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?
This season’s best attack award goes to Dynamo Temple, who will add it next to their ‘Best midfield’ and Cannestan Combi Cup in the club trophy cabinet.
Dynamo’s £5m Rodallega and £19m Bent narrowly pipped Polonia’s £8m Elmander and £21m Hernandez. The ‘Little Pea’ promises to be a big target at auction.
At the other end, Lokomotiv Tooting had a torrid season up front. Peter Crouch failed to strike up a meaningful relationship with either Roque Santa Cruz or El Hadji Diouf, and even PSV’s meagre offering from Pavlyuchenko and on-the-bench-until-loaned-to-Madrid Adebayor wiped the floor with them.
The Lokomotiv manager will be taking a long, hard look at how he can remedy that next season.
We’re sorry to hear about you losing your job this week.
As the saying goes, when one door closes another one opens, and that’s why we’d like to offer you the fantastic opportunity to manage your own team next season in the Jeff Kenna League.
The format is simple. We meet in a bar before the Premiership season to hold an auction of players and afterwards we all go to a discotheque. We officially meet in a bar another two times in the season for transfer nights, and once business is concluded we proceed to a discotheque.
Other than that managers are free to visit as many bars and discotheques as they like. As you’ll know from your Chelsea days, there’s rather a lot of them in London.
We think your credentials make you an ideal manager for ‘the Kenna’. Provided, of course, you can pay the £20 entry fee.
We can even give your team an amusing name like ‘Terek-ball Perm’.
Eagerly awaiting your response,
PS – to allay any apprehensions you may have, I do not own a gold gun nor am I alleged to have been involved in violent political crimes. Neither, to the best of my knowledge, have any managers in the Kenna.
Midfield mediocrity is the trademark of the trophyless Kenna manager.
Bit-part, maybe men midfielders are as popular with managers at auction as Alex McLeish wearing a Wolves shirt on a night out in Digbeth.
Relying mainly of their creativity, these wingers, number 10s and false nines are more susceptible to the vagaries of form than any other Kenna player.
So it comes as little surprise that Dynamo Temple scoop the best midfield award because of a player who in previous seasons has frustrated managers with his unpredictability.
Now out of the shadow of his fellow countryman, Nani put in some of his best performances since the Thriller video and charged to 171 points this season. What a snip at £8m!
Perhaps more important an accolade is the ‘Mid-table Midfield Award’, which is awarded to a team who started the season with Joe Cole, Petrov, Milner and Hitzlsperger. Must be something to do with the altitude in Nepal.
To stand any chance of winning the Kenna it’s imperative to have a back five as solid as Sepp Blatter’s gold toilet.
The 2010/11 award for best defence goes to champions Young Boys. The indomitable Cech, Vidic and Bale were ably supported by PFA Young Player of the Year Award-nominated Seamus Coleman and 38-games-this-season Roger Johnson.
At the tail end, Spartak Mogadishu’s Green, Warnock, Ryan Taylor, Kyrgiakos and Figueroa left a lot to be desired.
Thank you to managers who attended last night’s end-of-season debrief on the pavement outside an exclusive central London venue.
The Chairman would say it was memorable, but frankly details at the end are as blurred as the purpose of the FIFA ethics committee.
Those not present missed a remarkable story about sneaking out of a wedding in France to watch the Champions League final, drinking a bottle of Beaujolais and causing a scene when they wouldn’t let him bring two local peons into the reception after the match.
If this sounds like you then you’re just the calibre of manager the Kenna is looking for. We need more of you to offest the smug-as-hell-even-though-their-shirt-is-tucked-into-their-pants brigade.