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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: If Jurgen Klopp is the news Benitez Liverpool will be a lucky flash in the pan

Klopp the Kop


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is just like Rafa Benitez, the Buddha of Anfield who led the Reds to Champions’ League glory. Well so say all the papers.

The Telegraph:

The similarities between Benitez’s appointment and Klopp’s are striking.


Both left their home country having built their reputation slaying their nation’s financial superpowers with clubs of far less resources, utilising the qualities of players they improved rather than paid a fortune for.

In other words Liverpool have invested in a known winner.

Like Benitez, Klopp won two domestic titles before deciding to fulfil the ambition of taking on a Premier League giant in need of revival. He left Borussia Dortmund on his own terms with an emotional goodbye, echoing Benitez’s farewell to Valencia eleven years ago.

Uncanny. It’s almost as if Liverpool have a plan: hire a foreign manager whose made it.

No, says the Metro. This is fate.

Rafael Benitez was the last manager to lead the club to any sort of success and there are spooky similarities between the start of his reign and the start of Klopp’s.

Go on, Will Giles:

Klopp signed his three-year contract in the sixth boardroom of the appropriately named Hope Street Hotel – which is exactly the same place where Benitez signed his in June 2004.


But it doesn’t stop there – Benitez’s first league game in charge of Liverpool was Tottenham away. Klopp’s first game in charge? Tottenham away.

The game ended 1-1.

Benitez also managed to win the Champions League in his first season and while Klopp won’t be able to replicate that success straight away, you can’t deny that the omens look good.

You can. But the Daily Mirror can’t.

The eerie fact that suggests Jurgen Klopp could be as successful at Liverpool as Rafa Benitez

Klopp has promised a trophy within four years at Anfield – but could one arrive even sooner now we’ve discovered this omen?

Good if it does because he’s only on a three-year deal.

Klopp promised a trophy within four years to the Anfield faithful and maybe that’s because he knows his arrival at the club has more than a hint of Rafa Benitez’s. Because Klopp signed his mega-bucks Liverpool contract in the very same room that Benitez did way back in 2004. Both put pen to paper in the sixth boardroom of the Hope Street Hotel.


Oh, good grief.

Benitez won the Champions League in his first season at Liverpool and the FA Cup a year later. He remained a massively popular figure despite no league titles.

Not massively popular with everyone, though. In 2010, with four years of his five-year contract to run, Rafa was “extremely sad” to be leaving the club.

Good lucky, Jurgen. You’re gonna need it.


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

Liverpool balls: how much Klopp is now earning at Anfield

Liverpool have appointed affable German Jurgen Klopp and the papers agree that he’s terrific.

But what’s he earning at Liverpool?

Daily TelegraphKlopp signed a three year deal worth £7 million a season.

The Times: £25m for three seasons.




But it’s just £6m for the migrant worker the Mail:




In Bild it’s €10 million-a-year. That’s around £7.4m a season.

But it’s down to £5m in the BBC:


Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 13.37.54


Such are the facts.

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

Liverpool balls: Klopp joined a week ago but signs tomorrow

Jurgen Klopp has agreed a three-year deal to manage Liverpool FC. If it goes well, chances are he’ll be offered the Arsenal job. Only joking. It’ll be Chelsea. That for later.

Of course, readers of some other newspapers were told Klopp had agreed to join Liverpool well before the club made their announcement this afternoon – and some before the German had even spoken with the club.

October 7: Daily Express


Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 19.43.39


October 6, Daily Star

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 19.43.39


October 4, The Metro


Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 19.46.58


September 29, The Week

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 19.48.53


Such are the facts.




Posted: 8th, October 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Watch: fighter shits pants in middle of fight

A shit fight

A shit fight


What is the ultimate move in MMA fighting? That question to Travis Wolford, who took on Daniel Cooper in a West Virginia  ‘Ruckus in the Cage’. We join the action as Cooper traps Wolford in a guillotine choke.


Whose chocking now?

Promoter Chris Smith grabs the nappies:

Everyone is still talking about it. Never seen anything this gross in my entire career of promoting fights but shit happens and could happen to anyone. Daniel Cooper literally beat the crap out of “The Brown Bomber” Travis Wolford in Ruckus in the Cage in Beckley Oct. 3. Before the fights started he went to Chili Night and ate some hot chili. During his bout he had a colossal explosion where chili beans and everything he ate landed all over the mat. Says he instantly lost 15 pounds…. Plans on fighting November 13 in Summersville to prove that it was just an accident. Any takers? Chris Smith

Yeah. Two.

Spotter: BroBibee

Posted: 8th, October 2015 | In: News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Chelsea: it costs £30m and rising to sack Jose Mourinho?

Should Chelsea FC sack their bitchy manager Jose Moutinho, what would that termination of contract cost the club?

Daily Star:

EXCLUSIVE – ROMAN ABRAMOVICH faces a world record £37.5m pay-out if he decides to sack Jose Mourinho. Starsport can reveal the Chelsea manager is on a contract worth over £10m a year at Stamford Bridge’

Daily Mirror:

Jose Mourinho set for £30million payout if Chelsea wield axe on under-pressure boss…Mourinho signed a lucrative new deal worth around £8.5million-a-year two months ago after winning the League in May and the Capital One Cup three months earlier

Incidentally, up until 2012, Chelsea under owner Roman Abramovich had paid £37 million in compensation to seven managers.


Posted: 8th, October 2015 | In: Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Liverpool balls: Shankly and the transfer committee bought winners, Brendan Rodgers picked the dross

Much has been written about Liverpool FC’s Transfer Committee. The group that signed Luis Suarez also signed Mario Balotelli. They don’t always get it right. But can it be an excuse for Brendan Rodgers’ failure at Anfield?

Guardian, July 2014: “Liverpool transfer failings suggest Luis Suárez won’t be adequately replaced”

…many of the targets identified by Rodgers and “the team” have proven to be high-level talents – the only problem is that they’ve done so at other clubs. Liverpool wanted Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but he joined Borussia Dortmund, they also wanted Willian and Mohamed Salah, but they joined Chelsea, while a move last summer for Diego Costa, who has just joined the Stamford Bridge club from Atlético Madrid on the back of finishing as top scorer for the La Liga champions, also came to nothing.

The committee is good at talent spotting, then. They also wanted Alexis Sanchez, but he rejected Liverpool and chose Arsenal.

Daily Mail, July 2014: “Liverpool buying big to replace Luis Suarez would go against the club’s principles and Brendan Rodgers’ instinct”


So where would you start? You have been thrust into the role of Liverpool manager and your first task is to fill the void created by Luis Suarez’s departure to Barcelona… How about Karim Benzema, then? …He would cost in the region of £50m and demand huge wages but money isn’t an object for you, so why not? If Benzema isn’t for you, what about Marco Reus from Borussia Dortmund? Yours for £45m. When he recovers from the ankle ligament damage that cost him a place in Germany’s World Cup winning-squad, there is no doubt he deserves a place in European football’s ‘A’ list.

Others would have to be considered. Why not Radamel Falcao, a striker who deserves to be playing in front of a bigger, more passionate crowd than Monaco’s? Edinson Cavani from Paris Saint-Germain, maybe? Angel Di Maria, or even Mario Balotelli?

Were Liverpool to land any of the aforementioned players, the news would be huge, the fee would be massive but, more than anything, the deal would represent a shift in a policy that goes back to the days of Bill Shankly. Liverpool, in the main, do not raid big clubs to sign big names – they identify talent and turn them into stars.

The committee is upholding Liverpool traditions.

Indy, October 2014: “Brendan Rodgers is being let down by the Liverpool ‘transfer committee’ – only two of 23 players signed since 2012 have been successes”

Which two?

The ‘transfer committee’, an idea of Fenway Sports Group, includes chief executive, Ian Ayre, Michael Edwards, the head of analysis and the head of recruitment, Dave Fallows. Rodgers has final say on signings…

Rodgers has seen 23 new players arrive either permanently or on loan at Anfield in his spell in charge and, at a quick count, only two of those have proved themselves to be truly successful under the Northern Irishman.

Those two are Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho…

They are top players. But did Rodgers want them?

Liverpool Echo: October 2015: “Brendan Rodgers and the Liverpool FC transfer committee: a source of constant friction”

Rodgers was the driving force behind signing the likes of Fabio Borini, Joe Allen, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Rickie Lambert, Danny Ings, James Milner and Christian Benteke, while the other members of the committee championed the suitability of players such as Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho, Sakho, Emre Can, Moreno, Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas, Lazar Markovic, Divock Origi and Roberto Firmino

No. The committee picked the two winners.

Daily Mirror, October 2015:

So Liverpool ‘s mysterious transfer committee has finally suffered its first casualty.

Although it says it all about FSG’s strategy that one of the six members has only gone because they have sacked Brendan Rodgers.

The committee was responsible for turning FSG’s misguided ‘Moneyball’ theory into practice in the transfer market.

Headed by the FSG’s powerful president Mike Gordon, who sacked Rodgers by trans-Atlantic phone call yesterday, it now comprises chief executive Ian Ayre, director of scouting Dave Fallows, chief scout Barry Hunter and director of performance ‘stats guy’ Michael Edwards.

Their brief is to find undervalued talent, preferably young or Bosman signings, for the coach to nurture.

But Rodgers wanted Sakho, Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto, right. The Echo told us he did.

He didn’t want Mamadou Sakho or Iago Aspas or Luis Alberto.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 7th, October 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Chelsea balls: Mourinho attacked by three out-of-work managers

mourinhoThe Sun says “top bosses” have piled in on Jose Mourinho, whose Chelsea side are not yet flying high.

Who are these “top bosses” placing Jose “under siege“?

Former England boss Fabio Capello, Dutch legend Johan Cruyff and Harry Redknapp have all gone on the attack. Ex-Tottenham chief Redknapp claims the root of the Blues’ Premier League demise could be the players simply do not like Mourinho.

None of the trio are in management just now. But they do have careers as pundits.

First up: Redknapp:

“Maybe some players don’t like him. It’s quite possible. I think everybody loved him the first time he came. Maybe now, some of the new players aren’t happy with the way they’re being treated or don’t like the way he talks to them… He’s never had to cope with that before. It must be very strange for him.”

Yeah, maybe. Or, er, maybe not. And if that’s not attacking Jose, then surely this isn’t either:

“He will come back… It’s up to him to sort it out. It’s his biggest test and I’m sure he’s going to come through this test.”

Now Capello:

“Mourinho is a strategist… He is a great manager but after a year-and-a-half he burns the players… The cycles of the manager of Chelsea last more or less this period. The team lacks rhythm, is missing the ‘nastiness’ and there’s no aggression.”


“I don’t think he is educating children to play football or educating for life. He should behave better because he will be in the press all over the world.”


What the Sun does not tell its readers it was else Cruff said:

“He’s controversial. What I like about him is he’s always capable of creating good ambience within the players and what I don’t like is that he always puts himself on the first row. He should be on the second row. It’s probably because of his background, where he’s never been cheered by 100,000 people, or whistled at by 100,000 people. Maybe it’s because of that, maybe because of the interest from the press, but I don’t think he is educating children to play football or educating for life. He should behave better because he will be in the press all over the world.”

So says the Barcelona legend about the former manager of Real Madrid.

Mourinho must be distraught.

Posted: 7th, October 2015 | In: Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Benzema to Arsenal (says the Metro)

Transfer Balls: Arsenal are buying Karim Benzema. Well, so sys the Metro, which says the French striker is not happy because Real Madrid boss Rafael Benitez substituted him in five of his last six league starts.

“It’s true I’m fed up of being taken off,” Benzema tells AS. “I’m calm and will continue to work so I’m not always substituted.”

Of course, what it also means is that Benitez keeps picking the player to start matches. In other words, he’s first choice at Madrid.

Posted: 6th, October 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United: Van Gaal blames team for Arsenal defeat; team blames him

In an “Exclusive”, the Times says Manchester United players were “baffled” by Louis van Gaal’s tactics against Arsenal. United were lucky to lose 3-0 at the Emirates.

Manchester United’s players were left dismayed by Louis van Gaal’s unwillingness to adopt the counterattacking tactics at the Emirates Stadium that have served them well against Arsenal in the past. Van Gaal had been encouraged in the build-up to the game to play a system that would involve sitting deeper and hitting on the break but the United manager rebuffed that request in favour of playing a pressing game that failed miserably en route to a dismal 3-0 defeat.

Arsenal ripped them to shreds.

The Dutchman questioned his players’ desire and failure to follow his game plan after United fluffed the first serious test of their Barclays Premier League title credentials on Sunday… Arsenal had won just one of their previous 13 league meetings against United, who have often successfully utilised a counterattacking strategy against Arsène Wenger’s side. Several members of United’s squad believed this was a proven formula that had worked well in the past and would be worth persisting with.

To the Daily  Express, this news translates into:

Louis van Gaal faces potential crisis with Man Utd players dismayed over Arsenal tactics

The Indy quotes Van Gaal:

“I was surprised, amazed. I didn’t expect that: not performing to our game plan, not the will to win. I have not seen that. When you give a team like Arsenal so much space to play football then you know you will lose. We have prepared ourselves to play more compact and not losing our aggression. I am very disappointed.

“I don’t know why it happened. I put the question at half-time and after the match because normally I say the things how I see them in the game. We have lost, and lost in a way that you cannot lose when you are top of the league. You cannot start like we started. The worst thing is that now everybody is going away now (on international duty). I can’t build up a new situation so they have the confidence to play football to win your next battle.”

He says it was them. They say it was him.


Posted: 6th, October 2015 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Liverpool: Klopp and Fowler are the dream team

klopp liverpool


Franz Beckenbauer says Liverpool must got for Jürgen Klopp as Brendan Rodgers’ replacement. Says Beckenbauer:

“He is fantastic. He is one of the best coaches I know in the whole world, and he was really a milestone for Borussia Dortmund. He took over the club and made them into a world-class team. If Liverpool has the chance to sign Jürgen Klopp then they should do it. He likes to talk. There are not many coaches left in the world that like to talk so much to the players but he is one of them. Liverpool is also one of the biggest clubs in the world, so Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp is definitely a good combination. He is also a winner.”

Why would Beckenbauer, a stalwart at Bayern Munich, be praising Klopp? This is what Klopp had to say about Bayern:

“Bayern go about football in the same way that the Chinese go about industry. They look at what the others are doing, and then they copy it with other people and more money.”

Meanwhile, Robbie Fower, the former Liverpool ‘God’, wants to be part of the new regime. He says:

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t interested. If a new manager comes in I’d love to be part of the backroom staff. Liverpool is a massive part of my life; if that was to be the case then I would absolutely love that. My personal view on Klopp is that he is a very good manager. I don’t know him, I’ve never met him, but looking at it from the outside I was impressed with his performances over in Germany with Dortmund. I like what I see.”

When at Dortmund, Klopp set out his vision for gegenpressing – the way his teams hunt the ball in groups:

“The fans should not only recognise us from our black-and-yellow shirts. Even if we were playing in red, everyone in the stadium should think: ‘Woah! That can only be Dortmund’.”

Liverpool soon-to-be-twinned with Dortmund. Sounds exciting.

Posted: 6th, October 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Liverpool balls: Rodgers was a ‘bizarre genius’ with great teeth

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 12.46.01Pundit Watch: The Daily Mail’s Adrian Durham has bene talking about Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers’ sacking.

October 6 2015: “Brendan Rodgers was too much like David Brent to succeed at Liverpool… it was three years of excuses, blame-shifting and bizarre motivation techniques”

The joke went round some weeks ago that the most significant improvement Brendan Rodgers has made since he arrived at Liverpool is to his teeth.

December 2, 2014:

The critics have put last season’s massive improvement down to Luis Suarez. There have been plenty of teams who have had a special player who didn’t achieve what Liverpool did last season (look at Spurs with Gareth Bale as a recent example). It was so much more than that, and Rodgers deserves his share of the credit for taking a team from a bang average seventh-place finish in 2012-13, to within a whisker of the title last season.

November 4, 2014: “Liverpool’s sluggish start to the season should not overshadow Brendan Rodgers’ outstanding achievements last term”

I’m amazed how quickly some people have forgotten how brilliantly Rodgers did with Liverpool last season.

September 9, 2014: “Brendan Rodgers’ man-management has transformed Jordan Henderson into a vital player for club and country”

…under Rodgers he has become a brilliant midfield player who can control a game, keep the ball and use it with intelligence and quality.

March 4, 2014:

Tactical genius. That’s what Brendan Rodgers is. …

A lot of managers have been praised this season for showing tactical prowess but none can top what Rodgers has done. He’s changed formation from game to game and during matches. But more impressive than that, he’s devised a system to allow good players to flourish and enjoy their football.

Bizarre, indeed.

Posted: 6th, October 2015 | In: Liverpool, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Rugby World Cup: England prepare for quarter-finals (photo)

England prepare for the rugby World Cup Quarter Finals:

England prepare for the Quarter Finals CQj5yHpWsAAFxxU  via @welshdalailama



Posted: 6th, October 2015 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Liverpool balls: Harry Redknapp hopes Milner settles in England and rewrites history for Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodger is out of a job at Liverpool. And here’s Harry Redknapp to explain all. The headline makes his case:

Harry Redknapp: Brendan Rodgers should not have been sacked by Liverpool – he is a victim of modern football

By modern football, presumably, Redknapp means the Premier League, which has not not exactly proved un-lucrative for him and his. Rodgers lasted 3 years and 2 months in the Liverpool manager’s chair.

Before him, the Liverpool’s manager’s job was not exactly a role for life:

George Patterson: 1 June 1915 – 14 December 1919
David Ashworth England: December 1919 – February 1923
Matt McQueen: 1February 1923 – February 1928 229
George Patterson: March 1928 – August 1936
George Kay:  August 1936 – January 1951
Don Welsh: March 1951 – May 1956
Phil Taylor: May 1956 – November 1959
Bill Shankly: December 1959 – July 1974
Bob Paisley: August 1974 – July 1983
Joe Fagan: July 1983 – May 1985
Kenny Dalglish: May 1985 – February 1991
Ronnie Moran: February 1991 – April 1991
Graeme Souness: April 1991 – January 1994
Roy Evans: January 1994 – November 1998
Evans & Gérard Houllier: July 1998 – November 1998
Gérard Houllier: 16 July 1998 – May 2004

Rodgers fits a patten, no? So what was “modern’ about his removal?

I feel desperately sorry for Brendan, it is too soon for him to be sacked after eight games, but it does seem to have been coming for weeks. For me, though, he has taken the blame for other people at Liverpool.

He was not sacked after eight weeks. He was sacked after threes years and two months.

In the modern game, it never seems to be the manager who signs the players, it’s just the manager who takes the blame when things don’t work out. It happens all the time and it is exasperating sometimes.

In the good old days, the Government had a say in who played. In 1922 the State-imposed maximum wage for a player set at £8 a week (£6 in the summer), plus a loyalty bonus of £650 after five years. The maximum wage was abolished in 1961.

Managers don’t have the same say on transfers that they used to, but they are still expected to take the blame if the new signings don’t work out. They have these transfer committees, but it’s only the manager who sticks his head above the parapet and he’s the one who gets shot at. The other lot just stay in the background, out of sight, but they have huge power. The only time you ever hear from them is when one of the players signed becomes a huge success.

Redknapp would, of course, never get praise for someone else’s work.

I don’t think Brendan has signed those new players at Liverpool. They’ve brought in players from Brazil and I don’t think he will have known much about them.

Let’s look at Liverpool’s Brazilian players.

Roberto Firmino Barbosa de Oliveira joined from German side Hoffenheim

Lucas Leivia joined from Brazilian club Grêmio in 2007

Philippe Coutinho joined from Italy’s Internazionale

If Rodgers doesn’t know much about players in other top European league’s, you should worry.

Redknapp concludes:

I don’t think Brendan deserved to go so soon into the season. I think they’ve got a wonderful chance of finishing in the top four this season… The thing that will frustrate him is that those new players may well go on to benefit the next manager. They will settle in England and they will get used to the Premier League.

Last summer, Rodgers signed:

James Milner – Man City – Free
Danny Ings – Burnley – Tribunal
Adam Bogdan – Bolton – Free
Joe Gomez – Charlton – £3.5m
Roberto Firmino – Hoffenheim – £29m
Nathaniel Clyne – Southampton – £12.5m

Let’s hop Milner and the other migrant workers settle in England.

This, of course, is the same Redknapp who told Telegraph readers in September 2015:

I don’t fancy Liverpool at all. I think it’s the worst Liverpool team I have seen in years. They look bang average. They are lucky to have any points. Bournemouth should have beaten them, they got a wonder goal at Stoke. Okay, they played all right first-half at Arsenal. I think they will do well to finish in the top five. I am not with Liverpool at all this year.

Modern football eh, full of overpaid pundits.

Posted: 5th, October 2015 | In: Liverpool, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Pundit Watch: Arsenal get their first clean sheet against Man United because Liverpool and Newcastle don’t count

Garth Crooks


Pundit Watch: the BBC’s Garth Crooks has news for Arsenal fans.

I saw Gabriel stand up to Chelsea’s Diego Costa recently at Stamford Bridge and he refused to be intimidated by the striker. Sadly for Arsenal, he paid a heavy price for his boldness and was sent off.

That red card was rescinded, Garth.

His performance, while less demanding against Manchester United, was extremely professional and he looked like a very composed defender with the ball at his feet. He reduced Anthony Martial to the minimum of chances and was instrumental in Arsenal’s first clean sheet of the season.

Arsenal fans will wonder if clean sheets against Stoke, Newcastle and Liverpool count?


Posted: 5th, October 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Vale Liverpool: Brendan Rodgers’ top 10 quotes

brendan rodgers quotes


Liverpool have sacked Brendan Rodgers, the man who liked to talk in parables. He’s was much the Jesus of middle-management-style football coaching. Here were his greatest hits…

1. ”It was a perfect away performance, apart from the first 10 minutes.”

2. “I’ve always said that you can live without water for many days, but you can’t live for a second without hope.”

3. On Luis Suarez: “He is a real warrior of spirit.”

4. “My biggest mentor is myself because I’ve had to study, so that’s been my biggest influence.”

5. “I am not a power freak.” (We think the lady doth protest too much!)

6. “I started coaching for one reason and that was to make a difference for people, not just as footballers but as human beings.”

7. “When we have the football, everybody’s a player.”

8. “You train dogs, I like to educate players.”

9. ‘I think there’s three players who will let us down this year — the cause, the fight, everything – and I have written them down already in these three envelopes. Make sure you are not in one of the envelopes.”

10.”I use a quote with the players,“Per aspera ad astra”, which is Latin for ‘through adversity to the stars’.”


Posted: 5th, October 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Liverpool: Brendan Rodgers sacked, moves one step closer to England job

No sooner had his Liverpool side drawn 1-1 against Everton in this afternoon’s Merseyside derby than Brendan Rodgers found himself out of a job.

According to the BBC, the decision to can Rodgers was made by the Liverpool higher-ups at 18:30 BST, just hours after full-time.

Announcing the news via a joint statement on the official Liverpool website, owner John W Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president Mike Gordon said:

We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Brendan Rodgers for the significant contribution he has made to the club and express our gratitude for his hard work and commitment.

All of us have experienced some wonderful moments with Brendan as manager and we are confident he will enjoy a long career in the game.

Although this has been a difficult decision, we believe it provides us with the best opportunity for success on the pitch. Ambition and winning are at the heart of what we want to bring to Liverpool and we believe this change gives us the best opportunity to deliver it.

The latest from the club’s owners is that they are hoping to appoint a new manager – and Jurgen Klopp is runaway favourite to take the gig – in a “decisive and timely manner”.

And here’s us thinking Brendan, for all his many and obvious flaws, wasn’t doing too bad a job at Anfield.

Ruthless business.

And how about Rodgers for England? He’d be good. He has vision.

Posted: 4th, October 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: Wenger outlines his retirement non-plan

Arsenal balls: Arsene Wenger answers questions on his eventual retirement:

“I’m always scared as I’ve heard so many times people say ‘next year I will retire’ and then they continue or go somewhere else. I think it can be more instinctive and impulsive than that. One thing is for sure, when I retire, I will really retire.”

The Sun hears those words and yells: “Wenger fires quit warning.”

Which isn’t what it was at all.

Posted: 4th, October 2015 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Watch a Chelsea fan delivers a truly brilliant rant

Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 10.34.20


Chelsea fans sued to be noisy, passionate and reviled. They are now called henry. They bring picnic hampers to the match, as they might to Twickenham. One fan hankers for the old days:


Posted: 4th, October 2015 | In: Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Chelsea: Jose Mourinho resigns with rhetoric

mourinhoChelsea lose at home to Southampton and the Press being talk of Jose Mourinho getting the sack. Having seen his team defeated, Mourinho spoke with the Sky Sports, as he must. The Daily Mail says Mourinho spat out a “seven-minute rant”.

Rant? Nothing of it. The man is measured. Here’s what he said in full:

Look, I think you know me and I think I don’t run away from responsibilities. I think, first of all I want to say that because we are in such a bad moment I think you shouldn’t be afraid to be also honest because when we are in the top there is quite a big pleasure in put us down but when we are so down I think it’s time to be a little bit honest and to say clearly that referees are afraid to give decisions for Chelsea.

Jose loves to establish the siege mentality. It’s Chelsea against the world. A for referees favouring Chelsea, well, they did beat Arsenal thanks to the kind of refereeing support that had Gunners fans looking for a Chelsea tattoo on Mike Dean’s throat.

The result 1-1 is a huge penalty and once more we don’t get and a penalty is a crucial moment in the game with the result at 1-1, and I repeat that if FA wants to punish me they can punish me they don’t punish other managers but they punish me, it’s not a problem for me.

Jose, as ever, tries to put the ME in TEAM. He employs an exemplum – an example that backs up his argument.

But I want to repeat because I think that my players deserve it, Chelsea fans deserve it. I am a Chelsea fan too and I want to say it again. Referees are afraid to give decisions for Chelsea. Why? Because when they give there’s always a question mark from you, there’s always a question there’s always a critique.

Quibbling. And dash of Metonymy, which takes one aspect of one thing and makes it stand for the entire. Of course, Chelsea have not had every decision go in their favour. No team has. But Mourinho wants us to believe that every error epitomises a wider conspiracy.  But decisions don’t win games, goals and fine play does.

So you are always punished, we are punished because Diego Costa is suspended with images, in other matches we see the same thing and it doesn’t happen. Clear penalties are not given and it’s one and one and one and one and even in Champions League in a match you lose 2-1, even in the Champions League which is a game which is not three officials but with five you are not given a penalty in last minute and this penalty in this game today is more than crucial do you know why? Because for my team in this moment the first negative thing that happen, my team collapse.

The team mentally, psychologically, the team is unbelievable down it looks like good players are bad players and the first half was a game where we didn’t show our quality but we were in control, we were more than in control, and one mistake and lack of concentration, one goal and when you are having a good time.

In normal circumstances you come to the second half and you do your game, I told the players at half time no panic we are not losing 4-0 it’s 1-1, no panic, the team comes out with a good spirit we have a penalty and the penalty is a giant penalty and he is afraid to give like everybody is afraid to give so no penalty and after that the team lost even more confidence and you know that their second goal is an individual mistake, their third goal is another individual mistake. The team mentally, they try, they try, they try, they are in such a low moment that they collapse.

What Jose’s doing, of course, is dictating the conversation, or trying to. He tells you what to think. He tells you what to look out for. He is employing a rhetorical strategy. Jose wants us to take him out of the picture. His is disinterested in his own fate. This, he hopes, will encourage the audience to trust his opinions. His is the passive voice framing the terms of the argument. You may have seen no controversy at all in Diego Costa being banned after the match for slapping an Arsenal player in the face or the referee not giving Chelsea a penalty. But he seeks to sow doubt.  He wants it to lead to consensus.

I can also know what you are thinking, what you are saying in studio, what people imagine, what is is going to happen, what is not going to happen, I want to let it clear.
One, I not run away. Two, if the club wants to sack me they have to sack me because I’m not running away from my responsibilities from my team and from my convictions.
That, be champions is obviously very difficult because the distance is considerable but I’m more than convinced that we finish top four, and when the season is so bad if you finish top four it is OK.

More rhetoric.

Third even more important than first and second, I think this is a crucial moment in the history of this club. Do you know why? Because if the club sacks me they sack the best manager that this club have, and secondly the message is again the message of bad result, the manager is guilty and this is the message that not just these players but the other ones before they got during a decade.

This looks like enthymeme. The enthymeme makers a claim and then bases it on commonly accepted opinion. Jose argument is filled with emotion but he pulls out his logic pack and flourishes it.

I think this is a moment for everybody to assume responsibility, I assume my responsibility I think the players should assume their responsibility and there are other people in the club that they should also assume their responsibilities and to stick together. And this is what I want.

The players they still have to play until the end of the season with the gold champions thing in their shirt and I want to work always, you know, I consider myself, I have a big self-esteem, a big ego, I consider myself the best, living the worst period of my career and worst results of my career, doing that as a professional hurts me a lot, doing it at Chelsea hurts me twice because it hurts me as a professional and hurts me because I like this club very, very much and was because of that that I come back so I want to carry on, I want to carry on no doubt, no doubt and I assume my responsibilities but I think it’s time for everybody to assume their responsibilities because when you go down to so many individual mistakes and fear to play, they have their responsibilities, they are players that are performing really, really bad individually, I can not come here and say you, and you, and you, and you, it’s not my job but I think it’s clear that we are being punished by too many individual mistakes and as I was saying sadness brings sadness, bad results they attract bad results, that first mistake is just the first because after that comes another one.

Jose is using a paromologia (Greek for “agree with”), conceding a point in order to make a stronger one.

This team needs to win the first-half two or three nil with the fears disappearing coming to play in the second half and play with a free brain, a free spirit. This is what this team needs and unfortunately for them this is not happening and again I repeat so I want to make it clear again, because I not want to be offensive, I don’t want to be none-polite I don’t want to put in cause the dignity of the people, but I repeat that the referees they are afraid to give the decision when you are top you want to see people come down when people is down give us a break and be honest and be loyal with us because the penalty is clear and 2-1 is a completely different story, thank you.


Marvellous stuff.

Posted: 4th, October 2015 | In: Chelsea, Key Posts, News, Sports | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Sunderland balls: Dyche, Pearson, Vieira and Allardyce replace Advocaat


sunderlandSunderland manager Dick Advocaat, 68, is ready to leave the club in the next few days, reports the Sunday Telegraph. The media then set about identifying his replacement. 

It’s  formerWest Ham manager Sam Allardyce, 60, says the Sunday Times.

The Star says it’s a straight fight between Sean Dyche and Nigel Pearson.

The Sunderland Echo says Patrick Vieira will get the job.

In other words: they don’t know.



Posted: 4th, October 2015 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal: Wenger wanted Martial but Monaco owed Manchester United over Falcao

radamel falcaoArsenal manger Arsène Wenger says he thought about signing Anthony Martial, the French footballer now with Manchester United. Wenger thought about buying Martial when he was at Lyons. But the French club told him Martial wasn’t for sale.

Martial then joined Monaco for 3 million.

Monaco told Wenger Martial was “not sellable”. So off he went to Manchester United for £36 million.

The simple story, of course, is that Arsenal quite liked Martial but were never going to pay a fortune to sign him. Chances are other clubs also like other top players but just can’t find the odd £36m to actually sign them.

The media continue to press Wenger on Martial. He replies to their probing:

“I was surprised they sold him. The amount of money was massive. I believe that you could think that, if you are Monaco, you could have sold him as well next season. So I thought they would not sell him this year because they sold many other players.  I thought they would maintain their word. He was not sellable. He was not on the list. He was one of the players Monaco did not want to sell, so we never made an approach for him. Only an acceptable amount of money after could do it. We always liked him, even when he was in Lyons. That was a surprise too, that Lyons sold him on the last day of the transfer market for €5 million [£3 million].”

Should Arsenal have bought the player? Wenger adds:

“The future will tell us if he is overpriced. Manchester United spend the money they have. It is not artificial. They are entitled to do it.”

Monaco’s  executive vice-president, Vadim Vasilyev, tells Marca that one club outbid United:

“There was another club that offered even more than United. I will not say how much, but the fixed price, without variables, was even better, and they also offered us [the chance] to have him for a further year in Monaco. But the boy wanted to go to Manchester. It was his dream and we let him go with the bonus of [£36 million]. Had it not been for so much money, he would have stayed.”

A year earlier, United took Monaco’s Radamel Falcao on loan. The Colombian, now with Chelsea, joined for a £6m fee plus wages of  – get this- £265,000-a-week. United also took the option to sign Falcao on a longer contract for £43.5m at the end of the loan spell. He proved to be not all that good. United had been sold a dud.

You have to wonder how much that deal impacted on Monaco and United’s decision to do business over Martial? Monaco might have beee able to get more for Martial from another club, but having seen United take the overpriced Falcao off their books, maybe they thought it right to return the favour?

Posted: 3rd, October 2015 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

England v Australia rugby World Cup crunch match: the backpages

It’s England v Australia in the rugby World Cup. And England have a new hymn for the “troops”:



And do it for me, and all, does Stuart Lancaster, England’s head coach, no say.




Jingoism and patriotism are blended in a call to arms:



It’s both this world and the next. It’s ‘judgement day’.






But ultimately, it’s not as big as the football:



Posted: 3rd, October 2015 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Ronaldo To Manchester United Watch: the happy ‘big hint’

Ronaldo Watch:a  look at reporting that Cristiano Ronaldo is leaving Real Madrid to rejoin Manchester United.

Today the Manchester Evening News thunders:

Manchester United transfer news: Ronaldo hints he could leave Real Madrid next summer


Cristiano Ronaldo has put Manchester United on red alert after hinting his future at Real Madrid is not certain.


“My future is at Madrid. I am good here. I want to win things here and I feel good, but I have said millions of times that nobody can tell what will happen in the future. We will see what happens. I have a good relationship with everyone, the president, coaches, workers. The relationships are good because I am a professional. Nobody knows what will happen next year. I want to win things at Madrid as I think that this club has the potential to win things, but I do not know the future.”

So he’s happy at Real. Or as the M.E.N pouts it:

Former Man Utd forward Cristiano Ronaldo has again raised doubts about his future at Real Madrid amid reports he’s unhappy at the Bernanbeu.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 2nd, October 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal: Manchester United can bank on success, says Wenger

The football media love to make sensation for nothing. So it is for Arsenal’s press conference ahead of their match with Manchester United. According to the Star, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger  has “revealed the real reasons” Man United are top of the Premier League.

Cocking an ear for the ‘real reasons’ – the position of the stars alignment, bribery or a psychic octopus – we hear Wenger say:

“I defended Van Gaal last year and I think the experience he has in his career it is not surprising that they are doing well. Manchester United has the money that they spend. It is not artificial. It comes from their own resources. You have to accept that they’re huge but they can do it and they are entitled to do it.”

United are top because they are a huge team that spends vast amount of money. Who knew?

Well, we all did. Because back in July, Wenger said much the same thing. Although today the Metro still teases:

Arsenal boss Wenger gives surprising opinion on Man United’s transfer business

What he said back then was:

“You can take Barcelona or Man United, who had a generation and built their success on players who came from within. These are our values and it is our DNA and it’s important we keep that. With United’s success they have created huge financial resources and today there is no patience for them to continue to do what they did — and they have the financial resources to go with a different policy.”

And how did the media bill that entirely sensible observation:

Sky: “Arsene Wenger questions Manchester United transfer policy”

M.E.N: “Manchester United are trying to spend their way to success, claims Wenger”

Such are the facts…


Posted: 2nd, October 2015 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Pundit watch: Sunderland are as bad as they appear to be

Pundit Watch: The BBC’s Mark Lawrenson gets the big bucks for offering insight into football.

From what I have seen so far this season, Sunderland are the worst team in the Premier League.

This is the Premier League table:


Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 13.00.37


Sunderland are bottom. It’s not only what you’ve seen, Mark. Sunderland are the worst team in the division.


Posted: 2nd, October 2015 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0