MICHAEL Owen is talking about Liverpool FC striker Mario Balotelli.
Today Owen tells Daily Telegraph readers:
Brendan Rodgers will probably never admit it publicly, but he must already be considering alternatives as he looks for strikers more suited to his style of play… I felt when he joined he was not a ‘Liverpool type’ player, and have not changed my mind…
LIVERPOOL Balls: Daniel Sturridge says his injuries could be down to genetics. He tells TalkSport:
“I’ve been unfortunate this season to pick up injuries. Maybe it’s my body type and hereditary… My uncle Dean had a lot of muscle problems when he played, uncle Simon the same, and my dad. Maybe it’s the Caribbean vibes. [I have] fast-twitch muscles, I am more vulnerable to muscle injuries. As to whether I will be one of the best player in Europe or the world, for me, as long as I continue to work hard everything will take care of itself.”
THERE’S been a lot of trouble around former Liverpool player Luis Suarez, the last being a rather peculiar bite on an opponent when Uruguay played Italy in the World Cup.
However, off all the things that Suarez has done, the racism row where he used the word “negrito” in a spat with Manchester United’s Patrice Evra is the one that looms largest. And Suarez is adamant that he is not a racist and that he was simply misunderstood by non-Spanish speakers. While admitting that a row took place, he says he is “absolutely not” a racist.
LIVERPOOL Balls: Will it help Mario Balotelli to better settle into life at Anfield if he is continually singled out for treatment? Balotelli could go on a PR drive following his stupid decison to swap shirts at half time with Real Madrid’s Pepe, perhaps reminding kids about the Fireworld Code (never return to a lit bathroom towel etc.).
Or he could just be allowed time and space to repay some of £16m Liverpool invested in him?
In the Times, Liveprool fan Tony Evans writes benath the headline “Mario Balotelli faces fight to rescue Liverpool career”.
THIS instalment of He’s No Gary Neville Is He stars former Liverpool player and manager Phil Thompson, now offering expert insight and nouse on Sky Sports. In readiness for Liverpool’s Champions’ League match against the mighty Real Madrid, Thompson told viewers:
“It’s going to be a sensational night at Anfield for the first Real Madrid game. They will up the ante, the players. Everybody will be up for it and they’ll make it difficult for Real. Liverpool will win that game. Absolutely, it happens, it’s at Anfield. It will be an incredible night, they’ll turn it on, crank up the pressure and it will be totally different.”
He’s no Gary Neville, is he.
(Liverpool lost 0-3).
WHEN Brendan Rodgers met Carlo Ancelotti before Liverpool’s home Champions’ League match against Real Madrid, a game soul caught the moment on a Vine.
Shades of Rigsby and Miss Jones:
LIVERPOOL Balls: the Sun continues to hound Raheem Sterling and, by inference, England manager Roy Hodgson, who told the Press that Sterling had not been feeling 100% to start the match in Estonia.
The Sun leads with:
Tired’ Raheem At 3am 3 Lions Party
No. Not leads the sports section. Leads the world news. This is the Sun’s biggest story:
The story is told in bullet points:
- Sunday: Roy says star’s ‘too tired’ to start for England in qualifier
- Monday: Player parties with dwarves, bearded lady, snake and Ox
How Football Reporting Works: Liverpool’s Dire ‘Martin Skrtel Is Better than Chelsea’s John Terry And Anyone At Southampton
HOW football comment works, with Liverpool FC’s Martin Skrtel – and not Chelsea’s John Terry and anyone at Southampton.
Liverpool beat QPR 2-3 in the Premier League, thanks to own goals and a barmy last few minutes of exciting, error-rich football. You might suppose that Liverpool’s defence, as with that of QPR’s, was not all that good.
The Mirror’s Oliver Holt was there. He appraised Liverpool’s Martin Skrtel:
Skrtel: 5 Weak first half tackle on Austin proof of uncertainty gripping him
SO. How did Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling mark his return to QPR in today’s Premier League match? He didn’t score in a pretty lucky 3-2 2 win for the Reds. But had he done, chances are slim that young Sterling would have bowed his head out of resprct for his former club and curbed his enthusiasm.
Sterling marked the game by posting an Instagram picture of him in full QPR kit. He added the message:
“Back to where it all started great win from the boys 3 points yerrrr boiiii.”
TRANSFER Balls: Is Raheem Sterling leaving Liverpool for Real Madrid?
On June 28, the Mirror reported:
Real Madrid are preparing a raid on Liverpool for Raheem Sterling.
On September 23, the Mirror said that Sterling’s move to Real Madrid was a dead certainty:
Be afraid, Liverpool fans. Real Madrid are after Raheem Sterling and they ALWAYS get their man
ARSENAL Balls: Are English players more loyal to their English clubs than foreigners?
Arsène Wenger answers:
“When you buy a player from Barcelona at some stage he might want to go back because Barcelona is a big club as well.”
Take that, Cesc Fàbregas, you footballing mercenary.
HOW ‘tired’ is Liverpool and England’s Raheem Sterling? Is he more or less tired than the media chatter about how he felt not on top form before the England v Estonia game?
Today the Daily Mirror has news:
Revealed! ‘Tired’ Liverpool ace Raheem Sterling has sprinted further and faster than Prem rivals
THE Sun helped the police and Government spread the lie that the 96 Liverpool fans killed at Hillsbrough in 1989 were complicit in their own deaths. It would be years before the paper apologised. The Sun was not alone in its monstering of the football fans. It was just the most egregious example of how a lie oft repeated can became ‘The Truth’.
So. That was then. Now the Sun is all new and clean.
THE Daily Mirror leads with new that Luis Suarez has “twisted the knife” into Liverpool FC.
Is that really what Suarez did? Is he that hideous? Is he that heartless?
Luis Suarez claims Liverpool would not have made a title bid last season and booked a Champions League place without him.
Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling Is Not Nearly As Tired As Alan Shearer, Robbie Savage And All Cloth-Eared Pundits
LIVERPOOL FC’s Raheem Sterling is a bright talent. He’s a great prospect for England. So. Time for the media pundits to get on his back and apply the pressure. He’s 19. He can handle it. Right?
The story goes that Sterling was “too tired” to start for England in Estonia. (He appeared as 64th minute substitute. Sterling it was who drew the foul that led to Wayne Rooney’s goal in a hard-fought 1-0 victory.)
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.
Transfer Balls: Daniel Alves Will Join Liverpool Or Manchester United Because Barcelona Have And Have Not Told Him To Go
TRANSFER Balls: The Daily Star almost scores a full house, failing to link the fifth of England’s top five sides – that’s Arsenal – with its story that Daniel Alves is heading to the Premier League:
Neil Lustig says Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United are all interested in 31-year-old Barcelona right-back Dani Alves, whose contract with the Spanish club runs out next summer.
So. He’s on his way, then?
But Alves’ agent and ex-wife, Dinorah Santa Ana, has claimed that the 31-year-old’s desire is to remain at Barcelona.
TRANSFER Balls: The Express leads with news that Madrid’s Iker Casillas wants to play for Arsenal or Liverpool.
REAL MADRID legend Iker Casillas has revealed his desire to play abroad, with English duo Arsenal and Liverpool believed to be interested.
Jamie Anderson does not say how this belief came to be known.
What did Casillas say?
“I’d love to have an experience abroad to bring more value to Real Madrid.”
Got that? He said he’d like to have an overseas club on his CV because theat would make him a better Real Madrid player.
WHY did Brendan Rodgers sign Mario Balotelli for Liverpool?
On Ausut 25, the Liverpool manger told one and all:
“All my life, I have given players an opportunity. Balotelli is 24 years of age, and has become a father now. He knows he has responsibility, not only to himself but to this great club. We will treat him no differently. He is part of our team. The business was very good for us.”
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?
TRANSFER Balls: a look at rumours and drivel reported as fact by the mainstream media. Today the Mirror wonders if Gonzalo Higuain is heading to Liverpool.
As ever with the Mirror, it’s a question of sport:
In the old days, when journalists reported fact, the Mirror would ahve been expected to provied answers. But now it simply garners hits by creating questions witha football team element.
The story is:
Gunning for Gonzalo - Liverpool are weighing up a £30million bid for Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain, according to the Express.
Argentina international Higuain is reportedly unsettled at the Serie A side as the pressure mounts on Rafa Benitez following a poor run of form, and Brendan Rodgers is keen to bring the ex-Real Madrid forward to Anfield in a deal worth over £30million.
Number of reports linked and named: nil.
Number of words from Brendan Rodgers: nil.
To put the tinm lid on the balls, the Mirror notes:
Arsenal had previously shown an interest in Higuain but are unlikely to make a bid after the signing of Danny Welbeck.
Or as the Sun put it:
Higuain plays for Napoli.
Such are the facts.
TRANSFER Balls: Is Marseille striker Andre-Pierre Gigna heading to Arsenal or Liverpool? QTWTAIN.
That’s Questions to Which The Answer Is No.
The Press have a story to spin.
THE Sun has an “EXCLUSIVE” to quicken the hearts of Liverpool FC Fans: “LIVERPOOL are finally ready to open contract talks with Raheem Sterling.”
Yeah, finally! The 19-year-old player with three years left to run on his current contract is finally going to have his future sorted out.
…the club have indicated they are prepared to start discussions with the star’s representatives in the next month.