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.
DID the cashier at the Tesco store do wrong when she told a customer not to buy The Sun because of its Hillsborough coverage? No, of course she didn’t. We like the idea of supermarkets being local shops, and with that should come the prejudices of the local shopkeeper and their staff.
When working as a reporter I used to buy all the national newspaper titles every day (and read them cover to cover). My newsagents would looks at the Daily Star in my hand and asked me if my lips moved when I read it slowly. The Tesco Sun readers is free to make their own decision; and free to be mocked for making it.
THERE are many strings to Rio Ferdinand’s bow, what with him being all media savvy, having a brand and owning a restaurant and what not.
Noticing a hole in the football awards calendar in between the PFA awards, the Ballon d’Or, the Football League awards, the LMA awards, the FWA awards, the UEFA club football awards, the FIFPro awards, etc, etc, Rio has decided to launch his own awards bash, the “Footies”, which we are reliably informed is “the Oscars” of the football industry in much the same way that the CEEQUALS are the Oscars of the sewage and waste treatment industry.
CHELSEA’S David Luiz will now explain what he’s learnt about being a professional footballer:
“Everyone knows who David Luiz is. He (Mourinho) is a manager who wants everyone to work hard, not just David Luiz”
He’s a brand, dammit.
Manchester City: Micah Richards can’t understand why the England he refused to play for won’t select him
MODERN football mysteries: Manchester City’s Micah Richards is superstitious:
“I’ve been stuck on 13 caps for some time now – unlucky for some! I’m not sure what the answer is. I just need to get fit and play regularly.”
HOW much knowledge do you need to be a journalist? We ask in light of Heart FM’s bulletin on David Beckham’s life.
The headline writer looks at the picture below and offers:
David Beckham poses with an elderly fan at the Singapore Grand Prix. Bless!
HOW did Liverpool’s Luis Suarez get on last night as he returned to the Liverpool team after serving a 10 match ban for biting?
Neil Ashton, Daily Mail:
High up in the top tier of the old Scoreboard End they sang the name of Luis Suarez as if he had never been away. All is forgiven, all is forgotten.
Suspension served he is free to start over, to light up English football again with those match-winning performances.
And how does the Mail show readers that Suarez is free to begin anew? Yep, by showing them a photo of the Uruguayan biting the arm of Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic. Liverpool fans may wonder why whenever a certain England player is reported on the Mail doesn’t equip the story with photo of what he termed his “mischievous” behaviour?
In October 2006, Spurs forward Jermain Defoe (England) bit West Ham’s Javier Mascherano (Argentina). Defoe was booked for “aggressive behaviour”. No more punishment came his way because the referee had dealt with the incident at the time – even though the FA knew the official had missed the bite.
The Sun quotes Suarez:
“It is important that I am back because I can help the team on the pitch — off the pitch I can’t. We will keep going.”
The Sun then opted for a few puns:
Mark Ogden in the Telegraph also looks at the loyal fans:
…football supporters, as hardline and unforgiving as they often claim to be, quickly forget their principles when it involves a star player such as Suárez or Rooney.
And just as Rooney has been serenaded by United’s fans since his return to action this season, Suárez emerged from his suspension at Old Trafford with 7,200 Liverpool supporters offering strong vocal proof of their affection for the lightning rod from Salto.
But Jeremy Cross tells Daily Star readers:
Footballing convictions for racist abuse and biting have stained his reputation forever.
The Express focuses on Suarez outside football:
In Uruguayan book Vamos Que Vamos, Suarez admits that his rebellious side began when he was just nine, after his parents split up.
“They were tough times,” Suarez said. “My parents had split up and there was all the problem of us being a family that never had the possibility of choosing anything. I was never able to tell my mother or father, ‘I want these trainers’, and have them buy me those trainers. It was the pure reality.”
“Up to the age of 12 I knew that I wanted to play football, but afterwards, from 12 to 14, I went through a phase in which the football wasn’t going well for me and I didn’t want to study. I didn’t like to train. I only liked playing the games and that way it was going to be very difficult for me to achieve something. I got really angry. I was a rebel and that worked against me.”
So his racially abusing Patrice Evra was a sign of rebellion rooted in a broken home?
David McDonnell in the Mirror:
He thudded the ball against the bar, hit the side netting and caused anxiety in the Manchester United defence with his guile and clever movement. All that was missing on Luiz Suarez’s comeback from a 10-match ban for biting was a goal and a fresh chapter of controversy to add to his compendium of misdemeanours.
In the Star those misdemeanours were convictions.
Ever since he was found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra and then refused to shake his hand in the pre-match ritual when the sides next faced each other, Suarez has been Public Enemy No.1 at United. Cast in his familiar role as pantomime villain of the piece for United fans, Suarez was booed and jeered every time he came into their proximity to take a corner, and was duly serenaded by Liverpool supporters, whose delight at having him back was tangible.
Racial abuse is a form of panto? He ends his piece with a predictable pun:
But there was enough creative instinct and attacking intent in his play to suggest it will not be long before he is back putting the bite on defences where it hurts most.
Suarez could hold his head high after a tireless display which emphatically answered the questions about his ongoing commitment to the cause. Some 157 days after he was banned for 10 games for sinking his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic, there was the welcome sight of Suarez back in a Liverpool shirt tormenting defenders.
We’ll know when Suarez is back when the puns about his biting end.
IN last night’s Capital One Cup, Javier Hernandez of Manchester Untied scored the games only and decisive goal to defeat Liverpool. Hernandez is known as ‘Little Pea’:
LIVERPOOL’ S Luis Suarez ponders where his next goal will be coming from, writes Danny Baker:
It is, of course, the late great Bernie Winters-Suarez.
ARSENAL Football Club banned BBC police drama By All Means from using the club’s official kit after taking umbrage with the show for portraying their fans as half-witted, inept criminals.
Transfer Balls: Arsenal to buy Pirlo, Reus, Michu, Schar, Draxler, Hernandez and Valdes, experts say
TRANSFER Balls: Over the summer transfer season, Arsenal reportedly bought 38 players. In the end, they bought three, and two of them were free. Now that the football season is underway the media experts are playing the same old game. Chuck enough names into the hat and one of them will be right, eventually. All these names are from the past 7 days:
Daily Star: “ARSENAL are weighing up whether to launch a big January bid for in-form Basel star Fabian Schar.”
SO. Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski is not going to play for Manchester United. He confirmed that he is to join Bayern Munich at the end of the current season, also claiming that he will be signing a pre-contract agreement with Pep’s side in January just to nail his move down.
When asked directly by Sport1 reporters if he would be confirming his move to the Allianz Arena in January, Lewandowski replied: “Yes, because then I can officially sign the contract.”
“You should not be involved in football. Get your handbag and go home.”
The Echo reports that Davis was reduced to “floods of tears” at the comments made during an under-15s Hampshire cup match between Wyvern Youths and Pirelli Pirates Youth in Southampton.
Trouble flared when having allowed a goal, Davis reviewed her decision and disallowed it.
A spectator is quoted:
“It was the worst thing I have ever seen at a football match. The referee was in floods of tears, it was just awful and I hope I don’t ever witness something like that again.”
HOW’S Gareth Bale getting along since moving to Real Madrid from Spurs?
Well, Real’s president Florentino Perez says that he got Bale at a great price. Sure, it was €100m (£85.3m) but that’s a a steal. As he says:
“Bale has come cheaply. Signing the best players out there is Madrid’s philosophy and Bale was the best available player on the market this summer. We had been following him for two years. Tottenham did not want to sell. We learned that Manchester United had made an offer and we made one ourselves.”
THE Capital One Cup is football’s afterthought. If it were a were a Royal it would be Prince Edward.
English football’s second oldest club knockout competition features understrength teams seeing which of their rising / falling stars can make a name for himself by being a) hilariously inept; b) brilliant; c) inept and brilliant in the same match.
SEEMINGLY on his way out of Arsenal, cocksure Dane Nicklas Bendtner arrived for training this morning looking like this:
Bit Game of Thrones meets My Little Pony. But it’s been worse.
Mush more than this at the Pies Horror Hair show.
Manchester United fan serves up epic wedding toast after marrying into Manchester City supporting family (video)
HERE’S a little corker that’s doing the viral rounds today of a Manchester United-supporting groom, having set up what his wedding guests are expecting to be an emotional tribute to his late father, delivers a bloody brilliant swerve punchline, much to the delight (along with some good-natured booing) of the family full of Manchester City fans he’d literally just married into…
The groom has since confirmed via his Twitter account that his brilliant bait-and-switch joke was indeed a tribute to his late dad, who himself was also a rabid United fan.
DAILY Mirror betting tipster Derek McGovern can’t get enough of The Village People, the band that sang about sodomy in the showers:
What I’m saying is that, with Thelikesof Basel and Otelul Galati joining United in the easiest group since The Village People, three clean sheets on the road for Fergie’s men is almost a done deal.
Easiest on the ear? On the clean sheets?
A survey of people pulled over by the rozzers have found the three worst things to say are:
1. Aren’t you the guy from the Village People?
MUCH talks that Arsenal have more money to spend. But how much is it. No sooner has one transfer season ended than another begins:
Daily Mail: “Arsenal’s ability to make another signing of the class of Mesut Ozil was underlined after it emerged they are sitting on a whopping £120million kitty.”
The Sun: “ARSENAL boss Arsene Wenger still has about £50m available to spend despite the club record signing of Mesut Ozil.”
IBTimes: Arsenal have a £40m budget for new players.
Daily Express: “Arsenal will have roughly £30m kept aside in their transfer kitty, which will help fund moves for some of the Bundesliga’s star attractions.”
Daily Star: “Ozil set Arsenal back £42.5m but Arsene Wenger had a summer transfer kitty of £70m.” Leaving: 27.5m.
Such are the facts…
LIVERPOOL: Brendan Rodgers is talking about Luis Suarez, banned from football for biting an opponent:
“It has been a really difficult time for him not playing games. How he has prepared himself over the last number of weeks has been fantastic. He’s really chomping at the bit to help the team. Everyone knows the depth of his quality and his attitude. Once he gets back on the field again he will show what he has shown since he’s been here.”
DAVID Cameron has played down rugby international Manu Tuilagi’s ‘bunny ears’ gesture as ‘a bit of fun’, and accepted an apology from the player after his impertinent gesture during the British Lions’ photo call at Downing Street.
Non-dom Daily Mail laments unpatriotic Manchester City and says Manchester United are as bad as England
In years to come, the 166th Manchester derby could go down as the day English football died.
It’s by no means unique in this country, but City began this fixture without a single English outfield player. This was football at the highest level of the Barclays Premier League and the champions of England – with a core of six English players in the starting line-up – were picked off at will by overseas imports.
Good for City. Not so good for the England team.
SUNDERLAND have sacked Paolo Di Canio. He has not be hanged from a lamp post.
A few views:
@JacobSteinberg: “Bizarre from Sunderland. The hassle of hiring Di Canio, huge upheaval in the summer and sacked five games.”
MESMUT Ozil can do anything. In this snapshot taken at Arsenal’s home match against Stoke City, the German used mind power to make teammate Laurent Koscielny levitate.
MANCHESTER City have thrashed Manchester United in the Premier League. United manger David Moyes has the best part of six years of his contract to recover:
EVER been picked out as a face in the crowd at a televised sporting event? Unless, you’re a WAG, a pneumatic blonde or dressed as Elvis with a Stag do crew, it’s unlikely. But not impossible. The trick when being spotted is to be captured looking your best. Try not to swear. You’ll only regret it: