Almanack: Making waves

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TROUBLE at the Press Association, where the computer system has undergone a metaphor overload. The following report was transmitted last week: 'Southampton, the once proud flagship of South Coast soccer, are now a rudderless wreck and sinking fast. A new man at the helm is urgently needed to navigate a way to safety through the perilous relegation waters of the Premiership. Southampton's season is already washed up. All that remains is a battle to stay afloat in the top fleet. Hopes of charting a course to calmer waters through Cup success ran aground at the aptly named Port Vale. The 1-0 FA Cup third-round replay defeat against the Second Division side followed a Coca- Cola Cup exit to minnows Shrewsbury. It has been all hands on deck since the departure of Ian Branfoot last week but still the tide has not been turned . . .' etc etc. Sixteen or so maritime metaphors, and not a parrot in sight: presumably it was feeling seasick.