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14 December 2012 ~
At this time of year the whole country is engrossed in a familiar winter tale; it's the Arsenal crisis. Anguished columns by celebrity supporters, calls for the manager to be replaced and behind-the-scenes intrigues by the various billionaire shareholders. But every child knows how the story ends: they'll finish fourth.
Badge of the week ~ Al-Masry Club, Egypt
Some clubs go back to their very genesis to find inspiration for their badge. In Egypt in the early 20th century there was an industrial dispute involving construction workers which lasted several months. At first the army were brought in to help with new builds but they soon had to be seconded as a priority to covering for the snake charmers, who had come out in sympathy.
In desperation, Al-Masry hired giant eagles to work on their new football stadium. The eagles swooped down from the hills when they received the call and proceeded to install drainage pipes (see image) at double the pace of their human counterparts, using roller skates provided by a forward-looking clown (the clowns were standing in for site managers during a concurrently running site manager strike, which meant that the military police had to stand in for the clowns – it became a very complex dispute).
Anyway, the eagles did such a good job that they became the poster birds in the area for industrial productivity. Al-Masry's badge commemorates their industry while urging their own players to rush about a lot when they're on the pitch, just like little Tévez does for Manchester City when he's unshackled from the bench. Cameron Carter
from Andy Holmes
"I can't abide football freestylers. This world record mouth bounce would only be impressive if he ate the ball afterwards."
from Richard Waterfield
"From Tooting & Mitcham's Wikipedia entry. Not vandalism as such, more the sort of harsh truth that shouldn't really be made public."
from Tim Manns
"This press release neglects to point out that Peter Shilton is remembered as Plymouth Argyle's worst-ever manager. Exeter is probably about as close to Home Park as he would dare go these days.
" White van men across the South West are being urged to sign up for a trade event to try their footy skills against England legend Peter Shilton and score exclusive discounts on building products. Bradfords builders merchants has invited more than 1500 traders from across the South West to attend its Trade Deal Day at the Westpoint Arena in Exeter on Friday 14 December.
Star goalie Peter Shilton will lead the fun as he challenges builders to get a goal past him in a penalty shoot out game. Peter said: "I'm looking forward to seeing what the traders of South West England are made of – I might even turn the tables on them and see if they can save a penalty from me with a bit of coaching from a professional."
Alan Hansen collected over 70,000 followers when making just the one pithy tweet. Imagine the excitement if he stretches to a full sentence.
from Shane Tomlinson
"The reason why Glen Johnson was able to score with 'a brilliant angled shot' against West Ham – he's good at maths. I hope the teachers who told him 'You ain't going to achieve anything' weren't in charge of English."
Getting shirty Notable kits of yesteryear
Legia Warsaw away, 1998-99
After the collapse of Communism in Poland the army club Legia Warsaw were financially supported by a car manufacturer called FSO. In 1995 FSO was sold to the Korean firm Daewoo whose name appeared on Legia's shirts from 1995. They even changed their name to Legia-Daewoo for five seasons, an unusual move for a club of Legia's size. They kept the circled L on the chest which had been their symbol since 1957, but it was reduced to being part of a small badge.
The closest Legia came to success in the Daewoo era was in the first season. With four matches to go they led the table on goal difference and faced second-placed Widzew Lodz in a decisive match. Legia were one up with five minutes to go but contrived to lose 2-1; Widzew took the title by three points. Legia finished between third and fifth for the next four seasons, which was disappointing for a club with European ambitions. The only trophies won under Daewoo were the Polish Cup and Supercup in 1997. In 2000 Daewoo went bankrupt and its association with Legia finished at the end of the following season.
Legia lead this season's Polish league at the halfway stage and a big L is visible once again. Maciej Slominski