My fantasy football team are really awful.

According to the Collins free online English dictionary a ‘fantasy’ is:

  1. a far-fetched idea
  2. imagination unrestricted by reality
  3. a daydream

My ‘fantasy’ football team (RCD Espanjoell) do not really fit into these definitions. While it may be a far-fetched idea, the imagination I used in creating that idea has so far been restricted by the cold reality of top-flight football. As such, I am left daydreaming about how on earth I can claw back some pride in the Fantasy Premier League.

In fact, my team is much more similar to a ‘nightmare’ football team. For a nightmare is defined, by the same source, as:

  1. a terrifying or deeply distressing dream
  2. a terrifying or unpleasant experience
  3. a thing that is feared

Fantasy football teams are often referred to as ‘dream’ teams and the plight of mine is a terrifying, deeply distressing and unpleasant experience. The experience is so bad that, while my team is not ‘a thing that is feared’, logging on to see how badly they have done each week is.

The (sob) story so far

On the first weekend of the new Premier League season, I began with a team that I thought was full of potential goalscorers – or at least goal-assisters. Here is the 11 I started with:

A. Begovic

G. Cahill, H. Ilunga, G. Clichy

C. Fabregas, C. N’Zogbia, F. Lampard, K. Nolan

W. Rooney, D. Bent, R. Fuller

My subs were M. Gilks, A. Baptiste, S. Dann and C. Adam.

I admit that team does not look like a bunch of world beaters, so I didn’t expect much. But I was more than entitled to be upset when my ‘big players’, that every fantasy team relies upon, did not do what was expected of them. To add insult to mental injury, I had substituted Rooney in for Didier Drogba before the start of the season when it seemed the Ivorian forward would not be fit. The (alleged) love-rat Rooney failed to score and Drogba did play and did score a hat-trick. Frank Lampard and Darren Bent were the only players in my starting 11 that managed to put the ball where it yearns to be placed.

However, all was not lost. My subs stepped in and earned me a reasonable 56 points for the week.

My reliance on substitutes from Blackpool – caused by a successful campaign with the club on Football Manager – paid dividends. They embarrassed Wigan by defeating them 4-0 on their own turf and Gilks and Adam got me a few points. Painfully though, Baptiste scored and was not substituted into my team due to the order in which I had chosen my subs to be sent on. Then again, Dann scored for Birmingham City and was subbed in.

Swings and roundabouts.

The second week involved less playground related metaphors. A measly 44 points were my reward for keeping the faith with my average performers.

My disillusion with football then began in week three. Having grown impatient with the side I had originally chosen, I put in Jussi Jaaskelainen for Begovic. He was sent off. I got just 35 points.

This week I have been mostly … cursing myself for transferring in and handing the captaincy to Florent Malouda, only for him to start on the bench and get me two points. Gary Cahill was unjustly sent off as well.

On top of this I am left hoping that Charlie Adam gets brought on for Gael Clichy because the Blackpool midfielder scored 11 points and Clichy did not play.

Things are bad

You know things are bad when the only times you have done well is because of your faith in Blackpool. Especially when that faith is borne out of success on an iPod app.

I am contemplating playing my Wildcard already. The Wildcard being the function that allows you to make as many transfers as you like without being deducted points. Without the Wildcard, only one free transfer per week is usually permitted.

All of this was playing out on the backdrop of my beloved West Ham suffering their worst ever start to the season, conceding three goals in every one of the four league game played and scoring just two in total. Rock bottom and, without a draw or a win, persistently referred to as ‘pointless’.

According to the Collins free online English dictionary ‘pointless’ means ‘without meaning or purpose’.

That is what West Ham are and that is what my nightmare football team are.

Boo hoo.


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