#FPL Gameweek 26 Review: Written by @JackAGoodwin
Since I went off the rail somewhat and started reciting poetry to Ryan in a kind-of homage to getting married that weekend – I got married. The day after, we flew over to India to have a week-long Indian marriage festival of sorts where I got turmeric and rice lobbed at me, handed lots of gold stuff and at one point witnessed a traffic jam in central Mumbai as two rogue cows decided to have a joust in the road surrounded by tuk-tuk’s.
Now, I return to FantasyYIRMA HQ to summarise what has been arguably the most drawn-out, long-winded, painstakingly-boring but ultimately important GW in FPL history.
This week’s theme – WH Smiths. No no hear me out…
Whilst travelling to India, you go through several stops along the way – one thing you will encounter for sure is a WH Smiths – in it you’ll be met with a visual overload of magazines, books & papers of all genre and languages. The covers are designed to grab you, draw you in, make you want to read what’s hidden beneath. So, this week I will review the GW26 results by presenting each of the 10 matches as their own cover story from the most known publications to the most obscure (made up).
Let’s do it…
Check out the Gameweek 27 Preview HERE
Everton 3-1 Crystal Palace
On paper, this match should have been a disaster, but turned out to be quite the entertaining game for neutrals (and the very few who gambled on any FPL players). Anyway, Everton are now unbeaten in five games and up to the dizzy heights of 7th in the league, but with the most horrific fixture schedule ahead of them I am sure nobody will look for players at all. Bless them, Ars, MUN, Che, LIV, LEI & Tot in the next 7 with a small Norwich sized respite in between. Donning the front cover of less-read magazine Match of the Day, you may also notice a free FantasyYIRMA subscription – please all contact @FantasyYIRMA for details as Ryan is eagerly awaiting your messages.
Brighton 1-1 Watford
Feels a bit daunting, doesn’t it Seagull and Hornets fans? The faint pull of the Championship already tugging away at your shoulders in February. Knowing games like these are all you have to grab some points against the bottom teams and Man United. Watford to their credit have been improving recently, this was a missed opportunity to climb out of the relegation zone. If you’re playing “destined for relegation Bingo” then these two have it all. No star players, Championship level management, terrible defense, naff fans and Troy Deeney – BINGO! They are planted on the cover of HELLO! Magazine this week as the teams are filled with gossip on who’s slept with who, which players will remain in the Prem once the teams go down and incredibly we have a sit-down interview with Nigel Pearson about his skin routine. Delightful.
Sheffield United 2-1 Bournemouth
Oh Eddie, poor Eddie. You’re a hero in Boscombe, a man who could literally walk in to any house within 20 miles of the Vitality Stadium and would have a lovely hot plate of food ready for him and a big sturdy hug from its occupants. He’s achieved so damn much for Bournemouth I hate to see it end this way. They’re in a rut, and yes were quite unlucky not to at least take a point home in this one. Eddie should’ve stepped down maybe a season or two ago when rumours were flying about potential employment throughout the Premier League top table teams and quite incredibly, England. If he doesn’t get out soon, he’s destined to be back in the Championship where – since he left – has become even more competitive and hostile. The Blades on the other hand are up to 5th, sniffing at European football with a dream already bubbling away in their Yorkshire heads about Lord Lundstram kicking bits out of Lionel Messi next season.
Wolves 0-0 Leicester
Both in exceptional shape (hence the fantastically edited Men’s Health Magazine below), Wolves and Leicester have been battering away at the top four for some time now. This was the match for one of them at least to cement their charge to the top. It was not to be, with the Winter break behind them and beach bods already prepped for the Euro’s – neither side could get a goal past the beady little eyes of the VAR referee. Boly, whose first name is absolutely phenomenal, was denied a goal in the first half as VAR decided to poke its stupid purple finger into the games business. VAR has now ruled out 4 goals for Wolves this season, including one against Leicester in the reverse fixture at the beginning of the season which again ended in a draw! Alas, both teams are alright, controversy aside it was probably a fair result. Leicester look confident in top 4 and Wolves are only 4 points from 5th, a position under many watchful eyes as Man City’s dodgy dealings are uncovered.
Southampton 1-2 Burnley
Burnley are 6 points from 5th – could they grab European football for the 2nd time in 3 seasons? Handsome grizzly manager (Dyche) gets Burnley to Europe once again, madness am I right? And before you come at me with “look Jack chill out dude, have you seen the other teams fighting for 5th spot?” I hear you, calm down. I realise it’s a long shot but this season is a weird one. A top match worthy of the front-page splash of MATCH! Magazine which is rather big-headed in its ego driven tagline “The Best Football Magazine” …Chill out fellas, have you not read Mundial? It’s a beauty. Anyway, good match with 19 shots throughout all whilst playing in the pissing rain on the coast.
Norwich 0-1 Liverpool
It’s just beautiful to watch isn’t it. It’s 30 years in the making but the grand design that Jurgen has built within Liverpool FC is magnificent (speaking as a Man United fan even I can’t be mad at it). The gap from 1st to 2nd in the league is 25 points. 25. It’s insane. We’ve got 12 games to go this season and they’re STILL without a loss and only Man United grabbed a single point from them. Is this the greatest team the premier league has ever seen? Or are the other teams just not performing? (see, Leicester title win). However they do it, it’s going to go down in history as one of the most dominant title wins ever. For perspective, the 25-point gap between Liverpool and 2nd place represents…. In La Liga Barcelona top, 25pts behind is Deportivo in 14th! In Serie A Juve top, 25pts below that is Cagliari in 11th. Bundesliga, we have Bayern top (just, lol) and 25pts behind is Wolfsburg in 9th……So you see, it is rather special indeed. Norwich are getting relegated BTW, ok thanks.
Aston Villa 2-3 Tottenham
Spurs are lucky, aren’t they? Well, kind of. They shouldn’t have won this (luck) but then Son gets injured alongside Kane for a long period (no luck). Villa teeter on relegation, just one point keeping them afloat. Meanwhile Jose’s merry men are gifted the 5th spot in the wake of the City madness which gives us all a bit of a wry smile at the prospect of Sterling trying to run around Edgerly Park (Stockport) whilst he gets the gun tattoos kicked right off his little body – oh how we’d all laugh. But yeah, Jose. Quite deserving to grace the cover of Four Four Two, he’s a footballing legend whether you hate him or hate him more than that. Spurs are finally now in control of their own European fate for next season, which is lucky as Leipzig all-but sealed their exit from the Champs League last night.
Arsenal 4-0 Newcastle
Oooo look who showed up to the party? Arsenal score 4 in what is only their 7th win of the season and lifts them to the crazy heights of 10 in the league now 10 points from relegation (which is hilarious to mention). Their issue is their love for the draw, 13 times this season they’ve gone away with one point which is impressive in itself. 6 points from 5th is it all too much to ask or is this season really that silly that they could still do it? As for the losers, Newcastle are 7 points safe from the drop and I believe have the team and management to keep them well in the league next season. They need to stop pissing about with ex-players that the fans love and actually bring in talent. Sports Direct sell loads of England shirts this summer and there’s your hefty transfer budget thank you very much!
Chelsea 0-2 Manchester United
With all the talk about Ole’s driving this season, I thought best to let him have his teenage fantasy moment in gracing the cover of Max Power magazine. A magazine we all loved, we all rushed to see the “crazy” body-kits which made the cars impossible to drive, each and every one of us thought neon lights under the car at one point was a brilliant idea and yes – boobs. Ole’s at the wheel once again as the Man United faithful cannot decide whether they should issue him a full license of ban him for wheel spinning. This result came as a surprise to all of us, Lampard included as e berated the VAR system once again. There was a tiny cameo from new signing Ighalo who nearly scored in the dying moments, and Bruno looks all the player he was billed to be. Chelsea needed to buy some stars in January, but didn’t. Summer can’t come quick enough, the blues hoping that they’ll be buying Champs League caliber players.
Manchester City 2-0 West Ham
Aww look at City having fun whilst they can. The European ban from all competition for 2 years seems excessive, crazy, out of nowhere but not least deserved (apparently). If found guilty it could get worse for them – but – as with all top teams, they will have a literal army of lawyers at the ready to defend the club and I am almost certain they’ll receive at best the fine, no ban. The players didn’t seem phased either, playing some top football against a weak Hammers who are looking even more faded after this match and ready to head back to the Championship if they don’t get their act together / sack Moyes. City grace National Geographic this week, as they are potentially looking at a journey to League 2 – a league they haven’t been since 1999 (what a year).
FOLLOW JACK ON TWITTER @JACKAGOODWIN
Check out the Gameweek 27 Preview HERE
Jack is an “alternative FPL writer” (Who knew, right?) looking for hidden tales behind the most obscure players, dark humour in the game and the creative storytelling to the most mundane of GameWeeks!
He’s played the official game for over 7 years, running leagues throughout the offices of his day job.