THERE COMES a time in most Kenna managers’ careers when they know that chances of winning the league are all but over for the season.
Despite the customary early-August, post auction-night complaint that the evening’s excess led to poor decision making and an impending mid-table finish, the pilot light of hope cannot but be ignited when Martin Skrtel starts a potentially record-breaking run by nodding in a couple of summer goals or Peter Crouch begins making runs as darting and incisive as a deer fleeing from an aggressive deforestation programme.
As any experienced boiler room Kenna sheepskin will tell you, these wholesome facades are quickly dashed in autumn, once the new guy who signed the most precocious and unpopular talent emerges as the favourite. The old adage stands firm: no one ever wins buying players they like, especially if those players are English.
So as the rugby club fireworks fizzle out and the giant green shopping centre reindeer go up, here are the warning signs that your chance of winning the league may not be all you think it’s cracked up to be:
- You celebrate every one of your player’s goals so wildly the other half pops in to check you haven’t stepped in a bear trap
- Two of your five signings in the first transfer window are yet to score, and unlikely to feature any time soon
- Each time Wigan Athletic go one up you convince yourself it’s Emerson Boyce, only to be disappointed yet again by the vidiprinter
- You’ve earmarked Jason Puncheon as an excellent way to strengthen your midfield in the February transfer window
- Of your own free will, you bought Titus Bramble
- The PSV Mornington manager phones to tell you how well his team are doing
- When given the chance to discharge her at the transfer window, you opt to keep missing Cameroon Olympic women’s football team reserve goalkeeper Drusille Ngako
- Watching Match of the Day is a constant reminder that everything you think you know about football is wrong.
The Canesten Combi Cup starts this weekend, with eight matches going on in the four groups.
The team scoring the most goals in each match will take three points.
“The new cup format, exclusive to the Kenna, encourages managers to take an active interest in the weekend’s goal action,” reads the condescending league-branded bumph.
“We suggest you check out your opponent’s team ahead of Saturday and feel everything scored going in, whether that be pleasurable or an unwanted surprise.
“And remember that own goals count against you.”
Week off: Dynamo Charlton
Week off: Headless Chickens
Week off: Newington Reds
Week off: Wandsworth Window Lickers
|1||FC Testicluadew||James N||38||2|
|2||Lokomotiv Leeds||Ben S||32||2|
|3||Vasco De Beauvoir||Stix||27||1|
|5||Still Don’t Know Yet||Pete||25||2|
|7||Just put Carles||Carles||25||0|
|9||Sporting Lesbian||Ben M||24||2|
|13||PSV Mornington||El Pons||20||0|
|15||Judean Peoples’ Front||Sholto||18||1|
|16||Wandsworth Window Lickers||Will||18||1|
|17||Headless Chickens||John N||15||0|
Manager: Jack (Hampshire)
Since: 2005 (co-founder and committee member – charts and graphs)
Last season: 9th
Trophy cabinet: Cup at some point (best league finish – 5th in 2010/11), 2006 Claudio Caniggia World Cup winner
Darts music: I’m A Pikey – Enrique Iglesias
Outlook: With the exception of £8m Stewart Downing, the Pikey manager seems to have assembled a side capable of making a first successful assault on the title. Will have a tough decision come the first transfer window, when he’ll have to jettison either Bale or Adebayor
Second transfer window – 1 February 2013
|De Ridder, S (B)||SOT||£15m||Allen, J||LIV||£10m|
|El Ahmadi, K||AVL||£3m||Granero, E||QPR||£0.5m|
|Pogrebnyak, P||REA||£8.5m||Anichebe, V||EVE||£5m|
First transfer window – 26 October 2012
|de Gea, D||MUN||£19m||Vorm, M||SWA||£9.5m|
|Sagna, B||ARS||£11m||Jones, P||MUN||£12m|
|Bale, G||TOT||£30m||De Ridder, S (B)||SOT||£15m|
|Downing, S||LIV||£8m||Walcott, T||ARS||£15m|
|Adebayor, E||TOT||£0.5m||Fletcher, S||SUN||£30m|
Vasco De Beauvoir made no transfers in the second window
Manager: Mr Alistair Drummond (ENG)
Since: 2005 (founder member)
Trophy cabinet: League winners in 2005, league and cup double in 2010
Sympathies: Kidderminster Harriers