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Transfer balls: Sanchez left out of Arsenal squad at Bournemouth as Manchester United wait

The Daily Sanchez: a look at the future of footballer Alexis Sanchez, currently stinking up the place at Arsenal. Let’s kick off with the Star’s scoop that Liverpool have joined Manchester City and Manchester United in the chase for Sanchez.

 

liverpool sanchez daily star

 

“Flirty Sanchez,” declares the Star, the headline a pun on ‘Dirty Sanchez’, which according to the “Top Definition” on Urban Dictionary means: “its when a man and a woman engage in anal sex, then the man takes his penis and rubs it on the girls upper lip leaving a moustache.” Is that the bitter taste Arsenal fans taste in the air when Sanchez plays?

The Mirror has the same story. But given that Sanchez wants around £300,000 a week plus a huge signing on bonus, do Liverpool want to upset other players at the club? The paper tells us:

Armed with the cash from the £142million sale of Philippe Coutinho , Liverpool have no worries about meeting the £35m the Gunners want for Chilean Sanchez.

Good for Arsenal. But those wages?

Coutinho was paid around £200,000 by FSG so stepping up to £300,000 would be a big hike — but Liverpool know that’s the going rate for world-class talents.

They do? Because the Mirror also says Coutinho earns £200,000 a week at Barcelona. Isn’t the £142m players world class?

Over in the Mail comes news that desperate Manchester United are “prepared to sacrifice summer moves for Atletico Madrid’s 26-year-old France striker Antoine Griezmann and Real Madrid and Wales forward Gareth Bale, 28, in order to sign Sanchez on wages of £350,000 a week.” But Griezmann and Bale need not panic. United have given Sanchez an ultimatum, says the Express: sign up Friday or the deal’s off.

But a deal looks very much on. Sanchez has been “dropped” (Mirror) from Arsenal squad for today’s match at Bournemouth. Good. The paper adds: “The 29-year-old is now closing in on a stunning transfer to Manchester United after being dropped from Arsenal’s squad.”

In other news, Goal says Sanchez’s family are in London to help him pack. When you see his agent rubbing his hands together and ordering a spare jet, you’ll know the deal’s done.

Posted: 14th, January 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Liverpool, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Clickbait Balls: Liverpool to replace Coutinho with a goalkeeper says Daily Express

More clickbait in the nadir of journalism (surely apogee of clickbait? – ed) that is the Daily Express website. The headline offers: “Philippe Coutinho replacement: Most likely Liverpool transfers in January.”

Who is “most likely” to replace Coutinho, now at Barcelona? Well, the fifth player on the list of people to replace the Brazilian playmaker is… Kevin Trapp. Given that the story is based on the science of guesswork, you’d suppose the Express’s writer would at least look at Wikipedia for some info. Had they done sso the hack would have discovered the following:”

Kevin Trapp (born 8 July 1990) is a German professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Paris Saint-Germain and the Germany national team.

WOW! I know some ‘keepers are good with their feet, but who knew one could operate as Liverpool’s playmaker? Daring stuff at Anfield…

 

Posted: 10th, January 2018 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Liverpool balls: Mahrez guff, Coutinho paid to leave and Nike called the shots

So keen was Philippe Coutinho to quit Liverpool than he paid part of his own £142 million transfer to Barcelona. The Times says it’s “understood” the Brazilian invested £9 million “out of his own pocket and is committed to paying another £2.5 million in the future”.

Of course, it’s not hard to understand anything in the world of big business than now owns top-flight football: it’s all about the money. As Liverpool were reiterating their desire to keep hold of their best player, Nike, which sponsors Barcelona, Coutinho and Brazil, last month published a photo of a Barcelona shirt with the player’s name across the back. “Where the magic happens,” said Nike. “Philippe Coutinho is ready to light up Camp Nou. Get your 2017/18 FC Barcelona kit with the Magician’s name on it. Act fast – free personalisation only available until January 6.”

 

Liverpool looked strong when they blocked Coutinho’s mover to Barcelona six months ago. At the season’s start, after Liverpool had rejected three Barcelona bids for their playmaker, Jurgen Klopp told media: “I wasn’t manager when Suarez was sold, I wasn’t manager when Sterling was sold, and we’re not selling Coutinho.”

Faced with predators from Nike and Barcelona, Liverpool caved in, waving a not-all-that-fond farewell to the player who now joins another former Anfield star, Luis Suarez, in attack.

Minds now turn to what Liverpool will do with all that money. Well, £75m has been invested in Virgil van Dijk. And the rest? We, the Times says, “There is no appetite, as it stands, to pursue AS Monaco’s Thomas Lemar or Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez”.

Or as the Mirror puts it: “Liverpool to test Monaco’s resolve over Thomas Lemar transfer with January bid.”

 

 

Which on Sky Sports becomes:

 

 

As for Mahrez, well, the BBC reported on January 7: “Liverpool are set to sign Riyad Mahrez, with the 26-year-old Leicester City and Algeria forward expected to have a medical on Sunday.”

The story echoed a report on BeIn Sports, which guffed:

 

Total balls, then. Who Liverpool sign next is unclear, but one thing is certain: they’ll pay well over the odds.

 

Posted: 8th, January 2018 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Barcelona puts Premier League in its place with £142m deal for Liverpool Philippe Coutinho

Liverpool have have sold Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for £142m – and reassured the world that the Spanish league is bigger, better and starrier than the hyped Premier League. The mighty Reds will get £105m up front for the 25-year-old Brazilian and more should he win cups in the Nou Camp, which he will do.

It’s a huge profit for Liverpool, who paid Inter Milan £8.5m for the player in January 2013. It was also a big profit when Liverpool sold Luis Suarez to Barcelona for £64.98 million in 2014. Suarez went on to win:

La Liga: 2014–15, 2015–16
Copa del Rey: 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17
Supercopa de España: 2016
UEFA Champions League: 2014–15
UEFA Super Cup: 2015
FIFA Club World Cup: 2015

Liverpool have in that time won nothing.

The top players don’t dream of playing for Liverpool. They dream of playing for Real Madrid and Barcelona. Unless Liverpool can compete with mega-buck Manchester City and pay huge wages to hire talent the big Spanish clubs don’t want or can’t find room for, they won’t win titles.

Cheerio, Philippe. You’ll be missed…

Posted: 6th, January 2018 | In: Liverpool, News, Sports | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Liverpool balls: Coutinho is determined to join Barcelona

Philippe Coutinho wants to leave Liverpool for Barcelona as soon as possible. The Times says Coutinho “believes that he has played his last game for Liverpool”. Not that belief is as legally binding as a contract.

Liverpool have rejected a bid of £119m for the 25-year-old. But Liverpool are now, reportedly, willing to sell should the Spanish side come up with an improved offer for the Brazilian – something in the region of £130m.

Coutinho has been playing well for Liverpool, scoring 12 goals in 20 appearances. But the problem for Coutinho is that his contract keeps him at Liverpool until 2022. He earns a not-too-shabby £150,000-a-week on the deal he signed last year, but his earning would rocket at Barcelona, and that’s without any signing-on bonus, which would be huge.

So is Coutinho, who was absent for Liverpool’s scrappy win New Year’s Day win at Burnley, off? Last week, Nike, the player’s sponsor and suppliers of Barcelona’s kit, stated a deal had been done. That was incorrect, say Liverpool.

Over in Spain, the front page of Mundo Deportivo declares: “Coutinho 145 millones.” Of course, what the newspapers say is ofter utter tosh. In October, the Liverpool Echo opined: “Philippe Coutinho deal to Barcelona may have already been done.” Or it may not have been.

One thing is certain: Liverpool are primed for Barcelona’s next move.

Posted: 3rd, January 2018 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: the Sun spins Wenger’s words to annoy Liverpool fans

Forget circumspection. When opining about Alex Oxlade-Champberlain, the player Arsenal sold to Liverpool for the best part of £40m, Arsene Wenger was scathing. The Sun and Mirror heard Wenger accuse the former Arsenal player of laziness and made it their lead sport story.

The Sun thunders: “OX LAZE – Arsene Wenger accuses Liverpool star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of sitting in a rocking chair and refusing to fight for Arsenal spot.” Wenger gave Oxlade-Chamberlaie a “verbal battering”.

 

mirror ox arsenal

 

The Mirror says Wenger aimed a “dig” at Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The Sun quotes Wenger. It’s much the same in the Mirror:

“What do you want to be, a big player and not have to fight? You can’t be a big player, sit in your rocking chair and say I do not want to fight. It doesn’t work like that. Every player has to fight. In a big club you have big competition with some good players. That is absolutely normal…

“I offered him a contract to stay but in the end he decided to go and we just had to try and get the best possible price.Sometimes it happens when one player who we don’t want to go, goes.

“We respect his decision and I have no problem with that. What’s important is that the players make a good career, preferably in your club. If it doesn’t happen, you still want them to have a good career. I personally think he will be an important player for England and will continue to develop.”

 

 

What neither paper finds room to note is what Wenger also said. This in the Guardian:

“What do you want? To be a big player and not have to fight? What do you want on top of that – sitting in your rocking chair and saying: ‘I’m a big player? I don’t need to fight?’ No. It doesn’t work like that. Every player can do that and Chamberlain does it. I am convinced it’s part of being a top player.”

If that’s a verbal battering, the mind boggles as to what praise looks like?

Posted: 30th, December 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Liverpool, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Desperate Liverpool outbid Manchester City for Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk

If Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk is worth £75m to Liverpool, rival clubs must be running audits of their playing assets and discovering new riches.

Liverpool will take delivery of the Dutch defender on January 2 in a £75m deal, making him the world’s most expensive defender.

It say something about the price when you know that massive-spending Manchester City were not prepared to match Liverpool’s offer for yet another Southampton player – Van Dijk will become the sixth Southampton player signed by Liverpool since 2014. He’ll join former Saints: Sadio Mane (£34m), Adam Lallana (£25m), Dejan Lovren (£20m), Nathaniel Clyne (£12.5m). Rickie Lambert (£5m) has left the club. And Liverpool boast another former Saint in Oxlade-Chamberlain, who they recruited from Arsenal for £35m.

Might it not be cheaper for Liverpool to hire Southampton’s talent spotters? Or why not buy the club? In 2017, Southampton sold 80% of the club to Chinese businessman Gao Jisheng for around £210m. Liverpool have spent not far shy of that on Southampton players.

 

Posted: 28th, December 2017 | In: Liverpool, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Biased balls: Everton’s masterplan, Liverpool make a point and Crystal Palace and Bournemouth adjudged

Biased balls: a look at one0eyed football reporting.

Liverpool drew 1-1 with Everton in the Merseyside derby. A goal to the good courtesy of Mohamed Salah’s opener, Liverpool were hauled back by an Everton penalty, converted by Wayne Rooney. Should it have been given?

The Everton website tells us Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin was “pushed inside the area by Dejan Lovren”. Foul by Lovren, then. Everton’s “patience and application paid off when Dominic Calvert-Lewin was felled in the box by Dejan Lovren with 15 minutes to play – and Rooney rifled into the roof of the net from 12 yards.”

But the Liverpool website makes the player benign, says “Lovren was adjudged to have pushed Calvert-Lewin”. It wasn’t a push. It was a judgement. Liverpool’s official website hammers home the point by adding, “Dejan Lovren was deemed to have push Dominic Calvert-Lewin.” And: ” Dejan Lovren adjudged to have pushed Dominic Calvert-Lewin inside the area.”

More adjudgments in the Crystal Palace v Bournemouth match:

The Bournemouth FC website says: “A flick on from Benteke soon found Zaha running free and he was adjudged to have been brought down by Begovic.”

WAs it a foul or not?

But the Palace website see a clear foul: “…a superb flick-on by Benteke allowed Zaha to brush past Nathan Ake and speed into the area, and as he tried to round Begovic he was brought down by the Bosnian stopper for a spot-kick.

Pravda has nothing on this lot.

 

 

 

Posted: 10th, December 2017 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: when will Liverpool sign Didier Baptiste?

Didier Baptiste liverpool

Dream Team

 

November 24 is the day when Liverpool moved to sign Didier Baptiste for £3.5million. It was an unforgettable moment of Transfer Balls on November 24 1999. The News of the World reported that Liverpool were looking to sign the “French Under-21 international” from Monaco.

Baptiste to Liverpool was on.  The Times and The Guardian agreed, albeit valuing Baptiste at £1million. But Gerard Houllier’s Liverpool would never get the young defender: He didn’t (and still doesn’t) exist.

Baptiste was a character played by the late Tom Redhill in the Sky One football soap opera ‘Dream Team’ who arrived at Harchester United from Monaco in 1999.

The aforementioned papers were all drawn into a hoax that began on an Arsenal fan forum and got rehashed on Liverpool’s Clubcall line (a premium rate phone number supporters could ring to listen to the latest club-related gossip), from whence the News of the World plucked the ‘story’ and ran with it.

The News of the World duly blamed the Hayters sports news agency for feeding them the rumour, though the damage had already been done.

As Chris Wright quips: “The tabloid was ultimately forced to cease publication in 2011, though whether the Baptiste cock-up was directly to blame is still subject to debate.”

Posted: 25th, November 2017 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal Transfer Balls: Ozil agrees Barcelona deal by Messi wants Liverpool’s Coutinho

Cancel that one-way ticket to Barcelona, Mesut Ozil. It turn out that Barcelona don’t want the Arsenal forward after all. It was only yesterday the paper were saying how Ozil was dreaming of playing for Barcelona and a £20m move in the January transfer window was on the cards. Now we’re told by the BBC that Barcelona’s mighty Lionel Messi has scuppered any moves for Ozil, 29.

The source for this story is Diario Gol, which thunders: “The Argentine star does not want to know anything about the German.” The story contains not a single quote from Messi. We put it through Google Translate:

Leo Messi…has already told Bartomeu and Ernesto Valverde that he does not want it. He considers that he is a very old player – Mesut is 29 years old – and that, in the event that Coutinho does not come now in January, it is better to put up with the put and go for a crack in June…

In addition, one of the things that has characterized the athletic career of the Arsenal player is his lack of regularity. During his time at Real Madrid , Mesut combined great performances with games in which he could not be seen. Just as it is happening in the English club, where he only drops a pearl from time to time but can not get the reins of the team.

So the move is off. No. Today’s Metro says Ozil has agreed to joined Barcelona.

 

 

The Metro cites “reports in Spain” as its source, but declines to mention which they are. The Express carries the same report, but does link to a source, stating: “And Catalan reporter Quique Guasch told Spanish outlet Catalunya Radio that Ozil had agreed a three-and-a-half year contract and is expected to cost around £17.8million.” How they know, no-one’s saying.

And then there’s the Mail, which says no agreement has been reached, and, as the headline tells it, Ozil wants a lot of money: “Arsenal star Mesut Ozil demands Barcelona offer him £330,000-a-week deal amid January interest.” That report is rooted in Spanish site AS, which says: “In addition to the astronomical salary, Özil will ask for a succulent signing bonus.” It also notes that Arsenal want “Leon Goretzka, an allcampists of Schalke 04”.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 23rd, November 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Liverpool undone by Seville coach’s dramatic half-time team-talk

liverpool cancer seville Manuel Eduardo "Toto" Berizzo

 

Three goals own to a vibrant Liverpool side, Seville were roused to a unlikely 3-3 drawer when the Spanish side’s manager,  Eduardo Berizzo, used his half-time team-talk to tell his players he has cancer. I see your oranges and flying tea cups and rise you a malignant tumour on the prostate.

Sevilla Info explains why Sevilla’s players raced to mob Berizzo after Guido Pizarro completed the comeback in injury time. As ever, I’ve put it through Google Translate for added drama:

Jug of cold water at Sevilla FC: Berizzo suffers from prostate cancer

The hugs senses of Sevilla FC players . his coach Manuel Eduardo “Toto” Berizzo at the end of the match played against Liverpool at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán stadium revealed more than a long-suffering and epic draw against one of the biggest clubs in Europe. The players have thrown caste, courage and pride after a talk in the locker room, when the team, deflated, lost by zero goals to three at halftime. In that talk, as a slab in the environment, the news that the Argentine coach has moved his players and the entire structure of the Club. Berizzo suffers from prostate cancer.

We wish him well. As, clearly, do his players.

Posted: 22nd, November 2017 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


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