L. Learning

At the very least, this season has set me on the path to managing my FPL Squad in a way which is synchronised with my own individual thought and whim. Gone are the adopted “rules” which I took on as a noob, rules which I required, at the time, as I had no idea, none whatsoever!

Breigel - Blind leading the Blind

Where in essence, it’s simply a game of picking and then fielding the best 11 out of 15 players, the process undertaken to produce your chosen 11 will be as complex or as effortless as you make it. This was my first realisation this season.

The second was understanding that not all information and/or sources of said information and/or the format that information is presented in, is for me! You see, we’re all wired differently and I had to decipher what works with my cognition, what is easily broken down into ABCs and 123s. There is absolutely no gain in absorbing data that you cannot easily make sense of!

When it comes to management, we are all unique in our Style.

Your personality, in essence your mentality, the way your head works, will determine your unique process. You need to get in tune with this and feed it accordingly. This is the very basis to becoming confident in your own cognitive process which will lead to much reduced, or even the elimination of, second-guessing. From there you’ll naturally progress to process-based evaluations as opposed to results-based evaluation. The latter of these being the demon which haunts many!

Freedom concept

My Process. This is where I found my Freedom. The freedom to unlearn the contraints I consciously, and unconsciously, had adopted. The freedom to take a suggestion onboard, or outright disregard, and still stay my course. The ability to recognise something I overlooked and adapt accordingly, The ability to evaluate all results objectively, in the knowledge that there is always an element of Chaos which I have absolutely no control over! If one or two assets don’t go as anticipated… well, that’s why I chose another 13 assets, right!

Liberation, to do what my intuition leads me to place more faith in.

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I’m yet to fully understand nuances of my cognitive mindset, Convergent, Divergent or the combined two resulting in Lateral thinking, either way, this has been my journey this season, and I’m excited to see how the discovery and forging of my own path will benefit me, or not (as this is also a possibility) come next season!

A third realisation is my impatience, a common pitfall of ambition, which I’ll need to temper next season. I transferred out 5 goals this gameweek. Bale, Aguero & Foden. I would’ve capped Aguero if I had kept him (as was my original plan, purely for nostalgic purposes), but my reasoning around Bale looking abject at home with managed minutes, Kun consistently rumoured to be “unfit” and assumed rotation for Foden. Oh, and I benched a goal in Son. 6 goals. So, yeah, keeping the faith, may be something I need to practice next season. I already knew they were decent assets with that “X” factor, where they can produce moments of brilliance which cannot be accounted for in stats alone!

My main goal next season however is Captaincy. This one thing will help to mask a multitude of poor choices, if I can nail my captain choices! The correlation between the two is naturally obvious!

Season analytical data courtesy of… FPLStatistico

https://www.anewpla.net/fpl/report/index.php

So, until next season it is then! Between the above and also the ability to download your season data from LiveFPL.Net [https://www.livefpl.net/save]… I’ve got a lot to review, as well as analysing the players that helped or hurt me, how they’ve performed over the past few seasons and then add those standout options to a pool of players to pick my GW1 squad from… Oh and that I’ll indulge, for the first time, in some Euro 2021 Fantasy Football!

Gotta keep that brain sharp, right?! I’m not really one of those who needs to take a break, I find analysing anything to be therapeutic in a weird way. That said, If you are taking a break, then that’s a good thing, forget about FPL, enjoy other things and come back fresh and invigorated for the 2021/22 season!

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XLIX. xJoy & Atmosphere

It was some point during Tuesday morning – GW37 deadline day – that I heard the news prompting the realisation that my punt on getting Kun in BGW36 was destined to be a complete failure!

Kun would not be fit for the trip to the Brighton Amex Stadium, where City, on the back of a Cancelo red card, lost 3-2 in front of delirious Seagulls who would never have dreamt that the one match the selected few would have the pleasure of seeing this season, was their boys being the first to inflict defeat on the current Champions!! Football aye!! 😍 #moments

On the flip-side though, I also got Foden in for BGW36. 😊 I started him, again, on the assumption that he must get a run out in one of these final league games of the season. 🤔 Somehow, the little maestro – with City already down to 10 men – produces a sublime individual goal where he single-handedly took on the Brighton defence and all 3 bonus points, despite the loss! You 10pt Beauty!! 🥰 He may well be a GW1 choice for me!

So, with that Kun news, out went Aguero (to complete my GW37 -8 💉💉) for Rodrigo, who got an assist! I really expected more, but I’ll take that, his next match is at home in front of fans! Cavani!! Well, he scored an ultimate xJoy inducing cheek of a 40-yarder!! He also claimed full bonus points too! The injured Jota, replaced by Salah…. Well, he just kinda huffed and puffed his way to 3pts. Not vintage Salah at all!

All this intuitive, high-risk captaincy picks and hit taking has been immense fun! Even though Bale©️ turned out to be an #indamud moment! 😁 How utterly abject are Spurs?! 🤮 🤣 I feel totally vindicated in my decision to dump Harry… for Kun, so that I could get Bale! 🤣🤣🤣 I joined the chorus of boos from the Tottenham fans in the stadium echoing from my vision box! 📺 🗣 👻

I really wanted to ditch both Bale & Son, but for now, Son is benched. Foden, who I expect to be rested, leaves for Torres. Bale gets kicked out for a real punt of xJoy in Tielemans! IF I do end up ditching Son, it will be for more xJoy in Willock, what an end to the season he’s having!!

The fortune I had this gameweek were the blanks by Kane & Salah, both heavily captained this gameweek! For the final gameweek of the season, I’m betting heavily on a collection of must win games, at home, in front of their fans! Liverpool, WHU, Chelsea & Leicester have a lot to play for!

Leeds?! Well, they’re just Leeds!! 😁👌🏿

58 (-8 💉💉), all out. 😁

XLVIII. Crash

Spaceship Crash - Digital Matte Painting

After my heady voyage through the Stars in TGW35, it’s a Crash-landing in BGW36. I was convinced that we’d see a relatively strong Manchester City side take on, and demolish, Newcastle United. So I invested accordingly. I’m of the mind that Pep will need to keep his CL starting-11 sharp? So naturally, Pep plays essentially a B Team and thus in a BGW I’m immediately down 2 players! Foden & Aguero are nowhere to be seen, and although as I anticpated, goals are put past Newcastle, 4 to be exact, I get no FPL points in this haul. 😤 Torres scores a hat-trick. He was completely off of my radar, again!

So, Bale had the v©️ and now held my hopes for points with Kun not even on the bench! Luckily for me, Bale gets a Fantasy Assist and a bonus point for a total 14pts. The rest of the story however, is not very good…

Jota joining Kun and Foden as a no-shows, left me with only 9 playing assets. Oh well. just one of those things. Jota out, Salah in, and onto the next. Next, being xJoy! I’ve disembarked the Wood train. #AintGotWood 😁 Leeds look like they’re just going to go out and steamroller teams, so a punt on Rodrigo 💉 is absolute Joy!! Gotta have that fix right! 😁 #injectit!💉 Just the one hit mind… Further Joy is sticking to my plan of actually giving Bale©️ the armband. He gets to play in front of his fans as a Tottenham player for the first time since he left! I expect he’ll put on a show for them and AVL seem to be very leaky of late!

43 (-8) The team doesn’t go bad overnight right?! So I’m expecting to return a decent points haul for GW37. #bangaverage

#DreadThought: Everton did fuck all, like I thought they would, as I said to anyone in Hangouts that cared to listen. 😄

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😍 Don’t you just love Alisson! THAT goal & THAT post-match interview though! 😍

Should I be captaining a Leeds asset instead? #DreadThought 🤔

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XLVII. Stars

The Orion constellation. Credit: iStock

I’ve always been one for making early transfers. It’s the way to make money, especially early in the season. Which it is not now. 😁 Thing is, I know what I want. I’m a go-getter and once my mind is set, I just want to crack-on! Ok, maybe I’m just impatient. 🤣

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I wanted rid of Kane, I figure Bale‘s the better pick and I simply love Son, so I needed to change my Spurs double-up. With my 1-week punt on Matheus Pereira falling flat and Michail Antonio fresh from injury, both less fatigued than others, with good fixtures…🤔 It was a no-brainer.

John Stones was languishing @ 3rd bench in what turned out to be BGW34, but only because of #PepRoulette. I cashed my chips in and bought some stability in Andy Robertson. It feels good to have both him and TAA in the back-line for the first time this season! 😊👌🏿💯

So, I had already had my double-fix 💉💉 and enabled my final chip, #BB, by the time I heard about the Triple-Gameweek! WHAAAT!!! #TGW!!! 😳

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It didn’t take long to realise that I was now in a vulnerable position, I could get outflanked and wiped out by an army of Bruno Fernandes owners! Yes, he’s off form. Yet, No, I’m not gonna bet against him! The underlying stats aren’t exactly awful… 🤓😊

What about Salah, I hear you say… Well, I’m betting that the Robbo/TAA partnership will cover him off. I have Son, & Bale covering Kane, so all dangerous high-ownership assets are now covered with Lingard to Bruno, to complete the triple-hit. Yes, Lingard, I’m betting on Antonio to cover him off. You just gotta know when an asset has run it’s course. 😆 “You gotta know when to hold ’em…” #knowwhentowalkaway

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Now, I’ve been playing “#fastandloose” since GW30, being all liberated an’ all. It’s a personalised brand of management that is still evolving, but god-damn is it fun! 😁

At its core, is a solid belief that un-registered thought (we’ll call this #DreadThought) garnered through daily Hangouts chats, BlackBox, The FPL Wire, FF Hub Tools & Stats, amongst other discerned sources that appeal to the way I consume The (FPL) Knowledge, is all churning around in my head and if I just play intuitively, I’ll simply make more good calls, than bad, based on all of the unknown-knowns swirling around in my head! I mean, it’s simply about making better educated guesses, right?!

It’s Chaos, but, it makes sense to me! At the end of the day, that’s all that matters. 🤓

TGW35 – Day 3

Panenka! 🤣 Kun getting me points when I’ve not even bought him yet! 😄👌🏿Full Disclosure: transfer discussions are almost complete, he could very well be my BGW36 Captain!! Iheanacho’s contract has been unceremoniously terminated! 🚫 As has Bruno’s! 😈🤣 #oneweekpunt

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#DreadThought, has landed me with this Very Differential squad full of Stars ⭐, no intentional deliberation or scrutiny was put into creating a specifically differential squad, yet, here I am. Interesting. Like I said, I’m being more creative/intuitive here. As I write this, as far as my assets are concerned, I’m exactly at the halfway stage having played 15 out of 30.

😈 Shout out to Steve-O! TC Maguire was not a bad decision, it was just… 😈

Pereira 🔄 Bale hasn’t returned, but, the latter will outscore the former over the remaining games, I feel the same to be true for Kane 🔄 Antonio. Luckily a few decent returns from other assets has allowed me to absorb the negative return on the hit 💉 for Bale. Stones 🔄 Castagne, even though the former was rested anyway, the latter still hasn’t made the punt worth it. My gameweek score is hiding some rather disastrous hits. Lingard 🔄 Fernandes has paid off. Even though I’m hitting him out again, I’m still 11pts to the good! 😁👌🏿 So, I’m rolling the die again with a -8 💉💉 for BGW36! 😄

Fernandes; Greewood; Iheanacho 🔄 Foden; Raphina; Aguero©️

I really wanted to get Mahrez, I’m quite sure not having him this gameweek will come back to haunt me, Raphina will need to repay my faith, in opting for him instead, pretty promptly. I forget the reasoning that made me go for him over Riyad, but I guess that’s what happens when I base my decisions on subconscious sub-routines.

My quest for maximum xJoy continues with Kun Aguero ©️😁 and Bale v©️. Reckless (says Buffy), he’s probably right and I get his point that giving the v©️ to Son would be more sensible, but sensible is not part of my closing strategy! 😆

I was really kinda impressed with my Bench Boost Chip success, until I saw Pauly’s bench! RIDICULOUS!!!

This TGW will have an enduring fond memory as not only being the 2nd of 2 in FPL history, but also the first I ever managed in and it coinciding with the most points I’ve ever accumulated in a gameweek!

Absolute Stars! 🌟 😁

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Apples

All season I have been banging on about ignoring your emotions, being objective, making sound rational decisions, trusting the process, so how did I arrive at 5 assets that blank next game week (GW36) and ‘wasting’ a transfer on a sideways move where I ditch the highest owned player in the game ?

The power of enlightenment. Attaining a state of intuition.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition

Steve Jobs

When people reflect on what it takes to be mentally fit, the first idea that comes to mind is usually intelligence. The smarter you are, the more complex the problems you can solve — and the faster you can solve them. Intelligence is traditionally viewed as the ability to think and learn. Yet in a turbulent world, there’s another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn.

I ended last week’s blog pondering the thought that there has got to be more to (FPL) life than this, more than watching matches, pouring over data, consuming other people’s content and then not selecting the perfect 11 every game week.

Reflecting on all the things I’ve done this season, exercising my mind has been the most rewarding.

I have benefitted from making time to think, learning to think and strangely enough the incredible power of reframing; thinking about things from a differing stance.

So this week’s blog revolves around the most enigmatic organ of the body, the brain.

the biggest mistakes I make are not usually because I make the wrong decision between two viable alternatives but rather because I do not even recognise that an alternative exists to consider

Way back in August when I set out my aims, everything was driven by my goal of achieving the best rank possible – I see mini leagues and cup competitions as distractions. I was intent on strengthening my cognitive abilities such as memory, focus and reasoning, in essence being more like a very good CPU.

Our kryptonite when processing information, is that our thinking is subject to emotions, to bias and flaws, our genetic makeup determines behaviours, how we interact and respond.

An example of this, is our innate deep seated need to see patterns. When we try to interpret an event by simply squeezing it into an old pattern, we are likely to miss what makes it different—and take the wrong action.

The human mind itself, perhaps the greatest creation of all. We don’t know how it works; we just know that it works extraordinarily well.

This season we have all battled to decipher complex challenges rationally, digesting the data, buffering against the chaos even when that data was incomplete and the chaos torturous. We all have a super power to fall back on, we just need to relax, close our eyes, and let the magic happen – our subconscious mind will automatically deliver the right answer.

INTUITIVE understandable without the use of instructions

Being intuitive is to make a leap of faith, being able to unlearn and rethink, going beyond gut instinct and common sense, being more than intelligent and rational.

Believe in the transformative power, rise above the number crunching, the unwritten rules, the nay sayers, feel special, trust in your own self. Any idiot can run the numbers, but the gift of a good intuition — that’s reserved for the true FPL elite (and the occasional rocket girl).

Intuition does have a place in decision making—you should not ignore your instincts any more than you should ignore your conscience. It might well be an imperfect processor, but for me the the joy in playing FPL is the adventure of indulging one’s intuition.

But instinct is something which transcends knowledge. We have, undoubtedly, certain finer fibers that enable us to perceive truths when logical deduction, or any other willful effort of the brain, is futile.

Nikola Tesla

So, GW34 I got an insignificant small red arrow, the postponement of the Man Utd v Liverpool game meant I ended up fielding 9 players, current OR 117k. Poised. Luckily still having my Free Hit means I can hold my prize assets from Chelsea, Leicester and Man Utd. I took a -4 to make a sideways move, Bruno to Greenwood, so I could captain him for the triple game week, what ? Surely this goes against everything you have learnt this season ?

I just had a feeling

IN CONCLUSION

I would like my epitaph for this season to read : intellectually curious, rigorous in her pursuit of knowledge, and willing to challenge her own assumptions.

Sensible and respectable, suitable for a content provider.

But in private my soul sings : she flew on her intuition.

POSTCRIPT

My partner once came home from work with a box. ‘Do you want a laptop ? No one wanted it at the office. It’s not what we use.’ I was left alone with a brand new MacBook Pro, and no manual. Once I had found the ON button the rest was easy, pure intuition. Last week I updated to a MacBook Air with the new M1 processor, it is so quick and powerful. The inspiration for this blog is processing, when you have a strong mind and up to date information, you can interpret and reach conclusions about phenomena without resorting to conscious thought – the more research I do, the better my intuition works.

My method is different. I do not rush into actual work. When I get an idea I start at once building it up in my imagination. I change the construction, make improvements, and operate the device entirely in my mind.

Nikola Tesla, My Inventions: The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla

3 ways to listen to that internal voice

  • start a diary or journal, open up the non conscious mind by writing down thoughts, feelings, emotions
  • let it flow without prejudice or criticism, be less rational
  • put yourself in the zone, create an atmosphere conducive to exploring your thoughts

The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.

Les Brown