Gameweek 24 and January Manager of the Month results

The week (or fortnight) in which it all changed. Liverpool’s double gameweek. Probably not their last of the season but that didn’t stop the majority of us and the rest of the world jumping on the prospect of some massive scores from the runaway Premier League leaders, particularly in their match against West Ham. Some major transfer activity ensued. Can we squeeze in three Reds players? It was a move made easier by timely injuries to Jamie Vardy and Marcus Rashford. And then the triple captains started landing. You had a choice, depending on the make up of your team and your propensity for a bit of gambling, of sticking it on one of six players – two obvious and four hipster. There shouldn’t have been a massive amount of difference between picking Mo Salah and Sadio Mane. Stats would suggest that both would return something. Roberto Firmino carried slightly more risk, but this is the guy that only scores in away games. He could be the key to a sneaky rank rise if the majority banked on the other two. Or dare you captain a defender? TAA, Robertson and Van Dijk are virtual ever-presents in the middle of an astounding run of clean-sheet shenanigans. Add to that the full-backs’ assist potential.

270,000 managers compared to 220,000 opted for Mane over Salah as their triple captain. The split in the top 100 was 40 to 39 in favour of the Senegalese. Over a million compared to 940,000 went with the standard captain choice on Mane. Selecting Sadio Mane WAS NOT A BAD IDEA. Keep telling yourself that. In the end the best choice was Jordan Henderson, who equaled Salah’s score, but at well under half the price. 

So, selecting Salah would have got you 48 points to Mane’s 3, and it’s pretty easy, scanning the Buckets league to pick out those that went with the former over the latter. That 45 point difference is evident in a lot of scores. Most notably, right at the top. We have new leaders, and instantly by some distance. Game Of Stones got it right. Locky Bauer Bowyer did not.

1
Game of Stones
Ryan Garoghan
811431
2
Locky Bauer Bowyer
Paul Hawkins
441408
3
FC Caligula
Ajay Supeda
811402
4
DaSilvaortheFreD
Stephen Papadopoulos
841394
5
Nashton Villa
Jaime Nash
701393
6
Atlético Chappers
Richard Chapman
701389
7
Rip Roaring Reds
Sean Whyton
771381
8
Sterling Silva
DEAN CRIPPS
371378
9
BASHAM’S ARRIVING!
Tim Dodd
791378
10
Edgbaston
Micheal Dinneen
541367

Considering what was expected of the week, the scores were, on the whole, a bit underwhelming. The average was a disappointing 55 points. But for the Liverpool v West Ham game, in which Salah’s haul and the clean sheet justified the non-Mane captainers selections, the rest of the week was pretty soul-destroying. Southampton and Burnley returned unexpected clean sheets, Everton lost one in the final minute to a Florian Lejeune double. I mean, we all saw that one coming didn’t we? There was a Leicester goal blitz but with no involvement from either Vardy or Maddison – and then they conceded. Most teams are littered with one and two point hauls plus whatever Liverpool returns you managed.

Our top scorers were FTM and Chef Utd. Both hit 89 points. FTM win the place on the honours board courtesy of the four goals they scored to Chef Utd’s two. To contradict everything I’ve just said about the gameweek, they only relied on two Liverpool assets and got pretty good returns out of the rest of their squad. They could even afford to have a 10 point Jorginho haul sat on their bench. They become the first three-time manager of the week winners this season.

Manager of the month went to The Craggy Islanders. Despite the contrasting scores and fortunes of a lot of teams in the league, the standings didn’t alter much from last week to this. Most of those in contention posted scores in the 70s and 80s, suggesting they all got their double gameweek picks just about right. The Islanders triple captained Salah.

1
The Craggy Islanders
Adrian Roche
81271
2
Alisson Wonderland
Scott Denyer
85264
3
BASHAM’S ARRIVING!
Tim Dodd
79254
4
Game of Stones
Ryan Garoghan
81253
5
DaSilvaortheFreD
Stephen Papadopoulos
84252
6
Rip Roaring Reds
Sean Whyton
77251

The Buckets Cup starts next gameweek. So if you’re cursing your Mane luck, put that behind you and focus on the cup. To confirm, the three teams with a bye to the second round are The Craggy Islanders, as last years winners, and Cook Pass Babtridge and Locky Bauer Bowyer as the two highest weekly scores so far this season. Check the cup link for the draw. Also, it’s worth mentioning that the Last Man Standing competition is now past half way. We have 30 teams left. Nine of our current top ten remain, with Edgbaston being a casualty in GW18. Ren n White, currently in 59th place, are the lowest team still (just about) standing. Check that link to see if you’re still there. 

 

January manager of the month – Adrian Roche – The Craggy Islanders – 271 points

Manager of the week – Stu Smith – FTM – 89 points (4 goals)

Player of the week – Jordan Henderson – Liverpool – 16 points

Bargain of the week – Florian Lejeune – Newcastle United – 14 points

Twat of the week – David Luiz – Arsenal – -3 points

Goal of the week – Jay Rodriguez

Gameweek 31 results and Buckets Cup Final

1  up The Vinegar Pissers
P Hawkins
124 1868
2  same Hornets
Andrew Wade
80 1825
3  down Brexiter City
Colin Goulding
77 1817
4  same The Craggy Islanders
Adrian Roche
84 1804
5  same Despicable Mee
Trevor Gordon
89 1795
6  same Nashton Villa
Jaime Nash
93 1794
7  same Game of Throw-Ins
Ryan Garoghan
81 1781
8  up FC Caligula
Ajay Supeda
98 1781
9  up Edgbaston
Micheal Dinneen
104 1776
10  same Gotta Light?
Andrew Swift
72 1769
11  down The winnings R mine
david bruce
67 1765
12  up Rip Roaring Reds
Sean Whyton
112 1763
13  up Emergency Gap Jumper
Ian Williams
102 1756
14  same INIT FC
Mustafa khan
90 1754
15  down greenyteamy
adam greenwood
62 1749
16  down Queen of the north
DORINE REACHER
85 1743
17  down Fun Lovren Criminals
Paul Callaghan
46 1741
18  up Atlético Chappers
Richard Chapman
110 1736
19  up Rico united
JASON REACHER
102 1736
20  down It’sOnlyAGameFarke!
David Spinks
74 1729
21  down Golden Boys
Stephanie Cripps
68 1723
22  same We are Ayling
Paul Murray
90 1719
23  up Shoelace Untied
Caroline Strong
84 1700
24  up Neil Madrid
Neil Strong
95 1688
25  up Your Ad Here
Matthew Hopkins
100 1685
26  up Kebab Eaters Utd
Paul Howard
100 1679
27  down Aquamar 1564
Noel Driver
86 1677
28  up To Elland Back
Alan Hardy
112 1676
29  down Kompany & Co
DEAN CRIPPS
35 1673
30  down Flying squad
Matt Jarvis
83 1670
31  up Klopp of the Pochs
Jason Earwicker
102 1666
32  up Pure Buffoonery!
Jitesh Lakhani
83 1652
33  down musttryharder FC
Paul Telford
77 1647
34  down Crazylegs XI
David Caldicott
34 1643
35  down Pretty Schitty City
Alex Michaluk
43 1637
36  down King Dunlap
Paul Bentz
71 1636
37  up mrs mcgoo
laura barrett
104 1626
38  down blakes11
Steven Darling
54 1607
39  up FTM
Stu Smith
120 1604
40  down Upper Bullens
Andy Taylor
56 1563
41  up iamgroot
scott mcgow
102 1563
42  up romeoshondavan
Rob Hewer
88 1559
43  down Jarv88
Paul Jarvis
109 1556
44  down cookster fc
Peter Cook
36 1546
45  down Pudding And Pie
John Seacroft
51 1525
46  down Bakerlona FC
Stuart Baker
44 1514
47  same disco dancer
darren frankland
61 1477
48  same Real Jorvik
Simon Brown
29 1437
49  same Release The Hounds
Paul Mitchell
12 1401
50  same Biscuitmen
Chris Morton
23 1291

 

Buckets Cup Winners – Emegency Gap Jumper

This season’s Bucket Cup champions are Emergency Gap Jumper. They beat Game Of Throw Ins by 102 – 81. Congratulations to them. It’s their first prize money in their 10th Bucket Season. EGJ opted to wildcard, fielding a full XI, whereas GOTI chose not to and went with a seven man squad. The news EGJ won’t want to hear is that they could have beaten GOTI by not wildcarding and simply playing the six players they already had in their squad who were potentially going to play this gameweek. Salah, as captain, Pickford, Milivojevic, Firmino, Doucoure and Gomez would have amassed 85 points.

Manager of the week – The Vinegar Pissers – Paul Hawkins – 124 points

Last week we all put out full teams and some of us struggled to reach what was one of the lowest average scores of the season. This week we’ve four matches in a vastly reduced gameweek – meaning eight teams – seven of them being shit – and 14 Buckets managers post scores of 100+. And it’s all thanks to one player. If ever there was a week in which everybody was going to captain the same man it was this one. Only the ghostships and the league leader decided Mohamed Salah wasn’t up to the job. Brexiter drop to third as a result of their decision to take a punt on Firmino. However, had they gone with Salah, they’d still have lost their lead to The Vinegar Pissers, who have been threatening to take over the top spot for a number of weeks now. Who’d have thought this week would give up the highest gameweek score as well? The VPs only got eight players out, but it would have been a struggle to pick a worse eight. Only Callum Wilson offered up appearance points. Their three man defence contributed a clean sheet each, a goal, an assist and five bonus points. Mane and Milovejevic, playing alongside Salah, added a goal, two assists and two bonus points, and all of a sudden, Cenk Tosun needs to be taken seriously, scoring two to add to the other two he’s notched in his last two games. Four in three and he’s the striker in form.

The VPs have built up quite a lead as a result. Ordinarily you’re happy with an 80 point return, especially from a reduced gameweek, but Hornets are now conceding a 43 point lead to the new leaders. An honorable mention should go to FTM who achieved the second highest score of the weekend and did so by playing their free hit. The free hit chip was developed for gameweeks like this one. FTM finished four shy of The VPs. A bit more faith in Bournemouth or more investment in the Crystal Palace defence over the Everton defence would have seen them over the line. Yet, despite all their efforts, they only moved up two places in the league.

Player of the week – Mohamed Salah – 29 points

It’s the highest weekly score of the season. It’s, from memory, the second highest weekly score ever and the highest single gameweek score. It’s his 14th double figure haul of the season. There have only been seven weeks in the 31 in which he hasn’t either scored or assisted. It’s four goals, an assist and inevitably, all the bonus points. It’s Mohamed Salah, who now sits on 266 points from 30 of the 31 gameweeks. That’s an average of 8.86 points a game. At that rate he should surpass the 300 point mark and become the first player to do that. Luis Suarez’s record is 295 from the 2013/2014 season. Just leave the armband where it is.

Bargain of the week – James Tomkins – 15 points

In truth the other big scores of the weekend could have gone anywhere. Any one of the other teams could have kept a clean sheet or scored a hatful. Those who took a punt on Palace players would have ended up happy, particularly those opting for James Tomkins. He’s the safest route into that Palace defence at the moment – if you dare venture there. You couldn’t have asked for much more than a goal, clean sheet and all the bonus marks. Apart from maybe a second goal, which he as inches away from getting. Just don’t pick him next week.

Twat of the week – Charlie Adam – -2 points

I’m not sure he was gracing too many teams. In fact, he’s been dropping out of squads as opposed to being brought in ahead of this gameweek, which says a lot. Xherdan Shaqiri looked like the most optimistic Stoke choice, along with Jack Butland, who has been racking up the save points over the last few weeks. Shaqiri failed to deliver, but Butland’s 3 point return was the average keeper score. Watford and Huddersfield were the teams to completely ignore this week.

Goal of the week – Junior Stanislas.

1m20s in

 

Gameweek 12 preview

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

We’ve a mixed bag of casualties and fitness uncertainties courtesy of the international break. Some of the big hitters didn’t even play. The only thing Roberto Firmino and Sergio Aguero need worry about is a touch of jetlag, whereas Mesut Ozil may not have even left the country, having been completely rested for Germany’s two games.  The same can’t be said for Philippe Coutinho or Alexis Sanchez. Coutinho, now the game’s most popular player with a 47% ownership, played virtually every minute of both of Brazil’s games, only coming off towards the end of the victory over Peru on Tuesday. Sanchez allegedly suffered an injury in Chile’s first game of the break, only to take the field in heavy strapping for the second game. He scored two and played 86 minutes. They both appear to have returned injury free, but how fresh?

Diego Costa and Eden Hazard’s values could have gone through the roof given their recent performances, but early injuries tempered the transfer scramble and kept them affordable. Costa was another not to play a minute having succumbed to a groin complaint. Eden Hazard got a knock in Belgium’s defeat of Estonia and came off at half time. Both have declared themselves fit. That’s declared THEMSLEVES fit. Their manager might have other ideas. The extra day to recover should work in their favour. If you were going to go Chelsea mad, it looks like that’s still an option.

Gameweek 11 results

same Uriah Rennie 2nd XI
Neil Greenwood
46 623
up QUEEN OF THE NORTH
DORINE REACHER
59 622
up Kebab Eaters Utd
Paul Howard
69 620
down Neil Madrid
Neil Strong
57 619
same Aquamar 15
Noel Driver
60 615
down nO fucHs given
Paul Callaghan
49 613
same The Craggy Islanders
Adrian Roche
63 609
same When Harry met Alli
Trevor Gordon
56 597
up Yeboah’s Right Foot
Paul Murray
60 591
10  down To Elland Back
Alan Hardy
47 586
11  down 4 Fuchs Ake
Jason Earwicker
50 585
12  up Hedgehog Corpse FC
Nick Smith
66 584
13  down 30:19
Darren Lavelle
46 579
14  same RICO UNITED
JASON REACHER
54 577
15  down Rip Roaring Reds
Sean Whyton
38 572
16  up greenyteamy
adam greenwood
77 571
17  down INIT FC
Mustafa khan
58 570
18  up Cooksters
Peter Cook
74 569
19  down Edgbaston
Micheal Dinneen
57 567
20  down Go Buffoons Go
Jitesh Lakhani
55 560
21  down Joey Bosa
Paul Bentz
50 550
22  down Atlético Chappers
Richard Chapman
48 550
23  up Your Ad Here
Matthew Hopkins
52 542
24  up Jeff Lamp’s Porsche
David Spinks
54 541
25  up Racing Club Skegness
Andrew Swift
87 538
26  down Biscuitmen
Chris Morton
40 537
27  up FTM
Stu Smith
62 532
28  up Ciderheads
Darren Pope
47 528
29  down FC Caligula
Ajay Supeda
52 527
30  up Real Jorvik
Simon Brown
62 526
31  down Release The Hounds
Paul Mitchell
42 526
32  down Crazy Legs XI
David Caldicott
43 526
33  down Golden Boys
Stephanie Cripps
52 524
34  down RG XV
Ryan Garoghan
49 519
35  down romeoshondavan
Rob Hewer
53 511
36  same Hucking Fell
P Hawkins
52 508
37  down Upper Bullens
Andy Taylor
25 485
38  same Jarvis FC
Matt Jarvis
42 484
39  up Shoelace Untied
Caroline Strong
54 483
40  down Bakerlona
Stuart Baker
31 478
41  down Pretty Schitty City
Alex Michaluk
44 477
42  up Big White Chiefs
david frankland
60 473
43  down Have a little dink
Ian Williams
51 472
44  up Pepe Le Blue
DEAN CRIPPS
68 471
45  down jetty city
scott mcgow
41 460
46  same I am not Zlatan
Colin Goulding
47 450
47  up DJ’s Trail Blazers
Danian Jones
55 446
48  same Bermie Utd
Glen Davies
36 434
49  down Bish Bosh Goal
Simon Purnell
44 432
50  same bazza 28 united
laura barrett
31 417
51  same Dj daz
darren frankland
54 406
52  up Pudding And Pie
John Seacroft
51 403
53  down Jarv88
Paul Jarvis
42 395

 

Friday’s preview highlighted the rising stock of the Chelsea team and I don’t know why I didn’t take my own advice. Their fifth consecutive clean sheet and their fifth consecutive victory. They were the only team to keep a clean sheet this weekend. Only 11 defenders collected anything but their appearance points and four of them play for Chelsea. Eden Hazard scored his fifth goal in four games and registered the highest score of the week. His overall performance merited much more than the 19 points he achieved. He’s an absolutely essential buy at the moment.

So, it’s just typical that a two week international break should come along. Although it does give you plenty of time to figure out exactly how to wedge him into your team. But with each passing day there’s the danger that his value will edge higher and higher. It had already jumped from £9.8 to £10 million over the two gameweeks before the Everton game. There’s every chance it’ll increase by the same amount, or maybe more, come the gameweek 12 deadline.  And the same goes for absolutely everybody else in the Chelsea starting XI at the moment from Courtois to Costa.

No less impressive were Liverpool, hammering six past Watford. Their front four all returned double figure scores. It was Philippe Coutinho’s fourth – a feat only matched by Hazard and Alexis Sanchez. Mane, Lallana and Firmino have all managed three each. They occupy four of the top twelve scorers overall – four of the top eight midfielders. If you’ve still got a wildcard, gameweek 12 looks like a perfect opportunity to play it. At whose expense might be better looked at in the preview in a fortnights time. A few injuries to Arsenal, Spurs and City players over the international break will make that decision a bit easier. Here’s hoping.

Racing Club Skegness were far and away our highest scorers of the week with 87 points. There were only two other managers in the 70’s. Greenyteamy opted for Firmino as captain. He contributed 30 of their 77 points. Cooksters 74 points came with a 38 point contribution from Hazard as captain. Skegness also went with Hazard, but also benefited from Coutinho’s contribution, a resurgence from Wayne Rooney on his recall to the Manchester United squad and Sam Vokes’ 11 point return, which puts him at the top of the budget striker picks. His current form is bettered only by that of Costa and Romelu Lukaku.

 

Player of the week – Eden Hazard – 19 points. Goal of the week too.

Bargain of the week – Robert Snodgrass – 14 points. Back with immediate effect.

Donkey of the week – Jose Holebas – -2 points. A lot of managers won’t be happy with him – a form budget defender in a lot of teams. Picked up a ban too.

Goal of the week – Eden Hazard. His second goal from a slightly odd angle.

Gameweek 7 preview

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

Last week Rico United posted the highest weekly score of the season so far in the Buckets League with 87 points. It also helped them to the September manager of the month award. Their gameweek six score was achieved by loading the midfield full of high scoring elite big hitters and reducing the spending on the other three areas of the team. Overloading the attack is outdated – there simply aren’t enough quality attackers in the league to justify the outlay.

Look at the starting prices of the midfield compared to the attackers. Look at the current points standings. Midfielders rule. Pep Guardiola has been quoted as saying that ideally he’d play every game with 11 midfielders. Last weekend Liverpool fielded nine midfielders in one match – with seven of them starting. Eight Spurs midfielders collected points, and over at Arsenal, seven took to the field at some point during their victory over Chelsea. Who are the top four? City, Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool. Who are the league’s top scorers? City, Spurs Arsenal and Liverpool.

The best possible team you could have put out last week would have scored you 141 points. With five midfielders – three from Liverpool and one each from Spurs and Arsenal.

The problem is picking five from the multitude of options available. Particularly at Arsenal and Liverpool, who are both playing with false number 9’s. Alexis Sanchez playing through the middle for the Gunners has opened the door for Theo Walcott to become a regular again. Surprisingly, he’s only sitting on £7.6 million, having started on £7.5, which is Walcott’s lowest starting price since 2010. You feel it’s only a matter of time until Mesut Ozil gets going again now he’s posted his first double figure total of the season.

Roberto Firmino operates as the centre forward for Liverpool with Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana buzzing in and around him. James Milner might be the most tempting. He may be filling in at left back, but he’s on penalty duty and will only set you back £6.5 million.

And it’s Arsenal and Liverpool that have the most favourable run of fixtures as we hit October. In fact, other than their home tie against Manchester United next weekend, Liverpool’s next ten games through to mid December look too good to ignore.