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Review of the week

Chris Charles | 12:23 UK time, Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Brrrr!!! Hands up anyone daft enough to spend the last week exposed to the bitter elements, watching 22 grown men kick a piece of leather around? Yep, me too.

Football and the weather - our two favourite national obsessions fused together by temperatures creating an atmosphere more icy than the day Roy Keane parted company with Sir Alex Ferguson.

The United boss kicked off the New Year with an uncharacteristic moan, suggesting the fixture list was rigged against his team - "They tell me it's not planned. Bloody hell!" But it's a sure fact he'll go into Sunday's huge game with Chelsea a happier man than Big Phil Scolari.

The Brazilian ended 2008 by wishing the good people of England "peace, love and job" (he might find himself looking for that last one soon) and began the current year by declaring "my players love me" (even though they currently prefer playing away).
Luiz Felipe Scolari
Their special relationship was placed under strain after Chelsea were held in the FA Cup by the mighty Southend at fort-less Stamford Bridge, prompting the News of the World headline: 'Prawns 1, Shrimps 1'.

Still, at least there's always Roman Abramovich's bottomless pockets to bail the Blues out of trouble - or is there? The suggestions are there will be no new faces in January, while The Observer reported first-teamers have had their allocation of free tickets halved to cut costs.

But before worried Chelsea fans start to fear for their sugar daddy's wealth (he's down to number three on football's rich list), they will be heartened to know he reportedly managed to find £300,000 in loose change to hire the Kings Of Leon for a Christmas party in New York.

In the past, Roman is said to have spent a pretty penny to get the Klaxons for his daughter's 16th and a cool million to land Amy Winehouse for the opening of a Moscow art gallery. Incidentally, the troubled diva was spotted playing football on a Caribbean beach over the weekend - under the predictable tabloid banner 'Surely She Must Score'.

Anyway, back to the FA Cup and there was no shortage of the usual third round thrills and spills, with Nottingham Forest's stunning 3-0 win at the billionaires' playground the highlight.

New signing Wayne Bridge was paraded in front of the City faithful before the match and he must have wondered what he's let himself in for. At least he knows the £10m Chelsea got for him will be wisely spent - I hear the Rolling Stones could be available for Roman's next bash.

Elsewhere, non-league Torquay won the battle of the seaside towns, seeing off Blackpool to earn a home tie with Coventry and a year's supply of kiss-me-quick hats, while there were honourable mentions for Peterborough, Crewe and Forest Green.

And it was nice to see Soccer Saturday presenter Jeff Stelling maintaining his usual sombre, unbiased take on proceedings - giving a double-fisted salute to the camera as Hartlepool scored their second against Stoke to knock out the Potters.

Southampton were unable to conjure up a repeat of 1976 when they faced Man Utd, succumbing 3-0, and it seems all is not well at St Mary's. Lawrie McMenemy, who managed the Cup-winning side of 32 years ago, revealed the picture of him holding the trophy, which had hung in the boardroom for years, had been replaced to make way for...a train.

McMenemy said: "The excuse the chairman came up with is laughable. He said the club had recently received a painting of a train from Doncaster Rovers and there was nowhere else to put it!"

In a bad week for Rupert Lowe, he was also bizarrely pelted with 30 pieces of silver by a disgruntled fan - who was punished by being handed a season ticket for the next three years.

There was better news for Lowe's Championship rival John Madejski, who picked up a knighthood at the grand old age of 67.

According to Birmingham MD Karren Brady, the Royals owner was chatting to Blues counterpart David Sullivan when the teams recently met at St Andrew's. Sullivan apparently asked Madejski: "You've never married, John. Why?"

Madejski replied: "Why buy a book when you can join the library?" Brings a whole new meaning to the term Reading supremo.

The most apt name of the week belonged to David Pratt, who broke the record for the world's fastest red card, when he was sent off for Chippenham against Bashley after just three seconds.
Jermain Defoe
New (ish) Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe also entered the record books for the quickest-ever recovery from the flu which conveniently prevented him being cup-tied with Portsmouth.

In contrast to poor old Hossam Ghaly, the £15m man milked the applause at White Hart Lane before the League Cup semi-final thrashing of Burnley, looking as fit as a fiddle - although he could be in trouble with the fashion police for his highly dodgy cap and scarf ensemble, last spotted on the set of Steptoe and Son.

Heart-warming story of the week came from Northampton, who have given 250 tickets for staff at the town's doomed Woolworths store for Saturday's League One game with Huddersfield. Apparently they considered doing the same at QPR but decided the poor employees had already suffered enough.

And finally, back to the weather - the campaign for the return of the orange ball starts here. Hats off to all you Arctic junkies preparing to watch your team this weekend (in fact probably best to keep them on). The happiest fans will undoubtedly be at Kenilworth Road - if you can cope with minus 30 in August, you can cope with anything.


Nut-megged by the corner flag
Three-year-old bridesmaid's step-over


  • 1. At 2:05pm on 07 Jan 2009, bcnpaul wrote:


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  • 2. At 2:21pm on 07 Jan 2009, Zulu Warrior wrote:

    Good first footer blog Chris. Please keep up the mentions for snippets of clubs outside of MU + 3 unlike some of your colleagues.

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  • 3. At 2:41pm on 07 Jan 2009, BCChris wrote:

    Another very good blog Chris, hope you had a good christmas and new year. And that corner flag thing, yeh it looks impressive but that is surely set up right?

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  • 4. At 2:49pm on 07 Jan 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    2. GOOD1878: As a supporter of a lower light myself, I do my best to give us also-rans a mention. Check out Fletch's blog for some proper top-drawer non-Premier League chat - and of course Gavin Strachan, who gives us the view from the shop floor.

    3. BCChris: Yes, having looked at it again, you could be right! If so, I wonder how many takes they needed?

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  • 5. At 3:06pm on 07 Jan 2009, Blywasthegreatest wrote:

    Great Blog, but a big no to the orange ball.

    I'm colour blind (along with 1 in 10 blokes). It's OK when it's used on snow, but if it's patchy I can't sse it when it's on a green bit.

    It would also be useful if there was on a ban on teams playing each other in green and red.

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  • 6. At 3:08pm on 07 Jan 2009, Blywasthegreatest wrote:

    Great Blog, but a big no to the orange ball.

    I'm colour blind (along with 1 in 10 blokes). It's OK when it's used on snow, but if it's patchy I can't see it when it's on a green bit.

    It would also be useful if there was on a ban on teams playing each other in green and red.

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  • 7. At 3:11pm on 07 Jan 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    5&6. Blywasthe greatest: Apparently snooker player Peter Ebdon is colourblind - not the ideal profession him I would humbly suggest. Banning green and red strips? I'll see what I can do!

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  • 8. At 3:28pm on 07 Jan 2009, Ali_Don wrote:

    McMenemy said. “The excuse the chairman came up with is laughable. He said the club had recently received a painting of a train from Doncaster Rovers and there was no where else to put it”

    Is he being serious? Lowe is a bigger muppet than I thought. Good Lord…

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  • 9. At 3:42pm on 07 Jan 2009, Shoots-The Swindlement of the Swindling Swindler wrote:

    Sorry, nowt wrong with Defoe's attire (flat caps and scarves have been in for quite a while).

    Clearly will not be taking fashion tips from Chris Charles.....

    Rest of the blog is ok though.

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  • 10. At 3:52pm on 07 Jan 2009, dazzlingdublinblue wrote:

    I loved it when Defoe was asked why he was so glad to be back at Spurs.

    No mention of his per centage of the transfer fee or an improved contract so I presume he's taken a wage cut.

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  • 11. At 3:55pm on 07 Jan 2009, Mr Whoopsie wrote:

    I take it that "Shoots" is a chav? Even my 73 year old father would be too ashamed to wear that rubbish......

    .... good blog. Enjoyed reading it.... when I should be working .... and I thought Jeff Stelling was quite funny and it's good to see TV presenters show such emotion. I don't mind it if he's biased towards his own side. We all are and it makes for some good banter amongst the panel.

    Love it.

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  • 12. At 4:00pm on 07 Jan 2009, dodiesmith wrote:

    I never thought I would say a man in a cap would look sexy but there you go....
    I think Defoe looks terrific in his cashmere scarf and tweed cap, nothing like Steptoe..more like Mourinho, another man who always dresses with style. As the fashionistas say: it's not what you wear, it's the way that you wear it.
    (Oops, yes I am female....not that there is anything wrong with that!!!!!)
    Enjoyed your blog....nothing nasty about Liverpool, thankyou!

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  • 13. At 4:00pm on 07 Jan 2009, Morgue wrote:

    Shoots: - Flat caps, scarves AND two diamond ear rings? When the farmers of Britain admit defeat and succumb to bling fashion I will admit I was wrong.

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  • 14. At 4:02pm on 07 Jan 2009, Shoots-The Swindlement of the Swindling Swindler wrote:

    Well done gazmundo1987 - it must have taken you quite a while to come up with such a cutting remark.

    How will I ever recover.....sigh...

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  • 15. At 4:03pm on 07 Jan 2009, Shoots-The Swindlement of the Swindling Swindler wrote:

    Morgue - granted the diamond earrings were a no-no

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  • 16. At 4:08pm on 07 Jan 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    9. Shoots & 12.Dodiesmith: Each to their own, I guess - and you're quite right not to take fashion tips from me, although I was delighted when my other half told me DMs had become fashionable again. Now I just need to sort out the rest of my wardrobe - although I can categorically state that flat caps will not be forming part of my 'new look'.

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  • 17. At 4:12pm on 07 Jan 2009, Bangforyourbuck wrote:

    I think Jermain Dejavu is trying to achieve a perfectly symmetrical career, so expect a move to West Ham in a few years before finishing his professional career at Charlton.

    Jeff Stelling is a legend by the way, such a change from the usual interchangeable presenters, only Lineker comes close and even he's toned himself down lately.

    I feel good! Do-do-do-do-do-do-doo

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  • 18. At 4:27pm on 07 Jan 2009, whatbill wrote:

    Defoe dresses like a typical footballer - Beck's probably wore a flat cap a few months ago and now its caught on. Anyone wanting to get into china whites should probably take note...

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  • 19. At 4:39pm on 07 Jan 2009, littlejklc wrote:

    Regarding to the Defoe's transfer, he will be back to the old club in less than a year. Do anyone know if it is allowed? If not, there will be trouble for Spurs. Similar to West Ham's Trevez.

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  • 20. At 4:42pm on 07 Jan 2009, jamminben13 wrote:

    #17 All Bournemouth fans are hoping you're right, you theory means he'll go from West Ham to Bournemouth for a season on loan. Last time he was there, he scored 10 in 10. Smashing.

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  • 21. At 4:44pm on 07 Jan 2009, ednohead12 wrote:

    Jeff Stelling is great, it is refreshing for him to be confident in supporting his team. Lower league teams often have little to cheer about (being a brighton fan i should know) so why should he keep his emotions in check?

    I reckon if he was a liverpool/chelsea/man utd fan who sees winning games most saturday's then he would be less enthusiastic about cheering every goal his side scored.

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  • 22. At 4:45pm on 07 Jan 2009, Bangforyourbuck wrote:

    Ha ha ha, stranger things have happened.

    If Colin Kazim-Richards can be signed by Fenerbahce and Tyrone Mears by Marseille then anything can happen!

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  • 23. At 4:48pm on 07 Jan 2009, whatbill wrote:

    #19 - apparently the FA will have to sanction the transfer before it goes through as he is returning to spurs within 12 months. However, it is expected to go though with no problems...

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  • 24. At 5:02pm on 07 Jan 2009, Theo Logical wrote:

    ...if you can cope with minus 30 in August, you can cope with anything....

    I groaned and then I laughed!

    Well done Chris. We still miss your weekly conversations with Robbo!

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  • 25. At 5:12pm on 07 Jan 2009, offtouni wrote:

    nice one Chris, I always like to see what you and Robbo offer every week!

    I did however see this video on youtube and thought it might be worth a go...

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  • 26. At 5:38pm on 07 Jan 2009, eroottinen_kosketus wrote:

    Easy to laugh at people.
    Especially writing about it. Cheap journalism.
    (exactly what I'm doing now, see how easy?)
    Let's see how you dress Chris...

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  • 27. At 5:46pm on 07 Jan 2009, petey wrote:

    On behalf of us all at Kenny Road...sing along!

    30 know what we don't give by now...and I can't say it on here anyway...we're Luton Town...and we're staying up!!!!!!!!

    And we hope you're listening at the FA/Football League, too!

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  • 28. At 6:15pm on 07 Jan 2009, AlexGraham wrote:

    @26: Since when did Blogging ever become Journalism? They may both involve writing but there meant to be different, although I don't understand why the BBC Sport bloggers seem to write there blogs and cover many different subjects in each blog. If you're going to write about 3 subjects in a blog why not split them into 3 different blogs, it sure helps focus the readers commenting. Do the BBC ration you to 1 blog ration per week so you have to write everything in 1 piece?

    Nice blog by the way, I look forward to seeing Defoe fronting an ad campaign for a major Flu remedy soon.

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  • 29. At 7:30pm on 07 Jan 2009, Aan'allein wrote:

    Well, where is your girlfriend Chris? Has she gone to Roman's bash and never returned?

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  • 30. At 11:16pm on 07 Jan 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    25. Offtouni: Have clicked the link but this stupid home computer of mine is not having any of it at the moment. I'll pop some anti-freeze in tonight and see how she goes in the morning.

    26. eroottinen_kosketus: Cheap journalism? Yes, agree with you on that one - must ask for a pay rise. As for my dress sense, you really don't want to go there - think Rab C Nesbitt meets Timmy Mallet at Johnny Rotten's house-warming - and then some.

    27. powertripwrestling: There's apparently bad feeling between some Luton and QPR fans - but I'm with you all the way - may the ghost of Eric Morecambe lead you to safety!

    28. Cryotek: Believe it or not, they do want me to do more entries (the fools) but the idea of Review of the Week is to condense everything into 1,000 words or less. Maybe I'll pick one of the topics and warble on about it for a little longer in a separate blog. You've been warned.

    29. mabhijithn: Ha ha! I've just popped my head round the door and she's tucked up in bed with a hot water bottle reading the sports pages of a well-known quality newspaper. One of these days she'll get round to getting her own login and I'll be in serious bother!

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  • 31. At 11:59pm on 07 Jan 2009, tarquin wrote:

    Chris did you miss Stelling in full Hartlepool regalia after a cut away (complete with hartlepool teddy) - sheer brilliance, had me on the floor for about a minute

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  • 32. At 00:10am on 08 Jan 2009, Jack wrote:

    Nice to see my club (Chippenham Town) still getting some coverage over Pratty's red card.

    Obviously it's not the best football related record a player can have, and David possibly has the worst name a player could have when holding a record as unwanted as fastest ever red card, but it's still nice for a small club like us to make the national and even global news.

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  • 33. At 05:33am on 08 Jan 2009, Krispy9011 wrote:

    You should be writing this crap for the rags, not for a sports section.

    I don't want to hear about fashion, Roman's 16 year old daughter, Amy W. or all of that other stuff you chose to write about. Save that for the pram pushing papa's.

    Use your talent and write about the game mate. That is what is important.

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  • 34. At 09:04am on 08 Jan 2009, Samwell2804 wrote:

    Good Stuff Chris, keep it up!

    Its always nice and refreshing to see a light-hearted look at the week gone by, as some people, Krispy9011, dont seem to grasp the concept that it is not supposed to be super serious, yet they still seem to read it, they make u laugh dont they?!

    Hope you had a Good Christmas and New Year mate!

    More of the same in 09?!

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  • 35. At 2:15pm on 08 Jan 2009, Gerry_McDonnell wrote:

    The troubled diva was spotted playing football on a Caribbean beach over the weekend - under the predictable tabloid banner 'Surely She Must Score'.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    I'd have gone with 'Shoot'.

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  • 36. At 3:21pm on 08 Jan 2009, IPL Prediction Champ 08/09 wrote:


    bog off mate. he's getting paid to write blogs and you're not, jealous...thought that.
    very good blog Chris. i think robbo has dried up a wee bit, so this has brightened things up

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  • 37. At 4:16pm on 08 Jan 2009, effinsnow wrote:

    Am I being dim or has Jermain Defoe had surgery?

    That's no Defoe in a cap, try reading the rest of the blog!!

    ps - Sami for PM

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  • 38. At 4:19pm on 08 Jan 2009, effinsnow wrote:

    OK I'm just being dim.

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  • 39. At 6:16pm on 08 Jan 2009, Red_Sam_ThisYearHonest! wrote:

    "it was nice to see Soccer Saturday presenter Jeff Stelling maintaining his usual sombre, unbiased take on proceedings - giving a double-fisted salute to the camera as Hartlepool scored their second against Stoke to knock out the Potters"

    Coming from the media arm of Manchester Utd, that is really, really funny.

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  • 40. At 3:36pm on 09 Jan 2009, niches78 wrote:

    So Chris, when will the Premier League be treated to the magical footwork and silky skills of the hoops?!

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  • 41. At 4:55pm on 09 Jan 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    31. Tarquin: Missed Stelling in the full get-up - gutted!

    39. Red_Sam_ThisYearHonest! Think you got the wrong end of the stick - I think Stelling is a legend, was trying to make the point that it's great to see a presenter throwing off the shackles and wearing his heart very much on his sleeve - looking forward to the new Countdown to see what he gets up to on there!

    As for Man Utd bias - think that's a bit wide of the mark and you certainly won't be seeing any from me!

    40. niches78: Was gonna say when hell freezes over, but given the current climate, that might be before the month is out. Don't understand why we've not been splashing the cash a bit more, given our benefactors are numbers two and five on the football rich list - maybe that's why they're so rich.

    We seem to have tied a lot of average players up on long-term deals which could leave us right in the doodah if the owners get bored of their toy.

    Deffo can't see us going up this season - although I'd take a place in the play-off final against Cardiff at Wembley in a bid to gain revenge for defeat at 'their place' in the League One equivalent a few seasons ago.

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  • 42. At 5:41pm on 09 Jan 2009, OGheathmeister wrote:

    Good blog. 5 stars!

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  • 43. At 5:55pm on 09 Jan 2009, Matt Newsum - BBC Sport wrote:

    John Madjeski's quote about the books and library... made famous by another Berkshire resident: Slough's finest David BRENT.

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  • 44. At 10:10am on 10 Jan 2009, the_essex wrote:

    Steptoe and Son?
    This is one of many comments i've read this week concerning Mr. Defoe's attire on tuesday night, what would these people have prefered to see him dressed in? a Wenger style 'puffa' jacket? a scholari style tracksuit?
    personally i thought he looked immaculate, the epitome of style, pure class.
    I wonder what Defoes tailor would make of Mr. Charles's wardrobe?

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