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Coping with change.

In two recent polls here at NMA, we discussed how you would approach the addition of the bench.The earlier of the two saw a majority of 53% voting for what I called, the "Crash & Burn" method, which is basically 4 fillers for the bench positions. The more recent of the two saw a whopping 59% vote for the bench being the best change so far this season. Will this indeed continue to be the case as we learn to cope with the change?

Chris Brunskill

Often, after we have had a little time to look over a situation, what appeared early on to be all gloom & doom, slowly changes, and little by little small rays of sunshine begin work their way in.

Early on it seemed there was only one approach to the new BENCH situation, and that was to load it up with useless fillers and spend our war chest on the best starting 11 possible. Although this remains a very popular choice I believe many are now considering the alternative of using the bench as a small sanctuary for our own, individually chosen, discounted players in order to guard against price jumps and more.

My own personal thoughts have changed and see the 4-3-3 and the 4-4-2 formations as a clear way to maximize this particular choice. Last season I cannot remember a single week using a 4-defender formation but this is not last years it?

Regardless of the formation chosen, I just CANNOT come up with an argument for ALL- 4 bench spots however, the two formations listed above give way to a solid option for the remaining two. Certainly between players like Navas, Paulino,Bony,Jovetic,Negredo and more I am certain I can spare the 13-15 million from my enormous budget and take advantage of their low low introductory prices. A formation of 4-3-3 allows me a Navas & Paulino bench option for the low price of 12.60 combined. The 4-4-2 puts Bony & Nevas in my pocket for only 13.59 and so on.

ONE possible way to show this being a benefit is take a player like Bony. Swansea's first 5/6 games are brutal with Manchester United, Tottenham, West Brom, Liverpool, Crystal Palace, and Arsenal. Even an above average performance against United would not see you grab him to play the Spurs and so on throughout this opening schedule but his cost could slowly rise from an introductory 7.3 to maybe the 11-12 range. Positioned in a bench roll, this possible savings on a player you believe is a POSSIBLE must have going forward, will certainly overshadow the small initial investment of a player sitting on the bench.

As with any move we do, of course it's a gamble but so is our Captain's choice each week and so on.

So, has anyone else changed their game plan over the past week?


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