Fantasy Football

Good tidings, reader, and welcome to the second update from the League of Unextraordinary Gentlemen. There have been significant changes since last I wrote, with the league table truly shaken up. I am the only constant force, remaining in 2nd spot after seven games. The story of the season has been DingDongsBoys, who have shot from
bottom in our week three update to top now, winning four on the bounce. In real life, the Manchester sides are locked in a battle atop the league; Wayne Rooney has gone from hero to zero, on account of being caught drink driving with, erm, not his wife…; and Romelu Lukaku has all but confirmed to the world that he totally 100% does not have a large donger. But there are hundreds of top quality articles written about real life football over sites such as Tales From The Top Flight and By Far The Greatest Team, this specific piece is not designed to talk about real life football, it is about fantasy football, and the destructive effects that it has on myself and my friends. Before rushing into week 4, here is the table from the last update, to refresh everybody’s memory.

Rank Team & Manager Wins Draws Losses Points Score
1 Expected Toulouse

Scott McKaig

3 0 0 9 140
2 NeilDiamondFormation

Jack Wills

2 0 1 6 125
3 Taynuilt Tigers

Euan Livingstone

2 0 1 6 122
4 Bayern Bru

Ross McKaig

1 0 2 3 154
5 Ayew Ready?

Blair Glendinning

1 0 2 3 149
6 DingDongsBoys

David Bell

0 0 3 0 99


Week four saw myself take on Ross and his Bayern Bru, Blair’s Ayew Ready? take on Euan’s Taynuilt Tigers, and David’s DingDongsBoys lock horns with league leagues Scott and his Expected Toulouse side who were ironically expected to win, and win at a canter.

Gabriel Jesus turned the screw on a Liverpool who were hammered 5-0 at the Etihad, despite controlling large swathes of the first half. Throw in a goal from Jamie Vardy and Christian Eriksen, as well as a lovely eight points from Hector Bellerin and I was en route to a 50-39 point victory. A 12 pointer from Ben Davies gave Ross hope, but his side was littered with one and two pointers, with Kevin de Bruyne and Ben Davies the exceptions. This was a pivotal victory for me in keeping me in contention at the top of the league.

Euan and Blair played out a low scoring affair, with the Taynuilt Tigers stealing the victory. Leroy Sane was the difference make in this game with his late goals against Jurgen Klopps side. While his 13 point haul was good for Euan’s side, that did mean that James Milner achieved zero. Alvaro Morata’s head scored Chelsea and the Tigers a few points, while Paul Pogba notched up an assist in United’s underwhelming draw at Stoke. Lacazette and Rashford’s goals gave Blair some late hope, but he suffered greatly due to Sadio Mane trying to decapitate Manchester City’s convict-looking goalkeeper Ederson. Javier Hernandez once again failed to show up and Ayew
Ready? finished with a lacklustre 29 points.

The final game of week four saw David and Scott lock horns, in a real David and Goliath match up. Scott’s defence came up trumps with Walker, Azpilicueta and Danilo accruing 22 points between them. Unfortunately for him, the other eight players amassed only 17 points. This opened the door for David’s team to topple the league leader. Luckily for DingDongsBoys, it was September, and the cold autumnal breeze brought about a hurrikane. Harry Kane grabbed a brace, Aguero netted and the Alderweireld/Vertonghen back line came up aces with a clean sheet.


Week 4

Bayern Bru 39-50 NeilDiamondFormation

Ayew Ready 29-37 Taynuilt Tigers

DingDongBoys 46-39 Expected Toulouse

Week 5 began with a proposal from David. He suggested that despite there being no official trade option on the website, there should e a gentleman’s agreement to trade, with both players dropping the necessary players and everyone else respecting the trade. Within a day, a trade offer from Blair to myself asking to swap Marcus Rashford for Wayne Rooney occurred. I figured with Zlatan Ibrahimovic returning to Old Trafford, Rashford would regress going forward. I figured I would need to be as intoxicated as, well, Wayne Rooney, to accept the trade, so I politely declined. Further transfers saw Scott getting rid of Nathan Ake and bringing in Daley Blind. Vincent “out for X months” Kompany was dumped by Ross as he brought back Benjamin “out for X weeks” Mendy.

With all these trade offers and player axing, it would be easy to forget that some fantasy football was being played. Ross faced Blair, with both managers wanting to fight back after bad losses the previous week. City, Chelsea, United and Southampton all got cleaned sheets, meaning Blair earned 28 points from his defence. Unfortunately for him, his offence wasn’t firing on all cylinders therefore he only gained 42 points that week. Ross earned 52 points himself, courtesy of a punishing performance from Antonio Valencia and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Mendy and de Bruyne also added 12 points between them to help the Bayern Bru cause.

I took on DingDongsBoys, and was blown out the water by the Manchester City studded cluster making up his squad. Salah, Vardy, Zabaleta, Eriksen and Lloris all put in solid performances to give me a strong 55 point haul, but that was no match for the 82 put up by David. 43 of these points came courtesy of Nicolas Otamendi, David Silva and Sergio “Kun with a silent T” Aguero. While most Spurs fans were unhappy at their 0-0 draw with Swansea, David was happy to see the team get a clean sheet, earning him a further 13 points. A ‘Tony Martial penalty, and clean sheets from David de Gea and Gary Cahill put the nail in the coffin for the NeilDiamondFormations.

Scott got back to winning ways against Euan, winning 49-41. Kyle Walker justified his £50 million price tag by earning 10 points for Expected Toulouse. He got a clean sheet and an assist in City’s 6-0 thrashing of Watford. First draft pick Romelu Lukaku notched a goal and an assist to take his tally to 12 for the day. It wasn’t an amazing day for Scott’s team, but it was enough to cross over the line. Clean sheets points were rife in Euan’s team, but it was his offence which let him down. Jermain Defoe’s Friday night goal say Bournemouth get their first win of the year, and make his pick seem justified.


Week 5

Ayew Ready? 42-52 Bayern Bru

DingDongsBoys 82-55 NeilDiamondFormation

Expected Toulouse 49-41 Taynuilt Tigers

DingDongBoys continued their revival with another 80+ point tally in week six, earning just shy of double Ross’ total. This was again due to David being City-heavy in his squad, and Pep’s all-stars winning big, just the five goals this time, though! 41 points were brought about by his four starters, Otamendi, Silva, Sterling and Aguerooooooo. Two Harry Kane goals earned him 13 points, and with the transfer window slammed shut, big Phil Coutinho’s back problems appear to have cleared up. He got a goal and an assist against Fairytale Leicester to show the world that he justifies his £586840 million price tag thrown about by Barcelona. Ross had a decent haul with Zanka getting eight points for his clean sheet. Sanchez got five points, Josh King got a goal and Ederson got five. It was a good haul, but not a patch on David’s star-studded team. DingDongsBoys may have been slow out the blocks this season, but they are cooking with gas now. The fizz appears to be running out of Bayern Bru lately, however.

Scott’s dominance at the top appears to be over, after losing again, this time to Arsenal fan Blair’s side. This was a tight 54-52 victory for Ayew Ready?. Cesar Azpilicueta kept a clean sheet and set up two of Alvaro Morata’s three goals to gain 14 points. Dele Alli was influential in Spurs win over West Ham, earning eight points for his assist. Furthermore, Manchester United played, which meant that Lukaku scored. Standard. The game was overshadowed by Romelu Lukaku’s penis. Or rather, the chat surrounding it. Of course it isn’t large enough to cast a shadow – apparently… Blair won this week based on his AC Milan 1990s style defence, with Sead Kolasinac, Eric Bailly, John Stones, Victor Moses and Petr Cech each grabbing six points. Blair spent most of the weekend behind, but two goals from Alexandre Lacazette on Monday night stole the win for him.

This weekend saw me finally drop perennial bench warmer Bernardo Silva for the once relevant Aaron Ramsey. He may have been a shadow of himself since his Euro 2016 endeavours. Rambo got six points, but him and the rest of the NeilDiamondFormation only grabbed 43 points in a shock defeat to Euan and his second round goalkeeper team. Hector Bellerin clean sheet points, Christian Eriksen goal points and goals for Mo Salah and Jamie Vardy took my tally up. My points tally took a hit when Jamie Vardy missed a crucial penalty for the Foxes. Playing West Ham and Everton defenders really is starting to cost me, due to both teams falling way short of expectations this season so far. Euan benefited greatly through stellar performances by Leroy Sane and Alvaro Morata, with the two players getting 16 and 17 points apiece.


Week 6

DingDongsBoys 81-41 Bayern Bru

Expected Toulouse 52-54 Ayew Ready?

Taynuilt Tigers 49-43 NeilDiamondFormation

Prior to the weekend’s fixtures, an array of transfers took place. Ross dropped Mesut Ozil for Groβ; Scott dropped Iheanacho for Tammy Abraham and Euan finally dropped Danny Rose. Apparently, the self-proclaimed best left back in the world isn’t good enough to force his way into Mo-Pos side. The new and improved Phil Jones was brought in to replace him. The final transfer of the week was myself dropping Paddy van Aanholt, who can apparently only play the lesser seen fullback/striker mode when deployed by Sam Alardyce. I brought in Shkodran Mustafi to shore up my leaky back line. There was some attempted wheeling and dealing from Ayew ready? manager Blair, who tried to shaft Taynuilt Tigers into giving up first round pick Paul Pogba. Blair tried to “help” Euan by relieving him of the injured haircut merchant, trying to fob off the once relevant Cesc Fabregas in his place. Euan considered it for a week or so, eventually coming to his senses and realising that the Frenchman was worth keeping around long-term. Shame on you, Blair.

Bayern Bru were back to winning ways against the Taynuilt Tigers, who have the consistency of Liverpool Football Club. Bayern Bru turned out 51-37 winners, courtesy of a 16 point day from Ben Davies who scored, assisted and got a clean sheet in the 4-0 thrashing of Huddersfield. This mixed with the eleven points earned from the match winning goal by Kevin de Bruyne helped boost his points tally. Kieran Trippier set up two goals for Spurs which earned the Taynuilt Tigers 14 points, but aside from this, it was a team of 1s, 2s and 3s for Euan.

I managed to pull off a quite spectacular win against the mighty Expected Toulouse, at a score of 57-35. My three man Arsenal contingent collected 20 points, with Zabaleta getting nine, Jesus getting five, Lloris getting six and the little Spanish genius Juan Mata collecting ten. For Scott, even a Lukaku goal wasn’t enough to lift his side to victory. Fraser Forster got nine points, despite conceding two goals, due to saving a penalty from failed football Saido Berahino. It was just a somewhat underwhelming for the Expected Toulouse side, and boy am I glad about that!!

The final game of this particular update features DingDongsBoys fourth consecutive win, seeing them switch from bottom to top in the space of four week. A Kane double, a Coutinho strike and a Spurs clean sheet from his centre halves saw him take a commanding lead in the early game. Blair was happy to see Javi Hernandez score, but with the exception of strong performances from Kolasinac, Cech and Stones, it was an underwhelming week for Ayew Ready?.


Week 7

Bayern Bru 51-37 Taynuilt Tigers

NeilDiamondFormation 57-35 Expected Toulouse

Ayew Ready? 42-60 DingDongsBoys

After David’s horrendous start to the season, who could have predicted that he would be leading the pack after seven weeks. Admittedly, there are four teams all on twelve points atop the league, and DingDongsBoys are just there on goal difference. David’s side have the highest score of the six teams, but it is Ross’ Bayern Bru, down in 5th place, that have the second highest score. He has just been the victim of some unfortunate match ups. The next set of fixtures should be interesting, there is a McKaig derby to come, Euan has to prepare for life without Alvaro Morata, due to his tight hamstring, and Blair will no doubt need to come up with some more shady dealings that Harry Redknapp would be proud of to claw himself off the bottom rung. For what it’s worth, Blair, if David can go from bottom to top in just four weeks, I have no doubt in your teams ability to do the same!


Rank Team & Manager Wins Draws Losses Points Score
1 DingDongsBoys

David Bell

4 0 3 12 368
2 NeilDiamondFormation

Jack Wills

4 0 3 12 330
3 Expected Toulouse

Scott McKaig

4 0 3 12 315
4 Taynuilt Tigers

Euan Livingstone

4 0 3 12 286
5 Bayern Bru

Ross McKaig

3 0 4 9 337
6 Ayew Ready?

Blair Glendinning

2 0 5 6 316