tsf.tech fantasy league update: gameweek 9


With no games at the weekend to update our league standings, I sorted out the details of the recent fixture for The Royals at Westminster, and the photo is of The Royals teamsheet. It was an interesting 3-3-4 selection although it was as expected from a small squad. It drew a significant television audience as well as a huge crowd watching live.

The Duke of York returned to first team action after being cast aside over concerns over his off-field activities. We saw a senior-term debut from Peter Phillips in midfield and a return for the Duke of Susses, currently playing in the US. It was a first game as Captain for Charles III, but there was some concern at the age of the front four – which saw a radical selection in the age of diversity with the pick of Princess Royal. There wasn’t much pace up front and it needed a big shift from the younger legs in midfield. Overall, everyone seemed happy with their performance on the day, and strong public affection remains for Team Royals.

Meanwhile Prime Minister, Norwich City fan and MP for South-West Norfolk Liz Truss, spent £1,800 of PUBLIC funds in the Canaries’ club shop when running the Foreign Office, it has been alleged. Labour MP Emily Thornberry made allegations in a letter published on Twitter, as you do. Two payments were made, £1,318 and £523.50, six months apart, when Truss was Foreign Secretary and head of the FO.

We are committed to using public money responsibly. Our staff follow set guidelines to ensure purchases are appropriate and achieve value for money for the taxpayer was the FO response. So that’s fine, although Truss seems to have a different set of tactics this past week. I did approach fellow Norwich fan Paul Beck but he refused to comment but confirmed I am happy with my new carpet I purchased from the club for which I have a VAT receipt.

According to the internet, the lifespan of a hornet is 12-22 days. This may explain Watford’s approach to their manager recruitment as they named Slaven Bilic as their new boss after sacking Rob Edwards just 11 games into his tenure. Appointed in May, he became the Hornets’ eighth manager since 2018.  So that’s a big investment in monogrammed tracksuits as since Sean Dyche left in 2012, Gianfranco Zola, Giuseppe Sannino, Oscar Garcia, Slavisa Jokanovic, Quique Sanchez Flores, Walter Mazzarri, Marco Silva, Javi Gracia, Nigel Pearson, Vladimir Ivic, Xisco Munoz, Claudio Ranieri, Roy Hodgson and Rob Edwards have all played musical chairs in the dugout. Owner Gino Pozzo said, We felt Rob had enough time to show us the identity of his team, however performances haven’t reflected our hopes and ambitions. Eleven games hey.

After a free-kick laden game two weeks ago against a dirty Bristol City team at Turf Moor, I’ve come to regard vanishing spray as football’s greatest invention. The Premier League paid £12.3m for the VAR tech, and it cost £200k per stadium to set up and then £3k per game, but it’s unavailable below the Championship. Whatever your views on VAR, no one can claim it has eradicated refereeing controversies.

By contrast, vanishing spray is available for £6.99 per can, and there are no longer any disputes over retreating at free kicks. There is something mystical about the power of the vanishing spray. I cannot recall seeing any team trying to disobey the spray. Once it’s marked out, it seems to placate even the unruliest centre-half into retreating behind the spray’s forcefield. You rarely witness any attempts to argue where the line is. The spray, a mix of water, butane and vegetable oil, reintroduces utopian socialism to the game.

It’s been a tough week for Harry Maguire and the Pound. It’s been extremely discombobulating as Gareth goes into the Human Rights World Cup campaign full of his trademark positivity as Harry faces a two-month-long social-media tantrum and digital hanging. Gareth has taken the sensible step of quelling optimism by masterminding England’s worst run of results since 1992, overseeing six consecutive games without a win and getting them relegated from the top tier of the Nations League.

Once described as the second most important job in the UK after that of prime minister, such is the nationwide bin-fire that has been lit and continues to be vigorously stoked by feckless recent occupants of 10 Downing Street and their deviant cohorts, the role of England manager is now undeniably the highest office in the land. The omnipresent negative is the form of the luckless Maguire. Dropped by Man U, Harry was left clutching his famously slab-like head in his hands on two occasions after gifting Germany two of their goals. Blissful mediocrity beckons at Qatar.

I had a dream this week. You were all in it. It was sweaty and noisy, lots of grunting, shouting, pushing and shoving as bodies came together, people moaning and groaning. Now I know what you watch on Netflix. It was a frenzied end-to-end five-a-side match, which saw Chris Beck go head to head with dad Paul as team captains, their managerial styles reflecting their dancing styles as I witnessed at Chris’s wedding. Chris’s team edged it 27 goals to 26.5 – there being some doubt that Nick Wright’s thunderbolt didn’t cross the line after hitting the cross bar but he went on-and-on about it all night in my head, so I gave half a goal just to shut him up and I then finally got some sleep.

Shooting boots seemed to be left in the car boots, but a couple of fierce tackles and the odd melee made it a spectacle for the sparse crowd who were all eating paella for some reason. I seemed to watch the game sat on a drone flying overhead, although occasionally found myself displaying some skill on the pitch. Well, we can all dream. How did each player do? Here’s the player ratings as I recall them.

James S: assured and calm, went quietly about his business linking defence-midfield-attack, even when in nets. Still, I marked him down for wearing a Man U shirt in my dream 6

Katie: kept her tracksuit pants on with rumours of a pre-match leg waxing. Quote of the night Men should be in the kitchen whilst women are at the match 6

James B: a cross between Marouane Fellaini and John Bishop in terms of football skill and hairstyle, when he gets a yard ahead of himself, no one can catch him 8

Cornel: a contender for man-of-the-match with an energetic display of energy, but anyone who wears ‘7 Ronaldo’ on his back starts with penalty points and that’s the end of that –2. Seemed to be a recurring anti-Man U theme in my dream

Rhys: reminded me of a young Gareth Bale aged 21 with surging runs down the wing, but had the young Gareth Bale aged 6 shooting boots on. Admirable shoulder charge on the perimeter fence 7.5

Paul Beck: plays like he dances (think Peter Crouch meets Ricky Gervais) I see him on Strictly Come Dancing, but in reality more likely to be an appearance on Strictly Come Cooking 6.5

Chris Beck: plays like he dances – it runs in the family – imagine Daniel Sturridge genetically fused with Theresa May. Ok, maybe don’t. Passes only a yard away from being inch perfect 6.4

Sasha: played with the grace and style of Cruyff at his best, quick service, passes delivered on a plate – yes, that’s Peter Cruyff the owner of the Cruyff Café opposite the tsf.tech office 7.5

Tudor: like Gazza in his heyday, never stopped running, smiling, shooting, smiling, more running and more smiling. I recall he had more facial hair than leg hair, I need to interpret my dreams 8  

Conor: wearing his own Jamie Vardy PJs but played more like Jamie Oliver. Inconsolable having lost, seen mumbling it wasn’t going to be our day on the night 7

So boys (and girls), you’re always in my thoughts, night and day.

Transfer deadline is 11am Saturday, good luck

Ron Manager.

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