Robin Scott-Elliot: Chelsea model the pants in football's fashion parade

View From the Sofa: Premier League, Sky Sports/BBC1

A new arrival on the sofa and the trouble with babies is that, rather like Sir Alex Ferguson and the FA Cup, they have no sense of occasion. You win nothing with kids and watch nothing with bairns, as Alan Hansen would have said if Lawro hadn't butted in with a characteristic quip about bleating hearts. A half of Liverpool, a stifled yawn at Chelsea, and plenty of Sky Sports News' Through the Night and too bloody early in the morning.

Did you know Fred Couples has an affinity with the people of Asia? So they said about the American as the European Tour visited South Korea – golf geography knows no boundaries. And neither do the Dutch. They get about do the Hollanders – there's the Dutch East Indies for a start – and they were all over the telly last week. There was one on the World Cup of Pool talking about the boot camp he runs for wannabe Russian pool stars outside Moscow. Only the Dutch could get pool into a boot camp. Then Ruud Gullit popped up at Stamford Bridge wearing a suit so shiny Richard Keys spent the first half using it to groom himself.

Chelsea's turgid draw with Everton was the exception in a week when glorious football proved the ruler of our screens. It was the moment in the Premier League's hypnotising procession when the slave (Lord Treisman perhaps) clutching the laurel wreath above Richard Scudamore's head whispers: "You are still mortal" in his ear.

Romans, who knew a thing or two about tight formations, might not have been impressed with the defending at Anfield on Tuesday, but the entertainment was up there with gala night at the Circus Maximus, give or take the odd chariot and chewed-up Christian. Thumbs up all round (or was it down?).

It helped not to tune in until moments before Liverpool's first equaliser but from then on it was glorious viewing, if not always glorious listening. Andy Gray's punditry is akin to watching Boycott bat, technically you can't fault him, but he is hard to warm to. As was the Chelsea game the following night. Attention spans are short in these days of football's metamorphosis into basketball and isn't The Apprentice sport of sorts? There's a gobbie Geordie who looks like John Terry. "Kids love pants," he said. "For ush the title ish over," said Guus Hiddink back on Sky, but it's not for the Geordie who avoided Alan Sugar's firing finger.

Sugar once hired and fired at Tottenham and he would have been pointing the finger – to flog a crap line to death in a manner that the computer salesman would hopefully approve – at Howard Webb at Old Trafford on Saturday. It was a dodgy penalty and part of another wonderful spectacle. Towards the end a camera caught Fergie puffing out his reddened cheeks and exhaling through wobbling lips. Then he grinned. Another normal week on Planet Premier League, the ultimate Never Never Land.

Don't be fobbed off by Hansen's latest claim

Here's a new football phrase – "the Scottish fob"; to hold off an opponent. Alan Hansen's claim on Match of the Day is yet another example, Mr Starkey, of the Scots' powers of invention. Sort of.

Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
people
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Sport
football
News
i100
News
Perry says: 'Psychiatrists give help because they need help. You would not be working in mental health if you didn't have a curiosity about how the mind works.'
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?