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: Manchester United panic buy a striker


Manchester United have signed Anthony Martial from Monaco for £36m. The 19-year-old scored eight goals in 31 Ligue 1 appearances last season.

Just before that move, the BBC reported:

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 17.18.31


Best of luck to Man United’s third most expensive signing in their history Antony M.A…




Posted: 31st, August 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Watch: Arsenal denied clear-cut penalty against Newcastle

Are Premier League referees out of their depth? Why can’t they have video evidence for big decisions? What does the linesman referee’s assistant do?

Posted: 29th, August 2015 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United: David De Gea unsettles the team and makes Van Gaal spiteful

David De Gea desire to lave Manchester United for a new life and glory at Real Madrid has been well documented. Loved and admired at Old Trafford, De Gea’s refusal to accept a new deal and presence in the stands during game he might other have been playing shows makes Alyson Rudd wonder at the impact his transfer has on the psychology of his team.

The answer is that it drives coaches to be spiteful, players to mistrust team-mates and chief executives to panic. The transfer window is a wrecking ball that destroys morale and makes a mockery of the marginal gains that clubs seek for success.

On the way up, the transfer window is all about greed and the Premier League arms race. And what about players being sent down the divisions or who see their path to the first team blocked by a superstar name?

So to De Ge a- why is his mind not ready for the challenge, whatever it is?

“De Gea is a professional athlete and if I was working with him I would be preparing him to perform,” David Fletcher, director of sports psychology at Loughborough University, says. “He has to be a professional. My message would be for him to focus appropriately. Part of the mental preparation for a game is to block out distractions.”

De Gea is losing out. The old saying that says form is temporary but class is permanent contains a nugget of truth, but ask any top sportsman what make them a winner and they will tell you: practice and playing your best at all times.

Fletcher adds:

“It is critical that athletes in a team believe they are pulling in the same direction… We as psychologists talk about emotional contagion. Nerves before a game will spread just as confidence will spread. Players not committed to the team will spread that emotion so that others doubt their commitment to the club…

“Some managers hate not being 100 per cent in control and they can become quite spiteful. They might drop the player or play him out of position. If a lower-league player has the chance of a big-money move, the chairman will be furious that his asset is not being shown off properly, but many managers don’t care or don’t even realise how cruel they are being. They just hate not being in control.”

Surely the manager has to be in control. A compelling narrative, the striving to move forward, depends on individuals. How the manger handles the wantaway player says much about the club and their nous.




Posted: 29th, August 2015 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal: ‘respectful’ Man United fan Gary Neville calls Wenger ‘arrogant, naive and insane’

_85257221_dailytelegrapghbackpage2808Can Arsenal compete with the very best? In the Times, Gunners manager Arsène Wenger says that Uefa’s decision to relax its Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules means Arsenal cannot compete with the super-rich.

He says:

“What’s happened is the clubs threatened to go to civil court. That brought a lot of insecurity in the decision-making of Uefa, so they started to soften the rules a little bit… We continue to run our business with the resources we create, but they can put a hundred or two hundred on top.”

Chelsea, City and Manchester United, Arsenal’s closest rivals, have each spent in excess of £45 million during the summer. City and Chelsea have no need to balance the books. Arsenal have spent £10m.

Over to Gary Neville, who uses his Daily Telegraph column to attack Arsenal – earlier in the week he branded Wenger “arrogant“. From a TV studio in west London and his home office Neville is jostling for exposure with Premier League managers.

If this is my Alan Hansen moment (“you can’t win anything with kids”) then nobody will be more pleased than me. I would be delighted to see Arsenal disprove my criticisms of their playing style by winning the Premier League.

So says Manchester United fan Gary Neville. Do we believe that no-one will be more pleased than him to see Arsenal win the league? That question to you, Thierry Henry?

The Arsene Wenger teams of the last 10 years meanwhile have lacked the dominant personalities, strength and purpose of his earlier creations. You see the importance of these qualities at points in the season when you’re not playing well and need to win by a set-piece; the winter months when the Champions League bites and you find yourself with two or three injuries.

We cannot be blind to the hard facts of football over 30 or 40 years. Pure football has never prevailed, though I would be delighted to see it happen for Ozil, Ramsey, Sanchez, Giroud and Coquelin, who together can summon a great deal of technical ability but not much pace, power, height or strength. Giroud cannot challenge the space behind defenders. Coquelin is the only one amongst those who has any true defensive intelligence.

And then Neville, having made salient points (albeit ones made before), gets personal:

The definition of insanity, they say, is making the same mistake over and over again. My point was that the one black mark over Arsene Wenger is the change in the profile of players he has signed. I used the phrase “arrogant or naïve” – and the headlines that followed were all about arrogance. I was in no way trying to be disrespectful. It was more a statement of fact.

Not trying to be disrespectful – but succeeding, nonetheless.

If you refuse to change your ways – and those ways don’t take you to the top – naivety certainly comes into play. 

Arrogant. Insane, Naive. The headlines write themselves.

Posted: 29th, August 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The Sun shows Everton’s Toffee Terrorists where Chelsea target John Stones is hiding

Working on the murderous spurned lover’s premise that if you can’t have the one you love, then no-one will, the Sun says Everton fans are out to harm John Stones. The Sun says angry fans have forced Stones to “flee” his home.

Like you, we are a bit doubtful. After all, it’s best not to rely on the Sun for news of Liverpool football clubs.

But today the paper says it has “proof” Stones has moved into a hotel for security.

JOHN STONES sneaks out of a hotel hideaway yesterday — after fleeing his home over safety fears. SunSport’s exclusive pictures reveal the Everton star, 21, was seeking shelter having been terrorised by his own fans.

How thoughtful of the Sun to show the Toffee Terrorists where Stones is now living. The loons can now book a room on the same corridor and get that much closer to their target.

Everton have, of course, rejected Chelsea’s bids for their player. Everton chairman Bill Kenwright says Stones is not for sale and “will remain a highly valued member of our first-team squad”.

But the Toffee Terrorists are not listening, says the Sun, which seeks to further prove that Stones is in hiding:

The club admitted they are beefing up security around their player after they turned down a transfer request from Stones plus FOUR bids from Chelsea.

They did. Everton manager Roberto Martinez said after Stones was berated by a few irate Everton fans following Wednesday’s Capital One Cup win at Barnsley:

We will keep an eye security-wise as a football club and every club in this position would do that. During the transfer window we have to be more aware because we are exposing our players to emotions that are normal in this situation. John is in the middle of that storm. Well, he was.”

But the Sun twists the words, presenting them as if Martinez was responding not to a few fans mouthing off, but to its news of terroristic attack on Stones’ home:

“In this case with John we know where we are, you’re not going to have an issue as per yesterday. That issue is gone with John but security is something we need to be aware of in future windows.”



That ‘yesterday’ is a reference to the aforesaid Capital One Cup match where a fan called Stones a “f***ing rat”. It’s not about Stones “fleeing” his home.

Such are the facst.

Posted: 29th, August 2015 | In: Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer News: Everton fans drive John Stones out, Chelsea want Linpeng, Arsenal meet Higuain asking price

higuain arsenal


It was obvious, really. The way to keep John Stones from leaving Everton is for the club’s fans to make him “flee” his Widnes home and hide out in a hotel. Well, so says the Sun and who in Liverpool can doubt the veracity of that paper’s reporting on the Merseyside teams?

No news on how fans of Wolfsburg have taken the news that Kevin de Bruyne will head to Manchester City for a weekly retainer of £200,000, says the Telegraph , or £300,000 a week if you believe the Daily Mirror.

Liverpool’s Serbian winger Lazar Markovic, 21, a £20m signing from Benfica just last summer, has left Anfield to join Fenerbahce on a season-long loan in the tax-free Turkish leagues, says the Daily Mail

Another on his way to Turkey – maybe – is Chelsea and Nigeria midfielder John Mikel Obi, 28. Besiktas are keen on the uninspiring midfielder, says the Daily Mirror. 

The Guardian says Norwich have offered £1.5m for Stoke City’s never-say-die Jonathan Walters. Stoke says that offer is laughably low.

The Times relays news from Chinese media that Chelsea are after Zhang Linpeng, who plays for (it says here) Guangzhou Evergrande.

Also in the Times news that West Ham United still want Tottenham’s Emmanuel Adebayor. The 31-year-old former Arsenal and Manchester City striker turned down the chance to reunite with Tim Sherwood at Aston Villa because he wanted to stay in London. Adebayor is in the last year is a contract worth £100,000-a-week. West Ham think he’s worth it.

According to the Daily Express, Arsenal will offer £59m for Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain. The Italian will reject that vast sum and only sell in January for reasons that are as clear as mud.




Posted: 28th, August 2015 | In: Arsenal, Manchester City, Spurs | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Tottenham play poker with Berahino, West Brom player holding twitter cards



Tottenham’s move for West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino will come to nothing. Albion chariman Jeremy Peace is unimpressed with Spurs’ recent bid of £22 million (made in “stage payments and add-ons”). He wants £25m in a single hit.

Says Peace:

“As I have made clear from the moment Tottenham lodged their first bid for Saido on August 18, selling our top goalscorer was never on our agenda this summer. Not only have the offers been too low as a valuation of the player, but they have been based on stage payments and add-ons over a long period, which do nothing to reflect Saido’s ability and potential.

“I have the greatest respect for Daniel Levy but he must surely appreciate we would have needed to replace Saido had he left and no consideration of that position has been reflected by Tottenham’s strategy.”

Will he keep his word? It looks like it. Peace has told Berahino that’s he’s staying.

But Harry Redknapp (who he?), says it’s all bluff – and he should know.

“It’s only a game of poker at the moment between (Tottenham chairman) Daniel Levy and Jeremy Peace,” Redknapp said. “Jeremy Peace holds all the aces in that situation because Tottenham are desperate for a striker – he’s the one they’ve identified, so I think the deal will happen before the deadline. Everything’s probably all done with the player behind the scenes. He probably has a good idea about where he’s going to live, even.”

As for the player, well, he’s “cut his ties with West Brom – on social media”, says Sky Sports. Saido has unfollowed West Brom on twitter – which might be most pathetic thing we’ve hear all year.


Posted: 28th, August 2015 | In: Sports, Spurs | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal Transfer Balls: Cavani a ‘cert’, Benzema dead and alive, Wenger’s deadline day dash

Arsenal are chasing Paris St Germain striker Edinson Cavani, says the Metro. The Uruguayan is “Arsenal’s number one transfer target”. This is because the move for Karim Benzema is “dead“.

We know this because Tim Vickery told Talksport that it’sbelieved that Arsenal are interested in the player:

‘The angle the Uruguayan press are going with is that now with Benzema now not going to happen, Arsenal have set their sights on Cavani.”

So trusted is Vickery that the Daily Star hears his paper review and thunders:

“Arsenal are 100% chasing Manchester United target Edinson Cavani”

The Independent says no less a man that Arsene Wenger has “fuelled” the Cavani rumours”:

“I am always confident that a last-minute situation or solution is available, because the transfer market is especially moving in the last four or five days,” said Wenger.

“But at the moment I cannot promise you that. We work very hard, you know I have a team around me who work day and night to find good solutions but at the moment we are not close to signing anyone.”

Mention of Cavani: nil.

Amid so much guesswork and having stated that Benzema is winning a race with Simon Cowell’s forehead to see which can move the least, the Metro then says:

“Arsenal have held talks with Karim Benzema’s agent over a move to the club… Arsenal [are] still seemingly hopeful of signing the striker before the window shuts on Tuesday.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 28th, August 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Everton: Chelsea target John Stones ‘chased out of home by irate fans’

The Sun says Everton star John Stones “has been forced to flee home — after being terrorised by furious Everton fans.”


The Toffees turned down Chelsea’s latest £37million offer for the defender and insisted they will not sell the England star.

But Stones asked to leave the club.

Yet Stones, 21, was targeted by Everton supporters at his home in Widnes, Cheshire, and is now living in a hotel to avoid the problems.



That sounds like balls.

More to follow…



Posted: 27th, August 2015 | In: Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Kevin De Bruyne joins Manchester City for £56million and £300,000 a week

Kevin De Bruyne will become a Manchester City player tomorrow, says the Times.

The paper says City have agreed to invest £56 million in Wolfsburg’s Belgium midfielder. Patrick De Koster, De Bruyne’s agent, says that to the best of his knowledge his client has not agreed a five-year contract, worth nearly £230,000 a week.

The Guardian tells him that the deal has been struck at £54m.  Did he get the memo?

The Daily Mirror has seen it. But it says the Times is wrong – De Bruyne will earn – get this – £300,000 a week to kiss the Man City badge. Hell, for that money the former Chelsea man will even move to Manchester.



Posted: 27th, August 2015 | In: Chelsea, Manchester City, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: why Everton rejected Chelsea’s bid for John Stones

stones chelsea


John Stones wants to leave Everton. Chelsea have been tapping on the player’s door all summer, keen to spend all that filthy lucre on the great English hope. Everton are not a big brand. They cannot offer Stones Champions’ League football and massive wages. Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea can.

But Everton can offer Stones a home where he can make mistakes and learn his trade. They can offer him loyal fans who do not turn up only to see their side win, and a young talented manager who wants to keep him.

Stones should stay at Goodison Park, writes Tony Barrett.

The theory throughout an increasingly tortuous transfer saga has been that there would be an offer that would make Everton buckle, but by adopting such a strong position through their manager, the club have given themselves the best possibly chance of keeping Stones.

Should they do so, they will send a message to clubs in a similar position that they do not have to yield to the league’s biggest fish; that even when a player has formally expressed his desire to go, they can ensure that he sticks to the contract he signed and prevent a scenario in which a club as powerful as Chelsea make themselves even stronger at your expense.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 27th, August 2015 | In: Chelsea, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Watch: Usain Bolt get taken out with a Segway on his victory lap


Usain Bolt had claimed his second gold of the World Championships in Beijing by winning the 200 metres, when a cameraman on wheels took him out.

The World Athletics Championships needed a stand-out moment and, perhaps, this was it?

* High time all journalists, TV crew, mascots and assorted stewards were tested for performance enhancing and impairing drugs.

Posted: 27th, August 2015 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Chelsea undercut Barcelona’s winning Pogba bid

Transfer Balls salutes the work of the Daily Mail which today reports that Chelsea have tabled a £54million bid for Paul Pogba. Juventus saw the bid and rejected it.

The paper than adds that Chelsea won’t get Pogba anyhow.

Barcelona held formal talks in June with Juventus over Pogba and believe they have an option for signing the 22-year-old next summer with the valuation set at around £73million.

So how can Chelsea have hoped to by the former Manchester United player for less then the £73m Barcelona had set aside?

And earlier the Mail said that Barcelona had seen a bid or £57m rejected – still more than chela’s bid.


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And what of the part about Manchester City giving up on Pogba? That’s odd because the Mail told us the Citizens had £70m earmarked for the Frenchman.


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Such are the facts in the Daily Mail.


Posted: 27th, August 2015 | In: Chelsea, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United: Alex Ferguson makes the most useless signing of his life

Today is 26th August, 2015 – the date that will echo throughout history as the day Sir Alex Ferguson joined the LinkedIn.

For those blissfully unaware, LinkedIn is a social networking site aimed at professionals. It is also responsible for generating almost 70% of the internet’s entire quota of unsolicited emails, but that’s really by-the-by. It is utterly useless.

Anyway, Sir Alex has created an account, billing himself as a “Director, Ambassador, Visiting Fellow and Author”. Yeah, we fibbed about the ‘dreamweaver’ bit. Apologies where due.

It should be visible here if you happen to be a LinkedIn member.


alex ferguson linked in



The 73-year-old former Manchester United manager has joined LinkedIn to coincide with the release of his latest book, ‘Leading’, in which he details the various managerial techniques he used to transform United into the global success they are today – screaming indecipherably in people’s faces, lacerating people’s eyebrows with flying Adidas Predators, that kind of thing.

Sadly, users will only be able to contact Sir Alex if they know him personally, thus depriving fans of rivals teams the opportunity to engage in direct slanging.

Damn shame. There could have been some decent mileage in that.

Posted: 27th, August 2015 | In: manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United: Van Gaal looks to Sam Allardyce for inspiration

Manchester United under Louis Van Gaal will not be pretty to watch. The manager tells media:

“I divide football in four main moments, and we have two moments where the opponent has the ball and then we are at our best, I think. We proved that last year already and now we are continuing with a lot of clean sheets, so that is very important, but we have to improve when we have the ball.”

George Graham, where are you now?

But that’s doing the former Arsenal manager a disservice. Van Gaal’s method is more in the Sam Allardyce mould: keep it tight at the back and hit it long to the big man up front. And Marouane Fellaini is big. Is the Belgian happy to be United’s number 9?

“It’s not important where I play, it’s important to win the game,” Fellaini said. “It’s different playing in midfield to play as a striker or No 10, but I enjoy all the positions I can play. I am looking forward to doing well and scoring some goals.”

And he’ll score – so long as Romero’s ‘passing’ is up to it.



Posted: 26th, August 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Trasnfer Balls: Chelsea finally get John Stones to leave Everton

John Stones has finally asked to leave Everton. The Barnsley lad has popped in a transfer request and kickstarted his lucrative move to Chelsea.



The ubiquitous and mysterious ‘Sky Sources’ says the Everton centre-half has handed in a transfer requests at Goodison Park in order to push through his move to the Blues.

Chelsea have already made three bids for the 21-year-old, the last of which hit the £30million mark, which shows just how desperate Jose Mourinho is to get his hands on the England starlet.

Roberto Martinez has consistently denied that Stones, seen as a natural replacement for John Terry in Chelsea’s backline, is going anywhere but this latest apparent twist may well pave the way for the big-money move.


Surely this one is now going to happen.

Posted: 25th, August 2015 | In: Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Neymar wants to play for Manchester United just like Pique does for Real Madrid

More scoops a -plenty in the trusty Daily Star, where journalism “clown” (source: Karim Benzema) Jack Wilson says Neymar wants to play for Manchester United.




Neymar wants to leave the mighty Barcelona for life under Louis Van Gaal in Manchester? Is he mad?


JAck Wilson daily star


Jack Wilson has all the facts. And aside from the parts about Neymar wanting to play for Man United and Gerard Pique playing for Real Madrid (he plays for Barcelona at the Nou Camp; and unlike Madrid’s Sergio Ramos, the Spaniard never did use United’s interest to negotiate a pay rise) it’s all spot on.


Posted: 25th, August 2015 | In: manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Arsenal defy the Daily Star and refuse to unveil Benzema before Liverpool match

Did you see Arsenal unveil their new striker Karim Benzema before last night’s Liverpool match? Or were you reading the Daily Star when it happened, your eyes searching the pages for more scoops?




For those of you who missed the great unveiling, here’s Karim:


benzema arsenal laughs


Meanwhile…over at the Daily Star’s Big Top, Jack Wilson is tripping over his size 34s…

Posted: 25th, August 2015 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Chelsea reduce their offer for Paul Pogba

Transfer Balls: Chelsea are all set to make a £72m, bid for France and Juventus player Paul Pogba, says the Daily Express.


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Readers may well wonder if Pogba is worth such a vast sumn After all, the Express has told us he’s worth far les. In a series of exclusives and plain balls, the Express has reported that Chelsea have offered as much as £86m and as low as £40m for the player they will today hope to sign for £71m.


August 22: £60m


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August 21: £86m

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August 20: £80m

The raid is £40m for John Stones plus £80m for Pogba.


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August 6: £71m

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July: £40m

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 07.42.40



Such are the facts.






Posted: 25th, August 2015 | In: News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Manchester United move for Kevin De Bruyne

With Belgian footballer Kevin De Bruyne seemingly all set to join Manchester City, Christian Ortlepp, Chief Reporter at German channel, Sport1, says Manchester United have moved for the Wolfsburg winger.

Ortlepp cites a fee of £55m.

The Express says the offer is £58m.

The Telegraph says Bayern Munich also want the 24-year-old former Chelsea player. Mark Ogden writes:

And De Bruyne’s reluctance to agitate for a move has opened the door for Bayern, who have maintained a long-term interest in the player. Paris Saint-Germain have also notified Wolfsburg of their interest in De Bruyne, but Bayern have made it clear to their German rivals that they will not make a formal move for the goalscoring midfielder until the end of this season.

That scoop has been addressed by Bayern Munich Club press officer Markus Horwick:

“We will definitely not be as active. That the Executive Board decided a long time ago.”

Wolfsburg are owned by Volkswagen, so they’re not exactly in dire need of cash. 

Sky quotes Wolfsburg sports director Klaus Allofs:

“I want to stress that we are making every effort to convince him to stay. But we are equally serious about dealing with these issues should we have serious offers in front of us. Then we will discuss it and take a decision.”

This one will go to the wire.

Posted: 25th, August 2015 | In: Manchester City, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Watch: Arsenal’s Petr Cech saves Arsenal – Liverpool saved by bad refereeing

On Petr Cech’s home Arsenal debut he gifted West Ham a 0-2 victory. Tonight against Liverpool he kept the Gunners in the game, keeping out a bending shot from Liverpool’s lively Philippe Coutinho with his fingertips.

And then against Benteke – who should really have scored:

At the other end, Arsenal scored a perfectly good goal wrongly adjudged offside:

Lucky Liverpool – again.

Posted: 24th, August 2015 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Karim Benzema says Arsenal rumours are a joke

What news of Karim Beenzema’s transfer to Arsenal? The Metro says Arsenal are “set to lodge a £50m bid for his services”. Real Madrid’s French striker is “ready to accept a transfer to the Emirates”. The Daily Star hears a “Madrid insider” says Arsenal will take the player in “the next 48  hours”.

According to no less an authority than the Daily Star, Karim Benzema will arrive at Arsenal today. The Daily Telegraph told us he joined Arsenal two weeks ago.

The player has taken time out from his packing to tell fans that, er, it’s not happening, tweeting:

For all those clowns who want to make believe things at my fans. Here this is my home !


benzema arsenal laughs


Or as the Star, Metro and Daily Telegraph would surely put it: “Benzema looks for second home in Arsenal!”


Posted: 24th, August 2015 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Manchester United’s bid for Neymar amazes his agent

Transfer Balls – a look at news of Neymar’s supposed transfer to Manchester United.

The Daily Star says United have bid for the Brazil and Barcelona star. Writes Leeroy Jenkins:

Bid made! Manchester United submit offer for Barcelona star Neymar

The paper has no facts and no source for its story.

Today, the Guardian has also taken up the story of Neymar’s mooted transfer from Barcelona to Manchester United. It says he might come to Old Trafford…maybe.

This story started life in the Sun, which told readers of “secret talks” to buy the 23-year-old Brazil and Barcelona forward.

The Sun’s Shaun Curtis said “a top Barcelona source” had told him that United have made a “discreet approach” to the La Liga champions.

United’s Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has been to Barcelona three times in the last two months. We all thought he was after signing Pedro.

Curtis reasons that if Neymar joined United “he would become the undisputed main man and a challenger for the title of World Player of the Year”.

Neymar’s current Barcelona deal expires in the summer of 2018 – and he does want a new deal but he’ll get one anyway. In June, the Mail told us: “Josep Maria Bartomeu will offer Neymar a new deal if he wins the election.”

Bartomeu won.

The Mail added that Barcelona’s new chief was “ready to throw even more money at him to keep the 23-year-old happy at the Nou Camp”.

Might this story of a move to Old Tafford be a ploy – Neymar reminds Barcelona of his worth and engineers a pay rise? The old Sergio Ramos flip-flopperoo?

Whatever the thinking, that seems to comprise the background of the Guardian’s news that Neymar  is “open to joining from Barcelona… although there is a recognition the transfer is unlikely to occur before the current window closes.”

The paper cites “sources close to the forward”, who say Neymar is “attracted by the size and history of United and the chance to play in the Premier League”.

He might also be excited about playing at Barcelona, or in Italy, or for Bayern Munich. The feeling at Pies Towers is that this one is not going to happen. We’re loathe to use the word ‘spurious’ but hey, if the shoes fits.

Indeed, GloboEsporte hears from Neymar’s agent Wágner Ribeiro who “afirmou não ter sido procurado e que tudo não passa de factoide por conta da proximidade do fim da janela de transferências na Europa, no próximo dia 31.”

Portuguese to English translation: It’s total balls.

Posted: 24th, August 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Jermain Defoe wants a secretary to turn him into a ‘global brand’

defoe brand


Sunderland FC striker Jermain Defoe is looking for a new executive personal assistant to keep his life in order. The role is “demanding“. You will take his calls, stock the fridge, build him apps and turn Jermain Defoe into a global brand with a clothing line and fragrance.

The job appears on SECS In The City:


jermain defoe brand


Spotter: Pies


Posted: 24th, August 2015 | In: Money, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Benzema arrival at Arsenal delayed

benzema arsenal transfer


The Metro continues to report on rumours of Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema joining Arsenal. In the free paper’s race to make news from air, George Bellshaw writes about “Arseneal”:

Karim Benzema is reportedly ready to complete a transfer to Arsenal from Real Madrid… a deal worth £48million is believed to be on the cards that would see Benzema join Arsenal in the coming weeks.

Given that the transfer window shuts on September 1, weeks is too long.

Metro reader will also be shocekd by the news, having read in the trusty organ:

August 22: “Arsenal preparing to reveal Karim Benzema transfer at home to Liverpool”

Arsenal play Liveprool tinight.

Posted: 24th, August 2015 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0