It seemed like a magnificent idea at the time, devised by the most cunning minds at the top of the organisation with every detail thought out in full long in advance. As we write, David Cameron is on the Today programme gamely defending his former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s debacle-strewn reformation of the NHS.
Unfortunately the two sentences above are unrelated, such is Londonist’s baffling stream-of-consciousness confusion before the first cup of tea of the day is down. Sadly, the magnificent idea refers to the inaugural Londonist Football League. It has not been the success we had envisaged in our dreams, but like Cameron we will plough on regardless.
Because how were we to know that Chelsea would simply sit atop the league for the entire season in the most frightening procession since Conchita Wurst outlandishly gesticulated his or her way through Vienna? And how were we to know we’d face a situation where Fulham would scratch and hair-pull their way to three red cards in a single month of football, only to go down the disciplinary table somehow? Yet we persevere, for you, our noble freeloaders.
To give Arsenal their fair dues they are doing their best to rein in the Blues’ tedious lead at the top. The Gunners have won all four of their matches in March, which will presumably lead to a Manager of the Month away for Arsene Wenger and relegation form in April.
Londonist Football League Table
|Team||Games played||Goal difference||Points||Points per game|
|Dag & Red||39||-6||49||1.26|
Another month of London derbies has seen Arsenal beat both QPR and West Ham, while the Hammers also lost to Chelsea and Rangers lost to anyone who could scrape together 11 pub footballers for a kickabout. QPR are very definitely going to be relegated. This has been clear for some time. This is not Londonist’s fault because nothing ever could be, or as Mr Cameron is repeatedly putting it at this very moment “I don’t accept that”. He sounds tetchy. This will be a long month for us all.
As it will for Millwall as they look to avoid playing at Loftus Road next season, keener on the sunny climes of Walsall, Oldham and Crewe, who sound like a firm of debt collectors if ever we’ve heard one. The Lions were on course for their first win of the month after three losses and a goalless draw, but threw away a two-goal lead at Brentford in the last 10 minutes of the match to all-but confirm their doom. For their part, the Bees are still clinging to the lower reaches of the Championship playoffs. It’s the hope that kills you.
Leyton Orient are comfortably mid-table in our league, which amply demonstrates how a good many of our clubs have been letting us down this season. In reality, despite two wins in March Orient remain on the precipice, one bad run away from joining AFC Wimbledon and Dagenham & Redbridge in League Two. Thankfully four wins from six in March mean the Daggers should still be there, having toyed with the drop for a few months. But then, who wouldn’t want to play in a league with a name like ‘Vanarama’? That sounds brilliant.
As the Prime Minister might have, and indeed just has, said: look, the facts are clear. Fulham had Fernando Amorebieta sent off in a 5-1 spanking at home to Bournemouth, Kostas Stafylidis red carded for two bookings in two minutes against Leeds and Cauley Woodrow dispatched for a handball against Huddersfield. They have nonetheless gone down our table of the dirtiest teams in London. We blame this confusion on outside factors, such as the referee deciding to reprieve Woodrow and send off Shaun Hutchinson instead in that Huddersfield game, which might mean the Cottagers actually had four red cards this month, or just three, and the table’s bust. Oh well.
LFL disciplinary table
|Team||Yellow cards||Yellows per game||Red cards||Discipline points per game|
|Dag & Red||55||1.41||2||3.03|
As spring appears and the days warm up ever so slightly players become a little more nice to each other, which doesn’t help a table celebrating grim tackles and cheating very much. Apart from Fulham’s three (or four) red cards only AFC Wimbledon managed to get somebody sent off in March: Dannie Bulman, bloody harshly if you ask us.
Tottenham remain the naughtiest side in the city with an average of over two bookings per match - the same as Arsenal but with an extra red card. London’s current clean freaks are Charlton, with just one single red card to their name this whole season, for Callum Harriott back in December. We don’t know if he’s related to Ainsley but we do know that the Cardiff player made a right meal of it! Eh? Eh?
There’s not much left to be decided this season; which north London club makes the Premier League top four, whether Orient survive the drop, whether Brentford can make the playoffs, whether Crystal Palace will finish exactly halfway up both of our tables and the real one. Truth be told we’re putting all our focus on whether the Dons or Daggers come out with the bragging rights from their Easter Monday clash at Victoria Road. If we’d known London’s league would have boiled down to that level of excitement, would we have bothered in the first place?
We will not admit mistakes because there have been no mistakes. Don't even think about voting for the other lot because they're rubbish. Five more years.