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.
WHY are Liverpool doing not all that well in the Premier League? Brendan Rodgers, the Reds’ verbose mangaer, knows:
“When you introduce a raft of new players and lose the core of players, that’s obviously a factor and then it becomes a little bit broken and that’s how our game has looked for me for a big part of the season.”
THE Mirror’s Brian Reade wants to talk about the problem of grown men exercising their right to free speech. Not everyone gets paid to comment, like a by-lined journalist does. Some people just talk and tweet and write with no concern for deadline or encouraging reader interest and clicks.
Reade begins his columns by explaining how things were great in the days of Roy Race, a fictional footballer who existed in a comic. Reade delivers some Melchester Rovers banter:
FAN: “You were lucky today, Roy.”
ROY: “Really? I thought we had your lot on the run.”
FAN: “Our lot run? That’ll be the day.”
ROY: “Ha ha. That’s a bit unfair on your lads.”
FOR a long time now, Manchester United fans have goaded other clubs for throwing their money around and buying various titles, accusing their rivals of having no soul.
Of course, ManYoo are no better, from their club-made banners that hang in the stadium to the very obvious huge sums of money they’ve thrown around themselves at their various squads. Sure, they’ve played some lads from the youth team, but that doesn’t make them any better than their competitors. In fact, in a lot of cases, they’ve spent more money that the rivals they mock.
This year, we saw Man Utd spend 18% of ALL the money forked out by Premier League clubs in this summer’s transfer window.
The club splashed £59.7m on Angel di Maria from Real Madrid alone, while in the meantime, selling off two promising young strikers from their squad in Welbeck and Hernandez. Even in Falcao, a mere loan player, Man Utd will be paying him more money than Wayne Rooney earns. Falcao will be getting more money from Old Trafford bosses than Arsenal will pay Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil combined.
And now, former Manchester United defender Phil Neville thinks that the club need another spending spree, with a £100 million-plus blurt required if they’re going to challenge for the league title.
With new manager Louis van Gaal throwing money around like a new lottery winner on Di Maria, Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Radamel Falcao, Neville thinks that there’s more cash to be spent.
“I know United have spent £150m,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live. “I think there’s another two transfer windows of similar amounts of money needed – maybe £100m – before they can even think about winning the title. There are still key positions in the team that need filling. I think the centre-back position is obviously the key area. Holding midfield or centre midfield needs addressing too.”
‘There were no world-class centre backs out there (this summer). I think that’s why in the next two transfer windows, United might still be looking for that world-class defender.”
Of course, there’s a number of fans who will love this, because a maintainable business model or the heart of a club don’t matter when all you’re concerned about is numbers and trophies. It must stick in the craw of older Man United fans who see their fellow fans concerning themselves only with how many trophies the club have and how much money they can spend.
There’s Manchester United fans who sing to smaller teams “We’ve got a stand that’s bigger than your ground”, or supporters who mock Arsenal for their lack of trophies. A product of the ‘football is a results business’ rhetoric, which is making many elements of professional football so achingly tedious, Manchester United, naturally, does have a heart and soul, just like Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City & Co, but it has been swallowed by short memories and overdrafts.
The Top 5 Mentality is the single most tedious facet of modern football, with more games happening each weekend that aren’t even in the Premier League. Manchester United’s fans who define their love by success are, whether they like it or not, the thing they level against hooting Liverpool fans who bleat on about the 70s and 80s, and the thing they berate Chelsea and Manchester City for.
And now, in the post Ferguson years, Manchester United fans are finding out, or being reminded, that reputation and cheque books count for nothing and that, you better find something else to love and enjoy about football because, without the success, you’ll have nothing to cheer about.
At Old Trafford, the young players aren’t valued like they were, the club is getting into dangerous debt, managers are binned off without completing a season and it doesn’t look like the rot in the boardroom is being protected from the people who are required to get results on match day.
It’s easy to tell yourself you’ve heart and soul when you’ve got a club that has the money to design it and implement it for you…
LIVERPOOL Balls: The BBC’s Mark Lawrenson wrote in his Premier League predictions on Liverpool’s trip to West Ham United:
Liverpool have had a bit of a strange start to the season. They had a lot of passes in their defeat by Aston Villa last week, but did not seem to really get anywhere. But I think they are a better side on the road at the moment, because teams seem to have worked out how to stop them at Anfield.
Lawrenson predicted a scoreline of 2-0 t0 the Reds.
NOW at Liverpool and once of Manchester City, Mario Balotelli tweeted a ‘LOL’ in response toManchester United’s spectacular collapse against Leicester City. Of course, Balotelli’s big-spending Liverpool were only yesterday beaten by West Ham United. So. Manchester United players are free to ‘LOL’ right back at him.
But then Balotelli’s Twitter feed attracted a blitzkerig of abuse.
ANORAK enjoys a kiss ‘n’ tell. Oh, come on, we miss the News of the World. What we enjoy are the details included in the story, the more mundane the better. Today’s kiss ‘n’ tell features Liverpool FC’s Mario Balotelli and “Ashley Cole’s ex”. No. Not Cheryl Cole. It’s Frenchie Eglantine.
WHEN Mario Balotelli left Manchester City and England a legion of would be mo-dels and kiss ‘n’ tellers sighed. What now for tales of Mario-fuelled pyrotechnics in the bedroom, to go with fireworks in the bathroom?
Thankfully, Liverpool bought the Italian forward. And readers get to learn what it like to share a “night of passion” with the player: