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  1. #51
    mirko bolesan's Avatar
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    Squad Numbers I Feel Comfortable With

    Exeter City have retired their number 9 shirt for 9 years after the death of Adam Stansfield. I think that's quite a nice tribute rather than retiring the number permanently.

    During the Man City vs Liverpool match I noticed that both keepers were #25. I was quite pleased with that symmetry.

  2. #52

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    Squad Numbers I Feel Comfortable With

    Anyone remember the number Paul Simon wore when he went one-on-one with Connie Hawkins for Saturday Night Live? It apparently had always been "his" number.

    I'd love a picture from that sketch.

  3. #53

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    Squad Numbers I Feel Comfortable With

    That Esswein '90' shirt is supposed to be read as 'GO', yeah?

  4. #54

    Squad Numbers I Feel Comfortable With

    Don't think so, no. I suspect he just wanted the number 9 and went for his year of birth instead.

  5. #55
    Ray de Galles's Avatar
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    Squad Numbers I Feel Comfortable With

    Sandcat wrote:
    Nice thread...

    A few years ago Julio Arca had a 'special' number 33 for the left wing at Sunderland. We gave Ross Wallace it after he left but the trend fizzled out with his spell here.

    And I'm okay with retiring numbers so long as it's totally warranted, and not just for any old nugget.
    At the start of the season I was outraged that Keiran Richardson had switched from squad number 10 to 3 because however hard he tried there was no way in hell he was going to convince the world he's a left back. We all saw his efforts there last season.

    Now I am quite relieved as otherwise it might have ended up with Asamoah Gyan as it's his "lucky number" and he's settled for the 33 shirt instead. I might have stopped watching football altogether if a forward in Britain wore the number 3 shirt.

  6. #56

    Life begins at 42.
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    Squad Numbers I Feel Comfortable With

    Did you not see much of Cantona at Leeds?

  7. #57
    Ray de Galles's Avatar
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    I'm blotting it out. It was only occasional, no?

  8. #58
    Fussbudget's Avatar
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    Squad Numbers I Feel Comfortable With

    Harry, you might want to stay away from the Arsenal game tonight as Braga have really gone overboard with their shirt numbering.

  9. #59

    Squad Numbers I Feel Comfortable With

    This is the kind of thinking I can get behind. I get very precious about the issue of shirt numbers. On the whole, I think it's morally reprehensible to use a number higher than 30 except in cases where you have more than 30 first team players. Anything higher than 40 gets me twitchy, anything higher than 49 positively suicidal.

    Acceptable digits:

    Goalkeepers: 1,12,13,16,17,30
    Right-backs: 2,12,20,21,22,27
    Left-backs: 3,13 (if continental),22,28,30

    (With 23 used for any versatile full-backs)

    Centre-backs: 4,5,6,15,24,26
    Central-midfielders: 4 (defensive only),5 (Spanish-speaking only),8,10 (Attacking only),16,18,20,28
    Right-sided midfielders: 7,14,17,27
    Left-sided midfielders: 11,22,27,30
    Centre-forwards: 7 (whippets), 9,10,11 (lumbering useless Frankensteins or people of unimaginable skill), 18,19,25 (reserved for Bobby Zamora), 29 (Desperately thrown in youth teamer)

    Notes: as you can see, I am not a monster. Most numbers are available for a variety of positions. However, 1 (Goalkeeper), 2 (right-back), 3 (Left-back), 6 (Centre-half) and 9 (Centre-forward) are sacrosanct. Outside of 1-11, I'm also fairly strict on 19, which is so obviously the number for a great lanky target man that I don't even feel the need to discuss it further.

  10. #60
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    Squad Numbers I Feel Comfortable With

    The football gods are clearly siding with Harry on the subject of Braga's numbers.

  11. #61

    Squad Numbers I Feel Comfortable With

    David Agnew wrote:
    Did you not see much of Cantona at Leeds?
    Cantona wore 3 a few times; the real biggie would be the last game of the season at home to Norwich when, in keeping with the carnival atmosphere that goes along with winning the League, Cantona began the game wearing 14 and was replaced at half time by Strachan, wearing 7.

    The other carnival element I remember was John Lukic playing keepie-up headers to get the ball back to the safety of his area. He was wearing the number 1 shirt though.

  12. #62

    Squad Numbers I Feel Comfortable With

    I was watching some clips of Liverpool in the late-80s, and amongst the cry-wanking, I noticed a fair bit of creativity with the numbers in those days.

    Steve Nicol always number 4, but could play pretty much anywhere. By that point he was primarily a right-back, so #2 was usually a centre-half, but he could also play at right midfield (in which case the right back would take Ray Houghton's #8), or left-midfield (replacing Barnes' #10), or the centre (replacing #11, but never #5, I don't think).

    5 and 11 for central midfielders was also an unusual combination - 5 was always LM until Barnes arrived, and Whelan moved into the centre. And then when Rush was replaced by Aldridge, he wore 8, and Houghton, in midfield was often #9.

    Well, it interests me. And I think it instilled in me an appreciation for the unusual player number, WITHIN CERTAIN, VERY STRICT BOUNDARIES. For example, I can accept a defender with a forward's number (except 9), but not vice-versa (except 5). Why is that? What does it say about me? Hmmm?

  13. #63
    Ray de Galles's Avatar
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    Squad Numbers I Feel Comfortable With

    I can't buy in to your, frankly perverse, acceptance of forwards in defenders' shirts but I will agree that perhaps the greatest crime is the misappropriation of the number 9 shirt.

    Despite all of the other evidence (some of it displayed on this very website), the single most compelling fact that proves Stephen Ireland's crassness is that he has eschewed the Villa number 8 shirt vacated by James Milner in the deal that saw them swap clubs and instead has taken 9.

    One of Toshack's multiple crimes against humanity during what has already become known as Wales's Dark(er) Years was his madcap distribution of the 9 shirt. Bad enough when Koumas wore it but it regularly got passed to whoever was the most inept of his three central defenders. Mourinho was another serial abuser, Boulahrouz being only most notably absurd recipient.

    Conversely, I loved it when Campos took the number for that one Copa America but only because it/he was a one-off.

  14. #64
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    Squad Numbers I Feel Comfortable With

    The great Dave Watson, probably our greatest ever centre-half, spent half a season up front still wearing his number 5. He was our top scorer, so we flogged him as a centre-forward to Sunderland for 100,000. They, eventually, realised that he was actually a centre-half and the rest, as they say, is his story...

  15. #65
    mirko bolesan's Avatar
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    Squad Numbers I Feel Comfortable With

    Fussbudget wrote:
    Harry, you might want to stay away from the Arsenal game tonight as Braga have really gone overboard with their shirt numbering.
    Braga's total shirt number is 397. I assume they must have topped the 400 mark sometime this season, especially if 85 Elton (I can only assume he's a fan of his mid-eighties work) has started a few matches.

  16. #66
    Ray de Galles's Avatar
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    Squad Numbers I Feel Comfortable With

    Most , if not all, of those Braga numbers met the requirements of my original mail I think ( if 88 and 99 were playing in the right positions and 85 was Elton's year of his birth as opposed to a reference to Ben's deservedly forgotten sitcom 'Happy Families').

    I even find Viana's 45 charming, he's always had it for club sides, no? The keeper's 84 caused me some problems as even if that's the year of his birth I don't think a defensive player should follow that process. I decided to wait until I had seen the font the number was in and upon seeing it decided it was unpleasant;


  17. #67

    Squad Numbers I Feel Comfortable With

    I'm not sure if the year of birth thing is any defence at all. In under 10 years, we'll have players born in 2001, what if they're not goalkeepers? WHAT THEN? And the problem will continue for the next 10 years after that.

    It's a worry.

  18. #68
    Fussbudget's Avatar
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    Squad Numbers I Feel Comfortable With

    Come on now, those Braga squad numbers are horrific. Any given team should only be allowed one 77/96/99/other twatty number for their young flashy forward with glo-in-the dark boots but anymore than that and it's just a mess (as is any three-digit number, for fuck's sake).

    Of course Sean has it spot on :

    Sean of the Shed wrote:
    1 is in goal.
    2 is right back.
    Number 3 can only be a left back, it should never be given to a sweeper.
    5 must always be a centre-back but 4 and 6 are interchangeable between centre-back and holding midfielder/sweeper.
    9 is for target men or out and out goal poachers.
    10 is for creative strikers or hole players, in which case the second striker gets 8, otherwise 8 is attacking midfielder.
    Right wing is 7 and left wing is 11.
    12 is always the most important sub.
    All other numbers have no meaning whatsoever except in World cup squads, where 13 and 23 are the two reserve goalies and 17 is the precoious talent who hasn't quite cemented his place in the first 11.
    except for missing out 16, which is of course a commanding box-to-box midfielder.

  19. #69

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    Number 16 should be assigned to Sean Gregan. And if Sean Gregan isn't playing for you, it should be retired out of respect.

  20. #70

    You look so good Fantastic man
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    I'm finding Harry worryingly Patrick Batemanesque on this thread. If I check over on music and he's started a thread about Genesis or Whitney Houston I'm out of here.

  21. #71

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    Squad Numbers I Feel Comfortable With

    The number 9 shirt is sacred for many but here it is the number ten, a few seasons ago, four I think, our reserve goalkeeper had the number 10 shirt. Fucking ridiculous.

  22. #72

    Squad Numbers I Feel Comfortable With

    Fascinating topic for obsessives everywhere; as one myself, can I argue with the assertion that the number 6 should only be worn by centre backs? In the dear departed days of 1 - 11 at the Villa it was (perhaps perversely) pretty much always worn by a midfielder, including legends such as Dennis Mortimer and, er... Kevin Richardson, and, um, well anyway, Villa's number 4 was worn by centre backs, amongst whom fellow nostalgia buffs may recall Leighton Phillips, Allan Evans and Shaun Teale. And didn't Kevin Ratcliffe wear 4 at Everton, with Peter Reid at 6? I don't think the 'number 6 is a centre back' rule is as hard and fast as suggested...

  23. #73
    Jorge Porbillas's Avatar
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    Squad Numbers I Feel Comfortable With

    Harry Truscott wrote:
    One of Toshack's multiple crimes against humanity during what has already become known as Wales's Dark(er) Years was his madcap distribution of the 9 shirt. Bad enough when Koumas wore it but it regularly got passed to whoever was the most inept of his three central defenders.
    I don't recall this being a particular trait of Toshack's.

    Koumas was a regular wearer of the number 9 shirt for Wales after Hartson retired. Others to have worn the number 9 in Toshack's reign are Earnshaw, Vokes, Cotterill, Evans, Easter, Eastwood, the two Carls -Robinson and Fletcher - Ramsey, Edwards and Morison.

    The only instance I can find which is of a bizarre number 9 is of David Partridge's one and only appearance in the shirt against Austria in Vienna.

  24. #74
    Ray de Galles's Avatar
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    Koumas, Robinson, Fletcher, Ramsey, Edwards and Partridge are all perfect examplese of players who should never wear 9 as they are not forwards. I think Nyatanga may have joined them once as well but that list is condemnation enough.

  25. #75
    Jorge Porbillas's Avatar
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    re. Nyatanga: nope, that list above is complete.

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