Anorak

Sports | Anorak - Part 4

Sports Category

Sports news, commentary and scores with wit and added value. We compare and contrast the best and worst sports reporting in the mainstream press, blogs, TV and online. We love the English Premier League (Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs, Manchester United and Manchester City) and all things football but we cover cricket, rugby, the Olympics, tennis, golf, F1 and highlights of the sporting year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jose Mourinho is now manager at Spurs.

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


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

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

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


Premier League: suspend season as Leicester players catch Coronavirus

After the N.B.A. suspended its season on Wednesday after one Utah Jazz player tested positive for coronavirus, the Premier League is under pressure to call off the current football season as three Leicester City players get the bug. In Spain, La Liga has been suspended for “at least the next two rounds of matches” because the entire Real Madrid squad is into quarantine because of coronavirus.

“We had a few players that have shown symptoms and signs,” said Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers. “It would be a shame if the Watford game were postponed], but the public’s health is the most important in all of this. The game is all about the players and the fans and if you have one of those not there, it’s obviously not the same.”

Time to call the season off. Hard cheese, Liverpool.

Posted: 12th, March 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Sports | Comment


The (Non) Fighting Cock: Eric Dier launches one man stands invasion at Spurs

Eric Dier crowd

Not long after Spurs lost at home to Norwich in the FA Cup, Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier dashed into the stands to confront a member of the self-described ‘Yid Army’ who he felt had “insulted” him. (No – he’s wasn’t going to fetch the ball after teammate Erik Lamela’s missed penalty.) Aside from the obvious point that few Spurs fans knew the big lummox could act with such pace and passion, what happened next was every bit as forgettable as a Dier performance on the pitch. A few videos of the moment appeared over Twitter. But aside from Dier moving forwards and fans moving sidewards to get a closer look, nothing occurred. Cantona’s kung-fu kick at Crystal Palace reminds the unsullied benchmark of ad-libbed pro-fan interaction.

Spurs’ thin-skinned manager Jose Mourinho was moved to tell media: “I think Eric did what we professionals cannot do but probably every one of us would do.”

Minds turn to Mourinho’s snide poke in the eye of an opposing coach when boss at Real Madrid match and being menaced by former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Mourinho’s fighting prowess is pretty much on a par with players and fans of his latest club:

For those of who missed Eric’s moment of nothingness, here it is:

And for those of you want to see another Eric at it, here that is.

The Football Association and Tottenham are investigating the incident. Others are working out of Cantona (85) is still faster than Eric Dier (8).

Posted: 5th, March 2020 | In: News, Sports, Spurs | Comment


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

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

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

The Rules state:

The FA Rules

PLAYING IN A DANGEROUS MANNER

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

The BBC notes:

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

Such are the facts…

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


Arsenal balls: Mustafi will walk again

Mustafi injured
Tosh.com

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

The Mirror milks it

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

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

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


Transfer balls: Jadon Sancho to Liverpool or Manchester United says clickbait insider

jadon sancho

Sky Sports says its reporter Kaveh Solhekol has the inside line” on Jadon Sancho’s future. Sky tweets: “@SkyKaveh has the inside line on Jadon Sancho’s future.” And the future is linking him with move to Liverpool. So what is the ‘inside line” from “The Insider”?

It is difficult to say where Jadon Sancho will be playing next season because so many clubs want him…

But The Insider knows:

Manchester United are confident they can get Sancho in the summer…

Bayern Munich would love to keep him in the Bundesliga…

…I was a betting man my money would be on Liverpool.

The inside line is that the insider doesn’t know where Sancho will be playing next season, but if he does leave Dortmund it will be very possibly for a big club with lots of money. You heard it here second, folks. And you can read it all over Google, too, where the thoughts of a man who doesn’t know are big news:

jadon sancho

Such are the facts…

Posted: 21st, February 2020 | In: Liverpool, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment


Male and female football fans unite in demand an end to all-seater stadia

Safe Standing

With the Premier League now a made-for-TV sport, fans who actually bother to go to matches crave the noise, fun and camaraderie of what’s been lost. And that goes for women and men. Emily Broome, vice chair of the Huddersfield Town Supporters Association, puts the case for standing at the game.

Says @StandUpForTown: “When the powers that be were running out of arguments, they suggested that #safestanding areas would discourage women & girls from attending matches.  Here’s @embr00me asking them to drag themselves into the 21st century.”

“Safe standing”, or “standing” as it was called before football was repurposed as a problem, went out after the Hillsborough disaster. In 1989 the police and State colluded to falsely blame the 96 people who lost their lives. When the fans trapped behind the fences called for help, police called in the dogs. They tested bodies in the morgue for alcohol. Disgusting. Shameful. It wasn’t the victims. It wasn’t the survivors and the people who lost friends and loved ones that dreadful day. It was the presentation from the top of football as a “slum sport for slum people“. It was treating football fans as a problem, criminals-in-waiting and deserving of punishment. It was the State’s lust for control.

Now we want our game back. We want to stand if we want to.

Posted: 19th, February 2020 | In: News, Sports | Comment


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

kids spurs

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

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

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

kids spurs

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

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

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


Manchester United takes on the Sun – Liverpool fans nod

Manchester united the sun woodward

Loathed in Liverpool for its reporting on the Hillsborough disaster which saw 96 Liverpool fans lose their lives, could the Sun be about to lose Manchester, too? Manchester United have accused the Sun of receiving advanced notice of last month’s attack on the house of the club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward. “A smoke bomb and fireworks” were thrown towards his home and there were chants that he was “going to die”, reported the Sun. They were “disgusting scenes”.

United allege the Presence of a reporter “both encouraged and rewarded the perpetrators”. Manchester United think the Sun had advanced notice of the attack. Say United:

“The Club believes that the Sun newspaper had received advance notice of the intended attack, which included criminal damage and intent to intimidate, and that the journalist was present as it happened. The quality of the images accompanying the story indicate that a photographer was also present.”

Incredible stuff.

Posted: 7th, February 2020 | In: manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


The haunting opening credits to the Jimmy Greaves chat show (1988)

In 1988, Central TV hired former England footballer Jimmy Greaves to front a chatshow. The intro was interesting:

Jimmy featured “surprise guests” and a weekly progress report from Frank Bruno’s training camp. In February 1989, Bruno challenged Mike Tyson for the undisputed world heavyweight title. Bruno lost in three rounds. Jimmy lasted not much longer.

Posted: 6th, February 2020 | In: Celebrities, Sports, TV & Radio | Comment


Chelsea Transfer balls: a BBC masterclass in bullshit.com

Signs the BBC’s football ‘Gossip’ page writer has had enough of working at bullshit.com. Today’s rumour mill dust is an exercise in ‘question asked / question answered’.

In other words: nothing happened. There is no news.

Posted: 31st, January 2020 | In: Chelsea, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Arsenal save £59m on Thomas Lemar

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

Thomas Lemar Arsenal
Daily Express scoop!

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

lemar Arsenal

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

Or not:

Lemar arsenal

Or yes:

Lemar Arsenal

Such are the facts.

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


Everton draw badly after innovative team sheet

Everton drawn teem sheet

The game between Everton and Newcastle United ended 2-2. Everton were 2-0 up at 90 minutes. In the 5th and 6th minutes of injury time, Newcaslte drew. It was – irony of ironies – a bad draw for Everton.

Posted: 21st, January 2020 | In: Sports | Comment


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

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

The Sheffield United Equaliser

Sheffield United website:

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

Arsenal website:

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

The Guardian:

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

Sky:

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

Sheffield Star:

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

BBC:

Fleck hit a deflected shot into the far corner

The Penalty Shout

Arsenal:

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

Sheffield United:

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

Make your own minds up:

Such are the facts.

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


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

cavani

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Such are the facts…

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


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

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

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

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


Watch VAR cheat Norwich against Spurs

Norwich v Spurs. Norwich score a good goal. But a man in a van miles away from the action says it’s offside. And that’s how TV, advertising and the lust for money finally killed the game we love. How long before they show us an advert while we await confirmation for every goal?

Posted: 28th, December 2019 | In: Sports, Spurs | Comment


Transfer balls: Xhaka to Hertha Berlin

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

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

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

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

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


Arsenal balls: Arteta is the new manager

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

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

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

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


Arsenal smack down Ozil on China; Kroenke holidays in Rwanda

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil says China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims is abhorrent. It is. He says the Uighurs are “warriors who resist persecution”. He then added on the Chinese microblog Weibo, where he has over 4m followers: “[In China] Qurans are burned, mosques were closed down, Islamic theological schools, madrasas were banned, religious scholars were killed one by one. Despite all this, Muslims stay quiet.”

So upset was China that the state broadcaster CCTV banned the broadcast of Arsenal’s Premier League game against Manchester City. (To anyone watching in China, Arsenal won 4-1 and were magnificent.)

“China’s Communist Party propaganda outlets can censor Mesut Özil and Arsenal’s game all season long, but the truth will prevail,” says US secretary of state Mike Pompeo. “The CCP can’t hide its gross human rights violations perpetrated against Uighurs and other religious faiths from the world.”

The United Nations says as many as 2m Uighur Muslims have been locked up in Xinjiang. Beijing calls it an antiterrorism campaign. Detaining that many people sounds like something far more sinister.

China’s Foreign Ministry says Özil “had been completely deceived by fake news and false statements”. Fans in China have been burning Arsenal shirts.

Arsenal backed their man to the hilt. Er, no. They caved, commenting on Chinese social media: “The content he expressed is entirely Özil’s personal opinion.” The club that’s now the London office of Kroenke inc, then guffed: “Arsenal has always adhered to the principle of not involving itself in politics.” Good-oh. Josh Kroenke can read up on how to look the other way when he’s taking his holidays in Rwanda.

Here’s what Human Rights Watch has to say about the country Arsenal advertise on their shirts:

Tight restrictions on freedom of speech and political space remain in place, contrasting with solid results on economic development. Amendments to the constitution allowing President Paul Kagame to stand for a third term were approved in a referendum in December 2015. Kagame announced he would run for a third term. The government continues to limit the ability of opposition parties and civil society groups to function freely and independently in advance of the August 2017 presidential elections. Pro-government views dominate domestic media. Journalists who dare to question the official narrative are harassed or arrested. The authorities detained people unlawfully in unofficial detention centers; some were held incommunicado and tortured.

If you’re not going to back Ozil and say that importing British football means importing British values, then best to say nothing. Arsenal stuffed up – again.

Posted: 17th, December 2019 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment


Transfer Balls: Jadon Sancho ‘joins’ Liverpool, ‘likely’ to join Manchester United and some stuff about Chelsea

The Mirror tells readers that Manchester United are “confident” of signing Borussia Dortmund’s England winger Jadon Sancho, 19, this coming January. Number of facts to support this story: none.

Indeed, the Sun says Sancho is “more likely” to join Liverpool. Number of facts to support the news: none. “Jadon Sancho ‘more likely to join Liverpool’ than transfer rivals Man Utd and Chelsea,” says the Sun. Who says the words “more likely”? Er, the Sun.

talkSport muses: “Jadon Sancho to Chelsea?” It doesn’t know. It has no idea. But the broadcaster’s man in the don’t-know will bash out a few words on maybe and maybe not. So maybe Chelsea.

“Jadon Sancho makes Liverpool and Man Utd transfer decision,” says the Express. He does? No. But if he has done, no-one’s telling. Utter tosh.

But hold on a moment. The Liverpool Echo has a scoop. It says Sancho joined them in January – next January! “This is what happened when we ‘signed’ Jadon Sancho for Liverpool in January,” reports the paper. And readers get to read about a football game that guesses about stuff – much like the Press.

Posted: 13th, December 2019 | In: Chelsea, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Arsenal: Kroenke empty-chaired at Arteta interview

Arsenal remain utterly clueless in their hunt for a new manager. Having erred with Unai Emery, who lasted just 18 months, the hapless, greedy Gunners ownership are eyeing Manchester City assistant manager Mikel Arteta.

Uncertain as to what the job involves, Team Kroenke will put Arteta through a “lengthy interview process” (Sunday Telegraph), or what the Mirror terms “an Apprentice style interview”, presumably with Josh Kroneke and Edu sat either side of an empty chair. Owner Stan Kroenke is notable only by his absence.

Back in 1996, Arsenal knew they wanted Arsene Wenger and were prepared to wait for him. Bruce Rioch was sacked and the club wallowed and bid their time.

Can Arteta be the man to make it right again? Don’t bank on it. Back then Arsenal had David Dein as vice-chairman, a die-hard Arsenal fan who spotted Wenger’s potential and wooed him, buying Patrick Vieira on the new man’s nod before Wenger was even in place. Dein and Wenger worked in harmony.

Now they have Josh Kroenke running the show, the son of a man who see Arsenal as the London branch of his empire.

Posted: 8th, December 2019 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers checks his DNA

No chance, then, that Brendan Rodgers will leave Leicester City, a team vying for the title and a Champions League place mid-stream. “I’ll give my life to make the supporters proud of their club,” Rodgers said when he joined Leicester having left Celtic half-way through a season with another domestic trouble on the cards.

The trick for Rodgers, for whom Arsenal is cooed as his “dream club”, is to make Leicester believe his departure is inevitable, the dancing of a talented and ambitious man. The Leicester owners are unsentimental, as the dismissal of title winner Claudio Ranieri proves. They might respect a man who wants to go on to bigger things, having served his time at Watford, Reading and Swansea City before be came within a Steven Gerrard slip of winning the title with Liverpool.

For now, of course, Arsenal are being coached by Freddie Ljungberg, who says he’ll accept Arsene Wenger’s offer of a chat before the Gunners play Brighton. They might discuss Josh Kroenke, the owner’s son sent to Big Co’s provincial London outposts to protect the brand. Kroenke pressed flesh at the club’s training ground last week, barfing out Ljungberg having “Arsenal DNA”. If having Arsenal hard-wired into your genetic code is the recipe for an Arsenal boss, then Kroenke fails his own test. A peek into any Kroenke blood sample would most likely the codes for bank accounts.

Does Rodgers have Arsenal DNA? Did Unai Emery? Maybe examining their stools can tell Josh more about what the future holds for his project. Because right now, he look clueless.

Posted: 4th, December 2019 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment