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: As Liverpool’s Luis Suarez agitates for a move to Arsenal and Spurs star Gareth Bale seeks the glamour of Real Madrid, we look at their replacements. When one player goes, the media look around for an identikit:
THE NEW BALES:
Daily Express: “Spurs want ‘new Gareth Bale’ Alvaro Morata included in Real deal for Welshman”
The Fighting Cock: “Andros Townsend: The Next Gareth Bale?”
The Guardian: “50-year-old Welsh wizard: the new Gareth Bale?”
Emirates 24/7: “Arsenal are looking to buy 20-year-old left-sider Acharaf Laazar, dubbed the ‘new Gareth Bale’.”
Liverpool FC.com: “Alex Pritchard…’The next Gareth Bale’”
CaughtOffside: “Luke Shaw has been dubbed the ‘New Gareth Bale’”
IBT: “According the latest reports, North London-based Premiership side Arsenal are planning to make an offer for Italian Serie B side Varese’s young defender Acharaf Laazar who has been dubbed the new Gareth Bale”
Sabotage Times: “‘Gareth Bale: ‘I Want To Be The New David Beckham’”
RantSpots: “Tottenham Hotspur Star Gareth Bale May Be the New Cristiano Ronaldo”
More Bales Balls every day…
AND lo, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez did speak to the the Telegraph:
“Last year I had the opportunity to move to a big European club and I stayed on the understanding that if we failed to qualify for the Champions League the following season I’d be allowed to go. I gave absolutely everything last season but it was not enough to give us a top-four finish – now all I want is for Liverpool to honour our agreement.”
“It is not as if I am asking to move to a local rival. And I would not consider moving to a club outside the Champions League. I have made my desire to move known in private various times and now it feels like the time for me to make it public. I have to put my career first. People say Liverpool deserve more from me but I have scored 50 goals in less than 100 games and now they could double the money they paid for me.
“I spoke with Brendan Rodgers several times and he told me: ‘Stay another season, and you have my word if we don’t make it then I will personally make sure that you can leave.
“I am 26, I need to be playing in the Champions League. I feel I have done enough to be playing in the Champions League at this stage of my career. Now there is an option for me to do that and I want very much to take it.”
He wants to go to Arsenal, says the Irish Mirror:
The Uruguay striker insists that he is prepared to submit a written transfer request by the end of the week if the club continue to block his move to Arsenal.
Luis Suárez has withdrawn from Liverpool’s pre-season trip to Norway after pulling out of training today with a foot injury.
Rooney is injured at Manchester United. Bale is injured at Spurs. Why are all these injured players in such demand?
WHAT’S Joey Barton been up to of late? The likeable – yep, we like him – QPR player is happy to tell us via his Twitter account:
May 14 2013:
August 3, 2013
Barton tweets about QPR’S victory over Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship:
Buffoons, to your tweets…
ROBERTO Soldado has joined Spurs for £26m. Was the transfer on the cards? Let’s see what the experts in the media reported:
Evening Standard: “Soldado too much for Tottenham at £25m as Liverpool close in on striker”
The price for Soldado, who scored 24 goals last season, will go up to £31m after August 3 but Liverpool hope to agree a deal before then.
Telegraph: “Liverpool will look to sign Valencia striker Roberto Soldado should Luis Suarez force a move to Premier League rivals Arsenal.”
EuroSport said they would not wait:
Liverpool are set to gazump Tottenham over Roberto Soldado
Back in February, the Standard reported:
Tottenham…will offer £8million to try and tempt Valencia into flogging Soldado
And then the Mail stated:
Spurs ready to make club record £18m bid for Valencia striker Soldado
But they need not bother because NewWatch24.com had a fact:
LIVERPOOL AGREE SOLDADO DEAL WITH VALENCIA, AS SUAREZ’S MOVE TO ARSENAL DRAWS CLOSER
In 2011, The Metro told readers:
The only stumbling block to a potential deal would be the fee, with Valencia looking for around £20million for Soldado, a figure that would blow the majority of Liverpool’s January budget.
Says Soldado of his reasons for leaving Valencia:
“The president lied to my face. That left me disillusioned. I think things could have been handled better, but they have been liberal with the truth on numerous occasions. They are doing the club absolutely no good. I don’t believe in their way of doing things, but I hope I’m wrong. Here’s hoping that he ushers in a successful period and is the president who wins the most trophies at the club” he added.
Such are the facts…
THE Daily Suarez – a look at media reporting on the Liverpool striker:
First up, Alan Shearer in the Sun, now behind a paywall. He’s talking about Gareth Bale, the player Brendan Rodgers say is worth the same money as Suarez is. So. Are they worth £100m?
“If someone is willing to pay that much then yes, he is. People don’t pay over the odds regardless of how much money there is in the game.”
No. Of course they don’t.
Luis Suarez has not given up hope on moving to Real Madrid, raising the prospect of Arsenal missing out on their prime transfer target.
It is understood that the Liverpool striker is prepared to seek legal clarification from the Premier League in a bid to revive interest from the Spanish giants.
Contrary to reports elsewhere, neither Suarez or his club have contacted the Premier League despite differing interpretations of a clause in his current deal which Arsenal feel they have triggered with their £40,000,001 bid made earlier this month.
TRANSFER Balls: Is Wayne Rooney leaving Manchester United for Chelsea?
It’s not just some spurious, summer lull tittle-tattle; Manchester United have confirmed that the club have both received and rejected another bid from Chelsea for Wayne Rooney, rumoured to be valued somewhere around £25million (plus add-ons).
A spokesman for United told Press Association Sport:
“A bid was received yesterday and immediately rejected. Our position remains that he is not for sale.”
So, if Rooney truly does want to try his hand elsewhere next season it looks as though he’s going to have to slap his nadgers on the table and hand in yet another transfer request – which would certainly make things interesting.
THE Daily Bale: what news of the Spurs star man in today’s papers?
The Daily Star leads with an “exclusive”:
“BALE IN DEATH THREAT CHILLER”
The chilling message came in a telephone call to the Spurs training ground in Enfield, Middlesex, on Sunday around tea-time.
Did Bale pick up the phone?
Sources close to Bale have confirmed the threat was brief, and has been taken seriously.
At least it has been by the Daily Star.
The Wales star was not at the training ground when the call was made but it is understood security has been stepped up in the light of it.
So. An idiot made a crank call to the Spurs switchboard.
And Bale did turn up later:
Despite claims that Bale – who is becoming increasingly angry at his £105m move to the Bernabeu being blocked by chairman Daniel Levy – was ready to shun training this week, he did turn up yesterday.
On that £105m move, the Indy reports:
Transfer news: Tottenham insist Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata must be included in £87m deal for Gareth Bale
Bale’s a lot cheaper in the Indy.
And in any case, Bale’s not for sale. As the Express reports:
Andre Villas-Boas insists the only talks between Tottenham and Real Madrid regarding Gareth Bale have been to tell the Spanish club he is not for sale.
And the Guardian:
“I think the rumours that anything is imminent are not true,” the Spurs manager said. “We’ve allowed ourselves conversations with Real Madrid, confirmed by their coach, I think, wrongly, but the only thing we’ve communicated is that the player is our player and not for sale.”
Back to the Indy, then:
Negotiations between Tottenham and Real Madrid over the sale of Gareth Bale have been stepped up in the past 24 hours, but with Spurs insisting on the inclusion of Spain’s Under-21 international Alvaro Morata in the proposed £87m transfer.
Daniel Levy, the Tottenham chairman, has made it clear in opening discussions with the Madrid board that he wants the highly rated striker included in the deal.
Looks like AVB is wrong. Unless you read the Huff Post:
Now Spurs will hold no further talks with Madrid until they increase their £80m/£83.6m/depending-on-which-paper-you-read’s-figure forGareth Bale, say the Telegraph.
H;s getting cheaper. And, once again, back in the Indy:
A meeting between Levy and Real Madrid’s president, Florentino Perez, is scheduled for this week in Florida.
In other news, Bale is no longer on Spurs’ Twitter page:
The image of Bale celebrating was being used as the background on the @SpursOfficial site.
Kyle Walker, Jan Vetonghen and now-departed Clint Dempsey also featured – but now Bale and Dempsey have been replaced by Moussa Dembele and Aaron Lennon.
All of whom, like Bale, are not for sale…
Transfer Balls: Cristiano Ronaldo signs Real Madrid deal worth £320,000 a week and leaves for Manchester United
TRANSFER Balls: Is Cristiano Ronaldo leaving Real Madrid for Manchester United? Let’s look at news from the past 24 hours:
Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo has agreed a new five-year contract at Real Madrid. The 27-year-old has extended his stay at the Bernabeu until 2018, increasing his annual salary to 17m euros (£14.8m) after tax.
Ronaldo said: “I’m not going to confirm anything – I’m just going to do my job like I always do. My future – I don’t know. At this moment I’m a player of Madrid, the future, I really don’t know. Let’s see what’s going to happen – but for the moment, I’m good where I am.”
Show me the money! Ronaldo will stay at Real Madrid when Bale arrives… but only if he’s paid £320,000 a week
Cristiano Ronaldo has promised Real Madrid president Florentino Perez that he will stay at the Bernabeu.
Cristiano Ronaldo hints at Manchester United return
Such are the facts…
TRANSFER Balls: News on Liverpool’s Luis Suarez in today’s media.
The Daily Star leads with news that Brendan Rodgers says Arsenal lack “class“. In the insane world of football, Rodgers views an offer of £40m plus £1 offer for a player who wants to leave as a sign of low upbringing. Making a bid for a footballer now requires etiquette. Maybe Wenger should deliver any further handwritten missives on a plump purple cushion?
TRANSFER Balls: Writing in the Sunday Times, Duncan Castles has an interesting line about Luis Suarez’ Liverpool contract.
TOTTENHAM are considering a bid for unsettled Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and Colombia international Jackson Martinez as they plan to reinvest the income from Gareth Bale’s pending transfer to Real Madrid. Andre Villas-Boas is also seeking reinforcememts in defence and on the wing to mitigate the world-record sale.
A sucessful Spurs bid for Suarez seems fanciful. If Arsenal can offer Suarez the Champions’ League football he apparently craves, Spurs can’t. But this is the line that stands out:
With Liverpool refusing to honour a £40m clause in Suarez’s contract by permitting him to talk to Arsenal, the Uruguayan is likely to prove beyond Tottenham’s reach.
So. Liverpool are in a breach of contract?
But Caught Offside.com says:
“…in actual fact the two clubs are said to have already come to an agreement over the sale of Suarez, with the player set to join Arsenal for £45m on Aug 28 on the condition that the club have successfully navigated their way past their upcoming two-legged Champions League playoff that will take place across Aug 20/21 and Aug 27/28.
More facts to follow…
THIS is the world’s worst martial arts demonstration:
TRANSFER Balls: A look at what the experts in the media are saying about Liverpool’s Luis Suarez:
First up, let’s hear from Liverpool manger Brendan Rodgers, who continues to seek inspiration from reading Neville Chamberlain’s Guide to Negotiating:
“Every player has a valuation but you have to look at the market. With Gareth Bale they are talking about £100m and Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez were arguably the two best players in the Premier League last season. You can’t say that Gareth Bale is valued at over 100 per cent more. We are a club with strong beliefs in what we are doing and nobody will be moving out of here.”
THE DAILY BALE: How mich is the Spurs star being sold to Real Madrid for?
Today the Mirror topped the lot: £105m.
In other news today:
LIVERPOOL FC owner John Henry is buying the Boston Globe for $70m from the New York Times Co., who bought the newspaper in 993 for $1.1 billion. Says Henry, who also owns the Boston Red Sox:
“The Boston Globe’s award-winning journalism as well as its rich history and tradition of excellence have established it as one of the most well respected media companies in the country.”
Globe editor Brian McGrory assures a lack of owner influence:
“We have no plans whatsoever to change our Red Sox coverage specifically, or our sports coverage in general, nor will we be asked. The Globe’s sports reporting and commentary is the gold standard in the industry.”
AUGUST 3, 1936:
The ceremony honoring the three winners in the 100 meter Olympic final in Berlin on August 3, 1936, which was won by Jessie Owens, U.S.A, middle, second was Tinus Osendarp, Holland, front, and third Ralph Metcalf, U.S.A. (extreme right).
Transfer balls: Liverpool and Manchester United targets Diego Costa and Geoffrey Kondogbia reprise the Suarez and Evra show
TRANSFER Balls: How’s the summer shaping up for Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa and Sevilla midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia?
These two are paired because if they head to the Premier League they will renew a relationship that made headlines last season. Sevilla midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia earned a red card for a foul on Costa. He went on Twitter to claim:
“In short Mr Costa, next time keep the monkey noises to yourself. The first red of my entire life playing football and I get four matches ?”
Geoffrey Kondogbia is black. Costa is what are now called “white Hispanic”.
It seems that Liverpool want Costa:
Transfer Balls: Liverpool want £35m for Arsenal target Suarez, and Ian Wright and Steven Gerard remain desperate
TRANSFER Balls: The experts in the media tells us what’s happening with Liverpool’s Luis Suarez in August:
Daily Mirror: “Liverpool agreed to Luis Suarez transfer if a Champions League club offered £35m claim Arsenal target’s camp”
Luis Suarez is refusing to give up on a £40million transfer to Arsenal after angrily claiming Liverpool AGREED to let him go.
Suarez’s agent, Pere Guardiola, has told the Anfield giants that the striker is frustrated, wants to quit and feels let down over what he thought were promises to sell him if the Reds missed out on the coming season’s Champions League.
Now, the Uruguay international is determined to force the issue as he wants to join Arsenal – while also secretly harbouring hopes that Real Madrid will come in for him.
Looks like that secret harbouring has set sail.
TRANSFER Balls in association with the Daily Bale: a look at Spurs striker Gareth Bale’s movements in today’s media:
So. Is Bale on his way from Spurs to Real Madrid?
Spy on Ghana: “£87m Tottenham For Gareth Bale Sealed”
Indy: “Real have been heavily linked with Bale throughout the summer, leading to suggestions that they are willing to break the £80m world record transfer fee – set in 2009 when they signed Cristiano from Manchester United.”
TRANSFER Balls: a look at what experts in the media are saying today about:
Liverpool’s Luis Suarez:
So. He’s for sale.
ESPN: “Suarez will now cost Arsenal £50m”
LIVERPOOL FC’s widely distributed list of things you cannot say has yet to be handed to all fans entering the Anfield ground. Your moral credentials will not be checked at the gate…yet.
I have said infantile things at football matches, mostly when I was young and thought it funny and possibly liberating to sing things I would never sing at a polite dinner table; belting out abusive lyrics to songs like the First Noel:
Hoddle, Hoddle, Hoddle, Hoddle
Born is the Queen of Golder’s Green
That’s racist! Nowadays it could be. I knew that words cold hurt. Well, that was the idea. You get worked up in support of your own team and say things designed to damage the opposition. You don’t mean it. The song was targeting Spurs’ best player and the fans, many of whom are Jewish (Golder’s Green has a considerable Jewish demographic). It would also be now classed a homophobic. Hoddle is not the King of Israel, as the Spurs fans might have had it. He was the Queen. Was I a homophobic anti-Semite? No. I just thought it was funny. The song did not show me in my true colours. They were just part of the match.
Was Hoddle offended? No. He just smiled and – get this – later became a born again Christian.
(It was he who said: “You and I have been physically given two hands and two legs and half-decent brains. Some people have not been born like that for a reason. The karma is working from another lifetime. I have nothing to hide about that. It is not only people with disabilities. What you sow, you have to reap.”)
Arsenal fans also had this to say about their own Nwankwo Kanu:
He’s big, he’s black, he’s had a heart attack, King Kanu, King Kanuuuuu
Below the headings race/religion, sexual orientation, gender and disability, we see the list below:
IS Mo Farrah going to race Usain Bolt over 600 meters, a distance at which neither of them are champions? Will Joe Hart, the England goalkeeper go head to head with British Lions’s Leigh Halfpenny in a cricket ball catching contest? Is Andy Murray or Olympic squash champion Dan Lin better at table-tennis? Would sports fan tune in to see it?
Yes. Sports fans will watch pretty much anything. Create a school sports day Mums and Dads race channel and many would watch.
THE Daily Bale: a look at the Spurs star in the news. Today, former Spurs manager David Pleat says Bale, 24, is too young to work abroad:
“I think he’s a little bit young to go abroad. I doubt he’d find it easy. Many have failed when they have moved overseas. One or two have succeeded, but not many. Most have had a difficult time.”
TRANSFER Balls: Gareth Bale’s move to Real Madrid is occupying the back pages. And not a single source has a clue what is going on. Having read that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is and isn’t talking to Bale, the experts in the media bring us more news:
Bale has been targeted by the Spanish giants for a world-record transfer worth potentially £85m and has moved to force the issue by informing Spurs that he is ready to leave, despite Levy’s insistence that he will not be sold at any price.
THE Daily Bale, in association with Transfer Balls – a look at what experts in the media are saying about the Spurs star:
Daniel Levy has refused to have talks with Gareth Bale about a supposed gentleman’s agreement that could allow the Welshman to fulfil his desire to move to Real Madrid…Levy is adamant that Bale, who has three years left on his deal, will not be sold
Daniel Levy is giving Gareth Bale the silent treatment over Real Madrid’s world-record bid to sign him. The Spurs chairman is refusing “point-blank” to hold any further talks with Bale on the issue after ruling the Welshman will not be sold this summer regardless of whatever Real may offer…
Levy – set to announce the record-breaking, £26million signing of Roberto Soldado from Valencia this week – is now giving Bale the cold shoulder.