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Chris Charles | 10:00 UK time, Friday, 21 August 2009

When Man Utd toured the Far East this summer, Dimitar Berbatov said he felt like a Beatle. On Wednesday night the striker and his team-mates looked more like Bez - dazed and confused.

United's defeat by Burnley was the biggest shock since Robert Smith first discovered hairspray, as a thumping effort from Robbie Blake (or 'Blobbie Rake' as he's known in the trade) earned the striker the freedom of the city.

While Fergie's face turned claret and the United fans left feeling blue (must have been a long journey back), the real hero of the day was Burnley goalkeeper Brian Jensen. 'The Beast', as he is affectionately known, had a five-foot sausage sandwich named after him by a local butcher last season, but after Wednesday's heroics they might have to add another foot or two.

Down the road, United's near-neighbours continued their relentless pursuit of Joleon Lescott, with Mark Hughes as popular in the Moyes household as Neil Ruddock at an all-you-can-eat-for-a-fiver buffet.
Mark Hughes and Sam Allardyce
City are putting a new twist on that old Johnny Ball TV show - Think Of A Number (And Double It). There were rumours before the 6-1 thrashing by Arsenal that they had got their man and Lescott would not turn up at Goodison. They got one part right.

Hughes might have fallen from grace with Moyes but he took the trip to former club Blackburn a little too literally as he crashed to the floor in a failed attempt to shake Big Sam's hand. It's not clear what an amused Allardyce said in response, but he might well have gone to bed humming Culture Club's I Tumble For Ya.

Rock 'n' Roll seemed to be the theme of the week in football land. Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant looked a little embarrassed as he strolled out on to the Molineux turf to be unveiled as the new vice-president of Wolves, but couldn't have been too impressed to see his boys Trampled Underfoot by West Ham.

Three days later, the Midlanders' fortunes improved with a 1-0 win at Wigan to leave the former hell-raiser feeling a Whole Lotta Love. And yes, that is the sound of the Led Zep pun police screeching to a halt outside.

Over at Liverpool, Ryan Babel was making an unlikely cameo on British hip hop star Sway's new album. The Dutchman was described as a 'sick rapper' by Sway (I think that means good) and his word-play is obviously superior to his wing-play if last season is anything to go by.

Babel's boss Rafa Benitez was also back in the groove after Liverpool's defeat by Spurs, laying into referee Phil Dowd, accusing the fourth official (Stuart Atwell since you ask) of being too young and holding up a pair of glasses when asked to sum up the officials' performance. Not the first time he's made a spectacle of himself, some may suggest.

Neil Warnock was another manager acting totally out of character by losing his customary cool, although for once our Colin was completely justified following the goal that never was at Bristol City. So blatant was the mistake by Mr Magoo and his fellow-officials, the Crystal Palace boss escaped censure for his outburst over the affair that will forever be known as Ashton-gate.

Back to the music and Patrice Evra revealed he is the man responsible for the pre-match tunes in the Manchester United dressing room. The Frenchman said: "I have to change the playlist every time. You don't know these guys - they're like dogs!" Poodles is the breed that springs to mind after the Turf Moor disaster - perhaps Evra got the cds mixed up and played Send In The Clowns by mistake.

Back at City and Carlos Tevez followed former team-mate Ronaldo in heaping praise on the Gallagher brothers. The striker and brother Diego are in a band called Piola Vago back in Argentina and Tevez claimed: "You could say we are the Latin version of Oasis! "I would definitely jam with them some time if they were up for it. They could teach us a few things and we could teach them how to dance the Latin way."

I bet Liam would be right up for that.

Elsewhere, Killers frontman Brandon Flowers called his baby boy Gunner (better than Colly I guess), Aha's Morten Harket was outed as a Stoke City fanatic and Anton Ferdinand is planning a Michael Jackson goal celebration the next time he finds the back of the net.

The Sunderland defender said: "I've been contemplating a tribute to him but I'm not sure how it'll work out. I actually thought of putting a glove in my sock to pull out if I score...but it could be down there a couple of years because I've not scored for a while!"

In the Championship, Norwich manager Bryan Gunn was sacked one league game into the new season and replaced by Paul Lambert, the man who masterminded Colchester's 7-1 win at Carrow Road. On that basis, the next Brighton boss will be Huddersfield's Lee Clark, with Arsene Wenger taking over from David Moyes.
QPR co-owners Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore
As for my lot, well forgive me for once again repeating that wry observation from a QPR messageboard wag, but we really do seem to be the only team in the world that's been taken over by billionaires and got worse. Flogged our best striker, didn't replace him and currently sit 17th with two points and two goals - not rocket science, is it?

After the Bristol City defeat the boards were awash with fans moaning and groaning that nothing had improved since last season, with this post from Hunter Hoop on Loft For Words particularly catching the eye:

"Coming to football grounds near you...The Queens Park Rangers boutique film company presents...'DÉJÀ VU', starring the same cast that brought you: 'Score in a Brothel? You Must be Joking!' and 'Sack the Manager'.

"Unbelievably frustrating,' says The Independent. 'Boring,' says The Times. 'I fell asleep" - Christopher Tookey of the Daily Mail. 'Funniest film of the year!' says Paul Ross."

Funniest clip of the week (apart from Sparky's slip) has to be Hull midfielder Jimmy Bullard attempting to pose for the Sky cameras while trying to keeo a straight face - as shown on Soccer AM. Priceless. That boy should be on the stage.

And finally, story of the week concerned one Kirk Bradley, who has had 'Manchester City 2011 Champions League Winners' tattooed on his right arm, complete with a large picture of the trophy. "I don't think anyone can doubt I'm a real fan," Kirk beamed. Or a prize fool - take your pick.

P.S. Apologies in advance for not being able to share the usual banter with everyone - I'm at The Oval on Friday (for pleasure, not work) and think it would be unwise for me to attempt to type when I get in. Will look in from home on Saturday.


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