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  • 2017

  • Jay Egersdorff gets his Hat-trick

    Jay Egersdorff is making this trophy his own with no less than 3 overall wins in the past 4 seasons. Jay from ESP agency in Manchester is now a West Ham fan but when he first won the league, he was a Blackburn fan. Maybe he got fed up of the Venky’s? Who knows, but we think we should be told!

  • Who’s Your Triple Captain?

    Next week, Gameweek 37 is the big one for playing your triple captain chip if you haven’t already done so. Remember, you can only use one chip per week and you can’t play a chip in the same week as a wildcard. Also remember that there are 2 games on Friday so don’t miss the deadline.

  • Short on The Baggies

    Tony Pulis is undoubtedly a great manager with an enviable track record of never being relegated in his life. However, once Pulis’s teams reach that magic 40 points, they seem to take their foot off the gas. This season, The Baggies hit 40 points in gameweek 26 when they beat Bournemouth 2-1. Since then they’ve lost to Palace, Everton, Watford, Southampton and Liverpool and, incredibly, the only two games that they’ve taken points in has been the draw at Old Trafford and beating Arsenal.

  • Week 37 is the big one

    Both Boro and ManU have double gameweeks next week so watch out for the triple captain opportunities if you have Ibra etc, although after the win at Old Trafford last weekend, Ibra’s place cannot be guaranteed for both games. It may be that Jose saves him for his grudge match against Pep on the Thursday. City fans reckon that United have the advantage in this rare Premiership game held on a Thursday because they’re so very used to playing on Thursdays. It will also be held on what City fans call Denis Law Day in remembrance of the Derby held at Old Trafford on that day in 1974 when former Red, Denis Law given a free transfer to City, backheeled the ball into the United net to send them down to the old Second Division.

  • Let’s help our teams in Europe

    Leicester lost their winning momentum in a hugely entertaining contest at Everton but fortunately no more players to injury before their first appearance in a Champions League quarter-final at Atlético Madrid on Wednesday. Wes Morgan, it was confirmed, will miss the game with a back problem. The club’s interim manager Craig Shakespeare did all he could to utilise his resources ahead of the showpiece European occasion, shifting Riyad Mahrez and Danny Simpson to the bench at Goodison Park, withdrawing Jamie Vardy after 61 minutes and giving Christian Fuchs, Shinji Okazaki and Wilfred Ndidi the day off.

  • Don’t forget the midweek games

    Just to remind everyone that we have a new gameweek starting tomorrow for the midweek games.

  • Week 34 could be key

    Some of the rearranged games look to have been rescheduled for Week 34 with half of the Premiership teams having double game weeks. Chelsea Southampton, Arsenal Leicester, Boro Sunderland, Palace Spurs and the Manchester Derby will all be played in that week leaving lots of triple captain opportunities for our managers. The Manchester Derby is on what City fans call Denis Law Day, which is the anniversary of when United’s great hero from the past transferred to City and then helped relegate United to the Second Division with a superb back-heeled goal. Law was so upset that he had to be helped off the field crying. Bless xxxx.

  • Short game weeks begin

    Next week is the first of the short game weeks of the season. We only have 4 games going on next week after City beat Huddersfield to play Boro next Saturday in the FA Cup.

  • Could Leicester emulate Manchester City?

    Manchester City won the 1936-37 Football League and scoring a magnificent 107 goals and only conceding 61 along the way. What made the season sweeter for the Blues was that Manchester United finished second from bottom and were relegated.

  • Are Spurs going to collapse again and what about Burnley?

    For those of us watching MOTD on Saturday, Lineker came up with a very interesting stat.

  • Who does Marco Silva think he is?

    When Hull let Mike Phelan go into the season with only half a squad most of us thought they were doomed and that the owners were only interested in collecting their incredible £97m plus parachute payments over the next three seasons of an even more incredible £86m. As the bloke in the Mail says, you couldn’t make it up.

  • More wildcard ideas

    Most wildcards are played to improve the attacking qualities of our teams for good reason. The Premiership now has so much attacking quality both up front and in midfield, that the accepted wisdom is that you should pay for goals.

  • How the top managers pick their teams.

    The very top managers in the Fantasy League share certain characteristics and this week we’ve got together with our friends at Fantasy Football Geek to let you in on their secrets.

  • Wildcard time is just around the corner.

    With just two gameweeks to play before the next wildcard is available we look at the pros and cons of playing your wildcard early or late.

  • It’s a goal fest.

    City have kept two clean sheets all season. Liverpool just three. Between them, they’ve shipped 13 goals in two weeks.

  • Jose is right. United should be up there at the top.

    Jose keeps saying that his team are the unluckiest in the Prem and should really be up there with the leaders. Most United fans don’t even believe that The Now Not So Special One, does have a point.

  • The assist before the assist.

    Should they change the FPL rules to give credit to the assist before the assist?

  • Is it better to invest in goalies or defenders?

    Last week we asked the question if it’s better to spend your transfer funds on forwards or midfielders. This week, we’re going to examine goalies and defenders and next week, because many managers like to go cheap on their defence, we’re going to look into cheap v expensive defenders.

  • Is it better to invest in strikers or midfielders?

    With midfielders like Hazard, Sanchez and the Liverpool lot playing in basically forward positions and bagging a lot of goals and assists from that, this week we ask the question if it’s better to spend your transfer funds on forwards or midfielders.

  • Is Jose losing it again?

    It’s not been a good start to the season for Jose at Old Trafford. Stuck in 8th place with just 15 points he’s 8 points behind the leaders and there’s a few of them. This time last season Van Gaal was on 20 points and in 4th place and only 2 points behind the leaders. Even worse, the much-derided David Moyes had 17 points and was also in 8th place. It’s just that Moyes’ side had scored more goals.

  • You’re not special anymore

    We thought the Chelsea fans were a tad ungrateful to Jose yesterday. After all, he’d been their most successful manager and they should show him a little more respect which was exactly Jose’s point at the end when he whispered in Conte’s ear and berated him for celebrating too much. We wonder if Taggart did the same when The Special One went sliding down the touchline on his knees at Old Trafford whilst managing Porto?

  • Not even one for the purists

    Well after all the disappointments of the international break, wasn’t it brilliant to get back to the goals, the skills and the controversy of the Prem? And of course, the game of the week, Liverpool against ManU at Anfield with the best pundit in the world, Ryan Giggs making a star appearance?

  • Penalties, penalties, penalties

    James Milner has now scored 4 penalties in the last 7 games making him Liverpool’s top scorer which in a team with as many goals as Liverpool have in them is some going. But is he worth buying and will Liverpool continue to win penalties?

  • Whatever happened to West Ham

    The winning team scored 3 or more goals in 7 out of 10 games this weekend. Even The Baggies got in on the act and the last time they scored 4 was 2 years ago. They’ve only scored more than two once in the past 12 months though.

  • Less clean sheets and more goals

    Have you thought that this season is a bit lacking in clean sheets? So did we so we did a little bit of analysis and that's certainly the case. Up until the end of game week 4 of last season we had a total of 26 clean sheets. This season we only have 17.

  • Hold fire on your wildcards

    The received wisdom for those of us managers who are having what golfers call a son-in-law (not quite what we expected) at this early stage in the season is to play our first wildcard soon. After all, if the team we’ve chosen is that bad we want to change it for something better asap and get as many gameweeks in with our new and better team.

  • United still on same points as City. Hull City that is

    Hull have been absolutely brilliant in their first two games but whatever you do, don’t run away with the idea that they could do a Leicester or even a Bournemouth. Mike Phelan has spent almost his entire post playing career as a coach or an assistant manager and spending 5 years as Taggart’s number 2 can’t have done him any harm at all. He’s been able to put all that experience to great use at the KCOM. However, with just 13 fit senior players in his squad and 10 short days before the end of the current window, Hull’s chances of having anything but a desperate campaign are slim indeed.

  • Mike Barnard holds on to win the league

    So no surprises this season with Mike Barnard holding on to win the league and the £500 prize and Alan Furley not being able to catch him but still holding out for the £100 runners up prize.

  • Payet is the MAN in the Fantasy League

    Dimitri Payet made all the difference to our league this week. In a nutshell, if you captained Payet, you did well. If you captained anyone else, hard luck. If you Triple Captained him, you did brilliantly. That was it basically in a week when lots of managers filled up with Liverpool players for the DGW only to find that Kloppo has become Tinkerman and many of our choices only ended up with 90 unsatisfactory minutes at The Bridge.

  • Great week for the Prem, not so for the Fantasy League

    It may have been a historic week for the Prem with Leicester winning the league with the Fight Club at The Bridge last night, but in our world we were all a little fed up.

  • Short week, short scores

    After last week's bonanza, this week has been disappointing to say the least for most of our managers. Coupled with a short week of only 7 games, Spurs fell off their horse which upset those of us who'd captained Harry and who had filled up with Spurs players who looked like they were going to go on a massive run until the end of the season. Now, with Leicester looking like they may tie up the league on Saturday we wonder if the Spurs players may take their foot off the gas a little? Spurs play on Monday night and will know by then if they still have something to play for other than finishing above Arsenal.

  • Double GameWeeks and CHIPS create massive scores - for some

    This was our first big opportunity to play our CHIPS and some of us did really well out of it.

  • Time to play your CHIPS

    With only 5 Gameweeks left and even less Double Gameweeks those of us who haven't played our CHIPS need to prepare quickly.

  • Who's who in the double Gameweeks?

    Double Gameweek 33, Double Gameweek 34, Blank in Week 35, Double Gameweek 37

  • Double Gameweeks Announced

    The moment we have all been waiting for; double gameweek announcements!

  • Specialists in arrogance

    Jose Mourinho once called Arsene Wenger a "specialist in failure" and he wasn't far wrong. Not only did he specialise in not winning very much, he didn't seem to recognise that anything was wrong. This season the league was there for the taking for Arsenal or City but they've both failed miserably. For Wenger to believe that his squad was so good that he didn't have to buy a single outfield player in the summer was bordering on the insane, or a bout of severe arrogance.

  • Double game weeks on the horizon. Chip alley

    There are just 12 teams playing on the next gameweek with West Ham, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Everton, Watford, Palace and Sunderland all not playing either because they are in the FA Cup or their scheduled rivals are in it. They all have to play these games sometime before the end of April and the ones that get through will have other rearranged games.

  • How much do players' wages affect a team's league position?

    Manchester City's CEO, Ferran Soriano is unusual in the world of football in that he's a business school graduate who, horrified by the lack of professionalism shown by the directors of Barca, wrote a book about the business of football. Goal: The Ball Doesn't Go In By Chance: Management Ideas from the World of Football.

  • Can Leicester equal Forest's record?

    Brian Clough took over at Forest in 1975 when they were a middling team stuck near the bottom of the second flight. The next season he squeezed into the promotion slot in third place. The next season, Forest won the top flight title with four games to spare and added the League Cup for good measure.

  • Lots of points but the wrong players scoring them.

    There were absolutely loads of points on offer this week; it's just that the "wrong" players scored them. The highest scorer got 112 points whereas the average was just 41. If you took last week's Top 10, only Mike Barnard and George Bartlett scored more than 50 and they didn't actually cover themselves in glory. Others like Luis Cruz (35), Paul Cellini (31) and last week's leader, Ben Wilcox (28) were absolutely pathetic.

  • It's a crunch week for who is really going to win the league.

    Next gameweek is certainly the crunch week regarding who is going to be where in the Top 4 and indeed, if City can even qualify for the Champions League by the end of the season.

  • Watch out for the short gameweeks?

    The short gameweeks are nearly upon us with the weekend of February 20 taken up with FA Cup games and the following weekend having two fixtures cancelled because of the Capital One Cup Final between City and Liverpool. Just a couple of weeks later, gameweek 30 on March 12 could be literally wiped out if the Premiership teams still in the FA Cup play to form and defeat their lower rivals.

  • Could Spurs pip Arsenal for the title?

    Pundits are now quite rightly calling all the teams in the Premier League top 4 title contenders. There's only a five-point gap between Leicester at the top and Spurs in 4th but the north London side are only a very catchable 2 points behind both City and Arsenal. City and Spurs have a much better goal difference to the other two and so that gives Spurs an even better chance of finishing higher than Arsenal - something they have never, ever done for the last 20 years including all of 19 years of the Wenger era going back to 1996.

  • Who's your go-to captain?

    With most squads being made up of any 15 from 22 players, the choice of captain is crucial for the rest of the season. Just this week, the difference between captaining Mahrez (away to Villa, not a bad shout) and Aguero (only scored more than one goal in a game once all season before Saturday) was a massive 30 points.

  • Is it time to play your wildcard?

    The wildcard rules have changed this season. In previous seasons we all got a January Wildcard which ran out at the end of the month. This season, you get a new wildcard at the beginning of January that lasts you through to whenever you use it.

  • Is this the worse or the best Premier League in years?

    If you feel the same as us, you'll be confused by this season. There are no banker results any more - just look at Arsenal being whupped 4-0 by out-of-form Southampton or Watford destroying Liverpool 3-0 and you get our drift. The only certain this season seems to be that Villa will lose but then again, City couldn't manage any more than a draw against them. It would seem like a certainty that the old adage of the Premiership winners losing no more than 6 games will go firmly out of the window this season, with the two favourites, Arsenal and City already losing 4 and 5 respectively.

  • Is van Gaal really a SuperCoach?

    It seems incongruous that Louis van Gaal is under any pressure at all at Old Trafford. Nobody actually expected him to win the league or to progress that far in the Champions League and whilst he's out of one domestic cup competition, he's still in the FA Cup and looks bang on to finish in the top 4 in the league. However, Jose getting the bullet at Chelsea has changed all that and although he left Chelsea 14 points adrift of United, the fact that he's here and available has turned into a game changer for the Dutchman.

  • Blame it on the injuries

    With Manchester United getting a pounding from Bournemouth on Saturday night, many United fans blamed the club's injury situation and so we decided to look at which clubs were suffering the most through injuries. The results may surprise you. We'll leave it for you to decide if the United fans complaints were justified or not, although one thing's for certain - Jose can't blame the injuries!

  • Is endeavour beating skill this season?

    Although most pure football fans are ecstatic at Leicester being at the top of the Premier League in early December, there are more and more upsets in the league every week. Partly this is because of the TV revenues meaning that the second tier teams can buy Europe's "nearly" players whereas before they would have stayed on the Continent, and these nearly players are making significant contributions to their teams' results.

  • It's tight at the top but could it beat 1972?

    What a great season this is turning out to be with us nearly in December and just 2 points separating our top 4 clubs and Spurs and Liverpool lurking around in 5th and 6th spots. Could we end up like the 1971-72 season in the old top flight, the First Division?

  • Liverpool's renaissance is built around goal scoring midfielders

    We had the misfortune to attend the City v Liverpool game at The Etihad on Saturday evening and although City's performance was nothing short of disgraceful, that should take nothing away from the new, resurgent Liverpool inspired by the brilliant Kloppo.

  • The usual suspects let the side down

    With the average FPL manager's points this week being a ridiculously low 24, the usual suspects have disappointed us. Of course, the way to do well in the FL is to have a good start because sooner or later everyone's team morphs into one with only the choice of captain or some smart use of the chips making any real difference and so this week, most of our favourites that we all rely on have let us down - badly. And some of the most popular choices as captain like KDB, Sanchez, Pelle and Mahrez have come in with just 2 or 3 points. Before you get the hump and start transferring some of them out, please remember that there are two International friendlies next week so hold fire in case of injuries.

  • He's Jamie Vardy, he'll score when he wants

    Those of us who thought that Vardy's run had to end over the weekend were proved wrong yet again. It was a reasonable guess - after all he WAS playing WBA away who'd kept 6 clean sheets out of their 10 previous Premiership games and if Vardy had scored he would have eclipsed iconic players such as Shearer and Henry, drawn level with Daniel Sturridge and would have ended up just two goals behind the record holder for the most consecutive Premiership goals, Ruud van Nistelroy.

  • Could this be the start for Kaptain Kane?

    Well, we've all be waiting for last year's hero, Harry Kane to get out of the blocks and aside from a goal against City in September, the Spurs hero has been firing so many blanks we were starting to call him Jaffa. But is a hat trick against Bournemouth really any test at all? Some managers clearly thought that it was time for Kane to step up and made him their captain. You only have to look at the big scores in the league and they all have this in common. However, £9.2m is a lot of investment for someone who has recorded 8 twos and noughts out of 10 games. Wouldn't you be better off with a proven goal scorer like Jamie Vardy?

  • Who has replaced Aguero in your team?

    What a blow for those many FL managers who were so relieved that Kun Aguero had broken his goalless spell with 5 against Newcastle last gameweek to be faced with him being out for the next 6 weeks. At £13m he's just too expensive to have on the bench but who to replace him with?

  • Kun does a Lewandowski, The Brodge gets the bullet but The Tinkerman steals the headlines.

    How wrong were we to even suggest ditching Kun Aguero last week? Not only did he equal the 5 goals in a game record shared with Shearer, Berbatov, Cole and Defoe but he did it in just 20 minutes. Who does he think he is, Robert Lewandowski? Those managers who stuck with him and didn't swap him out for Lukaku were rewarded with 25 points, those who captained him an amazing 50 and some lucky chaps played their Triple Captain chip for a stupendous 75 points. If he hadn't been hooked on 66 minutes, it could have been more!

  • What happened to the Top 6?

    It feels as if the world has turned upside down. The players from the Top 6 sides that should be ripping it up are mainly doing badly and those from sides that shouldn't have had a prayer are doing really well. This week, we're going to have a look at what this actually means per position according to the Form table and see how many of last year's Top 6 are featured.

  • Jose alienates badminton players now

    Fun and games at The Bridge on Saturday. Costa should have definitely walked and may yet do so depending upon the ref's report, but it would be unlike Jose to do anything but support his thug (sorry, player) 100% and then attack the journo who asked him a very reasonable question. But God, was it funny.

  • What's happened to Chelsea?

    So, at last, the Big League starts after 4 weeks of phoney wars. Transfer deadline day has come and gone, lots of wildcards will have been played and we're all desperate to know who's going to do what this season, but the question on everyone's lips is, "What's happened to Chelsea?"

  • The Change to Bonus Points

    The biggest and the best recruitment fantasy league in the country begins at 1145 on Saturday 12th September. There have been quite a few rule changes and so we've been giving you a run down on them over the last few weeks. The previous editions are available on-line at http://www.futurarec2rec.com/updates/2015/

  • The All Out Attack Chip

    The biggest and the best recruitment fantasy league in the country begins at 1145 on Saturday 12th September. There have been quite a few rule changes and so we've been giving you a run down on them over the last few weeks. The previous editions are available on-line at

  • The Triple Captain and the Bench Boost Chips

    As those of you who have played in previous season will know, our league actually starts in GameWeek 5 so that all you hard working recruiters can enjoy your August holidays and still be part of the biggest and the best recruitment fantasy league in the country.

  • The Rules

    As those of you who have played in previous seasons will know, our league actually starts in GameWeek 5 so that all you hard working recruiters can enjoy your August holidays and still be part of the biggest and the best recruitment fantasy league in the country.

  • The Recruitment International Fantasy Football League 2015-2016 Sponsored by Futura Rec2Rec

    The very best, the biggest and longest established football fantasy league for the recruitment industry, the Recruitment International Fantasy Football League is back in action and ready for the coming season.

  • Jay Egersdorff does a Red Rum to win the league

    Red Rum won its first Grand National in 1973 coming from over 30 lengths behind to beat Crisp by 3/4 of a length at the finish post. This win was a remarkable achievement in itself but it preceded an historic three National wins for the Southport-based thoroughbred.

  • Who are the promoted bargains?

    Last night at The Emirates saw one of the most thrilling 0-0 draws that we've ever witnessed but now that's over and most of the Premiership issues are now settled bar who gets the "coveted" Europa League spots and who gets the final relegation place, we turn this newsletter's focus onto next season and the promoted sides.

  • Kaptain Kun to the rescue

    Those of us who captained Kun Aguero this week were richly rewarded with a hat trick and 2 assists plus 3 bonus points to make it 46 for the week. Kun has had a remarkable 4 seasons in English football including of course, his stunning winner against QPR in 2012, which brought the Premiership trophy to The Etihad for the first time. During those 4 seasons, the diminutive Argentinean has scored 2 goals every three games and this season, he's scored a goal every 94 minutes on the pitch, some distance ahead of Costa on 103 minutes, and way ahead of Kane’s 120 minutes. But Aguero doesn't just score goals. He can claim 7 assists this season, as many as Costa (3) and Kane (4) put together, and his passing accuracy is also ahead of his rivals, with 85 per cent of his passes reaching their target against Costa’s 76 per cent and Kane’s 73 per cent.

  • Less can sometimes be more.

    By Christmas in our private "mates" leagues we usually know whom the best three contenders are going to be at the end of the season and the rest of us start to lose interest and stop doing our teams each week. We guess that you all must go through the same thoughts?

  • PFA Awards Follow Fantasy League Stats

    There weren't many football fans that would argue with the professional players choosing Hazard and Kane for the PFA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year. But why bother with all the voting? They could have just looked at the PFL stats page and it would have shown that Hazard was indeed the top points scorer and that Kane was the top young points scorer. However, in terms of many previous winners, Hazard has quite a low goals and assists tally (so far) of 13 and 8. Previous winners such as Suarez (31/12), Ronaldo (31/7), Van Persie (30/9) and Henry (30/9) put him firmly in the shade.

  • The Prem disrupts the FA Cup and the FA Cup disrupts the Fantasy League

    There was some discord when it was announced that Arsenal's FA Cup semi final at Wembley was to be screened at the same time as Chelsea's Premier League clash against Manchester United. We're sure most of us would have preferred to watch the EPL game but we're also sure that most of us were unhappy with yet another nail in the FA Cup coffin being driven in by the broadcasters. For us Fantasy League managers, the worse thing was the total devastation of our teams with Liverpool, Arsenal, Villa, Sunderland, Hull and QPR all without games. 4 of those teams have double gameweeks this week and Arsenal v Sunderland is in gameweek 37.

  • What a run in!

    If we forget the Mourinho Machine being almost boringly on target for the whole season to win the league, the final month of the season looks absolutely fantastic. Who will finish second? Could Long Ball Louis pip both City and Arsenal into 2nd place and disprove the early doubters? Could Arsenal actually give Chelsea a run for their money with their no pressure brilliance? Could Pellegrini throw the occasional teacup and prove that he's not actually deceased nor a poor imitation of Coronation Street's Audrey Roberts? Could Southampton pip Liverpool and Spurs to 5th place and could Burnley, QPR or Leicester avoid the drop? It's not been this exciting since Balotelli squeezed his only assist ever in a City shirt to Aguero to win the Prem in 2012.

  • The top 4 is set in stone, but our league is still wide open

    After Chelsea's win against the very brave Hull last night and Long Ball Louis's team taking full advantage of Slippy G's aberration earlier, the EPL Top 4 is cast in tablets of stone. The only issue is who will finish where behind Chelsea with Manchester United still having to play both City and Arsenal, Arsenal having to play Liverpool, Chelsea and United and the Champions having to play away games at both United and Spurs.

  • After City and Chelsea drop points, do Arsenal really have a chance?

    Arsenal are definitely on a roll. Since they lost away to Southampton on New Year's Day, they've only lost 1 game in 8 Premiership fixtures, dropping just 3 points in that period and now sit just one point behind City and 7 behind Chelsea who they meet at home on April 26th. That's obviously a must-win match for the "serial losers" but if they do, and you discount Manchester United away the only really tough game they've got is Liverpool at home. Could Wenger do the unthinkable? He's got a better chance than Pellegrini that's for sure.

  • Spurs' and QPR's double bubble catches some managers out

    In a gameweek when Spurs and QPR played an extra game each it shouldn't have been that hard to pick your captain. Anyone whose name ends in ane would do the trick and those that did claimed a superb 30 points from the Spurs wonderkind. In fact, all of Top 10 did the same with the notable exception of our Number 1, Oli Ottey who chose Aguero. Following on from last week's choice of the suspended Jack Colback, we're getting seriously worried about our Oli who seems to be chucking his once-unassailable lead away without a care in the world. It's like Manchester United losing to Everton and losing the league a couple of seasons back.. Maybe he's just got a girlfriend and the Fantasy League just doesn't hold the same attraction any more. Whatever it is Oli, we think we should be told!

  • Liverpool's revival means plenty of FL bargains

    Liverpool's post Christmas revival is remarkable. Not only did they take apart the Champions on Sunday but they have also started to look like the real deal and will almost certainly secure a Champions League spot this season. Their three at the back line-up has been superb such that since their New Year's Day aberration against Leicester, they've only conceded 3 goals and have kept 5 clean sheets in those 7 games. They've also kept 5 consecutive clean sheets in away games - a feat that they've not managed to do since Hansen and Lawrenson were still playing back in 1985.

  • The worm turns and "supercoach" van Gaal is on the rack

    You know that something is amiss at Old Trafford when their greatest media fan, the Daily Mail's Ian Ladyman says that he doesn't think LvG knows what he's doing. The weekend actually started OK for the manager who even United fans have taken to calling Long Ball Louis with a report in the Mail that 81% of United fans thought he was doing a good job. The poll, in the Manchester Evening News actually asked the question "What is more important for van Gaal this season, style or results?" It isn't so surprising that United fans think that results are more important given that style seems to have gone out of the window. United fans are historically extremely supportive of their managers but dropping Rooney to a defensive midfield position and then launching long balls up to Fellaini is testing their patience. It seems incredible that until Saturday's game Rooney hadn't had a single shot on target in the whole of 2015 and that despite United's impressive 65% possession at the Liberty Stadium they could only muster 3 shots on target as opposed to Swansea's 6.

  • Prince Harry lights up the league

    "Kane is Able", "HurriKane", "Citizen Kane" and "Prince Harry" were just some of the tabloid headlines on Sunday morning after the Spurs wonderkid netted twice to win the North London derby for Tottenham and to not only put pressure on Arsenal, but also on Southampton, Manchester United and Liverpool. The way City are playing at the moment you could arguably include them in that list as well. Harry has now scored 20 goals in all competitions this season, which isn't far short of the 26 that Bale scored in his best season at the club. At £6.1m he's an absolute bargain and yet only 41% of us have him in our sides. Shurely, Shomething wrong?

  • No Sanchez or Costa.

    So with Sanchez still out and Costa now absent for a further 2 games, captaincy was the big choice this weekend. We wouldn’t have thought that many would have been able to pick out an effective person from the Arsenal team and yet Ryan Roberts managed to pull a total of 49 points from 3 players, this is actually more than some of the teams totals in our league as well!

  • Is Cazorla the new Sanchez?

    Nobody who watched Arsenal's highly mature and impressive demolition of City on Sunday could fail to be impressed with Santi Cazorla. Of course, in the Spaniard's first EPL season he came straight out of the blocks with 13 goals and another 13 assists and was one of the first choices for all FPL managers.

  • Bargain basement players show up their expensive counterparts

    As we go past the halfway mark of the season, there are 13 players that have scored more than 100 points and nearly half of them cost £6.5m or less. Charlie Austin at just £6.4m has to be the bargain attacker of the season but Berahino and Kane also come close. Midfielders Downing, Chadli and Sigurdsson are all right up there in the Value / Season table and are all in the 100 points plus club. The best value defenders with less than 10% ownership are Fonte, Cissokho, Janmaat and O'Shea whereas the best value goalies are Heaton, Guzan, Forster and Green. Guzan has a large ownership but the other three will all give you an edge against your rival managers and free up funds for key acquisitions such at £12.4m Kun Aguero.

  • Who replaces Aguero as captain?

    This weekend in Spain, both Ronaldo and Messi scored hat-tricks. For Ronaldo it was the 23rd of his La Liga career and took him ahead of Telmo Zarra and Alfredo di Stefano from the 1950's. Ronaldo's 3 goals also took him to 200 goals scored in a mere 178 games; the shortest number of games it has taken any player to achieve such a total. Although Messi has been playing in La Liga since 2004, Ronaldo didn't arrive until 2009. However in the time since Ronaldo's arrival, Messi has scored 202 goals but in 182 games. In that time, Ronaldo's averaged 1.13 goals per game compared with Messi's 1.11.

  • Defenders run the game

    Ronald Koeman still holds the record for the world's highest goal scoring defender in top class football. It's therefore fitting that Gael Clichy who hadn't scored a Premier League goal since the 2008/09 season scored yesterday when City increased Southampton's goals against tally by 50% at St Mary's. Glen Johnson used to score 3 a season but Liverpool soon battered that out of him and he hasn't scored for 2 seasons until Saturday. Brenda will probably drop him for that. Chris Smalling's goal scoring chart looks to be in binary 1-0-1-0-0-0 but he got one on Saturday when Manchester United played the seriously unambitious Hull City and West Ham's Aaron Cresswell scored the first Premiership goal of his career to earn a fantastic 15 points in their 1-0 defeat of Newcastle. Cresswell is now third in the Defenders Form table and is owned by just 1% of managers. Food for thought there guys.

  • Pardew repays the vote of confidence

    At the end of September, Alan Pardew was the bookie's favourite to lose his job. Newcastle had just 3 points on the board and hadn't managed a single victory in the Premier League and had been thumped 4-0 by Southampton into the bargain.

  • Aguero shores up sad City

    Manuel Pellegrini will be very glad of the international break next weekend but not as glad as the fact that he has the brilliant Kun Aguero lifting his struggling City side week in, week out. After Ronaldo, Aguero is now the second most prolific goal scorer in all the European leagues this season.

  • It's the Alexis Sanchez show

    The best Fantasy League managers are always reticent to choose big players from abroad until they've settled into the Premiership. Too many fingers have been burnt on players like Ozil and Falcao. Alexis Sanchez came with a big reputation. He was never the first choice at Barcelona until his final season when he scored 19 goals in 34 appearances, and a few of those were from the bench. He had an OK start at Arsenal but he's now on fire scoring 5 goals in his last 3 games, pulling the north Londoners out of the mire in the process. However, the best thing about the Chilean is that the Fantasy League have him down as a midfielder rather than a striker which means of course, that he gets 5 points for every goal scored instead of a striker's 4 points.

  • Koeman dispels the Manager of the Month curse

    So much for the Barclays Manager of the Month award being a curse. Ronald Koeman collected the award before the Sunderland game and then went on to watch his team destroy the Mackems with his refreshingly swish style of football and no less than 8 goals This week they beat Stoke to go second in the table having conceded a mere 5 goals all season. Being keen aficionados of Barcelona, Koeman was always a hero of ours ever since his blockbuster free kick won the 1992 European Cup at Wembley, but we've never rated him as a manager before with most of his previous jobs lasting less than 12 months.

  • What a week that was!

    Southampton score 8 against Sunderland who score the funniest OG in history, Aguero scores 4 against Spurs AND misses a pen and for the first time in EPL history there are 4 pens awarded in a game, Arsenal are lucky to draw at home with Hull, Newcastle win a game, Everton win a game AND keep a clean sheet, QPR contrive to both score 2 and concede 2 in the final 8 minutes with Richard Dunne securing the record number of EPL OGs ever and Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini has his first decent game in a red shirt. The Baggies were made to eat their tweeted words when he scored within 3 minutes of coming on - "Fellaini has now taken his tracksuit off. Fortunately he has a Man U strip on underneath"

  • What's happened to Everton?

    Last season, Everton were one of those go-to teams where Fantasy League managers could pick up great value players that would produce points week in, week out and where Baines and Coleman would not only get us clean sheets but also chip in with goals and assists galore.

  • The usual suspects let everyone down

    When the PFL's Dream Team only features 3 midfielders and when those in question are Dorrans, Jedinak and Willian you know for certain that most managers' midfields are going to have had a pants week. And that's exactly what happened with the best manager in our league scoring a mere 61 points.

  • City and Chelsea in boring 1-1 draw. United in 8 goal thriller.

    You can imagine that headline this morning in the Daily Manchester United Mail can't you but United's transfer window buys and their performances this season do remind us of the original Galacticos of Real Madrid who went a full 3 years without winning a sausage after they bought Beckham to add to Figo on the right wing and totally ignored their defence. Elsewhere, what a week it was with some of the more fancied teams suffering from post-European hangovers and Southampton, Villa, Swansea, Leicester, West Ham and Hull all in the top 10 and Liverpool, United and Everton all in the bottom half.

  • The new imports lead the way

    New imports Diego Costa and Angel De Maria have lit up the EPL in just a few short weeks and in Di Maria's case, just one week. Costa has now scored seven times in four league appearances, from just 14 shots. Torres took 43 games to register that many. Not only has Costa has equalled TalkSport presenter, Micky Quinn's 22 year old record of scoring in his first 4 EPL games but he's beaten Quinny's & Kun Aguero's record of scoring 6 goals in the opening 4 games. We still think Quinny's record is the better one though as he was playing for Coventry City in a team of no-hopers!

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  • The Special One plays his part in a thrilling end to the season

    Despite all of Jose's mind games about fielding a team of kids, he actually put out a very strong defensive side against Liverpool and played the sort of "19th century football" that he accused West Ham of earlier in the season when they "parked two buses" at Stamford Bridge. At the end of the day of course, the record books won't show the number of buses but the number goals scored and conceded. And why would Jose even think that winning the CL would be easier than winning the Prem? Even if he breaks down Atletico (who play very much like Chelsea, defending deep and breaking fast), he'd still have to contend with Bayern or Real in the final. The way the Liverpool and City have slipped up he's in with a small shout if Liverpool get beat at Palace and City get beat at Everton. Chelsea have a very easy run in against Norwich and Cardiff and they won't slip up against those will they? Or will they?

  • Half a fixture list

    With only 50% of teams playing this weekend who did the best FL managers select / transfer in to make the most of the Gameweek? Chelsea players, Hazard aside are very difficult to pick because the strikers rarely score and the midfielders change more often than most of us change our socks. The obvious choice would have been ManU players given that they were playing the increasingly hopeless Baggies. Why on earth their owner Jeremy Peace got rid of Steve Clark and replaced him with Pepe Mel, a Spanish manager with a very average history in a league that he actually knew something about is anyone's guess. No, he still hasn't won a single game yet. Getting back to ManU, the obvious choice for those FL managers who don't support City, Liverpool or Everton ("Once a Blue, always a Blue" as Rooney once said) was their extremely well paid, follicly-challenged captain-elect. Those that did were rewarded with a goal, an assist and a clean sheet. That's 20 points in the past 2 games for our Wayne however those have been against Palace and WBA. That Europa league place and ITV4 on Thursday nights is becoming more and more a possibility. Fingers crossed eh?

  • Is Sturridge the new Suarez?

    Is Luis Suarez losing his touch and is Daniel Sturridge stealing his place as the FL managers' favourite player? Well, in his last 4 games Suarez has only managed 4 points per game. Contrast that with his golden period in December when he amassed an amazing 71 points in as many games and you can see his fall from grace. He's now the 4th placed Liverpool player in the form table after Sturridge, Gerrard and (yes) Skrtel. Suarez's form has been replaced by Sturridge's with the ex City and Chelsea man averaging nearly 11 points per game since his return from injury in early January. This form hasn't yet hit the selection stats with Suarez still in over 50% of teams whereas Sturridge doesn't even make a third of them and is less popular than his goalie. Shurely shomething wrong?

  • High winds cause chaos - with FL managers!

    Well, we all know what a lot of disruption a bit of wind can cause don't we? For this week's writer it meant no less that 6 first team players and all four subs being just out of the two games that were called off. Good job a tree came down in my front garden and blocked the road or I would have been half way to the game before I'd have known. No doubt Jose will start whinging about City getting an extra bit of rest before Saturday teatime's FA Cup encounter at the Etihad. Is Luis Suarez losing his touch with "only" 4 goals and 5 assists in the past 9 games? His strike partner, Daniel Sturridge has scored 7 and amassed an amazing 59 FL points in the past 6 games compared with his teammate's 40 points. Could there be an argument for making Sturridge the captain of choice in March or could that be the returning Sergio Aguero?

  • The world's turned upside down

    What a week! Liverpool do a City on Arsenal. Free scoring City can't find the net for the second week on the trot. Fulham who couldn't beat struggling League One side Sheffield United manage to get a draw at Old Trafford, but maybe that's not as big a surprise as it once was. West Ham win away. Swansea win a game and Hazard fulfils his potential in style.

  • Chelsea make things interesting

    All talk of City winning the quadruple was quietly dismissed last night as Chelsea exposed the weakness of City's large squad with an elderly, ponderous centre back being employed in a central midfield holding role against a very strong Chelsea team whilst the two full-backs continually neglected their defensive duties. Could this be 1-0 to Chelsea for the rest of the season? If so, fantasy managers could do well to ship in some of their defenders PDQ.

  • Who should be your third striker?

    Most top managers will have Suarez and Aguero in their teams after the January wildcard. The question is who to choose as the 3rd striker. Daniel Sturridge used to be a shoe-in but at £9.3m he's perhaps not good enough value and Adebayor, Dzeko, Agbonlahor, Campbell, Welbeck and Rodriguez are all sub £8m and are looking very good value. We've a feeling that this choice of 3rd striker could make or break the eventual league winners. Watch this space.

  • Strikers' dilemma

    Now then. We've been away for 5 whole gameweeks but whilst things have changed at the top of the EPL in our league it's much of a muchness with the usual suspects still hogging the top 10. Come on you guys in the bubbling under positions - put a bit more effort in!

  • A week of the haves and have nots

    With the 5 contenders for a Champions' League place seemingly set in stone now, success this week was simple. Did you pick Suarez as your captain or not? If you did, you got a player scoring you 48 points. If you chose someone else, you only got 24. If you didn't have the Uruguayan in your side at all (like last week's 3rd placed manager, Peter Bradley) you dropped 15 places to 18th. Looking at his team we think that Peter hadn't realised that there was a full gameweek this midweek.

  • What a week!

    Arsenal concede 6 for only the third time in the Premiership history. City concede more to Arsenal than they had done to every other home opponent all season put together. Liverpool put 5 past Spurs without either Sturridge or Gerrard. (Spurs had only conceded 6 goals in their first 10 games but have conceded 15 goals in their last 5 games). Everton try and emulate City and put 4 past Fulham. ManYoo actually win a game and the biggest surprise of all, Danny Welbeck scores his first Premiership goals since the opening day of the season and Tom "none to" Cleverly scores his first for over a year. Predict that!

  • Suarez or Aguero?

    You may have noticed that Match of the Day conducted a viewer poll this weekend on who is the better striker between Aguero and Suarez. Suarez won hands down with 77% of the vote but let's examine the stats from an FL viewpoint. Aguero has had 20% more minutes played so far but Suarez missed the first five games of the season through suspension. City also have a tendency to rest Aguero once a game is won to help him recover for a Champions' League game in the week, which of course Liverpool don't have to worry about. There is also the added issue of the size of the squad and whereas City can bring on another striker Liverpool aren't quite so fortunate. Suarez is undoubtedly going to get more game time than Aguero and therefore has more chance of picking up extra points however Gary Neville on last night's MNF made the point that City's team will provide more opportunities for Aguero who has scored 12 goals so far with Suarez on 2 more at 14. Compare this with Aguero's best season (2011/12) when he bagged 23 and Suarez's (last season) where he also bagged 23 and you can see that both strikers are well in line for beating those records. Aguero is slightly ahead on assists so far (8 v 7) and they were both about the same in the previous record seasons. Aguero is just above Aguero in the overall points table but when it comes to the form table, he's miles ahead. Overall, you've got to say that the Match of the Day viewers got it just right but the solution for FL managers is easy. Get them both.

  • It's the 3 R's show

    With Sturridge out and Aguero and Suarez not registering on the scoresheet it was left to the 3 R's, Rooney, Ramsey and Remy to win the points. Even that old favourite of FL managers Demba Ba won some points for a change with a goal and an assist. It's probably the best he's ever done in a Chelsea shirt.

  • The season of strange and unpredictable results continues

    Before the weekend, we were saying to our Liverpudlian cousins of both persuasions that the Everton - Liverpool derby had 0-0 written all over it. City v Spurs? Spurs had only conceded 6 goals all season and the last and only time they'd conceded an away goal was on September 1 against Arsenal. Sure, City have a great home form, but they do struggle to break down packed defences. A low scoring game for sure. Newcastle v Norwich? Another whitewash with a resurgent Newcastle knocking a bagfull in against the hapless East Anglians. ManU v Cardiff? This was bound to be a walkover. WBA v Villa? Villa, despite a shaky start hadn't conceded an away goal since August 21 against Chelsea and then they let in 2 in the first 11 minutes.

  • Suarez back on form whilst Aguero toils

    That man Luis Suarez bit his critics right on the arm when he bounced back from firing blanks at Arsenal last week to claim 2 goals and an assist by virtue of a Fulham OG. Suarez looked brilliant on Saturday and in this form what is to stop him getting the golden boot at the end of the season unless he selfdestructs in the January transfer window. This week's other two contenders for captain for the serious managers, Sturridge and Aguero looked like a pair of Jaffa's in comparison. For those who went with one of the contenders at Old Trafford in Giroud, Rooney and RvP there was disappointment all around. I heard a City fan; miffed about losing yet again to their bogey team Sunderland, say that at least they're above United. Newcastle United that is.

  • SAS fail to score for the first time this season

    Prior to Liverpool's away fixture at The Emirate this weekend, only Southampton with the league's best defensive record had prevented Daniel Sturridge from scoring. Not only that, but when his strike partner Luis Suarez returned from his ban, one of the pair have netted each time they have played. Not any more! FL managers, most of whom have at least one of the pair in their side had a big choice to make this week regarding their captain and most of them made the right choice and picked either Aguero or Rooney. Those that chose the Argentinean were rewarded well with him bagging a goal, two assists and a MOTM bonus against a hapless Norwich. If his first goal had not been ruled an OG he could have got more. The little man is not only the FL's overall top points winner but is the top of the striker's form table and second in the value/form table. A must-have acquisition for all of us we think.

  • Who did you choose as your captain in the FL dad?

    Who was your captain this week then? Was it Ozil with 6 points, Giroud with 12 points, Sturridge or Lukaku with 16 points, or did you choose the mighty Suarez with 34 points? It's hardly surprising that in general, those managers who were brave enough to choose Suarez made great strides whereas those choosing one of the others didn't. And it was a brave decision; up until their demolition by Liverpool on Saturday, The Baggies had not only won at Old Trafford but also had only conceded 2 away goals all season. Well done to all those managers who put their faith in the Uruguayan. We'd have certainly bit your hand off to wind back the clock and choose again. Next weekend Liverpool play Arsenal away. Does anyone dare to do it again?

  • The strikers return

    At last we've had a week where the goals scored count more than the clean sheets with only Stoke, WBA and Spurs keeping them.

  • The unfashionable come to the fore

    Southampton have not only risen to 4th place in the league above the likes of City, Spurs, Everton and ManU but they also have the meanest defence in the league conceding a mere 2 goals in 7 games. Last year, the FL managers' most popular Southampton player was undoubtedly Ricky Lambert, but it's not surprising that the top 3 Southampton points winners are Artur Boruc, the goalie and two defenders, Fonte and Lovren. All have way over 40 points and are averaging over 6 points a game. At £5.2m, Lovren has got to be on everyone's transfer target list. Some have already got there evidenced by his popularity going from 3% to 7% last week alone.

  • Lukaku lights up the league

    There have been some strange decisions made by the top clubs recently. Why didn't Wenger buy Higuain for £25m when he had the chance and when he only had one decent forward? Why did Sunderland sell Sessegnon? Why did the Glazers appoint David Moyes when they could have gone for Guardiola, Ancelotti, Mourinho, Blanc or Mancini instead? But the most puzzling question of the lot has to be why did Chelsea let Romelu Lukaku go on loan to Everton? It's not as if Chelsea are exactly flush with decent forwards is it and if Lukaku isn't a ready made replacement for Drogba we really don't know who is. We wonder if TSO will walk out of his next press conference when the cruel journalists put that question to him?

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