An apology, by @Mark_Jones86


I’ve let Yirma down.

I know I wasn’t supposed to do it. I know that Yirma legend and Fantasy football God Tom K told me not to do it. I know that, if I could take Saturday afternoon back, I probably wouldn’t do it again.

But part of me is delighted I’ve done it.

It all started, as so many of the most regretful stories do, with Mohamed Diame.

As I watched the West Ham, Senegal and Werder Beertent midfielder roam aimlessly around Swansea City’s Liberty Stadium early on Saturday afternoon, with his team getting ruthlessly hammered by a Swans team with a terrific case of new manager syndrome, a horrible thought crossed my mind.

It was a thought that all of you will have at some point this season, although only the very brave and very stupid of you will act upon it this early.

It was the sight of Diame trudging off the pitch with his team 3-0 down to be replaced by Alou Diarra which finally made it hit home for me. I couldn’t deny it any longer.

My Fantasy football team was rubbish.

I was sure that I had it right at some point during the endless tinkering of the summer, but the collection of 15 players I was staring at now just made no sense whatsoever.

Diame? Darron Gibson? Fabricio Coloccini? Ramires? Ian Harte? It just didn’t look right.   

Evidently the big man upstairs (not my large Polish neighbour Jakub) agreed with me, and sent a monsoon to Sunderland to prevent Harte and his special brand of being-useless-from-anything-but-a-dead-ball football from seeing any action at the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon. Football was undoubtedly the winner.

There was, however, one man who I thought could save me from this mess.

One man who, like the warrior he is, would lead my rag-tag bunch of wounded, rotated misfits to success, glory and somewhere in the region of a 40 point Gameweek.

It wasn’t Jakub or the other fella, but it was instead another big man who was sure to rise to the occasion and perform on his long-awaited return to his home turf.

Introducing an icon. The one and only. The captain of Manchester United and, for this week only of Werder Beertent. The great Nemanja Vid… oh, Fulham have scored haven’t they?

Bang goes the clean sheet then, but that’s alright. There’s still time for the big Serbian to get on the scoresheet… Perhaps from a cross or a mix-up with the goalkeeper…

My job involves keeping track of football results, so there was literally no escape from the moment when – in the 64th minute of the match against Fulham at Old Trafford – Nemanja Vidic decided to make up my mind for me by hopelessly flicking the ball into his own goal and putting himself in minus points territory.

Now I’m no Manchester United fan, and as such there will always be a part of me that cracks a smile whenever they concede a goal between now and their Intergalactic Cup Final defeat to the Saturn Superstars in 2072 (Sir Alex having retired three years earlier), but this time it was different. I had to act.

So I did.

Straight away the heart of my team was ripped out, leaving only three survivors – all of whom will coincidentally go on to be useless in this afternoon’s Liverpool v Manchester City match.

Out they came and in went the new faces. New, glorious faces. Faces that would laugh at the mere mention of Mohamed Diame.

And then it was done. And then I clicked it. And then I clicked the confirmation bit asking me if I was sure I knew that I was being completely mental. I was sure.

Activate Wildcard.

So I’m sorry to Yirma. Sorry Tom K. Sorry to you if you don’t agree with me. But I’m happy.

Rest assured I’ll be occupying my comfortably mediocre mid-table position come May, something that was in serious doubt for a few minutes there on Saturday afternoon.

I like my team now.

Of course Marouane Fellaini will keep scoring goals. Of course Swansea will carry on keeping clean sheets. They’ll probably keep them in every match for the rest of the season, I suspect.

I hope you all enjoyed the two-week headstart you got on me then, because I’m ready to start now, and I’m finally fully confident in all of my 15 players.

At least until that second Wildcard in January anyway.

I wonder how much Diame will be then?


Posted on 26 Aug 2012, in Player Selection and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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