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Football is now another one of the many things that were better when I was younger, i.e. England were not a team of millionaire cry babies who failed to score against Algeria and then wondered why thousands of people were booing them.

Now, to face clutching. This is now a separate art form with the modern game.

In this clip Keita (Ivory Coast), not looking where he’s going, runs into Kaka (Brazil).

Kaka did not throw an elbow, he put his arm up as Kaita ran into him blindly, then grabbed his face and fell down, it was not a foul never mind a yellow. The referee simply wasn’t looking and was fooled by the dive. What I don’t understand is the referee’s reaction; if the player is deemed to have raised his elbow with intent, it should be a straight red for violent conduct – that’s favourable for Kaka as he can appeal it, and on replay would have had it rescinded. However he showed him a yellow, the second of the match. It doesn’t make sense, and unfortunately Kaka cannot appeal.

There was another face clutching incident today in the match between Chile and Switzerland. Again, the referee’s attention was elsewhere.

Girls, girls, it’s called cheating. Whatever happened to the days were players were embarrassed to go down clutching their faces and crying? These are supposed to be the best players in the world, and they pull on each other’s shirts.

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Black Dogs Defined

This is the best of me; for the rest, I ate, and drank, and slept, loved and hated, like another: my life was as the vapour and is not; but this I saw and knew; this, if anything of mine, is worth your memory.

(John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies)

Whatever people say I am, that’s what I’m not.

(Alan Sillitoe, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning)

This is my letter to the world, that never wrote to me.

(Emily Dickinson, This is my letter to the world)

Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:
Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!

(Edna St. Vincent Millay, Second Fig)

R.A.D. Stainforth

I was born before The Beatles’ first LP and brought up in the reeking slums of Jericho. I am in love with a woman called Hazel and in love with her daughter, also called Hazel, both of whom I met at Alcoholics Anonymous.

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