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Review of the week

Chris Charles | 14:13 UK time, Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Parents among you will be familiar with Roary The Racing Car - a children's programme whose title neatly crystallised the sporting week's two main talking points.

While Lewis Hamilton was snatching victory from the jaws of defeat in Sao Paulo, Stoke were doing a number on Arsenal thanks to Rory Delap and his unfeasibly large throw-ins (with apologies to Buster Gonad).

The dead-ball expert - and schoolboy javelin champion - has already inspired several chants among the Potteries faithful, with "It's just like watching Brazil" a particular favourite.

The scorers of the Stoke goals were quickly forgotten as Delap was paraded on Match of the Day and the trajectory of his missiles analysed from all angles, while the pages of Fleet Street's finest were littered with throw-in muses.

Our very own Robbo, who came up with a 'Delapidator' to combat the Potters' deadly weapon, suggested the midfielder bore more than a passing resemblance to The Verve's Richard Ashcroft. Not bad, but I guarantee you'll never see him in the same room as thespian Paul Opacic (you won't know the name but the face will be familiar).


With leading roles in a plethora of dramas - including Emmerdale, Bad Girls, Peak Practice and The Chase, you could say Opacic was a bit of a journeyman - the acting equivalent, in fact, of Rory Delap.

Down in north London, Harry Potter (as the Red Tops have christened him), continued to weave his magic, leading Spurs to a remarkable win over Liverpool, coupled with the extraordinary 4-4 draw at Arsenal.

Redknapp celebrated the latter by doing a familiar jig on the sidelines. He said: "I thought I was David Pleat as I was running up the touchline - except I haven't got his colour shoes." Never mind shoes - any more results like that and 'Arry will be walking on water.

David Bentley scored the opener at the Emirates with a goal from another planet - Krypton as it turned out after the former Gunner gushed: "I feel like Superman. I could fly home."

The last time the superhero was seen in the top flight, he was emblazoned on Stephen Ireland's underpants. Ireland has threatened to repeat the dirty trick one day, but has been overtaken by Burnley's Robbie Blake, who dropped his shorts after scoring at Coventry - he might be sent there if he does it again.

Blake revealed a pair of bright red undies bearing the legend 'Bad Beat Bob' on the rear - a nickname referring to a poker player who continues to lose despite having decent hands. Far from hauling him over the coals, the enterprising Clarets quickly got 50 pairs of the pants made up and sold them in the club shop quicker than you can say royal flash.

A club spokesman said: "We are bringing in another shipment before the weekend because they've flown off the shelves. Needless to say, the success of this with Burnley fans has caught us with our pants down!"

Talking of souvenirs, Spurs have already released a commemorative DVD of the eight-goal thriller at the Emirates - which begs the question what would they do if they won - dress Harry in kingly robes and cart him along the Seven Sisters Road in a sedan?

Hats off to Redknapp for having the bottle to return to Portsmouth to collect the freedom of the city award. Privileges include being allowed to drive his sheep through the town square whenever he likes - unless the boo boys force him into a hasty ewe-turn. (Anyone seen my coat?)

Wayne Rooney celebrated Hallowe'en by going to the hairdresser's and asking for an 'Uncle Fester'. According to The Sun, Rio Ferdinand was the demon barber, with a 'source' explaining: "Wayne was fed up with all the mickey-taking he was getting. He's sensitive about losing his hair - just like any lad of his age. But he decided to get rid of the lot, handed Rio the clippers and basically said, 'Do your worst!'" Yep, he did that all right.

Over at St James' Park, Joey Barton continued to get up people's noses (in the case of Gaby Agbonlahor, quite literally) and Joe Kinnear continued to swear it well on the touchline as Newcastle beat Aston Villa 2-0.

Obafemi Martins got both goals and put the team's recent resurgence down to Kinnear's fondness for the F-word. Martins said: "He loves swearing a lot and I love it, as he doesn't care, he just wants us to play well and get three points."

While Newcastle have got JFK, if the opinion polls are anything to go by, the next leader of the free world will be an 'Appy 'Ammer. Barack Obama fell in love with the Irons on a trip to England five years ago and what's the betting if he makes it to the White House one of the first things he'll do will be to hold a ceremony marking the opening of the West Ham Wing.


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