The league leaders are in assured form carrying two away goals into the second leg, and are the bookies’ favourites to take this all the way having scored 15 more goals than any other club this season.
JPC’s Le Fondre, Maloney, Henderson, Osman and Silva are less likely to find the net.
Prediction: Plenty of mouth-watering action with Lesbians coming on top.
FOR MANY Englishmen the Germany 2006 World Cup was a rude awakening.
In the build up to the tournament expectancy filled the air, and the airwaves. Everyone was telling us that this was England’s chance. The Golden Generation.
“Look at our players. Just look! They’re all playing for top clubs reaching the latter stages of the Champions League.”
“They’ve knighted Geoff Hurst! This must be an omen, because he beat the Germans in an era we can’t remember and from which we’ve never watched a full game, just the same clips over and over again.”
“All the World Cup winners since 1966 form a mathematical sequence that is completed only if England win in Germany. I’m not saying it’s in the bag, but by thunder it’s our best chance for years!”
Such were the sentiments fanning the flames of hope.
As with any tournament it all ended with tears for the English, and that was the moment most Kenna managers should have realised that no matter how many ‘years of hurt’ they’d undergone mediocrity should just be accepted.
Looking back now, the 90s – two semi-final finishes and a roller coaster of a game against Argentina in Massif Central – were the pinnacle of England’s international endeavour since lifting the Jules Rimet, but as managers assembled in the One Tun near Goodge Street tube station for the 2006-07 season’s auction in early August, the memory of that Madeirense eyelid movement on a field in the Ruhr still cut deep.
Most expensive summer signings
The auction became a morality play. Footballers were merited on their performance in Germany rather than their week-in, week-out trade at club level.
Widely vilified for failing to find the net in the World Cup, Frank Lampard went for a paltry £18m to Thieving Magpies despite being one of the domestic game’s top performers the season previous.
On his Kenna debut the FC Gun Show manager, noted for his pragmatism, loose morals and Hackett socks, cleaned up.
As he bought diving Drogba for £5m, Berbatov for £18m and the anti-christ himself Cristiano Ronaldo for £22m, the rest of the league guffawed at the folly.
The Portuguese went on to enjoy a three-season reign of majestic dominance in the Kenna, and helped FC Gun Show become the second ever manager to win the league.
His three star players aside, only one other of the FC Gun Show manager’s original eleven chalked up over 100 points – Stewart Downing.
Thieving Magpies came second, although at the time their inability to do better was touted as further evidence that Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard can’t ‘dovetail’ in midfield.
Defending champions Vasco De Beauvoir could only muster third place, but were consoled by winning the inaugural Canesten Combi Cup competition, beating 120 Checkout in the final by 34 points to 19.
The Kenna’s first ever female manager bumped right into the glass ceiling. Building a team around Ricardo Vaz Te was held at fault, rather than gender issues.
Every manager learnt two important lessons that August night in Fitzrovia: no one wins the Kenna buying players they like and the One Tun is not a good auction venue.
They also discovered that the Kidderminster Harriers squad possessed more Premier League winners medals (one) than the Liverpool squad. And so the Stuart Watkiss League was renamed to become the Jeff Kenna.
Which is why the Chairman cuts a lonely figure in the photo above. Having made it half way up a red run, he spent 20 agonising minutes being severely punished for his vainglorious, ‘how hard can it be’ attempt to ski. Forced to abandon, he was rewarded with the long and awkward journey back to the bottom, and for posterity snapped by the Greendale Rockets manager from the smug comfort of a chairlift.
No stranger to ignominy on the slopes, the Chairman said afterwards: “It wasn’t as bad as the trip to Chamonix a few years ago. I’ll never go snowboarding in jeans again.”
FRANCE have been refused rights to a Kenna franchise after delegates deemed Paris ‘just not suitable’.
A Gallic consortium hoping to bring the world’s best format of fantasy football to the Continent were told their country wouldn’t be ready for at least a few years.
Speaking to L’Equipe after a quick crêpe on the Champs-Élysées, Kenna suits explained their decision to snub ‘Le Jeff’.
“I paid a king’s ransom to wander round some dimly-lit rooms staring at young women in the buff, but when in Paris one must visit the Louvre,” quipped the Chairman, once he’d scrubbed every trace of the stamp for Pussy’s nightclub from his wrist.
“Joking aside, these cheese eating surrender monkeys now have a good standard of football in Ligue Uhhhne, and we’ve long since forgiven their poor taste in stonewashed jeans and floppy mullets, but the truth is the conditions we’ve seen in Paris are just not suitable.
“I went to a pub where they were showing football and ordered a beer. Not only was I served the shabbiest pint since records began, but the waitress kept a straight face while charging me 11 Euros. 11 Euros! Am I supposed to be paying Zlatan’s wages?
“The slow table service and expensive lager means this city cannot, I repeat cannot, be trusted to allow 20 managers to bid for their teams at auction.”
The news comes as a big blow to the French capital after they lost out to London on their bid to host the 2012 Games.
Le Kenna: French forms of common league phrases
La Folie Anglaise – 4-4-2, the prescriptive formation of all Kenna League teams.
Hôtel de Jeff – Kenna HQ, where the organs of league business are based.
Le nuit des boissons vigoureux – auction night, the pre-season event in August where 20 managers buy their teams. Held in the pub.
Le chef du chaos – the auctioneer, who sells players at the pre-season event.
La Coupe de la Chatte Mal – the Canesten Combi Cup, knock-out tournament run during the season.
Hors de combat – injured, commonly murmured by competitors to undermine a manager’s confidence in the player he’s just bought.
Le Bramble stratégique – tactical Brambling, the pernicious act of deliberately trying to trigger a Titus Bramble forfeit to gain a financial advantage late in the auction.
Le Maillot Merde – the Bramble jersey, worn by the last-placed manager at auction and transfer nights.
La fenêtre de chance – transfer window, event held twice a season where players can be bought and sold.
L’Absenteé – the Still Don’t Know Yet goalkeeper Drusille Ngako, who absconded from the Cameroon Olympic women’s football team during London 2012 and hasn’t been seen since. The name can also refer to Still Don’t Know Yet defender Anton Ferdinand.
Le Corsaire d’Afrique – the Spartak Mogadishu manager.
Le Comte de Fléchettes – the Newington Reds manager, who bears a remarkable resemblance to professional darts player Ted ‘The Count’ Hankey.
THE CORRIDORS of Kenna HQ have long echoed with reverence for five seconds of Mel Gibson in 1989, but the bubble has sadly burst.
A closing shutter door to the league’s underground executive car park prompted a YouTube search for a remembered gem from Lethal Weapon 2.
The film features two veteran homicide detectives with terrifically well-managed hair fighting the evil spectre of South African Apartheid, which takes the form of snappily-dressed diplomats with clipped accents, automatic weapons and equally high-maintainence bonces.
In one scene madcap martial arts expert Martin Riggs, played by Gibson, enters a restricted area at the South African consulate by rolling underneath a closing shutter door without breaking stride. A true masterclass.
Unable to find the extract posted on YouTube, the Kenna HQ LoveFilm account was pressed into service and a DVD of the film hired for that purpose.