Blog Archives

Pep Roulette, Arsenal Shambles and Mike Dean’s Beard

Manchester City vs Burnley – Confirmed Lineups – KDB ON BENCH

Liverpool, Newcastle and Wolves Make the Preview

Arsenal, Manchester City and Sheffield United Make The Preview

Written by @FantasyGaffer

 

Fantasy Premier League is returning to action on 17 June – hardly noticed it was gone at all to be quite honest – and the Bang Average Podcast team are churning out Bang Average content at a Bang Average pace. Interns are typing as quickly as their unpaid fingers can strike the keys on their self-funded computers from the cozy confines of our offices, adjacent to the pork rendering plant.

If you’ve missed the very good news, increasing the number of unpaid interns has allowed us to increase the number of months our Patreon content may remain free to you, the discerning though morally compromised reader.

So sign up today at the FantasyYIRMA level for access to all of our articles, podcasts and Slack channels.

No charge until July 1. We’re certain you’ll have cancelled membership by then.

 

PLAYING TIME AND PLAYING WITH PROJECTIONS

Here are 36 players with scores projected without clean sheets or goals allowed; RotoWire’s full ranks do include those things but I actually prefer these without those numbers. Some names seem to be in order, some names stand out like an Ewok on a football pitch. Bang. Take that, Ryan Fraser.

It is, of course, nearly impossible to project 900′ for any player that isn’t a goalkeeper. The fixture lists show 48 hour turnaround on matches, often involving vital clashes with rivals for European spots, or within the relegation battle.

Read More.

FPL ENDGAMGE: CHURNING YOUR ROSTER

92 matches is all that remain for your FPL draft destiny – unless you happen to be playing draft on the Official site in which case you’ve been snapped out of existence. So what’s a good manager to do? First of all you’re going to need to set aside a lot of time to be playing. Second, you need to understand how the various teams are adapting to this reality and adapt yourself, quickly.

Finally, you will need to develop a ruthless business efficiency in the mold of Jack Welch, or at the very least his protégé Jack Donaghy. Trim the fat from your squad. Injured players coming off significant periods of rehab aren’t getting you 90′ three times in six days. That ‘high upside, never plays’ guy isn’t someone you can hold onto when you’re only starting nine players in GW34+.

Read More.

20-TEAM DRAFT RECAPS AND REST OF SEASON VALUE

Are you a sadist? Sorry, meant to type: do you enjoy FPL Draft scored with Togga base scoring? Has the absence of fantasy football got you clawing at your neck in a very crackheadish manner? Do you enjoy endlessly staring at a shared doc waiting for something, anything to appear to signal the passage of time? Have we got an article for you.

The rules of these leagues are simple: draft is seven rounds, draft no more than five at any one position, and you’re starting any five players players you like regardless of position (with auto subs and one INJ roster spot). Want to start five between the sticks? Goalkeepers Union on line one. Playing the 0-0-5 made famous in many a Saturday morning kick around? We’ve got Joelinton and Billy Sharp primed and ready to fire. Using Togga base scoring, and commencing leagues with the June 17 EPL kickoff’s, this is the Red Bull Flutag of FPL draft.

Read More.

 

 

Project Restart: Triple Captain Grant Hanley Right??

Boxsets, Cummings, Zoom Calls and other Covid19 Lockdown Distractions

Sunderland ‘Til I Die : Lockdown Review

Fantasy Football – Gameweek 36 Review 2009/10

All or Nothing: Manchester City – Review (Amazon Prime)

All or Nothing: Manchester City (Amazon Prime)

Written by @JamesMartin013

There’s no football of any description – fantasy or otherwise – for at least the next few weeks, which leaves a desperate need for a sports fix. Belarusian league aside, most people are finding the best option to be sports books and documentaries. In the first of a new mini-series, James Martin suggests ‘All or Nothing: Manchester City’ might not be the answer…

There was much understandable excitement when Amazon Prime promised a behind-the-scenes look at Premier League champions Manchester City, but viewers were instead subjected to an eight-hour PR video.

The unrivalled access proved to be the only real draw of an otherwise drab eight-part series, which left a profound sense of dissatisfaction. While the footage did capture areas not usually open to the public, every shot seemed carefully curated to cultivate an image acceptable to the powers-that-be at The Etihad.

Some of this blandness undoubtedly derived from the relatively routine manner of much of City’s on-pitch success in the 2017/18 season, but even when things went wrong for the super-club the documentary failed to engross.

After the transfer team missed out on top target Virgil van Dijk to rivals Liverpool, the programme cut to the sporting director Txiki Begiristain ‘candidly’ musing that the eventual price paid was far too high to be good business. The episode entitled ‘Welcome to Hell’, dedicated to their Champions League exit at the hands of Klopp’s side, promised more. Even this was used to push the club’s agenda, however, placing huge focus on the bottles thrown at the team bus rather than the ultimate shortcomings on the pitch.

It is an inevitability that behaviours will be to some extent altered when cameras are pointed, but in a world where everyone is used to constant scrutiny it was reasonable to expect that the documentary would at least manage to give a relatively genuine and insightful portrayal of players and staff. Instead, I was constantly half-expecting manager Pep Guardiola to turn to camera, The Office-style, and deliver a well-worn cliché.

That is not to question his managerial talents, which shone through even in the sub-par production, but everybody choosing to watch this would have already been well aware of the gifted personnel lured to Manchester City following the 2008 takeover. The fundamental question about All or Nothing duly remains, even after eight long hours: what was the point?

The answer to that question may well lurk under the tailored veneer, and it is a worryingly insidious one. Miguel Delaney of The Independent has written at length on Manchester City’s so-called ‘sports-washing’. This is defined by Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, as: “wealthy regimes… [using] sport as a means to polish up their own tarnished images.”

Sheikh Mansour, City’s owner, is an Emirati royal prince. Nobody will watch the documentary and instantaneously forget that numerous human rights organisations have roundly condemned the UAE, but that is not the point of sports-washing. Rather the viewers are presented with a team that is forward-thinking in all aspects of its day-to-day running, and over time begin to associate this with Mansour and his family instead of what Human Rights Watch describes as ‘arbitrary detention’ and ‘forcible disappearances’.

The programme even depicts a progressive coach who stands up for political freedoms. Pep Guardiola can be seen wearing a yellow ribbon in protest at the denial of a Catalonian independence referendum – on a subconscious level, those watching start to doubt whether the people from whom he takes his salary can really be that bad when it comes to human rights.

All or Nothing was never going to delve into such waters. This does not automatically make it a failure, and precious few football clubs in the modern game can boast immunity from moral criticism, but soft propaganda rarely makes for enthralling television. There is only so long that viewers can be blinded by the veil being drawn back on the operations of a Premier League club – eventually they will notice that there is precious little substance.

This has only become more obvious in the time since the series was released. It did at least re-emphasise the strong appetite for sports documentaries, and Netflix went on to produce Sunderland ‘Til I Die: this was a truly compelling, raw insight into the heart and soul of a football club. The contrast to All or Nothing could hardly be more stark – true emotions were captured as viewers felt the anguish of Sunderland’s fans and saw it contrasted with the relative indifference of some of the senior professionals.

The unique opportunity to watch John Stones singing Wonderwall just doesn’t quite stack up in comparison.

Review written by James Martin

James is a sports journalist with a focus on football. He began writing for LFC Fans Corner over seven years ago, and has since been featured on the club website and The Independent among others. He graduated from Oxford in 2019, and holds the Gold Standard NCTJ Diploma in Journalism.
His portfolio can be found at http://jamesmartin013.journoportfolio.com
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