Approaching the auction night is like going to a fetish party for the first time. You prepare yourself beforehand with a mental checklist of exactly what you’d like to do, but the next day you wake up with a heavy feeling of remorse and eleven men to whom you wouldn’t normally give the time of day.
Managers have come up with many formulas for avoiding just this scenario over the years, with varying degrees of success. With the big night due tomorrow, here are some manager profiles you’re likely to spot:
The Shrewd One – outlay a fairly reasonable bit of cash on three or four solid players who’ll be certain to get points. Wait patiently for everyone else to blow their wad before scooping up proven creative talents from unfashionable teams unchallenged. Demands research.
The Blasé One – do no homework, warm up with a couple of beers, then turn on the war face and bid for every player going until snagged by the Titus Bramble ruling. Results can be haphazard and have never attained league or cup success.
The Frustrated One – be absolutely certain of targets pre-auction, but gradually miss out on more and more of them due to lack of funds after ill-advised, early-evening purchases. Become increasingly irked at lack of progress. Finish the night livid.
The Confused One – get a list of players to buy from a guy at the desk next to you earlier in the day and watch them disappear under the hammer while trying to work out what the hell’s going on. Repeatedly say to managers next to you ‘Is this guy any good?’ while mispronouncing foreign names.
The Tentative One – keep holding back the budget for those big signings, but get outbid each time when the price gets high. End the evening with a mid-table mentality that derails league campaign.
The Lucky One – pick a few good players who hit form for the season and sit back while you scoop the Kenna.
The word ‘wantaway’ crops up every summer to the chagrin of the Kenna manager.
With the auction taking place three weeks before the end of the transfer window, there’s always a risk of blowing the budget on a ‘top, top, top, top‘ player for him to do one before the season has even begun.
Spanish, Basque, Catalan, Valencian, Aragonese and, for good measure, Portuguese players have been pitched against each other to determine precisely which brand of tiki-taka managers should adopt next season.
From the small data set available, it’s concluded that Valencian players offer the best return. Basque players are also a good investment, provided they’re not extorted for revolutionary tax by their fellow countrymen. The Portuguese are an excellent choice and Castilians are a safe bet.
Players from Aragon and Catalonia are overrated and should be left well alone.
Carlos Tevez has put quality time with his daughters on hold to become the most expensive signing in the DT player list, issued today.
The ‘wantaway’ striker, who spurned free plastic surgery on a childhood accident that left his neck scarred for life, shares the top spot with a man who had hairplugs fitted and announced it on the internet.
Frank Lampard takes the wig in midfield, despite his truly awful season for bottom-placed PSV last season. Watch Gareth Bale’s auction value plummet as he no longer picks up clean sheet points.
Vidic is the new JT/Ian Harte as the priciest defender. Joe Hart’s club form makes him first choice ‘keeper.
Managers are reminded that the position in which a player is included on this list, is the position they will play in their Kenna 4-4-2 formation.
View the player list by clicking on the PDF icon on the right, and remember: a Kenna manager is better than the information contained in the green box at the top.
Just one calendar month to go until the start of the new season. Salty.
In the only concrete football news this week, Liverpool finally bought Charlie Adam.
Now they have all these new options in midfield, and considering that Raul Miereles picked up more goals and assists than the fading Stevie G last season, the chalk stripes and Rolexes in Kenna HQ speculations department are pondering which midfielder will pick up the biggest price tag at auction.
A familiar scenario: it’s 10.30pm on auction night, you’re three sheets to the wind and there are four spaces to fill in your team.
It’s your turn to introduce a player to the bidding. Squinting at the tiny print of the player list the first name you see amongst the crossings out and the beer stains is Jonathan Spector. Surely, it hasn’t come to this?
The next few seconds can make or break a season.
These are the players (Spector aside) that can bring the most value to a Kenna team. In summer 2009, Vasco De Beauvoir paid a mere £500k for Carlos ‘Hughes won’t pick him’ Tevez. The Argentine’s imperious form that season significantly helped Vasco De Beauvoir lift their second league title and scoop the first ever double. Mark Hughes got sacked by Christmas.
Below are the nine top-scoring £0.5m players from last season’s auction. Taylor and Etherington come as little surprise, and Giggy’s prowess is well documented, but the Blackburn Mamba just goes to show that popular talent is not a pre-requisite of individual Kenna success.
Furthermore, 11 Martin Skretls would’ve won the league last season. That’s a lot of sultry Slovak.
There was a time when signing a big-money, almost-guaranteed points getter was the successful tactic of auction night.
Certainly in previous seasons, Cristiano Ronaldo, for all his failings of personality, single-handedly won FC Gun Show and Fat Ladies the title in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
However, as more teams have joined the league over the years, auction tactics have changed. With so many managers going for the big players, their value has skyrocketed, but on last season’s evidence their actual contribution is diminishing.
Below is a table of the eight players that fetched over £30m at auction last summer. They all have one thing in common: none of their teams got into the top two.
The most expensive player at champions Young Boys was Vidic (£27m) who picked up 139 points (5.15 per million pounds).
At cup winners and league runners up Dynamo Temple the situation is even more astounding. Jamie Carragher was the manager’s biggest buy at auction for £16m and scored 78 points (4.88 per million pounds).
Of the ‘over-£30m’ club, only the prolific Carlos Tevez managed to be of more worth to his team to the pound than Vidic or Carragher to theirs.
The questions remains: was last season an anomaly or with an enlarged league membership should managers be spreading their budget over their starting line up?