Yes, it’s nearly Saturday and time to pitch your wits against the other folks in the rampaging tsf.tech fantasy league. I mean, what else would you do on Saturday, go to Lidl? Some decent offers there this week though, especially on pasta, bread mixes and satsumas I have to say.
Rhys was top dog in the week bashing the rest of us with 98 points, including 42 from three Newcastle players, followed by Lee (94) and Hayley (86). Sash continued her Erling-esque run through our league, winning MoTM for October, with Chris and Scott in her wake, the rest of us floundering like dead flounders on the fish counter at Lidl.
Overall, its Sash (847) leading the dash, Scott (844) and Michael (840) with her at the top as we canter into the final games before our Human Rights World Cup sabbatical – just two game weeks before we press pause and pick up again on Boxing Day – six weeks off. The Championship has four weeks off, back December 11. I’m going to use the time to prepare my veg patch, improve my conversational Welsh and knit jumpers for Christmas presents. May pop to Lid to keep warm too.
Having dropped Erling from Burnley Reserves – the results of which felt like a hoof in the unmentionables from Harry Maguire for me – he’s back in this week with the armband so I expect an eye-watering 40 points. In decades to come, when the nuclear winter ends and the handful of survivors who survive Mad Vlad’s global pilfering and emerge blinking into the apocalyptic landscape, the dusty, radioactive old record books may show that Erling was half-decent.
This week’s photo is the scoring sequence of the last ten minutes in last Saturday’s League One game which finished Charlton 4 Ipswich 4. Morgan made it 2-2 after 76 minutes, pulling Charlton back but then it went all five-a-side with four goals in injury time. Ipswich lead 2-0 and then 4-2. Value for money but possibly too much going on at the end to cope with.
I’ve caught up with Antony’s Strictly Come Dancing showboating gig from the previous week – clip here Anthony at 2.37. The clock had ticked past the 37th minute and Big Red were still level with the crack Moldovan Sheriff’s outfit when Casemiro played the ball to him . With the defender watching in the style of Indiana Jones and that swordsman, Antony did three 360s, caressing the ball with his right foot. He then hooked a pass towards Casemiro that didn’t reach its target. Spectacular stuff but not because of Antony reviving the ghosts of Garrincha’s bow-legged wizardry, but for Paul Scholes comment: I just don’t think it’s skill or entertainment, it’s just being a clown, harrumphed happy chappy Scholes, probably recalling memories of Nani pratting about.
Erik ten Hag, settling well into the role of puritanical disciplinarian, having shown Ronaldo who’s boss, wasn’t too happy. But neither was he too fussed. I have no problem with that as long as it is functional he said sagely. The new King Erik has become rather adept at taking the steam out of the type of farrago that has become commonplace in M16. As for Antony? We’re known for our art and I won’t stop doing what got me to where I am he trilled on Instachatbook. Good news for all those who’d like to see him dance again.
World Cup fever seems to have been inoculated in England as I’ve seen no pubs, cars or houses with the flag of St George, they must have put something in the water. But in Wales it’s full-on mayhem. In Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch the locals are in a right old tizz, dragon flags and Owain Glyndwr stuff everywhere. With less than three weeks to go until the Human Rights World Cup kicks off, News re-runs of the last time Wales qualified for the finals of Fifa’s global jamboree, going out in the quarter-finals of Sweden 1958, end the 10pm news bulletins each night.
While Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch has high hopes that Gareth Bale and chums may emulate or even better the feats of Ivor Allchurch, Terry Medwin and their teammates 74 years ago, The Football Association of Wales is considering a patriotic rebrand to rename the team Cymru – the Welsh name for Wales – after the World Cup. Those American fellows who bought Wrexham are said to be interested in buying Wales so watch this space.
A court case in Germany caught my interest. My gang & I have hit a path and we won’t stop until we’re in every stomach and baked in every oven at some point! A man! A pizza! Let’s see how far Uefa goes! BUY THE WORLD’S HOTTEST MUSHROOM PIZZA, everyone! The owners of Pizza Wolke, a small restaurant in Germany, responded to news that UEFA is taking legal action against them because they sell a pizza called The Champignons League. Keep on fighting the good fight Pizza Wolke!
The FA Cup first round takes place this weekend when non-league teams, who have battled their way through qualifying, dream of causing an upset against League One and League Two clubs. I love it except in the 80s when Burnley were in the old division four and we lost 0-3 to Nuneaton Borough and 0-3 to Telford United in successive seasons. Ronnie Radford scored one of the most memorable goals for a non-league team, for Hereford v Newcastle, and he sadly died his week. Look at the crowd and the pitch from this clip Radford.
There are 40 ties over the course of four days, including South Shields and Bracknell Town from the seventh-tier of English football hosting League One teams, whilst Coalville Town, Needham Market and Alvechurch are preparing for big days out at League One clubs. The BBC is showing two live games, Friday’s tie Hereford v Portsmouth (8pm BBC Two) and Saturday’s tie between South Shields v Forest Green (12pm BBC One).
For the second week running we are waiting to hear more from Pep on Erling’s fitness, although I’ve have seen pictures of the Norwegian back in training. I’m also wondering whether Foden is going to be sitting on the bench for the third gameweek in a row. Captaining a City player against a vulnerable Fulham defence looks like the way to go and Haaland is the obvious choice but if he were to miss out, or if you don’t think he’s going to start, then your next best bet would have to be de Bruyne, who was given a rest for the first 70 minutes of the game against Sevilla on Wednesday.
He might not be the easiest player to get to at £12.5m unless you’re a Salah or a Son Heung-min owner with a bit of extra cash in the bank to help you upgrade. You could always do it by making a couple of transfers but I would be wary of taking any points hits when we’re so close to unlimited transfers during the World Cup.
The strategy all depends on that City team sheet on Saturday and it’s worth keeping an eye across any early team news leaked ahead of the 130pm transfer deadline which might tell us who’s starting and who isn’t. If we don’t get any whispers then I’m sticking with Foden for what it’s worth – he’s been one of Guardiola’s favourites this season until the last couple of weeks and could easily start those next two games against Fulham and Brentford, where big points hauls certainly seem possible.
So on to the weekend, and for some in our league, as Captain Blackadder might say We’re in the stickiest situation since Sticky the stick insect got stuck on a sticky bun! Good luck everyone.