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Chelsea balls: Diego Costa’s writes an open letter to the fans

So farewell, Diego Costa, who has left Chelsea to rejoin Atletico Madrid for £57 million. By way of goodbye, Costa has penned a letter to Chelsea fans. It asserts that he will never get dementia and that his life works to cycles, much like a spin dryer or a giant panda’s genitals. Costa writes on his Facebook page:

Some cycles begin while others end. My cycle at Chelsea began three years ago – three remarkable years in all aspects – and I will never forget it.

Two championship titles, a Community Shield, 120 matches, 59 goals and 24 assists later this cycle has ended. Not the way I would have wanted – far from it – but the best way possible.

The wonderful fans of such an equally admirable club and all my team-mates, as well as all clinical, administrative and logistics staff will remain forever in my mind and in my heart.

I will bring them with me with the certainty that I will always be by their side as well, and I’m sure they will understand the reason why this cycle of mine has now ended – because I could not lose faith in myself.

Thank you Chelsea for everything!

God bless the logistics staff – professional football’s perennially unsung heroes.

And God bless Diego, for now his cycle begins anew.

Posted: 27th, September 2017 | In: Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: Manchester United park the bus and Chelsea never lose

Arsenal are on the up. With four wins and one draw from their past five games, and with just one goal conceded in that period, Arsene Wenger’s team have recovered from their early season defeats to Stoke (in which they were unlucky and robbed by poor refereeing) and Liverpool (where they got the thrashing their abject performance deserved). It also behoves a mention to note that following Arsenal’s 2-0 win over a spark West Bromwich Albion, the Gunners have won eight consecutive home games in the Premier League.

But in the Sun, the forecast at The Emirates remains grim. Therein they are “FALTERING Arsenal”. You “could not disguise just how far the Gunners are falling behind their major rivals. While City, United and Chelsea are brushing opponents aside with contemptuous ease, Arsene Wenger’s team are labouring to see off even the most unambitious of rivals.”

 

Arsenal table

Arsenal “far behind” at one point away from third sport

 

Arsenal drew 0-0 at Chelsea in a game they could well have won, hitting the post and missing an open goal from inside six yards. And that’s the same Chelsea who lost at home to the mighty Burnley. Manchester City were flukey away to Bournemouth, scoring a very late goal courtesy of Raheem Sterling’s boot and a massive deflection, and drew 1-1 with Everton. Manchester United have drawn 2-2 with Stoke, and last weekend beat Southampton 0-1. Of that match the Sun’s sister paper, the Times, called United’s performance “strangely lethargic”. Adding:

Given the lead by Lukaku, United went into abject retreat in the second half when Southampton had the bulk of possession and most of the chances. At the final whistle, United had six defenders on the pitch, while the home side brought on two attackers, a fair reflection of the balance of power.

Manchester United parked the bus. So much for “brushing aside opponents with contemptuous ease”. United and City have yet to play any of their title rivals.

And what of West Bromwich Albion being unambitious? The Evening Standard reports:

Pulis had employed a more ambitious West Brom lineup than might have been expected, with Hal Robson-Kanu and Rodriguez making for a mobile, high-pressing front two.

It’s hardly perfect at Arsenal, but to ignore the facts and stick to a bogus narrative is poor reporting.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 26th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Manchester City, manchester united, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Chelsea balls: Gus Hiddink never did cry

The Sun enjoys the “Crying Dutchman” pun, using it to describe Dutch football managers who aren’t ever crying. In May 2016, the Sun said “Crying Dutchman Louis van Gaal” was “disappointed” at being sacked by Manchester United. But the hammer-headed Dutchman today returns to the Sun in a feature entitled “The Crying Dutchmen”.

With Ronald Koeman mired at Everton and Frank de Boer already sacked by trigger-happy Crystal Palace with a 100% record of played 4, lost 4, Dutch managers in the Premier League are an endangered species. Both men feature on the Sun’s story on Dutch managers who”‘struggle to set the English top flight alight”.

You could, of course, make a longer list of English manger who have failed to shine in the PL – an English manager has yet to win the Premier League. But it’s the Dutch in the crosshairs. And overlooking Martin Jol, who did pretty well at Spurs (2004-2007), notably becoming the first Spurs manager since Keith Burkinshaw (Spurs manger 1976-1984) to qualify for European football in successive seasons, the paper spots Guus Hiddink.

That’s the same Gus Hiddink who while still managing Russia was appointed as Chelsea’s interim manager in 2009, leading them to the FA Cup. The Sun says he “came back in 2015 after Jose Mourinho was axed but the Blues toiled to finish tenth”.

Toiled?

Hiddink rejoined Chelsea on 19 December 2015, with the club in 16th place. Under Jose Mourinho, Chelsea has lost nine out of sixteen league games. Hiddink set a new record for the longest unbeaten streak by a new manager in Premier League history with 12 games unbeaten. Under Hiddick, Chelsea lost just two more league matches.

Crying? No. Far from it. He was very good.

Posted: 18th, September 2017 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: Garth Crooks dumps Chelsea Nazis on Sead Kolasinac’s brick toilet

On Monday, BBC pundit Garth Crooks delivers his Premier League team of the week. This week Crooks has selected Sead Kolasinac, who played well in Arsenal’s draw against Chelsea on Sunday, during which he was kicked hard by “silly” David Luiz. Indeed, it was being kicked that earned Kolasinac Crook’s admiration. Crooks writes:

Sead Kolasinac is built like one of those North London brick toilets that withstood bombing raids during the Second World War.

Ah, yes, those famous Nazi-proof brick toilets. Bit cold to the touch, and they left a dusty circle on your bum, but nostalgia, eh. And if Kolasinac is the Great British brick toilet, who is the Nazi bomber?

Even after the most awful tackle by my defender of the year last season, David Luiz, he rose to his feet determined to finish the game. The way Luiz overran the ball in an attempt to draw Kolasinac into the challenge left me in no doubt that the Chelsea defender knew exactly what he was doing. In my view, he wanted a piece of Kolasinac.

David ‘doodlebug’ Luiz.

In my playing days, both men would have received a standing ovation for a tackle like that – Luiz for throwing down the gauntlet and Kolasinac for accepting it.

Yeah, you always applauded the footballer who got a kicking. For every Norman ‘Bites yer legs’ Hunter there was a Howard Kendall, accepting the noble gauntlet right in the shins. The Corinthian spirit shone though those magic moments.

 

 

History lesson over, Crooks adds:

Even though the Arsenal defender came off worst, the impressive Bosnia-Herzegovina international finished the game and with it earned a moral victory.

Well done for not getting your leg broken, Kolasinac, you paragon of virtue.

Cheers, Garth:

 

 

Posted: 18th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: Chelsea website offers Luiz an excuse for his red card

Chelsea drew 0-0 with Arsenal in today’s Premier League match. Arsenal hit the post and missed an open goal; Chelsea had a one-on-one with the ‘keeper. The game was pretty even. But towards the end David Luiz received a straight red card for a nasty foul on Arsenal’s Sead Kolasinac.

Any biased reporting?

The Chelsea FC website reports it thus:

David Luiz, earlier booked, was shown a straight red for a late challenge on Kolasinac in front of the dugouts, although it looked like Sanchez had fouled him in the build-up to it.

But no sign of any excuse on the Arsenal website:

There was a flashpoint in the final few minutes, when David Luiz was shown a straight red card when lunging in dangerously on Sead Kolasinac.

What about the fans?

Arseblog:

On the touchline Luiz flew over the ball and connected with Kolasinac’s ankle leaving the Bosnian in a crumpled heap.

We Aint’ Got No History (Chelsea):

…another silly red card for Chelsea, this time to David Luiz.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 17th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Chelsea balls: Conte walks, counting your roosting chickens and the sack race

Chelsea are playing with power and pace. Undefeated since the Premier League’s opening day – and with every game since a victory – the champions are looking strong. The Daily Mirror’s Darren Lewis has noticed:

Chelsea’s critics were at it on Deadline Day. Never mind that boss Antonio Conte had proved them wrong before, by turning Marcos Alonso, Victor Moses and David Luiz into title winners.

A pox on those clueless critics. Like the wally who on August 13 wrote:

The trouble this time is that the chickens are coming home to roost after Antonio Conte ’s champions failed to build from a position of strength… Someone, somewhere has dropped the ball. As it stands, Chelsea have now been beaten in three ­official games since winning the title last season: the FA Cup final, the Community Shield and now this.

On August 17 some knee-jerker wrote:

It is a continuing crisis for a man knee-deep in it this summer:

Cost was on his way out the door:

The biggest fear is that the man who did so well to win so many people over in his debut campaign last season, could walk away…

All Darren Lewis, of course, who get a sympathetic ear at the Mirror, which seems to have it in for the likeable Conte. On August 6, John Cross warned Conte:

Antonio Conte should fear the Community Shield curse after vulnerable Chelsea’s Wembley defeat to Arsenal. The Wembley curse is hanging dangerously for a third year running with Antonio Conte fearing he could become the latest victim.

The last two managers – Claudio Ranieri and Jose Mourinho – to win the title were both sacked midway through the following season after also losing the Community Shield.

And on August 14, Matt Lawless added:

Antonio Conte won title – and could now win sack race! Bookmakers think Chelsea boss will be axed first

“Antonio Conte is already clinging to his job,” opined one caption.

It’s almost as if you can’t judge an entire season on one performance.

Posted: 14th, September 2017 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Yid Army: Spurs fans should rejoice at Chelsea stupidity

spurs yids

 

So terrible was the sound of Chelsea fans hailing (surely heil-ing? – ed) new striker Alvaro Morata with a song about him hating “The Yids” that the Football Association is launching an investigation. How it means to investigate the chant directed at Spurs and its self-styled ‘Yid Army’ is unsaid. But reports abound that the FA contacted Chelsea in an effort to identify the individuals singing the song. The Telegraph adds that the FA is also expected to seek talks with “other authorities”, such as the Church of England, perhaps, the UN and the thought police.

 

 

It had all been looking so promising. Chelsea appealed for their fans to stop singing the song because it upset Morata. “We’ve spoken to Alvaro after the game,” said Chelsea’s spokesman. “He does not want to be connected with that song in any way and both the club and the player request the supporters stop singing that song with immediate effect.”

This was grown-up stuff. No need for the police to get involved.

Chelsea appeared to recognise that fans create their own rules and solidarities. Some Tottenham Hotspur supporters formed the Yid Army, a group proud of the club’s large contingent of Jewish fans in an historically Jewish area using ‘Yids’ and ‘Yiddos’ to empower. I know of a fair few Jews who having faced real and violent anti-Semitism find the punchy sounds of ‘Yid Army’ and the rolling ‘We are the Yids/ We are the Yids / We are the Yids are we’ enjoyable. Some Chelsea fans joined the National Front, hurled abuse at black footballers and sang songs about gassing Jews. You pick your side and go with it.

And here’s the thing: not every Chelsea fan who says Morata hates the Yids is a full-on Nazi. They are most likely not anti-Semitic, either. In the context of football rivalry the Chelsea fan seething about ‘Yiddish scum‘ is not doing so because he’s a white supremacist, jihadi or far-Left activist calling for the systematic extermination of world Jewry. What drives the vast majority of Chelsea fans hymning Morata is the heartfelt desire to see Spurs fail.

Deprived of a proper local rival, Chelsea fans have scouted around other London teams and found Spurs to their liking. It is Spurs’ fellow North Londoners Arsenal, of course, who are the Lilywhites true rivals, and it’s largely down to Chelsea’s Jewish owner Roman Abramovich’s billions that the Blues have escaped those traditional big derby days with Fulham.

Sing What We Want

Football chants have meaning in the context of the game. Banning chants – censoring words; arresting people for saying them – is the stuff of loons. People will always find a way to insult each other through language.

In 2013 the FA and anti-racist campaigners commanded Spurs fans to stop singing about ‘Yids’. Spurs fans responded by declaring “We’ll sing what we want to”. All fans should rejoice in that. Sing what you want. And if Chelsea fans want to upset their star player and their club by labelling Morata an anti-Semite, Spurs fans should only smile at his pain.

 

Posted: 12th, September 2017 | In: Chelsea, Key Posts, Spurs | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Chelsea asks fans to police themselves but abusing Spurs is all part of the game

yid army Morata Chelsea Spurs

 

Chelsea want their fans to stop hailing new striker Alvaro Mora with the song: “He came from Real Madrid he fucking hates the Yids.” ‘The Yids’ is, for those of not au fait with footballing abuse, a reference to Tottenham Hotspur football club. The rich irony being, of course, that Chelsea are owned by Roman Abramovich, a Jew. Mr Abramovich is Chairman of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia. This might be a shock to the Chelsea goon who in the early 1980s sniffed my friend and hymned: “Fe-fi-fo-fum, I smell Yiddish scum.”

In blood, Abramovich is more of a yid than Spurs’ Harry Kane. But this isn’t really about racism. This is about finding ways to insult the opposition and upset their fans.

Most Spurs fans couldn’t give a toss about the song. The club’s self-styled Yid Army demand to sing what they want to, and good on them. The press ridiculously call it “The Y-word” (Daily Mail), fetishising the word through censorship, making it all the more exciting and daring to say aloud.

Chelsea have issued a statement:

“The club and the players appreciate the fans passionate support away from home, of course, but the language in that song is not acceptable at all.  We’ve spoken to Alvaro after the game and he does not want to be connected to that song in any way and both the player and the club request that the supporters stop singing that song with immediate effect.”

That’s a rather clever twist on the usual ham-fisted demands for football fans to stop saying things or else. If Chelsea fans are annoying their own new star turn, then surely they’ll stop singing the song. It’s progress. Chelsea are not threatening fans with the police or lifetime expulsion from watching the team for the crime of singing songs. They’re politely asking for the fans to sort it out amongst themselves.

Good-oh.

Posted: 10th, September 2017 | In: Chelsea, Key Posts, News, Sports, Spurs | Comments (13) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Chelsea balls: Conte out and Tuchel in a fact-free story designed for clickbait

How clickbait football reporting works in the Daily Telegraph. The paper has no news for Chelsea fans.

A: The Daily Telegraph’s football reporter Matt Law tweets:

Chelsea Tuchel MAtt Law

 

Chelsea are not interested in out-of-work German manager Thomas Tuchel. Got it.

B: The Daily Telegraph clickbait factory processes their top correspondent’s news. At 1:37 it reports:

Former Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel to replace Antonio Conte at Chelsea

Says who? Not Matt Law, the paper’s own expert. The Telegraph’s balls is linked to a story in German tabloid Bild. It says – and reading via Google translate is always fun:

The fuse of Klubinger Roman Abramovich and his confidante, the Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia, is now to be very brief in the Conte case. And Granovskaia, who is considered to be the most powerful woman in world football, has apparently already been informed about Tuchel in detail and has decided on him as a new Chelsea coach.

What makes sense is that the international tradeshow market is currently producing only two names that have worked successfully at the Champions League level at large clubs and are directly available. Next to Tuchel are Luis Enrique (47), who worked for FC Barcelona until the end of last season. However, his English is not exactly good. Advantage Tuchel, the language almost perfectly mastered.

In addition, Tuchel is more likely to lead young players at the highest level while at the same time inspiring the top stars for themselves, their work and their goals. Exactly with this, Conte had problems after winning the championship. He will be lured into the club.

So Tuchel has not been hired to replace Conte at Chelsea. And he’s tipped for the job because he speaks decent English. Don’t clear your locker just yet, Antonio.

Posted: 23rd, August 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Chelsea move to sue Diego Costa

No sooner has Diego Costa walked out on Chelsea than the press started to work out how much money his strop will cost the Spain striker. The Express calculates that on an annual wage of £7m a year, striking until January 1 2018, when he can join Atletico Madrid, will cost Costa £3m. (Atletico are subject to a transfer embargo until Jan 1).

Make that £13m, says the Star. Like the Mirror, it says Chelsea could sure Costa for breach of contract.

Odd, isn’t it, that the player whose gamesmanship and nastiness left many fans bemused by his lack of red cards should now have dismissed himself. Perhaps he tired of waiting for the referee?

Chelsea want Costa back to train with the squad, as per the terms of his contract. Costa moans “Chelsea don’t want to release me” and “My destination is already set. I must return to Madrid”. But according to the Sun, Atletico Madrid will pay £30m for Costa – £20m less than Chelsea think he’s worth.

“When we heard [Chelsea manager Antonio] Conte didn’t want me anymore, my agent went to find out if there was interest from Atletico for me coming back,” says Costa. “Of course for the warmth and respect that I earned there, they showed interest, but they wouldn’t pay a fortune… If I’m not part of the manager’s plans, I would like to choose my destination – I’m not going to let them decide just to get more money.”

The only winner here look likely to be Aletico, who can sit back and watch Costa’s value plummet.

 

 

Posted: 18th, August 2017 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Chelsea balls: Diego Costa and the Daily Mail pile into blameless Conte

Following up its interview with Chelsea striker Daily Mail, the paper leads with “WE BACK DIEGO”. News is that “Antonio Conte’s decision to exile Diego Costa is threatening to damage his strong bonds with other Chelsea players.” Other papers go with “Rebel Will Be Left To Rot” (Sun) and “Blues lay down law to AWOL star” (Daily Star)“.

Costa is currently sulking at his mum and dad’s house in Brazil. He’s been fined for not showing up at Chelsea. And he says the Blues are treating him “like a criminal”.

The Mail says it’s not wantaway Costa in the wrong; it’s Conte. The story continues: “Costa is a popular figure in the dressing room and remains in regular contact with close friends Willian, David Luiz and Spain team-mates including Cesc Fabregas.” Well, so says Costa. And then this: “Some fear they could be the next to be discarded in brutal fashion by title-winning manager Conte.”

That Conte, eh, what a heartless swine. What the Mail omits to mention is that in July 2016, Costa demanded to leave Chelsea for Atletico Madrid. Conte, as was reported widely, persuaded him to stay. Said Costa:”I did all that I could to return but it didn’t happen. When Atlético had to wait for me, they didn’t wait.”

Indeed, one news organ has reported on Costa’s unhappiness at Chelsea many times:

Costa has never properly settled in London after moving there in his own £32m deal and has remained in contact with various former team-mates telling several of them that he would like to return. – Feb, 4, 2016

Antonio Conte unsure if Diego Costa will stay a Chelsea player: ‘If you ask me if Costa will remain, I don’t know’ – July 31, 2016

Antonio Conte won a battle of wills with Diego Costa after Chelsea’s leading scorer demanded to be taken off during the 3-0 Premier League victory over Leicester at Stamford Bridge. The Spain international started the game on four yellow cards for the season, meaning another booking would see him miss the highly anticipated clash with Manchester United on October 23… the Blues striker gestured angrily towards his manager that he wanted to be substituted 20 minutes before time to avoid a potential suspension, but Conte was having none of it – despite Costa holding his leg late on. – October, 2016

All in the Mail.

Having supported Conte for telling Costa who’s boss, the Mail now tells its readers:

Could Diego Costa last longer at Chelsea than Antonio Conte? Champions order rebel striker back to London as their manager feels the heat

Not if Costa’s got anything to do with it, no. He wants to leave…

 

Posted: 15th, August 2017 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Media Bias: Chelsea stretch the truth as Burnley win

Media Bias: a look at biased football reporting. Today’s match at Stamford Bridge saw reigning champions Chelsea defeated 2-3 by the mighty Burnley.

Gary Cahill’s sending off

Chelsea FC Website:

Then, on 14 minutes, proceedings swung in Burnley’s favour. Cahill, stretching after a heavy touch, missed the ball and caught Steven Defour high.

The sympathetic back story – “stretching after a heavy touch” causing him to “miss the ball” – becomes on the Burnley FC website:

Cahill over-ran the ball and lunged towards Defour in an effort to win it back

The Lancashire Telegraph calls Cahill’s foul a “studs-up tackle”.

The BBC’s Martin Keown says of the foul:

“I think it was a red card, without a doubt. He has gone over the top of the ball. He has almost broke his leg…  I can see why the referee has sent him off. It is dangerous… he is out of control.”

The BBC’s Pat Nevin (formerly Chelsea):

There was no doubt in my mind that as soon as I saw it that challenge deserved some colour of card. My gut? A strong yellow. 

And Cesc Fabregas’s red card?

Chelsea FC:

…the Blues were reduced to nine men, Fabregas the man shown a second yellow for a challenge on Cork. The midfielder was incandescent at the decision.

A challenge? Not exactly, says Burnley FC:

Fabregas collecting a second yellow card for a foul on Cork eight minutes from the end

The Mail reveals how Fabregas earned his first yellow, something not mentioned on the Chelsea FC website:

Fabregas is booked for sarcastically applauding the match official after awarding Burnley a free-kick.

Should a Burnley player have been sent off?

Chelsea FC:

Mee went crunching through the back of Morata and was only booked, much to the disgust of the home faithful and the Chelsea players.

Burnley FC have not a word on that. Mee’s yellow card is not mentioned at all. How does the BBC see it?

More screams from Chelsea fans and players as Ben Mee slides in late on Morata. It was clumsy but not as dangerous as Cahill’s earlier, hence the yellow card.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 12th, August 2017 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


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


Transfer balls: Bakayoko makes Chelsea panic and Manchester United fans click

Transfer Ballsa look at dire football reporting.

When Tiemoue Bakayoko was on his way from Monaco to Chelsea, the media was fanning the baseless news story that he was contemplating a last-minute switch to Manchester United,

Above a story about Bakayoko having his medial at Chelsea, the Manchester Evening News told its readers: “Monaco star Tiemoue Bakayoko’s Manchester tweet sends Chelsea fans into meltdown.” The headline had nothing to do with the story, which went on to explain that Bakayoko had been prodded and probed at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground before heading out for dinner with some of the club’s players.

What Chelsea fans were in meltdown over that? The MEN didn’t say.

But that total tosh was topped by the London Evening Standard which managed to corrupt the simple fact ‘Footballer Undergoes Chelsea Medical’ into “Tiemoue Bakayoko tweet sparks panic among Chelsea fans as he arrives in England for £40m transfer”.

Meltdowns. Panics. Might be an idea for jittery Chelsea fans to stay away from the news, which operated in the twilight zone between utter balls and economical truth.

daily express chelsea transfer balls

 

The Express had previously told its readers: “MANCHESTER UNITED have agreed a £35million deal to hijack Chelsea’s move for Tiemoue Bakayoko.”

 

daily express chelsea transfer balls

 

One day and on even the Express clickbait farm admitted the story was bilge: “MANCHESTER UNITED do not want to sign Chelsea target Tiemoue Bakayoko and have not submitted a bid for the Monaco midfielder.”

Such are the facts.

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


Talking balls: Lukaku is ‘unconvincing’ for Chelsea but ‘sensational’ for Manchester United

Compare and contrast the considered and not-in-the-least-bit-biased views of former Manchester United player turned pundit Phil Neville discussing the life and talent of Romelu Lukaku.

Lukaku has joined Manchester United. Says Neville of the “sensational” new player:

“What you’ve got is a young striker who is proven in the Premier League and he’s got great experience at scoring goals.

“He’s a 20-goals-a-season man and maybe more as he’s getting older in a better team with better service. So £75m seems quite a fair price for somebody of that ability and that age.

“There will be a £100m transfer very shortly, I’m convinced of that, so I ignore the fees now and look at the product and the quality the clubs are buying.” – Phil Nevill, BBC Sport, July 10 2017

When Lukaku looked like he was heading to Chelsea, Phil was less certain:

“I’m not so sure [Lukaku would fit in at Man United]. I would prefer United to go out and get Gareth Bale or Antoine Griezmann, I really would… I see him in the big games and I don’t see a player that grabs and wins a big game on his own.

“I still think there are question marks against Lukaku. Jose sold him and he didn’t play that much at Chelsea, so he knows him well.

“I think the ideal signing would be Harry Kane – but I don’t think United will get him. But Griezmann and Bale, I think these are the players that can take United closer to winning the Premier League.” – Phil Neville, talkSport, May 22, 2017

Such are the facts.

Posted: 11th, July 2017 | In: Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment | 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 manutd.com?

“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


Transfer Balls: Alvaro Morata expects Chelsea move, joins Arsenal and agrees to play for Manchester United

Transfer balls: Alvaro Morata has “agreed to join Manchester United” from Real Madrid. The BBC says a fee of “around £60m” has been agreed.

The Guardian says Morata’s agent, Juanma Lopez, has negotiated a deal for the former Juventus player’s move to United.

But the deal’s not done. And in the greedy world of the football meat trade, nothing is completed until the player pulls on the shirt and kisses the badge. The Guardian adds that negotiations between the clubs may not be straightforward because of friction relating to David de Gea:

United have frustrated Madrid’s attempts to sign the goalkeeper and fear the Spanish club will drive a hard bargain over Morata as a result. The De Gea issue has led to a strained relationship in the past, with a proposed move breaking down in 2015.

The BBC has jumped the gun – just as the Bleacher Report went too soon in 2014, when it reported that Morata had joined Arsenal, which he never did:

 

morata arsenal

Guillem Balague told readers:

Alvaro Morata, the 21-year-old striker who was considered a potential starter at Real Madrid in years to come, has agreed to join Arsenal. Not on loan, but transferred.

 

morata chelsea

 

And in February 2017, Morata was on his way to Chelsea, said the Telegraph:

Chelsea’s hopes of landing a significant transfer blow on Saturday’s opponents Arsenal have been boosted after Álvaro Morata told friends that he expects to move to Stamford Bridge in the summer.

And on May 25, the Express told its readers:

Real Madrid News: Alvaro Morata snubs Manchester United and Chelsea to agree AC Milan move

Either Morata isn’t a man of his word or else the media is full of utter balls.

 

Posted: 10th, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Kylian Mbappe goes from £17,000 to £114m as Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United get dizzy

Transfer balls: there’s lots of chatter about Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United bidding for Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe. The numbers are staggering – and mostly guesswork.

£17,000 – “Chelsea could have signed Kylian Mbappe for £17,000 as a 14-year-old – but SNUBBED the wonderkid” – Daily Mirror

 

 

Kylian Mbappe

 

£230,000 – “Arsenal could have signed Kylian Mbappe for just £230,000 last year” – Daily Mail

Rob Draper tells readers:

Arsenal could have signed Kylian Mbappe for just £230,000 last year but £100m-rated teenager heads list of targets…

He’s worth £100m.

Arsene Wenger’s side have put away €100m (£87.5m) for his signing

Curse those euros and pounds! Arsenal don’t have enough.

What do the other reports say – all are from this year?

£60m  – “INTER MILAN believe they can sign one of Europe’s most-wanted talents, Kylian Mbappe, on a discounted £60million fee.” – Express

£70m – “PARIS ST-GERMAIN are reportedly ready to offer £70m for Monaco sensation Kylian Mbappe.” – Daily Star

£80m – “Mbappe: Monaco’s £80m teenager” –  The Times

£85m – “Kylian Mbappe ‘says yes’ to Real Madrid move as Premier League giants appear to miss out on £85m starlet” – Daily Mail

£87m – “YOU’RE KYDDING ME Arsenal could have signed Kylian Mbappe for just £230,000 but could now have to spend over £87million for the Monaco striker” – Sun

£96m – “Monaco reject £96m bid for Kylian Mbappe from English club” – Express

£100m – “Manchester United enter £100million race to sign Monaco star Kylian Mbappe” – Manchester Evening News

£105m – “Arsenal have had a €100million euro (£87million) bid for Kylian Mbappe rejected by Monaco.” – Daily Telegraph

The offer is the third turned down already this summer by the French champions, including a world-record fee of €120million (£105million) made by Real Madrid.

£114m – “The France international, apparently valued by Monaco at a massive £114m” – Daily Star

 

And up it goes – where it stops, nobody knows.

Posted: 5th, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


FA Cup Final Media Bias: Arsenal ignore Sanchez’s handball, Chelsea miss Costa’s lucky shot and Moses’ dive

Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-1 in today’s FA Cup Final. The better team won. But how do the clubs’ respective websites report on the game? Is there much bias in the reporting?

The Alexis Sanchez Goal:

The first Arsenal goal appeared to feature an accidental handball in the build up.

Arsenal:

We made the sort of start you dream about making in an FA Cup final – taking the lead through Alexis after he raced on to a ball that deflected off him and beat Thibaut Courtois.

Chelsea:

Alexis Sanchez netted a controversial opener, that could have been disallowed for either handball or offside, very early on, and it was the Gunners who looked the more likely to add to their lead before the break.

Arsenal:

It came in slightly strange circumstances as Alexis received the ball outside the area, and tried to lift the ball over the Chelsea defence to the onrushing Ramsey. But his pass was blocked, hitting the Chilean before spinning up over the backline.

The offside Ramsey made sure not to touch the ball, and Alexis raced on to the ball before slotting it under Thibaut Courtois and into the bottom corner. The assistant referee immediately raised his flag, but after a brief consulatation referee Anthony Taylor allowed the goal to stand, to the delight of the vociferous Arsenal fans.

The Islington Gazette, Arsenal’s local paper, makes no mention of any handball.

The Dive:

And what of Victor Moses’ dive? The Chelsea player tried to con the referee into awarding his team a penalty? His cheating earned him an early bath.

Chelsea FC: “On 68 minutes, Moses was shown a second yellow card for simulation as he drove in to the box from wide on the right.”

Diego Costa’a goal?

Diego Cost scored for Chelsea. His shot took a deflection off an Arsenal player’s leg, wrong footing the Gunners’ ‘keeper who, nonetheless, should have saved it.

Arsenal: “It was frustrating for the Gunners, who had defended to well until that point but they could do nothing as the ball fell to the Spain international in the area and he prodded the ball into the bottom corner.”

Chelsea: “Willian came on and we switched to a 4-4-1 formation. It was the Brazilian who was heavily involved in our equaliser. He took a pass from Hazard infield and crossed to Diego Costa, who chested, took his time and smashed his effort into the ground and beyond the dive of Ospina. 1-1!”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 27th, May 2017 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal want to be like Chelsea but with the history and without the debt

On the BBC website, you can read Gunners’ “legend”, BBC pundit and financial wizard Ian Wright’s views that Arsenal “need a billionaire like Alisher Usmanov to move forward”. What business doesn’t need a billionaire investor to progress? Such people are undoubtedly handy.

Usmanov, described by the BBC as “Metal magnate Alisher Usmanov” – the metal perhaps being Teflon-coated gold –  owns 30% of Arsenal shares. Wright has heard that Usmanov wants to buy-out Arsenal’s majority shareholder Stan Kroenke – a man nicknamed ‘Silent Stan’ presumably on account of him boasting a profile lower than a steamrolled spoon and not because his favourite chant is “Can you hear the Arsenal sing? No-oo. No-oo.”

Wright tells BBC Radio 5 live: “Something has to change, whether it is the manager Arsene Wenger or whether it is the board upstairs… They may be out of the Champions League – something they are not used to – and they have to beat one of the best Chelsea sides I have seen for a long time in the FA Cup final to try and get something from the season.”

Don’t fans accept that their team’s fortunes fluctuate?

“Abramovich is a winner,” adds Wright of the Chelsea owner who bought the Blues in 2003. “Stan Kroenke sees it as another asset. If you look at all his other franchises, they are doing the same. They are mediocre, with poor attendances and aren’t achieving anything as a team. That is where Arsenal are at the moment. We need an owner like Abramovich, who wants to win. I would swap Arsenal’s last 10 years for what Chelsea have done.”

It might be worth looking at what people said when Abramovich arrived at Chelsea. As of May 2014, Abramovich’s interest-free loan to Chelsea stood at £1,041,243,000. These quotes are from 2003:

Chelsea fan to the BBC: “I think it’s disgraceful because I always thought that Ken Bates was Mr Chelsea.”

Former sports minister Tony Banks: “I want to know whether this individual is a fit and proper person to be taking over a club like Chelsea. Until that question is answered, then I’m afraid the jury is out. A sale has been arranged to an individual we know nothing about.”

David Pottinger on BBC Radio 606: “I fear for the future of Chelsea, especially with all the debts.”

Ramon Min on Voetel Int:

This is good news for Chelsea, but I don’t know about the rest of Europe. Dutch clubs are used to letting their players move on to ‘bigger’ clubs when they are ready, but if more teams like Chelsea are going to have the same financial clout as, for example, Real Madrid and Manchester United, then players will go abroad at an earlier age. That’s obviously not good for Dutch football or its fans as the standard of our own league will drop. And while money is often good news, it can also create a lot of problems. You have to be very careful when you have so much. Chelsea could go for someone like the Ajax player Rafael van der Vaart, who is young and exciting, but then the fans are going to demand success when so much has been spent. My guess is that they will go for experienced players who will win things quickly.

The Guardian: “Roman Abramovich’s buyout of Chelsea almost certainly rescued the club from having to default on a £75m loan that would have plunged it into financial crisis.”

And Arsenal today – are they like Chelsea before Abramovich arrived?

Newsweek (April 2017):

Arsenal’s cash reserves are pretty high and of course Arsene Wenger has got this reputation of being quite frugal when it comes to player investment. What people forget is of all the costs associated with running a football club like Arsenal. They have to budget for around £30 million worth of debt servicing. That comes out of those cash balances. So when people talk about a £100 million war chest, you’re immediately saying well that’s £100 million minus £30 [million]. But that doesn’t get reported enough, basically. [In Arsenal’s Annual Report from 2015-16, Keswick noted cash reserves of £226.5 million, reduced to £149 million. Arsenal’s debt service reserve balance, the cash it stores to ensure it will not default on interest payments of around £15 million per season for Emirates Stadium until 2031, stood at £35.4 million].

Arsenal have still got £232.6 million worth of debt on their balance sheet [according to 2015-16 accounts].

The numbers are huge in football’s arms race.

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


Chelsea captain and the non-celebrity sex tape story

The Daily Star leads with the news “JOHN TERRY IN VILE SEX TAPE”.  Bit of tautology there. It’s hard to think of sex with John Terry being anything other than vile. But each to their own – and in the case of married John Terry, who allegedly shagged a team-mate’s girlfriend, a little bit of everything to John. But before you wonder who else features in the Chelsea captain’s sex tape, or if it’s a solo act, the Star says the tapes doesn’t feature John Terry. It;s got nothing to do with him  whatsoever. Apparently, what is does show is a “lookalike of his mother”.

Knowing what John Terry’s mum looks like clothed or otherwise, let alone watching a sex film because someone in it reminds you of her, adheres to Rule 34 – “The 34th rule of the Internet, which states that any object, character, or media franchise imaginable has porn associated with it.”

On Pages 6 and 7, Star readers get to see a photo of Sue Terry, identified as “not the woman the X-rated sex video”, and  hear from her son, who is quoted: “It’s not her. We will go legally unbelievable hard on anyone suggesting it is her.” As a conniving porn producer cuts the quote and slaps “Unbelievably hard – John Terry” on the video’s cover, we wonder if the Star can create more news from non-celebrity sex tapes, and if Camilla Parker Bowles has quashed rumours about her looking a bit like the star of Debbie Does Dallas.

 

Posted: 27th, April 2017 | In: Chelsea, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Spurs fans beat up one of their own after mistaking him for a Chelsea fan

Spurs supporter Michael Voller, 23, was attacked by Spurs fans when his club played Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley last weekend. Police says the idiots who set about him thought he was a Chelsea fan. Voller, nursing a broken cheek-bone, eye-socket and skull, is now out of hospital. The violent berks who punched him is at large.

 

michael voller spurs michael voller spurs

 

 

Posted: 27th, April 2017 | In: Chelsea, Sports, Spurs | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Morata to Chelsea (if Arsenal let him leave)

Transfer Balls – fake news for football: The BBC says Chelsea “have reached an agreement” to sign striker Alvaro Morata, 24, from Real Madrid. The Beeb’s source is Spanish site Diario Gol. As ever, I like to use Google Translate to tell the source’s story.

 

morata real madrid

 

The headline’s a belter: “Morata lynch to a crack of Real Madrid: the checkmate to Zidane.”

The teaser’s good too: “The one of The Factory explodes against the mister.”

Diego Castro’s words according to Google Translate are:

The worst. Karim Benzema was signing one of the weakest seasons since joining Real Madrid in 2009 . The goalkeeper has scored the same goals as Álvaro Morata in almost double the number of minutes played. The canterano has played 1,593 minutes , while the French accumulates 2,597 ‘ .

Benzema is no goalkeeper. But the gist is that Morata is the better striker of the two.

But what about Chelsea? Well, Morata has “never been the first choice of Zizou”. Adding: “The French strategist always opted publicly for his compatriot, regardless of the level of his players… Zidane always put him ahead of the team’s needs.”

And Chelsea? Only this: “Morata has been wanting for Chelsea for weeks, with more than a verbal agreement.”

It’s not exactly done and dusted. The Week says Morata is only “among potential targets” for Chelsea. The Daily Star says Morata might be heading to Manchester United. And Corriere dello Sport says AC Milan will outbid Chelsea for Morata’s signature.

So there’s no agreement, then. Which makes it odd that the Daily Star can announce that the deal taking Morata to Chelsea has been done:

alvaro morata chelsea daily star

 

And let’s not forget that according to these fine sources, Morata plays for Arsenal:

alvaro morata arsenal

Such are the facts.

Posted: 20th, April 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Dirty tackle: Manchester United’s Ander Herrera gets inside Chelsea’s Hazard

Manchester United beat Chelsea 2-0 in yesterday’s Premier League clash. The result puts United in position for a charge into the top four and thus qualification to next season’s Champions League and reduces Chelsea’s lead at the top of the table to just four points over a buoyant Spurs.

The game also coughed up two images, both of which feature on the back pages.  The Mirror calls is “Squeaky Bum time”, a headline more suited to the image on the Times’s back page.

 

manchester united chelsea manchester united chelsea

 

As United’s Ander Herrera finds work as proctologist, we recall an other great Manchester United meeting, when the club’s Rio Ferdinand got a thorough going over from Man City’s Carlos Tevez.

 

Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League

 

File under: Dirty Tackle.

Posted: 17th, April 2017 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0