Though currently situated in third place, I have no chance of winning the Fantasy Premier League that I contest with my friends and several people that they know, but who I’ve never met.
The reason is simple. For moral reasons I do not allow players from either Arsenal, Chelsea or West Ham in my side. In the case of West Ham, not picking their players is a recommended tactic anyway, but to not be able to choose from Arsenal and Chelsea puts you at a severe disadvantage.
This is because Fabregas and Lampard have scored loads of points this season and to not have at least one of them in your side is suicide. Still, I’d take principled suicide over compromised victory any day.
At the top of our league is an Arsenal fan (which is the only league they’ll be winning this year), whilst in second place is a Spurs fan, who currently has Arshavin in his team and has previously fielded such disgusting individuals as Van Persie, Lampard and Fabregas.
Now how can you have any of those players in your fantasy side and not be at least slightly pleased when they score or set up a goal? Surely there is no room for such split loyalties. If Tottenham lose 3-0 to Chelsea I want to be gutted, not thinking to myself ‘Well look on the bright side, at least Chelsea didn’t concede’.
On the official Fantasy Premier League game, there is a facility for each player to name the team that they support. You can then look at the overall league table for fans of a particular club.
The top of the Tottenham supporters league table, makes for sorry reading. These fans have risen to the top on the back of ill gotten gains, with their sides packed to the rafters with players from our hated rivals. Read and weep at the hall of shame.
Team name – Manager – Current Scum Quota
Spoofers – Paul Griffin – 6 (Tomkins, Fabregas, Lampard, Ballack, Drogba, Diaby)
Obi Wan Kenobi Nil – Nicholas Neophytou – 3 (Ashley Cole, Lampard, Ballack)
Holy Divers – Timo Partanen – 4 (Ashley Cole, Lampard, Fabregas, Drogba)
Ellabella – Mark Tomassi – 3 (Ashley Cole, Lampard, Fabregas)
De Scherprechter – R.A. van Hilst – 4 (Green, Terry, Upson, Lampard)
And that’s just the top five, although a special mention must go out to the thirty eighth placed Gary Bettridge, whose promisingly titled team ‘I Hate Arsenal’ had Fabregas in central midfield. You don’t hate them that much then, do you Gary?
I thought that I’d trawl through the league to find the top ranked team without any Arsenal/Chelsea/West Ham, but it quickly became apparent (well, after looking at around 60 teams) that I might well be there all day.
It seems that winning is all that matters to these people, but I’m going to stick with my Athletic Bibao-like principles. It may get me nowhere, but it at least allows me to feel smug. I leave you with one last effort to turn some of you fantasy traitors, into fantasy militants. The words of our former esteemed captain, Danny Blanchflower:
“The great fallacy is that the game is first and last about winning. It is nothing of the kind. The game is about glory.”*
* This quote has been doctored somewhat to fit in with my general point, but I’m sure Danny would agree with me.