Back pages | Anorak - Part 41

Back pages Category

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 ready huge bid for ‘disappointed’ Bale

Transfer balls: Manchester United are all set to splash a year’s worth of Adidas cash on a £75m bid for Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale.

The Daily Mirror, The Times and Daily Mail all agree this will happen.

But what will Bale do? The Press haven’t got the foggiest:

The Times says that Rafa Benitez’s sacking as Real manager has left the Wales player “intensely disappointed”.

But on the BBC, former Real Madrid coach John Toshack says of Rafa’s sacking: “I don’t see it affecting Gareth at all. I don’t see that as a problem.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 5th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united | Comment

Arsenal things: Wenger zips, Wilshere injured, Newcastle nil

Five Things We Learnt. It’s the made-for-internet football story that enables jobbing hacks to conjure clicks from what has already been reported many times over.

Let’s look at how the mainstream media responded to Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Newcastle United. These are things the pundits expert in football ‘learnt’ from the match:

Daily Telegraph: “Arsenal 1 Newcastle 0, five things we learnt”

3. Wenger has a bigger wardrobe than we realised.

Arsene Wenger wore a tracksuit.

Daily Mirror: “Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle: 5 things we learned as Laurent Koscielny saves sluggish Gunners”

2. Arsenal have injuries.

With so many players out injured – Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere, Francis Coquelin and so on – the biggest problem is that they have got nothing on the bench to change a game when needed.

Arsenal had those injuries before the match.

Newcastle Chronicle: “Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle: Five things we learned as struggling Magpies come up short again”

2. It is now 322 minutes with a league goal… and counting

The Sun: “Five things we learnt as Laurent Koscielny goal puts Arsenal two points clear at the top of the Premier League”

1 – ARSENE WENGER does not normally wear a tracksuit – and he should keep it that way. The Arsenal manager looked ridiculous in his ill-fitting garment and should keep his big coat on – even though he struggles with the zip.

Five Things We Learnt about Football Journalism: counting is easy.

Posted: 4th, January 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment

Transfer balls: De Gea announces Manchester United departure

de-gea-facebookIt’s January. Football’s transfer window is open. Manchester United goalie David De Gea has a new Facebook profile photo.

Did you join the dots?

The Telegraph, did. It takes the updated photo as a sign that De Gea is preparing to leave Manchester United, causing “mild panic” to spread among the club’s supporters.

Why all the fuss? Well, chiefly because there’s no United badge on De Gea’s shirt.

De Gea is communicating in code.

But has the Telegraph missed a trick? Our pals at Pies have rotated the De Gea symbol 90 degrees…




Posted: 4th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Transfer balls: Aubameyang wants to play for Arsenal (or Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United)

arsenal Transfer balls: Arsenal are all set to offer £42m for Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, says the Sun.

Aubameyang has scored 24 goals in 23 appearances this season.

He has “told friends” he wants to leave Germany and play in the Premier League.

The paper says an Arsenal rep is in Germany talking with Dortmund.


A source then pops up to tell us:

“An intermediary has made contact with Dortmund about Pierre-Emerick making a move to Arsenal. Wenger knows the fee is very high — yet this is a striker who can make a massive difference for him and help win the title for the first time in 12 years. But there is a lot of interest in him.”

So says the source, who sounds a helluva lot like a PR rep.

The Sun then notes:

Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool have also been linked with making a move for the Gabon ace, 26.

They have?

Arsenal have the cash to meet Dortmund’s valuation this month and are in a strong bargaining position.

They are?

In July, the player singed a new contract at Dortmund. The Mail wrote:

Aubameyang, who wore a bow tie and sharp grey blazer as he put pen to paper, had been linked with a possible switch to the Premier League, but the new deal – which ties the 26-year-old to Dortmund until July 2020 – ends any such speculation surrounding his future.

Or not.


Posted: 3rd, January 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment

Transfer balls: £35m Isco £64m to Arsenal, £25m to Man City, £29m to Juventus

Isco arsenalEvery transfer window a player occupies the media. This January its Isco.

The Mirror says Real Madrid midfielder Isco, 23, is hoping to engineer a £25m move to Manchester City.

Is h? We don’t know. The Mirror’s scoop contains not as single source.

Also today the Express says Isco is heading to Juventus.


Isco Arsenal


On 15 Dec 2015, Metro said Arsenal have been placed “on red alert” for Isco, who had fallen out with Real’s management.

On December 3, Metro said Liverpool also want Isco.

On December 1, the trusty Metro said Arsenal are “ready to pay £35million asking price to seal transfer of Real Madrid star Isco”.

Isco’s price is fluctuating.

On October 15, Metro said “Arsenal are working on a £22million deal to sign Isco from Real Madrid.”

But hold the back page because Arsenal were ready to splash out – get this – £64m for Isco.


Isco Arsenal


It’s almost as if they don’t have the foggiest…



Posted: 2nd, January 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment

Arsenal balls: Newcastle cut up rough

The Sun says that Newcastle United manger Steve McClaren has “ordered  Newcastle to rough up” Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil when the teams meet this afternoon. Are the Magpies really going to kick Arsenal’s best player out of the game? Is that the game plan?


Ozil Newcastle


No. Of course not.

McClaren merely said his side must show a “certain amount  of aggression” to keep Arsenal within reach. Which seems an entirely reasonable position.



Posted: 2nd, January 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comment

Transfer balls: Arsenal in for Ben Chilwell, get Elneny, disappoint fans

Arsenal “will look to sign new players in January”. So says the Mail, which picks up Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s words to the Press. “I’ll be busy, that’s for sure,’ Wenger said. “I am already busy and I said already one month ago, we are a bit short to deal with all the competitions we face, especially in midfield. We will be busy, yes.”

The Mirror says busy does not mean buying. The Mirror says Arsenal fans will be left “disappointed”. The paper says Arsenal will buy only one player this January: Mohamed Elneny. The Metro says he’s “confirmed he’s undergone a medical and agreed terms to join Arsenal from FC Basel”.

A done deal? No. Wenger adds: “Unfortunately we cannot announce anything at the moment about this player because nothing has been concluded.”

The Times says “Elneny will provide cover in the short term, but Wenger believes that there will be greater value for money in the summer when he will be looking to sign a heavyweight defensive midfielder. Southampton have told Arsenal that Victor Wanyama is not for sale until the summer, when he will have one year left on his deal.”

The Sun says Arsenal are in for Leicester City left back Ben Chilwell. He “could be an Arsenal player next week”.

Or maybe not.

Posted: 31st, December 2015 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment

Arsenal transfers: Javier Hernandez, Jese, Nolito and Elneny all in

Arsenal transfer news round-up.

Daily Star:  Arsenal are chasing former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez. The Mexican, 27, has hit 19 goals in 21 games for Bayer Leverkusen since leaving Old Trafford. (Top work getting rid of him, Louis Van Gaal!)

Don BalonArsenal are keen to offload unconvincing Joel Campbell, 23. They’re ready to roll him into a swap deal for Celta Vigo’s Nolito.

Daily Mirror: Arsenal are due to sign 23-year-old midfielder Mohamed Elneny from Basel. The Egyptian will do the work of the Gunners’ creaking Mathieu Flamini, Mikel Arteta, 33, and Tomas Rosicky, 35.

The Guardian says Arsenal also want Real Madrid’s 22-year-old substitute Jesé.

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

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