A Stern lesson

first_imgMe and my kids built a QPR snowman last weekend. We decided against calling it ‘Cisse’ after figuring it would probably take longer than 33 minutes to go into meltdown.The French striker certainly didn’t live up to his surname, shaking Roger Johnson firmly by the throat after the Wolves defender had chopped him down in mid-flight.Much was made of how Cisse’s impulsive reaction was a result of suffering two broken legs in the past.“As Abramovich was pictured standing over a nervous looking Andre Villas-Boas, all that was missing was a black cloak and a large scythe.”It reminded me of my marvellously-named old maths teacher, Mr Stern.A wartime submarine operative, every time he heard the phrase ‘Hit the deck!’ he would instinctively throw himself to the floor.The old boy shared this little secret with us in an off-guard moment and quickly began to wish he hadn’t after spending the rest of our lessons that term picking himself up.In the case of Cisse, you’d have to keep your wits about you if you were behind him in the supermarket – the merest of nudges with your trolley and you’d be picking up your teeth with broken fingers.It had all been going swimmingly up until the Frenchman’s unscheduled departure, then Wolves took a leaf out of his book and grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck to take a vital three points back to the Black Country.I can’t remember the last time I felt quite so miserable leaving Loftus Road – made worse by the fact I was with my little one so had to be content with shouting obscenities in my head, while reassuring her it wasn’t the end of the world.Thankfully within half an hour of getting back, she looked out of the window and uttered those three little words guaranteed to make you forget all your troubles in an instant.. ”It’s snowing, Daddy!”Back in business.Aside from Bobby Zamora’s debut goal, the only other bright note for Rangers fans was the late cameo by Adel Taarabt, back to his mercurial best as he dictated play and peppered Wayne Hennessy’s goal with thunderbolts.With all the marquee signings and his unrewarding trip to Africa, Taarabt was in danger of becoming a forgotten man but he could yet hold the key to QPR’s survival hopes.When the Moroccan was going through a bad patch earlier this season, Joey Barton said: “I came here and was told he was a genius. I have yet to see it.”After Taarabt’s weekend masterclass, the QPR skipper remained curiously tight-lipped, preferring instead to wade into the John Terry row, picking fights with journalists and vowing to go to jail and become a martyr in the name of free speech. So, a typical week in other words.Of course everything in the football world was overshadowed by the resignation of England boss Fabio Capello and the acquittal of Harry Redknapp – the second and third biggest stories of the week after Kop Cat.Redknapp was immediately installed as favourite to land the national job – encapsulated by The Sun headline above a picture of him and the Italian – ‘Arryvederci!’Capello’s demise came after his furious public reaction to the FA’s sacking of his captain John Terry over the alleged racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand at Loftus Road in April.Chelsea fans have refused to acknowledge their skipper’s England demotion, chanting “There’s only one England captain”, during the thrilling 3-3 draw with Manchester United at the Bridge on Sunday.The match itself was arguably the game of the season, with Chelsea racing into a three-goal lead, including a corker from Juan Mata, before Howard Webb finally remembered he was a United fan (I’m joking) and helped to even things up by awarding a couple of penalties.He’s behind you…Before the game, Sir Alex Ferguson gave a pre-match interview while bizarrely dressed in a white polo neck jumper. I was half expecting him to turn to the camera and say: “Welcome to Jazz Club…Nice!”Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich reacted to the latest setback by putting in an appearance at the Blues’ training ground.As Abramovich was pictured standing over a nervous looking Andre Villas-Boas, all that was missing was a black cloak and a large scythe.As for the other Manchester-west London clash, City were too strong for Fulham, sweeping Martin Jol’s team aside 3-0.At one stage the flakes were falling so hard at the Etihad there was a danger the game might be called off – until they spotted Mohammed Al-Fayed crouched behind the advertising boards with a portable snow machine.Brentford’s game against Preston didn’t make the cut and further snow on Thursday night put paid to this weekend’s clash with Oldham, leaving frustrated fans on the Griffin Park Grapevine forum forced to make their own entertainment.After exhausting favourite crisp flavours they moved on to how things are different now to the olden days.Supermarkets and squad rotation figured highly but I quite liked ‘Christmas being spoken about before December’ and ‘kids no longer calling their parents’ friends Auntie and Uncle’.Nostalgia, eh? It’s not what it used to be.Follow Chris on Twitterlast_img

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