BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 3)

OVERVIEW: 64 points and up to 2nd in the office league is a decent return from Gameweek 2 but doesn’t really tell the whole story.

It was another case of what could have been had my captain selection been correct. Last week I’d called for Mané and Kane to come to the party and produce the goods, well they arrived with a fully loaded credit card for a free bar and naturally, I’d captained neither. 21 points for Kane, 16 points for Mané. Sod’s law.

Having said all that, I can’t grumble too much. To get 64 points after 2 of my players scored zero and another 2 only scoring 1 a piece it is pretty pleasing. The REAL disappointment was the poor scoring of my Newcastle players but we’ll try and deal with that issue later.

Looking ahead to game week 3, the fixtures look a total nightmare and it’s a week I’m not looking forward to. Not only are they tough fixtures but the timings of the matches aren’t great either. Not that this matters too much but psychologically you like to get your points on the board early in the weekend rather than playing pressurised catch up late Sunday going into Monday. Damage limitation, digging deep and asking my players to go that extra yard will be the message this week. If we can get through it par for the course I’ll be over the moon with better weekends ahead.

PICKS: The first thing to note is we only have one player playing in Saturday’s round of fixtures so a super Sunday or mad Monday is required. like I touched on before psychologically it’s not great when you don’t have many players playing in the early games of the round and your competitors can steal a march. A clean sheet for Maguire wouldn’t go a miss but going off his performance last week, i’m not expecting much. In fact he would have been out had I not needed more important changes else where.

There are two transfers again this week and with it another -4. Out comes Hernandez of Leeds and in comes his team mate Klich. This is simply because the Spaniard is an injury doubt so it’s pretty enforced. Klich has made a flying start to the season so I’m relatively happy with this one anyway.

The second change is De Bruyne for Aubameyang. This is a big change but pretty necessary because of the fixtures, Arsenal away to Liverpool is as tough as it gets for Auba whilst City at home to Leicester should be a bit more forgiving for KDB. Ideally the 2 players will be in same side in the coming weeks.

Kane, at home to Newcastle, will be captain whilst the afore mentioned De Bruyne will be Vice. Speaking of Newcastle, my 3 toon lads all retain their places but I must say not by choice, it was simply the fact I had to prioritise changes elsewhere. They were all shambolic last week so I’m looking for a big reaction from them at Spurs and whilst Saint-Maximin has a slight injury, he is expected to play. SEE THIS ONE THROUGH LADS.

Gameweek 3 team selection

BLOGIN BETS 19/9/20

This week’s acca selection is £10 @9/1.

ARSENAL 4/9 (Home v West Ham. Saturday KO 20:00)

NEWCASTLE 13/8 (Home v Brighton. Sunday KO 14:00)

LEICESTER 4/7 (Home v Burnley. Sunday KO 19:00)

REAL MADRID 4/6 (Away v Real Sociedad. Sunday KO 20:00)

CONFIDENCE: 7/10

OVERVIEW: Another straight forward weekend for the accumulator. 4 teams, all to win with the matches spread over Saturday and Sunday. The bonus this week being that this is the refunded free £10 bet from last week’s line. The result of only one selection letting down the lads.

In terms of the picks, there’s a couple of question marks and teams I wouldn’t have usually selected but looking at the broader fixture list it was a very tough game week overall and not a great deal stood out. Also not forgetting we are so early in the season with teams still finding their feet, match sharpness etc. These teams were as good as was available in my opinion.

Having said all that, at 9/1, this line is cracking value and I’m quietly confident.

PICKS: Arsenal flew out the traps last week pretty emphatically. They’ll be looking to build on that start at home to a poor West Ham side. The away team were comfortably beaten at home against Newcastle last weekend and offered very little to suggest they’ll trouble the gunners this time round. Easy home win.

Newcastle will looking to make it 3 wins in a week at home to Brighton. The new signings at St.James’ park have all made an immediate and positive impact which should see the magpies have a relatively comfortable season. The seagulls on the other hand lost their opener albeit against title hopefuls Chelsea. This is a slightly risky selection but at 13/8 boosts the line price significantly. Allan Saint-Maximin the one to watch here. Home win.

Leicester have made another positive start to the season. I fancy them strongly at home to Burnley, who get their campaign under way at the King Power. That extra weeks match fitness could be pivotal for the foxes and should yield the win we need. Home win.

Spanish champions Real Madrid get their league season underway at Real Sociedad. Los Blancos are unbeaten in their last 5 away La Liga matches and will be looking to extend that run. Karim Benzema was in red hot form last term and I fancy him to get the goals the WRAP UP THE ACCA.

PIF’d OFF – ASHLEY, AMANDA AND PREMIER LEAGUE INCOMPETENCE

Congratulations to Liverpool on winning the Premier League. And to do so with such a meagre budget, I sincerely doth my cap. Only spending £56 million on a goalkeeper, £75 million on a centre half and £96 million combined on a lethal front three – which, by the way, was excellent value. Five of their key, title winning players, costing in excess of £200 million, mega money in man-on-the-street terms. Put it into context, 5 Liverpool players are worth nearly the total valuation of Newcastle United Football Club – a fellow Premier League member. I have no problem with these facts, it’s the way of football.

Here, however, is where I do have a problem. It’s ok for Liverpool to spend that sort of money, win Champions Leagues, Premier Leagues and add to their already massive, worldwide reputation, gained from their equally big spending glory periods of the 1970’s and 1980’s but it’s not ok, according to them, for a fellow Premier League side to want to able to or have the chance to do the same. If reports are to be believed, it’s claimed that the main stumbling block of the failed Newcastle United takeover wasn’t the appalling human rights record of Saudi Arabia or the ongoing TV piracy debacle but objections to the Premier League from various top 6 sides, namely Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. If true, this stinks of the highest hypocrisy.

It appears to be a case of the Premier League’s elite throwing the toys out of the pram, saying they aren’t playing anymore and Premier League trying to pine to their every whim. Had this been a bid for Man United, one feels the takeover would have been pushed through months ago. Elitism in the elitist conservative state that is England.

Tottenham Hotspur, in fact, have went in the other direction. Not so much spending on players but forking out £850 million, yes, close to £1 billion on a new stadium. I say not so much on players, they could still afford £55 million on Tanguy Ndombele, who, incidentally, seems to be just a bit part player. Eye watering sums. But again, I reiterate, this isn’t the problem as long as other clubs in the Premier League, or any league for that matter, are allowed to be able to do the same.

Quite clearly, Newcastle United don’t have that sort of spending power. Under Mike Ashley, the club has been relegated from the Premier League twice in his 13 year tenure. Again to add some context, the club had only previously been relegated twice in the previous 115 years of it’s existence and have never been lower than now championship level. Newcastle have drifted along, happy with just maintaining Premier League status and the TV riches that come with it. Minimum investment in the team, no investment in the training ground or stadium (other than a lick of paint) and the ever increasing gulf in relations between supporters and those that control the club, widening by the day. The fans are ambitious, the owner is not. That is a poisonous concoction, especially when there’s nothing more important than the football club to the fans in Newcastle, many put through mental turmoil while the Premier League dithered on a decision, adding to the extreme pressures of the ongoing Covid crisis. Newcastle could have been the richest club in the world with a chance to compete with the best and that’s the important thing here, not trophies and winning everything, just a chance to compete and having a club to be proud of once again. This failed takeover feels like a real sliding doors moment.

Should another relegation occur in the coming seasons and it is quite likely, there may not be a return for one of the country’s great clubs but as long as status quo is maintained at the top end of the Premier League, who cares eh???

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 38 – FINALE)

OVERVIEW: What a final few weeks of the season it’s been. A massive 90 points in gameweek 37 has all but guaranteed a 4th place office finish. A tremendous effort considering we were second bottom before lockdown and staring sausage sandwich forfeit right between the eyes – An unthinkable outcome. Title winning form since the restart has seen the team safe, form that was a million miles away in early part of the season. Rotation of selection has been key to the turnaround I’ve got to say.

On the pitch, Captain Sterling banged another 34 points while Kane and Laporte both chipped in with 12 a piece. The bonus to come from the round was Burnley keeping a clean sheet and risky selection Pieters bagging a tasty 12. When your luck’s in.

Most teams will be on holiday so there’s bound to be some silly results on the final day. In terms of importance, the last couple of relegation spots, as well as champions league places, are still to be confirmed but looking at the fixture list, there’s not a great deal that stands out other than City home to Norwich. That has to be the place to cash in. Will Pep pick Sterling though? Who bloody knows.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS: All being said, I’m going to do something unprecedented in these unprecedented of times….. I going to stick with the same side as Gameweek 37. Hold me, someone.

Sterling will remain as captain and we finish with two Toon boys in the side – Things you love to see. Home to Liverpool is a tough one for the mighty mags but hopefully Liverpool are still in the pub celebrating their title success and Messrs, Saint-Maximin and Fernandez can sneak a few points.

Get tight and let them know your there, lads.

Team for Gameweek 38

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 36)

OVERVIEW: It’s great when a good plan comes together. 65 points and up to 4th place, Sterling (captain) bagging 42 of those and, as alluded to in my previous post, the importance of your double point captain pick cannot be underestimated. In fact, had it not been for that captain pick it would have been a very poor round which included a red card. It was a good time to gain ground as the average point score for the week was only 40 points.

Looking into gameweek 36, favourable fixtures for Manchester City and Chelsea could be the key.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS: Two transfers made this week, one of which is enforced. A red card for Söyüncü in Leicester’s surprise defeat at Bournemouth means he is suspended for this game round. A -3 for the red, coupled with the -4 I’m taking for the double transfer shows the impact a red card can have. That being said, I think that may be the first time this season that a player I’ve selected has been giving his marching orders, not bad considering there’s only 3 matches left. Söyüncü has been replaced by Azpilicueta. With Chelsea at home to already relegated Norwich, it’s a good clean sheet chance. That takes the team to the maximum 3 Chelsea players as Barkley and Willian retain their places.

The other change is Gabriel Jesus for Aubameyang. Arsenal v Liverpool pitted against City v Bournemouth there’s only one winner in terms of where the safe points could be. With Sergio Aguero injured, Jesus is basically City’s only recognised forward and has been getting an extended run in Pep’s side. The dilemma I’ve had was whether to keep Sterling as captain or not. Despite him hitting a hattrick in the last match, it would be just like Pep to rest him this time round. I have actually stuck with him so fingers crossed there.

The two TOON boys, Ferdandez and Saint-Maximin keep their places as Newcastle welcome Tottenham. What worth noting is, José Mourinho has never won a league game at St.James’ Park, the only stadium he hasn’t recorded a victory. Quite remarkable and hopefully that run continues this week.

FROM THE FIRST MINUTE, LADS.

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 35)

OVERVIEW: Gameweek 34 bought a half respectable yield of 44 points. Not bad considering there were two 1’s and a zero on the team sheet – Willian, Sterling and Aubameyang making up for that. My Captain pick turned out to be crucial as Kane disappointingly scored, had I picking Sterling we would have been looking at 60+ point week, once again that is Pep’s selection minefield playing tricks on the fantasy gaffa.

Looking ahead to gameweek 35 the fixture set doesn’t really seem to suit my team sheet but let’s see if we can produce a rabbit from the Tony Pulis cap.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS: There’s a buzz around the dressing room this week, in comes a TOON player Federico Fernandez. He replaces Brandon Williams in the back 3 who I’ve been trying to get out for weeks. Williams has featured sparingly for Man United despite their good form but, because of his low transfer value, he’s been hard to replace with quality. I think Fernandez can do a job there as Newcastle look to bounce back from a battering when they travel to struggling Watford.

I’ve also rolled the dice and taken yet another -4 to make another transfer. Out comes Phil Foden who is replaced by Ross Barkley. Reason being, firstly and once again, Pep’s team selection. Foden played last time out for Man City which means there’s a chance he could drop down to the bench for this one. He has been in and out of the side this season as Guardiola rotates. Secondly, Chelsea’s form has been good and, despite Sheffield United’s excellent season, I expect the Londoners to travel up to Yorkshire and get a win to maintain their Champions League push. Providing Barkley plays, there’s good chance for him to bag points – along with teammate, Willian.

Sterling will be captain this week away at Brighton which is another Pep risk but hopefully it’s a gamble that will pay off. Rashford, home to Southampton will be vice.

Leicester travelling to Bournemouth is a good clean sheet chance for Schmeichel and Söyüncü and hopefully Saint-Maximin will be fit enough to have a double whammy of Newcastle players in the side, always a Steve Brucey bonus!

BALLS INTO THE BOX, lads.

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 34)

OVERVIEW: A respectable 50 point haul maintains 5th position in the League, now only 2 points off 4th and dizzy Champions League heights. The standout performers were Rashford (captain), Willian and Almiron but disappointing showings from usual big hitters Kane, Sterling and Aubameyang was made somewhat worse by Vardy regaining some form after i’d just binned him. That happens, but all in all decent week. We move on to gameweek 34.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS: It’s a somber atmosphere in the dressing room this week. Yes I’ve had to do it – I’ve transferred out 2 of my 3 Newcastle players, taking another -4 in the process. The reason – they are away to Manchester City. Lascelles is out and in comes Laporte as well as Phil Foden replacing Miguel Almiron. As alluded to in a previous post, I learned pretty quickly how important it is to use your head rather than being guided by the heart in selection terms. I’m fully aware that home to Newcastle it’s a chance for City to fill their boots, especially after a poor defeat in their last match. I can’t see the toon scoring meaning Laporte is a clean sheet candidate and, providing Pep plays Sterling and Foden, there’s a chance of big points there, painful as that may be.

Kane will be captain with Tottenham away at struggling Bournemouth while Sterling will take the vice role. If I could guarantee Guardiola’s team selection then these may have been the other way round. The City boss is a fantasy football manager mine field and trying to preempt him is like picking lottery numbers at times.

Got to fancy Rashford at Villa and Willian is in fine form for Chelsea. Overall, quite confident this round.

Also, Saint-Maximin retains his place and is the sole TOON flag flyer, couldn’t take them all out.

WIN YOUR PERSONAL BATTLES, LADS

Team selection gameweek 34

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 33)

OVERVIEW: GET UP THERE! 97 points in gameweek 32 and up 3 positions into 5th in the office table – Proof of the importance of using the fixtures to your advantage. The gamble in taking a -4 for an extra transfer because of some favourable matchups paid lucrative dividends. If only I’d heeded my own advice earlier in the season rather than simply picking players I liked. It’s a rare thing (especially as a Newcastle fan) to be able to get your favourite players in your fantasy football team but the 3 Toon boys have been excellent since they came in a few weeks ago, I’m a happy gaffa right now.

Also, bringing in Aubameyang and making him captain brought in a 26 point yield alone and helped no end. To all that did that with me, I doth my cap.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS: One transfer and a tough decision made for game week 33. I’ve taken out the Premier League’s joint top goal scorer Jamie Vardy and replaced him with Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford. Reason being – Leicester’s form as well as Vardy’s. They’ve been very scratchy since the end of lockdown and with Man U at home to lowly Bournemouth, it’s a good chance for Young Marcus to fill his boots. Bournemouth looked like a team without any hope or direction against Newcastle in midweek, for this reason Rashford is also captain.

Speaking of The Toon, my magpie men retain their places for a 3rd straight week. With Premier League safety assured and home to relegation threatened West Ham you’ve got to fancy them adding more points with the shackles off – especially the attacking players Almiron and Saint Maximin. More of the same hopefully.

FIRST AND SECOND BALLS, LADS

GAMEWEEK 33 TEAM SELECTION

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 32)

OVERVIEW: Another respectable return of 58 points in gameweek 31 leaves me still unmoved in 7th place in the office table but gaining, only 15 points off 5th now. 18 points from captain Mané was the highest scorer but I was expecting a bit more to be honest given Liverpool’s home fixture. The Toon lads all chipped in again which is always nice.

In other news, my benchboost did nowt.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS: Looking at the gameweek, Arsenal and Chelsea have fixtures that look pretty favourable. With that in mind I’ve used my free weekly transfer but also took a -4 on another. Out comes Mané, reasons being Liverpool are away at Man City, probably the toughest fixture in the league and, with the title already wrapped up, there’s a chance Klopp may start to rotate his team. Replacing him is Willian of Chelsea, away at struggling West Ham, he’s always likely to grab points from set plays and takes penalties. The other transfer is Aubameyang for Calvert-Lewin, a change made possible by money gained in the Willian deal. Arsenal at home to bottom side Norwich is a great chance for Auba to fill his boots and for that reason he is made captain, with Kane (Away at Sheff.United) vice. My 3 toon players still retain their places away at Bournemouth.

GET TO THE BYLINE!!!

Line up for Gameweek 32

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (GAMEWEEK 31)

Office League

  • 9 Entrants
  • £10 a head, winner takes all.
  • Bottom place provides the rest with sausage or bacon sandwiches and a drink of their choosing. (More important than the money)

OVERVIEW: The gamble paid off. 3 Newcastle players bought in for gameweek 30 has all but ensured I won’t be handing out sausage sandwiches this year, much like Newcastle all but confirming their own Priemer League survival. A clean sheet for Lascelles, an assist for Almiron and a goal for star man Saint-Maximin gave a very good haul of points. 64 points totalled, the only down side is that it seems to have been a good scoring week all round.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS: One transfer made for gameweek 31. Sergio Aguero limped off in Man City’s demolition of Burley on Monday night and although the severity of his knee injury is not known, it’s pretty certain he’ll miss this next match. I’ve replaced him with Harry Kane who is up against a massively struggling West Ham, big chance for points there. I’ve captained Mané as Liverpool are at home to Bournemouth whilst I’m looking for much of the same from the 3 Newcastle players- Home to Aston Villa, who haven’t won in 8, the pressure should be off Steve Bruce’s side.

Oh and I’ve thrown in my Bench boost chip this week too.

Work the channel’s lads!!

Gameweek 31 Team