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Manchester City | Anorak - Part 5

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Manchester City football club news, Manchester City transfers, Premier League

Manchester United toilets go down a bomb with kak-handed Manchester City fans

Much talk of football returning to the 1980s. As West Ham and Chelsea fans clashed last night – aggro that included a nasty twist on donating to good causes by throwing coins with malice at disabled children – up in Manchester fans of Manchester City reacted badly to defeat in the League Cup at Manchester United by breaking sinks.

 

The Sun reminds us that earlier this season Rangers fans broke toilets after defeat to Celtic.

 

Smashing up toilets and sinks used by your own fans is a bit odd, no? How else will fans be able to wash their hands after going? Football is now so sanitised it’s not far-fetched to think of stewards checking hands for germs before allowing fans inside the ground.

And tempting, perhaps, for United to leave the away fans’ Old Trafford bogs like that and pass the destruction off as an oversight. In May 2016, United managed to miss a fake bomb tied to a toilet door.

If all this argy-bargy marks a return to the 1980s, fans unable to find a toilet or sink to urinate in will doubtless be using the old method of wazzing in the pocket of the fan in front.

Posted: 27th, October 2016 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Liverpool move to lower footballers’ obscene wages

Liverpool are keen to prevent the “too much, too young” culture that infects professional football by bringing a wage cap for younger players.

The Telegraph says Liverpool will not allow a footballer age 17 or under to earn more than £40,000 in their first season as a professional.

Too often players go off the rails when they are given the financial power that comes with being a professional footballer, and Liverpool are looking to try and reduce the risk of young and talented players going to waste.

The youngsters will be allowed to boost their salaries with performance-related bonuses and breaking into Under-23 and senior sides.

Is 40k too low? Too high? In 2016 the Daily Mail reported the average wages paid in British football.

Last season, first-team average salaries were around £1.7million a year

Average basic pay in the Championship was £324,250 per player per year

Figure dropped to £69,500 in League One and £40,350 in League Two

Would you prefer to earn £40,000 playing for Liverpool youth sides or the Plymouth Argyle first team in League Two?Should wages be more performance-related?

In 1960, Jimmy Hill was embarked on in his campaign to abolish the Football League’s maximum wage which stood then at just £20 a week. Hill won.  A wage bill from August 17, 1960, shows that Liverpool’s Roger Hunt took home £22 after bonuses, tax and insurance. He’d go on to be part of the England team that won the World Cup in 1966. What would he earn in these post-Bosman times?

In The Football Man, Arthur Hopcraft says such wages were “derisive in comparison with what could be earned by entertainers performing in front of much smaller audiences in, say, the theatre or cabaret… [and] small beer to what could be earned on the production lines of the country’s post-war, streamlined factories.”

Nowadays players earn a fortune. In 2009, Premier League clubs spent £1.2 billion on players’ wages in 2007-08, so passing he billion mark for the first time.

The game is rich with TV cash and owners’ money. But if the players don’t get the cash, who will? Will club owners use it to reduce ticket prices or pay dividends to shareholders?

Oliver Kay writes:

It is obscene, obviously, but it would be more obscene to see the money generated by the Premier League — whether through television, sponsorship or ticket sales — simply sit on the balance sheet as profits go up and up. Football clubs do not exist to make profit. They exist to give something back to communities. Unless the clubs’ intention is to give more and more back to the grassroots, which sadly seems unlikely, then it would be indecent to suggest that the benefit of this latest television deal would not be felt by the players.

He’s right. Footballers can get paid very well. But so do many other workers, top talents in their fields. Do we know what others earn a week, like TV’s Ant and Dec or a soap opera actor? Why do footballer always have their wages discussed in terms of what they earn a week?

Simon Barnes:

The first thought on hearing a player’s weekly earnings is to measure it against your annual salary: why, that little bastard makes more in a week than I do in a year.

The second reason is snobbery. Wherever there is an anomaly in British life, check out snobbery before anything else. The wages of working men — rough types from the working class, you must have heard of them — have always been calculated in weeks.

He notes that the wages are paid by us, the fans who buy the TV packages, tickets and tat.

What do we get from all this money? Not much. Only beauty. Only incomparable skill. Only great bravura performances of mental and physical strife. Only individual and corporate levels of brilliance and defiance. Only the chance to identify with such people, to revel in the fact that they belong to us, that we are part of them and they are part of us.

Only the opportunity to watch as the myths and legends of our times are forged before us. Only the chance to participate in great dramas of will against will, skill against skill. Only anguish, only elation, only inconceivable joy, only the chance to taste despair without any actual suffering. Only the chance to drink down Life in great big gulps.

Do young footballers get too much too soon? Yes. Some do. But we enable them to get it. We invest in them because unlike most of us, these tyros have a chance to shine at something many of us would pay to do.

Posted: 14th, October 2016 | In: Liverpool, Manchester City, Money, Reviews, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: BBC clickbaits Manchester United fans with moves for ‘Manchester City’s’ Isco

More BBC Transfer Balls as the State broadcaster tells readers to its website – and why doesn’t the BBC just publish a newspaper?  – “Manchester United target Isco has hinted he may leave Real Madrid at the end of the season.”

Hinted. May.

With not a single fact to support its headline news, we follow a link to the Manchester Evening Post, which declares: “Manchester United get Isco boost as he explains Real Madrid situation.” What said the player who started one league match for Real last season? “If I’ve still only made a few appearances by the end of the season, I’ll look elsewhere,” says Isco. “At 24 years of age I have to right to better myself.”

Over on TalkSport that becomes: “Tottenham transfer news: Top target Isco admits he could leave Real Madrid if his situation doesn’t change.”

May. If.

The Metro is less precise, saying all top-flight clubs are in for the players: “Isco puts Premier League clubs on red alert by revealing he could leave Real Madrid.”

Bournemouth, Hull and Swansea have heard Isco’s words and sounded the klaxon.

Is Isco really leaving Real? The Press hasn’t got the foggiest.

The Mail told us on October 6: “Real Madrid midfielder Isco ‘is primary transfer target for Juventus’.”

That followed the Express’s news of 19 Sep 2016: “JUVENTUS are not interested in signing Tottenham target Isco from Real Madrid.”

In June, El Confidential reported that Isco had agreed to join Manchester City 25 million euros.

In March, the Metro had other news: “Isco is a priority for Guardiola, with City now seemingly ready to beat the Gunners to his signature.”

They didn’t. Isco stayed at Real Madrid.

Time, then, to hear from the player himself. On October 5, Sky Sports told us: “Isco determined to fight for Real Madrid place under Zinedine Zidane.”

Asked by Marca if he considered an exit, Isco said: “Not really, I have two years left on my Real contract, the club said nothing and I never looked for anything to leave… In the end, if I’m not the star man with (Carlo) Ancelotti, (Rafa) Benitez or Zidane, I will not be foolish and look for problems where there are none. In the end, I’m responsible and that’s where I must improve. There are ups and downs and I won’t give up, I fight to the end and want to prove that I’m fit for Madrid.”

Turn the red alert off. He’s going nowhere.

 

Posted: 11th, October 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports, Spurs | Comment (1)


Transfer balls: Chelsea want to sell Hazard, Manchester United offered £170m for Neymar, Arsenal re-buy Higuain

Transfer balls: a look at football reporting. The BBC says Chelsea are looking to cash in on Eden Hazard, the player once billed as the “new Lionel Messi”. The BBC says Chelsea will tie a big bag of cash to the 25-year-old Belgium and offer to swap the lot for Juventus and Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci, 29.

The Sun says Juventus don’t want Hazard. They want Cesc Fabregas and an even bigger bag of cash – £50m – for Bonucci.

In other Chelsea news, the Star  says the blues are keen on Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Manchester City also want him. Aubameyang doesn’t want to play for either of them, preferring a move to Real Madrid.

City have loads of cash. Will they outbid Real? News is that last summer they offered £170m for Barcelona’s Neymar. The Citizens thought they’d get their man. Mundo Deportivo says Manchester United, Real Madrid and Paris St-Germain matched that bid. And all failed. Odd, indeed, that no other news sources got wind of these bids.

Maybe City will have better luck with Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin, 21. Marca says Barcelona head the queue for the Arsenal flyer, who is happy at the Emirates.

As for the Gunners, well, Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis says Arsenal made a good offer for striker Gonzalo Higuain over the summer. “We received a request from Arsenal,” he told the Evening Standard. “Personally I also received a request from Atletico Madrid but they didn’t put enough money on the table. We were not ready to sell him – for me Higuain was not for sale.”

He was for sale. Higuain went to Juventus for £75.3m.

Of course, Sun readers know that Higuain joined the Gunners years ago:

 

higuain arsenal

 

And Manchester United a few years later:

 

Higuain Manchester United

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 10th, October 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Chelsea double their offer for Juventus and Manchester City’s Leonardo Bonucci

Transfer balls:  The BBC says Chelsea’s owners Roman Abramovich has sanctioned a move for  Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci, 29.  The Blues will offer the Italians £60m.

The Telegraph says this would be a world-record fee for a defender, beating the current record £50m PSG paid for Chelsea defender David Luiz – they bought him back for £30m.

Bonuccio is, says the paper, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte’s “dream signing”.

Bonucci has been full of praise of Conte, who managed him at Juventus and Italy. “Conte will be a big success in England, Chelsea are already a very good team and he will have them challenging both in England and in Europe,” said Bonucci, who might care to look again.

But the British Press know not all that much about Bonucci.

 

Bonucci

 

In June, the Metro said the player had agreed to join Chelsea.

The Sun said a “three-year deal for defender Bonucci, worth around £130,000 a week, has been accepted by the player and his agents.” The headline tol readers: “ANTONIO CONTE is plotting an amazing £57million double swoop for Italy stars Antonio Candreva and Leonardo Bonucci.”

Three months ago Bonucci cost £25m.

He’s now apparently worth £60m.

And in July he singed for Manchester City. The Sport Bible told us that:

 

manchester city bonucci

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 6th, October 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Manchester City, Reviews, Sports | Comment


Manchester City balls: ‘Obscene’ Raheem Sterling v The Sun

Manchester CIty’s Raheem Sterling is “THE HATED ONE” So says the Sun ,which says the Manchester City “star”, a player “reborn under Pep Guardiola despite coming under attack from fans this summer”. The paper laments the “torrent of abuse” heaped upon Sterling, who says the attacks “hurt”.

Under attack from fans? What about attacks from the Press. Guess which paper called Sterling “Obscene” after he showed his social medial followers around the house the “failure” bought his dear old mum?

 

raheem sterling man city the sun

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 2nd, October 2016 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Media balls: Spurs concede 6 goals all season, Chelsea beat Manchester United and Liverpool are pipped by Arsenal

Filling in the dull bits between transfer windows when the Daily Express’ clickbait bots can link Arsenal to every striker over 10 years of age, the ‘World’s Greatest Newspaper’ has created a Premier League predictor. Using the technical marvel of guessology and powerful maths, the Express makes some bold statements.

Bournemouth, Sunderland and Stoke are all relegated – Stoke scoring 6 times all season.

In the world of the Express, The Cherries are worse than Hull City – who are better than Southampton – and West Ham. Everton, who Bournemouth just beat 1-10, finish runners up. Chelsea finish above Manchester United.

Spurs finish third, conceding – get this – 3 goals.

Manchester City win the title.

 

daily express premier predictor league

 

Oh, yeah – Arsenal finish fourth, naturally. Even robots can be right some of the time.

 

Posted: 26th, September 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment (1)


Manchester City War: Guardiola sees off Yaya Toure’s limp attack

Manchester City are at WAR. Have the club’s owners co-opted players into Middle East conflict? Is Pep Guardiola’s mastery of formations and attacks be be employed in Abu Dhabi’s invasion of Saudi Arabia? Don’t be so stupid. It’s bigger than that. It’s football.

The newspapers lead with this war, headlines rooted in Yaya Toure’s apparent declaration: “If Pep wants a war he can have one.”

awr yayaya

 

Toure is upset at being left out of Manchester City first teams – a move not exactly damaging to the club who are playing great football and currently boast a 100% record in all competitions.

 

war yaya

 

It turns out that Toure has said nothing in public. Dimitri Seluk, his agent, is talking. Speaking to the Daily Mirror, the agent said:

“If Pep Guardiola wants a war, then he can have one. Pep didn’t like my opinion? But what does he expect me to say when he does this to Yaya? I spoke out because I felt that Pep was being vindictive to Yaya. Unfortunately for Pep, we live in a world where you have the right to free speech. He has reacted to what I have said about him by punishing Yaya again. But I’m not surprised.”

What Pep said was:

“He must apologise to his team-mates, to the club. If he doesn’t, he won’t play. It was difficult to leave him out of the Champions League squad but [the] day after, his [agent] went to the media. He has not had the courage to call me. From that moment he was out. I know him, I know he’s a good guy, but it was difficult for me as well to put Aleix García out.

“I cannot imagine in my period when I was a football player, my manager going to the media and speaking against Johan Cruyff, about this and about that. If he has a problem call the club, and they can talk. Until he speaks, Yaya is not going to play.”

The issue is with the agent, who antagonised Pep by wondering aloud if Guardiola, who omitted Toure from City’s Champions’ League squad, had “the balls to say that he was wrong to humiliate a great player like Yaya” should City fail to win the Champions League.

 

war

 

So. It is war. And the problem is that Pep has the throne, the high ground, the money and the owners’ and fans’ support. Yaya has his agent, a hole and a big spade. He also has £220,000 per week in wages for not playing. How’s that humiliating?

At 33, and in the final year of his City contract, Yaya needs to play and his agent needs him to shine, as he can when in his pomp. How this spat helps anyone is moot.

 

 

Posted: 21st, September 2016 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, Sports | Comment


Manchester City balls: Sergio Aguero’s Champions’ League ‘vow’

Big news: Sergio Aguero, 28, has signed a one-year contract extension at Manchester City, says the BBC.

The Daily Mirror ups that with more amazing news: “Aguero has vowed to remain at City until they are crowned kings of Europe”.

 

Aguero Manchester City newpsapers

 

Very good of him to make a solemn promise. But at 28, would City want, says, a 38-year-old playing up front for them? We know age is just a number (see: Zlatan Ibrahimovich) but would City’s owners not fancy a younger striker in the next decade?

Of course, should City not win the Champions’ League by 2020, when Aguero’s deal ends, they might not want to renew it. But Aguero has made a “vow”. He’ll be there for as long as it takes.

Of course, Aguero is no fool. He made no vow. What he said was:

“I still have four years more here,. I hope to achieve it at some point as it’s really important for any player. Obviously the Champions League is not easy; there are a lot of other fantastic teams. But my idea and club’s idea is the same, to try to win this competition… we are ready to reach a Champions League final. I don’t know if it’s going to be this year, but we will try.”

Vows made: none.

Posted: 16th, September 2016 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Manchester United and Manchester City create an instant Classico

The Manchester Derby was a cracker. Writing in the Sunday Times, Jonathan Northcroft muses: “An instant Clasico? It felt that way… For once, in our overhyped world, an event lived up to its billing.”

There was interest all over the pitch:

Bravo – deemed to be much better than England’s Joe Hart – dropping the ball to give Zlatan Ibrahimovic a well-taken goal.

Bravo taking a poor touch with his fabled feet before flying into Wayne Rooney and getting away with it. It looked a clear penalty.

Marouane Fellaini giving Aleksandar Kolarov a reminder of the day by knocking his tooth out.

Referee Mark Clattenburg having the biggest ego on the pitch.

Kevin de Bruyne playing superbly well.

And then there was the “WAR” between Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola. That never came. The two men high-fived and hugged one another.

After the match, Mourinho was reflective and finger pointing:

“I had two or three players in the first half that, if I know what is going to happen, I don’t play them. This is football, though, and sometimes players disappoint managers. It’s my fault because I’m the manager and it’s always my fault because it’s my choice.”

Adding:

“The two halves were completely different. In the first half we were below the level to play this match. You have to be completely ready in terms of the speed of your thinking and decision-making. The second half was completely different. We were a team that had the courage and honesty and dignity to chase with pride the result which I think we deserved – we deserved a goal in the second half.”

Nothing out of the ordinary there, then. Mourinho did not rant and rave. He thought his team deserved two penalty kicks, neither of which was given. His skill is in galvanising players to want to join him in giving it all for the cause. The “aggressive” approach he takes towards winning gives fans reason to believe.

The Telegraph says Mourinho branded his players “bottlers”.

 

Mourinho b

 

The Express says Mourinho is “moaning”. It might have said that the referee made a crucial error.

 

Mourinho a

 

Anyone who enjoys football will look forward to February 25, when these clubs are scheduled to meet again. The media has a few months to whip the match into a war.

Posted: 11th, September 2016 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Watch Ibrahimovich score for Manchester United after Claudio Bravo clanger (Video)

After all the hype, Manchester untied and Manchester City eventually played the world’s richest ever football match. With City 0-2 ahead, the Citizens’ news goalkeeper Claudio Bravo dropped the ball. Zaltan Ibrahimovich pounced to make it 1-2.

On Sky, Gary Neville (formerly Manchester United), lays into Bravo, who was making is United debut.

Barry Glendenning ‏tweets:

Gary Neville slaughtering Claudio Bravo on Sky, much like he did with David De Gea when he arrived. Joe Hart generally got a free pass

Joe Hart, or course, was shunted out of Manchester City. The thinking is that he’s now laughing his socks off. Claudio Bravo has a reputation as being a keeper with reliably nimble feet but how good is he with his hands?

What next for Bravo? Well, if it means anything, there players all made their debuts in the United – City derby:

 

debut

Ah…

Posted: 10th, September 2016 | In: Manchester City, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Peace breaks out before Manchester United and Manchester City war

It’s Manchester Untied v Manchester City in the Premier League. It’s WAR! It is. The media has told us as much.

In the Mail Jose Mourinho tells Pep Guardiola “WE’RE READY TO RUMBLE”.

 

Manchester United fight

 

It’s WAR says the Sun:

 

Man United Man City the sun

 

 

The Week sums up: “Man Utd vs Man City: Mourinho and Guardiola prepare for war”

Or as the Express puts it:

 

Manchester derby

 

And Henry winter writes in the Times:

Such was the public love-in of Mourinho and Guardiola yesterday — and the Premier League insists that no missive was launched from London demanding common courtesy — that it would be little surprise to find half-and-half scarves featuring the pair for sale outside Old Trafford.

It’s PEACE before the WAR.

Posted: 10th, September 2016 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Manchester United v Manchester City: war points to a bore draw

It’s Manchester United v Manchester City. It’s the game between Pep Guardiola v  Jose Mourinho, what the Guardian calls a “poisonous rivalry”.

The media is awash with hype and hoopla. The game will be cagey, and very probably not all that thrilling. But to the Sun it is “WAR”.

 

Man United Man City the sun

 

As Zlatan “swipes” Maroune Fellaini sharpens his elbows. “It will be a war, with a lot of intensity,” says the big Belgian. “I expect it will be a beautiful match in a special atmosphere. I do not dare speak out about who will win. It’s really 50-50.”

Not exactly Churchillian, eh. We will fight them on the beaches and, at the end of the day, it will be 50-50.

The Guardian leads with the handbags:

war football manchester

 

Paul Hayward writes in the Daily Telegraph.

“The United-City duel arrives without the political intensity of the Clasico, but a league which feeds on personality clashes was never going to pass up the chance to frame Saturday’s protagonists as two warring princes who moved their battleground to England.”

Oliver Kay hones in on the money in The Times.

“In the land where cash is king, prepare for the ultimate demonstration of the Premier League’s wealth and power. For all the inevitable focus on the geniuses in direct conflict in the respective dugouts, the one record that Saturday’s Manchester derby is certain to break is for the two most expensive starting line-ups, which at a total of just under £600m are set to make it the most expensive match in history.”

As for the actual football, Jonathan Wilson has insight:

If both managers go in as they have until now, it will be United’s 4-2-3-1 against 4‑1‑4‑1, two shapes that match up straightforwardly for marking purposes…

It’ll be a thriller, then.

Posted: 9th, September 2016 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Derby balls: Manchester United and Manchester City fight The War Bitchy Comments

Why don’t Manchester City’s Pepe Guardiola and Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho just duke it out. The Mail previews the big United v City match by drooling over the prospect of violence:

 

pep jose manchester united manchester city daily mail

 

“Police fears for Jose v Pep,” screams the headline.

The usually harmonious Manchester derby is causing police to be scared?

“The explosive rivalry between Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola – and the increased tension it may bring to the terraces – are part of the police’s planning for the Manchester derby. Sportsmail understands that officers on duty for Saturday’s clash between the two sides, the first battle between the feuding managers with their new clubs in England, will be told of the pair’s feisty history and the effect that may have on their operation.”

It’s war. We’ve had the War of Jenkin’s Ear, the War of The Stray Dog and The Pastry War. Prepare yourselves for The War of The Bitchy Comments. It’s gonna be bloody (marvellous).

Posted: 7th, September 2016 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, manchester united, Reviews, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Manchester United ‘hero’ Marcus Rashford shames Man City’s ‘obscene’ Raheem Sterling

Do the Press build them up to knock them down? The Sun writes about Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford who “proves he’s a top guy after buying his mum £800,000 home”.

The story continues:

“Manchester United’s latest hero Marcus Rashford has moved his mum and two brothers to a luxury £800,000 house in the leafy Wythenshawe suburb of the city. The English striker, 18, grew up in that area of Manchester and was quick to give his mum a more comfortable pad after bursting onto the scene last year and earning himself a bumper pay day of £25,000-a-week.”

 

obscene raheem the sun

 

Buying your mum a big house is lovely. But he’d better not get too rich or fail to score for England.

When Raheem Sterling showed everyone the house he’d bought for his mother, the Manchester City player was castigated by the Sun. The front-page headline screamed “Obscene Raheem”, noting “England failure steps off plane and insults fans by showing off blinging house”. A source opined: “Any normal person would hang their heads in shame after how they performed in France but these guys come home and show off about how rich they are.”

A “friend of Sterling” told MEN:

“Raheem and his family are really upset that the fact he’s bought a nice house for his mum is being used to hammer him by the media and make him the scapegoat for England’s failure… He bought her the house as a thank you for all her support and help. Now to have his mum’s private life and house being mocked and thrown into the public spotlight has left him furious and frustrated.”

Enjoy it while it lasts, Marcus, you hero.

Posted: 30th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comments (3)


Transfer balls: Manchester City offload Joe Hart to Everton by loan and sale

What news of Manchester City’s ranting goalkeeper Joe Hart?

The BBC says Hart will “join Everton on loan”.

The Daily Mirror agrees that Hart will leave on loans because Manchester City have are buying Claudio Bravo, 33, from Barcelona for £17.4m.

But the Sun says Manchester City are “refusing to let England goalkeeper Joe Hart leave on loan”. They want him gone for good.

Or as the Richmond and Twickenham Times‎ puts it: “Joe Hart’s Manchester City future remains unclear.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 19th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, Reviews, Sports | Comment


Take Hart: Manchester City given lesson in ‘common human decency’ by Joey Baton

When not shouting like the loon on the night bus, Joe Hart is letting in goals for England. Manchester City have seen enough, and are looking to offload the goalkeeper. The Mirror says Hart has told City teammates he will leave before the current transfer window shuts.

 

hart joe disgusting

 

On Talksport, former City player Joey Barton says City’s treatment of Hart is “disgusting”. In the pantheon of disgusting behaviour, telling an overpaid footballer prone to clangers he is no longer first choice for his club is not disgusting. It’s sport. Disgusting might be, of instance, stubbing a lit cigar into the eye of young team-mate Jamie Tandy (as Barton did in 2004, when he was on City’s books), exacting common assault and affray in Liverpool city centre (Barton was jailed for his crimes in 2008), and assaulting Ousmane Dabo during a training match row in which the other player was knocked unconscious and punched repeatedly while on the ground (yep, Barton did that).

Says Barton:

“It is not the club I left. The club I left and watch now are two totally different organisations. The club I played for wouldn’t have treated a player that has been a servant for as long as Joe has in the manner that it has. It is disgusting.

“He is a full international, somebody who, probably before City took the money, could have gone on to bigger and better things himself but stayed and wanted to be at City.

“I don’t see what he has done wrong to be treated the way he has. His attitude isn’t terrible. I don’t like this.

“It is common human decency, regardless of how good a coach you are. Why treat him like that?”

If Manchester City are taking lessons in common decency from Joey Barton, they really are in trouble.

 

Posted: 18th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, Reviews, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: John Stones, Everton, Manchester City and Neymar’s sister

Footballers are always hinting at things. Long gone are the plain-speaking days when they’d tell you to ‘f*ck off”. Nowadays it’s all subtlety and codes. From Everton to Manchester City and Barcelona, footballers are holing their hands over their mouth and giving it the eyes.

The Metro says “Neymar’s sister hints at Barcelona exit with cryptic Instagram post.” Neymar’s sister doesn’t play for Barcelona, but player power is high and if the Brazilian player made his sister’s inclusion in the side a condition of his patronage, would we be surprised?

Neymar’s sister, Rafaelle, hinted at a huge transfer by “uploading a picture of a train carriage with the caption: ‘I hope you’re going to a place that makes you happy.’”

Hints. They look a lot like bollocks.

 

neymar sister

 

The Sun spots another hint. Everton’s John Stones could be off to Manchester City. “Everton ace hints deal to join Pep Guardiola is close as he crosses M62 for shopping spree,” says the paper.

Stones’ hint involves walking about Manchester with “long-term partner Millie Savage” – “Stones looked extremely relaxed as he marched around with a number of bags including one from Dior.” Nothing relaxes the mind like a good march to Dior.

Stones to Manchester City it is, then. We have peered into the crystal balls Dior bags and seen the future.

Posted: 19th, July 2016 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Manchester City ignore Wenger’s Arsenal in war on Manchester United

It’s war between Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. Guardiola has “come out fighting” in “the Clash of the Titans with Jose Mourinho”. So says the Sun. In a first fight, I’d go with Guardiola, a former athlete who has the height, reach and stamina on the shorter Mourinho, who could counter with a low blow, the sneaky finger in the eye and a hissy fit. But never mind the physical stuff because Pep has started “mind games”. He has made his “first dig at Jose”.

 

Pep fighting the sun

 

What did the new City manager says? Well, get his: “In England the most important thing is football. The people don’t come to see the manager.” Ouch! That’ll sting Mourinho, who thinks they do. “There is Klopp, Conte, Ranieri, Mourinho, Pochettino. Koeman but the reason I work here is just to help the players.”

“EN GUARD,” puns the Sun, the French twist making us notice that the Spaniard never name-checked Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger. That first dig at Mourinho looks like a first dig at Wenger.

In any case, it’s war. Or as the Express and Star put it, it’s peace in our time:

mourinho guardiola Mourinho

 

Posted: 4th, July 2016 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: Manchester United offer £48m for £75m Pogba, who joined Chelsea for £69m

pogba manchester unitedTransfer balls: Manchester United want to invest £60m in Paul Pogba, the France and Juventus midfielder once on United’s books. The Sun says Jose Mourinho has “sanctioned the bid”.

The only things standing between United and Pogba are: Juventus trying to trigger a bidding war for their star player; Barcelona; United’s failure to appear in next season’s Champions’ League; Barcelona; any other big team with pots of cash; Manchester City; the fact that the bid is actually £48m plus bonuses, which values him less than Manchester City paid for Raheem Sterling; and did we mention Barcelona?

On the plus side, the Sun “understands” that Pogba likes Mourinho and his plan to make United “great again”.

Of course, we have read news of Pogba’s movements before in the Sun. There was the time he was joining Chelsea:

CHELSEA have agreed a stunning £69million deal to sign Juventus’ Paul Pogba. – August 2015 

PAUL POGBA is ready to snub Manchester City and extrend his deal with Juventus. The Frenchman is wanted by a host of top clubs but would come with a huge £75million-plus price tag. – March 2016

Paul Pogba ready to snub Manchester United, Real Madrid and Manchester City as he aims to cement his legacy at Juventus – May 2016

CHELSEA are in constant contact with Juventus star Paul Pogba over a possible £76million transfer – May 2016

Manchester United target Paul Pogba ‘buys house in Barcelona’ as Jose Mourinho looks set to miss out on Juventus star – June, 2016

Such are the facts.

Posted: 3rd, June 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: Ilkay Gundogan agrees Manchester City move (Arsenal and Manchester United disagree)

Transfer balls: Manchester City and not Manchester United are “set to sign” Ilkay Gundogan, says the Times. New Man City manager Pepe Guardiola has learnt much from his time at Germany’s all-consuming Bayern Munich, where the club’s recruitment policy hinges on buying the best players from the Bundesliga’s second best team, Borussia Dortmund. (Bayern have just agreed to take on Dortmund captain Mats Hummels.)

Gundogan, 25, is expected to join Manchester City for £20m. Although the Star says the figure is £30m. And there is the Mirror, which says Ilkay Gundogan is “set for a Jurgen Klopp reunion” at Liverpool. Klopp, of course, was Gundogan’s manager at Dortmund.

Of course this is Transfer Balls, a look at dire reporting in the mainstream media. We spare a thought for the Express readers told that Gundogan has signed for Arsenal and Manchester United.

 

Gundogan agrees Arsenal

 

Gundogan agrees Man United

 

Over in the Star, however, Gundogan plays for Bayern Munich:

 

Gundogan Bayern agrees

 

Posted: 2nd, June 2016 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, Manchester City, Sports, Tabloids | Comment (1)


War Chest Watch: Manchester United, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal, Everton, Manchester City and Liverpool transfer budgets announced

Manchester United transfers

 

As the Premier League season ends big media turns to transfer rumours. One issue is deciding how much each club has to spend on new players. With every club in line for a £99m bonus next season, you’d suppose every PL club can spend large on recruitment.

Sunderland: “Sam Allardyce will demand a summer war chest of up to £50million” – Sun

Spurs:  “Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino to be handed £60m war chest to strengthen squad” – Mail

Arsenal: Arsene Wenger £75m transfer fund this summer to bolster fragile defence and midfield” – Daily Telegraph

Everton: “£100m war chest to fund spending bonanza” – Daily Mirror

Liverpool: “Liverpool boss handed £100m summer transfer warchest… and targets have been identified” – Daily Star

Chelsea: “Chelsea to use chunk of £130m warchest to beat Arsenal to Alexis Sanchez replacement”

Manchester City: “Manchester City to hand Pep Guardiola a huge transfer chest for the summer” – Manchester Evening News

Manchester United: “Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal to get £150m war chest even without top-four spot” – Daily Express

Manchester United: “United Uncovered: Jose Mourinho’s £300m warchest” – Daily Express

Such are the facts…

Posted: 15th, May 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment


Manchester City: the Real Madrid fear factor

Manchester City will play Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals. The Sun and Times are debating matters.

“Ronaldo and Co con’t scare us,” says the Manchester City manager, Manuel Pelligrini.

manchester city real madrid

 

But they should scare you, says the Times.

ronaldo manchester city

Posted: 16th, April 2016 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, Manchester City, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer Balls: Manchester City lust for Messi who ‘fancies’ them

messi manchester cityAs Manchester City slide down the Premier League table, the Star says Lionel Messi fancies playing for them. The Barcelona star “fancies” teaming up with City’s incoming manager Pep Guardiola, we learn.

Could it happen? Back in January, the Sun told us that “money is no barrier to recruiting the players [Pep] Guardiola believes are crucial. The first is Lionel Messi…” By February, Messi had dropped off the Sun’s list as Guardiola targeted “Neymar and Sergio Busquets as he plans £150million Manchester City overhaul”.

Of course, with money being ‘no object’, Pep could buy Messi as well.

Yesterday the Sun updated its story, telling readers, “Guardiola does not believe a major overhaul is needed. He likes the look of the current squad.” Money is not an object, so Pep will stick with Martin Demichelis et al.

Messi must be gutted that the team he fancies no longer fancies him?

Today’s Indy has an update:

Manchester City believe they will be Lionel Messi’s first choice if he decides to leave Barcelona, with the presence of Pep Guardiola among the reasons why they would be comfortably ahead of any other club in Europe.

Believe. If. What happened to ‘fancies’?

City’s recent inquiries have yielded the same response as always, where Messi is concerned: a firm rejection of director of football Txiki Begiristain’s attempts to be reunited with the player, whose development he oversaw at the Spanish club.

Ian Herbert then tells us:

City do not believe the prospect of Messi moving is extinct and are convinced the appointment of Guardiola cements their position as the Premier League club of choice for him, or any other Barcelona player looking to move to the Premier League.

They would all eschew life in London, say, to live and work in Manchester?

The agents of players from many countries have been in touch with City since Guardiola’s appointment was confirmed, indicating their clients would like to be a part of the Catalan’s venture into English football. No such calls have been fielded from representatives of Barça players, however.

And as for Pep, the Guardian notes:

When Guardiola joined Bayern Munich in June 2013 following a year’s sabbatical after leaving Barcelona he was reluctant to return to the Catalan club for players. In three seasons at the Bundesliga champions he has taken only Thiago Alcântara from Barça, in his first summer.

Barcelona players keen on a move to Manchester City can form an orderly queue…

Posted: 23rd, March 2016 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Leroy Sane to Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and wherever else the SEO machine sends him

Transfer Balls: The Daily Star has conjured a headline to seduce fans of the five biggest Premier League clubs to a non-news story:

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City and Man Utd in epic transfer fight for German whizz

 

daily star bollocks

 

 

Alex Harris writes:

Mundo Deportivo claim Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United are all in the hunt for the Schalke attacking midfielder.

The SEObot that might well be operating Harris won’t bother to follow the link. But we will.  Over there we hear from one Oriol Domenech, who says Real Madrid and Barcelona are in for Leroy Sane.

Number of quotes to support his story: nil. Number of facts of any sort in either story: nil.

In other news, the Mail asks today: “Is Leroy Sane really worth £42m?”

Dunno.

But the clickbait-bonkers International Business Times say he isn’t, declaring in a headline: “Barcelona spy on Schalke 04 starlet Leroy Sane in Bundesliga match ahead of £28.8m summer move.”

A summer move – but to where – and for how much?

 

 

 

Posted: 18th, February 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports | Comment