RONALDO the great pretender - he only scores against rubbish sides and never delivers against the best
MASTER tactician Ramos signs defenders who score goals but ship far more
ASHLEY Cole is an odious weasel and Sol Campbell is 'injured'

Last updated at 10:04 20 March 2008

Ashley Cole tackle

High tackle: Ashley Cole's horrific challenge on Alan Hutton

Last night, Hatchet Man watched the champions – but not THE champion. Manchester United may have cruised to a 2-0 victory over woeful Bolton with two goals from that lad Cristiano Ronaldo, but I couldn't help but wondering if the Portugal star is being lauded a little too much.

"The Master," cooed Keysey, Jamie and Wilko in the Sky studio. "Is there a finer footballer in the world?" they asked and answered in the negative.

Yesterday's HATCHET MAN

Excuse me, but I beg to differ. It's all well and good showing up the plodders of the Premier League, as Ronny did against Bolton, but – if we're honest, Old Mother Hatchet could do that to them.

Hatchet Man remains to be convinced that Ronaldo can do it against the best.

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Michael Owen scores at Birmingham March 2008

Too good for City: But is Owen getting too big for his boots?

And on Sunday – it's a Grand Slam one, if you hadn't noticed – Ronaldo has the chance to strut his stuff against last season's Champions League finalists Liverpool. That will be the real test. Not Bolton, not against Reading, Villa or Newcastle.

The 23-year-old has scored 24 league goals in as many Premier League starts this season, which by everyone else's standards is very impressive. But not by Hatchet Man's.

Ronaldo has scored only once against "Big Four" opposition this term – against Arsenal, and United have put six past the Gunners this season.

Sunday is a big day for the title race and it's a huge one for Ronaldo's illusions of grandeur.

Last night he scored a scuffer and another befuddling free-kick, although Al-Habsi was beaten by a strike travelling at less than 60mph. Jussi would have saved that, I reckon. Bag a tap-in against your big north-west rivals on Easter Sunday, Crissy, and I'll eat my words.

I bet that I won't have to.


Further evidence that Mark Clattenburg is the wrong appointment for the fiery Arsenal-Chelsea match on Sunday:

Ashley Cole's sickening "tackle" on Alan Hutton was only punished by a yellow card from experienced ref Mike Riley at White Hart Lane.

If Riley got that wrong, what can we expect from Clattenburg?

Further evidence that Ashley Cole is an odious little weasel:

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Upbeat: Woodgate believes Juande Ramos' Spurs have a bright future

The blatant disrespect he showed by turning his back on Riley. Not to mention THAT challenge on Hutton.

Further evidence that Chelsea are not serious title contenders:

The Blues' second 4-4 draw of the season. The most goals Manchester United have conceded in a single game this season is two.

Further evidence that Juande Ramos isn't all he's cracked up to be:

Spurs pay £8million for centre half Jonathan Woodgate and £9m for full back Alan Hutton, yet they still concede four – at home. Again!

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Further evidence that Juande Ramos definitely isn't all he's cracked up to be:

Robbie Keane scores a belting late equaliser to show the Spaniard what the rest of us already knew – Robbie's a class act and should be hauled off at his manager's peril.


Newcastle and England striker Michael Owen, after the Magpies' 1-1 draw at Birmingham on Monday, said: "We were not pleased we have drawn with Birmingham. We are bigger and better than to be pleased with drawing at Birmingham."

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Campbell abuse

Gauntlet of hate: Sol Campbell never really enjoys his returns to White Hart Lane so he won't be going back with Pompey this weekend

Oh really, Mikey. Take a look at the table, son - Newcastle are in 14th, a huge two points above little ol' Brum in 16th.


Hatchet Man risked the wrath of the Bhoys north of the border yesterday by saying that Newcastle are a bigger club than the Hoops. Well, they are.

Today, Hatchet Man feels like upping the ante and he's merged the SPL with the BPL.

Come May, in pie-in-the-sky land, if the current crop of English and Scottish top-flight teams played in the same league, this it how they'd finish - let me know your thoughts...

1. Man Utd

2. Chelsea

3. Arsenal

4. Liverpool

5. Everton

6. Portsmouth


7. Aston Villa

8. Blackburn

9. Tottenham

10. Celtic


11. Man City

12. Middlesbrough

13. Newcastle

14. Rangers

15. Bolton

16. West Ham

17. Birmingham

18. Sunderland

19. Wigan

20. Reading

21. Fulham

22. Hibs

23. Dundee Utd

24. Aberdeen

25. Hearts

26. Motherwell


27. Falkirk

28. Inverness CT

29. Kilmarnock

30. St Mirren

31. Gretna

32. Derby

As you can see, six would qualify for the Champions League. Six would go down and Celtic would scrape a place in the Euro Vase.

Oh, and for the made-up record, Rangers reached the semi-finals of the Carling Cup, where they lost to Hull City.


Talking of Hull, the Tigers are five points from the top of the Coca-Cola Championship table with seven games to go. What a welcome addition to the Barclays Premier League they would be...

Best of order please...Come on you Tigers!!!!

Try and take that lot on a 39th-step jaunt to Thailand, Mr Scudamore.


Cristiano Ronaldo runs rings round a brutish oaf - no, not Titus Bramble, this one's faster both up top and on the floor but he's still no match for the wing wizard.

However, the Portugeezer runs the risk of being slammed by animal-rights campaigners for the Fuji Xerox ad.

Hatchet Man has a hunch, though, and it may come as some relief to all those fans of fur out there - the clip ain't real, unlike Ronny's silky skills, just ask Titus about those. Now, relax and enjoy.

No bull ... don't try this at home


Hatchet Man knows more than most how easy it is to tweak a muscle as you approach the summit of Aged Hill.

Yesterday, across a swathe of southern England, a vicious ripping sound was heard as 33-year-old Sol Campbell looked at the fixture list and saw Pompey were at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

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Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp, on his captain's failure to recover from a knee injury, said: "Sol is struggling. He looks doubtful for the weekend. We'll have to wait and see but I'm not too hopeful."

Hatchet Man understands it has absolutely, definitely, certainly nothing to do with the abuse big Sol was absolutely, definitely, certainly to receive from Spurs fans, who are absolutely, definitely, certainly still smarting from 2001.

That summer the centre half turned down a mega-bucks contract at Tottenham in favour of a move across the road to rivals Arsenal.


Gary Lineker seems set to be dropped as the front man of Walkers Crisps, according to industry magazine Marketing.

The former England centre forward and current Match of the Day host has appeared in 72 adverts for the Leicester-based snack makers since 1995, but he is now considered too old.

Hatchet Man has great respect for the 47-year-old as a footballer - remember World Cup '86 when even a broken wrist couldn't stop him? - but it may well be time for a fresh face in the BBC studio, as well as on the Walkers' ads.

After an all-too-brief session on the casting couch, Sportsmail would like to put forward the name of Anna Fowler.

She's as tasty as a bag of beef 'n' onion, funny and can talk a good game.

Watch her bouncy performance for Catflap magazine below - she'd certainly cause Hansen and Shearer to perk up.

The best Fowler outside Albert Square - but still not in Ashley Cole's class. Click below to judge for yourself...

To see what else is through the Catflap, click here

Hatchet Man is taking Easter off to gorge himself on eggs and Grand Slam Sunday.

Happy Easter, have a great long weekend and prime yourselves for a giant leap of an over-the-top tackle on Tuesday.

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