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Fantasy Football Blog week 7 preview: defensive realignment

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.

We grabbed a few places back in Week 6, moving from 2,467,160th 2,352,723rd. Slow progress, but progress nonetheless. Captain Kane repaid another show of faith in his abilities with a couple of goals to propel us to a 63 point game week, which was three points more than the game week average. Dave Silva had another stormer, proving that he’s been a sensible acquisition in the face of Pogba’s injury.

He’s also been brilliant around the training ground. Dave really gets stuck in in training and is a terrific example to some of the younger lads. Delle Alli has really taken a shine to him and their off field friendship is paying dividends on the pitch as well, Dele raising his game this past week to bring in an eight point haul.

We do, however, have problems at the back. Nathan Ake is underperforming and Michael Keane has picked up a knock, to seal his fate following a run of what we can politely term indifferent displays.

Replacing Keane was pretty straightforward. I knew who I wanted, I just had to hope Gary was answering his phone this week.

“Gary, how you doing, I never thought you were going to answer, what happened to you last week?”

“Well, you know, this and that,” he replies. “I’ve had a bit of heat on me of late, it’s bang out of order ‘cos I’m totally innocent, but I had to get away last week, keep a low profile, you know how it is.”

“Erm, okay,” I reply. I’ve got no idea how it is, or what he stands accused of. Dare I ask?

“What are you being accused of?” I slowly sound out down the line. The ensuing silence leads me to immediately regret my decision.

“I can’t really talk about it, Milesy,” says Gary. “Some geezers popped round the office, sticking their snouts in my business, checking my paperwork. I’ve been a bit creative with the old accounts at times, but it’s all kosher, above board, nothing to worry about.”

I know I’m dancing with the devil here, but I also know I need a couple of new defenders and that Gary is the only man who can oil those cogs for me. I’m a terribly connected manager and he’s my transfer crutch. I also hate being called Milesy.

“I never knew you had an office, your penchant for meeting in service sta…” I say

“What did you call me, you cu..” shouts Gary.

“Nothing! I said penchant,” I hastily reply, sensing a tone of severe hostility in Gary’s voice.

“Less of the fancy talk. Anyway, I’m very busy, what do you need?” says a calming Gary.

“Two defenders, Gary,” I reply, relieved to be back on track, regretting having asked about what goes on in Gary’s world. “I need to ship Mickey Keane out, he’s not been cutting the mustard and he’s picked up a knock. Time to cut my losses. I want Phil Jones.”

“You know he’s injured?” enquires Gary.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, but it’s only a short term thing and I don’t need him to play this week, but he’s one for the side going forward,” I say.

Gary huffs and says it’s a “done deal.” Phil will be rocking up to sign his paper work and continue his recovery with FC Fakin’ Run Aboutabit. I get £5.4m for the outgoing Keane and pay £5.2m for Jones. That leaves £0.3m in the budget to replace Ake.

Now, Ake lends us a bit of defensive versatility, given that he can cover at full back, centre back and in the defensive midfield area. I’m going to have to forgo versatility in the search for stability.

“Do you need anything else, I’m busy?” barks Gary.

“Yes, I need another defender,” I reply. “Nathan Ake is going to have to go, he’s been shit. What can you do for me?”

“I’ve got a terrific young English defender on the books who’s itching for a move and he may even want to join your lot,” says Gary, somewhat offensively. Who wouldn’t want to join us? “I can get him to you for £5.1m but you’ll have to move sharpish, his value is going to be on the rise over the coming weeks.”

£5.1m works for me, I’ve had an offer of £4.9m for Ake and I’m happy to wrap him in cotton wool and drive him there myself.

“It’s Harry Maguire,” says Gary.

And with that, our transfer business is done. Harry and Phil have been with the squad since Thursday morning and we have a slightly new look side for this week.

We’re reverting to a back four, which means Bertrand returns after sitting out last week, along with Cedric. They will be the full backs to a centre partnership of Stones and Maguire.

A five man midfield will be pinned down by Xhaka and Alli. Kante has had a busy few weeks so drops to the bench for this week.

Jay Rodriguez comes in to play out wide right in a more attacking role, with KdB adopting the no.10 role with Dave playing a wider playmaker role towards the left.

They will of course be supporting our captain, Harry Kane.

Game Week 7:

4-2-3-1

Butland – Cedric, Stones, Maguire, Bertrand – Xhaka, Alli – Rodriguez, KdB, Dave – Kane

Subs:

Grant, Jones, Kante, Gabbiadini

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