THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

A small portion of despair and enlightenment delivered to your inbox every Friday
7 June 2013 ~

Continuity is important in international football, so it was good to see England Under-21s keeping up old traditions by grinding their way to defeat against Italy in the European Championship this week.

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canterbury150Badge of the week ~ Canterbury City
"Community" is a word that induces immediate and profound ennui, partly because it never appears in the same phrase as anything interesting. One never, for example, sees a sign for "Community Lion Fight" or "Community Tapdancing-On-Rice-Paper Centre". Do you think Jean Harlow was ever "At Work In The Community"? Of course she wasn't.

Combined with this dreary, energy-sapping motto is an image that might have been created by a monkey using all-purpose council signage icons stored on the hard drive – if that monkey had a headache and had just realised it was, unaccountably, only twenty past nine.

The main purpose of the drabness of the image is to impress upon the Canterbury team that there is a thin, small world out there, full of Postal Herbalism workshops and meeting dates for Devolution & Localism Portfolio Advisory Committees – so for pity's sake make the most of your time on the football pitch. Cameron Carter

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from Chris Lewis

"There may be several whole seconds of entertainment in this seven-minute clip of Mr Blobby receiving football tips from Garth Crooks."

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from Lee Hughes
"I noticed during the England v Ireland friendly last week that ITV have a new sound-effect for when substitutions are made or a manager is name-checked on screen. Made me jump the first few times, sounds like someone dropping lead piping in a car park. I'm quite a nervous individual anyway without all this."

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from Nigel Downs

Kevin Strootman's arrival at Old Trafford has already been announced by a keen Wikipedia contributor."

strootman480

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from Andrew Roberts
"I'd never thought of José Mourinho as a dead-ringer for former PM Gordon Brown but the makers of Corinthian figures seem to."

mourbrown179

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David James is said to be enjoying his new career in Iceland with IB Vestmannaeyjar. He won't have enjoyed this, though. Brazilian skills by the fearsome-looking man from Breidablik.

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Getting shirty Notable kits of yesteryear

cska-kiev150CSKA Kyiv home, 2000-01
The season when CSKA Kyiv wore this shirt was a high-water mark. They finished sixth in the Ukrainian Supreme League (now the Premier League) and were also finalists in the Ukrainian Cup. The club's second string, CSKA-2, were playing just one league below them.

For a club with a nomadic history and no fewer than 16 name changes, things were about to alter drastically. CSKA (which stands for Central Sport Club of the Army) were funded by the Ukrainian military, who in 2001 decided there was not enough money for two football clubs. CSKA's top-flight league place was sold to Arsenal Kyiv. CSKA-2 were renamed CSKA, but after a few more seasons in the first division they dropped down to the second division and quickly resigned from the league structure.

In 2013 CSKA Kyiv were reborn, albeit briefly, at amateur level. They played for a few months in Kyiv's Christian Football League, but were forced out for being too large. A spokesman for the league described the problem: "Unfortunately most of our teams play their games at pitches with no special places for spectators." An unofficial source said the league did not like the unexpected attention CSKA had brought..

Sponsors Ukrgasbank have been more fortunate. In financial meltdown following the 2009 global economic crisis, they were bought by the Ukrainian government and stayed afloat – and are no longer involved in sponsoring football clubs. Saul Pope

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