Sports news, commentary and scores with wit and added value. We compare and contrast the best and worst sports reporting in the mainstream press, blogs, TV and online. We love the English Premier League (Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs, Manchester United and Manchester City) and all things football but we cover cricket, rugby, the Olympics, tennis, golf, F1 and highlights of the sporting year.
CAN the Daily Express keep the Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester Untied story alive for ages? Yes. It’s cooked up a cracking non-story:
CRISTIANO RONALDO could make a dramatic return to Manchester United in 2016…
As the Express looks forward to 15 months of Ronaldo to United speculation, the paper’s James Dickenson conjures a story from nothing:
CRISTIANO RONALDO is set to make a dramatic return to Manchester United in 2016, according to Spanish football expert Guillem Balague.
MANCHESTER City’s sweary Russ Abbott-look-alike goalkeeper, Joe Hart, is talking about competition for places:
“We’ve always had good goalkeepers since I’ve been here going back to David James, (Andreas) Isaksson, Kasper (Schmeichel), Shay Given, (Costel) Pantilimon and Stuart Taylor. It has always been a fight for me to keep my place.”
TO Holywood, where the owner of a house hosting a Ryder Cup Party hears a knock at the door. He tells the BBC:
“I was having a house-warming party and decided to put up the European flag for the Ryder Cup. I was tidying up on Sunday morning and two police officers arrived. They didn’t seem to know what the flag was themselves. I said ‘it is a European Union flag for the Ryder Cup’. They said there’d been a complaint about it being some sort of Arabic flag.”
The PSNI state:
“Police in Holywood attended an address in the Woodlands area yesterday following the report from a member of the public that a flag they believed to be offensive had been erected. Police attended and no offence was detected.”
TRANSFER Balls: Is Marseille striker Andre-Pierre Gigna heading to Arsenal or Liverpool? QTWTAIN.
That’s Questions to Which The Answer Is No.
The Press have a story to spin.
CHELSEA Balls in The Daily Express, which says “Diego Costa in Chelsea training… despite Jose Mourinho saying he can’t!”
Mourinho is a liar? No.
CHED Evans is a convicted rapist. He’s also a former Sheffield United and Wales footballer. Next week, he’s scheduled to leave prison.
Thousands of people have signed a petition calling on Sheffield United not to resign him.
The petition says Evans’ return to the club would be a “deep insult to the woman who was raped and to all women like her who have suffered at the hands of a rapist”.
That seems unfair. What should he do? What job is fitting for a rapist? What income level or job satisfaction are rapists permitted to have?
WHEN Manchester United captain Wayne Roony was sent off, Alan Shearer had yhe focus of his Sun column settled:
WAYNE ROONEY’S stupidity was symptomatic of just where Manchester United are right now.
Rooney was sent off not because he’s an agressive berk. Rooney was sent off because United are in a “confused mess”.
NEWCASTLE United midfileder Cheick Tiote “has two wives …and a mistress”, says the Sun.
The paper says Tiote recently married Doukrou Laeticia in his native Ivory Coast. But, reprotedly, he is also married to Madeh, with whom he shares a home in Ponteland, Newcastle. And he keeps a mistress, Nikki Mpofu, who gave birth to a baby one year ago and lives in the same area.
But Madeh “has now ditched him after seeing pictures of the ace marrying Doukrou on the internet”.
THE Sun has an “EXCLUSIVE” to quicken the hearts of Liverpool FC Fans: “LIVERPOOL are finally ready to open contract talks with Raheem Sterling.”
Yeah, finally! The 19-year-old player with three years left to run on his current contract is finally going to have his future sorted out.
…the club have indicated they are prepared to start discussions with the star’s representatives in the next month.
VIVEK Chaudhary has news to gladden the hearts of Newscastle United fans. Writing in the Independent, Chaudhary broadcasts what Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley said about his side’s manager, the man who looks like a surveryor on his way to a two-course lunch, Alan Pardew:
“He’s got one more game. If we lose against Stoke on Monday night then he’s gone. I have had enough. Dead. Finished. Over. One more game then that’s it. What would you do? I have spent a lot of money on that club, it’s cost me a lot. I won’t put up with it any more. Honestly, answer me, what would you do? One more loss and he’s gone, he’s over, finished.”
Ashley reportedly made cut-throat gestures as he was speaking outside a London pub.
HARRY Jacobs, 8, wanted Swansea City’s Jonjo Shelvey to visit his North London school. His mum Nic wrote a letter to the player. Harry wanted to meet the former Liveprool and Charlton midfielder because, like him, he has Alopecia Totallis. Both lost their hair when young.
WHY are Liverpool doing not all that well in the Premier League? Brendan Rodgers, the Reds’ verbose mangaer, knows:
“When you introduce a raft of new players and lose the core of players, that’s obviously a factor and then it becomes a little bit broken and that’s how our game has looked for me for a big part of the season.”
WRITING in the Sun, Steven Hwoard has a question for Arsenal fans:
…defence has always been a mystery to Arsene Wenger, one in which he has rarely shown much interest… And here’s a more serious question: If Wenger had not been bequeathed Dixon, Adams, Bould, Keown and Winterburn would he have won anything?
THE Sun loves to turn football into a war. In readiness for Arsenal’s Premier League match with local London rivals Spurs, the paper thunders:
Wenger in Tottenham taunt ahead of North London derby
TRANSFER Balls: The Daily Express says Manchester United are all set to buy Miranda for £24m. And that means they will pip Chelsea to the player.
TRANSFER Balls: Is Cristiano Ronaldo leving Real Madrid to play for Manchester United?
Admittedly, Roanldo has hardly been pouring old water on rumours that he wants out of Real, telling media:
“I love Manchester; everyone knows that – I have said it many times. Manchester is in my heart. I left many good friends there, the supporters are amazing and I wish I can come back one day.”
And thyen he said:
“It is all speculation. I’m happy at Madrid. I won’t talk about my future, it doesn’t make sense.”
TRANSFER Balls: The Daily Express says Manchester United are looking to spend £40m (!) on “Chelsea and Man City target Nicolas Otamendi to bolster defence”.
Top Transfer Balls works by the Express, there, to link a player with three of the top five English clubs. The only shock is that Arsenal and Lvierpool ar enot also linked with Otamendi.
But, of course, according to the Express, Otamendi already plays for Chelsea. As Ben Jefferson told us:
THIS weekend, the NFL comes to Wembley stadium for a series of league fixtures.
There’s been a number of games in England and this year, the NFL is pulling out all the stops to showcase gridiron in the UK. It is the eighth successive year that regular-season NFL games will occur at the home of Association Football, with the Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins kicking things off on the 28th September before the Atlanta Falcons tackle the Detroit Lions on 26th October and the Dallas Cowboys go toe-to-toe with the Jacksonville Jaguars on 9th November.
THE Mirror’s Brian Reade wants to talk about the problem of grown men exercising their right to free speech. Not everyone gets paid to comment, like a by-lined journalist does. Some people just talk and tweet and write with no concern for deadline or encouraging reader interest and clicks.
Reade begins his columns by explaining how things were great in the days of Roy Race, a fictional footballer who existed in a comic. Reade delivers some Melchester Rovers banter:
FAN: “You were lucky today, Roy.”
ROY: “Really? I thought we had your lot on the run.”
FAN: “Our lot run? That’ll be the day.”
ROY: “Ha ha. That’s a bit unfair on your lads.”
TRANSFER Balls: The Mirror says “Arsenal target Adrien Rabiot will be sold by Paris Saint-Germain in January if he doesn’t sign a new contract before then.”
Well, Rabiot is in the final year of his contract. If PSG want to see any kind of return they need to sell him when they still can. Although, why the player would move when he could wait and earn more is a moot point.
The Mirror adds:
Roma are also interested in the 19-year-old midfielder.
CHELSEA mifielder Cesc Fabregas “reveals how Mesut Ozil BLOCKED Arsenal return”.
The Express adds:
CHELSEA star Cesc Fabregas has revealed that Arsenal rejected the opportunity to sign him from Barcelona because they already had Mesut Ozil.
IN football, you define yourself by your rivals. And Spurs - who last won the league title in 1961 – have decided that the team they can rib and goad is Manchester United, who have won the league title in colour.
This T-shirt was spotted for sale outside White Hart Lane tonight, where Spurs were playing Nottingham Forest (league winners: 1977).
The TV show being lampooned by Wayne Rooney, Angel Dia Maria and Louis Van Gaal (two players who would walk into the Spurs side and a manager who declined the offer to manage Spurs) is Only Fools And Horses, which after peaking in the early 1980s, dribbled on until it excited only as a nostalgic tick, a Christmas treat right up there with adverts for Iceland’s frozen squirrels.
TRANSFER Balls: The Daily Express, football’s bullshit.com, tells its readers that Arturo Vidal is heading to England to play for…Manchester United. Colin Harvy says Vidal and curent club Juventus will be seduced b y £35m.
TRANSFER Balls: The Daily Express (natch.) has news that “MANCHESTER UNITED are lining up a sensational return for Barcelona and Spain star Gerard Pique”.
United buying a decent defender is a sensation. But what are the facts about Pique?
Anthony Chapman writes:
Despite turning out for the La Liga outfit 269 times, winning four league title, two Copa del Reys and two Champions Leagues in the process, Pique has failed to make an impression under new boss Luis Enrique.
Failed to make an impression? Because in May, the Mirror reported:
Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu says the Blaugrana are holding onto “the best centre-back in the world and a core part of the new project here”
ONCE upon a time, Jose Mourinho wanted to be a professional footballer, like his father Felix.
Felix Vitoria kept goal for Setubal and Belenenses. He won a Portugal cap in a 2-1 win over the Republic of Ireland in 1972.