In a high-scoring gameweek, Grinchy Vogt’s irrepressible scoring power continued unabated, while King Ding finally reminded everyone why he is the back-to-back champ. With every top ten manager bar Ginger Ben captaining the same player again, could the league leader take advantage?
Police were called to a violent scene in the Castletown area of Penrith today, after reports of a skirmish involving League of Gentlemen manager Lord Geord. Upon their arrival, they arrested both men involved, taking them to the local station for further questioning. The Weekly Bullshitter were able to obtain copies of the interview tapes, portions of which will be printed below. It’s so unbelievable, it’s probably best for most people to skip it entirely.
PC Reg Hollis: State your name for the tape, please.
Man One: My name is Jez Messing, and I can’t believe you’ve arrested me. I’m the victim here!
RH: We’re just here to ascertain the facts, sir. Now, can you tell me, in your own words, what went on in the lead-up to your arrest?
JM: I was just doing my job! I’m a journalist, you see, and I cover the League of Gentlemen. I went over to Castletown to interview Lord Geord …
RH: Is that when he assaulted you?
JM: Yes! Well, not quite. See, as I turned the corner of his street, I saw him vanishing off in the other direction. I called after him, but he didn’t hear me. So, I followed him …
RH: You were stalking him?
JM: I’m a reporter, it’s my job to report. Anyway, I couldn’t believe what I happened. As I followed him, he went to the local allotments. I believe he has a plot there, you see, though he hasn’t been as active there as he should be. He vanished into a shed, and then, when he came out, I saw him build some form of … well … it’s hard to describe. It was dark, see, and my eyes might have been playing tricks.
RH: Just tell me what you saw.
JM: Well … it looked like he had two dolls. There was one that looked like that character from the old horror films, Chucky, with his bright red hair.
RH: And the other?
JM: The other was the kids cartoon character, the Grinch.
RH: And what did he do with these dolls?
JM: Well, it was the weirdest thing. He took the Chucky doll, with its ginger hair, and he picked up what looked like animal bones. He waved them over the top of the doll, while singing in some obscure language, before pushing some seeds into its head and whispering in its ear. He then picked up some needles and plunged them into the doll’s head, before burying it. He repeated the process with the Grinch doll, but with that one, he started stabbing it in the lungs rather than planting seeds. He then picked up a tambourine and started dancing around these two buried dolls, while chanting the same few words over and over.
RH: What were those words?
JM: Kanalaga, Dressenguun, Feeshinwod, Chiquenbap.
RH: Very peculiar. What happened then?
JM: Once he finished his incantation, he dropped to his knees and raised his arms to the heavens. It was a dim light, but I swear his eyes rolled back in his head. Then, he repeated the same word over and over. Gazaporl, Gazaporl, Gazaporl.
RH: What does that mean?
JM: Well, I wasn’t sure, so I kept watching. He then picked up a turkey, slit its throat and let the blood drain into the ground where he buried the dolls. I was terrified, and let out a gasp, and he turned around. I managed to hide, and I think he thought it was a gust of wind. Anyway, he finishes his ritual, locks up the shed and goes back home.
RH: Where we arrested you?
JM: Yes. I’m not going to lie, officer, I was terrified. It looked like voodoo to me, as if he was trying to curse his opponents. Despite my fear, I have a job to do. I waited outside for a few minutes, tried to let my head settle. After convincing myself I must have been mistaken, I knocked on the door. When he answered, I started asking for his thoughts on how he’d managed to mess up his squad selection so poorly these last few weeks.
RH: What do you mean?
JM: Well, two weeks ago, he started Bamford, who got one point, and benched Soucek, who got fifteen. Then, last week, he brought in one-point Digne for a four-point hit, while leaving seven-point Dallas on the bench, and started one-point Soucek over fifteen-point Bamford. I needed to ask how he was going to sort it out this week.
RH: And how did he react?
JM: He got agitated. It was like I’d caught him in the act. Then he saw the mud on my boots, and that’s when he flipped. He grabbed me, started demanding to know what I’d seen. I told him it looked like he was … no, I can’t say.
RH: We’ll get it off him if you don’t, and it’ll be worse for you.
JM: Well, I said it looked like he was performing animal sacrifices to the FPL Gods, while making effigies of two of his main rivals. It was like he was praying for their downfall. I said I must have been mistaken, it must have been a trick of the eyes. I begged him to let me go, I said I wouldn’t print anything. I said I know he wouldn’t do something like that, it would just be stupid to wish ill of your opponents instead of focusing on your own game. He let go of me, pushing me to the ground. I thought he was going to let me go, but then …
RH: Then what?
JM: Then I said it.
RH: Said what?
JM: I said, you couldn’t have been doing that, surely. Someone like you, Lord Geord, one of the fabled Chicken Dancers, you wouldn’t have made such a silly blunder. He looked at me and said, what on earth are you on about? And I said to him, it’s the chicken that gives things power, but that wasn’t a chicken you used. It was a turkey, and everyone knows that invoking a turkey means the bad things you’re wishing for turn back on yourself. The last time someone invoked a turkey instead of a chicken, the person they turned it on potted fifteen balls without reply on the pool table, before the second opponent – the first one having been obliterated without a shot – took his one shot, missed, fouled and left the black over the pocket. I said, you can’t have used a turkey, and he freaked out. Pure panic. That’s when he went for me, and then you showed up.
DC Tosh Lines: State your name for the tape please.
Lord Geord: I’m not telling you anything until I see the FPL results.
TL: How do you think this works? I’m in charge here.
LG: I just need to know how my transfers came off. I’ve taken a minus-eight this week.
TL: Hmm. This is strictly against protocol, but I’ll let you check on my phone.
LG: No … no … no!
TL: Calm down, sir.
LG: Fucking calm down? How do you expect me to calm down? Have you seen what’s happened?
TL: Why don’t you tell me about it?
LG: I’ve had some absolute transfer disasters this last two weeks. Disasters! Now this week, I’ve taken a minus-eight, started two-point Trent over seventeen-point Wan-Bissaka, while making two-point Salah – who I’ve taken a hit for – captain instead of seventeen-point Bruno, while also leaving five-point Bamford on the bench. Making it all worse, I brought in Salah to replace nine-point Soucek. So, in total, my own unnecessary decisions have cost me ninety-five points over three weeks. Ninety-five fucking points! Without those blunders, I’d be second in the league, ahead of bloody Vogt and chasing down Ginger Ben. But now I’m down to fucking eighth. Eighth! Then that Jez Messing prick showed up …
TL: When you were doing voodoo?
LG: When I was doing vood … wait, forget that.
TL: Is that why you attacked him? Because of your animal sacrifices to whatever gods you serve? Did you hit him because he saw your slaughter of a turkey?
LG: I … I …
LG: (weeping) It should have been a chicken. No wonder it’s all gone tits up. You never turn to the turkey.
Scandalous, barely-believable scenes in the managerial world of the League of Gentlemen. The pressure of the World’s Greatest Mini-League is so great that people will do whatever they can to gain an extra few points. More often than not, it all turns into an FPL Nightmare, while the FPL Gods chuckle at the desperation. You can’t fluke FPL success with parlour tricks; only skill, judgement and consistency will bring any sort of reward.
The Cup Chronicles
It was a close-run thing in the Eliminator this week. While the three managers in the upper reaches of the table – Ginger Ben, Grinchy Vogt and Flash Funk – were comfortable throughout the gameweek and never in danger, it was a toss-up between Lord Geord, Who Horner and Slick Rick. Lord Geord’s substitute shenanigans looked like leaving him with the ultimate punishment of elimination, but two assists and a goal within seconds from Grealish, Antonio and Watkins ensured he could not be overtaken by Who Horner. That left it a straight shoot-out between Who Horner and Slick Rick, with Slick Rick having a gap to make up but three extra players going into the final match of the gameweek. With Chelsea 1-0 up going into the closing stages, the Slickster, already dented by the absence of Kane from the line-up, was just one point behind. All he needed was a point – a goal, an assist, a flukey bonus point, even just a one-minute time-wasting cameo from Chilwell. Alas, none of those circumstances came to pass, leaving Who Horner to survive by a single point, while Slick Rick, cursing the choice of nine goal-conceding McCarthy in goal over six-point Schmeichel, became the nineteenth victim of the Eliminator.
In Grinchy Vogt’s FPL Cup odyssey, he went up against John Hariz in Round Six. Grinchy Vogt took the early advantage thanks to a massive score from Wan-Bissaka. While Justin came close to equalling it the next night, the one point from Targett for Hariz extended the gap when Vogt’s extra Manchester City defender brought home six. With three of their four midfielders the same, it came down to Grealish vs Son in that department, another battle the Grinch was able to win, securing an extra four points. It all came down to the strikers, and with both having Antonio and Bamford, it was a case of Wilson vs Calvert-Lewin. Hariz needed a miracle, and his heart leapt out of his chest when Wilson secured an assist within ninety seconds of kick-off. As the Geordies created more and more chances, Hariz felt his glorious comeback was inevitable, but as the game wore on and Newcastle’s attacking threat dried up, so did John Hariz’s hopes and dreams. Grinchy Vogt ran out the comfortable 92-76 winner, and now waits to see who he will be drawn against in Round Seven of the competition. Incredible stuff.
The League of Gentlemen:
Another week at the bottom for Parvesh, the only member of the League of Gentlemen yet to break a thousand points. Stranded on 927, he saw Maverick Mikey move a further twenty points clear on 1,045. Metal Marc made a rare foray into the dugout, playing his Triple Captain on two-point Firmino and taking a hit that keeps him 26 points ahead in third-bottom. A thirty-six point gap emerges to Mack Daddy McMahon on 1,107, with the freefalling Wooden Spoon Helling, who has left it late before making his charge to the bottom but is now well on his way, a point ahead in 20th. In 19th on 1,116 is Wildman Whitfield, four points behind the rising Masterchef who saw big Soucek come off the bench with nine points. A 43-point gap emerges to Big-Time Birkett and Who Horner, with Horner a place higher on transfers made, before another 40-point jump to Slick Rick, whose 1,203 points see him fall to fifteenth. Also falling is the absent Iceman, in fourteenth of 1,218, and The Ox, a point ahead in thirteenth. Sending them down the table are the duo of King Ding and Deadly Daz, the only two men in the League of Gentlemen to captain seventeen-point Bruno, with the King falling just two points shy of the Hundred Club. With 171 points to the top of the league, it’s hard to see the King repeating his incredible comeback from last season, but his gameweek total will have opened a few eyes. He’s eight points behind Deadly Daz, who has 1,238, and who was devastated to see record-setting low points-scorer Bednerak’s -7 come off his bench, especially as he still receives -3 points for a red card that was later rescinded. That keeps the gap to Hitman Hodgson at 27 points, with Red Hot Rob six points ahead in ninth of 1,271.
The Chasing Pack
Falling a place into eighth is Lord Geord, who followed up fifteen point-players on the bench in each of the last two gameweeks with seventeen-point Wan Bissaka left out this week. Bamford again punished the Lord for being left out, outscoring both Son and captain Salah, leaving the Lord with a 61-point gameweek that should’ve been so much more. Indeed, had he not taken the eight-point hit to bring in Salah and Alexander-Arnold, Lord Geord would’ve finished the gameweek on 106 points, a total which would’ve seen him back in the Title Contenders and with real momentum. Some tricky selection decisions await this weekend, brought on again by the eight-point hit for Alexander-Arnold and Salah leaving him with three defenders and two attackers playing each other and every one capable of big returns or blanks. How he responds in the transfer market will be interesting to see, with many managers previously paralysed from such bad decisions. His 1,276 points leave him four points behind Jockin’ Jeeves, with the two managers the only position change in the top ten. Tormented by James’ recent low scores, Jeeves left him on the bench this week, only to see him bring in eight points. The hit to replace Soucek with Salah was punished by a deficit of nine points, though the move to bring in Grealish for Mane mitigated that damage by six points. Beyond that, it was a solid week for the Rap Rob Roy, which never quite reached the heights it could’ve done. Bruno’s seventeen points were the highlight, though it caused further anguish related to the Salah signing as the Liverpool man was given the armband. Calvert-Lewin, Watkins, Gundogan, Digne, Dias and Stones secured returns, while Martinez incredibly secured a bonus point despite conceding three goals. With a Manchester City-centric defence, Salah is vulnerable to be sold again this week, but we could see Coufal and James start over Stones and Dias as they have good fixtures. With Ginger Ben moving sixteen points further clear at the top, it’s a decision the two-time champion cannot afford to get wrong.
His first target will be hunting down Sirloin Sean, who maintained an eight-point gap in sixth after scoring the exact same total as Jockin’ Jeeves. Ederson, Dias, Gundogan, Soucek, Grealish, Wilson and Bamford all secured single-digit returns, while Bruno brought in seventeen alone. Like all but one of the top ten, Sirloin captained Salah, and also saw his double-Liverpool defence blow up in his face too. The signing of Dias for Chilwell paid off to the tune of six points, and the squad could not have been set up differently to secure any more points, bar a change of captain. Another facing some difficult decisions this week, his double-Liverpool and double-Manchester City defensive strategy will only pay off if Gundogan and Salah both fail to secure returns; maybe, given their fixtures, the smart move might be to play Cresswell and Maupay over Salah and Gundogan and back Manchester City vs Liverpool to finish 0-0. A similar issue faces Flash Funk, nine points ahead in fifth on 1,297. While he also has a defence made up of Liverpool and Manchester City players and a midfield featuring Gundogan and Salah, he does have one less issue in goal. Mind, that’s little consolation when one of his goalkeepers has conceded 22 goals in seven matches, and his other goalkeeper conceded nine in this gameweek. However he tackles the weekend – and his subs, too, could also play, despite being less glamorous – his 77 points, obtained through eight players getting returns, keep him in touch with those higher up the table. The gap to the Title Contenders has been extended by a point, but Flash will just be relieved to get a score of 70+ for the first time since Gameweek Eleven.
The Title Contenders
Big Steve continues to occupy fourth spot, with his signing of Gundogan for Foden simultaneously strengthening his midfield while making it harder for him to make up ground. It did leave him eight points better off, though the signing of Firmino continues to cause issues, and left the return-getting Bamford stranded on the bench. The same players got returns for Big Steve as for most other teams, though Justin gave him a massive boost with his fifteen points. The theme of Gameweek Twenty-Three will be how managers tackle the Liverpool-Manchester City fixture, and that is no different for Big Steve, who can call on Bamford, Dallas and Holding from the bench. All three have good fixtures, which makes the decision easier, but it still will be a big call either way. Up to 1,303 points, the Butcher remains within a hundred points of the title, and he has the experience from last season to know it can be done. With just sixteen gameweeks remaining, however, he will need to make his move fast.
One big issue facing him – perhaps, strange as it sounds, the biggest of all – is that Grinchy Vogt is now 44 points clear in third, having extended the gap by another fourteen points this week. The form manager in the league by some margin and fuelled by his sensational FPL Cup run, he also holds a one-chip advantage over the league leader and is showing no signs of slowing down in his march towards glory. There almost seems an inevitability to his ascent to the top, with it being a case of when, not if, he catches the Dragon and then Ginger Ben, with no manager able to stop the Grinch stealing all the FPL points. His 92-point haul makes it a remarkable 513 points in six gameweeks, with his only selection mistake in that time leaving thirteen-point Saka on the bench for one-point Bamford in Gameweek Twenty. When someone is getting all the big calls right, it can feel impossible to stop them, and that’s how many managers feel right now, with Ginger Ben telling Jez Messing, “How I’ve run Vogt close, I don’t know, but I’ll take it. Buzzing!” before later saying, in a shocking moment of weakness, “I’m well out of my depth really.” This is the impact Grinchy Vogt is having on the division, despite being 52 points off the top. With two free transfers, Vogt holds the upper hand ahead of Gameweek Twenty-Three, but a glimmer of hope for his rivals is his own captaincy of Salah this week. That move shows a glimmer of vulnerability, even though it did not cost him this time out.
Much like Flash Funk, the Dragon did not apply any pressure to the managers around him, but will be relieved just to post a 75+ point score, one which tempers his complete collapse of form recently. The signing of Grealish for Foden resulted in six extra points, though making no transfer would’ve seen Soucek’s nine come off the bench. A small mistake, maybe, but one that can seem massive when it already feels like the FPL Gods are against you. The signing of Ings has failed to pay off, with another two-pointer this week, one that hurts even more when considering the Newcastle fan has seen Wilson bring home fourteen more points in the two gameweeks since the Dragon chose Ings over him. Justin’s fifteen points provided some relief, while Soucek’s continued great form gives the Dragon a real option for replacing Salah in the line-up this coming weekend. The problem he has is, all his big players are owned by his rivals, while all his differential players are being outscored by those of his opponents. There’s an outside possibility the Dragon will look to kick-start his season with a Wildcard this week; given the circumstances, it could be just what he needs to get back in the green arrows after a fourth-successive red. Despite his poor form, he remains only 32 points off the top; with a Triple Captain, Bench Boost and Wildcard to play, he is still in a very strong position, especially with Ginger Ben having already played two of those chips.
The Man Who Would Be King
A strong 85 points for Ginger Ben this time out, a total that may have been exceeded by two other managers in the league, but one which keeps him clear at the top and brings him one gameweek closer to the ultimate glory. Nerves are creeping in, as evidenced by his interactions with Jez Messing, but they aren’t reflected in either his performance or his decision-making. Indeed, for the second week in a row, he was the only manager in the top ten to choose a captain different from the herd; for the second-successive time, he reaped the rewards for his courage with a strong sixteen-point captain performance from Sterling. Of course, it would have been nine points better had he picked Bruno, but in the circumstances, it’s a big result. His other differential midfielder, Maddison, brought in eleven points, while his continued faith in Soucek brought in another nine. Further returns from Cancelo, Dias, Grealish, Antonio and Watkins brought the total higher, though the hit taken to sign Robertson and Allison looks a poor move, especially given the Liverpool goalkeeper’s absence this week and tough run of games. Expect Lloris and Coufal to start over Allison and Robertson this weekend; while the Scotland international could be replaced, given the fixtures of his squad, it would be shrewder for Ginger Ben to roll the transfer, and he’s not a man scared of a big call. It’s what has got him to 1,401 points, 44,188 in the world rankings and top of the League of Gentlemen and, if he is to stay there, it’s what he will have to continue to do.
That concludes our review of Gameweek Twenty-Two, which saw Lord Geord suffer yet another selection sucker-punch, which saw Grinchy Vogt’s dominance continue to be asserted, and which saw King Ding finally, finally, finally join the party. With Liverpool vs Manchester City the highlight of Gameweek Twenty-Three, how the Gentlemen manage their squads around it will be fascinating to see. As always, may all your transfers be successes, may all your arrows be green, and may the FPL Gods forever be in your favour.
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