Sports news, commentary and scores with wit and added value. We compare and contrast the best and worst sports reporting in the mainstream press, blogs, TV and online. We love the English Premier League (Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs, Manchester United and Manchester City) and all things football but we cover cricket, rugby, the Olympics, tennis, golf, F1 and highlights of the sporting year.
Transfer Balls: Juan Cuadrado is soon-to-be a Chelsea player.
As the Daily Star reports:
Chelsea AGREE contract with £26.8m Manchester United target Juan Cuadrado
Not too long ago Cuadrado was a Manchester United player, according to the papers.
The Daily Mail reported:
Transfer Balls: It’s been busy January transfer window for Arsenal. Gabriel Paulista signed. Krystian Bielik signed. But regular readers will know that the mainstream Press have told us that Arsenal are signing – get his – 65 players.
Let’s see who else is is on their way:
The Daily Mirror reports: “Arsenal will meet Valencia youngster Jose Luis Gaya’s £13.5m release clause.” The paper offers no facts to support the news.
Over in the Express, we learn in a story dated January 28:
Arsenal set to SHOCK Valencia and Real by meeting £13.5m release clause for Jose Luis Gaya.
So. Jose Luis Gaya has a £13.5m release clause in his contract.
Transfer Balls: Yesterday the Daily Express reported that Chelsea had sold Andre Schurrle to Dortmund for £27m.
The Daily Telegraph reported that Cheslea want more than £25m for Scurrle
The Daily Mirror reported: “Chelsea’s Andre Schurrle to snub Wolfsburg and hold out for Borussia Dortmund switch”
The Daily Mail: “Andre Schurrle is set to leave Chelsea for £30m, but who else have the Blues cashed in big on over the past few years?”
And today’s news:
The Times: “Chelsea agreed the £23m sale of Andre Schurrle to Wolfsburg last night”
Such are the facts…
After years of avoiding the use of foul language, Kim Sears has finally learned how to swear.
Kim was sat at the Australian Open watching boyfriend Andy Murray when she found her voice. Experts says she was swearing at umpire Pascal Maria, who had given Murray a series of warnings for time-wasting. It looks like she says ““F***ing have it, you s*** French f***”.
But you can judge for yourself:
Tennis used to feature no swearing at all. The previous ‘verbals’ highlight was John McEnroe asking if “you can be serious” and screaming about “chalk dust”. If you wanted to learn how to swear you had to watch the football. Now the cool kids will be watching tennis to see if they can pick up any phrases. It’s the kind of breakthrough one of the world’s top five racket sports has been waiting for.
These are early says, of course, and we expert to see errors as the aces get to grips with the new vernacular, such as Roger Federer telling the linesman to “shut the up-fuck” and Serena Williams lambasting the coughing man in the crowd for being a “dicky-head”.
It’s hoped that after the swearing tennis will embrace spirits and lagers between ends, segregated seating and fans, such as the Murray Maniacs, arriving on Tennis Specials equipped with Muzza tattoos, inflatable bananas and a refrain about Novak Djokovic’s mum…
Once again, Manchester United have been barracked by all and sundry over their dreadful season ticket policy which requires all holders to buy mandatory tickets for the upcoming FA Cup replay against Cambridge United.
The policy, which has been in place for several years now, means that all fans with season cards are shanghaied into buying a ticket for all home FA Cup ties.
Should any given fan fail to comply with the terms they are punished by having their card suspended for a subsequent Premier League game at Old Trafford.
Transfer Balls: Andre Schurrle leaves Chelsea as Reus gets his head checked at Arsenal and Manchester United
Transfer Balls: a look at football rumour, speculation and made-up bilge being presented as fact by the mainstream media.
The Daily Express has news to quicken the pulses of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United fans:
Andre Schurrle’s £27m Dortmund move will see Chelsea land Cuadrado AND Reus head to exit
Got that? To prove that that unintelligible line is not an Anorak typo, here it is:
You can try and break the headline down: Schurrle’s off to Dortmund. Cuadrado is off to Chelsea. “AND Reus head to exit”.
Or maybe: Chelsea land Cuadrado AND Reus. And Express reders are advised “Head to exit”?
The next line is simple balls:
BORUSSIA DORTMUND’S move for Andre Schurrle will enable Chelsea to close a deal for Juan Cuadrado this month and could pave the way for Marco Reus to join Manchester United, Arsenal or Liverpool.
It could. Or it could not. Because a few days ago, the Daily Express reported that Reus was having a medical to join Real Madrid:
As for Andre Schurrle, well, the Telegraph says today Chelsea want too much for him:
Andre Schurrle has asked Chelsea to lower their asking price for him as he attempts to clinch a move back to Germany before the transfer window shuts.
Chelsea have everything in place to sign Fiorentina’s Juan Cuadrado as a replacement for Schurrle, but have so far been holding out for more than £25million for the German World Cup winner.
Wolfsburg officials travelled to London last week to hold talks over Schurrle, while Borussia Dortmund have shown a strong interest in the forward. But neither club are yet to meet Chelsea’s asking price.
So. £25m is too much. Or as the Daily Mail says, also today: Schurrle has gone for…£30m.
Such are the facts…
will enable Chelsea to close a deal for Juan Cuadrado this month and could pave the way for Marco Reus to join Manchester United, Arsenal or Liverpool.
Transfer Balls: Paul Pogba is off to Arsenal If Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and PSG don’t want him
Transfer Balls: it’s the Daily Paul Pogba. let’s see what utter balls the mainstream media is reporting on Pogba, the Juventus player.
Today, Ben Jefferson tells Daily Express readers:
Juve to let Paul Pogba LEAVE for Chelsea, Man Utd or Arsenal after move for Axel Witsel
So. Pogba is off to the Premier League. But where to?
United and Chelsea have been joined by Arsenal in the hunt for Pogba…
We know this because the Express says it’s so. But there are no quotes, sources or facts to support the statement.
The Daily Mirror has transcribed Gareth Bale’s interview on Spanish radio. It wasn’t all that hard: Bale spoke in fluent English, throughout. The highlight picked out by all papers is that Bale used to enjoy watching Arsenal “a lot”. Bale, is, of course, a former Spurs player. But it’s no big shocker. Arsenal have played better and more succesful football than Spurs for so long their rivalry is largely the stuff of historical record.
For our money the highlights are these:
How are the Spanish classes going?
Well, I have classes two or three times a week and I understand more and talk more all the time.
Did Chelsea striker Diego Costa deliberately stamp on Liverpool’s Emre Can and Reds’ defender Martin Skrtel in a fast and furious Capital One Cup semi-final ?
You’d think referee Michel Oliver would have spotted one of the foot misplacements. But he and his hapless refereeing team missed it all.
Oliver missed the stampings (one more and Costa gets a free coffee); Strkel’s foul on Costa in the penalty box; Lucas’ foul on Matic, which should have resulted in his second yellow card of the game; Laza Markovich’s WWF-style foul on Felipe Luis; Jordan Henderson’s foul, which should have been his second yellow card of the night; and the antics of pop-up Chelsea’s assistant Rui Faria, a man who appears to have sat upon a wasabi enema.
And, you know what? Yeah, it was great entertainment.
Putitng it in persepctive, here’s a video of Glasgow Rangers’ Graeme Souness dirtying his socks on Steaua Bucharest’s Gheorghe Rotariu in the 1988 European Cup. Ity was a “definite yellow” in 1988. And there were no howls of outrage in the Press nor trial by TV:
Transfer Balls: Arsenal get Paul Pogba for £35m less than Manchester United, Chelsea and Man City will pay
Transfer Balls: It’s the Daily Paul Porba, in association with the Daily Mirror, which declares:
Man United, Chelsea AND Man City to battle for Paul Pogba’s £75million signature this summer
Simon Mullock says Pogba’s got a nickname, too: “the 100million euro man.” It’s not quite Smudger, Pyscho or The Beast, but never mind the quality, cop a load of the money:
That’s a lot of money. And it’s a los more than the Mirror said Pogba was leaving Juventus for waaaaay back in December 2014:
That story was from the Daily Mail:
Manchester City are plotting a huge £40m move for Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is also keen on the former Manchester United youngster, but would struggle to match City’s financial firepower in a bidding war. (Daily Mail)
But now it’s £75m for the same player! What brought about this meteroric rise in his value? Is Pogba’s fee linked the price of a London studio flat?
Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City will join a £75million race to land Paul Pogba this summer. Juventus are ready to cash in on one of the hottest young prospects in world football – and Pogba has already been dubbed “the 100million euro man” in Italy. That will spark a battle between the richest club’s in Europe, with Real Madrid, Paris St-Germain and Bayern Munich set to go head-to-head with the Premier League trio for the Frenchman.
All the usual suspects want Paul Pogba. It will be a bidding war. At the last moment Real Madrid or Barcelona will step in. It’s gonna be huge.
The Mirror continues:
Pogba is on course to win his third Serie A title and his agent, Mino Raiola, is preparing the ground for his summer auction.
This story is rooted in what the agent says. Might he be a tad biased, issuing a comment more loaded than George Bush at a frat house party?
He said: “Paul is happy at Juventus but later this year or next year we will see what opportunities have been created. When the league cannot satisfy such a player then it is time to go.”
The £75m figure has no source. And news of a bidding battle comes from the player’s agent.
Such are the facts…
Arsenal Transfer Balls: So. Is Paulista heading to the Emirates?
The Metro says Paulista is an Arsenal player. Sort of:
Gabriel Paulista transfer to Arsenal agreed in principle, confirm Villarreal
In principle? What does that mean, then? We ask because one day ealier the Metro said Arsenal had signed Paulista in fact. He was scheduled to undergo his medical:
The £13.8million fee is slightly below Gabriel’s release clause, and now Arsenal are expecting to win a work permit to wrap up the transfer.
Such are the facts…
Ciarán Ó Raghallaigh sp[ots former Chelsea irritant Dennis Wise on the telly. He tweets:
But forget Chelsea, City or Spurs – the biggest shock of the day is Dennis Wise’s hair on Setanta Sports
So. What’s resting footballer and convicted rapist Ched Evans been up to? The Sun has news:
RAPIST Ched Evans lets his fiancee pick up the tab after the couple enjoyed a meal at a top restaurant.
The ex-Sheffield United footballer, 26, showed off a custom phone cover of him and partner Natasha Massey as they left Novikov in Mayfair, central London.
Transfer Balls: The Daily Express has stella news on Juventus and France star Paul Pogba. Apparently, Pogba has dropped a “MASSIVE” hint that he will not play for Manchester United or Chelsea.
So. The Express was wrong whan it reported on January 13 2015:
Also on Mourinho’s radar is Paul Pogba, with the player’s agent revealing that his client will leave Juventus if the right offer was made. United and Real Madrid are also keen on the France international, but Pogba is understood to favour a switch to London over a return to Old Trafford.
The Express told us that Pogba was on his way to Manchester United for £77m.
The same Express told us that Pogba was on his way to Chelsea for £40m:
And the Express told readers that Pogba “loves”: Maanchester United:
And there was the story that Juventus “MUST’ sell Pogba to United, Chelsea or Arsenal:
To day the Express has written 60 Paul Pogba stories this January alone. And the latest one is that he will not be joining Manchester United, Chelsea or Arsenal because he is leaning Spanish.
It;s tue. You read it in the Daily Express…
Je suis Eric… et Matthew…
Magna Carta, Nelson’s death at Trafalgar, the Battle of Waterloo, Victory in Europe, VJ Day… Some significant anniversaries fall this year, but the one that will always have a place in my heart occurred just 20 years ago, on 25 January 1995 at Selhurst Park Stadium, London SE27.
With one end of the ground knocked down for a new stand, there was a crowd of less than 19,000 packed in for the evening game between Crystal Palace and reigning champions Manchester United.
Things were predictably tight and tense when United’s hot-headed French maverick and borderline nut-case Eric Cantona lost patience with the close attention of Palace centre-back Richard Shaw and kicked out in frustration.
The bigger the pornographer, the bigger the prude. Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal said:
“I know all the stats. I read the stats. I know that we have won more with 4-4-2 in a diamond. But when you analyse the game, then we have twitched our ass on the bench. I said to my players I was squeezing my ass, but it was the wrong expression. I have twitched my ass on the bench because we were out of balance. All the matches when we play 4-4-2, like against West Ham United, it was always twitching your ass. I don’t like that. We have won nine or 10 in a row, then we lose one match and then the discussion about the system is coming. It is ridiculous. Now I have answered your question in a very good way.”
That quote is from the BBC.
Now for the Sun, the paper with topless Page 3 stannas, adverts for sex chatlines and published by Rupert Murdoch, via whose Sky TV network you can watch loadsa porn:
“I said to my players I was squeezing my a*** but it was the wrong expression, I have twitched my a*** on the bench because we were out of balance. We lost the game at Leicester 5-3 and that was undeserved. And all the matches when we’ve played 4-4-2, like against West Ham, it was always twitching your a*** and I don’t like it.”
A****? Is that anus?
Transfer Balls: a look at mainstream media reporting on football transfers.
The Daily Telegraph has news on Sergio Ramos:
Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Arsenal Wenger handed boost in hunt for Real defender Sergio Ramos
He has? The media is full of news that Arsenal are buying central defender Gabriel Paulista for £6m (Metro), £10m (Telegraph) and £15m (Guardian). So. Why would they buy Ramos, too?
And Arsenal are not alone. Just yesterday the Daily Star reported:
Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City and Man Utd target Sergio Ramos CLOSE to agreeing HUGE deal
But why would Manchester United wants Ramos. The Star also reported that they want Paulista:
The Telegraph’s story continues:
Arsenal have been given a huge boost in their hunt for Sergio Ramos, reports The Metro.
Transfer Balls – a regular look at rumour and utter drivel being presented as fact by the mainstream media – look once again at Juventus and France star Paul Pogba. So far this Janauray, we’ve read that Pogba is heading to Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool for £50m, Arsenal for £40m and Manchester United for £77m.
Today the Daily Express tells its readers:
EXCLUSIVE: Chelsea plan £40m bid former Manchester United flop Paul Pogba
Tony Banks has an “Exclusive”:
And Chelsea appear to be in with a shout because the Express has other news. It turns out that Juventus “MUST SELL POGBA”. And they “must sell him to Arsenal, Chaela or Manchester United”. They MUST!
Lippi must really rate the Premier League. Unless it’s all; utter balls? It is. Lippi said on Sky Sport Italia:
“Of course, it would be a big sacrifice to lose Pogba, but selling him would generate enough money to buy three or four great players to help improve the team. When I returned to Juventus in 2001, I got a call that the club were going to sell Zidane. He was the best player of the world, but Madrid were paying €75 million. The club told me to remain calm and that they would reinvest all the money in the squad. We eventually signed Gianluigi Buffon, Lilian Thuram and Pavel Nedved and continued to win silverware.”
As for today’s “exclusive”, the Express writes:
With Jose Mourinho’s side still on track for four trophies, the Stamford Bridge club have already begun to plan for next year. Pogba, who is also a target for both Manchester United and City, has been on Chelsea’s radar for some time, and the club are poised to offer a players-plus-cash deal.
So. £40m plus. And they are not buying Pogba now with the Transfer Window open?
Chelsea will try to balance the books by allowing players to go in part exchange for Pogba, with midfielder Ramires and German forward Andre Schurrle likely to be offered, as well possibly as Nigerian John Obi Mikel.
So. Where once Juventus got the great Gianluigi Buffon, Lilian Thuram and Pavel Nedved for the brillaint Zidane; they now get three Chalsea spare parts for their star.
Sounds like a plan – an “exclusive” one. Or they could get £77m for Pogba from United? I read that in the Express…
Arsenal Transfer Balls: Who are the Gunners buying today? To date, the mainstream media has told readers that Arsenal are buying – get this – 63 players. And there are MORE!
The Telegraph: “Arsenal weighing up £9m bid for Newcastle’s Cheick Tiote”
So. No bid made. Unless you rea the Daily Express:
Arsenal launch £9m bid for Man United and Liverpool target Cheick Tiote
ESPN has more news:
Arsenal target move for PSG striker Jean-Kevin Augustin
Arsenal had been linked with Nicolas Otamendi in the Sunday papers, but news on Monday suggested that Manchester United had seen a £27million bid turned down for the versatile defender.
Which Sunday papers, the Metro doesn’t say.
Daily Mirror: “Arsenal news and transfers: Leeds United defender Sam Byram on Arsene Wenger’s radar?”
As ever the Mirror shrouds a started by ending it with a question mark.
Arsenal are now buying in this January Transfer Window: 66 players!
Batch 1: William Carvalho, James McCarthy, Mario Suarez, Edinson Cavani, Loris Karius, Ilkay Gundogan, Teddy Bishop.
Batch 2: Loic Perrin, Mattia Destro, Federico Valverde, Rayan Souici, Sami Khedira, Yohan Cabaye, Ayoze Perez, Bruno Martins Indi, Moussa Sissoko and Takefusa Kubo.
Batch 3: Iker Casillas, Petr Cech, Adrien Rabiot, Stephan El Shaarawy, Marcelo Brozovic, Krystian Bielik, Mats Hummels, Benedikt Howedes, Victor Wanyama, Xherdan Shaqiri, Adil Rami, Paul Pogba, Sebastian Lichtsteiner, Morgan Schneiderlin and Winston Reid.
Batch 4: Aymeric Laporte, Virgil van Dijk and Ron Vlaar.
Batch 5: Nabil Fekir, Fabio Coentrao, Nemanja Vidic, Sergio Busquets, Lucas Silva, Marco Reus, Matt Targett, Sebastian Giovinco, Nikola Vlasic, Marcelo Brozovic, Gabriel Barbosa and Malcolm Silva.
Batch 6: Juan Quinetero, Isco, Sergio Ramos, Paolo Dybala, Jonathan Calleri, Gabriel Paulista, Luis Suarez.
Pies spots a Norwegian Liverpool fan who named his daughter ‘YNWA’ – as in “You’ll Never WalkAlone”.
Speaking to Dagbladet, the little girl’s mother, Eirin Isabell Iversen – herself a Tromso fan, described how her and her lunatic husband picked the unusual name after having his first choice scuppered by Mother Nature.
Liverpool Balls: LFC manager Brenadan Rodgers has been talking about Divock Origi:
“There have been discussions [over Divock Origi]. He’s a player that will definitely be here next summer. Whether he’ll be here or not in January is something that there has been discussion about”
“The young player we signed last summer, it was always on the understanding that he had to stay at Lille. I’ve seen reports that he’ll be coming back early but that was never the case. When we signed the player, it was one of the main reasons we were able to sign him — he would have to stay at Lille for this season”
He’s football’s Mr Consistency….
Manchester United defeated QPR at the weekend. The game finished 2-0, with goals scored by Man United substitutes Fellaini and Wilson.
Garth Crooks was watching. He heaps praise on United’s Radamel Falcao, picking the stupendously well paid Colombian striker for his BBC column’s team of the week:
I don’t know what Louis van Gaal said to Falcao last weeek, having left the Colombian out of the game against Southampton, but based on what I saw against QPR at Loftus Road Manchester United must keep this striker at the club. His work rate was phenomenal and it was only Robert Green who denied the player a hat-trick.
Garth, you need to score one before you can get a hat-trike, which is three.
Football fans love those player ratings that feature in newspapers. At home they compile league tables. It’s a little known fact that clubs ask a random sample of 101 fans for their end-of-season results. The data dictates clubs’ tranfer policies.
Today in the Daily Mail, Neil Ashton delivers his verdict on Manchester City v Arsenal. Let’s look at the Arsenal players’ scores.
Transfer Balls: Manchester United’s Radamel Falcao offers himself to Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City
Transfer Balls: Is Radamel Falcao staying at Manchester United?
The Sunday Times has news:
ARSENAL, Liverpool and Manchester City have inquired about Radamel Falcao’s availability as the Colombian struggles to nail down a place in Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United starting XI.
Yeah. The player who commands a salary of – get this – £265,000 a week (!!), who has scored three times for Manchester United this season and has a history of injury is interesting Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City.
Falcao, right, is said to have been left ‘perplexed and bemused’ by his treatment at United…
Trasnfer Balls: Arsenal recruitment update. We’re keeping a running score on how many players have been linked to the Arsenal in his January transfer window. The total so far is 62!
And there are more.
The Sun: “Arsenal and Everton are keeping tabs on Almeria’s 23-year-old winger Edgar, who could be available for as little as £2million.”
Number of quotes from playerm, agent or club: zero.