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.

Transfer Balls: Christian Benteke drips for Liverpool

Benteke trousers


Transfer Balls: Christian Benteke has signed for Liverpool. He has joined, as ever, “to win things”. But the Indy writes:

“Liverpool signing appears to have been decorating before £32.5m switch, specks of paint spotted on jeans”


Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 23rd, July 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United ‘abandoning’ their history says Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger



Did Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger say Manchester United are trying to buy glory? The Times reports:

Arsène Wenger has accused Manchester United of abandoning the club’s tradition of youth development in pursuit of short-term success…

He did?

Wenger contrasted United’s new approach to Arsenal’s philosophy, which he claims remains geared to producing players, albeit many of them recruited from all over the world as teenagers. 

Wenger said that? It’s seems out of character.  Frenchman is hardly the most gung-ho individual. Take what he says about the coming season and Arsenal chances of winning the Premier League title:

“All going well, I feel we have a chance. But I cannot guarantee we will win the title. We now have the stability that gives us strength but it’s very difficult to guess how strong the other teams will be.

“There have been times in the past when I knew we could not win it. When you just squeeze into the top four and see others strengthening while you are losing players, it is difficult to be convinced you can still win the league.”

Back, then, to the Times and is story on Wenger attacking Man United for “abandoning” it’s roots:

“With United’s success they have created huge financial resources and today there is no patience for them to continue to do what they did — and they have the financial resources to go with a different policy. As well, they do not have available the players like Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and David Beckham inside the club, because youth talent is spread more through 20 clubs than it was 20 years ago.”

So. He didn’t say United were buying success. Wenger said the market has changed because United grew rich through glory brought about by sound planning and Alex Ferguson’s management skills. They can now spend huge amounts of money.

As for the homemade players coming through:

Of players who came through the Old Trafford academy, Evans made the most Premier League starts last season with 12, the same number as Paddy McNair, followed by Adnan Januzaj with seven and Tyler Blackett, right, with six.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 23rd, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Sergi Samper becomes Arsenal and Liverpool superstar

Arsenal have tabled a £8.5m offer for Barcelona’s Sergi Samper. Well, so says the Sun:

Samper, 20, is currently behind Sergio Busquets, Javier Mascherano and Sergi Roberto in the Nou Camp pecking order.

But the Metro says Sergi Roberto is close to joining Everton move”. If true (and yep, this is the Metro) Samper is either third or fourth choice pick for his slot in Barcelona’s central midfield.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 23rd, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Arsenal finally get shot of Wojciech Szczesny

So. Farewell Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, the player whose name only his mother could spell. The  aloof, cocksure, talented, error-prone goalkeeper has left Arsenal for Roma on a season-long loan. Petr Cech is the Arsenal number one.

Arsenal fans will be delighted.

Roma wanted to sign Szczesny permanently, but he wanted to maintain a tie to the Gunners.

Either the okay-ish David Ospina or very promising Damian Martinez will be Arsenal number 2.


Posted: 22nd, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Desperate Chelsea use the media to tap up Everton’s John Stones

Is John Stones edging closer to a move to Chelsea from Everton?

The media think it’s a matter of when not if. The Times reports:

The Everton defender is understood to want to join the champions, although he has no plans to agitate to secure his departure from Goodison Park at present.

Gary Cahill thinks its a good idea to play for Chelsea. The player who joined the Blues from Bolton Wanderers says Stones should do the right thing and join. It’s all self-serving balls, of course. The habit of wheeling out players to tell a target how great they are is one honed in Spanish football.

Says Cahill:

“In terms of ambition if you’re a young player in the game, have played in the Premier League like he did a lot last year, and a big club come calling it’s very difficult to turn down because you want to achieve the most you can in the short period you have in your career as a professional footballer.  When a top club comes calling, who you know will be firing on all fronts with competitions and medals, that’s ultimately what you want to be playing for. It’s hard to turn down of course.”

Why can’t Stones win medals at Everton? This modern footballers’ mantra about leaving not for money but to win things is no less craven than moving for the cash.

“He will look at the club, look at the players, and look at being involved in a squad like ours. When Chelsea came calling for me it was an opportunity, it was a chance and looking from the outside, you may not be sure how it’s going to go. But it’s one you can’t turn down, you have to grab it with both hands. Then you have to work as hard as you can to make it work.”

Stones is better than Cahill was at 20. He also plays for Everton, a bigger club that Bolton. Chaliil cost Chelsea £7m. Everton have turned down a £20m bid for Stones.

And then the real wooing begins:

“When you talk about being able to handle big transfers you look at their personality. From what I have seen when I have been away with him for England, he is a genuinely nice guy, a down to earth lad. There is nothing ‘big-time’ about him. So for me I’m sure he will be able to cope with the fee. Plus, with the right support around him, like from the more experienced players in the squad, and his family, I’m sure he’ll be fine.”

What drivel.

And here comes Jose Mourinho to diminish Everton:

“The market is where it is and it’s up to the clubs to decide yes or no. And I speak just for ourselves. For ourselves there are certain rules. It’s a good market. That is why smaller other clubs if they have interesting young English players they use that in the right way for them. I don’t even criticise them.”

Chelsea are looking desperate. In the mad world of football money, what’s expensive today is cheap tomorrow. Everton should hold out for a fortune. If Raheem Sterling’s worth £49m, name your price and wait.

Posted: 22nd, July 2015 | In: Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Plastic ‘racist’ Chelsea fans banned from football by anti-football bigots

racist chelsea fansFive Chelsea fans (all white) who shoved Frenchman Souleymane Sylla (black) off a train on the Paris Metro have been punished. The four chanted “We’re racist, we’re racist, and that’s the way we like it” on their way to watch Chelsea’s Champions League match against Paris St Germain on February 17th.

The judgement:

Richard Barklie, 50,  of Victoria Street, Carrickfergus, Co Antrim; Joshua Parsons, 20, of Woodhouse Place, Dorking;  Dean Callis, 32, of Islington, London; and William Simpson, 26, have been issued with football banning orders for five years.

Jordan Munday, 20, was banned from football matches for three years.

District Judge Gareth Branston told London’s Stratford Magistrates Court:

“This was an abhorrent, nasty, offensive, arrogant and utterly unacceptable behaviour and cannot be allowed in modern, civilised society. It must be stamped out.”

Branston said Barklie joined in the racist chanting of “John Terry is a racist and that’s the way we like it”.

Parsons shouted “where were you in World War Two?” and “F*** the IRA”, the court heard.

None of those chants are especially racist, are they? Stupid? Yes. Arcane? Yes. Hackneyed? Yes. The only hint of creativity is the one about John Terry, the Chelsea captain infamous embroiled in a racially-fulled row with QPR’s Anton Ferdinand. Terry was cleared by the courts and banned by the FA.

Aside from the pushing and intimidation on the Metro, you wonder if the boorish Chelsea fans have been found guilty to thought crimes. Surely they were just speaking freely. Yes , what they said was offensive, ugly and evidence of mental negligibility. But when we arrest people for saying things, we are in danger of becoming an illiberal mob.

As for the guilty, the Irish Times hears the pick of the excuses:

Munday, of Sidcup south-east London, is said to have joined in the racist chanting, an allegation he denied, insisting he was just “breathing”.

Mouth breather!

But this excuse, picked up by the Indy is also a cracker:

Mr Barklie, who is a former police officer from Northern Ireland, told the court that Mr Sylla was “the only person using aggression” and had tried to force himself on the train when there was no space. The Chelsea fan said: “I did push him, I put my hand out to stop him getting into this space.”

Mr Barklie said he had put his hands up to defend himself, in accordance with his public order training…

No rubber bullets were fired in self-defence. And that cultural sensitivity training let him down.

None stood in court, raised a stiff arm and declared his love for Hitler. This is modern Chelsea, not the 1970s headhunting neo-Nazi breed, wiped out by modernity, the prevailing culture, a Jewish owner, success, Sky Sports, a shifting culture, mockery, the fact that a quarter of Premier League players are black and to a much lesser degree anti-racism laws.

Racists words but not necessarily racists.

The one exception seems to be Simpson, of Ashford, Surrey, who previously been arrested twice before for race-connected crimes, including once allegedly calling a taxi driver a “f****** Paki”.

All men had denied being racist.

Posted: 22nd, July 2015 | In: Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Man United’s ‘surprise’ non-striking striker target revealed

When Manchester United’s Louis Van Gaal played the media by telling everyone he was signing a striker not yet linked to the club, we began to guess.

Rumours are that it’s Fernando Llorente. According to the Mirror, the Spanish hitman is on his way to Old Trafford.

The signings of Pablo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic by Juventus this summer means that the 30-year-old Llorente will struggle for game time with the Old Lady. While, with his 6’5″ frame, the former Athletic Bilbao star would provide United with a proper physical presence in attack.

But hold the replica shirt printing because the Guardian says:
Manchester United’s ‘surprise’ signing is not a striker, says Louis van Gaal
It’s an egg? A dinosaur? Roberto Soldado?
After his team defeated San Jose Earthquakes 3-1 at the Avaya Stadium, Van Gaal said: “I don’t know if I want to buy a striker. I have read in the media that a striker is the surprise. No, that I have not said. You are saying that, because my answer is like that. No, I mean something else.”
Ever get the feeling someone’s winding you up?

Posted: 22nd, July 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester City: Balotelli wants Liverpool fans to praise Raheem Sterling

raheem sterling manchester city debutManchester City: Raheem Sterling scored on his debut for The Citizens. Within three minutes for his new club, the former Liverpool player set about justifying City’s £49 million investment.

City won the game against Roma in Melbourne 5-4 on penalties.

All good, then. Well, it was until Liverpool wage-nicker Mario Balotelli took to twitter:

Well done @sterling 31 !

Having praised the man who rejected Liverpool, Balotelli picked up on the Liverpool fans sat in the stands who booed Sterling. He ordered them to stop:

“Liverpool fans are amazing but i hope @sterling31 will play at his best because he deserve it. He’s a good guy young and talented…. support him Like you always did.

“He gave everything to this club and respect it so im sad to see this. YNWA, Liverpool is a family ALWAYS”.

If ‘walking’ Balotelli wasn’t enough to irritate football fans tired of the football family balls and being treated as a mere audience, we get to hear the views of Samir Nasri. The Sun writes:


Sterling was jeered as he made his City debut in yesterday’s clash with Roma at the Melbourne Cricket Ground…

Nasri said: “You always have stupid fans in the stadium and the same thing happened to me when I left Arsenal. You have to move on. He has come to Manchester City and you have to respect his decision.”

Oh, do put a sock in it. Fans don’t have to respect anyone or anything, especially a man who rejects the chance to earn a fortune doing a job they’d do for free.

Nasri then adds:


“This is a game between Roma and Manchester City in Melbourne! We didn’t expect anything like that from these fans, so it is a surprise. But if he needs any advice about that, then he can come and talk to me.”

The advice would be that Liverpool are a bigger club than Man City. (The match was watched by 41,000 fans.  When Liverpool played Melbourne Victory at the MCG , 95000 fans were there.)

Money does not buy you love. And if anyone in your ‘family’ demands more pocket money to remain part of the clan or else, show them the door.



Posted: 22nd, July 2015 | In: Liverpool, Manchester City, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Manchester United are buying a ‘surprise’ striker – so Luis Suarez it is

Manchester United are getting a surprise. Team manager Louis van Gaal says the player is “in the process” of joining. He added:

“It’s not the striker that the media has written about. You have to wait and see. The transfer period is open until August 31. You have to wait.”

Considering every striker worth his salt has been linked to United in the media, we can only wonder if Van Gaal doesn’t read the Press or if he’s buying Diego Costa or Luis Suarez. So. For SEO purposes, here’s the news: Manchester United are buying Luis Suarez.

Unless it’s all balls and United are buying Thomas Müller, Robert Lewandowski, Edinson Cavani, Álvaro Morata and Harry Kane. It’s not “the striker” – it’s “the strikers”. Van Gaal is such a tease. Man United are buying all of them.

Or as the Telegraph puts it:

Man Utd transfer news and rumours: ‘Louis van Gaal prepares €100m Thomas Muller bid’

But Luis Van Gaal never saw that story.


Posted: 21st, July 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Joao Moutino linked to Arsenal as Monaco clear the wage bill

JoaoMoutnihoArsenal are looking at Monaco’s Joao Moutino. The Daily Telegraph says:

 ‘Joao Moutinho free to join Arsenal’

Free? No. The tabloid Tele’s story is rooted in The Metro, who add that Manchester United and Chelsea are keen on the Portuguese. The paper says Arsenal are readying a bid of £18m.

The Guardian says Monaco are “willing to let the Portuguese go for €20m”.

Fluctuating exchange rates make euros-to-pounds conversions a tricky sum. Given the current state of the Euro Zone, €20m could be anything from £20m to 10p.

The Express, which turns out to be the source of the Metro’s story that Moutino has “agreed” to join Arsenal, adds:

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is understood to be willing to let Mathieu Flamini leave the Emirates and could be in the market for a replacement.

Moutinho for Flamini?

Facts are thinner than Yvette Cooper’s mile. And we’ve been here before. Back in 2012 Sky Sports announced:

 Sky Sports understands Tottenham Hotspur have agreed a club record £22million deal with Porto for Joao Moutinho.

Wrong. Moutinho never arrived at Spurs.

This new story goes that Monaco is on £110,000 a week and Monaco want him off the books.

Is anyone else outside the Premier League keen on the player?

Football Italia says “Moutinho on Inter radar“. Get French Football News says “Porto in advanced negotiations for Joao Moutinho.”

Such are the facts.


Posted: 21st, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal ‘bid’ £31m for Benzema and rule out move for Higuain

Arsenal remain keen on Real Madrid’s France striker Karim Benzema, writes the Mail, adding that “Arsenal do not expect to sign Karim Benzema this summer”.

The Telegraph says Arsenal have bid £31m for Karim Benzema.

The tabloid Tele knows his because it read the story in the Express.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 21st, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal: Petr Cech says Arsenal have one big advantage over Chelsea

Former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech tis talking about his new life at Arsenal.

Is Cech’s transfer a sign of a shift in power? Arsenal have not beaten Chelsea in the Premier League since October 2011 (5-3 defeat at Stamford Bridge). Indeed, since Roman Abramovich hooked Chelsea to his wallet, Arsenal have beaten Chelsea just six times from 30 matches played. Most worryingly for Arsenal fans is that in 13 attempts, Arsene Wenger has yet to defeat José Mourinho.

Says Cech:

“There are a lot of things in common between the two clubs. Nobody wants to lose games, and everybody wants to win so we’re all focusing on getting ready for the season. We want to have a successful season, which means we have to be prepared, as there are a lot of opponents in the pack in the Premier League and the Champions League, who will have the same targets.”

Pretty anodyne stuff, there. We want to win. We don’t like losing. But Cech begins to open up:

“What I’ve found is a group of players who work very hard and are focused on what they’re doing on the pitch to get ready. I’ve found the team spirit quite extraordinary, I have to say. Everybody pulls in the same direction, which is why I believe we will have a successful season. You need to have that connection between players to work towards the same targets to be successful. I’ve only been here a short while, but I can feel the team is together.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 21st, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Everton’s John Stones wants Chelsea move

The Sun says John Stones is “keen” to move from Everton to Chelsea. Readers are told:

JOHN STONES is ‘definitely interested’ in joining Chelsea.

And Chelsea want him:

And the champions are preparing a £25million bid after having a £20m offer rejected.

The Mirror says the bid will be £34m. The Mail said it’s £26m.

We hear from a Sun “source”:

“This is not a Raheem Sterling situation where there’s any bad feeling between John and the club or vice-versa — but John is definitely interested in going to Chelsea.

“John was not misquoted last week but the timing of that quote being released by Everton was quite interesting because he actually spoke BEFORE the bid.”

The Times says Everton rejected the Chelsea bid last Friday. Stones was quoted as having said this the day earlier:

“I am very happy to be at Everton for the future. My aim right now is to try and nail down a regular spot in this Everton team and hopefully that will take care of playing for England. I have to keep learning off the likes of Phil Jagielka and keep progressing at this club.”

Unless a big money bid arrives, in which case, see yer Phil…


Posted: 20th, July 2015 | In: Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal: Bellerin signs new deal and starts the countdown to Barcelona

Arsenal: Héctor Bellerín has singed a new deal. The Arsenal defender has agreed a four-year contract at the club. He’s now earning… 50,000 a week.

The Spaniard only got his chance in the Arsenal first XI because Mathieu Debuchy broke his ankle. He then proved to be a better right back than Calum Chambers.

So. Good news for Arsenal fans. But they will wonder how long it will be before Barcelona, the club where Bellerin began his career as a winger, come calling…

Posted: 20th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester City: Fabian Delph gets loyalty lessons from Raheem Sterling

So. Fabian Delph said he wouldn’t leave Aston Villa for Manchester City – and then he did. Money; the craven and all-too common mantra “I want to win things” (why not win things with your existing club?); and, well, the money all played parts in Delph’s about turn.

But what about the Daily Mirror, which heralded Delph as the antidote to greed:


fabian delph bottler kidd


On July 13 David Kidd’s column was headlined:

Raheem Sterling has backed himself to shine at a top club, Fabian Delph’s bottled out.



Screen shot 2015-07-20 at 19.33.39


On July 17, Kidd’s column was headlined:

Fabian Delph U-turn is further proof that loyalty is dead in the Premier League.


He can’t win in the Mirror but at least Delph now has a better chance of winning  on a football pitch.

Posted: 20th, July 2015 | In: Manchester City, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Alexandre Lacazette’s all clear to Arsenal and Manchester United

It’s been a busy few weeks Lyon footballer Alexandre Lacazette.

June 4, Daily Star: “Alexandre Lacazette WANTS Manchester United move”

June 4, Daily Express: “Arsenal and City target Alexandre Lacazette WANTS Man Utd move despite £22m Liverpool bid”

June 8, Daily Star: “Alexandre Lacazette has reached an agreement to sign for Paris St-Germain”

July 16, The Metro: “Arsenal ‘clear to seal Alexandre Lacazette transfer”

Which brings us to today’s news. Says Lacazette:

 “I have already told the head coach and the president that I want to stay in Lyon. I am fully committed to our project for this season.”

So much for his wanting to leave…

Posted: 20th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Chelsea reject Pedro gossip as Manchester United move for Liverpool and Arsenal target

Chelsea will not be signing Pedro from Barcelona, says the Mail. The paper say Chelsea will recruit one more player this summer transfer season but it won’t be Pedro.

This is some news to Mail readers who in recent days have been told that Pedro to Chelsea is very much on:

July 12: “Chelsea to make £22m move for Barcelona star Pedro”

July 14:  “Chelsea are reportedly close to signing Barcelona forward Pedro”

July 17: “Liverpool are ready to challenge Chelsea for the signing of Barcelona star Pedro”

 Sky Sports quotes Jose Mourinho:

“I have five wingers, if I lose one maybe I am interested in another but at this moment I have balance and quality and numbers. I am looking for a defender to finish this balance in our squad and after that we are ready to answer anything that can happen to our players.”

Meanwhile, the Mirror says Pedro is off to join a Manchester United.

Which will upset Arsenal, who, The Independent told readers, have met with the player’s agent.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 20th, July 2015 | In: Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United: Robin Van Persie celebrates Ferguson, loves Arsenal’s Wenger but questions Van Gaal’s honesty

Fresh from Manchester United and welcomed to Fenerbahce by 18,000 delighted fans at Istanbul’s Sukru Saracoglu stadium, Robin van Persie tells the Sunday Times:

 “I had other options [in Italy and Spain] but that’s why I chose Turkey. Football has to be fun. That’s my aim, to go back to that childhood love of the game.”

RVP loves to talk about his inner child. When he left Arsenal for a lot more money at United – he became United’s highest earner on £240,000 a week –  the Dutchman opined:

“I always listen to the little boy inside of me in these situations – when you have to make the harder decisions in life. What does he want? That boy was screaming for Man United.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 19th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United: Angel di Maria agrees terms with PSG

Farewell, then, Angel Di Maria. The Times say the Argentine will leave Manchester United for Paris Saint-Germain. The paper says Di Maria has agreed personal terms with the French champions.

A mere 11 months since Di Maria became British football’s record signing –  €75m (then £59.7m) and a basic annual salary of £11.96m – he’s off.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal was the man who wanted Di Maria. And the Times says Van Gaal was the also the man who ruined him:

Privately, Di Maria blamed Van Gaal for removing the confidence with which he arrived in England following a man-of-the-match performance in the 2014 Champions League final and his integral role for Argentina at the World Cup.

The Mail says “Angel di Maria will have to formally ask Manchester United for a transfer if he wants to leave Old Trafford.”

Submitting a transfer request is always the modern player’s last resort simply because it waives any right to a financial pay off.

But it’s not all about the money for Di Maria, the poor, hyperactive kid who became a star. He wants to play.

James Ducker wonders why he hasn’t:

In Di María’s defence, he seems to have been one of the most high-profile victims of Van Gaal’s exacting demands, in particular the manager’s wish that players should not play intuitively, an approach that has invited accusations that the Dutchman hinders his most creative talents by coaching the flair out of the team.

It is easy to miss, but it has not been uncommon this season to see a rather uneasy Di María regularly glancing over to the dugout during matches, almost out of fear that he might be doing something out of turn. The sight of Britain’s most expensive footballer, at £59.7 million, appearing to second-guess himself in this way is a little disconcerting.

For the huge sums United spent, fans were entitled to expect brilliance. Di María provided it in flashes. But he never settled. How much of that disappointment can be laid at Van Gaal’s door remains to be seen.

Posted: 18th, July 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Aston Villa fans unveil ‘Delph you snake’ banner

Delph snake banner

A few Aston Villa fans have daubed A message to Fabian Delphi, the team captain who committed himself to the team before heading to Manchester City.

Delph’s initial denying of Man City’s cash was prised by Villa manager Tim Sherwood:

“We are looking to build something here and we’re looking to keep our best players.

“Fabian is certainly one of those. It’s just an example of the measure of the guy really that he decided to stay – the loyalty he’s shown to the fans, the football club and the chairman. And I’m delighted to have him here next season.”

If you see any white paint on Tim’s fingers, let us know.

Posted: 18th, July 2015 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Manchester United offer £22m for Pedro who agreed Chelsea deal after joining Arsenal

Manchester United are to offer Barcelona £20m for their spare-part forward Pedro.

The Sun says Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool are also after the 27 year old, whose record reads 98 goals in 318 appearances for the Catalans.

But the Times says Man United are leading the chase and have prepared to trigger the player’s £22million buy-out clause in his new contract.

“It’s true I have received important offers,” says Pedro. “My situation is complicated because I want to play a lot of minutes, but that is becoming very difficult at Barcelona.”

Complicated’s right. With so many clubs apparently after Pedro, the utter balls flow freely.

On July 15, the Star’s Paul Brown said Chelsea would sign Pedro “next week”:


Screen shot 2015-07-18 at 08.46.32


The Star reported that Chelsea have met Pedro’s £22m release clause, adding:

Liverpool and Inter Milan were also interested in Pedro, but they are set to miss out as Chelsea are his preferred option.

The Week agrees, stating:

The 27-year-old has agreed to join Chelsea where he’s been told he’ll have more opportunities to showcase his talents.

But just yesterday the Express noted:

The Blues were thought to be closing in on a move for Barcelona ace Pedro, but reports in Spain suggest Mourinho is not prepared to meet his £22m release clause.

Chelsea have and have not bid £22m for Pedro?

The Mail says Liverpool will make an offer.

And it was back in May the Metro announced that Pedro wanted to play for Arsenal and the Gunners would bid £26m for him.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 18th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Fabian Delph: Manchester City buy ‘loyal’ Aston Villa captain for £8m

Fabian Delph is no longer Aston Villa captain having signed a five-year contract at Manchester City. A few days ago, Delph “set the record straight” over his future, stating on Villa’s website:

“I’m aware there has been intense media speculation surrounding my future in the last 24 hours and I want to set the record straight. I’m not leaving. I’m staying at the football club and I can’t wait for the start of the season and captaining this great football club.”

But then, as the story goes, he spoke with City’s Micah Richards. Says Delph:

“Micah Richards told me that as far as he is concerned, this is the best club in the world and he had the time of his life here.”

But give it a week and Richards might tell you it’s rubbish.

Posted: 17th, July 2015 | In: Manchester City, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Everton’s John Stones rejects Chelsea and the chance to ‘win things’

Transfer Balls: news to gladden the hearts in that Everton have rejected a £20 million Chelsea bid for John Stones

Everton say the England Under-21 defender is not for sale at any price. Of course he is. He has to be. A stupid sum of money would tempt Everton to sell. Indeed, the Mail says Chelsea will make improved £26m bid. And the Express – yes, we know, it is full of utter balls – says Everton are making moves to replace Stones:


Jost STones Everton Chelsea


But the best part of this story is what Stones says. He’s on £30,000 a week. Not a shabby sum, but far less than Chelsea would pay him:

“I am very happy to be at Everton for the future. My aim right now is to try and nail down a regular spot in this Everton team and hopefully that will take care of playing for England. I have to keep learning off the likes of Phil Jagielka and keep progressing at this club.”

Hurrah! That’s what fans want to hear their young player say. The recent hideous agent-fed phrase – “I want to win trophies” – sticks in the craw. It’s not all about what you want. It’s about the team.

Stones might just be the antidote to the familiar cries to the craven footballing mercenary.

Posted: 17th, July 2015 | In: Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Bayern Munich’s Arturo Vidal agrees to join Arsenal for less than he agreed to join Manchester United

Transfer Balls picks up the news that Juventus have sold Arturo Vidal to Bayern Munich for £28m.

The Guardian relays news emerging in the German Press:

Juventus’ Arturo Vidal set to seal £28m move to Bayern Munich

That’s the Guardian that told readers on May 25 2015:

Football transfer rumours: Arsenal to sign Juventus’ Arturo Vidal

The fee to bring Vidal to Arsenal was said to be £25m.

Indeed on June 28, the Mail reports that Vidal was now a Gunner although the fee was a reduced £21m. The Metro said Vidal would earn £96,000 a week at Arsenal.

Over in the Express, on July 4 2015, reader were told that Vidal had “agreed” to join Real Madrid.

All incredibly stuff to Independent readers who had been told in 20014 that Vidal had agreed a £182,000-a-week with Manchester United.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 17th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Daily Star’s Vargas to Arsenal story tricks Gunners fans

vargas arsenal


Transfer balls: a look at utter drivel passed off as scoops in the mainstream media. And the Daily Star has a corker.

The headline trills:

Napoli confirm Arsenal target Eduardo Vargas is considering transfer to the Emirates

Arsenal play at the Emirates stadium.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 17th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0