Welcome to the GW37 REVIEW – A WHITER SHADE OF PALE
With Chris away in Poland this week, apparently interspersing work with vodka consumption, it’s down to me to deliver this week’s review. In fact Chris’ Polish hangover was that bad he said it was one of the worst one he’s ever had. But I did warn him about drinking polish 😉
It’s ok you can carry on chuckling as you read, as that joke is the perfect segue into this week’s track and theme. There’s a scene in the film Withnail and I when one of the protagonists resorts to drinking lighter fluid – “a far superior drink to meths”. I just hope you don’t have antifreeze in your toolbox Chris. This week’s track is a true classic, originally by Procol Harum, that featured in Withnail and I: A WHITER SHADE OF PALE. I’m sure you will welcome the various vomit-related puns and quotes from both the film and the song throughout this review. And if you haven’t seen the film or don’t know the song then you should.
I for one went A WHITER SHADE OF PALE several times during GW37, including when Monreal was left out of Arsenal’s starting line-up, when Monreal was left out of Arsenal’s starting line-up for a second time, when Sterling was left out Man City’s starting line-up, when I heard that Arnautovic was injured, and twice more when Jesus – who I’d Triple Captained – blanked in each of his appearances. And that was all before my ‘Best Gameweek Score’ was beaten (more on that later). I was certainly feeling kinda seasick.
Indeed, despite the hype surrounding what was expected to be a mammoth double gameweek, it ended up leaving many of us feeling slightly queasy. This time last year Lester Deeble (6th) scored 192 points in GW37 to secure the prize for Best Gameweek Score of 2016/17. That was after playing his Bench Boost chip and benefiting from four goals from his captain Harry Kane. This time around many FFUKers were hoping for déjà vu, with 93 of you handing Harry Kane the captain’s armband, and 35 of going a step further and making him their Triple Captain:
Plenty of others used the Triple Captain chip on the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling, whereas 38 of you utilised the Bench Boost chip. There were even three Free Hits in play. But even those that didn’t play a chip took steps to maximise the number of double gameweek players in their ranks. Unfortunately, for the majority of us, things didn’t really pan out as we all hoped and we were left feeling a bit worse for wear.
It all started a day earlier than normal, on Friday evening. Brighton players didn’t exactly look very appetising with Man United and then Man City as their double gameweek opponents, but those of us who kept faith with Pascal Gross profited from his goal as Brighton upset an off-colour Man United side. Plenty of FFUKers also had Matt Ryan (who ended up with 10 points for the week) in their squads, but a scan through the teams illustrated that he was mostly consigned to a place on people’s benches, no doubt making many of you feel a bit nauseous.
Points were sickeningly sparse on Saturday, with the highest scoring players including the likes of Dubravka, Livermore, Fraser, Joao Mario, Pereyra, Foster, McArthur and Noble. If you had any of these lot then you probably skipped a light fandango and turned cartwheels ‘cross the floor. But I bet that won’t have been many of you. The supposed big hitters like Kane, Eriksen, Vardy and Mahrez did FFUK all. Indeed, by this point, many of us were drifting into the arena of the unwell.
No problem, so we thought, as most of us had Man City players to fall back on in the Sunday lunchtime match, and when they named arguably their strongest XI for the visit of Huddersfield, those that captained Kane instead of Jesus could hardly p!ss straight with fear. However, the Terriers battled hard and whilst the crowd called out for more, Huddersfield ultimately churned out a 0-0. With Jesus as my Triple Captain I felt like a pig shat in my head.
Then Salah owners must have been looking like they’d seen a ghost when he picked up a yellow card and Liverpool lost 1-0 to Chelsea, with Mo only managing a solitary point.
Finally, at the Emirates, a couple of big hitters managed to return some decent points. Arsenal gave Arsene Wenger a proper send-off against Burnley as Alexandre Lacazette returned a goal and an assist, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang went one better with a brace and an assist in a 5-0 win. But only a handful of FFUKers took a chance on these guys. With most of us opting for Kane and Jesus up top, affording Aubameyang or Lacazette as the third striker was always going to be unlikely, and it was a case of the their points being free to those that can afford it, very expensive to those that can’t.
Despite there being six re-arranged games, there was no MNF, meaning we missed out Monday but came up smiling on Tuesday morning. A tense relegation battle ensued between Swansea and Southampton, with the Saints coming out 1-0 winners and essentially securing their top flight status for another year. Those who punted on Cedric for the double gameweek were rewarded with a clean sheet to add to the assist he accrued on Saturday. But Swansea were definitely left feeling A WHITER SHADE OF PALE as they waited to see if Huddersfield could snatch an unlikely point from Chelsea the following evening, which, incredibly, they managed to do with a 1-1 draw. Depoitre’s goal cost Chelsea defenders a clean sheet, but the numerous Alonso owners had the colour brought back into their faces when he claimed a fortuitous goal that also earned him two bonus points and took his total for GW37 to a tasty 15 points.
Finally on Thursday evening West Ham and Man United played out a 0-0 stalemate at Upton Park to bring GW37 to a close. That was enough secure Jose and his troops second spot in the Premier League, but other than when Mark Noble tried to stick his fingers in Pogba’s eyes (not down his throat), there wasn’t really a great deal of entertainment. The winner on the night was Adrian with 11 points from a clean sheet, 6 saves and 3 bonus points.
THE FFUK TOP 50 AFTER GW37
With most of the top 10 using their Triple Captain chip, our leader Jamie Stewart (1st), aka JDS, aka RSF, went against the grain and played his Bench Boost to decent effect, helping him to 97 points for the week (after a -4 point hit). Jamie now has a lead of 42 points over Dan McBrearty (2nd), who managed 81 points and might be feeling a bit sick at the thought of that deficit. It’s not a bad lead, but I’m sure Jamie’s stomach will be churning right until the last of the final whistles on Sunday. John Harper (3rd) and James Amar (5th) remain in the chase after scoring 73 and 100 (-16) points, respectively.
But one FFUKer who definitely won’t be feeling pale is Matt Cox (4th) who made a big move up the table with 125 points thanks to an extremely successful Bench Boost. Kane (8 x 2 = 16), Alonso (15), Cedric (11), Cresswell (11), Ryan (10), De Gea (9), Mahrez (9) and Dunk (9) all scored big for Matt. Crucial.
In fact Matt’s 125 points was the best score in the whole league this week and has been submitted… it’s enough for Matt to jump straight to the top of the ‘Best Gameweek Score’ table. I can’t believe I’m gonna be knocked off the top of the table by that perfumed ponce, it feels gut-wrenching. I must have some booze, I demand to have some booze!!
Other excellent scores worthy of mention include Euan Phillips (98th) with 119 points and Darren Webb (180th) with 118 points. And Yabah Turnbull (50th) managed a whopping 120 points, although this was after a -12 point hit. Well done chaps – I guess GW37 wasn’t that sickening for everyone.
But Haroon Rashid (218th) was definitely left feeling A WHITER SHADE OF PALE after scoring just 36 points – the lowest in the league this week. No doubt the FFUKer will rue the day!
The FPL average for GW37 was 73.58 points, whereas the FFUK average was 67. Not bad at all fellas, but not a patch on this time last year when our average would have been far higher.
HERO to ZERO
The penultimate heroes and zeroes of the 2017/18 season are:
Have a cup of petrol on us:
Euan Philips (98th) who rose a massive 24 places with 119 points.
Jamie Cooper (85th) who rose an impressive 18 places with 108 points.
My old mate Vladimir Voronkovs (126th) who rose 17 places with 102 points.
Have a glass of home made urine:
Barry Clarke (109th), your lack of bothering has seen you fall 57 places in 6 weeks.
Ben Hudson (112th) fell 19 places with 44 points.
and Mateusz Kaleta (102nd) who fell 18 places with 45 points.
Mark Turnbull (15th) and Daron Russell (61st) played out the Conts finale this week. With Mark in contention for a top 10 spot in the main league he couldn’t be too gung-ho with his transfers and made three (Schmeichel, Shaw and Willian out for Ederson, Naughton and Ramsey) for a -8 hit. Daz on the other hand went all out for Conts glory and made 10 transfers (-36) to pretty much replace his first XI. They both played their Triple Captain chip with Mark going with Jesus and Daz going with Kane. This one move made a big difference that meant Daz earned an extra 12 points for his captain, winning the finale by 15.
But this game was always about getting there, by any means, and Daz nailed it. After realising maybe 10 or 11 gameweeks ago that he had nothing left other than taking money of a drunkard he thought he’d had a pop at this and he really played it right.
Well done Daz, you absolute Cont.
We are now well set up for a great final gameweek in the Cups. Fair play to Paul Browne (12th) who took a -24 to set up his team for the dgw and the last month of the Cups. He obviously remembered that hits don’t count in the first week of the game month so wouldn’t affect his score. Paul really wants to win that FFUK Cup. Current Cup scores are as follows:
FFUK CUP FINAL: Paul Browne 77 v Tom Shepherd 69
CHALLENGE CUP FINAL: Sean Galsworthy 77 v Sam Breen 76
That’s it for this week as we move rapidly towards the final gameweek of the season. The good news is that Chris is back in the UK. He’s feeling better and is now prepared to step back into society and start tossing his orb about. Thank god, as he’s back on review duty next week…
Peace out FFUKers, I’ll be back with a round-up in a couple of weeks analysing how the prizes fall, but for now, congratulations to all our 2017/18 winners so far…
And to anyone still fighting? Have a great Sunday afternoon!