Sports | Anorak - Part 70

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.

Chelsea: Mourinho on the sack, Liverpool missing out, Manchester United the monster

José Mourinho is on the backpages. And the Chelsea manager is mocking the tabloid Press:




Mourinho says:

“What I’d like to understand is why some people can be so excited with somebody losing his job. It’s sad. The Brendan Rodgers situation, he was almost winning the Premier League. He was the manager of the season. He won the award from Barclays, the Managers’ Association and everything. And suddenly, you were working hard until he was sacked. It’s strange. I don’t belong to this world. I’m too emotional. I hate people losing jobs. Not just in football but in everything.”

He’s right. All managers do their best. Getting the sack is brutal.

You might spare a thought for Anders Frisk. This from 2005:

The 42-year-old refereed Barcelona’s controversial 2-1 first-leg Champions League win over Chelsea in February. Blues boss Jose Mourinho said his Barcelona counterpart Frank Rijkaard talked with Frisk in the referee’s changing room at halftime. The London club was also unhappy when Frisk sent off striker Didier Drogba in the second half.

Uefa has branded Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho “the enemy of football” as they asked referee Anders Frisk to reconsider his decision to retire. Mourinho criticised his display against Barcelona in the Champions League. Frisk quit after receiving death threats, and Uefa referees’ committee chairman Volker Roth accused Mourinho. He said: “We can’t accept that one of our best referees has been forced to quit because of this. People like Mourinho are the enemy of football.”

Rijkaard said of Mourinho: “What he said was a pack of lies, very serious lies, and it is not the first time.”




Chelsea – 15th place in the Barclays Premier League; 11 points from ten matches – could easily finish in the top-four finish and secure Champions League football for next season.

Mourinho gets it. He tells media:

“Chelsea is a big club — the club I chose to come to, a club [where] I live in a very specific way, with respect. Liverpool is a big club. Manchester United is a super-big club. Last season Liverpool won nothing and didn’t qualify for the Champions League and they are still a big club. Two seasons ago United didn’t qualify for the Champions League — not even Europa League — and won nothing and they are still a monster club. That is football.”

And the sack?

“I’m not worried about [job security]. I don’t spend one second of my day thinking about that. I worry about results, about winning against Liverpool, about qualifying for the next round of the Champions League, about recovering positions in the table and going back to where Chelsea has to be.”

In short: one game at a time.

Posted: 31st, October 2015 | In: Chelsea, Sports | Comment

Arsenal: Wenger the dinosaur and what Raymond Verheijen knows about Wales

 Raymond Verheijen.


Dutch football coach Raymond Verheijen is all over the news. He’s been talking about Arsenal and the club’s injuries.

“Wenger was labelled a “dinosaur” by Raymond Verheijen, a fitness coach who used to work with the Wales squad and blamed Arsenal for the annual bouts of injuries” – Times

A dinosaur?

Speaking on the Hawksbee and Jacobs show, the outspoken Dutchman said: “If you look at the facts, what you see is that Arsenal are the number one by far in terms of injuries in the last decade in the Premier League…

“In the ’90s, Arsene Wenger came from France to England and he introduced revolutionary methods – methods that people were not familiar with yet in the UK. At that stage he was a revolutionary coach.

“He has been applying those methods for ten, twenty years and when you apply the same methods for twenty years, at some stage people will catch you up and they will develop further and then they will be ahead of you. From a revolutionary coach, you have all of a sudden become an old-school coach because you stuck to methods from twenty years ago…

“Arsene Wenger is responsible for fatigue and injuries and the medical staff can only cure the problem.” – TalkSport

Wenger repsonds:

“This guy looks like he knows absolutely everything. I am amazed that he knows more than all our physios and all our doctors”

Verheijen has spoken about other top sides before. His views are amplified in the mainstream media. But should they and we hang on his every word?

Manchester City 2010:

“During pre-season and the first half of last season Mark Hughes had all his players available,” Verheijen said. “City played each game with the same team. The team had the best Prozone [computer data] statistics of the Premier League during the first part of the season. The players had the highest number of sprints and the highest total sprinting distance of all the Premier League teams.

“After the arrival of Mancini things changed dramatically. He probably did not even look at the Prozone statistics and our best-injury record in the Premier League. He decided players had to do double sessions many times a week. Those sessions often lasted for two hours. Not surprisingly the players picked up eight soft-tissue injuries within the first two weeks of Mancini.” – Guardian

City replied:

“Mr Verheijen appears to have become a regular critic of Roberto Mancini’s training methods, perhaps not entirely coincidentally since his consultancy services at Manchester City were terminated by the club several months ago. We wish him well in his future practice,” a club spokesmen said.

Mancini’s City won a first league title for 44 years in the 2011-12 season.

Wales 2011:

Wales assistant manager Raymond Verheijen hopes the leadership of the national side will be decided on Monday by the Football Association of Wales. Wales were left without a manager after Gary Speed’s death last month . “Tomorrow FAW meet about future of Wales,” the Dutchman wrote on Twitter on Sunday night. Hopefully the board will respect Gary’s wish so [fellow assistant] Osian Roberts and I can lead the team to Brazil.” – BBC

Chris Coleman is made Wales manager.

Former Wales assistant manager Raymond Verheijen has accused the Football Association of Wales of destroying the “legacy” left by Gary Speed. Dutchman Verheijen served under Speed during his 11 months as Wales manager. “He [Speed] has left a legacy, although the dinosaurs of the Welsh FA, at least on the pitch, have destroyed [it],” claimed Verheijen.

“The legacy of Gary will be in the hearts of his players, of his staff members,” he said. “His [Speed’s] players one day will become managers and they will start managing and working based on the inspiration that Gary gave. “So, I think that within 10 years we will see Gary’s legacy at different clubs, at different levels and different countries. But for the short time I think with the Welsh national team, unfortunately, his legacy has been destroyed.”

In 2015, Coleman’s Wales end a 57-year wait to qualify for a major tournament by making it to the European Championships 2016.


What odds Arsenal win the Premier League this season?


Posted: 30th, October 2015 | In: Arsenal, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Manchester United balls: Van Gaal swats Scholes through Google Translate

Paul Scholes, the former Manchester United player, has been working a pundit. He tell the BBC what he think of Louis Van Gaal’s Man United team:

“There’s a lack of creativity and risk. It’s a team now you wouldn’t want to play against because they’re tightly organised. But it seems he [Van Gaal] doesn’t want players to beat men and it’s probably not a team I’d have enjoyed playing in. The style is not something that Sir Alex Ferguson would have adhered to….

“The hardest thing to coach is scoring goals and creativity. I was at the derby on Sunday and Rooney’s movement was brilliant but when he’s playing in that team there’s no one prepared to pass to him. I think after 20 minutes you’d be tearing your hair out. I played with some brilliant centre forwards and I don’t think they could play in this team — the likes of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Teddy Sheringham. You don’t get crosses into the box or midfielders looking for runs.”

Louis Van Gaal responds in his intriguing way of being one of the few Dutchman who can’t speak English better than the English. Van Gaal heralded on United match by telling the TV pundits: “I shall be very disappointed when we don’t win.” Van Gaal is like listening to a man speaking through Google Translate. he says:

 “I think you have a fantastic expression here: sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me. I think Manchester United is always entertaining and I read also in the papers and I see it is boring but I don’t think there are more spectators in other stadiums than this ground… You ask me if I take risks? I take always risks!  I am not agreed with his opinion but I don’t want to defend myself because I cannot defend, because he is a legend and has a lot of resonance I hear. So I think when you are a legend you have to speak with the manager, or with his friend Ryan Giggs, or has to speak with Ed Woodward. But not with because he shall be paid by the media or something like that, and then you have to say something.

“I shall do everything for this club because I think with these fans, I have said many times, these fans are unbelievable. We are improving at lot but when you think it can be done within one year I have said it is process and it takes three years. That’s why I signed here three years. But when Mr Scholes thinks I can better go, then I go. But he is not the man responsible for that. That is the Glazers and Mr Woodward.”

A media row ensues.

Posted: 30th, October 2015 | In: manchester united, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Arsenal balls: Kieran Gibbs on the right, Bellerin busiest man in football, Joel Campbell derided

Arsenal are battling with their annual long list of injuries. The Mail has a question:

Wenger has ‘trust’ in medical staff amid injury crisis…but how will his Arsenal team line up at Swansea without these men?’

Crisis. Eight players are injured. But Arsenal are big club with a deep squad of players. And the Mirror has an answer:


Gibbs wing Arsenal


Kieran Gibbs as a winger. What madness. What utter balls. Has the Mirror’s writer seen one-footed left-footer Gibbs play? Does Hector Bellerin, Arsenal’s right-back, stand a chance?

The Telegraph comes up with an even nuttier solution:


Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 14.53.11


Did Wenger consider that? No. He tells everyone who can play on the right side of midfield against Swansea:

Campbell and Alex Iwobi. Santi can play there as well but he has become very important centrally. The problem sometimes is that you can destroy two departments if you move one player out. We control the ball better with Santi in the middle.


Mention of Gibbs: none. Arsenal fans can relax a little.

Posted: 30th, October 2015 | In: Arsenal, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Chelsea balls: Eden Hazard ignores Mourinho, Henry saves Jose, tabloids have field day

More Chelsea balls in the Daily Mail, which leads with a series of photos of Jose Mourinho talking with Eden Hazard. The media narrative is that Mourinho is on the “brink” of the sack. Having stuck the Chelsea manager on the precipice, the same media then talks about how he can be saved.

The Sun’s back page tells of “Mourinho D’Day”.

He’s on the brink. That’s Thierry Henry’s cue to say that Jose can be saved.


Jose Mourinho back pages


Having seen the Sun’s masterclass in tabloid repotting – create the drama then offer the imperilled star an escape via an ‘exclusive’ opinion piece – the Mail connives.

On this tabloid we see the same photo of Mourinho in conversation with Hazard, Chelsea’s star player. Now, thought, we are offered context:




Mourinho is portrayed as clueless, asking his players to help him. Hazard, coveted by Barcelona, is seen symbolically walking away, leaving Mourinho his his agonies.

What went before or comes after we have no idea. The Mail has selected the pictures to fit the narrative.

Such are the facts.


Posted: 30th, October 2015 | In: Chelsea, Sports, Tabloids | Comment

Liverpool balls: Klopp has a masterplan, just like Brendan Rodgers

Klopp Watch: Jurgen Klopp was won his first match as Liverpool manager, a 1-0 home victory over an injury-ravaged Bournemouth in the League Cup.

The Sun lads with news that this is evidence of Klopp’s “masterplan”.




Someone else had a masterplan.

The Liverpool Echo:


Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 14.54.03


Masterplans can be overrated.





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

Transfer balls: Arsenal chase Hakan Calhanoglu who signed for Manchester United and two Mesut Ozils

Transfer balls: the Daily Express says Arsenal and Manchester United are after Bayer Leverkusen’s 21-year-old Turkish attacking midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu.

Hakan’s also wanted by Atletico Madrid and Barcelona. And he’ll cost £29m.

Is he any good? Well the Express says he’s has been “hailed as the ‘next Mesut Ozil'”. By whom we’re not told. And why would Arsenal need two Ozils?

The Independent says United are “readying a €40m bid” for the player. Its sources is German newspaper Bild.

But over there we find not a single mention of either Arsenal nor Manchester United. Bayer Leverkusenboss Michael Schade tells Bild: “We want to keep Hakan, but with us there is a pain threshold.”

The paper adds: “From a release of EUR 40 million Bayer should be ready to talk. At Bayer we know about the interest of the English.”

The English Press really is full of utter balls. After all, according to the Express, Hakim signed for Manchester United in the summer:


Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 11.45.07


Such are the facts.

Posted: 29th, October 2015 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Transfer balls: Manchester United wait for Neymar as Barcelona show him the money

Neymar: dreaming of Salford

Neymar: dreaming of Salford


Transfer balls: Are Manchester United buying Neymar?

The Sun says Barcelona will offer the Brazilian £500,000-a-week.

Can United top that?

In another article the Sun says Man United will “play the long game”. Neymar is 23, Will United wait until he’s, say, 43, before swooping?

In a remarkable spout of balls, Neil Curtis writes:

IT WAS thought the pull of Manchester United in world football had diminished since Sir Alex Ferguson bowed out at Old Trafford. The very fact that Neymar is about to have his wages doubled at The Nou Camp to £500,000 a week shows it hasn’t.

Eh? Is the thinking that because United want Neymar, Barcelona have been panicked into making him the third best played player in the world, after Messi and Ronaldo?

Such is the concern surrounding United’s interest in the Brazilian star, 23, that he will be propelled into the same wage brackets as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Two other players who United would not hesitate in trying to get to Old Trafford.

This isn’t news. It’s PR. We’re told United would love to buy the world’s top players. Well, so would every other club. Would the players want to join United?

Any indication from the Messi camp that he is after pastures new and they would be straight in there.

Looking desperate and assuring the Argentinean that his national team-mate Angel Di Maria loved living in Manchester and playing under Louis Van Gaal.

Twice they have attempted to get Ronaldo back to Old Trafford and there is still a romantic view that he will play out his final couple of years as a professional back at the club where he made his name.

And twice they have failed. As for romance, surely Ronaldo returning to Sporting Lisbon, from where United bought him, would be a sweeter story.

There was much scoffing on social media when SunSport broke the story that United had tried to get Neymar.

Tried. And failed. Such is that “pull” of Manchester United.

It remains tempting for someone who would be happy to be THE star at another club on the same level as Barca. United are a club under the executive vice chairman Ed Woodward who are not afraid to ruffle the feathers of the likes of Real and Barca.

Real and Barca then puff our their plumage and strut off with the world’s best players. After such puffery, Curtis then reads Neymar’s mind:

Whether United get Neymar any time soon or not, they have put down a marker for the future. By making that shock move, they have made the player think about options that were not previously there. They have made him think about a future elsewhere.

Yeah, because one of the world’s best players had no idea other clubs would like him to play for them.


Posted: 29th, October 2015 | In: manchester united, Reviews, Sports, Tabloids | Comment

Chelsea balls: Mourinho’s new low, Stoke City are easy, Blues ‘plumb new depths’

Chelsea balls: The Sun sticks its napkin into its collar, picks up a knife and fork and tucks into Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho. Stoke – a Premier League playing at home – beat Chelsea on penalties in the League Cup.




The Sun’s back page tells us that the result means Jose Mourinho is “on the brink” of leaving Chelsea.


Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 18.04.09


Jose Mourinho is “clinging to his job by a thread”. Chelsea did a “crash ‘n burn”. Chelsea “plumbed new depths”.

To recap: Stoke City are a top-flight side playing at home. They won in a penalty shoot-out.

The Sun’s match reports goes:

It cannot be disputed his [Mourinho’s] players gave their all for him last night. This time, unquestionably, they threw everything at it.

Sure, they showed new levels of commitment, determination and dogged resistence [sic] as they clawed their way back from the loss of a sensational Jon Walters goal. Of course, they kept going to deservedly snatch a stoppage-time equaliser through sub Loic Remy. But that should really be a given from the reigning champions.

Can a team plumb news depth by playing as champions should? Apparently, yes.


Posted: 28th, October 2015 | In: Chelsea, Reviews, Sports, Tabloids | Comment

Chelsea balls: Jose Mourinho in bondage club Hell and other love letters

How boring is Jose Mourinho? Don’t bother answering. It’s a rhetorical question. The Mail says the Chelsea boss is a huge bore.

Michael Henderson states:

Not many people are listening any more. Mourinho, who was never as interesting as some lickspittles imagined, has become a bore

So boring is Mourinho that he occupies most of the Mail’s back page. Chelsea were knocked out the League Cup by Stoke City – but both clubs are overshadowed by the boring one.


Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 16.53.14



Matt Lawton’s match report is headlined:


Chelsea lost on penalty kicks. But the pun plays second fiddle to Mourinho’s first name – like all legends he only needs one – the mad bore.

Also in today’s entertaining Daily Mail – these stories all from just TODAY:

Jose Mourinho walks out of Chelsea post-match interview after refusing to answer ‘negative’ question about team’s defending in Capital One Cup defeat by Stoke – Simeon Gholam

Guus Hiddink hints at interest in Chelsea job if Jose Mourinho leaves, saying ‘top class football is always attractive’ – Adam Shergold

Loic Remy wants Jose Mourinho to stay at Chelsea and has backed the boss to lead Stamford Bridge club to top four finish – Press Association Reporter

Chelsea have lost HALF of their 14 games since Eva Carneiro row… where has it gone wrong for Jose Mourinho’s champions? – Jonny Singer

Mourinho still the right man for Chelsea, says Remy – Reuters

Loic Remy tells Chelsea not to sack Jose Mourinho – Press Association

Defiant Mourinho doesn’t need ‘assurances’ as Chelsea exit Cup – Reuters

Jose Mourinho’s job as Chelsea manager hangs by a thread… but Blues boss insists he does not need further reassurance from owner Roman Abramovich over his future – Chris Wheeler

Stoke 1-1 Chelsea (AET: 5-4 on pens) PLAYER RATINGS: So, who played his heart out for Jose Mourinho? – Chris Wheeler

Under-fire Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has no luck once again as holders crash out – Press Association Reporter

In any other business, Chelsea’s suffering boss Jose Mourinho would get a sabbatical to save him – Martin Samuel

Get a load of all those lickspittles on the Mail’s payroll.

And get a load of some other Henderson bon mots:

Like some footsore wanderer, beset by vagabonds, Jose Mourinho stands at the crossroads, looking for the path that will be his salvation. In vain, alas. One sign reads ‘disgrace’, the other ‘despair’. And both lead, as night follows day, to ‘dismissal’.

Jose inspires journalist to 19th Century epiphany!

Charged on Monday by the FA with misconduct, following his latest acts of petulance on Saturday, when Chelsea lost their fifth league match of this wretched season at West Ham, Mourinho is once again wearing a face longer than a day without breakfast.

All over by brunch!

It appears, from his extraordinary behaviour in the past three months, that he wants to be released from his bondage at Stamford Bridge, and it shouldn’t be long before his wish is granted.

Jose in S&M Hell!

Will angels pluck a thousand harps to send him on his way? Will the tears of loyal supporters run like rivers along Fulham Road? Hardly. It has been clear for some time that many Chelsea fans find his narcissism as tiresome as the rest of us. When he goes, next week, next month, next year, it will be with everybody’s blessing.

Jose in Homer-erotic reverie!

Harsh, you say? Not harsh enough. In terms of pots won, Mourinho has been a remarkably successful manager. Nobody can take those titles away from him, and nobody ever will. Yet, apart from the supporters of Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid, who can say, hand on heart, that the teams he has sent into the field have raised spirits?

Well, aside from every single Chelsea fan, how about this chap, who writes for the, er, Daily Mail:


Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 17.13.43


And still Henderson goes on:

Mourinho’s teams are not designed to delight, or even entertain.

Or as the Mail’s Pete Jenson outs it:


Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 17.18.39


He ends:

Besieged by foes, he sits in his bunker, cursing all who would doubt him. But not many people are listening any more. Mourinho, who was never as interesting as some lickspittles imagined, has become a bore. We are approaching the final act, not with tears but mocking laughter. To borrow from My Fair Lady: ‘Poor Jose, how simply frightful. How humiliating. How delightful.’

Editorial meetings at the Mail must be a riot. Hendeson v the Mourinho Lickspittles – hundreds of them all writing about the most boring man in the world.


Posted: 28th, October 2015 | In: Chelsea, Reviews, Sports, Tabloids | Comment

Chelsea transfer balls: Hiddink returns, Ancelotti scoffs, Mourinho laughs and Stoke City are ignored

daily mirror mourinho


Chelsea balls: the media continue to guess about Jose Mourinho’s future at Stamford Bridge.

You might see English football’s champions losing matches as a sign of the Premier League’s strength. But the narrative is that the top teams who spend the most must always win. Anything less than the predictable procession has the media’s nodding heads demanding the bigger club’s manager is sacked. So it is for Jose Mourinho. Chelsea have lost five from 10 matches so far. They are nine points off a Champions’ League berth. There are 28(!) matches to go.


Stoke City newspapers


It would be nuts to sack Mourinho. But all papers have an agenda. Just look at the Mirror’s back page: Stoke beat Chelsea and the entire back page is dedicated to the losing club’s manager.

Having decide that Mourinho must go,. the paper pick his successor.

The now dire Daily Telegraph says Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola is not free until next summer. Carlo Ancelotti is “expected to reject a return to Stamford Bridge on a temporary basis”. But former Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink could fancy it. You know, maybe. The Daily Mirror says Ancelotti, 56, would consider the Chelsea job if he was offered it on a permanent basis.

That’s news to the Times Oliver Kay, who says:

One persistent whisper in football circles is that Ancelotti, out of work since his departure from Real Madrid, is the obvious go-to man should Abramovich find himself looking for another interim manager (or even a permanent one). Those close to Ancelotti insist otherwise; the Italian does not look back on his second and final season at Chelsea, which culminated with an unedifying dismissal in a stairwell at Goodison Park, with the slightest fondness.

In other words: no-one has a foggiest what will happen next but to some it’s fun to guess when a man will lose his job.


Posted: 28th, October 2015 | In: Chelsea, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Chelsea balls: Costa ‘punched himself’ out of the match and dark humour

The Metro hates football. To it the game is simply about getting clicks. Why else would you describe an injury to a professional player as “hilarious”? Diego Costa was injured playing for Chelsea at Stoke City in the League Cup. This is how the Metro reported the fact:


Costa injury funny


A man getting injured at work is “hilarious“.

The paper tells us:

Chelsea striker Diego Costa was hospitalised and is facing a spell out injured during the Capital One Cup clash with Stoke.

Costa is in hospital. Hahahahahaha. Jamie Sanderson finds that “hilarious“.

Costa came off after 32 minutes with a rib problem and Sky Sports say he was taken to hospital, and it’s now claimed he faces missing the clash with Liverpool at the weekend. But how did Costa sustain the injury?

Dunno. How? We’re ready to hold on to our sides. This is going to be hilarious.

Blues boss Jose Mourinho revealed the reason in his post-match press conference, and it’s pretty bizarre and frankly a bit funny.

Only a bit funny now.


Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 09.46.51


So writes Jamie Sanderson in his story based on a tweet about Mourinho’s sardonic response to the treatment meted out to his feisty striker.


Posted: 28th, October 2015 | In: Chelsea, Sports | Comment

Transfer balls: Arsenal, Higuain and £68m going nowhere

Higuain arsenal


Transfer Balls: The Daily Mirror says Arsenal are “preparing [a] sensational £68m Gonzalo Higuain bid’. Of course the Mirror is more conniving than that, adding a question mark to the end of the statement. Google doesn’t see those question marks so the poser is presented as fact to the unwary web clicker.

‘Gunners preparing sensational £68m Gonzalo Higuain bid?’

The simple answer is ‘No’.  The golden rule is that any headline in a question form can be answered in the negative. But let’s see what the Mirror says below the headline:

The Gunners have been rumoured to be interested in making a play for the Argentine in the last few transfer windows, but any move is likely to have to wait until next summer, report Italian outlet Calciomercato.

Higuain has a £68million release clause in his contract in Naples.

Over there we read (via Google translate) highlights such as:

 ….the Argentine is still untouchable at Naples…

… The fact remains that the player’s head has always remained on Naple…

….Napoli plan to offer Gonzalo a new improved contract keeping him at Napoli until 2019…

…Higuain has desire to listen to the proposals that come mainly from the Premier League, Arsenal in the lead.

The single mention of Arsenal in 411 words is that they were interested in Higuain. There is not one word from the player, Arsenal nor Napoli. There is not even the “rumour” that Arsenal are planning a huge bid for Higuain. It is utter balls by the Mirror.


Posted: 27th, October 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports, Tabloids | Comment

Revolting marketing: UK betting firm offers odds on which footballer will come out as gay

daily star


In the Anorak Inbox today, this missive form a desperate

A UK betting site has offered odds on which England football will come out as gay, following the news over the weekend that two Premier League footballers are set to do so. Players such as Luke Shaw, Daniel Sturridge and James Milner all appear in the low tier with odds of 10/1 or lower, whilst the likes of Joe Hart, Jordan Henderson and Wayne Rooney all appear at odds of 20/1 or lower.

More information can be found below, but please do get in touch if you require any further information.


How revolting.


Following the news over the weekend that two Premier League footballers (one of whom allegedly plays for England) are ready to come out as gay, a betting website based in the UK has become the first to offer customers the chance to bet on which footballers might do so. Visitors to the site can take a punt on which footballers they think will make the announcement; with the sportsmen split into low, medium and high tier odds according to the perceived likeliness of their involvement in a potential upcoming announcement.

The odds for different players vary according to likelihood, as judged by Win Cash Live’s trading team…

Speaking about offering odds on which footballers are likely to come out as gay, Ashley Faull (founder of, said the following:

“…there’s no denying that this is a very hot topic right now and we couldn’t see that any gambling sites were offering odds on which footballers will come out as gay, following the news and rumours over the weekend. We know that there is a lot of speculation and the public will want to see if they can guess correctly, so we’re offering them the chance to get a return on their inklings.”

You think you’ve reached rock bottom but there’s always someone with a new spade whose ready to dig….

Posted: 27th, October 2015 | In: Money, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Transfer balls: former Chelsea manager wants Blues striker

Transfer Balls: André Villas-Boas is looking at the Chelsea bench. He’s not vying to replace Jose Mourinho. Villas-boas is looking for sign Radamel Falcao for Zenit St Petersburg.


Falcao was poor at Manchester Untied and he can’t get into a failing Chelsea side. Why would Zenit want him?

Falcao is on loan from Monaco to Chelsea. That deal would have to be torn up for  Villas-Boas to get his man, also on loan. The story is rooted in the Daily Telegraph, which recalls that Villas-Boas and Falcao shared a treble-winning season at Porto, including winning the Europa League.

It’s a real fall from grace for Falcao. Little over a year ago he was being linked with move to Real Madrid.




He was  an “ace”:

falcao united papers falcao back pages


It’s a short carer in top-flight football.


Posted: 27th, October 2015 | In: Chelsea, Sports | Comment

Chelsea balls: Jose Mourinho engineers his lucrative sacking, continues obssession with Arsenal and Wenger

The backpages are dominated by the rumours that Jose Mourinho is on the brink of leaving Chelsea. Having abused Jon Moss, the referee, after defeat at West Ham, Mourinho is reported to have referenced Arsenal boos Arsène Wenger by saying “Wenger was right — you are f***ing soft”. It’s alleged that the Portuguese refused to leave the match officials’ room during half-time.

The Daily Mirror starts the countdown:


daily mirror mourinho



ESPN says it would cost Chelsea £30m to sack Mourinho.




The Independent says Jose is off to PSG or Inter Milan.  

The Sun says Chelsea will move for Pep Guardiola. The Times says Pep will remain at Bayern. Adding:

One persistent whisper in football circles is that Ancelotti, out of work since his departure from Real Madrid, is the obvious go-to man should Abramovich find himself looking for another interim manager (or even a permanent one). Those close to Ancelotti insist otherwise; the Italian does not look back on his second and final season at Chelsea, which culminated with an unedifying dismissal in a stairwell at Goodison Park, with the slightest fondness.

Who follows Jose? Not easy. Chelsea should stick with him.



Posted: 27th, October 2015 | In: Chelsea, Sports | Comment

Ukraine’s leading football club wants a separate area for black fans

What do you do when you see racists? Yeah. you remove their targets to a cage. Pies reports on life in go-ahead Ukraine:

The executive director of Dynamo Kiev’s Olympic Stadium has gone on record as saying that segregated stands for black fans may be a “good idea” in the wake of Eastern European football’s latest shameful dalliance with racist abuse. The problem came to the fore once again last week when damning footage circulated of four black fans being attacked in the terraces during Kiev’s 0-0 draw against Chelsea in the Champions League.

Now, in his tireless quest to rid the NSC Olimpiyskiy of such disgraceful scenes, executive Volodimir Spilchenko believes he’s come up with the solution.

“We are trying, maybe, to make a special sector [for black fans] in order to avoid the manifestation of racism,” Spilchenko is quoted as saying in an interview by the Washington Post.

Gob-smacking, isn’t it? You really couldn’t make it up.

Referring to the aforementioned black fans specifically, Spilchenko explained that his administration attempted to make amends on the night but saw their apologetic gestures snubbed. “Representatives of the stadium administration came to these guys and offered them to change seats, even to more expensive ones, but our proposition was ignored,” he added.

Here’s a better idea: let’s segregate Dynamo Kiev from the rest of European football.

Posted: 26th, October 2015 | In: Reviews, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Chelsea want Guardiola who agrees to join Manchester City unless sharks eat Mourinho

Transfer balls: as the Press pile in on Jose Mourinho, the Telegraph says Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola, 44, is Chelsea’s first-choice replacement for the argumentative Portuguese.

He is? Says who?

Matt Law reports:

Intermediaries, working independently and not at the request of Abramovich or Chelsea, are already attempting to gauge whether Guardiola would be interested in taking over at Stamford Bridge when his Bayern Munich contract expires at the end of the season. They want to be in a position to hand Guardiola to the Blues owner if Mourinho is sacked.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 26th, October 2015 | In: Chelsea, Manchester City, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Chelsea balls: Liverpool pray Klopp gets Mourinho sacked

The papers are lining up to bury Jose Mourinho.

The Times says “José Mourinho could be dismissed if his Chelsea side suffer another acrimonious defeat when they host Liverpool on Saturday.”

What sweet joy for Liverpool fans that would be to see newboy Jurgen Klopp send the Chelsea irritant packing.


Mourinho sacked



Gary Jacob writes:

The Portuguese was given a stay of execution at the start of the month but there is increasing concern among the club’s board at further ill discipline during the 2-1 defeat away to West Ham United on Saturday… Roman Abramovich, who values strong discipline, is believed to have watched the game from Turkey, where the Chelsea owner was celebrating his 49th birthday on Saturday, and there are no plans for him to speak to Mourinho this week. C


mourinho sacked


Oliver Kay:

Mourinho responded with the anticipated derision when he was asked in a press conference last month about the theory that he suffers from a “third-season syndrome”. He characterised his third season at Chelsea (first time round, in 2006-07) as one in which they won the FA Cup and League Cup, rather than one in which they suffered an eight-point drop in Premier League performance, he clashed repeatedly with the club’s hierarchy and saw his bond with his players become strained. He characterised his third season at Real Madrid (2012-13) as one in which they won the Spanish Super Cup (a two-legged match in August) and reached the Champions League semi-final rather than one in which they won 15 fewer points in La Liga than the previous term and in which relations with players and officials at the club (and the media and the Spanish football authorities) bordered on toxic.

As for how the third season of Mourinho’s second spell at Chelsea will be remembered, it is in grave danger of being a case of history repeating — but worse.

The Mail says Mourinho should stay. He’s a “Fan favourite”:

The supporters have not turned on their manager and nor are they likely to. No boss in the Premier League has more goodwill on the terraces than Mourinho and getting rid risks upsetting the club’s following. Fans are the first to voice their displeasure with a manager and, while he retains their backing, it would perhaps be foolish to make a change.

Alan Shearer gets into full hype and utter balls mode in the Sun:

I WOULD love to know what went on at Chelsea in the summer — because something drastic must have happened. When you watch them now and think about how good they were last season, it’s hard to believe it’s the same team, under the same manager.

But what is happening at the moment is crisis after crisis — and Jose Mourinho has not helped the situation at all. You watch Chelsea now and there are no real signs whatsoever of it getting any better. Everything that can go wrong is going wrong for them.

Really? They beat Arsenal, albeit thanks to dire refereeing in their favour.

The Guardian looks at Chelsea:

…the old togetherness is only visible in short bursts these days and the second Mourinho era is in danger of ending in bitter acrimony after Chelsea lurched deeper into crisis with a performance that reeked of indiscipline on and off the pitch at Upton Park.

The Indy wonders who follows Jose?

Jose Mourinho: Who could replace Mourinho and become the next Chelsea manager?

Chelsea fans prepare to look away. Liverpool get ready to laugh:


Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 13.40.03


Better the devil you know. At least Jose’s a winner.

Posted: 26th, October 2015 | In: Chelsea, Sports | Comment (1)

Transfer balls: Pogba joins Barcelona for more and less than Man City bid and Chelsea bid

Transfer balls: Is Paul Pogba leaving Juventus to join a Premier League club? Let’s see what the newspapers have been telling us:

June 30 2015: The Daily Express says Pogba has agreed to join Barcelona.


Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 07.04.59


But is £64m too much or not enough? The tabloids were wondering:


paul pogba manchester city


On October 24, 2015 the ever trusty Daily Express had an update on that Barcelona agreement:


Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 07.09.35


The agent told us:

“Those who want him should sit with Juventus and then we’ll see. This summer, there were three or four clubs interested, but he chose to stay at Juventus.”

But the Star told us Pogba wanted to play for Chelsea:

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Pogba named his price, said the Daily Mirror:

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And why stop at Chelsea? The Manchester Evening News reported in August 2015 that Pogba was wanted by Man City:

Juventus chief Giuseppe Marotta says the Italian club are powerless to stop Manchester City target Paul Pogba leaving if he decides to. City last month cooled their interest in in the French midfield ace after Juve demanded a whopping £71m fee.

But the Daily Express told us Chelsea had bid £80m for Pogba:


Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 07.23.54


Such are the facts…



Posted: 26th, October 2015 | In: Chelsea, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Manchester United and Manchester City in corporate Premier League horror show

Manchester United and Manchester City played out a match so dull it must make all those Americans, Chinese and oil-rich sheikhs tuning in wonder if the Premier League is just hype and more hype, less a sport than a televised festival of consumerism. Let’s compare the marketing with the fact:s

The Guardian:



Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 21.02.32



The BBC:


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Before the match the talk was of passion, history and cash.

Daily Mail:

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 21.09.48


It’s all about the money.


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The dullest most lifeless Manchester derby ever. A shameful passion-free example of the snuffing out of tradition by


DAnny Baker tweets

Can we have your game back, please?

Posted: 25th, October 2015 | In: manchester united, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Arsenal balls: Wenger quits in 2017 and stays until 2019

Arsene Wenger is leaving Arsenal. But when will he go? The Daily Mirror has been hot on the news.

Today Steve Stammers says Wenger will remain at Arsenal until 2019:

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The big question is: does John Cross, also of the Mirror, know? On October 15 2015, Cross told Mirror readers that Wenger had named the day of when his Arsenal job ends. And it wasn’t 2019:


Daily Mirror wenger quits Arsenal


More utter balls in the tabloids every day.

Posted: 25th, October 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports, Tabloids | Comment

Transfer Balls: PSG swoop for Hazard who only dreams of Chelsea

Transfer Balls: The Sun on Sunday says Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, 24, could be on his way to Paris Saint-Germain. Below the rather icky headline “Hazard snatch”, the Sun reports:

French giants PSG are preparing a massive January bid to test the playmaker’s relationship with Jose Mourinho… PSG are willing to offer an improvement on the Belgian’s £200,000-a-week wages and a return to France.

The Daily Star on Sunday then adds that Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City and Manchester United “could” all bid for Hazard.

The Premier League is little sad, no? For all the hype and hoopla, any foreign player worth their salt wants to play in Spain.  And the British Press know it.

The Sun has previously reported:

CHRISTIAN BENTEKE has revealed his pal Eden Hazard dreams of playing for Real Madrid.

Thee years ago, Benteke said:

I am not surprised at Eden’s success with Chelsea — and he can do even better. He has the qualities needed to become an even greater player. His dream is to join Real Madrid — so I don’t see why he can’t join them in a year or two.”

In 2015, the Star added:

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 14.15.38


But in 2014, Hazard said:

“Paris [Saint-Germain] have huge players, but Chelsea have more experience and more players in certain positions. And we also have a better experience in the Champions League. I never said that if I left Chelsea it will only be for Real Madrid. The only club that makes me dream is Chelsea.”

Hazard’s a terrific player. He’s one of the best players in the Premier League. The continuing tabloid tales linking him to Spain and PSG only serve to undermine the fable that the Premier League is the ultimate place to watch football. It isn’t. It’s bloated and greedy. If the actual play matched the hype just imagine how fantastic the games would be.

Posted: 25th, October 2015 | In: Chelsea, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Chelsea Balls: Jose Mourinho creates a weak version of Don Revie’s Leeds United

Having picked fights with Dr Eva Carneiro, referees and Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho picked on the enemy that he can never beat: the media.

At a press conference he told the pack:

“I’m not talking about football. In football I’m ready to be criticised, even the stupid ones [sic]. Private life, stupid things you bring to light, I don’t like it. So we go to a different level of professional relations.”

The media used to like Jose. If he won’t supply them with catty remarks and self-aggrandizing bon mots will they forgive him? Rod Liddle reacts in the Sunday Times:

His latest discombobulation came when he was accused of “jostling” a couple of teenage fans who had followed him for 20 minutes in a manner Mourinho described as “intrusive”. We might sympathise with him on this particular issue, especially if the teenagers, wrapped up in wounded self-righteousness, wish to pursue the matter. But the other stuff is more serious.

His fatuous carping about referees deserved opprobrium from the FA and a big fine. His apparent estrangement from some of his players and his readiness to criticise them publicly suggests a man who is approaching the end of his tether. The estrangement reputedly dates back to pre-season and has been evident in every game Chelsea have played since then.

They appear disjointed in defence and ineffectual in attack, their most mercurial players — such as Oscar — benched to make way for a grim thuggishness which is losing Chelsea the sympathy of even those few neutrals who don’t hate them just for being Chelsea.

Mourinho is right that a lot of people are pleased his side have struggled this season, me included. But there’s a reason for that and it isn’t simply schadenfreude. Mourinho’s Chelsea remind me a little of Don Revie’s Leeds United – except this season nowhere near as good. And maybe even less loveable.

Oomph! That’s harsh. Leeds fans will make offence at that throwaway ‘maybe’.

Of course, there is always one news organ that will be forever with Jose. The official Chelsea website continues to amuse and entertain with a style of journalism that Joe Stalin might have consider a little monocular.

Highlights are:


The Blues were beaten in cruel circumstances at Upton Park this afternoon having had to play the whole second half with 10 men.

After West Ham had taken an early lead through Mauro Zarate, Kurt Zouma’s header looked to have crossed the line, only for the decision to go the home side’s way…

The goal-line technology said ‘no goal’. The entire ball had not crossed the line.

….before Cesc Fabregas beat Adrian but saw the goal ruled out for offside when he appeared to have been played onside by the retreating West Ham defenders.

He was just offside.

The 10 men rallied impressively however and were the better side in the second half. Gary Cahill equalised 10 minutes after the break with his first goal of the season, but Andy Carroll’s late header, which came against the run of play, won it for the hosts.


The better team lost!

Moments later we turned defence into attack with a brilliant counter, owing much to the intelligence and desire of Matic…

In no other report will you find word of Matic’s intelligence.

The Blues were unable to clear our lines as the delivery was swung in, and as the ball found its way to Zarate at the back post he drilled it low and hard past Begovic.

The ball “found its ways” to Zarate because Costa produced a weak, sliced clearance.


….Cahill produced a magnificent finish…


Chelsea accrued seven bookings and Mourinho was sent to the stands for confronting the referee a half-time.


Posted: 25th, October 2015 | In: Chelsea, Sports | Comment

Chelsea balls: Shameful Mourinho is ‘getting sacked in the morning’

West Ham United beat Chelsea 2-1, and José Mourinho spent the second half watching from the stand. Why? Because it was claimed that he tried to speak to the referee during the interval, following the dismissal of Chelsea’s midfielder Nemanja Matic.

With such crass behaviour can it be long before Mourinho is given the boot from Stamford Bridge?

“You’re getting sacked in the morning,” sang the West Ham fans at the Portuguese manager, who then put the tin lid on his day out by failing to attend the post-match press conference.

Matthew Syed is not a fan, writing in the Times:

His motivational technique is based upon something very different: me, me, me. It is about the cult of the individual — Mourinho himself. This is predicated, in turn, upon creating a sense of permanent crisis. He sees conspiracies everywhere. The referees, the Premier League, Uefa, the ballboys, the team doctor, Uncle Tom Cobley: whatever it takes to get his players to feel like they are enduring a siege.

In the short term, this technique works. Nobody wants to be in a siege, fighting for one’s life, and so the players respond. But over the long-term, it begins to grate. It is like a narcotic or a sugar rush: you need ever more crises to recruit ever dwindling amounts of emotional response, particularly when the players begin to see through the underlying charade. In the end, it becomes cloying.

Chelsea are the current Premier League champions. Mourinho has talent. But he is so utterly graceless in victory and defeat. Syed adds:

They say that the Real Madrid players eventually became bored of Mourinho, but the truth is that they became ashamed of him. They saw him stab a finger into the eye of Tito Vilanova, his Barcelona rival. They observed him name four referees over whom Barcelona, supposedly, had “special power”. They watched as he was banished from the dugout during a Copa del Rey final and how he stormed out of the stadium without bothering to collect his loser’s medal from the King of Spain. They noted how he insulted the referee again in the car park.

Over three seasons, they saw him traduce, malign and infect — and, in the end, they couldn’t bear it. They were exhausted by the caricature running their club and his juvenile approach to leadership. And with the clarity that comes with time, they saw through it.

If he goes, he won’t be as missed as he think he should be. Well, at least not by fans who don’t support Chelsea. Better than sacking The Special One is to help him with an able sidekick, say, Steve Clarke, Gianfranco Zola or Roberto Di Matteo. Or all three.

Posted: 24th, October 2015 | In: Chelsea, Reviews, Sports | Comment (1)