What started as a drunken idea in a bar has morphed into this - a fantasy football podcast from me and my mates. The goal: make an interesting and entertaining fantasy podcast that might help you do alright, but hopefully not as well as me. We've heard what's out there, and we reckon we might be able to do just as well as those other duffers, maybe even better.

There's also some FC Tokyo stuff on here, but I now blog on all things Gasmen at On the Gas (click on link below).

Monday, December 20, 2010

LMS Fantasy Podcast Episode 8

Better late than never, here's Episode 8 of the Fantasy Podcast. Technical issues almost derailed the whole thing, I was ready to give up on multiple ocassions, but luckily Kesh was on the case and fixed everything, so this is posted three days after it was recorded. As it turns out we didn't miss much, with seven games postponed over the weekend.

Marrakesh and The Monsieur joined me in the living room for a discussion on, amongst other things, how shite our three teams are, and we manged to blab on for just over an hour in a monster five-parter, covering: the last two Gameweeks; results from the LMS Cup Qualifying Round; Questions for Kesh (back by popular demand, you know); a preview of the XMas & New Year slate of games; and a look at the LMS League and Head-to-Head standings.

Highlights included:
  • Kesh launching two seperate tirades against Mario Balotelli.....
  • and then forgetting Wayne Rooney's name
  • Mathew recounting, in horrifying detail, watching a bloke knock one out on a train platform
  • while getting his arse kicked by a 7% Chu-Hi
Nothing from the dog this time, sorry.


Friday, December 17, 2010

FC Tokyo 2010 - Nine Months of Hell Part 2

FC Tokyo are relegated. They should all be lined up against a wall, and shot. I am disgusted. #weakc++ts #FCTokyo
5:24 PM Dec 4th via ÜberTwitter

*WARNING* This is an extremely long post. Feel free to come and go, read it in bits and pieces, if it's length, and negative tone, prove too much for one sitting.

This is Part 2 of the grieving/healing process I need to go through as I, and all Tokyo supporters, mourn the end of our 11 year run in J1. Part 1 was all about the numbers. Here, its time to vent hard at the 24 players who took the field in an FC Tokyo shirt in the 2010 J1 season. With very few exceptions, the squad vastly under-performed, and while injuries can be used as excuses in a few cases, to say they are even slightly to blame for our relegation is simply bollocks. That is because, even though we had quite a lot of player turnover, and failed, YET AGAIN, to fill our allowed quota of foreign players, we thought this was one of our best squads ever, loaded with homegrown talent.

At the end of 2009, we bade farewell to club legends Ryuji Fujiyama and Satoru Asari, legendary eater Yusuke Kondo - officially the fattest man ever to play in the J.League*, defenders Bruno Quadros, Teruyuki Moniwa and Hideki Sahara; and midfielder Jo Kanazawa. Of those seven, only Bruno (23 games) and possibly Fat Man (12 games, 6 starts) were important on-field members of the squad in '09 (the other 5 made 29 appearances between them), but would the veteran trio of Fujiyama, Asari and Moniwa be missed more behind the scenes, at training and in the clubhouse, than on the field?

Nah, we'll be fine, we thought, as we brought in (with descriptions from the club website): Masato Morishige - "Top-class defender. Strong in one-on-one situations, powerful header and able to build play;" Ricardinho (didn't come with much of a C.V., but hey, he's Brazilian!) - "Lightning fast striker with dazzling dribbling ability and thunderous shot with both feet;" Toshihiro Matsushita - "Dynamic attacking midfielder. A major threat with free kicks;" Kim Young Gwon (South Korean Under 21 international) - "Aerially dominant defender with accurate left-footed passing ability;" and our prolific youth team striker Kentaro Shigematsu - "Physically strong centre forward with sound technique under pressure. Clinical finisher." We weren't to know it at the time, but those descriptions would turn out to be utter bollocks.....

Right then, here we go. My opinions only, and if I've slated your favourite player then I'm sorry, but he deserved it. I decided to grade on the following scale based on how much was expected from individuals and how well they delivered:
  • A Excellent Season 
  • B Consistently Good, Perhaps Exceeded Expectations
  • C Acceptable Standard
  • D Below Acceptable Standard, Failed To Meet Expectations 
  • F Rubbish/Useless/Shite/Tatsuya
but unfortunately, because he didn't play a J1 game for us, after 10 appearances (2 starts) in '09, Sotan Tanabe's grade is - N/A, as is Hideto Takahashi's - 3 games (2 starts - hauled off both times) and Daishi Hiramatsu's - 1 game, 1 clean sheet, unused sub 7 times before achilles injury.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

FC Tokyo 2010 - Nine Months of Hell Part 1

Same XI for us to start 2nd half. This is like watching a train wreck in slow motion.... #FCTokyo
4:33 PM Dec 4th via ÜberTwitter

My tweet at the start of the second half of the final game of the season at Kyoto.... Sums up the season as a whole pretty well though.

This is the first of three parts I will post over the next week or two covering FC Tokyo's 2010 season, from the first game win over Yokohama through to the darkest day in our club's history, December 4th, 2010, the day we plummeted through the trapdoor into J2, our first ever relegation. Our eleven year run in J1 is over, we've gone from legitimate title contender in '08 & '09 (and Nabisco Cup Champions '09) to relegated laughing-stock in 2010, and we are a J2 team for the first time since our inaugural year as a J.League club, 1999.

Here I'll go through the season in numbers, including how we fared differently (ie. worse) than in '09, and in later installments I'll go through the squad player-by-player before finishing with a look at who'll still be around and how we'll fare in J2 in 2011. Some of you will no doubt want to draw a line under what went on this season, put it behind you and try to forget it, but I'm still processing it all so I'm attempting this as therapy, hoping that at the end of Part 3 I'll finally have "closure" as they say in psychology circles. A mixture of stats, analysis, ranting and foul language, here is my take on FC Tokyo's 2010 season:

I warned of the threat of relegation as far back as late-August, and, despite chastising those who thought we were "too good to go down," I guess in the back of my mind I thought we were, too. We kept making it so hard for ourselves though, and so many potentially pivotal moments in the run-in: Gonda's penalty save v Niigata; the gutsy win in the Shimizu typhoon; Hirayama's tour de force at Yokohama and Oguro's brilliant lob v Nagoya all ended up being for nought, as Kobe just wouldn't go away, and we shat our trousers in the last ten minutes of the home finale v Yamagata and all 90 minutes at Kyoto.

We finished 16th on 36 points with 8 wins, 12 draws and 14 losses. Tellingly, just half our points came in games against the other eight teams who finished in the bottom half, our record was W:4 D:6 L:6 against those teams, and W:4 D:6 L:8 against the top half. Our inability to do the business against the teams we were scrapping for survival with, like Omiya, Yamagata, Sendai and Kobe ultimately cost us, while we took only one point from a possible six against Kyoto.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Kyoto 2-0 FC Tokyo: J1 Week 34 (FC Tokyo Are Relegated)

I'm sat here, almost two full days after it happened, and I still can't get my head round the fact that we are now a J2 team. How the hell could we have lost to Kyoto, an absolute rabble who hadn't won for almost three months, and only three times all season until Saturday? And what the fuck was Okuma playing at, putting out the team he did, and persisting with it for so long?

We all knew the score going in. The biggest game in the history of FC Tokyo. Our eleven-year run in J1 on the line. We'd blown our chance to secure safety the previous weekend against Yamagata, but a point ahead of Kobe, we needed to win or simply match their result and we'd stay up. We could even afford to lose if they drew. Our fate was in our hands, we'd won our past three away games (against vastly superior teams to Kyoto), and Kobe had a "tough-looking" trip to Urawa to contend with. We weren't to know that the Red CubicZirconias would perform like an Under 13 girls team, but as long as we took care of business and didn't let the pressure get to us...

The first signs of concern came when the team was announced. Naohiro Ishikawa was missing through injury so Ricardinho came in for him (ho hum), but on the other flank Naotake Hanyu was dropped and replaced by Tatsuya Suzuki (what the FUCK??!!), making his first start since Urawa at home in early September, and first under Okuma's management. He must've trained the house down during the week, or maybe Hanyu nicked the last eclair from the dessert buffet right out from under the manager's fingertips or something, but that one was hard to fathom. Tatsuya is my favourite whipping boy (because he is shite), but even his staunchest supporter must've raised their eyebrows at his selection.

But wait, there's more....our joint top-scorer, Masashi Oguro - who had started EVERY LEAGUE GAME since he joined us during the World Cup break, that's TWENTY-ONE CONSECUTIVE GAMES - was dropped and replaced by a defender, Masato Morishige. Twenty-one starts, seven goals, five goals in the previous nine games, the best finisher we have, and he was left on the bench. Absolutely ludicrous from Okuma, and anyone who wants to try and defend that decision needs their head read. Tiredness? Absolute bollocks. Tactical? Some tactics, leaving your best striker on the bench.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

FC Tokyo 1-1 Yamagata: J1 Week 33

Two numbers sum up last Saturday evening at Ajinomoto Stadium - FC Tokyo's last home game of the season - for me. Two little numbers that added up to a pissed-off fan fuming at his wildly inconsistent team. How could we go from beating the newly-crowned champions, away, to failing to beat a team with absolutely NOTHING to play for, at home?

The first number is four, as in four minutes. Four bloody minutes. If we could've just hung on for another four minutes, we would be celebrating our brilliant end to the season, where our Gasmen proved they were "too good to go down," beating three top-half teams in our last seven games on the way to seeing off Kobe's valiant survival attempt. But we didn't hang on, and while we didn't lose, it sure felt like we did, as we blew our first chance to ensure we'll still be playing in the top flight in 2011. We are just a point ahead of Kobe going into the final game of the season next Saturday, but more on that later....

The other number is one. Now that could mean a few things from, or after, this game: we scored one goal; we are one point ahead of Kobe; there's one game left, Ricardinho's only scored one league goal all season etc etc, but the one "one" that really sums up the evening, and the season in a nutshell is this: