Off the Post Archives for January 2013

It’s a huge weekend for…Wigan, Spurs, West Ham and Serie A Saturday

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Wigan Wigan may have won two of their last three games, against Reading and Newcastle, but with Aston Villa's consecutive victories they still remain three points within the relegation zone. That said, above Villa things are extremely tight. Norwich are twelfth, but a victory over the Canaries on Saturday would leave Wigan four points behind [.

It wasn’t Lee Trundle! Rotund football freestyler revealed

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Last weekend we brought you the homemade video of a rather large football freestyler in South Wales, and joked that it might be ex-Swansea striker Lee Trundle. Well, the joke is clearly on us because he has been revealed as Andrew Cassidy. Sky Sports News caught up with 50-year-old Cassidy, who works as a fisherman [.

Serie B side Triestina use fake vinyl supporters

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When Triestina's match was scheduled for TV coverage, their owner decided that he was embarrassed by the fact that there were low attendances in their 32,000 seater stadium. General Manager Marco Dernaz made the decision to place vinyl posters over 10,000 seats in order to make the ground look full on television.

Japan invents new sport… bicycle football

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Those pesky Japanese do love a clever invention. Playstations, pocket calculators, bullet trains, CD players and tamagotchi are just a few creations that have changed the way the world operates, and now they have altered football forever. Because this, ladies and gentleman, is bicycle football. I haven't really got a lot more for you than [.

Video – Werder Bremen players fight in training

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It is getting to the stage of the season when things start to get a little bit tense as teams fight to win leagues or avoid relegation. Bundesliga side Werder Bremen have under-performed this season, and are hanging around the relegation one in Germany. The pressure of the situation has clearly got to the players, [.

Chelsea and Aston Villa to meet in NextGen Series Champions League final

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English teams may have under-performed in the Champions League final this season, with no representative from Blighty in the quarter final of Europe's premier cup competition. However, fear not. It may be something rather tenuous to cling to, but the future looks a lot safer. The NextGen Series pits together U19 teams from some of [.

Are Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck telepathic partners? Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole put them to the test

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In their heyday back in the late 1990s and early 2000s Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke set the bar very high for forward partnerships. Like apossessivecouple, they new exactly where their other half would be at all times. Increasingly the duo of Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck are being commended for their instinctive link-up play, [.

Lyon Chief Bernard Lacombe tells football phone-in caller to ‘stick to cooking’

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Bernard Lacombe, who once played for and coached Lyon and now acts as a Special Advisor to the club, has committed a fairly dreadful sexist gaffe. When a lady named Sonia rang a radio station to criticise French international Karim Benzema, Lacombe dealt with her in an interestin fashion: "I do not discuss football with [.

Barcelona youngster scores after just five seconds of match

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Barcelona's youth teams are probably strong enough without getting a helping hand from their opposition, but their Under 9s team got exactly that against Sant Just last weekend. Barca won the game 15-1, but when you consider that youngster (they're probably all youngsters, in fairness) Marc Jurado scored after just five seconds, as the timer [.

This better not be a trend – more astronauts spotted at Mexico v USA

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Oh dear oh dear. First Mario Balotelli took offence at the presence of a couple of astronauts, and then Christian Benteke attracted a couple of astronaut fans complete with banners. I think we all hoped that that would be the end of the episode, but when Mexico faced USA on Tuesday more fancy dress spacemen [.

Everton Ladies’ Toni Duggan promises to strip off to ‘promote the game’

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Womens' football has thankfully been elevated in recent years with the introduction of the WSL summer league, but it appears that Everton's Toni Duggan is doing her bit to keep stereotypical views at the forefront of our minds. The striker has promised to strip off in a bid to promote the game. "David Beckham has [.

Advert mocking Chelsea striker Fernando Torres returns to Stamford Bridge

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Remember the Paddy Power billboard situated next to Stamford Bridge that mocked Fernando Torres? After a protracted legal process, Chelsea eventually won the right to have the advert removed on the grounds that it damaged Torres' image rights. But just days after the local council agreed and pulled the billboard down, it's back in digital [.

Top five conclusions: Montenegro 1-1 England

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1. Crowd trouble at an England match and the English supporters are nothing but bewildered spectators. How times have changed. 2. Nothing signifies an ultimately disappointing draw is on the horizon quite like an early England goal. 3. Given Joe Hart's propensity to find touch with such regularity, he might have been the man to [.

Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye: Jonny Wilkinson helped me through depression

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Rugby World Cup-winner Jonny Wilkinson helped Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye to battle depression, the Frenchman has admitted. Cabaye revealed he turned to Wilkinson's book for advice as he struggled with depression after Euro 2012. The 27-year-old said: said: "Depression? I am not afraid to say that.

Bolivian president Evo Morales dresses Lionel Messi in a poncho

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With the world's best footballer in town for a World Cup qualifier, Bolivia's president Evo Morales took the opportunity to foist the national dress upon him. Morales handed Lionel Messi a poncho to wear when the two met. The Barcelona star duly obliged, although he seemed eager to get out of his poncho again as [.

Burnley fan applies for Blackburn Rovers job – and gets shortlisted

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When Burnley fan James McDonagh cheekily applied for the Blackburn Rovers, he probably thought that a pen-pusher at Ewood Park might raise an eyebrow and have a giggle when it was opened. However, James received an email back from the club indicating that he had been shortlisted for the role! McDonagh told the Sun: "They're [.

New Zealand’s Shane Smeltz takes horrible kick to the face

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New Zealand beat minnows New Caledonia 2-1 last Friday, and attacker Shane Smeltz took a horrendous kick to the face during the final seconds, which unbelievably was not seen as worthy of a penalty. The referee gave a goal kick for a smash into the head which led to the injury, a picture of which [..

OFI Crete’s floodlights fall into the club’s car park

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You think that the weather has been hard to you recently, with all the snow causing football matches to be off? And you may think that you have money problems after the latest budget? Well, on both of those issues, Crete wins. Greece's economy is failing, with the island relying on tourism, and now the [.

Video: David Beckham’s slippery free-kick FAIL

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As part of his ambassadorial trip to China, David Beckham illustrated why he recommends taking free-kicks in football boots rather than formal shoes. The PSG player fell over as he attempted to demonstrate his legendary prowess with a dead ball.

Video: Liverpool’s Jonjo Shelvey fires in a free-kick as England U21 beat Austria U21

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England under-21s picked up a comfortable 4-0 win over nine-man Austria under-21s at Brighton's Amex Stadium last night. Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey opened the scoring with a low free-kick from the edge of the box. A penalty from Josh McEachran and goals from Marvin Sordell and Connor Wickham completed the scoring.

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni vows to “punch” Wigan’s James McCarthy

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Wigan Athletic midfielder James McCarthy has been threatened with violence by Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni if he cannot shake off his shyness. Trapattoni wants the former Hamilton youngster to come out of his shell and make his presence felt on the international stage. And if he doesn't, his national team manager will punch [.

Simonsig facing uncertain future

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Simonsig won the Arkle Trophy last week, as he was entitled to on all current form. The gallant Overturn set out to make it a jumping test but he was always going to struggle to lead out the race. Overturn certainly could not afford to make a mistake and once he had clattered the third [...]

Top five conclusions: San Marino 0-8 England

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1. This was the perfect match to lull England into a false sense of security ahead of the Montenegro match. 2. Great to see Joe Hart back to his best after some shaky form. 3. San Marino's best performer was the stadium announcer, who undermined all the England egos by reversing their names as if [..

Jose Mourinho will be at Chelsea next year, says his ex-Porto youth coach

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Jose Mourinho's former Porto youth team coach has 'broken the news' that the Special One will return to Chelsea next season. Rui Sa Lemos posted a photo of Stamford Bridge on Twitter accompanied by the message: "Mourinho's home next year." He also said: "I'm not guessing, I'm giving news." His Twitter account was shutdown shortly [.

Video: Watch Mario Balotelli’s only regret

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Given that trouble seems to stalk him so closely, you might think Mario Balotelli would be a man with a few regrets. But the AC Milan striker reckons he has only one... and it pre-dates his topsy-turvy time at Manchester City. Asked about his regrets, the Italy international said: "In my life I would only [.

Manchester City fan banned for using electronic cigarette

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Football stewards are renowned for being a touch heavy-handed and pedantic, but given the amount of crap they have to deal with from fans, one cannot really blame them. However, stewards at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium have surpassed themselves for taking away the season ticket of a fan they believed to be smoking, when the [.

GIF It – Rangers striker Lee McCulloch’s ridiculous dive

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After a poor run in a league in which they should be winning every single game, Rangers had their chance to show off to the watching public that they still had quality within their ranks. There was no Premier League or Championship football, and Sky's live League One game had been postponed due to the [.

Have we found Lee Trundle? – video evidence

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Not heard from Lee Trundle in a while? Well, looking at the evidence, we might just have found him. 1. A rather 'chunky' frame 2. Some decent skills with a football, including that roll on the neck he used to love 3. The guffawing Welsh accents in the video Yes, that's all the evidence you [...]

England thrash San Marino – Watch all eight goals

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For those who took the chance to see a loved one this weekend as football fell to a drearily low level, above is all eight of England's goals in their pedestrian victory over San Marino in one video. I'll describe them for you now: Shoddy OG Jinking run Tap-in Rifle Sidefoot Free kick Headed tap-in [.

Rio Ferdinand defends his trip to Al Jazeera TV in Dubai

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This Rio Ferdinand mess seems to show no sign of abating. After the Manchester United defender pulled out of Roy Hodgson's England squad for games against San Marino and Montenegro, Ferdinand then made the decision to make a 15-hour round trip to Dubai in order to carry out some punditry for Al Jazeera.

USA beat Costa Rica in crazy snow conditions

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Those Northern Irishmen are soppy sods aren't they. Having cancelled the country's game against Russia because of silly things like concerns over the genuine safety of players and fans, such logic was ignored by those in charge of USA's game against Costa Rica. The USMNT won the fixture 1-0, but that wasn't in any way [.

GIF It: Even the England Supporters Band can’t stand the sound of the England Supporters Band

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Even members of the band are now wincing at the familiar dirge that accompanies all England matches.

Mario Balotelli scores a golazo for Italy against Brazil

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Mario Balotelli just seems a happy boy doesn't he, and we all know what happens when Mario is in the mood. His Italy side fell two goals behind during their friendly against Brazil in Geneva last night, after Fred and Oscar had scored first half goals. However, the game finished as a draw, and after [.

Newcastle’s Fabrizio Coloccini cheers on San Lorenzo

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Fabricio Coloccini made no secret during the January transfer window of his desire to return back to Argentina to San Lorenzo, a club where his father is the coach. Colo eventually agreed to stay until the summer, but Newcastle fans have begun to accept that he will leave. Videos such as this, showing their captain [.

Why Liverpool could lose their grip on Luis Suarez

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Damage limitation is a strategy with which Liverpool are becoming increasingly familiar in their dealings with Luis Suarez. The striker's recent comments that if another team "with more prospects of competing in international club competition games" approached him "they are very welcome", will not only have put Europe's top clubs on high alert, but will [.

Luis Suarez’s naughty lunge on a Liverpool Ladies player

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Luis Suarez's commitment to equality is well documented. The Liverpool striker is exacting in his demands of fairness to all including his fouling policy. The Uruguayan demonstrated this by leaving the boot in on a member of the Liverpool Ladies team at a media event ahead of their season.

Video: Manchester United bound Wilfried Zaha scores a beauty for England U21

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Wilfried Zaha scored a stunning opener in England under-21s 3-0 win over Romania last night. The Manchester United new boy, currently back at Crystal Palace on loan, found the net for the first goal, with Liverpool duo Jack Robinson and Jonjo Shelvey also on the scoresheet. See match highlights after the jump.

Video: Lionel Messi gets son Thiago’s hands tattooed on his leg

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From now on, when La Liga defenders kick Lionel Messi's legs in a desperate attempt to stop him they will be kicking his son's hands. Tiny Thiago Messi's handprints are now inked onto his dad's left calf. The fresh tattoo is yet to settle down and currently looks like Lionel might have fathered a sizeable [.

Video: Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray’s nine-hour saxophone solo

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Need some company for the working day? How does nine hours of Tony Mowbray playing the saxophone solo of Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street sound? You can get on with your work, and Tone will keep wailing away in the background. For nine hours. This masterpiece of hilarious pointlessness is the work of the Football Ramble.

A Huge Weekend for…Strachan, Trapattoni, Portugal, Rio and Your Partner

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Your significant other After the all-encompassing whirlwind of domestic football comes the dreary lull of the international break. There have been tumble weeds spotted rolling across Premier League and Championship pitches and the tabloids have resorted to making up transfer stories in a vain attempt to generate interest.

Sergio Ramos kisses a Fernando Torres picture

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Whilst Fernando Torres was probably disappointed to be forced to celebrate his 29th birthday with the news that he had been left out of the Spanish squad. However, it appears that Spain team mate Sergio Ramos, who will be hoping to make his 100th appearance for his country, is also missing Torres. The defender took [.

Kitman: New Celtic home shirt leaked

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Celtic have a new sponsor next season, with cider manufacturer Magners taking over the reins. The immediately evident change with the kit is the splitting of the wide green stripes into smaller stripes, the first time the club have made such a change. It also has a v-neck collar to show off Georgios Samaras' gorgeous [.

Rangers striker Francisco Sandaza gets duped by a Celtic fan

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Oh dear, Rangers striker Francisco Sandaza may not be at Ibrox for much longer, after a rather embarrassing incident was revealed this week. The Spanish striker was duped by a Celtic-supporting taxi driver who pretended to be a football agent from the MLS called Jack McGonigle. Ridiculously, not only did Sandaza lap up the story [.

Kevin Doyle dropped from Republic of Ireland squad by text message

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We can't imagine that Giovanni Trapattoni would be able to use a mobile phone, but it appears that he is better with technology than man management. Kevin Doyle has been a fixture in the Irish squad for seven years since making his debut, but he has been dropped from this week's match against Sweden.

‘You look like Joey Barton’ comment leads to pub fight

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A pub fight started after one man told another he looked like Joey Barton, a court heard. Sean Beckwith, 21, and Maxwell McStravick, 40, admitted using threatening behaviour after Beckwith had told McStravick he looked like the former Newcastle bad-boy while both drank at the Tap and Spile pub in Darlington.

Wolves keeper Carl Ikeme breaks his hand punching a tactics board

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Carl Ikeme is likely to be ruled out for the rest of the season after breaking his hand by punching a tactics board. The Wolves keeper lashed out in frustration after manager Dean Saunders gave him an earful over the farcical own goal he had conceded. Saunders initially claimed that Ikeme, who was subbed at [.

Fabio Capello thought Newcastle defender Steven Taylor was a midfielder

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Former England manager Fabio Capello turned down the chance to watch Newcastle's Steven Taylor claiming he was "all right for midfielders", the player has claimed. The centre-back has been called up to the England squad as a late replacement for the injured Gary Cahill. But an international career seemed an entirely remote prospect last season [.

AS Roma’s Twitter feed goes a little Francesco Totti mad

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Francesco Totti is such a legend at Roma that it wouldn't be a surprise if he had been in the running for the Pope job announced last week. As it happens, his status of deity at the Stadio Olimpico was confirmed on Sunday evening when he became the second most prolific goalscorer in Serie A [...]

Introducing the Manchester United raver

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Manchester United's game against Reading on Saturday was a touch tedious, if we're honest, but one fan didn't seem to mind. The lad took advantage of the extra space with people going to get food and drink to rave up and down his row at Old Trafford, seemingly oblivious to looking like a complete clown.

Top 10 conclusions: Premier League weekend, 16-17 March

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Fellapen by Samu21213 1. Manchester City seem determined to make the title run-in as dull as possible. It's surely all over after their defeat to Everton. 2. Toffees midfielder Marouane Fellaini benefited from a little known by-law of the game whereby a penalty cannot be awarded for handball if any part of your hair is [.

GIF It: Cross Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and he will slap you

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Following the defeats to Bayern Munich and Spurs, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is taking a new hardline approach, including slapping his backroom staff when they step out of line.

Video: AEK Athens youngster Giorgos Katidis banned from playing for Greece after Nazi salute

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Ο χαιρετισμός του Γιώργου Κατίδη! by kokoretsi AEK Athens midfielder Giorgos Katidis has been banned for life from the Greece national team after celebrating a goal with a Nazi salute. The 20-year-old ex-Greece under-19 team skipper marked his winning goal against Veria with a straight-armed gesture.

Video: Lee Nelson’s Well Good Pitch Invasion (Everton vs Manchester City)

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Comedian Simon Brodkin was arrested after invading the Goodison Park pitch in full Manchester City training kit ahead of Saturday's match against Everton. Brodkin, best known for his BBC Three show in the guise of his comic creation Lee Nelson, joined City players for their warm-up ahead of the match dressed as his footballing alter [.

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez wrestles with our football cliches

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Wigan don't exactly play dirty football under Roberto Martinez, so you can understand why the Latics boss' outstanding English has some limitations when it comes to defending ridiculous tackles. The Spaniard was mitigating for Callum McManaman's horror tackle against Newcastle yesterday. He riffed on the standard 'hasn't got a malicious bone in his body' defence.

Top five most promising youngsters in Europe

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1. Raphael Varane (Real Madrid) If you hadn't heard of Raphael Varane before the double El Clasico and the Champions League tie against Manchester United then no doubt you seriously took note of his performance. Aged just 19, he looks so incredibly comfortable yet so unbelievably reassuring in defence at one of the greatest clubs [.

Guernsey FC suffer from some impressive fixture congestion

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You hear Premier League managers moan often enough because their team is being forced to play three games in eight days as the 'business end' of the season hits home, but spare a thought for poor Guernsey FC of the Combined Counties League Premier Division, who have a mammoth schedule on their plate.

Everton’s Shane Duffy tweets support for the IRA

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Oh deary me. On the anniversary of the day that an IRA bomb in Warrington killed two children, Everton player Shane Duffy sent a tweet which gave support for the IRA. Which I think you'll agree is not a particularly bright idea. After receiving a stream of abuse, the player claimed that his phone had [.

GIF It: Callum McManaman’s horror tackle on Massadio Haidara (Wigan 2-1 Newcastle)

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The biggest talking point of Wigan's victory over Newcastle this afternoon was this outrageous tackle from Callum McManaman. The Latics youngster put Newcastle full-back Massadio Haidara in hospital with a crazy knee-high challenge, which went unpunished by referee Mark Halsey.

Goalkeeper finds novel way of avoiding being caught upfield

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We all love a scoring goalkeeper, but there are hazards of the trade when a goalie comes up for a corner. We all have horrible visions of an opposition player sending the ball goalwards from fifty yards, no player unable to intervene as the ball rolls over the line. Well in Egypt, it appears that [..

Ipswich Town’s Tyrone Mings gives tickets away to cashless fan

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Footballers get a bad rep. Many of the stories on this fine site revolve around diving, violence or f*ckwittery, but it is only fair that we highlight the kind actions of Ipswich Town's Tyrone Mings. The 19-year-old defender will not be on a huge wage packet, but when a Twitter follower contacted him to wish [.

Wolves defender David Davis’ horrendous own goal against Bristol City

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Probably fair to say that Wolves players David Davis and Carl Ikeme were fairly relieved that their side came back to beat Bristol City yesterday, because the opening goal for the visitors was fairly remarkable. There was no apparent danger when goalkeeper Ikeme played the ball out to Davis in defence, but Davis chose to [.

It’s a huge weekend for… Pochettino, excitement, QPR and Arsenal

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Mauricio Pochettino When Mauricio Pochettino first took over, his appointment was viewed cynically. However, with Southampton's initial impressive performances (including a victory over Manchester City) the common opinion was that Pochettino looked the proverbial dog's balls. However, that now remains the Saints' only victory since the Spaniard's appointment.

GIF It: Tottenham defender William Gallas scores Inter Milan’s equaliser with an own goal

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Heading into their Europa League second-leg against Inter Milan with a 3-0 lead, Spurs very nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory at the San Siro last night. An extra-time goal from Emmanuel Adebayor was enough to send Spurs through on away goals, but not before William Gallas had levelled the tie at 3-3 [.

GIF It: Fernando Torres gets kicked in the face, bleeds everywhere (Chelsea vs Steaua Bucharest)

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Fernando Torres is back! It turns out all the Chelsea striker needed to get back to his best was a shot to sneak through a defender's legs into the corner of the goal followed a swift kick to the nose. The bloodied Nando promptly ran around in an enthusiastic fashion that the Stamford Bridge crowd [.

Stoke City’s Brek Shea shows off the footballer onesie

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Dear God, is this a 'thing' now? Stoke City's Break Shea was photographed nd outed by team mate Geoff Cameron for wearing a Stoke City branded onesie to training during the cold weather, and the item of 'clothing' has gone down such a storm that the club shop will now be stocking them for purchase [.

GIF It – Newcastle’s Papiss Cisse goes all Temuri Ketsbaia with his celebration

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Papiss Cisse may have struggled at times this season to match his sterling efforts during the last campaign, but last night he scored the goal that took Newcastle into the last eight of the Europa League. So enamoured with his goal was Cisse that he lost the plot, channelling former Newcastle player Temuri Ketsbaia's style [.

Notts County heat their pitch with ‘cannabis’ heaters

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I think that we can file this under 'inventive'. League One club Notts County is planning to use lamps to heat their pitch and help the grass grow. Nothing unusual there, apart from that the lamps will be sourced from a police raid, and have previously been used to grow cannabis in the local area. [.

Palermo’s managerial madness continues in Serie A

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Brian McDermott was sacked this week, which instigated a period of fawning from various media outlets about how badly the Reading manager had been treated. Not as if his side were close to relegation or anything. Instead, lets put this in perspective by looking at the managerial record of Palermo in Serie A, whose President [.

OTP Rebounds: Manchester City’s summer clear-out, Gary Neville’s guide to assassination and Tottenham keeper Brad Friedel’s mum

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Playing tiki-taka with the interwebs Uber-pundit Gary Neville knows everything. Here's his guide to assassination [YouTube] Carlos Tevez, Gareth Barry, Edin Dzeko and Samir Nasri could all be sold by Manchester City this summer [Guardian] Young Athletic Bilbao fan not pleased by Fernando Llorente's impending move to Juventus [101GG] Brad Friedel inherits his boundless energy [.

Djimi Traore (I know!!) scores a wonder goal for Seattle Sounders

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Until now, Djimi Traore's most famous goal was his backwards twirl own goal against Burnley in the FA Cup a few years back for Liverpool. Now 33, it appears that Traore has been keeping something rather special in his locker the ability to produce a thwacking volley that hit the underside of the bar [.

New Pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio is a San Lorenzo supporter

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The new Pope was appointed yesterday, Argentinean Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Within two hours of the announcement, Argentinean league club San Lorenzo had published photos on its website of the religious leader holding up the club colours above his head. A fellow fan of the club, architect Oscar Lucchini, confirmed the link: "He lives in a [.

GIF It: Manchester United fans and Nani might wonder why Javi Martinez wasn’t sent-off against Arsenal

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Nani's red card against Real Madrid prompted much debate as to whether or not it was merited. Most Manchester United fans protested that it was an incorrect decision. And Roy Keane gleefully took up the case for the referee. As if to rub salt into the wounds, United supporters watching last night's match between Bayern [.

Video: Millwall beat Blackburn to reach FA Cup semi-final

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Millwall captain Danny Shittu headed his side to Wembley in last night's FA Cup quarter-final replay against Blackburn. The centre-back scored the only goal of the game as the Lions defeated Rovers to set up a semi-final clash against Wigan. Rovers fans might be keen to see how their side fared with the help of [.

Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez expects to be blamed for fixture pile-up

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Chelsea's interim manager Rafa Benitez has joked that he expected the club's supporters to blame him for their current fixture congestion. The Blues have a busy run-in. They have been playing fixture catch-up for most of the season after a trip to the Club World Cup and a run to the semi-finals of the Capital [.

GIF It: Lionel Messi’s stunning opener (Barcelona 4-0 AC Milan)

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If you need to create Champions League history by overturning a 2-0 first-leg deficit in order to progress in the tournament, it's nice to be able to call upon Lionel Messi to do this within the first five minutes of the second-leg. Despite being marked by five defenders at the time, Messi found the space [.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger rest Wojciech Szczesny over mental concerns

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Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny will be rested from tonight's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich due to concerns about his mental state, Arsene Wenger has confirmed. The Poland international will not feature as the Gunners attempt to some how turn around a 3-1 deficit from the first leg. Wenger explained: "He has played many games [.

Video: Hulk Hogan takes in some Asian Champions League action

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Wrestler Hulk Hogan was a surprise spectator for the AFC Champions League match between Al Jazira and Al Shabab. Hogan was in Abu Dhabi to see the game, with home side Al Jazira being held to a 1-1 draw by Saudi Arabian champions Al Shabab.

Arsenal youngster Alex Oxlade Chamberlain battles to record a voiceover

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It looks like Arsenal and England star Alex Oxlade Chamberlain doesn't have a future as a voiceover artist when he hangs up his boots. The young midfielder had a few reading problems as he attempted to lend his voice to a video celebrating the FA's 150th anniversary. The Ox seemed to particularly enjoy attributing England's [.

Galatasaray fans caught trying to dig a tunnel into Schalke’s stadium

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A group of Galatasaray supporters were caught trying to dig a tunnel into Schalke's ground to watch last night's Champions League match. Desperate to see their side in action, Turkish fans who had arrived in Gelsenkirchen without a ticket began burrowing below the stadium armed only with their hands.

Independiente defender karate kicks referee in the head

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South America just has to go one more level of crazy doesn't it? Earlier we brought you the video of Brighton's Ashley Barnes sent off for tripping up the referee, but Johnny Dos Santos of Independiente raised the stakes with a brutal kick to the head of the official after the final whistle of their [.

Former footballer Curtis Woodhouse tracks down Twitter troll

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When footballer Curtis Woodhouse retired from the game to become a professional boxer, he presumably hoped that he would be taking on the best fighters in the world one day. However, insteasd it seems that he will get more notoriety for a potential fight with a lad on Twitter who gave him dogs abuse for [.

Video – Brighton’s Ashley Barnes sent off for tripping up referee

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We've all thought it at one point or another, but for most of us clipping the referee's heels as he runs away remained firmly in our minds. Not for Brighton's Ashley Barnes, however, who earned himself a red card during his side's match against Bolton at the Reebok Stadium for doing exactly that on referee [.

Video: Amazing quadruple off the woodwork shot from Greece

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Tetraplo dokari by martelis Off The Post? Yep, and the rest. This footage comes from the Greek lower leagues. An Egeas Plomariou player thought he was about to find the net against Papanikolis. His shot beat the keeper but hit the post. Then the crossbar. Then the other post. Then the first post again.

Video: Pine marten pitch invader bites FC Zurich’s Loris Benito

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Everyone loves an animal pitch invader and last weekend's Swiss Super League match between FC Zurich and FC Thun was brightened up by the presence of a pine marten on the field of play. A pine marten with a penchant for the Benny Hill theme tune. The cheeky chap ran rings around the players and [...]

GIF It: Ian Harte’s incredible fall (Reading 1-2 Aston Villa)

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As Reading battle against relegation this season, left-back Ian Harte proved he's fighting an individual battle to stay up. The former Leeds man some how managed to fall over during Saturday's defeat to Aston Villa. Under very little pressure, with no opponent near him and without appearing to perform any fancy footwork, Harte just fell [.

Video: Newcastle’s Steven Taylor puts off Stoke City keeper Asmir Begovic

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Newcastle defender Steven Taylor can claim an 'assist' of sorts for Yohan Cabaye's free-kick against Stoke yesterday. Taylor had some fund trying to distract Begovic from his efforts to line-up the Potters' wall by stalking him across the goal-line blocking his view. And the plan worked as Cabaye curled in the equaliser in a 2-1 [.

Liverpool trialist Daniel Carr is an Arsenal supporter

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Liverpool might want to move fast if they want to sign their non-league trialist Daniel Carr. Reports suggest that Premier League rivals Chelsea are ready to hijack the Reds' move for Carr. If Arsenal join the race too that could put Brendan Rodgers' side out of the running completely. That's because Dulwich Hamlet striker Carr [.

Top 10 conclusions: Premier League weekend, 9-10 March

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1. There's been a robbery in north London. It appears Tottenham might have stolen Arsenal's self-destruct button. 2. It wasn't all doom and gloom for Spurs. Yes, they lost to Liverpool but their old boys secured an important victory over Sunderland. 3. After his stunning strike against the Black Cats, Andros Townsend has earned the [.

Top five conclusions: FA Cup quarter-final weekend

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1. A 5-0 win plus a replay between Manchester United and Chelsea: Manchester City were the undoubted winners of the weekend. 2. United can thank David De Gea's big toe for preventing them exiting two cup competitions in a week. 3. Wigan's Callum McManaman is probably no longer welcome on the Goodison Park terraces after [.

Aston Villa’s Nathan Baker scores horrible own goal against Reading

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If Aston Villa's squad go on a night out this evening after their victory over Reading, you can be sure that Nathan Baker will be being the drinks for Christian Benteke and Gabby Agbonlahor after their goals saved Baker's considerable blushes. His own goal to give Reading the lead was fairly horrendous.

QPR’s Andros Townsend scores golazo against Sunderland

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QPR may have been absolutely woeful for most of the season, but it appears that their spending splurge in January may now be coming to fruition as they bid to remain in the Premier League. They beat Sunderland on Saturday with all three goals coming from new signings Loic Remy, Andros Townsend and Jermaine Jenas [.

Awful decision to disallow Roland Lamah’s goal for Swansea v West Brom

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Remember the advice when you were offside you can't be offside if the ball is passed by the opposition. Well, the linesman would do well to remember that after he made a huge blunder during West Brom v Swansea on Saturday. Roland Lamah brought the ball forward into the penalty area. Lamah then played [.

SPL side St Johnstone base their away shirts on Turkish side Eskisehirspor

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It seems strange that a Scottish side would design their new away shirts on the home shirt of a Turkish team, but that just underlines the effect that Eskisehirspor had on the Saints when they met during their Europa League qualifier last year. The initiative is due to the request of fan Kevin Heller, who [.

Blind boy visits Barcelona and can distinguish players just through touch

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A nine-year-old boy who was born blind was given the chance to meet his Barcelona heroes, and he showed off some impressive skills of his own by recognising the Barca squad simply by touching them with his hands. Mamadou Lamine was born with the rare Peters-plus syndrome which means that he will be blind for [.

Puddle stops a certain goal in Greek lower league

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We have already seen the rather crazy effect that water can have on football with the Kazakhstani referee that made teams play on despite a tanker leaking water everywhere, and now in Greece we can see the devastating effect it can have on a striker's finish. Not much info on this one other than it [.

GIF It: Fernando Torres’ mad dribbling skillz (Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea)

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Rarely has a GIF so neatly illustrated a player's form as this one of Fernando Torres. It covers just a couple of seconds of Chelsea's Europa League defeat to Steaua Bucharest, and yet it is also serves as a nice metaphor for his career at the Blues to date. Via 101GG

Former Chelsea midfielder Enrique De Lucas drinks a beer on the Celta Vigo subs’ bench

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Ex-Chelsea player Enrique De Lucas has caused a bit of a stir after TV footage showed him enjoying a beer on the substitutes bench. De Lucas enjoyed his beverage ahead Celta Vigo's 4-1 defeat to Sevilla last weekend, a match in which he came on as a 75th minute sub. But it his pre-match routine [...]

Video: Marseille’s on-loan QPR midfielder Joey Barton gets a hole in one

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Why do Joey Barton's team-mates need two eyes? In case he uses a cigar to burn a hole in one, of course. The Marseille midfielder has been telling the world about his golfing exploits after bagging a hole in one during a round yesterday. Barton tweeted: "1st ever hole in one today. 186yd par 3 [...]

GIF It: Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson on The Price Is Right

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Remember that time Sir Alex Ferguson appeared on The Price Is Right? What do you mean 'no'? Refresh your memory with the GIF above. Via Feint Zebra

It’s a huge weekend for… Sunderland, Reading, Liverpool and Tony Pulis

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Sunderland Whilst Sunderland may be seen as safe by many, but these are stagnant times on Wearside. Despite significant investment The Mackems sit 14th in the Premier League, without a win in five games and are now just six points ahead of the relegation zone. The reason for Sunderland's inclusion is that their last eight [.

Tottenham’s Gareth Bale dives again against Inter Milan

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After Gareth Bale had scored the first goal of the game for the seventh time in his last eight games for club and country, one would expect that he could do no wrong, but Thursday's Europa League game against Inter Milan will be remembered more for the other side of Bale's game, as the Welshman [...]

Kazakhstani league match takes place on wettest pitch ever

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Don't quite know what the referee was thinking here. When a tanker on the side of the pitch leaked to spill water, making it completely unplayable, the best thing to do would probably be call the game off and replay it when players didn't need goggles and snorkels. Not this chap though, who insisted that [.

Juventus and Celtic fans swap scarves

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Celtic's players may have fallen out of Europe without much dignity, losing to Juventus on aggregate, but their army of fans continue to make friends on their travels. In a scene like something out of Lady and the Tramp, a Celtic supporter swapped scarves with his Juve counterpart, throwing the neckwear over the metal barriers.

Hard Tackle: Ezequiel Lavezzi gets groped by Vicente Guaita (PSG vs Valencia)

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Valencia might have crashed out of the Champions League against PSG, but goalkeeper Vicente Guaita was not going to go back to Spain without a consolation. If playing in Europe's premier club competition was going to be cruelly snatched away, Guaita decided he would snatch at PSG star Ezequiel Lavezzi.

Wales manager Chris Coleman finds missing pensioner

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It's a story to warm the very cockles of your heart. When Wales manager Chris Coleman was driving around Haverfordwest he spotted an old lady who appeared lost and disorientated. Coleman allowed the lady to get into his car, comforting her as she was clearly distressed. He drove her around the area to see if [.

Manchester United fan asks police to arrest referee

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Whilst it would be easy to forgive Manchester United fans for feeling a little unjust at the performance of referee Cuneyt Cakir during their 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid, one Nottinghamshire fan took things a little too far. Cakir sent off Nani for a high foot in what seemed an innocuous challenge in which the [.

Lionel Messi is given Golden Foot statue

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Lionel Messi may have received three Golden Balls, but now he has a Golden Foot to kick them with. The statue was created by Japanese jeweller Ginza Tanaka to mark the player's phenomenal achievements, and is believed to be worth as much as £3.5million. Messi could not be in Japan to collect the award, but [.

Top five conclusions: Manchester United 1-2 Real Madrid

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1. Accidentally kicking an opponent with your eyes firmly on the ball is a straight red card. This could be the end of the overhead kick as we know it. 2. Cristiano Ronaldo has perfected the 'walking back from an offside position' goal celebration. 3. Claiming that the better team lost, skulking off without celebrating, [.

Coleen Rooney shocked by husband Wayne’s omission from Manchester United’s team

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Wayne Rooney's wife Coleen took to Twitter to express her surprise that her hubby didn't start last night's match against Real Madrid. Rooney was left on the bench for the Champions League match, with Coleen tweeting: "Can't believe @WayneRooney isn't starting tonight!!!" Some of today's newspapers are pondering whether the selection decision spells the end [.

The LinkedIn profile of ex-Birmingham and Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish

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Presumably this is a spoof (we really hope not), but if it is someone has gone to a lot of effort to create a pretty decent LinkedIn profile for out-of-work football manager Alex McLeish. The profile on the corporate social networking site is fairly up-to-date, making mention of McLeish's recent brief stint at Nottingham Forest.

Aston Villa fans dress up as Christian Benteke astronauts

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Football's sort of lost the plot, hasn't it. I could just about cope when celebrations moved on from handshakes to the Robbie Keane forward roll. I buried my head in the sand when moronic 21-year-old footballers released best-selling autobiographies. But not this. Last night, during Aston Villa v Manchester City, the cameras panned to the [.

GIF It: Kamikaze ball boy (Manchester United 1-2 Real Madrid)

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It all got a bit frantic towards the closing stages of tonight's Champions League clash between Manchester United and Real Madrid. Time was of the essence, as this ball boy was well aware. In his haste, he tumbled over the advertising hoardings and landed in a heap.

GIF It: Rio Ferdinand clapping in the ref’s face (Manchester United 1-2 Real Madrid)

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It's safe to say that Manchester United's players were no overly impressed with the performance of referee Cuneyt Cakir during tonight's Champions League defeat to Real Madrid. One player who's probably not heard to last of his protests is Rio Ferdinand, who was show sarcastically applauding the Turkish official just centimetres from his face.

Former Russian player Oleg Salenko faints on TV, no-one cares

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Oleg Salenko deserves a little more respect. This is a man capable of scoring five goals in a World Cup game for Russia, and more importantly score 60 goals a season on Championship Manager 2 for Rangers. However, that isn't enough for pundits on Russian television, who seemingly have a simple disregard for his health.

Former Arsenal and Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre has still got it

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Arsenal have received a lot of mocking recently for the amount of trophies players have won since they left the club, so after a derby defeat to Spurs they will be happy that one of their former flames had an absolutely woeful debut. Silvestre, 35, recently joined Portland Timbers for the new MLS season, and [.

Lookalikes: Dog does an amazing impression of QPR manager Harry Redknapp

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This is perhaps the best Harry Redknapp lookalike of all time. In fact, it's so uncanny that we're wondering if this might actually be Redknapp's dog. You know, the one that does his accounts and writes out his teamsheets for him.

Video: Itchy Arsenal fan captured by TV cameras during Tottenham match

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At the moment this footage was taken, most people had their attention on either the corner that Gareth Bale was about to take or the piece of fruit that had just landed next to him. But look again and you'll see an Arsenal fan suffered from a nasty itch in a delicate position. He just [...]

Real Madrid defender Pepe makes unexpected charge for the moral high ground over Barcelona

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A topsy-turvy couple of weeks in Spain has hinted at a changing of the guard in La Liga. Amid all the upheaval, perhaps the most bizarre change of all is Real Madrid centre-back Pepe's staking an unlikely claim to the moral high ground. Despite regularly picking up red cards and fines for his part in [.

Juventus’ on-loan Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner gets six-month international ban for drink driving

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Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner has been banned from playing for his country for six months after being arrested for drink driving. The Juventus player, on loan from Italy, was caught driving down the wrong side of a road in Copenhagen at the weekend. The 25-year-old tweeted: "I am very very sorry to all my friends [.

Top 10 conclusions: Premier League weekend, 2-3 March

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1. Arsenal's daredevil game of sluggish defenders, pacy opponents and a very high line might have been a mistake. 2. Gareth Bale's in such good goalscoring form that he's even willing to help Arsenal find the net. 3. The chairmen of the rest of the Premier League's bottom six clubs are hastily arranged for their [.

Arsenal fans throw a banana at Tottenham’s Gareth Bale

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One of the most popular anti-Gareth Bale chants among Tottenham's rivals professes that: "He looks like a chimp." An Arsenal fan decided to illustrate the point during yesterday's north London derby by throwing a banana at Bale as he prepared to take a corner.

Barcelona’s Victor Valdes in meltdown after Real Madrid defeat

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While many of the red cards and meltdowns in recent games between Real Madrid and Barcelona have come from the Real players, Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes took the opportunity to go batsh*t mental after his side lost their El Classico match yesterday afternoon. Valdes was unhappy that referee Miguel Lasa failed to award the away [.

Team mate fight!! Wigan’s James McArthur and Emmerson Boyce come to blows against Liverpool

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Things aren't going that well for Wigan at the moment. They slipped closer to the relegation zone yesterday after a shambolic 4-0 home defeat to Liverpool, and their defence seems to be in disarray. And when team mates start fighting amongst themselves, all is not right, no matter how much managers try to use the [.

FAIL – ESPN make a delicate mistake with their Twitter name

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One that doesn't need a great deal of explaining, but does certainly raise a few titters from the immature amongst us. Duing their coverage of Wigan v Liverpool yesterday, ESPN made a rather choice mistake with their Twitter handle when asking people to contact them. Instead, it appears that users were being directed to a [.

Journalists give Harry Redknapp a birthday cake

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We all know that 'Arry is one of the journalists favourites. He is a rent-a-quote, he is one of the boys and he generates headlines, it is that simple. However, on Friday it all got a little bit vomit-inducing when Sky Sports News journalists presented Harry with a birthday cake at his press conference and [.

Napoli’s Edinson Cavani elbows Giorgio Chiellini of Juventus

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Edinson Cavani is something of a dreamboat. He has power, he has pace, he has goals and he has flowing locks. However, despite reaching almost deistic levels in my mind there is no doubt that this is rather bloody naughty. Napoli hosted Juventus on Friday night in a clash of the top two in Serie [...

Brazil to install double seats at 2014 World Cup for fat people

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Brazil have announced that they will be installing a number of double seats in the stadia for the World Cup next year, in an effort to allow fat people to attend games. Authorities have announced that disability laws in the country mean that they will be forced to inclube the 'fatty' seats in their designs, [.

Clubs hit panic button as eight Football League managers depart in February

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February may be the shortest month of the year but there was still more enough time for the Sack Race merry-go-round to gather pace. As the business end of the season draws closer, plenty of chairmen and owners were clearly getting twitchy during February, with a number of managers finding themselves out of work entering [.

Arsenal midfielder threatens to put a Tottenham scarf down his pants

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Arsenal youngster Emmanuel Frimpong has stirred things up ahead of Sunday's north London derby in his own unique way. The midfielder, currently on loan at Fulham, pretended to put a Tottenham scarf down his pants during a live stream video broadcast.

It’s a huge weekend for..Southampton, Everton, Allardyce and Mourinho

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Southampton Mauricio Pochettino's effect at Southampton has been largely accepted to determine that Southampton will survive relegation, but after their defeat at Newcastle are just three points off the bottom three. This weekend, however, they have the chance to surely relegate one of their rivals. QPR visit St Mary's needing a victory.

Brazilian side Corinthians draw world record low crowd

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After recent crowd trouble at Brazilian side Corinthians games, the South American side were forced to play their Copa Libertadores game against Colombian team Millionarios behind closed doors. However, four fans claimed to a court that they should be allowed to attend the game because they could prove that they had nothing to do with [.

Russian criminal becomes professional footballer in prison

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When criminals are sent to prison, they are given a chance to rehabilitate themselves in order to reassimilate themselves effectively into society. However, Russian Maxim Molokoedov has gone one step further by training to become a professional footballer whilst behind bars. Molokoedov was sent to prison in Chile in 2010 for three years for drug [.

‘Noisy’ Borussia Dortmund flag gets owners in trouble

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Football fans are used to get in trouble for demonstrating their support in various ways, but this one takes the biscuit rather. A couple in Arnsberg, Germany will face a court appearance later this year after being reported by neighbours for flying a Borussia Dortmund flag in their garden. Neighbours Jutta and Walter reported the [.