tsf.tech fantasy league update gameweek 24

Another Fantasy Friday to welcome in the weekend ahead.

Manic points scoring saw Dan notch 97 to claim top dog crown for the week, Saka securing him 30 points as captain, leaving Sasha (96) a VAR elbow behind with 48 from City players, and Cornel (93). Anything less than 77 was bang average, and average score in the league to date is 1,346. To put our efforts into context, the top scores in the country for the week was 137 points albeit with a bench boost – Grealish, Haaland and Mahrez on the bench garnered 37 points.

February Manager of the Month is going to the wire with James S (186) leading, Ben (170) and James B (164) chasing hard for pole position but many vying for the accolade in the competitive throng. Overall, it’s Michael (1,482) sitting top, floating as high and buoyant as a Chinese spy balloon, Scott (1,473) and Ron (1,451) make up the top three.

This week’s photo is of Grimsby Town fans waving their plastic fish – Harry Haddocks – at the recent cup game versus Luton, as we hear they have been banned from bringing inflatable fish to St Mary’s for their FA Cup fifth-round tie against Southampton. Head of Security barked Any supporters who take Harry Haddocks into the stadium will have them confiscated. Grimsby fans only sing when they’re fishing anyway.

A week of European football and our post-Brexit demise to reflect on with Spurs and Chelsea losing to our European brethren against representatives of The Best League In The World™.  Johnson, Gove, Patel, Rees-Mogg, your boys took a hell of a beating. The reality is the leading cause of stress among those in touch with it, of course not everyone is in touch with reality, as any number of tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy theorists regularly go out of their way to prove. But let’s face it, Chelsea and Spurs won’t need passports of any colour after their next game.

Which will come as a surprise to Chelsea owner Todd Boehly. In a recent meeting with fellow owners, the American was asked how he planned to recoup his £500m shopping spree in the transfer market. Boehly assured them the club could easily afford it because they qualify automatically for the Champions League every year, raking in millions in TV money as a result. After an awkward silence, one owner piped up to explain that Chelsea did not automatically get a spot in the Champions League and were unlikely to make it next season considering they are currently 10th. That’s nonsense! We’re in it every year. Always have been the American chuckled, before excusing himself from the meeting. After consulting his team, he returned a few minutes later and admitted he’d got it wrong. Whoops.

City went into Wednesday’s match against Arsenal with no shortage of motivation to drive them on. Pep was enraged in the pre-match press conference by reports that their club has broken financial fair play rules, they are ready to stick it to the Premier League, the media and everyone else who is out to do these humble underdogs down. New claims emerged this week with sponsorship from Etihad Soft Furnishings Limited paying £50m for the pleasure of providing fixtures and fittings for the player’s lounge and a further £25m for their logo on the cushions.

Arsenal were eight points clear four weeks ago, but Wednesday night’s game saw Pep’s uber-funky tactics pay off. The self-styled kings of possession only had 36%, their lowest in a league match in Pep’s time at the club but gave Arsenal a good thrashing. City have been Not Quite As Good City this season, although when it comes to City that is very much a relative criticism. Pep has coached Grealish to stop fiddling with his hairband during a game and he scored a great goal. De Bruyne for me is the most watchable player in the world when he plays like he did, he just grabbed the game.

The Premier League posturing against City fascinates me on both a primal and philosophical level: sort VAR out first so results aren’t corrupted. We saw a public display of almost post-coital awkwardness from the morning-after-a-one-night-stand from VAR supervisor Lee Mason – not to mention an excruciating lack of eye contact – following admissions from the Stockley Park Crew they made some humungous errors at the weekend.

Considering the constant forensic analysis of refereeing errors was one of the main reasons VAR was introduced in the first place, it’s been amusing to observe pundits conducting public analysis of the technology’s shortcomings. Except of course it isn’t the technology that is flawed but the fallible humans who are tasked with using it. Arsenal, Chelsea, and Brighton all could justifiably claim human error cost them points including forgetting to draw an imaginary line.

Another week where the PT Barnum of UEFA accepted that it was them to blame not Liverpool fans for the chaotic and traumatic events at last season’s Big Cup final outside the Stade de France. Even the buck-passers in UEFA’s hierarchy of blazers can’t have been surprised that the Big Finger of Blame sits with them for the omnishambles.

Jürgen Klopp has saluted Mo Salah after Nunez’s geometry-defying assist and Mo’s toe-poke finish helped Liverpool secure a 2-0 win over Everton. It was quite a goal, Nunez channelling the Force with Skywalkeresque precision to hit a tiny target from a distance far, far away. Admittedly, that description only really works if you think Everton are comparable to the Death Star, Jordan Henderson is a wookiee and Jürgey would look ace in Princess Leia’s clobber. And maybe he would, but whatever, I’ve swapped Nunez into my team this weekend.

Today is D-Day in the bidding for United. Sealed bids from some of the planet’s richest people are due to land by 10pm – 5pm in New York, home of merchant bankers Raine, who will sift through the offers in the coming days in a bidding war that could reach £6Bn. A group of private individuals from Qatar want United and they remain confident that theirs will be the strongest bid. Money won’t be an issue. While they may want to put distance between themselves and other Qatari entities, it is worth nothing that QIA – the nation’s sovereign wealth fund – is worth a mind-blowing £368Bn.

Could Qatar’s neighbours and sworn rivals from Saudi make a bid? A bidding war between Saudi and Qatar would be the stuff of dreams for the Glazers. Flying the flag for the UK is Sir Jim Ratcliffe, claiming to be a boyhood United fan but currently a Chelsea season ticket holder, and the owner of petrochemicals giant Ineos. He has many sporting interests already, having bought cycling giants Team Sky (now rebranded Team Ineos)  and holding a significant stake in Mercedes F1. However, while he is Britain’s richest man (£21Bn), he is not in the same ballpark as some of his expected rivals.

A number of groups from the US have also expressed an interest although their identity is being kept under wraps. Elon Musk claims to be a United fan and may front another group of investors and take the brand to Mars. Although there would be no atmosphere at the ground…There is interest from China and Singapore and given United’s global appeal it would be foolish to write off bids from elsewhere. United have previously targeted the huge Chinese market and even opened a ‘Theatre of Dreams’ entertainment facility close to Tiananmen Square.

But back to the reality of fantasy league and the budget constraints of just having £100m to spend, we have a ten-game weekend all over by Sunday which is unusual but removes the anxiety/interest for the rest of the week. The most popular transfers in for Gameweek 24 are Felix, Saka, Toney, Mahrez, and Shaw, outbound are Almiron, Martinelli, Mitrovic, Cancelo and Odegaard. Transfer deadline is 11am Saturday. Fill yer boots!

Good luck!


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