Pure fantasy as selection policy lets me down
I had a shocking weekend. The show went well and all the family are fine. But it was bordering on cataclysmic as far as my fantasy football fortunes were concerned.
I promised myself this year that I was going to give it the required amount of attention. In the past, I've spent months with injured players or centre-halves who have long since left the country still in my side. Yet despite my change of attitude, I made the usual mistake last week of completely forgetting to make any alterations until the last minute.
I had finished rehearsing for Football Focus by 1120 BST and was chatting to the editor about how well Wayne Rooney was playing. He said he was tempted to stick the striker in his side even though Manchester United were playing Arsenal. The conversation reminded me that I needed to make adjustments to my already ailing team, so I logged on with minutes to spare before the 1130 BST deadline.
My first mistake was to take the captaincy - and the prospect of double points - from Rooney. To compound that error, I then removed him from my team entirely. "It'll be a 1-1 or 0-0 draw at Old Trafford," I thought. Instead, I picked Liverpool's Luis Suarez.
My second mistake involved Edin Dzeko. Despite telling my mates he was the man to go with, I decided the Manchester City striker was not going to score at Spurs and instead opted to stay with my safe bet - and cheaper option - of Steven Fletcher of Wolves.
All this despite a pre-season chat with Steve McClaren, who assured me that Dzeko, a player he had managed while in charge of Bundesliga side Wolfsburg, would flourish in his second season in English football. "Now he's settled, he'll bang them in," McClaren told me. "You watch." I decided to ignore that sage-like wisdom and wander my own path, flanked by my travelling companions, Mr Belligerence and Major Ineptitude.
These two glaring misses were compounded by the choice of Nani over Ashley Young and the decision to leave Joey Barton in my side even though he couldn't play. There was other general buffoonery when it came to picking players in other positions and I am already miles off the lead in the various BBC leagues. The apathy that normally kicks in during November seems certain to arrive much earlier this year.
On the subject of transfers, the BBC are trying something different on Transfer Deadline Day. I'll be hosting a show on the BBC News Channel alongside Robbie Savage and Martin Keown at 1830 BST and then again at 2230 BST. It will also go out on BBC World for those of you in far-flung corners of the globe. I've been assured there won't be a ticking clock but feel free to tweet me. Not sure if we'll get a deadline day mega-transfer but there are one or two clubs and individuals well worth keeping an eye on.
Saturday's Football Focus should be top drawer as well. It's international week and we'll be joined in the studio by Phil Neville and David James. Phil has already requested Jaffa Cakes for his pre-show snack. Not sure about David but he looks like a Garibaldi man to me. There will be plenty to talk to them about. If you have a specific question you'd like us to ask, stick it below and we'll use the best ones on the show or in Focus Forum.
For those of you who switched on last week to see cars going around a track in Belgium, you'll also be pleased to hear we are back to normal time on Saturday - a 1215 BST kick-off on BBC One. Also, if you're one of these Fantasy Football genii who always hoover up the points, then feel free to hand out the pearls of wisdom to lesser numpties like me.
As ever, if you have a question about the show, ask away. If you'd like to follow the build-up on Twitter, you can find me at twitter.com/danwalkerbbc