The news as told by the UK’s tabloid press – The Sun, Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Daily Star and News of the World.
Who better for Gemma Collins to turn to for spiritual advice than Kerry Katona, former Queen of ITV’s I’m A Celebrity jungle and long billed in the tabloid press as “troubled”? Kerry is the women who had her cosmetic surgery televised and was once so hard up, she was forced to sell her parrot to buy Tampax.
Collins, 38, currently between injuries in ITV’s Dancing On Ice is “seeking help from crystal-loving Kerry Katona”. That’s an unfortunate or conniving play on words by the Mail, given Kerry’s battles with drugs – and crystal is a shorthand for crystal meth. The People reminds readers that Katona is an “ex-addict” whose nadir – or at least one of them – was being filmed taking coke a caper that led to her getting sacked by Iceland (the frozen food store and not the nation). In any case, Collins wants help calming down not speeding up. A source arrives to explain all:
“It sounds a bit woo and wacky, but Kerry’s obsessed with meditating and yoga and it’s helped her so much with her stress and anxiety. Kerry has been choosing crystals she thinks will help Gemma cope with the pressures of Dancing on Ice and all the diva accusations she’s had.”
Anorak advices Collins choose the homophonous Krsytle Carrington, who was always ice cool in a crisis, save for when Alexis pushed her too far and she resorted to fisticuffs.
PS: Cynics will point out that Katona and Collins have have the same agent. This in no way diminishes from the truth of this story.
Stan Collymore’s Daily Mirror column continues to demand that we light the torches and march on Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. Trouble is that the glare from those burning fires has blinded Collymore to facts and the tiniest muon of circumspection and reason. Compare and contrast what the former Liverpool striker said about Mauricio Pochettino and then about Guardiola.
Collymore on Pochettino’s desperate statement that finishing in the Premier League’s top four is better than winning any cup:
One of the greatest managers in recent history who we’ve given a lot of stick to was Jose Mourinho. At Chelsea, what did he target? The League Cup. Coming so early in the season it is a trophy that can get you off and running…
Managers, said Collymore, should be chasing “every single trophy”. Because they all matter. Unless you’re Pep Guardiola.
Here’s Collymore on Pep being unsuccessful by, er, winning a cup:
The one thing the Premier League will do is test every single thing about you. If you don’t believe me, look at Pep Guardiola. Recognised as one of the top three or four managers in the world over the last decade, he could go into this fourth season at Manchester City having won one English title and no Champions Leagues. And that’s with the biggest budget in English football.
Guardiola joined Manchester City at the start of the 2016-2017 season. He’s in his third full season at the club. Guardiola finished his first season at City with no trophies – the only time he’s finished a season without a trophy. The next season – 2017-18 – City beat Arsenal 0–3 to win the Carabao Cup. They won the Premier League with a record-breaking 100 points. Right now City are top of the PL table, still in the Champions League and FA Cup, and will contest the Carabao Cup final with Chelsea. And they play some fabulous football.
Collymore thinks the Carabao Cup doesn’t matter when Guadiola wins it and matters greatly when Pochettino doesn’t? Can the Mirror get this man a sub-editor?
Convicted child abuser Rolf Harris is alive. Who knew? This week the man once famous for asking kids “Can you tell what it is yet?” as he panted his way through a TV show and now known as a sexual deviant who persistently abused minors is reported to have entered the grounds of a primary school near his home and “waved at pupils”. The Mirror doesn’t tell us if the pupils waved back as they waited in the school hall for their lunch nor what part of his body Rolf waved. The BBC adds – and try not to gag: “He was talking to sculptor Nick Garnett, who was working in the school’s ‘Kiss and Drop’ area.”
(In June 2014 Rolf Harris was convicted of 12 counts of indecent assault. The crimes were committed against four girls – one of who was aged just seven or eight. He was released from prison 2017. That same year, an appeal saw one conviction overturned, but the other 11 remain.)
Mr Garnett tells the BBC: “I turned round and there was Rolf Harris, which was a strange moment.” Fight or flight? “He asked for a piece of timber. Apparently he’s interested in making some carvings, so I gave him a couple of pieces.”
The headteacher at Oldfield Primary School in Bray, Maidenhead, goes on the record, telling us: “We’ve got a wood sculptor working close to the road at the moment and Rolf Harris lives about three doors down from the school. He must have seen him (the sculptor) and come into the school area. He had no access to the children whatsoever. I went over and shook his hand and introduced myself. He explained what he was doing – that he was getting some wood from the sculptor. I said, ‘You need to go’.”
Was it a crime? Harris has no offspring at the school, one assumes. A copper is quoted: “A report was made that a man was on the site of the school. An officer attended the scene but no offence was committed. No arrests were made.”
A non-story, then? The Mail says Harris “was handed a police warning”. The Mail includes a few words from a local man: “One elderly male neighbour said: ‘He’s an asset to the area, he’s been a tremendous supporter of any charity we’ve been part of… We know he had sex with a 15-year-old but we find it terribly sad that the end of his life has been marred by continual investigation into what happened 30 or 40 years ago.”
People, eh, some really do believe in rehabilitation for paedophiles. Others believe in buying your own wood.
Jack Fincham, winner of TV’s Love Island, and Mr Dani Dayer, wants to talk about “My coke shame”. But before the shame, the sympathetic back story. The Sun, which leads with the news of Fincham’s drug taking, tells us he “caved in” to the “temptation” of “regularly being offered drugs in the wake of his TV triumph”. Other reality TV shows offer less mind-blowing prizes. But that’s showbiz.
Jack, 27, tells us: “I’ve made a terrible error.” And ..? Well, why are you telling us, Jack? Are you getting in first before an expose hits the papers? Is the Sun now an extension of the therapy industries – “If you want a sympathetic ear and a chance to talk, call 0800 Snort ‘n’ Tell (You’re amongst friends!”)?
There are two more pages of Fincham to browse. And we note that he’s “dreading telling hardman Danny Dyer about his cocaine shame”. Danny is, of course, Dani’s homophonous dad, the EastEnders actor.
But surely Danny will understand how “dangerous elements of the showbiz scenes” can pull young noses towards an incidental table in an Kent hotel. Says Jack: “Since winning the show I’ve been offered cocaine a lot”, plus “free drinks” and a chance to appear in another reality TV show. Yes, that’s right, Jack’s shame trails the TV show The Full Monty, named in honour of the film in which a group of down-on-their-luck men from the impoverished provinces turn to the skin trade to earn a few quid and fame. Showbiz, eh. The top prize used to be car.
The Sun doesn’t bother to hire a dog whisperer to translate what the pair of Mulitpoo dogs hooked in Ant McPartlin’s paws think of their new ‘owner’. But we do know that Ant (pedigree: Geordie) “kept them warm in his cosy jacket”. what else Ant keeps in his anorak is also left unsaid, and the pooches are advised to avid licking the ‘tic-tacs’.
Two more pages of Ant (not a shit) and his “2 poos” follow. We hear from a source (unnamed – pedigree: house-trained PR firm mutt), who tells us that Ant and his new love Anne-Marie (pedigree: a cross between Anne of Green Gables and Marie Antoinette) are in a “positive place”. No, not bed, you cynical sluts. Ant is taking a stroll on Wimbledon Common, and showing not the slightest hint of being affected by the man with camera tracking his every move. “Ant has never been so happy.” So there, Lisa (pedigree: ex-wife and former employee of aforesaid Anne-Marie).
By the way, the Sun lets it be know that Ant is now clean of booze and drugs (and Anne-Marie) and gainfully employed. You can keep track of his movements in your role as Ant Mentors as he treads the boards on TV show Britain’s Got Talent. First up is a man who says he can spin gold from a piece of shit. He works in PR and performs as ‘anonymous source’…
Oakley might be the person behind the company Graham Oakley – Crash Detective Ltd, which you can access via something called The Federation of Forensic & Expert Witnesses.
The Sun mentions neither company but does tell us Mr Oakley is a “retired cop”. He tells us that had the accident occurred differently then someone could have died. “It don’t beat thinking about,” he adds. Only it does because the Sun mocks up what “could” have happened. “A split second later and there would have been a tragedy,” the Sun states.
The paper then adds a look-alike image of the Prince and a figure in the 1493 Leonardo Da Vinci artwork A Man Tricked By Gypsies. This gives space for the pun “Phil The Freak”. The image, which featured in the Royal Collection, is described thus:
The man at the centre of this drawing is surrounded by a band of Gypsies in traditional dress. He raises his right arm to have his palm read by the old woman in traditional Gypsy dress on the right – unfortunately the sheet was cut at an early date and the palm-reading trimmed off. While the man is distracted, the grinning Gypsy on the left reaches under his sleeve to steal his purse. The two figures behind stare with hooded brow or laugh hysterically, adding to the sense of claustrophobic menace.
Just wait til Phil sells his story to the papers.
Transfer Balls looks at dire football reporting. So news that Miguel Almiron has joined Newcastle United is interesting. On October 7 2018, the Daily Star told its readers:
Arsenal news: Miguel Almiron set for Emirates move after £11m Atlanta United deal agreed
Nothing was agreed. But the Star’s URL hammered home its scoop:
The Daily Mirror had much the same news:
Such are the facts.
Any idea what the tabloids made of yesterday’s vote in which MPs despatched the PM to Brussels to ask the EU to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement – you know, that deal she agreed and her peers thought was crap; the one the same MPs voted down by a record margin of defeat for a serving Government a whole two weeks ago? Take a look. The tabloids it. They love “Theresa” (Mail), “She” who must be obeyed (Express) and a pretty chipper public school “May” (Mirror).
Theresa the Wheezer is limping to the finishing line. Theresa the Squeezer is eking out every last drop of credibility for her fudge. Or how about any one of Caesar, freezer, pleaser, teaser, appeaser, bumfreezer, displeaser, misfeasor, tranquilizar and any other pun the tabloids could have employed to ridicule the painfully absurd state of British politics?
Remainers and Brexiteers like to promote themselves as opposing sides in a frenzied, thrusting debate. But both camps are united only in their introversion, a chamber of inward looking dullards seeking truth in a solid past and never daring to press on. Calls for a second vote are as steeped in nostalgia and insecurity as the Brexiteers they deride, for whom distance is always measured in yards and bad teeth are a national treasure.
The tabloids must try harder. We get it: they want anyone but Corbyn, But the papers’ sappiness means we also get May. And that’s got us nowhere.
Oh for a Leaver leader capable of embracing the vote and blessed with courage and an expansive outlook. But the loud, arcane Brexiteers left it to May, a Remainer, to cobble something together as they snarked and sniped from DJ booths, newspaper columns and the back benches, turning the simple act of writing a letter, something they must have dictated to a nanny, tutor or divorce lawyer hundreds of times, into a group therapy session they flunked. Sat across the way is Jeremy Corbyn, a monocular visionary so stuffed with contradictions and hypocrisy that Michael Gove, the MP who stabbed Boris Johnson in the back, managed to toss a wreath over the Labour leader’s frowning bonce and reel him in for a pasting. And that frown, the one Corbyn uses to portray, in his mind at least, deep thought and knowing but gives him the look of a confused viewer trying to work out how Dirty Den came back from the dead.
So farewell, Theresa. Off you pop to serve the EU’s wonks the Parliament-backed Brady amendment, with its “alternative arrangements” to the Irish backstop. Best of luck. May’s shuffling back. Nigel Farage and Yvette Cooper can only look on approvingly.
Ice-skating Essex postcode Gemma Collins bursts onto the Daily Star’s cover and declares: “I’m Bigger Than the Beatles.” And what does the TV celebrity mean by “bigger”. Gemma – “whose recent notable achievements include falling over on ITV’s Dancing on Ice” (BBC) and sharing: “I actually pride myself. I’m mega-confident because I know I’ve got a designer vagina. It looks like something you’d see in a movie” (Raiders of the Lost Ark?) – says she is “as big as the Beatles”, because many people who meet her are left “shaking and sobbing”.
She sets them up – you nail them in.
Line of the day comes from former Liverpool and Leicester City player Stan Collymore now working as a Daily Mirror columnist. The job of a columnist is to foment debate. So (MAGA) hats off to Collymore for this hot take on Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs:
In fact, if Pochettino this season wins the Premier League or Champions League either of them will be the singular biggest achievement of an English club manager since Brian Clough won back-to-back European Cups with Nottingham Forest. I’d consider it better than Leicester as their title win a few years ago was a true one-off while Spurs are expected to compete.’
Previously in the Tele:
As the Spurs fans sing, ‘If you know your history…’
When back in December the Sun told us about Arsenal players allegedly inhaling nitrous oxide – “hippy crack” – we were assured that the “images will horrify Arsenal fans and enrage no-nonsense Spanish team coach Unai Emery”. Fast forward to January and club’s teenage prospect Joe Willock is the subject of an alleged huff ‘n’ tell. And the Sun once more tells us: “His antics will horrify Arsenal fans and enrage the team’s no-nonsense Spanish coach Unai Emery.”
The fallout from the December story has been softer than an autumn leaf dropping from a woodland tree. So will the Willock ‘The Pillock’ story travel better? It has a chance because it features “French model Eglantine Flore Aguilar”. You may recall her from her time with former Arsenal player Ashley Cole? Yeah – like the quote, she too is a repeat. Says La Eggplant: “He certainly moved quickly. One minute he was messaging me on Instagram, the next he was buying me tickets to London. His conversation was very boring, possibly because he’s so young. The sex was also really weird. He wanted to try all different positions in the shortest possible time. I didn’t enjoy it.”
The unmarried lad’s a nippy utility player. And:
The paper’s typo and repetition will surely horrify Sun fans and enrage the team’s no-nonsense editor.
James Bulger is back in the news. The child murdered by children is on the Mirror’s front page. “BULGERS RAGE AT OSCARS INSULTS,” says the headline. The story is yet another painful episode in which the child’s parents, Denise Ferguson and Ralph Bulger, are invited to share her pain for our gratification.
Denise Fergus is “disgusted” that Detainment, a film about the crime, is being considered for an Oscar. “To have a child re-enact the final hours of James’s life before he was brutally murdered means we have to relive the all this again,” she says.
But reliving the horror as entertainment was ever so. The comments attributed to the murder of a two-year-old by two ten-year-olds read like billboard splashes to come see the show. An act of “unparalleled evil” – Trial Judge. “In almost any city, town or village more minor versions of the same events are becoming an almost everyday part of our lives” – Tony Blair. “FREAKS OF NATURE” – Daily Mirror.
The Mirror uses its editorial to slam the “Bulger shame”. We hear that Denise Fergus’s “disgust and upset is understandable”. Of course it is. We know that. It is “about showing compassion… and respect for a woman who has suffered enough”. Why, then, is her pain front-page news? The Mirror says it is “not too late” for “Irish director [why is his nationality important?] to go cap in hand to apologise in person” to the Bulgers.
In which case he can join the queue behind the politicians, judges and tabloid Press…
The Sun leads with Patrick Panks, 43, who claims he was hit in the head and called a “peasant” by a gamekeeper on the Royal Family’s Sandringham estate. Mr Panks say a shoot was blocking the road. He complained (‘I say my good man, I’m in terrible dash. Will you be long?’, or words to the that effect). Mr Panks says the gamekeeper then hit him “several times”, causing lacerations to his head. Nasty stuff. But it’s only front-page news because Sandringham is newsworthy. We’re told the alleged incident occurred two days after Prince Philip’s prang, aka the “horror smash“. So there are two more pages of the plebs verses the ruling class.
Over pages 4 and 5, we hear the gamekeeper allegedly bellow: “Mind my dogs you fucking peasant.” The man then allegedly attacked Mr Panks, who responded: “I kept saying, ‘There’s no need for this.'” Mr Panks says the incident was an episode of “disgusting snobbery”. He was caught in the crosshairs of what he terms an “us and them culture”. Then the Sun’s bomb: “Prince Andrew is said to have been shooting on the day of the bust-up.”
The Royal Family aren’t all commemorative china cups, thimbles and faces on stamps. They’re a clique of guns, dead animals, lots of land, mastery of the handshake and more guns. It’s only in death that we get too glimpse the real them, and then only after the official biographies have doused the corpse’s remains in a gossamer weave of heroic deeds, terrific fashion nouse and hearts bursting with a purity of spirt that reaches the divine. So was it feckless Andy wielding the stick? Unlikely. The effort involved alone would rule him out. What about Phil? The Suns says he was “once the Royal Family’s keenest shot. But he is now only an observer during shoots.” He might not spot a nippy hatchback – but never misses a game bird.
Who tossed white paint over four statues: one commemorating Bomber Command; another of Sir Winston Churchill and Franklin D Roosevelt; a third to the Real Marines; and one to Canada’s fallen? All the damaged statues are in London. Paint was used – the Mirror identifies it as “white gloss”. Too early to blame East European labourers, pretty much the only people doing manual work in the capital?
The Daily Star, which once cheered for the EDL and might well have rounded up the usual suspects, is offering a £5,000 reward to “nail the vile yobs”. The Star want to “find the scum”. These “brainless scumbags”. These “idiots”. These “sick thugs”. If you know who did it – and your info leads to prosecutions and conditions – the Star will give your five grand. The Sun makes the same offer – £5,000 for a successful prosecution.
The Express hears from Squadron Leader ‘Johnny’ Johnson, 97, the last man standing from the 1943 Dambusters raids. The Express says the attack must have been premeditated. It says a group of anarchists are the likely culprits. TV’s Carole Voderman, an ambassador for the Royal Air Force Air Cadets, is upset. “I am deeply upset,” she says.
The paper reminds us that the Bomber Command Memorial has been targeted before. In 2013, someone wrote “Islam” on it in big red letters. A week after that, someone else, with access to more paint, wrote “EDL”, “Fuck the police” and “Lee Rigby’s killers should hang”. No mention of that in the Star.
Having heard Ant McPartlin hook up with the sympathetic Sun to trail the new season of Britain’s Got Talent as part of the star’s rehab programme, more papers lead with the celebrity who in less PR-driven times could be termed a love rat, troubled and drink-drive maniac.
The Express, Sun and Metro all lead not with Ant’s new partner, the rock-like Anne–Marie, rather Dec, the second part of the presenter’s double act. Dec was “angry” when Ant as arrested for drink-driving (Sun). Dec is laughing now he’s back on the telly with Ant (Metro). Ant is terrified that Holly Willoughby, who stepped in to present I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! will replace him. She may even be more liked by the public, what with her being vivacious, witty, not shagging her partner’s now former PA, not driving drunk into a car carrying a couple and their young child, and not taking drugs. Willoughby was a stop up in evolutionary terms.
Ant’s rehabilitation is all well and good – and good for him for finding a blonde fossil on which to build an empire. But this is surely about Simon Cowell, without whom Britain would be virtually talent free. What should have happened is that this series was made all about the presenters, a talent show for who can partner Dec or replace him and Ant entirely. If you’ve a dying granny, are a single dad with hair on the list of UNESCO sites of special scientific interest and/ or once shagged the aforesaid Cowell and are looking for a return favour, get in touch. Criminal records and failed blood tests are no barrier. Cowell missed a trick.
Any more puff in the Sun’s piece on Ant McPartlin and the paper would be classed as a Class B drug. As the record shows, Ant is a drink driver scheduled to reappear as the lovable host of Britain’s Got Talent. Just in time for his return to the public eye on his own terms (see court case), Ant stands before the Sun and blinds his with his loveliness and his love for his now ex-wife’s former PA.
Ant says his new lover, one Anne-Marie Corbett, is his “rock”. “She’s a beautiful soul.” She is “the most wonderful true woman”. He then harps on: “I don’t feel the need to defend Anne-Marie but I will say you’ve got to be careful judging other people’s relationships or what you think is the truth that’s been put out there.” As for the ex-wife, Lisa Armstrong, well, Ant notes in a story on the Sun’s font page: “‘She can live her life how she wants to live her life and say what she wants but I prefer to keep that private.” It’ll go no further with us, Ant.
So Ant’s back on the magic box with Dec. And it’s Ant ‘n’ Dec all over again – but not Dec ‘n’ Ant. The big star comes first and the sidekick second – see Batman and Robin, Jesus and Mary, Simon and Garfunkel, and Robson and Jerome. Like it not, Ant is the bigger deal. It’s not by accident that his name comes first. Nonsense , of course. It’s just an alphabetical thing. So it was Ant and Lisa; and now it’s Anne-Marie and Ant. Fair’s fair, Lisa…
In today’s 2-0 win for a hard-working Arsenal side over a limited Chelsea, Gunners defender Hector Bellerin was injured. Something happened to his knee. There was no blood. No broken bones. No flesh let on the turf. But to the Sun it was a “horror injury”. How bad was it? Well, the paper wants you to look, oozing: “BELL TOLLS – Watch moment Bellerin suffers horror leg injury before being carried off in tears during Arsenal’s win over Chelsea.” Ghoulish? Yep. But anyone hoping for gore will be sadly disappointed.
After watching a short video of Bellerin falling over – the film topped by an advert for Ibis Hotels (check out those brand values, lads) – readers are told Bellerin was stretchered off “after appearing to suffer a horror leg injury”. Adding: “Replays seemed to show a ligament next to his left knee SNAP.” They did? Maybe. Maybe not. The paper then opines: “Gunners boss Unai Emery will be hoping Bellerin’s injury is not too serious.” He can hope all he likes; the Sun has spoken: it was a “horror injury”. If Emery doesn’t believe us he can watch the video.
The Metro gives us a second opinion: “Hector Bellerin suffered a suspected cruciate knee ligament injury during Arsenal’s Premier League clash with Chelsea.” Suspected by whom?
The Standard doesn’t hear the knee go “SNAP”. Bellerin “went down without contact from a Chelsea player, appearing to twist his knee.” He twisted his knee. Painful. But a “horror injury”?
The Express thunders: “ARSENAL star Hector Bellerin faces nine months on the sidelines after suffering a knee injury against Chelsea.” That all? The diagnosis is rooted in the opinion of a US physio watching the game on the telly.
As for facts… “It is his knee,” Arsenal manager Unai Emery confirmed after the game. “The first prediction is it is an important [bad] injury. I hope no, but it is not positive, our first impression.” More to follow…
To say that the Daily Mirror’s transfer reporting on Manchester City’s pursuit of Ajax’s Netherlands midfielder Frenkie De Jong is sourced at bullshit.com is to give it too much credit. Today’s news in the “intelligent tabloid” is that the 21-year-old dreams of playing for Pep Guardiola. So City it is. But Frenkie’s a pragmatic sort so he’s willing to join PSG because they’re the only club willing to meet Ajax’s £66m asking price.
This would all be less interesting were it not for the fact that the Mirror has previously told us De Jong agreed to joined City for £61m:
In other Manchester City transfer balls, AS says Pep likes Spurs midfielder Christian Eriksen, although Real Madrid remain favourites to sign the 26-year-old. City also like Crystal Palsce’s 21-year-old right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka. And a deal has been agreed to recruit Hajduk Split’s Ante Palaversa for an initial £7m.
One day after the Meaningful Vote and the newspapers are going for Jeremy Corbyn, aka Plan B:
Leading Brexiteeer and Tory MP Michael Gove ticks off Corbyn’s faults – well some of them:
The cross party talks to reach a Brexit deal so far: Labour won’t talk to the Tories; the Tories will only listen to the DUP; the Lib Dems want to do it all over again with a 2nd referendum; and the SNP want the UK to stay in the Union so it can, er, best leave the Union. Such are the facts.
Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans are on hold. The Mail leads with news that “Boris’s blonde” is at the couple’s new “love nest”. ‘Boris’s blonde what?’, you may well ask? His mullet? His merkin? His visions for Europe? No. The blonde is the Tory MP’s “first Lady” Carrie Symonds.
Inside and the paper’s headline is full of facts and guff: “Boris’s ‘First Lady’: As Johnson’s blonde, 30, steps out of £1m flat they share, we reveal how she’s already nicknamed ‘FLOTUS’ – like president’s wife – and also shares passion for raw ambition with ‘puppy dog’ Boris, 54.” He’s ‘Boris’ no fewer than twice; she is “Johnson’s blonde” – not even a blonde in her own right, rather the property of the Tory manqué.
Like the Mail, the Express also leads with Boris and whatsherface. The papers talk of her pinching his arse; much canoodling; some smooching; and a cosy new pad.
And finally, it would seem, readers would do well heed the Johnson’s advice: stay in bed until Brexit is done. Oh, and there are the ages, of course, of which no report on the love birds is complete. He’s 54; she’s 30. Yeah, that’s right, Remainers. The Brexiteer really has gone back to the 30s and she’s getting aroused by the 50s.
You’ve never had it so good (nor so often – phwoarr!).
Did you see The Rock ruck into millennials for being “snowflakes” and “PC softies”? The Star made it front-page news. Well, The Rock (aka Dwayne Johnson) claims the paper made the whole thing up. “It’s not a real [The Rock] interview if I’m ever insulting a group, a generation, or anyone because that’s not me, that’s not who I am, and that’s not what we do,” says Dwayne.
Anyone now looking for the story on the paper’s website is met by an apology:
What happened? Are there two Rocks – and is the Star caught between them?
Arsenal fans reading about the club’s moves for Roma’s Turkish forward Cengiz Under will be confused as to what the club has bid. The Press are guessing. So far we’ve been told that Arsenal have bid anything from £35m to £55m for the player Roma value at, er, £45m:
“Arsenal have £55m bid for top transfer target Cengiz Under rejected” – The Sun Jan 2.
The paper adds that Arsenal are “battling Tottenham, Manchester United and City for Roma striker”. They are?
“Arsenal AND Chelsea target £54m Roma star Cengiz Under for January transfer window” – Daily Express, Dec 19
The Express lobs Chelsea into the mix.
“ARSENAL TRANSFER EXCLUSIVE: Cengiz Under latest as Chelsea drop out of race for £45m star” – Daily Star Jan 6
“Arsenal hopes of landing £45m AS Roma ace Cengiz Under dashed” – Daily Mirror, Jan 5
“Arsenal are not expected to make an improved offer for Roma’s £45m-rated Cengiz Under, having failed with an initial £35m bid for the 21-year-old Turkey winger” – BBC, Jan 7
“UNDER THE HAMMER Arsenal bid £29million for Roma star Cengiz Under rejected with Tottenham monitoring situation” – The Sun, December 16
Such are the facts.
What to do with a player who think he’s made for better – and better paid – things? Arsenal showed Aaron Ramsey the door when he asked for a huge weekly wage. Tottenham have a similar issue with Toby Alderweireld. His contract was due to expire at the season’s end. But Spurs took up an option to extend his contract by a year until 2020. The downside is that the extension clause means he’s available for £25 million. That’s a whole lot better than seeing arguably their best defender leave for free in the summer, and £25m is good money for a player who cost the club £11.5m in July 2015. But it’s a matter of look what you could have got. Spurs have a new stadium to pay for, and selling players looks a likely source of income. Rumours of Alderweireld going for around £60m were high in the summer. But no approaches were made.
Surely now they will be? Arsenal need a defender. And Manchester United were looking. The Daily Star jumped the gun with some shameless clickbait:
Such are the facts.
The BBC tells us that Chelsea are signing Gonzalo Higuain, 31. Currently on loan from Juventus at AC Milan, Higuain would add some proven finishing ability to a side reliant on the unconvincing Alvaro Morata. The Sun adds that this is a swap deal and Morata will head to Milan on loan. Can the Sun be relied upon to deliver the facts? Not always, no:
Any deal hinging on Morata, who joined Chelsea from Real Madrid in 2017 for £60m, has to be problematic. Morata has scored seven goals this season but lacks confidence. Chelsea coach Gianfranco Zola wants the player to step up:
“It should be a motivational thing. You are at Chelsea. You’re not playing for Southampton or Brighton, with all due respect for those clubs. People expect a lot from the No 9 of Chelsea. This is normal and Álvaro has to get used to it.
“If he goes to another big club, it’s going to be the same. There is no way you can avoid your responsibilities. It’s part of your job and the better you can handle those situations, the better you’re going to be.
“I know he feels he doesn’t score enough and he feels a lot of responsibility on that. He has to learn to leave everything behind because these are only burdens you take on the pitch and they won’t help you to perform better.”
Bet AC Milan can’t wait to rely on him for goals.
As regular readers know, I’ve been tracking the utter tosh written about Aaron Ramsey’s looming departure from Arsenal. Having told readers that Ramsey had signed a deal to join Juventus – a mere 12 hours after telling the same readers the player was still talking to PSG, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and the Italians – the Sun reports today: “CASHING IN Aaron Ramsey scoops £8m signing-on fee at Juventus plus huge appearance bonus after agreeing free transfer from Arsenal.”
Having told readers that the deal is done, the Sun tells them it ,er, it isn’t: “The Italians offered the Welshman a basic salary similar to his earnings at the Emirates, but included hefty incentives in the proposed contract.” The story then tells us a lot of ‘ifs’:
The source for this misleading tosh is La Gazzetta dello Sport. it does not ay a deal has been done. It says – and this through the mangle of Google Translate: Exit polls ensure that Ramsey’s entourage has cashed the proposal with great interest. So much so that the bianconeri are absolutely at the forefront in a challenge that sees Inter also very active, but especially the rich Psg of Sheikh Al Thani.” So PSG and Inter both want Ramsey. Nothing has been signed.
The Mirror says: “…people are ‘jumping the gun’ over a deal being done. Juventus are Ramsey’s preferred choice, however, with discussions continuing at pace. The Bianconeri could even try to tempt Arsenal into doing business for Ramsey this month for a cut price fee, rather than waiting for the summer.”
In other news, the London Evening Standard says: “Juventus are in pole position ahead of Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in the race to sign the Wales international, with reports in Italy suggesting he is close to agreeing a five-year deal.” Reports in England says the deal is done. And it;s not all doom and gloom for the Gunners: “Juve are willing to offer Sami Khedira as part of a deal to land Ramsey this month, while Liverpool and Manchester United are reportedly monitoring the situation.”
Such are the facts.