This week’s recap is a preview of the Backpost League Cup which pits the gregarious Disgruntled Numpties against the laconic Sporting de Dijon. I characterize these two teams as such based on their recent press conference in the bowels of Brisbane Road, where the Final is to be held. The press eagerly awaited the arrival of the two managers and what follows is a brief snippet of their remarks.
Phil McNulty, BBC correspondent: Are you surprised you have made it to the Finals?
DN: I got a kind draw, avoiding the two class teams in the competition. So, no, not surprised.
Phil looked over at Sporting but the manager offered no response.
Jim White, Sky Sports Presenter: How has the season been for you, what with trying to balance the League and Cup challenges?
DN: A lot of mediocrity this season. I’m high on the overall points total (maybe 13,000 out of 2.5 million) but that hasn’t translated into too many victories in the league. I chopped and changed a little too much too early (got rid of Ivanovic in week 3) and a little too little later in the season (Cuellar and van Persie for example). Balancing league and cup hasn’t been a problem since I’ve just tried to score as many points as possible.
JW: Yes I noticed you used your wildcard in week 20 but didn’t bother to use your January wildcard. Sporting, you used your wildcard early in week 5. What kind of effect did this have on your team?
Sporting just glared at Jim.
Barry Glendenning, The Guardian correspondent: I understand there is a history between you two. Care to share any inside info on the other?
DN: The rivalry exists on two fronts: Regents Park Sunday football and video soccer tournaments held a few times a year somewhere in London or thereabouts. However, from my perspective it wasn’t much of a rivalry on either front. In Regents Park I always wanted Paul on my team; he was a no-nonsense defender who was very hard to beat. In the video world Paul always contended for the top honors in the tournaments and I was always in contention for a molded plastic cow given as a prize for last place.
(Disgruntled Numpties manager 2nd from left, Sporting manager 4th from left)
At the appearance of this picture a small smile appeared on the face of the Sporting manager, but his Shields and Yarnell act was still intact.
Rob Stone, Fox Soccer presenter: What do you expect on the day? How confident are you?
DN: My squad looks good. I don’t expect to make any changes; unless I change my mind.
The Sporting manager cleared his throat but alas we were regaled with more silence.
And finally the last question went to Simon Mail, Leyton and Leytonstone Guardian reporter: Any comments directed at the other manager?
DN: I know Paul’s been busy with the birth of his first child. I think a Cup Final victory would be a wonderful way to welcome the newcomer into the world. I’m rooting for Sporting de Dijon.
The Sporting manager considered this, smiled, and left the room.
If nothing else, the press conference was certainly interesting. Hopefully the match will be as well. The Numpties have won six of their last seven fixtures, while Sporting have won two straight. They also split the season series, with the Numpties winning in week two, 41-29 and Sporting taking the ritorno 65-55.
As for the League table there was no change among the top four clubs as they all walked away with victories. My Old27m squad walked away with another Performance of the Week, and that was despite giving up 4 points from a second transfer. Fall River Marksmen was the Unlucky Loser, with 64 points, better than nine other clubs.
Thanks MGlo. And we have an update regarding the Sporting manager’s demeanor. Word is he recently became a father, and was so sleep-deprived he’d all but lost the power of speech.