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Review of the week

Chris Charles | 12:54 UK time, Wednesday, 28 January 2009

As the fall-out from the Kaka deal continued, Manchester City's executive chairman was portrayed as football's answer to David Brent.

Garry Cook, barely a household name in his own household a fortnight ago, was ridiculed by respected scribes like Patrick Collins, who opined in his column for the Mail: "He is a comic treasure. His quixotic pursuit of the Brazilian footballer Kaka has put a smile on the face of the nation."

The Sunday Mirror and News of the World also jumped on the Brent bandwagon, and with comments from Cook like "the speculative circus has taken us on a journey that we didn't want to go on", you could see where they were coming from.

City fans are understandably upset about their club being labelled a joke and as a QPR supporter (only the country's second-richest outfit) I'm certainly in no position to put the boot in.
David Brent
But if Cook wants to get this monkey off his back, he could do worse than adopt the following Brentism - 'When confronted by a difficult problem, you can solve it more easily by reducing it to the question, "How would the Lone Ranger handle this?"'

Meanwhile in Milan, Kaka rubbed salt in City's wounds with a brace against Bologna, and David Beckham notched his first goal in a 4-1 win. The LA Galaxy star appeared dead-set on making the move permanent, even adopting a comedy Italian lilt in his post-match interview as he declared: "It's more important that di team won." He's obviously been taking tips from his former boss Schteve McClaren.

There was speculation Mrs Beckham wouldn't be quite so keen on leaving Los Angeles and a shocking headline on one website screamed: 'Becks Dumps Posh!' On closer inspection, however, it was revealed to be the official Leeds site describing the Jermaine Beckford brace that sank Peterborough in League One. Phew.

In the FA Cup, Swansea led the way by dumping holders Portsmouth out, helped by a goal from Jason Scotland. Before the game, the striker was pictured with Swans fans Ian Vernon and wife Linda, who went into labour on the terraces when she celebrated Scotland's goal against Wolves earlier this season.

Ian recalled: "I phoned the hospital half-hoping they would say come down after the game but they wanted her to come in straight away. I couldn't leave her to go on her own, could I?" It's good to know the age of chivalry is not yet dead.

ITV perhaps weren't expecting Pompey-Swansea to be the story of the round if the bizarre camera angles in the highlights programme were anything to go by. As one wag on a QPR messageboard put it: "It looked like it was filmed by Tony Adams with his mobile phone."

Adams knew he needed a star signing after the Cup holders' lame exit and promptly went and bought...Pele. No pressure on the lad, then.

Supporters of Torquay and Kettering must be thoroughly sick of the words 'brave' and 'plucky' after the non-leaguers respectively pushed Coventry and Fulham all the way. The Poppies tie had particular resonance for me having covered their game with Charlton the last time they reached the fourth round in 1989 (yes, I know I don't look that old. Ahem).

In an attempt to make myself feel even younger, I'm off to Shepherd's Bush Empire to see the Buzzcocks on Friday. I interviewed guitarist Steve Diggle last year for a punk piece on the BBC news site, and he brilliantly dismissed today's bands as "Blue Peter presenters with guitars".

I'll also be looking to complete a Stuart Pearce hat-trick after spotting the England under-21 boss pogoing at recent gigs by The Pogues and The Stranglers. More on that next week.

But I digress. Liverpool and Everton fought out another 1-1 draw to put a new spin on the chant 'Can we play you every week?', while Manchester United edged out Tottenham.

Harry Redknapp dealt with the Cup exit and the close shave at Burnley by indulging in a spot of retail therapy to reunite Pascal Chimbonda with his old mucker Jermain Defoe. Who's next? Glenn Hoddle? Jimmy Greaves? Sol Campbell? OK, maybe that last one's a bit far-fetched.

The draw for the fifth round was about as absorbing as a Katie Price novel, aside from the Watford-Chelsea clash which pitted Frank Lampard against his dad. Not quite Kramer vs Kramer, granted, but if Frank Jr does get one over on the old man he might be looking for a new babysitter for a while.

Down at my club, joint-owner Flavio Briatore was tenuously linked with a switch to Torino on an Italian website, a claim which appeared to have little substance.

Thankfully the QPR Report website moved quickly to set the record straight with this impeccable Anglo-Italian translation....

'Meanwhile, following rumors published yesterday by the journal, Flavio Briatore has strongly denied being interested in Toro paired with Antonio Giraudo, former managing director of Juventus fan grenade known but for the time being enough work in Renault and the Queen's Park Rangers. We now expect the position taken by the Farinetti: whose biography just out in the library is titled, I miss it on purpose'. That's cleared that up, then.
Declan Donnelly
Romance of the week involved Declan 'Ant 'n' Dec' Donnelly and Sky Sports presenter Georgie Thompson. She must have been delighted with the colleagues who spiked her autocue with a string of suggestive references when the news leaked out, capped by this fine line in a Norwich feature...'It's all hands on deck'.

And finally, the tale of the week concerned non-league Bishop Auckland. The north-east side, saddened to hear about the death of legendary player and Olympian Tommy Farrer, marked the occasion with a minute's silence, plus tributes in the programme and local paper.

Club chairman Terry Jackson phoned Mr Farrer's wife, Gladys, to pass on his condolences, so imagine his surprise when she told him he could tell Tommy himself, adding: "He'll be back in a minute, he's just popped out to get a paper."

Luckily Tommy, 86, saw the funny side, saying: "I think it's quite nice. There's not too many people who get to know what sort of tribute they'll receive."

Actually, the real story of the week was of course Tucker Jenkins's spectacular fall from grace on Dancing On Ice. You know what's coming next - my girlfriend made me watch it...honest.


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