Another game week another headache in a suitcase.

A dramatic stoppage-time goal during the Manchester United smash-and-grab 3-2 at Brighton. Man City imploding at home losing 2-5 to Leicester. The Hammers keeping a cleanie and putting 4 past ‘who’s got triple’ Wolves. Chelsea conceding 3 in less than 30 minutes against West Brom

If this season is not going to follow the normal pattern, not settle down, if we are to perpetually face one drama after another, how should we tackle it ?

Why is it so erratic ?

Why are we drawn to going against logic ?

Why are we breaking the most basic FPL commandments ?

Why do we assume we can wild card ourselves out of this ?

XXXXX Yesterday at 8:22 PM
well my wildcards been a fraud
YYYYY Yesterday at 8:31 PM
I’m regretting using my wildcard ngl
[8:31 PM]
Hasn’t really made a difference
ZZZZZZ Yesterday at 8:33 PM
It’s made mine worse
[8:33 PM]
Soucek scoring is just fpl laughing at me
FPLxxxx Yesterday at 8:35 PM 
RIP to those whose used there wildcard this weekend 

Ever the optimist I am going to embrace chaos and actively look for opportunity, learn about what’s changed this season and apply it to my strategy and team tactics. Here’s my take.

Change 1

The effect of no crowds; Is Anfield less daunting ? Are defences under less pressure to perform? Is there any home advantage at all ?

The first couple of games, seeing stadiums completely empty and full of banners it felt eerie. But I asked players how they found it and some enjoyed the fact that there was no crowd getting on their back. Some thrive off that.

Chris Jauncey, Ukad doping control officer

You feel the energy coming off the crowd at a normal game, you feed off that and it encourages you to put even more in…But ultimately it just isn’t the same. There’s no element of football that is as good without fans as it is with them.

Mike Rankine, Crystal Palace stadium announcer

Conclusion : inconclusive for FPL. After 13 weeks of silent terraces and piped crowd noise the players are most likely adjusted. The home team no longer has a 12th man, the away team no longer has to scrape eggs and rotten veg off the team bus and be in fear of their lives – advantage even.

Change 2

The uneven playing field created by the staggered end of last seasons commitments and for some delayed start of this campaign, peppered with sporadic Covid illness, and dubious levels of fitness.

Conclusion : FPL is more of a lottery than ever.

Change 3

The increased penalties resulting from the new handball rules

…it’s not new and it wasn’t designed by outsider to wreck what makes English football great.

The law was modified by FIFA’s International Board (IFAB), a body that is 50% made up of the Welsh, English, Northern Irish and Scottish FAs and whose technical director, David Elleray, is English and an experienced former referee. The “guardians of the game,” in other words.

All the handball law does is clarify that the ball touching the arm/hand is punishable if it makes the body “unnaturally bigger,” or if the arm/hand is “above or beyond” shoulder level when it hits the arm/hand. It’s up to the referee to judge this.

Gabriele Marcotti Senior Writer, ESPN FC

So that’s cleared that up.

Jurgen you want to say something ? “Eric Dier didn’t do anything wrong and it’s a penalty. The only option is to cut our arms off!”

Conclusion : Finally something I can act on, add more penalty takers to the team and start only 3 at the back – lessens the risk surely ? (dream on)

Change 4

Fixture congestion means more matches and more televised matches (UK relevancy only) means more eye test time, which results in better player selection, subject to fitness/injury/transfer upgrade/Covid/warm up injury/randomness…help me somebody please

Conclusion : I am right out of optimism. Can this season get any worse ? Probably. Why can’t it just go back to normal ?

And tilt, I have stressed out just writing this stuff.

It’s all about control and more importantly the anxiety caused by the lack of it.

Is it selfish to want things to be the way we want them ? To want people to behave the way we think they should act, to score with regularity for example. We want control over things. That we can’t actually have these things doesn’t often matter. We want them nonetheless.

Is there any joy in chaos and disorder? They don’t live up to our ideals, so seeing the beauty/opportunity in them is foreign. They cause mental fatigue and embarrassment in our mini leagues. We need to open up to them (I’ve read this, experts implore me to tell you this, so it is under duress I do so) but we’re not used to it.

Dear reader, I offer you a choice, we can drown our sorrows over a bottle of vodka or take in a virtual Zen retreat.

In case you opted for the latter…

The bottom line is this season is out of control and out of OUR control. Learn to live with it. Everyone loses out sometime.

Lord Varys: ‘…Chaos? A gaping pit waiting to swallow us all.’

Littlefinger: ‘Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some, are given a chance to climb. They refuse, they cling to the realm or the gods or love. Illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.’

Taken from Game of Thrones season 3, episode 6.

Chaos may well be a ladder but this is the FPL ladder, tread carefully, some rungs are under review by VAR.


I don’t think I can go toe to toe against chaos, chaos cannot beat chaos, calmness and consolidation must. I will proceed with caution, making tried and trusted small steps.

Great work by @Sugeee_FPL on penalty takers’ stats