tsf.tech fantasy league update – gameweek two

Another high scoring week saw Paul R top banana with 87 points followed by Ron (80) and Scott (79), and the leader board showing as Ron (153), Ben (145) and Scott (145) after gameweek two. The influence of Vincent Kompany on Ron’s selection and formation has been noticeable.

This week’s photo is of stewards at Brentford struggling to keep Man United fans in the stadium last Saturday, forcing them to watch the second half of the Reds Travelling Circus. The early leaving gate was closed for another 30 minutes until 430pm. I hear Amazon are to commission a four-part documentary on Roy Keane’s reaction to the first 45 minutes.

It’s been a week of shenanigans and tomfoolery of pushing, shoving, fisticuffs, hair pulling and crushing handshakes catching the headlines. Zaha and Díaz both scored great goals at Anfield on Monday Night Football, but whilst that may have been enough to justify the cost of your Sky Sports subscription, added value was provided by the aesthetics of the head-butt by Darwin Núñez. Putting any moral acceptability of wanton violence to one side, it put Zidane’s effort on Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup Final to shame. Núñez executed a perfect 10, with an effortless spin followed by an unambiguous planting of his noggin right full-on into Joachim Andersen’s face. Playing his part well, Andersen then crashed to the floor pole axed like a perfectly tossed caber in a Tom & Jerry cartoonesque movement. Check out this twitter clip of how Andersen got under the Brazilian’s skin Nunez and the act itself.

This followed the Super Sunday Spectacle of angst-infused carry-on arising from the lingering handshake between Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte, a brouhaha straight out of the pub car park. Going for the moody no-look mini-clasp, Conte was rendered apoplectic when Tuchel grabbed his hand, pulled him back refused to let go, gave the bone crusher squeeze, and came over all glaring-eyes as he forced the Italian into an unappreciated three-quarter turn like something Jamie Redknapp did on Strictly, while demanding he look him in the eye. Cue bedlam and red cards for both managers. Núñez will be kept out of public sight, missing three games including Monday’s north-west crisis-derby at Manchester Disunited. That showdown remains an appointment to view, after all, nobody likes to see big clubs thrashing about at the bottom of the table do we?

The shopping trolley dash continues as we lurch to transfer deadline day, the numbers just get crazier. Matheus Nunes of Sporting Lisbon is the latest player to come careering down the well-trodden super highway that runs direct from Portugal to Wolves for a cool initial £38m, plus five million of your continental euros in potential add-ons, should stuff happen. Given that City and Liverpool were sniffing around the all-action midfielder, this is something of a coup for Wolves.

The Wolves till rang again, refilled by Forest chucking £35m in for Morgan Gibbs-White to balance the books. I thought initially Forest has signed three players for £35m. Current rumours are Everton wanting more than Chelsea’s proffered £45m for Anthony Gordon, which makes me scratch my head how much they’d demand for Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Looks like you need to spend £100m minimum these days in a transfer window.

Elon Musk, the bored squillionaire with deeper pockets than any Middle East state wanting to buy a football club, was seemingly rolling up to Old Trafford in his self-driving electric jeep. Look at me, look at me, look at meeeeeeee as is Elon’s state of mind, but nobody looked at him. They were all staring at the current Premier League table with glazed [Glazered?) looks on their faces. So, Elon skulked back home and got their attention by announcing on Twitter: I’m buying Manchester United.

A hullaballoo broke out, the tweet piqued everyone’s interest all right. Quite frankly, though, we’ve reached the point where a consortium headed up by Donald Trump and Matt Hancock would be considered an improvement on the Glazers, so desperate United fans were receptive to the idea. Sadly, a few hours of excited tweeting later, supporters had their hopes dashed when Musk admitted it was one of his self-indulgent zany comic gambits just for a laugh. He did say that United were his favourite team as a kid, which was nice, but the final score was: Mars 1 Manchester United 0.

Looking to the weekend and tinkering with your fantasy squad, Arsenal seem to offer some good picks – Jesus was the captain of 591,013 managers last week and gathered more points than the nearly six million others who went with either Haaland or Salah, and if you’re a Núñez owner who doesn’t have Jesus then that is a very obvious switch. That would also give you a couple of million to beef up your defence or midfield, I’m tempted by a double Man City defence, Cancelo is already in and maybe add Dias or Ederson. City simply haven’t looked like conceding a goal so far this season. It’s a moving bet, last week one manager opted for a -4 to take Robertson and Jesus out of the team to replace them with Zinchenko and Nunez, a move which ended up costing 26 points!

Fantasy football, with its transfer budgets and formation dilemmas, is meant to make you feel like a manager. What it actually makes you feel like is a bungling, low-rung angst-ridden teenager, accidentally malevolent and able to curse those close to you in the table who were previously friends. Listening to the radio on a Saturday afternoon, it used to be that only updates coming in from afar wherever Burney were playing for me to tense up. But as a fantasy manager the bad news comes in from everywhere. Palace have conceded! So, their goalkeeper won’t earn me points for a clean sheet. Chelsea have subbed Cucurella, his hair (what’s not been pulled out) got in his eyes for that goal! I still wince at the 17 points missed when Luis Suárez scored an October hat-trick in 2016.

Now, if you’re anything like me, I believe myself unfairly prone to sorrow because I didn’t keep a clean sheet in my Fantasy League team. And it used to be lovely to slump in front of the MoTD screen with nothing at stake. Now? Now I’ll sit there chuntering at a well-meaning mediocrity like Wellbeck hoping he’ll bundle the ball in off a long throw, or play for a point-earning 60 minutes without getting a yellow. It’s exhausting. This week I’ve approached the analysis with the pace of an online shopper chasing a new fridge on Black Friday, but my productivity and logic resembled the guile of a wasp banging its head against the windowpane on a steamy July afternoon. Nothing will change.

Transfer deadline is 11am Saturday.

Good luck!

Ron Manager

We’re ready to talk...

Wherever you are on your startup journey, get in touch and let’s unpack your thinking together and see where we can help turn your idea into a reality.