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.
FORMULA One action figure (surely man of action? – ed) Bernie Ecclestone is at the High Court. As ever with Bernie the conversation is about his cash. Most often, it’s about how his daughters have found a new way to spunk dad’s money on a sapphire bidet or a cream made from the perinea of white tigers.
This time the octogenarian was talking money in the form of evidence in a damages case against him alleging that he made a “corrupt” payment to protect his position running the sport. Here’s Bernie at the High Court encountering the horror of doors that don’t come with a man to open them. Who knew?
ALL football fans have been there. They have experienced the pang of embarrassing co-supporters, the figure-of-fun who shares you love of the team. Today’s Desperate Fan is Graham Downes, played by ardent Tottenham supporter Paul Whitehouse:
SO. How did the Irish Independent report the news that Roy Keane and Martin O’Neill are to run the Republic of Ireland football team?
HOW football reporting works: the Injury List. Let’s look at what the papers are saying about Arsenal player Kieran Gibbs readiness for tomorrow’s Champions’ League match against Borussia Dortmund:
Arsene Wenger (Arsenal manager): “Gibbs has a calf problem. I don’t know exactly how bad it is” – November 2
Arsenal News: “Kieran Gibbs Set To Miss 4 Weeks Of Action Due To Calf Injury” – November 3
THE 48-year-old Bernard Hopkins is the oldest fighter in boxing history to win a world title:
He also [broke that record] in 2011, at age 46, when he traveled to then-light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal’s turf in Montreal for a rematch of a controversial draw and outpointed him to break heavyweight legend George Foreman’s record. In beating [Karo] Murat [on October 26, in a fight promoted in the above video], Hopkins added to his historic legacy by becoming the oldest fighter to defend a world title, winning easily on the scorecards, 119-108, 119-108 and 117-110.
“I wanted to use my skills and reflexes that I still have at 48,” Hopkins said. “I want to tell all the kids out there and everybody out there in sports that you can do it clean and still be good, like myself, and never take drugs.
“I said I was going to throw combinations, and it’s hard to get adjusted to it when I have been used to throwing one or two punches like I have most of my career. When I found the rhythm things became easy.”
In March 2013, The Executioner’ claimed IBF light-heavyweight crown with victory over Tavoris Cloud, 17 years his junior
“I have a history of destroying young champions and then we don’t see them again. Not sure if you’ll see Cloud again.”
Should he retire? Kelefa Sanneh:
When fans try to shame veterans like [James] Toney and [Shane] Mosley into retirement, they often speak the language of concern: they don’t want to see a boxer get injured or worse; they don’t want to hear people saying, after a catastrophic fight, that the tragedy was predictable. But boxing is predictably tragic; if we truly didn’t want to see fighters get injured, we wouldn’t watch them fight. When fans cheer Hopkins, hitting and getting hit in the twelfth round, even when he probably knows he has already won, they say they admire his bravery. … Some fans play doctor, scrutinizing interviews for signs of altered speech, and yet there’s something perverse about urging a man to fight until he’s damaged, then urging him to stop.
LOCAL News Watch focuses on the Newcastle Chronicle, which shows just the merest whiff of bias in its report: “Roma eye Newcastle United midfielder Yohan Cabaye.”
Newcastle United midfielder Yohan Cabaye is understood to be a target of Serie A outfit Roma
Lee Ryder reports:
Whether Cabaye would swap the Premier League for the less fashionable Serie A remains to be seen.
Rome. Eternal City. Capital of Italy. Or Newcastle?
THE Sun continues its bid to portray Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas as a fool. In today’s paper, readers get:
JAN VERTONGHEN has taken a swipe at Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas in a clash over tactics.
ON November 30 2011, Sunderland sacked manger Steve Bruce.
The BBC reported:
Bruce, 50, becomes the first Premier League boss to lose his job this season after two wins in the first 13 games.
ARSENAL may be having a ball in the Premier League at the moment, but what about their Argentinian namesakes? Well, Arsenal de Sarandi have also had a decent start to the season, nd luck is certainly on their side too, as their match with All Boys shows, from Friday.
With All Stars through on goal, striker Javier Campora saw his cheekily chipped attempt come back off the crossbar and he met the rebound, which he managed to clobber the woodwork again.
THE time for Arsenal fans to panic will be when Tony Adam gets anywhere close to running any aspect of the club.
It was Chairman Adams who said of Sir Chips Keswick:
“Chips is a great guy but not a very imaginative choice – and he is 73. If they just wanted a figurehead, they should have gone for me”
Manager Adams noted:
”One hundred per cent I’d like to be Arsenal manager. Of course my heart says ‘yes, yes, yes’, but my head says ‘can I win with this current team?’ My answer is no, I can’t and I am not sure anyone can. I would want assurances if I walk through the door, those assurances meaning I’m given the go ahead to build a new team. I would get my teeth into building a new team but to achieve that, you would need to spend.”
Newcastle United Mentalist Moussa Sissoko Keeps Tracks Of Chelsea Corner Whilst Looking The Other Way
MOVE over Arsenal’s telekinetic stupendo Mesmut Ozil, Newcastle United can call upon the second sight of midfielder Moussa Sissoko. As Chelsea took a corner on Saturday afternoon, Sissoko kept his back to the ball. With his eyes focused on the Blues’ Branislav Ivanovic, the French mindreader kept perfect track of the ball, jumping high at the correct moment to head the ball clear.
IT turns out that the way to seduce Ashley Cole is not offer him a deal for a lucrative marriage nor write ‘puke here‘ on your face but to compliment his feet.
Roxanne Jeffers says she pulled the Chelsea FC defender by sayiong she liked his feet. Cole had posted a picture of his feet on the web. The Daily Mail reports: “The model got in touch with Ashley when she commented on how ‘cute’ his feet were after he posted a snap of them on Instagram. The Chelsea and England defender was so flattered he invited the 24-year-old beauty to the £3.5million home he once shared with Cheryl.”
That’s how much Ashley likes his feet.
FORMER cricket umpire Dickie Bird was displeased that persons unknown were hanging things from his famously raised finger – bras, knicker, pizzas etc. In response Barnsley council has raised the bronze sculpture erected in honour of the Yorkshireman who umpired 66 Test matches.
TRANSFER BALLS: The Daily Mail reports that Chelsea are looking to buy Robert Lewandowski, the player of whom it wrote:
The jokes are over! Szczesny calls out Polish team-mate Lewandowski as Bayern-bound striker prepares to face in-form Gunners – October 21, 2013
EXCLUSIVE: Lewandowski to net £10m when he joins Bayern in the summer – October 18, 2013
I’m joining Bayern for FREE, reveals Dortmund hitman Lewandowski as rivals secure bargain deal – September 23, 2013
Lewandowski: I said no to Jose, Sir Alex and Real Madrid… here’s why I chose to stay in the Bundesliga – 24, August, 2013
Man United and Chelsea miss out on striker Lewandowski as Pole agrees to join Bayern – July 7, 2013
HOW many English footballers representing non-British clubs have played in the group stages of this season’s Champions League and Europa League? In all, 37 English players have played a part in those matches.
To give you a few clues: 106 Brazilians have played in the two tournaments this season; 52 Spanish players have played for non-Spanish clubs; and 45 French players for non-French clubs. So. How many English players made the move to experience life and football overseas? And, no, Scotland is not abroad, so Celtic’s Fraser Forster doesn’t count. Same with Swansea City, which means its contingent of four English players is barred.
The answer is…one.
He’s James Keene, a 27-year-old with Sweden’s Elfsborg.
AFTER Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-0 in the Premier League it’s interesting to see what the clubs’ local newspaper say of the game:
Islington Gazette (Arsenal)
Santi Cazorla fired the Gunners ahead somewhat against the run of play on 19 minutes, lashing the ball home after his bullet header had come back off the post.
Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey then made sure of all three points on the hour when he cracked in a sublime 25-yard half-volley…
GONZALO Galvan, 13, looks like Arsenal and Germany’s Mesut Ozil. Gonzo plays for Villa Santillan in Argentina. He is ‘The Mesut Ozil of Tucuman’.
Of course, who he really look like is Spencer Slavin, who Anorak used to knock about with when we were young lads. But that’s the thing with lookalikes – it’s usually only the famous people strangers ever tell you you look like. And, then, it is rarely if ever flattering.
WE name the mystery men.
The campaign to put Jane Austen on English banknotes appears to have achieved a somewhat hollow victory, if responses to the proposed portrait are anything to go by.
Austen biographer Dr Paula Byrne describes the proposed picture as resembling a doll, and making Jane appear “dim-witted”. She even goes so far as to compere it to “a Katie Price makeover”.
However, Elizabeth Proudman of the Jane Austen Society begs to differ. While conceding that the eyes are too big, and the face is ‘prettified’ she appears happy with the overall appearance – including the bonnet, which she says Austen always wore.
QUOTE of the day is supplied by Liverpool manger Brendan Rodgers. In readiness for Liverpool’s match at Arsenal – the first meeting between the two since The Gunners’ failed bid for want-away striker Luis Suarez – Rodgers says:
“It may become difficult if you lose that one striker [Giroud]. I’d think Arsène Wenger will look to get a striker in [in January] and will be hoping and praying that he doesn’t get any injuries. And he’s obviously got Nicklas Bendtner.”
Manchester City: Dropping Joe Hart Will Shatter His Confidence And Be The Making Of Him, Say Experts
MANCHESTER City’s Joe Hart looks set to be dropped by his club. Others players gets dropped all the time when form dips, but for goalkeepers it is, apparently, a bigger deal than for any other member of the team. So. What do the experts make of it?
Daily Express: “JOE HART’S confidence could be shot to pieces with dire consequences for England if he is axed by Manchester City. That was the warning from Tottenham’s Brad Friedel”
Daily Mirror: “‘Friedel: Dropping Joe could bring out best in him'”
What Friedl actually said:
“All goalkeepers go through ups and down, and goalkeeping is very much a confidence position. Joe has never struck me as a person who lacks in the confidence department… Being dropped can have a positive effect, but that depends how you take being dropped. If you sulk and stop doing your work, it’s going to have an adverse effect If you knuckle down and work even harder and take your chance when you get in again, it can have a positive effect. You just never know with these things. That’s why it’s not as easy as ‘right, we’re going to drop Joe Hart’ because you don’t want to lose the best Joe Hart because the best Joe Hart is England’s No.1.”
All depends what spin you put on the balls.
IN May 2013, Brooklyn Beckham signed forms to play with QPR. He’d had trials with Chelsea. But Brooklyn never did make it at Stamford Bridge, which is great shame for tabloid pun writers. Now, the Sun leads with news that the 14-year-old is practicing football with Manchester United. Previously, Brooklyn has played for the under-14s at LA Galaxy and trained with PSG. He’s also dating a Posh teenager.
If he can get a tattoo, a PA and remember to change his knickers every day, Brooklyn will have chalked off most of his dad’s life accomplishment’s by the time he’s 16.
Now, back to work the rest of you….
UEFA has imposed a partial stadium closure over at CSKA Moscow after fans were found to have indulged in racist chants when playing Manchester City at the Arena Khimki.
When CSKA play their next home game against Bayern Munich, some of the stadium will be closed. Not surprising that the club was found guilty, given that even a state-owned news agency (and they have to tow the line with authorities) admitted that racist chanting was a common problem at Russian league games.
Is Former Spurs Star Gareth Bale A Cheating Foreigner In Spain (Like Liverpool’s Luis Suarez Is In England)?
IS former Spurs Star Gareth Bale recapturing the form that made him a great in England? Yes. And no. He’s yet to score a stunning goal. But he is slipping around a little. Which makes us wonder: is the noble Briton now a cheating foreigner, like Liverpool’s Luis Suarez has been portrayed in England?
This is a snapshot of Bale reliving the glory days at White Hart Lane in Real Madrid’s match against Seville last night: