Storm in a teacup
Daily Mail, January 26: ‘SANCHEZ IN DRUG STORM’
Daily Mirror, January 26: ‘SANCHEZ’S DRUGS SHOCK’
Arsene Wenger, January 26: “I am quite relaxed. We have nothing to hide. We always try our best to co-operate with doping control.”
Asked whose fault it was, the Arsenal manager admitted: “On the administration side, it was ours.”
Glad to see that storm took about eight hours to subside.
‘Manchester United fear Jose Mourinho could resign at the end of the season as boss starts to cut increasingly detached figure at Old Trafford’ – Matt Lawton, Daily Mail, January 3.
Our favourite lines from the exclusive include:
‘There is growing concern inside Old Trafford that Jose Mourinho will not be the manager of Manchester United next season.’
‘Indeed, there is a sense that things are beginning to unravel in an all too familiar fashion, with insiders worried that it will conclude with Mourinho resigning at the end of the current campaign.’
‘He cuts a disgruntled figure, a malcontent seemingly unhappy at United and always looking to escape the city.’
Quite why this ‘recluse’ would extend his stay in Manchester a mere 23 days later is beyond us all.
Singing the Blues
Neil Ashton, The Sun, page 60: 'Chelsea do not have a player earning £200,000 a week.'
The Sun, page 62: pic.twitter.com/uFyZ5bqtlY
— Football365 (@F365) January 26, 2018
He’s technically right; they have two earning £220,000 a week.
Singing the Blues, part 2
Ashton is not done there. His article for The Sun details how Antonio Conte has ‘puts himself in chief’s firing line’ – said ‘chief’ being chairman Bruce Buck.
The piece details the breakdown in relationships between Conte and numerous Chelsea executives, but hold on…
‘He exceeded his authority last summer when he ditched Diego Costa by text, wiping millions off the Brazilian’s transfer value.’
Chelsea sold Costa to Atletico Madrid for £57m. They signed him for £30m. He was 28.
Heck, even Ashton’s Sun mate Andrew Dillon said Conte was ‘laughing all the way to the bank’ after ‘the kind of deal that would have made Rodney and Del Boy proud’ on September 22.
Singing the Blues, part 3
You would be forgiven for thinking Chelsea didn’t actually spend any money, going by Ashton’s article.
‘Chelsea are operating under different financial controls these days after Abramovich tightened the purse strings.’
Now look here. Manchester City were the only club to spend more on transfers than Chelsea in the summer. Liverpool, Everton and Southampton are the only clubs to spend more on transfers so far this month. They’re hardly struggling for cash.
Matt Lawton has a (completely relevant) question for us all in the Daily Mail:
‘So why does £1m tax probe Brighton striker have business links to Palace chairman and football agent?’
You see, the Mail’s chief sports reporter has spotted something: Glenn Murray ‘is involved in a business whose shareholders include Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish,’ among others.
‘Sportsmail can reveal that Murray, his agent Will Salthouse and Parish are shareholders in a chicken restaurant business called Dirtybird Restaurants Limited,’ Lawton writes.
So Parish, along with numerous other people, invested in a company with someone who was recently arrested and released over tax fraud? But that company is not even slightly linked to said tax fraud investigation? Why have the police not been round to see Parish yet?
It is not until the 11th paragraph that Lawton slips in the detail that ‘there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by Parish, or indeed Salthouse, Murray and Wayne Routledge, the Swansea City footballer who also has shares’ in the company.
‘So why’ is the headline used to imply wrongdoing?
A mere Khan
Last Saturday, Yeovil midfielder Otis Khan pushed a referee; he was sent off. The 22-year-old was banned for three games as a result, extended to five after a ludicrous appeal. Seems fair?
Not according to Alyson Rudd of The Times. She argues that Yeovil’s FA Cup fourth-round tie with Manchester United on Friday ‘has been robbed of its central narrative’ with Khan suspended.
‘The rules need to change,’ Rudd writes. ‘The underdogs’ best chance of causing an upset evaporated when Khan was sent off in a League Two match on Saturday.’
Then we should probably blame the person who pushed a referee.
‘Khan, who was a member of the United youth team for ten years until being rejected in 2012, cannot feature in the game at Huish Park because he shoved the referee after Chesterfield scored the winner in a 2-1 home defeat and was sent off. Khan felt he was fouled in the build-up to the goal.’
Yes, and then he pushed a referee. Which is something you can’t do.
‘It is devastating for the 22-year-old, but there will be plenty who believe that he is the architect of his own misfortune.’
Yes, because he pushed a referee. Which is something you can’t do.
‘Tonight, the BBC cameras would have been trained on him. The FA Cup needs stories such as Khan’s, which is just one reason why he should have been allowed to play.’
Are we suggesting that suspensions should be suspended if they impinge on the ‘narrative’ of the FA Cup? That there should be an exception to the rules just because you now can’t play against the club you supported as a kid?
He pushed a referee. Which is something you can’t do.
‘Danny Ings is all set to end two years of injury hell by returning to Liverpool’s first-team tomorrow’ – David Maddock, Daily Mirror.
Who on earth was that bloke they brought on against Swansea on Monday, then?
Writes Charlie Sale in the Daily Mail:
‘FA senior communications manager Andy Walker was introduced to the Armenia representative at the media workshop in Lausanne for UEFA’s 55 countries before the Nations League draw.
‘On discovering Walker was from England, the Armenian woman said: ‘My son plays football in your country.’ Walker asked:’ Who for?’ and she replied:’ He’s just joined Arsenal, his name’s Henrikh.’
‘Mkhitaryan’s mother Marina is head of the national team department at the Armenian FA and was standing in as a media rep.’
More as we get it.
Recommended reading of the day
Alan Tyers on Manchester United’s No.7 shirt.
Sid Lowe on Javi Gracia.
Jack Lang on Malcom.