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This was the week in which Thomas Vermaelen revealed Arsenal scouted him from up a tree, female footballer Elizabeth Lambert gave a master class in the dark arts of the game, fat Ronaldo admitted he was fat, Guti blamed everybody but himself for Real Madrid's troubles and France became obsessed with Ireland.

Arsenal scouted Vermaelen from up a tree - Friday, November 6

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen shed new light on the extraordinary lengths that Arsene Wenger's famous scouting network go to when he revealed that club snoop Steve Rowley resorted to spying on him from the bushes.

Rowley followed the former Ajax Amsterdam defender to the Belgian seaside resort of Oostduinkerke to watch him in a three-versus-four training match with the national squad and hid amongst trees to get a sneaky look.

Despite his leafy position Rowley saw enough to convince Wenger to part with £10 million in the summer and the Belgium international has since proven to be worth every penny.

Vermaelen said: "The scout told me afterwards that he had hidden in the forest. They know more about me here at Arsenal than you might think."

Women go on the attack - Saturday, November 7

Forget Roy Keane, Vinnie Jones and Joey Barton there is a new bad boy, er girl, in town and it's hard-tackling, rabbit-punching, hair-pulling sensation Elizabeth Lambert.

The University of New Mexico player achieved internet notoriety this week when her bad behaviour in a college soccer match was caught on camera. Although Lambert only received a yellow card during the game against Brigham Young University, for kicking the ball at an opponent's head, video footage caught her also kicking players, sneakily punching a striker in the back and hauling one unfortunate opponent to the floor by her ponytail.

Lambert, who admitted that her emotions had got the better of her, was handed a suspension by UNM for her antics and internet message boards were flooded with debate about whether it was okay to play dirty in order to win. The odd person even declared their undying love for the feisty young lady.

Lambert's aggressive behaviour probably ranks amongst some of the worst sportswomanship seen on a football pitch, but she's not the first footballer to take it to the extreme, as these women from Argentina proved when they attacked a referee back in 1983, and she won't be the last, as these brawling high school women proved just days later.

Fat Ronaldo: Okay, I'm fat - Sunday, November 8

It's an admission that maybe long overdue, but O Fenômeno, the original Ronaldo, has finally admitted that he might just be just one or two pounds overweight.

The three times FIFA World Player of the Year is back in Brazil and has targeted a return the national team, after scoring 19 goals in 25 games for Corinthians, ahead of the 2010 World Cup, but he did concede that might need to run off a few pies first.

"Right now, today, I would not even call myself up," the Brazilian legend told Globo. "I am going to make a huge effort, maybe the biggest effort of my entire career. I am going to do everything I can to be there. I think it will largely depend on the first semester of 2010."

Ronaldo has already bagged a league title since he returned to his homeland and in Corinthians' centenary year he is hoping the race for another Brazilian championship and the Copa Libertadores will get him into shape. "I am going to admit it, I am fat," Ronaldo joked. "Television adds 3 kilos. Here I have five cameras pointing at me. So that's three kilos per camera!"

Ireland obsessed Evra develops vert-igo - Monday, November 9

It seems France's impending World Cup play-off against the Republic of Ireland is proving all bit too much for full-back Patrice Evra, who has given up drinking Sprite as it reminds him of the green-shirted threat that looms on the horizon.

The Manchester United defender claims his Old Trafford team-mates have started to dress in green to play with his mind ahead of Saturday's crunch clash and an emerald coloured can of Sprite sent him over the edge this week.

Evra said: "I've had the impression for days that certain people have been wearing green on purpose. Maybe that's just my imagination. But the other day I opened a can of Sprite, took a good look at it and decided I had to swap it for another drink. The moment I see anything green I think about the Republic of Ireland."

"These last few days at United have been difficult. John O'Shea has promised me it will be hell at Croke Park. I have had the mickey taken out of me a lot ... The joking has to stop now. We have to qualify. It has become an obsession."

Guti not looking at the man in the mirror - Tuesday, November 10

Following Real Madrid's humiliating exit from the Copa del Rey at the hands of lowly Alcorcon in midweek whinger-in-chief Guti was quick to tell the press that there is a crisis at the Santiago Bernabeu and that the foreign players don't understand the club.

"For (president) Florentino (Perez), things are not going well," said Goldy Locks. "Some foreign players do not understand the values of Real Madrid," he humphed.

However, in the very same interview with La Gaceta, Guti revealed that his own values include partying until the early hours and generally burning the candle at both ends. "I'm a guy who never stops day and night. I like to enjoy the night with my friends. I do not see myself at 60 years of age in a discotheque until six in the morning, (but) I am now."

The comments are even more ill-advised when you consider that Guti has been in exile for the past four games following a blazing row with manager Manuel Pellegrini during the 4-0 first-leg defeat against Alcorcon and will not return until "the technical team consider he is ready."

Great players, shame about the coach - Wednesday, November 11

France may have a star-studded line-up that includes the likes of Thierry Henry, Karim Benzema and Yoann Gourcuff, but Republic of Ireland skipper Richard Dunne is far from worried ahead of their World Cup qualifying play-off clash as he is certain that hapless Les Bleus boss Raymond Domenech will "mess up" his team's chances.

Domenech has somehow managed to cling onto his job as coach despite opposition from vast swathes of the French public and media and was recently jeered when he attended the Paris Masters tennis tournament with some of his players. French World Cup winner Christophe Dugarry recently said Domenech had "done everything the wrong way" and Dunne seems to agree with the former Bordeaux star.

"Every time a tournament comes round, they [France] have all these world-class players and then a man who seems intent on messing them up ... they probably have not got the man at the top to pull them back around," the Ireland defender said. "You can see the reaction of the people at the tennis, when they put his [Domenech] face on the big screen. The whole place just booed him and his own players laughed at him."

Nigerian star sentenced to flogging - Thursday, November 12

When Nigerian Under-21 international Stephen Worgu was caught drink driving he might have been expecting a quick slap on the wrist as punishment but unfortunately for the forward he was convicted of the crime in Sudan and has been sentenced to a flogging.

Worgu, who plays for the Sudanese giants Al Merreikh, was driving in the Muslim north, where drinking itself is illegal, and if his appeal against the sentence is turned down, Worgu will receive 40 lashes and have to pay a fine of £60.

Sudanese side Al Merreikh signed Worgu from Enyimba in Nigeria for £1.57 million in one of the biggest transfers in African history, but the striker has struggled with the "different culture, different religion, different language and Sharia law" and has failed to produce on the pitch.

He had been the top scorer in the 2008 African Champions League, with 13 goals. The judge couldn't be a disgruntled Al Merreikh fan could he?


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