Anorak

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: Neymar to jail or Manchester United

neymar the sunTransfer balls: The Sun has news that Neymar is “in the frame” to join Manchester United. Why would the Brazilian leave mighty Barcelona to join underwhelming United? Let’s read on…

Neymar has put Premier League suitors on red alert after his dad revealed he could quit Barcelona. Manchester United lead the race for the Brazil superstar, with rivals City and Chelsea also monitoring the situation.

Monitoring the situation is tabloid speak for ‘waiting for a phone from the player’s agent’.

The Sun’s big sports story is based on “reports in Spain”, which says an “unnamed club” has offered £144.4million for Neymar. All Neymar’s dad – the sole source for news of that mega offer – will reveal is that the mystery is club is not Real Madrid.

Over to Spain, then, where Catalunya radio’s Jordi Borda is responding to the Sun’s news. He tweets:

Neymar pare li ha dit al jutge que el seu fill només vol renovar amb l Barça tot i q té una oferta milionària x marxar. Ha parlat d’una oferta de 190 milions. (Neymar’s father told the judge that his son just wants to renew with the club even though he has a multi-million offer. He spoke of an offer of €190m.)

That’s the judge in an investigating into allegations that Neymar is involved in fraud.

The allegations refer to image rights contracts from 2006 when Neymar was a teenager playing for Santos. Prosecutors allege further fraud occurred during negotiations to take him to Barcelona in 2011. He joined the Catalan giants in 2013.

The Sun must have forgotten to read the part about Neymar wanting to remain at Barcelona.

 

Posted: 5th, February 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Pep Guardiola manages Manchester United in his spare time

Son good is Pep Guardiola that he’s already helping Manchester United win matches – and he’s not even their manager. He doesn’t join Manchester City til the summer. But according to Sky Sports, United’s 3-0 home win over a crestfallen Stoke City – they went into the match having been dumped out of the League Cup on a semi-final penalty shoot-out and beaten in the FA Cup a few days later – was a sign of Pep’s mastery. The headline declares:

Man Utd respond in style after Man City’s Pep Guardiola announcement

On the field, United’s two wins from their past 10 Premier League games, their lowest goal-haul in 27 years and the continued uncertainty around Louis van Gaal’s future offered little suggestion a ray of hope would arrive with the visit of Mark Hughes’ Stoke.

Yet, 24 hours on from Man City’s big moment, the United players seemed inspired into a response.

All Louis Van Gaal had to do to make his expensive team of plodders into world-beaters was wait for a rival to hire a better manager. Easy.

 

The Guardian continues:

If this is how Pep Guardiola’s impending arrival across town can galvanise Manchester United then the rest of the season for Louis van Gaal and his men may be fruitful after all.

How clever of United’s kingmakers not to employ Pep hen they can get the Pep Effect with Van Gaal.

 There is no certainty the Spaniard’s decision to join Manchester City had anything to do with this scintillating United display, of course. But it is fair to say that just when the embattled Van Gaal would want his players to return their finest display of the campaign they did.

United fans must be delighted, In yer face City!

PS: This is how the pisspoor Telegraph reported on United’s reaction to Pep:

]Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 15.37.49

 

Panicked into victory!

Posted: 3rd, February 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Pep signs for Man City but is 90% Chelsea

On February 1, Manchester City manager Manuel Pelligrini told the Press he’d know for ages that Pep Guardiola was replacing him next summer.  That news came as shock to Chelsea fans who seeking information about their club’s next boss turn to the Daily Star and Daily Express.

 

Pep Chelsea balls express

 

Pep Chelsea manger

 

110% balls.

Posted: 3rd, February 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Manchester City, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Aubameyang in Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal clickbait boost

Gabon and Borussia Drotmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has not signed for any Premier League club. Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke was asked about his star player leaving. He replied:

“If an offer comes, then we need to discuss it. If it should go into the hundreds of millions, then we also need to talk to the player. But I’m not worrying about it because at the moment we want to keep him as long as possible, best beyond 2020.”

If a team offers nutzoid money for Aubameyang, Dortmund will flog him. Maybe. By the time that statement reached some readers it had mutated into all manner of Transfer Balls:

The Express conjured up news about Arsenal and Liverpool:

 

Aubameyang liverpool bid

 

Are Arsenal and Liverpool shocked to learn that if they offer hundreds of millions of pounds for a player they stand a decent chance of recruiting him?

The Telegraph’s readers hear that Aubameyang could join Arsenal for hundreds of millions below the headline:

Aubameyang back in the picture

No. He’s not. Well, not unless Arsenal decided to spend hundreds of millions on one player and he’s painted by Picasso and Van Gogh.

The Metro conjures: “Dortmund will consider selling Arsenal target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang”

Yes. They will. Just as Barcelona will ‘consider’ selling Lionel Messi to Manchester United / Arsenal / Bournemouth / anyone for, say, £2billion. Make the number big enough and Manchester United’s owner would probably sell the club to Manchester City.

The apogee of this utter balls is in the Star, which tells Arsenal and Liverpool fans:

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 11.48.16

 

A boost. Being told the player will stray at Dortmund unless a team pays hundreds of millions is boost is a ‘boost’.

Liverpool and Man United’s owners must be punching the air.

 

Posted: 2nd, February 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Niasse seduces Chelsea fans in his new Everton kit

nissiTransfer balls salutes the Daily Telegraph, which declares: “Everton close in on Niasse.” That’s Oumar Niasse, the Senegal international who has now joined Everton in a £13.5m move from Lokomotiv Moscow.

What’s odd about the Telegraph’s report is that it features on the paper’s “Chelsea transfer news and rumours” page. Niasse has no links to Chelsea – he’s not one of their myriad loaned players. So why is he on the Chelsea page? Helpfully the Telegraph explains:

“What does this have to do with Chelsea?” I hear you ask. Well, quite a bit, actually.

You see, Chelsea are a team who get googled a lot, so if you have the word “Chelsea” in your headline you’ll get lots of clicks and the sweet, sweet literal fractions of pence that accompany each one. I mean, they’re googled enough to warrant a transfer blog all to themselves even though they’re not going to do anything (where’s my SJA nomination, come to think of it?). Anyhow, that means that a bunch of websites are retrospectively making Niasse a Chelsea target when reporting that Everton are going to sign him, even though they’d never mentioned Chelsea’s interest in the past.

This is how transfer deadline day reporting works. Lap it up.

 

nisse

 

Having earned clicks from Chelsea fans for that report and misleading headline, we wonder what the Telegraph has said about Niasse? Well, on January 9 this year, the paper of record stated:

Chelsea transfer news and rumours: Chelsea poised to make £15million swoop for Oumar Niasse…Whilst Manchester United prepare to launch a £40million bid to sign his compatriot Sadio Mane… Chelsea are hoping to pick up more of a bargain in signing Niasse for around half of that figure.

Having learned that £15m is about half of £40m, readers were also told that Chelsea and Tottenham wanted to sign the player. Mentions of Everton’s interest: nil.

Such are the facts in the Telegraph.

 

Posted: 2nd, February 2016 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, Chelsea, Sports | Comment


John Terry is NOT leaving Chelsea

john terry quitsThe news moves quickly – too quickly for the dead tree press. This morning, the Times leads with “Chelsea snub Terry hid for new contract”. News is that John Terry, the Chelsea captain, is to leave the club this summer when his current contract expires. He wants to stay but the club are happy for him to go.

“It’s all over,” says the Mail. “Terry’s Chelsea days finished.” It’s the “Blues boot for JT,” says the big story on the Express‘ back page. “Captain. Lever. Legend,” puns the Mirror. “Captain. Leaader. Legend, Leaving,” retorts the Sun.

But what does Terry say? “They said that when the new manager comes in, things might change,” Terry said. “It’s a no at the minute.”

So he could stay? He wants to.

This morning Chelsea have made an announcement: “John requested a meeting with the club the week before last. In that meeting he asked about the possibility of an extension to his existing contract. John was advised that while no new deal was currently on the table, that situation could change in the coming months. The club has the utmost respect for John and everything he has helped us achieve to date. He is a fantastic servant of Chelsea Football Club and a superb captain and, as such, the club will keep the channels of dialogue open.”

Stories of John Terry’s demise have been premature.

 

Posted: 1st, February 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment


John Terry leaving Chelsea is one less reason to hate the Blues

John Terry, 35, says he’s leaving Chelsea this summer.  The club haven’t offered their skipper a new contract.

So he’s leaving the club he’s played for since age 14. He takes with him a haul of four Premier League titles, five FA Cups and the Champions League. He says:

“Ideally I would have loved to stay, but the club’s moving in a different direction. I couldn’t play for another Premier League club. It will be elsewhere for sure.  I feel as though I’m in great nick, I’m playing great and I’ve got a couple of years to go. It’ll just be elsewhere. The club will move on. No player is ever bigger than the club. No doubt they’ll sign one or two great centre-backs.”

The best thing a non-Chelsea fan can say about Terry is that unlike many new fans who see Stamford Bridge as a stepping stone to the rugby and a nice tea, Terry hasn’t left the match before the final whistle. He stayed at the club until it not longer wanted him. He gave it his all.

Now we await his book. It should be a good read – although we also expect it to feature entire chapters in parentheses with reams of footnotes lest any word be removed from context – cultural and historical –  and misinterpreted, to be used against Terry in a court of law, football phone-in or controversial handshake.

 

 

 

Posted: 31st, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment


Backpages: Arsenal win The Double, Man United cut academy, Chelsea sign Griezmann, Liverpool blow

So there it is – the first newspaper report telling Arsenal fans the Gunners can win The FA Cup and Premier League ‘Double’. Newspapers love to talk of teams winning multiple trophies. They believe it quickens the fans’ hearts. It does if those fans are age 6 and below, or the type who started to follow Chelsea or Manchester City after the money arrived.

The Mail also says Chelsea are looking to spend £60m on Atletico Madrid’s French striker Antoine Griezmann in the summer if Eden Hazard moves to either Real Madrid or Paris St Germain.

 

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The Daily Star and Independent both lead with West Ham United and Liverpool’s 0-0 draw in the FA Cup. The Indy says a replay is just what Liverpool don’t need. Surely defeat would have been worse. But why let the facts stand in the way of a pun. So it is that Liverpool staying in the Cup is a  “Hammer Blow”?

 

Kopp

 

Liverpool are lucky to be in the Cup, says the Star. It says Steven Caulker handled in the area but the referee failed to give West Ham a penalty kick. You might call that a ‘Hammer blow’.

The Star also says Pep Guardiola is heading to Manchester City. We know this because “Mrs Pep” has been looking at St Bede’s College, where the club have 40 Academy players studying. According to the school’s website, it is a “leading Catholic Independent Co-Educational Grammar School, founded in 1876, inspiring excellence and instilling values in pupils from 3 to 18 years.” All City’s academy players are educated at St Bede’s.

 

CAulk

 

The Express leads with Manchester United, who didn’t even play yesterday. The club’s owners, the Glazer family, have ordered cuts behind the scenes with up to 15% reductions in most departments.

 

manchester united

 

The Mirror picks up the rumour that Manchester City are favourites to sign Everton’s £50m-rated defender John Stones.

Posted: 31st, January 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Manchester United: Van Gaal quit talk won’t quit

Is Manchester Untied manager Louis Van Gaal a quitter? Is he going to quit Old Trafford? Is he… Well, you get the idea. The Press are obsessed with the idea of Van Gaal leaving his job. What loon would walk out of a job managing one of the world’s great football clubs?

Today’s Star leads with news that Van Gaal is sane enough to realise he’s got a fantastic job. He’s not quitting. In fact, he says “I Will Never Quit”. The Daily Mail has much the same news:

 

van gaal quit

 

It all ads up to nothing. It’s a  no-news news story. What Van Gal told the Press was:

“I have not mentioned that [quitting] ever. I think that you make your own stories. Then I have to answer your stories.”

Let’s have a look at the balls the Press has reported on Van Gaal quitting:

 

LVG quits

 

Van gaal

mirror van gaal sacked

van gaal manchester united sacked

van gaal sacked

 

 

quits van gaal axe van gaal quits quit van gaal

 

Such are the facts.

 

 

Posted: 29th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Role Model Watch: Tyson Fury will not have his tongue cut out and eaten by dogs

tysonRole Model Watch: a look at strangers billed as role models by the media and elite.

The Guardian reports that boxer Tyson Fury has “escaped punishment” and been reminded of his “heavy responsibilities”. The BBC alls him a “role model”, but declines to identity people who look to Fury for moral, spiritual and political guidance.

Fury is a boxer. His heavy responsibilities, as far as the boxing rules run, are to smack other heavyweights in the head and body until they throw in the towel or fall over.

The Guardian has other ideas:

Tyson Fury will face no punishment from the British Boxing Board of Control for his controversial remarks relating to women and homosexuals but he has been reminded of his “heavy responsibilities”.

The BBBoC has issued a statement. It is ridiculously pompous:

“Tyson Fury has made comments in the media that have caused offence to members of our society. However, there is no suggestion that he has broken the law by exercising his right to freedom of expression. In such circumstances, the stewards of the British Boxing Board of Control have been advised that it cannot interfere with his basic human rights. Having said that, the stewards of the board have made it clear to him that as world heavyweight champion, arguably the holder of the most prestigious title in sport, there are heavy responsibilities upon him to avoid making controversial, non-boxing comments.

“He has assured the stewards that he understands the responsibilities upon him and has expressed regret that he has caused offence to others, which was never his intention.”

 

Hard cheese for Fury fans who queue to hear him speak. They’ll have to look elsewhere for their role models. They might look to mums and dad, big brother or grandparents. They might also look to Prince Harry, BBC newsreaders, the neat one from One Direction or The Clangers.

The paper continues:

Fury provoked outrage when he equated homosexuality and abortion with paedophilia and saying a woman’s “best place is on her back” – although he repeatedly denied he was a homophobe. His achievements in outpointing Klitschko earned the 27-year-old a place on the shortlist for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, although a petition to have him removed exceeded 140,000 signatures.

Fury showed signs of personality, although not one 140,000 incarnations of Outraged of Twitter liked.

His inclusion on the list was also discussed by MPs, with the shadow culture secretary, Michael Dugher, calling for him to be dropped and the sports minister, Tracey Crouch, saying she would remind him that as a sports star, he is a role model.

Tracey. Mike. He’s not a role model. You are not a role model. He punches people in the head for a living. You try to browbeat them.

 

Posted: 28th, January 2016 | In: Reviews, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Chelsea target Pato finds London in Brazil

pato london chelseaThe Metro’s Jamie Sanderson spots Chelsea target Alexandre Pato on a tweet. The free paper contrives to make a story from it. Readers are told:

Alexandre Pato pictured in London ahead of Chelsea transfer

Maybe Pato has been pictured in London ahead of signing for Chelsea – but in the Metro’s tweeted phone Pato’s at Guarulhos Airport in São Paulo, Brazil.

You can find the snapshot of Mr Duck on the Globo website.

 

Posted: 27th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment


Misleading headline of the day: Man City’s Bruyne at war with Arsenal’s Ozil

Kevin De Bruyne desperate to dethrone Mesut Ozil as King of the Prem assists

 

Misleading headline of the day is in The Sun, which brings news of Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Arsenal star Mesut Ozil. The headline thunders:

Kevin De Bruyne desperate to dethrone Mesut Ozil as King of the Prem assists

Desperate? What did he say when asked about assists?

“I know Ozil is leading. Last year I had 21. You can quickly get ten or 11 assists in half a season. You can sometimes have six and then seven matches with nothing, then a run. For me personally it does not matter.”

How did “it does not matter” become “desperate”.

Posted: 27th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, Sports | Comment


Liverpool lose and Stoke remain ‘in the mix’ for League Cup final, say papers

Last night Liverpool FC reached the League Cup final after a penalty shoot-out with Stoke. Let’s see which newspapers went to print before the match finished.

 

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tumblr_o1kzwctMUs1u5f06vo1_1280

 

Stoke are in the mix. Stoke shaking it up. So reports the Daily Express and Daily Mail. In other news: Stoke lost.

 

tumblr_o1l0lgztn11u5f06vo1_1280

tumblr_o1kzwctMUs1u5f06vo1_1280 tumblr_o1l0unCxyA1u5f06vo1_1280 tumblr_o1l23yowLF1u5f06vo1_1280

Posted: 27th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Liverpool beats Stoke to reach League Cup final

Liverpool have beaten Stoke city to reach the League Cup final. The papers will go mad for Jurgen Klopp.

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 22.30.08

 

But Liverpool fans spared a thought for young Liverpool fan Owen McVeigh, an 11 year old who passed away last month after a battle with leukaemia.

 

Posted: 26th, January 2016 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Former Spurs manager Harry Redknapp’s new club in debt

Former Spurs, QPR, Portsmouth, Bournemouth and Southampton manager Harry Redknapp recently took on a director’s role on the board at non-league Wimborne Town FC.

Today the Bournemouth Daily Echo has news:

New chairperson Paula Henley has issued a cry for help to save Wimborne Town after due diligence uncovered debts of approximately £110,000.

Henley revealed monthly losses of between £6,000 and £8,000 with manager Simon Browne’s £1,000-per-week playing budget set to be completely axed within a fortnight. The club has also made redundant a full-time member of staff.

The brutal truth was laid bare at Monday night’s emergency fans’ forum at Cuthbury with Henley launching a plea for volunteers to muck in to reduce monthly overheads of £16,000.

Any loose change in those deep pockets, Harry?

Posted: 26th, January 2016 | In: Sports | Comment


Manchester United v The Sun II: paper at club at odds of Van Gaal resignation

LVG quitsThe Sun says Manchester untied manager Louis Van Gaal offered to resign but the Man United board ordered him to stay.

But Manchester United says the Sun’s scoop is balls. On the BBC we read: “Sources have told BBC Sport no such conversation took place.”

But the Sun says it is “understood” the conversation did take place.

This is the second time in under a week the Sun has been contradicted by United. The paper reported that Man United’s reps had met Pep Guardiola at a Paris hotel. United said that was balls.

Either the Sun is writing nonsense, or else the club is lying.

And what, then, of the Mirror’s news?

 

Van Gaal sacked

 

This is not only a fight over Van Gaal’s future – it looks like United dealmaker Ed Woodward is fighting to save his job at United.

Posted: 26th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Victor Valdes says goodbye to Manchester United in comical fashion

Goodbye, Manchester United, says goalkeeper Victor Valdes. It’s been hard… What’s that?

 

victor valdes hard work

Posted: 25th, January 2016 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment


Manchester United: Van Gaal on the brink, Giggs gets the job, Mourinho promises the title

Following defeat to Southampton, Louis Van Gaal has let it be know that he’s “very disappointed” he is unable “to reach the expectations of the fans”. The Daily Mail (“GET Rid of LVG”), says those who pay Van Gaal are condidering ‘letting him go’.

The paper says United’s executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, has asked senior players what they think of the Dutchman. They told him of their problems with Van Gaal. They have “stopped responding”.

The Mail says Van Gaal’s end will spell promotion for Ryan Giggs. But Gigs wants the job on a long contract, not just to be an interim boss. Giggs is the “most likely choice”, readers are told.

Unless Jose Mourinho can get the job he craves. The Mail says the former Chelsea manager is “desperate” for the job. His agent has, reportedly, told United’s dealmakers Mourinho can win the title in his first season at Old Trafford. He did not add “or your money back!”

The Sun says it’s “GAAL OVER’. The paper says he’s “on the brink” of “quitting” United. For months the Sun’s being saying Van Gaal’s been on the brink. That brink is wide and generous.

The Mirror says Van Gaal “edges closer to ending the misery”. He has “dropped a quit hint”. He hasn’t.

Meanhwile, not one newspaper lead with a well cone to Southampton, who on  much smaller budget than United’s, won the game.

Posted: 25th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Did Chelsea player Diego Costa ‘cheat’ Arsenal at the Emirates?

Arsenal lost 0-1 at the Emirates to Chelsea, who even without Jose Mourinho cannot lose to the Gunners. The game went Chelsea’s way when Arsenal’s beanpole defender Per Mertesacker was beaten for pace by Diego Costa. The German slid in. He missed the ball. Did he catch Costa? It’s hard to tell. The TV cameras don’t always pick everything up. But Costa made the most of it, heading to the turf and tumbling like a round cheese down a Gloucestershire hill.

Arsenal fans say Costa dived. Well, they would do. But what do the experts in the Press say?

The Mail:

As usual, when things happen in a rush, there was the debate about whether Costa was taken out, clipped, dangled a trailing leg or merely fell over taking evasive action. It really doesn’t matter. Mertesacker’s tackle was wild and did not allow Costa to continue his run on goal. Of course, the same could be said of a challenge made by Nicolas Otamendi on Michail Antonio during Manchester City’s match with West Ham on Saturday, and that was only judged to be a yellow card.

The Guardian:

Mertesacker stretched into the challenge that he had to make but Costa was too quick and, in the blink of an eye, the Chelsea striker was rolling into a series of exaggerated rolls and everybody inside the stadium knew what was coming next. The referee, Mark Clattenburg, flashed the red card. He had no other option.

The Times:

The German dived in, stretching out a leg to try to reach the ball, but he made contact, however slight, with Costa. The Spain forward went tumbling, rolling theatrically, his right hand touching his right knee as he fell. Mark Clattenburg had no hesitation and rightly deemed Mertesacker to be the last defender. The referee reached for his top pocket and brandished the red card.

Arsene Wenger at Post-match Press conference:

“We have 35 journalists here, I am sure you have all seen it again and analysed it and know much more about that situation that I do. I can’t comment because I didn’t know if Costa was offside or not or if Per touched him or not. I don’t know. It was of course frustrating but it is a decision and we had to get on with our job, which we did.”

The Mirror quotes him:

“Look, I have not seen it again. In the first game he got Gabriel sent off and today he got Mertesacker sent off. It’s a tackle regular or not. Did he touch him or not?”

 

The Guardian:

Replays suggested minimal contact with Costa, who was nonetheless unable to hide his agony from public view, face contorted as he completed a harrowing triple roll that suggested at the very least a pair of broken limbs, possibly even that rare thing, death by ankle tap.

Chelsea FC website:

Chelsea continued to go at the Gunners and with our next foray forward came a big moment as Diego Costa was played through in behind the defence and was scythed down by Mertesacker.

Daily Telegraph:

Mertesacker looked across, desperately hoping for offside, desperately hoping for Laurent Koscielny to be closer, but then tired to steal the ball away from Costa, catching him. Referee Mark Clattenburg showed the red card – the fourth Arsenal have endured in the last five Premier League matches against Chelsea.

Did he dive? No.

 

Posted: 24th, January 2016 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Sports | Comments (2)


Jose Mourinho writes to Manchester United: ‘I love you… I can change’

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: A fan poses with a Manchester United scarf displaying the image and name of former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, outside the stadium before the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on December 28, 2015 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Jose Mourinho has written a “six-page love letter to United”, says the Independent.

Sadly, we don’t get to see any extracts from the former Chelsea manager’s love letter. We just get told how respectful Jose is to Louis Van Gaal, the current Man United boss. Which sounds a lot of utter balls when you realise the Dutchman’s contract runs until 2017.  If the letter exists, it is surely a pitch for the man’s job and with it his sacking.

The Indy notes:

Though many among the United hierarchy were more open to appointing the Portuguese than they were when Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, the former Chelsea manager’s camp were made aware that there was a still a considerable faction at the club opposed to hiring him. The reasons are thought to range from Mourinho’s regular controversies, his style of football and his failure to nurture young talent.

The Portuguese is well aware of this thinking, and that is why he took the decision to write a lengthy document, emphasising just how much he wants the job and how he would be willing to adapt his style to meet United’s principles. They have traditionally prided themselves on playing open, attacking football, and they have always set great store on developing their own young players.

In his submission Mourinho also presented a forensic analysis of this season’s team…

Is this PR dressed as a new story – dire off the missive, leak it to the Press and see what occurs? Look out for life-size cardboard cut-outs of Jose Mourinho in the Old Trafford stands.

And are United fans so desperate they want Mourinho, a man who delivers silverware but in a caustic style of management reliant on slash and burn-out? Is Jose so desperate to get one over on Chelsea, keen to show the club where he cemented his reputation and from where he was twice sacked that it wasn’t him, it was them? Could any Chelsea fan stand to be on the receiving end of his snark and sneer, to see him lead United to glory?

Mourinho’s agent  Jorge Mendes says the letter is nonsense, writing on his company’s website:

With regard to news published today in the British Press about Jose Mourinho, Jorge Mendes explained the following: “It does not occur to anyone that a coach like Jose Mourinho can write letters to clubs offering their services. It is absolutely ridiculous and totally absurd. “

Absurd. Ridiculous. But believable. This is Mourinho who once hid in a laundry basket. He wants that Man United job.

Posted: 24th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Chelsea top target is target Allegri (unless Pep Guardiola is)

Who is the top target for the Chelsea job? The papers haven’t a clue:

The Sun (Jan 22): “Chelsea have made Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri, 48, their top target to take over as manager next summer.” It’s news the Mirror reported in December.

Daily Express (Jan 14): “CHILE boss Jorge Sampaoli has handed Chelsea a major boost in their pursuit of him…”

Daily Star (Jan 10): “Guus Hiddink backs Pep Guardiola to be the next Chelsea boss.”

The Independent (Jan 7): “Pep Guardiola: Chelsea and Manchester City to fight for Pep…”

Daily Express (Jan 6): “CHELSEA have set their sights on Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone as their next permanent manager.”

Maybe Chelsea will just four mangers in one go and line them up, saving time looking for the next head coach between sackings.

 

 

Posted: 23rd, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment


Arsenal legend picks Mourinho over Wenger and four Manchester United players in Dream Team

Much is being made of former Arenal captain Patrick Vieira ‘s selection of Jose Mourinho to manage his dream XI. Arenal manager Arsène Wenger, who brought the player to English football, is overlooked. Vieira played under Mourinho at Inter Milan for 18 months – he played for Wenger for nine years.

“[Mourinho’s] the manager who had more influence on me, ” says Vieira. “Why? Because he was the one who impressed me most on his work ethic. He knew everything about the opposition, the strength, weakness. His detail was unbelievable; everything was so clear about what he wanted from each player. I don’t know what happened at Chelsea but he always got the best out of his players… Arsène is more concentrated on his own team. He gives freedom to players to express themselves. It’s a different style.”

Vieira is now carving out a career in management at Manchester City, attempting to prove his coaching potential with New York City FC, a Man City franchise. Arsenal never did come calling for their former captain. Is he bitter?

 

vieira dream team

 

These are his dream teams to play with and play against:

 

vieira dream team 1

 

 

Posted: 23rd, January 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Manchester City, Sports | Comment


Transfer Balls: Koeman jokes about managing Chelsea and the tabloids take it as fact

koemanTransfer balls: The Mirror leads with news that Southampton FC manager Ronald Koeman “wants Guus Hiddink to recommend him for the Chelsea job”. Readers are told: “Ronald Koeman has revealed he wants countryman Guus Hiddink to back him to be the next Chelsea manager.”

In 2014, Koeman joined Southampton on a three-year-deal. Is he really openly angling for the Chelsea job whilst coaching a rival club? He’s been talking on Dutch radio ahead of Southampton’s match with Manchester United, the club managed by fellow Dutchman Louis Van Gaal. The Mirror shares his words:

He remains keen to return to the top of the game and told Dutch radio: “It is certainly something that I always have at the back of my mind. “I always want to achieve the highest possible level. That has happened in Holland and that’s what I’d really like to achieve abroad.”

The Sun has the same news:

The Dutchman, 52, admitted a word from his fellow countryman Hiddink would work wonders to his cause of landing the job at Chelsea. Koeman told Dutch radio: “If Guus puts a good word in for me, that would be a big influence.”

One thing the papers don’t mention is that Koeman was joking when he spoke with Radio 538. You can hear it here.

Posted: 23rd, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment (1)


Manchester United v The Sun: Pep vanishes in Paris

Compare and contrast two of today’s stories on Manchester United an Pepe Guardiola:

pep united secret
And the, as reported by the Guardian:

Manchester United have denied reports that club officials met Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola in Paris last week to discuss the possibility of him replacing Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford. A report in France Football on Thursday claimed that the meeting with the Spaniard took place at the Hotel Bristol in the 8th arrondissement of the French capital last week. However, a United spokesman insisted there was no truth in the story.

Mentions of France Football in The Sun’s story: nil, although, like the Express, it does mention “reports in France” as the story’s source.

Either the Sun doesn’t check sources before it yells ‘Scoop!’ or else United are mistaken.

 

Posted: 22nd, January 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Manchester United move for Pep, block Van Gaal and have £45m for Stones

pep united secretManchester United have been talking to Pepe Guardiola, the football manager who will lead whichever club he coaches to ultimate glory. The Sun says Manchester United’s schmoozers met Pep at the “five-star Le Bristol hotel” in Paris. This was, we are told a “secret”.

It is also a “shock” to Manchester City who “convinced” Pep was on his way to their place. The paper suggests Pep is reluctant to reach an agreement with City because his current club, Bayern Munich, could meet them in the Champions League.

The Mirror leads with news that current Man United boss, Louis Van Gaal, is certain to leave the club in the summer. The United board have slapped him with a “transfer ban”. ll big deals are on the “back burner”. Odd because it was the Mirror that reported on December 31 2015, “Manchester United close in on £35m midfielder” and today yells: “John Stones ‘remains Louis van Gaal’s top target.” Van Gaal will bid £45m for Stones.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 22nd, January 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment