Bookmarked: The Return
Headline on the Daily Star website on Monday: ‘Karim Benzema to be unveiled as Arsenal player before kick-off against Liverpool.’
Mediawatch is reeling; we thought this was absolute gospel. Somebody owes us 60 quid for the shirt. First stop ‘Italian writer Emanuele Giulianelli’. Bastardo.
Send In The Clowns
‘Exclusive’ from Harry Pratt in the Daily Star on Sunday, August 23: ‘KARIM BENZEMA is ready to swap Real Madrid for Arsenal.’
Karim Benzema, August 25: ‘For all those clowns who want to make believe things at my fans. Here this is my home ! #HalaMadridYNadaMas.’
Pratt. Clown. Nonsense.
Fresh from claiming that Karim Benzema (really) secretly wants to join Arsenal, the Daily Star website tells us on Tuesday: ‘Neymar wants to complete stunning move to Manchester United.’
Of course he does.
‘NEYMAR is reportedly open to the idea of joining Manchester United,’ it says here. ‘It’s thought in Spain that the Brazil star could be following the lead of Gerard Pique. The Real Madrid centre-back used United’s interest to negotiate a new bumper deal at the Bernabeu this summer.’
A couple of things…
1) It’s b**locks.
2) Gerard Pique doesn’t play for Real Madrid.
Tweet Of The Day
From BBC website editor Stuart Rowson: ‘Neymar to #mufc is “complete utter and total garbage” so we’re told. That’s that then.’
If only, Stuart, if only.
Theatre Of The Absurd
‘At first glance, Neymar to Manchester United seems absurd,’ writes Adrian Durham on MailOnline. At second and third glance too, Adrian, but we’re listening…
‘When you are Brazil’s No 1 star, you should be the superstar at your club. That’s how it has usually worked in years gone by. Ronaldo and Ronaldinho wherever they went, and Kaka at AC Milan just a few examples.
‘Neymar cannot be that star while he is at Barcelona alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
‘What really hurts is the perception that Neymar is lower in the Barcelona playing pecking order than an Argentine and a Uruguayan. For a Brazilian, that absolutely matters. Brazilians do not take kindly to being second best in South America, and certainly won’t accept being third best.’
So Neymar will leave the finest team in world football for a much, much sh*tter one, just so he can be the best player – largely because Brazilians do not like Argentines or Uruguayans. He should join Huddersfield Town to make really, really sure.
Tony Banks, The Daily Express, January 2015, EXCLUSIVE: ‘CHELSEA are planning a £40million raid on Juventus this summer for France World Cup star Paul Pogba.’
Tony Banks, The Daily Express, March 2015: ‘In midfield, Juventus’ Paul Pogba is another long-term target and if there is any indication a deal can be done, it will be, perhaps with Oscar going in the other direction. Chelsea are planning a £40m bid for the former United man.’
Tony Banks, The Daily Express, April 2015: ‘(Oscar) is facing the prospect of being used as bait by Chelsea to enable them to land long-term target Paul Pogba, the £60m Juventus midfielder.’
Tony Banks, The Daily Express, August 2015, EXCLUSIVE: ‘Mourinho is still interested in Juventus star Pogba and is considering using Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado – who cost them £23m last January but has never settled and wants a move back to Italian football – as part of a possible deal, although they have told Juventus they are not willing to pay more than £60m for the midfielder.’
Tony Banks, The Daily Express, later in August 2015, EXCLUSIVE: ‘CHELSEA’S move for Juventus star Paul Pogba hotted up tonight as they had an opening £60million players plus cash bid rejected.’
Tony Banks, The Daily Express, later still in August 2015, EXCLUSIVE: ‘CHELSEA are ready to smash the British transfer record and pay up to £72million to land Paul Pogba after owner Roman Abramovich gave the go-ahead for a second bid this week. Chelsea have had an opening offer of around £55m rejected by Juventus.’
So they were going to offer £40m but didn’t. Then they were going to offer £60m and no more. But then actually offered £55m. And now they will go up to £72m. We suggest that Juventus hold out; Chelsea will be offering £100m by Tuesday.
Cech It Out
According to the Daily Mirror’s match ratings, Petr Cech ‘had a worldy’ and made ‘too many crazy saves to remember’ on Monday night
1) Why did he only get 8/10 – the same as Gabriel? Did he have a ‘worldy’ too?
2) What is your brain capacity if you cannot even remember two saves? Especially when Darren Lewis describes them in detail roughly three inches to the right…
According to The Sun’s player ratings – powered by Opta – Philippe Coutinho (6) was equally as good as Calum Chambers (6), described as ‘the weakest link of all’ by Steven Howard in the accompanying match report.
Neil Ashton offers the ‘INSIDE TRACK’ in the Daily Mail. Thankfully. We simply don’t know what is happening unless we read Ashton.
‘Arsenal are nervous and vulnerable at home and they could not break down Brendan Rodgers’ team. Here is why,’ he promises.
First up…CHAOTIC DEFENDING.
Aye. That will be exactly why they could not break down Rodgers’ team (despite having 19 shots).
How the Daily Express SEO the f*** out of Arsene Wenger’s quotes about not needing a new defensive midfielder:
‘Arsene Wenger to anger Arsenal fans as Real Madrid star cleared for Liverpool move.’
Mediawatch almost has to admire the thought process:
* Wenger doesn’t want defensive midfielder.
* Arsenal have been spuriously linked with Asier Illarramendi.
* So have Liverpool.
Sky Sports website, August 25, 10am: ‘West Ham hope to land Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor on a loan deal until the end of the season, Sky sources understand.’
Do they ‘understand’ because they read it on the Daily Mirror website at 11am on August 24?
Simon Johnson, Evening Standard, October 1, 2014: ‘One of the key ingredients missing when he (Jose) returned to Chelsea last summer was a top class defensive midfielder. No worthy successor to the incomparable Claude Makelele, who left the club in 2008, had been found since his departure – until now.’
Simon Johnson, Evening Standard, August 24, 2015: ‘Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas just aren’t a quick or physical enough duo to form an impenetrable barrier ahead of Chelsea’s backline in a 4-2-3-1 formation. The pair’s ability on the ball and their attacking qualities are unquestionable but when faced with pace and clever movement, they’re found wanting.’
‘They say football can make a mug of you and that’s certainly proving the case with Manchester City,’ begins Ian Wright’s column in The Sun.
Wright tipped his beloved Arsenal for the title; it’s fair to say that you made a Sports Direct-sized mug of yourself, fella.
Headline Of The Day
‘SEVEN DAYS TO GRAB A GAALACTICO’ – The Daily Mail. Simple but just lovely.
Wincing Headline Of The Day
‘Angry Dick’s on the brink’ – The Daily Star.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
‘A woman today admitted performing oral sex on her boyfriend in a McDonald’s drive-thru car park. Lisa Gray, 28, pleaded guilty to carrying out a “lewd, obscene” act in a public place on her lover Rhys Higgins, 24, who admitted the same charge. McDonald’s staff called police at 5am after they spotted the couple’s car parked at a drive-thru in Morriston, Swansea, on May 6.
‘Gray, wearing a black dress, spoke only to enter her plea during the ten-minute hearing at Swansea crown court. Higgins, dressed in a black top, smirked as he pleaded guilty to a similar charge’ – Daily Mirror.