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Board Games, Fantasy Football and an Arsenal Postponement

Dear Readers,

We’re 29 weeks into the FPL season and we all continue to aggressively impersonate actual football managers on Twitter – and yet, within that, we are a family.

Ludicrous to think just how much the FPL has impacted our lives without only really giving a handful of us “full-time” roles doing it! There’s no way of describing FPL to outsiders without sounding like big kids is there? Big kids perhaps, but big kids with big ambitions. There’s ego to FPL, cockiness in success and cowardliness in defeat. We have the ups and downs experience like that of the Grand National at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, which, we all unashamedly love.

We’re one massive playground of #FPL Twitter accounts pretending to be the popular kids in the playground when really, we’re the ones who stay indoors and discuss tactics and transfers after school like a Warhammer x Football crossover (with less painting).

So for the kids within us all, this weeks review will be shoehorned into Board Games – squeezing the 10 FPL games from GW29 into our most beloved games from times gone by……Enjoy!

Written by @JackAGoodwin

Liverpool 2 – 1 Bournemouth

RISK: A Game of strategic conquest. Liverpool have been the Mongol Horde of the 2019/20 season, the Grand Armee, the Romans…(I’m not going to say Nazi). The absolute best at strategizing their way through any obstacles put in their path. But now, complacency is their nearest most intimidating opposition – crashing out of the FA Cup & now very recently the Champion’s League they’re playing a dangerous game of Slippy Gerrard. Still, Klopp rolled the dice during his turn against Bournemouth and claimed another territory even if a little unconvincingly. Bournemouth are now in the relegation zone and need buck up, quickly, as the odds are stacked on top of them (but that’s another game altogether).

Arsenal 1 – 0 West Ham

JUMANJI: Honestly, what do we do with Arsenal nowadays? Literally the definition of playing Jumanji, an unknown adventure you never even knew you were meant to be a part of. Complete with jungle-based hazards such as frogs (Ozil), snakes (Xhaka) and unidentified creatures (David Luiz). You turn up to a game not knowing whether the Gunners are going to roll a double and breeze past an obstacle or land directly on the mystery square and end up in a fight with a pack of monkeys attempting to steal the club bus, all whilst Robin Williams keeps interrupting proceedings by trying to make a light hearted joke out of the absolutely terrifying things happening around you…..Arsenal JUST escaped West Ham who are dangerously close to the Jumanji sequel (Jumanji 2: The Championship). Side note; there will certainly be a Judy and a Peter working for Arsenal.

Crystal Palace 1 – 0 Watford

SNAKES & LADDERS: Last week Watford climbed a massive ladder, a hidden ladder which gave them a shock victory over Liverpool. They were so high you could see the bottom of Deeney’s boots which still had the Sports Direct sticker on them (£19.99). Strolling around the board this week they had Crystal Palace infront of them and a teeny jump would’ve seen them climb closer to them in the league. So they lined up, rolled the dice and sprinted at Palace (more shots, more possession, more yellow things). They thought they’d done enough until they slipped on a small Jordan Ayew looking thing, Watford falling right onto a massive snake (not Xhaka, a real one) and squandering their chances of climbing the board

https://soundcloud.com/user-36523528/week-30-preview-the-double-gameweek-that-wasnt-a-double-gameweek

Sheffield United 1 – 0 Norwich

JENGA: Jesus look how high Sheffield are right now?! Imagine, if you must, Sheffield are the Jenga tower. At the start of the season they were solid, nothing fancy nor tall enough to cause concern. Now we’re 29 “turns” in to this season the Sheffield tower is massive. Each game is a risky move that somehow, they manage to pull-off and climb that one block of wood higher. There are gaps all over the show, you look at them in disbelief how they’ve got so high without falling. This is a very impressive game of Jenga indeed. Norwich this past GW was as easy obstacle, one of those loose-bricks you can wobble out with no fuss at all and look smugly at your nan because it’s her turn next. Next up is Newcastle for the Blades which may require a fancy flicky manoeuvre.

Southampton 0 – 1 Newcastle

BATTLESHIPS: Danny Ings has been the destroyer for Southampton this season – the unstoppable force which is so hard to take out of a game even after you do so much damage to the team. Danny Ings recently replaced his destroyer with a dingy (he named it Dingsy). Now, teams take Dingsy out of the game with one strike – this week Newcastle hit it with the Saint-Maximissile, a strange munition with a Gucci headband on it.

Wolves 0 – 0 Brighton

UNO: Why? Because Nuno. This opportunity was too good to let slip (lol, Gerrard). Similarities are there however with Uno and Nuno; both are subject to change without any warning, both quite fun, both colourful and both can easily turnaround a game with one action. Brighton however are a dab-hand at Uno and kept a few cheeky cards in their hands. Each time Nuno placed his +2 or +4 cards, Graham Potter instantly hit back, just when Nuno thought he’d called UNO, Potter planted the skip card. The game ended a draw, which, we all know is impossible – some suggest that Potter just left the game because Nuno kept yelling NUNO instead of UNO every time he placed a card (even when he wasn’t on UNO at all) which pissed off everyone involved.

Burnley 1 – 1 Tottenham

BUCKAROO: How many more random items (aka poor performances) do Spurs (the Buckaroo) have to have placed on them (by Jose) before they kick-out and get rid of the Portuguese baggage? The team are phenomenally challenged by not only injuries, but lack of direction with the ever-losing-his-marbles Jose at the helm. Was Poch worse than this? Sure, credit where due, Dyche’s Burnley are now just 2 points behind Spurs and have had a really good season so far…They were likely to place another cowboy hat or suitcase on the back of the Spurs Buckaroo.

Chelsea 4 – 0 Everton

CONNECT FOUR: A simple analogy with this one. Frank Lampard is still down with the kids, knows his way around a Hasbro game. Ancelotti not so much, his fond memory of gaming is tic-tac-toe or whatever they played during World War One. Frank battered Carlo. The easiest game of connect four you’ll ever witness. Chelsea literally popped 4 counters (goals) in a row without Everton even responding – Carlo was too busy scowling at everyone to recognise what was unfolding. A tough loss to take for Everton who now seem all but out of the race for European football next season.

Manchester United 2 – 0 Manchester City

CLUEDO: So, who’s to blame for the Manchester City loss? It’s all a big unknown to be blunt. It’s a Cluedo board of fault with Pep himself one of the “suspects”. There are hundreds of questions, how the hell can Man United beat Man City? The Bruno Effect? Ole passed his driving test? Pep Roulette taking its toll on player morale? All I know is that Professor Pep was seen in the Ball Room with a Lead Pipe. That’s all I am saying.

Leicester 4 – 0 Aston Villa

GUESS WHO: Who is this kid? Guess Who Harvey Barnes Edition coming soon! Seemingly out of nowhere he’s storming the FPL since GW23 with 5 goals and 51 points in just those 7 games. What did you expect from the son of Paul Barnes (90s York FC LEGEND). Villa were not prepared at all, and are left (like us all) still working out just who Harvey Barnes is.

Premier League: Best Alphabet Team Tournament – PART 2

Fantasy Football – Gameweek 17 Preview Written by @NiallHawthorne

Christmas as an adult is weird. There’s no other way to say it.

As a child, you had one question at Christmas, namely what Santa Claus was going to bring you.

As an adult, this time of year is a veritable cornucopia of riddles and puzzles and queries that make you want to scratch your head and then tear your hair out.

‘What can I get my beloved so that I still get to have sexual relations in 2020?’

‘Where is the Christmas party being held? What eejit booked that???’

‘They want us to be where at what time? In rush hour????’

‘Who invited them? You do remember that he’s a bit…y’know and she’s very handsy, yeah?’

‘How long is our kids Christmas play? Are they doing a remake of Ben Hur????’

‘Who am I going to Captain in GW17 so I can lord it over my work colleagues at the party?’

Well I can help with one of those questions. For the rest, you’re on your own.

GW 17 Defender: Richard Domingo Barbosa Pereira, Leicester City

As we glance at the fixture list for GW17 there are two standout home bankers where those of us with a weakness for gambling and a fondness for single life will lump all the Christmas budget on a double acca, and then spend 5 hours on Saturday sweating like a Tory at a foodbank.

I was tempted to tip either of the Liverpool fullbacks, but Jurgen is rotating like a Catherine Wheel on New Year’s Eve at the moment due to fixture congestion, so it’s time to tip the team that have no European / World Club Cup commitments, and are putting up the biggest challenge to the Scouse Mentality Monsters. That fixture on Boxing Day looks tastier than your Boxing Day Leftover Sandwich.

Pereira faces struggling Norwich City at the King Power Stadium, and he’s off the back of six positive returns in his last seven fixtures. He’s even picked up valuable bonus points in four of those. Admittedly a return of the Pukki party could leave you feeling as pukey as the morning after your Christmas party, but nobody has conceded fewer than the 10 conceded by the Foxes. A clean sheet beckons, and he may also add to has two goals and single assist so far, this season.

GW 17 Midfielder: Sadio Mane, Liverpool

There’s a video on t’internet of a young scally outside Anfield being interviewed by Redmen TV after a game, about a season or a season and a half ago. In said interview he pronounced quite matter-of-factly that Sadio Mane is the best player in the world.

Oh, how we all laughed. The viewers, the crowd around him and even the presenter!

Who’s laughing now, eh? That kid was a visionary. He knows his onions. Mane has been stellar for two seasons, and his performance against Everton last week was one for the ages.

This weekend he faces rock-bottom Watford, having had a nice little rest last weekend. Liverpool tend to batter Watford at Anfield, as demonstrated by Salah’s haul of four goals a couple of seasons ago.

Watford have a new management and coaching team installed. I don’t want to get too dramatic about this, but their first outing could prove to be a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. Sadio! Sadio! Where for art thou hat-trick Sadio?

GW17 Forward: Tammy Abraham, Chelsea

While Chelsea are having their inevitable, and quite frankly overdue, first wobble under Frank Lampard, they face a forgiving fixture this weekend as they host Bournemouth.

That’s five defeats on the spin Bournemouth.

That’s Ake-less Bournemouth.

That’s probably Wilson-less and King-less Bournemouth.

I watched their performance at home to Liverpool last weekend, and they gave up. Absolutely and completely downed tools after Ake and Wilson were struck down by injury. That’s not a good sign. Chelsea need to steady the ship after two defeats in their last three, and Bournemouth are presenting them with a nice little float in the doldrums, which ironically could get them out of them…

GW17 Captain: Jamie Vardy, Leicester City

I know!

Shocking, right?

Well who else could you possibly captain this week? ELEVEN GOALS AND THREE ASSISTS IN HIS LAST 8 GW’S…84 POINTS IN 8 WEEKS.

He faces Norwich City who have conceded 34 goals in 16 games with just two clean sheets. He has his own record of 11 consecutive scoring games in sight. Leicester have won a club record eight in a row.

Look, you can captain somebody else if you want. It’s a free choice. But Vardy is owned by 50.2% of players, and 99.9999% of those are going to captain him.

So, take a chance if you want. But if I’m right and you’re wrong, it’ll be the biggest display of Red Arrows since the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012. Good luck!

GW17 Outsider: Riyad Mahrez, Manchester City

Oh Pep, he’s such a scamp.

He’s like that kid you played football with on the street when you were a child. You know the type – he always had the flashiest, newest football that he insisted had to be used for the kickabout. Yet as soon as his team started to lose, he took his ball and flounced off home, wiping his tears and snot with the back of his sleeve telling anyone who wasn’t laughing at him that he heard his Mum calling him in for dinner.

So now that it seems apparent that the Premier League will lose its Pep next season, and that Guardiola seems resigned to the fact that his team aren’t good enough this season, I expect some different approaches. His future team sheets may well contain a player on the wing called ‘Ah feck it, Mahrez’.

Just 3.5% ownership, he could be a real wildcard for your squad especially when you consider that in just six starts this season he has four goals and 6 assists….

GW17 Draft: Gabriel Teodoro Martinelli Silva

One start. One goal. One bonus point.

When you have Aubameyang and Lacazette in your squad, it takes quite a maverick to decide to give a young kid a run.

However, this kid is decent. And have you seen Freddie Ljungberg recently? Rumour has it that Tom Cruise was his understudy for Top Gun 2, until Freddie decided to concentrate on coaching. THAT’S how maverick he is.

t

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Fantasy Football – Gameweek 17 Preview Written by @NiallHawthorne

Written by Niall Hawthorne.

Drop Niall a follow on twitter. Good thing about Twitter – you can always unfollow again later!

Niall Hawthorne has a strange view on most things.

Check out his blog for proof rantsofarebel.wordpress.com.

GW #16 Review: YIMRA TV Box Sets

I know what you’re thinking, thank God Jack had the time this week to provide a thorough picture-full review for our enjoyment. I doubt you ever doubted me.

The powers that be at YIRMA HQ were over the moon with what I prepared for you three (I assume there’s still 3 confirmed readers of this?) this week…

The theme this week is TV Shows, and somehow I found 10 which I loosely tied into the results from the weekend and/or found reason to stick a players head onto a funny picture.

Hot off the press like a Greggs vegan sausage roll you’ve just sat on because you thought tucking it between your legs whilst driving would work – but now you’re left with pastry all over the place frantically crumbing in into the seats – here’s the GW 16 review…

Everton 3 – 1 Chelsea

Fresh from a victory against Villa, Lamp’s & Co rocked up to Everton pretty damn cocky. Duncan Ferguson in the hot seat for the Toffee’s saw Tammy Abraham swagger on to the pitch almost expecting to score. Not today sunshine – Duncan screamed effortlessly. Everton 2-0 up before Chelsea decided to wake up, but it was too little too late as the Toffee’s took the win. In other news, Chelsea financial director Ron Swanson was finally given the green light to make transfers in January and is already eyeing up a move for Chris Pratt & Aziz Ansari – although his first target is Amy Poehler as the new fitness coach.

Bournemouth 0 – 3 Liverpool

Liverpool are unstoppable. Sad, but true. Leicester’s party will only ever be second best to the Scouse rave, won’t it? I will bet anyone a £10 Burton voucher that Liverpool will win the league – that’s right, Burton (menswear). Spiralling back through the results so far, you have to assume that indeed it is ALWAYS sunny in Liverpool – it must be such a happy place (well, half of it) – like being in Denmark but with more robberies and folk you can’t understand. Liverpool performed a common assault on Bournemouth at the weekend, they didn’t see any of this coming. It was an intense 90 minutes that Eddie’s boys just weren’t ready for. “What’s going on, Eddie?” we heard the players cry. Only to be told “it’s alright lads, it’s over now, we can go and beat Chelsea next week”.

Tottenham 5 – 0 Burnley

Speaking of assaults. Jose’s inmates took the socks-of-soap to Burnley – 5 goals with no reply saw the Spurs faithful give Jose a rousing applause when he exited the field. We’re so fickle, us football fans, aren’t we? So, so fickle. Can you imagine any other elite manager on Earth going to a “rival” team and within a weak be 100% applauded? I’m not even talking a little, Spurs fans were loving life – guys you beat Burnley, at home, chill out, man. I would like for you to stare at the photo of Jose and the lads for some 300-400 seconds please. Tell me you wouldn’t watch that show immediately and I’ll hold a mirror firmly in front of your face and show you a dirty liar.

Watford 0 – 0 Crystal Palace

Please refer to the picture which epitomises the meaning “a picture paints a thousand hilarious words”. Palace had 0 shots on target after we all went mental over Zaha because some FPL genius’ decided he’s a good punt. Watford are bottom of the league and still 2.2% of us own Deulofeu (the most owned Watford player in FPL).  2.2% is now too many. Poop Show indeed, back to you Jack.

Man City 1 – 2 Man United

Thanks Jack…Got about a hundred thoughts going on, me. A million thoughts. I got a billion thoughts going on. If you tried to have a thought this morning and you couldn’t: that is because I was having all of them, over Man United somehow beating Man City in front of the world, for realz. I mean, where to dig into this party-sized cheesecake of a moment? Where do I tuck in first? This is the best thing Man United have done since, well, they did it to PSG. I am obsessed with watching this match on repeat. I still cheer every tackle by Wan-Bissaka, still nervous at every City attack (silently chuckling that the players aren’t aware that they will lose this match). It’s a delightful treat I never want to end. Alas, it will end, United will inevitably get beaten by Everton at the weekend. Was a good week though. Oh yeah, the picture…Speaks for itself really doesn’t it?

Villa 1 – 4 Leicester

Yeah alright that’s not a TV show but I couldn’t resist – I saw the poster and couldn’t help popping Rodgers and Vardy’s pouty faces on the bods. Rodgers must one day fulfil his prophecy and win the Premier League. He was born to do it, but the poor sod keeps getting pipped to the post. Once upon a time in Leicester this team swept the League, it’s happening again but only this time there’s something quite special up in Liverpool happening which is the footballing equivalent of party pooping. Sure, Leicester look fantastic. Sure, Leicester look very, very good. And sure, Vardy’s wife is still a little sneaky sausage we will not forgive (yet).

Newcastle 2 – 1 Southampton

Jonjo Shelvey was born to be an extra in British gangster films, but accidently became a high paid footballer instead. Jonjo wasn’t meant to score goals, yet here we are. Jonjo was supposed to be one of those guys in the back of a scene who don’t have any speaking lines, you just “assume” he’s got a foreign accent. Jonjo was built to appear side-by-side with Danny Dyer for a scene where he inexplicably gets punched in the face by a runaway chav in a moment of comic relief. Jonjo was set to earn a decent salary from being that guy who would eventually get a bit-part in Hollyoaks but only last until the Christmas storyline where he gets sent to jail for “life” as he may or may not have been caught giving drugs to the landlord’s daughters underage mate called Sheryl (spelt purposely with an S). Jonjo, is doing bits for Newcastle…And the Hasenhuttl circus rolls on, next stop West Ham.

Norwich 1 – 2 Sheffield United

When I was a kid, I loved wrestling if you didn’t know that already. I would pick my mate up routinely and throw him against the furniture until the sofa broke, someone bled, or my Dad caught and bollocked us – me for tombstoning him onto the carpet, him for being tombstoned (which was fair). What I am trying to say here is, even though Norwich are naff, AND the players are naff – absolutely nobody is getting a whack around the back of the legs for this. Clearly, it’s someone’s fault, right? Has Delia Smith been side-tracked by Christmas Cook Book release deadlines or something? Is Alan Partridge touring the city centre in a massive Pope-mobile? No excuses, someone deserves a sacking! On the flip side, Sheffield have once again found their winning ways after a Newcastle blip and are well in the mix for Europa spots still.

Brighton 2 – 2 Wolves

It’s not necessarily their fault, but the season-so-far journey that Wolves have embarked on is a football version of Frodo legging it out of his mushroom to chase a very posh British dragon screaming “I’m off on an adventure lads!”. Nuno (Gandalf) has convinced us all that this adventure could well be a success – based off last seasons performance they’re aiming to be a top table European-place challenging team for the long term. Last season they relied heavily on Jimenez. This season, he’s got little Bilbo-Jota helping him out and banging in some screamers of his own. Brighton played well, the draw was deserved, but going forward Wolves still look a strong squad but with one eye on Europa in the new year will they get distracted/fatigued/eaten by a massive dragon?

West Ham 1 – 3 Arsenal

Arsenal are a right show this year. We blast them, we praise them, we love them, we hate them all within 90 minutes. We dish out the reviews, Arsenal serve it back to us with a panto precision even Christopher Biggins would be impressed with. This week, they started the show poorly, leading us to believe it’s all gone Shane Ritchie in EastEnders (really rubbish to watch). But no, a quick flip-reverse and they go ahead to score 3 and take an easy 3 points away from the London 2012 Olympics Stadium (I refuse to acknowledge any other name for it). We’re fans, at the end of the day, fans just wanting to be entertained. We don’t care if Arsenal have 10 ex-players come and “have a go” at manager this season, we’re not expecting much, who really cares anyway until they hire Sol Campbell?

Lastly a random shout out but one worthy of a mention in my opinion.

@_Bands_FC have this week been collaborating with @OneMinuteBriefs to create some amazing, inspiring and powerful poster art to raise awareness for equality and to stop racism in our wonderful game of football using the concept of Music x Football. A great cause, with some great results – if you haven’t already, go and check them out by searching for #LoveMusicLoveFootballHateRacism

(here’s a couple of my submissions….)

FOLLOW JACK ON TWITTER @JACKAGOODWIN

Written by Jack A. Goodwin -Follow him on Twitter @JackAGoodwin

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.

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Everton, Man City and Watford Make The Gameweek Preview

Liverpool, Brighton and Newcastle make the Preview – No Brexit, No Trump

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