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Spurs Balls: all hail the newest new Messi

Have you seen the ‘New Messi”, a player the Sun dubs “Mini Messi” after the brilliant Barcelona player? He’s called Marcus Edwards. He’s 17. And he plays for Spurs. Well, Spurs reservers because this new Messi isn’t good enough play for the first XI.

Having dubbed him Mini Messi, the Sun then says, “When he’s got a bag full of Ballon d’Ors like his La Liga nick-namesake you can compare him with Messi.”

Or when you’ve got  column to fill.

PS:  The Mini Messi tag is attributed to a few words Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino shared on 5ft 5-inches of Marcus Edwards. He said: “His qualities … it’s only looks – his body and the way that he plays – remember a little bit from the beginning of Messi.”

Yeah, he’s a little bit like Messi was before he became exceptional.

PPS: The real Messi was 16 years, four months, and 23 days old when he made his debut in the Barcelona first team. Spurs’s Messi is 17 and still waiting.

Add him to the list.


Posted: 15th, October 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: BBC clickbaits Manchester United fans with moves for ‘Manchester City’s’ Isco

More BBC Transfer Balls as the State broadcaster tells readers to its website – and why doesn’t the BBC just publish a newspaper?  – “Manchester United target Isco has hinted he may leave Real Madrid at the end of the season.”

Hinted. May.

With not a single fact to support its headline news, we follow a link to the Manchester Evening Post, which declares: “Manchester United get Isco boost as he explains Real Madrid situation.” What said the player who started one league match for Real last season? “If I’ve still only made a few appearances by the end of the season, I’ll look elsewhere,” says Isco. “At 24 years of age I have to right to better myself.”

Over on TalkSport that becomes: “Tottenham transfer news: Top target Isco admits he could leave Real Madrid if his situation doesn’t change.”

May. If.

The Metro is less precise, saying all top-flight clubs are in for the players: “Isco puts Premier League clubs on red alert by revealing he could leave Real Madrid.”

Bournemouth, Hull and Swansea have heard Isco’s words and sounded the klaxon.

Is Isco really leaving Real? The Press hasn’t got the foggiest.

The Mail told us on October 6: “Real Madrid midfielder Isco ‘is primary transfer target for Juventus’.”

That followed the Express’s news of 19 Sep 2016: “JUVENTUS are not interested in signing Tottenham target Isco from Real Madrid.”

In June, El Confidential reported that Isco had agreed to join Manchester City 25 million euros.

In March, the Metro had other news: “Isco is a priority for Guardiola, with City now seemingly ready to beat the Gunners to his signature.”

They didn’t. Isco stayed at Real Madrid.

Time, then, to hear from the player himself. On October 5, Sky Sports told us: “Isco determined to fight for Real Madrid place under Zinedine Zidane.”

Asked by Marca if he considered an exit, Isco said: “Not really, I have two years left on my Real contract, the club said nothing and I never looked for anything to leave… In the end, if I’m not the star man with (Carlo) Ancelotti, (Rafa) Benitez or Zidane, I will not be foolish and look for problems where there are none. In the end, I’m responsible and that’s where I must improve. There are ups and downs and I won’t give up, I fight to the end and want to prove that I’m fit for Madrid.”

Turn the red alert off. He’s going nowhere.


Posted: 11th, October 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports, Spurs | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Media balls: Spurs concede 6 goals all season, Chelsea beat Manchester United and Liverpool are pipped by Arsenal

Filling in the dull bits between transfer windows when the Daily Express’ clickbait bots can link Arsenal to every striker over 10 years of age, the ‘World’s Greatest Newspaper’ has created a Premier League predictor. Using the technical marvel of guessology and powerful maths, the Express makes some bold statements.

Bournemouth, Sunderland and Stoke are all relegated – Stoke scoring 6 times all season.

In the world of the Express, The Cherries are worse than Hull City – who are better than Southampton – and West Ham. Everton, who Bournemouth just beat 1-10, finish runners up. Chelsea finish above Manchester United.

Spurs finish third, conceding – get this – 3 goals.

Manchester City win the title.


daily express premier predictor league


Oh, yeah – Arsenal finish fourth, naturally. Even robots can be right some of the time.


Posted: 26th, September 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Dele Alli signs new Spurs deal as Real Madrid go cold

Daily Express readers will be shocked to learn that Spurs and England player Dele Alli has signed a new deal at the London club. Alli’s new contract keeps him at Spurs until 2022.

This is at odds with the Express‘ reports of May 2016: “Real Madrid: Spanish giants plot summer swoop for Alli.”

One month earlier, the Sun told its readers: “Tottenham news: Dele Alli in sights of Real Madrid as transfer process begins.” The Sun said Madrid “mouthpiece” Marca had created “momentum which results in the club getting their man.”

Madrid never did bid for Alli,

Posted: 19th, September 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Eric Dier’s new contract at Spurs and Bayern Munich’s dossier

Transfer Balls: In June, the Express told readers that Spurs and England player Eric Dier was being watch. “Carlo Ancelotti eyes Tottenham swoop,” thundered the headline. News was that the new Bayern Munich manager wanted Dier. “Bayern will have to mount a fight to prise Dier away from Spurs,” continued the story.

The Indy agreed: “Tottenham Hotspur braced for move for England midfielder this summer.”

The Sunday People said the German champions are putting together a dossier on Dier.

The Sun went further. “BAYERN WANT NEW BECKS,” it declared.

Tottenham midfielder has the nickname Becks and the attention of the German giants after his stunning free-kick

And so to today’s news: “Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier has signed a new five-year contract, which runs until 2021.”

Number of bids made for Dier over the summer: nil.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 13th, September 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Media balls: Injured Spurs player named man of the match

danny rose metro


Football journalism finds its nadir in the Metro, which when not writing hundreds of clickbait articles every week, is making up its Team of the Week. This week’s team features Tottenham’s Danny Rose.

Spurs tonked Stoke last Saturday. And anyone who saw the match will have spotted Danny Rose… sat in the cheap seats nursing his injured hamstring.

The Metro’s analytical expert appraised his every move:

Tottenham are back! Or so it seems after a convincing 4-0 win over Stoke.

Rose was one of the many Spurs stars to finally hit their straps after a steady start to the campaign, contributing at both ends of the pitch to ensure the north Londoners came away with all three points.

Ben Davies was at left back.


Posted: 13th, September 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: AC Milan want Spurs striker Harry Kane but Manchester United pass

Transfer balls: the BBC says Spurs and England striker Harry Kane is to be the subject of a bid from AC Milan. The Beeb says the Italians think Kane is worth 50m euros (£42.4m).

Corriere dello Sport says Napilo made moves for Kane in the summer, viewing Kane as the man to replace Gonzalo Higuain, who left for Juventus. Kane is praised heavily: “Powerful, fast and versatile, Kane is heir to Teddy Sheringham.”

He’s better than Sheringham? The former Millwall, Spurs and Man United striker admitted as much, saying: “He has more in his locker than I had. He can go forward.”

Corriere dello Sport also says Kane reminds AC Milan of a young Marco Van Basten.

Getting the new Marco Van Basten for less than Manchester City paid for Raheem Sterling would be a bargain. AC Milan will have to dig deeper, says the Mirror, which estimates, “The England striker would command a fee greater than the £75m.”

Of course, right now it’s all just chatter. After all, the Indy told us last March:

Manchester United transfer news: Jose Mourinho to make £60m Tottenham striker Harry Kane his top target. EXCLUSIVE: Tottenham striker seen by Portuguese manager as key to his plans – should he get the job at Old Trafford

Mourinho never did bid for Kane.

Posted: 9th, September 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: panicky Spurs sign Arsenal fan Sissoko from Newcastle

So Tottenham panicked and spent £30m on Moussa Sissoko from Newcastle, after matching Everton’s bid for the midfielder very late on deadline day. Newcastle had accepted Everton’s offer for the French player but could not agree personal terms. Spurs then snatched up the phone and signed the 27-year-old.

“I will give everything for you and the team. I hope we win a lot of games and titles,” Sissoko told Tottenham fans. This is, of course, the same Sissoko who told other fans in June: “…Arsenal is the club of my heart… The beautiful Arsenal.”

The Indy tells its readers “Why Mauricio Pochettino has decided to spend £30m on Moussa Sissoko”. Panic? No. The Indy says:

Spurs have been lacking pace in wide areas, and after missing out on Wilfried Zaha, Moussa Sissoko became the next big target to provide that

That’s Zaha, the pacy winger Spurs called the next Cristiano Ronaldo and bid £12million for? They didn’t get him so they bought Sissoko, the player who says of himself: “Everybody knows my best position is centre midfield.”

The Indy adds:

Sissoko may not be an obvious Pochettino player, given the worries about his application and consistency. But he proved at Euro 2016 that he can rise to the occasion, and it may well be that in a better environment, with a better coach and team-mates, that he would deliver more often.

Blame Newcastle, the manager and the team for not getting Sissoko to play better. Just don’t blame him.

Spurs have long admired Sissoko and his “box-to-box” playing style. The Mail reported in 2009:


Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 07.43.33


Back then Spurs offered £15.5 million for Sissoko. They didn’t get him. In 2013, Newcastle signed him for £1.5m. They got relegated. And in the crazy world of football transfer Sissoko became worth £30m. Even he was mystified. “Newcastle are asking for 40m euros (approx £34m) for me to be transferred,  he told L’Equipe Magazine. “Honestly, they are overdoing it, they bought me for barely €2m.”

Is he worth £30m? No.

This is how Sissoko was described by the Newcastle Chronicle in April:

It feels from the outside like Sissoko is a big part of the problems at United – head of a coterie of players who believe their own hype and are frequently guilty of playing like what they are: expensive mercenaries eyeing the next opportunity.

And by the Telegraph:

The problem – perhaps even the tragedy – is that Sissoko is also a shirker, a mercurial talent who has spent most of his time on Tyneside hiding behind the failings of others, content to go through the motions, only switching off his cruise control setting against the glamorous English clubs. Why? It hints at a bad mentality, poor motivation and a player whose self-interest and questionable desire could be harmful to the collective rather than beneficial.

Look out for Sissoko playing well against Manchester United, his beloved Arsenal and in the Champions’ League, which is his next shop window.

Posted: 1st, September 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Spurs | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Moussa Sissoko to Spurs, Chelsea show late interest and Odemwinge II

Transfer balls: Moussa Sissoko is on his way to Spurs from Newcastle. He’s been allowed to leave the France training camp at Clairefontaine to seek a new club.

Newcastle want £30m for him. Spurs are offering tuppence and an IOU. Well, not quite. Sky Sports says Newcastle will “accept five payments of £6m each for Moussa Sissoko”. The Guardian wonders, “Is it six payments of £5m each or, hang on, now it’s 15 payments of £2m each? Can we get to 30 million payments of a quid each before the midnight deadline?”

Or as Harry Redknapp tells Talksport: “If Newcastle are asking for £35million Daniel (Levy) will bid £5m.”

The paper adds that Chelsea are also talking with Sissoko.

As for Newcastle, for whom Sissoko still plays, the fans are unimpressed.

@NewcastleStats looks at Moussa Sissoko’s career:

15/16: 37 apps, 1 goal, 7 assists
14/15: 34 apps, 4 goals, 2 assists
13/14: 35 apps, 3 goals, 6 assists


People are saying Daniel Levy’s a genius for bidding £16m for Sissoko. He’s not. It’s the prices that are insane.

And finally Sissoko’s gone all Odemwinge:


Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 14.49.37


Never mind. There’s always China.


Posted: 31st, August 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Spurs and Crystal Palace both want Wilfired Zaha on the cheap

Wilfried_Zaha SpursThe BBC says Crystal Palace have rejected an £18m bid from Tottenham for Wilfried Zaha, 23. Palace want £25m.

Palace chairman Steve Parish says the offer is “ridiculous”.

The Mirror says Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke “admits he is desperate” for Zaha to remain at Palace. He is? What he said was: “I came to Palace because of the way that they play. Everyone knows Wilf’s ability on the ball and he helped us a lot when he came on. Of course we’d like him to stay. I’ve tried to convince him to stay, but that’s football.”

So not desperate, then, just answering a journalist’s question about a teammate and answering with no little diplomacy. Or as the Mail puts puts in hyperbolic terms: “Christian Benteke pleads with Wilfried Zaha to stay.”

Over in the Telegraph readers get “The curious case of Wilfried Zaha and a very weird transfer window”.  We learn that Spurs manger “Mauricio Pochettino considers Zaha to have the potential of a Cristiano Ronaldo”.

Sam Wallace says Spurs are doing what Spurs do:

It should be said that his Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, wants to pay a Ronaldo-sized fee – although the fee in question is not the record-breaking £80 million Real Madrid paid in 2009. Rather it was the £12.25 million Manchester United paid Sporting Lisbon for the 18-year-old Ronaldo in 2003.

Was it just Levy doing what Levy does so well? That being, antagonising the competition with derisory bids for their best players while simultaneously demanding top dollar for Spurs’ own collection of waifs and strays? The early signs would suggest so.

So Levy wants a “bargain”. Don’t all clubs want that? Well, not Manchester United, obviously, who paid well over the odds for Paul Pogba. Wallace says if Levy were “serious” he’d start the bidding at £30m.

Maybe it’s all just a way for Zaha to get a fat raise?

Certainly Zaha, on around £40,000-a-week already, will get a new contract out of this wrangle, despite having four years left on his existing deal, which he signed last year when his move back from Manchester United was made permanent. Palace are one of many clubs who are now paying new signings such as Andros Townsend the kind of wages that they have never paid before, and if one talented, erratic winger can earn big money, then it is only a matter of time before the other talented, erratic winger wants the same.

Fair point. When Jamie Vardy’s agent offered his client to Arsenal, the Leicester City striker ended up getting a pay rise to stay at Leicester.

Andros Townsend’s wages at Palace are close to £80,000 a week.

Are Palace getting Zaha on the cheap?

Palace manager Alan Pardew is quoted in the Guardian:

“I’ll try and be as fair and honest as I can be with Wilf and try and take his game forward. I’ve worked so hard with him this year. I’ve probably spent more time with Wilf and [Yannick] Bolasie than with any other player at the training ground, and I’d like to think there’s been an improvement in both. One I’ve lost [to Everton]. I don’t intend to lose the other one, and the chairman’s feelings have obviously enhanced that.”

In September 2015, Bolasie signed a new deal at Palace that saw his wages double from around £20,000 a week to £40,000. At Everton he earns around £80,000-a-week, and very probably secured a percent of the signing-on fee.

Pardew adds:

“At the end of the day, sport is a business, and there are business decisions to be made. But I’ve been at other clubs where the business sometimes comes first. Here I generally feel we try and do it the right way, and we’re trying to help Wilf to become a better player. We think his ambitions to play for England can be realised here, and there’s no reason why that can’t happen.”

Pardew can’t guarantee that Zaha will get better, but Palace can guarantee one of their best players more money in an inflated market.

Posted: 30th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Spurs want Arsenal fan Moussa Sissoko who joins PSG after Real Madrid

Transfer balls: Spurs are after Newcastle United’s Moussa Sissoko, or at least they fancy the version of the Magpies’ midfielder who played well for France at Euro 2016.

The BBC says “Tottenham may offer midfielder Nabil Bentaleb, 21” as part of any deal. Or they may not. Bentaleb ‘may’ have read the news on ESPN that he “will not be sold by Tottenham this summer”. Things are far from certain.

Have Spurs seen enough of Bentaleb, of whom the Mirror reported in 2014, “Tottenham’s Nabil Bentaleb: I’m getting my revenge on the clubs that snubbed me”? He’s now playing for the Tottenham Under 21s. Revenge is a dish best served cold.

As for Sissoko, well, he was once batting his eyelashes at Arsenal. Sky Sports reported in June: “Moussa Sissoko wants to leave Newcastle and join Arsenal.” Arsenal were on “red alert” said the Sun. Sissoko was very keen, cooing: “…Arsenal is the club of my heart… The beautiful Arsenal. We will see. I cannot tell you if I am going to go to Arsenal.”

We can. You’re not.

As Arsenal didn’t call, Sissoko looked again. “I hope Real will come for me, I’m still waiting,” Sissoko told World Football in August. “If Real Madrid are interested in you then of course you will be happy, but right now I am still a Newcastle player.”

But he’s off to PSG. We know that because the Mirror wrote: “Paris Saint-Germain preparing move for Moussa Sissoko – once Paul Pogba joins Manchester United.”

Such are the facts.



Posted: 24th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Spurs balls: Christian Eriksen wants 368.75% wage raise

Football news: Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen thinks his current contract undervalues his talents. The Dane is seeking to extend his contract, which has two years left to run, by securing a 368.75% pay rise.

Eriksen earns a basic weekly wage of £32,000. The Telegraph says he is seeking £150,000 a week – much more than Spurs top earner Hugo Lloris’ 95,000 per week. This, says the paper, has “stunned” Spurs. Balls. Spurs is owned and run by money-men. They know the market rate for a very good footballer playing Champions’ League football. They also know that a good club should strive not have the best players but the best team.

Is Eriksen a key part of an improving Spurs side? Yes. Can he be replaced by a cheaper and better player? Yes, of course he can. The hard thing is identifying and signing that player.

Spurs also know Eriksen’s worth if he’s sold*. Should they cash in?

*Unless a marketing spod at Manchester United, a desperate club in thrall of commercial possibilities, thinks Eriksen can sell merchandise, then any fee can rocket (see Paul Pogba).


Posted: 13th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Spurs star Eric Dier to Bayern Munich

In September 2015 Eric Dier signed a contract that ties him to Spurs until 2020. Dier was signed from Sporting Lisbon in 2014 for a £4m fee. He’s become a mainstay of a dynamic Tottenham team and a key player for England. One site says Dier earns £60,000-a-week. Surely he can earn more at another club. And maybe – just maybe – if another club shows an interest in him he can negotiate a new contract?

Cue Neil Moxley in the Sunday People to report that Bayern Munich are looking Dier: “Backroom staff at the five-time European Cup winners have been making background checks on the England international during the last few days.” Background checks? His credit rating. Any criminal convictions or banning orders?

The Express has heard enough, yelling: Carlo Ancelotti eyes Tottenham swoop: Eric Dier in shock link to Bayern Munich.”

But what are the facts? There are none. But we do know that in April 2016, the Standard reported: “At this stage, Dier is simply a player Bayern will keep under observation.”

Is he ill? No. But he could earn a pay rise if he plays his cards right…

Posted: 26th, June 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Spurs balls: Harry Kane takes corners because he’s England’s best finisher

Why does Tottenham’s Harry Kane, the Premier League’s top goalscorer, take corners for England? Is the plan to have him bend one into the far corner? It seems utterly bizarre to have the side’s best finisher at the start of the move, marooned near the corner flag as the balls sails into the danger area.

Barney Ronay tells Guardian readers Kane taking corners makes “no sense”. Which of England’s opponents won’t be delighted to see Kane stuck out wide, preferring, surely, to battle in the box Wayne Rooney’s waning talents.

Kane has yet to score direct from a corner. Moreover, against Portugal this week he managed to pass directly to an opposition player. David Beckham he ain’t. Yet England manager Roy Hodgson says Kane is the “best man for delivery”. What does that say about the rest of the team’s aptitude with the dead ball? Says Roy: “I don’t need to apologise for Kane taking a corner, especially if you’ve got a player with his quality striking a ball and no one else in the team who comes up to that level of striking a ball.” It’s the same skill that makes Kane’s England’s best finisher.

What of the alternatives? James Milner took 116 corners for Liverpool last season. A big number. Most of them were functional or, as against Borussia Dortmund, weak. Everton’s Ross Barkley took 70 corners. Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand took 52. Kane took 7 for Spurs – and you can only envy Spurs for having Christian Eriksen, who hits the ball so sweetly. Rooney took five for Man United, the same number Raheem Sterling took for Man City.

Surely dropping Rooney for Sterling and honing the winger’s deadball abilities is one sensible move? But Hodgson sticks with his captain, which means Kane really is the best England man for the job – more’s the pity. 


Posted: 4th, June 2016 | In: Sports, Spurs | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Harry Redknapp, angry Newcastle fans, sunshine Spurs and Arsenal failures

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United - White Hart LaneA few days before Newcastle United fans hymned their team to a 5-1 thrashing of fancied Spurs, former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp told his Evening Standard readers:

Angry Newcastle fans can help Tottenham finish above Arsenal

He went on:

Newcastle’s relegation should ensure a hostile atmosphere which Tottenham can take advantage of to secure second place in the Premier League…

Spurs…are still a top side and you would fancy them to win at St James’ Park against a team with nothing to play for under a manager who is probably going to leave… The fans up there will be angry at how things have panned out after Sunderland beat Everton and the Newcastle players will just want the season over with.

Here’s what George Caulkin had to say about the match in the Times:

This was a peculiar day at St James’ Park, where a relegated side played with the zeal of champions and their supporters sang merrily in the sunshine and when Spurs, for so long an embodiment of promise and quality, simply imploded. Old, tired, perennial failures Arsenal — or so the narrative goes — hopped above them and a campaign that has featured upset at its core ended in a suitably perplexing manner.

More expert inside knowledge from Harry Redknapp all over the media every week.

Posted: 16th, May 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Happy 21st Arsenal: Newcastle thrash Spurs on #StTotteringhamsDay

At what point do Spurs fans give up? Going for the Premier League title just a few weeks ago, Spurs managed to implode at Chelsea and then play so lethargically and poorly in subsequent games they were overtaken by Arsenal, who claim the runners-up spot.

Arsenal have finished above Tottenham for the 21st season in a row.

Losing 5-1 to an already relegated Newcastle United, as Spurs did today – a Newcastle down to 10 men after 67 minutes – when you need only a point to finish second in the table and, crucially, above your local rivals for the first time in a generation is utterly awful. Arsenal fans expected it was coming, of course. After all  it’s #StTotteringhamsDay.

Arsene Wenger. Well, he always knows, doesn’t he?


wenger tottering


Well, no, not really. As Arsenal fans celebrate the club’s highest league finish since they rocked into the Emirates, they should recalls that Spurs’ title challenge outlasted Wenger’s marvels. Weak in the Champions’ League and league also-rans since February, Arsenal ended the season 10 points short of Premier League winners Leicester. Last season the Gunners fell 12 points short of Premier League winners Chelsea.

Not exactly the catharsis, is it? Spurs are on the up. Arsenal are becalmed under Wenger. But does the Frenchman know it?

Posted: 15th, May 2016 | In: Arsenal, Sports, Spurs | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

War Chest Watch: Manchester United, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal, Everton, Manchester City and Liverpool transfer budgets announced

Manchester United transfers


As the Premier League season ends big media turns to transfer rumours. One issue is deciding how much each club has to spend on new players. With every club in line for a £99m bonus next season, you’d suppose every PL club can spend large on recruitment.

Sunderland: “Sam Allardyce will demand a summer war chest of up to £50million” – Sun

Spurs:  “Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino to be handed £60m war chest to strengthen squad” – Mail

Arsenal: Arsene Wenger £75m transfer fund this summer to bolster fragile defence and midfield” – Daily Telegraph

Everton: “£100m war chest to fund spending bonanza” – Daily Mirror

Liverpool: “Liverpool boss handed £100m summer transfer warchest… and targets have been identified” – Daily Star

Chelsea: “Chelsea to use chunk of £130m warchest to beat Arsenal to Alexis Sanchez replacement”

Manchester City: “Manchester City to hand Pep Guardiola a huge transfer chest for the summer” – Manchester Evening News

Manchester United: “Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal to get £150m war chest even without top-four spot” – Daily Express

Manchester United: “United Uncovered: Jose Mourinho’s £300m warchest” – Daily Express

Such are the facts…

Posted: 15th, May 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Spurs balls: Pochettino joins Jose Moutinho at Manchester United (says The Sun)

The Sun has an “exclusive”. It says Manchester United have sparked “PANIC” at Spurs. The Red Devils want to take Mauricio Pochettino from White Hart Lane to Old Trafford.

Spurs bosses are “edgy” and “concerned” that Pochettino will leave the club and head to Manchester United. They need not worry. After all the Sun has told us over and over and over that Jose Mourinho is United’s next manager.


Jose Mourinho Manchester United the sun



December 21: “LOUIS VAN GAAL is on his way out of Manchester United after contact was made with Jose Mourinho…Van Gaal could now be gone before the Boxing Day game at Stoke. At best, he will have that plus the home clash with Chelsea next Monday to keep his job.”

March 26: “JOSE MOURINHO will be offered a mind-boggling £60million to send Manchester United soaring back to football’s summit.”


March 19, 2016: “Man United transfer news: Jose Mourinho ‘wants £60m Harry Kane to be prime target’”

Atop Press: Sun Panic that all its exclusive news has been utter balls.


Posted: 20th, April 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Spurs Harry Kane to Barcelona, Manchester United in big summer of no news

The Guardian says Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are looking to buy Tottenham striker Harry Kane. The story contains not a single fact, quote or source. It is classic transfer balls. This summer will be busy for Kane news.

The Standard says Harry Kane “is the subject of renewed interest from Real Madrid and Bayern Munich”. Real and Bayern are both said to be “desperate to prise Kane from White Hart Lane”. But Bayern, “will only opt for Jane should Robert Lewandowski leave the club in the summer.”

Kane earns £50,000 a week at Spurs. Surely Barcelona and Bayern will top that, reasons the Standard.

The Week chucks in another team, saying Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane “has identified Kane as the man to lead the line next season.” You’ve got to love “identified”. It implies that Zidane has studied Kane for promotion to the big time. Kane is the Premier League’s top scorer. Identifying his talents is marginally less tricky than looking at a puppy stood by a pile of poo and working out whodunnit.

And then there’s Manchester United. Earlier in April, the Indy said Kane “could regret turning down transfer”. Well, so said Teddy Sheringham.

Looking at Kane flying high with Spurs, you have to wonder why he would leave the club.

Posted: 19th, April 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs | Comments (5) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United got Van Gaal and Spurs get to dream

spurs fans van gaal


Does Louis Van Gaal regret turning down Spurs in 2014? “The challenge was bigger for me at Manchester United and shall always be bigger,” says Van Gaal. “I’m sorry for Tottenham but Manchester United is a bigger club.”

Spurs fans celebrating a rare 3-0 win over Van Gaal’s Man United must be gutted. They could have had hammer-headed Van Gaal and his ego instead of young Mauricio Pochettino and his vision.

Of course, Van Gaal was not boasting about Manchester United. He was put on the spot by a journalist. The Dutchman soon turned on the reporter. “It is a little bit pathetic you asked that,” he sniped. “It’s easy to ask that but, ok, you enjoy yourself.”

Van Gaal then added: “Can we finish fourth? Yes, because we have 18 points available. It’s more difficult than before the match, that’s for sure. Everybody can lose to everybody else. We are still in the race.”

How far United have fallen to be “in the race” for fourth. They are, says the Times, “clueless”. Their capitulation more akin to the Spurs of old.

Spurs, meanwhile, can dream of winning the title for the first time since President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced that the United States has severed diplomatic and consular relations with Cuba.

Can they do it? Yes.

Tottenham have scored the most goals and conceded the fewest in the Premier League this season. Six teams have achieved that in the Premier League era. Five times – Manchester United in 2001 and 2008, Arsenal in 2004, Chelsea in 2006 and Manchester City in 2012 – that team won the title. On the other occasion, United finished second in 1998.


Posted: 11th, April 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Spurs | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United and Spurs balls: Kane and Pochettino got their separate ways

Big news in the Sun that Tottenham striker Harry Kane has “urged” manager Mauricio Pochettino to remain at White Hart Lane and snub any move to Manchester United.

Harry Kane manchester united


That in the Sun, which has told us:

December 21: “LOUIS VAN GAAL is on his way out of Manchester United after contact was made with Jose Mourinho…Van Gaal could now be gone before the Boxing Day game at Stoke. At best, he will have that plus the home clash with Chelsea next Monday to keep his job.”

March 26: “JOSE MOURINHO will be offered a mind-boggling £60million to send Manchester United soaring back to football’s summit.”

Save the urges, Harry, The Sun says Mourinho’s already got the job.

And pack your bags. After all, the Sun told us that Kane is Manchester United’s leading target:

March 19, 2016: “Man United transfer news: Jose Mourinho ‘wants £60m Harry Kane to be prime target'”

All utter balls.




Posted: 9th, April 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Spurs | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Spurs lose Pochettino to Manchester United in cut-price deal

Transfer balls: Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, 44, has a £10m buyout clause in his contract, says the Sun.

SunSport can reveal any clubs looking to poach the Argentine will have to stump up the massive eight-figure sum to have any chance.

Can this be the  same SunSport which in February pitted Pochettino in a head-to-head with Jose Mourinho for the Manchester United job, telling its readers:

[Spurs] Chairman Daniel Levy is a notoriously tough and difficult negotiator who is willing to stand firm on keeping the club’s best talent… Levy will resist United’s interest but is expected to demand £20m compensation if Pochettino leaves for United. However, a tribunal is more likely to set the figure at around £6m-£8m.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 23rd, March 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Chelsea balls: Spurs managers makes shocking, shocking, shocking move



The Sunday Times says Chelsea have made a “shock” move to “tempt” Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino. He’s been added to Chelsea’s “shortlist” of future managers.

The Sunday Times has been informed that Chelsea officials approached representatives of the Tottenham Hotspur manager towards the end of last month to discuss the possibility of him filling the vacant position.

Shocking stuff-  but not to Independent readers who read the same story back on January 26:

Mauricio Pochettino to Chelsea: Tottenham manager added to Blues wish list


Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 16.20.27


It was also shocking in February, when the Daily Star reported on the rumour:


Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 16.20.13


Shock of shocks…

Posted: 6th, March 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Sports, Spurs | Comments (7) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Spurs balls: losing to Crystal Palace was the worst and best thing

Can Tottenham march to glory this season? The London Evening Standard is full of advice. Tom Collomosse tells readers:

If Tottenham believe elimination from the FA Cup to be a blessing in disguise, they should use the memory of last season to banish that thought from their minds.

Losing to Crystal Palace was bad. There is no silver lining. Got it. Over to Tony Evans, then, who tells Standard readers:

Losing to Crystal Palace might have been the best thing for Tottenham’s title challenge. Spurs looked short on energy and ideas yesterday. Battling on two fronts rather than three could suit Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

There is a silver lining?


Posted: 24th, February 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

On this day 1913: Arsenal cross the River and park their tanks on Tottenham’s turf

arsenal parade


With the next North London Derby fast approaching, and this one really shaping up to be a vital tussle, it’s worth reflecting on the origins of the great rivalry, especially on the anniversary of the decision that kicked the whole thing off.

It was on 22nd February, 1913 that Woolwich Arsenal revealed their decision to uproot from their home in Plumstead, South East London and move to a brand new stadium in the North London district of Highbury.

Attendances at the Manor Ground in Plumstead (pictured above), where Woolwich Arsenal played, had been declining. Majority shareholder Henry Norris had originally wanted to merge the club with Fulham, but the Football League ruled this new side would have to play in the old Second Division, and Norris baulked.

He decided the Gunners had greater potential, but only if they could move to somewhere with better transport links and a catchment area with more oomph.

The site he identified was the sports ground of St John’s College of Divinity in Highbury – literally just down the road from Tottenham.

Local residents objected, as did Spurs and Clapton Orient, but the move went ahead anyway.

It proved successful, with attendances doubling in the first season at the stadium designed by Archibald Leitch – the very same architect who designed White Hart Lane.

The move across town also set up a tense relationship with neighbours Tottenham, one that was made all the more fraught in 1919 when Arsenal were granted membership to the newly expanded, 22-team First Division at Tottenham’s expense in questionable circumstances.

To this day, Spurs supporters still wind their neighbours up by calling them the Woolwich Nomads, and not a derby goes by without Tottenham fans loudly advising their rivals to return from whence they came.

Arsenal fans usually retort by trotting out the fact that Tottenham was in the county of Middlesex until 1965 and so Spurs’ claims of being a North London team are fragile at best.

However, this is a rather dry and blinkered reading of local government bureaucracy.

The fact is that suburbs such as Tottenham had been considered part of London since at least 1840, when it had been brought under the Metropolitan Police’s area of responsibility.

Social and economic histories of the time refer to Tottenham as a London suburb, the sports press referred to Tottenham Hotspur as a London club, and in the public eye Tottenham was a part of London.

Unlike other counties, Middlesex had not had a single established county town since 1789, instead regarding London as the county town, further establishing Tottenham as part of London in the public eye.

The fact that the administrative naming conventions of local government structures did not reflect the reality of the situation really rather undermines the Arsenal fans’ entire (and rather bureaucratic) riposte.

That said, I don’t for a moment suspect that this will be the final word on the subject!


Posted: 22nd, February 2016 | In: Arsenal, Sports, Spurs | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0