Here are my Fantasy Premier League tips and some observations from gameweek 16, to help you prepare for gameweek 17.
Torres scored: Suddenly, the world wants Fernando Torres (9.4) to succeed, which is strange. Torres isn’t exactly the world’s kindest, most beloved professional footballer (betrayed Atletico to join Liverpool, betrayed Liverpool to join Chelsea), and he plays for a team that’s universally loathed. This is the guy whose failure to score goals was arguably the funniest thing since Carlton Cole. I guess people still remember that one amazing season at Liverpool – you know, when it all clicked, when Stevie and Rafa and Xabi were amazing, when title number 19 was closer than ever, and when Manchester United won the Premier League with a game to spare.
Erm… Robert Snodgrass: Or “Snoddy,” as Leeds fans used to call him. Norwich City is beginning to pick up momentum, thanks largely to Snodgrass’ set-piece deliveries. Every bottom- half team has a “set-piece specialist” – or, at least, someone who likes to think he’s a set piece specialist, since, you know, being a specialist at anything, even a skill that’s increasingly obsolete in the Barca-obsessed world of modern football, is pretty darn cool. Snodgrass (5.8) is Norwich’s answer to David Beckham.
Southampton 1-0 (!!!!) Reading: And the mists had all solemnly risen now, and Gus Hooiveld’s team kept a clean sheet. (Admittedly, Hooiveld (4.0) was on the bench.)
Nikica Jelavic: Success in the Scottish Premier League isn’t so much an achievement as an obligation – at least for any footballer serious about, well, playing serious football. Last year, Jelavic (8.2) graduated from pre-Apocalypse Rangers and joined an Everton team that’s now pushing for a Champions League spot. Jelavic scores goals, links play, and runs around the pitch with the air of someone who knows what he’s doing. He’s Croatian, which means we’ll probably see a lot of him at the next round of international tournaments. Good for Jelavic. He seems like a nice bloke.
Surely not: Over the course of a long, intermittently fascinating career, Djibril Cisse has a) dyed his hair pool-table green; b) worn a dress – a really, really ugly dress – in public, in front of photographers; c) become the Lord Mayor of Frodsham; and d) attacked a 15 year-old boy. Still, Cisse is one of the few players capable of Saving Queens Park Rangers’ Season. And even if QPR is beyond saving, which it probably is, there might still be hope for your long-suffering fantasy football team.