Proper center forwards: Once upon a time, strikers scored goals. Real goals. Not the “precise” finishes that plague modern football, but good, honest, in-off-your-back-or-maybe-even-a-little-bit-lower-than-your-back net-busters. That’s the way football should be played. (I’m joking.) That’s the way Edin Dzeko (7.5) and Chicharito Hernandez (7.5) play it. (I’m still joking. Dzeko’s one of those good-touch-for-a-big-man center forwards whose apparent physicality disguises his deep aversion to things like sweat, mud and English weather, and Hernandez is named after a vegetable.)
Embarrassment: I compete against a few friends and family members in a fantasy football mini-league. It’s all good fun, really. Never any hard feelings. I mean, it’s not like any of us could ever, like, care about something as trivial as fantasy football. It’s just a sport, after all. In fact, it’s not even a sport in any real sense – it’s more of a game that feeds off a sport, and the original sport doesn’t rank too highly in the grand scheme of things, either. Right? Anyway, this weekend, a nine-year-old overtook me. In the past, this nine-year-old (who was previously an eight-year-old, and before that a seven-year-old, and so on) always finished bottom of our mini-league on because he made about 20 transfers every week and just didn’t seem to get the whole transfer penalty rule. Well, needless to say, he gets it now, and he somehow also knew to make Dimitar Berbatov (7.2) his captain ahead of last week’s matches.
Speaking of Dimitar Berbatov: A few weeks ago, I told you to sign Dimitar Berbatov for his total aesthetic amazingness. I told you to forget about statistics because no number could ever do Dimi justice. Well, forget about all that. Turn to the cold, hard facts. Berbatov has notched three goals in his last three games. He takes penalties for a team that wins them regularly. And he’s Fulham’s top goal-scorer, which I know doesn’t sound particularly fantastic, but Fulham is actually a serious attacking team this season.
The chicken dance: Kevin Nolan (6.7) is a pretty cool dude (chicken dance, roller-coaster friendship with Andy Carroll (8.3), etc.). At least, as much as anyone who has spent his career working for a guy like Sam Allardyce – the type of manager that football’s version of natural selection was supposed to have pretty much eliminated about 1,500 years ago – can be said to be cool. Nolan scores a lot, which, from a fantasy perspective, compensates for his (very) poor taste in mentors.
Giroud: The theme this week, if you haven’t noticed already, is Strikers and Humiliation (in my book, Nolan’s a striker). So it makes sense to end with Olivier Giroud (8.4), a forward whose “fans” subjected him to total you-suck-man-and-we-all-know-it humiliation early in the season, but who has started scoring goals at an impressive rate and might even be better than Maraouane “Hasn’t he left yet?” Chamakh.
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