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.
It’s not as if the big teams have cut back on their spending. City, United, Arsenal and Chelsea spent an incredible £1.1bn between them in the summer, so what’s gone wrong? Or from a fan’s point of view, what’s gone right?
Let’s give the last word on this to Watford’s inspirational coach, Quique Sanchez Flores
“The worst? Who says it’s the worst? It’s amazing. Every weekend I don’t know what happens. I don’t know if City is winning against Watford. I don’t know if Manchester United are losing with Leicester. I don’t know if Norwich are going to go to Chelsea and win. It’s amazing. I would like it if it could happen the same in Spain. It’s not in terms of big teams and weak teams. It’s in terms of the average teams improving a lot. Changing the way they play, they are trying to play well, they are really fit, they are competitive. It’s incredible. It’s not just Watford, it’s other mid-table teams doing well. The feeling is every weekend that anything is possible. It’s amazing. It’s what football needs.”
In our league, only Bauhaus’s Ben Wilcox, Bartley Hilliam and Adam Grainger of our top 10 managers scored more than 40 points in what was a thin week for the usual suspects. 2 of those 3 had 15 points Koscielny in their team whereas Adam Grainger left 8 points Alderweireld on his bench for some unfathomable reason.
The Top 10 are as follows:
Luis Cruz, ConSol Partners
Ben Wilcox, Bauhaus
Manager of the Week
In 14th place with 57 points we find a newbie to these pages, one Christopher Blackburn. Chris benefitted from his now-unusual 4-man defence of Cech, Sagna, Alderweireld, Monreal and (own goal) Kolarov which brought him 35 of those points alone. Add in 14 for Yaya and Lukaku and you can see how he got to his 57. Chris was also brave enough to leave Ighalo on the bench, which given that he hasn’t scored less than 3 points in a game since November 7, was brave indeed.
Nice to be able to give you a mention at last, Christopher!
Page 2 Pacesetter
With no less than 60 points in 60th place, we find yet another newbie, Iain Brassell. You can tell it’s a thin week when we have two newbies in a row. Iain again got his points from his defence featuring Cech, Koscielny, Alderweireld and Kolarov that brought him 36 points alone. Chuck in Giroud and Lukaku and you can see where Iain got his 60 points total.
Another 11 points and you’ll be on Page One Iain.
The Best of the Rest
With 68 points in 230th place we find Liverpool, Mark Walker. Despite his score this week being higher than anyone else in our league, Mark is in fact still just 5 places off the bottom. He’s obviously not nearly obsessed enough with the Fantasy League, evidenced by his 5 transfers all season and the fact that as a Liverpool fan, he didn’t know that his captain, Martin Skrtel is injured for the next month. It was a good job that his VC was 30 points Koscielny then wasn’t it? We suspect that Mark is in fact a superb recruiter who is just too busy earning commission for all this Fantasy League nonsense.
As our school reports used to say, Martin needs to try a little harder.
With just one clean sheet in the last 8 games, City’s defensive woes without Kompany are well documented. City’s Serbian international does provide some offensive points, particularly from free kicks and corners but he’s never scored more than 2 goals a season in the EPL and he’s reached that mark already. On the assists front, his ball in from the corner for Yaya’s goal on Saturday was only his second of the season. Add to that, Gael Clichy being back in the frame and City’s congested fixture list as they still compete for all 4 trophies and you can safely assume that there will be quite a bit of rotation coming up. With a huge £6.4m price tag and an ownership of 33%, there are just so many cheaper and more in-form players out there with a lot more differential.
Get him binned!
One to watch..........
West Ham’s French international was something of a surprise to us all when he hit the EPL this season. How could the Hammers have picked up on him when the more fashionable clubs passed him by? We really don’t know. Ever since Pep Guardiola’s management hero, Marcelo Bielsa moved Payet into the No 10 role at Marseille his stats started to become amazing. Last season, only 3 players in Europe’s top leagues had more assists than Payet’s 17 and those were Messi, Fabregas and De Bruyne. It terms of chances created it got even better with Payet creating 134 last season compared with 112 for £55m man, De Bruyne, 101 for Hazard and 95 for Messi. This season in the EPL, he averaged nearly 7 points a game before he was injured. 5 goals, 4 assists, 3 clean sheets all in 11 games. Pretty impressive in anyone’s book. Now he’s recovered, he’s had nearly 24,000 transfers in last week, 3 times as many as any other FPL player.
Team names please
The reason we ask for your agency name as part of your team name is because it’s the only way we can ensure that we are paying the prizes out to the correct managers and that those managers are genuinely in the recruitment industry.
With the latest hacking of our league from semi-professional FL-ers, its even more important. Please help us manage the league better by doing this.
However, those of you who aren’t putting in your team names are missing out on some great publicity for your agency and, as recruiters tend to be competitive creatures, isn’t it better to beat you rivals in business AND in the fantasy league?
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“I approached Tim Goodwin at Futura as well as a large number of other recruiters when looking for employment in 2009. It is fair to say that Tim was by far the most productive of the recruiters utilised, resulting in being offered a position with a highly respected company. Tim kept in touch throughout the process and demonstrated a high level of knowledge within the North West marketplace. Obviously I hope not to have to utilise Tim's services in the near future but strongly recommend him to other consultants.”Futura candidate