Off the Post Archives for January 2013

Like father, like son: Real Madrid U18s’ Enzo Zidane sent-off for petulant attack

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Enzo Zidane can expect to get a bit of grief after being shown a red card after just nine minutes on the pitch for Real Madrid under 18s but at least he knows his dad will have to keep his mouth shut! In a petulant act reminiscent of Zinedine, the 17-year-old kicked out at [...]

Newcastle fans can enjoy Moussa Sissoko’s debut assist against Aston Villa

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Newcastle fans can breathe easy. Whenever your club makes a January signing there's always a certain trepidation, but it turns out that Toon new boy Moussa Sissoko can pass a football. In fact, he can do it rather well. The 23-year-old former Toulouse midfielder fed Papiss Cisse for the Magpies' opening goal in last night's [.

One Day More: Transfer Deadline Day vs Les Miserables

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The mash-up of Transfer Deadline Day action and music from Les Miserables that you've all been waiting for is here.

Italian police use tear gas to disperse crowd as Mario Balotelli arrives from Manchester City

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Police had to use tear gas to break-up a crowd that gathered outside a restaurant to see new signing Mario Balotelli. AC Milan fans had assembled as their new signing attempted to dine with vice-president Adriano Galliani. The pair ended up dancing in the street with ultras at one point. They were incited to join [.

Video: Dave Bassett whets your appetite for some thrilling analysis on Football First

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While you're enjoying the Aston Villa vs Newcastle highlights, the Sky Sports team are busy checking Dave Bassett's pulse.

Mario Balotelli agrees deal to leave Manchester City for AC Milan

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Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Disaster has struck. One-man OTP material generator Mario Balotelli is leaving the Premier League. The Italy international has agreed a deal to return to his homeland to play for AC Milan. Only the formality of a medical and a contract signing can now prevent official confirmation that we've lost Mario.

Video: David Beckham training with Arsenal

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David Beckham today donned an Arsenal kit to train with the Gunners squad. The former England captain is keen to maintain his fitness as he plots his next career move after leaving LA Galaxy. There's no suggestion that he's about to join Arsene Wenger's squad on a more permanent basis... but would you welcome him, [.

Cape Verde team burst into press conference to celebrate

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The African Cup of Nations is pretty good for a fairytale story, and this year the Cape Verde Islands may well be the perfect example of this. After knocking out Cameroon in qualification, the tiny islands are playing in their first ever competitive tournament, and amazingly qualified from their group at the expense of Morocco.

Liverpool’s Fabio Borini buys his sister some sexy underwear?!

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We know that Italian families like to stay close, but Fabio Borini's present choices are verging towards incestuous in nature. The Liverpool striker, who hasn't exactly set Anfield alight since his £11million move from Roma, tweeted yesterday to wish his sister a happy birthday: Happy birthday my little sister!

Manchester United’s Paul Scholes has his car stolen from driveway

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Paul Scholes is damn fine footballer, but he clearly isn't the most careful of chaps. Evidence for this was found yesterday, when he had his car stolen from his driveway after the midfielder left his engine running to defrost the windscreen. A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said: Police are investigating after a car was [.

Top 10 conclusions: FA Cup fourth round weekend

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1. The undoubted shock of the round came at the Madejski Stadium, where Premier League side Reading comfortably saw off lower-league opposition in the form of Sheffield United. 2. Norwich City were knocked out at the hands of Ruthless Rendell. There was nothing mysterious about Luton's progression as they became the first non-league side to [.

GIF It: Rodolph Austin scores from his own half… but the full-time whistle had been blown (Leeds vs Tottenham)

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[Update: We'd originally credited this to Davide Somma (on account of the commentary sounding like it's Somma, the YouTube video claiming its Somma and even the minute-by-minute live text updates of national newspapers claiming it was Somma). After taking some of the comments left below on board, it looks like it's actually Rodolph Austin.

GIF It: Jose Baxter’s free-kick FAIL (Oldham Athletic 3-2 Liverpool)

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You can guarantee that the Liverpool fans who'd braved the snow to travel up the M62 (and round the M60) for their FA Cup tie at Oldham were not expecting the highlight of their afternoon to be seeing a former Everton player fall over. Alas, that's the way it worked out. Jose Baxter was the [...]

GIF It: Liverpool youngster Jack Robinson takes Luis Suarez’s shooting advice on-board

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"I speak not just for me for I am only Jack Robinson, a Liverpool fringe player but with the voice of a thousand men. Most notably Patrice Evra, Asamoah Gyan, Tony Pulis and Sir Alex Ferguson."

Chelsea’s Eden Hazard is the cover star of children’s magazine Kick

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The perfect choice, no? The only thing missing is the sub-heading saying: "Kids, if you are approached by this man..." Via 3pm

Patrice Evra pranks former Manchester United team-mate Dimitar Berbatov

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Bunny ears: they'll never got old. Manchester United defender Patrice Evra pranked Fulham's Dimitar Berbatov in the time-honoured fashion when he spotted the Bulgarian was being photographed following Saturday's FA Cup match between the two sides.

Manchester United fan urinates over Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli’s camouflaged Bentley

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In a piece of cruel irony given the original purpose of camouflage, Mario Balotelli's customised Bentley does help him stick out from the crowd slightly. So when these Manchester United supporters spotted the Italian striker's motor parked up they decided to pee on it. As you do. The Sun reports: "The cheeky yob was pictured [.

Zambian goalkeeper takes a lovely penalty against Nigeria

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Whilst everyone loves a scoring goalkeeper, this one is cheating somewhat. And that's because Kennedy Mweene is the new Jose Luis Chilvert or Rogerio Ceni, in that he takes a mean penalty. Mweene showed off his skill at a very opportune moment for his Zambian side as they gained a spot kick after 84 minutes [.

Tottenham star Gareth Bale dives yet again

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Gareth Bale does get a slightly unfair reputation when it comes to diving. He has been clipped on a couple of occasions only to see the yellow card awarded, but the winger doesn't help himself by going to ground quite easily. However, Bale this week demosntrated the positive side to diving, as this official Spurs [.

Taiwanese new channel produce their take on the Eden Hazard ballboy incident

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It's just the greatest channel on Youtube. You cannot say that an incident has become fully newsworthy until it has been acted out, warped and made completely mental by the guys at NMA in Taiwan. This time it's the Eden Hazard ballboy malarkey, which they have managed to recreate using a BAFTA, a sword, a [.

Muangthong United use a crazy free kick technique

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Sides are constantly looking for innovative ways to get an advantage over the opposition, whether through research, science or underhand tactics. But this effort from Thai Premier League side Muangthong United comes under none of these categories, instead probably best filed under 'Effort 10/10, Execution 3/10′.

GIF it – Stoke midfielder Glenn Whelan’s horror tackle against Manchester City

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We can only hope that Tony Pulis, who has a habit of defending his players whilst criticising the actions of opposing individuals, does not embarrass himself by attempting to justify the decision-making of midfielder Glenn Whelan. It was wild, it was reckless, it was dangerous, and it should be severely punished.

Peter Odemwingie suffers meltdown on Twitter

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Peter Odemwingie wants to leave West Brom, we get that. The striker has handed in a transfer request which has been rejected by his club. However, on Saturday evening Odemwingie took to Twitter to vent his views: I can understand the reaction of few Albion fans on my desire to leave the club. Real reason?

AFC Wimbledon pensioner arrested for throwing banana at referee

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Before we start, the referee was white and the incident was in no way racially motivated. Now that's cleared up, this is wonderfully funny! AFC Wimbledon have revealed that a 74-year-old man was arrested and released on bail after referee Graham Scott was struck with a banana thrown from the crowd. The referee laughed when [.

Win a Maximuscle Protein Project starter pack

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Sports nutrition brand Maximuscle has launched the Protein Project: a New Year challenge to you, the gentlemen of Britain, to get fitter, slimmer, stronger, faster and better. To help your personal attempts to meet those aims we're giving away a starter pack of Maximuscle products. At the same time as you're improving your physique, three [.

It’s a huge weekend for… Lambert, Arsenal, Appleton and Macclesfield

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Paul Lambert This is becoming something of a cause celebre now, because at some point if he stays in this column (although I accept not directly related) he will be sacked. Could that be this weekend? Championship mid-tablers Millwall are favourites to beat Villa, which after going out to League Two Bradford over two legs [.

U15 team Huncoat United win their first game in five years

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The first cut is the deepest and all that, so Huncoat United of Lancashire will be hoping that they have finally caught the winning habit, after going five years without a win. The only Youtube video of the club is above, which potentially bears no relation to the team in question! The team had lost [.

Reading’s Jimmy Kebe fools Twitter regarding Newcastle move

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Footballers' 'banter' is normally so woeful that it is best to ignore if at all possible for the sake of sanity. However, credit must go to Reading's Jimmy Kebe for his practical joke on Twitter that fooled all media outlets and supporters of both clubs. Kebe started by posting the following Tweet: "On my way [.

Mark Lawrenson – The BBC football ‘EXPERT’

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Mark Lawrenson takes a lot of stick. And it's all fair because he is whiny, moaning, uninsightful and would bring down the BBC's reputation for broadcasting football even if he was paying them to work there, nevermind his six-figure salary. Still, if he has an in-depth knowledge of the game then at least that counts [.

FAIL – Wilfried Zaha turns up to Manchester United medical wearing Imogen Thomas t-shirt

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One would suspect that Wilfried Zaha was not captain of the Crystal Palace pub quiz team, as he showed an almost beautiful lack of forethought when turning up for his Manchester United medical. The young winger wore an Imogen Thomas t-shirt for the medical, which is fairly funny given that particular lady's affiliation with the [.

Bet’s be ‘avin you – Betting tips for the 26-27 January

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A ruddy balls up, I tell you. Just as I was getting into the spirit of making money each week, I got bitten by Lazio's inability to hold on to a half-time lead and Morocco's inability to score against Angola. Still Watford's 4-0 win (I could have been a great deal greedier on that one [...]

Brooklyn Beckham has a trial at Chelsea

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David Beckham's eldest son Brooklyn had a trial at Chelsea yesterday. The 13-year-old joined in a training session with the Blues' under-14 setup. He had previously played for the LA Galaxy's under-14 team but is on the lookout for a new a team since his dad quit MLS and moved the family back to London [.

Be Mercurial: Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo stars in an arty new Nike video

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It looks a bit like a football-themed disaster movie at first, then it looks a bit like the Matrix... but it's actually an advert for Nike's new Mercurial boots. We finally know why Cristiano Ronaldo uses quite so much hair gel: so he can continue to perform in even the windiest of conditions.

Who Are Ya? Yoan Gouffran (Newcastle)

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Your whistle-stop guide to the latest Premier League arrivals Name: Yoan Gouffran Age: 26 Position: Striker Signed from: Bordeaux Fee: Undisclosed Did you know? Gouffran is allergic to grass. His condition was described as "embarrassing" by former coach Jean Tigana. What's the deal? The Magpies were impressed by the pacy striker when they faced him [.

Former Rangers keeper Andy Goram abused by Celtic fans in a bookies

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Warning: this is not a video to watch in earshot of your boss. Ex-Rangers goalkeeper Andy Goram received a tirade of abuse from Celtic fans who found him playing the roulette machines in a bookmakers. The video starts with the fan chanting "There's only two Andy Gorams" in reference to the former Scotland international suffering [.

GIF It: West Ham youngster Dan Potts’ sickening clash of heads with Arsenal’s Bacary Sagna

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Arsenal's 5-1 thrashing of West Ham last night was initially overshadowed by what looked like a very nasty injury to Hammers defender Dan Potts. The 18-year-old full-back was involved in a horrible clash of heads with Arsenal's Bacary Sagna, which left him motionless on the floor for 15 minutes. The youngster was stretchered off the [.

Peru under-20 player suspected of being a 26-year-old Ecuadorian

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A player representing Peru at the current South American Under-20 Championships has been sent home from the competition over allegations that he's actually a 25-year-old Ecuadorian. Max Barrios was in Peru's squad for the tournament, which acts as South America's qualifying tournament for the Under 20 World Cup.

Neymar invents a new skill – video

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Neymar's new skill is right at the start of this video, but if you wait a while you get a full replay of exactly how he bamboozles his opposite number. As a high ball is played to the Brazilian, he deliberately miscontrols the ball with the sole of his boot, bouncing it over the head [...]

Eight-year-old recreates a Dennis Bergkamp wonder goal

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No, unfortunately it isn't the one against Argentina from World Cup 98, but instead the one against Newcastle where the Dutch Master nudged the ball one side of the defender before spinning round to meet the ball and then slip it under a helpless Shay Given. The child in question is a member of Andelecht's [.

New Hannover 96 signing Franca is surprisingly short

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We are used to signings from abroad not quite being what we hoped them to be. Graeme Souness is probably your go-to guy on that topic, after being fooled into playing Ali Dia, but there are innumerable players that come from afar with fantastic goalscoring records or reputations of grandeur before woefully disappointing.

Referee fouls Zenit’s Viktor Fayzulin with two-footed lunge

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It's just good to see a referee finally take a stand. With crowd, managers and players all screaming abuse as they do their job, it was only a matter of time before one snapped. Bader Abdullah is the man to step up to the plate, although he cleverly chose his moment suring a friendly match [...]

Swansea ball boy kicked by Chelsea’s Eden Hazard planned time-wasting pre-match

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The king of all ball boys is back making his final appearance #needed #for #timewasting Charlie Morganâ„¢ (@CHARLIEM0RGAN) January 23, 2013 The ball boy involved in the incident that saw Chelsea star Eden Hazard sent-off in tonight's Capital One Cup semi-final had admitted in pre-game tweets that he planned to use timewasting tactics.

Who Are Ya? Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Newcastle)

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Your whistle-stop guide to the latest Premier League arrivals Name: Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa Age: 23 Position: Defender Signed from: Montpellier Fee: Undisclosed (reported £6.7million) Did you know? Yanga-Mbiwa was Montpellier's captain as they won the French title last season. He's clocked up more than 200 appearances for the club despite being just 23 years old.

Newcastle manager Alain Pardou faces French jokes

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Newcastle and their boss Alan Pardew have found themselves becoming the butt of a few jokes after the club completed the signing of another French player and lined up two more not least being renamed Nouveau Chateua and having their logo reimagined. Pardew has also been reminded of some comments he made about Arsenal [.

Bradford knock Aston Villa out to reach Capital One Cup final

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Badford are heading to Wembley and there's not an egg-shaped ball in sight. The League Two side beat Aston Villa 3-4 on aggregate after a 2-1 defeat at Villa Park last night. Paul Lambert's side crashed out in humiliating circumstances, losing to a side three divisions below them over two legs. Christian Benteke gave [.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon answers the phone to journalist’s wife during press conference

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Neil Lennon reduced a press conference to fits of laughter after answering the phone to a journalist's wife. The phone, which was sitting in front of the Bhoys' boss recording his comments, rang twice as Lennon answered questions. Each time Lennon picked up the phone, belonging to a journalist called 'Michael', only for the woman [.

Chelsea’s Eden Hazard sent-off for kicking a Swansea ball boy

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Chelsea's Capital One Cup semi-final defeat to Swansea descended into farce when Eden Hazard was shown a red card for kicking a ball boy. The lad was not returning the ball quickly enough for the Belgian's liking, causing a struggle between the pair which ended with the ball boy lying on top of the ball.

Former Spurs man Didier Zokora rebrands as ‘Maestro’, Chelsea old boy Salomon Kalou becomes ‘Kalhuno’

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Too many African Cup of Nations tournaments will drive a player to distraction. The back-to-back competitions seem to have convinced several Ivory Coast players that they need to change their names in order to keep things fresh. Clearly jealous of team-mate Gervinho faux-Brazilian nickname, a couple of former Premier League players have rebranded themselves.

Football betting can be fun – but have you tried online poker?

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Are you bored with having to rely on luck or the performance of others to win money? Football betting can be fun of course and can win you substantial amounts of money, yet you have ultimately have no control over the results. There are many options provided for us with regards to gambling online out [.

Manchester United squad dons Bugs Bunny pyjamas

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Footballers really will wear anything won't they?! Manchester United got over the disappointment of a last second equaliser against Spurs by flying out to Qatar for some winter sun, an effort by the club to get some much-needed rest and relaxation and recharge the batteries for the remaining months of the season.

Gary Neville refutes suggestions that Nemanja Vidic fancies Manchester United team-mate David De Gea

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Gary Neville's Monday Night Football analysis is usually a great watch (although it's always a bit of a shame when, like last night, it's better than the match that follows). Looking back at Manchester United's draw at Tottenham on Sunday, Neville put to bed the rumours that defender Nemanja Vidic fancies keeper David De Gea.

Video: Eunan O’Kane’s bizarre handball to concede a penalty (Walsall vs Bournemouth)

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Bournemouth midfielder Eunan O'Kane was responsible for conceding one of the strangest penalties you will ever see during his side's defeat at Walsall on Saturday. O'Kane thought his side had been awarded a free-kick outside the box, casually flicked the ball up inside the area and caught it. But the ref had not stopped play [.

Lazio defender Luciano Zauri abseils down a well to rescue seven-year-old girl

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Lazio's Luciano Zauri rescued a seven-year-old girl who had fallen into a well at a restaurant in Rome. The defender was lowered inside the well on a rope so that he could save the granddaughter of Polish FA president Zbigniew Boniek. The girl reportedly fell into the four-metre deep well on Sunday when a cover [.

Ethiopan goalkeeper has a moment of madness in game against Zambia

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The African Cup of Nations is a brilliant tournament. Part of this is because it unites a continent, many of the countries in which conflict has affected of is affecting, and demonstrates the positive effect that football can have. It's also amazing because ridiculous things seem to happen. Whether it's crazy fans, alternative goalkeeping styles [.

Aldershot striker Danny Hylton works to avoid FA Cup ban

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Whislt it may initially seem to be a thoughful act, there was an undertone of selfishness about Aldershot striker Danny Hylton's efforts to help out fans and ground staff by shovelling snow away from the pitch. The club are desperately trying to get their midweek game against Northampton to go ahead, despite snow and ice [.

Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez haunted by the ghost of Roberto Di Matteo during Arsenal win

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It all got a bit nervy yesterday at Stamford Bridge when it looked like Chelsea could be on the verge of throwing away a second 2-0 lead in less than a week. As if Rafa Benitez wasn't already feeling the pressure he had the ghost of Roberto Di Matteo breathing down his neck during the [...]

‘Keep smiling’ – Sacked Nigel Adkins leaves a farewell note for Southampton players

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If you are somehow dead inside and don't feel sympathy for axed Southampton boss Nigel Atkins, youcertainlymust now. In one of his last acts before leaving the Saints training ground for the last time, the 47-year-old penned this farewell message on a changing room whiteboard. After being put out on his backside despite two [.

Video: Dietmar Hamann reveals he’s cleared the air with Joey Barton, refuses to unfollow him

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If you thought the end of last week was all about Lance Armstrong's warts 'n' all confession to Oprah, you would be wrong for this side of the Atlantic there was a one-on-one interview with someone equally forlorn and desperate for people to hear his side of the story. We're talking about Dietmar Hamann [.

Top 10 conclusions: Premier League weekend, 19-20 January

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1. A Fergie never forgets. Make a mistake running the line once and it stays on your record for life. 2. No wonder Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea looked uncomfortable yesterday. He hates white things falling from the sky. 3. Even with Roman Abramovich's millions you can't justify throwing out a perfectly good coat.

Newcastle’s pitch markings get a blue rinse

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Newcastle's groundsman got to explore his inner Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen ahead of the Magpies' defeat to Reading on Saturday. Amid fears that mid-match snowfall would render the pitch markings useless, he instead browsed through the B&Q colour charts and settled on a lovely shade of blue for his pre-game painting session.

And you thought you were cold! Meet the Finnish side who train in -30°C temperatures

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Now, these chaps can wear their football gloves in no fear of mockery! Temperatures in the UK limboed just underneath 0°C at the weekend and once more football has been beaten around the ribs and head-butted by the adverse weather. Thousands of football league and amateur league games were inevitably called off because of frozen [.

Tottenham’s Sandro tweets a gruesome picture of his season-ending injury

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Not for the faint-hearted this one. Following in the limping footsteps of many a footballer giving us an intimate look at their injuries, Tottenham Hotspur's Sandro posted this picture on Twitter. The rather gruesome shot harbouring more staples than a stationery hoarder shows the midfielder's knee following his operation to reattach torn knee [.

Newcastle put Loic Remy up in a London hotel the night before he joined QPR

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Newcastle fans were feeling pretty hard done by this week when top transfer target Loic Remy snubbed them to join QPR. But it's now emerged that the Magpies paid for the Frenchman to stay in London the night before he signed for the Hoops. Mike Ashley and co. splashed out for a hotel room and [...]

Sir Alex Ferguson drops the f-bomb during charades game with Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs

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Sir Alex has proved that a blast of the hairdryer treatment doesn't always stay within the confines of the dressing room (and the eardrums of linesmen at White Hart Lane). Featuring as a guest on a quiz on the MUTV channel, the Manchester United legend was tasked with communicating 'Maradona Hand of God' through the [.

Per Mertesacker is Arsenal’s dressing room debt collector

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With Arsenal's defence as fragile as ever, giant German centre-back Per Mertesacker hasn't proved to be the enforcer most Gooners were hoping for... at least not on the pitch. In the dressing room, the defender holds a position of considerable authority: collecting fines dished out to his team-mates.

Southampton’s Jason Puncheon answers a ‘call of nature’ during Everton match

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Southampton's Jason Puncheon left the field for unusual circumstances against Everton tonight... as he had to use the toilet. The Saints were left with 10 men on the field while their winger left the field to use the club's facilities. He was welcomed back rather amusingly by chants of: "Jason Puncheon, he went for a [.

Alessandro Del Piero scores four goals for Sydney FC

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We're not saying that the Australian A-League is the easiest place in the world to score goals, but it must be pretty close surely? Hot on the heels of Emile Heskey bagging a few for the Newcastle Jets, Italian striker Alessandro Del Piero has hit four goals for Sydney FC during their 7-1 victory over [.

Kitman: Sao Paulo take their kit launch to intergalactic levels

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The Brazilians sure don't do half measures when it comes to football do they?! When Sao Paulo came to launch their new kit, they decided against the simple display in the club shop, or even getting scantily-clad ladies to drape themselves in the new attire (a South American staple). Instead, they attached the kit to [.

John Terry apologises after leading fans to believe he solved Rubix Cube

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How anyone could believe that John Terry could get anywhere near to completing a Rubix Cube is beyond me, but that geuinely seems to be the case. The Chelsea and England defender was forced into an 'apology' after posting a photo of him with a muddled up version of the brain game, before then posting [.

Gary Lineker leaves Twitter after it ‘takes over his life’

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Former England striker and TV personality Gary Lineker has announced his decision to leave Twitter after her admitted becoming obsessed with the social media site. The star sent a tweet to his 1.3million followers to make the announcement: I'm leaving Twitter for personal reasons . Thanks all. Lineker's statement led to media rumours of a [.

Paul Pogba scores brilliant double for Juventus

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Alex Ferguson may not have done many things wrong during his tenure at Old Trafford, but if there was anything he could do in his powers to stop Paul Pogba leaving Manchester United then maybe he should have done so. Because looking at the evidence, Pogba may just turn out to be one of the [...]

GIF It: Tottenham loanee Adam Smith goes head first over the hoardings (Millwall vs Burnley)

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A 2-0 home defeat to Burnley will have hurt Millwall's players but Tottenham loanee Adam Smith felt it worse than most. The 21-year-old discovered the dangers of running at pace towards the edge of the pitch in icy conditions. Smith ended up flying over the advertising hoardings in painful fashion. Thankfully he was able [.

Peter Odemwingie scores from 65 yards one second after final whistle

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Peter Odemwingie had an up and down game against Aston Villa on Saturday evening. He shanked a number of chances over and wide, received some stick from the home crowd, and then scored the equaliser before pointing to his name in a bid to answer back at his critics. However, the Nigerian could have ended [.

Coventry and Tranmere have ‘proper’ lower league scramble

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People are rather too patronising of lower league football at times. Gone are the days of unplayable quagmires containing 22 men who had been on the piss the previous night, a mix of not-quite-made-its and on-the-way-downs. But rather like John McCrirrick's appearance on wife swap, you get an incident that suddenly makes you think that [.

Wondering where you’ve seen new Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino before?

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Wonder no more. Here he is heinously chopping down trustworthy Little Michael Owen during England's victory over Argentina at the 2002 World Cup. David Beckham tucked home the resulting spot-kick to score the only goal of the game.

It’s a huge weekend for…Jol, Lambert, Wigan and AVB

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Martin Jol It may surprise you to know that the Premier League manager favourite to next lose his job. Martin Jol is seen by many as a solid and steady manager, but despite being unbeaten in four games, the Dutchman is the expected manager to go. Bookmakers have been wrong before, but it certainly hints [.

Bet’s be ‘avin you – Betting tips for the 19-20 January

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Two weeks of the column in 2013 and two weeks of profit. Last week's yields were less than the last time out, largely due to Notts County's game on the South Coast being called off on Saturday lunchtime, but Napoli won 3-0, giving me an easy return on the 19/20 stake. Perhaps could have been [...]

Move over AVB. 8-year-old secures interview for Doncaster Rovers manager job

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Forget about that bald bloke heading to the Bundesliga, the only managerial development of significant note this week belongs to Doncaster Rovers. After Dean Saunders skipped off to coach Wolves a couple of weeks back, it appears that the League One side are targeting a much younger manager for the hot-seat.

Former Aston Villa boss John Gregory sings emotional tribute to Stiliyan Petrov

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The idea of John Gregory singing at all, let alone a Bruce Springsteen song, should sound like a very special story indeed. And it certainly is for all the right reasons surprisingly enough. The former Aston Villa manager who is still remembered fondly by the Villa faithful chose a charity fundraising gig [.

Ipswich Town campaign for beer drinking to return to stands. Accident waiting to happen?

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Guzzling a beer in the stands whilst cheering on your team is very much a thing of the past. Or is it? In response to the hooliganism that heavily stained British football culture three decades ago, a law was passed in 1985 to remove a fan's right to drink alcohol in their seats or terrace. [...]

Original prankster. Jimmy Bullard: “I rested my nuts on Papa Bouba Diop’s forehead once”

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After the pretty unsightly mud-slinging between Joey Barton and Dietmar Hamann, you would be forgiven for thinking that footballers on Twitter serve up nothing but negativity and hammed-up controversy. Well, here we have the perfect antidote to that increasingly prevalent disease. Step forward (if you still can!

Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere pictured wearing West Ham shirt

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Relax Arsenal fans, it's not the biggest shock in transfer window history! The pictures above show Jack Wilshere as a young whipper-snapper taking a shine to the West Ham strip. Just to make us all feel old, we're pretty sure the likes of Paolo Di Canio trotted about in that very jersey edition. Although the [.

Liverpool owner John W. Henry tweets “I’m broke” in response to Wesley Sneijder transfer speculation

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Liverpool fans were given an unlikely insight into their prospects for the rest of the January transfer window when owner John W. Henry appeared to declare he was out of clash on Twitter. Henry's account responded to a tweet asking him to bring Wesley Sneijder to Anfield with a simple: "im broke." The Reds owner [.

Southampton sack Nigel Adkins following unambitious back-to-back promotions

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Southampton have sacked manager Nigel Adkins and immediately replaced him with Argentine coach Mauricio Pochettino. Adkins had been in charge at St Mary's for two-and-a-half years, in which he managed to take the club from League One to the Premier League. That flagrant lack of ambition has been immediately stamped out by Saints' executive chairman [.

Loic Remy joined QPR after a game of FIFA

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The ultimate sign of the times? Many assumed that Louc Remy had turned down the opportunity to join Newcastle in favour of QPR thanks to Harry Redknapp's propensity to throw money at a situation, but it appears that this may not be the whole reason. For it has emerged that QPR owner Tony Fernandes played [.

John Carew: Footballer, Model, Actor

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John Carew was released by West Ham last summer, and even though he is just 33 it appears that he has branched into rather different industries. Firstly, he appeared in a advert for a Lingerie range for Fashion TV, but thanks to his Twitter feed we can now view his first steps into the acting [...]

Sick Liverpool fan gets ‘Munich 58′ tattoo

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You really can't account for the stupidity, crassness and downright disgusting nature of some football fans can you? There is something of a witch hunt on for a Liverpool fan who decided that the appropriate way to deal with defeat to Manchester United on Sunday was to get a tattoo on his bum with the [.

Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta and his birthday cake doppelganger

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Manchester City right-back Pablo Zabaleta has been treated to a birthday cake that's very much made in his own image. The Argentina international turned 28 yesterday yes, we thought he was about 33, too and celebrated by tucking into himself. He tweeted a photo of his birthday cake with the message: "Muy graciosa, [.

Vinnie Jones has to support Arsenal for U.S. show

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Whilst Vinnie Jones presumably has little problem acting in a role that demands him to be a psychotic, hardman killer, but his latest role may have caused him a few sleepless nights... Jones has to pretend to be a diehard Arsenal fan. The former Welsh international and Wimbledon, Leeds and Chelsea midfielder is playing the [.

GIF It: Paul Scholes’ trademark booking (Manchester United vs West Ham)

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He's still got it. Manchester United veteran Paul Scholes showed he's still mistiming tackles just as well as he was doing a decade ago during last night's FA Cup third round replay victory over West Ham. Classic Scholesy. Via 101GG

Andy Townsend commentates as West Ham midfielder Gary O’Neil “hand relieves all the pressure”

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Gary O'Neil does his best to ensure West Ham's FA Cup third round replay at Manchester United has a happy ending. At least in the world of ITV co-commentator Andy Townsend.

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez admits diving against Stoke, says Manchester United control the media

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Luis Suarez has admitted he dived to try and win a penalty against Stoke in October. The spot-kick was not awarded and the match ended 0-0, but Potters boss Tony Pulis called for retrospective action to be taken against the Liverpool striker. He's now admitted that he did dive. The Uruguayan said: "I don't listen [.

Manchester United’s website celebrated victory in tonight’s FA Cup replay against West Ham before kick-off

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Manchester United's official website was not-so-quietly confident of beating West Ham in tonight's FA Cup third round replay that it featured the article above before kick-off. The club commented on a "great win" over the Hammers and advertised tickets for a fourth round tie against Fulham.

QPR manager Harry Redknapp hums the Sports Report theme after victory over West Brom

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QPR boss Harry Redknapp celebrated his side's FA Cup third round replay victory over West Brom by humming the tune to BBC Radio Five Live's Sports Report. That's Radio Five reporter Pat Murphy on whatever the humming equivalent of backing vocals might be. Via 101GG

Former Blackburn manager Steve Kean pays ‘substantial damages’ to West Ham boss Sam Allardyce

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Ex-Blackburn Rovers boss Steve Kean has paid undisclosed damages to his predecessor, Sam Allardyce, over claims he made that the current West Ham boss was a "crook". Kean was filmed telling Rovers supporters on a pre-season tour of Hong Kong that Big Sam had lost his job at Ewood Park "because he's a f**king crook".

Video: Axel Witsel’s touchline striptease (Zenit St Petersburg 4-1 Al Hilal)

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Zenit St Petersburg fans don't like saying any of Axel Witsel's non-white skin in their kit. But he treated them to a glimpse of a bit more of his most un-Zenit-like complexion than usual as he prepared to take to the field for the friendly against Al Hilal.

Former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola will be new Bayern Munich manager

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Pep Guardiola has agreed to become the next manager of Bayern Munich. He will take up his new role in July, with from current coach Jupp Heynckes retiring at the end of the season. The former Barcelona coach has agreed a deal to manage the German giants until 2016. He had been widely tipped to [...]

Video: Italian team’s president uses stadium PA system to abuse ref during match!

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Italian outfit Nuovo Campobasso have been fined €10,000 after their president abused a referee over the stadium PA system during a match. Ferruccio Capone took to the airwaves during his side's fourth-tier match against Arzanese after being angered by the ref's decisions, including the sending off of a Nuovo Campobasso player.

Video: UAE midfielder Khamis Ismaeel sees his free-kick hit the crossbar… twice

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A footballer is entitled to feel a little bit unlucky if they watch a free-kick hit the bar and rebound to safety. They can feel particularly aggrieved if their free-kick hits the bar twice. That's what happened to United Arab Emirates player Khamis Ismaeel during his side's match against Kuwait. His effort crashed against the [.

Lookalikes: Owls that look like Roy Hodgson

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Does what it says on the tin, really: a collection of owls that bear more than a passing resemblance to England manager Roy Hodgson.

The #horsemeat XI

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With a little help from our Twitter friends, here's a Tesco-sponsored team who'd win the league at a canter. 1. Gianlugeegee Buffon 2. Filly-p Neighville 3. Frank Gallop 4. Robert Hoof 5. Pony Adams 6. Frankelampard 7. Stallion Petrov 8. Patrick Berger 9. Mick-Equine 10. Geoff Horsfield 11. Neighmar Subs: Foalcow, Phil Gee, Jim Dobbin, [.

Instant redemption: Jon Walters manages to find the right net to send Stoke to the FA Cup fourth round

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After an unimaginably poor performance at the weekend, including two own goals and a missed penalty, Stoke striker Jonathan Walters managed to score two again last night. Luckily this time they were in the right end! The Potters hitman made amends from his Chelsea disaster to help book his side a home tie against Premier [.

Who Are Ya? Loic Remy (QPR)

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Your whistle-stop guide to the latest Premier League arrivals Name: Loic Remy Age: 26 Position: Striker Signed from: Marseille Fee: £8million Did you know? Mbia was at the centre of a racism row with ex-Liverpool striker Milan Baros in 2007. Baros pinched his nose and gestured to suggest that Mbia had an offensive odour.

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany’s red card against Arsenal is overturned

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Vincent Kompany has had his sending off against Arsenal rescinded by the FA. The Manchester City captain was shown a red card for a challenge on Jack Wilshere during Sunday's match. An FA statement on the outcome of City's appeal read: "Vincent Kompany's red card against Arsenal has been overturned. "An Independent Regulatory Commission has [.

Video: Manchester City ponder why Ajax’s Siem De Jong couldn’t have been in this form against them

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Ajax hotshot Siem De Jong looked like one of the best strikers in Europe when he bagged two goals at the Etihad Stadium to put one of many nails in the coffin of Manchester City's Champions League campaign. But an entirely different player appeared to turn up for the Dutch side's friendly against Vasco Da [.

Video: Double dog pitch invaders at Galatasaray vs Aalen friendly

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You'll often find 'one man and his dog' in attendance at mid-season friendly matches... but it looks like the dogs might have actually outnumbered the human spectators at a recent Galatasaray friendly. The canine crowd decided to mount a pitch invasion, with two labradors bounding around the playing surface with glee.

Bulgaria legend Yordan Letchkov jailed over political corruption

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Yordan Letchkov, the bald midfielder beloved by anyone old enough to remember USA 94, has been jailed for two years for corruption. Perhaps most famous for getting his shiny noggin on the end of a cross to knock Germany out of the 1994 World Cup quarter-finals, Letchkov had since moved into local politics.

Optimistic / deranged Liverpool fan wearing personalised Balotelli shirt

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This in the know Liverpool fan has preempted the final two weeks of transfer window activity and opted for a 'Balotelli 10′ personalised shirt. Snapped by fellow bus passenger @SeanBailey_7, this lad has clearly decided that Mario's future lies away from Manchester City. At Anfield, to be precise. Hmmm.

Manchester City release Michael Johnson, proof he is now a fatty

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It has taken a long time, but Guardian journalist Daniel Taylor today revealed that Manchester City have released 24-year-old midfielder Michael Johnson. Johnson, who was seen a young superstar when he first broke into the Manchester City side aged 18, was rated highly in both Premier League and international terms, but has allowed his career [.

Irony Alert – Premier League player wins the lottery

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Well isn't that just the way to rub it in the faces of fans? It seems slightly odd that an individual paid a great deal of money for playing football would even bother playing the National Lottery, but the Daily Star reports that a Premier League player won a six-figure sum on the lottery before [...

Samuel Eto’o creates his own comic

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Samuel Eto'o is being paid silly money for playing out in Russia, and it appears that he has a great deal of time on his hands. Because the Cameroon international striker has created a comic book which tells the story of Eto'o's life during his early years as he worked hard to become a football [...]

Video: Manchester City star Samir Nasri protected from angry Arsenal fans by bodyguard Marouane Chamakh

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We're not saying that Manchester City players are on big money... but it appears Samir Nasri has hired Marouane Chamakh as his bodyguard. The former Arsenal team-mates went to watch yesterday's match between the Gunners and City at the Emirates, with Nasri out suspended. But there were ugly scenes outside the ground as angry Arsenal [.

Top 10 conclusions: Premier League weekend, 12-13 January

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1. Reading vs West Brom up first on Match of the Day? A clear indication that something special is afoot. 2. Jonathan Walters needs to accept that Chelsea have signed Demba Ba and don't need another striker. His live audition for the role of a Blues goalscorer was shameful. 3. Laurent Koscielny can now cross [.

Manchester City fan pranks Manchester United keeper David De Gea with 6-fingered salue

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No, folks, not all Manchester City fans have six fingers on their hands this chap simply uses too hands. It's another one of those moments where an opposition supporter has obviously grovelled for a photo opportunity with a rival team's player only to cruelly prank them as the picture was being taken.

Video: Linesman John Brooks wades in on the Arsenal vs Manchester City ticket price controversy

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Match officials are usually only thrust into the limelight when they make poor decisions, but linesman John Brooks is set to gain cult status (at least one letter apart from the status fans usually afford linesman) after commenting on Arsenal ticket prices within range of a TV microphone. Brooks could be heard telling Manchester City [.

GIF It: Mark Clattenburg’s dummy (Fulham 1-1 Wigan)

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Fulham midfielder Georgios Karagounis took all the plaudits for this great strike against Wigan, but what about the role referee Mark Clattenburg played in the goal? He threw the sort of dummy that Cristiano Ronaldo would be proud of in order to put the chance on a plate for Karagounis.

GIF It: Zlatan Ibrahimovic works on his Gallic shrug

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Bonjour! PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is obviously settling in nicely in France. Here his showing off his Gallic shrug. Granted, he's mocking a referee, but he's getting there. Via Pies

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that he’s got. He’s still, he’s still Dzeko from the block

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Edin Dzeko used his goal against Manchester City as the perfect opportunity to say 'hello' to the guys back home. The t-shirt slogan he displayed translates roughly as 'For friends from my neighbourhood'. The message of community spirit was obviously appreciated by talented linguist Mike Dean, who decided not to book Dzeko for his celebration.

Lookalikes: Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany’s red cards against Arsenal and Manchester United

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Dangle the ball a bit too close to Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany and he just can't resist diving in with two feet. His red card against Arsenal this afternoon was almost a carbon copy of the red card he received in an FA Cup tie against Manchester United last season. He's perfecting the pretending [.

Hamburg fan auditions for to be British Bulldog world champion

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This is a brilliant video. Whilst we in no way advocate going onto the field of play when there is a game in progress, this fella in Germany at least does it in style during Hamburg's friendly against Austria Vienna. The fan doesn't bother with getting naked, it is January after all, and managed to [.

GIF It: Jon Walters’ overhead volley into his own face (Stoke City 0-4 Chelsea)

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Stoke City's Jon Walters had a bit of a nightmare against Chelsea yesterday. Not only did he score half of the Blues' goals in a 4-0 defeat for the Potters, he also managed to miss a penalty. But his embarrassing afternoon started with the excellent attempted overhead cross, which he volleyed into his face, Chris [.

Kuwaiti goalkeeper manages to persuade referee to delay game while he uses the toilet

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When a goalkeeper is on a side that loses 5-1 at home, one can sympathise with the individual. However, I'm not sure that that means they should receive the special treatment enjoyed by the Al Sulaibikhat stopper in Kuwait. As the slightly grainy footage shows, the goalkeeper runs out of his goal and asks to [.

Grandma Reading fan gives us a victory dance

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There is nothing like a comeback victory when your club has its back to the wall to give you a feeling of complete, unmitigated joy. And that was very much the case at the Madejski Stadium yesterday, where Reading turned around a two goal deficit against West Brom to win 3-2 and climb off the [...]

Is this the worst ever Premier League performance?

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Jonathan Walters must wish he had never got up in the morning. We will let the video speak for itself, but let's just say: 1. Brilliant own goal 2. Standard own goal 3. Horrendous penalty If you see him for the next few days, just give him a cuddle and tell him it will be [...]

Has David Luiz cut his hair?

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If there is one footballer whose hair gets more attention than Mario Balotelli, it's David Luiz. Whilst we less than agree with the 'banter' of Chelsea fans' wig-wearing, it is fair to say that the Brazilian's curls have something of a cult following. Well, it seems that there may be a need for serious mourning, [.

PSV play friendly against Thai prison team

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Whilst clubs embarking on Asian tours in pre or mid season is nothing unusual. However, PSV have broken the mould markedly. After a 2-0 defeat to Muanthong United, the players seeming punishment was to visit Klong Prem prison, one of the biggest jails in the country. The players took a tour of the prison before [.

Dutch player Ricardo Van Rhijn does Houdini vanishing act

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This video was uploaded by Ajax on their official Youtube channel, and is an early contender for the sought after 'magic trick within football' award. U21 player Ricardo Van Rhijn is the Harry Houdini in the video, who uses his manager to initiate an incredible disappearing act. Enjoy.

New Wolves manager Dean Saunders tells his ‘troops’ to stay out of McDonalds

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Newly-appointed Wolves manager Dean Saunders has heralded his arrival at Molineux with a speech that veered between military discipline and nutritional advice. The Welshman wants his players to be unquestioning soldiers, working selflessly towards a common goal. But that doesn't necessarily mean laying down their lives.

Manchester City’s new signing is… Jamie Oliver

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Manchester City's recent transfer strategy has involved snapping up the best British talent, but supporters probably didn't see their latest signing coming. The Premier League champions have agreed a deal with TV chef Jamie Oliver. He's signed a five-year deal to provide matchday catering for supporters at the Etihad Stadium.

Wolves players, start to worry if Dean Saunders produces a goat this weekend

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New Wolves manager Dean Saunders tells an entertaining story about his encounters with goats during his playing days in Turkey.

Manchester United chief executive David Gill set to negotiate to sign David Gil

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Manchester United chief executive David Gill is set to head the club's efforts to sign his near-namesake. The Red Devils are reportedly interested in signing 18-year-old Atletico Madrid goalkeeper David Gil. United scout Martin Ferguson, Sir Alex Ferguson's brother, has been keeping a close eye on the Spain under 20 international and the club don't [.

It’s a huge weekend for Lambert, Mancini, Suarez, Newcastle

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Paul Lambert Paul Lambert was part of this column last week, and then he won. However, thanks to a bloody ridiculous shambles of a performance against Bradford City in midweek. One step forward and three steps back at the moment for Villa, and Lambert is still hugely under the microscope. Villa desperately need some experience [.

Video: Peru U20 keeper Angelo Campos’ incredible double-save recovery

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Left horribly exposed by his defenders' inability to deal with a long ball, Peru under 20 goalkeeper Angelo Campos made a split-second decision to just charge out of his goal towards Uruguay striker Gonzalo Bueno and hope for the best. After completely missing the ball, Campos appeared to have left Bueno with an easy chance.

Bet’s be ‘avin you – Betting tips for the 12-13 January

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A ridiculous start to the betting year for this column. I don't want to brag and boast too much because that's probably how Kerry Katona felt when being awarded the Mum of the Year trophy. As Kerry would be able to tell you were she here with me, things can very quickly go downhill. However, [...]

Ryan Giggs: 20 years of the Manchester United veteran in Merlin stickers

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Ryan Giggs has been around for a long time. A long, long time. Stick around for as long as the Welsh wizard and you're able to track your ageing process through the medium of football stickers. That's just what's been done here as all 20 Merlin Premier League stickers of Ryan Giggs have been brought [.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants ‘exceptional’ transfer window signing

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Arsenal will only bring in "exceptional" players during the current transfer window, according to manager Arsene Wenger. The Gunners boss reiterated that his aims for January were to get players whose contracts are expiring to agree new deals (this doesn't have to be done in January, Arsene) and to get injured players back to fitness [.

“Oh, f**king hell!” – Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini gets one Balotelli question too many

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Roberto Mancini was obviously hoping to have left the latest Mario Balotelli controversy behind him this week after professing that the striker would have 100 more chances at the club. So, he was a bit dismayed when the first question at today's press conference related to Balotelli. A smiling Mancini replied: "Oh, f**king hell!

Rio Ferdinand gives rail passenger nice surprise

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Rio Ferdinand may come across as something of a dick at times on Twitter, being gloriously out of touch with fans, but he should be hugely respected for his latest Twitter act. For when a lady saw Rio Ferdinand on her train, she tweeted her friend to let her know of her excitement. The friend [...]

AFC Wimbledon’s Jack Midson uses Twitter as a football diary

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Bloody modern football eh? AFC Wimbledon striker Jack Midson is using Twitter to organise his social diary around his football work meetings. Rather than using any of his contacts at the club to ask them when a particular football match is, he instead contacted them via Twitter. It seems a slightly strange way of doing [.

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli goes blonde

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With all the camouflage Bentleys and bathroom pyrotechnics, you might be forgiven for thinking that Mario Balotelli already has enough fun. But he's decided to put the old claim that blondes have more fun to the test by dyeing his hair.

Manchester United flop Bebe scores for Rio Ave to give them cup success

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It has not been a great two years at Manchester United for £7.8million signing Bebe. Two league appearances, a four-game loan spell at Besiktas that was ended after he broke a team curfew, and the now constant feature of inclusion in many a 'worst ever Premier League signings' list. However, a ray of light for [.

Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos sent-off for kicking opponent in the face

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The thing with a winter break in football is that it forces a hardened card addict like Sergio Ramos to go cold turkey. Let them loose on a football pitch again in January and they're bound to overdose. The Real Madrid defender got his fix during last night's victory over Celta Vigo. He satisfied his [.

GIF It: Branislav Ivanovic’s double balls-up (Chelsea 0-2 Swansea)

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Things are really hotting up in the Crappyteam Won Cup, the competition no self-respecting team wants to win. After Premier League side Aston Villa attempted to give League Two Bradford a bye to to the final in their semi-final first-leg on Tuesday night, last night it was the turn of European champions Chelsea to give [.

Only three players on Portsmouth’s 2013 official calendar still play for the club!

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We recently brought you news that Newcastle's 2013 calendar featuring the now departed Demba Ba as Mr January. Well, Toon Army, there's always someone worse off than yourself... and they're usually a Portsmouth supporter. One disgruntled Pompey fan has tweeted a photo of his modified 2013 club calendar.

‘Ave it! Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho belts a ball in anger

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Jose Mourinho is under a fair bit of pressure at Real Madrid right now and he gave a very public display of his frustrations during last night's match against Celta Vigo. The Special One scurried from his dugout to collect a ball and drop kick it in the general direction of a terrified member of [...

GIF It: Unconfirmed Richard Keys sighting at Bradford vs Aston Villa, Sian Massey does one

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Assistant referee Sian Massey wasn't hanging around at the end of last night's Capital One Cup semi-final between Bradford and Aston Villa. With an army of stewards helping her run the line for the closing stages (can't say she didn't need some help, right, Richard?) she had clearly decided not to wait to see if [.

Bradford beat Aston Villa in Capital One Cup semi-final first-leg

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The Bantams are still punching above their weight. After knocking Arsenal out of the Capital One Cup, Bradford have now put Aston Villa on the back foot with a stunning 3-1 win in last night's semi-final first-leg at Valley Parade last night. Striker Nahki Wells gave the League Two side a first-half lead, and centre-back [.

Newcastle car washer chases Chelsea’s Demba Ba on Twitter for alleged unpaid valet bill

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#askba are u ever gonna pay me the £40 for valeting ur car? take it as a no as u moved away lee donnnelley (@ljdvalet) January 8, 2013 A disgruntled car washer from Newcastle has taken to Twitter to chase Demba Ba for an allegedly unpaid bill for £40. Lee Donnelly, posting on Twitter [...]

Former Everton man Andy Van Der Meyde told his wife he was going to a hotel to rest his injury, was actually living with another woman

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Ex-Everton flop Andy Van Der Meyde has lifted the lid on how his life spiralled out of control during his time on Merseyside. In a candid interview with BBC Radio Five Live, the Dutchman speaks openly about a number of problems in his personal life. Perhaps the most bizarre example of this is the story [.

Hard Tackle: Iker Casillas pinches Ronaldo’s bum on the Ballon D’Or red carpet

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Update: It's regular old Ronaldo's bum, not Cristiano Ronaldo's. Spain keeper Iker Casillas treated himself to a sneaky fondle of his former Real Madrid team-mate's backside as Ronaldo posed for photos and interviews on the red carpet at the Ballon D'Or awards ceremony. Via 101GG

Newcastle United’s official 2013 calendar cruelly features Demba Ba as Mr January

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Newcastle fans treated to the club's official calendar for Christmas have been forced to spend the first month of the year looking at a player who's no longer at St James' Park. Despite him being out of the door as soon as the transfer window opened, Demba Ba was picked to open the 2013 calendar. [..

Goal of the Year: Former Chelsea youngster Miroslav Stoch wins the 2012 Puskas Award

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This was the goal of 2012, according to the 2012 FIFA Puskas Award. A long-range, controlled volley from Miroslav Stoch for Turkish side Fenerbahce against Genclerbirligi was deemed to be the best strike of last year. The Slovakian beat the likes of Lionel Messi, Radamel Falcao and Neymar to win the honour.

Bolton confiscate Marvin Sordell’s phone over ‘Twitter obsession’

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Dno if people realised but if you didnt, i dont really care how im perceived or what people think of me. You dont know me is all ill say... Marvin Sordell (@MarvinSordell) January 2, 2013 Bolton striker Marvin Sordell has had his mobile phone confiscated by the club in a bid to overcome his [...]

Advertising firm gets the ultimate 5-a-side ringer as Ronaldo becomes their intern

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Ronaldo's career never found time for a move to England... until now. The former Brazilian striker is set to join Sir Martin Sorrell's WPP advertising agency for a work placement. The double World Cup winner has set up a marketing firm since hanging up his boots and is now keen to learn all the tricks [.

QPR defender Ryan Nelsen set to be named as Toronto FC manager today

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The January transfer window is the last chance to desert a sinking Premier League ship, but QPR centre-back Ryan Nelsen is poised to take an unusual exit route today. The former Blackburn and Spurs defender is being tipped to be named as the new manager of MLS side Toronto FC. He would replace Paul Mariner, [.

Blackburn Rovers issue full apology to Sam Allardyce

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Presumably it was an effort to ward off any potential legal action for defamation and to signal the last cutting of links to the their former manager, but Blackburn Rovers today issued an apology on their club website for quotes attributed to former manager Steve Kean. The bungling Scot had strolled into a bar in [.

Iker Casillas rejects Real Madrid captain’s armband

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All is not well at the Bernabeu. Manager Jose Mourinho's name is booed before every home game after the club now face a battle for second place as they have lost ground on leader Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Club captain Iker Casillas has particularly suffered recently, relegated to the bench by the manager in favour [.

Arsenal have a themed nursery in Norway

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This is verging on propaganda, isn't it? The owners of a nursery in Norway are such big Arsenal fans that they have themed their place of education on their favourite football team. The Ruselokka barnehage nursery was the subject of a news report in Oslo, which interviewed some of the children. The kids are dressed [.

Video: Greek kids’ team scores amazing team goal

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ΑΟ.ΓΙΑΝΝΙΝΑ-ΑΤΡΟΜΗΤΟΣ 6-1, 20 σερί πάσες και γκολ! by kokoretsi The players involved in this video are not from Barcelona; they're from a Greek youth team. But that didn't stop them scoring an incredible team goal in a recent match. It could so easily have been a sloppy goal conceded at their own end, but instead [.

Top 10 conclusions: FA Cup third round weekend

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1. Luis Suarez: controversy seeks him out like a ball to an outstretched hand. 2. FA Cup third weekend was a great advert for the January transfer window. With Demba Ba and Daniel Sturridge both on target on their debuts, perhaps it's not such a bad time to splash your cash. 3. Hastings striker Bradley [.

Luton devise a plan to help Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea to deal with crosses

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Ingenious. Got a keeper who's a bit dubious underneath the high ball? Simply place a sign saying 'CLAIMS SPECIALISTS' behind his goal facing the opposition strikers for the entire match. They won't even bother crossing the ball anymore knowing that the goalie would only claim it from the air like a specialist in any case.

Video: 1924 US Open Cup Final

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We tend to think of football as being a relatively recent phenomenon in the USA. Sure, there's the latest incarnation of Major League Soccer, a league which only began in 1993 but which is now increasingly respected for its competitiveness and professionalism. The roots of the modern development phase were in the marketing exercise of [.

GIF It: Cameraman captures surprisingly little of Victor Moses’ goal celebration (Chelsea 5-1 Southampton)

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Being a cameraman at top level football can't be easy given the pace of the game. But the situation isn't helped by pesky so-and-so's like Victor Moses who insist on jumping out of shot all the time. The cameraman at Chelsea vs Southampton's FA Cup third round clash thought he was perfectly placed to capture [.

Video: French steward tries to catch pitch invader, gets tackled by hoardings

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Shades of Hot Fuzz here, with a French steward playing the part of Nick Frost. The footage comes from the Coupe de France match between Chauray v Lorient. The pitch invader is already on his back to the stands by the time anyone seems to notice him, so the steward is always playing catch-up. While [.

Crystal Palace do little to deter Manchester United and Tottenham’s interest in Wilfried Zaha

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Via Alan Pollock

Boooo! Luis Suarez cheats to score against non-league Mansfield Town

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He's at it again! Not content with handling the ball on the line in the World Cup against Ghana and then celebrating when the penalty was missed, biting the ear of an opponent when at Ajax and getting involved in a race row with Patrice Evra, Luis Suarez has struck again. His Liverpool side brushed [.

GIF It: Is Craig Gardner’s bullet effort goal of the round in the FA Cup?

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Sunderland's trip to the Reebok Stadium could best be described using the cliche of 'a game of two halves'. Sunderland were poor during the first half and the Championship side deservedly led at the break. It was a lead they doubled when Keith Andrews headed home but, after Steven Fletcher had pulled one back for [.

Video evidence that Joe Hart takes a mean free kick

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England do not struggle for free kick takers, with Rooney, Gerrard, Lampard, Walcott and Milner fancying their chances whenever a set piece becomes available. However, perhaps it is time for a little re-think, because the national team may have their own version of Jose Chilavert or Rogerio Ceni. The above video was taken this week [.

Manchester United fan annoys his wife with goal celebration

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This. Is. Beautiful. You may think that the magic of the FA Cup has been lost recently, possibly since Manchester United opted out of the tournament in 1999. Managers picking understrength sides don't help, but videos such as these perhaps show that a touch of that ol' magic remains. The video has gone viral, which [.

Sky Sports match commentary has impressive typo

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Mauro Boselli has not had a good time since joining Wigan Athletic for £6million, but it seems that he will now go to any lengths possible to register for the club. During the Latics' draw in the FA Cup to Bournemouth, Sky Sports' website had live commentary on from the DW Stadium, and they described [.

Mansfield Town boss can win honeymoon with win over Liverpool

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Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox probably does not need any persuading to try his hardest to beat Liverpool in the FA Cup tomorrow. His side take part in the glamour tie of the round, and his non-Legaue side will take on the mighty 'Pool for the first time since 1970. However, Cox may just have [...]

Hard Tackle: Dinamo Zagreb player gets transfer listed due to wife’s sexual revelations

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The wife of Croatian footballer Dino Drpic must feel a little bit sheepish this morning, after her big mouth resulted in her husband being placed on the transfer list by Dinamo Zagreb. Nives Celzijus is her name, and she has recently written her autobiography. In the weighty tome she explained how her and her husbands [.

Bet’s be ‘avin you: Football betting tips for 5-6 January

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It's back. Like a horrible case of post-work Christmas party herpes or a Santa with Alzheimer's it keeps on returning, and after an elongated break for the festive period Bet's Be ‘Avin You is here. The festive footy has been full of awkward games to trip you up (Chelsea losing at home to QPR, Man [.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s new Nike CR Mercurial IX boots help you to pick your lottery numbers

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Famed for his natty fashion sense, Cristiano Ronaldo is now opting to get statty instead. The Real Madrid star is to don a pair of specially designed CR Mercurial IX to commemorate his achievements in 2012. The boots have seven numbers featured on to the side as well as featured within a CR7 graphic.

It’s a huge weekend for… Lambert, McLeish, Benitez and Sporting Lisbon

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Paul Lambert It doesn't rain, but it pours. Paul Lambert is in charge of a side seemingly sinking into decline, and this is not just a recent problem. Only three sides in the country gained less points per game in 2012 than Villa, and they have been in relegation form for the best part of [...]

Manchester City star Mario Balotelli seeks solace in the club chaplain

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Manchester City are hoping their club chaplain will help to diffuse the training ground bust-up that saw a physical altercation between Mario Balotelli and Roberto Mancini. It's emerged that the 22-year-old striker had been having regular one-to-one sessions with Rev Peter Horlock before the incident as he attempts to curb the behaviour that has left [.

Arsenal fans rejoice: Walcott signs!

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That's right, we've put together a selection of some of the finest signs from around the picturesque Norfolk village of Walcott for all Gooners to enjoy.

Video: AC Milan’s Kevin Prince Boateng leads team off pitch after racial abuse

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AC Milan's friendly against lower league side Pro Patria was abandoned yesterday after Kevin Prince Boateng was racially abused. The former Spurs and Portsmouth man belted the ball in the general direction of the monkey chants before stripping out of his AC Milan kit and leading his team-mates off the pitch.

Chelsea complete signing of Newcastle striker Demba Ba

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Newcastle striker Demba Ba has finalised his move to European champions Chelsea. The Blues unveiled their new signing this lunchtime after he agreed a three-and-a-half year deal at Stamford Bridge. Ba said: "It feels good to be here, I'm very happy and very proud," the 27-year-old told the Chelsea club website.

Chelsea’s Marko Marin’s filthy challenge on Stephane M’bia

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Chelsea somehow managed to lose at home to QPR last night, but it could have been worse. Marko Marin, who has hardly played for the Blues this season, and he should definitely have been sent off in the opening few minutes. After miscontrolling the ball, Marin slid into a tackle on Stephane M'Bia with his [.

Lookalikes: Manchester United legend Eric Cantona is a closet Liverpool fan

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OTP always assumed that Eric Cantona's loyalties lay with Manchester United. But who's that lurking behind Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill during last night's Premier League clash at Anfield?

Video: Newcastle defender James Perch finds £5 on the pitch during Everton match

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Who says footballers don't know the value of anything? Newcastle defender James Perch was acutely aware that a fiver would be of great use to someone. It's just that nobody wanted to take it off him. The utility man found a £5 note on the St James' Park pitch during last night's 1-2 defeat to [...]

GIF It: Shaun Wright Phillips scores QPR’s winner against Chelsea

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QPR's 1-0 victory over Chelsea was remarkable for a number of reasons. Firstly, it showed that nothing spurs a team into form quite like Harry Redknapp being in charge as a transfer window opens. Secondly, it was QPR's first away win of the season and it came against their bitter local rivals with the added [.

Video: Manchester City keeper Joe Hart stars in dodgy Head & Shoulders advert

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You'd think one of the perks of being a multi-millionaire footballer is that you wouldn't have to associate yourself with anything embarrassing in order to make a decent living. But England and Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart was more than happy to become the new face of dandruff. Hart is the star of a new [.

Hard Tackle: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger molests himself in the dugout

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At the start of the week we brought you the hilarious GIF of Arsene Wenger struggling with the zip on his sleeping bag coat. That's now been reworked to show something considerably more repulsive. Via RedCafe

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre unveils the club’s first four signings of the transfer window

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Obviously everyone knew about Daniel Sturridge's arrival, but we're not sure about the other players that Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre is taking on a tour of Melwood. Solid lads all of them but with their lack of mobility, they're not exactly built in the Brendan Rodgers mould. Still, they'll probably be more effective than [.

Newport County conduct their transfer business a little too publicly

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Back in the day, transfers in football would be conducted by fax, with clubs desperately hammering away at whirring machines to get deals completed in time. However, football is a much-changed beast, and if any incident is indicative of the modern game it is the loan move from Lincoln to Newport of Jake Thomson.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has training ground bust-up with Mario Balotelli

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Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has been involved in a physical altercation with manager Roberto Mancini. The pair had to be separated during a training session ahead of this weekend's FA Cup third round clash with Watford. Sources claim that Mancini attempted to throw Balotelli to the ground during the scruffle, but the younger man's [.

Top 10 conclusions: Premier League, New Year’s Day

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1. Aston Villa will be delighted not to have started the new year in the manner that they ended 2012. But the fragility of their defence was still there for everyone to see as they somehow managed to snatch a 2-2 draw from the jaws of victory, which they had snatched from the jaws of [...]

Oh man! Omani cameraman produces an unbelievable bit of skill

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This might just be the greatest ever skill performed at football match by an individual not actually at the ground to play. The scene was Oman, during a match in which Salalah beat Sur on penalties in the Sultan Qaboos Cup, but from such inauspicious beginnings comes a skill of world class quality. With the [.

El Hadji Diouf has photo taken with child blacked-up in his honour

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Don't quite now how to cover this one, but fair to say that the competition for the weirdest sporting photo of 2013 has been ruled almost obsolete on New Year's Day. A Leeds United supporting parent actually deemed it appropriate to engineer a photo opportunity with player El Hadji Diouf by blacking up his child [.

Manchester City move advertising boards to deal with Stoke City’s long throw-ins

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Every little helps eh?! Manchester City comfortably disposed of Stoke on New Year's Day, with a 3-0 scoreline demonstrating the comfortable nature of the victory. The fact that Stoke were only credited by Opta with having one shot on target in the entire match could possibly be due to the sneak tactics of the home [.

Marouane Fellaini – The reluctant ladies man

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Whilst Marouane Fellaini's recent ban was originally thought to have been engineered to guarantee him more time with the Leffe and turkey sandwiches on the sofa, it in fact appears that a different sort of bird was the reason for his deliberate absence. For it seems that the crazy-haired Belgian is proving to be quite [.