XXVI. Voyeur

University of Cape Town UCT

Watching and listening, there’s so much to be learnt from this simple action. The art of hearing what hasn’t been said – everytime anyone says something, they also don’t say something else – is an integral part of fully understanding what you just heard. Reading between the lines and not just taking everything at face value, I mean, how can we, humans are complex creatures, taking everything as read would be to disregard the full flavour of the human experience.

There’s so much need for us all to pay that bit more attention to the world around us. Friends, family, figures of authority… many of whom are speaking and saying more than what we hear, or conversely, speaking much whilst saying little. In addition to all of this, we also need to listen to ourselves and what we say to others, is it regurgitated words taken from something you heard, how reliable is that information, did you process and clarify before repeating? This is the thing you see, everyone is speaking and it’s terribly easy to get caught up in the “hive”. Voyeurism is all well and good, even a necessity… but, it’s all about what is learnt, processed and acted upon as a result. In this processing, we must be mindful not to allow our own biases to cloud and ultimately redirect and poison the resulting data. For instance, Blonde brought Gundogan to my attention as an asset she’s considering investing in (he was soooo far off of my radar!). Within a few hours, I watch The FPL Wire, who also mention him! By this time, due to the Blonde conversation, I was already aware that he’s a cheap starting MF, who returns decent points in a team who can have explosive xG. Now, my unconscious bias, the fact he’s essentially a defensive mid, automatically pushes me towards immediately discounting him as an option, but, my logic, having reviewed the data that the conversation pushed me to consider, left me finding that my bias is somewhat unfounded, why?! Because, things change!

This shouldn’t be a shock, but, we live in a world of constant change! When you think about it, this is obvious, but, we should all be aware of the well recognised & documented human responses to change & the stages thereof…

i. Shock/Denial

ii. Fear/Anger/Blame

iii. Ambivalence/Bargaining

iv. Depression/Confusion

v. Acceptance/Problem Solving

Now, because we’re all individual, there’s no set formula that dictates the order these stages are visited in, you will not necessarily visit them all. We should also strive to not get stuck at any of the red/amber stages! We will however, experience at least one of these stages, and it’s all related to our capacity for the following (which not only makes sense in the wider world around us, but on reflection seems to, in my mind, be the collective formula for unlocking FPL success!).

Responsiveness – how quickly can I identify emerging differentials? Gundogan has tallied 33pts in the past 4 GWs, for a £5.4M investment! 😳

Versatility – Unconscious Bias “hides” assets from consideration, thus blocking points.

Flexibility – Not being afraid of taking a punt or ditching a plan that seemed certain! Jumping on or off assets early.

Resilience – Going with your gut in the face of discouragement by your peers and/or having faith in the long-game of your strategy. Not being afraid of failure and learning from, instead of being crushed by it!

Innovation – Breaking the template and pin-pointing where the smart differential investments are to be made. (eg: Blonde’s Gundogan plan👌🏿)

Adaptability – Recognising the constantly changing environment and continously revising the implementation of plans without rigidly clinging to the original blueprint.

You can probably see by now that voyeurism is not just viewing people, it’s also viewing yourself.

You see, by viewing people objectively, you can see elements of what you have or lack, in their reflection. This is something that is new to me (Am I that arrogant? Overly confident?), but I totally understand how this objective reflection of others can absolutely assist in identifying my brilliance 😁, as well as my flaws, helping me to work on improving both! 😊 Well, I’m about to have some serious viewing of other managers to do, as The EliteFPL Super Cup has been drawn and I’m in Group I!!

Will this really change anything though?🤔 My goal is still to amass as many points as possible in every gameweek… 😁


The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger–but recognize the opportunity.

John F. Kennedy

You can’t say I am not afraid of challenging the norm, I am not hung up on procedure and tradition, I don’t really care for the blessing of the masses. Sometimes solutions are found outside the usual compass.

I am quite partial to a bit of rambling, but when it comes to destinations I am focused, I am not about short cuts, and I can tolerate some pot holes – but last week, admittedly, I took the wrong path when I let emotion dictate my strategy choices.

Hasenhuttl overwhelmed after beating Liverpool 1-0 this week

My season aim is the highest overall rank possible, this has to come before friendship and fun.

Ruthlessness — wasn’t this one of the character weaknesses I identified in myself which prompted me to take the psychopath odyssey ?

I obviously had all the tools but did I have the strength of mind to use them in the most advantageous way ? What sort of characteristics make the perfect FPL player ?

taken from my introduction blog – The Psychopath Season

So, how do I look after GW 17?

Pretty darn good thanks, up to an OR of 130k. A 77 point game week, where the average was 56 – 82% of time this season I have finished above average. I am playing the players and winning, this is a big positive drive for me. I can’t beat the random and chaos of the season, but I can observe what other players are doing and strategise accordingly.

So realistically I don’t think I will win it this year, 200 points behind number 1, but I am on course to beat my previous best, 49k last season.

According to numbers cruncher Mikkel Tokvam https://twitter.com/MikkelTokvam the massive data model is the best predictor, so Blonde v Mathematical Models, bring it. Smash the predicted OR 114k.

Back to the game in general, good news, in a season such as this, fraught with both internal and external crisis, weaker entrants are going to leave the game, this coupled with the seasonal factor,means we can all benefit from a rank improvement.

Over thinking or brain exercising ?

So GW18 no longer looks so blank, and with 2 transfers I can get to fielding 11 players. GW19 offers opportunity with 12 teams playing twice, for me, the temptation to load up on these players will be tempered by the fixtures between 20-23. I will make time to work through various scenarios, dependent on the various outcomes (cup games, injuries, illness) of the days leading up to deadline Tuesday 16.30 12th January.

My biggest decision revolves around getting de Bruyne into my team, the draw of DGW, ease of fixtures and Man City coming into form is just too hard to resist. The obvious move would be moving (GW1 season long pick) Salah out – he has blanked in the last 3 games, but we all know what happens next…the other option is cash in on Kane…choices, choices.

17 October 2020


So glad that’s done, the obligatory ‘my season so far review’

Remember last week’s re framing technique, and the treasure map ? I dropped a few Easter Eggs into this blog…

Until next time, wishing you green.


The wonderful free FPL tools out there.

Radiohead- OK Computer

XXV. New Goals

Football in goal

It’s funny how they’re not so dissimilar to the goals you already have. Maybe it’s not really a new goal, or goals, that you resolve to pursue, it’s probably just a refocus of effort towards the goals that you’ve allowed to lapse, didn’t start last New Year or the few before then! 😆 At midnight🎆, I like to just tell myself to do better – at everything – and then have another drink!🍾

New goals however are a real thing that I need in my squad, or, goals from new assets to be exact. Having bought some fresh blood💉💉💉, I can monitor how the additions will contribute to the continuous pursuit of points over the coming gameweeks (as they certainly didn’t do anything for me in the GW just gone!). The historical data rang true, hits when your captain doesn’t haul = Red Arrow! That said, the pressing issue of the moment is the immediate return of new goals from new assets over a single-gameweek points bender🍻, never to be seen again once the session is ended🥴! The Free Hit! 🆓️💉

The key to achieving a/or multiple new goal(s), is to start small. Set achievable goals, you have to scale the foothills before you can conquer the mountain! Break the resolution down into bitesized portions and focus on one bit at a time, moving at a comfortable pace. Changing your mindset and building momentum takes time! It can take from 2 to 8 months to build and implement a new habit. Challenge yourself to last past February!💪

I originally always aimed to FH18, then the fixtures changed a bit, and I thought of saving it🤔, but I may have come full circle, as maybe a decent score can be achieved. Also, I know a few people who don’t have their FH and I want to crush them!😈💀 Furthermore, this game is about fun😃, it’s a chance to achieve max xJoy🤗 bonus points!! I’ll make the final decision dependant on what I know come the afternoon of Tuesday 12th Jan, and then move accordingly. Until then, I’ll happily tinker away with potential FH teams, having gone through 50 variations at least before the deadline! 😂 Haven’t you always wanted to put together a forward line of Kane, Kun & Martial! This frontline should definitely deliver new goals by the bucketload, right?! OK, may Kun is a step beyond, form would say that Kane, Martial & Laca are the 3, but, what about Wilson vs the hapless defence of SHU?! I actually believe that bar cancellations and/or the need for players to isolate, the 6 BGW fixtures have the capacity to produce points on par with any other gameweek should you play your selections right!


The timing of this BGW18 couldn’t be any better! As FPL managers we’re given ample time to plan a strategy 🧐which will define – or at least provide a marker – as to whether your set goal(s) is/are achievable. The year will only be 2 weeks old by the end of BGW18 and you’ll already have a bearing on how great or useless your year is likely to be, once LiveFPL has stopped crashing 😄 (don’t get it twisted LiveFPL admins, we love your site, you know this)! What was funny in Discord, was getting pulled up by Vince on my -12💉💉💉, when I’ve been waxing lyrical about “standing still” and “patience”… Well, when has anyone ever taken their own advice, huh?! 😂😂😂 On a serious note, there is a time for everything… rigid flexibility is the key! 😜😂🤣. It’s the timing⏱ that I’m yet to master!

Let me comment on the “if“s and “but“s alongside the “88pts… 5 to play plus captain… is this good!?” statuses that seem to have been a feature of GW17. Now, I could whine about Cancelo losing his CS at the death, Vardy only getting an assist, Salah and Robbo doing Sweet FA! I could also comment on FPL managers having the gaul to celebrate a points haul after deliberating over their decisions for days prior to the deadline…

I’m here to tell ya, we’re all different and we express ourselves how we see fit. If we’re not physically or verbally abusing someone, then there really is no problem. If freedom of expression triggers you, then maybe FPLTwittersphere is not the place for you?! I mean, Jesus! WTF did you miss in the definition of “PUBLIC FORUM”! Whine and moan if you want, celebrate and gloat if you want, express yourself freely!! Better out than in, is what I say! The reader has a choice to ignore, scroll-on, or stop, read and comment, that’s on them, not you! Oh, also, I came across the term “thirsty guy” in the past couple of days… let me speak to the men out there. Don’t be a fuckin douche! Like, seriously?! WTF is that all about anyway?! We’ve all got sisters, mothers, female friends or even daughters! Just because The Lady is an unknown face across the internet, does not mean she doesn’t deserve the same respect! Be a Gentleman for Christ’s sake!

Ok, rant over. 😆

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This week’s blog has turned out to be the hardest one written so far. I wanted to create an inspiring piece about starting anew, about not giving up when the going gets tough. I found some harmless strategy for improving well-being and decided to adapt it in FPL terms. It got personal. I got angry. I made a discovery about myself. I am still working through it.

I’m publishing anyway.

Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception

Machiavelli, military theorist

Here in the UK, it’s mid-winter, dark,gloomy, we are trapped at home,shadowed by uncertainty, struggling against adversity.

Much like in FPL, which should be a joyful escape from reality, but this season has turned into a battle of attrition.

‘the sustained process of wearing down an opponent so as to force their physical collapse through continuous losses in personnel, equipment and supplies or [wearing] them down to such an extent that their will to fight collapses’

Attrition warfare defined by The International Encyclopedia of the First World War

With random and chaos still looming large on the horizon, as the halfway point approaches and the cliched echoes of of ”New Year, New You” ring out, is it actually possible to jump-start a faltering season, regain control and navigate into a far more rewarding position ? I say yes.

I’m not talking about playing my shiny new wildcard, with all it’s magic carpet properties, that will instantly transport me into a land of abundant points and unlimited free Just Eat deliveries. I am going to use cognitive reframing.

The essential idea behind reframing is that a person’s point-of-view depends on the frame it is viewed in. When the frame is shifted, the meaning changes and thinking and behaviour often change along with it.

Time for some introspection to reset the mind (and subsequently the game play too).

Firstly I want to address 2020. And I don’t mean ‘a review’ of the season so far, which makes it easy to focus on negativity.

Wanna get playful and access the subconscious?

Get a pen and paper, draw 2020.

Seriously, don’t think about it, just draw what 2020 represented to you.

Now like me, screw it up and bin it. 2020 is over, let it go, you can’t change the past, release yourself from it’s chains.

And so a new dawn, a blank canvas, before focusing on schemes, hopes and plans, enjoy the moment and choose an empowering word for the road ahead. Growth ? Serendipity ? Persistence ?

For me it will always be Discovery.

So that’s what I will go with, to inject some fun and adventure, I am going to turn the upcoming game weeks into a treasure map to lift the spirits.

I intend to keep it simple and plot down the important things.

Wildcard. There’s 1 prize. I can add all 3 chips too. No need to squander them too soon, just admire their potential.

How is my crew, my core group of trusted players ? Looking good as a whole.

Now my starting point on the map. It’s strong, tucked just inside the top 200k. Also, as a consequence of joining the Elite community I have joined various mini leagues, I’m not too badly placed in any of these either.

Focus. Look for golden moments, simple achievable goals that will bring control back. For example I find rolling transfers very empowering,. Also to spice things up and make life more interesting, seeking out better content providers and cultivating new friendships; hearing new, challenging opinions to educate and strengthen the mind.

Talking of taking control back, how to be agile in an energy sapping campaign – plug some of those energy leaks. Ditch the negativity bias, lose the time wasters, the people who like to make a drama out of a crisis, and stop wasting time working through variables that haven’t even happened yet, live for the now.

On the hunt for unpolished gems, where might there be opportunity ? The blank game week 18, double game weeks 19 & 26 (and I will also log the high possibility of more double game weeks as future spoils for the taking) Go get them.

Now for the big question. X marks the spot. What is my ultimate treasure, what do I really want ?

What do you want, and what do you really want?’ Go make yourself a cuppa and think about this. I did.

I want to achieve my highest ever overall rank. Of course I do. This was my preseason aim.

Now if I delve deeper; what I really I want is respect and recognition from a community I have grown to know and love.

STOP right now, thank you very much .I’ve thought about this overnight, yes yes I’ve addressed the adventure, revealed what I want, and what I really want, but what about what I really, really want ? Where is my fun ?

I had to stop writing my blog when I started to deep dive and really, really think about what I want from FPL.

I had to walk away.

Who am I to preach philosophy in a crisis ?

Visualising 2020 in art form, then binning it. WTH ? Who do you think you are ? Just because I am top of the moderator mini league and randoms in chat say ‘perhaps we should be playing like Blonde’ …

And how am I playing ? Passively, defensively and conservatively. Balance and patience. Rolling transfers. Making safe picks.

My rank, make the call, luck or skill ?

Actually I prefer dullard (Copyright Joe from Fantasy Football Scout) and if you get it right, you will make steady progress and be able to achieve a top 10% finish. But it’s so boring.

Realisation point – will I ever be satisfied ? I met my mid season target but now I’ve changed the goal posts and want ‘fun’ instead.

I turned to my online support network for some help and let’s face it, distraction.

How do people get their fun playing FPL ?

My long suffering Elite doubles partner JayC

Fellow blogger and intellect DreadFPL

DreadFPL said he had fun from re-calibration and the subsequent green arrows. Also fun from purposely not having Spurs assets. ‘The plans I have given birth to’, not those generated by others. ‘People might assume I’m the worlds best player, they hear the sound of confidence’… ‘I like to think I’m giving balanced information’ … ‘I’m happy with what I’m doing’

Respected player and Twitter phenomenon LinnFPL

Elite development guru and sage, Firetog

Firetog says fun is green arrows .. ‘or maybe the fun comes from when your plans come to fruition…add mini-league rivalry to the fun list – the banter and competition of not being bottom of the pack, as long as you have other people around you …family.’

Straight talking Yorkshire man Pauly

Shed builder (and presenter for Elite) Jason

As he often mentions, gets his kicks from hitting, 80 points lost this season – but his fun quota is overflowing

Long time player and hangout protagonist Andrei D

And so here I am.

Like a Schizophrenic lead in a B movie, fighting with myself and hogging the dialogue until 2 become 1.

What to do. I’ll think about that tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day.

To be continued.

Inspiration for this week’s blog

my whole life up to this point

Harbourboy popping into chat and live streaming his New Year’s Eve party (including the music)