Merry Christmas Fantasy Footballers, and as you unwrap your presents this morning and wonder what is was you did this year that so annoyed Santa, it is important to remember that it is during this festive period that we should think about those less fortunate than ourselves and what they face at this time.
And so it is that our thoughts turn to Harry Redknapp’s QPR. The Hoops have the home form of a side joyfully removing an X Box from its packaging, but away they resemble a flock of turkeys waiting resignedly for the sound of the farmer sharpening his knife.
But it looked as if the games console came without a plug and all the hardware shops were shut when after 20 minutes at Loftus Road on Saturday West Brom were 2-0 up.
This, however, was merely the cue for Gameweek 17’s Star Man Charlie Austin, west London’s own Father Christmas, to shimmy down ’Arry’s chimney, knock back the glass of sherry and deliver the gifts of a hat-trick and three priceless points.
In a festive narrative shaping up to be as heartwarming as It’s a Wonderful Life, just six years ago the 25-year-old Englishman was working as a bricklayer and playing non-league football part-time but is now third in the Premier League scoring charts with 11 goals, behind only Chelsea’s Diego Costa with 12 and Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero with 14.
As ’Appy ’Arry looks at the league table and sees his team outside the drop zone this Christmas morn, there can be only one person ’Appier, and that’s Visal Oum, manager of the not particularly festively named Black Cluster and winner of a $20 Cellcard voucher.
Oum had Austin for 17 points, West Ham’s Stewart Downing as captain for 20 and City’s David Silva, who on 16 points was clutching at Austin’s coattails for Star Man, as well as Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas with 14 for a tasty 103 points.
Southampton’s Japanese centre back Maya Yoshida, who has only been selected by 0.4 per cent of Fantasy Footballers, and Chelsea’s John Terry were the other notable Dream Teamers on 15 points.
Gameweek 19 on Sunday presents us with the standout tie of Spurs v United.
Will it be Mauricio Pochettino lying contentedly on the couch after too many turkey sandwiches, or will he be left arguing with his brother-in-law over the remote control as Luis van Gaal hogs the Scalectrix? As ever, only Gameweek 18 will give us the answers.