THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

A small portion of despair and enlightenment delivered to your inbox every Friday
19 October 2012 ~

At Arsenal's AGM this week, Arsène Wenger said that the best players are attracted to a club that takes part in the Champions League. "They don't ask if you won the League Cup." Which is just as well.

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persebayaBadge of the week ~ Persebaya Surabaya, Indonesia
It is said that the Indonesian Serpent God, Ishataya, returned home early one night to his Serpent Lair to find the Indonesian Alligator God, Muhua, looking through his stuff. When confronted, Muhua spoke that he had journeyed from the uncharted seas of the Far South where night is absolute and the ocean floor beneath one's stomach swells and shifts with life unknown. And anyway he has a weakness for looking through people's things and the door was open.

Ishataya, who might drown whole countries with a flip of his dorsal fin, made it known that he was surprised that Muhua had the time to go on these long journeys from the Far South because he, personally, found he was too busy monitoring and moderating the behaviour of humankind to do much travelling. Muhua, who with a snap of his mighty jaw may break an island nation in two, gave voice to a sense of surprise at this because he had it on good authority that Ishataya journeyed North every Friday at 4pm to stay with his wife's family and did not return until Monday morning.

There followed a prolonged chase around an underwater statue until they were both useless with exhaustion and had to be signed off for three weeks, during which time humanity went to pieces. Persebaya's badge warns of the dangers of in-fighting, especially the sub-aquatic passive-aggressive kind. Cameron Carter

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For once, some state-of-the-art technology is being put to a good use.

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Now that the Metropolitan Police are in the first round proper of the FA Cup, we'll be hearing more about their rather literal mascot (he's the one on the right).

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from Ross Burton
"Someone is unimpressed with non-League football in the Midlands.

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The Where's Wally? 25th anniversary special includes Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Joe Hart, Glen Johnson, Trevor Brooking, Kelly Smith and Faye White. No sign of John Terry, though.

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from Steve Morgan
"All very grand, but sadly no mention of Jimmy Armfield."

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This week in history ~ Division One, October 26, 1991

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Table

Leeds United's defeat of Oldham, through an own goal by Brian Kilcline, put them top of Division One for the first time since their last League title in 1973-74. They then swapped places with Manchester United a few times until April when their rivals lost three games in a row. The last of these, a 2-0 defeat at Liverpool in the penultimate fixture, was decisive. Leeds' 3-2 win at Sheffield United on the same day made them the last Division One champions as the Premier League launched the following season.

Lee Chapman was Leeds' top scorer with 16 goals, five ahead of winger Rod Wallace. Eric Cantona made 15 appearances, the majority as a substitute, after signing from Nimes in February 1992. Howard Wilkinson's team included an international midfield quartet of Scots Gary McAllister and Gordon Strachan, Welshman Gary Speed and David Batty of England. Left-back Tony Dorigo and goalkeeper John Lukic were also England internationals. Sky TV's Chris Kamara made the last of his 20 appearances for the club in their match with Oldham.

This was the second time that Man Utd had been runners-up under Alex Ferguson, who became manager in 1986, although they had also finished in the bottom half twice. Ryan Giggs, who was about to turn 18, made 40 appearances. Brian McClair was their top scorer with 18, two of which had given his side a half-time lead at Hillsborough.

Wednesday, managed by Trevor Francis, came back to win that match through Nigel Jemson and David Hirst. The latter was also his side's top scorer (18). He won three England caps during the season but his international progress was to be halted by persistent injuries. Wednesday's third-place finish was their best since being runners-up in 1960-61.

West Ham dropped into the relegation places after a defeat at Neil Warnock's Notts County in late December and finished bottom. County were 21st, having endured a run of 15 matches without a win starting on New Year's Day. They also helped to relegate Luton who lost at Meadow Lane on the final day and finished two points behind fourth-bottom Coventry.

Ian Wright, who got one of Arsenal's goals in their win over Notts County, was the division's top scorer with 29, five of which were with his previous team, Crystal Palace. Gary Lineker of Spurs came second with 28, including one in his side's defeat at West Ham. There were only 18 foreign players in action with the 22 clubs this weekend, Liverpool having the most with four – Bruce Grobbelaar, Glenn Hysen, Jan Molby and Ronnie Rosenthal.

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