THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

A small portion of despair and enlightenment delivered to your inbox every Friday
6 December 2013 ~

The football authorities have been accused of complacency over corruption in the wake of the match-fixing allegations made this week. Who would have expected that when their rigorous fit and proper persons test has prevented all sorts of charlatans and con men from getting involved in club football.

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RhylBadge of the week ~ Rhyl FC, Wales
The Lavatory In The Sky is an important symbol in north Wales. When the lavatory replaced the public hole in the ground in 1879 there were some who opposed it as the work of a vast unseen bureaucratic mechanism intent on destroying the community latrine political movement by nannying the populace into a state of apathy while dividing it into smaller, more isolated units.

However the private toilets quietly became popular, not least because one could relax and think in them, away from the gaze of the passer-by. While very social places, hole-in-the ground public toilets are not the best place to have quality me-time, it is hard enough to relax in a locked toilet where the door is too far away from the toilet to stop with the outstretched palm.



In time, the advantages of indoor toilets to creativity and problem-solving became apparent to the people of Rhyl and it is from this area that we get such well-worn management phrases as "deep brown thinking", "dropping a coin in the well" and "browntime", all of which relate to thinking differently and more effectively away from the desk (as in: "Here's Procurement's End-of-Year report, give it some browntime would you?"). Thus the image on Rhyl FC's badge signifies a private, introspective club who don't really look forward to the arrival of away fans. Cameron Carter

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Another blow to Graeme Le Saux's reputation as  the "thinking footballer".

LeSaux500

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from Keith Campbell

"Brendan Rodgers' trip to the set of Coronation Street a few days ago generated plenty of material for the papers, including this rather desperate start to a match report by the Mail's Dominic King."

Rodgers400

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Garth Crooks offers a tantalising glimpse of his life away from TV while explaining why he chose Wayne Rooney for his team of the week.

RooneyCrooks400

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Kit manufacturers Puma join with the Uruguayan FA in taunting Brazilians about their famous defeat in the 1950 World Cup.

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Also in the news this week
Jonathan Walters mocks Ryan Shawcross and Asmir Begovic modelling Stoke's Christmas jumpers
Glen Little, now 38, turns it on for Wealdstone against Dulwich Hamlet
The rowdy children of Turin

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Get with the programme A past match played this week in history

villaVhammers150Aston Villa v West Ham United December 3 1983, Football League Division One

Villa, in ninth, hosted a West Ham side one point behind leaders Liverpool, with Villa manager Tony Barton controversially opining in his Teamtalk column that "obviously, the result is important to both sides". He also lamented his team's previous away performance, a 5-2 defeat at Notts County where Villa "literally" gave County a two-goal start, a gift surely unprecedented in the history of professional football.

Meanwhile, columnist The Villain calls for suggestions for pre-match entertainment for the coming home game against Liverpool – thrilling ideas already include "a parade of former Villa favourites", a penalty shootout between the 23 branches of the AV Supporters Club (could take a while), or "a stunt man who would dive off the roof of the North Stand into a tank of flaming water".

The Diary reports that goalkeeper Nigel Spink played for Villa in a friendly at his hometown club Chelmsford United and was "injured by crowd incident" – there are no more details, though my money's on the delayed conclusion to an old playground dispute. Different times at Old Trafford, where midfielder Paul Birch recalls after Villa's recent win there that "the crowd was brilliant – they are really noisy when they get behind United".

Targeting the fan demographic "There Is No Substitute: The Maestro range kicks off at £4,750." 

Result Villa 1 (Rideout) West Ham 0

Crowd 21,297 

Number of non-British nationals on the field 0

Aston Villa Spink, Williams, Gibson (sub: Deacy), Evans, Ormsby, Mortimer, Birch, Walters, Rideout, Walker, Morley

West Ham Parkes, Stewart, Lampard, Walford, Martin,  Devonshire, Whitton, Orr (sub: Cottee), Swindlehurst, Brooking, Pike
Ian Plenderleith

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