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22 November 2013 ~
Danny Mills, a member of Greg Dyke's FA commission, seems to be full of ideas. The latest one is a call for John Terry to be brought back into the national team. That's the sort of thinking that is sure to revolutionise English football.
Badge of the week ~ BFC Daugava Daugavpils, Latvia
The club of death. FC Daugava represent all that is dark, sombre and moribund in Latvian football. The coffin represents the certain death of all things, not only substantial but abstract – hope, love, attraction to Carol Vorderman. The team takes the field to the vaulting Death Metal of Imperial Death March while, during the game, their ultras maintain the samba-influenced chant "In the midst of life we are in death (clap-clap-clap)". In case visitors have not guessed the theme, the club mascot is a dead raven nailed to a board and the managers' technical areas have a black border.
There is a definite atmosphere about the place. Residents living near to the Daugava stadium have previously made complaints against the club because the fans are too quiet. The coffin crest is not an aggressive or wilfully controversial use of imagery but symbolises an acceptance of death, which, like another Best Of Status Quo album at Christmas, is inevitable. Daugava's philosophy is one of free, attacking football as there is no need to worry about results because we're all going to die. Cameron Carter
Watford have released some fairly basic visuals of their new East Stand. Picture ten is particularly captivating.
from Phil Town
"Nuno Matos, commentator for Portugal's Antenna 1 radio, gets quite excited by Cristiano Ronaldo's World Cup play-off hat-trick."
from Justin Hughes
"Can any readers beat this for a contrasting book search result on Amazon? Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece followed by Frank Worthington's One Hump Or Two."
from David Stewart
"A recent Howl mentioned the torrid time endured by two teams in Abingdon. In the Belgian fourth division, FC Charleroi look set for a record-breaking year. After 14 games their goal difference is already minus 79, although they did draw their weekend derby and have somehow managed to win a match."
Roman Abramovich and his bunnies are the highlight of a new football calendar – not for the squeamish.
Get with the programme A past match played this week in history
Motherwell v Hibernian November 26, 1983, Scottish Premier League
Motherwell, second bottom with just seven points, welcomed new manager and ex-player Bobby Watson as a replacement for Jock Wallace who had just moved back to Rangers (third bottom with eight points). "He will have our full backing and our support as manager here," wrote chairman Bill Dickie in the match programme. Reassuring to get the chairman's vote of confidence before you've overseen your first game.
Watson himself lowered expectations: "There will be no promises from me – just the hope that something can be done." With a plan like that, what could possibly go wrong? Pretty much everything – Motherwell were relegated and Watson resigned at the end of the season.
Meanwhile, "today's guests" Hibernian revealed themselves as fascinating, counter-cultural pioneers of Scotland's avant-garde elite – eight out of their 11 players who listed a hobby chose Golf. Only Stuart Turnbull (gardening), Robert Thomson (swimming and tennis) and William Jamieson (music) abjured spending their leisure time on the links and doubtless paid the price by being excluded from all golf-related changing room discourse.
How to keep wee Hamish amused at half time "Junior Spot No 5: The referee has just tossed the coin. Follow the arrows from his hand to find out whether it landed on head or tails." Suck on that, Generation Xbox.
Result Motherwell 1 Hibernian 2
Motherwell Walker, Donnan, Macleod, Forbes, Carson, Mauchen, Gahagan, Edvaldsson (sub Burns), Harrow, Alexander, McAllister
Hibernian Rough, Sneddon, Schaedler, Rice, Jamieson, Turnbull, Callachan, Conroy, Irvine, Murray (sub: Harvey), Duncan