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Arsenal website’s biased report after record-breaking Leicester defeat

Arsenal are the only team in English football without a point in 2018. Arsenal have lost 7 Premier League games in a row away from home in 2018. Tonight they lost 3-1 to Leicester City – their first defeat to the Foxes in 24 games. This is how the Arsenal website reported the latest defeat. Key moments are picked out. On each occasion Arsenal produce a wholly biased sympathetic back story.

The First Goal:

Kelechi Iheanacho gave Leicester the lead against the run of play…

Leicester scored after jut 14 minutes.

The Red Card

Our woes were compounded moments later when Dinos Mavropanos was sent off. The Greek defender got caught on the ball by Iheanacho and hauled the Leicester striker down as he prepared to race through on goal. Rob Holding was the covering defender but referee Graham Scott clearly thought Mavropanos was the last man.

Holding was not covering. He’d have to be a lot quicker than he looks to catch Ihenacho.

The Arsenal Goal

Petr Cech kept us in it with a string of fine saves but, after weathering that storm, our response was gutsy and classy.

Arsenal carried on in the same vein. They made no adaptations in their style of play – lots of pretty passing – when reduced to 10 men. and theta’s ok when the game is young an everyone is pretty fresh. But a lot of energy is being expended. Can they keep it up for 90 minutes away from home?

Sead Kolasinac hit the post and then Aubameyang hauled the 10 men level, crashing a rebound into the roof of the net after Eldin Jakupovic had saved his first effort from Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ cross.

It was a good team goal.

2-1

…Mkhitaryan tripped Demarai Grey and Jamie Vardy found the top corner from the penalty spot.

It was dire defending. Grey was going nowhere when he was sucked to the ground.

3-1

And Riyad Mahrez made the game safe in the last minute.

When he latched onto a booming over the top ball and outpaced and out thought a tired Holding.

Arsenal lost. But according to the club they were “classy in defeat and “gutsty”, too. They were unlucky to lose a player.

What says the Leicester Mercury newspaper:

…the sucker punch came in the 53rd minute when City were opened up down their left flank and Aubameyang scored the equaliser at the second attempt after Jakupovic brilliantly saved his first effort.

Ok. It’s not just Arsnaal who are biased. The save was not brilliant. The ‘keeper palmed a shot back out into open play.

Puel sent on substitute Demarai Gray with 18 minutes to go and within a minute he earned a penalty when he drew a foul from Mkhitaryan inside the box, and Vardy dispatched the spot kick into the top corner to put City back in front.

Drew a ful with his dolkey skills? No. He was in the box, had run into traffic, and then Mkhitaryan running in from behind him touched his boot. Grey went own like, well, Vardy does: quickly and dramticallty.“A very creative, imaginative aspect from the referee,” said Wenger. “It is a nice dive.” Wenger then went giddy: “The spirit is exceptional and they will play for the Premier League next season. I am convinced they will be one of the challengers.” Shut the door on the way out, mate.

To wrap a famous night for City and first win over the Gunners for 24 years, Mahrez broke free in the last minute to cap a superb display with the third.

No word on a covering player for the red card.

The London Evening Standard has its version:

After Mavropanos’ red card the back four became more of a notion than a system as time and time again the defence abandoned their most fundamental requirements, from positioning to discipline.

That had been the undoing of the young Greek centre-back, who was beaten by Iheanacho to a 50:50 and then grabbed the striker’s shirt as he hared away. Mavropanos could have no complaints when referee Graham Scott invited him to leave the pitch.

Arsenal were dire in defence. This report is fair.

And how superb were Leicester?

Arsenal had more chances to win it but their execution was sloppy. A driving run from Ramsey ended with Mkhitaryan giving the ball away too easily. Similarly Leicester’s final pass was invariably anywhere but where it needed to be.

A mistake from either defence seemed the most likely route to a third goal. It was no surprise it came from Arsenal’s. Maitland-Niles was too easily beaten by Demarai Gray. Mustafi’s clearance gave the ball straight back to the winger. Mkhitaryan left a boot hanging.

Arsenal have conceded more goals in 2017-18 than in any other Premier League season. They are woeful in defence. Arsene Wenger’s leaving. He lost his way years ago.

Posted: 9th, May 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Mahrez to Arsenal is clickbait

The BBC says Leicester forward Riyad Mahrez is “keen to join Arsenal”. The 27-year-old Algerian is on his way to the Emirates, says the Sunday Express in what it hails as a “transfer exclusive”.

 

mahrez leicester arsenal transfer

Daily Express – EXCLUSIVE

 

The story contains not a single new fact. But we do learn that “Express Sport understands” Mahrez “favours a move to Arsenal”. Apparently, Mahrez “has a house in the capital and would prefer a switch there over a move to Manchester”. So not withstanding Mahrez’s shock realisation that people live in houses in Manchester and, unlike in London, anyone on a mere £100,000-a-week can afford one, Arsenal it is, then.

Maybe. Because the Express also ‘understands’, “Tottenham and Chelsea remain alternative options”, to say nothing of West Ham, Crystal Palace and Watford, which the Express doesn’t.

Of course, this guesswork is based on previous reports linking Mahrez to Arsenal. You might have read them in the Express:

 

mahrez leicester arsenal transfer

Another Express scoop

 

Not that the Express is the only newspaper to have told us that Mahrez to Arsenal was a done deal:

 

mahrez leicester arsenal transfer

The Daily Mirror poses the story as question – but Google doesn’t recognise question marks – so the story is presented as fact to any readers searching for Mahrez, Leicester City and Arsenal news.

 

mahrez leicester arsenal transfer

Teamtalks opts for invested commas

 

mahrez leicester arsenal transfer

The Telegraph also opts for inverted commas

 

mahrez leicester arsenal transfer

The Metro

 

Mahrez to Arsenal it is, then…

Posted: 6th, May 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Mourinho’s plucky Manchester United earn point at 10-man Leicester

Heady times for Manchester United, the country’s sixth best side (source: PL table 2016-17), currently riding high in second place. Yesterday’s 2-1- draw with 2016 Premier League champions Leicester earned the Red Devils a valuable point. They should be delighted. But Jose Mourinho, the team’s manager, was shocked and dismayed. Why? Surely, like him, United’s fans are pleased with the progress being made, how he’s building a team based on youth and attractive football?

When Ryan Giggs mused, “Is Jose a typical Manchester United manager? Probably not, but United were in a situation of ‘How quickly can we get back to the top?’, we smelled sour grapes, the callow voice inexperienced in Old Trafford’s ways that cost the former player a long run as the United manager.

But Jose says he’s being short-changed. When Harry Maguire scored the equaliser for 10-man Leicester, in the fourth and final minute of stoppage time, Mourinho realised that his project were still in second place. Well,done to the plucky also-rans, you might suppose. But Mourinho laid into his players, calling them “childish in their box and childish in our box”.

Come, come, Jose. Leicester are a top side blessed with a cohort of Premier League winners. And under manager Claude Puel they reek of invention and desire. Trailing 2-1 and a man down, the Frenchman altered the line-up to a back three, brought on the never-say-day Shinji Okazaki and commanded his team forward.

“Half an hour after our second it is a game to finish four, five, six-one. We didn’t win because we missed incredible chances, joke chances,” observed Mourinho. Good job it’s nothing to do with the manager taking off United’s double-goalscorer Juan Mata with 10 minutes to play, and replacing the lively Jess Lingard with Ander Herrera in the 76 minute against a side reduced to 10 men in the 57 minute and a goal down.

Anyhow, stick with it, Jose. Free-flowing football and a commitment to entertainment and opportunity for the local youth are their own rewards.

Posted: 24th, December 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


#StayBritish – Richard Keys has sage advice for Leicester City

When Leicester City sacked Craig Shakespeare – the Foxes earned the Premier League’s seventh biggest haul of points during his 8 months as manager – former Sky Sports anchor Richard Keys took to twitter to opine:

 

 

That’s Richard Keys, the Britisher who lives in Qatar (not in Britain) where he works for Al Jazeera (owned by Qatari royalty) talking about Leicester City, the club owned a Thai billionaire, which won the Premier League title under the guidance of an Italian.

#StayBritish, indeed.

Posted: 18th, October 2017 | In: News, Sports | Comment


Media bias: Bournemouth robbed as Leicester’s Simpson tucks his hands onto his arms

When Bournemouth hosted Leicester City in the Premier League, the Cherries were hard down by when a clear handball by the Foxes’ Danny Simpson in his own area went unpunished.

The official Leicester FC website reports on that early goalmouth action:

Defoe connects with a King cross and turns his effort onto the underneath of the bar. Pugh’s follow up is deflected wide and City clear the corner.

No word on how the shot was deflected wide.

Leicester says the game’s “major moment” was Shinji Okazaki missing a good chance –  not the handball.

Over on the Bournemouth FC website, it’s a different story:

Within three minutes there was high drama. Joshua King’s low cross was directed onto the crossbar by Defoe, and as the ball rattled loose Marc Pugh’s close-range shot was deflected wide by the hand of Danny Simpson.
Pugh’s shouts for a penalty were sustained, but referee Graham Scott was unmoved in signalling for just a corner.

Let’s see if a local newspaper can give us the facts?

The Leicester Mercury reports:

The tone was set in the third minute when a sweeping move carved City open and Jermaine Defoe struck the underside of the bar form close range and Marc Pugh struck Danny Simpson’s arm with the follow-up.

As Simpson nurses his arm and #pray4Danny trends in Leicester, we see what the BBC made of it:

The home side dominated the game and will feel they should have had an early penalty when Leicester defender Danny Simpson appeared to handle inside the box.

Can you handle something with your arm? No. The Times explains:

Early on, Defoe exchanged passes with the impressive Josh King whose low cross was turned against the bar by the England striker. Marc Pugh looked certain to score from the rebound, but his effort was deflected wide by the palm of Danny Simpson.

Handball, then. Bournemouth were robbed. But not if you get your news from Leicester, in which case we wish Danny Simpson well.

Posted: 30th, September 2017 | In: Back pages, News, Sports | Comment (1)


Dramatic Arsenal winner as Premier League erupts into life

Maybe the Premier League should always begin with an Arsenal home match? Last season the Gunners kicked off with a 3-4 opening day defeat to Liverpool; yesterday Arsenal introduced the 2017-2018 season by beating Leicester City 4-3. Arsenal fans will be hoping the season ahead doesn’t follow more of the familiar late-Wenger disappointments, and that the chief executive’s promise of a “catalyst for change” isn’t just marketing guff.

The match was a thriller. With just seven minutes of normal time remaining, Arsenal were trailing 2-3. Sky Sports pundit and former Manchester United stalwart Gary Neville was delighted after Olivier Giroud’s late header gave Arsenal the win.

 

gary neville arsenal

 

And welcome to the Premier League, Alexander Lacazette, Arsenal’s record signing, whose first three touches in the title race went: kick-off, goal, kick-off.

As for any controversy in a game where defending was scarce and far from textbook – Arsenal ended the game with an unusual defence: a midfielder at right back; a right back at left left; and two left backs in the middle – the Gunners’ third goal, which tied that match 3-3, came from a corner. Should it have stood. The Leicester City website says the Foxes were robbed:

…in the 83rd minute Ramsey was left unmarked at the far post and slotted home the equaliser, although replays showed a blatant handball from Mesut Ozil in the build-up to the goal. City just don’t get the rub of the green in north London.

On the look out for media bias, what says the Arsenal website on the same goal?

Aaron Ramsey hauled us level with a firm finish from Granit Xhaka’s delightful pass

More of this until May.

Posted: 12th, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Arsenal and Riyad Mahrez in clickbait feeding frenzy

mahrez arsenal balls

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

Such are the facts.

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


Victim blaming Arsenal’s Sanchez and Manchester City’s Aguero is just about understandbale

The talk is of faking it. First Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez was accused of making too much of being hit by the ball. Sanchez was standing close to the edge of the pitch as Leicester City’s Christian Fuchs was set to throw a long one into the mixer. This upset the Leicester man, causing him to send the ball hard into the Chilean’s face. Sanchez went down in stages, as they stay, and held his face. When Sanchez finally got to his feet, the referee booked him and awarded Leicester a free kick.

 

 

Questions were asked. Why had Fuchs not been booked? Had Sanchez gone down easily? Why hadn’t he performed the classic manoeuvre favoured by nearly all top-flight footballers of holding his face and then checking the hands for signs of blood, eyeball and brain? Is someone called Fuchs more liable to produce a XXX-rated challenge on primetime telly and would he risk a similar balls-in assault on Marseille full-back Rod Fanni?

 

 

The other incident of  “letting him know you’re there” came in the Manchester derby. Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was upset that Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero had gone to ground after being headbutted by Marouane Fellaini, who was sent off for his brazen foul.

Given the impressive bounce of hair on the big Belgian’s head, you’d suppose a headbutt from him would be akin to being wrapped in cashmere towels by a flash mob of cuddlers. Mourinho thinks as much. “I didn’t watch but probably I can guess it’s a bit of a red card and that it’s a bit of a very experienced, smart Argentinian player,” he opined with customary bitchiness. “Marouane says it was a red card because he is Marouane, Martin Atkinson told me in his opinion it was a red card but I saw Aguero in the tunnel – no broken nose, no broken head, his face is as nice as always. So, I am not so sure. I think if Sergio doesn’t go to the floor, for sure it is not a red card. But if Marouane gave him the chance to do that… I don’t know.”

Fellaini hit the baths early, where we hope he took more than one bottle into the shower, possibly three or four to ensure that any future clash of heads would be softer than a Labrador’s loo roll. One wonders what would occur if the big clumsy Belgian went curls to curls with Chelsea’s spring-topped David Luiz. Some see a hideous tangle resulting in the world’s first Siamese-style twin footballers; while others go for the huge ricochet sending each man hurtling into the stands at opposite sides of the ground.

As for Sanchez and Aguero, well, you could call them innocent parties on the wrong end of victim blaming. But Sanchez was being irritating. And Aguero did make the most of it. It’s not black and white. If you are a footballer interfering with a member of the opposition’s attempts to salvage something from a match his side are behind in, the likelihood of your being smacked in the face with the ball is higher than if you had retreated. Likewise, staring up into the eyes of the man who has just committed a yellow-card worthy foul on your person seconds after he’s been carded and calling him names, raises the prospect of further mischief.

This does not remotely mitigate the guilt of the fouler, but it does place the offence in context*.

*Unless you’re Joey Barton.

This post was sponsored by Smart Bets.

Posted: 29th, April 2017 | In: Arsenal, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports | Comments (2)


Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho laments sacking of Claudio Ranieri – the man he called old and useless

How did Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho respond to news that Leicester City have sacked Claudio Ranieri, the man who just nine months ago led the Foxes to the Premier League title? Mourinho was keen to show his support for the defenestrated manager.

 

jose mourinho Ranieri

 

Not so very long ago Mourinho was deriding Ranieri as a thick, useless coffin dodger:

 

Jose Mourinho ranieri

 

Transcript:

I am very demanding of myself and I have to win to be sure of things,” he said. “This is why I have won so many trophies in my career. Ranieri on the other hand has the mentality of someone who doesn’t need to win.

“He is almost 70 years old. He has won a Super Cup and another small trophy and he is too old to change his mentality. He’s old and he hasn’t won anything. I studied Italian five hours a day for many months to ensure I could communicate with the players, media and fans. Ranieri had been in England for five years and still struggled to say ‘good morning’ and ‘good afternoon’.”

At least Jose Mourinho’s consistent in one thing: it’s always all about him.

 

Posted: 24th, February 2017 | In: Reviews | Comment


Leicester City sack Ranieri but greedy owners keep faith in lazy players

And so it came to pass that nine months after leading Leicester City to an unlikely Premier League title – the Foxes upset odds of 5,000-1 –  the club’s owners have sacked Claudio Ranieri.

Leicester have won just five matches this season. They have failed to score a league goal in 2017. So Ranieri goes because it’s cheaper to sack him than it is to get rid of the failing players. The owners care more for Premier League TV money than glory and continuity.

Leicester City vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha has issued a statement:

“This has been the most difficult decision we have had to make in nearly seven years since King Power took ownership of Leicester City. But we are duty-bound to put the club’s long-term interests above all sense of personal sentiment, no matter how strong that might be.”

A harder decision than this one: in September, Leicester City chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha put himself on the matchday programme instead of manager Claudio Ranieri. The club’s first ever home Champions League match was down to one man. Ranieri was notable by his absence. Personal sentiment does not come last at the King Power.

 

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha

 

The statement continues:

“Claudio has brought outstanding qualities to his office. His skilful management, powers of motivation and measured approach have been reflective of the rich experience we always knew he would bring to Leicester City. His warmth, charm and charisma have helped transform perceptions of the club and develop its profile on a global scale. We will forever be grateful to him for what he has helped us to achieve.”

Outstanding. Skilful. Motivating. Measured. A World leader. Transformative. SACKED!

“It was never our expectation that the extraordinary feats of last season should be replicated this season. Indeed, survival in the Premier League was our first and only target at the start of the campaign. But we are now faced with a fight to reach that objective and feel a change is necessary to maximise the opportunity presented by the final 13 games.”

You can’t but think that Ranieri’s well shot them.

But at least the Leicester City revolution continues. Last season most fans wanted them to win the title. This season we’d be pretty pleased if they were relegated.

Posted: 23rd, February 2017 | In: Sports | Comment


Media balls: ‘disgraceful’ referee saves Leicester and robs Middlesbrough with ‘stonewall’ penalty

Media Balls: a look at biased football reporting. Today Leicester City took on Middlesbrough in the Premier League. Leicester got a penalty. Should it have been given?

BBC: “A high ball is pumped into the box and catches the hand of Calum Chambers. Referee Lee Mason points to the spot. The Boro defender probably feels a little aggrived [sic] given he looked to be fouled by Wes Morgan.”

Lucky Leicester. It was ever so.

 

Leicester City penalties

 

Sky: “Chambers is having a poor few minutes as he leaps with his hands in the air and the ball hits him. It’s stonewall and after a quick check with the linesman, the referee points the spot. Mahrez is over it…”

Stonewall penalty.

The Sun: “Morgan clearly shoves Chambers into the ball but incredibly Lee Mason points to the spot. It’s another refereeing howler!”

Stone me! Penalty?

 

the sun leciester city

 

Hard luck, Calum Chambers.

Leicester Mercury: “Surprisingly, no second yellow for defender Chambers for his handball despite having been booked just minutes earlier for a foul on Vardy.”

Lucky, Calum Chambers.

Middlesbrough Gazette:

Was it a penalty?

Yes, it hit the arm of Calum Chambers.

But the considerable weight of Wes Morgan had a considerable part to play in that.

The defender was all over Chambers and made his presence felt…

The Gazette then quotes an expert:

 

middlesbrough Leicester

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 26th, November 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Leicester City want Deeney to replace Arsenal target Vardy

Following news that Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy will reject any move to Arsenal comes news that The Foxes are readying a £30m bid for Watford Troy Deeney. Leicester have already seen a £25m bid for Deeny rejected.

At £30m Watford captain Deeney – 13 goals last season, including six penalties (Guardian); 15 goals (Mail) – would become the third most expensive English player ever, behind Andy Carroll and Raheem Sterling.

The Mail says Watford will not sell Deeny at any price – which is, er, why they are looking to buy Granada forward Isaac Success.

The Mirror says Watford will sell – maybe: “If Leicester want to sign Troy Deeney from Watford, a bid of about £100million should do it.”

Mike Walters writes:

Whatever the champions may think Troy Deeney is worth, they will never, ever match the value Watford fans put on their captain – because it cannot be expressed in £ sterling or any other monetary currency.

The Telegraph says £30m is a “staggering” sum for Deeney, who “has expressed a desire to speak to Leicester”.

Why would Leicester want Deeny so badly? Well “Sky sources” say Vardy could still go to Arsenal.

Jamie Vardy is yet to make up his mind about a summer move to Arsenal, and could still go to the Emirates, Sky sources understand.

Vardy’s going to Arsenal, isn’t he?

Posted: 22nd, June 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment (1)


Jamie Vardy Watch: ‘Snubs’ Arsenal, ‘stuns Wenger’, says nothing

vardy snubs arsenal

 

“VARDY SNUBS GUNNERS,” declares the Daily Star. Can it be that Jamie Vardy has gone back on his verbal agreement to join Arsenal?  Jeremy Cross says he will: “Jamie Vardy will snub a £20m move to Arsenal.”

How Cross knows this is unsaid. Readers are just expected to take it as fact. But Vardy has said nothing in public. He has not signed for Arsenal, which means he remains a Leicester City player.

The Sun says “Vardy is a stop Gun”. Charlie Wyett says Vardy will decide on his future after Euro 2016. We’re told that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was “stunned when Vardy did not  immediately jump at the move”. Well, if Wenget gets his news in the Sun he must be surprised with Vardy’s circumspection. The Sun told everyone Vardy had his Arsenal medical last weekend and would agree to join Arsenal before the England team flew to France. They flew. Vardy said nothing.

In the Mirror, Vardy has “delayed” his decision to stay or leave Leicester. Vardy wants to “focus on England”. John Cross says Arenal must decide whether to wait for Vardy or go for another striker. Why wold they? The Mirror said Vardy’s agent approached Arsenal. But the Express agrees, writing that Arsenal will look at “alternative targets”. The paper says the Gunners are in a “sweat”. Why would they be? They made an offer. If the offer is not enough they will either offer an improved offer of look elsewhere.

Vardy will either earn more cash at Leiecester with an improved deal, or more cash at Arsenal with a big signing-on fee.

There are problems – and then there are Premier League problems.

Posted: 8th, June 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Arsenal transfer balls: desperate Wenger buys Leicester glory

Anyone want to play for Leicester City? As news of Jamie Vardy’s apparently imminent departure to Arsenal fills the news media, the Sun says the Gunners are also keen on Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez.

Vardy has taken his medical at Arsenal, and, one assumes, passed it. It’s not known what the Arsenal medical involves but given their annual injury crisis, it could amount to a man in a white jacket asking he player, “How’s things?” as he rubber stamps the health insurance certificates.

The Sun’s exclusive contains not a single source, quote nor fact to support it.

Over at ESPN, the news is that Mahrez is not an Arsenal priority. The headline states:

Arsenal prioritise Henrikh Mkhitaryan over Riyad Mahrez

Readers are told that “signing Borussia Dortmund’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan is Araenalk’s priority this summer”. Again, readers get no facts. 

Meanwhile, Anorak readers can recalls the Sun’s report from February 2016. The headline ran: “Arsene Wenger reveals he rejected chance to bring Riyad Mahrez to Arsenal because he thought Leicester sensation was too CHEAP.” Mahrez joined Leicester for £400,000.

“We live in a strange society. If I sign a player for £400,000 before he plays people will say, ‘What is that, that is not serious for Arsenal’. If you say we signed a player for £40million they will think he is really good.”

As Wenger treats fans as fools unable to know a good player when they see one, we remind him that Lionel Messi cost Barcelona nothing in transfer fees. And the Barcelona fans are largely happy with his efforts. Every player was cheaper at one point in their careers and looking for a big break. The difference now is that with Wenger towards the end of his career, he’s desperate to win the title and will pay to do so.

Posted: 6th, June 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comments (2)


Transfer Balls: Vardy keeps Arsenal and Leicester waiting for the inevitable

Transfer balls: Has Jamie Vardy told Arsenal he is joining them? The Sun said Vardy told the Gunners of his decision before 11:30am this morning, when he and the rest of the England squad jetted off to France for the Euros.

Why he needed to make his move before the flight left is moot point. surely in France there are mobile phones?

 

Jamie Vardy the sun arsenal

 

The Mail says Vardy never did make the call, declaring: “Jamie Vardy jets off to Euros while still thinking over £20m move to Arsenal as Leicester try to keep star striker.”

Is it all PR, making Vardy look torn? After all, the Mirror claims Vardy’s agent instigated talks with Arsenal. The Mail notes:

Vardy, travelling with England, is not believed to have put a time limit on when he will make a final call and any announcement may take longer than another 24 hours.

The Leicester Mercury adds:

Mercury sources have stated there is no decision imminent as the player has much to contemplate.

After all, the Mail did report:

Leicester hero Jamie Vardy commits future to Premier League champions as he looks forward to competing in Champions League

Surely he’s already made his mind up.  More money in his weekly wage packet plus a huge signing-on fee and life in London with Arsenal.

 

Posted: 6th, June 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comment (1)


Leicester players mistake Ranieri for Manchester United hair dryer Alex Ferguson

The Daily Mail’s Martin Samuel has a statement and a question for Manchester United and Leicester City fans:

alex ferguson champgne head

 

Is it something to do with Fergie’s famous hair dryer?

 

alex ferguson champgne hea

 

No. Was it a case of mistaken identity, Martin?

Posted: 9th, May 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Watch West Ham United and Leicester play the Jon Moss penalty lottery

Leicester City drew 2-2 with West Ham and all eyes are on the referee. See if you can work out which of these moment resulted in a penalty kick (Leicester 11th this season!) and which resulted in a second yellow card for diving:

1. Jeff Schlupp v Andy Carroll:

2. Jamie Vardy v Angelo Ogbonna:

Referee Jon Moss says: 1 was a dive; 2 was a clear foul.

Posted: 17th, April 2016 | In: Sports | Comment


Harry Redknapp: ‘I’m amazed Leicester City’s Jamaican international Morgan hasn’t been picked for England’

Harry Redknapp has words to the wise in this Daily Telegraph column. The former Spurs manager has noticed Leicester City’s Wes Morgan is a top-top-top-top-top-top player. So good is Wes that Redface tips him to be a future England player. He’s agog and aghast that current England manger Roy Hodgson hasn’t even picked him for a friendly.

One thing, Harry Redknobb: Morgan has 25 caps for Jamaica since his debut in September of 2013.

 

wes morgan redknapp

 

Posted: 5th, April 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports | Comment


Call of Duty turns Jamie Vardy into a ticking timebomb

call of duty 2

 

Big news in the Daily Mail that Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy is “gunning down rivals” by playing Call of Duty on his PlayStation.

Those rivals had best watch out. The Daily Mail told us Call of Duty turns you into a murderer – maybe:

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 13.41.40

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 13.46.55

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 13.47.05

 

 

He shoots! He shoot! He keeps on shooting until the game is over and his wife call him down for dinner…

 

Posted: 7th, March 2016 | In: Back pages, Key Posts, Reviews, Sports, Tabloids, Technology | Comment


Transfer news: Newcastle fan tosses his shirt in Jamie Vardy’s garden

Transfer news now, and with it the story of the Newcastle United fan baiting Leicester City wonder striker Jamie Vardy. The Magpies fan has attempted to seduce Vardy from high-flying Leicester to struggling Newcastle by tossing his replica shit into the player’s back garden.

Vardy’s bemused girlfriend tweeted a photo of the shirt draped in the shrubbery.

 

Vardy shirt newcastle fan

 

If you see a topless Newcastle United fan, ask him why he did it? On second thoughts, don’t bother. Going topless is the default Newcastle fan’s look.

 

 

Posted: 6th, January 2016 | In: Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Chelsea go for Vardy

vardyTransfer balls: The Telegraph lead with news that Chelsea and Manchester City are each to offer £30m for Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy. This is one of those stories that just annoys football fans. Leicester are a joy. They are the season’s surprise package,  reminding us that the hyped Premier League is not all about money and vanity.

It’s sport.

Anyone who love competition should hope Vardy stays at Leicester. If he heads to the City global brand or money-mad Chelsea, Leicester are weakened. City won’t even have to play him to have got one over on top-of-the-table Leicester. Chelsea will chew him up and spit him out.

Matt Law says Leicester City will fight to retain their centre-forward. One way way to do that: pay he player more money. Vardy’s on £40,000-a-week. City and Chelsea would pay him much more. Leicester need to act fast.

Posted: 23rd, December 2015 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Manchester City, Sports | Comment


The Sun takes on Leicester City – and loses

A few words from The Sun’s Charlie Wyett, who has noticed that Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City are top of the Premier League. Can they win the thing?

Writes Wyett:

Ranieri continues to build something special in a different part of England. It is proving to be one of the truly great Premier League stories.

 

Or as he put it before a ball was kicked:

Charlie Wyett

 

Spotter: WAATP

Posted: 15th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comments (2)


Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy gets the Hollywood movie treatment

vardy the sun

 

Jamie Vardy, Leicester City’s can’t-stop-scoring striker, is to star in a Hollywood film, says the Sun. Well, not him, but an actor playing the 28-year-old footballer.

And who might that actor be? Well, the Sun lines up Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and Zac Efron.

To which the first question is: has anyone in Hollywood seen Jamie Vardy?

And then the season question: is Vardy’s catchphrase ‘Chat Shit Get Banged’ a working title?

 

Posted: 30th, November 2015 | In: Celebrities, Reviews, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: rubbish Leicester City’s Vardy passes Manchester United and Chelsea test

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28: A message to congratulate Jamie Vardy of Leicester City on the new Premier League record of scoring 11 consecutive games is displayed at the screen after the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Manchester United at The King Power Stadium on November 28, 2015 in Leicester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Vardy passes his United audition

Transfer balls: Leicester City have “slapped” a £30 million price tag on Jamie Vardy to “ward off interest from Chelsea and Manchester United”.

Because nothing wards off interest from two mega-rich clubs better than by offering them a price tag to consider.

The Telegraph continues its “exclusive” by stating that Vardy’s incredible goalscoring streak – he’s now scored in 11 consecutive Premier League matches – “has attracted the attention of Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo, while United manager Louis van Gaal has not ruled out a move for the 28-year-old.”

He’s some talent spotter that Emenalo, noticing that Vardy is playing superbly. And good of Van Gaal to patronise another side’s player.

We then get some facts:

…with two-and-a-half years remaining on his £40,000-a-week contract, Leicester are in a strong position to hold out for huge money for Vardy, particularly with the shortage of in-form strikers who qualify as home-grown and are free to play in the Champions League.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 29th, November 2015 | In: Sports | Comment


Why Leicester City gave Nigel Pearson the bird

pearson sacked ostrichWhy was Nigel Pearson sacked from his job as manager of Leicester City?

The Sun says the club’s Thai owners “showed him the door over the fallout at the axing of his son”.

They decided to act after booting out James Pearson and two other players last month for making a racist sex tape during a club tour to Thailand.

Is it fair that Pearson should pay for the sins of his ignorant son?

Rory Smith notes:

The man who guided Leicester City to what may be the greatest of the Barclays Premier League’s great escapes might have felt that his remarkable recovery had made him bullet-proof.

Leicester supporters’ club chairman Cliff Ginetta says:

“I’m very shocked. The club are not happy with the way he ran the trip to Thailand.”

Pearson has some form. Last season he took hold of Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur by the throat. He’d allegedly told a fan to “f*** off and die”. Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha sacked him. Then his son Aiyawatt reversed that descions. Pearson was back.

He then did something remarkably stupid and bizarre. Pearson attacked journalist Ian Baker for being an “ostrich” after Leicester’s 3-1 home defeat to Chelsea. At a press confernce Baker had upset Pearson by asking the manager to expand on his own comments that the media were less than supportive of the team. Pearson gave Baker the bird:

Pearson: Are you flexible enough to get your head in the sand? My suspicion would be no.
Baker: Probably not.
Pearson: I can. You can’t. You can’t.

As Giles Smith quipped:

A complex piece of points scoring here by Pearson. Not only was the reporter an ostrich, he wasn’t even flexible enough to be an ostrich. Whereas Pearson wasn’t an ostrich, but at least he was flexible enough to be one.

But Pearson wasn’t sacked for being a one-man Bernie Clifton tribute act. Well, so says the BBC:

BBC Sport’s Pat Murphy has learned the 51-year-old’s sacking was “definitely not a football issue”. Murphy said the Thai owners acted because they were concerned about damage to the club’s reputation, while a Leicester statement said the relationship between Pearson and the board was “no longer viable”.

Says Murphy:

“There is no doubt that the image and the reputation of the club in their homeland of Thailand has been damaged by the behaviour of, among others, the manager’s son James on the ‘goodwill’ tour to Thailand.”

Murphy is not exactly best pals with Pearson. After the ostrich horrorshow, Murphy went to a Leicester City press conference and berated Pearson, who came over as chippy and not at all flexible (via).

PM: Nigel, why can’t you be more specific about the criticisms of your players from the media when on behalf of the media of the Midlands we are a bit baffled by that because we think we have been very supportive of the players this season?

NP: Do you? Okay, that is your opinion.

PM: Can you give us a specific example of the disagreement?

NP: No, I don’t feel I want to get into that sort of an argument with you.

PM: You are generalising about us…

NP: And you generalise about me! There you are.

PM: But I am giving you specific examples, I know how supportive the media have been.

NP: Do you?

PM: Yes, having spoken to a lot of the media this season I can’t get this at all that we are after you.

NP: I didn’t say you were. I said there had been criticisms and I will stick up for my players, and always will.

PM: There will always be elements of criticism when you have been bottom of the league for a certain amount of time, but many, many people have been saying you have been unlucky, that things have not gone your way.

NP: I think you are looking at your side of the argument through rose tinted glasses. That is something that I am not going to get into a discussion with you about today.

PM: It takes two to tango.

NP: It does indeed.

PM: You had a go at one of our reporters in my opinion unfairly.

NP: Well there you are. I think we have come in for some criticism and so have I when I think it is unfair. So there we are.

PM: Surely it comes with the territory?

NP: Well there you are then. Absolutely.

PM: When did it dawn on you to apologise? How soon after did you think, ‘ooh I was out of order there’?

NP: Again, I don’t think that is something I need to answer. I have apologised and I would, had it been a more private thing, I would have apologised one to one, but when it has been in the public domain, the public eye I think it is right to do it the way I have done it, and that is all there is to it.

PM: Did you speak to the owners at any stage?

NP: No.

PM: So it was your decision?

NP: Yes.

PM: There is a bit of a charge sheet developing here this season is there not?

NP: Possibly. Is that why you are here?

PM: One of the reasons I am here today is because every week you won’t do the type of press conference that other Premier League clubs do. If you did do it so it was in different sections then I would be here more often. I don’t see why I have to justify why I am here Nigel.

NP: Fine.

PM: The question stands…

NP: And I don’t see why I have to continue to take your one-sided view of this argument.

PM: You put it in the public domain.

NP: Absolutely, yes, I have.

PM: So the charge sheet, does that not bother you?

NP: Not particularly, no.

PM: You must sit back here and think ‘ooh, I have got a few things wrong this season in public or dealing with supporters etc. It is the worst charge sheet of any Premier League manager so far this season in terms of that kind of behaviour.

NP: Okay.

PM: You are in danger of appearing a bully.

NP: Am I?

PM: Yes. And paranoid.

NP: Paranoid? Okay. Anything else?

PM: Well, someone has to tell you.

NP: Okay, you are telling me?

PM: Hasn’t anyone ever told you that before? Has no one ever taken you to one side and said ‘Nigel, I think you are out of order here’?

NP: If they have then that is my business.

PM: Leicester have got such a good reputation recently in particular. So many people say what a great fightback this is. You could have been Manager of the Month. You still might be Manager of the Month.

NP: I don’t see what the point is. What is your point with that? Are you suggesting my job is to pander to your requirements?

PM: Of course not. What I will say to you is that the football world gets a lot of money from via media these days and gives you a very comfortable living, and you could treat them with a little more respect. Disagree with them by all means. Okay, you have apologised now but it has panned out into a big story, it didn’t need to be a big story. It is a 24/7 story all over 24 hours okay. It is all your doing.

NP: Okay. You have obviously been sent here to put your industry’s case forward.

PM: I don’t think I need to justify my motives but when a fellow reporter gets unfairly criticised byt a manager I will defend that reporter, that is instinct.

NP: Fine, and you are doing.

PM: Just as you would defend a fellow manager.

NP: And I will absolutely always support my players.

PM: I just think you are affecting the reputation of Leicester City by your conduct off the field.

NP: Do you? Okay.

You can’t rule out the role of media is ending Pearson’s Leicester City career. Not that the official club statement mentions any specifics:

“The board of directors recognises the success Nigel has helped to bring to Leicester City during his two spells in charge of the club, particularly during the last three and a half years. However, it has become clear to the club that fundamental differences in perspective exist between us. Regrettably, the club believes that the working relationship between Nigel and the Board is no longer viable.

“Leicester City’s owners, Vichai and Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, and the board of directors would like to place on record their thanks to Nigel for the considerable contribution he has made during his time with the club and wish him well in future.”

No longer viable. Ouch!

Posted: 1st, July 2015 | In: Reviews, Sports | Comment


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