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12 August 2011 ~

The transfer saga that is older than the Weekly Howl is set to be concluded. It seems that Cesc Fabregas has gone to Arsenal's training ground to "clear out his locker". Apparently this mostly involves taking down posters of Barcelona. At least he can get them signed now.

Badge of the week ~ UE Santa Coloma, Andorra
It is possible to make a squirrel appear aggressive, or at least defensive, but the creature is largely ignored by those attempting to create an image of strength and power. One exception is the Swiss animated squirrel, Phou-Phou, who is friends with a Japanese attack dog and has strong views on European border controls. Santa Coloma have opted to depict on their club crest the legend of the Squirrel Gatekeeper. The story goes that there was an ancient tower in the mountains of Andorra that housed the most comely woman in the world. Many gallant knights journeyed hundreds of miles, braving almost impassable terrain and ambush by robber barons, just to get one glimpse of this fabled beauty. When, one by one, the knights encountered a squirrel with a football who was working as live-in security for the empty building while he "got his act together", their embarrassment was such that, instead of exploding the myth, they elaborated on it. Santa Coloma clearly wanted to associate themselves with a perky little outsider, able to embarrass more illustrious visitors. And with a left foot like that, he could probably walk into the current England team. Cameron Carter

from Costa Zafiropoulos

"Montreal Impact have unveiled a new logo, the previous one having been highlighted by the Weekly Howl. I can't thank you enough for your contribution in ridding the club of its infantile crest. The new one is no great work of art, mind you, but this will do until Inter's lawyers send a cease and desist letter. But that’s a discussion for another day.".

Among Joey Barton's many tweets on the London riots, which included a call for "marshall law", was this momentary flash of insight.

from Paul Darlington
"Did Martin Tyler really say 'Wembley has become the Nani state!' at the end of the Charity Shield? Yes he did. I'm told that other ideas he'd jotted down were 'Nani knows best!', 'Super Nani puts City on the naughty step!' and 'So Sir Alex turns to Mike Phelan and says: Darling, Nani has been such a godsend!'."

from David Upton
"It may be a sign of advancing age but I'm developing a soft spot for Jimmy Hill and I enjoyed his sprightly performance at the (very gradual) unveiling of his statue in Coventry recently. Note that the organisers borrowed an idea from the Rolling Stones' famous free concert in Hyde Park by releasing doves – except theirs were all still alive."

Former Bury and FC United keeper Aaron Grundy is now taking part in a very localised uprising according to Wikipedia.

Getting shirty Notable kits of yesteryear

Chester City home, 1992-93
In 1992-93 Chester City moved into the brand new Deva Stadium having spent the previous two years struggling in Division Three at Macclesfield's Moss Rose ground. The first league game back went exactly according to plan with Chester beating Burnley 3-0. Unfortunately this proved to be a rare win for City as we embarked on a disastrous campaign. The Blues were relegated after a horrific run of 33 defeats in 46 games. The only highlight of the year was Stuart Rimmer breaking the club's all-time scoring record.

The predominately blue shirt with white speckles was a slight nod to City's more traditional blue and white stripes, which had been worn since the 1930s. However, the lines that go down the length of the shirt look like a heart monitor when viewed side on. That the pulse appears so weak on this reading was in keeping with the Seals' dire season.

The following season saw Chester gain promotion after reverting to the traditional blue and white, before another experimental kit design oversaw the club's relegation. This portent has not been lost on the designers of Chester's most recent kit, with the traditional look back in vogue and the Blues being promoted. Richard Bellis

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