Emile Heskey's childhood talent is exposed and the real reason Shinji Ono opted not to play in Japan is revealed.
Marquee'd at a young age
The A-League season is but one sleep away and the dreams of every red-blooded football fan in the country during that sleep will be filled with images of Alessandro Del Piero, Shinji Ono and Emile Heskey.
Heskey's arrival in Australia, in particular, seems like fate when viewed through the prism of children's television from 1989:
It's the emu, you see - flightless and fast like Emile himself and native to Australia, beloved symbol on the coat of arms, devoured in pubs across this wide brown land.
And young Emile fairly smokes the competition, doesn't he? He leads his team to victory while negotiating the obstacle course without hilarious mishap or devastating injury.
What's happened since then, you may ask.
Nevertheless, Newcastle will hope the vision proves portentous with Emile herding the club to A-League glory, novelty cheques and many a close encounter with men in pink tuxedoes.
Shinji Ono also appeared in one of Japan's famously light-hearted game shows (or not, as the case may be), although the Wanderers will be hoping that doesn't prove so prophetic ... at least until post-season celebrations:
Doing our bit
The Circus is nothing if not patriotic and the country currently enjoying our allegiance (at least until the Principality of Hutt River receives UN recognition) is Australia, a nation whose football team could not find a striker on a box of Redheads.
With that in mind, and with Australia's FIFA ranking sinking ever lower, The Circus thought it would do Holger Osieck a favour and highlight some goal-producing tactical innovations in the hope the Socceroos might take some inspiration and actually put one in the back of the net every now and again.
1. The tunnel ball method, especially effective against the mighty Moldova (and, quite possibly, Jordan):
2. The play Luke Wilkshire on every member of the opposition team until he drives them insane and gets them sent off method:
3. The long distance method (although this does require a player with innate football intuition and ability):
4. The discover Anthony Knockeart's Australian grandparents method:
5. But probably try to avoid the Christmas panto method:
May I have the pleasure?
Any concerns about Wayne Rooney being able to share Manchester United's spotlight with Robin van Persie appear to have been allayed, with the two working in perfect harmony to deliver victory against CFR Cluj.
However, The Circus could not help but notice that when the two stars went for a little celebratory dance, Rooney was leading.
"I hate my social life. I hate not to be a normal father who goes with his son to the son's football match and being there with the other 20 fathers watching the match ... I have to be there, the people have to come for photos, the people have to come for autographs, the people have to come to insult me".
- Jose Mourinho reveals the downside of being the Special One.
Perhaps he should take up the coaching position for the Principality of Hutt River.
Meet Our Bloggers
Fondly known as 'Mr Football', Les has been directly involved in all
the major events covered by SBS Sport, including five World Cup
football tournaments. Follow @lesmurraysbs on Twitter.
As SBS’s chief football analyst, Craig provides expert opinion and unrivalled insight. He has also represented the Socceroos and played abroad. Follow @Craig_Foster on Twitter.
Considered one of Australia's most gifted players, Ned Zelic represented the Socceroos 34 times over a decorated career that spanned Europe, Asia and the United Kingdom. Follow @NedZelic on Twitter.
After years playing abroad and a 20-goal career for the Socceroos, David turned his hand to football punditry and is a beach football fanatic. Follow @zdrila on Twitter.
Scott’s passion and knowledge of Asian football has consolidated his reputation as Australia’s foremost Asian football expert.
Vitor commentates for SBS and works as a presenter for The World Game. His passion for European football resonates through his blogs. Follow @Vitor_TWG on Twitter.
Philip Micallef is a football writer with almost 40 years of experience. He has worked for News Limited and now SBS. He is a long-time follower of AC Milan.
The Circus is The World Game's regular look at the beautiful game from left field. So join us every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for something a little more light-hearted than the norm.
British-born Tim works as a journalist and has lived in Brazil since 1994 and provides unrivalled knowledge of South American football.
Hailing from Amsterdam, Ajax tragic Cornell vander Heyden has over 12 years of journalism experience and cites covering the 2006 World Cup among his career highlights. Follow @dvanda101 on Twitter.