More than just a game…..

The most infuriating and captivating game on the internet is back, and BPF will be following the fortunes of Neil Sherwin as he joins over a million other fanatics in playing fantasy football on the official Premier League website.

Football - Chelsea v Bolton Wanderers Barclays Premier League

Gerrard or Lampard? If I get rid of Vidic and put in Corluka I can get both. Arshavin as a midfielder? Nice one! Will Schwarzer be as good as last season? Maybe I’ll just go with Reina……..

My head has been melted for the past month. Since July 8 to be exact, because that’s when I received confirmation that my registration was complete for yet another season of fantasy football. Just when it appeared I had settled on a team, a seed of doubt would be planted and the whole thing would be scrapped. This has happened at least 10 times, the latest being yesterday when I mistakingly thought about it for more than a split second. However, I think I’m finally done.

‘Ruining Football’ –

Goalkeepers – Mark Schwarzer was last season’s gem in the goalkeeping department and will be on most people’s radar this season as a result. I’ve decided to go with someone of similar ability and fantasy potential – Bolton’s Jussi Jaaskelainen. Always been a solid performer, and I think he could pick up decent bonus and save points, even if he doesn’t get the clean sheets. Joe Hart will be my backup and will be rotated in and out fixture depending.

Defenders – Patrice Evra was an obvious choice. He will play pretty much every game and is part of probably the best defensive unit in the league. Ashley Cole also claims a spot at the back given Chelsea’s potential for clean sheets over the first month. Completing my back three is a man who plays wherever there is no one else available – John O’Shea. Injuries mean he should be guaranteed a spot early on. The final two cogs in my five man defence are Wigan’s Maynor Figueroa and Ryan Shawcross of Stoke, both a snip at 4.5.

Midfielders – This is where the magic happens as they say. Andrei Arshavin is going to have a big year I think, and it seems a lot of fantasy managers are in agreement. Alongside him is Gareth Barry and the points machine that is Frank Lampard. It was a straight shootout between himself and Gerrard but again Chelsea’s opening fixtures sway it in Frank’s favour. My two ‘poor’ midfielders are West Ham’s dead ball manĀ  Mark Noble and Wigan’s Charles N’Zogbia, who will be important down their left hand side.

Forwards – Probably the hardest position to pick this year due to a lot of unpredictable players and a distinct lack of quality in general. I think the little and large partnership will be very effective at Spurs so Peter Crouch gets the nob. He will be partnered by Darren Bent (yes, that is Darren Bent) who I think will form a very potent partnership with Kenwyne Jones at Sunderland. In reserve is Wolves’ hitman Sylvain Ebanks-Blake.

Tactics – For the first few weeks Lampard will most likely be given the armband. Chelsea’s opening fixtures are very generous and there are serious points up for grabs with any of their players. Midfield is where the big points are won, hence the Lampard, Arshavin and Barry combination.

Of course there was one eye on Gameweek 2 which is going to shaft a lot of people very early on. I think the team is pretty much covered, and even then there will be a transfer to use.

Team for Week 1 –

Each week I will be posting my team and tactics while justifying the reasons for both. Feel free to laugh in my direction, applaud moments of managerial genius, or post your own tales of success and failure.

To register a team of your own simply log on to

Author Details

Neil Sherwin
Neil Sherwin

Co-editor of Writes mostly on Premier League and A-League with contributions to other sites including TheFootballSack, InBedWithMaradona and Bloomberg's BSports. Has featured on The Guardian's Football Weekly.

One thought on “More than just a game…..

  1. I went for:

    HART (Sub)

    BOSINGWA transferred for BASSONG (Sub)
    BRAMBLE (Sub)


    TORRES (c)
    OWEN transferred for ROONEY

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