There are some moments in life where you just have to win.
As Sergio Aguero saw Mario Balotelli’s lay off fall to him on that May afternoon in 2012 (fun fact: it was Balotelli’s only Premier League assist for Man City) he knew that he had to convert to have a chance of becoming a winner.
This gameweek was pretty much the same for me.
My matchup up with @fantasygaffer this week was the definite of must win” as I knew a loss would signal a serious dent in my title aspirations.
Gaffer was coming into the weekend as the man in form, off the back of four consecutive wins. Meanwhile, I’d managed to scrape together a couple of wins after two incredibly disappointing losses had seen my commanding nine point lead whittled down to a meagre three.
It was plain and simple. If I came out on top I’d open up a nice six point gap between myself and the Euro Expert league champion while a loss could see me slip to second for the first time since I began writing these articles.
This gameweek came with a more than interesting sub plot: this was the weekend I’d chosen to get engaged to my long serving, fantasy football suffering, childhood sweetheart: Sarah.
The early kick off on Saturday was a big one for both of us (me and Gaffer that is) although it also took place while Sarah and I travelled Liverpool where I’d planned to pop the question.
Leicester City v Crystal Palace wasn’t looked upon with much anticipation by many apart from my opponent and I, but I was keenly refreshing my Togga app while trying to “act normal” in front of my (hopefully) future wife as she wittered on about something or other while I tried to conceal the stone in my pocket and also my ever growing nerves.
My nerves were settled slightly by another massive performance from Wilfred Zaha. Another goal coupled with another man of the match performance yielded a much needed 28.5 points. He’s gaining a big place in my heart.
Demarai Gray was arguably, however, the most satisfying part of my fantasy football weekend as he managed a beautiful 19 points without a goal or assist.
For the first time in five weeks, Riyad Mahrez failed to deliver for the Gaffer, meaning I took a commanding 47.5-6.5 lead into the 3.00 kick offs.
In all honesty, the afternoon games were a bit of a blur having placed myself an a football ban for the afternoon.
The Albert Dock is beautiful though, especially on a wintery mid afternoon. Some mulled wine is a lovely addition to the setting.
I was confident going into the main set of games, not only because of my lead but a few matchups looked promising, most notably Alexis Sanchez at home v Newcastle.
Once again, however, Alexis didn’t deliver. Rumours have once again been circling over his future and one wonders if his mind is elsewhere, that being the party starting over in the blue half of Manchester. A sub standard 5 points was not what the doctor ordered.
He’s not the villain of the piece though, that’s Troy Deeney. Since having a jab at Arsenal he’s been absolutely awful. He’s already had one ban this season for strangling wee Joe Allen and he’s got himself Christmas off thanks to his red card against Huddersfield which meant he ended on -6. Officially on the naughty list and out of my team.
The lead was evaporating as quickly as it came about. Aaron Mooy struck an incredibly rare double (typical) to cancel out Zaha’s early efforts while a double Burnley clean sheet put the Gaffer right back into it with the score at 97.5-71.
Step forward Leroy Sane.
This guy can play! I’m still surprised when City turn on the style and demolish another big team. I fully expected a tight affair with Tottenham at 5.30 on Saturday but Sane and co took them to the cleaners. Two assists sand countless contributions in a sparkling 32 point haul put me firmly in charge of this matchup.
However, it was far from over as a 52 point lead could easily be wiped out by Gaffer’s deadly Liverpool duo: Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah. Gaffer and I share a like for Firmino and the pearly teethed Brazilian didn’t let him down. Him and the Egyptian were at the centre of another Liverpool masterclass and I watched on in ecstasy and agony as my team demolished my team (if that makes sense).
That left Gaffer a target of 17 to win from one player with my team spent. Thankfully that one player was Idrissa Gueye.
Swansea look really bad so the thought of Gueye scoring his first of the season wasn’t too improbable. Thankfully for me, he produced his standard performance.
Despite a nervous night at work with my finger glued to Togga’s refresh button, Gueye only managed 6 points which meant I claimed my biggest W of the season to go 6 points clear at the top of the table. Fantastic.
For once in my life, a togga win wasn’t my biggest of the weekend as I’m delighted to confirm, she said yes! Not a bad weekend in all.
>>> 😁😁😁 Huge congratulations to Will & Sarah from everybody at FPLDraftBoss.com!! 🎈🎉💍
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