HUNDREDS of column inches have been dedicated to the shortcomings of Argentine defender Martin Demichelis this season and in the most part for good reason.
The pony-tailed centre back appears most at home lumbering around just outside his own 18-yard line with all the agility of a ginned-up lollipop lady, desperately trying to keep up with his sleeker teammates.
Up against the cream of European talent, Demichelis’ height, chunky bearing and lantern jaw make him look less a professional footballer and more like he should be wearing a leather jacket and fencing stolen goods from a rusty van outside the back of a pub glued to At The Races all Tuesday afternoon.
But one Kenna manager has found that at the domestic level, Demichelis is statistically delivering more than well-respected ‘top top player’ Vincent Kompany.
Guffaws rang around the upstairs bar of The Three Stags in Kennington in early October, when the Young Boys of Vauxhall manager took what was considered to be the outlandish decision to jettison Kompany at the first transfer window and sign the bungling Argentine.
In the face of much criticism, Young Boys vehemently defended the move at the time. Selling Kompany to St Reatham FC for £5m and picking up Demichelis on the open market for a token point five, the Welshman trousered £4.5m, he argued.
The Young Boys manager was also keen to point out that Kompany was recently injured. No one thought it so serious at the time, but the Belgian didn’t play again until the New Year.
Up until that afternoon south of the river, Demichelis was picking up a measly 1.25 points a week. The Belgian was making hay at 3.76.
Since that window the Argentine has gone on to score at a very creditable average of 3.12 points a week, while Kompany has contributed less than two-and-a-half.
In hindsight, the whole affair was a masterstroke for the Young Boys manager.
Of course, in all other respects the Young Boys season has been an utter disaster. At the same transfer window the manager turned a profit on Kompany he ended up Brambling himself and found Operation Yewtree suspect Rolf Harris starting in his midfield as forfeit. At the second window in February his frenzy of eight transfers descended into Tinkerman farce.
The St Reatham manager, on the other hand, finds his team safely ensconced in midtable and in the semi finals of the Canesten Combi Cup.
Despite his failure in all other respects, the Young Boys manager has successfully underlined two recurring themes to emerge from any statistical analysis of the Kenna – due to the scoring system a defender is only as good or bad as the team he’s in and never sign players based on who you like.
In the first eight weeks of the season
Demichelis scored 1.25 points per week
Kompany scored 3.76 points per week
In the 25 weeks since the October transfer window
Demichelis started on 10 points now has 88 (3.12 points per week)
Kompany started on 27 points now has 89 (2.48 points per week)