The date is October 22nd 2010, and the breaking news is that Portsmouth are in serious danger of going out of business for good. Whether you are a fan of the Fratton Park outfit or not, the revelation would not have come as much of a shock.
Ã¢ÂÂShape! Shape! Shape!Ã¢ÂÂ Every week, the manager and the head coach berate their players with a different, repeated piece of advice from the stands. A few months ago, the chant of Ã¢ÂÂSecond ball!Ã¢ÂÂ was seldom off head coach Matthew AtkinsonÃ¢ÂÂs lips. A few months before that, Chertsey TownÃ¢ÂÂs players were urgently and repeatedly advised to Ã¢ÂÂtalk to each other!Ã¢ÂÂ while manager Spence Day was demanding Ã¢ÂÂUse your brain!Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂHay Liga!Ã¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂThe league is on!Ã¢ÂÂ cried the hat-throwing, joyous press in the Spanish capital on Wednesday morning. Normally that clarion call is reserved for when Real Madrid get to within 20 points of Barcelona at the top of the table, but this time it was meant in its most literal sense - there will be football this weekend after all.
Ã¢ÂÂPotato fieldÃ¢ÂÂ is the en vogue phrase in Spain this week, along with the usual vulgarities about oneÃ¢ÂÂs mother and an unmentionable act involving a bowel release and a glass of milk that pepper day-to-day life.