HALF-TERM REPORT: DOWO

DoWo has led the way this season with a pretty strong collective showing but it’s a split division with The Jager Bombers v everyone else. Heisenberg, St. Pauli and Xtal tha Pulsewidth will rue inconsistent starts to the season that let Will Penhallurick’s side run away with the title while Wes Evans and Mellberg’s Beard will need a miracle, and could face the ignominy of being relegated by Die Lawro Die.

Team: The Jager Bombers
Predicted finish: 1st
Grade: A+
GW High: 85
GW Low: 26
GW Average: 61.21
Best signing: Eden Hazard

What a year it’s been for William Penhallurick and The Jager Bombers. After seasons of failure, controversy and toys out of prams, the most-hated manager in the game ended the Bombers’ long wait for silverware with a shock win over FC Des in the 2017/18 SaKo. It seemed like a one-off victory at the time but The Bombers have maintained that momentum and propelled themselves into the 2018/19 season to lead the league at the halfway stage.

There’ve long been doubts about Penhallurick’s staying power (in both the bedroom and Fantasy) but his side have made DoWo look effortless so far this campaign. In a strong-performing division, The Bombers went clear early on and haven’t looked back—as it stands, the worst human being manages the best team, and a first division title looks like a formality.

Team: Heisenberg
Predicted finish: 2nd
Grade: B+
GW High: 90
GW Low: 36
GW Average: 56.84
Best signing: Heung-Min Son

It’s been a welcome return for Gavin Brian Jones and Heisenberg. After a failed stint as a Burton’s model, Lineker look-a-like, and the Shipman-esque controversy around his use of nano technology, Jones returned to Heisenberg and a place in DoWo. In previous years, Heisenberg’s stints in DoBo were brief but they did become a regular feature in cup finals, picking up a few titles along the way. 

In a solid DoWo division, Jones’ laconic managerial style has sat well so far this campaign. An inconsistent start (along with most of the division) has practically gifted The Jager Bombers the title but Heisenberg look a solid bet to hold off the challenges of St. Pauli and Xtal the Pulsewidth in the race for DoBo promotion. And with the sides struggling in the division above, 2nd place is all but a promotion formality for the side that makes it. Don’t bet against it being the Heisenberg—the Doctor is back in session.

Team: St. Pauli
Predicted finish: 3rd
Grade: C+
GW High: 88
GW Low: 27
GW Average: 55.31
Best signing: Alexandre Lacazette

It’s been a rollercoaster first half of the campaign for Paul Gregory and St. Pauli. It was all going so well – after an outstanding DoDi debut season upheld the proud tradition of one team dominating the division – but Gregory has clearly struggled with the step up in pressure and quality. An inconsistent start to the season, coupled with The Jager Bombers surge in form, has seen hopes of consecutive titles destroyed as much as Gregory’s state of mind. 

A misjudged decision to join the DSoE, and a relentless barrage from veteran cunt, William Penhallurick took the focus away from the pitch and led to a miscalculated -25 hit that all but ended those title aspirations. St. Pauli have recovered in recent weeks but now find themselves also chasing Heisenberg, and with Gregory’s continued absence fuelling rumours that Richard Davies stepped in months ago to steady the ship as interim manager, the questions remain over Gregory’s mentality, and mortality, as St. Pauli look set for another year in DoWo.

Team: Xtal tha Pulsewidth
Predicted finish: 4th
Grade: D
GW High: 92
GW Low: 36
GW Average: 54.57
Best signing: Steve Cook

It’s hard to know where Xtal tha Pulsewidth fit in anymore. One week, they feel like a club in terminal decline, sliding down the divisions almost unnoticed. Like the Farts above, they’re a team who don’t do extremes, just an oddly everyday consistency—whether it’s for better or worse. In recent seasons, it’s definitely been the latter for David Twigg’s side as they’ve slipped from being a solid DoBo mid-table side to a surprisingly mid-table DoWo side.

Sharing the same inconsistent start to the season as Heisenberg and St. Pauli in some odd synchronicity, Pulsewidth fans won’t look back fondly on these opening 19 GWs with some useful chips already used and the side sat in 4th place. With the DoDi sides below showing form, it’s increasingly likely that will become relegation fodder, and although  Twigg’s side are only 14 points of St. Pauli in third and 43 off Heisenberg in 2nd, momentum isn’t with them. A 67-point buffer to the hapless Mellberg’s Beard should provide some comfort but The Pulsewidth would have been expecting to be looking down on sides from a much loftier position and not with the current nervousness that seems to be creeping into the club.

Team: Mellberg’s Beard
Predicted finish: 5th
Grade: E
GW High: 68
GW Low: 26
GW Average: 51.05
Best signing: None

DoWo hasn’t been a happy place for Wes Evans and Mellberg’s Beard. After struggling all of last season, it’s an all too familiar story this campaign with Evans’ side rooted to the bottom of DoWo and sinking fast. With 19 games gone, they’re 67-points behind Xtal tha Pulsewidth, and with both Northern Borras and Die Lawro Die performing well, it’s likely The Beard will need to overcome the 81-point gap to St. Pauli in third to preserve their DoWo status.

Some fans would argue that after a season and a half of struggle, Evans isn’t cut out for managing at this level just yet, and the steamroller football of their much-heralded 2016/17 DoDi campaign is a much more appealing prospect for Beard fans, even if it is in the doldrums of the bottom division. A -25 for financial irregularities at the beginning of the season didn’t help matters but the idea of the younger Evans brother, Jake, replacing – or even relegating – his longer established sibling gives this survival fight a personal edge. For Wes, that’s all the motivation he needs in the battle to be the “Best Evans.”