A small portion of despair and enlightenment delivered to your inbox every Friday
18 July 2014 ~

England's World Cup failure was widely blamed on English players not getting enough chances at major Premier League clubs. All the news since the final has been about various World Cup stars moving here – often at cheaper prices than their English counterparts. How are those long-term plans coming along?

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Savan150Badge of the week ~ Savan FC, Laos
Many badge-fanciers have a problem with the whole dinosaur/pipe-organ connection. Any close scrutiny of the children's literature of Laos, however, will uncover the popular story The Diplodocus Organist of Savan. It is part of a series of stories in the Working Diploducus franchise that captured the imaginations of parents and children in the early 1970s. Other titles in the series include The Diplodocus Housing Officer of Savan, The Diplodocus Community Psychiatric Nurse of Savan and The Diplodocus Loss Adjuster of Savan.

Everyone enjoyed these stories and the author earned a very good living from them until his 24th book, The Diplodocus Vice Squad Detective of Savan, which had a plot containing drug use, domestic violence, torture and murder. Sixty-four expletives were counted in a story of only nine pages, while parents and educators complained of a sudden change in the Diplodocus's character from a friendly, bumbling dinosaur to a short-tempered hard-drinking workaholic driven only by results.

The books lost popularity and even a rushed-out new story, The Woken-Up From A Nightmare In Which He Was Vice Squad Diplodocus of Savan, failed to reverse the decline. Yet he is still remembered in the region, the diplodocus, for being jolly and likeable and highly flexible in the job market. Cameron Carter

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Some insider expertise from Owen Hargreaves.

Hargreaves500

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Blackburn find an unorthodox way to publicise their new shirt.

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from Ian Aitch

"Not a Wiki vandalism but certainly an odd tale about Fisher Athletic's all-time leading goalscorer."

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Also in the news this week
Goal of the week, from Farnborough.
Manchester Utd agree a new "global technical sponsorship and dual branded licensing deal".
Blackpool cancel trip due to lack of players.

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