What is your Twitter handle?
Who do you support?
Why do you support them?
Not being fortunate enough to be born in a footballing nation, it didn’t stop me from loving the sport. I started watching the PL in 2003 and didn’t know much about the teams that played and their history. The famous night in Istanbul ’05 is what first got me attached to Liverpool. The comeback in that game was something incredible and I started following them more. As I watched more of their games and read more about their history, I found myself growing more and more attached to the club and soon realised I had started loving Liverpool Football Club and the football they played. Whether it’s the passion, the players, the fans, the coaches, Liverpool are responsible for some of my greatest joys in life and also some of the worst heartbreaks but I wouldn’t trade supporting them for anything else in the world
How often do you get to attend matches?
Again, because I stay in India and have travelled to UK only once in my life, I have attended just one Liverpool game. I had come to London for work related training in August – September 2016 and my training was supposed to end on 10th September with the first home game for Liverpool (delayed due to new stand) on 11th September. I made the most of that opportunity and bought a ticket for myself to fulfill my dream of seeing Liverpool Football Club play live. I had a flight to catch on 12th September and had no trains coming back to London after the game. Despite this, I was extremely keen and determined to watch the game and it was one of the best moments of my life. The dream to sing YNWA in the stadium, taking in the passion of a football game and getting behind the team I always supported is a moment I will cherish forever. Liverpool ran out 4-1 winners against defending champions Leicester City and watching the game (although a little heavy on the pocket and some commute troubles) was completely worth it. If I get more chances to come to the UK, I will make sure I get to attend as many matches as possible.
Who is your favorite ever player?
Steven Gerrard – Captain. Leader. Legend. Growing up, I have watched Gerrard captain the club I support and wear his heart on his sleeve every time he stepped on the pitch. Leadership and loyalties are two qualities that I learnt best from him. Seeing his long range wonder strikes, pin point chance creation and tireless running, was and will always be special to me. A player who stepped up when needed the most (barring the unfortunate “slip”), Steven Gerrard is a player who has made Liverpool special in my heart.
What win in your lifetime means the most to you?
Has to be the magical night in Istanbul in 2005. The UCL final, I have finished off all of my tasks, sitting and waiting eagerly for my team to come out there and win the prestigious trophy for the 5th time. Half time, Liverpool trailing 3-0 and it seemed like there was no way back. Can you imagine seeing a team come back from a point where any normal person would see no way back? That is what Liverpool did that night, they taught me “it is never over till it is over”. I cannot imagine the ecstasy fans felt in the stadium, because I was going crazy thousands of miles away and shouting at the top of my voice. Magical, unbelievable, sensational, any words I use cannot describe that game enough, that night enough. I felt a part of the club family that night and that win means the most to me
Which goal meant the most?
Steven Gerrard’s header vs AC Milan in the UCL final in 2005 in that magical night in Istanbul. The goal that gave us a chance, gave us a hint of a comeback, gave us something to cheer about when all seemed lost. This goal is the most special for me because as I mentioned above, this win meant the most to me, and the best ever player for me is Steven Gerrard.
Which team would you most like to beat this season?
Manchester United. It always has to be them. PL rivals, knocked us off our perch and I hate Jose Mourinho, so definitely would love to beat Manchester United the most this season.
Are you happy with your manager?
Yes, I was extremely happy when Klopp was announced manager of Liverpool Football Club. We could not have asked for a better manager after Rodgers’ sacking. Klopp has turned us into one of the most attractive football playing teams in Europe, while helping us reach three cup finals. Yes we did lose them, but I think we will soon start winning them. Klopp has made some terrific signings, and they are smart signings, he does not go about splashing money unless he really thinks that player is absolutely necessary for Liverpool and is definitely needed. He has got rid of almost all deadwood and has built this squad into a strong, challenging for trophies one. All this while playing attractive attacking football and giving the fans something to cheer about every season.
Are you happy with your Board/Chairman?
Yes, I think there has been a shift now where I can see the financial backing for Klopp being much better than for earlier managers. I still think they could open their pockets a little more, because you really need strong financial backing to compete with the top English clubs. I am happy for now.
Where do you realistically think your club will finish this season?
Top 4 I think, maybe 3rd or 4th.
I genuinely think we have a squad capable of challenging for the title, but the issue as always for me will be squad depth. Unless we bring in much more and stronger bench strength, there will be some limitation to consistency and we may have to settle again for a 3rd or 4th place finish. If the strong players are able to stay injury free, and we add at least a couple of players to our attack, I think we can genuinely target the PL or UCL title.
What opposition player do you secretly admire?
David De Gea, the absolute bastard (pardon my language). God, I hate him, hate him because he is the best keeper in the world for me right now but plays for our bitter rivals Manchester United. Liverpool’s keeper issues have been evident for the last few years now and seeing De Gea making wonder saves week in week out to win points for Manchester United is annoying to say the least. I love him as a player, hate the fact that he not only does not play for us but instead plays for our bitter rivals
Is there a youngster at the club who could become a regular in the side this season?
I think you may say that he has already played a pretty regular role in the side last season but I think we will only see more of him playing now. Talking about Trent Alexander-Arnold (TAA). Clyne’s long-term injury gave both Joe Gomez and TAA their fair share of chances last season but TAA made the place his own in the 2nd half of the season. The free-kick against Hoffenheim or pocketing Sane in the UCL quarters, at the age of 19, TAA showed excellent temperament and seems like a terrific player in the making. His brilliant 2nd half of the season also earned him an England call up which is absolutely remarkable for such a young player. The coming season, we will see him as our first choice right back and expect a lot more amazing performances from the young talented lad.
Who do you think will be your club’s top FPL points scorer this season?
I cannot help but think this has to be Mohamed Salah. The guy was unreal last season, unbelievable consistency and smashing all FPL records along the way to a massive 303pts. (think he is the highest ever FPL points scorer in a single season) with 32 goals and 12 assists. Those are some unbelievable stats for anyone, let alone for someone who played his proper debut PL season. Scary part is, if Salah did this in his debut season, he can be even more dangerous in the coming season with further reinforcements in Liverpool’s midfield and at the back of the outrageous last season. He will be on penalties, scored 2 goals for Egypt at the World Cup too, can’t really look past the Egyptian King Mo to be our highest points scorer 2nd season in a row.
Can you tell us about your FPL history?
I started playing the game casually in Cristiano Ronaldo’s last season for Manchester United and mind you, casually means extremely amateur. I didn’t know captains got double points, and I thought you just had to choose the captain as the player you like the most and I used to captain Pepe Reina all the time. Started playing properly in 2012/13 season but never paid a lot of attention to OR and instead only the mini leagues for the first 3 seasons. Post that my finishes have been 94.9k, 29.8k, 31.3k and 2.3k with my personal best 2.3k finish coming last year. Over the years, if you see I have focused on improving my OR and I think I am on track. Again, when I started playing and in my earlier seasons I never did any research, paid little attention to underlying stats and only bought players because I had a personal bias or there were favorable fixtures, but with time I have started reading much more about underlying stats, doing research and going through some fantastic resources on twitter and taking a much more holistic approach to FPL giving me the finish I got last season. I believe there is still a lot to learn and there are plenty of veterans who you can learn from and also learn from your own mistakes and continuously improve in your OR finishes.
What would be a successful FPL finish for you this season?
As I mentioned in the above answer, I think over the last few years I have focused much more on a good overall rank finish and have started putting in more efforts consciously to do that. With two top 50k finishes and one top 3k finish, I am hoping to perform equally well if not better and achieve at least a top 20-25k finish. In a game with over 5 million players, a top 1% finish is terrific in my opinion and I would like to become a more consistent player in terms of my overall rank finishes. Also, it is only in the last 3 years that I have taken to Twitter for help with my FPL team and I have to say it is extremely helpful, whether it is interactions, articles, podcasts or videos, all resources are extremely insightful and I am sure they will help a player do much better than if they were only doing it on their own.
What formation do you generally favour for FPL?
Naturally I have always favoured attackers, since they are the ones with the higher points ceiling in comparison to defenders. So, I have mostly opted for a 3-4-3 or a 3-5-2 formation but last couple of seasons with the wing-backs coming to the fore, there has been a slight shift towards favoring 4 or even 5 at the back with wing backs effectively being your mid-priced midfielders. Whether there will be a strong change of formation is yet to be seen but since I have started playing FPL, I have favored either 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 maximising my chances of returns by playing with more attackers.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned playing FPL?
This may sound obvious but I cannot stress this point enough – Form over Fixtures, ALWAYS. You have a significantly higher chance of being successful at FPL if you take this mantra and work on it. Time after time, I have made mistakes getting in players with “favourable” fixtures ignoring the form players just because they have some tough games. I have learnt and am trying to lessen these mistakes but there is still scope for improvement. Another thing I have learnt is that doing some research goes a long way, go through articles, podcasts, and videos aplenty of online/offline resources and make calculated calls instead of blind moves. There is no direct formula for success but if you pay attention to the two things I just mentioned and apply them to your game, there is a much higher chance you will do well
When did you use your chips last season and was it successful?
Last season, we had the brand new “Free hit” chip instead of the absolutely useless (let’s be honest here) “all-out attack” chip. Triple captain and bench boost chips remain unchanged. As was the case with the first season with chips, I had planned on using the triple captain and bench boost chips in double GWs with no clear strategy for the free hit chip. Interestingly I opted to use all my chips in the latter weeks but I did see many people use free hit or triple captain chips early on to maximise their returns early on. I used my 2nd WC in GW32 with the aim of bench boosting in GW34 so filled my squad with players from teams who had a DGW34. Used my bench boost in GW34 scoring 99 pts. (4 pt hit) which was slightly underwhelming in a double GW but the average was only 64 pts.
Used my free hit in the immediate week following bench boost i.e. in GW35. This was a blank GW where all teams who had a double in 34 (except Burnley) did not have a fixture in GW35 making it very easy to use my WC with DGWs 34 and 37 and not worrying about GW35 at all. The free hit chip was definitely a success as I scored 67 pts. that week versus an average of just 30 pts, nearly doubling my overall rank.
That leaves the triple captain chip that I deployed in the final double GW37 and amassed an extremely underwhelming 89 pts (average being 67) to cap off a stuttering end to what was a really a successful season personally.
Verdict: Free hit definitely a success, bench boost – average, triple captain – below par
Anything else we should know about you?
From the above answers or if you have interacted with me, you will see that I love both Liverpool and FPL with huge amounts of passion. I wear my heart on my sleeve and you will always see this in any medium of communication. I have played a few years of FPL now and am learning as much as possible and would always love to give back to the FPL community in some way or another as I have learnt a lot from each one. I love Football. I love Liverpool. I love FPL.