Anorak

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: 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


Transfer balls: Jose Mourinho to Manchester United ‘in hours’

Transfer balls spots more tales of Jose Mourinho to Manchester United. The Star thunders: “Mourinho to Man Utd in hours.”

How many hours is unspecified by Luke Gardener, who made his prediction on May 13th. But he does cite his course: “Sky Sports Italy claim he will replace Louis van Gaal at the end of the season and sign a deal imminently.”

Sky Sports states: “José Mourinho will be the next manager of Manchester United.” The story is titled: “Mourinho, yes to Manchester United.”

The Indy reads that and states: “Jose Mourinho to Manchester United: Former Chelsea boss reaches agreement to become manager.”

Or as, er, Sky Sports puts it today: “Manchester United have no deal in place with Jose Mourinho, say Sky sources.”

Does writer Rory O’Callaghan consider Sky as reputable source?

 

manchester united jose

 

More transfer balls throughout the summer.

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


Heads will roll after Manchester United fake bomb fiasco

manchester united fake bomb

 

Manchester United v Bournemouth was called off yesterday. A suspect package was discovered at Old Trafford. The Telegraph tells the sorry tale:

A farcical security blunder led to Manchester United’s final Premier League game of the season being cancelled on Sunday, after a private security firm forgot to remove a fake bomb taped to the back of a toilet door as part of a training exercise at Old Trafford.

The colossal error had sparked fears of another potential terrorist attack and resulted in the match against Bournemouth being called off as tens of thousands of fans were evacuated from one of the world’s most famous sports grounds.

Heads will roll. No, not at ISIS. It wasn’t a bomb. At the security company that didn’t find all its ‘bombs’, then forgot to collect and count them. But really it’s just pretty funny.

PS:  What’s odd is the Guardian’s front page, which leads with a picture of a sobbing child and a morose adult. Manchester United fans, which they surely are, should be delighted. That was the most urgency seen at Old Trafford this season:

 

bomb manchester united

 

 

Posted: 16th, May 2016 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, manchester united, Reviews, Sports | Comment


War Chest Watch: Manchester United, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal, Everton, Manchester City and Liverpool transfer budgets announced

Manchester United transfers

 

As the Premier League season ends big media turns to transfer rumours. One issue is deciding how much each club has to spend on new players. With every club in line for a £99m bonus next season, you’d suppose every PL club can spend large on recruitment.

Sunderland: “Sam Allardyce will demand a summer war chest of up to £50million” – Sun

Spurs:  “Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino to be handed £60m war chest to strengthen squad” – Mail

Arsenal: Arsene Wenger £75m transfer fund this summer to bolster fragile defence and midfield” – Daily Telegraph

Everton: “£100m war chest to fund spending bonanza” – Daily Mirror

Liverpool: “Liverpool boss handed £100m summer transfer warchest… and targets have been identified” – Daily Star

Chelsea: “Chelsea to use chunk of £130m warchest to beat Arsenal to Alexis Sanchez replacement”

Manchester City: “Manchester City to hand Pep Guardiola a huge transfer chest for the summer” – Manchester Evening News

Manchester United: “Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal to get £150m war chest even without top-four spot” – Daily Express

Manchester United: “United Uncovered: Jose Mourinho’s £300m warchest” – Daily Express

Such are the facts…

Posted: 15th, May 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: Arsenal offer Dortmund £33m for Mönchengladbach’s Xhaka

granit arsenal

 

Transfer balls: a look a dire reporting on football rumours. Today the Indy reports on Arsenal:

Arsenal have made an official £33.8m offer for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Granit Xhaka after moving ahead with their first transfer of the summer, with the German club resigned to losing the Swiss international in the coming weeks.

Granit Xhaka plays for Borussia Mönchengladbach. Should Dortmund take the cash and keep quiet?

Posted: 11th, May 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, Sports | Comment


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


Spurs balls: Pochettino joins Jose Moutinho at Manchester United (says The Sun)

The Sun has an “exclusive”. It says Manchester United have sparked “PANIC” at Spurs. The Red Devils want to take Mauricio Pochettino from White Hart Lane to Old Trafford.

Spurs bosses are “edgy” and “concerned” that Pochettino will leave the club and head to Manchester United. They need not worry. After all the Sun has told us over and over and over that Jose Mourinho is United’s next manager.

 

Jose Mourinho Manchester United the sun

 

 

December 21: “LOUIS VAN GAAL is on his way out of Manchester United after contact was made with Jose Mourinho…Van Gaal could now be gone before the Boxing Day game at Stoke. At best, he will have that plus the home clash with Chelsea next Monday to keep his job.”

March 26: “JOSE MOURINHO will be offered a mind-boggling £60million to send Manchester United soaring back to football’s summit.”

 

March 19, 2016: “Man United transfer news: Jose Mourinho ‘wants £60m Harry Kane to be prime target’”

Atop Press: Sun Panic that all its exclusive news has been utter balls.

 

Posted: 20th, April 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: Spurs Harry Kane to Barcelona, Manchester United in big summer of no news

The Guardian says Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are looking to buy Tottenham striker Harry Kane. The story contains not a single fact, quote or source. It is classic transfer balls. This summer will be busy for Kane news.

The Standard says Harry Kane “is the subject of renewed interest from Real Madrid and Bayern Munich”. Real and Bayern are both said to be “desperate to prise Kane from White Hart Lane”. But Bayern, “will only opt for Jane should Robert Lewandowski leave the club in the summer.”

Kane earns £50,000 a week at Spurs. Surely Barcelona and Bayern will top that, reasons the Standard.

The Week chucks in another team, saying Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane “has identified Kane as the man to lead the line next season.” You’ve got to love “identified”. It implies that Zidane has studied Kane for promotion to the big time. Kane is the Premier League’s top scorer. Identifying his talents is marginally less tricky than looking at a puppy stood by a pile of poo and working out whodunnit.

And then there’s Manchester United. Earlier in April, the Indy said Kane “could regret turning down transfer”. Well, so said Teddy Sheringham.

Looking at Kane flying high with Spurs, you have to wonder why he would leave the club.

Posted: 19th, April 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs | Comments (5)


Jamie Vardy hurt by lack of perspective

The newspapers are split: did Jamie Vardy, Leicester City’s scrote-to-star striker point his finger at referee Jon Moss as he was ordered to leave the field in his side’s 2-2 draw with West Ham? Vardy, already on a yellow card, earned his second and with it the red for an egregious spot of diving. Bizarrely his club manager Claudio Ranieri says Vardy “never dives”. Oh? “Always he goes very fast and at this speed if you touch a little [the player hits the turf like as if he’s been shot].”

The Mail says Vardy “jabbed a finger angrily at referee Jon Moss”. He did. But not in the picture the Mail leads with.

 

Vardy ref 1

 

It’s all matter of perspective, much like Ranieri’s vision.

Vardy ref

 

Jamie Vardy

 

Vardy ref 5

 

 

Posted: 18th, April 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports | Comment


Manchester City: the Real Madrid fear factor

Manchester City will play Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals. The Sun and Times are debating matters.

“Ronaldo and Co con’t scare us,” says the Manchester City manager, Manuel Pelligrini.

manchester city real madrid

 

But they should scare you, says the Times.

ronaldo manchester city

Posted: 16th, April 2016 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, Manchester City, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Manchester United: time up for magic Van Gaal

Manchester United have called “time” on Louis Van Gaal’s career at Old Trafford.

 

van gaal sacked mirror

 

So says the Daily Mirror, which adds that “even an FA Cup victory won’t stop Jose taking over”. David McDonnell says the Manchester United “hierarchy” are plotting an “exit strategy for the Dutchman and a succession plan for Mourinho”.

The Mirror, of course, is guessing. This is the paper that told readers Van Gaal would be sacked should United failed to beat Stoke City. They failed. Van Gaal stayed.

 

mirror van gaal sacked

 

Reading on we learn that the “exclusive” news of Van Gaal’s demise is not all that certain. There is a “belief the time for change is fast approaching”. And “there is a growing belief at the Reads they will soon have to strike a deal” to pay Van Gaal off.

After so much believing, it’s worth looking back at what the Mirror said yesterday, “Louis Van Gaal has a remarkable knack of getting a result when he needs it most…. He is either incredibly lucky or has a magic touch.” Or else he’s playing Stoke.

The Mirror writes him off and then says we write him off at our peril.

 

Posted: 15th, April 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Liverpool: Klopp’s devils, an Anfield miracle and Dortmund’s destiny

Liverpool left it late to beat Borussia Dortmund at Anfield last night.

Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel sums it up: “I can’t explain it, it was not logical. It was very emotional. At the end at 3-3 everyone here believed it was meant to be, it was destiny.”

Papers are calling it a “miracle”, a sign of God’s love. Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, is more circumspect: “We fought back like devils and it is deserved. A little bit lucky.”

Dortmund had surged into an early lead. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored inside the first nine minutes. Liverpool needed three goals to progress to the Europa League semi-finals. Divock Origi got one for the Read. And then Marco Reus restored the German’s advantage. Cue Liverpool goals from Philippe Coutinho, Mamadou Sakho headed and at the death Dejan Lovren.

Nothing better than watching your team fight to come back from the brink to win. Wonderful stuff:

 

klopp fab Liverpool Dortmund klopp miracle 2 Liverpool Dortmund klopp miracle Liverpool Dortmund klopp win Liverpool Dortmund klopp Liverpool Dortmund

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


Manchester United balls: Fergie’s banger clanger

sausage-tosserHear the story about former Manchester United manger Alex Ferguson’s sausage sandwich? The Star has news:

Revealed: Sir Alex Ferguson’s astonishing reaction to hearing of Man Utd’s defeat to Spurs

No, he didn’t laugh and scream ‘Yid Army!’

The Sun claim the Red Devils legend hurled his food while enjoying the 2016 Masters at Augusta.

Over in the Sun, then, to read:

Manchester United legend Alex Ferguson throws a banger after flops drop a clanger against Tottenham while watching the Masters

We know this because…

An onlooker said: “He was looking on his phone when he suddenly threw his sausage down on to his plate in anger. He’d obviously seen the United result.”

Yeah, obviously.

Posted: 12th, April 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Manchester United: players’ revolt, Van Gaal mired and the board dither

manchester united rebellion“CLUELESS,” says the Sun in its appraisal of Manchester United manger Louis Van Gaal. And the players agree. They “labelled  boss Louis Van Gaal ‘clueless’ in an amazing dressing-room inquest”.

They did?

A “source” says the players “didn’t seem to have much time for him” following their 3-0 defeat at Spurs.

The Times has more, writing in “stars sick of being blamed by Van Gaal” that the board is split over keeping Van Gaal, or replacing him with Ryan Giggs or Jose Mourinho. It’s a lack of clear thinking and direction that surely undermines United.  As Manchester City plot a direction of travel with their recruitment of Pep Guardiola, United dither. The Times says, until things are sorted out, Van Gaal may limp on”.

But the Mail says Van Gaal is “likely to leave United at the end of the season“. Is that why he has been talking about transfer targets?

Posted: 12th, April 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Arsenal balls: Wenger is crap, Keown is a one-man team and The Sun is clueless

Arsenal and West Ham United draw 3-3 and the Sun says it;s more evidence that Arsene Wenger is crap:

“Isn’t it funny the Wenger empire was built on  a defence he inherited from George Graham – and they have not won the League in 12 years since the likes of Lee Dixon, Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Steve Bould and  Nigel Winterburn left?”

You could argue that money played a factor, what with Arsenal unable to match their rivals’ spending. Or you could just find it funny how the Sun’s man in the know knows nothing.

 

the sun arsenal

 

When Arsenal last won the Premier League title in 2003/04, their defenders were:

Jens Lehmann: league matches started – 38
Ashley Cole: 32
Martin Keown: 3
Lauren: 30
Pascal Cygan: 10
Gaël Clichy: 7
Sol Campbell: 35
Kolo Touré: 36

Who knew going the entire season undefeated was all down to Martin Keown? He really was that good…

Posted: 11th, April 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment