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.
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.
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.
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.
This was our first big opportunity to play our CHIPS and some of us did really well out of it.
With only 5 Gameweeks left and even less Double Gameweeks those of us who haven't played our CHIPS need to prepare quickly.
Double Gameweek 33, Double Gameweek 34, Blank in Week 35, Double Gameweek 37
The moment we have all been waiting for; double gameweek announcements!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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!
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.
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.
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 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 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
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.
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 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.
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