Opinion

Valuable life lessons learned from playing FPL for years

The 21st day of isolation and I’ve done it all. 

There’s not much work here at my end so I’ve learnt how to cook about 10 dishes, I’ve shed a decent amount of weight, I’ve gotten back to reading and have obviously consumed my fair share of Netflix.

I was gobsmacked by the surreal events of the ‘Tiger King’, cheering every dialogue of Roman Roy from ‘The Succession’ and watching ‘Sunderland Till I Die’, which has the most fun I’ve had in the last three weeks. Everyone is hating on Charlie Methven, but without him, it would not have been half as enjoyable. He is the content. A modern-day David Brent/ Steve Carell. 

Like many of us, I’m addicted. I bloody love sport and I absolutely need my fix. I thought I would stay out of the incredible #ChampManFPL game launched by the boys from our community to just take a break from Fantasy Football but I shouldn’t have done. 

The FOMO on launch day was real and thanks to my good friend from the boards AK, he let me in and we’re co-managing. Cheering for my childhood hero Ruud Van Nistelrooy all made it worth it a few hours later – and now looking at an overall rank of 27 is pretty cool too!

The boys who run this game have done a stupendous job and deservedly, got a shout-out from BBC.

But I still need more to get my football fix, I found myself watching/reading old interviews, old matches, watching some old documentaries and much more. I’ve even exhausted all the Jadon Sancho highlights there are on YouTube.

Whatever I do, I keep going back to sport. Maybe writing about our beloved Fantasy Premier League will help. 

I’ve always wondered whether or not this obsession has been a healthy one for me. Has it been worth it?

Well, it only took a bit of delving into the past to discover that FPL has, indeed taught me some incredible life lessons, which I’d like to share with you.

Olivier Giroud has always been under-appreciated in London. When he first came to the city, he replaced Robin van Persie, a flying Dutchman with 30 goals in the previous season. 

RVP had listened to the little boy inside of him and moved to Manchester United but Ollie had to man-up. Not only did he have to enter London with the burden of his predecessor, but he also carried the weight of knowing that the club’s most recent star French striker was their greatest ever player. Talk about pressure. 

But when I saw Monsieur Olivier for the first time, I saw the most selfless player being type-casted as a man full of himself just because he had the most perfect mop of hair. 

I worked with Ollie to address this. Arsene wasn’t doing his job and was too obsessed with Mourinho at this point to think about anything else. Jose had broken him. 

I spoke to Ollie and told him that his chance would come. I told him in clichéd manager fashion –“Ollie, mate, Robin is playing for my club at the moment and is in the form of his life. But your chance will come. And when it does, you need to be ready”. 

I told him about how we were eternally connected by the number 12. He wore the number 12 for my Arsenal. I was Lateriser12. 

He was smiling. His hair became denser and more luminous. I told him not to overdo it, else he’d become just another Ross. He listened. 

I knew it then and there that my job was done. What followed was a string of appearances for Ollie for my FPL team and soon enough I started giving him the armband. Then came the penultimate week of my FPL Managerial career. I was sitting ninth in India and 395th in the world. It was Gameweek 37. 

We met for a beer before matchday.

Ollie: “You look nervous, boss. What happened?”

I wondered how he knew so easily but then who was I to question our relationship. 

I said: “I don’t think I’m ever going to get a double-digit FPL rank. I came close two years ago but it’s just never going to happen.”

He put down his drink, looked straight at me and said buy me. I told him I didn’t have enough cash. 

“I don’t care boss! Take a hit if you have to. Trust me. Even if you need to buy Mark Noble to fund me.”

I had no option. I did as he said. He had never let me down. 

The next day, I saw Hector Bellerin cross it to him in the 80th minute and shout at Ollie while he was crossing – “hazlo por LR!” which translated in English means do it for LR!

Giroud tapped in his third, only to take off his top to showcase his Cumberbatch tattoo and wink at me.

I cried.

Double-digit FPL rank and India #1 happened.

To date, he averages 10+ points per appearance for my FPL Team. 

This story isn’t over. 

Life Lesson Learnt:

Put quality time into your relationships, sit back and wait for the magic. 

The world was at my feet in 2020. After various great gigs with Fantasy Football Scout, I finally spoke about Sergio Aguero during my Meet the Manager with Joe explaining the hit-home, hit-hard policy. 

He scored five goals and an assist in his next two games where I had him as captain and I scored thousands of followers. I was in FPL heaven. 

The guys at FFS invited me for my first Scoutcast to talk about Liverpool assets during their Double Gameweek. Game-face was on.

I went in, prepared. I spent hours researching. I dived into all the stats, all the numbers, read all the interviews and to top it all off, I saw highlights for the last six Liverpool games back-to-back. I had taken my notes. Rehearsed what I’d say. Done up my hair. Then the time arrived. 

Joe and AZ were very kind. I was nervous at first but I knew I had done my research. They calmed me down. It was time for my Liverpool analysis. 

I started, and I did not stop. The words coming out of my mouth took the chatbox by storm. I was untouchable. I was 922nd in the world. Joe and AZ did not know what hit them. They were spell-bound. I was smirking. I went on to deftly explain the intricacies of Liverpool’s style of play. It was beautiful.

Then the hours of research culminated into me putting myself on the line and recommending the beautiful Senegalese man with the quadriceps even Gareth Bale would be proud of. Sadio Mané was the captain I recommended for Double Gameweek 24.

Life Lesson Learnt:

Overthinking is of no use in life. 

28 Comments Post a Comment
  1. brianutd-why always we? 20
    • 10 Years
    1 year, 3 months ago

    I can relate to some of this article. Cheers Lateriser.

    1. Lateriser 12
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      1 year, 3 months ago

      Thanks Brian. Which bits?

  2. Sloane426
    • 1 Year
    1 year, 3 months ago

    (A) Martial + Maguire
    (B) Barnes + Robertson

    1. PP6
      • 2 Years
      1 year, 3 months ago

      A.

  3. Ginkapo FPL
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 year, 3 months ago

    Excellent

    1. Lateriser 12
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      1 year, 3 months ago

      🙂

  4. Lateriser 12
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    1 year, 3 months ago

    As usual here for the feedback and some Ollie love.

    Hope everyone staying safe.

    1. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      1 year, 3 months ago

      He also gave me my best ever username:
      Boxing Can Girouds

  5. Delhidynamo
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    1 year, 3 months ago

    The passion Gru has for the game is so underrated

    The 16/17 FA Cup final assist for Ramsey..

    Thanks for rekindling my Gru romance LR

    1. Lateriser 12
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      1 year, 3 months ago

      So underrated it breaks my heart.

  6. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    1 year, 3 months ago

    Cheers Lateraliser a nice read & a nice concept - the first one with Big Ollie is spiritually akin to "patience is a virtue" - and as we've all no doubt seen, first-hand at times, the power of patience is not to be underestimated in FPL

    "You don't know what you got till it's gone" - that's the thought that regularly recurs during my own lockdown groundhog days - if we ever get FPL back we'll appreciate every gameweek & every game so much more. Joni Mitchell would have been an excellent FPL mindset coach 🙂

    1. Lateriser 12
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      1 year, 3 months ago

      How are you getting along in the lockdown?

      1. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        1 year, 3 months ago

        Just trying to make the most of a bad situation really - thankfully I can work from home for which I'm grateful & consumes ~40+ hours Mon-Fri

        I've started running which I never would have done being more of a gym-rat in the pre-lockdown days, gotten my mile time down to 6:33 (targeting sub-6:00 hopefully) and did my 10k first at the weekend (51 mins) so have basically been unable to walk for the last 2 days but going to try for sub-50 this weekend

        Similar to yourself I've also watched Tiger King, then went into Kingdom (Korean Zombie series) & Ricky Gervais' Afterlife on Netflix as well as re-watching some of his stand up (Big Gervais fan), listened to about 40 billion Joe Rogan podcasts, read about 70 billion articles about infectious diseases & have also used the time to work through many old games I had started but never got around to finishing

        So far have finished Red Dead Redemption 2 (the work that went into that game from Rockstar is mad - closer to art than entertainment), did another full play-through of Last of Us (sad news that Naughty Dog have indefinitely delayed the sequel) and am currently doing the "Claire" version of Resident Evil 2 after finishing Leon's campaign - it's a fantastic game

        Next up will be either Resident Evil 3, The Witcher 3, completing GTA5 (got to about 80% through the storyline then left it) or completing Zelda BOTW (probably about 80% through it)

        I have to say I'm encouraged that Austria, Denmark, Spain, Italy & Germany are all looking at various relaxations of lockdown restrictions - and am curious to see what will happen in the UK & when we can start to think about having some football back on the menu 🙂

        1. Lateriser 12
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          1 year, 3 months ago

          Nice. Lots to keep yourself busy there. Good to see.

          I've just only started Peaky Blinders so pretty sorted there.

          1. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            1 year, 3 months ago

            Very tempted to start Peaky Blinders after finishing Kingdom - two episodes to go 🙂

            1. Lateriser 12
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              1 year, 3 months ago

              2 episodes in. Shot super well.

  7. Lateriser 12
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    1 year, 3 months ago

    I'm sorry he doesn't have a Balders tattoo.

      • 7 Years
      1 year, 3 months ago

      I'd rather he didn't the way you've sullied him

      1. Lateriser 12
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        1 year, 3 months ago

        Knighted*

  8. Epic ⚽ 墅
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    1 year, 3 months ago

    Can always rely on Lateriser. The lad deserves a pay rise.

    Or some actual pay.

    1. Jafooli
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      1 year, 3 months ago

      What’s he TLDR synopsis, that I actually need for every article?

  9. Totti
    • 4 Years
    1 year, 3 months ago

    best midfielder up to 6.4 if the EPL returned again to action 🙂 ?

    A) barnes
    B) sarr
    C) other suggestion

  10. Ógie
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    1 year, 3 months ago

    Nice read

    Thanks Lateriser 🙂

    1. Lateriser 12
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      1 year, 3 months ago

      Cheers Ogie.