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.
ROBBIE Savage straps on his flip-flops and delivers his insightful views on football in the Daily Mirror. Savage has been talking about Manchester United and David Moyes:
“If United had gone out of Europe this week, I would have feared the worst for Moyes. Now I believe he will be given the summer to build his own team, which is the right solution.”
THERE is something unsettling about Jose Mourinho, the Chelsea manager now in his second coming to the Blues. A successful man in his chosen field of expertise, Mourinho would be expected to be confident enough to play it straight. But instead he has all the grandeur of a puppy sat next to a pile of poo.
Those newer Manchester United fans scouring the Premier League for an alternative winning shirt to wear will look at Chelsea, but should realise why they are getting in to.
When he first arrived in the country Mourinho was a tornado whirling on Roman Abramovich’s cash. He was The Special One. He gave good quotes and was entertaining in a way that his team often were not. He managed to deflect attention away from them to himself.
When he returned to Stamford Bridge, Mourinho told the hacks: “Like the Portuguese people of the past, I am a navigator. A bit of an explorer.”
FLASHBACK to November 18, 1978:
Rioting Tottenham Hotspur fans tear down a section of iron railings in a bid to reach the Chelsea supporters before a Division One game at London’s Stamford Bridge ground.
Were you that lone fan on the roof?
DARREN Gough was once a cricketer with Yorkshire and England.
Gough was both talented and likeable. The top English bowler of his generation retired from professional cricket. And Barnsley’s favourite Tory hit even greater heights.
MANCHESTER United fans have become a monocular, retrospective bunch. Used to success in the Alex Ferguson years, a group of them are looking to raise enough money to hire a plane to fly over Old Trafford during Saturday’s game against Aston Villa towing an anti-David Moyes banner behind it.
The campaign began on the Red Issue fanzine’s forum in reaction to the bit-sad corporate slogan-style “Chosen One” banner that is hung in the Stretford End – a banner which had to be closely guarded by an entire garrison of stewards following United’s derby defeat to City on Tuesday night…
OVER on Pies, you can read the Top 12 Most Inane Commentary Comments from former Liverpool striker Michael Owen.
The collective sigh of a nation was palpable when BT Sports announced that Michael Owen was joining their team in co-commentator capacity at the beginning of the season, as subscribers suddenly realised that they were in for at least a season’s worth of beige footballing clichés and banal, perfunctory observations from a man who more or less talks in binary code.
Lo and behold, L’il Mike didn’t let anybody down, causing many a BT Sport viewer to suffer catatonic nervous meltdowns with his colourless delivery and 2D insight.
THE Manuel Pellegrini story is getting to be a bit like George Bush’s plastic turkey. You know that story.? It’s the one about the then President George ‘Dubya’ Bush feeding the US troops a Thanksgiving dinner of plastic turkey. It was utter balls. But the media had a fact they would not let go of. So. Dubya’s plastic turkey became true. Though palpably false, the story lives on.
And so we get to the affable Manchester City manager, Pelligrini. In February 2013, he said:
“If we only consider this season, there is just one club in Manchester and it’s ours.But you cannot forget what United has done in the previous years.”
THE El Clasico football rubber between Real Madrid and Barcelona was at 2-2 when Cesc Fabregas and Pepe executed the fabled double face-grab. It is the peek-aboo.
The face grab, for those of you not au fait with football’s dances, sees the player place two hands onto his face as if holding it in place after being the victim of an horrific act of violence. The crucial elements of this move are:
A) He’s not been hit in the face
B) If he has been hit in the face, it was with the force of a butterfly’s wing wafting a petal
C) If it was an actual hit on the face it was accidental
READERS who recall stories of Chelsea footballer Ashley Cole’s vomit-fuelled extra-martial sex will enjoy the Sun’s report on the player’s love affair with “Ex-Towie star” Pascal Craymer:
ROMEO Ashley Cole has been made to wait THREE MONTHS for sex with his new flame.
Is that Romeo the symbol of doomed eternal love? Romeo who wrote in his book:
When I heard Jonathan Barnett (player’s agent) repeat the figure of £55K, I nearly swerved off the road. He (former Arsenal Director David Dein) is taking the piss Jonathan! I yelled down the phone. I was so incensed. I was trembling with anger. I couldn’t believe what I’d heard.
Who Ate All The Pies has this wonderful clip of former Manchester United player and current Cardiff City manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer talking about Liverpool’s chances for the Premier League title after the Reds tonked his side 6-2.
All post-match interviews will be like this, with the man once nicknamed The Baby-Faced Assassin translating other managers’ words into what they really mean to say.
And, given his brusque manner, is the Norwegian the man to replace Alex Ferguson at United?
ARSENAL were two goals down to Chelsea when referee Andre Marriner sent off Kieran Gibbs for playing goalkeeper. Gunners fans will ague that the ball wasn’t going in, so it can’t be a red-card offence.
But any argument directed at Marriner will fall on deaf ears. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain tried to tell the ref that it was he and not Gibbs who’d used a hand to stop the shot going out for a goal kick. Oxlade-Chamberlain could be seen telling Marriner “It was me”.
WEST Ham United are playing Manchester United, and Hammers’ boss Sam Allardyce has a view:
“We’ll try and burst their bubble. Obviously it’s a big challenge – but normally we do well against United.”
Define normally: West Ham last defeated Man United in the Premier League on December 29, 2007. Since then, they have played each other 11 time sin the league, with United winning 10 times.
Normally United win.
YOU stick up for Andre Villas-Boas – sacked by Spurs and Chelsea – and then he tells his new paymasters and the Zenit St Petersburg fans that he pretty much won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2012.
“I’ve always had success wherever I’ve been… When I didn’t finish the season with Chelsea, the club ended up winning the Champions League. You have to give the players credit, but I was the one who built the team.”
He did not say it was his lifelong dream to manage in Russia, but it can’t be long…
AS the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster in which 96 people died and hundreds more were physically injured, the Reading Chronicle produced this front page:
The other face of football
This turns out not to be a story of people playing sport and keeping fit. The story goes on:
Football hooliganism may be thought of as a relic from a previous age when gangs of denim-clad skinheads held the game to ransom and names like Hillsborough and Heysel were symbols of its ills.
Manchester United Balls: David Moyes Says Van Persie And Arsenal’s Nicklas Bendtner Are Special Players
MANCHESTER United manger David Moyes is delighted with Robin Van Persie, the former Arsenal captain who kept the Red Devils on track for Champions’ League glory with three decisive goals in a 3-2 win over the mighty (it says here) Olympiacos.
“To score a hat-trick in Champions League football is a big thing,” said a giddy David Moyes. “Only certain players in the world are capable of doing it – and Robin is one of them.”
Just RVP and 68 other special players, like Juul Ellerman, Mike Newell, Uwe Rösler and – a role on the drums – Nicklas Bendtner.
UNEXPECTEDLY to most, the Human League’s ‘Don’t You Want Me?’ went top ten midweek. No-one really knew why, especially die-in-the-wool Human League fans. Everyone was pleased all the same.
However, what had happened was Aberdeen FC fans (with excellent taste it has to be said) had been buying the song in droves after they rejigged the famous chorus into “Peter Pawlett baby!”
So with that, let us look at Aberdeen fans being brilliant and some of the other magnificent football fan reworkings of famous pop songs. Some of them might even be better than the originals!