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Sports news, commentary and scores with wit and added value. We compare and contrast the best and worst sports reporting in the mainstream press, blogs, TV and online. We love the English Premier League (Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs, Manchester United and Manchester City) and all things football but we cover cricket, rugby, the Olympics, tennis, golf, F1 and highlights of the sporting year.

Manchester United: 16 years of Glazer greed boils over

Did you see the Manchester United fans on the Old Trafford pitch before their club’s match with Liverpool and think, ‘Finally!’ After 16 years of ownership by distant, greedy venture capitalists, United supporters were seizing the chance afforded them by The European Super League debacle to demand ‘Go!” It feels like now or never for fans to get rid of the Glazer family. Just as it’s time for Arsenal fans to rid themselves of the no less greedy, remote and abysmal Kroenke clan and Liverpool to get shot of John W Henry. The ESL proved that mistrust of money-obsessed American owners is well placed. Getting the match called off makes the money-men take note. What’s the Premier League without TV?

It wasn’t all good. Far from it. There was violence after fans had left the stadium. One policeman’s face was slashed with a broken bottle. “Those in the stadium were evicted by officers but outside on the forecourt hostility grew with bottles and barriers being thrown at officers and horses,” Greater Manchester police said in a statement. “Two officers have been injured, with one officer being attacked with a bottle and sustaining a significant slash wound to his face, requiring emergency hospital treatment.” There is no excuse for any of that.

Manchester United said “criminal damage” caused by protesters breaking into the ground, and “violence towards” staff, other fans and officers were now a police matter. “The club has no desire to see peaceful protestors punished, but will work with the police to identify those involved in criminal activity, and will also issue its own sanctions to any season-ticket holder or member identified, per the published sanctions policy,” the club said in a statement.

But the protest and the forces driving evens was sound. Not that the greedy, entitled Premier League is listening, offering the pathetic reaction that “fans have many channels by which to make their views known, but the actions of a minority seen today have no justification”. But no-one’s been listening to fans on Twitter. Now they’re protesting and around the ground, they are.

Lead image: Manchester United supporters demonstrate against a possible takeover of the club by American businessman Malcolm Glazer prior to their English Premiership match against Arsenal at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, in this Sunday, Oct. 24, 2004 file photo.

Posted: 4th, May 2021 | In: manchester united, News, Sports | Comment


Arsenal : Arteta lines up his shark jump

After Arsenal’s latest defeat, this episode of #Vincibles centres on the first leg of the Europa League semi-final with Villarreal. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta explained his decision to start the match with no strikers: “We have played with three strikers many times this season and didn’t score any goals, so it was a decision I made. The game was conditioned after four mintues [when Villarreal opened the scoring] so it is difficult to assess whether it would have worked or not.”

We leant that no strikers means no goals, save for a jammy penalty in the second half which made the scores 2-1 to the Spanish club – currently the 7th best club in Spain. As for not understanding how things were progressing because the opposition scored so easily before racing into a two goal lead and missed three glorious chances to make it more, well, Arteta has reached the delusional stage of football management.

He continued his thoughts on not understanding if the plan was working because Arsenal were getting thumped and had failed to register a single shot on target on the Arenal website:

Arenal: on whether it was a gamble to start today’s game without a striker…

Arteta: It’s the way we prepared for the game. It’s the decision that I made, thinking that it was the best way to play, but the game was conditioned after four minutes so it was difficult to assess whether it would work or not. Conceding from the set piece as well also changed it and after, we had to approach it in a different way.

With the game ending 2-1 in Spain, Arsenal are down but not out. “They got out of here alive,” said Villarreal’s Trigueros. “We should have killed them off.” Like Arsenal, Arteta lives another day.

Posted: 30th, April 2021 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Carabao Cup Final: sad Spurs reach 0.04 expected goals as Manchester City win

Spurs achieved an expected goal tally of 0.04 goals over 93 minutes of Carabao Cup final action. Manchester City, who won the match 1-0, reached 3.5 expected goals. Given that sides start the match on zero, Spurs were only marginally more likely to score than they were to boil an egg on the half-way line or for Harry Kane to raise his tail and lay one.

To think that just last week, Spurs were part of a European Super League.

Posted: 25th, April 2021 | In: Sports, Spurs | Comment


Arsenal balls: Arteta becomes Stan Kroenke’s lickspittle

“All of them [had] the right intentions to defend the club and put the club in the best possible position for now and for the future, but they accept that the way it’s been handled has had terrible consequences and that it was a mistake,” said Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta of the pathetic, totally greed-based plan for six English clubs to join a European Super League. No word from Stan Kroenke, Arsenal’s club’s distant billionaire owner. Although ‘Silent’ Stan’s hapless, entitled son Josh did condescend to meet some Arsenal fans over a Zoom call. The club’s official website duly produced a heavily blinkered ‘transcript’ from that exchange, missing out the bit where the fans pretty much universally told him to naff off.

“I really have to respect that when people have genuine intentions to do the best for this football club,” Arteta guffed on. “But if it doesn’t happen or it’s not the right thing to do, they can stand up here and apologise. We have to accept that and move on.”

And there it is. Arteta the lickspittle, a coach reduced to the role of telling the club’s fans they “have to accept” a greedy, dead-eyed American running things. No, They don’t. The strong impression is that Arsenal are club where no-one at the top a clue how to run one. And Arteta is nicking a living.

Posted: 24th, April 2021 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Spotify founder Daniel Ek wants to buy Arsenal – greedy Kroenke must go

Arsenal fan can begin to dream – and start moving their accounts from Apple Music to Spotify. Daniel Ek, founder and CEO of the streaming music company, says he wants to buy Arsenal, the team he supports. Will the craven Mr Greedies, ‘Silent’ Stan Kroenke and his hapless son Josh Kroenke sell up? Of course they will, if Ek offers them enough money, which is all they care about. So c’mon Stan the Spiv and gormless Josh, sell your shares and ship off. Arsenal fans loathe you.

Posted: 23rd, April 2021 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Brands not fans killed Super League

Super League

Super League had a naff name and an agenda based on greed. Told the billionaires had been plotting the heist for years, you boggle at how ignorant so many mega-rich people can be. They ignored the fans but didn’t even get Amazon on side. Aside from the greedy club owners, who was backing the big project? The fans rebelled. And the narrative is that fan protests the got the horror show shut down. But the clubs owners’ big failure was in not selling Super League to broadcasters and huge brands. Where was the feature length Nike ad with Lionel Messi and Ronaldo extolling the virtues of Super League and how it would improve the planet / climate change / BLM and whatever noble causes the money machines can latch on to to give their quest for profits some soul? Grace Robertson makes the point:

If you were listing important commercial partners to top European clubs, you’d put Nike pretty high on the list, right? Right. Nike are pretty damn important to the football industry.

Take a look at how Nike’s big splashy ad of the past year, titled “You Can’t Stop Us”.

Let’s read that monologue, delivered by Megan Rapinoe, in full:

“We’re never alone. And that is our strength. Because when we’re doubted, we’ll play as one. When we’re held back, we’ll go farther. And harder. If we’re not taken seriously, we’ll prove that wrong. And if we don’t fit the sport, we’ll change the sport. We know things won’t always go our way. But whatever it is, we’ll find a way. And when things aren’t fair, we’ll come together for change.

We have a responsibility to make this world a better place.

And no matter how bad it gets, we will always come back stronger. Because nothing can stop what we do together.”

…The message is very obvious: “We are a caring company that shares your values. So buy our shit.” …

If a corporation decides to put itself front and centre on a sponsorship deal with the Super League, what brand values is it communicating? Not the values they all seem to want to go for. It’s the brand values of the early 90s and the Premier League. It’s that of greed and wealth. It’s exactly what they don’t want to be associated with.

For years big clubs wielded their power to get what they wanted. Do as we say or else we will leave. Well, they tried it. And – boy – did they fail. In the longterm, football fans could be big winners with better competition and the rise of mid-ranking sides.

Read it all.

Posted: 22nd, April 2021 | In: Key Posts, Money, News, Sports | Comment


Are Stan Kroenke and his son Josh the most clueless men in football?

Manchester City have withdrawn from the European Super League (ESL). Chelsea set to join them. When those clubs take the moral high ground you know you’re on a ride to hell’s basement.

Manchester United, Liverpool, Spurs and Arsenal are left in the ESL mire. The pick of the disasters has to be Arsenal. The Gunners are owned by ‘Silent’ Stan Kroenke, a distant American billionaire who has placed his charisma-free son Josh in charge of Arsenal – the London office of his empire.

Not only have the Gunners fallen away as a competitive force under Kroenke’s ownership, but Arsenal have now left the European Clubs Association after confirming that they will take part in the doomed European Super League. The move meant that Arsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham had to resign from his position on ECA’s board. He was only appointed to the ECA’s board in March.

“If you want to win championships then you would never get involved,” said Stan in 2016. “I think the best owners in sports are the guys that sort of watch both sides a bit. If you don’t have a good business then you can’t really afford to go out and get the best players unless you just want to rely on other sources of income.”

Live the dream, eh, Stan. And now he’s cost the club face – to go with the loss of Champions League football and class. But he’ll always have his money. It’s up to Arsenal fans to tell the Kroenkes what they think of them. Time for them to go. But how can it be done? How do you get rid of people who apparently don’t care for the club they’ve turned into a corporate husk?

Posted: 20th, April 2021 | In: News, Sports | Comment


The European Super League is a FTSE for Football – bring it on!

On the telly, the latest Tory housing minister and a Labour MP whose name escapes everyone are lamenting the new European Super League, a new tournament featuring most of the continent’s richest football clubs. The politicians harp on about “grass roots football”, the fans being the game’s true lifeblood and the joy of a less fancied side doing well.

You might roll your eyes. Governments support a made-for-TV Premier League, open football to foreign owners, suck up to repressive regimes, tell fans to sit down and shut up, big up globalisation and then are aghast and outraged that the game develops into a European Super League – a FTSE for football. From bubble matches, to all-seater stadia and the policing of language, governments have tried and tested new methods of control on football supporters.

Football fans are portrayed as race rioters-in-waiting. You can kick racism and sectarianism out of football, wear your rainbow laces and elevate the women’s game, but show me a black editor on a national newspaper title, a border down the Irish Sea and the figures on domestic violence and we’ll see who really matters.

Lead image: Sheffield F.C. (here pictured in 1857, the year of its foundation) is the oldest surviving association football club in the world.

Posted: 19th, April 2021 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Key Posts, Liverpool, Manchester City, manchester united, News, Sports, Spurs | Comment


The European Super League is so rubbish that Spurs are in it

On the same day that the greedy, venal elite of European football outlined plans for a made-for-TV European Super League, a lone Wycombe Wanderers fan dressed in the team’s colours was thrown out of his club’s Championship match at Swansea City’s Liberty Stadium. Four thousand fans were at Wembley to see Leicester City beat Southampton in the FA Cup semi-final – but one fan in Swansea is one fan too many in these interesting times. But we like him, don’t we, this supporter of an unglamorous club who just wanted to see the match.

Here’s the plan, then: let the so-called big clubs leave the Premier League – and oddly Spurs are amongst that group; a club that has won the English league title less often than Everton, Aston Villa, Sunderland, Newcastle United, Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds United, Huddersfield, Wolves, Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End – and as often (twice) as Burnley, Portsmouth and Derby. And let’s call the top flight the First Division and never mention the greedy feckers who left again. Let’s be more Wycombe.

Posted: 18th, April 2021 | In: Sports, Spurs | Comment


Spurs Balls: Manchester United’s Paul Pogba rattles Jose Mourinho

Spurs manager Jose Mourinho says he “couldn’t care less” about what Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba says about him. Mourinho cares so little about it that he’s told the media how little he cares.

Mourinho managed Pogba a t United before he was sacked in 2018. Pogba opined that current United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer “wouldn’t go against the players” like former manager Jose Mourinho.

“I would like to say that I couldn’t care less with what he says,” says Mourinho. “I am not interested at all.”

As George Carlin put it: No comment is still a comment.”

Posted: 17th, April 2021 | In: manchester united, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Spurs fans joy at watching paint dry – the Dulux years

Spurs fans have been watching paint dry for years. And now the club has – get this – an official paint partner. It’s Dulux, the paint brand with the shaggy dog on the cans. No, not the Labrador. That’s the toilet paper. But give it time and Spurs will move to secure that vital signing, too. The Dulux deal was announced on social media. First the apology:

Proud to see your paints on the walls of the Spurs trophy room and bogs:

Spurs Dulux

Spurs last won the League in 1961 – which is even longer ago in dog years.

Posted: 16th, April 2021 | In: Sports, Spurs, The Consumer | Comment


Pregnant women, children and cancer patients banned from Caraboa Cup Final

The Caraboa Cup final between Spurs and Manchester City will be watched at Wembley by 4,000 paying fans – half each for each club. But you can only apply for a ticket if you’re over 18, not pregnant and not a cancer patient or ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’. Fans who do get a ticket must take a lateral flow coronavirus test at a designated site in the 24 hours before the game on April 25. And they must bring proof of a negative result, either a text or an email. But if you need to be clear of Covid-19 to attend, why is anyone else banned?

The arbitrariness of this ban on some people attending a football match is plain. And what if a teenager, pregnant woman or someone with MS wants to watch the game and does get a ticket? Will they be arrested? A fine? Do you need to prove you are not pregnant, or the state prove that you are? How about carrying an ID card to attend the game, one with your date of birth and medical history on?

Big Brother Watch reported in February that police have issued around 70,000 fixed-penalty notices (FPNs) since March 2020 for alleged lockdown breaches. What was once free and taken for granted is now something we need to ask permission to do. And as with many forms of control, football fans will be the testing ground.

Posted: 13th, April 2021 | In: Manchester City, News, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Good Luck Rituals Some Sports Stars Swear By

Good Luck Rituals Some Sports Stars Swear By

Good luck. We put a lot of merit in those two words. We have no proof there even is such a thing. We do know that sometimes good things just happen for us. We don’t know why. Maybe you want to call it karma, fate, coincidence, or just timing. All we know is sometimes the sun shines a little brighter, and the flowers smell a little sweeter. Sometimes we land the account we have been working on. Sometimes the really attractive coworker asks us to lunch. Sometimes, we win the lottery bet we placed online. Sometimes, we sure feel lucky. 

A lot of our favorite football players feel pretty strongly about their luck on the field. So much so they will not go out unless they have made sure all their lucky rituals are in place. Some of these athletes are from the NFL, and others from the Football Leagues in the UK. But they feel the same about their rituals. These are rituals that they feel have helped them win in past games, and they feel they need them to ensure wins in future games. So, read along as we list some football good luck rituals with you. Who knows? You might see some you want to try. So here we go. 

Marshawn Lynch – Skittles

Running Back (retired), Seattle Seahawks

Marshawn Lynch had a colorful pregame ritual that carried through his entire career Before each game, he would be seen munching on a handful of Skittle candies. Fans got used to seeing this and would often toss him bags of candy before the games. This may not have been the most healthy choice for a healthy sports star, but he continued to have his sweet treat. 

His mother eventually explained that when Lynch was a child of 12 or 13, she would give him a handful of Skittles before his games, telling him they were his ‘Power Pellets” and they would make them “run fast.” 

Lynch finished his playing career with 9,112 yards rushing and 74 rushing touchdowns. He also played an instrumental role in delivering Seattle its first Lombardi Trophy. I guess they worked.

John Henderson – Face Slap

Former Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders defensive tackle

John Henderson had a violent good luck ritual. He believed his first hit of the day was hit luck one, and he wanted to make it count. The hit got his blood pumping, and he was ready to take on his opposing team. He would ask a trainer to slap him across his face just before going out to the game. He insisted on the slap to be a hard hit. 

He finished his playing career with an impressive 489 tackles, 29.0 sacks, and 45 passes defended. He was also named to two Pro Bowls.

Tom Brady – Blinding Sun

New England Patriots quarterback

Tom Brady had a unique (if somewhat dangerous) ritual that he believed brought luck to the team. Before each game, Brady takes his receivers to a spot on the field where the sun will be in their eyes during afternoon games. To prepare his pass-catchers for game-day adversity, he forces them to stare into the sun when looking for passes.

Brady has helped deliver six Super Bowl appearances and four victories during his time with the Patriots.

John Terry – Various superstitions

Chelsea Captain (former)

John Terry admits to being very superstitious, and he and his teammates had a list of rituals they practiced before a game. If they won their game, they would often add to the list. Some of their rituals included:

  • Using the same urinals 
  • Listening to the same Usher music to the ground
  • Terry used the same shin pads for 10-years
  • Terry taped his socks exactly 3-times

Perhaps the most involved and our favorite footballer rituals come from Thibaut Courtois. His series of unusual pregame superstitions are detailed and exact. He has made the top of our list. Here is what we have learned.

Thibaut Courtois – Spanish Club Real Madrid & Belgium National Team

Goalkeeper

Ritual includes:

  • Entered the stadium at a specific time
  • Tests his girlfriend that he is changing clothes and not to text him until the game has ended
  • He goes to the bathroom and takes a selfie of himself sitting on the toilet, and texts it to 4 of his friends in Belgium.
  • He puts on his left sock and left shoe first (he is left-handed)
  • Before leaving for the field, he wets the tip of his gloves
  • When reaching the goal he hits the goal post with his boot and punches the middle of the goal net. 

After all of this, he says he enters a trance and cannot be distracted. 

Do these superstitions help these men win their games and go on to become superstars? We don’t know. We do know that they believe there is enough merit in the thought that they continued to carry them out. The one thing you cannot argue with is this. They were successful beyond their wildest dreams.

Posted: 10th, April 2021 | In: Sports | Comment


The neoliberal gym epidemic makes Stalinists blush

Do you see gyms and jogging as fallout from neoliberalism, those market-oriented reform policies which serve to protect private property from external interference. Nicole Karlis has view in Salon. It’s a view that makes you wonder if she ever saw the Communists compete at the Olympics and fascists doing callisthenics in the park:

The last half-century may be considered the age of fitness, and it is no accident that it coincides with the age of neoliberalism,” Martschukat writes. “Rather than a generalizing call to arms, here neoliberalism denotes an epoch that has modeled itself on the market, interprets every situation as a competitive struggle and enjoins people to make productive use of their freedom.”

The timing is about right – neoliberalism was a response to 1970s stagflation. But socialism has been pretty keen on exercise.

Lead image: “All World Records Must Be Ours!”

Posted: 1st, April 2021 | In: Money, News, Sports | Comment


Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard injury update – media anatomy 101

Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard was forced off with “an ankle knock” during Norway’s World Cup Qualifier against Gibraltar, says Sky Sports. It was a “blow” to his ankle, says the Evening Standard‘s man on a sofa. It is “nightmare” injure says the Caught Offside blog. He “rolled his ankle”says the Mirror. He “twisted his ankle” says the Mail.

And get this for a diagnosis. He played on with a broken ankle. Tough lad:

Odegaard ankle

Will update tomorrow with the dire news on how long he will out for before they have him put down etc.

UPDATE: National team coach Stale Solbakken, says he has not suffered a serious injury and hopes to have him back for the next World Cup qualifier against Turkey on Saturday.

Posted: 24th, March 2021 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Specialist in failure Jose Mourinho bleeds Spurs dry

Spurs were abject in their defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League. But do not blame the coach Jose Mourinho. He is after all (it says here) a born winner and not a “specialist in failure”, a bitchy comment he aimed at former Arsenal great Arsene Wenger

“To say that I feel sad is not enough, because what I feel goes further than sadness,” he said. “I feel sorry that one team that is not my team won the game based on attitude. I believe that for every Tottenham fan at home, every match matters. I can only apologise to Tottenham’s supporters and I hope the players feel the same way I do. Football is not about players who think they have more quality than others. The basis of football is attitude and they beat us on that. At half-time I told them the risk of playing the way they were playing.”

And players who would run through walls for Mauricio Pochettino, the man Mourinho replaced, didn’t respond.

Posted: 19th, March 2021 | In: Sports, Spurs | Comment


Arsenal balls: Sanchez, Spurs and penalty to Robana

Arsenal beat Spurs 2-1 in the Premier League, the visitor’s goal coming from a lush piece of skill by Eric Lemala. In the blink of an eye, he received the ball and scored the best rabona goal since the even better once he scored seven years ago against Asteras Tripolis. The way he snaked his left foot behind his right heel and then clipped the ball so it travelled flat and hard across the turf, a daisy-cutter into the bottom corner, was sublime. Before that magic and after it, Spurs were outplayed. The winning goal came from the penalty spot. And that’s what gives the media a chance to blather, mitigate and rule to deadline. Was it a penalty?

Spurs manger Jose Mourinho said it was defo no pen. He stood by the pitch and wagged his finger – a move that never fails to impress the adult its aimed at and make them rethink and change their mind. He then moaned some more after the match. On Match of the Day, former Spurs player Jemaine Jenas, was outraged that a penalty had been awarded.

Writing in the Guardian, Barney Ronay spotted a foul:

Perhaps José Mourinho will continue to dispute the award of that match-winning penalty just after the hour, with the score 1-1, as Davinson Sánchez came storming back to intercept a long pass to Alex Lacazette. Lacazette missed his shot at goal. Sánchez came barrelling right through his man all the same.

Yes, it didn’t actually affect the game. But this was a foul in any sport you care to name – ice hockey, karate, Shrove Tuesday midden-ball.

In the Times, Henry Winter delivers a report in police log fashion:

After 64 minutes, Nicolas Pépé, who had replaced Saka at the break, really came to life, sending Alexandre Lacazette through on goal. Before the stretching Davinson Sánchez could challenge, Lacazette completely sliced his shot, the ball squirting left, away from goal. But Sánchez’s momentum took him into Lacazette, knocking him over. Michael Oliver pointed to the spot, VAR confirmed his judgment and Lacazette calmly sent Hugo Lloris the wrong way.

Maybe the clubs’ respective websites can clear it up? Arsenal’s tells us:

Nicolas Pepe was introduced for Bukayo Saka at the break, and the Ivorian’s wonderful pass to Lacazette inside the box resulted in a penalty. Lacazette failed to make good contact with his shot, but was cleaned out by Davinson Sanchez. Referee Michael Oliver pointed to the spot and Lacazette himself dispatched.

And Spurs?

Sanchez was penalised for a challenge on Lacazette in the area despite the Arsenal player having already sliced his shot wide, and it was Lacazette who stepped up to send Hugo Lloris the wrong way from 12 yards.

So here it is, the foul (which it was):

PS: No foul given below. And in unrelated news: Harry Kane is the England captain:

Posted: 15th, March 2021 | In: Arsenal, Sports, Spurs | Comment


The best 20 seconds of cricket in 2121

If they can score a few less, this lot might yet make it into the current England team. Cricket really is the best team sport every invented.

Posted: 11th, March 2021 | In: Sports | Comment


Grand National trainer sits on dead horse: why not race the corpses?

Leading Irish horse trainer Gordon Elliott, 43, says the photo of him sat on a dead horse is authentic. Elliott says he took a phone call and sat down on the horse “without thinking”.”I apologise profoundly for any offence that this photo has caused,” he says. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is “appalled”.

Elliott has thrice trained the winner of the Grand National. The race yielded 7 fatalities out of 439 horses taking part between 2000 and 2010. In 1998, three horses died: two were injured in the race and then offed by the vet; one suffered a heart attack whilst jumping a fence. But the racing fraternity is aghast and agog and one man using a dead horse as an al fresco office.

‘MURDER?’ – Winner of the Grand National in 1973, 1974 and 1977, the UK’s best known and most loved racehorse is pictured with fans on a visit to Bristol at Castle Park on March 15th 1980.

“I can categorically state that the welfare of each and every horse under my care is paramount and has been central to the success that we have enjoyed,” says Elliott. “The photo in question was taken some time ago and occurred after a horse had died of an apparent heart attack on the gallops. At what was a sad time, which it is when any horse under my care passes away, my initial reaction was to get the body removed from where it was positioned. I was standing over the horse waiting to help with the removal of the body, in the course of which, to my memory I received a call and, without thinking, I sat down to take it. Hearing a shout from one of my team, I gestured to wait until I was finished. Such background information may seem trivial at this time and will not allay the concerns of many people both within and outside the world of horse racing.”

He’s right. It doesn’t.

Image: An edited version of an image of Gordon Elliott released by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board, via BBC, no copyright note.

Posted: 1st, March 2021 | In: Key Posts, News, Sports | Comment


Specialist in failure: Spurs ‘will pay’ £34m to sack Mourinho

Why did Spurs hire Jose Mourinho? At Real Madrid, his second stint at Chelsea and Manchester United, his three most recent posts before Spurs came calling, Mourinho left under a cloud, key players lost and the club weary of his tireless self-promotion. He’s won plenty, of course, something he’d never tired of stating. And wherever his name appears, the English media loves to trot out the much repeated lines that he is ‘Special One’ and a “serial winner”.

Mourinho is the man who wins. With him you get neither philosophy nor building for the future; you simply get to win now. So the former Chelsea and Manchester United boss ended up at Spurs who wanted a winner to replace Mauricio Pochettino, a man as likeable as Mourinho is petulant, and whose only offence was to have lost the Champion’s League final. Now the talk is of Spurs firing Mourinho, something that would cost the club about £34.8m, according to A Bola.

To date the specialist in failure has reportedly raked in £63.5 from being sacked. If the latest figures are correct, the bill for clubs desperate to get shot of Moutinho would reach £100m. Little wonder he pops up on the telly to advertise gambling to willing mugs. Whichever way the chips fall, Mourinho always hits the jackpot.

Posted: 17th, February 2021 | In: Sports, Spurs | Comment


UFC fighters can test positive for marijuana and still compete

Good news. Before your next Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), you can smoke a spliff. Taking something that might well dampen your aggression and reflexes is not the most sensible move when the opponent is trying to knee you in the face. But you can do it. Returning a positive drugs test for for carboxy-THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, will only be a violation of the sports rules if the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is able to prove that an athlete intentionally used it for performance-enhancing purposes.

However the message is mixed. Last week the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) suspended UFC fighter Bevon Lewis for six months and fined him $1,200 for a positive drug test for cannabis.

Is it right you should be banned from doing your job for smoking weed? Marijuana stays in a person’s system for weeks or months after usage. It’s possible that workers could use marijuana in their personal time in a place where it’s entirely legal to do so and get sanctioned for testing positive on a drug test when they’re back at work in a different location.

And what if a UFC fighter is permitted to use medical marijuana in one state but forbidden in another state? Maybe just legalise all drugs in spot, right?

Posted: 17th, January 2021 | In: News, Sports | Comment


Folarin Balogun : agrees to go, wants to stay and his agent is busy

Folarin Balogun might not be good enough to start for a faltering Arsenal team, but with his contract expiring in the summer, the 19-year-old American striker is apparently good enough to play for petty much any other side – so long as they recruit him without the need to pay the Gunners a transfer fee and his agent is happy.

Reporting on the player amounts to guesswork. The Sun says he’s agreed to join German side RB Leipzip. The Sun also says – also today – that he hasn’t.

The guesswork continues in the Mirror, where readers can enjoy the article: “Folarin Balogun’s ‘complicated’ Arsenal situation explained amid talk of RB Leipzig agreement – The Arsenal wonderkid is out of contract at the end of the season, and there has been talk of an pre-contract agreement with Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig.”

What talk?

So a story that is and isn’t true is reported as fact – and the Google News bots present it as news:

The Mirror – again:

You might begin to wonder at the source for all this ‘news’:

More news form the agent when the tabloids have it…

Posted: 14th, January 2021 | In: Arsenal, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Arsenal: Arteta loses the plot with pathetic stats whinge

Next stage of terminal decline is to brandish loose A4 print-outs at press conferences. And so we join Mikel Arteta and his stats. The failing Arsenal manager is at a press conference. Football is a straightforward leisure pursuit. It is not science. The only fact that matters is the score. But Arteta has other facts. He has hundreds of facts. The more he mentions these stats the more ridiculous he looks – and the more you begin to realise why his team is paralysed by confusion and incapable of scoring a goal:

The opposition score more goals than you, you lose.

Posted: 21st, December 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Golfer Jack Nicklaus delighted his daughter marries a man called Todger

Todger Strunk Todger Nicklaus Christie Nicklaus

Hyumef golfer Jack Niclaus is delighter to tweet the wedding of his daughter christine to Todger Struknk.

For American readers and Todger’s parents, a Todger is British slang for a penis, a knob, a bellend. you get the idea. The other idea is that if Todger took Chrisine’s name, he’d be Todger Nicklaus.

Posted: 15th, December 2020 | In: Sports, Strange But True | Comment


Robbie Savage, gambling on Spurs and the Mirror’s journalism of attachment

After Spurs easily saw off Arsenal with a 2-0 win, BBC radio DJ and Daily Mirror columnist Robbie Savage told his Twitter followers: “I went early on Spurs winning the league 🤷‍♂️💙⚽️ 08085909693 ,,, tell me why the won’t ? Tom the arsenal fans said arsenal would win the league this year ,, 😂🤦🏻‍♂️ 08085909693 #bbc606.”

Tom the Arsenal fans is clearly delusional, unable to see that club manager Mikel Arteta is learning on the job and the Gunners squad is populated by many players who’d struggle to get a game for Fulham. But what of Savage and his to-deadline opinions? You can find out more of what Savage thinks at the Daily Mirror:

Robbie Savage Spurs

In order, this is how Savage predicted the Premier League table, from first to last: Liverpool; Manchester United; Chelsea; Manchester City; ARSENAL; Wolves; Spurs… So that’s Spurs in 7th place, two behind Arsenal.

This guesswork is brought to readers in association with the Mirror’s latest betting partner. It might be that Savage didn’t write the thing, just saw his name added to to the top to give it a bit of omph and authenticity. After all he’s an ex-pro who works for the State broadcaster. You can trust him. Savage might know a thing or two. So place your bets!

Given the damaging impact gambling can have on people’s lives and that the Mirror pitching Savage’s words in an article which encourages betting – the prediction piece ends with a large button stating “BET HERE” – might it be useful to tell readers that Savage’s views are liable to change with the wind?

A radio phone-in is a bit of fun, a distraction from the important things in life. Losing your money and health because those same opinions encouraged you to gamble is far more serious.

Posted: 7th, December 2020 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, Money, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment