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Review of the week

Chris Charles | 14:00 UK time, Thursday, 21 May 2009

Manchester United may have finally celebrated their 18th, but it was Rafa Benitez who was claiming the keys to the door.

The Liverpool manager greeted United's title triumph with all the enthusiasm of a jilted boyfriend who's unexpectedly bumped into his ex and her handsome new beau.

He pointedly refused to congratulate Sir Alex Ferguson, saying: "I prefer just to say well done to Manchester United. Normally you have to be polite and to respect the other manager. But during the season we have seen a lot of things I don't like." Ouch.

Rafa also suggested that just because United had finished top it didn't mean they were the best team. "If United have more points, it only means they have more points," he added helpfully.

Sir Alex Ferguson and Rafa BenitezIn which case, could Liverpool kindly do the decent thing and hand back their 1976 league title, which morally belongs to QPR? Not that I'm bitter, you understand.

But forget all this talk of Benitez being a party pooper, let's celebrate his fierce rivalry with Fergie, which has witnessed more ding-dongs than an Avon lady with superglue on her finger. With Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex suddenly behaving like long-lost sweethearts, it needed somebody to put a cat amongst the fiery knight's pigeons and Rafa has pulled a sabre-toothed tiger out of the bag this season.

Wenger committed his future to Arsenal, but only after getting a few things off his chest. The Frenchman claimed the flak he has been getting after another potless year made him feel "like you killed somebody". A little extreme perhaps, although I know a few Gooners who could murder a trophy right now.

Arsene has always been known as a shrewd operator, but you'd have to question his judgement when asked to comment on the Nicklas Bendtner 'trouser-gate' incident from a couple of weeks back.

"I was angry but he has been set up," Wenger claimed. "People make the story that he was drunk - he was not drunk. He did not pull his trousers down, somebody did it for him and somebody was posted there with a camera." Which begs the question, why didn't he pull them up again before he got to his car?

Meanwhile, back in Manchester, there are fresh cracks appearing in Cristiano Ronaldo's relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson - or 'Ronson' to give them their Hollywood name.
It's like deja vu all over again, with Ronaldo declaring his undying love for United one minute, while refusing to rule out a move to Real Madrid the next.

Following the shirt-throwing incident against Man City, Ronaldo and his manager chose to wash their dirty laundry in public at the JJB Stadium - with Fergie doing an impression of a traffic cop on acid, while his protege assumed the role of moody teenager. (To paraphrase Ringo Starr, all Ron's gotta do is act naturally.)

Now that the Premier League is in the bag and the Champions League final on the horizon, the two of them appear to be all sweetness and light once more, but come the summer you just know the shenanigans will predictably start up again - Ronson, it does what it says on the tin.

Everyone was on their best behaviour last weekend when a very special visitor dropped in at Old Trafford, in the shape of triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt.

The Jamaican, a (very) big United fan, came to impart some of his advice to the players, informing us Ronaldo was not a diver but simply "tipped over a bit" when reaching top speed. Nearly as amusing as Jordan and Peter's plea to the press to "respect our families' privacy at this difficult time".
Wyane Rooney and Usain Bolt
The funniest sight was the picture of Bolt greeting Wayne Rooney - now we know how the Lilliputians felt when Gulliver came-a-calling.

United play Hull in their final league game of the season and with rumours persisting that Ferguson will be sending the under-13 girls team and a couple of tea-ladies to the KC, the north-east triumvirate are like a group of builders following instructions to block up a tunnel - bricking it.

Boro fans know their hopes of survival are vainer than Warren Beatty and never mind squeaky, it's streaky-bum time for Newcastle as they enter the last-chance saloon looking firm favourites for the drop.

The players have been making all the right noises about Alan Shearer's management style, with Steven Taylor revealing the Big Brother approach that has everyone looking over their shoulders: "He knows people throughout the city and will find out everything. Now if I go into a restaurant I'm thinking 'He knows what I'm eating - will I order chips or not?'"

One thing the players might be encouraged to do by Shearer this week is drop litter around the Toon - safe in the knowledge team-mate Joey Barton will be around to pick it up soon afterwards.

Quote of the week came from Arsenal striker Andrey Arshavin, who was given the opportunity by the Daily Mail's Martin Samuel to put the record straight over previous comments slating women drivers.The Russian agreed it was wrong - he clearly hadn't gone far enough.

"I would never give driving lessons to women," he declared. We need to build new roads for them. Why? Because you never know what to expect from a woman on the road. If you see a car behaving weirdly, swerving and doing strange things, before you see the driver, you know it is a woman. It is always a woman."

Meanwhile, best feel-good tale concerned FC United - the splinter club set up in protest at the Glazers' takeover of Man Utd - who are inviting supporters to set their own price for season-tickets.

Board member Jules Spencer said: "We believe this is unprecedented in football - a club saying pay what you can afford. It's about recognising some may not be able to afford last season's prices but others will be able to afford more. Some may question whether we're being foolhardy, but why shouldn't we be trust our supporters?"

A worthy idea and one that should be adopted across the football leagues - pay what you think your team's worth. My cheque for £1.99 is winging its way to Flavio Briatore as we speak.

And finally, Chelsea fans still enraged over the injustice of their Champions league exit at the hands of Tom Henning Ovrebo, launched an internet campaign ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest to ensure the referee's native Norway would not win. Well that worked, didn't it?

OTHER STUFF

Eintracht Frankfurt keeper Markus Pröll rips Jersey with teeth after conceding goal
'Disabled' Burnley fan walks after goal
(Courtesy of 'Off The Post' football blog)

Comments

  • 1. At 2:42pm on 21 May 2009, U13967209 wrote:

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

  • 2. At 3:18pm on 21 May 2009, virtuallonetraveller wrote:

    And finally, Chelsea fans still enraged over the injustice of their Champions league exit at the hands of Tom Henning Ovrebo, launched an internet campaign ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest to ensure the referee's native Norway would not win. Well that worked, didn't it? .....................Lol classic !!

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  • 3. At 3:19pm on 21 May 2009, alwaysindoubt wrote:

    Another good read Chris, thanks. What are they putting in the water at Arsenal these days? Priceless stuff from Wenger and Arshavin. 10/10 to Arsene for effort, it reminds me of the sort of bizarre excuse Edmund Blackadder would come up with. As for Arshavin, they should make him drive the Arsenal womens team bus for a season.

    Plea to other posters, please let's not have another 500 post Liverpool v Man Utd flame off. Surely everyone's got it out of their systems now.

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  • 4. At 3:20pm on 21 May 2009, OBI ONE DON MUFC wrote:

    Benitez is a tool though lol was a funny blog ill give you it sunshiiiiiiine lol

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  • 5. At 3:26pm on 21 May 2009, goodwill_the_blue wrote:

    where did you get that picture of them holding hands !!! lol

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  • 6. At 3:28pm on 21 May 2009, EdinburghPremFan wrote:

    You've just got to love Andrey Arshavin....and he's right too!!

    Apart from his obvious admiration of the fairer sex's driving-skills...he's been an amazing player this half of the season for Arsenal (4-goals at Anfield anyone!!) What a difference their season could have been, if they'd had him all season long, and he wasn't cup-tied for the Champions league!

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  • 7. At 3:37pm on 21 May 2009, Reddest_of_Devils wrote:

    I say the time is right to let Ronaldo go. Let us get £70+ million for him, and invest that money into other talented young players who we can develop just like we did with him. It was mainly United's development of him that has made him the player he is today. And when he's at Real Madrid NOT winning trophies, then he can look back with regret at pressing so hard for the move.

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  • 8. At 3:38pm on 21 May 2009, OBI ONE DON MUFC wrote:

    Arsenal will have a better season on the next one an i think chelsea will too, then it will be the same top 3 as usual, its better that way, arsenal and chelsea are used to being in the top 3, an it doesnt go to there heads, they can handle it an dont say stupid things like that the better team didnt win united just got more points hahahaha!!!!

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  • 9. At 3:40pm on 21 May 2009, OldRedBren wrote:

    "If United have more points, it only means they have more points," he added helpfully.

    How about Rafa to replace Michael Martin as the first Spanish Speaker? He has a few 'facts', talkes in riddles, should be right at home!

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  • 10. At 3:41pm on 21 May 2009, Taz wrote:

    Which begs the question, why didn't he pull them up again before he got to his car?
    oh so true! Brilliant article, yet again =D

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  • 11. At 3:43pm on 21 May 2009, indraneelan wrote:

    Haven't read the whole article yet but this:

    "the north-east triumvirate are like a group of builders following instructions to block up a tunnel - bricking it"

    is the most embarrassingly cumbersome attempt at humour i've seen in a bloody long time. It's like a big pile of that stuff that you put in a bin and then someone comes along and empties the bin and takes the stuff that was inside to a tip - rubbish.

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  • 12. At 3:47pm on 21 May 2009, Nantastic wrote:

    Rafa also suggested that just because United had finished top it didn't mean they were the best team. "If United have more points, it only means they have more points," he added helpfully.

    In which case, could Liverpool kindly do the decent thing and hand back their 1976 league title, which morally belongs to QPR? Not that I'm bitter, you understand.

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

    Brilliant!

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  • 13. At 3:50pm on 21 May 2009, Istanbul_5 wrote:

    @11

    I just spat out my tea all over my keyboard at your analogy of that godawful joke. Sterling work.

    Apart from that forced and failed attempt at humour though Chris, I quite enjoyed the blog..

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  • 14. At 3:51pm on 21 May 2009, Diala Anthony wrote:

    Chris, that Markus Proll link was brilliant. I think he was too restrained! My grannies in the village could have done better than his back four! Hell, even I could have provided better marking!

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  • 15. At 4:00pm on 21 May 2009, homeoftheshoutingmen wrote:

    That Burnley fan is hilarious!

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  • 16. At 4:01pm on 21 May 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    11. indraneelan and 13. Istanbul_5: Yes, I spent a little time trying to work out how best to get 'bricking it' into the piece - maybe a sign that I should have left well alone! I'm big enough and ugly enough to know I won't get away with everything - hod's law you might say. (Oops, there I go again...)

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  • 17. At 4:07pm on 21 May 2009, SyKop wrote:

    I have to say this is one of the funniest blogs I've read all season - I've sent the one liner about Joey Barton to loads of people already... pure class Chris!

    Nothing to say on the Liverpool comments - we've taken a right battering this season on 606 and the other blogs and I'm sore!

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  • 18. At 4:15pm on 21 May 2009, bergkamp69 wrote:

    Always a good read Chris, cheers.

    I'd love to see Usain Bolt given the go ahead up-front against Hull on the week-end. Boas Myhill wouldn't see him coming.

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  • 19. At 4:19pm on 21 May 2009, tricky-knee59 wrote:

    Enjoyed the blog Chris.

    Bit more respect for the older generation please though. Buck Owens was the man who first made Act Naturally, you don't want to be known as another song on which Buck guested, Cledus T Judd's excellent 'First Redneck On The Internet'.

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  • 20. At 4:34pm on 21 May 2009, Storm of Swords wrote:

    Why do all BBC writers have to try and be funny with their "_____ than a ____" lines. They just aren't funny and you're embarrassing yourselves.

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  • 21. At 4:36pm on 21 May 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    Cheers to all those who've made some very nice comments - never knew you had so many aliases, mum.

    19. tricky-knee59: Whoops - hands up to that one. He didn't write Octopus' Garden as well, did he? Loving the First Redneck On The Internet line - although I'm pretty sure someone in this office must have beat me to that title.

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  • 22. At 4:38pm on 21 May 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    20. PulpGrape: You've just made me go redder than a box of over-ripe tomatoes in a post box.

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  • 23. At 5:05pm on 21 May 2009, lionihatethisgame wrote:

    Haha Arshavin!

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  • 24. At 5:16pm on 21 May 2009, themightypotato wrote:

    "Why do all BBC writers have to try and be funny with their "_____ than a ____" lines. They just aren't funny and you're embarrassing yourselves."

    ===========================================
    Don't like it, don't read it son.

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  • 25. At 5:54pm on 21 May 2009, kkandnathan wrote:

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

  • 26. At 6:25pm on 21 May 2009, jdkoke273 wrote:

    24 - agree completley
    25 - lay off the crack pipe

    Good blog mate, only recently got into this ( i thought review of the week sounded like crap tbh!) and enjoyed every one of them I've read so far.

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  • 27. At 6:26pm on 21 May 2009, emmashot wrote:

    Why are people labelling Benny a 'Devil'and Fergie a saint. Do you people know that Fergie shook Benny like somebody that is rushing to catch a train after manyoo were defeated by the kops. Fergie should not be left out of the issue.

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  • 28. At 6:34pm on 21 May 2009, redandblackT-Save 606 wrote:

    A worthy idea and one that should be adopted across the football leagues - pay what you think your team's worth
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Hey!When am i going to get any credit for anything?i came up with that idea ages ago(by the way i had to trawl through Bevo's profile for this) http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/europe/7328922.stm

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  • 29. At 6:45pm on 21 May 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    I thought that arshavin was essential grooming for a man.

    Then I discovered Andrey...

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  • 30. At 7:14pm on 21 May 2009, collie21 wrote:

    Nice round up. I think the Ronaldo to Madrid story is a non starter. The premiership has become the eldorado of football, look at the likes of players leaving mid table clubs to go to madrid for example, it's unheard of. This is the golden age of the premeriship. In a year or 3 some story will break, some one will do something stupid or TV will be banned and it will all fall down. In the meantime delighted to hear your team will be lining up a 4 4 2 drive in Bennton racers, it's about the only way the will beat the opposition is if they are fast enough. Flavio knows zero about football thinking soccer players are all machines.....come to think of it, you haven't signed anyone from Stepford by any chance?
    Best of luck next season, really enjoyed reading you this year. I have to say I am pleased with how you are able to take a joke and criticsm of your blog unlike the cheif sportswriter who removes 2 in 10 comments from his blog because he doesn't like them.
    Would love to see an open game for the Champions league, but I think Henry will blaze his penalty over the bar, and Ronaldo will have histeronics of epic proportions. It will be a boring match but not one I would miss.

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  • 31. At 7:19pm on 21 May 2009, collie21 wrote:

    Re making this funny and telling jokes, and life etc, If you have to try it isn't funny.....






    just ask Newcastle :-)

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  • 32. At 7:25pm on 21 May 2009, chuchugaga wrote:

    Hallo Chris, I'll skip the niceties and cut to the chase. I derive a certain amount of satisfaction from seeing BBC bloggers replying to my comments personally, and since you're the best in the business in this regard, if you please...

    (yes, I have no life)

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  • 33. At 7:59pm on 21 May 2009, Ches_last_stand wrote:

    Great read but Ronaldo threw a towel on the floor when he had his dickie-fit at GOld Trafford.

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  • 34. At 8:45pm on 21 May 2009, NEARPOSTHEADER wrote:

    I have to say that this season has hardly been great entertainment - top scorers Roanldo and Anelka with how many? 15-16 apiece? The usual supects occupy the top 4 places. Spurs and Villa retire feebly from the EUFA Cup. The Man U v Liverpool thing was rather lame; can't Sir Alex and Don Rafa have it out in the car park - that'd really liven things up. Sir Alex is the supreme wind-up merchant and I'm surprised other managers like Rafa haven't learned that by now.
    The highlights were the 4-4 draws and, in particular, Bentley's incredible 45-yarder - shame he's done nowt else all season. Even my team, West Ham, failed to live up to the dire expectations and managed mid-table mediocrity with games to spare
    I give English classes here in Mexico and a 15-year old student told me yesterday that he won't be able to take his class next Wednesday because he'll be in Rome to watch the Champion's League Final! His dad happens to be mega-rich and famous singing star. Git.

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  • 35. At 8:46pm on 21 May 2009, SummersIron wrote:

    Nice to see you agree with Arshavin, Chris.

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  • 36. At 8:47pm on 21 May 2009, SummersIron wrote:

    Hooray! No pre-moderation! This secures its status as my favourite bbc blog.

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  • 37. At 10:15pm on 21 May 2009, Rafa_Shanks wrote:

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

  • 38. At 11:54pm on 21 May 2009, akinduro234 wrote:

    The media makes a mountain out of a mold with this Rafa comment. When SAF said his side was the better side after RAFA won by 4-1 at OT you guys did not see anything wrong, now you talk about RAFA say MU only have more points. Let us be fair. RAFA has congratulated the MU team. I do not see why you want him to start congratulating SAF as if he scored any of the goals that won MU the championship. I won't be supprised if one of you journalists come out to criticise RAFA for not congratulating VDS for keeping those clean sheets in the PL.

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  • 39. At 03:15am on 22 May 2009, supershunsuke wrote:

    Mr Charles you are on fire this week. I read review of the week every week and have to say this is your best work by far. Unlike some of the other haters commenting earlier, I loved the bricking it line. It's a tough crowd you're playing to this week - just can't keep some people happy can you? Anyways, keep it up and pass on the respect to the sub who chose the pic of Rafa and SAF. Classic.

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  • 40. At 04:59am on 22 May 2009, fearlessmanabouttown wrote:

    akinduro234........... Benitez showed a total lack of respect for the best English Manager of all time. His bitterness shows he will not succeed as he doesn't have any real balls or humility. The best team finished second, hey ? United will win the League AGAIN next season, while two man team Liverpool will be lucky to finish Top 4 as Arsenal and Chelsea will easily take them, and Benitez will get the sack.......can't wait !!

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  • 41. At 05:20am on 22 May 2009, Sevenseaman wrote:

    Knowing all about football Rafa could have proper respect for SAF only if the latter were to teach him some tricks with the referees.

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  • 42. At 07:01am on 22 May 2009, WeshleyCoOL wrote:

    'Inviting supporters to set their own price for season tickets'.....solid!

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  • 43. At 09:00am on 22 May 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    Still outraged at Arshavin's comments about women drivers. This follows on from Pavlyuchenko's disgraceful denigration of the flower of English womenhood.

    Who do these Russians think they are? They should be dragged through the streets by the bolsheviks.

    And don't think I haven't noticed that "Redknapp" is code for "commie sleeper".

    Watch this lot. They're out to destabilise the nation. If they begin calling for evening kick-offs to be put back from 19.45 to 19.17 - be afraid. Be very afraid.

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  • 44. At 09:11am on 22 May 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    And, just in passing, your review was written too soon for you to pose the real question of the week:

    Why did Werder Bremen agree to the UEFA Cup Final being played in Turkey? That lot always get beaten when they march east.

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  • 45. At 09:29am on 22 May 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    Still waiting for that invitation to the Queen's Garden Party.

    Come to think of it, you'd put a clock forward to 19.17.

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  • 46. At 10:21am on 22 May 2009, WeshleyCoOL wrote:

    Rafa is absolutly right! Money is all about,todays everything that a winner club has was coming from money,it's suck but is not something that u can use as a reason for ur failure in this modern era of football.

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  • 47. At 11:14am on 22 May 2009, U13967209 wrote:

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

  • 48. At 11:17am on 22 May 2009, raszobbo wrote:

    Rafa - you're a loser!!!

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  • 49. At 12:38pm on 22 May 2009, roadrunnertog wrote:

    No. 34,if you teach English in Mexico,no wonder they closed down schools there so quickly.It wasn't swine flu,they knew they were being ripped off.Have a laugh bro. We are all tired of the fuss over R.B. and SAF,its over,really.Try again next season,and know SAF don't fight clean amigo,he's not the manager of the diablos for (no. 34) NOUGHT! Its was a decent season,I'm glad we'll be rid of Newcastle,they run a football club like a bar where all the staff are recidivist alcoholics and the owner is a teatotaller,he doesn't know the first thing about a good pint. For those who take shots at the BBC,you give them too much credit.They have little or no say in the outcome of the title race,or Liverpool wouldn't be 20 yrs adrift.Apparently,only United and Barcelona have ref bending abilities.If that doesn't work,well they've the players to do the job the usual way.Look where its got them?That should make for a cracker of a final,with SAF and Pep getting half a ref each.

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  • 50. At 1:46pm on 22 May 2009, kkandnathan wrote:

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

  • 51. At 5:09pm on 22 May 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    30. collie21: Cheers ears. Re Phil's blog - it's the moderators who remove the comments if they're deemed offensive, before he gets to see them.

    32. chuchugaga: Your wish is my command - a big shout going out to you and all who sail in you. I don't mind niceities if you insist.

    33. Yes, you're right - it could be me throwing in the towel with any more elementary errors like that.

    35. SummersIron: Eh?!
    36. SummersIron: Hurray to that!

    39. supershunksuke: I'm passing on respect to myself as twas I who selected the lovely pic of Rafa and Fergie. It's not like the old days where you wrote your copy and went down the pub - we have to cut our own pics, add our own audio, buy our own lunch....it's an outrage I tell you.









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  • 52. At 11:10am on 23 May 2009, yoponz wrote:

    Hey Chris nice blog - good to see a 'non big four' supporter!!
    Chris - who do you think will win the playoffs?

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  • 53. At 11:19am on 24 May 2009, kkandnathan wrote:

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

  • 54. At 9:44pm on 24 May 2009, Attila™ wrote:

    kkandnathan seriously stop smoking crack.

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  • 55. At 9:45pm on 24 May 2009, Attila™ wrote:

    Oh and great blog by the way Chris! lol :)

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  • 56. At 09:10am on 25 May 2009, jnplondon wrote:

    First time reader - very funny Chris. Loving 'Ronson'.

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  • 57. At 09:13am on 25 May 2009, U13982173 wrote:

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

  • 58. At 10:23am on 26 May 2009, Fun_n_Games wrote:

    25. Eh?
    26. Brilliant
    Chris: Legend

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  • 59. At 7:47pm on 27 May 2009, kkandnathan wrote:

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

  • 60. At 11:35am on 30 May 2009, U13982173 wrote:

    Live Scores, Live Webcast,live scores,live odds comparison,match data,live tv in sports
    http://www.nowgoal.com/22.shtml
    Totally free and no virus live online ,live scores&odds on your side

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