Here is co-commissioner Our Man at the Valley with your weekly Backpost Fantasy League Bulletin:
Week 10 of the English Premier Season threw up a couple of surprises. Arsenal and Robin van Persie ran rampant at Chelsea, putting five goals past the well regarded but increasingly fragile Chelsea defense. Among those tipped for relegation, Swansea continued their strong play, beating Bolton 3-1 at home. Less of a surprise was the continued good form of Newcastle striker Demba Ba. Reading out the Newcastle score sheet after his hat-trick was eerily reminiscent of the sounds of my fraternity initiation.
Midweek there was a slate of Carling Cup matches. Generally these are good only for injuries and suspensions. Both count for our purposes, so Liverpool’s Luis Suarez was questionable after an injury and Everton’s Royston Drenthe was red-carded (If you’re asking yourself “Who’s Royston Drenthe?”, wait about six weeks; he’s going to be good.) (He’s also a potential Name Hall of Famer—Ed.).
Drenthe missed the Toffees’ game against Man U through suspension, but Suarez eventually started, after much hemming and hawing in the press from Kenny Dalglish. If you overthought it and transferred him out or left him on the bench you missed his two assists and general good play.
I watched Wednesday’s Carling Cup match between what amounted to a Man City Second XI and Wolves. City won in a 5-2 rout. Thus, I figured David Silva was a good choice as my captain for the two teams’ second clash in four days, this time in Manchester. As it happened, City struggled, winning “only” 3-1, and Silva, despite being instrumental, only chalked up one assist.
Another tricky decision was whether or not to play van Persie at Chelsea. Coloradokeeper decided to take the captain’s armband from RVP and hand it to Man City’s Belgian centerback, who was subsequently red-carded. With captain’s points counting double, whether positive or negative, this could have been a weekend where misery loved Kompany—but fortunately for the ’keeper, he pulled out a two-point victory.
Before the match, Arsene Wegner said “our next two games are cup finals.” Ignoring the horrendous triteness of the quote, I would think that a manager who can’t beat Birmingham in a cup final wouldn’t put that kind of pressure on his team. Still, I guess it worked!
At the top of the table in the Backpost Fantasy league, it was a question of the Haves versus the Have Nots—and there were some surprisingly close calls. Leaders coloradokeeper scraped by 28th-place Average, 47-45, and second-place Ahmad Haziq Hashim edged bottom dweller RayDomPsychicAdviser, 41-39.
There was no such luck for third-place Old27M, however, who lost for the second week in a row (water seeks its own level and all that) as he was upended 53-47 by 35th-place Gunters after Jonny Evans came off the bench as an automatic substitution to claim 6 points.
Meanwhile, at the foot of the table, YourAdHere took a step in the right direction with his first victory of the season, 54-48 over Stemmy, who was no doubt busy celebrating the St. Louis Cardinals’ World Series victory.
The Team of the Week honor goes to the wonderfully named Bryan 04 Leverkusen, whose front five included Silva, Juan Mata, RVP and Ba, each of whom hit double figures. His team totaled 82 points, one more than Bertie Wooster FC. (No doubt Jeeves is calling the shots in the BWFC camp.—Ed.).
And, our Unlucky Loser of the week was Tango, beaten 60-57 by Giorgio Chinaglia. Tango’s 57 points would have beaten 32 other teams.
Thank you, OMATV. That was some tasty sauce. Can coloradokeeper hold on at the top? Keep an eye on Giorgio Chinaglia, making a move up the table. And what happened to Useful Shot, That? After a scorching start, they have cooled off considerably.
Stay tuned, BPFLers, and thanks for playing.