We live in a world where language is slippier than a Tory chancellor dodging questions about Britain's tanking economy while ice-skating on a banana. Up to 100,000 badgers aren't at risk of being shot or murdered, merely 'culled' – which makes getting a bullet through the head sound as yeahwhatever as reducing your friends' list on Facebook. And these days footballers aren't guilty of diving or cheating, or tumbling to the grass like a foal at the first scent of spring, but 'simulation'. Which is a nothing word. A pathetic word. A word probably dreamed up by a grey Fifa suit on a grey day in his grey office while trying to be as inoffensive as possible.
Well, it failed. The Fiver finds itself crazily offended by the word simulation. Yes, below the line crazy. What a pathetic, spineless, unnecessary creation of a word! Grow a pair, Fifa! It's diving, pure and simple – and two of the finest exponents, Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale, were at it again yesterday, Louganising themselves across the turf to the fury of all-right-thinking people everywhere. And Stoke manager Tony Pulis, who says he is "concerned". "It's a tough enough job as it is," he sighed. "For professional footballers to be doing that is just not right. Give [Suarez] three games and he will stop falling over."
Sadly, there is more chance of the Football Association making Pulis its next director of one-touch passing than bringing in retrospective video evidence. It's commonly assumed that Fifa, a body with Women's Institute levels of conservatism, would disallow such a bold manouevre but that's not necessarily the case. The MLS, for instance, now has an anonymous five-man disciplinary committee that doles out fines and suspensions for diving. To do the same in England it just needs the small matter of the FA and its stakeholders, the Premier League, Football League, Uefa, Fifa, the PFA, the LMA, and the PGMO, which represents match officials, to agree on the need to change the current rul … ah, no need to go on, is there?
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"Some of the signings have been garbage. The jury's out on some of them and I make judgments quickly. Unlike Abu Hamza, who took 14 years, I'll make a judgement quickly and I'll move them out" – Bury boss Kevin Blackwell tosses in a topical critique of his players [Abu Hamza's was actually an eight-year legal battle – Fiver Politics Ed].
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"Watching my team Arsenal at Upton Park on the weekend, I identified a feeling that had been bothering me since almost the start of the season. Santi Cazorla is phenomenal. I want him to go away. He's too good for us. We don't deserve him. It occurs that I may be suffering from some form of Good Will Hunting-style fear of abandonment. Anyone recommend a good doctor?" – Chris Blane.
"Re: Ashley Cole's tw@tterings (Friday's Fiver). While I'm sure his solicitor is handsomely remunerated for rescuing his client with an apology every time Ashley (or anyone of his ilk) takes to their smart phone, I wouldn't want the job of looking after those boys for all the money they earn. They can't get much sleep at night with the fear of what Ashley et al might be involved in next. A thankless task being responsible for those clowns" – Neil Speight.
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BITS AND BOBS
Ashley Cole has been charged with misconduct by the FA for that tweet.
But Robin van Persie, Cheik Tiote and Robert Huth have not been charged by the FA for those incidents.
Gloria Bistrita boss Nicolae Manea has apologised for throwing a stretcher on the pitch after a controversial decision in the 3-1 Romanian league defeat to Pandurii. "I'm ashamed of what I did, but I do not regret it," hissed Manea.
On-loan Chelsea midfielder Kevin De Bruyne isn't having the best of time at Werder Bremen, it seems. "I did German lessons but stopped. I don't like it. If I'm honest I don't want to live in Germany in the future," he whined.
Having seen his punditry on the MOTD sofa, Blackeye Rovers owners Venky's have confirmed that Alan Shearer is a contender for the lead role in their Ewood Park sitcom.
Former Milan defender Kakha Kaladze is set to become Georgia's version of Nick Clegg in incoming PM Bidzina Ivanishvili's new cabinet.
Scrabble's Jakub Blaszczykowski will miss Poland's World Cup qualifier with England on 16 October after knacking his ankle with Dortmund at the weekend.
And veteran Swedish broadcaster Bo Hansson has been banned from AIK Stockholm's press box after being heard on air referring to black players as "darkies". "I was talking to myself in my corner. It was never intended to be broadcast," ronatkinsoned Hansson. AIK suit Thomas Edselius retorted: "What he has done is contrary to our values – we have zero tolerance for racism."
STILL WANT MORE?
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo hurled metaphorical Street Fighter II hadouken fireballs across Camp Nou in a politically-charged clasico last night. It was breathless and brilliant, whoops Sid Lowe.
Is QPR boss Ailsa from Home and Away bulletproof? For that and nine other hastily cobbled together Premier League talking points, click here.
Lord Ferg threw an extra man into midfield against Newcastle. It stumped Alan Pardew but mercifully gave Michael Cox something to write about in his tactics blog.
And Milan have lost strikers, fans and now their blummin' derby, writes Paolo Bandini, without sounding at all surprised.