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Review of the week

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Chris Charles | 12:32 UK time, Friday, 4 September 2009

Oasis may have finally called it a day, but at least there was one person in Manchester still going mad for it.

Step forward Arsene Wenger, whose touchline histrionics at Old Trafford were likened to Basil Fawlty by some sections of Her Majesty's Press. Throw in Almunia giving away the vital penalty against Manchester United and it truly was Manuel from heaven for the Red Tops.

The Sunday Mirror pictured Wenger in mid-stride under the banner 'Don't Mention The Score' - which surely would have been in the running for headline of the decade, had it not been used by their arch-rivals to describe England's 5-1 triumph in Germany eight years ago.

The Arsenal manager was absurdly forced to watch the last 30 seconds of the game standing in the middle of the sniggering home support - where he looked about as comfortable as your Dad at a McFly gig.
Arsene Wenger in the Old Trafford CrowdWenger makes some new friends
Wenger's crime was to kick out at a water bottle - in fact he caught it so sweetly, Paul Hart was rumoured to be putting in a last-ditch bid to shore up his ailing Pompey frontline.

To be fair to the Frenchman, despite the stamping of feet and flashing of eyes, he managed to retain his sense of humour, raising a little smirk as he stood among the great unwashed and later describing the penalty decision as 'Old Traffordish'.

Wenger's got form for making up words. When Arsenal beat United in the league last November, he declared: "I'm very excited about this team because...they are playerish."

And this bout of neologism (I had to look that up) appears to be spreading through the club. An article on the official website about work being done to fill the stadium with historic Gunners imagery was entitled 'Club Begins Arsenalisation of the Emirates', with Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis gushing: "I'm really excited about all the elements of Arsenalisation." Me too, Ivan.

At least Wenger's antics provided a spot of light relief in a week where the two biggest events proved as thrilling as the plot of a Jordan novel (not that I've read any, ahem).

First up was the Champions League draw, which roared on to our screens with the menace of a Ferrari but sneaked out the back in a Vauxhall Viva.

We were hoping for United v Ronaldo or Mourinho v Chelsea but what we got, in terms of British interest at least, was a squib damper than Lancashire's outfield on Twenty20 day. As the Guardian's Barry Glendenning observed: "I can barely contain my apathy."

Still, there was always transfer deadline day to get the juices flowing, with Franck Ribery bound to be heading to Old Trafford and Man City almost certainly preparing a world record bid for the reserve goalkeeper from AZ Alkmaar.

In reality (despite Sky dramatically switching to Big Ben to signal the end of the day's business), we got this from my esteemed colleague Stevo, who deserves a medal for his 12-hour clockwatch on the dullest transfer window ever.

"1535: Bristol Rovers forward Lewis Haldane has joined Port Vale on loan, while Wrexham striker Obi Anoruo has joined Welsh Premier League side Newtown on loan. I know. It's killing me too."

The biggest move of the window was arguably Niko Kranjcar's switch from Portsmouth to Tottenham, news which will have infuriated Croatian FA President (Infamy, Infamy, they've all got it Infamy) Vlatko Markovic.

He suggested the broken leg suffered by fellow-Spur Luka Modric at Birmingham was part of a wider conspiracy to nobble all of Croatia's top players before the key game with England at Wembley next week.

Markovic wailed: "In the past year, they (English footballers) have injured Eduardo and now the same has happened to Modric. I can only ask myself whether it is a coincidence or not.

"I can only ask whether someone did it deliberately on the eve of the game with England," he added, before catching sight of Lord Lucan serving Elvis Presley a cheeseburger in the Zagreb branch of McDonald's.

Over in the USA, David Beckham warmed up for England's double-header by scoring the winner for LA Galaxy against local rivals Chivas that propelled them to second in the table. Spare a thought for the Galaxy fans, who don't know whether to laugh or cry at their favourite pantomime villain.

Messageboard user dashiel summed it up when he quipped: "My new favourite bit of side-amusement at games is hearing people scream 'Beckham, you suck!' seconds before he scores, then cheering like crazy!"

England are likely to be led out at Wembley by John Terry, rewarded for umming and aahing over Man City's summer offer with a five-year deal worth a reported £40m. If my maths is correct, that's roughly £154,000 a week, £22k a day, £916 an hour or 15 quid a minute. In other words, in the time it took me to type out this paragraph he'd have earned enough to buy a round of drinks for his team-mates in a Wetherspoon's. A sobering thought indeed.

Ashley Cole also agreed a new deal, which is just as well given that Chelsea won't be able to sign so much as a birthday card for the next 16 months.

Meanwhile, Joleon Lecott was getting used to slumming it at Man City on a mere £90,000 a week. The player insisted "money means nothing" while being fed grapes by a team of Bond girls as he reposed on his diamond-encrusted chaise longue.
Sol CampbellSol Campbell is Notts about his new club
A few miles down the road, Sol Campbell was preparing to face the might of Aldershot and Accrington after dropping three leagues to play for Notts County. Just like his director of football before him, the 34-year-old insisted "it's not about money" after putting pen to paper on a lucrative five-year deal.

In the Carling Cup, my lot got a plum draw away to our old rivals Chelsea. I say rivals because QPR fans continue to have this romantic notion that the Blues consider us to be their biggest adversaries, despite not having played in the same league for 13 years.

The chickens came home to roost when we visited Stamford Bridge in last year's FA Cup. The chant to the eerily silent home fans was "We forgot that you were here" and the instant reply: "We forgot that you exist." Ouch.

Prediction? My heart says QPR will sneak a 1-0 win - my head says Chelsea will sneak a 6-0 victory.

Leeds-Liverpool was arguably the pick of the draw, but if the rumours are to be believed, down at Buck House all eyes will be on the Bolton-West Ham tie. According to the Sunday Mirror, The Queen has outed herself to staff as a Hammers fan (the rendition of 'One's Forever Blowing Bubbles' heard coming from the Royal bathroom was the clincher).

And finally, the story of the week involves former Everton striker Franny Jeffers, transfer-listed by Sheffield Wednesday for headbutting Port Vale skipper Tommy Fraser. But that was only the beginning of Jeffers' worries. Turns out Tommy's Grandad is none other than notorious gangster 'Mad' Frankie Fraser, who specialised in pulling people's teeth out with pliers.

According to The Sun, when Tommy was at Brighton, he was asked by a local newspaper reporter if his Grandad ever came to watch him play. Tommy replied: "No, but he reads your reports and he was unhappy you only gave me six out of 10 last week." The story goes he never got less than seven after that.

Before I go, apologies for not replying to any comments from the last blog I did. I ended up at The Oval for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the final Ashes Test (all bought and paid for before you ask) and was not really focusing on anything football-related. In fact come 6pm on the Sunday evening, I found it very difficult to focus on anything at all.

OTHER STUFF
Wenger plays the tambourine
American kid commentates on Arsenal game
Kung-fu kick during Bolivian derby

Comments

  • 1. At 2:19pm on 04 Sep 2009, megaforest1 wrote:

    Woo hoo Im first to comment! Good blog! :)

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  • 2. At 2:22pm on 04 Sep 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    1. megaforest1: Good work, son! It's a bit difficult to find at the mo because it hasn't been promoted anywhere. Technical issues mean we're allowed to publish urgent stories only for the time being and sadly my blog doesn't fit into that category (sniff).

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  • 3. At 2:25pm on 04 Sep 2009, megaforest1 wrote:

    Now that is just not fair Chris! About time I made it to the number one slot, but typical also that I dont have a great deal to comment other than it was a good read on an otherwise average afternoon! Keep up the work, and I hope the ashes hangover has finally gone! I also hope Forest have turned the corner after a murky start, but we can all dream ahead of the weekend huh!

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  • 4. At 2:28pm on 04 Sep 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    4. megaforest1: The hangover has gone but the game will live long in the memory. Sunday was particularly sweet as we had a group of Aussies behind us giving us stick all day and convincing us that Ponting and Hussey were actually going to pull it off. They were good sports at the end though to be fair, even if they did christen my mate Steve 'Jesus' because he had a beard!

    Good luck to Forest, hope Dexter bangs in a few for you - making our decision to flog him all the more baffling.

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  • 5. At 2:31pm on 04 Sep 2009, megaforest1 wrote:

    Thanks mate! I guess its too hot in Oz to have a beard!
    I will never understand why you sold Blackstock! He is a great player.
    Good luck to the hoops!

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  • 6. At 2:45pm on 04 Sep 2009, Rob K wrote:

    Good blog, apart from some strained metaphors. "Manuel from heaven"? Sheesh.

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  • 7. At 2:48pm on 04 Sep 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    6. Rob K: Yes, take your point - I have been under a lot of strain recently, you know.

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  • 8. At 2:54pm on 04 Sep 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    A quality blog, as can readily be gauged by direct comparison with that awful Robbo fellow, next door. He uses the "plunge" of "Katy Price's neckline" for purposes of analogy, whereas you use her literary works. What an aesthete you are.

    Not that she wrote them, of course. She apparently had the "ideas", which were then assembled by some anonymous scribbler.

    Like you, I haven't read the books. I'd be afraid of being confronted by shameless and unrestricted arsenalisation during the more romantic interludes. Brings tears to the eyes just thinking about it.

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  • 9. At 3:06pm on 04 Sep 2009, Jimmy McNulty- The voice of reason wrote:

    Omg im in tears!

    That wenger gif is the funniest thing ive seen this year! (barring the hangover)

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  • 10. At 3:06pm on 04 Sep 2009, JezzaSCFC wrote:

    Nice blog. May I suggest QPR fans chant at the Chelski fans a couple of classics us Stokies have ready for their visit on 12 Sept:

    "You're not signing any more!"
    "Shall we sign someone for you?"

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  • 11. At 3:10pm on 04 Sep 2009, danger_dave wrote:

    Oh you QPR fans and your self deprecation.... time to be positive, Jay Simpson for Golden Boot!

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  • 12. At 3:17pm on 04 Sep 2009, joebloggins wrote:

    Wenger has another amusing "tick" if you've never noticed and it usually comes into play when things are not going according to plan.
    He sits rocking backwards and forwards, wringing his hands between
    his knees -- I used to wonder if he had had a wee "accident"....

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  • 13. At 3:20pm on 04 Sep 2009, aconlon wrote:

    Great blog as usual, and that scene with arsene standing arms out with the man u fans jeering at him has to be one of the best pictures in football

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  • 14. At 3:22pm on 04 Sep 2009, mightywarrywarry wrote:

    My hangover was much worse after the challenge cup final, trust me. Its nearly saturday again and the thought of beer still turns my stomach!!!

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  • 15. At 3:31pm on 04 Sep 2009, alanisdead wrote:

    wikipedia says that frankie fraser's grandson is actually tommy fraser, captain of port vale? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankie_Fraser#later_life

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  • 16. At 3:34pm on 04 Sep 2009, Subterranean_Homesick_Blue wrote:

    Good blog Chris!
    You must be happy to no longer be the lowest football club run by millionaires, although any evidence you'll make it out of the Championship before County catch up remains to be seen.

    Is that one of the Da Silva brothers giving a thumbs up behind Arsene Wenger?
    Maybe he's part of a younger set of twins that Alex Ferguson is training up.

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  • 17. At 3:35pm on 04 Sep 2009, randalthor1812 wrote:

    It is a great photo but pity it doesn't show the Utd fan offering him his glasses , in case he missed a dive or something similar presumably .Of course the problem with the transfer window deadline was that most deals were completed on the Monday.

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  • 18. At 3:40pm on 04 Sep 2009, Dean_Sturridge wrote:

    very nice blog for a slow friday afternoon in the office

    im not happy with the amount of personal attention you've been giving this florist fan though! I think the mighty rams will be locked with you both in a rollercoaster battle for midtable obscurity this season

    also, credit to Jimmy McNulty for a cool account name

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  • 19. At 3:43pm on 04 Sep 2009, dannytrfc wrote:

    Another great read Chris.

    Without being pedantic, the post above is correct, Tommy Fraser is not our captain, but Port Vale’s. The only beatings we’ve been getting on the pitch lately were scoreline-related and unfortunately just.

    And what about our lads nicknaming Barnes and McAteer “Dumb and Dumber”? Thought that’d be in there. Inspires you with confidence doesn’t it?!

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  • 20. At 3:45pm on 04 Sep 2009, boringoldblue wrote:

    Decent blog in general, wouldn't get too excited about the chelsea trade embargo though. Rumour has it that RA is asking US peacekeepers to break the illegal blockade. Apparently US marines are preparing to invade FIFA headquarters even as we speak.

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  • 21. At 3:50pm on 04 Sep 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    15. alanisdead: Where's the icon for blushing when you need it? Hands up, Tommy is indeed Port Vale captain - why I had Tranmere in mind I don't know, apart from the fact I'm a complete plank sometimes. It has now been amended - please accept my apologies.

    10. JezzaSCFC: 'You're not signing anymore' - love it! I'm sure that will get an airing.

    11. danger_dave: I hope and pray you are right. When you've been a QPR fan as long as I have, to parpahrase the late, great Roy Castle, self-deprecation's what you need.

    14. I hear you brother. I have to say the only experience I had of the Challenge Cup final was being stuck on the North Circular near Wembley for two hours on the way to Portsmouth after foolishly getting my timings wrong.

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  • 22. At 3:53pm on 04 Sep 2009, JezzaSCFC wrote:

    Chris

    I wouldn't worry about not knowing who Tommy Fraser plays for. Outside of Bur-slum, no one else can name a single Port Fail player either since they returned to where they truly belong in the English football pyramid (and we did likewise!).

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  • 23. At 3:53pm on 04 Sep 2009, hoopsa17 wrote:

    BEST Blog of them all! Huge fan, its nice to see the BBC promoting the Rs especially since we know that deep down (as true White City folk) they are all QPR fans at heart.

    Couldn't agree more with your comments about QPR v Chelsea. 13 years is a long time especially when 70% of their fans have been supporting Chelsea since 2003, never mind it won't stop us singing 'From Stamford Bridge to Wembley we'll stick the blue flag .........

    I better not continue but make sure that you do please!

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  • 24. At 4:02pm on 04 Sep 2009, Tom Davidson wrote:

    Superb blog, I agree with pretty much everything that you said. "Deadline Day" was the dullest ever but at least it taught Sky not to devote so much build up to it in future. Champions League draw was basically a golden path into the knockout stages for the big teams.

    But from all this came too brilliant and yet shocking stories. Firstly, Chelski not being able to spend until 2011 - that'll certainly add a bit more competitiveness to the Premier League although Mr Terry must be wishing he'd jumped ship to Man City. Secondly, Wenger getting sent into the stands was shocking enough but then he actually said he saw the Rooney incident! That must be the first time he hasn't been looking the other way when a controversial moment has happened. His kicking skills are sensational though, Man City will want him for £100 million come January.

    Good luck to QPR in the cup and thanks for selling Blackstock to us ;)

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  • 25. At 4:03pm on 04 Sep 2009, Jimmy McNulty- The voice of reason wrote:

    I bet if i copied and pasted this on 606, the mods would delete it within 5 minutes!

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  • 26. At 4:07pm on 04 Sep 2009, King-Dion wrote:

    Many thanks for an excellent, very amusing and informative blog.

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  • 27. At 4:12pm on 04 Sep 2009, Jimmy McNulty- The voice of reason wrote:

    Ty Dean_Sturridge, i felt compelled to change it after he gave the excuse of being 'outnumbered' when bedding 2 prostitutes hahaha.


    Why nothing on Eboue's rendevzous with gravity on saturday?

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  • 28. At 4:16pm on 04 Sep 2009, rpcutts wrote:

    What is Fabio doing in the crowd?

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  • 29. At 4:32pm on 04 Sep 2009, akaZezinho wrote:

    Eboué's redevous was pretty funny, it was'nt really mentioned even though it was as bad if not worse than Eduardo's, though Wenger will disagree on both of course.

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  • 30. At 4:37pm on 04 Sep 2009, the_fosse wrote:

    yes good blog - considering the dull transfer activities!!

    Still loving the likeness of Wenger to Fawlty!

    http://sportales.com/soccer/we-hate-manchester-united-should-we/

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  • 31. At 4:43pm on 04 Sep 2009, SimplyZola wrote:

    Brilliant as usual. Chelsea QPR in the league cup! Shame Lee Camp cant play.

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  • 32. At 4:53pm on 04 Sep 2009, therocklobster wrote:

    Good blog, and Yes the transfer deadline day and champions league draw were both dead ducks.

    The champions league is now about preserving the top teams for the later stages. It would be far more exciting if it reverted to the old knock out competition but seeded.

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  • 33. At 5:01pm on 04 Sep 2009, Sweet_Silver_Song wrote:

    I've seen this photo several times now, and I think it's brilliant. However, I'm confused by your description of the 'baying' home support, and similiar comments? Ever since I saw this on TV live, and all the photos since, it seems to me they are all having a good laugh or applauding him for his response, not having a go at him. If there is anything that can get football supporters united, it's our common dislike for daft ref actions...

    Is it just me?

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  • 34. At 5:04pm on 04 Sep 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    22. JezzaSCFC: Ah but I do worry, Jezza. Thing is, I knew it was Port Vale but still typed Tranmere - doh! I can remember travelling up to Port Vale a few years ago on a school night to watch QPR. It was pouring down with rain the whole time, we were two down in the first few minutes and I didn't get in till 3am, with work six hours later. Nice.

    19. dannytrfc: THAT'S why I had Tranmere in my head! Had it written down on the list of possibles and was going to include it but er...forgot.

    23. Hoopsa17: Well thank you kind sir - bet you wouldn't be praising me so much if I was a Chelsea fan mind! See you at the Peterborough game.

    18. Dean_Sturridge: Florist fan? No guessing which team you support! We've got a couple of Forest fans and a Derby boy in this office and don't get me started on the amount of Spurs supporters knocking around. Scary.

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  • 35. At 5:06pm on 04 Sep 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    33. Sweet_Silver_Song: Think you'll find 'sniggering', not 'baying' was the word I used. The crowd looked like a bunch of schoolkids whose headmaster had just wandered into their school disco.

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  • 36. At 6:21pm on 04 Sep 2009, freddytwoshoes wrote:

    i presume when you refer to 'standing in the middle of the sniggering home support' you are not including those singing a disgusting song about a great football manager and a decent man. Shame on the BBC for not addressing / condoning this issue

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  • 37. At 6:24pm on 04 Sep 2009, Joe Casey wrote:

    The crowd look like a load of uneducated, unwashed neanderthals to me

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  • 38. At 7:26pm on 04 Sep 2009, meb1973 wrote:

    JezzaSCFC, I'll agree with you, no one outside BurSLEM can name a Port VALE player. However having said that, only 2 players spring to mind when I think of Stoke; Rory Delap, your throw-in expert and the teams one and only attacking threat, and Ricardo Fuller, whos main claim to fame was to get himself sent off for slapping his own team-mate.

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  • 39. At 9:12pm on 04 Sep 2009, wedontknowfootball wrote:

    "Wenger's crime was to kick out at a water bottle - in fact he caught it so sweetly, Paul Hart was rumoured to be putting in a last-ditch bid to shore up his ailing Pompey frontline."

    Brilliant, that made me laugh so hard.

    http://wdkf.co.uk/

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  • 40. At 9:23pm on 04 Sep 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    36.freddytwoshoes: I based that comment on the photos of Wenger in the crowd (including the one at the top of the piece) where everyone appears to be in good spirits. I wasn't aware of the songs you speak of - and if there were people singing anything untoward, then shame on them. As you say, Wenger is indeed a great manager and a decent man who even at the height of his embarrassment at being forced to the stands was able to raise a smile. The Premier League would be a much poorer place without him.

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  • 41. At 9:28pm on 04 Sep 2009, Joe Casey wrote:

    About the league cup
    They arent getting a lot of luck with their draws for this season are they?
    First of all they have the misfortune of pairing Milwall and West Ham together which has been followed by, in the 3rd round draw, pairings of Chelsea v QPR and Leeds V Liverpool, all of which are nightmares for the police. Hopefully we wont have a repeat of the scenes in the depth of the east end come matchday for both of these games.

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  • 42. At 11:50pm on 04 Sep 2009, daijack11 wrote:

    Great blog Chris, very funny. However I do believe the Croatian president denied ever making those comments, they were made up so a bit unfair to include criticism of him in your blog. It's disgusting that people make up comments and attribute them to other people because as in this case many people don't hear the truth afterwards and believe them to be true. Just thought I'd give you a heads up as you obviously haven't heard him deny the comments. cheers

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  • 43. At 11:54pm on 04 Sep 2009, Gergiev wrote:

    Chris you are a journalist, you are supposed to have a good vocabulary, so don't feel you have to explain yourself just because you know what "neologism" means.

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  • 44. At 01:47am on 05 Sep 2009, ron_will_be_missed wrote:

    Chris,

    There is something about QPR i wanted to highlight. There is an Indian Striker called Sunil Chhetri who had his trial at QPR and was bound to join QPR as he is the top striker in India right now. Although i accept, India is nowhere a footie country.. but unfortunately coz of british government laws, any player coming from non-EU countries who have FIFA ranking less than 70 can not play in English leagues... this is such a sad state of affairs..

    http://www.goal.com/en-india/news/222/transfer-zone/2009/08/29/1468375/failure-to-get-work-permit-halts-sunil-chhetris-move-to-qpr

    can you please raise this issue through your blog somehow or somehow channel to BBC to a more relevant blog/journalist who can have an article on this.

    A player should be judged on his abilities rather than whats the FIFA ranking of his country... For that lad, it was like a dream which he may never be able to fulfill and coming from the same country.. i am absolutely gutted.

    just to add, Premier League is such a rage in India right now with the young population and every footballer over there dreams of playing sometime in the English Leagues. Just to give you an example, we have every year, a top club sending U-15 kids to participate in Man United Premier Cup which they consider as a dream come true, especially in a country where Cricket dominates.

    I think FIFA/UEFA should have a say in a matter like this as this is about moral rights of a footballer more than anything else. Could you imagine something like this in Wimbledon or Olympics or FIFA world cup.

    If a club believes, a player is good enough to don their colors, why should governments intervene.

    On another note, as you must already know, QPR is partly owned by the richest british man who is an Indian..

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  • 45. At 02:44am on 05 Sep 2009, JezzaSCFC wrote:

    Meb, let me guess, you are a denizen of the "Wembley of the North"!?!??!

    I think you will find most football fans could name a damn sight more current PREMIERSHIP Stoke players than that. What about Tuncay Sanli, universally recognised as the best buy this past transfer window and current Turkey national captain, or Robert Huth, just been called up to the German squad again, or Ryan Shawcross, one of the most wanted young English centre backs in the game today? I could go on (Sorensen, Abdy Faye, Lawrence, Whelan, Beattie, Etherington, Kitson........), but I know your post was the result of all the bile building up deep in your guts these past couple of years at the natural order of things being resumed.

    Chill and get used to it - we are in the Premiership to stay as you most certainly are in football's basement. You'll need more than Mad Frankie Fraser to fight your way out with no money and less support than a Playtex.

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  • 46. At 05:58am on 05 Sep 2009, Sumatran_Tiger wrote:

    Great blog Chris...you have almost wooed me to defect from Robbo...he has lost his sense of humour since 'Boro were relegated!

    As I understand it Chelski cannot sign players...but they can sell players, so why don't all the clubs with seriously rich owners buy Chelski's top players in January?

    Anelka to Notts County
    Drogba to QPR
    Essien to Sunderland
    Cech to Portsmouth
    Terry and the rest to Man City

    Re Transfer Deadline day I was totally underwhelmed...Hull City sold Turner to Texasderland and signed Sonko from Stoke City Reserves to replace him...although after that window closed we signed free agent Dutch striker Professor van Helsing to ward off vampires.

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  • 47. At 10:04am on 05 Sep 2009, Wot Kuyt 'e did wrote:

    Looks like AW certainly knows how to keep the gallery amused! :-)

    My favourite blog. Keep it up Chris.

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  • 48. At 10:07am on 05 Sep 2009, ashenfacedsupremo wrote:

    A surprisingly lengthy, not to mention highly amusing, read considering sweet F.A. happened last week (methinks Fergie and Wenger would question 'sweet'). As an Aldershot supporter I was particularly impressed with your expression "the might of Aldershot". Congratulations on being the first scribe to give my team the recognition they deserve. Makes such a pleasant change from all the usual sarcastic twaddle.

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  • 49. At 1:05pm on 05 Sep 2009, Demoremda_AJAX wrote:

    haha i liked that bit bout mad franky frasier, you could make a nice guy ritchie movie out of that story

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  • 50. At 2:07pm on 05 Sep 2009, gringo Loco wrote:

    In other words, in the time it took me to type out this paragraph he'd have earned enough to buy a round of drinks for his team-mates in a Wetherspoon's.

    not when they spend 120,000 on bubbly for a teammate's birthday.

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  • 51. At 2:36pm on 05 Sep 2009, Miffalino wrote:

    but surely Rooney should be punished by FIFA/UEFA too..I thought Greg Louganis had retired years ago..notice his eyes shifting when he was asked if he dived, shades of Bill Clinton.

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  • 52. At 10:34pm on 05 Sep 2009, LincsKopite wrote:

    You make good blogs Chris as always!
    Keep it up. ;-)

    "Ashley Cole also agreed a new deal, which is just as well given that Chelsea won't be able to sign so much as a birthday card for the next 16 months"
    LMAO X-D

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  • 53. At 11:53pm on 05 Sep 2009, ManUtdPeople wrote:

    Remedy

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  • 54. At 05:31am on 06 Sep 2009, cliveeta wrote:

    Great to see AW taking it all in good humour. He's not a bad bloke.

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  • 55. At 11:50am on 06 Sep 2009, dmrichkt wrote:

    Good blog. One way to spice up the CL would be to revert to a knock out competition from the outset. I know, never gonna happen, fans wishes vs commercialism, and the latter wins every time.
    Can we clear up the fact that Chelsea aren't allowed to sign players? They can sign them but they cannot be registered to play in FIFA competitions.
    Regarding pay; Top tennis players, F1 drivers and golfers earn considerably more than their footballing counterparts. Why doesn't anybody question the pay levels in the sports of Toffs? Class issue? After all, many players wages are dependent on success, if only that were true in the private sector.

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  • 56. At 12:02pm on 06 Sep 2009, Liverpool Andy wrote:

    Definitely the best blog on the beeb Chris, well done.
    I wish we could have 2 blogs from you a week rather than 1 from that idiot Robbo, he used to be slightly amusing but he's very poor nowadays.

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  • 57. At 08:31am on 07 Sep 2009, Fun_n_Games wrote:

    Nice blog as always, Chris. I've been reading yours since you first started, when 5 comments would be a good return. You've got lots of nice feedback now, I see, but wait until JDR, PMS and all the other whingers on Robbo's blog find out about you. You'll be wrongly and unfairly held to account for ruining standards at the BBC, wrecking the economy, accelerating global warming, and contributing to fraud within the Afghanistani electoral system. It doesn't matter that you're any good; in fact, the better you are the more likely it is they will hunt you down. And since your blog gets better by the week, it's only a matter of time before you'll hear the thundering of malevolent keystrokes coming your way . . .
    Anyway, getting back to the topic you raised, I like Wenger, but am starting to think he is tactically naive. Arsenal have an ability to implode during big games in a way that reminds me of Keegan at Newcastle (his first time around). For all Wenger's intelligence, SAF was able to get the better of him - yet again - with what can best be described as a mediocre MU side (thus far).

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  • 58. At 11:33am on 07 Sep 2009, ban-the-hoodies wrote:

    Nice blog again Chris, much prefer yours to Robbo.

    I remember a year ago on RTE's champions league coverage, Eamonn Dunphy compared Wenger to Basil Fawlty and he had clips showing Wernger throwing his trademark tantrums pitchside. What made things even better, however, is that "Chippy" Brady was also on the show and wasn't aware this clip was going to be shown and nearly cried trying to defend Arsene.

    It was utterly hilarious, and quite an accurate comparison to boot!

    Proof that Rte have a much greater analysis panel than the BBC. Not afraid to say anything controversial, unlike Lawro and Hanson!

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  • 59. At 1:02pm on 07 Sep 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    44. ron_will_be-missed: Yes, I heard about this - seems like we could have been denied a decent player as a result. Anyway, I'm not going into all the political ramifications on here, but have handed the story on to an extremely able colleague of mine to see whether he can get to the bottom of this.

    46. Sumatran_Tiger: Drogba to QPR? Yeah, I'd probably go for that.

    48. ashenfacedsupremo: Always keep half an eye on the Shots as am a big fan of Waddock. Great player who is blossoming into a tidy manager - this could be your season.

    56. liverpool_andy (justiceforthe96): Well thanks very much! (Although I'm sure there's a few people ahead of me for that particular honour.) I'm also a big Robbo fan, so wouldn't dream of dissing him, but it may be that I'll get to do a bit more blogging in the future.

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  • 60. At 4:06pm on 07 Sep 2009, alwaysindoubt wrote:

    Let's be honest, it wasn't just the result of the Champions League draw that was a bit dull, the draw itself was possibly the least exciting thing to appear on television since the test card was abandoned. How on earth do they manage to string it out for so long? I found myself pleading with the telly, "for the love of Pete, please just draw another ball". That's a piece of coverage the BBC should be happy not to have.

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  • 61. At 10:27am on 09 Sep 2009, RedBlueArmy92 wrote:

    Chris,

    Sorry it took me so long to get to this blog... but one of your best sir! And may i just say (as did my fellow shot at 48) well done for mentioning the Mighty Aldershot! Typical the one time it takes me a bleedign week to get to you blog you go and mention us!!! And fingers crossed this will be our year... (though survival suits me just fine, Waddock, is a prince amongst men)

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