KDB and a World of Counterfactuals

One of the strangest Premier League seasons has concluded and, with it, another Fantasy Premier League season finishes, too.

The final round of matches saw me rise from second place to first in my pub FPL table; and found me falling a crucial 10 points short of snatching victory in my workplace FPL table, despite making up a deficit of over 50 points in the last two game-weeks.  It was a case of nearly, but not quite.

If only I hadn’t transferred out Kevin De Bruyne for that last round of matches.  I was banking on him being rested when, instead, his 19 points (2 goals and an assist) would have secured me victory.  If only.

FPL is all about the ‘if only’s and success in FPL is about who manages the ‘if only’s most adroitly.  Keep your ‘if only’s to a minimum and the chances are that you are a long way towards triumphing.

‘If only’s are examples of counterfactuals; a statement where the conditional clause is false, leading to a hypothetical event.  For example: If only I hadn’t transferred out Kevin De Bruyne, I would have won my workplace FPL.

Hindsight would suggest that I could have reduced an ‘if only’ by not transferring KDB, but this only raises the spectre of a different ‘if only’; the ‘if only’ that I didn’t transfer KDB and he had been rested.  The lesson here is that inaction creates ‘if only’s as surely as action, and you can’t make use of hindsight in order to manage your ‘if only’s.

So, what do you do?

I find in FPL, as in Life, there is a simple solution to dealing with the ‘if only’s.  It is a weapon I keep in my philosophic arsenal called the ‘whatever’.

Don’t let the ‘if only’s paralyse you from making a decision; adopt a ‘whatever’ attitude if your decision proves to be the wrong one.  (Don’t extend this analogy as a design for living if your job happens to be life-saving heart surgeon, air traffic controller, or lolly-pop lady.  Ed.)

If only I hadn’t transferred out KDB, I would have won my workplace FPL.  WHATEVER.

I’ll beat the feckers next time around.

© Donnie Blake


Donnie Blake is already planning his strategy for the FPL season 2020-21.


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