It was a largely uneventful weekend on the field as the Barclays Premier League kicked into gear for a new season – but off it, all hell broke loose as the Fantasy Premier League site buckled under the weight of entries.
(Fantasy Football in association with Champion)
Anyone who visited the new Fantasy Premier League site in the weeks leading into the new season will have understood immediately that it underwent a facelift during the summer months, but on the evidence of the debacle last Friday night and Saturday morning, the changes have been much more than cosmetic.
The FPL have apologised for the farce which saw virtually no-one able to login during the crucial hours before the deadline for the new season, leaving hundreds of thousands of players frustrated by either the inability either to make last-minute transfers or worse, the inability to register a team in the first place.
FPL have issued a heartfelt apology and awarded unlimited free transfers to all players before the Gameweek 2 deadline this week. However, that will only partially placate those whose prospects of a good start were dashed, and there are more than a few problems still evident – for one, each league's placing runs from 1 to 50 on each page, irrespective of whether you’re viewing the top 50 pacesetters or bottom 50 basement-dwellers of your particular league; for two, the points totals in the individual team pages are at odds with those listed on each league’s standings page.
With all that in mind, it remains to be seen whether the technical issues that plagued the site will be avoided when the rush starts again on Saturday morning.
Anyway, while it was a far from satisfactory start, we must carry on regardless and have a gander at who’s making the pace after the first weekend of the Champion J-League – and as far as we can make out Gerard Hall is the early leader after his aptly-named but poorly-spelled Victorous posted a fine tally of 81 on the opening weekend.
Gerard’s choice of Yaya Toure as captain was a decent one, with the Manchester City midfielder earning points for assist, clean sheet and bonus, but Gerard picked up points right throughout his team. The presence of three Bolton players, including two strikers, was either astute management with a game against newly-promoted QPR in mind, or evidence that Gerard may have been one of those to have trouble logging in and got extra-lucky with an AutoComplete.
Close to his shirt-tails, as if such a thing still existed anywhere other than metaphor, are Ian MacCormack’s Midget cow tippers, whose 80-point haul was another that owed plenty to the unlikely goalscoring prowess of Gary Cahill.
In-house, there were mixed results for the JOE editorial team, with Emmet Purcell effectively bringing up the rear in 402nd place in our Champion J-League standings with a paltry 20 points in Gameweek 1. Team Cobra were particularly lacking in venom, with Ali Al-Habsi, Adel Taarabt and Arsenal new-boy Gervinho just three players to be handed the odd affliction of being picked in Emmet's team. And in case you're wondering, yes, that's the same Emmet Purcell who last week gave all you lucky, lucky readers the inside line on how to succeed at, you've guessed it, Fantasy Football.
You can head on over to the Champion J-League on the Fantasy Premier League website – hopefully it works for you – by clicking here, and if you haven’t already entered we’re making like our favourite error-ridden fantasy game and extending the deadline for entry to our super-sensational competition until 2pm on Saturday next.
To get the code, you’ll have to send us an email at email@example.com.
Best of luck, folks.