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Review of the week

European Football
by Chris Charles (U1647500) 13 April 2007
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Sir Alex Ferguson and Life on Mars

As Life on Mars reached its gripping climax, with Sam Tyler swapping his lap-top for bell-bottoms, Manchester United looked as if they’d popped back to 1968 for a vintage exhibition of European football.

The 7-1 stuffing of Roma evoked memories of THAT final against Benfica and had pundits who’d predicted the demise of Sir Alex Ferguson’s men spluttering into their clichés.

The Guardian’s Fiver were quick to rub Eamon Dunphy’s nose in it, picking out the following before and after quotes from the RTE broadcaster:

"Cristiano Ronaldo is a puffball who's never done it on a big occasion ... I don't think they'll do it tonight because they're playing against good, experienced professionals. Maybe I'll have an egg on my face in a few hours' time but I doubt it.”

...."It was a great performance by players who've never played like that before ... but Roma were very poor. They're 18 points behind Inter in Serie A."

Never mind egg, Eamon, word has it there was room for sausages, bacon and a couple of bits of fried bread by the time Ronaldo and co had finished.

Earlier in the week, United were beaten by Portsmouth, who were in turn thrashed by Watford. If things take their logical course, Watford will hammer United 6-2 in their FA Cup semi-final, before routing Roma 13-4 in a pre-season friendly at the Vicarage.

Joining Man Utd and Liverpool in the Champions League semis are Chelsea, whose manager Jose Mourinho regressed to childhood at the final whistle against Valencia – leaping all over John Terry as the captain was being interviewed on TV.

It could have all ended in tears – just ask QPR chairman Gianni Paladini who is nursing a broken rib after manager John Gregory overdid the celebrations following the win over Coventry, evoking memories of the recent Great Brawl of China.

And there’s more. Sunday league goalkeeper Glynn Stockwell saved a last-gasp penalty kick for his side in a crucial cup semi-final but, guess what, he’ll miss the final after ecstatic team-mates broke his arm during the celebrations in Midhurst, Sussex. Oops.

You wouldn’t catch cricketers behaving like that – certainly not on the field of play, although Monty Panesar does tend to get a bit over-excited from time to time.

Sorry, did I say Monty Panesar? Of course I meant Tony Parmesan, the wonderful new nickname bestowed on the spinball wizard by his colleagues. Surely the best sporting anagram since Neil Warnock became Colin W*****?

You don’t often find the words golf and sex in the same sentence, but events at Augusta were all about the Masters & Johnson - a name familiar with fans of pioneering sexual techniques in the sixties. So I’ve heard.

Aside from Life on Mars, TV gold of the week has to be The Night Garden, which will mean precisely nothing to anyone who’s not under the age of five or a parent.

Billed as the new Teletubbies, this surreal show is set to become a cult, with stars including the Ninky Nonk, the Pinky Ponk and Makka Pakka, upon whose body Steve McClaren is sure to be superimposed should England fail again in June.

And finally the Grand National is upon us again. You could do worse than putting your faith in our very own Honest Frank’s pinstickers’ guide. I have to confess that I’m the colleague who dreamt a horse with Bay in the title would win although the chances are Cloudy Bays will still be running come Monday lunchtime.

Don’t forget to catch BBC Radio 4’s brilliant new comedy sports show Look Away Now, presented by Garry Richardson which looks at the week's sporting news and the weekend ahead, “a bit like Linda Blair in the Exorcist except with less vomit and more badminton”. You can catch up with the show Thursdays (1830-1900BST) or Fridays (2300-2330BST).

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posted Apr 13, 2007

Brilliant review! LOL

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comment by pomers (U4272959)

posted Apr 13, 2007

Nice article! 'Colin' is so apt! How about another footballing anagram:

Peter Ridsdale - Dire Leeds Prat.


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posted Apr 13, 2007

There is an anagram of Andy Gray that comes to mind ......remove the 2nd letter of his surname. Place it at the front of his first name. And hey presto you've got a full on ,ready for it, limp wristed sports presenter

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comment by limeyg (U2758104)

posted Apr 13, 2007

There's a very rude anagram of David Ginola too. I don't suppose it will be posted here, does anyone else know what I'm talking about?

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posted Apr 13, 2007

classic review some very good points there! although as a Man Utd fan i'm hoping your predictions aren't correct!!

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posted Apr 13, 2007

Dunphy has always been a big mouth, on the edge druged up drunkard who knows his stuff and comes across as jealous of those who have it, having been just a journey man himself. He will side with the intelligent and the underdog, Keane for example but not the young and gifted Ronaldo for example. As for your review you need to start asking the questions, how come UTD lost to Portsmouth and then Hammered Roma 7:1 with practically the same team? Are Alex and Harry buddies or what? stinks I think.

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posted Apr 15, 2007


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