Fantasy Football Diary – GW’s 19 – 23.
Welcome back to the diary and Happy New Year and all that jazz! It’s been an interesting 5 GW’s both in FPL and real life. Hang on, isn’t FPL real life?! There’s been the usual ups and downs, laughs and tears, good transfers and bad ones. So let me take you through it and the usual advice applies; pour yourself a long drink and raise a smile!
Ah it’s Christmas, the time of peace and goodwill to all men. Unless you live with the in-laws – or at least my in-laws. Fortunately the big day itself ran relatively smoothly; the kids had a great time, opened some lovely gifts but the meal itself was a tad stressful with the little’uns eating with us…. or not as the case was! That went down well.
No Christmas Day FPL but Boxing Day provided nine matches. I had 2 free transfers and boy was I going to use them! Solskjaer hit the ground running with a 5-1 win at Cardiff the week before so I jumped on that bandwagon and bought Rashford and Shaw for Wilson and that dunce Coleman. Again I’m avoiding Doherty and again I escaped as Wolves failed to keep a clean sheet in the early kick off.
A busy afternoon saw Cookie’s Monsters perform below averagely – the highlights being 8pts from Wan-Bissaka and a brace from Digne and errr… well that was it! Rashford and Shaw delivered 2pts apiece, as did Sane and Sterling in a surprise defeat at Leicester.
The evening was slightly better. Slightly. Aubameyang scored again but captain Kane delivered just a solitary assist in a 5-0 win over Bournemouth.
The final match of the game-week took place a day later and a brace from Felipe Anderson rescued the game-week. I ended on 72pts vs an average of 59 but suffered a small red arrow, dropping to 68,725.
The good news is we are going to stay with friends for a few days. Joy. I truly cannot wait. We will be able to do normal things without being criticised or moaned at – y’know like watch the tv or get on the mobile.
We arrived safely at our friends house in Bedford and were warmly welcomed. Nice chats, good food, relaxed atmosphere – we even lounged on sofas and watched a film about Eddie the Eagle. Small pleasures. This is what it must feel like to be on day release.
We could live here quite easily. I have family here in terms of a cousin, uncle and aunt while the Mrs went to school here so still has a few friends in the area.
We are so happy and relaxed that an absolute shocker of a game-week fails to drag me down. When I saw shocker, I mean S-H-O-C-K-E-R. 39pts was the end result vs an average of 50. My game-week rank was 4.7mln! For some bizarre reason I captained Hazard and the best I can say about that decision was that he provided a clean sheet point. I had bought Hazard just this week for Sterling, who naturally assisted. Liverpool smashed Arsenal 5-1 and I have no Liverpool coverage. My wildcard destroyed me – I was doing well with Salah, Robbo, Aguero – I didn’t need Sterling or Hazard.
The highlight of the week was 11pts from Rashford and how he did his best to save the week, thank fook. I fall out of the top 100k and now sit at 102,779. Not good.
Never mind, tomorrow is New Year’s Eve – not that I’m a big NYE fan but we can celebrate without the in-laws with a smile on our faces.
We have fireworks in the garden for the kids, while the wives cook a Beef Wellington. Fine wine and a chilled night. No arguing or fighting or shouting. This is how life should be.
New Year’s Day and please will 2019 be better than 2018. Pretty please. Let’s face it, it can’t be worse. Can it?
Strangely I notice I haven’t been paid. I speak to a mate in Monaco who tells me my employers have lost a load of money they held in an account in Malta. Hmmmm. Not a great start to the year.
January 1st sees the start of a 3-day game-week and it starts ok with 29pts from Kolasinac, Digne, Auba and Kane. Foyth is benched again – the fool has played just once for me since I acquired him. My defence consists of Shaw’s lack of clean sheets, a benched Spurs bum, occasional attacking returns from Kola and Digne and everyone’s mate Wan-Bissaka. Oh for the days of Robbo and Mendy!
Sadly we had to drive back to the borstal on 2nd Jan but not before viewing a house just round the corner from our friends. With my job and salary we can afford the rent, the kids love it around here and there may just be light at the end of the tunnel.
Captain Hazard does nothing once again in a scoreless draw at home to Southampton. I think I need Salah back!
My United duo come up trumps, even Shaw! Yep a clean sheet at last while Rashford scores and assists and grabs max bps. That’s my boy. One decision that worked!
We are greeted back at said borstal with the normal warm welcome. It really does get me down.
Still not been paid. Something is wrong as my emails and calls are being ignored.
The final match of the game-week sees City beat Liverpool and my mate Sane scoring the winner and with it 3bps which takes me to 68pts for the week vs the average of 54 and a GW rank of 709k. The arrows are green as I climb back up to 75,417, all in all the festive period has been a yoyo.
The lead in to GW22 sees some low moments. Sorry! There is something clearly wrong with work as I have still not been paid for December. Meanwhile the pyschological and verbal abuse from the in-laws is now happening everyday. Well, every evening after 3 gin and tonics. My poor kids. I have to get them out of here but Monaco destroyed us financially as we are trying to raise a deposit to rent our own place.
And when it rains, it pours. The rumours of my employers losing money turns out to be true and as a result me and an IT guy have been let go. 2019 was supposed to be better FFS. The optimist in me says that it’s good to get the sh1t out of the way early doors.
I have driven down to a mates in Essex and will spend a day or so in London trying to find a job or at least set up some chats and interviews. The family call after school and William is in tears that I am not there, bless. That chokes me. Then the father in law tells him to ‘pull himself together’ and I just want to transport myself there and get him away.
The Mrs is going to have a couple of fun days! She has actually found some local work which in itself is great, but one can imagine how that makes me look to the in-laws!
I have not even thought about FPL this week. I have 2fts and need to utilise them properly. Salah should probably come back while that wally Foyth must go! And as for Hazard, grrrrr…..
I drive back to Bath Friday afternoon – the traffic is fine, even the M25. Before I contemplate returning to the dungeon I treat myself to a KFC on the M4. I deserve it for the 5h1te I am about to face! I sit there with my chicken pieces and decide Foyth will depart for TAA.
The kids are delighted to see me. The in-laws less so. The Mrs somewhere inbetween!! By 8pm the children are asleep, Lady Gin is pissed and the tension has risen back to normal levels. I really need to get them out of here but that means I have to find a job fast.
Saturday morning and use the old ‘let me give you some peace and quiet’ line and take the kids to soft play. Beautiful. They play, I check any last team news and buy TAA. Then I do one of those strange things. I bench him. I persuade myself that Kolasinac will beast vs West Ham and that Liverpool will concede at Brighton. So I play the defender who cannot keep a CS and bench the defender of the team with the best defence. Go figure.
I captain Hazard. I haven’t even been sneaking secret shots of her gin.
Arsenal kick off at West Ham. I have 4 players in this game which unsettles me. A 1-0 win for the Hammers sees a Fabianski 9 pointer, blanks from Auba and Anderson and a yellow card from Kola. Oh dear. TAA on my bench for that clown.
Liverpool kick off at Brighton. And keep a clean sheet. Worse still, Salah scores again. I am a total dick. I can’t explain the decision to you. It makes no sense to bench TAA. I only bought him so as not to lose a free transfer and because his fixtures are good.
My only other 3pm representative is Wan-Bissaka who concedes two yet takes home maximum bps. Weird.
The evening and it’s Captain Hazard time at home to Toon. This is the 3rd week in a row I have captained this idiot. At least this week he provides an assist. 5pts doubled. Whoopeee doo.
You see what really frustrates me is that pre-wildcard I had 2 Liverpool and I was 18k ish. I show extraordinary patience, play the WC late and mess everything up. I should just play it early and forget about it.
Going into Sunday I’m on 29pts and all those Salah, Robbo, TAA owners (well, those that played him) are all sitting there with scores of 45ish right now. I’m languishing around the 100k again. FPL lesson no.1 – never look at your rank mid-GW!
Sunday does see a small recovery with good performances from Digne and Rashford that lifts me back into the 80k’s (looking at the rank again!) United win at Spurs, Rashford has been a great buy for me. Kane gets crocked and it looks like a bad one. Kind of suits to be harsh as he will finance getting Salah back.
There is a big blow up at home Sunday night. Truly this whole experience is putting me off alcohol. I decide I really need to push on with the job hunting but cannot do it here so will drive down to my mate’s again Monday night. If I time it right I can get the children to bed and then get in the car for the Monday night match.
I spend most of the day talking to the council to see if there is anything they can do to help us with our housing situation. I make some progress but it would be a lot easier if I had work.
All is going to plan. The children are tired and get to bed relatively easily. I told William this morning that I will leave this evening – with time to process it he is fine. As I’m walking out the door it all kicks off!! FFS. It’s 7.50pm. I feel so sorry to leave the Mrs here with those dinosaurs but I have to push on. I feel so bad she gets two kisses.
So it’s just me and TalkSport for the next 2 hours. My man Sane assists early doors but that is it from him though and as I pull up to my friend’s later on I check FPL to see he collected 2bps also, so that’s a nice end to a strange game-week and a long day.
I finish on 60pts vs an average of 49. A small red arrow is the result but I’ve only dropped 900 odd places so the damage is limited and I have 2fts for GW23. And Salah will return!
I wake up on my mate’s sofa. I hear no arguing or fighting. I have a bath, I relax, I make a coffee. My mate goes to work and I open the laptop. I have to try this week to find some interviews in London if possible. If I can get work in London we can move somewhere around the Home Counties and escape Bath forever. But London is tough right now, especially my old industry. Regulation and Brexit concerns are weighing on employment and the future of the broking world.
After an hour or so of sending out my CV and applying for some jobs, I decide in good old broker fashion that brekkie is called for so I take the 2 minute walk to Greggs and order a bacon roll and a sausage roll. Yep one of each. I’m on holiday. Just don’t tell the Mrs!
Back at the flat, brekkie goes down well with a coffee and get back on the job search.
Then Kop pipes up and tells me TAA is ruled out for a month. What???? TAA. You remember him – the bloke I bought last week and benched, and now he’s crocked. Hahaha. Genius.
I spend the rest of the day applying for more jobs and have actually got an interview booked for tomorrow. Wow. Didn’t see that coming.
I celebrate by getting a Wimpy. Wimpy still exists! How the hell have they survived this long? I like Wimpy. Haven’t had one for years. Fear not my healthy friends – tonight my friend and I will have a chicken and avocado salad. Likely followed by the tub of flapjacks I couldn’t ignore in M&S earlier!
The interview appears to go well but one can never really tell. It’s now the waiting game. After the interview I meet up with a client and we go to Wagamama followed by a few beers. I get back to my digs at 5pm and fall asleep! My mate is out ce soir so I treat myself to fish and chips and proced to doze on the sofa.
I log in to FPL and sell the injured Kane, the injured TAA and the unfortunate Anderson and buy Jimenez, Doherty & Salah. Hazard is lucky to survive.
The next day is spent back in London – networking they call it apparently. Basically drinking coffee and chatting before I meet up with my brother for a couple of beers. I then go and meet my mate back home for more beers and a curry. And then more beers. There are a million whatsapp messages re the Site Team but they appear to have things under control…
You may get the impression I’m enjoying this….. and you’d be bloody right. But tomorrow I return to Devil’s Island. I’m excited to see the kids. Not so much the two old cretins.
On the way back to Bath I stop on the M4 for a pasty. My culinary week is complete.
It’s presser day and Klopp reveals TAA could play at the weekend. What???????? He was meant to be out for 4 weeks and I’ve hit for Doherty. Man alive.
Back in Bath, the Mrs is pleased to see me, she allows me to kiss her on the forehead. Who said that romance is dead? The children are delighted to see me. Awwww. Lady Gin smiles a ‘hello’, Grumpy B’stard grunts some sort of greeting.
By 7.43pm she is out of her head. Wonderful. Pre-dinner, the father-in-law sends her to bed. Miraculously she goes and the chance of a quiet evening rises. Then, out of nowhere and quite beyond my belief, he tells her to get up for dinner. No, no, no what are you doing man?
The morning after the night before and all is peaceful. It’s Lady Gin’s birthday. I’ve done the usual and brought the kids to soft play.
The Wolves team is announced and Doherty (my TAA hit replacement remember?) is benched. Oh fck off world. Already the FPL gloom is descending on me. All those weeks I’ve watched and hoped that Wolves concede and Doherty does nothing. And now this. Bollocks.
Doherty appears off the bench in the 73rd minute. Brill. A 1pt cameo for a hit, legend. Luckily, Jimenez assists in injury time to ensure the match is not entirely a waste of time.
The 3pm line-ups are announced. Shaw starts. And then Shaw gets ill in the warm up. WTF? Food poisoning from too many pies probably. Couldn’t make this up this week.
This means Kolasinac will appear off my bench. Wonderful. Arsenal haven’t kept a clean sheet since 1973 and they’re playing Chelsea.
Rashford scores again which is the only excitement of the first half. However Capo Salah scores at the start of the 2nd half but everyone has him. Then disaster strikes as I lose my Digne & Fabianski clean sheets in the space of a minute. This GW is going to be another disaster.
And then Digne scores an og from outside the area. This is dog shite.
Salah scores again (largely irrelevant) and a late Brooks assist does little to cheer the mood.
We are out for an early dinner as part of the birthday celebrations. I am hopeful that this may allay any bad gin behaviour later. To further add to what has been a great eating week I order game pie.
Meanwhile Kola starts vs Chelsea. But there is no signal in the restaurant. Grrr. I pretend to need a wee and sneak off to see Arsenal are 2 up at the break – but nothing from Kola or Auba.
Arsenal hold their 2 goal cushion and going into Sunday I have 55pts with 6 from Kola to come off the bench plus anything Sané can do vs Huddersfield.
The evening ends quietly – eating early works and we watch a film together, the four of us, just like happy families would do.
Sunday sees a goal, assist and bonus point for Sané – that’s a further dozen points greatfully received! Add in Kola’s 6 and I end the week with 73pts and a green arrow up to 69,807.
All in all from GW19-23 I’ve barely moved rank but a lot has happened inbetween!
An FA Cup break looms large this weekend coming – I’ll likely be back on my mate’s sofa tomorrow evening as the job hunting goes on.
Thanks for reading. See you soon!
Thanks for reading Fantasy Football Diary – Game-weeks 19-23. This article was written by Cookie
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