Welcome to the GW18 REVIEW – THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR
Seasons greetings to all of you in the FFUK league. It’s the most wonderful time of the year – Xmas is almost upon us, and with that a festive flurry of fixtures to keep us firmly on our fantasy toes. For this we should all be truly thankful. But now it’s time for tinsel, turkey, sprouts and a load of other stuff that fortunately we only have to do once a year! It is also a time for reflection, handy for a review. So let’s get to it.
This season’s playlist has been updated with everything pre Xmas including this week’s festive fancy, the most wonderful time of the year!
Perhaps lets start with the PL table at Xmas. Liverpool have already won the Premier League unfortunately. Thankfully the FFUK league is far more competitive. The 3 remaining CL places are more up in the air with Man City, Leicester and Chelsea currently holding those positions. But the success story of the season so far has to be Sheffield United, the Blades under Chris Wilder and led by Lord Lundstram are above Man Utd, Tottenham and Arsenal, and no one would or could have predicted that pre-season. I have grown to admire Chris Wilder this season with every game I see of theirs and every time I see him talk. His team plays a fascinating brand of football and he seems a very sensible and like-able chap to me, he even gave all the journos at the last presser before Xmas a present!
At the other end of the table it doesn’t look good at all for Norwich and Villa. Watford will be hoping for more new manager bounce otherwise they will struggle too. But there are teams above who certainly could get dragged back in.
As you can see by the image above this was not a week for the big hitters. In fact you can pick up this whole starting XI for 61.1 right now, which would leave you plenty for some big hitters on the bench!
Top scoring player of the weekend was Willian (16) who tore apart Jose’s Spurs team with ease in a fantastic first half display. The Brazilian has been excellent this season, he has really stepped up out of Hazard’s shadow and is clearly now enjoying being one of the senior players in the team. Willian has never really been a FPL player but this season that could be different as he is playing the best football of his Chelsea career.
Up top Ings (13) is left alone to fly the flag for the forwards, as a non owner his consistant form and fitness doesnt make sense and we have to hope the forthcoming downturn in fixtures ends this run. Those who have owned him the last few weeks wont care and I am sure will be looking for a way out soon enough if the inevitable happens.
I can’t imagine many have any of these defenders but perhaps we should. Maybe Christian Kabasele (11) should come into our thinking, that is now 18 points in 3 games since he returned from injury and at 4.3 he is cheap enough to just play when we think he has a good chance of a cleansheet.
In nets of course its Dean Henderson (12) who is now the top scoring GK in the game and even managed an assist which was a lovely early xmas present for his owners.
Ok lets see how all this affected the FFUK League:
At the top there is no change so Paul Baker (1st) is top of the tree at Xmas after a solid GW18 scoring 60 points. November MOTM Peter Hayes (2nd) is behind him but Bakes has just opened up a little gap. So Mr Cups is dominating the league, ominous for the rest of us!
However there are plenty of big hitters in the pack below who will seize any opportunity to take top spot from him. It may be the season for giving but no FFUKer wants to give away their position in the league.
Top scoring FFUKer for GW18 was Jamie Stephens (14th) with 71 points. Not a massive week, perhaps one too many egg nogs at the xmas do. But not for Jamie who was the only FFUKer to captain Danny Ings (26) for his haul. Vardy (9), Grealish (8), Pope (7), Lundstram (6) and Fernandez (6) all turned up when he needed them to. Not even the presence of Son (-1) could dampen his mood.
Next best was Chris Ward (16th) and James Sheridan (179th) who both managed 68 points demonstrating the depth in the FFUK league. Chris was one of just 4 in the league who gave the armband to Pukki (4) whilst James was one of 39 who gave KDB (8) the nod.
Speaking of Son there were 21 FFUKers who were properly disgusted as their captain received his 2nd red card of the season after kicking out at Rudiger. 3 game ban in place. Plenty of us are now looking at who to replace him with….
However it is important we remember those less fortunate at this time of year and one man had a true nightmare before Christmas. My nemesis and the former back to back FFUK league champion had a shocker of a GW that I have experienced on more than one occasion this season so I know how it hurts, although even I havent finished on as pififul total as this. But it is just one week, like Xmas is just one day. Let’s take a look at just how bad it was.
Neil Stewart (31st) managed just 24 points this week. Atrocious. But in fact it was not the lowest score in the league that dubious honour goes to Jamie Shuell (252nd) with just 20 but a quick look of his team and you can see he is already on his Xmas holidays. Neil is a serious player though and has years of experience, this wont be the first time he has a shocker and it probably wont be the last and if I know him like I think I know him he will already have a plan in place to fly back up the league.
Captain Rash (4) didn’t pay off but he wasn’t alone in that one as 50 FFUKers gave the Man Utd forward the captaincy but other than a clean sheet from Lord Lundstram (6) he had nothing else. Nada. Zilch.
It is with a heavy heart that Jamie, as admin for the CONTS mini league, has the job of evicting his own little brother Neil Stewart from the league. I’m sure he will take absolutely no pleasure in that at all, he may even send him a little Xmas note to let him know it is done! 😉
After Xmas there is no let up with one person being evicted each GW until the end of the season. Relentless.
We have plenty on the horizon for you to look forward to as this round of the cups comes to a climax before the inaugural FFUK Champions League begins. Watch out for a video special on 30th December including the draw for the next round of the FFUK Cup.
So that is the last review before Xmas, thanks for reading as always and I hope you all have a fantastic Xmas and New Year!
Merry Christmas FFUKers!