Everybody is surely familiar with the Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man in the World,” who inspires you to drink beer out of unbridled joy and amazement. On the other hand, there is Vincent Kompany, the most annoying fantasy player in the world who induces alcoholic imbibement purely for the wrong reasons.
I’m sure that in real life Vincent Kompany by all accounts is a swell chap, a prince among men, salt of the earth. But when it comes to fantasy Premier League, he is pure evil, Beelzebub straight from the underworld, death incarnate tempting you with a goblet of poison.
A Tantalizing Talent in His Heyday
There’s no denying that Kompany has regularly been a star talent for much of his career playing with the Belgian national team and the Premiership’s Manchester City juggernaut. Big and strong, agile and athletic, commanding with instincts only a brilliant central defender could possess, Kompany has rightfully inspired awe and admiration.
His record is impressive, highlighted by a Premier League Player of the Season award in 2011/12 and two league championships (2011/12 and 2013/14). In 234 league matches, Kompany boasts gaudy totals of 139 wins, 84 clean sheets, 38 blocked shots, 493 interceptions, 1,424 clearances, 1,127 duels won, 412 aerial battles won, 16 goals and seven assists, along with only 200 goals conceded. Impressive, right?!
The Nostalgia Factor
When you think of Tom Cruise, you think of Risky Business, Top Gun and Jerry Maguire. It’s easy to forget about more recent flops War of the Worlds, Rock of Ages and The Mummy. Similarly, Stephen King’s name reminds us of brilliant books such as The Running Man, Christine and Misery, but have you ever heard of more current reads The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, The Colorado Kid, or Revival? Just as when you think of Vincent Kompany, you picture how great he was in his younger prime, rather than who he has become at age 31.
Perhaps the most illustrative way to chart his athletic decline comes via statistics surrounding yellow cards, which for defenders can represent a measure not only of rashness and indiscipline but also slow reflexes. In his entire Premier League career to this point, Kompany has accrued 47 yellow cards. In his first six seasons, he had 30 yellows in 15,608 minutes, an average of one card every 520 minutes. In his past two-plus campaigns, he’s drawn 17 YCs in 4,033 minutes, or one per 237 minutes, a shockingly stark difference. The link between body and mind that translates from mental mastery into physical sharpness has sadly vanished into the Mancunian morning mist.
The Big Tease
Unfortunately, Kompany is injured seemingly all the time, especially in recent memory (including right now, for instance). From 2008/09 through 2014/15, the City anchor played at least 25 league games in every season, averaging over 30 appearances per campaign. In 2015/16, he managed only 14, and in 2016/17, that tally declined further to 11. This season, he’s played only thrice in the first 11 games. In the last two-plus campaigns, the roaring Porsche has turned into a broken down Pinto.
A Bumpy Roller Coaster Ride
Aside from health, one of the other main things you want from a fantasy player is consistency with respect to points returned. No, we can’t expect anyone to avoid an occasional donut or negative. And yes, we love the windfall of a huge performance. But what we really want to avoid is the gut ache that accompanies a player who is completely all over the place with the wild highs and lows of absolute unpredictability. Just take a look at Kompany’s fantasy points in Fantrax, game by game, over the past two-plus seasons:
2015/16: 17, 14, 12, 5, 8, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, 5, 3, 10, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, 0, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, -1, 5, 8, 12, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, -1, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP
2016/17: DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, 0, -4, DNP, DNP, -1, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, -2, DNP, 17, 15, -2, 15, -2, 5, 20
2017/18: 13, -3, -2, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP, DNP (through 11 games)
Hit or miss, feast or famine, Valhalla or Hell, that’s what you get with Kompany. The scattershot nature of his returns since 2015/16 is absolutely insane, with 17 positive scores (including 10 in double digits), two zeroes and nine dips into negative territory. In his past 15 games, he’s had eight negatives, which simple math will tell you is more than half the time. And again, that’s only when he’s actually played, which is few and far between. Is your head dizzy from looking at how many DNPs are mixed in there?
Romelu Lukaku once was everybody’s Troll King for a reason. Thankfully, he has shed that label. But surely we all have a player whom we’ve learned to avoid after getting burned one (or two... or ten) too many times. Hey, for me, Kompany is that guy. He’d come back from injury, and I would be wary. Then he’d score a goal along with a clean sheet, so I’d add him. Next he’d get a negative score thanks to a flurry of fouls and a card, thus I would drop him. Following that, he’d deliver a huge score so I’d grab him again. After all that, he’d get injured. Roller coasters can be a lot of fun... but only until you puke.
Spreading the Poison Around
Kompany is not only fantasy strychnine on his own, but he also runs the risk of poisoning your squad elsewhere. ManCity defenders are having a fine year, so it’s likely that you have at least one of Nicolas Otamendi, John Stones, Kyle Walker and/or Fabian Delph (listed dually as defender/midfielder in Fantrax) in your teams. But what happens when the big Belgian returns from injury? Naturally, it’s very likely that he will displace one of the others from the starting line-up. Maybe even one whom you have. Even if not, his rash defending could give up a goal and cost your player a clean sheet. Ouch!
Where are We Now?
Take the wild swings between really great and horribly awful returns, add in the unfortunate and constant injury factor, put the threat of virus spreading to the rest of his teammates on top of it all, and what do you have? The most annoying fantasy player in the world... take a bow, Vincent Kompany!
City’s living legend is apparently ready to return (again) from injury any moment now. But I’ve learned my lesson... Message received... I’m older and wiser... He’s dead to me — Done and done. What about you though? Are you considering grabbing him on the cheap? If so, there’s a room reserved for you in Arkham with a keg of nasty swill in the corner.
Is Vincent Kompany your most annoying fantasy player in the world? Who else drives you even crazier? Do tell in the comments!