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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.

Chelsea invade Arsenal and Spurs turf and move to Wembley

Chelsea have made a move to rent Wembley Stadium. The Blues have offered £11 million a year to use Wembley as a temporary home while Stamford Bridge is rebuilt.

If approved, Chelsea will play home matches at Wembley for two seasons from 2017.

This is bad news for Spurs, who are redeveloping their White Hart Lane ground. They have offered Wembley about £8 million a year.

Spurs’ fans are local to Wembley. That moves makes sense. But Chelsea based in north London is odd? The Blues did petition the Rugby Football Union about using Twickenham, a move that would keep Chelsea in touch with its fanbase. But that ran into problems with local residents, crowd management and council planners.

Of course, it could be argued that Wembley has been a second home for Chelsea in recent years. No longer do the club’s fans need orienteering skills and tissues to stem a nosebleed as they head north on the Metropolitan line. Spurs, however, well at least they have their memories and a ‘Tottingham’ song:

 

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


Transfer balls: De Gea stops dreaming as Ramos ‘agrees’ Manchester United pay cut

de gea real madridTransfer Balls: A look at Manchester United David De Gea in the news. The papers are reading his mind.

The Sun says De Gea’s “dream move to Real Madrid came a big step closer as Iker Casillas agreed to leave for Porto”.

Keeper De Gea’s fears of a dressing-room power-battle with the Bernabeu legend held up his exit from Manchester United.

No. They didn’t. De Gea’s fears have had no impact on any of it. What’s delaying the transfer is not what De Gea fears and dreams of (and when did the Sun become mind readers?). It’s the fee:

But Casillas’ departure will clear the way for Real to nab De Gea — if they get nearer United’s £25million price tag.

And as for Casillas’s “agreed” move to Porto, well reading on the Sun says the Spanish goalkeeper hasn’t agreeed to move anywhere.

Casillas’ agent Carlo Cutropia confirmed: “Iker is interested in Porto and Porto are interested in Iker.”

The Manchester Evening News says “United are maintaining their resolute attitude that keeper De Gea and Real Madrid defender Ramos will not both be at the Bernabeu next season.”

Indeed, the Metro says Ramos has “already agreed a bumper four-year deal with the Old Trafford club worth £150,000-a-week. The 29-year-old looks certain to leave the Bernabeu this summer and now all that needs to be agreed is a fee for the defender.”

But the Express says Real Madrid have offered Ramos £200,000 to stay.

So much for Ramos facts.

But what about the fee for De Gea? The Sun says Man United want £25m:

The Reds £20m buy from Atletico Madrid in 2011 has remained tight-lipped about his future all summer and the club want a world record fee of £33m-plus for a keeper to even consider allowing him to return to his home city.

The Mirror also focuses on De Gea’s mind:

David De Gea told to put Real Madrid out of his mind and focus on Manchester United’s pre-season

And on that fee?

United are adamant he will not be sold unless the Spanish club are willing to pay a world record fee of £35million for a keeper.

Such are the facts…

 

Posted: 7th, July 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer Balls: Benzema heads to Liverpool for £38m and to Arsenal for much less?

Karim Benzema arsenal move transfer

 

Transfer Balls: the summer is here and with comes the return of the story that Arsenal and Liverpool are to sign Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema.

The Daily Star tells its readers (and we can see your lips moving):

 

Arsenal step up attempts to sign Karim Benzema with £17.8m bid

So the Gunners have made a bid for Benzema?

Spanish daily AS are reporting that Arsenal have upped their attempts to sign the French striker after being alerted about his availability. AS say Arsene Wenger is a big fan of Benzema and would love to bring him to England for around £17.8m.

No. Arsenal have not made a bid for Benzema. But if they do it will be for £17.8m. Maybe.

It is unclear at the moment how much Real are demanding for Benzema.

In other words: the player is not on sale. That £17.8m is a guess.

 

It all smells of utter balls, but to The Metro it means:

Arsenal ‘closing in on Karim Benzema transfer’

The Metro then adds:

Manchester United are also thought to be interested in Benzema

Thought by whom, the Metro doesn’t say.

We’ve been here before, of course:

Daily Express, June 5: “Arsenal set to make Karim Benzema a MASSIVE offer to fend off Man United and Liverpool”

Is £17.8m massive?

ITV, May 26: “Arsenal launch £35m bid for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema”

That’s bigger. But no bid has been made.

Daily Mirror, Jan 7: “Benzema wants Anfield switch”

Words from Benzema: none.

Daily Star, October 4 2014: “Liverpool AGREE £38m deal for Arsenal target Karim Benzema”

No. They didn’t.

Looks like Arsenal are getting a £17.8m bargain.

Such are the facts.

 

 

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


Transfer Balls: Morgan Schneiderlin ‘signed’ for Manchester United but wants to play for Arsenal

Morgan Schneiderlin of Southampto

 

Transfer Balls: No, Southampton midfielder Morgan Sneiderlin has not yet signed for Manchester United. The papers were wrong.

And now the Sunday Times says the footballer wants to play for Arsenal:

…the Frenchman has told friends that he would prefer to work with Arsene Wenger at Arsenal than sign for Van Gaal at United.

Schneiderlin feels that Arsenal’s more settled style of play is a better suit to his game, and is attracted to the idea of remaining in the South of England. 

The only problem with that plan is that Arsenal have not bid for the Frenchman. But can we believe the mainstream media?

June 25, Daily Express: “Man Utd, Arsenal and Spurs target Morgan Schneiderlin AGREES £24m Southampton exit”

June 27, The Metro: “Manchester United agree transfer deal to sign Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin”

Read the rest of this entry »

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


Transfer Balls: Robin Van Persie’s inner child demands £12m from Manchester United and love in Fenerbahce

van persie kisses arsenal badgeTransfer Balls: The Guardian says it’s a Permier League farewell to Manchester United’s Robin Van Persie who has agreed personal terms with Turkish club Fenerbahce.

It was only on June 14 that the Mirror reported: “Robin van Persie will fight for his Manchester United future.”

But not that determined.

According to the Guardian, Van Persie and his agent Kees Vos have “reached an agreement in principle” with Fenerbahce, with both the 31-year-old Dutchman’s personal terms and a four-year contract now ready to be signed off. Only the transfer fee is up for negotiation.

But United will hardly be asking the earth for the ageing, talented crock who costs them £250,000-a-week.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 5th, July 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer Balls: Liverpool ‘accept’ £45m for Sterling because Manchester City are desperate to spend £191m?

raheem sterling £45m Transfer Balls: The Star says Manchester City will bid £45m for Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling as part of a “£191m City spree”.

The Sun says:

MANCHESTER CITY have been given the green light by Uefa for a £150million spree.

ESPN says that spree will be £100m.

Where does the Star conjure £191m from? It fails to say.

And if City have so much money to spend, then surely Liverpool will hold out for the £50m they want for Sterling.

The Star adds:

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini will land Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling at the third attempt – for £45million.

The Star’s “story”, labelled as an “exclusive”, contains not a single source, named or otherwise.

Such are the facts.

 

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


Transfer balls: Arda Turan skewers Chelsea, loves Barcelona but tomorrow it’s Arsenal

arda turan barcelonaTransfer Balls:  The story of Arda Turan’s move from Atletico Madrid to Chelsea or Barcelona features on the cover of Spanish paper Mundo Deportivo.

The paper say the two clubs won’t announce if Turan is moving to Barcelona until Monday.

Looks like the trusty Daily Star was wrong in saying Turan would announce his next move ‘tomorrow’, which is now today. But, then, the other British papers did say Turan was heading to Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United:

The Metro, June 30: “Arda Turan has agreed terms to sign for Manchester United from Atletico Madrid”

He’s on his way to Man United.

ES (Spain) July 1: “Barelona has reached an agreement with Atletico Madrid for Arda Turan”

He’s on his way to Barcelona.

Daily Mail, July 1: “Chelsea favourites to sign £29m Arda Turan from Atletico Madrid with Turkish star preferring London move over Barcelona”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 4th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Manchester City miss out on Pogba and £45m bid for Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling

Transfer Balls: a look at today’s news on Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling and his move to Manchester City.

The Sun: “Sterling… spend it! And Raheem won’t be the only deal after Uefa lift FFP cap”

MANCHESTER CITY have been given the green light by Uefa for a £150million spree.

ESPN says that spree will be £100m. But, still, it’s a huge number.

Part of that spree is the likely purchase of Raheem Sterling, who, says the Sun, will cost City £45m.

The Times reports:

City’s second offer of up to £40 million for the England forward [Sterling] was rejected, but the club will be in a stronger position to raise their bid closer to Liverpool’s asking price of £50 million. Manuel Pellegrini is also confident of being able to sign Kevin de Bruyne, who is likely to cost £35 million, despite Wolfsburg wanting to offer their Belgium midfielder a new contract. The City manager has not given up hope of bringing in Paul Pogba, the Juventus midfielder.

Last season City were hit with a £49m fine and forced to submit a reduced Champions League squad of 21 players after breaching Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations. Those barriers to recruitments have now been removed. A Uefa statement read:

“We have lifted a number of restrictions on transfer activity, employee expenses and number of players in Uefa club competitions imposed on Manchester City.

“This is after the club reached certain targets towards break-even compliance as part of the ongoing monitoring of their settlement agreement.

“The lifting of restrictions is subject to ongoing additional controls and audits. The club remains under strict monitoring and has still to meet break-even targets and is therefore subject to some limitations in 2016.”

All media sources agree that City will Paul Pogba, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph.

But the Manchester Evening News says Pogba as “agreed” to join Barcelona.

Juventus have told Barcelona that they will not sell Paul Pogba until next summer in what appears to be a blow to City’s hopes.

And in a meeting between officials of the two giant clubs in Italy, it is also reported that Barca made it plain that they will launch a bid for the player ahead of the 2015-16 season.

That clearly paves a way for a deal between the two giant European clubs for the France midfielder, who is the Blues’ main target in this transfer window.

Barca are under a transfer ban this summer after being found guilty by Fifa of breaching rules regarding the purchase of players aged under 18.

As for De Bruyne, who has a contract with Wolfsburg until 2019, the Indy reports:

Speaking to Sport1 earlier this week, Wolfsburg’s sporting director Klaus Allofs said: “Kevin has a contract until 2019, so the signal has already been sent out. He will stay with us. We’ve said we will look at his contract.

De Bruyne lifts the German Cup at the end of last season De Bruyne lifts the German Cup at the end of last season “The aim is to take into account financially Kevin’s extraordinary development. The best players should earn the best wages. We will make an offer to him and I think we will reach an agreement here very quickly.”

Surely there is no way Wolfsburg can beat super-rich City’s offer. Given news of City’s huge transfer kitty, the German club will know they can ask top dollar of any player.

 

 

Posted: 4th, July 2015 | In: Liverpool, Manchester City, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer Balls: Ramos uses Manchester United to win new Real pay deal as De Gea leaves

Transfer Balls: The Sun says Real Madrid are “ready to offer Sergio Ramos £200,000 a week to keep him away from Manchester United”.

That’s what he wanted. Ramos was agitating for a pay rise. In the changing room, wages sets the hierarchy.

The offer would put the defender on the same scale as Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo at the Bernabeu.

Ramos stays!

Oh, come on. Of course he’s going to stay at Real. Only the most monocular Manchester United thinks Ramos would stand more chance of winning the Champions’ League at Old Trafford.

The media narrative has been to link Ramos to David De Gea’s transfer to Real Madrid. On that, TalkSport says:

Manchester United target Sergio Ramos does want to leave Real Madrid…

The defender is not just after a monster pay rise, instead he has become frustrated with the constant criticism from Real’s fans and life under the spotlight in the Spanish capital as a Galactico.

Balls.

TalkSPORT’s transfer guru, Warren Haughton, joins Hawksbee and Jacobs to round up all the very latest rumours and gossip.

It’s a great show punctuated by a few minutes of utter drivel. Why do they do it?

He brings us the latest on David De Gea’s protracted move to Real Madrid, claiming Manchester United will not sell the Spanish goalkeeper unless they are allowed a fair run at Sergio Ramos.

More rubbish. De Gea has one year left on his current Manchester United contract. He wants to leave. Are we supposed to accept the idea that United will wave away £20m-£30m for De Gea, happy to see him leave for Real on a free next summer? When United bought Robin Van Persie, Arsenal fans hoped the Gunners would force their captain to see out the remaining year of his contract. A mere £24m later he was at United.

De Gea is off to Real Madrid. It’s all about getting the best price for him.

This one will run and run…

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


Transfer Balls: Manchester United want to sell Angel di Maria for £35m – any takers?

Transfer Balls: Are Bayern Munich are looking to hire Manchester United’s Angel Di Maria?

The Evening Standard cites a report on Germany’s Bild saying that Bayern are unwilling to meet United’s £35million price-tag, even though it would see the Red Devils take a huge hit on the £59.7million they originally paid for the 27-year-old last summer.

It looks like Manchester United want shot of the player.

But Bayern Manager Pep Guardioloa says he’s not intersted. The Indy reports:

“I don’t have to watch Argentina games, because I know him and his style of playing very well,” Guardiola told reporters.

“United did not pay so much money for nothing, he is a great player. Although such transfer fees are sometimes really crazy.” Angel Di Maria was on the double for Argentina Di Maria scored twice to help Argentina reach the final of the Copa America

When asked if he was interested in signing Di Maria, Guardiola replied: “No.”

Does Di Maria want to leave?

It was only on June 24 that the Daily Mail said Angel di Maria vowed to stay at Manchester United and make a success of his British record £59.7million transfer”. That ‘vow’ echoed the Daily Telegprah’s report on June 5.

And if you believe the Daily Mirror Di Maria has no truck with Bayern, the paper reporting on June 2: “Manchester United’s Angel Di Maria RULES OUT transfer to Barcelona or Bayern Munich”.

But also on June 2, the Daily Express said Di Maria did want to play for PSG: “Angel Di Maria demands Manchester United exit for £42.5m Paris Saint-Germain switch.”

Is is staying or going?

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


Transfer Balls: Manchester United winners in Sergio Ramos poll

Transfer Balls: a look at today’s reporting on Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos, apparently wanted by Manchester United.

Daily Express: “Real Madrid fans turn on Sergio Ramos and want him sold to Man United this summer”

Why do Real Madrid fans wants Ramos sold to Manchester United instead of, say, to a team they won’t face in the Champions’ League, like Spurs?

…a fan poll in Madrid has revealed almost 60 per cent of supporters believe Ramos should now be sold.

The Metro: “Real Madrid fans turn on Manchester United target Sergio Ramos with 55% voting to sell the defender”

..a poll in Spanish newspaper AS has revealed how 55% of the 25,000 Madrid fans who voted would rather the club discarded of Ramos this summer.

They just want rid of him. The fans don’t care if he goes to Man United or Leeds United.

Let’s look at the poll.

As reported by AS, Madrid are asking for €90 million for Ramos and this is the line users have been taking in our poll, with more than 22 per cent saying that Madrid should not sell Ramos for less than €60 million.

It’s not that the fans want to get shot of Real’s vice captain; it’s that Real fans think €90 million is a good price for a 29-year-old.

 

ramos poll sergio

 

The MEN wonders about the fans who would respond to a poll in AS:

Of the Madrid sport dailies, AS have shown the most sympathy towards Ramos, however the result of their poll indicates the club’s following is behind president Florentino Perez.

So much for the poll.

The Guardian: “How the relationship between Sergio Ramos and Real Madrid turned ugly”

While they have not yet said anything publicly (and nor has Ramos), Madrid’s position remains that any interested clubs would have to pay the full buy-out clause, €180m, in other words the player is not for sale. And nor have they received a bid, the line goes. Meanwhile the posturing continues via third parties.

And on it goes…

 

 

 

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


Transfer Balls: Arda Turan signs for Manchester United, wants Chelsea and ‘dreams’ of Liverpool

Arda Turan of Club Atletico de Madrid

 

Transfer Balls: Chelsea are in for Arda Turan. But he’s agreed to join Manchester United. And Barcelona. And Arsenal want him. Well, so we read in the papers:

Daily Mail, June 30: “Arda Turan keen on £29m Chelsea transfer as Turkey midfielder says he wants to leave Atletico Madrid”

He’s on his way to Chelsea.

The Metro, June 30: “Arda Turan has agreed terms to sign for Manchester United from Atletico Madrid”

He’s on his way to Man United.

ES (Spain) July 1: “Barelona has reached an agreement with Atletico Madrid for Arda Turan”

He’s on his way to Barcelona.

Daily Mail, July 1: “Chelsea favourites to sign £29m Arda Turan from Atletico Madrid with Turkish star preferring London move over Barcelona”

Come on you Blues!

Daily Mail July 2: “Barcelona set to beat Chelsea to the £25m signing of Arda Turan”

Daily Express, July 2: “Arda Turan revelation gives Man United, Chelsea and Arsenal a huge boost – ARDA TURAN has confirmed that talks of a deal with Barcelona are completely false”

Can Arsenal get him? Do they want him?

But the Daily Star says it will all be sorted out today:

Arda Turan to decide whether to join Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester United tomorrow – ARDA TURAN will announce which Premier League side he is going to join tomorrow.

Screen shot 2015-07-03 at 07.32.31

 

Number of words in any of those stories from the player or Chelsea: nil.

But one paper has quoted the player.

 

Screen shot 2015-07-03 at 07.44.13

 

Daily Express, February 27: “Arda Turan: Liverpool is my DREAM team and I want to play for them!”

Such are the facts.

 

 

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


Samuel Eto’o’s copy and paste ‘Dear John’ letter to Everton and Sampdoria fans

Screen shot 2015-07-02 at 21.52.31

 

Welcome to Turkish club Antalyaspor, Samuel Eto’o. It’s been a wrench for the star player to leave Sampdoria. So sad is it that Samuel has written the club’s fans a letter:

Dear Blucerchiati,

I’ve been bless to spend these past few months with you.

To my pleasure, I have discovered here a crowd of warm, passionate, affectionate and supportive fans… It’s time for me to leave, but wherever I go, I will always remember what it is to be in a place where football is not only a passion but a way to keep a family together.

You will always be in my heart.

Yours Sincerely,

Samuel Eto’o.

Eto’o is Mr Sincerity – just as he was when he left Everton. It was wwrnech to leve EVerton.

Dear Toffees,

I’ve been blessed to spend these past few months with you.

To my pleasure, I have discovered here a crowd of warm, passionate, affectionate and supportive fans… It’s time for me to leave, but wherever I go, I will bring with me all the memories we’ve built together.

You will always be in my heart.

Yours Sincerely,

Samuel Eto’o.

Sincerely, Samuel ‘Dear John’ Eto’o.

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


Transfer Balls: Manchester United target and Arsenal fan Bastian Schweinsteiger wants to play for Chelsea?

Transfer Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Transfer Balls: a look at Manchester United targert and apparent Arsenal fan Bastian Schweinsteiger.

The Guardian reports today: “Bastian Schweinsteiger can choose whether to leave Bayern Munich”

Bastian Schweinsteiger will be given the choice of whether to stay or leave Bayern Munich, Pep Guardiola has said…

“If Schweinsteiger wants to stay here then that’s perfect. He’s a top player,” Guardiola, the Bayern coach, said. “Of course I am planning to work with Basti next season. Basti has to decide. Basti has managed a great career. He must decide what he does alone. I told him, the future depends on you.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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


Transfer Balls: Manchester United’s £120m For Thomas Muller (but not Toni Kroos)

mueller manchester united

 

Transfer Balls: The Daily Express says Manchester United have offered a package worth £120m for Bayern Munich’ Thomas Muller. But it wasn’t enough. Muller, says the Express, has “snubbed” Man United. The news:

MANCHESTER UNITED boss Louis van Gaal is bracing himself for more transfer frustration after making a £50million bid to sign Thomas Muller.

They did?

When asked about United making an offer for him, Muller – who was introduced to the Bayern team by Van Gaal – told Sport Bild he was flattered but then suggested he wanted to stay with the German giants. “When you get an offer you consider it automatically,” he said. “A request by a big club is an honour and appreciation that your output was good. But I feel fine at Bayern and my contract runs until 2019. There is nothing more to say about this speculation.”

Nothing more to say. But the Express says plenty. In January 2015, the Express reported:

MANCHESTER UNITED are on red alert after Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller was offered to Real Madrid for £45m.

He was?

…reports in Spain suggest that Muller is now open to a change of scenery, and it isclaimed that the player’s agent has been in touch with Real.

Sources cited: none. Quotes from agent: none.

…it is thought that the Spanish outfit are Muller’s first choice when it comes to a new club…

So. Manchester United were on “red alert” for a player who was not for sale and who wanted to play in Spain?

But United could yet try and get in on the action if Muller is genuinely available.

Or as Muller said:

“I had just renewed my contract [until 2019], and Bayern were clear that they saw my future here. The decision for me was an easy one.”

And there was the Metro, which reported in May 2014:

Thomas Muller ‘wants to join Louis van Gaal at Manchester United’

Alsop in May 2014, the trusty Express reported:

MANCHESTER UNITED have agreed a deal with Bayern Munich for attacker Toni Kroos

That was utter balls. But the tabloids never bothered to check the facts, preferring to amplify the nonsense. The Manchester Evening News yelled “Kroos deal done” and the Daily Mirror reported “United have agreed deal in principle with Bayern for midfielder Toni Kroos”. And ther was the Mail, which trilled:

Informed sources in Germany have revealed that Muller is the name at the top of Val Gaal’s wanted list and that he is the one manager the Germany striker would leave his home club for.

Muller never did leave Bayern. He still hasn’t. He’s not going to. Get over it.

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


Arsenal’s Petr Cech suddenly ages terribly (photo)

A mere three days since signing for Arsenal, the now former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has aged rapidly.

This was Cech when he joined the Gunners:

 

cech debut

June 30 2015

 

And this is Petr Cech now:

 

Screen shot 2015-07-02 at 06.00.36

 

Of course it’s Sun computer wizardry that has made Cech appear oplder. But if that’s what he’s going to look like at 40, Petr might want to tighten the chin strap on his helmet.

 

beauty face chelsea arsenal

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


Transfer Balls: Manchester United sell Robin Van Persie in ‘secret’ and to Lazio for £10m

Robin Van Persie soldTransfer Balls: Manchester United have sold Robin Van Persie in secret? The Daily Mirror’s lead sports story is that Robin Van Perie has left Manchester United without knowing he’s left Manchester United.

Was his signature on a new contract with a new club forged? Did a stunt double take his medical examination? Or is it that the Mirror is talking balls?

Could be.

Read the rest of this entry »

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


Transfer Balls: Manchester United undercut their agreed bid for Morgan Schneiderlin as Arsenal wait

arsenal morgan

 

Transfer Balls: Time again to catch up with Southampton FC’s Morgan Schneiderlin. According to the Daily Mirror Manchester United have bought the Frenchman for £25million. On June 27, the Mirror reported:

Manchester United have sealed a £25million deal for Morgan Schneiderlin… Schneiderlin will join United from Southampton when the transfer widow opens on Wednesday.

The self-styled “intelligent tabloid” said “Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin to join Red Devils on Wednesday”.

Well, it’s Wednesday. And Schneiderlin remains a Southampton player.

The Sun said:

The Red Devils have beaten off interest from Arsenal to land the French midfielder

The Daily Telegraph agreed, although it said Manchester United had spent £24m on the player who would arrive at Old Trafford “this week”.

But today the Telegraph reports:

Manchester United transfer news: Southampton turn down £20m Morgan Schneiderlin bid – Opening bid for French midfielder falls well short of valuation of £25m for player also courted by Arsenal and Spurs

But Arsenal don’t want him. We know that because the Daily Star said the Gunenrs had “rejected” Schneiderlin. The Daily Express said Schneiderlin had “snubbed” the Gunners. Either way, there was no chance to the player heading to the Emirates. Although the Mirror did report that, er, Arsenal had signed Schneiderlin for £15m.

Such are the facts in the quaqlity Press.

Posted: 1st, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Media Balls: Manchester City’s new manager after Pelligrini is sacked is…

Transfer Balls: It’s time to talk about Manchester City’s next manager.

Today The Daily Star reports that Man City are looking to sack Manuel Pellegrini and replace the affable Chilean with current Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola.

No, not Diego Siemone, as reported in the, er, Daily Star:

 

sacked pelligrini

 

The media really do want Pelligrini out:

March 13, 2015, TalkSport: “Manuel Pellegrini will be sacked this summer if Manchester City fail to land the Premier League title.”

Apr 10 2015, The Independent: Can Man United get Manuel Pellegrini sacked?

April 13, 2015, the Guardian: “Manchester City could sack Pellegrini before end of season”

April 13, 2015, Daily Star: “Patrick Vieira could be made caretaker-boss of Manchester City if the club decide to sack Manuel Pellegrini.”

April 15, 2015, The Times: “Manchester City are not targeting Jürgen Klopp in the event that Manuel Pellegrini is sacked as manager”

May 3, 2015, Mirror“Manchester City MUST sack Manuel Pellegrini if they want to win the title back next season”

May 9, 2015, The Metro: “Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola ‘agrees to sign for Manchester City’”

May 10, 2015, Daily Express: “Manuel Pellegrini faces the sack as Man City begin complete summer overhaul”

And he’s replaced by…

May 15, 2015, Daily Express: “Chelsea hero Carlo Ancelotti AGREES summer move to Manchester City”

Or not…

Posted: 1st, July 2015 | In: Manchester City, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer Balls: Sergio Ramos’ mum rejects Manchester United and David De Gea questions Madrid’s Di Maria Law

Transfer balls: Your one-stop shop for all gossip on Manchester United and REal MAdrid targets Sergio Ramos and David De Gea, respsectively.

Mirror: “Manchester United will only increase their bid for Sergio Ramos if Real Madrid agree to do the same for David De Gea.”

United have offered £30m for Ramos, 29. Real have offered just below £20mfor De Gea, 24.

Although United made their offer for Ramos independently of De Gea’s situation, there is an acceptance at Old Trafford that the two deals are likely to have to be merged at some stage and a compromise reached between the clubs.

Why would they be merged?

Marca: “The Ramos goldmine”

Real Madrid are set on Sergio Ramos staying in the fold but, if he did go to United or any other team, the deal would be worth a king’s ransom.

‘Los Blancos’ are still planning to hold onto their vice captain and get contract renewal negotiations back on track, which, as things currently stand, have reached an impasse. The fallout from the wrangling that has been going on over recent months has affected the relationship between Florentino Pérez and Ramos, causing the player to put in a request to leave.

Real Madrid are very clear on their position. If Ramos could not see any other way forward than departure, the decision is that Di María Law would apply.

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Posted: 1st, July 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Why Leicester City gave Nigel Pearson the bird

pearson sacked ostrichWhy was Nigel Pearson sacked from his job as manager of Leicester City?

The Sun says the club’s Thai owners “showed him the door over the fallout at the axing of his son”.

They decided to act after booting out James Pearson and two other players last month for making a racist sex tape during a club tour to Thailand.

Is it fair that Pearson should pay for the sins of his ignorant son?

Rory Smith notes:

The man who guided Leicester City to what may be the greatest of the Barclays Premier League’s great escapes might have felt that his remarkable recovery had made him bullet-proof.

Leicester supporters’ club chairman Cliff Ginetta says:

“I’m very shocked. The club are not happy with the way he ran the trip to Thailand.”

Pearson has some form. Last season he took hold of Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur by the throat. He’d allegedly told a fan to “f*** off and die”. Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha sacked him. Then his son Aiyawatt reversed that descions. Pearson was back.

He then did something remarkably stupid and bizarre. Pearson attacked journalist Ian Baker for being an “ostrich” after Leicester’s 3-1 home defeat to Chelsea. At a press confernce Baker had upset Pearson by asking the manager to expand on his own comments that the media were less than supportive of the team. Pearson gave Baker the bird:

Pearson: Are you flexible enough to get your head in the sand? My suspicion would be no.
Baker: Probably not.
Pearson: I can. You can’t. You can’t.

As Giles Smith quipped:

A complex piece of points scoring here by Pearson. Not only was the reporter an ostrich, he wasn’t even flexible enough to be an ostrich. Whereas Pearson wasn’t an ostrich, but at least he was flexible enough to be one.

But Pearson wasn’t sacked for being a one-man Bernie Clifton tribute act. Well, so says the BBC:

BBC Sport’s Pat Murphy has learned the 51-year-old’s sacking was “definitely not a football issue”. Murphy said the Thai owners acted because they were concerned about damage to the club’s reputation, while a Leicester statement said the relationship between Pearson and the board was “no longer viable”.

Says Murphy:

“There is no doubt that the image and the reputation of the club in their homeland of Thailand has been damaged by the behaviour of, among others, the manager’s son James on the ‘goodwill’ tour to Thailand.”

Murphy is not exactly best pals with Pearson. After the ostrich horrorshow, Murphy went to a Leicester City press conference and berated Pearson, who came over as chippy and not at all flexible (via).

PM: Nigel, why can’t you be more specific about the criticisms of your players from the media when on behalf of the media of the Midlands we are a bit baffled by that because we think we have been very supportive of the players this season?

NP: Do you? Okay, that is your opinion.

PM: Can you give us a specific example of the disagreement?

NP: No, I don’t feel I want to get into that sort of an argument with you.

PM: You are generalising about us…

NP: And you generalise about me! There you are.

PM: But I am giving you specific examples, I know how supportive the media have been.

NP: Do you?

PM: Yes, having spoken to a lot of the media this season I can’t get this at all that we are after you.

NP: I didn’t say you were. I said there had been criticisms and I will stick up for my players, and always will.

PM: There will always be elements of criticism when you have been bottom of the league for a certain amount of time, but many, many people have been saying you have been unlucky, that things have not gone your way.

NP: I think you are looking at your side of the argument through rose tinted glasses. That is something that I am not going to get into a discussion with you about today.

PM: It takes two to tango.

NP: It does indeed.

PM: You had a go at one of our reporters in my opinion unfairly.

NP: Well there you are. I think we have come in for some criticism and so have I when I think it is unfair. So there we are.

PM: Surely it comes with the territory?

NP: Well there you are then. Absolutely.

PM: When did it dawn on you to apologise? How soon after did you think, ‘ooh I was out of order there’?

NP: Again, I don’t think that is something I need to answer. I have apologised and I would, had it been a more private thing, I would have apologised one to one, but when it has been in the public domain, the public eye I think it is right to do it the way I have done it, and that is all there is to it.

PM: Did you speak to the owners at any stage?

NP: No.

PM: So it was your decision?

NP: Yes.

PM: There is a bit of a charge sheet developing here this season is there not?

NP: Possibly. Is that why you are here?

PM: One of the reasons I am here today is because every week you won’t do the type of press conference that other Premier League clubs do. If you did do it so it was in different sections then I would be here more often. I don’t see why I have to justify why I am here Nigel.

NP: Fine.

PM: The question stands…

NP: And I don’t see why I have to continue to take your one-sided view of this argument.

PM: You put it in the public domain.

NP: Absolutely, yes, I have.

PM: So the charge sheet, does that not bother you?

NP: Not particularly, no.

PM: You must sit back here and think ‘ooh, I have got a few things wrong this season in public or dealing with supporters etc. It is the worst charge sheet of any Premier League manager so far this season in terms of that kind of behaviour.

NP: Okay.

PM: You are in danger of appearing a bully.

NP: Am I?

PM: Yes. And paranoid.

NP: Paranoid? Okay. Anything else?

PM: Well, someone has to tell you.

NP: Okay, you are telling me?

PM: Hasn’t anyone ever told you that before? Has no one ever taken you to one side and said ‘Nigel, I think you are out of order here’?

NP: If they have then that is my business.

PM: Leicester have got such a good reputation recently in particular. So many people say what a great fightback this is. You could have been Manager of the Month. You still might be Manager of the Month.

NP: I don’t see what the point is. What is your point with that? Are you suggesting my job is to pander to your requirements?

PM: Of course not. What I will say to you is that the football world gets a lot of money from via media these days and gives you a very comfortable living, and you could treat them with a little more respect. Disagree with them by all means. Okay, you have apologised now but it has panned out into a big story, it didn’t need to be a big story. It is a 24/7 story all over 24 hours okay. It is all your doing.

NP: Okay. You have obviously been sent here to put your industry’s case forward.

PM: I don’t think I need to justify my motives but when a fellow reporter gets unfairly criticised byt a manager I will defend that reporter, that is instinct.

NP: Fine, and you are doing.

PM: Just as you would defend a fellow manager.

NP: And I will absolutely always support my players.

PM: I just think you are affecting the reputation of Leicester City by your conduct off the field.

NP: Do you? Okay.

You can’t rule out the role of media is ending Pearson’s Leicester City career. Not that the official club statement mentions any specifics:

“The board of directors recognises the success Nigel has helped to bring to Leicester City during his two spells in charge of the club, particularly during the last three and a half years. However, it has become clear to the club that fundamental differences in perspective exist between us. Regrettably, the club believes that the working relationship between Nigel and the Board is no longer viable.

“Leicester City’s owners, Vichai and Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, and the board of directors would like to place on record their thanks to Nigel for the considerable contribution he has made during his time with the club and wish him well in future.”

No longer viable. Ouch!

Posted: 1st, July 2015 | In: News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer Balls: Watch when Arsenal reject Morgan Schneiderlin signed for Manchester United

Transfer Balls: It’s been a busy week for Morgan Schneiderlin, who has been on his way to Arsenal and Manchester United for what seems like an age. Currently at Southampton, this has been Schneiderlin’s week:

Thursday June 25, Daily Express: “Man Utd, Arsenal and Spurs target Morgan Schneiderlin AGREES £24m Southampton exit”

Saturday June 27, The Metro: “Manchester United agree transfer deal to sign Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin”

Saturday June 27, Daily Express: “Man Utd Transfer News: Schneiderlin Arsenal SNUB”

The Daily Mirror, June 27:

Manchester United have sealed a £25million deal for Morgan Schneiderlin… Schneiderlin will join United from Southampton when the transfer widow opens on Wednesday.

 

June 28, Daily Star: Man Utd plan to CONFIRM signing of £24m Arsenal target Morgan Schneiderlin TOMORROW”

June 28, Daily Mirror: “Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin to join Red Devils on Wednesday”

Sunday June 28, Daily Telegraph: “Man Utd told to speed up signing of Morgan Schneiderlin – but Van Gaal holding out for Bastian Schweinsteiger”

Sunday June 28, Daily Star: “REVEALED: Why Arsenal let Manchester United sign Morgan Schneiderlin – ARSENAL pulled out of a deal to sign Morgan Schneiderlin as they didn’t consider him value for money.”

Sunday June 28, Sunday Times: “Schweinsteiger tempted by Old Trafford starting place”

 

June 29, Daily Telegraph: “Southampton and France midfielder expected to complete move to Old Trafford for fee of £24m in coming days”

 

June 29, Daily Telegraph: “Arsenal… yet to make move for Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin”

It could be that Arsenal will still enter the bidding, with Wenger overseeing a budget this summer of around £50 million…

 

Monday June 29, Telegrapah: “Man Utd transfer news: Morgan Schneiderlin deal should be sealed this week”

Monday, June 29, Manchester Evening News: “Manchester United transfer news: Schneiderlin bid ‘not serious'”

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has revealed Manchester United are yet to lodge a ‘serious bid’ for Morgan Schneiderlin.

Tuesday June 30, Sky Sports: “Manchester United’s move for Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin on hold”

Number of words from Schneiderlin, Manchester United and Arsenal: nil.

Such are the facts…

Posted: 30th, June 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal flop Gervinho’s move to Abu Dhabi Club collapses over demands for a private beach

gervino

 

Former Arsenal player Gervinho has managed to achieve what many thought impossible: he has made the princes of Abu Dhabi think his lifestyle too rich, a tad flashy.

Gazzetta dello Sport says Gervinho’s move from Roma to Abu Dhabi’s Al Jazira FC is off.

An unnamed Al Jazira executive has publicly bemoaned the 28-year-old winger’s ‘obscene’ contract demands. It’s claimed the player wanted a personal helicopter, access to his own private beach and unlimited plane travel.

Add that to a reported €13million fee and the package was too rich for the Abu Dhabi locals.

If only he would have stuck at the air-conditioned rain forest, things would have been easy.

 

Posted: 30th, June 2015 | In: News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


You all paid for West Ham United’s Olympic stadium and cheap tickets to woo a foreign buyer

west ham stadium

More rings than bubbles

 

West Ham United are moving into the 54,000-seater Olympic Stadium. If you think that’s the end of the Olympic Legacy, you’d be mistaken. The money involved is entirely in keeping with the profligate Olympic spend: the London 2012 Olympic bill came in at £9bn – far higher than the original projected cost of £2.75 billion.

The newlook Olympic stadium has cost the taxpayer a massive £702m. It was supposed to cost £280m. But somehow the fees and build soared – it cost £272m just to alter the place to become a football ground.

Why?

Dan Roan cites one expensive design flaw:

The stadium’s owners, the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), admits the project is over-budget by around £35m. Putting the largest cantilevered roof in the world on to a superstructure that had not been built to bear that kind of weight was far more complex and expensive than envisaged – the contract was announced initially at £155m, before rising to £189m in October.

Compare that to the £42m required to convert the City of Manchester stadium after the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

Given that it cost a generous £798m for the 90,000-capacity Wembley (the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff cost £121m in 1999), West Ham fans cost more per head than England supporters.

And what does it cost West Ham? Well, the club will make a £15m contribution on top of the £2.5m they will pay annually for a 99-year lease. That looks cheap.

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Posted: 30th, June 2015 | In: News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester United Transfer Balls: Ramos wants out of Real Madrid and De Gea angers Van Gaal

ramos swap de gea

 

Transfer Balls: a round-up of today’s news on Manchester United’s David De Gea, destined for a move to Real Madrid.

How soon does De Gea want to go?

Daily Mirror: “Manchester United transfers: David De Gea wants his future sorted NEXT WEEK”

Daily Express: “Manchester Utd’s David De Gea wants to complete Real Madrid move THIS WEEK”

What do we know?
Daily Express: “Meanwhile, United are ready to get tough with David De Gea and hold him to the last year of his contract – unless Real Madrid match their £30m-plus valuation.”

The Times:

The Spanish club have failed to come close to meeting United’s asking price for the 24-year-old, believing that the £20 million valuation is excessive given that the player has only a year left on his contract and has consistently rebuffed attempts to tie him to a long-term deal at Old Trafford.

Is the fee £30m or £20m?

Is it  clear-cut deal, then: money for player?

…the situation is complicated by United’s continuing interest in Sergio Ramos.The Old Trafford club had an offer of £32 million for the Spain centre back rejected lastweek, with Real insisting that they would only countenance selling for somewhere in the region of £60 million. Although Benítez would like to keep a player he regards as one of the most authoritative in his new club’s dressing room, Ramos has informed Real that he wants to leave the Bernabéu for Old Trafford.

Does Ramos really want to leave Madrid?

The Sun:

Ramos has implored his club to let him go to Old Trafford. Ramos, 29, is unhappy that Madrid have failed to offer him improved terms on his current contract. He has made it clear to United that he is not using them just to get a better contract in Spain.

Any word from United manager Louis Van Gaal?

Van Gaal — who grew so angry when asked about De Gea’s future during a telephone interview for a Spanish television station that he hung up…

The IBTimes has more of that conversation:

“Yes [I’m angry with the saga], but I have no problem with it,” Van Gaal said.

“I don’t want to respond to this issue through the media. I’ll talk to my bosses, not the media, but I have no problem.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 30th, June 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0