Miles Reucroft is undertaking a different way of playing the ever popular Fantasy Football this season. To understand his methodology, read part one here. The Week 1 review is here, Week 2 transfers & preview here, Week 3 preview here.
The international break provides some light relief for FC Fakin’ Run Aboutabit this week. Some much needed relief at that. Sunday was a dark day. A total of six points from three players, including captain Kane, has left us in the lurch.
I took a despondent walk on Monday, soaking up the surprising Bank Holiday sunshine in an attempt to lift the dark mood that is pervading through every facet of the club. I needed to reassure myself that this can be turned around, that my philosophies can come good and I can turn this ship around.
I tried to take solace in the position of others around me. Frank de Boer is sinking faster than the General Belgrano, seemingly being torpedoed by the distinct lack of footballing quality at his disposal; a squad hardwired into the more robust ways of Big Sam. Slaven Bilic is disappearing into a cloud of his own cigarette smoke as familiar failings linger at West Ham. I have to believe that I’m more durable than them. If this is a race to the bottom, I don’t want to win it.
Sunday’s misery was made possible by Saturday’s shortcomings. Butland, Stones, KdB and Gabbiadini all underperformed. Xhaka, Keane and Kane only added to the existing woes.
It’s tempting in such moments to make rash decisions. I was ready to hit the eject button on KdB and Kane on Sunday evening as I sat alone in my office, the silence only being broken by the sound of whisky filling my glass and the glugging emanating from the bottle as it did so. Both are expensive imports and neither has done anything to impress. We’re not in the market for potential, unlike the rest of the world right now. We need results.
The Surrey countryside did much to sooth my aching soul on Monday, the whispering wind reassuring me that whilst there will be some bad days, the good ones will prevail. Some time away from the training ground, from looking disappointment straight in the eye in a vain attempt to convince myself that this will be okay, will do us all the world of good.
It will be okay, though. It has to be.
Now is not the time for knee-jerk reactions. Whilst Crystal Palace and West Ham might be reaching the button marked ‘panic’, I’ll be holding firm. Form is temporary, class is permanent and I know that KdB and Kane fit that bill.
For the players, a bit of time with their countries will be just the tonic, I’m convinced. Only Jay Rodriguez will be at training this week and he’s really put his name forward for a starting spot. I’ll probably give him a few days off. No point just the two of us hanging around. What are we going to do? A bit of head tennis followed by lunch at Nandos? Maybe I will make him come in…
I need to see what the lie of the land is after the international break. I’ve had injuries at this juncture before and nothing would surprise me. I’ll probably have another chat with Gary over the break to see what he’s got on his books. He seems like the type who’d enjoy a Nandos as well. He’s certainly the type who enjoys a bit of wheeling and dealing. I may well indulge him.