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,
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
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)
WINNING Kenna teams score 33 points a week and losing ones 22 points, according to league records published today.
Archives show that in the eight football seasons since the Kenna League was founded each player in the winning team picked up three points a week on average – 111 points a season.
Stats also show FC Testiculadew’s ‘Kenna in the bag‘ championship in 2011/12 was the league’s most dominant.
FCT romped home a record 129 points ahead of the pack, were the highest scoring team ever and clocked up the best ever Manager of the Month performance: 251 points in January 2012.
Vasco De Beauvoir hold the golden boot record with 80 goals scored during their double-winning campaign of 2009/10.
Enjoying considerably less renown are the Fat Ladies, who two seasons after winning their 2007/08 Kenna crown pulled out the worst league performance in history, finishing 205 points adrift.
In the same year, Dynamo Temple ended the defence of their Kenna championship by picking up just four dismal points in May’s Manager of the Month contest.
Kenna managers will hope to be breaking these records when they assemble in a London pub to attend the annual auction next month ahead of the English football season.
The Kenna chairman, who last week was confirmed as the most decorated manager in the league’s history, said: “Perhaps the greatest honour should be reserved for the Judean Peoples’ Front manager. He produced what is officially the most mediocre campaign ever, finishing within a point of the average score.”
The name’s Bonda…
A quick thought for former Kenna player Pascal Chimbonda, who today joined Evo-stik League outfit Market Drayton.
The chairman and other sundry Kenna managers spent many an underage Saturday enjoying the pubs and ‘club’ of the Shropshire town.
Chimbonda first appeared in the Kenna in 2006/07 season, picking up 66 points for the Fat Ladies as they reached fourth place.
In the next campaign the French defender was signed by the Barking Hackney manager, but released in October after only scoring nine points.
Chimbonda was last seen in the Kenna scoring 42 points for the Pep Guardiola XI as they finished lower mid-table in 2009/10.
2005/06 – season review
2006/07 – season review
THE FORMER manager of Vasco De Beauvoir has been announced as the best ever to compete in the Kenna League.
Despite getting sacked in two months ago after leading the side to relegation for the first time in an eight-year career, the Vasco manager tops the charts through winning two league titles and two Canesten Combi Cups since the Kenna was founded in 2005.
The Worcestershire man also holds 11 Manager of the Month (MOTM) awards, the league record.
The Young Boys, FC Testiculadew and Dynamo Temple managers – all with one league championship and one cup apiece – will be mindful that they could take top spot in the all time stats if they scoop the double in the upcoming season.
Kenna managers past and present with at least two campaigns’ experience were ranked against each other on leagues won, cups won, podium finishes and MOTM awards.
The veteran managers of Piedmonte and Newington Reds, the only others apart from the Vasco gaffer to compete in all eight Kenna seasons, find themselves down the rankings with just two podium finishes each and no silverware.
The Dan Terry Seduction manager is statistically the worst manager ever to have entered the Kenna, with three Turkey of the Month wooden spoons and a relegation. He left the league two seasons ago to apply his particular talents with more success elsewhere.
The Devils boss, who led the club between 2006 and 2010, is the highest ranked female manager with one podium finish. A condescending and cringe-worthy corporate awards ceremony involving flowers and chocolates awaits.
The former Vasco manager, who is also the Kenna League chairman, said: “To be fair, if I hadn’t always had a feeling that two championships and two cups meant I was the best ever Kenna manager, I probably wouldn’t have spent so much time working out the damn stats to prove it.”
Rumours abound as to which team the chairman will manage in the new term. Westgreenspor, Eintracht Mind, Getoverit 96 and Total Network Failure have all be linked to the former Vasco boss.
The publication of ‘Jeff’s hall of fame’ comes 25 days before the ninth annual Kenna auction, where managers will gather in a London pub to buy their teams in preparation for the Premier League season.
THE KENNA League is jumping on the pundit bandwagon about the Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny partnership being the basis of Arsenal’s realised European ambition.
The four best defences in the Kenna this season helped their team to a top-half finish. Joe Hart, Ashley Cole and Jose Enrique shared a tremendous season at Judean Peoples’ Front to crown the team best at the back.
In midfield, the Just Put Carles manager’s decision to stick with his starting four of Arteta, Silva, Osman and Henderson – more likely through not turning up to transfer windows than anything else – paid dividends.
Despite winning the league on Sunday with the most goals scored of any side, Sporting Lesbian fell short in defence and midfield for which the front pair of Luis Suarez and Sergio Aguero more than atoned. Only Robin van Persie and Arouna Kone at Still Don’t Know Yet did better.
The Sporting manager’s celebratory tweet today suggests a William Hill account has taken a bit of beating over the last few months.
@jeffkennaleague Delighted with the season, the prize money just about covers all the dodgy bets I’ve made this season..
— Ben Marcangelo (@BenMarcangelo) May 22, 2013
Defence (final league position)
|1||Judean Peoples’ Front (3)||543|
|3||Spartak Mogadishu (8)||463|
|4||Just Put Carles (5)||420|
|5||Pikey Scum (15)||415|
|6||Newington Reds (11)||409|
|7||Sporting Lesbian (1)||400|
|8||Bala Rinas (13)||392|
|9||FC Testiculadew (2)||386|
|10||Lokomotiv Leeds (7)||383|
|11||Greendale Rockets (17)||382|
|12||Headless Chickens (16)||372|
|13||PSV Mornington (10)||368|
|14||Vasco De Beauvoir (18)||356|
|15||Northern Monkeys (12)||355|
|17||Wandsworth Window Lickers (19)||343|
|18||Dynamo Charlton (6)||337|
|19||Hairy Fadjeetas (9)||266|
|20||Still Don’t Know Yet (14)||207|
Midfield (final league position)
|1||Just Put Carles (5)||474|
|2||Dynamo Charlton (6)||456|
|3||Hairy Fadjeetas (9)||440|
|4||Headless Chickens (16)||399|
|5||FC Testiculadew (2)||395|
|6||Northern Monkeys (12)||393|
|7||PSV Mornington (10)||376|
|8||Sporting Lesbian (1)||375|
|10||Spartak Mogadishu (8)||336|
|11||Wandsworth Window Lickers (19)||334|
|12||Pikey Scum (15)||332|
|13||Newington Reds (11)||331|
|14||Greendale Rockets (17)||318|
|15||Bala Rinas (13)||305|
|16||Lokomotiv Leeds (7)||296|
|17||Judean Peoples’ Front (3)||295|
|19||Vasco De Beauvoir (18)||268|
|20||Still Don’t Know Yet (14)||243|
Attack (final league position)
|1||Still Don’t Know Yet (14)||397|
|2||Sporting Lesbian (1)||378|
|3||FC Testiculadew (2)||297|
|4||Lokomotiv Leeds (7)||278|
|5||Dynamo Charlton (6)||278|
|6||PSV Mornington (10)||264|
|7||Newington Reds (11)||258|
|8||Northern Monkeys (12)||256|
|9||Spartak Mogadishu (8)||254|
|10||Judean Peoples’ Front (3)||251|
|12||Vasco De Beauvoir (18)||236|
|13||Hairy Fadjeetas (9)||218|
|14||Greendale Rockets (17)||209|
|15||Pikey Scum (15)||198|
|16||Bala Rinas (13)||197|
|17||Just Put Carles (5)||184|
|18||Wandsworth Window Lickers (19)||169|
|20||Headless Chickens (16)||152|
HE TRIED his hardest to mess it up at the end, but the Sporting Lesbian manager still cruised to victory.
Looking back at May’s turkey of the month award, the Sporting boss will be keen to welcome the return of the banned Luis Suarez next season, as will every other club in the league if he stays on these shores.
Vanquished champion the FC Testiculadew manager is consoled with second place. Expect him to come back strong and remorseless.
The Newington Reds and Just Put Carles managers shared April’s manager of the month award, which means just a fiver each for them.
The sacked Woking manager may have to review his transfer policy ahead of the new campaign after picking up turkey of the month awards in the immediate aftermath of both transfer windows.
The best (prize money)
Sporting Lesbian – League champions plus August’s and November’s manager of the month (£120), also May’s turkey of the month
FC Testiculadew – League runners up plus September’s manager of the month (£50)
Judean Peoples’ Front – Third place and February’s manager of the month (£20)
Spartak Mogadishu – Canesten Combi Cup winners (£20)
Lokomotiv Leeds – January’s and March’s manager of the month (£20)
PSV Mornington – October’s manager of the month (£10), also August’s turkey of the month
Pikey Scum – December’s manager of the month (£10)
Dynamo Charlton – May’s manager of the month (£10)
Newington Reds – April’s joint manager of the month (£5)
Just Put Carles – April’s joint manager of the month (£5)
Woking – Relegated and November’s, December’s and February’s turkey of the month award
Vasco De Beauvoir – Relegated and September’s and October’s turkey of the month
Wandsworth Window Lickers – Relegated and March’s turkey of the month
Bala Rinas – January’s turkey of the month
Greendale Rockets – April’s turkey of the month