It’s a funny old game, of a game…
That’s all it is, an artificial game of a real game! Games are for kids, right? Jog on!
In the past I could take it or leave it, it’s not that tricky, it doesn’t take much time, I’d won my work league two of the past three seasons; the only reason I didn’t win it every year was because one time I decided not to include any Liverpool players in some ill-conceived act of loyalty to my beloved Everton – doh! Suarez and Sturridge sure showed me!!
Then, at the start of this season I was invited to join FFUK…
Wow, it was like jumping from non-league to the Premier League! REAL competition, a 196 strong league with seasoned (and weathered) players who (mostly) know what they’re doing; there’s no Dale from Accounts who enters a team then forgets about it! This is big boy sh*t!
I was first after 2 weeks, I thought bloody hell this is easy, and then reality hit home, the enormity of the task kicked in! At one point I dropped into the 60’s, this can’t be so, I self-righteously thought!
I ended up finishing 16th – all things considered I’m happy with that!
I now have a few months to reflect on how to break into that top 10 next year. It’s only going to get harder, surely. Lawyers claim for ‘thinking time’, if that were the FFUKing case I’d be long retired!!
There’s a Whatsapp group too, it was all new to me. I’m from the Cotswolds, life has a slower pace – things filter here a year or two later! I advise all those not in it to join, yes there’s a load of bollocks talked, but between the guff there’s lots of helpful information, genuine advice and interesting stats from the core contributors in the group (you know who you are – shout out!!). Price rises and falls from Daz further assist with budget and transfer management, ‘every little helps’! I genuinely think you can have limited footballing knowledge and using ‘intelligence’ from others, copy ‘trends’ and jump on bandwagons and still do pretty damn well!
What are my overriding thoughts / ideas for next season?
The fifteen of you above me, can stop reading now, you’re all better than me, I’m in awe of you! This is for those trying to be you and me, to put on my wall to read and re-read every day in an attempt to stop me making the same stupid mistakes!
Take or leave, as you will…
• Less hits next season. Plan, prepare, think; set up a ffuking spreadsheet if it helps!! Prepare your team up for the forthcoming game weeks. A -4 point hit means the player you bring in almost needs to guarantee you 10 points otherwise it wasn’t really worth it. This is especially the case when taking a ‘hit’ for defenders. Your incoming player gets 6 points, 2 for 90 minutes played and 4 for a clean sheet. The player you took out would have just scored 2, he wouldn’t have cost -4 though = no points gain!!
I made 54 transfers this season, which is 16 Hits! Which is 64 points!! Which is like losing a whole game weeks score!!! Which is soul destroying!!!!
• Pick players that are regular starters. Most teams have players, when fit that are locked in – Everton – Lukaku, Spurs – Ali, Kane, Leicester – Vardy, Arsenal – Snachez, Chelsea – all eleven!! Remember, ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’. There are loads of players that are rotated – steer clear of these, they may get an assist one week then be on the bench for the next 3. Then when they come off the bench you just get 1 point for 14 minutes playing time, argh!!
• You can have one shit 4 million defender who never plays. I always liked a strong bench – why?? It looks good, but apart from Bench Boost week, it’s not important or relevant – they score no points, use the money elsewhere!! Their price won’t really drop! Let them just enjoy being part of the squad like Mathieu Debuchy!
• Every point counts. Cliché, I know! The league is both long and tight, think seriously about every little point (especially when taking a hit) as 5 points could move you up ten places!!
• Save your chips (they are not called tokens!). Until the latter stages of the season. Boy does a lot, lot more happen then! Imagine what a score of 150+ points can do for both your league standing and libido!! There are lots of potential double game weeks that appear due to team FA Cup runs. It’s better to finish strong, in control and have chip options.
• Taking hits on double game weeks is acceptable. I know this slightly contradicts the first point but -4 versus two games and some massive points make it worth it.
• Don’t use your second Wild Card at the earliest opportunity, whilst drunk at Xmas – that’s one’s personal to me!!
• Don’t transfer in too early. I started to do this to try and combat the price rise / fall game. I thought I was clever! It often failed epically, two that spring to mind were Zlatan and Aguero who I brought in early as I thought their price would rise, it would have if they hadn’t got injured!!
• Don’t worry about the All Out Attack chip. It’s the ‘Emperors Clothes’ of the Chip World! Relax, make no plans for it and then as soon as you have a couple of defender injuries or suspensions, play it instead of taking a hit. It doesn’t enhance game play, it is just okay, and may get you out of bother, but probably not! That said, they’ll probably bin it off next season!
• Don’t plough too much money into Defenders or Goalkeepers. The top GK this year was Tom Heaton who scored 149 points, top Defender was Gary Cahill – 178. The big points are in the Midfielders and Strikers – Sanchez scored a whopping 264 and Harry Kane a handsome 224, this is where the big bucks should go!
• BRING IN HARRY KANE, not doing so in the final 3 weeks cost me a place in the top ten!!
• Finally, manjana! Bad luck isn’t exclusive to you! Everyone has game weeks littered with misfortune such as points on the bench, a player dropped or even a misfiring captain, don’t sulk, there is always tomorrow, well next week! Don’t be Fantasy Footballs bitch – make it yours!
My ‘thinking time’ is almost at an end! I didn’t really care, hence my team name, Meh! A season in FFUK has brought that competitive streak back out in me, which last reared its ugly head in primary school sports day!
I do ffuking care, I do want to get in the ffuking top 10, I do want to beat people I’ve never ffuking met!!!
I’M PUTTING ON MY PE KIT AND I’M FFUKING GOING FOR IT NEXT SEASON!!
Finally a big thanks to Chris and Pete for enhancing our lives, I can’t begin to imagine all the hours you’ve put in this year and for that I’m sincerely grateful; you care as much for the collective group as you do your own teams performance, that selflessness needs to be admired, I’m starting to grow fond of you both – shame you both support Chelsea!!
Stu Allen (16th)
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