BC’s Fantasy Football Nightmares


Kick Off

GW33: Getting Run Over in the Run-In

The race between my natural Fantasy Premier League manager incompetence and my natural bad luck accelerated to breakneck pace this week, with what is normally the disastrous usual result for my FPL team, BC FC. My run-in is beginning to look a lot more like a stumble-in.

Thinking I was being clever — i.e., the incompetence; really, I should know better after nearly 63 years — and even thinking I might, um, “get ahead of the game”, I used my one free transfer early to replace the game-less KDB with “got game in the American sense” Mo Salah (the bad luck). Had I waited until Friday morning, I’d have discovered that one of my three defenders with a match in game-week 33, Nathaniel Phillips, is now out until May.

In the emergency thus created — it’s fitting that the language of pleadings in old running down actions in the High Court from my barrister days should resurface just now — but, in the emergency thus created by having only two defenders, I had to either take a four point-hit and bring in a defender worth less than 4.3M or take an eight point-hit and get a defender who might actually return more than the four points he cost AND another player from somewhere.

I brought in Timothy Castagne.

Whom I could not afford, without transferring out someone worth more.

In the emergency thus consequentially created by the emergency thus created — I’m really now not far off my old Magistrates Court Road Traffic Offence Act strategy of “plead guilty and beg” — the best that I could think to do was to transfer out the game-less Harry Kane, as well, and replace him with the best one-week forward I could think of.

So, with Castagne already picked, I put all my eggs in the basket of Leicester v Crystal Palace — and it’s fitting that I should end that thought with this phrase — and went for broke.

So I start what everyone else considers the run-in, but I look at as a running down, with the loss of eight points before a ball is kicked.

On the upside, Leicester v Palace is the last game of the week, so my disappointment will not have a chance to kick in before Monday afternoon.

And, if it does kick in, it will use both feet.

I’ve captained Jamie Vardy.

Even though I have the old Mo and young Kelechi Ihenacho on my team.

But maybe my bad luck may turn good, as it did last week, when I intended to play my triple captain chip on Harry Kane, especially with the Southhampton fixture in mind. I neglected to click on “Save Your Team” before exiting the FPL Pick Team screen — the incompetence surges ahead of the bad luck — so my triple captain chip didn’t take.

And then the bad luck turned out well: Kane got injured and didn’t play the second game against the Saints!

So I still have a chip in hand.

And maybe having to fork out eight points will bring me the eight back, plus some big returns from the old Jamie on Monday.

Again, the consolation may be that the disappointment won’t come until the very end of the game-week.

BC FC held on to the number one spot on our family & friends mini-league and the second position on the more well-informed neighbourhood league.

But with several other team managers below likely to wildcard this week — probably giving themselves a bit more time than the 13 minutes I used in GW32 — it’s a real race to the end.

Between competence and luck.

And their inversions.

And I may have been lucky already.

I managed to persuade myself not to to triple captain Jamie Vardy.

My next advice column/eulogy/apology for BC FC will appear around the GW34 deadline