The Fantasy Football Scoutcast
Let Mark and Granville sniff out your clean sheets and assist your fantasy football season with a regular serving of stuff and nonsense from the English Premiership. News and analysis is mixed with lively banter between the two bitter mini-league rivals as the pair laugh off a life of mid-table mediocrity.

Yes, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, which normally finds us two un-wise men camped in the studio clutching presents and forlorn hopes of a festive points bonanza.  This year, Granville and I appear sans gifts but with familiar Fantasy aspirations ahead of the punishing holiday schedule.

 

My Christmas spirit is at least buoyed by the fact that I’ve wiped the indignity of a three-figure mini-league gap between myself and my co-host, although Granville still seems to be in pipe and slippers mode. He’s all set to camp himself in front of the Two Ronnies repeats, safe in the knowledge that he’s got this season wrapped up. I just wonder.

 

Granville battles complacency to join me while we sift through the ScoutCast regulars and find time to pray at the altar of Luis Suarez. The most effective Fantasy Footballer ever? Much it pains some to admit it, the case for the defence is looking flimsy. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP120_Wrap.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:28pm UTC

Feeling rougher than a Lee Cattermole tackle, I manage to patch myself up to share a microphone with Granville for another Podcast episode. Tonsils in tatters, the usual round of blows come my way as my co-host strolls into the distance with a comfortable three-figure lead.

 

We talk Rooney vs Aguero and rinse through the ScoutCast regulars, while I end up getting misty-eyed about Stephen Ireland – one of a select band of “soft spot” players who rise to the top of my watchlist at the first sign of a semblance of form. And I wonder why I’m struggling.

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP119_Throaty.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:44pm UTC

Having made a huge two-point dent in Granville’s mini-league lead, it’s time to change strategy. I’ve been complacent for too long, allowing my rival and co-host a weekly insight into my plans, welcoming in his nagging little voice to play havoc as I hover over the transfer button. As my phoenix-like ascent prepares for take-off, it’s time to play cagey.

With my transfer plans kept hushed, Granville does his best to use his Darren Brown like powers to have me reveal all. Along the way we assess the week’s transfer activity in “all aboard”, preview the weekend’s fixtures and decide whether any Fantasy manager can possibly do without the Aguero/Suarez captain combo.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP118_Cagey.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:07pm UTC

Not often acclaimed for his sage -like wisdom, Granville is enjoying his season in the sun and is firing advice, sympathy and jibes my way, in equal measure. With little to lose, I’ve even resorted to taking his guidance on board. After spending points on transfers on the Mancunian’s recommendation, I’m looking on my squad with optimistic eyes, although Granville is far from convinced that I made the “greatest hits”.

After raining on my revival parade, Granville joins me to talk Suarez, Oscar vs Hazard and Jim Bowen before we roll out the podcast regulars – “All Aboard”, the weekend preview and the usual dalliance with the ScoutCast team. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP117_Hits.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:40pm UTC

These are hazardous times. Shopping in midfield is a thankless task, with little value and consistency on offer, aside from a pair of dominant forces who threaten to break the season, along with the hearts and minds of those too stubborn to jump on board their seemingly relentless bandwagons. 

In this latest episode of the podcast, I lay the blame for my inept season squarely at the feet of my failing midfield and my reluctance to give Aaron Ramsey the time of day. Oh, how I crave those predictable days of the ever-reliable “Power Five”.

Granville does his best to ensure that my moans fall on sympathetic ears, although his sniggering gives him away on more than one occasion. In between giggles, my co-host joins me to dissect the week’s transfer activity, preview the weekend’s fixtures and mastermind another mediocre Gameweek for the ScoutCast lineup.

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP116_Minefield.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:34pm UTC

A green arrow offers renewed hope for a stalling Fantasy campaign as I desperately cling to Granville’s coat tails. A sixty-point gap gives my co-host plenty to feel smug about and, as he moves to cover my Silva lining in midfield, you can almost sense the desperation in my voice as I’m left “squirming”.

 

Positive thinking and Granville’s inexplicable urge to keep the armband from Suarez offers a glint of light as I sit down to take another beating over the ScoutCast airwaves. We talk City rotation, Oscar vs Hazard and midfield failings, before assessing this week’s bandwagons and rinsing through the Gameweek fixtures.

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP115_squirm.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:24pm UTC

And so it goes on. With Granville bemoaning a “reasonable” 58-point Gameweek, I slip further into the mire as my team of differentials, mis-placed punts and failed opportunities continue on their relentless decline.

 

Slowly but surely the roles are being reversed in our weekly chat – as I recall my latest errant transfer and Granville struggles to curb his smugness: he even talks about himself in the third person.

 

As I desperately clutch at straws and roll out some positive thinking, my co-host halts his stream of advice to analyse the week’s rolling bandwagons and preview the weekend fixtures, whilst discussing the crunchy topics.

 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP114_plunge.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:18pm UTC

We return from the international break to find Granville totally smitten by Ravel Morrison. While that particular bro-mance takes me by surprise, the shock of my co-host agreeing with me twice on one ScoutCast is perhaps even more jarring. 

I guess Granville can afford to be generous. With a 41-point gap between us, the Mancunian may still be laid up by an untimely knee-op but he’s sitting comfortably when it comes to our Fantasy rivalry. 

In between sonnets dedicated West Ham’s troubled talent and jibes aimed at my struggling season, Granville joins me in rinsing through the current bandwagons, previewing the weekend and discussing topics such as Suarez’s lost bonus points. He also helps with the mispronunciation of Adnan Januzaj’s name on 72 occasions. We’re now praying he slips back into the reserves. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP113_Ravelations.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:23pm UTC

Back after a five-week break, Granville and I have squeezed in two holidays, two wildcards, an engagement (certainly not to each other), a dose of man flu and a near-on leg amputation. Packed, I tell thee. 

The other highlight has been the steady and consistent decline of my Fantasy season, giving my co-host Granville plenty of ammunition. Reclined in his armchair, leg braced like James Stewart, the stricken Mancunian leaves his Rear Window to investigate the murder of my fantasy team.

Once the taunting dies down, we manage to tackle the old regulars: bandwagons are assessed, the weekend is previewed and the ScoutCast team gets some love on its way to outscoring my lineup for a fifth week running. Oh the joy. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP112_Crutch.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:44pm UTC

There are no brown envelopes in sight, this “bung” is firmly placed in my nasal passages as I clamber from my man-flu grief pit to sit alongside Granville and take my Gameweek medicine. After seeing me off by 21 points, it’s only fair I gave my co-host his moment of glory, regardless of being short of match fitness.

Somehow we end up arguing about Robin van Persie once again, before taking a gander at the bandwagons rolling and preview the weekend’s action the only way we know how: by rambling and singling out some dubious player picks. 

Direct download: FFScoutCast_EP111_Bung.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:06pm UTC