Police deputy Maria Watts, the handler of Bandit the dog, says Armstrong was shouting “Hey dog, hey dog” after leaving the locker room before the game. “Bandit was very agitated. He wanted me to let him go. I imagine with his training and experience he would have gone to his target who was taunting him. I don’t want to speculate on what he would have done.”
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.
Kenan Malik looks at the massacre in Paris in “AFTER PARIS“. The killers slaughtered people at the Jewish-owned Bataclan theatre. They hit the Stade de France, where ‘Les Bleus’ were playing.
What the terrorists despised, what they tried to eliminate, were ordinary people, drinking, eating, laughing, mixing. That is what they hated – not so much the French state as the values of diversity and pluralism.
This is not terrorism with a political aim, but terror as an end in itself.
Who leads the response?
An ideal policy would marry the beneficial aspects of the two approaches – celebrating diversity while treating everyone as citizens, rather than as simply belonging to particular communities. In practice, though, Britain and France have both institutionalized the more damaging features – Britain placing minorities into ethnic and cultural boxes, France attempting to create a common identity by treating those of North African origin as the Other. The consequence has been that in both Britain and France societies have become more fractured and tribal. And in both nations a space has been opened up for Islamism to grow.
And her some the next President of the USA. It’s Trump:
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump says victims of the terrorist attacks in France on Friday would have had a better chance of defending themselves if they were allowed to carry guns.
“When you look at Paris, you know, the toughest gun laws in the world, nobody had guns except for the bad guys, nobody,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Beaumont, Texas, on Saturday. “Nobody had guns, and they were just shooting them one by one.”
The billionaire business mogul said the outcome would have been “different” if citizens were armed.
“And I’ll tell you what, you can say what you want, but if they had guns, if our people had guns, if they were allowed to carry, it would have been a much, much different situation,” he said.
At least 129 civilians were killed in France in a series of coordinated terror attacks Friday. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has taken responsibility for the attacks.
Trump also called President Obama’s plan to take in displaced Syrian refugees “insane.”
What an awful idea. One thing we love about living in Britain is that citizens and not routinely armed.
Transfer balls: The Sunday Mirror says Manchester United are looking to make a move for Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben.
Apparently, Robben is “at war” with team-mate Robert Lewandowski.
Robben will be 32 in January.
Why would he leave winning Bayern, where he’s contracted to until 2017, to play for Louis Van’ Gaal’s also-rans?
The British papers are full of Manchester United shopping at Bayern, but as yet all they’ve secured is early middle-aged Hitler doll model Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Just take this scoop in the Daily Mail:
And in the Express.
Kroos signed for Real Madrid. Robben signed a new deal with Bayern. And Muller “is set to sign a new contract with Bayern Munich”, according to this week’s Daily Express.
The US Registry of Motor Vehicles says Massachusetts woman Lindsay Miller can, as a Pastafarian, wear a colander on her head on her licence photo. The RMV only allows drivers to wear hats in their pictures for a medical or religious purpose. Miller says her Pastafarianism counts.
“As a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I feel delighted that my Pastafarianism has been respected by the Massachusetts RMV,” says Miller. “While I don’t think the government can involve itself in matters of religion, I do hope this decision encourages my fellow Pastafarian Atheists to come out and express themselves as I have.”
She was represented by The American Humanist Association, which said Pastafarians believe the existence of a Flying Spaghetti Monster is “just as probable as the existence of the Christian God”.
“The First Amendment applies to every person and every religion, so I was dismayed to hear that Lindsay had been ridiculed for simply seeking the same freedoms and protections afforded to people who belong to more traditional or theistic religions,” said Patty DeJuneas, a member of the Secular Legal Society, which works with the American Humanist Association. “We appreciate that the RMV recognised the error, apologised, and issued a licence respecting her First Amendment rights, and hope that RMV staff will be trained to respect diversity.”
Good to see that Rastafarians are not touchy about someone lampooning them. No bombs. No cries of how offended they are and vows to attack Miller.
Take it away, Barrington Levy – collie weed for the colandar:
Transfer balls: The Sunday Mirror says Chelsea are ready to sell Diego Costa, 27.
The paper says Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho would have sold Costa last summer had he been able to find a replacement.
Andy Dunn says “a Costa sale was closer than most think”.
Dun’s scoop is not exactly new news. In January 2015, Deportes (Spain) said Chelsea had offered Cost to Real Madrid. That news was translated by the Express:
Although it comes as a shock to the Independent’s Jack De Menezes, who told his readers:
Diego Costa to Real Madrid: Seven reasons why Chelsea have not offered their striker for a transfer
Reasons include: he’s good; he scores; having played for Atletico any move to city rivals Real would see him booed and jeered; and “Francois Gallardo – the Spanish journalist claiming Chelsea have offered Costa to Real – is a bit of a character. He was the source of the rumours that claimed Lionel Messi was on his way out of Barcelona last year”.
Back in the Mirror, Dunn adds that should Chelsea not be able to sell Coast in January – and should they not be able to buy a better replacements – the deal will not go ahead. If that speculation is true, then Costa cuts an unhappy figure. Chelsea want him gone, and he is keen to leave.
The Sunday Express says Chelsea will opt for Antoine Griezmann, but he has just signed a new deal at Atletico Madrid. A bid in the region of £50m is touted.
The Sun on Sunday adds that Chelsea flop Radamel Falcao, 29, (formerly known as Manchester United flop Rademal Falcao) is off to Monaco if Chelsea can work out how to end his loan move.
Why thye ever signed the struggling Colombian in the first place is a discussion Roman Abramovich should have with Jose Mourinho (agent Jorge Mendes) and Falcao’s agent (Jorge Mendes).
Madeleine McCann: a look at reporting on the missing child.
On November 7th, the Sun and Mirror had news.
Mirror: “Gerry and Kate McCann reveal the reasons why they miss Maddie”
Well, she’s their young daughter. Surely we can imagine the reasons, which could go on for pages and pages until exhausted the bereft surmise: everything.
The parents of Madeleine McCann have compiled a heart-rending list of all the things they miss about their long-lost daughter in the run-up to Christmas.
The list accompanies a picture of the couple standing at their front door in Rothley, Leics. The photo, taken for the charity Missing People’s Home for Christmas Exhibition, is among 12 pictures of families who have missing loved ones.
Do we see the other in the Mirror? No.
The exhibition – at The Crypt in London’s St-Martin-in-the-Fields – highlights the plight of thousands of people across Britain who are living in limbo after the disappearance of a family member.
It’s not news, then. It’s charity PR.
A charity spokesperson said: “These powerful images depict families standing by their front doors, symbolising the hopes and fears experienced by those desperately waiting for news.”
As ever, in place of any actual news on the missing child who became the media’s benchmark for all missing people, we get the same old:
The picture of heart doctor Gerry and former GP Kate , both 47, is on public view until November 22. The couple, parents to 10-year-old twins Sean and Amelie, refuse to give up hope of finding their eldest child, who would now be 12.
We don’t get to know the names, jobs, ages of the others looking and waiting for missing people to return.
Missing People’s Jo Youle said: “The exhibition will give the public the opportunity to stand with these families missing a loved one by sharing messages of support.”
Stand with them? But you can’t stand with them. there is no enemy to sand firm against, unless forgetting is the encroaching intruder?
The Sun also the Missing Maddie missing things list, here tastefully presented in the Buzzfeed style:
The 23 things we miss most about our Maddie, by Gerry and Kate McCann
In yer face, Closer:
This is the Sun’s list:
Her sense of humour
Her imitations of people and characters
Her voice, her ‘chat’
That knowing look
Styling her hair
Chasing her round the garden
Sharing her excitement in the run-up to Christmas
Spoiling her on her birthday
Shopping with her
Going to a cafe with her
Holding her, hugging her, kissing the top of her head
Lying next to her
Our complete family of five
We miss her
On Missing People, we see other names of people being sought by loved ones:
On November 11, the Liverpool Echo had more on the missing:
Christmas carol service to be held in Anfield to remember people missing from Merseyside
The story begins:
Madeleine McCann’s mum is encouraging people to support a carol service is to be held next month in memory of Merseyside’s missing people.
Madeleine McCann went missing in Portugal.
The special service is being organised by UK charity, Missing People, as part of their Home for Christmas campaign…
Liverpool born Kate McCann Kate McCann whose daughter Madeleine has been missing since she disappeared while the family were on holiday in Portugal in 2007, was previously a member of the All Saints congregation.
No name of any other missing person features in the story.
In the Express & Star, Kirsty Bosley wonder why public displays of grief are now commonplace:
I remember back when Madeleine McCann went missing. The people of the small town of Willenhall created a shrine in the marketplace, leaving flowers, teddies, cards and messages for the girl and her family. I couldn’t understand it. I didn’t know how cluttering up a massive space that needed to be used for the practical purpose of trading would make anything better. And I didn’t see how those letters, that would go unread by Madeleine’s parents, were possibly helping the situation. Fortunately, I have never had to go through the horror of what they’re experiencing, and I hope I never will. Unless that happens, I won’t know what difference it can make; that strangers in a place I’ve never heard of dedicate a big chunk of their marketplace to teddies and candles.
You might call it mourn porn.
The Willenhall shrine to Maddie was the scene of much uproar a little while after it’s creation, when a councillor put her foot down and made the decision to clean it up. I understood exactly why she’d make that call, even though it was an unpopular one. At what point do you have to stand back and say enough is enough? If we leave flowers, scarves, shirts and letter memorials everywhere for anyone lost, we’d be trudging the streets knee-deep in the stinking brown sludge normally reserved for the bottom of a grave-top flower holder.
And that’s exactly where I think these memorials should be left, in gardens of remembrance, on graves and at specially-created monuments. There are only so many lamp posts and telegraph poles to decorate.
But newspapers mastheads remain fertile ground for emotive reporting in place of news.
Real Madrid have recommenced their tapping up for Chelsea’s Eden Hazard. Real coach Zinedine Zidane tells media:
“Do I see him going to Real Madrid ? Ask someone else. I love the player and that’s all.”
The Mirror says Zidane “has stepped up Real Madrid’s bid to crowbar yet another player out of the Premier League”.
Crowbar? Is the paper’s Darren Lewis deluded? Crowbar suggests a robbery, an attempt to nick the prize. No Premier League club can rival Real Madrid or Barcelona for glamour. They are European football’s ultimate clubs. Real don’t need a crowbar; they only need to beckon.
Zidane is telling Hazard he would be welcome at the mighty Real. A bid is surely inevitable. Zidane adds:
“After Messi and Ronaldo, Hazard is my favourite player. I love watching him because he is a player who creates things and it is often spectacular to see him play.”
He previously said:
“Obviously, there is Lionel Messi and Ronaldo, both of whom are spectacular, but I like Eden Hazard more. I like everything he does on the field. I like his behaviour, his decisiveness and love to see his progress every year.”
Linsey McGoey has been writing about The Bill and Melina Gates Foundation for the Guardian. The article begins with a rather ghoulish view that the charity would be better were Gates dead:
Would the Gates Foundation do more good without Bill? Philanthropic organisations such as the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations have had greater flexibility since their founders died
As Gates wonders whether death would be helpful to his causes, McGoey looks at the living Bill Gates:
What the sociologist Darren Thiel and I term “charismatic advantage” is more than just celebrity pulling power; it is the way one of the most powerful organisations in the world largely escapes negative media attention because Gates has come to signify something sacred about ourselves.
It’s an advantage that Bill Gates did not strategically design, and in many ways, to his credit, he doesn’t necessarily cultivate. But it means that important critical debate doesn’t happen as openly as it should.
Good job the Guardian is there to peer inside and investigate Bill.
At a time when activists are challenging corporate clout, the Gates Foundation is enriching for-profit companies: it has offered tens of millions in non-repayable grants to wealthy corporations such as Mastercard and Vodacom.
We need to challenge this silence. We need loudly to ask an uncomfortable question: do foundations narrow wealth inequalities or simply preserve them? Are foundations at their most radical when they exist to serve a benefactor’s hopes and whims – or when they’re emancipated from such an obligation?
In other news in the Guardian:
Mass murder in Paris. And WikiLeaks attempts to make a point:
If we are all Charlie Hebdo – and we should be; we must be – then this kind of balls by WikliLeaks must be mocked for the apologist bilge it is.
French President Francois Hollande promised early Saturday morning that France would respond to terrorist attacks that killed more than 120 people with a “pitiless” war against the group responsible.
“We are going to lead a war which will be pitiless,” he said at the Bataclan, the site of one of the attacks, according to the Guardian.
“Because when terrorists are capable of committing such atrocities, they must be certain that they are facing a determined France, a united France, a France that is together and does not let itself be moved, even if today we express infinite sorrow,” Hollande added.
Does he mean it?
A bizarre take on the situation indeed. Or perhaps not so bizarre considering the fact that HP has been writing about this insidious ideology which has people thinking that any attack on a Western country is richly deserved. That radicalization is an inevitable side effect of foreign policy and that any death at the hands of a terrorist is not the fault of the terrorists but of the government of the citizens who are murdered.
Australian Sam Davies tells us about the Le Carillon:
“This isn’t a tourist area, this is young, hipsters,” he said. “Le Carillon is the hipster ground zero of Paris.
“For me, it’s an incongruous attack. It’s a friendly, vibrant area of young people where all the cafes and bars are opening up.
The butchery in Paris – the latest episode – happened only a couple of hours ago, so there has not yet been time for the soma-peddlers of the professional media to regurgitate the stock line that it is Muslims who are the real victims of an attack that may well have claimed the lives of scores of non-Muslims. Coming soon, as sure as night follows day, there will be denunciations of “Islamophobia”, followed by the insight that food poisoning/sharks/road accidents/pick-your-peril kill many more people than terrorists, therefore it can only be bigots and xenophobes who think of Islam and Western civilization in terms of oil and water.
I am not going to blame Barack Obama entirely for what happened in Paris Friday – but mostly. And that’s not just because he famously called ISIS the jayvee team, when they are now unequivocally the New York Yankees or the Manchester United of terror, repellent as that analogy may be (he started it).
But what is clear from the carnage at the Bataclan Theatre and elsewhere in Paris that we will be studying for weeks or months to come is that the West has no leader in our evident civilizational war – no Churchill, no Roosevelt, no DeGaulle, not even a George W. Bush. It’s certainly not Barack Obama, a ludicrous man who thinks the world’s greatest problem is climate change in the face of Islamic terror. This is the same man who oversaw, indeed instigated, a large scale American démarche for the first time since World War II.
And look what happened. Well, we all know. We are living at a time when the Islamic world is having a nervous breakdown, actually more like a violent psychotic break, in its encounter with modernity and is determined to bring us all down with it.
Among his other coy evasions, President Obama described tonight’s events as “an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share”.
But that’s not true, is it? He’s right that it’s an attack not just on Paris or France. What it is is an attack on the west, on the civilization that built the modern world – an attack on one portion of “humanity” by those who claim to speak for another portion of “humanity”. And these are not “universal values” but values that spring from a relatively narrow segment of humanity. They were kinda sorta “universal” when the great powers were willing to enforce them around the world and the colonial subjects of ramshackle backwaters such as Aden, Sudan and the North-West Frontier Province were at least obliged to pay lip service to them. But the European empires retreated from the world, and those “universal values” are utterly alien to large parts of the map today.
And then Europe decided to invite millions of Muslims to settle in their countries. Most of those people don’t want to participate actively in bringing about the death of diners and concertgoers and soccer fans, but at a certain level most of them either wish or are indifferent to the death of the societies in which they live – modern, pluralist, western societies and those “universal values” of which Barack Obama bleats. So, if you are either an active ISIS recruit or just a guy who’s been fired up by social media, you have a very large comfort zone in which to swim, and which the authorities find almost impossible to penetrate.
Vive La France!
Paris mourns. And so should we all.
Transfer balls: the Sun leads its sports section with news that Manchester United are sure – dead sure – of signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid. In an “exclusive”, Neil Curtis says United will see off any offers from Chelsea, whose owner Roman Abramovich has made Ronaldo his ‘No.1 target”.
It’s a little odd that two top side would appear so desperate to sign what would be a 31-year-old player with his best years behind him. Odder still that Madrid would sanction the sale of their greatest star with a few miles left on the clock.
Inside the paper, Curtis says Ronaldo signed for Real in 2009 “making clear he was going to finish his carer with the Spanish giants”.
Curtis then delivers a line so woolly, vagrants keeping warm with newspapers should line their anoraks with his column and snuggle down. Says Curtis:
“If there is any change of heart or Real decide, then United believe they will be in pole position ahead of any interest from Stamford Bridge.”
What about any interest from Sporting Lisbon, where Ronaldo started his professional career? For the hype about the Premier League being Ronaldo’s true home, where his heart lies, there is the fact that United bought and then sold him because Porto needed the money and he proved to be rather good and very keen to play for Real Madrid, his dream team.
Oakland Raiders player Ray-Ray Armstrong is accused of barking at a police dog and pounding his chest. Police stepped in after Armstrong, 24, allegedly lifted his top and woof-woofed in the direction of a police dog before the start of Sunday’s NFL game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“The dog was going crazy,” says chief deputy Kevin Kraus said. “The deputy was trying to control the dog the best she could. We were immediately notified about the incident, and we immediately initiated a criminal investigation into the matter.”
No, not to investigate why a hard-to-control police dog is so close to professional athletes, and barking at them. Police are investigating Ray-Ray and his woof-woof.
Caitlyn Jenner is telling Buzzfeed of “The Moment She Felt Most Proud To Be A Woman In 2015”.
Jenner, patriarch of the Jenner-Kardashian clan, is now an estranged matriach of that same televised tribe, having become a woman and divorced Kris Jenner. His body changed, but did his mind. Because it sounds not a lot unlike Jenner is mansplaining womanhood to, er, women. Not that the Buzzfeed team noticed, telling readers:
We sat down with Caitlyn Jenner backstage at Carnegie Hall to hear her brilliant words of wisdom, and, unsurprisingly, it was incredibly inspiring.
No fewer than three Buzzfeed journalists gave Jenner an audience – and, boy, were Kristin Harris, Whitney Jefferson, Sydney Scott wowed.
Them: “What was the moment that you felt most proud to be a woman in 2015?”
CJ: “Over the last six months it’s really been a progression. I have found that women have so much unleashed power that they don’t really utilize because they don’t have confidence in themselves about who they are, and what they can do. I have always actually been with and attracted to very strong women, and I think I’ve learned a lot from them. The power of the woman has just not even been unleashed around the world.”
Good job a it wasn’t a man saying that because he’d run the risk of coming across as patronising. And Caitlyn’s not finished.
CJ: “I think that’s to come, but I think that’s gonna come from confidence as these women grow up and get in better positions of authority — I think that will come. So, I am SO glad to be on this team and help it along!”
You see, girls. To get ahead and better understand yourselves you need more men. It was ever the way.
The final words are theses.
CJ: “The hardest part about being a woman is figuring out what to wear.”
Over to you, Marc Jacobs…
The Sun says FA Chairman Greg Dyke ‘fears a string of World Cups have been awarded with a “pile of bungs”‘.
But doesn’t every country bidding to host the World Cup wine, dine, promise and flatter?
England lost out to Russia for the right to host the 2018 tournament, coming fourth in the vote. There is talk that the FA will bid to host the 2026 World Cup finals.
Former boy scouts, listen up. Your skills are needed. Tesco is hiring “Christmas Light Untanglers”. If you are “able to untangle 3 meters of Christmas lights in under three minutes” and are “passionate about Christmas”, you can spend your days elbow-deep in flex.
Your roles and responsiblities will include:
• Man and managing the Christmas Lights Untangling stand
• Taking time to listen and help out wherever you can: Every little helps
• Check lights and bulbs for signs of breakage / broken bulbs and report findings to the customer
• Handle customers Christmas lights carefully to keep everything in tip-top condition
• Talking to colleagues, sharing your enthusiasm and helping to create team spirit
• Getting to know your customers, greet them with a smile and serve them with pride.
• Give a brilliant customer experience, making sure you deliver only the best service and put a smile on customers faces
• Successfully untangle customers Christmas lights neatly, quickly and efficiently and in an orderly fashion
• Abide by our Health and Safety policies
• Always be there on time and properly presented
• Be passionate and knowledgeable about the service you are offering
Try not to slit your wrists. Those bulbs can be sharp! Also: strangling.
The multi-tasking woman is reading Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine.
Jacket copy (via Xeni Jardin):
Claudia Rankine’s bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named “post-race” society.
Mike Boyd looked at Malcolm Gladwell’s rule that 10,000 of practice gets you good at something – and perhaps read Matthew Syed’s book Bounce on how nurture beats nature – and looked at his skateboard. Could he master the kickflip in less time? He worked hard, and after a mere 5 hours and 47 minutes, Boyd cracked it.
Transfer Balls: the Mirror says Chelsea are keen on Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain.
Any move leaves “bad boy striker Diego Costa fighting for his Chelsea future”.
But he’s not fighting. He’s a bit limp. He’s a bit rumbled. The sniping, feigning, cheating and histrionics have been noted. Costa’s not all that good when asked to simply kick the ball, scoring two Premier League goals this season.
Of course, the Blues also have in their ranks failing Radamel Falcao – represented by the same agent Jose Mourinho uses – and Loic Remy, a good player but no star turn.
So Chelsea are looking to Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain.
Well, so says the Mirror, which offers no evidence to supports its claim.
Of course, if you get your news from the Sun, Higuain remains an Arsenal player.
Such are the facts.
We join the action as pregnant Akeela Ali, 25, is carrying out a ‘sex act’ on her husband Fahad Bilal, 26. Their children aged three and five are close by, running around playing in Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd’s Bush, London.
Dads on family shopping expeditions can be trying. But the wife easing tensions with a blow job in public is not the done thing. Even in Aldi.
Now fast forward to see Ali and Bilal, both of Newport, south Wales, stood in the dock at Hammersmith magistrates’ court. They admit the charge of outraging public decency on 23 July.
The couple say they “thought about stopping” when their children interrupted, but carried on. They explained: “It just happened.”
Prosecutor Arlene De Silva narrates:
“On the 23 July this year Miss Ali was at the Westfield shopping centre along with her husband and also with their two children aged three and five. Just after 8pm they were sitting on a sofa in the lift lobby lounge area on the first floor facing three elevators. Mrs Ali sat beside her husband and was clearly engaging in oral sex. This went on for around 10 minutes. They were interrupted several times by the children. The incident was captured on CCTV. When she was interviewed on 22 October she said she had gone shopping with her children. She said she was pregnant and as a result her hormones were everywhere. She said they started kissing as their kids were running around playing. She said ‘it just happened’.
“When their children interrupted she felt what they were doing was wrong but they carried on. She was aware that one of the children was sitting beside Mr Bilal for some time during the incident. She said she regretted the incident and was ashamed. Mr Bilal said it was a human mistake. It was not that busy at the time but he knew it was a public area.”
The couple are banned from London for eight weeks.
Meanwhile, we imagine Fahad gamefully trying to recreate the seductive magic of Westfield shopping centre in the comfort of his own home.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
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…
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…