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Back pages | Anorak - Part 33

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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

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)


Jame Vardy’s agent asked Arsenal for transfer

Vardy to ArsenalJamie Vardy to Arsenal is one of the Sun’s lead stories. The back page has Olivier Giroud, the Arsenal striker, saying how much Vardy wants to join Arsenal.

Readers learn that Vardy, 29, will tell Arsenal if he wants to join them before 11:30am today, when England board the plane to France. Will he accept a four-year, £120,000-a-week deal to play for the Gunners?

The Mirror says Leicester will make a “last bid” to keep Vardy. If that fails the Foxes will move to buy Watford’s Troy Deeney. Deeny had best call his agent. The Mirror says it was Vardy’s reps who made contact with Arsenal a month ago. Arsenal mulled it over and now want the player.

But will Vardy work well for Arsenal?

Writing in the Express, Matthew Dun says Vardy at Arsenal is  “mismatch”. He says for Vardy to perform well at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger will have to “rip up his two-decade -old playbook” or Vardy would have “about three weeks  after the Euros for a crash course in the Arsenal way”. Dunn reasons that whereas Leicester play long balls to Vardy to run on to, Arsenal play short passes around the opposition’s box. He can’t see Vardy being a hit at The Emirates.

Tony Cascarino disagrees. In the Times he says Vardy to Arsenal makes “complete sense”. It is the “perfect fit” for player and club. Cascarino says Vardy can have the same impact Robin Van Persie had on Manchester United. Alex Ferguson paid Arsenal £24m for the 29-year-old Dutchman. United duly won the Premier League title. “If Vardy had been at Arsenal last season,” says Cascarino, “they would have won the league.”

Cascarino  lists Vardy’s benefits to Arsenal. Vardy works hard, “harder than Giroud”; “Mesut Ozil is the perfect player to  thread chances through to him – the German will love having a player like Vardy in front of him”; and Wenger know “Vardy will fight for everything”.

He will. Vardy is a battler. Would Arsenal fans pick him or Theo Walcott for drag the team across the finish line.  No contest. Vardy is a proven winner.

 

Posted: 6th, June 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Vardy takes his Arsenal medical today as fans turn on Rebekah

More on the Jamie Vardy’s £20m move from Leicester City to Arsenal story. ESPN says Vardy will take his Arsenal medical today.

The Sunday Express says the Gunners are fearful that unless they sign Vardy before the Euros they might not sign him at all. But the Sun says Vardy’s mind was made up when he spoke with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

In Italy’s La Gazzetta dello SportLeicester City manager Claudio Ranieri says he is resigned to losing his star striker to Arenal.

Sky hears Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud says he knows Vardy wants to join the Gunners.

The Sunday Times lead with news that Vardy’s wife, Rebekha Vardy, has received nasty messages on twitter. Leicester fans have accused her of instigating her husband’s transfer. She calls one fan “pathetic” and tells others to “calm yourselves down”.
Of course, those same fans can recall Vardy telling them on May 9th:

“There will be names thrown into the hat all summer, but the group of lads we have, winning the league and having Champions League football next season, you hope it keeps everyone together… I am happy here.”

Vardy’s leaving. Leicester fans must wonder who else is looking for pastures new.

 

Posted: 5th, June 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Celebrities, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Arsenal tipped to beat Liverpool to Vardy before Euros

Arsenal have made a £22m bid for Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy. The Star says the Gunners have offered Vary £120,000 a week, a big hike in his current basic pay of £80,000-a-week.

The Times says West Ham United  have also made a move for Vardy. They are offering £100,000 and a step down from Champions’ League football with Leicester and Arsenal.  Liverpool , have told Vardy he can earn £140,000-a-week at Anfield – a sum Arsenal are willing to match or better.

The Express says Vardy is to join Arsenal in next 24 hours for £20m on a four-year deal. The Mail agrees, saying this is a “shock”. It is. Vardy is 29. Arsenal are not in the habit of investing big money is older players. But with Walcott fading and Welbeck injured, they need a sharp striker with pace.

But Arsenal fans should be war, ads the Times. Manchester City are eyeing Hector Bellerin and Jack Wilshere. Pep Guardiola, the new city manager, fancies the Arsenal players and wants to continue The Citizens habit of Gunners names.

The Times says Bellerin may see his future with Barcelona, for whom he played as a boy, and Wilshere is now down the Arsenal pecking order below – get this – Francis Coquelin. He isn’t. Wilshere is class player who given a long run of matches will surely earn a starting berth in the Arsenal first team.

 

 

 

Posted: 4th, June 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: Manchester United offer £48m for £75m Pogba, who joined Chelsea for £69m

pogba manchester unitedTransfer balls: Manchester United want to invest £60m in Paul Pogba, the France and Juventus midfielder once on United’s books. The Sun says Jose Mourinho has “sanctioned the bid”.

The only things standing between United and Pogba are: Juventus trying to trigger a bidding war for their star player; Barcelona; United’s failure to appear in next season’s Champions’ League; Barcelona; any other big team with pots of cash; Manchester City; the fact that the bid is actually £48m plus bonuses, which values him less than Manchester City paid for Raheem Sterling; and did we mention Barcelona?

On the plus side, the Sun “understands” that Pogba likes Mourinho and his plan to make United “great again”.

Of course, we have read news of Pogba’s movements before in the Sun. There was the time he was joining Chelsea:

CHELSEA have agreed a stunning £69million deal to sign Juventus’ Paul Pogba. – August 2015 

PAUL POGBA is ready to snub Manchester City and extrend his deal with Juventus. The Frenchman is wanted by a host of top clubs but would come with a huge £75million-plus price tag. – March 2016

Paul Pogba ready to snub Manchester United, Real Madrid and Manchester City as he aims to cement his legacy at Juventus – May 2016

CHELSEA are in constant contact with Juventus star Paul Pogba over a possible £76million transfer – May 2016

Manchester United target Paul Pogba ‘buys house in Barcelona’ as Jose Mourinho looks set to miss out on Juventus star – June, 2016

Such are the facts.

Posted: 3rd, June 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: Ilkay Gundogan agrees Manchester City move (Arsenal and Manchester United disagree)

Transfer balls: Manchester City and not Manchester United are “set to sign” Ilkay Gundogan, says the Times. New Man City manager Pepe Guardiola has learnt much from his time at Germany’s all-consuming Bayern Munich, where the club’s recruitment policy hinges on buying the best players from the Bundesliga’s second best team, Borussia Dortmund. (Bayern have just agreed to take on Dortmund captain Mats Hummels.)

Gundogan, 25, is expected to join Manchester City for £20m. Although the Star says the figure is £30m. And there is the Mirror, which says Ilkay Gundogan is “set for a Jurgen Klopp reunion” at Liverpool. Klopp, of course, was Gundogan’s manager at Dortmund.

Of course this is Transfer Balls, a look at dire reporting in the mainstream media. We spare a thought for the Express readers told that Gundogan has signed for Arsenal and Manchester United.

 

Gundogan agrees Arsenal

 

Gundogan agrees Man United

 

Over in the Star, however, Gundogan plays for Bayern Munich:

 

Gundogan Bayern agrees

 

Posted: 2nd, June 2016 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, Manchester City, Sports, Tabloids | Comment (1)


Transfer balls: Chelsea and Man United in race to stop Arsenal getting Morata (again)

Transfer balls – a look at iffy reporting in the mainstream media. News is that Arsenal are still after Alvaro Morata.

The Mirror says “Arsenal and Chelsea could go head to head in the race to sign 23-year-old Juventus striker Alvaro Morata.” So only two clubs are in for the striker. It is a head-to-head race.

The Mirror adds:

Alvaro Morata has sparked an auction between Arsenal and Chelsea after admitting he believes the Premier League would be a “great destination.”

Or as the player wanted by PSG (source: The Mirror) and who has an agreement to re-sign for Real Madrid should they want him says:

 “Hopefully everything will be resolved before then, because it is uncomfortable to be helping your country with phone in hand. My wish is to succeed in Madrid… There are some offers from England that are tempting, not only because of the contract. I think my characteristics mean the Premier League would be a great destination.”

If Real don’t want him, then maybe he’ll look to the PL. It’s a head-to-head-to-head race – and one club has a massive head. As Spain’s AS put it:

Alvaro Morata wants a return to Real Madrid

In other news:

The Evening Standard and Manchester Evening News saysManchester United have added their head to the race – and United have a real bighead in charge:

 

Morata Manchester United

 

Morata Manchester United

 

 

And the Liverpool Echo say Liverpool want him:

 

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 16.02.48

 

Of course, Morata already plays for Arsenal. The Daily Star told us that:

 

Morata Arsenal

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 1st, June 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Higuain Watch: striker demands Chelsea, wants Liverpool, shuns Manchester United, signs for Arsenal, moves nowhere

Transfer balls: every summer a familiar platoon of players feature in tabloid stories telling of their imminent moves to the Premier League. One of that number is Gonzalo Higuain, who, as you will recall, signed for Arsenal on July 6 2013. Well, so said the Sun

 

higuain-arsenal the sun transfer

 

For anyone who missed that scoop, the good news is that the story of Higuain to Arsenal still features as fact on the Sun’s website.

ARSENAL last night smashed their transfer record when they agreed a £23million fee for Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain… Higuain, 25, has been given permission by Madrid to fly to London following weeks of negotiations. And boss Arsene Wenger has made it clear he wants the powerful goalscorer on board when Arsenal head for their tour of the Far East next Thursday.

The deal, which has been confirmed by the player’s father Jorge, comes as a huge relief for Wenger… The Gunners’ previous biggest signing was the £16.5million they paid to sign Santi Cazorla from Malaga last summer and propels the club back into the big time. Now Wenger wants to build on Higuain’s imminent arrival by pressing ahead with negotiations for Wayne Rooney and Julio Cesar… Wenger believes that the capture of Higuain will convince other world-class stars to join.

And so to todays news in the Mirror that Higuain, who plays for Napoli, has made a “plea” to join Liverpool.

“The former Real Madrid striker, who has attracted interested [sic] from Arsenal previously, is  keen to come to the Premier League would would like to play under Kop boss Jurgen Klopp.”

 

Higuain Liverpool

 

So. It’s Higuain to Liverpool. Or not. These other news facts from the Sun:

 

Higuain Chelsea

 

May 4: “Chelsea target Gonzalo Higuain wants £42million move to the Bridge… but only if Diego Costa leaves”

 

Higuain Manchester United

May 22, 2016: Higuain not move to Chelsea, Manchester Untied nor any other Premier League club.

Manchester United and Chelsea dealt massive blow as Gonzalo Higuain will NOT be making a Premier League switch in the summer

More on Higuain to come…

 

Posted: 30th, May 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Liverpool, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Liverpool balls: Nathaniel Clyne didn’t say England’s defence is a ‘major weakness’

Clyne liverpool

 

DID Liverpool’s Nathaniel Clyne “admit” that England’s defence, in which he plays, is a “weakness”? The Mirror says he did, thundering: “Clyne admits ‘defence is a weakness”.

John Cross begins his story by telling readers more about the Liverpool player: “Clyne has admitted England’s defence is a major ‘weakness’.”

This is what Clyne actually said: “We analyse the  games and we see where we can do better. We can definitely do better defensively . It shows us our weaknesses.”

He didn’t say the England defence “is a weakness”. He said the players can be better and are working hard to reduce errors.

More of what Clyne said appears on Sky Sports:

“There are players fighting for positions all over the pitch when they get an opportunity to show what they can do and that is healthy. I think it is good as it keeps everyone on their toes and keeps everyone fighting for positions – everyone wants to be hungry and has a determination to get themselves into the squad… England have a strong team and hopefully they can do well at the tournament.”

Clyne and Spurs’  Kyle Walker are battling to be England’s first-choice right-back.

Posted: 30th, May 2016 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: Manchester United, Ronaldo and the vanishing facts

Transfer balls: Is Cristiano Ronaldo, hero of Real Madrid, scorer of the decisive penalty as Real won their 11th European Cup, heading to Manchester United to play in the Europa League?

No, says the Mirror’s Ed Malyon on May 27:

Manchester United’s long-term interest in Cristiano Ronaldo would hit the buffers were Jose to be hired. Their relationship soured hugely at Real Madrid and, with Paris Saint-Germain having pursued him for so long and so persistently, the move to Ligue 1 would make the most sense

Yes, says the Sun’s Neil Ashton on May 23:

The budget is so big this summer that United already have their beaks into Cristiano Ronaldo, yet again. Real Madrid have quoted £80million for the winger. Meet that and Ronnie returns. Mourinho’s frosty relationship with Ronaldo, exposed at Real Madrid, will be set aside if the deal is done.

That Ronaldo news follows other Sun news from April:

Cristiano Ronaldo’s agent sensationally agrees verbal deal for former Manchester United superstar to leave Real Madrid and join Paris Saint-Germain

To which Simon Rice tells Indy readers on May 27:

Cristiano Ronaldo rules out Manchester United return despite Jose Mourinho arrival

Which brings us to the trusty BBC, which says on May 28:

Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United XI – Bale, Ronaldo, Pogba, Zlatan?

No. No. Maybe – but why? No.

Posted: 29th, May 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: Manchester United go hot and cold on Ibrahimovic

Is Zlatan Ibrahimovic on his way to Manchester United? The Swedish striker, who says age is just a number, turns 35 in October. Why would United want the ponderous player when they have Martial and Rashford? This week, the Times has been telling its readers that Zlatan to United is very much on. Each of the following quotes are from separate stories that appear on the paper’s website:

May 25: “Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the 34-year-old forward, is set to become Mourinho’s first signing”

May 26: “United want to use Ibrahimovic as bait to draw stars to Old Trafford”

May 27: “Manchester United believe appointing José Mourinho and signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic would attract yet more star names to Old Trafford…  [Jose Mouirnho] is expected to make Ibrahimovic, the Sweden forward, his first signing… it is understood that United, who are ready to offer him a one-year contract with the option of a further year, are his preferred choice.”

May 27: “United hope his arrival, and that of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Sweden forward, will attract other leading names to Old Trafford.”

May 27: “…the 34-year-old looks set to move to Old Trafford to be reunited with Mourinho — the man who coached him for one season at Inter Milan.”

May 27: ” Ibrahimovic yesterday increased speculation that he will join United by endorsing the appointment of a man with whom he enjoyed one successful season at Inter Milan. “I believe he is the man to bring [United] back to the top,” Ibrahimovic said.”

Which brings us to todays news in the Sunday Times:

While Mourinho has explored the possibility of bringing Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the Premier League, conversations with the out-of-contract Swede are understood to have led him to look elsewhere for a younger ‘top striker’.”

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 29th, May 2016 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Arsenal spend, Ozil keeps cool, newspapers agitate

Transfer balls: a look at reporting on Mesut Ozil, Arsenal’s German star.

In the Times, Matt Hughes says with two years remaining on his current deal, Ozil “is unwilling to discuss signing a new deal” until after the summer’s European Championship. Ozil “is happy at Arsenal and not agitating for a move.”

Arsenal are willing to make him the highest-paid player in their history by offering a significantly improved salary of £200,000 a week, but Özil’s main concern is ensuring he will be competing for the biggest trophies after winning just two FA Cups in his three years at Arsenal to date.

The Metro reads Hugh column and twists it to:

Mesut Ozil has again declined to open talks with Arsenal over a new contract despite being offered a wage rise. The Gunners are being made to sweat over the German’s future, as well as that of Alexis Sanchez after a difficult season.

Mark Brus omits the part about Ozil being happy and waiting until July to begin talks over a contract extension.

He also omits to note what Ozil said on 19 November 2015

“My contract runs until 2018, that is for another two and a half years. There is no need to hurry. There are no talks at the moment but I can only say that I am very happy in London and that my decision to come here from Real Madrid was the right one.”

And as the Mirror pit it back in March: “Mesut Ozil quashes Arsenal exit rumours.”

Sweating, indeed…

 

 

Posted: 29th, May 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, Sports | Comment


Without his perfume Jose Mourinho will fail at Manchester United

jose mourinho perfume

 

What does new Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho smell like? The Star reports on “Chelsea’s ban on Jose aftershave”. In the changing room, yes. Unsettling for new Chelsea manager Antonio Conte to contend with the Portuguese winner’s legacy without picking up his essence as John Terry splashes the masking Jose for Him and Her all over (spoiler alert: Revenge by Jose smells of top notes of silver polish over base notes of bile, pith and whicker basket).

This story turns to the essence not of Jose’s scraped and diffused bed linen, rather to the story of who owns what in football. Do Chelsea or Manchester United own the rights to sell Jose Mourinho perfumes, suntan lotions, toothpaste, mouthwash, lipstick and nail polish? Which of Chevrolet (sponsors of Man United) and Jaguar (sponsors of Jose Mourinho) get to market the official in-car scent?

And can you ever own someone if you don’t possess their smell?

After all, in Patrick Süskind’s Perfume: The Story of a Murderer the killer who smelled of nothing “succeeded in being considered totally uninteresting… Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will. The persuasive power of an odor cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it.” Scent is “the invincible power to command the love of mankind.”

Get the smell of Jose or get nothing.

Meanwhile, at Chelsea, Conte may care to invest in odor-eaters for all staff, install a wet basset hound in the Chelsea dugout and refrain from washing his hair for months.

 

Posted: 28th, May 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Manchester United: Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea image rights in detail

In March 2005 Chelsea secured the legal rights to Jose Mourinho’s trademark for 20 years. This means that should Manchester United hire Mourinho, a move that seems as certain as Katie Price sleeping on her back, the Red Devils will be unable to stick their new manager’s name on such items as teddy bears, aftershave, computer games and all manner of tat. But how important is the Jose moniker?

In an “exclusive”, the Times says Chelsea’s ownership of the Mourinho trademark “will not delay his appointment at Old Trafford”.

 

Jose image rights Manchester United Times Chelsea

 

Or as the Mirror puts it: “Jose Mourinho’s appointment as Manchester Untied  manager is being delayed because Chelsea still own his signature.”

Not so, say the Times, which states: “Until recently Mourinho’s former employers [Chelsea] also owned the rights to reproduce his signature, but that ten-year trademark expired earlier this year…”

The Mirror then says United “face a six-figure bill to secure the rights to his signature and name”.

The Times says Chelsea could demand “several million pounds”.

The Sun says United will have to “£1million -plus” to use the name Jose Mourinho on merchandise.

 

Jose image rights Manchester United Mirror Chelsea

The Mirror – not an exclusive but not all correct, either

 

The Mail says the 20-year licence Jose signed with Chelsea in 2005 expires in, er, 2013. That Mail says it’s between 2013 and 2015. The Times says it’s 2025.

 

Jose image rights Manchester United Mail Chelsea

The Mail wonders about timing

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 26th, May 2016 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, Chelsea, manchester united, Money, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: Gotze wants Liverpool, Gotze snubs Liverpool

In March, Liverpool were “confident of signing Mario Gotze”. So said the Guardian. Gotze has played for Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund, before he left the second best team in Germany for more money and silverware at the best team in Germany, Bayern Munich. The Guardian added that Gotze was “understood to be keen on a reunion with Jurgen Klopp”.

Gotze “is keen on a move away from the Allianz Arena despite the impending arrival of Carlo Ancelotti as Pep Guardiola’s replacement… The combination of a fresh start away from Bayern plus renewing acquaintances with Klopp is believed to appeal to the Germany international.”

The Express agreed:

Liverpool Gotze

 

Liverpool Gotze klopp

 

The Metro also agreed: “Liverpool are clear to sign Mario Gotze as he is not in Bayern Munich’s plans for next season.”

And the Star added:

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 21.18.53

 

On May 21, the Sun stated that Liverpool were “close to landing £20million World Cup winner Mario Gotze”. The deal would be done in “the next few days”.

And so it is that today the Mirror declares: “Gotze snubs Kop – Gotze has pledged his future to Bayern Munich.”

 

Liverpool Gotze klopp 1

 

Words from Gotze, Bayern and Liverpool in all reports mentioned above: nil.

Posted: 24th, May 2016 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, Liverpool, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: Vardy can join Manchester United for £20m, Chelsea for £25m and everyone for £30m

Jamie Vardy transfer

 

Jamie Vardy might not be at Leicester City next season. The newspapers reason that any top player, which Vardy certainly is, will want to play for a bigger club. All newspaper overlook the fact that Leicester City are champions and the only English club worthy of so-called Champions’ League football. Why leave?

Well, in today’s Daily Mail, Laurie Whitwell says Vardy’s Leicester contract contains a £20m release clause. hat “cut-price fee” has attracted interest from Manchester United, Manchester City and West Ham.

But Sky says Vardy’s contract contains NO release clause. The Indy says he does, and it’s £30m. The Star says the clause is £25m (The Standard agrees) , and he’s off to Chelsea.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 24th, May 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comment (1)


Transfer balls: Manchester United hire Mourinho, Ibrahimovich and the fear factor

So José Mourinho is the new Manchester United manager. Well, so say all the newspapers. The Guardian says the former Chelsea manger – twice-sacked by the Blues – will be handed £150m to spend and will first target Everton’s John Stones. Sounds good. Man United need defenders and wingers.

The Star says Mourinho has £200m and his number one target is Zlatan Ibrahimovich. Why? They have Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford. Why buy a player who will bock the talented Frenchman and the English tyro’s path? Will Jose just buy big to win big, farming youth out on loan?

The Star says Mourinho will sign a three-year deal worth £10m a year. The Mail says Jose’s Manchester Untied’s contract is £75m for five years, but does agree that he has £200m to spend on a new team. Inevitably one newspaper – the Mirror – calls the transfer kitty a “war chest”.

The Express says he has £300m.

The Mail adds that mid-way through this season, United paid the Portuguese £4m not to take another job. The Times says United deny making any payment.

The Sun says Mourinho’s arrival will trigger Ryan Giggs to leave Old Trafford. It also marks the end of Louis Van Gaal’s United stint. The Times says the Dutchman will leave with a bitter taste in his mouth and a sweet £5.4m in compensation.

As for the future, well it will interesting. One thing is certain: with Mourinho in charge, Manchester United will win back the fear factor.

Posted: 23rd, May 2016 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Van Gaal sacked, Mourinho appointed and Manchester United are unchanged

Sky News are reporting that Manchester United have offered Jose Mourinho the Manchester United job and the former Chelsea manager has accepted. Not all that good news for current Old Trafford boss Louis Van Gaal, then, who yesterday delivered the FA Cup, Man United’s first trophy in three years – albeit the pot Alex Ferguson’s serial winners didn’t even bother to defend in 1999, preferring to take a brand-building winter break in Brazil.

So is Sky correct? For some months its sister organ, the Sun, has been reporting that Mourinho is a shoo-in for the job.

 

Van Gaal man united the sun sacked

 

van gaal manchester united sacked

 

The Sun and Sky’s other sister organ, The Times, also banged the drum for Van Gaal’s end.

 

van gaal sacked

 

They’ve yet to proven right. If you continue to doubt just how wrong these journalists with the inside scoop can be, look at what the Sun’s Neil Ashton said of Manchester United’s on May 19:

 

Manchester United Van Gaal FA Cup

 

Fellaini played.

Is Mourinho heading to United? What say the other papers?

Yes.

 

Jose Manchester United

 

And no.

 

Van Gaal sacked Mail

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 22nd, May 2016 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comments (3)


Transfer balls: Arsenal keep Walcott by selling him to West Ham or Chelsea

Transfer balls: It’s been a busy few days for Arsenal’s Theo Walcott. In today’s Daily Mirror, readers are told, “Theo’s not Gunner go”. News is that Walcott will be told he is not for sale. “Arsene Wenger will make it clear he is not for sale.” This will disappoint Manchester City and Southampton, we’re told.

 

theo walcott arsenal sacked

 

But the Metro told us Arsenal will “listen to offers” for their striker.

 

walcott out

 

The Star said he wants to stay: “EXCLUSIVE: Theo Walcott desperate to stay at Arsenal this summer despite West Ham interest.”

 

walcott leves arsenal for West ham

The Sun says it’s a done deal: “Theo Walcott to quit Arsenal and is on verge of agreeing deal to sign for West Ham – EXCLUSIVE England star ready to snub Chelsea in favour of joining Hammers”

walcott

 

The Mirror says he is desperate to leave.

walcott leves arsenal
And in the Metro: “Arsenal fans devastated as Danny Welbeck’s injury means Arsene Wenger may keep Theo Walcott”

 

Arsenal fans devastated as Danny Welbeck’s injury means Arsene Wenger may keep Theo Walcott Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2016/05/11/arsenal-fans-devastated-as-danny-welbecks-injury-means-arsene-wenger-may-keep-theo-walcott-5875485/#ixzz48zaRCOR4

 

Words from Walcott: nil.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 18th, May 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comments (2)


Transfer balls: can you identify the Arsenal ‘ace’ on his way to West Ham?

Transfer balls: a look at desperate reporting. And it’s not just in print and on websites the newspapers can spin clicks from utter balls. On Twitter, the Sun has news of an “Arsenal ace” on his way to West Ham United.

Done deal: West Ham confirm signing of former Arsenal ace

arsenal ace

Who is it? Go on, Arsenal and West Ham fans, who is the ace in the photo above? We clicked the link and found this at the Sun:

Havard Nordtveit to join West Ham after Hammers announce free transfer for Norway star- Nordtveit, 25, to join from Borussia Monchengladbach on a free transfer

But what of his ace-tastic Arsenal career?

The Norway international, who joins on July 1, returns to London six years after leaving Arsenal – although he failed to make a first-team appearance in three years with the Gunners.

Or as the Metro puts it: “West Ham complete transfer of former Arsenal ace Havard Nordtveit.”

And in the Times: “Arsenal reject Nordtveit joins West Ham on free transfer.”

One paper’s “reject” is another ‘ace”.

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


Transfer balls: Ozil bombs Arsenal

ozil transfer arsenal

 

Transfer balls: The Daily Express has news for Arsenal fans: “Mesut Ozil Bombshell: Star blasts lack of teamwork, contract talks put on hold.”

Bombshell! Blasts! Is Ozil shooting down the Gunners? Is it war? This is what Ozil said:

“We dropped a lot of points that we should not have dropped against the ‘smaller teams’ and that was the point in the season where we did not work as a team. Especially after the Barcelona game we were just not good enough to take a point… I have two years left on my contract and will be in talks with the club. Now I’m concentrating on the Euros in France.”

Ozil talks with Arsenal. Boom!

Moe Transfer Balls in the newspapers every day.

Posted: 17th, May 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


No, Manchester United’s David Beckham is not like Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere

What need of facts, Alan Shearer? No much. Alan writes of Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere in the Sun:

“The debate might well be whether Marcus Rashford can force his way into the final 23 and go with England to Euro 2016. For me, the bigger argument is what Jack Wilshere is doing in the squad in the first place. Nobody seems to be questioning whether he will now go if he remains fit through these last three friendlies ahead of the finals.

“Have we not learnt any lessons from the past when it comes to the issue of racing players back? It was David Beckham back in 2002 when he suffered a metatarsal injury towards the end of the season and still went to the World Cup.”

What we learn, Alan, is that Wilshere is fit. He’s not been rushed back to the Arsenal side. He’s fully fit and playing in the first XI. We also learn that Beckham’s injury went like this:

20 April 2002: 51 days before the World Cup, Beckham is injured by Pedro Duscher in Manchester United’s Champions League quarter final clash with Deportivo La Coruna. His second metatarsal bone is broken. Beckham makes a hard bid to get fit.

9 May 2002: two days before the World Cup, Beckham declares himself fit for the Sweden game. He says: “I’ve had a lot of treatment over the past two months and a lot of people from Sven-Goran Eriksson to the Queen have wished me good luck. The way I felt when I led training is the highest I have felt in weeks.”

2 June 2002: England v Sweden. Beckham plays 63 minutes of the game before being substituted. It is his first competitive action since the injury.

7 June 2002: England v Argentina. Beckham’s 45th minute penalty gives England victory. He lasts the full 90 minutes.  In the quarter-finals, Beckham plays as England lose to Brazil.

And how did the Sun talk of Beckham’s injury way back then? Were they circumspect?

A HUGE team of Sun readers today prayed for the hand of God to revive England’s World Cup hopes by mending David Beckham’s broken foot.

We urged our army of 10 million readers to boost David’s fitness fight at the stroke of midday by placing their hands on our picture of David’s left peg and praying for a speedy recovery.

And so many of you did.

Even bishops joined in. One said: “We’re rooting for him.”

And Canon David Meara, the vicar of St Bride’s in London’s Fleet Street, even came into the Sun’s Wapping HQ to say a special “get well” prayer as the entire office touched David’s foot on the dot of noon.

The 54-year-old Spurs fan said: “There is no doubt that prayer can assist in the healing process.”

Wilshere is no Beckham – he’s fitter.

Posted: 17th, May 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Manchester United: fan fury, Mourinho gets desperate and Van Gaal gets time

Van Gaal man united the mail sacked

 

Jose Mourinho’s PR calls the Daily Mail, which dutifully produces the headline: “JOSE PSG TALKS – Manchester United must act NOW if they want Mourinho.”

From hammer-headed Dutchman Louis Van Gaal to divisive Portuguese Jose Mourinho, United fans must wonder how it came to this, the pragmatic taking over from the dreamers. The Mail says Mourinho is the “prime contender” to replace Van Gaal “should United sack the Dutchman”.

Says who? We soon find out: “Mourinho, 53, wants a deal agreed by next week and unless United make their move quickly they could miss out on the Portuguese.” Mourinho’s desperate, isn’t he. United need not rush. The French league is one-trick pony. Man United are huge. They pick the manger. The manager does not pick them.

 

Van Gaal man united the sun sacked

In the Sun, which has spent weeks hailing Mourinho as the next Man United boss, Neil Curtis tells Van Gaal, “You’re 4 It”, a pun on Van Gaal’s United missing out on a top finish and with it a berth in next season’s Champions’ League.

Curtis says fans “protests could follow tonight’s rearranged clash with supporters fed up with United’s turgid style of  play”. They could. And then again, the could not. Perhaps those United fans who can recall life before Alex Ferguson made them serial champions will be circumspect and wait and see what happens. Winning is all the more glorious when it follows fallow years.

Curtis seeks fans’ fury but finds none. We hear from one fan who says he “admires” Van Gaal and does “think he will get it right in time”, and another who says Van Gaal has “an aversion to risk” and “no club has the divine right” to play in the Champions’ League.

Curtis never does ask them what they think of Mourinho, which given the man’s playing style might be just as well…

Posted: 17th, May 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Harry Redknapp, angry Newcastle fans, sunshine Spurs and Arsenal failures

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United - White Hart LaneA few days before Newcastle United fans hymned their team to a 5-1 thrashing of fancied Spurs, former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp told his Evening Standard readers:

Angry Newcastle fans can help Tottenham finish above Arsenal

He went on:

Newcastle’s relegation should ensure a hostile atmosphere which Tottenham can take advantage of to secure second place in the Premier League…

Spurs…are still a top side and you would fancy them to win at St James’ Park against a team with nothing to play for under a manager who is probably going to leave… The fans up there will be angry at how things have panned out after Sunderland beat Everton and the Newcastle players will just want the season over with.

Here’s what George Caulkin had to say about the match in the Times:

This was a peculiar day at St James’ Park, where a relegated side played with the zeal of champions and their supporters sang merrily in the sunshine and when Spurs, for so long an embodiment of promise and quality, simply imploded. Old, tired, perennial failures Arsenal — or so the narrative goes — hopped above them and a campaign that has featured upset at its core ended in a suitably perplexing manner.

More expert inside knowledge from Harry Redknapp all over the media every week.

Posted: 16th, May 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment


Manchester United v The Sun: Van Gaal created social media and Ryan Giggs was a saint

The Sun has been telling us for months that Manchester United are to sack Louis Van Gaal and manager and replace him with Jose Mourinho. The paper’s Neil Ashton finds another reason to undermine the hammer-headed Dutchman’s leadership:

JESSE LINGARD’S video from the team bus gave an insight into life under boss Louis van Gaal at Manchester United. Discipline, once a bastion of this great club under Alex Ferguson, has pretty much disappeared under the Dutchman. Lingard’s 28-second film of the chaotic scenes inside the coach ferrying United’s players to West Ham on Tuesday is proof of that.

Lingard is a wally. Videoing himself on the team bus as it was pelted by beer cans tossed by West Ham fans and then posting the video on social media was the mark of a fool. Should United need a new coach – yes, that one with wheels and an improved SatNav – they might consider getting Lingard a car seat, such as the Mothercare Sport Car Seat in red with an integral harness, soft padded body, head support cushion, and chest and buckle pads. To blame Van Gaal for a 26-year-old using social media is madness.

 

gotcha the sun

 

As for the Sun warning against the perils of mobile phone abuse and linking it to poor leadership – the bucks tops with the boss – well, let’s just say we wish former Sun and NoTW editor Rebekah Brooks (innocent of all any any involvement in her underlings’ phone hacking and ill discipline) well in her new job as head of News Corp.

Ashton goes on.

With Lingard larking around, it showed how slack these players have become. Imagine Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs or Peter Schmeichel sticking their tongue out and shouting for “mommy” in similar circumstances.

That dressing room, which accounted for 13 Premier League titles during Fergie’s rule, used to police itself. When someone overstepped the mark or broke the rules, the big voices at United would close in on them. Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand or Keano saw to that.

To say nothing of lawyers:

 

giggs injunction herald

 

To say nothing of it being the era before smart phones and social media:

 

beckham ferguson boot sun

 

Ashton ploughs on:

When Lingard took the trouble to send his footage to some friends, who helpfully posted it on social media, his amateur video went viral.

Sadly for Van Gaal, who is still trying to figure it all out at United, it showed another side to events at Upton Park.

Ill-discipline is rife inside the United camp.

Or as Roy Keane put it:

Asked by ShortList if Ferguson ever had words over his drinking, Keane said: “Oh, of course. And quite rightly. This idea that me and Ferguson just had one bust up right at the end… We had loads! We had disagreements about my drinking, as fans are happy to report you if you’re spotted out at 3am.  But if we had a game on a Wednesday and the manager said to me, ‘I heard you were out Sunday night,’ I’d say, ‘Yeah, I go out Sundays.’ I was single, I was 21. I wasn’t a golfer. Drinking was my hobby, I suppose. I’m not giving it the thumbs up, but it was my trait. I don’t know why – because I’m Irish, maybe, because I lived by myself. Boredom kicked in.”

Such are the facts…

Posted: 16th, May 2016 | In: Back pages, Key Posts, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment