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.
MANCHESTER City fan of the day is Harry Parrot.
Making Manchester United striker Radamel Falcao’s pet parrot Coco look monosyllabic, Harry can cheer on Manchester City with the best of them.
If Harry can add two more stock phrases to his repetoire, he can replace Jamie Redknapp on the Sky Sports sofa.
BBC TV Match of the Day pundits Robbie Savage and Alan Shearer are playing catch-up…
Spotter: Sky Sports
MICHAEL Owen is talking about Liverpool FC striker Mario Balotelli.
Today Owen tells Daily Telegraph readers:
Brendan Rodgers will probably never admit it publicly, but he must already be considering alternatives as he looks for strikers more suited to his style of play… I felt when he joined he was not a ‘Liverpool type’ player, and have not changed my mind…
LIVERPOOL Balls: Daniel Sturridge says his injuries could be down to genetics. He tells TalkSport:
“I’ve been unfortunate this season to pick up injuries. Maybe it’s my body type and hereditary… My uncle Dean had a lot of muscle problems when he played, uncle Simon the same, and my dad. Maybe it’s the Caribbean vibes. [I have] fast-twitch muscles, I am more vulnerable to muscle injuries. As to whether I will be one of the best player in Europe or the world, for me, as long as I continue to work hard everything will take care of itself.”
Rob Bagchi has noticed that Hands Off In The Box, the Daily Mail’s campaign to stop footballers using force in the penalty box, is a non-starter. You can read more about the Mail’s campaign to pressure referees here. And learn that it’s backed by the paragon of the clean tackle and noble virtues, former Arsenal defender Martin Keown.
TRANSFER Balls: Splendid balls in the Daily Star which links Manchester United with a move for Gareth Bale. Let’s take a look at how the Star’s scoop breaks down.
The headline is informative:
Man Utd FREE to sign Gareth Bale as Real Madrid reveal they are willing to sell
Real want to sell the superb Gareth Bale? The Metro puts a price on the deal:
Real Madrid happy to sell Gareth Bale to Manchester United in £90m transfer deal
THE Daily Mail has campaign. It wants readers to:
Join Sportsmail’s Hands Off In The Box campaign by parading the logo at matches.
You can just see football fans holding up the Daily Mail’s logo with pride. To date, the only newspaper referenced at football matches is the Sun. Liverpool fans upset over the Sun’s Hillsborough coverage ask fellow fans not to buy it.
IT is bad enough conceding a goal when you’re a goalkeeper, as the only thing you’re interested in is protecting the netting from bulging with a football hitting it.
Well, things could be worse than letting a striker get the better of you.
Burnley’s Tom Heaton clawed desperately at the air as Samuel Eto’o’s super strike flew into the goal during Everton’s 3-1 victory over the Clarets.
As the crowd went nuts, Everton’s Steven Naismith followed up the goal and whacked the ball in celebration. Normally, a player will crack the ball into the net for good measure, and initially, it looked like Naismith had messed his celebration up.
THERE’S been a lot of trouble around former Liverpool player Luis Suarez, the last being a rather peculiar bite on an opponent when Uruguay played Italy in the World Cup.
However, off all the things that Suarez has done, the racism row where he used the word “negrito” in a spat with Manchester United’s Patrice Evra is the one that looms largest. And Suarez is adamant that he is not a racist and that he was simply misunderstood by non-Spanish speakers. While admitting that a row took place, he says he is “absolutely not” a racist.
JOHN Alder was a passenger on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on July 17, 2014, the day it was shot down over Ukraine. Mr Alder, his friend and fellow Newcastle United fan Liam Sweeney and 296 other people were killed. John and Liam were going to the match, on their way to see Newcastle United play a pre-season friendly in New Zealand.
That’s fans for you. John Alder only ever applied for a passport because he needed to see Newcastle play overseas.
Joyce Robbins, Mr Alder’s sister, is talking to George Caullkin in the Times:
“Those first few days were surreal. You’re suddenly reading and watching things at an intense rate, to try and glean as much information as possible and then you hear that they can’t even get on the crash site — it’s heartbreaking . . . You’re seeing this site and thinking: ‘My brother’s there.’ The inside of you is just screaming all the time.”
For four decades John Alder never missed a Newcastle United match. He ammassed a large collection of Newcastle United memorabilia. Joyce has graciously decided to offer the lot for auction, all proceeds going to The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
FOOTBALL Balls: In his Daily Mail Football Grapevine. Rob Shepherd has facts for QPR fans:
Tony Pulis is being lined as Harry Redknapp’s successor at QPR.
QPR fans might have mixed feelings about Pulis, Redknapp’s colleague from his Bournemouth days. But he did well for Crystal Palace last year.
TRANSFER Balls: The Daily Express says “Mesut Ozil wants to quit Arsenal for Manchester City”.
Rally? He wants to leave Londron to plays for Manchester City?
City are set to launch a £32m bid for Ozil in January.
Gilbert The Gull is Torquay United‘s mascot. The Torquay Herald Express reports that Hilbert enjoyed / endured “a clash with fans and some choice words not befitting a friendly Gull being exchanged”.
Gulls are bin-raiding, shrieking, bullies. We’d argue that Gilbert was in character.
Torquay’s chief executive Andrew Candy (Andy Candy!) tells the paper:
“There was an exchange of views between Gilbert and the fans in the Popside. Gilbert was trying to generate some support and get the fans behind the team but it appears that there was a small altercation with the fans. There was no malicious intent in what was said but things were said that, in hindsight, should not have been. Gilbert has been spoken to and been told that this should not have happened and that this will not happen in the future.”
TRANSFER Balls: The Daily Express says Real Madrid’s suplus German, Sami Khedira, “has lowered his wage expectations in order to engineer a move to Arsenal”.
A talented, injury prone talent could be on his way to the Gunners. Well, so says the Express’ Charles Perrin.
The Real Madrid ace has been continually linked with a move to the Premier League, with Chelsea also vying for his signature.
So. Chelsea want Khedira. But Khedira wants to play for Arsenal so badly he’ll accept a slighly less massive pay packet.
But fresh reports surfacing on the continent indicate that Khedira is prepared to accept a pay cut and has dropped his wage demands to £80,000-a-week to force through a move to north London.
SPURS Balls: Last night on the Europa League, Erik Lamela gave us all reason to regret not tuning in when he scored a sublime goal. What would have been Tottenham’s routine 5-1 win over Greek side Asteras (it Tripolis (it says her) was burnished with Lamela’s stupendous ‘rabona’-style strike from 20 yards.
LIVERPOOL Balls: Will it help Mario Balotelli to better settle into life at Anfield if he is continually singled out for treatment? Balotelli could go on a PR drive following his stupid decison to swap shirts at half time with Real Madrid’s Pepe, perhaps reminding kids about the Fireworld Code (never return to a lit bathroom towel etc.).
Or he could just be allowed time and space to repay some of £16m Liverpool invested in him?
In the Times, Liveprool fan Tony Evans writes benath the headline “Mario Balotelli faces fight to rescue Liverpool career”.
TRANSFER Balls: The Daily Express has news for Manchester United fans longing for the Red Devils to finally spunk a shedload of cash on a player (it’s been weeks since the last splurge).
The Express reports:
The VIDAL DEAL IS ON
Because the media are a herd, the Mirror reads that and chimes:
Manchester United are set to finally complete the signing of Arturo Vidal…
THIS instalment of He’s No Gary Neville Is He stars former Liverpool player and manager Phil Thompson, now offering expert insight and nouse on Sky Sports. In readiness for Liverpool’s Champions’ League match against the mighty Real Madrid, Thompson told viewers:
“It’s going to be a sensational night at Anfield for the first Real Madrid game. They will up the ante, the players. Everybody will be up for it and they’ll make it difficult for Real. Liverpool will win that game. Absolutely, it happens, it’s at Anfield. It will be an incredible night, they’ll turn it on, crank up the pressure and it will be totally different.”
He’s no Gary Neville, is he.
(Liverpool lost 0-3).
WHEN Brendan Rodgers met Carlo Ancelotti before Liverpool’s home Champions’ League match against Real Madrid, a game soul caught the moment on a Vine.
Shades of Rigsby and Miss Jones:
CHED Evans: a look at the footballer who happens to be a convicted rapist (surely rapist who happens to be a convicted footballer – ed) in the media.
For those readers who don’t dislike Ched Evans for being a sex criminal, the Sun has news:
It’s Ched and the Shed:
A PAL of soccer rapist Ched Evans told last night how the star shot him with an air rifle — then offered him £11,000 to hush it up. Andrew Barnes, 25, was left in agony after Evans — behind a garage shed — blasted his thigh in an idiotic prank.
DAVID Moyes and Manchester United. Compare and contrast the role played by Sir Alex Ferguson in Moyes getting the top job at Old Trafford:
“It’s a great honour to be asked to be the next manager of Manchester United. I am delighted that Sir Alex saw fit to recommend me for the job”
THE ATLANTIC Falcons are heading to London. No. Hang on…
The Atlanta Falcons are heading to Tossa de Mar on the Spanish Costas, for fun, high-fiving, whooping, snacks as big as your face and all manner of American Football nonsense. Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
LIVERPOOL Balls: the Sun continues to hound Raheem Sterling and, by inference, England manager Roy Hodgson, who told the Press that Sterling had not been feeling 100% to start the match in Estonia.
The Sun leads with:
Tired’ Raheem At 3am 3 Lions Party
No. Not leads the sports section. Leads the world news. This is the Sun’s biggest story:
The story is told in bullet points:
- Sunday: Roy says star’s ‘too tired’ to start for England in qualifier
- Monday: Player parties with dwarves, bearded lady, snake and Ox
IN 2005, football fans lapped up the sight of Newcastle Untied teammates Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer scrapping on the pitch. It was very entertaining. Most of us thought the fight was triggered by the players’ stupidity and unappealing natures. But Dyer explaind all to The Chronicle:
He was like ‘Give me the ball’ and I was like ‘I haven’t given the ball away, what you talking about’. Five minutes later he came again and I gave it to somebody else. And he said, ‘You never pass to me!’ I said, ‘The reason I don’t pass to you is because you’re sh*t basically’.
TRANSFER Balls: Is Arsenal’s Lukas Podolski leaving the Gunners to play for…Spurs? Well, ITV had news.
Podolski set to join Arsenal’s fierce rivals Spurs in £10m deal
MORE chatter on the Ched Evans story. The Sun features the words of Charlie Webster, a Sheffield United Patron.
Other patrons of the Yorkshire club are: Sean Bean, Chris Heaton, Dave Berry, Lindsay Graham, Glyn Rhodes MBE, Nick Matthew, Ding Junhui, Brendan Ingle MBE and Alan Hodgkinson MBE. We do not know what their views are on a range of mortal and ethical matters. Sean Bean has been divorced. Many think divorce is morally wrong. Should we care about such things?
Charlie Webster is a “TV presenter for Sky networks this includes Sky Sports News, Sky News and Sky Sports”.
She works for Rupert Murdoch, who also owns the Sun. And she tells its readers:
I WILL quit as Sheffield United patron if Ched is reinstated. I feel it is my duty to stand up to this… The sport provides role models who become our heroes. A convicted rapist is not a hero.