End of season results

May 23, 2017

up The Craggy Islanders
Adrian Roche
85 2315
down When Harry met Alli
Trevor Gordon
80 2312
same Aquamar 15
Noel Driver
77 2274
up Kebab Eaters Utd
Paul Howard
110 2255

The Craggy Islanders are our champions. By three points. I think that might be our closest finish yet. It was looking at one point, before the bonuses came in, that it might end up being a tie. I’m glad it wasn’t. I didn’t fancy the season long count back of goals scored. The Islanders won the last weekly battle 85 to 80 – the five point gap enough to take over at the top. WHMA played the All Out Attack, but to no avail. It wouldn’t have made a difference had they not bothered.

The Islanders started this season as our first manager of the week and then spent most of the next three months coming and going, in and out of the top 10. They hit a century in gameweek 14 climbing back to the summit. From that moment on they never left the top four, clinging on to first for six weeks between 16 and 22, and then next appearing in top spot when it really mattered – gameweek 38.

Meaning When Harry Met Alli must settle for second place for the second successive year. They were always in the mix. They never dropped out of the top 10 but for one week in December. From the turn of the year they took up residence in the top four and never fell below that. They were at the head of the group of teams trying to peg back Aquamar through the last third of the season, managing to take the lead in gameweek 37. Perhaps their decision to play their bench boost a week earlier than The Islanders cost them the title. We’ll never know.

And we’ll never know whether Aquamar’s itchy transfer finger cost them the top prize. Sitting in the top 3,000 worldwide in gameweek 32 with an 80 point lead over their nearest Buckets challenger, they went on a complete transfer bender making 19 in the last six weeks. Not having Harry Kane to play out the final two weeks, however, was probably the biggest handicap. It was a season of what might have been for Aquamar, also finishing runners-up in the Buckets Cup to Shoelace Untied.

Fourth place was a battle to the death with five or so teams continuously changing places over the closing two months of the season. Kebab Eaters United eventually pipped Edgbaston to the last cash prize. Edgbaston finished fifth last year too, but do take home the prize for the May manager of the month and the highest weekly score – a record breaking 181 points in gameweek 37.

Shoelace ploughed all of their energy into winning the cup, taking 76 points worth of hits across three gameweeks in order to outscore their opponents. Curiously, they also climbed the table, proving that taking hits doesn’t necessarily always cost you points. As long as you bring in the right players. It’s not a tactic I’d suggest playing across an entire season.

Rico United were double month winners and Yeboah’s Right Foot won manager of the week more than anyone else, coming out on top four times. That’s probably pretty impressive in a 53 team league. The record still stands at seven in a 26 team league.

Alexis Sanchez topped the player charts by some distance, although had Harry Kane played out a full season, it’s probable he’d have collected more points. He finished joint third with Eden Hazard, and just behind Dele Alli, but missed eight games with injury. Tom Heaton was the top goalkeeper. He kept ten clean sheets, and headed both the saves made and bonus points tables to finish ahead of Hugo Lloris and Thibault Courtois. The Chelsea defence ruled. No-one got close to Cahill, Alonso and Azpilicueta. Kane, Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku topped the bonus charts, all scoring 33. Marcos Alonso’s value rose the most over the course of the season, £0.9 million to £6.9 million.

Picking a bargain buy of the season hasn’t been as easy as last year when we had so many Leicester players to choose from. West Brom’s second top scorer, Gareth McAuley, deserves a mention. The 804 year old defender started as a £4.5 million back up in many teams but probably lasted the distance thanks to his steady return of goals and clean sheets – up until the point that West Brom reached 40 points and they got the holiday brochures out. Josh King’s second half of the season was as prolific as any of the elite forward players in the league. Only Sanchez and Alli scored more from midfield. From gameweek 20 onwards he contributed in 13 of the 18 games he played in. Expect a position change and starting price rise for next season.

See you then.

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Gameweek 25 preview

February 10, 2017

Arsenal v Hull
Man Utd v Watford
Middlesbrough v Everton
Stoke v Crystal Palace
Sunderland v Southampton
West Ham v West Brom
Liverpool v Spurs
Burnley v Chelsea
Swansea v Leicester
Bournemouth v Man City

It’s worth remembering that the next gameweek has a reduced schedule due to the League Cup final. No Manchester teams, no Arsenal and no Southampton. And then don’t forget gameweek 28 with the potential for no Manchester teams, no Arsenal and no Southampton. No Stoke, no Spurs, no Boro, no Sunderland and no Leicester. No Liverpool. No Burnley, no Watford…and no Chelsea.

So be careful. This week the Manchester teams in particular offer very tempting transfer options. But for two blank weeks in four…?

City will definitely get a hatful against Bournemouth. That defence are plummeting Bournemouth into a relegation fight, conceding, on average, between two and three goals a game. I notice a few Buckets managers have taken the punt on Gabriel Jesus, which definitely paid off last weekend. He’ll no doubt see his ownership and value increase ahead of this game too. And Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling have two goals and five assists between them in the last three matches.

Watford travel to Old Trafford and they haven’t triumphed there since 1978. Watford may have won two on the bounce, but United are on a 15 game streak without losing. They’ve the most affordable defence of the top six and Zlatan’s on 11 in 14. Still only in 2.7% of teams, and £0.7 million cheaper than his starting price is Henrik Mkhitaryan. He’s finally repaying the transfer fee, starting every game and having an increasing influence upon them.

But for two blank weeks in four…?

And dare you sell Alexis Sanchez?

Or keep him. For two blank weeks in four?

Gameweek 6 preview

September 23, 2016

Man Utd v Leicester
Bournemouth v Everton
Liverpool v Hull
Middlesbrough v Spurs
Stoke v West Brom
Sunderland v Crystal Palace
Swansea v Man City
Arsenal v Chelsea
West Ham v Southampton
Burnley v Watford

We will crown our September manager of the month after this weekends games and it could literally be any one of us. Here’s the top half of the monthly table with When Harry Met Alli in pole position. They lead the way overall as well, so go into the gameweek as favourites to take the prize. Just to clarify – despite the fact that the first game of gameweek 7 takes place on the 30th September, the game month finishes officially after these fixtures. The scores for the month of October will start with the 30th September fixture between Everton and Crystal Palace.

up When Harry met Alli
Trevor Gordon
56 135
up Upper Bullens
Andy Taylor
79 134
up nO fucHs given
Paul Callaghan
76 133
down Big White Chiefs
david frankland
62 127
down To Elland Back
Alan Hardy
46 126
up Crazy Legs XI
David Caldicott
64 125
up Kebab Eaters Utd
Paul Howard
71 123
up romeoshondavan
Rob Hewer
70 122
down Uriah Rennie 2nd XI
Neil Greenwood
60 121
10  up Aquamar 15
Noel Driver
65 120
11  up RICO UNITED
JASON REACHER
72 118
12  up Rip Roaring Reds
Sean Whyton
70 118
13  down Bermie Utd
Glen Davies
53 115
14  up Go Buffoons Go
Jitesh Lakhani
74 113
14  down Yeboah’s Right Foot
Paul Murray
53 113
16  down jetty city
scott mcgow
61 113
17  down Hedgehog Corpse FC
Nick Smith
54 110
18  up Neil Madrid
Neil Strong
60 109
19  down Release The Hounds
Paul Mitchell
44 108
20  up Ciderheads
Darren Pope
66 107
21  down Your Ad Here
Matthew Hopkins
44 106
22  up 30:19
Darren Lavelle
66 104
23  down I am not Zlatan
Colin Goulding
53 103
24  up FC Caligula
Ajay Supeda
66 102
24  up Have a little dink
Ian Williams
61 102
26  up Hucking Fell
P Hawkins
57 101

 

Over a million managers – nearly a third of the worldwide game – have dispensed with Sergio Aguero over the last two weeks. He’s back. It’s a headache. It’s the easiest thing in the world to replace him – no-one is anywhere near as expensive as he is. Getting him back is trickier. You’ll probably have to make two transfers to re-accommodate him. Is there any point? Well, yes – given the way that City are dominating teams at the moment. And lets not forget the hat trick he scored in the Champions League tie against Borussia Monchengladbach.

So, what are the options? Stick with what you’ve got and hold out till you get two free transfers next week. It could work, although City play Swansea this week and the potential for goals is too great, is it not?

Use your wildcard if you’ve still got it. That would certainly allow you to make wholesale changes if they were needed and bring in the best possible combination of players around Aguero.

If you’ve one available transfer and you’re determined to re-instate him, who are you going to drop? Those carrying Nolito or Harry Kane have had the decision made easy for them. The Spaniard starts his own three match ban, whilst Kane is sidelined for two months with an ankle injury. Dropping any elite players runs a certain risk. Diego Costa and Alexis Sanchez’s form probably rules them out. Similarly Romelu Lukaku, although the Everton striker is nursing an injury that forced him off before the end of last weekend’s victory over Middlesbrough. And dropping De Bruyne and Sterling is counterproductive.

Consider Eden Hazard, whose value rose to £10.3 million, but has dropped dramatically back to £10 million. All in the space of five gameweeks. Hazard appears to be the player who has suffered most at the hands of the imminent return of Aguero. And not just that, but the sparkling form of De Bruyne and Sterling. Despite an encouraging start, two games and a measly three points have seen managers react in a pretty unforgiving way. Maybe last season’s no-show is still fresh in the memory.

And don’t rule out dropping Zlatan. Manchester United’s form as a whole, rather than their star striker’s, is the discouraging factor. Three consecutive defeats and rumours of an unsettled camp doesn’t bode well. Ibrahimovic is also the closest in price to Aguero, and therefore the easiest to swap.

Gameweek 5 results

September 19, 2016

same When Harry met Alli
Trevor Gordon
56 305
up nO fucHs given
Paul Callaghan
76 295
up Aquamar 15
Noel Driver
65 291
up Uriah Rennie 2nd XI
Neil Greenwood
60 286
up Neil Madrid
Neil Strong
60 284
down Release The Hounds
Paul Mitchell
44 282
up Go Buffoons Go
Jitesh Lakhani
74 280
up Kebab Eaters Utd
Paul Howard
71 280
down To Elland Back
Alan Hardy
46 278
10  up 30:19
Darren Lavelle
66 276
11  down 4 Fuchs Ake
Jason Earwicker
52 275
12  down The Craggy Islanders
Adrian Roche
42 271
13  up Ciderheads
Darren Pope
66 269
14  up FC Caligula
Ajay Supeda
66 267
15  up Rip Roaring Reds
Sean Whyton
70 265
16  down Edgbaston
Micheal Dinneen
42 258
17  down Jeff Lamp’s Porsche
David Spinks
46 256
17  up QUEEN OF THE NORTH
DORINE REACHER
52 256
19  down FTM
Stu Smith
50 256
20  up Crazy Legs XI
David Caldicott
64 253
21  down Golden Boys
Stephanie Cripps
44 252
22  up Jarvis FC
Matt Jarvis
59 249
22  up RG XV
Ryan Garoghan
57 249
24  up Upper Bullens
Andy Taylor
79 248
24  down Real Jorvik
Simon Brown
44 248
26  down Joey Bosa
Paul Bentz
28 245
27  down Biscuitmen
Chris Morton
41 245
28  up RICO UNITED
JASON REACHER
72 244
29  up romeoshondavan
Rob Hewer
70 242
30  down Hedgehog Corpse FC
Nick Smith
54 240
31  up Hucking Fell
P Hawkins
57 239
32  up Yeboah’s Right Foot
Paul Murray
53 236
33  down INIT FC
Mustafa khan
51 235
34  up Bermie Utd
Glen Davies
53 234
35  down Bakerlona
Stuart Baker
51 234
36  down Bish Bosh Goal
Simon Purnell
47 232
37  down Your Ad Here
Matthew Hopkins
44 230
38  same Atlético Chappers
Richard Chapman
50 230
39  down Cooksters
Peter Cook
30 229
40  down greenyteamy
adam greenwood
44 225
41  up Have a little dink
Ian Williams
61 219
42  up Pretty Schitty City
Alex Michaluk
51 217
43  up bazza 28 united
laura barrett
56 213
44  down Racing Club Skegness
Andrew Swift
25 210
45  down DJ’s Trail Blazers
Danian Jones
27 206
46  same Shoelace Untied
Caroline Strong
47 203
47  up Big White Chiefs
david frankland
62 203
48  same I am not Zlatan
Colin Goulding
53 201
49  up jetty city
scott mcgow
61 194
50  down Dj daz
darren frankland
41 188
51  down Jarv88
Paul Jarvis
45 187
52  same Pepe Le Blue
DEAN CRIPPS
40 176
53  same Pudding And Pie
John Seacroft
51 168

 

Only seven of our 53 managers finished the weekend with a total higher than 70, which is low I think, considering that it was our highest scoring gameweek of the season so far with seven teams bagging three goals or more. I don’t suppose too many of us expected Manchester United to concede three against Watford, although we now have to accept that Etienne Capoue is going to score every week. Neither did we predict that Nacer Chadli would top score – scoring two and assisting another of the four that West Brom thumped past West Ham. Leicester finally came good, but it was new signing Islam Slimani who stole the show ahead of Vardy and Mahrez. And what’s happened to Stoke? Conceding four again – and to Crystal Palace?! Who’d only previously scored three in the first four games.

What we did expect was another dominant Manchester City display. Almost everybody had some blue half of Manchester influence somewhere in their team. Kevin De Bruyne was a popular captain choice earning 28 points for those that gave him the armband. Both he and Raheem Sterling assisted and scored one each. De Bruyne pipped Sterling to the three bonus marks. Sterling as captain would have earned you 26 points. Go Buffoons Go had both in their team and posted a healthy 74 points with 41 of those contributed by the City pairing. Another 12 of their points came courtesy of Romelu Lukaku – another popular captain choice following his 11 minute hat trick last weekend.

A dip into this resurgent Everton squad was common among the Buckets teams that managed 70+. Most aptly, Upper Bullens, who jumped 18 places in the league with a highest weekly score of 79 points. Lukaku, Bolasie and Baines added 19 of those – although Spurs contributed the most to the Bullens total – 26 in all, which included 18 from Harry Kane as their captain.

 

Player of the week – Nacer Chadli – 21 points. West Brom’s new (only?) main man.

Bargain of the week – Juan Zuniga – 12 points. In 9 minutes. Well done.

Donkey of the week – Jake Livermore – -2 points. Unlucky – should be rescinded

Goal of the week – Jordan Henderson.

Season preview

May 18, 2016

1 FC Caligula Ajay Supeda 48 2,261
2 The Kolarov Mané Trevor Gordon 76 2,245
3 Your Ad Here Matthew Hopkins 37 2,234
4 Shoelace Untied Caroline Strong 57 2,215
5 Edgbaston Micheal Dinneen 64 2,210
6 Rocky Ba Bauer P Hawkins 38 2,190
7 Game of Throw ins Darren Lavelle 42 2,162
8 Golden Boys Stephanie Cripps 41 2,158
9 Init fc Mustafa khan 65 2,149
10 Walking with Memphis Noel Driver 86 2,148
11 Atlético Chappers Richard Chapman 55 2,124
12 Sergio Five O DEAN CRIPPS 55 2,101
13 JonniestaRedmondinho David Spinks 39 2,086
14 Neil Madrid Neil Strong 59 2,082
15 Bicuitmen Chris Morton 35 2,074
16 4 Lime Jellies Ian Williams 41 2,068
17 SS3 FC Paul Murray 44 2,055
18 scotty2hotty scott mcgow 47 2,054
19 The Craggy Islanders Adrian Roche 52 2,053
20 Howayman Mark Bromham 38 2,052
21 Hedgehog Corpse FC Nick Smith 38 2,036
22 Gaalacticos Colin Goulding 41 2,024
23 Grievous AngelRangel Andrew Swift 37 2,016
24 Uriah Rennie 2nd XI Neil Greenwood 42 2,005
25 Pretty Schitty City Alex Michaluk 26 1,993
26 Romeo’s Honda Van Rob Hewer 15 1,990
27 Bermie Utd Glen Davies 32 1,983
28 Rip Roaring Reds Sean Whyton 47 1,957
29 Below Par Paul Bentz 32 1,945
30 Panza Grande XI Stuart Baker 36 1,943
31 RICO UNITED JASON REACHER 54 1,936
32 greensmeansbusiness adam greenwood 16 1,928
33 The Mindless Morons John Seacroft 29 1,905
34 The Hardy Boys Alan Hardy 42 1,902
35 Release The Hounds Paul Mitchell 49 1,883
36 Upper Bullens Andy Taylor 47 1,872
37 Sweet Cherry Pie Jason Earwicker 21 1,870
38 Go Buffoons Go!!! Jitesh Lakhani 39 1,801
39 Crazy Legs XI David Caldicott 27 1,792
40 Ciderheads Darren Pope 56 1,783
41 Baker Bum Boys Lewis Baker 27 1,781
42 Bish Bosh Goal Simon Purnell 31 1,578
43 REAL JORVIK Simon Brown 45 1,553
44 BrussiaHairbach Alex Ritchie 38 1,439

 

There’s your end of season table. FC Caligula are champions. Congratulations to them. Not only that – they’re also cup winners. They’re the first team to achieve a Buckets league and cup double. Add to that the fact that they’re a Leicester fan, and you might be forgiven for wanting to smash their face in. Much like Leicester, they started well, and basically got better. They never sank lower than eight place, rising to the summit in week 24 and staying there for all but one other week. In total they collect £405 in prize money, the highest in Buckets history.

At the half way point, The Kolarov Mane were 21st and had been rattling around in mid table for most of the first half of the season. Their rise began around gameweek 23 when they jumped 10 places from 14th to 4th. After a slight dip into the lower reaches of the top 10, they climbed gradually again up until week 34 when they hit 190 points in the first double gameweek and cemented their place in among the challengers for the league. That 190 points is another record. No team has scored more than that in one week in Buckets history. It’ll take some beating. If anything, it was their below average performance in double gameweek 37 that put them just out of reach of a title challenge, although they bounced back to post the second highest score of the last gameweek to clinch second.

Your Ad Here were third. The former cup winners went one place higher than their previous best performance, but will be disappointed not to have finished second – a position which they had held since gameweek 26. They’d also briefly held top spot in gameweek 25. A bad week 38, which saw only ten of their players take the field (in their flip flops) saw them give way to The Kolarov Mane.

Completing the top four are Shoelace, finishing in the prize money spots for the first time. It was another late charge following a slow start and a sluggish middle period. They were outside the top ten as recently as gameweek 29 and only appeared in the top four for the first time last week.

An honourable mention must go to the Golden Boys who eventually finished 8th. They never sank any lower than that position all season having taken the lead in gameweek 10 and holding it for 14 weeks. Unfortunately they go away empty handed having not managed to pinch a monthly prize. In fact they only won one weekly prize despite their early season dominance.

The manager of the week record remains intact – Romeo’s bagged seven two seasons ago. Walking With Memphis and SS3 FC both scooped three weekly awards, with a host of other teams managing a double. We had ten different managers of the month this season. I’m pretty sure we’ve always had one team managing a double or treble of manager awards – but then we’ve never had a 44 team league before.

In the real world Leicester (who else) dominated the player and team awards. They picked up eight player of the week awards across the two categories and only one donkey. Mahrez and Vardy finished first and second in the overall scoring charts. The highest scoring goalkeeper and defender both came from Arsenal – Petr Cech and Hector Bellerin. The Gunners had two other defensive players in the team of the season (jump to the bottom of this page).

Sergio Aguero scored the most single weekly points – 26 in gameweek 34. Several teams triple captained him to a 78 point total. That’s the new highest single gameweek score in Buckets history. Aguero also managed 25 points in gameweek eight, a total which was matched by Georginio Wijnaldum the following week.

Southampton scored seven player of the week awards, with both Manchester City and Sunderland managing six. No one player dominated the player awards. Kane, Aguero, Mahrez, Kevin De Bruyne and the mighty Andy King all picked up two weekly awards.

Chelsea led the way in the donkey race with five – two each for Thibaut Courtois and John Terry. Kyle Naughton was the only player to sink to -4, somewhat unluckily, as he eventually had his red card rescinded.

Leicester also hit six contenders for goal of the season – three each from Vardy and Mahrez. Liverpool equaled that, including two each from Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge. Dele Alli and Andros Townsend also appeared on the goal of the week list twice. Manchester United, incidentally, had no goal of the season contenders. Everyone will have their own favourite. I’ve got a soft spot for the Mahrez goals against Chelsea and Manchester City. The’re still trying to untwist Cesar Azpilicueta. Vardy’s record breaking goal was typical Vardy, but the pass from Christian Fuchs made it a million times better than it first appeared. The Vardy volley against Liverpool and the Alli volley against Palace seem to be the favourites of the pundits, but my choice is Cuco Martina’s bender for Southampton against Arsenal. There’s an angle from behind the strike where you get the full on Roberto Carlos-ness of it. It’s going out for a throw, then it’s in the net. And he can’t fucking believe it can he?

 

 

Team of the Season

  • GK – Petr Cech – Arsenal – 159 points
  • DR – Hector Bellerin – Arsenal – 172 points
  • DC – Toby Alderweireld – Tottenham Hotspur – 166 points
  • DC – Laurent Koscielny – Arsenal – 153 points
  • DL – Nacho Monreal – Arsenal – 152 points
  • DM – Mark Noble – West Ham United – 133 points
  • MR – Christian Eriksen – Tottenham Hotspur – 178 points
  • MC – Mesut Ozil – Arsenal – 200 points
  • ML – Riyad Mahrez – Leicester City – 240 points
  • CF – Jamie Vardy – Leicester City – 211 points
  • CF – Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur – 211 points

 

Bargains of the season

  • GK – Heurelho Gomes – Watford – 157 points (starting price – £4.5 million)
  • DR – Craig Dawson – West Bromwich Albion – 124 (£5 million)
  • DL – Christian Fuchs – Leicester City – 150 points (£5million)
  • DC – Wes Morgan – Leicester City – 139 points (£4.5 million)
  • DC – Robert Huth – Leicester City – 140 (£4.5 million)
  • DM – Danny Drinkwater – Leicester City – 129 points (£4.5 million)
  • ML – Marko Arnautovic – Stoke City – 165 points (£6 million)
  • MC – Dele Alli – Tottenham Hotspur – 166 points (£5 million)
  • MR – Michail Antonio – West Ham United – 126 points (£6 million)
  • CF – Odion Ighalo – Watford – 175 points (£5 million)
  • CF – Troy Deeney – Watford – 166 points (£5.5 million)

 

 

 

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