A couple of weeks ago Londonist enraged the internet by suggesting that not everyone in London was skipping gleefully about the city at the prospect of six weeks of rugby. Sorry internet, we'll keep our opinions to ourselves from now on.
Hah, had you there. As this country's feeble representatives flounder in an already interminable World Cup, our proper sport has no fewer than 14 London teams to be praised, pilloried and pontificated about as we see fit, to the entertaining anger of social media. The Londonist Football League is back to ruin your life every few weeks because you just can't help but read it, knowing as you do that football will be the only salvation left as the waters rise and rugby countries like Tonga, Fiji and Wales are swallowed forever.
A brief recap for the two of you who weren't hooked on this last season: the Londonist Football League table contains all 14 of London's professional teams ranked by their points per game, allowing us to compare across the four main divisions. Games against all teams are included, not just London derbies, because if we did it that way Millwall would be relegated on zero points from zero games, being as they are London's lone and lonely representatives in League One. There's also a disciplinary table to see who the nastiest and/or hardest bastards in the city are.
Right, get on with it then.
Londonist Football League table
|Team||Games played||Goal difference||Points||Points per game|
|Dag & Red||10||-8||7||0.7|
West Ham are currently sitting proudly atop the league, to the great pleasure of one of Londonist's number, and less so the rest who have taken to avoiding him in the pub for this very reason. Their form against the top teams has been superb — we read some typically footbally statistic about them being the first team to beat last season's top three having not been in it themselves, or something.
Slaven Bilic's side began the season with an opening day humiliation of Arsenal, who themselves are second in our table, confounding the doom and gloom that stalks the Gunners like the Phantom Raspberry Blower. The angry cacophony at the Emirates after they lost to a Greek team hinted yet again at Arsene Wenger's time running out, though the boos could have been because they don't sell booze at Champions League games, making such evenings truly horrifying for Gooners yet to master the art of the hip flask.
Relegation is a little like not being able to make the rent on a compact but lovely two-bedroom flat in Mill Hill, having to move to a dilapidated studio/kitchenette above a chippy in Edgware, but then realising your new neighbours are much more willing to let you beat them at football. This finely tortured analogy hints at the solid form of Leyton Orient since their drop to League Two. Their results in derbies have helped propel them to third in the LFL, with the Os claiming wins over both Barnet and Dagenham & Redbridge, of whom more now.
The Daggers are rooted to the foot of the table with just seven points from 10 matches. In a reverse of Orient's experience of changing divisions, Barnet are hardly enjoying their return from the wilderness. And lo, the fixture computer threw up an intriguing tie last weekend as the Bees hosted the Daggers. The home side triumphed 3-1 with two goals from Michael Gash, with whose name it's impossible to imagine fans having any fun at all, and shame on you for expecting a puerile joke at this point.
Also fannying about at the wrong end of the table are Brentford. Oh, Brentford — where did it all go wrong? Kicking out a successful manager and flogging almost the entire team who got you to the playoffs can't have helped. The mysterious Mario Dickwowzer has already been kicked out of the manager's job, replaced by Lee Carsley, who doesn't actually want the job. The chairman who is making all this happen, Matthew Benham, is predictably silent and fans are watching this calamity with horrified incomprehension. Brentford's success felt like London's success last season and we feel the pain of the Griffin Park faithful like seeing a man on a canal towpath walk nads-first into a bollard.
Elsewhere, people have been kicking each other into the sky.
LFL disciplinary table
|Team||Yellow cards||Yellows per game||Red cards||Points per game|
|Dag & Red||16||1.6||1||1.9|
(Sorted by points per game, with one point for a yellow card and three for a red.)
Clearly not knowing any of your teammates is maddening and it's only right to take that fury out on the opposition, so Brentford have. Tottenham meanwhile have been quietly striding up the proper table with impressive results in recent weeks and there's clearly no harm in chipping away at the odd shin along the way. No red cards yet for Spurs, which suggests a measure of control in their aggression that could prove handy in the run-up to it all falling apart and the manager getting the bullet before Christmas, as is often their wont.
And so to our first mention of Chelsea. No, look, we're not laughing, we're really not. The Blues won the Londonist Football League very comfortably last season and may still do so again this, but seeing Jose Mourinho babble and bleat his comedic excuses never gets tiresome. They are playing like a team who hate each other and at third in our disciplinary table it doesn't look like they're keen to make friends elsewhere either. Things are only likely to get worse now every doctor and woman in Britain hates them. But it's not funny and this paragraph shows no bias and if you like it so much why don't you go live there.
Charlton are sticking true to their family-friendly image, with just 13 yellow cards and no reds in 10 matches. Londonist's sponsorship discussion with UEFA is ongoing, but if we successfully conclude the deal by which someone agrees to [redacted] and money changes hands many, many years later, the team at the saintly end of our disciplinary table will be rewarded with a place in next season's Europa League qualification rounds, starting mid-February. If that doesn't make the Addicks start flinging the elbows about, maybe nothing will.
At this relatively early stage of the season we're forced to turn to a round-up for the rest of our teams, as they're setting neither the results table nor the disciplinary table ablaze. And by round-up we mean listing the names of Crystal Palace, Millwall, QPR, Fulham and AFC Wimbledon, each of whom have done bugger all worthy of comment in either of our tables so far. Buck up your acts you useless shower or we'll never get our favourite Palace fan to chirp up in the comments that we've no idea what we're on about. We miss you, man.
Football never changes, and that's why we love it, eventually, about the time it becomes clear Yorkshire are going to win the County Championship again. At its worst football is an over-commercialised pantomime of cheats and charlatans and Martin Tyler shouting “AND IT'S LIVE!” every Sunday, but at its best it is our bulwark against massive men from doomed Pacific islands rolling around in mud like sows. So thank the gods for football and the Londonist Football League, because without it you'd be watching this: