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Back pages | Anorak - Part 59

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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

Five Football New Year Resolutions

motty.jpgFIVE football new year resolutions that should have been made but either weren’t made, or have been broken far too soon

1. Fans who visit other clubs’ message boards and announce themselves ‘West Brom fan in peace’, as if they are involved in a particularly bloody and long-running tribal war, rather than a spot of harmless time-wasting. Then follow with comments such as ‘You lot are doing well and I think you might get a win at our place, what do you lot think? And what about Nigel Donnington? We had him on loan from Bury a few seasons ago and he looked quite useful.’

2. Players who ‘celebrate’ goals by pouting crossly and wagging their finger. This was irritating enough when it was used to remonstrate with officials who had just adjudged them offside. Now it seems to be used as a self-righteous gesture to the gods and the world at large, as though by scoring, the player has proved himself right, and disproved those inferior beings who had the temerity to doubt him.

3. Players and managers – including non-league exponents – who use the latest football jargon as naturally as if they had been speaking it since they were were knee-high to a bung. Particularly annoying examples are ‘to be fair’ and ‘in fairness’, which are used with complete disregard to their non-football meaning. What they are trying to indicate is that they are about to be critical of somebody. The phrase they require is ‘to be honest’.

4. John Motson’s new hard-edge style, and his liberal use of the phrase ‘innit’ – or ‘intit’ as Motty has it. Not that we want the old-style Motson back, but at least you knew where you were when he discursively speculated about tea-trays and family meals during important live matches. What next – a rap record?

5. Players (and managers) who talk about themselves in the third person. Nothing new about this, but it’s still happening, and the world seems to have stopped caring.

Posted: 9th, January 2008 | In: Back pages | Comment (1)


Alan Hansen’s Carbon Bootprint

alan-hansen.jpgTV football’s nodding head Alan Hansen is standing before a fireplace in his house.

But what looks like an advertorial for Grecian 2000 or a new debt free YOU is Hansen sharing his views on football with a TV crew.

A source says that the Scot asked if he should put the fire on to make it look “more homely”. The producer agreed. And then Hansen invited the company to pay the gas bill.

The Sun is shocked. But this is entirely proper. Hansen is nature’s friend and would not care to go in studs high up Mother Nature, leaving a carbon footprint deserving of a red card.

It is a time for cool heads…

Posted: 9th, January 2008 | In: Back pages, Tabloids | Comment (1)


Denton, Arsenal, Sex Pistols And What English Football Is All About

denton-johnny-rotten.jpgDENTON, Arsenal And What English Football Is All About.

I stood on the Clock End for years. I loved it. My sister used to stand with me. Gooners.

Now we sit at the Emirates.

The story is here. The video is here. If you have better, please let me know…

Football, and why we go:

WRITES John Lydon on his blog: “The flag in respect of Denton Connell, which flew at the Pistols Brixton shows, has been handed over by John and John to close friends; who they know will protect and honour it.

Posted: 8th, January 2008 | In: Back pages | Comment


Chelsea’s Joe Cole Rewrites West Ham’s History

joe-cole.jpgJOE Cole plays for Chelsea. He was signed by Chelsea from West Ham United for £6.6million.

Says the Times: “Chelsea are adamant that they will not pay over the odds for Anelka, with Joe Cole articulating the frustration felt by many at the club at suggestions that they are buying success.”

Chelsea buy success? The club owned by Roman Abramovich, the oligarch who has invested over £300 million in the club since acquiring them from Ken Bates and other shareholders for £60 million and paying off £80 million of debt. Not a chance…

Says Joe Cole: “It riles me when people talk about Chelsea buying the league. I’ve never seen a pound note scoring a goal and I’ve never been at a club with as good an atmosphere.

“I supported the club, was a ballboy at the club, have played for them, came through tough times at the start and made myself an important player. I was very proud to have the captain’s armband for 50 minutes against Aston Villa on Boxing Day. I have a connection with the fans and know what it’s all about. I’m one of them.”

He’s born and bread Chelsea is Cole. Only what was that bit about his playing for West Ham and going to Chelsea in a big money move?

Anyone care to help Joe out..?

Posted: 8th, January 2008 | In: Back pages | Comment (1)


Football’s Shame: Ford And Prison

JOEY Barton is in prison. “CRY BABY BARTON,” says the Sun’s front-page headline.

“You hear him crying in his cell at lights out time,” says an “insider”. A fellow insider has reportedly called Barton “scum of the earth”.

The Guardian looks at other jailed footballers. Cars play a big part. And looking through the list, we note that Tony Adams, the former Arsenal captain, was jailed in 1990 for drink-driving after crashing his Ford Sierra into a wall.

A Ford Sierra. The shame!

Posted: 3rd, January 2008 | In: Back pages, Tabloids | Comments (6)


Manchester United Christmas Party Quiz

COMPLETE the News of the World’s front-page headline: “MAN U £1m ‘RAPE’ PARTY FINE”

a) And dandy…
b) EXCLUSIVE
c) Romance

Postcards to the usual address

Posted: 30th, December 2007 | In: Back pages | Comment


Joey Barton’s Annual Headline

joey-barton.jpg“JOEY Barton charged with assault”

See you next year, Joey

Posted: 28th, December 2007 | In: Back pages | Comments (4)


Brains And Prawn: The Manchester United Cook Book

manchester-united.jpgTHE Official Manchester United Bar-B-Q cook book has yet to hit the shelves.And if the club’s manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, has anything to do with it fans will have to make do with their prawn sandwiches and other non-roasted fare for some years to come.

The Sun reports that United have been banned from partying, even if they win the Premier League.

Says the Sun: “A title victory in May will be greeted with the normal on-pitch celebrations with champagne among family and friends.”

Of course, this would be United’s tenth Premiership title. Habit dilutes the thrill. And we should not expect such sobriety from other less successful clubs for whom the thrill would be total.

Indeed, should West Ham United win the title the family do, involving Lee Bowyer, Lucas Neil and Kieron Dyer, could descend into fisticuffs before the PA puts Bary White on the turntable and the staff of Romford’s Chittychittybangbang Nite Venue make full use of the corner flags…

Posted: 26th, December 2007 | In: Back pages, Tabloids | Comment (1)


Micah Richards And Manchester United Christmas Cook Up

delia-smith.jpgMICAH Richards faces a “grilling” says the Sun. This follows Sunday’s news that he “spit roasted” a girl in a disabled toilet cubicle.

And this after the story that three Manchester United players “roasted” a girl at the club’s office do, where women were treated like “pieces of meat”.

Not since Graeme Le Saux’s pancakes a la mode lit up the Celebrity Masterchef kitchen have footballers been so enamoured by cooking.

A book is surely in the offing…

Other famous footballing cooks: Delia Smith (Norwich City owner, pictured), Gordon Ramsay (Glasgow Rangers) and Nigella Lawson (Arsenal)…

Posted: 24th, December 2007 | In: Back pages, Tabloids | Comment


Manchester United’s Christmas Roast: Cocks Of The North

stuffed-manchester-united.jpg“THREE MAN U STARS ROASTED GIRL No.2,” announces the Sun’s front-page headline.

“Get in there,” shouts the crowd as the lads got stuck in to the game bird. “Well done son,” come the words of encouragement.

“You don’t know what you’re doing,” chant more. “Keep it up,” extol others. “We are United the cocks of the North,” goes the rousing tune from the terrace at Manchester’s Great John Street Hotel.

John Evans, Manchester United’s “sex-scandal soccer star” denies raping a woman at the club’s Christmas do. But while that matter continues to be investigated the Sun hears a “sickened party guest” describe the moaning and groaning coming from an upstairs room.

A “pretty” girl, “19” is having sex with five or six men, “including three United players”.

Says the girl, now emerged from the room: “They said I was a great shag.”

A “thank you”, “best wishes” scrawled on a souvenir napkin or a firm handshake would have sufficed but these day players are versed in media training and now that there image is important. They go the extra yard.

Indeed, the Sun looks on as the United “stars” visit a hospital. Not for themselves and a nasty itch, but to meet sick children.

Not sick and perverted. But really ill…

Posted: 21st, December 2007 | In: Back pages, Tabloids | Comments (6)


Crapello: Learning English With Fabio Capello

capello1.jpgFABIO Capello is now well on his way to becoming Fabio Crap-ello the man who brought down English football and scarred a nation – for ever!

And that could mean trouble for Michael McElinney, who is now Capello’s official look-alike.
Capello impersonators can earn up to £350 a time, says the Express in a piece entitled “Absolutely Fabio-lous”.

Says McElinney: “I don’t speak a world of Italian but if Mr Capello is going to learn English in a month who is to say I can’t learn it?”

Well, not we who have been boning up on our Itanglish or Englaly. Key phrase to look out for: “We cannot pasta the ball”, “Eye-Tai (should England play Thailand), “Eye-Tie” (a draw) capo” and “E IO Adio”…

Posted: 21st, December 2007 | In: Back pages, Tabloids | Comments (6)


Jesus Christ Was A Celebrity: Danielle Lloyd’s Wondering Star

jesus-celebrity.jpgDID Jesus have the X Factor?

No one attracts celebrities like Jesus. And today Star readers spot Danielle Lloyd telling Star readers how she’s going to celebrate the birth of A-lister Jesus Christ.

Dressed as Jesus would have been at the moment of his birth, albeit with a thong and fluffy hat to keep out the chill (it’s a lot warmer in Bethlehem, folks), Danielle says she is seeing her footballer on Christmas Day.

Lloyd tells us that the OK! Christmas party was “great”. But she won’t be eating too much over Christmas, even if gravy can stain your skin a light browny orange. Danielle has a fitness DVD coming out.

Keep fit with Danny by pulling on a G-string, standing in a chilly photographer’s studio and flapping your arms about, dashing along a pavement to Messers Nip ‘n’ Tuck’s offices, and chasing footballer’s cars…

Amen

Posted: 20th, December 2007 | In: Back pages, Celebrities, Tabloids | Comment


Ricky Hatton Below The Belt

gazza.jpgSAYS Ricky Hatton: “I feel like a woman at the minute, I can’t stop crying.”

Of course, Ricky means to say he feels like a footballer, a reality TV show contestant or an American evangelist.

Jeremiah was ever a man…

Posted: 20th, December 2007 | In: Back pages | Comment


Wayne Rooney In Hello!

SAYS Wayne Rooney in Hello! magazine on the matter of his summer wedding to Coleen McLoughlin: “I wouldn’t invite people for the sake of it.”

Although Hello! might well invite its readers on Wayne’s behalf…

Posted: 18th, December 2007 | In: Back pages, Hello! | Comment


Ashley Cole Shall Not be Moved

ashley-cole.jpgGOOD news for Chelsea’s Ashley Cole.

After yesterday’s “Cole in V-Sign row” (Express), “Ash in dock” (Star) , “V-sign Cole is facing FA rap” (Sun), Cole “gestures” to Arsenal fans (Guardian), the evocative “FA may finger Cole over gesture” (Mail) and the Mirror, Independent and Telegraph all publishing pictures of Cole giving a two-fingered salute to the crowd, the Times says the England player will not be punished.

Why? “Because there are no moving pictures of the incident.”

The Anorak urges the FA to solve this matter by lining up the newspaper images and flicking through them rapidly by way of finger and thumb, so enabling Cole to move, or transfer, as Cole might call it…

Posted: 18th, December 2007 | In: Back pages | Comment (1)


The Best Football Videos Of 2007: Hitler, Football, Arsenal, Spurs, Sheffield United And West Ham

HITLER, Football, Arsenal, Spurs And West Ham – the best football videos of 2007:

Sheffield United relegated:

Arsenal 3, Tottenham 1

Posted: 14th, December 2007 | In: Back pages | Comment


Wag Watch: Alex Curran Horror Over Steven Gerrard’s Gift

alex-curran.jpgTHE good news is that Alex Curran, Wag to England footballer Steven Gerrard, likes shopping. She may even live for it.

The bad news is that her next shopping expedition has been triggered not by England making it to Austria and Switzerland for this summer’s European Championships of Shopping but by a raid on her family home.

In “OUR TERROR”, Curran tells Mirror readers: “It was terrifying – a horrendous experience. I’m still traumatised by the whole thing.”

Inside the paper, over two more pages, Alex manages to find an outfit to put on, a ring and a necklace, too.

It is apparent that the four robbers did not take everything. And in the Star, Alex can be seen in black leggings, black boots and carrying a bag that should comfortably hold the contents of a mid-sized department store.

On the Mail’s cover, Curran is wearing a plunge-necked dress in tope. And in the Mail the outfit is a silver mini-dress, bejewelled strappy black shoes and a clutch bag.

It is clear Curran needs more stuff. So it’s off to the shops for her. Although there is some confusion over what she needs to replace. The Star says the £10,000 Cartier watch she told the world she was buying her footballer for Christmas has been stolen but the Sun says it was missed by the robbers.

Of course, now the surprise is ruined. So Curran will just have to buy another one, perhaps for Gerrard’s other wrist.

And on an even better note, the combined value of the two watches will help counter accusations that Curran has gone downmarket…

Posted: 13th, December 2007 | In: Back pages, Tabloids | Comments (2)


England Put Wags Out Of Business

wags1.jpgTHE fallout from England’s failure to quality for Euro 2008 continues to hurt.

And it’s bad for business. Reality has collided with the reality TV show Wags Boutique. What the odds?

As the Sun reports, the show has been “axed” because of England’s on-field failure.

In this show, ten Wags were split into two five-a-side teams and each team given a shop to run for profit. But now the shops have closed.

It is a shocking decision. But then, the show was always mired in controversy, chiefly in the selection policy.

In the white heat of battle, Michaela Henderson-Thynne has separated from her footballer Stewart Downing, and Cassie became known as the former girlfriend of Chelsea’s Michael Essien.

And there was Danielle Lloyd, who appeared as a Wag shopper under the banner “on/off Wag”.

Viewers and pub professors wondered if Wives And Girlfriends extended to ex wives and girlfriends? Were the Wags to be rebranded as Exwags?

Of course, ITV, which broadcast the show, has missed a chance to enliven a moribund summer for football fans. Our advice would have been to put the show out at primetime and for a full 90 minutes.

Like you and the BBC’s cameramen, we searched for the Wags in each and every break in play. This was the chance to remind us what football really is all about…

Posted: 12th, December 2007 | In: Back pages, Tabloids | Comment


Scent On: The Smell Of Wayne Rooney

rooney-perfume.JPGWAYNE Rooney is to offer you the chance to sell like Wayne Rooney.

Girlfriends and significant others can already smell like the fragrant Mrs Rooney, the scented Coleen McLoughlin.

Coleen X boats “a top note of sweet orange with a heart of marine accords and patchouli and a base of vanilla, amber and musk”.

Each morning, a team of odourlogists “press” Coleen’s bedding and trap the resultant tincture in a thimble. Then by a process known as “science” they add this and that to produce the smell that is Coleen.

What Wayne smells of we are uncertain. But can expect top notes of last night kebab and crushed nuts. “Wayne Rooney: Errr” arrives in bottle fashioned on a raised boot stud. Retails at £120,000-a-week, when available…

Posted: 12th, December 2007 | In: Back pages, Tabloids | Comment


Steve McClaren And The Star’s Plain English

DEEP into the awards season, the Star brings news of the gongs meted out by the Plain English Campaign.

In “MAC: I’VE WON CUP AT LAST!” the Star shows that when it comes to plain speaking it is master, dropping adjectives, pronouns and superfluity in pursuit of plainness.

The Plain Speaking award is for those who have not spoken plainly, so the Star is ruled out.

The top prize goes to former England football manager Steve McClaren (see “bungling England football flop”).

His offerings feature:

* “We’re not as good as we think we are. We needed to go out there and prove that.”
* “He [Wayne Rooney] is inexperienced, but he’s experienced in terms of what he’s been through.”
* “It’s no-win situation for everyone. We knew we had to win, and we did.”

McClaren wins “for putting foot in mouth”, says [the] Star…

Posted: 11th, December 2007 | In: Back pages, Tabloids | Comments (2)


Jose Mourinho’s (Not) Going To Wembley

jose.jpgOVER the past week or more the Sun has been featuring Jose Mourinho and reporting on his chances of becoming manager of England’s football team.

This was not the Sun dictating selection policy, readers were told, rather the paper of record responding to the fans’ clamour for the petulant Portuguese. It was what we wanted. All of us.

Banish all thoughts that the calls for Jose was being triggered by the Sun’s editorial staff keen to get the man who would give them the best headlines, quotes and fits of pique. The Sun does not tell, it merely shows.

But now: “JOSE: THE DREAM IS OVER.” It’s front-page news. Mourinho is attempting to pull of the trick of turning down the job he was never offered and becoming the best England manger England never had.

That might well be Jose’s dream. But what the Sun dreams of can only be guessed at…

Posted: 11th, December 2007 | In: Back pages, Tabloids | Comment (1)


Angelina Jolie Sees Las Vegas Man Badly Beaten

hatton.jpgA MAN lies on the ground. His face is bruised and bloodied. His eyes shut. He is British. It is Saturday night in Las Vegas.

And the impression is that the City of Sin is a tanned version of Blackpool at chucking out time.

The Mirror looks on. It sees witnesses.

In the “THE FIGHT CLUB” readers see Bruce Willis (“HAT”), Tiger Woods, Sly Stallone, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and David Beckham.

Did they see anything?

“For he’s a Jolie good fellow”, says the Sun’s headline. It’s today’s Angelina Jolie story.

“You are a hero,” says Jolie to the man who lies prone of the floor. “She is a mere 20ft from the spot where the Briton lies.” So too is Brad Pitt, as aforementioned.

Says a source: “He crashed down right in front of them and Angelina grimaced… She seemed genuinely affected by what she’d seen…”

The stricken Briton’s mother, identified as Carole, sips neat vodka she’s poured into a water bottle. She is anxious.

Finally, the man comes to. “What the f***** hell happened?” he asks.

Why, you’ve just met Angelina Jolie. And don’t worry that you can’t remember the moment – the Sun and Mirror have plenty of pictures…

Posted: 10th, December 2007 | In: Back pages, Celebrities, Tabloids | Comments (4)


Okay Soaky: Gemma Atkinson’s Breasts Survive Ugly Jungle Shower

gemma-atkinson-wet.jpgWITH a wag, a bounce and a catchphrase “Er…”, Gemma Atkinson emerges from the I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! jungle wearing black leatherette knee boots, black knickers and her trademark expressionless expression.

“JUNGLE GEM” learn Mirror readers via the paper’s front page: “I lost 1st but kept my boobs.” Inside: “I lost loads of weight…but I’m glad I kept my boobs.”
Gemma’s boobs are box fresh. And we too are glad she kept them. Had she unscrewed her breasts before her jungle adventure, Gemma’s shrinking frame may have made them look overly gigantic when reattached.

Unlike those airline passengers who slip off their shoes on long haul flights only to discover they cannot reinsert their feet, Gemma boxed clever.

“JUNGLE GEM REVEALS ALL,” says the Sun’s cover. There is a “4-page pull out”, possibly one page for each of Gemma’s before and after breasts.

The woman whom the Sun’s Ally Ross labels with the personality of “a Belgian sat-nav unit”, the girl “who put the oak into Hollyoaks” tells us “I WAS OGLED IN THE SHOWER”.

Gemma says the camera crew made taking shower “nerve-wracking”. But she’s a game girl is Gemma and continued to have showers and thereby hope to conquer her fear.

“I was very conscious of people thinking I went on the show purely to be seen in the shower. But at the end of the day you have to get clean,” says Gemma. But: “I feared my 34F boobs might shrink.” Showers can do that. Showering or not showering is the big debate. But, luckily, Gemma’s breasts are made of a substance that can withstand seawater, freshwater, bathwater, shower water, tonic water and pressures of 100lbs per square inch.

“My boobs survived the jungle,” says Gemma on the Star’s front page: “GEMMA: MY STORY.” AND: “GEMMA JOY AS 34E ASSETS REMAIN FIRM.”

What’s this? 34E!? But they’re 34F in the Sun. Can it be that Gemma has calibrated incorrectly and been ill affected by life in the jungle?

But chin up, Gemma. Before she went into the jungle, the Star says her footballer lover Marcus Bent gave her a “G” necklace. A sign of love…

A sign of things to come…

Posted: 30th, November 2007 | In: Back pages, Tabloids | Comment (1)


There Goes Lewis Hamilton And Naomi Campbell

naomi-campbell.jpgLEWIS Hamilton is with Naomi Campbell.

Lewis is one of our “best loved sportsmen” (see all media), whereas Ms Campbell once topped a poll for the Most Hated Person is Britain and is famed for throwing hissy fits and telephones.

Hamilton’s celebrity could be better served were he to step out with Cherie Blair, Anthea Turner or Myra Hinley.

As the Mail points out, Campbell is 15 years older than Hamilton and full four inches taller, not counting heels (his or hers).

Neither age nor height need be a factor in any relationship between the two, a fillip encouraged by angled views of Tom Cruise (who, incidentally, played a racing car driver in Days Of Thunder) and Katie Holmes.

And the tabloid press are hoping that Hamilton and Campbell make a go of it. “Grand prix ace Lewis vrooms of with Naomi,” says the Express on its cover page. “Lewis, Naomi and a very speedy exit.”

It is clear that the two promise to tap into a rich seam of headlines and puns. “SPEED DATE,” says the Mirror. “He’s a fast mover.” And: “Now there’s one cheerleader you’d want in your pit.”

“F1 LEWIS IS IN PULL POSITION,” says the Star.

“And they’re off!” say we…

Picture of the Naomi Campbell mobile: 14 

Posted: 29th, November 2007 | In: Back pages, Celebrities, Tabloids | Comment


Fait Wayne Une Pipe: Rooney’s Hookah

wayne-rooney.jpgANOTHER week and with it another chance for the Sun to dress up Wayne Rooney, the paper’s designated laughing stock. “MAN U PLAN MOROCCAN XMAS BASH,” says the paper.

Manchester Untied are to stage a Moroccan-themed Christmas party, with traditional Moroccan dodgems. The event will be held in a marquee, which as any Moroccan and Manchester-based party planner should know is like big tent.

Having seen Rooney as a toff (he’s studying for GCSE maths), young Wayne is today pictured wearing a Dishdashah, headscarf and sucking on a hookah pipe.

“Rooney and the hookah,” says the Sun, a comment on Rooney’s past indiscretions. And the reason for the story becomes clear.

For those readers uncertain of the pun, the Sun explains it. The hookah is a pipe used for smoking. It is not a “hooker” as in Wayne and Auld Slapper, or Wayne and Sophie Anderton.

It is not hooker as in Rooney’s team-mate Cristina Ronaldo and the hookers. “So Roo and Ronaldo can get stuck into as many hookahs as they like,” says the Sun, crudely.

For any reader still not in on the joke, the Sun says a “fruity hookah isn’t one from Manchester’s Canal Street”.

Nor is it a prostitute…

Posted: 26th, November 2007 | In: Back pages, Tabloids | Comment (1)