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Review of the week

Chris Charles | 13:32 UK time, Tuesday, 2 December 2008

As Sunderland continued their alarming slide down the table, there was a welcome distraction for Roy Keane in the shape of his beard.

Never mind that the Black Cats had just beeen whupped by Bolton, or lost five of their last six Premier League matches - the question on everyone's lips was, who did that fine facial fuzz remind them of?

"He should be a submarine captain with that beard," quipped Adrian Chiles on Match of the Day 2, looking nervously over his shoulder, while Guardian website reader Tom Hammett observed: "Is anyone else worried that Roy Keane's new look is remarkably similar to the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?"

Personally I think he's a dead-ringer for Tin Tin's Captain Haddock or the sailor Action Man no-one really wanted as a kid, while a friend of mine is convinced Keano asked him if he could spare some change at the bus stop yesterday.
Just in case you do happen to be looking in, Roy (Sir) that was of course a joke. Anyone who can grow such an impressive beard in such a short space of time is clearly a giant among men and despite these strange accusations that he's 'lost the plot', the Premier League would be a far duller place without Keano's wry observations on life.

It would certainly be interesting to hear what he had to say about Nicklas Bendtner's latest fashion statement. The Arsenal striker gushed: "I love my pink boots. I've wanted to play in that colour ever since I was young. The only way anyone can beat me now is to play with diamond-encrusted boots. And I don't think that is going to happen for a few years." Let's hope not.

Nicolas Anelka is rumoured to be the latest player planning to go pink and while many would argue it's good to see these new men challenging the stereotypes, you can always rely on former Chelsea hardman Ron 'Chopper' Harris for an old school viewpoint, stating: "Pink is a woman's colour, or so my missus tells me." Thanks for that, Ron.

One player you won't see wearing them is Cristiano Ronaldo - who needs pink boots when you've won the Golden Shoe? The Manchester United superstar claimed the Ballon D'Or award, two days after showing the world he's so good he can even play in goal...for Man City.

Ronaldo described winning the prize as "one of the most beautiful days of my life", although you can bet he was secretly irked after coming second to Kaka in a newspaper poll to find the world's best-looking player.

In the FA Cup, we were treated to the usual thrills and spills - sloping pitches, giant-killings galore, a naked man on the telly...whoah, hang on a second. Yes, as the cameras crossed live to the Histon dressing room following the magnificent win over Leeds, there was one of the players audtitioning for the next Gok Wan series. I must admit I didn't see anything, but then it was quite a cold day.

Elsewhere, there were notable scalps for Eastwood and Forest Green and the usual stories of postmen and train drivers grabbing the glory. But in Barrow's 2-1 defeat of Brentford there was a match-winner with a difference in the shape of Matt Henney - surely the only nuclear safety officer ever to make it through to the third round?

The week's here's-what-you-could-have-won award went to Portsmouth, who stunned the mighty Milan by taking a 2-0 lead in their Uefa Cup tie, only to blow it in the last few minutes.

A few days later, David James hugged a tree in Exeter to show his support for National Tree Week and must have been wishing he'd got that close to Ronaldinho's free-kick. One wag on a West Ham messageboard wrote: "I bet David James comes out to hug the tree but misjudges it completely and hugs the Exeter Mayor or a local photographer instead."

Revelation of the week came from Sir Alex Ferguson, who recalled the day he stood up Frank Sinatra. Fergie said: "You can't beat Sinatra. I was actually supposed to have dinner with him one night, but we lost to Charlton so I cancelled it and went home! I wasn't in the mood to meet anybody that night!"

By a strange quirk of fate, I had to miss the Charlton game last Tuesday for a date with Ol' Blue Eyes when my other half left me holding the baby while she had a night out. Bet Chopper Harris never stood for that.

And finally, best story bar none involved the Wycombe fan who ended up officiating during the game with Notts County, despite having no experience. When the fourth official had to stand in for an injured linesman, a tannoy announcement went out for a qualified replacement and Jarred McKnight seized his chance.

He told The Sun: "When the call came, I thought I'll have a bit of that." The 27-year-old student managed to convince officials he knew what he was doing and took his place on the touchline. McKnight added: "I've got a taste for refereeing now and I'd like to do it again...I even told Peter Taylor to get back in his box!" And the headline for this top tale...'The Referee's A Pranker'.


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