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.
THE kerfuffle around Wigan Athletic’s appointment of Malky Mackay shows no sign of abating any time soon, as Dave Whelan – the Latics chairman – has gone and opened his big fat mouth.
As you may have heard, Mackay was embroiled in scandal after it was revealed he’d sent a number of offensive texts and messages while managing Cardiff City. Such as? Well, on the arrival of South Korean Kim Bo-Kyung, it was reported he sent a text to Cardiff staff saying: “Fkn chinkys. Fk it. There’s enough dogs in Cardiff for us all to go around.”
THE second NFL league match takes place at Wembley this weekend, after the success of the Raiders-Dolphins match last month. Of course, American Football is still a puzzle to many (good thing we’ve got a beginner’s guide here), but the popularity of the game grows hugely in the UK.
And now, it looks like London is moving ever closer to hosting a new NFL franchise after George Osborne opened talks with the American Football authorities. Everyone hopes it’ll be better than the London Monarchs which, was a nice idea executed badly (not to mention the awful kit they had).
The Chancellor is looking at pushing on with the idea of an NFL team being based at Wembley permanently.
Transfer Balls: A look at rumour being presented as fact. Today we ask: are Chelsea selling Petr Cech? Are Arsenal buying Petr Chech?
Daily Mail, Nov 21: “Arsenal lead chase for Petr Cech with Chelsea keeper available for just £7m…”
Arsenal get Cech!
Daily Express, Nov 21: “EXCLUSIVE: AC Milan steal lead over Arsenal in race for Chelsea legend Petr Cech”
Ac Milan get Cech!
MALKY Mackay is now manager of Wigan Athletic. When his private text messages were aired, a few were shown to be offensive, revealing the then Cardiff City manager to be a grade A pillock. As a result of his offensive messages, Mackay lost out on the top job at Crystal Palace.
Punishment was swift.
The Press think the story of his appointment at Wigan is a huge deal:
THERE’S nothing quite as morbid and depressing as watching football coverage on ITV. In Adrian Chiles, you have a man who looks like pudding doing an impression of. the. slow. concentration. of. Tim. Love. Joy. and in Andy Townsend, you have a man paid huge sums to point out things that have happened in play, a full 5 seconds after the viewers at home have already noticed.
Then there’s Clive Tyldesley, who can’t be arsed learning the names of foreign played (notably, James Rodriguez) and who is in possession of a faux-grandiosity that is as irritating as it is insincere.
So, the bad news is that ITV are hoping to steal the Premier League highlights from the BBC and Match of the Day. You can almost hear U2′s ‘Beautiful Day’ striking up and Matt Smith blankly looking into camera.
GEMMA Collins is out the I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! jungle and the Sun says she’s been bullied. No, not by a TV producer encouraging her to eat a kangaroo’s anus. Gemma’s been bullied by footballers on Twitter!
QUEENS Park Rangers ace Charlie Austin, 25, branded Gemma “the female Shrek” in a string of abusive posts on Twitter. His ex-Burnley team-mates Kieran Trippier, George Porter and Kevin Long also joined in.
Calling Gemma Collins Shrek is appalling. Hats off to the Sun for highlighting this shocking abuse:
Calling another human being Shrek is a shocking low, says the Sun:
The Sun ends with:
Their taunts came as the FA rolled out a week-long anti-bullying campaign.
Footballers are such bullies – even the ones who look like Shrek…
MANCHESTER United news: the club’s executive vice-chairman told investors.
“Di Maria saw a 12-times increase on Google searches on the day of his transfer. When Blind signed his Twitter following increased by 72 per cent.”
Manchester United ARE winning! 3million Somalian tweeters cannot be wrong!
Unless… breaking news: 87% of new Manchester United fans in Premier League colonies also follow Arsenal, Chelsea, Barcelona, Ronaldo, Bayern Mu…
Message to United: buy Stephen Fry and Justin Bieber now – before Man City get them!
NO-ONE really likes the England Brass Band that blight England’s international matches. The droning, metronomic thud takes all the spontaneity out of crowd singing and acts as an active drain on the will to live.
Now, the Football Association is going to be asked some tough questions about them after their appearance at the England-Scotland friendly, which saw the English winning 3-1.
While there was mercifully little trouble surrounding the game, the England supporters band will be finding themselves in hot water after they played along with fans singing off-colour songs in the stands.
YOU can only describe Didier Drogba’s career as a rollercoaster. He’s been sulky, wayward, stopped a civil war, been brilliant and of course, scored loads of ace goals. He’s also had rather suspect hair since forever, but we’ll let him off.
And now, Didier has dropped a hint that this season could be his last.
LAST season Arsenal footballers Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looked like Kieran Gibbs.
Gibbs was sent off for The Ox’s handball (which wasn’t even a sending-off offence).
Last night, Oxlade-Chamberlain was pretending to be Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney. ITV’s Clive Tyldesley commentates:
THERE’S not many nice words being thrown the way of Manchester United from Roy Keane of late. His second instalment of his autobiography has seen some sweary extracts lobbed like grenades toward Old Trafford.
And he’s not done yet.
With an audience in Dublin, Keane let loose again, claiming that former Manchester United players are acting “like a mafia” in their roles ambassadors at Old Trafford, or when they’re being pundits on the club’s in-house TV channel.
Keane levelled particular criticism at Bryan Robson and Paddy Crerand: “When I look at United, there’s just a lot of propaganda now. A lot of nonsense gets spoken, a lot of ex-players now work for the club, they are on contracts, ex-players from the ’60s and ’70s working for United and they always try to kid you on.”
“That’s why I took a step back from Man United. They’re all decent lads, don’t get me wrong, but it’s almost like a mafia situation. People get swayed by Paddy Crerand. Paddy still thinks it’s ! United have lost 5-0: ‘Ah, you know, they were great.’ Paddy, come on, do me a favour. ‘No, no, United were great.’ No, they weren’t! Why are you saying it?”
And what about Captain Marvel?
Roy was lambasted by Robbo when he suggested United midfielder Nani deserved a red card in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final game in the Champions League against Real Madrid.
Keane said: “My opinion was Nani meant it, he saw the guy coming, and he definitely meant it. The guy deserved to be sent off, but I remember Robbo the next day. Robbo works for Man United. A great player he was, but he’s employed by Man United, so he’s got to comment on Man United, and what do you think he’s going to say?”
“‘Keaney’ – and I can still remember saying him saying it like that – ‘Keaney was the only one at Old Trafford who thought it was a red card.’ Well, the fucking referee thought it was a red card!”
Of course, there’s a few people who think Keano is just a sad, jealous ol’ dear, but Roy insists that this isn’t the case and that he’s not at all “bitter and twisted” and doesn’t intend for his book tour to be a mission to have a pop at anyone who has been negative towards him in the past.
That’s a shame. Most of us have been enjoying Keane calling bullshit on a number of people. Someone feed him hot-bolts to get his dander up while showing him photos of Mick McCarthy!
TEN years ago, Manchester United and Arsenal indulged in one of football’s daftest climaxes. The feud between the two teams culminated in someone throwing pizza. Apart from the tragic waste of pizza (in what is now officially America’s ‘National Pizza Week’), everyone laughed apart from those involved.
This week, it transpires that Cesc Fabregas could well be the main culprit for slinging pizza at Sir Alex Ferguson. Or at least, that’s the story according to Martin Keown when talking about the Battle of the Buffet.
“As I said on the radio a few years ago, from what I understand it was a Spanish fella with great technique,” says Keown. “Even when it came to the pizza he had great technique. He threw it like a Frisbee.”
A STUDY of the 2010 World Cup reveals that a player’s facial width to height ratio (FWHR) predicts his aggressiveness.
…midfielders, who play both offense and defense, and forwards, who lead the offense, with higher FWHRs were more likely to commit fouls. Forwards with higher FWHRs also were more likely to score goals or make assists.
Bull heads and bull necks.
Absolute guff, of course.
The man above is Kevin Muscat. He wan’t in the 2010 World Cup. But he was lively – 123 yellow cards:
EAT your heart out Ched Evans, writing in the Telegraph Jason Burt turns his gaze on Malky Mackay, the former Cardiff City manger whose offensive private emails became a public stick with which to beat him.
It was alleged Mackay shared racist, homophobic and misoynistic texts with former Cardiff colleague Iain Moody, who resigned his position as Crystal Palace sporting director shortly after the messages came to light.
Let’s look again at what was found:
“Go on, fat Phil. Nothing like a Jew that sees money slipping through his fingers.” On football agent Phil Smith.
“He’s a snake, a gay snake. Not to be trusted.” Referring to an official at another club.
“Not many white faces amongst that lot but worth considering.” Referring to a list of potential signings.
“I bet you’d love a bounce on her falsies”
Read the rest of this entry »
ANGEL DI MARIA has revealed why he joined Manchester United. The massively under-paid player tells one and all why he left Real Madrid for a British record of £59.7million and £280,000-a-week compensation.
Di Maria says bne joined United because Paris Saint Germain couldn’t afford him:
“PSG had a money problem and they couldn’t buy players. This is the main reason I didn’t go there. A lot of clubs were interested in me. But Manchester United appeared and didn’t go away. They absolutely wanted me and it happened. I don’t have regrets about leaving Real Madrid. It’s a different style at United but I’m happy.”
IN “Fixer’s World Cup offer to England” the Sunday Times has the latest news from Planet FIFA:
FIFA’S attempt to whitewash Qatar’s winning 2022 World Cup campaign is blown apart today by fresh evidence of corruption. Qatar was cleared last week by a Fifa ethics judge who ruled that Mohamed bin Hammam, the country’s top football boss whose corrupt activities were exposed by The Sunday Times, was “distant” from the official 2022 bid team.
The Sunday Times today reveals further evidence, however, that Bin Hammam was actively engaged in illicit activities to secure the votes needed to bring the 2022 World Cup to the desert state.
SOCCER legend Paul Gascoigne looks blue as he is seen for the first time in public since being sectioned last month.
‘In public’ now includes walking your wheelie bin down the driveway. It might also include popping to the shops, buying petrol and sitting in your garden. Were the “troubled” former Newcastle, Spurs and Everton footballer taking his bin for a walk, perehaps with a dog or cat inside it, this might be news.
David Moyes has taken the top job at Real Sociedad. The former Manchester United manager might not have a clue what he’s let himself in for. Helpfully, former Sociadad manager Chris Coleman has news for the Scot:
“At Sociedad, everything is on top of you. You can’t even go down to the local café for a break because everyone knows who you are.”
No more mooching unrecognsied and unmolested round the shops of Manchester and Liverprool for David Moyes, who used to wander up to the Everton ground on foot and take the bus to Old Trafford.
For Moyes, easy living is no more.
Play With A Legend: Hire An Arsenal ‘Legend’ And His Spurs Mates For Your Stag Do, Birthday Or Bar Mitzvah
AT number one is Perry Goves… At number two is Stever The Plumber… At number 3 is Matt ‘The Talc’… At number four is. your girlfriend’s brother who you can’t stand but had to invite.. You get the idea. And former Arsenal ‘legend’ Perry Groves‘ idea (in cahoots with his friend Josh Landy) is that for a fee you can Play With A Legend. You can hire Perry Groves and his world of stars to peppre your Stag Do or birthday football match with dash of talent.
The star will even stay behind for a post-match drunk. (Paul Merson is on the Vimto.)
As you can imagine, Arsenal players figure in number. There are lots of Spurs players, too. Why not hire one for each team and get stuck in. Bagsy Paul Davis. You can have Darren Anderton.
Transfer Balls: Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool And Arsenal Do The OK Koke For Manchester United Star
TRANSFER Balls: The Daily Express says “Barcelona ready to beat Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool with a summer bid for Koke”.
As ever, the Express aims to get as many big clubs as possible into its story. The aim – the fabled Full House – is to link a player with the top five English clubs.
Footy expert Bruce Archer tells readers:
…reports in Spain say Koke, along with Lars Bender, is Barcelona’s priority for the summer.
BEN Rogers recalls a moment in the life of Oxford philosopher A J “Freddie” Ayer.
He recalls a conversation between Mike Tyson, Naomi Campbell and the Oxford professor:
CHED Evans might not be scaring off Sheffield United fans but their celebrity patrons are running. Evans, a convicted rapist, is out of prison and training with his former Sheffield United teamates. No United player has complained, at least not publicly.
FIFA have investigated allegations that FIFA takes bribes - that the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar and 2018 trough-fest to Russia are fixes. FIFA has been found by their own investigation to be cleaner than Mother Teresa’s laptop. The investigation also discovered:
FACT: The World Cup 2014 did not take place in Brazil
FACT: Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president, looks terrific in body-hugging manmade fibres and if he were a female would be delighted to help the women’s game by wearing his tightest shorts on the field of play
FACT: It didn’t cross the line in 1966 and England are the cheating scum of the earth
TEN outrageously good goals have been named on the shortlist for the FIFA Puskás Award for the best goal of the year. Makes a nice change from all the political jostling and allegations of corruption and the like, what has been blighting football at the minute.
There’ll be no controversy about the quality of the goals chosen (but you may feel that one of your favourites was unfairly missed off the list, but that’s football for you).
Included are James Rodriguez’s absolute peach from the World Cup and, from Mexico, the dazzling Marco Fabian crops up with an audacious dink from a million miles out. Zlatan’s ridiculous backheel volley gets a look-in too!
Transfer Balls: Which Player Is Heading To Arsenal, Manchester United, West Ham, Swansea, Everton, Hull And Spurs?
TRANSFER Balls: Marseilles striker Andre Ayew has uttred not word on moving to the Premier League. But that hasn’t stopped the media from speculating:
Daily Express, November 13: “Andre Ayew could join Arsenal, Liverpool or Manchester United for just £1.5m in January”
SpyGhana, November 5: “West Ham looks to sign Andre Ayew”
Liverpool Echo, November 3 2014: “Everton FC transfer gossip: Blues eye Ayew January swoop”
Hull Daily Mail, October 20: “Hull City face competition to bring in the forward during the January transfer window.”
The Sun, October 19: “Liverpool, Everton, Swansea, Hull and West Ham are all keen and are watching developments.”
Daily Express, October 14: “Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd and Spurs handed January BOOST with Andre Ayew set for exit”
Daily Star, October 14: “Arsenal, Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester United and Spurs target Andre Ayew set for January switch”
In other news, Andre Ayew is going to Napoli…