I wasn’t expecting that.
GW33 was not supposed to be like this. I had it all planned. I was setting up for a massive double gameweek 34. My wildcard was going to take me into the upper echelons, I could hear the Top 10 calling me. But no, at the time of writing I am the lowest scoring player on Page 1 of the FFUK league this gameweek, with just 35 points. FFUK indeed.
So here’s a little rundown of the games over the weekend, and it is all tinged with a feeling of what could have been, the fading hopes of achievement disappearing over the horizon for another season. Yes I am upset. Allow me that, ignoring the remaining game which takes place tonight between Everton & Palace it couldn’t have gone much worse for me. But I still have hope, and not a lot else, so hope will have to do.
First up, West Ham’s Andy Carroll bullied the mentally and physically fragile Arsenal defence. In fact he was the player of the gameweek, but I am guessing/hoping not too many own the pony tailed geordie. Arsenal fought back for a 3-3 draw with Ozil, Sanchez & Iwobi doing the damage. Now the pressure is off the Gunners I fully expect them to perform well until the end of the season.
The next top scoring players of the gameweek were a lot more popular though, unfortunately for me. Jamie Vardy is back at his own party now and scored both goals in the dismantling of Sunderland. I took Vardy out last week of course. The title is odds on for the Foxes but something still tells me there is a twist in this Premier League season.
Toby A. has been the stand out defender this season and has rejuvenated the Spurs defence, performing the best out of admittedly a very good bunch at White Hart Lane. Easily the best scoring defender this season, he got on the scoresheet in a 3-0 demolition of LVG’s Man Utd. I decided to get rid of Toby some weeks ago. Remind me why someone? I also removed the 2nd best scoring defender this season, Bellerin. I think I am sensing a pattern here.
Elsewhere, Bournemouth beat Villa 2-1. Man City beat West Brom by the same scoreline, although somewhat fortuitously if the highlights are anything to go by. Oh and of course Pellegrini rested KDB who I had just bought in on my wildcard.
Crystal Palace and Swansea both had 1-0 wins against Norwich and Chelsea respectively to assure safety for another season. Siggy of course did the damage for Swansea – and yes I took him out last week too. For Palace it was the pair of Joel Ward (one of Pete’s punts) and goalkeeper Hennessey who scooped the bulk of their points.
Southampton beat Newcastle 3-1 who now look doomed and facing at least one season out of the Premier League. More importantly Alexander Mitrovic has now become pivotal. How has it come to this? My season’s success or failure is pretty much down to how Newcastle’s number 45 fares in the last few weeks. I brought the Serbian brute in on my WC in place of Kane (what was I thinking/drinking?).
Liverpool also beat stoke 4-1 with a second string side. Klopp chose to leave Lovren, Sakho & Coutinho all out of his side and the replacements stepped up. Even Moreno scored!?! Of course I bought in Lovren & Coutinho this week but by now that won’t surprise you.
The only other game is the second of the gameweek for Palace & Everton tonight*
Ok, so that’s it, lets look at how all this has affected the FFUK league table. I am looking away now.
*N.B. in light of the 0-0 in the Everton Palace game last night my GW score is slightly more respectable now, thank you Joel Robles! Roll on DGW34…
In the words of Lester Deeble (11th); ‘wowzers… the league is changing’.
Indeed it is, and as we move into what is set to be a momentous week it has all changed at the top. Most notably, for the first time since December, Mark Turnbull (4th) is firmly out of the top places. Yes, despite the turmoil of the wildcard players Mark’s 63 points this gameweek were exceeded by Paul Baker (1st), Loz Kelly (2nd), and Sam Blake (3rd).
However, it was up into 5th for Stan Packham with a mesmerising 102 points. Stan was sensible enough to stick Henessey in goal as well as benefitting from Scott Dann’s double clean sheet. This was backed up with plenty of solid players; Huth, Alli, Ozil, Aguero and Vardy all did the business while Toby A was a shining star with 15 points. We will have to wait and see if Stan can perform so well next week and continue his ascent.
Elsewhere, Yabah Turnbull (10th) also played a blinder this week and also hit the century with his 100 points. Yabah had his fair share of the staples with Toby, Huth, Alli, Ozil, Aguero and Vardy too, backed up with a cheeky 10 points from Bournemouth’s Cook. Benching Bellerin this week for the Wham game was a bit of a masterstroke.
These scores all meant punishment for wildcarders Richard Harrison (8th) and Matthew Cox (9th) who both dropped this week. And yes, 12 players in the Top 50 wildcarded this week and most performances fell short, with none of them keeping the gem of Toby A, all being set up for the upcoming gameweek rather than GW33. So now the scene is set, surely these wildcard teams will fare better in a week when 10 Premier League teams play twice!?!
And that’s it for this week, or is it? The weekend is already, almost upon is, and this week, it’s not just a weekend, there are Premier League games Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to follow (on TV every night too).
Blaze of Glory chosen by Pete, that other tune was Chris’s choice.