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The news as told by the UK’s tabloid press – The Sun, Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Daily Star and News of the World.

Arsenal balls: Lacazette’s talking knee changes time

With Trinity Mirror’s purchase of the Daily Express and Daily Star, football fans who get their news online can expect a tag-team movement of total balls. All titles use their websites as clickbait farms. The latest tosh involves Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette, who has, says the Mirror,  “given an update on his recovery from a knee injury”.

In its dash for clicks, the Mirror tells readers approaching via Google’s bots that Lacazette is bidding “for a quick recovery” (as opposed to hoping for a slow recovery and lots of sick pay and daytime telly?), illustrating the teaser with a photo of Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin and, er,  Robbie Lyle, presenter of the entertaining Arsenal Fan TV

 

lacazette arsenal

 

Clicking into the story and readers are told Lacazette will be sidelined for “up to five weeks”. Arsene Wenger’s words to BeIn Sports that Lacazette could be out for “four or five weeks” are repeated. There’s no word on any “quick recovery”. That much is utter balls.

And then this spot some time illiteracy:

A return date on the pitch could occur against either West Ham on April 21 or Manchester United on April 28 with a return to first team training likely to begin at the start of April.

Lacazette underwent surgery on February 12. Four or five weeks after that take us up to mid March. Even if you add on a few days from the operation until Wenger spoke, Lacazette still looks likely to return well before April.

But having spun a nonsense story from a single photo of Lacazette’s poorly knee as he work out in the Arsenal gym – one taken by the player and posted to his Instagram page – the Mirror’s clickbait expert needs to hit his word count. So we get this:

Until Lacazette’s return, Wenger will put his faith in Aubameyang, though the Gabon striker is unable to help in their quest to win the Europa League. Despite overcoming Ostersund 3-0 in the first leg of the round of 32 tie, a probable last 16 tie will occur on March 8 and 13, with a potential quarter-final on April 5 and 12.

That means Arsenal’s most probable route back into the Champions League will rest on Danny Welbeck’s form.

No. It won’t because Arsenal are not a one-man team and Lacazettte will be back in March. In addition, the last 16 ties will be played on March 8 and 15. March 12 is a Monday. Europa League ties are played on Thursdays.

Apart from the story being factually inaccurate and based on total balls, it is spot on.

PS: But there is good news. Cop a load of the ads that wrapped around the balls. We counted – get this – 23 ads on this one story.

 

 

 

It’s almost as if the words are just a trick to make you see lots and lots and lots of ads…

Posted: 21st, February 2018 | In: Arsenal, Key Posts, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Private Cheryl Cole world to keep the limelight as Liam Payne goes solo again

Like you, everyone else thought Cheryl Cole / Surname and former One Direction extra Liam Payne would spend the next decades together in Instagramed bliss. But, then, we also thought “the nation’s sweetheart” (Cheryl – source: all papers) would hang on in their with her first two husbands.

It turns out that Cheryl and Liam are not getting on well. The pair are “preparing to end their relationship”, in much the same way as mere mortals prepare to end a bath or log off twitter. You know how it is: you pull the plug, see the water circling life’s plughole, call your agent and announce that “crisis talks” with the rubber duck might not work.

A few unnamed “friends” helpfully call the Sun to say that Cheryl is “very private” – see photos of her arse and marriage in OK! – that she is an “amazing” mother to the couple’s child, Bear, has been “left holding the baby”, how she will “battle” on, and open Cheryl’s Trust Centre, a place where “vulnerable young people” can feel her unique brand of love.

No word yet on who gets to keep the paparazzi.

Posted: 19th, February 2018 | In: Celebrities, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Brendan Cox is publicly shamed

Who sets the news agenda that makes Israel the top story, China only newsworthy when our politicians are there for business and the allegation that Brendan Cox sexually harassed two women, a claim he denies, the lead issue on Sky and the BBC? Sky News led with Cox this morning on the telly, and the story is the second most vital on the BBC ‘s website, there after reaction to mass murder at a Florida school. And not that Cox (and, no, it’s not nominative determinism; he denies it) is the main thrust of his own story. The Beeb’s headline is: “Murdered MP’s widower Brendan Cox quits charities.”

The Telegraph pads it out, telling readers that Cox has quit two charities “set up in her memory after sexual assault allegations from his past resurfaced”.

Brendan Cox denied sexually harassing two women while he was married to the late politician, but accepted “inappropriate” behaviour, saying: “I made mistakes and behaved in a way that caused some women hurt and offence.”

Offence causing is a crime?

He has left posts at More in Common and the Jo Cox Foundation after the Mail on Sunday published accusations made by a former colleague while they both worked at charity Save the Children in 2015.

The Guardian hears from Jo Cox’s sister Kim Leadbeater, who says the family would “support Brendan as he endeavours to do the right thing by admitting mistakes he may have made in the past”. Mistakes he may have committed have been admitted to? Eh?
Well, it looks like they’ve had time to work it out because the Mail first reported the allegations in November 2015. Cox called them “untrue”:
Are they any more or less untrue now they’ve been repeated?
Labour MPs Yvette Cooper thinks some sort of justice has been served. “Hopefully we are seeing a change in climate and culture where people are recognising that those in positions of power should not abuse [those] positions,” Cooper told the Sky News programme Sunday with Niall Paterson.
And Labour MP Jess Phillips added – does she do anything other than talk to media? – “The fact of the matter is that it’s not enough just to say ‘oh, I’m sorry’. You have to show how you’re going to change the way you are in the future and I think Brendan, more so than many I’ve seen in this area, is actually trying to do that.”
One error and you need rewiring. How fair we are.
Public shaming of anyone who’s behaved “inappropriately” is a sad ambition. What happened to the rule of law and the right to defend yourself? When did the British wing of Saudi Arabia’s Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice start wathing us?

Posted: 18th, February 2018 | In: News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Lisa Armstrong prepared to part with her half her fortune to get shot of Ant McPartlin

When Ant McPartlin’s lawyers thrash out any divorce settlement with his estranged wife Lisa Armstrong, they may refer to the Sun’s reporting on the family fortune.

In today’s paper the news is that Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon have been “comforting” Lisa and offering “real support”. That news of their good hearts should emerge just as Britain’s Got Talent, the show on which the pair work as judges hits the PR circuit, is surely coincidental and not opportunistic tosh pulled from cynicism’s deepest mine.

 

AntLisadivorce

 

Of more interest is that Sun’s news that Ant is “prepared to part with half his £62m fortune”. You might suppose that money accrued by childhood sweethearts who’ve ben married for 11 years would belong to both of them. The message could be: “Lisa is prepared to part with half her fortune”?

And it’s not £62m. Well, not according to the, er, Sun it isn’t.

 

 

One thing is clear: in the tabloids the money is always his and not hers.

 

Posted: 16th, February 2018 | In: Celebrities, Money, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Sun teaches football fans how to look like fools

The Sun’s website continues to break new ground. A series of articles by By Shiela Subyr teachers readers how to look like a young multi-millionaire seeking new ways to spunk his cash.

The other day, Neymar, the PSG star, “paired his snakeskin biker jacket with skintight leather trousers complete with racy lace-up sides.” Shiela tells readers where they can how much for get the look and how much for in the paper’s ‘Sports’ section.

 

By Shiela Subyr the sun fashion football

 

An there’s more. Lots more. And when Sheila’s gone through the wardrobe’s of player who look like extras from Rich Kids of Instagram, she’ll doubtless work down the leagues until we find out what Barnet’s substitute ‘keeper is wearing.

By Shiela Subyr the sun fashion football

 

By Shiela Subyr the sun fashion football

 

In other sports news: Arsene Wenger’s jacket unzips.

Posted: 14th, February 2018 | In: Fashion, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


VIP paedophile spotter Nick arrested by police that once believed him

Nick in the Sun – front-page news

 

The man known only as “Nick”, on whose word police investigated an alleged VIP peadophile sex ring and trawled for ‘victims’, faces multiple charges relating to the possession of indecent images of children. Nick said powerful child rapists were responsible for murdering three children. He pointed the finger at the entirely innocent Tory politicians Sir Ted Heath, Leon Brittan and Harvey Proctor, and former top soldier Lord Brammel.

The Metropolitan Police launched Operation Midland in 2014, describing Nick’s allegations as “credible and true”. The accused declared their innocence. Police never found a shred of evidence to support Nick’s claims. The Met paid out compensation. The investigation, which cost around £2..5m, was closed.

 

 

Reporting on this is varied. The Mirror buries the story of Nick’s impending trial on page 4. Once Nick was the Mirror papers’ biggest story:

 

the people paedo operation midland Nick

 

The Sun splashes the story on its front page and on page 5 lambasts the police.

 

Bashing the police in the Sun

 

Over in the Mail, politics is to the fore.

 

Leon Tory Nick VIP paedo daily mail

 

NickTomwatson paedo

 

It’s of less interest why ‘Nick’ told his story than it is why his story was believed and became front-page news?

Posted: 8th, February 2018 | In: News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jon Venables may never get out of prison

Jon Venables is back in prison. Venables, infamous for being the child who murdered a child, has been jailed for 40 months for possessing pornographic images of children and what the trial judge called with no little tautology, a “sickening” paedophile manual. The “Jazz Guide” as it was labelled on a laptop Venables kept hidden behind the headboard at his West Midlands home, showed what Mr Justice Edis called “vile” advice on how to rape children.

The Star says Edis thought the evidence show Venables was “at least contemplating carrying out sex attacks on children”. It’s worth looking at everything the judge said in summary. It might even be worth repeating what Venables told police as he was being driven to a police station: “This is my own fault. I’ve let people down. I’ve had stupid urges, inquisitive. I’m not going to be seeing this for a lot of years. It won’t be slap on the wrist for me.” He also claimed too having “no desire to have physical contact with children in real life.”

Is downloading images from the ‘dark web”, the same as seeing images in a book and storing them in your head? And has Venables, as the Sun declares on its front page and once again in page 5, “GOT AWAY WITH IT”? And there’s Denise Fergus and Ralph Bulger, the parents of James Bulger, the two-year-old Venables and his friend Robert Thompson murdered. Mr Bulger calls the sentence “an insult”. He wants Venables’ new identity made known. “Unmask the monster,” says the Mail.

Here are the remarks – supplied by the Judicial Office – in full made by Mr Justice Edis at the Old Bailey as he sentenced Jon Venables.

The victim surcharge applies. I make a deprivation order for the laptop computer.

I make a sexual harm prevention order with the prohibitions set out in the order because those terms are necessary for protecting the public from sexual harm from you. That order will last indefinitely, that is to say until (if ever) the court discharges it.

You have been convicted of a sexual offence to which the Sexual Offences Act 2003 applies, and I certify that fact. You will therefore be subject to the notification requirements of that Act for an indefinite period.

The offences of which you have been convicted are such that you may be barred under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. Jon Venables, you have pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity to three counts of making indecent photographs of children contrary to s.1 of the Protection of Children Act 1978, counts 1-3 on the Indictment, and one offence of possession of a paedophile manual contrary to s. 69(1) of the Serious Crime Act 2015, count 4 on the Indictment. The relevant guideline suggests a sentence before plea discount of 12 months, or, after discount for the plea of guilty, eight months. The sentence I am about to impose will be much longer than that, but must remain proportionate to the offences with which I am dealing.

This case is unique because when you were 10 years old you took part in the brutal murder and torture of James Bulger. That was a crime which revolted a nation and which continues to do so, even after the 25 years which have passed since it happened. He was two-years old. The facts of what you did are notorious and there is no need for me to repeat them here. From all that I know about James’ parents it is clear that you not only took his young life, but have also devastated theirs.

You received a life sentence for that crime, and after serving about eight years you were released subject to licence. That licence lasts for life, and there are conditions attached to it. Breach of the conditions means that you can be recalled to serve a further indefinite period of imprisonment under the terms of the life sentence. The commission of criminal offences while on licence is a breach of the licence and you have now been convicted on two occasions since your first release. This is the second of those convictions. In 2010 you were convicted for the first time of similar offences to those which are before me, and received a sentence of two years’ imprisonment. Although entitled to release after half of that sentence, 12 months, you were detained until 2013 under the terms of the original life sentence. The immediate effect of the licence today is that you will not get credit for the time spent in custody awaiting today, and, more importantly, that there is no guarantee that you will be released when you have served the sentence I shall pass shortly.

The Parole Board is the body which has responsibility for deciding when you will actually be released in this case. What I have to decide is what punishment is appropriate for these offences. In that respect I am required to follow a guideline unless it would be contrary to the interests of justice to do so. Because the legal language of the offences has a technical meaning I wish to explain exactly what you have been convicted of.

You have pleaded guilty to ‘making’ the images listed in counts 1-3. This means that you downloaded them from the internet for your own gratification. You did not yourself create the images and you were not present when someone else did that. You did not intend to distribute or sell them. The point about child pornography is that it involves films and images being made of very serious sexual offences being committed against defenceless children. It is heart breaking for any ordinary person to see this kind of material. The consumer of it, you, therefore does two things. First, he emerges as a threat to children from real harm caused by his own offences against them. A person with a perverted sexual interest in children plainly poses a higher risk than one without. Secondly, by being a consumer of this dreadful material he causes others to make it and thereby promotes the commission of very serious and damaging offences by others. These are the reasons why the offence is regarded so seriously.

There were 1170 images, and moving images were included. 392 were in category A which is the most serious class of image. These include multiple images and films of penetration of children and also some images where the young victim appears to be in physical pain. Some of them were babies. Given your history, it is significant that a number of the images and films were of serious crimes inflicted on male toddlers. You did this using a browser called ‘TOR’ which allows anonymous browsing on the internet and access to what is called the dark web. It was designed to enable you to obtain these images without being detected.

In addition, you had a paedophile manual, which you acquired in the same way. This is a vile document which gives detailed instructions on how to have sex with small children, as it puts it, ‘safely’. The use of that word in that document reveals the cynical brutality of its author. This manual was created by someone with some detailed anatomical knowledge and is designed to encourage its readers to perpetrate the most serious sexual offences against very small children. It is a direct incitement to do this. Although the maximum sentence for this offence is far lower than the maximum penalty for the other three offences, it is, in my judgment, no less serious.

Offences contrary to s.1 of the Protection of Children Act 1978 are specified offences and the court should consider whether an extended sentence should be imposed. Is there a significant risk of serious harm to the public from the commission by you of further specified offences? I accept that downloading images for private viewing does not directly cause serious harm to the public.

The existence of a market for this kind of depravity undoubtedly causes serious offences to be committed by others against children so that the images can be created. This does cause children all over the world to be seriously harmed. That dreadful fact does not appear to trouble your conscience at all. As a consumer of the products of this barbarous evil, you, along with many others, indirectly cause it to happen. The commission of these offences and the possession of the manual suggest that you have a compulsive interest in serious sexual crime against small children. The possession of the manual also suggests that you were at least contemplating the possibility of moving on to what are called ‘contact offences’, that is actual sexual crime against children. This is against a background where you know the very substantial penalties you face if you are caught.

The incentive for you to live a quiet a law abiding life out of the public eye does not just come from penalties imposed by the criminal justice system, which is why there is an injunction in place to protect your life. You took a very great risk when you committed these offences and this suggests to me a compulsive desire which you could not control. You did this on a day when you were undergoing assessment in the contact of your life licence. This shows how manipulative and dishonest you are. There is no evidence that you have ever actually embarked on the commission of any contact offence. There is no evidence of grooming or, in this set of material, of you having been in contact with other men with a view to gaining access to children.

The pre-sentence report was prepared by someone who has had significant dealings with you. Its author concludes that you present a high risk of serious harm to children. It is agreed that the threshold for an extended sentence is met but submitted on both sides that the question is academic since the extended period of licence would add nothing to the powers which the Parole Board already has and will have for the rest of your life because of the life sentence.

I conclude that the risk you pose to the public is fully addressed by the fact that you are subject to a life sentence. That is a far more potent long term protection for the public than anything I can do today. I have read a pre-sentence report which contains information which, in conjunction with this conviction and sentence, will cause the Parole Board to examine the case when considering release with particular care. I have referred to the opinion of its author already, which will be part of the material on which any release decision will be made. Any evidence at all that you had turned your attention to any children in what I shall call ‘the real world’ would, of course, change this assessment and would probably also result in additional offences being charged with more extensive sentencing powers available.

The relevant guideline suggests a starting point of one year with a range going up to three years. However, the paedophile manual requires an uplift as do the previous convictions in 2010 for offending of this kind. It is a different kind of thing from the images and films because its purpose is to inspire actual offending. It is probably not designed to excite or to achieve sexual gratification simply by being looked at, but to give practical advice. It is extremely important that possession of this kind of thing should be clearly punished and I consider that a consecutive term is required.

Further, there are aggravating features as identified in the guideline. The offences were committed whilst on licence and in breach of a number of the terms of that licence. For the reasons I have stated already, this is a particularly serious aggravating feature in this case. Your breach of licence was manipulative, persistent and dishonest as well as seriously criminal in itself. The children depicted were often very young and vulnerable, there is discernible pain and distress suffered by some of the children depicted and the collection includes moving images.

The number of images is substantial, though much larger collections are routinely encountered in these cases. The proportion of category A images, almost exactly one third, suggests deliberate searching for and collection of this most repulsive material. In doing that, you accessed the dark web. For these reasons the sentence can properly be increased into the next category range within the guideline, which is usually reserved for offences involving distribution of images of this kind. This involves following the guideline by using its ranges, but by doing so flexibly when confronted with a wholly exceptional case such as this.

There is very limited mitigation apart from the plea for which you will receive full credit following the guideline. It is true that you were immediately candid with the police when arrested, but, as is common in this type of case, you did not have much choice. Your difficulties in living in the community are obvious, but you do not have the mitigation that you only offended on one day. Your offending went back some months and required ingenuity to keep it hidden. The offending is so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence will suffice. That sentence must be above the usual range in the guideline to which I have just referred for the reasons I have given. But for your pleas the total sentence would have been five years.

Giving you full credit of one third for those pleas as I am required to do, the sentence on you is as follows: Count 1: 32 months; Count 2: 2 years; Count 3: 18 months; Count 4: 8 months consecutive. This makes a total term of 40 months. At the half way point of this sentence you will be released from this sentence. Whether you will actually be released from prison at that point depends on what action is taken in relation to your life sentence.

There are many horrific crimes. But not of them were used by politicians and press for a cause.

Posted: 8th, February 2018 | In: News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


A police medic did not punch a man in the face and head at London’s Kurdish protest (video)

kurds rally London police

 

The police tell. They do not listen. They work to an agenda. Media should not be so monocular. It should exercise circumspection. The police make enough mistakes without any need to sensationalise the ordinary.

The Metro trails as story from a march in London by thousands of Kurds protesting against Turkey’s military attack on the Kurdish city of Afrin in Syria. It’s horrendous. Shame on the UK for not backing the Kurds.

This Metro’s conjures the headline: “Police medic punches man in head at Kurdish rally.” It is “shocking” says the paper of the moment a “Metropolitan Police medic repeatedly punches a man” in the head.

Only, he doesn’t. The copper is hitting the man in the shoulder in what appears to be an attempt to get him to release his grip.

 

 

The minor incident was reported earlier in the Mail, which also needs a crash course in body parts:

Met police medic punches man in the head at Kurdish rally. Met police medic punches man in the head at Kurdish rally. A man wearing a Metropolitan police medic uniform has been filmed on top of another man who he punches repeatedly in the head as he lays on the road at a Kurdish protest rally in London.

 

kurds rally London police

The Mail adds: “The man tries to get up, without using much force but is pushed back down by the medic, who then punches him in the face four times“. The Mail says that twice.

 

 

The face? No. That’s a shoulder.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police says: “We are aware of a video posted on social media. We are in the process of establishing the circumstances of the incident. The Directorate of Professional Standards has been informed.”

We’re aware of it, too, and it’d be stupid to rush to judgement. No context is offered by the video. Just sensationalist reporting.

Meanwhile…in Afrin…

Posted: 7th, February 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Referees confused over Liverpool v Spurs penalties prove VAR is rubbish

More reaction to Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Spurs. No VAR was used in the match, which featured two penalties for Spurs. It might have been three pens had the referee not spotted that Dele Alli dived. Liverpool were aggrieved by the decisions. Spurs were elated. Would VAR have helped? Well, that depends on which referee is sat in a sealed box reviewing the action on the telly.

NO pens says retired ref Mark Halsey in the Sun:

“HARRY KANE was in an offside position for the first penalty. Yes, the ball has come off Dejan Lovren before falling to Kane, but the Liverpool defender has tried to clear the ball knowing that Kane is behind him – and not knowing if the Spurs striker is offside or not. So Kane has clearly impacted on the Liverpool man, thus interfering with an opponent. The assistant should have flagged at this point so the Loris Karius foul is immaterial.”

YES pens says former ref Graham Poll in the Mail: “Assistant Eddie Smart got Tottenham’s penalty decisions spot-on… it topped a good afternoon for referee Jon Moss and his officials at Liverpool.”

Well done Eddie Smart. The assistant got involved in both penalty decisions and he was right to do so. For the first penalty, he called for Jon Moss because Harry Kane was in an offside position and Smart could not be clear whether a Liverpool player had touched the ball before the Tottenham striker was fouled.

They discussed the situation and Moss decided that Dejan Lovren had played the ball, which meant Kane was onside before being taken down by Loris Karius…

And then Smart persuaded the referee, deep into stoppage time, to award the second penalty to Spurs.

To the naked eye it looked as if Erik Lamela had dived. People who had seen it numerous times on TV replays could not be sure, but Smart was. And he was right.

YES pens says former ref Dermot Gallagher on Sky:

“In the debrief after the game, they’ll be told that they made the big, match-changing decisions correct on the day.”

NO pens says ref Mark Clattenburg on the Times:First penalty

Pen 1. Was it offside?
This should not have been a penalty because it was offside….Second penalty

Pen 2.

This a tough decision. I believe that there is a suspicion of offside in the build up to the penalty. The ball is touched by Fernando Llorente and into Érik Lamela, who is fractionally offside in my opinion. As we have seen with VAR now, offside is a matter of fact and no benefit is given to the attacking team. Therefore, the penalty should not have been allowed. Once the offside is missed, It looks as though Virgil van Dijk goes to kick the ball and then tries to pull away his leg, but there is a still a bit of contact. It is a soft penalty, but not definitely a wrong call.

Clear as mud, then. Just the way we like it.

Posted: 5th, February 2018 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, Liverpool, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Why Sanchez gets kicked at Manchester United but not at Arsenal

Redknapp jamie man united

 

Jamie Redknapp tells his Daily Mail readers that Alexis Sanchez “was born to play for Manchester United”. After that kind of guff, you know you’re in for a cavalcade of nonsense. And in “kicking little devil Sachez is the only way to stop him!” we get it in spades.

Sanchez is, you will recall, the player so good that he was let got by Barcelona, joining Arsenal, where he thrived, earning plaudits for his dynamism and skill. Now aged 29 and apparently reborn three matches into his new career at Man United, Redknapp is seeking signs of messianic homecoming.

Redknapp says Sanchez has been fouled “15 times” during his United career. That, we’re told, is a foul every 17 minutes. “Against Huddersfield alone he was fouled seven times, the most for a single player in a Premier League game this season.”

Or as the ,er, Daily Mail note in January:

Seven against Crystal Palace, four against West Brom, then three against Chelsea – Jack Wilshere knows how to draw a foul.

But never mind the facts because Redknapp has a to-deadline point to make, asking:

“Are opponents deliberately targeting the Premier League’s best-paid player?”

No, not Wilshere. He’s talking about Sanchez.

Figures have been updated, and Sanchez is now the PL’s fourth most-fouled player (56 times fouled), one ahead of Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace; £60,00-a-week) and behind Watford’s Richarlison (Watford; 1st place; £22,000-a-week), Dele Alli (2nd place: Spurs; £50,000-a-week); and Jordan Ayew (3rd place; Swansea City; £50,000-a-week).

Redknapp then gets tautological:

“Players are not going out to kick Sanchez because he earns £350,000 a week. It is simply because nobody can get near enough to get the ball off him!”

But they do get near him. You have to be very near a player to foul someone (unless you’re Dele Alli).

And foul’s only occur when Sanchez isn’t being fairly dispossessed:

 

Redknapp’s not finished:

“It is no coincidence that Sanchez was fouled just four times in his last three games for Arsenal. His head was turned by the prospect of a move and he lacked the desire to get on the ball”

Arsenal’s farewell performance came as a 66th minute substitute (Chelsea away). The two matches before that he played the full 90 minutes in each (West Brom away and Chelsea at home). Did he lack desire? Sky, which also employs Redknapp, says he was Arsenal’s most vibrant and best player during the Chelsea game. The Mirror says Sanchez “looked dangerous” throughout when Arsenal took on West Brom.

Other highlights from Redknapp’s insightful column: Arsenal need to “build a team who can deliver these wonderful performances every week.” You think?

“Eddie Howe ticks every box” for “any owner” of a top 6 side looking for a manager. Although the boxes marked ‘Big Cups Won” and “Availability” do look a little empty.

 

Posted: 5th, February 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comments (4) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Queen did not shoot her seven dead swans for sport

Because every cause needs a celebrity (and every celebrity needs a cause – ed), the Sun brings news that seven of Her Majesty’s swans are feared killed by bird flu. Until now we’d no face to put alongside the illness. Finding birds to front a campaign to combat bird flu and raise awareness was hampered by the lack of famous birds. Orville, Emu and Bernie Clifton’s ostrich are either resting or no longer seen as big hitters. And Alan Partridge is a work of fiction. But we’ve now got the Queen’s birds, albeit seven dead ones, to shock us into action.

“Everyone fears the worst,” says a swan watcher, words which could pretty much be used whenever fear stalks. It’s hard to fear the best. But “the Queen is upset” and this is no time for nitpicking, nor wondering how swans are mourned but not pheasants, which the Queen has been known to kill with her bare hands when shooting them in the face proves insufficient sport. ” She is an animal lover,” says  a source, and not only because she loves eating and killing them for larks, “and if they have bird flu, it’s horrible.”

The only damper on all this is that the Sun says the Queen’s swans are “mute swans”. So it looks like avian flu must look further afield for a spokesperson…

Posted: 5th, February 2018 | In: News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Recasting mosque murderer Darren Osborne as a grooming victim

How do you report on Darren Osborne? Yesterday at Woolwich Crown Court, Osborne was convicted of the murder of Makram Ali, 51, and the attempted murder of other Muslims outside a mosque in Finsbury Park, north London.

The Mirror calls him a “racist thug”. An “ex-schoolmate” calls him a “complete dick”. A former lover calls Osborne a “pill-popping sponger” who was banned from Toys R Us for “trying to steal Lego”. He stole from his “blinded great-grandad” and served a two-year prison sentence for assault. He’s the Sun’s “twisted loser” – a “maniac”. Darren Osborne, folks, a life-long bastard.

 

darren osborne muslim killer

The Sun says 4 weeks; the Star and Guardian says three.

 

But the Sun says he “turned into a hate-filled extremist in just four weeks”.  The Star declares “3 Weeks To Turn Into Racist Killer”. The Times classifies Osborne as a “a white loner” who was “rapidly radicalised after accessing far-right material on the internet”. No circumspection. One minute you’re browsing for photos of cats, online banking and asking to see a schoolboy’s fillings and when he opens his mouth to show you gobbing inside it (as Osborne reportedly did), the next you stumble across a website, get brainwashed by murderous loons and go on a killing spree. To see is to do, runs the mantra.

How long before Osborne is described as a victim because police “believe the catalyst for Osborne’s descent into hate was watching a BBC drama about a sex abuse scandal involving Muslim men, a swell as viewing extremist inline content” (Guardian)? Was he, you know, groomed?

 

darren osborne muslim killer

The Guardian

 

More descriptions of Osborne, 48, are forthcoming in the Times. He’s “unemployed”. He’s an “alcoholic”. Seeking background to those conditions might tell us more about the kind of man who deliberately drives a van into people minding their own business. But it’s the “radicalisation” that excites the old media, the State and police most. You can’t control a man as easily as you can control what a man sees and hears. So we read this:

Police said that Osborne, from Pentwyn, Cardiff, acted alone and was radicalised soon after joining Twitter and immersing himself in far-right material online. He took a particular interest in Tommy Robinson, the former leader of the English Defence League, and Jayda Fransen, the co-founder of Britain First.

Commander Dean Haydon, the head of Scotland Yard’s counterterrorism command, said that the first trigger for Osborne was a BBC television drama about the child-grooming scandal in Rochdale.

He was triggered. Like a switch going off (or on), the narrative is that Osbourne was a normal, average, rational and reasoned individual, a man whose motto was ‘Live and let live’, who never had a racist thought, and who after watching one show on the telly embarked on a mission to murder Muslims. There but for the grace of god, go we, eh. That’s hope the internet is trammelled, censored and controlled by those who know best so that we too are not damaged.

 

darren osborne muslim killer

The Mail: the web and BBC dunnit

 

Mr Haydon goes on the record: “That [a BBC TV show on rape gangs ] was the catalyst for him having a hatred for the Muslim community. From thereafter he accessed extreme right-wing material. He then became obsessed with that material and that sent him into a further spiral of him wishing to carry out an attack.” Haydon called Osbourne a “devious, vile and hate-filled individual”. Well, he did murder one man and try to slaughter many more. He did pledge: “I’m going to kill all Muslims.” Haydon’s appraisal of the convicted murderer is pretty spot on, but not needed. We, like the jury that took less than an hour to convict him, can make up our minds without police guidance.

But the police are not only there to tell; they are also there to censor:

The Met will not disclose the details of Osborne’s hate-filled interviews, or the full note that he left behind in the van that contained various slurs against Muslims, for fear of inciting more hate incidents.

From being an alcoholic loner, Osbourne is now an inspiration. He watched the telly to be become a killer; you only need to read a note to flip the switch. You’re all that vulnerable (aka: thick and in need to State-led supervision).

 

darren osborne muslim killer

The Sun

 

And then this:

Osborne was also said to have become angered after the string of Islamist attacks last year in London and Manchester.

So not just the telly show, then. There was more.

Two nights before the attack he told people at his local pub that he was “going to kill all Muslims” and said that he was going to take matters into his own hands. Callum Spence, a soldier, told the court: “I heard him saying: ‘All our families are going to be Muslim. They are all going to be terrorists.’ Things like that.”

The ravings of a deranged and violent criminal, who was, as the Guardian notes, thrown out of a pub near his home in Cardiff for making racist comments”. But Harun Khan, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, says Osbourne is a terrorist. “The scenes we witnessed last summer were the most violent manifestation of Islamophobia yet in our country,” he says. “We cannot be complacent and regard this as a one-off terrorist incident.”

But it was a one-off, a rare crime, thankfully.

Why can’t Osbourne be like other terrorists who we’re told operate as lone wolves, gurning loons who represent only their own grotesque disregard for life and freedom, and have no truck with a greater cause and movement?

Khalid Oumar, a trustee of the mosque and founder of the Finsbury Park Attack victims’ voice forum, puts the case for trust in ourselves well: “The scars will stay with them for ever, but the community is determined to go about daily life without fear and to stand together against victimisation and violence.” Right on. Let’s not let this be all couched in dispiriting victimhood. We’re better than that.

Note: Darren Osborne has been sentenced to a minimum term of 43 years in prison. He’ll die there.

Posted: 2nd, February 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester United balls: Marouane Fellaini ’embarrassed’ by injury and ‘bizarre’ Mourinho as Spurs get lucky

When Manchester United lost 2-0 at Spurs to an offside goal and an own-goal, Marouane Fellaini came on as a substitute only to be substituted after just seven minutes playing time. Why? Well, the obvious guess would be injury to the big Belgian. “He came off because he had something in his knee,” Jose Mourinho told media after the match. “Unlucky for him and unlucky for me. He came on with enthusiasm, but he has an injury in his ligament.”

But the media loves sensation. And Fellaini’s knee is not newsy enough in the race of clicks.

 

fellaini mail daily manchester united

 

“Fellaini appeared angry as he took off his shirt as he made his way to the bench,” says the Mail beneath the headline: “Horror show for Mourinho as Eriksen scores after 11 SECONDS to spark easy victory for Spurs that blows top-four race wide open; From super sub to super snub! Fellaini hauled off just SEVEN MINUTES after being sent on to rescue United at Wembley.”

The Sun has a dig at both “bizarre” Mourinho and Fellaini, who was “embarrassed ” by getting injured:

 

fellaini the sun manchester united

 

Get well soon, Fellaini.

 

Posted: 1st, February 2018 | In: Back pages, manchester united, News, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Well-paid BBC women are not thick as mince Grid Girl women

Spot the differences between the “BBC women on the march” for equal pay and ‘Grid Girls’ women being told they can’t work at Formula One events. Clue: age and class.

First up, the women who know what’s best for themselves and all women. The women taking a stand for equal rights, more money, opportunity and the sisterhood:

 

 

The women told they don’t know what’s best for themselves and who don’t know their own minds, being presumably too thick and infected by misogyny to earn an honest living of their choosing. Thankfully, more intelligent and higher ranking women are here to lend these losers a steer.

 

pit babes grid babes bbc sexism pay pit babes grid babes bbc sexism pay pit babes grid babes bbc sexism pay

 

And then this, in which the female expert in all things female schools two grown women no longer working the darts circuit in the right and wrong way to dress, earn money and conduct themselves. (Neither group is from the 70s – that’s the 1970s for the ‘babes’ and the 1870s for the bluestocking.)

 

Posted: 1st, February 2018 | In: Broadsheets, News, Sports, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer Balls: Arsenal sell Giroud to Chelsea for less than agreed price

Arsenal have yet to hand over the £60m it’ll take for Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to join them. The BBC says the move “hinges” on two other transfers:  Aubameyang to Arsenal, Giroud to Chelsea and Batshuayi to Dortmund.

We’re told Arsenal want £35, for Giroud, 31.

 

 

No they don’t, says The Metro, which declares: “Chelsea agree to sign Olivier Giroud from Arsenal for £15m.”

They have? No. Of course not. That’s the dire Metro, which can’t even get Giroud’s age right:

 

 

 

Football365 then gets itself in a mess over what words mean. Can you “give” a man to another – slavery? – and get £15m in return?

 

 

The Daily Express is also confused. It’s not “agreed” if it’s in ‘inverted commas’. But it is agreed if the story states: “Chelsea have agreed a deal with Arsenal to sign Oliver Giroud.”

 

 

The source for every one of these scoops seems to be Gianlica Dimario. Who he and why is his word taken as fact? He says he’s a “journalist registered with the Court of Milan”. On his website, we read (through the wonder of Google Translate):

With Dzeko, Chelsea has identified a new target for the attack. This is Olivier Giroud , for whom the Blues have found an agreement with Arsenal on the basis of 15 million pounds plus bonuses. The negotiation will be defined as soon as Wenger’s team will define every detail with Aubameyang and Borussia Dortmund will have found a substitute for Gabonese, which could be Batshuayi.

 

The utter balls is underlined by the Express, which on the same page as its report that Giroud to Chelsea for £15m is a done deal, declares this morning:

Giroud crunch talks
06.15: Chelsea are expected to re-open negotiations with Arsenal today regarding the sale Olivier Giroud, according to Sky Sports expert Guillem Balague.

Balague says that Chelsea had an initial offer of £20million turned down by the Gunners.

“I read Giroud could go to Chelsea for £15m but I believe #CFC last offer was £20m and was rejected by #AFC,” Balague wrote on Twitter.

“No negotiations took place after that rejection.

“But tomorrow contacts could be renewed.”

To recap: Giroud has joined Chelsea for £5m less than a bid Arsenal rejected?

Oh, and in the Sun we read that Chelsea are targeting Tottenham’s Spanish striker Fernando Llorente, 32.

Fact: Giroud has not signed for Chelsea.

 

Posted: 30th, January 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, News, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Benzema joins Arsenal for the umpteenth time

Karim Benzema is on his way to the Emirates. Yeah, really. Sports Illustrated announces: “Arsenal Strikes Deal to Bring Karim Benzema to the Emirates.” We’ve been here before. Many times. And before we turn to the Daily Mirror, the source of the SI’s scoop, a look at what we wrote in April 2017:

“Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema to be Alexis Sanchez replacement,” thundered the Daily Mirror.

Newspaper readers will know that Benzema joined Liverpool in 2014 (Daily Star) and Arsenal in 2015 (MetroDaily Star (twice), Daily TelegraphThe Sydney Morning Heraldand again in 2017 (The Sun). He never left Real Madrid. And today the papers are having another crack at the Benzema to Arsenal story.

And so to today’s Mirror: “Real Madrid star Karim Benzema has agreement with Arsene Wenger to join Arsenal but Gunners must improve bid.” And: “Real Madrid star Karim Benzema has agreed to join Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, according to reports.” What reports? “The 30-year-old would be welcomed at the Emirates and reports from Spain now suggest he has an agreement with Wenger.”

No link to any report and suggestions coming out of Spain. But the Express, however, does, linking to Diario Gol. Slap it through Google translate and you get:

On the sidelines, his immediate step points to London: as Diario Gol has learned, the player’s agreement with his compatriot / friend, Arsène Wenger , who wants him at Arsenal next summer, is total. The only problem is the figures of the transfer: the club ‘gunner’ does not exceed 40 million between fixed and variable Karim to maintain the cache. While Real Madrid requires a minimum of 60 ‘kilos’.

There’s not a single source for the story. But one orphaned report on a Spanish website enough for it to become a big story in the British mainstream media. And this in the Star:

 

 

And this from the Express:

 

“Karim Benzema has agreed to leave Real Madrid for Arsenal, according to reports,” says talkSport. Not so. It’s one claim reported on many times.

Benzema to Arsenal. We’ve heard it all before.

Such are the facts…

Posted: 27th, January 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Arsenal target Aubameyang booed as Borussia prepare to lose out

Has Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signed for Arsenal yet? No. Today the Gabon striker played for Borssia Dortmund in their 2-2 draw with with Freiburg in the Bundesliga. There is no news. Borussia Dortmund striker plays up front for Borussia Dortmund.

But the journalisomobile is in full cry. It won’t be stopped by fact alone. So the Mail thunders: “Borussia Dortmund hierarchy ready to ‘break up’ with Arsenal target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.”

Says who? The Mail’s story is pinned “according to Sky Sports Germany”. He “may” leaves, says the Mail. Or to put it another way, he may not. “Hans-Joachim Watske and Michael Zorc are understood to hold the opinion that it would be better for all parties involved to ‘break up’.”

 

 

‘Understood’ is shorthand for there are no quotes. But over on Sky Sports Germany there are no facts either. But we do get a photo of Dortmund fans displaying a message to Aubameyang: “No player is bigger than our club.”  Which the Standard garbles into the story: “Arsenal target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shunned by Borussia Dortmund fans with banner.” How can you be shunned and greeted by a 60ft banner? Maybe next week the fans will ignore Aubameyang with a plane trailing a huge banner featuring the legend “Pierre Who?”

As the fans boo their star, Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael ZorcZorc tells Sky Sports Germany:

“We are prepared to implement a transfer under certain parameters – but only if these parameters are fully met. Arsenal has started several attempts so far. We have all rejected so far.

“Either our demands are fulfilled, then there can be another transfer, or else they will not be fulfilled and Auba will play in Dortmund until the summer, so it is also discussed and accepted by the Aubameyang family.”

Dortmund want £60m or else they’ll keep paying the player who wants to leave and upsets the fans and the team. Not much of an ultimatum is it…

 

Posted: 27th, January 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Spurs balls: Mauricio Pochettino to join Real Madrid and understanding the expert

No sooner has Mauricio Pochettino been linked with the Real Madrid manager’s job then the BBC says the Spanish giants have made a move for him. This might be some news from Zinedine Zidane, the current boss of Real Madrid, who led them to back-to-back Champions’ League triumphs in the past two seasons. Real are having a poor season by their high standards, fourth in La Liga, a whopping 19 points shy of leaders Barcelona.

Inevitably talk turns to who next at Real. And for reasons not all that clear, Real apparently like the Spurs manager, who’s never won anything meaningful as a coach (four manager of the month awards is the total haul). Spurs are fifth in the Premier League. They are in the Champions League, their path to a Round of 16 tie with Juventus is decorated with a 3-1 home win over Real. There should be Rule for when bigger clubs approach the manager of a small club they’ve just lost to. (Maybe The Anorak Rule? The Sorene Rule?)

As for the facts “revealed” in the Mail’s report, well, get a load of this line:

Sportsmail understands that initial contact has been made between Real Madrid officials and associates of Pochettino. Sources in Spain believe he is tempted by the possibility of working at Real Madrid.

Not exactly replete with definites is it. But “Real have made Pochettino their first-choice target…. It is understood that Madrid would not want Pochettino to replace Zidane mid-season… Pochettino would be handed a significant transfer budget as the club attempt to return to the pinnacle of Spanish football.”

I was in agreement with all those believes and maybes until I read that part about Real Madrid spending big to secure success. Nah! Not Real with all those homegrown players and commitment to locality.

Helping us work out if Real really are going to make moves for Pochettino is Sky, which notes: “Real have shortlisted the Spurs boss to take over at the Bernabeu, according to Guillem Balague.” He’s the expert who told us Alvaro Morata had signed for Arsenal, Santi Cazorla would join Atletico Madrid, Juan Mata was joining Liverpool and Cristiano Ronaldo was returning to Manchester United.

Such are the facts…

Posted: 27th, January 2018 | In: Back pages, News, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comments (3) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Pochettinho from Spurs to Real Madrid is pie in the sky

Funny, no, how in demand Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is said to be? The BBC says the manager whose CV highlight reads ‘Premier League runners-up’ “would rather work on a farm than manage Arsenal or Barcelona”. It’s worth noting that neither club has made any approach to recruit the Argentine whose Spurs side are currently the fifth best side in the Premier League.

Over in the Express, the news is echoed: “Mauricio Pochettino hints at Real Madrid move before INSULTING Arsenal and Barcelona – TOTTENHAM boss Mauricio Pochettino has refused to rule out a move to Real Madrid.”

Very good of him not to discount moving to the world’s biggest and most successful football club. No word on whether or not Real want the 45-year-old. But they might. “You never know what will happen in football,” said Pochettinho when asked about coaching Real.

And what of that “insult”?

I am so clear,” Pochettino said. “I am never going to be manager of Barcelona or Arsenal because I am so identified with Tottenham and Espanyol. I grew up in Newell’s Old Boys and will never manage Rosario Central. That is my decision because I prefer to work on my farm in Argentina than in some places.”

Not “a farm”, as in ‘I’d rather muck out pigs than manage Arsenal or Barcelona.’ He says he’s rather retire to his farm than take a job with a big city rival.  He adds:

“But my commitment is massive in this club. I am working like I am going to be here forever. But in the end, it is like the players, you never know what is going to happen in football. It is a lot of rumours about this, about that. Tomorrow [Tottenham chairman] Daniel Levy could have a bad night and say, ‘Oh I am going to sack Mauricio’. And then I look stupid saying I am not going to work in one place or another or another. You never know in football. That is the problem. It is a very unstable situation.”

So much for the insult. Put his words through the churnaliser and the Express might just as well thunder: “Pochettino admits he could manage Chelsea or Arsenal.”

 

And then it’s back to Real Madrid. The Express says “current boss Zineidne Zidane [sic] is currently under heavy pressure at the Bernabeu…the Frenchman has admitted he will be sacked if Real lose to Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League.”

Will Zidane (check spelling) get caught in all those currents? Did he says he will be sacked? In another story on bullshit.com, the Express states: “Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane reveals when he will be SACKED.” He did? No. H didn’t. Asked by a journalist whether his job tenure could be decided by the match with PSG, Zidane said: “Of course.” Not will be sacked. Might be sacked. Which surely is just another way of saying the same as Pochettinho: football management is not a stable job.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 26th, January 2018 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Aubameyang’s Arsenal debut is stating the obvious

Transfer balls: are Arsenal going to sign Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Germans have turned down two bids this transfer window. But a third bid might just do it because the BBC says Arsenal are “already planning the 28-year-old Gabon striker’s debut”.

Says who? The Beeb links to a story on the Daily Express (aka bullshit.com), which announces: “Aubameyang to Arsenal: Arsene Wenger very confident of deal, debut already being planned.” The Express links to Bild as the source of its story. t the foot of a story on how the German’s want Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud and how the Frenchman would fit in at Borussia, the writer notes: “Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger (68) is scheduled to plan with Aubameyang for the next match at Swansea City (January 30).”

How Bild knows that is not mentioned. And, then, all it claims to know – that at the end of the transfer window, Aubemayang could play for Arsenal. that’s not insider knowledge; that’s stating the obvious. But hook it to the journalisomobile and you get the Mirror delcaing: “Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ‘set to make Arsenal debut next Tuesday’ as Gunners close in on £60m deal.” And then the killer first line: “Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could make his Arsenal debut as soon as next Tuesday.” Or to put it another, he might not.

But to the Mirror, guesswork amounts to something being “revealed”:

 

arsenal balls daily mirror

 

And this:

 

More revelations than Elijah

 

Such are the facts…

Posted: 25th, January 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester United balls: Jose Mourinho and the Sun’s selfie preservation society

So how does the Sun headline nine photographs of Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho minding his own business on a walk close to his London home?

Like this:

WHY SO GLUM?

Well, there is a stranger with a camera tracking his private life, possibly calling out his name, as paparazzi are wont to do, in the hope you’ll look at them. But the Sun doesn’t think the man with the big camera is making the Manchester United coach look at the pavement. And that’s odd because in one image, Mourinho is seen posing happily for a selfie with a passer by. Both Mourinho and the celeb spotter are smiling. Or as the Sun has it:

Jose Mourinho looks fed up as he poses for selfie with a workman…

No. He looks happy posing for a photo with a man who took the trouble to ask for a selfie. Might it be the other cameraman belching out his name like a lobotomised parrot that’s making him “moody” and “glum” as he walked down a Knightsbridge road close to his London home?

Posted: 23rd, January 2018 | In: manchester united, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester United: Sanchez is no mercenary and Arsenal gain hope

The news media is on no doubt which of Arsenal and Manchester United got the better deal when Alexis Sanchez moved to Old Trafford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan headed to London in a swap plus cash deal. Every back page leads with Sanchez:

 

alexis sanchez arsenal manchester united

 

There’s a lot of guff about how Sanchez did and didn’t move for the money – my view: so what if he did; it’s a job and his duty to get the best pay he can to perform it. Not every athlete can be like Tim Duncan, the San Antonio Spurs star who twice helped his club by accepting contracts for less than his market value. Most players listen to their agents. And if journalists and pundits want to look around football for mercenaries, they should lower their gaze toward the men in shiny tracksuits.

The other notable thing is that Sanchez is being marketed heavily from the off, with United posting a video of the Chilean playing a few bars of ‘Glory Glory’, a song I’d always associated with Tottenham Hotspur.

 

 

Over at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger appraised his new player in unusual terms: “He’s a very complete player. He creates chances, he defends well, he can absorb distances and he’s very committed as well.”

The upshot is that both sides lose a player who were under performing and gain one who offers hope.

Posted: 23rd, January 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, manchester united, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Clickbait balls: Is this a hint Manchester United’s Sanchez is new face of Greggs?

 

Trinity Mirror is looking to take control of the Express. The company, which publishes the Daily Mirror, will then surely set about creating the largest clickbait farm in British football news. Both newspapers sites are stuffed full of utter tosh designed with one purpose: to trick fans looking for news on their club into clicking links and seeing the ads.

In today’s Express, readers are presented with the headline: “Is this the clue Arsenal will sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang?” A clue? Well, Arsenal’s deal makers are in Germany and Borrussia Dortmund, Aubemeyang’s club, say the Gunners have tabled an offer for their star player. But those are not the clue to which the Express refers. The clue is that “Ladbrokes believe striker Aubemayang is set to arrive too with the odds on him joining now 1/8.” Yep. What a bookie “believes” is a clue to a multi-million pound deal.

 

.”Manchester United was one of the teams that he dreamt about” says  Barbara Astorga 

After what looks like a sponsored story dressed up as clickbait, which itself is balls dressed up as news, the Mirror shows the Express how they do it.

When the Manchester Evening News reported on a drive-thru Greggs coming to the area – “The first AND ONLY drive-thru Greggs is in Greater Manchester and it’s open now” – other Trinity Mirror ignored the sore’s uniqueness and noted:

The Leicester Mercury: “A Greggs drive-thru has opened in Manchester – so we asked whether one is coming to Leicester.”

“When we heard the news that Manchester were getting their very own drive-thru, we wanted to know if we were getting one in Leicester – soon. so we got in touch with Gregg’s to find out – but it’s not good news. Greggs got back in touch to say there are no further Drive Thru shops planned to open in the immediate future.”

The Liverpool Echo the story was headlined: “Is Liverpool getting a Greggs drive-thru?”

“But unfortunately for all our Scouse Greggs fans, there are no current plans to open a drive thru in Liverpool.”

The Grimsby Telegraph: “Drive-thru Greggs may find its way to Grimsby as new concept is trialled for nationwide rollout.”

“The concept is being tried out at Irlam Gateway Service Station, in Salford, before a potential nationwide roll-out, though bosses say there are no immediate plans to open any more.”

Lincolnshire Live: “Could drive-thru Greggs be coming to Lincoln? Bakery’s new concept set for nationwide roll-out”

“The concept is being tried out in Manchester before a potential nationwide roll-out, but bosses say there are no immediate plans to open any more.”

The Bristol Post: “Is Bristol getting a Greggs drive-thru?”

“Although the company hasn’t said yet whether it plans to open a drive-thru branch in Bristol, its chief executive Roger Whiteside said it wanted the chain to have drive-thru shops in all sorts of convenient locations – so we wouldn’t rule out one appearing here just yet.”

Somerset Live: “Will Somerset get a Greggs drive-thru if the first one is a hit?”

“The concept, follows the launch of Greggs delivery service in Manchester, is being tried out here before a potential nationwide roll-out, but bosses say there are no immediate plans to open any more.”

If the Express and Mirror merge, look out for such scoops as: “Is Manchester United’s Alexis Sanchez the new face of Greggs?”; “Is this a hint Manchester United’s Sanchez is new face of Greggs?”; “Is this the real reason Sanchez left Arsenal for Manchester United?”

Spotter: Press Gazette

 

Posted: 22nd, January 2018 | In: Back pages, manchester united, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester United: Mata is the antidote to Sanchez and Pogba’s greed

How much does Manchester United’s Paul Pogba earn? This is not to shame ‘Old Pogba’, as the BBC dubs him, to cast him as a footballing mercenary, a barb former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has aimed at Alexis Sanchez as the Chilean prepares to leave Arsenal for a £450,000-week deal at Manchester United.

The vast majority of us work for the money. Footballers should be no different. Although some of us want footballers to be role models for the slack-jawed masses, which is why the Guardian has made Juan Mata its footballer of the year. The Manchester United midfielder heads the Common Goal project, in which players and managers donate 1% of their salary to charity. Good for him and the recipients of his generosity, but relegating an athlete’s ability with the ball to somewhere below their morals is unhelpful to anyone who sees football as a fun leisure pursuit. Does journalism award prizes to commentators and editors on the strength of how many charities they give to? Do newspapers publish staff earnings in league tables and link wage packets to their owner’s net worth? The maximum fee for professional footballers was scrapped in the 1960s. The current obsession with footballer’s earnings and spending power looks a lot like snobbish disdain.

 

Young man from working-class background buys house!

 

And in the rush to sneer at footballers, facts are manipulated to suit the narrative. When Pogba signed for United on 2016, the Daily Mail stated his wage at £290,000-per week. Today the Mirror reports that Pogba earns £200,000-a-week. That’s quite some difference. And the Express says Pogba wants his wage”doubled” to match the “£500,000-a-week” Sanchez is set to earn.

Pogba’s basic salary is £165,000 a week, says the BBC. But his 41-page contract contains substantial incentives to earn more.

Will United give Pogba such a massive raise because his agent senses an opportunity? You wouldn’t bet against it. If the club are desperate enough to pay Sanchez a massive wage and in so doing risk destabilising the team – the reason Pep Guardiola gave for Manchester City pulling out of any deal for Sanchez – they’ll pay through the nose to keep their main marketing asset happy. Good for them. The rest of us should all agree on one thing: everyone should be on huge wages.

Posted: 22nd, January 2018 | In: Back pages, Key Posts, manchester united, Money, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Manchester City race to sign ‘the new Paul Pogba’

Manchester United midfielder and marketing maestro Paul Pogba is 24. In media terms that’s old. The BBC for one is tired of old Pogba and has found “the new Paul Pogba”, aka Boubakary Soumare, 18.

The Daily Mail agrees, reporting that Manchester City, Everton and Leicester are looking at the  “new Paul Pogba”. The Lille teenager is on the market for a mere £20m-rated. That’s a snip for a player who’s made a whopping three starts for the struggling French club.

 

Boubakary Soumare

 

The Old Paul Pogba cost Man United around £90m when he joined when from Juventus. So news that the new version is available for much less should appeal to many clubs and brands.

What we don’t learn in the Mail’s story is who first called Soumare “the new Paul Pogba”. The Sun also fails to name a source for the claim in its story “Manchester City step up chase for Lille’s ‘new Paul Pogba’ Boubakary Soumare”.

There’s no word from Soumare. But rumours suggest he fashions himself as “the new Norman Hunter”.

Posted: 22nd, January 2018 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0