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26 September 2014 ~

Frank Lampard has been criticised for looking downbeat when scoring for Manchester City. But he may be simply confused, given that he's only on loan to City from a team that hasn't yet played a match. Frank's having an existential crisis with only his enormous pay packet to convince him that he exists – that's got to be tough.

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RyazanBadge of the week ~ FK Ryazan, Russia
FK Ryazan trace their lineage back to the Russian 5th Grenadiers of the 18th century. The "Five-to-Fours" were thus named because of their distinctive stance (pictured) when called to assemble. Only the "Five-to-Fours" could stand with their sword and scabbard at this particular angle as they had come up with the position themselves in a secret meeting and patented it. A bit like Alan Shearer's goal celebration and Gordon Brown's self-comforting tongue loll.

There was, briefly, competition in this area from the Tsar's First Imperial Light Infantry, who tried to get themselves the nickname the "Ten-to-Twos", but their arms hurt too much from keeping them held up during the longer inspections and they quickly switched to standing normally and being "The Old Bird-Identifiers" (so named for their instant recognition of individual birdsong).

To this day, before big matches, the Ryazan team line up with their left arm and right leg held in the famous five-to-four position and sing their five-to-four song: "Five to four, five to four/it's the time that we adore/five to nine's a rubbish time/and ten to three is effing poor." Cameron Carter

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from Mike Ticher

"Australia's A-League has launched an ambitious promotion for its new season in which it sits former players in a big leather chair under the glare of a single lamp and asks them: 'What is beautiful?' A question that caused Wordsworth to lick his pencil a few times, perhaps, but Brett Emerton, John Aloisi and Robbie Slater came up with almost-poetic answers."

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from Phil Town

"Who'd be an interpreter? OFI Crete coach Gennaro Gattuso tells it like it is."

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The Wikipedia page of a former Brazilian central defender probably gets more visitors than you might expect.

Argel400

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from Duncan Howard
"What would a Michael Owen lookalike be hired to do? I can't imagine there's much call for someone to offer banal observations in a flat monotone. And what sort of gesture is the John Terry "double" making?"

JT300

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Also in the news this week
A Zlatanesque goal in Vigo
The "Class of '92" share their vision with a billionaire from Singapore

Gary Lineker enjoys Man Utd's collapse at Leicester

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