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: Are Chelsea going to sell Petr Cech? Are Arsenal going to buy him? The Daily Telegraph says Chelsea might be. And Arsenal will pay £10m.
We cast our minds back to November, when the trusty Metro told readers that Cech had joined Arsenal for £7m:
Did he? No. Because The Argus says Chech won’t make any decision on his future until the summer..
Such are the facts…
News is that Aintree racecourse wants to ban photographs of women in ‘inappropriate’ poses. Aintree racecourse supremo John Baker tells the Liverpool Echo:
“We want to overwhelm the negativity, to push the positivity to the front. Our event is full of character, it’s fun, and that’s generated by the personality of the Liverpool people.”
He wants more photos of Liverpool women in their traditional demure poses, such as embroidering cushions, fox-trotting and eating cucumber sandwiches (or ‘cucumber sarnies’ as the locals call them).
Chelsea “legend” John Terry has been talking with the Chelsea website about his apprenticeship at Stamford Bridge.
After joining from West Ham United’s academy in 1995 at the age of 14, Terry turned to Dennis Wise, then Chelsea’s irritant-in-chief:
“I used to clean Dennis Wise’s boots. He wanted his boots perfect. I used to take really good care of them.” I used to Vaseline them and stuff like that. They were about size 2½! I learned a lot from Wisey. Every now and then he gave me a little bonus. Every time he scored I was on £25, which was half my wages at the time!”
Good old, Wisey.
“I’d do anything for them (the senior players). I’d make their teas and coffees.” Even silly things like sit on the toilet to make the seat warm for them in the cold winter days at the training ground. It’s bizarre when you think about it but that was part of growing up.”
Transfer Balls: So, how much is Gareth Bale worth to Manchester United, Manchester City and all the usual suspects lining up to buy the Real Madrid star?
The Daily Express says it’s £90m.
That’s the same Daily Express who said Manchester United would buy Bale for £90m last January. They didn’t:
Manchester United had best strike fast because that price is rising. It was £80m in the Daily Express a few weeks ago:
And the Indy said it was £100m.
Mind you, lsate last year the Mail said the figure for Bale was £120m:
It was getting a bit pricey.
But then an oligarch stepped in to reinflate the fee. The Mirror reported that Cheslea will buy Bale for…£150m:
Does anyone know how much Gareth Bale is worth?
Transfer Balls looks at the affairs of West Ham United’s Winston Reid.
On January 5 2015, the Guardian said Reid was on his way to Arsenal or Liverpool.
That same day, the Daily Star made a statement:
CONFIRMED: Man United and Arsenal target Winston Reid WILL leave West Ham
On February 1 2015, the Daily Mirror said that Reid was leaving the club. He was going to play for Spurs:
West Ham defender Winston Reid set to move to London rivals Tottenham in the summer
Which brings us to today’s story in the Sun in which Reid explains why he signed a £65,000-a-week deal to play for…West Ham United.
Sucha re the facts in the mainstream media…
Are Arsenal buying Palermo’s Paulo Dybala? The Telegraph says they could be. The paper also says Chelsea might buy him.
The Express says he will cost Manchester United £28.9m – and they want him, too.
The Daily Star says Arsenal are really keen on Karim Benzema – as they are every year. But they have been “rocked” by news that Paris St Germain also want him. But not to worry because that will mean Arsenal sign PSG’s Edinson Cavani for [insert ridiculous amount of money here].
The Daily Express says Arsenal are in for Paris Saint-Germain’s Marco Verratti and Bayern Munich’s Bastian Schweinsteiger. But, then, it says Real Madrid want both of those player, too. The Express says it knows this because Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has “specifically requested the duo”. Yeah. He didn’t say “get me whathisface and oojamiflip”. He used their actual names. #flattered.
The Metro, says Arsenal will “snare” Chile international Charles Aranguiz by dangling Alexis Sanchez over a bear pit filled with cash.
Such are the facts…
Liverpool news now. The Sun says that Mamadou Sakho used only to speak French to his teammates. Is that good or bad? The Liverpool team that lined up against Manchester United featured five native English speakers. So. Speaking just in French is less than ideal.
But the best bit about the Sun’s story is that Mamadou is quoted thus:
“Learning the language has been the hardest part of adapting to life in England. I get very frustrated when I can’t express myself. Some people told me to speak in French, saying it would enable me to relax a little. But when I spoke French on the pitch, calling for substitutions and similar matters, nobody understood what I was saying. I thought, ‘oh no, this is pointless!’ and felt I really had to learn English. It took me some time, but I’m fine now.”
His English is superb.
But we do wonder if when Mamadou was speaking only in French, he was doing so with the affectation of a broad Scouse accent – you know, in the same vein as Liverpool lad Joey Barton speaks French to the people of Marseilles:
Having been told by an insider that Radamel Falcao has been “reduced to tears” at Manchester United, the Sun leads with news that his teammate Angel Di Maria is sulking after Louis Van Gaal told him off for playing badly.
One page in and we get to see rheumy-eyed Falcao and read that the misfiring Colmbian will “walk out” on Manchster United unless he gets a “public show of faith” from Louis Van Gaal.
When Manchester United beat Liverpool 2-1, the point scoring had only just begun. The Daily Mirror’s man with an abacus used various esoteric and expert techniques and algorithms to award his scores out of 10 to the game’s players.
The scores for the Liverpool team are worthy of comment. Three Liverpool players – Adam Lallana, Moreno and…Steven Gerrard scored 4 points each. Gerrard scored one point for every 9.5 seconds he was on the pitch. He was, of course, red carded after 38 seconds of playing time. Lallana and Moreno lasted 45 minutes and 66 minutes, respectively.
And that’s not all.
The Mirror praises “Liverpool’s best defender” Martin Skrtel.
He “kept his head while others lost theirs”.
Skrtel has been charged with violent conduct over an alleged stamp on Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea.
It’s almost as if those points aren’t worth the paper tgey’re written on….
So. How did the tabloids react to the sight of Liverpool player Steven Gerrard stamping on Manchester United’s Ander Herrera? Did they lead with a photo of the ‘horror’ foul?
Because when Chelsea’s foreigner Diego Costa stamped on a Liverpool player, it was the lead story for all the wrong reasons:
But this time it’s different.
Transfer Balls – a look at drivel presented as football fact by the mainstream media. Today the Press returns to France and Juventus star Paul Pogba. And news is that he’s on his way to Chelsea and Manchester United.
The Times and Telegraph both say Manchester United will splash out £60m on Pogba. Jason Burt says Pogba is the “key” Manchester United target.
Burt adds that some other teams also like Pogba: Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and Real Madrid are all “strongly linked with him”.
Juventus director Pavel Nedved was quoted in La Parisien newspaper on Saturday as saying that PSG had submitted a bid – but, in this same report, this was denied by the French club’s director of sport, Olivier Letang.
Clear as mud, then.
Sky Sports says Pogba could remain at Juventus. After all, they are in the quarter-final of the Champions’ League, and Pogba was happy to run his Manchester United contract down and leave the club in 2012. Why go back?
Which leads to Jacon Steinbeg’s news in the Guardian that Pogba will be playing for Manchester City next season. Well, maybe. He understands that such a link is “nonsense”.
And if you want real nonsense, you need to look at the Metro and the Star, which reports:
Chelsea are getting closer to landing Paul Pogba, according to The Metro. They quote Juventus CEO Giuseppe Marotta who has hinted Juventus can do without Pogba.
Marotta said: “We are here celebrating a victory achieved by a team, a team that played without Pogba. This means football is a team sport and not just about individuals.”
So. He did not say anything about Pogba being surpluss to requirements. He said football is a team game.
And what Moratta went on to say – not something quoted by either paper but mentioned in the Standard – is:
“Pogba is a young player with lots of promise but he is realising his potential,” he said after Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Genoa. We want to win and we don’t necessarily have to sell our best players. It is clear that players of this quality attract interest from other clubs but we don’t seek buyers and there has been no contact.”
Such are the facts…
Liverpool lost 1-2 at home to Manchester United in the Premier League. We at Anorak always like to see what the local newpapers of both sides thought of the game.
The monocular Liverpool Echo and Manchester Evening News only rate players from their own areas. The MEN says the game’s best player was Juan Mata, with an 9 out of 10.
The Liverpool Post offers no rating for the bright Mata, but does say that the best Liverpool player was Sakho, who gets a 7. It gives Adam Lallana a 4. Lallana was not out-scored by Steven Gerrard, who replaced the former Southampton star and lasted just 43 seconds before he earned a red card. Instead of the ‘0’ Gerrard should have scored, the Post offers no score. Ity then adds that Gerrard is The best player to have pulled on a Liverpool shirt – ever.
In the haste to excuse Gerrard, the Post’s man-on-the scene notes:
“Ironically, after that [the sending off] they [Liverpool] played a lot better, they were a better team today with 10 than they were with 11.”
Good old Stevie, G., who does right when he does wrong.
Elswhere the Post adds that Gerrard is “saving the fairytale for Wembley”.
Banned for spitting at Newcastle United’s Papiss Cisse – who then returned fire with interest – Manchester United’s Jonny Evans is talking to the Times. The headline – “If I’d genuinely spat, Mum and Dad would have been disgusted” – gives readers heads-up as to what the kind of nonsense they can expect.
This is no mea culpa. This is me a victim. Banned for six matches for his part in that exchange of bodily fluids, the caption beneath Evans’ face tells readers the spitting is “alleged”.
James Ducker says this is Evans telling his side of the story. But it looks a lot like the Times‘ is cocking an overly sympathetic ear, a feeling compounded by the accompanying photo of Cisse gobbing at Evans but no photo of Evans clearing his throat at Cisse.
Transfer balls: The big football news in the Daily Mirror is that Arsenal’s Theo Walcott is off to Liverpool. Maybe he will “Never Walc Alone”:
Theo Walcott is 26. He has just 15 months to run on his curent £90,000-a-week contract (although that rises to £100,000 a week in the Daily Express). And since returning from injury Walcott’s not one enough to surplant Danny Wellbeck in the Arsenal pecking order.
The Telegraph says Walcott will remain at Arsenal if he can get a new deal worth more than £100,000-a-week.
But any move to Liverpool, the team he supported as a boy, depends on what the Reds’ Raheem Sterling does. The Express says he’s rejected an offer of £90,000-a-week to remain at Liverpool. We lean that big-spending Real Madrid are watching him closely.
All fans hang on to the idea that their team’s players love their club above all others. They don’t. They see the money flooding into the game, and they want more and more of it.
The Mail says Arsenal’s top-earners Sanchez and Ozil earn around £140,000-per-week. That’s around the same sum as Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard earns a week.
So. Their team-mates demand parity with the top tier earners. But they’re not as good.
Maybe the future is for pay-per-view players, each star linked to the amount the paying fans will cough up to watch them? The better they play, the more the punters click their keypads, and the more the winning players take from the wages pool.
This would more likely result in the likes of Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho earning far more than his curent deal of £70,000-a-week and his teammate Glen Johnson knocking up to four ‘noughts’ from his £90,000-a-week-deal.
Meanwhile, over at Manchester United, Radamel Falcao will not get his £265,000-a-week wages, and what with mortgages and other committments start looking to boost his income with a Saturday job in a hairdressers.
Walcott to Liverpool. Sterling to Real. Falcao to the Arndale Centre. You read it here first…
Transfer balls spoits the Daily Express story that Chelsea will spend £150m this summer. Anthony Chapman calls this “incredible”. And it would be.
He informs readers that Chelsea are all set to buy Real Madrid duo Gareth Bale and Raphael Varane. They are Jose Mourinho’s “top targets”.
Great news for Blues. But just five says ago, the Express told readers that Chelsea were spending £75m on three new players.
And in November, the Express said Jose Mourinho has made Marco Reus his TOP TARGET. And he would cost £20m.
And let’s not forget the news in January: “Lionel Messi backed to complete STUNNING £200m Chelsea switch.”
All utter balls in the Daily Express.
Why did 96 Liverpool fans lose their lives on15 April 1989 at the FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough Stadium? We had thought it was to do with treating football fans as sub-human scum, a problem to be solved through new forms of control. How else was it that when the innocent were dying in cages the police called not for the ambulances but for the attack dogs? Why else was it that with the dead not yet buried and the dying in hospital, the Press felt able to continue the theme that all football fans deserved it?
Football was “a slum sport watched by slum people”. Well, so said the Sunday Times newspaper. But the Times was only right about the stadiums, neglected and inadequate. In May 1985, the Bradford City stadium fire in May 1985 killed 56 people.
In 1985, 38 Italian fans died following a charge by Liverpool supporters at the Heysel stadium. The dead were killed when a faulty wall collapsed.
So. Why were Liverpool fans given the Leppings Lane end at Hillsborough while their less well-supported opponents Nottingham Forest stood in the bigger end of the ground? Because that was how the police wanted it.
You can read my views on that horrific day in “Hillsborough: 96 Liverpool Fans Killed By ‘A Slum Sport Watched By Slum People In Slum Stadiums’“. Everyone who went to a football match in the 1980s will understand that the Liverpool fans who died could have been them. Amid all the guff about the “football family”, this is one truth that binds all fans.
And so to today’s news in of all places The Sun, the newspaper that more than any other bought into the lies that depraved, grave-robbing Liverpool fans had instigated their own deaths. In 2012, the paper apologised for colluding with the police lies.
Appearing at the Hillsborough inquests in Warrington, Cheshire, David Duckenfield, the Hillsborough police match commander, says his failure to close a tunnel “was the direct cause of the deaths of 96 people”.
He was wrong. He made a terrible error. But that error was triggered by the top-down monstering of all football fans. David Duckenfield did not act in isolation.
The dead were libelled. At the coroner’s court, details of the deceased were read out together with their blood alcohol reading. That horror included the blood alcohol reading of a dead 10-year-old boy. The verdict was that the 96 had perished in an “Accidental Death”. No charges would be brought against anyone. Only the dead were to blame.
Suck it up. Move on. Years later the elite joined the bereft and abused in a minute’s silence. Your pain was now their pain, too. The conniving never stops.
The lies were maintained. Evidence presented without contest by the State propped up the narrative of drunkeness and violence.
Now David Duckenfield says he “froze” during the afternoon of the 1989 football disaster.
Mr Duckenfield is 70.
The wheels of justice turn slowly. We now see an old man in the dock. He is full of remourse. But he’s no longer a serving copper. But he was when he made a witness statement on 5 May 1989. He said:
Now he says he is sorry for his lie about fans forcing an exit gate open to enter the ground. He said it was a “lie of omission” when he said gates to the ground had been forced. “He claimed he was referring to the first opening of gate C, at 2,48pm, when he wrongly believed it had been forced and about 150 fans gained access”. He says:
“I am now very much older, very much wiser and very much more understanding of the events of the day and have decided to tell the whole truth.”
So says the old man no longer in uniform.
You wait long enough and if you’re lucky you get to hear the truth just before God makes his judgement…
NEWS is that the police have raided the Sunderland dressing room. No, not looking for mogodon or any other drugs that lead to malcoordination and apathy. They were seeking anything that can aid the investigation into claims that Adam Johnson had sexual contact with an underage girl.
The Sun announces:
Adam Johnson cops raid Sunderland dressing rooms
Officers have now scoured for evidence the club’s 49,000-capacity Stadium of Light and its 60-acre Academy of Light.
When 17-year-old Australian Islamic State fighter, Jake Bilardi, died in a suicide bombing attack, we all saw the photo. There was Jake in his Chelsea kit.
Cheslea’s marketing men must have been delighted by the repeated exposure Bilardi has given their brand.
Fans of other clubs can only smirk when they see a miscreant wearing a rival team’s kit.
When Craig Meehan was arrested during the Shannon Matthews affair, he was photgpahed in his Manchester United kit. Meehan was subsequently convicted of possessing indecent images of children on a computer found in the home he shared with Karen Matthews.
If you see an embarrassing endorsement, please let us know at @theanorak on twittter.
Transfer Balls looks at Paul Pogba news. The Daily Express says Pogba has dealt Cheslea huge “BLOW”.
Charles Perrin has news on Pogba, the Frenchman who, according to the Express was sold to Chelsea for £40m, to Arsenal also for £40m and £80m, for £77m to Manchester United, to Arsenal if Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and PSG don’t want him and has agreed to join PSG.
Chelsea and Manchester United have been handed a potential blow in their efforts to sign Paul Pogba.
Not if you ‘ve been reading the Express they haven’t.
The Juventus star has been valued at £77m, but Paris Saint-Germain star Marco Verratti has entertained the idea of a possible swap deal involving the Frenchman… “If PSG were to force me to leave in order to make room for Pogba, then that’s different.”
So. Verratti to Juventus it is. Unless you read the Daily Express, whih says he’s off to Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester United.
And Verratti is not going to Juventus:
No wait a minute, he is:
Such are the facts…
The Sun has an “exclusive”. News is that Raheem Sterling has yet to sign a deal to prolong his stay at Liverpool.
In September 2014, the Sun had an “EXCLUSIVE” to quicken the hearts of Liverpool FC Fans: “LIVERPOOL are finally ready to open contract talks with Raheem Sterling.” Yeah, finally! The 19-year-old player with three years left to run on his current contract was finally going to have his future sorted out.
QPR-schooled Raheem Sterling was ready to sign a new deal.
But now the Sun says he’s m ioght be off to play for Bayern Munich.
Talking Balls: Is Manchester United manger Louis Van Gaal going to remain at Old Trafford or be sacked?
The media experts have been informing their readers.
David McDonnell tells Daily Mirror readers on March 10:
Louis van Gaal’s fate as Manchester United will be decided in the next month…
Mark Ogden in the Daily Telagraph March 11:
Manchester United have spent too much money and time giving Louis van Gaal everything he has asked for this season to begin to contemplate dispensing with their Dutch manager this summer – even if he fails to achieve the club’s target of Champions League qualification.
Neil Curtis in The Sun, March 11:
LOUIS VAN GAAL’S job is safe even if Manchester United fail to make the Champions League. The board trust in his long-term plan despite the prospect of missing out on the top four.Louis van Gaal’s job is safe even if Manchester United fail to make the Champions League. The board trust in his long-term plan despite the prospect of missing out on the top four. The club do not want another summer of turmoil
Such are the facts…
Talking Balls: just how large is Arsenal’s “war chest”?
On March 111 2015, Sami Mokbel told Daily Mail readers that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will “target a central defender, a holding midfielder and a goalkeeper this summer with a £50million transfer war chest.”
When Chelsea lost to PSG in a tetchy, dramatic and acrimonious Champions’ League match last night, some of the newspapers picked sides.
The Times not only comes up with the best headline (“Chelsea polished off by Silva” – PSG’s Thiago Silva scored the decisive goal) but also reports that counter much what we read elsewhere.
Readers learn that Zlatan Ibrahimovich was “extermely unfortuante to be sent off” for a foul on Oscar. He was.
Oliver Kay notes that PSG’s Edinson Cavani performed a “blatant trip” on Diego Costa in the box. Result: No penalty. Matt Dickenson notices David Luiz swing his arm into Costa’s face. It was “disgraceful and blatant”. It “should have been a red card”. Result: no foul. “Devilish” Costa then flew into a “wild challenge” on Thiago Silva. He should have been sent off, says the Times. Was he? No.
Transfer Balls catches the Daily Star’s news that Arsenal and Liverpool are all set to sign Sami Khedira.
Paul Brown says Arsenal and Liverpool will both try to sign the German player when his Real Madrid contract ends on June 30. Offering no proof that they will, Brown then says Chelsea could afford to buy him. Why Chelsea would want Khedira and why Kehdira would want Chelsea are not things that bother the writer. And readers can also imagine what other clubs could afford Khedira.
Maybe Bayern Munich can? After all it was the Daily Star that rold us Khedira was heading to the German champions:
But that would be odd because whilst Brown says Arsenal baulked at Khedira’s wage demands, the, er, Daily Star told us that they didn’t:
But then came Daily Star news that Khedira had gone back on that Arsenal agreement and agreed to join Bayern Munich:
So. He agreed to Arsenal. He agreed to Bayern Munich. Which brings us to the Daily Star’s news that next season Kehedia will be playing for Manchester Untied, Liverprool or Chelsea:
Such are the facts…