HALF-TERM REPORT: DOBO

DoBo has flattered to deceive this season but, even in its collective failure, it’s beginning to get interesting. Less about quality and more about calamity, Borussia Teeth have managed to cover themselves in glory so far but they also showed a propensity for fucking everything up in the space of a few weeks.

Super Ted FC would be looking at a dominant DoBo campaign if it hadn’t been for Sean Downs’ feckless lying at the start of the season; Farts of Midlothian continue to be…there; FC Des couldn’t have wished for a worse first half to the season so it can only get better (right?) and Rory McCarthy is making himself a contender for the Penhallurick 2-Bit Award with a dizzyingly impressive display of playing without knowing what football is.

Team: Borussia Teeth
Predicted finish: 4th
Grade: A-
GW High: 95
GW Low: 30
GW Average: 55.47
Best signing: Christian Eriksen

It’s been a memorable season in DoBo, so far, even if a lot of the reasons are connected to the woeful performance of the division as a whole. Not that Wyn Williams gives a fuck—he sits top of the pile after a yo-yo campaign. Strong at the start, disastrous in the middle, and resurgent over the Christmas period, Borussia Teeth continue to confound in both their failure and success. No-one expected The Teeth to be anywhere near the top at the beginning of the season – no-one expected them to be top when they were second, either – and there was a sense that the wheels were coming off after a miserable October.

But here they are again with their bouncebackability, Wyn Williams channelling his inner Iain Dowie to spring a surprise as they stake an unlikely claim for league greatness. This, after all, is a team who have always been comfortable being comfortable, and closer to relegation than they’ve ever been to a title. The second-half of the season is yet to run but, somewhere, Esteban Cambiasso is raising a glass.

Team: Farts of Midlothian
Predicted finish: 2nd
Grade: B-
GW High: 90
GW Low: 38
GW Average: 55.36
Best signing: Callum Wilson

Arguably the league’s most boring team, Farts continue to keep on keeping on. Like Weetabix, they’ve become a reliable division staple, near the top but never commanding— when they’re bad, they’re never disastrous; when they’re good, they’re never great. It’s become the story of Martin Arthur’s tenure but that understated tenacity has delivered titles in the past. You won’t see fireworks from Arthur’s side but rivals know they have to overcome an obdurate obstacle to earn glory—a lesson both Sean Downs and Wyn Williams have discovered this season. 

The Farts’ impressive start to the campaign should have seen them power away but whether it was complacency in the face of a shambolic division or an inability to react to the chaos below, Arthur’s side have been reeled in by the pinball madness of a poor but increasingly entertaining division. But with Williams’ title-race inexperience and Downs’ consistent inability to last a season, you get the sense this is almost where Arthur wants to be, despite the -25 point deduction and the Farts’ having all the excitement of egg white on a flannel.

Team: Super Ted FC
Predicted finish: 1st
Grade: A-
GW High: 82
GW Low: 31
GW Average: 54.68
Best signing: Anthony Martial

What can you say about Sean Downs? He’s a liar, morally and financially corrupt and title-less in five seasons but his tactical bravery is unmatched in this league. Seemingly dead and buried at the start of the season by a deserved 100-point deduction, Downs has guided Super Ted FC into a title race no-one saw coming. Yes, there will be questions about the quality of the division, and yes it is the worst DoBo on record, but you can only beat what’s in front of you—and Super Ted FC look capable of going all the way on current form.

A determination to always go for the differential alongside a shameless Arsenal bias has always seen Downs’ flounder when it matters most but with the foundation of an ingenious early-season premium defense and an eye for picking a standout performer in the majority of GWs, Downs has given Super Ted FC as good a chance as any—if he can find the balance between maverick and manager, this could be the story of the most improbable DoBo title winner. Ever.

Team: FC Des
Predicted finish: 3rd
Grade: D
GW High: 81
GW Low: 33
GW Average: 52.47
Best signing: Eden Hazard

It’s tough to know where to start with FC Des this season. What should have been a tilt at becoming just the second team to win back-to-back DoBos – and confirming their place as the league’s most dominant team in the process – has descended into failure, mediocrity and some flickers of redemption. The refusal to disrepute and unwavering consistency has been maintained but it’s all been at the lower end of the scale with two low 30s flirtations unlike a Michael Davies side. In the context of such a poor division, the FC Des of previous seasons would have had the title wrapped up by now—that they sit 58 points off the top at this stage of the season is a surprise only if you haven’t had to endure their performances so far.

Still, if any manager has a proven ability of season-long attrition, it’s Davies, and with 19 games left to play, 58 points isn’t insurmountable, particularly with the level of failure across DoBo. Performances in latter weeks have softened the -50 deduction but without that, even at their worst, FC Des would have been just 8 points from the summit.

Team: The Pain Train
Predicted finish: 5th
Grade: E
GW High: 76
GW Low: 30
GW Average: 50.47
Best signing: None. Because he’s shit.

Rory McCarthy and The Pain Train embody DoBo’s trials and tribulations this season. Arriving with a DoWo title and a MoTY award, Billy Big Bollock sauntered into the division talking a big game but has seen has side flounder at every turn. A disastrous transfer policy has underpinned the failure – even Jon Jolley’s concerned. With Mane’s continued presence in the side a mystery and a litany of -8 gambles underscoring a miserable succession of chased points that never materialized, The Train have spluttered to countless GW disappointments.

The impressive poise and form of that wonderful DoWo season has deserted McCarthy, and even in this DoBo, at the highest level of the game, every mistake is punished—particularly when your season so far seems to be built on them. With the division becoming top-heavy – McCarthy’s side sit 80 points from safety but 96 from the title – and DoWo teams below outscoring them by 100+, it’s going to be a painful season for The Train unless they can pick up a head of steam in the new year.