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Review of the week

Chris Charles | 13:32 UK time, Tuesday, 2 December 2008

As Sunderland continued their alarming slide down the table, there was a welcome distraction for Roy Keane in the shape of his beard.

Never mind that the Black Cats had just beeen whupped by Bolton, or lost five of their last six Premier League matches - the question on everyone's lips was, who did that fine facial fuzz remind them of?

"He should be a submarine captain with that beard," quipped Adrian Chiles on Match of the Day 2, looking nervously over his shoulder, while Guardian website reader Tom Hammett observed: "Is anyone else worried that Roy Keane's new look is remarkably similar to the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?"

Personally I think he's a dead-ringer for Tin Tin's Captain Haddock or the sailor Action Man no-one really wanted as a kid, while a friend of mine is convinced Keano asked him if he could spare some change at the bus stop yesterday.
Just in case you do happen to be looking in, Roy (Sir) that was of course a joke. Anyone who can grow such an impressive beard in such a short space of time is clearly a giant among men and despite these strange accusations that he's 'lost the plot', the Premier League would be a far duller place without Keano's wry observations on life.

It would certainly be interesting to hear what he had to say about Nicklas Bendtner's latest fashion statement. The Arsenal striker gushed: "I love my pink boots. I've wanted to play in that colour ever since I was young. The only way anyone can beat me now is to play with diamond-encrusted boots. And I don't think that is going to happen for a few years." Let's hope not.

Nicolas Anelka is rumoured to be the latest player planning to go pink and while many would argue it's good to see these new men challenging the stereotypes, you can always rely on former Chelsea hardman Ron 'Chopper' Harris for an old school viewpoint, stating: "Pink is a woman's colour, or so my missus tells me." Thanks for that, Ron.

One player you won't see wearing them is Cristiano Ronaldo - who needs pink boots when you've won the Golden Shoe? The Manchester United superstar claimed the Ballon D'Or award, two days after showing the world he's so good he can even play in goal...for Man City.

Ronaldo described winning the prize as "one of the most beautiful days of my life", although you can bet he was secretly irked after coming second to Kaka in a newspaper poll to find the world's best-looking player.

In the FA Cup, we were treated to the usual thrills and spills - sloping pitches, giant-killings galore, a naked man on the telly...whoah, hang on a second. Yes, as the cameras crossed live to the Histon dressing room following the magnificent win over Leeds, there was one of the players audtitioning for the next Gok Wan series. I must admit I didn't see anything, but then it was quite a cold day.

Elsewhere, there were notable scalps for Eastwood and Forest Green and the usual stories of postmen and train drivers grabbing the glory. But in Barrow's 2-1 defeat of Brentford there was a match-winner with a difference in the shape of Matt Henney - surely the only nuclear safety officer ever to make it through to the third round?

The week's here's-what-you-could-have-won award went to Portsmouth, who stunned the mighty Milan by taking a 2-0 lead in their Uefa Cup tie, only to blow it in the last few minutes.

A few days later, David James hugged a tree in Exeter to show his support for National Tree Week and must have been wishing he'd got that close to Ronaldinho's free-kick. One wag on a West Ham messageboard wrote: "I bet David James comes out to hug the tree but misjudges it completely and hugs the Exeter Mayor or a local photographer instead."

Revelation of the week came from Sir Alex Ferguson, who recalled the day he stood up Frank Sinatra. Fergie said: "You can't beat Sinatra. I was actually supposed to have dinner with him one night, but we lost to Charlton so I cancelled it and went home! I wasn't in the mood to meet anybody that night!"

By a strange quirk of fate, I had to miss the Charlton game last Tuesday for a date with Ol' Blue Eyes when my other half left me holding the baby while she had a night out. Bet Chopper Harris never stood for that.

And finally, best story bar none involved the Wycombe fan who ended up officiating during the game with Notts County, despite having no experience. When the fourth official had to stand in for an injured linesman, a tannoy announcement went out for a qualified replacement and Jarred McKnight seized his chance.

He told The Sun: "When the call came, I thought I'll have a bit of that." The 27-year-old student managed to convince officials he knew what he was doing and took his place on the touchline. McKnight added: "I've got a taste for refereeing now and I'd like to do it again...I even told Peter Taylor to get back in his box!" And the headline for this top tale...'The Referee's A Pranker'.


Worst dive ever?
Kaka's keepy-uppies using two balls


  • 1. At 3:21pm on 02 Dec 2008, Shaun wrote:

    Very enjoyable blog, Chris. I wouldn't have minded being in Jarred's position! Though, oddly enough, I think I would've preferred to have been a linesman than a fourth official - at least I'd have something to do!

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  • 2. At 3:43pm on 02 Dec 2008, lordslum wrote:

    The Gelled Tumbler is still a novice looking at that dive. Brilliant. Showing how it should be done.

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  • 3. At 3:44pm on 02 Dec 2008, Armchair Dave wrote:


    Nice read but you missed the highlight of the week for me. It was Leeds fans commenting on the quality of ITV. You can find the 45 second clip on YouTube - careful contains swearing...

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    I nearly fell off my chair laughing. Quality and also informative.

    Also notice that Roy Keane has managed 3 colours in his beard - black, ginger and grey. Surely he has to win a prize for that...

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  • 4. At 4:26pm on 02 Dec 2008, Medieval-Evil wrote:

    Anyone taking bets on whether Sunderland will be named part of the axis of evil before George Bush leaves office?

    I always wondered whether the name 'Stadium of Light' was supposed to be ironic...

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  • 5. At 4:36pm on 02 Dec 2008, Leviticus wrote:

    Gloves, body stockings, pink boots? As Jules and Sandy might say, 'get her dear'.

    And football used to be a game for men!

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  • 6. At 4:45pm on 02 Dec 2008, Parag wrote:

    Thank god, you r more enjoyable and less biased to read than Robbo... Hopefully, the days of his biased critics are over...

    Nice one chris...

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  • 7. At 5:37pm on 02 Dec 2008, panchopuskas wrote:

    Maybe it's a bet that he won't shaver until Sunderland win.

    Should be in time for Father Christmas ads by next December.

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  • 8. At 5:42pm on 02 Dec 2008, discoagogo wrote:

    'thank god, you r more enjoyable and less biased than robbo...hopefully the days of his biased critics are over...

    noce one Chris...


    Robbo and Chris are both legends in their own right, without them we'd be stuck with the mega serious phil mcnutney, long live chris and robbo!

    Great blog chris, particularly the dive link! thanks for brightening up my day!

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  • 9. At 5:56pm on 02 Dec 2008, NEARPOSTHEADER wrote:

    The astounding thing about the 'Worst Dive Ever' is that the ref actually awarded a penalty! His bank account records should've been examined to see if any large deposits had been made.
    Speaking of worst dives, Stevie G last night against West Ham? Come on Stevie! You can't play the tough, no-nonsense tackler and do that girly, legs-splayed, we've-run-out-of-ideas-and-desperately-need-a penalty thing much more - refs are catching on.

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  • 10. At 6:18pm on 02 Dec 2008, warwicktoharrisburg wrote:

    Hey is it just me or does he look more like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's evil twin brother with every passing day!

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  • 11. At 6:25pm on 02 Dec 2008, gstonesunited wrote:

    As far as i'm aware the boots are in aid of breast cancer. Also anything which broaden the following of the sport has to be a good thing.

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  • 12. At 6:28pm on 02 Dec 2008, levdavidovich wrote:

    I admire his resilience in the face of threats from the US, but he really needs to bring in some progressive laws regarding the treatment of women and homosexuality. Also, needs to invest in a centre-back.

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  • 13. At 7:00pm on 02 Dec 2008, Ian Bittiner wrote:

    That dive is hilarious!

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  • 14. At 7:30pm on 02 Dec 2008, collie21 wrote:

    Great piece, in Fact Keanos beard is the same as Gerry Adams, and a bit of Seige Mentality might do Sunderland good. But I have to say the piece by Dunphy, is ludicrous. Dunphy is well known for being controversial, over the top and a prone to exaggeration. I have to say I didn't know there was new owners at Sunderland, I had missed that, but I think Keano and Sunderland will still be in premiership come next September.
    AS for the colour pink, I will say nowt about Harris, but it's the colour in vogue for real men with or without lots of money on the Cote D'Azur, I just can't bring myself to wear it. Perhaps it clashes with my Irish complexion.

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  • 15. At 7:43pm on 02 Dec 2008, sandcastlejim wrote:

    that beard will cost him his job. laughable.

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  • 16. At 9:52pm on 02 Dec 2008, Killieferg wrote:

    I think Keano's starting to look like a young Karl Marx! But does he own the means of production... of goals. Oh what wit..

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  • 17. At 10:01pm on 02 Dec 2008, blur-mufc wrote:

    keano looks like pierce brosnan in robinson crusoe..

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  • 18. At 10:01pm on 02 Dec 2008, Chris Charles wrote:

    Evening all,

    Many apologies, only just got round to replying.

    3. ArmchairDave: I did know about the Leeds fans but decided not to include it as couldn't link directly to the swearing. Really sorry, but for that reason I'm going to have to ask the moderators to remove your comment - or at least the link, in case I get in trouble!

    6. Parag: Gotta disagree with you, Robbo's the main man as far as I'm concerned, but happy to take a compliment if it's laid on a plate!

    8. Disocagogo: I just told my girlfriend I was a 'legend' and she laughed out loud. Nuff said, but thanks anyway.

    11. gstonesunited: Not sure about the breast cancer thing but it would make sense and if so, great news. I'm all for fellas wearing pink, but I see enough of it with two young daughters to last me a lifetime.

    15. sancastlejim: Yes, beards and footballers - Frank Lampard snr, Danny McGrain, George Best - all top men. But it does make Keano look even more scary than usual. Would you like to be the one who tells him he's out of a job?

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  • 19. At 10:07pm on 02 Dec 2008, Chris Charles wrote:

    P.S. I'm even less of a legend now she's found out I've just shrunk her jumper in the wash - oops. And it's her birthday tomorrow - double whoops.

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  • 20. At 10:51pm on 02 Dec 2008, collie21 wrote:

    So buy a new one, and flowers, and present.............and er don't grow a beard

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  • 21. At 03:12am on 03 Dec 2008, sheeptest wrote:

    Okay I know it's not from this week but I reckon this dive's better...

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  • 22. At 03:59am on 03 Dec 2008, manucastle wrote:

    I always enjoy your blogs.. But this one was a little less funny than your own standard. (i.e. Every time I read, I usually have to suppress my bouts of laughter with difficulty. But today it was all smiles with no sound).

    Hope I am not confusing. Enjoyable none the less.


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  • 23. At 04:19am on 03 Dec 2008, Sevenseaman wrote:

    Ahmadinejad is apt, and same twinkle in the eye too. Perhaps equally bullheaded. Whither Sunderland?

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  • 24. At 07:54am on 03 Dec 2008, eirebilly wrote:

    Excellent blog again Chris, look forward everytime to your blogs and you have not let me down again.

    As for Keane, he looks like one of the bearded fraternity that used to haunt the streets of west Belfast in the early 70's. Very dodgy indeed.

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  • 25. At 08:31am on 03 Dec 2008, rl wrote:


    I agree, that dive had me laughing out loud!

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  • 26. At 08:47am on 03 Dec 2008, King-Dion wrote:

    Great blog. Very funny all the way through. On the subject of pink boots, I've heard that they are soon to be compulsory for footballers playing at Gay Pride Park in Derby.

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  • 27. At 08:52am on 03 Dec 2008, Edik wrote:

    Great blog.

    The dive made me laugh, but there is one problem. It wasn't the worst dive ever. It was the best; he won the penalty, and he was offside too.

    Is that Kaka thing actually real. I'm going to go home and try that. Queue a load of broken objects in my flat.

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  • 28. At 08:54am on 03 Dec 2008, Wedjwants wrote:

    Really enjoyable blog Chris, keep up the good work. Particularly enjoyed the final words on the ref at Wycombe, "I even told Peter Taylor to get back in his box", brilliant!

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  • 29. At 09:09am on 03 Dec 2008, Celts_R_Here wrote:

    Keane's beard is quality!!!

    Good blog, some excellent little jokes plus your missus seems to wear the trousers in your relationship!!!

    Keep up the good work!

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  • 30. At 09:21am on 03 Dec 2008, 355gts wrote:

    SOmeone must have pointed out already (I can't be bothered to read all the comments), that the Ballon d'Or is the golden ball for Europe's best player. The Golden Shoe is different!!!

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  • 31. At 10:27am on 03 Dec 2008, Dobbin808 wrote:

    Roy Keane = Roger Delgado (70s Doctor Who baddie 'The Master') surely?

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  • 32. At 10:32am on 03 Dec 2008, Chris Charles wrote:

    20. collie21: Agree, flowers are a must - I'm also taking her out to dinner and I will shave first. Plus my three-year-old 'bought' her a box of chocolates and wrote her own name on the card for the first time, so plenty of brownie points there.

    28. Celts_R_Here: Yes I do give the impression that she wears the trousers but in fact....oh all right - she does.

    22. manucastle: Yep, didn't think it was my finest hour either - sometimes it just doesn't flow the way you'd like, but think I've just about got away with it.

    30. 355gts: You're right, the Golden Shoe and Ballon D'Or are two separate awards, of which Ronaldo won both, but the way I wrote it suggested they were one and the same thing - told you it wasn't flowing!

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  • 33. At 10:40am on 03 Dec 2008, Chris Charles wrote:

    31. Dobbin808: By George I think you've got it - give the beard a little grim and he's a dead ringer.

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  • 34. At 10:40am on 03 Dec 2008, Chris Charles wrote:

    Er make that trim.

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  • 35. At 10:46am on 03 Dec 2008, JMcK wrote:

    Roy Keane's beard looks like a tamer version of Mel Gibson's beard from a while back. Or Saddam's beard when he got captured.

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  • 36. At 10:51am on 03 Dec 2008, SecretRedBennett wrote:

    10. At 6:18pm on 02 Dec 2008, warwicktoharrisburg wrote:

    Hey is it just me or does he look more like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's evil twin brother with every passing day!

    Lol, no, it's not just you. If you look in the third sentence of this blog, it's mentioned there.

    Spooky huh?

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  • 37. At 10:53am on 03 Dec 2008, djfuts wrote:

    great article mate!

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  • 38. At 10:54am on 03 Dec 2008, BCChris wrote:

    Hey Chris.

    Great blog as usual man, touched upon some real sensitive issues this week :P

    And to comment #12, oh my days i nearly had to change my pants after reading that, lol joker.

    Anyway Chris, keep up the good work man, and i look forward to your next blog.


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  • 39. At 11:14am on 03 Dec 2008, Zulu Warrior wrote:

    Very droll Chris a good take on the week. This beats all the mountainous output of deadly serious mu-ars-chel-lfc drivel that constitutes 90% of BBC football coverage. Good to hear about other clubs and see that a sensayuma is still thriving elsewhere in the football world. Nice one.

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  • 40. At 11:14am on 03 Dec 2008, Chris Charles wrote:

    38. BCChris: Cheers, man!

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  • 41. At 12:37pm on 03 Dec 2008, leetaylor7 wrote:

    Why dont you buy her a pair of the pink boots for her birthday?

    Tell her all the top players are wearing them. Nicklas Bendtner... Oh, er maybe not!

    Although I am very suprised CR isnt wearing them, thought they would be right up his street...

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  • 42. At 12:38pm on 03 Dec 2008, saint at heart wrote:

    Roy Keane lost the plot when he admitted setting out to end another players ability to earn a living at football.

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  • 43. At 12:41pm on 03 Dec 2008, scottsewell wrote:

    Happy Birthday Mrs Chris Charles.

    Ps - Keep up the good work Chris

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  • 44. At 12:42pm on 03 Dec 2008, scottsewell wrote:

    #41 I'd love to put those pink boots up somewhere else of Ronaldo's anatomy!

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  • 45. At 12:57pm on 03 Dec 2008, Bigpad wrote:

    Keane looks like Gerry Adams without specs!

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  • 46. At 2:00pm on 03 Dec 2008, Armchair Dave wrote:

    No probs Chris - I'm sure anyone who want's to see the clip can search for Leeds and Histon on youtube. :-)

    You have to admit though, fans can be incredibly funny at times and that was one of them.


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  • 47. At 3:18pm on 03 Dec 2008, nufcadam09 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 48. At 4:11pm on 03 Dec 2008, yannisx wrote:

    He thinks he may be out by Xmas, so at least he can get a part time job as Santa Claus

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  • 49. At 4:42pm on 03 Dec 2008, Armchair Dave wrote:

    Roy Keans beard reminds me of the classic TV series "Beadles About". Remember when Jeremy used to appear at the end of the setup? He was usually dressed as a police man with a thick, Roy-Keane-esque false beard, shoving a microphone into the gob of some fuming punter.

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  • 50. At 5:44pm on 03 Dec 2008, Football Fanatic wrote:

    Roy Keane looks like a spartan from the movie 300

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  • 51. At 1:40pm on 04 Dec 2008, collie21 wrote:

    He also looks like a young Capt Birdseye

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  • 52. At 4:54pm on 04 Dec 2008, collie21 wrote:

    and he is not a manager anymore,..............................................................................stunning.

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  • 53. At 00:30am on 05 Dec 2008, tarquin wrote:

    3 ArmChairDave

    Heh...was anyone else disappointed that particular chant wasn't included on quotes of the week?

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