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Transfer balls: Arsenal to sign Dani Ceballos

According to the BBC Arsenal are in a fight with AC Milan, Valencia and Real Betis in their attempts to sign midfielder Dani Ceballos, 23, on a permanent deal. The Spanish player signed to Real Madrid has been on loan at Arsenal this season. The BBC’s source is the Daily Express, the newspaper built on clickbait and SEO tricks. So we click.

The Express has been watching the telly. It repeats the words Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal manager, told everyone with a TV before Arsenal’s match with Leicester last Wednesday. “I’m really happy with him, the way he’s [Ceballos] evolving, and I love how much he likes to play football – the passion he puts into every training session and every game, you just have to see his celebrations,” says Arteta. “I think he’s evolving in the right way and he’s becoming a really important player for us.”

And then Express readers get a load of ifs and buts and coulds. If Arsenal quality for the Champions League – which they won’t do – they “could” sign Ceballos. So much for the scoop.

Ceballos

But hold on a moment. Just over a week ago, a few days before Arteta was hailing Ceballos as a “big talent” he wanted to keep at the club, the Express’s sister title, the Daily Mirror told readers:

Arsenal reportedly won’t sign Dani Ceballos when his loan spell from Real Madrid ends – as the midfielder has not done enough to impress manager Mikel Arteta.

The source was The Sun:

CEballos

The Suns source? There isn’t one. It’s almost as if the tabloids don’t have a clue what they’re talking about and design content for clicks. As it is, Arsenal are looking to sign Ceballos. And given his recent efforts, he’d be well worth the investment.

Posted: 11th, July 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Arsenal News: Bukayo Saka signs new Gunners contract

Dash those reports that Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka as ready to lave the club. The 18-year-old star in the making with 33 appearances to his name has just signed a new “long-term” contract with the Gunners.

It was never in doubt. Well, not unless you’ve heeded some of the tosh written about Saka in the past few months. Get a load of this in the Express. The ‘stumbling block’ was ‘stumbling blocks’ – he didn’t want to leave and wasn’t for sale:

Such are the facts.

Posted: 1st, July 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Arsenal balls: Ceballos won’t stay; Edu talks nonsense; Thomas Partey too expensive

How do you reward the player who scored the goal that took you into the FA Cup semi-finals? If you’re Arsenal, you assure Dani Ceballos, 23, for it is he, that you will not try to buy him when his loan deal from Real Madrid ends. So bad are Arsenal at player recruitment, so scattergun their transfer policy, that Ceballos should write a thank you letter to whoever it is who runs the club for not trying to sign him.

Incidentally, who does oversea transfers at Arsenal? Who actually identifies and picks players? Does anyone know who thought Lichsteiner, Xhaka, Mustafi and Denis Suarez were good investments?

Raul Sanllehi says Arsenal must “outsmart the market”. What doe that mean? Is Thomas Partey at £45m too expensive or smart?

Sanllehi is the club’s ‘head of football’ and should not be confused with the Arsenal ‘technical director’, Edu. And there’s the head coach, who might also be termed ‘head of football’ or technical director, Mikel Arteta. Says Edu: “Mikel has to be involved in recruitment, he must. We talk about what we need, the characteristics of the players, the system we’re going to play and then I start the process internally.” With whom? Who does Edu talk with internally to hire players? Is it Josh Kroenke, the absentee owner’s son, a marketing man possessed with less football acumen than a kitten with a beach ball?

There are four people on the Arsenal board and two of them are called Mr Kroenke. Here’s what the Arsenal website says about the owners:

Stan:

Mr. Kroenke is a well-regarded real-estate developer with a diverse international portfolio that includes commercial and residential real estate, ranches, vineyards, shopping centres, warehouse facilities and hotels.

Josh:

Josh works closely with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment executives on multiple business operation issues, ranging from finance to marketing.

Arsenal: the London office of a marketing and real estate empire.

Posted: 30th, June 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Arsenal balls: Luiz, Mari, Soares and Ceballos all sign up for a another year of misplaced unbearable hope

Good news, Gooners. And even better news for strikers playing against your club. Arsenal have beaten FC Desperado to secure the signature of David Luiz. The Brazilian will play for Arsenal for another season.

Joining him in the Premier League’s most over-priced defensive bunfight are Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares, who have also agreed to stay at the club.

Dani Ceballos has extended his loan deal from Real Madrid until the end of this season. And – who knows – the Spanish midfielder might prove to be a better defender than the lot of them.

As Arsenal fans wonder if the club’s recruitment policy is based on an attempt to make Xhaka and Mustafi look as good as their teammates, the club’s technical director Edu explains how it’s all part of the big plan.

“I am really happy that we will have these players in our squad for the future,” says Edu. “They have been part of the long-term technical plan [manager] Mikel [Arteta] and I have developed. They bring the right balance to our squad.” Luiz is 33. What long term plan is he part of?

“David is a really important player for us. He has played most of our matches this season and has been important for the team,” says Edu. “His passing, his communication with the team on and off the pitch – he helps everyone.” Just last week Luiz helped Manchester City to three points in a 25-minute spell that featured two bursts of hapless defending that led directly to two City goals and a red card.

Posted: 24th, June 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Arsenal balls: The Bernd Leno miracle

Remember when Bernd Leno, the Arsenal goalkeeper, suffered a “horror injury (Mail) in a match with Brighton? So horrible was the injury that the Sun told us that BT Sport refused to show it in a replay.

Leno the sun
X-Rated Horror!

As I pointed out, Arsenal fans are made of sterner stuff than those BT softies and could watch the gore fest on their club’s family friendly official website.

Leno injury
Will Leno walk again?!

As the world prayed for Leno, the Sun looked at five goalies Arsenal could sign to cover for Leno should be be out for year with what could be cruciate knee ligament damage.

And then prayers were answered. It turns out that Leno had merely sprained his knee. He will walk again! There will medical journals telling of Leno’s knee. Religionist will will point to Bernd ‘Lazarus’ Leno as evidence of god’s love.

Amen.

Posted: 23rd, June 2020 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment


Pray for Bernd Leno: watch the ‘horror’ injury before the watershed

Leno injury

Another days and with it another injury to an Arsenal player. This time it’s Bernd Leno, the talented Arsenal goalkeeper who jarred his knee in a match against Brighton. So bad was the “horror injury” that according to the Sun, broadcaster BT Sport “refused” to show it on the telly. Dead bodies, war, famine and George Floyd having his neck sat on by a policeman for nearly nine minutes in America (he was pronounced dead not long after) are all suitable items for tea-time watching. But the German goalie jarring his knee is unacceptable to Arsenal fans who have seen in recent years two players (Euduardo and Ramsay) carried from the pitch with badly broken legs and another (Diaby) badly hurt.

For anyone keen to see the incident help is at hand because you can watch Leno jarring his leg on the official Arsenal website. Elsewhere you can see Leno cussing at the Brighton player who clattered him, contributing to the injury and leaving the ground on crutches. We can assure viewers that Leno will walk again. In other news: 60,000 people are dead from Covid-19. As you were…

Posted: 21st, June 2020 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Arsenal : Injured Mari, Hapless Luiz, Terrible Mustafi and the worst defensive crisis in living memory

When Arsenal’s Pablo Marí was injured just a few minutes into the restarted Premier League season, the obituaries were ready to be written. The defender’s injury sustained in a 3-0 hammering at Manchester City is as bad as you want it to be. The Sun says the player’s season is over and he will need surgery. The Mail says the player’s loss is a “huge blow”. It is a “serious injury”. The prognosis is better in the Mirror, which reports that Mari “could sideline him for several weeks”. Or to rephrase it, he might not be sidelined for several weeks.

The narrative is that Arsenal are in a state of “crisis” because of the injury. But that’s bunkum. The truth is that Arsenal have lots of centre backs: Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding are fit, Sokratis Papastathopoulos is back next week and Calum Chambers – arguably the club’s best centre-half – is nearing full fitness after a lengthy injury-induced layoff. Oh, and in two games time the Gunners can call on the services of David Luiz. There’s also Mavropranos, who can be recalled from loan. And William Saliba, who could arrive at a push.

The official word on Mari is that it is a “significant injury which is currently undergoing further specialist assessment”.

The unofficial observation is that Arsenal have lots and lots of players – and most of them are not fit to tie Tony Adams’ laces.

Posted: 19th, June 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Transfer Balls: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stays at Arsenal, leaves for £30m and Chelsea swap him for Willian

No football, but no end of transfer balls as the BBC tells us that Arsenal “will sell Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 30, for £30m”. The team captain who scores around half of all Arsenal goals will be sold because next September he enters the final year of his current deal. The Sun agrees that £30m will get your club one of the world’s best strikers. Says the paper:

ARSENAL are looking to sell Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for just £30million. Mikel Arteta is desperate not to lose his 20-goal top scorer for nothing next year.

Logic be damned. Arsenal manager Arteta wants Aubameyang to stay so will sell him. We’re also told Arsenal will swap Aubameyang for Chelsea’s Willian. “Arteta is facing a major issue to overhaul his squad — and with a severely restricted transfer budget,” says the paper. But the Sun told us Arsenal are lining up a £45m bid for Thomas Partey.

Partey arsenal

Maybe the Daily Express can shed some light on the facts? The paper’s headline screams: “Aubameyang ready to sign new Arsenal contract despite Man Utd, Chelsea transfer proposals.”

Aubameyang

Such are the facts.

Posted: 29th, April 2020 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Arsenal sanction Aubameyang exit in cavalcade of tabloid tosh

The BBC says Arsenal are no longer discussing a new contract with their captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Beeb’s source is the Daily Mirror, which says Arsenal have “pulled out” of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang contract talks before name-checking for SEO purposes a list of top clubs: “Aubameyang has been linked with a move away from the Emirates this summer, with Manchester United, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Chelsea all believed to be interested in signing him.” Believed by who, the Mirror (prop. Reach plc) does not say. But it does revels the source for its story: the Daily Express (prop. Reach plc).

Over to the Express, then, a paper known for churning out clickbait. Get a load of the scoop’s URL: “Arsenal-news-Aubameyang-contract-talks-Inter-Chelsea-Man-Utd-transfer-EXCLUSIVE.” Four clubs named in one burst of SEO. And now for the facts: “The Gunners are ready to listen to offers for the £56million star after pulling out of contract talks with him late last week.” And? And nothing. That’s it.

Posted: 26th, April 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Liverpool finish first but don’t win Premier League title; Leicester, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United qualify for Champions League; Wolves, Sheffield United and Arsenal get Europa League

The Dutch have cancelled their domestic football season. And it’s bad news for Liverpool and very good news for Norwich and other teams facing relegation from the Premier League. There will no champion of the Eredivisie, the Netherlands’ top league. There will be no relegations. One option was to take an average of points scored so far and add them to games still to play. But that would have made no difference to the teams qualifying for the Champions League and Europa league, respectively. In the Premier League, it would – and it means Arsenal (currently in 9th spot) qualifying for the Europa League ahead of Spurs (8th).

Manchester City’s (2nd) ban from the European competition means Manchester United (5th) take their place in the Champions League, where they will be in the mix with Leicester City (3rd) and Chelsea (4th).

It is the most likely scenario. Already all football in England below the three divisions that make up the National League has ended and all results expunged.

It’s time for the upper tiers to follow suit and present a clear path ahead. The Dutch have set the agenda – and it’s the right one.

Posted: 24th, April 2020 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, manchester united, News, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Arsenal show their class as players agree reduced salaries to help the club

How is your football club responding to the coronavirus crisis? Liverpool and Spurs got greedy. Their plan to milk the State for staff wages upset fans, whose vociferous reaction caused both clubs to change direction and pay their staff in full. Manchester United expressed their view that a pandemic presented the chance for them to hammer smaller clubs. And Arsenal? Their players are the first in the Premier League to agree to a pay cut. The board has already agreed a more than 33% wage cut for the next 12 months.

The Gunners players will take a 12.5% wage cut but be reimbursed if they qualify for next season’s Champions League or the 2021-22 competition. They will get a £100,000 bonus for reaching next year’s Champions League. They will each reportedly earn £500,000 for winning the 2021 Champions League or £100,000 for the Europa League.

The Gunners are eight points off of a Champions League place with 10 games remaining. Their chances of reaching the Champions League are slim. Those wages will never be made up.

Posted: 18th, April 2020 | In: Arsenal, Money, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Arsenal ‘delight’ at Upamecano talk gets lost in translation

Upamecano

A bit of Arsenal transfer news in the BBC. The Gunners are “on course” to recruit Dayot Upamecano from RB Leipzig”. The 21-year-old French defender is “keen to move on this summer”. Well, if the BBC says he is, he must be. The source for the Beeb’s news is the Daily Star. “Arsenal target Dayot Upamecano informs RB Leipzig of transfer decision,” says the Star. And the decision will “delight” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.

The Star’s story is very short on facts. But it does cite its source, which is German newspaper Bild. “So Upamecano is planning his summer change,” says Bild, guessing that the Frenchman could head to Bayern Munich, Barcelona or Arsenal. And what did he say? “I will now focus first on RB Leipzig and then on what I want to do afterwards. But there are some clubs that like me. I will talk to my advisor and my parents about it at the end of the season. We will make the right choice.”

Bild’s source is Spanish site Mundo Deportivo. Its story was published on February 18. It took over a month to reach the Star. And MD’s story was based on something Upamecano told French radio station RMC on February 17. Mentions of Arsenal that will “delight” Arteta: nil. In fact Upamecano was invited by the journalist to talk about his future and merely said he was flattered to be linked to other clubs as happy at Leipzig. Listen to it here.

Posted: 26th, March 2020 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer Balls: Araenal ‘want’ £50m for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

No football. No problem. The BBC will continue to bring you football news. Today’s news is for all Arsenal fans because the Gunners are “resigned to losing striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 30, this summer”. They are? The striker is of contract at the end of next season. Some reports say he wants £300,000-a-week to stay the club. The BBC’s news is that Arsenal want £50.7m for the Gabon international. Oh, and apparently only Barcelona are interested. Odd because just five days ago, the BBC reported: “Barcelona are preparing to end their interest in Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 30.”

Might be an idea to check the sources of the BBC’s news. ‘Aubameyang stays’ is linked to the Express. In a story billed as an “EXCLUSIVE”, readers were told: “Barcelona are ready to end Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s dreams of swapping London for Catalonia this summer.” Is it his dream? Says who? Not the player. The paper adds: “Barca have told Aubameyang that he isn’t their priority with Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez and a return of Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain higher on their shopping list.”

Now the BBC’s source for ‘he’s leaving’. It’s Spanish website Sport. And like the Express its news is low on facts:

Barcelona met with Auba’s people in January to speak about his signing after they found out how long Luis Suarez would be out for.

Arsenal did not want to negotiate a figure and said the striker was not transferrable. His closest people were open to forcing a way out but Barca didn’t have the money for it at the time.

Now the message from Auba is the same. If they want him, they will have to push Arsenal to drive the price down. The English club do want to sell if he won’t stay, to stop him leaving for free in 2021.

They are unlikely to get in the Champions League so selling Aubameyang would be a lucrative business.

Arsenal spent 63 million euros on him in 2018, the most expensive player in their history. He has excelled there.

He’s isn’t. Arsenal bought Pepe for £72m. And here’s Auba last month: “I would also like to react to some of the rumours that are going around about me in the media. People like making up stories and they should focus on what’s happening on the pitch. They talk too much and it does my head in! I am the Arsenal captain. I love this club. I am committed to it and desperate to bring it back to the top, where it belongs.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 19th, March 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Arsenal boss Arteta survives Coronavirus virus and has a Partey for £45m; Chelsea and Spurs resume Willian fight

Good news for Arsenal fans. Firstly, the Premier League looks like being cancelled. Having grossly underachieved this season under the likeable but hapless Unai Emery. Secondly, new manager Mikel Arteta says he’s “feeling better already” after contracting Coronavirus. And lastly, Arsenal are preparing to invest £45m for Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey, 26. The Gunners will also try to nab Chelsea forward Willian. Spurs also want him. In 2013, the Brazilian looked set for Spurs until Chslea hijacked the deal. This is hiw the Guarfdian repor6ted gthe move:

José Mourinho made little attempt to hide his delight at hijacking Tottenham Hotspur’s move for Willian as the north London club raged behind the scenes about Chelsea’s £32m capture of the Anzhi Makhachkala forward representing a vendetta against them…

Mourinho’s gloating will have done little to soothe Tottenham’s anger. Rather than apologise for disrupting their plans, he revelled in snatching Willian from under their noses. He was initially vague, simply saying that he believed that the player had made his decision but when he was asked if that meant that Willian had chosen Chelsea, he made no effort to keep up the pretence. Instead he laughed and nodded…

“The best thing you can do is do the medical in secret” [said Mourinho].

The former Real Madrid manager was unable to resist one last dig at Tottenham. Asked whether he expected the deal to be completed without any complications, a mischievous grin spread across his face. “We have to do a medical,” he said.

Jose Mourinho is now manager at Spurs.

Posted: 13th, March 2020 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Arteta and Arsenal catch Coronavirus: West Ham, Leicester, Portsmouth and Manchester City in turmoil; Liverpool doomed

Now that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has tested positive for coronavirus, surely the football season is over. Arsenal have closed their training ground and Arteta and all members of the first team squad have gone into isolation. Chances are that Arteta caught the virus when Arsenal played Olympiakos two weeks ago – Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis, who has coronavirus, met a number of Arsenal players and staff after the match. Since then Arsenal have played West Ham and Portsmouth. What price their staff have also contacted the illness? On top of that, Leicester City players have gone into isolation, Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy is self-isolating as a precaution after a member of his family was admitted to hospital displaying symptoms of coronavirus and Arsenal’s training ground is adjacent to Watford’s practice pitches. And what of all the media who cover the matches, attend press conferences and post-match interviews? The Premier League season must be cancelled. Hard luck on Liverpool, who lead the table, and sides vying for promotion in the Championship, but needs must.

Posted: 12th, March 2020 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Sports | Comment


Arsenal: Torreira is fine after Mike Dean says bad Portsmouth tackle was fair

Arsenal have suggested that Torreira wasn’t too badly hurt as the Gunners took on Portsmouth in the FA Cup. “Reports said he did not require a hospital visit,” says NBC. ESPN says Torreira told his father: “I wanted to tap it and grabbed my ankle on the outside. It twisted me, but I can move it. I’m fine.” Or as a website called the The Miracle Tech puts it via Google News: “The Miracle – Uruguayan midfielder Lucas Torreira suffered a terrible injury during the first half of Arsenal’s match against Portsmouth.” Another site calls it a “horror injury”:

Torreira was taken off the pitch on a stretcher following a strong challenge from Portsmouth’s James Bolton. Was it a foul? Did Bolton use excessive force endangering the safety of an opponent? The Guardian called it “bad challenge”. Portsmouth FC called it “robust”. Referee Mike Dean gave no foul. The most pedantic ref in England thought it fair.

The Rules state:

The FA Rules

PLAYING IN A DANGEROUS MANNER

Playing in a dangerous manner is any action that, while trying to play the ball, threatens injury to someone (including the player themself) and includes preventing a nearby opponent from playing the ball for fear of injury.

The BBC notes:

A tackle happens in a blink of an eye and in that second, the referee must consider lots of factors. Was it careless? Did the player show a lack of regard for his opponent’s safety? Or did he use excessive force? There is also the state of the pitch, the conditions and the state of the game.

Such are the facts…

Posted: 2nd, March 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Arsenal balls: Mustafi will walk again

Mustafi injured
Tosh.com

When Shkodran Mustafi was substituted as Arsenal toiled to eventual Europa League defeat at the hand of Olympiacos, the vultures reported on his “hamstring injury”. The Arseblog blog saw a “hamstring strain”. The Evening Standard saw Mustafi depart the pitch with a “hamstring complaint”. The BBC said “Arsenal also lost defender Shkodran Mustafi to a hamstring problem”. Kenya’s The Star says “he did his hamstring”.

The Mirror milks it

The pick of the medial minds comes in the Mirror which reported on the injury “blow” and very soon after the injury “boost”. Yes. Mustafi is fine. He had cramp.

PS: No journalists behind the health bulletins are thought to have treated Mustafi.

Posted: 1st, March 2020 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: New Chelsea signing dreams of playing for Arsenal and picked Bayern Munich over Liverpool

“Well, I have two clubs. They are Arsenal and Barcelona. That is my ultimate dream.” So said Hakim Ziyech, the Ajax wing whose just agreed to join Chelsea for (£33.3m).

That’s not to say Ziyech won’t one day live his dream – nor is it to suggest that reporting on the Moroccan players is of any use. Here are some other things we’ve read about Ziyech in the trusty media:

“Ajax playmaker Hakim Ziyech has an agreement to leave the club this summer amid links to Everton and Liverpool” – HITC.com, 2018

“Liverpool boosted following Hakim Ziyech transfer revelation – Liverpool target Hakim Ziyech has agreed to leave Ajax for an unnamed club” – The Metro, July 2018

“Hakim Ziyech Agrees Personal Terms With Bayern Munich” – 90minutes.com, May 2019

“Ajax sensation Hakim Ziyech available for £25m as Moroccan star reveals move to Arsenal is his ‘ultimate dream’ so he can link up with idol Mesut Ozil” – Daily Mail, May 2019

“Ajax confirm Hakim Ziyech to leave” – May 2019, The Official Liverpool FC website

“Ajax boss confirms Roma will sign Hakim Ziyech” – Calciomercato.com, June 2019, –

“Hakim Ziyech Signs Ajax Contract Extension Amid Bayern Munich Transfer Rumours” – Bleacher Report, August 2019

February 2020 – Hakim Ziyech signs for Chelsea. Such are the facts.

Posted: 13th, February 2020 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Liverpool, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Spurs balls: OEDS recasts Gooners and all Jewish football fans as ‘Yids’

kids spurs

A ‘Yid’ is a “supporter or player for Tottenham Hotspur” says the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). That’s tough luck on Jews who support other clubs or don’t support football at all. We’re all ‘Yids’ now.

Spurs fans can call themselves what they like. They can sing what they want to. But for the rest of us Jews, it’s a bit odd, especially for us nice yiddisher Gooners. “Fee, fi, fo fun,” oozed the Chelsea fans in my ear once upon a time, “I smell Yiddish scum.” Now I understand the OED afficianado thought I was a Spurs fan – yeah, at the Chelsea v Arsenal game. What are the odds?

The OED, says ‘Yid’ or ‘Yiddo’ can refer to “a supporter of or player for Tottenham Hotspur football club (traditionally associated with the Jewish community in north and east London).” The words are “originally and frequently derogatory and offensive, though also often as a self-designation.”

kids spurs

Spurs, aka ‘The Yids’, tell the Guardian: “As a club we have never accommodated the use of the Y-word on any club channels or in club stores and have always been clear that our fans (both Jewish and gentile) have never used the term with any intent to cause offence. We find the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of the word misleading given it fails to distinguish context, and welcome their clarification.”

Gooners regret the error. Non Spurs-supporting Jews await the hail, ‘Oi, Yid!’ – followed by the soon-be-routine explainer, ‘Sorry mate, thought you were a Spurs fan.”

Posted: 13th, February 2020 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, News, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Transfer balls: Arsenal save £59m on Thomas Lemar

Arsenal have signed Spanish defender Pablo Mari for £7.5m from Brazilian club Flamengo. And now news is that they’ll follow that with the recruitment of nippy French winger Thomas Lemar. You may recall how on August 31 2017, Arsenal bid £92m for Lemar, then at Monaco. He never came.

Thomas Lemar Arsenal
Daily Express scoop!

But undaunted, the following month the Sun announced, the Gunners “are confident Thomas Lemar will arrive at the Emirates in a £92million move from Monaco in January”. That confidence was misplaced. He didn’t go anywhere. But Lemar did move the following summer, heading to Atletico Madrid for €60 million.

lemar Arsenal

And now news in the Mirror is that he’s going to join the Gunners for £33m – a mere £52m less than Arsenal agreed to sign him for in 2017.

Or not:

Lemar arsenal

Or yes:

Lemar Arsenal

Such are the facts.

Posted: 25th, January 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Media bias: Arsenal deflected glory, Pepe falls over and Sheffield United ‘fire’ home

Arsenal v Sheffield United in the Premier League. The game ends 1-1 and the clubs’ respective websites compile their match reports. Compare and contrast:

The Sheffield United Equaliser

Sheffield United website:

With 14 minutes remaining, Besic replaced Basham, United’s final change. And those positive switches reaped their rewards shortly afterwards, as FLECK fired home at the back post, after Sharp had fought hard to keep Robinson’s deep cross alive, a goal which sent the away end into bedlam.

Arsenal website:

Oli McBurnie had a clear chance with 10 minutes remaining when he climbed highest from a corner, but planted his header straight at Bernd Leno – but moments later John Fleck equalised with a shot that took a deflection on its way in.

The Guardian:

John Fleck’s superbly taken equaliser, lashed in seven minutes from time

Sky:

However, they were back on level terms three minutes later as Sharp flicked a Callum Robinson cross into the path of Fleck, whose shot skipped off the turf and flashed into the corner of Leno’s net to secure a deserved point.

Sheffield Star:

and it’s John Fleck who gets it, smashing high into the top corner of Leno’s goal via the turf – a superb finsih [sic]

BBC:

Fleck hit a deflected shot into the far corner

The Penalty Shout

Arsenal:

We soon had a penalty shout as Pepe looked to have been taken down in the box, but after the referee waved play on and a VAR check, nothing was given as the tension rose further.

Sheffield United:

When Arsenal broke at pace through Pepe there were some concern for the Blades as VAR checked a potential penalty but replays clearly showed there was no connection from O’Connell’s challenge.

Make your own minds up:

Such are the facts.

Posted: 18th, January 2020 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Transfer Balls: Edinson Cavani agree Atletico and Inter Milan deals but wants Manchester City amid Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Spurs and Manchester United interest

cavani

Manchester United and Spurs fans excited by news that injury-prone, 33-year-old Edinson Cavani is thinking go leaving Paris St Germain before his contract runs out in the summer can know that he’s already signed for any number of clubs over the past few seasons. According to media, the striker has agreed to join or has been linked with the following:

Atletico Madrid – Cavani agree three-year deal – Daily Mail, December 2019 (also Daily Star, 90 Minutes)

Inter Milan – Cavani agrees three-year-deal – Sports Mole, August 2019

Chelsea – “Edinson Cavani to Chelsea latest” – Football London, January 19, 2020

Arsenal & Manchester United – “Arsenal and Man Utd submit offers to sign Edinson Cavani” – The Metro, January 2020

Barcelona – “Barcelona are looking at the free agent market with PSG’s Edinson Cavani joining Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham players on their transfer radar” – Daily Express, December 2019

Juventus – “GLASS OF CAVA Cavani lined up for stunning Juventus free” – The Sun, October 2019

Manchester City – “PSG star Edinson Cavani wants to join Manchester City” – Daily Mail, October 2017

Manchester United, Juventus, Real Madrid – “Edinson Cavani may join Manchester United, Juventus or Real Madrid as PSG give up on him” – Daily Mail, February 2016

Such are the facts…

Posted: 17th, January 2020 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment


Arsenal sign Layvin Kurzawa – a player used to losing big games

Arsenal are well on their way to signing PSG left-back Layvin Kurzawa for £6m. The Frenchman is a free agent in the summer, but Arsenal need players now so he’s on his way. But what are they getting? Well, he’s a player suited to the Gunners – because he’s well-versed in losing from winning positions. He scored an own goal in 2017 when Barcelona overturned a 4-0 defeat at PSG to progress in the Champions League with a 6-1 home win. (Paris St-Germain manager at the time was Unai Emery, whose next job was at Arsenal.)

And in 2015, Kurzawa was in another knock-out contest: UEFA’s U-21 Championship qualifying playoff against Sweden. In the second leg, Kurzawa scored in the 87th minute to tie the scores 3-3. With France ahead on the away goal, Kurzawa spent a few moments taking the mick, saluting a load of Sweden players as he celebrated. A few minutes later, Sweden scored the winner. Cue mockey:

Posted: 16th, January 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Xhaka to Hertha Berlin

Having brought you the news that Arsenal have recruited the cheap and untested Mikel Arteta to be their next manager, more news from the Emirates project is that midfielder Mesut Ozil, 31, is set to join Turkish side Fenerbahce on a six-month loan deal next month. So says the BBC, which fails to say how the Turkish side will be paying his absurd £350,000-a-week wages.

The source for this news is Turkish website Fotomac, a busy website with more pop-ups that a Hoxton adolescent. The site contains not a single fact to support the BBC’s claim.

The better news for Gooners is that Granit Xhaka is leaving the club. The Telegraph tells us that Hertha Berlin like the look of Xhaka. Stripped of the captaincy in November after telling Arsenal fans to “fuck off”, the toxic Swiss is finally leaving the club – hopefully. The Mirror says Xhaka to Berlin is on because “Jurgen Klinsmann wants to sign a defensive midfielder” – which Xhaka distinctly is not. But Berlin have a reported £34m for the player. And Arsenal are ready to bite their hand off at the shoulder.

Players arriving at Arsenal? None named yet. But if Mustafi can be booted out after Xhaka, fans won’t much mind.

Posted: 20th, December 2019 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Arsenal balls: Arteta is the new manager

Unai who? All good things come to he who waits. Mikel Arteta is to be the new Arsenal manager. The Spaniard has reportedly signed for three-and-a-half years.

Arteta has never managed a club before. He steps into Arsenal at a time when the players are possessed with all the composure of a wet puppy in a ball pit.

Arteta wears the mien of a man wondering where if his parking voucher is about to run out. Has any Arsenal fan ever heard him speak? He’s possessed with all the personality profile of a flattened spoon. But cometh the hour, Arteta will rise to the challenge – and, boy, is it a huge one.

Posted: 18th, December 2019 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment