THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

A small portion of despair and enlightenment delivered to your inbox every Friday
30 September 2011 ~

We've all had moments when we've just not felt in the right frame of mind to do something – washing-up, vacuuming or emptying the cat litter. So we can sympathise with Carlos Tévez's disinclination to play for Manchester City this week. Top-level football increasingly resembles a soap opera so the latest Tévez saga is likely to conclude with him coming off the bench to score a decisive goal at Old Trafford on October 23 while Kia Joorabchian sobs uncontrollably in the stands.

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Badge of the week ~ Yeedzin Football Club, Bhutan
This is what there should be more of in badge design – evil super-villains. This super-villain, Aztec Owlhead Man, is one of the best because he can not only be vindictive and generally offish indoors but, just by spreading his massive daylight-shrouding wings, he may fly all over the place creating havoc. It's quite cold as you get higher too, so to fly around at 20,000 feet with no shirt on is definitely making a statement. The designers of Yeedzin's badge wanted to create an eldritch figure, so darkly awe-inspiring that visiting fans and players would instinctively make themselves small while keeping one eye on the exit.

Discarded ideas, deemed not frightening enough, included Mirror Appearing Man (suddenly appears behind you while you're brushing your teeth), Doctor's Receptionist Woman (disapproves you into a corner) and Nothing To Lose Man (a wiry but surprisingly effective individual armed only with an empty bottle of cooking sherry). Another one that made the short-list, Sublimino (he edges you towards a position of non-violence by dropping words such as "cot" and "breastmilk" into the conversation), proved too difficult to draw. This is a dramatic, a cinematic badge. And it beats the hell out of Manchester United's dinky little red devil. Cameron Carter

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from Keith Round
"Just Play is the new video from the FA to encourage participation in football. It seems that the only well-known players they could find to take part were those with nothing better to do – the now-retired Robbie Savage and perpetually injured Rio Ferdinand."

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The magazine Welsh Football is celebrating its 20th anniversary. To commemorate the event, here's an except from their report on the Mid-Wales Groundhop of August this year.



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from Peter Phillips
"It had to happen: match reports which don't mention the match but use them as opportunities to write even more non-news about the celebrity teams in the Premier League. Second prize to Jamie Jackson, writing about Chelsea v Swansea in the Guardian on September 26. Jackson managed to mention Swansea in the penultimate line of a 22-column-inch piece which otherwise mused upon the problems of Fernando Torres, who was red carded, and Frank Lampard, who wasn't even playing.

First prize, though, to Tim Rich in the same issue who contrived 18 column inches which didn't even mention Wolves as Liverpool's opponents or the match itself. Still, it was nice to read that Ian Rush was in the directors' box and that Kenny Dalglish mentions Luis Suárez in his autobiography. I really wanted to know that."

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from Richard Stewart
"Glenn Murray's scoring return to his former club Brighton has been commemorated on his Wikipedia entry, possibly by a Crystal Palace fan."



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The questions at this press conference must have been tough – Uruguayan striker Walter Pandiani is sweating so much that his shirt changes colour.

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Pelé has thrown his support behind those calling for major upheaval. He's expecting a Beautiful Revolution. In Covent Garden, on October 26, when he will be launching his sportswear line. There's a poem for the occasion – it may seem a tad clunky but that's only because he's furious.

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Getting shirty Notable kits of yesteryear

Wimbledon home, 2002-04
The seemingly innocuous description of this shirt on the Classic Football Shirts website as "the last home shirt worn by Wimbledon FC" is perhaps more controversial than the author intended. While not physically relocated to Milton Keynes until 2004, the move itself was finally sanctioned in 2002, at which point the majority of disillusioned Wimbledon fans transferred their allegiance to the newly formed AFC Wimbledon. The identity crisis brought about by this schism is perfectly embodied in this shirt.

Wimbledon adopted a yellow and blue strip in 1978, the season after they joined the Football League. Around the same time the club adopted a new badge, based upon the crest of the London Borough of Merton, which had itself adorned the team's shirts since the 1920s. These colours and crest were still in evidence at the time the relocation was announced in 2001. The following season, lacking a sponsor and seeing a chance to promote the move, the club chose to emblazon the slogan GO MK across the front of the shirt. Within weeks the Royal College of Arms deemed the continued use of the borough arms by the club unlawful and a hastily created replacement badge, incorporating an eagle's head and the letters MK, was patched onto the shirts.

The club stumbled on at Selhurst Park, in their makeshift kit and in front of near-empty stands, until the season's end. They began the following season in Milton Keynes and in administration. By 2004 they had been rebranded the MK Dons, complete with new club colours and yet another new badge. Shane Simpson

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