Outlook: The Olisadebe Euro 2012 champion manager is yet to prove himself in ‘the best league in the world’, and with £40m on the front two he’s really had to gamble with the rest of side. Considering his poor outing in Poland, Given for £13m wasn’t a great start.
IN MAY this year 14 intrepid souls gathered in a south London pub ahead of Euro 2012 to take part in a fantasy football auction.
With a budget of £100m, each manager had to buy 11 internationals who they thought would perform the best over three weeks in Poland and Ukraine.
The manager of the team with the most points at the end would claim the prestigious Emmanuel Olisadebe European Cup, collecting a cash prize and the coveted, replica, unofficial Emmanuel Olisadebe Poland shirt.
The second rule in particular makes the Olisadebe ultimately challenging. Buying a bottom-drawer player from a top team is folly.
Going around the table, each gaffer takes it in turns to introduce a player to the bidding. The auction ends when every team is filled.
The Olisadebe ‘Brambles’ will be announced next week.
What experience tells us
Looking below at the top performers from the last international tournament, the Doctor Khumalo 2010 World Cup, the immediate thought is: what the bejabbers was someone up to spending £31.5m on a holding midfielder like Schweinsteiger?
During a domestic season, steady Eddies like Bastian ‘Pig-overseer’, making regular appearances and nicking the odd goal can be useful.
But in tournament football, where an absolute maximum of six games awaits, the only successful midfielders are those scoring just as many goals as their striking counterparts (Wesley Sneijder).
Forwards regularly finding the net and back fives from organised teams picking up clean sheets offer the best return on investment.
Creative wing backs getting assists and goals, while their side keeps clean sheets, are a handy addition.
The second thing you’ll notice from the table is that some household names went for chicken feed. There are three reasons for this:
all the other managers had bought their quota from that country (Iker Casillas)
those at the auction simply hadn’t considered that player of value (Thomas Muller)
the player had initially been bought for a large sum, forfeited through the Titus Bramble Ruling and bought on the cheap later in the evening (David Villa)
Top European’s from the 2010 Khumalo World Cup in South Africa
KUDOS, riches and glazed-over, gyrating, Slav human traffic leggier than a recent Scott Parker performance have long been the trappings of international success, but the Olisadebe offers that little bit extra.
Not only will the victor trouser £100 in cash, but they will become the proud owner of an unofficial, replica Emmanuel Olisadebe Poland shirt.
“Gained at no great expense, the shirt is almost exactly like the one, like the one worn by Emmanuel during his prolific spell for Poland. Any manager would be thrilled to hang the shirt in pride of place, so long as they can overlook the superficial damage,” said the Chairman, before returning to a heated telephone call about unkept promises with a storage solutions company.
Second place will land £50 while third will scoop £20.
The manager ending with the top individual points scorer in their team will also have something smile about.
“This tournament we’re offering a whopping £60 for player of the tournament. We hope it’ll bring out some big bids on the auction night,” said the Chairman.
Competition named as Emmanuel Olisadebe European Cup
KENNA HQ launched plans for this summer’s European Cup by announcing the search for the ‘perfect’ London pub to hold the auction.
Set for the evening of Thursday 31 May, the auction will involve no more than 16 managers battling it out for honours in the newly-named 2012 Emmanuel Olisadebe European Cup.
Speaking from an ornamental fountain in the Middle East, the Kenna Chairman said: “We like our football auctions with a pint, and by pint I mean a pint of beer, so we’re looking for a central London pub with an upstairs bit or sort of funtion room we can use for an evening.
“We’ve used a few other adequate venues in the past, but we still haven’t found the perfect pub. We need an area where 16 managers can sit around a table with a steady flow of draft premium lager and without competing for noise with the uninitiated.
“If you know a pub that meets the criteria get in touch.”
Central London pub
Space for 16 managers to sit around a table/s
Ready access to food and drinks
The Kenna is a not-for-profit organisation so cannot offer payment, but can offer some very thirsty patrons.
“Being an organisation proud of its diversity, we hope to use the tournament as an opportunity to highlight all that is multicultural about Poland, Ukraine and football itself; just like FIFA are doing with the 2022 Qatar World Cup.”
The competition will be limited to 16 teams. In the event that more managers wish to pick up the gauntlet, entry preference will be given to managers in the following order:
Kenna commitee members (x3)
Managers finishing highest in this season’s domestic league