Week in headlines: Roy Hodgson’s a rapper, Spurs lose to United and Clatten-BERK, but IncrediBales beat champs thanks to Bale force

Often accused of being formulaic in the regurgitation of their rhetoric, the tabloids confounded their critics this week by showing the versatility in their headlines.

Whether it was relating to the disaster of a refereeing decision, or celebrating the performance of an individual and his team, the red tops excelled in expressing their message in a litany of cheeky headlines.

This is the week that was in headlines.

With the return leg of Inter Milan just three days after Spurs encounter with United in the league, Harry Redknapp could have been forgiven for resting a few of his big name stars in preparation for the match. He however fielded a strong side that displayed its worth against the hosts, until the game was settled with a second goal. It wasn’t created by a man in red though, but instead between the man in black in the middle of the pitch and a confused goalkeeper. The incident proved to be a great talking point for pundits, who were split on who the villain of the piece was. The Daily Star Sunday wasn’t in the mood for fence sitting though.

Many column inches were given over to the debate surrounding whether the goal should have been given or not. Spurs manager Harry Redknapp recounted the incident with great anger in his column for The Sun and other red tops sought the opinions of former professional and officials. The Sunday Times though avoided such conjecture and praised the cheeky ingenuity of Nani instead.

Mixing emphatic home wins with embarrassing defeats at the hands of Arsenal juniors and Blackpool, Newcastle have certainly had a mixed return to the top flight. Sunday’s resounding derby win over Sunderland was proof of their Jekyll & Hyde form, having been thumped 4-0 by the Gunners just four days earlier. That won’t matter to the Geordie faithful though who had undoubtedly begun the party long before The Sun made their proclamation.

The red half of Manchester has been witnessing a resurgence in form of late that has surprisingly coincided with Wayne Rooney’s absence, but all is seemingly not well across the city. Players arguing on the pitch and tabloid snaps engineered to make it appear as if every training session is like going ten rounds with Mike Tyson have painted a pretty gloomy picture of life at the club. The Sun didn’t help with this image, but City fans should be grateful that it’s only Mancini potentially walking and not Sean Penn labouring his way through a film with a similar name.

Footballers have a lot on their mind. Which car should I drive into work today? Which supermodel am I bedding this week? And what product am I endorsing today? Poor James Milner though has seemingly forgotten for which half of the city he plays for. For future reference James, the chant should be “we are City.” Admittedly the Daily Star could be responding to the accusations of unrest in the camp, but from Milner’s continually befuddled facial expressions it’s difficult to tell.

Managers are incredibly versatile creatures, as they play middle-men between the media and the players, whilst also trying to engineer a victory for the coming weekend and steer the club in the direction they see fit. At Roy Hodgson’s age it would be safe to think that during his lifetime in the game he has learnt every trick in the book, but The Sun has revealed that he has an unexpected talent tucked up his sleeve. He seemingly can’t stop rapping and has pleaded to former reds gaffer Rafa Benitez about his verbal affliction. Who knew?

The pain of the weekend’s defeat and referring decision was washed far away by Wednesday when Spurs and in particular Gareth Bale overcame the European champions in style with a 3-1 win. A strong team performance was exaggerated by the mercurial Welsh winger, who embarrassed the Brazilian World Cup pairing of Maicon and Lucio with his forceful running and pinpoint crossing that led The Sun to compare him to a freak of nature, but in the nicest possible way of course.

Not content with splashing Spurs victory across the back page, The Sun also gave the impressive win coverage on the front of the rag and naturally did so with the aid of a pun, this time referencing a Pixar animation. Presumably if the team are the IncrediBales, Peter Crouch is an elastic-man who can stretch to any size.

Tottenham’s win emphasised their right to be in the Champions League and their victory was made even sweeter on Wednesday night when local rivals Arsenal lost 2-1 on their visit to the Ukraine to face Shaktar Donetsk. Adding salt to the wound was former Gunners striker Eduardo, who scored the decisive winning goal, something which The Sun seemingly delighted in.

Manchester United ensured that Tuesday was a successful night for English teams in Europe as they beat Turkish side Bursaspor to make qualification from their group a seeming inevitability. Second half goals from Darren Fletcher, Gabriel Obertan and one from a little Bebe delighted Alex Ferguson and the Daily Mirror, who have been waiting to unleash this headline all season.

Wayne Rooney’s protracted transfer/contract saga dominated every inch of the tabloids as he ummed and arred over a new deal at Old Trafford, in the wake of his off the pitch misdemeanours. It was thankfully clarified a fortnight ago and Rooney celebrated with an ankle knack and a holiday somewhere exotic. Thanks to his excesses Rooney has now seemingly become a cartoon parody of himself, something which prompted Viz magazine to sign him up for their fictional comic team Fulchester Rovers, much to the delight of the Daily Star Sunday, who elevated the story onto page three. Viz cartoonist Simon Thorpe explained the deal was easy “all they had to do was throw in a bag of chips and the deal was done.” He continued excitedly “Rooney is easy to draw because his head looks like a potato. He’s a real comic character too. He’s a bit thick and does things like sleep with prostitutes. If Viz made a character like him you wouldn’t believe he existed. So he’ll be a welcome addition to the side.” Here’s to the continuation of Rooney’s comic book lifestyle.

Tags: Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur

Share this article

Leave a comment

Chris Waddle – The French Way (1993)
Aston Villa Season Review 1991 - 1992 Denmark 2 Germany 0 (Euro 92 final) Saint and Greavsie (April 18 1992)