Is Fantasy Football taking over your life? Are you finding it hard to separate real football from the fantasy? Tom Gaunt has a look at the new obsession with Fantasy Football.
As Silva headed Manchester City ahead in their recent clash with Arsenal a loud cheer went up in the pub. Was I in a heavily partisan venue filled with sky blue shirts? No, it was the sound of people who had decided to make the little maestro their Fantasy Football captain that week, their decision had been vindicated. Similarly, others kept a keen eye on the other screen to see if Adebayor or Van der Vaart were going to show their true value. Surely at home against Sunderland was a banker for Fantasy points, you could almost hear people think. It seems no longer can you relax and watch a game for the pure enjoyment, it is now all about points. Read the rest of this entry
By Tom Gaunt
So this Sunday will see the PFA player of the year announced. I am sure that I am not the only person who thinks it is ridiculous to announce the Player of the season before any player has completed the season in question. Evidence of this is the fact that 2 of the nominees have done very little in the past 2 months (Bale and Nasri), whilst Nani and Berbatov are still proving instrumental in United’s charge for the title. Should Berbatov exceed 25 goals this season which is highly possible (he has 21) or Nani exceed 20 assists (he has 18), then I think both can consider it harsh that their contributions have seemingly been overlooked for more “interesting” candidates. I respect the fact Gareth Bale is in the running as he had a fantastic early season until teams started to figure out how to play him, but has he really made as much of an impact as Nani has? Fantasy football stats tell a different story.
The main gripe I have is that the decision if taken too early – for example Javier Hernandez has scored 11 goals in 22 games and I think we would agree that as the ultimate goal poacher it is mainly his fantastic goal return that has him rightly contesting the “Young Player of the Year” award. But surely Andy Carroll’s return of 13 goals from 23 games is better, and I think his overall contribution is arguably greater. The reason he is not nominated is ‘timing’ – he was injured when the nominations were made and everyone forgot about him – which I am sure would not have happened if they had waited for him to destroy Man City last Monday! I am sure if he bangs in another 3 or 4 goals he will feel even more hard done by.
Defenders rarely get the award although nominee Nemanja Vidic has already deservedly picked up the award once again, but this year United defence has been shaky with Manchester City and Chelsea conceding less goals (5 less) and claiming more clean sheets. Now whilst no one in a Chelsea shirt can claim to be a contender I would think Vincent Kompany , who has been simply exceptional this year might wonder why he has been overlooked.
The full list is – Tottenham’s Gareth Bale, and Rafael Van Der Vaart, West Ham’s Scott Parker, Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri, Carlos Tevez of Man City, and Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic. All worthy but I would argue that none stand head and shoulders above the rest of the league the way Ronaldo did in his pomp.
Unlucky losers – Dimitar Barbatov, Vincent Kompany, Edwin Van Der Saar, Nani. However, in what has been one of the most exciting Premier League seasons to date we have not seen any individuals set the league alight. There could be many reasons less world class stars being imported by the big boys, squad rotation, lesser teams becoming harder to beat and impress against and possibly just an off season for some of the usual suspects (Gerrard, Rooney, Terry, Fabregas, Drogba etc…) – whatever the reason it would be nice to see a worthy winner, unfortunately the cheating Portuguese winger (no not Ronaldo) is conspicuous by his absence.