Anorak

Liverpool | Anorak

Liverpool Category

Liverpool balls: the mighty Maribor

All’s well at Liverpool FC. Last night the mighty Reds swatted Maribor 7-0 in the Champions’ League. It was the biggest away win by an English team in the entire history of the European Cup.

Watching the thrashing was the Daily Mirror’s David Maddock. He was keen to show readers that Maribor are a top side. They are “seasoned Champions League performers”.

Really? The Slovenians are hardly competitive:

Ten-year European record (UEFA Champions League unless indicated otherwise)
2016/17: UEFA Europa League play-offs
2015/16: second qualifying round
2014/15: group stage
2013/14: UEFA Europa League round of 32 (having transferred from UEFA Champions League play-offs)
2012/13: UEFA Europa League group stage (having transferred from UEFA Champions League play-offs)
2011/12: UEFA Europa League group stage (having transferred from UEFA Champions League third qualifying round)
2010/11: UEFA Europa League play-offs
2009/10: UEFA Europa League play-offs (having transferred from UEFA Champions League third qualifying round)
2008/09: did not take part in UEFA club competition
2007/08: UEFA Intertoto Cup second round

Not all that good are they. Indeed, in 2014, when Chelsea thrashed Maribor 6-0, the Mirror called the Slovenian side “minnows”.

Posted: 18th, October 2017 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Sun: boring Liverpool have great PR and Mourinho is a genius

Liverpool v Manchester United continues to make news for all the wrong reasons. They game was a dirge. It was very much a Jose Mourinho match: slow, niggly, functional, pragmatic and dull. Over in the Sun, however, there’s a difference of opinion.

Gavin Newsham gets it right in his apprasal:

Do you remember when Sam Allardyce took West Ham to Stamford Bridge in 2014, stuck everyone behind the ball and escaped with a goalless draw and a point? “This is football from the 19th Century,” moaned then Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.

Fast forward three years…Jose’s United managed just one shot on target in a game when Mourinho’s men did little or nothing to try and win the game, playing the kind of unsightly, anti-football that’s completely at odds with the way they tend to do things at Old Trafford.

Or as the Sun’s Neil Curtis told Sky Sports:

I think he got it absolutely spot on. I can’t remember a time when going to Anfield was a given for any away team, no matter how good they are. This man is supposed to be anti-football but has scored four goals on four occasions in the last seven games…

There were two chances in that game – Manchester United one and Liverpool had one – but it’s Mourinho’s fault that it was 0-0. Mourinho was inviting Klopp to take a risk yesterday – but he didn’t take one…

Where the plan fell down, for me, was with Romelu Lukaku. He couldn’t hold the ball up when it came out. Yes, he had men around him and what have you but if he holds the ball up, he can then feed it off to people and they can play on the break. Lukaku was poor yesterday and Henrikh Mkhitaryan went missing but that’s not Mourinho’s fault.

It’s easy to criticise him, it’s easy to blame him but Klopp wasn’t taking any great risks yesterday either. He’s got a great PR team

He’s not the only one…

How many chances? One each, right, says Curtis. Wrong, says the Daily Mirror:

For all the grim reality of that pragmatic approach, United still should have lost, with David De Gea making a world-class save from Joel Matip and both Mo Salah and Emre Can spurning wonderful chances – while even at the end, Matip and Dejan Lovren had clear headers they put over.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 16th, October 2017 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Mourinho inspires Manchester United to another boring encounter at Liverpool

It’s Liverpool v Manchester in the Premier League, which means one thing: 0-0. Before today’s bore drawer – Liverpool were the better side but wasted opportunities in a game the BBC describes as “marginally better” than the “drab stalemate” when Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool last hosted Jose Mourinho’s United in the PL – the Sun was assuring readers it would be a thriller:

“JOSE MOURINHO has warned Jurgen Klopp he will be facing a much stronger Manchester United than 12 months ago. Then Mourinho took the Red Devils to Anfield and shut up shop for a tedious goalless draw to stop a free-scoring Liverpool.”

He shut up shop this time, too. Manchester United managed a single shot on target to Liverpool’s 6; committed 13 fouls to Liverpool’s 7; and just 38% possession. Dullsville stuff from United. But this is how Mourinho’s cheerleaders at the Sun trailed last season’s match that ended 0-0, in which United had 35% possession, committed 20 fouls and had  – yep – one shot on target.

JOSE MOURINHO is desperately trying to rid Manchester United of the memories from the Louis van Gaal era. That is why he will never serve up a borefest like the Dutchman with his much vaunted ‘philosophy’.

A pox on Van Gaal!

Mourinho’s side travel to Anfield tonight where Van Gaal somehow squeezed out a 1-0 win last January. But as so often with LVG it was the way it was done and that is certainly not the Mourinho way.

You know how many shots on target United had that day? One.

Plus ca change at Old Trafford. (Although under Van Gaal the annual shot went in and enjoyed 47% possession. Not quite ‘Bing Back Louis’ but the hype over Mourinho is absurd. He’s George Graham with lots more money.)

Posted: 14th, October 2017 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Liverpool regrets: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain plays and Arsenal fans laugh

Don’t panic, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the Arsenal player who left the club for Liverpool in a £40m transfer. Four matches into his rosy-fingered dawn and ‘The Ox’ has yet to be on the winning side.

No need to panic, though.

When Gareth Bale was at Spurs, it took 25 matches (!) for him to be on the winning team. The Sun’s Pat Sheehan covered Tottenham’s 1-0 defeat by Everton on 30 November, 2008, writing: “One glance at the score and any Spurs fan will tell you without looking at the line-up that Gareth Bale must have played.” Bale went on to be brilliant.

Of course, the problem is that Oxlade-Chamberlain is nowhere near as good as Bale. He’s a mediocre player who went for a stupid amount of money. Arsenal did very well in getting shot of the nice middle class boy in the final year of his Arsenal contract. ESPN says Arsenal had a “disastrous” transfer window. Balls. They hung on to Alexis Sanchez – their best player – and waved goodbye to the player who has always promised much and delivered less than a geriatric Deliveroo cyclist.

Last night Liverpool were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Leicester City. And Oxlade-Chamberlain was every bit as ineffective as he was at Arsenal.  Someone has produced this damning compilation of his night’s work:

This is the Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who left Arsenal because he wants to play centrally, rather than waste his talents at wing-back.

Well played, Arsenal. Well played.

Posted: 20th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Bias balls: Liverpool robbed by Sadio Mane red card as ref favours Manchester City

Media Bias: Manchester City annihilated Liverpool 5-0 in the Premiere League. A goal down, Liverpool’s cause was not helped when in the 37th minute their striker Sadio Mane was red cared after his raised foot “collided with the face” (BBC) of City keeper Ederson.

City were the better side. But should Mane have been sent off? What say the clubs’ respective websites and local newspapers? The bias is best summed up by the Manchester Evening News, which reports:

Mane was shown a straight red, to the fury of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and the visiting fans. But City supporters were left in no doubt that the forward had to go.

Manchester City official website: “Mane definitely catches Ederson with a high foot. Dangerous play and the correct decision.”

Manchester Evening News: “…he cannot go into a challenge with a boot that high. It was dangerous, although without violent intent, and for that alone he had to walk.”

Manchester is united. Mane had to go. Referee Jon Moss was spot on.

But in Liverpool…

Liverpool FC official site: “Mane is sent off for a high foot on Ederson. The No.19 was attempting to get on the end of Matip’s long ball – Ederson beat him to it by a fraction and Mane’s boot connected with the City ‘keeper. There was certainly nothing intentional there, but referee Jon Moss has adjudged it to be dangerous play and Liverpool are down to 10 men.”

Liverpool Echo: “Jon Moss has managed to completely ruin what could have been a very good game of football. Presumably a decision for dangerous play for the high foot but ball was there for both to go for.”

Liverpool says: ‘It’s not as if Mane could expect the goalkeeper to be there.’

Such are the facts.

Posted: 9th, September 2017 | In: Liverpool, Manchester City, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Liverpool can still win the league by letting in loadsa goals

Some Liverpool balls from ‘Big’ Sam Allardyce. The former England manager has been talking to talkSPORT. He knows why Liverpool will not win the Premier League title:

“The game is played two ways: one is played in possession and one is played out of it. You have got to be masters of both of those if you are going to win the Premier League.”

But usually you need the ball to score, right, Sam. He adds:

“The Premier League is generally won – certainly over the last ten, 15 years – by the team with the best defensive record.”

If we go by goals conceded, then:

 

2006-2007 – Nope. Chelsea came second with the least goals conceded.

2007-2008 – Yep. Manchester United.

2008-2009 – Yep. Manchester United

2009-2010 – Nope. Manchester United came second with least goals conceded.

2010-2011 – Nope. Chelsea and Manchester City came second and third respectively.

2011-2012 – Yep. Manchester City.

2012 – 2013 – Nope. Manchester City came second.

2013-2014 – Nope. Chelsea came third.

2014-2015 – Yep. Chelsea

2015-2016 – Nope. Spurs came third.

2016-2017 – Nope. Spurs came second.

Four titles from the last 11 seasons have been won by the side conceding the fewest goals.  Looks like Liverpool are still in it. The trick of winning, as Sam knows, is to score more goal than your opponents.

Posted: 7th, September 2017 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Liverpool wanted £183m for crying Coutinho

Nobody from Sky News stood in the Anfield car park to herald Philippe Coutinho’s move from Liverpool to Barcelona. The Sun said the deal was done. But until a man wearing a Sky Sports pin, possibly with a large blue sex toy propositioning their earhole, tells us the move is done and dusted, we’re reaming circumspect. Coutinho stayed. And, if reports are to be believed, sobbed that the chance to play for Spain’s second or third best team passed him by.

 

Philippe Coutinho liverpool the sun

 

Panicky Barcelona had offered Liverpool the lunatic sum of £138 for the Brazilian. Swollen by the cash earned from Neymar’s sale to the PSG, Barcelona spotted another small Brazilian and thought if they slap him in the club’s colours fans wouldn’t notice. But Liverpool were having none of it. And now we know that the Reds wanted – get this – £183m for this their best player.

A source on the Barcelona board says Liverpool valued Coutinho at €200m (£183m). Liverpool say they placed no price tag on the player. He wasn’t for sale, so why mention a fee, says the Premier League club? So is Albert Soler, Barcelona’s club’s director of professional sports wrong when he said: “Late last night, Liverpool priced the player we wanted at €200m, and we decided we would not do it.”

Meanwhile, in a wind-batted car park, Sky’s reporter on the frontline wonders if Abu Dhabi or Qatar can buy out his contract…

Posted: 3rd, September 2017 | In: Liverpool, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Liverpool balls: Philippe Coutinho joins Barcelona and then leaves in tears

Did Philippe Coutinho ever leave Liverpool for Barcelona? Yes, he did, says Neil Curtis in the Sun.

COUT AND DRIED Philippe Coutinho heading to Barcelona in stunning £138m deal from Liverpool with announcement set for 7pm

Adding:

The Merseyside club have finally accepted defeat in their bid to hold on to their prize asset as Coutinho heads to La Liga

 

Philippe Coutinho liverpool the sun

 

And then… Coutinho stayed at Liverpool. Was this the Sun’s desperate attempt to seduce Liverpool fans to read the newspaper they hate? Because no sooner has the scoop proven to be utter balls than the Sun has another bash:

 

Philippe Coutinho liverpool the sun

 

Facts to support that claim come there none.

And then this:

CRYING GAME Philippe Coutinho’s failed Barcelona move from Liverpool made him ‘break down in tears in front of Brazil team-mates’. Playmaker was reportedly distraught after learning that Reds would not be allowing him to make dream Nou Camp move

 

 

Such are the facts…

Posted: 2nd, September 2017 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports, Tabloids | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Liverpool balls: Barcelona ‘give up’ on Coutinho by upping their offer

Is Philippe Coutinho leaving Liverpool for Barcelona? He wants to. the Brazilian has put in for a transfer. He’s not played for Liverpool this season, having been injured and now laid low with a virus. How unlucky is that, eh? Hope he’s feeling better for his Barcelona medical.

But he’s not leaving. No way. The Mirror told us as much yesterday.

Liverpool have won their battle with Barcelona over Philippe Coutinho with the Spanish giants admitting defeat in their bid to prise him away… Barca have finally accepted that Liverpool won’t sell Coutinho to them this month.

 

philippe countinho liverpool

 

The Mirror cements its scoop on today’s back page leading with: “Welcome home, all is forgiven.” That headline hovers around a photo of Coutinho and Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manger, hugging one another.

 

philippe countinho liverpool

 

Meanwhile…over in the Sun:

BARCELONA are to launch a final £136million bid for Philippe Coutinho. The Catalan giants… are ready with a fourth offer of £100m up front with add-ons of £36m

Such are the facts.

Posted: 23rd, August 2017 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports | Comments (4) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


What are they smoking? Liverpool reject £118 bid for Coutinho

To borrow a phrase from Liverpool’s owner, John W. Henry,”What do you think they’re smoking over there at Anfield?” Liverpool have rejected Barcelona’s bid of – get this –  £118.7million for Philippe Coutinho, 25. The player wants to go. He put in for a transfer. The money is huge. So what’s the issue?

Liverpool say the matter is now closed. Coutinho stays. But why keep a player whose head has been turned? Of course, if Barcelona have £118m they could get £128. Barcelona’s bidding is a haphazard and desperate affair. Bloated with cash they got for Neymar’s more to PSG (£198m), the club have issued bids for Coutinho of £72m, £90m and now £118m.

So why not hold out and see what occurs? Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool’s US owners, are in it for the money. And this is a lot of  money. But they say theirs is a  “definitive stance”. Coutinho stays.

Unless Henry can get bigger slice of the fee – which is, after all, to be divided between many grasping hands and is pursuant on the player winning the top prizes.

Posted: 18th, August 2017 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comments (10) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho agrees to join Barcelona says one unimpeachable source

In football’s arms race, the Star says Barcelona will offer Liverpool £120m for Philippe Coutinho, 25. Is the Brazilian worth the money? Surely not. Indeed, the Sun counters the Star’s offer and says Barcelona believe they can get Liverpool’s bet player for £90m.

Oddly, the Star adds that Barcelona will also buy Chelsea’s Eden Hazard for around £100m. L’Equipe says Ousmane Dembele has agreed to join Barceloan from Borussia Dortmund for £90.2m. Oh,m and for reasons utterly unclear, Barcelona are also recruiting former Tottenham midfielder Paulinho, 29, from Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande, says.

And finally Bild reports that PSG’s Julian Draxler is also on his way to Barcelona.

Yeah, that’s what we thought – that £199 Barcelona got for Neymar is going a long way.

The story that stands out, though, is that of Liverpool’s Coutinho heading to Spain. Accordign to many news sources, it’s a done dead.

Metro July 26 – “Philippe Coutinho agrees deal to join Barcelona”

The Sun, July 16 – “KOP OUT Philippe Coutinho ‘agrees terms with Barcelona’ leaving club to thrash out £89million deal with Liverpool”

Daily Mail, July 16 – “Philippe Coutinho has agreed terms with Barcelona over a move to La Liga this summer”

Daily Express, August 2 – “PHILIPPE COUTINHO is trying to persuade Jurgen Klopp to let him join BarcelonaBrazilian a step closer to exit after agreeing contract with Catalan giants”

All those report stem from a story on Catalan Radio Station RAC1. It says, according to Spanish site Sport:

 

As reported by RAC1, Coutinho and Barcelona have everything agreed and now only need to negotiate the amount of transfer that would perceive Liverpool by the sale of Coutinho.

The story contains not a single quote. Which makes you wonder if it’s based on fact or hope. RAC1‘s story, written in Catalan, also contains not a single fact. It does, however, quote a source for its scoop. It’s, er, RAC1:

 

coutinho barcelona

 

Such are the facts.

 

 

 

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


Transfer balls: Arsenal look to Liverpool to resolve Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City transfer

Transfer Balls – with Alexis Sanchez Watch: The Arsenal player wants to leave the Gunners. Will he join Manchester City or Bayern Munich? Arsenal should get shot of him, of course. Any player who wants to leave isn’t committed to the cause. You cut them out. Let’s see what the paper’s are saying:

 

alexis sanchez man city

 

The Daily Mirror leads with news that Sanchez ” fears” Arsenal will block his move to Man City. The paper says City will “trump Bayern’s £40m offer and give Sanchez £280,000-a-week”.   Arsenal, we read, have offered Sanchez “in excess of £275,000-a-week to stay at Arsenal”.

 

sanchez arsenal mirror

 

But hold on. On June 8, the Mirror told us that Bayern were offering Sanchez £350,000 a week. Are we to believe Sanchez will take less money to play for Man City? Is he in a Dutch auction?

 

sanchez arsenal mirror

 

The Evening Standard relays what Sanchez has been telling the local Chilean Press: “I’m looking at what my agent is doing. For now, I’m focused on the Confederations Cup in Russia and trying to do well. The truth is that my agent will see to it. He knows and he will sit down with the club to look for the best option for me. I’d like a lot of things but I’m only thinking about the national team.”

Is all the drip-feeding of information the agent’s work, a ploy aimed at gaiting the best terms for his client? As it stands, no deal has been done. Sanchez remains an Arenal player.

The Metro says “Manchester City are reportedly getting increasingly confident that Arsenal will buckle and end up selling Alexis Sanchez this summer instead of losing him on a free transfer in a year’s time.” The Metro presents it as Sanchez holding all the cards. But does he? He’s 28. He’s on £130,000-a-week at Arsenal. Unless he plays to his optimum level next season that huge pay rise will vanish. As for a loss of transfer fees, well, if he fires Arsenal into the Champions’ League or to the Premier League title, £40m will be worth the gamble, and that’s not taking into account the £7.5 in extra cash Arsenal will pay Sanchez under a new deal nor the cost of recruiting his replacement. Add in the fact what selling your best player to a rival says about your club’s ambitions and negotiations look less biased towards the player.

Jeremy Wilson notes:

Arsenal should this time call the player’s bluff. They should make a statement about their ambitions in relation to a Chelsea or City, just as Liverpool did at their expense in the summer of 2013 over Luis Suarez.

Liverpool were in an admittedly stronger position but Arsenal’s offer of £40 million, even allowing for the extra £1, was hardly derisory. Arsenal thought that Suarez’s very public desire to join them would force Liverpool’s hand, in the same way as they had felt obliged in previous summers to let star players leave. Liverpool said no and how did it work out? Suarez eventually settled down and signed a new contract four months later on the understanding that he would leave the following summer. Liverpool almost won the Premier League and then still received a far bigger fee – £65 million – from Barcelona for their player.

Over to you, Alexis.

The Manchester Evening News says, “Manchester City have been left hoping Alexis Sanchez can hold his nerve long enough to force a move to the Etihad.” the paper cite’s anonymous sources who “claim Sanchez has set his heart on a reunion with Guardiola, who signed him for Barcelona in 2011.”

Finally, the Daily Mail says Arsenal will accept no bids from English clubs. It says Manchester City and Chelsea “are ready to pay £45m” for Sanchez. “But due to Arsenal’s stance, he will have to look at offers from the likes of Bayern Munich, Juventus or Paris Saint-Germain instead.”

Or he could stay at Arsenal. The Telegraph says: “Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, does, however, retain some hope of convincing Sanchez to stay. Watch this space…”

 

Posted: 14th, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Liverpool, Manchester City, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Man City’s Joe Hart’s Liverpool limbo

News is that Joe Hart hasn’t received any offers. Oh, come on, someone must have offered the big lunk a job as a clothes line or a figuring in a bi snow globe (he’s not advertising anti-dandruff treatments any longer so look out below).

The Sun and Mirror say the Manchester City and England goalkeeper is “in limbo”, having received no offers to play for a new club. The idea of Joe Hart, a man possessed with all the composure of a loon screaming at pigeons in the precinct, being agile enough to dive for a ball let alone limbo is far-fetched.

But can this be the same Joe Hart who had agreed to joined Liverpool?

 

joe hart balls liverpool

 

joe hart balls liverpool

 

The Mirror then produces one of those awful ‘7 things’ columns:

 

joe hart balls liverpool

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 12th, June 2017 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Liverpool balls: Mark Lawrence hails Klopp’s new Invincibles

Liverpool are just one match away from being The Invincibles Mark 11, aping Arsenal’s achievement of going an entire Premier League season unbeaten.

According to BBC pundit and former Liverpool player Mark Lawrenson’s crystal balls Liverpool have yet to lose a league match this season.

Each week, Lawrenson predicts the week’s Premier League results for the BBC. And each week he cannot see Liverpool losing. Not once has he tipped Liverpool to be beaten. In reality they have lost 6 times this season.

Biased much? Why does the BBC persist in giving all the pundit jobs to old pros from top clubs?

Posted: 12th, May 2017 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Liverpool honour the great Kenny Dalglish – the man fans fell in love with

Liverpool will rename of the stands at Anfield after the great Kenny Dalglish. The Centenary Stand will mark the “unique contribution” Dalglish has made to Liverpool over the years. Say the club:

The decision has been taken by the Reds’ ownership, led by principal owner John W Henry, to honour the special status Dalglish holds at Anfield in the club’s 125th anniversary year.

 

kenny dalglish footballer stand anfield

 

Dalglish won the lot as a brilliant player and talented manager with Liverpool. He has supported for the Hillsborough justice campaign. If anybody deserves a stand naming after them at Anfield, it’s King Kenny, he man who more than any other epitomises the club.

 

 

Spotter: Pies

Posted: 4th, May 2017 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Joe Hart to Liverpool and £20m written off

Transfer balls: a look at fake news football reporting. Is Joe Hart heading to Liverpool?

 

joe hart liverpool

 

The Sun April 19: “Joe Hart is on his way back to the Premier League with Liverpool.”

KLOPP LOVES HART – Joe Hart set for Liverpool move as Jurgen Klopp signs off £20million swoop for Manchester City goalkeeper

Having scored a “exclusive”, the rest of the online media play catch up.

Joe Hart to Liverpool: Man City star set for £20m switch, Jurgen Klopp  – Daily Star

7 things that will definitely happen if Joe Hart signs for Liverpool – Daily Mirror

Or as Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp out it one day late: “He’s a fantastic keeper, the highest quality, but it’s not for us at the moment, nor in the future.”

No harm done. No-one in Liverpool reads the Sun.

 

Posted: 24th, April 2017 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Kelvin MacKenzie calls Everton’s mixed-race footballer Ross Barkley a ‘Gorilla’

They’ve only gone and called the police to investigate Sun columnist Kelvin Mackenzie on suspicion of being a racist. Former editor Kelvin MacKenzie used his column in the paper to liken Everton footballer Ross Barkley to a gorilla. Barkley is mixed race by way of a Nigerian grandfather. MacKenzie, reviled on Merseyside for his leading part in the Sun’s appalling Hillsborough coverage, has behaved despicably. The Guardian says he claimed Barkley “had deserved to be punched at a nightclub because he was similar to an animal in a zoo”.

MacKenzie wrote in the Sun:

“Perhaps unfairly, I have always judged Ross Barkley as one of our dimmest footballers. There is something about the lack of reflection in his eyes which makes me certain not only are the lights not on, there is definitely nobody at home.

“I get a similar feeling when seeing a gorilla at the zoo. The physique is magnificent but it’s the eyes that tell the story.”

Hideous, reprehensible comment. For added spite – and this on the eve of the Hillsborough anniversary –  Mackenzie aimed a few low blows at the people of Liverpool:

kelvin mackenzie ross everton gorilla

 

It’s pathetic tripe.

But narking to the police is weird and unsettling. It suggests we can’t police ourselves, that we aren’t robust enough to spot a berk in the crowd when we see one and treat them with derision and ridicule. We need official back up. We need our words policed.

The Bizzies.

The same police who treated dying fans at Hillsborough as a public order problem will now police speech and thoughts. The State’s enforcers who perpetuated the biggest police cover-up in British history have been called in to investigate a man who approved and defended a shameful article that smeared the innocent dead. (Although, a mere 23 years after “The Truth” even Mackenzie apologised.) Never mind that Hillsborough can be linked to the State’s war on football fans, on whom all draconian forms of control could be tested, just get a load of that big mouthed media goon. He’s the real problem. Well, so says the media, which likes nothing more than talking about itself.

The Troll

The Sun’s “The Truth” report on Hillsborough was revolting. To anyone sane the paper’s lies always have been indefensible. The Sun‘s infamous headline and lies weren’t produced in isolation – the paper colluded with police and politicians to criminalise the victims. Society raged loudly about the paper. Meanwhile, it took decades for the dignified bereaved to drag the police to court. After a mere 27 years of struggle, the State decided the dead were blameless. What we knew was only now official. Even now the survivors and the people who lost so much in 1989 are waiting for justice.

In the meantime, Kelvin Mackenzie makes for an inviting (and deserving) Aunt Sally.

 

kelvin mackenzie ross everton gorilla

 

The Allegation

Merseyside police say they received an online complaint from a member of the public alleging that “comments written about a third party constituted a racial hate crime”. If you think it’s a hate crime, then it is one. Maybe.

And it’s politicised. Liverpool mayor, Joe Anderson, tweeted to say he had reported the article to Merseyside police and the Press Complaints Commission for being a “racial slur”.

He then criticised Everton for not copying Liverpool, which banned the Sun from matches and press conferences. Liverpool has also blocked the Sun from interviewing its manager and players. “@Everton 😱Your lack of action in banning the S*n from your press conferences is a smack in the face to our City”, he tweeted.

MacKenzie might well worry when Joey Barton, someone who knows more than most about smacks to the face, becomes the voice of reason. The Scouse footballer tweeted: “Those comments about Ross Barkley, a young working class lad are disgusting. Then add in the fact he is mixed race! It’s becomes outrageous.”

It is. It’s abysmal. It’s incredible the Sun published it. But it’s not a crime. It’s one man’s idiotic, rude and ugly to-deadline opinion.

UPDATE: the Sun has suspended Kelvin MacKenzie.

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


Clickbait balls: Express tricks Liverpool fans with bullshit.com Alonso story

Click Balls: The Daily Express is at the forefront of the dead tree press’s battle for online clicks. Yesterday the self-styled “World’s Greatest Newspaper” had news to set Liverpool fans’ hearts aflutter. “Liverpool News: Xabi Alonso reveals he will be at Anfield next season,” declared the newspaper.

Alonso, the terrific Spanish midfielder playing at Bayern Munich, who was no less excellent in Liverpool red, is going to rejoin the Premier League club? Sounds like it. He has, after all, “revealed” his return to Anfield next season.

 

DAily Express SEO

 

One clue that this story was constructed in an SEO’s wet dream comes via the URL at the top of the page. It runs:

http://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/783228/Liverpool-Xabi-Alonso-News-Anfield-Jurgen-Klopp-Premier-League-Bayern-Munich

It’s just a collection of SEO-happy buzzwords. There is no story anything other than a Google bot can make any sense of.

 

daily express seo

 

And then comes the small print below that seductive headline:

Xabi Alonso: I will be at Liverpool next season

XABI ALONSO has revealed he will visit Liverpool next season.

Alonso is not coming to Liverpool to play for the club. Express writer Jack Otway tells his readers that some people have made that link:

The ex-Spain international has often been linked with an emotional return to Anfield.

Failing to add “See above”, Otway then explains the substance of his story:

And the 35-year-old veteran has admitted to still loving his former club and revealed a visit to watch them play with son Jontxu next season is on the cards.

Xavi Alsono might take his son to watch Liverpool net year. That’s a story first reported in the Liverpool Echo. “We are really looking forward to going back. I have heard great things about the new Main Stand,” Alonso tells the paper. “My son is desperate to go. He’s Liverpool born and always asks: ‘Dad. when are we going to Liverpool?’ I say: ‘Okay, but at the moment I have busy weekends! We will go, don’t worry.’”

The SEO-led Daily Express reports Alonso’s trip to see the new stand at Anfield as: “Liverpool News: Xabi Alonso reveals he will be at Anfield next season.”

The trend is to talk about fake news – but it’s good to see the Express going with the tried and tested bullshit.com model.

 

Posted: 25th, March 2017 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Liverpool rebrand as Manchester United get a lucky 41st Cup

When Manchester United won the EFL cup with a lucky* 3-2 win against Southampton, Liverpool fans gnashed their teeth and made room on the the winner’s podium for their greatest foe.

Before Manchester United won the season’s first tin pot, Liverpool were, according to the club’s twitter bio, ‘England’s most successful club with 41 major honours’. Todays win was Man United 41st title. And rather than being ‘England’s joint most successful club’, Liverpool just removed all reference to their haul.

 

United Liverpool 41 cups a

United Liverpool 41 cups a

 

*It was lucky. I’m a big football fan. But the game is hideously flawed, corrupt and founded on greed. Fighting Southampton scored a perfectly good goal that for specious reasons was not given. It should have been the game’s opening goal. As Gary Neville opined from the commentary box that United hard endured ‘three hard years’ since Alex Ferguson’s retirement, a Crystal Palace supporting friend of mine noted, “Nothing worse than losing at Wembley to a club for whom the trophy is just a consolation prize.”

Today was a big deal for Southampton. They and their fans deserved better.

 

 

Posted: 26th, February 2017 | In: Liverpool, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Liverpool bans the Sun but the elite escape and fans remain suspects

What are we to make of Liverpool Football Club’s ban on Sun journalists attending matches in an official capacity and press conferences? The Sun is also banned from conducting exclusive interviews with Liverpool FC managers or players.

The ban is rooted, of course, in the Sun’s infamous front-page coverage of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, in which the paper amplified the State’s and the police’s lies that the 96 people killed at the match were architects of their own demise. The dead were framed and defiled when the media and police colluded in the State’s assault on football fans.

 

hillsborough the sun the truth

 

A spokesman for Total Eclipse of the S*n – the group states ‘It is our belief that the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster should never be forgotten. It is our belief that The Sun newspaper should never be forgiven’ –  tells the Liverpool Echo: “Further to conversations with LFC directors we are happy to inform you that S*n journalists are no longer enjoy access to all club premises.”

The Sun behaved badly. But did we swallow its lies? Did we believe the police? Did the ‘working class scum stuffed into cages’ by the State, paying for a “slum sport watched by slum people in slum stadiums” take it as fact that police had been urinated on, the dead had been robbed and the Liverpool fans were guilty?

 

Hillsborough-daily-star

 

In 2012, a Guardian its told readers:

There is no bitterness on my part that the public took 23 years to wake up to our nightmare. Their ignorance was their faith in the media and in the police. This has suffered a huge blow and the fact surely cannot go unnoticed by Lord Justice Leverson. I also hope, as a southerner, that the people of Liverpool will no longer be subjected to the lazy, callous stereotypes peddled off the back of the Sun’s lies.

Lies become reasons for censorship and to slap the tabloids down. Tabloid readers must be protected from their own ignorance. And – irony of ironies – the Guardian is happy for the State to police the liars it fed. Hillsborough did not happen in a bubble. The Sun was appalling but it did not have a hand in the killing. It did not send for the dogs instead of the ambulances. It was not the coroner declaring people dead before they were dead.

The deaths were accidental. But they were the result of a top-down policy that portrayed and treated football fans as scum.

 

The Sun the truth Hillsborough

 

Margaret Thatcher’s Government wanted fans – what one Tory called “the yob class” – to carry ID cards. (One doctor present at Hillsborough said the only difference ID cards could have made that day was to make it easier to identify the young corpses.) In June 1986, Thatcher gave ‘thanks to the police’ for ‘bringing good behaviour and good crowd behaviour to football over this last year’. Baron Peter Hill-Norton, admiral of the fleet, said football was “a slum game played by louts in front of hooligans”. Football fans were the Untermenschen on which all new methods of control could be tested. The police and State presented football as a public order issue.

One week after the horror The Economist told readers that the ‘common view’ of football was of a sport ‘irredeemably tied to the old industrial north, yobs and slum cultures of the stricken inner cities – everything, in fact, that modern Britain aspires to put behind it.’

Knowing that Hillsborough happened in the context of so many wrongs, you still want the State and its police force to control the Press, to dictate the message?

 

Hillsborough home

 

Have the elites apologised for demonising football fans? Did you think it odd that the United Nations – no kidding – voiced its worry when Chelsea fans stopped a black man from boarding a train in Paris? On the day that story broke, the Guardian produced nine stories on it. One of the Guardian’s myriad reports on the nastiness said it was typical of football and football fans because it’s  ‘all about feeling that you’re part of one group and are opposed to another group, [which is] the mentality of the racist’.

Bash the Sun by all means but ask yourself what’s changed? Why are football fans still treated as suspects?

In 2012, the Sun apologised for its ‘blackest day’. But it failed to put the results of the inquest into the disaster that cleared the dead of blame on the front page. The victims had been “unlawfully killed”. A mere 27 years of campaigning for justice by their families, the victims had been forced to prove their innocence. Hideous. They still await justice in any true sense of the word. All the dead, the injured, the hurt and their loved ones got was to see the police lies demolished in a court of law. Time ticks on and still no-one has been placed in the dock.

As we await justice, maybe Liverpool FC should ban the police and all politicians from the ground, the people who ask not what they can do for Hillsborough but what the disaster can do for them? Maybe Liverpool should ban the Sun’s publisher’s, too? That would mean banning News Corp., the company that owns 39.1% of BSkyB, which in February 2015, successfully bid £4.2bn for a package of 120 premier league games across the three seasons from 2016. News Corp wants to take control of BSkyB. If it does, will Liverpool ban it, too?

Banning the Sun is easy. It costs nothing. Banning the cameras costs big.

 

hillsborough

 

A Sun spokesperson has responded to the ban: “The Sun and Liverpool FC have had a solid working relationship for the 28 years since the Hillsborough tragedy. Banning journalists from a club is bad for fans and bad for football.”

Banning things is par for the course at football grounds today. Don’t sing that. Don’t stand up. Put that down. The cages are gone but the fans are watched even more closely.

Posted: 15th, February 2017 | In: Key Posts, Liverpool, News, Reviews, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Sun writer mocks Liverpool player’s England win

The Sun newspaper is not popular among Liverpool fans. The Sun’s chief football reporter Neil Ashton noticed that Liverpool’s Adam Lallana has been voted the best player in the England team.

The Liverpool playmaker polled 39% of votes from members of the England Supporters Club. He was a clear winner, beating Jamie Vardy (12%) and Wayne Rooney (8%) into second and third places, respectively.

So what did the Sun’s man in the know have to say about the likeable Liverpool player?

He mocked him. “It’s like Iceland never happrned,” tweeted Ashton.

 

liverpool lallana the sun

 

England lost 2-1 to Iceland at the European championships – a game in which Lallana was an unused substitute.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 1st, February 2017 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Liverpool Balls: tabloids want Klopp out but heap praise on Manchester United under Mourinho

When is it safe to write off Liverpool’s Premier League chances?

Jeremy Cross tells Daily Star readers that Jurgen Kloop ‘doesn’t deserve the sack’. Who said he was being sacked? Liverpool are fourth in the Premier League – two points off second place and 10 points from the top. They made it to the semi-finals of the EFL Cup. Last season, Liverpool finished runners-up in the EFL Cup and the Europa League.

Liverpool are one point behind Tottenham, of which the Star wrote On January 24, Dele Alli is “the key to Tottenham winning the Premier League”.

Spurs on 46 points can win the title but Liverpool on 45 points are thinking of sacking their manager? That’s one hell of a big point.

Says Cross:

‘Having lost twice to Southampton in the EFL Cup semi-finals, Klopp resembles a man on the run as the critics round on him.’

Liverpool fans might care to compare and contrast those words with Neil Ashton’s opinion of Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, whose plucky side last night lost 2-1 to big-spending Hull City last night but still progressed to the EFL Cup final. Wrote Ashton of Mourinho four days ago.

‘He is back. Back to his old self. Back in the hunt for trophies. Back to his devilish, mischievous best. Focused, and firmly in control again, Mourinho is on to something good.’

Manchester United are four points behind Liverpool:

And there was Rio Ferdinand in the Daily Mirror:

“The next window is a big one for United in terms of getting players out and getting some in who will invigorate his squad and be able to carry out his methods. I like what Mourinho has done. He has shown again he is a top manager. We have seen with Pep Guardiola how difficult it is to get right…Jose is doing that really well.”

Chelsea fans might well scoff. Blues’ manager Antonio Conte is in his first season at the club. Chelsea are eight points clear at the top of the table. If Mourinho is doing really well in sixth, what’s Conte doing? Incidentally, Ferdinand said of Conte at the start of the season:

“Conte will need time to find his feet. I don’t think he will win the Premier League in his first season because he has a big job on his hands there.”

The Mirror also has a pop at Klopp., who has ‘run them into the ground’. ‘German’s training regime “too intense” say critics.’

In the Sun, the aforesaid Ashton says with Steven Gerrard back at Liverpool, Klopp’s days are numbered. ‘The problem will be when the people at Anfield start wondering out loud whether the iconic figure in the stands could do a better  job than the fella currently in it,’ he writes.

To recap: Liverpool are in fourth place, two points off second spot, ahead of both Manchester United and Manchester City.

Posted: 27th, January 2017 | In: Liverpool, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Clickbait Balls: Daily Telegraph tricks ‘paranoid’ Liverpool and Manchester United fans

The Manchester United v Liverpool match was memorable for a number of things, according to the clickbait-mad Press.

The Mirror’s football expert learned “five things” from watching the game, one of which is that Paul Pogba’s “handball handed Liverpool the early advantage”. That was the handball that gave Liverpool a penalty kick, from which they scored their only goal of the game. David McDonnell leaned that. He also learned that Wayne Rooney got a yellow card and “Ibrahimovic keeps on scoring”, which he did when he scored United’s equaliser.

The Express also learned five things, one of which is, “Simon Mignolet put on a solid display.”

Coincidentally, the Sun also learned five things. Fred Nathan delivers his fistful of insight. He watched Pogba give away a penalty and learned that he “must not let silly mistakes creep into his game”.

In the Indy, which didn’t make enough money to remain as proper paper so went web only, there are just four things learned. But Fox News, which has oodles of money, learned seven things. Ryan Rosenblatt learned that when United and Liverpool drop points, their rivals are pleased. The other top sides “love this result” he learned.

But the prize for the biggest Clickbait Balls goes to the dire Daily Telegraph. The once great newspaper is now a clickbait factory. “Martin Tyler accused of ‘bias’ following Manchester United vs Liverpool commentary,” says the headline. It also says just that in the URL for the story:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2017/01/15/martin-tyler-accused-bias-following-manchester-united-vs-liverpool/

 

martin-tyler-manchester-united-liverpool

 

 

So who accused Sky TV’s commentator of bias? Liverpool boss Jugen Klopp? Manchester Untied manager Jose Mourinho? Well, no. A clue to how the story was the product of the paper’s clickbait factory is in the now revised headline: “Liverpool fans round on Martin Tyler following Manchester United’s last minute equaliser at Old Trafford.”

They “rounded on” Tyler on Twitter. The Telegraph picks three tweets to back up its story, which beings: “Paranoid Liverpool fans are becomingly increasingly convinced that SkySports’ Martin Tyler is a secret Manchester United fan.”

Tweet 1:

@dreamteamfc
Martin Tyler just called Zlatan: “THE TOWER OF POWER!” #MUNLIV

Tweet 2:

@StephenDuffy6

Still coming to terms with the fact Martin Tyler just called Zlatan the ‘Tower of Power’, since when has that been a thing?

Lest you think those “paranoid” Liverpool fans are just having a laugh and mocking Tyler’s absurd phrase, @Footy Humour tweets the third piece of evidence.

Tweet 3:

Martin Tyler: “Rooney here. Is it in the script? Is it in the stars?”

*Rooney gives away posession*

Martin Tyler: *silence*

 

The troubling thing is that the clickbait works. The story even the Telegraph recognised as bad enough to warrant a chance of headline (but not a change of URL) is the second biggest story on the paper’s website:

 

martin-tyler-manchester-united-liverpool

 

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 16th, January 2017 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Media balls: Liverpool lose points and Sunderland are robbed

Media Balls: a look at biased football reporting. Did Sunderland deserve to draw 2-2 with Liverpool in the Premier League? Were Liverpool lucky?

Sunderland’s goals came via two very good penalties from Jermain Defoe.

The first Sunderland penalty:

Liverpool FC (official website): “But the Black Cats responded to the setback quickly and were awarded a penalty when Didier Ndong tumbled in the area under pressure from Ragnar Klavan and Wijnaldum.”

He wasn’t fouled. He tumbled.

Sunderland FC (official website): “Ndong was felled after he went through two Liverpool players.”

 

He was felled, like a blameless tree.

Liverpool Echo: “..a soft penalty when Ndong wasn’t going anywhere.”

Sunderland Echo: “Defoe levelled from the spot after Dider Ndong was brought down in the area”

 

The penalty that wasn’t given.

On 58 minutes the ball hit a Liverpool hand.

Sunderland (official website): “The referee waves play on despite strong appeals for a penalty. Replays show Januzaj’s cross did hit the arm of Can. That could so easily have been a penalty and probably should’ve been.”

No word on the incident on the Liverpool FC website.

The Verdict:

Sunderland Echo: “Jermain Defoe the hero as he scores two penalties to earn his side a deserved point.

Sunderland won a point!

The Guardian: “Liverpool drop two points as Jermain Defoe strikes twice from the spot.”

Liverpool lost two points by, er, winning one point.

Such a e the facts.

Posted: 2nd, January 2017 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Arsenal for Griezmann and Reus and Liverpool for PSG’s Draxler

Never mind that Antoine Griezmann says he’s happy in Madrid with his new baby and wonderful life, the British Press have him packed and ready to join the Premier League very soon. France’s footballer of the year is on his way to, well, all the top clubs. Manchester United have £60m and Chelsea £50m and £90m for Atletico Madrid’s super striker, whose new contract set his transfer fee at a minimum of £86m.

News in the Guardian is that Manchester City also quite like Griezmann – and so do Arsenal. The BBC and Telegraph say that if Mesut Özil or Alexis Sánchez fail to get the £200,000 a week they each want to extend their current contracts and leave the Gunners, Arsenal will swoop for Griezmann by offering him less than the £200,000-a-week City, Chelsea or United would pay.

Should that cunning plan fail, Arsenal will go for Marco Reus or Julian Draxler, although the taller German (Draxler) has apparently agreed to join PSG in France’s Ligue 1. That doesn’t stop the Daily Star says Draxler is on his way to Liverpool.

The tin lid is placed on this Transfer Balls by news that the source for the BBC, Telegraph, Independent and Guardian scoop on Griezmann and Reus being watched by Arsenal is Squawka, a blog whereon we read not a single fact to support the story that Arsenal want either player.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 23rd, December 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0