Top of the league – But Da Pitch Ain’t 1 – Trev Reams – 1750 points
Da Pitch still hold the lead, but it’s only a slender two points over the surging Craggy Islanders who are on the hunt for the second title. Perfidious sit third and only ten points further back after a resurgent week, and although not completely out of touch and out of contention for the title, Neil Madrid and Bielsa Ringing will need near perfect run-ins to catch those sides ahead of them. And we probably shouldn’t rule out the possibility of INIT, FTM or Shoelace sneaking into fourth place. We’re entering silly season, as the blank and double gameweeks begin to form and chip tactics come into play. We’re faced with only five fixtures in GW31 and the likelihood of a similar figure in GW33, depending on the outcome of the next round of the FA Cup. Already Manchester United have had two of their fixtures rearranged and moved to the middle of gameweeks 32 and 35. Expect the other successful cup teams to see their fixtures moved to the same midweek slots. Of the leading contenders, The Craggy Islanders, Perfidious Albion, Neil Madrid and Bielsa Ringing have all of their chips and their wildcard remaining. Da Pitch just have their chips to play. FTM Have their wildcard but bench-boosted in GW10, whereas INIT have no wildcards or triple captain and Shoelace have no wildcards or free hit. Negotiating the next few weeks could be tricky without at least one of the wildcard or free hit still in the bag. And it shouldn’t all be about the leaders, as a perfectly played strategy of wildcards and chips could hand any team anywhere in the league any of the next three manager of the month awards. It might also be something the semi-finalists of the Buckets Cup want to consider…
Buckets Cup quarter finals
Although maybe not in the case of The Craggy Islanders or Neil Madrid who probably have their eyes on a bigger prize. And that may play into the hands of Fake Madrid and Kebab Eaters who are the other two teams to progress to the last four. The Islanders beat Da Pitch as Madrid saw off FTM in the two top ten clashes. The Islanders will play Fake Madrid, who beat El Loco No Joko, who inexplicably kept Virgil Van Dyk and Sergio Aguero on the bench?!?!?!? Kebab Eaters edged past Mour Salt and Pep to face Neil Madrid. It could be a Madrid derby final.
February manager of the month – Atletico Chappers – Richard Chapman – 309 points
Thanks to their top 2,000 in the world weekly score of GW27 and consolidating with a steady 50 pointer this week, Chappers pinch the February prize. I’m not sure they were really in it at all before hitting the dizzy heights at the weekend. They have Gerard Deulefeu to thank and did so by benching him for their hammering at the hands of Liverpool last night.
Manager of the week – Queen Of The North – Dorine Reacher – 84 points
A week for defenders this week and QOTN lined up two of the big scorers – Schar and Robertson – in their team. They amassed 43 points from those two and their other defender, Ashley Young, who chipped in with a goal, and their keeper, Allison. They wouldn’t be picking up this award however had it not been for a Marko Arnautovic no-show. Although quite what Sadio Mane was doing warming the bench is anyone’s guess given his present run of form of six goals in six games.
Player of the week – Virgil Van Dyk – Liverpool – 20 points
It would have been 51 points had Van Dyk been lined alongside them in a triple up Liverpool defence. It’s not a ludicrous idea given that they’re three of the six highest scoring defenders in the game and that Liverpool have more clean sheets than anyone else so far this season. They could surpass 20 which would be a great achievement. It bodes well for the weeks ahead in which Liverpool play every week. They have no doubles, but they also have no blanks.
Bargain of the week – Fabian Schar – Newcastle United – 15 points
There aren’t many players with two weekly player awards so far this season. Fabian Schar is probably the most unexpected recipient. A clean sheet and a wondergoal always equals top bonus. Newcastle will play the blank gameweek in 31, and have other potential clean sheet matches between now and then.
Twat of the week – Kieran Trippier – Tottenham Hotspur – -1 points
A wonderful own goal that totally wrong footed Hugo Lloris, a World Cup winning captain no less. Tottenham’s meltdown might have started a few weeks earlier this season.
Goal of the week – Fabian Schar.