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Transfer balls: Arsenal and Liverpool both favourites to sign Mario Gotze

With two Borussia Dortmund players already on the books, and another scheduled to be announced on July 1, Arsenal are looking at recruiting Mario Gotze. The  Germans want £18m for the 26-year-old Dortmund – the kind of money Arsenal can afford. The Mirror says Everton and West Ham are “among the clubs keeping tabs” on the man once hailed as Germany’s answer to Lionel Messi.  The same paper then adds in a separate story that Gotze wants to play for Jurgen Klopp again. We’ve been here before:

 

Liverpool Gotze klopp

The Daily Express got it wrong

 

 

This latest story of Gotze to Liverpool is rooted in the players words on the DAZN documentary Being Mario Gotze. Gotze left Dortmund for Bayern Munich in 2013. He made the reverse trip in 2016, picking Dortmund over Liverpool.

Says Gotze: “I decided to leave Bayern and Jurgen Klopp was interested in getting me to Liverpool. And I was also interested in working with him again.. He is a world-class coach and that’s why it’s always an option. I decided to join Borussia Dortmund, but it was not a decision against Liverpool or Jurgen Klopp.”

Churn that through the journalism mincer and the Metro can declare: “Mario Gotze drops Liverpool transfer hint and reunion with Jurgen Klopp.” “Mario Gotze still keen on reunion with ‘world-class’ Jurgen Klopp,” says Goal.com. “Liverpool transfer news: Mario Gotze talks up reunion with former manager Jurgen Klopp,” yodels The Independent’s clickbait factory.

In March 2016, the Guardian told its readers: “Liverpool confident of signing Mario Götze because of Klopp connection.”

Liverpool are confident of completing the marquee signing of Mario Götze this summer with the World Cup winner understood to be keen on a reunion with Jürgen Klopp.

 

Liverpool Gotze

The Express got it wrong…again

 

gotze klopp

Gotze ‘snubs’ Liverpool in 2016 – the Sun

 

This dire reporting on a player being touted round the Premier League by his agent is summed up on Google, where a search for ‘Gotze Liverpool’ guffs out these three top stories:

 

mario gotze liverpool

 

Liverpool are favourites to sign Gotze, says the Express – because, er, Gotze, who turned Liverpool down in 2016, says Klopp is a good coach. Liverpool should not want Gotze says the Liverpool Echo. Liverpool and Arsenal both want Gotze says the Star.

Type ‘Arsenal Gotze’ into the world’s largest search engine and you get:

 

arsenal gotze

 

The Metro’s news that Gotze wants to play in the Premier League is a “boost” to Arsenal but, oddly, not a boost to Everton and West Ham. The Guardian just wonders if the Gunners will sign him. They don’t know.

In other news, ESPN says Arsenal not Liverpool are favourites to sign Gotze:

 

gotze arsenal liverpool

 

Such are the facts…

 

 

Posted: 15th, June 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Arsenal play Chelsea in Dublin in readiness for European super league

Arsenal will play Chelsea on 4 August in a pre-season rubber in Dublin as part of the – get this – International Champions Cup (ICC). Neither club is the Premier League champion. Other Premier League clubs in the competition are: Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool. The so-called ‘Big Six’ are all in the ICC to play one another in the same month as the PL season proper begins. When you know the other teams in this marketing campaign are Real Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter, Roma, PSG, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Benfica it becomes clear that the whole thing is a precursor to some European Super League.

It’s billed thus:

It boasts the two largest crowds in U.S. soccer history, the only Clásico ever played on American soil and a list of former champions as regal as any tournament in the world: Real Madrid, Manchester United, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Inter Milan, Barcelona. A roster of top scorers that includes Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Luis Suarez, Neymar, and Franck Ribéry. This year, it includes 18 of the world’s most iconic and influential clubs, 90 out of 100 of the world’s top-ranked players and all eight of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinalists.

How long before the European Cup final is played in the USA or China?

It’s the International Champions Cup, the summer’s biggest club competition, and its mix of megastar glamour and debutante mystery is as compelling a proposition as the game has to offer.

Want more of this tosh?

The ICC, now in its sixth edition, is a crucial component of the soccer calendar for both the game’s luminaries and its next generation of stars. It’s been a launching pad for numerous emerging standouts over the years. Christian Pulisic—aged just 17—scored an injury-time equalizer for Borussia Dortmund against Manchester City in 2016.

He did?

American Julian Green registered a hat trick against Inter Milan that same summer, just weeks after his twentieth birthday. Sergi Roberto, then a Barcelona reserve, scored the decider in Barça’s 2015 win over the Los Angeles Galaxy in front of 93,000 at the Rose Bowl. Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané and Ousmane Dembele each took their ICC opportunity to announce themselves as global footballing forces, and Marcos Asensio—perhaps most famously—did the same by finishing off a stunning end-to-end move to score for Real in Miami’s spectacular 2017 Clásico.

It is utter balls. These are brand-building matches played after the the World Cup before the teams’ domestic seasons begin. The only point of it must be the get us used to an elite league of European sides.

Posted: 13th, June 2018 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Transfer balls: Fekir rejects Liverpool

No News – Breaking! France forward Nabil Fekir is not joining Liverpool. Fekir will remain at Lyon. Fekir was supposed to join Liverpool for 60m euros. He even wore the Liverpool shirt in readiness. But he not signed a contract to join the Reds. Nothing has happened. It’s no news news.

The Press said he signed yesterday:

 

fekir liverpool

 

 

“Although Liverpool has been the priority of a possible transfer of Nabil… Olympique Lyonnais is delighted to be able to count on the presence of their captain in 2018-2019,” say Lyon.

As said, Lyon fans must be chuffed to know their captain wanted to leave. Liverpool fans will wonder why the club wasted so much time chasing a player who dreams of playing for Barcelona.

 

Posted: 9th, June 2018 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Fakir kisses the Liverpool badge but still plays for Lyons

Liverpool have not signed Nabil Fakir for £53million. News is that the Reds stalled after the Lyon took his medical with the club. Fekir performed media duties in a Liverpool strip, says the Mirror. And then nothing happened.

The Telegraph says “Liverpool are offering no indication as to the nature of the problem”. But there is a problem? Speculation focuses on Fekir’s right knee, which he injured playing for France three years ago. But it’s guesswork. The Mirror cites reports in France, which “claimed an issue related to Lyon and their accounting practices”. They Express says Lyon “are reluctant to sell Fekir before the World Cup because they are listed as a publicly listed company”. So..? “It means they are also supposedly planning to use funds from his sale in their financial report for next season.”

Lyon says: “The information on the transfer of Nabil Fekir is false. Olympique Lyonnais categorically denies the false information disseminated by many media about the transfer of Nabil Fekir to Liverpool. In this period of transfers where the slightest rumour is often presented as a reality, Olympique Lyonnais recalls that only the information disseminated by the club on its website is authentic.”

FFF president, Noel Le Graet, has a theory. “It’s under negotiation, I think it will be done,” he says. “I spent a quarter of an hour with him this morning (Saturday), and his main focus is France. He (Fekir) was rather optimistic because the meeting he had will prove to be positive. It’s always like that when you talk about a transfer. Everyone tries to raise their price, to lower their price, and when a little issue flares up, it’s part of the game.’

Lyon’s fans must be delighted to hear that their captain has been wearing another club’s shirt. And since when has £53m bene not enough for a talented but not out-of-this-world player?

Isn’t modern football balls.

Posted: 9th, June 2018 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Nabil Fakir wants Liverpool; dreams of Barcelona

Joyous transfer balls balls on the BBC.  The national broadcaster picks up the tale of Nabil Fakir’s move from Lyon to Liverpool. Get a load of this: “Lyon will allow forward Nabil Fekir, 24, to join Liverpool this summer – but only at the right price.” No s***, Sherlock.  Of course, if you read some sources, the deal is done. This from Sky on 7 May 2018: “Lyon have agreed to sell Nabil Fekir to Liverpool when the transfer window opens in a deal reported to worth be in the region of €70m. And there was the time Fakir was joining Arsenal. On 13 Nov 2017, the Daily Express told its readers: “ARSENAL are close to completing the £60million capture of Lyon playmaker Nabil Fekir.”

Over in today’s Daily Mirror, we are told: “Fekir has been identified as the marquee signing of the transfer window, and a natural replacement for Philippe Coutinho.” A marquee is a large tent.

And then the facts: “…it is understood a breakthrough of sorts has been made, with the player indicating he will only go to Liverpool – and the president conceding he will do a deal with the Reds if he feels the price is right.”

Like us, we got as far as “understood”, the word that means sod all in the world of clickbait football reporting. “Understands” is shorthand for “maybe or “maybe not”.

But he wants to play for Liverpool. that much is understood and indicated. Or as he said: “My favourite club is Barcelona. But I need to work a lot, I am aware of that.” If he plays well enough at Liverpool, he may yet achieve his dream of playing in Barcelona.

All hail the new Coutinho, then.

 

Posted: 7th, June 2018 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Liverpool balls: Karius ‘dumped’ and remade in Chelsea

Yet another “exclusive” in the Daily Star, which brings news of Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius. He’s been “dumped after girlfriend gets death threats over Champions League howlers“. Before we get to Ianthe Rose Cochrane-Stack, for it is she, a bit of background.

 

karius girlfriend liverpool

 

Karius played a pivotal role in Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League final. The current theory is that he was suffering from concussion. In the Times, Matthew Sayed, who earlier said Karius erred because he’d been focusing too hard and missed a big Frenchman standing a foot from his shoulder, now says Real’s Sergio Ramos “had driven his elbow into the jaw of Loris Karius”, something backed up by “video evidence”. It isn’t. All we see is two players colliding. We don’t know if that collision led to any concussion – indeed, we don’t know for certain if concussion caused Karius to keep goal with less composure than a man shouting on the night bus or Joe Hart. The medics at the US hospital who checked Karius did so five days after the match at Liverpool’s behest. Michel D’Hooge, chief executive of Headway, the brain injury association, says he can “imagine” concussion was at the root of Karius’s hapless performance. But he can’t be certain. No-one can.

 

karius girlfriend liverpool

Nope

 

Karius lover

Nope

 

And so to the dumping. The full story is:

Ianthe Rose Cochrane-Stack revealed trolls had threatened to stab her after his bungles cost his team two goals in last month’s 3-1 defeat by Real Madrid.

The Made In Chelsea beauty was photographed with Karius just weeks ago.

But she has now moved to distance herself from the shamed stopper by posting on social media that she has been single for a year.

Can a woman dump a man she’s never dated? The Star says she can. L0ok out for more exclusives: ‘I dumped George Cooney, says mum-of-seven Maude’; ‘Prince Harry’s girlfriend upset by wedding’; ‘I’ve been secretly dating David Beckham since he was 16  – Piers revels all.’

As for Karius’ love life, The Independent tells us:

The sight of his mother staring into middle distance, looking away from the game while it was still going on as she held his sobbing girlfriend prompted Klopp’s wife Ulla to move a few rows and try to offer some reassurance. At the end of the game, while Karius lay on the floor the three women – all of them connected by the desperation of it all – stood there, wrapped in each other’s arms.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 6th, June 2018 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Sergio Ramos explains why Liverpool lost the Champions League final; ‘it wasn’t me’

A: Liverpool lost the Champion’s League final with Real Madrid because Mohammed Salah injured himself and Loris Karius is useless. B: Liverpool lost the Champions League final because Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos chucked Salah to the ground with a judo-style throw and collided with Karius’s face, causing the Egyptian to leave the field of play and the goalkeeper to lose his bearings and let in two soft goals.

Says Ramos to AS: “Bloody hell, they have given this Salah thing a lot of attention. I didn’t want to speak because everything is magnified.”

So he speaks and everything is magnified.

“I see the play well, he grabs my arm first and I fell to the other side, the injury happened to the other arm and they said that I gave him a judo hold,” says Ramos, getting in the sympathetic back story.

“After that the goalkeeper said I dazed him with a clash,” he adds. Karius went to Massachusetts General Hospital in the USA – a place where Liverpool owner J Henry has co-chaired a fund-raising campaign. The hospital says Karius most likely suffered concussion during the match. His two clangers that cost Liverpool two goals in a 3-1 defeat were the result of a brain injury? He’s not rubbish. He’s dazed and confused.

Ramos continues: “I spoke with Salah through messages, he was quite good. He could have played if he got an injection for the second half, I have done it sometimes but when Ramos does something like this, it sticks a little bit more. I don’t know if it is because you are at Madrid for so long and win for so long that people look at it a different way.”

Ramos talks about himself in the third person. Karius, if the medics are to be believed, likely sees both of them at once. Salah has had surgery for his injured shoulder. He might not play for Egypt in the World Cup.

The hospital that saw Karius has issued a statement:

We have received numerous calls today regarding the health status of Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius. With Mr. Karius’s permission, we are providing information about his medical situation in an effort to prevent, where possible, the dissemination of incomplete or erroneous information.

On May 31, 2018 Mr. Karius underwent a comprehensive examination by Dr. Ross Zafonte and Dr. Lenore Herget in Boston at Massachusetts General Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

After carefully reviewing game film and integrating a detailed history – including his reported present and immediate post-contact subjective symptoms – physical examination and objective metrics, we have concluded that Mr. Karius sustained a concussion during the match May 26, 2018.

At the time of our evaluation, Mr. Karius’s principal residual symptoms and objective signs suggested that visual spatial dysfunction existed and likely occurred immediately following the event. Additional symptomatic and objectively noted areas of dysfunction also persisted. It could be possible that such deficits would affect performance.

We also note that Mr. Karius has reported significant and steady improvement since the concussive event, and we expect him to make a full recovery based on the results of the examination. We expect that with treatment and by following prescribed activity protocols he will continue to improve. We have encouraged vigilance and an emphasis on safety in his eventual return to full activity.

This is the only comment we will be making in relation to this matter. All future media inquiries should be directed to the Liverpool FC Press Office.

Dr. Ross Zafonte

Senior VP of Medical Affairs, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

Chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Massachusetts General Hospital

Not all that conclusive, then.

The NHS tells you what to do if you’ve experienced concussion:

When to go to hospital
Go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department if you’ve injured your head and have:

woken up after being knocked out
problems with your memory
a headache that doesn’t go away
been vomiting since the injury
changes in your behaviour, such as becoming more irritable
had an operation on your brain in the past or are taking blood-thinners (like warfarin)
been drinking alcohol or taking recreational drugs

Concussion is a serious thing.

Former Northwestern goalkeeper Anna Cassell has described why she retired from football after multiple head injuries:

Unfortunately, the harm of these concussions extend beyond the field. I suffered severe headaches, bouts of anxiety and depression, and balance problems, which all contributed to my falling weeks behind in my pre-med studies. As I think about this sad trend, I am struck by two things. The first is the lack of convincing research regarding concussion prevention. … I am also bothered by the lack of consequences for the opposing players who commit fouls that cause concussions. While referees are instructed to “protect the goalkeeper,” neither of the players who gave me my concussions had any sort of meaningful consequences, despite the fact that both were flagrant fouls where neither of them made any contact with the ball. While their team merely lost possession of the ball, I was losing my soccer career.

And then there’s the damage caused by repeatedly heading the ball…

Posted: 5th, June 2018 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Real want Spurs boss Pochettino; fans want Liverpool’s Klopp; Balague eats himself

The BBC says Real Madrid are no longer interested in Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino. Sky Sports adds a little more: “Real Madrid end interest in Mauricio Pochettino, says Guillem Balague.” Ah, him. Balague is the expert who told us Alvaro Morata had signed for Arsenal, Santi Cazorla would join Atletico Madrid, Juan Mata was joining Liverpool and Cristiano Ronaldo was returning to Manchester United. None of those things happened. In January, Sky reported: “Real have shortlisted the Spurs boss to take over at the Bernabeu, according to Guillem Balague.”

One enjoyable oddity to Sky’s latest reports is that Balague cites himself as the source of his own story. Balague’s source is Balague:

 

balague spurs real

 

Says Balague to Balague in a case of football reporting eating itself:

Real Madrid have abandoned their pursuit of Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, says Guillem Balague.

The European champions made Pochettino their number one target following Zinedine Zidane’s decision to quit on Thursday.

However, the lack of a release clause in the Argentine’s contract, coupled with the prospect of dealing with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy – who proved a tough negotiator for Real in the transfers of Luka Modric and Gareth Bale – resulted in them ending their interest.

Or as the Sunday Times puts it:

 

spurs real madrid

Spurs boss ‘keen’ to mange Real Madrid – Sunday Times

 

The Spurs manger was recently talking about Real Madrid on a trip to Spain where he’s plugging his new book, Brave New World: Inside Pochettino’s Spurs – by Guillem Balague! Pochettino told Radio Marca in Spain that Daniel Levy “bites“. And now Balague says Levy has scuppered any hope Poch had of managing Real. Coincidence?

In other news, the Express says Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has emerged as Real Madrid’s new number 1 target. No. He hasn’t. The story tells readers: “Pochettino has given himself a five-day deadline for any approach by Real Madrid to be made… The Argentine is believed to be the favoured option of Real president Florentino Perez.”

Klopp is only mentioned because a poll of Real Madrid fans has Klopp as the one most of them would like to be the club’s next manager. The Express fails to say where this poll was conducted. We found out that it was conducted by Marca, the Spanish newspaper two days ago.

The German received 29 percent of the votes in a MARCA poll… This placed him ahead of the second favourite Mauricio Pochettino, who had 23 percent, while Castilla coach Guti was just behind on 20 percent. Joachim Low claimed 14 percent, while Michel had nine percent. The only other option on the poll was for none of the above, which took a share of five percent.

It was a poll of 6 choices. how many Barcelona fans voted for Klopp is not stated.

Posted: 3rd, June 2018 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Transfer balls: Arsenal have £88m for Dembele; Liverpool have tea with his mum

Arsenal are using Borussia Dortmund as a feeder club, chasing the German side’s former star Ousmane Dembele. The Gunners want the forward to play with his former teammates Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Ex-Dortmund chief scout Sven Mislintat is now head of recruitment at the Emirates. The Gunners have offered Dortmund £16m for their 29-year-old centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

Demeble joined Barcelona last summer for £97m. News in the Sun is that he ‘could’ be on his way to Arsenal for £88m. Arsenal fans will know huge money buys get mentioned around the same time season ticket renewal notices go out. Last season Arsenal wanted to splurge £90m for Monaco’s Thomas Lemar. The Liverpool Echo now says of him: “The demise of Thomas Lemar – from nine-figure bids to being on the fringes of the French national team squad.”

“I’m very happy to be here, said Dembele when he joined Barcelona on a five-year contract. “It has always been my dream to be at Barcelona and now I’m here I’m very happy. It is the best club in the world with the best players in the world.”

What’s he going to say when he joins Arsenal? And where were Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal scouts when Dembele joined Dortmund from French side Rennes on a five-year deal in May 2016 for £13m?

Liverpool also want him. Sky says former Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp “will attempt to meet Dembele’s mother to help convince the player his future lies at Anfield”. Dembele’s mother Fatimata “is who will decide Ousmane’s future,”, says the player’s agent.

To say nothing of Barcelona, who hold the player’s contract for four more seasons…

Posted: 3rd, June 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Alisson to Liverpool for £52m, to Manchester united for £88m and Karius to Italy

Loris Karius has been offered the chance to join Italian third-division side Rimini FC. The Italian club will provide a safe space for the Liverpool keeper. At Rimini the 24-year-old German will “rediscover calm and his self-belief”. Karius will “rediscover serenity, self-esteem and strength to follow his dream”. His departure will leave space for Alisson to arrive at Anfield. Maybe.

In other news, Roma will “demand” Liverpool pay 90m euros (£79m) for goalkeeper Alisson, says the BBC. And Roma will only listen to offers for the 25-year-old Brazilian after the World Cup. Well, so says the Guardian.

As ever, the media is guessing. In May, the Sun said Alisson would “snub” Liverpool and sign a new deal with Roma:

 

liverpool alisson

‘Snub’

 

On March 29, the Daily Star told us: “LIVERPOOL and Arsenal have been told to stump up £52m if they want to sign Roma keeper Alisson.”

And just this May the Sun told us how much Alisson would cost Man United and that Liverpool were no longer interested in the player: £88m.

 

aisson man united

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 30th, May 2018 | In: Liverpool, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: Liverpool beat Arsenal and Manchester United to Fabinho

fabinho

 

Liverpool have yet to sign a new goalkeeper. But they have recruited midfielder Fabinho from Monaco for £40m. The 24-year-old Brazil heralds the imminent departure of Emre Can and the arrival of Naby Keita from RB Leipzig on July 1. Arsenal tabled a late bid for Fabinho but Liverpool got their man.

“This is something that I always wanted – this is a giant of a team,” says Fabinho. “I am really excited.” Or as the Sun put it in April 2018: “Midfielder Fabinho is keen on forcing through a summer move to Manchester United.”

Says Jurgen Klopp of his new player: “He has ability and mentality to play at the highest level in a number of positions. He can play ‘six’, ‘eight’ and ‘two’. This is cool.”

Klopp than harps on about all manner of stuff. “We have signed a fantastic player, but someone who is an equally fantastic person I think,” adds Klopp. “He has a lovely family also – adding a person like this to our dressing room only makes us even stronger. What we have – in terms of our environment at Melwood and in the team – means anyone coming in must be of that build. They must be the highest quality person and player.”

Not that team spirit was much in evidence when Loris Karius was being comforted by Real Madrid players after the final whistle in last weekend Champion’s League final. Karius’s culpability in two Real goals in the Spaniards’ 3-1 win was plain. So too was the lack of support he got from his Liverpool team-mates after the final whistle sounded. Former Everton player Kevin Campbell tweeted: “Karius should have got supported by his team mates! Bang out of order leaving him alone and only got consoled by the Madrid players.” Although they night have been thanking the hapless German.

Liverpool are also chasing Alisson Becker, the Roma goalkeeper, and Lyons midfielder Nabil Fakir. Doubtless Klopp is checking out both players’ families before endorsing any bids.

Anyhow, no-one saw Fabino coming to Liverpool. Not one newspapers said a deal was imminent. But this is what the Press has been telling is readers:

 

fabinho man united

 

“United, City miss out as Fabinho agrees shock La Liga move” – TEAMtalk, July 2017

“Atletico Madrid agree deal for Man Utd target Fabinho: Real Madrid to profit too” – July 2017, Daily Express

“Manchester United reach agreement to sign Monaco star Fabinho” – The Metro, June 2017

 

 

PSG sign Kylian Mbappe and Fabinho in stunning record-breaking deal as summer spree continues – The Monaco duo will join PSG and Fabinho is set to be replaced by Anderlecht midfielder Leander Dendoncker. –  Duncan Castles, Daily Record, August 2017

The press missed Fabino to Liverpool. He looks like a good signing.

Posted: 29th, May 2018 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Klopp sings about luck, fans wish death on Karius and unusual views from Kiev

Not every Liverpool fans reacted to defeat in the Champions League final by wishing death on Loris Karius and his family. Although these vile tweets getting traction on twitter might be from Chelsea fans:

 

 

 

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was singing aft the match. Sure, he’s lost six finals in a row, but for the Premier League’s fourth-best side to reach the Champions League final was not too shabby. “Madrid had all the fucking luck,” sang Klopp. If ‘luck’ is shorthand for Real having the better team, better players, a better game plan and a better ‘keeper (who doesn’t?), then yep, they did:

 

Not that everyone saw the game:

 

Posted: 27th, May 2018 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Transfer Balls: Joe Hart to Manchester United unless Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea get there first

Spare things are not as good as the first choice stuff: second homes, the assistant manager, that old spare mobile with the crack in the screen that might be useful should the lovely new iPhone break. So should the superb David Dea Ge get injured, Manchester United will call up their spare goalkeeper: Joe Hart. The 31-year-old former England goalkeeper still sat on Manchester City’s books, the anti-dandruff campaigner who plays with all the calm authority of a drunk on the night bus and is as mobile as said bus, has “emerged as a contender to join Manchester United as back-up to David de Gea” says the BBC. Jose Mourinho is “resigned to losing current reserve keeper Sergio Romero”.

The Sun agree that Hart to Man United is being considered. But fans of the club can quell the rising panic in the knowledge that neither the BBC nor the Sun come up with single fact to support their claim. After season-long loan spells at Torino and then West Ham United, Hart and his agent are scouting round for a club to take him on. A year go, the Mail told its readers that Arsenal were going to pay £15m for Hart. The Mail reported:

Arsenal are interested in Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart as they consider replacements for Petr Cech. It could lead to a tug-of-war with Liverpool, who have long been linked with the England international. The Gunners are going to look for a new goalkeeper after this season, with 34-year-old Cech to become their No 2 if he stays.

Cech stayed as Arsenal number 1. Liverpool went with Loris Karius. And Hart went to West Ham, who paid half his £130,000-a-week wages. There he spent much of the season on the bench.

Hart’s contract at City lasts until June 2019. The Star tells us: “Joe Hart not waiting forever for Liverpool, Arsenal or Chelsea to set up summer move.” That story is rooted in an anonymous source, who told the Sun:  “Joe will do what is right for him and his young family. He long accepted his Man City career is over and values playing above everything else. There is still some chatter Liverpool, Arsenal or Chelsea could be interested but he’s been around long enough not to be waiting by the phone.”

If the media is to be believed, the player who was Number 2 at West Ham and Number 3 at Manchester City is wanted by Man United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool. Five of the top 6 Premier League clubs, then, are all after Hart. And the only top six club not interested is Spurs – which, oddly enough, pay their top performers much less than Hart earns.

It’s going to be busy few weeks for Hart’s agent…

Posted: 27th, May 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Gareth Bale gives Liverpool and Spurs fans something to remember

gareth bale 4 champions leagues

 

Liverpool tyro Mohamed Salah was injured in the Champions League final against Real Madrid. Talks is of a suspected dislocated shoulder. He was hauled down by Real captain Sergio Ramos in the 26th minute. Real are merciless. Liverpool had nine shots with Salah on the pitch. After he left the pitch they had no more in the first half. Then after the break: goals. Benzema scored in the 51th minute. Mané equalised for Liverpool in the 55th minutes. And then – and then – Gareth Bale scored a belter. There were four former Southampton players on the pitch for Liverpool when the one former Saint on the Real team scored. Bale then scored another.

Bale has now won four Champions League titles since leaving Spurs for Madrid.

Worth repeating, then, what the experts said of Bale when he made the move:

Former Spurs manager David Pleat says Bale, 24, was too young to work abroad: “I think he’s a little bit young to go abroad. I doubt he’d find it easy. Many have failed when they have moved overseas. One or two have succeeded, but not many. Most have had a difficult time.”

Former Spurs manger Harry Redknapp told us: “He’s not an over-ambitious lad. He wants to be successful obviously but he’s not someone I can see moving to Real Madrid at this stage in his life.”

Former Spurs great Glenn Hoddle offered: “He’s had a new baby and I’m not sure if he’s ready for a move abroad.”

And this is what the mighty Bale said in 2011: “I’m not afraid to leave the country. I left home at 15 [to join Southampton’s academy]. If I leave the Premier League, I’ll learn another language … I will grow as a person.”

Gareth Bale: Number of regrets – nil.

Posted: 26th, May 2018 | In: Key Posts, Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Arsenal turn up the heat for Seri and his ingrown toenails

Transfer news in the shape of the BBC’s tory that Arsenal are in for Nice’s Jean-Michael Seri. Negotiations won’t be simple. In 2017,  Seri was off to Barcelona, having agreed a 4-year-deal. Barcelona’s Josep Maria Bartomeu and Nice’s Jean-Pierre Rivere then tried to explain why the deal collapsed. “Julien Fournier, the general manager [Nice], called me early on Wednesday [August 23], at about 9am and said: ‘Jean-Pierre, I do not understand, I received a call from Barcelona and they told me to stop the Seri transfer’. In the afternoon, Bartomeu called me, a little embarrassed, and said to me: ‘This is the first time that it has happened to us. Our staff have decided not to sign Seri, but it is not a financial issue’.”

Or as Seri put it: “Nice did not deliver on their promises, I’m very hurt. I’m not going to lie – I feel awful. I did not play for Nice this weekend because football should be about joy and I did not feel this. My dream of joining Barcelona has been broken and this is terrible for me… From what I understand, the deal did not go through because of financial reasons and that makes me very sad. I was stunned to hear negotiations had broken down after my talk with Barcelona officials the previous evening, I was shattered. It was incomprehensible to me so the next day I went to the offices at Nice and I exploded with anger, honestly, the walls were trembling! The leaders of my club could not tell me anything, they could not even look me in the eye. I played against Napoli out of loyalty to my teammates, this was not their fault but honestly I don’t know what will happen now.”

So, er, how about joining Arsenal?

“I have ingrown toenails and when it’s cold I need special treatment,” Seri reportedly told Le Point. “I don’t see myself playing in a country where it’s cold. I hurt everywhere and I struggle to train.”

They have undersoil heating at The Emirates.

The Mail says Seri’s contract allows him to leave if Nice receive an offer of £35million. Arsenal should make their move ahead of Liverpool, who are said to be in for Seri, too. For one thing, unlike so many of the current Arsenal squad, Seri is vocal:

“Even though it’s Barcelona, I don’t want to play second fiddle. I know what I’m capable of on a football pitch and I think I’ve shown that I have quality,” says Seri (via Sport). If they choose me, I want them to treat me well, to make me a priority, not a complement. That’s why my head is focused on football. I dreamed of playing for Barça, but the message was clear. Many would have waited longer. Some would have spoken with the media. For me, a player speaks on the pitch, not in the media. Those that speak in the media are mediocre players, who need to be known. On the one side, there was a club for whom I was not a priority, and on the other side, a club that wanted me. It would have been stupid to get angry over a club that didn’t want you over one that gives you everything and loves you.”

Good job he’s over it.

Posted: 23rd, May 2018 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Premier League fixes schedules to give Arsenal, Liverpool Manchester United and rest of big six easier starts

The Premier League doesn’t pull a fixture lit at random from the hat. The schedule’s fixed so that none of Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City – the so-called ‘Big Six’ – meet on the opening or final weekends of the season. This secret agenda means fans watch matches between the biggest clubs throughout the season and attendances for the final matches remain higher than if everyone was tuning in for a title decider between two heavyweights  – all matches on the final weekend kick off at the same time. The season’s opening games are in the summer, when many people are on holiday. Less people tuning in means less advertising cash. As with everything in the Premier League, it’s all about the money.

And the new scheduling stymies the effect of unusual results, like Leicester winning the title or Liverpool finishing 8th. Clubs are arranged over their “highest average finishing positions in the Premier League competition over the three seasons immediately preceding that season”.

Sad to think you’ll never see a thrilling finale again, like when Arsenal played Liverpool in a title decider on May 26, 1989. There will never be a winner takes all match.

 

arsenal-liverpool-1989

I was there!

 

A spokesman for the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust (AST) tells us: “We are very concerned about this apparent designation of an elite group of top-six clubs. Every Premier League club should be treated equally, and we also do not agree with this push for them to receive a bigger share of television money. The AST would like the focus to be on organising fixtures and kick-off times that are convenient for fans who go to matches, rather than what best suits domestic or overseas TV viewers.”

Kevin Miles, chief executive o f The Football Supporters’ Federation, adds: “This is certainly news to us and we look forward to holding discussions with the Premier League about the pros and cons of it.”

 

Pros: money. Cons: treating fans like lab rats.

Posted: 8th, May 2018 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Transfer balls: Fekir news and Klopp’s Dembele to Liverpool confession

Is the job of a journalist to talk truth to power or to spin a story from ether? The BBC says Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp “admits he would be interested in Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele became available”. Admits? It’s a confession that also interests the Sun, which declares: “‘NOW I’M INTERESTED’ – Ousmane Dembele: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp admits interest in transfer for Barcelona star.”

Lots of admitting from Klopp in his admiration for a player who joined Barcelona from the German’s former club Borussia Dortmund for £135m.  Says the Sun:

…Dembele has been linked with a move away and Klopp got the ball rolling on a deal when asked, after his side’s disappointing loss to Chelsea, that he will be bidding.

It was during the post-match press conference that Klopp was asked about transfers. Had Liverpool signed Lyon captain Nabil Fekir for £60m? “During the game, we agreed a deal?” said Klopp. “I would be surprised about that to be honest. No comment.”

How about Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele?

“Who was the second name? Dembele? Oooh, is he on the market? Now I am interested!” said Klopp. “I never comment on transfer rumours. I have already said much more than I usually do.”

Klopp laughed off the questions. But tbis is how it a reported in the Mail, Mirror and Express:

Daily Mail: “Jurgen Klopp keen to bring in Barcelona £95m flop Ousmane Dembele.”

Daily Express: “LIVERPOOL boss Jurgen Klopp has confirmed he would love to sign Barcelona star Ousmane Dembele.”

Daily Mirror: “Liverpool ready for talks to sign Barcelona star Ousmane Dembele”

Total balls.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 7th, May 2018 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Arsenal to recruit Liverpool’s Buvac on the cheap

Is it “bizarre” for Liverpool assistant manager Zeljko Buvac to be linked with the Arsenal manager’s job? The Liverpool Post says it is. Buvac, the Bosnian who has coached alongside Jurgen Klopp for 17 years until a recent schism, would make a decent fist of managing the Gunners; far better than Arsenal Wenger’s current Number 2, the uninspiring Steve Bould.

The source of the story linking Buvac with Arsenal is Pravda BL – the publication that was earlier than most to confirm Klopp’s appointment at Anfield. Pravda BL says Buvac has agreed to replace Wenger. The deal is done. If it is, Arsenal fans should be pleased. The man nicknamed ‘The Brain’ is a talented coach. He’s untainted by failure and high expectation that comes with a bigger name. And he’ll come relatively cheap.

“Zeljko is football expertise incarnate,” Klopp said of his assistant. “I learn every day from him.” Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin described him as “basically Klopp’s twin”.

Arsenal seem to have been making plans to get Buvac for some time. The Londoners recruited Sven Mislintat, as Arsenal’s head of recruitment in December 2017. He and Buvac worked together at Borussia Dortmund during Klopp’s time at the German club. Klopp made Mislinat Dortmund’s chief scout.

Colin Bell, who was reserve-team coach at Mainz under Klopp, told the Times about Buvac:

“Zeljko reads the game very well, he has great footballing ideas and is always looking at finding new ways on how to play and train.

“When Mainz started to play 4-3-3 it was different to the Dutch way, where you have a central striker and two out-and-out wingers. Zeljko wanted the players to keep moving around, interchanging, coming inside.

“Andriy Voronin [who would later join Liverpool] scored 20 goals for Mainz [in 2002-03] and he was all over the pitch, working really hard from central striker or right wing and left wing and it was so difficult for opponents to stop him and others. I can see those sorts of aspects in the Liverpool style now, especially with the quality of the player they have.

“Closing down, surrounding opponents, going hunting for the ball — that all started in Mainz. That was one of Zeljko’s big things and he did specific training forms for that.”

Kuvac for Arsenal is it is, then. The more you consider the idea, the more sensible it looks.

Posted: 2nd, May 2018 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Liverpool fans in Rome warned to expect blood on the bridge

We’ve heard a lot about medical facilities in Rome recently. Apparently they’re excellent, offering therapies and treatments the NHS can’t. Some comfort, then, for the 5,000 Liverpool fans arriving in Rome for the club’s second Champions League semi-final match with AS Roma. The Reds on tour have been warned to expect attacks from local ‘ultras’ and other thugs.

At Anfield in the first encounter, a gang of uniformed “fucking morons” attached to Roma beat a 53-year-old Liverpool fan into a coma. A banner held by Roma fans at Anfield declared “DDS Con Noi” (“Daniele De Santis is with us”). De Santis murdered a Napoli fan before the Italian cup final in 2014.

One likely black spot in Rome is the Duca D’Aosta bridge over the Tiber to the Stadio Olimpico. In 1984,  after Liverpool had defeated Roma to win the European Cup on the Italians’ home turf, there was blood on the Ponte Duca D’Aosta. “George Sharp, a friend’s father, was knifed in the kidneys and nearly bled to death,” recalls Tony Evans. “When his 16-year-old son Ian tried to get a policeman to help, the man smashed his baton across the teenager’s nose instead. Only the prompt action of another officer saved his dad’s life.”

Now Liverpool are back. “These are two sets of fans who don’t back down, so we have work to do,” says Giampietro Lionetti, head of city’s special branch. Italian football journalist Alessandro Catapano, warns: “Real violence at the stadium is difficult but there could be small groups going hunting for Liverpool fans on Tuesday night – that’s the danger moment.”

And then you’ve got to worry about the police…

Posted: 1st, May 2018 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Liverpool: Klopp isolated after his ‘master of training’ leaves

Liverpool will be moving on without Zeljko Buvac, the sallow one with the indy band hair sat next to Jurgen Klopp in the dugout. Liverpool’s 56-year-old assistant manager has left until the end of the season for “personal business” – it’s personal and it’s none of your business.

Although the Daily Record says Buvac (aka ‘The Brain’) and Klopp fell out. The Sun notes: “The relationship had broken down, and the players have been told Buvac is gone.”

Buvac, who became Klopp’s assistant at Mainz in 2001, has made no comment. Liverpool says he’s still employed by the club.

It’s an odd time to change the hierarchy. The pair were so tight having been at three clubs together over 17 years. Buvac once told the Sunday Express: “Both of us were looking to become managers and we promised each other, ‘If I am the first manager, I will take you and if you are the first manager you will take me’.” Klopp called Buvac the “master of every form of training”.

Who next?

Posted: 30th, April 2018 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, News, Sports | Comment


AS Roma president Jim Palottta on Sean Cox and Liverpool is powerful stuff

AS Roma president Jim Pallotta has a few words to say on Sean Cox, the Liverpool fans left for dead by violent criminals – “fucking morons” – when the sides met in the Champions League, his club and more:

I don’t want to talk about the game at all at Liverpool. What I want to talk about is how these games are great but they’re not life and death. What’s going on right now with Sean Cox in Liverpool, that’s life and death and that affects his family. I don’t really give a shit about the score of the game. It’s disappointing to me that Rome and AS Roma get blamed for a few individuals who do stupid things.

Now, I don’t know the whole story. All I’ve seen is what I saw on the video, like most others, and at least that part of the video with Sean is just the most disgusting stupidity and my prayers are for him and his family.

It’s depressing though that all of the other fans at Roma get blamed for something that, going back to that saying that I had about a year and a half ago… a few people wrecking things for everyone else. I don’t blame our fans. We have unbelievably great fans across the board. The Curva Sud… the only reason we come back and win games like we did against Barcelona is because of the 99.9% of the fans in the Curva Sud who are great. Then, occasionally, you get a few, normally outside of the game, more than anything else… it’s just absolutely ridiculous.

But it’s time now for things to change in Italy and in Rome, because it is just happening too much. I’ll go back to something that happened in 1993. I was in Florence in 1993 and I was in a museum that all of us know. At the end of the day, when the museum closed, I was going to have dinner in a restaurant right next to the museum and I ended up getting into a better restaurant about a mile away. The next morning I got up and I drove at six in the morning to Paris. Most of the night, all I’d heard was sirens. I got to Paris and I pulled up to the hotel and the doorman asked me where I was coming from. I said I was coming from Florence and the doorman turned to me and said, ‘Ooh, big bomb!’ I couldn’t understand what he was saying and I went inside and checked in and was having a beer with a friend of mine and CNN was on and it turned out they’d blown up 20% of the museum. All I remember after that night was Italians got together and said, ‘Enough is enough of this shit!’ I remember millions of Italians, or it looked like millions of Italians, all over the country started marching against the criminal elements and saying, ‘You are destroying our history’.

We have a long history at Roma and what’s going on when you have a few stupid people is that they destroy our history and they attack our legacy and I’m tired of it. It’s not just an issue for Rome. It’s an issue for Italy and it’s an issue for the authorities and it’s an issue for all of to band together and to finally wake up so that we don’t have a reputation – that’s not deserved around the rest of the world – that our fans are not good fans because our fans are the best fans in the world – it’s just a couple of fucking morons that take the rest of us down.

Much better than the usual corporate guff.

Posted: 29th, April 2018 | In: Key Posts, Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Liverpool to offer Salah double yer money deal

Liverpool are keen to keep Egypt forward Mohamed Salah, 25, at the club. They’re ready to offer him a new deal worth £185,000 a week. That’s double his current wage on a contract that has four years to run.

It’s not enough. Not when you realises what Salah could earn elsewhere given his sensational form. Of course, the gamble for Liverpool and other clubs is in working out if Salah’s season is something of a freak. Can he do it again and again?

The numbers will fluctuate in the Press, of course. The Sun also notes the £185,000 weekly pay packet, but in other stories it pitches the offer to Salah at £200,000. Spanish website Don Balon says Salah is interested in playing for Real Madrid. The Sun – again – says Salah can go to Real for £166m, where only Cristiano Ronaldo will earn more.

The money is huge. But Salah is grounded. He’s just donated $450k for a water treatment plant in his home town. Sometimes you can forget that beneath all the hype, lawyers, marketeers, opportunists and greed, there’s a bloke who loves playing football and for whom money is far from being everything.

Posted: 29th, April 2018 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, News, Sports | Comment


Why I sold Salah to Liverpool: Roma director relives the horror

“Every time he scores I’m like, ‘Oh, dear God’,” James Pallotta, Roma’s American owner, says of Mohamed Salah, Liverpool’s star player who joined the Reds from the Italians and orchestrated a 5-2 rout of his former club in the Champions League semi-final.  This season, Salah has scored 43 goals in 47 games. He scored two against Roma – the first two – and then served up two more for his teammates.

So why did Roma sell Salah for £36.9 last summer? Liverpool now value the player at close to £200m. Roma’s sporting director, Monch (nee Ramón Rodríguez Verdejo) tries to explain. “I sold him for more than €42m,” he told Spanish radio station Onda Cero. “We had a need to sell. We had no option but to sell Salah before 30 June. Had we not done that, we probably wouldn’t be here playing the semi-final of the Champions League as we had Uefa closely monitoring us.

“We didn’t want to sell him but we had no choice. We had to take an offer before the end of the month. He wanted to leave, but we would have kept him if the regulations weren’t against us. When I arrived, the offer [from Liverpool] was €30m but we managed to get it up to almost €50m with bonuses. That is what we could do. The market then went crazy with Neymar, Coutinho and Dembélé.”

It could be worse, of course. You could be Jose Mourinho and Chelsea, who oversaw not just the sale of Salah but also that of Kevin De Bruyne.

Posted: 26th, April 2018 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Liverpool’s injured Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain must learn from Spurs Harry Kane

oxlade-chamberlain injury

 

When Liverpool signed midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal, many wondered how long a player with such a long history of injuries would last before he was crocked again, especially playing for Jurgen Klopp’s pell-mell team. At last night’s throbbing Champions’ League 5-2 victory over Roma, Oxlade-Chamberlain was stretchered off in the 15th minute with the scores tied at 0-0.

After the match, Klopp went on the record to say: “”It’s probably a really bad injury. If you can say that already before the scan then it’s never good news.”

The Ox has made an impressive 41 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool, scoring five goals. But there was an inkling that injury would always come. According to the TransferMarket site, Oxlade-Chamberlain has now injured his knee four times. In 2013-2014, a knee injury caused him to miss half the season:

 

Alex Oxlade-chamberlain injuries

 

 

He’s been unlucky. But to what extend are players invited to suck it up and play though the pain, pushing themselves too far before their body has fully healed?

Top athletes are primed like race horses. They are highly strung, fitter than amateur sportsmen and women. Their bodies are pushed to the limit. Recovery time is vital.

Tennis player Raphael Nadal talks of his own injuries in his autobiography:

“Playing sports is a good thing for ordinary people; sport played at the professional level is not good for your health. It pushes your body to limits that human beings are not naturally equipped to handle. That’s why just about every top professional athlete has been laid low by injury…I’ve had to push and mould my body to adapt it to cope with the repetitive muscular stress that tennis forces on you . . . [We] have to learn to live with pain.”

To what extent does an injury play around with an athlete’s mind? Oxlade-Chamberlain is acutely aware of his medical history and the state of his knees. But it’s a fair bet he’ll be wishing to get well enough fast so that he can play in the World Cup finals, pain or no pain – maybe the rush of playing can mask the niggles and the agony. Drive and adrenalin will pull him through.

But taking it slower is wise. When Spurs’ star striker Harry Kane damaged his ankle on March 11 in their 4-1 win at Bournemouth, he returned just three weeks later for his side’s 3-1 win over Chelsea. “The swelling went down quickly,” said Kane “and whenever I get injured I prepare right and make sure I do everything I can to get the swelling down and get back on the pitch. Hopefully this time it was quicker than last time… The injury was pretty much exactly the same time as last year, funnily enough. I was feeling strong last year and that’s what I’ll try to do this year.”

Since then Kane has been more miss than hit. He’s scored twice since his return but was largely anonymous when Spurs lost to Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-finals. The FA apologised for posting a message asking United defender Chris Smalling “What’s in your pocket?” and including a short clip of him saying, “Harry Kane”.

Kane, England’s best striker, has returned from injury a figure of derision, not all of it underserved.

In Spurs victory over Stoke, Kane claimed a goal initially awarded to team-mate Christian Eriksen. Kane said Eriksen’s free-kick grazed his shoulder on the way in. The Premier League goals accreditation panel awarded him the goal “after taking the player’s testimony into account and reviewing the match footage”. Jokes followed. When Liverpool’s mighty Mohamed Salah was named PFA Player of the Year for 2017-18, his teammate Simon Mignolet told him to “take care” as “someone else might claim it”.

 

 

Kane was desperate to matter again. He wanted to get well fast and score. It’s debatable how much that desire to succeed clouded his judgement, causing him not to consider the long-term implications of playing too soon after injury.

So get well soon, Oxlade-Chamberlain. But don’t rush.

Posted: 25th, April 2018 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, News, Sports | Comment


Liverpool striker rewrites history for Mo Salah; Manchester City star never stood a chance

Mohamed Salah is the Liverpool tyro scoring goals with great awareness, no little skill and finishing with elegant panache. He’s been terrific for Liverpool all season. And he’s won an prize, taking away the PFA player of the year award. It was pretty much a toss-up between Salah and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne, like Salah also flogged for not being good enough by monocular Jose Mourinho’s winning-is-all Chelsea. De Bruyne has been sublime, an imaginative driving force for City’s title victory. I’d have voted for him to win the award. But goal scorers get the headlines – their attributes are measurable in the baldest terms: Salah has an impressive 31 PL goals.

Choosing between the pair is hard. But not for former Liverpool player Stan Collymore, who told his Daily Mirror readers: “Mo Salah was the outstanding choice for the PFA Player of the year award. The sheer variety of goals he has scored in his debut season playing for a club where expectation levels are huge has been phenomenal.”

But were expectations all that high about a player who’d left Chelsea for Roma – a player who in the era of absurd fees came in for £36.9m – just £4m more than Liverpool paid Arsenal for the overrated Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain?

No.

 

Stan Collymore Mirror

 

On February 12, Collymore told his readers: “Harry Kane and Mo Salah have their merits as potential Player of the Year award winners. But that honour has to go to Kevin De Bruyne. He has been weighing in with goals and important assists at important times in games all season. His level of consistency has been outstanding. I saw one article saying they feel up at Manchester City that he should be in the reckoning for a Ballon d’Or shout, and I wouldn’t disagree with that.”

A short while on and Salah is the only choice.

Vote now and vote often!

Posted: 24th, April 2018 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Manchester City, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment