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Back pages | Anorak - Part 4

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

Media bias: Chelsea denied clear penalty, Hazard tumbles and lucky Spurs

Spurs tonked Chelsea 3-1 in the Premier League. At 1-0 to Spurs, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard was felled in the Tottenham box. Penalty! No. None given. But should one have been? Let’s look for any signs of bias in the media: 

BBC: “Chelsea will be furious at a soft free-kick for Spurs’ first goal and a failure from Martin Atkinson to give them a penalty when it was only 1-0 when Juan Foyth appeared to foul Eden Hazard in the 18-yard box.”

Chelsea website: “We had our moments in the first half, with Eden Hazard denied what looked like two clear penalties”

And again:

Chelsea website: “The Blues had what looked like a legitimate penalty appeal turned away when Hazard was bundled over in the box by Juan Foyth”

Former referee Peter Walton was in the studio for BT Sport: “…when you re-run it there’s a knee-on-knee and the foul comes when Foyth’s knee touches Hazard and that’s enough to put him over. For me that was a penalty.”

Guardian: ” Eden Hazard ought to have had a penalty on 14 minutes when Juan Foyth went into him from behind ”

Chelsea blog We Aint Got No History: “An early goal from a dubious foul, then a clear penalty uncalled on Hazard, then an unlucky second goal.”

And on the Spurs website? Only this: “13 mins – Hazard over in the box, appeals waved away.” No word on how he went over. 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 24th, November 2018 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Spurs | Comment


Arsenal balls: Nicolas Pepe tops the wish list

Nicolas Pepe

 

Transfer balls: Arsenal are looking to sign a forward in the January transfer window. Danny Welbeck’s ankle injury has ruled him out for a few months at least. Arsenal a little light up front. News is that top of the wanted list is Nicolas Pepe. The Lille winger will cost the Gunners around £27 million, says the Times. The Star, however, has picked up a different brochure. It says Pepe is worth £43m. The Sun says Pepe is on a “three-man shortlist” to replace Luis Suarez at Barcelona. The Mirror says, Lyon, Sevilla and Real Betis all wants Pepe. The Sun says Bayern Munich are keen. Goal says he’s good enough to play for Real Madrid. And the Times says Spurs also want him. 

Anyhow, Arenal need him most. So will they get him?  “If there is a very good opportunity we are definitely going to consider, we will see,” Raul Sanllehi, the Arsenal director of football, told media. “Danny Welbeck’s injury alters, in a way, the views. It’s a good time to start analysing what options we have in the market. We are not closing the door but it’s still not the preferred one. I am not saying that’s a green light to go to the market but we have good players in the house also that may get further opportunities, like Eddie Nketiah for example.”

Closing the door. Green light. In the house. Did Sanllehi learn England from The Big Boom of Cliches? He’s pretty managed to say nothing.  Once upon a time, a hot French talent would have been a shoo-in to play for Arsenal. But now… Well, can they really compete in the transfer market? In 2017, Arsenal bid £92m to sign Thomas Lemar from Monaco, said Sky Sports. They never got him. The France winger joined Atletico Madrid one year laster for €60 million.

Posted: 21st, November 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Bullshit.com: Frenkie de Jong to Manchester City is a ‘done deal’

Transfer Balls: Following the Mirror’s news that Frenkie de Jong had agreed to join Manchester City for £60m comes news in the, er, Daily Mirror that he hasn’t. But he might. The paper of record (surely clickbait factory – ed) says City will have to pay a club record £75m for the Ajax and Netherlands midfielder.

It’s been three days since the Sun said Frenkie de Jong to City was done deal – three days since the Mirror told its readers City “have beaten Barcelona” to the signing. Manchester City “have blown the competition out of the water”. 

 

Frenkie de Jon

Frenkie de Jon signs for Manchester City – BBC

 

frenkie de jong

Daily Mirror says Frenkie to City is done

 

 

Frenkie de Jon signs for Manchester City -

Frenkie de Jon signs for Manchester City – The Sun

 

 

That was all tosh. But worry not because the Mirror has more news: 

 

Frankiede Jong

A day is a long time at bullshit.com

 

The paper reports in an “exclusive”:

Manchester City will have to pay a club-record £75million in the upcoming bidding war with Barcelona for the new Johan Cruyff…

However, Spanish champions Barca are also very keen on De Jong, and several other top clubs are monitoring the rapid progress he’s making this season.

Why is £75m the fee in a “bidding war”? It’s more than the £60m it cost city to sing Frenkie three days ago. 

Posted: 21st, November 2018 | In: Back pages, Key Posts, Manchester City, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Arsenal balls: Ramsey could stay

Being a pundit is easy. You speak. And then move on to the next bit of mindless chatter. Which brings us to former Arsenal striker Ian Wright who is waxing lyrical about Aaron Ramsey, the midfielder who delayed signing a new deal for so long ever Arsene Wenger left the club. Arsenal offered Ramsey an eye-wateringly expensive long-term deal and then withdrew it. Ramsey is now free to leave at the season’s end. Says Wright:

“I think it might be the perfect time for us (Arsenal) and for him to move on. I think the boss should be given now the time, especially the money, to try and find maybe one or two replacements for someone like Aaron Ramsey, rather than giving Aaron Ramsey the kind of money he was asking for…  It isn’t something I’m too disappointed about, I’m pleased for him and I’m pleased for the new ruthless Arsenal in respects of the way they are saying ‘if that’s the way it is going to be then that’s the way it is going to be’.

This the same Ian Wright who opined in September:

“Ivan Gazidis has got a lot to answer for for this to happen because Ramsey should be a focal point in the team… I’m desperate for him to stay.”

In other news, Arsenal have found a replacement for the very replaceable one-goal-a-season Aaron Ramsey. It’s Villarreal midfielder Pablo Fornals. The Sun says the the 22-year-old has a €20m release clause. If not him then the Mirror says it could be one of five – yeah, just five – players Arsenal could sign to replace Ramsey. The Express says they could replace him by picking another player already at Arsenal. Oh, and in the Standard, Arsene Wenger says Ramsey might yet stay at Arsenal. 

Such are the facts.

 

 

Posted: 20th, November 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Transfer Balls: Pogba wants to leave Manchester United to go ‘home’

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, 25, says he wants to leave Manchester United. He’s missing life at Juventus. Corriere dello Sport has the scoop. But the Daily Mirror does its own translation. “Pogba says yes to Juve,” says the paper. But he hasn’t because Juventus haven’t asked him any questions. This is just about Pogba wishing for a return ‘home’ – you know, just as he waned to go ‘home’ to Manchester United, the club he left to join Juventus.

The Mirror says Pogba became a “marquee signing” when he joined United for £89.3 million. A marquee is a big tent. The Mirror merely means he was expensive. And he’s proven to be over-priced. What fee would Juventus pay for the player keen to move away from them and now keen to return? The Mirror says Juve could “steal a march” on Barcelona, who for some obscure season apparently also want Pogba. Why do they? He’s a good player but £100m good? 

In the interest of fairness to the Mirror, here’s the Corrier dello Sport story pushed through the prism of Google Translate:

«Pogba says yes to Juve». Boom. The summary of the English Sunday press gives an indiscretion that could change the course of the market and the history of this season in the coming weeks. And he follows other gossip related to the future of the French midfielder who would want him more and more convinced to return to Juventus. Paul’s official statements, of course, tell of his great happiness of being back at Manchester United and wearing the Red Devils shirt. But the drafts that come from Old Trafford reiterate a general coldness in relations with José Mourinho and a strong temptation of the world champion midfielder to be a part of that “family” (a term that Paul has used several times to define Juventus) . “Who knows …” has in fact thrown there to a specific question about his new life Juventus, a few weeks ago when he returned to the Stadium as an opponent for the Champions League match. A return enriched by a warm welcome from the Juventus fans, for him who has been able to exalt himself over the years in Serie A as he has not yet managed to do in Premier.  

That’s right. The Mirror’s top story is founded in the dello Sport’s reporting on the British tabloid press. It’s a human caterpillar of utter tosh. 

Posted: 20th, November 2018 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Manchester City have not signed Frenkie de Jong but Spurs or Manchester United might

“Spurs set to beat Barcelona to Dutch wonderkid Frenkie de Jong,” screamed EuroSport on November 16. Two days later, the BBC tells us Frenkie de Jong is on his way to Manchester City.

 

Frenkie de Jon

Frenkie de Jon signs for Manchester City – BBC

 

The Mirror says Manchester City “have beaten Barcelona” to the signing of the Ajax and Netherlands midfielder. Manchester City “have blown the competition out of the water”. The Express agrees: “Barcelona and Tottenham STUNNED as Manchester City win £61m Frenkie De Jong race.” The Sun also agrees: “Man City win race to sign Ajax ace Frenkie de Jong and will pay £61m for long-term Fernandinho replacement.” We’re told Barcelona and Manchester United were both ready to bid fo the player.  They just never got round to it. 

 

Frenkie de Jon signs for Manchester City -

Frenkie de Jon signs for Manchester City – The Sun

 

And then you realise it’s all utter tosh. The Sun admits as much: “De Jong is believed to be keen to work with Guardiola and would favour a move to join the Spaniard rather than across town at Old Trafford.” So nothing is agreed. It’s rumour. There will be “a potential summer bidding war for the midfielder”. 

Why the BBC, which runs fact-checking news segments, features this utter balls as fact is lamentable. It doesn’t need to compete commercially with the tabloids in a time of falling newspapers circulation, so why does it bother?

 

Posted: 18th, November 2018 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment


Clickbait Watch: how to BAFFLE an Arsenal fan

baffled footballWriting clickbait for football fans is hard graft. All those budding hacks who dream of talking truth to power are reduced to spinning for clicks at sister newspapers the Daily Express, Daily Star and Daily Mirror.

Language is mangled. Simple facts are “revealed”. “Five things” are learned from watching paint dry. Rumours are mutated into ‘fact’. But every so often, clickbait talent emerges to connive a new meme for the SEO gurus running websites to applaud. Right now everyone at Arsenal – fans, players, Gunnersaurus – is “baffled”.

“Arsenal fans left baffled by Graeme Souness’ comments about Mesut Ozil” – Daily Mirror, October 23

“Lucas Torreira baffles Arsenal fans with what he did in training”  – Daily Mirror, October 10

“Arsenal fans left BAFFLED at staggering claim: ‘Are you mad? He can’t be serious'” – Daily Express, November 14

But it’s not just Arsenal being “baffled”:

“Jurgen Klopp baffled by remarkable Liverpool statistic” – Daily Mirror, Oct 19

“Graeme Souness leaves Manchester United fans baffled” – Daily Mirror, Oct 22

“Mohamed Salah leaves Liverpool fans baffled with social media post” – Daily Mirror, Oct 24

“Matteo Darmian leaves Manchester United fans baffled” – Daily Mirror, October 25

“Cesar Azpilicueta baffled by inconsistent Chelsea’s struggles” – Daily Mirror, Oct 26

“Celebrity Gogglebox: Fans baffled by Dele Alli’s composer comment” – Irish Mirror, Oct 26

“Man Utd news: David De Gea baffled by what Jose Mourinho said” – Daily Express, October 31

“Chelsea news: Sky Sports pundit baffled by one Maurizio Sarri” – Daily Star, Nov 4

“Manchester United fans left baffled by Paul Pogba’s ‘heartbreak’ haircut” – Manchester Evening News* Nov 4

* The MEN is sister title to the Star, Express and Mirror. It’s true? Unless you’re a football fan, in which case it’s baffling!

Posted: 16th, November 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Key Posts, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer Balls: Spurs and Arsenal in for Bailly as Manchester United get a new defence

Transfer Balls: José Mourinho will change Manchester United’s defence early next year. From “When we win it’s all down to me; when we lose it was everyone else”, the new defence will feature new defenders. United plan to bring Toby Alderweireld and Diego Godin to Old Trafford in January, and get rid of Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo. Spurs and Arsenal both like Bailly; Everton fancy Rojo; and Smalling could return to Fulham. Godin, 32, could cost £53m. 

In London, Arsenal will be waving a none-too-teary adieu to Aaron Ramsey, the midfield who resisted signing a new contract for so long that even Arsene Wenger left. He’s off to play for Bayern Munich. Either than or Ramey will be a sub at Chelsea or Liverpool. Arsenal and Chelsea are both looking at spry Atlético Mineiro right-back Emerson. And reports from Italy says AC Milan want to sign Liverpool’s Brazil midfielder Fabinho, 25, (who he?) in January. 

Over at West Ham, Marko Arnautovic, 29, wants a weekly living wage of £200,000 to continue working at the London Stadium. If he does;t get it then he could be off, possibly to Manchester United. 

Posted: 16th, November 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Fulham balls: Wenger ‘snub’ but Ranieri was the ‘obvious’ choice

Fulham only appointed Claudio Ranieri as their new manager because former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger “snubbed” them. So says the Daily Mirror: “Arsene Wenger turned down sensational return to management with Fulham before Claudio Ranieri was appointed yesterday.”

 

Ranieri the mirror fulham

Wenger snubbed Fulham says Daily Mirror.

 

But over in the Sun, Wenger never was offered the job:

 

Ranieri the sun fulham

The Sun says Ranieri as the “mutual and obvious choice”

 

But Wenger was one of the “number” of candidates considered, right? 

He was. The Week reports:

The Daily Telegraph reports that former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has turned down the chance to take over at Fulham… The Frenchman, however, “politely declined the opportunity to speak to Fulham”, the Telegraph says.

Alysson Rudd tells her Times readers: 

The Times understands he [Fulham owner Shahid Khan] met Claudio Ranieri two days before Fulham’s trip to Anfield but, still hopeful of a miracle so that he could stick by a man he had become very fond of working with, Khan travelled to Liverpool hoping for evidence he could offer Jokanovic a reprieve.

The website Football365 says Rudd also wrote: “Ranieri was the outstanding candidate from a shortlist that did not, as speculated, include the former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.” We can’t find that quote on the Times website. Can anyone?

Posted: 15th, November 2018 | In: Back pages, Sports | Comment


Transfer Balls: Manchester United want Milan’s Milan and Liverpool dog deep for Dembélé

Transfer Balls: So desperate is Alexis Sanchez to leave Manchester United that he’s going to demand a reduction in his £500,000-a-week wage to make him more affordable to, well, anyone who’ll let him play either football, the piano or both at once. Either that or he’ll just sulk and wait until Jose Mourinho is sacked and the next manager realise what a top talent he is.

Racing Sanchez out the door are Marcus Rojo and Eric Bailly. They will replaced by – deep breath – Nathan Aké, Jérôme Boateng and / or Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar.

Higher up the Premier League table, rumours abound that Liverpool will bid over £85m for Ousmane Dembélé, who cost Barcelona £105m when he moved from Borussia Dortmund in 2017. The German side have a knack of developing players and selling them on for top money. Barcelona made them an offer they could not refuse for the Frenchman who has failed to shine in Spain. But will they take a £20m hit on him? Or is £85m for a flop good money? That question to Paul Pogba.

Arsenal have woken to the fact their centre backs are slower than a Granit Xhaka tackle. The Gunners are looking at Atalanta’s Gianluca Mancini.

And Tottenham are readying a £35m bid for Cagliari’s 21-year-old Italian midfielder Nicolo Barella. But Man United and Liverpool also want him. So watch the price rocket.

 

Posted: 14th, November 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Liverpool, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Manchester United balls: Mourinho sacked (again), Pochettino waits, Spurs nowhere

Manchester United will sack Jose Mourinho if the club fails to achieve Champions League qualification this season. So says the BBC. And so says the Sun. The paper offers no fact to support its back-page story. Not that the Express needs more to echo the news as an exclusive. “Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho to be SACKED unless he does one thing,” says the clickbait farm. That one thing he must do is to be successful. Who knew?

Not the Daily Mirror. Its readers out think Mourinho has been sacked, his role replaced by a stunt double:

 

mourinho sacked

Daily Mirror knows

 

 

Back in the Sun, we’re told United still fancy recruiting Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino. Well, they should do. He’s been great at Spurs. But he’ll win nothing but plaudits there, so surely the Argentine wold fancy managing United with all that extra money to spend on top players? Real Madrid want Poch, too. But the Sun says his contract at Spurs is “almost impossible” to break. Which is utter balls, of course. Everyone has their price. If United can spunk £31m on Victor Lindelof, surely they can get their manager for around that fee?

The pressure at United would be different to what Poch feels at Spurs. In today’s Mirror, there are three pages on Manchester United losing and one mention of Spurs – columnist Stan Collymore says Pochettino is very good. Spurs are not mentioned once in the Sun – but there are four pages on Man United.

In other united news, the Times reports that Mourinho’s faith in Nemanja Matic is upsetting some of this team-mates. And in the Mirror former United “guv’nor” Paul Ince says United are “scared” of Manchester City. Surely, City just have better players. It’s not fear. Its ability. It’s better recruitment. Nonetheless, seven Mirror hacks respond to the poser, “What on earth can United do to narrow the gap?” Darren Lewis advises “attack from the outset”. Away to Manchester City, United should attack form the outset? Tom Hopkinson says – I kid you not – “It’s simple: new manger, new team.” Andy Dunn says United must stop being “archaic”. And David McDonnell suggests a “radical overhaul”.

The biggest question is: where were the fans who can remember when United didn’t win the title for 26 years? When did titles become entitlement?

Posted: 13th, November 2018 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: Gareth Bale to Arsenal and ex Gooner becomes a Prophet

clickbait arsenal gareth bale transfer

 

Clickbait Balls: a look at newspapers tricking readers . Today, as ever, it’s the Daily Express, which thunders: “Arsenal news: Gareth Bale transfer EXCLUSIVE, Unai Emery revelation, Wolves team news.”

It’s the first bit that bites, right? Can it be that Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale – formerly of Spurs – is on his way to Arsenal? Surely not? Or maybe… So you click. Your click triggers – get this – 32 adverts and sponsored links. But the news will be worth it.  James Walters has the “exclusive”. Just get a load of that URL: “Arsenal-news Gareth Bale transfer exclusive”:

 

clickbait arsenal gareth bale transfer

 

Reading on:

Gareth Bale EXCLUSIVE

Yes! Yes…

Arsenal must go in for the best players on the planet – the likes of Gareth Bale – if they are to challenge for the Premier League, John Hartson says…

Hartson exclusively told Express Sport: “No disrespect to Arsenal, if say for arguments sake, a Gareth Bale becomes available [they won’t go in]. I know he’s ex-Spurs and it may not happen.

“But if a top player like that became available and he’s £95m with £40m wages over the next four years, will they go in for him? They might not.”

May. Might not. What a scoop!

Treating your readers like mugs is anti-journalism. But let’s give the Express a chance. How about part two of the sensational headline, the part about an “Unai Emery revelation”:

Arsenal are a more solid under Unai Emery compared to when Arsene Wenger was in charge, Matthew Upson claims.

And..? And nothing. That’s it. When ex-Gooner Upson speaks to the BBC it’s a “revelation”. The man’s a prophet. finally, how about that “Wolves team news”? It’s that Danny Welbeck, the bloke with the broken ankle, won’t be playing. More on him here.

 

Posted: 12th, November 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Arsenal Balls: Daily Express feasts on Danny Welbeck’s pain

danny welbeck

 

The ghouls have been out fo Arsenal striker Danny Welbck. Last night, Arsenal manger Unai Emery told media that Welbeck had surgery on his badly injured ankle on Friday – the day after he was injured playing in the Europa League match against Sporting Lisbon. “He won’t be back with us for a long time,” the Arsenal manager said. Will he play again this season? “The doctor can answer that better than me,” replied Emery.

No need to ask the doctors. The Express knows it all. Since Welbeck got hurt, the “World’s Greatest Newspaper” has published 10 Danny Welbeck articles. It began by labelling the incident a “horror injury“, as many tabloids did. Today the paper downgraded things to a “nasty” injury. The facts keep on coming in the Express eVulture news service:

November 9:

Danny Welbeck prediction made by injury expert after horror Arsenal scenes. DANNY WELBECK is facing around four months on the sidelines after badly hurting his ankle, says injury expert Ben Dinnery.

November 9 – article 2:

Arsenal news: Welbeck ‘may never play again’

November 10: 

 

arsenal danny welbeck bt daily express

Journalism: it’s not all speaking truth to power.

 

Danny Welbeck in Arsenal injury horror… pics BT Sport didn’t want YOU to see – WARNING.
WARNING – these are the pictures BT Sport didn’t want you to see of Arsenal star Danny Welbeck’s horror injury.

Achtung! Achtung! Gather round to see something horrible. Bring a knife and fork to feast on Danny Welbeck’s remains. (The photos are pretty much the same as those carried by every newspaper, although one is cropped to show Welbeck’s ankle twisting.)

November 10: fact 2

Danny Welbeck injury: Arsenal fear forward will miss the rest of the season

November 10: fact 3:

“Welbeck is in hospital and will undergo surgery after breaking his right ankle, which will rule him out for the remainder of the season.”

November 10: fact 4:

“Welbeck’s latest injury setback is expected to keep him on the sidelines for at least four months.”

November 10: fact 5

Danny Welbeck: New Arsenal contract demand made after horror ankle injury

No, not by Danny Welbeck. This is the opinion of Perry Groves, the former Arsenal player. It’s not a demand. It’s just Perry filling in space on one of his media stints.

November 10: fact 6:

“Unai Emery readying £45 move for Danny Welbeck replacement”

It’s Lille’s Nicholas Pepe. Sorry, Danny, you’re finished. Get well soon, mate. Chin up!

November 12:

Arsenal news: Unai Emery admits Danny Welbeck uncertainty with fresh injury update

Not quote RIP Danny Welbeck, then.

Posted: 12th, November 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Manchester City balls: Raheem Sterling takes journalism to the dogs

Manchester City attacker Raheem Sterling has a dog. The Daily Mirror presents this as news. Having priced the player’s home, the Mirror then delivers one of the most asinine lines ever to find its way into print. This, ladies and gentleman, is an “exclusive” from the self-styled ‘intelligent tabloid’. Go: “He follows a number of Premiership stars to buy dogs…”

 

raheem sterling mirror dog

 

 

How much is his home worth?

 

raheem sterling dog

#journalism

 

Raheem Sterling – is he ever not newsworthy?

 

 

 

Posted: 11th, November 2018 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Arsenal balls: Danny Welbeck – more injury facts

When Danny Welbeck hurt his ankle playing for Arsenal, the Press were quick to brand it a “horror injury“. Welbeck was in pain. That much was clear. But it wasn’t look-away horrific. And we don’t yet know how bad the injury is. It wasn’t like when Welbeck’s Arsenal team-mate Aaron Ramsey had his tibia and fibula broken at Stoke City, or when Eduardo had his leg badly broken when playing for Arsenal at Birmingham City. Eduardo’s injury was so nasty that Sky Sports decided against showing replays of it. Educardo’s bone ended up poking though his sock.

And Can we talk about David Busst? On April 8, 1996, Busst was playing for Coventry City at Old Trafford to take on English football giants Manchester United. After two minutes of the match played, Busst had suffered compound fractures to the tibia and fibula of his right leg. He never played professional football again.

The Express sticks with the hyperbole and tells its readers today: “Welbeck is in hospital and will undergo surgery after breaking his right ankle, which will rule him out for the remainder of the season.” It will? Arsenal haven’t said anything other than the injury looks “serious”. Oddly, another Express story tells readers: “Welbeck’s latest injury setback is expected to keep him on the sidelines for at least four months.”

Hold that scalpel! The Star says: “According to the Daily Mail… doctors will give him an MRI scan to see if he requires an operation.”

Welbeck Express

 

welbeck express

 

 

As the papers guess, and anyone sane wishes Welbeck a speedier recovery than the ghouls do, the Sun says Arsenal are already looking for his replacement. So how do you replace a man valued at £10m and in the final year of his contract – a player whose not been offered a new deal and was likely to be sold in January to Crystal Palace?

They say Emery could now make a £45m bid for Lille’s Pepe in January.

DAN BUSTER Arsenal transfer news: Danny Welbeck injury forces Unai Emery to step-up £45million pursuit of Lille winger Nicolas Pepe.

Gunners need a rethink of their January sales plans as rookie Eddie Nketiah is now the main back-up for front two Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette

Got that? The Gunners will splash out £45m on a new face because Danny Welbeck got injured. No full diagnosis has been made. The “England striker could also have suffered ligament damage” says the Sun. He could have. Or maybe he didn’t? As for Pepe, well, the Sun provides not a single fact to support the news that Arsenal want the Lille man.

 

Arsenal transfer pepe

The Sun

 

Despite the lack of facts, the Express and Star pile in:

 

Pepe Arsenal

The Express

 

 

In other news, Pepe’s price has rocketed:

 

 

 

Arsenal “could” face competition for his signature form Barcelona and Sevilla, says the Sun. The Express says Bayern Munich want him. The Times says: “Manchester City bid for Lille’s Nicolas Pepe .” And the Manchester Evening News says, predictably, Manchester United are chasing Pepe. Meanwhile, the player is still at Little. And Welbeck hasn’t been  despatched to the glue factory. Yet.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 10th, November 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comment


Liverpool teach Manchester City’s Sterling the correct way to cheat

When Raheem Sterling was awarded a penalty for falling over in the box during Manchester City’s 6-0 hammering of Shakhtar it was clear to everyone but the referee the wrong decision had been made. Sterling never thought to tell the referee he’d got it wrong. He never offered to take the penalty and deliberately miss. Sportsmanship was not the winner. But if Sterling’s looking for ways to improve his conduct, the former Liverpool player can read the Liverpool Echo’s story headline: “Raheem Sterling Man City penalty row – and the Liverpool example he SHOULD have followed.”

Which Liverpool example is that, then? This one?

 

 

This one?

 

This one?

 

 

This one?

 

 

No. It’s this one – when Robbie Fowler went to ground easily at Arsenal:

 

Fowler and Liverpool celebrated the egregious refereeing error by scoring the penalty and celebrating wildly. If only Sterling had stayed at Liverpool he could have learned what you “should” do when a penalty is awarded wrongly. But he plays in Manchester, having left Liverpool to earn more money and win trophies, so he’s a cheating sod.

And sometimes you get away with it:

Posted: 9th, November 2018 | In: Back pages, Key Posts, Liverpool, Manchester City, Sports | Comment


Arsenal balls: Danny Welbeck’s ‘horror’ injury revealed

Arsenal v Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League, and Danny Welbeck suffers a “horror ankle injury” that “leaves Arsenal team-mates shocked”. So says the Daily Mail. It looks pretty nasty. But the paper has no idea what the damage is. “Danny Welbeck out for the season?” asks the BBC. Dunno. Is he?

The Sun agrees that it is a “horror injury”. Welbeck contested a header and landed “awkwardly”. There was no blood. He was not unconscious, says the Beeb.

 

 

The Sun then tells us it looks like a “broken or dislocated right ankle”. Which is it? He will “almost certainly be taken to hospital for treatment”. I might not be medial man but a broken ankle usually necessitates a trip to the hospital. The paper then adds: “The ex-Manchester United ace is also expected to now pull out of Gareth Southgate’s England squad for next weeks two matches.” Maybe. But if Wayne Rooney can get a recall, maybe a one-legged Welbeck still stands a chance of being selected to play. “It could well be his last appearance for the Gunners,” says the Sun.

Over in the Indy, their experts can confirm – or guess – that Danny Welbeck is “to have an x-ray”. When does an injured footballer not have a scan? But it must be bad, right? “The injury will almost certainly see him withdrawn from Gareth Southgate’s England squad for matches against the United States and Croatia,” says the website.

It might be bad. It might be a “horror” injury. Or it could be pulled ligaments. Or a bad sprain. Or a fracture – which, according to the NHS, involves placing the injured ankle in a protective boot for around 6 weeks. Welbeck might be ok to play in two weeks time for England, say the papers. Or maybe he’ll never play for Arsenal again, say the same papers.

They shoot horses.

Such are the facts.

UPDATE: Sky Sports: “Danny Welbeck “broke something in his ankle” during Arsenal’s Europa League draw with Sporting Lisbon on Thursday, according to head coach Unai Emery.

“We think it’s a serious injury. Every injury is different. He broke something in his ankle and it’s a different injury than another. Now he’s at the hospital and the news is at the moment we are going to wait, but we think this is a serious injury.”

Get well soon, Danny.

Posted: 8th, November 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: Martial offers 45m reasons to stay at Manchester United

Transfer Balls: how much is Anthony Martial worth to Manchester United? Whoah, there. That’s a rhetorical question. The answer is £45m. That’s a lot of money for a player who was on his way out when his current contract expires at the season’s end. United do have an option to extend that by one year. But Martial holds the cards. So United will sign him up on a new deal and then flog him when Jose Mourinho starts calling him names. The Sun says the new deal will last for five-year deal and earn the Frenchman £190,000-a-week. The paper doesn’t say if that figure includes extra cash for doing his job – scoring goals; being on the winning team; getting selected – or the absurd ‘loyalty bonus’. But it’s decent money, albeit not in the Alexis Sanchez bracket of more than double that figure. You get real value at United.

Manchester United also fancy Sampdoria’s 22-year-old Danish defender Joachim Andersen. No idea what his fee would be, but Inter Milan’s 23-year-old defender Milan Skriniar, a player wanted by United, is reportedly worth £100m, according to the club’s manager Luciano Spalletti.

Away from Old Trafford, Chelsea and Bayern Munich are chasing Lyon’s Nabil Fekir. The Star says the man who looked to be on his way to Liverpool last summer could arrive in London. Joining him in the Smoke is Lille winger Nicolas Pepe, 23, who has “welcomed speculation linking him with Arsenal”, says the BBC. How that plays out with his team-mates is moot.

 

Posted: 8th, November 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports | Comment


BBC trolls Everton fans over donation to Liverpool fan Sean Cox

seamus coleman

 

Clickbait Balls courtesy of the BBC, which spots Everton player Seamus Coleman contributing to the fund set up to help Sean Cox, the Liverpool fan set upon by Roma fans before a Champions League match. The BBC says Coleman is “worried Everton fans would question him for donating money to Liverpool fan Sean Cox.” Sheesh! Coleman must think Everton fans are real numbskulls. Are they so loyal to Everton that they’ll condemn a player for helping a fellow countryman – both Coleman and cox are Irish.

Clicking on the link we’re told:

Everton defender Seamus Coleman worried fans would question him for making a donation to help an injured fan of city rivals Liverpool.

Maybe rabid Liverpool fans don’t want his money? Or maybe the BBC’s heading is total clickbait balls:

“You think ‘Do you put your name towards it or not?'” Coleman said. “You might get people saying ‘he might have put more money in’ or whatever,” he added… “I wanted to put my name to it because sometimes that raises more publicity. That’s what the Liverpool manager did.”

Mentions of Everton fans? Nil.

 

More BBC clickbait soon…

Posted: 7th, November 2018 | In: Back pages, Key Posts, Liverpool, News, Sports | Comment


Arsene Wenger heads to AC Milan to work for Arsenal fans and Ivan the Terrible

Unable too secure the job for life at Arsenal some thought was rightfully his, Arsene Wenger is to manage AC Milan. That’s the once mighty Italian club now owned by an American hedge fund which last month appointed former Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis to run things. Gazidis is the towering force who took Arsenal from 1st to 6th. He was part of the problem that let Arsenal drift into mediocrity as the club’s fans split between ‘Wenger In’ and ‘Wenger Out’ factions. The BBC relays the news. But France Football have the scoop. As ever, putting the story though Google Translate comes up trumps:

But the man with the three titles of Premier League and seven Cups of England has been negotiating for a few weeks with AC Milan. These negotiations are close to succeeding for a quick start. The situation of the Lombard club is not dramatic but far from the expectations of its new shareholder, the US investment fund Elliot Management Corporation, which took over the debts of Chinese Li Yonghong. Arsene Wenger would replace Gennaro Gattuso (40) at the head of the Rossoneri. He would also have a larger role in his duties with the sports director, the Brazilian Leonardo. This arrival of one of the greatest French coaches would also be orchestrated by Paul and Gordon Singer. Billionaires, the father and son run the fund now owns AC Milan and also has interests in Lille. The two businessmen, who spend time in London with a lot of business in England, are fans … of Arsenal. According to some sources, the arrival of Wenger in the club to the seven Leagues Champions would be even already “deal”.

Italy here he comes, then.

Posted: 6th, November 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Arsenal balls: all hail Lucas Torreira the greatest love

Barney Ronay was at the Emirates to match Arsenal draw 1-1 with Liverpool. The pre-match chatter was of the Reds being years ahead of Arsenal. Nothing of it. Under Unai Emery’s management Arsenal are on the up. Wengeresque torpor is being dusted away. And at the heart of it all, Lucas Torreira is a force to be reckoned with:

Just past the half-hour the Emirates erupted into a rare barrelling wave of noise as Torreira dumped Sadio Mané on the turf with a perfectly timed roundhouse slide-tackle. It was oddly rousing, like a roomful of convalescents granted a rare glimpse of the sun through the French windows. In front of the press box two home fans stood up and spontaneously hugged. Vigour, energy, persistence, grit. What a change to see all of these things.

‘Lucas Torreira, the Mighty Insect, embodies Arsenal’s new grit’ – Guardian.

Posted: 5th, November 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Manchester United must sell Sanchez to keep De Gea and Martial

Manchester United are desperate to keep David de Gea, 27, and Anthony Martial, 22. But plans to offer the pair improved contracts are being hampered by the massive sums paid to Alexis Sanchez, who commands around £500,000-a-week in wages. So Sanchez has to go. But only PSG would ever pay such an absurd amount for the Barcelona reject turned Arsenal star. And why would they want a man who it turned out only pretended to play the piano.

There’s more Aaron Ramsey news, of course. Linked in print to – deep beneath – to Real Madrid, Juventus, PSG, AC Milan, Manchester United, Liverpool, Everton and Chelsea – the Arsenal player who stalled on signing a new deal for so long that even Arsene Wenger got tired of waiting and left the club is now on his way to…  Bayern Munich. Well, so say the Express, so it might not be entirely true.

 

zaha

Wan-Bissaka has upped his game

 

Chelsea and Manchester City are chasing Sunderland’s 17-year-old Bali Mumba. Spurs fancy Colombia midfielder Wilmar Barrios from Boca Juniors. And Everton like Crystal Palace right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka. The Toffees could include the terrific Ademola Lookman in any deal. If that transfer takes place, Everton should check the name gag in Wan-Bissaka’s shirt. Buyer beware, mistakes after purchase cannot be rectified.

Posted: 4th, November 2018 | In: Back pages, Sports | Comment


Aaron Ramsey to Manchester United as Liverpool rule out move and Arsenal progress

Aaron Ramsey says he’s no idea why Arsenal withdrew their contract offer. For months and months the club’s offer of £170,000-a-week for four years reportedly sat on the table. Ramsey never signed. Why not? We can only suppose he wanted more money, as much as £250,000-a-week to deliver one Premier League goal a season, as he did last season, and spend a large chunk of time sat in the treatment room. As Ramsey dithered and his Mr 15% thought they held all the cards, Arsenal moved on. First Arsene Wenger was sacked, then Ivan Gazidis, the ineffectual chief executive, went to work for AC Milan, a once great club now operated by a US hedge fund. The new Arsenal hierarchy looked at Ramsey, considered his value and thought him not worth the money.

Gazidis’ successor Raul Sanllehi can only be an improvement. “I don’t think I am inventing the wheel,” he told the Sunday Telegraph of the club’s new decision not to let key players enter the final year of a contract. “Anybody could agree on that.”

There’s a lot of chatter about where Ramsey might go next. The Star says Chelsea don’t want him because Ross Barkley, 24, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, 22, are playing well. Sky says Liverpool have ruled out making a move for Ramsey. The Welshman could join Manchester United in January with Juan Mata moving the other way, says the Sun. Why United would want a slowing midfielder is moot.

The Telegraph says Arsenal “have embarrassed themselves again” by letting a £50m player leave for free. To which the question must be: which club was ever going to pay £50m for Ramsey, plus around £200,000-a-week in wages? And why is it embarrassing to get rid of players who rate themselves too highly and bring on hungry, fresh talent, as Arsenal have, notably in the shape of Emile Smith Rowe, Matteo Guendouzi and a vastly improved Alex Iwobi?

Arsenal called Ramsey’s bluff. Everton beckons him. He’ll leave behind an Arsenal side possessed of a new sense of direction.

 

Posted: 2nd, November 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Manchester United flop becomes the new Neymar PSG

As newspapers tank, red-top tabloids try to translate splashy sensation from paper to the web. The Sun thunders:
“Manchester United flop Alexis Sanchez wanted by PSG in shock transfer, amid continuing Old Trafford struggles.” Sanchez wants out of his absurd £600,000-a-week contract? And PSG in their wisdom think Sanchez is worth the effort?! The story is full of zero facts:

PSG would be willing to take Sanchez off their hands as long as they can land him on the cheap or even on a possible free transfer. It is understood the idea of getting him off their books has been talked about by the United hierarchy.

A “source” from somewhere inside or at least stood pretty close by Manchester United say it all “could” happen. The source is unnamed. But they are chatty:

“It’s no secret he has struggled and not lived up to the expectations. He isn’t getting any younger and it might never work for him. There was interest before the club signed him but he preferred staying in England at the time. That may have changed now. One of their [PSG’s] top stars could go and it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that a deal could be struck between the two clubs.”

Nonsense, then. But this is the desperate web and from that “exclusive”, we get the Daily Mirror thundering: “Alexis Sanchez transfer: Why PSG think they can sign Manchester United star on FREE.” Why? Dunno. But the guess is that he costs a lot of money in wages and is not all that good. And on it goes:

 

transfer balls sanchez manchester united

Sanchez- from ageing flop to the new Neymar!

 

 

Daily Express: “PSG want to sign Alexis Sanchez from Manchester United on one condition.”

Daily Star: “Man Utd news: PSG eye Alexis Sanchez on free transfer.”

talkSport: “Manchester United transfer news: Paris Saint-Germain plot shock move.”

Manchester Evening News: “Manchester United winger Alexis Sanchez ‘eyed’ for Paris Saint Transfer.”

All utter tosh.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 31st, October 2018 | In: Back pages, Key Posts, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: Spurs fear, Dembele to Liverpool, Newcastle wait and Sanchez plots Manchester United escape

Tottenham players “fear” Mauricio Pochettino is to leave the club for Real Madrid or Manchester United. Which Spurs players are in dread of the Argentine leaving, and maybe taking them along for the ride and the huge hike on wages that would come with it, is unsaid by the BBC. Over in the Telegraph that “fear” is reduced to a mere “feeling”. The Sun tell us that Real Madrid will double Pochettino’s wages to £17m a year. How it knows that is moot. It just does. It feels it.

But why would Pochettinho want a job with a shorter shelf life than a Halloween pumpkin? AS tells us that former Real Madrid star Michael Laudrup has rejected down the chance to become the club’s new manager. Fair enough. After all, Marca told us former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte would be appointed as soon as Real sacked Julen Lopetegui as manager. He wasn’t. Meanwhile, the Mail says Belgium manager and former Everton and Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is the white-hot favourite to become the next Real Madrid chief. Or as the Guardian puts it: “Mauricio Pochettino has emerged as Real Madrid’s No 1 choice.”

To recap: they don’t know.

In other news, Alexis Sanchez is off to play at PSG, says the BBC. Manchester Untied will replace their striker by digging huge hole in the ground and pouring £600,000-a-week into it.

And then some bigger news in Spain’s Sport. Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembélé is to be shunted out of the club this January. He turned up late for a game, we read, and Barcelona “have decided to act strongly on the issue”. Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea all want the Frenchman. Will it happen? Dunno. Back in August the Express told its readers: “Arsenal transfer news: Gunners make £90MILLION bid for Barcelona star Ousmane Dembele.” They didn’t.

And finally, get this from the BBC: “Newcastle are understood to be ready to offer Rafa Benitez the contract extension he wants – providing he is prepared to wait for certain requests.” Such as his discount voucher for Sports Direct and a chance to win the Championship.

 

Posted: 31st, October 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports, Spurs | Comment