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Fantasy is ruining how I watch the Premier League. Am I alone?

It’s 0-0 in the match against Stoke at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Frank Lampard is lining up a penalty to put any small Chelsea jitters to bed, and I want him to miss. I’m a Chelsea fan and I want him to miss. I replaced Lampard with Florent Malouda in my fantasy team, and I know plenty of people will still have Lampard in theirs, so a penalty miss is minus points for them and a vindication for me. A ‘fantasy’ game. Not real. Fake. Basic, rather rudimentary icons on my computer screen have replaced reality. I am ashamed of myself and yet I know it will not change.

Partly because I think I always knew deep down that if Lampard was to miss – an increasing possibility these days – we would still have enough to go on and win, which we did. But what if we hadn’t? What if I willed us to dropped points at home? My shame would reach proportions of a John Pantsil holiday to Blackpool.

I have also now decided to only pick players I actually like. Exciting players I want to watch, players like Adam Johnson and Gareth Bale are my type of players. Conversely, regardless of how many points a player may be racking up, if I don’t like them, then I’m not interested. That means never picking Emmanuel Adebayor, even if he squeezes his way into City’s team and bangs goals till kingdom come, he can jog on.

Same rule applies to Nani; points against West Ham for MOM, a goal, an assist and a clean sheet mean nothing to me now. He is overrated, thinks he’s better than he actually is, and looks a little bit too much like a bird that has just hatched from its egg. (Although it should be noted that looks aren’t a definitive rule, as the chimp-faced Gareth Bale has done my team wonders from day one and I’m always open to the medieval, gargoyle features of Carlos Tevez forcing his way into my squad).

William Gallas can keep as many clean sheets as a Jose Mourinho wet-dream for Spurs this season, but I’ll be ignoring him, waiting for the impending and inevitable sulk that is destined to happen.

And as for Jermaine Defoe. I’m raring to go, I’m injured, I’m fit again, I need an operation, but I’ve got another game in me, but I am definitely injured, but now I’m fit again. Go away Jermaine and don’t come back because that is no way to treat your boss (me I mean, not Harry). Your loss is Andy Carroll’s gain. I like Carroll; partly because he’s pretty good, and partly because he has bad hair, but mostly because commentators can only physically manage not to call him ‘the big man’, when they add ‘a real handful’ on to the end of his name instead.

On the topic of goals and goalscorers, I didn’t want any at the Reebok on Sunday. Damian Johnson and Zat Knight’s respective places in my team mean I was praying for a goalless draw: I should be taken outside and shot. As I hear the cacophony of abuse being blurted at the screen as to why Zat Knight is in my team in the first place, I can’t present a reason of explanation. Not a single one. I can only apologise. Even at £4.5m, it still looks a dodgy bet.

Surely I’m not the only one making ridiculous decisions that I regret immediately. So now, this is my oath, and it will be there for all (well, some) to see. I want to like my team. I want them to do well. I want them to score as many points as possible, but I won’t let points alone cloud my judgement. I am only going to do transfers the night before a gameweek starts. I am never going to have opposing defenders playing against each other. I am never going to wish any Chelsea player to miss, ever.

As I’ve called this an oath, does that mean I have to stick to it? I only say that because Ryan Shawcross’ bad start and his lack of points is grating on me, I want to get rid now but it’s an international week. I really should wait…

Pick me! Pick me! Pick me for your team. I’ll get you points I promise! I’ll give you terrible fantasy football advice if you follow me on twitter. Julien Faubert anyone? No?

How is your team getting on?

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Article title: Fantasy is ruining how I watch the Premier League. Am I alone?

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