Miles Reucroft is undertaking a different way of playing the ever popular Fantasy Football this season. To understand his methodology, read part one here.
Week nine took FC Fakin’ Run Aboutabit to another season’s high, this time climbing improbably into the top 1,000,000 and nestling in at 945,013th. Our 73 point haul outstripped the week’s average of 50 and propelled us forward some 600,000 positions. It was quite the week.
Captain Kane led the way with 32 points, ably supported by Delle Alli with nine, KdB, Stones and Bertrand with six and Granit Xhaka wading in with five.
You can view last week’s side here.
The challenge for this week then, is to try and maintain our lofty position. The lads are in high spirits and I don’t want to make fundamental changes to the side. There are, however, one or two issues that need addressing.
The form of Jack Butland in goal has been troubling me for some time. He’s conceding way too many goals and not offering any value to the side in terms of points. He may well get on very well with Bertrand, Gomez, Stones and Maguire, but this isn’t a social club meeting. I need tangible value.
I have been scouring the market for alternatives, but very little has caught my eye. Jordan Pickford is on my radar, but I’d like to see his own form pick up a little before taking decisive action. There are a few pennies left in the budget, so the thought of a more elite keeper has crossed my mind, but I’m willing to give Jack a stay of execution. I’ve not spoken to him directly, but he looks like a man who knows he needs to raise his game.
One change had to be made this week. N’golo Kante hasn’t recovered from injury as swiftly as the medical team would have liked, so I’ve decided to move him on. He’s been a terrific asset to the side, anchoring our midfield in tandem with Xhaka with aplomb. I doubt this will be the last we see of him and I’d welcome him back anytime.
It was difficult to say farewell to him; he’s been a great example to the rest of the team and he’ll be missed by everyone. His departure opened the door for the arrival of Tiemoue Bakayoko, fellow Frenchman and purveyor of funky hair, an asset we’ve been missing since Paul Pogba knackered himself.
It was an easy deal to conclude. We had to replace N’golo with another defensive midfielder and Bakayoko was the stand out candidate. A brief exchange of pleasantries with Gary, who was on the same wavelength regarding the transfer, and Kante was shipped out for £5.0m, Bakayoko shipped in for £5.1m. The £0.6m budget has been shrunk to £0.5m. With player sales, that would leave enough for a quality replacement keeper…
But that’s for next week. Maybe. Butland could repay my faith in spades this week, as he retains his place in the XI. We’re back to a more familiar 4-2-3-1 shape this week, with Bakayoko anchoring the midfield alongside Xhaka.
It was a difficult decision to drop Alli as he’s chipped in with some handy points of late, but he’s been looking a wee bit jaded recently. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to give him a break, plus the fact that Bakayoko and Xhaka should provide a sterner shield as a pairing than if either was playing alongside Alli.
At the back, Phil Jones drops back to the bench to be replaced by FC Fakin’ Aboutabit debutant, Joe Gomez. That means he slots in at right back, although a more conventional right back this week than Stones was last. Bartrand, likewise, will be playing a bit further back on the left.
Further up the pitch, KdB will playing in the no.10 role, with Gabbiadini on the right and Dave Silva on the left. They will be providing the fuel to Kane’s thrust.
Butland – Gomez, Stones, Maguire, Bertrand – Xhaka, Bakayoko – Gabbiadini, KdB, Dave Silva – Kane (c)
Grant, Alli, Jones, Rodriguez