Back pages | Anorak - Part 40

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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: Manchester United and Chelsea start bidding war for Everton’s John Stones

The Daily Express says this January Chelsea will return with a £40m bid for Everton’s John Stones. This is, of course, a complete guess, based on the Chelsea’s failed moves for Stones over the summer. 

The Blues failed with £40m in the summer, and a combination of their bad form and Everton’s consistency and optimism will will surely only necessitate and much higher bid.

A few days ago. the Independent said Manchester United will offer £50m for Stones.

Simon Jones ups the ante, telling Daily Mail readers that Barcelona are also after the English defender. There were noises linking Stones to Barcelona before, but the Catalans instead bought Jeremy Mathieu from Valencia for £14.5m and Thomas Vermaelen from Arsenal for £15m.

Right now Stones is earning £30,000 a week at Everton. If he’s worth £50m, then surely his wages will have match the £200,000-a-week Manchester City pay their £50m striker Raheem Sterling. That surely leaves Arsenal out of the running – and Everton unable to hold onto their star.




Posted: 15th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Transfer balls: Arsenal swap Calum Chambers to Everton’s John Stones

Rumours abound that Arsenal are making moves for Everton’s John Stones. The Sunday People adds a layer to the story by claiming Everton manager Roberto Martinez is keen on replacing Stones with Arsenal defender Calum Chambers.

The paper’s Tom Hopkinson writes:

Chambers has featured in less than half of the fixtures the Gunners have played this season, with Hector Bellerin keeping him out at right-back and Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel Paulista all ahead of him in the centre.

Chambers as a right back was something Arsenal were forced into last season when injuries bit. He was less than brilliant, getting skinned alive by Swansea’s Jefferson Montero as Arsenal lost to Swansea City.

As a centre-half, Chambers has promise, but it’s in central midfield where his future at Arsenal lies. Indeed, in August 2014, the Express opined:

Ultimately, the Arsenal manager sees Calum Chambers more as a holding midfielder. For now, he is making a remarkably mature fist of being a centre-back.

Chambers has the potential to be a terrific and versatile player. Stones is the player all the top clubs covert. The Metro says Manchester United are readying a £50m offer for him. Would Arsenal compete with that? And Wenger’s not in the habit of selling young English talent.


Posted: 13th, December 2015 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment

Chelsea boss Mourinho repeatedly linked to Real Madrid return

In an “exclusive” the Sun says Real Madrid want to re-sign current Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho. The Real players and fans might not like Mourinho, but the Sun says the club’s president, Florentino Perez, is a big fan.

A source says the pair share a relationship that “goes way beyond the professional”. As your heads spin with images of the pair taking long walks in the rain and sharing rooms on away days, readers soon learn that no approach has been made to Mourinho. The story is based entirely on that unnamed source.

Cynics might wonder if this is more PR puffery than actual news.

And it is news we’ve heard before:

Sky Sports: “Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho could return to Real Madrid, says Ramon Calderon” – Nov, 11

Daily Mirror: “Real Madrid want Jose Mourinho BACK – and they want him to bring Eden Hazard with him” – October 30

Daily Express: “Chelsea in shock as boss Jose Mourinho set for stunning return to former club Real Madrid” – October 21

Number of words from Jose or Perez: nil.

Posted: 11th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Arsenal name 4-man shortlist of five names

The Mirror says Arsenal have made Southampton’s Victor Wanyama their “winter window priority”. The Kenyan is Arsenal’s “Number 1 target” this January.


arsenal transfer target


The Bleacher Report says the Arsenal shortlist features four players:

A club “recruitment source” reportedly informed Football Insider’s Wayne Veysey that William Carvalho of Sporting Lisbon, Lazio’s Lucas Biglia, Villarreal midfielder Bruno Soriano and Porto’s Ruben Neves are “all on the radar.”

No mention of Wanyama, there.

And no mention of him over at the Metro, where the Gunners’ main target is said to be Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann.

Such are the facts.




Posted: 10th, December 2015 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment

Liverpool: Sturridge defies Klopp’s diagnosis

Daniel Sturridge is injured. The Liverpool striker is dogged by injuries. The Sun quotes Jurgen Klopp, Sturridge’s manager at Liverpool: He says: “We need to look at how we bring him into shape.”

It’s all a far cry from what the Sun declared On November 28:


Klopp the sun injuries


The Guardian agreed:

Jürgen Klopp has told Daniel Sturridge he must start to play through the pain barrier to address the problems that have blighted the Liverpool striker’s career. The manager said Sturridge needed to learn “what is serious pain or what is only pain”.


Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 14.27.00


Looks like Sturridge’s pain isn’t all in the mind, after all – and Klopp is fallible.





Posted: 10th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Arsenal: Giroud remains rubbish as Olympiakos rival Liverpool

The plaudits are fulsome for Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, whose hat-trick in Greece secured more Champions’ League football for his club.

The Mirror leads with ‘Our Hero’, praising the “much-criticised Frenchman.

John Cross praises the “sensational” Frenchman, before cranking up the tabloid-obot: this was a “Greek tragedy” for Olympiakos (you just know he’d have used the same cliche had Arsenal lost); Giroud exhibited “Gallic flair”, as all French players who score must.

The Sun calls Giroud a “GREEK GOD”, although which one is unsaid. We’d go for Morpheus, what with his having sent Arsenal into “dreamland”.

Charlie Wyett evokes May 1989, when Arsenal had to defeat Liverpool by two clear goals to win the title. I was there – and beating Olympiakos by a similar margin comes nowhere close to that magic night. Olympiakos are an ordinary team playing in a weak Greek top flight; Liverpool ’89 were mighty.

Back then Arsenal had Alan Smith up front. Was he better than Giroud? Did ‘Smudger’ play with Continental flair or English grit?

Wyett adds that that Arsenal “cannot win the Champions League”. But, of course, they can. You have to be in it to win it, and they are. Odd that having evoked that unlikely night in 1989, Wyett should dismiss the underdog’s chances.

In a column called ‘Five Things We Learnt”, the Sun says Giroud will “never be a world-class striker”. Readers are then told that Hector Bellerin has been “Arsenal’s stand-out player for the past 18 months” – which he hasn’t been. The Spaniard has been good, often remarkably so, but to say he’s made more of an impact that Sanchez or Ozil is absurd.

And you can add Giroud to that list of top Arsenal players.

Posted: 10th, December 2015 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment

Manchester United: Van Gaal damned but stays beyond 2017

van gaal manchester united sacked


Who can be blamed for Manchester United crashing out of the Champions League in the group stages? It’s worth noting that this is an improvement on last season, when United failed to even qualify for European football’s biggest tournament.

The Mail says the buck starts and stops with United manager Louis Van Gaal, who is “hammered for his abysmal tactics”. Martin Samuel says United lost “because they could not not pick ip an old-fashioned big lad in the penalty area at set-pieces”.

As Van Gaal admits to his side going “backwards”, Chris Wheeler says United’s owners, the Glazer family, want to extend his contract beyond 2017.

No evidence that they do. But just saying it is enough to start that most wanted to tabloid aims: a heated debate.

Overall, though, the papers are split between leading with a dejected Van Gaal…


van gaal sacked


…or a his over-paid, under-talented side:


manchester united wolfsburg


Any United fans in need to a laugh – or at best a distraction – can look to the Mirror, where David McDonnell delivers a tortuous intro:

And so it proved Emission Impossible for Manchester United as their Champions League campaign spluttered to a halt.

Wolfsburg may have been rocked by the emissions scandal that has engulfed sponsors Volkswagen, but last night it was the Reds who were left on the hard shoulder of European football.

As you wince at that, better, perhaps, to turn to the Times, where Henry Winter is in his pomp:

Embarrassing. Manchester United deservedly departed the Champions League because they defended like amateurs, not like elite professionals. They were drawn in an easier group than Manchester City yet find themselves in the Europa League. Welcome to Thursdays. Excruciating.

And Van Gaal?

Van Gaal’s reputation was damaged here. For United’s biggest game of the season, he took two eye-catching decisions. Guillermo Varela, the 22-year-old Uruguayan who made his debut against West Ham United on Saturday, started at right back; he made a couple of good tackles, but betrayed his inexperience by getting dragged into the centre, gifting André Schürrle space outside.

More controversial was Van Gaal’s decision to field Marouane Fellaini alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger with Michael Carrick kicking his heels on the bench and having to wait until 20 minutes from time for his 70th Champions League appearance. Fellaini lost the ball twice in the opening five minutes and did little to stop Wolfsburg’s counterattacks.

Which can all be summed by two words from the Sun:  “Van Damned.”

Posted: 9th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, manchester united, Reviews, Sports, Tabloids | Comment

Transfer balls: Manchester United have £144m for Neymar (and anyone else)

Transfer balls: The Daily Telegraph says Manchester Untied are ready to splurge £143,9m on Neymar.

So incredible is the story that Neymar appears to point to it, laughing:

neymar manchester united


The paper reports:

It would be a staggering and eye-watering deal if Manchester United could pull it off but the likelihood of Neymar joining Old Trafford remains extremely slim.

How slim is slim?

Even though the Barcelona forward insists he’s happy at the Nou Camp and doesn’t see his future anywhere else, that does not seem to stop reports surfacing that United will up the ante in an attempt to persuade the seemingly unpersuadable.

Is “reports surfacing” code for ‘reports being made-up’?

Today reports are doing the rounds that United are preparing a quite preposterous £143.9 million offer to sign the Brazilian next month.

See: Daily Telegraph.

…But for all the money United appear willing to splash out in an attempt to land Neymar, the player is not for budging. Barca, however, may be willing to sell – in order to balance the books.

The Tele doesn’t bother to link to the source of its story.

The Star says the story emerges from Old Trafford.


Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 15.39.28


The Star gives its source as The Metro:


Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 15.40.39


The Metro says the story is rooted in Spain.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale have been linked, but Fichajes says United are preparing a £143.9m move for Neymar.

Over there, we’re told nothing of that nutzoid fee being quoted across the UK Press. But we do learn that United have €200m so invest and “the Brazilian international will not hear talk of the Red Devils…. Neymar currently wants to establish itself as the absolute star of the Spanish league and follow in the footsteps of Lionel Messi as Barca”.

Such are the facts.


Posted: 8th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Swansea City balls: Gary Monk sacked and Brendan Rodgers returns

Farewell, Gary Monk, manager of Swansea City, soon to be the Swans’ ex-manager. The papers all agree that the affable young Englishman is to be replaced by former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.

The Daily Express says Rodgers return to Swansea is a sure thing. The Guardian says Monk, 36, will be given his P45 when Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins returns from collecting his OBE in London.

But let’s not shed a tear for Monk. The Sun says he’s in line for a£3m payoff to Monk., That’s not too shabby.

Posted: 8th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Manchester United go for Ancelotti (who fishes for Arsenal and Chelsea)

carlo man unitedCAROLO Ancelotti is vying with Pep Guardiola for the Manchester United job. The Sun leads with “CARLO SEES RED – I’d love to be boss of United.”

The Sun shows Ancelotti looking huge and vibrant, massive, hulking presence over Louis Van Gaal, the current Man United manager, who appears tiny, looking down and rubbing his nose.

This scoop is based on what Ancelotti told the Independent:


“I will continue to wait. If I don’t find a club with a good project, I can wait. What will I do? Watching games, fishing, all these things. But let us see next summer. I will not take a job in mid-season, but I would like to work again next summer.”

The Sun suggests Man United.

“Of course, for every manager, they would all think of managing Manchester United.”

Ancelotti has been on the media rounds. He’s looking for a top job, letting everyone know he’s available. Just get a load of these stories in the Daily Mail:

Ancelotti to Arsenal would be perfect. Why have the wheels not already been set in motion?!’ – Daily Mail, March 2015.

‘Liverpool make contact with Carlo Ancelotti as pressure mounts on Brendan Rodgers’ – Daily Mail, September 2015.

‘Chelsea plan for Jose Mourinho exit with Carlo Ancelotti waiting in the wings’ – Daily Mail, October 2015.

‘Carlo Ancelotti has now set his sights on his next coaching role. He wants the Bayern Munich job if Pep Guardiola decides to leave’ – Daily Mail, December 2015.

Via: MediaWatch



Posted: 8th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Manchester United: Ferguson fears Liverpool boss Klopp and forgets himself

Sir Alex Ferguson says he’s worried at the impact Jurgen Klopp will have at Liverpool. The former Manchester United manager says of Klopp:

“I’m worried about him because the one thing United don’t want is Liverpool to get above us. He’s a fantastic personality, with those big white teeth always showing…”

And then Ferguson spoke about working with the media:

“You have to win twice on a Saturday. You have to win the game and you have to win the press conference. Some managers fail, simply because they lack experience or they’re emotional. You have to gather yourself. I used to wash my face before a press conference…. You have to give a message to your fans because they’re watching. They want to see their manager come out with a positive attitude and not a beaten man… You’ve got to handle the press. It’s a very difficult part of it.”

That would be the Alex Ferguson who for seven years refused to speak to the BBC after they dissed his son.

Posted: 7th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, manchester united, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Chelsea lose to Bournemouth in Russian billionaire battle

Yesterday Bournemouth beat Chelsea 0-1 at Stamford Bridge. It was cracking result for the south coast club playing for the first time in the Premier League.

But in the Times, Rory Smith has a word to the wise:


bournemouth owner


Bah, humbug!

Posted: 7th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, Chelsea, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Liverpool balls: Skrtel aims for the own-goal record

Martin Skrtel’s own-goal for Liverpool in their 2-0 defeat 1t Newcastle takes the player’s tally of shots-in-the-wrong-goal to 7, leaving him level with fellow Red Jamie Carragaher in the most top-division own goals table.

Skrtel is now only three hits behind the Premier League’s leading own-goal getter, Richard Dunne, who scored 10 times between 1997 and 2015.


Posted: 7th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Gary Neville named next Manchester United and England boss

Gary Neville, aka Gary the Red, self-styled Robert De Niro look-alike, and the former Manchester United and England defender, has taken a management job at Valencia. The tabloids all lead with the news.

The Mirror calls him “One EL of a boss”. He will “REIGN in Spain”.

The paper’s David Kidd says the “temptation is the regard Gary Neville’s appointment at Valencia as merely an audition for the England or Manchester United job”. Well, consider that temptation accepted.

The back page of the, er, Mirror declares: “First stop Valencia then next stop..England.”


daily mirror neville gary


The Express says Gary Neville will be the next England boss:


daily express gary neville


The Mail says England could be next to Neville. And the Sun says The Valencia role is “audition for the Three Lions job”.

Now…if he can just win some matches…


Posted: 3rd, December 2015 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment

Full Text Of Ahmadinejad Racism Speech To The UN

mahmoudahmadinejadFULL Text Of Ahmadinejad Racism Speech To The UN:

Part of the Mahmoud Racism Masterclass, Module III.

“Governments must be encouraged and supported in their fights at eradicating this barbaric racism. Efforts must be made to put an end to Zionism…

“Those in authority at the time set off two world wars [were] killing hundred of millions of people and causing mass destruction.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 20th, April 2009 | In: Back pages, Politicians | Comments (9)

1982 And Bust: Trade Will Contract By 2.1 Percent In 2009

DON’T bank on Ireland, Italy or Greece…

Or anywhere else for that matter; the World Bank has consulted the goat’s entrails and it’s not looking good: it believes that global growth will be a mere 0.9% next year, and “The volume of world trade, which grew 9.8 percent in 2006 and an estimated 6.2 percent this year, will contract by 2.1 percent in 2009.”

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Posted: 10th, December 2008 | In: Back pages | Comment (1)

Record Numbers At The Barack Obama Inaugural Hajj

BARACK Obama’s inauguration looms and they’re expecting record numbers for the Hajj.

Saudi Arabia is preparing for a record turnout at the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

More than 100,000 security guards have been deployed to cope with the three million people expected in the city of Mecca, when the Islamic pilgrimage gets under way on Saturday.

As J-Walk says: “Coincidentally, that’s the same number of people expected for the Obama inauguration.”

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Posted: 7th, December 2008 | In: Back pages | Comment (1)

A University Course In White Trash Studies

SO bad was George Bush at being president that Americans voted for a black man. And now Barack Obama is in charge, there is nothing for white men to do other then discuss where it all went wrong.

Nowhere is the debate more earnest than at Australia’s Monash University.

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Posted: 4th, December 2008 | In: Back pages | Comment (1)

Football fashion: why can’t black be the new black?

Much has been made of Nike’s ghastly new pink boots, as sported here by Arsenal’s Nicklas Bendtner.

The pink boot was inevitable, really. From the moment that Alan Ball first pulled on a pair of white boots, for Everton in the 1970/71 Charity Shield (“They were crap,” squeaked little Alan), it was only a matter of time – it took almost 40 years, but we got there in the end.

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Posted: 27th, November 2008 | In: Back pages, Sports | Comments (8)

Masks For Cross Dressers

MASKS for cross-dressers:

The site of Jovina, a cross-dressing masking fetishist, has oodles of beautiful images. (If this looks somewhat familiar, Jovina I believe is the one that introduced art-duo AIDS-3D to the fetish, which they’ve used in many installations).


Posted: 25th, November 2008 | In: Back pages, Strange But True | Comment

Omen To That: In The Pink With Damien And Liz Hurley

DAMIAN Hurley “would have me dress in long couture dresses and glittery shoes every day”.

That’s Damian on the cover of Hello!, sat on his mother’s knee; his blue eyes and dark hair; his name; his small tattoo on the top of his head; his theme music; the stairs… watch out!

“Mother love,” says Hello!. And we understand.

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Posted: 4th, November 2008 | In: Back pages | Comment

Madeleine McCann: Family Danger, Caylee Anthony And A Challenge To Libel

MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann, Kate McCann and Gerry McCann

THE SUN: “Maddie: Hol chat on risk of kidnap”

James Clench continues his investigation of the McCann’s holiday, and he’s brought Lucy Hagan along for back up…

Perhaps James can be Gerry McCann and Lucy can be Kate, and they can turn their story into a multi-media play for today? Now read on…

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Posted: 21st, October 2008 | In: Back pages | Comments (90)

Scouting For Girls: Arkela’s Sex Class With Blue Peter And Kaa The Snake

WHO is that lone wolf in the park? Why it’s Arkela. He’s been on Paedo Prowl, and can report that the area is safe and secure.

He’s our Leader, leader, leader of the ging-gang-goolies.

Arkela wants you to Be Prepared. And he’d like to would like to introduce you to Baloo, also know as The Bear. Can anyone tell Arkela what a Bear is?

Yes, you, boy.

“Is it a hairy homosexual male, sir?”

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Posted: 20th, October 2008 | In: Back pages | Comments (2)

Voodoo Tax Breaks Berry’s Troubled Assets

THIS is reply to Richard North’s post: Why Gordon Brown’s Rescue Package Is Not Going To Work, by Chenier…

It’s crap.

Sorry, not you FSBFP, the stuff about the accountancy rules.

They already changed them, and I wrote a piece about it at the time; it did f*ck all to improve matters.

John M Berry is being somewhat disingenuous in not mentioning in his article that the SEC had already issued a statement allowing people to take a much more cheery view of their Troubled Assets, but perhaps he just overlooked it in all the excitement.

(Image: Beau Bo D’Or)

Equally, John M Berry pointedly ignores a little local difficulty called Enron, which I suppose is unsurprising given that the fraud there involved taking a view of their Troubled Assets so cheery that people ended up doing jail time.

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Posted: 14th, October 2008 | In: Back pages | Comments (7)

Man City The Next Club In Crisis

WEST Ham is in the mire. And Man City?

Dubai may need help from Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates government to finance a surge in borrowing that paid for the world’s tallest tower, palm tree- shaped man-made islands and stakes in banks worldwide.

That’s the transfer kitty gone…

Anyone know what they did with Peter Swailes ?


Al Sugar’s 54-A-Side Manchester City

Al Qaeda Will Attack Manchester City At 8pm On 05 November 2007

Posted: 14th, October 2008 | In: Back pages, Sports | Comments (8)