Beautiful Subbuteo reboots

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CAN I flick it?
Forget your Pro Evos and your FIFAs – the incredible blog Subbuteo Art, dedicated to customising figures from the classic football game, has been wowing me recently.
Any fool can snap the legs off two players to make an extended-legged Peter Crouch – this work takes it to the next level.
Some examples above include Rene Higuita’s scorpion kick, a flexing Mario Balotelli, a mulleted Neymar and a overkick kicking Wayne Rooney.
To see more, click on http://subbuteo-art.blogspot.co.uk/
Right, now where are my paintbrushes…

Carroll to sing to Sam Allardyce’s tune

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IF YOU were to imagine a player perfectly designed to to fit into Sam Allardyce’s tactics, then it would look a bit like Andy Carroll, perhaps with a better haircut.
And next season, West Ham fans and really everyone except opposing defenders can now look forward to balls being lumped up to footballing monster Andy Carroll, after a loan fee was agreed with Liverpool.
According to the BBC: “The deal for the England striker is with a view to a permanent transfer of £17m, providing West Ham United stay in the Premier League.
“However, it is thought Carroll does not wish to leave Liverpool on a permanent basis.”

Lookalike – New Zealand women’s player’s striking resemblance

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I’M CURRENTLY watching the Olympic opener of the women’s football, featuring Team GB and New Zealand.
It’s nil-nil at half time, and the most interesting thing I can say about it so far is that New Zealand striker Sarah Gregorius is a dead ringer for Coronation Street star Kirsty Soames, AKA Tyrone Dobbs’ pregnant girlfriend.
Not one for the ages, I grant you, but neither is this match to be fair.

Forget Robin van Persie – Henry’s coming home!

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THE vultures may be circling over Arsenal talisman Robin van Persie, with a move to Manchester or Turin looking likely, but Gunners fans can rest assured a new talisman could be on his way.
Or rather, an old one…
Thierry Henry expects to return for a third spell at Arsenal, possibly as a player, after leaving his current club New York Red Bulls.
He said: “I would like to go back to England with Arsenal for sure,.
“I wasn’t planning to go back to play last season. It was only because Gervinho and Chamakh went to the African Nations Cup.
“I was there to train and they asked me if I wanted to play. Who knows what might happen in the future?”

David Beckham makes a small child cry

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AFTER having his Team GB Olympic dreams dashed, David Beckham has been spotted jumping out at unsuspecting members of the public near to the London 2012 stadium.
He’s even made some of them cry, such as schoolboy Christian Lewis.
Goldenballs surprised around 60 members of the public using the adidas photo booth installed in Westfield Stratford City shopping centre near to the Olympic Park, before posing for mostly smiley photos.
LA Galaxy star Beckham said: “It was a unique experience for me and the people who took part and there were some great reactions when we surprised them in the photo booth.
“I always love coming back to London and the activity was a great opportunity for me to get involved in the adidas Take The Stage campaign and get behind Team GB.”

Forest appoint O’Driscoll

AFTER declaring their intention to appoint an “iconic” manager, Nottingham Forest have employed Sean O’Driscoll as the Championship club’s new manager.
Names like Sven Goran Eriksson, Harry Redknapp and Mick McCarthy had been favourites for the post, vacant after Steve Cotterill was sacked by the East Midlands side’s new Kuwaiti owners.
The club’s majority shareholder Fawaz Al Hasawi said: “We interviewed many well-known and high profile figures but we truly believe Sean O’Driscoll is the best man for the job.
“Sean’s passion for Nottingham Forest, knowledge of the game and the Championship in particular, plus his work ethic, shone through in our conversations.
“He is hugely respected, not only by members of our current squad and staff at the Club for his work in helping transform our fortunes last season, but also within the wider football community.”
O’Driscoll said: “It was an easy decision to make to return to Nottingham Forest.
“I enjoyed my time working with the players last season, and even in sometimes difficult circumstances the fans gave the kind of support you don’t often see in football today.
“The Al Hawasi family’s ownership opens exciting prospects for this Club and I look forward to rebuilding the squad and playing the kind of attractive football The City Ground deserves to see.”

Premier League Olympians

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IT’S not long now until the London 2012 Olympics, which is you lucky lucky people’s second football tournament of the summer.
I’m looking forward to its immensely.
Today the Premier League has put out a list of the Premier League, and as well as whetting the appetite it makes for a useful Fantasy Football reference too – the Olympic football finishes just days before the Premiership resumes, so anyone taking part may not be ready to rejoin their clubs straight away.
The full list is below –

Group A
Great Britain
Ryan Giggs, Tom Cleverley (Manchester United); Micah Richards (Manchester City); Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal); Steven Caulker, Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur); Daniel Sturridge, Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea); Craig Bellamy (Liverpool), Joe Allen, Scott Sinclair, Neil Taylor (Swansea City), Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion); Jack Cork (Southampton), James Tomkins (West Ham United).
Senegal
Magaye Gueye (Everton); Mohamed Diame (West Ham United),
Uruguay
Sebastian Coates, Luis Suarez (Liverpool)
Group B
Mexico
Giovanni Dos Santos (Tottenham Hotspur)
Republic of Korea
Ji-Dong Wong (Sunderland); Park Chu-Young (Arsenal)
Switzerland
Benjamin Siegrist (Aston Villa); Pajtim Kasami (Fulham)
Group C
Brazil
Rafael Da Silva (Manchester United); Sandro (Tottenham Hotspur)
New Zealand
Ryan Nelson (Queens Park Rangers); Chris Wood (West Bromwich Albion)
Group D
Spain
David de Gea (Manchester United); Juan Mata, Oriel Romeu (Chelsea)
Honduras
Maynor Figueroa (Wigan Athletic)

FPL Squad Selections – TBD

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WITH the player lists now out, Fantasy Football fanatics are already readying their squads for the forthcoming season.
To help out with some pointers, I’m enlisting FPL players to offer some insight into their squad selections over the coming days.
First up is James Priest, manager of a team named TBD, a veteran of five Fantasy Football seasons. He said: “First and foremost, I meticulously study the upcoming fixtures and make the majority of my choices based on those fixtures. This appeals to my mathematically-inclined brain, and I enjoy ensuring that the fixtures of the players in my squad dovetail well, so that on any given gameweek the majority of my starting XI will have ‘easy’ fixtures, preferably at home.
“In previous seasons this has worked well, most noticeably in the 2009/2010 season, yet in more recent years picking the form players seems to have been the more successful tactic, rather than going on fixtures.”
• If you’d like to post your thoughts on squad selection, e-mail Goaltastic at Isaac_Ashe@MRN.co.uk or comment below.