We’re all gaffers really
I’m just about to enjoy tonight’s Arsenal v Newcastle game. The reason I can enjoy it is because all of my fantasy football players have already played this week, therefore this game will not affect my points total.
This is what I miss – being able to sit and watch a game objectively. Over the last six or seven years the majority of football fans have forgotten what this is like – this very simple pleasure of enjoying the game I love, not caring if the goalkeeper gets a clean-sheet or not being absolutely devastated by one of my players getting a red card. Simply watching a Premier League match as a fan is a luxury that fantasy football denies us. This is the price we pay as we strive to earn the bragging rights with our mates.
It is a price we have to pay. Has anyone actually successfully quit FF having played it in previous seasons? I thought about not entering this season but it was a realistic possibility for all of about eight seconds.
However, for all my moaning of how it’s changed the way we watch the Premier League I understand the positives of FF can outweigh the negatives. It is a special feeling when one of your strikers bags a hat-trick. Now imagine that feeling if you had made him your captain that morning in a rushed, last minute decision – exactly…..special. Also, you can totally feel like a football genius if you unearth a hidden gem before anyone else – think back to Michu last season.
FF encourages us to learn more about the bottom-half teams, and the newly-promoted ones too. We trawl through their squad listings looking to find the reliable bargains, some relatively cheap signing who could turn out to be a star. Southampton provided plenty of these players from the start this season – Lambert, Lallana, Rodriguez, Fonte, Lovren – all excellent bargains. Speroni and Ward of Palace are two more prime examples.
Strategy is involved too. We make decisions about where our money will be spent – should the bulk of my budget go on the top strikers, should I spread it evenly over the whole squad, or should I concentrate on a strong defence and aim to pick up my points with clean-sheets?
The wildcard can be used from the start but the more patient, “this is a marathon not a sprint” type of players will be rewarded for their steadfastness. If they manage to keep their scoring at a decent standard without using the wildcard too early then it is like the joker in their pack for the rest of the season. With the January wildcard there is less pressure because it has to be used in that month. The original wildcard though? That can be used at any stage. Far too much choice and pressure there for my liking – more and more room for error.
As the curtain comes down on another fantastic Premier League season many of us face choices. Do we want our FF career’s to be a thing of the past? We could enjoy watching football again every weekend… imagine.
Thinking about doing it and actually doing it are two very different things though. I will probably consider it again over the summer. It won’t happen though. I will be there, setting up the league for me and my mates, weeks in advance as the excitement of a new season dawns.
Happy tinkering football fans.
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