Welcome the the gameweek 22 review. It certainly was one to remember. On a weekend where my fantasy team under-performed I learnt a valuable life lesson. Its a funny old game as someone once said. My Monty Python outlook was nothing to do with my own FPL performance. 52 points was unremarkable yet I am grateful for the little victories, if you look hard enough there is always something, consequently it is reassuring that in fantasy football there is always someone more unfortunate than you. For I am through to the 6th round of the FPL cup – don’t think I have ever been this far before, leaving a trail of dead teams in my wake. Plus I also narrowly won my H2H tie against arch enemy 😉 Neil Stewart (21st) by just 3 points. Even made it through the 1st round of Last Man Standing. Oh and it wasn’t a bad weekend for Chelsea either. Lets investigate.
It began with a big bang as Swansea defeated Liverpool 3-2 in the early kick off, with braces for Bobby (14) and Llorente (13). The Spaniard along with Andy Carroll (13), who also scored twice, both provide interesting alternatives for our front lines. But this was a huge result in terms of both the top and bottom of the league. Then in the 3pms the highlight (for me and many others) was Man Utd stumbling against Stoke. 1-1. Lovely stuff but nothing to see here from an FPL perspective.
The most intriguing game was saved for the evening kick off where Spurs hosted Man City. It ended up a 2-2 draw somehow even though City dominated throughout. When I saw the City lineup I, along with many others who thought they knew what they were talking about, laughed. We all thought Yaya (2) on his own with little David Silva (2) and KDB (13) would get trampled all over by the powerful spurs midfield. How would the shoddily assembled City defence marshalled by Lord Kolarov (1) and Otamendi (0), who’s every tackle looks like a booking, deal with the onslaught from Spurs. We were completely wrong. City dominated and were impressive all over the pitch. Poch has problems now with his defence whilst Pep’s side purred and have 3 fantastic fixtures next. Who needs a central midfield? Is this Guardiola’s new masterplan a 4 1 0 5 formation. Who knows? But what i do know is this is exactly why we all love this game, in fact I would even go so far as to say it’s MY FAVOURITE GAME. And this was all before Super Sunday had even started.
First up Southampton smashed the reigning champions 3-0. Leicester are in a sorry state right now, incredible loss of form. OK they over performed last season and there was always going to be a hangover. I predicted them to finish bottom half but the way they are going they could finish a lot closer to the bottom 3 than I thought. Cedric (12) was highest scorer but JWP (10) with a goal and bonus was the star of the show. JRod (8) also got on the score-sheet and all look like great options for the strong Saints upcoming fixtures. Clean sheet for those with Southampton defenders. Good start.
Then just as the Roasties were going in the oven Arsenal entertained Burnley. I say entertained… for the first hour not a lot happened. I am not sure there were actually any Arsenal fans at the ground. Then the game kicked into life. Mustafi (7) got the goal and it looked like everything was going to plan but Burnley were resilient. In injury time the away side were awarded a penalty that Andre Gray (8) duly converted. 1-1. Seconds to go. Then the offside goal. Another one. It seems like there are more this season. Rant warning… When will referees get the views that we all get in seeing a replay? It is ridiculous that they are not helped. Get rid of linesman – they are pointless. Just need a man at the side of the pitch with a screen. Job done. However this is definitely a subject for another day – How would you improve the game? Sanchez (7) scored the pen by the way with a lovely Panenka. A massive relief for all 80 FFUKers who gave him the armband, by far the most popular selection.
The final match of the gameweek saw Chelsea face Hull. Chelsea ran out 2-0 victors with Costa (6) and Cahill (15) getting the goals. Diego’s start and goal put to bed his recent will he/wont he saga. With all the other teams at the top dropping points (apart from the Gunners) Chelsea couldn’t afford to slip up. It was a professional performance. However in all honesty the game may well be remembered for a sickening head injury to Ryan Mason. He is now recovering in hospital and making a recovery after initial fears that the injury could have been life threatening. Thankfully it isn’t. Ok that was that.
What effect did all of this have on the FFUK top 50?
The top 3 remain the same but only just. This trio have been at the summit now since GW10. But there are cracks showing and the chasing pack are not just closing in, they are, in some cases, preparing to smash the doors down! Is there a shift of power on the FFUK horizon?
Nick Johns (1st) clings to top spot but by only 4 points. Sean Colohan (2nd) is right on his tail after scoring 87 points this time round, 2nd highest score in the league. How did Coolers manage this? Well with the aid of his bench boost chip which gave him an additional 12 points. I just wonder if that chip could have been used to greater effect later in the season but for now Sean knows best. Who am I to argue? Carroll (12), Bobby (14) and MacAuley (12) all did the business for him along with Captain Sanchez (16).
Jim Wheat (4th) is the man who looks best positioned to plan an assault on the top 3. His 66 this week was solid if unspectacular but takes him to just 2 points behind Stuart Newton (3rd). Jim’s team looks strong on paper. 10 green arrows in a row and now ranked in the top 20K overall with a bench boost, triple captain and wildcard in his pocket. Definitely one to watch.
The best scorer in the league this week was John McHugh (40th) with a whopping 94 points. Incredible prowess. John also used a chip but went for the triple captain on Sanchez (24) which garnered an additional 8 points. Once again I would think there is potential for more points if these chips are used later in the season but I can see the reasoning for using them now for it may be too late by then to make a difference. Now is the time to make a run for the top of the league. His impressive supporting cast included Foster (7), Kos (8), Coleman (15), MacAuley (12), Bobby (14) and even James Milner (6) chipped in. His front line of Negredo (2), Lukaku (2) and Defoe (2) didnt.
However it wasnt all cream cakes and cocktails. The scoring was, on the whole, particularly low this weekend. Further investigation on the Official FPL Twitter confirmed why… “Did you know that 11 of the top 14 points scorers from GW22 were in less than 10% of all squads?” Fascinating stuff I am sure you will agree. So there were more low scores than high ones to talk about so its only fair that we move onto a couple of these.
The lowest score in the top 50 was shared this week. Both Mark Ford (24th) and Andy Letham (44th) only managed 38 points. Ouch. Fordy in particular has seen a remarkable fall from grace, a fixture in the top 10 until just a couple of weeks ago. This is a cruel game sometimes. His Hazard (6) captain pick wasnt great but the rest of his team let him down too apart from Sanchez (8) and Williams (7). Andy’s story was similar but he went with Aguero (4) captain. In fact it could have been a whole lot worse if Fletcher (10) hadnt autsubbed in after Snoddy didnt play. Chin up gents. Plenty to play for. You can go up this league as quickly as you go down it.
See below for the GW22 stats from our very own Hoffmeister, Steve Cronin (86th) who seems to have taken his eye off the ball recently. Whats going on Steve? I understand you are in Wildcard heaven right now, so enjoy the next week of tinkering.
There we go. Another gameweek gone. As I have been writing this I have of course been listening to the Cardigan’s classic – My Favourite Game. Great video too. I definitely had a big crush on her back in the 90s. But this time it was the lyrics that struck a chord, I didn’t realise lead singer, Nina Persson, was such a big fan of fantasy football… Clearly she wasn’t having her best season when she wrote this.