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

Review of the week

Post categories:

Chris Charles | 14:47 UK time, Friday, 15 January 2010

I got lost on the way to work this morning (Friday) - it's difficult to see where you're going with a paper bag over your head.

Alas it didn't work. I'd barely got through the door when the ribbing started: "How's life at the comedy club?" "Five games?!" "Who's next - Mickey Mouse?"

My colleague Honest Frank gleefully texted me with the news of Paul Hart's departure from QPR late Thursday night - anything to deflect attention away from the shenanigans at his beloved Hammers. As a Rangers fan you get to the stage where nothing surprises you any more, but even by our own sub-standards, that's some going.

The usual suspects - Curbishley, Coppell etc - are already being touted as replacements, but can you seriously see any of the big guns taking on a club whose motto is 'You don't have to be mad to work here, but it helps'?

As for Hart, word has it he's been approached by Danny Boyle to take the starring role in a remake of the director's 28 Days Later - the period of time that elapsed between the former Pompey boss strolling into Loftus Road and packing up his troubles. Boyle may also consider a movie about the life and times of QPR co-owner Flavio Briatore - working title Hangdog Millionaire.
Paul Hart
Paul Hart - blink and you missed him
Mick Harford is expected to take charge for the rest of the season (but don't hold your breath) in what will be the 11th managerial change since Briatore rode into town a couple of years back.

Harford's first game is fittingly at Blackpool, land of amusements, donkeys and roller-coaster rides - and you can bet Ian Holloway will be only too keen to show his former club exactly what they have been missing.

Hart's final match in charge was the FA Cup defeat by Sheffield United (three of his five games were against the Blades) - a defeat that stretched QPR's winless run in the competition to a remarkable 13 games. To put that into context, the last Rangers won a game in the Cup, Who Let The Dogs Out was in the charts, the Queen Mum was still alive and Wayne Rooney was still at school.

Of course the biggest FA Cup story of the week concerned Reading's stunning defeat of my other half's team, Liverpool (we're thinking of renaming our flat the Temple of Doom).
Naturally I was making all the right noises - coughing loudly to disguise my uncontrollable sniggers - but even she was forced to admit the better team won.

I must confess to feeling a little sorry for Rafa Benitez as he was grilled like a piece of well-done steak in the post-match TV interview. Benitez looked for all the world like a little boy who's just had his favourite toy taken away from him and the fight appears to have been well and truly sucked out of the Spaniard.

You fear the worst, but which one of the Chuckle Brothers is going to strike the fatal blow? Gillett rarely dares to raise his head above the parapet these days, while Hicks has been preoccupied with the behaviour of his email-loving son - aka Rude Kid. (One for the Viz afficionados).

The calls for Junior to fall on his sword were led by The Spirit of Shankly group, who must be aghast at souvenir watches featuring the legendary boss and ardent socialist selling in the club shop for £150 a pop. As a caller to 606 some years back observed: "If Shankly were alive, he'd be turning in his grave."

Ryan Babel is one of the players the Liverpool owners could cash in on during the window and the Dutchman's future could have been hastened along by a News of the World 'source' who revealed he was the only player not to receive a text telling him training was cancelled last week - only finding out when he arrived to find the pitches covered in snow.

Presumably all the players got the text informing them the FA Cup replay was postponed, because none of them turned up on Wednesday night.

Sadly no-one thought to tell Liverpool's marketing team there was a danger they could be scalped by Reading and they duly emailed fans a few hours before kick-off confirming details for the fourth round tie with Burnley at Anfield.

Liverpool fan Martin Jones told The Sun: "I didn't read it until after the game. When I got on the computer and opened it up, I couldn't believe my eyes. It was bad enough to crash out of the Cup, but then for the club to try and sell me tickets for the next round was like a slap in the face."

Burnley will travel to the Madejski a week on Saturday with new man Brian Laws at the helm. Football blog Off The Post recalled Laws' 'most significant contribution to management before joining the Clarets' when as Grimsby boss in 1996 he broke star striker Ivano Bonetti's cheekbone by throwing a plate of chicken wings at him.

Laws confessed: "To this day I don't know where this plate of chicken wings came from...I do recall there was a plate with maybe chicken on it." Grimsby responded by giving their boss the heave-ho - presumably for fowl and abusive behaviour.

One place where chicken will be on the menu is at the City of Manchester Stadium, where Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has called for lashings of poultry and pizza for the pre-match meal, along with (gasp) wine. You can almost picture the scene: Craig Bellamy, a pepperoni special and a crate of Chablis - what could possibly go wrong?

Mancini is shaping up to be the new Mourinho, with his good looks and Mediterranean charm and it's surely only a matter of time before Fergie rises to the bait, expecially now that the Italian has his sights set on a Champions League place after Carlos Tevez's hat-trick against Blackburn fired them into the top four.

Newcastle's Peter Lovenkrands also helped himself to a hat-trick against Plymouth in the FA Cup, while team-mate Jonas Gutierrez had a treble of his own, according to Popbitch, when he allegedly had 'three credit cards declined as he tried to put fuel in his car'. Exactly how long are his arms?
Sol CampbellCampbell played for Arsenal reserves against West Ham
In the week that the ice finally began to thaw, it was fitting that the transfer news of the week involved the return of Sol. Campbell has signed a deal with Arsenal until the end of the season but what's the betting he will be sidelined by a mystery injury on 9 April, conveniently ruling him out of a return to White Hart Lane the following day.

Story of the week concerned John Terry and his toilet habits. The Chelsea skipper told the club's official magazine his pre-match ritual involves having a wee in the dressing room's far right-hand-side urinal. "The foreign lads don't really get why I'm waiting behind them when there are plenty of spaces elsewhere," he explained.

All well and good but it's Roman Abramovich I'm worried about. If he spends a penny then Carlo Ancelotti is getting his kit off - and no-one wants to see that.

Talking of loos, the comedy injury of the week happened to, er, me. After weeks of battling into work in Arctic conditions I was finally undone by our toilet - putting my back out as I tried to fix the handle back on. And yes I am aware my career has been steadily going down the pan for some time now.

Comments

More from this blog...

Topical posts on this blog

Categories

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.