VI. Flaws

In planning for this season, I always had a design of the longer term strategic direction I was likely to take. With this blueprint in mind, my focus concentrated on implementing and refining this plan.

🤔 But, what if the blueprint contains flaws?! 🤔

Ahh! I didn’t really anticipate this possibility. I guess as the 2021/22 data pool begins to provide more usable data, predetermined intentions will reveal flaws. The recognition of a less than optimum strategy and having the wherewithall to not be obstinate and push on regardless – like taking a hit to get Antonio back this gameweek, despite having to now pay £0.2M more for the privilege – is a trait that maybe we as managers are hesitant or even reluctant to embrace. However, if you’re happy to sing your successes from the rooftops, I think we should be equally bullish about recognising our flaws and correcting them. Surely we learn more from this than our successes, plus, who’s to say that the rectification an error, is not actually success?! 💯 👌🏿

Beware the pitfalls of Ego!

Recognition of flaws are good, it presents opportunity.

We’re only human. Nobody likes to admit to being mistaken, even to ourselves, muchless public acknowledgment of the same. The conundrum is, the ability to recognise, admit and subsequently correct our errors, is the very epitome of good decision making.

This re-evaluation of strategy and the aforementioned hit for Antonio, has added a net 4pts to my current GW score. So minus the hit, I’m currently on 34pts. Not a good score by any means, but this gameweek is very likely to be one where I’ll get off relatively lightly with a poor return. With Sanchez & Gallagher yet to play (each other😄), I’m not expecting many more points to be added to this total. Red arrow guaranteed! 📉

I have already taken another hit #impulsive😈, Greenwood 🔄 Raphinha, and I’m toying with actually captaining Raphinha for this coming GW7! Also contemplating ignoring both Ronaldo & Lukaku for Vardy, as part of my preseason blueprint was to squeeze every last point out of each £1M 💷 invested in an asset. I’m drawn to the xJoy 😊 this faceoff – Vardy vs Ronaldo/Lukaku – could give me in the coming gameweeks, I’ll ruminate on it for a while. Is it too early to start seeking out differentials? 🤔

I have the most boring CHE double-up in defence, but you know, points per £M vs potential rotation. City defence will be the next evolution of the strategy, no surprise there! Ederson would be a surprise though, a thought that has been growing for a couple gameweeks now. The upcoming fixures for CHE, MCI and even Liverpool, really need to be weighed up against a medium term run of investing heavily in defence! 🤓

I’m going into LIVMCI with triple Liverpool assets! Madness! 🤪

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V. Emptiness

This FPL universe, it’s swirling with facts and opinions which range from the obvious to the improbable. You can limit your exposure, but the pull of its gravity is inescapable. I immerse myself in, as well as add to the galaxy of insights in orbit.

The world could get its first real glimpse of a black hole on April 10

How do you chart and maintain your own course in the face of this irrepressible gravitational pull of noise?  


The ability to see, hear and absorb without being filled (which would leave no room in your mind for true contemplation of your own thoughts), allowing the noise to simply flow through yet not being caught up in the current. 

Emptiness is an expression used in Buddhism which defines the distinction between the way things appear to be and the way they actually are.

Those which are produced from causes are not produced. They do not have an inherent nature of production. Those which depend on causes are said to be empty; those who know emptiness are aware.

Guatama Bhudda

I know from personal experience that getting tilted – resulting in suboptimal decision making – is easier to not do when you have a good start to the season. The paradox is, good start or no, this is the exact time that self recognition of your degree of susceptibility towards tilting your cognitive management process is paramount, because gravity is ever present.

Find your Zen, make that the cornerstone of each thought and you’ll serenely cruise the constellations of FPL points.

Now.  To satisfy my inner Chaos 😈 – which must always be done, otherwise I’ll not feel complete 😁 – look what I did!! 👀

Antonio 🔄 Hwang. Everything is right with my world. £2.2M itb. 😊 #playyourowngame

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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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