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Review of the week

Chris Charles | 10:27 UK time, Wednesday, 17 December 2008

As Sports Personality turned into a real Hoy of the Rovers story, it was Rover and Out for Paul Ince.

It was bad enough hearing the Wigan faithful singing "You're getting sacked in the morning!" (right chant, wrong day) but when his own fans joined in, Ince must have felt like the hapless Guv'nor in Prisoner Cell Block H during one of those canteen riots. Only this time there was no Bea Smith to bail him out.

As John Lennon once opined, there's 4,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire - Incey has disappeared down one, but rest assured he'll pop up again before the season's out.

At the start of the campaign, all the talk was of Fergie's old boys taking the Premier League by storm. Four months on, and in the words of the room-service waiter who found George Best sprawled on a bed with Miss World and a shedload of cash - where did it all go wrong?

Keano and Ince have already gone and it's a fair bet the Man City powerbrokers might think twice about trusting Mark Hughes with the GDP of a small country in the January sales if they spend Christmas in the relegation zone.

And although Steve Bruce appears to have steadied the ship at Wigan, it's no coincidence that he's suddenly stopped having those tasteful highlights in his hair - a sure sign that things have been going Pete Tong.
Sir Alex Ferguson
While his former pupils are being put throught the mill, the old master appears as relaxed as he's ever been. On the weekend that Nora Batty sadly passed away, Sir Alex turned up at White Hart Lane wearing one of Compo's old hats - and when the Spurs fans gave him a gentle ribbing, the United boss simply took it off and gave a theatrical bow.

Fergie didn't even seem that concerned at failing to beat Tottenham, although he was probably stunned into silence after witnessing the second coming of Heurelho Gomes in north London.

Even Spurs boss Harry Redknapp could not quite believe the tranformation of the Brazilian, saying: "We went to Holland a couple of weeks ago and I met the goalkeeping coach at PSV. He said 'Don't worry about the goalkeeper, he is world class'. I've got to be honest, I wasn't sure if he had been drinking. I just smiled politely and said 'I'm sure he is'."

Tottenham old boy Robbie Keane looked like he'd lost a shilling and found sixpence (you can't beat your Grandad's sayings) after spending the entire 90 minutes on the bench at Anfield. But if Keano was hacked off, spare a thought for punters flocking to a pub in the blue end of Liverpool, where the landlord has enterprisingly renamed Happy Hour 'Keane Hour - it never lasts beyond 60 minutes'. Must have been an expensive afternoon.

From happy hour to Happy Days, and the news that Sunderland players have nicknamed caretaker boss Ricky Sbragia 'Al' after the diner-owner in the 50s-based sitcom. Sbragia is also known as 'The Wig' because the Black Cats stars are convinced he wears a toupee - and he may yet have the rug pulled from under him if Graeme Souness gets his act together.

Heart-warming story of the week came in the Chesterfield-Droylsden FA Cup-tie (part III), where the Spireites allowed their opponents to walk the ball into the net after scoring a goal from a throw-in which should have been returned to the non-leaguers. Liverpool also sportingly allowed Hull to do the same on Saturday - twice.
Gary Barlow and Robbie Williams at the Emirates
Comebacks were the order of the day, with Sam Allardyce ending his exile by heading to Blackburn and Peter Reid making noises about a return to Sunderland, which he later denied.

Blur meanwhile followed the Specials in announcing a raft of tour dates, but the biggest reunion news concerned Robbie Williams' possible return to Take That, on the back of a meeting with Gary Barlow at the Emirates. Shocking news I'm sure you'll agree - isn't Robbie supposed to be a Port Vale fan?

The singer is also rumoured to have a box at Chelsea, whose manager Phil Scolari incredibly made the front page of The Sun, along with Liverpool counterpart Rafa Benitez, after the pair were coincidentally floored by kidney stones, prompting the headline Liverpool 1 Chelsea 3 (the number of stones belonging to each man - keep up at the back).

Headline of the week, though, went to the News of the World, who told how Cristiano Ronaldo had spent £6,000 on Christmas decorations for his mansion, including a 6ft tree in every room, under the banner 'Santa Forward'.

Over in Argentina, scientists have invented a vanishing spray to prevent cheating at free-kicks. The referee marks out 10 yards with the white aerosol and gets the players to stand behind the line, which then disappears a minute later.

Impressive, but not as impressive as the invisible forcefield that popped up at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday to deck John Pantsil. The Fulham defender rubbed noses with Stoke's Ricardo Fuller before crashing to the floor a full two seconds later.

Referee Stuart Atwell, who earlier missed a penalty that was more stonewall than Hadrian's, decided to take no further action, but then he was the guy who awarded the 'ghost' goal at Watford and probably thought we was seeing things again.

And finally, back to poor old Incey. Apparently he had been trying to escape the pressure cooker of the Premier League by chilling out on the PlayStation with his kids - trouble was they only wanted to play football games. Now he's got a bit of time on his hands it wouldn't be a bad idea to get some practice in on Championship Manager


Harry Hill parodies Brazil advert
Rivaldo shows Pantsil how it should be done

(Courtesy of 'Off The Post')


  • 1. At 11:47am on 17 Dec 2008, ChelseaSaffer wrote:

    funny as usual Chris. Keep up the good work!

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  • 2. At 12:16pm on 17 Dec 2008, BCChris wrote:

    HA Yeh that John Pantsil thing was hillareous. In my opinion that sort of behaviour is worse than a 2 footed tackle.. its decieving, very unsportsman like and just not cricket at all!

    And that free kick spray is a brilliant idea, why isnt it over here yet? I cant think of a single negative about using such an innotive invention in todays modern game. Whats gonna be the FA's excuse? Using a free kick spray removes the error of human judgement from the game? Same thing they say about using video tech.

    Oh and that harry hill thing was hillareous too, i watched that one quite a few weeks back on TV, i was in stitches.

    Anyway! A very good review on the week Chris, some realy interesting stuff there, keep it up man

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  • 3. At 12:18pm on 17 Dec 2008, Rocketastic wrote:

    Funny? Remind me when I should. Painfully rubbish.

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  • 4. At 12:19pm on 17 Dec 2008, Rocketastic wrote:

    Laugh obviously. Arse.

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  • 5. At 12:29pm on 17 Dec 2008, JamieMascherano wrote:

    Very good. Found Harry Redknapp's quote especially funny.

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  • 6. At 12:35pm on 17 Dec 2008, scottsewell wrote:

    Another good blog Chris, keep up the good work.

    Is it just me, or did Alex Ferguson look like a charva with the way he was wearing has hat?

    Opinions please.

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  • 7. At 12:40pm on 17 Dec 2008, Samwell2804 wrote:

    Good stuff Chris, very amusing to pass the long office day, keep it up?!

    Fergie did look compo to be fair, just look at the pic, quality?! haha

    "where the landlord has enterprisingly renamed Happy Hour 'Keane Hour - it never lasts beyond 60 minutes'." - genius

    the Harry Redknapp comment is pure class aswell?!

    loving it

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  • 8. At 12:54pm on 17 Dec 2008, JamieMascherano wrote:

    All Fergie needed was those gloves with the finger tips cut off.

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  • 9. At 1:07pm on 17 Dec 2008, Armchair Dave wrote:

    Pity Fergy didn't arrive at the stadium in a bath...

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  • 10. At 1:09pm on 17 Dec 2008, mullethater wrote:

    Great article

    bit of overkill with the culture references though.

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  • 11. At 1:10pm on 17 Dec 2008, dufcterror - I love the shimmy wrote:

    Surely he'd play Football Manager?
    A much better and more realistic game!

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  • 12. At 1:15pm on 17 Dec 2008, Chris Charles wrote:

    Afternoon all. Glad most of you have found it just about readable.

    3&4. Rocketastic: Remind you when you should laugh? OK, I'll drop you a text later. We still on for tonight by the way?

    6. Scottsewell: Charva? You've got me there (must be an age thing). I'm guessing it's something like chav? I personally think he looks like he should be on a picket line standing around a brazier - either that or gearing up for the Dexy's reunion.

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  • 13. At 1:18pm on 17 Dec 2008, Samwell2804 wrote:

    Hear, Hear dufcterror

    I totally agree

    Football Manager is the only management sim to be played. Many a good hour of my life has been passed by whilst enslaved to that game?! hahaha lol

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  • 14. At 1:24pm on 17 Dec 2008, Chris Charles wrote:

    11&12: dufcterror and Samwell2804. I must stress that I favour no one football game over another - was just using CM to illustrate which division he may be plying his trade in next.

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  • 15. At 1:24pm on 17 Dec 2008, JamieMascherano wrote:

    Chris do you expect Robbie Keane to get a run out on Sunday or even nick a winner for Liverpool?

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  • 16. At 1:29pm on 17 Dec 2008, Armchair Dave wrote:

    Aye Chis, give Rafa a bell and find out...

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  • 17. At 1:33pm on 17 Dec 2008, davidmartinie wrote:

    Wow the standard of journalism is really low these days at the BBC. There must have been at least twenty cliches or borrowed catchphrases used in that article and it wasn't even that long. Just because it's sports journalism doesn't mean it can't have imagination, analysis and originality. We're not thick, BBC.

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  • 18. At 2:07pm on 17 Dec 2008, Chris Charles wrote:

    17. Davidmartinie - your comment has left me shaken, but not stirred. Oops, there I go again...

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  • 19. At 2:08pm on 17 Dec 2008, Hargo A Go Go wrote:

    Hey Chris, You and Robbo should have a blog off and let the readers vot on which one's funnier. I can just imagine the stitches everyone would be in.

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  • 20. At 2:10pm on 17 Dec 2008, Samwell2804 wrote:

    Thats because of course Chris

    "There are other Generic Football Simulations Available out there"

    seen as we're on the beeb 'n' all?! haha

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

    19. Reddevilyardie - yes, just imagine - Ricky Gervais would be bricking it.

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  • 22. At 2:12pm on 17 Dec 2008, collie21 wrote:

    love the liverpool hull quip brilliant, scary thought though, Sir Alex looks a lot like Ian paisely... Last week it was keno looking like Gerry Adams, what is next, Big Sam looking like Gordon Brown?
    Covered all the bases well done mate.

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  • 23. At 2:12pm on 17 Dec 2008, rjaggar wrote:

    Great comment on the lines of 'by saying what I said first, I negated the hopes of what I said second'.

    "We can draw some very big teams," Fabregas told Sky Sports News. "We will see what happens. If you want to win this tournament you have to beat everyone

    "I don't want them (Barcelona) to be honest.

    "But whenever you say that you don't want someone, you get them. So I would prefer not to say anything."

    Mmm........I guess I'm just being pernickitty.....

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  • 24. At 2:13pm on 17 Dec 2008, Samwell2804 wrote:

    Blog Off ..............

    Bring It On

    Lovin' the sound of that !!!

    it would be Genius, that is definately what is needed to get me thru the Office Overtime Shift.

    Come on beeb sort it out and let the Blog Off begin !!!

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  • 25. At 2:23pm on 17 Dec 2008, Sarah wrote:

    Robbie was at the Emirates to watch United. He was quoted on Sky as saying something like "I'm a Port Vale fan, but United are my second team." Or something like that anyway ...

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  • 26. At 2:24pm on 17 Dec 2008, Chris Charles wrote:

    25. Un-Bell-ievable - Hmm, maybe I could pretend Arsenal are my second team to get me out of my Loftus Road commitment?

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  • 27. At 2:50pm on 17 Dec 2008, supermanutd61g wrote:

    Hey Chris,

    Good article as always..

    Yours (and the Robbo fella) articles are always a good read..I cant believe some people waste time criticising the style, wordings etc in these articles..

    sure different people enjoy different types of articles..just relax, read, enjoy the article.. if you dont like the article, you will like the next one..

    Keep up your good work!

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  • 28. At 3:17pm on 17 Dec 2008, Armchair Dave wrote:

    If you are going to have a Blog Off between Chris and Robbo, may I suggest a 3rd party? A tumbleweed.

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

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  • 29. At 3:18pm on 17 Dec 2008, collie21 wrote:

    Robbie Keane to team up with Duffer at Newcastle and Score double figures before the end of the season :-) Newcastle to get into Europe with Sunderland:-)
    obviously Liverpool to have a drastic spell and get relegated alongside arsenal and wigan.....and Murhinio to manage Leeds UTD.
    Nothing to do with your week but would make mine if it happened :-)

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  • 30. At 3:42pm on 17 Dec 2008, Chris Charles wrote:

    28. ArmchairDave - Haha, like it AD! Hang on a minute....

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  • 31. At 4:22pm on 17 Dec 2008, Richard wrote:

    Robbie Williams is NOT a Port Vale fan.

    Here's a few clues for you, Sherlock:

    Robbie Williams never goes to Vale Park.
    Robbie Williams is only ever seen watching football at Old Trafford, the Emirates, Anfield & Stamford Bridge.
    Robbie Williams never does anything that's even remotely connected to Port Vale.
    Robbie Williams is only interested in 1 thing:
    Robbie Williams.

    So if you have to use a sentence that includes the words Robbie and Williams, remember not to use the words Port and Vale in that sentence. Does that clear that point up for you?

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  • 32. At 4:23pm on 17 Dec 2008, Richard wrote:

    I suppose I shouldn't expect anything along the lines of accuracy or balance from a QPR fan, but, just for the record, Robbie Williams is NOT a Port Vale fan.

    Here's a few clues for you, Sherlock:

    Robbie Williams never goes to Vale Park.
    Robbie Williams is only ever seen watching football at Old Trafford, the Emirates, Anfield & Stamford Bridge.
    Robbie Williams never does anything that's even remotely connected to Port Vale.
    Robbie Williams is only interested in 1 thing:
    Robbie Williams.

    So if you have to use a sentence that includes the words Robbie and Williams, remember not to use the words Port and Vale in that sentence. Does that clear that point up for you?

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  • 33. At 4:24pm on 17 Dec 2008, collie21 wrote:

    I guess number 31 doesn't like Robbie Williams but does like Port Vale..........ooops sorry!

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  • 34. At 4:35pm on 17 Dec 2008, Samwell2804 wrote:

    im not even sure if he likes Port Vale

    i do remember Robbie Williams(good job he dont get royalties for how many times his name is mentiond on this blog, else the BBC would be out of cash, lol) put approx 250k into Port Vale, which was as much as was aloud, but he doesnt actually like them???

    i wish he didnt like me then!!!

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  • 35. At 4:58pm on 17 Dec 2008, trahax wrote:

    Very funny article. I think it may be davidmartinie's time of the month. No-one likes a hater. if u dnt like the blog keep it to urself.

    Keep up the the good work Chris!

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  • 36. At 5:10pm on 17 Dec 2008, DalglishtoRush wrote:

    If I'd woken up with Miss World surrounded by cash the LAST thing I'd think is "where did it all go wrong!"


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  • 37. At 7:22pm on 17 Dec 2008, dcfc88 wrote:

    How is stuart atwell still taking charge of premiership matches?

    He has consistently proved himself to be a shocking referee from the sending off in the sheffield united-blackpool game, then the ghost goal for reading against watford.

    His performance in east midlands derby between the rams and forest was a joke and after that i thought id never see him in the championship for the rest of the season nevermind the premiership.

    It turns out he was only promoted to a football league ref at the start of this season.

    Are the people who are appointing the refs just forgetting that its atwell's name which keeps popping up in controversial decisions?

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  • 38. At 11:42am on 18 Dec 2008, Zell182 wrote:

    Funny stuff but there's one problem: Ince wants to be playing Football Manager not Championship Manager! Keep up.

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  • 39. At 12:36pm on 18 Dec 2008, scottsewell wrote:

    re: blog off.

    At least the blog off will be better than the dance off on Soccer am. I'm a Newcastle United fan, and just watching those two do that made me think; 'no wonder southerners think us northerners are stupid and thick'.

    re: charva / chav

    a 'charva' is the geordie term for 'chav'. If you come up to the Toon you'll know what I mean.

    Keep up the good work, and I look forward to the blog off!

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  • 40. At 3:10pm on 18 Dec 2008, PNE_In_Norwich wrote:

    As a FM manager, it's fair to point out that CM was the same game (well, made by the same team) up until the birth of FM4, where some idiots kept the name CM, while the decent ones left them and started FM. Or something like that.

    I have to say, I still call it Champ and not Football Manager, it's hard to lose a nickname like that after many years.

    Oh yeah, nice blog.

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  • 41. At 6:47pm on 18 Dec 2008, Jack wrote:

    What disappointed me this week was reading in the paper today that Chesterfield feel Droylsden should 'do the right thing' and forfeit the abandoned tie because Chesterfield were winning when the tie was abandoned.

    However Droylsden were winning the original game when it was abandoned due to fog - so why didn't Chesterfield forfeit the tie themselves?

    Great blog though, especially the Harry Hill clip.

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  • 42. At 7:07pm on 18 Dec 2008, Rita Cocking wrote:

    Am I imaging things,or is SAF starting to resemble the Rev Ian Paisley?

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  • 43. At 9:25pm on 18 Dec 2008, superhoffy wrote:

    thanks for the links and the great blog Chris. Keep up the good work and Merry Xmas.

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