The pundits are always banging on about London derbies and London rivalries and that type of thing. None of it means anything unless we can genuinely establish who is the best team in London in any given season, which we can obviously never do while they're all playing in different divisions.
It's time this was rectified. For the first time since the Second World War, we've placed the various London teams into the same division to battle it out for the title of Champions of London. We'd like to think this deserves a drum roll but regardless of what you may have heard we at Londonist don't like to play our own instruments. We might give the winners some sort of cup or we might not, but the bragging rights will be hard-earned and documented forever.
Our new league will be based on the only fair method of calculation — points per game. We're also including the points for all league matches, not just matches between London clubs, because the latter would take until about this time next month and require the patience and dedication of that bloke who used to wear the dressing gown on that Skinner and Baddiel fantasy football show from years ago.
For the sake of interest, Chelsea would be current champions had we not decided that football is being reset from this point and nothing in the past matters at all, rather like Sky did in 1992.
Londonist Football League table
|Team||Games played||Goal difference||Points||Points per game|
|Dag & Red||10||-4||11||1.1|
We can officially say that Chelsea are currently top of the newly inaugurated Londonist Football League, at the end of the first month and a half of league competition in the 2014-15 season. This surprises no-one. The Blues have been ruthless so far and remain unbeaten in the Premier League, though so do current third-placers Arsenal. The two teams meet at Stamford Bridge this weekend. Last season the match was 6-0 to Chelsea. We smell fear in N5.
Charlton separate the two after some exceptional performances in the Championship so far — so exceptional that they remain outside the playoff places in that league, demonstrating how hard it's likely to be to get out of it. Nevertheless the Addicks remain one of only two unbeaten teams in that division and glum pre-season predictions look way off the mark as it stands.
Rounding out the European qualification places are AFC Wimbledon. We've decided the top four will qualify for some European competition or other and expect little opposition from UEFA. They're only 12th in their 'real' league, but no doubt the prospect of facing teams with names like FC Astra Giurgiu and 'Rio Ave' next season will spur the Dons/Wombles to further glories.
Heading down the table towards the relegation places, two sort-of west London clubs are battling it out to be the most hapless team in the city. QPR have had a pretty miserable start and will need all of Harry Redknapp's legendary patience to turn it round. To make matters worse, even Fulham have started winning, picking up their first victory of the season last weekend at Birmingham and folowing it up with a 4-0 spanking of Bolton, to consign the Felix Magath era to the 'bad dream' cabinet at the Jacko Stadium. We still miss that statue.
There have been plenty of London derbies already. Tottenham gave QPR a 4-0 shoeing at White Hart Lane and also beat West Ham away. Millwall were one of the many teams to dispatch Fulham, while Crystal Palace lost to the Hammers and to Arsenal, and drew with Spurs who also drew with Arsenal. Complicated stuff. Brentford and Charlton drew one apiece. Dagenham & Redbridge are yet to meet AFC Wimbledon. Lonely Leyton Orient pay for their playoff final failure by having to play the likes of Fleetwood, Scunthorpe and Crewe all season long.
Of course, football isn't just about winning, losing and taking part — not in the glorious era of baffling statistics we now seem to inhabit. Football is also about footballers kicking the holy hell out of each other in all manner of curious ways, and the second half of our round-up involves the darker side of the beautiful game.
Potentially even more statistically relevant than our league table, the disciplinary table ranks clubs based on how frightening they are. We have awarded each team one point for a penalty conceded, two points for a yellow card and three points for a red card, and ranked them on these points per game played. Rumours that we've done this just so Arsenal can claim to be top of the league remain unproven at this point.
LFL disciplinary table
|Team||Yellow cards||Yellows per game||Red cards||Penalties conceded||Discipline points per game|
|Dag & Red||9||0.9||1||4||2.5|
The Gunners are a filthy array of disgraceful monsters booting their opponents about the park for 90 minutes, in a way that recalls the glorious early-Wenger era where the papers would run a count of Arsenal's red cards under the Frenchman. They were certainly hard back then, but now it's yellow cards that are causing the problem, most of them for new boy (band star - come on, he looks like a One Direction reserve player) Calum Chambers.
QPR's squad either can't get close enough to their opponents to kick them or they simply don't care enough. Being bottom of both tables is particularly ignominious for the R's, and we strongly recommend they take a leaf out of Dagenham & Redbridge's book and start tripping over more opposing forwards in the box. Four penalties conceded in 10 games by the Daggers. Nice work.
This has been the first monthly instalment of the Londonist Football League and it's clear a number of teams have work to do — either good or evil — to avoid the anguish of only getting a mention in that middle paragraph about derbies. Join us next month for more.