Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 26 Review
Written by @NiallHawthorne
The low-level murmur in the FPL community surrounding the build up to GW 26 was all about one man; one man who would make a triumphant return at The Emirates on Saturday night, when Arsenal faced Everton, to show everyone what he’s capable of. He would strut into the cold North London air once again and dazzle us all with his outrageous skill and eye for goal, hold his arms aloft and accept the acclaim of the crowd who perhaps didn’t quite appreciate what they had before it was gone.
And so it came to pass…Aaron Ramsey started just his second match in the last ten, bludgeoned the Toffees with a scintillating hat-trick and landed an incredible 20 point haul in just 74 minutes of action.
What? Theo Who? Walcott? Don’t be daft. I told you last week that I’ve seen the Walcott Bandwagon Express depart countless times before, and it always disappoints. If you don’t listen to Uncle Niall, then there’s not much more I can do for you.
Speaking of listening to Uncle Niall, I have a certain mantra that I’ve been spreading throughout the FPL world for a few months now. It’s quite catchy, easy to remember and contains only two words: CAPTAIN SALAH. Now I admit that I don’t always listen to myself as often as I should, but that’s not going to stop me from patting myself on the back. Let’s face it, I’m getting to an age where patting myself on the back is quite an achievement so I’ll do so for as long as I can. (Ed: It’s true, he’s quite old for a fart) Another scintillating two goal and three BP display at Anfield for the King Of Egypt and a 15 point haul – a sensational reward for those who backed the bubble-permed bearded wonder when you compare his returns in GW 26 to those of the other big-hitters *cough* Kane *cough* Aguero *cough*
While Mr. Ramsay may have been stealing the limelight this weekend (and no, I’m not speaking about the chef, although his starring role in the Amazon Alexa Superbowl ad is worth a gander), he was aided and abetted by a player who is enjoying his life as a free man following an unfortunate incarceration at H.M. Old Trafford Prison, where joyous skill, impudence (no, Mrs. Mkhitaryan is very happy by all accounts) and creativity are snarked out of you on a daily basis. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is glad to be out of the clutches of Prison Warden Mourinho, and showed his glee by providing not one, not two, but THREE assists on Saturday night, for a 13 point haul.
Joining Mkhitaryan on 13 points this week is a former favourite of bargain-hunting FPL players this season, Pascal Groß. I’m not saying that his goal, assist and 3 BP’s for the Seagulls was inspiring to others, but just 24 hours later the Philadelphia Eagles won something called the Superb Owl for the first time. Birds of a feather flock together. Fly Seagulls Fly!
The ‘Gerard Deulofeu Wheel Of Fortune’ landed on Watford last week. You may not have heard of this game show, but it’s huge in Paraguay. Every 6 months they spin a wheel with every club in Europe on it, and wherever it lands Deulofeu must turn up and initially impress before ultimately stinking the place out. So far he’s been at Barcelona, Everton, Sevilla, Everton, Milan, Barcelona and Watford. Let me just remind you that he’s 23 years old. The man has more stamps on his passport than Phileas Fogg. But as with Mr. Walcott, heed my advice and don’t jump on this bandwagon. He’s nowt more than a Spanish Aiden McGeady.
James Ward-Prowse is a player in red-hot form with 3 goals and 2 assists in his last four games, and has always struck me as being ‘nearly the next big thing’. I mean, he’s clearly got an eye for goal, delivers a cracking set-piece ball and has lovely hair. In many ways he reminds me of a young David Beckham. If I were his agent, and I wanted him to get his big money move, I wouldn’t bother touting him to big clubs. All he needs to really hit the big time is to marry one of Little Mix. Et Voila! He’s the 21st Century David Beckham. He’d be at Liverpool before you could say Virgil Van Dijk (yes, I know he’ll probably end up there anyway…).
Finally hat-tips to a plethora of players who hit 10 points this week, but aren’t good enough to get my full attention, and read like a who’s-who of FPL benchwarmers or cheap alternatives: Gudmundsson, Milivojevic, Lossl, Danilo, Lemina, Fernandez and Doucoure. If you had 2 or more of those in your first XI last week, well-played. Well played indeed.
Our Villain Of The Week section contains two players who dipped into negative point territory, and two players who didn’t, but deserve a flogging anyway. Tiemoue Bakayoko picked up 2 yellow cards in 29 minutes and -2 points for his troubles. Michael Keane of Everton played one half of football at The Emirates, conceded 4 goals, got hooked, and thus ended up with a score of -1 without even getting a yellow card. In fact, that’s probably why he was hooked – how can you concede 4 goals and not kick someone at least once? Soft Toffee.
Harry Kane makes this section despite his 4 points because he missed a penalty against Loris Karius, after diving to win it. I mean if you’re going to torpedo your reputation to win a penalty, you may as well smash it in the net. Finally, Raheem Sterling has to get a mention for ‘that’ miss at Turf Moor. We’ve seen some spectacular misses this season (it feels like we’ve seen more than usual), but this one takes the Kimberley, Mikado AND Coconut Cream. When he was subbed minutes later I’m actually surprised that Pep didn’t stride onto the pitch and grab him by the scruff of the neck to haul him off. Still, it’s not the first time in recent history that Sterling has stumbled, and it won’t be the last either. Happy Brexit everyone!