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.
TRANSFER Balls – a look at bad media reporting on footballers. The Daily Star has an “EXCLUSIVE. News is that “Arsenal and Spurs set for January battle for Swiss defender Fabian Schar”.
ANORAK enjoys a kiss ‘n’ tell. Oh, come on, we miss the News of the World. What we enjoy are the details included in the story, the more mundane the better. Today’s kiss ‘n’ tell features Liverpool FC’s Mario Balotelli and “Ashley Cole’s ex”. No. Not Cheryl Cole. It’s Frenchie Eglantine.
WHEN Mario Balotelli left Manchester City and England a legion of would be mo-dels and kiss ‘n’ tellers sighed. What now for tales of Mario-fuelled pyrotechnics in the bedroom, to go with fireworks in the bathroom?
Thankfully, Liverpool bought the Italian forward. And readers get to learn what it like to share a “night of passion” with the player:
TRANSFER Balls: Are Arsenal buying PSG’s Adrien Rabiot? The Mirror says they are.
The Mirror also says Arsenal face competition from Roma, Milan and Juventus.
Spurs Balls: Partizan Belgrade Fans Call Jews Fools And State A Desire For Homosexual Sex with Horses
AT the Europa League Partizan Belgrade v Spurs match, the home fans added a bit of homemade art to the local colour. The message on the banner declared, somewhat crytically:
“Only Jews And Pussies”
FOOTBALL fans (and even some non-football fans) will tell you that Sepp Blatter, arch ruler of FIFA and world football, is not a nice, upstanding bloke.
Many see him as the Emperor Palpatine of football, cackling away at his dastardly schemes.
Well, today, Sepp Blatter took his irony bypass pill to tweet about ethics in the football community. It’s a bit like Rupert Murdoch calling for calm while people are shouting at immigrants.
Of course, the response to this statement was swift and less-than-complimentary. One person tweeted: “You really don’t get irony do you Sepp?” while another referred to him as the “hitler of football”.
TALKING Balls: The BBC’s football expert Robbie Savage is talking about Manchester City in the Daily Mirror.
Robbie Savage column: Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City can forget Champions League Final win already
One game into the Champions’ League and Savage delivers a rousing speech that only Chelsea should bother turning up for the tournament’s remaining games.
Best league in the world or not, the opening statements from England’s clubs in the Champions League this week were an embarrassment.
TRANSFER Balls: Arsenal are the “shock” favourites to sign PSG’s Edinson Cavani. Well, according to the Daily Star they are.
How does the Star know this? Because it’s called Paddy Power to get the odds on a betting market that must be in the single digits and calculated that the Gunners are now the “bookies favourite to land the Uruguayan” next year.
LIVERPOOL FC don’t want their fans to swear at the match.
Liverpool’s official Instagram account features a picture of Bart Simpson writing “I will not swear when I sing the Stevie G song”.
Bart Simpson sings about Steven Gerrard? We thought he just had shares in the club.
The Liverpool language police who want to turn their fans into 2D supporters working to a prime-time TV script then supply the lyrics:
“He’s big and he’s VERY hard! #LFC @stevengerrard.”
TRANSFER Balls: Are Juventus going to buy Manchester United’s Juan Mata?
On September 9, the Express reported tht Mata was waned by Juventus, Atletico Madrid and Valencia. All three clusb are considering making £24m offers for the former Chelsea man.
Alex Harris then adds:
The Old Lady’s interest in the playmaker could push Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal to pursue a swap deal involving box-to-box midfielder Arturo Vidal.
That wold be the Arturo Vidal who joined Manchester Untied in the summer. We read that new in the Express.
United never did buy De Jong. And Vidal never did move to United.
In any case, £24m is not enough for Juventus to buy Mata. As the Star said on September 9, United are asking £30m for the midfielder:
And so to the Express’ news of September 17:
Juventus don’t want Mata. But do Valencia and Atletico?
Mata has been one of the few players to make an impression for the Red Devils this season, and Louis Van Gaal is not willing to let him for Juventus unless a swap deal involving Arturo Vidal can be struck.
And on it goes.
More utter balls presented as news in the mainstream media every day….
MANCHESTER United fan of the day is the schmuck who got a ‘Sir Alex Feguson’ tattoo on his arm.
Who is Sir Alex Feguson. And what did he do in his 27 years on Earth?
TO Amsterdam, where Ajax are hosting PSG in the Champions’ League. The Dutch fans display a banner declaring “The only Paris we like made a xxx tape”.
PSG did not wipe the floor with Ajax. The game ended 1-1.
GOOD old Cesc Fabregas. He’s the Spanish footballer with Barcelona “DNA”, Arsenal in his heart and Barcelona in his blood. He’s Cesc Fabregas, the the self-declared Arsenal fan (“I will always be an Arsenal fan”), who agitated for a move to Barcelona - who said “my whole family are Barcelona supporters”; who said in 2011, “If some day I leave Arsenal it will never be to sign for another English team. I’m very sure”.
Transfer Balls: Arsenal Sign Swansea’s Wilfried Bony For Less Than Spurs And Liverpool Bought Him For
TRANSFER Balls: The Daily Express reveals that Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham are in for “£19m target Wilfried Bony”. The headline ends a little esoterically: “CONFIRMS interest.”
TRANSFER Balls: The Daily Express continues to be rich source for utter drivel presented as rumour-based fact.
Today, the paper tells readers that Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper has “risked the wrath of United fans by suggesting he wasn’t sad to see Angel Di Maria move to Manchester”.
Manchester United’s Eamon Dunphy & Leeds United’s John Giles Star In Weird Dairy Milk Advert (With Apologies To Arsenal’s Lim Brady)
JOHNNY Giles, memorably of Leeds United, and former Manchester United player Eamon Dunphy are now TV pundits in Ireland. The duo have been working for Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, extolloing the benefits of a diet of sugar and fat in a budding sportsman’s diet.
MANCHESTER United captain Wayne Rooney has told the club’s TV station that he wants to play at Old Trafford for ages.
“I hope I can do 15 years. I’ve just signed a new long-term deal and hopefully I’ll be looking back on 15 years in five years time.”
Does anyone else think at 33-years-old Rooney will still be a Manchester Untied’s striker?
ARSENAL were out-thought, outfought and outplayed in Borussia Dortmund. They were also out-scored, losing 2-0.
IT’S Day three of the Sun’s serialisation of former Manchester United player Rio Ferdinand’s autoibiography. Having dealt with the John Terry racism disastre and David Moyes’ disgust at low-fat chips, Rio turns to “banter”.
Anything at all that sticks out about someone becomes a thing you tease them over.
Anything? Well, it’s about context, isn’t it. It’s about pressing buttons and getting a rise. But it’s got it’s limits. Does the player comment on the other one’s skin tones, hair, girlfiend’s figure or race? The footballing authorities have clamped down on anything racist, homophobic, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, misogynistic and anti-religious. So Spurs fans calling themselves ‘Yids’ is no longer banter but racist. Glasgow Celtic and Rangers fans singing sectarian tunes are not bantering but fomenting a riot.
The authorities make no effort to separate words from intent.
So. Wht did Rio think it was ok to say? Well, he made fun of Wayne Rooney’s hair. And:
When Cristiano Ronaldo wore tight jeans we used to destroy him: “We can see the veins in your b******s, what’s going on?” But he would laugh and come back and say: “You English guys don’t know fashion, what are you talking about?”
TRANSFER Balls: The Mirror and Express leads with news that Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo wants to play for Manchester United.
The Mirror has Ronaldo asking Manchester United to “TAKE ME BACK”.
Only, Ronaldo has not asked United to take him back.
THE Sun says Chelsea are looking to sign 17-year-old Romanian Cristian Manea for £2.3million. He’s a good player who will surely go on to have a professional career at some level.
Of course, the transfer season doesn’t open until Janaury, so Chelsea will have to wait a while before recruiting yet another player to farm out on loan.
FOLLOWING Manchester Unied’s 4-0 victory over struggling QPR, a lot has been said about United’s new players, chiefly that you can buy your way out of trouble. A little overlooked was QPR’s role in the catharsis. But, thankfully, QPR manager Harry Redknapp was on hand to explain it all:
“I don’t think our keeper had really had too many shots to save, they’d had a lot of the ball, but I don’t think he’s hardly made a save first half.”
TALKING Balls: A look at media reporting on Arsenal’s Germnan midfielder Mesut Ozil and Manchester United’s Radamel Falcao.
The often straw-clutching CaughtOffside says Ozil is heading to Bayern Munich for £32m. The Guardian picks that up and reports it.
Number of direct quotes cited: none.
Number of sources cited: none.
Facts to support headline: none.
The site Fanatiz calls Ozil a “flop”. Is he? Well, no. He isn’t. It’s just that for £41m, you expect more.
TRANSFER Balls: a l0ok at the Daily Express’ dire reporting on Cristiano Ronaldo.
Today Charles Perrin says Ronaldo is “sick of life at Old Trafford”.
But the world’s best player doesn’t play for Manchester United. He plays for Real Madrid, a club now modelled on the Spanish giants.
Express readers then learn:
Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City are set to compete for the signature of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Sure. And also PSG. And any other side with stacks of cash and a stymied youth policy.
Such are the facts in the Daily Express…
ARSENAL Balls: Mathieu Debuchy has an injured ankle. How long will he be injured for?
Daily Mail: We don’t know.
The Telegraph: Two months