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manchester united | Anorak - Part 8

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

Talking Balls: ‘Heroic’ Wayne Rooney walks over ‘burnt bridges’ from Manchester United to Everton

Compare and contrast the news that Wayne Rooney has left Manchester United to play for Everton. Having given his best to United – and taken their money – local lad and Everton diehard Wayne is back where his heart lives. The Sun’s Martin Blackburn calls Rooney’s return to Everton “heroic” – a word you might save for men and women who rescue people from burning buildings rather than a man playing football. He continues:

Everton signing Wayne Rooney a no-brainer with Ronald Koeman bringing in a proven Premier League winner… It has been an exciting close season at Goodison — almost £100million spent already on five new faces before the weekend.

Yet you can be sure none of them – or anyone else who arrives, will have gladdened the hearts of the Gwladys Street quite like this one. – The Sun, Martin Blackburn, 9th July 2017

Hurrah for Wayne, the fans’ hero! Or as he said previously:

Wayne Rooney has a huge decision to make on his future – here are the clubs who could bail him out of his Manchester United misery.

They say you should never go back and maybe Rooney should always be remembered as the boy he was at Goodison rather than the veteran he would be if he made the short trip back along the M62.

Koeman already has Romelu Lukaku as his strike leader while Ross Barkley wants to be the play-making No 10. Would that mean no room for Roo?

Perhaps the bridges have been burned too. After all, he is now reviled on Merseyside because of his 12 years at United. – The Sun, Martin Blackburn 25th October 2016

Blackburn awards any Rooney to Everton deal 2 stars out of five.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 12th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Talking balls: Lukaku is ‘unconvincing’ for Chelsea but ‘sensational’ for Manchester United

Compare and contrast the considered and not-in-the-least-bit-biased views of former Manchester United player turned pundit Phil Neville discussing the life and talent of Romelu Lukaku.

Lukaku has joined Manchester United. Says Neville of the “sensational” new player:

“What you’ve got is a young striker who is proven in the Premier League and he’s got great experience at scoring goals.

“He’s a 20-goals-a-season man and maybe more as he’s getting older in a better team with better service. So £75m seems quite a fair price for somebody of that ability and that age.

“There will be a £100m transfer very shortly, I’m convinced of that, so I ignore the fees now and look at the product and the quality the clubs are buying.” – Phil Nevill, BBC Sport, July 10 2017

When Lukaku looked like he was heading to Chelsea, Phil was less certain:

“I’m not so sure [Lukaku would fit in at Man United]. I would prefer United to go out and get Gareth Bale or Antoine Griezmann, I really would… I see him in the big games and I don’t see a player that grabs and wins a big game on his own.

“I still think there are question marks against Lukaku. Jose sold him and he didn’t play that much at Chelsea, so he knows him well.

“I think the ideal signing would be Harry Kane – but I don’t think United will get him. But Griezmann and Bale, I think these are the players that can take United closer to winning the Premier League.” – Phil Neville, talkSport, May 22, 2017

Such are the facts.

Posted: 11th, July 2017 | In: Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Manchester United balls: Jose Mourinho mocks Arsenal, taunts Chelsea and breathes

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho can be a chippy, snide sort of man. But the man who likes to mask his own shortcomings by goading, belittling and mocking others should be impressed at how the tabloids see meaning in his most mundane observations  “Jose Mourinho aims latest dig at Arsene Wenger over Alexandre Lacazette signing,” says the the Daily Express.

 

man JOSE MOURINHO has mocked Arsene Wenger’s decision to sign striker Alexandre Lacazette with Mancheste mourinho express

 

JOSE MOURINHO has mocked Arsene Wenger’s decision to sign striker Alexandre Lacazette with Manchester United saying the striker has “no stamina, no physical impact and is not a big-game player”.

What a sad sack he is. But hold on a moment. Mourinho didn’t say anything of the sort. Indeed, he didn’t say anything at all. The Express continues:

But a United source said: “Lacazette was followed because he was top scorer in French football – but a lot of his goals were penalties [10 of his 28 goals last season came from the spot]. In the end he wasn’t considered because he has no stamina, no physical impact and isn’t a big-game player.”

Words by Mourinho: nil.
Words by anonymous “source”: meaningless.

And then the Daily Mail hears more sniping. This time Mourinho “taunts” Chelsea over Romelu Lukaku.

 

jose man united balls

 

What did he Jose say about his former club to manutd.com?

“Romelu is a natural fit for Manchester United. He is a big personality and a big player. It is only natural that he wants to develop his career at the biggest club. He will be a great addition to the group and I know they will make him very welcome. I am really looking forward to working with him again.”

Words about his former club Chelsea: nil.
Words about Lukaku’s selling club Everton: nil.
Words on how Lukaku is joining Manchester United because he and his agent will earn a shedload of cash: nil.

If it’s like this now, it’s only going to get worse when the actual football starts.

Posted: 11th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment


Manchester United sign Stormzy and Lukaku plays Dublin’s Longitude festival

stormzy lukaku

 

Manchester United didn’t sign Romelu Lukaku from Everton. As Ireland’s Evening Herald newspaper reports, those fools at Old Trafford signed Stormzy in error.

Says the paper’s editor Herald Alan Steenson of its scoop:

Hands up, we got it badly wrong. Earlier, we made an error with a picture of Romelu Lukaku that wasn’t him. It was Stormzy.To be honest, we are totally embarrassed and want to say sorry to all involved and our readers for the error. We will keep our eye on the ball in future.

Lukaku is playing the Longitude festival in Dublin on Friday.

Posted: 10th, July 2017 | In: Celebrities, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Manchester United sign exciting Lukaku; Everton catch Rooney on the way down

Romelu Lukaku is a Manchester United player. He’s joined the Red Devils from Everton for £75m. Chelsea matched Man United’s offer but the Belgian striker chose Jose Mourinho’s current side over Jose Mourinho’s old side – the Blues first signed him in 2011; under Mourinho’s management, they flogged him to Everton.

The BBC says Lukaku’s Chelsea snub was because “The Blues were not willing to match the fees Lukaku’s agent, Mino Raiola, would earn if the forward moved to Old Trafford.”

The other ponderable is that United are shipping Wayne Rooney back to Everton. United get Everton’s best player, a vibrant 24-year-old goal getter who’s improved every season and is blessed with eidetic vision; Everton get a sluggish, fading and jaded talent on a free transfer and huge wages.

The Premier League is not a lever playing field. And now Rooney’s playing for a team running up the slope. He’s not going to get better, is he.

 

Posted: 8th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Transfer Balls: Wayne Rooney to leave Manchester United for Everton on a free transfer

The BBC says Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney, 31, is leaving the club. He’s on his way to Everton. If other moves go according to plan, he’ll team up at Goodison with Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, 30, to form the Premier League’s slowest strike partnership.

The Sun says Rooney, 31, has been withdrawn from Manchester United’s pre-season tour of the USA. The paper also adds that so keen are Manchester United to get Rooney off their books, they’re letting him join Everton on a free transfer. The Toffees will pay Rooney’s £250,000 a week wages for the duration of his two-year deal.

Everton are splashing the cash in readiness for Romelu Lukaku’s £90m return to Chelsea. He’ll be big loss to the club.

 

Posted: 5th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Transfer Balls: Chelsea and Manchester United fans tricked by invisible Matic

Nemanja-Matic-kit

The Invisible Man

 

Transfer Balls: Were you one of the Manchester United fans feeling “exited” when Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic’s was reportedly left out of the Blues’ new kit launch?

The Daily Mirror delivered the news: “Chelsea hint at Matic exit as Manchester United target is left out of kit launch.”  Adding: “Jose Mourinho is keen on the Serbian midfielder, who was nowhere to be seen at the unveiling.”

The Manchester Evening News asked readers: “Have Chelsea hinted Nemanja Matic is joining Manchester United?”

 

And after thousands and thousands of Chelsea and Manchester United fans had clicked the stories, we watched the kit launch video and – yep-  there was Matic in the Londoners’ new blue kit.

The shameless  Mirror duly reported: “Manchester United fans get excited over Nemanja Matic deal – but midfielder IS in Chelsea kit launch.”

Those silly Manchester United fans, eh, believing what they read in the Mirror and their local paper.

 

Posted: 5th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment


Manchester United’s new kit is a study in corporate misery

manchester united new kit

 

We usually see this kind of moody pout on the cover of Christmas books aimed at middle-aged men, you know the things with Jeremy Clarkson, Gordon Ramsay or some celebrity memoirist on the cover. They always look cheesed off with life. At the Manchester United kit launch players contrived much the same miserable look. We got Juan Mata is full proctologist mode. Paul Pogba looking affronted. Jesse Lingard anxious, adopting the pose of a man living in constant fear of a ball to the knackers. Victor Lindelof opted to be shrink-wrapped and laminated.

Manchester United’s stocking filler is the club’s new shirt, which looks a lot like the old shirt. It’s red. It’s got a blinged Swiss flag on it. And it’s got Wayne Rooney in it.

But it’s different. This one is red with black and white cuffs (supposedly inspired by the flags waved at Old Trafford on matchdays) and has a neat little button-up granddad collar. And that’s it.

So similar are old and new kits that clubs should invite fans to spot five differences to qualify for a discount.

 

Posted: 3rd, July 2017 | In: manchester united, News, Sports | Comments (3)


Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney ‘bullied’ in yet another body-shaming attack

When Wayne Rooney finally waves adieu to Manchester United, the tabloids will miss him. He’s been an environment of on-the-clock sex, foul-mouthed rants, rethreading and explosions of ferocious power and sublime skill. When he goes the Sun will produce a special souvenir issue with Shrek toys for the kids, phone-box calling cards for the dads and a hailing of the theme tune from The Adams Family for everyone to click along to when the paper is opened.

It’s been easy to take the Wazz out of Wazza. Given the amount to abuse chucked his way, Rooney might well we reappraised as a model of self restraint.

For an age Rooney has been a figure of fun – and the tabloids have been at the forefront of mocking the most gifted English football of his crop. Rooney has been portrayed as thick, fat and ugly.

 

rooney wayne shrek fat

rooney wayne shrek fat

The Sun salutes the captain

wayne rooney sex

 

 

Today the Mirror – the paper that told readers Rooney had been “kicked out” of the club years before he became United’s all-time top goal scorer – points and laughs at the man. In “The remarkable differences between Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo with their shirts off”, readers are invited to look at “two men of similar age… and very different physiques: “Take a look at Ronaldo and Rooney and “it’s considerably harder to believe that they are of a similar age… particularly when they go topless.”

 

manchester united rooney mirror fat

 

Imagine this were women the paper was talking about, say, comparing Theresa May’s legs to Nichola Sturgeon’s. When the Daily Mail did just that, the Mirror branded the paper “sexist”. Jeremy Corbyn told the paper that supports his Labour Party: “It’s 2017. This sexism must be consigned to history.” It was, said the paper, a “sexist row”. Amelia Womack, deputy leader of the Green Party, called Press watchdog IPSO for “breaking the editors” code and treating women with contempt.

But the Mirror sees a paparazzi photo of Rooney on his holidays and says “given how similar Rooney and Ronnie once were, the recent images of the England captain on holiday in Ibiza become particularly interesting when they are put alongside images of his former team mate. Especially when you remember that the Real Madrid superstar is actually eight months OLDER than the United striker…”

This from the paper that talked of “body-shaming bullies”.

Having diced Rooney into body parts – “the abs”; “the tan”; “the modelling potential” – the Mirror heralds another long lens photo of Rooney minding his own business: “Behold the most unflattering image of England’s record goalscorer you have ever seen.”

Maybe to escape the name calling and body-shaming, Rooney should seek out a new career as an MP? One thing for sure: his skin’s thick enough.

Posted: 28th, June 2017 | In: Back pages, Key Posts, manchester united, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer Balls: Will Ronaldo snub Manchester United for the beer?

Much chatter over Cristiano Ronaldo making a return to play in England. Well, it is the summer and off-season since he left the Manchester for Madrid we get the same story.

Apparently, Ronaldo is no longer in love with Real Madrid. The rumours are many and varied. Ronaldo, 32, wants his agent Jorge Mendes to seal a “dream return” to Manchester United, says the Sun. But Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho (agent: Jorge Mendez) doesn’t want him, says the Daily Star. In Spain, Marca say Real Madrid may yet twist Ronaldo’s arm to remain at the club.

The Daily Mail says Manchester United have £183m to see if spunking loads of cash will iron out any wrinkles. They’ll offer Madrid that gargantuan sum and David de Gea in exchange for Ronaldo and Spain striker Alvaro Morata. The Mirror says United will offer De Gea plus £175m for Ronaldo.

@OfficialBWFC – Bolton Wanderers – have weighed up the pros and cons and “can confirm we won’t be holding talks with Cristiano Ronaldo.”

German third division side Fortuna Koln will go for him. They have offered Ronaldo a lifetime supply of Kolsh, the local beer.

Ronaldo has yet to make any comment.

Posted: 19th, June 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Transfer Balls: Alvaro Morata expects Chelsea move, joins Arsenal and agrees to play for Manchester United

Transfer balls: Alvaro Morata has “agreed to join Manchester United” from Real Madrid. The BBC says a fee of “around £60m” has been agreed.

The Guardian says Morata’s agent, Juanma Lopez, has negotiated a deal for the former Juventus player’s move to United.

But the deal’s not done. And in the greedy world of the football meat trade, nothing is completed until the player pulls on the shirt and kisses the badge. The Guardian adds that negotiations between the clubs may not be straightforward because of friction relating to David de Gea:

United have frustrated Madrid’s attempts to sign the goalkeeper and fear the Spanish club will drive a hard bargain over Morata as a result. The De Gea issue has led to a strained relationship in the past, with a proposed move breaking down in 2015.

The BBC has jumped the gun – just as the Bleacher Report went too soon in 2014, when it reported that Morata had joined Arsenal, which he never did:

 

morata arsenal

Guillem Balague told readers:

Alvaro Morata, the 21-year-old striker who was considered a potential starter at Real Madrid in years to come, has agreed to join Arsenal. Not on loan, but transferred.

 

morata chelsea

 

And in February 2017, Morata was on his way to Chelsea, said the Telegraph:

Chelsea’s hopes of landing a significant transfer blow on Saturday’s opponents Arsenal have been boosted after Álvaro Morata told friends that he expects to move to Stamford Bridge in the summer.

And on May 25, the Express told its readers:

Real Madrid News: Alvaro Morata snubs Manchester United and Chelsea to agree AC Milan move

Either Morata isn’t a man of his word or else the media is full of utter balls.

 

Posted: 10th, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Wayne Rooney committed to Manchester United months ago

Transfer balls: Is Wayne Rooney staying at Manchester United? The Daily Mail has a scoop:

Wayne Rooney may decide to see out Manchester United contract which has one year left to run

 

manchester united rooney

 

Or to put it another way:  Wayne Rooney may not decide to see out Manchester United contract which has one year left to run.

But there is no maybe about any of it. In February 2017, the BBC told us Rooney was staying.

 

 

And before that, back on November 5 2016, the Observer told us Rooney was saying at Old Trafford:

Wayne Rooney is determined to stay at Manchester United until his contract ends in summer 2019 despite losing his place in the first team.

 

 

Rooney’s not going anywhere.

But the Metro likes to guess:

Rooney china

Readers were told:

The 31-year-old has 18 months left on his deal at Old Trafford but has decided to leave after breaking Bobby Charlton’s scoring record last week.

Nope. He didn’t decide to leave. He decided to stay.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 9th, June 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Kylian Mbappe goes from £17,000 to £114m as Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United get dizzy

Transfer balls: there’s lots of chatter about Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United bidding for Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe. The numbers are staggering – and mostly guesswork.

£17,000 – “Chelsea could have signed Kylian Mbappe for £17,000 as a 14-year-old – but SNUBBED the wonderkid” – Daily Mirror

 

 

Kylian Mbappe

 

£230,000 – “Arsenal could have signed Kylian Mbappe for just £230,000 last year” – Daily Mail

Rob Draper tells readers:

Arsenal could have signed Kylian Mbappe for just £230,000 last year but £100m-rated teenager heads list of targets…

He’s worth £100m.

Arsene Wenger’s side have put away €100m (£87.5m) for his signing

Curse those euros and pounds! Arsenal don’t have enough.

What do the other reports say – all are from this year?

£60m  – “INTER MILAN believe they can sign one of Europe’s most-wanted talents, Kylian Mbappe, on a discounted £60million fee.” – Express

£70m – “PARIS ST-GERMAIN are reportedly ready to offer £70m for Monaco sensation Kylian Mbappe.” – Daily Star

£80m – “Mbappe: Monaco’s £80m teenager” –  The Times

£85m – “Kylian Mbappe ‘says yes’ to Real Madrid move as Premier League giants appear to miss out on £85m starlet” – Daily Mail

£87m – “YOU’RE KYDDING ME Arsenal could have signed Kylian Mbappe for just £230,000 but could now have to spend over £87million for the Monaco striker” – Sun

£96m – “Monaco reject £96m bid for Kylian Mbappe from English club” – Express

£100m – “Manchester United enter £100million race to sign Monaco star Kylian Mbappe” – Manchester Evening News

£105m – “Arsenal have had a €100million euro (£87million) bid for Kylian Mbappe rejected by Monaco.” – Daily Telegraph

The offer is the third turned down already this summer by the French champions, including a world-record fee of €120million (£105million) made by Real Madrid.

£114m – “The France international, apparently valued by Monaco at a massive £114m” – Daily Star

 

And up it goes – where it stops, nobody knows.

Posted: 5th, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Griezmann didn’t ‘snub’ United he stayed loyal to Atletico

Transfer balls: After all the chatter and scoops about Antoine Griezmann agreeing to join Manchester United for £280,000 a week, the France striker is staying at Atletico Madrid. The Spanish club have been banned from transfers for breaching Fifa rules over the signing of minors.

So does Griezmann ask to move on for loads more cash? No.

“It’s a hard time for the club,” Griezmann tells French television. “It would be a dirty move to leave now – we talked to the leaders and we will be back for next season.”

 

Griezman man united

 

Gotta love him.

 

 

Posted: 4th, June 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Transfer Balls: Manchester United’s £300m splurge

Transfer Balls: a look at iffy football transfer reporting. The Daily Mail says Manchester United have targeted “Antoine Griezmann, Andrea Belotti, Romelu Lukaku and Michael Keane in a £300m summer spree”.

That’s spending big. Ian Ladyman has the facts and figures. Or rather, he doesn’t. What he tells readers of which players Jose Mourinho wants at Manchester United is:

There are likely to be four. Burnley defender Michael Keane will be one, with the Lancashire club wanting £30million for the United old boy, while Mourinho wants the Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann to be his stellar signing.

Who else?

Do not be surprised if Marcus Rashford ponders a request to go out on loan, meanwhile. The chances are quite slim of the 19-year-old England striker playing in his favoured position once somebody such as Griezmann arrives.

And that’s it. The headline figure of £300m is fabricated. Ladyman mentions two players, whose combined transfer fees would register around £120m. The other £180m is made up of a sub-editor lobbing in the names Andrea Belotti and Romelu Lukaku.

And because the media works in a continual voracious feeding frenzy, what one newspaper prints the others copy. The Sun duly thunders:

QUIDS IN FOR JOSE Manchester United target Antoine Griezmann, Romelu Lukaku, Michael Keane, Andrea Belotti and Eric Dier in staggering £200m-plus transfer spree.

Five players!

The Sun tells readers:

According to The Times, up to £200million has been set aside as Mourinho looks to continue rebuilding the struggling squad he inherited from Louis van Gaal.

But over there, the Times only mentions three players –  “Griezmann, Dier, Keane in £200m spree”.

The trick is to get the names one source makes an educated guess at and then add another and round the price tag up to the nearest £100m.

 

 

Posted: 26th, May 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Manchester City and Manchester United players dig deep for the city’s victims

Manchester City pair Pablo Zabaleta and Yaya Toure have donated a lot of money to the relief effort following the attack in Manchester Arena.

The Sun says:

Zabaleta showed just why he is so respected as a man across the city […] by donating £90,000 from his final match fee.

Meanwhile, Toure did likewise…

Yaya Toure and his agent Dimitri Seluk to donate £100,000 to help the victims of the attack in Manchester last night

 Seluk later told Sky Sports News:

The news an eight-year-old girl went to see her favourite singer and didn’t return home is too much to bear.

Yaya and I want to help. We talked this morning about what happened and he asked me what he thought we could do.

We have agreed to donate £50,000 each to help the victims of this terrible crime. It doesn’t matter whether the victims are from Manchester or not.

Those of us lucky enough to work every day in football can do so because of the generosity of fans across the world.

Yaya is from Cote D’Ivoire, I am Russian. It doesn’t matter. Today is a chance for those of us in football to help out.

Former Manchester Untied player Phil Neville had a van-load of food delivered to a local children’s hospital after hearing their supplies were running low.

Brilliant.

Posted: 24th, May 2017 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: James Rodriguez to Manchester United is a dead cert – place your bets!

Transfer Balls: Is James Rodriguez on his way to Manchester United? Is the player not good enough to start for Real Madrid for more than two matches in a row good enough for Manchester United?

On May 16, the Daily Mail said a deal has been agreed. “James Rodriguez ‘agrees’ Manchester United transfer,” said the paper.

Why the Mail saw a need to couch the agreement in inverted commas is odd because the story begins with a statement of fact: “James Rodriguez’s summer move to Manchester United will be confirmed following the Champions League final next month.”

In a second story, this time about Real Madrid replacing Rodriguez with Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, the Mail confirmed the news: “The 25-year-old Madrid signed for £60million in 2014, and who is represented by Jose Mourinho’s agent Jorge Mendes, had agreed terms with Manchester United.”

And then the facts got a little murky. Sky Sports reported on May 15:

“European Paper Talk: Has James Rodriguez played his last game for Real Madrid?”

Dunno. Because Marca then told its readers on May 18:

“After missing the match against Celta, James Rodriguez has recovered from his ankle injury and will be available for Real Madrid’s last LaLiga game against Malaga on Sunday.”

And then in two stories dated May 16 Sky mused:

“European Paper Talk: Real Madrid set James Rodriguez asking price”

“Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez offered to Man Utd”

Offered to United? But the deal has been agreed. Or as the Indy puts it:

“Under Zinedine Zidane this season, Rodriguez has not once played more than two consecutive games for Real and United are, quite frankly, not interested in the 25-year-old…”

Football 365 picked up the scent of the betting companies feeding off the rumours.

There is no issue with those headlines, and Sky Sports were hardly alone in running them, but when partner Sky Bet then offers odds on James Rodriguez joining Manchester United, it’s not hard to see how those headlines might persuade the public to part with their money.

 

James Rodgriguez Sky Manchester united

 

Is it news of is it PR for the betting industry?

Says 365:

Fast forward further and most reports on Wednesday morning now say that Rodriguez is not close to a move to Manchester United, that no offer is being made by United and that claims he has agreed personal terms are false. And lo and behold, Sky Bet have opened up their market again to take bets on where Rodriguez ends up next.

Indeed, in a story updated after 6pm on May 18, Sky reports that there are odds on Rodriguez joining Manchester United. Betting is no longer suspended on what has been presented as a dead cert. Quick – get your money on it while you can!

James Rodgriguez Sky Manchester united

 

James Rodgriguez Sky Manchester united

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 19th, May 2017 | In: Back pages, Key Posts, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment (1)


Manchester Evening Post’s fake news pledge and Arsenal spin in the Mirror

Forget all that Clickbait balls and Transfer Balls and all the other balls designed to seduce football fans to click on the ads. The Manchester Evening News is going factual. It might be contagious and impact on other titles owned by Trinity Mirror. This is the MEN’s mission statement:

Sport, like news, is a perpetual motion machine. The pace of change is increasingly rapid, not just on the pitch but in the press box too.

After all, what is a sports journalist in 2017? Outstanding bloggers interrogate coaches at press conferences, long-loved fanzines have gone digital, reaching millions of readers every year and supporters are turning the cameras on themselves; democratising the games we love and presenting an unprecedented landscape to traditional media outlets.

Supporters and lovers of sport crave authenticity. To be a fan is to join a community, to share a common language that transcends accents or post codes. It is our job, as the regional experts around our clubs and personalities, to generate and reflect these communities and their conversations every day.

To be trusted by the people who go to games and know our teams inside out is a great privilege. Plenty changes in sport, but that remains the same. When you see a sea of headlines about your club, looking out for the title based closest to the club in question in the best way to ensure you’re getting the real story from your clubs.

Why? Because we don’t just report on our clubs, we live and work amongst its fans too. It’s a matter of trust.

We know what fans want because we are them ourselves. But we also know that fans want facts – no matter how much we’d all want to believe that Ronaldo is about to sign for our club. That’s what sets us apart from those organisations who just want your click. We want your trust.

Good for them. Fans of Manchester United and Manchester City will get the facts and only the facts.news: ”

In 0ther MEN news: “‘Have Manchester United dropped transfer hints about the futures of De Gea and Rooney?”

Answer: No.

 

manchester evening news arsenal

 

Meanwhile, over at MEN stablemate the Daily Mirror, the top story online (at the time of writing) is “JOHN CROSS: Wenger out? A shakeup is imminent and he could still leave Arsenal this summer – there are various factors at play.”

Could leave?

Can this be the same john Cross who told Mirror readers that Wenger is “STAYING” at Arsenal and…

 

wenger stays arsenal

 

…not staying at Arsenal?

 

Daily Mirror wenger quits Arsenal

 

It’s not fake news. It’s just to-deadline guesswork.

Posted: 10th, May 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Arsenal end Manchester United’s incredibly boring 25-match unbeaten run

Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Manchester United is hailed in the Press. But before a look at the back pages, a word from Sachin Nakrani‏, the Guardian’s sports features editor. He’s at the office:

Sub editor 1: “They’re chanting ‘Fuck off Mourinho’ at the Emirates”

Sub editor 2: “Which end?”

Highlight of my day, that.

And that’s Jose Mourinho, isn’t it. He’s the brattish kid on tennis camp, a little shorter than most but he’s carrying the oversized racket and always has a can of new balls. In Jose’s monocular vision, Arsenal did not beat Manchester United. Manchester United let Arsenal win, gamely allowing the Gunners to score all the game’s goals and end United’s 25-match unbeaten run. And – boy – what roller coaster of thrills that’s been right.

Having been beaten, Mourinho “sarcastically disparaged the importance of his first competitive defeat to Arsène Wenger” (Times) . He said:

“I left Highbury and they were crying, I left Emirates and they were crying. Finally today they sing, they swing the scarves. It’s nice for them… It is the first time I leave and they are happy. Before they were walking the streets with their heads low. The Arsenal fans are happy and I am happy for them.”

And on he goes:

“Do not think I am happy they are not winning trophies. Arsène Wenger is a big manager so my record [not previously losing a Premier League game to him] is not normal. Normal is win, lose, draw. I really don’t care about it today. We shook hands and during the game I don’t like what I never like. He puts too much pressure on the fourth official.”

Alex Hess tweets:

Helluva job Mourinho’s done with history’s most expensive squad: won twice vs top six, fewer goals than Bournemouth, will finish 5th or 6th.

And that hurts the brand:

Manchester United are at risk of triggering a financial penalty in their £750m kit deal with Adidas should they fail to qualify for this season’s Champions League.

United will suffer a 30 per cent cut to their annual £75m payment from the German sportswear giant if they finish outside of the top four. This means the club will lose more than £20m in sponsorship income.

So the back pages, then, which all lead with Mourinho.

 

Arsenal manchester united Arsenal manchester united Arsenal manchester united Arsenal manchester united Arsenal manchester united Arsenal manchester united Arsenal manchester united Arsenal manchester united

Posted: 8th, May 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Manchester United balls: talkSport experts pathetic bicker over Marcus Rashford’s goal

Just when you thought British football coverage had reached its nadir, TalkSPORT go and plumb brave new depths of tawdry drivel. Discussing Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Celta Vigo on Alan Brazil’s ‘Sports Breakfast’ radio show on Friday morning, studio guest Ray Wilkins got himself embroiled in a childlike quarrel with Neil Custis, football writer for The Sun, on the other end of the phone.

 

Spotter: Pies

Posted: 5th, May 2017 | In: manchester united, Sports, TV & Radio | Comment


Manchester United balls: Zlatan’s farewell party

Nursing an injury that that pretty much ended his career at Manchester United, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is, according to The Sun, planning to take “50 club staff and players out for a ‘thank you’ dinner.”

“The Swedish striker, 35, is paying for the first team, coaches and support staff, including masseurs and groundsmen to join him for the meal.”

As of Q1, 2016, Manchester United PLC employed 837 full-time employees. Making a list of who’s in and who’s out might be more problematic than its worth. Zlatan might be better off going with option b: a gold statue of himself stood in the centre circle.

PS: the restaurant picks itself.

18 Jul 2016 – “Louis van Gaal and wife Truus take one more trip to Wing’s Chinese restaurant in Manchester.”

9 August 2016: “WING WIZARD Paul Pogba toasts record £109m move with Chinese takeaway from famous Wing’s”

17 Feb  2017: “‘LA POGBANCE’ Paul Pogba, brother Florentin and family have a rave in Old Trafford tunnel before heading out to Wings restaurant for dinner in Manchester”

All in the Sun.

Posted: 1st, May 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Media Bias: Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford ‘dives’ in Swansea but soars in Manchester

Congratulation to the talented actor and Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford for redefining the phrase “honest English footballer” and in the words of Swansea City manager Paul Clement going “down way before there was contact” and “deceiving” the referee. Rashford’s performance earned United a penalty, and with it another goal for Wayne Rooney. Thankfully, Rashford’s slippery shoes did not cost Swansea City too dear, as the Swans scored late on to tie the match.

So how did the clubs’ respective websites see the incident?

Swansea City FC: “Marcus Rashford got in behind, prompting Fabianski to race off his line. The Swans keeper slid out only to stop himself making contact with Rashford, yet the young striker stuck out a foot to catch Fabianski and then tumbled to the turf.”

Manchester United FC: “…Lingard unleashed a rasping effort which flew wide of the far post, before he then played in Rashford, who was brought down by Fabianski in the box after poking the ball past him.”

What about the local Press?

Wales Online: “Replays showed Lukasz Fabianski had pulled out of his challenge on Marcus Rashford, and that the United striker was already falling to the deck before making contact with the Poland international.”

A dive, then.

The site delivers “Chris Wathan’s verdict”:

Well that is a disgraceful decision and you only fear how costly that will prove. A horrible dive from Rashford who made the decision to go down before Fabianski pulled out. Referee Swarbrick seemed to take an age to point to the spot and the linesman in Swansea’s half was the opposite side of the pitch, blinded by bodies.You can’t say this is what Clement would have wanted because somehow Swansea find themselves behind to a hugely controversial decision when they probably should be ahead.

Manchester Evening News: “PENALTY!”

Rashford frustrated by lack of passes to run onto but first time he really does and Swansea defence panicked.

 

manchester united bias

 

 

Of course, Rashford’s English and an England player, which means he’s not a diver. Take this from Michael Owen, formerly of Manchester United and England, as quoted on the MEN’s live blog:

“The keeper has made a bad decision and you think,’I’m going to find the contact somewhere’. You see Rashford – his knees buckle and he realises Fabianski’s pulled his arms away. Yes. It ends up a dive. Your waiting to be hit. You’re never going to plant your foot that situation. I’ve done it before and had my foot broken. If your foot’s off the ground, you’re not going to get hurt – you just ride the challenge. It’s a situation where you don’t want to get hurt however you still want a penalty. It ended up a dive but your sort of protecting yourself.”

It’s not cheating. It’s being sensible. Unless you’re a dirty foreigner, in which case, it’s disgusting.

 

Posted: 30th, April 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Victim blaming Arsenal’s Sanchez and Manchester City’s Aguero is just about understandbale

The talk is of faking it. First Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez was accused of making too much of being hit by the ball. Sanchez was standing close to the edge of the pitch as Leicester City’s Christian Fuchs was set to throw a long one into the mixer. This upset the Leicester man, causing him to send the ball hard into the Chilean’s face. Sanchez went down in stages, as they stay, and held his face. When Sanchez finally got to his feet, the referee booked him and awarded Leicester a free kick.

 

 

Questions were asked. Why had Fuchs not been booked? Had Sanchez gone down easily? Why hadn’t he performed the classic manoeuvre favoured by nearly all top-flight footballers of holding his face and then checking the hands for signs of blood, eyeball and brain? Is someone called Fuchs more liable to produce a XXX-rated challenge on primetime telly and would he risk a similar balls-in assault on Marseille full-back Rod Fanni?

 

 

The other incident of  “letting him know you’re there” came in the Manchester derby. Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was upset that Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero had gone to ground after being headbutted by Marouane Fellaini, who was sent off for his brazen foul.

Given the impressive bounce of hair on the big Belgian’s head, you’d suppose a headbutt from him would be akin to being wrapped in cashmere towels by a flash mob of cuddlers. Mourinho thinks as much. “I didn’t watch but probably I can guess it’s a bit of a red card and that it’s a bit of a very experienced, smart Argentinian player,” he opined with customary bitchiness. “Marouane says it was a red card because he is Marouane, Martin Atkinson told me in his opinion it was a red card but I saw Aguero in the tunnel – no broken nose, no broken head, his face is as nice as always. So, I am not so sure. I think if Sergio doesn’t go to the floor, for sure it is not a red card. But if Marouane gave him the chance to do that… I don’t know.”

Fellaini hit the baths early, where we hope he took more than one bottle into the shower, possibly three or four to ensure that any future clash of heads would be softer than a Labrador’s loo roll. One wonders what would occur if the big clumsy Belgian went curls to curls with Chelsea’s spring-topped David Luiz. Some see a hideous tangle resulting in the world’s first Siamese-style twin footballers; while others go for the huge ricochet sending each man hurtling into the stands at opposite sides of the ground.

As for Sanchez and Aguero, well, you could call them innocent parties on the wrong end of victim blaming. But Sanchez was being irritating. And Aguero did make the most of it. It’s not black and white. If you are a footballer interfering with a member of the opposition’s attempts to salvage something from a match his side are behind in, the likelihood of your being smacked in the face with the ball is higher than if you had retreated. Likewise, staring up into the eyes of the man who has just committed a yellow-card worthy foul on your person seconds after he’s been carded and calling him names, raises the prospect of further mischief.

This does not remotely mitigate the guilt of the fouler, but it does place the offence in context*.

*Unless you’re Joey Barton.

This post was sponsored by Smart Bets.

Posted: 29th, April 2017 | In: Arsenal, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports | Comments (2)


Transfer balls: Morata to Chelsea (if Arsenal let him leave)

Transfer Balls – fake news for football: The BBC says Chelsea “have reached an agreement” to sign striker Alvaro Morata, 24, from Real Madrid. The Beeb’s source is Spanish site Diario Gol. As ever, I like to use Google Translate to tell the source’s story.

 

morata real madrid

 

The headline’s a belter: “Morata lynch to a crack of Real Madrid: the checkmate to Zidane.”

The teaser’s good too: “The one of The Factory explodes against the mister.”

Diego Castro’s words according to Google Translate are:

The worst. Karim Benzema was signing one of the weakest seasons since joining Real Madrid in 2009 . The goalkeeper has scored the same goals as Álvaro Morata in almost double the number of minutes played. The canterano has played 1,593 minutes , while the French accumulates 2,597 ‘ .

Benzema is no goalkeeper. But the gist is that Morata is the better striker of the two.

But what about Chelsea? Well, Morata has “never been the first choice of Zizou”. Adding: “The French strategist always opted publicly for his compatriot, regardless of the level of his players… Zidane always put him ahead of the team’s needs.”

And Chelsea? Only this: “Morata has been wanting for Chelsea for weeks, with more than a verbal agreement.”

It’s not exactly done and dusted. The Week says Morata is only “among potential targets” for Chelsea. The Daily Star says Morata might be heading to Manchester United. And Corriere dello Sport says AC Milan will outbid Chelsea for Morata’s signature.

So there’s no agreement, then. Which makes it odd that the Daily Star can announce that the deal taking Morata to Chelsea has been done:

alvaro morata chelsea daily star

 

And let’s not forget that according to these fine sources, Morata plays for Arsenal:

alvaro morata arsenal

Such are the facts.

Posted: 20th, April 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Dirty tackle: Manchester United’s Ander Herrera gets inside Chelsea’s Hazard

Manchester United beat Chelsea 2-0 in yesterday’s Premier League clash. The result puts United in position for a charge into the top four and thus qualification to next season’s Champions League and reduces Chelsea’s lead at the top of the table to just four points over a buoyant Spurs.

The game also coughed up two images, both of which feature on the back pages.  The Mirror calls is “Squeaky Bum time”, a headline more suited to the image on the Times’s back page.

 

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As United’s Ander Herrera finds work as proctologist, we recall an other great Manchester United meeting, when the club’s Rio Ferdinand got a thorough going over from Man City’s Carlos Tevez.

 

Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League

 

File under: Dirty Tackle.

Posted: 17th, April 2017 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment