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30 March 2012 ~
Sergio Agüero has been ruled out of Manchester City's match against Sunderland tomorrow with what Roberto Mancini describes as a "stupid" injury. The City manager didn't give many details but we reckon it's the customary injury of the modern footballer - he dropped his wallet on his foot.
Badge of the week ~ Yeovil Town
Yeovil's club crest is based on a local historical figure whose story has been passed from generation to generation, because talking is about the only social activity available in Somerset during the winter if you don't count dry-stone walling or arson. It is told that the first Bishop of Yeovil was known far and wide as being "very good with children". This was arguably not as great a reputation as was earned by some of his contemporaries (The Bishop of Durham was known to drive out demons, the Bishop of Rochester could swim underwater, and etcetera), but it was at least something to hang his hat on in terms of nationwide renown.
So it happened that people travelled from far and near, but mostly near, to leave their young children with him while they went off as a couple to build a dry stone wall or set fire to a farm outhouse. Unfortunately, the story ends badly when, grown over-confident of his powers of child-minding, the Bishop of Yeovil took in a couple of lions from Africa as house guests. With the subsequent slaughter, his reputation was ruined. He was forced to find a new role as a letting agent, but he appears on the Yeovil badge because he is feted in zoological circles for establishing the cause and effect between lion hunger and incessant infant crying. Cameron Carter
from Rob Andrews
"Here's Garth Crooks's latest team of the week choice, with Leighton Baines seemingly at right back, Hatem Ben Arfa in a central midfield position and Grant Holt on the right side of a three-man attack. You'd almost think Garth was a little eccentric."
From Matt Redd
"Is this the weirdest football clip on YouTube?"
from Chris Dyer
"Rather like the Liverpool ladies he's describing, the Telegraph's Chris Bascombe lays it on a bit thick."
It's surprising Kieron Dyer's cameos on Holby City, as reported on Wikipedia, didn't lead to further acting work as a patient.
If the Sports Book of the Year award included a category for worst title, Jeff Stelling's latest would be hot favourite.
Getting shirty Notable kits of yesteryear
West Brom away, 1995-97
Few clubs are as synonymous with an away shirt as West Brom are with the green and yellow stripes of their swashbuckling Regis and Cunningham era of the late 1970s and early 1980s. This is just as well, since it means that some of the club's more ill-advised forays into the world of kit design tend to be overlooked. Take the red and yellow stripes, brought in for the start of the 1991-92 season, which reminded Bobby Gould of Roy of the Rovers. Yes Bobby, but Melchester were never stuffed 3-0 at Edgeley Park.
After red and yellow bar-codes and further variations on the green and yellow theme, the club conducted a psychological experiment for the 1995-96 season. It was well-known by now that some host managers liked to have visiting dressing-rooms painted in pastel colours in order to "soften up" away sides. Albion's pale yellow and baby blue shirt, clearly designed with the hope of making home players go all gentle and caring, was an attempt to turn the tables. It helped too that Guests, the name of the shirt sponsor, could be read as a plea for hospitality.
It was not on-field performances that caused this shirt to be ditched. In fact, it was retained for 1996-97, a season in which Albion did not lose an away game until mid-November. The problem was more that yellow and light blue are not the colours you might choose to wear for a stroll down Smethwick High Street. Albion finally realised this, switching to red with navy sleeves for 1997-98. James Baxter