Welcome to the GW25 review. My own score (45) was below the average (47 for those of you keeping note), but I was holding it together remarkably well until the end. Almost. Watching a Manchester City game in recent weeks without one of their attacking assets is painful, watching one where the forward you have only just transferred out comes on after 14 minutes is torture. Every time he got the ball anywhere near the goal my words were the same. No No No. Thanks to Dawn Penn for helping me, in some small part, recover and providing us with this absolute reggae classic. Ja.
Now I have Jesus (1) to thank for another problem. A familiar recurring issue I have been having all season – an Aguero (5) shaped one. It’s getting silly now. Jesus went off injured in the Monday Night Football against Burnley, a massive blow for the 22 FFUKers who captained the holy one, who it turns out heals at the same rate as other footballers. 2 to 3 months out with a broken metatarsal apparently. I watched as Kun casually adjusted his shirt and rose from the bench, without a care in the world. The old me would have seen this as an opportunity to bring him back in. Oh yes. He has to get a run of starts now until Jesus returns, and who knows exactly when that is. Only for Pep to try out a new false 6, front 2 combo combination with Sagna (7) and KDB (3) in the next game, leaving Aguero benched. Never second guess Pep. Never go back.
I am holding strong but by the time I have finished writing this review I will probably have sowed the seed of doubt that, come next Friday, will have flowered into a full on fantasy melt down. Looking forward to that. My feelings for Sergio will always run deep but its different now and I just have to deal with it. I need to find an alternative City source of points to turn my advances towards.
On to the captaincy pick first, what fun we have, deliberating throughout the week, back and forth, finally make the decision then doubt ourselves before going with our original choice. Or is this just me? Whilst I owned Sanchez (15), I wasn’t one of the 57 who gave him the armband, by far the most popular choice. Well done to all of you. Even though the first goal was a handball, Arsenal should have been reduced to 10 men and the last minute penalty was dubious too. But the fantasy gods are not bothered by details like this. 2 goals, clean sheet, max bonus in a 2-0 win. I foolishly gave the honour of captaincy to Zlatan (5) who got an assist and, according to their manager, is part of a team that are playing amazing football at the moment. It’s weird but I just thought they had drawn lots of games. Could have been so different. Could have been worse I guess.
As mentioned United won 2-0 but I was expecting more. Liverpool beat Spurs by the same scoreline with Mane (16) the main man with a brace and, by virtue of the fact that he wasn’t booked, he was also the highest scoring player of gameweek 25. What a performance. Did anyone have both Sanchez and Mane? Those two could be a mighty fantasy combo in the latter stages of this season.
There were also 9 clean sheets, rather more than usual and welcome relief for those who owned defensive assets from Arsenal, Man Utd, City, Boro, Everton, Stoke, Southampton, Liverpool and Swansea. Somehow I only managed 1 clean sheet from that lot, thanks to Seamus Coleman (7).
Alfie Mawson (15) is a relatively new name to these pages, but we may well be hearing a lot more about him in the future. Sounding like a gangster from the east end of london in the 60s, young centre back Alfie Mawson was born in Hillingdon, signed for Brentford then came to prominence at Barnsley before signing for Swansea last summer. At 4.5 in FPL and with another goal (already his 3rd of the season), clean sheet and max bonus he is certainly on my watchlist.
Other notable scorers were Mawson’s defensive colleagues Olsson (14) and Fernandez (10) along with the West Ham midfield pair of Lanzini (13) and Feghouli (12). Southampton duo Bertrand (14) with new man Gabbiadini (12) also rewarded their owners plus forgotten man Anthony Martial (12) reminded us of his prowess. Not exactly popular picks. If like me, you owned none of these then dont panic. No No No. Actually panic.
In summary it felt like a gameweek whereby if you captained Sanchez then you made it through to the other side relatively unscathed. If like me, you owned him but didn’t captain then you are scrambling around for points. If you don’t own him I can only imagine how that feels, but it is probably worth pointing out that he is, by some distance, currently 36 points, the best player in the game. Not ideal and my team continues to sink, slowly but with no real signs of recovery, unlike the plummeting champions Leicester City who each week look more like a Championship side. I know Duncan Hannigan (121st) had a punt on the foxes getting relegated this time round. Did anyone else foresee that their fall from grace would be quite so spectacular?
But before the panic really sets in, let’s read about the top 50 in the FFUK league, that is sure to help…
We could be forgiven for thinking that it looks like a 2 horse race at the top with Nick Johns (1st) holding out for now but only by 3 points. The man right behind him is Sean Colohan (2nd) and he is in red hot form opening up an impressive 63 point gap to David Pegg (3rd).
Therefore there is only one man to talk about in the FFUK league right now. Coolers has enjoyed a stellar season so far, consistently in the top 10, and confidently steering his team through the various obstacles we are all faced with as the season progresses (apart from a couple of minor meltdowns on the WhatsApp group). Its been a sea of green arrows, however after a couple of disappointing weeks Sean played his wildcard and wow did it work. We have all seen that pushing the button doesn’t always produce instant results. When struggling, sometime it feels like all you do is swap around a few bench players, at worst it can even derail your season. It must be incredibly satisfying when your brand new team goes and gets you the highest score in the league – 83 points! 👏👏👏👏👏👏
How did he do it? Well to save me going into details lets just admire Sean’s handywork below. That Mane (16) pick was inspired! It looks really good. Not much more I need to add.
Coolers wasnt the only one who had a good week. Over in Dubai Jim Wheat (6th) will also have enjoyed his weekend, another having a strong season. Previously picked out by yours truly as one to watch, Jim has managed with that huge increase in expectations perfectly. A lesser manager may have crumbled 😉 A score of 75 certainly can’t be sniffed at. It is also interesting to note that the $$$$$ man also used his WC this week. Was this the week to use it? 7 FFUKers thought so. Other than Jesus (1) the new team looks very strong and the Alfie Mawson (15) selection is particularly impressive. With his team well placed until now will this WC be enough to fire him to the top of the league?
However it wasn’t all roses and milk tray, some of us struggled. I share your pain. But lets discover who was the worst in the top 50 before we quickly look at some familiar names just on the other side of the fence.
The award (which luckily doesn’t actually exist) for lowest scorer in the top 50 goes to Christopher Reynolds (30th). Captain Costa (4) didn’t work out but he wasn’t alone, 26 FFUKers also went with the Chelsea front man. Valencia (5), Clyne (6) and Chambers (7) held strong but the rest were out of sorts.
James Prebble (21st) is also going the wrong way down the table with just 40 points this week. Big Rom (4) couldnt help him. And he too has a Jesus (1) problem now. Even his trusty Chelsea trio let him down.
I couldn’t help but notice that a couple of familiar names had slipped from the top 50 completely and I wanted to check where they had ended up. Neil Stewart (51st) has clearly taken his eye off the ball recently, with a couple of good reasons, although he was another who used his WC but not quite to the same effect as the aforementioned pair. 39 points. Siggy (6) captain. It must have been a rollercoaster of emotions. I can imagine you have been getting very little sleep recently 🍼🍼 What’s your excuse Sam Blake (52nd)?
However on the flip side our very own Hoffmeister, Steve Cronin (55th) and the reigning champ Paul Baker (53rd) are on the up. Keep an eye on these two. More green arrows required if they are to make it to the top echelons but they are going in the right direction.
Pete Cronin (29th) will be providing us all with a FFUK cupdate shortly but it’s the FA Cup taking over this weekend so as fantasy managers we can relax, kick back and chill. Enjoy yourself, let your hair down. The pressure is off. But beware it’s about to get heavy. Are you ready for the run in? When does the run-in actually begin? It would be good to know. Our FPL squads and our own management is about to be seriously tested.
Looking forward to GW26 we have 4 sides without a game because of the League Cup final on Sunday. How inconsiderate! How many players do you have in your squad from the following sides? Man Utd, City, Arsenal & Southampton. Then in GW28 there is going to be fixture chaos once more, more on that soon, once the FA Cup is out of the way we will know more.
It’s going to get rocky but once we get through this we are going to be firmly in the run-in and no doubt looking closely at the big hitters to work out where our money should be focused. A good few of us have even held the Wildcard to restructure if necessary. What we need is a dead cert, in a really attacking team, a gem, a big hitter that no-one else will think of, someone who can score goals, loads of goals…
Sergio Aguero anyone?
No No No