How do, folks. It’s the start of a new year and a new decade.
So, let’s put everything into focus and inspect January’s first gameweek… with 2020 vision! (No originality here.)
But first, an appropriately-titled track. Needing little introduction, the classic from Johnny Nash:
20 quick (re)viewpoints:
1 Jamie Vardy (0) went MIA for the second game running. It meant 80 FFUK Vice Captains came into play and 80.39% of the league’s first subs getting a run out…
2. … The knock-on effect being that a number of mid/budget midfielders climbed off the bench to deliver some most welcome points – namely Jack Grealish (13), Todd Cantwell (10) and er…. Mark Noble (16)?
3. Speaking of West Ham, David Moyes, eh? 4-0, what a start…
4. … Maybe Man Utd should’ve given him a bit longer? 😉
5. Across the city, Man City. Jesus (13) looking assured with a brace. Sterling (1) coming on for a solitary minute, much to the annoyance of 21.57% FFUK managers. City are hitting form again, but overall, it’s too little, too late.
6. Unfashionable sides like Watford are becoming fashionable. Wednesday legend Nigel Pearson working wonders there…
7. Similarly, Southampton, where Hassenhuttl has reignited the Saints. Mainly due to Danny Ings (9), who no longer gets injured but instead gets goals. Consistently. Another return for him in an amazing run of form.
8. On the flip side of that, Spurs. Jose’s honeymoon is over. Kane’s (2) done his hammy. Things are not looking good.
9. And on the reverse flip side, Arsenal are seemingly decent once more. Maybe it’s early days, but perhaps the Arteta effect is starting to become clear?
10. Wonder goals – Maddison’s (11) was good, Choudhury’s (6) was better, but Jakanbakhsh (8) (had to check the spelling twice) takes the weekend biscuit. Overhead flame emoji.
11. Leicester, in general, are back in the groove after heavy defeats to the best two sides in the league. A nice run of fixtures now awaits, too.
12. But Liverpool march on. The league is all but done. Goals for Salah (10) and Mane (8) in a fairly routine 2-0 win against the Blunts.
13. Palace. No clean sheet in 5 now. A couple of injuries permitting, but something to keep an eye on for fans of Martin Kelly (2).
14. Bournemouth. Just woeful at the moment. There’s a good argument to transfer in or captain someone from whoever they’ve got next.
15. VAR. Getting boring now. Clearly, for the good of the game, it needs fixing and fast.
16. Transfer rumours – Gabigol to West Ham; Moussa Dembele to Chelsea; James Rodriguez reunited with Carlo Ancelotti. There’s no end to these kind of rumours in January. Of course, not all of them will happen, but some might. And you just may end up with a fresh face in your team before long.
17. Wildcards are available again. Several FFUKers have already found the temptation too much. When are you planning to use yours?
18. Football overload – is it too much? Do we need a more balanced Christmas period? Maybe not completely shutting down and falling in line with Europe (ironic), but what good is our new winter break if it’s not until February?
19. Injuries – Steve Bruce made 3 subs then had to play with 10 men when Schar (1) got leg-knack. What’s my point? Not sure really! Thankfully this list is nearly done…
20. Er, selection boxes are now cheap in the supermarkets, aren’t they?!
Naturally, most of this action had a bearing on the FFUK table. And where better to start than the top 20.
Still at the top is Mr. Paul Baker. 27 points clear, but with some WhatsApp regulars hard on his heels, refusing to give up the fight.
Highest scorer in the top 20 this week was Jez Penn with 73. But the overall best GW score in FFUK was Southbourne Celtic’s Roni Friel, up to 36th with a huge 78. Captain Salah delivered the points, aided by Grealish, Maddison and Ings. Well done, fella.
At the other end of the spectrum, still blurry-eyed from too many NYE shandies was Scott Hassell. Just 25 points and the lowest score in sight. Only Chilwell (6) and TAA (6) didn’t blank for Scott.
But perhaps suffering even worse is Jimmy Spence who got well and truly Conted. He stumbled out of the Conts league with a low score of 37, a full 6 behind Mark Leathem and Stuart Newton. Once evicted, Jimmy will never be seen round these parts again (until next season, at least).
For now, the New Year festivities and first gameweek of 2020 are all over and we wait for an FA Cup-interrupted GW22.
Until then, all eyes on your team.