One down, thirty seven to go

by Neil Sherwin

With fantasy football up and running, Neil Sherwin reflects back on his team’s opening weekend and tries to field a side for Gameweek 2.

Football - Stoke City v Middlesbrough Barclays Premier League

The first gameweek of this year’s fantasy football was very much a mixed bag for Ruining Football. There were of course positives – my inclusion of Mark Noble turned out to be a fantastic bit of business as he picked up a fantastic 14 points thanks to a goal and an assist.

However there were of course negatives. Lampard bombed as captain, and it was made worse by the fact that Gerrard was in my team right up until deadline day. Worse than that came at White Hart Lane precisely 66 minutes into the Spurs and Liverpool game as Harry Redknapp gave me yet another reason to dislike him. Having first not started Peter Crouch he then brought him on to claim a single fantasy football point, which ruined the five that Figueroa had waiting as first sub. Not happy.

The one that hurt the most though was Ryan Shawcross sitting pretty as unused substitute number three. His 15 points would have been more than welcome. He probably won’t perform as well for the rest of the season now.

So an overall first week tally of 59 points is quite respectable and leaves us in 226,114th  place in the world out of 1,734,579 players.

WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS V WEST HAM

Now on to the problematic Gameweek 2.

With so many teams not playing it’s going to prove tough to field a strong starting lineup, and most teams will be without subs. An injury to Sylvain Ebanks-Blake means I had no option but to use my transfer to find a replacement so I’ve gone for Birmingham’s James McFadden. I’ve always liked him as a player and he could definitely do something at home to an awful Portsmouth.

After going with a 3-5-2 formation for the first week, I’ve no option but to play a ‘would never work in real life’ 5-2-3. Joe Hart replaces Jaaskelainen in goal, while Shawcross comes into the defence and will no doubt concede four and get sent off against Liverpool now.

My midfield two of N’Zogbia and Lampard is hardly ideal, especially now that the former is considered a doubt and I have no replacements.

Joining new acquisition McFadden up front is opening day scorer Darren Bent and Crouch. The latter will be getting shipped out come the weekend if good ol’ ‘Arry pulls another fast one. I have a million in the bank as well there will be plenty of suitable replacements.

The captaincy this gameweek is a tricky one as no one really stands out. At this stage it looks like Lampard will be given another opportunity to shine, and he certainly owes me after the weekend’s dismal performance.

Overall it would be nice to match Gameweek 1’s tally but I think it will be quite difficult to do so.

Team for Gameweek 2 –

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Author Info

Neil Sherwin

Neil Sherwin

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

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3 Responses

  1. Noel says:

    I notice Zhirkov is absent in your team too…

    I was excited about having him in theory – but have since wiped the team of all Chelsea defenders; they looked much shakier than usual against Hull. Not so much Sunderland but, yet, they conceded…

    It looks like Barry is going to be the Xabi Alonso of this year’s FPL: great in a real team, useless for points. Maybe a switch to Ireland (if you, and I, can find the 1m) would be advised?

  2. Neil Sherwin Neil Sherwin says:

    I had Superman in my team from the get go last season. However, I’m a bit wary this year due to his price increase and the fact that he may not get to play in as much of an advanced role given the attacking options available to City.

    I do have 1 million in the bank so will definitely be keeping an eye on him.

  3. Richard Walsh says:

    McFadden – nice one

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