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.
UNSURE why Fulham have been relegated from the Premier League? Mohammed AL Fayed knows:
“This statue was a charm and we removed the luck from the club. When (Shahid Khan) asked me to move it I said ‘You must be crazy’. But now he has paid the price because the club has been relegated.”
The statue was, of course, this one of Michael Jackson, erected outside Craven Cottage in April 2011.
IN readiness for the World Cup, Brazil’s Globo newspaper has launched a webpage featuring the correct way to pronounce many of the tournament’s players’ names. Now commentators can get those funny foreign names spot on, no longer pronouncing Holland’s Arjen Robben as “Tumbling Tosspot”, as many English pundits do.
It’s fair;y entertaining stuff. But one part stands out: Neymar, Brazil’s great hope, is playing for England. For anyone interested, his name is pronounced “Steve”.
Ps. Neymar is so good he’s playing for everyone else , too:
HOW tabloid journalism, works, with the Sun’s Neil Curtis:
“If City could axe Mancini, surely Manuel faces chop now.”
THE betrayal of Roberto Mancini might just be coming back to haunt Manchester City.
LAST night Liverpool did their best to reenact the 2005 Champions League final when the Reds came for 3-0 down to take the game in Turkey to penalties – which they won. Three goals up against Crystal Palace, Liverpool blew it.
This was Constantinopool 2014.
Brendan Rodgers’ team can still win the title, but the winds are with Manchester City, who now need to lose one of their two remaining home matches for Liverpool to taste ultimate victory. That’s unlikely.
As one wag put it: “Sad to see Liverpool choke like Suarez on a particularly gristly bit of Ivanovic.”
FLASHBACK to April 9th 1975:
A cause for dressing room celebration at Stamford Bridge by West Ham United players after they defeated Ipswich Town. (Left to right) Trevor Brookings, Pat Holland, goalscorer Alan Taylor, Bobby Gould (behind scorer), unidentified player with towel, Graham Paddon (dressed) and John McDowell.
IT was like the 2005 Champions’ League final all over again – but this time it was Liverpool tossing away a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 with Crystal Palace. The Premier League title is Manchester City’s to lose now…
STEVE Stammers has news for all Arsenal fans reading his Daily Mirror column. The Gunners are all set to buy Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa transfer for £31m.
Arsenal are set to make an audacious move for Diego Costa.
The 25-year-old Atletico Madrid star has a £31million release clause in his contract…
FLASHBACK to May 4 1976: Liverpool win the League with a win at Wolves. Liverpool needed a win or low-scoring draw to pip QPR to the title.
They did it, winning 3-1. The defeat meant Wolves were relegated.
In this photo, we see the dressing room. No selfies back then:
Liverpool celebrate winning the League Championship after their 3-1 victory: (clockwise from top l) Tommy Smith, Ian Callaghan, Steve Heighway, Phil Thompson, Jimmy Case, Kevin Keegan, Emlyn Hughes, Phil Neal, David Fairclough, Ray Kennedy, Ray Clemence
IS Jose Mourinho going a bit, you know, Tonto?
In the Programme notes for Chelsea’s match with Norwich, Jose delivered a few words to his son. The lad’s name? Oh come on. It’s Jose Junior. D’ur!
Thank you, kid, for being my kid.
CHELSEA fan Connor is banned from Stamford Bridge. Why? What did he do? Is he a hooligan, a Headhunter? Did he call someone a “fu*king black cu*t“? No. That doesn’t get you a stadium ban. That just gets you banned from going on the pitch during the game.
No. What Connor did was to engage is ‘Persistent Standing’.
He is guilty of what police, Government and everyone who hates football calls “anti-social behaviour”. He is guilty of displaying passion.
And then it came to pass that Tim proved himself to be not all that good. In fact, he is worse then AVB.
DIEGO COSTA will play for Chelsea next season. Says the Sun in the “exclusive”:
A top Stamford Bridge source confirmed last night: “Diego Costa will be a Chelsea player next season. It’s a done deal.”
He’s joined for £32m?
Or as Goal.com says:
DONE DEAL: Diego Costa agrees to £35m Chelsea move
AND Manchester United’s next manager is… Harold Bishop, from the hit daytime telly show, Neighbours.
MIDDLESBROUGH FC fans Julie Phillips, 50 and Gemma Parkin, 18, travelled to see their club play Birmingham City at St Andrew’s on December 7, 2013. They went equipped with a copy of the Koran, not to hold in prayer as they willed their team to score. Julie, a Middlesbrough Council employee, ripped pages from the religious text and distributed them to other fans to shred.
The pair ended up at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court, where they claimed they had no idea the book in their hands was the Koran. Parkin said she’d been handed it at a Birmingham market. They claimed they were simply “making confetti”.
Only – get this – they had told a steward they were ripping up a copy of the Koran. Oops. That’s idiots for you.
Steward Matthew Corns told the court he heard chants about Muslims and the Koran as the book was passed around and ripped up.
“I was mortified. Very ashamed and disgusted in myself. It was just a book of some sort, I can’t remember if the cover was on. It was just white paper.”
BACK in December 2013, after Chelsea lost to Sunderland in the Capital One Cup quarter-final, a pouting Jose Mourinho told the media:
“We may have to take a step back in order to be more consistent at the back. It’s something I don’t want to do, to play more counter-attacking, but I’m giving it serious thought. If I want to win 1-0, I think I can, as I think it’s one of the easiest things in football. It’s not so difficult, as you don’t give players the chance to express themselves.”
Last night, Jose’s joyless Chelsea were 1-0 up away to Atletico Madrid in the semi-final of the Champions’ League. They then let in three without further troubling the scorers.
To think, they used to call him The Special One.
Never go back….
FLASHBACK to April 29, 1950: Arsenal take on Liverpool in the FA Cup final:
London’s April downpour couldn’t damp the enthusiasm of these Liverpool girls, garlanded with the colours their team and ringing a hand-bell, as they toured the city before going to Wembley Stadium
DID you look at the kit Arsenal and England’s David Seaman wore at Euro ’96 and think ‘I want me one of those’?
His second kit was little better.
Joel did. He looked at strip of man-made vomit fibres and thought it a good look.
But when Joel looked for “Euro 96 England goalkeeper kit” on the web, he found nothing.
And then – a mere ten years of searching later – Joel posted the following photo to his Facebook page.
Now Joel never leaves home without it:
Talking Point: The Gilt-Edge Chance.
CHELSEA are playing in the semi-final of the Champions’ League. They are 1-2 down, needing two goals to progress to the final. They can give up because the BBC says the game is already over:
Sage-like wisdom from the Beeb:
EPISODE 2 of what the experts said when David Moyes was made Manchester United manager:
This is why the emphasis at Old Trafford is on continuity rather than revolution, with Moyes as Bob Paisley and Scotland as some giant, rugged Anfield boot-room. Ferguson’s potency must be bestowed, a hereditary successor appointed. If there could be a son selected from those available it would not be Darren Ferguson schooled at The Posh but David Moyes, stern and stoic, hewn if not from the same DNA, then the same rock, the same nation, the same mythic paradigm. Sir Alex has urged his followers not to call him Boss, to reserve that moniker for Moyes. He has appointed and anointed, given unto them his son, if not his flesh, his likeness.
Ferguson when he was asked to nominate a successor, the nearest approximation of an Anfield boot-room appointment considered instead to be the translucent Moyes, a pale imitation of himself, so pale in fact his impotent palpitations could be witnessed on a vascular level as United throbbed to a final flaccid loss at Goodison Park. Moyes, a pale imitation of himself, so pale in fact his impotent palpitations could be witnessed on a vascular level as United throbbed to a final flaccid loss at Goodison Park.
EXCLUSIVE: Manchester United boss David Moyes will not be leaving Old Trafford – DAVID MOYES will not be sacked as Manchester United boss – despite mounting speculation that he is set to leave Old Trafford.
The Sun, May 10, 2013:
The passion and determination that were the hallmarks of Moyes’s 11 years at Everton make him the outstanding candidate”
And the pick of the bunch:
“And yet for all this Moyes is an excellent manager who could probably succeed anywhere with the right backing. He can even afford to tread water a little while he finds his voice…”
Farewell, then, David Moyes. You made some mistakes as Manchester United manager. But none of them, let’s face it, as gapingly inept as the decision to appoint you Manchester United manager in the first place… In the end Moyes’s greatest failing during the last 10 months was simply to walk into Old Trafford and act like David Moyes…
Norwich City Balls: Carlo Nash Is The Fans Player Of the Year And Has Yet To Play A Match This Season
AND the man on track to be Norwich City fans player of the year 2013-2014 is… Carlo Nash.
Nash is the 40-year-old third-choice goalkeeper who has yet to make a single first-team appearance this season.
IT has to be said that Donald Sterling, the owner of the Clippers basketball team, doesn’t sound like the very brightest of bunnies. He’s a billionaire, self-made, so obviously he has some brains. But if you had fairly racist views would you really go into a business where you’re going to end up paying black men tens of millions of dollars a year? Which is pretty much that the owner of a basketball team in the US NBA does end up doing.
Spurs Balls: Hoddle, Sherwood And De Boer Miss Out As Louis van Gaal Gets Manger’s Job (Say Experts)
WHO will be the next manager at Tottenham Hotspur? The current incumbent is Tim Sherwood. He feels unsettled:
“Every Press conference I do it’s ‘this manager’s coming in… Van Gaal, then Hoddle, this one and that one. Some of these managers are actually touting themselves for my job and I don’t think that’s right. If anyone asks me about another job I just tell them they’ve got a manager. Until they haven’t got a manager and I haven’t got a job, say nothing.”
Anyone think Sherwood will retire gracefully back to his former job as reserve team coach?
IN last night’s Champions’ League semi-final – in which Bayern Munich were thrashed 5-0 by Real Madrid – the Spanish team’s Pepe squirted snot at Thomas Muller. These were not trailing streamers of snot, dribbling from Pepe’s face in the emotion of victory. This was Pepe jetting snot from his nose as the side prepared for a free kick.
Revolting stuff. But Muller seems unfazed by the contagious microbe. No, not Pepe. Well, okay, yep, him, too.
Looks like Madrid really are Bayern’s – ahem – bogey team.
WHEN Villarreal fans taunted Barcelona’s Dani Alves by throwing him a banana, it was not entirely surprising.
Spain does, after all, have a history of this kind of racist goading, including such notable incidents as the monkey chanting directed at England players during the 2004 international in Madrid….