Transfer deadline day – just four hours left

Toilet paper

Puncheon one off: Jason went for a sh1t

LORRY LOADS of toilet paper being delivered to Vasco De Beauvoir‘s Shoreditch Park ground as the manager attempts to lure Jason Puncheon to the club.

Demba Ba and Juan Mata battling it out in an arroz con leche eating contest as they try to secure their future at PSV Mornington by impressing ‘El Jefe’.

Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson having a ‘siesta off’ to prove their worth to the Just Put Carles manager.

The Sporting Lesbian boss interrupted with news of the fast approaching transfer window during a game of bowls on Plymouth Hoe dismissing concern with the words: “We have time to finish our game of bowls and defeat the Spanish.”

These are some of the things that could be happening this morning as managers rush to get their players released to Kenna HQ ahead of today’s noon deadline.

Come Friday night it’ll be game faces ‘on’ for the second and final transfer window of the season before clubs make their assault on the title / relegation survival / mid-table mediocrity (delete as appropriate).

Top-performing unsigned players, and a few new faces, are listed below. As everyone steels themselves ahead of Friday the question hanging in the air is: just who will walk away with Emmanuel Pogatetz?

Strikers

Hernandez (MUN, 89)
Le Fondre (REA, 87)
Benteke (AVL, 83)
Shaun Maloney (WIG, 64)
Di Santo (WIG, 62)

Gouffran (NEW)
Remy (QPR)
Wellington Paulista (WHM)

Midfield

De Guzman (SWA, 81)
Jason ‘I went for a sh1t’ Puncheon (SOT, 72)
Craig Gardner (SUN, 66)
Beausejour (WIG, 60)
Macanuff (REA, 57)

Coutinho (LIV)
Sissoko (NEW)
Chris David (FUL)
Holtby (TOT)

Defenders

Bassong (NOR, 72)
O’brien (WHM, 68)
Geoff Cameron (STO, 65)
Clichy (MCY, 63)
Azpilicueta (CHE, 60)

Yanga-Mbiwa (NEW)
Haidara (NEW)
Forren (SOT)
Ben Haim (QPR)
Debuchy (NEW)
Emmanuel Pogatetz (WHM)

Cup results

Greendale Rockets 2 1 Dynamo Charlton
Woking 1 0 Still Don’t Know Yet
Vasco De Beauvoir 1 2 Headless Chickens
Northern Monkeys 1 0 Judean Peoples’ Front
Sporting Lesbian 1 1 Newington Reds
FC Testicluadew 1 0 Spartak Mogadishu
Just put Carles 0 0 Wandsworth Window Lickers
Lokomotiv Leeds 4 1 Piedmonte

Canesten Combi Cup group stage – final tables

Final tables - cup groups

Final tables – cup groups

League table

Week 22 - 29 January 2013

Week 22 – 29 January 2013

Weekly scores

Manager Points Goals
1 Lokomotiv Leeds Ben S 34 4
2 Vasco De Beauvoir Stix 32 1
3 Greendale Rockets Stu 29 2
4 Hairy Fadjeetas Aiden 26 2
5 FC Testicluadew James N 26 1
6 Sporting Lesbian Ben M 26 1
7 Headless Chickens John N 25 2
8 Pikey Scum Jack 20 2
9 Woking Mike 18 1
10 Bala Rinas Lewis 17 0
11 Newington Reds Dudley 16 1
12 Northern Monkeys Hugo 16 1
13 Piedmonte Phil 15 1
14 Dynamo Charlton Alex 13 1
15 PSV Mornington El Pons 13 0
16 Judean Peoples’ Front Sholto 11 0
17 Just put Carles Carles 10 0
18 Wandsworth Window Lickers Will 8 0
19 Spartak Mogadishu Abdi 6 0
20 Still Don’t Know Yet Pete 3 0
Points Player
Player of the week 26 Giroud, O – ARS – STR
Club Lokomotiv Leeds
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Shower of expectation

Shower scene

Happy ending: Half the teams in the Kenna have already progressed from the cup group stage (Photograph courtesy of Wet and Messy Photography)

CRYSTALLIZED at the bottom, breathless at the top and much jiggling around in the middle: in many ways the Kenna table resembles a fat man with gout and a carrier bag over his head in the final throes of rubbing one off in the shower.

So it’s fitting that the coming weekend sees the climax of the race to the cup knockout stage. Who will breathe a satisfying sigh of relief? Who will tumble through the shower curtain, sustain a fatal head injury on the sink and be found naked three days later by sniggering paramedics?

Going into the deciding week, each manager will be looking at his team for goals, the key to a successful cup campaign. Chances of progression to knockout stages are analysed below – starting with the most wide open.

Group D - 8 January 2013

Group D – 8 January 2013

Group D

Just Put Carles v Wandsworth Window Lickers
Lokomotiv Leeds v Piedmonte

The Lickers will be backing Peter Odemwingie (7 goals this season) and club top scorer Fellaini (11) to combat the recent upturn in form of Just Put Carles striker Daniel Sturridge (4). Lokomotiv Leeds will hope that Jonathan Walters (7) will score at the right end, while Piedmonte look to Lambert (10) and Lampard (7) – a draw will not guarantee survival for either club.

Group C - 8 January 2013

Group C – 8 January 2013

Group C

Sporting Lesbian v Newington Reds
FC Testiculadew v Spartak Mogadishu

Sporting Lesbian trio Luis Suarez (18), Michu (14) and Sergio Aguero (8) will take some beating from Newington Reds, who rely on, oh dear, star striker Fernando Torres (7). A woeful goal difference means FC Testiculadew will have to keep out Spartak Mogadishu star Romelu Lukaku (9) to ensure safety.

Group B - 8 January 2013

Group B – 8 January 2013

Group B

Vasco De Beauvoir v Headless Chickens
Northern Monkeys v Judean Peoples’ Front

No player at either Vasco De Beauvoir or Judean Peoples’ Front have found the net for two weeks, and being on equal goal difference survival may be decided on who ships the least in the final game. A 1-1 draw was played out between the clubs in December, so JPF carry the advantage having scored one more goal in the contest.

Group A - 8 January 2013

Group A – 8 January 2013

Group A

Greendale Rockets v Dynamo Charlton
Woking v Still Don’t Know Yet

Friendly encounters all round as Bala Rinas managed got knocked out with a game to go.

League table

Week 21 - 22 January 2013

Week 21 – 22 January 2013

Weekly scores

Manager Points Goals
1 Pikey Scum Jack 56 4
2 Lokomotiv Leeds Ben S 44 3
3 Piedmonte Phil 44 2
4 Northern Monkeys Hugo 42 1
5 Just put Carles Carles 40 4
6 Bala Rinas Lewis 39 0
7 Wandsworth Window Lickers Will 38 1
8 PSV Mornington El Pons 37 3
9 Vasco De Beauvoir Stix 37 0
10 Headless Chickens John N 35 1
11 Newington Reds Dudley 35 0
12 Still Don’t Know Yet Pete 33 2
13 Sporting Lesbian Ben M 32 1
14 Hairy Fadjeetas Aiden 26 1
15 Judean Peoples’ Front Sholto 26 0
16 Spartak Mogadishu Abdi 26 0
17 Dynamo Charlton Alex 25 0
18 Greendale Rockets Stu 22 1
19 FC Testicluadew James N 18 1
20 Woking Mike 16 0

Window watch

Cougar

Form: Demba Ba and Juan Mata have both been in the points

BINOCULARS trained on the bedroom of next door’s saucy, late-30s divorcee can scarcely produce such a fascinating window as the dilemma facing one Kenna manager in the build up to 1 February’s transfer night.

Demba Ba’s move from the Big Market to Fulham Broadway leaves the PSV Mornington boss in the unenviable position of choosing between the goal hungry African or the twinkle-toed creativity of Juan Mata.

Under Kenna rules, no manager may have two players from the same Premier League club, and PSV must release either the Senegalese or the Spaniard come the 12pm deadline on Wednesday 30 January.

“El més calent és a l’aigüera. I’ll not make up my mind until the deadline, yo no soy mañana,” riddled the PSV manager, a proud Catalan who once tried to gain managerial inspiration by locking himself in his office for six days with nothing but a carton of moody Iberian cigarettes, a tub of arroz con leche and a cardboard cutout of Pep Guardiola.

At the prospect of the coveted signature of either Ba or Mata to boost their campaign, Kenna managers will be monitoring the situation in the window more closely than a teenage boy surveilling a rough and ready tradesman’s visit to the neighbourhood cougar.

Faced with a similar quandary – albeit child’s play in comparison – between Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson, and with no other Chelsea players in his side, fellow Catalan the Just Put Carles manager is a strong suitor.

If Demba Ba or Juan Mata joined JPC it would be a major coup for the manager after losing out in last season’s bitter midtable ‘Cat’-fight to his rival at PSV, and go someway towards closing the 39-point gap between the two clubs.

League table

Week 20 - 15 January 2013

Week 20 – 15 January 2013

Weekly scores

Manager Points Goals
1 Hairy Fadjeetas Aiden 42 2
2 Spartak Mogadishu Abdi 33 2
3 Piedmonte Phil 32 3
4 Bala Rinas Lewis 30 2
5 Northern Monkeys Hugo 29 1
6 Still Don’t Know Yet Pete 29 1
7 Newington Reds Dudley 27 0
8 Pikey Scum Jack 25 1
9 PSV Mornington El Pons 25 0
10 Woking Mike 24 1
11 Greendale Rockets Stu 24 0
12 Wandsworth Window Lickers Will 24 0
13 Just put Carles Carles 23 1
14 Judean Peoples’ Front Sholto 22 0
15 Vasco De Beauvoir Stix 21 0
16 FC Testicluadew James N 18 0
17 Lokomotiv Leeds Ben S 18 0
18 Dynamo Charlton Alex 16 0
19 Sporting Lesbian Ben M 16 0
20 Headless Chickens John N 15 0

Nothing to celebrate

Party popper

Step away from the party the popper: Celebrating goals is so 2012

A GARETH BALE goal was not enough to keep Bala Rinas from being dumped out of the Canesten Combi Cup.

Four hapless group game defeats left the side without a point, and with his team also struggling in the league the manager, yet to win a trophy in six years in Kenna, is under increasing pressure.

“People are saying that I’ve got no silverware, I can’t bring success to the club and I’ll never know the difference between riding the normal team coach and riding an open-top bus, but of course I knows the difference – one’s got a fcuking roof and one fcuking ‘asn’t,” sing songed the Welshman.

Bala Rinas weren’t the only ones not celebrating this week. Footballers are fashionable creatures, and a new craze has swept through the Kenna: not celebrating goals.

Cup results - 8 January 2013

Cup results – 8 January 2013

In Group D, Daniel Sturridge found the net to help Just Put Carles to their first cup win and a chance at the next round, but ‘out of respect’ the England striker did not cheer after scoring against his former club Lokomotiv Leeds.

Emmanuel Adebayor scored against Pikey Scum to give Newington Reds a vital lifeline in Group C, but the Togolese had moved to Reds from Scum in the October transfer window and refused to acknowledge the notch, even though he continues to don leisurewear from another former club.

In the other Group C match there were remarkable scenes at FC Testiculadew’s ground, the Death Star, where no players celebrated any of the eight goals in Sporting Lesbian’s 7-1 destruction of the hosts.

Hairy Fadjeetas, on the end of five-goal thrashing by Headless Chickens, were the only side to have the decency to avoid any awkward embarrassment by not scoring any goals at all.

The final cup game will be played on 29 January, where the top four from each group will go through to the last 16 knockout draw.

Teams below in yellow have already qualified, teams in red are out.

Group A - 8 January 2013

Group A – 8 January 2013

Group B - 8 January 2013

Group B – 8 January 2013

Group C - 8 January 2013

Group C – 8 January 2013

Group D - 8 January 2013

Group D – 8 January 2013

League table

Week 19 - 8 January 2013

Week 19 – 8 January 2013

Weekly scores

Manager Points Goals
1 Sporting Lesbian Ben M 66 7
2 Just put Carles Carles 54 4
3 Lokomotiv Leeds Ben S 54 1
4 Dynamo Charlton Alex 51 4
5 Headless Chickens John N 50 5
6 Northern Monkeys Hugo 49 3
7 Piedmonte Phil 48 2
8 Spartak Mogadishu Abdi 46 1
9 PSV Mornington El Pons 45 3
10 Greendale Rockets Stu 42 1
11 Woking Mike 40 3
12 FC Testicluadew James N 40 1
13 Bala Rinas Lewis 38 1
14 Hairy Fadjeetas Aiden 38 0
15 Still Don’t Know Yet Pete 37 3
16 Vasco De Beauvoir Stix 36 1
17 Newington Reds Dudley 35 1
18 Judean Peoples’ Front Sholto 33 1
19 Pikey Scum Jack 33 1
20 Wandsworth Window Lickers Will 29 1
Points Player
Player of the week 21 Suarez, L – LIV – STR
Club Sporting Lesbian

London 38 bus route pub crawl

New 38 bus

Any excuse: The new number 38 bus.

ONE QUESTION was only the start of it. How could we ride the new model number 38 bus?

It was accepted that the ‘hop-on, hop-off’ routemaster-style bus only runs around once an hour on one bus route – the number 38.

Despite its meandering path through the boroughs of Hackney, Islington, Camden and Westminster – taking in some of the most iconic sights in London – there was one problem: none of us ever used it.

All of a sudden the answer was clear: a number 38 bus route pub crawl.

The curious mix of order and chaos that happened on Saturday 20 October 2012 is chronicled below. Where applicable comments about the route, the pubs and learning points have been noted. It is hoped these will instruct, inform and entertain both the crawl aficionado and the casual drinker.

Pint

Talk to the pint

Photos are courtesy of World of Tim, and in some cases have been anonymised to mitigate backlash from AA sponsors. Maps have been pinched from the rather excellent Transport for London website.

The plan

A little research found that despite the best efforts of the valiant Bob fabled therein, the last recorded effort along the same route two years previously had mostly fizzled out around halfway along the seven-mile route.

We immediately determined to make the excursion as achievable, fun and damaging to the liver as possible. We had three considerations:

Number of pubs – Circle Line or Monopoly board pub crawls have two flaws, there are too many stops to take in surroundings, and everyone drink halves. We decided on visiting 10 pubs, so we could comfortably spend 38 minutes in each one.

Direction of travel – this was simple, start in north east London and travel south west to Victoria. No one wants to be without their wits in Clapton Pond on a Saturday night, an area on a stretch of road commonly referred to as ‘The Murder Mile’.

38 bus route

38 bus route pub crawl: Top right to bottom left (almost).

Pub locations – establishments should be chosen at even intervals along the route, and as much as possible on the same side of the road as convenient bus stops. This second point would prove invaluable in the later stages.

A Sunday morning bicycle ride two weeks beforehand identified a number of suitable boozers, rubber stamped by a kangaroo committee. The route would not be followed to its absolute end because, as any Londoner will tell you, there are no decent rub-a-dub-dubs in Victoria.

Here’s the list:

  1. The Clapton Hart, Clapton Pond
  2. The Cock Tavern, Hackney Central
  3. The Duke of Wellington, Ball’s Pond Road
  4. The George Orwell, Essex Road
  5. The Old Queen’s Head, Islington
  6. The Old Red Lion Theatre, Angel
  7. The Exmouth Arms, Exmouth Market
  8. The Old Crown, New Oxford Street
  9. The Marquis of Granby, Cambridge Circus
  10. Ye Grapes, Mayfair

The crawl

Each pub name links to it’s location on Google maps. The nearest bus stop is also included.

1. The Clapton Hart, Clapton Pond

Clapton Hart

10-pub club: Only five crawlers (avec double chins) visited all the pubs.

Clapton Pond

1. Clapton Pond

At 1pm a handful of intrepid souls, including Vicki the Bus Spotter, fat Peter Sutcliffe and the athletic frame of the Vasco De Beauvoir manager, met near the Lea Bridge Roundabout. The weather was overcast, but not inclement.

The Clapton Hart has an airy, pleasant feel with respectable staff, and for a moment the social depravity of the surrounding neighbourhood was forgotten, until a regular ambled in with a dog on a string.

Lunch was adequate, but had that fairtrade, made-of-recycled-principles taste about it and the cauliflower was purple. In hindsight, three pints was excessive.

A couple of new 38s idled in the middle of the Lea Bridge Roundabout, but the clock was ticking. There’d be plenty of time for that.

2. The Cock Tavern, Hackney Central

Beer pumps

Trendy Cock: More pumps than you could shake a vintage cardigan at.

Hackney Central Station

2. Hackney Central Station

A few minutes ride on a boring old Wirght Gemini 2 and we discovered that Jesus was wrong: the meek did not inherit the earth. The meek grew up and moved to east London to work in digital marketing and stay up since last Thursday banging meow meow. A trio of such specimens scratching around the Cock early doors hinted at the clientele, but by thunder did the place stock ale.

After a quick beer we emerged to see… Not already? No, it couldn’t be? It was the new 38!

In a moment not unlike an episode of long-running ITV police drama series The Bill, we crashed along the pavement towards the bus stop, except instead of chasing drug dealers through a notorious Sun Hill housing estate, we were trying to take pictures of an arriving bus. And what a bus it was.

Vee the Bus Spotter

At the end of the route it took three bus drivers to get her off.

Decadent maroon soft furnishing tastefully intertwined with the luxuriant caramel glow of the hand rails. The step entrance was pristine, yellow trim shining, with not a drop of chewing gum, blood or urine tarnishing its surface. The ‘new car smell’ was yet to be overpowered by half-eaten boxes of fried chicken and old people.

For a few intense, heady minutes at the front of the top deck we sailed along Graham Road and over Dalston Junction. Then it was time for another drink.

3. The Duke of Wellington, Ball’s Pond Road

Coca cola

Coked up: Some struggled to keep the pace on alcohol alone.

Balls Pond Road

3. Ball’s Pond Road

Charming island bar and abundance of natural light aside, the Duke always feels brittle, as though ordering a round of Jägerbombs for the whole pub would reduce it into a delicatessen. One notable feature is the former doorway turned into a cosy corner which still boasts the original floor mosaic bearing the pub’s name.

At this point latecomers – including Anders Breivik doppleganger the Judean Peoples’ Front manager – swelled our numbers and the throng dutifully moved onto pub number four. Vicki the Bus Spotter was beside herself: at the next bus stop we took another new 38.

4. The George Orwell, Essex Road

George Orwell

Anders Breivik (left) and Peter Sutcliffe were overheard comparing atrocities.

Essex Road

4. Essex Road

Orwell famously treatised of the perfect London pub where the punters were friendly, barmaids affable and beer well served. When visiting his namesake establishment in Canonbury the dream the author weaves, like Boxer the horse in Animal Farm, takes an ugly one in the knackers. Not quite Room 101, but a bit more Down and out than Moon Under Water.

More joined the ranks, with even a one-year-old child putting in a shift.

5. The Old Queen’s Head, Islington

Baby pint

Baby P: My part in his downfall

Whether the Old Queen’s Head is an accurate representation of what’s going on inside the monarch’s noggin is uncertain, but if years of wet paint fumes have finally got to the old girl then why not retro furniture, a slim fit crowd and a baby seeing off a pint of bitter?

Packington Street

5. Packington Street

6. The Old Red Lion Theatre Pub, Angel

Old Red Lion

Contrary to popular opinion, the outside-the-pub group photo didn’t get boring.

St John Street

6. St John Street

Middle-aged men in turtle neck sweaters using the shallow cover of literary drama to crack onto impressionable, young girls awkwardly asserting their creative independence having thrown off the shackles of a sheltered, suburban upbringing – is what you expect to find in a theatre pub. We found Norwich City Football Club fans. Loads of them.

A Canary army had descended on the Old Red Lion to watch their team play Arsenal in the dim red glow of the pub’s quasi ghost train decor. Some crawlers had something to eat. It could have been chips.

7. The Exmouth Arms, Exmouth Market

Downing a pint

The Exmouth Arms: Peter Sutcliffe rips through a pint of bitter, Yorkshire style.

Mount Pleasant

7. Mount Pleasant

At the introduction of the 50p game in the Exmouth Arms events spiralled out of control. For the uninitiated, if a 50p piece is dropped into your glass while you’re holding it, you must immediately drink its contents. The coin is then yours with which to cause mischief.

Many of the unsuspecting crawl were seven pints to the good and, as it would go on to do a week later, the game caused no little degree of mayhem.

8. The Old Crown, New Oxford Street

Girl guides

The Old Crown: “And this one time – at band camp – we woke up in the boot of a mark II Astra.”

Small. Really small. The Old Crown was the next boozer on the 38 route of any claim. A small claim. A small claims court. Girl Guides. Lots of 50ps.

Museum Street

8. Museum Street

9. The Marquis of Granby, Cambridge Circus

Peroni

The Cambridge: So bad there’s only one answer.

Cambridge Circus

9. Cambridge Circus

Composure regained, we found the Marquis of Granby was shut – a common symptom of central London pubs on weekends. Panic spread through the camp, but it turned out there were lots of other pubs nearby and everyone realised they weren’t really that fussed anyway.

We went to the Cambridge. A horrendous place that only exists to convince thousands of tourists every year who know no better that they’ve been to a traditional English public house. The former Young Boys of Kilburn manager ordered a large glass of red wine thinking it would be exempt from the 50p game.

10. Ye Grapes, Mayfair

Barmaid

Ye Grapes: “10 pubs? Pathetic.”

Green Park Station

10. Green Park Station

Ye Grapes is also the last pub on the official Monopoly pub crawl, which meant they were used to people wandering in on the sharp end of 14 pints. This was fortunate, as through a consequence of bizarre, delayed trauma to having their childhood television memories recently besmirched in the media, some crawlers were singing the theme song to Jim’ll Fix It.

A fair amount of leering at the barmaid took place, people bought poppies and the Lokomotiv Leeds manager took it upon himself to neck pints with astonishing speed.

So there it is: 10 pubs, one bus route. Easy.

A spring offensive is on the drawing board…