A decade back a young keeper playing for Fairfield University went viral on the internet courtesy of a horrendous error. The internet used the awful ways of human behavior and laughed at the youngster’s misery.
The keeper in question understandably never thought about professional football as a career till late in his teenage years. Somehow though, he did end up at Emirates playing for the Arsenal academy sides. This is all well and good but like in facets of every modern business newer people have a hard time breaking through.
The top sides are used to operating by buying established faces while there might be a perfectly good solution or backup within the team itself, a young player waiting for that dream opportunity. It is just the nature of business as modern football managers say. Similarly going by the customs occurrence took place at Arsenal as well.
Spanish keeper, David Raya arrived at Arsenal from Brentford to rival team’s number one Ramsdale. The battle between two heavy-weight keepers logically only deduced the youngster would rarely have opportunities of playing in the first team.
Determined not to waste his best years weathering away on the bench or even away from the bench being the third keeper of the team, he joined Nottingham Forest in the summer.
The keeper mentioned here is Matt Turner. Forest’s new number one, at least till Dean Henderson comes back from injury, and even then, there are worries about the deal failing between Manchester United and Nottingham Forest regarding Henderson. Fans have already expressed their concerns about Henderson’s string of injuries, unusual for a keeper.
So, when Matt Turner arrived at Forest, he became not only his new team’s number one but for managers of Fantasy Premier League, an excellent gateway of having a starting keeper at £4.0m.
Areola too was in with a shout in this ultra-low price bracket. The Frenchman’s minutes in pre-season was greatly shared by Fabianski with Moyes hardly providing any solid clues into who will start between the sticks for the Hammers.
All in all, it meant, it was time for Turner to become the budget keeper choice for the new season in FPL. This a much-needed welcome option for all managers.
As rumors of Turner swapping the Gunners for Forest surfaced, engaged FPL managers on social media were hoping and waiting for the deal to come through before the first-week deadline.
When it did the official website of Fantasy Premier League got multiple tags asking to change Turner’s team. As many complaints as they do receive for failures of their website, the towers of FPL did come through this time changing what was needed before the deadline.
Turner immediately gained owners now sitting in about 15% of the FPL squads at the time of writing. That is a whole lot of ownership for a £4.0m keeper playing in the Premier League for the first time.
Turner’s stature in the realms of Fantasy football was increased largely also due to the excellent fixture run he provided in combination with both Jordan Pickford and Sam Johnstone. The latter two are this season’s favorite £4.5m keepers. When either of them, was placed in the fixture ticker with Turner, the hard fixtures over the entire first half of the season included matches like Brentford away.
Fantasy managers will take agree to this with all the delight in the world. It was also an easy way to spot an engaged manager in mini leagues. Teams with Turner away usually comprised of managers attentive to the new moving pieces in the league and understanding what would benefit from a Fantasy perspective.
Game week 2 was the time to play Turner as was the plan for managers who had jumped at the opportunity of having him. Pickford will be playing a resurgent Aston Villa side under Unai Emery while Palace faces Emery’s former side in English football, Arsenal. Forest was facing Sheffield United at home in the meantime. The week leading up to the first game was filled with news of injuries of important players for their teams and in Fantasy alike.
Early transfers were dealt with a severe blow following the Reece James injury. One cannot blame the other for partaking in early transfers for James. There were genuine concerns about James rising in price leading to fears of budget constraints. Gabriel at Arsenal too is under minute threat even though team predictors of the London side are predicting him to start.
To combine with the woes, game week two is to be a blank game week for Burnley and Luton Town due to the former’s stadium not being ready yet to the standards deemed fit by the FA. Both teams are the major sources for budget enablers, Nakamba and Beyer, and the like.
The defenders were dropping like flies and by the second there were now teams with virtually zero defenders. It was not even bad planning, starting with Stones and Jones and other one or two budget defenders were all good options for team planning.
So, as the deadline drew closer, managers were suddenly looking at their benches. This was certainly not the plan so early. Chris Basham scored a goal in pre-season and given his previous involvement in the league and priced at 4.0m, he did become a popular bench fodder even amongst the casuals. For many managers, it was time for Basham to step up.
They say when it rains it pours and for Fantasy managers it certainly did. News filtered in, Basham was out, forget about saving a transfer, there was now a team with nine outfield players and virtually zero bench. Given the options available saving a transfer was still the best thing though.
Fantasy Premier League started its inaugural season back in the day to garner more interest for matches between teams outside the big six or teams with a vastly global fan base.
Matt Turner owners turning on a Friday night to watch a game between Nottingham Forest against Sheffield United would certainly prove again, FPL has more than done that initial job it had set out to do.
There was certainly greatness in sight if Turner manages to keep a clean sheet. The likes of Onana and England number one Pickford were all benched with Turner starting in the main eleven. It was time for a fairytale they make in the movies.
Forest went into an early lead and played well while the Blades more than stayed in the game. The half ended with Turner’s clean sheet still intact.
Hopes were growing of the dreams of greatness coming to fruition. Life can be much harder than the movies and so it was proved.
As Forest had scored early in the first half it was Blades’ time to return the favor. A glorious shot from the edge of the box from Hamer flew past Turner into the top of the net. There was little any goalkeeper could have done anything. The goal was simply beautiful.
Forest edged past Sheffield 2-1; Hamer’s goal would mean little in the larger context. For Fantasy managers tuned in for a clean sheet, Hamer’s goal matters the most. There was simply heartbreak for the owners, something managers in the UK would have been spared from witnessing because the game not being broadcasted live.