Anorak

Sports | Anorak - Part 6

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: Bale to Manchester United for a fee that makes Neymar to PSG look cheap

The summer’s here and with it comes the usual news that Gareth Bale dreams of leaving the heat and glory of Real Madrid for life at Manchester United. Like everyone else, the Star hears Real Madrid president Florentino Perez state the current European champions have no intention of selling Bale, 28, to Manchester United or any other club. “He’s a Madrid player, he’s important for us and he’s one of the world’s best,” says Perez of the Welsh powerhouse bought from Spurs.

But the BBC tells its readers that “privately Perez has told Jose Mourinho that he would be willing to let the Welshman leave”. Got that? Perez told the Manchester United’s manager something in private and the BBC got wind of it. And so did the Daily Express, whose Jack Otway reveals beneath the headline “Real Madrid stunner: Man Utd given green light by Perez to sign Bale after private talks”, that his source is Diario Gol. Slap its story through the prism of Google Translate and you get:

José Mourinho has returned as best he knows to the press rooms: with his provocative instinct. In the previous one of the Supercopa of Europe, the Portuguese technician sent darts poisoned.

One of them went to Florentino Perez. Luso acknowledged that he would be willing to tackle the signing of Gareth Bale. Especially if he sees that his club does not have him.

Mourinho believes that Bale could not be indisputable in Real Madrid. In contrast, the Setubal would secure a place without hesitation in Manchester United.

The two sides have approached positions but lack consensus. A Bale something happens like what happened to Neymar : he wants a club where he is the leader.

Neymar could not be in Barça because he was Messi , and Bale can not be in Madrid while Cristiano Ronaldo. But the case of Welsh is different. The good moment of form of Isco and Marco Asensio make think that not even its site in the initial eleven is guaranteed. Everyone can not play.

That is the main asset of José Mourinho. The United coach wants to persuade him to change his mind. What was not expected was that Florentino entered the rag.

The president of Madrid wants to play and has recognized that if they are willing to pay what it is worth, “Bale is for sale “. The problem is that Neymar has already assessed the market price of Welsh.

Florentino paid 101 million euros for him and will not let him escape for less than 200 million euros. This is how PSG put things and that is what United should study . The cunning of Florentino, with much higher clauses than the Barça has, makes it unfeasible that nobody can pay Bale’s departure . Only a transfer will be negotiated.

In other words, Perez has apparently told Mourinho and Manchester United that if they love Bale so much they can make an offer starting at €200m for him. And they can forget about triggering any escape clause because Perez, the Real Madrid maestro, is no dummy like those negotiators at dread rivals Barcelona who allowed Neymar to slip away to PSG.

If that’s a green light, any drivers reading the Express fact sheet should proceed with extreme caution.

 

Posted: 9th, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho agrees to join Barcelona says one unimpeachable source

In football’s arms race, the Star says Barcelona will offer Liverpool £120m for Philippe Coutinho, 25. Is the Brazilian worth the money? Surely not. Indeed, the Sun counters the Star’s offer and says Barcelona believe they can get Liverpool’s bet player for £90m.

Oddly, the Star adds that Barcelona will also buy Chelsea’s Eden Hazard for around £100m. L’Equipe says Ousmane Dembele has agreed to join Barceloan from Borussia Dortmund for £90.2m. Oh,m and for reasons utterly unclear, Barcelona are also recruiting former Tottenham midfielder Paulinho, 29, from Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande, says.

And finally Bild reports that PSG’s Julian Draxler is also on his way to Barcelona.

Yeah, that’s what we thought – that £199 Barcelona got for Neymar is going a long way.

The story that stands out, though, is that of Liverpool’s Coutinho heading to Spain. Accordign to many news sources, it’s a done dead.

Metro July 26 – “Philippe Coutinho agrees deal to join Barcelona”

The Sun, July 16 – “KOP OUT Philippe Coutinho ‘agrees terms with Barcelona’ leaving club to thrash out £89million deal with Liverpool”

Daily Mail, July 16 – “Philippe Coutinho has agreed terms with Barcelona over a move to La Liga this summer”

Daily Express, August 2 – “PHILIPPE COUTINHO is trying to persuade Jurgen Klopp to let him join BarcelonaBrazilian a step closer to exit after agreeing contract with Catalan giants”

All those report stem from a story on Catalan Radio Station RAC1. It says, according to Spanish site Sport:

 

As reported by RAC1, Coutinho and Barcelona have everything agreed and now only need to negotiate the amount of transfer that would perceive Liverpool by the sale of Coutinho.

The story contains not a single quote. Which makes you wonder if it’s based on fact or hope. RAC1‘s story, written in Catalan, also contains not a single fact. It does, however, quote a source for its scoop. It’s, er, RAC1:

 

coutinho barcelona

 

Such are the facts.

 

 

 

Posted: 7th, August 2017 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Chelsea website sees injustice as Arsenal win Community Shield

The football season is underway. Arsenal have beaten Chelsea to win the Community Shield on penalties. The game was largely flat and riddled with errors. And two incidents stand out. Chelsea’s Pedro was sent off for a “filthy challenge” (Times) on Arsenal’s Elneny. No argument there. And then there was the dive.

The Dive

In the first half, Chelsea’s Brazilian Willian was, says the BBC, “tripped by his own feet”. He fell in the box. Willian wanted a penalty. The referee gave him a yellow card for cheating.

What says the official Arsenal website? Nothing. There is, however, this message:

 

arsenal community shield

 

The Chelsea FC website.. Well, let’s wait a moment and first see what more mainstream media has to say on the incident.

The Telegraph:

PENALTY! NO! It’s a dive! That is very interesting. Willlian is onto a mistake by Bellerin, dribbles into the box and then trips himself up… Bellerin doesn’t touch him..

The Indy adds:

It looks as though he actually tripped over his own leg

The Guardian:

He…trips himself by kicking his own calf;

The Daily Mail:

Penalty to Chelsea? No! Instead Willian is booked for diving after evading a challenge from Bellerin and going to ground after clipping his own heels. Excellent decision from the referee.Reviewing the decision for BT Sport,

The Times:

Mark Clattenburg ruled simulation as Willian tripped himself up, his left leg coming over and catching his right.

And on Chelsea FC’s website?

Willian’s booking for simulation in the first half when replays suggested he had been fouled.

More looking at biased reporting throughout the season.

Posted: 6th, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Clickbait balls: Indy tricks Arenal fans in Alexis Sanchez story

This was the week when, according to the Daily  Mirror, Alexis Sanchez would tell Arsenal he wanted to leave the club. It’s Saturday and today’s Alexis Sanchez news is that he has, reports the Indy, “set Arsenal a target if 85 points this season in order to challenge for the Premier League title”.

 

Is that what he said? No. He didn’t say anything. The Indy’s story is total and utter balls. It was Arsene Wenger, Arsenal’s manger, who was talking to media. He opined:

“When you have made 75 points (last season), your target is to get 10 points more. And with 10 points more, you are in there (the title race).”

alexis sanchez arsenal balls Indpendent

As reported in the Indy by Jack Austin

 

To recap: Sanchez did not set Arsenal a target. He has not pledge to stay at Arsenal, as the story strongly implies. Other than that, it’s correct.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 5th, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Who is Neymar’s lover? Tabloids haven’t a clue

Bruna Marquezine nude

 

Brazilian footballer Neymar Junior has moved from Barcelona to PSG, and the tabloids are looking for a love interest. Unable to find one, they instead rest their gaze upon 22-year-old Brazilian actress Bruna Marquezine, who used to date the player. Bruna has 21 million Instagram followers. Discovering her is akin to finding your own arse with both hands.

But the Sun is excited, declaring: “NEYMAR’S world-record Paris Saint-Germain move is not the only reason for fans to be excited.” PSG’s sex-starved fans will be frothing at the lips because in a city short of women Neymar’s former girlfriend Bruna “could follow her man to the City of Love”. This guesswork is cemented in the headline: “Who is Neymar’s girlfriend?” Indeed, who is she? She’s not Bruna Marquezine. One down. A few million more model /actresses to go and the Sun should find her.

After seeing a mere 17 photos of Bruna reaped from her Instagram page, Sun readers might be able to recognise her should she walk past them, but they won’t know anything about her. Toby Gannon’s dossier doesn’t even include her age! (She turned 22 yesterday.)

The Star invites its readers to “click through the gallery to see photos of Neymar’s gorgeous on-off girlfriend Bruna Marquezine”. The Evening Standard’s Fiona Simpson opts to simply rewrite history. The headline above her story boasts: “With the Brazilian set to join PSG, we take a look at the lady in his life”. She isn’t the lady in his life. They are not dating. Indeed, after illuminating her text with a few photos taken from Bruna’s social media accounts, Simpson quotes Neymar: “Me and Bruna are separated.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 5th, August 2017 | In: Back pages, Celebrities, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal owner bows to pressure and censors big game killing from his TV channel

Kronke hunting TV

 

Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has bowed to pressure. The UK version of his bloodsports channel will not broadcast big-game hunting, an utterly barbaric and wholly sad hobby for psychopathic dentists. (Yes, I now that’s tautological, but you take the point.)

The UK version of subscription service MyOutdoorTV, run by Kroenke’s Sports and Entertainment, was to show footage of men and women dressed in camouflage gear posing with inedible animals they’ve killed for fun. Now you’ll only get to see Bob and Mary-Jo grinning next to dead rarer breeds in the US.

Kroenke spokesman Jim Liberatore says that “in light of the public interest” there’ll be lots of to-deadline deaths but not of any big-game animals. They’ll be shot off-camera, like Aintree horses and Celebrity Big Brother losers. “While many on both sides of this issue have made their voices heard,” adds Liberatore, “and this content is only available through paid subscriptions, Stan Kroenke has directed us to remove all content related to those animals in light of the public interest.”

Liberatore added some guff about Kroenke being there for animal welfare, in the way that Mr Toff is there to support foxes who if it weren’t for hunting would died of boredom and lack of exercise. “He has a decades-long track record of environmental stewardship,” Liberatore continues, “working with conservationists, hydrologists, microbiologists, and others to responsibly manage habitat and enhance wildlife preservation.”

You can just imagine the animals and birds camped outside Mr Kroenke’s fencing, waiting for the chance to leap inside and be cared for by his welfare state.

PS: Of course, if you’re stinking rich, as Kroenke is, and really love animals why not just buy a large swathe of land and leave them alone?

Posted: 4th, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports, TV & Radio | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Monaco want Sanchez, Arsenal want Lemar, Barcelona pay Neymar’s dad earns more than Messi

More news on Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez, who has endured a busy summer in the media, joining Paris Saint GermainBayern Munich and Manchester City. He was on his way to Chelseadefinitely staying at Arsenal – who will sell him for £80m – and yesterday kissed the badge on his Arsenal shirt.

 

 

On Monday, the Daily Mirror told readers Sanchez would put in a transfer request this week. It’s Friday. He hasn’t.

Today’s news is that he could be on his way to Monaco. The French champions will bid £45m for the Chilean, says the Metro. The Express says Barcelona, rolling in filthy lucre since Neymar let for PSG, will try to bring Sanchez back to Spain. Incidentally, did you know that Neymar’s father has reaped more money from Barcelona in the last four years than Lionel Messi has? It’s true. And it illustrates just how over-hyped football is.

Meanwhile the Sun reasons that Monaco will use Arsenal’s interest in their midfielder, Thomas Lemar, “to try to tempt” the Gunners into lobbing Sanchez into a swap deal.

Unless they don’t.

 

 

Posted: 4th, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Sanchez kisses the badge and stays at Arsenal

Alexis Sanchez has been training hard at Arsenal. And today he did the unthinkable: he kissed the badge.

 

 

Might it be that Sanchez wants to remain at Arsenal, the club offering him £280,000 to extend his current contract? The Mirror says Sanchez” will tell Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger this week that he wants to join Manchester City.” But he hasn’t told him yet. And even if he does, Wenger’s non-plussed. “He is focused. My decision is clear, he will stay. He will accept that,” says Wenger. He adds: “The frame of mind of a footballer is quite easy – once you go out into the game, you focus on that.”

 

Posted: 3rd, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Clickbait balls: Lemar’s Arsenal hint

What is the “hint” being “dropped ” by Monaco’s Thomas Lemar that he’s on his way to Arsenal? Has he been spotted signing contracts in Alexis Sanchez’s Paris hotel?

You click on The Metro’s scoop and are told: “Lemar liked a training picture of Lacazette with Mesut Ozil and Danny Welbeck posted by the striker on Tuesday.”

And? And nothing. Lacazette, the paper continues, “is good friends with Lemar”.

Such are the facts.

 

 

Posted: 2nd, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Alexis Sanchez was in Paris to get his UK work permit

alexis sanchez agents Paris

 

You read the news that Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez has “agreed“a  four-year contract with Paris Saint Germain? You read that the Arsenal player had been in Paris to meet with PSG reps? And like me you thought it odd that no-one had a photo of Sanchez in Paris. Now Sanchez is in London, training with – yep – Arsenal. But the Daily Mail has news: “Judgment Day: Wantaway Sanchez flies back to London ahead of return to Arsenal… but what was he doing with his lawyer in Paris?”

He was, er, agreeing to play for PSG?

The Mail doesn’t answer. It just notes that “his brief stop-off in France has led to some fans questioning whether PSG is his next destination, while Man City supporters are still hopeful he will arrive at the Etihad.”

Hie next destination turned out to be Arsenal. Which leaves us to wonder what Sanchez was doing in Paris, if it wasn’t to sign a contract with PSG? The Daily Telegraph explains:

Ruben Inostroza Povea, who is Sanchez’s lawyer, uploaded a picture of the pair preparing to leave Santiago airport, Chile, on Sunday evening.

Odd. The paper said he was already in Paris. But at least his time there was a photo to prove that he wasn’t. But why was Sanchez heading to the French capital?

According to Povea’s Instagram picture, the trip included a stopover in Paris, where the forward is thought to have renewed his British work permit.

Just like he did in 2014, when he first joined Arsenal.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 1st, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, Manchester City, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester City balls: Ederson has Manchester United fans laughing in The Sun

When Manchester City spunked £34.9m on Ederson – a world-record fee for a goalkeeper – the Sun’s Martin Blackburn told readers that now Pep Guadiola’s team could play the passing game he oversaw as manager of an all-conquering Barcelona side. Ederson is known for his great range of passing and “enormous pinpoint delivery”. He is a “keeper who can launch it 75 yards on to a bottle top”.

Writes Blackburn:

Pep turned up at the Etihad and promptly dumped Joe Hart because he did not feel the England keeper was good enough outside the box.

Hart’s not all that good inside the box.

He persisted with Hart’s replacement, Chilean Claudio Bravo, despite a series of high-profile errors. No matter what happened, Guardiola refused to back down.

The 8th Rule of tabloid journalism dictates an on-off existence. Pep is either extraordinarily clever and prescient or a man more stubborn than an enormous turnip. So it is that when faced with the hapless Bravo, dumb Pep stuck with him through thin and thinner. Or did he? Because one newspaper told us otherwise:

BRAVO, CLAUDIO Claudio Bravo dropped by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola: Here is why he is officially the worst goalkeeper in the Premier League – January 30, 2017

Pep Guardiola has explained his decision to drop Claudio Bravo in the Manchester City goal and replace him with Willy Caballero – February 1, 2017

Manchester City prepared to axe flop goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and replace him with Benfica’s Ederson Moraes – February 2, 2017

That paper was – of course – the Sun.

And how great was Ederson just over a week ago?

Ederson has nightmare debut and is already being compared to flop Claudio Bravo – July 21, 2017

You can read about “dodgy” Ederson giving City fans “a sense of deja vu”, causing “United supporters to gloat on Twitter as the £35million signing ensured Pep Guardiola’s choice of goalkeeper will remain a contentious issue next season” in the consistent Sun.

Posted: 1st, August 2017 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, Sports, Tabloids | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal go trophy hunting with guns: club’s owner launches bloodsports channel

“What’s the best hunting channel on the telly?” is a question most of us are asked. It might be the Outdoor Sportsman Group, a online bloodsports broadcaster owned by Stan Kroenke, a man with a profile lower than a sniper shitting in a foxhole. Kroenke’s name is familiar to football fans because he owns the biggest slice of shares in Arsenal FC. TV’s Ben Fogle, an “ambassador” for the World Wildlife Foundation, has noticed that and because he disapproves of hunting wants Arsenal fans to boycott the club.

Two things have possibly escaped Fogle’s view: Arsenal fans support a football club not Stan Kroenke Inc.  The club is called The Gunners, nicknamed because the foundering members met – get this – in a munitions factory. They didn’t make stuff to shoot animals; the made guns to shoot people.

For those of you not au fait with Kroenke’s snuff TV for exotic breeds, the Times, which says Arsenal fans are “furious” over this, tells us:

My Online TV (MOTV) offers viewers the chance to see thousands of hunting shows, for a subscription of $9.99 (£7.60) a month, including one show that depicts a huntress shooting an antelope with a bow and arrow and men chasing bears in America with dogs…

In one episode a middle-aged man with a Smith & Wesson pistol shoots an adult lion beneath a tree. “It felt good, you know,” he says. “This is the most exciting hunt I have ever been on.”

Do we care that the armed pillock is middle aged and that the lion was adult? The average Londoner will find it odd that a man of any age would spend thousands of pounds travelling to Africa to off a big cat. But if it’s his idea of fun and freedom, and all the adults in this tableaux of guns and gore are consenting – no complaint from the lion nor his lawyers – who are we to judge? Football boots are still made from leather, the burgers for sale at Arsenal on match days are made from ‘meat’ and it’s unlikely any Arsenal season ticket holder will pay good money to watch animals being killed on Abattoir TV or whatever the show’s called and feel inspired to shot and mount fans of Millwall (nickname: The Lions), Leicester (The Foxes) or Tigers (Hull City).

Philippa King, chief operating officer of the League Against Cruel Sports, says Mr Kroenke had scored a “massive own goal… We’re living in a world now where most people can see how brutal and shameful trophy hunting is, yet the Arsenal boss is choosing to launch his sick TV channel in the UK.”

Trophy hunting is indeed shameful. Just look at how Arsenal celebrate winning the FA Cup when the really big prizes remain well out of reach. They shoot! They come that close…

Posted: 31st, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Arsenal offer Alexis Sanchez £300,000 a week one year deal and other tall stories

What news of Alexis Sanchez, the Chilean footballer last seen cradling the dog that most likely ate his homework when the Arsenal player was a lad? Is the Chilean as ill as she claims to be? That question to Arsenal manger, Arsene Wenger, who replies:

“Your job is to be suspicious. Your job is built on mistrust and my job is built on trust. That’s why I prefer my side… I had him [Sanchez] on text yesterday, he will come back as soon as possible. We were in touch with him and his doctor. There is no basic problem.

“He comes back on Tuesday. I cannot reveal what he says to me. I cannot reveal a secret conversation. He is flying back as soon as he is in position to fly back. He has flu, that is normally four to five days.”

The Sun gives its readers the side eye:

the sun alexis sanchez ill

 

but the facts are the facts. Sanchez is returning to Arsenal and will not be old, something Wenger has stated previously. To date the frenzied press have spotted Sanchez in Paris, where he was meeting with PSG reps in Paris before agreeing a four-year contract, talking in code, met with Manchester City’s reps in London, was on his way to Chelsea, is definitely staying at Arsenal – who will sell him for £80m – and was on his way to live his “dream” and play for Bayern Munich.

Today the Mirror publish more total balls. The paper brings news of a “new twist in the Alexis Sanchez saga”.

 

daily mirror balls alexis sanchez

 

The twist is:

Alexis Sanchez will tell Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger this week that he wants to join Manchester City.

How do we know this? We’re not told.

 

And, as exclusively revealed by Sunday Mirror Sport, he has priced himself out of moves to Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain by demanding £400,000 a week.

This would be the same Mirror newspaper that has told its readers:

Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez finalises deal to join Manchester City in blockbuster summer transfer signing – June 10, 2017

Bayern Munich prepared to make Alexis Sanchez their highest paid-player with £350,000-a-week offer – June 8, 2017

Arsenal superstar Alexis Sanchez targeted by super rich Inter Milan as “poster boy” of new era at San Siro – July 10, 2017

Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Paris Saint-Germain preparing £35million Alexis Sanchez bid? – July 30, 2017

So much for the Mirror’s scoops. And let’s not forget their news that Wenger has quite the club:

 

daily mirror wenger quits sack resigns arsenal

 

The paper adds today:

Wenger insists his star striker will not be sold – even for £50m, with less than 12 months left on his contract. Arsenal are preparing a compromise deal, with the offer of a one-year contract at £300,000 a week and a promise to review the situation next summer.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 30th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comments (3) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez is sick, grasping and pathetic – no wonder they all want him

Good news for those of you who hate football? The domestic season is yet to begin and already a player is doing a great impression of a grasping, unlovely git. Arsenal’s wantaway striker Alexis Sanchez, easily the side’s best player, has posted an photo of himself being ill. He’s not chucking up or in radiotherapy. He’s wearing a scarf indoors, cradling a dog and pulling the kind of face a spoilt brat uses when their over-indulging parent says ‘No more cake’. His agent says he has the flu.

Alexis Sanchez turns  9 29 in December.

 

 

I love the game but modern football is a hyped sport brimful of grasping berks.

The problem for Arsenal is that rampaging Sanchez scores goals. And when you overlook all the posting and pouting, that’s a rather useful quality.

Posted: 29th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Bale joins Manchester United is a recurring fantasy

Transfer balls: questioned by Real Madrid’s official website, the club’s manager Zinedine Zidane was asked if Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo (the so-called ‘BBC’) were likely to remain.

“I hope the BBC stay for this season,” he replied. “I hope everyone remains. I want everyone who is here now to stay…but anything can happen right up until August 31.”

On the chance of Kylian Mbappe joining Real, Zidane added: “I’m the coach here and you’d have to ask someone else about that. We’re working on things and we’ll see what happens. We’ve got the players who are here now and we’ll just have to see what happens.”

All coy stuff, then. But stick it through the tabloid mincer and you get:

 

bale manchester united bale manchester united bale manchester united

 

That follows the Daily Express’s news of July 19 2017:

Real Madrid star Gareth Bale has secret agreement to join Man Utd next summer

 

And there was the Manchester Evening News story of May 8 2017:

Gareth Bale has agreed to join Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford next season, should the club be able to guarantee involvement in next season’s elite European competition by winning the Europa League .

The story of Bale to United is a familiar one. In November 2015, the Sun said Bale was heading to Old Trafford and Real were in “crisis”. Bale never came. Real went on to win the Champions League.

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 28th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Sanchez agrees Manchester City and PSG as Arsenal wait

Transfer balls: a look at dire, questionable and clickbait-led football reporting.

Compare and contrast the following headlines in The Sun:

July 27, 2017: “HEART SET ON CITY – PSG drop interest in Alexis Sanchez as Arsenal star wants to join Manchester City this summer”

July 21, 2017 – “Alexis Sanchez in Paris hotel as Arsenal star reportedly arrives for talks with PSG”

On July 26, the Sun said: “Sanchez has been demanding a whopping wage packet of around £300,000-a-week.” In the earlier report, the Sun says Arsenal have offered Sanchez £275,000 a week – which is not all that far off his latest demands.

On July 6, the Sun said Sanchez was asking for a whole lot more:

 

 

So much for the facts in the Sun, which produced not a single photo of Sanchez in Paris. But if you want really terrible reporting, the Metro trawls on. According to the Metro, Sanchez has already agreed to join PSG…

 

lexis Sanchez agrees four-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2017/07/23/alexis-sanchez-agrees-four-year-contract-with-paris-saint-germain-6799303/#ixzz4njEVVmXV

Alexis Sanchez agrees four-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain

 

…and Manchester City:

 

man city sanchez

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 27th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal clickbait balls: Wenger gone and Ozil is buried in the Gunners’ (wooden) box

In recent days the Sun’s Neil Ashton has told Arsenal fans that Mesut Ozil is staying at the club (proof: the German Ashton said wasn’t worth “two bob” has renewed his box at the Emirates), Chelsea have been “beaten” Arsenal to £50m Virgil Van Van Dijk (proof: none) and Hector Bellerin will remain at Arsenal (proof: nothing to say that he won’t).

The question is: do these players all know Arsenal are dead? It’s not Arsenal fans burying the club – a group Ashton says “are only ever one defeat away from another meltdown” – it’s Ashton, who opined;

‘ARSENAL Football Club, Rest In Peace. This institution, one of the most famous clubs in the world, is dead and buried. Here at the Emirates, the heart finally stopped beating.’

“So it’s goodnight Arsenal. Goodbye Arsene,” said Ashton after Arsenal were thrashed by Bayern Munich.

Proof to the contrary: Arsenal live on. Arsene Wenger is manager.

It”s almost as if football writers just churn stuff out to fill a space.

Posted: 27th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Conor McGregor wears the jersey of the NBA player who slept with Mayweather’s wife

Conor McGregor v Floyd Mayweather is worth the admission fee. My money’s on the American. But in the build up McGregor is putting in the big hits:

 

conor mcgregor mayweather sex

 

It reminds me of the when Muhammad Ali took on Sonny Liston. McGregor is cast in the role of Ali:

David Remnick explains:

Fury and confusion. Sonny Liston was a very simple man, intellectually limited, and this drove him crazy. He was a great and powerful fighter. He thought he would have no trouble with this guy who fought like Sugar Ray Robinson. He danced around the ring, which, you know, was a bit fey for a heavyweight, after all. And Cassius Clay, who was fearful of Sonny Liston in his heart because he knew how powerful he was – he had seen what he had done to Floyd Patterson – wanted to find a way to get to his mind, to unnerve him. To scare him. To make him second-guess. To think really, that he was crazy because the one thing that Sonny Liston couldn’t deal with was somebody who was nuts. Always in prison – where Sonny Liston had spent some time – the person you never dealt with, the person you always avoided was the crazy man. That’s what you avoided.

And so – and Cassius Clay knew that. I’m calling him Clay now, because that’s who he was at the time. And Clay did things like, you know, drive his bus to Sonny Liston’s house in the middle of the night, at 3 o’clock in the morning, run up to the door, and start pounding on the door screaming and yelling and acting like an insane person. And Sonny Liston would come out on the lawn in his shorty bathrobe not knowing what to make of this guy. And it really unnerved him. And Clay and then Ali did it over and over and over again. And the one thing Sonny Liston couldn’t deal with was a madman. But for Clay, of course, it was all by design.

And the most famous instance of it was the weigh-in before the first fight. The weigh-in, Cassius Clay comes in and starts screaming and yelling. Usually these are routine performances in which you really don’t do anything other than get weighed and flex your muscles and get the hell out of there. He’s screaming and yelling – I’m going to destroy him – and he’s jumping at Liston. It was the most amazing performance, and Sonny Liston went into that ring thinking he was dealing with a nut.

After reading that I’m less sure about Mayweather walking it. McGregor’s got chutzpah. It might just carry him through.

Posted: 25th, July 2017 | In: Key Posts, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer Balls: Neymar to Manchester United, Ronaldo’s secret PSG message and clickbait

Transfer Balls: a look at clickbait-led football reporting. The Sun has news on Neymar’s rumoured desire to leave Barcelona to join PSG.

DON’T DO IT. Cristiano Ronaldo tells Neymar not to join Paris Saint-Germain – and wait for Manchester United if he really wants to quit Barcelona

Ronaldo played for Manchester United until he followed his heart and joined Real Madrid. So did he really tell Neymar via WhatsApp to avoid PSG, France’s second best team, and wait to join United, the Premier League’s sixth best side?

The report continues:

Spanish title Diariogol have reported the two superstars have been in close contact discussing Neymar’s proposed £195million move to PSG…

But Neymar should hold out for Manchester United because joining PSG would be a “step backwards”?

And though Ronaldo has told his friend to push for a move to United instead, the Premier League club may already have decided to move on from trying to sign him.

Over on Diariogol, there is not a single quote to support the story. But it’s enough for the Manchester Evening News to thunder: “Cristiano Ronaldo tells Neymar to join Manchester United.” The MEN cites “reports in Spain”. But there’s only one report, and it’s very light on facts.

Meanwhile, readers might recall how not too long ago the British press was reporting Ronaldo’s desire to join…PSG:

 

And:

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 24th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal Transfer Balls: Alexis Sanchez goes missing in Paris

Transfer Balls: How much money is Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez’s worth? Much guff has been written about the Chilean player whose Arsenal contract expires in a year’s time. The pick of the stories is the one that placed Sanchez in a Paris hotel room in readiness for his move to the city’s PSG. He’d been “spotted” in Paris by a raft of top media titles – but no-one of them had had the presence of mind to take a photo of the player. Moreover, not a single passer-by, hotel worker or fan has produced a photo of Sanchez in Paris.

With not a muon of evidence of Sanchez ever having been in Paris last week, the Metro nonetheless managed to connive the headline:

Alexis Sanchez agrees four-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain

 

lexis Sanchez agrees four-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2017/07/23/alexis-sanchez-agrees-four-year-contract-with-paris-saint-germain-6799303/#ixzz4njEVVmXV

Alexis Sanchez agrees four-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain

 

The Metro adds that PSG will secure Sanchez on a £36m transfer and pay him £275,000 a week – £5,000-a-week less than Arsenal have offered. Really? No. It’s total balls.

The Telegraph counters:

Wenger’s conviction that Sanchez will stay has been strengthened by influential French daily newspaper L’Equipe reporting that PSG have now switched their attention to Barcelona’s Neymar.

Plus Arsenal have already stated their resolve to keep Sanchez.

“My mind has been made up for a while now. I think I’ve made it clear a few times that this is my stance [he will stay at Arsenal],” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger yesterday. “Sanchez has got one year to go on his contract and we have no need to make money. He will be part of the team next year and after that I can understand it. We are in a strong financial situation so we want to keep our best players. Has he asked to leave? No.”

So much for the facts. What about the fee?

£90mDaily Star, July 11

£80m Daily Express, July 9

£70mLondon Evening Standard, July 23

£50mDaily Mirror, april 17

£45m The Metro, July 22

£40mDaily Express, June 8

More fake news every day in the trusty mainstream media.

Posted: 24th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester City are not facing a transfer ban over Kylian Mbappe

Things escalate quickly in tabloid-land. The Times reports on the news that Monaco are loudly thinking about narking to those paragons of virtue and probity at FIFA over four European clubs they claim haven’t followed the proper procedure to secure their teenaged sensation Kylian Mbappe.

“Monaco are threatening to report Manchester City to FIFA over an alleged illegal approach for the highly rated France forward Kylian Mbappe,” says The Times. As Monaco’s PR department beats its chest and FIFA’s money-mad bods run their hands with glee at the prospect of trousering any punitive fines, the Mirror screams:

Manchester City are facing the threat of a transfer ban over their pursuit of French sensation Kylian Mbappe

They are? Yes, they are, says the Sun:

Manchester City are sweating on a transfer ban after Monaco accused them of trying to tap up Kylian Mbappe

Total balls, of course., A few weeks ago, Southampton complained to the Premier League about Liverpool’s approach for Virgil van Dijk. Liverpool escaped any punishment.

So where do we stand on tapping up players?

“I think that’s absolutely true – what’s new?” asked Peter Coates, the Stoke City chairman, in a question that was clearly rhetorical, as he continued: “And I’m not against people trying to do something about it. I’m just very cynical about it changing. I just think that’s how it is. And when it happens against us at senior level, I never complain because we know ‘everyone’s at it’ type of thing. You could almost say it’s part of the fabric [of football].”

Mike Rigg, former technical director of Manchester City, added: “I’m not sure there would be much traction because there are other things. It’s like me wanting to try to do a better job on regulating agents – and I don’t find that easy to get any traction. I wish we could regulate them better. And I don’t think we try hard enough.”

Manchester City are not facing a transfer ban. No agents shall go hungry. Monaco will not alienate four big clubs vying to spunk tons of cash on one of their young talents.

Posted: 22nd, July 2017 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Alexis Sanchez leaves Arsenal for PSG but no-one’s got a photo

Transfer balls: Compare and contrast the Sun’s Alexis Sanchez and Arsenal news from today:

The Sun: July 21 2017 –

 

alexis sanchez arsenal PSG

 

The Sun: July 21 2017 –

alexis sanchez arsenal PSG

 

The Sun, July 21, 2017 –

Alexis Sanchez in Paris hotel as Arsenal star reportedly arrives for talks with PSG

He’s staying at Arsenal. He’s reached an agreement with PSG. He’s yet to talk to PSG an Arsenal have received no bid. All in one day. Wow!

Over in the Express, and Sanchez is in France:

Alexis Sanchez to PSG: Arsenal star spotted in Paris hotel to finalise transfer

Pictures of Sanchez “spotted” in Paris: nil.

The paper’s source is something called Paris United.

We can find the twitter Page of Paris United – a fan page for PSG fans – but the link to the website is broken. And like the Express, the site has no pictures of Sanchez in Paris – where he’s been “spotted”, but not by anyone with a phone on their camera.

However, Paris United does tell its followers that Sanchez is staying at the Royal Monceau Hotel, aka ‘Raffles, Paris’.

 

alexis sanchez arsenal PSG

 

No photos of Sanchez at the hotel, but the Sun is swift to tell its readers:

 

alexis sanchez arsenal PSG

 

The Sun does not quote any source. And – like everyone – it provides no evidence of anything.

Better yet, over on Goal.com, Sanchez is still in Chile:

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 21st, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Spurs balls: a ‘top-four struggle’, Kane’s ‘very happy’ and corrupting Jenas

Spurs News, as supplied by the Independent Clickbait Factory. “Tottenham Hotspur could struggle to finish in the top four next season, says Jermaine Jenas”, runs the headline in the once proud newspaper.

 

spurs clickbait indepedent

 

BBC TV pundit Jemain Jenas “thinks that the move to Wembley Stadium, a lack of activity in the transfer market and the strengthening of their rivals could see Spurs struggle”.

But he doesn’t. At least he’s saying nothing of the sort to Kishan Vaghela, who reiterates the story’s thrust in the opining paragraphs:

Jermaine Jenas believes his former club Tottenham Hotspur could find themselves crowded out of the top four next season…

Jenas, who played for Tottenham between 2005-2013, is a huge fan of manager Mauricio Pochettino. But he has identified the temporary move to Wembley Stadium, Daniel Levy’s lack of activity in the summer transfer market and the strengthening of their rivals as significant factors as to why they might struggle next season.

Jenas does says selling Kyle walker to Manchester City “has massively strengthened a competitor for that Premier League title”, but he adds:

“From the club’s perspective they should trust the manager… If it was his decision to sell Kyle then I’m sure he has a plan in place.”

As for Spurs “struggling” and other sales, well, no:

“Tottenham have got a younger squad, players such as Dele (Alli), Harry Kane and Eric Dier are younger players with time on their hands and on good money. So I think the majority of the players there are content as long as the club is seen to be trying to win trophies. The moment Spurs start settling for getting into the top four is when they will start to encounter problems.

“I just don’t see Harry Kane leaving any time soon. I think he is very happy at Spurs and they are showing enough ambition, they’ve reached the Champions League for the last three years.

Far from struggling, Jenas sees problems should Spurs “settle” for a top-four finish – and Kane is “very happy”.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 21st, July 2017 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Clickbait Balls: Manchester United and Arsenal fans tricked by world’s worst journalism

sanchez manchester united

 

Transfer Balls: The Manchester Evening News has big news for Arsenal and Manchester United fans: “Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho talks Alexis Sanchez.”

Can it be that Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez is on Manchester United’s shopping list? Having reached the MEN’s scoop through Google News, the story begins:

Jose Mourinho has admitted it is a ‘shame’ Manchester United did not sign Alvaro Morata and appeared to dismiss any chance of a move for Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez.

He only “appeared” to. So there’s a chance Mourinho wants Sanchez.

When Mourinho was asked by a Spanish journalist if United were attempting to sign Morata, he replied in Spanish: “It is a question for Florentino [Perez, the Real president]. I don’t know the first thing about Sanchez.”‘

Weird answer, no? Mourinho just tags Sanchez onto the end of a reply. Has he done that to wind up Arsenal and Manchester City, who were said to be keen on the Chilean? No. He’s not talking about Alexis Sanchez. He’s talking about Jose Angel Sanchez, Real Madrid’s director general.

 

 

But The Metro didn’t even bother to read that. It thunders:

Freudian slip? Jose Mourinho mentions Alexis Sanchez to send Manchester United fans into transfer meltdown

 

 

clickbait manchester united arsenal

 

Undeterred by fact, the Metro coughs up a cut-out-and-keep guff of dire journalism. This is it pretty much the clickbait balls in full:

Jose Mourinho has got Manchester United fans very excited by accidentally mentioning Alexis Sanchez’s name when asked an unrelated question at his post-match press conference.

The Portuguese oversaw a 5-2 victory against LA Galaxy in the early hours of Sunday morning, and afterwards he was asked, among other things, about Real Madrid frontman Alvaro Morata.

But curiously, Mourinho appeared to get the Spanish striker and Arsenal’s wantaway Chilean mixed up, with many fans now speculating that it was a Freudian slip hinting at genuine interest.

When Mourinho was asked by a Spanish journalist if United were attempting to sign Morata, he replied in Spanish: ‘It is a question for Florentino [Perez, the Real president]. I don’t know the first thing about Sanchez.’

The exchange got pulses racing, with United fans debating whether it was an accidental slip of the tongue or something more substantial…

Of course, it is possible that the Special One innocently misspoke, or he would even have been referring to a different player – midfielder Renato Sanches, perhaps.

But even his choice of language – saying ‘I don’t know’ rather than categorically ruling out a transfer… has got United fans hot under the collar.

One day on from that total balls, the Metro reads the clicks, senses that it’s on to something and produces the follow-up piece:

Why Jose Mourinho – not Pep Guardiola – is the perfect manager for Alexis Sanchez

Ewan Roberts didn’t bother to check the source of his opinion piece. He just thunders:

Jose Mourinho doesn’t do innocent slips of the tongue. Depending on how cynical you are, his name-dropping of Alexis Sanchez over the weekend ranks somewhere between a Freudian slip or the planting of a seed. Whether he intended to or not, the Portuguese has inserted Manchester United onto the list of potential suitors for the Chilean – and they may even top it, with Old Trafford arguably a better fit than their sky blue rivals down the road.

 

 

The article based on poor research and what looks like a cynical disregard for readers trawls on and on, pausing a while to produce a graphic of what Sanchez would look like in the United side:

 

 

It’s “random” stuff says one writer at the clickbait-driven Telegraph:

 

 

More great journalism when we spot it.

 

Posted: 20th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: Sanchez stays and Gooners should rejoice

Barring a gigantic transfer fee that makes his departure irresistible, Alexis Sánchez will be at Arsenal next season. The club has done the sums and worked out that selling their best player to a rival would be a failure. So they’ll keep him and wave goodbye to the Chilean when he leaves as a free agent next summer. They’ll keep the £140,000 a week extra they were going to pay him in a new contract – one he rejected. And, vitally, Arsenal will field a player who boosts their team’s chances of a swift return to Champions’ League football, which they missed out on for the first time in over 20 years with last season’s fifth-placed finish.

“The decision has been made and we will stick to that,” Arsene Wenger, the team’s manager, told media. “The decision is not to sell.”

So Sanchez stays. Keeping him also means Arsenal need not look around for his replacement, which given their status outside the Champions’ League makes signing top talent even more expensive. Just look at the huge premium Manchester United had to fork out to get Paul Pogba.

Arsenal fans should be happy. The deal shows that the club has a long-term plan for success.

 

Posted: 19th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0