Believe it or not, the Premier League 2020/21 season is just weeks away and while some of you might think the world’s most pulsating football competition is all about stunning goals, sensational stories and VAR’s vicissitudes you’d be wronger than whatever “chemtrails are rotting yer brain” sh*te your uncle’s ranting about on Facebook this week.
Really, the return of the Premier League is about one thing – fantasy football points.
It doesn’t matter if your captain smashes in a screamer from 30 yards or bundles it over the line with his backside as long as he scores – at least for the three weeks you can be bothered to update your team it is anyway.
But even as the metaphorical cobwebs multiply on your bargain bin defence helmed by David Luiz, or your spluttering midfield built around Jesse Lingard’s assists is buried in layers of dust, your team can still stand out beyond the metrics of mere points earned through Premier League games though an “incredibly funny”, highly offensive or just downright bizarre name that makes up the Fantasy Premier League competitors.
But how do you come up with a cracking name that still has your mates chortling in March even as your team languishes at the bottom of the table?
Here are a few pointers…
I Have a Punning Plan…
Who Ate All Depays? One Size Fitz Hall. Khedira Pin Drop. On Me Gedson. Ings When You’re Winning.
Yes, if crowbarring a footballer’s name into some common figure of speech is your bag, then you can underline your “bit of a joker” credentials with a sliver of nifty wordplay amid the “In It 2 Win It” and “MUFC4EVER” drones who make up the six million or so worldwide playing population of the Premier League’s fantasy football offering.
Though puns are just the starting point for those who wish their team name to echo through the annals of PL fantasy history, so while settling for an outdated witticism will fill the gap on your screen, it may leave a gnawing sense of existential ennui in your soul for the months of the league season. Or not.
Best: Hutton Dressed as Lahm.
Worst: Lads on Toure
Fox on the Box
If you’re looking for a bit more inspiration, that 52-inch glass screen in the corner might provide a few ideas.
Game of Throw-ins has probably had its day, but try telling yer da Men Behaving Chadli is out-of-date, he’s still going to use it, while Absolutely Fabregas was popular with housewives throughout the land that time they put in a team.
And if you’re a real Crouch Potato (heh), you can take off some movies as well – The Zarate Kid, Willian Dollar Baby, Slumdog Mignolet, they’ll all do, though we’d expect Finding Timo to be gaining pop this season.
Best: Teenage Mutant Ninja Skrtels
Worst: Cesc & The City
Are you ready for the 2020/21 #FPL season? ?
— Fantasy Premier League (@OfficialFPL) August 26, 2020
That’s Your Mum, That Is
While mucking about with player names from yesteryear might please the more anoraky fantasy player, others will feel a brusquer approach is required. And it doesn’t get more bruising than outright insults.
Inter Urmam really isn’t something your mam would like to see you committing to the internet beside your name, but it certainly gets the job done.
And while we don’t condone this behaviour, some choose to elevate mind games to another level by using names of ex-girlfriends of their league rivals to outpsych opponents. While this behaviour may go down a storm at the time, you do run the risk of ending up with no friends, so approach with caution.
Similarly, the outright offensive approach to naming your team does allow for some imaginative turns through gratuitous swearing and disgusting imagery – who can forget For Fuchs Ake or BashamTheBishop as they played their wildcard a month into the season a couple of years back? – however, rather like Teemu Pukki, this approach seems exciting at first, but by November you’ll be wondering what you were thinking.
Best: Crystal Phallus
Worst: 2 Goals 1 Schlupp
Though if the harsher edges of this approach don’t appeal, you can take inspiration from music.
Arguably, Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s greatest contribution to popular culture may not have been the vocal for Groovejet’s “If This Ain’t Love”, but rather the puntastic proliferation of MurderonZidane’sFloors among fantasy football managers.
Run the Kewells, Dzeko and the Bunnymen, Gangster’s Allardyce, Le Saux Solid Crew, Giroud Sandstorm, Knowing Me, Knowing You, Zaha! – there’s a football-related play on words for pretty much every tune or artist you can name, apart from The The, maybe.
Though if you are settling for Kings of Leon Osman you really could try a bit harder.
Best: AC a Little Silhouetto of Milan
Worst: Mertesacker Emptiness