Transfer Balls spots this pile of steaming matter in the Daily Star. Tomas Rosicky is surely on his way out of Arsenal. He’s a terrific player but at 34 years of age and no longer near the starting XI he’s looking very replaceable.
But wait a moment! In the Daily Star, Dave Woods has an “EXCLUSIVE”.
Tomas Rosicky to stay if Arsenal sign Chelsea star Petr Cech
Why? Is Cech insisting that Rosicky stays at Arsenal?
…with the pair being so close, the Frenchman knows keeping Rosicky at The Emirates can help convince Cech that Arsenal are the right team for him.
Because Rosicky and Cech are both Czech nationals it means that having the square-cheeked midfielder around the Emirates will help Cech settle into life in London, the city he’s lived in for a decade? That’s the “exclusive”?
Rosicky will be delighted to learn that his primary function will be to operate as – and this with apologies – Cech’s Czech mate. And at £85,000-a-week, he might well be the capital’s most expensive babysitter. Something to put on his CV, there.
Manchester United’s Phil Jones just wanted it more than Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud. Some say he wanted to eat it, others that he wanted to balance it on his nose and be rewarded with a large raw herring.
That Jones face tackle has garnered a few choice reactions on twitter:
You’re all laughing at Phil Jones, but that’s what raw desire looks like. It’s also what a spaniel on a freshly polished floor looks like.
— Iain Macintosh (@iainmacintosh) May 17, 2015
Phil Jones. pic.twitter.com/s5e4KQtELn
— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) May 17, 2015
No-one in the universe is going to be able to concentrate when Phil Jones is doing that at your feet
— Daily Cannon (@DailyCannon) May 17, 2015
It’s easy to mock Jones, but his commitment to the cause will give England manager Roy Hodgson a selection headache, angle-hunting Sky Sports a new Jones-inspired Worm Cam and make historians wonder what shape Diego Maradona’s career had taken had Terry Fenwick dealt with the titchy Argentine at grass roots level.
Manchester United’s Phil Jones will now slide tackle Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud using his face.
Phil Jones summed up in one video. pic.twitter.com/WiocBFZa8d
— FootyHumour (@FootyHumour) May 17, 2015
It’s what hi-def slow motion was made for.
Transfer Balls spots this gem in the Daily Express: “CONFIRMED: Arsene Wenger reveals the THREE players joining Arsenal this summer.”
Can it be that after playing his cards so close to his chest for years, the Arsenal boss has taken to advertising his intentions in the transfer market before the summer has even begun? Has Bruce Archer the scoop of scoops?
No. The entire story runs like this:
Wenger insists he will not be making any big signings but his three loanees will return when the season is over.
Can Arsenal win the Premier League next season? In short: can they beat Chelsea, this season’s best?
Jose Mourinho, never one to miss a chance to salute his own genius, says:
“The titles at Chelsea [in his first tenure in charge] were fantastic, becasue it was the beginning of the Mr Abramovich era, no title before that.”
Well, not quite. Chelsea had been champions of the old first division in 1983–84, 1988–89. They had last won the top tier in 1954–55 – the only time they had done so until Roman arrived.
So. Money won it? No, says Jose:
“But now it’s a great feeling because it’s my club, because of the [strength] of the league, because we are not the any more the rich club.”
Chelsea’s finances are sound. Sure, Chelsea’s parent company owes Abramovich £958million, but he’s not sent any final demands yet.
But Chelsea are rich.
The mother of Arsenal youngster Ainsley Maitland-Niles has reportedly been banned from entering the club’s training ground after scuffling with a member of the Gunners’ back-room staff during a recent Under-21 game.
Police were called to London Colney during the U21 fixture with Aston Villa on March 20th and arrested a woman, reported to be the mother of 17-year-old Maitland-Niles on suspicion of assaulting two people, one of them being Arsenal club negotiator Dick Law.
Trasnfer balls: Manchester United keep and lose de Gea to Real Madrid as Casillas stays to play for Arsenal
Transfer balls: The Sun says Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas, 33, wants to join Arsenal this summer. That move would mean Madrid buying David De Gea from Manchester United.
We know this because the Sun has heard from “top sources in Spain”. The facta only get more factual when the Sun presses caps lock:
And it means Real WILL swoop for Manchester United star David De Gea, who is still stalling on a new deal at Old Trafford.
Transfer Balls: Is Barcelona’s Pedro heading to Arsenal? The Daily Express says he is. It’s an “exclusive”:
Pedro’s a top player. Arsenal fans will be happy he’ll be playing for them next season. Of course, this is the Daily Express, which told its readers Pedro had agreed to play for Inter Milan:
Arsenal had best hurry up because early this week, Pedro was worth £22m to Chelsea…
Uttrer balls everyday in the newspapers…
Clegg’s Arsenal, Cameron’s Aston Villa or Miliband’s Leeds United: the General Election vote for football fans
Political football is a game of own-goals. Just as a leading Aston Villa, Arsenal or Leeds United fan…
David Cameron is the latest (but probably not the last) politician to learn that football, when used as a political football, can result in an own goal.
In football parlance, it was the day the Conservatives’ gaffer became the gaffe-er. During an election meeting, the Prime Minister described our great country as a place, ‘Where you can be Welsh and Hindu and British, Northern Irish and Jewish and British, where you can wear a kilt and a turban, where you can wear a hijab covered in poppies. Where you can support Man United, the Windies and Team GB all at the same time.’
Transfer Balls: Liverpool have made an offer for Real Madrid’s Asier Illarramendi. So declares the Daily Telegraph. And who are the papers sources for this Liverpool scoop?
According to The Metro, Illarramendi is expected to quit Madrid this summer after struggling to hold down a regular place in the Real side
The Metro. Yeah. Stick with it. After all, waaaay back on April 22, The Metro reported:
Arsenal handed transfer blow as Asier Illarramendi confirms desire to stay at Real Madrid
Today’s Metro scoop arrives via Jamie Sanderson:
Liverpool ‘make offer to finally seal Asier Illarramendi transfer’.
Sanderson then delivers the facts:
Liverpool have made an offer to sign Real Madrid’s Asier Illarramendi ahead of Arsenal, according to reports. Illarramendi is expected to quit Madrid this summer after struggling to hold down a regular place in the Real side.
Arsenal have been linked with a move, with Arsene Wenger said to be a fan, but Marca claims Liverpool…
So. It’s Marca, then. And we do find a story on Illarramendi and Liverpool. It’s dated April 11 2015. It contains not single word on any offer. But we do learn that Arsenal and Liverpool both like Illarramendi. But mentions of a bid are there none.
In the build up to Arsenal’s Premier League match with Chelsea, the tabloids are focusing on the Blues’ Cesc Fabregas. The match will be the first time the Chelsea player has faced his old club on their home pitch.
The Daily Star leads with news that Fabregas “snubbed” Arsenal. The paper says Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, has “muddied the water” by saying his former captain had no intention of returning to the Gunners:
“I believe his decision was already made. I personally believe that deal was done a long time ago, in early 2014… I was intriguded that he might go to Chelsea, but when I was informed I thought the deal was already done.”
Transfer Balls: Is Southampton’s heading to Arsenal? The Sun says he might be. The story tells readers:
Victor Wanyama has revealed to SunSport that he is on Arsene Wenger’s shopping list Wanyama said: “Wenger has been talking about me. And he has let it be known that he wants me in the summer. Arsenal are a great club and I’d love to play Champions League football as I loved being on that stage with Celtic.”‘
So. Wanyama is keen on Arsenal.
But on Twitter, Wanyama says the story is wrong:
“I have to make it clear that I have not said what has been brought up today. I am professional and will never say that. To cut the story short have never spoken to Wenger.”
Transfer Balls spots the Daily Star’s news that Sami Khedira has delived a “blow to Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United”.
Jonathan Green reports:
The 28-year-old has become one of the most sought after players in European football with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Dortmund and Schalke all looking to secure the German’s signature.
This is the Daily Star that told readers that Khedira had agreede to join Arsenla and Bayern Munich:
Such are the facts in the Daily Star…
The World Cup winner is out of contract in the summer and has confirmed he will leave the Bernabeu after five years.
The 28-year-old has become one of the most sought after players in European football with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Dortmund and Schalke all looking to secure the German’s signature.
And reports in Spain claim Dortmund are in the process of drawing up an offer for Khedira as they look to move ahead of their rivals.
Borussia Dortmund want Sami Khedira
INTEREST: Borussia Dortmund want Sami Khedira [GETTY]
They say Dortmund officials are prepared to offer Khedira a deal worth €11m (£8m) a year to bring him to the Westfalenstadion.
The Bundesliga club are set for a major overhaul this summer following Jurgen Klopp’s announcement that he will step down as manager at the end of the season.
Mats Hummels looks set to follow Klopp out of the exit door while doubts remain over the futures of Ilkay Gundogan, Marco Reus, Ciro Immobile and Neven Subotic.
By Klopp Watch
Jurgen Klopp is heading out of Borussia Dortmund. But where to next for the affable German?
The Daily Express says Manchester City is Klopp’s most likely destination. Why City, who have moved towards the Spanish model in recent seasons with the appointment of former Barcelona executives Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain (secured in the hope of luring Pep Guardiola to the Etihad), would opt for the man who made Dortmund masters of high-octane gegenpressing is not explained.
Any move for Klopp would necessitate a wholesale change in style and massive investment. Would Financial Fair Play allow it?
The Mirror also links Klopp to City. Apparently, odds on Klopp heading to the Etihad have been slashed. Of course odds on Klopp heading anywhere have been slashed following the announcement that this season will be his last at Dortmund.
The Mirror says City’s main rivals for the German are Napoli. Can anyone really see an Italian team embracing Klopp’s madly energetic, hard-pressing style? Klopp has said that he loves “serenity football… What we call in German – English football: rainy days, heavy pitch, everybody is dirty in the face…” So. Sunny Napoli it is then.
The Sun leads with news that Klopp has “told Premier League clubs: Come and get me.” The paper suggests the clubs that could go for Klopp: Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham, West Ham and Newcastle.
The Mail produces its list of possible Klopp destinations. City, Liverpool and Arsenal are the only Premier League clubs to feature. No word on West Ham, who would offer Klopp an intriguing challenge. Liverpool would be Klopp’s natural fit, but Brendan Rodgers is doing a decent job at Anfield. Arsenal could do with Klopp when Arsene Wenger leaves in a year or two. But after years of relative austerity when they sold their best players to balance the books and fund a new stadium, Wenger’s sudden departure would be like a man walking away from a loaded fruit machine.
The Mail says the clubs most likely to go for Klopp are Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
Could Klopp, the outsider, end up at one of the ultimate insider clubs? Rory Smith (Times) compares such a move to “the gertrification of Williamsburg, the adoption of the beard by the Ben Sherman boys, the ultimate defeat for hipsters”.
So. Not all bad, then.
But while a move to Real Madrid seems possible, Klopp to Bayern would surely be a bitter blow to the Dortmund fans who love him. The Mail says “sources in Germany have not ruled out a move to rivals Bayern Munich if Pep Guardiola fails to win the Champions’ League this season”.
That might be because Klopp has not ruled out a move to anywhere.
It’s the Daily Raheem Sterling – a look at the Liverpool player in the news.
The Sunday Mirror has news that Sterling, 20, has been photographed smoking a shisha pipe during a night out with friends. Was this a bonding session with Arsenal’s smoking Jack Wilshere and Wojciech Tomasz Szczęsny?
The picture of him inhaling on the bright orange pipe during a night out with pals emerged just hours after he upset his army of fans by snubbing a £100,000-a-week contract. Experts warn a single shisha session could be equivalent to smoking up to 200 cigarettes.
In case you were less than bothered at what a top athlete does in his spare time and find ludicrous the claim that a drag on a shisha is the same as smoking 200 fags, the Mirror trills:
The image will shock team-mates and parents of youngsters who idolise the winger, 20.
As ever with such things, we are invited to think of the children. From being an adult having a legal puff , Sterling is now a danger to your kids.
The Daily Mirror says Sterling was heckled by Liverpool fans as he modeled the team’s new kit. As Sterling took the stage to enthuse about the outfit, a voice shouted:
“Make sure we see you in it next season.”
Others cheered. Sterling, quick as a flash, said nothing.
ESPN says Sterling will ignore the hecklers and not sign a new Liverpool contract. How do ESPN know this? It reports:
Raheem Sterling will not sign a new contract at Liverpool this season as he waits to see what offers come his way this summer, a well-placed source has told ESPN FC.
An anonymous source says so, that’s why. And if you can’t trust an anonymous source, who can you trust?
Over in the Liverpool Echo the news is that Liverpool already have a ‘new’ Sterling:
Jordon Ibe can be just like Chelsea and Arsenal target Raheem Sterling – Brendan Rodgers
Is that what Rodgers said? No quite, no. The Liverpool Post has Rodgers quotes on Ibe in full:
“They’re both very exciting, but they’re different types of players,” Rodgers said.
Over on Sky Sports, Sterling is being talked about by his Liverpool teammate Lucas Leiva:
“It’s incredible how much he (Sterling) can achieve,” said Lucas. “He’s got all the potential and of course there has been a lot of talk about his contract situation but he’s dealing with it well on the pitch.
“Off the pitch he is getting advice that he thinks is best for him. My advice for him would be to play football – although it is hard to give advice. He knows what’s best for him as do his agent and family.”
So. No news, then…
Transfer balls looks at today’s reporting on Liverpool star and Arsenal target Raheem Sterling.
The Daily Star leads its sports coverage with news that Sterling is off to Arsenal. David Woods has an “exclusive”. He “can reveal” that Arsenal are buying Sterling. He can also”reveal” that Liverpool are buying Arsenal’s Theo Walcott.
Overlooking the obvious fact that this “exclusive” was first reported in a fact-free Daily Mirror story two weeks ago, the Star’s scoop contains not a single fact about either player. Woods says Arsenal would pay Walcott plus £20m for Sterling. Given the figure of £50m touted for Sterling, that values Walcott at £30m.
How he arrives at those sums is through the process of ‘guesswork’.
It is utter balls.
We do hear from Arsenal in the Sun, where team manager Arsene Wenger says:
“We have a core of five or six players who have been here for the last seven years and we wants to keep that nucleus.”
Does that group include Walcott, who joined Arsenal in January 2006? It’s unclear because the Daily Express quotes Wenger thus:
“We now have a core of players, a good balance of players…who have been here for up to seven years and a few that arrived one or two seasons ago. We have a good balance.”
Walcott arrived at Arsenal nine years ago. Given how guarded and careful Wenger is with his words, it might well be that Walcott, who will have just one season remaining on his curent deal at this season’s end, is on his way out.
Such are the facts
Transfer Balls: The Daily Express report Arsenal are in “pole position” to buy Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain.
That is incredible news. Why? Because as we Sun readers know, Higuain already plays for Arsenal.
Two years ago the Sun told us that Higuain had joned the Gunners for a record fee.
For those of you missed Mark Irwin’s scoop of July 2013, the good news is that despite a site redesign, the news of Higuain’s transfer to Arsenal remains a fact on the Sun.
So much for the Sun. The Express is far more on the ball. Or not.
In 2014, the Express told us:
GONZALO HIGUAIN could be on his way to Arsenal… Gonzalo Higuain has hinted he could be leaving Napoli, with Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester United all interested.
He never has played for Arsenal.
Jamie Redknapp says Arsenal’s German midfileder Mesut Ozil “is something special and worth paying to watch”.
Redknapp tells his Daily Mail readers that “Mesut Ozil is an easy target for ex-pros and pundits…”
“When things don’t come off for the German, people are quick to criticise. We do that too much in this country — looking at what people can’t do rather than what they can — and it’s where we go wrong so often.”
Well, going into Arsenal’s last match in which Ozil shone, Redknapp said Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson “will press hard and make sure Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla have no room to breathe.”
Can it be that Raheem Sterling, the Liverpool tyro, would leave the club to play for Arsenal or Manchester United? The Sun says the deal to Old Trafford is on.
The last player to move between the two clubs was Phil Chisnall, who left Manchester United for Liverpool in 1964.
Sterling has rejected a near £100,000-a-week deal to remain at Liverpool. He and his agent are agitating for an exit. Liverpool want him to stay.
Their mistake was securing him on a £35,000-a-week deal that ends in two years time. They should have offered him more when he signed that deal just after his 18th birthday. They should have seen the improving player and recalculated his worth. Now that Liverpool are ready to negotiate, Sterling has raised his sights.
Sterling thinks Liverpool owe him back pay.
And Liverpool’s rivals are ready to exploit his position.
Sterling, of course, runs the risk of looking like a greedy, ungrateful, disloyal tosser.
Transfer Balls: the Times says Chelsea are ready to make a move for Arsenal’s Theo Walcott.
Matt Hughes says Walcott, 26, wants to stay at Arsenal. But at the end of this season Walcott’s current contract will have just one year to run.
There is no guantratee Arsenal and Walcott will agree on a new contract. So. He could be off.
But Arsene Wenger says there has been progress:
“The first contacts have been established with the embassy! We will see how that progresses politically. Walcott was difficult to convince (last time) and that’s why it took us much time.”
Transfer balls looks at the Daily Mirror’s lead story: Raheem Sterling could be leaving Liverpool for life at Arsenal. Recalling how well things went when Arsenal last tried to buy a Liverpool player – a failed bid of £40m plus £1 for Luis Suarez – investigating the veracity of this story seems worthwhile.
John Cross reminds readers that former QPR starlet Sterling has yet to sign a new deal at Liverpool. He says a raft of big clubs are after the player, mentioning Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Manchester City. Cross then states that “City will make a big bid” for the England player.
That’s pretty much the entire back-page news story. It continues two pages inside, with Cross saying that “Arsenal are serious contenders” and have made “discreet enquiries about Sterling’s availability”. Given that the Gunners’ apparent discretions are back-page news, you wonder what form the club’s enquiries took: a word in the ear of the Mirror’s Arsenal reporter, perhaps?
Over in the Mail, news is that Sterling will not sign for Liverpool “even if Liverpool offer £180,000 a week”. Says who? We’re not told? It’s just a fact that if Liverpool lose their minds and offer Sterling £180,000-a week to play for them he will not stay. Make it £180,001 and… yeah, maybe he will. Call his agent, Make the offer. See what occurs.
After that uter balls, over in the Express, their story is that Liverpool are interested in buying Arsenal’s Theo Walcott, who will be replaced at The Emirates by Marco Reus. Really? Reus is the player the Express reported had agreed to join Real Madrid and the Mirror said had joined Barcelona.
Such are the facts in the trusty tabloids…
The Sun says Arsenal are looking to buy Southampton’s Victor Wanyama for £30m contains a line to make Gunners fans smirk.
The Sun says Spurs also want Wanyama, 23:
A source close to the Kenya ace said: “Victor would only consider a top-four club — or Spurs as he admires Pochettino from their time at Saints.”
…or Spurs. Ouch!
To recap: picky Victor would only consider leaving the Saints for a top seven club, then.
And as for the Sun’s scoop, well, in 2013 the paper reported that he was off to Arsenal for…£10m::
ARSENAL are poised to slap in a £10 million-plus bid for Celtic star Victor Wanyama. SunSport understands Gunners boss and long term admirer Arsene Wenger is finally ready to spend big on the Kenyan midfielder — and meet the SPL champs’ asking price.
The Gunners never did bid for the Wanyama…
Transfer Balls: Are Chelsea going to sell Petr Cech? Are Arsenal going to buy him? The Daily Telegraph says Chelsea might be. And Arsenal will pay £10m.
We cast our minds back to November, when the trusty Metro told readers that Cech had joined Arsenal for £7m:
Did he? No. Because The Argus says Chech won’t make any decision on his future until the summer..
Such are the facts…
Are Arsenal buying Palermo’s Paulo Dybala? The Telegraph says they could be. The paper also says Chelsea might buy him.
The Express says he will cost Manchester United £28.9m – and they want him, too.
The Daily Star says Arsenal are really keen on Karim Benzema – as they are every year. But they have been “rocked” by news that Paris St Germain also want him. But not to worry because that will mean Arsenal sign PSG’s Edinson Cavani for [insert ridiculous amount of money here].
The Daily Express says Arsenal are in for Paris Saint-Germain’s Marco Verratti and Bayern Munich’s Bastian Schweinsteiger. But, then, it says Real Madrid want both of those player, too. The Express says it knows this because Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has “specifically requested the duo”. Yeah. He didn’t say “get me whathisface and oojamiflip”. He used their actual names. #flattered.
The Metro, says Arsenal will “snare” Chile international Charles Aranguiz by dangling Alexis Sanchez over a bear pit filled with cash.
Such are the facts…
Liverpool and Manchester United Balls: 43 Seconds of Steven Gerrard out-performed 45 minutes of Adam Lallana
Liverpool lost 1-2 at home to Manchester United in the Premier League. We at Anorak always like to see what the local newpapers of both sides thought of the game.
The monocular Liverpool Echo and Manchester Evening News only rate players from their own areas. The MEN says the game’s best player was Juan Mata, with an 9 out of 10.
The Liverpool Post offers no rating for the bright Mata, but does say that the best Liverpool player was Sakho, who gets a 7. It gives Adam Lallana a 4. Lallana was not out-scored by Steven Gerrard, who replaced the former Southampton star and lasted just 43 seconds before he earned a red card. Instead of the ‘0’ Gerrard should have scored, the Post offers no score. Ity then adds that Gerrard is The best player to have pulled on a Liverpool shirt – ever.
In the haste to excuse Gerrard, the Post’s man-on-the scene notes:
“Ironically, after that [the sending off] they [Liverpool] played a lot better, they were a better team today with 10 than they were with 11.”
Good old Stevie, G., who does right when he does wrong.
Elswhere the Post adds that Gerrard is “saving the fairytale for Wembley”.