Miles Reucroft is undertaking a different way of playing the ever popular Fantasy Football this season. To understand his methodology, read part one here. The Week 1 review is here, Week 2 transfers & preview here, Week 3 preview here, Week 4 preview here, Week 5 preview here, Week 6 preview here, Week 7 preview here, Week 8 preview here, Week 9 preview here, Week 10 preview here, Week 11 preview here. Week 12 preview here. Week 13 preview here. Week 14 preview here.
Well, that was more like it. Week 14 saw a return to something approaching our best. Roberto Firmino made an instant impact, Dave Silva was waving his magic wand in midfield and defensive solidity was afforded to us by late substitutions, Kasper Schmeichel and Harry Maguire.
We notched 66 points for the week, comfortably outstripping the weekly average of 44 and rising to 1,491,237th in the process.
The only trouble with a comfortable game week is that results in a quiet week the week after. The lads look relaxed in training and there’s a bit of breathing space. I’d like to get a bit more out of Harry Kane, since our skipper has been quiet of late, but I don’t see the value in hauling him in.
We’ve got a busy Christmas period fast approaching and I don’t want to risk unsettling anyone.
The only issue has been with Lee Grant. He was furious as getting dropped last minute at the weekend but the ends justify the means and my gut decision was justified. He also needs to understand that he’s a no.2 around here, but, having had a taste of action in the first XI, he’s hungry for more.
He just wouldn’t let it lie all week, demanding a full explanation above and beyond the fact that I just had a gut feeling he wasn’t the right man for the job on the day. I sympathise with him, but I can’t risk such discontent rumbling on so I had to act.
“Find me a buyer for Lee Grant,” I instruct Gary, our player agent. “He’s been gobbing off all week and he’s doing my nut – I want shot of him.”
“Sure, no problem,” comes the reply. “I’ll get that sorted out. Who do you want in return?”
“I’m enjoying Marco Silva’s work at the minute, so I’ll have his man, Hurelho Gomes, please,” I reply.
Gary hangs up and sets to work. He’s been more quietly efficient of late and I appreciated his work in getting Firmino in last week. Hopefully he can deliver again this week.
The team selection for this week is relatively straightforward. We’re sticking with the back three which has started to serve us well and the four-man midfield. The only alteration is up top, where we’ll be deploying Firmino and KdB behind Kane.
Schmeichel keeps his place between the sticks and will be screened by Maguire, Otamendi and Gomez. Phil Jones is still carrying a niggle, but will hopefully fit again next week.
Richarlison comes in for his debut on the right, with Dave Silva staying on the left and Bakayoko and Xhaka in the middle.
Niasse drops to the bench along with Bertrand.
“Your business is concluded, mate,” says Gary. He hasn’t called me mate before, is this a watershed moment in our relationship, I ponder.
“You still there?” comes the voice down the phone.”
“Yeah, sorry, Gary. I was distracted. Thanks.”
Grant goes for £4.3m, Gomes arrives for £4.5m. Our remaining budget stands at £1.5m. It feels like it has been another good week…
Schmeichel – Maguire, Otamendi, Gomez – Richarlison, Bakayoko, Xhaka, Silva – KdB, Firmino – Kane
Gomes, Niasse, Bertrand, Jones