The Pre-Match Preamble – Gameweek 30

Filed under: The Preamble - Posted by: Mark

Earlier this week I noticed a Hot Topic questioning whether the January Wildcard should be scrapped. I’ll happily admit that I support many of the arguments for it being banished – not least the fact it compounds the creation of template teams – but I’m torn: if it wasn’t for the New Year refresh, my season would probably be in tatters rather than edging towards some degree of respectability.

The Wildcard has been kind to me. It took until January but, finally, I managed to salvage a few sound decisions which have laid the foundations for a gradual recovery.

In a season of lessons learned, it’s taught me something I’ll take forward to future seasons: if there’s obvious errors that require major surgery, turn to the scalpel quickly, whatever the cost. The Wildcard has highlighted that when your squad feels sound and is regularly earning you green arrows the burden of decision-making suddenly becomes easier – the chances of making further “good calls” are somehow enhanced. That’s a nonsensical theory but, for some reason, one that I’m clinging to.

My stubborn approach in the early season – my reluctance to admit errors and opt for obvious “bandwagon” targets meant that I was, for weeks on end, fighting fires. Every decision was pressured and mistakes stacked up, sinking me further into the mire.

Since January, the experience has been different. My decision to jump on the Luis Suarez bandwagon gave me the initial spurt I needed; my twin Chelsea defenders, along with a flourishing Eden Hazard, have provided me with a consistent and robust platform to build from.

Suddenly there are fewer fires to douse and I’ve been able to use transfers to aid recovery – the decision to bring in Raheem Sterling. Last weeks’ successful move for Wayne Rooney. Gradually I’ve managed to add a few more sound judgments to the mix and, low and behold, things are looking healthier.

It’s too little, too late. I know that. But, I also know that it’s made me realise the value of addressing issues quickly. Granville said to me earlier in the season that I was making changes too slowly. It pains to admit it, but he was right.

I should have used the initial Wildcard more wisely but, aside from that, I should have had the mettle to spend points to rid myself of failed decisions and move for obvious targets. Had I established the foundation I have now back in Gameweek 10, my season would have been more enjoyable and, in all likelihood, more successful.

Obvious, right? I’m not sure why it’s taken me seven seasons to realise this. Perhaps the reality is that I’ve never really suffered such a slump, that somehow I’ve always found a right decision at the right time to stem the slide.

I’ll end with a story.

Earlier in the season, I took comfort that I was ranked alongside Ulrik Nyland. This guy was top of our Career Hall of Fame – clearly a Fantasy Premier League manager of some repute. Ulrik was uncharacteristically struggling this term but, in Gameweeks 5 and 6 he spent no less than 24 points on transfers. I scoffed at the time. Surely this was a classic knee jerk? Maybe Ulrik’s credentials weren’t so sound.

Ulrik was ranked 939,746 in Gameweek 6. After spending those points he earned two red arrows and 17 green. By Gameweek 25 he was ranked 21,117. I was ranked 478,442.

Clearly, Ulrik learned the lesson long before me.

About The Author

“Mark created the beast. He's now looking to tame it.”


> See all posts by this author

  1. is that one game ban?

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
    1. 1 game yep

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
  2. Does this mean he misses the derby? 1 or 2 games?

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
    1. Jax

      3 games

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
    2. 1 unless already sent off domestically this season I believe

      • 1 year, 8 months ago

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
    1. Or Silva.. :)

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
  4. What a goal. Silva, you finally pay me back.

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
    • 1 year, 8 months ago
    • 1 year, 8 months ago
  5. Jax

    haha on the latest scores page im looking at it says aguero scored

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
  6. Silva. 😎

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
  7. Yaya repais the hit. Get in!

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
  8. Get in Silva! Erikson ----> Silva. Oooosh! 😀

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
  9. applause for vinny - he took one for the team to keep zabas cleanie alive

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
  10. What a goal by Silva, get in!

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
  11. about time silva did something

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
  12. Az
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member

    Great assist for toure there, what a pass!

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
    1. Such vision and timing.

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
  13. red card gif anyone?

    • 1 year, 8 months ago

Scout Picks

Gameweek 14

  • Butland
  • Dann
  • Cresswell
  • Moreno
  • Walters
  • De Bruyne
  • Ozil
  • Roberto Firmino
  • Ighalo
  • Kane
  • Lukaku
  • Bellerín
  • King
  • Vardy

From the Community…


Comments loading…

Hot Topics

Comments loading…


»View All

The Watchlist


Last updated: 24 Nov, 2015 6:59pm
Player Club Factors
No Change De Gea MUN A
Up Mignolet LIV C, Vs
Up Butland STO A, VsX
No Change Hennessey CPL B, Vs, Rest, £
Up Gomes WAT B
Up Lloris TOT B, Vs
Up Pantilimon SUN C, VsX
Up Adrián WHM C, Vs
No Change Cech ARS B
Down Begovic CHE C, Rest
No Change Myhill WBA B
No Change Stekelenburg SOT B
No Change Howard EVE C
No Change Hart MCI B


Last updated: 24 Nov, 2015 6:55pm
Player Club Factors
Up Moreno LIV B, Vs
Up Dier TOT B, Vs, OoP
Down Bellerín ARS B, Vs
Up Coleman EVE B, Vs
No Change Smalling MUN A
Down Otamendi MCI B, Rest
Up Zouma CHE B, Vs
Down Dann CPL B
Down van Dijk SOT B, VsX
Up Cresswell WHM C, Vs
No Change Janmaat NEW C
Up Simpson LEI B, £
Up Wollscheid STO A, VsX
No Change Dawson WBA C, VsX


Last updated: 27 Nov, 2015 2:34pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Ozil ARS A, Vs
Up Coutinho LIV A, Vs
Down De Bruyne MCI B
Down Sánchez ARS C, Vs
No Change Mahrez LEI A, VsX
Up Eriksen TOT B, Vs
Up Barkley EVE A, Vs
Down Mane SOT B, VsX
No Change André Ayew SWA B
Up Deulofeu EVE A, Vs
Down Wijnaldum NEW A
No Change Lanzini WHM B, £
Up Bolasie CPL B
No Change Willian CHE B
No Change Tadic SOT B, VsX


Last updated: 24 Nov, 2015 6:53pm
Player Club Factors
Up Lukaku EVE A, Vs
Up Kane TOT A, Vs
Up Aguero MCI C, Inj
No Change Vardy LEI A, VsX
Up Ighalo WAT A
Up Diego Costa CHE C, Vs
Down Pellè SOT C, VsX, Sus
No Change Giroud ARS A, Rest
No Change Martial MUN C, Inj
Down Benteke LIV B, Rest

Selection Factors

A, B, C Current Form
Vs Favourable Fixtures
VsX Unfavourable Fixtures
Rest Rotation Risk
Inj Injured/Returning from Injury
OoP Out of Position
£ Potential Bargain
Sus Suspended/Near Suspension
Player Team YC
Clark AVL 4
Ritchie BOU 4
Cabaye CPL 4
Zaha CPL 4
McCarthy EVE 4
Huth LEI 4
Can LIV 4
Clyne LIV 4
Mangala MCI 4
Tioté NEW 4
Bassong NOR 4
Romeu SOT 4
Whelan STO 4
Williams SWA 4
Nyom WAT 4
Yacob WBA 4

“All players will blank a few times during the season. When almost all do it in the same Gameweek, it is tough to take, but that's just the dark side of probability.”

Abreu 42 Community regular