Reporting for duty

Hello everybody,

I’m Chris Charles and I’m going to be writing a regular blog for this brand new site, affectionately dubbed WLS (like JLS, but even more all-singing, all-dancing).

Some of you may remember me from my previous incarnation as a BBC journalist, where I wrote a couple of fairly popular irreverent blogs called Quotes of the Week and Review of the Week.

Having finally cut myself free from Auntie’s apron strings after a 19-year association, I was banking on taking a few weeks off before tapping up someone at the News of the World for a few subbing shifts.

But in the words of the Swansea messageboard user when their promotion hopes began to wobble last season: “It’s time to get a Plan B.”

(To which another user replied: “Cracking singer- not sure what good he’d be in our defence, though.”)

I digress. The aim of this blog, as with its predecessors, is to take a light-hearted look back at the week in sport, and in particular football.

While every team across the nation will be open to ridicule – and the odd bit of praise – it would be rude not to pay particularly close attention to the four West London sides, three of whom are now in the top flight.

Warnock discusses major signing. Or maybe not.

It’s no secret that I’m a long-suffering QPR fan, seeing my side back in the promised land for the first time since Gina G was number one with ‘Ooh, Aah, Just A Little Bit’. (Which just about sums up how excited the average R’s supporter is about the prospects for the new season.)

While Norwich and Swansea revel in their new-found status, the QPR messageboards have been clogged up with fans moaning about the board and a lack of big-name signings.

For a club that in recent years has witnessed the ‘Great Brawl of China’ and an FA Cup defeat by a car plant, nothing is ever straightforward. Even promotion was subject to a hitch.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have a manager who was still gurgling in his pram when Chopper Harris and co were throwing toys out of theirs in the mid-70s.

The Blues have spent the summer being linked to the likes of Luka Modric and Samir Nasri, although the only concrete signings they’ve made thus far are Lucas Piazon and Thibaut Courtois, who would have undoubtedly been the first names on most supporters’ wanted list.

Last season’s £50m marquee signing Fernando Torres proved to be as big a hit as the Michael Jackson statue outside Craven Cottage, and Fulham fans have had an early chance to get reacquainted with the colourful tribute to the King of Pop after their Europa League campaign began before they’d had a chance to unpack their buckets and spades.

New boss Martin Jol at least had the chance to get acquainted with his side early on as they took on the might of Crusaders and NSI Runavik.

You can bet when Danny Murphy was browsing through the brochures at his local travel agent at the end of the season, the Faroe Islands did not top the list of his preferred destinations.

Still, at least Murphy will line up alongside old Liverpool team-mate John-Arne Riise next season, following the left-back’s arrival from Roma. Was it only me who was amazed to discover the Norwegian is still only 30?

Last but by no means least there’s Brentford, the only side of the West London quartet to reach a final last season.

The only thing they forgot to do after booking their date at Wembley was to turn up on the day as Carlisle condemned them to their third defeat in as many Johnstone’s Paint Trophy finals.

You can bet new boss Uwe Rosler will have his sets sight on bigger things and the German’s arrival will hopefully persuade countryman Jeffrey Schlupp to spend another season at Griffin Park – if only to hear the classic chant ‘Schlupp John B’ ring out again.

Aside from football, West London Sport will also be covering the likes of cricket and rugby.

While I’m a big fan of the former, you could write my knowledge of the game played by men with odd-shaped balls on the back of the proverbial postage stamp.

To say I’m a fair-weather fan would be pushing it. Although if it was 30 degrees, with a gentle accompanying breeze and someone had handed me free tickets to watch the mighty Quins in action, I’d definitely consider it (as long as there were a few free beers thrown in).

Well, that’s about it from part one. Like Chris Tavare nudging his way to 50 after 14 hours at the crease, this is very much a gentle opener, but I’m sure in the weeks and months to come, things are going to really hot up.

See you in August.