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.
FOLLOWING Manchester Unied’s 4-0 victory over struggling QPR, a lot has been said about United’s new players, chiefly that you can buy your way out of trouble. A little overlooked was QPR’s role in the catharsis. But, thankfully, QPR manager Harry Redknapp was on hand to explain it all:
“I don’t think our keeper had really had too many shots to save, they’d had a lot of the ball, but I don’t think he’s hardly made a save first half.”
TALKING Balls: A look at media reporting on Arsenal’s Germnan midfielder Mesut Ozil and Manchester United’s Radamel Falcao.
The often straw-clutching CaughtOffside says Ozil is heading to Bayern Munich for £32m. The Guardian picks that up and reports it.
Number of direct quotes cited: none.
Number of sources cited: none.
Facts to support headline: none.
The site Fanatiz calls Ozil a “flop”. Is he? Well, no. He isn’t. It’s just that for £41m, you expect more.
TRANSFER Balls: a l0ok at the Daily Express’ dire reporting on Cristiano Ronaldo.
Today Charles Perrin says Ronaldo is “sick of life at Old Trafford”.
But the world’s best player doesn’t play for Manchester United. He plays for Real Madrid, a club now modelled on the Spanish giants.
Express readers then learn:
Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City are set to compete for the signature of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Sure. And also PSG. And any other side with stacks of cash and a stymied youth policy.
Such are the facts in the Daily Express…
ARSENAL Balls: Mathieu Debuchy has an injured ankle. How long will he be injured for?
Daily Mail: We don’t know.
The Telegraph: Two months
AS former Manchester Untied defedner Rio Ferdinand returned to Old Trafford with new club QPR – and looked on as the visitors shipped four goals – the Sun picked up the scent of chips. The headline informs readers:
Moyes slowly lost us… and it began when he banned our chips the night before a game – Rio on the manager that didn’t fit in at Man Utd
TODAY’S Newcastle Journal leads with news that Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka “Aims To Break In New Boys Gently”.
Here’s hoping his aim is every bit as good as it used to be.
MANCHESTER United’s record signing Angel Di Maria scored against QPR, so proving that £200m can buy a club out of a trouble.
As the ball hit the net. Sky Sport’s Martin Tyler oozed:
“We’ve seen some Angel delight here today.”
Angel delight. We’ll try to keep track of the number of times that pun is used. The question “how do you solve a problem like Di Maria?” will also be looked out for.
Managing Editor of the Sun. Sunday mornings chatting on LBC.
MATCH of the Day is most football fans’ first chance to see what their team got up earlier in the day. The BBC’s flagship football programmes starts late on a Saturday Night. And most often than not it starts with Arsenal:
TRANSFER Balls: The Daily Express has an “EXCLUSIVE” about Cristiano Ronaldo leaving Real Madrid for a “shock” return to Manchester United…or Manchester City.
EXCLUSIVE: Ronaldo ready to make SHOCK move to Man City OR return to Man Utd
How ready? How shocking?
Cristiano Ronaldo could quit Real Madrid
Yes, he could. But is what a footballer could do an exclusive?
The 29-year-old world player of the year, who moved to the Bernabeu in the summer of 2009 from Manchester United for a then world record £80million, would love to return to Old Trafford – but a move to rivals Manchester City could also be an option.
Transfer Balls: Ronaldo Wants Liverpool, Loves Manchester United, Signs For Chelsea And Stays At Real Madrid
TRANSFER Balls: Is Critsiano Ronaldo leaving Real Madrid for a returm to Manchester Untied?
The Daily Express says he is – maybe:
Jamie Anderson says the deal to bring Ronaldo to United is “possible”. It is not impossible.
Talk of the Portuguese star’s return ramped up in the wake of comments made by former Real Madrid team-mate Angel Di Maria.
IN the summer of 2001, Manchester United signed Juan Sebastián Verón from Lazio. The fomer Argentina captain has been talking to the Times. Manchester United have signed two of his fellow countrymen, Marcos Rojo and Ángel di María. What advice does he have for them?
FOOD: “You eat so early. Sometimes, with the team, we would eat at 6.30pm or 7pm. In Argentina, nobody even thinks about eating until 9pm. At the earliest.”
LIFE: “I was used to life in Italy….I knew it would be different, but the appeal of Manchester United is the same as the appeal of Barcelona and Real Madrid, the attraction that the top three or four clubs in the world have.
THE Daily Mirror’s Brian Reade – the man who ‘assassinated’ an area and its white population in the “White Man’s Gulch” of Eltham – is upset at treatment meted out to Chesela’s Cesc Fabregas And Liverpool’s Fabio Borini:
Why are Fabio Borini and Cesc Fabregas now having to defend themselves against online character assassinations?
That question is soon followed by another?
Borini, who spurned two moves away from Anfield this summer has taken abuse from Sunderland, QPR and Liverpool trolls for being a greedy little git. Since when has having the determination to fight for your place at the club you signed for been a crime?
ARSENAL Balls: So. Why did Arsenal spend £16m to sign Danny Welbek from Manchester United?
The Daily Star knows.
David Woods says Arsenal players convinced Wenger sign Welbeck:
ARSENAL Balls: Media reporting on Arsene Wenger’s attitude to Danny Welbeck is utter drivel.
The Metro leads with the news that Arsenal didn’t want to sign Welbeck. Incredible as it seems, you can spend £16m on human flesh without meaning to:
Clearly, Manchester United’s Louis Van Gaal was not crash hot on Welbeck given that he had more expensive and experienced alterntives. You don’t leave players who cost a weekly wage far in excess of Welbeck’s on the bench.
ARSENAL Balls: The Gunners are looking to sign the NEW Cesc Fabregas. As the Metro thunders:
Arsenal line up £9.6m transfer deal for ‘new Cesc Fabregas’ Sergi Samper’
Huzzah! Arsenal fans can now watch as the team bring on a budding young talent who then tells them his heart lies in Spain before leaving and returning to play for Chelsea.
MATT Barlow asks Daily Mail readers if Manchester United were right to sell Danny Welbeck to Arsenal.
Louis van Gaal and Ed Woodward have allowed him to join a direct top-four rival, without ever knowing how good he was or can be, and without ever giving him an extended run in the central position he prefers.
How are United fans feeling?
[Welbek’s] move to London has left a sore festering in the red half of the same northern city.
HOW journalism works: a look at the Daily Mail’s repoting of Liverpool and England’s teenage tyro Raheem Sterling.
The Mail’s Neil Ashton watched Sterling play against the Swiss:
England played with speed and purpose when they surged forward. More of this please. Most of it was down to the mesmerising touches of Raheem Sterling. When Sterling spins off his marker, dropping deep to demand the ball off his centre-halves you know that he is comfortable playing at this level. These deep-lying missions are reminiscent of Zidane or Maradona.
Blimey, Sterling was that good.
THE Sun has the sensational news that Manchester United’s Robin Van Persie wants to play on until he’s 40.
It’ll cost you to read the story because the Sun is behind a paywall.
But it won’t cost you penny to read the same story in the Manchester Evening News, which in June reported that RVP wanted to play on til he’s 40.
Transfer Balls: Marco Reus Joins Arsenal For £20m, Manchester City For £25m And Manchester United In January
TRANSFER Balls: Is Marco Reus heading to Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United or Real Madrid? Is she staying at Borussia Dortmund? Let’s see what the Daily Star is saying:
The Star has an “exclusive”. It says Manchester City and Arsenal will fight for Reus.
Paul Hethertington says “exclusively” – that Reus is Manchester City’s “top target”.
He’s fit again now though and has a buy-out clause in his contract which can be activated by any offer above £25 million from next summer.
DID you see the video surfaced of NFL player Ray Rice hitting his then girlfriend Janay Palmer so hard she fell unconscious? The couple married a month later. They must have waited a month until the bruises healed so as to look good in the wedding photos.
ITV presenter Adrian Chiles at the St Jakob-Park Stadium, Basel, is ready for this close up.
Transfer Balls: Arsenal Sign Adrien Rabiot Then Sell Him To Roma To Smash Manchester United’s Kevin Strootman Bid
TRANSFER Balls: A look at the utter rot passed off as fact in the mainstream media. Today, the Daily Express has news for Arsenal fans: Paris St-Germain are looking to offload midfielder Adrien Rabiot to Roma. PSG are after Roma’s Kevin Strootman, 24, who is also a target for Manchester United.
Regular readers of Tabloid Balls readers will recall that The Metro said Rabiot was already an Arsenal player.
TRANSFER Balls: A look at talkSport’s reporting on “Manchester United and Arsenal target” Juan Cuadrado.
Today talkSport has a boast:
Manchester United and Arsenal target Juan Cuadrado is on the verge of signing a new contract with Fiorentina… talkSPORT told you last week that Cuadrado had been offered a new deal by the Serie A side and it now appears that those talks have been progressing well.
MICHA Ricahrds earsn £27,000 a week at Fiorentina. He was earning £65,000 (Telegrpah) / £75,000 (Mail) / £80,000 (Guardian) a week at Manchester City. City offered him a five year deal. He turned it down, opting for a year-long loan deal to live and work in a beautiful part of Italy.
Whilst not exactly struggling to make ends meeet, Richards shows us that it’s not all about the money…