5 August 2012

Fantasy Premier League - come and have a go!

Are you a better football manager than this bloke?

There are less than two weeks to go until the Premier League season gets underway, so this is the perfect time to register your fantasy football team!

Millions of fans are registering their teams for the PL's official Fantasy Premier League game, all hoping to prove that they're the next Roberto Mancini, rather than the natural successor to Stuart Gray.

In this game, managers have a £100million transfer budget to spend on 15 players, before selecting a starting XI which they hope will score the most points (for example, points are gained for creating/scoring goals and keeping clean sheets, while they are lost for conceding goals and getting booked or sent off). If not all goes to plan, managers can chuck away their duds and bring in someone else, like those bosses who wisely thought last season that there was something about Papiss Cisse.

My personal record on the FPL game is not exactly Mourinho-esque - my best finish was four seasons ago, when I came 949,093rd. And after a few years of boycotting foreigners, I've decided to really go all out - by allowing myself to buy non-English players again.

So, I present to you my fantasy team at the start of the 2012/2013 season. Meet the Nortei Norteys:

GOALKEEPERS
Tim Krul (Newcastle United)
15 Premier League clean sheets for the Magpies last season makes Krul a snip at £5.5million.
John Ruddy (Norwich City)
A fairly young English keeper who is finding his feet at this level, Ruddy cost me £4.5million.

DEFENDERS
Angel Rangel (Swansea City)
£5million got me right-back Rangel, who was excellent last season and could soon be playing for Wales!
Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City)
Rangel's future Welsh defensive partner Shawcross is solid as a rock and also costs £5million.
Phil Jones (Manchester United)
I'm expecting £6million man Jones to play a more important role in United's defence this season.
Ashley Cole (Chelsea)
Probably the best left-back in the world, Cole is my costliest defender at £6.5million but is worth it.
Fabio da Silva (Queens Park Rangers)
A loan spell at QPR will do wonders for Fabio's confidence, and I have faith in the £4.5million kid.

MIDFIELDERS
David Silva (Manchester City)
He scores and creates goals, and City's star winger Silva is worth every penny of the £10million I spent.
Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle United)
At £7million, Cabaye is not an extravagant purchase for a midfielder, and he is no one-season wonder.
Adam Lallana (Southampton)
I spent £6million on my 'wildcard' pick Lallana, who I'm sure will settle into the Premier League just fine.
Scott Sinclair (Swansea City)
Possibly the most vital component of Swansea's team, tricky winger Sinclair costs £7million.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal)
£7.5million is quite a lot for a rookie like Oxlade-Chamberlain, but I feel that this is his breakthrough season.

FORWARDS
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
I had to invest £12million in Rooney - he's a goal machine, and scored 27 of them in the last campaign.
Nikica Jelavic (Everton)
The Croatian was a shrewd buy for David Moyes, and at £8.5million, I hope he's the same for me.
Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading)
Having scored six goals in 12 games for Fulham last season, Pogrebnyak is worth more than just £5million!

Now you've met my Nortei Norteys, do you want to rise to the challenge? Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough!

Ivan Golac with a trophy - probably named in his honour.

If you think you can beat myself and your fellow readers, you are more than welcome to enter The Daily Transfer Request's official fantasy football competition - the Ivan Golac Cup.

Who's Ivan Golac, I hear you ask? Well, the former Dundee United boss is one of the legends of football management... and soccer predictions. When Trinidadian forward Jerren Nixon arrived at Tannadice in 1993, Golac said that he would one day be worth £20million. Two years later, Nixon joined FC Zurich for about a tenth of that.

But perhaps just as importantly, he uttered this pearl of wisdom which more than one or two of us can take heart from: "You know, my philosophy in life is very simple: whatever you do, enjoy it. When you go for a walk, listen to music, chat with a friend, just enjoy it."

So, once you've registered a team, enter the Ivan Golac Cup, and just enjoy it. Here's what to do...
  1. Click on the 'Leagues' tab.
  2. Click on 'Join a league'.
  3. Select 'Private league'.
  4. Enter the code 621232-158360.
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