WHOEVER could Crystal Palace fans be talking about as their side hosted Chelsea in the Premier League?
The Palace fans’ banner declared:
‘Romans dirty money is a disease that has plagued our game’
TRANSFER Balls: Much talk about Sami Khedira, the Real Madrid and Germany player linked with a move to Arsenal and Chelsea.
The Mirror has news:
Chelsea have stormed ahead of Arsenal in the race for Sami Khedira – after it emerged that Real Madrid are looking to sign goalkeeper Petr Cech despite being linked with Manchester United’s David De Gea.
That entire story is based on the Daily Express. Yes, we know. The Mirror suipplies no link to the Express.
Transfer Balls: Manchester United’s Paul Pogba Dreams Of Arsenal, Wants Chelsea, Hunted By Liverpool But Moves To Manchester City
TRANSFER Balls: Is Paul Pogba heading to Manchester City. The Times says City are weighing up a move for the former Manchester United player, now with Juventus.
And he’s heading to the Etihad. Well, maybe:
Pogba, 21, has established himself as one of the top young players in Europe since leaving Manchester United for Turin two years ago and City are understood to have identified him as one of a number of possible midfield targets.
Ross Barkley is another option being considered by City, who inquired in June about the prospect of signing the Everton and England midfielder, only to be quoted a £50 million fee.
TRANSFER Balls: A look at utter drivel being passed off as football news in the mainstream media. The Daily Express has a question:
Chelsea lining up sensational £48m bid for Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling?
The cunning is to make a statement and end it with a question mark. But what to drive-by Liverpool and Chelsea fans actually learn?
The 19-year-old midfielder is currently negotiating a new deal with Brendan Rodgers’ side, but it is believed that the two parties are far from close to agreeing terms.
BY now you’ll be wondering what former Manchester United captain Roy Keane has been up. How’s the anger? Are the dogs well?
TRANSFER Balls: Can it be that the Gunners are going to buy Edison Cavani?
The Daily Express tells its readers today:
Arsenal are working on a deal to try and sign Edinson Cavani.
ARSENAL manager Arsène Wenger spoke to the Arsenal website after his side’s 2-0 Premier League defeat to Chelsea. This is what he had to say:
Yes, a point was in it. It was down to us not to make defensive mistakes and use the dangerous situations we had and I think we were a bit short on both sides. We made a defensive mistake at the moment when we couldn’t afford to do it, and also when it was 1-0 and we were all over them I felt it was important not to concede a second goal. We did produce a good performance and both keepers had no saves to make.
Well, sort of. The Arsenal goalkeeper had two saves to make, but, we guess, he decided against making them…
ARSENAL manger Arsene Wenger looked like he’d strike a blow for everyone who values sport over gamesmanship and win-at-all-costs when he menaced Chelsea’s charmless manager Jose Mourinho.
The newspaper react:
Arsene Wenger is hardly contrite about intimidating Mourinho.
No, what is there to regret after that? I wanted to go from A to B and somebody confronted me in between without any sign of welcome… B was Alexis, to see how badly he was injured…
I trust that you will teach me all the moral lessons over the next three weeks and I can accept that. But I’ve been in the game long enough to give it the right weight…
I can try to push you and when [I do] you will see what my [pushes are really like]. It was a little one…
The Mirror goes overbaord:
Oh, puh-lease. We all loved it, including one former Daily Mirroe editor.
SO. There was Arsene Wenger promising to do what so many managers, football fans and people who enjoy sport without the insessant charmless gamesmanship demand: lamp Jose Mourinho.
Sadly, like Arsenal, Wenger promised much but fell short on the Stamford Bridge touchline.
But good to see the niggling, spoilt bellend Mourinho looking unsettled.
He really is the face of the Premier League, the embodiment of all the greed, preening, self-aggrandizing and vanity it stands for.
When the football bubble pops and English football returns to what it once was, Anorak will rejoice. Until then, come on AFC Bournemouth. In the lower leagues, the sport lives on.
THE Sun has a kiss ‘n’ tells. News is that Chelsea’s new goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois “cheated on his long-term girlfriend with a £4-an-hour tapas bar waitress he met on the internet, The Sun on Sunday can reveal.”
The Sun says it is an “EXCLUSIVE”.
The tapas bar waitress is Jeny Sanchez, 25.
CHESLEA v Arsenal in the Premier League. And the Sun is, as ever, looking for controversy. The headline screams:
You’ve got Cesc on the brain - Hazard in Fab taunt to Wenger
TRANSFER Balls: The Guardian looks at Arsenal and a top player and wonders aloud:
Football transfer rumours: Arsenal to end Edinson Cavani’s PSG hell?
CHELSEA captain John Terry cries when he doesn’t win. Other footballers have cried, of course. But Terry is such a divisive character. His tears invite a reaction. And most football fans will point and laugh. He says:
“I was in tears over the Premier League last season, over throwing it away and not winning it, behind closed doors. It’s emotions, that is what I play for week-in, week-out.”
THE Offical Chealse FC Twitter account was tracking the Blues’ Champions’ League match at Porto. One tweet containted a glaring error:
Neat Chelsea play in and around the Sporting box concludes with Filipe Luis flashing a crows-cum shot agonisingly across the face
Did you see the error?
Yep: No apostrophe on ‘crows’.
CHELSEA Balls in The Daily Express, which says “Diego Costa in Chelsea training… despite Jose Mourinho saying he can’t!”
Mourinho is a liar? No.
TRANSFER Balls: The Daily Express says Manchester United are looking to spend £40m (!) on “Chelsea and Man City target Nicolas Otamendi to bolster defence”.
Top Transfer Balls works by the Express, there, to link a player with three of the top five English clubs. The only shock is that Arsenal and Lvierpool ar enot also linked with Otamendi.
But, of course, according to the Express, Otamendi already plays for Chelsea. As Ben Jefferson told us:
CHELSEA mifielder Cesc Fabregas “reveals how Mesut Ozil BLOCKED Arsenal return”.
The Express adds:
CHELSEA star Cesc Fabregas has revealed that Arsenal rejected the opportunity to sign him from Barcelona because they already had Mesut Ozil.
ONCE upon a time, Jose Mourinho wanted to be a professional footballer, like his father Felix.
Felix Vitoria kept goal for Setubal and Belenenses. He won a Portugal cap in a 2-1 win over the Republic of Ireland in 1972.
FOR a long time now, Manchester United fans have goaded other clubs for throwing their money around and buying various titles, accusing their rivals of having no soul.
Of course, ManYoo are no better, from their club-made banners that hang in the stadium to the very obvious huge sums of money they’ve thrown around themselves at their various squads. Sure, they’ve played some lads from the youth team, but that doesn’t make them any better than their competitors. In fact, in a lot of cases, they’ve spent more money that the rivals they mock.
This year, we saw Man Utd spend 18% of ALL the money forked out by Premier League clubs in this summer’s transfer window.
The club splashed £59.7m on Angel di Maria from Real Madrid alone, while in the meantime, selling off two promising young strikers from their squad in Welbeck and Hernandez. Even in Falcao, a mere loan player, Man Utd will be paying him more money than Wayne Rooney earns. Falcao will be getting more money from Old Trafford bosses than Arsenal will pay Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil combined.
And now, former Manchester United defender Phil Neville thinks that the club need another spending spree, with a £100 million-plus blurt required if they’re going to challenge for the league title.
With new manager Louis van Gaal throwing money around like a new lottery winner on Di Maria, Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Radamel Falcao, Neville thinks that there’s more cash to be spent.
“I know United have spent £150m,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live. “I think there’s another two transfer windows of similar amounts of money needed – maybe £100m – before they can even think about winning the title. There are still key positions in the team that need filling. I think the centre-back position is obviously the key area. Holding midfield or centre midfield needs addressing too.”
‘There were no world-class centre backs out there (this summer). I think that’s why in the next two transfer windows, United might still be looking for that world-class defender.”
Of course, there’s a number of fans who will love this, because a maintainable business model or the heart of a club don’t matter when all you’re concerned about is numbers and trophies. It must stick in the craw of older Man United fans who see their fellow fans concerning themselves only with how many trophies the club have and how much money they can spend.
There’s Manchester United fans who sing to smaller teams “We’ve got a stand that’s bigger than your ground”, or supporters who mock Arsenal for their lack of trophies. A product of the ‘football is a results business’ rhetoric, which is making many elements of professional football so achingly tedious, Manchester United, naturally, does have a heart and soul, just like Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City & Co, but it has been swallowed by short memories and overdrafts.
The Top 5 Mentality is the single most tedious facet of modern football, with more games happening each weekend that aren’t even in the Premier League. Manchester United’s fans who define their love by success are, whether they like it or not, the thing they level against hooting Liverpool fans who bleat on about the 70s and 80s, and the thing they berate Chelsea and Manchester City for.
And now, in the post Ferguson years, Manchester United fans are finding out, or being reminded, that reputation and cheque books count for nothing and that, you better find something else to love and enjoy about football because, without the success, you’ll have nothing to cheer about.
At Old Trafford, the young players aren’t valued like they were, the club is getting into dangerous debt, managers are binned off without completing a season and it doesn’t look like the rot in the boardroom is being protected from the people who are required to get results on match day.
It’s easy to tell yourself you’ve heart and soul when you’ve got a club that has the money to design it and implement it for you…
TRANSFER Balls: Is Everton’s Ross Barkley leaving Goodison Park to play for Manchester City or Chelsea?
The Daily Express says he is. The Express says Barkley is worth £50m to both teams. That sounds a lot for the 20-year-old. City signed Yaya Toure for £24m. The Express says Barkley will be his replacement.
Richard Tanner reports:
With 17 overseas stars in their first-team squad, City need to sign more England players to comply with the Premier League and UEFA’s home-grown quotas. That is why they are desperate to hold on to England pair Joe Hart and James Milner.
TWITTER is great. Well, it can be sink of human bilge and a herd. But when it comes to football, twitter is great. In today’s Premier League match between Manchester City and Cheslea, The Citizens’ (and how arcane a nickname is that given the club’s regal owners) Pablo Zabaleta was sent off. His second yellow card featured an altercation with Chelsea’s Diego Costa.
OF course Frank Lampard, Chelsea’s record goalscorer (203), struck for Manchester City to deny Chelsea three points at the Etihad.
TALKING Balls: The BBC’s football expert Robbie Savage is talking about Manchester City in the Daily Mirror.
Robbie Savage column: Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City can forget Champions League Final win already
One game into the Champions’ League and Savage delivers a rousing speech that only Chelsea should bother turning up for the tournament’s remaining games.
Best league in the world or not, the opening statements from England’s clubs in the Champions League this week were an embarrassment.
GOOD old Cesc Fabregas. He’s the Spanish footballer with Barcelona “DNA”, Arsenal in his heart and Barcelona in his blood. He’s Cesc Fabregas, the the self-declared Arsenal fan (“I will always be an Arsenal fan”), who agitated for a move to Barcelona - who said “my whole family are Barcelona supporters”; who said in 2011, “If some day I leave Arsenal it will never be to sign for another English team. I’m very sure”.
THE Sun says Chelsea are looking to sign 17-year-old Romanian Cristian Manea for £2.3million. He’s a good player who will surely go on to have a professional career at some level.
Of course, the transfer season doesn’t open until Janaury, so Chelsea will have to wait a while before recruiting yet another player to farm out on loan.