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.

Malcolm Marshall: ‘You know, I wanna dish out pain’

PA 1242161 Malcolm Marshall: You know, I wanna dish out pain

I ONCE stood very close to the great West Indian cricketer Joel Garner as he was running into bowl at Lord’s. At six feet 8, and holding a rock hard ball high above his head, Garner was the most terrifying and fantastic sight I’d ever seen. Malcolm Marshall was shorter at 5ft 9. But he was faster and deadlier. In his series on the “XI most intimidating bowlers” Allan Donald looks at the fearsome West Indian star who died in 1999.

I walked out of the change room and I sat, because the pitch was nearer the Rea Bank Stand at Edgbaston, near the Colts ground, B field. So I walked right around and I sat in the stand there, and I just watched this guy run in all day.

He was not a tall man. He was skiddy. He had the knack, the skill, of swinging the ball both ways. He took 11 wickets in the game in three days. When I got to the crease eventually, there was a huddle, and I walked past and he said, “Were you the kid sitting in that stand earlier?” I didn’t wanna say anything. I don’t know what was coming.

And I was waiting for something quite harsh to come and he tapped me on the back of my head and he goes, “Good luck, son.”

It took him two balls – just two balls. Just lost my off stump and he swung it away like this.

He only demolished Donald’s stump. Be thankful.

He had this passion for knocking over batsmen. This passion for hurting batsmen and this passion for helping others, and that to me was priceless. I learnt so much. Andy Lloyd, who was my captain at Warwickshire, Malcolm ended his career in two balls. I saw the photo of Lloyd lying on the ground and holding his face. It was two balls in a Test and it was all over.

He had this thing about this pain factor that he always talked about. He found a lot of pleasure of really not only just intimidating them but he found a lot of pleasure in saying, “You know, I wanna dish out pain.” 

I was there:

Posted: 23rd, June 2013 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Gareth Bale: Spurs wants Real Madrid to bid £100m for Manchester United’s Bale in 2014

PA 4730818 Gareth Bale: Spurs wants Real Madrid to bid £100m for Manchester Uniteds Bale in 2014

THE Daily Bale: Anorak’s daily look at the Tottenham Hotpsur star in the news. Today’s transfer balls:

Wales Online: “Wales legend Mel Charles says Gareth Bale’s £80m price tag is ‘ridiculous’”

Has he got a price tag? In the Press, Bale’s value has fluctuated between £60m and £85m. But Spurs have not broadcast any asking price. Who is this legend that knows better?

But the brother of John Charles says Bale’s rating as one of the world’s best should be something Wales is proud of

The legend is John Charles’ brother. Can you name him?

Former Wales and Arsenal star Mel Charles, whose brother John left Leeds for Juventus in a then British record transfer record deal of £65,000 in 1957, said the money talked about in the rumoured Bale switch is “ridiculous”.

If a decent player like Mel Charles is a legend, what does that make the great John Charles – a god?

In any case, £85m is meagre. The Star is rounding it up to a neat £100m


Oddly, Levy doesn’t make any statement. He apparently prefers to talk to a friend who talks to the paper:

White Hart Lane chairman Daniel Levy has told friends he will not budge in his stance to ensure the Wales wonder stays for one more year. And that means rejecting a staggering £100m offer – £20m more than Real paid Man United for Cristiano Rionaldo.

One said: “He held firm when Chelsea wanted Luka Modric and is showing the same determination this time. Daniel also thinks it is for Gareth’s own good. He believes he is still learning and will get better if he remains with them. Who knows what will happen in a year’s time? The club might even lose money but Daniel is prepared gamble on it.

“He wants the best for Spurs and Gareth and even if Madrid raised their bid to £100million he will resist.”

But if Real Madrid want to up their purported £85m bid to £100m they can alsy see if Mr Levy’s friends are right.

After that horse trading, we learn that Real will lose out to Manchester United:

The Sunday Express: “David Moyes has Gareth Bale in his sights”

If Rooney, who fell out with former boss Sir Alex Ferguson towards the end of last season, still wants to leave, then Moyes will contemplate using the England striker in a swap deal plus cash for 28-year-old Ronaldo. If he wants to stay, then United will step up attempts to bring Wales international Bale to Old Trafford.

Has Moyes got £101m?

Despite Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy’s assertion that Bale will remain in North London at least for another season, aimed at putting Real Madrid off the scent, United sources indicate that Moyes’ new employers believe they are in with a decent chance of sealing a deal which would be worth around £60m.

Then United could swiftly sell Bale to Madrid for £85m or £100m. Easy money.

After that bilge, the Express reports:

It’s believed Perez has reneged on an agreement hatched between the clubs which would see Bale remain at Spurs for another season with no bids from the Bernabeu until next summer.

Byt which time Bale will be at United, as reported in the trusty Express

Posted: 23rd, June 2013 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Australian better firm depicts Aussie Wallaby raping a British Lion

wallaby lion lions Australian better firm depicts Aussie Wallaby raping a British Lion

GOOD-oh, that the Australians should have finally yielded to pressure and conceded that homosexuality lies at the very essence of rugby union. For many years, Anorak has not been able to look at a picture of hot-blooded rugger bugger action without offering the caption “nice tackle”.

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Posted: 22nd, June 2013 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The Daily Bale: Spurs sell Bale to Real Madrid in early July and Manchester United have already bought him

THE DAILY Bale: Anorak’s look at The Tottenham Hotspur star in the news:

The National Turk magazine say Gareth Bale is heading to Manchester United. According to the magazine’s English website:

Gareth Bale will  arrival next month  with the Tottenham Hotspurs winger  rumoured to have cost the Red Devils side £85 million, though they have insisted that the actual fee is below this figure. Regardless, it is very probable they have broken the United’s Premier League transfer record, which was set by last year Van Persie transfer.

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Posted: 21st, June 2013 | In: Sports | Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Gonzalo Higuain: new Arsenal striker loses £50,000 a week (news round-up)

PA 16115315 Gonzalo Higuain: new Arsenal striker loses £50,000 a week (news round up)

THE Daily Gonzalo Higuain – Anorak’s look at the Real Madrid forward wanted by Arsenal in today’s news:

Football “Higuain’s Arsenal Transfer On Hold”

Real Madrid fixer Ernesto Bronzetti says he doesn’t know anything about an Arsenal transfer for striker Gonzalo Higuain and claims a number of clubs are interested in the 25-year-old…

“Up to five or six teams want him,” Bronzetti said. “But until the new coach is appointed, there will be nothing new on this topic.”

The Daily Mirror: “When will Arsenal sign Gonzalo Higuaín?”

That question to you, newspaper. The Daily Express says Arsenal are “close” to signing him.

The Daily Mail reports that the deal is done:

Arsenal have finally joined the Premier League’s biggest spenders after finalising a record-breaking deal to sign Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain that could be worth a staggering £50million

The Daily Star agrees:


But then the Star salso reports:


The trusty Daily Star has all angles covered by scoops.

The Guardian has facts:

Real Madrid striker happy with £130,000-a-week four-year deal
• Arsenal hope to complete deal before 11 July

What’s the deal worth to the Argentine strikers? What will he earn every week?

£150,000 -  Daily Mail


£130,000 - Irish Independent

£125,000Evening Standard


Wow! He’s losing £50,000-a-week with Goal. Whatever will the taxman say?

More transfer balls from the news media every day…

Posted: 21st, June 2013 | In: Sports | Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Floyd Mayweather Jr. posing with his money – photos

FLOYD Mayweather Jr. enjoys spending quality time with his money. Having earned a fortune from boxing, Mayweather enjoys tasteless displays of wealth. There’s the $100,000 jacket, the big gambling chips and the bottles of Cristal champagne – but just four of them. Mayweather should try harder. He’s soooo high street. As the sticking rich man said to the merely rich man, “I see you have a new Rolls Royce. Pity you’re so poor that you feel a need for one.”

Posted: 21st, June 2013 | In: Money, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Cockney Mafia steal Newcastle United’s lemon sole

PA 6344448 Cockney Mafia steal Newcastle Uniteds lemon sole

FAMOUS meals time now, readers.

On Tuesday May 31 1994, Tony Blair invited Gordon Brown to meet for ‘dinner’ the Granita restaurant in London. It was there that the dour Scotsman agreed to step aside in the 1994 leadership contest in favour of the trendy urbanite. Brown never stood a chance. Faced with bowls of fennel-seed bread and mussels in lemon grass and coconut-milk liquor, and surrounded by knit-yer-own millionaire new Labour sat in a brick and blonde wood yurt, Blairs was in his element.

The other great dinner meeting was between Newcastle United FC’s owner Mike Ashley and Joe Kinnear, the club’s former manager now given a job in charge of all football matters. The issue of how they came to their agreement occupies minds at the Daily Mail.

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Posted: 20th, June 2013 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Photos of the best and worst hats at Royal Ascot 2013

LADIES Day at Royal Ascot is that time when ladies wear unwearable hats in deference to aged protocol. The highlight was not only the Queen’s first win in the Gold Cup - Jockey Ryan Moore rode the Queen’s filly Estimate to victory – and the Times’s headline which seems to praise Her Majesty’s sprinting abilities – “Royal Ascot crowned by first Gold Cup victory for the Queen” - but Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie reprising their roles as Cinderella’s panto sisters, a decent each-way bet to win the World’s Most Obsequious Man contest, a woman in a brim so wide the ancient god Saturn thought it a bit OTT and another who seemed to be channeling Pegasus:

PA 16857751 Photos of the best and worst hats at Royal Ascot 2013

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Posted: 20th, June 2013 | In: Royal Family, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Liverpool: Reds move to tap up Luis Suarez from Real Madrid

TRANSFER Balls: Liverpool’s Luis Suarez round-up:

The Independent: “Jamie Carragher can see why Luis Suarez wants move to Real Madrid”


“…because if you were honest, Luis Suarez is playing in a team that finished seventh in the Premier League, but he is one of the best players in the world. It would be pretty naïve to think that no club would be interested in him. But if you read his quotes, they are not as controversial as has been made out.”

Or as the Mirror reports:

Real have yet to even make an enquiry, and Suarez’s continuing outbursts strongly suggest they are trying to force the price down by encouraging the player to agitate for a move and make it impossible for him to stay at Anfield.

Carragher, though, is angling for Suarez to stay.

…kerping unhappy players is an issue. We had that experience with Torres and keeping him wasn’t the right thing to do. Torres wasn’t the same player for about 18 months and downed tools and that’s certainly what you don’t want. But with a character like Luis, I don’t think that would be an issue and if the club were to keep him, I’m sure he would be as committed as ever.

Can you tap up your own player?

How sure is Carragher about Suarez? The Mail notes:

Suarez’s popularity with Liverpool supporters has dipped in the wake of the endless interviews he has given while he has been at The Confederations Cup, while club officials were mystified that he went public with his feelings without giving them any warning.

Still. One Red wants him, sa the Mirror reports:

Former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has set his sights on Luis Suarez as a replacement for Edinson Cavani

What says Suarez? The Star quotes him:

No one has called me or told me anything,” he said.

“I do not have a specific offer of any club. I’m still a Liverpool player.”

But the Mail says:

Liverpool will demand Luis Suarez provides written confirmation of his intention to leave in an attempt to swiftly resolve the saga over his future.

This one’s going to drag one all summer…

Posted: 19th, June 2013 | In: Sports | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini signs forms in Manchester (on his house)

PA 6364651 Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini signs forms in Manchester (on his house)

TRANSFER watch: A fortnight in the life of Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini:

June 19

Arsenal are unsure about paying £24m for Marouane Fellaini so will move for Real Sociedad’s Asier Illarramendi, who has a release clause of £25.7m. 

June 18

Everton yet to receive Fellaini bids – ESPN

According to various rumours, Arsenal have recently met Fellaini’s buy-out clause – GiveMeSport

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Posted: 19th, June 2013 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Spurs: Gareth Bale becomes Real Madrid’s Eleventh Galactico (nine others missing)

PA 10492408 Spurs: Gareth Bale becomes Real Madrids Eleventh Galactico (nine others missing)

THE Daily Bale: Anorak’s daily look at the Tottenham Hotspur star in the news.

Former Brazil star Zico (formerly “The White Pele”) says Bale has “to compete in the Champions League”. Spurs fans nod as his sagacity.

The BBC reports:

The Tottenham midfielder’s agent told Spanish television in May that the PFA Player of Year and Young Player of the Year would be willing to listen to an offer from Real Madrid this summer, though Spurs have insisted he is not for sale.

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Posted: 19th, June 2013 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Joe Kinnear aims to make Newcastle United Division One Champions

chronicle newcastle kinnear Joe Kinnear aims to make Newcastle United Division One Champions


JOE Kinnear is back working at Newcastle United. The local paper salutes his appointment (see above). Magpies manager Alan Pardew and chief scout Graham Carr now answer to the man who said in June 2012:

“I would consider something like a director of football post. But I would do that for just one reason and that is to get myself back into full-time management. If I was a director of football and the manager was struggling and got the old tin-tack, I would tell them that I’d take over.”

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Posted: 18th, June 2013 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The Daily (Gareth) Bale: the secrets of Spurs’ special partnership with Real Madrid

gareth bale The Daily (Gareth) Bale: the secrets of Spurs special partnership with Real Madrid

THE Daily Bale: Anorak’s daily look at the Tottenham, Hotspur player in the news. Today’s speculation filling newspaper space:

Daily Mail: “Modric joined Real Madrid last summer and now Bale could follow. So, just what have Spurs got back from their special partnership with the Spanish giants?”

£33m in money?

But true enough, on August 27, 2012, Spurs announced:


The Club can announce that it has signed a partnership agreement with Real Madrid FC and reached agreement for the transfer of Luka Modric, subject to medical, to the Spanish club.
The partnership agreement will see the two Clubs working together in respect of players, coaching, best practices and commercial relationships.

Real Madrid FC President, Florentino Perez Rodriguez, said, “The strong relationship and affinity between our two clubs has resulted in the cementing of a longer-term partnership and the successful transfer of Luka Modric. We are delighted to welcome Luka and look forward to working closely with Tottenham in the coming years.”

Daniel Levy, Chairman, Tottenham Hotspur, commented, “Luka has been a terrific player for us and, whilst we preferred not to part with him, we are pleased that it is to Real Madrid, a club with which we now look forward to sharing a long and productive partnership.”

Pete Jenson’s  offers Mail readers his “view from Madrid”:


Levy doesn’t like to sell in the Premier League, so every time he has a big star to offload he makes sure Madrid are up to speed with any bids coming in.

Number of firm bids so far: none. Number of time Madrid have tried to tap up Bale: two.

B ut the most fanciful story must be this one from Mid-Day:

PSG offering to buy Gareth Bale in 85mln pounds deal to lure Villas-Boas

PSG will create a new world record transfer just to get Villas-Boas, who has a £10m release clause in his Tottenham contract?

More Garth Bale madness every day.

Posted: 18th, June 2013 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The Daily (Gareth) Bale: Spurs star leaves his heart in Paris and creates Arsenal love logo

PA 15808666 1 The Daily (Gareth) Bale: Spurs star leaves his heart in Paris and creates Arsenal love logo

THE Daily Bale: Anorak’s look at the Tottenham Hotspur star in the news:

The Sun leads with new that Gareth Bale is trying to trademark his goal celebration, the one where he dements his fingers into a heart shape.

This is an “EXCLUSIVE”.

Only, it wasn’t an exclusive when we reported on it back May 23rd. Then it was just a story that others had also noted. We also noted 10 people and brands who had also used the love fingers gesture. They might be upset at Bale muscling in on their fingers.

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Posted: 17th, June 2013 | In: Sports | Comments (5) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Gareth Bale: ‘stupid’ Spurs star signs for Manchester City

PA 3854415 Gareth Bale: stupid Spurs star signs for Manchester City

THE Daily Bale: Anorak’s daily look at the Tottenham Hotspur player in the news:

The Sports Mole: “Terry Gibson: ‘Gareth Bale would regret not moving to Real Madrid’”

Former Spurs player Gibson told talkSPORT:

“You know what can happen in football. Currently he’s hot at the moment but in a year’s time it may be through injury that his season isn’t successful. It could be a series of niggling injuries and then Real Madrid go away and for the rest of your life and career you’re left thinking ‘Should have I gone to Real Madrid?’

“If he went to Real Madrid he would be a hit. It’s a massive call.”

Bale should go to Real because it’s better to be injured in Madrid than London? Inspiring stuff.

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Posted: 16th, June 2013 | In: Sports | Comments (4) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Gareth Bale to reunite with Luka Modric at Spurs or Real Madrid

105121671 Gareth Bale to reunite with Luka Modric at Spurs or Real Madrid

THE Daily Bale: Anorak’s daily looks at the life of Tottenham star Gareth Bale in the news. Today’s focus is on a Real Madrid star trying to tap up the Welshman. Luka Modric, formerly of Spurs and now with Real, tells Marca:

“Since Madrid is the team of the galaxy, Bale would fit perfectly, we could really use him. He would give the team another dimension. His shot, his strength, his speed, his offensive power. He is the type of player who will help us take a step forward.”

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Posted: 15th, June 2013 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Daily Bale: Spurs to swap Gareth Bale for Cristiano Ronaldo – Manchester United go for Suarez

THE Daily Bale: Anorak’s daily look at Tottenham Hotspur star Gareth Bale in the news.

The Sun leads with a “WORLD EXCLUSIVE”.  Gareth Bale could be on his way to Manchester United. 
The story is that if Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t return to Old Trafford then United will buy Bale.

The Sun says that Spurs are “desperate to keep Bale but a world record fee would be impossible to reject”.

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Posted: 14th, June 2013 | In: Sports | Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Marouane Fellaini snubs Arsenal: travel agent scuppers Everton man’s move

IS Everton’s Marouane Fellaini heading to Arsenal? News is that the Gunners are reluctant to cough up the £23m that would trigger a release clause in his Everton star’s contract.

Rumours are that Fallaini wants to make the move. The Sun says the Belgian has “set his heart on moving to London”.

Not to Arsenal. To London.

David Maddock knows why. He tells Mirror readers:

New boss Roberto Martinez is bracing himself for a bid though, with the 25-year-old revealing to close friends that he would love a switch to the capital – where he would be less than two hours on the Eurostar away from his Brussels birthplace.

The flight time from Liverpool John Lennon Airport to Brussels Airport is estimated to be approximately 54 minutes.

Looks like Fellaini stays. Un ess he wants to leave Everton for more money and Champions’ League football and not for better trains?

More tabloid transfer nonsense ever day until the football season starts.

Posted: 13th, June 2013 | In: Sports | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Gareth Bale joins Real Madrid for £76m as last resort

THE Daily Bale: Anorak’s look at Spurs star Gareth Bale in the news:

Daily MailParis St Germain will outbid Real Madrid’s £85m.

Marca: “Florentino Pérez to personally negotiate Real’s Bale-out”

The chances of Gareth Bale becoming Real Madrid’s latest ‘Galáctico’ hinge on Florentino Pérez. The ‘Los Blancos’ president believes that the club is the promised land for the top players and knows that there is no hotter property on the market right now than the Welsh wizard.

For this reason, Florentino is going to personally oversee the negotiations to sign the Welshman, as he has done with the rest of the ‘Galácticos’ since he first took up office in 2000.

It’s all about Pérez, who might be surprised to learn that others have a say in the matter. Anyhow, he’s tethered his reputation to getting Bale.

MiuSoccer: “FIFA agent has claims Real Madrid sign £76.5 million Spurs star?”

Bale’s got cheaper and the deal has been done. Do Spurs know?


TOTTENHAM star Gareth Bale has SIGNED for Real Madrid for £76.5m, a self-proclaimed FIFA agent has claimed

But the Spanish ‘agent’ Francois Gallardo has been dismissed as a fantasist and an attention-seeker by internet critics.

Grrr! Those internet critics. What do they know. They’re only guessing. Leave it to the newspaper experts to get to the truth.


Real Madrid President Florentino Perez has claimed that Gareth Bale is as good at football as Rafael Nadal is at tennis, suggesting that his club will pay top-dollar for the player.

Madrid always want the best. Tottenham is a very amicable club, but first we must see who our new coach will be and after that we will begin to arrange our new squad,” Perez told Marca. “I think the same as if we were to have a tennis team and Rafael Nadal asked me for these millions. For players like this – the investment they generate you and the revenue they produce, you can give everything to try and get them.”

Madrid don’t have a tennis team.

And is Bale taking the theme park shilling?

The Sun:

The Spurs ace took his mind off the ceaseless gossip surrounding his future by indulging his inner adrenaline junkie at a Tampa, Florida, theme park. Welsh international Bale, 23, didn’t look in the least bit intimated after boarding Busch Gardens’ newest multiple launch coaster Cheetah Hunt.

At one point Bale juggled a ball at the Universal Orlando Resort.

The Haringey Advertiser:

He has helped me in all aspects of my game,” said Bale, who looks increasingly likely to stay at Spurs despite interest from a number of Europe’s leading clubs.

“In training we have been working on things that I can do in games, and in matches he has given me the confidence to do what I want and do what I do best, which is a massive thing for a player.

“Everyone was excited about him coming in. He is a young manager and he has got a great past at Porto. Maybe not so much at Chelsea but, given time like he was last season, he has shown what a good manger he is. It has been a very exciting time for the club.

“He has tried his new tactics, his new style of play with us. Sometimes it does take a bit of time just to get used to it, and at the start of the season I think that was a bit difficult. But we adapted and got stronger and stronger.”

More speculation on Bale pretty much every day…

Posted: 13th, June 2013 | In: Sports | Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Harry Redknapp forgets all about Portsmouth, Southampton and Spurs’ Peter Crouch as he slams England’s long-ball game

PA 10683791 Harry Redknapp forgets all about Portsmouth, Southampton and Spurs Peter Crouch as he slams Englands long ball game

IN “English football has to change. We don’t know how to play – we just boot it up the pitch”, Sun columnist and QPR manager Harry Redknapp looks at the state of the national game following the England Under 21 side’s failure at the Under-21 Euros.

Says Redknapp:

We do not know how to play football. We just boot the ball up the pitch and it gets us nowhere.

Look at the so-called ‘Golden Generation’ of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, John Terry, Wayne Rooney, Ashley Cole etc. Man for man there wasn’t a country on Earth that could match that on paper. But together they never produced because we just hoofed the ball forwards into channels and hoped for the best…

It’s about possession, retaining the ball, controlling the game. We need coaches who believe in that ideal.

When I was boss of West Ham I had a 15-year-old Rio Ferdinand with me. I always told him to bring the ball out of the box, not just boot it forward and if it goes wrong I’ll take responsibility.
But that’s the way football should be played and it’s the way to win things.

All good stuff.

Previously from Harry Redknapp:

“It’s no good putting him up front and then trying to play the ball to his feet all the time. Peter is a technically good player but England should use his height — because he towers above most defenders. I’m the last one to advocate the long-ball game but, if you have a player like Steven Gerrard who can put the ball on his head from 35 yards out, do it. While he does that, the team can surge forward as a group and pick up the second ball, the knockdown they know is coming. If you’re not going to make the most of Crouchie, don’t play him, simple as that. “

Also on Crouch, the player Redknapp signed twice – managed at Southampton, Portsmouth, Spurs, and wanted at QPR:

“It’s a difficult one because you do have to hit him with the ball. He’s not going to run channels for you…”

On Spurs being accused of being long-ball team by Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel (who went on to play at Spurs):

“If you can hit a 50-yard pass, it’s better than a 10-yard pass or a backwards one. It’s about creating strikes on goals, if it’s 50 yards then it’s a great ball. It’s about quality… Every time we hit Crouchy against Villa he knocked the ball down and we had chances to score. “If you are going to have Peter Crouch in your team you have to use him, you can’t expect him to run up channels or to come short. That’s not his game. He is an option when teams fill up the midfield and you can’t pass through them. We have that great option to miss out the midfield, hit him and pick things up around the box…”

Mario Been, the NEC Nijmegen coach, said of Spurs under Redknapp:

“When we see the DVDs, what we see is that they try to play the long ball and then the game starts from the midfield. We are prepared for that.”

And this is the same Redknapp who when England were failing to impress in the Euro 2012 Championships advocated bringing on big Andy Caroll and hitting it long to him.


Posted: 13th, June 2013 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Liverpool: Perpetual victim Luis Suarez will be playing Champions League football next season

HAS the British press got it in for Liverpool’s Luis Suarez? It looks a lot like the player wants to play for Real Madrid.

The Times reports:

Suárez repeats declaration of love for Real Madrid

The paper reports Suarez’s words:

“Every player would like to play for a huge team, and Real Madrid is a huge team. But everything that has been said is just speculation, I haven’t received any concrete offers. The [English] press have made me feel bad since the moment I arrived in England. They have never judged me on how I play football, they judged me on my attitude. They said I dived, moaned, postured, they said I was racist, they said everything. They have never spoken well of me. That’s why, when people said that I could have been chosen as the best player in the Premier League, I said: ‘I’m relaxed. In England I’m never going to be given an important prize.’ ”

Suarez sounds like an ungrateful so-and-so blaming everyone else but himself and his actions for his reputation as bit of an arse. If only those pernickety English journalists hadn’t overreacted when he dived, handballed a ball into the net to score against mighty Mansfield and racially abused a black player. So much for Englishman’s sense of fairness.

But let’s see what he said in fuller terms:

“Liverpool is a club that I dreamed about playing for as a boy. I have been with great players there, they know me and I would love to continue for many more years at Liverpool. The stadium is spectacular, the fans are phenomenal: people with tattoos of me, things that I could never have imagined. After the [Evra] suspension people would come up to me, this is something that really touched me and they would say: ‘Luis forget everything and stay.’… About a week ago I was walking in a shopping center near Manchester and three or four guys asked me for a photo. While we were posing for it my wife said to me ‘Luis, get out of the photo’. She noticed they were making biting gestures. I was with my wife and my daughter. Things like that get on your nerves. My wife was on the brink of tears and the blokes ran off laughing. You get tired of stuff like that.”

If he had the wit, Suarez would turn it into a joke. But he hasn’t. Maybe that’s his problem – he just can’t express himself. Giles Smith considers that in reviewing a book about raising toddlers:

Heidi Murkoff, writing in What To Expect: The Toddler Years (with Sharon Mazel, Simon & Schuster, £16.99) urges this pragmatic response: “Don’t overreact, yell or embark on a lengthy lecture; simply explain, calmly but firmly, ‘Please don’t bite. Biting hurts.’ ” Murkoff also points out, usefully, that the instinct to bite is often “born of an inability to communicate” and advises “helping [the biter] find the words they need to express their feelings: ‘I know you feel angry. It’s OK to be angry, but it’s not OK to hurt someone because you’re angry. Let’s figure out another way to make the anger go away.’” 

Suarez was talking to the television show RR Gol. He also said:

“Ever since I arrived I have felt bad, they [the media] have never judged me for my play but with the attitude that he dives, protests, makes gestures, racism … everything. They have never spoken well of me. For that reason, when I was told I could win the Player of the Year award, I said: ‘I will not get excited as I know that I will never win an important award in England.’”

Suárez bit Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic. That earned him a 10-match ban. He racially abused Patrice Evra. Eight matches for that. Fair? No, says Suarez:

“Without any proof they gave me an eight-match ban but with Terry, where they had proof, lip-readers, they gave him four. I’m South American and I think that’s the root of all of this.”

Suarez revels in his perpetual victimhood. Liverpool, of couse, agreed with him. They all wore shirts declaring Luis as the main man. Did he have a point? Was he innocent? Rod Liddle noted:

Which is worse, for Luis Suarez to call Patrice Evra black, or for Patrice Evra to make a disparaging comment about Suarez’s sister’s vagina? Most normal people would, I think, see a certain equivalence of transgression. I suspect an equal amount of personal hurt or perhaps anger was occasioned by each snarled obscenity, although only one of them is likely to bring great opprobrium and the risk of criminal prosecution.

The Guardian does produce more of Suarez’s words than in the Times’s report. It includes this part about Real Madrid:

“My agent said to remain calm rather than quiet – remain calm and when there is concrete interest you’ll be the first to know. I’m not sure if I see myself in the white [Real kit], the only thing I know is that I have a contract. Any player would like to play for a great team and Real Madrid certainly are that. Every player wants to reach the very top and Real Madrid are at the very top, but everything that has been said is just rumours, I have had nothing concrete.”

Other parts of the same interview trickle out:

“Of course I would like to play with Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s a great player. You never know, but it’s complicated.”

And on that bite:

“I know I made a mistake, it was me, my fault, and he did not do anything to me. I was angry because I had given away a penalty for handball. I was the cause of the penalty against my team – I saw red and completely lost it. I can’t really explain it. But still people can be very cruel, and the reaction was amazing.”

Liverpool release a statement:

“Luis Suarez is not for sale. Neither Luis nor his representatives have communicated these feelings directly to Liverpool Football Club. The club remains supportive of Luis and we expect him to honour his contract.”

That sounds a lot like Suarez and Liverpool are thinking alike. Both are in denial. But only one party will be playing Champions League football next season…

Posted: 12th, June 2013 | In: Sports | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Spurs: Andre Villas-Boas takes Gareth Bale with him to PSG (say tabloids)

ONE reason for Gareth Bale’s reluctance to leave Spurs for Real Madrid is said to be his respect and love for Andre Villas-Boas. Well, now the Sun, Mirror and Mail all lead with news that Tottenham’s Portuguese manager is admired by Paris Saint-Germain. Three newspaper lead with a story abed on not a single fact or named source.

The Sun says PSG have sent out an “SOS” to Villas-Boas.

The Sun says that PSG missed out on former Chelsea boss Gus Hiddink so they are now chasing former Chelsea boss Villas-Boas. He would replace former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti, whose leaving PSG for Real Madrid.

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Posted: 12th, June 2013 | In: Sports | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Robert Lewandowski snubs Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal for Bayern Munich

TRANSFER season: What news of Robert Lewandowski, the Borussia Dortmund star? Let’s review the past 24 hours so-called news:


Not going to Bayern Munich

Bild: Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke:

“Robert Lewandowski will definitely not transfer to Bayern Munich in 2013. This is final. We have informed Robert and his advisers. The Bayern case is closed because there was no written offer. I am not saying he will definitely stay but he will certainly not be playing for Bayern in 2013. I don’t think that’s a definitive decision taken by the president. I still think it will change.”


Not going anywhere

Daily Mirror:

Dortmund triple Robert Lewandowski wages in hands-off warning to Manchester United - Dortmund striker given huge pay rise as Bundesliga runners up look to keep their star player

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Posted: 11th, June 2013 | In: Sports | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Real Madrid set about tapping up Spurs star Gareth Bale

THE DAILY Bale:  a look at the Tottenham Hotspur striker in the news. Is the Welshman on his way to Real Madrid?

The Sun:

REAL MADRID last night confirmed they will not baulk if Tottenham demand £85million for Gareth Bale. President Florentino Perez has smashed the world transfer record four times to bring in Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Posted: 11th, June 2013 | In: Sports | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Cesc Fabregas: Barcelona star wanted by Manchester United lines up move to Arsenal

IS BARCELONA player Cesc Fabregas moving back to the Premier League? Will be be heading to Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea or some other team ? Let’s see how this tranfer rumous has been developing:

June 3

Daily Express: “Arsene Wenger eyes up Wayne Rooney and claims ex-Arsenal star Cesc Fabregas is unsettled”

“I think at the moment he’s lacking the confidence of being a regular player,” Wenger added. “Recently he has not been that. Cesc is such a passionate player, a player of such quality, that it must hurt him not to play in every single game. That’s what he misses. When you come in and out you never play with full confidence.”


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Posted: 10th, June 2013 | In: Sports | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0