Anorak

Sports | Anorak - Part 7

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: Bakayoko makes Chelsea panic and Manchester United fans click

Transfer Ballsa look at dire football reporting.

When Tiemoue Bakayoko was on his way from Monaco to Chelsea, the media was fanning the baseless news story that he was contemplating a last-minute switch to Manchester United,

Above a story about Bakayoko having his medial at Chelsea, the Manchester Evening News told its readers: “Monaco star Tiemoue Bakayoko’s Manchester tweet sends Chelsea fans into meltdown.” The headline had nothing to do with the story, which went on to explain that Bakayoko had been prodded and probed at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground before heading out for dinner with some of the club’s players.

What Chelsea fans were in meltdown over that? The MEN didn’t say.

But that total tosh was topped by the London Evening Standard which managed to corrupt the simple fact ‘Footballer Undergoes Chelsea Medical’ into “Tiemoue Bakayoko tweet sparks panic among Chelsea fans as he arrives in England for £40m transfer”.

Meltdowns. Panics. Might be an idea for jittery Chelsea fans to stay away from the news, which operated in the twilight zone between utter balls and economical truth.

daily express chelsea transfer balls

 

The Express had previously told its readers: “MANCHESTER UNITED have agreed a £35million deal to hijack Chelsea’s move for Tiemoue Bakayoko.”

 

daily express chelsea transfer balls

 

One day and on even the Express clickbait farm admitted the story was bilge: “MANCHESTER UNITED do not want to sign Chelsea target Tiemoue Bakayoko and have not submitted a bid for the Monaco midfielder.”

Such are the facts.

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


Ryan Giggs: from Manchester United to anywhere that’ll have him

manchester united ryan giggs manager

 

Not too long ago, Ryan Giggs was being tipped to be the Manchester United manager. And then he wasn’t. Sunderland, Swansea and Middlesbrough all wanted Giggs to manage their club said the Press. But none of them offered him the job.

 

ryan giggs swansea

ryan giggs middlesbrough

 

ryan giggs sunderland

 

Giggs has ambition to manage. But his ambition has been dampened:

Ryan Gigs April 8, 2017: “I’d rather go into a decent League One or Championship team, who’ve got the right ideas and the right aspirations, than a Premier League team who haven’t.”

Ryan Giggs on July 18, 2017: “I would rather coach a League Two team in which philosophy and ambitions match mine rather than going in to the Premier League and firefighting and the owners don’t give you a chance.”

Ryan Giggs – coming to a Conference club near you, soon-ish.

PS: Do you suppose clubs being a tad shy on Giggs has anything to do with this PR disaster?

 

giggs injunction herald

ryan giggs sex

Posted: 18th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Arsenal and Riyad Mahrez in clickbait feeding frenzy

mahrez arsenal balls

 

Transfer Balls: It’s been a busy day for Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez. Is he on his way to Roma, Arsenal or somewhere else?

The clickbait factory that used to be the Independent newspaper tells readers that Roma are “leading the race for Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez”. To which the obvious question is: what race? Only Roma have made a firm bid for the Algerian.

The Mirror says “the player wants to see whether interest from Arsenal materialises” before boarding a plane to Italy. “The lure of Arsenal is holding up a potential move to Serie A,” says the Mirror.

 

No it isn’t, says The Metro. It’s done and dusted. The Metro tells us: “Arsenal transfer target Riyad Mahrez agrees personal terms with Roma.”

Unless Mahrez hasn’t and he’s still hoping Barcelona come and get him before he has to make-do at Arsenal (see above).

Such are the facts.

Posted: 16th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: Alexis Sanchez has a dream about Manchester City (with apologies to Spurs and Ossie Ardiles)

“I want to play the Champions League,” Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez tells Radio Sport Chile. “The decision does not depend on me, I have to wait for Arsenal. I’ve made my decision, now I wait for Arsenal’s reply. The idea is to play and win the Champions League. I’ve dreamt about it since I was a kid.”

Which is why he, er, joined Arsenal, a team that has never won the thing. The idea is that Sanchez moves away from playing for the Premier League’s fifth best club (see last season’s table) and moves to Manchester City, the PL’s third best club, who like the Gunners never have won the Champions’ League. City do, however, boast Pep Guardiola as manager. He has won the competition, albeit with Barcelona, a side Sanchez was shipped out from on account of not being good enough.

What price Sanchez’s dream? It’s £400,000 a week, apparently. That’s what the bleeding heart wants to stay at Arsenal.

Once upon a time, leading South American footballers were content with dreaming of winning the FA Cup:

 

Posted: 16th, July 2017 | In: Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Thank God for Conor McGregor: antidote to the age of doubt

I’ll remember seeing Conor McGregor waiting in the ring for Floyd Mayweather (video below). How could I forget? What a sight. What style and substance. What panache. What a hoot. In the current era of can’t say that, when “inappropriate” is the watchword and Outraged of Twitter commands compliance in speech and deed, McGregor’s swaggering and shadow boxing was a visit from another world, a more exciting time when mistakes were glorious, failures radiant and life was about daring to do with a big toothy grin and gaping, irresistible laugher.

McGregor knows what he is and wants to be. It’s a clarity out of step with snowflakes, safe spaces, blaming everyone else for your own errors, excruciating debates over gender and identity, and so much guff about cultural appropriation, virtue signalling and a navel-gazing search for fluid indefinites.

McGregor commands admiration. “There’s two things I really like to do and that’s whoop ass and look good,” says McGregor.” He said of an opponent: “How could I hate someone who has the same dreams as me?” And most tellingly of all:  “There is no opponent … you’re against yourself…Defeat is the secret ingredient to success.”

The golden age of derring-do hasn’t been eradicated. It’s been throbbing in a tough part of Dublin. It’s out there. And it’s glorious. “I know who I am,” says McGregor. And we love it:

 

Posted: 15th, July 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: De Gea (and his agent) are ‘desperate’ to leave Manchester United for Real Madrid

Transfer balls – a look at rubbish football reporting: The BBC says Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea, 26, wants to join Real Madrid this summer.

The source of this story is the Daily Express. It’s source is Spain’s Don Balon. The Express says Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is “desperate to land the Spain No 1”. As ever, it’s fun to look at the Spanish report through the prism of Google Translate:

The David de Gea option is still very much alive. The current United goalkeeper is not willing to let the Real Madrid train pass for the umpteenth time and press in the offices of the Santiago Bernabéu through his agent, Jorge Mendes.

With Keylor Navas stuck with his continuity in the white team, the keeper of the Red takes a step forward and maintains a direct line with the Real Madrid controls, as reported by Pipi Estrada in ‘El Chiringuito’: “Jorge Mendes has asked José Ángel Sánchez [Real Madrid CEO] for De Gea and Sánchez has asked him to be patient because the decision has not yet been made. This year there is a lot of happiness because it has won the double, which has not been won for a long time, but next year you have to win again and if you do not win there will be a problem. ”

De Gea is still the right eye of Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, who is waiting for a final PSG move to remove Keylor Navas from Madrid and be able to open the door of Real to Spanish.

This all seems to suggest that De Gea’s agent is agitating for his client’s move. And Perez doesn’t sound “desperate”.

Whatever the source, the report offers no quote from player, club nor agent. We do hear only from one Pipi Estrada, a journalist for Spanish sports TV show El Chiringuito. And that’s a dead end.

With facts in short supply, the Sun picks up the story and thunders:

GET ME OUTTA HERE David De Gea ‘desperate to quit Manchester United for Real Madrid and orders agent to get deal done’

 

GET ME OUTTA HERE David De Gea ‘desperate to quit Manchester United for Real Madrid and orders agent to get deal done’

 

The Sun reports:

Spanish transfer outlet Don Balon claim Madrid will try again this summer, with club president Florentino Perez desperate to land the Spanish international.

De Gea, meanwhile, is said to have told his agent Jorge Mendes to get the deal sorted.

Desperate stuff all round.

The Sun then assures readers:

Agent Jorge Mendes could seal the deal with Real Madrid.

The story gets murkier still when you look back to July 13 – yesterday ! – when the Sun told its readers:

DOUBLE BLOW – Real Madrid give up David De Gea chase while Eden Hazard tells Zinedine Zidane he will not join Champions League winners this summer

 

de gea the sun manchester united

 

The source for that Sun story is – yep – Don Balon:

…according to Don Balon, Real have decided to ditch plans of a bid for De Gea…

Don Balon tells its readers not to panic. Real are far from desperate for De Gea:

Real Madrid, however, has already perfectly located a new candidate to become the starting goalkeeper next season. And at a much more affordable price than De Gea: Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Such are the facts in the twilight world of football reporting.

Posted: 14th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, News, Sports | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Manchester City snubbed as Manchester United’s Alves joins PSG

Transfer Balls: a look a rubbish football reporting. News is that Dani Alves has “snubbed” Manchester City to join PSG. But was he ever going to Manchester City?

The Metro said he was, trumpeting on June 17: “Dani Alves close to Manchester City transfer after talks this week.”

The Guardian told us on June 20: “Dani Alves set to join Manchester City in £5m deal from Juventus.”

On June 21, the Express told us: “DAN ALVES is set to be re-united with Pep Guardiola by becoming Manchester City’s third signing of the summer.”

The Daily Mirror told readers also in June: “Alves still has a year to run on his current contract with the Old Lady, which he signed 12 months ago, and is expected to see it out.”

He didn’t. Juventus let him leave on a free. But the Mirror had more news: “The Brazilian right-back has been linked to both Manchester City and Chelsea in recent months.”

Like in February 2017, when the Manchester Evening News made such a link, telling its readers “Dani Alves wants Man City move”.

No. He doesn’t. He wants to play for PSG. “Believe me, I am coming to Paris to win,” said Alves as he kissed the French club’s badge. “In recent years, I have been able to gauge the incredible growth of this club, which has become a European football powerhouse. It’s very exciting to now be part of this great project.”

Such are the facts.

PS: in the twilight world of football reporting, Alves also agreed to play for Manchester United, said the Daily Star:

 

man united alves

Posted: 13th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Johanna Konta is as British as 3000 migrant children we must not let in

Yay! Johanna Konta is the British number one – the last Briton standing at Wimbledon. Can she win the tennis comp.? The Daily Mail hopes so:

Johanna Konta tennis daily mail

Johanna Konts was born to Hungarian parents in Sydney, Australia. She moved to the UK when she was 14. In 2012, this migrant / immigrant became a British citizen.

Come one, come all, then. But only if you’re white and play a sport the Daily Mail enjoys:

 

Johanna Konta tennis daily mail

 

3,000 future Golden Children can be wrong.

Posted: 13th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Talking Balls: ‘Heroic’ Wayne Rooney walks over ‘burnt bridges’ from Manchester United to Everton

Compare and contrast the news that Wayne Rooney has left Manchester United to play for Everton. Having given his best to United – and taken their money – local lad and Everton diehard Wayne is back where his heart lives. The Sun’s Martin Blackburn calls Rooney’s return to Everton “heroic” – a word you might save for men and women who rescue people from burning buildings rather than a man playing football. He continues:

Everton signing Wayne Rooney a no-brainer with Ronald Koeman bringing in a proven Premier League winner… It has been an exciting close season at Goodison — almost £100million spent already on five new faces before the weekend.

Yet you can be sure none of them – or anyone else who arrives, will have gladdened the hearts of the Gwladys Street quite like this one. – The Sun, Martin Blackburn, 9th July 2017

Hurrah for Wayne, the fans’ hero! Or as he said previously:

Wayne Rooney has a huge decision to make on his future – here are the clubs who could bail him out of his Manchester United misery.

They say you should never go back and maybe Rooney should always be remembered as the boy he was at Goodison rather than the veteran he would be if he made the short trip back along the M62.

Koeman already has Romelu Lukaku as his strike leader while Ross Barkley wants to be the play-making No 10. Would that mean no room for Roo?

Perhaps the bridges have been burned too. After all, he is now reviled on Merseyside because of his 12 years at United. – The Sun, Martin Blackburn 25th October 2016

Blackburn awards any Rooney to Everton deal 2 stars out of five.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 12th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Talking balls: Lukaku is ‘unconvincing’ for Chelsea but ‘sensational’ for Manchester United

Compare and contrast the considered and not-in-the-least-bit-biased views of former Manchester United player turned pundit Phil Neville discussing the life and talent of Romelu Lukaku.

Lukaku has joined Manchester United. Says Neville of the “sensational” new player:

“What you’ve got is a young striker who is proven in the Premier League and he’s got great experience at scoring goals.

“He’s a 20-goals-a-season man and maybe more as he’s getting older in a better team with better service. So £75m seems quite a fair price for somebody of that ability and that age.

“There will be a £100m transfer very shortly, I’m convinced of that, so I ignore the fees now and look at the product and the quality the clubs are buying.” – Phil Nevill, BBC Sport, July 10 2017

When Lukaku looked like he was heading to Chelsea, Phil was less certain:

“I’m not so sure [Lukaku would fit in at Man United]. I would prefer United to go out and get Gareth Bale or Antoine Griezmann, I really would… I see him in the big games and I don’t see a player that grabs and wins a big game on his own.

“I still think there are question marks against Lukaku. Jose sold him and he didn’t play that much at Chelsea, so he knows him well.

“I think the ideal signing would be Harry Kane – but I don’t think United will get him. But Griezmann and Bale, I think these are the players that can take United closer to winning the Premier League.” – Phil Neville, talkSport, May 22, 2017

Such are the facts.

Posted: 11th, July 2017 | In: Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester United balls: Jose Mourinho mocks Arsenal, taunts Chelsea and breathes

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho can be a chippy, snide sort of man. But the man who likes to mask his own shortcomings by goading, belittling and mocking others should be impressed at how the tabloids see meaning in his most mundane observations  “Jose Mourinho aims latest dig at Arsene Wenger over Alexandre Lacazette signing,” says the the Daily Express.

 

man JOSE MOURINHO has mocked Arsene Wenger’s decision to sign striker Alexandre Lacazette with Mancheste mourinho express

 

JOSE MOURINHO has mocked Arsene Wenger’s decision to sign striker Alexandre Lacazette with Manchester United saying the striker has “no stamina, no physical impact and is not a big-game player”.

What a sad sack he is. But hold on a moment. Mourinho didn’t say anything of the sort. Indeed, he didn’t say anything at all. The Express continues:

But a United source said: “Lacazette was followed because he was top scorer in French football – but a lot of his goals were penalties [10 of his 28 goals last season came from the spot]. In the end he wasn’t considered because he has no stamina, no physical impact and isn’t a big-game player.”

Words by Mourinho: nil.
Words by anonymous “source”: meaningless.

And then the Daily Mail hears more sniping. This time Mourinho “taunts” Chelsea over Romelu Lukaku.

 

jose man united balls

 

What did he Jose say about his former club to manutd.com?

“Romelu is a natural fit for Manchester United. He is a big personality and a big player. It is only natural that he wants to develop his career at the biggest club. He will be a great addition to the group and I know they will make him very welcome. I am really looking forward to working with him again.”

Words about his former club Chelsea: nil.
Words about Lukaku’s selling club Everton: nil.
Words on how Lukaku is joining Manchester United because he and his agent will earn a shedload of cash: nil.

If it’s like this now, it’s only going to get worse when the actual football starts.

Posted: 11th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester United sign Stormzy and Lukaku plays Dublin’s Longitude festival

stormzy lukaku

 

Manchester United didn’t sign Romelu Lukaku from Everton. As Ireland’s Evening Herald newspaper reports, those fools at Old Trafford signed Stormzy in error.

Says the paper’s editor Herald Alan Steenson of its scoop:

Hands up, we got it badly wrong. Earlier, we made an error with a picture of Romelu Lukaku that wasn’t him. It was Stormzy.To be honest, we are totally embarrassed and want to say sorry to all involved and our readers for the error. We will keep our eye on the ball in future.

Lukaku is playing the Longitude festival in Dublin on Friday.

Posted: 10th, July 2017 | In: Celebrities, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer Ball: Alexis Sanchez staying at Arsenal unless Manchester City pay £80m

Transfer Balls: Alexis Sanchez news watch. Is the Arsenal striker leaving? Compare and contrast the Daily Star and other tabloid scoops:

Daily Star, July 4:

Alexis Sanchez will stay at Arsenal

Daily Star, July 9:

Arsenal waiting for Paris St-Germain and Bayern Munich to swoop for Alexis Sanchez –

ARSENAL star Alexis Sanchez will reportedly be allowed to join Paris St-Germain or Bayern Munich – but not Manchester City.

Daily Star, July 9:

Alexis Sanchez happy to swap Arsenal for Chelsea this summer.

Starsport exclusively revealed this weekend that the Gunners are not willing to sell the former Barcelona star to a title rival.

Daily Mirror, July 10:

Arsenal willing to sell Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City – but they want £80million for him

What news in the Mirror of Arsenal’s price?

Facts to support this tory: none.

Sanchez’s desire to play for Manchester City: “City are bolstered by the belief that the player is keen to link up again with Pep Guardiola.”

And on the strength of that belief, and citing the Mirror as its source, the Sun thunders:

“LEX IN THE CITY Arsenal willing to offload wantaway star Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City for £80million”

In other news: the Mirror says Sanchez wants £400,000 a week to stay at Arsenal. Presumably, the Citizens are going to pay that for a man who’ll be 29 in December, right?

Posted: 9th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Manchester City, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester United sign exciting Lukaku; Everton catch Rooney on the way down

Romelu Lukaku is a Manchester United player. He’s joined the Red Devils from Everton for £75m. Chelsea matched Man United’s offer but the Belgian striker chose Jose Mourinho’s current side over Jose Mourinho’s old side – the Blues first signed him in 2011; under Mourinho’s management, they flogged him to Everton.

The BBC says Lukaku’s Chelsea snub was because “The Blues were not willing to match the fees Lukaku’s agent, Mino Raiola, would earn if the forward moved to Old Trafford.”

The other ponderable is that United are shipping Wayne Rooney back to Everton. United get Everton’s best player, a vibrant 24-year-old goal getter who’s improved every season and is blessed with eidetic vision; Everton get a sluggish, fading and jaded talent on a free transfer and huge wages.

The Premier League is not a lever playing field. And now Rooney’s playing for a team running up the slope. He’s not going to get better, is he.

 

Posted: 8th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Wimbledon fans fight over Jack Sock’s used towel

To Wimbledon, where American tennis player Jack Sock has tossed a towel into the crowd. Was he aiming at the lucky kid in the second row on a school day or the couple dressed like hit men for Del Monte in the front row?

Jack Sock says he was aiming at the kid. In which case, why didn’t he stop and hand the lad a towel? And did Sock pay for the towel? Is the man in Lincoln Green an accessory to theft?

Not the same is it – the shop-bought one. It’s not got the smell of duffel bag and the sense of occasion of being an actual towel that made it all the way to Wimbledon. Place matters. It’s why Wimbledon can charge a fortune for a seat, a glass of Pimms and a massive autograph ball. Take any of those items away from the All England clubs and they are just cheap patio furniture, a disappointing sticky drink and sports answer a stuffed donkey on a flight home from Benidorm.

The lad wants that towel. But its gone. Where to? We don’t know. But if you see a couple in matching outfits spreading a second-hand Wimbledon towel over a sunlounger at Hurlingham club, give it a sniff. If it smells of Jack Sock (top notes of sweat and tubigrip over base notes of chalk, apple pie and regret) shout, “Stop! Thief!” and make a citizen’s arrest.

Previously:

 

Posted: 5th, July 2017 | In: News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Google Translate Balls: Alexis Sanchez stays at Arsenal if you read between the lines

Google Translate Balls: News in the Metro and Sun is that Alexis Sanchez is staying at Arsenal. Both UK newspapers cite Chilean journalists on twitter and the country’s website EMOL,(aka The Mercurio On-Line) as the source of their news. We looked at the EMOL report. It’s all opinion. The report contains only one fact: Sanchez is in the final year of his Arsenal contract.

But in the race for clicks, EMOL’s round-up of what Sanchez might or might not do the becomes:

90 Minutes“Reports From Chile Claim Alexis Sanchez Has Issued ‘Ultimatum’ to Arsenal Over Squad Investment.”

Metro: “Sanchez will reject Manchester City if Arsene Wenger is prepared to meet two conditions set by the forward, according to reports in Chile.”

We put the entire EMOL  article through Google Translate. If you can find any word on Sanchez’s “ultimatum”, let us know:

New partner Alexis or his replacement?

The mind of Alexis Sanchez left the defeat behind the Confederations Cup final and is now fully set on what will be his future and his possible Arsenal game. And on Wednesday it was announced a new milestone that could give light on what the tocopillano holds: the incorporation of Alexander Lacazette to the offensive of the set “Gunner”, who was bought from Olympique Lyon for a record figure for the club London $ 70 million.

He has already passed the rigorous medical examinations.

City? Bayern? Arsenal? The future of Alexis Sánchez begins to elucidate in the coming days. The signing of the French striker is a new edge on the plans of the Chilean, as it raises the following question: Why Arsenal would hire a new striker? The first option that shuffle in England is that Lacazette will arrive at the set “gunboat” to fill the gap that would leave Sanchez, given his “imminent” departure to Manchester City Josep Guardiola.

“The spending will not stop for the Gunners, who still face the loss of Sanchez, as the City is increasingly confident that it will,” says the Daily Express. For his part, the Mirror maintains that “Sanchez and his representatives are in talks with Arsenal this week, as there is a growing fear that he is pushing to close his signing for Manchester City, after refusing to sign a new Value in their contract “.

The other possibility they manage in the British country is that the French striker comes to convince the Chilean that Arsenal is strengthening well to build a competitive team with a view to the next season. The national has consistently reiterated his intention to win titles, so one of the requirements that he asked the “Gunner” leadership is to compose a strong squad to fight a cup. And that is the role Lacazette would play. In that sense, The Guardian states that “Arsene Wenger will be delighted to close the deal (with Lacazette), especially in his fight to keep his star player, Alexis Sánchez, away from the clutches of Manchester City.” However, nothing is clear yet and only waiting to know about the future of the historic scorer of the “Red”.

Ultimatums came there none.

Spotter: EMOL

Posted: 5th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer Balls: Wayne Rooney to leave Manchester United for Everton on a free transfer

The BBC says Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney, 31, is leaving the club. He’s on his way to Everton. If other moves go according to plan, he’ll team up at Goodison with Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, 30, to form the Premier League’s slowest strike partnership.

The Sun says Rooney, 31, has been withdrawn from Manchester United’s pre-season tour of the USA. The paper also adds that so keen are Manchester United to get Rooney off their books, they’re letting him join Everton on a free transfer. The Toffees will pay Rooney’s £250,000 a week wages for the duration of his two-year deal.

Everton are splashing the cash in readiness for Romelu Lukaku’s £90m return to Chelsea. He’ll be big loss to the club.

 

Posted: 5th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer Balls: Chelsea and Manchester United fans tricked by invisible Matic

Nemanja-Matic-kit

The Invisible Man

 

Transfer Balls: Were you one of the Manchester United fans feeling “exited” when Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic’s was reportedly left out of the Blues’ new kit launch?

The Daily Mirror delivered the news: “Chelsea hint at Matic exit as Manchester United target is left out of kit launch.”  Adding: “Jose Mourinho is keen on the Serbian midfielder, who was nowhere to be seen at the unveiling.”

The Manchester Evening News asked readers: “Have Chelsea hinted Nemanja Matic is joining Manchester United?”

 

And after thousands and thousands of Chelsea and Manchester United fans had clicked the stories, we watched the kit launch video and – yep-  there was Matic in the Londoners’ new blue kit.

The shameless  Mirror duly reported: “Manchester United fans get excited over Nemanja Matic deal – but midfielder IS in Chelsea kit launch.”

Those silly Manchester United fans, eh, believing what they read in the Mirror and their local paper.

 

Posted: 5th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: the Alexandre Lacazette fact file

Always good when a new name arrives into the Premier League. The Daily Mail looks for a photogenic lover. And the Daily Telegraph produces insight into the player’s career and life by looking at YouTube videos and the, er, Daily Mail.

The Telegraph has gone big on Alexandre Lacazette, the Frenchman kept out of the France national side by Olivier Giroud – he’s wanted by Everton – and seemingly on his way to Arsenal.

One story asks Tele readers: “Alexandre Lacazette: why are Arsenal buying him, what are they getting and will he be a success?” Readers aren’t sure. Will he be a success? Presumably Arsenal are buying him in the hope he’ll score lots of goals. The paper’s Daniel Zeqiri says Arsenal have bought him to score “goals”. Now we know.

As for other questions, well, they keep on coming:

Why did the club not buy him last summer if they deemed him good enough? Will he play with Alexis Sánchez or is he a replacement? Why does Olivier Giroud play ahead of him for France? Is he really an upgrade on existing options?

Readers of a big national newspaper with large resources might expect answers to those questions to come from someone at Arsenal or Lyon, Lacazette’s current club – or at least be put to them. But the story contains not a single word from the club on their likely new striker.

“Why did Arsenal not sign him previously?” asks Zeqiri. It’s a rhetorical question because he soon replies: “One can only speculate.” If you want to know if he’s any good, you can “glance at the goalscoring charts and the advanced scouting tool known as YouTube”.

Happily, writers have watched short videos of the player and can tell Arsenal fans what he’s all about:

Zeqiri says the Frenchman is..:

…a player who can finish and scores a variety of goals; tap-ins, dinks, side-foot finishes into the far corner à la Thierry Henry and strikes from distance. Lacazette is also quite strongly right-footed…

He is sharp across short distances, but is not really a sprinter capable of shredding defences with speed in behind in the manner of Henry or a young Nicolas Anelka. Lacazette’s movement is more economical, relying on subtle movements in tight spaces, which puts him closer to the van Persie end of the Arsenal striker spectrum.

He sounds fantastic, a combination of former Arsenal captains Robin Van Perise and Thierry Henry, but not all that quick.

Or as the Daily Mail’s Adam Crafton says:

Lacazette is perfectly suited to Arsenal’s needs, with sharp technical instincts and a brutal turn of pace.

And there’s Sachin Nakrani in the Guardian:

“Lacazette is a natural talent,” says Julien Brun, a Paris-based commentator for beIN Sports. “Physically he is not that strong but he is very fast, hard-working and clever.”

Such are the facts.

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


Transfer balls: Alexis Sanchez ‘stays at Arsenal’, Bayern won’t pay silly money and Barcelona don’t want him

Transfer balls: Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez has been offered £280,000 a week to continue kissing the badge. He’s in no rush to sign. Chances are high he will leave the Gunners. The Mirror quotes Ivan Zamorano, the former Chile and Real Madrid player, who opines: “What he really wants is to win the Champions’ League. And I don’t think he’ll have that chance at Arsenal.” Well, ‘duh. Arsenal have been in one final ever – they lost. And they’re not even in this season’s competition.

Of course, Sanchez had a better chance to winning the Champions’ League at Barcelona. But they got rid of him and triumphed in his absence. The question must be: is Sanchez a better player because he plays among less stella players? And if Champions’ League victory is his grail, why did Sanchez join Arsenal in the first place?

As for ‘news’, in the race for clicks, the Daily Star take the biscuit with its fake news story: “Alexis Sanchez is staying at Arsenal.” There it is on Google:

alexis sanchez arsenal staying

 

Take the bait. Click the link and you are told: “That’s according to Chilean reporter Juan Luis who works for TV station El Filtrador.

Who? What? It’s a bit of guessing by a journalist on twitter presented as fact in a British newspaper.

And what about Bayern? The story was that Sanchez wanted to play for Bayern Munich and thereby win everything in the monotonous German league. But Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness says he won’t pay huge money for Sanchez: “The salaries being talked about up front of over €20 million [a year] are definitely an amount that isn’t feasible for FC Bayern.” And if Arsenal won’t sell Sanchez to Manchester City, where does the Chilean go to reap his reported demand of in excess of £300,000 a week?

Maybe Sanchez should just sit tight? In the last year of his Arsenal contract, he could claim his current £140,000 week, reasoning that any signing on fee would outweigh his reduced salary. He can talk to other European clubs in January. So long as his form and fitness endure, Sanchez would head to Bayern on a vastly reduced fee allowing the Germans to splurge all their cash on his wages.

It’s going to be a long summer. And Arsenal fans can spend it wondering how after Robin Van Persi and Samir Nasri were allowed to enter the final year of their contracts before joining rival clubs, the Gunners board let their best player get to this point again.

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


Manchester United’s new kit is a study in corporate misery

manchester united new kit

 

We usually see this kind of moody pout on the cover of Christmas books aimed at middle-aged men, you know the things with Jeremy Clarkson, Gordon Ramsay or some celebrity memoirist on the cover. They always look cheesed off with life. At the Manchester United kit launch players contrived much the same miserable look. We got Juan Mata is full proctologist mode. Paul Pogba looking affronted. Jesse Lingard anxious, adopting the pose of a man living in constant fear of a ball to the knackers. Victor Lindelof opted to be shrink-wrapped and laminated.

Manchester United’s stocking filler is the club’s new shirt, which looks a lot like the old shirt. It’s red. It’s got a blinged Swiss flag on it. And it’s got Wayne Rooney in it.

But it’s different. This one is red with black and white cuffs (supposedly inspired by the flags waved at Old Trafford on matchdays) and has a neat little button-up granddad collar. And that’s it.

So similar are old and new kits that clubs should invite fans to spot five differences to qualify for a discount.

 

Posted: 3rd, July 2017 | In: manchester united, News, Sports | Comments (3) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal player donates £19,000 to Grenfell fund

Footballers get such a bad press it’s useful to focus on the good they do. Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin has kept his pledge to donate £50 for every minute he played for Spain in the European Under-21 Championship. The sums have been done and Bellrin will give £19,050 to the Red Cross fund helping survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire.

This follows news that Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, who grew up in north west London and played for QPR, has also made a substantial donation to Grenfell survivors.

NOTE: Let’s hope all the money goes to those who need it. According to the Third Sector, the British Red Cross paid its highest earner £173,000 in 2017. Thirty-seven charities paid their top earner more than £200,000.

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


Transfer balls: Arsenal ‘bid’ £125 for Kylian Mbappe, Lacazette arrives and Gooners click

Transfer Balls: Is Kylian Mbappe heading from Monaco to Arsenal, Real Madrid or Liverpool? The Indy says the player’s “dropped a huge hint” he’s leaving the French club. So big is this “hint” that it now “looks certain he will now move”.

The Indy says Mbappe is surely leaving Monaco “after removing any reference to the club in his Twitter bio.” Jack Austin has the facts. But when we looked at Mbappe’s Twitter page we see two photos of the player wearing his Monaco kit? Not exactly shunning them, is he?

 

Kylian Mbappé Verified account @ KMbappe

 

After that total balls, the Mirror says Mbappe is leaving Monaco. He’s going to play for…Arsenal. Maybe. The Gunners are “preparing a stunning £125million Kylian Mbappe bid”. Facts to support this story of an astronomical bid for an 18-year-old player there are none. Nil. Ziltch. Zippo.

But in the world of clickbait football reporting,  when one newspaper makes a claim the others pile in and agree. So the Sun reads the Mirror’s scoop and declares: “ARSENAL will launch a mega £125million world record bid for Monaco hitman Kylian Mbappe this week.” It’s source? Yep, the Daily Mirror.

Amidst this human caterpillar of news reporting, the Mirror mentions another Arsenal target:

The Gunners are battling Real Madrid for the 18-year-old’s signature. But a deal for Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette seems far from done as the striker wants to join up with close friend Antoine Griezmann at Atletico Madrid.

So says Steve Stammers in a story timestamped at “22:30, 2 JUL 2017”

But in another Daily Mirror story by Darren Lewis dated “19:50, 2 JUL 2017”, we learn that Lacazette to Arsenal is a dead cert:

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas says Alexandre Lacazette’s move to Arsenal is set to be completed in “one or two days”.

Lacazette is set to sign a five-year deal with the Gunners, who are expected to pay £44million for the French international’s services.

With tight reporting like that, surely we can look forward to more Mirror news on that huge Mbappe bid and work out how many fist-sized pinched of salt we should take it with …

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


Transfer balls: Arsenal and the ‘riceless’ Kylian Mbappe ‘bombshell’

Transfer balls: Will Arsenal sign Monaco’s #100m-rated forward? No. The Mail says the Gunners are “out of Kylian Mbappe race”. They are? Arsenal are rumoured to have made a bid of £87m for the teenager. But the club hasn’t commented on that. And Arsenal haven’t said they won’t sign him, either.

The Mail’s scoop contains not a single word from the club. So how does it know they are out of the race to sign the player? No idea. The paper just says it’s so and that’s that.

The Express has more. It talks of the “Mbappe bombshell”. What did he say? “Mbappe, 18, has changed his Twitter cover photo to a snap of himself running past an advertising board which says ‘priceless’.”

Or “riceless”.

 

 Kylian Mbappe

 

Meanwhile, Arsenal player-getting Ivan Gazidis, the club’s chief executive, tells fans at a Q&A at the Emirates: “I think we do need a better connection with our fanbase.”

In short: it’s season ticket renewal time. It’s going to get so much better. Now pay up! And no, the tickets are not “riceless”. They’re reassuringly expensive.

Posted: 30th, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0