BC’s Fantasy Football Nightmares


Kick Off

Not Looking Good, Except for the Good-Looking


An advice column for the bottom seven million Fantasy Premier League managers

By BC Pires

If it was too good to be true that my Fantasy Premier League team, BC FC, was at the top of our family & friends mini-league last week, it was also too good to last. And, with only eight points between the top position and the team in fifth place, there was a good chance of being toppled.

Now I didn’t expect to get to the top. My “success” was really a reflection of the failure of everyone else, as is so often the case in modern British Brexit politics. What my getting to number one really meant was that the other managers made even poorer choices than I did.

But, having arrived at the top, no matter how unlikely an outcome that was, and no matter how unsuited I was for the position, I really did not want to let go of it.

Again, very much like modern politics, but of the American variety this time.

Unlike Donald Trump though, I wasn’t just beaten out of the top spot: I fell to third place.

Dominic Cummings must be looking at Carrie Symonds and Boris Johnson in much the same way as I now look at the two teams above me — with the special irony that the number one slot, from which I was so cruelly dislodged, has now been taken by my wife’s team, the Most Handsome XI, which is selected on exactly the basis the team name implies.

At least, though, I’m still above my wife’s eight-year-old nephew, who hasn’t picked a team in weeks, but has hovered between numbers two and four, and even, once, rose to number one.

So much for managerial skill in fantasy football.

My wife now sits 11 points and two places above me — the normal matrimonial state, it must be confessed — with the even more special irony of literally sitting pretty with her good-looking team.

The Most Handsome XI returned 62 points in GW9, 11 more than BC FC’s paltry, one-point-below average score of 43. Her frontline failed to score more than two points each (Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Che Adams and Patrick Bamford, whom she desperately wants to transfer, now that she’s seen a proper photograph of him) but, with the very cute Karl Darlow in goal, Ben Chilwell in the backline and KDB & Jack Grealish in the midfield, she cleaned up. It’s hard to lose to a team picked on the basis of their jawlines and haircuts; especially when their haircuts aren’t particularly good, cf, Diego Jota.

Still, it could have been worse. I could have dropped as spectacularly as I rose. Five weeks ago, I was at number ten, cellar position. If I can avoid slumping back there in the next four, I will classify it as a victory.

With the surprise — to me — of Aston Villa having no game this week, I had to squander my free transfer on replacing Jimmy Dunne, who hasn’t played for so long, his bootlaces have cobwebs, because, in my fantasy wisdom — too much special irony in two words, there — I don’t play a defender against a very strong attacker in my own team; especially when that strong attacker is Bruno Fernandes. With Aaron Cresswell on the bench, then, I sold the old Dunne and brought in Ruben Dias, who seems to be in fine form, even to me, and who, more importantly, is cheaper than Kyle Walker, whom I really wanted, but couldn’t afford.

After much agonising — the main return I derive from fantasy football, because, unlike covid, all the worrying stops when I’ve clicked “Save Your Team” — and notwithstanding tempting choices of Harry Kane, Timo Werner and DCL himself, I captained Bruno Fernandes, largely because four of the five teams above me in the smaller, more knowledgeable neighbourhood mini-league, have all captained him, and, if I’m to erase the 100-point difference between me and the number one team there, I have to neutralise the old Bruno.

In the more aggravating, because more immediate, family & friends mini-league, though, there is likely to be little comfort.

My wife has captained DCL ahead of KDB, despite my advice. I tell her about form, recent performance, relative strength of the opposition and which of the two is most likely to score bigger; she tells me who has cute dimples.

If, in reality, life is so much easier for the good-looking, what chance have I got in fantasy?

My next advice column/eulogy for BC FC will appear before the GW12 deadline