Welcome to the GW16 REVIEW – SNOW
Whilst the Snow didn’t mean any games were cancelled we were reminded just how much events beyond our control can effect our success (or otherwise) in this game. As the frequency of fixtures ramped up the temperature dropped and the snow fell. It was big coat time. Wherever you were in the country. Miike Snow is therefore the musical help this week and for those of you that have had a rough week lets go with Black and Blue. Fortunately bruises recover quickly and we go again this evening!
There were 4 big games over the weekend that shaped our fantasy fortunes. In the early kick off Chelsea went to the taxpayers stadium to take on David Moyes’ West Ham. Consequently many of us loaded up with 2 or even 3 Chelsea assets, many with the weight of an armband. It didn’t go to plan. West Ham scored early on and defended well but Chelsea were not at the races. After a tough midweek outing against Atletico where they played well but were wasteful, this time around both Hazard (2) and Morata (2) were starved of any real service and couldn’t find space to create. As for Conte he doesnt look happy at the moment and the 352 doesnt seem as effective against teams that sit back, Bakayoko looks lost at the moment after a promising start. I think Drinkwater may play himself into the midfield over next few fixtures. But I will save the Chelsea rant for if we struggle against Huddersfield, it may just be a blip.
Next up the 3 O’Clock kick off big fixture saw Spurs host an out of sorts Stoke at Wembley. Despite the issues at home this season Spurs were still expected to deliver. But we have been here before this season. Despite some concerns the weight of expectancy was on Harry Kane (12) once more. Thankfully for the 83 FFUKers who selected the Spurs talisman he came good with a brace. A handy reminder to those of us who were considering getting rid. And a nasty cold to those who decided to get rid already. On the day Kane was outshone by his South Korean team-mate Heung Min Son (16) who, with 1 goal, 2 assists and max bonus, was the top scoring player of the gameweek. Not many owned in reality but that will change as people look for a short term fix, he will benefit if Pochettino continues to play 4 at the back as it allows him to play in the 3 behind Kane with Eriksen (8) and Alli (6).
Next up Super Sunday or Derby Day. To be honest they call it Super Sunday every week so they had to come up with something different. 2 Derbies. 2 Cities. You have heard it all before. But there was a lot at stake, not least in our fantasy teams. Depending on how Saturday had gone Sunday was more or less vital. The snow was really falling now up to a couple of inches in places. The country ground to a halt. So much so many of us were snowed in, handy with 3 games back to back on TV. Or in my case unable to get a train into London.
But before all that there was the Merseyside Derby which felt like a support band. However there are times when the support band turns out to be better than the headliner but not on this occasion largely because of Everton’s defensive approach. A game Liverpool controlled from the beginning despite Klopp’s team selection. At this time of the season we expect rotation (in fact it is something we dread) and we have seen Klopp use it to mixed success before. This time felt different. Just when we had given Liverpool’s front 4 a new nickname Klopp dropped 2 of them to the bench and started Solanke (2) and Oxlade-Chamberlain (2) . It felt like a big call and when Salah (11) opened the scoring it looked like Klopp’s gamble had paid off. The Egyptian’s incredible form continues and shows no sign of slowing. More than that Liverpool were on top, and creating chances. But then he gambled again and at 1-0 took off Salah at 66 minutes, the highest scoring player of the season, and replaced him with his band member Bobby (1). An able replacement but Salah should have stayed on the pitch (unless he was injured) until the 2nd goal was scored in my opinion, what may have been a matter of minutes to secure the game and win the derby. I think Klopps media friendly image has meant he avoids criticism to this point but I am ready to give it as I see it. However the German’s angry outburst in the post match interviews suggested all was not well and I cant help think that he must regret some of his decisions around this game. I believe Liverpool would and should have won the game, not many will disagree with that. As it was Everton were allowed back into it with a soft penalty which Rooney (8) converted in the 77th minute to continue to his streak. With something to hold onto it became a different game for the Toffees and the 1-1 scoreline only told half the story. Mini rant over, I promised Duncan Hannigan (173rd) I would go into more detail!
One man braved the elements, regardless of the almost certain danger he was clearly in. The snow was not going to stop Daron Russell (16th) missing the Manchester Derby. However the Train wankers decided otherwise and ruined his day. After a day of cancelled trains and waiting rooms Mr Russell can console himself with a very good position in the league with which to make his charge to the top from, keep an eye on this FFUKer!
In terms of the game City were dominant, as expected. But when Rashford (6) scored an equalizer just before half time there looked a slither of light for Utd fans. However in the 2nd half City exerted their superiority and ran out 2-1 victors although in truth it could be argued Utd were lucky to get off so lightly. I have said it before and I am not alone. City are on another level to everyone else this season, the league is theirs already and the rest are all playing for 2nd place. Fortunately the FFUK league is not that predictable and anyone on Page 1 is still well in contention. Lets investigate the latest…
Phil Smith (1st) retains his spot at the top courtesy of a healthy 60 points. Phil went with Kane (12 x 2) captain which meant his score looked after itself. Salah (11) and Naughton (7) chipped in to help too.
Quick mention for Matt Cox (5th) who is another on a good run recently after 55 points this weekend. Coxey also captained the Hurrikane for his brace. It was the thing to do this week. He has worked his way into the top 10. Coxey is a a veteran of the game and is another to keep an eye on as we enter the flurry of festive fixtures. Neil Stewart (29th) is in red hot form making his way up the league after 72 points scored, not good news for our side bet!
However the best scorer in the league was a real HERO and therefore it is only right that we discuss some of them from the weekend!
- Put your hands together for Clifford Fox (107th) who rose 49 places from 156th after scoring a avalanche inducing 82 points and was the top scorer in the league this weekend. Magnificent stuff and of course Kane was his captain but there was a lovely symmettry across his midfield of Tadic (8), Milivojevic (8), Eriksen (8) and Silva (8) all contributing equally.
- Colm Ryan (82nd) rose 46 places from 128th to 82nd after scoring 81 points.
- Rachel Lynch (116th) rose 36 places from 152nd after scoring 74 points
These three are the real heroes this week. I bet they were out clearing driveways and spreading salt for us normal folk. Snow is clearly no obstacle to this trio, in fact they thrive in it!
However as winter approaches there were 3 that slipped on the ice and fell furthest, none of these captained Kane funnily enough:
- Paul Huntley (163rd) fell 34 places after scoring just 28 points
- Chris Panayi (97th) fell 42 places from 55th after scoring just 24 points
- James Simpson (166th) fell 45 places from 121st after scoring just 31 points
However there was one Zero snowed under all others and that was Amelia Cooper (215th) who mustered a miserable 18 points. Ouch! Stay strong Amelia, you get to revive your season straight away with the midweek fixtures
Once again I have to announce the removal of someone from the Conts league despite not being in it anymore. Unfortunately it is the turn of one of the youngest FFUKers in the league to go. Theo Allen (218th) goes and it was close after he managed 32 points. Mark Ford (152nd) also scored 32 points but suvives by virtue of his higher overall rank. The first time this season we have had to use this to decide. Fordy is a lucky boy and the no-show of Aguero (0) did for Theo. I wonder if the kid is being badly advised to be honest. As it is Pete has done the removal, i think he likes the power. And we go again in GW17, another FFUKer will depart. It’s harsh but that is life. We move on and those that have lost out are soon forgotten.
That is it for another gameweek, as always thanks for reading. We go again straight away this evening and the dreaded R word is on the tip of our tongues. Klopp, Pep et al. will take great satisfaction in swapping their teams around, they must know the panic they cause around the time of team lineups. I am sure Blakey (20th) will be on hand to supply the WhatsApp group with the latest news as it happens. Im off to assess the wreckage that is my FPL team right now. I have 2 out, 1 who wont start and about 4 others who are at major risk of missing out. And I have promised no more hits. Well maybe one more, tis the season.