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21 February 2014 ~
After six quiet months at Manchester City Manuel Pellegrini has finally started to act like a Premier League manager. This week he moaned about a ref's decision while throwing in a gratuitous insult ("It was not a good idea to put a referee from Sweden in charge"). Next he needs to complain about there being too many games, to be followed by a touchline dust-up with Tony Pulis.
Badge of the week ~ FC Saint-Eloi Lupopo, DR Congo
FC Saint Eloi Lupopo are named for the Christian saint and martyr who introduced the young religion to southern parts of the Congo River basin. Eloi Lupopo is commonly believed to have been the most violent of the early Christian saints. His chief method of persuasion was to punch people in the face. When encountering resistance to his fresh monotheistic ideas in a new settlement, the saint would ask to speak to the village elder and, on being granted a special audience, punch him in the face. A theological dispute between Lupopo and his mentor, Father Benoit Jéte-Mouton, over the relative merits of the Douay-Rheims and Geneva bibles was concluded when Lupopo punched Jéte-Mouton in the face.
Lupopo later became Bishop of Ely for a short while on a Bishop exchange scheme; his occasional services punctuated by a summoning of all sinners to the front of the cathedral where he methodically and painstakingly punched them all in the face. It was during one of the regular one-on-one Induction Evenings Lupopo held with young female entrants into the church that he was accidentally martyred undressing rapidly next to a ravine. His name now is associated with a direct and sudden form of conversion and he is remembered in the club's crest to represent a matter-of-fact approach to the obstacles in life. Cameron Carter
A highlight from an especially charmless feature on José Mourinho in the Telegraph's Style section: "For many he will always combine the machismo of a McEnroe with the malevolence of a Medellin enforcer." So he looks like a drug-dealing gangster?
Aston Villa players send New Year messages to Chinese fans, if they still have any after this.
from Ross Burton
"Gary Lineker, the plain-speaking iconoclast. Next he'll be revealing a secret love for top of the table Premier League games."