Sports Category

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.

Which football players are good at golf?

Football and golf are two sports that seem to go hand in hand. It has been proven for decades that footballers can escape the everyday pressures of football by playing golf.

A relaxing sport, many current and ex-professionals have excelled not only on the pitch but also on the greens. 

As recently as the start of this month, we saw Premier League club Brighton’s stars take on a golfing challenge courtesy of Betway, with Lewis Dunk, Shane Duffy, Pascal Gross and Adam Lallana going up against each other in pairs to see who could drive the ball the furthest, who could hit an approach nearest the pin and who could scramble their way out of a bunker. 

As you can imagine with four professional footballers the action was competitive and there were also several questionable moments, as you can see in the video below.

Let’s now look at the most famous footballers who also love golf.

Gareth Bale

It would be wrong to start any article talking about which footballers are good at golf without mentioning Gareth Bale. In fact, if there is any footballer that might spike an interest in the golf betting were he to join the tour, it would be Bale, such is his reputed love for the game.

Despite getting off to an electric start at Real Madrid, things have soured for the Welshman and part of that is because of Bale’s love of golf.

The Welsh Wizard has made no secret about his love for the game and it’s reported that he has recreated some of the most famous holes in the world at his home. Over the last few seasons, Bale has had a string of different injuries and many in the Spanish media believe it is just his way of ensuring that he can play more golf. 

Harry Kane

The Spurs and English hitman loves his golf – as football fans would have seen in his interview on Gary Neville’s Overlap podcast – and reportedly plays off a four handicap. Kane’s love of the game is so great that he has been to watch The Open in person as well as making a whistle-stop tour to this year’s Masters.

Kane loves spending time on the golf course and who knows what the future might bring once he has hung up his boots.

Andriy Shevchenko

The former Ukrainian star is a mad golfer. The ex Chelsea and AC Milan striker even turned professional back in 2013, competing in the Kharkov Superior Cup. Despite finishing 121st out of 131 players, Shevchenko is one of the best footballers to make the transition from the pitch to the fairways.

Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer is the Premier League’s top scorer and he has shown numerous times that he can be just as effective on the golf course. At any of the leading Pro Am events in the UK Shearer is a name you will often see on the leaderboard. 

Posted: 19th, April 2022 | In: Sports | Comment

Of course Manchester City have bought success – but so what?

“Each club has its own reality, its own history,” says Pep Guardiola, the Manchester City manager. “And every owner of every club decides how he wants to live. Our owners do not want to benefit, they want to reinvest in the team. There is Chelsea with [Roman] Abramovich and our club with Sheikh Mansour. They want to be in this world, they want to be buying into football. What is the problem?”

Like Manchester City, Chelsea before a mega-rich owner game in and splurged loads of cash on news players, was a club that had won a few tin pots and were easy for the winning teams to beat. Fans of each club don’t seem to mind where the cash comes from. So why should it matter to the rest of us?

“The reality is what it is: adapt and go forward,” says Guardiola. He’s right. Live with it.

Posted: 15th, August 2021 | In: Manchester City, Money, Sports | Comment

Cool Cats & Red Devils – brilliant photographs of British football fans in the 1970s

Manchester football fans

Iain S P Reid’s fantastic photos of British football fans in the 1970s are going to be in our new book. You can back Cool Cats & Red Devils at the Kickstarter. Please do – it’s a great project and 15% of all profits from both the prints and the book go to Melanoma UK.

Rewards are cool – with a choice of any of these great, very high-quality prints.

Cool Cats & Red Devils – the book.

Posted: 10th, July 2021 | In: Books, Key Posts, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Christian Eriksen – all there is to know about Denmark captain’s health

Christian eriksen

We don’t know why Denmark captain Christian Eriksen collapsed during his country’s match with Finland in the European Championships. We do know that he is hospital and stable. But media experts with deadlines to meet know lots. Here’s a round-up:

The Mirror: “Christian Eriksen unlikely to play football ever again, says cardiologist.” It was a “suspected heart attack”.

The Indy: “‘Very, very uncommon’ medical emergency could have been triggered by congenital condition or viral infection, consultant heart doctor says”

Daily Mail: “Christian Eriksen is unlikely to play football again and Italian law could BAN him from competing for Inter Milan if it transpires he suffered a cardiac arrest “

Telecom Asia: “Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen fainted on the field.”

Wales Online: “Cardiologist says it may be too early to tell if Christian Eriksen can make a full recovery”

In brief: they don’t know.

Posted: 13th, June 2021 | In: Back pages, Sports | Comment

Rejoice! Granit Xhaka finally leaves Arsenal

Arsene Wenger let Arsenal having signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, a genuinely world-class striker who won the FA Cup for the Gunner with a moment of sublime grace. The hymned French coach also left Arsenal with Granit Xhaka, the most ponderous player to operate in the Gunners midfield in the non-veterans category. To say the ball slowed when it reached the glacial Swiss is to understate things. It often stopped. And when he wasn’t in exhibition mode, and collecting his ubiquitous yellow card because he was too often late to the ball, Xhaka was telling fans to ‘fuck off’. Reports are that he’s off to play foe the irritating Jose Mourinho’s Roma. The non-running Italian game should suit him. In this place, Arsenal are eyeing Ruben Neves, the Wolves midfielder. It can only be an improvement.

Posted: 9th, June 2021 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment

England Football diversifies the 3 Lions

On Twitter @EnglandFootball think the 3 lions on England football shirts and not sufficiently diverse. Identity politics will eat itself.

Posted: 8th, May 2021 | In: News, Sports | Comment

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


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