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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.

Liverpool keep Jordan Henderson but will Nivea stick by their man?

Jordan Henderson Nivea

 

Jordan Henderson has penned a new five-year deal to play for Liverpool. Good news for Liverpool fans. And at £100,0o0-a-week, it’s good news for Henderson, who will just be able to afford a season ticket at top-flight boxing. (Tickets for the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao’s fight are yours for £100,000 each. It makes £60 to watch your team play Arsenal at the Emirates look like a steal.)

Writing in the Times, Giles Smith wonders if Henderson is going to re-sign for another of his clients: Nivea.

…a deal that has already yielded comedy gold. Indeed, if there was a Bafta for Best Look To Camera By A Footballer In A Narrative-Based Commercial (and now there should be), Henderson would have swept it away for a lifetime.

It is a cracker:

 

 

But what does it all mean for men? It’s the decline of man: the steady emasculation of our role models.

Posted: 25th, April 2015 | In: Liverpool, News, Sports, The Consumer | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


We should love Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney more than tax dodger Lewis Hamilton

The richest sportsman in the UK is Lewis Hamilton. But he’s not. Because he lives in Monaco…

Screen shot 2015-04-25 at 16.33.02

 

Of course it would hard for a Premier League footballer to live oversease as a tax exile, but if Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney dodged tax , what kind of press would he get?

The Rich List also features Rio Ferdinand. He was great player for Manchester United and England. His story is one of rags to riches. But to many Rio Ferdinand is simply a story of sex scandals, a missed drugs test and a man out of touch with the fans. But what about Rio the taxpayer who does so much for charity? He’s not prefect – this is no blinkered tribute to the once great player – this is to wonder why footballers are looked down on, portrayed as vain, flash, selfish, womanising idiots?

Why are footballers ‘role models’, their every indiscretion paraded for our disapproving eyes and condemned from the top down, while Lewis Hamilton or the Olympians who bend the rules and shag around are not?

Double standards all round in the media…

 

 

 

Posted: 25th, April 2015 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Liverpool’s bid for Arsenal target Asier Illarramendi is lost in translation

Asier Illarramendi

 

Transfer Balls: Liverpool have made an offer for Real Madrid’s Asier Illarramendi. So declares the Daily Telegraph. And who are the papers sources for this Liverpool scoop?

According to The Metro, Illarramendi is expected to quit Madrid this summer after struggling to hold down a regular place in the Real side

The Metro. Yeah. Stick with it. After all, waaaay back on April 22, The Metro reported:

Arsenal handed transfer blow as Asier Illarramendi confirms desire to stay at Real Madrid

Today’s Metro scoop arrives via Jamie Sanderson:

Liverpool ‘make offer to finally seal Asier Illarramendi transfer’.

Sanderson then delivers the facts:

Liverpool have made an offer to sign Real Madrid’s Asier Illarramendi ahead of Arsenal, according to reports. Illarramendi is expected to quit Madrid this summer after struggling to hold down a regular place in the Real side.

Which reports?

Arsenal have been linked with a move, with Arsene Wenger said to be a fan, but Marca claims Liverpool…

So. It’s Marca, then. And we do find a story on Illarramendi and Liverpool. It’s dated April 11 2015. It contains not single word on any offer. But we do learn that Arsenal and Liverpool both like Illarramendi. But mentions of a bid are there none.

 

Posted: 24th, April 2015 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Chelsea Balls: Fabregas’ Arsenal return only highlights Wenger’s failure

fabregas kiss

 

In the build up to Arsenal’s Premier League match with Chelsea, the tabloids are focusing on the Blues’ Cesc Fabregas. The match will be the first time the Chelsea player has faced his old club on their home pitch.

The Daily Star leads with news that Fabregas “snubbed” Arsenal.  The paper says Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, has “muddied the water” by saying his former captain had no intention of returning to the Gunners:

“I believe his decision was already made. I personally believe that deal was done a long time ago, in early 2014… I was intriguded that he might go to Chelsea, but when I was informed I thought the deal was already done.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 24th, April 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Victor Wanyama says the Sun’s story on his move to Arsenal is bunkum

Victor Wanyama

 

Transfer Balls: Is Southampton’s  heading to Arsenal? The Sun says he might be. The story tells readers:

Victor Wanyama has revealed to SunSport that he is on Arsene Wenger’s shopping list Wanyama said: “Wenger has been talking about me. And he has let it be known that he wants me in the summer. Arsenal are a great club and I’d love to play Champions League football as I loved being on that stage with Celtic.”‘

So. Wanyama is keen on Arsenal.

Screen shot 2015-04-23 at 13.29.52

 

But on Twitter, Wanyama says the story is wrong:

“I have to make it clear that I have not said what has been brought up today. I am professional and will never say that. To cut the story short have never spoken to Wenger.”

 

 

 

Posted: 23rd, April 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Now Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish is famous the tabloids set about murdering him

jack grealish drugs

 

So good was Jack Grealish for Aston Villa during their FA Cup semi-final win over Liverpool that the Sun has decided to ruin him.

In “HIGH JACK”, the Sun says Grealish, “apparently”, has been inhaling “hippy crack”. The Sun says this is the “third star exposed” by the Sun breathing in nitrous oxide from a ballon. Readers have already been treated to photos of Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling and West Brom’s Saido Berahino on the balloon.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 23rd, April 2015 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester United spend only 50% of their turnover on wages

Were Manchester United right to get rid of David Moyes as manager after a mere 10 months in charge? It was hasty. But then, the average tenure of all current Premier League managers is 1.57 years. Life is brief at the top.

The Daily Mirror has statistics to prove that under Louis Van Gaal, Man United are a tougher prospect.

Was Moyes hindered by taking over the champions of England?

 

IMAG0318

 

The facts show that United are on the up once more.

But at what cost? Have they spent too much on chasing success? The Times has more figures. As a percent of turnover, Manchester United spend least of all on players’ wages.

 

manchester united spending

 

The BBC notes that Chelsea have the best point-to-wages ratio. Jose Mourinho is getting more return from the club’s investment in players than Van Gaal is.

But what about debt?

The Mail says Chelsea are  whopping £958m in debt; Manchester United are £342m in debt; and – get this – Manchester City apparently have a debt of just £67m. In May 2014, the Telegraph noted that “over £680m has gone towards interest fees, bank charges and debt repayment” to finance the debt since the Glazer family took over the club.

Imagine the team that could have bought…?

Posted: 22nd, April 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Injury Balls: Chelsea miracle as Diego Costa defies the tabloids

Drogba out express

 

Football Balls looks at reporting on the Chelsea forward line going into the weekend’s match with Arsenal.

The Daily Express leads with news that Didier Drogba is not fit to face Arsenal. That injury is compounded by Diego Costa being “10 days away from recovering” from his hamstring injury. Arsenal play Chelsea in four days. So. Costa has no chance of playing in the match.

Yesterday the Mirror agreed, saying Chelsea were facing a “striker crisis”.

But one day on, the Mirror says Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is confident all his strikers will be fit for the Arsenal match. The Mirror agrees. It says Costa should train fully before the match, and Loic Remy and Didier Drogba “should also be fit”.

Such are the facts in the tabloid press…

Posted: 22nd, April 2015 | In: Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer Balls: Manchester United’s De Gea is leaving after signing a new deal with two clubs

Transfer Balls: The Daily Mirror leads with news that Manchester United’s David De Gea is leaving the club. The story is that Man United are “convinced the Spanish keeper has made his mind up to quit Old Trafford”. But this Daily Mirror “EXCLUSIVE” contains not a single fact.

De Gea has one year left on the Manchester United contract. His loss would be a blow to manager Louis Van Gaal’s plans.

But is the Mirror right?

In January, the Guardian told its readers De Gea wanted to sign a new deal to remain at United:

Transfer news: De Gea wants to stay at Manchester United – as it happened

That information was confirmed by the Metro:

David De Gea ‘SIGNS new five-year Manchester United contract after snubbing Real Madrid transfer’

And despite speculation last week that the 24-year-old had agreed terms with Madrid ahead of a summer switch… he’s now staying at Old Trafford having signed up until 2020.

That was followed in April by the Expressnews that De Gea had agreed to join Real Madrid:

 

Screen shot 2015-04-22 at 07.21.41

 

Three days after Izzy Horsefield’s scoop, the Express had other news: Real had cooled on De Gea and wanted Stoke City’s Begovic:

Man Utd handed MASSIVE boost as Real turn to Arsenal and Liverpool target Asmir Begovic

Oh, and ther was this from the Daily Mirror:

Boss Carlo Ancelotti is happy to keep the status quo with Iker Casillas and Keylor Navas as his keepers and spend big on other positions in the summer

Such are the facts in the trusty papers…

 

Posted: 22nd, April 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer Balls: Sami Khedira’s Arsenal agreement is worthless

Transfer Balls spots the Daily Star’s news that Sami Khedira has delived a “blow to Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United”.

Jonathan Green reports:

The 28-year-old has become one of the most sought after players in European football with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Dortmund and Schalke all looking to secure the German’s signature.

This is the Daily Star that told readers that Khedira had agreede to join Arsenla and Bayern Munich:

 

khedira agrees

 

khedira arsenal

 

Such are the facts in the Daily Star…

 

The World Cup winner is out of contract in the summer and has confirmed he will leave the Bernabeu after five years.

The 28-year-old has become one of the most sought after players in European football with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Dortmund and Schalke all looking to secure the German’s signature.

And reports in Spain claim Dortmund are in the process of drawing up an offer for Khedira as they look to move ahead of their rivals.

Borussia Dortmund want Sami Khedira
INTEREST: Borussia Dortmund want Sami Khedira [GETTY]
They say Dortmund officials are prepared to offer Khedira a deal worth €11m (£8m) a year to bring him to the Westfalenstadion.

The Bundesliga club are set for a major overhaul this summer following Jurgen Klopp’s announcement that he will step down as manager at the end of the season.

Mats Hummels looks set to follow Klopp out of the exit door while doubts remain over the futures of Ilkay Gundogan, Marco Reus, Ciro Immobile and Neven Subotic.

Posted: 21st, April 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


FA Cup Balls: Liverpool’s ‘lucky’ Coutinho Was better than 8 Aston Villa players

fa cup aston villa

 

Aston Villa beat Liverpool 2-1 in an entertaining FA Cup semi-final. But what were the important scores, the ones newspapers award players?

Martin Samuel says Liverpool’s one goal was lucky. The Daily Mail writer says Philippe Coutinho’s shot went in via a “fortuitous deflection”.

 

 

fa cup aston villa 1

 

But one page on, the Mail’s Laurie Whitwell says of Coutinho:

“Super run and finish.”

From lucky to super in a page.

The Mail awards Coutinho a score of 7 our of 10. That makes him better than 8 Aston Villa players. But the Daily Mirror says every Villa player was better than every Liverpool player.

 

countinho score

 

Such are the facts…

Posted: 20th, April 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Chelsea And Liverpool’s Mario Balotelli tops the twitter hate list

A study into the levels of abuse targeted at Premier League clubs and players online has revealed that more than 130,000 abusive posts have been made via social media so far this season.

The research, carried out by anti-discrimination body Kick It Out, found that Chelsea were the most targeted club, with – surprise surprise – Mario Balotelli suffering more abuse than any other player.

Far more in fact: Balotelli received well over 8,000 discriminatory posts. Second on the list was Danny Welbeck with 1,700 posts. Over half of the abuse received by both players was of a racist nature.

*Sigh* Some people really are terrible.

BBC Sport have published Kick It Out’s findings today, with the results making for depressing viewing…

 

bbc-pie-chart-abuse

 

The numbers (taken from Twitter, Facebook, forums and blogs) equate to 16,800 discriminatory posts a month, 551 per day, one message every 2.6 minutes.

Remember, this is just a football season’s worth (August 2014 to March 2015) of Premier League abuse we’re talking about. We’re certain we’re not even close to seeing the full extent of the problem here.

The Kick It Out study found that over 50% of the abuse was race and gender related, though sexual orientation, disability and anti-semitic abuse also made up a depressingly large slice of the pie…

 

bbc-pie-chart-abuse2

 

“The level of abuse is truly staggering,” Kick It Out director Roisin Wood said.

“We must do all we can as a collective to protect those who are on the receiving end of discriminatory abuse.”

The group are now exploring the possibility of forming a dedicated task force to tackle “head on” the level of football-related racist, sexist and homophobic abuse online.

Good luck with that chaps. Something tells us it’ll be like trying to plait smoke.

Posted: 19th, April 2015 | In: Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling is tabloid scum

Sterling Watch: The Daily Raheem Sterling: a look at the Liverpool player in the tabloid Press. 

 

raheem-sterling tabloids

 

Writing in the Sun, Rod Liddle says the Kop are “fed up with Sterling”, who “represents an awful lot of what is wrong with modern football”. Sterling is guilty of “mind-bending greed”. Liverpool fans are forced to endure the player who thinks he’s outgrown them kissing the badge in a “sickening display of conterfeit loyalty”.

Liddle then notes the shisha pipe smoking and nitrous oxide inhaling, before turning to Sterling’s reported inability to recall when the son he sired at 17 was born. The greed and the badge kissing are parts of the modern game. They are awful and as unwelcome as jester hats, talk of the “football family” and the PA announcer who drowns out the singing to scream “Make Some Noise!”.  But is it fair to blame football for Sterling’s parenting or recretional use of legal drugs?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 16th, April 2015 | In: Liverpool, News, Sports | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jurgen Klopp Should Go To Arsenal, West Ham Or Liverpool And Avoid Manchester City

By Klopp Watch

klopp-press

 

Jurgen Klopp is heading out of Borussia Dortmund. But where to next for the affable German?

The Daily Express says Manchester City is Klopp’s most likely destination. Why City, who have moved towards the Spanish model in recent seasons with the appointment of former Barcelona executives Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain (secured in the hope of luring Pep Guardiola to the Etihad), would opt for the man who made Dortmund masters of high-octane gegenpressing is not explained.

Any move for Klopp would necessitate a wholesale change in style and massive investment. Would Financial Fair Play allow it?

The Mirror also links Klopp to City. Apparently, odds on Klopp heading to the Etihad have been slashed. Of course odds on Klopp heading anywhere have been slashed following the announcement that this season will be his last at Dortmund.

The Mirror says City’s main rivals for the German are Napoli. Can anyone really see an Italian team embracing Klopp’s madly energetic, hard-pressing style? Klopp has said that he loves “serenity football… What we call in German – English football: rainy days, heavy pitch, everybody is dirty in the face…” So. Sunny Napoli it is then.

The Sun leads with news that Klopp has “told Premier League clubs: Come and get me.” The paper suggests the clubs that could go for Klopp: Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham, West Ham  and Newcastle.

The Mail produces its list of possible Klopp destinations. City, Liverpool and Arsenal are the only Premier League clubs to feature. No word on West Ham, who would offer Klopp an intriguing challenge. Liverpool would be Klopp’s natural fit, but Brendan Rodgers is doing a decent job at Anfield. Arsenal could do with Klopp when Arsene Wenger leaves in a year or two. But after years of relative austerity when they sold their best players to balance the books and fund a new stadium, Wenger’s sudden departure would be like a man walking away from a loaded fruit machine.

The Mail says the clubs most likely to go for Klopp are Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

Could Klopp, the outsider, end up at one of the ultimate insider clubs? Rory Smith (Times) compares such a move to “the gertrification of Williamsburg, the adoption of the beard by the Ben Sherman boys, the ultimate defeat for hipsters”.

So. Not all bad, then.

But while a move to Real Madrid seems possible, Klopp to Bayern would surely be a bitter blow to the Dortmund fans who love him. The Mail says “sources in Germany have not ruled out a move to rivals Bayern Munich if Pep Guardiola fails to win the Champions’ League this season”.

That might be because Klopp has not ruled out a move to anywhere.

Posted: 16th, April 2015 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Liverpool Balls: Raheem Sterling Is The Giggling To An Early Grave

Paul Sorene

 

3 May 1998:  Paul Gascoigne and Paul Merson of Middlesbrough celebrate a return to top flight football after a Nationwide Division One match against Oxford United at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough, England. Middlesbrough won the match 4-1 to earnpromotion to the Premiership.  Mandatory Credit: Stu  Forster/Allsport

Not Raheem Sterling. 3 May 1998: Paul Gascoigne and Paul Merson of Middlesbrough celebrate a return to top flight football after a Nationwide Division One match against Oxford United at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough, England. 

 

LIVERPOOL’S Raheem Sterling is part of a trend. The shisha smokin’, laughin’ gas inhalin’ star is just the latest footballer to be “involved in off the field controversy”. Well, so says the Daily Mail, which delivers five players who erred.

Here, Sportsmail details five other misbehaving stars involved in similar incidents away from the field.

According to the Daily Mail not breaking the law in the privacy of your own home is controversial. Raheem Sterling is now apparently in a ‘bad boys’ group with these bright young things:

Jack Wilshere: smoking tobacco.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 15th, April 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Tabloid hell: Liverpool’s drug-pushing Raheem Sterling mocks the dead

raheem sterling death

 

Raheem Sterling, the Liverpool player, is the worst person on the planet. We know this because the Daily Star features him on its Page 5. Pictured smiling and giving the thumbs up, the 20-year-old Liverpool and England player is placed alongside a photograph of Jimmy Guichard, also 20.

Jimmy is seen “dying in hospital”.

It is an utterly grim image. Looking at it feels invasive. But the photograph comes with the blessing of Jimmy’s mother, Karen, whose views are summed up in the headline:

“Kops must drop Sterling, urges tragic mum”

Jimmy died in 2013. That’s when the photographs of his dire condition were released. Back then Karen “explained how Jimmy Guichard died after taking a synthetic cannabis”.

The Daily Mail reported:

Keen sportsman Jimmy Guichard, 20, suffered a heart attack and severe brain damage within hours of taking one of the herbal substances. His mother Karen Audino said he was found unconscious next to an empty plastic bag from controversial legal high shop UK Skunkworks.

And in today’s Daily Star’sexclusive“, the paper writes:

Keen sportsman Jimmy… suffered a heart attack and severe brain damage within hours of taking one of the herbal substances….he was found unconscious next to an empty plastic bag from controversial legal high shop UK Skunkworks.

So much for the exclusive.

It is worth noting that “according to the coroner’s report, there were no traces of alcohol or illegal drugs – including cannabis, cocaine, morphine or acid – in his system that could have caused his death.”

There was no inquest into his death.

But Karen suspects the legal high killed her son. She said:

“Jimmy experienced severe hypertension which caused his heart attack, but why that happened we don’t know. I believe whatever he took from the high street shop messed with his system and caused this. He was a fit, healthy lad and there was no reason for him to die.”

It is tragic. Your heart goes out to her.

But what has this to do with Raheem Sterling, who was filmed inhaling laughing gas in the privacy of his own home? Does he approve of drugs, suffering, pain and death? He is pictured giving the thumbs up as an innocent young man lies on his deathbed.

Karen says:

“The management need to take action and not pick him. They wouldn’t have him if he had been taking cocaine or heroin.”

But Sterling is not Adrian Mutu, the Chelsea player sacked for taking cocaine. He’s not Diego Maradona, whose contribution to the Peru’s GDP is legend. Any footballer who takes recreational drugs is not exactly going to enhance their performance. As Eric Cantona said of Maradona: “I prefer someone who uses cocaine on a Wednesday and plays at the weekend.”

Duleep adds:

A football club has every right to discipline a player who fails to show up for training or doesn’t perform on match days because he has over-indulged. It’s not a question of morality but of discipline. The higher levels of fitness in the modern game mean that footballers must be extremely self-disciplined about what they ingest. It’s not quite a monkish existence – roasting, bling-bling, mock Tudor mansions and Porsches are not, as far as I know, features of monastic life – but being a professional footballer does require a degree of abstinence and dedication that is not expected of most employees.

Which brings us to wonder what Raheem Sterling and Jimmy Guichard have in common? To link Sterling to the death of a young man is utterly unfair. We live in a world where the US President Barack Obama and the late Apple Corp. founder Steve Jobs have smoked cannabis. Are they now linked to all drug-related deaths?

This story is about morals, a creepy demand that adults who are good at football behave as the elite demand. They must be pure in thought and deed. It buys into the stories that footballers are State-sponsored ambassadors for healthy living (witness the haste with which politicians use sportsmen for their own ends, to advertise their own sounds morals on sexism, racism and atheticism) and that football fans – by and large the working class – are so thick and impressionable they look not to parents for guidance but to Raheem Sterling, Luis Suarez, John Terry or any leading adult footballer. The narrative assures us that Sterling is a “role model”.

He’s not. The suggestion that his stupidity in smoking a shisha pipe or inhaling laughing gas endangers lives is weak and as thick-headed as the player himself the day after the night before…

Posted: 15th, April 2015 | In: Key Posts, Liverpool, News, Sports | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Liverpool Balls: Don’t worry Raheem Sterling drugs never did David Cameron any harm

raheem sterling laughing gas 6

 

The Daily Raheem Sterling delivers a bumper crop of news and views in the tabloids. Today Sterling coverage reaches peak tabloid as The Liverpool players is all over the Sun’s front and back pages.

On the front page we see a photo of Raheem holding an orange balloon to his lips. It’s party time, but there’s no jelly and ice-cream to go with this balloon. The Sun says Sterling is inhaling not exhaling. It says the balloon is “apparently filled with dangerous legal high ‘hippy crack'”. Inside the Sun, over two pages, we learn that the image comes from a short video in which Sterling inhales twice before he “seems to pass out”.

The Sun adds: “The footage is thought to have been filmed at his £1.5m home days before Liverpool’s Premier League clash with Newcastle”.

Apparenly. Seems. Thought. So much for the facts. What else do we know? Well, the Sun’s doctor Carol Cooper tells us that nitrous oxide, which is the more official name for ‘hippy crack’, can cause hallucinations and cause the user to lapse into a coma.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 14th, April 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse, QPR’s Rio Ferdinand and Spurs’ Lamela Are Redknapp’s stars of the season

redknapp prowse

 

Southampton FC’s James Ward-Prowse is the latest Saints player to catch the eye. But Jamie Redknapp knew all about the Premier League player before this season started. As Redknapp tells readers of his Daily Mail column, he picked Ward-Prowse as one of his “10 players to watch”.

Redknapp says that if Ward-Prose scores more goals he could become a better player. Well, he is the expert earning the big bucks. More goals, who knew?

But what we wanted to know was the identities of the other nine players on Redknapp’s list. So. We looked. And we found them:

Alexis Sanchez
Ander Herrera: “Manchester United have spent a long time trying to replace Paul Scholes and now they have found their man.”
Bafetimbi Gomis
Raheem Sterling
James Ward-Prowse
Diego Costa
Rio Ferdinand : “My dad, Harry Redknapp, rang me to say: ‘I’ve got a chance of signing Rio Ferdinand for QPR… I’ve looked him in the eyes and he wants to play.’
Danny Ings
Romelu Lukaku
Erik Lamela

Harry Kane is away…

 

 

 

Posted: 13th, April 2015 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester United balls: foolish Juan Mata celebrates Chelsea

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid reacts after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second leg match between Manchester United and Real Madrid at Old Trafford on March 5, 2013 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid reacts after scoring his team’s second goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second leg match between Manchester United and Real Madrid at Old Trafford on March 5, 2013 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

 

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has a blog. He wrote on it following United’s 4-2 win over city rivals Manchester City.

His article is entitled ‘Outstanding Atmosphere at the Theatre of Dreams‘:

Hi everyone…

So much for the start. We’ll fast forward to the bit where Mata talks about Manchester United’s trip to Chelsea.

From this Monday we are already thinking about our next ‘final’, a visit to the leader of the Premiership… going back to Stamford Bridge for the first time will bring me plenty of good memories, for sure. The day I arrived to this great club I wrote: “Gratitude is the memory of the heart”. And I keep thinking the same. At that time I had the chance to thank everybody who helped me in London during those two and a half years, and next Saturday it will be nice to meet former team-mates, fans and friends. I keep good memories of them and I wish them the best…

Call me old-fashioned but I like it when my team’s players don’t declare their love for the opposition. I  sympathise with the Newcastle United fan who spotted his side’s goalkeeper Tim Krul wait at half-time to congratulate Sunderland’s Jermain Defoe on scoring what turned out to be the game’s only goal and noted:

“It’s f**ing derby… you don’t laugh with some scum in the tunnel, you either ignore him or kick the sh*t out of him. Nothing else is acceptable.”

A friend is a highly intelligent, sane and respected individual. Whenever a team other than his beloved Manchester United is playing his wishes only destruction on their houses. Unreasonable, inhumane, bigoted and unhinged, of course he is. He’s a fan.

Mata’s cameraderie and admiration for the team that sold him is not what any Manchester United supporter wants to hear. If Mata has to say anything, then wish ill on Chelsea.

Mata’s blog is the verbal equivalent of the player who refuses to celebrate his goal against a former club. The player – let’s call him Cristiano – scores. His teamates celebrate. And he stands, head bowed in respect, alone in the frenzy. It is utterly pathetic.

In the right world, any footballer failing to wildly celebrate a goal – famously described as an act better than sex – should be red-carded and banned for six matches. And that goes for you, too, Juan Mata. If you score against Chelsea, Manchester United fans will not respect your open-palmed apology to the opposition, and I’d wager Chelsea fans won’t either. They want you to slide across the turf and pump your fists like Mike Tyson on speed.

The United fans will love you. The Chelsea fans will regret losing you. You win. Anything else is just sad…

Posted: 13th, April 2015 | In: Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Liverpool Balls: Raheem Sterling’s smoking Arsenal audition

It’s the Daily Raheem Sterling – a look at the Liverpool player in the news.

The Sunday Mirror has news that Sterling, 20, has been photographed smoking a shisha pipe during a night out with friends. Was this a bonding session with Arsenal’s smoking Jack Wilshere and Wojciech Tomasz Szczęsny?

The picture of him inhaling on the bright orange pipe during a night out with pals emerged just hours after he upset his army of fans by snubbing a £100,000-a-week contract. Experts warn a single shisha session could be equivalent to smoking up to 200 cigarettes.

In case you were less than bothered at what a top athlete does in his spare time and find ludicrous the claim that a drag on a shisha is the same as smoking 200 fags, the Mirror trills:

The image will shock team-mates and parents of youngsters who idolise the winger, 20.

As ever with such things, we are invited to think of the children. From being an adult having a legal puff , Sterling is now a danger to your kids.

The Daily Mirror says Sterling was heckled by Liverpool fans as he modeled the team’s new kit. As Sterling took the stage to enthuse about the outfit, a voice shouted:

“Make sure we see you in it next season.”

Others cheered. Sterling, quick as a flash, said nothing.

ESPN says Sterling will ignore the hecklers and not sign a new Liverpool contract. How do ESPN know this? It reports:

Raheem Sterling will not sign a new contract at Liverpool this season as he waits to see what offers come his way this summer, a well-placed source has told ESPN FC.

An anonymous source says so, that’s why. And if you can’t trust an anonymous source, who can you trust?

Over in the Liverpool Echo the news is that Liverpool already have a ‘new’ Sterling:

Jordon Ibe can be just like Chelsea and Arsenal target Raheem Sterling – Brendan Rodgers

Is that what Rodgers said? No quite, no. The Liverpool Post has Rodgers quotes on Ibe in full:

“They’re both very exciting, but they’re different types of players,” Rodgers said.

Over on Sky Sports, Sterling is being talked about by his Liverpool teammate Lucas Leiva:

“It’s incredible how much he (Sterling) can achieve,” said Lucas. “He’s got all the potential and of course there has been a lot of talk about his contract situation but he’s dealing with it well on the pitch.

“Off the pitch he is getting advice that he thinks is best for him. My advice for him would be to play football – although it is hard to give advice. He knows what’s best for him as do his agent and family.”

So. No news, then…

 

Posted: 12th, April 2015 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Liverpool Balls: Raheem Sterling is heckled and we loved it

Raheem Sterling was heckled yesterday. As Liverpool FC paraded their new kit, the 20-year-old was singled out for treament by one Liverpool fan. As Sterling took the stage to enthuse about the outfit, a voice shouted:

“Make sure we see you in it next season.”

Others cheered. Sterling, quick as a flash, said nothing.

Away from the rarified environs of a BBC studio, the inside of an hermetically sealed supercar and unable to dodge catcalls by swaddling his head between two massive headphones as he walks from the team bus, this was Sterling exposed.

And we loved it.

Heckling is pretty much the only occassion when the masses get to address their leaders and idols.

Let’s hear more of it…

 

Posted: 11th, April 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The amazing truth about Jordan Spieth’s home life

Jordan Spieth wine

 

Jordan Speith is the 21-year-old golf sensation. The Sun profiles the 21-year-old Texan “dubbed ‘Wyatt Earp'”. Readers learn that Spieth lost his two front teeth age four at a Texas Rangers baseball maatch; has an autistic younger sister called Ellie; dates his his school sweetheart Annie Verret; and owns a big house in Dallas.

And then comes the unusual part – it’s about that house:

“It includes an outdoor swimming pool and cupboard able to store 288 bottles of wine.”

Just as area is measured in football pitches and length in buses, storage is now measured not in terms of dead bodies or jars of Marmite, rather by how many wine bottles you can fit inside. For instance, the Internatinal Space Station  is able to store 256,985 bottles of wine (that’s 398,031 bottles of alcopops, kids!).

 

Posted: 11th, April 2015 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Sterling to Arsenal, Walcott to Liverpool and £20m in change

Transfer balls looks at today’s reporting on Liverpool star and Arsenal target Raheem Sterling.

The Daily Star leads its sports coverage with news that Sterling is off to Arsenal. David Woods has an “exclusive”. He “can reveal” that Arsenal are buying Sterling. He can also”reveal” that Liverpool are buying Arsenal’s Theo Walcott.

Well, maybe.

Overlooking the obvious fact that this “exclusive” was first reported in a fact-free Daily Mirror story two weeks ago, the Star’s scoop contains not a single fact about either player. Woods says Arsenal would pay Walcott plus £20m for Sterling. Given the figure of £50m touted for Sterling, that values Walcott at £30m.

How he arrives at those sums is through the process of ‘guesswork’.

It is utter balls.

We do hear from Arsenal in the Sun, where team manager Arsene Wenger says:

“We have a core of five or six players who have been here for the last seven years and we wants to keep that nucleus.”

Does that group include Walcott, who joined Arsenal in January 2006? It’s unclear because the Daily Express quotes Wenger thus:

“We now have a core of players, a good balance of  players…who have been here for up to seven years and a few that arrived one or two seasons ago. We have a good balance.”

Walcott arrived at Arsenal nine years ago. Given how guarded and careful Wenger is with his words, it might well be that Walcott, who will have just one season remaining on his curent deal at this season’s end, is on his way out.

Such are the facts

 

 

 

 

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


Richie Benaud: remembering the voice of summer

Fifth Test: England v Australia - Day Four

 

Richie Benaud (6 October 1930 – 10 April 2015) was the mellifluous, spare, controlled and powerful voice of summer.

You don’t have to like cricket to have have loved his commentary. The once great Australian cricketer –  63 Tests for Australia, 28 as captain; he was the first man to achieve 2,000 runs and 200 wickets at Test level – retired in 1964 to pursue what would be a wonderful career in journalism and broadcasting.

Today I can hear Richie Benaud’s comforting voice in my head. It brings back memories of long childhood days with my late father – days when we were together on the beach, at Lord’s or in the garden and listened as we talked, ate and played…

 

5th June 1961:  Australian cricket captain Richie Benaud shaving in his hotel room while in Britain for the 1961 test series.  (Photo by John Pratt/Keystone Features/Getty Images)

5th June 1961: Australian cricket captain Richie Benaud shaving in his hotel room while in Britain for the 1961 test series. (Photo by John Pratt/Keystone Features/Getty Images)

5th June 1961:  Australian cricket captain Richie Benaud in his hotel room while in Britain for the 1961 test series.  (Photo by John Pratt/Keystone Features/Getty Images)

5th June 1961: Australian cricket captain Richie Benaud in his hotel room while in Britain for the 1961 test series. (Photo by John Pratt/Keystone Features/Getty Images)

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


Liverpool Balls: Raheem Sterling is trapped in a blizard

The Daily Stelring: a look at media stories on Liverpool star Raheem Sterling.

Writing in the Daily Mirror, former Liverpool great Robbie Fowler says Sterling “would be crazy to leave”. He begins his open letter:

“Raheem Sterling has been buried under such an avalanche of advice over his future that he must think his head is about to explode. So, instead of adding to that blizzard, I have a very simple message for him.”

That simple message goes on for 29 paragraphs.

Kaboom!

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 9th, April 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0