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

Review of the week

Chris Charles | 08:40 UK time, Wednesday, 10 December 2008

When Roy Keane did his disappearing act, his beard was heading for the door marked exit as well.

Three days after leaving Sunderland, Keano was pictured minus the facial fluff that came in for a gentle ribbing in last week's blog.

Much as I'd like to think he's a regular reader of these pages and took my 'sailor action man' concerns to heart, the real reason for the trim probably lay a little closer to home. Soon after his departure he was photographed in the car alongside Mrs Keane, whose facial expression screamed: 'Razor! Roy! Now!'

I know what you're thinking - he's droning on about that blinking beard again, it must have been a slow news week, Well yes, frankly, it has.


It reminds me of the good old days of the Sunday Sport when they'd splash the story 'World War II Bomber Found On Moon!' one week and the following Sunday remove the superimposed plane and reveal 'World War II Bomber Disappears!' Genius.

Still, as one door shuts, another opens and while Keane's dog was steeling itself for power walkies, Juande Ramos was unveiled as the new coach of Real Madrid.

The last we heard of the beleaguered ex-Spurs boss, the joke was he'd deliberately been caught speeding because he'd do anything for three points - he might as well leave the car running if Ramon Calderon's hire 'em/fire 'em record is anything to go by.

At least Real are several points off the pace in the title race - winning La Liga is a surefire way to get the boot from the Bernabeu.

Another manager feeling the heat was Chelsea's Luiz Felipe Scolari. Affable assistant Ray Wilkins stepped in to face the press after the Bolton game and admitted: "When you're speaking in a foreign language day after day it's not easy and he does get tired."

Wilkins added: "I don't think we're too concerned with too many records, we want to really get some silverware on the table, so as far as that's concerned, we're not too concerned about that, it's another three points as far as we're concerned." Sounds like Big Phil's not the only one in need of 40 winks.

In the Championship, Norwich won the 'Old Farm' derby (hats off to whoever thought up that phrase) while Steve Coppell used a strange description for Jimmy Kebe's sending off at Barnsley. "It was all a bit Frankie Howerd," he observed, before adding: "Ooh no, stop it, thrice nay, titter ye not".

There was also a startling 'revelation' from the News of the World about Reading's promotion rivals Birmingham - and in particular Alex McLeish's number two, Andy Watson. The paper gasped: "He may be a tough, no-nonsense, shaven-headed Scot but he stunned onlookers when he walked through the doors of a popular city centre bar wearing a suit jacket and...a leather skirt." What was he thinking of - never mix leather with herringbone.

Down in League Two, Darren Anderton signed off in style by thumping home the winner for Bournemouth in his last-ever game. His decision to call it a day was praised by environmentalists everywhere - just think of the rainforests that will be saved now all those sicknotes are no longer needed.

Anderton's old England team-mate David Beckham was quite literally splashed all over the popular press after taking a dunk in the sea courtesy of a 130ft bungee jump. The topless stunt was clearly designed to show Fabio Capello just how ripped and raring to go he really is -either that or it was a public audition for next year's I'm A Celebrity.

Ah yes, you didn't think I'd get through another blog without mentioning my girlfriend's favourite programme did you? Actually, confession time - she saw last week's musings and insisted I love it just as much as she does, even threatening to get a login address and reveal a few more home truths on the bottom of this blog. No-one wants that - do they?

Anyway, professional cockney Joe Swash took the spoils under the headline 'Joe King', which believe it or not was the name of my dear old uncle. He was a Brentford fan and had this habit of taking a step to the right every time he shouted "Go on you Bees!" At half-time my Auntie Joan would have to walk to the other end of the terraces to go and fetch him (told you it was a slow news week).

Back in the Premier League and The Sun claimed Steven Gerrard had kindly allowed developers in Dubai to name a new department block after him - and it had absolutely nothing to do with the £1m luxury flat he received in return.

Meanwhile, Manchester City striker Jo shattered the feel-good factor caused by team-mate Robinho and that trip on the bus. "It's because he hasn't learned how to drive on the left-hand side of the road yet," said the Brazilian.

At least Hull stalwart Ian Ashbee was keeping it real. The skipper was approached to write a book about playing for the Tigers in all four divisions but turned it down after admitting: "There are more interesting people in the world!" He's got a point.

And finally, the Christmas spirit is truly upon us if this alleged exchange during the Leicester-Southend game is anything to go by - Leicester fan: "It's pantomime season out there!", Leicester manager Nigel Pearson: "Oh no it isn't!"

Christopher Biggins, eat your heart out.


  • 1. At 11:15am on 10 Dec 2008, boomshakalak wrote:

    great blog Chris - very funny this week...

    I for one would welcome your girlfriends contribution on here!

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 11:38am on 10 Dec 2008, Ant1979 wrote:

    Agree - very funny blog!

    I miss Roy's beard though, give it time and you will too...

    Complain about this comment

  • 3. At 12:12pm on 10 Dec 2008, ChelseaSaffer wrote:

    yor bra u kak funny. excellent article

    Complain about this comment

  • 4. At 12:44pm on 10 Dec 2008, scottsewell wrote:

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

  • 5. At 1:17pm on 10 Dec 2008, BCChris wrote:

    Considering there hasnt been a great deal of interesting news this week, i wasnt realy expecting much of this blog this week, but again youve added your own little touches to otherwise a mundane week of news and made it thoroughly amusing.

    Nice work Chris, keep it up

    Complain about this comment

  • 6. At 1:21pm on 10 Dec 2008, Zulu Warrior wrote:

    Nice take on a thin week Chris. As I'm off for the holiday period, may I be the first to wish you and your followers a Happy Christmas and a blogging good New Year.

    Complain about this comment

  • 7. At 1:51pm on 10 Dec 2008, Armchair Dave wrote:

    Yeah nice read as ever. Although I heard the Portsmouth players (on European night) were forced to slum it in a Holiday Inn (like the rest of us). Did anyone hear if that was true? And if so, did Crouchy need a special bed? I wonder if any of the used the Corby trouser press...

    Complain about this comment

  • 8. At 1:56pm on 10 Dec 2008, Chris Charles wrote:

    Thanks guys for the positive comments thus far (give it time). As my old boss used to say, this week was very much an attempt to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear - and what a marvellous saying that is.

    Knew there would be support for the other half's comments on here - I'm trying to avoid her catching this week's blog in case she follows up on her threats!

    6. GOOD1878 - Off for Christmas already? Blimey, where do you work?! Season's greetings to you and everyone else, although I've got a couple of blogs left in me before the festivities get under way. In fact I've been asked to do a review of the year, so if anyone can remember any crazy stuff that's gone in football since January I'd be much obliged. Cheers, Chris.

    Complain about this comment

  • 9. At 2:13pm on 10 Dec 2008, Ceannair wrote:

    Ah well, whilst part of me is thoroughly received the beard has gone (like putting a filthy dropcloth over the Venus de Milo!), it has rather spoiled the fun of being able to do the Baldrick/Bridesmaid joke!

    Complain about this comment

  • 10. At 2:13pm on 10 Dec 2008, Ceannair wrote:

    Or "relieved" even, takes yer pick!

    Complain about this comment

  • 11. At 2:14pm on 10 Dec 2008, Chris Charles wrote:

    9. Ceannair - Baldrick's bridesmaid - what a cracker of a lookie-likey! Wish I'd thought of that.

    Complain about this comment

  • 12. At 2:24pm on 10 Dec 2008, crumpy31 wrote:

    you must be joking.. how sad is this person? they pay you to write this rubbish? listen! your writing about roy keanes facial stubble!! have you litterally got nothing better to do with your time? man you must be struggling.. keanos a god.. your a dog.. get a life pal.

    Complain about this comment

  • 13. At 2:39pm on 10 Dec 2008, SaintOne wrote:

    To # 12 Crumpy

    Says the person commenting on the blog in the middle of the afternoon, rather than getting a life and a job!

    O wait what am I doing :(

    Complain about this comment

  • 14. At 2:39pm on 10 Dec 2008, BCChris wrote:


    Obviously read the first paragraph and gave up? Go back to reading the hungry caterpillar if more than 4 lines is too much for you.

    And as for a year review, the biggest and most obvious thing that sticks out in my mind, has to be the takeover of Manchester City... thats pretty much the biggest thing that happened this year right? Nothing else realy sticks out... bits and bobs. The Spurs saga?

    Cor youve got a tough job on there mate, good luck with that one

    Complain about this comment

  • 15. At 2:40pm on 10 Dec 2008, Chris Charles wrote:

    12. crumpy31 - see, I knew it was all going too well! On a scale of 1-10, how sad am I? Ooh, at least 12.

    Fair enough, though, it'd be boring if we all enjoyed the same things - my girlfriend, for instance, thinks I'm insane to attempt to buy Specials tickets for both dates at Brixton when they go on sale tomorrow. However, having agreed to spend less than a fiver on one another's Christmas presents, I now have the necessary funds to compete in the srcum - result.

    As for Keano, top player, wonderfully dry sense of humour and as I said in last week's blog (before he got the old heave-ho), the Premier League will be a much duller place without him.

    Complain about this comment

  • 16. At 2:41pm on 10 Dec 2008, Chris Charles wrote:

    16. Not to mention the scrum. Ahem.

    Complain about this comment

  • 17. At 2:48pm on 10 Dec 2008, Chris Charles wrote:

    14. BCChris: Man City, of course. Got to try and make the whole thing reasonably amusing as well - might have my work cut out with old Crumpy, though!

    Complain about this comment

  • 18. At 2:53pm on 10 Dec 2008, Worst_Firm_In_The_World wrote:

    I've been asked to do a review of the year, so if anyone can remember any crazy stuff that's gone in football since January I'd be much obliged

    Lazy get! Do your own work.

    Seriously, I enjoy the blog and look forward to your annual review... plagiarized though it may be.

    Complain about this comment

  • 19. At 2:53pm on 10 Dec 2008, tinyMagicDragon wrote:

    Nice blog Chris (I'll make you feel more at home by adding some destructive criticism later).

    Review of the year will be marvellous I'm sure. The big four don't win the domestic Cups, John Terry can't take a penalty, Manchester City/Robinho/Mark Hughes, honestly you could do a blog just on Man City. Hull City!!! William Gallas goes mental, and Spurs implode. I'm not even trying.

    But seriously, it's been quite a year, for all sports and football is no exception. Let's just hope next year you can blog on Liverpool finally breaking that 19 year duck!!

    Mrs Chris, we are waiting with bated breath for your input, I can't wait.

    Complain about this comment

  • 20. At 2:57pm on 10 Dec 2008, Gunner Do you All wrote:

    Don't mean to be a hater but you could of wrote a better article on the weeks goings on! What about Eboue and the booing? Drogbas on going issues with Chelsea?Zola and Inces immenant departures and how the new breed of managers seemingly not being able to hold their jobs down or their teams up! What about Harry's return to West Ham or even (going back on myself abit) Inces comments on him and Keanes silent assassins who are plotting their downfall!Nice article for an easy read but you have the opportunity to really report on some true up to date stories so please next time use the tax payers money and really look at the real issues not just the funny things!

    Complain about this comment

  • 21. At 3:15pm on 10 Dec 2008, Chris Charles wrote:

    19. tinyMagicDragon: Cripes, you've almost done it for me (sorry worst_firm_ in_ the_world). Another fan of the better half eh? You'll also no doubt be pleased to hear she's a supporter of the mighty Reds - I face a constant battle to keep my three-year-old toeing the QPR party line while her mother's team sit top of the pile.

    20. gunner-do-you-all: That's the politest telling-off I've received in yonks. Agree - Eboue and Drogba were arguably bigger issues but my brief is to look at the more light-hearted stories and leave the serious stuff to the big-hitters like Mr McNulty, who's far better at it than I am.

    For the record, I thought the booing was wrong - and I suspect when some of the fans dishing it out take another look at Eboue's haunted face as he left the pitch they might be regretting it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 22. At 3:20pm on 10 Dec 2008, redandblackT-Save 606 wrote:

    i see you've change your mug shot and lost your facial hair.You actually look worse now we get to see your face.
    Good blog though!

    Complain about this comment

  • 23. At 3:21pm on 10 Dec 2008, Javelin Sam wrote:

    If you want funny football banter you should read the "get it off your text" in the sports pages of the London Lite.. that should give you plenty of ammunition for a good blog!

    aparently west ham are a bigger team than Spurs despite not winning anything for 20 odd years. Spurs are better than all the other london teams..especially Arsenal because.. what have they won in the last 5 or so years?? and everyone is better than Chelsea..surely?!?!

    You could do a piece on the new calamity keeper that is Gomes.. If only the Tottenahm scouts had watched the compilation videos of his best and more notable worst pieces of form from his time at PSV which can be found on YouTube

    Complain about this comment

  • 24. At 3:25pm on 10 Dec 2008, Bearded Shrimper wrote:

    what a shame it is that another beard is lost too us. too much metrosexuality business for me, beards all the way

    Complain about this comment

  • 25. At 3:34pm on 10 Dec 2008, Javelin Sam wrote:

    i actually think his.."the groundsman went on strike so he used his beard to paint the lines" beard should win beard of the year. I heard that his beard was so big that it got sent to the stands for refusing to stay inside the technical box...

    thanks i'll be here all week..

    Complain about this comment

  • 26. At 3:35pm on 10 Dec 2008, bushfighter wrote:

    big story of the year - rotherhan, luton and bournemouth all start in the minus sparking a relegation battle even before the first whistle had been blown.

    Complain about this comment

  • 27. At 3:42pm on 10 Dec 2008, popperaccio wrote:

    re #21 Don't do yourself down Chris. I'd take your blog over McNulty's or Robbo's any day of the week.

    Although you say about Ashbee... I disagree. Ashebee's story would be the most comprehensive recent of history of Hull City and it would easily shift 50,000 copies in Hull alone.

    He's seen, all the managers, played at Bo'fer' 'ark (the lights lighting the letters kept going out and not being replaced) kept improving as a player despite people saying every season that he'd get found out after every promotion. And did all that and overcame a crippling injury!

    Ok, it might not appeal to the wider audience in terms of celeb auto biographies, but in terms of football I think his story is of immense interest.

    Complain about this comment

  • 28. At 4:09pm on 10 Dec 2008, Chris Charles wrote:

    22. redandblackT1899: Yep, the camera doesn't lie - some of us are jnust born ugly.

    27. popperacio: Re Ashbee, I wasn't putting the bloke down - just agreeing with him that there probably are more interesting people in the world. Fact is, his story's probably a lot more entertaining than, say, Ashley Cole's. Think Jamie Carragher's book will take some beating for football autobiography of the year mind.

    Complain about this comment

  • 29. At 4:11pm on 10 Dec 2008, kevthered83 wrote:

    dont forget Readings goal against Watford that never went in, for your review of the year!

    Complain about this comment

  • 30. At 4:59pm on 10 Dec 2008, Richard wrote:

    Carragher's book should win the Booker prize, what with it being fiction.

    Complain about this comment

  • 31. At 5:13pm on 10 Dec 2008, Liverpool Andy wrote:

    Got to agree Carra's book would take some beating but then the last autobiography I read before that was Gerrard's!
    You'll have to put something about Derby County in the yearly review!
    Portsmouth winning cup, and of course the tedious Ronaldo to Madrid saga which we'll no doubt experience again next year!

    Good Blog though anyway as ever!

    Complain about this comment

  • 32. At 5:52pm on 10 Dec 2008, rs wrote:

    "Meanwhile, Manchester City striker Jo shattered the feel-good factor caused by team-mate Robinho and that trip on the bus. "It's because he hasn't learned how to drive on the left-hand side of the road yet," said the Brazilian.!"


    How does this make any sense? What is because he hasnt learned to drive on the left hand side? Why would that shatter the feel good factor? Was he driving the bus? Whats its got to do with anything about driving, playing or anything!!!

    Id just like someone to explain this statement

    Complain about this comment

  • 33. At 5:55pm on 10 Dec 2008, Liverpool Andy wrote:

    pinnicleoffruit, it's because he seemed like a down to earth guy who caught the bus with us 'normal peasents' but we now though that wasn't the reason he caught the bus.

    Complain about this comment

  • 34. At 6:23pm on 10 Dec 2008, idoitforfootball wrote:

    you are a funny bloke! hows that keane prediction. off cousrse he reads your blog!
    And what the hell are they doing hiring Ramos? is this a joke? if you cant manage Darren Bent, how you going to manage Raul...

    Complain about this comment

  • 35. At 7:25pm on 10 Dec 2008, AlanGreen1234 wrote:

    reading this blogs a waste of time as per usual. this time its predominantly about beards, and making 'jokes' about them - don't quit your day job, oh yeah thats a waste of time too isnt it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 36. At 7:36pm on 10 Dec 2008, NEARPOSTHEADER wrote:

    Please, I implore you all, can we put an end to this grammatical faux pas:

    The contraction of 'you are' is 'you're' not 'your'!!

    'Your' is the 3rd person possessive adjective....alwight??

    Complain about this comment

  • 37. At 8:31pm on 10 Dec 2008, The_Toonster wrote:

    Great stuff as usual. Can you take over from McNulty please?

    Complain about this comment

  • 38. At 03:31am on 11 Dec 2008, rl wrote:

    A very good read as always.
    In your end of year review make sure you don't leave out the turmoil at Newcastle, which all started when Mike Ashley downed a pint in the top box at Arsenal, wearing his "King Kev" replica shirt.... classic.

    Complain about this comment

  • 39. At 4:45pm on 11 Dec 2008, bandanaboy wrote:

    class as always Chris
    My events of the year
    Robinho signing by accident for man city and the rest of the man city saga,including Ireland being there best player despite the money available.
    Spurs trying to be the new Leeds but ol Harry turning it and Bent around.
    the failure of berbs and keane after leaving Spurs and hopefully the December flood of Keane goals.
    the Keane saga at Sunderland.
    the first all premiership CL final and that terry miss.
    Ronaldo trying to leave/blackmail Utd.
    The return of Keegan to newcastle his inevitable walking out,the cockney mafia and Kinnear turning the air blue.

    that should start you off

    Complain about this comment

  • 40. At 5:21pm on 11 Dec 2008, sheeptest wrote:

    #27 Ian Ashbee's book 'would easily shift 50,000 copies in Hull alone.'
    Wow just think how many it's going to sell in the rest of the UK then! I'll be sure to arrive early when the book signing tour hits Aberdeen.
    Terrible blog as always Chris, I'll be sending the money I should have spent on my license fee to Ben Dirs instead. Don't tell the inspectors my address!

    Complain about this comment

  • 41. At 6:26pm on 11 Dec 2008, popperaccio wrote:

    yeah, i know you wasn't doing him a disservice. But it's the measure of the man that he'd rather keep his head down and work on his game than entertain the thought of writing a book on a story that hasn't even finished.

    I agree Ashbee's book might not be as entertaining as others. I bought Carra's book for my housemate's birthday and he's rolling all over the place with laughter.

    I was kind of implying it would only be of interest to Tigers fans and those with a football historian type interest... Sorry, i've just read my initial comment back and see how you may have interpreted it in the way you did.

    Complain about this comment

  • 42. At 09:19am on 12 Dec 2008, Wedjwants wrote:

    Great blog Chris, always good for a laugh! Looking forward to next weeks, keep it up

    Complain about this comment

  • 43. At 12:38pm on 12 Dec 2008, King-Dion wrote:

    Another good blog. It takes a lot of talent to write about very little, make it last and keep it amusing. But you succeeded again. A blog a day keeps the boredom away! Cheers.

    Complain about this comment

  • 44. At 4:28pm on 12 Dec 2008, Haruki wrote:

    this comment does not have to do with this article, but i wanted to comment on lawrenson's predictions for this week. more specifically the part where he mentions how Sunderland's supporters will be heartened since they saw their team "have a go" at Old Trafford last week.

    They defended bravely, stuck to the plan...but "have a go" they most certainly did not. In fact, the last time a saw a team so defensive from beginning to end was when Canada beat Mexico to win the Gold Cup a while back (even though thats meaningless to most of you...Mexico is good, and Canada is not, and didn't venture out of their half for nearly the whole game, except to nick the winner, no doubt Sunderland's inspiration for last week.

    Complain about this comment

  • 45. At 09:04am on 13 Dec 2008, arnoldric wrote:

    I will miss him

    Complain about this comment

  • 46. At 7:36pm on 14 Dec 2008, collie21 wrote:

    I just don't see who would pay to live in luxury flats called Gerrardsville, or Stevie Block B............ugh!

    Complain about this comment

View these comments in RSS


Sign in

BBC navigation

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.