Well what a lovely time of the season. Christmas is here, or Christmas was there, we get to invest a load of energy into choosing presents, sorting out plans, cancelling plans, taking lateral flow tests just so we can spend time with others, and eating turkey. No one likes turkey.
As we know the best thing about Christmas is sitting around watching football in our pants, gorging on a chocolate orange or seasonal crisps, so what happens when that most reliable of pleasures, Boxing Day football, comes with a big slice of unpredictability?
It seems like everything’s gone a bit weird, we’ve captained Salah for 17 gameweeks on the run, and now he’s not even playing. As Liverpool miss out, so do Jota, and Trent, our most beloved FPL asset, who is currently outscoring all mids bar Salah by some 30 points.
So whatever we do is gonna be a compromise. FPL Towers fling us an extra free hit, or we can take Salah out of our teams for good (well he only has two games left before the AFCON tournament). It feels like we’re going to be forced to take a trip to somewhere and we have no control over the ride or the destination.
Fantasy Football Scout’s pre-GW19 polls make interesting reading in retrospect. For the captaincy, Ronaldo (1) sat on 34% of votes, and was captained by 31% of the FFUK league. Kane (6) and Son (8) account for 26% of the vote while 10% left the armband on Salah, and were either taking their trip early or late. Sterling (14) didn’t really get a look in and at bottom of the league Norwich, managers stumped for Martinelli’s 3 points (5/% of the captaincy) rather than Saka (16) or even Smith-Rowe (6). Trippy.
According to Fantasy Football Scout about 40% ditched Salah and will now either bring him straight back in (really?) or go without himfor a couple of matches. In the FFUK League, 43 of the 268 managers wrapped their tongues around the psychedelic opportunity of the Free Hit chip, although it seems some fared better than others.
Among the Top 10 in FFUK, 3 managers took exactly that plunge, but the chip in itself doesn’t seem to have been indicative of a high score. Ameet Shah (7th) hit 70 points off the back of no hits and no chips, a stylish demonstration benefitting from the success of his Arsenal triple up. Brendan Ryan (1st) free hit for 58 although with 7 players out from Villa, Wolves, Watford and Liverpool there wasn’t much choice. Pete Cronin (2nd), used his Free Hit to the tune of 86 points, top scoring in the league this week and jumping from 9th in the league into the Top 3.
At this time of year it’s always important to think of those less fortunate than ourselves. That way we feel good, despite the fact the turkey was dry and cold, and we didn’t get the FUCKING TOY WE ASKED FOR AGAIN.
So let’s all a spare a thought for these Conts. Some dark bastard dreamed up kicking out a loads of players from the Conts League at what is frankly, an incredibly depressing time of year anyway, and look, they even put a laughing Santa in your face. Poor old Roni Friel scored just 22 points this week, even after a -4 hit. Joining Roni as Ghosts of Christmas Conts are Alex Kassner, Mark Turnbull and Grant Lawrie, none of whom cleared 30 points this gameweek. To be fair they’re probably watching CBeebies eating leftover parsnips and won’t read this anyway, but if you’re still conscious lads, please wash.
And so to this week. Just to remind everyone:
I’m sure I’m supposed to say something important now so I’ll tell you something about hits. I was having a look at some of the top top players in the game this week, looking at strategy etc, and wondering whether they have taken many hits. As you might imagine, the top of the game is littered with debauched chancers taking free hits, taking -4s, and with the number of games getting cancelled at the moment we can all understand. Saying that, we haven’t had any more postponements today which is new, but we do still have a few hours to go.
Probably best to give it until lunchtime, then if we feel like it, take a hit. Follow the white rabbit. It is Christmas after all.
Pete Cronin (2nd).