This is the last inch in the ball game, a time to reflect on good player selections, bad player selections, and ugly player selections.
For me, these rate as follows:
- Good: Nick Pope (a star throughout except for GW 37)
- Bad: James Ward-Prowse (I really thought he’d have a good finish to the season)
- Ugly: Aaron Lennon for a DGW ( 1 point, 180 minutes played)
If you have been a regular reader, I hope you found good value for your time. I hope you learned to embrace concepts such as Togga Royalty (e.g., Christian Eriksen, Mo Salah, Cesar Azpilicueta, Kevin De Bruyne); and learned to love 17/18 Togga studs like the Icelandic Gudmunsson, Luka Milivojevic and similar MIDs who consistently score 10+ points, even if they lack 30+ point ceilings.
It has been fun, but I’m ready for the World Cup. I will be back here this Summer with coverage of the greatest tournament in the world, so check in on us from time to time in the off-season.
But for now I leave you with Santi’s Togga Favorite XI before I share my end-of-season GW 38 Togga player picks.
Thank you, dear reader.
Santi’s Togga Favorite XI 17/18 or: Players I loved Having on My Togga PXI or Draft
G Joe Hart (psych!)
G Nick Pope
D Craig Dawson
D Jan Vertonghen
D Cesar Azpilicueta
D Kyle Walker
M Kevin De Bruyne
M Icelandic Gudmunsson
M Luka Milivojevic
M Christian Eriksen
F Mo Salah
F Pierre Emerick Aubameyang
GW 38 PLAYER PICKS
A quick word: I understand that some of you dear readers grew a bit frustrated as I settled into a conservative-but-smart strategy from GW 32-37. The criticism is totally fair and greatly appreciated. These are the types of friendly debates we should be engaging in on this and other NMA community columns.
You will be happy to learn about a little Togga tradition that I have for GW 38. It’s wild and reckless (by my standards!). For the end of the season, I have a little formula:
G - someone on a team that has something to fight for, preferably avoiding relegation or securing the last Champions League spot
D- One Togga Royalty, one man with a point to prove, and two blokes I haven’t picked all season
M- One Togga Royalty and three boys I haven’t picked all season
F- One Togga Royalty; one certifiably insane in the membrane pick
Lukasz Fabianski (v Stoke)
Yes, I understand that most of us will run, not walk to Thibaut Courtois or Wilfredo Caballero. And that’s fine, but for GW 38 I want to let loose a little, so Fabianski it is. The other choice for me would be Alex McCarthy in a big game home to Manchester City.
*Virgil van Dijk replaces Schindler following Huddersfield’s stunning performance against Chelsea to stave off relegation and confirm their EPL place for 18/19*
Azpilicueta is Togga Royalty, plus he has something to play for (a spot in Spain’s World Cup 23). Cedric has been raking in the assists of late, and I don’t expect a very lively City to show up at St Mary’s. Liverpool’s pony-tailed man-mountain VvD is a good call in a game Liverpool needs to win to confirm a Champions League place (moot if they beat Real Madrid in the finals, but that is a 50/50 proposition in the very best case). The Austrian Bauer is playing in a very attacking position and, despite the lack of clean sheets, has scored well in Togga of late (16.25 and 10.75 in two of the last three GWs).
Eriksen is Togga Royalty. Lanzini has been pretty bad lately, so he needs a big game if he wants to make Argentina’s 23 in Russia. Gini Wijnaldum is a wild and crazy hunch. He has big scoring potential that has gone unfulfilled, and his chances for explosion are always increased when he’s not traveling. Crystal Palace’s Scotland international Jimmy Mac is just one of those guys. You see him on the waiver wire, and you think to yourself “heck, maybe this is his week”, but then you talk yourself into claiming some Stoke City reject only to realize that indeed it was McArthur’s week. I will rectify this mistake in GW 38!
Mo Salah; Olivier Giroud
Mo Salah has been gag-inducing of late. This will not continue, particularly with Liverpool in a bit of a fight to confirm its Champions League spot for next season. Giroud has strong motivation to end the season on a high as he fends off late challenges for his place on France’s flight to Russia from the likes of Anthony Martial, Ousmane Dembele, Dimitri Payet, Jeremy Menez, Nabil Fekir and (brace yourself if you are a Newcastle United fan) Argh, Florian Thauvin, Argh.
I know, you’re probably thinking Giroud is not an “insane in the membrane” pick, but trust me...I soooo want to pick Spider-man Aubameyang or the Harrykane.
And there you have it, my friends. My end of season Togga picks! What strategy will you employ and deploy to close out your Togga season? Who was your favorite Togga star? Who was your biggest disappointment? Let’s trade jabs in the comments below!