A week in the life of the Kenna title race

For the first time since 2008 the Kenna title race is mildly interesting.

Having led the league since 17 September – that’s 29 weeks – Young Boys are trying hard to fluff their lines.

Chasers Walthamstow Reds have hit form at the tail end of the season, which this week saw them shave some points from the leaders and earn the manager a juicy Narcozep Cup final place against fellow Kenna committee member and league co-founder the Pikey Scum manager.

Young Boys started the week 49 points ahead, which was immediately cut last Tuesday night when Andros Townsend was the only player of the two sides to start.

On Wednesday, Reds cut the lead further when Matteo Darmian got the defender’s Shanghai of a clean sheet, a goal and an assist (marred by a yellow card) and Philippe Coutinho scored. Once lauded, John Stones had a shocker.

In response, a Chris Smalling clean sheet was the highlight for Young Boys, as Romelu Lukaku and Emmanuel Emenike continued their dry spells, and Jordan Ibe failed to make an impact as a sub.

Mesut Özil’s early summer holiday was again in evidence on Thursday. He could only turn up for Reds. Meanwhile, Young Boys picked up a clean sheet from Nacho Monreal.

Injury to Reds striker Jonathan Walters meant Saturday didn’t get going in the battle until after the lunchtime fixture. Townsend was on hand with an assist for Reds, who edged the afternoon session over Young Boys: Ibe and Marc Pugh made appearances of sorts and Fraser Forster twice picked the ball out of his net.

It all fell apart for Young Boys on Saturday evening. Inside 20 minutes Smalling scored an own goal and Lukaku missed a penalty. The Kenna Whatsapp group lit up.

Things were rosier for the league leaders on Sunday. Riyad Mahrez pounced and Monreal picked up a clean sheet, as did Kasper Schmeichel for Reds. Jermaine Defoe failed to do more than appear for the chasers. Özil flip-flopped around.

Finally, Monday night saw Young Boys’ second own goal of the week. Perpetrator Craig Dawson made amends with a goal at the other end, but it was a night the Young Boys manager will probably want to forget.

After all that, Reds only managed to take three points from Young Boys’ lead, pegging it back to 46.

The Reds manager will have to conjure a lot more from his side in the last three weeks of the season to be in with the chance of a maiden double. After 11 years without a trophy, the Narcozep Cup could be enough.

Narcozep Cup semi final second leg results

Lokomotiv Leeds 21 (53) – 32 (58) Pikey Scum
Dynamo Charlton 47 (66) – 45 (76) Walthamstow Reds

Final on 17 May: Walthamstow Reds v Pikey Scum

Kenna table – week 34

Full scores available from The Rub.

Kenna table week 34 - 26 April 2016
Kenna table week 34 – 26 April 2016

Weekly scores

Manager Points Goals
1 Carles Carles 67 2
2 FC Tescticuladew James N 59 3
3 Bala Rinas Lewis 54 2
4 Thieving Magpies Phil 53 3
5 Dynamo Charlton Alex 47 2
6 Newington Reds Ben D 45 2
7 Young Boys Andrew D 42 2
8 Northern Monkeys Hugo 40 3
9 Wandsworth Network Solutions Will 38 1
10 KS West Green Stix 36 2
11 Uncertain Pete B 34 2
12 Pikey Scum Jack 32 0
13 Headless Chickens John N 27 1
14 Cowley Casuals Stu 26 1
15 Team Panda George 25 1
16 Lokomotiv Leeds Ben S 21 0
17 ISIL Abdi 17 0
18 Judean People’s Front Sholto 15 0
19 Hairy Fadjeetas Aiden 13 0
Points Player
Player of the week 18 Tadic, D – SOT – MID
Club FC Tescticuladew
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The worst team of the year, according to the stats

FOLLOWING publication of the PFA team of the year, the Daily Telegraph has posted the worst team of 2015/16.

Always keen to identify the the biggest gaffes by Kenna League managers, we’ve assessed each player.

Goalkeeper – Simon Mignolet (KS West Green)

DT said: Sometimes seems like an easy target but the stats don’t do him any favours at all.

Has the second-worst save percentage in the Premier League this season, saving just 60 per cent of the shots on target he has faced, while he has also made three errors leading to opposition goals, costing Liverpool a total of six points against Norwich, West Brom and Sunderland.

Without those mistakes Liverpool would be a point off fourth with a game in hand.

Kenna season: Signed by the chairman for £9m, the Belgian has broken the 100-point mark, bettering the likes of Brad Guzan, Lukasz Fabianski, Adrian.

Defender – Alan Hutton (unsigned)

DT said: Wins have been extremely rare for Aston Villa this season, but they have been non-existent with Hutton on the field.

He has made 25 appearances and Villa have won none of those games. Without him they have three wins from nine.

Oh, and he scored two own goals.

Kenna season: Even Kenna managers have learnt not to touch ‘The Scottish Cafu’ with a bargepole.

Defender – Micah Richards (Team Panda)

micah-richards-football-gettyimages-479350018_3321334DT said: Was meant to add experience, stability and steel to the Villa defence but has done quite the opposite. The awful team he has captained have conceded 48 goals in the 22 games he has played; that’s 2.2 goals per game with him compared to 1.4 without him.

Neither is good enough but Richards has basically managed to make Villa worse.

Kenna season: The Pandas manager hasn’t made any transfers since signing Richards for £6m at the August auction for a return of 52 points.

Defender – Sebastian Coates (unsigned)

DT said: Was a mainstay for the first half of the season in the defence of a team that was giving Aston Villa a real run for its money as late as the end of November.

The only thing of note Coates did in his 16 appearances was score the above own goal. He was then deemed surplus to requirements, which is quite an achievement in a defence as leaky as Sunderland’s.

Kenna season: The once-promising Uruguayan was ignored by Kenna managers.

Midfielder – James McClean (unsigned)

DT said: Far from the most popular man in English football, McClean has rather had a season to forget.

In a Tony Pulis team where crosses are so important, McClean has attempted a whopping 182 crosses, but 141 have failed to find a team-mate. He only has two assists to his name all season.

Kenna season: Hasn’t appeared in a Kenna team since finishing midtable with PSV Mornington in 2012/13.

Midfielder – Jonjo Shelvey (Dynamo Charlton)

Jonjo Shelvey ITVDT said: Shelvey could have been a shrewd purchase at £12 million, but is starting to look like a complete waste of money.

He has scored just one goal from 56 shots all season and looks unfit at present. It speaks volumes that it isn’t all that surprising that Newcastle have improved since he was dropped.

Kenna season: Snapped up for £0.5m in August by Dynamo and a regular starter until the last few weeks, although 40 points isn’t much to shout about.

Midfielder – Gareth Barry (Wandsworth Network Solutions)

DT said: Barry has been a solid Premier League player for years on end, but is perhaps starting to look a little off the pace.

He doesn’t provide his defence with enough protection, and has made more mistakes leading to an opposition chance than any other player in the top flight this season. People are talking about a potential change at the top at Goodison Park but perhaps one is needed at their heart.

Kenna season: A return of 61 points so far this term could be considered ample for the £0.5m August price tag.

Midfielder – Jack Grealish (Young Boys of Vauxhall)

DT said: Thought he had the world at his feet before this season and did not realise the hard work he needs to put in to become the player he can be.

Scored in September and then failed to add another goal or assist for the whole season. Villa have lost every single game he has appeared in.

Kenna season: The £3m August signing was carried by the league leaders until the February transfer window, where he was realised on a free.

Midfielder – Eden Hazard (Northern Monkeys)

Eden Hazard - aj1634 from Flickr

DT said: The only thing anywhere near as surprising as Leicester’s title charge is how woefully bad Chelsea and their player of the season from last year, Eden Hazard, have been.

Hazard has produced a grand total of zero goals and three assists across 26 appearances this season and just looks like he wants out of the club. His heart isn’t in it any more.

Kenna season: At £39m Hazard was one of the most expensive players at the August auction. The Monkeys manager has kept faith in the Belgian, which has gone emphatically unrewarded.

Striker – Emmanuel Adebayor (Pikey Scum)

DT said: Earns over £100k-a-week yet has scored just a single goal since signing for Crystal Palace, who have won only one league game this year – a game in which Ade played no part.

Kenna season: Overlooked until the February transfer window when the Scum boss took a punt for an undisclosed fee. Has been chugging along at a respectable 2.8 points a week since and on the verge of a Narcozep Cup final appearance.

Striker – Cameron Jerome (Northern Monkeys and Headless Chickens)

DT said: Only a handful of players has had more ‘clear cut’ chances this season than Jerome, yet he has only three goals to his name.

A striker who doesn’t score. Now that’s exactly what a team fighting the drop need.

Kenna season: The half-million-pound signing scored just 18 points for Northern Monkeys before flogging him on for the same fee.

Was bought by the Chickens manager to replace Ronaldo when a rumoured move to England didn’t materialise. Jerome’s contribution of 50 points has not been enough to steer Chickens from almost certain relegation.

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The Young Boys squeaky bum test

‘SQUEAKY bums’ are not ruining Young Boys of Vauxhall’s chances in their Kenna League title run in, according to the manager.

Goals from Jermaine Defoe, Andros Townsend and Aaron Cresswell saw Walthamstow Reds put another dent in Young Boys’ lead this week. The gap is reduced to 49 points with four weeks left of the season.

In a press conference at the club’s Fiddler’s Harris training facility this morning, the Young Boys manager dismissed reports nerves were derailing his campaign for a second Kenna championship.

“I can tell you with certainty there are no Young Boys with squeaky bums on my watch. I’ve personally had eleven Young Boys in my office, one by one, licked my finger, stuck it up and seen which way the wind blows,” said the Welshman, and few in the Kenna could dispute his expertise talking guff.

Nevertheless, assists from Riyad Mahrez and Jordan Ibe aside it was another flat performance. Romelu Lukaku, so imperious before, hasn’t scored in four competitive weeks. Emmanuel Eminike hasn’t contributed more than appearance points in seven.

In marked contrast, Walthamstow Reds have come to life. Missing the February transfer window, the manager may have considered the signings of Jermaine Defoe and Andros Townsend a cruel prank by his second, but both players have hit form in the last couple of weeks.

Even if the league title evades him, the Reds manager is surely favourite for a maiden piece of silverware in the form of the Narcozep Cup. He goes into this weekend’s semi final second leg with a 12-point advantage.

A Jamie Vardy red card at Bikini Lane all but consigned the bottom three to the tactical ignominy of relegation from the Kenna. For most of the rest of the league it’s that time of year when there’s more dead rubber than a stationery cupboard massacre.

With the Jean-Alain Boumsong Euro 2016 auction just seven weeks away, managers ‘on the plane’ will already be distracted coming up with an amusing French-themed team name.

For everyone else, they’ll be winding down and reflecting on what might have been in 2015/16  – although hopefully in not so squalid fashion as Gabby Agbonlahor.

Narcozep Cup fixtures this weekend – semi final second leg

Lokomotiv Leeds (32) v (26) Pikey Scum
Dynamo Charlton (19) v (31) Walthamstow Reds

Kenna table – week 33

Scores from 00.01 Tuesday 12 April to 00.01 Tuesday 19 April. Full scores available from The Rub.

Kenna table - week 33 - 19 April 2016
Kenna table – week 33 – 19 April 2016

Weekly scores

Weekly scores 33 - 19 April 2016
Weekly scores 33 – 19 April 2016
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An empire not built of Panama Paper

THE Kenna chairman has slammed the treasurer after it emerged the fantasy football league was NOT caught up in the Panama Papers tax avoidance scandal.

In a heated tirade behind closed doors, which has become the talk of Kenna HQ, a furious chairman was overheard upbraiding the treasurer for ‘inappropriate use of league funds’.

Rumour has it the chairman’s outburst came after he found the Kenna was not listed among leaked documents from offshore law firm Mossack Fonseca.

“Are you meaning to tell me,” the chairman boomed audibly from his office, “out of 11 million leaked documents from Mossack Fonseca there isn’t a single one relating to Kenna League funds?

“Do you think anyone runs football for the good of the game? Just look around you. That ‘squeaky-clean’ new Fifa president’s implicated. Lionel Messi’s implicated. Andy Cole’s implicated. Even Gabriel Heinze’s mother is implicated. Mrs fucking Heinze is fiddling the game better than me!

“I’ll be the laughing stock of the entire international footballing community.”

A secretary who overheard the rant relayed it word for word in the Kenna HQ break room, as colleagues took coffee from mugs printed with ‘The world’s leading London pub-based fantasy football league’.

“I’m only running this tin-pot operation as a stepping stone to Zurich,” the secretary had the chairman continuing. “We have little-to-no probity and you’ve actually been responsibly managing league funds every season. What sort of football bean counter are you?”

The treasurer’s timid response was heard to be something about being told to invest in Premium Bonds.

“Told! Told!” spluttered an incandescent chairman. “Everyone knows you tell the public you’re investing in grass roots schemes. You tell the public you’re building a fucking orphanage. But meanwhile you actually hide the money with some linen suit in a tropical paradise to pay for the boats and the girls. That’s how football administration works. Boats! Girls! Linen suits!

“More than 10 years running this godforsaken enterprise, pandering to the whims of that shower we call managers and all I have to show for it is respectable bookkeeping. How am I supposed to look the Fifa ethics committee in the eye at the next Zurich lunch?”

The eavesdropping secretary added the Kenna chairman made her phone The Guardian and the BBC several times a day to check if he was included in the Panama Papers. Both media have now blocked the number.

All at Kenna HQ were so preoccupied with the chairman’s outburst, not one person remarked the Young Boys‘ lead had been cut further to 53 points this week by Walthamstow Reds.

Neither did comment pass that the latter still had a slim chance of achieving a league and cup double following a strong semi final first leg in the Narcozep.

Narcozep Cup – semi final first leg results

Pikey Scum 26 – 32 Lokomotiv Leeds
Walthamstow Reds 31 – 19 Dynamo Charlton

Semi final second leg fixtures: 26 April

Kenna table – week 32

Full scores available from The Rub.

Kenna table week 32 - 12 April 2016
Kenna table week 32 – 12 April 2016

Weekly scores

Manager Points Goals
1 Bala Rinas Lewis 41 3
2 Wandsworth Network Solutions Will 38 2
3 Lokomotiv Leeds Ben S 32 0
4 Newington Reds Ben D 31 2
5 Carles Carles 28 2
6 FC Tescticuladew James N 28 1
7 Pikey Scum Jack 26 3
8 KS West Green Stix 25 1
9 Team Panda George 24 0
10 Hairy Fadjeetas Aiden 23 2
11 Judean People’s Front Sholto 22 1
12 Thieving Magpies Phil 22 0
13 Northern Monkeys Hugo 20 0
14 Dynamo Charlton Alex 19 0
15 ISIL Abdi 18 1
16 Headless Chickens John N 18 0
17 Cowley Casuals Stu 11 0
18 Young Boys Andrew D 10 0
19 Uncertain Pete B 10 0
Points Player
Player of the week 16 Carroll, A – WHM – STR
Club Unsigned
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Fadges faced with Gordian Knot

ALEXANDER the Great overcame such a problem with ease.

When presented with the Gordian Knot in the Fourth Century BC, the Macedonian king simply sliced through it with his sword. They called it the ‘Alexandrian Solution’.

Having moved to the former kingdom of the Argead dynasty earlier this year, the Hairy Fadjeetas manager will hope to take that inspiration from their most famous monarch.

No stranger to life in the bottom half of the Kenna – the side have finished between 9th and 15th for the last four seasons – the Fadges boss not only finds himself in the unfamiliar territory of the Balkans, but also the relegation zone.

Fadjeetas dropped into the bottom three shortly after the manager’s move to Skopje in February to ‘influence key decision makers’.

Other than handful of ex-pat regulars at St Patrick’s Irish Pub on the banks of the Vardar and the nightshift in Key Dimitar Vlahov street where it’s advised one checks for teeth prior to striking a deal, it’s uncertain who exactly the manager has been influencing.

He certainly hasn’t been having a positive effect on his first eleven.

October transfer window buy Jamie Vardy and the odd spark from Nacer Chadli have failed to turn the fortunes of a side crippled with injury and dissatisfaction.

Kurt Zouma, Fabrico Coloccini and Raheem Sterling are three players who could significantly reduce the 37-point gap to safety, but all are out through injury.

Early in the campaign the manager’s choice of Saido Berahino was pinpointed as folly, and his decision to stick with the striker has only returned seven goals and three assists.

Dejan Lovern and Angel Rangel are both inconsistent compared to their form of previous seasons. When he does play, Kevin Mirallas spends most of the time sulking on the wing.

Brad Guzan has conceded the most goals (55) of any ‘keeper this term, and 13 more than the second leakiest gloveman Lukasz Fabianski of Team Panda.

All of which leave the Fadges boss in front of a tangled bit of Phrygian rope hopelessly looking for a sharp sword…and finding Wes Hoolahan.

Narcozep Cup – semi final first leg this weekend

Pikey Scum v Lokomotiv Leeds
Walthamstow Reds v Dynamo Charlton

Kenna table – week 31

Kenna table - week 31 - 5 April 2016
Kenna table – week 31 – 5 April 2016

Weekly scores

Manager Points Goals
1 FC Tescticuladew James N 46 3
2 Dynamo Charlton Alex 42 3
3 Newington Reds Ben D 42 1
4 KS West Green Stix 36 1
5 Carles Carles 34 2
6 Bala Rinas Lewis 33 1
7 Young Boys Andrew D 32 0
8 Wandsworth Network Solutions Will 23 0
9 Judean People’s Front Sholto 21 0
10 Pikey Scum Jack 19 1
11 Lokomotiv Leeds Ben S 18 1
12 Thieving Magpies Phil 18 0
13 Northern Monkeys Hugo 15 0
14 Cowley Casuals Stu 13 0
15 ISIL Abdi 13 0
16 Headless Chickens John N 12 0
17 Uncertain Pete B 10 0
18 Team Panda George 9 0
19 Hairy Fadjeetas Aiden 9 0
Points Player
Player of the week 15 Pedro – CHE – MID
Club Unsigned
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Kenna season three: The Titus Bramble ruling born

LITTLE did they know it at the time, but Kenna managers attending the third auction on Wednesday 8 August 2007 were marking the end of a era.

The following day (Thursday 9 August 2007) was some years later pinpointed as the official start of the global economic decline.

For the Kenna, the night before in the Black Horse, Fitzrovia, marked the introduction of another phenomenon which similarly came to dominate headlines for years to come – the Titus Bramble ruling.

An awry auction decision by the Titans manager (now in charge of Young Boys) led to defender Daniel Agger being removed by league regulations and replaced with Bramble.

The chairman suffered a double Bramble blow. Discovering the inclusion of two illegal players after the auction led to much wrangling between managers over email in the following days. Eventually managers decided Robbie Savage and Lee ‘The Lazy Genius’ Dong-Gook should find their way into the Vasco De Beauvoir starting line up.

With just a few hours left to slosh around before the crunch, most money at the auction found its way to Wayne Rooney.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Dider Drogba, the driving force behind FC Gun Show’s title the previous season, also attracted high fees.

Most expensive summer signings

1 W Rooney £37.5m Onward Christian Soldiers
2 C Ronaldo £34m Fat Ladies
3= D Berbatov £33m FC Gun Show
3= S Gerrard £33m Dynamo Temple
5 D Drogba £30 Fat Ladies

Story of the season

Despite being shackled by the Titus Bramble ruling, Titans made the early running. Joint top after the first week, by the second week Bramble accounted for a fifth of the team’s score. They collected the August Manager of the Month award.

Spearheaded by Dimitar Berbatov, FC Gun Show initially defended their title well.

The first transfer window in November, also held in the Black Horse, was to prove pivotal to Fat Ladies.

Second to last and struggling for the first few weeks of the season, the Fat Ladies manager rung the changes. Yakubu and Emmanuel Eboue were among the new recruits, and in less than a month their handsome form saw Fat Ladies top of the table.

By the New Year, Berbatov had helped FC Gun Show top. By February Barking Hackney’s summer signing of Elano and November signing of free agent Emmanuel Adebayor saw him collect January’s Manager of the Month award. Barking posted a record score of 237, which would stand for another four seasons.

With David Bentley leading the charge at Recreativo Brockley, the chairman was moved to write in the wake of the February transfer window:

“Like a game of Hungry Hippos, the dispute for the title looks likely to be set from four corners, each manager furiously bashing away, balls flying everywhere.”

The spring saw the four sides battling it out, taking it in turns at the top. Occasionally the Kenna’s first female manager, in her second season this time in charge of Volzmanian Devils, dipped into the fray.

In mid table, the biggest splash was being made by Onward Christian Soldiers (the manager is now in charge of Pikey Scum).

The God Squad, as they came to be known for the religious overtones of signing Linvoy Primus in defence, picked up February’s Manager of the Month award. Outstanding performances from most-expensive signing Rooney, Benni McCarthy and Cesc Fabregas earned them a place in the Canesten Combi Cup final.

A stellar performance from Stewart Downing crowned the God Squad cup winners in May, the manager’s first and only piece of domestic silverware to date.

Making his Kenna debut, the manager of The Trinny Men would later become league treasurer. Nevertheless, it was not a performance to treasure for the future bean Kenna HQ bean counter, who went into hibernation for three seasons after finishing last.

In the title race, despite posting a worst-ever weekly score of minus six on 20 February, Fat Ladies bounced back to reclaim the top spot by the end of March with seven goals in one week (a hat-trick apiece from Ronaldo and Drogba, and one from The Yak).

FC Gun Show made a decent show of defending their title to the hilt, but with a May Manager of the Month performance Fat Ladies prevailed.

When it came to the crunch, for the second title race in a row Ronaldo and Drogba had proved decisive.

Final league table and form guide

2007-08 table
2007/08 Jeff Kenna League table – final standings

The Rub 2007-08

Highest scorers

1 C Ronaldo 284 £34m Fat Ladies
2 F Torres 204 £22m Thieving Magpies
3 D Berbatov 200 £33m FC Gun Show
4 S Gerrard 197 £33m Dynamo Temple
5 C Tevez 175 £27.5m The Trinny Men
6 R Keane 172 £10m Titus’ Titans
7 A Young 161 £8m Titus’ Titans
8 D James 158 £9m Recreativo Brockley
9 C Fabregas 157 £16.5m Onward Christian Soldiers
10 S Downing 151 £9m Onward Christian Soldiers
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Devil of a time to breathe life into title race

EVERY summer a select group of senior Kenna HQ blazers get together to pray for an interesting title race in the upcoming season.

The exact identity of the footballing deity whom they try to summon is unclear – and the Kenna HQ ethics committee has questioned whether the pointy masks, velvet drapes and naked girls are absolutely necessary – but whoever it or He is every season leaves those prayers unanswered.

For yet again the neutral spectator of the Kenna League is left with the dull plod of yet another title going to a club to dominate the table since autumn.

Should the inexorable march of Young Boys towards their second Kenna championship come to pass, they would join FC Testiculadew and Sporting Lesbian to become the third club to win two leagues in the last six seasons.

With credible challengers as sparse as pubic shrubbery on an Adam Johnson date, the phenomenon reached its nadir in April 2012 with the Kenna-in-the-bag inquiry.

There have been flickers of hope since. The Piedmonte manager came closest to breaking the cycle in 2013-14, but for a calamitous moment of transfer window business: swapping out a resurgent Samir Nasri for the lumbering Andros Townsend.

This season it’s another Kenna co-founding manager making a fist of it while the rest of the league gets fisted.

Philippe Coutinho, Jonathan Walters, Jermaine Defoe and Robbie Brady all scored this weekend to put Walthamstow Reds within 84 points of Young Boys.

But the chalkstripes in the Kenna HQ speculations department remain unconvinced of anything but a Young Boys triumph.

The Welshman’s side is enjoying sprightly form. Over the last seven weeks they’ve been popping along at more than 39 points a week, compared to Walthamstow Reds’ 29.

With just seven competitive weeks left of the season, it would take a Herculean effort from the Reds manager never before seen in the Kenna to overcome the deficit.

And he’s got Andros Townsend in midfield. No amount of virgins’ blood spilt at Kenna HQ can rectify that.

Kenna League – week 30

Kenna table - week 30 - 22 March 2016
Kenna table – week 30 – 22 March 2016

Weekly scores

Weekly scores - week 30 - 22 March 2016
Weekly scores – week 30 – 22 March 2016
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Chairman ‘recognised’ in pub crawl feat

THE first man to visit a pub for every tube station in London has recognised the Kenna League chairman for ‘providing wisdom and élan at crucial moments of the crawl’, according to the Kenna League chairman.

Sam Cullen completed the three-year odyssey of 270 London Underground stations last week, in the order they opened.

Posting on his blog INNside Track yesterday, Cullen thanked his friends and supporters during the crawl, including a nod to the chairman for pub recommendations.

“I’m not one to brag,” said the chairman, micromanaging a Kenna HQ lackey hang a framed print off of the blog post on the wall of his executive office. “But I can say I’ve been instrumental in Sam’s journey, providing wisdom and élan at crucial moments of the crawl.”

Critics of the chairman, and there are many, claim he is trying to bask in the reflected glory of Cullen’s feat. They say the only advice he gave was to spam tweet links to his own meagre London pub crawl posts in an attempt to drive traffic to the site.

The chairman denied he was overplaying his role: “This is about pubs, not search engine optimisation, pubs, pub crawl, beer, bar, boozer, tavern, ale, saloon, inn, kenna, jeff kenna, fantasy football, premier league.

“And that’s all I have to say on the matter, underground, tube, transport, train, london, capital, big smoke, west end, east end, Mary Poppins.”

Cullen’s achievement drew a slew of media coverage, which included his own recommendations of London pubs based on his experience.

Supporters of the chairman, and there are few, were pleased to see Kenna HQ local The Westbury picked out in the ITV London piece on Cullen’s top 10 pubs.

Kenna table – week 29

Kenna table - week 29 - 15 March 2016
Kenna table – week 29 – 15 March 2016

Weekly scores

Weekly scores 29 - 15 March 2016
Weekly scores 29 – 15 March 2016
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Coach and Horses all dayer: report

The doors may not have been unlocked until 10 minutes after the advertised opening time, but Kenna managers were undeterred in their drinking session to watch the north London derby.

The manager of league leaders Young Boys arrived first in Stoke Newington.

The Welshman bought a Guinness, got a good table and by the time the Kenna chairman arrived was set up perfectly to gloat about his side’s dominance this season.

Sitting down with a pint of Staropramen, the chairman was then subjected to a lengthy complaint about the Young Boys’exit from the Narcozep Cup that week at the hands of league runners up Walthamstow Reds.

Reservations about holding the tie during a Rumbelows Cup final week were swept aside. Young Boys’ form has been so pitiful of late, the chairman asserted, it’s only their massive lead which has spared them losing the top league spot to Reds as well as a place in the Narcozep Cup semis.

Events in Bruce Grove were already well underway when the ISIL manager entered the pub.

Lately the Pirate has taken to turning up for beers in jogging tights and ordering OJ. This worrying trend continued on Saturday.

It was then the turn of the Judean Peoples’ Front manager to enter the arena. He looked wearier than his side’s chances of finishing outside the bottom half of the Kenna this season.

The JPF boss had still been up for dawn patrol earlier in the day, but within minutes of arriving he had smoked two cigarettes and had a handled glass of bitter in his hand. That’s the sort of form to see managers invited back to the Kenna again and again regardless of events on the pitch.

Punters red, white and neutral had filled the Coach and Horses by now, and the north London derby produced its usual fireworks.

By the time the match had finished, Kenna managers were a few pints in and the casual drinking rumbled on through Soccer Saturday and onto the final whistle of the evening fixture between Watford and Leicester City.

Whoever devised Saturday league football scheduling either must or should have shares in Staropramen.

Kenna table – week 28

Kenna table - week 28 - 8 March 2016
Kenna table – week 28 – 8 March 2016

Weekly scores

Manager Points Goals
1 Pikey Scum Jack 62 4
2 Cowley Casuals Stu 61 5
3 Lokomotiv Leeds Ben S 60 3
4 Dynamo Charlton Alex 58 1
5 Wandsworth Network Solutions Will 56 3
6 Bala Rinas Lewis 56 2
7 Headless Chickens John N 54 3
8 Young Boys Andrew D 52 3
9 KS West Green Stix 51 2
10 Hairy Fadjeetas Aiden 50 1
11 Thieving Magpies Phil 50 1
12 Carles Carles 46 2
13 Judean People’s Front Sholto 45 2
14 Newington Reds Ben D 45 1
15 FC Tescticuladew James N 41 0
16 Northern Monkeys Hugo 38 1
17 ISIL Abdi 37 0
18 Team Panda George 33 1
19 Uncertain Pete B 13 0
Points Player
Player of the week 17 Lennon, A – EVE – MID
Club Unsigned
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Craft Beer Rising

I’VE never been to a beer festival before.

People inside and outside the Kenna League may find that hard to believe.

I run a fantasy football league to all appearances with the sole purpose of organising as many all-day drinking sessions in as many different London pubs as possible.

Outside the Kenna I regularly kneel at the altar of licenced premises. Some would say too regularly.

But for some reason I’ve never happened upon the promised land of a big room full of lots of different beers and likeminded souls. Like an itinerant Fifteenth Century monk visiting churches, monasteries and other holy places throughout Christendom without once thinking to go to the Vatican.

So it was with a little trepidation I went to Craft Beer Rising in the old Truman Brewery last Friday night. Having lived in Brick Lane for almost half the noughties, the venue and area were well known. But what goes on at a beer festival was based on barely-remembered, badly-told, second-hand accounts from friends.

Before I go on I should admit bitter disagrees with me. That’s a pretty big obstacle to going to beer festivals, I suppose. Lager, cider and IPA? Can’t get enough of them, but traditional English ale is a nonstarter.

So as a committed lager drinker, I must assert – ahead of a description of Craft Beer Rising – that for too long the British tippler has been enslaved by the evil of big breweries limiting options to Kronenbourg, Stella Artois, Carlesberg, Fosters and other poor excuses for enduring session pints. To the part-time palette and Paul Calf they may be acceptable, but to me they’re all on a par with Skol.

A few years ago Peroni came along and brightened bars for a while, or at least until a visit to Craven Cottage. After the match I tasted a watered-down version at The Temperance on Fulham Palace Road.

Peroni ruined, Veltins stepped up. This is a pilsner one can drink and drink and drink, but sadly it’s only available in a finite number of boozers I know, none of them convenient to home or work.

Then three years ago I started working in Holborn, and there, beneath the faux Romanesque pillars of Sicilian Avenue, I found The Whippet. And Lagunitas.

In truth, Lagunitas IPA is a little too strong to knock back in large amounts, but Lagunitas Daytime is, and by thunder it’s good. They both are.

For £15 then, a room with Lagunitas IPA, Daytime and 598 other beers made with the same care and consideration for the consumer could only be a good thing.

After work on Friday, and the customary weekly après in The Skinny Dog, two colleagues, the ISIL manager and I went to E1.

Entering the sell-out event we were issued with a glass and ascended some stairs. We entered a huge room full of cheerful people and an overwhelming amount of beer.

Like the barefoot, medieval pilgrim entering St Peter’s Basilica for the first time, I was filled with wondrous awe and reverence, but also the sneaking suspicion such excess should inevitably lead the to the utter corruption of the weaker man’s soul.

Struggling to maintain composure in front of my drinking companions, we approached the first stand. It was only after I had tried and bought a third of a pint of Williams Double Joker IPA I realised it was 8.3 per cent. Well-laid plans had already come unstuck, but it tasted good enough to make the Pope blaspheme.

Next we tried Bru. An Irishman with the most marvellous whiskers explained their mission to replace Guinness as the stout of choice. This was the cleanest tasting beer I’ve tried since visiting the hometown of the Żywiec brewery in the Polish mountains a couple of years ago. I hope Bru can repeat their Nottingham feat in London and break the St James’s Gate monopoly.

The evening passed in a jovial blur, and in between all the beer and the chat there was an observation among the demographic of the event that requires deeper inquiry.

Predominance among the people was not the tubby, ageing, male pedants associated with real ale campaigns, Morris dancing and celebratory pub scenes at the end of Time Team episodes. There were certainly plenty of blokes, but there was also a sizeable minority of women. And they were really enjoying themselves.

In fact, they were enjoying themselves so much that as the night wore on – more drinks, going for cigarettes, throwing a few woefully-executed shapes in the cider hall – it dawned on me this event was an absolute meat market.

As a taken man I was keen to repel any slurred advances, but unfortunately the ISIL manager had his own predictable agenda and I was forced into the role of reluctant wingman. I’m proud to say my marriage vows remain intact.

What also remains secure is my conversion to the way of the beer festival. Even without the Ballet of Chestnuts unfolding before me, this was a superb event and a must for anyone revelling in the Renaissance of lager.

And anyway I have to go back. In five hours we didn’t even get halfway round.

Narcozep Cup

Quarter final second leg results

Uncertain 9 (19) – 12 (41) Pikey Scum
Walthamstow Reds 30 (84) – 12 (38) Young Boys
Northern Monkeys 18 (51) – 11 (54) Dynamo Charlton
Thieving Magpies 15 (48) – 25 (51) Lokomotiv Leeds

Semi final fixtures

Pikey Scum v Lokomotiv Leeds
Walthamstow Reds v Dynamo Charlton

First leg – 12 April
Second leg – 26 April

Kenna table – week 27

Kenna table - week 27 - 1 March 2016
Kenna table – week 27 – 1 March 2016

Weekly scores

Manager Points Goals
1 Wandsworth Network Solutions Will 37 2
2 Newington Reds Ben D 30 1
3 ISIL Abdi 28 2
4 Lokomotiv Leeds Ben S 25 2
5 Hairy Fadjeetas Aiden 25 2
6 Carles Carles 22 1
7 Cowley Casuals Stu 22 0
8 FC Tescticuladew James N 21 0
9 Judean People’s Front Sholto 20 0
10 Northern Monkeys Hugo 18 1
11 Thieving Magpies Phil 15 0
12 Young Boys Andrew D 12 1
13 Pikey Scum Jack 12 0
14 Dynamo Charlton Alex 11 0
15 Bala Rinas Lewis 10 0
16 Headless Chickens John N 10 0
17 KS West Green Stix 9 0
18 Uncertain Pete B 9 0
19 Team Panda George 7 0
Points Player
Player of the week 15 Rashford, M – MUN – STR
Club Unsigned
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