tsf.tech fantasy football update: gameweek 1

Boom! What a week!

This week’s photo was garnered on a random internet search, but I’m not sure how right footed players would take a corner with this arrangement. Timing to avoid the 330pm to Manchester Piccadilly would have to be considered too.

In Gameweek One, top scorer was Niall (80) followed by last year’s champion Nick (78) and then some random Burnley fan (73) and I suppose I should say Conor also has 73 points. Overall, a high scoring week where the top fifteen all scored 60+ points. I was touched by the efforts of a number of Man United fans to specifically target a low point haul in sympathy with Eric.

I’m hoping for a much better season than last, when my picks turned out to be more carthorses than dark horses, so pleased with my Gameweek One. You thought you had a poor start? Eric’s reign couldn’t have got off to a much start as United went down 2-1 to Brighton, although recall they thumped them 4-0 late on last season, so that’s an improvement. Elsewhere, there were dominant wins for Spurs and Arsenal, while we saw a sparkling debut from Erling. Liverpool put in a poor display and were held 2-2 by a Mitrovic-inspired Fulham with Jürgen blaming the ‘dry’ pitch.

Indeed, Liverpool’s season threatened to go off a cliff Wile E Coyote style, finding themselves legs-spinning-in-mid-air-over-the- abyss behind twice, but there really was no need for Jürgen to throw lawn improvement tips at the Fulham groundsman, imagining himself to be Monty Don. Elsewhere, Amazon video star Mikel Arteta was feeling like a proud parent who’s let their child walk to the corner shop unaccompanied to buy a pint of milk for the first time after watching his Arsenal pups beat Palace.

Stand out players you didn’t have in your team? Saliba , Mitrovic (worth a punt?), Kulusevski – had him last year, didn’t think he’d start with their glut of new signings, but he drew good points when Kane and Son failed to deliver. Villa’s expensive squad failed again – they really were a one man team when Grealish was there, whilst Brighton showed good spirit after losing their two best players in Bissouma and Cucurella.

But it’s all down to City. City win the title and go out and get Erling – they scored 99 league goals last season and added someone who netted 86 times in 89 games for Dortmund. The fee is reported to be £60m but I’m hearing that this figure could top £100m as the club have agreed to pay his gas and electric bill and his petrol costs to get to training for the next couple of years.

Strife further for ten Hag is the messy Ronaldo-gate saga. The Portuguese show-pony appears to have decided that he doesn’t fancy prolonging his stay at Old Trafford for another year after all, didn’t want to go on a club trip to help sell more shirts with his name on them in the Far East, and felt it wouldn’t be a problem to find a ‘Champions League club’ to pay his hefty salary. Except there isn’t a queue and United don’t have anyone else who can score.

Meanwhile, football pundit, podcast host, hotelier, football club co-owner, property magnate, champion of the homeless and Leader of the Opposition Gary Neville – he has more strings to his bow than the combined forces at the Battle of Agincourt – has acknowledged that United are a bit of a shambles and has come out calling for the Glazers to get out of my club. As with any football debate, this one quickly became mired in tedious, nonsensical whataboutery, accusations of hypocrisy, bias and outraged cries. Can’t wait for Roy to get involved. However, the intent is to boycott the home game with Liverpool next week as a protest against the Galzers and also the price of rail tickets from London to Manchester.

Interestingly, failed-manager Neville now has an identical record to Stevie at Villa:

  • Gary Neville at Valencia: Played 28 Won 10 Drawn 7 Lost 11 Win % – 35%
  • Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa: Played 28 Won 10 Draws 5 Lost 13 Win % – 35%

Meanwhile, the shopping trolleys will be out as we close in on the final weeks of the transfer window. Brendan Rodgers has been quoted saying that Newcastle’s offer of £40m would over cover 3/4’s of James Maddison’s left leg. Therefore, Newcastle will have to offer around £319m to secure his whole body. This seems unlikely.

My ire has been stoked this week by the BBC decision to ditch the 5pm Saturday reading of the classified football results. It’s five o’clock and time for Sports Report. And first here are the football results with James Alexander Gordon. A bastion of my football upbringing, racing back to the car to listen and then anticipate the score from the tone of the first part of the score: Arsenal 1…and you knew they’d either won, drawn or lost before the second team score, and the game was to guess the opponents score if they’d won – was it 2, 3, or 4?

Listening to the classified results in the car as you travel back from a game is synonymous with Saturday match days for me. Hoping your local rivals have lost, fearing promotion or relegation results haven’t gone your way. But the BBC are ditching the service which has existed for 75 years. They forget there is life outside the PL. They forget how many visually impaired or World Service listeners tune in for the reading.

Everybody knows every result they are interested in long before they reach the car these days I know, but what are they broadcasting that’s more important than the football results at 5pm? Their reasoning is that it takes seven minutes and they’re preparing for the 530pm Premier League game. Another example of the obsession with PL football and stuff those who support the other 72 clubs plus non-league. And how else do I find out if Cowdenbeath have won at East Fife?

A bit of our football culture dies with this decision. Bill Bryson said the British Isles live to the rhythm of the football results and the shipping forecast.  Anyway, thirty years of the Premier League culture is captured in this article by Barney Ronay 30 years of the Moneybags League

Good luck for week two, transfer deadline is Saturday 11am

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