Anelka to Shenhua?
The Chinese idiom a sichuan dog barks at the sun 蜀犬吠日 (Shu quan fei ri) is used to indicate being suprised at something being normal, due to one’s ignorance. During the Tang dynasty Sichuan was a foggy place (now it is just polluted) and when the Sun came out it was a rare occasion. So the dogs barked, thinking something strange was happening.
This link is pretty tenuous. Yesterday, I got pretty excited and started barking at an article in the Sun linking Chelsea forward Nicholas Anelka to Shanghai Shenhua. Apparently, Anelka was being offered £9.2 million per season to join the struggling Shanghai outfit. Where these numbers or stories come from is anybody’s guess.
According to the Sun (and the Mail), Shenhua also recently appointed Miroslav Blazevic, 76, as their new coach. However, standards of journalism at these national papers are clearly not very high. Not only was the Anelka story a load of tosh, but it is also quite clear that Blazevic is not the manager of Shenhua. Blazevic took the job as national team coach for China, then didn’t qualify for the 2012 Olympics and is now working in Iranian league football side Mes Kerman.
Shenhua’s coach is of course Croatian legend Drazen Besek. To verify, here is a fantastic video of Besek, doing what some managers in the English Premier League should do. One of the Shenhua players ‘collides’ with another on the field, he drops to the floor as though mortally wounded. Besek has none of it and rushes on to the field, tells him to stop faking and picks him up.
Although football fans have come to expect transfer rumours to be just that, they still manage to sell newspapers and generate stories where there are none.