Manager: Ben S (Yorkshire)
Twitter name: @BenCSilver
Last season: 7th
Trophy cabinet: empty (best finish – runner up in 2011/12)
Darts music: Bicycle Race – Queen
Outlook (on 21 August 2013): As reports of managers’ exploits filtered back to Kenna HQ in the days following last weekend’s auction there was one tale of particular note. Whether the incumbent mayor’s most innovative and popular scheme of public transport was designed to get Londoners home after 15 hours on licensed premises is an ethical discussion rather than a footballing one, but what remains clear is that a manager capable of such haphazard decision making in the face of revelry is likely to build a team incompatible with mounting a genuine title challenge.
The Lokomotiv boss will be keen to get back to the heights of his plucky debut campaign two years ago. Last season’s 7th-placed finish was far from the promise of his runners-up medal the previous May, and the manager has bought a team that can score points, although inclined to grind out them out rather than win them with flair. The victorious Dynamo Temple of 2008/09 proved that an unspectacular side can win the Kenna, but that was in the days of just 12 managers rather than 23 hunting for the spoils.
Marquee signing Wilfred Bony has already found the net just as Gabby Agbonlahor appears to have found the form that earned him three national call ups – incidentally during which time he was part of the winning Dynamo Temple team mentioned above.
In midfield, Johnson and Fellaini look to be starters for the season, unlike forfeit player Josh McEachran. The recognised authorities on the matter have already questioned the value Victor Wanyama can bring. At the back it’s steady as she goes, with only Younis Kaboul – formerly sidelined with injury – failing to score less than 90 points last season.
(B) denotes forfeit player awarded under the Titus Bramble ruling
First transfer window – 5 October 2013
Starting budget: £10m, remaining budget: £6.5m, net loss: £3.5m
|DEF||Evans, J||MUN||Free||DEF||Fonte, J||SOT||£2m|
|DEF||Kaboul, Y||TOT||Free||DEF||Yanga-Mbiwa, M||NEW||£0.5m|
|MID||McEachran, J (TB)||CHE||Free||MID||Amalfitano, M||WBA||£0.5m|
|MID||Wanyama, V||SOT||Free||MID||Brady, R||HUL||£0.5m|
Second transfer window – 7 February 2014
|MID||Amalfitano, M||WBA||Free||MID||McGeady, A||EVE||£2.5m|
|MID||Brady, R||HUL||£5m||MID||Nocerino, A||WHU||£0.5m|
|MID||Fellaini, M||MUN||£0.5m||MID||Matic, N||CHE||£0.5m|