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17 August 2012 ~
Arsenal fans are getting upset about the Robin van Persie sale to Manchester United. But before they start burning shirts and marching in protest they should consider the upside. Celebrity Gooner Piers Morgan had threatened to "throw myself off Santa Monica pier in lead weights" if the transfer went ahead. So the world seems a happier place already.
Badge of the week ~ Bontang FC, Indonesia
A dynamic image, yes, from Bontang FC, but also a rude one. The club crest is based upon an incident that occurred in the high summer of 1988, when Bontang were in their first year in a professional league and had as yet no strong visual identifier. The team took the field for their first game in their bright new all-red strip, having just acquired the services of a promising young forward who also worked nights as an exotic dancer. Awarded a penalty in the final minutes of the game, this young man prepared to take the kick by peeling off his shorts and pants. Before anyone could intervene he had performed his signature erotic writhe and slammed the ball past a motionless keeper.
A hurried look through the rulebook revealed Law 28 contained the statement: "A player shall be deemed guilty of misconduct if he undresses (peels off attire in either a teasing or unaffected manner) or overdresses (wears jewellery, waistcoat or moleskin trousers) on the field of play." The goal was disallowed and a free-kick awarded to the opposing team. The incident came to symbolise for the club the pitfalls of non-exhaustive background checks (their motto translates as "All Backgrounds Checked Thoroughly"). Cameron Carter
from Liam Richardson
"In January last year Neil Warnock described El Hadji Diouf as a 'sewer rat'. This week, after signing Diouf for Leeds, Warnock declared him to be a 'likeable rogue'. Which of them has changed?"
James Beattie is currently without a club but this site will continue to keep tabs on him.
England beat Italy in a friendly on Wednesday night. It was the Azzurri who ended the Euro 2012 campaign for Roy Hodgson's side and enough time has now passed for the Wing Commander to reflect properly on the way the tournament turned out. The diary includes his views on every match during "a competition in which England has always shone foremost".
from Derek Rutter
"Nice to see that Dion Dublin is still innovating. He should make a version of his drum with Robbie Savage's face printed on every side."
Getting shirty Notable kits of yesteryear
Aldershot Town, Wembley 2004
Aldershot's traditional colours are red and blue. Their ground is even painted in those colours. So when the Shots turned out for the Conference play-off final against Shrewsbury at the Britannia Stadium in May 2004 – our biggest game since dropping into non-League over a decade earlier – it was a shock that we were wearing all white.
That season, and the era of shirt sponsorship by the delivery firm Hi Speed, is remembered fondly by Shots fans as we defied the odds in making the play-offs in our first season in the Conference. The white strip was intended to mark a special event – after going bust and working our way up from the Isthmian League it was a potentially huge day for the club. But apart from a few buyers of the limited-edition shirt, our travelling support looked like we were at the wrong game. It didn't help that we then lost 3-0 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
Aldershot do have an element of white in their traditional strip and our red-white-blue combination today looks fine (albeit with the shorts and socks colours the wrong way round). But the lesson we learned in May 2004 was that you should never succumb to the lure of the "final" kit. John Corner