Picking your fantasy football team can be more difficult than choosing your kid’s names and far more important too.
Do you be a ‘Top Red’ and pick United’s entire first team – or at least as many as you’re allowed. Is it a case of softening the blow and picking our opponent’s best player. If they score against us then at least you get some very small measure of comfort. Do you do the worst scenario possible.
The type of fantasy football player that makes many fellow Reds want to print out your fantasy team, shape into a cone and stab you through the eyeballs with it? You know who I mean, the ones who pop up with this sort of comment on social media: “Salah scored again, looks like Liverpool are gonna win the title, but at least he’s in my fantasy team…”
One of the worst things I ever witnessed on social media was undoubtedly: “Aguero wins the league for them lot. Gutted. Glad I made him my fantasy captain though.”
Get. In. The. Bin.
To be fair there’s nothing wrong with softening the blow of our rivals’ success. It also makes a lot of sense to pick players who – unfortunately – do score a lot of goals. It’s also a small measure of recompense when you’re forced to listen to pundits spout fellatio-like drivel that you at least get some fantasy points out of said player’s performance.
Picking your fantasy football team
Virgil van Dijk may not be the best defender but he certainly does get the clean sheets so putting him into your side makes sense. Plus it’s not as hard to stomach all the Rio Ferdinand comparisons if you’re getting paid for it. Literally.
Fantasy Football is no longer the fun-based hobby many of us older fans revelled in as youngsters. Gone are the days of Frank Skinner and David Baddiel inspired laddish whimsy that accompanied picking a side merely for bragging rights. Now fantasy, like normal football is more money-orientated. It’s big bucks. And for some of us it’s time to leave our love of United at the door. Sort of.
Naturally any self-respecting Red wouldn’t be seen dead without a Paul Pogba or Marcus Rashford in their team. Or at the very least an absolute banker like David De Gea. But when you’re limited to only three players from one team, you can’t have the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer XI filling your ranks.
You have to pick your United players relatively carefully, especially with an injury crisis at Old Trafford that resembles a form of plague. There’s no worse feeling than getting your team sorted early, heading off to the game, only to find that Anthony Martial who you made captain is not even on the bench.
Plus your signal’s gone as this is Old Trafford we’re talking about so there’s about as much chance of being able to change it as there is of getting Ole to change his mind and actually play Martial. In fact the odds are probably more favourable for you to actually get the manager to change his mind.
If seeing your star player not make the game is frustrating, seeing them bag a goal for both you and the Reds is the perfect ‘icing on the cake.’ An unbridled win win, especially if you’ve been lucky – or smart – enough to pick one of the less likely Reds to get on the scoresheet. Ashley Young at Palace anyone?
Being a United fan and a successful fantasy football manager needn’t be mutually exclusive, but for those of us who want to be both, we may just need to try and be less ‘top Red’ and more well read over players’ form than some of our fellow competitors. Good luck.
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