News | Anorak - Part 30

News Category

We don’t just report off-beat news, breaking news and digest the best and worst of the news media analysis and commentary. We give an original take on what happened and why. We add lols, satire, news photos and original content.

Chelsea balls: Brendan Rodgers arrives via Tube (Christian Gross nowhere)

Brendan Rodgers has been “spotted in London”. The Mirror sees the photos and ads that the former Liverpool manager’s trip to the big city comes “as rumours of return to Chelsea gather pace”.

Rodgers worked with Jose Mourinho when the Portuguese was first at Chelsea. The Blues could do much worse than recruit the coach to their team. Rodgers has talent and vision.

The Mirror adds that “managerial posts in the capital have also recently opened up at QPR and Fulham.”

The Express contrives: “Ex Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers spotted in London to talk roles at Chelsea, Fulham or QPR?”

Echoed by the Mail: “Brendan Rodgers spotted in London… so was the former Liverpool manager using Waterloo Station to get to a job interview?

All those journalists on the football beat and not one has a clue.

It’s all utter drivel, of course. Rodgers was spotted not being whisked to a ground by car, but riding the Tube alone (no lawyer), having reached London via a train to Waterloo.



Brendan Rodgers rides tube


Joseph thinks seeing a man on the London Underground warrants a “Haha”. It’s the kind of laugh that says ‘Wouldn’t this be great if this was funny”.

But there is something thrilling about seeing a famous face.


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Look out for Rodgers on a TV show very soon. It’s the media career they crave.

Note: It reminds us of former Spurs manager Christian Gross who travelled to his first press conference on the Tube. He showed everyone the ticket as a symbol of his empathy with the ordinary fan.

The idea that someone as vain as Rodgers would so reduce himself to the status of ordinary bloke is laughable.

Posted: 10th, November 2015 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: Wenger says he’s a Gunner until he dies

Arsenal PSG

Arsenal PSG

The Mirror leads with news that Paris Saint-Germain are “anxious” to hire Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager.

Darren Lewis says PSG have Wenger on a shortlist. Other names on this list are, we’re told, David Moyes, Steve Bruce and the great Eddie Howe. No, of course not. Lewis, as with all journalists, just trots out the names of the usual suspects: Jose Mourinho, and  Pep Guardiola.

The story contains not a single word from PSG. We do hear quotes from Wenger that he would never coach another English club if he were sacked from Arsenal before his contract expires in 2017 – and that “my attachment to Arsenal will remain until the end of my days… I do not see today I could have a managerial career elsewhere.”

Someone should tell the PSG list-makers to remove one name from it.

What’s odd about the Mirror’s story is that such palpable balls should feature ahead of a genuine news story. Inside the paper, Lewis has two more pages on Wenger, all based on an interview the manager did for L’Equipe Sport.

Although the Mirror cannot resist the urge to present the interview as if it were its own:


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Wenger is quoted:

“I’ll give myself merit for one thing: I’ve always treated Arsenal as if it belonged to me. I have sometimes been criticised for it — because I am not enough of a spender, not carefree enough. I credit myself for having had the courage to apply my ideas and fight for them. Aside from that, I can understand why people might not agree.

“My great pride will be to be able to say the day that I leave, that I am leaving behind a good team, a healthy situation and a club capable of performing in the future.

“I could have said to myself: ‘I am here for four or five years, we win everything’, [then] I leave and leave the club on the verge of bankruptcy. For me, consistency at the highest level is the true sign of great clubs.”

Arsenal fans are blessed to have ben led by a man of talent, vision and belief.

What does he not like?:



 “To be, after every single defeat, despite the consistency that we have put into our work at the highest level, questioned about everything that has been done; the ‘Everything down the pan’ reaction. A balance must be found between your masochistic capacity to put up with what you are forced to endure and your delight in accomplishment.

“Expectations have become much more important. The philosophical definition of happiness is when what you want and what you have align. And what you want changes as soon as you have it — always more, always better, to the point where it becomes difficult to satisfy.

“An Arsenal fan, when you finish fourth, will tell you, ‘Hey, for 20 years now we have been in the top four. We want to win the league!’ They don’t care that Manchester City or Chelsea have invested 300 or 400 million Euros. They just want to beat them.

“But if you finish fifteenth for two years, they will be happy if you finish fourth after that.”

And a word for those clubs who only chase the big names:

“To have arrived in London facing such great scepticism. My first championship title, my first Double. From ‘Arsene who?’ to he who became a pioneer — the first non-British manager to succeed in England.”

You’ll miss him when he’s gone.


Posted: 10th, November 2015 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Marilyn Monroe dead ringer for stone cold Scotland

Like comparing Marilyn Monroe to Kincardineshire


Subtitle screw up of the day:

Sky News subtitles were running over an item on dress size changes over the past 20 years. The item was a day late lift on a Daily Mail story. The claim is a 10 dress size today would have been a 14 a couple of decades ago.

A gushing Sky commentator repeats the Mail’s headline which compared Kim Kardashian to the ultimate blonde bombshell which was converted by Sky’s superfast text translator as:

Like comparing Marilyn Monroe to Kincardineshire

Works for me… both attractive and dead

Posted: 10th, November 2015 | In: Celebrities, News, TV & Radio | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Burn hole cardigan worn by Kurt Cobain on MTV-Unplugged sells for $140,800

cobain sweater


The deeply unfashionable cardigan wort by Kurt Cobain on MTV: Unplugged in 1993 has been bought at auction for $140,800. The seller was a “friend” of the Cobain family.

Four months after the show, Cobain committed suicide.

Julien’s “Icons and Idols: Rock N Roll” auction advertised it thus:

A blend of acrylic, mohair and Lycra with five-button closure (one button absent), with two exterior pockets, a burn hole and discoloration near left pocket and discoloration on right pocket.


Posted: 9th, November 2015 | In: Music, News, The Consumer | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Manchester United ‘owed’ Rooney £45m (unless they sell him to Real Madrid)

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Transfer Balls: The Daily Star leads with news of a “Man Utd £45m deal”.

Wow. Manchester Untied have agreed to sign a player for £45m? No. Jonathan Green’s stort is utter balls:

Manchester United are backing Wayne Rooney to come good again as his massive wages mean no club would want to sign him, according to the Daily Mail.

Dang! And just when Real Madrid were looking to sign Rooney, too.

The United captain’s contract runs until 2019 and means the 30-year-old is effectively owed £45m in wages.

Er, no Jonathan. That is total balls. Rooney’s contract runs to 2019 but that is not to say he will be playing or Manchester United in 2019, nor be able to pick up all those bonuses for goals scored, shirts sold and matches player.

Rooney has struggled for form this season, scoring just two goals in the Premier League and on Saturday he failed to touch the ball in the Crystal Palace box. But Louis van Gaal will stand by his man as Rooney’s wages, let alone a transfer fee, would put other clubs off signing him.

If Rooney’s dropped then his wages will be reduced. If he’s dropped, then he will surly seek playing time elsewhere. That’s when Manchester United will sell him. And Rooney is a talented player, easily good enough to play on for a few years in the top flight.

In fact, one newspaper has said Rooney could be quitting Man United. Yep, it was the trusty Daily Star…


Posted: 9th, November 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The secret den in King Tutankhamun’s tomb

Is there more to the tomb of King Tutankhamun than Howard Carter and his time-travellers found? An infra-red scan alludes to a hidden chamber behind a decorated wall.


Cairo University’s Faculty of Engineering and Heritage, Innovation and Preservation employed infrared thermography to look through the stone.

“The preliminary analysis indicates the presence of an area different in its temperature than the other parts of the northern wall,” announced Egypt’s antiquities minister. The difference in temperature might mean there’s an open space behind that section of wall, according to Discovery.

Mamdouh Eldamaty, Egypt’s Antiquities minister, said that more experiments will now take place to confirm the result.

Rob Besschiza wonders:

British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves hopes to find the resting place of Queen Nefertiti in the space, though not everyone shares his belief that King Tut, who died young, thereby had to share a tomb with his mother.

If you’ve not yet seen the colourized photographs of King Tut’s resting place, please do so. They are fabulous…

Posted: 9th, November 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Liverpool balls: Klopp and the Crystal Palace ‘mass walkout’ that wasn’t

Liverpool klopp


Did you see the “MASS WALKOUT” at Anfield as Liverpool lost to Crystal Palace?

What happened was that as the game wound down fans started to leave. This is pretty routine.

Jurgen Klopp admitted he was left feeling ‘pretty alone’ as he witnessed an Anfield exodus after losing his unbeaten record.

The Liverpool manager looked around the stadium in the moments after Scott Dann’s header had secured a 2-1 win for Crystal Palace and was visibly taken aback by the sight of supporters heading for the exits rather than staying behind to try and launch a late rally.

Said Klopp:

“The goal was on 82 minutes – 12 minutes to go – and I saw many people leaving the stadium. I turned around and, I watch my team and I felt pretty alone in that moment. We decide when it’s over. But between 82 and 94 minutes you can make eight goals if you want and we have to work for it. It feels so bad because it was not necessary.”

What the Mail fails to report is what else Klopp said. The Guardian fills in the blank:

Klopp said his frustration was not with the early leavers but his team’s inability to convince supporters that a point could be salvaged against an impressive Palace team. “I am not disappointed about this,” he clarified.

“They have reasons [for leaving] and maybe it is easier to go out, I don’t know. Don’t make a big thing about this but we are responsible that nobody can leave the stadium before the final whistle because anything can happen.”

No pop at the fans at all, then.

Posted: 9th, November 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Grass and Gas: Store offer marijuana and petrol to loyal customers

gas and grass


In the file marked “What could go wrong?’, we learn that medical marijuana users can now buy weed while filling up their gas tanks in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“Gas & Grass” in Colorado Springs has two entrances – one for the weed store Native Roots; one for petrol. Anyone buying their marijuana at. Native Roots will get discounts on the gasoline.

Patients who register their medical card with Native Roots will receive a free tank of gas, as well as a discount card with gas discounts of .15 per gallon for each subsequent visit, regardless of purchase.

Medical patients not registered with Native Roots will receive a discount gas card at the time of marijuana purchase. The gas discount is .05 for patients not registered with Native Roots. In addition, a purchase is required. For those not purchasing marijuana products, gas will be available at standard prices.

But remember: don’t drive drugged. The police in the UK have road-side drug detection kits:

The blood limits for heroin, cocaine, ketamine and THC are so low that they are likely to register in users long after any impairment to their driving ability has worn off. Conversely, users of the eight prescription drugs (six benzodiazepines and two opiates) will be allowed blood levels likely to imply current impairment, so long as they can show a prescription or pill-bottle at the roadside. I can understand the impulse to treat illegal and prescribed substances differently, but isn’t this meant to be a question of road safety?

It is worth comparing heroin and its legal – and highly profitable – substitute Methadone. Heroin users will be caught out with only 5 micrograms per litre of blood, while methadone users are free to drive with up to 500 micrograms per litre. Regardless of our prejudices against heroin addicts, are we supposed to believe that there is a hundredfold difference in the effects of these two drugs? If not, then what is the purpose of the new regulation?

In June 2015, the BBC reported:

More than 900 motorists have been arrested on suspicion of drug-driving since a new offence was introduced in March, figures suggest. The figures, which cover most police forces in England and Wales, are the first to be released since the new laws came into force. The Met Police had the most arrests, with 214 between 2 March and 11 May. Home Office Minister Mike Penning said the government was “determined to tackle the menace of drug-driving”.

But who is being targeted?

Even if a driver passes the roadside check, officers will still be able to test at a police station for ecstasy, LSD, ketamine and heroin, as well as other drugs.

Being stoned behind the wheel is not conducive to good driving. But this purge on drug driving is surely designed to catch illegality. After all, you can still have a pint of beer and get behind the wheel….

Posted: 9th, November 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal and Spurs balls: Vertonghen gropes Giroud, Kane is ‘immaculate’ but Ozil is the star

giroud penis


Arsenal drew 1-1 with Spurs in the Premier League yesterday. The Mirror leads with “GET A ROOM BOYS”, a comment based on a picture of Tottenham’s Vertonghen with his hand close to Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud’s crotch.

The Mirror says this is “just like” when Vinnie Jones grabbed hold of Paul Gascoigne’s balls. But it isn’t. Vertonghen never takes hold of Giroud’s tackle nor appraises his target by calling him “fat boy”.

But sticking with the foreplay theme, the Sun thunders: “Gunners will never win title with fluff-it Oli up front”.

From fluffed to fluffer, Giroud is the subject of Steven Howard’s opinion that Arsenal will “win nothing  with Olivier Giroud as the main striker”. All true – if you don’t notice that Arsenal won back-to-back FA cups with Giroud as the, er, main striker. And all true if you fail to spot that with Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott injured, Giroud is Arsenal’s only fit striker with a goal scoring record. Yes, there’s Joel Campbell but he’s a makeweight, filling in on the right-wing as seven more accomplished first-team Arsenal players keep the medics busy.

The chief problem with Giroud is that he’s not English. Whereas the Frenchman is rubbished (goals this season in the PL: 6), Harry Kane of Spurs is “immaculate” (goals this season in the PL: 6). Kane scored one. He also missed a chance that would have put Spurs two up. He’s a very good player. But he’s not perfect.

One page back and the Sun’s Charlie Wyett also heaps praise on Kane. We learn that Kane” bullied Arsenal’s defence”. He didn’t. If any Spurs player did, it was Erik Lamela (not English), whose “terrier-like harrying” (Times) and all-round play is a massive upturn in performance from the player who joined Spurs for £25m in the post Gareth Bale shopping spree.

The Mirror’s Dave Kidd hails the best player on the pitch: Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil, who has for the first time in PL history provided assists in six straight games. The German is also the Sun’s man of the match.

In the Express, Matthew Dunn mentions Giroud’s “nightmare”.

The Mail’s Martin Samuel says “Arsenal got away with it”. And they can thank Mesut Ozil, also named as the Mail’s man of the match. In a hyped Premier League, Ozil is one of the few players with genuine quality.


Posted: 9th, November 2015 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports, Spurs | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Coffin company uses naked women calendar to seduce stiffs



To Poland, where coffin company Lindner is seducing stiffs to its product range with a calendar full of topless babes.

“We enjoy showing our beautiful coffins, and what better way than including beautiful girls?” says company owner Zbigniew Lindner. Before you shout ‘Got wood?’ he continues?
“We wanted to show that a coffin shouldn’t be a sacred object – it’s furniture, it’s the last bed you’ll ever sleep in. It isn’t a religious symbol. It’s a product.”
Sex sells. But the idea of a coffin as furniture is one that Linder should develop. Why not full the thing with aspic, cut away the sides and create novelty pole dancing podiums for the lounge, nursing home or cellar? Pour in dead uncle Bojan, roll him on his side, cut a hole and you’ve got somewhere for grandma to hang her fur coat.
Call the range Coffin Todgers.
And call us Linder, we have ideas.


Posted: 9th, November 2015 | In: News, The Consumer | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Benzema signs for Arsenal (again)

Transfer balls: Arsenal target Karim Benzema set to make transfer to England, says Jamie Sanderson.

Sanderson writes for the Metro. He told us that Benzema has already joined Arsenal – which he hasn’t.
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Another Metro writer agreed:
Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 20.14.51
Now we learn via the trusty Sanderson:
Fichajes says he’s set to be moved on in the coming months following news he’s been charged in a blackmail plot against Lyon star Mathieu Valbuena. It’s claimed that Madrid feel he’s damaged the club with a series of incidents, including this one involving Valbuena, and he’s now likely to move to England.
Number of quotes from Madrid players, staff, fans or even unnamed ‘sources’ in the Fichajes story: none.
And as the BBC puts it:
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And Sky says:
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And as Benzema noted:
Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 20.24.04
Benzema denies any wrongdoing.
The Metro carries on regardless.

Posted: 8th, November 2015 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Palesinian terrorist Hilwa Salim Darwish is dead and alive, allegedly

Hilwa Salim Darwish,


Hilwa Salim Darwish, 22, was shot when she approached an Israeli security guard, pulled a knife from her handbag and tried to stab him.

The Daily Mirror produces a strange report. It tells readers:

A Palestinian woman has been shot after launching an horrific terror attack on an unsuspecting Israeli guard in broad daylight….

The assailant, who is believed to have been killed after being shot, was taken to Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Karem.

What’s odd is that the Mirror captions a photo of a medic standing by a trolley with a body on it:

Shot: Israeli medics rush Hilwa Salim Darwish to hospital after she was shot following the stabbing near the West Bank

Why would you ‘rush’ a dead body to hospital?

The Daily Mail adds:

The woman, named locally as 22-year-old Hilwa Salim Darwish, was shot in the street and taken to Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Karem.

Is she alive or is she dead?

Sources says she is in a “serious condition”.

The grandly named International Middle East Media Center calls it an “alleged stabbing”:

An Israeli security guard, on Sunday, shot a Palestinian woman following an alleged stabbing attack

Here’s the video:


Posted: 8th, November 2015 | In: News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Chelsea v Stoke: Adam escapes, Costa kicks Shawcross, Blue website hilarious

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Home And Away: our look at biased reporting on football matches.

The Chelsea website has a review of the Blues match at Stoke City – they lost 0-1. The website makes Pravda look broad-minded and liberal. Let’s look at its words on Stoke’s Charlie Adam:

Charlie Adam kicked Pedro on the half-hour but avoided a yellow card. Again shades of our game here 11 days ago…

The first major incident of the second half was a forearm smash into the jumping Nemanja Matic from guess who? Charlie Adam; with guess what outcome? Words from the ref but no yellow card.

Is that Jose Mourinho manning the keyboard and criticising the ref? We also get this:

Ryan Shawcross was cautioned for sticking his arm into the throat of Diego Costa but Arnautovic escaped for barging into the back of Willian, who had suffered no lasting damage from his earlier slip.

What we don’t get is what is reported in the Stoke Sentinel:

Diego Costa was soon penalised for bear hugging Erik Pieters. Costa then got away with a back heel against a fallen Ryan Shawcross as they tussled near the by-line, earning a stiff rebuke from the Boothen End if not the referee…

Howls of derision were being hurled Costa’s way after he tried to foul Shawcross with a barge on half-way, but only succeeded in hurting the ribs he damaged here 11 days ago…

A needless Shawcross hand off felled Costa in no man’s land and rightly earned the Stoke skipper his side’s second booking

Such are the facts…


Posted: 8th, November 2015 | In: Chelsea, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Stoke City beat the champions and Chelsea get all the media coverage

Stoke City beat current Premier League champions Chelsea 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium. Mark Hughes has turned a team of bruisers and hoofers into a decent passing side. And what prise does he get? What word on stock City’s achievements in making the PL look a little less like a procession?

Sunday Telegraph: “Chelsea Crash.” Why is losing to Stoke a crash, an accident?





The Indy:  Chelsea “in freefall”. Mourinho is”deep trouble”. And Mark Hughes, the former Manchester United and Chelsea player…? He’s nowhere.



The Mail: news is that the players still “back Jose”. And is that Eden Hazard trying to deliver a kiss?





Express: “Jose near the edge”.  Is that the same as “the brink”?



The Mail (again): not one but two Joses. No sign of a Stoke city player. No sign of Stoke being good. Just news that Chelsea are “bad”.




Chelsea – we can remember when they weren’t all that good.

Posted: 8th, November 2015 | In: Chelsea, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Chelsea balls: Mourinho ‘sacked’, Simeone arrives in 2016, Rodgers brings Liverpool magic

tumblr_nxgukdyZ1B1u5f06vo1_1280Funny, isn’t it, how newspaper love to talk about a man’s job and have us guess when he’ll be out of one.

The Sunday People says Jose Mourinho will be handed his P45 because Chelsea are keen on hiring Argentine coach Diego Simeone, 45. He is, says the paper of record, set to quit Atletico Madrid in the summer.

That’s too late for the paper, which speculates: “If Simeone, 45, does arrive at the West Londoners, he could be taking over from former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers — who is being considered as a possible interim coach if Mourinho is sacked”

If. Could. This is guesswork presented as fact. What’s odd, of course, is for a newspaper mired by the phone hacking scandal to be talking about a man losing his job for a drip in form. Mourinho’s crime is losing a few matches., The Mirror’s board have other issues but no-one calls them role models or demands their heads. Football is a business like no other. The manager is exposed and rubbed raw by brickbats and thorny bouquets.

There’s more speculation in the Sunday Express, which says Jose is “on the brink” – this is the paper that said Mourinho would sacked if he lost to Liverpool (he lost; he stayed). Lacking any wit or knowledge of world football, the paper sees the next manger as any one of former Blues staffers: and Roberto Di Matteo, Guus Hiddink and Brendan Rodgers.

Mourinho’s mired. Chelsea  are playing below par. But don’t believe the hype: it’s not yet a crisis.


Posted: 8th, November 2015 | In: Chelsea, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Wath Later That Same Life: Stoney Emshwille’s brilliant time-travel talkshow

"Later That Same Life"


Stoney Emshwiller was 18 when he recorded himself filming his older self. Now age 56, Stoney completes the wheel by replying to his younger self’s questions. His film is called Later That Same Life.

It ‘s the time travel talkshow:


Posted: 7th, November 2015 | In: Film, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Chelsea balls: Mourinho bans watches Stoke match on hospital radio

Banned from entering Stoke City’s stadium for swearing at a referee (“You f***ing referees are weak… Wenger is right about you… you are f***ing weak”), Chelsea’s specious manager José Mourinho says he could spend the afternoon at the cinema.

When asked what he’ll do when Chelsea visit Stoke, Mourinho replied: “Maybe I watch a movie. I don’t know. It’s the first time. For me, it’s very similar to going to a cinema to watch a film and somebody tells me I cannot come in.”

This from the man who bemoaned the lack of atmosphere at Stamford Bridge. Watching Chelsea is a lot like sitting in the dark and quiet watching star turns perform to a script. Chelsea’s machine-like quality in a nutshell – only with better parking, toilets and a script based on a conspiracy that makes JFK look like a game of dot-to-dots.

Alyson Rudd adds in the Times:

Mourinho, who also suggested he might sit on a street corner with his iPad to watch the game, has been feverishly preparing instructions for Rui Faria and Steve Holland, his assistant coaches. Neither man has Mourinho’s permission to think for themselves. “They are in trouble,” Mourinho said, should they depart from his script. “I went through every point.”

We had hoped Mourinho would watch the game in a Stoke pub. But calling someone “fucking weak” in that environment would most likely result in less a ban than lengthy stay in a hospital.


Posted: 7th, November 2015 | In: Chelsea, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal: Eduardo’s missing leg, Manchester City victims of success and Liverpool are nowhere

Jamie Carragher, marbles-gargling, whale-voiced former Liverpool player-turned pundit, is using his Daily Mail column to talk about Arsenal.

Carragher reasons that getting kicked out of the Champions’ League in the first round will do Arsenal a favour. It won’t. Just as winning becomes a habit so too does losing. The Gunners have a slim chance of progressing in Europe and should go all about to achieve it.

Says Carragher:

This is the best chance Arsenal have had to win the title since 2004, up there with 2007-08 when they crumbled at Birmingham and William Gallas sulked on the pitch.

What Carragher fails to note is that before the sulk and the crumble (the away game ended 2-2) Birmingham City’s Taylor launched a tackle so appalling that Arsenal striker Eduardo da Silva Eduardo’s leg shattered. This is how the Telegraph reported it:

Arsenal players looked distraught while the player was receiving treatment with midfielder Cesc Fabregas most notably shaken up by the incident. The tackle was deemed too horrific that even Sky television said they would not replay the incident.

Having ignored the foul that had a huge effect on Arsenal’s season, Carragher says:

I can’t see them getting close to winning the Champions League this year even if they miraculously reach the knockout stages. Wenger doesn’t have to worry about their place in the competition next year as they are all but guaranteed a top-four finish.

To which we would says: if you say so, Sherlock. Arsenal have three points from four games. And they are not guaranteed anything. It’s November.

Financial implications have nothing to do with it either, as Arsenal are sitting on a mountain of cash. They can afford to be out of it. What they cannot afford, however, is to lose impetus after their excellent start to the domestic campaign.

No, Jamie. Football is about winning and looking like you can win. You recruit the best by competing. If you want to see how far and how fast a club can fall when they don’t play at the highest level, turn your gaze to Liverpool. The Champions’ League is worth tens of millions to clubs in it. No team with ambition can afford not to be in it.

All their rivals have issues or distractions and this is why Wenger has to capitalise.

Issues and distractions… Are those the same as competitions? In Carragher’s absurd world, not being in football tournaments is good for a football club.

I don’t think Arsenal are the best team in the Barclays Premier League. I don’t think they have the best squad, either. Both those accolades go to Manchester City, who are rightly favourites because of Chelsea’s demise. But they are not certainties for first place.

Demise? Who died?

City, for all their talents, will have days again such as their 4-1 loss at Tottenham or the slip-up at home to West Ham. And Sergio Aguero’s injury record is a huge concern as he is arguably the one truly world-class player in the Premier League. Not only that, they are most likely to find themselves having a fixture pile-up in the second half of the campaign.

Poor old City with that fixture pile-up – the games brought on by success. And if injuries matter, Jamie, mate, Arsenal are the masters of that peril.

Liverpool, remember, almost won the title in 2014 by having a clear calendar. You will say: ‘What about the Europa League?’ But if Arsenal finish third in their group, Wenger should use those Thursday games to give matches to players such as Calum Chambers, Kieran Gibbs and Mikel Arteta. In fact, he should use them in the penultimate Champions League game and see where it leaves them.

No. They should go for it, Jamie. Football is the glory game.

He needs to protect his strongest team and after the international break, his injury situation should have cleared up with Aaron Ramsey, Hector Bellerin and Laurent Koscielny back and Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain expected to return by the end of November. But injuries have been a long-term weakness and it could yet derail them as much as City.

Yep. Which makes your point about Aguero pointless.

Wenger has seen football’s landscape change dramatically since the early years of his reign. When Arsenal were at Highbury, only one club were better than them — Manchester United — and the task of becoming champions was straightforward. If you finished above United, you won the title. That is no longer the case.

Right enough. Nowadays it’s Manchester City you need to finish above.

Next season, for instance, Chelsea will not be as bad as they are now. United will, inevitably, invest another £100million next summer and it is only a matter of time before the weight of their spending carries them back to winning silverware.

What about that mountain of cash Arsenal are sitting on? Maybe they will spend it?


Posted: 7th, November 2015 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Murderer and sex offender wants his wig back

Hell To pay

Hell To pay


To Brazil, where New Zealander Phillip John Smith has flown whilst on day release from Springhill Prison. Having obtained a passport under his birth name, Phillip Traynor, Smith foxed the CCTV and customs wonks by wearing a toupee as part of his disguise.

He then jetted to Rio de Janeiro, where after eight days on the lam he was nabbed by Brazilian police.

Back in prison, he wants access to his hair.


Hellish toupees

Hellish toupees


Smith has now asked his lawyer, Dr Tony Ellis, to file a judicial review if Corrections continue to deny him access to the toupee.

“He is upset about it. He took some time and effort to get it in the first place. It was approved by Corrections, and now he is not allowed to wear it,” says Ellis.

Auckland Prison Director Tom Sherlock said Smith was originally granted permission to wear the toupee to assist with his reintegration while on temporary releases. Because Smith was not longer eligible for temporary release, access to the item had been revoked. “A hairpiece is not an authorised item in prison, special permission must be granted by the prison director,” he said.

“As his circumstances no longer require the use of a hairpiece, approval has not been granted.”

Ellis is outraged:

“If he is entitled to it when he is released, why is it different in the prison? It’s is a grossly unfair punishment. They need too give it back, and stop messing about.”

Sociologist Greg Newbold from Canterbury University said not allowing Smith his hairpiece was impinging on his human rights. “It seems like pure vindictiveness on the part of Corrections. He is still entitled to be treated as a human being.” Newbold said it appeared as if Smith was being punished for wearing the toupee when he escaped. “It looks like a punitive measure to me, and it’s completely inappropriate.

“I don’t see any reason why a person should not be allowed a toupee in prison.”

However, Garth McVicar from the Sensible Sentencing Trust said Smith was in prison to be punished, not pampered. “I think that it is absolutely ludicrous. It is another example of our ridiculous offender-friendly, criminal-centred justice policy coming back to bite us,” he said. McVicar said he supported the protection of human rights within prisons, but Smith’s plea was going too far. “I wonder why on earth as a nation we are bending over backwards to make sure these offenders have these rights. I am all for having the right to survive and not be threatened, but this is going too far,” he said. Smith will go on trial in January to face charges of fraudulently obtaining a passport and escaping custody.

 His hair remains innocent until proven guilty.

Posted: 7th, November 2015 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Police hunt: cycling hatchet-wielding transgender bag-snatcher

To Bloomingdales in downtown San Francisco, where a woman is stealing a handbag. Security approach. She pulls a hatchet from a bag and threatens the guard.

The six-feet tall, middled-aged transgender woman than flees on a push bike.

Do you know her? If you do tell her that women only get away with shoplifting when they are old and grey and become invisible…


Posted: 7th, November 2015 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Lawyers summoned after schoolgirl given detention for hugging classmate

hugging detention


Matt Morgan of Morgan & Morgan at law says he’s been hired to help raise awareness about the issue of hugging in schools.

Keen minds are focused on Jackson Heights Middle School in Oviedo, Florida. Ella Fishbough has been handed a detention for hugging a classmate. Morgan of Morgan & Morgan is on it. He says:

“According to these alleged policies and procedures, a simple hug given to a friend in their time of need is apparently worthy of reprimand. We believe this conduct sends the wrong message to our children. They should be encouraged to be kind, not discouraged. The family hopes to bring awareness to this issue in an attempt to make our school systems a more compassionate and loving place for children to spend their days.”

Although we would advise teacher to resist all urges to hug any pupil. See also: throttling, frotting and feeling. Throwing a board rubber at their faces from distance of more than 4 feet is allowed, if not encouraged.

Seminole County School District spokesman Michael Lawrence, counters:

“If you’re hugging your friends, you just won a big game, they’re all mobbing you and giving you a hug, or you just saw your friend over the summer and you’re greeting them briefly for the first time, that’s okay.”

Although how good a friend is if you’ve not seen them for the entire summer? Is a hug a little OTT?

But Jackson Heights orders “no hugging”. Ever.

Lawrence wonders:

“They get those planners year after year. That’s something that we will review, and if it needs clarification, we can tweak the verbiage of that particular area.”

Tweaking is allowed. But not ‘there’, ‘there’ and most certainly not ‘there’…


Posted: 6th, November 2015 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Ursula Presgrave: idiot sent to court of saying something idiotic

Ursula Presgrave


Free Speech is under threat. The Mail says the “star of BBC reality TV show The Call Centre faces JAIL after posting ‘sick’ Facebook message that ‘anyone born with Down’s Syndrome should be put down’.”

Being a Call Centre star must be a bit like being a Jeremy Corbyn’s tailor or Ricky Hatton’s nutritionist. So much for the billing. What did Ursula Presgrave says?

Anyone born with down syndrome should be put down, it’s just cruel to let them lead a pointless life of a vegetable

Not nice. Pathetic. Deliberately designed to cause offence. But prison?

Hundreds of people posted their disgust and many then went to the police

Can we put down the ones who called in the cops? Only joking. Really. JOKE!

The 23-year-old pleaded guilty to an offence under the Malicious Communications act and now faces a maximum sentence of six months in jail or a £5,000 fine.

What utter balls. What horror. What ridiculous, snide-mouthed toss.

Presgrave, who was known on the BBC show for her tattoos, piercings and foul language, told Facebook followers…

You kind of get what it says on the tin, with Presgrave.

More than 550 people commented on the post and described it as ‘vile’, ‘sick’, and ‘attention-seeking’.

Well, a small comment made it all the way to the national press and the police Narks Hotline.

The call centre worker, who appeared alongside Nev Wilshire in the BBC Three fly-on-the-wall series, was arrested after police also found photos joking about the disabled on her phone, Swansea Magistrates’ Court heard.

It went to court!

Ursula, who worked at the Save Britain Money call centre in her home city of Swansea, told police ‘she wanted people to notice her’ when she wrote the post.

And that’s a crime?

Mark Davies, defending, told Swansea Magistrates Court: ‘There is genuine remorse, and she would like to make a public apology.'”

Better she told every one to ‘F*** off!”

Presgrave, of Swansea, was released on bail for reports and will be sentenced later this month.

We really are in a mess.


Posted: 6th, November 2015 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Madeleine McCann: Julian Hernandez and his dad found

Madeleine McCann – a look at reporting on the missing child.

Daily Star (front page): “MADDIE HOPE – Missing boy found alive after 13 years”


maddie mcann daily star


Beneath the news of a boy having been found and a massive advert for a Aldi, we read:

Julian Hernandez was reported missing in 2002 by his mum. Police suspected he had been snatched by his dad, Bobby, from his home in Birmingham, Alabama, but all efforts to trace the pair failed.

Child went missing, presumably gone off with father…

Now an 18-year-old boy found living 700 miles away has been confirmed as missing Julian.


julian hernandez


Who took the boy?

Dad Bobby Hernandez faces abduction charges and has been remanded in custody

One parent in a failed relationship taking the child and running is not that rare.

But to the Star this is about the tabloids’ ‘Our Maddie’:

The case is sure to give hope to Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry, both 47.

But the story of Julian Hernandez had one massive clue: the dad was also missing.

Last night, a source close to the inquiry into her disappearance said: “Whenever children who have been missing for so long are found safe and well it shows why it is so important to leave no stone unturned in the search for Madeleine.”

Fair enough. But “FBI special agent Vicki Anderson said Julian had been living in Cleveland, Ohio, with his father since he disappeared.”

The father is in police custody.

The Express tries to add a dash of intrigue:

Still hope for Maddie: Child found alive 13 years after mysterious disappearance

Mystery? Child and dad vanish from broken home. the BBC says: “Authorities suspected around the time of the boy’s disappearance that his father was possibly the culprit.”

Not that much of a mystery, then. More of a hunt.

The Sun and Mirror stick to the facts – neither newspaper mentioning Madeleine McCann in their stories:


Madeleine Mccann Julian Hernandez.

The Sun says the “mystery” was solved when Julian applied for a university and his social security number kept coming back as incorrect.

Such are the facts.


Posted: 6th, November 2015 | In: Madeleine McCann, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Hey, stupid – your smug V for Vendetta masks are made in a corporate sweatshop

Guy Fawkes masks idiots


Who admires the social warrior for the ordinary, wearing a plastic mask of Guido Fawkes, those uniform smug fake faces that have come to symbolise rebellion and a hatred of unfairness? You can hear the mask wearer’s plastic-muffled cries of ‘Stop the Cuts!’ and ‘Tory scum’ at pretty much every demo. Given the expectorating vigour of the protestor, inside a mask must be wet enough to offer the very real threat of drowning in your own spit.

One other troubling thing is that these masks, short-hand self-explainers for the wearer’s sensitivity to the general anomy, reach the face via such homespun industries places as…Amazon. Who made them? Most likely an underpaid faceless drone in a factory on the outskirts of Rio or somewhere in China’s vast industrial landscape.

You’re in the capitalist system. That V for Vendetta mask proves it.

Take it off.

Photos via Brendan O’Neill

Posted: 6th, November 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Parasitic tapeworm with cancer kills man by cancer


 This is an adult Taenia saginata tapeworm.

This is an adult Taenia saginata tapeworm.


The 41-year-old Colombian man was HIV positive. What killed him, as reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, was the cancer he caught from the parasitic tapeworm.

The US Centres for Disease Control and the UK’s Natural History Museum diagnosed the unusual type of cancer. Dr Atis Muehlenbachs, who discovered the oddity, says: “It didn’t really make sense… this had been the most unusual case”.

The tumours appeared to be normal and some were more than 4cm across and found in his lungs and liver. But after further inspection, the infected cells were found to be a tenth of the size of normal human cells. Molecular testing identified high levels of tapeworm DNA in the tumours. The patient was unable to be treated by the time doctors had identified what the tumours were. He died three days after the worm DNA was discovered.

The worm tissue came from the dwarf tapeworms, known as Hymenlopis nana, which is a specialism of Dr Peter Oslon from the Natural History Museum. He said: “It is able to carry out its whole lifecycle in one host and that is absolutely unique.”

And absolutely hideous.

Parasitic tapeworm with cancer kills man.

Posted: 5th, November 2015 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0