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Back pages | Anorak - Part 38

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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: Aubameyang in Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal clickbait boost

Gabon and Borussia Drotmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has not signed for any Premier League club. Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke was asked about his star player leaving. He replied:

“If an offer comes, then we need to discuss it. If it should go into the hundreds of millions, then we also need to talk to the player. But I’m not worrying about it because at the moment we want to keep him as long as possible, best beyond 2020.”

If a team offers nutzoid money for Aubameyang, Dortmund will flog him. Maybe. By the time that statement reached some readers it had mutated into all manner of Transfer Balls:

The Express conjured up news about Arsenal and Liverpool:

 

Aubameyang liverpool bid

 

Are Arsenal and Liverpool shocked to learn that if they offer hundreds of millions of pounds for a player they stand a decent chance of recruiting him?

The Telegraph’s readers hear that Aubameyang could join Arsenal for hundreds of millions below the headline:

Aubameyang back in the picture

No. He’s not. Well, not unless Arsenal decided to spend hundreds of millions on one player and he’s painted by Picasso and Van Gogh.

The Metro conjures: “Dortmund will consider selling Arsenal target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang”

Yes. They will. Just as Barcelona will ‘consider’ selling Lionel Messi to Manchester United / Arsenal / Bournemouth / anyone for, say, £2billion. Make the number big enough and Manchester United’s owner would probably sell the club to Manchester City.

The apogee of this utter balls is in the Star, which tells Arsenal and Liverpool fans:

 

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A boost. Being told the player will stray at Dortmund unless a team pays hundreds of millions is boost is a ‘boost’.

Liverpool and Man United’s owners must be punching the air.

 

Posted: 2nd, February 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Niasse seduces Chelsea fans in his new Everton kit

nissiTransfer balls salutes the Daily Telegraph, which declares: “Everton close in on Niasse.” That’s Oumar Niasse, the Senegal international who has now joined Everton in a £13.5m move from Lokomotiv Moscow.

What’s odd about the Telegraph’s report is that it features on the paper’s “Chelsea transfer news and rumours” page. Niasse has no links to Chelsea – he’s not one of their myriad loaned players. So why is he on the Chelsea page? Helpfully the Telegraph explains:

“What does this have to do with Chelsea?” I hear you ask. Well, quite a bit, actually.

You see, Chelsea are a team who get googled a lot, so if you have the word “Chelsea” in your headline you’ll get lots of clicks and the sweet, sweet literal fractions of pence that accompany each one. I mean, they’re googled enough to warrant a transfer blog all to themselves even though they’re not going to do anything (where’s my SJA nomination, come to think of it?). Anyhow, that means that a bunch of websites are retrospectively making Niasse a Chelsea target when reporting that Everton are going to sign him, even though they’d never mentioned Chelsea’s interest in the past.

This is how transfer deadline day reporting works. Lap it up.

 

nisse

 

Having earned clicks from Chelsea fans for that report and misleading headline, we wonder what the Telegraph has said about Niasse? Well, on January 9 this year, the paper of record stated:

Chelsea transfer news and rumours: Chelsea poised to make £15million swoop for Oumar Niasse…Whilst Manchester United prepare to launch a £40million bid to sign his compatriot Sadio Mane… Chelsea are hoping to pick up more of a bargain in signing Niasse for around half of that figure.

Having learned that £15m is about half of £40m, readers were also told that Chelsea and Tottenham wanted to sign the player. Mentions of Everton’s interest: nil.

Such are the facts in the Telegraph.

 

Posted: 2nd, February 2016 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, Chelsea, Sports | Comment


John Terry is NOT leaving Chelsea

john terry quitsThe news moves quickly – too quickly for the dead tree press. This morning, the Times leads with “Chelsea snub Terry hid for new contract”. News is that John Terry, the Chelsea captain, is to leave the club this summer when his current contract expires. He wants to stay but the club are happy for him to go.

“It’s all over,” says the Mail. “Terry’s Chelsea days finished.” It’s the “Blues boot for JT,” says the big story on the Express‘ back page. “Captain. Lever. Legend,” puns the Mirror. “Captain. Leaader. Legend, Leaving,” retorts the Sun.

But what does Terry say? “They said that when the new manager comes in, things might change,” Terry said. “It’s a no at the minute.”

So he could stay? He wants to.

This morning Chelsea have made an announcement: “John requested a meeting with the club the week before last. In that meeting he asked about the possibility of an extension to his existing contract. John was advised that while no new deal was currently on the table, that situation could change in the coming months. The club has the utmost respect for John and everything he has helped us achieve to date. He is a fantastic servant of Chelsea Football Club and a superb captain and, as such, the club will keep the channels of dialogue open.”

Stories of John Terry’s demise have been premature.

 

Posted: 1st, February 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment


John Terry leaving Chelsea is one less reason to hate the Blues

John Terry, 35, says he’s leaving Chelsea this summer.  The club haven’t offered their skipper a new contract.

So he’s leaving the club he’s played for since age 14. He takes with him a haul of four Premier League titles, five FA Cups and the Champions League. He says:

“Ideally I would have loved to stay, but the club’s moving in a different direction. I couldn’t play for another Premier League club. It will be elsewhere for sure.  I feel as though I’m in great nick, I’m playing great and I’ve got a couple of years to go. It’ll just be elsewhere. The club will move on. No player is ever bigger than the club. No doubt they’ll sign one or two great centre-backs.”

The best thing a non-Chelsea fan can say about Terry is that unlike many new fans who see Stamford Bridge as a stepping stone to the rugby and a nice tea, Terry hasn’t left the match before the final whistle. He stayed at the club until it not longer wanted him. He gave it his all.

Now we await his book. It should be a good read – although we also expect it to feature entire chapters in parentheses with reams of footnotes lest any word be removed from context – cultural and historical –  and misinterpreted, to be used against Terry in a court of law, football phone-in or controversial handshake.

 

 

 

Posted: 31st, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment


Backpages: Arsenal win The Double, Man United cut academy, Chelsea sign Griezmann, Liverpool blow

So there it is – the first newspaper report telling Arsenal fans the Gunners can win The FA Cup and Premier League ‘Double’. Newspapers love to talk of teams winning multiple trophies. They believe it quickens the fans’ hearts. It does if those fans are age 6 and below, or the type who started to follow Chelsea or Manchester City after the money arrived.

The Mail also says Chelsea are looking to spend £60m on Atletico Madrid’s French striker Antoine Griezmann in the summer if Eden Hazard moves to either Real Madrid or Paris St Germain.

 

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The Daily Star and Independent both lead with West Ham United and Liverpool’s 0-0 draw in the FA Cup. The Indy says a replay is just what Liverpool don’t need. Surely defeat would have been worse. But why let the facts stand in the way of a pun. So it is that Liverpool staying in the Cup is a  “Hammer Blow”?

 

Kopp

 

Liverpool are lucky to be in the Cup, says the Star. It says Steven Caulker handled in the area but the referee failed to give West Ham a penalty kick. You might call that a ‘Hammer blow’.

The Star also says Pep Guardiola is heading to Manchester City. We know this because “Mrs Pep” has been looking at St Bede’s College, where the club have 40 Academy players studying. According to the school’s website, it is a “leading Catholic Independent Co-Educational Grammar School, founded in 1876, inspiring excellence and instilling values in pupils from 3 to 18 years.” All City’s academy players are educated at St Bede’s.

 

CAulk

 

The Express leads with Manchester United, who didn’t even play yesterday. The club’s owners, the Glazer family, have ordered cuts behind the scenes with up to 15% reductions in most departments.

 

manchester united

 

The Mirror picks up the rumour that Manchester City are favourites to sign Everton’s £50m-rated defender John Stones.

Posted: 31st, January 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Manchester United: Van Gaal quit talk won’t quit

Is Manchester Untied manager Louis Van Gaal a quitter? Is he going to quit Old Trafford? Is he… Well, you get the idea. The Press are obsessed with the idea of Van Gaal leaving his job. What loon would walk out of a job managing one of the world’s great football clubs?

Today’s Star leads with news that Van Gaal is sane enough to realise he’s got a fantastic job. He’s not quitting. In fact, he says “I Will Never Quit”. The Daily Mail has much the same news:

 

van gaal quit

 

It all ads up to nothing. It’s a  no-news news story. What Van Gal told the Press was:

“I have not mentioned that [quitting] ever. I think that you make your own stories. Then I have to answer your stories.”

Let’s have a look at the balls the Press has reported on Van Gaal quitting:

 

LVG quits

 

Van gaal

mirror van gaal sacked

van gaal manchester united sacked

van gaal sacked

 

 

quits van gaal axe van gaal quits quit van gaal

 

Such are the facts.

 

 

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


Transfer balls: Chelsea target Pato finds London in Brazil

pato london chelseaThe Metro’s Jamie Sanderson spots Chelsea target Alexandre Pato on a tweet. The free paper contrives to make a story from it. Readers are told:

Alexandre Pato pictured in London ahead of Chelsea transfer

Maybe Pato has been pictured in London ahead of signing for Chelsea – but in the Metro’s tweeted phone Pato’s at Guarulhos Airport in São Paulo, Brazil.

You can find the snapshot of Mr Duck on the Globo website.

 

Posted: 27th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment


Misleading headline of the day: Man City’s Bruyne at war with Arsenal’s Ozil

Kevin De Bruyne desperate to dethrone Mesut Ozil as King of the Prem assists

 

Misleading headline of the day is in The Sun, which brings news of Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Arsenal star Mesut Ozil. The headline thunders:

Kevin De Bruyne desperate to dethrone Mesut Ozil as King of the Prem assists

Desperate? What did he say when asked about assists?

“I know Ozil is leading. Last year I had 21. You can quickly get ten or 11 assists in half a season. You can sometimes have six and then seven matches with nothing, then a run. For me personally it does not matter.”

How did “it does not matter” become “desperate”.

Posted: 27th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, Sports | Comment


Liverpool lose and Stoke remain ‘in the mix’ for League Cup final, say papers

Last night Liverpool FC reached the League Cup final after a penalty shoot-out with Stoke. Let’s see which newspapers went to print before the match finished.

 

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tumblr_o1kzwctMUs1u5f06vo1_1280

 

Stoke are in the mix. Stoke shaking it up. So reports the Daily Express and Daily Mail. In other news: Stoke lost.

 

tumblr_o1l0lgztn11u5f06vo1_1280

tumblr_o1kzwctMUs1u5f06vo1_1280 tumblr_o1l0unCxyA1u5f06vo1_1280 tumblr_o1l23yowLF1u5f06vo1_1280

Posted: 27th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Manchester United v The Sun II: paper at club at odds of Van Gaal resignation

LVG quitsThe Sun says Manchester untied manager Louis Van Gaal offered to resign but the Man United board ordered him to stay.

But Manchester United says the Sun’s scoop is balls. On the BBC we read: “Sources have told BBC Sport no such conversation took place.”

But the Sun says it is “understood” the conversation did take place.

This is the second time in under a week the Sun has been contradicted by United. The paper reported that Man United’s reps had met Pep Guardiola at a Paris hotel. United said that was balls.

Either the Sun is writing nonsense, or else the club is lying.

And what, then, of the Mirror’s news?

 

Van Gaal sacked

 

This is not only a fight over Van Gaal’s future – it looks like United dealmaker Ed Woodward is fighting to save his job at United.

Posted: 26th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Manchester United: Van Gaal on the brink, Giggs gets the job, Mourinho promises the title

Following defeat to Southampton, Louis Van Gaal has let it be know that he’s “very disappointed” he is unable “to reach the expectations of the fans”. The Daily Mail (“GET Rid of LVG”), says those who pay Van Gaal are condidering ‘letting him go’.

The paper says United’s executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, has asked senior players what they think of the Dutchman. They told him of their problems with Van Gaal. They have “stopped responding”.

The Mail says Van Gaal’s end will spell promotion for Ryan Giggs. But Gigs wants the job on a long contract, not just to be an interim boss. Giggs is the “most likely choice”, readers are told.

Unless Jose Mourinho can get the job he craves. The Mail says the former Chelsea manager is “desperate” for the job. His agent has, reportedly, told United’s dealmakers Mourinho can win the title in his first season at Old Trafford. He did not add “or your money back!”

The Sun says it’s “GAAL OVER’. The paper says he’s “on the brink” of “quitting” United. For months the Sun’s being saying Van Gaal’s been on the brink. That brink is wide and generous.

The Mirror says Van Gaal “edges closer to ending the misery”. He has “dropped a quit hint”. He hasn’t.

Meanhwile, not one newspaper lead with a well cone to Southampton, who on  much smaller budget than United’s, won the game.

Posted: 25th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Jose Mourinho writes to Manchester United: ‘I love you… I can change’

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: A fan poses with a Manchester United scarf displaying the image and name of former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, outside the stadium before the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on December 28, 2015 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Jose Mourinho has written a “six-page love letter to United”, says the Independent.

Sadly, we don’t get to see any extracts from the former Chelsea manager’s love letter. We just get told how respectful Jose is to Louis Van Gaal, the current Man United boss. Which sounds a lot of utter balls when you realise the Dutchman’s contract runs until 2017.  If the letter exists, it is surely a pitch for the man’s job and with it his sacking.

The Indy notes:

Though many among the United hierarchy were more open to appointing the Portuguese than they were when Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, the former Chelsea manager’s camp were made aware that there was a still a considerable faction at the club opposed to hiring him. The reasons are thought to range from Mourinho’s regular controversies, his style of football and his failure to nurture young talent.

The Portuguese is well aware of this thinking, and that is why he took the decision to write a lengthy document, emphasising just how much he wants the job and how he would be willing to adapt his style to meet United’s principles. They have traditionally prided themselves on playing open, attacking football, and they have always set great store on developing their own young players.

In his submission Mourinho also presented a forensic analysis of this season’s team…

Is this PR dressed as a new story – dire off the missive, leak it to the Press and see what occurs? Look out for life-size cardboard cut-outs of Jose Mourinho in the Old Trafford stands.

And are United fans so desperate they want Mourinho, a man who delivers silverware but in a caustic style of management reliant on slash and burn-out? Is Jose so desperate to get one over on Chelsea, keen to show the club where he cemented his reputation and from where he was twice sacked that it wasn’t him, it was them? Could any Chelsea fan stand to be on the receiving end of his snark and sneer, to see him lead United to glory?

Mourinho’s agent  Jorge Mendes says the letter is nonsense, writing on his company’s website:

With regard to news published today in the British Press about Jose Mourinho, Jorge Mendes explained the following: “It does not occur to anyone that a coach like Jose Mourinho can write letters to clubs offering their services. It is absolutely ridiculous and totally absurd. “

Absurd. Ridiculous. But believable. This is Mourinho who once hid in a laundry basket. He wants that Man United job.

Posted: 24th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Chelsea top target is target Allegri (unless Pep Guardiola is)

Who is the top target for the Chelsea job? The papers haven’t a clue:

The Sun (Jan 22): “Chelsea have made Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri, 48, their top target to take over as manager next summer.” It’s news the Mirror reported in December.

Daily Express (Jan 14): “CHILE boss Jorge Sampaoli has handed Chelsea a major boost in their pursuit of him…”

Daily Star (Jan 10): “Guus Hiddink backs Pep Guardiola to be the next Chelsea boss.”

The Independent (Jan 7): “Pep Guardiola: Chelsea and Manchester City to fight for Pep…”

Daily Express (Jan 6): “CHELSEA have set their sights on Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone as their next permanent manager.”

Maybe Chelsea will just four mangers in one go and line them up, saving time looking for the next head coach between sackings.

 

 

Posted: 23rd, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment


Arsenal legend picks Mourinho over Wenger and four Manchester United players in Dream Team

Much is being made of former Arenal captain Patrick Vieira ‘s selection of Jose Mourinho to manage his dream XI. Arenal manager Arsène Wenger, who brought the player to English football, is overlooked. Vieira played under Mourinho at Inter Milan for 18 months – he played for Wenger for nine years.

“[Mourinho’s] the manager who had more influence on me, ” says Vieira. “Why? Because he was the one who impressed me most on his work ethic. He knew everything about the opposition, the strength, weakness. His detail was unbelievable; everything was so clear about what he wanted from each player. I don’t know what happened at Chelsea but he always got the best out of his players… Arsène is more concentrated on his own team. He gives freedom to players to express themselves. It’s a different style.”

Vieira is now carving out a career in management at Manchester City, attempting to prove his coaching potential with New York City FC, a Man City franchise. Arsenal never did come calling for their former captain. Is he bitter?

 

vieira dream team

 

These are his dream teams to play with and play against:

 

vieira dream team 1

 

 

Posted: 23rd, January 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Manchester City, Sports | Comment


Transfer Balls: Koeman jokes about managing Chelsea and the tabloids take it as fact

koemanTransfer balls: The Mirror leads with news that Southampton FC manager Ronald Koeman “wants Guus Hiddink to recommend him for the Chelsea job”. Readers are told: “Ronald Koeman has revealed he wants countryman Guus Hiddink to back him to be the next Chelsea manager.”

In 2014, Koeman joined Southampton on a three-year-deal. Is he really openly angling for the Chelsea job whilst coaching a rival club? He’s been talking on Dutch radio ahead of Southampton’s match with Manchester United, the club managed by fellow Dutchman Louis Van Gaal. The Mirror shares his words:

He remains keen to return to the top of the game and told Dutch radio: “It is certainly something that I always have at the back of my mind. “I always want to achieve the highest possible level. That has happened in Holland and that’s what I’d really like to achieve abroad.”

The Sun has the same news:

The Dutchman, 52, admitted a word from his fellow countryman Hiddink would work wonders to his cause of landing the job at Chelsea. Koeman told Dutch radio: “If Guus puts a good word in for me, that would be a big influence.”

One thing the papers don’t mention is that Koeman was joking when he spoke with Radio 538. You can hear it here.

Posted: 23rd, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment (1)


Manchester United v The Sun: Pep vanishes in Paris

Compare and contrast two of today’s stories on Manchester United an Pepe Guardiola:

pep united secret
And the, as reported by the Guardian:

Manchester United have denied reports that club officials met Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola in Paris last week to discuss the possibility of him replacing Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford. A report in France Football on Thursday claimed that the meeting with the Spaniard took place at the Hotel Bristol in the 8th arrondissement of the French capital last week. However, a United spokesman insisted there was no truth in the story.

Mentions of France Football in The Sun’s story: nil, although, like the Express, it does mention “reports in France” as the story’s source.

Either the Sun doesn’t check sources before it yells ‘Scoop!’ or else United are mistaken.

 

Posted: 22nd, January 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Manchester United move for Pep, block Van Gaal and have £45m for Stones

pep united secretManchester United have been talking to Pepe Guardiola, the football manager who will lead whichever club he coaches to ultimate glory. The Sun says Manchester United’s schmoozers met Pep at the “five-star Le Bristol hotel” in Paris. This was, we are told a “secret”.

It is also a “shock” to Manchester City who “convinced” Pep was on his way to their place. The paper suggests Pep is reluctant to reach an agreement with City because his current club, Bayern Munich, could meet them in the Champions League.

The Mirror leads with news that current Man United boss, Louis Van Gaal, is certain to leave the club in the summer. The United board have slapped him with a “transfer ban”. ll big deals are on the “back burner”. Odd because it was the Mirror that reported on December 31 2015, “Manchester United close in on £35m midfielder” and today yells: “John Stones ‘remains Louis van Gaal’s top target.” Van Gaal will bid £45m for Stones.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 22nd, January 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Arsenal top of list of clubs Pep Guadiola wants to manage

Former Times football editor Tony Evans tells the Evening Standard that Pep Guardiola wants to mange Arsenal.

Arsenal have the opportunity to acquire a coach with the potential to take the club into the next age of the game. Pep Guardiola is the sort of manager who can lift the Gunners to another level. He is young, suited to life in north London and keen to work in the Premier League…

Ever since he took that time off after Barca, he’s talked about clubs that attract him. It’s a very short shortlist and Arsenal are top of it.

The problem is, the position’s not open. It might just be a case of wrong place at wrong time, which is sad for you Gunners. He’d be a perfect fit. It does worry me there’s no plan for the succession at the Emirates

Pep is a great fit for Arsenal. But, then, so is Arsene Wenger.

In other Evening Standard news:

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 22.07.34

 

Pep to Arsenal looks like nothing more than wishful thinking.

 

 

Posted: 21st, January 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: desperate Pato agrees Liverpool deal and signs for Chelsea as his price keeps on falling

Transfer balls: Chelsea have agreed to pay Corinthians £8m for 26-year-old striker Alexandre Pato, says the Daily Express. Is that a good price for a lightweight but talented player who has largely failed to live up the promise shown in his early carer at AC Milan? Judging by the Pato chatter over the last few months, £8m is a snip.

April 3, 2014: The Daily Mirror declares “Chelsea’s £40m Pato, deal –  Abramovich green-lights Chelsea’s £40m Pato deal.”

October 14, 2015, Metro says Alexandre Pato could be on his way to Arsenal or Spurs. A source is quoted: “…if a club comes in with an offer of €25m (18.5m), we will let him go.”

November 2015: Pato is worth £15m, says TalkSport – and he’d agreed to join Liverpool. He’s the new Luis Suarez – maybe:

 

Pato Chelsea

 

On January 10, the Independent said Pato was heading to Liverpool, albeit for £11m.

 

pato liverpool

 

And finally the Western Daily Press reaches a new low price: “Brazil star Alexandre Pato agrees £7 million deal with Chelsea.”

Corinthians are desperate to sell Pato. Give it a week and £8m will look overpriced.

Posted: 21st, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Misleading headline of the day: Wenger’s ‘exciting Arsenal transfer plans’

Exciting Arsenal

 

The Metro has some terrific transfer balls. The paper decalres: “Wenger gives exciting update on Arsenal transfer plans for next two weeks.”

The story runs:

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has refused to rule out making more signings this month – but says he expects a quiet end to the window…

Says Wenger:

“At the moment I expect our last ten days to be quiet.”

Excited much?

 

Posted: 21st, January 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages | Comment


Transfer balls: Liverpool open bidding for Alex Teixeira

Liverpool have made a move for a big-named signing. It’s Alex Teixeira. He plays for Shakhtar Donetsk. He scores lots of goals. He’s from Brazil.

The Guardian says Liverpool have made a £24.5million bid.

The Liverpool Echo says Liverpool can forget it because Shakhtar ‘value the player at around £38.5million.

What that means, of course, is that when an English club comes knocking the player’s foreign owners looks at the massive TV deal – every Premier League team next season is guaranteed about £95m just for taking part – and bumps up the price. That explains why the Daily Mail says Shakhtar are “willing to sell for £29m”; the Daily Mirror says Shakhtar want around £36m; and The Times says Shakhtar “value Teixeira at closer to £40m”.

They don’t know because the fee is because Shakhtar keep pulling the lever on the one-armed bandit.

Posted: 21st, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Arsenal earn more money on match day than every other club in Europe

Arsenal matchday

 

Arsenal raked in more cash from match-day activities last season than every other club in Europe. The Gunners took a whopping £101.6m, beating Real Madrid (#99.9m), Barcelona (#980m) and Manchester United (#87.8m).

Given that three other clubs directly behind Arsenal in the list of top earners all boast larger grounds, it’s clear that Arsenal are getting rich on having supporters willing to pay top whack for tickets and snacks.

 

Posted: 21st, January 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Money, Sports | Comment


Spurs go marching on as Leicester sacrifice Cup glory for league success

son FA Cup Spurs are on their way to Wembley! Well, if they can negotiate a deal to play at the national football stadium while their new ground is being built, then yes, they are. Before that they will play at least one more round in this season’s FA Cup, having seen off Leicester City in a replay earned via an iffy penalty when the team first met. The tabloids all lead with Spurs’ 0-2 win at Leicester.

The Sun  – “It was the Son wot won it” – hails Tottenham’s Heung-Min Son. His goal hit the net at 54mph. Good to know. No less interesting is the paper’s dire and ubiquitous “5 Things we learnt” column, in which a football writer is tasked with the dread job of making a list to fill a space. The first point is: “Tottenham’s reserve team was far better than  Leicester’s reserve team.” Not so. Of  the 14 Spurs player who took part in the match, 8 played against Leicester last weekend. Leicester called on 6 from 14. Neither side was at full-strength, but to call them reserve sides is wrong.

And what football writer worth their corn had to watch the match to “learn” that bigger, richer Spurs have more strength in depth than smaller, poorer Leicester?

When Spurs went 1-0 up, fist-choice striker Harry Kane came on. Only with Leicester 2-0 down did Claudio Ranieri, Leicester’s manager, send on top-scorer Jamie Vardy. Two Leicester City players – Demarai Gray and Ben Chilwell – were making their home debuts. Son’s fine goal was in part down to Chilwell’s failure to close him down. It’s pretty clear that Spurs manger, Mauricio Pochettino wanted it more.

Spurs march on. Leicester continue to be the season’s surprise package.

Posted: 21st, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs | Comments (2)


Manchester United balls: Louis Van Gaal ‘Walks’

The Daily Mirror has news: Louis Van Gone – Old Trafford pressures force boss to consider his future.. he could walk a year before the end of his contract.”

 

Van gaal

 

This follows other Lois Van Gaal walking news:
walking van gaal

 

van gaal manchester united walk

 

And so to today’s walking Louis news:

Louis van Gaal is considering walking out on Manchester United this summer – a year before his contract expires… Sources in Holland claim the Dutchman’s family have become increasingly concerned at the heavy toll leading the Old Trafford giants is taking on the 64-year-old.

Sources in his homeland? If he goes, then what?

 

Van Gaal stepping down would leave the way clear for Jose Mourinho, sacked by Chelsea last month, to take over — the Special One is said to be willing to bide his time until the summer to land the Old Trafford gig.

Mourinho is “willing” be manager of the biggest club in British football. Feel the humility. Why United would go for Mourinho seems odd. Maybe thy plan to narrow the Old Trafford pitch?

 

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


Transfer balls: Spurs make James Maddison the ‘new Dele Alli’ by bidding less than Arsenal

James-MaddisonTransfer Balls: No sooner have Tottenham Hotspur signed Dele Alli, 19, then they’re getting an second Dele Alli. The Times brings news: “Spurs make fresh bid for new Dele Alli.”

This new version of the old Alli is 19-year-old James Maddison, currently on Coventry City’s books. Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City, Southampton and Newcastle United are also in for him, we’re told. The Times says Spurs will offer Coventry £5m.

But the Mirror says Liverpool are “leading the chase” for his signature, although the Reds will probably just wait for Southampton to buy Maddison and then sign him from there.

The Metro says Arsenal also want Maddison and Coventry “could accept a £10m bid”.  The Express agrees, saying that £10m for the “wonderkid” is a fair price.

After so much speculation, we wonder how good he is? The Coventry Telegraph reported a few words from his manager Steven Pressley, back in 2014:

“James typifies what I want to see at this club,” he said. “After the game on Wednesday he was the last player out the dressing room, not because it took him longest to get changed but because he helped Andy Harvey collect the kit and clear up. That’s what it takes at this club – it takes everybody buying into what we are… “

He’s talented and hard-working. No wonder the big clubs want him.

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