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, Week 4 preview here, Week 5 preview here, Week 6 preview here, Week 7 preview here, Week 8 preview here, Week 9 preview here, Week 10 preview here, Week 11 preview here. Week 12 preview here. Week 13 preview here. Week 14 preview here. Week 15 here. Week 16 here. Week 17 here. Week 18 here. Week 19 here. Week 20 here. Week 21 here. Week 22 here. Week 23 here. Week 24 here. Week 25 here.Week 26 here. Week 27 here. Week 28 here. Week 29 here. Week 30 here.
It felt like a large, cavernous room; the sort of room you see in the movies when the protagonist is being interviewed for a really important job, or is up before the parole board, straining at the leash and desperate to right the wrongs that lie in wait on the outside. A table in the middle of a dimly lit, concrete bunker, long shadows cast by the light creeping in through a row of impossibly small windows. You can hear your own footsteps echoing and reverberating around you as you make your way to the solo seat on the door side of the table.
There they were sitting, the chairman and his assistant, or possibly someone from HR, ready to pull the trigger on the loaded gun of this season. It felt like being walked to the electric chair, knowing that these are your final movements in this chapter.
“We would like to sincerely thank you for your efforts this season, Mr. Reucroft,” begins the chairman. “It has been a mixed season, neither meeting nor failing our expectations, in truth. As you know, your contract is up after the last game and we have a mutual decision to reach.”
Mutual, yeah right, I think. “There is the possibility of going into a second season. Would you be interested?” comes the unexpected question.
I freeze momentarily. I wasn’t expecting this. I was expecting a few contrafibularities and to be damned with faint praise. I was expecting nothing in the way of felicitations, but the dying embers of this season have clearly given cause for cautious optimism. I was expecting to indignantly walk away muttering ‘I never fancied her anyway’ as I looked to a future elsewhere.
FC Fakin’ Run Aboutabit scored a very healthy 92 points this week. Against a game week average of 67, that elevated us to 1,558,132nd in the table. It’s not quite vying for the top one million as we had hoped, but it represents the arresting of an alarming slide. Good old Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, him and his questionable hair have really got me out of a bind. Harry who?
I realise that I’m staring blankly at the chairman. I have no idea how long I’ve been doing this for but he’s tilting his head forward, passive aggressively seeking an answer.
“I must admit that I thought I would be handed my cards here today, but I am delighted that you have seen merits in my work,” I eventually reply. “I hadn’t really looked much past the summer, may I give you an answer next week? I will need to think about a new plan of attack if we are to continue, if we are to reach certain targets.”
“That would be prudent,” comes the response. “I shall be in touch next week. And good luck with the final game, we shall all be watching with interest.”
With that the meeting concludes, the usual platitudes are exchanged and I make for the exit.
Another season? Well I never. I couldn’t, could I? We will need to make some changes. The model has been morally sound this season, but competitively compromised. Do I sell out my morals in exchange for a shot at glory? This is football, after all…
In amongst all this there is a game week to be settled. The sense of relief at the conclusion of the season is palpable amongst the players. Everyone needs a rest. I don’t bother Gary, our player agent this week. I’m giving the boys who served me so well last week another run out.
The only change is Milivojevic coming in for Xhaka. We’re going 3-4-3 again and I’m hoping the boys play with a little joie de vivre again.
It’s a big week, in more ways than one.
Lloris – Otamendi, Maguire, Cresswell – KdB, Milivojevic, Eriksen, Dave Silva – Perez, Aubameyang, Vardy
Pope, Xhaka, Hegazi, Janmaat