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Back pages | Anorak - Part 29

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Premier League news. Stories from the newspapers and BBC sport – sports news from tabloids Daily Mail, Daily Express, Daily Star, the Guardian, Daily Mirror, the times, daily telegraph

Media Balls: Chelsea benefit from ‘stunning’ ‘poor pass’ to beat Watford

Media Watch: a look at monocular football reporting. In today’s match we look at biased views on Watford’s home defeat to Chelsea. The game eded 1-2.

THE WINNING GOAL

Watford Observer:

The difference was to be two mistakes. Heurelho Gomes let a Eden Hazard shot squirm away from his body which substitute Michhy Batshuayi pounced on for the equaliser and with three minutes of normal time remaining, a poor pass from Adlene Guedioura was seized on by Cesc Fabregas and within seconds Diego Costa had netted the winner.

A poor pass and a mistake led to the second Chelsea goal, says the Watford local newspaper.

Chelsea FC website:

Fabregas was the instigator, winning possession on the edge of his own box and instantly threading a beautiful, bending pass that sent Diego Costa racing clear. The striker kept his cool as he bore down on goal, slipping his shot under Gomes and putting the Blues ahead very late on. He was quick to thank Cesc for the stunning through ball.

A great pass and cool led to the second Chelsea goal, says the Chelsea FC website.

THE NEW PLAYERS

The Times:

Yet, as if they were Hertfordshire’s most ardent Trotskyists, Watford exist in a state of permanent revolution and yet more change is afoot: before kick-off new arrivals Younes Kaboul and the Argentine winger Roberto Pereyra were paraded to muted delight.

Watford Observer:

An already upbeat atmosphere was lifted when new signings Roberto Pereyra and Younes Kaboul were paraded on the pitch before kick-off

Such are the facts.

Posted: 20th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, Reviews, Sports | Comment


Ashley Cole will ‘snub’ Arsenal to help Chelsea kids understand greed

The Evening Standard reports that LA Galaxy defender Ashley Cole, 35, “says he wants to work for Chelsea after his playing career is over rather than Arsenal.”

It would take a touch of lunacy for Arsenal to offer Cole a job, presumably one tutoring young players in the way of modern football. As he says:

“I enjoy scouting, watching the young lads come through. I have done a little for my agent, but I’d like to do something a bit more serious. I’d love to go back to work at Chelsea somewhere, somehow.”

It was Cole, of course, who provided the words that more than any others sum up the greed rife in modern football. In My Defence, Cole wrote:

“Ash! Are you listening?” said a virtually hyperventilating Jonathan [his agent]. “I’m here in the office and David Dein is saying they aren’t going to give you £60k a week. They’ve agreed £55k and this is their best and final offer. Are you happy with that?”

When I heard Jonathan repeat the figure of £55k, I nearly swerved off the road. “He is taking the piss, Jonathan!” I yelled down the phone. I was so incensed. I was trembling with anger. I couldn’t believe what I’d heard.”

All yours, Chelsea. (Best to sort of Ashley’s fee first, though.)

 

Posted: 20th, August 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment (1)


Transfer balls: Lukaku wants Chelsea, commits to Everton, goes nowhere

Transfer balls: The BBC says Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, 23, “will turn down Chelsea to stay at Goodison Park for at least another season”.

The BBC claim links to the Daily Mirror, which is adamant:

Romelu Lukaku is staying with Everton… The news is a massive boost for new boss Koeman.

All good news, then, for Everton fans. Much better than when the Mirror told them:

29 Jul 2016 – “Chelsea closing on transfer of Everton’s Romelu Lukaku as Toffees accept the striker wants Stamford Bridge return.”

27 June 2016 – “Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Romelu Lukaku wants Gunners move – but is the price too high?”

 

mirror lukaku everton

 

And:

Chelsea have had a £57million bid for Romelu Lukaku rejected by Everton – but are confident of agreeing a deal to re-sign him this summer. The two clubs are haggling over a fee, with the Toffees holding out for a club-record £75million. But they have finally accepted the 23-year-old striker is determined to rejoin the club they bought him off two years ago.

All wrong. Lukaku is a Toffee.

But hold on. The BBC has more news:

But Koeman has admitted that he is preparing a Plan B, in case the Belgium forward leaves the club.

That story links to the Daily Mail, which says:

Everton are planning for life without Romelu Lukaku in the eventuality their striker departs this month. Chelsea are heavily interested in the 23-year-old and Ronald Koeman has targets lined up should they bow to a mega offer, as with John Stones and Manchester City.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 20th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Reviews, Sports | Comment


Arsenal balls: José Giménez and Shkodran Mustafi are just stop-gaps in a steady decline

That Arsenal are looking fore a centre-back is daily news in the Press. Arsène Wenger’s side have been talking with Atlético Madrid over Uruguayan stopper José Giménez.

Is he the man to full the voice caused by long-term injuries to Gabriel and Per Mertesacker? Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi was supposed to arrive at the Emirates this week. But there has been no sighting of the German international.

Although the Telegraph says: “Shkodran Mustafi to have medical on Monday after £29.5m fee agreed.” It also says former Manchester United player Jonny Evans is “free to make Emirates move”. Why would Arsenal want him?

They need something fast. Arsenal look soft. The opening-day defeat against Liverpool showed that the Gunners are no longer a tough act.

Richard Williams sees a bigger problem:

Wenger’s past decade has also demonstrated that, in football at least, good husbandry can be an overrated virtue. Arsenal built a 60,000‑seat home at a cost of £390m. But where once they had a proper football ground, vibrant with history and designed to allow the fans’ passion to influence the mood of a match, now they have an elegant bowl where the emotions are easily disengaged and the most familiar one is dissatisfaction.

Says Wenger:

“If Mertesacker and Gabriel had not been injured in pre-season, we would have been less under pressure to sign a defender but once you are under pressure everybody knows you are, so it makes you weaker. We have been in the market a long time but, if you look around in Europe, all my friends I call are all looking for centre-backs but they cannot find them.

“That is why we also buy young centre-backs to develop, because when you have one or two of the quality to make it to the top it is fantastic because it is a position that is difficult to find, especially at the big clubs.”

True enough, Calum Chambers and Rob Holding, who partnered so ineffectively in Arsenal’s opening-day defeat to a pretty ordinary Liverpool side, point to the future. But neither look like win-hungry tough nuts in the mould of Tony Adams, Martin Keown or Steve Bould.

Only one game into the season and Arsenal look like disappointing all over again.

Posted: 19th, August 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Reviews, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Manchester City offload Joe Hart to Everton by loan and sale

What news of Manchester City’s ranting goalkeeper Joe Hart?

The BBC says Hart will “join Everton on loan”.

The Daily Mirror agrees that Hart will leave on loans because Manchester City have are buying Claudio Bravo, 33, from Barcelona for £17.4m.

But the Sun says Manchester City are “refusing to let England goalkeeper Joe Hart leave on loan”. They want him gone for good.

Or as the Richmond and Twickenham Times‎ puts it: “Joe Hart’s Manchester City future remains unclear.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 19th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, Reviews, Sports | Comment


Take Hart: Manchester City given lesson in ‘common human decency’ by Joey Baton

When not shouting like the loon on the night bus, Joe Hart is letting in goals for England. Manchester City have seen enough, and are looking to offload the goalkeeper. The Mirror says Hart has told City teammates he will leave before the current transfer window shuts.

 

hart joe disgusting

 

On Talksport, former City player Joey Barton says City’s treatment of Hart is “disgusting”. In the pantheon of disgusting behaviour, telling an overpaid footballer prone to clangers he is no longer first choice for his club is not disgusting. It’s sport. Disgusting might be, of instance, stubbing a lit cigar into the eye of young team-mate Jamie Tandy (as Barton did in 2004, when he was on City’s books), exacting common assault and affray in Liverpool city centre (Barton was jailed for his crimes in 2008), and assaulting Ousmane Dabo during a training match row in which the other player was knocked unconscious and punched repeatedly while on the ground (yep, Barton did that).

Says Barton:

“It is not the club I left. The club I left and watch now are two totally different organisations. The club I played for wouldn’t have treated a player that has been a servant for as long as Joe has in the manner that it has. It is disgusting.

“He is a full international, somebody who, probably before City took the money, could have gone on to bigger and better things himself but stayed and wanted to be at City.

“I don’t see what he has done wrong to be treated the way he has. His attitude isn’t terrible. I don’t like this.

“It is common human decency, regardless of how good a coach you are. Why treat him like that?”

If Manchester City are taking lessons in common decency from Joey Barton, they really are in trouble.

 

Posted: 18th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, Reviews, Sports | Comment


Arsenal fan signs Riyad Marhez because he read it in the Metro

Modern football fans are in crisis. Get a load of the Arsenal fan who bought a replicate top and had the name “MAHREZ” stuck across the back. That’s Leicester City player Riyad Mahrez, who still plays for the Premier League champions.

 

mahrez

 

The Metro says, “Asad Balal, a long-suffering Gooner, was clearly confident that Arsene Wenger would swoop in to bring the Le Havre winger to the Emirates and even claimed to have inside information on the Algerian’s move to north London.”

Balal knew nothing, which makes him a good candidate for a career in journalism – at the Metro:

 

Mahrez arsenal

 

 

Unabashed by it own dire prediction and reporting, the Metro mocks Balal:

However, Balal was forced into an embarassing [sic] backtrack today after Mahrez signed a new four-year deal with the Foxes and he quickly took to Twitter to jokingly put his Arsenal no.26 shirt up for sale before deleting the tweet and saying he’s sending the shirt to a charity shop.

Embarrassing stuff all round.

PS – buying players is not the same thing as buying players for form a team. The modern fans’ desperation for big-money signings is pathetic.

Posted: 18th, August 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Reviews, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: pig-headed Chelsea reserve Cesc Fabregas want Real Madrid move

Transfer balls: what news of Cesc Fabregas, the former Arsenal captain who left for his beloved Barcelona and now warms the bench at Chelsea? The Daily Express has some, reporting on August 15:

Chelsea have offered star [Fabregas] to Real Madrid

The Mirror confirmed the news:

 

fabregas barcelona

 

One day one and the Sun added:

Chelsea transfer news: Cesc Fabregas wants Real Madrid move and has contacted Florentino Perez

Blimey! Can a the former Barcelona player, a local boy done good, really join the Catalan club’s arch rivals? Have the pig’s heads on order.

No. Wait a moment. The Sun has more news. One day on from the scoop that Cesc wants Real, we read:

Chelsea transfer news: Cesc Fabregas will stay and fight for his Blues starting spot despite being dropped in favour of N’Golo Kante. Blues sources told SunSport Fabregas is NOT seeking a move away from Stamford Bridge and that it is highly unlikely he will leave this summer.”

Not quite, says the Star:

Cesc Fabregas is set to stay at Chelsea after being snubbed by Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 17th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Reviews, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Shkodran Mustafi arrived at Arsenal yesterday after no bid was made

Transfer balls: Are Arsenal set to sign a new defender? Given the Gunners’ season debut against Liverpool, you’d think hiring another four would be ideal. But the Mil says one is enough, reporting: “Arsenal to sign Shkodran Mustafi for £30m from Valencia on five-year deal in next 48 hours.”

That was published on August 12:

Arsenal to sign Shkodran

 

More than 48 hours later, the Mail reported:

As Arsenal haggle over £30m fee for Shkodran Mustafi… will he join Luis Suarez, Gonzalo Higuain and Co on list of stars Arsene Wenger missed?

 

Arsenal

 

In other words, the Mail was utterly wrong.

Today’s Express adds: “Arsenal have not yet bid for Valencia star Shkodran Mustafi.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 17th, August 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Reviews, Sports | Comment


One Watch: Manchester United’s Mourinho gets another one

One Watch: a look at mentions of Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho being a ‘One’.

The Sun tells readers:

Jose Mourinho confessed he became the ‘Nervous One’ before winning his first Premier League game in charge of Manchester United

Add it to the list.

Posted: 16th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Liverpool and Martin Odegaard in BBC clickbait scoop

Transfer balls: Liverpool and West Ham are looking to sign Martin Odegaard. Well, so says the BBC.

Martin Odegaard

 

The BBC adds:

“Liverpool could sign 17-year-old Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard but West Ham are also interested in the Norwegian”

The Telegraph piles in.

Liverpool transfer news and rumours: “Real Madrid to make decision on Martin Odegaard in 48 hours” with Jurgen Klopp in pole position to take 17-year-old on loan

The paper cites a source “close to Real Madrid” who spoke with Ouest France:

“There are a dozen offers on the table, including of a club from Liga, plus the English from West Ham and Liverpool, German clubs (Leverkusen, Hamburg) and Ajax Amsterdam. In recent hours, Stade Rennais showed up and are well positioned. Initially, Martin preferred Germany, but Zidane will choose…”

How does that translate to Liverpool being in pole position to take the teenager? The Telegraph is talking balls. Indeed, the Mirror reports: “Liverpool dealt blow as Martin Odegaard nears Rennes loan switch.”

The BBC is state funded. Why it opts for clickbait is lamentable.

Posted: 15th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports | Comment


Arsenal balls: Mustafi agrees, Mathieu eyed and Wenger wants more of the sale old

Transfer balls: A few days ago, the Express reported that “VALENCIA have already earmarked two candidates to replace Arsenal-bound Shkodran “. The paper talk is of Arsenal being in a state of “crisis”. The club’s three first-choice centre-backs are out for the start of the season. The Indy agrees that Arsene Wenger has found his saviour, reporting yesterday: “Arsene Wenger to complete £28m deal for Shkodran Mustafi next week.”

The Telegraph says Mustafi has “agreed to sign a five-year deal at the Emirates stadium”.

All agreed, then? No. ESPN says today: “Arsenal could turn to Jeremy Mathieu should Shkodran Mustafi deal collapse.” The Sun says that Arsenal could hire Barcelona’s Mathieu to “solve their problems”.

The problem is that when the trio of crocks are fit, buying Mustafi, a German international, will give Arsenal six first-class central defenders, the others being: Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, Per Mertesacker,  Gabriel Paulista and Laurent Koscielny. And then there are fullbacks Nacho Monreal and Mathieu Debuchy ready to “solve their early-season central defensive crisis” (Mirror).

Just eight first-team players, then, who can play at centre back for Arsenal. Although, according to Il Tempo, Debuchy is on his way to AS Roma.

“It is very challenging but it is as well an opportunity,” Wenger says of the injuries. “All the players, no matter how big they are, they started at some stage [intending] to play at the top level. And top-level sport is about grabbing opportunities. When you get it, you have to be ready.”

So no news players? He tells the Guardian:

“If you want to make everybody happy, then just buy 20 new players and everybody is full of hope until the first game starts and then we’re back to reality… Vibrancy doesn’t make you win games. What makes you win games is the quality of the performance and the quality of your football. You have to focus just on that. It is very difficult in the modern game. There is always demand for new – but new is just new. After six months it’s not new anymore. If every time you don’t win you throw everything out, it is not the best way to win.”

One problem, of course, is that every time Arsenal don’t win they throw nothing out.

Posted: 14th, August 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Rio 2016: The anti-Semitic Games?

Israel’s Jewish athletes are being shunned at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro. Is it anti-Semitism?

Beaten by Israeli fighter Or Sasson in the judo, Egypt’s Islam el-Shehaby refused to shake his Israeli opponent’s hand. He looked like a bad sport, and in a sports arena that’s no good thing.

Reports claim El-Shehaby is an idealist unable to separate sports from race, religion and politics, rather than a sore loser. The NYPost claims El-Shabby (sic) was under pressure from Islamists to refuse to fight Sasson. The Daily Mail provides an example. “My son watch out, don’t be fooled, or fool yourself thinking you will play with the Israeli athlete to defeat him and make Egypt happy,” said the host of an Egyptian TV station. “Egypt will cry. Egypt will be sad and you will be seen as a traitor and a normalizer in the eyes of your people.”

The International Judo Federation’s Nicolas Messner says“This is already a big improvement that Arabic countries accept to (fight) Israel… There is no obligation to shake hands, but to bow is mandatory… his attitude will be reviewed after the games to see if any further action should be taken.”

 

Rio Israel race judo handshake

 

The Jerusalem Post says Syrian boxer Ala Ghasoun heard the call and refused to fight an Israeli athlete.

The Washington Times reports says the Lebanese barred Israelis from boarding a bus.

Palestinian swimmer Mary al-Atrash told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp: “There is no Olympic-sized swimming pool in the Palestinian territories that Palestinians are allowed to use, so Atrash practices at the YMCA in Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem. The pool is 25 meters long, half the length of the facility she’ll compete in at Rio.”

Israel say they invited Atrash to apply for a permit to travel to Jerusalem to use their facilities. She didn’t. Liel Liebovitz of Tablet Magazine added that there are several full-sized pools within the Palestinian territories.

 

Posted: 14th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, Reviews, Sports | Comment


Spurs balls: Christian Eriksen wants 368.75% wage raise

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

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

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

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

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

 

Posted: 13th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Manchester United balls: Paul Pogba rewrites history

So influential is Manchester United’s ‘Paul Pogba that he is rewriting history. Compare and contrast the Sun and Daily Mail’s stories on Pogba’s new routine:

“Paul Pogba settles back in at Manchester United by teaching team-mate Jesse Lingard his Dab dance celebration” – The Sun, August 9.

Only the Mail says Lingard knew the Dab before Pogba joined Cheslea:

“Jesse Lingard teaches Manchester United team-mates Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson how to dab as the craze continues to spread” –  Daily Mail, July 28.

Next week: How Pogba inspired United to victory in last season’s the FA Cup.

Posted: 13th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer Balls: Middlesbrough sign a free Danish newspaper in the Sun

Transfer Balls: a look at the Sun’s report on Middlesbrough’s hunt for a new newspaper to play in defence. Yes, you read that right. The Sun says:

KAR NEEDS COVER Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka hunts for new centre-back after Daniel Ayala ruled out

One player linked to Middlesbrough is ‘Ekstra Bladet’. Who he?

middlesbrough the sun

‘Former Ajax captain Ekstra Bladet, who is now a free agent, is another target as Karanka looks for cover at left-back.’

Former Ajax captain Nicolai Boilesen is a free agent. He’s Danish.

Ekstra Bladet is a Danish newspaper, whereon you can read all kinds of footy news abut Danish footballers.

The Sun is a newspaper that accidentally cites its sources.

Posted: 9th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer Balls: Paul Pogba signed for Manchester United 3 weeks ago

And so a mere 19 days since the Daily Mirror told us Pogba had “signed” for Manchester United, the paper reports that Pogba has signed for Manchester United.

Lest anyone think the Mirror was ahead of the pack in anything other than guesswork, in the intervening days its reader have read a lot of stories about the Pogba.

 

paul pogba signs

 

August 9: “Manchester United announce Paul Pogba signing in the middle of the night and Twitter is completely baffled”

August 8: “Paul Pogba flying to the UK for Manchester United medical as £110million deal edges closer”

August 7: “Paul Pogba set for £100m Manchester United return as Juventus give midfielder permission to undergo medical”

August 6: “Manchester United target Paul Pogba ordered to return to Juventus training as transfer saga continues”

August 6: “Manchester United transfer news and rumours: Juventus delay £100m Paul Pogba deal”

August 3 : “Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho hints at Paul Pogba transfer – ‘we will sign one more player'”

August 3: “Manchester United fans sent into meltdown as Paul Pogba says he’s STAYING at Juventus”

August 2: “Paul Pogba keeps up fitness in New York as speculation over Manchester United switch continues”

August 2: “Paul Pogba jets into New York and sparks fears that Real Madrid could gazump Man United’s £100m bid”

August 1: “Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho plays the waiting game as Paul Pogba parties in Las Vegas”

July 31: “Paul Pogba agent Mino Raiola insists a deal has NOT yet been struck between Manchester United and Juventus”

July 30: “Paul Pogba signs Manchester United shirt for fan in LA as £100m world record transfer looms”

July 28: “Paul Pogba to Manchester United betting suspended by bookmaker after flurry of bets come in”

July 27: “Manchester United agree to pay £112m for Paul Pogba? Transfer news and gossip from Thursday’s papers”

July 27: “Manchester United face Paul Pogba battle as Zinedine Zidane claims Real Madrid could yet win race for star”

July 20:

 

paul pogba united

 

Pogba signs United Daily Mirror

 

Total balls in the Mirror, then.

Of course, Sun readers know Paul Pogba plays for Chelsea.

 

pogba chelsea sun deal

 

Such are the fats in the trusty mainstream media.

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


Arsenal Watch: the first crisis of the season

Can the hyperbole begin before a ball has been kicked in the Premier League? Silly question. The Evening Standard looks at Arsenal and declares the club to be in a state of “crisis”.

How Arsenal could line up at the back against Liverpool after Gabriel injury sends Gunners into defensive crisis

ESPN agrees:

Arsene Wenger facing defence crisis with Mertesacker and Gabriel injured

The Indy agrees:

Arsenal news: Gabriel injury deepens Arsene Wenger’s defensive crisis

The Mail agrees:

SAMI MOKBEL: Arsenal are in the midst of a fully-blown defensive crisis ahead of the season-opener against Liverpool

The Telegraph agrees:

Arsenal 3 Man City 2: Gabriel injury sparks defensive crisis for Wenger

The Daily Express agrees:

Arsenal News: Germany defender targeted to solve crisis

And the Daily Mirror does what it always does and links a shedload of new players with Arsenal:

9 centre-backs Arsenal could turn to after Gabriel injury sees Gunners’ defensive crisis deepen

So are Arsenal in Crisis? Of course not. Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker and Gabriel are injured but the Gunners can call on Laurent Koscielny, Calum Chambers, new signing Rob Holding or play left-back Nacho Monreal in the middle.

PS – Special mention to the Sun which wonders: “Could Riyad Mahrez transfer solve Arsenal’s striker crisis?”

No. Because Arsenal do not have a striker crisis.

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


Transfer balls: Chelsea make two phantom bids for Everton’s Lukaku

Transfer balls: Has Romenlu Lukaku rejoined Chelsea from Everton? No. But the papers keep reporting that he could, telling readers of failed bids and makeweight players in swap deals.

The Sun, May 18: “Manchester United and Chelsea target Romelu Lukaku expects to leave Everton in £65million deal before Euro 2016”

Sky Sports, July 22: “Will these transfers happen: Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea, Jamie Vardy to Arsenal, Paul Pogba to Real Madrid?”

Answers: Maybe. No. No.

Daily Express, July 30: “Chelsea rebuffed in £57m Lukaku offer: Everton want £75m but accept departure is likely”

Daily Mirror, July 31: “Chelsea preparing £68million Romelu Lukaku bid”

Daily Mail, August 1: “Romelu Lukaku has told his Everton team-mates he wants to leave this summer. Chelsea have offered £68million for the Belgium international but Everton want £75m as reported in Sportsmail last month.

The Sun, August 6: “BEG-ING FOR ROM Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea: Antonio Conte’s Blues to offer Asmir Begovic and Loic Remy in bid to snap up striker”

The Sun says Chelsea “have already had a £65million offer turned down”.

And so to today’s news. The BBC says Chelsea have not made a single offer for the big Belgian striker.

 

The BBC, August 7: “Everton have been angered by what they see as Chelsea’s attempts to unsettle striker Romelu Lukaku, with the Blues yet to bid for the 23-year-old.”

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 8th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Paul Pogba arrives at Manchester United before Juventus training

Transfer balls: It’s been 17 days since the Daily Mirror told us Pogba had “signed” for Manchester United. Today the BBC tells us that Pogba has been “summoned to Juventus training”.

To say goodbye to his former teammates? No. To train for the Italian season with his current club, Juventus.

Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri tells media:

“It makes no sense at the moment talking about potential replacements for Pogba because, right now, Pogba is a Juventus player…

“I’ve summoned Pogba together with (Patrice) Evra tomorrow night. So that means he has training here in Vinovo on Monday.”

Some news, then, to Mirror readers. But wait a moment. The Telegraph has news:

Paul Pogba set to sign for Manchester United: Frenchman arrives ‘in secret’ to complete medical

Pogba’s secret arrival is all over the newspapers.

After arriving in secret last night, the Frenchman, 23, will be undergoing his medical at a top secret location ahead of a world-record transfer to Old Trafford.

The Express explains:

Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport claim the Juventus star touched down in the UK yesterday and will today complete his move to United.

The report says Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri’s comments yesterday about Pogba expected for training were merely a smokescreen.

The Italian newspaper says there are no “photographs chronicling Pogba’s arrival” because it was all top secret and only the Press in Italy and the UK know anything about it.

Over to the Mirror, where the paper of record tells us:

Manchester United transfer news and rumours: Paul Pogba to undergo medical TODAY

Today. The Press have been telling readers Pogba is joining Manchester United ‘today’ for many, many days.

Lest we forget:

 

pogba chelsea

 

pogba daily mail

 

 

pogba deal

Daily Star balls

paul pogba united

 

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 7th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, Key Posts, Reviews, Sports | Comment (1)


Transfer balls: 16 days after Paul Pogba signed for Manchester United, Mourinho declares war on Liverpool and Arsenal

Paul Pogba has not joined Manchester United. It’s been 16 days since the Daily Mirror told us Pogba had “signed” for Manchester United. Today the Telegraph says Juventus are “stalling” on agreeing for their player to leave the club. “They’re killing the mood, drastically,” says the paper.

It’s not killing the mood at the dire Telegraph, which also reports – and this comes on the same day the paper is telling its readers Pogba does not play for United: “Paul Pogba is a Manchester United player.”

Helpfully Fox News has an official version of events: “Jose Mourinho teases nearly-done deal for Paul Pogba at Manchester United.”

What did he say, teasingly?

“Pogba is a Juventus player until officially he isn’t. It stays like this. I think my club is trying to do everything to close our market before August 14. So hopefully by next week we will have our squad closed.”

In other words: no news.

But the Press is desperate for something. So instead of the Olympics and the start of the non-Premier League football season, the lead story is about Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba.

The Sun – the paper that told Paul Pogba plays for Chelsea – hears the “fury”.

 

pogba balls mourinho balls b

 

The Star hears “rage”.

 

pogba balls mourinho balls b

 

“Jose Hits Back,” says the Express.

 

pogba balls mourinho balls b

 

The Mirror – “the intelligent tabloid” (self-declared) that told us Paul Pogba joined Manchester United 16 days ago – senses the “mind games”.

 

pogba balls mourinho balls b

 

What did Mourinho say?

“I don’t like to speak about other players. Other managers like to do that. What matters to me is only what happens in my house, not the house of my neighbour.”

He also said:

“I heard two of my colleagues from other clubs talking about my team. [Klopp] was one of them, but I do not want to comment. He made comments about us but I will not make comments about him, or his team. I do not like [to talk about other teams]. It is not ethical…

“There are things that, when I do them, are not ethical and when others do them, everything is normal, nobody says [they should not have done them]. I do not speak about other [teams]. I only speak about us.”

And that’s it. The Times calls those words a “withering rebuke to Jürgen Klopp and Arsène Wenger”. Oh, come on. It’s just Jose Mourinho being snippy. Plus ca change.

The Premier League season cannot begin soon enough.

 

Posted: 6th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: Paul Pogba joins Manchester United ‘today’ and Chelsea in August 2015

Paul Pogba has finally signed for Manchester United says most of the media. Well, maybe:

August 5 – Daily Telegraph: “Will Mourinho announce Paul Pogba’s signing today?”

No.

August 4, Daily Express: “PAUL POGBA will be confirmed by Manchester United today”

August 2, Yahoo!: “Manchester United to make official Paul Pogba announcement today”

July 29, Independent: “Paul Pogba continues to dominate the headlines and his world-record … will be confirmed once Pogba’s medical in LA is completed later today.”

He never did arrive ‘today’. Other sources wee just as wrong.

July 29, Daily Mail:

 

pogba daily mail

 

July 20, Daily Mirror:

 

Pogba signs United Daily Mirror

 

Pogba to Manchester United was all beaten by the story of Pogba to Chelsea. It too was a done deal.

August 22, 2015, Daily Telegraph: “Chelsea transfer news and rumours: Blues agree £69 million deal with Juventus for Paul Pogba”

August 21 2015, The Sun:

 

pogba chelsea

 

CHELSEA have agreed a stunning £69million deal to sign Juventus’ Paul Pogba. The champions made the Italian giants an offer they cannot refuse for the French midfield powerhouse…

Barcelona were in pole position to sign him, with Manchester City also said to be in the running. But Chelsea gazumped everyone with a huge statement of intent from owner Roman Abramovich.

Since the Blues slumped to a 3-0 defeat at City on Sunday, the Russian has sanctioned a huge seven-day spree, signing Abdul Baba Rahman, Pedro and now Pogba.

Chelsea did not sign Pogba.

When he appears for Manchester United, then we’ll believe Pogba has rejoined the club he left four years ago.

Posted: 5th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Manchester United await Paul Pogba as Juventus get a new number 10

It’s been 15 days since the Daily Mirror said Manchester United had signed Paul Pogba. Today the Manchester Evening Post reports that “Paul Pogba is still a Juventus player”.

The paper adds: “Manchester United want to sign the France international before the Premier League season starts.”

The Telegraph says Pogba “is expected to sign” for Manchester United. The paper of record then states: “The Manchester Evening News believe Paul Pogba is officially a Manchester United player.” No, they don’t. The MEN says he is expected to sign.

The Mirror says, “The Frenchman is expected to complete the world record transfer form Juventus to Old Trafford before the Premier League season starts.”

The Mirror then adds: “Twitter reactions to Paul Pogba leaving Man United in 2012 now look a little silly.”

Sillier than the Mirror which reported 15 days ago:

Pogba signs United Daily Mirror

 

Total balls.

But Pogba surely is leaving Juventus. AS reports that Pogba’s number 10 shirt at Juve is to be worn by Dybala.

 

adidas pogba

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 4th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Russell Square terror attack: mental health, Spanish victims and an Arab gang

One woman dead. Five others stabbed in what the BBC calls a “London attack”. The dead woman was knifed to death in Russell Square. She was in her 60s. The suspected killer is 19. He has been captured alive. No guns. He was Tasered.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan wants everyone to be “calm and vigilant”.

 

Russell square terror knife

 

The BBC headline states a reason for why it happened: “Metropolitan Police: Mental health ‘factor in knife attack’.”

Not quite. The Met also say it might be a terror attack.

The Mail adds: “A knifeman has gone on the rampage in central London and stabbed to death a woman in her 60s and injured five more people in a potential terror attack.”

But he was alone, right. We know that. No. The Mail adds:

There are fears that the knifeman operated with an accomplice as the Met refused to rule out arresting more suspects. One witness said he saw ‘a man flee on a motorbike’. Others suggested a gang may have been involved.

Suggested. May. Fears. What about facts?

The Star stirs: “Russell Square knife attack: Is second suspect still at large?”

Only two? No more? The paper adds:

A 35-year-old eyewitness told the Daily Star Online that two “Middle Eastern” men were acting suspiciously at the scene after the attack – and one of them sped away on a motorbike…

The eyewitness said: “There were two men of Middle Eastern descent acting suspiciously outside the Imperial Hotel.”

Middle-eastern descent? What an odd description. Are they Arabic looking? Is this, then, the sort of stabbing incident that occurs in Israel?

The Sun has more on the “bloodbath”.

A WOMAN in her 60s has been killed and five others injured in a bloody central London knife attack that police believe may be terror-related.

Unlike the BBC, mental health and a random killing is not the central issue. To the Sun, this is about terror.

A 19-year-old man was arrested at the scene after being tasered by police in Russell Square – just yards from where the 7/7 attacks bus bomb detonated in 2005.

Four women and one man were also injured in the horrific attack in Russell Square.

One witness described seeing another man ‘flee from the scene on a motorbike’ as police confirmed mental health was a likely factor.

They said: “I heard a scream, and then we went to the park and I saw a girl lying on the floor with blood coming from her back. Another girl had blood on her arm.

“They all spoke Spanish so I guess they were a group. I only saw the victim and the girl with the arm stabbed from that group.

“I just saw blood just next to her. She was lying on the floor with a friend hugging her.”

The Guardian disagrees. This is about mental illness:

Knife attack in London’s Russell Square leaves woman dead and five injured – Police say 19-year-old man arrested and mental health a significant factor in the attack.

No. They said it could be a factor. The Guardian and the BBC are setting the story to fit an agenda. The Sun and Star are saying what many wonder when they first hear of such an attack.

No-one panic. No-one mention the war.

 

Posted: 4th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, Reviews | Comment


Transfer balls: 13 days after Manchester United sign Paul Pogba Real Madrid ‘gazump’ the deal

Paul Pogba Watch: It’s been 13 days since the Daily Mirror told us Manchester United had “signed” Paul Pogba. Today the trusty Daily Mirror says:

“Paul Pogba jets into New York and sparks fears that Real Madrid could gazump Man United’s £100m bid.”

Paul Pogba has not signed for Manchester United. But he could sign for Real Madrid because “Zinedine Zidane’s side play Bayern Munich at the MetLife Stadium on Thursday morning”.

Before we go on, let’s recall what the Mirror reported as fact:

Pogba signs United Daily Mirror

 

The Mirror now adds:

United continue to play the waiting game with no official agreement in place for Pogba’s signature.

No official agreement. Is that the same as no agreement whatsoever?

The Express states: “Man United meltdown as Paul Pogba jets into New York ahead of Real Madrid game.”

The Sun says: “Paul Pogba to Manchester United: Fans worried Real Madrid will hijack deal as midfield star flies to New York City.” Adding: “Real Madrid being in the same city is believed to be purely coincidence.”

The Telegraph just has a question:

Manchester United transfer news and rumours: Could Paul Pogba be heading to New York for a medical today?

The paper has no idea. And having asked its readers, it still has no idea.

Over in the Daily Mail, news is that “Manchester United are on the brink of breaking the world transfer record to sign Paul Pogba from Juventus.”

On the brink? Fours days ago it was a done deal. Martin Samuel and Simon Jones told us the deal had been “finally agreed”.

 

pogba daily mail

 

It took two reporters to tell us the facts:

Paul Pogba is set to be officially confirmed as a Manchester United player again after his world record £100million move was finally sealed on Thursday night.

He hasn’t signed yet.

After weeks of negotiations, United have agreed a huge fee for the Juventus star to complete Jose Mourinho’s summer spending spree.

He hasn’t signed yet.

United are eager to parade their new signing – who completed a medical in Los Angeles.

He hasn’t signed yet.

Over in Spain, news in AS is that Pogba is expected to sign for United on Wednesday. Madrid have given up the hunt.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 2nd, August 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment