Fantrax Does Football Manager with Mark Flay: Part 2
Previously on Fantrax Does FM with Mark Flay…
Football may have stopped in the real world, but not here at Fantrax, we’re staying to giving you your football fix with a little bit of help from Football Manager 20. Yesterday our second series kicked off with a look at @markflay‘s league and the opening 10 games of the season; check it out here if you missed it. Now, let’s get going with Gameweeks 11-16!
The Table at Gameweek 16
Still top of the league is Coronavirus XI, though 5 consecutive draws have seen their lead cut to just 1 point. It’s been a real team effort for Emery’s men, with no player averaging higher than 7.20, but 10 players averaging over 6.95. Mesut Ozil (7.19 average rating in the 8 games he played before his lengthy injury) should be back soon, and with their final 6 games seeing them face Ramadan (2nd), The Vardy Boys (3rd), and My Team Is Poop (4th), his return is needed if they are to win the title.
The Rovers have closed the gap with 4 wins from their last 6, but they’ll be disappointed to not be top after getting hammered 3-0 by then bottom of the table Cozza’s last gameweek. Last time we checked in, I questioned whether Giroud was good enough to lead them to the title, but he’s responded with a decent season. Ever-present, 6 goals, and a 7.20 average rating is good enough when you have Salah, Laporte, and Wijnaldum dominating things elsewhere on the pitch. The Fantrax Fanzine may not have had them as favorites to start the season, but I think they might do now.
The Vardy Boys
The in-form team in the league is The Vardy Boys, who have lost just once in their last 10 and have won their last 4. This team is a real band of misfits, with Kabasele and Saiss operating at the heart of the defense, and DCL and Fleck running their socks off in the center of midfield. For a team 3rd in the league, it is incredible that only two players have average ratings over 7 (Reece James and Jamie Vardy). The team has the 7th most chances created and lowest average possession in the league…I said last time that the numbers couldn’t be maintained and I was wrong…could they continue to defy logic and get their hands on the Fantrax Football Manager Championship?
My Team Is Poop
Still in with a shot at the title are My Team Is Poop, who are building their challenge on a league-leading attack dominated by Sergio Aguero (11 goals in 16 games; 7.77 average rating). Harry Kane is also stepping up to the plate – now playing in central midfield! – with 5 goals and 6 assists to his name so far. With JWP at right-back, a lot is riding on McGinn to provide the defensive strength in midfield, and he’ll need to improve on his 6.72 average rating immediately. The club takes on 3rd, 1st, then 2nd in the next three weeks…if they go unbeaten, they could be in with a shout.
The title challenge is on life support for Brüno’s Squad as 1 point from their last 2 games has left them 6 points off the pace with just 6 games to go. As predicted, the midfield continues to run this team, with Willian, Dilva, and Mahrez being particularly impressive. One elite defender could have made this team a real contender, but Tierney, Evans, Dunk, and Bednarek have struggled to keep opposing attacks at bay. A lack of backup to Richarlison has also meant the club has relied on Nketiah (4 starts, 9 sub appearances) more than they’d have liked.
We’ve Won It 6 Times
WWI6T are unbeaten in 8! It’s a shame 5 of those have been draws. The club can’t seem to hold onto a lead, having let 4 slip in recent weeks; if just two of those had been kept they would definitely be in contention, but it appears that they are too far back now. Bobby Firms has been the best of what on paper is a very good squad, having scored 10 goals in 15 games, and averaging 7.74. Finding a solid centre-back pairing has been an issue, with Webster very poor and Rudiger underperforming.
Best of the Rest
What a job Niko Kovac is doing over at Best of the Rest. I’ve called The Vardy Boys a band of misfits, but this club literally is a collection of rejects. Yet they sit 7th and look certain to avoid the ignominy of picking up the wooden spoon. Does it say something about the squad that Fabianski has an average rating of 7.31, and the next highest is Welbeck at 6.94? And that the top goalscorer is Michy Batshuayi with 4? Ah well, that’s football. Perhaps it’s best to stay quiet in the group chat for a few days if you finish below these guys…
Despite having the likes of Maddison, Buendia, Moura, and Bergwijn, this is a one-man team, and that man is Bernardo Silva. A 7.19 average rating isn’t out of this world, but when the next best player (Fraser) is at 6.79, you begin to see why this team is 8th in the league. They are 5 points from 7th, so it looks like their aim in the remaining 6 matches will be to just avoid the wooden spoon…their next 3 games should give us a good indication of that, as they take on UpMeChavvvvi (12th), InterYaNan (9th), and Cozza’s (10th).
It was the question on every Inter fan’s lips at the start of the season: which goalkeeper would reign supreme? Well, Lloris started the season, but after averaging just 6.60, Rui Patricio has come in and he’s been much better, averaging 6.95. Yes, that is probably as exciting as it gets for InterYaNan, as their season looks to drift into nothingness. They may just be 2 points above bottom, but with Sane and Doherty now finally back, they should be comfortable in that respect. Sane, by the way: one start, one goal, 8.2 rating.
A huge 3-0 win over Ramadan Rovers has lifted Cozza’s to 10th, and with KDB fully fit, Jimenez starting to score, and the likes of Cancelo and Daniel James finding some form, this team should be safe from the wooden spoon. Grealish and Pedro have had disappointing seasons, which may explain why they’ve only scored 21 goals this season (tied for fewest in the league). They don’t play any of the top 4 in their remaining 6 games, so there could be a chance for the club to grab a few wins and try and reach a respectable league position.
The Andorran nobody didn’t last long in the hot seat, being replaced by Paulo Sousa after 16 games. Unfortunately for the club, the ex QPR, Swansea, and Leicester manager hasn’t had the immediate impact that was desired, losing to WWI6T and My Team Is Poop. The 10 game winless run has seen them fall to 11th, only avoiding the foot of the table on goal difference. Whilst Chavvvvi will be odds on favourites for the wooden spoon, this could still be a close battle as both Cesar Azpilicueta and Charlie Taylor have recently suffered long-term injuries. The only other recognized defenders? Benjamin Mendy, Marcos Alonso, and (kinda) Matt Ritchie. At least there’s cover on the left-hand side.
I said last time that Ben Foster’s premature retirement could doom Chavvvvi, but I didn’t think things would get this ugly, this quickly. They may still be level on points with Maxiiiibaby, but they’ve lost 8 of their last 9 and the wooden spoon seems inevitable. In the 6 games since we last saw them, they’ve conceded a whopping 19 goals. That’s what happens when a 17-year-old Andorran with “Bravery: 11” as his highest rating is your new number 1. Still, Sterling (7.44 average rating) and Neves (7.13) are trying their best, bless them. Remember, these were the title favorites at the start of the season!
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