THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

A small portion of despair and enlightenment delivered to your inbox every Friday
2 December 2011 ~

With a few hours to go before the Euro 2012 draw, we can exclusively reveal what pundits will be saying about England's opponents. Teams from Eastern Europe will be well organised, the northern sides will relish a physical battle and the southern Europeans are unpredictable but can be world beaters on their day. As for Ireland, whatever they do, their fans be will be sure to have a party.

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Badge of the week ~ Les Astres, Cameroon
Now this is more like it. No shades of grey, no ambiguity of meaning, no sabre-rattling show-of-strength posturing. Just a lovely sunny day with the moon and all the heaven's host dancing a jig and reel around brother sun for the sheer jolly of it. A lovely badge. This is a badge designed by someone whose mother did not keep regular mealtimes. Perhaps, as a child, the designer had several uncles in the house at any given time, all betraying a relaxed attitude towards nudity. This is what Daybreak's logo should be. In fact, this is what Daybreak's content should be like – features on brave children and eyebrow makeovers would slip down a lot easier at 6.30 in the morning if the presenters were lit up on palm wine, their temporarily human souls confused by glimpses of paradise. 



Before one gets too carried away, however, one is reminded of a hidden side to this intoxicating image: someone will have to clear up after this fiesta, some people will have to act as voluntary stewards. By the same token, someone in the Les Astres midfield will have to track back to protect the back four. Life cannot be as free and joyous as this. So before you lose yourself completely in the unbridled euphoria of this badge, have a quick look at this team's goals-against figure this season. Then put down the bottle of palm wine, put your clothes back on and go to work tomorrow morning like a lamb. Cameron Carter

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from Mike Rengel
"The Buffles du Borgou FC crest featured in last week's Howl seems to have been nicked from the Buffalo Sabres NHL ice hockey team and their (mercifully) now-scrapped Buffaslug logo."

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It was only a matter of time before Alan Brazil leant his name to a range of snacks. If it takes off, expect to see a brand extension into cashews and trail mix.
 

 

 

 

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from Drew Whitworth

"Match abandoned after the goalkeeper refuses to hand over the ball. If only there was a video."

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Note the embarrassed expression on the face of this David Seaman figure for sale on eBay – just right for when you want to replicate a long-range shot sailing in over his head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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from David Ross
"Steve Bruce looks to me like he'd be a big fan of Bruce Springsteen. So in a sad week for him, he might nonetheless enjoy the connection made in the opening lines of this Guardian match report."

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Mistype Paul Scholes's name and you will be drawn into the captivating world of Paul Scoles. Meanwhile, Paul's near-namesake might have done a better job of standing in for him than Chaddy the Griffin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Some moody emoting from Man Utd players in this advert for Spanish wine – but does Ryan Giggs always carry a football around with him? Give it a rest, love.

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Getting shirty
Notable kits of yesteryear

Sheffield Club home, 1995-96

The mid-1990s were terrible years for Sheffield Club, with no season worse than 1995-96. Having finished a promising fourth in the Northern Counties East Premier Division two years earlier, an alarming 18th-place finish the next season was followed up with 20th – and last – place. Six wins, seven draws and 25 defeats (conceding 94 goals in the process) resulted in the club's lowest points total since 1966-67.



It is not trophies but tradition that draws fans to Sheffield. The shirt's black and red quarters mirror the badge and the special golden embroidery reading "1857 – The World's Oldest Football Club" underlines their significance. Football as it is today owes much to Sheffield Club and the Sheffield Football Association. They were the first club to draw up standardised rules to "mob football" and their members were instrumental in setting up the Football Association in 1863. Among the firsts they gave us were crossbars, free-kicks, corners, throw-ins and headers. During the first inter-city match between Sheffield and London City at Battersea Park, the sight of Sheffield Club's players heading the ball caused the Londoners to fall down with laughter, delaying the game while they composed themselves.



Sheffield Club also take part in the oldest derby match in the world against Hallam FC, first played in 1860. They are one of only two clubs to hold the FIFA order of merit (the other is Real Madrid). Members include Sepp Blatter, Geoff Hurst and Bobby Charlton, and their 150th anniversary in 2007 drew visits from Pelé, Internazionale and Ajax. The club have remained amateur and are now based at the Coach & Horses ground in Dronfield, just outside Sheffield. Tom Hocking

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