We haven’t yet reached the Christmas break and I am afraid Belle’s Babes have not lived up to my wishful imaginings that August day when I first drafted in players and the season began. I am in 10th place in a league of 18; I am a sorry to say that my husband (manager of the Ciccola Dolphins) who even missed the first week has just overtaken me. I relied too heavily on non-performing Chelsea strikers in those opening games (they are still well off the pace and I have now sold them). I need to make 10 points more than the leaders for the next 10 games to have any chance of a top 5 finish. That’s not impossible but by this time in the year most people have identified the top points getters and can adjust their teams accordingly. What I need is a hat-trick from a outside ringer and I can’t think who that would be just now.

I won’t say I have given up. The mindspace that Fantasy Football takes up is precious territory. It brings hope, diversion and a loving shared interest with my son, now many many miles away in Australia. I get to debate fiercely (often by Skype) issues of no consequence, such as is it ok to pick a Man United player as my captain when they play is against Chelsea (answer: no, and I never have though my son claims I did two seasons ago — he’s wrong). And whether a player who costs less than 6 will ever produce that magic hat trick.

Belle’s Babes go into Saturday a good 80 points off the lead. I have to decide whether to make any trades, whether Aquero will continue his blistering goal scoring run against Swansea, or whether I should make Sturridge my captain this time as Liverpool take on Hull City away. Should I finally buy a Chelsea striker or stick with my front line of the above two plus Southampton’s Ricky Lambert, who’s been having a dry spell of late.  Many miles away, Gabriel is having similar thoughts, maybe even at the same hour that I am.

Luck and a good tail wind, as my father would say, may just see me through. I hope so. Tonight of course, it is Champions League football and I will be staunchly supporting Chelsea as they take on Basel in a revenge gig away from home. One point would put secure a spot in the last 16. I really don’t know why it matters that much, but it does.


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