BBC BLOGS - Chris Charles
« Previous | Main | Next »

Review of the week

Chris Charles | 10:23 UK time, Wednesday, 14 January 2009

In the week when football folk everywhere were losing control of their vehicles, Rafa Benitez provided us with some real car crash TV.

Unless you're currently locked up with Mini-Me, you'll have witnessed the Liverpool gaffer's astonishing rant at Sir Alex Ferguson, which saw him digging a hole so deep, you felt sure he was going to suddenly disappear from view (like his captain on Match of the Day a few seasons ago).

You've got to hand it to Fergie. The master mischief-maker added Benitez to the ever-growing list of managers he's successfully turned into a set of those plastic chattering teeth - wind them up and watch them go.

Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho was in town to run the rule over Champions League opponents United and when asked to give the verdict on his former club, he replied. "I didn't see Chelsea at all - I only saw Manchester United." Ouch.
Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson
The Special One added: "I had a glass of wine with Alex Ferguson and we spoke for half an hour. I told him how Inter will play against United and he named his 11 players for the game."

If the Blues were looking for an excuse they found one in the unlikely shape of Diego Maradona, said to have been responsible for triggering a 7am fire alarm at the hotel where the players were staying on the eve of the game.

The Argentina boss had allegedly been smoking big cigars with his entourage in their suite, causing the panic. It's not clear what his preferred type of stogie is, but you can bet his mates refer to it as the Brand of God. (I'm looking for my coat as we speak.)

The biggest talking point of the game came just before half-time when Wayne Rooney took a cheeky corner to himself and had time to do a weekly shop before casually informing Ryan Giggs. The Welshman whipped the ball in for Cristiano Ronaldo to head home, but the over-officious lino promptly chalked it off.

At that point the Portuguese star must have been wondering what else could go wrong. Three days earlier he smashed up his Ferrari and within nano-seconds a viral email was doing the rounds, claiming: 'A police officer said that although Ronaldo wasn't injured in any way, he arrived at the scene to find the footballer rolling around on the ground, moaning that the wall wasn't back 10 yards'.

Ronaldo, who summoned another car from his fleet to drive home from training (as you do), blamed the crash on an oil spillage, which had presumably leaked from the slick on his barnet. But hey, who wouldn't write off a £200,000 supercar in exchange for being named world player of the year?
Cristiano Ronaldo
The Manchester United coach driver was another suffering at the wheel of misfortune after losing his keys on the morning of the Chelsea game. He broke the window to get in, setting off an alarm which disabled the engine.

Happily for the red-faced employee, the problem was quickly rectified, but it was the quote from a club spokesman that really caught the eye - "there was nothing sinister about it". Phew.

There were no such engine problems for Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery when he decided to go for a little joyride on the team bus, taking out two road signs as he went for a lap around the hotel where the players were staying. The club were not amused, given the French international's lack of a bus licence, but as you can see from the video, Ribery found the whole experience hilarious.

El Hadji Diouf was yet another footballer having a bit of car trouble. The midfielder's black cadillac spluttered to a halt (much like his career) on Newcastle's Tyne Bridge, causing snarl-ups for two hours. Probably not the best place for a Sunderland player to be stranded.

Toon striker Andy Carroll marked his second game for the first team with a goal against West Ham, but it was the youngster's dodgy braided hairdo that was getting all the attention after the match. Carroll admitted "I've had some stick for it and I will probably get even more now", before taking his dog-on-a-string to an all night squat-rave.

David Beckham knows a thing or two about daft haircuts, but he let his football do the talking on his AC Milan debut, earning praise from all quarters. He refused to quash rumours that he might stay on in Italy, but as his former boss Alexei Lalas astutely pointed out - "David Beckham is not bigger than the Galaxy."

Derby County got the result of the week, beating Manchester United in the League Cup under the watchful eye of new boss Nigel Clough.

Stand-in manager David Lowe became a hero just for one day before handing over the reins to Cloughie. Lowe had spent the previous day coaching the club's under-eight side so it must have been nice for him to have a decent adult conversation after the match with the likes of Wazza and Ronaldo.

And finally, congratulations to Gary Neville on the birth of his first child - and for manfully resisting the urge to call it after his Dad. The poor girl would never have forgiven him.


Snowball fight stops La Liga match
Ayr's Alex Williams celebrates goal with referee Steve Conroy
Jeff Stelling's underwater impression
Courtesy off 'Off The Post' football blog


More from this blog...

Topical posts on this blog


These are some of the popular topics this blog covers.

Latest contributors

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.