WELCOME TO THE GW31 REVIEW – FOOLS GOLD
Gold road’s sure a long road
Winds on through the hills for 15 days
Ok, ok, so the international break wasn’t quite 15 days, but it’s always a miserable wait before we get back to the ‘gold’ of FPL.
This time around FFUKers were heading into GW31 on tenterhooks, waiting nervously for team news on the likes of TAA, Ramsdale, James, Dias and Bowen. Even Salah’s mood was being questioned after he’d lost a penalty shootout to Mane’s Senegal for the second time in a matter of weeks.
“Mo’s spirit has been crushed” Justin McCarthy, FFUK WhatsApp Group, 29/03/22
Trying to dissect the team news coming out of Friday pressers is tough enough in a normal week, but when most of them are on 1st April we’ve got no chance.
“Press conferences on April Fool’s Day, what could possibly go wrong” Sam Blake, FFUK WhatsApp Group, 01/04/22
Uncharacteristically, Pep was remarkably transparent that Dias was out but that everyone else was fit. Tuchel confirmed James was “ready to go” – but was it a trap?
Irritatingly, Arteta was on the fence about Ramsdale until after the deadline. But Klopp provided us with some classic April Fools Gold:
“What is fantasy football, what is that?” Jurgen Klopp, LFC press conference, 01/04/22
Very good question Jurgen. Let me see… It’s elation. It’s agony. It’s an addiction. It’s a head-FFUK.
Gold’s just around the corner
Breakdown’s coming up round the bend
Unfortunately I’ve had more breakdowns than gold this season.
Anyway, Jurgen left us guessing about TAA and didn’t give any insight into Salah’s psyche. But we didn’t have to wait too long to find out as Liverpool were first up on Saturday lunchtime against Watford. TAA (0) was benched – should have sold him!! Salah (3) started but blanked – maybe his spirit has indeed been broken??
Whilst Salah looked a bit stoned, it was Jota (14) who came out smelling of roses – a goal and an assist, plus the 3 bonus points. Pleasing for the 15% of FFUKers who still own him. Fabinho (7) got the other goal from the spot as Liverpool eased to a 2-0 victory.
Jota wasn’t top scorer this week though. Neither was Brentford’s Vitaly Janelt (15 points, 0% FFUK ownership) despite two goals and 3 bonus points. The Bees made the short journey east to Stamford Bridge, probably just hoping to snatch a point. Instead they inflicted a 4-1 thrashing on their neighbours. Janelt might have bagged a brace, but it was Eriksen (9) who pulled the strings, and maybe I should have chosen I Am The Resurrection for this week’s review track?
City had been knocked of their perch by the time they kicked off at 3pm, but it only took them five minutes to get back to the top of the ‘live’ table when KDB (11) fired City ahead. Their defence continues to be Made Of Stone and they registered their 18th clean sheet of the season, in just 30 games. Mind you, the same can be said for Liverpool.
Wolves continued their strong season with a 2-1 win against Midlands rivals Villa. Jonny (9) lashed in an early half-volley and then Young (-1) headed into his own net. I bet that left a bad taste in his mouth.
Watkins (9) slotted in a controversial late penalty but it was too little too late. Villa seem to be one of the most inconsistent teams this season. But with a couple of DGWs still to be scheduled and some decent looking fixtures I reckon their players will be given some consideration by those who still have their wildcards intact.
In the other 3pm kick-offs it was stalemate as Brighton drew 0-0 with Norwich, and Leeds vs Southampton ended 1-1, with JWP (10) and Raphinha (5) both picking up attacking returns.
The evening game between Man U and Leicester also finished 1-1. It wasn’t so long ago that Fred (10) would walk off the Old Trafford pitch every week to jeers, muttering to himself I Wanna Be Adored. To be fair to the lad, he’s slowly winning the prawn sandwich brigade over with some much improved performances. He scored his fourth PL goal of the season (he’s also got five assists!) to equalise just three minutes after Iheanacho (8) had put the Foxes ahead.
United look to be throwing that fourth UCL spot away. Can’t say that bothers me much.
Onto Sunday, and Everton travelled to West Ham hoping to ease their relegation worries. No such luck. Bowen (13) was fit to start and he duly delivered with an assist and then a goal. In between, Holgate (8) had given the Toffees some hope, but after Michael Oliver said Bye Bye Bad Man to Michael Keane (-2), West Ham cruised to victory.
Then Spurs hosted – and duly walloped – a deteriorating Newcastle side. The Toon actually went ahead on 39 minutes – Schär (6) probably thinking This Is The One as Lloris somehow let a tame free kick into the onion bag. But Davies (8) glanced in an equaliser three minutes before half time and Doherty (14) nodded in from close range three minutes after. It was then a case of Love Spreads, with no less than eight Spurs players picking up attacking returns as they ran out 5-1 victors.
MNF team news made me look like a right old fool. Ramsdale (1) – who I’d sold on Friday – was declared fit to start, but Tierney (0) was crocked and I didn’t have anyone else on my bench to replace him. I needn’t have fretted though, as Palace took the Gunners apart 3-0, with Anderson (15) banking a clean sheet, two assists and maximum bonus.
Finally, on Wednesday evening it was the turn of the DGW teams, Burnley and Everton. From a real life perspective it was Burnley who came out on top, turning things around in the second half to win 3-2. But who cares about real life!! From an FPL perspective it was Richarlison (17) who came out on top. He notched a brace, to add to his assist against West Ham, meaning he took the crown of top scoring player in GW31. Everton now look in real trouble. With Liverpool eyeing up the quadruple and Everton in a serious relegation battle it’s far from a Mersey Paradise for the Blue half of the city again this season.
All that means these were this week’s Kings Of The Gameweek:
“What about the FFUK table?” I hear you all ask. Well, Ian Cayley retains top spot.
I’m standing alone, I’m watching you all, I’m seeing you sinking
However, Ashley Mather is now up to second spot and is only two points off the top. Here’s the top 20 in full:
Top scorer in the FFUK league this week was previous champ Nick Johns with a whopping 80 points. That moves him up to 37th overall.
Going into the final game of the week it looked to be one of three FFUKers who would be facing the chop in the CONT league – Pete Cronin, Mark Leathem or Justin McCarthy. After Pickford (3) conceded and then Gordon (6) snaffled an assist, Pete needed a miracle. It wasn’t to be, and last season’s King Cont was sent packing. A sad day. Focus on the league and all that, eh Pete?
Right, that’s all from me for this week (you might be hearing from me again sooner than you might have imagined!). One Love to you all, I’m off to decide who to replace Tierney with…
JDS – Rice Said Fred (a lowly 74th)