TITLE races don’t come much more thrilling than this season’s Kenna, but when it’s all over one manager may look back on a transfer window with severe regret.
The Piedmonte manager has his best chance of winning the league since its origins in 2005. It would be quite an itch to scratch considering he was among the eight pioneers of the Kenna that fateful night in The Old Bank of England.
As this season rolls into the final five weeks, Piedmonte find themselves just 25 points behind flash new boys FC Testiculadew. Dismissing a potentially catastrophic oversight by league organisers, one manager will be spraying champagne onto the bare breasts of high-class escort girls while the other will be throwing up a bellyful of Frosty Jacks in the park, along with the rest of the league.
If the Piedmonte manager finds himself waking up in his own vomit, as he has eight times before, the sale of Samir Nasri at the second transfer window will be a source of tortuous despair.
Now Piedmonte find themselves so close to missing out, the manager is introspectively taking to social media:
— Phil Davis (@PhillyD55) April 7, 2014
He’s wrong. The fact is that if he’d made no transfers he wouldn’t be top of the league, but his team would have scored more goals (see below).
No one could criticise the Piedmonte manager for releasing Emmanuel Adebayor at the October window. The Togolese didn’t score a single point in those first six weeks, and looked to be having another season the elephant would sooner forget.
His replacement Jonathan Walters used to be one of those bargain Kenna bankers, but he’s had a torrid time of late and in 13 weeks for Piedmonte scored at less than two points a week, notching just two goals in the process.
‘The Pies’ replaced him with Peter Odemwingie, a huge gamble considering the Nigerian’s troubles, but he’s gone on to score a whopping 44 points in the last 10 weeks.
So no strikers sleeping in the car park – it’s in midfield where the manager has come unstuck.
A handful of good games, including one for England, meant Andros Townsend was so universally fashionable earlier this season he was even talked about in space.
But since joining Piedmonte, Townsend has clocked up a miserable 1.4 points a week. In the same time Samir Nasri has been going at an astronomic rate of 4.9.
Even more confounding for the Pies managers is that while Nasri’s purple patch has come since he left the club, he was already scoring at a very respectable 4.26 points, and if he’d kept the Frenchman he would be 20 points above FCT and have scored two more goals.
That’s going to haunt the Piedmonte manager if he misses out in yet another season.
Current total: 990 points, 43 goals
Starting XI total: 983 points, 49 goals
If he’d kept Nasri: 1,025 points, 47 goals
Piedmonte average points scored a week – individual
Krul – 2.47
Ben Davies – 2.34
Hangeland – 1.44
Phil Jones – 1.47
Jags – 2.66
Stevie G – 5.09
Noble – 3.09
Puncheon – 3.19
Nasri – 4.26 for Pies, 4.56 for the season / Townsend – 1.4 for Pies, 2.41 for the season
Long – 2.81
Adebayor – 0 for Pies, 3.06 for the season / J Walters - 2.77 for Pies, 2.41 for the season / Odemwingie - 4.4 for Pies,
BLUNDERING blazers at Kenna HQ are desperately scrabbling to find a tie-break solution after chances mounted this week that the top two clubs could end the season on the same points and goals.
Another notch from in-form Jason Puncheon and an assist from Steve Gerrard helped Piedmonte close the gap on league leaders FC Testiculadew to just 25 points. With five weeks left of the campaign only two goals scored separates the sides.
What’s now being billed as the closest Kenna title race ever could turn into a shambles as bungling officials at league headquarters admitted there was no contingency plan should two sides end level on points and goals scored.
An extraordinary committee meeting was convoked earlier today to discuss a solution.
Leaked minutes revealed the Kenna executive is considering a number of tie-break options, which include going down to points scored in the final week, ranking the teams on the number of clean sheets kept or declaring the 10-month competition a draw.
One committee member even suggested managers sending in a one-minute video plea for the championship so the rest of the league could vote on the most deserving.
The news will be of severe concern to both the Piedmonte and FCT managers, the former hoping for his first title in nine years of trying and the latter in the hunt for an unprecedented second Kenna league and cup double.
Should the FCT manager win the league outright, he could rue his team’s Canesten Combi Cup semi-final performance this weekend. The former cup winners failed to register an away goal in their sibling derby with Headless Chickens.
The second leg will take place this weekend.
Canesten Combi Cup semi-final first leg results
Northern Monkeys 2 – 0 St Reatham FC
Headless Chickens 0 – 0 FC Testiculadew
|1||Team Panda Rules OK||George||32||1|
|2||Sporting Lesbian||Ben M||29||1|
|3||Lokomotiv Leeds||Ben S||26||0|
|7||Rapids De Cullons CF||Jorge||24||0|
|8||KS West Green||Stix||23||0|
|10||Judean Peoples Front||Sholto||20||1|
|11||St. Reatham FC||Mike||20||0|
|13||Just put Carles||Carles||18||0|
|14||Dulwich Red Sox||Luke||17||1|
|15||PSV Mornington||El Pons||17||0|
|17||This is Sparta…Prague||Rich||15||0|
|19||FC Testiculadew||James N||13||0|
|21||Headless Chickens||John N||11||0|
|22||Still Don’t Know Yet||Pete||7||0|
|Player of the week||12||Fabianski, L – ARS – GK|
POOR Stewart Downing.
His only crime was to have a left foot and enough talent to get him into the top flight of domestic football.
Yet coming of age at a time when the English public were dreaming of a world class left winger to solve all the problems of the national side, his inferiority to the likes of a Ryan Giggs, a Leo Messi or even a Diego Maradonna, has brought Stewart into the firing line for much criticism over matters completely out of his control.
All of which means that while Kenna managers may appreciate Downing is a regular starter, they are also quick to blame him when things aren’t going well.
His demeanour doesn’t help. Constantly looking like a small boy at an information desk awkwardly hearing his own name being read out over the shopping centre tannoy and dreading the moment his relieved mother makes a tearful reunion now the school bully has clocked him while out for a spot of shoplifting, Stewart’s expression appears to invite contempt.
This season Downing is the only player to appear for three different Kenna teams, having found himself released at both transfer windows.
Bought for £9.5m by Judean Peoples’ Front at the August auction, the winger overcame injury and settling in to West Ham to only score at an average of 1.33 points a week. Downing found himself released at the October transfer window.
The Newington Reds manager snaffled Downing for half a million pounds and throughout autumn, Christmas and January he scored at a very creditable three points a week. League leaders FC Testiculadew have seen their players score at 2.9 points a week on average this campaign.
A Liverpool fan, perhaps it was the Newington Reds manager’s memory of that season of no goals and no assists, but he saw fit to jettison Downing at the February window.
Northern Monkeys picked up the winger for the nominal £0.5m, and have seen him continue that form to score at 2.67 points a week.
What was the Reds manager’s midfield doing while his former player was helping Monkeys to the Canesten Combi Cup semi final?
Assembled for £13m at that raucous night in The Enterprise, the trio of Nathan Redmond, Adnan Januzaj and Oussama Assiadi have scored just two more points between them than Downing.
“The nine-year trophy hunt for Reds continues,” said the chairman, his PhD in hindsight neatly framed on his Kenna HQ office wall.
Stewart Downing’s season
Judean Peoples’ Front – £9.5m – six weeks / eight points – 1.33 point a week
Newington Reds – £0.5m – 13 weeks / 39 points – 3 points a week
Northern Monkeys – £0.5m – nine weeks / 24 points – 2.67 points a week
Newington Reds replacement midfield:
Redmond – £0.5m – 12 points
Januzaj – £12m – 11 points
Assaidi – £0.5m – 3 points
BREATHLESS attacking football from two teams challenging for the Kenna title lit up the league with six weeks left of the season.
FC Testiculadew may have extended their lead by two points at the top with goals from Juan Mata and Edin Dzeko, but led by Jason Puncheon’s player-of-the-week performance and a double strike from Stevie G, Piedmonte refused to let up.
In the tightest Kenna since Vasco De Beauvoir pipped Insomnia’s Titans in 2010, FCT and the Pies find themselves like two sluggers in the ring Puncheon it out, which makes a refreshing change from the midfielder’s reputation for Puncheon one off mid match.
Whether either side can maintain this scintillating offensive play for the rest of the title race is uncertain. FCT have lost striker Christian Benteke for the rest of the season through injury and the imminent return of KS West Green striker Sergio Aguero could mean demotion to the bench for Dzeko.
From the Piedmonte perspective, it would take a Herculean effort from their ragtag bunch of misfits to overhaul a 47-point gap in the handful of games left.
What is clear is that Judean Peoples’ Front have dropped out of the race, their chances of competing stretchered off along with Jay Rodriguez on Saturday afternoon.
Looking ahead to the weekend, FCT are still in the hunt for a Kenna double. They take on Headless Chickens in a semi final first leg sibling derby.
Last year’s bottom-placed manager, now in charge of St Reatham FC, appears to have overcome the anxiety that led to a dark spring night on Chobham Common and will battle it out with Northern Monkeys in the other tie.
|1||FC Testiculadew||James N||49||3|
|3||Headless Chickens||John N||37||2|
|4||Just put Carles||Carles||36||1|
|6||Judean Peoples Front||Sholto||32||1|
|10||Sporting Lesbian||Ben M||21||0|
|11||St. Reatham FC||Mike||21||0|
|12||Team Panda Rules OK||George||20||0|
|14||KS West Green||Stix||19||0|
|15||This is Sparta…Prague||Rich||19||0|
|17||Lokomotiv Leeds||Ben S||15||0|
|19||PSV Mornington||El Pons||10||0|
|21||Rapids De Cullons CF||Jorge||8||0|
|22||Still Don’t Know Yet||Pete||6||0|
|23||Dulwich Red Sox||Luke||5||0|
|Player of the week||15||Puncheon, J – CRY – MID|
HUNDREDS of column inches have been dedicated to the shortcomings of Argentine defender Martin Demichelis this season and in the most part for good reason.
The pony-tailed centre back appears most at home lumbering around just outside his own 18-yard line with all the agility of a ginned-up lollipop lady, desperately trying to keep up with his sleeker teammates.
Up against the cream of European talent, Demichelis’ height, chunky bearing and lantern jaw make him look less a professional footballer and more like he should be wearing a leather jacket and fencing stolen goods from a rusty van outside the back of a pub glued to At The Races all Tuesday afternoon.
But one Kenna manager has found that at the domestic level, Demichelis is statistically delivering more than well-respected ‘top top player’ Vincent Kompany.
Guffaws rang around the upstairs bar of The Three Stags in Kennington in early October, when the Young Boys of Vauxhall manager took what was considered to be the outlandish decision to jettison Kompany at the first transfer window and sign the bungling Argentine.
In the face of much criticism, Young Boys vehemently defended the move at the time. Selling Kompany to St Reatham FC for £5m and picking up Demichelis on the open market for a token point five, the Welshman trousered £4.5m, he argued.
The Young Boys manager was also keen to point out that Kompany was recently injured. No one thought it so serious at the time, but the Belgian didn’t play again until the New Year.
Up until that afternoon south of the river, Demichelis was picking up a measly 1.25 points a week. The Belgian was making hay at 3.76.
Since that window the Argentine has gone on to score at a very creditable average of 3.12 points a week, while Kompany has contributed less than two-and-a-half.
In hindsight, the whole affair was a masterstroke for the Young Boys manager.
Of course, in all other respects the Young Boys season has been an utter disaster. At the same transfer window the manager turned a profit on Kompany he ended up Brambling himself and found Operation Yewtree suspect Rolf Harris starting in his midfield as forfeit. At the second window in February his frenzy of eight transfers descended into Tinkerman farce.
The St Reatham manager, on the other hand, finds his team safely ensconced in midtable and in the semi finals of the Canesten Combi Cup.
Despite his failure in all other respects, the Young Boys manager has successfully underlined two recurring themes to emerge from any statistical analysis of the Kenna – due to the scoring system a defender is only as good or bad as the team he’s in and never sign players based on who you like.
In the first eight weeks of the season
Demichelis scored 1.25 points per week
Kompany scored 3.76 points per week
In the 25 weeks since the October transfer window
Demichelis started on 10 points now has 88 (3.12 points per week)
Kompany started on 27 points now has 89 (2.48 points per week)
WAY past midday on 1 April the FC Testiculadew manager is still making fools of the rest of the Kenna League.
Goals from Kevin Mirallas, Juan Mata and a brace from Edin Dzeko saw the sinister, handwringing cackle of the Bramble Baron move one step closer to an unprecedented second Kenna double.
Sweeping aside bottom-of-the-table PSV Mornington 5-2 in the Canesten Combi Cup quarter final, the FCT manager has set up a juicy semi final against his sibling at Headless Chickens. The tie is a replay of the May 2012 final FCT won to claim the league and cup double.
Despite a midfield boasting convicted child murderer Stuart Hazell, Northern Monkeys clinched their tie to set up a semi final with St Reatham FC. Kenna HQ detractors will be pleased to see them move ahead at the expense of two committee members.
The free-scoring form of Peter Odemwingie means second-placed Piedmonte are still in with an outside chance of challenging for the title, but with seven weeks left in the season the trophyless manager is fast running out of time.
The rest of the league’s top half can only hope to secure the Wenger Trophy.
|1||Just put Carles||Carles||53||2|
|2||Lokomotiv Leeds||Ben S||53||2|
|3||Sporting Lesbian||Ben M||52||2|
|4||St. Reatham FC||Mike||50||2|
|5||FC Testiculadew||James N||48||4|
|7||Team Panda Rules OK||George||44||1|
|10||Judean Peoples Front||Sholto||39||4|
|11||Headless Chickens||John N||34||1|
|13||KS West Green||Stix||29||0|
|14||PSV Mornington||El Pons||28||2|
|15||Rapids De Cullons CF||Jorge||27||3|
|16||Dulwich Red Sox||Luke||27||1|
|17||Still Don’t Know Yet||Pete||27||1|
|22||This is Sparta…Prague||Rich||21||1|
|Player of the week||17||Dzeko, E – MCY – STR|
SATELLITE images of what was thought to be wreckage of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight were found floating in the Kenna League this week.
Initially identified as the debris as pieces of MH370, closer inspection revealed them to be at least three mid-table Kenna teams that have made little to no impact this season.
Families of the plane’s missing passengers were dealt a fresh blow when it turned what they thought might be a clue to the whereabouts of their loved ones was actually Rapids de Cullons CF‘s under-performing midfield of Mikeal Arteta, Steven Pienaar, Jonathan de Guzman and Ashley Young.
At the top of the Kenna this week, FC Testiculadew looked to have edged even closer to the trophy on Tuesday after two goals from Edin Dzeko, but last night Piedmonte‘s Steven Gerrard and Mark Noble both found the net to keep the second-placed team’s slender hopes alive.
“It ain’t over yet, McGavin!” tweeted the Piedmonte manager.
— Phil Davis (@PhillyD55) March 26, 2014