XXIV. Momentum

It immediately makes you think of something positive doesn’t it. Momentum is a good thing. It gets you to where you need to be whether late, or early. When you can see clearly on a bright and sunny day, on an empty road, you can accelerate towards your goal head-on. The thing about the game though, there are no road signs. You don’t know when nor where the forks in the road are, and directions obtained from other managers, may not always be reliable! 😁 Momentum can also be your downfall when you throw cognitive caution to the wind, suddenly a bend approaches and your journey can have a drastic change indeed! Like late notice postponed matches for instance!

It’s with the gathering of momentum that I’m wary of my teams current form. 3 red arrows in the initial 6 gameweeks, to 2 in the following 10! Both red arrows (GWs 9 & 15) occurring when a captain blank coincided with multiple hits, a -12 & -8 respectivley. There’s a lesson to be learnt here… get your captain choice right! 😆 GW15, a first red arrow in six gameweeks. Hastiness sent me into GW15 on a -8, due to the combined ditching of the “injured” Chilwell, who played, and the eagerness to own Robertson, who blanked! Those points were the difference between a small green and the small red I deserved! Improvement in standing still and allowing more data to come my way, before moving, is a continuing lesson.

🧐 Constant Vigilance 🧐

How does this newfound wariness, this drive to keep the momentum going, affect my ongoing management? Is it because of my rank (currently sat at 2.7M up from 4.4M in GW9) that the greens 👀 are easier to attain, and thus occur more frequently? Am I less tilted🥴, if at all, by what other managers around me say or do? Is it simply having mainly template assets in the squad? The one thing I think I’m sure of 😆 is that being less hasty with transfers and waiting one more GW is a ploy that is beneficial, a virtue if you will. My whole intermediate plan of action can change in that additional time, saving me from the less than savoury options I would have taken a GW earlier!

🤔 Are you playing your own game? 🤔

Data. Input. Processing. It’s all so subjective. You have to find the methodology that works for you, whether, gut-call, eye-test, or the myriad of statistical data! Note that more so in #So2020 than any other season, for reasons quite obvious, the data can, does & will flip from GW to GW, those bends in the road can be abrupt! The asset you were adamant in possessing can become a millstone within days! Then you have to re-evaluate, plan to remove the newly acquired asset for another, while also dialling 999 for the fire brigade to douse an asset or two within your squad, whilst simultaneously begrudging the shiny new asset your mate just added to their squad, which will take you two moves to make! 🥴 #dontgettilted

😷💉 Circumstance 💉😷

The effect of the pandemic was driven home to us FPL managers in this GW16 and will possibly pervade into GW17 & beyond… it’s going to be an added uncertainty in planning our ability to field a full 11. Benches WILL come under more scrutiny as the possibility of needing all four substitutes becomes heightened (it was Kilman in 3rd bench with 2pts that ensured my green arrow in this GW16)! This “reliable bench” need, combined with a spike in price movements backed me into a “now or never” position. I acted accordingly to avoid being “priced out” by market fluctuations. Multiple hits occurred (-12), the price rises/falls happened. I have the assets I scouted.

Zouma 🔄 Cancelo; Kilman 🔄 Dallas; Grealish 🔄 El Ghazi: DCL 🔄 Vardy

It will be interesting to see how this pans out for GW17, historical data says I’ll get a red arrow! 😰 All funds 💷£105.5M💷 are fully now on the pitch, this must equate to an advantage, right?! The new assets are at least medium term holds. I was making a concerted effort to only take a -4 reshaping the defence… which was complete (until the Taylor hammy!) and now, the replacement of attacking assets whose form had dipped, is brought forward…

I have capped one of them for GW17 however.

I really must find a way of identifying “form dip” sooner! 🕵🏿‍♂️

Will my New Year see momentum continue…?!

Should old acquaintance be forgot? 😃🍾🎆Buon Anno!!🎆🍾😃 And ne’er brought to mind?!

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Soul

WARNING : may cause mild peril and unfriending.

I heard the bells on Christmas day, their old, familiar carols play; and wild and sweet the words repeat of peace on earth, goodwill to men.

H W Longfellow

No thanks.

I’ve decided to be naughty this year and save Santa a trip. Yes the psycho season continues. Last week I may have flirted with the Devil, and still achieved a significant green arrow, this week I am double dating, Scrooge and Krampus.

Ebeneezer: So, there is actually something to be made out of being bad…
Spirit: Er, technically… technically… yes… yes… But that’s not the point, is it? It’s the the soul…the >soul<…

Blackadder’s Christmas Carol

The Blonde-Psycho Guide to Rocking the Festive Naughty List 2020

Be charming and disarming. Be sociable, win people over and get what you want out of them, inside information, strategy ideas, remember information is power. Rinse and repeat.

Social networking is the use of internet platforms to get connected. Spend your holiday free time productively increasing and importantly upgrading your social circle. Find yourself the smartest person in the room ? Change rooms and cut the unworthy from your entourage.

Consistent irresponsibility.It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the most wonderful thing about the internet, is the anonymity it affords, you can take take take, and move on, with no moral duty to give back. Creating multiple persona along the way to further enhance your position is also an option – playing the dumb blonde has been enormous for me this year.

Misinformation and terror. Small lies might be socially acceptable, pretty much everyone does it. The psychopath will lie, be deceitful, and con others for their pleasure or personal profit all while knowing is causes harm. Just don’t care.

Me,me,me. Be more self-centered, see yourself with rose coloured glasses, enjoy your own cunning, fall in love with yourself. Narcissism has a lot of bad press, but the happiness it induces promotes productivity and confidence.

Swagger is a strength of mind, a person with high self-esteem greatly respects him or herself. And that includes the power to make a good decision and let go of bad ones.

Laughing. Laughter is a great way to bond socially. If you have not tried voice chat on platforms such as Discord you are missing out. Laughing at others, well, come on, some of them are asking for it. Psychopaths are traditionally thought of as cold and serious, but a good maniacal laugh at others’ misfortune is something we can all enjoy.

Stupid is as stupid does. There is no evidence that psychopaths are more likely to be highly intelligent than the average person.

I know I am repeating myself here, but I truly believe my biggest differential this year has been other people’s mistakes.

It’s a holiday, be lazy. And the value in doing nothing is real, in FPL it’s a valid tactic which is the antithesis of knee jerking. Get over over-thinking, take a break. If you can’t stop thinking about FPL, at least let someone else do the donkey work by stealing plans, tools, tickers and charts created by generous others, thus freeing your time for considered decision making.

Thrill seeking is one of the tell-tale signs of psychopathy, and I say get your adrenaline rush any way you can. I can not lie, this past week I let some random on Twitter pick my captain, a small rush but a profitable one. Who knows what I will get up to this week in the alcohol relaxed atmosphere the holidays promote – remember psychos are opportunists, this includes how you get your kicks too.

A dark more ancient spirit, a shadow, a punisher, here not to give but to take, Krampus is Europe’s evil twist on Santa.

Postscript

So the festivities in the UK this year, are combined with another lockdown for many. There is traditionally time for reflection, between the big day and New Year. Although I do intend a review of my FPL strategy so far this year, in the upcoming weeks, I wanted to start with a bigger picture, behavioural commentary piece, and in keeping with tradition, I went with Naughty or Nice.

You can take it with a pinch of salt or not.

As I try to improve my game play by tapping into beneficial psycho tendencies, some of it’s not so pretty. But FPL is a competition, if you are not in it to win it…

GW14, OR 252k, captain choice via Twitter random number call. Transfer was rolled.

Inspiration for this blog

A Christmas Carol written by Charles Dickens

Blackadder’s Christmas Carol written by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton

Krampus directed by Michael Dougherty

XXIII. Yule

A Pagan Tale Of Olde

The Wild Hunt is on. The Winter Solstice is here and warriors celebrate in the dogged pursuit of FPL points to all (especially me)! 🧝🏿‍♂️ ⚔

During the long nights of winter, hunters prepare whilst others slumber. Should you see the Hosts of the Hunt in the dead of night, beware! You could be whisked away, never to be seen again, falling behind as The Hunt gallops way into the distance ahead. 🌲🌲🌲🌕🐺🐺🐺

We are immediate discerners of person ’cause we see through to the soul. The righteous are embraced with gifts from our spoils and are invited for mead, and as we dance around the fire, the stars above join in the frivolities. 🔥🍺🍖

Those deemed unworthy are trampled beneath the fiery eyes of our 6-legged dark stallions, then left destitute in our wake! ☠😈💀

There are both Gods & Goddesses within our ranks, unholy spectres of enchantment & beauty. Many steely & faithful Warriors who’d help you as quickly as they’d sacrifice you should the heavens or fates deem it!

So as we revel in the excesses of Yule with our kin and extended tribes, as we reminisce on the glories of old and eagerly anticipate future conquests!! As we salute the fallen and the wanderers out in the wilds on their test of self. As we retell the times of incessant laughter, the embarrassing stories that you hate to love and what it is to be brethren… remember…

“Don’t be a cheeky scrub!”

⚔🍻🍻🍻 Happy Yule!! 😁 SKAL!!!! 🍻🍻🍻⚔

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Shout out to Mr. Nathan Bacon!! Check him out on YouTube!!

XXII. Ride

A full 3GWs in 11 days! As you do, while the roller coaster slowly climbs towards the crest, you prepare mentally & physically for what is about to come, and as you descend into the thrill you roll with the motions and emotions of the ride.

The beauty of the Discord community is being immersed in the melting pot of managerial thought & preparation. I receive much joy from the insights of the differing approaches taken by my fellow managers in relation to how they manage their teams, not to mention the banter, outspokeness or reservedness of the individual members of the discord “herd”. It’s also a constant test of one’s own ability to not align with the “hive mind”. If you’re like me, you’re attuned to the intricacies of subterfuge and/or genuine suggestions thrown around. This is mostly because my discord interactions are at least 95% voice as opposed to type/text. There’s much more to be deciphered from vocal communication above typed text. It’s akin to seeing all the participants on the roller coaster ride at once, as opposed to just those ahead! Who’s exhilarated, who’s silently nervous or just stoic. Who’s projecting their tension via redirection, who’s deliberatly on the wind-up 😉, or those who are just calm and taking it all in their stride.

Turn 12 sees us all moving along at a medium pace and height, but there’s a twist ahead, Grealish, KDB & Bruno, all blank! The stage is set. A banked turn to the left and my horizon is flipped 90°, I expected a plunge into a helix spiral, but to my surprise, the sharp turn flipped back the 90° and levelled out, Son & Kane didn’t punish me, Emi and Justin put in double-figures and although I lost Jota, Captain Salah came through! I feel my adrenalin build with excitement!

The anticipation is quelled by a brake run. Around me, many other managers are a little shell-shocked, but no major drama. Except for one guy at the back who’s looking a tad apprehensive. Suddenly, momentum increases, seemingly exponential, and we’re launch-tracked into Section 13🎢. During the accelerated climb, BGW & DGW information dropped, as did my KDB captain blank – with bonus?! WTF! 😄 The climb crescendos and I catch a glimpse of the Blanks & Doubles section in the distance! The brief horizontal becomes a straight down vertical of frantic acceleration! 5-2 #LEENEW both my strikers in the match on opposing teams returning, as does DCL in #LEIEVE! 1st time all 3 of my front men have returned simultaneously! What a thrill! Liverpool restrict Kane, but Son is undeniable! KDB blank?! PAH! The vertical drop starts to level, but it’s brief, a short rise into a corkscrew, it was a tad white-knuckle but… Bruno blanked!!! I get spat out the end of the 360° roll, laughing my head off!

All around me are a mixture of emotions, a few more faces are micro-expressing that which they would conceal, while many more have smiles at least as broad as mine!

Feature Fourteen, a cobra roll! The news was true! 😳 Yet, the real exhilarating twist of the skywards inverse climb was that The 🇪🇬Egyptian 👑King not only made a 2nd half appearance, he got an 👟 & 2 ⚽️⚽️s to boot! (Again, can we put the Salah doubters out to pasture! 😁) DCL & Wilson, doing the business again, plus a KDB assist 😏! I thoroughly enjoy the flip-back as we start to traverse the joining corkscrew! 😁🙌🏿🎢 xJoy is maximised as we’re flung out of the spiral and seemingly straight off the edge as the track plunges out of view! Bruno Captain!! A G-oal Force intensifying 34pts at the crest, into a VC 10 pointer from Grealish as we all dive down the cobra at breakneck speed! As with all gameweeks, the end of this section of the ride is subdued just to set you up for the twists and turns of the gameweek to come! Thus, the loss of Taylor’s clean-sheet, combined with the injury to Chilwell, plus the lack of attacking return from Zouma is a fitting end. The potential of almost joining the 100 club (98 -4) brings the emotions back down to earth, but, the track has another rise just ahead!

Again, excited anticipation builds… 😁🙌🏿🎢

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Hoodwinked

“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”

Charles Baudelaire (1821-67)

With the holiday season upon us and the game weeks coming thick and fast, none of us have much time, no time for reading extensive prose, no time for our usual media content – which can be out of date before it’s published.

Lets get to it.My general theme this week is trust no one, make the time to check the facts yourself before you make rash decisions. And double check the deadlines. That’s it, enjoy that other world we call real life.

Got time for a coffee ? And a gossip ?

So, you know we all have the need to belong, be part of the gang, be one of the lads, it makes us feel part of something and gives us confidence, well, just saying , just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t make it the right thing for you and your team.

And another thing, people lie, they lie behind your back and they lie to your face. Managers lie in press conferences all the time, it’s tactical, get used to it and get over it. But like a good friend, you can trust, Bielsa is an exception.

alas he has since said no more tip offs

Tell you what, ever been catfished ? That Man City, what are they like ? Useless all season, suddenly wham bam 5-0 thrashing of Burnley, here we go, let’s have it, triple up and triple captain baby and oh Kevin-blanking-deBruyne. Talk about single game week anomaly…

You’ll never guess what I heard, you didn’t hear this from me right, but players get rested over the festive period.Kane and Salah this week, with benchings for Bruno and Kevin Boxing Day, heard it at the hairdressers, woman in the next chair’s daughter’s boyfriend knows a geezer who washes Pep’s car.

Cake ?

Remember, there are two sides to every story, make sure to get the full picture before stepping back and formulating a decision.

The Devil is in the detail

Postscript

The quote which heads up this weeks entry was first stated in the book, The Generous Gambler by Charles Pierre Baudelaire. Translated from the french original, he tells us of an interview with the Devil: “He complained in no way of the evil reputation under which he lived, indeed, all over the world, and he assured me that he himself was of all living beings the most interested in the destruction of Superstition, and he avowed to me that he had been afraid, relatively as to his proper power, once only, and that was on the day when he had heard a preacher, more subtle than the rest of the human herd, cry in his pulpit: ‘My dear brethren, do not ever forget, when you hear the progress of lights praised, that the loveliest trick of the Devil is to persuade you that he does not exist!’ “

The most popular reinterpretation of this quote is in the 1995 movie The Usual Suspects, written by Christopher McQuarrie.

He is supposed to be Turkish. Some say his father was German. Nobody believed he was real. Nobody ever saw him or knew anybody that ever worked directly for him, but to hear Kobayashi tell it, anybody could have worked for Soze. You never knew. That was his power. The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. One story the guys told me — the story I believe — was from his days in Turkey. There was a petty gang of Hungarians that wanted their own mob. They realized that to be in power you didn’t need guns or money or even numbers. You just needed the will to do what the other guy wouldn’t. After a while they come to power, and then they come after Soze. He was small time then, just running dope, they say…