10 gameweeks have come and gone. Your opening moves have set the foundations which will echo through till the endgame. The middlegame starts now!

As in chess, different stages of the FPL game demand different strategies as defined by your opening, the returns accrued by your assets, plus their associated individual and club form, or lack of! You may have also become attuned to your style of management, it’s flaws or strengths and how it not only directly influences your frequency of red/green arrows, but also how it plays into your state of mind. By now we all have at the very least a rough idea of which assets & clubs will be the stars of the season. We’ve used this knowledge to litter our squads with reliable medium to long-term assets who will steadily return points, whilst continuously ruminating on future moves & assets which will return explosive points hauls.

So, are we prepared? 🤔

I personally believe (and this may well be completely subjective) that the basis of the opening is to set yourself up to attack the game (obvious when looked at from a chess aspect) via reconnaissance and strategy development. To this end, I am more than happy with my squad. This satisfaction now allows me to focus on switching from a calibrating mindset to one which is more anticipatory, and aggressive!

A focused mind produces enhanced results.

Unless you’re a Master, your opening will have more in-built weaknesses than less. You may also have changed tact during your opening due to the counter-openings the game threw at you (poor City/Utd/Liv-DF form, unexpected AVL/TOT/SOU form). You may already be knee-jerking into points chasing. Or, like me, overly fixated on trying to anticipate moves the game hasn’t even thrown up, countering moves which may never happen! Such as, Son & Kane breezing through their fixture turn, which so far, hasn’t seen them exactly drop off of a cliff. This with their ownership threatens to overrun the centre squares subduing my avenues of attack! As in all things however – besides death and taxes – I have options and my preemptory (impulsive?) moves of ditching both Son & Kane for GW9 have yet to fully play out.

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” Sun Tzu

Akiyama Buemon - Tsuki hyakushi - Walters 95348.jpg

The Art of War is firstly a recognition of your personal state of awareness. You’ve assembled all your provisions, you have a plan of action, you’ve accounted for envisioned outcomes and are even ready to tackle the unexpected! All the while aware of the mental challenges you’ll face and your endeavour to at least attempt to master your emotions! With all of these checked off on your list, the battleground is yours to conquer!

My list is all checked. I’m locked and loaded for the onslaught of December and the horde of GWs it brings! Once GW11 commences on the 5th of December, the Premier League will have 26 days to complete a full 6GWs of matches! Then, we’ll immediately be assaulted by GW17 on the 2nd day of the New Year! After a brief respite, the 7-day battle of blanks & doubles in GWs 18 & 19, will leave us situated within proximation of the end stages of the middlegame. The status report of GW20 will be crucial to the overall percentage of success our endgame strategy will contain.

“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.” Sun Tzu

Remember this as you go into combat.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-5-1024x697.png