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.
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!
Spurs Balls: Daily Mail’s Neil Ashton Says Fifth Is Good If You’re Tim Sherwood But Bad If You’re AVB
Last season, for example, Tottenham had the sixth biggest budget (£90m) for salaries in the league behind Manchester City (£202m), Chelsea (£173m), Manchester United (£162m), Arsenal (£143m) and Liverpool (£119m). On that basis you could argue that Tottenham’s fifth-placed finish under Andre Villas-Boas was an over-achievement.
So. AVB did well?
‘This season, if Tottenham’s coach Tim Sherwood finishes fifth, where they are currently positioned in the Premier League, that would be about right based on their current wage structure…”
THE Daily Mail’s Neil Ashton was no fan of Andre Villas-Boas, picking holes in the soon-to-be-sacked Spurs manager.
But things at White Hart Lane improved when AVB was dismissed and trust Englander Tim Sherwood was appointed manager.
On December 19, Ashton wrote in the Daily Mail:
“To fund their ambitious project, Joe Lewis, the club’s principle owner, is relying on the riches from regular Champions League football. All they need is a manager to guide them there. Step forward, Tim Sherwood.
MANCHESTER United are in the mire. David Moyes’ team have been thumped 0-3 at home to Liverpool.
Taxi for Moyes!
ARSENAL Balls: The Sun’s Steven Howard has more to say on Mesut Ozil, who suffered a hamstring injury against Bayern Munich:
EURO FOOTNOTE: MESUT OZIL has been flayed alive after his poor display at the Allianz Arena.
Mainly by reporters who filed their copy before it as realised the German player was injured. One writer went as far as to say hurting your hamstring is an “humiliation”. We look out for footballers being shamed by broken limbs and embarrassed by concussion.
SPURS Balls: Last night at White Hart Lane, Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood was upset by Benfica manager, Jorge Jesus’s perceived “lack of class”. As Benfica went 3-1 up in the teams’ Europa League last-16 first-leg, Jesus appeared to hold up three fingers.
LIVERPOOL FC fan Brian Reade wants to talk about Spurs in the Daily Mirror:
For a club that reminds you at every opportunity that “To Dare Is To Win”, which has a tradition of playing attacking football and which spent £110million on mostly offensive talent last summer, one statistic damns the past year’s poor decision-making by Daniel Levy and Franco Baldini: A goal difference of zero.’
Got that? An investment in attack means you should always have a positive goal difference. One word Brian: defence.
After that balls, readers may recall what Reade said waaaaaay back in August 2013:
…fans will be massively relieved Bale’s loss has been minimised by the exceptional work of Franco Baldini and Daniel Levy.
At least Spurs are consistent…
WHAT did the Press say about Arsenal’s Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich? Well, most focused on Mesut Ozil:
In the rush to be first with the news The Metro posted this:
The Germany play-maker, who scored and turned in a fantastic shift for the Gunners against Everton at the weekend, had to come off at half-time during the clash with Bayern. It was initially thought that the substitution was tactical, with Tomas Rosicky coming on, but it later emerged that Ozil has picked up a knock.
No. Not a knock. He was carrying an injury.
ADRIAN Durham is the TalkSport opinion baiter with a column to fill to deadline for the Daily Mail. This week, Durham comes up with a system whereby big teams automatically get into the Champions’ League.
United BELONG in the Champions League and if they finish fifth or sixth they should snub Europa… it’s a tournament for losers
Spurs Balls: Redknapp’s Pal Blames Funny Foreigner AVB For Chelsea Thrashing Sherwood’s Mirthless Men
MARTIN Samuel has written a monocular article about Spurs in the Daily Mail. Tottenham haave just lost 4-0 to Chelsea. Spurs losing to Chelsea is no big shocker. Games between the clubs are akin to watching the best bits from classic TV sit-coms.
Spurs are managed by Tim Sherwood. He’s English. To Samuel that is crucial:
Having lost 4-0 to Chelsea, the young manager appeared emotional. He told his employers to wake up from their dreams of Champions League football, claimed his team lacked character and talked about individuals in the group that he could not trust. It is fair to assume he is feeling the pressure.
IN the 1980s, cricket was violent, thrilling, angry, captivating and utterly fantastic. When the mighty West Indies played England at Lord’s in June 1980, I was by the Tavener’s pitch-side pub. It smelt of warm body, smoke and beer.
A West Indian steward saw me trying to get a view and invited me to sit by the rope. In the bright sunlight, I stepped over the low barriers and onto the grass. Joel Garner was bowling. At 6ft 8inches tall, running in fast with the ball held high in his hand, Garner was the most fearsome, magnificent human being I had ever seen.
ARSENAL’S big German defender Per Mertesacker was pleased to find a book all about him at his local Islington library.
ARSENAL Balls: The Sun leads with an “exclusive” on “Arsenal misfit” Thomas Vermaelen.
DAVID MOYES has targeted Arsenal misfit Thomas Vermaelen to replace Manchester United hero Nemanja Vidic. The Belgian central defender is no longer a regular at the Emirates, but the Gunners would still demand a £12million fee from one of their rivals.
He is a close pal of Robin van Persie and the pair share the same agent in Kees Vos.
Why Arsenal would sell another captain to a rival side – and why the Belgian would want to play for an average United team from which Van Persie might well depart in the summer – is a mute point for the Sun’s Charlie Wyett. As is the news that his exclusive is that the player said back in 2012:
“I have no intention of leaving this club. I feel at home in London and I feel that I have become a real Gunner. Arsenal is my club. In my eyes, they belong to the absolute elite of European top clubs. When I was young, I dreamed of playing for Ajax and Arsenal. Both dreams have come true.”
In November 2013, he said:
“I keep reading stories that I want to leave. But that’s not the case.”
THE three Tottenham Hotspur fans charged with criminal offences for using the word “Yid” will not be taken to court and have their lives ruined by the Met Police’s anti-free speech division. The Crown Prosecution Service says the three have no case to answer.
Gary Whybrow, 31, Sam Parsons, 24 and Peter Ditchman, 52, appeared in – get this – Highbury Court on Friday, after being accused of racial harassment in connection with the “Y-word”.
ON Sky Sports, German Sky TV journalist Christopher Lymberopoulos calls Arsenal’s tall Per Mertesacker “a big f****ng German”.
And with that a chant is reborn. Cue the BFG:
THEO Walcott is going to be adad for the first time. The Arsenal winger is delighted.
His wife, Mrs Melanie Walcott, is simply amazed. She tells Hello!:
“I was quite taken aback by how quickly it happened.”
THE wisdom of Chelsea’s chatty manager Jose Mourinho:
On February 10 2014, Mourinho snipes at Manchester City’s Manuel Pellegrini:
“Everybody knows what Manchester City are. Pellegrini was talking about the money we’ve spent. He’s a fantastic coach, and I respect that, and he’s a qualified engineer. I don’t think an engineer should need a calculator to see that we sold Juan Mata for £37 million and Kevin De Bruyne for £18m – so that’s £55m brought in. Then we bought Nemanja Matic for £21m and Mohamed Salah cost £11m. That’s £32m spent.”
On February 26 2014, Jose Mourinho snipes about Galatasaray manager Roberto Mancini:
“I’m not good at maths. And football is not maths. If football was maths, I’d be coaching in the Third Division. Because football is not maths, I coach Chelsea.”
Such is the consistency…
ANYONE who saw England play against Denmark last night or, indeed, have ever seen England play in any tournament of any kind, will know that everyone’s going to be treated to some spectacularly dull football.
In Brazil, it is pretty obvious that the English will wilt like old salad in the tropical heat. It’ll be a marvel if they even get out of their group, which features Luis Suarez’s Uruguay, the mighty Italy and Costa Rica.
With England’s Crapenaccio on offer, we need a song that will befit England’s laboured performances.
So step forward Gary Barlow – the dowdiest of popstars – alongside Mel C and Emma Bunton, Kimberley Walsh and Gary Lineker – who together, will record England’s official 2014 FIFA World Cup single.
FOOTBALL flashback to April 29th 1972: Norwich City celebrate winning the Second Division Championship in the dressing room: (l-r) Graham Paddon, trainer, Doug Livermore, Kevin Keelan, Terry Anderson, Duncan Forbes, manager Ron Saunders, Trevor Howard
Paper plate: model’s own.
COMPARE and contrast the wisdom on NEwcastle United manger Alan Pardew (more on him using his head here.)
December, 13, 2013, said Pardew:
“The Europa League is a massive problem to Premier League teams.”
On March 4, 2014, the Newcastle Chronicle reported:
FLASHBACK to 09/02/1968: (L-R) Birmingham City’s George Moore and Tommy Bell prepare to paste up a poster advertising the forthcoming fixtures taking place at St Andrew’s.
ALAN Pardew’s ‘head pushing’ antics raised heckles in some quarters and smiles in others.
Whether it deserves to butt into our arbitrary Ten Great Football Headbutts list is for you to decide. Judge for yourselves, dear readers…
1994: Duncan Ferguson on John McStay
Rangers’ 4-0 victory over Raith Rovers was overshadowed by Big Dunc’s sticking the heid on McStay. The referee didn’t see it, but the police did, and he was eventually convicted of assault.