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24 July 2015 ~

West Ham's owners have declared their excitement at the club's return to European competition. And sure enough the Hammers have already experienced a dramatic encounter in southern Europe, beating Malta's third-best team on penalties. The dream is still alive.

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Radomiak150aBadge of the week ~ RKS Radomiak Radom, Poland
One of the few badges designed by a pure mathematician. Dispensing with the usual lions and unicorns nonsense, the designer here (a very famous mathematician in Poland, feted for his breakthrough paper on the survival ratio of paper plates at a finger buffet) opts out of images altogether. The figures represent the ratio of players in a team who, for optimal performance, should be a) willful but creative (1), b) industrious and blindly obedient (9), and c) an arsehole (1).

This is apparently the best mathematical model for a successful team. The zero in the bottom subset represents the ideal coach’s number of international caps. This theory has long been discredited in Poland and the rest of the world (the ideal number of arseholes in a team is thought nowadays to be three), but the badge lingers as a reminder of the genesis of football data collection as a hard science. Cameron Carter

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The curse of the ages: match abandoned due to goose poo.

Meanwhile, bovine invasion at Colwyn Bay. Fortunately not during a match.

Colwyn400

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from Graeme Hall
Newcastle’s pursuit of Chancel Mbemba has thrown up some awkward questions about his age. Luckily, Wikipedia is on hand to clear things up.”

Mangulu280

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Finally, a mascot does something useful, in this case taking down a pitch invader.

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Ashley Cole, Man City’s new goal provider.

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If FIFA are sincere about meaningful reform of the game, they should seek advice from the creator of Non Linear Football. His unique vision is set out on YouTube, Twitter and his (very detailed) blog. “Challenge the unknown and limit of the universe and the human and the football.” Go on.

(Thanks to Florence G)

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Also in the news this week
Norwich’s third kit clashes with their other two kits

Mario Balotelli takes it easy
Championship Manager legend retires

Sepp Blatter’s money shower

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