March 31, 2009
In a sea of England related news it's almost a relief to see one of the The Sun's famous "unnamed sources" providing us with some transfer tittle-tattle to break the monotony.
Apparently, Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is ready to fill the Robbie Keane shaped hole in his squad with Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o. An £18m summer raid and wages on a four-year deal at £135,000 a week should do it.
March 30, 2009
Michael Owen's future is the subject of most tabloid talk on Monday as England's injury crisis up front gets worse. Who will Fabio Capello pick ahead of the Newcastle man? It's Darren Bent, what a slap in the face!
Most papers are putting the final nails in the striker's international coffin, with the Sun proclaiming that the former wonder -boy is history. Capello is apparently not keen to rely on his past glories for a crucial game against the Ukraine next week. Of course, relying on a misfiring £16.5m striker who is not even guaranteed a game with Spurs seems a much better option.
March 29, 2009
Welcome to another exciting instalment of the ESPN Soccernet Paper Round. Remember on Saturday when I revealed that Cesc Fabregas' padre claimed he was flattered with links to Barcelona and Real Madrid? Well the press have picked that up and run with it. And jumped a few hurdles too!
The News of the World, the home of your Sunday roast football gossip, has the EXCLUSIVE that the player has not ruled out a move to one of Spain's two traditional giants. Fab can buy himself out of his contract in January. Surely that's not what Fab is about, though? The club captain?
March 28, 2009
Another week goes by, and the hacks down on Fleet Street churn out seven more days of speculation and counter speculation about the goings on down at Manchester City.
It's no different on this international Saturday with the shiny Eastlands club taking up the column inches. Yes, they are being linked with players. Again.
After missing out on Ronaldinho last summer, the Daily Mirror says that Ronaldinho is now ready to join City. We reckon he'll enjoy an away day at Middlesbrough just as much as Robinho!
March 27, 2009
Sir Alex Ferguson has put the question of his retirement date firmly on the backburner since 2002 but his son might just have blown his cover. Just about every publication possible has picked up the words of son Darren. The Telegraph is not alone in reporting his belief that he will retire after next season.
The same paper carries a line that Emmanuel Adebayor is back in AC Milan's sights.
March 26, 2009
Another day, another raft of headlines from the England camp in the UK’s papers... well, it is an international week.
Where once there was “Goldenballs” now there is “Crazy Man” for that is the description Fabio Capello has bestowed upon Wayne Rooney as he called on the Manchester Untied striker to curb his aggression.
Rooney was not the only player singled out for criticism as Don Fabio also tore a strip of Ashley Cole for his recent appearances on the front pages of the tabloids.
March 25, 2009
Reading Wednesday’s UK papers it is clear that the fiasco surrounding Ledley King’s England call-up is far from over, with a war brewing between the Fabio Capello camp and Tottenham Hotspur.
Despite his chronic knee injury forcing King to leave the England camp without training just 40 hours after being called up, Capello is determined to pick the player again, according to The Times.
March 24, 2009
We all know that Manchester City are the new Mr Money Bags on the block, flush with cash and ready to hunt down the greatest talent in the world.
So, it will come as no surprise to hear that they are in for.... Diego Forlan! Yes, that goal-rich striker who performed so admirably in his time across the city with United.
Now, good old Diego has done well in Spain with Atletico Madrid and Villarreal. But well enough for City to splash out a mooted £30m? Come on, pull the other one! It's up to you if you want to go with the Daily Mirror's flow.
March 23, 2009
Liverpool's seemingly inexorable rise to their first title in 19 years dominates proceedings. The Sun leads with "Rafa and Gerro warn United" and continues its knacking of shortening names for little reason with Steven Howard's "Now Roo must come up trumps", a paen to the scouser who may yet deny the club he admits to hating.
The rest of that paper is taken up with tributes to Jade Goody - a 16-page pull-out, in fact.
March 22, 2009
Credit where it’s due: The News of the World always come up with some stonkingly good stories to fill their pages on Sunday, and today is no different.
Their top football piece claims that Manchester City are planning an audacious summer transfer move for Barcelona striker Thierry Henry. The clincher being that super-agent Pini “I get the job done” Zahavi is setting up the deal.
March 21, 2009
As The Times rightly points out, Manchester United and Liverpool might have avoided each other in the final stages of the Champions League following Friday’s draw, but they still ended up in a war of words.
This time it’s Sir Alex Ferguson, not Rafa Benitez on the attack, with the United boss pouring scorn on his Liverpool counterpart’s mathematics skills.
In The Guardian Fergie laughs off Rafa’s claim that Liverpool are a poor relation to United, and turned the tables suggesting that the Spaniard was a chequebook manager who had failed to develop his own players, comments that were also run by The Daily Mail.
In The Telegraph Fergie says according to his calculations Liverpool have spent £24m more than United over the last five years, thus contradicting Rafa’s recent claim that United had spent £100m more than Liverpool.
It looks like mind games have well and truly begun!
Elsewhere in Saturday’s UK papers there are pages of Champions League draw fallout; and quite right, too.
The business end of the European season is a fascinating time, and made more so by, as The Daily Star rightly points out, the fifth Champions League meeting between Chelsea and Liverpool in as many seasons.
While The Sun think Ferguson will be happy with their easy draw The Daily Mirror suggest the club’s senior figures are already worrying about the possibility of a “nightmare” final in Rome against Liverpool.
The papers also carry reports of a fresh injury to the increasingly brittle Theo Walcott, who could be out for the rest of the season, after what The Daily Star report is a knee injury sustained while walking at the end of Friday’s training session.
The Independent report that Walcott has been ruled out of England's forthcoming internationals, including the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine, with Arsene Wenger, fearing the 20-year-old is unable to play for at least five weeks.
The Guardian say the freak knee injury left the forward "absolutely distraught", while The Daily Express claim he is "completely distraught". Either way, he’s not happy.
And finally in transfer news The Express report that despite Aaron Lennon’s new contract Spurs could still face a battle to keep him this summer. Liverpool are said to be keen.
Staying with The Express, it is also reported that Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill is preparing for another tug-of-war with Liverpool as Benitez renew’s his £18m interest in Gareth Barry.
March 20, 2009
The Rafael Benitez contract story broke so late on Wednesday that few papers had the time to react in their customary nature. Oh, my, how that has changed this morning!
You cannot move for rumour and counter rumour. Rafa's got cash to spend, he has targets, not enough cash for one of them... it's all getting so exciting down at Anfield!
Starting with our old friends at The Sun, which claims Liverpool have earmarked a £30m "war chest" for the summer. The newspaper claims this amount is a "monster". It's not even a Wayne Rooney!
For certain, it seems likely that won't nearly be enough to get David Villa from Valencia despite their money worries, The Times links Rafa with both Villa and Wigan's Antonio Valenica, but claims Real Mardid or Barcelona is a more likely destination. The Daily Mail tips Barca.
The Sun, though, thinks there's the real chance of being Groundhog Day at the end of the current campaign. Yes, Rafa wants Garry Barry again. The consistently inconsistent Aaron Lennon is linked too.
The Daily Mirror believes the budget will be £40m, though, and Fernando Torres will be handed a bumper new pay day.
Back to West Ham's best friend, Mr Carlos Tevez, and what seems now to be a never-ended compensation battle. The Guardian predicts the final compensation bill will be £25,6m. But does this include Fulham's new claim for £700,000 in lost prize money for their final league position (The Independent).=?
Transfer talk now, and after Jose Mourinho was linked with a Premier League splurge it seems AC Milan could follow suit. The Daily Mirror claims they will move from Emmanuel Adebayor and also Alex of Chelsea.
Manchester United will be please to hear Nemanja Vidic's agent claim the defender will stay at Old Trafford. Let's be honest, there was never a chance of him leaving. Unless, of course, he writes a book (The Daily Mail).
March 19, 2009
Rafa Benitez dominates proceedings in the British inkies. And why not? His transfer saga has been the subject of rampant speculation for, well, months and months and months. He's signed the deal, or at least agreed it and will be at Anfield/Stanley Park/New Anfield/KFC Stadium until 2014.
That's in every paper possible. Few of them have found the real story behind why it's happened now and not before or later. His battle with Rick Parry has often been quoted as the turning point, with transfer policy a particular sticking point, yet The Guardian believe he will have to work under a new chief executive.
In The Independent, Ian Herbert offers a decent timeline piece on the whole affair. The Daily Mail says he has been offered £25m over those five years. To be quite honest, very little else is offered. Perhaps the Sundays can produce a bit more info on it. Even the Liverpool Echo/Daily Post let us down.
Across the East Lancs Road, Sir Alex Ferguson's interview in left-leaning periodical "The New Statesman", and his comments about Rafa's fabled comments being "weird", potential retirement dates, favourite players, favourite rival bosses, is lifted by all and sundry. Carried out by master tweeter and blogger, Burnley fan Alastair Campbell, it is not hugely disimilar to his interview with Sir David Frost last year. Though there is some regretful praise of Tony Blair and New Labour. Stick to the football, Alex.
Tabloid tales: Nani tells the Daily Mirror, or whatever source they pinched it from, that Jose Mourinho is the man to replace Sir Alex. Not that he will be there by the time Fergie does hang up his hairdryer. The same paper says Freddie Kanoute wants to come back to the Premier League.
The Sun says Carlos Tevez will not be allowed to extend his loan deal at Manchester United and that the Red Devils will have to buy him outright. Which is hardly a dazzling revelation in our eyes.
On to the sensation that's got everyone talking...in Hull. The Fabregas spitting row. Cesc gives an "exclusive" interview to Wapping's finest that seems to bear a considerable resemblance to the statement he gave to the Arsenal website. With one addition. He denies that he spat at Michael Ballack four years ago. He "leant over and shouted at him."
Back to the broadsheets where The Times says that fans are doing their best to get the Everton v Manchester United FA Cup semi-final moved. Getting back to the north west after a 4pm start and the potential of extra-time and penalties could mean that fans will get home way past the witching hour. Key line here: "The FA was unmoved last night, insisting that the matches were arranged weeks ago with Sky Sports and Setanta, the broadcasters, but gave an assurance that there would be a full rail service operating for fans to get home."
A sentence to drive fear and loathing into the heart of any right-thinking football fan or regular user of the West Coast mainline.
March 18, 2009
It's the story that won't die. So let's get it out of the way at the top and then move on.
Tevez-gate (surely the saga deserves to be 'gated' by now?) is threatening "legal anarchy" say West Ham in the Independent, after learning of Neil Warnock and his ex-players plans to sue for lost earnings.
The Guardian report that the Upton Park club are determined not to pay a penny more in compensation, and claim that the figure the players want is around £5m.
In the Daily Telegraph it is claimed that both West Ham and the Premier League are confident that they will be able to defend any legal action arising from the Carlos Tevez affair.
But the real fly in the ointment is the emergence of the belligerent and bearded Ken Bates, who appears to have scented blood, or money; one or the other.
According to the Daily Express the Leeds United chairman may sue West Ham over Tevez-gate, claiming a loss of earnings on three players from Elland Road that were sold to Sheffield United. Matthew Kilgallon, Rob Hulse and Ian Bennett had clauses in their contracts entitling Leeds to a windfall had the players stayed in the Premier League.
Just when West Ham thought it was all over, two new problems emerged. It's like Hercules facing the Lernaean Hydra. Those unfamiliar with Greek mythology can either trust me, or look it up.
In other news Cesc Fabregas is at the centre of, according to the Sun, a "sensational" story in which the Arsenal midfielder is accused of spitting at Hull City assistant manager Brian Horton at the end of Arsenal 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final win.
The Daily Mirror have the same story in which it is alleged that Fabregas, who wasn’t even playing, spat at Horton’s feet. Whether the rather vulgar incident contained any malice is unclear, but Hull boss Phil Brown is livid: "That is their club captain, hopefully he is proud of himself."
The Mirror also report that Jose Mourinho has been given the go ahead to splurge £100m on summer transfers at Inter Milan with Didier Drogba, Abou Diaby, Jermaine Jenas and Nemanja Vidic thought to feature prominently on the Special One’s shopping list.
One man not on Mourinho’s list is Portuguese playmaker Deco, who could have played his last game for Chelsea. Despite the diminutive 31-year-old's season being over thanks to knee ligament damage Atletico Madrid are lining up a £5m summer move, according to The Star.
the Sun are running the annual break-away story claiming that football's most powerful clubs are hatching plans for a European Super League which "could destroy the Premier League".
Michael Owen's future at Newcastle United appears to be in serious doubt. The Times report that the relegation threatened club have pressed pause on attempts to tie the striker to a new contract until their Premier League status is assured. Could be a long wait.
Forget spring cleaning, the time for a clear-out in football is during the summer when you buy new ornaments to replace the gaudy old ones you’ve had enough of.
The Guardian report that Manchester City boss Mark Hughes is show the door to Dietmar Hamann, Darius Vassell, Elano, Michael Ball and Benjani. But, having proved himself at Everton, City’s on-loan striker Jo has been told he has a future at Eastlands, so says Daily Telegraph.
And finally, the most incredible story of the day comes from the Sun where it is claimed that if Florentino Perez becomes president of Real Madrid he will offer LA Galaxy £10m to bring back David Beckham to the Bernabeu.
March 17, 2009
Less than 24 hours after West Ham and Sheffield United thought they'd put the Carlos Tevez saga behind them, the UK's newspapers report that the whole sorry mess looks set to rumble on.
While the Independent and Daily Mirror debate the exact cost of West Ham's out-of-court settlement (the Indy reckon its £4m a year for five years; The Mirror say its £25m), the Daily Mail report that Neil Warnock is planning to sue West Ham for lost earnings.
Many will feel that Warnock’s move will see him living-up to the infamous anagram you can derive from his name, not least because we're all sick of the whole situation.
Colin, sorry, Neil, is not alone in seeing West Ham's settlement as a sign of guilt, and The Times report that as many as 20 past and present Sheffield United players are also mulling legal action against West Ham for lost wages and bonuses.
Sorry, to point this out to the Blades, with whom it is easy to have some sympathy, but you lost 20 games that season and were relegated because of your inability to be better, not because of Tevez's influence on another side.
In other news The Sun and the Daily Star both report that Martin O'Neill has emerged as the number one choice to replace Fabio Capello as the next England manager once the Italian steps down.
And before you discount such claims as tabloid fodder, the venerable Daily Telegraph concur, suggesting that O'Neill's Midas touch at Aston Villa has impressed many within Soho Square.
Those are the two big stories in the papers, but there is no shortage of transfer rumour surrounding Chelsea and Manchester City; no surprises there.
The Mirror claim Chelsea are lining up a big money bid for Barca right-back Dani Alves, but reckon City are also keen on the 25-year-old Brazilian.
The Sun report that Juventus are ready to rekindle their interest in one of Chelsea's most disappointing acquisitions, Florent Malouda. The Sun think Juve will table £11m for the French winger, thus boosting the Chelsea kitty for a move for City’s Robinho; the Stamford Bridge club are still keen on the Brazilian and will bid for him in the summer, but only if his form improves.
Prize asset he might be for City's owners, but Mark Hughes is tiring of Robinho's erratic displays, particularly away from home and the Guardian claim the City boss is close to dropping the £32m striker.
The Guardian also report that Michel Platini has lent Liverpool a sympathetic ear in their efforts to ensure they aren't forced to play the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie on the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.
Crucially, however the UEFA president has fallen short of making any guarantees to the Anfield club ahead of Friday's Champions League draw.
And finally, according to the Daily Telegraph, Andrei Arshavin is loving life with Arsenal so much so that Arsene Wenger has admitted that despite having six stitches in a foot injury the Russian is "desperate to play" in Tuesday night’s FA Cup sixth-round tie at home to Hull City.
Players desperate to play? Whatever next.
March 16, 2009
Unsurprisingly the UK's papers are still full of fallout stories from Saturday's stunning match at Old Trafford.
One of the most interesting stories surrounds Sir Alex Ferguson who it seems threw his toys out of his pram by boycotting his contractual obligation to give a post-match interview to Sky Sports, the channel who showed the lunchtime game live in the UK.
The Daily Star claim that Fergie was enraged by the 12.45 kick-off as it gave Liverpool an extra 24 hours to prepare for the game; Liverpool played their Champions League game on Tuesday, while United on the Wednesday.
A Sky insider told the Star: "We were not told officially the 12.45 kick-off time was the reason, but everyone knows that was the case. But United had agreed the fixture scheduling and were quite happy to take the £500,000 match fee, so it doesn’t reflect particularly well on them."
In the Daily Mail both Steven Gerrard and Rafa Benitez sought to turn the screw on United after the defeat, with Benitez insisting others can follow his side in conquering the reigning Champions and Gerrard suggesting that United will have been psychologically damaged by Liverpool's stunning 4-1 win.
A point which appeared to be fairly close to the truth, with Rio Ferdinand admitting to the Daily Mirror that the defeat was "a rude awakening".
But even in victory there was frustration for Liverpool, with Gerrard bemoaning his side's patchy form in the Daily Telegraph, suggesting that the title would be within their reach but for their inconsistency.
Also turning the heat up on Man Utd is Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink, who in the Daily Mail claimed his side have created "nervous tension" at the top after victory over Manchester City put them in second on goal difference, just four points behind United.
While the Daily Mirror also have quotes from Hiddink, who, in a playful mood, warned Ferguson: "We're in your rearview mirror."
It's all well and good celebrating victory, and it would be ridiculous not to try and goad and rile United after their slip, but beware the wounded animal. United will surely bite back.
In other Chelsea news in Monday's papers the Daily Mail have added two and two together to get nine by suggesting that Hiddink is advising the club to offload John Terry in the summer in swap deal with Manchester City for Robinho.
The Independent and the Sun have variations of the same story. While the Indy have City boss Mark Hughes defending another below-par performance from his £32m striker the Currant Bun have JT protesting (too much?) that he loves Chelsea with all his heart and would never ever leave.
Also in the Sun there are reports that Chelsea's Portuguese playmaker Deco could be out for the rest of the season after suffering a recurrence of his hamstring problem.
And finally The Times report that Joe Kinnear is still expected to return to work at Newcastle Untied next month despite contracting a minor chest infection as he convalesces from triple heart bypass surgery.
Which, as far as the Daily Mirror are concerned, means that Newcastle will not be bringing in former England boss Terry Venables to sub for the former Luton, Nottingham Forest and Wimbledon boss.
March 15, 2009
There's no getting away from it. Liverpool's win has sent the papers crazy. 'Liver-drool' is the favourite headline on Sunday from the News of the World but, while they can do a headline, surely they have come up with the most nonsense story in existence.
Buoyed by the 4-1 win over United, and a 4-0 hammering of Real Madrid, NOTW still reckon Liverpool are in trouble as Madrid are lining up a £100m swoop for star pair Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso.
You have to feel slightly bad for old Xabi though, as they reckon he's worth a quarter of Stevie G, who is £80m of that deal. The only thing that would make less sense is if Real Madrid-hater Fernando Torres was included in the package, but at least they've steered clear of that one.
The Sunday Express have tried hard to top it with their piece on Rafa Benitez's future. Not only is the Spaniard ready to quit for Real Madrid, but ATLETICO Madrid are also keen. Why on earth would he want to go there?
While Liverpool are eyeing a title chase, everyone seems to forgotten about Chelsea. They're still up there as well, but the news on Sunday is that Roman Abramovich will order a ruthless summer purge of Chelsea's pensioners.
The News of the World again have the story that all the plus-30s are on the way out, so that would include the likes of Michael Ballack, Didier Drogba and Deco. Bruce Buck has already said there will be a clear-out, but surely the Blues wouldn't uproot their entire squad, would they?
One player they might bring in to replace the old guard is Robinho, say the Sunday Telegraph. Guus Hiddink has said he's annoyed the club didn't pick up the Brazilian in the transfer window and now wants to make sure that all those printed shirts get put to some use.
The tabloids have also decided that it's high time to put to bed that story about Cristiano Ronaldo getting a new deal, by.. well.. creating more stories about it.
Leave it to The Sunday Express to say it's £180,000-a-week, but be ready to add a wholesome £20k if you believe the Sunday Star. You have to wonder who does the calculations on these sums don't you?
The News of the World probably has the best of the transfer gossip, so here's a quick round-up of what they have to say.
Sunderland for Millwall's Zak Whitbread, Gary O'Neil, £4m, to Portsmouth, Stoke misfit Dave Kitson back to Reading and Dean Windass back to Hull, as a coach!?
The Observer come in a tad late with the news that Jose Mourinho wanted to sign Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas or winger David Bentley in January in a swap deal for Portuguese winger Ricardo Quaresma; but that all got scuppered when he joined Chelsea. Although two months ago called, and wants its news back.
The Sunday Mirror seem confident that Liverpool can lure David Wheater away from Middlesbrough as the Reds don't really have enough huge, commanding central defenders at the moment.
While The People would love to see Gael Clichy move to AC Milan and Frank Rijkaard appear at Chelsea, so everyone could say they were right!
Other news includes the tale of woe at Newcastle as the News of the World think Joe Kinnear, Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood will stay at the club until 2011. Not so, says The People who think poor old Joe has suffered a setback in his health and will be replaced by Terry 'El Tel' Venables.
Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill is in line for a £1m-a-year pay rise in reward for his good work this season. A three-year deal might be enough to see them finally get into the UCL, but not if he gets distracted by shiny objects first.
And finally, Roy Keane has apparently raised his head back in management. Or coaching at least, as he has taken his dog on the longest walk in history. To Portuguese side Benfica.
March 14, 2009
The Carlos Tevez affair finally looks like it's reaching a conclusion as there is much paper-talk over how big a fee West Ham are willing to pay in compensation.
It will be ended, claims the Independent, by a £10m deal - but wait - there's more.
March 13, 2009
It's the eve of the most significant game of the season: Manchester United v Liverpool. The title could rest on the outcome of this game between two of the fiercest rivals in football. The game has an early kick-off to try and limit trouble between fans. Every conceivable security measure has been taken.
So imagine the combined frowns amongst stewards, police, the Premier League and the Manchester United media department when Wayne Rooney admitted his hatred for Liverpool.
March 12, 2009
We're really beginning to warm to Manchester City executive chairman Garry Cook here at Soccernet Towers.
There never seems to be a dull moment where Cooky is concerned. And it seems there is no end to his frustration about Kaka snubbing a move to England. Sour grapes springs to mind.
March 11, 2009
It's no surprise to find Liverpool splashed over every back page in the country after their incredible 4-0 hammering of Real Madrid in the Champions League.
Yet another chance to see the tabloids work in some Torres puns, with the Sun going for ''Torr de Foure'' (yes that's two for the price of one). Rafa Benitez won't be reading though, he'll be focused on the season-defining clash against Manchester United this weekend.
March 10, 2009
There is one story plastered across the back pages of Tuesday's newspapers and that is Rafa Benitez's demand for Liverpool to be given the credit they deserve for their European exploits.
Speaking ahead of the Reds' clash with Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League Benitez pointed out that Liverpool are the best team in Europe in UEFA's coefficient rankings and thinks the media should be more positive in their coverage.
March 9, 2009
Manchester United seem ready to enter the transfer market again with the sniff of silverware still wafting under their noses. And again it seems Fergie may be going after the young guns rather than splashing out on the established names.
But first of all The Daily Mail is warning United of interest in Nemanja Vidic from Italian side AC Milan. Could they prise him away from Old Trafford for a mere £20m? We think they've no chance in the world. There's more chance of Manchester City signing Kaka... And Milan also want Jonny Evans too for £10m!
March 8, 2009
Jose Mourinho always was popular with the gentlemen of the British press. Ahead of his Inter team's visit to Manchester everyone's favourite overcoat model is the main man on this fine Sunday morning. The thing is that he just writes their articles for them.
The News of the World is the place to start. Classic Jose as he tells them he would be annoyed if he was not considered to replace Fergie at old Trafford. He also says that he thinks Fergie's had it easy since he was given the bullet by Chelsea. And, with this quote, he opens the door on an exit from Inter: "In another 86 days I will leave Italy and go on holiday. Will I still be the coach of Inter? In football you never know."
March 7, 2009
Surprise, surprise, The Sun has something of insight. OK, they lifted it from French newspaper L'Equipe. But Sir Alex Ferguson has given an interview that is as open as we've seen for a while. When will he retire?
“I have been on the train for so long that when I get off I fear my system will collapse.I have decided not to ask myself the question any more.
March 6, 2009
Now, we here at Soccernet never wish to labour a point. It's not in our nature to harp on annd on about something. Again and again.
Perhaps a certain Mr Arsene Wenger should take a leaf out of our book. Yes, he's launched his latest attack on those cruel, evil, horrible men who take to a football field with one thing in mind: murder.
March 5, 2009
A great rumour to kick-off the Paper Round today and it's that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been identified by Manchester City as their first choice to replace the soon to be sacked Mark Hughes.
Although Wenger has been one of the most vocal critics of City's swaggering around the transfer market and the club's new ethos seems to go against the Frenchman's policy of developing young talent, the Daily Mirror report he is top of City's hit list.
March 4, 2009
This morning's UK newspapers are understandably focused elsewhere after yesterday's horrific events in Pakistan.
You can also read about that in great detail on our sister site Cricinfo. A couple of the back pages feature highly contrasting images of gunmen coupled with those of cavorting footballers, namely those from Liverpool and Chelsea. Not good, really. It's largely business as usual among the football press corps for whom the rest of the world often seems to barely register.
March 3, 2009
Even Rafael Benitez's harshest critic must have felt a little sorry for him on Monday when a crestfallen, almost depressed, Liverpool manager met the media ahead of Tuesday's match with Sunderland.
While the Telegraph suggest that Rafa remains upbeat about his club's title chances the Express and the Guardian report what seemed obvious to anyone watching: Rafa is at a low ebb.
March 2, 2009
Manchester United claimed their second trophy of the season with Carling Cup victory over Tottenham Hotspur - the other silverware being the World Club Cup - and Monday's papers are full of talk of an unprecedented quintuple.
With United well placed to win the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League Cristiano Ronaldo told The Sun that the Red Devils are more than capable of winning all the remaining trophies this season.
March 1, 2009
Most of the papers are mulling over the implications of Liverpool’s slip up against Middlesbrough on Saturday, with Rafa Benitez’s future looking increasingly unsecure.
The Daily Star think Benitez will be offered the Real Madrid job in the summer, especially if his Anfield side beat Real in the Champions League second leg. And to top it all, Dirk Kuyt is apparently waiting for clarification before he signs his own new deal.