You’d expect my account of the last fortnight to be full of optimism after securing two wins in quick succession. As a fantasy football pessimist I’m good at seeing the downside in every situation but this doesn’t require my natural eye for doom and gloom to see that my team is in desperate measures. I no longer have a midfield.
Joe Bennett’s pointless, reckless stupidity and Wilfried Zaha’s dodgy knees have ensured lengthy absences for Leroy Sane and my other star midfielder, leaving me just Xherdan Shaqiri to carry my midfield for the foreseeable future. It’s desperate.
The midweek fixtures at the end of last month brought about my most nervewracking matchup in this league for a little while. Gameweek 25 pitted me against Works for the Skrtels Champion Thimothee, the man responsible for ending my hot streak 12 weeks ago.
Another Nacho Monreal goal (obviously) against Swansea City on the Tuesday night put me on the back foot early on but a decent showing of 17.5 from James Milner kept me in touch. It could (and should) have been more had Mo Salah not stolen the ball when Milner was preparing to take a penalty. Incidentally, Salah is owned by some guy in second place in this title race. One of those things…
We were neck and neck going into Wednesday in what can only be described as an absolute stinker of a matchup.
You get the odd match up in Togga where you find yourself refreshing the app every 30 seconds, exactly what makes this game so good due to its advanced, in play scoring system.
This was one of those head to heads where I was refreshing my app every 20 seconds without anything happening. Anything at all.
This matchup gave me the absolute joy of watching Alexis Sanchez in a Manchester United shirt for the first time and it was exactly as I feared. Admittedly, United were atrocious at Wembley but, predictably, where he had the freedom of the pitch to do as he wished at Arsenal, he was forced to compete for prominence with Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard. Playing in a deeper role, he was ineffective with one interception and one successful being cancelled out by four dispossessions in a dismal display which accumulated to a big, fat zero. Worrying.
Thankfully, a late waiver pick up came to my rescue in this one. Kenedy, the latest member of the Chelsea loan club, set up a goal on his Newcastle debut to help me scrape a narrow, messy victory. His contribution was my only goal or assist in a matchup which ended 78-70.75 in my favour. It’s not how you win them…
Gameweek 25 brought three points but plenty to worry about. The first week without Leroy Sane and with the United Alexis brought with it a below average score. Gameweek 26 brought about my second top scoring effort in three weeks. Out of the blue!
United Alexis became Arsenal Alexis once more with a virtuoso display against Huddersfield in his Old Trafford debut. The league’s top earner filled up his stat sheet, with a goal being backed up by nine successful dribbles, two shots on target and three key passes to bring a much welcomed 29 point haul. I’m taking it with a pinch of salt, however. United were playing against by far the worst team in the league and with Paul Pogba feeling the wrath of Jose, Sanchez was given the perfect platform to show us what he can do. I’m still looking to trade away. Told you I was a pessimist.
Goals from Jose Izquierdo, Xherdan Shaqiri and Laurent Koscielny were instrumental in a comfortable 119-59.25 success over Cope de Sopa Champion Cody Lavigne. Zaha also contributed a healthy 11 points in his last appearance for my side for a little while.
This was incredibly close to being a massive week in the title race for me. Fantasy Gaffer faced Ruislip Champion Fyfester, the form guy with nine consecutive wins. With gaffer depleted by the absence of Riyad Mahrez and facing his first proper test for a while, this was the week I could take a six point lead.
As a Liverpool fan, it’s always bitter sweet (mostly sweet) when Salah bags a goal for the Reds. His double bailed The Gaffer out once again and when Fyfester’s Marcos Alonso missed his first Premier League game of the season, Gaffer was able to scrape a scrappy 82.5-65 victory. Devastating.
As previously mentioned, this league just doesn’t do trades. It may be down to the fact that none of us know each other, making communication over deals very difficult, but I believe it’s mostly down to stubbornness. As champions, everyone believes that their decisions are the best and there are also no weak links with very limited football/Togga knowledge to exploit.
This means it’s almost impossible for me to strengthen my depleted midfield by poaching someone else’s useful assets. I’ve already picked up Aaron Mooy to plug one gap for this week to go alongside Shaqiri and Anthony Knockaert. It’s not looking great!
If Sanchez can keep up his form of Gameweek 26, maybe, just maybe he can drag me to the title. It’s a big ask. Twenty six down, twelve to go…
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