In Brief

Today’s back pages: Spurs duo Aurier and Sissoko say sorry and Saudis line up Pochettino for Newcastle

A round-up of the sport headlines from UK newspapers on 22 April

Spurs stars apologise 

“You clowns” is the headline on the back page of the Daily Mail as they take Tottenham’s Serge Aurier and Moussa Sissoko to task for what they call a flouting of the social distancing rules. 

“Will they never learn?” is the question posed by the Daily Express, which reminds its readers that earlier in the month Spurs were in hot water for a similar offence when manager Jose Mourinho took an informal fitness session for some of his players on north London parkland. 

The Mail reports that Aurier and Sissoko uploaded footage of them doing some shuttle runs before deleting the clip a short while later. 

By then the damage had been done and the two players issued an apology: “We wish to apologise for not setting the right example here. 

“We must all respect the government advice to minimise the number of lives lost during this pandemic. 

“We recognise that as professional footballers we have a responsibility to be role models, particularly during this uncertain period that everyone around the world is facing.” 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For analysis of the biggest sport stories - and a concise, balanced take on the week’s news - try The Week magazine. Start your trial today –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Magpies want Mauricio

Some of the papers report that Amnesty International has written to the Premier League to express its concern about the proposed takeover of Newcastle United by a Saudi consortium, but the Daily Star and the Daily Mirror are more interested in the possibility that Mauricio Pochettino could be the Magpies’ next boss. 

Apparently the Saudis are “confident” that they will be given the go ahead to buy the Magpies from Mike Ashley for £300m, and the man they want at the helm is the former Spurs gaffer.

Poch has been out of work since being sacked by Spurs in November but he’s expected to jump at the chance to replace Steve Bruce at St James’ Park.

Newcastle takeover: Amnesty warning over Saudi Arabia’s human rights record

Arteta intervention

The Sun claims a double header of Arsenal exclusives on its back page. The first concerns the news carried by several other papers that the Gunners squad were pressured into accepting a 12.5% pay cut

Initially the club’s proposal was rejected but then, claims the Sun, head coach Mikel Arteta personally intervened and the players “reluctantly gave the green light to the plan”. 

Or at least 24 of the 27 players did. Three didn’t, one of whom allegedly is Mesut Ozil, and it’s claimed that some of the Arsenal players are “unhappy with the way Ozil has been vilified for refusing to agree to the proposal”.

UCL spot for Gunners?

Perhaps they’ll be cheered up by the other exclusive in the Sun, which is the claim that the Gunners could be heading for the Champions League next season, despite the fact they currently languish ninth in the Premier League. 

Speculation is growing in Europe that it won’t be possible to finish this season because of the coronavirus pandemic and as a result relevant national associations “could be instructed to to use Uefa coefficient scores” to determine which teams qualify for which European tournament next season. 

Describing the idea as “ludicrous”, the Sun says it would mean the Gunners joining Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United as the Premier League representatives in the Champions League with Tottenham, Chelsea and Leicester City in the Europa League.

Coefficient scores are calculated on European performances over a rolling five-year period, with points for wins and draws and bonus points for knockout phase qualification.

Today’s sport headlines

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For analysis of the biggest sport stories - and a concise, balanced take on the week’s news - try The Week magazine. Start your trial today –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Recommended

All at sixes and sevens: a mad day in Premier League history
Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian bumps fists with Aston Villa hat-trick hero Ollie Watkins
In Depth

All at sixes and sevens: a mad day in Premier League history

Back pages: Ashley cashes out of Newcastle for £300m
Mike Ashley has owned Newcastle United since 2007
In Brief

Back pages: Ashley cashes out of Newcastle for £300m

Back pages: calls for coronavirus calm as Cheltenham begins
The Daily Telegraph's message to sports fans
In Brief

Back pages: calls for coronavirus calm as Cheltenham begins

Back pages: ‘Leip too far’ for toothless Tottenham
RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner celebrates his winner against Tottenham in the Champions League
Daily Briefing

Back pages: ‘Leip too far’ for toothless Tottenham

Popular articles

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 20 Jan 2021
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 20 Jan 2021

Tried and tasted: restaurant meal kits to eat at home
Santo Remedio
On the menu

Tried and tasted: restaurant meal kits to eat at home

Who are the richest people in the world?
Elon Musk
In Focus

Who are the richest people in the world?

Free 6 issue trial then continue to