Back pages | Anorak - Part 41

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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

Manchester United love rat Giggs makes up with cheated brother

ryan giggs sexRyan Giggs, the Manchester United coach, wants to make up with his brother Rhodri. You might recall that Ryan was shagging Rhodri’s wife, Natasha Giggs, behind his brother’s back.

You may wonder why news that Ryan has invited his bother to a “bash” arrives at time when the current Man United manager is said to be on the “brink” of the sack.

Surely loveable Ryan Giggs isn’t using the Sun, (“Giggs in effort to make up with bro”), to bury his sordid past and make a pitch for the top job at Old Trafford?




Posted: 28th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Football balls: former Chelsea manager Mourinho wants to manage England

Jose Mourinho EnglandThe Sunday People says Jose Moutinho – twice sacked by Chelsea and now between jobs – wants to be the next England manager. The paper says: “Mourinho told close confidant and agent Jorge Mendes he would manage England if the opportunity arises next summer.”

Poor Jose. If he can’t trust a confidant to keep his thoughts and dreams of glory private who can he trust not to blab to the media – his agent? This PR-briefing gets fuller when we read that “Mourinho has been linked with taking over at Manchester United and returning to Real Madrid” since being sacked by Chelsea.

Steve Bates continues to advertise Jose for Hire: “Ideally the 52-year-old Portuguese coach would like to stay in club management and with Louis van Gaal under pressure at Old Trafford that would be his preferred destination if United ditch the Duthcman [sic]. But Mourinho has already declared he intends to stay living in England with wife Matilde and two children at their London home. And as recently as September he claimed that when he left Chelsea managing England would be high on his wish list of dream managerial jobs.”

It’s all more than a tad unedifying, no, this Jose Mourinho for [enter top job here] news? For Jose to get what Jose wants, another manager must perish.

And  surely Brand Jose is a little tarnished after his second spell at Chelsea. Who wants him? The Times says Real are in a “desperate dash to get Jose”. Well, not Real, just the club’s President Florentino Perez. Duncan Castles says Real presents a complicated hierarchy that could deter Jose. He says at Manchester United, Jose would hold sway in all things football. United would be a “fresh start”.

But one other Times headlines states: “José Mourinho left Chelsea only after he set club on fire.” Beneath that, Matt Dickinson writes:

The Portuguese’s need for confrontation will never change, and will put off many potential employers… He had tried everything to keep the Cult of José going through these months of deepening malaise but key players had tired of him, his voice, his methods, his demands…

Senior figures at Manchester United did not want Mourinho to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013 because they believed he was more trouble than he was worth. Even with the traumas under David Moyes, the lethargy under Louis van Gaal, and Chelsea’s title in May, they tell themselves that the combined evidence of the last two years backs up that judgment.

With Old Trafford under new leadership, will they now change their mind? Highly doubtful. Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, may hear a chorus of fans arguing for Mourinho over Van Gaal but the Portuguese does now come with a health warning — “may explode after two years” — as well as his guarantee of instant gratification.

And Jose for England?

He has been sounded out for the England job before and it may be vacant next summer. International football has the advantage that the players will only see Mourinho every few months. Too much of him is more than anyone can bear after a while.

Jose for England it is, then, picking fights with the FA and every Premier League team with an England player in its ranks. He’d be great, wouldn’t he.


Posted: 27th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, Sports | Comment

Manchester United: Van Gaal ‘sacked’ after Stoke match, ‘resigns’ and vows to stick it out

tumblr_nzzksm5DfK1u5f06vo1_1280Having reported that defeat to Stoke City would cost Louis Van Gaal his job as Manchester United manager – United lost 2-0 and Van Gaal remains in situ – the tabloids now report that defeat in his next game surely will.

The Mail on Sunday says lose to Chelsea and it’s the end of LVG at Old Trafford. 

It’s pretty clear the tabloids have no idea. LVG has a contract that runs until the end of next season.

Maybe he will fall on his sword? The Express leads with news that Van Gaal “may” quit. To put it another way, Van Gaal “may not” quit.

What he said was – and this in reply to a question on if he thinks he’s about to be sacked:

“That is something I discuss with [executive vice-chairman] Ed Woodward not you,” Van Gaal told the hacks massed at the post-game Press conference.

“It is not always the club that has to fire or sack me. Sometimes I do that by myself, but I am the one who wants to speak first with the board of Manchester United and my members of staff and my players, not with you. I have received [the club’s backing] all the time but we have lost so there is a new situation. I feel the support of my players and my board. The fans will be disappointed but that is logical after four defeats.”

“For me it’s much more important that people are saying that to me,” he concluded. “I am not so interested in public sayings.”

After all, just a few days ago, the Daily Star told us:


LVG walks


Such are the facts.



Posted: 27th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comment

Manchester City offer Pep Guardiola £18m a year: Manchester United raid piggybank

The Sun leads with news that Pep Guardiola has been offered £18m a year to manage Manchester City, aka ‘The Brand’.

Pep’s people have “not denied having a verbal deal in place with City” – which can mean whatever you want it to mean. To the Mirror, for instance, it means that Manchester United are looking to “muscle in” on any Pep-to-City business and lure the Spaniard to Old Trafford.

The Sun also mentions United, adding that the Glazers see Pep as a “better fit” than Jose Mourinho, the sacked Chelsea boss lurking in London, desperately awaiting the United call. Who seriously thinks Jose is good fit at United? Mark Hughes is a better shape.

It’s a mad world when Manchester City can pay a manager a fortune. But getting Pep is as much about marketing as it is winning on the pitch. Pep is the starriest name in football management. If he comes, the talk will focus on what players he can attract from Spain: Messi, Neymar, Suarez et al. City will look serious.

But would any of those players want to be at City? Maybe. And that’s what City are bidding for: potential.


Posted: 24th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, Sports, Tabloids | Comment

Manchester United: tabloids turn Van Gaal into Graham Taylor

van gaal the sun sorry headlineAll that cheery speculation on when Louis Van Gaal is going to be sacked at Manchester United has got to the Dutchman.

In “I’M OFF”, the Mirror leads with his press conference – all four minutes and 58 seconds-worth of it.

As an aside, it’s odd that a tabloid should openly speculate on a man’s job. The Mirror, mired in phone hacking, is not reporting on when its leaders are going to be sacked or resign for wrongdoing. It is, though, happy to call for a football manager’s head.

The Mirror says it has “no sympathy for the Red Devil”, laying out all of Van Gaal’s faults in a charge sheet. His side have scored a “feeble 14 goals in 15 games”; he has “failed to win in six games”; he hacked Paul Gascoigne’s telephone. Sorry, got confused, there.

Over in the Express, we learn that “Louis loses it” – his cool that is. But he didn’t. Not really. He merely reminded the assembled hacks that he’s a human being and how upsetting it is to read their opinions on his looming unemployment. It was a bit like when the then England manager Graham Taylor told fans that leggy midfielder Carlton Palmer was made of flesh and bone and hurling abuse at him was out of order.

Taylor also attempted to turn the tables on the hacks. And you know how well that went, don’t you:


Van Gaal is toast.

Posted: 24th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment

Transfer balls: Chelsea go for Vardy

vardyTransfer balls: The Telegraph lead with news that Chelsea and Manchester City are each to offer £30m for Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy. This is one of those stories that just annoys football fans. Leicester are a joy. They are the season’s surprise package,  reminding us that the hyped Premier League is not all about money and vanity.

It’s sport.

Anyone who love competition should hope Vardy stays at Leicester. If he heads to the City global brand or money-mad Chelsea, Leicester are weakened. City won’t even have to play him to have got one over on top-of-the-table Leicester. Chelsea will chew him up and spit him out.

Matt Law says Leicester City will fight to retain their centre-forward. One way way to do that: pay he player more money. Vardy’s on £40,000-a-week. City and Chelsea would pay him much more. Leicester need to act fast.

Posted: 23rd, December 2015 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Manchester City, Sports | Comment

Manchester United: Van Gaal sacked soon, Mourinho on a retainer, Rooney shouts a good game

van gaal sacked“Don’t axe Van Gaal, ” pleads Neville. So begins the Daily Express’ sports coverage. It’s Phil Neville, the jobbing football pundit and former Manchester United player. Phil says United are in the “Louis Van Gaal era”. He says “constant change is not the answer”. He wants United to “look for stability”.

Neville adds that United are only a few points off the Premier League’s top three. He’s right. They are. But as any Arsenal fan will tell you, coming fourth is not much like competing for the top spot. Manchester United are also-rans.

The Mirror says United must “SORT IT OUT NOW”.  These are the words of Wayne Rooney, who “led a rallying cry to save Manchester United’s troubled season”.

Aston Villa fans must roll their eyes. What they would give for United’s troubles.

The Mail says a Manchester United revolt is being led by Ander Herrera, which must be a lot like being shouted at by a chipmunk.

The Mirror says Jose Mourinho has been asked by Manchester United’s bosses not to consider any job offers without first informing United. Is he on a retainer? The Mirror then says the same bosses have told Van Gaal his job is safe.

Will Van Gaal quit, then? No, says Van Gaal on the Star’s back page. He won’t go. Why would he when the sack earns the Dutchman a £9m pay-off?


Posted: 23rd, December 2015 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Chelsea £17m a year for Pep, Mourinho met Manchester United last week, Ferguson returns

back pages


The tabloids continue to obsesses with who is going to be manager of Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City, respectively, when January is out. Arsenal don’t seem to be in need of a new broom (see back pages above), showing the rest that sticking with a man and working to a plan can work.

The Mail (back page): “Chelsea move for Guardiola.

Page 72: “Money no object as Roman bids to lure Pep.”

Readers learn that Guardiola has “assessed” the Chelsea squad and calculated the Blues will need 10 new players. Yeah. That’s all. We’re also introduced to Mrs Pep, Cristina Serra. The Mail says she could “sway” her husband’s decision.

Daily Express: (back page): “Mourinho lined up for Old Trafford.”

This is a story that repeats. Why would Manchester United want Jose Mourinho, a successful but irritating man with no roots at United, who sees clubs as existing for his benefit? We can debate it at length, but the Express says United’s management are ready to give current manager Louis Van Gaal the boot and replace him with the Portuguese.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 22nd, December 2015 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Transfer balls: Manchester United want Mourinho and Mahrez, Chelsea call for Drogba,

The January soccer sales are almost upon us. The media is talking transfers:

Chelsea are chasing Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini, says Fox SportsManchester City want to hire Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola. But Manchester United, Chelsea and Paris St-Germain also want him, says the Guardian.

Man United also want the former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, says the Sun.

Which means that Louis Van Gaal will be free to manage Bayern Munich. Right?

After that look at life in the managerial Petri Dish, we learn that Manchester United have £29m for Leicester’s Algeria winger Riyad Mahrez, 24. Well, so says the Daily Express.


Radamel Falcao, 29, – who he? – wants to ask new / old Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink if he’s going to break a sweat at Stamford Bridge, says the Daily Mirror. One striker Hiddink does want is Didier Drogba.

Gus wants the former Chelsea player to be part of his coaching staff at Stamford Bridge, says the Times. Drogba can do for Chelsea what Ryan Giggs is doing for United, then – look pensive and sit down a lot. 



Posted: 21st, December 2015 | In: Back pages, Sports | Comment

Manchester United: Van Gal one game away from sack as Mourinho meets Glazers

jose the sun unitedLouis Van Gaal has one match to save his Manchester United career. The Mirror leads with new that anything other than victory against Stoke City on Boxing Day will mean curtains for the Dutchman.

The paper reasons that even victory in that match will only delay the inevitable.

The Star says Van Gaal has two games left. The Sun says he’s “on the brink”. Is that three games, then?

The Mail says Van Gaal could be fired before the Stoke game.

The Express says he’s “teetering”.

All newspapers say Van Gaal is leaving. They just don’t know when.

And all agree that Jose Mourinho will replace him at Old Trafford.

No word on Mark Hughes, the Stoke manager who once graced the pitch for Man United. Why not place him in the Old Trafford hot seat? Alan Pardew? Or why not really go for it and make Eddie Howe an offer? The media have no room for foresight. It’s all same-old, same-old. Mourinho to old Trafford. Zzzzzz.

The Sun goes further than its rivals and says Jose is already talking to United.

It looks like Jose to United is very much on.

Chelsea fans still singing his name must be gutted.

Posted: 21st, December 2015 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment

Manchester United want Jose Mourinho as Van Gaal slumps

jose manchester unitedNo longer working in English football, Jose Moutinho continues to be the main news story. The Mail leads with a picture of Louis Van Gaal, the hammer-headed Manchester United manager, and asks a question: “Time To Call Jose?”

The answer must be a resounding ‘no. Of course, Mourinho wants the United job – it’s the biggest in British football. But United’s dealmakers are shy of recruiting a man with a reputation sullied by bitchiness and division.

ESPN says Mourinho craves the Old Trafford job. The Independent says United are giving serious consideration to hiring Jose.

But, as the Star notes, the only people linking Mourinho with the Manchester United boss Van Gaal’s job in public, other than the media, are the Norwich City fans who teased the Dutchman by chanting “Jose Mourinho – he’s getting your job!” as the mighty Canaries defeated United 1-2.

The Mirror adds that “fans everywhere are convinced Mourinho is headed to Old Trafford” – which, of course, they are not. The news has been thick with stories of Jose to Real Madrid.

As for Van Gaal, well, he says: “I think I can turn the situation around. My record suggests I am a very successful manager, although maybe now I should say I was a very successful manager.”

The Guardian adds a little more on the shadow of Jose:

Mourinho is a manager United considered as a successor to Sir Alex Ferguson, before passing over him in favour of David Moyes. That decision did not end well and, now the recruitment of Van Gaal is also becoming problematic, many supporters would like to see the club bite the bullet and reverse their original decision. It would cost a lost of money, with Van Gaal in mid-contract, though compared to the £250m the club has spent on players with no visible improvement the expense could be borne if the directors have the desire and the courage.

Man United have the money, but surely not Jose.

Posted: 20th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Transfer balls: Muller wants Manchester United but snubs them

Manchester United can forget about singing Thomas Müller. The Times says the talented German “put an end to Manchester United’s hopes” by signing a new deal with Bayern Munich until 2021. The Times calls this a “snub” to Old Trafford.

The news also makes you wonder what the Daily Mirror was talking about when it declared in August: “Thomas Muller wants to join Manchester United”.

Posted: 19th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment

Chelsea: Daily Express and Daily Mirror in tabloid Q and A

What role did Eva Carneiro, the former Chelsea club doctor who left her post in controversial circumstances, play in Jose Mourinho’s downfall. In a word: none. The Spiky One was was sacked because Chelsea were losing matches and flirting with relegation.

But the tabloids turn Dr Eva v Jose into a front-page debate.


jose mourinho eva carneiro


Question asked. Question answered.

Posted: 18th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Reviews, Sports, Tabloids | Comment

Chelsea balls: that Jose Mourinho redundancy package in full

Jose Mourinho has been sacked as Chelsea manager. But how much did he have stuffed inside his pockets as he sauntered off?

The Mail: £10m.


Jose Mourinho sacked money

The Sun: £18m.

Jose Mourinho sacked money

The Express: £10-£40m.

Jose Mourinho sacked money



The Mirror: £45.5m.


Jose Mourinho sacked money


In other words: they have no idea.

Posted: 18th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Money, Sports, Tabloids | Comment

Chelsea balls: Harry Redknapp knew and didn’t know Mourinho was being sacked

Now that Jose Mourinho has been sacked by Chelsea (again), Harry Redknapp can tell everyone he felt it coming.

In today’s Evening Standard, the former Spurs manager opines:

Jose Mourinho isn’t special any more. He can’t have any complaints if he is sacked.

redknapp mourinho

redknapp mourinho


This is the same Harry Redknapp who told Evening Standard readers on October 29:

Everyone wants to kick Mourinho when he is down

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 16.11.00


Mad and sensible.

Football. It’s all about consistency.


Posted: 17th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comment

Chelsea balls: Jose Mourinho gets the sack (again)

Farewell, then, Jose Mourinho, sacked at Chelsea for the second time.  You were the self-styled Special One. You were then ‘The Happy One’. Now you are ‘Taxi For One’.


Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 14.45.50


The Daily Mail never saw it coming. Its back page today stated that Jose was “safe”.


mourinho mail



He’s gone.

Posted: 17th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment (1)

Man City pay Guardiola £84m but Chelsea say ‘name your price’

Guardiola daily mirrorPep Guardiola has moved “one step closer” to Manchester City says the Mirror. The paper leads with news that Pep Guardiola  is “poised to join his old Barcelona mates and quit Bayern Munich for Manchester millions”.

It seems odd that a man at the top of football would be in it for the money, as the Mirror implies. Does he really want to live in Manchester? Would he not prefer to wait for a London club, say, Arsenal, where his style of football would be an easy fit?

The Sun says Arsenal would suit Pep, but they have less money to spend on top players and Arsene Wenger is not leaving.

As for the wages, Marca says Bayern have offered Pep £14.5m (€20m) a season. He’s not exactly shy of big-money offers. So why City? Well, he has worked with The Citizens’ chief executive, Ferran Soriano, and the director of football, Txiki Begiristain. Those are his “Barcelona mates”.

So much for the headlines. But reading on in the Mirror we learn that Pep is not poised to join City. He has simply announced that he will make his decision on whether or not to remain at Bayern Munich in the next week. However German magazine Kicker does say he is definitely on his way out.

pep man united


Guardiola is in the final year of his contract with Germany’s champions. What he’s going to do next is largely a matter of media guesswork. The Guardian says “his availability next season would also appeal to Manchester United and possibly Chelsea”. The Times says Chelsea is not an option because Pep was “unsettled by Roman Abramovich’s relentless pursuit while he was enjoying time away from the game in New York”.

The Sun returns to the Pep pay packet, saying Chelsea will pay him the most. They want him to “name his price”. City will offer him £84m over four years. Chelsea will top that and throw in a glitzy life in London.

Pep has options. That much is clear. But the Mirror says he’s on his way to City for sure. In fact, he’s already “lined up stars” to play for him at the Etihad, players like Paul Pogba and John Stones.

Well, maybe.


Posted: 17th, December 2015 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Chelsea balls: how much it costs to sack Jose Mourinho

What would it cost Chelsea to sack Jose Mourinho?  The newspapes know.

The Daily Mail says “Roman Abramovich will be forced to pay Jose Mourinho more than £40million“.

The Mirror says sacking Mourinho “could cost £40m“.

The Express says it would cost a “staggering £37.5m“.

The Independent says, “If Mourinho were to be sacked then he may insist on his compensation being paid in full, a package that could cost Abramovich above £30m.”

The Telegraph says “Jose Mourinho due £10m compensation if he is sacked”.

Such are the facts.


Posted: 16th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Money, Sports, Tabloids | Comment

Back pages: laughing at Chelsea, mocking Manchester United and dreaming of Leicester

the sun chelseaIn today’s tabloid football round-up, we look first at the Sun, which leads with news of “Revolt” at Manchester United and “Blue Murder” at Chelsea.

“Chelsea’s flops are turning on boss Jose Mourinho,” write Andrew Dillon and Shaun Curtis. A “source” tells us that Jose is being “SLAYED IN CHELSEA”. We’re then asked to wonder if Jose is morphing into Rafa Benitez, a man not all that popular at Stamford Bridge. But unlike Rafa, Jose’s job is safe because there are no “viable alternatives”.

In “no fight club”, Chelsea fan Rory Jennings says the team are “soft”. He evokes players like Ron Harris, Dennis Wise and John Terry to emphasise just how tough Chelsea used to be. He omits to mention that before Roman Abramovich’s billions, Chelsea were losers who sold cars by the side of the pitch and pulled in smallish gates as one of the Second Division’s larger clubs.

Chelsea fans moaning about their “crisis” is laughable. But, then, for most current Chelsea fans their support began when dad took them to a padded seat at the Bridge on their way to the rugger.

After three pages of what’s wrong with Chelsea, football fans get one page of what’s right with Leicester City, who sit top of the Premier League after victory over Jose’s overpaid dullards. News is that Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy will not be sold in January. Good. Of course, should a huge offer come in for one or either, Leicester might be tempted.

Returning to the Sun’s Manchester United’s scoop, the story is that some players at Old Trafford have found reason to think Louis Van Gaal’s tactics are a bit plodding. Which they are. A few players have told him where he’s going wrong. The odds on the hammer headed Dutchman listening to their advise is thinner than Jose’s smile.

The Star leads with more Chelsea news. Readers learn that Roman Abramovich will “NOT sanction a Chelsea spending spree next month”.  This is the same Roman who made Chelsea what they are today with a £1bn interest-free loan. One page on and we lean that the Blues have £40m for Everton’s John Stones. The Blues buy players. It’s what they do.

The Express’s lead story is that Stones is gong nowhere. Yet.

The Mirror leads with news of players leaving Chelsea. The back page has Jose telling Eden Hazard “I should have sold you in the summer”. He’s right. One year ago, Hazards was being talked about as one of the game’s greats. This season he’s a busted flush, trying but lacking inspiration and zip.

Over two pages, the Mirror looks at Leicester city. It invites seven of the game’s names to answer the question: “Will Leicester in the Premier League?” All of them say…’no’.

Or as it reported yesterday:



So much for the glory game.


Posted: 16th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comment

Transfer balls: Luis Suarez to Manchester United and other Arsenal and Liverpool clickbait

transfer liverpool


Transfer balls: and now for a Daily Star masterclass is utter tosh:

Luis Suarez to Man Utd, Real eye all-star Arsenal duo, Liverpool deal close


Story 1: Suarez to Manchester United:

BuzzSport report, United bosses are concerned they will fall short in their pursuits of the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo or Paul Pogba.

Unable to sign any of those players, United will – get this – swoop for Luis Suarez.

…they are looking into the possibility of a move for Suarez, hoping he could be tempted by a return to the Premier League.

Possible. Hope. Could.

Story 2:  Ozil and Sanchez to Real Madrid

Reports from Spanish press Don Balon claim that the La Liga giants want the Gunners’ star duo Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.

Facts to support the Spanish magazine’s claim: zero.

Story 3: Liverpool deal


Simon Mignolet is set to be handed a new deal by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp despite his latest blunder.

Liverpool fans must be overjoyed.

Posted: 16th, December 2015 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports | Comment

The Sun takes on Leicester City – and loses

A few words from The Sun’s Charlie Wyett, who has noticed that Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City are top of the Premier League. Can they win the thing?

Writes Wyett:

Ranieri continues to build something special in a different part of England. It is proving to be one of the truly great Premier League stories.


Or as he put it before a ball was kicked:

Charlie Wyett


Spotter: WAATP

Posted: 15th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comments (2)

Former Chelsea player finds cure for baldness

Former Chelsea player David Luiz is worried about going bald. He’s been researching how it can be prevented. Short of dying young with his ringlets still inserted in his scalp, he could do as as other have done and walk about Los Angeles with a hat on for some months, enjoying the city where the likes of fellow beanie hat wearers Brad Pitt and David Beckham hang out. It is an established fact that anyone wearing a beanie hat in the LA sunshine is prevented from every going bald. See also: being in The Rolling Stones.

But David Luiz had found a new method. Speaking in an interview with Journal du Dimanche, PSG’s Brazilian centre-half announced:

I know I look crazy but I am not! It is just hair… Yes, my father is bald. But I found a way to save my hair.

I met with a doctor in Brazil, who has developed a special treatment. It takes some cells from here (your hip) and then relocates then.

I will do it. In ten years it will be the solution for people who have lost their hair. You should try it!

Nice of David to offer everyone cells form his hop, but best to wait until his playing days are open lest he become lopsided and take to running around in circles like the current Chelsea defence.

Posted: 15th, December 2015 | In: Back pages, Reviews, Sports | Comment

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