With no podcast this week due to an injury to one of the Gaffers (we'll talk about it next week... and laugh about it once the wounds have healed), we are giving you your much needed Fantasy Football fix through the medium of Joe Bloom's bloomin' beautiful bloody blog. Enjoy.
As I write this, I am watching my beloved Liverpool play against Spartak Moscow on my chosen fruit based cellular device with the free BT Sport pass I got with my mobile contract. It's 54 minutes in, and the scoreline sits at 1-1.
Coutinho is back in full swing, Salah is as salacious as ever, and my belt is royally undone with excitement.
In all this joy to have the Reds competing in the Champions League, something niggles and gnaws away at me. I cannot reach climax with this awful sense of doom hanging over me. Then it hits me, it's been two full game-weeks of Premier League football and I am yet to have provided my eager fantasy football fans with the latest instalment of Bedknobs & BloomsPicks.
I can only apologise to my loyal fans, I recently started a new job in the city which has taken up most of my otherwise usual obsessive fantasy football analysis and punditry. Daddy's gotta bring home the bacon. Wait, sorry Tom, you're the Daddy round here right?
Well here it is, ladies and gentlemen. I hope all four of you didn't get too upset in my absence.
Let's break it down chaps and chapettes, we've got two gameweeks to cover here and I'm going to have to dig deep to remember even half of the recent events in footy and fantasy, the game moves quickly as does my short term memory. Take a deep breath.
In game-week 5 I came up against the statistical, analytical, computational madman that is Raphael in the Gafferazzi Togga League. In which I saw the return of P. Coutinho my little starlet and apple of my eye, a surprise decent showing from my ex-apple D. Sturridge and solid performances from two thirds of my defence:
I managed a total of 81.50 points. Not a terrible score, even respectable you might say. As usual my points are pretty evenly spread across my players, with no standouts but an overall consistency starting to form.
BUT. Ladies and gentlemen. When you are up against THIS:
You better hope your sweet little bum cheeks that your Alexis Sanchez gets off his lazy &%$*$! for once this season and shows what he's worth. Alas, this did not happen. Alexis is still an unhappy out of form chap at the Gunners, and Sergio is... well, Sergio.
That's 50.5 points from a single player. To put that into perspective that was 42.083333333333% of Raphael's total points. Yeah you think you're the stat man do you Raph!? Put another way, that would equal 61.963190184049% of my total points in the game-week... if I had him.
When you get close to half of all your points from one single player, what kind of chance does the opposition have!? He had two defenders on ZERO points for jaffa's sake! ... Leave it Bloomhead, leave it...
Que Sera Salah (my team) 81.50 v Did N'Dong In Da Bungalow 120 (Raphael)
Take the loss on the chin, I told myself. Be a good sportsman, I said - they're all looking up to you as an example Bloomhead. Moving on...
I knew that this was a game-week coming at the right time for me. I was starting a new job, and I wouldn't have as much time to intelligently pick and poke at my Togga squad. I usually also observe team lineups like a hawk, to make appropriate subs and even transfers last-minute as the game allows, but I was attending the biggest games convention in the UK, EGX:
Yeah, that's right. Not only are you looking at a fantasy football nerd, but a gaming nerd too.
Problem was, due to the thousands of people around me the phone signal was pretty terrible making it impossible to reliably lookup lineups. I had no choice but to go with whatever was already set the night before. This kind of thing can lead to disaster in Togga fantasy.
Luckily for me, I was coming up against the Daddy of G-wing himself, Tom Holmes, and his team TheGafferTapes Tom.
Why is that lucky you ask? Well if you didn't listen to the Live Togga Draft then you will have missed out on some of Tom's questionable picks, possibly even more questionable than my picks at the time. We're talking Ibra, Costa, and Yaya Toure - the kinds of players guaranteed to be leaving the Premier League or getting very limited play time at best.
Luck was on my side, too, because of some of the lineups choices I made the night previous without much else to go on:
Great showing from Coutinho, decent performance from Sturridge and Richarlison and some mild consistency from the rest of the team resulted in a total pointage just shy of a century: 99.50
To cut a short story short: I won. Tom's team had 6 players in his lineup on zero points. I cant be too proud of such a win, but I'll bloody well take it.
My record stands at 3 wins, and 3 losses, sitting me still within the mid-table:
Ash Kernsworth remains the only player with zero losses, and next game-week I will have a chance to solidify a lead over the mid-table by taking on Johnny Boy, the King of the Patreons, who too has a 3-0-3 record as myself.
Join me (hopefully) next week for more antics, tactics, and imaginary chapstick.