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22 August ~ “No one wants to see extra time.” Late into this month’s Community Shield match, Manchester United and Leicester City locked at 1-1, Radio 5 Live co-commentator Danny Mills expressed relief the game would go straight to penalties. Listening in my car as a vaguely interested neutral, I instinctively agreed. Mills then followed up by claiming all drawn knockout games should go straight to a shootout because, really, there had only been a few decent periods of extra time ever played – in any competition. I almost crashed.
20 August ~ Following an Ipswich v Norwich derby, the Suffolk police usually release a statement to the local press giving the (often surprisingly low) number of people who have been arrested at the game. This Sunday’s fixture carries the unusual possibility that one of those having their collar felt may be the owner of the home club.
19 August ~ For us Southampton fans, games with Manchester United conjure up images of Bobby Stokes scoring at Wembley; David Beckham and Ryan Giggs rendered powerless in grey jerseys at the Dell; and proving that win was no fluke by putting six past them the following season.
18 August ~ Two days after Britain formally joined the European Economic Community (EEC) on January 1, 1973, a Wembley crowd of 36,500 watched an international friendly. The teams were “The Three”, comprising the home nations and fellow Common Market newcomers Ireland and Denmark, and “The Six”, from existing EEC nations Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, West Germany and France.
16 August ~ Blackburn Rovers fans have launched a petition demanding that the FA investigate the running of their club. Since the Indian poultry processing company Venky’s took over Rovers in November 2010 the club have gone from mid-table in the Premier League to bottom of the Championship. With reported debts now around £100 million, supporters have had enough of owners who they say refuse to communicate with either fans or staff.
15 August ~ Former Aston Villa striker Dalian Atkinson has reportedly died after being shot with a Taser by police in Telford. Atkinson, who was 48 years old, also played for Ipswich Town, Sheffield Wednesday, Real Sociedad and Fenerbahce. His brilliant solo goal for Aston Villa against Wimbledon on October 2, 1992 won Match of the Day’s Goal of the Season competition.
12 August ~ “The arrival of manager Claudio Ranieri doesn’t seem to be the most reassuring,” wrote Leicester City fan Simon Tyers in WSC’s 2015-16 season guide last summer. “I’m still confident we’ll survive… but probably with someone else at the helm.” He wasn’t alone, with the Foxes averaging 17th position among the rest of the Premier League contributors’ forecasts.
11 August ~ Last season Wolves supporters were stuck in a state of apathy. Then over summer Fosun, a Chinese investment group, efficiently and professionally completed their takeover, transforming the mood among the fanbase.
10 August ~ Nation states are the result of wars, intrigues, marriage, propaganda, blackmail, lies and deception," wrote former German cabinet minister Norbert Blum in the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper yesterday in a column headed Nationalism Equals Idiocy.