Anorak News | Hen Pecked

Hen Pecked

by | 8th, November 2004

‘ANOTHER day, another draw and another whinge from Alex Ferguson – it’s amazing what passes for news at the back end of the papers.

Paula with garnish

The fact that the Manchester United manager has finally admitted what everyone has known for weeks – that his side are not good enough to challenge for the title – is hardly fascinating stuff.

The fact that Paula Radcliffe finished a race, on the other hand, is.

The woman who broke down in tears during the Olympic marathon bounced back with victory in the New York marathon, 77 days after her humiliation in Greece.

The Express says she “showed all her familiar determination and courage” to beat her friend, Kenyan Susan Chepkemei, by four seconds.

“I was a little silly,” she said afterwards. “I went out for a meal the night before the race, the spaghetti bolognese I had was cold, I asked for the dish to be reheated and shouldn’t have done.

“I couldn’t sleep that night because of indigestion and about 23 miles into the race I was feeling very sick.”

But while that allows the Express to talk about a “gutsy” run, it is football that is once again responsible for the worst of today’s puns.

The Star, for instance, headlines its story about Newcastle’s 4-1 home defeat by Fulham with the words “Chopped Souey”, a reference to manager Graeme Souness being sent off.

But it’s another Graham – referee Graham Poll – who dominates the back pages.

“Poll-Axed” is the Mirror’s headline after Alex Ferguson complained that a Manchester United player would need to be “hit by an axe” to win a penalty.

Anyone who saw the penalty they were awarded against Arsenal may be forgiven for thinking that Ferguson was mistaking an axe for a feather.

Poll may be a poor referee, but his name is the toast of lazy sub-editors up and down the country.

And shame on the Express for its effort this morning, “Poll Taxes High-Earners But He Was Usually Right”.

The Sun eschews such easy pickings for the abominable “A Bridge Too Fer” – a reference we imagine to Ferguson’s admission that Chelsea’s lead of 11 points is too much to make up.

But inside it reports that Michael Owen, whose Real Madrid career we were told only a few weeks ago was over, scored his fifth goal in six games yesterday.

The 24-year-old hit the target only seven minutes after coming on as sub to seal a 2-0 victory over Malaga and take his side up to second in La Liga.

There is nothing guaranteed to annoy journalists more than being told they don’t know what they’re doing.

And the Mail is just the latest paper to react badly to Tim Henman’s “outrageous outburst” about British hacks being the worst in the world.

Henman complained in a Swiss magazine that most tennis journos in the UK knew nothing about the game.

Nothing could be further from the truth – they know that the tennis season lasts for two weeks every year and that, for 10 days of those two weeks, they must pretend that it “could be Tim’s year” this year…’

Posted: 8th, November 2004 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink