RealFF are currently polling users to establish what positions some debatable players should feature in.
Firstly I must say this approach is to be applauded, the best way to ensure users are happy with the setup is to give them the power. Keep an eye on RealFF's social media platforms and cast your votes.
The easiest way to set player positions would have been to copy FPL, the 6 million user behemoth that currently dominates the fantasy landscape. This would appease FPL users used to seeing Salah and co in midfield, however there are some serious drawbacks to this approach. Firstly FPL and its player positions is built for the masses, so they tend to go with positions that make the game easiest to play. Being able to pick Salah, Sterling etc in midfield allows your mate's auntie to pick both them and other players she's heard of, as forwards dominate the public consciousness. For example the casual player will have heard of e.g. Richarlison and can pick him as a forward, but would they have heard of say Johann Berg Gudmundsson and be happy to take him in midfield? Probably not.
Being able to pick Salah, Sterling etc in midfield allows your mate's auntie to pick both them and other players she's heard of
The realists way of determining positions would be to ask 'what does the player do the most?'. Let's take Salah for example. If he tackles, makes tonnes of passes, wins headers etc then there's a strong argument to make him a midfielder. But as great as he is let's face it, Liverpool don't play him for his defensive ability. Salah shoots, he shoots a lot, mainly from inside the box. He scores from close range, not often from 30 yards out or via a towering header at a corner. That's a forward your honour.
The biggest driver for having dubious players as forwards, which has been reflected in the social media votes thus far, is position scarcity. This is something FPL doesn't have to think about too much, because each manager only needs to pick a maximum of five players per position, and they can all pick the same ones. Take a 10 team draft league for example, you need to have 30 forwards (10*3) to make up your ten squads. How feasible is this if you have Salah, Sterling, Zaha etc in midfield? The answer is not very, trust me i've struggled through it last season. What you end up with is the third forward spot being largely redundant, having to fill it with supersubs rather than actual starting forwards. No fun. By having the majority of the 'number 10' types as forwards it ensures all three forward spots can be utilised effectively, whilst still providing more than enough starting midfielders to fill the necessary spots.
By having the majority of the 'number 10' types as forwards it ensures all three forward spots can be utilised effectively
This is of course just my take, and it'll be interesting to see how the social media votes impact the upcoming season. There's the potential in the future that users could determine positions themselves as the site evolves I suspect, so keep an eye out for future developments.
Right, back to the beach. Currently enjoying a well earned break before the season kicks off. Cheers for now,
Follow the Gaffer on twitter at @RealFFGaffer