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.
NORTH Korea have made it to the World Cup final. The Metro reports:
“North Korea’s state controlled media is brazenly telling the country’s football fans that the national team have reached the World Cup final in Brazil… In a report posted on YouTube, the media have been caught broadcasting that North Korea are on course to win the biggest prize in football, despite not actually qualifying for the World Cup.”
TRANSFER Balls: Is Real Madrid and Germany midfielder Sami Khedira heading from Real Madrid to Arsenal?
The Daily Star manages to link the player with four of the biggest English clubs:
Liverpool and Man United join Arsenal and Chelsea in four-way £24m fight for Sami Khedira
Jack Wilson is in full Balls mode:
Both Arsenal and Chelsea have been linked with moves for the 27-year-old Real Madrid midfielder.
Linked by whom? Jack doesn’t say. Instead he just speculates to deadline:
But their attempts to sign him could be hit by their Premier League rivals… Manchester United were after Khedira last summer and ready to try and snap him up again. Liverpool could also reportedly move for the German.
WITH the Tour De France in full swing, nearly killing riders with wet cobbles and craft ale enthusiasts thrilling at the warring riders like teenage Hollyoaks fans, it got us thinking about cycling music.
Of course, the great music to cycle to is anything Kosmiche from Germany. Neu! albums are pretty much designed to sound like streamlined engineering, powered by human muscle.
However, we’re not talking about the things you’d listen to while powering your pedals (besides, you might not want to ride around with earbuds in, for fear of being hit by a combine harvester or something), but rather, the songs dedicated to those that cycle and the magnificent machines themselves!
There’s surprisingly few songs about bikes (seeing as they’ve been around for so much longer than cars and planes, which have endless ditties in their honour), but we’ve waded through them, missed off ‘Daisy Bell’ and the terrible Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Katie Melua numbers, and found some gems!
Have a listen and do add your own in the comments.
Tomorrow ‘My White Bicycle’
Ace British psychedelic band, Tomorrow, made one album and saw their guitarist running off to form Yes. However, while they were around, they made this tribute to the free bicycle movement that took place in Holland in the ’60s. Please note the cute bell ringing sound effect.
Kraftwerk ‘Tour De France’
The greatest tribute to cycling comes from Kraftwerk, and Ralf und Florian are total and utter cycling nuts. During one Manchester show at the Velodrome, when they played ‘Tour De France’, the Team GB cyclists appeared and everyone got a bit emotional.
Pink Floyd ‘Bike’
The Syd-era of The Floyd loved whimsy with an edge. They took mundane things and made them B-movie. ‘Gnome’ should be nice and it isn’t and, likewise, ‘Bike’ is a pleasant ditty with a knife between its teeth. Please don’t ride a bike with a machete in your gob, thanks.
Tom Waits ‘Broken Bicycles’
Rainsoaked Tom wouldn’t write a song about a perfectly functional working bicycle he’d just bought for loads of money from Evans, which leaves us with this dollop of pathos.
Junior Reid ‘Poor Man Transportation’
Junior Reid is one of the finest voices in reggae and provides this lovely paean to the prole’s best vehicle.
Vivian Stanshall ‘Terry Keeps His Clips On’
When Stanshall wasn’t causing mayhem in the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, he was… well… causing havoc all by himself. And here, we have the wonderful nonsense of ‘Terry Keeps His Clips On’.
Deerhoof ‘Midnight Bicycle Mystery’
One of the more unusual bike songs, but that’s Deerhoof in a nutshell. They’re mental. And we should cheer from the rooftops about bands like this because we need their shade in the light of commercial rock.
Ballboy ‘Olympic Cyclist’
This song does exactly what it says on the tin and is wonderful for it.
Livingston Taylor ‘Bicycle’
This is the most straightforward bicycle song in music history, even down to the cutely dull description of what his helmet is made of.
The Bouncing Souls ‘BMX Song’
Bicycle songs aren’t all commuting and aerodynamism – The Bouncing Souls were all about popping wheelies and buying bikes that are less practical and more fun.
Julie Doiron ‘When The Breaks Get Wet’
A lovely, plaintive song which paints a picture of riding through drizzle. A wonderful snapshot.
Dukes of the Stratosphear ‘Bike Ride To The Moon’
Neo-psychists, Dukes of the Stratosphear were XTC in disguise where they got to play with the dressing up box. Here, they ape Floyd and take a bike ride to the moon. Worth checking those guys out.
TRANSFER Balls: Is Santi Cazorla leaving Arsenal?
Metro, June 13: “Santi Cazorla has told Arsenal he wants to quit the club and join Atletico Madrid this summer”
The Herts&Essex Observer added: “Arsenal rocked as star demands to return home”
SPAIN midfielder Santi Cazorla wants to return to play in his home country and leave Arsenal this summer.
ESPN had more news:
Cazorla is quoted as having told a man who told a man who told the papers:
Everyone tells me [Atletico] is a good club, Koke and Juanfran are there as well [as David Villa]. But I do not know anything. Until after the World Cup I do not want to know.”
This site had a fact:
And then… Arsenal put Cazorla in the shop window, literally.
And the Arsenal bought Alexis Sanchez, as told by the Guardian:
A measure of the stature of the signing is that Santi Cazorla, Mathieu Flaimini and Mikel Arteta all cheered when they were told the news at yesterday’sThursday’s official unveiling of their new Puma kit.
The Mail was there (as were we):
Arsenal fans that queued outside Puma’s flagship store for hours enjoyed their first glimpse of the club’s new kits as Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini stepped into the front window of the shop wearing the home, away and cup strips…
Cazorla, Arteta and Flamini were all present at a glitzy unveiling at the Puma store in Carnaby Street, before Arsenal spectacularly unveiled the kits to the public via a 20m high water projection visible from the North Bank of the River Thames, right in front of the London Eye.
And ESPN, which talked up Cazorla’s move away from the Emirates:
…Cazorla, whose superb free-kick in the FA Cup victory against Hull helped Arsenal end their nine-year wait for a trophy, was equally impressed with their new signing and believes Sanchez will help the club challenge for top honours. “He’s a fantastic player and a first class player,” Cazorla said [of Sanchez]. “He will bring even more quality to the side which is why we’re all very happy about it. We can focus on the new season and try to win the Premier League. The FA Cup win took a lot of pressure off us so it was great to end nine years without a trophy, it was very big. We will now go into the new season and try to achieve the same again.”
About that sale..
THE Cambridge University Press has been studying millions of words used to describe each of the 32 nations competing at the 2014 World Cup.
What is your national team’s reputation in the world.
Uruguay’s entry is hilarious..
A RUSSIAN priest has claimed that he is “glad” Russia’s players failed to make any progress at the World Cup as the coloured boots they wore were an affront to God – a “homosexual abomination” if you will.
Writing in his column for Christian website Russian People’s Line, priest Alexander Shumsky claimed that by wearing green, yellow, pink and blue boots, the Russia players were promoting the “gay rainbow” in Brazil, hence their failure.
TRANSFER Balls: Matt Hummels is “exclusive” to Manchester United in the scoop-tastic Daily Star:
EXCLUSIVE: Manchester United step up pursuit of Mats Hummels – MANCHESTER UNITED have stepped up their pursuit of £20m Mats Hummels.
Adrian Kajumba and Chris McKenna have the “exclusive” story. Yep, no fewer that TWO journalists cracked this one:
United have sounded out the Borussia Dortmund centre-half’s camp to see if he would be interested in a switch to Old Trafford.
Sadly no sources are quoted. But one of them may be the IBTimes, which on July 2, reported:
Any sources there?
Manchester United are reportedly set to make a £20m offer for Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels, according to the Express.
That would be the same Daily Express that shares offices with the trusty Star?
THINKING outside the (penalty) box: tackling the ‘professional’ foul
WITH the World Cup semi-finals upon us, it’s as good a time as any to remember Laurent Blanc, the French captain who received a red card – the only one of his entire career – in the semi-final of the 1998 World Cup, and missed the final thanks to Slaven Bilic’s theatrics.
There were no Gazza tears, just Gallic stoicism. He said he had only himself to blame for raising his hand.
Blanc shared the presentation of the cup with Didier Deschamps, and avoided any John Terry-style ridicule for doing so in his team shirt, but it must have been a bitter pill to swallow all the same.
In recent years, FIFA have addressed the problem of accumulated yellow cards, thus making career-ruining suspensions less likely for finals – although a red in a semi will still see you banned.
But what of the other side of the coin? What of the teams who are knocked out of the tournament because of cynical, calculated ‘professional’ fouls which deny them a crucial goal?
These days, denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity is supposed to be punished by a straight red. Sometimes it is punished by both a red card and a penalty.
GOOD news, Liverpool FC fans. Luis Suarez can be replaced. Who says? Why, Tita Camara, that’s who:
When Liverpool sold Titi to West Ham United in 2000, there was much weeping and wailing. But the Reds muddled on. But they pulled themselves together, won the FA Cup, the League Cup and finished third in the League table…
TRANSFER Balls: A regular look at rumour, speculation and opinion backed by anonymous sources presented as ‘news’ in today’s mainstream media. The focus is on Luis Suarez:
Daily Mail: “Liverpool are holding out for £75million but Barcelona are hoping to make the payment in stages, with part based on performances.”
And shirt sales. As the Indy notes:
Luis Suarez is yet to complete his £63m move to Barcelona, but that hasn’t stopped one merchandiser in Spain pre-empting the Uruguayan’s arrival.
Can that £12m shortfall be made up by Suarez merchandise sales?
TOUR de France 2014: Stage Three – Cambridge to London…
AWKWARD Tour de France Vine of the day:
TRANSFER Balls has a quick look at the kind of to-deadline exclusive churned out by the Daily Mirror:
Andy Dunn has words of doom and gloom to Arsenal fans:
TRANSFER Balls – Anorak’s regular look at speculation and rumour being presented as fact in the mainstream press. Today the Daily Mail leads with news that Barcelona’s Alexis Sanchez is on his way to Arsenal.
Simon Jones writes:
Arsenal have agreed a £34million deal in principle with Barcelona for Chile international forward Alexis Sanchez but Barcelona are waiting to see if Juventus can match the offer.
The Metro has similar news, only it does that neat trick of altering the fee to stand out as a unique story on the search engines:
The Mirror reads the round-up of figures and opts for the more circumspect:
Mirror Sport understands a deal hasn’t been completed yet, but the Gunners are working to agree a fee with Barcelona.
So. The consensus is that Sanchez is a Gooner.
Well, not quite.
On July 2, the Express told us:
Liverpool to bank Alexis Sanchez as Barcelona jet in for Luis Suarez deal
And on June 25, the Express reported:
LIVERPOOL have already completed the signing of Chile’s Barcelona star, and Arsenal and Manchester United target, Alexis Sanchez…
So said Phil Thompson, who told one and all:
“Just yesterday I heard things from people, newspaper guys who are very close to the ground at Liverpool, saying that the Sanchez deal was actually done.”
Oh, and in case any Arsenal fans are feeling happy at the news, the Independent notes:
So. No deal done…yet…
Such are the facts…
TRANSFER Balls: a look at the media rpeorting on Alexis Sanchez, the Barcelaona player wanted by Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United (among others). Today the Sunday People (prop. Trinity Mirror) notes:
Liverpool are refusing to give up the chase for Alexis Sanchez – with manager Brendan Rodgers on standby to meet the Barcelona striker. Rodgers believes he could at least persuade the 25-year-old to consider joining the Reds – if he got the chance to talk to him.
Believes. Could. Consider.
TRANSFER Balls – a regular look at football speculation and rumour presented as fact by the mainstream press. Today we wonder if Arturo Vidal on his way to the Premier League from Juventus?
Today the Daily Star has an “EXCLUSIVE” – Vidal is wanted by Manchester United.
FORMER England captain Andrew Strauss chose to share his view of former England colleage of 82 Tests Kevin Pietersen at the Lord’s bicentenary celebration match between the MCC and the Rest of The World. Commentating for Sky Sports, microphones picked up Strauss calling Pietersen a “c***” in an aside to one of his co- commentators, Nick Knight.
But only viewers watching on the Fox Sports app. heard the insult, something that should increase future downloads as cricket fans seek out more entertainment than even the contents of Ian Botham’s cereal bowl can supply.
Exposed, Strauss then disapointed cricket lovers by stating:
“I apologise unreservedly, particularly to Kevin Pietersen. I am mortified and profusely sorry.”
TRANSFER Balls: Is Luis Suarez off from Liverpool? Today’s news round-up now follows:
MANCHESTER Untied Balls: The Sun has an “exclusive” on Dutch footballer Siem De Jong, recently signed by Newcastle United. David Coverdale writes:
SIEM DE JONG is out for revenge on Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal next season — after being left out of his World Cup squad…
De Jong, 25, has six caps for Holland but Van Gaal snubbed him for Brazil.
v. describes the action of ignoring, failing to notice, or pretending not to see someone.
a person is usually snubbed when they are disliked or the other person couldnt be bothered talking to them.
WHEN Angel Di Maria salved a kak-footed but busy performance for Argentina against Switzerland (he gave the ball away 51 times) with the game’s only goal, the Mirror saluted the man who had set him up:
Saviour Messi To The Rescue
WHO is the new Cristiano Ronaldo? The Press love to look for the next big thing, the Ronaldo-alike who will be the world’s best player:
GiveMeSport 2013: Eden Hazard
Forget Scholes – Hazard can be Ferguson’s new Ronaldo
The Times, June 20 2013: Bruma
Mourinho asks Chelsea to sign new Ronaldo
Transfer Balls: Luis Suarez Leaves Liverpool For £70m As Arsenal Get £32m-Rated Alexis Sanchez For £20m
TRANSFER Balls: A look at Luis Suarez’s likely move form Liverpool to Barcelona, as told by the mainstream media. Do they know anything? Let’s find out:
LUIS SUAREZ’S transfer to Barcelona moved a giant step closer after positive opening talks with Liverpool. Barca yesterday accepted they must pay £70million for the bite-shame Uruguayan striker — allaying Kop fans’ fears he would be sold on the cheap.
So. Barcalona must pay £70m to get their man.
The Guardian says:
Luis Suárez is close to sealing his preferred move to Barcelona after the Catalan club held a “productive” first meeting with Liverpool and offered around £70m for the controversial forward…The fee falls short of Liverpool’s initial £80m valuation, and has not been accepted…
So. The Sun says Saurez can go for £70m and The Guaridan says he can’t.
What says the Mail?
Barca have offered massive a £72m for the Uruguayan
That might be over the asking price.
The other part of the Suarez to Barcelona story is that Alexis Sanchez will make the opposite journey, leaving the Spanish club to join Liverpool. Can the papers agree on facts about that?
Kop boss Brendan Rodgers has inquired about taking Barca’s £32m-rated Alexis Sanchez as part of the deal. But the Chile winger, 25, wants to stay or join Juventus or Arsenal.
The Mail lowers that fee:
Liverpool maintain an interest in Alexis Sanchez and he could yet be included as a makeweight with Liverpool having already valued him at around £30m.
And then teh Express declares:
ARSENAL are looking to beat Liverpool to Alexis Sanchez with a £20m bid…
Such are the facgts.
More Transfer Balls every day…
Transfer Balls: Barcelona Begin Alexis Sanchez Auction As Arsenal, Liverpool And Manchester United Check His Teeth
TRANSFER Balls: Is Alexis Sanchez heading from Barcelona to… Liverpool? Let’s see what the trusty media have been saying today:
The Daily Express says Sanchez is Liverpool bound:
Liverpool to bank Alexis Sanchez as Barcelona jet in for Luis Suarez deal
It’s a banker. Bookmakers in Malasia are paying out. But wait a moment. The Daily Mail says the player is not keen on the move.
Alexis Sanchez would prefer Arsenal to Liverpool despite Barcelona wanting to use him as part of Luis Suarez deal