Thursday, 18 August 2011


This blog post is in response to a deluge of posts I have got recently. Hopefully it will explain a few things. You may not agree with it, but I am telling it like it is. Don't shoot the messenger etc.

Recently, I have been inundated with furious messages from Manchester United fans over the representation of David De Gea in the newspapers. Fans in getting uppity about their club shocker. 

I digress; the fury has centered around the use of old quotes to give context to a new situation. In this context, old quotes from 1) Anders Lindegaard and 2) Javier Hernandez have been used to write a story about David De Gea, the unhappy chap from Spain who is getting all these nasty things written about him. Good thing he doesn't read them, eh? 

Anders Lindegaard's quotes about wanting to be the number one at Manchester United were given at numerous points this summer and indeed since he joined in January. The quotes used in the Mirror this week were from a Norwegian newspaper and regurgitated here.

The essence of the story was that Lindegaard was 'warning' De Gea he was after the number one spot at Old Trafford. This may be true, but the context of how it was written has caused a bit of a stir. It appeared as if these quotes were given in the aftermath of the West Brom match, where De Gea let in an easy goal. (In my view, he didn't do a lot wrong after that. He was fouled for a few crosses, that's it. What about Foster? He was just as bad)

Those quotes, as I have said, were not from the WBA game. Lindegaard was not put up to the press to speak. 

Now, the story was written as if to say as a result of the WBA game, Lindegaard has piped up and warned DDG he is under threat, when in fact this is not strictly true. Interestingly, the Lindegaard's people and Sir Alex Ferguson himself are not impressed with the representation of this story. I can sympathise. 

So, why and how was this done? 

Now journalists don't want your sympathy, but they are under extreme pressure to find stories and get reaction to the topic of the day, in this case DDG. Each Monday (it varies) there is an editorial meeting whereby journalists put forward ideas on what they are working on etc. It is entirely likely the author of the article put forward the suggestion that he has Lindegaard quotes on the DDG situation. 

In an age where clubs are over protective of their players,Twitter publishes / leaks stories before they should be and players themselves say nothing interesting, any quote you have on something newsworthy is golden. So, the Lindegaard quotes were used to give the impression that the Mirror is on the ball with the DDG story and is the paper to read for follow up stories / the latest on the goalkeeper. It's just one of those things - it happens all the time. When you go to a press conference or interview a player, you publish the story but there's still loads of quotes you haven't been able to use. 

A good journalist keeps a record of this and uses them when he can to give some background to the story at hand. Like it or not, this is what is done throughout the industry. Perhaps if Man Utd offered the Mirror an interview with Lindegaard, the story may have been different? We will never know, as that's unlikely to happen. 

I am in two minds over this, to be honest. On one hand, I can sympathise with the journalist who has no access to players and a pressure to get stories and fill column inches. On the other, I find it slightly bad form a story can be 'spun' to suggest a player is doing something when in fact he isn't. Lindegaard, of course, wants to be number one. As the Mirror said. 

However Lindegaard, in no way shape or form, saw DDG vs WBA and then said he wanted to take DDG's jersey. It's classic newspaper spin - to put it bluntly, you have to deal with it. Would the same Man Utd fans be up in arms if they heard that when a Sun article published quotes from Roy Hodgson saying Odemwingie wouldn't be sold despite the fact these quotes were 3 weeks out of date? I doubt it.

Each club defends their players. But each club must realise it works both ways - Manchester United got a free advert in every single newspaper for 7 days (often 3+ pages) in the lead up to the CL final. It was all good publicity - so you take the rough with the smooth. 

Newspapers do not get access to who they want 24/7 - sometimes we have to be creative. And to be fair, doing this is a damn sight better than literally making up quotes. The Daily Star Sunday used to run 'EXCLUSIVES' courtesy of Ben Fairthorne for weeks on end. The players he 'interviewed' ? Torres, Messi, Pique, Forlan and Xavi. He didn't. He literally typed the quotes out as if they were said. 

Yes, it is slightly cheeky but that's life. That's how papers work. They scrutinise people, react to the stories of the day and publish stories around it. I can see both sides of the argument but it's not particularly worth it getting so worked up about it.

You can bet your bottom dollar that if DDG has an absolute blinder for a few games this season, the same papers will run 2/3 week old quotes from saying that DDG is a good goalkeeper and will come good, etc. 

PS - I like doing this blog and initially it was just here to explain things that 140 characters in Twitter can't do. But I have to admit, it looks a bit boring. 

I want pictures, a banner, a layout, etc. I also don't like 'explaining the stories' any more.

Anyone around to give this place a facelift?

Thursday, 11 August 2011

ITK 2. Probably part 2 of 2.

With the odd exception, I am not going to tweet about something big that I have heard or confident will happen on Twitter. The exception would be if the paper doesn't want to use it or that the news will be out in the open before it is printed. Then, Twitter is fine to use as it does not impact on what is being printed. My aim on Twitter is to find news and tweet news, as I said. I can go into the background of a deal, what could happen etc etc but you must understand the reason why certain things will be held back.

Fraudsters and people who claim to have inside info think differently. Usually, they're not involved in football or sport or involved in the game of news and news breaking. They'll just throw things out there and watch the audience gather. One of the most galling things is that so many people will lap it up.

One of the most hilarious things I saw today was Sneijder tweeting he was in Ibiza with his wife. Within minutes, this was RT'd to someone whose knowledge in the game is questionable and with a message 'is this true?' attached.

Why would someone who doesn't even know the player know otherwise? It's not even worth asking.

Someone on Twitter told their followers that the Sneijder deal will go through on Thursday. Now, it's Monday. And if you query this you are either told to fuck off or blocked. The truth is, the person doesn't know when the deal, if any, will go through. But yet will dangle a tasty tweet out there ("My source tells me it's Thursday etc") and people will follow and believe this.

Thursday comes and passes. Then it'll be Monday.

Now, I am not 'attacking' the following tweeter per se, but the following two screengrabs shows how conflicting people who claim to have information can be.  It's unfortunate this particular person has to be the subject of a discussion of ITK people, and I am sure he's a nice chap really. But this serves as a warning to people who believe everything they read.

I am terrible at working computers. I have no clue how to put pictures on this blog. So paste the links into your address bar.


So - from this we, the reader, are told that there will be a key day in the Sneijder saga etc. We're told the day is Thursday and so forth.


Ah. A problem. Now it's Thursday (which isn't going to happen) but then it changes to Monday. The negative tweets come (no doubt a lot of it was just simple questions) but the person is very dismissive. He doesn't want to talk about it. He bats everything away and tries to block things out. Interestingly, there are posts suggesting there will be no more tweets about the subject - and one saying he's even being quiet - only for the tweets to continue by the barrel full.

No more updates or tweets will be given, apparently, yet more tweets follow. And more talk follows.

Now, apparently, it's 'Monday or the deal is off' - I'm sorry, but this now just smacks of desperation from someone who, fairly or unfairly, is being given a hard time. A day or so ago they were confident it was going through on Thursday, then they were confident it was going through on Monday, now it could be off altogether. What is it to be?

I don't agree with hounding people off Twitter or bullying, and my post here is not intended to attack or bully, merely to highlight how dangerous it can be to come across as somebody who has the absolute, cast iron knowledge of something, only for their plans to explode in their faces.

There are many people who do this - just one of those things I guess.


People who have a track record of getting things right get a big following as people want to follow their news, which is fair enough. However, the followers then expect this person to Tweet 100% fact, tweet after tweet day after day. If they say something that has already been said or published, they are accused of not having any knowledge.

A classic example would be FourthOfficial. They were given dog's abuse the other day for simply saying 'looks like Cesc is finally done then'. A fairly innocuous statement/opinion I am sure you will agree - but he was accused of not being exclusive! People should understand not every tweet is sacred discussion. Merely a discussion point.

Had he said 'I've just got it from a good source and I can now reveal that Cesc is off to Barcelona' then fair enough, he's pretending to be something he isn't. But he didn't.


Everyone wants to be first. Even the journalists. But when journalists are first, there isn't too much of a funfare about it. They're pleased with themselves, sure, but there isn't the 'LOOK AT ME, I TOLD YOU THIS X DAYS AGO AND IT HAS HAPPENED' style approach.

People who claim to have confirmed information do so in order to, in the event it does come true by some weird twist of fate, they can scream from the rooftops that they were reliable.They had this information first. Trust them.


Always have an open mind, even when told something by someone you trust.

Journalists get things wrong because things have not worked out as they were told. Things change and sources can be let down.

ITK, or people claiming to have info, get things wrong because they haven't really looked into the situation in the first place.

ITK. Part 1 of I don't know how many.

I knocked this up while on lunch. 

Ask me questions about it / comment (by tweeting at me, I rarely look at the comments on the blog) and I will do my best to answer them in Part 2, whenever that is written. 

Twitter can be a great place but it can also breed a lot of nonsense, rudeness and people claiming to be something they’re not. Transfers seem to be a hot topic for Twitter, what with the window being open ‘n’ all, and it’s interesting to see a few things become a prevailing theme.

In The Knows.

Nobody is ITK. People have thoughts on what they think may happen and journalists receive news from sources they publish on the belief it will happen. All the honest journalists on Twitter are excellent follows (too many to name) but there’s a difference between their tweets and the tweets of others claiming to be ITK.

Disclaimer: Due to the nature of my blog and things I tweet (and the regularity of such) I’ve decided to not publish things like where I work, how, who with, my face, etc. Accept that and move on.

There are many reasons why people go on Twitter. Mine is for news. To find it and tweet about it. And everyone, deep down, whether you’re Lady Gaga (10m +) or some 13-year-old kid (7) – you like to have followers. You like to have people who regularly speak to you.

But this isn’t a blog about followers, it’s a blog about ITKs.

The only credible people on Twitter as regards ITK info regarding transfers are those who work in the game. FootballAgentPM works in the game as an agent – he’s good. All the journalists are paid to find out stuff – they’re good. I do too – I like to think I’m good!

However, there’s a prevalence for ITK or people claiming to be ITK spring up. There are exceptions to this rule, of course – namely people like M16_ORA and FourthOfficial. From what they have told me (which will remain private) it is clear that they are not working journalists but receive information from people who should be respected.

There are others who like to believe they have information but I am sceptical of this. There’s many obvious fuckers on Twitter (FootyAgentITK etc) who do this to be an internet troll, but I believe there are others who are more underhand; who try to cultivate a serious persona to come across as credible. But I am sceptical.



If you see someone repeatedly claim they are ahead of the game and the major news outlets, then it’s a tell-tale sign they are begging for more exposure and want people to take them seriously.

A classic is ‘I beat SSN and the BBC to this…check my timeline.’ There are numerous gullible idiots that will then see this as someone being ahead of the game.

In reality, not one credible, professional person would tweet such stuff. They’d go about their business in a relatively calm manner, not screaming TOLD YOU SO when something is written in the media / something comes true.

So, be aware of things like this:


VincenzoPerotti Vincenzo Perotti 
@TransfersManUtd Lets hear a deal you have broken? You claimed Monday. Lies.


And also…


1andOnlyWalshy Dan Walsh 
Morning people. Good to see media reporting Sneijder could join within 48 hours, that'd be my update from yesterday then? Lol


And more…


Dan Walsh 
I beat sky and other reports to the Nasri news. City are 100% out of Sneijder race


If you were a credible and professional person giving honest news, would you honestly bark often about how you’ve ‘beaten SKY’ and demand from people ‘let’s hear a deal you have broken’

I wouldn’t assume so.


Similarly, there are people who claim something will definitely happen on Monday. Or Tuesday, or whatever. They give exact timeframes. Nobody in the game really knows when something will definitely happen. The journalists have an idea of such, but still it’s a messy thing to get involved in.


I have noticed many people on twitter who seem to, amazingly, have a fresh update on a major transfer story every day. This is cast iron bollocks. Not even the best paid journalists in the land or investigative reporters can have an update on something so major every day, without fail. But some people on Twitter seem to.

In reality, clubs and sources are going to get pretty pissed off (trust me – they do. I called up a club three times in a week and I got some choice words thrown at me once. ‘Can you piss off for a week?’ was the gist) if you bother them constantly for news. They’ll leak stuff when they see fit.

So how can people constantly update with things? They can’t. Unless they’re making it up.


If you ever hear variations on this, it’s nearly always bollocks. Why give a time? It gives you the chance to get this tweet RT’d, more followers eagerly awaiting the big news…to then find out you’re having a laugh.

You will see journalists do this, but this is different and also rare. Mirror Football have done it once or twice, but usually this tweet is at 10pm at night with the announcement on the story soon. This is because they actually DO have a story they have sourced etc and the only reason why they are waiting is because the first editions of the paper have not been printed yet. 

Monday, 1 August 2011


Now I shall pre-empt this blog post with a few minor points:

1) I don't really know many people at Spurs myself. Anything I get is usually from other people, rather than hearing it first hand. These people are not guys who work the hotdog stalls on match days, obviously. They have genuine links to the club and the essence of what they say is genuine. Whether anything comes of what is said is another matter entirely.

2) I can sympathise about how infuriating this transfer window must be regarding 'Arry buying a striker. But rest assured he's trying.


It all started back in January when Redknapp and Levy held talks about the direction the club was taking and what it needed to do to go forward. The general  consensus was that Spurs are going places, as long as they kept hold of their players and made some astute purchases in the transfer market.

As is the way with every one of the  92 league clubs, planning for the summer started in January. It's like in snooker - you watch the players take their shots but they are not planning for that shot, or even the one after it. They take their shot with the next six or seven in mind. That sort of applies here.

So, Spurs drew up a list of strikers - patently aware their current crop were struggling. Representatives of the club approached Atletico Bilbao regarding Fernano Llorente.

Now, I am not too sure about how strong this is, but a few people say a bid was made, or that there was a verbal exchange between the two clubs and the result was that Bilbao were aware that Spurs were ready to make a bid. It was apparently in the region of £17m.

You may feel that price is low but this is a typical thing that happens when clubs make the first move for a player. The first bid is there to test the water. Most clubs don't seriously think their first bid will be accepted; it acts as a marker for future bids and sets the pricetag teams can meet somewhere inbetween on. This was the case with Bilbao and Llorente.


Bilbao rejected the bid, or the talk of the bid. They did not want to upset the side by selling their star asset half way through the season. But Spurs, as is there way under Levy, would not go away and started to haggle. More talks were held and Levy wanted to know more about Bilbao's situation, what Llorente was like, whether they would sell in the future.

Bilbao, pleased by the way Spurs had conducted themselves, seemed happy enough to maintain talk with Tottenham and there was a gentlemen's agreement to resume the talk at a higher level this summer. Interestingly, the meeting was left with a proposition from Spurs - that Bilbao are welcome to play a friendly at White Hart Lane in  the summer / take a loan player or two in the future.


Spurs asked Villarreal about Rossi in January too, but once the word was £35m or nothing, they walked away immediately.


Only players from the Basque region play for Bilbao. It's one of their things. Just the way it is. Llorente is a Basque boy and the club's players are all extremely loyal. Bilbao do not want to sell Llorente to a team like Real Madrid and Llorente, a Basque boy, is said to not want to move to Madrid so as to anger the fans he loves.

As a result of this togetherness brought about by the Basque connection, the wages on offer at the club can only be described as modest. I don't have any exact figures - wages are a minefield - but I believe they're pretty small/medium. Similar to Spurs in a way.


Spurs maintain an interest in Llorente and believe they are in a position where they can sign him. Obviously the transfer fee will be quite high, probably in the £25m region or perhaps higher, but Spurs are a well run club and have money to spend although their wage ceiling means that although big transfer FEES are possible, incorporating WAGES remains difficult.

However, considering Spurs have a bit of money, and considering the deadwood that would fetch a fair bit if they were sold (Keane etc) they are capable of signing Llorente. The wages are not even a big factor here. As mentioned, both clubs have modest wage structures and Llorente could earn similar/more at White Hart Lane than in Spain. Added to player departures, it's possible.

Interestingly, Spurs play Bilbao on Saturday and White Hart Lane.


As is 'Arry's way, he goes after as many people as he can. Very much the bull in a china shop approach. He wanted Vucinic, genuinely, and held talks with Roma (I think the talks were a bit more formal than Man Utd's talks - those ones were just general chit chat among agents, regardless of what the mouthy Roma lot say) but it didn't go that far. He signed for Juve today.


Spurs really wanted Damiao and still do, although his new contract clouds things. Again, Internacional were approached and talks were held. The clubs have a good relationship as a result of the Sandro deal and when that move was being sorted, there was an agreement that Internacional would approach Spurs with players they may be keen on. It's not a feeder club agreement per se, more a 'you scratch my back' situation.


Modric is the name on everyone's lips but as I have said and been told, there are two chances Modric will leave this summer:

1) Slim chance
2) No chance

Not even for the reported £40m that Spurs apparently value him at. Levy has been very public in this and he's said privately his position among the suits at Spurs, not least the fans, would be severely damaged if Modric was sold. Indeed, during the talk Modric had with Levy this summer, the chairman told Modric of his transfer plans this summer and the fact he sees Modric as the man to build the team around, and that with him in the team Spurs can regain CL football.

There is, however, a feeling at Spurs that if they fail to get top four this season, Modric will be allowed to leave. But for this summer? Nope. He's  staying, regardless of what Chelsea want.

Defoe has rejected a move to Newcastle and interestingly, Redknapp is most keen to keep Pavlyuchenko out of his current strikers. If the right offer comes in for anyone else, then they can go. But Redknapp seems keen to keep Pav.


I don't know how enlightening I have been here really, but I hope I've given some insight to some Spurs fans who may have not been aware of certain things. I am confident Spurs will land a striker this summer. They seem to be working incredibly hard to do just that.

And before you ask, I know nothing about Mata, Barton or any other player that I haven't mentioned here.