Sports news, commentary and scores with wit and added value. We compare and contrast the best and worst sports reporting in the mainstream press, blogs, TV and online. We love the English Premier League (Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs, Manchester United and Manchester City) and all things football but we cover cricket, rugby, the Olympics, tennis, golf, F1 and highlights of the sporting year.
MANCHESTER United fans are looking increasingly bitter and sad.To put the tin lid on a season where the club that for so long has held sway over English football fell to bits – and in which local rivals Manchester City won big – they flew a banner over Anfield.
As Liverpool fans and players watched the Premier League title they had looked well set to capture pass them by, overhead the message mocked Reds captain Steven Gerrard:
Surely, the sign should have read: “United 20 – Liverpool 18.”
ARSENAL were last night rocked as Arsene Wenger was offered the Monaco job. The Gunners boss is out of contract at the end of the season but has still not signed a new deal.
KERRY Dixon, formerly of Hitchin Town and Letchworth FC has been arrested on suspicion of trading in cocaine, say reports. Dixon, who played for Reading, Southampton, Luton and Chelsea is, allegedly, the subject of this statement from Bedfordshire Police:
“On Friday (May 2), Bedfordshire Police arrested a 52-year-old man and a 46-year-old woman from Dunstable on suspicion of conspiracy to supply class A drugs. Both were released on police bail with no charge while further enquiries are made.”
Note to new Chelski fans: Dixon was one of your best players before you all got given little plastic flags and they stopped parking cars by the pitch at the once vast Stamford Bridge.
Liverpool Balls: Professor Robbie Savage Forgets To Remember His Predictions For Everton, Spurs And Arsenal
In the May 8th issue of the Daily Mirror, Savage looks back at his foresight:
“Nobody likes a professor of hindsight, but three months ago in this column I warned that the Reds’ title charge would fall just short because they spring too many leaks away from home.”
IS Adam Lallana staying at Southampton? Let’s see what the experts are saying?
The Sun has an “exclusive”:
Kop in £20m bid for Lallana
The Liverpool fans in their famous stand have raised millions to buy the player? No. The story is:
LIVERPOOL have made a £20million swoop for Southampton midfielder Adam Lallana.
HOW tabloid reporting work with the Daily Mirror’s John Cross:
Luis Suarez is such a runaway winner as PFA Player of the Year it’s ridiculous. He’s been the best by a mile.
— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) April 18, 2014
Later that day, The Daily Mirror wrote:
Manchester City’s Yaya Toure says being African denies him individual recognition he deserves
On May 5, Cross tweeted:
Luis Suarez is @theofficialfwa Footballer of the Year. I was a bit torn but I voted for Yaya Toure.
— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) May 5, 2014
It’s all about consistency…
LAST night Yaya Toure scored a terrific goal to put the tin lid on Manchester City’s 4-0 win over Aston Villa. But how did the Daily Mail present the strike?
* The Villa player facing the wrong way
* Toure hitting the ball with his left foot
* The banana shot that bends to the right but ends up in the goal’s left-most corner
* The two other City players in close support
The picture is just like the actual goal, then. For all those football fans unable to see the goal on the telly or the web, the Mail’s illustration is an invaluable resource.
And from another angle:
ARE Arsenal set to buy Bayern Munich’s Javi Martinez?
The Telegraph says they could be:
“Arsenal make approach to Bayern Munich for transfer of Javi Martinez”
But maybe the Gunners will invest that “£100m” transfer budget in Lars Bender? Big money, eh. Or as the Irish Indy notes: “Arsene Wenger warns Arsenal fans not to expect big money signings.” So lots of little signings, then, for that £100m? Er, no. The Mirror says:
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says he will only make ‘two or three’ signings this summer
Back to the Tele, which continues:
Bender is another Germany-based player who interests Wenger and, although he might be slightly cheaper than Martinez, would still cost around £25 million.
UNSURE why Fulham have been relegated from the Premier League? Mohammed AL Fayed knows:
“This statue was a charm and we removed the luck from the club. When (Shahid Khan) asked me to move it I said ‘You must be crazy’. But now he has paid the price because the club has been relegated.”
The statue was, of course, this one of Michael Jackson, erected outside Craven Cottage in April 2011.
IN readiness for the World Cup, Brazil’s Globo newspaper has launched a webpage featuring the correct way to pronounce many of the tournament’s players’ names. Now commentators can get those funny foreign names spot on, no longer pronouncing Holland’s Arjen Robben as “Tumbling Tosspot”, as many English pundits do.
It’s fair;y entertaining stuff. But one part stands out: Neymar, Brazil’s great hope, is playing for England. For anyone interested, his name is pronounced “Steve”.
Ps. Neymar is so good he’s playing for everyone else , too:
HOW tabloid journalism, works, with the Sun’s Neil Curtis:
“If City could axe Mancini, surely Manuel faces chop now.”
THE betrayal of Roberto Mancini might just be coming back to haunt Manchester City.
LAST night Liverpool did their best to reenact the 2005 Champions League final when the Reds came for 3-0 down to take the game in Turkey to penalties – which they won. Three goals up against Crystal Palace, Liverpool blew it.
This was Constantinopool 2014.
Brendan Rodgers’ team can still win the title, but the winds are with Manchester City, who now need to lose one of their two remaining home matches for Liverpool to taste ultimate victory. That’s unlikely.
As one wag put it: “Sad to see Liverpool choke like Suarez on a particularly gristly bit of Ivanovic.”
FLASHBACK to April 9th 1975:
A cause for dressing room celebration at Stamford Bridge by West Ham United players after they defeated Ipswich Town. (Left to right) Trevor Brookings, Pat Holland, goalscorer Alan Taylor, Bobby Gould (behind scorer), unidentified player with towel, Graham Paddon (dressed) and John McDowell.
IT was like the 2005 Champions’ League final all over again – but this time it was Liverpool tossing away a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 with Crystal Palace. The Premier League title is Manchester City’s to lose now…
STEVE Stammers has news for all Arsenal fans reading his Daily Mirror column. The Gunners are all set to buy Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa transfer for £31m.
Arsenal are set to make an audacious move for Diego Costa.
The 25-year-old Atletico Madrid star has a £31million release clause in his contract…
FLASHBACK to May 4 1976: Liverpool win the League with a win at Wolves. Liverpool needed a win or low-scoring draw to pip QPR to the title.
They did it, winning 3-1. The defeat meant Wolves were relegated.
In this photo, we see the dressing room. No selfies back then:
Liverpool celebrate winning the League Championship after their 3-1 victory: (clockwise from top l) Tommy Smith, Ian Callaghan, Steve Heighway, Phil Thompson, Jimmy Case, Kevin Keegan, Emlyn Hughes, Phil Neal, David Fairclough, Ray Kennedy, Ray Clemence
IS Jose Mourinho going a bit, you know, Tonto?
In the Programme notes for Chelsea’s match with Norwich, Jose delivered a few words to his son. The lad’s name? Oh come on. It’s Jose Junior. D’ur!
Thank you, kid, for being my kid.
CHELSEA fan Connor is banned from Stamford Bridge. Why? What did he do? Is he a hooligan, a Headhunter? Did he call someone a “fu*king black cu*t“? No. That doesn’t get you a stadium ban. That just gets you banned from going on the pitch during the game.
No. What Connor did was to engage is ‘Persistent Standing’.
He is guilty of what police, Government and everyone who hates football calls “anti-social behaviour”. He is guilty of displaying passion.
And then it came to pass that Tim proved himself to be not all that good. In fact, he is worse then AVB.
DIEGO COSTA will play for Chelsea next season. Says the Sun in the “exclusive”:
A top Stamford Bridge source confirmed last night: “Diego Costa will be a Chelsea player next season. It’s a done deal.”
He’s joined for £32m?
Or as Goal.com says:
DONE DEAL: Diego Costa agrees to £35m Chelsea move
AND Manchester United’s next manager is… Harold Bishop, from the hit daytime telly show, Neighbours.
MIDDLESBROUGH FC fans Julie Phillips, 50 and Gemma Parkin, 18, travelled to see their club play Birmingham City at St Andrew’s on December 7, 2013. They went equipped with a copy of the Koran, not to hold in prayer as they willed their team to score. Julie, a Middlesbrough Council employee, ripped pages from the religious text and distributed them to other fans to shred.
The pair ended up at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court, where they claimed they had no idea the book in their hands was the Koran. Parkin said she’d been handed it at a Birmingham market. They claimed they were simply “making confetti”.
Only – get this – they had told a steward they were ripping up a copy of the Koran. Oops. That’s idiots for you.
Steward Matthew Corns told the court he heard chants about Muslims and the Koran as the book was passed around and ripped up.
“I was mortified. Very ashamed and disgusted in myself. It was just a book of some sort, I can’t remember if the cover was on. It was just white paper.”
BACK in December 2013, after Chelsea lost to Sunderland in the Capital One Cup quarter-final, a pouting Jose Mourinho told the media:
“We may have to take a step back in order to be more consistent at the back. It’s something I don’t want to do, to play more counter-attacking, but I’m giving it serious thought. If I want to win 1-0, I think I can, as I think it’s one of the easiest things in football. It’s not so difficult, as you don’t give players the chance to express themselves.”
Last night, Jose’s joyless Chelsea were 1-0 up away to Atletico Madrid in the semi-final of the Champions’ League. They then let in three without further troubling the scorers.
To think, they used to call him The Special One.
Never go back….
FLASHBACK to April 29, 1950: Arsenal take on Liverpool in the FA Cup final:
London’s April downpour couldn’t damp the enthusiasm of these Liverpool girls, garlanded with the colours their team and ringing a hand-bell, as they toured the city before going to Wembley Stadium
DID you look at the kit Arsenal and England’s David Seaman wore at Euro ’96 and think ‘I want me one of those’?
His second kit was little better.
Joel did. He looked at strip of man-made vomit fibres and thought it a good look.
But when Joel looked for “Euro 96 England goalkeeper kit” on the web, he found nothing.
And then – a mere ten years of searching later – Joel posted the following photo to his Facebook page.
Now Joel never leaves home without it: