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Dramatic Arsenal winner as Premier League erupts into life

Maybe the Premier League should always begin with an Arsenal home match? Last season the Gunners kicked off with a 3-4 opening day defeat to Liverpool; yesterday Arsenal introduced the 2017-2018 season by beating Leicester City 4-3. Arsenal fans will be hoping the season ahead doesn’t follow more of the familiar late-Wenger disappointments, and that the chief executive’s promise of a “catalyst for change” isn’t just marketing guff.

The match was a thriller. With just seven minutes of normal time remaining, Arsenal were trailing 2-3. Sky Sports pundit and former Manchester United stalwart Gary Neville was delighted after Olivier Giroud’s late header gave Arsenal the win.

 

gary neville arsenal

 

And welcome to the Premier League, Alexander Lacazette, Arsenal’s record signing, whose first three touches in the title race went: kick-off, goal, kick-off.

As for any controversy in a game where defending was scarce and far from textbook – Arsenal ended the game with an unusual defence: a midfielder at right back; a right back at left left; and two left backs in the middle – the Gunners’ third goal, which tied that match 3-3, came from a corner. Should it have stood. The Leicester City website says the Foxes were robbed:

…in the 83rd minute Ramsey was left unmarked at the far post and slotted home the equaliser, although replays showed a blatant handball from Mesut Ozil in the build-up to the goal. City just don’t get the rub of the green in north London.

On the look out for media bias, what says the Arsenal website on the same goal?

Aaron Ramsey hauled us level with a firm finish from Granit Xhaka’s delightful pass

More of this until May.

Posted: 12th, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Spurs balls: Gareth Bale’s return would be a badge of lunacy

Tottenham fans looking for their club to boost the Premier League’s second best side last term with new players are addressed by the Sun’s Paul Jiggins. Just as pressing f8 on the keyboard has for years given the Sun stories of Cristiano Ronaldo’s imminent return to Manchester United, we now get news of Gareth Bale’s Spurs homecoming:

With Spurs suddenly looking vulnerable, Levy needs to do more than merely ensuring the current playing squad is retained. He needs to make a statement. And there would be no bigger one than taking up the first option Tottenham have on buying back Gareth Bale if and when he becomes available.

‘If’ and ‘when’ might well be words familiar to Spurs fan whose side have one a single trophy this century, but they aren’t exactly the way a savvy operator like Daniel Levy, the club’s chairman, is likely to dwell on.

 

bale yid

 

As for buying Bale, perhaps Jiggins could suggest a fee? He continues:

Levy still wears the £86m sale of the Welsh wizard to Real Madrid four years ago as a badge of honour. Buying Bale back would be an even greater one.

Why stop there? Why not get more badges and buy back Luca Modric from Real or get Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal? Well, one issue might be the money. Take Danny Rose, the Tottenham and England defender on £65,000-a-week. Rose watched Kyle Walker leave Spurs for around £50m and secure a £180,000-a-week deal at Manchester City. Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld is on around £50,000-a-week. The only way Bale will rejoin Spurs is if all parties lose the plot.

PS: Spurs fans I know aren’t overly bothered about who the club didn’t buy. But they are impressed by who they didn’t sell.

Posted: 11th, August 2017 | In: Back pages, News, Sports, Spurs | Comments (3) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Bale to Manchester United for a fee that makes Neymar to PSG look cheap

The summer’s here and with it comes the usual news that Gareth Bale dreams of leaving the heat and glory of Real Madrid for life at Manchester United. Like everyone else, the Star hears Real Madrid president Florentino Perez state the current European champions have no intention of selling Bale, 28, to Manchester United or any other club. “He’s a Madrid player, he’s important for us and he’s one of the world’s best,” says Perez of the Welsh powerhouse bought from Spurs.

But the BBC tells its readers that “privately Perez has told Jose Mourinho that he would be willing to let the Welshman leave”. Got that? Perez told the Manchester United’s manager something in private and the BBC got wind of it. And so did the Daily Express, whose Jack Otway reveals beneath the headline “Real Madrid stunner: Man Utd given green light by Perez to sign Bale after private talks”, that his source is Diario Gol. Slap its story through the prism of Google Translate and you get:

José Mourinho has returned as best he knows to the press rooms: with his provocative instinct. In the previous one of the Supercopa of Europe, the Portuguese technician sent darts poisoned.

One of them went to Florentino Perez. Luso acknowledged that he would be willing to tackle the signing of Gareth Bale. Especially if he sees that his club does not have him.

Mourinho believes that Bale could not be indisputable in Real Madrid. In contrast, the Setubal would secure a place without hesitation in Manchester United.

The two sides have approached positions but lack consensus. A Bale something happens like what happened to Neymar : he wants a club where he is the leader.

Neymar could not be in Barça because he was Messi , and Bale can not be in Madrid while Cristiano Ronaldo. But the case of Welsh is different. The good moment of form of Isco and Marco Asensio make think that not even its site in the initial eleven is guaranteed. Everyone can not play.

That is the main asset of José Mourinho. The United coach wants to persuade him to change his mind. What was not expected was that Florentino entered the rag.

The president of Madrid wants to play and has recognized that if they are willing to pay what it is worth, “Bale is for sale “. The problem is that Neymar has already assessed the market price of Welsh.

Florentino paid 101 million euros for him and will not let him escape for less than 200 million euros. This is how PSG put things and that is what United should study . The cunning of Florentino, with much higher clauses than the Barça has, makes it unfeasible that nobody can pay Bale’s departure . Only a transfer will be negotiated.

In other words, Perez has apparently told Mourinho and Manchester United that if they love Bale so much they can make an offer starting at €200m for him. And they can forget about triggering any escape clause because Perez, the Real Madrid maestro, is no dummy like those negotiators at dread rivals Barcelona who allowed Neymar to slip away to PSG.

If that’s a green light, any drivers reading the Express fact sheet should proceed with extreme caution.

 

Posted: 9th, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Clickbait balls: Southampton’s Virjil can Dijk wants Express move to Liverpool or Arsenal or Chelsea

Transfer balls: news is that Southampton’s Virjil can Dijk no longer thinks Southampton’s ambitions match his own. The defender has asked the Saints to let him know if he can move to a club higher up the pay scale. Liverpool want the Dutchman, but back in June, Southampton alleged the Reds had made an “illegal approach” for him.

Liverpool released a statement:

“Liverpool Football Club would like to put on record our regret over recent media speculation regarding Southampton Football Club and player transfers between the two clubs. We apologise to the owner, board of directors and fans of Southampton for any misunderstanding regarding Virgil van Dijk. We respect Southampton’s position and can confirm we have ended any interest in the player.”

 

So today the Daily Telegraph declares:

After Virgil van Dijk handed in a stunning, forthright transfer request on Monday, asking that Southampton “consider the interest in me from top clubs should it still exist,” Liverpool will revive their interest in the defender.

But Liverpool ended their interest in the player. Which makes us wonder where the Telegraph sourced its story?

That’s according to reports in the Daily Express this morning, who say Liverpool will not be deterred by the fact Southampton reported them to the Premier League earlier in the summer for their pursuit of Van Dijk.

When the trusty Express is your source, it’s worth a look at what the self-style ‘World’s Greatest Newspaper’ (aka: The Daily Clickbait) has to say. In a word, lots. In the past 24 hours, the Express has spun Virgil’s transfer demand into 24 stories. We’ve picked out the highlights:

  1. Virgil van Dijk: Jim White goes on radio rant at Southampton star
  2. Transfer news: Virgil van Dijk will likely join Chelsea, not Liverpool – journalist
  3. VIRGIL VAN DIJK is likely to join Chelsea and not Liverpool, according to journalist Alex Crook.
  4. VIRGIL VAN DIJK wants out of Southampton and Express Sport bring you live updates on his future as Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal chase the defender.
  5. VIRGIL VAN DIJK needs Champions League experience before he can be compared to the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Danny Mills has suggested.
  6. VIRGIL VAN DIJK will not stay at Southampton this summer because player power is too strong, says Jamie Redknapp
  7. VIRGIL VAN DIJK is wanted by Chelsea and Arsenal – who both hope Southampton will refuse to sell him to Liverpool
  8. VIRGIL VAN DIJK is understood to prefer a move to Liverpool over Chelsea after going public with his Southampton transfer request.
  9. LIVERPOOL are ready to revive their £60m move for Virgil van Dijk after the defender went public with an incendiary transfer request.
  10. ROBBIE FOWLER believes Liverpool face a tricky task to bring Virgil van Dijk to Anfield.
  11. Chelsea set to make move for Virgil van Dijk: Antonio Conte assured of three signings
  12. CHELSEA are set to make a firm enquiry with Southampton for Virgil van Dijk with new signings being promised at Stamford Bridge
  13. Chelsea Transfer News LIVE updates: Drinkwater top target, £27m Aurier deal, Van Dijk move

 

To recap: van Dijk is off to Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal.

Posted: 8th, August 2017 | In: Back pages, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho agrees to join Barcelona says one unimpeachable source

In football’s arms race, the Star says Barcelona will offer Liverpool £120m for Philippe Coutinho, 25. Is the Brazilian worth the money? Surely not. Indeed, the Sun counters the Star’s offer and says Barcelona believe they can get Liverpool’s bet player for £90m.

Oddly, the Star adds that Barcelona will also buy Chelsea’s Eden Hazard for around £100m. L’Equipe says Ousmane Dembele has agreed to join Barceloan from Borussia Dortmund for £90.2m. Oh,m and for reasons utterly unclear, Barcelona are also recruiting former Tottenham midfielder Paulinho, 29, from Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande, says.

And finally Bild reports that PSG’s Julian Draxler is also on his way to Barcelona.

Yeah, that’s what we thought – that £199 Barcelona got for Neymar is going a long way.

The story that stands out, though, is that of Liverpool’s Coutinho heading to Spain. Accordign to many news sources, it’s a done dead.

Metro July 26 – “Philippe Coutinho agrees deal to join Barcelona”

The Sun, July 16 – “KOP OUT Philippe Coutinho ‘agrees terms with Barcelona’ leaving club to thrash out £89million deal with Liverpool”

Daily Mail, July 16 – “Philippe Coutinho has agreed terms with Barcelona over a move to La Liga this summer”

Daily Express, August 2 – “PHILIPPE COUTINHO is trying to persuade Jurgen Klopp to let him join BarcelonaBrazilian a step closer to exit after agreeing contract with Catalan giants”

All those report stem from a story on Catalan Radio Station RAC1. It says, according to Spanish site Sport:

 

As reported by RAC1, Coutinho and Barcelona have everything agreed and now only need to negotiate the amount of transfer that would perceive Liverpool by the sale of Coutinho.

The story contains not a single quote. Which makes you wonder if it’s based on fact or hope. RAC1‘s story, written in Catalan, also contains not a single fact. It does, however, quote a source for its scoop. It’s, er, RAC1:

 

coutinho barcelona

 

Such are the facts.

 

 

 

Posted: 7th, August 2017 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Clickbait balls: Indy tricks Arenal fans in Alexis Sanchez story

This was the week when, according to the Daily  Mirror, Alexis Sanchez would tell Arsenal he wanted to leave the club. It’s Saturday and today’s Alexis Sanchez news is that he has, reports the Indy, “set Arsenal a target if 85 points this season in order to challenge for the Premier League title”.

 

Is that what he said? No. He didn’t say anything. The Indy’s story is total and utter balls. It was Arsene Wenger, Arsenal’s manger, who was talking to media. He opined:

“When you have made 75 points (last season), your target is to get 10 points more. And with 10 points more, you are in there (the title race).”

alexis sanchez arsenal balls Indpendent

As reported in the Indy by Jack Austin

 

To recap: Sanchez did not set Arsenal a target. He has not pledge to stay at Arsenal, as the story strongly implies. Other than that, it’s correct.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 5th, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Who is Neymar’s lover? Tabloids haven’t a clue

Bruna Marquezine nude

 

Brazilian footballer Neymar Junior has moved from Barcelona to PSG, and the tabloids are looking for a love interest. Unable to find one, they instead rest their gaze upon 22-year-old Brazilian actress Bruna Marquezine, who used to date the player. Bruna has 21 million Instagram followers. Discovering her is akin to finding your own arse with both hands.

But the Sun is excited, declaring: “NEYMAR’S world-record Paris Saint-Germain move is not the only reason for fans to be excited.” PSG’s sex-starved fans will be frothing at the lips because in a city short of women Neymar’s former girlfriend Bruna “could follow her man to the City of Love”. This guesswork is cemented in the headline: “Who is Neymar’s girlfriend?” Indeed, who is she? She’s not Bruna Marquezine. One down. A few million more model /actresses to go and the Sun should find her.

After seeing a mere 17 photos of Bruna reaped from her Instagram page, Sun readers might be able to recognise her should she walk past them, but they won’t know anything about her. Toby Gannon’s dossier doesn’t even include her age! (She turned 22 yesterday.)

The Star invites its readers to “click through the gallery to see photos of Neymar’s gorgeous on-off girlfriend Bruna Marquezine”. The Evening Standard’s Fiona Simpson opts to simply rewrite history. The headline above her story boasts: “With the Brazilian set to join PSG, we take a look at the lady in his life”. She isn’t the lady in his life. They are not dating. Indeed, after illuminating her text with a few photos taken from Bruna’s social media accounts, Simpson quotes Neymar: “Me and Bruna are separated.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 5th, August 2017 | In: Back pages, Celebrities, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Monaco want Sanchez, Arsenal want Lemar, Barcelona pay Neymar’s dad earns more than Messi

More news on Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez, who has endured a busy summer in the media, joining Paris Saint GermainBayern Munich and Manchester City. He was on his way to Chelseadefinitely staying at Arsenal – who will sell him for £80m – and yesterday kissed the badge on his Arsenal shirt.

 

 

On Monday, the Daily Mirror told readers Sanchez would put in a transfer request this week. It’s Friday. He hasn’t.

Today’s news is that he could be on his way to Monaco. The French champions will bid £45m for the Chilean, says the Metro. The Express says Barcelona, rolling in filthy lucre since Neymar let for PSG, will try to bring Sanchez back to Spain. Incidentally, did you know that Neymar’s father has reaped more money from Barcelona in the last four years than Lionel Messi has? It’s true. And it illustrates just how over-hyped football is.

Meanwhile the Sun reasons that Monaco will use Arsenal’s interest in their midfielder, Thomas Lemar, “to try to tempt” the Gunners into lobbing Sanchez into a swap deal.

Unless they don’t.

 

 

Posted: 4th, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Clickbait balls: Lemar’s Arsenal hint

What is the “hint” being “dropped ” by Monaco’s Thomas Lemar that he’s on his way to Arsenal? Has he been spotted signing contracts in Alexis Sanchez’s Paris hotel?

You click on The Metro’s scoop and are told: “Lemar liked a training picture of Lacazette with Mesut Ozil and Danny Welbeck posted by the striker on Tuesday.”

And? And nothing. Lacazette, the paper continues, “is good friends with Lemar”.

Such are the facts.

 

 

Posted: 2nd, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Alexis Sanchez was in Paris to get his UK work permit

alexis sanchez agents Paris

 

You read the news that Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez has “agreed“a  four-year contract with Paris Saint Germain? You read that the Arsenal player had been in Paris to meet with PSG reps? And like me you thought it odd that no-one had a photo of Sanchez in Paris. Now Sanchez is in London, training with – yep – Arsenal. But the Daily Mail has news: “Judgment Day: Wantaway Sanchez flies back to London ahead of return to Arsenal… but what was he doing with his lawyer in Paris?”

He was, er, agreeing to play for PSG?

The Mail doesn’t answer. It just notes that “his brief stop-off in France has led to some fans questioning whether PSG is his next destination, while Man City supporters are still hopeful he will arrive at the Etihad.”

Hie next destination turned out to be Arsenal. Which leaves us to wonder what Sanchez was doing in Paris, if it wasn’t to sign a contract with PSG? The Daily Telegraph explains:

Ruben Inostroza Povea, who is Sanchez’s lawyer, uploaded a picture of the pair preparing to leave Santiago airport, Chile, on Sunday evening.

Odd. The paper said he was already in Paris. But at least his time there was a photo to prove that he wasn’t. But why was Sanchez heading to the French capital?

According to Povea’s Instagram picture, the trip included a stopover in Paris, where the forward is thought to have renewed his British work permit.

Just like he did in 2014, when he first joined Arsenal.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 1st, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, Manchester City, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester City balls: Ederson has Manchester United fans laughing in The Sun

When Manchester City spunked £34.9m on Ederson – a world-record fee for a goalkeeper – the Sun’s Martin Blackburn told readers that now Pep Guadiola’s team could play the passing game he oversaw as manager of an all-conquering Barcelona side. Ederson is known for his great range of passing and “enormous pinpoint delivery”. He is a “keeper who can launch it 75 yards on to a bottle top”.

Writes Blackburn:

Pep turned up at the Etihad and promptly dumped Joe Hart because he did not feel the England keeper was good enough outside the box.

Hart’s not all that good inside the box.

He persisted with Hart’s replacement, Chilean Claudio Bravo, despite a series of high-profile errors. No matter what happened, Guardiola refused to back down.

The 8th Rule of tabloid journalism dictates an on-off existence. Pep is either extraordinarily clever and prescient or a man more stubborn than an enormous turnip. So it is that when faced with the hapless Bravo, dumb Pep stuck with him through thin and thinner. Or did he? Because one newspaper told us otherwise:

BRAVO, CLAUDIO Claudio Bravo dropped by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola: Here is why he is officially the worst goalkeeper in the Premier League – January 30, 2017

Pep Guardiola has explained his decision to drop Claudio Bravo in the Manchester City goal and replace him with Willy Caballero – February 1, 2017

Manchester City prepared to axe flop goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and replace him with Benfica’s Ederson Moraes – February 2, 2017

That paper was – of course – the Sun.

And how great was Ederson just over a week ago?

Ederson has nightmare debut and is already being compared to flop Claudio Bravo – July 21, 2017

You can read about “dodgy” Ederson giving City fans “a sense of deja vu”, causing “United supporters to gloat on Twitter as the £35million signing ensured Pep Guardiola’s choice of goalkeeper will remain a contentious issue next season” in the consistent Sun.

Posted: 1st, August 2017 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, Sports, Tabloids | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez is sick, grasping and pathetic – no wonder they all want him

Good news for those of you who hate football? The domestic season is yet to begin and already a player is doing a great impression of a grasping, unlovely git. Arsenal’s wantaway striker Alexis Sanchez, easily the side’s best player, has posted an photo of himself being ill. He’s not chucking up or in radiotherapy. He’s wearing a scarf indoors, cradling a dog and pulling the kind of face a spoilt brat uses when their over-indulging parent says ‘No more cake’. His agent says he has the flu.

Alexis Sanchez turns  9 29 in December.

 

 

I love the game but modern football is a hyped sport brimful of grasping berks.

The problem for Arsenal is that rampaging Sanchez scores goals. And when you overlook all the posting and pouting, that’s a rather useful quality.

Posted: 29th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Bale joins Manchester United is a recurring fantasy

Transfer balls: questioned by Real Madrid’s official website, the club’s manager Zinedine Zidane was asked if Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo (the so-called ‘BBC’) were likely to remain.

“I hope the BBC stay for this season,” he replied. “I hope everyone remains. I want everyone who is here now to stay…but anything can happen right up until August 31.”

On the chance of Kylian Mbappe joining Real, Zidane added: “I’m the coach here and you’d have to ask someone else about that. We’re working on things and we’ll see what happens. We’ve got the players who are here now and we’ll just have to see what happens.”

All coy stuff, then. But stick it through the tabloid mincer and you get:

 

bale manchester united bale manchester united bale manchester united

 

That follows the Daily Express’s news of July 19 2017:

Real Madrid star Gareth Bale has secret agreement to join Man Utd next summer

 

And there was the Manchester Evening News story of May 8 2017:

Gareth Bale has agreed to join Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford next season, should the club be able to guarantee involvement in next season’s elite European competition by winning the Europa League .

The story of Bale to United is a familiar one. In November 2015, the Sun said Bale was heading to Old Trafford and Real were in “crisis”. Bale never came. Real went on to win the Champions League.

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 28th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Sanchez agrees Manchester City and PSG as Arsenal wait

Transfer balls: a look at dire, questionable and clickbait-led football reporting.

Compare and contrast the following headlines in The Sun:

July 27, 2017: “HEART SET ON CITY – PSG drop interest in Alexis Sanchez as Arsenal star wants to join Manchester City this summer”

July 21, 2017 – “Alexis Sanchez in Paris hotel as Arsenal star reportedly arrives for talks with PSG”

On July 26, the Sun said: “Sanchez has been demanding a whopping wage packet of around £300,000-a-week.” In the earlier report, the Sun says Arsenal have offered Sanchez £275,000 a week – which is not all that far off his latest demands.

On July 6, the Sun said Sanchez was asking for a whole lot more:

 

 

So much for the facts in the Sun, which produced not a single photo of Sanchez in Paris. But if you want really terrible reporting, the Metro trawls on. According to the Metro, Sanchez has already agreed to join PSG…

 

lexis Sanchez agrees four-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2017/07/23/alexis-sanchez-agrees-four-year-contract-with-paris-saint-germain-6799303/#ixzz4njEVVmXV

Alexis Sanchez agrees four-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain

 

…and Manchester City:

 

man city sanchez

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 27th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal clickbait balls: Wenger gone and Ozil is buried in the Gunners’ (wooden) box

In recent days the Sun’s Neil Ashton has told Arsenal fans that Mesut Ozil is staying at the club (proof: the German Ashton said wasn’t worth “two bob” has renewed his box at the Emirates), Chelsea have been “beaten” Arsenal to £50m Virgil Van Van Dijk (proof: none) and Hector Bellerin will remain at Arsenal (proof: nothing to say that he won’t).

The question is: do these players all know Arsenal are dead? It’s not Arsenal fans burying the club – a group Ashton says “are only ever one defeat away from another meltdown” – it’s Ashton, who opined;

‘ARSENAL Football Club, Rest In Peace. This institution, one of the most famous clubs in the world, is dead and buried. Here at the Emirates, the heart finally stopped beating.’

“So it’s goodnight Arsenal. Goodbye Arsene,” said Ashton after Arsenal were thrashed by Bayern Munich.

Proof to the contrary: Arsenal live on. Arsene Wenger is manager.

It”s almost as if football writers just churn stuff out to fill a space.

Posted: 27th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer Balls: Neymar to Manchester United, Ronaldo’s secret PSG message and clickbait

Transfer Balls: a look at clickbait-led football reporting. The Sun has news on Neymar’s rumoured desire to leave Barcelona to join PSG.

DON’T DO IT. Cristiano Ronaldo tells Neymar not to join Paris Saint-Germain – and wait for Manchester United if he really wants to quit Barcelona

Ronaldo played for Manchester United until he followed his heart and joined Real Madrid. So did he really tell Neymar via WhatsApp to avoid PSG, France’s second best team, and wait to join United, the Premier League’s sixth best side?

The report continues:

Spanish title Diariogol have reported the two superstars have been in close contact discussing Neymar’s proposed £195million move to PSG…

But Neymar should hold out for Manchester United because joining PSG would be a “step backwards”?

And though Ronaldo has told his friend to push for a move to United instead, the Premier League club may already have decided to move on from trying to sign him.

Over on Diariogol, there is not a single quote to support the story. But it’s enough for the Manchester Evening News to thunder: “Cristiano Ronaldo tells Neymar to join Manchester United.” The MEN cites “reports in Spain”. But there’s only one report, and it’s very light on facts.

Meanwhile, readers might recall how not too long ago the British press was reporting Ronaldo’s desire to join…PSG:

 

And:

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 24th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal Transfer Balls: Alexis Sanchez goes missing in Paris

Transfer Balls: How much money is Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez’s worth? Much guff has been written about the Chilean player whose Arsenal contract expires in a year’s time. The pick of the stories is the one that placed Sanchez in a Paris hotel room in readiness for his move to the city’s PSG. He’d been “spotted” in Paris by a raft of top media titles – but no-one of them had had the presence of mind to take a photo of the player. Moreover, not a single passer-by, hotel worker or fan has produced a photo of Sanchez in Paris.

With not a muon of evidence of Sanchez ever having been in Paris last week, the Metro nonetheless managed to connive the headline:

Alexis Sanchez agrees four-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain

 

lexis Sanchez agrees four-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2017/07/23/alexis-sanchez-agrees-four-year-contract-with-paris-saint-germain-6799303/#ixzz4njEVVmXV

Alexis Sanchez agrees four-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain

 

The Metro adds that PSG will secure Sanchez on a £36m transfer and pay him £275,000 a week – £5,000-a-week less than Arsenal have offered. Really? No. It’s total balls.

The Telegraph counters:

Wenger’s conviction that Sanchez will stay has been strengthened by influential French daily newspaper L’Equipe reporting that PSG have now switched their attention to Barcelona’s Neymar.

Plus Arsenal have already stated their resolve to keep Sanchez.

“My mind has been made up for a while now. I think I’ve made it clear a few times that this is my stance [he will stay at Arsenal],” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger yesterday. “Sanchez has got one year to go on his contract and we have no need to make money. He will be part of the team next year and after that I can understand it. We are in a strong financial situation so we want to keep our best players. Has he asked to leave? No.”

So much for the facts. What about the fee?

£90mDaily Star, July 11

£80m Daily Express, July 9

£70mLondon Evening Standard, July 23

£50mDaily Mirror, april 17

£45m The Metro, July 22

£40mDaily Express, June 8

More fake news every day in the trusty mainstream media.

Posted: 24th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester City are not facing a transfer ban over Kylian Mbappe

Things escalate quickly in tabloid-land. The Times reports on the news that Monaco are loudly thinking about narking to those paragons of virtue and probity at FIFA over four European clubs they claim haven’t followed the proper procedure to secure their teenaged sensation Kylian Mbappe.

“Monaco are threatening to report Manchester City to FIFA over an alleged illegal approach for the highly rated France forward Kylian Mbappe,” says The Times. As Monaco’s PR department beats its chest and FIFA’s money-mad bods run their hands with glee at the prospect of trousering any punitive fines, the Mirror screams:

Manchester City are facing the threat of a transfer ban over their pursuit of French sensation Kylian Mbappe

They are? Yes, they are, says the Sun:

Manchester City are sweating on a transfer ban after Monaco accused them of trying to tap up Kylian Mbappe

Total balls, of course., A few weeks ago, Southampton complained to the Premier League about Liverpool’s approach for Virgil van Dijk. Liverpool escaped any punishment.

So where do we stand on tapping up players?

“I think that’s absolutely true – what’s new?” asked Peter Coates, the Stoke City chairman, in a question that was clearly rhetorical, as he continued: “And I’m not against people trying to do something about it. I’m just very cynical about it changing. I just think that’s how it is. And when it happens against us at senior level, I never complain because we know ‘everyone’s at it’ type of thing. You could almost say it’s part of the fabric [of football].”

Mike Rigg, former technical director of Manchester City, added: “I’m not sure there would be much traction because there are other things. It’s like me wanting to try to do a better job on regulating agents – and I don’t find that easy to get any traction. I wish we could regulate them better. And I don’t think we try hard enough.”

Manchester City are not facing a transfer ban. No agents shall go hungry. Monaco will not alienate four big clubs vying to spunk tons of cash on one of their young talents.

Posted: 22nd, July 2017 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Alexis Sanchez leaves Arsenal for PSG but no-one’s got a photo

Transfer balls: Compare and contrast the Sun’s Alexis Sanchez and Arsenal news from today:

The Sun: July 21 2017 –

 

alexis sanchez arsenal PSG

 

The Sun: July 21 2017 –

alexis sanchez arsenal PSG

 

The Sun, July 21, 2017 –

Alexis Sanchez in Paris hotel as Arsenal star reportedly arrives for talks with PSG

He’s staying at Arsenal. He’s reached an agreement with PSG. He’s yet to talk to PSG an Arsenal have received no bid. All in one day. Wow!

Over in the Express, and Sanchez is in France:

Alexis Sanchez to PSG: Arsenal star spotted in Paris hotel to finalise transfer

Pictures of Sanchez “spotted” in Paris: nil.

The paper’s source is something called Paris United.

We can find the twitter Page of Paris United – a fan page for PSG fans – but the link to the website is broken. And like the Express, the site has no pictures of Sanchez in Paris – where he’s been “spotted”, but not by anyone with a phone on their camera.

However, Paris United does tell its followers that Sanchez is staying at the Royal Monceau Hotel, aka ‘Raffles, Paris’.

 

alexis sanchez arsenal PSG

 

No photos of Sanchez at the hotel, but the Sun is swift to tell its readers:

 

alexis sanchez arsenal PSG

 

The Sun does not quote any source. And – like everyone – it provides no evidence of anything.

Better yet, over on Goal.com, Sanchez is still in Chile:

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 21st, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Spurs balls: a ‘top-four struggle’, Kane’s ‘very happy’ and corrupting Jenas

Spurs News, as supplied by the Independent Clickbait Factory. “Tottenham Hotspur could struggle to finish in the top four next season, says Jermaine Jenas”, runs the headline in the once proud newspaper.

 

spurs clickbait indepedent

 

BBC TV pundit Jemain Jenas “thinks that the move to Wembley Stadium, a lack of activity in the transfer market and the strengthening of their rivals could see Spurs struggle”.

But he doesn’t. At least he’s saying nothing of the sort to Kishan Vaghela, who reiterates the story’s thrust in the opining paragraphs:

Jermaine Jenas believes his former club Tottenham Hotspur could find themselves crowded out of the top four next season…

Jenas, who played for Tottenham between 2005-2013, is a huge fan of manager Mauricio Pochettino. But he has identified the temporary move to Wembley Stadium, Daniel Levy’s lack of activity in the summer transfer market and the strengthening of their rivals as significant factors as to why they might struggle next season.

Jenas does says selling Kyle walker to Manchester City “has massively strengthened a competitor for that Premier League title”, but he adds:

“From the club’s perspective they should trust the manager… If it was his decision to sell Kyle then I’m sure he has a plan in place.”

As for Spurs “struggling” and other sales, well, no:

“Tottenham have got a younger squad, players such as Dele (Alli), Harry Kane and Eric Dier are younger players with time on their hands and on good money. So I think the majority of the players there are content as long as the club is seen to be trying to win trophies. The moment Spurs start settling for getting into the top four is when they will start to encounter problems.

“I just don’t see Harry Kane leaving any time soon. I think he is very happy at Spurs and they are showing enough ambition, they’ve reached the Champions League for the last three years.

Far from struggling, Jenas sees problems should Spurs “settle” for a top-four finish – and Kane is “very happy”.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 21st, July 2017 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Clickbait Balls: Manchester United and Arsenal fans tricked by world’s worst journalism

sanchez manchester united

 

Transfer Balls: The Manchester Evening News has big news for Arsenal and Manchester United fans: “Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho talks Alexis Sanchez.”

Can it be that Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez is on Manchester United’s shopping list? Having reached the MEN’s scoop through Google News, the story begins:

Jose Mourinho has admitted it is a ‘shame’ Manchester United did not sign Alvaro Morata and appeared to dismiss any chance of a move for Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez.

He only “appeared” to. So there’s a chance Mourinho wants Sanchez.

When Mourinho was asked by a Spanish journalist if United were attempting to sign Morata, he replied in Spanish: “It is a question for Florentino [Perez, the Real president]. I don’t know the first thing about Sanchez.”‘

Weird answer, no? Mourinho just tags Sanchez onto the end of a reply. Has he done that to wind up Arsenal and Manchester City, who were said to be keen on the Chilean? No. He’s not talking about Alexis Sanchez. He’s talking about Jose Angel Sanchez, Real Madrid’s director general.

 

 

But The Metro didn’t even bother to read that. It thunders:

Freudian slip? Jose Mourinho mentions Alexis Sanchez to send Manchester United fans into transfer meltdown

 

 

clickbait manchester united arsenal

 

Undeterred by fact, the Metro coughs up a cut-out-and-keep guff of dire journalism. This is it pretty much the clickbait balls in full:

Jose Mourinho has got Manchester United fans very excited by accidentally mentioning Alexis Sanchez’s name when asked an unrelated question at his post-match press conference.

The Portuguese oversaw a 5-2 victory against LA Galaxy in the early hours of Sunday morning, and afterwards he was asked, among other things, about Real Madrid frontman Alvaro Morata.

But curiously, Mourinho appeared to get the Spanish striker and Arsenal’s wantaway Chilean mixed up, with many fans now speculating that it was a Freudian slip hinting at genuine interest.

When Mourinho was asked by a Spanish journalist if United were attempting to sign Morata, he replied in Spanish: ‘It is a question for Florentino [Perez, the Real president]. I don’t know the first thing about Sanchez.’

The exchange got pulses racing, with United fans debating whether it was an accidental slip of the tongue or something more substantial…

Of course, it is possible that the Special One innocently misspoke, or he would even have been referring to a different player – midfielder Renato Sanches, perhaps.

But even his choice of language – saying ‘I don’t know’ rather than categorically ruling out a transfer… has got United fans hot under the collar.

One day on from that total balls, the Metro reads the clicks, senses that it’s on to something and produces the follow-up piece:

Why Jose Mourinho – not Pep Guardiola – is the perfect manager for Alexis Sanchez

Ewan Roberts didn’t bother to check the source of his opinion piece. He just thunders:

Jose Mourinho doesn’t do innocent slips of the tongue. Depending on how cynical you are, his name-dropping of Alexis Sanchez over the weekend ranks somewhere between a Freudian slip or the planting of a seed. Whether he intended to or not, the Portuguese has inserted Manchester United onto the list of potential suitors for the Chilean – and they may even top it, with Old Trafford arguably a better fit than their sky blue rivals down the road.

 

 

The article based on poor research and what looks like a cynical disregard for readers trawls on and on, pausing a while to produce a graphic of what Sanchez would look like in the United side:

 

 

It’s “random” stuff says one writer at the clickbait-driven Telegraph:

 

 

More great journalism when we spot it.

 

Posted: 20th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: Sanchez stays and Gooners should rejoice

Barring a gigantic transfer fee that makes his departure irresistible, Alexis Sánchez will be at Arsenal next season. The club has done the sums and worked out that selling their best player to a rival would be a failure. So they’ll keep him and wave goodbye to the Chilean when he leaves as a free agent next summer. They’ll keep the £140,000 a week extra they were going to pay him in a new contract – one he rejected. And, vitally, Arsenal will field a player who boosts their team’s chances of a swift return to Champions’ League football, which they missed out on for the first time in over 20 years with last season’s fifth-placed finish.

“The decision has been made and we will stick to that,” Arsene Wenger, the team’s manager, told media. “The decision is not to sell.”

So Sanchez stays. Keeping him also means Arsenal need not look around for his replacement, which given their status outside the Champions’ League makes signing top talent even more expensive. Just look at the huge premium Manchester United had to fork out to get Paul Pogba.

Arsenal fans should be happy. The deal shows that the club has a long-term plan for success.

 

Posted: 19th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Bakayoko makes Chelsea panic and Manchester United fans click

Transfer Ballsa look at dire football reporting.

When Tiemoue Bakayoko was on his way from Monaco to Chelsea, the media was fanning the baseless news story that he was contemplating a last-minute switch to Manchester United,

Above a story about Bakayoko having his medial at Chelsea, the Manchester Evening News told its readers: “Monaco star Tiemoue Bakayoko’s Manchester tweet sends Chelsea fans into meltdown.” The headline had nothing to do with the story, which went on to explain that Bakayoko had been prodded and probed at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground before heading out for dinner with some of the club’s players.

What Chelsea fans were in meltdown over that? The MEN didn’t say.

But that total tosh was topped by the London Evening Standard which managed to corrupt the simple fact ‘Footballer Undergoes Chelsea Medical’ into “Tiemoue Bakayoko tweet sparks panic among Chelsea fans as he arrives in England for £40m transfer”.

Meltdowns. Panics. Might be an idea for jittery Chelsea fans to stay away from the news, which operated in the twilight zone between utter balls and economical truth.

daily express chelsea transfer balls

 

The Express had previously told its readers: “MANCHESTER UNITED have agreed a £35million deal to hijack Chelsea’s move for Tiemoue Bakayoko.”

 

daily express chelsea transfer balls

 

One day and on even the Express clickbait farm admitted the story was bilge: “MANCHESTER UNITED do not want to sign Chelsea target Tiemoue Bakayoko and have not submitted a bid for the Monaco midfielder.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 19th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Ryan Giggs: from Manchester United to anywhere that’ll have him

manchester united ryan giggs manager

 

Not too long ago, Ryan Giggs was being tipped to be the Manchester United manager. And then he wasn’t. Sunderland, Swansea and Middlesbrough all wanted Giggs to manage their club said the Press. But none of them offered him the job.

 

ryan giggs swansea

ryan giggs middlesbrough

 

ryan giggs sunderland

 

Giggs has ambition to manage. But his ambition has been dampened:

Ryan Gigs April 8, 2017: “I’d rather go into a decent League One or Championship team, who’ve got the right ideas and the right aspirations, than a Premier League team who haven’t.”

Ryan Giggs on July 18, 2017: “I would rather coach a League Two team in which philosophy and ambitions match mine rather than going in to the Premier League and firefighting and the owners don’t give you a chance.”

Ryan Giggs – coming to a Conference club near you, soon-ish.

PS: Do you suppose clubs being a tad shy on Giggs has anything to do with this PR disaster?

 

giggs injunction herald

ryan giggs sex

Posted: 18th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Arsenal and Riyad Mahrez in clickbait feeding frenzy

mahrez arsenal balls

 

Transfer Balls: It’s been a busy day for Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez. Is he on his way to Roma, Arsenal or somewhere else?

The clickbait factory that used to be the Independent newspaper tells readers that Roma are “leading the race for Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez”. To which the obvious question is: what race? Only Roma have made a firm bid for the Algerian.

The Mirror says “the player wants to see whether interest from Arsenal materialises” before boarding a plane to Italy. “The lure of Arsenal is holding up a potential move to Serie A,” says the Mirror.

 

No it isn’t, says The Metro. It’s done and dusted. The Metro tells us: “Arsenal transfer target Riyad Mahrez agrees personal terms with Roma.”

Unless Mahrez hasn’t and he’s still hoping Barcelona come and get him before he has to make-do at Arsenal (see above).

Such are the facts.

Posted: 16th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0