London Town manager Don Lonno made a frantic foray into the Fantasy Premier League transfer market last night ahead of Gameweek 16 after the Covid crisis at Spurs caused the postponement of their match against Brighton.
The intermittently negligent boss of perhaps the only Fantasy League squad anywhere composed solely of players from London clubs sold Tottenham stars Harry Kane and Son Heung-min and brought in Christian Benteke from Crystal Palace and Brentford’s Bryan Mbeumo to shore up an already injury-weakened squad and ensure he can actually field 11 players for GW16, which begins with Brentford versus Watford this evening.
With the maximum-allowed three players from Chelsea, West Ham and (God help him) Arsenal already on the books, Lonno had no choice but to seek reinforcements among the less powerful of the capital’s Premier League squads, underlining the fundamentally masochistic nature of his management mission.
The unavailability of Spurs players threatens to cut short a recent Town mini revival, which has seen them score 53 points in GW15 following the 46 they picked up in GW14, although, as a philosophical Lonno acknowledged to reporters pre-match, Kane has been “as useful as the Prime Minister has been truthful” this season, scoring only one goal even as the form of Spurs has recovered. “I give him the captain’s armband and it cuts off the blood supply to his feet,” added Lonno with a shrug.
Mason Mount, who contributed 13 points in GW15, the joint highest with Son, is Town’s new captain. Lonno keeps faith with Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney, whom he’d feared wouldn’t even play in GW15 but instead racked up 12 points before being withdrawn just before the Gunners collapsed to defeat by Everton.
By contrast, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whose goallessness presently rivals Kane’s, managed just one point and Emile Smith Rowe didn’t play at all. Lonno has Smith Rowe in his starting line-up for GW16 despite a lingering injury, knowing that Palace’s Conor Gallagher is likely to step up if the Arsenal star is absent again.
The manager will pray for a less surreal defensive performance by Chelsea than in GW15, which resulted in keeper Eduard Mendy scoring only one point and previously in-form Reece James drawing a blank. Hammers Michail Antonio and Tomas Soucek, and Brentford’s Rico Henry also start.
Town’s consecutive weeks of respectable performances have not been enough to lift them above fourth in their six-strong domestic league (see above), but the GW15 haul of 53 was topped by only one rival team and has closed the gap to third. “I believe in my boys,” said Lonno defiantly, “even though some people say none of this is real.”
Lorcan O’Dolles is a composite fictional construct partly of Irish descent.
On London is a small but influential website which strives to provide more of the kind of journalism the capital city needs. Become a supporter for £5 a month or £50 a year and receive an action-packed weekly newsletter and free entry to online events. Details here.