Football writer and Gaffer Tapes listener Steve Clift (@Cliftysport) gives us his thoughts on the first gameweek of the 2015/2016 season. He drops some names and some bombs and answers the age old question "Where on Earth is Brian Coats?"
A handful of FPL managers could not resist the temptation to deploy one of their chips in an attempt to steal a march in the opening week of the season. Saidi Lugogo deployed his All Out Attack tactic and profited with his only two defenders Clyne (7pts) and Darmian (8) scoring well, although Naismith (1) left a little to be desired as Saidi began his campaign with 56 points.
Elsewhere EJ Leach, Alex Heyes and Luke Quedenfeld all played their Bench Boost chips with Mahrez (15), Gomez (11) and Richards (8) adding some vital points from the substitutes bench, although two of them will have rued Alan Pardew starting McCarthy instead of Hennessey. However, 56 and 53 points leave EJ and Alex well placed, with Luke further afield on 42.
A few other stand-out performances came from Pius Quophi, who boldly captained Skrtel (12), which paid dividends as his season began with a steady 50 points, and Darren Hoy (60) and Simon Brown (45) can each take solace in the fact that despite blanking, they already have Aguero safely within their squads.
But it was Denise Jones (72), David Hall (56) and George Hawes (53) who will be entering GW2 with the greatest momentum, as their choice of Manchester City players propelled them up the table on Monday evening. The intriguing combination of Vincent Kompany and Jesus Navas delivered Denise the league’s top spot (along with a bold captain pick of Cisse (18)), while Yaya Toure (16) sure helped the latter two managers.
The beauty of the auto sub feature will have delighted The Money (55), Jordan McDaniel (53) and Brett Marmo (52) as Gomez (11) and Ayew (10) replaced their initial selections of Bellerin, Rose and Trippier respectively. But spare a thought for Evan Brady (43), whose initial picks – Baines and Mings – did not play, and were replaced by the zero scoring pair of Williams and Fonte.
The round-up could not be complete without a doth of the cap to Asante Joseph, whose name appears in the reckoning three times with teams owned by him scoring 42, 59 and 62 points. And Brian Coats, last season’s nearly man, owns Coates – although he may be axing his namesake after Sunderland’s weekend result!
Team in Focus
Adventure Team managed by Becky Kernsworth
One of the highlights of the podcast during 2014/15 was Becky fondly speaking of the selection of her team, and she has thankfully kept faith with the ‘Applicator’ from Chelsea. The inclusion of Mata, Hazard, Ozil and Kane though, suggests she may be aiming for a higher finish this season. But then captaining Jerome (who had a goal cruelly disallowed) demonstrates her willingness to take a risk. If only Becky had started Adrian (11) in goal as opposed to Cech (1), as 45 points would have left her sitting prettier than her GW1 total of 35.