Auction tactics: which One are you?

Rubber suit
The auction: all the fun of dressing in a rubber suit

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.

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The Friday Poll: Who’ll be the big money signing?

The Friday Pole
The Friday Pole

As managers choose their likely targets for the impending auction, who will be the players on everyone’s minds?

Last season Didier Drogba went for a Kenna record-breaking £47m. Seven other household names went for over £30m with varying results.

So who will attract the biggest price tag this time around?

The chalkstripes in Kenna HQ speculations department have selected a likely bunch to choose from below.

If you think it’ll be someone other than this, take the option to add them in.

[polldaddy poll=5287103]

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The thorn in your side

Gary Mabbutt
"What do you mean I've already bought a Tott... but... Titus who?"

The most infamous collection of names since the Nomenklatura has arrived.

Managers trying to buy an illegal player at next week’s auction will face the ignominy of fielding one of the Titus Bramble offerings below.

The players have been picked in the spirit of Bramble philosophy: they’ll play sometimes, they may even score on occaision, but most of time they’ll do less actual work than Sven Goran-Eriksson.

This season’s Bramble ruling has been tidied up to avoid a repeat of January’s ugly incident that left the Barking manager without a job.

The updated ruling – highlights

Managers will invoke the Bramble ruling if they buy, or try to buy:

  • More than one player from a particular Premiership club – the most expensive of the two will be replaced.
  • A player that causes them to exceed the £100m budget – their most expensive player, regardless of who they bought last, will be replaced.

Once they’ve undergone the Bramble ruling, the offending manager may not take part in the next round of bidding and must buy a pitcher of beer (get the next round).

Managers found to be consistently making illegal bids to drive up the value of players will invoke the Titus Bramble ruling.

Full league rules and regulations, including changes to the Bramble ruling, will be shared soon.

The Titus Bramble list – 2011/12

Under the updated ruling, Bramble players in each position will be awarded in the order they appear below.

If a manager has a player from the same club as the first available Bramble, then the next Bramble down will be awarded.

Each Bramble player will cost £0.5m.


1 John Ruddy Norwich
2 Jose Moreira Swansea City
3 Paddy Kenny QPR


1 Titus Bramble Sunderland
2 Danny Shittu QPR
3 Zak Whitbread Norwich City
4 Angel Rangel Swansea City
5 Rafik Halliche Fulham
6 Christophe Berra Wolves
7 Stotirios Kyrgiakos Liverpool
8 Pablo Ibanez West Bromwich Albion


1 Shaun Wright-Phillips Manchester City
2 Josh McEachran Chelsea
3 Emmanuel Frimpong Arsenal
4 Christian Poulson Liverpool
5 Hendry Thomas Wigan Athletic
6 Darron Gibson Manchester United
7 Michael Tonge Stoke City
8 Dan Gosling Newcastle United


1 Michael Owen Manchester United
2 Ji Dong-Won Sunderland
3 Emile Heskey Aston Villa
4 Conor Sammon Wigan Athletic
5 Magaye Gueye Everton
6 Sam Vokes Wolves
7 Roman Bednar West Bromwich Albion
8 Mamady Sidibie Stoke City

Bramble players may be subject to change before the auction night, depending on transfers.

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The Friday Poll: Tevez or Fabregas?

The Friday Pole
Stanisław Zbyszko - The Friday Pole

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.

In no time has the risk been higher than now, with captains Cesc Fabregas and Carlos Tevez both heavily tipped to either leave, be frozen out by their manager or fly to Luxembourg at half time

So with the potential for either player to stay in England and rack up a Kenna-winning points total, which player is more likely to go for the most money at auction?

[polldaddy poll=5255561]

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Latin heat

PSV Mornington manager
Iberians: a compact style of play

The Iberian peninsular produces some of the most technically-gifted football players in the world.

But in one of the few lands where no one can agree lyrics for the national anthem, which language claims supremacy on the pitch?

Ever responsive to the feedback of managers, the number crunchers at HQ have conducted another study of similar depth and learning to last week’s look at the Kenna slavic contingent.

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.

The outcome

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.


Player Club

10/11 points

Value (£m)


F Torres FC Gun Show




J Reina Thieving Magpies




D Silva Deportivo Kensington




C Cuellar Athelico Temple









Player Club

10/11 points

Value (£m)


M Arteta Athletico Temple





Player Club

10/11 points

Value (£m)


J Enrique Bashers FC





Player Club

10/11 points

Value (£m)


C Fabregas Athletico Temple





Player Club

10/11 points

Value (£m)


M Almunia PSV Mornington





Player Club

10/11 points

Value (£m)


Nani Dynamo Temple




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Left back in the wilderness

The Friday Pole
Stanislaus Zbyszko - The Friday Pole

With only one player allowed from each Premiership club good players are often left unsigned.

Despite being in the top ten points scorers in defence, Zabaleta and Lescott both finished last season as free agents.

So as the ranks of Manchester City’s back line swell over the summer, who will be left without a Kenna home to go to?

In last week’s poll, Stevie G was voted most likely to be the top-priced Liverpool midfielder at auction.

What a Kop out.

[polldaddy poll=5225840]

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Player list published

Player list
Tevez, hairplugs, malaria, molester, out of form, dobber: in that order

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.

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Which Liverpool midfielder will go for most money at auction?

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.

Although still in the Midlands, Stewart ‘ showdown talks’ Downing has been included only because everyone except McLeish wants him to be there.

And so the first edition of what’s hoped to be a weekly fixture begins: The Friday poll.

[polldaddy poll=5216823]

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The bargain basement

Graeme Souness
Stripped-down value: there's always a touch of gold to be found in the bargain basement

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.

Player Club Points
M Etherington Young Boys 120
M Skretl CSKA Bashers 116
C Jerome Legia Forsyth 111
C Baird Vasco De Beauvoir 99
C Samba FC Gun Show 90
S Parker FC Gun Show 90
L Koscielny Barking Nepal 85
R Giggs Atheltico Temple 85
M Taylor Legia Forsyth 81
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Big name hunting

Flash strikers: are they good value?

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?



Value (£m)


Points per £1m

C Tevez

CSKA Bashers




R van Persie

Spartak Mogadishu




D Drogba

Vasco De Beauvoir




F Torres

FC Gun Show




W Rooney

Deportivo Kensington




F Lampard

PSV Mornington




C Fabregas

Athletico Temple




S Gerrard

Legia Forsyth




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