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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

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)

England And Steve McClaren Give Until It Hurts

steve-mcclaren-arse.jpgHEADLINES such as “ENGLAND COST US £1BN”, “BLACK WEDNESDAY” and “DON’T BANK ON ENGLAND” have appeared in the slipstream of England’s departure from football’s European Championships.

McClaren’s branded umbrella would have been better served as a receptacle into which England fans could have tossed all manner of coins, milks bottle tops and razor blades to help the country muddle on.

And now, as the Sun reports, the players have realised that in losing to Croatia they have damaged the nation’s financial health. It is said that “football stars last night gave up their match fees from the disastrous Croatia game to help wounded troops — thanks to The Sun”.

Thanks to the Sun, Britain’s soldiers are now wondering how to spend £23,000.

Each player in the England squad was paid £1,000 by the FA for last Wednesday’s game. And the squad has selflessly donated the sum to the Sun’s Help For Heroes appeal.

What’s more, sacked manager Steve McClaren also pledged to make a donation out of his estimated £2.5million pay-off. Says McClaren, who has just bought a “SECOND” home in the Caribbean (Mail): “It’s a good cause and I am happy to help. I will definitely give some money.”

And David Beckham pulls off is Make Poverty History and Find Madeleine wristbands to make way for the Help For Heroes symbol. Says Becks: “I am incredibly grateful for the commitment and work our armed forces do for our country. I fully support the campaign.”

Great stuff. The average salary of a newly qualified soldier is £14,300 before tax – which means that thanks to England’s sub-standard footballers the UK can now afford almost two new soldiers, or one soldier and a reservist.

How proud and grateful the Army must be…

Picture: The Spine

Posted: 24th, November 2007 | In: Back pages, Tabloids | Comments (3)

Brolly Poor Show: Steve McClaren’s Plans Unfurl At The Lat

mcclaren-umbrella.jpgSTEVE McClaren has been sacked from his berth as England manager and the Mail chooses today of all days to announce: “Forget the winter woollies. Over the next few months, a stout umbrella and sturdy raincoat are going to be more useful”.

Readers will need little reminding that the umbrella is the favoured motif of the aforesaid McClaren. David Beckham has tattoos, Jose Mourinho his Matalan coat and Alex Ferguson his chewing gum.

McClaren has his umbrella.

McClaren was always going to need a prop if he was going to cut it in the white heat of football branding. And at the death McClaren pulled out the umbrella, that most quintessential English device.

Had England only managed to hang on for a mighty draw, McClaren would have developed his brand, appearing with a Bob the Builder umbrella whenever blooded a young player, a see-through umbrella for every England goal and a golf umbrella when he and the team were at camp.

But ultimately it was too little too late.

McClaren now rests his parasol on his dry shoulders and walks off into the Caribbean sunset. And Umbrellas R Us seeks a knew ambassador…

Posted: 23rd, November 2007 | In: Back pages, Tabloids | Comments (2)

The Knee Jerk: Ebbsfleet United Owners Pick The Next England Manager

ebbsfleet.jpgTHE Knee Jerk: Ebbsfleet United Owners Pick The Next England Manager. From the secretary’s desk by the chairpersons’ office:

“FA WANT JOSE” – Get Jose Mourinho on the phone
“Mourinho now the No1 target” – Got him yet?

“COUNT ME OUT” – Cancel meeting with Martin O’Neill
“RAFA: COUNT ME IN” – Get Rafa Benitiz for brunch
“Capello: I’ve been tapped up” – Tell Benitez to wait. Fabio Capello’s already got the job
“BRING ON THE SPECIAL ONE” – Send Matalan catalogue to Mr Mourinho’s home…and £50-worth of vouchers

“S-MART MOVE. FA wants O’Neill as the man to replace Mac” – Did you cancel with Martin O’Neill. Don’t!

“PEOPLE’S CHOICE” – The fans wants Mourinho. Get Mourinho – it’s what the fans want
“THE FA’S CHOICE” – Martin O’Neill’s a shoo-in. Book lunch with O’Neill
“GET S-MART” – It’s now dinner with O’Neill
“CAPELLO: YES, I’M UP FOR IT” – Tell Capello to hold on a moment
“I’D LOVE THE JOB – HARRY” – Can we do a deal with Harry Redknapp – discount for weekends off, that sort of thing?
“KLIN THE FRAME” – Jurgen Klinsman lives in LA – he can watch Beckham train. Give him a call

“Count me out. O’Neill rejects the chance to replace McClaren in hot-seta” – Tell Martin O’Meill we’ll call him back later. Cancel table

“O’Neill rules himself out of running as search for hero begins” – Eeney, meeney, myneey…

“Momentum builds behind O’Neill” – Book another table for next Friday

“O’Neill installed as favourite but Capello first to show willing” – Organise a race – quickest one over 100 yards gets the job

“O’Neill and Mourinho are favourites” – Ip, dip, sky blue, who’s it not you, not…

Posted: 23rd, November 2007 | In: Back pages | Comment

Headline Writers Celebrate England Defeat

beckham-mcclaren.jpgENGLAND have lost to Croatia on a wet night in Wembley. The fans will not be getting themselves acquainted with plastic chairs, inflatable Lancaster bombers and banking at next summer’s European Championship in Switzerland and Austria.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Steve McClaren is surely on his way out. David Beckham can stop trying to run. And the headline writers are having some fun:


“YOU MAC US SICK – Cro-ing, Cro-ing gone as England blow it”



“McClaren’s Wembley washout”


“Unqualified failure”


“A wally with a brolly”


“Hopeless, hapless, helpless”





“It’s over and out for McClaren”

“You’re a muddy disgrace Mac”


“CRO, NO! CRO, NO! CRO, YES! CRO, YES! CRO, NO!” – The goals go in




Picture: The Spine 

Posted: 22nd, November 2007 | In: Back pages | Comments (6)

Head Of Croatian FA Arrested At Airport

steve-mcclaren.jpgMORE Croatia-England news in the Sun where the head of Croatia’s Football Association has been spotted at Gatwick Airport.

“Tubby” Zorislav Srebic, a general secretary of the country’s FA, is at a ranch of WH Smith’s allegedly squirreling pens and paper into his flight bag.

A police source confirms: “We had a call from WH Smith at Gatwick to say staff had caught an elderly, chubby man pinching pens and paper. We went there and arrested him.”

If guilty, we can only speculate on the reason for this crime. And note that Steve McClaren, manger of what is called Team England, is fond of using pens to make notes, and paper to make them on.

Remove the pens – neutralise the threat…

Posted: 21st, November 2007 | In: Back pages | Comment

Serbian War Criminal Ratko Maldic Invited To England V Croatia

mladic_ratko1.jpgIN readiness for tonight’s England v Croatia football match, the Daily Sport invites readers to cut out and wear a picture of Ratko Maldic, Serbian war criminal, “fugitive and man accused of genocide”.

The Serbian government had announced a bounty of €1m (£700,000) for Mladic, and jingoistic England fans are encouraged to wear the paper face with caution.

It should also not go unmentioned that in the Star’s 10 Facts on Croatia, number 7 says that the country’s fans were “once offered tickets for a big international match in exchange for making blood donations”.

The recipe for upset is evident. We advise England fans to resist all urge for say “For the good of Greater Serbia!” and instead blend in with the “enemy” by joining the Coats in cries of “We Want Beckham!”, “No World Wars And One Semi-Final” and “Steve McClaren Is Doing A Wonderful Job”…

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

The Knee Jerk: Picking The England Team The Ebbsfleet United Way

subbuteo_family.jpgEBBSFLEET United FC has been bought by net nerds. They will play fantasy football with real people – tinkering with their livelihoods and their careers – by picking the team and the tactics via online polls.

The club’s new owners won’t see all the games, all the training sessions. But they can read the match reports. And make their judgements.

In light of that, today Anorak introduces its Knee Jerk Column, where we give an instant reaction to how the modern fan responds to headlines:

GUARDIAN: “[Paul] Robinson fails to impress in training” – And in games against Croatia, Russia, Germany. Dropped

INDEPENDENT: “Croatia unafraid of England except for boot of Beckham” – Play Beckham as lone striker

INDEPENDENT: “Wenger urges McClaren to pack midfield” – Play a 0-10-1 formation

THE TIMES: “Carson back in the frame after crisis of confidence for Robinson” – Pick Carson

DAILY STAR: “I’LL END IT LIKE BECKS – Peter Crouch wants to do a Beckham, who famously scored in the final minute to secure a vital draw with Greece – Crouch to take all free kicks

DAILY MAIL: “Becks’ appeal waning” – Drop Beckham

“BECKS GIVES ME HEAD START – Crouch has the jump on rivals if Mac picks David” – Pick Beckham and Crouch up front

Posted: 20th, November 2007 | In: Back pages | Comment (1)

Wag The Player: Abbey Clancy Best It For England

peter_crouch.JPGIT’S not often the world of football encroaches on the life of a Wag but when called upon the girls can step up to be counted.

This is England’s hour of need, and with official shopping trips to Switzerland and Austria at stake next summer, Abbey Clancy wants to ensure her footballer does not let a nation down.

“I’ll inspire my Crouchie to score,” says Abbey Clancy from a position of defiance on the Star’s cover page. The vow is given added weight and direction within the paper as Abbey says: “I’ll help my Crouchie score for England.”

Ms Clancy promises to make Peter Crouch, England footballer, “ready, willing and able” for England.

This is, of course, part of a fully functioning Wag-footballer relationship. Not too long ago, Crouchy approached the serving hatch on Marco Pirre White’s Hell’s Kitchen and gave his lover the come on in the celebrity cooking arena.

Sadly, Crouchy failed to inspire his lover’s hunger for cooking and her fish pie lost out to Barry McGuigan’s potato. Now Abbey wants to cheer her lover on.

But she has learnt much from the experience. And we expect from Abbey much chest beating and cries of “We went to Barbados last year you useless string of spaghetti!”

Posted: 19th, November 2007 | In: Back pages, Tabloids | Comment (1)

Gemma Atkinson’s Gets A Lift

“BUSTY Gemma Atkinson certainly knows how to take wild sex to a different level,” says the news of the World in “Gemma Atkinson in balcony romp”.

“Then another level, and then another…”

Karl Benion chooses today to tell us how “jungle-hot Gemma” gave him the “elevator ride” of his life followed by “SPANKING romps on a balcony” during a “steamy” two-month fling.

Readers will have noted use of the world “elevator”, an Americanism that does nothing to detract from the story, in fact it might even add a soupcon of added exoticism to the spicy tableau.

Karl was on holiday in Majorca, “when the ex-Hollyoaks star pounced” (that’s Gemma).

Says Karl, (“grins”): “We’d been out clubbing and were in the lift on our way back to my apartment when she suddenly went wild and started ripping my clothes off. She was wearing very little herself. I ended up with one hand jammed against the ‘stop’ button between floors…and the other was, well, quite full!”

Our working knowledge of lifts would have Karl beginning at the Ground floor, or the G Spot as he would have it. He then works his way up to the H Spot, I Spot and J Spot before reaching the penthouse.

Gemma and Karl are no longer together. And she’s now back with Charlton Athletic striker Bent, a team in the second floor of English football…

Posted: 18th, November 2007 | In: Back pages, Tabloids | Comment

Smart Money: Get The Wayne Rooney Look At Asda

tuxedotshirt.jpgYESTERDAY, we reported upon the Sun’s bizarre attempt to portray Wayne Rooney as a “toff”. (He drinks wine and is taking two GCSEs, you see.) To help us grasp the concept, the paper helpfully mocked up a picture of the wealthy young autodidact sporting a top hat and monocle.

But how are we non-toffs supposed to emulate the new Rooney look? More easily than you might think. For a mere 35 quid, in fact.

We’re not talking about a replica United shirt either (that’ll set you back £39.99). No, we are talking Asda dinner suits. Or to be more precise, the “George at Asda” dinner suit.

Who’s that then, George the Hoffmeister bear? Do you get a pork pie hat thrown in?

Well no, but the Telegraph’s Hilary Alexander does warn purchasers not to stand under too strong a light, as “the polyester viscose fabric does tend to shine”. She also adds that there’s no need to worry if the waiter spills soup down the front, or you “fall into the gutter on your way home”.

She admits that the jacket is fully lined and the finishing is good, but doesn’t shed any light on the detail that concerns us most. Asda ads feature a series of satisfied customers patting their back pockets, which jingle with the pennies that they have saved at the famously value-for-money supermarket.

So where is the well-dressed Asda customer to stuff the hundreds of pounds saved on tailoring without ruining the line of this extraordinary new wipe-down suit?

Posted: 15th, November 2007 | In: Back pages, Tabloids | Comment

Two GCSEs Wayne: Manchester Utd’s Rooney Mugs Up On English And Maths

red-card-rooney.jpgANOTHER day, another attempt to squeeze a cheap laugh out of the mighty Wayne Rooney.

The Sun sports a picture of the Man United star wearing a top hat and monocle. Have a guess why.

No, it’s not a plug for a forthcoming ad in which Rooney plays Fred Astaire.

It’s a mocked-up picture to illustrate the story that Wayne is studying for GCSEs in English and maths, and is also learning to play the guitar.

It’s apparently all connected to Alex Ferguson’s suggestion that he do something constructive with his spare time. The guitar is supposed to help him control his temper (well it worked for Pete Townshend, Sid Vicious, Keith Richards and the rest – they hardly ever hit fans with their guitars). Ferguson himself learned the piano in an attempt to quell his fiery character, but fortunately he wasn’t able to lift it high enough to throw it at anyone.

Rooney’s new-found interest in learning is surely to be praised. Yet the Sun’s attitude is strangely sniffy. Wayne, it says, is “going all intellectual”. It is “the latest proof that Manchester United and England striker Rooney, 22, is turning into a bit of a TOFF.”

OK, let’s get this straight. He’s wearing a monocle because he’s a toff. And he’s a toff because he’s studying for two GCSEs.

No, we still don’t get it. Can you help, readers?

Posted: 14th, November 2007 | In: Back pages, Tabloids | Comments (3)

Fayne Wayne: Rooney Knows Fine Wines

wayne_rooney.jpg“MANCHESTER United ace Wayne Rooney really is a vintage pro,” chortles the Sun.

How so? Has he given up the glamour of football and opted for the “oldest profession”. Of course not, he’s happy to leave that sort of thing to the experts.

No, he has become a wine connoisseur. The England striker “lists a bottle of Sauvignon blanc among as his top tipple and has been eagerly building up his own cellar”.

Furthermore, he has been taking advice from manager Alex Ferguson, who, the paper reminds us, is “an expert on fine wines”.

The Sun finds this all very amusing, on the grounds that multi-millionaires like Rooney should stick to lager top and leave the fine wines to thirsty hacks with expense accounts.

But in their haste to ridicule the young tippler, they seem to have missed a trick.

On the following page, the paper reports that Prince Harry has been “talking through his love life problems” with a friend, and has been seen arriving at said address “with a bottle of wine twice this week”.

The address in question is the flat of his old pal Mark Dyer. To which we say: what better cover for a secret tryst with a like-minded soul with a weakness for the finer things in life?

Remember, you read it first on Anorak.

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

World Skills Olympics Guarantee London Success

CLEANER, Eco-Friendlier, Cocknier! The London 21-12 Olympic stadium fits the Olympic ideals. And it will be ready in time.

As the UK’s 2007 World Skills Olympic team jets off to Japan – 48 nations compete in 40 different categories, including stonemasonry, bricklaying and painting and decorating – we read in the Independent that the Games will be in London for 2011.

And where will they be staged? No contest…

Pic: Beau Bo D’Or 

Posted: 9th, November 2007 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets | Comments (10)

In The Playground With Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho

JOSE Mourinho, former Chelsea manager, has grabbed a 12-year-old boy’s hair. A teacher at Palmela School, Portugal, sees Jose Mourinho grab the child’s arm.

“Mourinho ‘reduced a boy of 12 to tears over playground taunts’,” says the Mail. Mourinho’s 11-year-old daughter tells him of a boy who says her dad is not “the best”. Mourinho is upset. He pulls the boys ears.

“Mourinho, scrapped with lad aged 12,” says the Sun, leaving readers unsure if billing the incident with flyweight Pedro Farrim as a fight looks better or worse for the 44-year-old.

“Mourinho attack on schoolkid for saying you’re not so special,” says the Mirror.

Says Mourinho: “I’m a special one”, “It’s not fair”, “The best team lost”, “I want to give my congratulations to them because they won. But we were the best team. We didn’t lose the game.”

Shhh! Quiet time. Fingers on lips…

Posted: 9th, November 2007 | In: Back pages | Comments (6)

London Olympics 2012: Blancmange All Round

DISAPPOINTMENT for we versed in sporting ceremonies that Seb Coe chose to unveil the London 2012 Olympic Stadium without holding the hand of a small child or wearing stilts.

Not even a dinner of roast beef and three types of vegetables, as Lord Coe, chairman of the Olympic committee, forwent the chance to host the unveiling ceremony at a gala night out in London’s Dorchester Hotel.

Instead, Coe stood in a tent on the spot where the 100 metres will be run and showed us the $500million stadium, with its 80,000 seats.

“It’s a bowl of blancmange,” says the Times Marcus Binney. It’s not. It’s four bowls of blancmange, or tiers, interlaced with the cream of international sport. It is the Telegraph’s “flat-pack” vision for 2012.

The Sun notes that the perimeter of this edifice to sporting glory is 941 yards – “the length of 72 London buses parked nose to tail”. It’s like Oxford Street, only in the round.

And it is reusable. There are 55,000 temporary seats, which will be sold off after the event to anyone who wants some plastic furniture.

The entire venue will be enshrined in a mosaic fabric “wrap”, depicting athletes and flags. The Times says the mesh “could be cut up and made into memorabilia bags after the event”.

And after 17 days, the stadium will be used by someone else. Who? The Times says options include a school, a “skills academy”, a football or rugby club in winter and an athletics club in the summer.

Or a new home for the Millennium Dome…

Pic: Beau Bo D’Or 

Posted: 8th, November 2007 | In: Back pages | Comment