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14 August 2009 ~

Well known colour technician Sam Allardyce has had Blackburn's home dressing room painted in a combination of tangerine and turquoise. According to theory, these clashing shades are believed to "stimulate and promote a feeling of energy". So if Manchester City lose at Blackburn tomorrow we can expect to hear that all the public buildings in Abu Dhabi have had a distinctly lurid makeover.

Badge of the week
The landscape of Iceland is perhaps best described as uncluttered. The architecture is strictly low-rise and while the keen-eyed traveller will pass lakes, glaciers and mountains, he will encounter relatively little vegetation and hardly any Spar shops. I mention this because the country's clubs tend to reflect this minimalism in their badges – the odd capital letter here, a big football there, but precious little in the way of additional detail. Leiftur's is more interesting than most, but still appears to have been designed by three eight-year-olds starting a gang. It could be that the lightning bolts are a reference to Thor, the Nordic god of Starting Fights, but, be that as it may, when grafted on to a football club's badge they do look just a little bit childish. This image might strike fear into an opposing player who has a thunderstorm phobia or still reads Marvel comics for the plots, but surely the time has come for a more adult, a more conventional and contemporary theme – possibly a big letter L over a puddle of water from a melting glacier. Cameron Carter

from Bryan Gibbs
"It has been suggested that Sven might have a busy personal life in Nottingham. So I must commend Monday's Daily Mirror for their almost heroic headline Nobbin' Hood And His Merry Men and the sub-heading, referring to Lee Hughes's debut hat-trick against Bradford, Sven Orders A Threesome In Nottingham's Fair City. Reporter Mike Walters began by referring to 'the great Swedish lothario' and continued 'Now it's official: Sven-Goran Eriksson likes a threesome'. Nonetheless 'He remains a class act with more to offer than smooth patter over smorgasbord or meatballs'. We were also told that County manager was working 'under a giant Lapland shadow' and the Bradford defence 'folded obligingly like a flat pack wardrobe from Ikea'. If the papers are aiming to churn out this sort of stuff for every County match, surely they won't be able to keep it up all season? Unlike Sven, ha ha. Sorry." "

Getting shirty
Notable kits of yesteryear

Holland, Euro 88
This is one of the most collectable international shirts because there were no commercial replicas produced, plus it was worn by the only Dutch national side to have won a major trophy. It's still something of an eyesore, though, with the geometric patterns once compared to the design on a tin of salmon. Also, it didn't combine well with the plain orange shorts worn in some of their Euro 88 matches. Still, it's the only major departure from basic orange that Holland have worn, aside from the luminous pinky hue used for evening matches at the 1974 World Cup that were meant to help the players to pick each other out under the floodlights.

Buy this shirt and hundreds of others at Classic Football Shirts

from Mike Smith
"Ian Goddard's story about Ally McCoist in a recent Howl had me recalling an incident in the mid-1980s when I lived in Aberdeen. I had been out for a few beers in the city centre with a mate, an avid Aberdeen fan and collector of football programmes. As a Hearts fan living in the Granite City, I had an Aberdeen v Hearts programme from 1975 with the Dons' wayward midfield genius Joe Smith on the cover. I told my mate he was welcome to it and duly handed it over one Friday evening in the pub. No sooner had I done so than the very same Joe Smith walked into the bar. Understandably, we could do nothing but stare at the man whom Ally MacLeod once said he wanted to build his team around. Smith was more than peeved at our gawping and promptly marched over with the intention, I'm sure, of inviting us both outside for what is known in Scotland as a 'square go'. It took several minutes of explanation – and the offer of a pint – to persuade Joe we weren't mocking him. My mate remarked later that had Smith displayed the same speed on the park as he did in the pub that night he might have played for Scotland."
from Andy Fraser
"According to his Wikipedia entry, ex-Everton wideman Andy van der Meyde has an eclectic selection of vehicles at his disposal."

You may have heard of Icon, the lifestyle magazine for footballers published by Jamie Redknapp. But the chances are that you won't have seen a copy because it hasn't been on general sale. Now, at last, ordinary mortals can subscribe. It's not cheap – £60 for six editions, with back issues costing £15 each – but that's a small price to pay for an entree into a world where watches are always "timepieces" and there is invaluable advice about what to look for when you're buying a helicopter.

WSC Trivia ~ No 76
During the 1990s WSC ran several trips to international tournaments – three African Nations Cups plus the 1993 Copa America in Ecuador. For this last excursion, a member of staff was given a camcorder with which to shoot documentary footage that was to be shown as part of a football video exhibition at a college somewhere in, er, southern England.The film was duly made and handed over to the organisers of the event but we never got to see it and don't know if it still exists. So if you were at college somewhere in, er, southern England in 1993 and think you may seen this, let us know. To jog your memory, it will have mostly featured sunburned English people wandering about concrete stadium concourses while Mexican and Peruvian supporters bang drums in the background. Yes, that film.

Stickipedia A mine of information constructed from sticker cards

Gary Charles, Aston Villa Merlin Premier League 1996
Gary Charles won two caps as England right-back at the age of 21 and could have played in several international tournaments. Instead his career was blighted by injury and he has since led a turbulent life. It was while fouling Charles in the 1991 FA Cup final that Paul Gascoigne tore his cruciate ligament which put him out of action for six months. A knee injury curtailed Charles's final season with Forest in 1992-93 and it continued to trouble him during spells at Derby and Villa, although he was still rated as one of the League's best full-backs when fit. He briefly joined the ex-League contingent at Benfica during Graeme Souness's spell in charge there in 1998. Three years later, he was forced to retire after handful of games for West Ham. Since retiring Charles has been jailed for dangerous driving, for removing an electronic tag in order to go on holiday and for assault while serving a suspended sentence for a previous incident. "There really does come a time when the police and everyone else have to have a rest from Gary Charles," said the judge at Derby Crown Court in 2006.

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