FantasyYIRMA GW 5 Review

I have a theory that there is a kind of mass psychosis affecting the population of planet Earth for the past 18 months or so – something ethereal that causes normally sane people to make terrible, idiotic and often damaging decisions. The evidence is there for all to see:

Brexit – A heinous act of self-harm perpetrated by 17,410,742 people who thought that poverty and destruction of the future was a jolly good idea

Trump – An even more heinous act of harm on the whole planet perpetrated by 62,979,636 people who thought that the leader of the free world should be two croissants short of a continental breakfast

Not Selecting Sergio Aguero – An egregious act of self harm perpetrated by 83.8% of FPL players (that’s 4,211,355 teams) who thought that he just isn’t that good. Just take a look at his stats over the last four seasons…those points…those bonus points…now look at his price! He’s cheaper than Kane (29% ownership)! He’s cheaper than Lukaku (55% ownership)!

Sergio Aguero Stats

Now tell me that there isn’t something funny going on on a global scale with people’s decision making, eh? The case rests m’lud…

Two defenders make up the remainder of the top three highest-scoring players this week, but only one of them is worth discussing, and it’s not Nicolas Otamendi. No, it’s Antonio Valencia who deserves a nod in this week’s review thanks to his Worldy Thunderbastard Thronking Golazo against Everton on Sunday afternoon. It was so good that in the middle of one of the great All-Ireland Football Finals the patrons of a pub in East Cork were moved to divert their gaze to the only TV showing the ‘Foreign Football’ and nod in appreciation. Quite the feat.

The next member of the Winners section is a man who looked as useless as Theresa May at a EU Summit for 80 minutes of the match on Sunday but turned it around in spectacular fashion with an assist followed by a goal followed by top class trolling of the fans who used to idolise him, Mr. Romelu Lukaku. His late burst of point-scoring action transformed the headlines from ‘Blankaku’ to ‘Red Rom’ and the weekends of over half the FPL players who had selected him. You can never count against the curse of the former player. Never.

Matt Ritchie is a curious player in many ways. He’s now 28 years old but strikes me as a young man just starting to make his way in the game. He’s English born but plays for Scotland, and he left a Premier League team where he was assured of regular playing time to sign for a Championship side. Of course he was signing for Rafa Benitez and Newcastle United, so the man clearly has vision and good taste, and he’s starting to make a real impact on the FPL game with four assists in his last three games, two of which put Stoke City to the sword. An impressive 11 point haul including three BP’s (that’s Bonus Points, not three versions of the oil company) raises him to the pantheon of weekly champions.

Speaking of players who it could be argued took a backward step in order to progress, Lukasz Fabianski is the highest scoring goalkeeper of the week with a very impressive 11 points thanks to his clean-sheet, eight-save, three BP’s performance at Wembley to frustrate Harry Kane and co. That curse isn’t going away you know. In fact it may be getting stronger now that it’s inspiring ex-Gooner goalkeepers to turn into Lev Yashin (ask yer Granddad).

As for the Villians Of The Week, well we just have to cast our eyes over to Elton John’s place and recoil in the horror at what we see. No, I’m not talking about David Furnish in a half-open bathrobe bending over to pick up the newspaper, I’m talking about the scenes of destruction at Vicarage Road that would be deemed ‘too graphic’ for Game of Thrones. I could name names here, but I’m going to spare the blushes of the Watford defence, who combined for a tear-inducing -5 point haul. Ah screw it, the worst was actually José Holebas who picked up a yellow card and finished with -2 points. Mind you, I’d argue that if more Watford defenders cared enough to get booked, maybe they wouldn’t have conceded six goals. Incidentally did you know that José Holebas was the inspiration for the seminal 2004 hit by Gwen Stefani after they started dating? Aye, she was chuffed to be the ‘Holebas Girl’…

It wasn’t just defenders in dayglo yellow that suffered a negative score this week, as they were joined by Ashley ‘Marginally Better/Younger Than Phil Jagielka’ Williams who racked up -1 point after disintegrating in the last ten minutes at Old Trafford and picking up a yellow card too. If only Everton had some warning that United finished games strongly, how were they possibly to know???

However you don’t have to end up with negative points to be a Villain Of The Week, isn’t that right David ‘Sideshow Bob’ Luiz? Cruising along to a lovely clean sheet for over 22% of FPL players and he goes and trods on a rake to pick up a straight red. So unnecessary. In fact the last ten minutes of that match was an unseemly point-sucking vortex as referee Michael Oliver threw around more cards than a croupier at Vegas. Rakes everywhere…

Sideshow Bob Rakes

 

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FantasyYIRMA GW 3 Review

So an international break is upon us just as you were getting into your FPL rhythm. How frustrating is that? I tell you how frustrating it is…It’s like you’re 16 again and UEFA are your parents arriving home early when you and your ‘significant other’ are just getting into *ahem* ‘things’ (If you are 16 and reading this, behave yourself!)

Anyway, every cloud has a silver lining so my Heroes of the week are going to be based on the Republic Of Ireland football team, who, based on FPL achievements in GW3 are on the verge of winning the World Cup.

STOP LAUGHING!

Ciaran Clark, the colossus at the heart of the Newcastle United juggernaut top scored this week with a sensational Clean Sheet + Goal Scored + Full Bonus Point haul against the mighty West Ham United, who I’ll remind you, actually did in the World Cup in 1966.

Added to Clark is his potential CB partner for the next fortnight, Shane Duffy, who led Brighton & Hove Albion to their first clean sheet of the season at Watford and picked up maximum bonus points along the way. I’ll remind you that the mighty Liverpool conceded three at Vicarage Road a couple of weeks ago, although that match didn’t feature Miguel Britos attempting to remove an opponents leg without anaesthetic.

The final member of the ‘Eire’ (It’s always odd when I see people refer to the Republic of Ireland as Eire, when nobody in the Republic of Ireland actually does so themselves) GW3 hall of fame is Robbie Brady who strolled into Wembley Stadium and produced an outrageous threaded through-ball that took out at least five Spurs players for Chris Wood to score. You really can’t underestimate the quality of the pass because Chris Wood is actually ranked 67th in the World Golf Rankings and is one of the most promising young English golfers for the future. Remarkable.

Moving away from the Emerald Isle brings us to Spain and Alvaro Morata who for the second time in three games produced a Goal + Assist performance, and at £10m is looking like a must-have for all you ‘Screw this I’m hitting the Wildcard before GW 4 merchants’. He’s got Leicester, Arsenal and Stoke City on the horizon which looks ripe for a rich points haul despite the FPL website telling me that the Arsenal game is a ‘4’ on the difficulty rating. Or maybe that’s just a prediction on how many Alvaro will score in that game. Don’t even bother arguing Gunners fans, unless it’s on ArsenalFanTV, in which case keep it up, I do like a good belly-laugh.

Incidentally, did you hear the one about the Senegalese, the Egyptian and the Brazilian that made the Frenchman cry? Mane, Salah and Firmino are the triple-act that is tearing the league apart in the formative first few weeks. An acronym is all the rage in football, and has been for yonks. Remember the ‘SAS’ of Shearer and Sutton for Blackburn? We also had the ‘MSN’ era in Barcelona. I’m tempted to try and arrange the LFC trio into an acronym, but whatever I try, be it MSF / FSM / SFM, it just comes across (steady…) as an advert for a Swingers / BDSM personal ad in your local phone box. Mind you, they look like they’ll f*ck over loads of teams between now and the end of the season and I make some very questionable ‘noises’ when I see them in full flight. Anyway, I’ve said too much.

Finally a special mention to Cecil Fibreglass who I tipped as an asset to have in my pre-season preview, but then proceeded to get himself sent off against Burnley. Those of you with patience will have been rewarded with a goal-scoring and max-bonus-point haul of 11 points. I should also commend Kyle Naughton for his magnificent 12 points at Palace, but seeing as I marooned him in the final sub spot on my bench, I just can’t bring myself to say much more, lest the boo-hoo’s start again…

As for Villains of the week, well, where to begin…

Romelu Lukaku and ZERO points at home to Leicester City. Man, he teased everyone with his first two games hauling in 19 points, and then…THAT. I’m not saying that he telegraphed where he was going to put his spot-kick but Kasper Schmeichel started his dive to the right before Lukaku started his run-up. The fact that Kasper has now saved more penalties at Old Trafford than his Dad ever did is one of the all-time great stats.

Another player proving to be a bit of a frustration is Sergio Aguero, benched for the lunchtime Saturday early game. While he picked up a miserable one point, I think he should have been awarded at least three bonus points for trying to protect that poor young fella that was being hogtied by over-zealous stewards following City’s last minute winner. We’ve seen Cantona go into the crowd studs up but if Kun had repeated that trick to those stewards I suspect many would have applauded. However, if you pick a Captain for that game you deserve all you get. NEVER CAPTAIN A PLAYER IN THE SATURDAY LUNCHTIME GAME. You should always listen to advice you get on FantasyYIRMA…which brings me onto…

Harry Kane, a man whose FPL points haul so far this season would ensure qualification through most rounds of ‘Pointless’, and who you were all advised (on this very site) to pick because he was playing on a Sunday and you didn’t want to spend every Sunday afternoon hiding behind the couch. Well, I followed this advice and now I spend every Sunday evening hiding behind the couch and drinking heavily. Marvellous.

A special nod to Raheem Sterling who managed to ruin a perfectly good away day points haul with his red card, achieved for what in essence was a gentle trip and a hug. And finally to the aforementioned Miguel Britos who launched an outrageous two-footed, studs-up, shin-high lunge at Anthony Knockaert and then argued that the decision was a bit harsh. If you watch the incident again, keep an eye on the linesman who was nearest the action. He nearly shook the flag off his stick in horror. Scientists have now revealed that 98.37% of those who watched a replay of the incident on MOTD uttered the words ‘Jesus Christ’ in response. The other 1.63% of people were Watford fans who uttered the word ‘Tw*t’.

 

FantasyYIRMA GW 2 Review

HEROES OF THE WEEK:

£7.0m will get you quite a good player in midfield in this seasons FPL – You could have a Mata, a Ramsey or even a Geordie Winegum – all players that regularly chip in with goals and assists and wonderful, valuable, delicious fantasy football points.

£7.0m is A LOT of money however for a FPL defender. So much so that there’s only one defender in the game that costs that much this season, namely Marcos Alonso. Following the shellacking that he and his mates received at home to the mighty Burnley, you’d be forgiven for congratulating  yourself for not wasting money on him. If you had succumbed to temptation you probably told yourself that you’d be wise to bench him for GameWeek Two as the good ship Chelsea listed and keeled into Wembley Port, seemingly sunk below the waterline with the media full of stories of ‘Mutiny On The (Stamford) Bridge’.

Wise? Let me tell you about wisdom. Wisdom is the ability to to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight. Wisdom is knowing that a tomato is a fruit but you should never put one in a fruit salad.

72, 380 of you ditched Alonso for this GameWeek. The only wisdom you lot have are DVD’s of Norman Wisdom.

For the second GameWeek running the top scoring players are all defenders. Following hot on the heels of Marcos Alonso is Eric Bailly (who incidentally is definitely NOT a relation to 1980’s United custodian Gary Bailey, no matter how many times I tell people in the pub that he is). In fact you really needed to be backing Jose Mourinho and his charges for the first two GameWeeks as they have smashed in eight goals without reply with the midfield of Pogba and Mkhytarian running rampant. Mind you it was just West Ham and Swansea…with Leicester, Stoke, Everton, Southampton and Palace to come. How’s THAT for a kind fixture list, eh Jose? Jose? Oh, NOW you’re quiet.

Joining Alonso and Bailly in this weeks Defenders Hall Of Fame is Jacob Harry Maguire (aka ‘Harry’ Maguire) of Leicester City who now has a goal, an assist and a clean sheet in his first two games of the season and who looks to be a real find. I’m not saying that he’s a big lad, but the residents of Leicester didn’t bat an eyelid at yesterdays solar eclipse as Harry has been blocking out the sun ever since his arrival. (I could make the same gag about Hull but they haven’t seen sunshine since 1928)

As it’s still early days in the season we’re all looking for ‘green shoots’ that may indicate who our next shrewd transfer should be. Well look no further than the ‘little pea’ himself, Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez who is proving once more that he’s a deadlier pea-shooter than Dennis The Menace. Two shots on target, two goals. He’d make the hardest FPL heart go all mushy with stats like that. I’ll stop the pea puns now before you all go green with envy.

I’d also like to commend Riyad Mahrez for his sterling efforts this season despite putting in a transfer request. Three assists in his opening two games despite wanting out of the club. It’s called professionalism, maturity, gratitude and character. ISN’T THAT RIGHT PHILIPPE COUTINHO???? (I don’t care, I really don’t. The little poxbottle).

Two new names have popped up on the FPL radar this week with the goalscoring feats of Mooy and Jese catching the eye. Now both these players are new to me and the pronunciation of both their names is proving to be a challenge. Mooy seems to be how you’d describe an overly vocal cow, while Jese sounds like the noise you make when you sneeze. Mind you, if they keep generating FPL points at the rate they are, I’ll call them whatever they want me to call them, including ‘Daddy’.

Finally a chance to pat myself on the back again as I remind you of my Season Preview piece where I advised you to avoid Premium Goalkeepers in favour of those playing behind somewhat porous defences where they can make some saves. Come on down Jack Butland! Six saves for two points, a clean sheet for six points and three bonus points on top of all that. An eleven point haul compared to Courtois who was beaten by his own man and Lloris who was beaten at his near post. That’s a handy £0.5m better off spent elsewhere. (I also specifically tipped Ben Foster who has yet to concede a goal this season – the only thing I’ve got right so far *weeps*)

VILLAINS OF THE WEEK:

Marko Arnautovic is Austrian, and clearly the first villain to ever come out of that country, right? Oh…never mind. Moving on swiftly I have some sympathy for him in that he was clearly clattered, and it probably hurt, but if you’re going to get retribution you need to be far, far, far smarter than he was. I’m not saying his actions were obvious but if he picked up his opponent and body-slammed him through a table it would have been just as obvious. A score of -2 points and a suspension until the middle of September meaning a nice little break at the end of the summer. Marvellous.

Mind you it took Marko a full 32 minutes to accumulate that total of -2, whereas it only took Michy Batshuayi 11 minutes to rack up his total of -1. Coming on as a sub at Wembley, heading into your own net and denting the 2 x Goal, 3 x Bonus Point and 1 x Clean Sheet total of Marcos Alonso? THE MONSTER.

Speaking of Wembley it’s time we talked about hoodoo’s and voodoo’s and the like. Harry Kane never scores in August. Spurs never win at Wembley (apart from when they do but that doesn’t count apparently). Combine the two and only the truly foolhardy (and me) would pick Harry Kane at the start of this season. However despite his double 1 point haul to start this season I’m backing Harry to turn it around at home to Burnley next Sunday. I mean Burnley have no chance travelling south to London against a top six team, right? RIGHT?

Finally we have the ex-Spurs right back Kyle Walker (who has been cloned and replaced at Spurs by a player called Kyle Walker-Peters, which is frankly just weird). Kyle has never struck me as being the sharpest tool in the box but to get ‘conned’ into a red card by a 14 year old Everton striker takes some doing. Mind you if you thought that Calvert-Lewin’s sh*thousing was good, he was shown up by the master Sergio Kun*ahem* Aguero who snided Morgan Schneiderlin into a red card with a dive, pirouette, triple salchow and fake death after the Frenchman had the temerity to win the ball. Minus points all around and jolly good entertainment on a Monday evening, unless you happened to be daft enough to captain either of those players.

 

 

 

FantasyYIRMA GW 1 Review

You spent weeks and weeks tweaking, adjusting and polishing that Game Week One team. You drafted and re-drafted to the point that your energy bills doubled with all the drafts. You poured over pre-season results, the formations used by Frank De Boer and Eddie Howe and you repeatedly rang Phil Coutinho’s ma to find out what state of mind the little snake, sorry, mercurial magician was in ahead of the season opener (and now there’s a restraining order to be dealt with).

It was all worth it right? No, me neither.

There’s a special place in hell for those #smugYIRMA pillocks proclaiming to all within earshot that it was OBVIOUS that Hegazi was the buy of the summer. That’s a crock for two reasons:

  1. Who? Even the FPL site doesn’t have a picture of him next to his bloody name
  2. You dishonoured the memory of Gareth McAuley. His position was still warm for Christ sake. (He is dead, isn’t he?)

The fact that the two highest scoring players in the week were two defenders, when goals were raining like nuclear warheads over Pyongyang next week (probably) just shows that we’re all puppets on the string of this vocation (It’s not a game. Never call it a game). I mean having to face your missus across the breakfast table as she drones on and on about how Ben Davies was such an obvious pick because ‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet and score as many points as Danny’ or some such babble…honestly, I’m a shell of a man this morning.

Then we have the Kane v Lukaku debate, and there was a clear winner. I admit that in 23 of my first 24 drafts I had the big Belgian front and centre in my team, but then I remembered the finish to last season for Harry Kane so I lost my nerve and drafted him in. I’m now down a bottle of Jameson and my revolver is nicely polished and my children are looking at me funny, but they don’t understand. THEY JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND.

Still, at least some of my Preview shouts were on the money. Ben Foster because Pulis. Mane and Salah because, well, DUH. Burnley – oh aye, I tipped Burnley. Well, I tipped the Irish midfield of Burnley, not the superhero that is ‘Big’ Sam Vokes. I’m reliably informed that his name on his birth certificate actually is ‘Big’ Sam Vokes. Sam is his middle name. Remarkable.

I also tipped that lad for United that I refuse to try and spell. Well, if you insist. It’s Mikcyityhyryiyan. Yeah, that’s it. If you could all just ignore the fact that I also tipped Newcastle defenders, Leicester defenders and Cecil Fibreglass then that would be just swell.

Mind you, none of my preview shouts were anywhere near as prescient as the FantasyYIRMA Huddersfield Preview piece which I read and then promptly ignored like an idiot. Mounie – He’ll have a cult following if he keeps that form going. He’ll be a real unifying force *ahem*

A hat-tip this week to the genius at Sky Sports who decided that the Arsenal v Leicester match should be played on a Friday night. I’m a fan of Friday Night Football…as long as there isn’t a Monday Night Football that same weekend. That’s just too bloody long to be sweating over your fantasy football team. I mean, that could lead to hospitalisation due to severe dehydration.

Another fan of Friday Night Football is Jamie Vardy, and why wouldn’t he be? He has a new clause in his contract that Craig Shakespeare inserted which states that for each league goal he gets a crate of Blue WKD, and when you score two before 10pm on a Friday night….CARNAGE. Now THAT’S how you motivate your players.

Finally we have the 21st Century version of Chas & Dave, namely Alli and Eriksen, aka Chris & Dele. Now the original Chas and Dave wrote the famous anthem ‘Snooker Loopy’ when these isles were enthralled by the antics of Higgins, Davis, Taylor et al, mainly because there was sod all else to watch. Well with Chris & Dele, we could have a new anthem ‘Fantasy Football Loopy’ – which you may well be if you don’t have either / or Alli or Eriksen on your team. I don’t think it would be hard to get Dele Alli into a recording studio. You’d just need to tell him that it’s where a daft new handshake is being created. Personally I can’t wait for their album.

Anyway, I’m now off to dream of a midfield of Alli, Eriksen, Mane and Salah.

Until next week…

 

 

FantasyYIRMA 2017/2018 Season Preview

Well thank Christ THAT’S over…I have a particular kind of hate for a non-tournament summer. It drives a man to do some strange, terrible things. I even found myself cheering on the bloody egg-chasers in New Zealand for crying out loud, and the less said about Wimbledon, the better (at least that’s what my legal advisors told me to say…)

Anyway, we’re now on the verge of being BACK…and BACK WITH A BLOODY GREAT BIG BANG. Thirty eight glorious Gameweeks stretch out ahead of us like a glistening oasis at the edge of the barren football-free desert, offering hope, inspiration and undoubted paranoia, rage and despair, but you wouldn’t swap it for anything, right?

As ever at the beginning of August there are so many questions. Therefore many of us are walking around looking like Donald Trump when he’s asked to take a seat in the corner of the Oval Office. Perplexed isn’t the word. Fear not dear friends, for I am here to predict with 100% accuracy* the next nine glorious months of Fantasy Football action, so that you can emerge next May, blinking in the sunlight you haven’t seen since, well, now, victorious and giving it large to all your ‘friends’ whom you vanquished.

If you’re ready, we shall now begin…

This season, as with every season, a cheap goalkeeper shall rack up a points total that would make a common Peter Cech blush. Those of you that invested in a ‘Premium’ keeper will once more look like a ‘Premium’ Pillock. Let me make this easy for those of you that are hard of thinking…Goalkeepers score points for making saves, so you actually want your goalkeeper to be playing behind a defence that has more holes in it than Augusta, assuming he’s not Artur Boruc and can actually save shots. Mind you  Your expensive options will often face a minimum of shots, but will concede a single goal from a set-piece and will have you shouting ‘TWO, TWO, ONE, TWO’ more often than the sound engineer at a Rolling Stones gig.

This season the Budgie hero (Budget/Cheap/Cheep, geddit?) will be Ben Foster, because Pulis. Always Pulis.

When it comes to defenders, you want all the Chelsea lads along with the ultra-attacking full-backs and James Milner with his penalties, but that will leave you with a midfield and attack made up solely of Huddersfield and Brighton players you’ve never heard of, so this is where you need to start going to your local German budget supermarket for the next few weeks and get used to picking up a bargain. Trust me, when you go in for cheap beans and come out with a 96-piece ratchet set and a trampoline for less than the price of an M&S Souffle, you’ll be ready.

You want to look at Newcastle but not for too long though because they get odd very easily and can punch you (or your horse) on the nose. However in Rafa Benitez they have a God amongst men who knows how to organise a defence better than anybody in history. You can keep your Italian Catenaccio masters, Rafa won the European Cup with Djimi Traore in defence. The case rests m’lud. Anyway, my point is that a Yedlin or Lascelles wouldn’t do you much harm, and if they turned over Spurs on the opening day I wouldn’t bat an eyelid. These magpies could be snaffling up shiny six point hauls all season long. TRUST ME.

My other defensive tip to watch is Leicester City under Craig Shakespeare who will be seeking to write a far better script for the start of this season than dear old Claudio Ranieri managed last time out. Danny Simpson’s your man. TRUST ME.

Now onto the midfield where Fantasy Football leagues are won and lost, and where, thanks to modern football tactics, you could easily play another four strikers behind your, err, strikers. Splendid. Speaking of splendid, you NEED Mane and Salah. Not ‘want’ or ‘prefer’ or ‘could’, you NEED them, like Piers Morgan NEEDS attention. They both play up-front for Liverpool, they’re both fecking dynamite and they’ll both haul in points like an Atlantic Trawler hauls in plastic bottles and lost surfers. TRUST ME.

Last season we all dined out on Alli, Eriksen, Sanchez and Hazard, but the Spurs lads won’t have a home game all season, Sanchez may not be in London for much longer (or will be sulking while he still is) and Hazard is broken. It’s time for new thinking. De Bruyne is an obvious temptation but Pep treats his players like his rotisserie chicken, with frequent rotation and basting (you should see the state of the Man City dressing room…), so that could be a very annoying £10m on the bench with far too much regularity. Someone in with a real shout of making a noise is The Voice judge Will.I.An who looks set to deputise for Hazard during his absence, and at £7m could be a frickin’ steal. Others to consider would be Zaha, Cecil Fibreglass (sorry, Cesc Fabregas) and possibly that Man United lad with the 300 point Scrabble name, who is either going to come good this season or be a flop forever. TRUST ME.

As for cheaper midfield reinforcements (or the lads you’re forced to buy and have no intention of playing until absolutely necessary) I point you towards Burnley. It’s up there. No, not there. Over a bit. Among the rolling dales and hills, with the weird grey hue over it. Aye, that’s the one. Some interesting recruitment by Sean Dyche over the past twelve months as he has subtely recruited, piece by piece, the Republic of Ireland midfield. Now you may laugh and mock and jeer (I wish you wouldn’t though as it hurts my feelings) but Robbie Brady can be a 21st century Ian Harte at set-pieces and Jon Walters is stronger than ever despite being 387 years of age. I once Captained Jon Walters when he scored his one and only senior hat-trick. Take THAT for a differential and smoke it…

Finally we get to where the action is, up front and centre. Now pay attention. This is where you’re going to spend, and spend big, and I’m not here to tell you not to. Instead I’m going to write a poem:

Harry Kane is homeless

Lukaku has nowhere to hide

Morata is untested

Jesus was supposed to have died

Aguero is being doubted

Lacazette is far too French

Costa is surplus to requirements

He’ll surely start on the bench

Defoe has gone down South

Benteke’s learning the Ajax way

Rooney can wear his pyjamas to work

Josh King is actually from Norway

Whoever you splurge on now

Will seal your fate this year

No matter who you pick you’ll be mocked

Everyone thinks it’s their year

So there you have it. No tips on who to pick up front because there are LOADS of players who could propel you to victory and it’s impossible to know which won’t. Plus I just wanted to write a poem.

We all know that this matters more than everything else, but in a couple of months the usual wastrels will have given up and a lot more of us will pretend we don’t care and ‘never check that bloody thing’ (despite racking up 98 points by ‘accident’).

All I can say now is to wish you well (as long as you finish behind me) and inform you that I shall be writing a weekly Gameweek summary for FantasyYIRMA where the heroes shall be raised up on impossibly high pedestals and the villains shall be ridiculed like a common White House Communications Director. Until then…just make your bloody mind up!

*100% accuracy with a +/- swing of 100%

** Niall Hawthorne should NOT be trusted. Ever.

@FantasyYIRMA GW37 Review

When 2017 draws to an end in just 7 months time (I know, where does the time go, eh?. Deary me, it seems like only yesterday I was taking down the Christmas Tree and fecking it over the wall next door…), you will look back on the year and reminisce about the momentous events that have occurred over the previous 12 months.

  • The inauguration of Donald ‘Lenin’ Trump (and his hilarious downfall *taps nose*)
  • General Election 2017 and the rise of Prime Minister Corbyn (stop sniggering)
  • The Gameweek 37 Triple Captain Schenanigans

 

One of those events will resonate more than the others. It will colour your view of 2017 as a year when everything changed forever. Yep, if you Triple-Captained Harry Kane, you couldn’t give a rats arse about Russia taking over the White House or the UK committing societal harikari, you’ll remember 2017 as the year when you f*cking nailed it.

Triple Captain Kane

Over 29% of players had planned, plotted and executed the capture of Alexis Sanchez for this most vital of GW’s, with 70,403 people thrusting the Triple-Captain chip at him and thus trusting their mental health and social status to the volatile Chilean. To those who pursued this course of action, you did well. Make no mistake, it was a shrewd move, and you amassed an impressive 81 points, a fine reward for weeks of painstaking, disciplined team management.

Of course 15,194 of you just gave the Triple-Captain chip to Harry Kane, cracked open a can of your finest Dutch Gold and flicked the V’s at the world while toasting the season-high 93 point haul from the now three-season wonder. It’ll never last you know…

Honourable mentions go to the other attacking players who so many entrusted with the Triple Captain chip this week. So please be upstanding and applaud the following for their efforts this week (no really, I can see you, get up off your arse and start clapping):

  • Gabriel Jesus – 19 points
  • Philippe Coutinho – 19 points
  • Heung-Min Son – 19 points

However, there is one players who we need to discuss above all others. A man who amassed 20 points this week, and who was Triple-Captained by 400 people. Yes, 400 people gave the TC chip to a defender whose name they can’t spell. And you wonder why Trump and the Tories got elected….

Here’s to you Cesar Azplic…Azpicle…Azpclip…

Here’s to you DAVE!

Azpilicueta
Dave, pictured after playing his own name for 943 points in ‘Words With Friends’

Another defender who performed heroics was Kyle Naughton of Swansea. You see, some shrewd managers recognised early doors the improvement the side were making under Clement, and reacted accordingly. They played Naughton week-in and week-out, suffering the bad days, and enjoying the ever increasing good days as Swansea finally extricated themselves from the neck-high excrement they found themselves in…and then ‘somebody’ chose to bench Naughton on the week he did a madness and racked up 15 points. I’m fine. No, really, I’m fine. Steve Cook was clearly the better choice on paper. *sobs*

However as we all know, night follows day, yang follows yin and despair follows success, such is the way of the world, so we now need to discuss those who flopped more than Dick Fosbury in this most crucial of weeks…

I couldn’t find a stat for how many people Triple-Captained Eden Hazard, but I did read that the absentee rate of workers in the UK and Ireland more than quadrupled since Tuesday. It’s understandable really. If you had racked up a whopping 15 points after holding onto your TC chip for 37 weeks, and found that your ‘star man’ got less points than John freaking Terry, you’d struggle to face the world too. Ah well, just 13 or so weeks until next season, eh?

Another huge disappointment was Romelu Lukaku who has chosen to depart Everton by quietly slipping out of the door as opposed to the accompaniment of a huge fanfare and the Golden Boot for the 16/17 season. Just the 2 points at home to Watford, his worst points haul at home since…well, the previous game in fact. That’s 8 points in 4 games for the burly Belgian, so those Liverpool fans hoping for favours from Lukaku at The Emirates this weekend can dream on. Romelu has packed his trunks and has said goodbye to the circus that is Everton Football Club. Who he’ll play for next season is still a mystery, but I’m willing to bet that he’ll still be playing in blue….(SPOILER ALERT: It’s Chelsea, he’s going back to Chelsea. To replace Costa)

Lukaku

Our final disappointment of the week is a man who I predict will be synonymous with disappointment as his career gradually meanders and stalls over the next decade, all because he just hasn’t learned how to kick a football hard enough. Come on down Raheem Sterling! While his teammates were filling their boots with two home games v Leicester and West Brom, Raheem was bumbling around the field for 77 minutes against Leicester and doing so badly that he wasn’t allowed play against the Tony Pulis Giants, who really don’t fancy a quick, nippy winger type running at them. THAT’S how bad he was. A 2 point haul was pitiful considering the likes of Sane got 12, De Bruyne got 15, Old Man Silva got 10 and the lumbering sloth that is Yaya Toure also got 10. £50 million quid? You got mugged City. Absolutely mugged.

 

@FantasyYIRMA GW 35 Review

There are moments when destiny sometimes comes knocking on your door. It’s not so much a gentle tap, it’s more of a booming wallop of your knocker (steady on…), so loud that you have no choice but to face your destiny with all the bravery you can muster.

And so, with just 3 GW’s left of this interminable Fantasy Football season (for those of us not in with a chance of silverware at least), that moment came calling at St. Mary’s Stadium, in the dying minutes of an utterly forgettable game between Southampton and Hull City.

Those of you who were seeking fantasy football glory and had selected Jakupovic in an AWAY game (I know one, so these weirdos do exist) must have slithered off your couch in resignation as news filtered through of a penalty being awarded to Southampton. That precocious gamble of yours was now slipping through your fingers like Joe Hart attempting to catch a cross in Italy…that marvellous 6 pointer was about to become just 2 points…and yet…

12 FREAKING POINTS! That’s how much that penalty save by Jakupovic was worth. 2 points became 11 points, which then had 3 bonus points added to it. Lo and behold, a mammoth 14 point haul for the big man from *googles Jakupovic* Bosnia! No, sorry, Switzerland! No, hang on, it’s both!

Jakupovic
YES! I don’t even have enough fingers to count my score this week! 

I’ve heard many moan that the quality of fare on offer on Match Of The Day on Saturday night was abysmal, but those moaners are simply fair-weather fans who don’t get the essence of this beautiful game. Sure, we can all marvel at the beauty of an Emre Can running, overhead, scissor kick, bicycle kick THUNDERB*STARD, but that’s only half the beauty of this wonderful game of ours.

Emre Can Watford
‘FOOTBALL MAN: Indeed’

To real football fans, clean sheets are our nirvana. When I saw that 7 teams from the lower reaches of the Premier League had kept clean sheets, I began to tremble with excitement. All those beautiful clean sheet points at bargain-basement prices…I was stammering more than Theresa May at a food bank full of nurses.

The list of high-scoring bargain defenders is a thing of beauty: Fonte, Francis, Smith, Keane, Stephens. You can keep your overpriced and overrated Kyle Walkers and David Luizeseses, these men are the real heroes of the game. Except…

The exception that proves the rule is Gary Cahill, a man that looks like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth, sensible haircut and a lovely young boy, but he plays for Chelsea, so y’know… Anyway, a 6th (S.I.X.T.H.) league goal of the season for the man who wears Paul Warhurst pyjamas to bed, and the only Chelsea defender churning out points these past few weeks.

Gary Cahill

Sergio Aguero has been on the radar of many a Triple-Captain-Chip-Holding Fantasy Football Manager with a lip-smacking, dribble-inducing double GW 37 on the horizon, featuring home games v West Brom (who have been on the beach so long that David Hasselfhoff is jealous) and Leicester City (who don’t give two Fuchs). He duly warmed up for what will undoubtedly be a record-breaking GW 37 performance with a fine haul of 12 points…before limping off injured. WHAT THE ACTUAL F….but hang on! Jesus Saves All! And at a fraction of the price! At least that’s what I’ll be praying for. To Jesus. For Jesus. It’s enough to give the Pope a headache.

Pope Francis

This brings us nicely onto those who are currently sat on the ‘Naughty Step’ for being very bold boys. Isn’t that right the Crystal Palace back four? Eh? It’s all well and good winning at Stamford Bridge and Anfield while walloping Arsenal in between, but Burnley at home…yes, THAT Burnley at home…the Burnley without an away win all season, at home. FFS lads, you’ll be on the naughty step all summer at this rate.

Many thought that Romelu Lukaku would make a ‘statement’ on Sunday as he lined out against his soon to be new teammates. Romelu has been on fire at Goodison Park in recent months, rattling up double-digits quicker and more frequently than Rachel Riley. Alas, the only ‘statement’ he put out on Sunday was a ‘For Sale. £40,000,000 To A Good Home. I Love You Mr Conté’ sign which he carried around the pitch for the full 90 minutes. Very disappointing indeed.

Finally, we come to Arsenal. Now I need to tread carefully here as my employer (HAH!) is an Arsenal fan, but I’ll be brave enough to state that what they’ve done to Alexis Sanchez is bordering on a human rights violation. He’d almost certainly prefer a 6 month stretch in Gitmo followed by a nice spot of waterboarding than reporting to training with this shower of sh*t every day, and he’s playing that way too. The timing is perfect too. While many teams are down to their last three games of the season, Arsenal still have something like 12 games to play (or thereabouts) with double GW’s every week between now and Christmas (or so it seems). Of course Arsene bloody Wenger has only gone and ruined the best attacking midfielder in Fantasy Football for a generation. He’s made me agree with Piers sodding Morgan, and for that I can never forgive him. Or myself.

@FantasyYIRMA GW 34 Review

Spring
Awwww….

Spring.

A time for renewal and revival throughout our world.

Animals emerge from hibernation or return to our shores after spending the winter down south (although Brexit will make re-entry impossible from Spring 2019).

Trees begin to, err, grow their leaves and stuff. Flowers bloom. Trump turns slightly more orange.

The world of Fantasy Football is not immune to renewal and revival as demonstrated by the list of ‘Heroes’ in this godforsaken strung-out-longer-than-this-really-strung-out-stupidly-long-word double GW 33.

However in nature, not everything that re-emerges in Spring is cute and fluffy and makes you say ‘Awwww’. You have Great White Sharks for example, and the Star Nose Mole, an animal so scary that even Stephen King thought ‘f*ck that’ when contemplating including him in one of his stories. You also have that utter b*stard Diego Costa, who had been dumped by thousands heading into this week, only to suddenly renew his interest in a lucrative move to China and bag himself 16 points.

Star Nose Mole
AAAHHHH…it’s Diego!

Anthony Martial is a simple man who’s simplicity had befuddled the managerial genius of Louis Van Gaal, but not José. José knows. It’s not about ‘psychology’ with Martial. It’s not about ‘building confidence’ or ‘giving him autonomy’. It’s simply a case of telling him exactly what he has to do….or else. His goal away to Burnley was a bolt from the blue as he sprinted clear of Joey Barton (who was 33/1 in-play to make the tackle) to poke home the opener. Ét voila! 14 points and Martin Tyler proclaiming in his shrill sex voice that he has ‘come back to form’, unlike Martin who just ‘cums’ whenever ‘MARTIAAAALLLLL’ does a goal.

David De Gea threw in two clean sheets just as Real Madrid were linked to another move for his services. Funny that, eh? Rumours that sales of brand new fax machines in the Greater Manchester area have grown 470% in the past week can be neither confirmed nor denied.

There was even 11 points for Brad Guzan. Yes, THAT Brad Guzan. A man last seen picking the ball out of his own net so often that he came 7th in the GQ Rear Of The Year poll.

Anyway, I’m currently wearing a tinfoil hat as recent events have led me to believe that ‘Evolution’ and ‘Creationism’ are all a load of horsesh*te, and that we are in fact living in ‘The Matrix’ (although I’m yet to find that lady in the red dress…). Y’see I was having a ‘Mexican Theme Party’ on Wednesday night and had served up my world famous Nachos to my guests. As usual they went down a storm with my mate Brian declaring “those Nachos are unreal!”. Within 15 seconds Nacho Monreal blootered a shot miles wide in desperation only to see it smash off Robert Huth and into the net for the winner for Arsenal. Unreal Nachos indeed. FFS.

Nachos
‘To Donald!’

Finally in our ‘heroes’ section (and it pains me to type that) we have Christian Benteke who returned to Anfield to stick two fingers up at Liverpool Football Club and win an impromptu game of ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ with Mamadou Sakho. Of course this was in no way intended to be a dig at Jurgen Klopp by two players chucked out on their arses by the hirsuite German. Oh no sirree bob. I mean, who doesn’t like a game of ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ after scoring a goal at Anfield. As for the symbolism of ‘Scissors’ cutting ‘Paper’, that has nothing to do with ‘Contracts being cut up’. Nope. Not having it.

In fact it was this game which has led me to now bet on every ex-player playing against his old club. Due to the quantity of transfers these days, it involves an outlay of approximately €2,500 per week, but I’m confident that Paddy Power will be weeping into his chardonnay in a few weeks. Watch this space.

As for ‘Villains’ of the week, look no further than Gaston ‘The Ladybird’ Ramirez (only readers with young kids will get that nickname) who managed to get himself sent off at Bournemouth within the first half an hour of what promised to be a lucrative double GW for those of us desperate for a real ‘differential’. The flute.

Gaston The Ladybird

Oumar Niasse did something similar and broke the hearts of quite a few players who were banking on Hull’s impressive home form to continue. Mind you, if you have picked Oumar Niasse for your fantasy football team, you need to reevaluate your life. Trust me on this.

Our final villain is our old friend Phil ‘Jags’ Jagielka who blew his chance to emulate the legendary Paul Warhurst and drew a blank in front of goal at West Ham. Gareth Southgate has now been forced to consider actual strikers for the next round of international matches. Coincidentally Wayne Rooney has been spotted at the Everton training ground this week with a big box of chocolates and a ‘Thank You’ card. I can’t imagine what that’s all about.

 

@FantasyYIRMA GW 33 Review

They say that you can judge a person by the Kompany they keep. Well, if you kept faith with Vincent Kompany in your Fantasy Football team, I’m going to judge you thusly…

  1. You’ve been a mahoosive idiot
  2. You’re a genius today. Played.
Vincent Kompany
Vincent was in shock when he learned of his 14 point haul…

A scarcely believable 3 point haul ALL FECKING SEASON (I know, I had to triple-check), followed by 14 points on one hazy south coast evening. That’s the kind of inflation you won’t see in the UK for, ooh, about another two years….

Just 0.5% of owners had him, and I wonder just how many had him on the bench. If you’re one of them, please send screenshots of your offending bench to @FantasyYIRMA on that Twitter machine thingy. He’ll appreciate it greatly.

Almost TWICE as many people (an enormous 1.1%) had the next star of the show this weekend, namely one Ander ‘Health & Safety Inspector’ Herrera, a man who neutralises Hazard(s), and who put a Belgian in his pocket for 2 hours (no mean feat considering most of you couldn’t keep anything Belgian out of your gob for more than 20 minutes on Sunday…). He also contributed an assist and a goal to send the Manchester United fans into raptures as they soared from 6th to 5th in the league on the back of a stellar 22 game unbeaten run. Incredible consistency, indeed.

22 Games Unbeaten

Stop smirking, you.

Yes, you.

This is the time of year when players realise that contracts may be coming to an end, or have a year to go, or even two years to go, or just have a greedy bastard of an agent who fancies a week in the Maldives if he can ship his slab of Nike-wearing-beef to another Premier League club just for shits and giggles.

Therefore we see some players stepping out of the wintery shadows into the glorious spring sunshine, catching the eye of managers and scouts desperate for that key summer signing. That’s three seasons in one sentence. I’m expecting a Pulitzer for this.

Two such creatures revealed themselves at the Bet365 Stadium as Shaqiri and Arnautovic both reminded the world that they’re quite good at this football lark, and are most likely being held captive in Stoke by a perpetually angry Mark Hughes. It’s a fate worse than death, wouldn’t you agree? Following their combined 25 point haul, perhaps they’ll be transferred to somewhere more fulfilling and hopeful, like Afghanistan or Dundalk.

Shakira

Arnautovic
My assistant editor couldn’t spell Shakiri and Arnautovic, so we got these images instead

Before my final hero of the week, I’m just going to point out that I’m not going to make a big deal of the fact that Phil ‘Jags’ Jagielka scored AGAIN this weekend, and that Gareth Southgate was at Goodison Park running the rule over his new England centre-forward, just as I predicted. That would be self-aggrandisement and crass, and I won’t stoop to that level.

That brings me onto Wahbi Kazri, a man who has a name that sounds like Item 49 in my local Sushi restaurant, and who is owned by 0.1% of Fantasy Football owners (presumably himself and his extended family). If you selected him this week and saw him score directly from a corner, pick up maximum bonus points, and confuse 25,000 Mackems by doing something nobody in red and white had done for about a decade, then take a bow. You jammy weirdo.

Sunderland Goal

Speaking of weirdo’s, time to discuss our Villains Of The Week, and where better to start than Goodison Park. No, Kelvin Mackenzie was not there, the bile-inducing, pseudo-human pit-stain. This time I’m referring to Joel Robles, a goalkeeper so bad that he’s destroying the career of Martin Stekelenburg just by being selected ahead of him each week. To rush out of your goal towards a striker running AWAY from you, and then execute a knee-slide like you’d just scored the winning goal in the cup final, all to concede a penalty…well, that takes a special kind of gobshite. It could have cost Jags a double-digit score for feck sake!!!!!

Speaking of goalkeeping douchebags, a special mention to Thibaut Courtois who managed to get himself injured playing basketball for a marketing promotion. Y’know, he’s just the No. 1 for the league leaders who had just 7 games left to play, no biggie. It’s not like us Fantasy Football enthusiasts care if our uber-expensive Chelsea defenders can’t keep a clean sheet anymore, is it? GAH!

Finally a round of applause to the Southampton bench for their performance on Saturday night. When they unleashed the ex-Cork City legend Shane Long from the bench, I fully expected Manchester City to end up on the end of a Tipperary thwacking, but unfortunately for Shane he made a fatal error of scratching the back of his leg. Oh yes, one wee scratch and the Southampton medical team had 3 ambulances outside the ground as they hauled him ashore for what was clearly a broken leg, or pulled hamstring, whatever. I applaud Shane Long for not ripping his perfectly good hamstring from his leg and wrapping it around the neck of Claude Puel, who by the way is the spitting image of Johnny Giles, in case you missed it.

John GilesClaude Puel

 

@FantasyYIRMA GW 32 Review

 

The star of the show in GW32 was a player that was destined to do great things for Spurs since Daddy Son eyed up Mammy Son across a dance-floor in 1991, many thousands of miles from North London (in Chuncheon, South Korea to be precise).

Chuncheon
I recommend a luncheon in Chuncheon

It’s fate, it’s destiny, it’s just meant to be. How else can you explain a footballer from the other side of the world playing in North London with the quintessential surname to suit the cries from the Spurs fans?

‘Go on my Son!’

‘Get in there my Son!’

‘I laaave you my Son!’

Many of us eyed up Spurs v Watford as a potential boot-filler for our Spurs attacking midfielders, with Harry Kane still on the mend. Indeed, I plumped for a Captain Eriksen differential myself, so I was only too thrilled to see Son amass 19 fecking points…GAH.

Indeed it was a week for ‘differentials’, which is just fantasy football nerd-speak for ‘who the hell saw THAT coming?’, which brings me nicely onto Andros Townsend. Yes, Andros. Townsend. THAT Andros Townsend. 14 points to plunge the dagger into the quivering heart of Arsene Wenger and light the fuse on Arsenal TV for the world to enjoy. Magnificent.

Arsenal Fan TV
I predict BAFTA’s…lots of them….

Mind you, if you thought that was unlikely, you would need to have been from the future to have drafted in Phil ‘I played in the Premier League for Sheffield United you know’ Jagielka a couple of games ago when Funes Mori was crocked. For the second week in a row ‘Jags’ racked up a double digit score without keeping a clean sheet. At this rate he’ll be picked as a striker by Gareth Southgate for the next England squad. It’s not that unlikely you know. Remember the Sheffield Wednesday defender Paul Warhurst? He got chucked up front as an ’emergency striker’ in 1992, scored 12 in 12 and got a call up for the next England squad. So I’m starting the ‘Jags To Lead The Lions Line’ campaign here.

Paul Warhurst
No, I didn’t make it up…

In a far more predictable development, Romelu Lukaku clocked up yet another double digit score at home for Everton, the 5th time in 7 home games he’s managed to do so. He always delivers the Good(i)s(on) at home…(sorry, not sorry). On more than one occasion I have seriously considered using the Triple Captain chip on the big Belgian at Goodison, but here I am, with 6 Gameweeks left, clinging onto the chip, pretty sure that I’ll take it with me into next season. You can do that, right? RIGHT?

Honourable mentions for Wilf Zaha and Josh King who have continued their fine form, and also for Jose Mourinho, who threw new batteries into his PS4 controller and expertly guided Luke Shaw around for 90 minutes at The Stadium of Light for a 10 point haul. You didn’t think it had anything to do with Luke himself, did you?

That match also saw Zlatan grab 12 points against the Moyes’ Mighty Mackems, but you’d be loathe to draft him in now with THAT run-in ahead of them (says the jittery Liverpool fan).

Now that we’ve covered those who delivered, let’s move onto the poxbottles who left us down…

I’m not saying that Alexis Sanchez is an expensive liability, but £11.6m for a midfielder with a face like a smacked arse, an attitude to match and who’s wearing Chelsea underwear in every game is too much for any self-respecting Fantasy Football manager to carry.

Begone Alexis! I smithe thee to the realms of next season where thou may be playing for a good team and I shall consider thee selectable once more!

Alexis Sanchez
My neck hurts looking up the table all the time…

Dear Kyle Walker, would it trouble you so much to send me a quick text to let me know that you’re going to spend a couple of weeks picking splinters out of your arse?

As for Sergio Aguero, there used to be a glorious time in Fantasy Football land when you just knew that a home game v Hull meant you didn’t need to worry about your Captaincy choice that week. He’d be guaranteed at least 15 points…but alas those days are long behind us. With a meagre 9 points (it’s all relative, right?), many were indeed extending his ‘nickname’ on Saturday night…KUN…

Finally, as if proof was ever needed, the worlds of ‘Real Football’ and ‘Fantasy Football’ are light years apart. In the ‘Real’ world, Jurgen Klopp is sitting pretty having squeaked out of Stoke with 3 points. In ‘Fantasy Football’ world though there are many who are cursing under their breath at his decision to start the game without his Brazilian Brothers. Yes I know they came on and did the business, but Stoke are woejious (that’s an Irish term for utter sh*te), so who knows how many points they could have scored with a full 90 minutes? Mind you, kudos to some of the Liverpool fans on Twitter who are working out how to ‘repay’ Coutinho for hauling himself off his sick bed to help the cause on Saturday. I don’t know lads, but surely £100,000 a week is thanks enough?