It’s Delicious in Mauritius, an FPL interview
Welcome to It’s Delicious in Mauritius, an FPL interview. Every now and again the fun jobs turn up and I managed to bag the best one yet. All in the name of work you understand. Boris Martin is probably not a name you are familiar with – he plays FPL, is a Liverpool fan (zzzzz) and is a contributing member of FF247 on the boards, where he appears under the guise of Derek Sr. Boris or Derek, or Bo Derek as I have renamed him (Google it if you’re too young to understand) lives in Mauritius – if that’s not good enough then our new friend is having an exceptional season as he sits in 618th place. I therefore suggested to the powers to be that Bo Derek needed interviewing and that it had to be done in person!
They agreed, so before they changed their minds I booked my ticket, boarded the plane, speedos packed for a midweek jaunt to the Indian Ocean to meet Boris.
Boris has been playing FPL for six seasons – his best finish thus far is 30,710 in 2014/15 and he has notched two other finishes around the 50k mark. To give you some insight into the man himself, he was born in Mauritius on 24th December 1988 and his family has been in the country for three centuries. After school he went to France and UK to study before returning to Mauritius in 2011. As I have already said, his real name is Boris Martin but everyone who knows him calls him Derek as he left Mauritius in 2006 weighting 75kgs and came back from his studies weighing above 100kgs and there is a fat drug dealer that got arrested called Gro Derek (if you type his name on Google you’ll see that they are not doing him any favours!!). It’s worth noting that Boris hasn’t entered our FF247 leagues to hide his involvement with the site from his rivals! However, Boris would be top of the Regulars league by 35pts if he was in it.
Let’s cut to the chase to find out the secret of Boris’ great season.
Boris, you have had a fantastic season and are heading for a best ever ranking. Have you done anything different to previous seasons?
Yes. I believed in my team, my players’ selection and never panicked when I thought I had a bad team with difficult fixtures.. actually I scored pretty well in the said difficult gameweeks. The only game week I didn’t comply with my tactic was gameweek 28 as I made 3 transfers and it didn’t reward me the way I wished.. bl**dy Coutinho!
Did you set yourself any targets at the start of the season?
I have a classic league with about 30 friends and we all chipped some cash in, so my target was the same as every year, finish top of that league, 1st for pride and 2nd for money that we’ve just introduced this season.
Are you an early transfer player or do you prefer to wait until Friday after the press conferences?
Referring back to the first to question, I used to be an early transfer player but that changed this season as I made my transfers after your Around the Grounds articles on Fridays. It didn’t affect my cash flow as I had the good players and juggled well throughout the season to keep decent team value by following FFFix.
You are leading all your mini-leagues and are no.2 in Mauritius, just 28pts behind the leader who has played both his 2nd wildcard and Bench Boost. You must be confident of overturning his lead. Have you won the Mauritius league before?
The closest I came in Mauritius was 14th 2 years ago and it was during the course of the season, not at the end by which time I slipped a bit. I follow the leader’s team closely in order to catch up and hopefully overtake him while keeping an eye at the close chasers.. it’s a very competitive country.
I have to ask about one of your mini-leagues which is called “Meg’s Furry Cup”. Please elaborate and presumably it’s good to be first in this league?!
I studied in Loughborough and with 7 friends we went for a week in Tenerife and had Top Gun as theme with our tailor-made t-shirts (think The Inbetweeners but before that movie came out).. I was Merlin. We made a 9th t-shirt with Meg’s name at the back and every night, during the fine session before going out, we would vote for the mate who’d behaved the worst during the day to wear the Meg shirt for the night out (either if being too hungover, came back too early from the night before, shagged the ugliest girl) and the following season we created that league. I’d rather be first than last.. I want Oliver Brigde’s name to appear in this article, he is the real Meg.
Tell us about FPL in Mauritius. Is there much competition between you and your mates?
First of all, Mauritius in an ex-British colony. English football is a religion here as well. In my leagues, there are a few good competitors (the same over the years) and we have good banter about fantasy each week. Especially on Monday mornings over the phone when going to work. A lot of companies have their own Fantasy leagues so it fosters working relationships and gives a good break at times.
When do you plan to use your wildcard?
I was torn between playing it last week and GW36 before the big double. I have a few things to fix in my team right now which is why I considered playing it last week – I wished I didn’t buy Coutinho for Alli last week and I need to get rid of de Roon and Kingsley. I wanted to secure Sanchez’s services again and get Alli or Son and Diego Costa and a playing defender for Kingsley. If I had played it I would of fixed these issues and would of gone into the last few gameweeks nicely with an eye on the doubles. Playing it in GW36 will be for a one week wonder and I am not yet decided which option to go with. Last year I scored 157 or 175 pts (can’t remember) during the big double game week (BB activated). Maybe FF247 may help in that respect by dispensing some advice.
I’m sure they’ll be a few articles along the way Boris!
May I assume you will use your Bench Boost in DGW37?
Yes, that’s the plan.
Will you likely choose 15 double game-week players or will you retain some single game-week players?
As I will now wildcard in 36 I will load up with double game-week players but retain around three must-have single game-week players.
Have you identified any DGW players that you want for DGW37?
Alexis Sanchez, Zlatan, Manolo Gabbiadini (if he’s fit), probably Eden Hazard and Diego Costa.
Like many others you Triple Captained Sergio Aguero in DGW27. Are you happy you did so or do you regret playing it when you did?
I am happy. 27 points is not 6 points. Last year, like many, I went with Andy Carroll. Kun vs Sunderland and Stoke was a decision no one can blame. A lot of FPL managers did the same and I’d rather keep with the lot in the position I am. I will draw conclusions at the end of the season to see if it was the right move, but without the benefit of hindsight it was a justified decision.
Your worst rank this season is 158,946 after GW4 and you entered the top 10k in GW13. Have you found it relatively easy to retain that ranking?
Yes. I wasn’t bothered with my overall ranking as I played the best way I could. Now that I follow it closely, I am a bit more tense!
How do you see your team evolving over the next few weeks?
As I will be widlcarding in GW36 I want to allow myself only 1 hit between now and then and play the fixtures along the way.
I see you have two players in your squad all season – Tom Heaton and Gareth McAuley (Init will be so proud of you). They have both done you proud but will you show them the loyalty of keeping them all season?
McAuley is a keeper (bar GW34 as I think WBA won’t play). I am losing faith in Heaton who will soon be replaced by a DGW keeper but haven’t been bothered earlier as I made the right choices week in week out between him and Lee Grant.
Looking at the rest of your squad, which players did you envisage keeping until GW38?
Eden Hazard (none of my mini leagues rivals have had him and he is working in the shadow for me! Not flashy but delivering the right amount of points). I will bring back Sanchez (assuming he recovers!) who I owned for a long period as well but sold him before he blanked in 26. I kept Zlatan for the Bournemouth game instead and it was a massive disappointment. Kane’s injury is very appreciated though (in a fantasy way of course).
Is there any player you would consider a “must-have” right now?
Alexis Sanchez (Wenger will have to play him!) – but again assuming he recovers from his latest injury soon.
What is your best transfer of the season?
Gabriel Jesus but it didn’t last.
Will you consider Harry Kane when fit?
He was supposed to be in my GW 29 team but his injury made me keep Aguero. I am happy with Aguero and saw good things against Liverpool. Kane will defo be an option when back although, like you, I don’t rate him but can’t argue with his returns..
Who do you consider the best budget midfielder for the run in?
Son until Kane is back then Josh King (to be confirmed upon Stanislas’ return)
Are Liverpool midfielders over-rated and should we ignore them considering they don’t have a DGW?
Unlike other teams you don’t know where the goals will come from (too many options). In my opinion there is better value elsewhere especially ahead of the doubles especially Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs.
Man United have two double game-weeks but struggle to keep a clean sheet and don’t score many goals. How do we cover their DGWs in terms of coverage?
They will improve at the back. So DDG is on my watchlist. When Zlatan will be back I will decide whether I need to shake things up front or not. For the moment it’s more a “wait and see” approach.
With Chelsea likely to have the title sewn up well before the end of the season, does that make Chelsea assets a risk in terms of rotation?
Yes and no. They will want to finish the season on a high. Conte won’t allow an early holiday attitude. Maybe keep a defender and an affordable midfielder provided they remain on the pitch week in week out. Also, at the end of the season, teams with relegation battle become important.
Which players involved in the relegation fight should we be considering?
I answered above question without seeing that one. I’d say Jermain Defoe, Siggy and Llorente. Palace have horrendous fixtures and the way Leicester revived I think the relegation battle won’t concern them.
What are your priorities for the remainder of the season? Global rank? Mini league? National title?
National title. By doing so, it will also tick the mini-league box. There are approx 10,000 players in Mauritius and claiming that title will be a glorious feeling. A lot of people know that I am doing well by checking the national rankings and are seeking advice for their own mini leagues.. It makes me feel like a mini Cookie!
Haha – hopefully you’re better than that! What are your plans to achieve your targets?
Keep an eye on the double game-week announcements / good planning to avoid hits / check my rivals’ teams evolution / trust my team / make the right captain’s choices / a solid bench for the BB chip in big double game-week.
Boris, thank you for your time. We wish you the very best for the rest of the season and we’re all backing you to win the Mauritius title.
Thanks for reading It’s Delicious in Mauritius, an FPL interview. This article was written by Cookie
The Tracker in full…
DGW34 IS ON THERE AS CONFIRMED BUT DGW37 IS VERY MUCH PROVISIONAL!
That’s our best guess as to how it will pan out and there is still Southampton vs Arsenal to be rearranged. That looks likely to be in GW35 or 36. The FPL site itself has said that they expect the remaining games to be confirmed on or around the 7th April.
And courtesy of Rosco, the DGW’s yet to be announced…