Week in headlines: Arsenal’s Walcott prefers PG Tips to Alan Hansen’s tips and Chelsea’s Frank Lampard’s spinach with fruit and nuts

In a week that was dominated by the transfer deadline day in the world of football, The Sun excelled themselves in their ability to squeeze a pun out of nearly every available story.

Fans levels of excitement regarding the day in question were pushed to disproportionate levels by the deafening whir of the Sky Sports hype machine, whose yellow rolling toolbar informed audiences of every inane detail of the day, something which Villa fanzine Heroes & Villains readily recognized.

Football also managed to squirm its way onto the front pages, when former Prime Minister Tony Blair, with his faux man of the people shrug and good natured smile, revealed that he confided in United manager Alex Ferguson during his tenure, as he looked to tick every demographic box in order to maximize sales of his kiss-and-tell book.

It’s not just stories of relative importance though that are garnished with elaborate headlines, as the latest instalment of the week in headlines will reveal.

That fella who used to run the country has released a book. History will note that he implemented the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland, took the country with Iraq and Afghanistan and had a disconcertingly cosy relationship with America’s head cowboy George Bush. Something which might be lost to the annals though is that when it came it to his relationship with former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, The Sun has revealed that he turned to United manager Alex Ferguson for advice. What did the Scot advise? Give him the Blairdryer treatment.

Thank goodness for serious and hard hitting journalism. In what was described as a ‘tough talking’ interview in the Daily Star, Theo Walcott apparently went ‘on the offensive’ by claiming he prefers PG Tips to Alan Hansen tips, after the pundit claimed the winger didn’t have a footballing brain. How the Scot must be cowering in the corner after that fearsome attack. Congratulations for this must go to writer David Woods for unleashing this story and avoiding the temptation to make a mountain out of a mole hill.

Martin O’Neill’s departure from Aston Villa just five days before the season kicked off ensured it would be an eventful opening to the campaign for the Midlanders. Former reserve-team manager Kevin MacDonald took over as caretaker boss and has overseen impressive victories over West Ham and Everton, as well as dire defeats at the hands of Newcastle and Rapid Vienna. After much umming and aaring, MacDonald has only in the past few days decided that he wants the job full-time. His indecision is understandable, as it won’t be an easy task filing O’Neill’s shoes, but The Sun has no sympathy and wants an answer to the whole affair.

Nothing to do with Russell Brands unreported love of male genitalia, the article in The Sun in fact refers to something far more innocent. An avid West Ham fan, Brand has been told by popstar girlfriend Katy Perry that should they decided to add to the world’s population none of their offspring will be named after any legendary players, apparently Hammering Brand’s and the tabloids hopes of naming a child in honour of full-back Julian Dicks.

Currently sitting at the bottom of the fourth tier of English football, without a win, Barnet rarely attract the attention of the headline writers. Thank goodness then for TV, as an unlikely connection with a global star was revealed in The Sun. Star of Frasier, Kelsey Grammer is dating the sister of new signing Phil Walsh, who according to the tabloid is “waiting to deliver the goods…just like his sister Kayte” who is expecting a child with the star. If that’s not news worthy, what is?

Often dismissed as base and ill conceived, headlines in the tabloids have been known to be looked on in disdain by a snooty few. However the Daily Star is hoping to rectify this and have started their crusade with the story that Louis Saha’s has turned to leeches from Guadeloupe to help his chronic knee problems, leading the editor to launch headlong into a delicious double entendre. Or does the double meaning also suck?

This week’s transfer deadline ensured that the back pages of all newspapers were filled with speculative and confirmed comings and goings in British football. Perhaps the biggest deal of the final day was Rafael Van der Vaart’s last gasp move to Spurs from Real Madrid for a knockdown price of £8million. The new signing is hoping to stamp his authority on White Hart Lane according to The Sun, although the chosen headline dances a fine line between conveying that message and implying that there is some of rectal gas problem at the North London ground.

Sunderland were also willing to splash the cash, as they also unveiled a World Cup star on the last day of trading, when Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan was paraded to fans after his £13million transfer from Rennes. Having sold Kenwyne Jones to Stoke, Sunderland were in need of another striker and the Daily Star believe, Asomoah is just the right Gy.

Real Madrid are not a patient club and after Jose Mourinho’s first game in charge against Real Mallorca ended in a goalless draw, questions were already being asked of the Special One, but he and the Daily Mail were quick to inform impatient fans that he is not Harry Potter and it will take time before his newly assembled squad will gel. Unless of course he uses his levitation charm Wingardium Levios, then things should really take off.

England were consistent during the World Cup, but unfortunately for the nation’s fans they were consistently disappointing and The Sun reckons they’ve unearthed part of the problem, as they’ve claimed that Frank Lampard’s spinach with fruit and nuts. They might be on to something there, as his displays were quite limp and lifeless and his positional sense was nutty, but then again they could ambiguously be referring to his favourite meal.

Tags: Arsenal, Chelsea

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