The EPL Talk private league in the Fantasy Premier League currently sits in fourth place for the best league in the world. Our points average could be improved, so be sure to keep on playing every week and pay attention to the tips here and on Fantasy Football Scout.
Unusual scorers: If the sentence “Emmerson Boyce (5.0) scores goal of the century” sounds a little strange to you, that’s because it is. Indeed, “Emmerson Boyce scores goal” turns heads on its own. Even if Wigan sign Zlatan Ibrahimovich during the January transfer window – I’m serious. Is the sentence “Arab oil tycoon buys middle-of-the-road Premier League struggler” really that outlandish? – Boyce’s goal, a back-heel-pirouette-volley-bicycle-scissors-kick, won’t be topped. What does this have to do with fantasy football? Nothing, but in the unlikely event that Zlatan does sign he’s bound to be criminally overpriced.
Rio, etc.: Rio Ferdinand (5.9) isn’t particularly interested in kicking racism out of football, or so it seems, but it would be nice – I mean, really nice – if he and a few of his Manchester United pals would learn to kick that other thing – oh yeah, the ball! – away from goal. United still can’t defend.
Juan: Just the other day, I learned that the Spanish verb “matar” means “to kill,” which immediately made me think of Juan Mata (9.0), whose name I now know to mean “Juan Kills.” That’s creepily appropriate: at the moment, Juan does kill. Last week, it was Norwich City; this week, Tottenham Hotspur. Both teams suffered deaths by goals and assists, two weapons that feature prominently on the list of Things That Are Useful In Your Ultimately Futile Quest For Fantasy Glory.
Bobby Moore meets Sideshow Bob: David Pleat is not one of the game’s great thinkers — on Sunday, he called Martin O’Neill-era Leicester City’s penchant for late goals “incredulous.” But while commentating on Newcastle’s 1-1 derby draw with Sunderland, Pleat – for, perhaps, the first time in his life – made an astute point: in his early days, Fabricio Coloccini (5.0) was “a wild Indian,” but now he’s pretty darn good. Leaving aside the political incorrectness of the “wild Indian” bit, a line that, surely, would get big(ot) Ron Atkinson fired in an instant, Pleat’s comment is moderately relevant. Coloccini is one of the most reliable defenders in the Premier League. You could do a lot worse than sign him right now.
People who know what they’re doing: Last week, in an effort to figure out how the real fantasy gurus operate, I did a little sneaking. (This kind of thing never works. They always seem to have the same players as you do.) And where did I end up? At the brilliantly named “SON OF A PITCH,” the fantasy behemoth that Adam Todd has propelled to a ridiculously impressive 586 points. I’d like to think that Adam is an EPL Talk reader – indeed, that he’s reading this column right now – and that without my insight he’d be languishing somewhere in the 10,000s and most definitely not leading the entire Fantasy Premier League. Alas, given my current ranking (best to leave it unsaid, I think), that’s very, very wishful thinking.