A small portion of despair and enlightenment delivered to your inbox every Friday
6 November 2015 ~
Answering a question about his "mystic power" over players during an interview with L'Equipe, Arsène Wenger remarked: "Religiously, it is said that God created man. I am only a guide... I am a facilitator of what is beautiful in man." That's not what he said when he was working with Ray Parlour.
Badge of the week ~ FC Roskilde, Denmark
A couple of weeks ago we encountered the Bad-Tempered Herring-Gull of Tunisia and now this week we find the Annoyed Penguin Emerging Through Ice of Roskilde. The whole Denmark/penguin association is self-explanatory, but this particular penguin has become part of the region’s iconography owing to an early folk tale involving a young lady who becomes separated from her parents in a very cold part of Denmark.
After days of travelling wearily on foot, during which she loses one of her glass slippers (the family had only nipped out to buy some milk), she chances on a penguin bobbing at a hole in the ice. For a reason not explained in the text, the young lady asks the penguin if he can help her find her parents. The penguin, struggling to keep hold of its recently caught fish, asks testily if there aren’t any other penguins around that could help her. The young lady tells the penguin that he is the only penguin she has seen. “Because it’s not really my job,” says the penguin, effortfully dropping the fish on the ice, “monitoring the movements of couples. Never has been. Three years ago I gave sketchy directions to a peasant boy looking for a golden flute and since then everyone seems to come to me...”
The young lady apologised quickly and went on her way – she never did find her parents but this setback only spurred her on in life and she rose to become relief anchor on the local radio news. The Annoyed Penguin Emerging Through Ice is a reminder to the people of Roskilde to ensure that the person or creature they’re asking for help has that task as part of their ordinary job description. Cameron Carter
The player known in Brazil as Ronaldo Fenomeno shows that you can still have quick feet even when you’re the size of a house.
from Keith Turner
“I had no idea until now that there were official Premier League marbles. Some major names commemorated too – Glen Helder, Mike Whitlow, Dean Blackwell. These are bound to turn up on Antiques Roadshow at some point.”
from Chris Henderson
“This Dutch player’s team-mates don’t seem overly concerned that he’s been knocked out.”
Boot theft in Marseille.