Graham's Reports - Serie J

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All Graham's reports from Serie J

The Auction Report.....

And so it came to pass that the spiritual home of the auction moved, not to Cardiff, but to somewhere just as flipping remote!!! Yes, after more years than my old neighbours care to remember, the auction was not held in Cuffley, but at Mad Dog Mansions in some far flung outpost of the British Empire that time forgot!!! 

Having to travel back from Brum for the event I worried somewhat that I was going to be later than the required 6pm kick-off - but come the appointed hour my phone rings with a call from our esteemed chairman asking where I was "Err somewhere on the M1" says I "Your going to be late then" says he "Looks that way. Who else is there?" says I "Errrrrr, just me, Kev and Maddo" says he. I have to confess that by the time I got there everyone else had arrived - even Mr Bobblehat (I mean Phillips!!!) himself had beaten me - surely a first???

Anyway following some award presenting that only had an interest for me in my role as Official Photographer (next time Maddo can you lay me on one of those nice bright yellow vest things, maybe with a little number and my initials on it??) we moved onto the main event - the auction - the moment that seasons live and die by, the moment that sorts the men from the boys, and the Kevins from the Perry's (geddit???!!!), and other such cliches.

First out of the hat this year all honesty I can't remember....(which will become more and more apparent as you carry on reading this)....I have a feeling it would have been Monsieur which case he was bought by....Mr Castelino....who if memory serves me rightly (which it probably hasn't!!!)...went on a bit of a spree early doors!!!....the usual pattern then ensued....with the usual suspects pushing players out and making bids within seconds.....and the Robboes and Mad Dog taking forever over each one....and lets not forget Nigel who kept us well and truly updated round by round as to our "timed performance" against previous years!!!!

Anyway like I said things continued in their usual fashion, people bought players, people ran out of money early doors (me namely!!), Nigel sported this years range of sleepwear - starting with the "off the knee sleeping bag look" which is all the rage under Waterloo bridge this year and then moved onto the "over the shoulder duvet" before finally proving the effectiveness of the range by falling asleep (as usual) and gracing us with a show of fashion accessories of a completely different kind!!!

Pizza was duly ordered (and yes I shall repeat my one joke of the year for everyone's benefit here and now) from Pizza Hutch - so we scoffed - and then the wusses moved onto coffee - while the big boys drank on - high jinks ensued (but I'm not saying a word about the perpetrators!!!!) - those that had driven over went home - leaving the rest of us to mull over our teams - cry into some more beer and decide that we really shouldn't have paid that much for a donkey who isn't going to start - but hey that's Fantasy League Auctions for you!!!

And so finally those that were enjoying the hospitality of Maddo Mansions for the night retired to their particular piece of floor or sofa - which leads me on to a final request for the Mad One - can you buy a bigger sofa before next year - that one almost crippled me!!!! 

(20/8) - Only 33 weeks to go...

Cometh the hour, cometh the man....or so they say....and the hour in question this time was 3pm on Saturday 17th August 2002....unfortunately we are going to have to wait quite a few more hours to find out who the man is...but heck...enough of the cliched clap trap....welcome back to another season of the game we all love to hate....the thing that takes over our lives and has girlfriends, wives, mothers, and the blokes that sit in the row behind most of you at Highbury moaning as the cry of "Who got the assist?" goes up....and then there's the scrabble for the mobile phone to make a substiution before the 15 minute deadline when you hear on the radio that your star striker is in fact playing when you heard he wasn't (Fact: This happened to me as I drove home down the M1 on Saturday and heard on Radio 5 that Pahars was indeed playing, contrary to what I had heard previously - in the end I decided that the Traffic Police may not appreciate my desperate need to use the hard shoulder for something other than breaking down - and in the end it mattered not a jot anyway as he didn't score!! So big sighs of relief there then!!!).....anyway we're back and whilst most of us might not be ready to rumble....(well unless your either Kev who runs with the big boys...or Maddo's stomach if he hasn't eaten something for more than 20 minutes!!!)...we're ready to start....and the honour falls upon me once more to write a weekly diatribe about the ups and downs...highs and lows of Serie J....

....and so the season started where it left off.....after an 18 point week with points coming from most departments and his beloved Solano still to play....Simon goes top....not sure if he has settled on his team name he's going with some touching gesture towards Monsieur Henry's acting capabilities at the moment as opposed to suggesting that some mexican beer shines out of his rear end....anyway currently a point behind Simon after a (yes you guessed it) 17 point week...comes myself....somewhat surprised and risking a nosebleed as I haven't been this high for a while.....but then it is the start of the season so nothing to get too excited about yet.....with an imaginative team name.....NOT....(basically it's a re-working of one picked for him last year!!!) third place for this week is occupied by the man that was thought most likely to do well in the post-auction post-mortem... yes it's Shergar...(has anyone seen him since the auction???!!!)....with a 14 pointer to get his season under fourth place and with pegs at the ready (tee hee!!!) Kevin started his season with an, unlucky for some, 13 point week....and whats this we see???....taking up his favourite 5th place already???.....yep the King of the Under Achievers...Mr Phillips himself weighed in with a 10 pointer....dipping down into the bottom half of the table....and here's hoping things stay this way (although we all know they won't!!!!)....we come to Mad Dog who has got off to a slow start with a mere 9 pointer.....and whats more surprising is that 6 of his points came from defenders!!!....on the same number of points but a place below is Julian who surely must have been mistaken if he thought there were any gentlemen in our league...(the only gentlemen I know are the ones I visit regularly after a few beers - actually maybe I should rephrase that!!!!) eighth and another slow starter with only 5 points for the that nice Mr Marek who we surely all would like to see rise higher in the table as the season progresses (see Mav I told you I could be nice to you in these reports!!!!)....which only leaves a familiar name to mention in connection with bottom he challenging Julian for the title of Spoonist?? Or is he just lulling us into a false sense of security?? Either way bottom place is occupied by Robbo Sr..... 

(26/8) - Simon Va-Va-Voom’s ahead…..Kevin is the leader of the pack (vroom!! vroom!!)….and Graham Y goes to feed at the bottom!!!!

Well what a topsy-turvy week it has been – with the theme for the week being “all change” – with the exception of the early pacesetter at the top that is!!!! Yes seemingly set to continue where he left off last season with points seemingly dropping into his lap from all positions (including a handy 7 for his favourite Peruvian!!!) is Simon...whose 21 points for the week overall see him open up a 10 point gap at the top… this season going to be all over before it has even started we ask ourselves??? If it is, can I have my ball back????!!!!! Moving into second place with an impressive 16 points for the week, and surely smirking having pulled off the steal of the season so far (how can you bid £7.8m for a player and then end up paying only £1.6m????!!!) is Kevin who has the latter end of the alphabet to thank for his success with 5 points apiece coming from Xavier and Zenden…… nudging into 3rd place and a clear 7 points behind Kevin is Shergar with an 8 point week….and yes folks I can confirm he is still alive as I received a phonecall from the legend himself on Saturday morning asking him to do some subs for him….not that they got him anywhere though!!!….a single point behind Paul and 11 points better off for the week is Nigel who rises to fourth…..trailing behind Mr Phillips by another single point is the one…the only…..Mad…..Dog…Riches!!!! Maddo also managed an 11 point week thanks in the main going to his (almost) namesake Macco!!! Another single point seperates the Mad One and the next two places which are tied evenly between Robbo Sr with 14 points for the week and Julian with 10 points……which brings us neatly to the lower reaches of the table and rising slowly from the ashes with phoenix-like grace is the man that we all would love to finish above us…..yes that nice all round bloke…..the one who it is always a pleasure to do a deal with…..four points below Julian after a 10 point week….yes it’s Marek of course…..which only leaves one place to mention that of bottom…..and well given my team name I figured that it was only right that I spend some time actually in that position…..anyone would think that I was unlucky to be down there but no folks…..I can confirm that I deliberately played for the minus 4 points that I got for the week…..I was just full of deep and unadulterated joy when James let in four on Monday night to get the week off to a good start……and then rather than hoping for the 3 points that Ehiogu and Radebe were on the verge of getting me on Saturday…not to mention the dreadful thought of that nice Mr Wenger having to eat his words at the prospect of Arsenal losing (just days after he had said that they wouldn’t) getting me another 3 points in the process….I sat there on Saturday praying for some kind of salvation from those 9 points……just so I could proudly occupy bottom place!!!! So there you have it for another week – prepare for more change next week with midweek games and all those transfer deadline deals that will need bidding before – mind you I can’t work out how Hoddle is going to play Crespo, Morientes, Phillips, Keane, Rivaldo, Ricketts, Zamora AND anyone else who knows him in the same team!!!!! 

(2/9) - Shergar leads the field by a neck…..a topsy turvy week elsewhere….and Nigel wobbles and bobbles his way to the bottom!!! 

So here we are again…..after a busy week with an almost full set of midweek fixtures and the usual weekend games thrown in for good measure….so there was plenty of chance for high scoring weeks all round and whilst this didn’t really happen there were plenty of ups and downs as the week progressed… starting at the top of the table we have a new leader…..yes after a 24 point week with points coming in from most areas our very own Shergar jumps ahead with a two point lead over Simon’s Va Va Voom who putt-putt-putted down to second place after a disappointing 5 point week….holding his own (oooohhh errrrr!!!…..ok that’s only the first time I have used that joke this season!!!) in 3rd place and 6 points behind Simon is Kevin who had a 9 pointer…..obviously stirred by the ignomity of his bottom place to feed last week Graham Y shoots back up to fourth with 22 points for the week and would like to point out to one and all that he is willing to listen to any sensible offers for David James – a bag of crisps and half a bitter shandy should just about seal the deal – and would probably score more points too!!!….6 points behind and scoring 9 for the week is our very own Mad Dog who must surely be suffering a crisis of conscience following Robbie Keane’s move to the team from North London whose fans suddenly seem to think they are going to win the treble and the Champions League this season!!!!…..2 points behind the Dog and suddenly up the creek with no internet access and notching up 8 points for the week is Julian who is just another 2 points ahead of the other Spoonist…Robbo Sr…who managed six for the week….catching up again after an 8 pointer….and sitting in eighth is Marek who keep himself off the bottom by a single solitary point from this weeks lowest scorer……yes the man lives up to his team name and declares his interest in yet more “no silverware” with a score for the week of 1 point……it’s Nigel……and there you have it for another week……well actually another two weeks as Sven is up to his stuff next weekend….so it’s goodbye from me….and errrrrr….it’s goodbye from me

(16/9) - Shergar canters ahead….new Dog up to old tricks……Bobble’s bubble’s burst…

So, double the games double the points???…..well it was for some….well for most actually with one noteable exception….more of whom later….much later!!!!….but we start the week at the top of the table where Shergar Roberts continues to lead the field….with the going fair to good….and a furlong or two between him and his nearest rivals…..(OK enough of the horsey puns for now….I need to save some for the rest of the season!!!)…..either way the boy done good as they say….with a 34 point week….the highest so far this season…..and he could even afford to get –4 for his goalie thanks to points being scored by 10 of his other 14 players….. noteworthy mentions here for Harte (8 points) and Wiltord (6 points)…..this mammoth score opens up a 14 point gap between 1st and 2nd place which is where our Chairman currently resides having managed a respectable 22 points for the week who managed to get points from most of his defence and a creditable 5 from his new signing Mr Thompson….. scoring the same number of points for the week (22) but dropping back to 9 points behind Simon in 3rd place is Graham Y….who has the land of the rising sun to thank in the form of Inamoto who single handedly scored 10 points for the week…..a single point behind Graham and rising to 4th is Kevin who notched 21 points for the week with thanks in the main going to Thierry “The Elbow” Henry who got him 8 points….dropping down to 5th place and 9 points behind Kevin following a 19 point week is Mad Dog…..who seems to be caught up in a little bit of controversy at the moment….gamesmanship is the word being bandied about…..cheating is another…..either way a full enquiry is underway and punishments are being decided for the guilty party as we speak…..holding onto 6th place and 7 points behind the Dog is Mr Marek whose 13 points for the week are thanks in the main to 6 points each from Woodgate and Anelka…..edging closer to Marek and in 7th is Julian who had a 17 point week with points dropping in from all over the place…..a single point and a single place behind Julian in 8th is Shergar’s big brother Graham….who had the weeks second lowest score with 10 points…which leads us to bottom spot….and who do we find floundering there???…..steadily moving further away from the pack…..9 points adrift now…..and managing only 3 points for the week it’s our very own Nigel…..perhaps he has been too busy counting this seasons NBBHT…(North Bank Bobble Hat Tally!!!) to look after his team properly……could this be the season that Nigel finally gets his hands on some “ware”…albeit of the wooden variety???……I guess we shall have to wait and see….there’s a way to go yet…..and things can change very quickly…..but one thing that won’t change…..I’ll still be here writing this drivel next week…….byeeeeeeeeeeeee

(30/9) - Shergar first through the ton barrier…..Maddo comes from nowhere (ooohhh errrrrr!!!)…..Bottom can’t be arsed!!!!….. 

Well following a week off last week (couldn’t be arsed) I thought that I should turn my literary talents (????) back on and bring you another report……so what’s been going on since the last time I wrote???….plenty by the looks of the table……although nothing has changed at the top…..after a brief dip in form last week (perhaps I should have done a report then!!!)…Shergar Roberts was the first of us to go through the 100 point mark this week having scored 20 for the week….this opened up a 21 point gap between Paul and our other Paul….yes Maddo hit second place with the weeks highest score of 23 points…helped in the main by 7 each from Maccarone Cheese and Maddo’s favourite FL player Mr.Giggs…..(I told you we should have deducted points for Maddo’s recent indiscretion!!!!)….dropping a place to 3rd  and 3 points behind Maddo, is our Chairman who finds himself there as a result of a disappointing 7 for the week…an even more disappointing 5 points for myself saw me drop to 4th in the table and 3 points behind Simon…thankfully though Jimmy Floyd got off the mark at last (a fact that so shocked the FL that they failed to give him the points during their “live” update)….10 points behind me and equalling Maddo’s scoring tally for the week is Marek who continues his rise from the ashes at the bottom to find himself in 5th….thanks for Mav’s weekly score going to his twin strike force of Owen and Kanu who notched 17 points between them…..moving into the bottom half of the table….although on the same points as Mav we find Kevin in 6th who managed the weeks lowest score of a single solitary point….7 behind Kev is Julian who netted 9 points for the week but drops a place to 7th as a result of Mav leapfrogging everyone….Bin Losing drops to 8th despite a fairly decent (well for him anyway!!!) 10 points for the week…which only leaves us bottom spot to discuss….and this weeks incumbent…..after a miserly 3 point week is who else but Nigel…..and there you have it for another week……so will there be a report next week???….will I manage to find anything scurrilous to pick up on??……do you care???……all remains to be seen…..

(16/12) - Report!!!!....yes a report!!!!

Well, well, well who’d have thought it – yep you finally get a new report to stare at when you come here to while away your time!!! And where have I been you may well be asking yourselves (although I doubt it – no one likes me I don’t care!!!) – well I’ve been working believe it or not!!!! Anyway enough about me lets have a look at just how much things have changed since I went away….now as I remember the last you heard from me Robbo Jr was running away with it and threatened to have it won before Xmas…..Simon was doing his best to keep the pace albeit from a distance…closely followed by yours truly….whilst Marek and Mad Dog were staring mid-table mediocrity squarely in the eye…….. 

… how is it that when I look at the table now… appears that Robbo Jr has blown it…..Simon has had it blown for him (oooohhh errrrr missus!!!!) and whilst I’m still hanging around there or thereabouts I’m not exactly a threat…..and who do we see at the top???….yes that’s right those old partners in crime Marek and Mad Dog…that’s who!!!! How did that happen….and more to the point how did Mad Dog come to have 7 defenders in his squad at one time??? And was even looking at deals to further bolster this tally at the expense of a striker??? Although it’s nice to see that normality has been restored as he now has a reduced defence and five strikers!!! 

Anyway enough of that b*****ks – what do things look like this week??….well in first place is the aforementioned Maddo….whose 5 for the week see him sitting 19 points ahead of that other “M”….Mavvo….yes from a lowly position not that long ago, Mavvo has spent the time that I have been away wisely and now sits in 2nd  place….although it has to be said that this was a disappointing week for him with the Norwegian favourite….nil points to his name for the week….two points behind Marek in 3rd after a 9 pointer is the former runaway leader Robbo Jr…..although expect a further slump from Paul in the coming weeks as he tries to decide between Osvaldo and Riccardo as names for his soon to be born offspring!!!…..tucked in 14 points behind Paul and 8 ahead of 5th place is myself…..still scratching round for a decent midfield…but holding my own (well let’s face it no-one else’ll hold it for me) nonetheless……..and who’s this in 5th place??….why it’s Mr Kevin “I tell you I didn’t do cos I wasn’t there” Castellino…now there are certain scurrilous rumours abounding about our mate Kev….all of which I am sure are wholly true…..but lets face facts he was this weeks top scorer with 12 points…..and that is what counts….3 points behind Kevin is Robbo Sr who managed only 3 points thanks to Juan-Sebastien (wonder if Paul’s considered that one???!!!)….and sadly we move to 7th and a name that we aren’t used to seeing here….yes our illustrious chairman and reigning champion is languishing closer and closer to the bottom…..and apparently it’s all my fault!!!! Something about a dodgy deal and too much alcohol on his part…personally I believe it was all above board and honourable…..and yeah I’ve got the better part of the deal so far 9 points in total against 2….but hey them’s the breaks!!!! 12 points behind Simon and the battle for the spoon really begins… 8th place you have everyones favourite spoonist Julian (a joint top weekly score of 12 points) and in 9th you have everyones favourite for the spoon (neat interchange of words there!!!) Nigel who also had a good week (well –ish) with 10 points……and there you have it….I’m back…..I might not stay around…but then I might…who knows…..but keep checking the site and you never know where my scurrilous diatribes will pop up again!!!!

(20/1) - A new Beginning!!!

Well I promised you a Xmas report – but Xmas seems to have come and gone and for one reason or another I never got round to it……my only comment about the Xmas period is that I at least didn’t suffer the ignomity of last season when I managed something like four points for the entire period while everyone else was making 30 and 40 points…..but hey moving swiftly along because the cynics amongst you will be saying that I am only writing another report because I am doing well and that just simply isn’t true…..the chairman suggested I might be as lacking in my duties as vice-chairman as our social secretary is and I was having none of it!!!

So we start off where I left off I think….with Maddo once again leader of the pack…(vrooommmm vroooommmm)…although I have to say he’s more like Hells Bells than Hells Angel….but hey…..anyway with a good week (when double figure scores were scarce) the Mad One opened up his lead at the top with a 15 pointer (nice to see normality has returned to the Maddo household though with a bare minimum number of defenders in his squad!!)….in second and more by luck than judgement I assure you is myself….just how I have managed to rise to these dizzy heights with my current squad mystifies me almost as much as why is it that whenever I get my hands on a decent forward (e.g Hasselbaink or indeed Pahars) does that forward decide to take a season off??….if those two were playing to their usual form I know I’d be one place higher right now…..but hey I can’t complain…could be back down the bottom like last year…..although too many weekends like the one just gone and I will be….4 points is all I could manage….that said there’s a nice cushion (17pts) between me and Robbo Jr in third….and time out must be taken here to congratulate Paul and Bibi on the birth of Klara….but when are you wetting the babies head Paul??? I do hope you aren’t waiting on our Soc Sec to organise it for you?? If you are it’ll be a joint head wetting and 18th Birthday party for her!!!! Anyway Robbo Jr managed 7 points for the week….and sits a single point above the aforementioned Soc Sec who managed the weeks lowest score with a mere 2 pointer…coming up fast on the rails in 5th however and only 8 points behind Mav now and runaway highest scorer of the week with 23 points is Kev….whose astute signing of McBride at Everton has paid off to the tune of 9 points from 2 games….who tipped Kev off for that one then??? Surely he didn’t decide for himself???!!! Dropping down into 6th and four points behind Kev, following a 6 point week is Robbo Sr who must be up for his brothers Shergar title of last year as I don’t believe he has been seen or heard of for months outside of N5 anyway!! Then we come to the fallen man that takes 7th place this week – the man that we always expect to be there or there abouts – the man that we all owe a great debt of thanks to for running things so smoothly week in week out – and whose team appears to have run completely out of steam (if it had any in the first place that is) – yes last years victorious champion languishes in that lowly position 8 points behind 6th – and comfortably 22 points above 8th….which leaves us with this years breakaway league down at the bottom….one to be contested by Julian and Nigel (two managers not unfamiliar with this particular dog fight – especially the former) currently leading this league is everyone’s favourite spoonist Mr Smith…who notched an 8 pointer this week….and currently sits some 16 points ahead of Nigel in 9th (11 points for the week) – so could it be the year that Nigel’s dream of silverware turns into the nightmare that is woodenware??? Guess we shall have to wait and see how things pan out – there’s a week off next week while some Mickey Mouse Cup is played and back to normal the week after…………….so it’s goodbye from me and it’s goodbye from…errrrr…!!!

(3/2) - Koumas At Number 2…..Yo-yo Ambrozewski…..Bobble’s Bubble…

So here we are again….the morning after the morning after the night before….yes the annual Upper Street festivities once again have been and gone….albeit late this year….but as ever full of the fun and frolics that we at PGW HQ have become used to…..quote of the night going to our Social Sec with "All these stories about who Spurs are buying are put in the paper to keep supporters like you happy Graham" – or something along those lines anyway……guess that put me in my place then…..although revenge was achieved a little later in the evening when a superior knowledge of The Jam was displayed without so much as breaking into a sweat!!! P.s. I still say that Henry is a better player than Ian Wright….that the firefighters deserve more money….and stand by any other stance I may have made on the night!!!

Anyway enough of that…..back to the important stuff…..and with a double header of a week a chance for everyone to score some serious points…..and score them we did with everyone hitting double figures at least…..still at the top but only by the width of a Koumas assist is Maddo…..whose 17 points for the week (and 19 as they stood on Saturday night) appeared to have been enough to open up a gap between the Mad One and myself……but then that was before the John-Arne and Gareth show on Sunday….I could never have dreamed that my two full-backs would weigh in with 11 points for the day…..but hey…..33 points for the week not only pushed me to within a point of Maddo…..but also saw me beat him in the Coupe De Perry Groves… if only I had played Koumas….I’d be top…either way with a gap of some 37 points between me and 3rd place…..things are looking comfortable….but it doesn’t take much for it all to go pear shaped…..just look at Kevin’s post-Xmas decline of a couple of seasons ago… there is no sighting of fat ladies….and none of the eggs have been hatched as yet……there’s a long way to go…..and who should this be sitting in 3rd?? Why it’s the aforementioned Kevin of course….hot off his high scoring run in January (league top scorer with 60-odd points) could Kev be making a final dash for the tape???…22 points for the weekend and a 3 point cushion between him and Marek, Henry banging them in and Dublin seeming to have found his scoring boots again things are looking good for PGW’s Most Wanted!!! Mav had a yo-yo of a week….going down as low as 7th after Wednesday’s games….and bouncing back up to 3rd…..before finally settling for fourth after a fourteen pointer…..the early leader and the league’s newest father holds the mid-table place….the lowest score of the week going to Robbo Jr with 10 points…..which puts him 3 behind Mav and 5 points above his bruvver in 6th….Robbo Sr managing things from the Emerald Isle and notching a creditable 19 points for his troubles….. (as opposed to their "troubles" which are another thing entirely!!!)….a further 11 points behind is this seasons fallen champion (why does this happen so much?? You win the thing and then the season after you can’t do a thing for toffees – although what Everton have to do with it I really don’t know!!!)….yes Simon weighs in with a 15 point week…and at least has the comfort of a 16 point cushion between himself and Julian in 7th….Julian curiously enough notching 16 for the week as well…..which only leaves the weeks second highest overall scorer to mention….valiantly trying to make ground on Julian….is Nigel whose 28 points for the week either show that his team is capable of going places…..or that every once in a while a complete freak happens!!!!….and on that note I shall bid you adieu for another week……

(10/2) - Has the Dog had his day??…..Bobble’s Bottom Bubble Bursts!!!!…

Well back to normal this week with just the one game for most teams and the odd midweek game involving Guildford United (which didn’t really matter anyway as Nigel cleaned up the points from that one!!)……so come Saturday the race was on…..and well amazingly it seems that I won it for this week…must be something going wrong…..because yes the Dog appears to have had his day…well for this week anyway….(I’m sure Mr Dastardley has some non-playing defender scam marketed by Acme up his sleeve!!)…..and 10 points was enough to see me leapfrog the Dog into pole position with a three point gap…….now modesty prevents me from shouting this from the rooftops (although Gill who was with me Saturday afternoon as I checked the scores via WAP about every five minutes will disagree!!)….but well in the words of James Brown…."I Feel Good"…..I’m going to enjoy it while I can….it’s a marathon not a sprint and any other cliché which you may care to name!!!…..The Dog drops to second after a 7 pointer….but looks over his shoulder with the comfort of a 32 point gap down to 3rd which this week is occupied by Kevin….whose 13 points for the week….were beaten only by one other (more of which later)….although Kevin’s McBride-o-meter obviously wasn’t working this week as he missed out on a further three points there!!!….a further 9 points behind Kev in 4th and with a 10 point week to his name…we have Robbo Jr….dropping miserably to mid table mediocrity is our Yo-yo man Mavvo….who managed only a four pointer….but we all know he’ll bounce back sometime…..the weeks lowest scorer and rapidly taking over the Shergar title from his brother is Robbo Sr….who managed a 3 pointer….thanks to one Edward Sheringham….call yourself a Gooner Graham????!!!…..yeah tired old joke I know….but I’m desperate for material this week!!!….clinging onto 7th place by his fingernails and refusing to let go…..Simon equalled Nigels number of transfers for the season this week…..with 35 apiece they both stand head and shoulders above the next man…well Dog actually as Maddo has 21 to his name…..either way the new recruits didn’t do much for Simon this week with 6 points between them…..which leaves him 8 points off of 6th….and a respectable 13 points of the new incumbent in 8th….yes that’s right after a weeks best 18 points for the week…..Nigel is off the bottom…..obviously 8 points for the only midweek game helped….and then a further 10 followed on Saturday….so I guess Simon had better watch out!!….in fact if he continues this form most of the rest of the league had better watch out…..which leaves us only a familiar face in bottom place……I guess all these high placings of the last couple of years couldn’t last….because back down there in bottom place…albeit on equal points with Nigel… everyone’s favourite spoonist…..and beware folks…..word on the street is that he has net access again……yes it’s none other than Julian!!!

(24/2) - Kev aiming to play with the Big Boys (again!!)…..Simon hit’s all time low….

…so after a week off for some inconsequential cup competition (you could make money betting on me starting a report off like that at least once every year!!!)….we’re back to the serious stuff again… of the nice things about cup weeks being that if you are top you get an extra week there before someone comes and kicks you off again… least that’s my story as my slender lead was overhauled by Maddo….in a week when he picked up some extra points courtesy of all things the midweek Fulham –vs- West Brom fixture….so Maddo is back on top following a 12 pointer….the difference between 1st and 2nd place being 2 points… fact it says a lot about the managers concerned and their own styles that Maddo has scored exactly 7 more goals than me….whereas my team have kept exactly 7 more clean sheets than his have….with these cancelled out… comes down to the single assist more than me that Maddo has scored to separate us……I’m sorry I am going to have to stop this here and now because I just read the last bit back and realised just how much like Nigel I am starting to sound!!!!…whatever next…..articles about the split in preference between the lapel or on the side of your baseball cap as the preferred site to pin your club button badges???…..anyway moving swiftly on and making ground week on week stealthily trying to force himself into contention….and in all likelihood will probably do it too… Kevin…..whose 20 points for the week move him within 22 points of second place although 12 of those points can be attributed to one game only and the performances of Terry and Dennis…..on an updward "yo" this week as opposed to a downward one which goes like this….."yo"…..we have Marek….who climbs to fourth with a creditable 11 pointer that leaves him a point ahead of Robbo Jr who drops to mid-table mediocrity in 5th following a 7 pointer….and now sits a single point above the other Robbo in our midst….the senior one (is he still alive??? Does he still exist?? Or is he merely a long forgotten memory?? Perhaps there is a secret place that all Robbo’s have to go to every now and again called Shergarville…where they learn how to be indecisive and compare the lengths of sleeves on t-shirts….and sit longingly at the feet of rock stars admiring their video technique from afar!!!)…anyway alive or away with the fairies (I’m now not sure if I’m talking about me or Robbo Sr!!!) Robbo Sr is 18 points better off for the week thanks to a strike partnership of Shearer…..and errrrrr….Radzinski!!!…..and back in his favourite position of 7th Heaven and on a surge (aahhhhh David – if you don’t understand the reference you obviously didn’t spend any time around me, Simon or Julian in the mid-late eighties) is Julian who had a marvellous week thanks to two 60’s/70’s TV characters…..namely John Steed and Brett Sinclair (and for this weeks competition name the shows they came from and an all expenses paid trip to nowhere in particular can be won!!)….yes 21 points and the weeks highest score for Julian who overtook both Nigel and Simon in his rush……which leaves Simon at an all time low in 8th…..I certainly can’t remember seeing him down that low mid-season before….although I’m sure he’ll correct me if I’m wrong….that said he IS on the same points as Julian so I don’t expect he’ll be there long….especially as he has an 18 point lead over this weeks bottom man Nigel….who 3 points for the week were the lowest of the league….and enough to secure another week of nerves for the boy in the bobble hat!!!!!

(10/3) - Who let the Dog out????….Mav comes up with nothing…..Simon has a good week!!!

Oh here we are again….happy as can be…..actually some are happier than others…most notably Maddo whose 11 points for the week (in what was generally a low scoring week all round) opened up a gap of the same number of points over yours truly who couldn’t improve on his midweek assist courtesy of Simon Davies’s valiant attempt to avoid being pulled down to get a penalty for Spurs….those two points had pushed me up to equal points with Maddo and a share of the top spot… it was with high hopes that I went into the weekend….and then nothing happened…a single point for Ehiogu’s return to action was cancelled out by a minus point for Gallas….and apart from that there’s nothing else to tell for me….all this leaves me 18 points ahead of Kev in third who himself could only manage 6 points for the week….with Terry Henry only being able to contribute two points via an assist this week…..a further 21 points behind Kev is Shergar Robbo Sr who despite his disappearance still managed to notch up an 8 pointer….which pushes him four points ahead of his brother Robbo Jr whose 3 points for the week helped him leapfrog this weeks lowest scorer with a big fat zero points…..yes our favourite yo-yo Mr Marek drops to 6th after having had his team take the week off in it’s entirety…..not a single dropped point….and not a single one gained either……making ground on Marek and indeed the Robbo Bros., and surely happier for being the weeks highest scorer (not sure if that’s a backhanded reference to his birthday trip to Amsterdam either!!!) with 15 points and back up to 7th is Simon whose midfield all appear to have managed to score this week….dropping back to 8th then and 6 points behind Simon is Julian who could only manage a 9 pointer..which to be honest the way the scores have gone this week isn’t a bad tally at all……and all that only leaves us to mention the bottom place occupied by someone whose bubble surely appears to have burst (just as mine has before anyone says anything!!)…yes it’s Nigel……and there you have it…..

(24/3) - Simon finds some Va-Va-Voom….Julian finds some doom and gloom…Kev just goes BOOM!!!!

….and here we are again….yet another week off….and another to come next week….but that doesn’t mean that everything comes to a halt at PGW towers…..with transfers aplenty going around last week…..and confusion abounding throughout over them too (don’t blame me….blame the wonders of modern technology!!)…..but we got to Saturday and things went a little like…..well this:

It’s unchanged at the top where Maddo’s 12 points for the week were enough for him to hold onto a 12 point week….one question springs to mind….which non-playing full back is he going to transfer into his team this week??? Lee Dixon perhaps??? How about Phil Neal????!!! Or let’s not forget Ray Wilson!!!!! Anyway dig over we can move onto 2nd place which thanks to an 18 point week and a certain Mr. Hasselbaink who finally seems to have found his shooting boots is occupied by Graham Y (who would like it to be known that he is having a boot sale of his midfielders this week – getting them the boot being the object of the exercise!!! So please feel free to come along and browse….10p each should be enough to secure the services of most of them!!)…..but moving swiftly along and what do we find??? Surely 3rd place was Kevin’s??? Well yes it was….and then just to prove what a good run and a holiday can do for your fortunes our intrepid leader finally seems to have put all his woes behind him….and not only that any gripes about being a “certainty” for The Spoon…..yes Simon is back….and let’s hope that he’s not on for a repeat performance of last years race to the tape…..with a weeks highest score of 21 points (thanks in the main to John Terry’s…clean sheet….goal AND assist combo….as well as some others previously written off as “useless injured donkeys” who seem to have become “useful uninjured donkeys” overnight!!!)……anyway he moaned last time he had a good week and I didn’t write much….so forgive me if I waffle on here about how he got 21 points for the week….I’m only doing it to fill some space and pad things out so it looks like I have written much more about him…..besides none of you lot ever read this anyway… you’re probably not being inconvenienced at all….unlike my fingers and my brain which are now struggling to think of anything more useful to say about Simon’s 21 pointer…….so to 4th and another familiar face pops up……yes our very own Mr. Yo-yo Ambrozewski is in fourth following a 14 pointer…..and just a single point off of 3rd he is too….but then at the same time he’s only a point about Robbo Jr in 5th…..Paul being the beneficiary of the transfer debacle over…..of all people Cygan!!!!….in scenes reminiscent of Emmanuel Petit’s trip from  White Hart Lane to Highbury….Monsieur Cygan changed hands at the 11th hour having been handed to Robbo Sr….he was then taken away and given to Jr….so in years to come when people ask them “So what did bring about the family feud between you two?”….we can all reply that it was none other than Cygan!!! Anyway I digress…..6th place see’s the week’s second lowest scorer Mr Castellino who’s scoring capability wasn’t helped by having a Sunderland defender chosen for him as a result of the non-playing defenders rule being invoked (only question being why I didn’t choose a Man City or Blackburn one for him as they both let in 5!!)…..anyway with a gap of only 5 points between 3rd and 6th the European places are up for grabs….although if your surname is Hoddle then forget it!!!!…..anyway moving down to 7th….and heading back for what is becoming his spiritual home….we have Robbo Sr….whose 8 for the week see him drop 8 points off the pace…..but he has a gap of some 25 points between him and Nigel who has hauled himself off bottom place thanks to a 15 pointer…..which only leaves mention of everyone’s favourite spoonist……yes Julian has come home again…..albeit by a single point…..question is will he be able to stay there????

(14/4) - I think it’s all over…is it now???!!!!…..Simon charges on….Nigel plunges the depths…..                  

Well here we are back again…..and after Saturday perhaps the Fat Lady is starting her warm-up exercises once more….there I was on a nice family outing to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang…..and well in the time it took me to watch the show….my chances of overhauling the Mad One appear to have gone Sh***y, Sh***y, Cr*p, Cr*p!!!!….

…..yes the Maddo now holds an 18 point lead at the top following a Scholes and Giggs 14 point spree against Newcastle together with 9…count em 8 (!!!) defensive points….this compared to 14 points in reply from myself in second place….who for the second week running decided to put logic ahead of loyalty and drop Robbie Keane…..and as so often happens in Fantasy League when faced with a choice of who to play….the Law Of Sod dictates that the non-playing player is the one that scores!!!!….add to that Chelsea’s decision to not play Gallas…and the inability of my midfield to score any goals at all….and well it all looks decidedly glum!!!!….now don’t take this the wrong way (because you know under any other circumstance I wouldn’t wish this on you)…..but my one hope now would appear to be for Man Utd to score a similar number of goals on Weds night as they did on Saturday causing major minus points for Laurent….Scholes and Giggs not to be involved in any of them….whilst the team keeps a clean sheet and as a result of a freak diving incident Van Nistelrooy is ruled out and replaced remarkably by John O’Shea who scores all of their goals…….now we all know the reality is that even if Man U did achieve that kind of a scoreline that (a) Laurent would not be playing and (b) That Giggs and Scholes would score every goal and assist between them……but hey I’ll clutch any straw I can at the moment!!!!!…..what makes it even worse is that I am now probably more worried about the steam train that is piling up the points and edging ever closer to taking 2nd place from me too….yes after yet another top scoring week (24 all told) Simon is now 18 points behind me…..inconceivable to think that only a month or so ago he was languishing near the bottom and staring the spoon in the face….(at least if you listened to him that is what was going to happen!!!)….now he’s riding high…and showing the following pack a clean pair of heels with a 16 point gap between Simon and Marek who’s in 4th after a 9 point week…..Marek heads up a pack of errrrrrr…two (!!!)….holding onto the mid-table positions…..the lower placing of 5th being held by Robbo Jr who opened a twenty point gap over his older (and better??) sibling with a 14 pointer…..Robbo Sr rises to 6th with a 10 point week…..and leapfrogs everyone’s favourite Kevin (with the possible exception of Mr Keegan’s Mum!!!) who takes no pleasure I am sure from a –3 points for the week….although he was not the only one…this in the main as a result having Newcastle defenders…..which also applies to our next contestant Mr Smith….who jumps off of the bottom spot despite his –5 for Aaron Hughes….having secured 16 other points from elsewhere giving him a total of 11 for the week…..which see him move four points ahead of Nigel…and this perhaps is the battle that really will go to the wire….although having said that if Simon carries on the way he has been going there could be a head to head between he and Maddo to come!!!!…..Nigel languishes back in bottom place following a score matched only by his former sparring partner….one of –3 for the week…….and there you have it!!!

(28/4) - Fat Ladies….Old Spoonists…..Late Surges…Tarnished Sliverware…

What’s that you say?? Fat Ladies and Old Spoonists have nothing in common???….well I guess you’d be right in this particular instance as Julian has always liked them on the “thin” side….but the Fat Lady is most certainly up and warbling her way towards the last verse after the latest set of games….which include Easter Monday and last Saturday’s games…..and I have to say that going into the Saturday set of matches I hadn’t yet given up all hope of overtaking he that shall forever be known as the Mad One…..the Easter Monday set of games had seen me claw back 9 points of the difference between myself and Maddo to sit within stretching distance of a fingertip’s touch on the coveted title……and then Saturday came!!!!…..I found myself watching the 2nd half of the Bolton/Arsenal game…and before my very eyes any chance I had of the title slipped mournfully away….first off Pires steps up to score…..3 points to Maddo…..Pedersen misses chances galore…nil points to me…..then Lauren goes off (and my joy at it being before the 75th minute was short lived as I realised that not only did it mean a single point for Maddo…but also that any goals Bolton scored would not count against him either!!)….4 points to Maddo…..Pedersen misses more chances….yet more nil points for me…..Bolton score finally….but who gets it???….Pedersen perhaps???….nope Djorkaeff….7 points to Maddo…..Pedersen misses a sitter….yet more nil points for me…..Pedersen then gets subbed….and with him my chances of any more points from this game…..and then…Martin Keown scores for Bolton (didn’t anyone tell him you had changed ends at half time??)…..and who gets the assist??….yep Djorkaeff 9 points to Maddo… in the space of one game the points I had made up on Easter Monday were blown away!!!……and with it any interest more than a passing one I had in Saturday afternoon’s games….with that kind of scoring ability I knew any hope I had was over…..even Maddo’s ex-players got a look in……I’m listening to Radio 5 Live when they announce that Baros is replacing Heskey for Liverpool…..and thinking Maddo still had him….I just “knew” that Baros would get points….and sure enough he did…although fortunately not for Maddo this time!!!……so short of a miracle of the 10-0 result to every team playing against one of Maddo’s defenders for the next 2 games….the title goes for the third time to the Mad One…..and in fairness given his teams performance over the last month he deserves it…..a whopping 79 points for April (29 of them this week) compared to my 48 points (22 of them this week) and the numbers speak for themselves… congrats Mad Dog….much as it stick’s in my throat to say it….the better team won…..which leaves me fighting to maintain my 2nd place and preventing a complete fall from grace and finishing 3rd or even possibly 4th…..because below me there is only a gap of 14 points to 3rd place following a Maddo-matching 29 point week from Simon….who is another team on fire right now….Solano seems to have woken up finally as does Viduka (24 points for the month!!! How we are laughing on the other side of our faces now….after the p**s taking of the auction when Simon picked him up!!)…..a mere 5 points behind Simon comes the weeks top scorer Marek who has Michael Owen to thank for 16 of his 34 points for the week….is this the start of a late surge for one of the European places we ask ourselves…..trailing 25 points behind Mavvo and looking likely to have secured mid-table mediocrity for himself with a 20 point gap below him is Robbo Jr in 5th place…and 21 points for the week…..and so to this seasons “non-runners” we start off with Kevin in 6th whose 17 points for the week…(and notably moving onto Terry Henry’s 100th points for him this season…how come you missed out on the other 8 Kev??) were enough to see him leapfrog Robbo Sr….who is surely this seasons “cup team” following his various exploits away from the league…..although you have to ask how he could perform so well away from the main event and yet put up such a poor showing during it…..which only leaves us the bottom two to mention…..Nigel’s 8 points for the week see him going into the last two games with a 10 point lead over Julian….a not unsurmountable figure…..but then in some ways it’d be nice to see the spoon going home……but not as nice as seeing it going to a Kent country mansion!!!!

(12/5) - Freddie’s Ready For Simon (ooohh errrr!!!)…..The Spoon heads home…..

…and so it came to pass that another season should end in a day of high drama, nerves and tension….well it would have done except that nothing really changed positions-wise (with one exception more of which later!!)….but firstly congratulations should go to Maddo on winning his third PGW championship crown….and he did it in style too…..a 44 point gap separated the Mad One from his nearest rival in the end (mainly due to an unassailable midfield together with a couple of punts coming off…defence?? What defence???!!!!)…..and it can truly be said that he “won” it rather than others around him making rash decisions and “losing” it……so congrats on a fine performance….moving quickly along into second place and the final day saw the final change in the league….and having sat in that position for so long that I had a pair of slippers embossed with the words “Runner Up” I’ve spent most of the last 3 or 4 weeks looking over my shoulder nervously at Simon slowly closing the gap…..until finally we got to one game left and a 9 points difference…..and I was right in not being foolish enough to believe that that was enough of a cushion to stop me from being overtaken…..because with 12 points (9 of them in the last 12 minutes!!)….. on the day against my big fat zero the runner up for this season is Simon….and again congratulations to him….in fact without taking anything away from our Champion it has to be said that had his team of performed so adeptly throughout the season, as they have for the last 6-8 weeks, it is likely that we would be lauding Simon as champion right now and not Maddo…..anyway…the final European place went to me….(which is more than I can say for my football team who if they carry on the way they have been will be lucky to be visiting the likes of Southend and Blackpool let alone Europe!!!)… fourth place and 10 points behind me (thank god the season ended when it did otherwise I’d have dropped even further!!) is Marek whose 9 points for the week came as a result of both his midfield and defence…..the “Sibling Rivalry” Cup this year goes to Robbo Jr who had an 8 pointer (but probably would have swapped that for the 3 trophies waiting to be picked up by his more senior brother)…the weeks highest scorer and yet again flattering to deceive was Kevin in sixth with 19 points….15 of them coming from Terry Henry (is that a record???)…..which see’s Kevin win the “Who’s The Biggest Donkey” Cup…..Robbo Sr proves that you can be crap in the league and still win things (a lesson for Tottenham there!!) after a 5 pointer which gained him the “security” of 7th place….with a final 9 pointer Nigel ensured that he missed out on some woodenware (see Nigel you can’t even “win” any of that either!!!)…..which means that The Spoon heads back to it’s spiritual home…..yes after a period of a couple of years when it went on it’s travels…..The Spoon will soon be taking up it’s place amongst the dust that is Julian’s (metaphorical as I don’t think he’s actually got one) mantelpiece!!!

…..and there you have it….another £50 well spent…..another god knows how many sleepless nights wondering whether to play your star striker who hasn’t been scoring or the untried “punt” who has…..and another season over…..see you in July!!!!

Page updated on - 18 August 2003