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Arsenal | Anorak - Part 7

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Arsenal balls: Wenger stays and Allegri agrees to take over

It’s been a huge two days for Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger. Only yesterday, the Star was pleading with Wenger to make up his mind and tell everyone if he was going to sign a new contract and stay at Arsenal for a further two years.

The paper said Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri was tired to waiting to get the call to move up from the Italian giants to English football’s also-rans. The Star thundered:

EXCLUSIVE: Massimiliano Allegri sends ‘come and get me’ plea to Arsenal

 

wenger daily star

 

Words from Allegri on his dream to manage Arsenal: none.

Of course, the Star is a rich source of fake news. On February 28, the Star told its readers ‘Allegri confirms he’s joining Arsenal’.

 

daily star arsenal fake news wenger

 

You click on that news headline and you get told on the Star’s website: ‘Calciomercato has this afternoon sensationally claimed Allegri, 49, will join the Gunners this summer.’ On that Italian site, we’re told:

The news comes from his hometown of Livorno, where reports are circulating that the manager let this story slip at dinner with friends.

And that’s it. No quotes. No links.

Looking for more, a search for ‘Allegri’ and ‘Livorno’ produces a story on another Italian news site. It says the Allegri to Arsenal news is sourced in the – get this – Daily Express, sister organ to the Daily Star. In the Express we learn that Allegri and Arsenal have agreed a deal.

 

 

daily express arsenal fake news wenger

 

All done and dusted, then. No dithering at all. Allegri in. Wenger out. Which brings us to today Daily Star story that Wenger is, er, staying at Arsenal.

 

arsene wenger daily star

 

All utter balls, then.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 12th, March 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: real Gunners fan know we’ve never had it so good

When Arsenal were wafted out of the Champions’ League, losing to Bayern Munich by a mere eight goal margin – 10-2 was the final result – former Gunners’ striker Ian Wright told BT Sport:”It’s a sad day because we’ve gone out again at this stage. We’re going through a period in our history that’s the worst.”

Arsenal fans who’ve supported them before Arsene Wenger’s revolution – and yes, I’m one – can recall when watching the Gunners gave you neck strain, the half-time act was a marching band and the turf seemed to repel the ball into the stratosphere.

Wright joined Arsenal in September 1991 for £2.5m. In season 1992-93, Arsenal finished 10th, scoring 40 goals – the lowest total of any club. Arsenal finished below Aston Villa, QPR, Blackburn Rovers and Sheffield Wednesday, none of which now play in the top flight.

It’s not the end of the world to be tonked by a better team. It’s just a big reminder to all the fans who turn up only to watch their side win that Arsenal have never had it so good…

Posted: 8th, March 2017 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: the club calls a 10-2 defeat ‘disappointing’

Can the Arsenal website put any positive spin on the Gunners’ 10-2 aggregate thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich. With the score 1-0 in Arsenal’s favour, Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny was sent off for conceding a penalty. A double-whammy.  The Arsenal website says the ‘second-half red card proved to be the decisive moment’.

Yes. And no. Arsenal lost 5-1.

 

wenger out sun

 

The Arsenal website calls the result ‘another frustrating clash against Bayern Munich’. ‘It was a disappointing end to a night that had started to positively,’ says the site.

Frustrating. Disappointing. Oh, come on. It was not only a flesh wound. It was rubbish. It’s also a terrible result for the Premie League – Arsenal finished second in the PL last season.

The BBC says Arsenal were ‘humiliated’.

 

arsenal bayern

 

Arsenal have been knocked out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage for the seventh successive season. Bayern are through to the quarter-finals for the sixth successive season.

Might such a tonking be cathartic for Arsenal? It should be.

 

wenger out

 

PS: Bayern Munich’ fans delayed the kick off by tossing toilet paper onto the pitch in protest over Arsenal being crap ticket prices.

 

 

Posted: 7th, March 2017 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal: spoilt Sanchez races boring Wenger to the exit

Sport is a pleasant way to spend your leisure time. If you’re lucky enough or foreign enough or just determined, you can make a very good living at it. If you get really good at it you can behave like a spoilt brat, row with your teammates and demand a massive hike on your already not inconsiderable wages or else you’ll sulk. You could be like Alexis Sanchez, the Arsenal striker who has expressed his determination to leave the club at the season’s end to earn much more money playing for Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus or what the British Press call ‘a Chinese club’.

Arsenal have been less than sensational this season. Sanchez has been pretty good. Along with Laurent Koscielny, he’s been a consistent source of hope for Arsenal fans seeking signs that this season they can be better than top four. Sanchez has also been petulant and, if the Mail is right, ‘furious’ at the ‘humiliation’ of being dropped for Arsenal’ match at Liverpool, which they lost 3-1.  His manager, Arsene Wenger, has been ‘unimpressed’ with Sanchez’s attitude. It turns out that Sanchez, a player not good enough for top Barcelona, who shunted him down the pecking order to the Gunners, thinks he’s much better than his teammates. He is. But so what? Only when a player pulls on an England shirt is he remade in the exact quality as his teammates – they all become unspeakably average.  A team wins and loses as a team. If one player thinks he’s doing you a favour, he’s got to go. That Wenger dropped Sanchez is not a sign of ‘unfolding calamity’, as the Mail’s Martin Samuel has it, it’s a sign that no player in bigger than the club. Thank you for your help, Alexis, now shut the door on the way out.

And you too, Arsene. Is he going or not? The uncertainty is affecting the club. Who is going to be the Arsenal manager next season? Is ‘Silent’ Stan Kroenke, the Arsenal owner who earned £3m last year for ‘consultancy’ work at the club, nicking a living?

The Sun says when Sanchez ‘stormed’ off the pitch at training last week, he left Wenger with ‘no option but to bench him’. That Alan Shearer tells the same Sun readers one page on, ‘You just don’t leave  player like Sanchez on the bench’, points not only to why Shearer was such an un-inspirational Newcastle United manager but to how joyless and venal football is. Without its few players of global repute, the Premier League will be exposed for what it is: a marketing project based on Europe’s fourth best league. The Mirror quotes sources who say coaching Sanchez is akin to ‘managing a spilt child’. The other players ‘see him as becoming increasingly selfish’.

So instead of Sanchez at Liverpool, Wenger picked the likeable, talented and injury-ravaged Danny Welbeck. Changing things was worth a shot. That goes for you, too, Arsene. It’s time to go. But before you do how about one more turn of the old routine for old time’s sake. You know how it goes: Arsenal look good on paper, get kicked out of the Champions’ League early on, embark on run to finish in the top four and the owners wake up just long enough to bank their annual dividend.

Posted: 6th, March 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Sanchez leaves Arsenal to earn less money

So hungry for trophies is Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez that he will quit the Gunners and plays for… Sevilla – Spain’s oldest professional football club who last won the title in 1945. Well, so says the Daily Star, which adds that not-all-that-well-off Sevilla are ‘in pole position’ to secure the ‘disillusioned’ Chilean. In the twilight world where the Star’s news and facts merge such a move will surely satisfy Sanchez’s quest for glory and give him the £250,000-a-week he wants.

Over in Italy, we read in the Corriere dello Sport that Juventus will offer Arsenal £25m for Sanchez in the summer. The Mail says the Gunners are already looking for his replacements, casting a covetous eye on Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus, Porto’s Andre Silva and Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette.

 

reus agrees arsenal

 

 

Really? Because in 2015, the Daily Star told its readers: ‘£20m Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd target Marco Reus AGREES five-year Real Madrid deal.’ He didn’t.

 

silva arsenal

 

Spanish organ AS told its readers Silva had also joined Real Madrid. He hasn’t. AS did cite a source for its fact-free story: the Daily Star:

 

silva arsenal

 

And Lacazette can’t play for Lyon – he does-  because the Daily Express told us he joined Paris Saint Germain in 2015.

 

Alexandre Lacazette

 

So much for the targets. As for Sanchez, The Mirror says Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is ‘privately resigned to Sanchez leaving the Emirates this summer’. That would the same Wenger who’s also leaving Arsenal this summer. We read that in the Mirror.

 

daily mirror wenger quits sack resigns arsenal

 

Arsenal fans shouldn’t wave goodbye to Sanchez just yet.

Posted: 3rd, March 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Spurs and England’s nasty Dele Alli isn’t like Arsenal’s filthy foreigner Granit Xhaka – he’s brave and British

Dele Alli plays for Spurs. He’s British. Granit Xhaka plays for Arsenal. He’s Swiss. According to former Liverpool captain Graeme Souness, both possess a “nasty streak”. For one of them it’s a blessing. For the other it’s a curse.

 

dele alli

Pride of Britain

 

On February 26, Souness noticed Ali’s red card for an awful foul against Ghent in the Europa League that earned him a red card.

‘It was nasty and unnecessary, born out of frustration,’ wrote Souness in the Sunday Times. ‘He really snapped into it, intending to leave a bit on the guy, so he got what he deserved with the red card. Yet that’s also one of the reasons he could become a top player. Alli has a bit of devil in him, an edge that most top players possess. As strange as it sounds, if I was his manager, I’d be quietly saying to myself: “Thank goodness he’s got that in him.”

A bad foul is sign you’re a top player.

When Granit Xhaka was sent for Arsenal against Burnley, Souness took a different view. On January 25 he wrote: ‘What isn’t registering with him? He’s obviously got the exploding head. I don’t look at him and think, ‘you’re an aggressive player’. It’s a lapse in concentration and he’ll be annoyed he gave the ball away so cheaply. For me, he doesn’t run around making aggressive challenges. He is the run of mill midfield player for me. He must have something in him where it goes.”

If you’re British and playing in your home country, a bad foul is sign of your mental toughness. If you’re foreign and playing overseas, a bad foul is sign of your mental weakness.

Got it?

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


Is Sun Bets or Wayne Shaw the greedier?

When the Sun Bets bookmakers sponsored Sutton for their home FA Cup match against Arsenal (final score: – 0- 2), they offered odds of 8-1 that the home side’s home reserve goalkeeper Wayne Shaw would eat a pie during the match.

Given that Shaw’s in the ‘big lad’ territory of players, Sun Bets could have offered a spread of how many pies, tubes of Rolos, lamb bhunas and ‘cheeky’ kebabs he’d eat inside the 90 minutes. As chance had it, Shaw did eat a pie, and because the game was being broadcast live on the BBC, we all got to see him do it. Shaw later admitted that ‘pals’ had placed money on the bet, which, says the Sun, were offered at a £5 maximum stake. The Mail says Sun Bets ‘tweeted that it had paid out a five-figure sum after Shaw finished his pie’.

For his (hunger) pains, Shaw was sacked for breaching FA rules concerned with betting on any “aspect of, or occurrence in” a football match. The Sun says on its front page that Shaw was ‘Hung out To Pie’. Shaw was handed his ‘Pie 45’.

 

Sun Bets Wayne Shaw

 

The Sun calls it pathetic. So outraged is the paper that nearly all the media are talking about its Sun Bets (the Mirror doesn’t mention the company by name in any of its reports) – that’s S.U… – it calls on some unlikely comrades. Sun readers hear from Piers Morgan – for whom Shaw’s sacking “sums up the pathetically PC-crazed world” –  and the BBC’s Gary Linker – “FFS!”.

Sun Bets says its investigating and working with the Gambling Commission, which is doing the same.

Shaw helps them out by noting his ‘pie’ was a ‘pastry’. Sun Bets says a pie is a “filling totally encased in pastry”. So it paid out. But, then, it’s the big winner in a sad story of greed.

 

Sun Bets Wayne Shaw

 

 

Posted: 22nd, February 2017 | In: Arsenal, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal fan uses Trump demo to protest ‘Wenger Out’

To the anti-Trump protest at Whitehall, London. Some people would like the UK to rescind the invitation for Donald Trump to tread the red carpet with Her Majesty. They say Donald Trump being met by the Queen would be embarrassing. No, not for the elected leader of the world’s greatest republic, but for the hereditary leader of the feudal landed gentry.

 

Arsenal wenger out Trump

 

Anyhow, the best bit of the protest, which has zero chance of achieving its aims, is the Arsenal fan who showed off his anti-Arsene Wenger banner.

Talksis of Wenger lasting four more years, much like Trump. Which one garners the most protests is up to you.

Spotter: @arsenalviral

Posted: 21st, February 2017 | In: Arsenal, Politicians, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal: Spurs fans should be wary of Wenger’s hounding

It’s been a few days since Arsenal lot to the world’s third best side in Munich. Experts cited the 5-1 drubbing to Bayern as a sign that Arsenal manger Arsene Wenger had to go. Arsenal were woeful in Germany, a side devoid of guile, diligence, spirit, cohesion and drive surrendered meekly, albeit to stella opponents.Whereas once the Gunner would have sought continuity, a handing of the baton from Wenger to his successor in style and spirit, the only way forward was to trigger wholesale change.

But the clamour for Wenger to do the decent thing and leave at the season’s end, if not immediately, has been hasty and delusional. England club sides to not rule in Europe. Placed in context, Arenal’s thrashing was more of the same, rather than a sudden downward turn. Did any Arsenal fans believe the Gunners were on track to win the Champions’ League? Coming top four in the Premier League is not a passport to the last four of Europeans football’s biggest club competition.

To further realise how palsied the PL has become, you need only look at what happened one night after Arsenal’s undoing. Spurs fans revelling in Arenal’s failure watched their team lose to the mighty Gent, a team sat in mid-table in Belgian’s Division A. Losing to Bayern in Munich or losing to Gent in Belgian – which is worse result? Add to that Spurs early demise in the Champions’ League and Arsenal coming top of  group containing Paris Saint Germain and are things so very bleak at The Emirates?

Of course, it’s Sutton in the FA Cup tonight. Lost that and, well, the ground’s not all that far from Gatwick Airport. Taxi for Wenger!

 

Posted: 20th, February 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Talking balls: Wenger stays at Arsenal for four more years and leaves in the summer

Arsene Wenger will remain Arsenal manager for the next four years. Arsenal have offered Wenger a two-year extension on his current deal, which expires in the summer. So how does the Daily Star know Wenger will sign a four-year deal?

‘Arsene Wenger wants to stay at Arsenal for four more years,’ says the paper.

And what of that growing list of names lined up to replace Wenger when this season ends?

 

wenger daily star arsenal

 

The story is based on a comment Wenger made when asked to compare his career to that of Sir Alex Ferguson. Said Wenger: “Ferguson has some other interests in life and he was older than I am today. He was four years older, he retired at 71 and I’m 67.”

So will Wenger continue to manager beyond 71? “Maybe more, maybe less, I don’t know,” he said.

Stick that through the spin machine and the Star says Wenger will be Arsenal boss until he’s 71.

 

daily mirror wenger quits sack resigns arsenal

 

The Guardian hears that and thunders: ‘Arsène Wenger hints he could stay at Arsenal for at least four more years.’

The Mirror interprets the same Wenger line to mean: ‘Arsene Wenger will carry on managing for another four years – even if he leaves Arsenal this summer.’

If he leaves this summer? The Mirror said he was going.

 

daily mirror wenger quits sack resigns arsenal

 

Such are the facts in the post-truth media.

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


Arsenal remain hopeful of beating Bayern

Arsenal were thrashed in the Champions’ League. Again. Tonked 5-1 by a lively Bayern Munich side, Arsenal were limper than a post-coitus slug. The reporting has been fierce, with much of the chatter concerned with the timing of Arsene Wenger’s departure. The Arsenal manager’s inability to inspire his side is clear.

 

arsenal lose

 

But Wenger remains the Arsenal owners’ dream man. He delivers big cash pay outs and high returns for the money men that run the club. In the boardroom everything is fine, a mood reflected in the match report on the Arsenal website, which begins thus:

We are facing a mammoth task to turn around our Champions League last-16 tie against Bayern Munich after conceding four times in a disappointing second half in Bavaria.

Arsenal conceded five times in total. The Pollyanna-ish notion that Arsenal will some how ‘turn things round’ is laughable. It was not ‘disappointing’. It was terrible.

 

bayern arsenal

 

The site adds:

Laurent Koscielny’s injury at the start of the second half seemed to disrupt us, and we conceded twice in the space of six minutes.

When Koscielny went off, the entire defence wilted. Kieran Gibbs was made captain. A player with marginally less presence than the sixth official was picked to galvanise the team and keep the defence tight.

 

arsenal bad

 

And a word on Bayern:

Bayern, meanwhile, were without Franck Ribery and Jerome Boateng, but fielded a star-studded team containing the likes of Lewandowski, Douglas Costa and Robben.

Arsenal fielded the likes of Ozil (£41m), Sanchez (£35m) and two players bought in the summer for in excess of £30m each. Aren’t Arsenal now also star-studded? None of the three Bayern players name-checked cost more than £20m.

So how does Bayern Munich report on the match that Arsenal were ‘disappointing’ in? Their official website tells us:

On-fire Bayern thrash outclassed Gunners

The five goals ‘handed the German record champions a near-unassailable advantage in the first knockout round tie’.

The Gunners’ goal came after a penalty. The Arsenal website says Koscielny was ‘tripped’ . The Bayern site calls it a ‘debatable penalty’.

The other debate is on Wenger. Will he now leave Arsenal – after all, it looks like the players have already left him?

Posted: 16th, February 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Clickbait Balls: The Daily Mirror Arsenal spin machine

Clickbait: a look at the death of journalism in the national Press. The Daily Mirror has adopted the Daily Telegraph policy of making news out of  TV listings. In readiness for Arsenal’s Champions’ League match against Germany’s Bayern Munich the Mirror has produced the following ‘stories’. All were written today:

Scoop 1! ‘What time is Bayern Munich vs Arsenal? All you need to know ahead of Champions League clash

Scoop 2: ‘What channel is Bayern Munich vs Arsenal on? All you need to know ahead of Champions League clash

That could be one story, no?

Scoop 3: ‘Bayern Munich vs Arsenal LIVE: All the build-up ahead of the Champions League clash in Germany’

Scoop 4: ‘Bayern Munich vs Arsenal: 11 things you need to know ahead of the Champions League clash

The list is great.

1. When is the match and how can I watch it?

Scoop 5: ‘7 things Arsene Wenger could learn from Carlo Ancelotti ahead of Bayern Munich v Arsenal’

Ready?

Number 1: ‘Winning the Champions League helps your reputation’

Scoop 6: ‘Arsene Wenger is 50/50 over Arsenal stay – the Bayern Munich result could decide his future’

Well, it could do. And, on the other hand, it could not do. Or as the Mirror puts it:

 

wenger quits sack resigns arsenal

 

Scoop 7; ‘9 funniest reactions to Arsenal fans watching long-time target Julian Draxler destroy Barcelona’

It really is that bad.

Posted: 15th, February 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal: every one of Arsene Wenger’s replacements

What names are on the ‘shortlist of managers’ to replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal? The Mirror says there are four names vying to be the next Arsenal manager. They are: Thomas Tuchel of Borussia Dortmund, Max Allegri of Juventus, Bayer Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt and Monaco’s Leonardo Jardim.

But others have been to the job in the past 12 months. They are:

Eddie Howe: ‘ED HUNTED Eddie Howe being lined up by Arsenal to replace manager Arsene Wenger with Frenchman’s contract set to expire in summer’ (The Sun).

Roberto Martinez: ‘His team to play the sort of passing style that Arsene Wenger has established as Arsenal’s identity and conducts himself with the sort of style and dignity that very much fits with what directors would call the Arsenal way (Daily Telegraph)

Rafa Benitez: ‘Rafa Benitez on Arsenal shortlist to replace Arsene Wenger if he goes – and Spaniard would bring in Thierry Henry.’ (Daily Mirror)

Dennis Bergkamp, Diego Simeone and more possible Arsene Wenger replacements. (TalkSport)

Patrick Vieira: A candidate embedded in the supposed Arsenal Way. Like Bergkamp, his arrival back at the club would be enthusiastically welcomed by supporters.’ (Daily Telegraph)

Ralph Hasenhuttl: ‘A surprise candidate, Hasenhuttl hinted recently that Arsenal had spoken to him about the big job at the Emirates.’ (The Independent)

Ha. This is absolute tosh. When asked is he was heading to Arsenal, Hasenhuttl said: “I have certainly heard of far worse fates than to be lined up as the successor to the longest-serving coach in England.”

Steve Bould: ‘Knows the players and club inside out. Won various trophies, including the Premier League, during his playing career with Arsenal.’ (Daily Mirror)

Joachim Lowe: ‘Proven winner. Led the German side to World Cup glory in 2014 after impressive showings at the Euros two years earlier.’ (Daily Mirror)

‘Arsenal want Manuel Pellegrini to replace Arsene Wenger’. (Metro)

Ronald Koeman ‘is the surprise name topping Arsenal’s list of potential successors to Arsene Wenger’. (The Sun)

Laurent Blanc ‘to replace his compatriot at Arsenal’ (TalkSport)

Brendan Rodgers: ‘His work at Swansea has greatly impressed and is also committed to the sort of football that Wenger has overseen at Arsenal.’ (Daily Telegraph)

Jorge Sampaoli: Chile’s Copa America winning coash signed a two-year deal with Sevilla last years but Arsenal should be able to extricate him for it” – (The Times)

Mauricio Pochettino: ‘The Spurs manger would spend more then Wenger has bene willing to but not more than the club could handle’ (The Times)

Sean Dyche: ‘As the great debacle rages about who will eventually replace Arsene Wenger, it’s amazing that one boss keeps getting overlooked.’ It’s Dyche.

So to that list. What says the Number 1 choice, Thomas Tuchel? It’s “completely fictional”, says the German club’s chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke (Sun).

Such are the facts.

Posted: 13th, February 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Media Bias: Arsenal hand it to their fans as sorry Hull get unlucky

Media Bias: Arsenal beat Hull City 2-0 in the Premier League. The first Arsenal goal went in off Alexis Sanchez’s hand. The second was from the penalty spot – Hull City’s Sam Clucas was sent off for a handball on the line from Lucas Perez’s header.

In another incident, debate raged over whether or not Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs have been sent off?

What says the media? Is there any noticeable bias in the reporting?

The Goal:

Hull defender Andrew Robertson tells Sky Sports: “The referee apologised to us after half-time and said it was a handball. He obviously realises he was in the wrong.”

BBC website:

It’s been coming, Arsenal deserve it, but it’s handball…. As Sanchez goes in for the ball with Eldin Jakupovic, it bounces up and hits the Arsenal man on the hand, then goes in. Not noticeable at first glance, but clear as day on the replay.

Shamoon Hafez for the BBC:

Sanchez did not look like he purposefully pushed the ball into the net and he had little time to move out of the way after the ball came off Jakupovic.

After consultation with his assistant, referee Mark Clattenburg awarded the goal, but prior to that in the first half, Theo Walcott had a shot blocked by the hand of Clucas inside the area, for which no penalty was given.

Do two wrongs make a right?

Arsenal website:

Kieran Gibbs saw his low shot cleared off the line, but Alexis tucked home from close range, even if it did appear to bounce in off his hand.

Well, that’s how it ‘appeared’. The Arsenal website does not mention the ref’s apology.

Hull City website:

Report: Key Decisions Go Against Tigers In Defeat At Arsenal

No word on the Walcott handball. But the goal is described thus: “…a fortunate rebound fell to Sanchez and he managed to bundle the ball into the net although replays appeared to show the final touch was with his hand.”

The ref’s apology is mentioned.

Hull Daily Mail:

Arsenal’s heavy pressure resumed after the half-hour mark with Walcott blocked by Sam Clucas, but the visitors’ dam eventually broke in the 34th minute as the Gunners benefitted from a huge slice of fortune.

Not handball as the BBC said of Walcott’s shot, but ‘blocked’. As for the goal:

Panic stations in the City box saw Andy Robertson clear off the line to deny Kieran Gibbs but when Sanchez was initially denied by Jakupovic’s block, the ball bounced up and deflected in off the Chilean’s hand. Mark Clattenburg consulted with his assistant only to inexplicably deem the handball had been accidental.

The Red Card That Wasn’t:

Peter Swan, Hull City defender on BBC Radio Humberside: “Referee! What a dreadful decision! Kieran Gibbs was the last man, no-one near him, and he’s brought Lazar Markovic down. It’s a sending off, simple as. And Mark Clattenburg has recently been voted the best referee in the world? What?”

Hull Daily Mail:

Markovic was a regular nuisance for the Gunners defence and City were again ruing Clattenburg when a run clear on goal was curtailed by Gibbs 35 yards out. A yellow card for the Arsenal full-back was another mystifying call.

Hull Daily Mail:

Arsenal should also have been reduced to 10 men when Lazar Markovic was brought down by Kieran Gibbs as he burst through on goal in a second half controlled by the Tigers

The Arsenal website:

Gibbs followed him [Walcott] into the book after hauling back the breaking Lazar Markovic. The two incidents brought the Emirates crowd to life, and Arsenal responded.

No word on any red card as the official Arsenal website puts a positive spin on the action. Hull were not robbed so much as Arsenal fans were roused.

The red card that was:

Well, he had to go. All news sources agree. But Hull were hard done by.

Posted: 11th, February 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Cech’s days as the Arsenal Number 1 ‘are coming to an end’ as Gunners eye Joe Hart

Transfer balls: the Mail reports that Arsenal are eyeing Joe Hart, the England goalkeeper. Hart, a man with of all the cool of a wasabi enema, is tempting Arsenal because at 29 he’s five years young than Petr Cech, the current Arsenal Number 1. Hart is playing in Turin, having been loaned out by Manchester City.

But why wold Arsenal be looking to replace Cech, let alone with Hart? The Mail says Cech’s days as the Arsenal Number 1 ‘are coming to an end’. But this looks a lot like guesswork based on his age and nothing else.

Cech joined Arsenal on a “long-term contract” in June 2015.

Last season, the Mail was telling its readers, ‘Petr Cech in line to be next Arsenal captain after making huge impact in his first season following summer switch from Chelsea.’

Such are the facts.

Posted: 9th, February 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Sun’s Dave Kidd joins Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger in a Post Truth pogo

dave kidd the sunWriting about Arsenal and Arsene Wenger in the Sun, Dave Kidd, the paper’s chief sports writer, is waiting for the Frenchman to make a dignified exit.

Kidd says that following Arsenal’s limp defeat to table-topping Chelsea, Wenger was complaining about the Blues’ first goal. He said it was dangerous play and the goal should not have stood. Kidd thinks Wenger’s operating ‘on Trump-style alternative facts’.

Marcos Alonso, says Kidd, ‘leaped like a normal person rather than pogo-ing with his arms by his side, like us Sex Pistols fans were doing at Manchester’s Free Trade Hall in 1976‘.

Really?

In October 2016,  Sports Journalists, the website of the Sports Journalists’ Association, noted Kidd’s arrival at the Sun, ‘a return to where his national career started as a freelance 20 years ago.’

“It’s a great honour to follow them,” said Kidd. “My predecessor told me I was only the fourth chief sports writer on the paper and two of them, Steve Howard and John Sadler, were hugely encouraging when I was a rookie. I’m delighted to be going back to the paper where my national career started as a 22-year-old.”

If in 1996, Kidd was 22 in 1976 he’d have been a very young Sex Pistols fan.

Maybe it’s not only Wenger living in a post-Truth world?

 

Posted: 7th, February 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Media bias: Daily Mirror attacks Chelsea ‘killer’ Alonso over Arsenal ‘flying elbow’ goal

Chelsea v Arsenal. Early on in the match, Chelsea’s Marco Alonso scores. In the process he obliterates Hector Bellerin. Should the goal have stood? The media takes a look. It’s all pretty even handed reporting until the Daily Mirror gets in on the act. It sees fit to repeat an ugly tweet linking Alonso clattering Bellerin with a car accident in which a woman was killed – Alsono was driving the vehicle in 2011.

BBC: Bellerin taken off injured – hurt by Alonso’s elbow as Spaniard scores

Phil McNulty, BBC Sport chief football writer at Stamford Bridge:

Lots of debate here at Stamford Bridge about whether that was a foul by Marcos Alonso on Hector Bellerin for Chelsea’s goal. Clearly a collision but that was a natural jumping movement from Alonso and not every collision is a foul…so correct decision for me.

Telegraph:

Marcos Alonso bullied the smaller Bellerin in the aerial challenge to bury the rebound.

The Sun:

Alonso all but headed Bellerin into the net there as well. The Gunners’ full-back landed flat on his back. Very painful. He’ll need some TLC. Meanwhile, Gabriel tries a defender’s shot from 22 yards but like my npower dual fuel bill, it’s always rising.

The Guardian:

That was a very entertaining half of football. Chelsea lead through Marcos Alonso’s controversial goal

The Mirror calls it a “flying elbow”…

had the challenge been on the goalkeeper the referee would have given a free-kick against Alonso.

The Mirror then does something despicable. In 2011 Alonso was driving a car in Madrid. He was, reportedly, over the alcohol limit. A woman passenger was killed. Pathetic stuff from the Mirror.

 

daily mirror alonso

The Express:

Marcos Alonso has battered Hector Bellerin there… barging Bellerin out of contention with his arm as he nodded home.

 

Posted: 4th, February 2017 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: Wenger wants love as the Gunners as two more years of torpor looms

Arsene Wenger will remain at Arsenal for another two years if the fans show him ‘love’. Wenger’s current deal expires at the season’s end, and there is talk of a new two-year contract on the table, says the Mirror. And that’s odd because it wasn’t all that long ago the Mirror and its writer John Cross were telling readers that Wenger was leaving Arsenal in June. He had ‘set the date’.

 

Daily Mirror wenger quits Arsenal

 

Now over two pages, Cross says the Arsenal board and Wenger are ‘privately mystified’ why fans are unhappy that their team lost to Watford earlier this week. The Gunners had the chance to close the gap with table-topping Chelsea to 6 points but blew it. So limp was Arsenal’s performance that the Sun says Wenger gave his players’ two days off to recover.

 

arsenal watford the sun

 

Cross says that’s untrue. The players ‘did not have two days off after the game’. But they did have 45 minutes off during it. The first half was dire.

Over in the Express, Matthew Dunn says Arenal are ‘soft’ in the centre. The bad news for Gunners fans is that at Chelsea this weekend they will most likely field Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in central midfield, one of the game’s politest tacklers.

Since last winning the title, Arsenal have finished an average of 13 point behind the Premier League winners. Lose to Chelsea and they will 12 points behind.

Plus ca change, as they say at the Emirates, where board members made rich and lazy by Wenger’s top-four finishes continue to duck the kind of brave decision that gave brought the Frenchman to the club all those years ago.

 

Posted: 3rd, February 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Benzema takes his crack to Arsenal, Chelsea and France

Transfer balls: Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has seen enough of Karim Benzema. He wants one of Arsenal, Chelsea or Paris Saint-Germain to buy the Frenchman. Well, so say “reports from Spain” (Guardian). Which reports we’re not told. We could only find one. And it contains not a single quote or fact to support the story.

But the Telegraph’s man -in-the-yellow-tie has heard enough.The paper thunders:

Live Arsenal transfer news and rumours live updates: Arsene Wenger responds to suggestions Karim Benzema will sign

What did he say?

Wenger responds to Benzema rumours
The Arsenal manager was asked this morning why he is so often linked with a move for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema. He responded: “Because he is French?”

Cryptic stuff from Arsene.

Not cryptic at all. Just factual.

As for the root of this story, we turn to Diario Gol, the single source, which reports via the wonders of automated internet translation:

Florentino Perez places a Real Madrid crack in the showcase 24 hours after falling in the Copa del Rey

Calling Benzema a “crack” is a bit off. What else?

The president puts foot and a half of a footballer in the street…

And then:

The footballer is unofficially on sale, but the phone is already on fire. The first offers were soon to arrive.

From who?

The season was not good for the player. The patience of Florentino ended with the elimination of the team Zinedine Zidane at the hands of Celtic in the Cup .

Much more was expected of the striker. Give the team what is claimed. But he disappeared. It was a drag rather than a help and the leader got tired of the situation.

In addition, Cristiano Ronaldo occupy the position of ‘9’ uro sooner or later, and the club does not want the overbooking in the position of striker cause a problem to the team. And it is clear that in the Santiago Bernabeu prefer to stay with CR7 .

But who wants ‘le crack”? Who made an offer for him?

The Paris Saint Germain is the best club positioned to gain the services of Karim Benzema for next season. The white president stepped up negotiations with the French entity. It is one of the few that could take over his card and at the same time pay a transfer.

Next season PSG might want him. So why is this news in the current transfer window?

But PSG is the eternal rival Olympique of Lyon in Ligue 1 , the computer on which the French became a global crack. Respect for his followers could put an end to the transfer.

So Florentino opened other ways. Arsenal and Chelsea are the candidates. If the operation with the Parisian team is not successful, the president already has the alternative. Be that as it may, Karim can not continue in Real Madrid.

Put that utter balls through the Daily Mirror’s Transfer Balls Translator and you get:”Karim Benzema offered to Arsenal and Chelsea?”

That question mark fails to show up on Google News. So the story of a player on his way out of Spain and most likely returning to France is all about Arsenal and Chelsea.

Previously:

 

Karim Benzema arsenal move transfer

 

Benzema deal is on: best offer is from Arsenal, £45mln. They will take a decision soon. He wants to reach Wenger.

 

Screen shot 2015-07-17 at 08.35.21

 

Such are the facts.

 

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


Transfer balls: Arsenal outbid Chelsea for Manchester United-bound Griezmann and Sanchez ‘escapes’

Transfer balls: a look at bad football reporting. Having been told for ages that Antoine Griezmann tops Manchester United’s list of transfer targets – and that Chelsea were buying the French striker for £40m and then £50m – the BBC reports that Arsenal will try to get him for £85m.

The BBC’s source is the Mail on Sunday. But its report is very light on facts. Readers are told that Manchester United “believe they are in pole position to land Antoine Griezmann”. Arsenal “are expected” to bid for the Atletico Madrid star. It is “widely expected” rich clubs will bid for Griezmann this summer.

The Sun expands on the ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybes’ by saying that should Griezmann leave, Atletico will buy Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez. This will be – get his – Sanchez’s “escape route” out of Arsenal.

So will Sanchez from part of a cash and flesh deal for Griezmann? No, says the Sun. “The Spaniards are resigned to losing Antoine Griezmann to Manchester United this summer.”

The Sun says Atletico will offer Sanchez £220,000 a week. That’s much better than the “£160,000- a-week deal currently on offer for Sanchez to sign a new contract with the Gunners”.

But Sun told readers back in November that Arsenal will have to “stump up £200,000-a-week each if they want Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez to sign new deals with the club.” That’s a lot of money – but less than the £250,000-a-week the Express reported Sanchez was seeking in October.

In December, the Mail told its readers, “Sanchez wants £250,000 per week, while Arsenal’s current offer is £180,000”. That was Arsenal’s “opening offer”.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 29th, January 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal v Manchester United: Wenger and Mourinho on new FA panel show

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has called for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to be banned. “Jose call for Wenger ban,” announces the Star’s back-page headline.

Wenger is waiting to learn what punishment the FA will deliver for his sending off last weekend. Rather than vanishing down the tunnel, as he should have done, Wenger dallied by the pitch and then shoved the fourth official.

But did Mourinho, a man known for run-ins with officialdom and his dislike of Wenger, really add his opinion that his rival should be banned? No. He didn’t. What happened was that at the Manchester United press conference ahead of their EFL Cup semi-final tie with Hull City, a journalist asked him about Wenger. Should Wenger be banned? Mourinho replied: “I have no idea.”

 

wenger-mourinho

 

Over in the Mail, there’s a different twist on the same no-news story. “As Jose heads for Hull all eyes are on the FA…Can Mourinho keep his cool over Wenger?” asks the headline. We know the League Cup is no great shakes but when it takes second billing to a disciplinary hearing, you’re in trouble. Marketing departments would be better served adding company logos to the FA’s judgements and the leave the un-loved tin-pot alone.

If the Supreme Court can be televised, why not he FA’s? Slap it on the telly and you’ve got must-see TV.

Call me, the FA, I have ideas.

 

Posted: 26th, January 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal’s race row is a hate storm in a tea cup

In tabloid-ville there are two strains of racism: would like the “Race Storm” or the “Race Row”? The Star leads it’s sport coverage with a “Race Row”, as does the Mail, reporting on Arsenal FC’s Granit Xhaka. Having left the field early during last Saturday’s Arsenal match with Burnley on account of yet another red card for another stupid foul, Xhaka beat the traffic and ended up at Heathrow Airport.

He wasn’t there for some ghastly tie-in with Arsenal’s Emirates Airline sponsors – ‘Give The Daily Grind A Red Card and Jet Off With Emirates’ – rather to drop off his lover’s brother who was flying home. But oddly for man known for getting away early (two red cards this season already), Xhaka arrived too late. The boarding gate had closed and, as the story goes, the normally cool and calm Swiss became upset and allegedly called a member of British Airways staff a “f******* white bitch”. His English isn’t so good, so he said it in German.

Inside the paper, on Page 76, it’s a “RACE STORM”.

He’s not been arrested. Yeah, the police were called, which seems pretty remarkable in itself. Xhaka went to the station and has been helping police with their enquiries. The Sun (“RACE STORM”) says he was interviewed under caution. What’s the crime, officer? Being a cretin? Being a racist? Is this a – dread phrase – hate crime?

It’s all unpleasant and deeply pathetic. Add in the fact Xhaka is white and it looks a little odd. To brand someone a racist is no small deal.

Posted: 25th, January 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal: Wenger’s ‘six match’ ban delivered in a laundry basket

When Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger called referee Jon Moss a “f****ing cheat” as his side toiled to a very late win over Burnley, he was sent off. Stood in the tunnel, Wenger was regaled with the cry heard at all-seater stadia to “Sit Down!” He refused. The fourth official insisted. So Wenger shoved Anthony Taylor, for it was he.

For his pains, Wenger’s been charged with misconduct by the FA.

Wenger now faces a “massive ban” says the Sun. The Mirror agrees. How big? Two matches and £20,000, says the Sun. The FA must be delighted. Twenty grand for the kind of aggro that was more purse than handbags.

Wenger apologised. “I regret everything,” he says,” I should have shut up, gone in and gone home.” And thereby beat the traffic, we might add.

Nonetheless, Dave Kidd wants Wenger “hit with a lengthy stadium ban”. The FA must send out message that “you must not manhandle referees”.

The Mail says a touchline ban is the most likely outcome. The paper’s tame referee Graham Poll wants Wenger banned for six matches.

The Mirror wants three.

Whatever it is, it’ll be good news of the Wenger Out camp, who will get to watch the match without their target in sight.

What it amounts to is not all that much. The manager coaches his team before the match. There are also mobile phones through which he can talk to his assistants as he watches the game on the telly. And then there was baskets. In 2005, Jose Mourinho circumvented a stadium ban by clambered into a laundry skip to gain entry to the Chelsea dressing room. Ten minutes before the end he was wheeled away to Stamford Bridge leisure club  where, according to reports, he spent the night.

Wenger might try a similar move. Although he’ll need a bigger basket. Or there’s always a loud hailor. The Emirates could do with someone making some noise.

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


Media bias: Arsenal get lucky as Burnley go down in the 98th minute

Media Bias: In a crazy end to what had looked like a routine win for Arsenal, Burley scored from the spot in the 94th minute. And then Laurent Koscielny was caught in the head by a high Ben Mee boot. Penalty! Arsenal scored it in the 98th minute and the game is won 2-1.

With Arsenal 1-0 up, the Gunners’ Granit Xhaka was sent off for a lunge on Steven Defour. Then his manager Arsene Wenger was sent off for arguing with the officials.

What says the media about Arsenal’s last-gasps penalty?

The BBC: [Referee Jon] Moss penalised Mee for a high foot on Koscielny, who appeared to be offside when the free-kick was flighted in to the back post, but once that was missed, a penalty was a fair result for the challenge.

So the Arsenal man was offside. But the penalty was fair?

The Guardian calls it an “excellent decision from the referee”.

The Burnley Express is less delighted. Its match report harked back to the teams’ previous meeting, when Arsenal scored a winner late on.

After Laurent Koscielny was central to the storm at Turf Moor in October, handling the ball over the line from an offside position late on, the Frenchman was in the thick of it once more.

That goal came in the 94th minute.

The Burnley Express continues:

Referee Jon Moss awarded a penalty… penalising Ben Mee for a high boot on the Arsenal skipper who, for a second time, was stood in an offside position.

The London Evening Standard merely says of the incident, “Laurent Koscielny was kicked by Ben Mee in the area.”

The Burnley FC website calls the penalty “controversial”.

The Arsenal website sees no controversy:

Alexis swung in a cross from the left that arrowed towards the far post, where Ben Mee caught Laurent Koscielny in the face with a high boot. Moss awarded Arsenal the penalty and Alexis, showing incredible composure, sent a panenka down the middle from the spot to seal a precious victory.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 22nd, January 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


When Arsenal won the league at Liverpool in 1989 is being made into a film

There’re making a film about that astonishing Friday night at Anfield on May 26 1989 – you know, when Arsenal needed to beat Liverpool by two clear goals to be league champions? Nearly every sports writer gave Arsenal no chance.

You remember, don’t you, when I drew a short straw on the coach up and sat with the Liverpool fans behind the dugouts? And with all hope seemingly lost and the game up and everything just so closer – so bloody close after so many years waiting – in the dying embers of the last match of the season Michael Thomas burst into the mighty Reds’ box and flicked the ball in to score the winner?

And I tumbled down the seats and ended up on the edge of the pitch? And the whistle went. And I hugged Paul Merson and everything just went nuts? And the fans, did I tell you about the fans – not just the delirious Arsenal fans but the Liverpool fans who all stayed in the ground to sing and hymn their team who had endured so much that season and been one minute away from glory? The air fizzed. It was magic.

And I was there. Did I tell you abut it?

Well, it’s going to be made into a film. Universal Pictures are working on it now. Buy your tickets.

 

arsenal-liverpool-1989

Posted: 20th, January 2017 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0