Stadium of Sports Profile
Stadium of Sports joins our team of contributors and shares his personal journey with us.
(all illustrations are done up by Stadium of Sports himself)
FF Titans: Firstly, tell us a little about yourself?
I was in the fashion industry firstly as a designer and then as a buyer.
A few years back I had a tough period in my mental health and decided to take a career break to focus on myself. During this time, I got help and decided that I wanted to do something different with my life.
Having taken acting lessons, I acted in some short films for festivals. This led me to thinking about my own idea for a crime drama and I have completed writing a twelve-part series. (so, if you know any film directors, give me a shout)
Currently I’m working on a script for a ‘superhero fantasy thriller’ and also writing a children’s book.
My other passion is sports. I’m sports mad, especially football, boxing, cricket, UFC and of course – Fantasy Premier League.
With delays in publishing and filming during lockdown, my wife suggested I write about FPL since I talked about it so much (and got on her nerves). In addition to this she encouraged me to open up on mental health to try to help other people. And this had led me to finding the FPL community, writing my own blog and now being a writer for FF Titans.
FF Titans: What is your FPL experience?
My FPL history is broken into two sections.
The first part was for a very long time (eight years) I played with just my brothers, and in a way where we would not pick the players of the teams we support. Two of us are Liverpool fans and the other unfortunately a Man Utd fan.
We didn’t pay attention to ranks, as we were too focused on our sibling rivalry. In addition to this due to my job at the time, I was constantly travelling in different time zones which made it harder to dedicate more time for analysis. Nothing is worse than getting on plane and realising by the time I’ve landed I’d missed the deadline.
That all changed a few years back as I joined more friends/work leagues and realised I couldn’t compete.
When I had my career break, I started to be more serious in my background research on player history and stats. So, my first season of playing it properly I achieved a rank 24k winning all my leagues.
Last season was a tale of two halves, pre lockdown I was in the top 10k. I finished last season with a disappointing 54k rank. My emotion of keeping Salah, even after they had won the league, and not seeing the drop off in intensity really hurt me. I should have switched to Sterling. A big lesson learnt in managing emotional quality.
FF Titans: What is your overall FPL strategy?
Primarily I look at fixtures first, especially with premium picks as I feel they can switch their form back on at any given moment.
I tend to look at stats on players who move clubs within in the league as they have an FPL history.
For new players who have great stats in other leagues, I like to watch games and see if they pass the eye test.
Settling into the Premier League is tough and sometimes can take a player longer, so I prefer to see how they react before I buy.
Another thing I look at his club managers and what their impact will be. Examples are Carlo Ancelotti and Jose Mourinho, these guys are serial winners, so I look at how they previously set up teams.
Ancelotti likes free flowing football and is an advocate of the having the ‘fox in the box’ like an Inzaghi. I also remembered Frank Lampard once saying that Chelsea played some of the best football under him. So, my gut feeling was a player like Dominic Calvert-Lewin would vastly improve and be in the box, hence why I’ve had him since GW01.
Mourinho we know sets his team to be defensively solid, and though Kane and Son grab the headlines, they also have the best defence in the league.
FF Titans: How did you come to support Liverpool?
Interestingly I decided on Liverpool primarily on how much I liked the kit, the badge, training tops and all the accessories. I still remember going with my mum and getting a Liverpool holdall bag, red with the badge and straps in a light grey. I suppose I was always destined to go into fashion.
Everybody wants success and nobody likes being the underdogs, as we were for a long time with Man Utd.
When we won something it meant more and I will never forget winning the treble in 2001, because it was such an unlikely achievement.
Further down the line, we had a team with Djini Traore and Igor Biscan and went on to win the 2005 Champions League. That felt was unreal and it was on my birthday, some things are meant to be.
FF Titans: Some early thoughts about the 2020/21 season?
This is a season where you have to hold your nerve more than any.
Stick to your game plan and the players you are investing over a mid to long term plan. Because of so much choice, there will be players that you don’t own that will do really well, but you need to trust in your choices.
Also, this season more than ever you need squad depth, you need playing players on your bench to avoid have to take unnecessary hits.
FF Titans: Which FPL asset is a must have from this point on?
This is a really interesting question as there is a number of candidates, Son, Kane, Grealish, Chilwell and Bamford would all fall into this bracket.
But for me like his club, I’d build my team around Bruno Fernandes. He has penalties, corners, and he his playing further forward this season, and getting into the box more. From an FPL perspective Man Utd are going to have to score goals, as the defence looks shaky, so Bruno will have a higher ceiling of returns.
FF Titans: Who do you think will flop badly?
I think Kai Havertz might need a whole season to get used to the pace of the Premier League. He looks a nice touch player, but a bit light weight especially in tracking back. I feel Chelsea look more secure with Kovacic alongside Kante and Mount pulling the strings.
As team I always felt Sheff United would struggle. They were the team that struggled the most without fans post lockdown and that has continued this season.
FF Titans: Predict the Premier League champions?
I’m still backing my Liverpool. With the injuries, a lot of people felt we would struggle, but we are still in the mix and we are getting players back from injury.
My only worry is that Kane and Son might repeat the 2015/16 season of Vardy and Mahrez.
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