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Arsenal balls: Arsene Wenger and the Daily Mirror’s fake news (scoops)

It was a busy season for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. The Daily Mirror and its reporter John Cross have been at the forefront of Wenger contract news. And the paper’s clear message was that he wasn’t going to sign one.  The paper knew. Wenger was out! And then he signed a new deal keeping him at the club for two more years. It’s not fake news. It’s possibly true:


daily mirror wenger quits sack resigns arsenal


Daily Mirror – John Cross – August 23 2016 – “Boss Wenger will celebrate 20 years in charge of the Gunners at the start of October and there is a growing feeling that he will stand down when his contract expires at the end of this season.”

Daily Mirror – John Cross – Feb 3 2017 – “Arsenal fans’ abuse nudging hurt Arsene Wenger towards the exit THIS summer”

Daily Mirror – John Cross – 16 Feb 2017: “Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger IS set to leave in the summer following shattering Bayern Munich defeat”

Daily Mirror – John Cross, March 2 – “Arsene Wenger gives another clear hint he’s ready to leave Arsenal this summer”

Daily Mirror – John Cross – March 7 – “Arsene Wenger’s position is now untenable after Arsenal suffer another sorry European capitulation”

Daily Mirror – March 19 – Arsene Wenger set to STAY at Arsenal — even if they miss the Champions League for first time under him

Daily Mirror – John Cross, April 10 – “It seems unthinkable Arsenal will give him a new contract. Time to go, Arsene. Arsenal cannot possibly put their supporters through another two years of this”

Daily Mirror – John Cross, May 10 – “Arsene Wenger could still leave Arsenal this summer – there are various factors at play”

Arsene Wenger stays mirror


Such are the facts.


Posted: 1st, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: Lazy Sanchez is no winner but he’s worth £300,000 a week

More now from the Daily Mirror’s John Cross, the man who told wrote beneath the headline”ARSENE SETS THE DATE” that the Arsenal manager was leaving the club on June 30 2017.


Daily Mirror wenger quits Arsenal


The same John Cross later updated that scoop by writing beneath another Daily Mirror headline “WENGER’S STAYING”.


wenger stays arsenal


This week, Cross has once more been talking about Arsenal. The Gunners won 2-0 against Sunderland. Incredibly, Wenger’s under-performing side have a slim chance of qualifying for the Champions League – although given their palsied performances in the competition, fans wold be forgiven for finding that an underwhelming prospect.

Here’s Cross on April 17. He’s talking about Alexis Sanchez, who scored both goals in the Sunderland match:

“They simply have to break the bank to keep him. Without Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal would be completely lost as once again the red-hot Chile forward bailed them out. You need big hearts on nights like these and it was Sanchez who saved Arsenal from disaster.”

Sanchez is possessed of a “street fighter’s desire that really make him special”, says Cross.

Or as he wrote on March 7:


Alexis Sanchez John cRoss


Or as he wrote waaay back on March 31:


“It has been a source of great frustration to Arsene Wenger this season that, despite Sanchez’s histrionics making it look as if he works hard, he actually covers less ground than you think.”

Arsenal should “break the bank” for someone so obviously overrated (unless he’s being “red-hot”).

Posted: 18th, May 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Watford balls: insulting Walter Mazzarri in English is easy

On Twitter, Daily Mirror football writer John Cross is having a pop at Watford FC’s Italian manager of the moment Walter Mazzarri,  a man he calls “an insult to the Premier League”. How so? Cross explains: “He has been in England for a year and not bothered to learn English. Really poor.”


John CRoss WAlter Watford


You’d suppose the internationalist, hyped and gilded Premier League, with its oligarch owners, absurd wages and massive dividends would possess a pretty thick skin and be largely unaffected by one man’s struggles with the English language.

And there was this from February 1 2017:

Walter Mazzarri returns to familiar surroundings as Watford look for Manchester United scalp – Watford boss Mazzarri spent four months immersing himself in English culture

The story appeared in the, er, Daily MirrorMazzarri said:

“I know Manchester very well – I used to walk around the city a lot. When I go back, I can’t really call it my home… but almost. For three or four months last year, before I came to Watford, I travelled back and forth between Italy and the UK.

“I stayed in Manchester and I enjoyed it very much – it gave me an understanding of life in Britain because, from a personal perspective, I wanted to understand the culture.

“I chose Manchester because it is not as cosmopolitan as London, which helped me to settle in the environment of life in England faster…

“It would have been completely different if I had lived in London because it is full of Italians and I would have been stopped in the street more often than in Manchester.”

What an insult, eh.

PS – Given the number of foreigners in the Premier League and the power of the Champions’ League, British journalists could learn another language?

Posted: 17th, May 2017 | In: Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester City Balls: How Yaya Toure Beat Luis Suarez In Two Weeks

HOW tabloid reporting work with the Daily Mirror’s John Cross:

April 18:



Later that day, The Daily Mirror wrote:

Manchester City’s Yaya Toure says being African denies him individual recognition he deserves


On May 5, Cross tweeted:


It’s all about consistency…

Posted: 8th, May 2014 | In: Manchester City, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Talking balls: Olivier Giroud is Arsenal’s brilliant culprit and Ozil thrashes Spurs on twitter

TALKING Balls: Anorak’s been scouting round to see which football experts in the media are now telling us that they knew what was what all along? We spot the Mirror’s John Cross, billed as “our man in the know at the Emirates”, talking about Mesut Ozil arrival from Real Madrid and not signing a proven goal scorer:

The gamble is clearly relying on Olivier Giroud. He’s been in great form. Four goals in five games. He looks sensational. But Arsenal do not have a back-up centre forward. Their only viable option is Lukas Podolski and he’s out injured. Sanogo is unproven yet. Forget Nicklas Bendtner. Wenger has.

This is the John Cross who told us waaaaay back on August 22:

“THIS game showed why Arsenal have spent the whole summer trying to buy a striker. Giroud was the worst culprit… his finishing looks anything but top class”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 3rd, September 2013 | In: Sports | Comments (5) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Arsenal’s Giroud worth £109m and Ozil cost nothing

TRANSFER Balls: a look at the work of John Cross, the Daily Mirror’s man in the know:

August 22:

“THIS game showed why Arsenal have spent the whole summer trying to buy a striker. Giroud was the worst culprit… his finishing looks anything but top class”

September 2:

“Who needs to spend £109million when Gunners have Olivier Giroud? Who needs Luis Suarez? Who needs Gonzalo Higuain? Or even Wayne Rooney? Not Arsenal when they have got Olivier Giroud…”

August 29:

Arsenal fear Wenger will spend NOTHING on transfers this summer – Gunners have backed away from Cabaye and Guaita with four days left in the window – could freebies Sanogo and Flamini really be it?

September 2:

Arsenal smash transfer record for £42million Mesut Ozil… The Gunners have agreed personal terms with the Real Madrid star, but it looks as though they won’t be stopping there on transfer deadline day

Such are the facts…

Posted: 2nd, September 2013 | In: Sports | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

John Cross blames Spurs fans as Andre Villas-Boas wonders

IS Spurs manager Luís André de Pina Cabral e Villas-Boas crap? Following the team’s home defeat by Wigan, The Daily Mirror’s John Cross wrote:

“…if you are a rational Spurs fan, just take a step back and remember we are only 10 games into the Premier League season and AVB’s side are sitting in fifth place. Yes, fifth place. Hardly a crisis… But he surely deserves more of a chance than he is currently being given by the White Hart Lane faithful. You get the feeling he is only ever one bad result away from the fans giving him stick.”

Those fans, eh, demanding that their team win, or try their best to. (My opinion is that Villas-Boas makes it up as he goes along.)

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Posted: 6th, November 2012 | In: Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0