Seven of the stupidest FPL decisions by pro footballers: Bamford, Robertson…

This season, we’ve seen a big increase in Premier League footballers talking about their FPL teams. Some of them are pretty bad at it.

Is it a conflict of interest for a professional footballer to have an FPL team?

In most cases, probably not. Patrick Bamford, for example, frequently backs himself, and an extra incentive to play well and score goals is no bad thing.

We’re not quite as sure about Harry Maguire, who owns more Manchester City players than United players, and who suspiciously benched the high-flying Luke Shaw for United’s 2-1 loss to Sheffield United.

Most of the time though, the FPL decisions by pro footballers are silly rather than sketchy, from James Maddison selling himself before scoring a brace to Charlie Austin basically not following football over the last five years.

After trawling the FPL database, we’ve found seven very poor Fantasy decisions made by professional footballers.

1. Bamford not captaining himself in GW21

Team name: hillside fc

This FPL decision was so notorious it made national news, with Bamford confessing to his bad judgement in a post-match interview.

After captaining himself for a 59-minute blank against Newcastle in GW20, Bamford let go of the armband for GW21, in which he scored and assisted twice. Son, his new captain, only scored two points.

Bamford still trails Liam Cooper and Luke Ayling in the Leeds players mini-league, and he might need the in-form Raphinha to boost his numbers.

“I’ve been having a couple of sticky weeks,” Bamford told talkSPORT. “I had myself captain for the Newcastle game where I basically assisted their goal… I’m having a bit of a mare.”

READ: Patrick Bamford is his own FPL hero – and increasingly everyone else’s too

2. Charlie Austin living in 2016

Team name: Another Nigel

Just over five years ago, in late January 2016, Austin scored a dramatic winner against Manchester United on his debut for Southampton.

And don’t we all want to rewind to January 2016?

Austin certainly does, and that’s probably why he’s picked the retro, all-French attack of Alexandre Lacazette, Olivier Giroud and Anthony Martial, all of whom were playing better five years ago than they are right now.

3. Matt Targett having his offensive team name removed

Team name (former): She Was Only XI

Two years ago, Villa full-back Matt Targett was interviewed by Premier League TV, where he revealed that he couldn’t think of an FPL team name and so found the suggestion of ‘Bayern Neverlusen’ online.

This year, Targett went with ‘She Was Only XI’, another well-worn FPL pun, which was duly reported as offensive by an anonymous user.

Now the full-back’s team goes by ‘CHANGE NAME’, the default title assigned to flagged accounts.

What’s worse is that he also sold himself ahead of GW19, missing out on his own 12-point haul against Newcastle — his biggest return of the season.

4. Andy Robertson captaining Danny Ings for three straight blanks

Team name: Show Me The Mane

When we did this list last season, we criticised Robertson for benching Ings the very weekend he scored against Liverpool.

But now Robertson is overcompensating. The full-back has put former team-mate Ings as captain for the last three GWs, and the striker hasn’t scored in any of them.

Blind loyalty.

5. Andy Carroll’s hot-and-cold relationship with Callum Wilson

Team name: AC Me Rollin’

In all honesty, Carroll is better at FPL than we expected him to be. The big Geordie is currently ranked around 830K, almost in the top 10% of managers. That being said, he’s made some rash decisions.

Carroll picked himself for GW1, but after the GW2 defeat to Brighton sold himself for Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic, who hasn’t scored a single PL goal since. Carroll, meanwhile, actually registered an assist in GW3.

But what’s most interesting about Carroll’s FPL team is his frequent selection and deselection of strike partner/rival Wilson.

Here’s the full timeline of Carroll’s transfer business:

  • 16 October: BOUGHT Wilson for Vardy
  • 20 November: SOLD Wilson for Werner
  • 10 December: BOUGHT Wilson for Calvert-Lewin
  • 24 December: SOLD Wilson for Calvert-Lewin
  • 11 January: BOUGHT Wilson for Werner

And it’s not like there’s much method to the madness: Wilson has scored five times in 13 appearances when owned by Carroll, and five in 10 when not owned.

Wilson has just been ruled out for up to two months, so Carroll’s presumably selling him for a third time right now.

6. James Maddison selling himself before a 16-point haul

Team name: Marvin Mads

Patrick Bamford’s blunder pales in comparison to this utterly disastrous move from James Maddison.

Maddison bought himself ahead of GW4, then claimed just two assists and zero goals over eight difficult GWs.

He eventually sold himself, immediately before the GW12 fixture versus Brighton, a game in which he scored twice and picked up a total of 16 points.

Madders truly owning himself by not owning himself.

7. James Chester fielding Bednarek for his -7

Team name: Harry Potters Cloak

Chester has played in the Premier League for Hull and West Brom and now finds himself at Stoke with Ryan Shawcross — another Manchester United academy graduate.

Chester is beating Shawcross in the Stoke FPL mini-league but fielded Bednarek for his record-breaking performance in the 9-0 defeat to Manchester United.

Bednarek earned a score of -7 due to his own goal, red card and number of goals conceded.

Chester was once something of an FPL asset himself: on the opening day of the 2014–15 season, the centre-back — then playing for Hull — scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over QPR, earning himself a massive 15 points.

He was sent off after 14 minutes in the next game.

By Benedict O’Neill

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