Welcome to the GW29 Review. After the Mayhem of 28 it was a relief to get back to a full fixture list. I was away working in Holland so missed all the action at the weekend but I have now had a chance to sit down with Gary, Alan and Graeme to catch up with the highlights. Lets go through it all and find out who THE MAN is.
There were 5 clean sheets in all. Sunderland and Burnley accounted for two of these in a bore draw but those holding any defensive assets were delighted including either of popular GK combo Pickford (10) & Heaton (10) who shared the max bonus. Palace earnt another with an Allardyce win over Watford with Sakho (9) the star man once again at the back. I am still unsure as to why Liverpool let, arguably, their best defender go to Crystal Palace in January. Bournemouth were another who kept it tight at the back, unusually for them, cant imagine too many are holding defensive assets from the Cherries. The other clean sheet went to Everton who are in the midst of quite a run. Coleman (6) owners were once again rewarded (other Everton defenders are available).
However the best scoring player for the gameweek was a defender not from one of the aforementioned sides but from West Brom. Step into the limelight Craig Dawson (17) with 2 goals and of course max bonus in a 3-1 win over the Gunners. What a man! Did anyone have him? Who would have known that a Pulis side with 8 central defenders might target set pieces against Arsenal but it was ok because Arsene had foreseen this and gone with a daunting trio of midfield enforcers – Xhaka (6), The Ox (2) and Aaron Ramsey (2). It was like men against boys. And the game will probably be more memorable to many fans for the conflicting banners seen flying over the Hawthorns. Says everything really.
Now to the man of the moment. In attack there were plenty of goals going around but hopes for most FFUKers were firmly pinned on one man, 108 in fact gave him the armband including 42 of the top 50, Romelu Lukaku (16) duly responded with a brace and an assist to go with his max bonus, but he made his owners wait until 12 minutes from the end before he got going and it certainly could be argued that if it were not for a slightly harsh red to Huddlestone (-1) then none of this would have been possible. Hull were certainly more competitive before the dismissal. This is one of those times where being away and missing the action can actually be a good thing, I am sure the heart rates of many FFUKers were just beginning to fluctuate before Big Rom did his thing. Top scorer in the league now and breaking records all the time. That is 81 goals in 177 appearances in the Premier League but more impressively 21 goals in 28 appearances this season. For more stats on the big man click here. Do Everton fans still think that he is staying beyond the end of this season? I can’t see it myself.
In midfield the best scoring players all scored a perfect 10. Lanzini (10) was a popular pick and is continuing his renaissance this season, the perfect antidote for West Ham fans after the Payet departure. Elsewhere the less fancied Lingard (10), Ward-Prowse (10) and Willian (10) also scored well. Sanchez (9), so often the man this season, didnt disappoint his owners either.
There were some seriously good scores around with the Lukaku captaincy at the heart of them. Lets take a look at the FFUK top 50 to discover more and find out who the man is this week…
Nick Johns (1st) retains top spot, up to 268 in the world. Incredible form. His move this week was to bring in Sanchez (9) for Tom Carroll (2), nice move. As an Everton fan it is no surprise his captain was Big Rom (32). Sean Colohan (2nd) closes the gap to the top but only by 3 points. What’s the plan Coolers to overthrow the leader?
Watch your back though as our very own Matt Reid (3rd) is on the charge after a stellar weekend scoring 94 points. We don’t need to go into the captain details for anyone who has scored well this week. In alphabetical order Reidy could also count on Alonso (6), Aguero (6), Baines (6), King (8), Pickford (10) and Valencia (8) to get his total to dizzying heights.
Even with all that Matt isn’t the man this week though. He went close but one man soared higher than the rest… Ok lets do this.
We need to talk about Pete (13th). 103 points. Phenomenal. YOU ARE THE MAN! Congratulations on your recent membership to the 100 club. With the aid of a canny Bench Boost chip (worth 19 points) Pete climbs up the table and perhaps more pertinently wins his Cup Quarter Final and is in a great position to finish the season strongly. Perhaps the highlight of the BB was his GK combo of Heaton (10) & Pickford (10) – it doesnt get much better than that! I can take no credit for any of this unfortunately, and our side bet looks to be heading firmly in his favour. I am genuinely pleased for you, not about the side bet of course – that keeps me awake at night, but I have to find some pleasure in this game and if my own performances are as pathetic as they have been recently then at least I can get some joy even if it is vicariously through your team. Go Pete! It’s at this time that Aloe Blacc’s words are ringing clear and I hope you are singing along by now Pete, you’ve definitely earnt it… “Yeah you can tell everybody, Go ahead and tell everybody, I’m the Man, I’m the Man, Im the Man.”
However on the other side of the fence, there are some unhappy FFUKers and its only fair that we take a moment to discuss these. Im sure Pete wouldn’t want me to wax lyrical about his fantasy prowess any longer 😉
The overall FPL average this week was 47 points. However there is one common theme in the lowest scores in the FFUK top 50. You don’t have to be Columbo to work out that Lukaku was not their captain. In fact if you didn’t own him then there were problems. I can only imagine what it must feel like. My own team performance of 55 demonstrates perfectly that picking the right captain certainly can save the day, with a massive 32 of my points coming from the Big Belgian.
The unwanted award for worst score of the gameweek this time goes to Jim Wheat (11th) with just 37 points accrued, I wont mention the 8 point hit especially as there was a premature Kane in and out move in there, painful. Despite owning the man of the moment Jim handed the armband to Barkley (6) which in hindsight was a strange move, even with the England midfielders improved form recently. I must apologise Jim as I recently talked your chances up as I thought you were about to challenge the top 2 and now you face a challenge to get back into the top 10, it was never my intention to curse your team. However it isn’t all bad, I am pretty sure most of the managers in the league would want to swap places with you, I certainly would!
The other man below average is Dean Collins (29th) who managed 46 points. Another who decided against giving the armband to the man in form. Dean went with the 2nd most popular option. Costa (2) who was given the responsibility by 27 FFUKers, quite some distance behind the most popular pick. Diego responded with a furious performance but that didn’t quite equate to any fantasy points. Both Dean and Jim (and everyone else for that matter) should at this stage remember that it is by no means over, there are hundreds of points to play for and you are both sitting (relatively) pretty to make an assault on the top. You can still be the man! That’s what I keep telling myself anyway.
March is done and dusted, Manager of the Month was Steven Almond (35th) with 229 points. Congratulations Steve! Pete has updated the tab accordingly. There is lots more going on right now too. In both of the cups we are now entering the semi finals stage. The draw for the semis of the FFUK Cup will actually take place LIVE this evening. The excitement is almost palpable. Make sure you follow us on Facebook or Twitter to hear the news first, in fact why not check out our SOCIAL page to see all the different ways you can keep up to date with the FFUK community, come and join the FFUK family.
We now enter the dreaded international break. Without our regular fix we can afford ourselves a little relaxation. It’s a time to take stock and replenish energy for the final run in. And what a run in it promises to be. I still haven’t started my comeback, actually whats the opposite of a comeback? Because that is exactly where I am at right now! Only 9 gameweeks remain and the importance of each one is ramped up from here on in. Don’t get too relaxed though we need to go again. I need some serious motivation and I often find it is best if I talk to myself in a Mr T voice, you aint no crazy fool, you’re Da Man!