IV. Wrought Conformity

I find it strange, the immediate negative conclusion some may draw when presented with a point of view which differs from their own, especially when it challenges their self-confidence. 

This wrought conformity is either defended vehemently, usually accompanied by a tonal change of voice wrapped in sarcasm (telling me so much about the individual), or, on occasion, met with genuine intrigue and a desire to comprehend.

💡 The latter are the minds I’m inspired to engage. 💡

I like situations that force me to rethink things.

Marc Almond

What’s flabbergasting is that those whose attitude aligns with the former will also agree that there are many ways to play FPL.  So, if this is true, how come they instantly baulk at the mention of an early wildcard?!  Go figure. 🤔

bob dylan GIF by Head Like an Orange

3 gameweeks have come and gone.  The international break is here. The transfer window closes tonight.  We have an inkling of team form and once the transfer window slams shut, a complete set of available players… until January. 

We, each of us, have our individualised plan of management for our squads.  Mine, when allied with a will to maximise FPL points potential, has led me to bet on the GW4 WC strategy, as opposed to the GW7 strategy. Although there are many nuances supporting my adoption of this strategy, in a nutshell, it’s simply my evaluation of what is best for my squad.

Whether this evaluation is correct won’t be known for a good few gameweeks yet.

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I do however have 2 weeks to formalise the execution of this strategy to the best of my ability, hopefully building some team value during the process by playing the market. 🤓📉📈💷

Trading Places Buy GIF - Trading Places Buy Eddie - Discover & Share GIFs

So, one last glance at my GW3 team.  👀 You’ll see my GW4 WC Squad, after the deadline. 😝

It is a competition after all! 😈😄

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III. Incognizance

Right now, all I know, is that, I don’t really know. There are too many unknown unknowns for my liking. I have a vague idea of the direction I want my squad to take, but until I’ve accounted for mitigations around the potential for assets to miss GW4 due to IB, I simply cannot devise a tranquil plan!

This state of incognizance, if I were to dwell on it, would only serve to sow seeds of stress, so, I’ll just take note that this state of unknowingness exists and wait for the path to reveal itself.

“Patience, my friend.”

Until the way is known, my focus will be concentrated on GW3 captaincy. The need for 2 FTs entering the IB (mini-WC thoughts? 🤔) on the back of the Gündogan 🔄 Pogba move in GW2, means that the popularly mooted move to 👨🏻‍✈️Captain Son👨🏻‍✈️ is out of the question.

If I’m honest, I’m not actually sold on Son… yet.

The GW2 Salah captaincy blank has provided a greater challenge to select not just a worthy asset – which Salah was – to wear the armband, but one whom will actually deliver. Was I wrong to go against the empirical data re Salah v Burnley?! 🤔 😈Well! As I’m adding this sentence after the WOLMUN match (I wrote most of this blog on Saturday morn) turns out, no!! 😂 #brunocappersinthemud 😂😈

🤔 Was the Bruno Captaincy a prime example of Recency Bias? 🤔

Reminiscing on a cognitive revelation of late last season where I suppressed my creative cognition in preference of that which relied on more logical & statistical data, I’m reminded to not be so rigid. This is still a game of chance and I should employ the same by taking some! I detest hindsight statements, but, my creative thought kept throwing TAA Captaincy at me, and I again resorted to logic and safety, instead of embracing the Chaos.

I’m really not going to second guess whether the safety play and fail 😆 of the GW2 captaincy, will now tilt the decision process for GW3s captaincy choice! 😂😅

On the face of it, when I weigh up attack vs defense, Barnes & Antonio jump out. The #BusTeam for now, has the armband on Antonio. I’m gonna have to contemplate this for a few days… I’m sure tonight’s WHULEI fixture will shed more light here.

#DreadThought If you do anything in the next 2 weeks, pay attention to the price rise/fall of assets and incorporate them into your plans! You’ve been warned! 😝😆

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II. Uncharted

Mapping Law In Uncharted Territory

Having achieved the goal I set myself for GW1, being in or around the pack at the end of the gameweek (106pts, OR: 122,431), I’m now in uncharted territory! I’ve never had a good start before! The main reason why I put so much stock into having a good start is the mental calm it brings. As I stated in I. Dynamic…now is the time for building momentum.” Being in the herd, provides a sense of security.

Last season, a bad start affected my cognitive strategic approach to managing my squad, in adverse ways! 😰 I was possessed by thoughts of achieving gains in leaps and bounds from the outset, which was only exacerbated by the GW1 34pt haul I received a year ago! Yet this season, with my mindset focused on being steady and moving with the herd, The Universe sees fit to reward me (us) with a totally mental GW1 score! Funny how that works!

So now what do I do? Or more to the point, what result does this calmness of mind promote and how can I maximise it’s potential? The final minutes of the TOTMCI game resolved this for me! All set to roll my transfers into GW3 as planned, Gundogan injures his shoulder! 🤕 What also compounded this for me was…

I totally didn’t expect to see KDB get subbed on later in the match! I don’t know the full data, but my instinct (obviously guided by unconscious thought) says that Gundogan is less of a smart investment if KDB is fit to play. I presumed KDB coming back “…a bit quicker than Phil…” would not be the 79th minute of GW1! This news was from the 7th of August mind you… I banked it and didn’t check for any updates on the situation. You’d think I’d know better, seeing I was banging on about “…shifting sands…” last blog! 😁

And thus, the first lesson of the season for me is revealed. 🕵🏿‍♂️ Constant Vigiliance. 🕵🏿‍♂️ Falling into the trap my own mind is set by default to do. Find a comfortable cognitive zone “Gundogan is brilliant when KDB is not around...” lock it in, and move on, oblivious of the need to check and triple-check any decision that becomes too comfortable, just to be quadruply sure! 😁 Maybe if I had done this, I would be rolling the transfer, with no qualms on KDB’s appearance, as I wouldn’t have owned Gundogan! 😏 Lesson learnt.

Gundogan 🔄 Pogba Yep, I’ve jumped aboard the bandwagon! 🚞 It’s risky (for many reasons), but oh! So much fun!! If it pays off, then good job by me! 😊

It’s nice to have a £0.2M price rise in my squad. 💴 This team is now a differential that cannot be attained if you don’t already have Bruno and Pogba. That gives me even more comfort! 😊

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I. Dynamic

If the weeks since Pre-season MMXXI/XXII: “Dread Thought” prove anything, it is that one of the most important attributes an FPL manager must have is flexibility of mind.

Whenever you think you are there with your planning, it is most likely the exact time to truly scrutinise said plan to find the parameters that you’ve overlooked, because there will inevitably be something that you haven’t accounted for!


There’s no such thing as the perfect plan and thus FPL team, else we’d all have it!

This is where the main obstacle of FPL management comes into focus. You. Can you process and adapt to the ever shifting-sands of the FPL landscape, or are you rigidly locked into the same thought processes?

What if I told you that both of these attributes are worthy managerial requirements?! The trick is knowing when to apply them! 😁

The dynamic nature of this game requires strong roots to prevent your mind from being overwhelmed by constant changes, yet also the flexibility to bend and flow with the prevailing winds.

The current culmination of thought leading to my current draft, has echos of the many principles discussed between the FPL managers in the EliteFPL Discord “Hangouts” voice-chat. We can get pretty deep into the pros & cons of management styles, and I have to say, the buzz, and the banter, is back this week in hangouts!! 😁🤓

Tsimikas. A gift from the FPL Gods!!

The stark change from my initial draft structure sees £2.5M removed from my GW1 benched assets to my starting 11. It also adheres to a trend that defences are more porous at the start of a season, so all out attack, is the order of the day. Hence the 3-5-2 formation with the extra points that midfield attackers can attain.

I can’t say that I’m locked-in 🔒 on this squad, but, I’m a good way towards being so. I especially want to be as close to being locked as possible, this will prevent any tilting at the inaugural FF-Fest on Friday! 😁

Like actual Premier League Club managers, now is the time for building momentum.

I’ve mainly filled my squad with established Premier League hardened assets who either have rich individual pedigree, play for clubs that do, or better yet, both! 😁 The majority of funds are invested where I believe they’ll yield the best ROI and the now seemingly age-old adage of “…and captain Salah.” is in effect. 😆

But should I Triple-Captain him against a dire Norwich?! 🤔

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