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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

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


Transfer balls: Chelsea want Berahino who wants Spurs but will go to Newcastle

berahino spurs

 

It’s been a busy fee days of doing nothing for West Brom’s Saido Berahino. The Birmingham Mail says he’d play for Spurs or go “nowhere”.

A few days on and the London Evening Standard says Berahino is heading to Chelsea. The Blues are “favourites” to land the striker’s signature. The Daily Express says Berahino is off to Newcastle United. 

Spurs or nowhere? More like just anywhere.

Posted: 19th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports | Comment


Laughably biased Daily Express story calls BT Sport The Arsenal of TV

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 15.10.45

 

In “BT Sport’s winning duo: Hoddle and Hargreaves showing Sky are no longer the limit” the Daily Express’. The story on Liverpool’s 3-3 with Arsenal is written by Jim Holden. It contains the following:

BT! And there was something else which made this a memorable match – the superb coverage last Wednesday evening by BT Sport…

This was the night when they proved their live football broadcasting can be the equal of the brilliance for so long provided by Sky…

Instead of going to an advert break at just the wrong moment before the start of the game, they allowed us to hear The Kop singing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. As anyone who has been to the ground knows, this is an integral part of matches at Anfield and it should always be conveyed to TV viewers….

…the radical decision by BT to have two analysts talking about the match alongside the commentator worked a treat….

Owen Hargreaves and Glenn Hoddle combined perfectly…

This H-men double act of Hoddle and Hargreaves will give the best of Sky a run for their money…

The use of World Cup Final referee Howard Webb to give instant verdicts on contentious or surprising decisions by the officials is another bonus from BT Sport…

You want more?

It takes time, and it has taken time, for a new TV station to develop its coverage and win the loyalty of viewers at home across the country. In my experience, that hurdle has now been jumped by BT Sport.

They are a serious player, much like Arsenal in this year’s Premier League title race…

Nowhere does it say that Holden has another gig:

 

BT Sport Daily Express

 

Back of the net!

 

Posted: 19th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comments (5)


Transfer balls: four Chelsea players in mass exodus is a blessing

It’s “cHELLsea” on the Sun’s backpage, the pun a natural fit between the fires of Hades and a football club in West London. “Chelsea are fearing an exodus of their biggest players this summer,” writes Rob Beasley in a story on the Blues’ “fab four”.

The “Fab Four” are  Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, Oscar and Thibaut Courtois. These four players have been unsettled by Chelsea’s failure to be closer to the cop of the table, we read. Should Chelsea fail to be better the Fabn Four will leave. Well so says a “source”, who opines: “Yes, they’re tied into deals but those contracts won’t stop rivals moving in at the end of the season. And they won’t stop our players considering their futures either. Contracts don’t count for a lot these days.”

Wise words that could be applied to pretty much every single footballer and every club. Rival clubs buy good players (see Chelsea’s Hazard, Costa, Courtois and Oscar – all bought by Chelsea from less wealthy clubs).

One way around this “fear” of a player exodus would be for Chelsea to develop their youth system so that players from it can progress into the first team, giving Chelsea player who actually care about the club’s fortunes.

 

Posted: 19th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment


Liverpool Balls: Brendan Rodgers and who gets the ‘final say’ on transfers

Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers tells us:

“Well…it was a group decision, really. It was certainly not something I would have the sole or final say on. It’s difficult really. When there is a list of players and the player that you want isn’t on that list, you have to take someone. You can’t have no players. If you haven’t got a left-back, if the left back that you want, for whatever reason, you can’t bring in, if there is a list of three or four, you are having to take the best on that group. It’s the model.”

Is that the same Brendan Rodgers who when Liverpool manager told Liverpool Echo on May 28 2014:

 

Liverpool Rodgers

 

“Obviously, I am involved heavily in the identification of the player,” Rodgers told the ECHO.

“The principle idea when I first came in was that like any manager you will have the first call on a player and the last call.

“That’s the call on whether he’s good enough to continue to look at and try to organise a deal and the last call to say yes or no.

“There is a big part that goes on in between. In modern football you need to trust other people to do the work. That’s something we do here and that’s why we have had the success we’ve had.

“The finer details of that are left to Ian who does a terrific job and our other guys in that field who will go through the contracts. I am aware of where the situation is at right the way through the process.

“We will never bring in a player here who the manager doesn’t want in. That’s a great credit to the owners and the other people at the club.

“We work very closely together – it’s worth stressing that. It’s key that we are very much one club.

“We are really preparing for next season. I’ve had some very good meetings with our recruitment team. We are very much together as one.”

Such are the facts.

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


Manchester United can win league say every tabloid that wants Van Gaal sacked

When Liverpool play Manchester United the Press like to hype it as a meeting comparable to Spain’s El Clasico, the shimmering fixture between Real Madrid and Barcelona. It isn’t. It’s a match between a mid-table side (Liverpool) and also-rans (Manchester United) in an ordinary Premier League league. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp calls these big matches ‘the salt in the soup’. But the soup is horribly thin and over-priced.

In yesterday’s poor match, Manchester United took all three points thanks to a Wayne Rooney goal scored with United’s single shot on target. Rooney’s strike was the one moment of genuine skill in a game devoid of style, intensity, technique and excitement.

The tabloids all lead with news that the result is all that matters.

The Express: “VanTitle Drive – Rooney keeps United hopes alive”

Mirror: “Van Gaal: We are back in title race… and it’s all down to wayne goals”.

The Sun: “Roo Gotta Believe Us – We can still win title claims defiant LVG”

Daily Mail: “Roo in Title Charge – His goal puts United back in the frame”

A dull away win against a bang average Liverpool side and Manchester Untied can in the Premier League. Wow! And these are the same paper that a few weeks ago wanted LG sacked for being dull.

 

Posted: 18th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Toni Kroos rejoins Manchester United in clickbait cavalcade

Transfer balls spot this in the MetroReal Madrid are tying to sell Manchester United Toni Kroos, 26, to help them pay for Paris St-Germain striker Edinson Cavani, 28.

Regular readers will recall the tabloids telling them that Kroos joined United from Bayern Munich in May 2014.

 

Toni Kroos Man United

 

The trusty Metro said Man United has paid £20m for Kroos.

 

Kroos United

 

All total balls. Kroos joined Real for £20m on a six-year deal.

And so to today’s Metro scoop:

Real Madrid want Manchester United to spend £40.5million on the transfer of Toni Kroos so they can use the funds to sign Arsenal target Edinson Cavani.

Real bought Kroos for £20m. They want to get rid of him so are asking for over £40m. Eh?

The La Liga side are concerned that their transfer ban will leave them short in the striking department. Real president Florentino Perez wants to sign the Paris Saint-Germain striker but needs to raise funds to do so. And he is willing to let United buy Kroos to fund a deal, according to A Bola.

Over to A Bola we go. There we learn that Real’s top target is not Cavani – it’s Robert Lewandowski. Cavani is mentioned only by the writer behind the article as a player he’d like Real to sign. The report does mention Kroos. We learn that Manchester United have bid €53m for the German. The sources is cited as AS. We looked at AS. We can find no word on Kross to Man United. German newspaper Bild did pick up the story. It’s source is the The Telegraph, which heard the news of Kroos to Old Trafford on Fichajes. Its source is Ok Diario. That organ says Chelsea, Manchester United and PSG want to buy Kroos:
The three clubs showed to the representative of Kroos their willingness to engage in talks with Real Madrid at the end of the season and put on the table a negotiating offer of around €50m. The whites signed the world champion in the summer of 2014 for €25m. Kroos had only one year contract with Bayern and didn’t want to renew, so the price of his transfer was much lower than his actual market price.

No sources are cited. There are no quotes. No names. From that one report so many newspaper say Manchester United have bid over €50m for Kroos.

You have to wonder why when facing a two window transfer ban Real would sell one of their players, especially one on a long contract?

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


Transfer balls: Liverpool and Arsenal compete to sign Iñaki Williams – La Liga’s fastest ever player

Liverpool are looking at Athletic Bilbao’s winger Iñaki Williams, 21. Any club can buy Williams if they can produce the €20m needed to activate his release clause. His current contract expires in June 2017.

Will Liverpool get him? The Guardian says Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid also fancy the player. Given that both Madrid clubs are facing a two-window transfer ban, either club could move fast.

The paper adds that Arsenal and Tottenham have also sent scouts to watch Williams. Keiran Gill of MailOnline says the Gunners like what they saw and are ready to spend £15 million on Williams, who has been clocked as the fastest player in La Liga, being recorded at 22.2 miles per hour in a league match last May. That’s 35.73 kph, putting Williams right up with Premier League flyers.

 

Fastest player in a PL match 2015-2016 Via

Fastest player in a PL match 2015-2016 Via

 

He’s quick. But is he any good?

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 15.57.53

 

 

Yes. He looks like the real deal. £15m for such a talent seems a little chap. Atletico want him to sign a new contract with a €100m release clause. Williams is on a reported £16,000-a-week at Atletico. At the very least he will use the interest in him to negotiate a hefty raise.

 

Posted: 16th, January 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Saido Berahino hawked to Manchster United, sold to Chelsea, bought by Spurs, wanted by Leicester, not for sale

pulis berahino

 

Having been told that  will “only play for Spurs“, the Guardian says Leicester City want to sign West Bromwich Albion sulker. The papers really have no idea what’s going on with Berahino

Daily Star, Jan 10: “EXCLUSIVE: West Brom willing to sell Saido Berahino to Man United”

The Guardian, Jan 13: “Football transfer rumours: Chelsea to sign Saido Berahino and Jamie Vardy?”

Daily Mirror  Jan 14: “Leicester joining Saido Berahino transfer chase alongside Spurs, Chelsea, Newcastle and Stoke”

Daily Telegraph, Jan 14: “West Bromwich Albion tell Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United striker Saido Berahino is not for sale”

The Independent, Jan 15: “Saido Berahino to Tottenham latest: West Brom striker ‘for sale’, says Tony Pulis”

And to further prove that this story has gone nowhere:

BBC, Jan 20, 2015: “Saido Berahino: West Brom striker not for sale, says chairman”

Saido’s been going nowhere.

Posted: 16th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports | Comment


Liverpool v Manchester United: hyping the mid-table v also-rans

Klopp backpage Manchester United The tabloids are attempting to light the bunsen burner beneath Liverpool’s home match with Manchester United. It’s not an easy thing to do. Liverpool, an ordinary mid-table side, versus also-rans Manchester United. Game on!

The papers looks at the charisma-free players on either side, fail to spot any signs of tension, fight, star-quality or feuds, and decide to focus attention on the teams’ respective managers.

The Sun says Liverpool boss Jurgen Kloop, fresh from wildly celebrating a last-gasp home draw with Arsenal – Liverpool fans still unsure how far their club have fallen should study his frenzied reaction and weep – “Said No to United.”

JURGEN KLOPP snubbed a chance to fill Alex Ferguson’s boots at Manchester United.

The Liverpool boss was approached by Fergie himself three years ago. But Klopp admitted: “We spoke and it was a big honour but there was a time I couldn’t leave Dortmund. It was April and in the middle of the planning for next season… We spoke but I first had to finish the job with Dortmund then think about other things. Maybe that is not smart but that is my way.”

No snub, then. Klopp was tied to his beloved Dortmund. He would not leave them in the lurch.

 

Klopp backpage Manchester United

 

The Express says Klopp “turned down Fergie”.  Klopp was not first choice for United. Ferguson sounded out many managers about them taking over at Old Trafford.

 

van gaal liverpool backpage

 

The Mirror and Star both lead with Louis Van Gaal, a man who for week has been on the “brink” of getting the sack at Old Trafford – well, so the papers have told us. He’s still there. Asked if he thinks United will go as long without winning the title as Liverpool, who last won the league in 1990, Van Gaal says:

“I am part of the transition so I cannot imagine that shall happen with Manchester United. But when it’s happening to Liverpool it can happen to Manchester United but I cannot imagine that because we are in transition and we are going in the right way.

“Maybe it shall take a longer time but I cannot imagine that it shall be the same period for Manchester United – the club is too big, too well organised and we have an infrastructure and we are improving that every year.”

 

tumblr_o10mm7dZYP1u5f06vo1_1280

 

So much for his having a pop at Liverpool. He says it could happen to any team.

It’s war!

 

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


Transfer balls: Madrid ban kills Manchester United’s plans for Bale and Chelsea’s move for Simeone

In “Bale Bombshell”, the Mail leads with news that Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid have been banned from registering new players for two transfer windows. Both clubs are guilty of breaking rules governing the importing of player under 18.

This has a “major impact” on players like Gareth Bale, David De Gea, Eden Hazard and Cristiano Ronaldo. Sharp eyes will have noticed that two of those players don’t actually play for Real Madrid. But the Mail reasons that Real want to buy De Gea from Manchester United and Hazard from Chelsea, and sell Bale to United and Ronaldo to PSG.

This leads the Mail to declare a state of “mayhem” in the transfer market. Pete Jenson says Everton “could” look to panic buy Everton’s John Stones. Although if Real appeal, they “could” secure a delay to their ban, meaning they “could” buy David De Gea next summer. They “could” also sell Bale to Manchester United.

The Times, says the ban “all but ends” Manchester United’s hopes of recruiting Bale or Ronaldo. Chelsea are hurt in their pursuit of  Diego Simeone, the Atletico coach. He loves the club and “may well demur at the prospect of leaving them in the lurch”. Also, Atletico might block Chelsea’s attempts to buy Antoine Guzmann.

On the plus side, Manchester United will have one less rival for Robert Lewandowski, and Manchester City in their hunt for Paul Pogba’s signature.

The Sun says the ban triggers a £250m “mad dash” by Real to sign as many players as possible. This means they will buy David De Gea, Sergio Aguero , Paul Pogba, Robert Lewandowski and Eden Hazard. The Star adds Harry Kane to the list.

Is it all just hype? When Barcelona were banned from all transfer activity in 2015, they used their appeal to sign targets. Barcelona were handed a 14-month ban in April 2014 after being found guilty of breaching Fifa’s rules on the transfer of players aged under 18. Fifa rejected an appeal in August 2014 but a pending appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport allowed Barca to sign players, including Luis Suarez, Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal. Barcelona signed lots of players during their ban but never registered them until it ended. When it did, they registered a mere 77 players.

The agents are going to be busy.

 

Posted: 15th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Tottenham: Spurs put underpaid Kane and Alli in the shop window

When Tottenham offered Dele Alli an improved contract, the player was happy to sign on for a further five and a half years. On Tuesday Alli agreed the deal. His pay doubled to £25,000 a week. With the ink still wet, Spurs coach Mauricio Pochettino compared Alli to Paul Pogba, the star Juventus and France player.

Pogba earns far in excess of Alli’s weekly wage. Should Alli continue his rate of improvement chances are bigger club will offer him a lot of money to play for them. At his age, Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere was earning closer to £50,000-a-week. The big wages help to make Arsenal look ambitious.

Today the Times says Spurs are aware that £25,000-a-week is getting “England’s Pogba” on the cheap. So in the summer Alli will be offered a new deal. Spurs, we read, “are aware that Alli remains relatively underpaid… but are also conscious of his age and the advisability of rewarding him gradually.”

Sure they are. Alli is being underpaid.

And so too is his Spurs teammate Harry Kane. And Pochettino is happy to talk up his striker.

“I was a player. When you have up front Ronaldo, Romario, your challenge is to fight with them and you need be ready 200 percent, not 100 percent. It’s like when Harry Kane starts, for example,” Pochettino said. “Now Harry Kane is a top-class player and it’s always a challenge for the centre-backs to try to stop him. It’s a big challenge. It’s changed how they see us.”

Kane earns £70,000-a-week.

Unless Spurs pay the going rate for regular Barclays Premier League starters and England internationals, their best players will continue to leave the club. Maybe that’s the plan. Alli has no buy-out clause in his contract. The Times says Tottenham will reply on the negotiation sills of club chairman Daniel Levy should they receive any offers.

They will do. And Levy will sell.

 

 

Posted: 15th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs | Comments (5)


Manchester United sack Van Gaal (soon…maybe)

Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal is on game from defeat. So says the Times on its back page.

 

van gaal sacked

 

If you say it for long enough eventually you can be proven right:

 

mirror van gaal sacked

 

And on it goes…

Posted: 14th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment