Arsenal | Anorak - Part 5

Arsenal Category

Chelsea website sees injustice as Arsenal win Community Shield

The football season is underway. Arsenal have beaten Chelsea to win the Community Shield on penalties. The game was largely flat and riddled with errors. And two incidents stand out. Chelsea’s Pedro was sent off for a “filthy challenge” (Times) on Arsenal’s Elneny. No argument there. And then there was the dive.

The Dive

In the first half, Chelsea’s Brazilian Willian was, says the BBC, “tripped by his own feet”. He fell in the box. Willian wanted a penalty. The referee gave him a yellow card for cheating.

What says the official Arsenal website? Nothing. There is, however, this message:


arsenal community shield


The Chelsea FC website.. Well, let’s wait a moment and first see what more mainstream media has to say on the incident.

The Telegraph:

PENALTY! NO! It’s a dive! That is very interesting. Willlian is onto a mistake by Bellerin, dribbles into the box and then trips himself up… Bellerin doesn’t touch him..

The Indy adds:

It looks as though he actually tripped over his own leg

The Guardian:

He…trips himself by kicking his own calf;

The Daily Mail:

Penalty to Chelsea? No! Instead Willian is booked for diving after evading a challenge from Bellerin and going to ground after clipping his own heels. Excellent decision from the referee.Reviewing the decision for BT Sport,

The Times:

Mark Clattenburg ruled simulation as Willian tripped himself up, his left leg coming over and catching his right.

And on Chelsea FC’s website?

Willian’s booking for simulation in the first half when replays suggested he had been fouled.

More looking at biased reporting throughout the season.

Posted: 6th, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Clickbait balls: Indy tricks Arenal fans in Alexis Sanchez story

This was the week when, according to the Daily  Mirror, Alexis Sanchez would tell Arsenal he wanted to leave the club. It’s Saturday and today’s Alexis Sanchez news is that he has, reports the Indy, “set Arsenal a target if 85 points this season in order to challenge for the Premier League title”.


Is that what he said? No. He didn’t say anything. The Indy’s story is total and utter balls. It was Arsene Wenger, Arsenal’s manger, who was talking to media. He opined:

“When you have made 75 points (last season), your target is to get 10 points more. And with 10 points more, you are in there (the title race).”

alexis sanchez arsenal balls Indpendent

As reported in the Indy by Jack Austin


To recap: Sanchez did not set Arsenal a target. He has not pledge to stay at Arsenal, as the story strongly implies. Other than that, it’s correct.

Such are the facts.


Posted: 5th, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal owner bows to pressure and censors big game killing from his TV channel

Kronke hunting TV


Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has bowed to pressure. The UK version of his bloodsports channel will not broadcast big-game hunting, an utterly barbaric and wholly sad hobby for psychopathic dentists. (Yes, I now that’s tautological, but you take the point.)

The UK version of subscription service MyOutdoorTV, run by Kroenke’s Sports and Entertainment, was to show footage of men and women dressed in camouflage gear posing with inedible animals they’ve killed for fun. Now you’ll only get to see Bob and Mary-Jo grinning next to dead rarer breeds in the US.

Kroenke spokesman Jim Liberatore says that “in light of the public interest” there’ll be lots of to-deadline deaths but not of any big-game animals. They’ll be shot off-camera, like Aintree horses and Celebrity Big Brother losers. “While many on both sides of this issue have made their voices heard,” adds Liberatore, “and this content is only available through paid subscriptions, Stan Kroenke has directed us to remove all content related to those animals in light of the public interest.”

Liberatore added some guff about Kroenke being there for animal welfare, in the way that Mr Toff is there to support foxes who if it weren’t for hunting would died of boredom and lack of exercise. “He has a decades-long track record of environmental stewardship,” Liberatore continues, “working with conservationists, hydrologists, microbiologists, and others to responsibly manage habitat and enhance wildlife preservation.”

You can just imagine the animals and birds camped outside Mr Kroenke’s fencing, waiting for the chance to leap inside and be cared for by his welfare state.

PS: Of course, if you’re stinking rich, as Kroenke is, and really love animals why not just buy a large swathe of land and leave them alone?

Posted: 4th, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports, TV & Radio | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Monaco want Sanchez, Arsenal want Lemar, Barcelona pay Neymar’s dad earns more than Messi

More news on Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez, who has endured a busy summer in the media, joining Paris Saint GermainBayern Munich and Manchester City. He was on his way to Chelseadefinitely staying at Arsenal – who will sell him for £80m – and yesterday kissed the badge on his Arsenal shirt.



On Monday, the Daily Mirror told readers Sanchez would put in a transfer request this week. It’s Friday. He hasn’t.

Today’s news is that he could be on his way to Monaco. The French champions will bid £45m for the Chilean, says the Metro. The Express says Barcelona, rolling in filthy lucre since Neymar let for PSG, will try to bring Sanchez back to Spain. Incidentally, did you know that Neymar’s father has reaped more money from Barcelona in the last four years than Lionel Messi has? It’s true. And it illustrates just how over-hyped football is.

Meanwhile the Sun reasons that Monaco will use Arsenal’s interest in their midfielder, Thomas Lemar, “to try to tempt” the Gunners into lobbing Sanchez into a swap deal.

Unless they don’t.



Posted: 4th, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Sanchez kisses the badge and stays at Arsenal

Alexis Sanchez has been training hard at Arsenal. And today he did the unthinkable: he kissed the badge.



Might it be that Sanchez wants to remain at Arsenal, the club offering him £280,000 to extend his current contract? The Mirror says Sanchez” will tell Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger this week that he wants to join Manchester City.” But he hasn’t told him yet. And even if he does, Wenger’s non-plussed. “He is focused. My decision is clear, he will stay. He will accept that,” says Wenger. He adds: “The frame of mind of a footballer is quite easy – once you go out into the game, you focus on that.”


Posted: 3rd, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Clickbait balls: Lemar’s Arsenal hint

What is the “hint” being “dropped ” by Monaco’s Thomas Lemar that he’s on his way to Arsenal? Has he been spotted signing contracts in Alexis Sanchez’s Paris hotel?

You click on The Metro’s scoop and are told: “Lemar liked a training picture of Lacazette with Mesut Ozil and Danny Welbeck posted by the striker on Tuesday.”

And? And nothing. Lacazette, the paper continues, “is good friends with Lemar”.

Such are the facts.



Posted: 2nd, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Alexis Sanchez was in Paris to get his UK work permit

alexis sanchez agents Paris


You read the news that Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez has “agreed“a  four-year contract with Paris Saint Germain? You read that the Arsenal player had been in Paris to meet with PSG reps? And like me you thought it odd that no-one had a photo of Sanchez in Paris. Now Sanchez is in London, training with – yep – Arsenal. But the Daily Mail has news: “Judgment Day: Wantaway Sanchez flies back to London ahead of return to Arsenal… but what was he doing with his lawyer in Paris?”

He was, er, agreeing to play for PSG?

The Mail doesn’t answer. It just notes that “his brief stop-off in France has led to some fans questioning whether PSG is his next destination, while Man City supporters are still hopeful he will arrive at the Etihad.”

Hie next destination turned out to be Arsenal. Which leaves us to wonder what Sanchez was doing in Paris, if it wasn’t to sign a contract with PSG? The Daily Telegraph explains:

Ruben Inostroza Povea, who is Sanchez’s lawyer, uploaded a picture of the pair preparing to leave Santiago airport, Chile, on Sunday evening.

Odd. The paper said he was already in Paris. But at least his time there was a photo to prove that he wasn’t. But why was Sanchez heading to the French capital?

According to Povea’s Instagram picture, the trip included a stopover in Paris, where the forward is thought to have renewed his British work permit.

Just like he did in 2014, when he first joined Arsenal.

Such are the facts.


Posted: 1st, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, Manchester City, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal go trophy hunting with guns: club’s owner launches bloodsports channel

“What’s the best hunting channel on the telly?” is a question most of us are asked. It might be the Outdoor Sportsman Group, a online bloodsports broadcaster owned by Stan Kroenke, a man with a profile lower than a sniper shitting in a foxhole. Kroenke’s name is familiar to football fans because he owns the biggest slice of shares in Arsenal FC. TV’s Ben Fogle, an “ambassador” for the World Wildlife Foundation, has noticed that and because he disapproves of hunting wants Arsenal fans to boycott the club.

Two things have possibly escaped Fogle’s view: Arsenal fans support a football club not Stan Kroenke Inc.  The club is called The Gunners, nicknamed because the foundering members met – get this – in a munitions factory. They didn’t make stuff to shoot animals; the made guns to shoot people.

For those of you not au fait with Kroenke’s snuff TV for exotic breeds, the Times, which says Arsenal fans are “furious” over this, tells us:

My Online TV (MOTV) offers viewers the chance to see thousands of hunting shows, for a subscription of $9.99 (£7.60) a month, including one show that depicts a huntress shooting an antelope with a bow and arrow and men chasing bears in America with dogs…

In one episode a middle-aged man with a Smith & Wesson pistol shoots an adult lion beneath a tree. “It felt good, you know,” he says. “This is the most exciting hunt I have ever been on.”

Do we care that the armed pillock is middle aged and that the lion was adult? The average Londoner will find it odd that a man of any age would spend thousands of pounds travelling to Africa to off a big cat. But if it’s his idea of fun and freedom, and all the adults in this tableaux of guns and gore are consenting – no complaint from the lion nor his lawyers – who are we to judge? Football boots are still made from leather, the burgers for sale at Arsenal on match days are made from ‘meat’ and it’s unlikely any Arsenal season ticket holder will pay good money to watch animals being killed on Abattoir TV or whatever the show’s called and feel inspired to shot and mount fans of Millwall (nickname: The Lions), Leicester (The Foxes) or Tigers (Hull City).

Philippa King, chief operating officer of the League Against Cruel Sports, says Mr Kroenke had scored a “massive own goal… We’re living in a world now where most people can see how brutal and shameful trophy hunting is, yet the Arsenal boss is choosing to launch his sick TV channel in the UK.”

Trophy hunting is indeed shameful. Just look at how Arsenal celebrate winning the FA Cup when the really big prizes remain well out of reach. They shoot! They come that close…

Posted: 31st, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Arsenal offer Alexis Sanchez £300,000 a week one year deal and other tall stories

What news of Alexis Sanchez, the Chilean footballer last seen cradling the dog that most likely ate his homework when the Arsenal player was a lad? Is the Chilean as ill as she claims to be? That question to Arsenal manger, Arsene Wenger, who replies:

“Your job is to be suspicious. Your job is built on mistrust and my job is built on trust. That’s why I prefer my side… I had him [Sanchez] on text yesterday, he will come back as soon as possible. We were in touch with him and his doctor. There is no basic problem.

“He comes back on Tuesday. I cannot reveal what he says to me. I cannot reveal a secret conversation. He is flying back as soon as he is in position to fly back. He has flu, that is normally four to five days.”

The Sun gives its readers the side eye:

the sun alexis sanchez ill


but the facts are the facts. Sanchez is returning to Arsenal and will not be old, something Wenger has stated previously. To date the frenzied press have spotted Sanchez in Paris, where he was meeting with PSG reps in Paris before agreeing a four-year contract, talking in code, met with Manchester City’s reps in London, was on his way to Chelsea, is definitely staying at Arsenal – who will sell him for £80m – and was on his way to live his “dream” and play for Bayern Munich.

Today the Mirror publish more total balls. The paper brings news of a “new twist in the Alexis Sanchez saga”.


daily mirror balls alexis sanchez


The twist is:

Alexis Sanchez will tell Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger this week that he wants to join Manchester City.

How do we know this? We’re not told.


And, as exclusively revealed by Sunday Mirror Sport, he has priced himself out of moves to Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain by demanding £400,000 a week.

This would be the same Mirror newspaper that has told its readers:

Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez finalises deal to join Manchester City in blockbuster summer transfer signing – June 10, 2017

Bayern Munich prepared to make Alexis Sanchez their highest paid-player with £350,000-a-week offer – June 8, 2017

Arsenal superstar Alexis Sanchez targeted by super rich Inter Milan as “poster boy” of new era at San Siro – July 10, 2017

Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Paris Saint-Germain preparing £35million Alexis Sanchez bid? – July 30, 2017

So much for the Mirror’s scoops. And let’s not forget their news that Wenger has quite the club:


daily mirror wenger quits sack resigns arsenal


The paper adds today:

Wenger insists his star striker will not be sold – even for £50m, with less than 12 months left on his contract. Arsenal are preparing a compromise deal, with the offer of a one-year contract at £300,000 a week and a promise to review the situation next summer.

Such are the facts.


Posted: 30th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comments (3) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez is sick, grasping and pathetic – no wonder they all want him

Good news for those of you who hate football? The domestic season is yet to begin and already a player is doing a great impression of a grasping, unlovely git. Arsenal’s wantaway striker Alexis Sanchez, easily the side’s best player, has posted an photo of himself being ill. He’s not chucking up or in radiotherapy. He’s wearing a scarf indoors, cradling a dog and pulling the kind of face a spoilt brat uses when their over-indulging parent says ‘No more cake’. His agent says he has the flu.

Alexis Sanchez turns  9 29 in December.



I love the game but modern football is a hyped sport brimful of grasping berks.

The problem for Arsenal is that rampaging Sanchez scores goals. And when you overlook all the posting and pouting, that’s a rather useful quality.

Posted: 29th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Sanchez agrees Manchester City and PSG as Arsenal wait

Transfer balls: a look at dire, questionable and clickbait-led football reporting.

Compare and contrast the following headlines in The Sun:

July 27, 2017: “HEART SET ON CITY – PSG drop interest in Alexis Sanchez as Arsenal star wants to join Manchester City this summer”

July 21, 2017 – “Alexis Sanchez in Paris hotel as Arsenal star reportedly arrives for talks with PSG”

On July 26, the Sun said: “Sanchez has been demanding a whopping wage packet of around £300,000-a-week.” In the earlier report, the Sun says Arsenal have offered Sanchez £275,000 a week – which is not all that far off his latest demands.

On July 6, the Sun said Sanchez was asking for a whole lot more:



So much for the facts in the Sun, which produced not a single photo of Sanchez in Paris. But if you want really terrible reporting, the Metro trawls on. According to the Metro, Sanchez has already agreed to join PSG…


lexis Sanchez agrees four-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain Read more:

Alexis Sanchez agrees four-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain


…and Manchester City:


man city sanchez


Such are the facts.

Posted: 27th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal clickbait balls: Wenger gone and Ozil is buried in the Gunners’ (wooden) box

In recent days the Sun’s Neil Ashton has told Arsenal fans that Mesut Ozil is staying at the club (proof: the German Ashton said wasn’t worth “two bob” has renewed his box at the Emirates), Chelsea have been “beaten” Arsenal to £50m Virgil Van Van Dijk (proof: none) and Hector Bellerin will remain at Arsenal (proof: nothing to say that he won’t).

The question is: do these players all know Arsenal are dead? It’s not Arsenal fans burying the club – a group Ashton says “are only ever one defeat away from another meltdown” – it’s Ashton, who opined;

‘ARSENAL Football Club, Rest In Peace. This institution, one of the most famous clubs in the world, is dead and buried. Here at the Emirates, the heart finally stopped beating.’

“So it’s goodnight Arsenal. Goodbye Arsene,” said Ashton after Arsenal were thrashed by Bayern Munich.

Proof to the contrary: Arsenal live on. Arsene Wenger is manager.

It”s almost as if football writers just churn stuff out to fill a space.

Posted: 27th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal Transfer Balls: Alexis Sanchez goes missing in Paris

Transfer Balls: How much money is Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez’s worth? Much guff has been written about the Chilean player whose Arsenal contract expires in a year’s time. The pick of the stories is the one that placed Sanchez in a Paris hotel room in readiness for his move to the city’s PSG. He’d been “spotted” in Paris by a raft of top media titles – but no-one of them had had the presence of mind to take a photo of the player. Moreover, not a single passer-by, hotel worker or fan has produced a photo of Sanchez in Paris.

With not a muon of evidence of Sanchez ever having been in Paris last week, the Metro nonetheless managed to connive the headline:

Alexis Sanchez agrees four-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain


lexis Sanchez agrees four-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain Read more:

Alexis Sanchez agrees four-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain


The Metro adds that PSG will secure Sanchez on a £36m transfer and pay him £275,000 a week – £5,000-a-week less than Arsenal have offered. Really? No. It’s total balls.

The Telegraph counters:

Wenger’s conviction that Sanchez will stay has been strengthened by influential French daily newspaper L’Equipe reporting that PSG have now switched their attention to Barcelona’s Neymar.

Plus Arsenal have already stated their resolve to keep Sanchez.

“My mind has been made up for a while now. I think I’ve made it clear a few times that this is my stance [he will stay at Arsenal],” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger yesterday. “Sanchez has got one year to go on his contract and we have no need to make money. He will be part of the team next year and after that I can understand it. We are in a strong financial situation so we want to keep our best players. Has he asked to leave? No.”

So much for the facts. What about the fee?

£90mDaily Star, July 11

£80m Daily Express, July 9

£70mLondon Evening Standard, July 23

£50mDaily Mirror, april 17

£45m The Metro, July 22

£40mDaily Express, June 8

More fake news every day in the trusty mainstream media.

Posted: 24th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Alexis Sanchez leaves Arsenal for PSG but no-one’s got a photo

Transfer balls: Compare and contrast the Sun’s Alexis Sanchez and Arsenal news from today:

The Sun: July 21 2017 –


alexis sanchez arsenal PSG


The Sun: July 21 2017 –

alexis sanchez arsenal PSG


The Sun, July 21, 2017 –

Alexis Sanchez in Paris hotel as Arsenal star reportedly arrives for talks with PSG

He’s staying at Arsenal. He’s reached an agreement with PSG. He’s yet to talk to PSG an Arsenal have received no bid. All in one day. Wow!

Over in the Express, and Sanchez is in France:

Alexis Sanchez to PSG: Arsenal star spotted in Paris hotel to finalise transfer

Pictures of Sanchez “spotted” in Paris: nil.

The paper’s source is something called Paris United.

We can find the twitter Page of Paris United – a fan page for PSG fans – but the link to the website is broken. And like the Express, the site has no pictures of Sanchez in Paris – where he’s been “spotted”, but not by anyone with a phone on their camera.

However, Paris United does tell its followers that Sanchez is staying at the Royal Monceau Hotel, aka ‘Raffles, Paris’.


alexis sanchez arsenal PSG


No photos of Sanchez at the hotel, but the Sun is swift to tell its readers:


alexis sanchez arsenal PSG


The Sun does not quote any source. And – like everyone – it provides no evidence of anything.

Better yet, over on, Sanchez is still in Chile:


Such are the facts.

Posted: 21st, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Clickbait Balls: Manchester United and Arsenal fans tricked by world’s worst journalism

sanchez manchester united


Transfer Balls: The Manchester Evening News has big news for Arsenal and Manchester United fans: “Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho talks Alexis Sanchez.”

Can it be that Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez is on Manchester United’s shopping list? Having reached the MEN’s scoop through Google News, the story begins:

Jose Mourinho has admitted it is a ‘shame’ Manchester United did not sign Alvaro Morata and appeared to dismiss any chance of a move for Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez.

He only “appeared” to. So there’s a chance Mourinho wants Sanchez.

When Mourinho was asked by a Spanish journalist if United were attempting to sign Morata, he replied in Spanish: “It is a question for Florentino [Perez, the Real president]. I don’t know the first thing about Sanchez.”‘

Weird answer, no? Mourinho just tags Sanchez onto the end of a reply. Has he done that to wind up Arsenal and Manchester City, who were said to be keen on the Chilean? No. He’s not talking about Alexis Sanchez. He’s talking about Jose Angel Sanchez, Real Madrid’s director general.



But The Metro didn’t even bother to read that. It thunders:

Freudian slip? Jose Mourinho mentions Alexis Sanchez to send Manchester United fans into transfer meltdown



clickbait manchester united arsenal


Undeterred by fact, the Metro coughs up a cut-out-and-keep guff of dire journalism. This is it pretty much the clickbait balls in full:

Jose Mourinho has got Manchester United fans very excited by accidentally mentioning Alexis Sanchez’s name when asked an unrelated question at his post-match press conference.

The Portuguese oversaw a 5-2 victory against LA Galaxy in the early hours of Sunday morning, and afterwards he was asked, among other things, about Real Madrid frontman Alvaro Morata.

But curiously, Mourinho appeared to get the Spanish striker and Arsenal’s wantaway Chilean mixed up, with many fans now speculating that it was a Freudian slip hinting at genuine interest.

When Mourinho was asked by a Spanish journalist if United were attempting to sign Morata, he replied in Spanish: ‘It is a question for Florentino [Perez, the Real president]. I don’t know the first thing about Sanchez.’

The exchange got pulses racing, with United fans debating whether it was an accidental slip of the tongue or something more substantial…

Of course, it is possible that the Special One innocently misspoke, or he would even have been referring to a different player – midfielder Renato Sanches, perhaps.

But even his choice of language – saying ‘I don’t know’ rather than categorically ruling out a transfer… has got United fans hot under the collar.

One day on from that total balls, the Metro reads the clicks, senses that it’s on to something and produces the follow-up piece:

Why Jose Mourinho – not Pep Guardiola – is the perfect manager for Alexis Sanchez

Ewan Roberts didn’t bother to check the source of his opinion piece. He just thunders:

Jose Mourinho doesn’t do innocent slips of the tongue. Depending on how cynical you are, his name-dropping of Alexis Sanchez over the weekend ranks somewhere between a Freudian slip or the planting of a seed. Whether he intended to or not, the Portuguese has inserted Manchester United onto the list of potential suitors for the Chilean – and they may even top it, with Old Trafford arguably a better fit than their sky blue rivals down the road.



The article based on poor research and what looks like a cynical disregard for readers trawls on and on, pausing a while to produce a graphic of what Sanchez would look like in the United side:



It’s “random” stuff says one writer at the clickbait-driven Telegraph:



More great journalism when we spot it.


Posted: 20th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: Sanchez stays and Gooners should rejoice

Barring a gigantic transfer fee that makes his departure irresistible, Alexis Sánchez will be at Arsenal next season. The club has done the sums and worked out that selling their best player to a rival would be a failure. So they’ll keep him and wave goodbye to the Chilean when he leaves as a free agent next summer. They’ll keep the £140,000 a week extra they were going to pay him in a new contract – one he rejected. And, vitally, Arsenal will field a player who boosts their team’s chances of a swift return to Champions’ League football, which they missed out on for the first time in over 20 years with last season’s fifth-placed finish.

“The decision has been made and we will stick to that,” Arsene Wenger, the team’s manager, told media. “The decision is not to sell.”

So Sanchez stays. Keeping him also means Arsenal need not look around for his replacement, which given their status outside the Champions’ League makes signing top talent even more expensive. Just look at the huge premium Manchester United had to fork out to get Paul Pogba.

Arsenal fans should be happy. The deal shows that the club has a long-term plan for success.


Posted: 19th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Arsenal and Riyad Mahrez in clickbait feeding frenzy

mahrez arsenal balls


Transfer Balls: It’s been a busy day for Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez. Is he on his way to Roma, Arsenal or somewhere else?

The clickbait factory that used to be the Independent newspaper tells readers that Roma are “leading the race for Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez”. To which the obvious question is: what race? Only Roma have made a firm bid for the Algerian.

The Mirror says “the player wants to see whether interest from Arsenal materialises” before boarding a plane to Italy. “The lure of Arsenal is holding up a potential move to Serie A,” says the Mirror.


No it isn’t, says The Metro. It’s done and dusted. The Metro tells us: “Arsenal transfer target Riyad Mahrez agrees personal terms with Roma.”

Unless Mahrez hasn’t and he’s still hoping Barcelona come and get him before he has to make-do at Arsenal (see above).

Such are the facts.

Posted: 16th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United balls: Jose Mourinho mocks Arsenal, taunts Chelsea and breathes

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho can be a chippy, snide sort of man. But the man who likes to mask his own shortcomings by goading, belittling and mocking others should be impressed at how the tabloids see meaning in his most mundane observations  “Jose Mourinho aims latest dig at Arsene Wenger over Alexandre Lacazette signing,” says the the Daily Express.


man JOSE MOURINHO has mocked Arsene Wenger’s decision to sign striker Alexandre Lacazette with Mancheste mourinho express


JOSE MOURINHO has mocked Arsene Wenger’s decision to sign striker Alexandre Lacazette with Manchester United saying the striker has “no stamina, no physical impact and is not a big-game player”.

What a sad sack he is. But hold on a moment. Mourinho didn’t say anything of the sort. Indeed, he didn’t say anything at all. The Express continues:

But a United source said: “Lacazette was followed because he was top scorer in French football – but a lot of his goals were penalties [10 of his 28 goals last season came from the spot]. In the end he wasn’t considered because he has no stamina, no physical impact and isn’t a big-game player.”

Words by Mourinho: nil.
Words by anonymous “source”: meaningless.

And then the Daily Mail hears more sniping. This time Mourinho “taunts” Chelsea over Romelu Lukaku.


jose man united balls


What did he Jose say about his former club to

“Romelu is a natural fit for Manchester United. He is a big personality and a big player. It is only natural that he wants to develop his career at the biggest club. He will be a great addition to the group and I know they will make him very welcome. I am really looking forward to working with him again.”

Words about his former club Chelsea: nil.
Words about Lukaku’s selling club Everton: nil.
Words on how Lukaku is joining Manchester United because he and his agent will earn a shedload of cash: nil.

If it’s like this now, it’s only going to get worse when the actual football starts.

Posted: 11th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Ball: Alexis Sanchez staying at Arsenal unless Manchester City pay £80m

Transfer Balls: Alexis Sanchez news watch. Is the Arsenal striker leaving? Compare and contrast the Daily Star and other tabloid scoops:

Daily Star, July 4:

Alexis Sanchez will stay at Arsenal

Daily Star, July 9:

Arsenal waiting for Paris St-Germain and Bayern Munich to swoop for Alexis Sanchez –

ARSENAL star Alexis Sanchez will reportedly be allowed to join Paris St-Germain or Bayern Munich – but not Manchester City.

Daily Star, July 9:

Alexis Sanchez happy to swap Arsenal for Chelsea this summer.

Starsport exclusively revealed this weekend that the Gunners are not willing to sell the former Barcelona star to a title rival.

Daily Mirror, July 10:

Arsenal willing to sell Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City – but they want £80million for him

What news in the Mirror of Arsenal’s price?

Facts to support this tory: none.

Sanchez’s desire to play for Manchester City: “City are bolstered by the belief that the player is keen to link up again with Pep Guardiola.”

And on the strength of that belief, and citing the Mirror as its source, the Sun thunders:

“LEX IN THE CITY Arsenal willing to offload wantaway star Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City for £80million”

In other news: the Mirror says Sanchez wants £400,000 a week to stay at Arsenal. Presumably, the Citizens are going to pay that for a man who’ll be 29 in December, right?

Posted: 9th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Manchester City, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Google Translate Balls: Alexis Sanchez stays at Arsenal if you read between the lines

Google Translate Balls: News in the Metro and Sun is that Alexis Sanchez is staying at Arsenal. Both UK newspapers cite Chilean journalists on twitter and the country’s website EMOL,(aka The Mercurio On-Line) as the source of their news. We looked at the EMOL report. It’s all opinion. The report contains only one fact: Sanchez is in the final year of his Arsenal contract.

But in the race for clicks, EMOL’s round-up of what Sanchez might or might not do the becomes:

90 Minutes“Reports From Chile Claim Alexis Sanchez Has Issued ‘Ultimatum’ to Arsenal Over Squad Investment.”

Metro: “Sanchez will reject Manchester City if Arsene Wenger is prepared to meet two conditions set by the forward, according to reports in Chile.”

We put the entire EMOL  article through Google Translate. If you can find any word on Sanchez’s “ultimatum”, let us know:

New partner Alexis or his replacement?

The mind of Alexis Sanchez left the defeat behind the Confederations Cup final and is now fully set on what will be his future and his possible Arsenal game. And on Wednesday it was announced a new milestone that could give light on what the tocopillano holds: the incorporation of Alexander Lacazette to the offensive of the set “Gunner”, who was bought from Olympique Lyon for a record figure for the club London $ 70 million.

He has already passed the rigorous medical examinations.

City? Bayern? Arsenal? The future of Alexis Sánchez begins to elucidate in the coming days. The signing of the French striker is a new edge on the plans of the Chilean, as it raises the following question: Why Arsenal would hire a new striker? The first option that shuffle in England is that Lacazette will arrive at the set “gunboat” to fill the gap that would leave Sanchez, given his “imminent” departure to Manchester City Josep Guardiola.

“The spending will not stop for the Gunners, who still face the loss of Sanchez, as the City is increasingly confident that it will,” says the Daily Express. For his part, the Mirror maintains that “Sanchez and his representatives are in talks with Arsenal this week, as there is a growing fear that he is pushing to close his signing for Manchester City, after refusing to sign a new Value in their contract “.

The other possibility they manage in the British country is that the French striker comes to convince the Chilean that Arsenal is strengthening well to build a competitive team with a view to the next season. The national has consistently reiterated his intention to win titles, so one of the requirements that he asked the “Gunner” leadership is to compose a strong squad to fight a cup. And that is the role Lacazette would play. In that sense, The Guardian states that “Arsene Wenger will be delighted to close the deal (with Lacazette), especially in his fight to keep his star player, Alexis Sánchez, away from the clutches of Manchester City.” However, nothing is clear yet and only waiting to know about the future of the historic scorer of the “Red”.

Ultimatums came there none.

Spotter: EMOL

Posted: 5th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: the Alexandre Lacazette fact file

Always good when a new name arrives into the Premier League. The Daily Mail looks for a photogenic lover. And the Daily Telegraph produces insight into the player’s career and life by looking at YouTube videos and the, er, Daily Mail.

The Telegraph has gone big on Alexandre Lacazette, the Frenchman kept out of the France national side by Olivier Giroud – he’s wanted by Everton – and seemingly on his way to Arsenal.

One story asks Tele readers: “Alexandre Lacazette: why are Arsenal buying him, what are they getting and will he be a success?” Readers aren’t sure. Will he be a success? Presumably Arsenal are buying him in the hope he’ll score lots of goals. The paper’s Daniel Zeqiri says Arsenal have bought him to score “goals”. Now we know.

As for other questions, well, they keep on coming:

Why did the club not buy him last summer if they deemed him good enough? Will he play with Alexis Sánchez or is he a replacement? Why does Olivier Giroud play ahead of him for France? Is he really an upgrade on existing options?

Readers of a big national newspaper with large resources might expect answers to those questions to come from someone at Arsenal or Lyon, Lacazette’s current club – or at least be put to them. But the story contains not a single word from the club on their likely new striker.

“Why did Arsenal not sign him previously?” asks Zeqiri. It’s a rhetorical question because he soon replies: “One can only speculate.” If you want to know if he’s any good, you can “glance at the goalscoring charts and the advanced scouting tool known as YouTube”.

Happily, writers have watched short videos of the player and can tell Arsenal fans what he’s all about:

Zeqiri says the Frenchman is..:

…a player who can finish and scores a variety of goals; tap-ins, dinks, side-foot finishes into the far corner à la Thierry Henry and strikes from distance. Lacazette is also quite strongly right-footed…

He is sharp across short distances, but is not really a sprinter capable of shredding defences with speed in behind in the manner of Henry or a young Nicolas Anelka. Lacazette’s movement is more economical, relying on subtle movements in tight spaces, which puts him closer to the van Persie end of the Arsenal striker spectrum.

He sounds fantastic, a combination of former Arsenal captains Robin Van Perise and Thierry Henry, but not all that quick.

Or as the Daily Mail’s Adam Crafton says:

Lacazette is perfectly suited to Arsenal’s needs, with sharp technical instincts and a brutal turn of pace.

And there’s Sachin Nakrani in the Guardian:

“Lacazette is a natural talent,” says Julien Brun, a Paris-based commentator for beIN Sports. “Physically he is not that strong but he is very fast, hard-working and clever.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 4th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Alexis Sanchez ‘stays at Arsenal’, Bayern won’t pay silly money and Barcelona don’t want him

Transfer balls: Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez has been offered £280,000 a week to continue kissing the badge. He’s in no rush to sign. Chances are high he will leave the Gunners. The Mirror quotes Ivan Zamorano, the former Chile and Real Madrid player, who opines: “What he really wants is to win the Champions’ League. And I don’t think he’ll have that chance at Arsenal.” Well, ‘duh. Arsenal have been in one final ever – they lost. And they’re not even in this season’s competition.

Of course, Sanchez had a better chance to winning the Champions’ League at Barcelona. But they got rid of him and triumphed in his absence. The question must be: is Sanchez a better player because he plays among less stella players? And if Champions’ League victory is his grail, why did Sanchez join Arsenal in the first place?

As for ‘news’, in the race for clicks, the Daily Star take the biscuit with its fake news story: “Alexis Sanchez is staying at Arsenal.” There it is on Google:

alexis sanchez arsenal staying


Take the bait. Click the link and you are told: “That’s according to Chilean reporter Juan Luis who works for TV station El Filtrador.

Who? What? It’s a bit of guessing by a journalist on twitter presented as fact in a British newspaper.

And what about Bayern? The story was that Sanchez wanted to play for Bayern Munich and thereby win everything in the monotonous German league. But Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness says he won’t pay huge money for Sanchez: “The salaries being talked about up front of over €20 million [a year] are definitely an amount that isn’t feasible for FC Bayern.” And if Arsenal won’t sell Sanchez to Manchester City, where does the Chilean go to reap his reported demand of in excess of £300,000 a week?

Maybe Sanchez should just sit tight? In the last year of his Arsenal contract, he could claim his current £140,000 week, reasoning that any signing on fee would outweigh his reduced salary. He can talk to other European clubs in January. So long as his form and fitness endure, Sanchez would head to Bayern on a vastly reduced fee allowing the Germans to splurge all their cash on his wages.

It’s going to be a long summer. And Arsenal fans can spend it wondering how after Robin Van Persi and Samir Nasri were allowed to enter the final year of their contracts before joining rival clubs, the Gunners board let their best player get to this point again.

Posted: 4th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal player donates £19,000 to Grenfell fund

Footballers get such a bad press it’s useful to focus on the good they do. Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin has kept his pledge to donate £50 for every minute he played for Spain in the European Under-21 Championship. The sums have been done and Bellrin will give £19,050 to the Red Cross fund helping survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire.

This follows news that Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, who grew up in north west London and played for QPR, has also made a substantial donation to Grenfell survivors.

NOTE: Let’s hope all the money goes to those who need it. According to the Third Sector, the British Red Cross paid its highest earner £173,000 in 2017. Thirty-seven charities paid their top earner more than £200,000.

Posted: 3rd, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Money, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Arsenal ‘bid’ £125 for Kylian Mbappe, Lacazette arrives and Gooners click

Transfer Balls: Is Kylian Mbappe heading from Monaco to Arsenal, Real Madrid or Liverpool? The Indy says the player’s “dropped a huge hint” he’s leaving the French club. So big is this “hint” that it now “looks certain he will now move”.

The Indy says Mbappe is surely leaving Monaco “after removing any reference to the club in his Twitter bio.” Jack Austin has the facts. But when we looked at Mbappe’s Twitter page we see two photos of the player wearing his Monaco kit? Not exactly shunning them, is he?


Kylian Mbappé Verified account @ KMbappe


After that total balls, the Mirror says Mbappe is leaving Monaco. He’s going to play for…Arsenal. Maybe. The Gunners are “preparing a stunning £125million Kylian Mbappe bid”. Facts to support this story of an astronomical bid for an 18-year-old player there are none. Nil. Ziltch. Zippo.

But in the world of clickbait football reporting,  when one newspaper makes a claim the others pile in and agree. So the Sun reads the Mirror’s scoop and declares: “ARSENAL will launch a mega £125million world record bid for Monaco hitman Kylian Mbappe this week.” It’s source? Yep, the Daily Mirror.

Amidst this human caterpillar of news reporting, the Mirror mentions another Arsenal target:

The Gunners are battling Real Madrid for the 18-year-old’s signature. But a deal for Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette seems far from done as the striker wants to join up with close friend Antoine Griezmann at Atletico Madrid.

So says Steve Stammers in a story timestamped at “22:30, 2 JUL 2017”

But in another Daily Mirror story by Darren Lewis dated “19:50, 2 JUL 2017”, we learn that Lacazette to Arsenal is a dead cert:

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas says Alexandre Lacazette’s move to Arsenal is set to be completed in “one or two days”.

Lacazette is set to sign a five-year deal with the Gunners, who are expected to pay £44million for the French international’s services.

With tight reporting like that, surely we can look forward to more Mirror news on that huge Mbappe bid and work out how many fist-sized pinched of salt we should take it with …

Posted: 2nd, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Arsenal and the ‘riceless’ Kylian Mbappe ‘bombshell’

Transfer balls: Will Arsenal sign Monaco’s #100m-rated forward? No. The Mail says the Gunners are “out of Kylian Mbappe race”. They are? Arsenal are rumoured to have made a bid of £87m for the teenager. But the club hasn’t commented on that. And Arsenal haven’t said they won’t sign him, either.

The Mail’s scoop contains not a single word from the club. So how does it know they are out of the race to sign the player? No idea. The paper just says it’s so and that’s that.

The Express has more. It talks of the “Mbappe bombshell”. What did he say? “Mbappe, 18, has changed his Twitter cover photo to a snap of himself running past an advertising board which says ‘priceless’.”

Or “riceless”.


 Kylian Mbappe


Meanwhile, Arsenal player-getting Ivan Gazidis, the club’s chief executive, tells fans at a Q&A at the Emirates: “I think we do need a better connection with our fanbase.”

In short: it’s season ticket renewal time. It’s going to get so much better. Now pay up! And no, the tickets are not “riceless”. They’re reassuringly expensive.

Posted: 30th, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0