Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers are a strange breed.
At weekends they can be found glued to their phones, checking scores and counting up how many chances were created.
Their partners can be long-suffering, dealing with erratic moods that fluctuate depending on how many points their captain has scored.
And when at work they become shocked and confused upon discovering that their colleague, who barely gives his team a second glance, is happy to captain Brighton and Hove Albion’s Pascal Gross (£5.7m) and is somehow top of the office mini-league.
These sorts of situations are the influence behind stand-up comedian and Fantasy Football fan Tom Glover’s raft of popular videos across social media that highlight the strange world of his fellow FPL managers.
In the latest instalment of his ‘Meet the Manager’ series, Joe chats to Tottenham Hotspur fan Tom about his career both as a stand-up comic and Fantasy Football manager.
This interview marks a reuniting of sorts for Joe, after he was involved in one of Tom’s recent videos about how content creators manage to produce so many videos and podcasts each week.
During their chat, Joe discovers how lockdown proved pivotal for Tom, as venues were shut down and stand-up comedians like him were unable to work in front of a live crowd.
Instead, many took to social media and this kick-started Tom’s move into making videos about how FPL managers really think.
He also now hosts an FPL Face Off podcast, alongside fellow comedian Daniel FitzHenry. This started as Tom, whose main game was Sky Fantasy Football, decided to give FPL a go last season. He ended up with a top 6k finish and a trouncing of his co-host.
During this latest episode of ‘Meet the Manager’, Joe finds out how Tom did so well in his debut season.
They also delve into his travails this season so far – one which has not started well, after missing out on notable hauls from the likes of Gabriel Jesus (£8.2m).
But armed with a freshly Wildcarded squad in Gameweek 3, his team is looking in far better shape and has been rewarded with an initial green arrow.
Joe and Tom chat about their Gameweek 4 plans and why a three-forward formation is fast becoming the norm for many FPL managers. But will Mason Mount (£7.9m) survive in both of their teams?
The Fantasy Football community is full of talented content creators. Some write songs about our Gameweeks, some devise colouring-in journals to track our Gameweeks (such as last week’s Meet the Manager guest Craig Priestley).
Tom is a welcome addition to that list, whose decade-long career as a comedian is evident to see in his regular videos that expose the reality of FPL management.
For many veteran managers, including Mark Sutherns, Tom’s takes on our hobby can be a little too close to the truth. Fans of Mark’s ‘Preamble‘ column on Fantasy Football Scout will know all too well how he regularly had to navigate FPL management with day-to-day family life.
Tom’s enjoyment of Fantasy Football is also evident and marks him out from more mainstream comics looking to create such content. His jokes are full of affection for how odd our hobby can sometimes be.
And yes, I am in my cupboard as I write this. Hopefully, he’ll let me out when it’s done.