Meet @Rickysaunders77 – Our Tottenham Correspondent

15/07/2018 Planet FPL

What is your Twitter handle?


Who do you support?

Tottenham Hotspur.

Why do you support them?

My dad isn’t a football fan and as such football played no part in my early life.  It was my two best friends, Clod (Andrew) and Gedge (Michael) that came to the rescue! We all lived near each other and on the walks home from school together they would be signing the latest Chas and Dave FA Cup final song.  As I heard them singing about ‘Hot Shot Tottenham’ and all the players, I fell in love on the spot. Over 30 years later, myself and Clod are still great friends and have season tickets next to each other.

How often do you get to attend matches?

Not very often in recent years.  I moved up north in the early 2000’s and it made getting to games very tricky.  I moved back to Bedford in 2012 but by that time I was a single father and that made getting to games even harder!  I have just purchased a season ticket though so, I will be going much more often this season.

Who is your favourite ever player?

The King himself!  ‘O Ledley, Ledley. He’s only got one knee’

A truly magnificent player, beloved by every single Spurs fan but never really give the recognition he deserved from other fans.  He was wheeled out every week and despite not being able to train and always being in pain he put in performance after performance.

If you’re ever in doubt as to how good he was, go on YouTube and watch his tackle against Robben.

What win in your lifetime means the most to you?

There have been many over the years.  Last season’s win over Madrid and the win against Inter in our first season in the Champions League are right up there with my favourites.  My number one must be the FA Cup semi win over Arsenal back in 1991. We were near to bankruptcy and going out of business at the time but a win against the enemy to take us back to Wembley for the final gave us all hope that we could survive.  We won the cup, Sugar bought the club and Gazza was sold to Lazio to help offset the club’s debts the following season. His performance in the cup that year, especially that freekick in the semi pretty much saved my club.

Which goal meant the most?

Normally I would say Gazza’s goal against Arsenal in ’91 but as I’ve referenced that one already I’d better pick another.  I’m stuck between two goals and both were scored by, none other that Younes Kaboul!! His winning goal in a 3-2 win at Arsenal after being 2-0 down and his equalising goal in a 4-4 draw on our birthday night against Villa.  The sheer emotion of that night is something that has never left me.

Which team would you most like to beat this season?

Is this a serious question? Lol.  Arsenal, no doubt about it.

Are you happy with your manager?

I couldn’t be happier.  He loves the club and we love him.  More importantly the players love him too.  They respect him, play for him and have totally bought into his philosophy.  I always feared he would go on to bigger and better things and I’m sure he will one day, but signing a new deal then turning down Madrid made us love him all the more.

Are you happy with your Board/Chairman?

Absolutely.  I have always been a massive fan of Daniel Levy, even when it wasn’t popular to be one.  He hasn’t always got it right with players or managers, but he has stuck to his principals and his vision.  Yes, he is a business man, but he was a Tottenham fan before that and I know he loves my club just as much as I do.  Madrid reported the main reason they would not be following up on their approach for Poch was they would have to deal with Levy! We no longer sell our best players or get bullied by bigger clubs and that is down to Levy being one of the toughest negotiators in world football.

Where do you realistically think your club will finish this season?

I’m going slightly bold with a 3rd place finish.  Liverpool will challenge City all the way and we will be the best of the rest.  United will be up there but Jose’s negative style could see him lose some of the dressing room with results suffering.  Chelsea could do anything next season, win the lot or come 6th! Arsenal are very much a work in progress and I think the coming season will be too soon for them to break back into the top 4.

What opposition player do you secretly admire?

RLC.  He has everything needed to be a superstar.  I was delighted when he went to Palace (my grandad was from just down the road in Beckenham and is a massive fan) and he had a great season.  He can certainly play a big part for Chelsea next season, if they give him a chance.

Is there a youngster at the club who could become a regular in the side this season?

The short answer is no.  Walker-Peters and Foyth will be used for some cup games and may get a run out if we have some injuries but that’s about it really.  Reo Griffiths has just signed a new contract and looks like a good prospect but I don’t expect to see him feature this season.  Marcus Edwards seems to have all the talent but a bad attitude to go with it after being sent back early from a loan to Norwich.  After spending last season at Sheffield United and Ipswich, Cameron Carter-Vickers could be sent out to a Premier league team this time round. Him and Foyth could even be used as back up if we don’t replace Toby.

Who do you think will be your club's top FPL points scorer this season?

That man Kane again.  I expect Eriksen to do big things too.

Can you tell us about your FPL history?

I’ve been playing for 12 seasons now.  Apart from one season, when I gave up just after Christmas, my lowest rank is 159k.  I’ve got 6 top 100k finishes with a high of 17k in 15/16.  I suffered from Kanexit last season and dropped from 30k to 205k in 3 weeks but I managed to recover to finish at a respectable 46,737.

What would be a successful FPL finish for you this season?

Its only the last 2/3 seasons that I’ve even looked at my overall rank. I measure the success of my season based on my mini league. Myself and 5 close friends have been playing in a mini league since the 2007/08 season.  We have a Christmas do, end of season awards and a trophy!  It is taken very seriously.  I generally find that my overall rank will suffer towards the end of the season as I play the game based on if I’m chasing in my league or closing it out.

What formation do you generally favour for FPL?

3-4-3 normally but with a cheaper 3rd striker.  Going with 3 big hitters up top creates too much of an unbalance unless you can find an Alli or Mahrez going cheap. 3-5-2 or even a 4-5-1 could be the way forward next season depending on how the forwards are priced.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned playing FPL?

Don’t rage transfer!!!! Its so tempting to make that early transfer to catch an extra 0.1 but that extra is nothing compared to team news.  If you make good moves, then your players will rise anyway.

Also, don’t saturate yourself with info.  In the past I’ve listened to as many podcasts as I can, but I found myself more confused than before I started.  Pick 1 or 2 that deliver constantly good and reliable advice and stick to them. (make sure that Planet FPL is one of them!) 

When did you use your chips last season and was it successful?

GW6 – 1st Wildcard

GW32 – 2nd Wildcard

GW34 – Triple Captain

GW35 – Free Hit

GW37 – Bench Boost

I never intended playing my first wildcard that early.  It was a bit of a reaction to a poor GW5.  It was ok but didn’t pull up any trees.  I played my 2nd one as soon as the deadline passed and regretted it as soon as the DGW fixtures were announced.  It didn’t work out too bad in the end but the players I almost signed massively outscored those who I did sign!

I got an extra 10 points from using the triple captain on Kane.

My free hit was possibly my biggest success of the season.  It gave me an extra 58 points compared to what I would have got and a GW rank of 7k.

Bench Boost gave me an extra 15 points.

Anything else we should know about you?

I’m a 41 year-old single father to an autistic daughter.  I’ve worked for the same company for 20 years.  Love learning about of the origins and history of British football.  Like a flutter. Former Amateur boxer and massive boxing fan. Firm believer in that if you do good things for people good things will happen for you.

I only became part of the ‘FPL community’ part way through last season and it has been a big eye opener for me.  Loads of great people and content out there.  I remember I used to spend all of about 3 minutes making a transfer and never read team news!


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