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24 January 2014 ~
It's being said that the penalties missed by Danny Welbeck and Phil Jones on Wednesday night don't bode well for England this summer. But that's ridiculous – to take part in a penalty shootout you need to have got through the group stage first.
Badge of the week ~ Bakau United, Gambia
Bakau United's badge has the image of The Snow Boy, a character from popular mythology who refused to go outside of his home until it snowed. It seldom snows in Gambia, which meant that the boy had to wait until a freak snowfall in 1924 before he ventured outside for the first time. By this time he was 28 and beginning to get under his parents' feet. The Snow Boy was so entranced by the snow and the limitless vista it enveloped that he immediately went back indoors to fetch his Happiness clothing (a bright orange ensemble he had only ever previously worn on the day his shark-fighting tutor called in sick).
Once outside again, in a frenzied half hour, he built a snow snake (it is illegal in Gambia to create a representation of a man unless you have proof of their address and permission), screamed the place down and founded the Bakau United football team. Incidentally, the Band Aid lyric "There won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time" is a bit of an assumption actually because it snowed in Cairo in 2013 and the Eastern and Northern Cape provinces of South Africa regularly get significant snowfalls. As do the peaks of Mounts Kenya and Kilimanjaro for that matter. But then the song was written pre-Google, so perhaps we'll give Geldof a break here. Cameron Carter
Didi Hamann looks like he might be a nervous flier.
from Matt Howell
"Windsor's new kit presumably started out as an attempt to put a union flag in the club's colours but it ended up resembling the ikurrina – the flag of the Basque country. The article adds: 'In addition to the new kit, fans will also be able to buy a Fiat 500 wrapped in the design of the new kit – a world first!' I wonder how many of the side's 150 or so supporters will be buying one?"
New AS Roma signing Michel Bastos endears himself to the fans with a scarf that's not on sale in the club store.
An Ebay bargain that won't have fitted into a jiffy bag.