Hold The Back Page: 02/10/2010

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The Independent Online

Squeaky bum time for...

Lukasz Fabianski

As one Arsenal fan lamented in the office this week, "Fabianski played quite well in Belgrade, didn't he." Yes, the oft-criticised one did.

The colleague's point being that each time a Gunners' goalkeeper performs in any way better than average (which is rare), it lessens the chances of Arsène Wenger going out and buying a proper one. Well, Flappyhandski may get his chance to stake a claim for the shirt for real tomorrow, what with Manuel Almunia's elbow injury and clangers against West Brom last week. It's only Chelsea as well – on such games are reputations, good and bad, made.

We applaud you wholeheartedly

Phil Tufnell

Right at the top of the list of walls not to be a fly on, this week saw the former England spinner and all-round good lad Tuffers, the "glamour" model Jodie Marsh and comedian Patrick Monahan set a world record for the "longest three-way conversation". Leaving aside the veracity of such a claim (it was actually a conference call), one can only wonder at the subject matters discussed. Well, allegedly, "thousands" of people viewed their call live on t'internet, so ask them – if you can find anyone prepared to admit to such a soulless, pointless existence.

And the stories you may have missed

Now that's a mascot

Ever heard of Baba-Yaga? Probably not, but you're doubtless not a succulent Slav of primary school age. And that's a good thing because it means you'll avoid being listed as an appetiser on Baba-Yaga's lunch menu. For she is a wicked Russian witch with a ravenous appetite for small children, and has somehow made it on to a very long list of potential mascots for the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Russian resort of Sochi. The campaign starts here.

Greek tragedy

Rock-hurling protests due to a mismanaged economy is one thing, hurling seats and seriously assaulting a football manager is quite another. Some AEK Athens fans are apparently upset that Dusan Bajevic was previously in charge of rivals Olympiakos.

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