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Manchester United Balls: Mourinho accepts defeat

Football moves pretty fast at the Sun, where the paper continues to cheer for Jose Mourinho, currently turning Manchester United into a pragmatic, defence-minded grinding machine. Second in the Premier League, a not inconsiderable 8 points behind Manchester City after just 11 games played, the Sun explain that none of it is Jose’s fault.

On November 8, Sun readers were told:

“JOSE MOURINHO is heading for a clash with the Manchester United board over further backing in the transfer market. Mourinho has spent £300million in less than 18 months — but still wants more to strengthen his squad as they fight on four fronts… Now he is concerned he may not get the funds he needs to boost his squad in the New Year and next summer.”

One day on and United are in a panic. Mourinho’s off to PSG:

 

mourinho the sun psg

 

Things move pretty fast. After all, way back in August, the Sun was telling us that Mourinho was living the dream:

“JOSE MOURINHO has told his Manchester United players to do the Double this season. He said their aim had to be to win the Premier League and FA Cup and at least reach the last eight of the Champions League. But as Sunsport today reveals, Mourinho was so confident of what this squad could do he had raised the bar ahead of the new season”

Nothing a few hundred million can’t fix.

 

Posted: 9th, November 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal: Ozil to Manchester United, 32 million followers and one anonymous source

Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil, 29, wants to join Manchester United when his deal with Arsenal expires at the end of the season, says the Daily Mail. “Ozil will be a free agent for next season after telling Arsenal he will not sign a new contract,” says the paper.

But hold on a moment. Ozil has not told anybody Arsenal he wants to move to Old Trafford, says the Sun. And he’s not rejected a new Arsenal contract. A “close friend of Ozil” has “revealed”:

“Mesut has not had any contract offer from Arsenal. There were talks about a modest pay rise last season but all those talks ended in March. There’s been nothing since then… Mesut is adamant he has never spoken to any player about going to Manchester United. He has no idea if United want him but he wants to stay at Arsenal. Look, he just bought a new house in London.

“Mesut had been renting but he decided to buy a house because he both expects and wants to stay.

“But he is angry that people are briefing against him and feels there seems to be some sort of campaign against him. His intention has always been to remain at Arsenal. Mesut, though, does feel he is being isolated and kept in the dark. He is worried that there is a game going on and he is left in the middle of it.”

You still there? Anonymous sources are ten a penny. Mesut Ozil has a mouth. He has 18.8 million followers on Twitter.

 

 

Ozil has 14.3 millions followers on Instagram.

If only there was some way for poor Ozil to speak for himself and stop all the game playing…

Posted: 21st, October 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, manchester united, 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


Transfer Balls: Spurs Harry Kane to Manchester United says one source and £170m

Huge news for Manchester Untied and Spurs fans. The Sun says “MANCHESTER UNITED boss Jose Mourinho is eyeing a record £170m swoop for Tottenham star Harry Kane’”.

The story of how United will recruit a rival club’s best player is rooted in a nameless “Old Trafford source”. And in between the headline and the readers’ poll (“Should Spurs cash on on £170 Harry Kane?”, Daniel Cutts delivers his “exclusive”: Jose Mourinho thinks Kane is good at football. And that’s it.

Cutts does note that it’s “understood” Spurs will “offer Kane a new contract next summer, upping his wages to around £150,000-a-week to keep him at White Hart Lane.” Kane is currently on just under £100,000-a-week.

It’s an easy story to reveal that a rich club that pays wages of £250,000-a-week plus will try to entice Kane. So easy isnit that thewher one tabloid leads, the rst dutifully follow:

“Manchester United plotting £170m swoop for Tottenham’s talisman Harry Kane” – The Metro

“Manchester United prepared to rival Real Madrid with £170m transfer bid for Tottenham striker Harry Kane” – Daily Mail

“Man Utd news: Jose Mourinho plots £170m bid for Tottenham star Harry Kane” – Daily Express

“Jose Mourinho wants Harry Kane in £170m deal to partner Romelu Lukaku at Man Utd – report” – Daily Star.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 12th, October 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Spurs | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester United balls: Marcus Rashford’s silver hatchet

Does the Sun like Manchester United and England’s Marcus Rashford? Compare and contrast the following words from the Sun’s Neil Ashton:

September 6:

They do the right thing at Manchester United. Nobody gets big-headed, nobody is allowed to get carried away with little bit of success. That is the way they bring them through and Marcus Rashford is no exception.

October 3:

SOMEBODY, somewhere has tried to tuck him up. Everybody, it seems, is pretending to be Marcus Rashford’s best mate these days…

The hysteria is nowhere near the levels that once saw Georgie Best mobbed by mini-skirted women and bespectacled kids in parkas hunting for autographs when he walked down Deansgate. Nobody expects Rashford, who is due to start England’s World Cup qualifier at Wembley against Slovenia on Thursday, to go down that road. He appears too smart, too streetwise, too level-headed for that. Instead, he is trying to lead a quiet life, spending the afternoons in the Trafford Centre with his girlfriend or meeting his pals for peri-peri chicken in Nando’s.

That is the way Rashford rolls.

Can this be the same Neil Ashton who wrote waaaaay back in April 2017:

These United boys, what with their status, their lifestyle and their super-sized salaries, want for nothing…

Rashford, a Euro 2016 wildcard with England, has lost his way since the big bucks started to roll in.

His new home, a sprawling six- bedroom pad being built in Bowden, Cheshire, is almost ready for the forward to move into.

It has sprung up on the same street as Joe Hart and is close to the house Zlatan Ibrahimovic rents from former Manchester City star Micah Richards.

The £30,000-plus Rashford spends annually on car insurance for the fleet of motors that started arriving when he signed a new deal barely touches the sides. Last month he splashed out £14,500 on a Rolex Santos wristwatch for his mother Melanie’s birthday.

He has an obsession with Balenciaga — a luxury French fashion brand — and has more than 30 pairs of their £400-a-pop shoes to choose from each morning.

Buys his mum a watch! The swine.

Dave Horrocks, development officer at Manchester junior club Fletcher Moss Rangers where Rashford started out as a youngster, says of the player he actually knows: “Marcus comes form a lovely family. He is a smashing kid, very humble and so quiet and unassuming.”

Well, that’s the way he rolls.

Posted: 3rd, October 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: Manchester United park the bus and Chelsea never lose

Arsenal are on the up. With four wins and one draw from their past five games, and with just one goal conceded in that period, Arsene Wenger’s team have recovered from their early season defeats to Stoke (in which they were unlucky and robbed by poor refereeing) and Liverpool (where they got the thrashing their abject performance deserved). It also behoves a mention to note that following Arsenal’s 2-0 win over a spark West Bromwich Albion, the Gunners have won eight consecutive home games in the Premier League.

But in the Sun, the forecast at The Emirates remains grim. Therein they are “FALTERING Arsenal”. You “could not disguise just how far the Gunners are falling behind their major rivals. While City, United and Chelsea are brushing opponents aside with contemptuous ease, Arsene Wenger’s team are labouring to see off even the most unambitious of rivals.”

 

Arsenal table

Arsenal “far behind” at one point away from third sport

 

Arsenal drew 0-0 at Chelsea in a game they could well have won, hitting the post and missing an open goal from inside six yards. And that’s the same Chelsea who lost at home to the mighty Burnley. Manchester City were flukey away to Bournemouth, scoring a very late goal courtesy of Raheem Sterling’s boot and a massive deflection, and drew 1-1 with Everton. Manchester United have drawn 2-2 with Stoke, and last weekend beat Southampton 0-1. Of that match the Sun’s sister paper, the Times, called United’s performance “strangely lethargic”. Adding:

Given the lead by Lukaku, United went into abject retreat in the second half when Southampton had the bulk of possession and most of the chances. At the final whistle, United had six defenders on the pitch, while the home side brought on two attackers, a fair reflection of the balance of power.

Manchester United parked the bus. So much for “brushing aside opponents with contemptuous ease”. United and City have yet to play any of their title rivals.

And what of West Bromwich Albion being unambitious? The Evening Standard reports:

Pulis had employed a more ambitious West Brom lineup than might have been expected, with Hal Robson-Kanu and Rodriguez making for a mobile, high-pressing front two.

It’s hardly perfect at Arsenal, but to ignore the facts and stick to a bogus narrative is poor reporting.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 26th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Manchester City, manchester united, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: Sanchez leaves Higuain and joins Manchester United

Hard luck on Arsenal fans: Alexis Sanchez is on his way to Manchester United. The Sun has the scoop, leading with the “TRANSFER EXCLUSIVE”.

 

SAnchez arsenal manchester united

 

No word on whence the story emerged. No source quoted. Just the simple fact that Manchester United want Alexis Sanchez, and he’s on his way for a £25m signing-on fee.

Readers might be little more circumspect.  This is the Sun, after all, the paper that told us Gonzalo Higuain joined Arsenal in 2013.

 

higuain arsenal sign

 

 

Undeterred by fact – he never joined – the Sun continues to publish the story on its website. Although it was “Updated: 5th April 2016, 7:12 am” to now read:

 

ARSENAL last night smashed their transfer record when they agreed a £23million fee for Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain.

 

ARSENAL last night smashed their transfer record when they agreed a £23million fee for Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain…Wenger believes that the capture of Higuain will convince other world-class stars to join.

This is despite Higuain telling the Times in December 2013:

“I did not speak to them [Arsenal]. They said Arsenal wanted to sign me, that they were there negotiating [with Real Madrid], but it was Napoli who came and bought me.”

As for Alexis Sanchez, well, he plays for Manchester City. We read that fact in the Sun.

 

MANCHESTER CITY will make a final £70million bid to land Alexis Sanchez with the deal now set to go through by tonight.

In another exclusive, readers learn:

MANCHESTER CITY will make a final £70million bid to land Alexis Sanchez with the deal now set to go through by tonight.

Sanchez never did join Man chester City.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 24th, September 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester United balls: what Maja Nilsson didn’t say about executive boxes

Seats are pricey at Manchester United. Even a footballer on astronomical wages is upset at the cost of watching the Red Devils. The Daily Mirror says Victor Lindelof’s fiancee “blasts” Man United over “‘disgusting £82,000 cost for Old Trafford executive boxes'”.

And where one tabloid leads, another dutifully follows – although in the Sun, Maja Nilsson, for that is she, is reduce to a “WAG”:

 

manchester united  Victor Lindelof’s fiancee

 

The story tells readers:

“Jose Mourinho’s squad can hire the luxury suites for their family and friends at home games with prices ranging from £24,000 to £81,600.”

So the top price is just under £82,000. And what did she say? This:

“Players have the option to rent a box,” Nilsson said on her podcast, called Livet På Läktaren (Life in the Stands). “I’m not even going to tell you for how much, but a disgusting amount. If you don’t buy one you’re considered a loser. But having a box is wonderful. You get your own waiter.”

The story has been removed from both the Sun and Mirror’s websites.

Posted: 21st, September 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester United balls: star fan Kim John-Un makes third visit

Huge news. Huge! The Sun has the scoop: “Kim Jong-un is a Manchester United fan who believes North Korean footballers will eventually be flooding to the Premier League.”

Of course, what hereditary despot Mr Kim believes might be lot more terrifying than his dream of cheering on North Koreans in Manchester United colours.

But there it is. If North Korea wants it badly enough, exporting footballing talent might well be its biggest source of income. But, like you, we wonder how the Sun came by this “exclusive”? Putting North Korea and Manchester United into one headline is sure to attract clicks. But is it true?

 

the sun North Korea Manchester United

 

The story continues:

A close friend of the nuclear tyrant revealed to SunSport how he loves the beautiful game and never misses a major football tournament.

Tyrant’s pal calls British tabloid to talk foot.

Italian senator Antonio Razzi confirmed the crackpot dictator had told him during private conversations of his love for the Red Devils.

But when asked if Kim compared himself to any United heroes such as Eric Cantona or Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Razzi told The Sun: “No, Kim is Kim — he is the only one.”

So Ibra it is, then.

And be in no doubt that news of Kim’s love for Manchester United is an exclusive, and as such should not be confused with the Mirror’s August 2014 story: “Kim Jong-Un is Manchester United fan”.

 

 

And:

 

You heard it there first!

Posted: 12th, September 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Politicians, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester United wanted Arsenal’s Wenger but ended up with Mourinho and his questionable values

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger turned down the role at Manchester United. According to former Man United chairman Martin Edwards, the Red Devils approached Wenger to manage the club when Sir Alex Ferguson announced his intention to retire. On May 18 2001, Ferguson told MUTV: “I will be leaving Manchester United at the end of the season and that is it.” In 2016, Ferguson called the decision his “biggest mistake”. He changed his mind in January 2002.

That was a blow to Sven Goran-Eriksson, the former England manager who has said that he signed a deal in 2002 to replace Ferguson. In Sven: My Story, Eriksson notes: “I knew it would be tricky. I had a contract with England until the 2006 World Cup and I would be severely criticised if I broke that contract. But this was an opportunity to manage Manchester United.
A contract was signed — I was United’s new manager.”

In his autobiography, Fergusson admits as much. “The head-hunters were due to meet a candidate to succeed me the following week,” wrote Ferguson. “Sven-Goran Eriksson was to be the new United manager, I believe. That was my interpretation, anyway.”

But this is about Wenger, who says he didn’t move to Old Trafford because he was happy at Arsenal. “I love the values of this club,” says Wenger, “and a club is about values first.”

….

Meanwhile, in Harrod’s department store, London, current Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has bumped into TV presenter Piers Morgan, who reports their conversation. “How the hell is Arsene still in his job?” asks Morgan. “No idea,” says Mourinho, whose family live in London, “but I hope she stays for a long time.”

Clubs can pick a manager but they can’t pick their fans.

 

Posted: 11th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Daily Mail gives Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs an unwarranted kick

Giving footballers a kicking is lazy. Take the Mail’s treatment of former Manchester United great Ryan Giggs, who was in Malta for England’s World Cup Qualifying match on Friday 1 September. The game kicked off at 19:45. Around 2 hours later, Giggs was wrapping things up and heading back to the hotel.

As McDonald’s Head of Welsh Football, Giggs had to get some sleep before heading home to present the Welsh Community Football Awards “to recognise those who dedicate their time, effort and hard work into grassroots football throughout Wales”. The ceremony was set for September 2 at the Cardiff City Stadium, where Giggs’ Wales were taking on Austria in their own World Cup qualifier.

Giggs is working hard

But this is how the Mail reported things:

Ryan Giggs is well known in Malta due to the time he has spent on the island, starting from his early days at Manchester United. He also invested in a hotel group there with Gary Neville.

Nevertheless Giggs, along with ITV colleagues Paul Ince, Ian Wright and Glenn Hoddle, chose to return home from Malta as soon as possible after the game on Friday – even if it meant a 5.30am exit from their hotel on Saturday.

Task! And after all Malta has done for him…

Posted: 5th, September 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester United balls: Lukaku and Rashford as good as Rooney and Berbatov

According to the Daily Mail, Manchester United’s Lukaku/Ibrahimovic/Martial/Rashford are every bit as good as United’s 2007-2009 vintage of Rooney/Ronaldo/Tevez/Berbatov. The paper tells readers:

Rashford and Martial offer lightning pace, skill and a decent chance conversion rate, while Ibrahimovic really needs no introduction.

A decent conversion rate of shots to goals? Not really. Marcus Rashford has nine shots for Manchester United this season and one goal. As for Lukaku being equal to Rooney in his prime and Ibrahimovic, 35, being as exciting as the 23-year-old Ronaldo, well, no, they’re not.

 

Posted: 4th, September 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Bale joins Manchester United is a recurring fantasy

Transfer balls: questioned by Real Madrid’s official website, the club’s manager Zinedine Zidane was asked if Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo (the so-called ‘BBC’) were likely to remain.

“I hope the BBC stay for this season,” he replied. “I hope everyone remains. I want everyone who is here now to stay…but anything can happen right up until August 31.”

On the chance of Kylian Mbappe joining Real, Zidane added: “I’m the coach here and you’d have to ask someone else about that. We’re working on things and we’ll see what happens. We’ve got the players who are here now and we’ll just have to see what happens.”

All coy stuff, then. But stick it through the tabloid mincer and you get:

 

bale manchester united bale manchester united bale manchester united

 

That follows the Daily Express’s news of July 19 2017:

Real Madrid star Gareth Bale has secret agreement to join Man Utd next summer

 

And there was the Manchester Evening News story of May 8 2017:

Gareth Bale has agreed to join Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford next season, should the club be able to guarantee involvement in next season’s elite European competition by winning the Europa League .

The story of Bale to United is a familiar one. In November 2015, the Sun said Bale was heading to Old Trafford and Real were in “crisis”. Bale never came. Real went on to win the Champions League.

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 28th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer Balls: Neymar to Manchester United, Ronaldo’s secret PSG message and clickbait

Transfer Balls: a look at clickbait-led football reporting. The Sun has news on Neymar’s rumoured desire to leave Barcelona to join PSG.

DON’T DO IT. Cristiano Ronaldo tells Neymar not to join Paris Saint-Germain – and wait for Manchester United if he really wants to quit Barcelona

Ronaldo played for Manchester United until he followed his heart and joined Real Madrid. So did he really tell Neymar via WhatsApp to avoid PSG, France’s second best team, and wait to join United, the Premier League’s sixth best side?

The report continues:

Spanish title Diariogol have reported the two superstars have been in close contact discussing Neymar’s proposed £195million move to PSG…

But Neymar should hold out for Manchester United because joining PSG would be a “step backwards”?

And though Ronaldo has told his friend to push for a move to United instead, the Premier League club may already have decided to move on from trying to sign him.

Over on Diariogol, there is not a single quote to support the story. But it’s enough for the Manchester Evening News to thunder: “Cristiano Ronaldo tells Neymar to join Manchester United.” The MEN cites “reports in Spain”. But there’s only one report, and it’s very light on facts.

Meanwhile, readers might recall how not too long ago the British press was reporting Ronaldo’s desire to join…PSG:

 

And:

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 24th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Clickbait Balls: Manchester United and Arsenal fans tricked by world’s worst journalism

sanchez manchester united

 

Transfer Balls: The Manchester Evening News has big news for Arsenal and Manchester United fans: “Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho talks Alexis Sanchez.”

Can it be that Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez is on Manchester United’s shopping list? Having reached the MEN’s scoop through Google News, the story begins:

Jose Mourinho has admitted it is a ‘shame’ Manchester United did not sign Alvaro Morata and appeared to dismiss any chance of a move for Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez.

He only “appeared” to. So there’s a chance Mourinho wants Sanchez.

When Mourinho was asked by a Spanish journalist if United were attempting to sign Morata, he replied in Spanish: “It is a question for Florentino [Perez, the Real president]. I don’t know the first thing about Sanchez.”‘

Weird answer, no? Mourinho just tags Sanchez onto the end of a reply. Has he done that to wind up Arsenal and Manchester City, who were said to be keen on the Chilean? No. He’s not talking about Alexis Sanchez. He’s talking about Jose Angel Sanchez, Real Madrid’s director general.

 

 

But The Metro didn’t even bother to read that. It thunders:

Freudian slip? Jose Mourinho mentions Alexis Sanchez to send Manchester United fans into transfer meltdown

 

 

clickbait manchester united arsenal

 

Undeterred by fact, the Metro coughs up a cut-out-and-keep guff of dire journalism. This is it pretty much the clickbait balls in full:

Jose Mourinho has got Manchester United fans very excited by accidentally mentioning Alexis Sanchez’s name when asked an unrelated question at his post-match press conference.

The Portuguese oversaw a 5-2 victory against LA Galaxy in the early hours of Sunday morning, and afterwards he was asked, among other things, about Real Madrid frontman Alvaro Morata.

But curiously, Mourinho appeared to get the Spanish striker and Arsenal’s wantaway Chilean mixed up, with many fans now speculating that it was a Freudian slip hinting at genuine interest.

When Mourinho was asked by a Spanish journalist if United were attempting to sign Morata, he replied in Spanish: ‘It is a question for Florentino [Perez, the Real president]. I don’t know the first thing about Sanchez.’

The exchange got pulses racing, with United fans debating whether it was an accidental slip of the tongue or something more substantial…

Of course, it is possible that the Special One innocently misspoke, or he would even have been referring to a different player – midfielder Renato Sanches, perhaps.

But even his choice of language – saying ‘I don’t know’ rather than categorically ruling out a transfer… has got United fans hot under the collar.

One day on from that total balls, the Metro reads the clicks, senses that it’s on to something and produces the follow-up piece:

Why Jose Mourinho – not Pep Guardiola – is the perfect manager for Alexis Sanchez

Ewan Roberts didn’t bother to check the source of his opinion piece. He just thunders:

Jose Mourinho doesn’t do innocent slips of the tongue. Depending on how cynical you are, his name-dropping of Alexis Sanchez over the weekend ranks somewhere between a Freudian slip or the planting of a seed. Whether he intended to or not, the Portuguese has inserted Manchester United onto the list of potential suitors for the Chilean – and they may even top it, with Old Trafford arguably a better fit than their sky blue rivals down the road.

 

 

The article based on poor research and what looks like a cynical disregard for readers trawls on and on, pausing a while to produce a graphic of what Sanchez would look like in the United side:

 

 

It’s “random” stuff says one writer at the clickbait-driven Telegraph:

 

 

More great journalism when we spot it.

 

Posted: 20th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Bakayoko makes Chelsea panic and Manchester United fans click

Transfer Ballsa look at dire football reporting.

When Tiemoue Bakayoko was on his way from Monaco to Chelsea, the media was fanning the baseless news story that he was contemplating a last-minute switch to Manchester United,

Above a story about Bakayoko having his medial at Chelsea, the Manchester Evening News told its readers: “Monaco star Tiemoue Bakayoko’s Manchester tweet sends Chelsea fans into meltdown.” The headline had nothing to do with the story, which went on to explain that Bakayoko had been prodded and probed at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground before heading out for dinner with some of the club’s players.

What Chelsea fans were in meltdown over that? The MEN didn’t say.

But that total tosh was topped by the London Evening Standard which managed to corrupt the simple fact ‘Footballer Undergoes Chelsea Medical’ into “Tiemoue Bakayoko tweet sparks panic among Chelsea fans as he arrives in England for £40m transfer”.

Meltdowns. Panics. Might be an idea for jittery Chelsea fans to stay away from the news, which operated in the twilight zone between utter balls and economical truth.

daily express chelsea transfer balls

 

The Express had previously told its readers: “MANCHESTER UNITED have agreed a £35million deal to hijack Chelsea’s move for Tiemoue Bakayoko.”

 

daily express chelsea transfer balls

 

One day and on even the Express clickbait farm admitted the story was bilge: “MANCHESTER UNITED do not want to sign Chelsea target Tiemoue Bakayoko and have not submitted a bid for the Monaco midfielder.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 19th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Ryan Giggs: from Manchester United to anywhere that’ll have him

manchester united ryan giggs manager

 

Not too long ago, Ryan Giggs was being tipped to be the Manchester United manager. And then he wasn’t. Sunderland, Swansea and Middlesbrough all wanted Giggs to manage their club said the Press. But none of them offered him the job.

 

ryan giggs swansea

ryan giggs middlesbrough

 

ryan giggs sunderland

 

Giggs has ambition to manage. But his ambition has been dampened:

Ryan Gigs April 8, 2017: “I’d rather go into a decent League One or Championship team, who’ve got the right ideas and the right aspirations, than a Premier League team who haven’t.”

Ryan Giggs on July 18, 2017: “I would rather coach a League Two team in which philosophy and ambitions match mine rather than going in to the Premier League and firefighting and the owners don’t give you a chance.”

Ryan Giggs – coming to a Conference club near you, soon-ish.

PS: Do you suppose clubs being a tad shy on Giggs has anything to do with this PR disaster?

 

giggs injunction herald

ryan giggs sex

Posted: 18th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: De Gea (and his agent) are ‘desperate’ to leave Manchester United for Real Madrid

Transfer balls – a look at rubbish football reporting: The BBC says Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea, 26, wants to join Real Madrid this summer.

The source of this story is the Daily Express. It’s source is Spain’s Don Balon. The Express says Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is “desperate to land the Spain No 1”. As ever, it’s fun to look at the Spanish report through the prism of Google Translate:

The David de Gea option is still very much alive. The current United goalkeeper is not willing to let the Real Madrid train pass for the umpteenth time and press in the offices of the Santiago Bernabéu through his agent, Jorge Mendes.

With Keylor Navas stuck with his continuity in the white team, the keeper of the Red takes a step forward and maintains a direct line with the Real Madrid controls, as reported by Pipi Estrada in ‘El Chiringuito’: “Jorge Mendes has asked José Ángel Sánchez [Real Madrid CEO] for De Gea and Sánchez has asked him to be patient because the decision has not yet been made. This year there is a lot of happiness because it has won the double, which has not been won for a long time, but next year you have to win again and if you do not win there will be a problem. ”

De Gea is still the right eye of Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, who is waiting for a final PSG move to remove Keylor Navas from Madrid and be able to open the door of Real to Spanish.

This all seems to suggest that De Gea’s agent is agitating for his client’s move. And Perez doesn’t sound “desperate”.

Whatever the source, the report offers no quote from player, club nor agent. We do hear only from one Pipi Estrada, a journalist for Spanish sports TV show El Chiringuito. And that’s a dead end.

With facts in short supply, the Sun picks up the story and thunders:

GET ME OUTTA HERE David De Gea ‘desperate to quit Manchester United for Real Madrid and orders agent to get deal done’

 

GET ME OUTTA HERE David De Gea ‘desperate to quit Manchester United for Real Madrid and orders agent to get deal done’

 

The Sun reports:

Spanish transfer outlet Don Balon claim Madrid will try again this summer, with club president Florentino Perez desperate to land the Spanish international.

De Gea, meanwhile, is said to have told his agent Jorge Mendes to get the deal sorted.

Desperate stuff all round.

The Sun then assures readers:

Agent Jorge Mendes could seal the deal with Real Madrid.

The story gets murkier still when you look back to July 13 – yesterday ! – when the Sun told its readers:

DOUBLE BLOW – Real Madrid give up David De Gea chase while Eden Hazard tells Zinedine Zidane he will not join Champions League winners this summer

 

de gea the sun manchester united

 

The source for that Sun story is – yep – Don Balon:

…according to Don Balon, Real have decided to ditch plans of a bid for De Gea…

Don Balon tells its readers not to panic. Real are far from desperate for De Gea:

Real Madrid, however, has already perfectly located a new candidate to become the starting goalkeeper next season. And at a much more affordable price than De Gea: Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Such are the facts in the twilight world of football reporting.

Posted: 14th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, News, Sports | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Talking Balls: ‘Heroic’ Wayne Rooney walks over ‘burnt bridges’ from Manchester United to Everton

Compare and contrast the news that Wayne Rooney has left Manchester United to play for Everton. Having given his best to United – and taken their money – local lad and Everton diehard Wayne is back where his heart lives. The Sun’s Martin Blackburn calls Rooney’s return to Everton “heroic” – a word you might save for men and women who rescue people from burning buildings rather than a man playing football. He continues:

Everton signing Wayne Rooney a no-brainer with Ronald Koeman bringing in a proven Premier League winner… It has been an exciting close season at Goodison — almost £100million spent already on five new faces before the weekend.

Yet you can be sure none of them – or anyone else who arrives, will have gladdened the hearts of the Gwladys Street quite like this one. – The Sun, Martin Blackburn, 9th July 2017

Hurrah for Wayne, the fans’ hero! Or as he said previously:

Wayne Rooney has a huge decision to make on his future – here are the clubs who could bail him out of his Manchester United misery.

They say you should never go back and maybe Rooney should always be remembered as the boy he was at Goodison rather than the veteran he would be if he made the short trip back along the M62.

Koeman already has Romelu Lukaku as his strike leader while Ross Barkley wants to be the play-making No 10. Would that mean no room for Roo?

Perhaps the bridges have been burned too. After all, he is now reviled on Merseyside because of his 12 years at United. – The Sun, Martin Blackburn 25th October 2016

Blackburn awards any Rooney to Everton deal 2 stars out of five.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 12th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Talking balls: Lukaku is ‘unconvincing’ for Chelsea but ‘sensational’ for Manchester United

Compare and contrast the considered and not-in-the-least-bit-biased views of former Manchester United player turned pundit Phil Neville discussing the life and talent of Romelu Lukaku.

Lukaku has joined Manchester United. Says Neville of the “sensational” new player:

“What you’ve got is a young striker who is proven in the Premier League and he’s got great experience at scoring goals.

“He’s a 20-goals-a-season man and maybe more as he’s getting older in a better team with better service. So £75m seems quite a fair price for somebody of that ability and that age.

“There will be a £100m transfer very shortly, I’m convinced of that, so I ignore the fees now and look at the product and the quality the clubs are buying.” – Phil Nevill, BBC Sport, July 10 2017

When Lukaku looked like he was heading to Chelsea, Phil was less certain:

“I’m not so sure [Lukaku would fit in at Man United]. I would prefer United to go out and get Gareth Bale or Antoine Griezmann, I really would… I see him in the big games and I don’t see a player that grabs and wins a big game on his own.

“I still think there are question marks against Lukaku. Jose sold him and he didn’t play that much at Chelsea, so he knows him well.

“I think the ideal signing would be Harry Kane – but I don’t think United will get him. But Griezmann and Bale, I think these are the players that can take United closer to winning the Premier League.” – Phil Neville, talkSport, May 22, 2017

Such are the facts.

Posted: 11th, July 2017 | In: Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester United balls: Jose Mourinho mocks Arsenal, taunts Chelsea and breathes

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho can be a chippy, snide sort of man. But the man who likes to mask his own shortcomings by goading, belittling and mocking others should be impressed at how the tabloids see meaning in his most mundane observations  “Jose Mourinho aims latest dig at Arsene Wenger over Alexandre Lacazette signing,” says the the Daily Express.

 

man JOSE MOURINHO has mocked Arsene Wenger’s decision to sign striker Alexandre Lacazette with Mancheste mourinho express

 

JOSE MOURINHO has mocked Arsene Wenger’s decision to sign striker Alexandre Lacazette with Manchester United saying the striker has “no stamina, no physical impact and is not a big-game player”.

What a sad sack he is. But hold on a moment. Mourinho didn’t say anything of the sort. Indeed, he didn’t say anything at all. The Express continues:

But a United source said: “Lacazette was followed because he was top scorer in French football – but a lot of his goals were penalties [10 of his 28 goals last season came from the spot]. In the end he wasn’t considered because he has no stamina, no physical impact and isn’t a big-game player.”

Words by Mourinho: nil.
Words by anonymous “source”: meaningless.

And then the Daily Mail hears more sniping. This time Mourinho “taunts” Chelsea over Romelu Lukaku.

 

jose man united balls

 

What did he Jose say about his former club to manutd.com?

“Romelu is a natural fit for Manchester United. He is a big personality and a big player. It is only natural that he wants to develop his career at the biggest club. He will be a great addition to the group and I know they will make him very welcome. I am really looking forward to working with him again.”

Words about his former club Chelsea: nil.
Words about Lukaku’s selling club Everton: nil.
Words on how Lukaku is joining Manchester United because he and his agent will earn a shedload of cash: nil.

If it’s like this now, it’s only going to get worse when the actual football starts.

Posted: 11th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester United sign Stormzy and Lukaku plays Dublin’s Longitude festival

stormzy lukaku

 

Manchester United didn’t sign Romelu Lukaku from Everton. As Ireland’s Evening Herald newspaper reports, those fools at Old Trafford signed Stormzy in error.

Says the paper’s editor Herald Alan Steenson of its scoop:

Hands up, we got it badly wrong. Earlier, we made an error with a picture of Romelu Lukaku that wasn’t him. It was Stormzy.To be honest, we are totally embarrassed and want to say sorry to all involved and our readers for the error. We will keep our eye on the ball in future.

Lukaku is playing the Longitude festival in Dublin on Friday.

Posted: 10th, July 2017 | In: Celebrities, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester United sign exciting Lukaku; Everton catch Rooney on the way down

Romelu Lukaku is a Manchester United player. He’s joined the Red Devils from Everton for £75m. Chelsea matched Man United’s offer but the Belgian striker chose Jose Mourinho’s current side over Jose Mourinho’s old side – the Blues first signed him in 2011; under Mourinho’s management, they flogged him to Everton.

The BBC says Lukaku’s Chelsea snub was because “The Blues were not willing to match the fees Lukaku’s agent, Mino Raiola, would earn if the forward moved to Old Trafford.”

The other ponderable is that United are shipping Wayne Rooney back to Everton. United get Everton’s best player, a vibrant 24-year-old goal getter who’s improved every season and is blessed with eidetic vision; Everton get a sluggish, fading and jaded talent on a free transfer and huge wages.

The Premier League is not a lever playing field. And now Rooney’s playing for a team running up the slope. He’s not going to get better, is he.

 

Posted: 8th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer Balls: Wayne Rooney to leave Manchester United for Everton on a free transfer

The BBC says Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney, 31, is leaving the club. He’s on his way to Everton. If other moves go according to plan, he’ll team up at Goodison with Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, 30, to form the Premier League’s slowest strike partnership.

The Sun says Rooney, 31, has been withdrawn from Manchester United’s pre-season tour of the USA. The paper also adds that so keen are Manchester United to get Rooney off their books, they’re letting him join Everton on a free transfer. The Toffees will pay Rooney’s £250,000 a week wages for the duration of his two-year deal.

Everton are splashing the cash in readiness for Romelu Lukaku’s £90m return to Chelsea. He’ll be big loss to the club.

 

Posted: 5th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0