Transfer balls looks at the Daily Mirror’s lead story: Raheem Sterling could be leaving Liverpool for life at Arsenal. Recalling how well things went when Arsenal last tried to buy a Liverpool player – a failed bid of £40m plus £1 for Luis Suarez – investigating the veracity of this story seems worthwhile.
Daily Mirror back page
John Cross reminds readers that former QPR starlet Sterling has yet to sign a new deal at Liverpool. He says a raft of big clubs are after the player, mentioning Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Manchester City. Cross then states that “City will make a big bid” for the England player.
That’s pretty much the entire back-page news story. It continues two pages inside, with Cross saying that “Arsenal are serious contenders” and have made “discreet enquiries about Sterling’s availability”. Given that the Gunners’ apparent discretions are back-page news, you wonder what form the club’s enquiries took: a word in the ear of the Mirror’s Arsenal reporter, perhaps?
Over in the Mail, news is that Sterling will not sign for Liverpool “even if Liverpool offer £180,000 a week”. Says who? We’re not told? It’s just a fact that if Liverpool lose their minds and offer Sterling £180,000-a week to play for them he will not stay. Make it £180,001 and… yeah, maybe he will. Call his agent, Make the offer. See what occurs.
After that uter balls, over in the Express, their story is that Liverpool are interested in buying Arsenal’s Theo Walcott, who will be replaced at The Emirates by Marco Reus. Really? Reus is the player the Express reported had agreed to join Real Madrid and the Mirror said had joined Barcelona.
MAY 13: Captain, Thiago Silva (L) and Mamadou Sakho (R) of PSG celebrate in front of the fans after winning Ligue 1 during the Paris Saint-Germain Trophy Ceremony at Trocadero plaza on May 13, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Liverpool news now. The Sun says that Mamadou Sakho used only to speak French to his teammates. Is that good or bad? The Liverpool team that lined up against Manchester United featured five native English speakers. So. Speaking just in French is less than ideal.
But the best bit about the Sun’s story is that Mamadou is quoted thus:
“Learning the language has been the hardest part of adapting to life in England. I get very frustrated when I can’t express myself. Some people told me to speak in French, saying it would enable me to relax a little. But when I spoke French on the pitch, calling for substitutions and similar matters, nobody understood what I was saying. I thought, ‘oh no, this is pointless!’ and felt I really had to learn English. It took me some time, but I’m fine now.”
His English is superb.
But we do wonder if when Mamadou was speaking only in French, he was doing so with the affectation of a broad Scouse accent – you know, in the same vein as Liverpool lad Joey Barton speaks French to the people of Marseilles:
When Manchester United beat Liverpool 2-1, the point scoring had only just begun. The Daily Mirror’s man with an abacus used various esoteric and expert techniques and algorithms to award his scores out of 10 to the game’s players.
The scores for the Liverpool team are worthy of comment. Three Liverpool players – Adam Lallana, Moreno and…Steven Gerrard scored 4 points each. Gerrard scored one point for every 9.5 seconds he was on the pitch. He was, of course, red carded after 38 seconds of playing time. Lallana and Moreno lasted 45 minutes and 66 minutes, respectively.
And that’s not all.
The Mirror praises “Liverpool’s best defender” Martin Skrtel.
He “kept his head while others lost theirs”.
Skrtel has been charged with violent conduct over an alleged stamp on Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea.
It’s almost as if those points aren’t worth the paper tgey’re written on….
Liverpool lost 1-2 at home to Manchester United in the Premier League. We at Anorak always like to see what the local newpapers of both sides thought of the game.
The monocular Liverpool Echo and Manchester Evening News only rate players from their own areas. The MEN says the game’s best player was Juan Mata, with an 9 out of 10.
The Liverpool Post offers no rating for the bright Mata, but does say that the best Liverpool player was Sakho, who gets a 7. It gives Adam Lallana a 4. Lallana was not out-scored by Steven Gerrard, who replaced the former Southampton star and lasted just 43 seconds before he earned a red card. Instead of the ‘0’ Gerrard should have scored, the Post offers no score. Ity then adds that Gerrard is The best player to have pulled on a Liverpool shirt – ever.
In the haste to excuse Gerrard, the Post’s man-on-the scene notes:
“Ironically, after that [the sending off] they [Liverpool] played a lot better, they were a better team today with 10 than they were with 11.”
Good old Stevie, G., who does right when he does wrong.
Elswhere the Post adds that Gerrard is “saving the fairytale for Wembley”.
Transfer balls: The big football news in the Daily Mirror is that Arsenal’s Theo Walcott is off to Liverpool. Maybe he will “Never Walc Alone”:
Theo Walcott is 26. He has just 15 months to run on his curent £90,000-a-week contract (although that rises to £100,000 a week in theDaily Express). And since returning from injury Walcott’s not one enough to surplant Danny Wellbeck in the Arsenal pecking order.
The Telegraph says Walcott will remain at Arsenal if he can get a new deal worth more than £100,000-a-week.
But any move to Liverpool, the team he supported as a boy, depends on what the Reds’ Raheem Sterling does. The Express says he’s rejected an offer of £90,000-a-week to remain at Liverpool. We lean that big-spending Real Madrid are watching him closely.
All fans hang on to the idea that their team’s players love their club above all others. They don’t. They see the money flooding into the game, and they want more and more of it.
The Mail says Arsenal’s top-earners Sanchez and Ozil earn around £140,000-per-week. That’s around the same sum as Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard earns a week.
So. Their team-mates demand parity with the top tier earners. But they’re not as good.
Maybe the future is for pay-per-view players, each star linked to the amount the paying fans will cough up to watch them? The better they play, the more the punters click their keypads, and the more the winning players take from the wages pool.
This would more likely result in the likes of Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho earning far more than his curent deal of £70,000-a-week and his teammate Glen Johnson knocking up to four ‘noughts’ from his £90,000-a-week-deal.
Meanwhile, over at Manchester United, Radamel Falcao will not get his £265,000-a-week wages, and what with mortgages and other committments start looking to boost his income with a Saturday job in a hairdressers.
Walcott to Liverpool. Sterling to Real. Falcao to the Arndale Centre. You read it here first…
The Sun has an “exclusive”. News is that Raheem Sterling has yet to sign a deal to prolong his stay at Liverpool.
In September 2014, the Sun had 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 was finally going to have his future sorted out.
QPR-schooled Raheem Sterling was ready to sign a new deal.
But now the Sun says he’s m ioght be off to play for Bayern Munich.
Transfer Balls catches the Daily Star’s news that Arsenal and Liverpool are all set to sign Sami Khedira.
Paul Brown says Arsenal and Liverpool will both try to sign the German player when his Real Madrid contract ends on June 30. Offering no proof that they will, Brown then says Chelsea could afford to buy him. Why Chelsea would want Khedira and why Kehdira would want Chelsea are not things that bother the writer. And readers can also imagine what other clubs could afford Khedira.
Maybe Bayern Munich can? After all it was the Daily Star that rold us Khedira was heading to the German champions:
But that would be odd because whilst Brown says Arsenal baulked at Khedira’s wage demands, the, er, Daily Star told us that they didn’t:
But then came Daily Star news that Khedira had gone back on that Arsenal agreement and agreed to join Bayern Munich:
So. He agreed to Arsenal. He agreed to Bayern Munich. Which brings us to the Daily Star’s news that next season Kehedia will be playing for Manchester Untied, Liverprool or Chelsea:
The Asian Age has the story of the Liverpool fan who said two Muslim fans praying during the team’s FA Cup quarter-final clash against Blackburn Rovers were “a disgrace”.
The paper has the photo. But the tweet has been delated. Stephen Dodd’s tweet went:
“Muslims praying at half time at the match yesterday #DISGRACE.”
Still, it was up long enough to attract a few comments:
Jesus saves! But Mo hits in the rebound!
One shock is that the fans had waited until half-time to pray in the game that ended 0-0. The other is that the mat is not an offical Liverpool FC prayer mat. Call us Liverpool marketing. We have ideas.
Transfer Balls brings you news from the murky zone where football news and football drivel collide. Today the Daily Express says Alvaro Morata is off to Arsenal. Not Liverpool. Not Manchester United. The Express backs this up zero facts.
But, then, it has brought readers a welter of Morata news.
On February 23, the Express said Morata was on his way to Liveprool.
That followed the earlier news that Morata was heading to Real Madrid, meaning Arsenal and Liverpool and Manchester United would miss out:
Towards the end of last year, the Express said Morata has turned down offers to play for Arsenal and Manchester United.
Anthony Chapman’s story contained not a single word from Morata on either club. All Morata said was:
“I had offers from England, but in difficult times you have to put your faith in those you can trust. Juventus directors had literally been to my house telling me they wanted to sign me, so [moving to Juventus] was a decision made out of loyalty. I feel a kind of responsibility to do well. Not because of how much I cost, but because I came here having hardly played for Real. A lot of people advised me against this move. They told me to go to a mid-table team. I don’t think I made the wrong choice.”
So much for the “snub”.
But it would have been a shock to Daily Express readers that Morata signed for Juventus. The Express said Morata was heading to Arsenal, Manchester United and Spurs.
And there was the stella news that Arsenal had signed Morata:
Transfer balls: did you know that James Milner is desperate to join Liverpool. The Daily Express has an “exclusive”:
EXCLUSIVE: James Milner warned by Liverpool to drop wage demands to seal free transfer
James Milner, the Manchester City tyro – still wanted by perennial Premier League title contenders and super-rich club Manchester City – has been “warned” that he could miss out on playing for Liverpool?
John Richardson tells his readers:
The 29-year-old midfielder sees his Etihad contract, worth around £120,000 a week, run down [sic] at the end of the season, making him a free agent.
Talks are at an advanced stage to allow Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, whose side face Milner’s Manchester City today, to add him to his squad next season but the Anfield club have made it clear that they won’t shatter their wage structure to accommodate the former Leeds United, Newcastle and Aston Villa man.
Shatter? This is the same Liverpool who signed Mario Balotelli for £16m and pay him £125,000-a-week:
“I think we have done a really smart piece of business here,” said Reds boss Brendan Rodgers. “This transfer represents outstanding value for the club.”
We’re sure Milner’s agents are worried sick about breaking that Liverpool wage structure. If they don’t where on erath will England internatioanl James Milner find work?
If he is prepared to take a pay cut then a deal could be sealed at the end of the season.
Transfer Balls catches news of Wolfsburg winger Kevin De Bruyne, 23. The BBC notes that the former Chelsea player “says he would be open to a Premier League return”.
One game we play is to see if the media can link a player with all five of the big clubs: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United.
The BBC says “with Manchester United mulling over a £30m bid for the former Chelsea player”.
The BBC delivers this as fact. Only at the end does it say the source for the scoop is the Daily Express.
Over there, the paper reports:
How badly does Kevin De Bruyne want to play for Manchester United? He’s quoted:
“I feel very much at home with VfL Wolfsburg in this very moment. I am able to sign a new contract with Wolfsburg. Life in football can be fast moving. Football is much about money. Wolfsburg is not yet like Bayern Munich, of course. And my biggest ambition is to come out for a big European club. One I can win trophies with. As much trophies as possible.”
That would be Real Madrid, then. Or Bayern Munich. Or PSG. Or… Or… De Bruyne makes not single mention of Manchester Untied, who are not even in this season’s Champions’ League and not close to winning the Premier League.
The Daily Star then spins the balls to take in Chelsea and Arsenal.
Oh. And Manchester City:
And over in the Sun, the news is that De Bruyne is a…Liverpool fan.
Transfer Balls: a look at utter drivel presented as football news in the mainstream media. Today the Express says Liverpool are set to sign Raheem Sterling on a new contract, Arsenal are still going to bid for Paul Pogba, Incardi is off to Chelsea and there is some stuff about Manchester United.
David Wright reports:
Raheem Sterling admits he’s close to putting pen to paper on a new deal at Liverpool, worth a reported £100,000-a-week.
The England star, who is being monitored by Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, is yet to commit his future to the Reds despite months of talks between the club and his representatives.
Transfer Balls: a look at football nonsense reported as fact in the mainstream media: Today Burnley’s Danny Ings is heading to Liverpool and Real Sociedad.
The Sun leads with news that Burnley’s Danny Ings is heading out to meet David Moyes, the manager of Real Sociedad. With just six months to go on his Burnley contract, Ings will be a frre agent in the summer. The Sun says the 22-year-old fancies Spain – and is ready to sign a £60,000-a-week pre-contract.
Danny Wings in
Odd. Because the BBC’s Ian Dennis said Ings has already signed that contract:
Transfer Balls: a look at football rumour and speculation being presented as fact in the mainstresm media. Today the Sun says “MANCHESTER UNITED can have Barcelona star Dani Alves for FREE — if they offer him a three-year deal.”
The Sun says Alves, 31, wants a new three-year £100,000-a-week Barcalona contract. If that fails to materialise, he’ll go to Manchester City or Manchester United for no transfer fee if they can match his wage demands.
In other news, Yahoo! reported on May 14 that “Dani Alves has already signed a pre-contract agreement with Paris Saint-Germain”.
The Daily Express says Alves has agreed to join Manchester United:
Transfer Balls: As the January Deadline Day shuts the Daily Express tosses more balls than Rebecca Loos at a Peppa Pig Stag do:
Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Man Utd target Morgan Schneiderlin’s HUGE transfer hint
The HUGE tranfger hint is – get this – that Schneiderlin is not going to Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham or Manchester United. The HUGE transfer hint involves a club not mentioned in the headline: Southampton.
And that hint amount to Morgan tweeting: “Very happy to be back training ! Thanks to all who did help me and made me work hard to come back stronger!”
Did Chelsea striker Diego Costa deliberately stamp on Liverpool’s Emre Can and Reds’ defender Martin Skrtel in a fast and furious Capital One Cup semi-final ?
You’d think referee Michel Oliver would have spotted one of the foot misplacements. But he and his hapless refereeing team missed it all.
Oliver missed the stampings (one more and Costa gets a free coffee); Strkel’s foul on Costa in the penalty box; Lucas’ foul on Matic, which should have resulted in his second yellow card of the game; Laza Markovich’s WWF-style foul on Felipe Luis; Jordan Henderson’s foul, which should have been his second yellow card of the night; and the antics of pop-up Chelsea’s assistant Rui Faria, a man who appears to have sat upon a wasabi enema.
And, you know what? Yeah, it was great entertainment.
Putitng it in persepctive, here’s a video of Glasgow Rangers’ Graeme Souness dirtying his socks on Steaua Bucharest’s Gheorghe Rotariu in the 1988 European Cup. Ity was a “definite yellow” in 1988. And there were no howls of outrage in the Press nor trial by TV:
Pies spots a Norwegian Liverpool fan who named his daughter ‘YNWA’ – as in “You’ll Never WalkAlone”.
Speaking to Dagbladet, the little girl’s mother, Eirin Isabell Iversen – herself a Tromso fan, described how her and her lunatic husband picked the unusual name after having his first choice scuppered by Mother Nature.