Anorak

Sports | Anorak - Part 40

Sports Category

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.

Arsenal balls: fear and panic sell Laurent Koscielny short

wenger fearArsenal could be without Laurent Koscielny for their next Premier League match at West Bromwich Albion. The Sun says in “WENGER’S PARIS FEARS OVER KOSCIELNY” that the Gunner’s French manager Arsene Wenger “fears” the player is “too traumatised by the Paris attacks to play tomorrow”.

That’s the same player who a couple of days after the mass murder in Paris played for France at Wembley.

What Wenger actually said was – and this was him responding to a question:

“I’ll look how deeply they [Koscielny and his France team-mate Olivier Giroud) are affected. You look for resilience and them showing a desire to play… West Brom is a big game for us so I will talk to him [Koscielny] to see if he is completely recovered and focused… If not I will not play him.”

Fair enough. The player is a human being. But there is something crass about inviting speculation on his mental state and yelling “Star traumatised”. If Koscielny is stressed, surely a back-page headline – being elevated to the biggest story in world sport – is not what he needs.

 

Posted: 20th, November 2015 | In: Arsenal, Reviews, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: tabloid creates epic bullshit.com story about Liverpool and Arsenal ‘target’

daily star bullshit

 

Transfer balls: The Daily Star has a scoop about a “Liverpool target”. The headline tells us:

Liverpool target talks up shock move: It’d be a dream to play for them!

Who is it?

PARIS ST-GERMAIN winger Ezequiel Lavezzi hinted that he’s open to a move away from the French capital.

“Liverpool”. “Move”. “Dream to play for them”.

Chisanga Malata then writes about Lavezzi’s dream:

…the former Napoli star has talked up a move to the Nou Camp by revealing that it’d be a ‘dream’ to play for Luis Enrique’s side. “I’m not going to deny that it would be a dream to play in a team like that,” he said.

Number of times he mentions Liverpool: nil

Respect the Daily Star has for its reader: nil.

Previously in the Star:

 

daily star football

 

He went nowhere.

 

Posted: 19th, November 2015 | In: Liverpool, Reviews, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Chelsea, Manchester United and Bayern Munich in Robben story plot

Transfer balls: Is Arjen Robben heading back to the Premier League to play for Manchester United?

Yes, says the Daily Express. He is. The paper’s headline is definitive:

Former Chelsea winger agrees January move to Manchester United

 

robben balls

 

 

Why wold Robben agree to join Man United now?

Adam Skinner writes:

United manager Louis van Gaal is keen to add some pace to his forward line and Robben is understood to be keen to leave Bayern Munich.

Well, d’uh. He’s agreed to join Manchester United. You told us that, Adam. Not sure how well that will go down with Bayern Munich fans when they watch him play for the German giants before the transfer window opens in January.

Skinner continues:

The Daily Mirror claim the former Chelsea winger is unsettled as a result of the fall-out and is relishing the chance to move back to England for a second crack at the Premier League.

What the Mirror claims is an actual done deal in the Express.

Van Gaal has already expressed his desire to make a marquee signing in the January transfer window and might continue his spending spree after completing a deal for the 31-year-old.

Might? And, Skinner, a marquee is a big tent not a human being.

Having made a statement and then denied it, Skinner adds:

Robben could form one half of a sensational double deal, with Gareth Bale also thought to be at the top of a list of targets.

Could. Thought. Might.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 19th, November 2015 | In: Chelsea, manchester united, Reviews, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Darren Raekwon McIntosh-Buffonge gets the Manchester United bullshit.com treatment

Manchester United have agreed terms with 17-year-old Darren Raekwon McIntosh-Buffonge. A mere five years ago, Darren was let go by Arsenal. He then tried his luck at Fulham. And now he’s signed a scholarship contract at Old Trafford.

Bit deal for him. But not a big deal for Arsenal nor Man United – unless you read your news in the Metro, where the move is:

 Done deal: Man United confirm signing of brilliant ex Arsenal midfielder

Good grief.

 

 

Posted: 19th, November 2015 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Reviews, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Chelsea and Manchester United linked to Spurs Dele Alli

Spurs midfielder Dele Alli played a blinder on his England debt. He tackled, scored a belter and moved well. At just 19, Spurs have a rising star in their ranks.

Ali is good enough for England. He’s good enough for Tottenham. But the Daily Express wonders: is she could enough for Chelsea or Manchester United? Bruce Archer asks the question no-one else is:

 

alli chelsea transfer

 

Spurs sit above dull, money-mad Chelsea in the Premier League table. They are just behind dull, money-mad  Manchester United.

Why leave?

 

Posted: 19th, November 2015 | In: Sports, Spurs | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester United: Louis van Gaal on buying bargains and brain training

Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal has been talking with the Telegraph:

On his vocation:

Already, when I was a boy, I knew I wanted to be a trainer-coach. I lived near the Ajax training ground and I watched the training sessions. All my friends were looking to the players and I was looking to the coach. It was a big difference.

On self-awareness

I have played at the highest level in the Netherlands, until I was 32. But I was not a top player.
I know that when you analyse yourself, that you cannot be a top player. So, I knew in advance that I shall be maybe a very good trainer-coach.

On making Ajax

We didn’t have any money and we were bankrupt, so I had to look to youth. We scouted [Jari] Litmanen, a Finnish player, who we bought for £10,000. We also bought Finidi George. He was a Nigerian international. He was £3,000. I paid it by myself! And then, we bought Marc Overmars.

On his philosophy

When you see my press conferences, I’m discussing a lot my philosophy. Sometimes, the media is not very proud of it. But, sometimes, they are firmly crazy for it because I explain a lot. It takes always a little bit of time to transfer the message. I’m training in the brain – a lot of things in the brain – because football is not a sport of legs, it is a sport of brain, and tactics. So, that takes a lot of time.

On his job

I’m from a time where you [the manager] did everything. Now I’m the manager and I have a sports science department, I have a scouting department, I have a medical department, I have assistant managers, I have assistant coaches. I don’t do anything – nothing! I delegate. I delegate, and I earn a lot of money.

Read it all.

 

Posted: 18th, November 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: Messi to the Emirates for £1 a week

Is Lionel Messi going to play for Arsenal? No. Of course he isn’t. But the ludicrous story is doing the rounds.

It began on Monday, when the Daily Star’s David Woods thundered:

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 15.28.48

 

LIONEL MESSI wants a staggering £600,000 a week to play in the Premier League.

Why not make it a £1m a week? why are only Mn United, Cheslea and Arsenal eyeing the world’s best player – why not AFC Bournemouth or Aston Villa, too. After all, they cannot afford him just as much as Chelsea can’t.

The story continues:

The four-time World Footballer of the Year is open to a move to England after falling foul of the tax authorities in Spain.

But the Barcelona superstar’s staggering demands look to have priced him out of the budgets of even big-spending Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

He had us right up til ‘Arsenal’, which pay less for talent than those other clubs.

The 28-year-old Argentina ace is understood to favour moving to London, with the Gunners his preferred option if he quits Barcelona.

If. He won’t. But three days on from that nonsense the Independent has more news:

 

Lionel Messi to Arsenal: Gunners fans start crowdfund project to pay Barcelona superstar’s reported £600,000-a-week wages

 

Not quite. One Arsenal fan tweeted a joke:

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 15.43.36

 

£1 is not enough to buy Messi – but it is enough to make a national newspaper write about it.

 

Posted: 18th, November 2015 | In: Arsenal, Reviews, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: ‘getting rid’ of players is easy for laptop managers

Arsenal daily mirror

 

A charming story in the Daily Mirror catches out eye. The paper invites readers to suggest which Arsenal footballer should be put out of work, or at least on a reduced wage:

Arsenal keep or sell: Which players should the Gunners get rid of in the January transfer window?

Perhaps Arsenal players should poll their staff to see if the journalist who dreamt up that hideous feature should be sacked or transferred to a regional title in, say, Belgium?

 

 

Posted: 18th, November 2015 | In: Arsenal, Reviews, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester United staffer in nominative determinism tribunal

In “Women peep in Utd loos”, the Sun reports on Marcus King, a man who claims that whilst working at Manchester United’s training ground he was spied on by three women. “He told a a tribunal he heard sniggering outside the disabled toilet when he sat on the loo.

The three women he alleges bullied him at work are all called…Sue.

The case of reverse nominative determinism continues.

 

Posted: 18th, November 2015 | In: manchester united, Money, Reviews, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Chelsea in for Berahino and agree to meet Sneijder release clause

Chelsea are looking to buy West Brom striker Saido Berahino. The Daily Telegraph says the 22-year-old is valued at £20m.

Chelsea are also hopeful of signing Valencia’s Algeria winger Sofiane Feghouli, 25. Well, so says Fichajes, which has little by way of fact to support the claim.

That’s not all. The trusty Metro says Chelsea are on track to sign Bologna midfielder Amadou Diawara, 18.

The Daily Express claims Chelsea and Valencia are among “the top 15” clubs in the world keen on Lyon’s Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi, 22. Yeah, just the top 15 clubs. Hard cheese on the top 16th club, which, as the player’s agent knows, is AFC Bournemouth.

And to round things up Chelsea will very soon sign Galatasaray’s Wesley Sneijder, 31, Fanatik claims Chelsea will meet the player’s release terms. 

 

Posted: 18th, November 2015 | In: Chelsea, Reviews, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal manager wants drug cheats exposed – why bother?

Arsenal manger Arsene Wenger wants more testing for drugs in football. Having already said his Arsenal side have faced sides using performance-enhancing drugs “many times”, Wenger  said yesterday:

“I’m not satisfied with the  level of testing because I believe blood tests should be done….Urine checks are superficial and not deep enough to say absolutely sure that we have no drug problem in football. Can you have 740 players at a World Cup and come out with zero doping? It’s a little bit surprising.”

But why not Let athletes take whatever drugs they want. If the drugs aren’t damaging their health, why not let allow drugs and so ensure all sportsmen are in the know?

And can any drug make a footballer more skilful? Can it sharpen the brain and muscles to good effect, more than adrenalin, caffeine or sugar? Should all steroids be banned – even the ones that aid recovery from injury?

 

 

Posted: 17th, November 2015 | In: Arsenal, Reviews, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


England v France: British tabloids sing La Marseillaise in a bikini

It helps, of course, that La Marseillaise is the world’s most sing-alongable national anthem. England football fans can sing it when the Three Lions play Les Blues at Wembley.

The Daily Mirror is here to help everyone who doesn’t have access to the internet learn the lines to the stirring tune:

 

tumblr_nxxkwlfnzJ1u5f06vo1_1280 (1)

 

Other newspapers support the French:

tumblr_nxxkwj3Ede1u5f06vo1_1280 tumblr_nxxl1kCdOv1u5f06vo1_1280

 

But the winning newspaper is the Daily Star with its bikinis (traditions French attire) and balls.

 

tumblr_nxxkmwpBlF1u5f06vo1_1280

Posted: 17th, November 2015 | In: Reviews, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal have a one in eight chance of beating Man City to Premier League title

The Timesfootball writers have ben indulging in a spot of international break chatter.

Final Premier League top four – predictions:

MD: Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur.
OK: Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur.
MH: Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur.
JD: Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur.
GC: Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur.
RS: Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea.
AR: Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Southampton.
TB: Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United.

City are going o walk it…

 

Posted: 16th, November 2015 | In: Arsenal, Manchester City, Reviews, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Arsenal and Liverpool ‘battle’ for Xhaka (who wants to stay in Germany)

Transfer balls: The trusty Daily Star says Liverpool and Arsenal are competing to sign Borussia Mochengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka.

The Star says Arsenal and Liverpool are in a “battle” for the player.

According to Bild, the 23-year-old is interested in a move to the Premier League despite committing his long-term future to the German club.

Other British newspapers log in and repeat the claim:

Daily Express: “Liverpool to upset Arsenal with £20m bid for star midfielder”

The Metro: “Arsenal ready to seal Granit Xhaka transfer”

The Sun: “Liverpool and Arsenal preparing to go head to head for Granit Xhaka”

Over to Bild, then, where we read:

Xhaka for 28 million to Klopp?

Any headline in the form of a question can be answered ‘no’.

Gladbach Leitwolf is according to British media on the list of two star-coaches of the Premier League: Arsene Wenger (66 / Arsenal) – and Jürgen Klopp (48 / Liverpool)!

The Bild story is sourced in the British media. But there’s no link. It’s a baseless rumour repeated in England and Germany.

Xhaka, who has extended his contract with Borussia to 2019, does say:

“As long as I feel comfortable in Gladbach, there’s no reason to change what. I’m really happy here. We play great football – with the captaincy, a childhood dream has come true for me. “

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 16th, November 2015 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Pick who we want to: murdering Islamists and right-on Westerners bring fear to football

12 Jul 1998: Zinedine Zidane (no.10) of France is hailed by his team mates after a match winning performance in the World Cup Final against Brazil at the Stade de France in St Denis. Zidane scored twice as France won 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Stu Forster/Allsport

 

Writing in the Sun, former England football captain Alan Shearer mentions the horror in Paris. He says he was in Paris only recently. It never crossed Shearer’s mind the city was dangerous as he ate dinner at a restaurant. He talks of the thought that all football fans will wonder about their safety at the match. All true.

But then he turns football into a moral force. He recalls the great France side that won the 1998 World Cup, and how its players from a range of backgrounds “brought French people…together”:

“It is even more important now that Euro 2016 does that again and show a united front in the face of those terrorists.”

That France team did not win because the players were black, white or brown. They won because they were the best team. In Shearer’s call for sport to have a public message, the public are cast as bovine, simple minds who know only what they are told.

It’s suggestive of the insecurity that allows the enemy inside the gates; the idea that if France drops or picks a Muslim, Jewish or black footballer there will be massacres and race riots.

The lack of trust in ourselves aligns us with the loons aiming to murder Western ideals and ways of life. The jihadi seeking reason in a death-cult will not be appeased by a quota of Muslim footballers in the France side, just as picking a team to a proscribed, compliant, morally pure, self-conscious agenda fails to show a nation in a positive, liberal, progressive and confident light. One side seeks to annihilate the West; the other to undermine it and bare its uncertain heart, a culture riddled with self-doubt and self-loathing.

If freedom counts for anything, it means freedom to choose; to say what we feel; to pick a football team based on hope not fear.

We’ll sing what we want to. We’ll pick who we want to.

Posted: 16th, November 2015 | In: Key Posts, Reviews, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Chelsea balls: Cesc Fabregas swears he loves Mourinho

fabregas sleep

 

The Sun says Cesc Fabregas, the loyal footballer seen kissing the badge at Arsenal, Barcelona and now Chelsea, is “FEELING EFFING MAD”.

This is Fabregas, the Chelsea player who denied being the rat in the camp leading a “revolt” against Jose Mourinho, the team’s manager.

The Spaniard today opines, “This season is being f*****! It’s been tough. Last season was excellent, except for the Champions League, which was a shame… When things are going your way, you flick the ball with your heel and it flies into the top corner, whereas now every piledriver is going off target. Either way, we need to get back to winning ways sooner rather than later.”

He then talks about Mourinho: “Things with Mou are good… I cannot support Jose even more than I am doing. I am always saying he deserves it, 100 per cent. We are not playing well but that does not mean we are not in favour of the manager or something like that.”

 

IMAG0694

 

Is he protesting a tad too much?

Inside the paper, we hear Fabregas saying he can’t sleep when Chelsea lose. He turns the game over and over in his mind.

 

fabregas

 

Lest any Chelsea fan think Fabregas is a self-serving rat on a mission to buff his own faltering reputation, the Express leads its sports coverage with a picture of the player laying the ball he received for his man-of-the-match display when Spain beat England outside the French embassy in Madrid.

What odds the photographer should be there to see selfless Cesc the good arrive…

Posted: 16th, November 2015 | In: Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Manchester United ‘swoop’ for star striker

transfer ballsTransfer balls: Manchester United are looking at Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy. The Sun says Man United manger Louis Van Gaal is “weighing up move for Premier League’s top goalscorer”.

The Premier League is rubbish, isn’t it. Leicester City are third in the table, one point off top spot. They have in Vardy a striker who cannot stop scoring. And yet the story is that Manchester United – one place behind Leicester – are wondering if Vardy is good enough to play for THEM.

 

The England striker has been in sensational form this season and has already netted 12 Premier League goals. His performances have not gone unnoticed at Old Trafford, with United boss Louis van Gaal reportedly weighing up a £15million swoop.

The Sun then tells Leicester City fans that waving goodbye to their fizzing player is a good deal.

Any deal would see the Foxes make a huge profit on a player they signed from Fleetwood Town for just £1m.

For £14m Leicester can make their rivals better and reduce themselves. Why do that?  And why would Vardy want to leave a side he’s thriving at to be a bit-part player at a desperate Old Trafford?

Posted: 15th, November 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Manchester United sign Robben and Muller but Kroos gets lost

Transfer balls: The Sunday Mirror says Manchester United are looking to make a move for Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben.

Apparently, Robben is “at war” with team-mate Robert Lewandowski.

Robben will be 32 in January.

Why would he leave winning Bayern, where he’s contracted to until 2017, to play for Louis Van’ Gaal’s also-rans?

The British papers are full of Manchester United shopping at Bayern, but as yet all they’ve secured is early middle-aged Hitler doll model Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Just take this scoop in the Daily Mail:

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 09.06.29

 

And in the Express.

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 09.11.42

 

Kroos signed for Real Madrid. Robben signed a new deal with Bayern. And Muller “is set to sign a new contract with Bayern Munich”, according to this week’s Daily Express.

Posted: 15th, November 2015 | In: manchester united, Reviews, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Chelsea balls: Costa sold, Falcao leaves, Griezmann arrives

Atletico de Madrid Diego Costa from Brazil celebrates after scoring against Real Madrid during the Copa del Rey final soccer match at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Friday, May 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

 

Transfer balls: The Sunday Mirror says Chelsea are ready to sell Diego Costa, 27.

The paper says Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho would have sold Costa last summer had he been able to find a replacement.

Andy Dunn says “a Costa sale was closer than most think”.

Dun’s scoop is not exactly new news. In January 2015, Deportes (Spain) said Chelsea had offered Cost to Real Madrid. That news was translated by the Express:

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 08.20.22

 

Although it comes as a shock to the Independent’s Jack De Menezes, who told his readers:

Diego Costa to Real Madrid: Seven reasons why Chelsea have not offered their striker for a transfer

Reasons include: he’s good; he scores; having played for Atletico any move to city rivals Real would see him booed and jeered; and “Francois Gallardo – the Spanish journalist claiming Chelsea have offered Costa to Real – is a bit of a character. He was the source of the rumours that claimed Lionel Messi was on his way out of Barcelona last year”.

Back in the Mirror, Dunn adds that should Chelsea not be able to sell Coast in January – and should they not be able to buy a better replacements – the deal will not go ahead. If that speculation is true, then Costa cuts an unhappy figure. Chelsea want him gone, and he is keen to leave.

The Sunday Express says Chelsea will opt for Antoine Griezmann, but he has just signed a new deal at Atletico Madrid. A bid in the region of £50m is touted.

The Sun on Sunday adds that Chelsea flop Radamel Falcao, 29, (formerly known as Manchester United flop Rademal Falcao) is off to Monaco if Chelsea can work out how to end his loan move.

Why thye ever signed the struggling Colombian in the first place is a discussion Roman Abramovich should have with Jose Mourinho (agent Jorge Mendes) and Falcao’s agent (Jorge Mendes).

 

Posted: 15th, November 2015 | In: Chelsea, Reviews, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Real Madrid ‘steal’ Chelsea’s Eden Hazard

Real Madrid have recommenced their tapping up for Chelsea’s Eden Hazard. Real coach Zinedine Zidane tells media:

“Do I see him going to Real Madrid ? Ask someone else. I love the player and that’s all.”

The Mirror says Zidane “has stepped up Real Madrid’s bid to crowbar yet another player out of the Premier League”.

Crowbar? Is the paper’s Darren Lewis deluded? Crowbar suggests a robbery, an attempt to nick the prize. No Premier League club can rival Real Madrid or Barcelona for glamour. They are European football’s ultimate clubs. Real don’t need a crowbar; they only need to beckon.

Zidane is telling Hazard he would be welcome at the mighty Real. A bid is surely inevitable. Zidane adds:

“After Messi and Ronaldo, Hazard is my favourite player. I love watching him because he is a player who creates things and it is often spectacular to see him play.”

He previously said:

“Obviously, there is Lionel Messi and Ronaldo, both of whom are spectacular, but I like Eden Hazard more. I like everything he does on the field. I like his behaviour, his decisiveness and love to see his progress every year.”

Adios, Eden.

 

Posted: 14th, November 2015 | In: Chelsea, Reviews, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Ronaldo to Chelsea but Manchester United have his pension book

Transfer balls: the Sun leads its sports section with news that Manchester United are sure – dead sure – of signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid. In an “exclusive”, Neil Curtis says United will see off any offers from Chelsea, whose owner Roman Abramovich has made Ronaldo his ‘No.1 target”.

It’s a little odd that two top side would appear so desperate to sign what would be a 31-year-old player with his best years behind him. Odder still that Madrid would sanction the sale of their greatest star with a few miles left on the clock.

Inside the paper, Curtis says Ronaldo signed for Real in 2009 “making clear he was going to finish his carer with the Spanish giants”.

Curtis then delivers a line so woolly, vagrants keeping warm with newspapers should line their anoraks with his column and snuggle down. Says Curtis:

 “If there is any change of heart or Real decide, then United believe they will be in pole position ahead of any interest from Stamford Bridge.”

What about any interest from Sporting Lisbon, where Ronaldo started his professional career? For the hype about the Premier League being Ronaldo’s true home, where his heart lies, there is the fact that United bought and then sold him because Porto needed the money and he proved to be rather good and very keen to play for Real Madrid, his dream team.

 

Posted: 13th, November 2015 | In: manchester united, Reviews, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


England lost Fifa 2018 because Russia paid more And Seb Coe was upwind

The Sun says FA Chairman Greg Dyke ‘fears a string of World Cups have been awarded with a “pile of bungs”‘.

But doesn’t every country bidding to host the World Cup wine, dine, promise and flatter?

England lost out to Russia for the right to host the 2018 tournament, coming fourth in the vote. There is talk that the FA will bid to host the 2026 World Cup finals.

Why bother?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 11th, November 2015 | In: Reviews, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Chelsea chase ‘Arsenal’ striker Higuain

higuain-arsenal-signsTransfer Balls: the Mirror says Chelsea are keen on Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain.

Any move leaves “bad boy striker Diego Costa fighting for his Chelsea future”.

But he’s not fighting. He’s a bit limp. He’s a bit rumbled. The sniping, feigning, cheating and histrionics have been noted. Costa’s not all that good when asked to simply kick the ball, scoring two Premier League goals this season.

Of course, the Blues also have in their ranks failing Radamel Falcao – represented by the same agent Jose Mourinho uses –  and Loic Remy, a good player but no star turn.

So Chelsea are looking to Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain.

Well, so says the Mirror, which offers no evidence to supports its claim.

Of course, if you get your news from the Sun, Higuain remains an Arsenal player.

Such are the facts.

 

 

Posted: 10th, November 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Reviews, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Chelsea balls: Brendan Rodgers arrives via Tube (Christian Gross nowhere)

Brendan Rodgers has been “spotted in London”. The Mirror sees the photos and ads that the former Liverpool manager’s trip to the big city comes “as rumours of return to Chelsea gather pace”.

Rodgers worked with Jose Mourinho when the Portuguese was first at Chelsea. The Blues could do much worse than recruit the coach to their team. Rodgers has talent and vision.

The Mirror adds that “managerial posts in the capital have also recently opened up at QPR and Fulham.”

The Express contrives: “Ex Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers spotted in London to talk roles at Chelsea, Fulham or QPR?”

Echoed by the Mail: “Brendan Rodgers spotted in London… so was the former Liverpool manager using Waterloo Station to get to a job interview?

All those journalists on the football beat and not one has a clue.

It’s all utter drivel, of course. Rodgers was spotted not being whisked to a ground by car, but riding the Tube alone (no lawyer), having reached London via a train to Waterloo.

 

 

Brendan Rodgers rides tube

 

Joseph thinks seeing a man on the London Underground warrants a “Haha”. It’s the kind of laugh that says ‘Wouldn’t this be great if this was funny”.

But there is something thrilling about seeing a famous face.

 

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Look out for Rodgers on a TV show very soon. It’s the media career they crave.

Note: It reminds us of former Spurs manager Christian Gross who travelled to his first press conference on the Tube. He showed everyone the ticket as a symbol of his empathy with the ordinary fan.

The idea that someone as vain as Rodgers would so reduce himself to the status of ordinary bloke is laughable.

Posted: 10th, November 2015 | In: Arsenal, Reviews, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: Wenger says he’s a Gunner until he dies

Arsenal PSG

Arsenal PSG

The Mirror leads with news that Paris Saint-Germain are “anxious” to hire Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager.

Darren Lewis says PSG have Wenger on a shortlist. Other names on this list are, we’re told, David Moyes, Steve Bruce and the great Eddie Howe. No, of course not. Lewis, as with all journalists, just trots out the names of the usual suspects: Jose Mourinho, and  Pep Guardiola.

The story contains not a single word from PSG. We do hear quotes from Wenger that he would never coach another English club if he were sacked from Arsenal before his contract expires in 2017 – and that “my attachment to Arsenal will remain until the end of my days… I do not see today I could have a managerial career elsewhere.”

Someone should tell the PSG list-makers to remove one name from it.

What’s odd about the Mirror’s story is that such palpable balls should feature ahead of a genuine news story. Inside the paper, Lewis has two more pages on Wenger, all based on an interview the manager did for L’Equipe Sport.

Although the Mirror cannot resist the urge to present the interview as if it were its own:

 

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Wenger is quoted:

“I’ll give myself merit for one thing: I’ve always treated Arsenal as if it belonged to me. I have sometimes been criticised for it — because I am not enough of a spender, not carefree enough. I credit myself for having had the courage to apply my ideas and fight for them. Aside from that, I can understand why people might not agree.

“My great pride will be to be able to say the day that I leave, that I am leaving behind a good team, a healthy situation and a club capable of performing in the future.

“I could have said to myself: ‘I am here for four or five years, we win everything’, [then] I leave and leave the club on the verge of bankruptcy. For me, consistency at the highest level is the true sign of great clubs.”

Arsenal fans are blessed to have ben led by a man of talent, vision and belief.

What does he not like?:

 

 

 “To be, after every single defeat, despite the consistency that we have put into our work at the highest level, questioned about everything that has been done; the ‘Everything down the pan’ reaction. A balance must be found between your masochistic capacity to put up with what you are forced to endure and your delight in accomplishment.

“Expectations have become much more important. The philosophical definition of happiness is when what you want and what you have align. And what you want changes as soon as you have it — always more, always better, to the point where it becomes difficult to satisfy.

“An Arsenal fan, when you finish fourth, will tell you, ‘Hey, for 20 years now we have been in the top four. We want to win the league!’ They don’t care that Manchester City or Chelsea have invested 300 or 400 million Euros. They just want to beat them.

“But if you finish fifteenth for two years, they will be happy if you finish fourth after that.”

And a word for those clubs who only chase the big names:

“To have arrived in London facing such great scepticism. My first championship title, my first Double. From ‘Arsene who?’ to he who became a pioneer — the first non-British manager to succeed in England.”

You’ll miss him when he’s gone.

 

Posted: 10th, November 2015 | In: Arsenal, Reviews, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0