Liverpool | Anorak - Part 12

Liverpool Category

Liverpool football club news, Liverpool transfers, Premier League

Transfer Balls: Raheem Sterling Is Off To Manchester United For £15m Less Than Manchester City Bid

Transfer Balls spots the rumours that Raheem Sterling is leaving Liverpool for Manchester United. The Daily Mirror says United will offer £25m for the England player. How it knows this is left unsaid. But, you know, “sources”.

ESPN says Liverpool would rather sell Sterling to Arsenal. The fee? Lots of money plus Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs.

The Star says Manchester City have £40m reserved for Sterling.

Not too long ago (‘hours’ – ed) Sterling was surely heading to Real Madrid, where he’d link up with former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez. 

Newly sat in the Real Madrid ejector seat, Benitez was very quickly reading aloud from the Real Madrid Big Book Of Transfers:

 “We admire [Raheem], that’s no secret – but he is not one of our players so I can’t really comment on him.”

A Real Madrid comment is in actual fact a huge comment that Real want to buy Sterling.

As it is the lad’s gone nowhere.


Posted: 4th, June 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Liverpool Balls: Brendan Rodgers given one season to finish his sentence

Liverpool new players

Liverpool fans will get at least one more season of Brendan Rodgers, a man whose ability to smug it out is unrivalled.

After a meeting with Liverpool chariman Tom Werner and owners’ representative Fenway Sports Group (FSG) President Michael Gordon, Liverpool have agreed on a “comprehensive plan for improvement”. The meeting was “positive and progressive”.

Details are thin.

What will change?

The talk is that James Milner, Danny Ings, Christian Benteke and Nathaniel Clyne could be arriving at Anfield in the near future. The Times says 29-year-old Milner has agreed terms with Liverpool after rejecting a more generous contract offer to remain on Manchester City’s bench. The paper adds that Liverpool are in the hunt for a new goalkeeper.

That would be five new players Rodgers would have to mould into the team in quick time. Given the £110million-worth of new signings bought last summer, the squad is not being short-changed in the club’s quest to move on from last season’s post-Luis Suarez mediocrity, when they were most notably out-thought by Aston Villa and Stoke City and the momentum of that 2013/14 season title-surge was lost.

Rodgers could once rely on Luis Suarez’s brilliance and flashes of inspiration to mask any lack of tactical nous. Last season, the plan seemed to be for Raheem Sterling or Philippe Coutinho to do the same. When they failed Liverpool looked tame, witless and disorganised.

New players bought in by the club’s data and value-driven transfer committee failed to gel. Rodgers remained verbose, talking and talking a good game, continuing to make baffling selections and fussing over details.

One thing Liverpool can move on is to colour-in the grey areas between ownership and management. The club’s structure seems messy.

What is expected of Rodgers? Obviously, Champions’ League qualification and a cup are the targets, but if Rodgers’ Liverpool fails to deliver one or both will be be sacked?

It would be useful to know how Rodgers is being measured and what part FSG consider they’ve played in the club’s slide from the Premier League’s top four. 

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

Transfer Balls: Real Madrid get Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling in a Spanish package deal

sterling £45m Real Madrid


Transfer Balls hears the Daily Express say that Real Madrid are making a move for Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea target Raheem Sterling. The fee of £45m is mentioned.

The Express cites as its source another tabloid:

But according to The Sun, Real are keen to open talks over a potential £45m deal.

Over in the Sun we learn:

REAL MADRID will open talks over a £45million move for Raheem Sterling in the next fortnight. Liverpool’s top brass are expected to travel to Spain for a friendly between Real and Reds legends on June 14.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 2nd, June 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Liverpool Balls: Klopp, Allardyce, McClaren and Ancelotti the flying pig challenge Rodgers

Football Balls: the intersection of media football fact and fiction spots the Sun’s story that “JURGEN KLOPP has made himself available to be next Liverpool manager”.

Has he? Klopp has left Borussia Dortmund. He’s a free agent. He’s pretty much made himself available to be manager any club.

Ken Lawrence writes:

The German, 47, has scrapped plans to take six months off after his last game as Borussia Dortmund boss in tomorrow’s German Cup final. And he has made it known he would be interested in taking over from Kop boss Brendan Rodgers at Anfield.

How did he make that interest known? The only quote the story provides is this:

“I am not tired. I haven’t had any contact with any other clubs but I am not planning a sabbatical.”

Mentions of Liverpool: none.

Lawrence then ends his story by noting:

Carlo Ancelotti is also a possibility for Liverpool after leaving Real Madrid.

Yeah, of course he is. Other managers with Premier League experience looking for work and, therefore by the Sun’s reckoning possible Liverpool head coaches, include: Steve McClaren, Sam Allardyce, Ian Holloway, Malky Mackay, Paul Lampbert, Harry Redknapp, Stuart Pearce, John Gregory, Danny Wilson and Gus Poyet.

Looking at that lot, Liverpool sticking with their current manager Brendan Rodgers doesn’t look such a bad option.

Posted: 29th, May 2015 | In: Liverpool | Comment

Transfer Balls: Liverpool chase Carlos Tevez who agrees Boca return as West Ham prepare bid

Transfer Balls: Good news, Liverpoool fans. The Daily Star says you’re going to be watching another former Manchester City striker in Liverpool red. Calos Tevez will be keeping Mario Balotelli company at Anfield.

Well, so the trusty Daily Star’s Marc Williams tells us in a story dated May 27:

The former Manchester United, City and West Ham star is considering his future with Juventus and, according to the Daily Express, could leave if the Italian giants win the Champions League.

The Star is quoting its sister paper. So we head across the newsroom to the Express and learn via a May 14 story:

Liverpool eye SENSATIONAL move for former Man Utd and City ace Carlos Tevez…

According to the Metro, Liverpool have made enquiries about whether Tevez would be interested in a return to the Premier League at the end of the season.


Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 29th, May 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Manchester United mock Liverpool with Raheem Sterling broadcast

The Times’ story that Manchester United have asked Liverpool about their willingness to sell Raheem Sterling has been replayed throughout the mainstream media.

But the news is thin.

The Times‘ leads sports story begins and ends with United asking Liverpool “for an indication of how much it would cost to buy the unsettled 20-year-old”.

It was only yesterday we learned that Manchester City had valued Sterling at £40million and 150,000-a-week in wages – that offer following weeks of news that the player was worth anything up to £50million.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 21st, May 2015 | In: Liverpool, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Liverpool: The Sun passes off the BBC’s Raheem Sterling scoop as its ‘Exclusive’

Laughing all the way to the bank

Laughing all the way to the bank


Last night the BBC reported that Raheem Sterling was arranging his Liverpool departure. Given that the talented, underpaid and pragmatic Sterling had chosen to tell the BBC of his desires for glittering success and admiration for Arsenal in a TV interview, the source is less speculative than most. The BBC had its scoop.

And one day on how does the The Sun cover the story of Raheem Sterling’s departure from Anfield? Like this:


Sterling leaves


It’s an ‘exclusive’ to every one of those Liverpool fans who get their football news only in the Sun – which is to say none of them.

You can read Raheem’s story here, and realise why his leaving Liverpool is no great shock.

Posted: 19th, May 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Liverpool: Steven Gerrard’s hair evolution mapped out in football stickers (photo)

Liverpool gerrard hair

Liverpool gerrard hair


There we were, busy painstakingly compiling a season-by-season photographic retrospective appraisal of Steven Gerrard’s 17-year hair portfolio only for the bloody BBC to go and steal our thunder by cobbling this little beauty together…

Steven Gerrard: 17 seasons, one sensible haircut. Immaculate.

You just can’t buy consistency like that. What a legacy.

Spotter: Pies

Posted: 15th, May 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Liverpool balls: Who called Brendan Rodgers a ‘tactical genius’? Brendan Rodgers did

Who said that Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was a genius? Says Rodgers…

 “Three months ago I was a tactical genius, performing to a good level.”

Former Liverpool great Steve Nicol tells the Daily Mail:

“I’d love to know who was calling him a ‘tactical genius’, Brendan. When was he a tactical genius? When was he a tactical genius against Ludogorets, against Real Madrid, against Basel? When was he a tactical genius against Aston Villa in the FA Cup? I mean, come on.”

What kind of wally would have called Rodgers a genius? Well, Nichol might not be a Daily Mail reader because it was that paper’s Adrian Durham who opined:

“Rodgers did the legwork, learned his trade, soaked up knowledge and look where he is now.  Tactical genius. That’s what Brendan Rodgers is.”

He wasn’t the only one:

Peter Fraser on Sky: “Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers should be considered a managerial genius whatever happens”

Of course, Rodgers has mentioned his genius before. This is from 2014:

“I know how it goes. Six or seven months ago I was the manager of the year and I was going to be this and that, tactically this and tactically that, and now, because we have lost two world-class players, I am useless. But I accept that. I must have just dreamt that about Liverpool playing 3-4-3 in the last game [the Capital One Cup victory at Bournemouth]. What do people think that was, a bit of luck? A British coach playing 3-4-3? A foreign coach doing that would be a tactical genius. I imagine people think I fell into that system through a stroke of luck or something.”

So. Who called Rodgers a tactical genius? Well, Rodgers did…


Posted: 1st, May 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Liverpool keep Jordan Henderson but will Nivea stick by their man?

Jordan Henderson Nivea


Jordan Henderson has penned a new five-year deal to play for Liverpool. Good news for Liverpool fans. And at £100,0o0-a-week, it’s good news for Henderson, who will just be able to afford a season ticket at top-flight boxing. (Tickets for the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao’s fight are yours for £100,000 each. It makes £60 to watch your team play Arsenal at the Emirates look like a steal.)

Writing in the Times, Giles Smith wonders if Henderson is going to re-sign for another of his clients: Nivea.

…a deal that has already yielded comedy gold. Indeed, if there was a Bafta for Best Look To Camera By A Footballer In A Narrative-Based Commercial (and now there should be), Henderson would have swept it away for a lifetime.

It is a cracker:



But what does it all mean for men? It’s the decline of man: the steady emasculation of our role models.

Posted: 25th, April 2015 | In: Liverpool, Reviews, Sports, The Consumer | Comment

Transfer balls: Liverpool’s bid for Arsenal target Asier Illarramendi is lost in translation

Asier Illarramendi


Transfer Balls: Liverpool have made an offer for Real Madrid’s Asier Illarramendi. So declares the Daily Telegraph. And who are the papers sources for this Liverpool scoop?

According to The Metro, Illarramendi is expected to quit Madrid this summer after struggling to hold down a regular place in the Real side

The Metro. Yeah. Stick with it. After all, waaaay back on April 22, The Metro reported:

Arsenal handed transfer blow as Asier Illarramendi confirms desire to stay at Real Madrid

Today’s Metro scoop arrives via Jamie Sanderson:

Liverpool ‘make offer to finally seal Asier Illarramendi transfer’.

Sanderson then delivers the facts:

Liverpool have made an offer to sign Real Madrid’s Asier Illarramendi ahead of Arsenal, according to reports. Illarramendi is expected to quit Madrid this summer after struggling to hold down a regular place in the Real side.

Which reports?

Arsenal have been linked with a move, with Arsene Wenger said to be a fan, but Marca claims Liverpool…

So. It’s Marca, then. And we do find a story on Illarramendi and Liverpool. It’s dated April 11 2015. It contains not single word on any offer. But we do learn that Arsenal and Liverpool both like Illarramendi. But mentions of a bid are there none.


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

Transfer Balls: Sami Khedira’s Arsenal agreement is worthless

Transfer Balls spots the Daily Star’s news that Sami Khedira has delived a “blow to Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United”.

Jonathan Green reports:

The 28-year-old has become one of the most sought after players in European football with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Dortmund and Schalke all looking to secure the German’s signature.

This is the Daily Star that told readers that Khedira had agreede to join Arsenla and Bayern Munich:


khedira agrees


khedira arsenal


Such are the facts in the Daily Star…


The World Cup winner is out of contract in the summer and has confirmed he will leave the Bernabeu after five years.

The 28-year-old has become one of the most sought after players in European football with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Dortmund and Schalke all looking to secure the German’s signature.

And reports in Spain claim Dortmund are in the process of drawing up an offer for Khedira as they look to move ahead of their rivals.

Borussia Dortmund want Sami Khedira
INTEREST: Borussia Dortmund want Sami Khedira [GETTY]
They say Dortmund officials are prepared to offer Khedira a deal worth €11m (£8m) a year to bring him to the Westfalenstadion.

The Bundesliga club are set for a major overhaul this summer following Jurgen Klopp’s announcement that he will step down as manager at the end of the season.

Mats Hummels looks set to follow Klopp out of the exit door while doubts remain over the futures of Ilkay Gundogan, Marco Reus, Ciro Immobile and Neven Subotic.

Posted: 21st, April 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports | Comment

FA Cup Balls: Liverpool’s ‘lucky’ Coutinho Was better than 8 Aston Villa players

fa cup aston villa


Aston Villa beat Liverpool 2-1 in an entertaining FA Cup semi-final. But what were the important scores, the ones newspapers award players?

Martin Samuel says Liverpool’s one goal was lucky. The Daily Mail writer says Philippe Coutinho’s shot went in via a “fortuitous deflection”.



fa cup aston villa 1


But one page on, the Mail’s Laurie Whitwell says of Coutinho:

“Super run and finish.”

From lucky to super in a page.

The Mail awards Coutinho a score of 7 our of 10. That makes him better than 8 Aston Villa players. But the Daily Mirror says every Villa player was better than every Liverpool player.


countinho score


Such are the facts…

Posted: 20th, April 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling is tabloid scum

Sterling Watch: The Daily Raheem Sterling: a look at the Liverpool player in the tabloid Press. 


raheem-sterling tabloids


Writing in the Sun, Rod Liddle says the Kop are “fed up with Sterling”, who “represents an awful lot of what is wrong with modern football”. Sterling is guilty of “mind-bending greed”. Liverpool fans are forced to endure the player who thinks he’s outgrown them kissing the badge in a “sickening display of conterfeit loyalty”.

Liddle then notes the shisha pipe smoking and nitrous oxide inhaling, before turning to Sterling’s reported inability to recall when the son he sired at 17 was born. The greed and the badge kissing are parts of the modern game. They are awful and as unwelcome as jester hats, talk of the “football family” and the PA announcer who drowns out the singing to scream “Make Some Noise!”.  But is it fair to blame football for Sterling’s parenting or recretional use of legal drugs?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 16th, April 2015 | In: Liverpool, Reviews, Sports | Comment (1)

Jurgen Klopp Should Go To Arsenal, West Ham Or Liverpool And Avoid Manchester City

By Klopp Watch



Jurgen Klopp is heading out of Borussia Dortmund. But where to next for the affable German?

The Daily Express says Manchester City is Klopp’s most likely destination. Why City, who have moved towards the Spanish model in recent seasons with the appointment of former Barcelona executives Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain (secured in the hope of luring Pep Guardiola to the Etihad), would opt for the man who made Dortmund masters of high-octane gegenpressing is not explained.

Any move for Klopp would necessitate a wholesale change in style and massive investment. Would Financial Fair Play allow it?

The Mirror also links Klopp to City. Apparently, odds on Klopp heading to the Etihad have been slashed. Of course odds on Klopp heading anywhere have been slashed following the announcement that this season will be his last at Dortmund.

The Mirror says City’s main rivals for the German are Napoli. Can anyone really see an Italian team embracing Klopp’s madly energetic, hard-pressing style? Klopp has said that he loves “serenity football… What we call in German – English football: rainy days, heavy pitch, everybody is dirty in the face…” So. Sunny Napoli it is then.

The Sun leads with news that Klopp has “told Premier League clubs: Come and get me.” The paper suggests the clubs that could go for Klopp: Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham, West Ham  and Newcastle.

The Mail produces its list of possible Klopp destinations. City, Liverpool and Arsenal are the only Premier League clubs to feature. No word on West Ham, who would offer Klopp an intriguing challenge. Liverpool would be Klopp’s natural fit, but Brendan Rodgers is doing a decent job at Anfield. Arsenal could do with Klopp when Arsene Wenger leaves in a year or two. But after years of relative austerity when they sold their best players to balance the books and fund a new stadium, Wenger’s sudden departure would be like a man walking away from a loaded fruit machine.

The Mail says the clubs most likely to go for Klopp are Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

Could Klopp, the outsider, end up at one of the ultimate insider clubs? Rory Smith (Times) compares such a move to “the gertrification of Williamsburg, the adoption of the beard by the Ben Sherman boys, the ultimate defeat for hipsters”.

So. Not all bad, then.

But while a move to Real Madrid seems possible, Klopp to Bayern would surely be a bitter blow to the Dortmund fans who love him. The Mail says “sources in Germany have not ruled out a move to rivals Bayern Munich if Pep Guardiola fails to win the Champions’ League this season”.

That might be because Klopp has not ruled out a move to anywhere.

Posted: 16th, April 2015 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Sports | Comment

Liverpool Balls: Raheem Sterling Is The Giggling To An Early Grave

Paul Sorene


3 May 1998:  Paul Gascoigne and Paul Merson of Middlesbrough celebrate a return to top flight football after a Nationwide Division One match against Oxford United at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough, England. Middlesbrough won the match 4-1 to earnpromotion to the Premiership.  Mandatory Credit: Stu  Forster/Allsport

Not Raheem Sterling. 3 May 1998: Paul Gascoigne and Paul Merson of Middlesbrough celebrate a return to top flight football after a Nationwide Division One match against Oxford United at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough, England. 


LIVERPOOL’S Raheem Sterling is part of a trend. The shisha smokin’, laughin’ gas inhalin’ star is just the latest footballer to be “involved in off the field controversy”. Well, so says the Daily Mail, which delivers five players who erred.

Here, Sportsmail details five other misbehaving stars involved in similar incidents away from the field.

According to the Daily Mail not breaking the law in the privacy of your own home is controversial. Raheem Sterling is now apparently in a ‘bad boys’ group with these bright young things:

Jack Wilshere: smoking tobacco.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 15th, April 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Tabloid hell: Liverpool’s drug-pushing Raheem Sterling mocks the dead

raheem sterling death


Raheem Sterling, the Liverpool player, is the worst person on the planet. We know this because the Daily Star features him on its Page 5. Pictured smiling and giving the thumbs up, the 20-year-old Liverpool and England player is placed alongside a photograph of Jimmy Guichard, also 20.

Jimmy is seen “dying in hospital”.

It is an utterly grim image. Looking at it feels invasive. But the photograph comes with the blessing of Jimmy’s mother, Karen, whose views are summed up in the headline:

“Kops must drop Sterling, urges tragic mum”

Jimmy died in 2013. That’s when the photographs of his dire condition were released. Back then Karen “explained how Jimmy Guichard died after taking a synthetic cannabis”.

The Daily Mail reported:

Keen sportsman Jimmy Guichard, 20, suffered a heart attack and severe brain damage within hours of taking one of the herbal substances. His mother Karen Audino said he was found unconscious next to an empty plastic bag from controversial legal high shop UK Skunkworks.

And in today’s Daily Star’sexclusive“, the paper writes:

Keen sportsman Jimmy… suffered a heart attack and severe brain damage within hours of taking one of the herbal substances….he was found unconscious next to an empty plastic bag from controversial legal high shop UK Skunkworks.

So much for the exclusive.

It is worth noting that “according to the coroner’s report, there were no traces of alcohol or illegal drugs – including cannabis, cocaine, morphine or acid – in his system that could have caused his death.”

There was no inquest into his death.

But Karen suspects the legal high killed her son. She said:

“Jimmy experienced severe hypertension which caused his heart attack, but why that happened we don’t know. I believe whatever he took from the high street shop messed with his system and caused this. He was a fit, healthy lad and there was no reason for him to die.”

It is tragic. Your heart goes out to her.

But what has this to do with Raheem Sterling, who was filmed inhaling laughing gas in the privacy of his own home? Does he approve of drugs, suffering, pain and death? He is pictured giving the thumbs up as an innocent young man lies on his deathbed.

Karen says:

“The management need to take action and not pick him. They wouldn’t have him if he had been taking cocaine or heroin.”

But Sterling is not Adrian Mutu, the Chelsea player sacked for taking cocaine. He’s not Diego Maradona, whose contribution to the Peru’s GDP is legend. Any footballer who takes recreational drugs is not exactly going to enhance their performance. As Eric Cantona said of Maradona: “I prefer someone who uses cocaine on a Wednesday and plays at the weekend.”

Duleep adds:

A football club has every right to discipline a player who fails to show up for training or doesn’t perform on match days because he has over-indulged. It’s not a question of morality but of discipline. The higher levels of fitness in the modern game mean that footballers must be extremely self-disciplined about what they ingest. It’s not quite a monkish existence – roasting, bling-bling, mock Tudor mansions and Porsches are not, as far as I know, features of monastic life – but being a professional footballer does require a degree of abstinence and dedication that is not expected of most employees.

Which brings us to wonder what Raheem Sterling and Jimmy Guichard have in common? To link Sterling to the death of a young man is utterly unfair. We live in a world where the US President Barack Obama and the late Apple Corp. founder Steve Jobs have smoked cannabis. Are they now linked to all drug-related deaths?

This story is about morals, a creepy demand that adults who are good at football behave as the elite demand. They must be pure in thought and deed. It buys into the stories that footballers are State-sponsored ambassadors for healthy living (witness the haste with which politicians use sportsmen for their own ends, to advertise their own sounds morals on sexism, racism and atheticism) and that football fans – by and large the working class – are so thick and impressionable they look not to parents for guidance but to Raheem Sterling, Luis Suarez, John Terry or any leading adult footballer. The narrative assures us that Sterling is a “role model”.

He’s not. The suggestion that his stupidity in smoking a shisha pipe or inhaling laughing gas endangers lives is weak and as thick-headed as the player himself the day after the night before…

Posted: 15th, April 2015 | In: Key Posts, Liverpool, Reviews, Sports | Comment (1)

Liverpool Balls: Don’t worry Raheem Sterling drugs never did David Cameron any harm

raheem sterling laughing gas 6


The Daily Raheem Sterling delivers a bumper crop of news and views in the tabloids. Today Sterling coverage reaches peak tabloid as The Liverpool players is all over the Sun’s front and back pages.

On the front page we see a photo of Raheem holding an orange balloon to his lips. It’s party time, but there’s no jelly and ice-cream to go with this balloon. The Sun says Sterling is inhaling not exhaling. It says the balloon is “apparently filled with dangerous legal high ‘hippy crack'”. Inside the Sun, over two pages, we learn that the image comes from a short video in which Sterling inhales twice before he “seems to pass out”.

The Sun adds: “The footage is thought to have been filmed at his £1.5m home days before Liverpool’s Premier League clash with Newcastle”.

Apparenly. Seems. Thought. So much for the facts. What else do we know? Well, the Sun’s doctor Carol Cooper tells us that nitrous oxide, which is the more official name for ‘hippy crack’, can cause hallucinations and cause the user to lapse into a coma.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 14th, April 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Liverpool Balls: Raheem Sterling’s smoking Arsenal audition

It’s the Daily Raheem Sterling – a look at the Liverpool player in the news.

The Sunday Mirror has news that Sterling, 20, has been photographed smoking a shisha pipe during a night out with friends. Was this a bonding session with Arsenal’s smoking Jack Wilshere and Wojciech Tomasz Szczęsny?

The picture of him inhaling on the bright orange pipe during a night out with pals emerged just hours after he upset his army of fans by snubbing a £100,000-a-week contract. Experts warn a single shisha session could be equivalent to smoking up to 200 cigarettes.

In case you were less than bothered at what a top athlete does in his spare time and find ludicrous the claim that a drag on a shisha is the same as smoking 200 fags, the Mirror trills:

The image will shock team-mates and parents of youngsters who idolise the winger, 20.

As ever with such things, we are invited to think of the children. From being an adult having a legal puff , Sterling is now a danger to your kids.

The Daily Mirror says Sterling was heckled by Liverpool fans as he modeled the team’s new kit. As Sterling took the stage to enthuse about the outfit, a voice shouted:

“Make sure we see you in it next season.”

Others cheered. Sterling, quick as a flash, said nothing.

ESPN says Sterling will ignore the hecklers and not sign a new Liverpool contract. How do ESPN know this? It reports:

Raheem Sterling will not sign a new contract at Liverpool this season as he waits to see what offers come his way this summer, a well-placed source has told ESPN FC.

An anonymous source says so, that’s why. And if you can’t trust an anonymous source, who can you trust?

Over in the Liverpool Echo the news is that Liverpool already have a ‘new’ Sterling:

Jordon Ibe can be just like Chelsea and Arsenal target Raheem Sterling – Brendan Rodgers

Is that what Rodgers said? No quite, no. The Liverpool Post has Rodgers quotes on Ibe in full:

“They’re both very exciting, but they’re different types of players,” Rodgers said.

Over on Sky Sports, Sterling is being talked about by his Liverpool teammate Lucas Leiva:

“It’s incredible how much he (Sterling) can achieve,” said Lucas. “He’s got all the potential and of course there has been a lot of talk about his contract situation but he’s dealing with it well on the pitch.

“Off the pitch he is getting advice that he thinks is best for him. My advice for him would be to play football – although it is hard to give advice. He knows what’s best for him as do his agent and family.”

So. No news, then…


Posted: 12th, April 2015 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Liverpool Balls: Raheem Sterling is heckled and we loved it

Raheem Sterling was heckled yesterday. As Liverpool FC paraded their new kit, the 20-year-old was singled out for treament by one Liverpool fan. As Sterling took the stage to enthuse about the outfit, a voice shouted:

“Make sure we see you in it next season.”

Others cheered. Sterling, quick as a flash, said nothing.

Away from the rarified environs of a BBC studio, the inside of an hermetically sealed supercar and unable to dodge catcalls by swaddling his head between two massive headphones as he walks from the team bus, this was Sterling exposed.

And we loved it.

Heckling is pretty much the only occassion when the masses get to address their leaders and idols.

Let’s hear more of it…


Posted: 11th, April 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment (1)

Transfer balls: Sterling to Arsenal, Walcott to Liverpool and £20m in change

Transfer balls looks at today’s reporting on Liverpool star and Arsenal target Raheem Sterling.

The Daily Star leads its sports coverage with news that Sterling is off to Arsenal. David Woods has an “exclusive”. He “can reveal” that Arsenal are buying Sterling. He can also”reveal” that Liverpool are buying Arsenal’s Theo Walcott.

Well, maybe.

Overlooking the obvious fact that this “exclusive” was first reported in a fact-free Daily Mirror story two weeks ago, the Star’s scoop contains not a single fact about either player. Woods says Arsenal would pay Walcott plus £20m for Sterling. Given the figure of £50m touted for Sterling, that values Walcott at £30m.

How he arrives at those sums is through the process of ‘guesswork’.

It is utter balls.

We do hear from Arsenal in the Sun, where team manager Arsene Wenger says:

“We have a core of five or six players who have been here for the last seven years and we wants to keep that nucleus.”

Does that group include Walcott, who joined Arsenal in January 2006? It’s unclear because the Daily Express quotes Wenger thus:

“We now have a core of players, a good balance of  players…who have been here for up to seven years and a few that arrived one or two seasons ago. We have a good balance.”

Walcott arrived at Arsenal nine years ago. Given how guarded and careful Wenger is with his words, it might well be that Walcott, who will have just one season remaining on his curent deal at this season’s end, is on his way out.

Such are the facts





Posted: 10th, April 2015 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Liverpool Balls: Raheem Sterling is trapped in a blizard

The Daily Stelring: a look at media stories on Liverpool star Raheem Sterling.

Writing in the Daily Mirror, former Liverpool great Robbie Fowler says Sterling “would be crazy to leave”. He begins his open letter:

“Raheem Sterling has been buried under such an avalanche of advice over his future that he must think his head is about to explode. So, instead of adding to that blizzard, I have a very simple message for him.”

That simple message goes on for 29 paragraphs.


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

Former Liverpool player arrested for shoplifting: Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson are innocent

Screen shot 2015-04-08 at 15.37.28‘Former Liverpool full-back’ Andrea Dossena, 33, has been arrested on suspicion of shoplifting. The Italian, currently running out for Leyton Orient in League One, was arested along with a 31-year-old woman for allegely shoplifting at Harrods, the Knightsbridge superstore.

Metropolitan Police state:

“Police arrested a 33-year-old male and a 31-year-old woman on April 7 on suspicion of shoplifting at Harrods. They were taken to a west London police station. Both the man and woman have been bailed to a date in late April, pending further enquiries.”

He’s not the first man who have worn Liverpool red to have shoplited:

Steven Gerrard:

“I grabbed a few pens and paper from Woolworths and made a dash for the door but the security guard grabbed me. I thought it was all over. I thought the club would drop me. And I was convinced the school would expel me.”

And, of course, the greatest of them all…

Glen Johnson:

The biggest one was the toilet seat,” he says. “I was with a mate who was doing up his bathroom and he wanted to buy a set where you get everything together. I’d never bought a bathroom like that in my life, and neither had he, so we banged it on the trolley. But we took out the toilet seat and got another one that had a slow-close lid so it wouldn’t trap his kid’s fingers.

“What we didn’t know was that it was £2.35 more than the one that should have been in the box. Then we went through the till, my mate paid for it and then this security guy stopped us and said he had been watching us on CCTV and seen us swapping the toilet seats.”

Spotter: Liverpool Echo

Posted: 8th, April 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Raheem Sterling to Real Madrid as ‘mid-table’ Liverpool look for cash

raheem-sterling transfer


Transfer Balls looks at Raheem Sterling in today’s news. It’s going to be a busy summer for the Liverpool striker. To save you the bother of reading a myriad different publications, we’ll round-up the day’s Sterling news:

Barney Ronay wonders in the Guardian if Sterling is really all that special:

Among the assorted soundbites swirling about in the wake of that unauthorised BBC interview it is the regurgitation of Brendan Rodgers’ claim last year that Sterling is “the best young player in Europe” that seems most startling, and indeed illuminating… The best young player in Europe is an Englishman who has never scored a goal in the Champions League, never won any kind of trophy, and never made any real impact against one of the heavyweights of European or international football. Really?…

Only in the overheated Premier League could a series of promising moments lead to some apparently serious talk of a £50m transfer fee. The real point here is that beyond the island borders of the World’s Most Excitable League, European football is awash with equivalent fine young talent in Sterling’s part of the pitch…

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Posted: 7th, April 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comments (2)

Football’s morality: Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling is a fair-weather friend

Raheem STerling Arsenal


Writing in the Times, Rory Smith nails Raheem Sterling’s issue with Liverpool.

Sterling has turned down £100,000-a-week to stay at the club and, reportedly, said he’d not even accept £180,000-a-week to play for Liverpool. He also denies all any accusations that he’s money-grabbing. Sterling, says Sterling, only craves more titles. Success is his only driver

Says Smith:

“Football’s morality: mercenary bad, fair-weather friend good.”

What price loyalty? That question to you, Raheem…




Posted: 6th, April 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment (1)