the rotation set in since the Christmas period and injuries set in for Klopp's men their days as FPL options ceased, and that is why having more stability next season with less competitions might just be the formula to get back on track. With the close of the season it is has been a tiring season for Liverpool, and everyone associated with the club now can take a breather, and should the unexpected nature of the Premier League continue then we all need a second to collect our thoughts.
Player of the Season (Liverpool): Roberto Firmino After much debate, the magician Coutinho doesn't get my vote for player of the season. Sure, he has produced plenty of magic and moments to purr over, and for all his worth he did actually miss a large chunk of the season through injury and rotation. There was no consistency to his game, and this spot was originally going to go to Mamadou Sakho before...well, nothing really needs to be said. Instead the honor goes to Coutinho's fellow countryman Roberto Firmino who has shown huge potential and moments of his own brilliance. Utilised further forward in Klopp's setup Firmino has been a heavily influential player and he also formed a lethal partnership with James Milner who had a knack for setting up practically all of his goals when the Brazilian made it on to the scoresheet. Coming into the team from a different league, providing an outlet for goals and assists, and working hard for the team have made him an instant fan favourite among Red's supporters. Bigger things are sure to come of Firmino, that's for sure.
A Thank You from The Hype Train
This first season for us as a team has been a rewarding experience. We've grown from nothing into a growing part of a vast FPL community. We've not the exposure of some other wonderful FPL sites and social media accounts, but we are confident that if we stay true to our values of quality and differential expertise, there is no bar too high for The Hype Train. Throughout the season we believe that we provided some of the best written, graphically appealing fantasy football articles that you'll find on the world wide web. We even had a brief period as guest writers for the heavily popular Fantasy Football Pundits (@FFPundits).
In our first year alone our Twitter account has 1400+ followers, and since May 2015 we have amassed more than 1 million unique views. Our ad-free website has been visited by 5,000 unique visitors, and above all else we have enjoyed speaking to the many FPL addicts and football enthusiasts that interact with us. Our Hype Team always has room to grow, so if you are a football or review writer looking for some decent exposure, get in touch with us today. We're not hard too find, and friendly on the eyes.
So thanks for those who have boarded our vision, and we look forward to growing even more next season, with old and new faces alike.