Hold The Back Page: 11/12/2010

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The Independent Online

It's a big weekend for...

Gérard Houllier

Derby time at Villa Park and the peasants are revolting.

No matter how many injuries, how young the team is, four straight defeats including that one at St Andrew's is not going to get the notoriously impatient – aka deluded – Villa fans onside. Add into the mix the former Liverpool manager's "If we had to lose 3-0 to anyone I'm glad it was them" comment and touching of the Anfield sign on Monday, the Frenchman has much to do to win over the masses. Today's visitors are the Albion, who sit an implausible seven places above the Midlands' biggest club. Defeat and the guillotine will be sharpened.

We applaud you wholeheartedly...

And we think English football has issues – these foreign imports stopping our brave boys from breaking through and winning the World Cup. At least that's never been a problem in Brazil. But Samba soul-searching aplenty after an Argentine won the country's player of the year award for the second year running. An uncapped Argentine, too. "I dream of playing for my country," said Dario Conca, a title-winning playmaker for Fluminense. Don't hold your breath, Dario. That country has an idiosyncratic habit of not picking its best players, as Cambiasso and Zanetti, left out the summer's World Cup squad, may well testify.

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F1 goes green

It's all relative, this going green business. Short of borrowing Fred Flintstone's ride, or making teams travel from track to track by sailboat, it ain't going to happen. But the FIA says engine capacity is to be reduced from 2.4l to 1.6l, the reduction in power made up for by the return of turbochargers. Turbochargers? Yes please! Come 2013, expect to see your first Fiesta XR2 on the grid, massive spoiler, boombox in the boot and Essex's fastest 18-year-old at the wheel. That aside, wasn't this the best F1 season in years? The polar bear's not going to be that impressed with 20-odd cars giving off slightly fewer emissions. Even he might think if it's not broken, don't fix it.