Liverpool | Anorak - Part 10

Liverpool Category

Liverpool football club news, Liverpool transfers, Premier League

Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp is ‘waiting for Bayern Munich’ who aren’t waiting for him

Jurgen Klopp would be a good fit for Liverpool. But the Daily Mail says the German is “ready to snub Premier League to replace Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich”. To which you have to wonder, are Bayern Munich ready for Klopp, who managed rivals Borussia Dortmund and has stated a desire to look for a “project“.

Sami Mokbel has the news for Daily Mail readers:

Jurgen Klopp wants to ascertain his chances of landing the Bayern Munich job before considering a switch to England.

Says who?

Sources claim Klopp is actively plotting his next move and is keeping his options open knowing the managerial landscape will change over the weeks and months of the season.

How can he actively plot anything in the knowledge things change? Is Mokbel seriously suggesting Bayern will sack Guardiola – and that the Spaniard will be sacked before the Liverpool board calls time on Brendan Rodgers time at Anfield?

But it is understood Klopp is keen to discover where he stands in Bayern’s list of potential replacements for Pep Guardiola before making a decision on his future.

Go that? If Klopp is at, say, number, 3 on that list, say, will he sit tight and wait? What about number 2, or number 9 or number 312? What is his plot?

Mokbel than gets to the only fact of his entire article:

Guardiola’s long-term future is unclear with his contract due to expire at the end of the season.

PS: Back in April 2015, Franz Beckenbauer, Bayern’s honorary president told Sky Germany:

“Of course I could imagine Klopp as Guardiola’s successor. When I was president, we often talked about Klopp and believe he would fit very well at Bayern. Klopp is definitely an option at Bayern. The question is, how long Guardiola will be in Munich. I hope for a long time, but Klopp would be considered….

“I can’t imagine Guardiola would leave in 2016. He likes Munich. He has had success with the team and he knows that he can succeed in the future. He has everything he wants.”

To which Klopp said: “I couldn’t care less what is said about me.”




Posted: 17th, September 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comments (2)

Liverpool: El-Hadji Diouf says Stephen Gerrard ‘doesn’t like black people’

El-Hadji Diouf has snapped back at Steven Gerrard in the wake of comments the former Liverpool captain made in his new autobiography about the gob-happy Senegalese forward and his general conduct during his ill-fated stint at Anfield.

For the unaware, Gerrard accused ex-teammate Diouf of having “no real interest in football” and “caring nothing for Liverpool” in his latest tome, My Story, also adding that the way Diouf spat a “huge globule of gunky phlegm” at a Celtic fan during a UEFA Cup match in 2003 summed up his “contemptuous and spiteful demeanour”.

Gerrard writes:

A few people have since asked me if I saw any comparison between Diouf and Mario Balotelli – and I’ve always said no. I’ve got respect for Balotelli; I’ve got none for Diouf.

Well, it looks like things are about to get unnecessarily ugly, with Diouf responding to Gerrard’s criticism by making some potentially serious allegations to Portuguese radio station Radio Future Média:

We all saw how he made life difficult for Mario Balotelli at Liverpool. I warned him. Liverpool isn’t a team that accepts black people unless they are English. It’s common knowledge. Gerrard has never liked black people. When I was at Liverpool, I showed him I was black, that I wasn’t English, but that I’m no pushover. All the time I was there, he never dared looked me in the eye.

With the accusations of racism out of the way, Diouf went on to suggest that Gerrard is simply jealous of his glorious achievements:

Gerrard is just jealous. What I have done in football, he did not. When I came to Liverpool, I came up with the status of boss and he lives there. I am respected in world football, the greatest football experts have appointed me among the seven best players in the World Cup, the top 100 players of the century.

Everywhere I go out of my country, they worship me. Wherever he goes outside his city of Liverpool, he will be insulted.

Feel free to make your own minds up people.

We’re just not feeling up to getting involved with this one.

Posted: 15th, September 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment (1)

Liverpool balls: Rafa Benitez has Steven Gerrard’s number in phone call spat

Debrecen v Liverpool - UEFA Champions LeagueSteven Gerrard has told us about his gashed penis, how he bleeds Liverpool red and “hates” Manchester United. Now Gerrard uses his new book to reveal his thoughts on former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez.

“I can pick up the phone and speak to all of my previous Liverpool managers, except for Rafa. It’s a shame because we shared the biggest night of our careers – the 2005 Champions League victory in Istanbul – yet there is no bond between us.”

Benitez, now manager of Real Madrid, has responded:

“I have read the quotes and I believe he is wrong because what we have to do is enjoy. And out of the respect that I have for Stevie and for the value and appreciation I have for him, and for Liverpool and the supporters I think it’s best to just let it pass.”

That’s a dignified response from a man who has thrived in the hotbed of top-flight football management – and whose family still live in the Liverpool area.

But Rafa had one more thing to say:

“He has brought out a book and now I’m the Real Madrid manager, that sells.”

Wonder what Rafa will have to say when his own book hits the shelves?


Posted: 15th, September 2015 | In: Books, Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Liverpool: Klopp wants the job if Rodgers is sacked

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 09.42.57Is Jurgen Klopp heading to Liverpool? German nespaper Bild says the former Borussia Dortmund manager is interested in replacing the verbose and smug Brendan Rodgers at Anfield.

Under Rodgers, Liverpool are directionless and uninspiring. What is the plan? What is the pattern? Rodgers is operating under a cloud. The fans are losing their faith in the manager. There is a sense that he will leave sooner rather than later.

Klopp actually says nothing to Bild. But his ‘friends’ do. The affable German has already rejected the chance to manage Zenit St. Petersburg and Olympique Marseille. Liverpool would be a great fit.

Posted: 15th, September 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comments (5)

Liverpool balls: Norwich City are always rubbish in the dial-in Premier League

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 15.24.48


The Premier League is a predictable, dull affair. Take former Liverpool player Danny Murphy talking about the Reds to the BBC:

This is a big season for Liverpool and for Rodgers…

It’s a big season for every club.

The fixture list has not been kind to Rodgers with trips to Emirates Stadium and Old Trafford in Liverpool’s first five games but now they have two home games against Norwich and Aston Villa.

Every team plays every other team home and away.

It is never quite as easy as it looks on paper, but two home games against teams in the bottom half of the table are exactly what Liverpool need and I think they will go for the jugular against Norwich – look to dominate and score goals.

Danny, this is the League table:

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 15.21.52


Norwich are above Liverpool.

Sad that the Premier League is such a procession of the richest clubs rising to the top that teams like Norwich and their accomplishments can be so easily dismissed.


Posted: 14th, September 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment (1)

Liverpool balls: Stephen Gerrard gets a gash on his penis in Bournemouth

Nice tackle

Nice tackle


In today’s extract from Stephen Gerrard autobiography, the Daily Mail shares this anecdote with readers:

“The magic of the FA Cup was bloodied on the day my penis was cut and then stitched shut on an unromantic afternoon in Bournemouth last year. It was eye-watering. I tried to close down a winger to block his cross but felt a stinging in my privates. I thought, ‘S*** — that doesn’t feel right!’ It was stinging like f***. The gash looked pretty bad, right across the middle. There was plenty of blood. I needed four stitches and the lads were absolutely p*ssing themselves. You can imagine the jokes about inches and stitches and my future performances at home.”

File under: ball control.

Posted: 13th, September 2015 | In: Books, Liverpool, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Liverpool fan wins £4000 compensation for police-induced Manchester United toilet trauma

toilet police


Liverpool fans Kieth Culvin (correct spelling) has been awarded £4,000 after suing Greater Manchester Police over a false arrest claim. In 2013, Culvin was at Old Trafford to watch Liverpool take on Manchester United.

After the match, police held back the Liverpool fans, treating them as criminals without any crime having been committed. Culvin needed the toilet. As an adult who paid his way to watch the match, he expected to be able to visit the little boy’s room. But having raised his hand and asked permission, the police told him to wait.

This was despite an agreement between supporters’ group The Spirit of Shankly and the GMP that the loos would be available for Reds’ fans kept in the stadium after the final whistle. Culvin claimed he was negotiating with the police at the time when a local copper took a tumble near him, leading the authorities to wrongfully arrest the Liverpool fan for an alleged assault.

However, the case against Culvin was eventually dropped when mobile phone footage cleared him of any wrongdoing. Here’s the footage…



Following that, the still aggrieved fan launched a legal case of his own against the GMP, culminating in the £4,000 payout.

He said:

I think the outcome vindicates myself – I did nothing wrong. My worry is that other supporters might not know they can pursue these matters further if it happens to them. I think more should, as that is the only way we will get behaviour changed and as supporters be treated properly. I’ve still continued to meet with GMP to discuss policing of supporters at Old Trafford and thankfully no other issues like this have occurred so far.

Amanda Jacks of the Football Supporters’ Federation, who supported Culvin in his legal action against the GMP, said:

What made the real difference here… was Kieth himself having the presence of mind to ask his fellow fans to use their mobile phones to film events as they unfolded.

Who police’s the police?

Video: Spirit of Shankly

Posted: 11th, September 2015 | In: Liverpool, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Liverpool: Steven Gerrard reveals what would have made him stay at Anfield

The Daily Mail is puffing its interview with former Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard.

 I might have stayed if Liverpool offered me the right job, reveals the Kop legend

Might have. Before we get to his latest words, it’s worth recalling what Gerrard said in May 2015:

“I am looking forward to being able to breathe and play football under a little less pressure and going back to days when maybe before I was in the first team at Liverpool when you really enjoyed your football and there’s not that responsibility and pressure.”

The Mail’s exclusive are is a trail for Gerrard’s” explosive book”, which the paper is serialising.

Says Gerrard:

“Yeah, I do miss it. I miss everything about it. When I switch on the TV and see the stadiums, with 50, 60, 70,000 people — the aggression, the intensity, the tension. I am jealous.  I miss the build-up, competing with better players, I miss being Steven Gerrard, Liverpool captain and walking out in front of my people with that pressure and trying to get a result for them.”

But the bit we want to know is how Gerrard could have remained at Anfield?

“Ability-wise, I could still play but physically I couldn’t play every game at my age… I might be contradicting myself here but what would have kept me at Liverpool into this season was the chance of shadowing Brendan Rodgers and his staff as well as playing. Those ideas were only mentioned to me after I had announced I was leaving.

“I don’t know if I am going to be good enough to be a manager, or a No 1, No 2, No 3 or No 4. Liverpool replaced coaches Colin Pascoe and Mike Marsh in the summer, so they were looking for a new No 2, or No 3 or No 4. I would have been tailor-made to fill one of these roles, as well as making myself available as a squad player. I could have been a good squad player, a good sub, as well as getting management experience that money can’t buy.”

So much for being able to breathe.

“I’d have stayed on as a squad player if I’d had the chance to learn more about management or coaching. I left with all the doors still open, but yes, I could still have been at Liverpool now.”



Posted: 11th, September 2015 | In: Books, Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Manchester United v Liverpool: police control scum fans inside a bubble

Manchester United host Liverpool in the weekend’s big Premier League match. The 5:30 kick-off gives time for fans to get to the game, soak up the atmosphere (and that’s the atmosphere outside the ground not the sit-down-shut-up funereal quiet imposed inside it), make a day of it and have fun.

Well, unless the Greater Manchester Police get involved. They have issued a set of rules that turn football fans – spending money in shops and pubs around the ground – into a citizen sub-class for whom free movement and free speech are a step too far. Fans are being punished for crimes they have not committed…yet.

The GMP rules:

1. You cannot drink alcohol on the street in Manchester city centre or Trafford (the borough where the ground is)…

You can. But the police say you must not.

2. There are no pubs in the area of the ground which cater for visiting supporters.

But you can’t bring your own because the police won’t let you open it.

3. Liverpool fans will be able to get a drink in the ground – a maximum of two alcoholic drinks per visit to bar per person…

A quota. Know your limit.

4. All drinks (including soft drinks) will be decanted and these arrangements are the same for home fans situated near to the segregation line.

Ever go to the theatre and have your over-priced drink decanted into a cheap plastic beaker?

5. I would like to remind all supporters that pyrotechnics are dangerous and are not welcome by the majority of fans. It is an offence to enter a stadium with such an item and those engaging in this behaviour risk arrest, prosecution and also a banning order.

No flares. Most fans don’t like them, say the police. Have most fans been asked?

6. Potentially there may well be a hold back at the end of the game – all fans will be updated about this during the game by public address announcements in the stadium. We will minimise the duration of this as far as we can but I feel it has been successful in recent league games at minimising any issues on the forecourt. During any holdback, the police will work closely with the stewards, and we will do our best to ensure that fans can access toilet facilities during any holdback. This will need to be done in a controlled manner to help regulate the numbers accessing the toilets at any one time.

And then this bit of hideous balls. Liverpool and Manchester United fans are now viewed as part of PR England:

As always, the TV cameras and media will be focused on one of the biggest club fixtures in the world. I hope that supporters from both sides act in a responsible manner and enjoy the game, no matter what the result.

Because it doesn’t matter if your team got thumped 5 nil so long as you didn’t swear on the telly and asked the police to use the toilet.


Posted: 9th, September 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Liverpool: Steven Gerrard’s Anfield return in the MSL off-season, Beckham’s two clubs and the brand

Steven Gerrard will not play for Liverpool in the MLS off-season. Well, maybe. MLS Commissioner Don Garber goes on the record:

“I don’t think so. And I had not heard that was something that was being contemplated…”

Garber recalled when David Beckham joined AC Milan from LA Galaxy in 2009:

“And people in our country said: ‘what? he plays for two teams? and you are trying to build a sport’. It was a challenge getting people to understand that. You then realise if he is playing for the Galaxy and Milan what a great thing that says about your league…

“(But) I don’t believe we are going to see many more off-season loans happening in our league particularly at what I would call the high-level designated players. It’s been a couple of years (since it has happened). I don’t remember the last one we have had – Robbie Keane with (Aston) Villa, (Thierry) Henry with Arsenal (both 2012).”

He went on to trail a competition where the Premier League winners and the FA Cup winners would take on their MLS equivalents in a mini-tournament.

“I would love to find a way that we could play our FA Cup champion and our league champion against an FA Cup and league champion tournament and play it in New York City every year. I would love to do that. If not every year, then every four years because I know they have other places that they want to go to grow their brands. Overall there is no doubt that there are opportunities for the MLS and Premier League to work more closely together on either a tournament or some other type of activity, but that (an idea) is about as far as it has gone.”


The “brand”. One day footballers will be ‘brand ambassadors’. Something to look forward to, there…

Posted: 9th, September 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment

SEO Football: Liverpool ‘move’ Clyne in robot news masterclass, Daily Telegraph link Arsenal to Cavani

SEO football


SEO Football: a look at mainstream media football news stories written for robots.

The Daily Express.

Scoop 1:

Liverpool star Nathaniel Clyne set for shock move

WHAT? He only joined in the summer!

The England international has been eyeing up the £600,000 house next to Rodgers’ Merseyside base…

Ah. He’s moving house.


Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 13.01.14


Scoop 2:

Chelsea ace Terry in Arsenal transfer admission

John Terry is joining the Gunners? It’s an “admission“, after all.

JONN TERRY has revealed he would never leave Chelsea

John Terry not leaving Chelsea. Or to put it another way: “Terry in Manchester United transfer admission.”

Scoop 3:


Paul Pogba: Why I turned down £69m move to Chelsea

Pogba says he had no desire to leave Juventus. Mentions of Chelsea: nil.

The Express makes two headline out nothing by headlining another story:

Pogba’s Chelsea vow


Daily Telegraph:

Scoop 1:

Man Utd news: David de Gea could play against Liverpool

Or to put it another way: “David De Gea might not play against Liverpool.”


Scoop 2:

Gunners to bid for Edinson Cavani in January

That’s according to The Star via The Express, via some vague reports in Spain… According to said Spanish reports, PSG are willing to sell the striker if they receive a bid of around £45m.

Arsenal will offer £45m for a sub-Giroud finisher in January?

Such are the facts.

Posted: 8th, September 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, manchester united, Reviews, Sports | Comment

England balls: Arsenal striker out for six months as Hodgson considers options

COQAC-XWgAAcwZLThe Sun says England manager Roy Hodgson has issued a “warning” to injured strikers Danny Wellbeck and Daniel Sturridge.

 HODGSON has warned Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge that time is running out.

Arsenal’s Welbeck is injured; Liverpool’s Sturridge is returning from a long injury-enforced layoff.  Was Hodgson so crass as to “warn” the players of anything? Wouldn’t he better served encouraging them?

Hodgson says Welbeck will not return to action for another six months, as opposed to Arsenal’s view that it will be a three-month absence.

What Hodgson also said was:


“I can only hope that Danny recovers a bit quicker and then hits the ground running as soon as he does return. Daniel Sturridge is a bit the same. It’s a year since he played for me. The two of them are always in my thoughts because I think they are very good players and they did extremely well for the national team when I was coaching.”

Not a warning of any sort, then.

In the Indy, the talk is of “a Plan B for if they are without Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck”. Says Hodgson:

“I’ve got to make certain that there are a few Vardys and Kanes and Walcotts and that because we can’t keep going around talking about the ones who aren’t there.”


“We’ve got to be quite sanguine about it and we mustn’t start thinking ‘When this one comes back, we’ll be better still.’ We can’t do that. We’ve got to make sure we’re good with the ones who are playing.”

Hodgson makes entirely sensible comment. Read all about it.



Posted: 7th, September 2015 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Tories attack disabled Liverpool fan they once praised

john smith disabled


Liverpool fan John Smith has been winning plaudits for his work with the disabled.

The Mirror reported on August 18:

A lifelong Liverpool FC fan who overcame his disabilities to become a club charity coach has been recognised by the Prime Minister. John Smith, from Croxteth, was presented with a Point of Light award at Liverpool FC’s match against Bournemouth for his commitment to teaching wheelchair football to people with severe disabilities.

Prime Minister David Cameron was full of praise for the 39-year-old:

“For many people conquering disability to play wheelchair football would be enough of a challenge, but John has gone so much further. Through his key role in Liverpool’s Respect 4 All programme, he is sharing his wheelchair football skills with others and helping to make football more accessible for disabled people. What John is doing at Liverpool is inspirational and I am delighted to recognise him as the UK’s 317th Point of Light.”

John Smith features on the Number 10 official Facebook page.

On August 21, the Disability News Service had more on John Smith:

A disabled football coach has been recognised by the prime minister with a national volunteering award, even though that work is threatened by a legal battle over the “bedroom tax” with work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith…

Because he lives alone in social housing, in a two-bedroom adapted bungalow, he was forced to find an extra £12 a week towards his housing costs after he was told he was not entitled to a second bedroom because of the government’s “spare room subsidy removal policy”, also known as the bedroom tax.

This meant that Smith had to cut down on his spending on food while fighting the decision through the tribunal process, a battle which he said caused him to feel “very stressed”.

Last September, he won an initial appeal, on the grounds that he needed his spare room to store essential independent living aids, including his second wheelchair and a bath chair, as well as equipment he uses to play and coach wheelchair football, boxes of specialist powdered food, a bag of swimming equipment, and a punch-bag he uses to keep fit.

The room is also used to store a table football game that he plays with friends.

But after his initial victory, the work and pensions secretary appealed against the tribunal’s ruling, putting at risk all of Smith’s volunteering work and social and community links.

Now he is having to await the result of test cases in the Supreme Court, in which the bedroom tax will be challenged on the grounds that it discriminates against disabled adults like him.



Posted: 6th, September 2015 | In: Liverpool, Politicians, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Watch: Arsenal’s Petr Cech saves Arsenal – Liverpool saved by bad refereeing

On Petr Cech’s home Arsenal debut he gifted West Ham a 0-2 victory. Tonight against Liverpool he kept the Gunners in the game, keeping out a bending shot from Liverpool’s lively Philippe Coutinho with his fingertips.

And then against Benteke – who should really have scored:

At the other end, Arsenal scored a perfectly good goal wrongly adjudged offside:

Lucky Liverpool – again.

Posted: 24th, August 2015 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Arsenal: Wenger on Sterling, Benteke and beating Liverpool

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been talking ahead of his side’s match with Liverpool. The Sun heard the same words as us but headlines its version of events: “Wenger in Kop strop.” Utter balls, of course.


On Sterling’s Departure

“They refused to sell us Luis Suárez, so I cannot feel too much sympathy for them. Liverpool are in a position that they can make their own decisions.”

On Sterling

“I personally rate Raheem Sterling. I personally don’t think that Sterling was making a lot of drama. It’s just during the transfer window. During the season the boy was quiet, never made any stupid statement or noise. With Suárez, [Daniel] Sturridge, Sterling, they scored over a hundred goals. To do that you need special quality, and Sterling was part of that.”

On Form

“You need to be strong at home, that is for sure. “If you want to win the championship you need to win your home games. It can happen that you lose the odd game, but overall you need home strength. Against teams who came only to defend, we didn’t find the goal. But it happens to all the other teams as well. Normally you would think over 19 games you can sometimes be unlucky once or twice. Most of the time if you really dominate the games you will win. Liverpool will be a different game than West Ham. Against West Ham, we conceded from a set piece and after it was difficult.”

On Benteke

“Yes we will work on it [stopping him]. We managed to deal with him in the [FA Cup]  final. Then again, every game is a new challenge and we have to show that we can do it. He has the stature, he is good in the air, protects the ball well.”

On New Players

“It’s an impossible job [keeping everyone happy] but that’s why I tell you I always get asked two questions — why don’t you buy more players, and how do you keep them all happy now? You have to get the numbers right. If you have a certain number of players who think they will never have a chance to play, it kills something. Not enough players creates too much of a comfort zone.”

Arsenal host Liverpool tonight.

Posted: 24th, August 2015 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Adama Traore signs for Aston Villa, completes for Liverpool and agrees Manchester United move

NYON, SWITZERLAND - APRIL 11: Adama Traore of FC Barcelona (C) competes for the ball with Miles Mueller (L) and Pascal Itter (R) of FC Schalke 04 during the UEFA Youth League Semi Final match between Schalke 04 and FC Barcelona at Colovray Stadion on April 11, 2014 in Nyon, Switzerland. (Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)


Transfer Balls: It’s been a busy summer for Barcelona’s Adama Traore. Those experts in the mainstream Press have been tracking his movements:


July 26, The Metro: “‘Manchester United paying release clause to seal Adama Traore transfer”

July 28, The Metro: “Why Arsenal need to beat Bayern Munich to the transfer of Barcelona’s Adama Traore”

July 30, The Metro: “Liverpool officials fly to Barcelona to complete Adama Traore transfer”

August 1, The Metro: “Southampton plot to hijack Liverpool’s transfer move for Barcelona winger Adama Traore”

August 2, The Metro: “‘Everton set to hijack Liverpool’s transfer move for Adama Traore”

August 3, The Metro: “Adama Traore travelling to Liverpool for medical ahead of transfer”

August 3, Daily Star: “Barcelona’s Manchester United target set for Liverpool medical”


August 5, The Metro: “‘Adama Traore has dinner with Stoke officials ahead of possible transfer”

August 7, Daily Mail: “Adama Traore is being linked with Stoke and Liverpool… Adama’s release clause in his Barcelona contract has dropped to £4.2m”

August 8, The Metro: “‘Adama Traore convinced he is making Liverpool transfer”

August 11, Daily Mail: “Adama Traore close to £12m Aston Villa switch from Barcelona”

August 11, Daily Telegraph: “Liverpool transfer rumours and news: Barcelona star Adama Traore emerges as top target”

August 11, Daily Telegraph: “Adam Traore is flying in for talks with Aston Villa on Wednesday as he prepares to complete a £7 million move.”

Busy lad.

Posted: 12th, August 2015 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Manchester United beat Liverpool to defensive winger Nicolas Gaitan

nicolas-gaitanTransfer Balls: the increasingly dire Daily Telegraph (with cover price) is copying The Metro (free). Says The DT:

“Manchester United have reached a ‘verbal agreement’ with Benfica over centre-back Nicolas Gaitan, according to The Metro”

The phrase “according to The Metro” might be one of the most meaningless in journalism. All you can deduce from it is that Gaitan has not signed for Manchester United. He’s also not signed for Liverpool, where the Liverpool Echo bills him as a “playmaker“.

But who is Gaitan? The DT knows:

The Argentine will cost around £21.1m and would provide Louis van Gaal with badly needed reinforcements in defence.

He’s a defender? Maybe. Hold on a moment while the DT’s ‘expert’ types ‘Gaitan’ into a search engine and ammends the copy to read:

Manchester United have reached a ‘verbal agreement’ with Benfica over attacking midfielder Nicolas Gaitan, according to The Metro… The Argentine will cost around £21.1m and would provide Louis van Gaal with another option up front.

Over in The Metro the news is also changed:

The Argentinian winger is also believed to be on the radar of La Liga outfit Valencia, but United will have first refusal on the 27-year-old, according to reports in Portugal.

Sky adds:

In Van Gaal’s 3-5-2 formation, this would see him deployed at left wing-back, a position Ashley Young made his own last season. Luke Shaw will also be hoping to stake a claim for this role come August.

Such are the facts when a new player arrives on the transfer balls cycle.


Posted: 6th, August 2015 | In: Liverpool, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Karim Benzema has Arsenal fans walking in Wengerland

More news on Arsenal and Karim Benzema, the Real Madrid and France striker linked by a myriad reports with a move to the Gunners.

The Telegraph says “Gunners clear to sign Karim Benzema for £46m“. Clear? Not really because ESPN says Arsenal are not interested in the player.

Madrid-based newspaper AS says Arsenal have set aside €65 million to sign the striker.

But Arsenal boss Arsene, Wenger said only yesterday:

“No, nothing is happening. Honestly, no. I don’t know who brings that up. Is it Spanish media or English media? I don’t know.”

Back to the Telegraph, then, which states:

Real Madrid are resigned to losing Karim Benzema to Arsenal this summer, and have already began targetting replacements for the French striker.

The Metro agrees, saying Benzema will join the Gunners for £50m. But its source is the aforesaid AS, which turns out to be the Telegraph’s only source, too.

What AS reports is this:

…Wenger himself is fully aware of how difficult such an operation would be… The club’s technical department are studying other options but until they have used up every resource to land the Madrid striker, other candidates will remain secondary to Wenger’s plans.

But the operation to land Benzema is full of complications. He renewed his contract until 2019 with Madrid just over a year ago and as it stands, he is the team’s first choice striker, although Benítez has experimented this summer with Jesé and Cristiano playing in a more central position in an attempt to have an alternative to the ‘BBC’ attacking trio. During the recent tours of Australia and China, Benzema offered two contrasting sides to his game – he scored a sensational volley against Manchester City in Melbourne but was largely absent in the friendly against AC Milan in Shanghai. Benítez is also concerned that the player is struggling to apply the pressure which he is demanding from the whole team to make his 4-2-3-1 set-up function as he intends.

And as for being resigned to losing the player, a few days ago, Real Madrid manager Rafa Benitez stated:

“People are asking me about different players that maybe we will buy and I always say the same thing, ‘he’s not our player, I will not talk about that’. In this case Karim is our player so I will not talk about that. I hope, I’m sure, that he will stay with us.”

Is there a shred of evidence that Benzema is actually joining the Gunners? The Daily Star says there is:

There is a modicum of hope for Arsenal fans after Benzema followed an Instagram account named ‘Wengerland‘.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 3rd, August 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Did Roy Hodgson say Raheem Sterling was better off at Manchester City than Liverpool?

Can the Sun endear itself to Liverpool fans? No.  The paper’s Charlie Wyett has go by telling everyone:

‘ROY HODGSON will infuriate Liverpool fans after saying Raheem Sterling will become a BETTER player now he is at Manchester City.’

Hogdson, the erudite, circumspect and likeable former Liverpool actually said that Sterling would become a better player because Manchester City make better players than Liverpool?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 27th, July 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Liverpool: James Milner earns more than he did at Manchester City

Liverpool’s James Milner “turned down £165,000 a week to remain at Manchester City”, writes the Sun. The paper works out that Milner sacrificed £65,000 a week to reignite his career at Anfield.


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Is he really on £100,000 a week because the Guardian says Milner is paid £150,000 a week at Liverpool? And that £165,000 a week was based on the top figure, taking into account win and appearance bonuses at City. The Mail says Miler was earning £100,000 a week at City – which would mean he took a pay rise to join Liverpool.

And what of the signing-on fee at Liverpool, of which the Sun makes no mention? As a free agent, the Mirror says any fee would have been “huge“.

The Sun aims is to present Milner as something different to all other top players, the one who does it for love not money.  But the facts don’t support the portrayal. Milner earns more at Liverpool than he did at City. The move has not cost him £65,000 a week.

Says Milner:

“… I think the move to Liverpool and to take that mantle of central midfield was more of a selfish move. This is a chance for me to prove something. I want to look back at my career and feel I got everything out of it and was the best player I could be and won as much as I could.

“I don’t want to be sat at the end of my career thinking I could have done more or left something out there.

“I believe I can achieve things here where I could maybe have found myself on the bench at City and just taken the money.”

Now he takes the money and knows he’ll play.

Posted: 26th, July 2015 | In: Liverpool, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Christian Benteke drips for Liverpool

Benteke trousers


Transfer Balls: Christian Benteke has signed for Liverpool. He has joined, as ever, “to win things”. But the Indy writes:

“Liverpool signing appears to have been decorating before £32.5m switch, specks of paint spotted on jeans”


Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 23rd, July 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Sergi Samper becomes Arsenal and Liverpool superstar

Arsenal have tabled a £8.5m offer for Barcelona’s Sergi Samper. Well, so says the Sun:

Samper, 20, is currently behind Sergio Busquets, Javier Mascherano and Sergi Roberto in the Nou Camp pecking order.

But the Metro says Sergi Roberto is close to joining Everton move”. If true (and yep, this is the Metro) Samper is either third or fourth choice pick for his slot in Barcelona’s central midfield.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 23rd, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Manchester City: Balotelli wants Liverpool fans to praise Raheem Sterling

raheem sterling manchester city debutManchester City: Raheem Sterling scored on his debut for The Citizens. Within three minutes for his new club, the former Liverpool player set about justifying City’s £49 million investment.

City won the game against Roma in Melbourne 5-4 on penalties.

All good, then. Well, it was until Liverpool wage-nicker Mario Balotelli took to twitter:

Well done @sterling 31 !

Having praised the man who rejected Liverpool, Balotelli picked up on the Liverpool fans sat in the stands who booed Sterling. He ordered them to stop:

“Liverpool fans are amazing but i hope @sterling31 will play at his best because he deserve it. He’s a good guy young and talented…. support him Like you always did.

“He gave everything to this club and respect it so im sad to see this. YNWA, Liverpool is a family ALWAYS”.

If ‘walking’ Balotelli wasn’t enough to irritate football fans tired of the football family balls and being treated as a mere audience, we get to hear the views of Samir Nasri. The Sun writes:


Sterling was jeered as he made his City debut in yesterday’s clash with Roma at the Melbourne Cricket Ground…

Nasri said: “You always have stupid fans in the stadium and the same thing happened to me when I left Arsenal. You have to move on. He has come to Manchester City and you have to respect his decision.”

Oh, do put a sock in it. Fans don’t have to respect anyone or anything, especially a man who rejects the chance to earn a fortune doing a job they’d do for free.

Nasri then adds:


“This is a game between Roma and Manchester City in Melbourne! We didn’t expect anything like that from these fans, so it is a surprise. But if he needs any advice about that, then he can come and talk to me.”

The advice would be that Liverpool are a bigger club than Man City. (The match was watched by 41,000 fans.  When Liverpool played Melbourne Victory at the MCG , 95000 fans were there.)

Money does not buy you love. And if anyone in your ‘family’ demands more pocket money to remain part of the clan or else, show them the door.



Posted: 22nd, July 2015 | In: Liverpool, Manchester City, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Manchester United offer £22m for Pedro who agreed Chelsea deal after joining Arsenal

Manchester United are to offer Barcelona £20m for their spare-part forward Pedro.

The Sun says Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool are also after the 27 year old, whose record reads 98 goals in 318 appearances for the Catalans.

But the Times says Man United are leading the chase and have prepared to trigger the player’s £22million buy-out clause in his new contract.

“It’s true I have received important offers,” says Pedro. “My situation is complicated because I want to play a lot of minutes, but that is becoming very difficult at Barcelona.”

Complicated’s right. With so many clubs apparently after Pedro, the utter balls flow freely.

On July 15, the Star’s Paul Brown said Chelsea would sign Pedro “next week”:


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The Star reported that Chelsea have met Pedro’s £22m release clause, adding:

Liverpool and Inter Milan were also interested in Pedro, but they are set to miss out as Chelsea are his preferred option.

The Week agrees, stating:

The 27-year-old has agreed to join Chelsea where he’s been told he’ll have more opportunities to showcase his talents.

But just yesterday the Express noted:

The Blues were thought to be closing in on a move for Barcelona ace Pedro, but reports in Spain suggest Mourinho is not prepared to meet his £22m release clause.

Chelsea have and have not bid £22m for Pedro?

The Mail says Liverpool will make an offer.

And it was back in May the Metro announced that Pedro wanted to play for Arsenal and the Gunners would bid £26m for him.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 18th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports | Comment