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13 January 2012 ~
Unwanted by Manchester City, turned down by AC Milan, Carlos Tevez is now being linked with a move to QPR. If that falls through we hear that his next target is to become the 2012 International Cruise Ship Keepy-uppy Champion – Kia has put in some calls already.
Badge of the week ~ MFK Košice, Slovakia
This badge celebrates the killjoy, throughout the ages. MFK Kosice's reputation as a hard-tackling team of spoilers with a well-organised defence is reflected in their club crest. The larger image shows a detail from the Elysian Fields, the ancient world's eternal paradise, wherein the heroic and the righteous feast on honey-sweet fruit and disport themselves among blazing flowers by the sacred stream Oceanus. A flawless, timeless rapture, you might think.
Except that there's always one person, even in the Elysian Fields, who has to get up early in the morning and all the heavy-footed disporting and slurping of honey-sweet fruit into the early hours has woken him up and it’s hard getting back to sleep when you can't fantasise about weird stuff because your mind is so frickin righteous. The inner image shows a heroic and righteous mythical creature with a 5am start, leaning out his front door and shaking his fist at the pure-of-heart revellers. Nothing is perfect, you see, although the lady with the wings looks nice. Cameron Carter
from Martin Riddell
"The Korean website featured in last week's Howl that seemed to put Ji Dong-won's goal into a cartoon strip has some more storylines further down. My favourite seems to show Ryan Giggs recommending the sport of dogging to his manager which results in Fergie assuming a cunning disguise and heading along to the local hotspot. Unfortunately he appears to end up disappointed despite a chance meeting with Bobby Charlton and Gordon Banks enjoying a game of draughts."
As artistic interpretations of Viv Anderson go, this is an unusual one.
from Adrian Ashby
"The marketing has gone into overdrive on Danny Dichio's personal webpage. Plenty of material to enjoy but surely the section on Toronto's First Ever goal (23:13) is a little bit over the top? Heaven knows how much rhetoric would be given to a cup win or even a decent goal."
from Robin Campbell
"Bright pink balls, soon to be seen in Ligue 1. I'd say the shade is 'fuchsia'. Very loud, anyhow."
Terry Butcher's latest column in the Sunday Mirror contains a downright peculiar attempt at humour. You would almost wonder if his ghostwriter is trying to undermine him.
Getting shirty Notable kits of yesteryear
Republic of Ireland away, 1997-98
For any diehard Ireland fan, this is considered the most wretched rig of all time – and not just because it's the ugliest outfield shirt the Republic of Ireland have ever worn. No, the revulsion is mostly because this absolutely rotten shirt's only competitive outing was a 3-2 shock defeat away to Macedonia in 1997.
Mick McCarthy, overseeing the side's turbulent transitional post-Charlton era, brought his side to Skopje needing a win to stay in with a chance of automatic qualification for the 1998 World Cup. On opening the kitbag to discover Umbro had actually designed a jersey based on a roadside construction worker's high-visibility overalls, McCarthy likely thought things couldn't get much worse. But soon it would be him reaching for the alcopops.
Alan McLoughlin's opener offered faint hope but two first-half penalties, awarded for flailing handballs by Jason McAteer and Terry Phelan, and a 20-yard screamer from Gjorgji Hristov gave Macedonia a commanding lead. David Kelly got one back but it was game over when McAteer karate kicked an opposition player in the chest for a straight red. The team never recovered and were dumped out by Belgium in the play-offs. Meanwhile the game became an in-joke under McCarthy, with the squad's worst trainer being forced to wear a yellow bib with "I Had A Macedonia" scrawled on it. Ciaran McCauley