Off the Post Archives for January 2012

Cameron Jerome’s 33-yard wonder strike

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Cameron Jerome hasn't exactly made a name for himself in scoring wonder goals regularly (the last one we can remember was for Birmingham at Anfield), but there is no doubting that his equaliser yesterday will go down as one of the goals of the season. BBC's Match of the Day coverage calculated that the strike [.

GIF It: Arsene Wenger struggles with his zip

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Perhaps it was a beautiful metaphor for Arsenal's lack of zip in recent times, but Arsene Wenger's wardrobe malfunction sure was amusing. Captured by ESPN, scandalously no-one made the 'can't get it up' reference or remarked on Steve Bould's professionalism as he desperately ignored an old man struggling with a zip, a problem that five [.

Sheffield Wednesday’s Jeremy Helan booked twice but not sent off

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Referee Mick Russell has some serious explaining to do this morning after he made a huge mistake during Saturday's lunchtime game between Huddersfield and Sheffield Wednesday. Half way through the first half, Russell booked Jeremy Helan, who had already received a caution earlier in the game. However, despite the obvious protestations from the Huddersfield players, [.

Blackburn owners Venky’s sign up Ronaldinho – for a cartoon film

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When Venky's came in to Blackburn Rovers, they promised glamour signings in a bid to cement the club's place in the top end of the Premier League rather than battling relegation. Now, they sit 15th in the Championship without a manager and rumours that Bollywood actor Judan Ali may be given a coaching role.

Brazilian Tulio Maravilha nears 1,000 career goals

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And you thought this year's goalscoring feat was set by Leo Messi. 43-year-old Brazilian striker is something of a character, and for the last fifteen years has embarked on a one-man crusade to score 1,000 goals in his career. In order to do so he has played for a disgusting amount of different teams and [.

Barcelona have a new star – 14-year-old South Korean Seung Woo Lee

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Whilst it it a touch early to say "move over Messi" just yet, it seems that Barcelona have found themselves a new star when the Argentinean magician does decide to move on or hang up his boots. South Korean Seung Woo Lee, who was signed by the Catalan club after being spotted at the U13 [...]

Joeri Van der Velde – The grinch who ruined Christmas

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Remember the name as the man who ruined Christmas step forward Joeri Van Der Velde. This is the man who booked Charleroi player Giuseppe Rossini for displaying his undershirt during his side's game against Mons. Rossini's short was displaying a message to his recently passed grandfather, wishing him to rest in peace alongside the [.

Kitman – Is this Manchester United’s new home shirt?

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It appears that Manchester United's new home shirt for next season may have been leaked online already. Initial thoughts are that at least the gingham style has been excluded after just one season, because it was fairly dreadful. Additionally, the shirt has a button collar coming part way down the front, almost a polo shirt [.

FIFA choose their 12 moments that defined 2012

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Football's world governing body FIFA has chosen their best moments from the footballing year and produced a video to showcase them. In fairness, there is nothing that you could argue with here, and it might well be the first decent decision FIFA has made all year. The list in full is as follows: Zambia's AFCON [.

Alex Ferguson goes on a crazy rant about Newcastle

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Sir Alex Ferguson was not full of much Christmas cheer this morning, it appears. After the Manchester United manager was lucky to escape FA action after harassing Mike Dean and his officials during his side's home game against Newcastle, the Magpies' manager Alan Pardew suggested that Fergie was lucky not to be sent from the [.

Sweden adds verb ‘to Zlatan’ to official national dictionary

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Whilst England's press and football pundits haven't always appreciated thewizardryof Zlatan Ibrahimovich, there is certainly no doubt that his countrymen are head-over-heels in love with him so much so that they have added a new dictionary entry to honour him. As of next year, the verb 'to zlatan' will be added to Sweden's national [.

Video: Best of Soccer AM Showboat 2012

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There's been a feast ofsumptuousskills gracing the global game this year and happily Soccer Am have packaged a fantastic little video of some of the tastiest choice cuts. Like any good box of Christmas chocolates there's some of your classic treats to sample once more, including Phillipe Mexès melting a stunning bicycle kick and [.

Strictly incredible: Fabrice Muamba delivers stunning performance on dancing show

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10! 10! 10! Fabrice Muamba received top marks on Christmas Day for making another huge and rather glittery step in his recovery from the cardiac arrest he suffered on the pitch in March. Just nine months on from being seconds from death and being told he can never play football again, the former [.

Sir Alex Ferguson launches chewing gum into the air during Boxing Day touchline tirade

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We're all used to Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson throwing his toys out of the pram, but yesterday's Boxing Day match marked a new spoilt toddler antic to add to his growing list a chewing gum projectile no less. In the midst of a relentless hair-dryer embalming of the linesman, Fergie's gum decided [.

Tottenham’s Gareth Bale swaps his Christmas tree fairy for his hat-trick match ball

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It's always a conundrum when it comes to tree decoration toppers. Do you go with the archetypal fairy, the more modern star or stay classic and keep the summit bare. Tottenham's Gareth Bale shunned all of those options and opted for something a little different this festive season a Premier League match ball!

Top 10 conclusions: Premier League, Boxing Day

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1. Newcastle secured a Boxing Day defeat that Kevin Keegan would have been proud to preside over. 2. Sir Alex Ferguson decided that the season of goodwill should not extend to any match official involved in awarding Newcastle's second goal. 3. The Black Cats are unlucky for Manchester City. That's twice in two seasons that [.

Video: Dazed Manchester City mascot caught in no man’s land at Sunderland

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This poor kid didn't have a clue what was going on before yesterday's match between Sunderland and Manchester City. One minute he was posing for photos in front of his City heroes, the next he was standing alone in front of a procession of Sunderland players. That's the danger of playing zonal instead of going [.

Christmas cheers and jeers – what does the festive period hold for the top of the Premier League table?

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If the Easter fixture pile-up is the ultimate make-or-break time for teams in the Premier League, then the Christmas holidays can't be far behind. Who'll be celebrating good Christmas cheer, and who'll be nursing hangovers for the rest of the season? Let's look at the fixture list for some of the movers and shakers at [.

Advent Calendar: Wigan’s strangest Christmas gift

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For each day of advent we will be looking at the club shop of each Premier League club to pick out the strangest or oddest gift. Today is the turn of Wigan, who are our last entry. They have actually made it pretty hard for us, with nothing truly ridiculous for sale, and should be [...]

Top 10 conclusions: Premier League weekend, 22-23 December

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1. Rafa Benitez attempted to throw his weight behind the Roberto Di Matteo protests by encouraging his team to score 16 goals against Aston Villa. 2. You know you're in trouble when you've lost 8-0, your goalkeeper has saved a penalty and was your best player by a mile. 3. Puffa coat-wearing manager watches his [.

Lionel Messi’s 91 goals of 2012

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It is a video that was always going to be posted. With Lionel Messi playing his last game (and scoring his last goal, of course) in 2012 before the winter break sets in in Spain, we finally know the figure that we will end 2012 on: 91. With that in mind, it would be rude [...]

Advent Calendar: West Ham’s strangest Christmas gift

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For each day of advent we will be looking at the club shop of each Premier League club to pick out the strangest or oddest gift. Today is the turn of West Ham, and it is remarkable that the winner is not a club-branded hard hat for use on a building site at the price [...]

AZ Alkmaar’s Jozy Altidore pays tribute to Newtown victims

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It may have been slightly homemade in effort, but that does not in any way decrease the wonderful sentiment displayed by AZ Alkmaar player Jozy Altidore. USA international Altidore showed that the awful recent events in Newtown where a gunman shot dead 26 people, mainly children, were playing on his mind, and he took the [.

Southampton’s brilliant half time Santa relay race

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This is exactly the sort of thing that I would normally find twee, but thanks to a few different mishaps it is actually pretty funny. At half time in the game between Southampton and Sunderland on Saturday, the match's sponsors decided to have a festive relay race involving some kids from the kids as well [.

Real Sociedad display names of their fans on their shirts instead of sponsor

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Spanish La Liga side Real Sociedad have chosen a novel way to get over their inability to find a sponsor and also get closer to their fans. The club have decided to have the names of 22 fans on their shirts, which will be drawn from the clubs 25,000 members in a big raffle draw. [...]

Brazilian Breno signs for Sao Paulo despite being in prison for three years

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São Paulo have agreed a deal to sign Brazilian defender Breno after his release from Bayern Munich. All very normal so far. The deal is not that standard, however, when you consider that Breno is six months into a three-and-a-half year prison sentence for arson, having set fire to his own house in Munich.

Advent Calendar: West Brom’s strangest Christmas gift

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For each day of advent we will be looking at the club shop of each Premier League club to pick out the strangest or oddest gift. Today is the turn of West Brom, and I have turned down such crazies as the garter and the snow globe as they have been already coveed by other [...]

Champions League draw was exact copy of rehearsal, no-one agrees on the odds of it happening

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One of those weird things that football inevitably throws up occurred yesterday, when it was revealed that the draw for the last 16 of the Champions League had created the exact same fixture programme as the rehearsal the day before. Clearly the odds on such an event were incredibly long, but it appears that no-one [.

Ex-Chelsea midfielder Raul Meireles given 11-game ban for spitting at referee

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If Raul Meireles does something wrong, then he does it in style, ok? The Portugal midfielder, who now plays for Fenerbache after leaving Chelsea was sent off for his side in their big derby game against Galatasaray at the weekend, a match which Fenerbache lost 2-1. Not happy with his dismissal for a second yellow [.

Advent Calendar: Spurs’ strangest Christmas gift

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For each day of advent we will be looking at the club shop of each Premier League club to pick out the strangest or oddest gift. Today is the turn of Spurs, and we have left such oddities as a Spurs pen bracelet and a Spurs stepping stone, and instead opt for the intended sexy [...]

Everton manager David Moyes plots Germany move

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David Moyes has revealed he would like to manager abroad one day and has singled out Germany as a possible destination. The Everton manager said he was 'fascinated' by the Bundesliga and suggested that he and German football would be a great match for each other. Moyes told France Football, home of the slightly controversial [.

Diego Maradona ‘set to manage Iraq’

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Diego Maradona is reportedly on the verge of becoming the new manager of Iraq's national team. In an unlikely union between two of the world's main sources of chaos, the Argentine legend is set to be confirmed in the role before the end of the year. Spanish newspaper AS quotes Maradona's agent Hernan Tofoni as [.

Chelsea fans taunt Leeds with Jimmy Savile chants

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Chelsea supporters used this week's Capital One Cup clash with Leeds United to taunt opposition supporters over the city's connection to sexual predator Jimmy Savile. In reference to the late broadcaster hailing from Leeds, Blues fans chanted: "He's one of your own, He's one of your own, Jimmy Savile, He's one of your own!

What does the festive period have in store for the Premier League big boys?

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Will Santa be naughty or nice to the Premier League's big clubs this Christmas? Forget Newcastle; will he bring coal to the big guns, or will he gift-wrap some new talent for the new year? With the season half over, let's make some predictions as to what might happen the rest of the way. Arsenal [...

It’s a huge weekend for… Newcastle, Reading, Wigan, Spurs and Jose Mourinho

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Newcastle It is a crazy thought that should QPR win at St James' Park on Saturday, they will sit just four points behind their hosts. Only Reading are in worse form than Newcastle, and Alan Pardew has conceded that his side are struggling. It also doesn't seem a great time to face QPR, given the [...

Tottenham star Gareth Bale makes a really strange noise

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Gareth Bale was hauled before Tottenham's official YouTube channel to front up to accusations that he sounds exactly like the guy who conducts Spurs' interviews. Cue some playful bickering between the two, culminating in Bale making a noise that has never before been heard from a Premier League footballer, nay a human being.

Robbie Keane takes part in viral Skype advert (and it’s awkward)

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This is the most awkward advert I have ever seen. In a little festive campaign by the Three mobile network in Ireland, Robbie Keane took part in a viral advert. An Irish couple, who live in Australia, thought that they were just having a normal chat with family members in Ireland over Skype. However, half [.

Rapid Bucharest sack every foreign player in order to save money

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Rapid Bucharest are a side in financial turmoil, and they have taken a fairly extraordinary stance in order to ease their woe. Having filed for insolvency last month, the club have now announced that every single foreign player at the club would be dispensed with, leaving just a side of local players.

Advent Calendar: Swansea’s strangest Christmas gift

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For each day of advent we will be looking at the club shop of each Premier League club to pick out the strangest or oddest gift. Today is the turn of Swansea City, who haven't exactly smashed into the Christmas market. Whilst other clubs have up to 100 different products created and branded especially for [.

Seattle Sounders fans vote to keep manager in job

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Fans of MLS side Seattle Sounders have elected to keep manager Adrian Hanauer in his job, after they were given the chance to vote on the decision. The Sounders are also part-owned by Hanauer, and when he took over the manager's job four years ago he promised the fans that after his first 'term in [.

Sir Alex Ferguson reveals he installed tanning booths at Manchester United to combat lack of sun

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Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson revealed he has beaten Manchester's infamously grim weather by installing at tanning booth for his players. Fergie opened up to Harvard Business School to share some of the secrets of his management success during his time at Old Trafford. And one of the things he cited was the steps [.

Steward doesn’t recognise Reading boss Brian McDermott, tries to stop him watching the reserves

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Reading manager Brian McDermott almost missed the chance to run the rule over his fringe players after a steward wouldn't let him watch a reserve match. The Royals boss had travelled to Bournemouth to watch his second-string in a behind-closed-doors friendly. But he was refused entry to the stadium when a steward said he couldn't [.

Video: AC Milan players sing Wham’s Last Christmas

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Fair play to someone in AC Milan's marketing team, who clearly decided that a bit of festive humiliation wouldn't do their players any harm and would entertain the rest of us. The squad were provided with a karaoke machine and a copy of Last Christmas by Wham and told to take it away. A couple [...]

Video: Norwich striker Grant Holt scores at Wembley as an 11-year-old

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OTP favourite Grant Holt is capable of scoring goals at any level. As if to illustrate that point neatly, here he is scoring for his school... at Wembley. Both ends of the spectrum. After an introduction from Saint and Greavsie no less, you'll see Norwich striker Holt grabbing the second goal of the game for [.

Video: Falcao scores incredible 360-degree spin backheel free-kick

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It's always nice when you see a new style of goal being scored... and we've never seen this one before. Falcao the futsal legend, not the Atletico Madrid striker gave you something to aspire to during your next five-a-side match by unleashing this unbelievable free-kick. Lobbing the keeper is impressive enough in indoor [.

Blackburn manager Henning Berg storms out of Christmas party after being forced to wear Michael Jackson wig and a stocking on his head

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A reportedly humiliated Henning Berg stormed out of Blackburn's Christmas party after being forced to dance on a stage with a Michael Jackson wig and a stocking on his head. When the DJ asked for volunteers to play some games, a Rovers executive put manager Berg forward. The Norwegian initially threw himself into the role [.

Video: Goalkeeper Evanildo Rodrigues takes the worst free-kick you’ve ever seen

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A free-kick in your defensive third is usually a good opportunity to let your keeper hoof the ball and immediately put some pressure on the opposition. Not so for Qatari side El Jaish, whose Brazilian goalkeeper Evanildo Rodrigues contrived to put one such free-kick behind for a corner. Watch in disbelief.

Liverpool’s Martin Skrtel becomes a tattoo artist

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Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel has got plenty of experience of going under the needle to get tattoos and now he's got experience of being, erm, above the needle. The Slovakian centre-back tried his hand as a tattoo artist as part of a fund-raising effort for the Hillsborough families. Some 96 Reds fans decided to [.

Advent Calendar: Sunderland’s strangest Christmas gift

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For each day of advent we will be looking at the club shop of each Premier League club to pick out the strangest or oddest gift. Today is the turn of Sunderland, and this epitomises much of what makes me feel sick about Britain today (I'm aware that that is a massive statement). I simply [...]

Random 1990s Footballer Tuesday: #47 Bobby Mimms

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Name: Robert ‘Bobby' Mimms In his 90s prime for: Blackburn Rovers Lowdown: Since beginning his career in 1981, goalkeeper Mimms played over three separate decades and had an impressive amount of clubs. May as well list these before we get started: Halifax Town, Rotherham United, Everton, Notts County, Sunderland, Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, [.

Stating the obvious: Jan Vertonghen says Christian Eriksen could play for Tottenham

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No offence to Jan Vertonghen, who's a very good player, but at the start of last season if Alexander Armstrong had asked a pair of Pointless contestants to name a current Ajax player we reckon more people would have heard of Christian Eriksen than Vertonghen. In fact, Vertonghen might have been pointless.

Newcastle United cancel Christmas party out of respect for fans

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Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has revealed that his side's Christmas party has been cancelled following the club's recent poor run of form. Defeat to Manchester City at the weekend left the Magpies just two points above the relegation zone, leading Pardew to play the part of Scrooge and cancel the planned festivities.

Advent Calendar: Stoke City’s strangest Christmas gift

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For each day of advent we will be looking at the club shop of each Premier League club to pick out the strangest or oddest gift. Today is the turn of Stoke City, who have really stunk the place out with this effort. Picture the scene: You have completed your shop on a Saturday morning [...]

Top 10 conclusions: Premier League weekend, 15-16 December

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1. There were some unbelievable Bentekkers on display in the Liverpool vs Aston Villa match. Two goals and a crazy backheel assist for Villa's young Belgian striker. 2. Kolo Toure has finally come clean and told Roberto Mancini that he's a footballer, not a car salesman, and is promptly flavour of the month.

Innuendo bingo with Aston Villa striker Andreas Weimann

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With their excellent combination play against Liverpool, Aston Villa strikeforce Andreas Weimann and Christian Benteke looked like a Premier League partnership to rival Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole. And it seems that there is definitely similarities in the respective relationships. After the match, Weimann was asked by Match of the Day whether he enjoyed playing [.

Video: Manchester United striker Robin Van Persie sings Glory, Glory Man United

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Robin Van Persie scarcely needs to endear himself to Manchester United supporters. His goalscoring record since his summer switch from Arsenal has ensured he's already beloved at Old Trafford. But just in case there was any doubt, he burst into a rendition of Glory, Glory Man United at the club's Christmas party, which was held [.

GIF It: Santa’s goalkeeping skills not required at Newcastle vs Manchester City

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Santa had set himself and was ready to make a reaction save to keep this Sergio Aguero effort at bay. But the Magpie-supporting St Nick was not needed as the ball stopped well short of him. We're not sure if he was preparing to berate Tim Krul for letting the shot get past him or [...]

The artist formerly known as Fat Ronaldo ditches more than two stone

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Once the greatest footballer of his generation, Ronaldo's career eventually fizzled out as a footballing equivalent of a Weight Watchers programme. The former Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan striker continued the theme after hanging up his boots by joining a celebrity weight loss TV show. Demeaning and embarrassing you might think, but you can't [.

GIF It: Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere takes a boot to the testicles

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We still get a phenomenal amount of traffic from people Googling Jack Wilshere condoms... but it looks like the Arsenal star's contraception woes could be over. The England international took a forceful kick to the match balls during last night's victory for the Gunners against Reading. Now that's got to hurt.

Advent Calendar: Southampton’s strangest Christmas gift

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For each day of advent we will be looking at the club shop of each Premier League club to pick out the strangest or oddest gift. Today is the turn of Southampton, and it must be said that the club shop looks really budget. A lot of the formatting of the site looks like an [...]

Montpellier’s Marco Estrada scores a wonderful volleyed golazo

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http://youtu.be/YOysPs34ZGI Marco Estrada may well take the bow for goal of the weekend with his volleyed wonder goal for Montpellier against Bastia. After a shot was blocked on the edge of the area, Estrada took on the volley on his left foot. It flew into the goal past a stranded goalkeeper, off the right hand [.

Oldham Athletic tell fans to stop burning the hair of rival fans

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The issue of crowd control has been rearing its ugly head recently, with Manchester City fans in particular coming in for serious criticism. Maybe the problem is particularly significant in the Greater Manchester, because Oldham Athletic have released a rather strange statement this week. It appears that a number of Oldham fans have been using [.

VVV Venlo goal celebration plays tribute to their helpful fans

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VVV Venlo may well be the winner of the best celebration of the season so far. The club won their game 3-1 this weekend, but the match was in severe danger of being postponed. The cold weather in Holland had led to the pitch being frozen after recent snowfall. Home supporters braved the temperatures by [.

GIF It: Marouane Fellaini’s shocking headbutt on Ryan Shawcross

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There is a lot of talk about players in England needing a winter break, and Marouane Fellaini has made his feelings clear by taking the Christmas period off in style. With his Everton side level at 1-1 with Stoke, Fellaini decided to take things into their own hands by smashing a huge headbutt on the [.

Is Yaya Toure’s pass the ball of the season?

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Yaya Toure rather likes playing at St James' Park. After his double there last season gave Manchester City the edge in the title race, he played an absolutely beautiful ball for City's opener on Saturday lunchtime. Collecting the ball in midfield, he played a delicious ball that took out four Newcastle players.

Zambian FA claim striker Chitalu scored more in a year than Messi

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Whilst there is no doubting that Lionel Messi has had a phenomenal year, his breaking of Gerd Muller's goalscoring record from 1972 of 86 goals could well be under threat from an unlikely source. The Zambian FA claim that their forward Godfrey Chitalu scored an amazing 107 goals in the same year as Gerd Muller, [.

It’s a huge weekend for… QPR, Manchester City, Wigan and Liverpool

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QPR The optimist could say that QPR are on their joint longest unbeaten run since promotion, with Harry Redknapp causing a positive effect on the squad. The pessimist would remark that this is the longest winless run at the start of a season in Premier League history, and that QPR have failed to win any [.

Advent Calendar: Reading’s strangest Christmas gift

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For each day of advent (or up until the 22nd) we will be looking at the club shop of each Premier League club to pick out the strangest or oddest gift. Today is the turn of Reading, a club that should be congratulated for not selling anything completely ludicrous, although that is slightly disappointing.

FIFA: the Grinch who trademarked Christmas

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Football's governing body FIFA has taken the precaution of trademarking Christmas ahead of the 2014 World Cup. Our illustrious leaders have claimed ownership of the names of all Brazilian host cities for the World Cup when used in conjunction with the precious digits 2014. That includes the city of Natal, which means Christmas.

John Terry sends his half-naked photo to millions

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Oh he's a good sport isn't he! John Terry may be out injured at the moment, but he remains in our minds and hearts by sending out photos like these to his Twitter followers via Instagram. I'm not sure why he seems to be semi-erect in nappy-like underwear, but presumably noshing your team-mates wives and [.

Top five mysteriously in-favour Premier League players

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Hot on the heels of yesterday's mysteriously out-of-favour Premier League players, here are five players who are being regularly picked for reasons best known to their managers. 1. Gervinho Where do you start? Arsenal splashed out £10.8million on Gervinho and have seen very little return. Arsene Wenger persists with the enigmatic Ivorian, presumably on the [.

Arsenal legend Ian Wright brands Arsene Wenger supporters ‘deluded’

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will never quit Arsenal, club legend Ian Wright said. The Frenchman has usually been able to rely on the unwaivering public support of his former charges since taking charge of the Gunners, but Wright told Absolute Radio that anyone still supporting Wenger is deluded. He brand fans who gather behind the [.

Advent Calendar: QPR’s strangest Christmas gift

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For each day of advent (or up until the 22nd) we will be looking at the club shop of each Premier League club to pick out the strangest or oddest gift. Today is the turn of Queens Park Rangers, and I have shown unbelievable restraint to not select the Santa Sack on sale at £5 [...]

Spoof video – Arsenal fan Adolf Hitler reacts to Bradford City loss

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This is a clever video made by Twitter user @georgeayl, which uses subtitles to spoof Arsenal's loss in the League Cup to Bradford City. In the video, Hitler plays the role of an Arsenal fan, who is less than pleased at the shock cup defeat. Unlike some videos within the genre, the subtitles actually fit [.

Video: Hotshot striker Fernando Torres scores again (Chelsea vs Monterrey)

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Gol de Torres 0-2 (Monterrey vs Chelsea)... by fccaptura It looks like Chelsea might have unearthed a goalscoring sensation. The once misfiring Fernando Torres has continued his current streak with another goal. The Spaniard found the net 16seconds into the second-half of the Blues' World Club Cup semi-final against Monterrey.

Magician Dynamo claims responsibility for Bradford’s win over Arsenal

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Whilst Bradford fans may have put their League Cup victory over Arsenal down to hard work from the players combined with underperformance from their Premier League opponents, all mixed together with the crucial element of good fortune, it appears that the penalties win was actually due to an external force: TV magician Dynamo.

Ashley Cole forced to be a waiter for his Chelsea team-mates

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Football fans around the country may be rather pleased to hear that Ashley Cole has been forced to see how the other half live by being the waiter for an evening for his Chelsea colleagues. The England defender was forced to take on the task after finishing last place in the club's tenpin bowling night [.

Video: Saudi Arabia’s Abdullah Otayf celebrates goal by displaying Sergio Busquets

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When footballers wear t-shirts relating to other footballers, death or serious illness is usually involved. So, it's nice to see this peculiar incident from a match between Saudi Arabia and Yemen in which Saudi player Abdullah Otayf celebrated a goal in the only way he knew how: by revealing a t-shirt bearing the face of [.

Reading fine Danny Guthrie for refusing to travel to Sunderland match

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Reading midfielder Danny Guthrie has been fined two weeks' wages after he refused to travel to Tuesday night's relegation six-pointer at Sunderland. The Royals lost the match 3-0. But Guthrie, aged 25, had left training early on Monday after apparently discovering that he would not be in the starting line-up for the match.

Video: Real Madrid defender Pepe delivers backheel to opponent’s balls

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Everybody's favourite violent psychopath masquerading as a centre-back, Pepe, has been relatively speaking a reformed character of late. But the Portugal international couldn't resist a return to his former ways during Real Madrid's Copa Del Rey clash with Celta Vigo last night. Pepe kicked opponent Roberto Lago in the Bernabeus during the match.

Metro newspaper robs Bradford of their victory against Arsenal

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In a move that will do little to quell suggestions in the north that soft southern meeja types are only bothered about anything that happens within the M25, anyone reading the free Metro newspaper will see that they've decided to award Arsenal a draw in last night's Capital One Cup match against Bradford.

Top five mysteriously out-of-favour Premier League players

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1. Joleon Lescott Manchester City's title-winning centre-back fairing have found themselves out-of-form and, in Lescott's case, out-of-favour this campaign. Quite what the England international has done to outrank Mario Balotelli in Roberto Mancini's naughty stakes isn't clear. The development during Sunday's Manchester derby that he's now below Kolo Toure in the pecking order just makes [.

West Ham feature in The Simpsons

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West Ham fans watching the new season of The Simpsons will see a surprise cameo appearance for their club. The episode ‘The Day The Earth Stood Cool' features a hipster family moving in next door to The Simpsons, including Hammers-supporting son T-Rex. Bart and Lisa visit T-Rex's bedroom, which features a West Ham banner hanging [.

GIF It: Gervinho’s incredible miss (Bradford vs Arsenal)

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Arsenal suffered a humiliating Capital One Cup defeat to Bradford last night (unless you read Metro). Hapless striker Gervinho kindly offered to take as much of the pressure as possible away from his team-mates with this outstanding moment of individual failure. £10.8million of striker right there, people.

Video: Middlesbrough defender Seb Hines’ powerful headed own goal against Swansea

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Without the benefit of context, this finish looks like a defender taking advantage of some slack marking to power home a header from the edge of the six-yard box. To an extent that's true. Alas, Middlesbrough defender Seb Hines is heading into his own net. Hines' own goal proved to be the winning goal for [.

GIF It: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers pervs on LFCTV host, remembers he’s on camera

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Cracking work from the fine gents at Balls.ie, who've created this GIF of an awkward moment involving Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers. The ex-Swansea's boss could be seen visibly fighting his instinct to stare down the top of an LFCTV presenter. Alas, Rodgers succumbed to temptation and had a sneaky peek at his companion.

Advent Calendar: Norwich City’s strangest Christmas gift

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For each day of advent (or up until the 21st) we will be looking at the club shop of each Premier League club to pick out the strangest or oddest gift. Today is the turn of Norwich City, and we turned down the officially branded Rubiks Cube (just what every kid wants on Christmas Day) [...]

FAIL – Colchester United’s Brian Wilson loses the ball during own goal

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Everyone likes a really comedy own goal. Whether it's Lee Dixon lobbing the ball over David Seaman from forty yards out, or Chris Brass belting the ball into his own face for Bury, these are often the goals that stick into our minds, long after Danny Baker and Nick Hancock have finished recalling them on [.

Turkish football fans riot at wheelchair basketball game

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Turkish football fans have a reputation for being absolutely batsh*t mental, and this goes beyong simple passion. There is a huge hooligan element, including attacks on foreign fans and huge riots between rival supporters of the largest clubs. This video is unlikely to quash such thoughts, as fans of Besiktas and Galatasaray were detained by [.

Juventus’ Leonardo Bonucci does ridiculous dive, team-mate Nicklas Bendtner mocks him

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Conversations around diving are getting more and more airtime on our televisions as officials try to clamp down on the practice, but are still conned by players falling to the ground too easily in an effort to gain an advantage over the opposition. However, I think we can all agree that there isn't much better [.

Video: Carlos Tevez teaches Manchester City team-mate Mario Balotelli to wrap Christmas presents

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And people say footballers have no grounding in the real world. Here's Mario Balotelli proving the stereotype... and Carlos Tevez disproving it. The Argentine striker and present-wrapper extraordinaire teaches his fellow Manchester City striker how to wrap gifts for Christmas. Balotelli's face when Tevez refuses to do his for him is a picture.

Top 10 conclusions: Premier League weekend, 8-9 December

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1. It's well known that Manchester City have money to throw around, but coppers aimed at Rio Ferdinand's eye is taking things a bit too far. Bound to fall foul of the Financial Fair Play regulations. 2. Fernando Torres is scoring goals and smiling. That makes at least one person at Stamford Bridge who's delighted [.

Arsenal use subliminal messaging to deter Theo Walcott’s suitors

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Arsenal star Theo Walcott is still being linked with a move away from the Emirates Stadium after failing to agree a new contract. Talks have again hit a snag over Walcott's demands for assurances that he will be a regular starter (and preferably as a striker) if he signs a new deal. The injury prone [.

Benoit Assou Ekotto doesn’t know that Tottenham lost to Everton

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Still 1 point! May b at the end of the season. This point ll b importante for us! Stay positif!!!!LoL coys Benoit Assou-Ekotto (@AssouEkotto) December 9, 2012 Tottenham left-back Benoit Assou Ekotto has previously mentioned that he doesn't much care for watching football when he's not playing, but he's taken things to a new [.

11 years on, another scoring world record for Archie Thompson

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For a striker few people outside Australia have heard of, being a genuine world record for scoring in international football is quite something. But Melbourne's Victory's Archie Thompson has just notched his second, 11 years after first entering the record books. Thompson's hat-trick for Australia against Guam this week, completed in just on 5 minutes [.

Advent Calendar: Newcastle United’s strangest Christmas gift

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For each day of advent (or up until the 21st) we will be looking at the club shop of each Premier League club to pick out the strangest or oddest gift. Today is the turn of Newcastle United, and the winner is chosen ahead of a bottle of strawberry syrup of the same brand to [...]

GIF it: Shaun Derry really hates conceding goals

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Harry Redknapp could probably do with more players that actually care enough to beat the ground in anger and frustration, but that doesn't mean that this GIF isn't brilliant. Shaun Derry was so annoyed by QPR conceding the first goal of the game against Wigan at the DW Stadium that he threw his toys out [.

Fiorentina’s Ruben Oliveira gets away with filthy stamp

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The ridiculous thing about this incident is that Ruben Oliveira was booked for it, which means that the referee must have felt that he had a good view of the incident. Francesco Totti rightly grabbed the headlines for a virtuoso performance in Roma's 4-2 victory over Fiorentina, but there was an unsavoury incident when Miralem [.

Advent Calendar: Manchester United’s strangest Christmas gift

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For each day of advent (or up until the 21st) we will be looking at the club shop of each Premier League club to pick out the strangest or oddest gift. Today is the turn of Manchester United, and my one question about this product is why? Why would you want to go around wearing [...]

Advent Calendar: Manchester City’s strangest Christmas gift

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For each day of advent (or up until the 21st) we will be looking at the club shop of each Premier League club to pick out the strangest or oddest gift. Today is the turn of Manchester City, and this gift just seems really weird. Why on earth yyou would want a 'bobblehead' a mini [...]

UEFA 5th official practices how to use his eyes

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This is absolutely splendid. It has the hallmarks of a wonderful spoof video but is actually real. Presumably UEFA have issued a notice to all officials that after the newly-introduced fifth officials have been receiving a lot of criticism for not doing an awful lot, they should really stress the point about their importance.

ESPN produce brilliant Manchester derby advert

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ESPN ofen let themselve down with their coverage of football, what with the use of outside budget studios and Craig Burley as a co-commentator, but you can't fault this. With the outlet showing the Manchester Derby across various nations, they have created an advert to preview the game, focussing on the feelings of fans of [.

Vitesse Arnheim fans falls trying to return ball, gets laughed at by crowd

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One of the joys of football fandom is when the ball finds you in the crowd. Some go for the old-fashioned throw in technique, whilst the braver amongst us may even attempt the headed return, a glorious achievement. For this Vitesse Arnheim fan, no such luck. The hardy soul was caught beer in hand in [.

It’s a huge weekend for… Mancini, Ferguson, Wenger and QPR

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Roberto Mancini There is a train of thought which suggests that Roberto Mancini is rather lucky to still be in a job. Given the pedigree of his side (not to mention the incredible budget to which he is working) the Premier League title last season should have been the bare minimum. City's squad, on paper [.

Advent Calendar: Liverpool’s strangest Christmas gift

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For each day of advent (or up until the 21st) we will be looking at the club shop of each Premier League club to pick out the strangest or oddest gift. Today is the turn of Liverpool, and this one really is a cracker. Nothing enforces the stereotypical Scouse image more than this delightful patio [..

Advent Calendar: Fulham’s strangest Christmas gift

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For each day of advent (or up until the 20th) we will be looking at the club shop of each Premier League club to pick out the strangest or oddest gift. Today is the turn of Fulham, and this was by far the easiest selection so far despite costing just 99p. Quite why Mohammed Al-Fayed [...]

Everton create a wonderful Christmas video

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Christmas can be a shallow time in football, with clubs desperate to fill grounds and sell their wares to parents for their children in an aim to bleed dry all reserves of coffers. However, there are ways of doing things, and Everton have created a wonderful video to promote their club shop this Christmas.

Spartak Moscow striker Ari shows off inventive in-flight sleeping tactic

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It's a little bit surreal that Spartak Moscow film their players on the club's private jet, then realeasing the footage on Youtube, but it does mean we get a wonderful insight into striker Ari's sleeping habits. Whilst most of his team mates are shown playing on iPads or watching films, the closest that most get [.

Preston manager Graham Westley refunds fans’ petrol money after postponed game

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This video will give you a little bit of Christmas cheer, as it shows Preston manager Graham Westley paying for the petrol money of a number of fans that had travelled in a minibus to the away game at Bury in the Johnstone Paints Trophy, only to learn that the game had been postponed due [...]

Advent Calendar: Everton’s strangest Christmas gift

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For each day of advent (or up until the 20th) we will be looking at the club shop of each Premier League club to pick out the strangest or oddest gift. Today is the turn of Everton, and for the purposes of glorious irony we rejected the Everton FC toast print (and why wouldn't you [...]

Elgin fan’s crazy dancing before Rangers game

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It's completely unconfirmed whether this Elgin fan has had any assistance from, erm... outside influences, but if I was a betting man... The lady in question is 44-year-old Jenny Baird from Nairn. She went to watch the game because her friend Stuart Leslie plays for Elgin, but one suspects that he will slightly distance himself [.

Is this the new AC Milan physio? If so… ti amo

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There is a photo doing the rounds on Twitter of the bombshell above, alongside the information that this may be the new AC Milan physio. Cue shuffling of feet, the drying of the mouth, clammy hands and heart beating fast (I mean I'm in love, not that I'm having a stroke). Until now, Chelsea's physio [.

Advent Calendar: Chelsea’s strangest Christmas gift

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For each day of advent (or up until the 20th) we will be looking at the club shop of each Premier League club to pick out the strangest or oddest gift. Today is the turn of Chelsea, and whilst the club and its players are often accused of arrogance and being out of touch with [...]

Random 1990s Footballer Tuesday: #46 Michael Stensgaard

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Name: Michael Stensgaard In his 90s prime for: Liverpool, Southampton Lowdown: One of the unluckiest Premier League footballers, Stensgaard began his career at Hvidovre in Denamrk, the same club where Peter Schmeichel began his career. He impressed significantly in his early career and made eight appearances for the Denmark U21s.

Win a Savile Rogue cashmere football scarf

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OTP has teamed up with Savile Rogue to give you the chance to win one of the world's finest cashmere football scarves. Savile Rogue scarves give a nod to football terraces of yesteryear, shunning in-your-face logos and cheap nylon in favour of a traditional bar design and the comfort, quality and warmth of top grade [.

GIF IT: Skill of the weekend? Messi, Ronaldo, Imbrahimovich…or Everton’s Darren Gibson?

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As displayed by their manful draw against Manchester City at the weekend, Everton are a team full of robust and powerful battlersexemplified by the likes of Phil Neville and Marouane Fellaini. They are not quite as renowned for exquisite skill that would back leave the Nou Camp salivating with gushing praise.

Where’s your Panenka now? Andrea Pirlo executes truly abysmal penalty for Juventus

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When you have a resplendent beard fit for a deity, pass the ball around effortlessly like adivine Leonardo da Vinci brushstroke and score one of the most delicious spot-kicks of all time, you have every right to forget you are human. Alas, the mercurial Andrea Pirlo fell back to Earth at the weekend after launching [.

End it like Beckham: David Beckham substituted to a hero’s reception

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If I had a pound for every time I read the phrase 'Hollywood ending' over the next two days I would probably be a millionaire, but you have to say it did all have a very surreal feel to it. David Beckham brought the curtain down on his LA Galaxy career late last night, and [...]


Pick your weapon – Zlatan Ibrahimovic v Cristiano Ronaldo in battle of the free kicks

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They probably deserve their own posts such are their evident quality, but we'll let you pick your favourite. Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first free kick in about a billion games for Real Madrid last night with the return of his old favourite in the Madrid Derby, so in the red corner we have the 'smash [.

Advent Calendar: Aston Villa’s strangest Christmas gift

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For each day of advent (or up until the 20th) we will be looking at the club shop of each Premier League club to pick out the strangest or oddest gift. Today is the turn of Aston Villa, and after turning down the garden tools set and dog t-shirt we eventually elected for the Aston [...]


FAIL – FIFA manage to screw up Confederations Cup draw

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Good old FIFA eh, always making things very easy for us. After a period of time when Sepp Blatter has been thankfully quiet General Secretary Jerome Valcke managed to take on his boss' mantle by completely ballsing up the draw for the 2013 Confederations Cup. Uruguay's name was drawn out of the hat, and they [.

The Sun expose Liam Ridgewell wiping his arse with £20 notes

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Here is one that football fans will like as the expense of Christmas sets in, often making us choose whether we can afford to go and watch our footballing heroes. The Sun newspaper has today revealed a picture of West Brom's Liam Ridgewell wiping his bum with £20 notes. The player claims that the photo [.

Say it aint so! Manchester City forced to expose promising Mario Balotelli Twitter account as a fake

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Sports journalists were in mourning today after Manchester City stepped in to reveal a seemingly credible Mario Balotelli Twitter account as a load of old cobblers. Starting on Friday a flurry of messages turned up under the guise of @MarioUfficialeB many spouting the kind of enigmatic quotes we've come to expect from the maverick, [.

Lech Poznan fans go overboard with the flares

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Eastern European football fans do love a flare or two, which is all very well whilst they are under control. But in their game against Slask Wroclaw, Lech Poznan fans showed that flares can create atmosphere but also destroy the view of the pitch. There must be 100 lit flares at the peak, and the [..

Fail – Dugouts blown over in Saudi Arabia

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A quick note to the organisers of the Qatar World Cup If you are thinking of holding the tournament during the winter, please don't make the two dugouts out of polystyrene or paper as they seem to do in your neighbouring countries. During the Saudi Premier League match between Ittihad and El Ahly, the [.

74-year-old footballer scores his 1300th goal

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Lionel Messi may be favourite for the Ballon D'Or and have scored an obscene amount of goals this year, but he still has a fair way to go to catch up with Derek May. May might well be unbeatable in world football for his goalscoring longevity, and last weekend he scored the 1300th goal of [...]


FC Emmen’s Jeffrey De Visscher sacked for public indecency

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Some footballers are sacked for drug offences, some for untoward events with questionable ladies and some for stupid criminal events. However, FC Emmen's Jeffrey De Visscher has found possibly the oddest reason for a sacking after being arrested by the police for doing a faeces in the woods after stopping his car whilst comfortably over [.

Advent Calendar: Arsenal’s strangest Christmas gift

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For each day of advent (or up until the 20th) we will be looking at the club shop of each Premier League club to pick out the strangest or oddest gift. Today is the turn of Arsenal, and we have opted for the Arsenal Talking Tom Toy. This is a real version of the Talking [...]