Creative Soccer Culture

The Fantasy Premier League Addict | Game Week Two

Everyone laughs and retweets the photograph of a middle-aged woman behind bars but nobody stops to consider the possibility that people get very upset over Fantasy Premier League and this may not be the throwaway joke it is presented as. We may very well have a hostage situation about to play out all because Benjamin Mendy was only credited for two of his three assists against Huddersfield Town. The FPL Addict Returns for a round up from Game Week 2.

Just because something is doing the rounds on social media with laughing emojis does not mean it is necessarily a big, innocent joke for us all to get in on. I for one, having buckled under the most basic level of goading and triple captained Benjamin Mendy in game week 2, understand the intensity of the rage following a grave injustice like this and how quickly it can escalate.

‘Nah, you don’t have the bollocks mate!’ is followed by a disastrous consolation leaked by City just before half time. Then the blank face, the taut dry skin covering hell fire erupting behind glassy eyes when we learn there has been no amendment to the decision that there was no assist for Jesus’ goal. Is Mendy suddenly no more than an apparition? I find ways to function in life, to recover, little pieces of me shed for the survival of whatever is left. I worry about those who give way and snap following such shirking of responsibility to get these things right.

Thousands are contesting the call online, demanding explanations, begging that the FPL authorities, who copy and paste lines from the FAQ section of their website, explain these actions properly.


As a tsunami of emotion crashes into the shore and fizzes along the sand, I return thoughts to the caged aunty somewhere in Berkshire. Has anyone, for one-second thought about what happens if the joker on Twitter’s aunty, who probably came around on Sunday afternoon wearing her best blouse and perfume, nose twitching as she catches the scent of roasting parsnips and chicken breast, could actually be locked in a cage in his dining room as dearest nephew paces the house, fists tightly balled into fillets of indignation, shards of his laptop glass stuck in his pasty knuckles?

Plain as day, he took to Twitter and warned the official Fantasy Premier League account that if they did not do the right thing, he would not release his aunty. Perhaps more concerning was my mumbled agreement that came from my mouth as I read his ransom, right behind him as if he were fighting a good fight for all our sakes, a bearded protestor chained to a fence in Lancashire, enraged over the fracking permit handed to a dubious corporation. That this old woman may not have been fed so much as a drop of gravy, instead bundled into captivity over a rotten verdict should have been reason enough for a routine police check, at least, but instead, he found support in a significant percentage of FPL managers just as aggrieved as he, who needed the hope that could emerge from his extreme action.

It worries me that FPL seem to have absolved all moral responsibility to show consistency and transparency in order to prevent ugly incidents like this. As I prepare to leave to go watch Brighton v Manchester United down the pub, I bite my nails and keep mulling it over. There could be a task force forming a circle around his house right now, negotiator wired and primed to find out what the matter is as the twitching eye appears at the crack in the door, chain still on. Through a megaphone, they’ll promise him what he needs, the assist dangled before him, helicopter propellers chopping the sky overhead. Pushing the right emotional triggers whilst it’s ‘on its way,’ they’ll break him and watch as he stumbles into the street, in his underpants and Caterpillar boots, the national press feasting on his collapse as he and agrees to settle for the two assists and a custodial sentence, a broken man claimed by the FPL government’s faceless monsters.


Criminal psychologists build respected careers dealing with cases like this, triggered by seemingly trivial incidents.

Just because it’s a game enjoyed in pubs and living rooms does not mean it cannot have the same destructive impact as finding the better half in bed with the sales rep.

On Monday morning I’m left wondering what might have been had the triple captain been used on Agüero, who scored a hat trick and nicked an assist, but I can live with that because the blame stopped with my own stupidity. Instead of 40 points for Mendy, on the other hand, I’m left with an unremarkable 24-point haul and all thanks to arrogance and sloth.

But the family is safe.

In the end, the imagined scenario is too real so I return to the conclusion that he must be joking. Of course he is. There’s a hint of a smile on the aunty’s face in the picture, so I retweet it, email the FPL help section for the second time in two weeks asking for reasons why and start my recovery by angrily thumbing through the comedy section of Netflix.

You can see more work from Ben Tallon here

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