Friday, August 08, 2008

Dream team

Tonight I went through something that's been a pre-season ritual for a few years now: picking a team to compete against the other half of Black & White & Read All Over and others in a Daily Torygraph fantasy football superleague.

As ever, I've stuck to my own three self-imposed principles. The first two? No one from Man Utd, the Smogs or the Mackems (as if the latter would ever have any players you'd want to choose anyway), and a minimum of two of our own players. Alan Shearer always used to be the first name on the teamsheet, but since his retirement the decisions have been harder.

Last year I had a rush of blood to the head and chose ASBO, with Obafemi Martins up front. This year I'm pinning my hopes on Little Saint Mick continuing where he left off at the end of last season (oh to have Fernando Torres alongside him in real life, too...) and the wild card that is Jonas Gutierrez, who at £3.5m is our costliest midfielder.

You may be wondering what the third principle is - well, it's that under no circumstances whatsoever should one of the Newcastle players in question be a defender (or Shay Given, for that matter). Tellingly, our most popular defender in the Torygraph's stats is Steven Taylor, currently picked by only 0.49% of participants. Just to put that into context, Andy O'Brien is on 0.68%. Worse still, Titus Shambles (0.31%) has been selected more often than both Abdoulaye Faye and Claudio Cacapa put together (0.15% and 0.14% respectively). Not just us who has little faith in the resilience of our back line, then...


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