11.7mm – a season to remember

15 May 2019

It’s not all work, work, work. Away from the rigging, steel fabrication and radio site builds, the LARS Fantasy Football competition has proved to be a welcome distraction. And what a season it’s been.

Just a few days ago, Manchester City secured their second successive Premier League title with a 4-1 win away at Brighton and Hove Albion, pipping Liverpool to the title by just one point. This is a season which will be remembered for some time, a battle between two footballing giants. Liverpool lost just once, a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City, while City themselves had to dig deep, winning fourteen games in a row to secure the title. In fact, the Reds were top of the league for twenty-one minutes on the final day, before City upped their tempo.

And it could have been so different. In the game between City and Liverpool, City defender John Stones cleared a ball off the line following a Sadio Mané shot. Liverpool fans were in seventh heaven, only for goal-line technology to show that the ball was just 11.7mm from crossing the line; that’s less than the diameter of a five pence piece. No goal. And the rest is history. Of course, had it been a goal, there’s nothing to say that City wouldn’t have gone on to win anyway, but where’s the drama in that?

City manager, Pep Guardiola, has described the title as the “toughest of his career”, while Liverpool left-back, Andy Robertson, vows that Jurgen Klopp’s side are “here to stay”. So we can all look forward to another exciting season kicking off in just a few month’s time. Will Liverpool’s twenty-nine year wait for the title finally be realised?

It’s been another season which has sent records tumbling. Liverpool’s haul of ninety-seven points is the third highest total in Premier League history, and the highest ever tally for any runner-up across the top five leagues in Europe.

At sixteen years and thirty days of age, Harvey Elliott became the Premier League’s youngest player when he took to the field for Fulham against Wolverhampton Wanderers on 4th May.

Wolves themselves set a Premier League record, becoming the first team to not commit a single foul in a Premier League match, when they took on Brighton in April. And Brighton set their own record agaist Wolves in October, when Bruno and Glenn Murray became the oldest assist-to-scorer combination in PL history, Bruno turning provider for Murray to score. Their combined age was seventy-three years and fifty-seven days.

Predictably, there were a number of managerial sackings. Jokanovic was dismissed by Fulham in November. His successor, the popular Claudio Ranieri was subsequently sent packing in February, with Fulham’s relegation confirmed in April. Other managerial casualties include Mark Hughes, Claude Puel, Chris Hughton and José Mourinho, who failed to galvanise a Manchester United team which had promised so much. The team went on to concede fifty-four goals in the league – the last time they conceded more was in the 1978/79 season.

In the LARS Fantasy Football competition, there was no such excitement. Once again, LARS’ Business Development Manager, Julian Cooper, secured the title. He has hinted that he may retire his Charlie Rovers team, claiming that he’s gone as far as he can with them.

The battle for second and third was much better contested, with several names in the mix over the course of the season. Congratulations go to Lucy Cottier, manager of Cotts United, who took second place, some fifty-six points ahead of Rob Anderton’s team, ITSCOMINGHOMEXI, in third. Lucy and Rob both work at Brown and Wilson Steels, Scotland’s largest stockist of steel coil, sheet and plate.

Well done to everyone who took part in the LARS Fantasy Football league. Keep an eye out for details of next season’s competition. We wonder if Charlie Rovers will be involved…

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