The Sun claims that the Hammers will be hammered in the pocket by the FA over the chants. Given that the offending chants included "can we stab you every week?" and "Adolf Hitler's coming to get you" and "there's only one Paolo Di Canio" (a reference to the former West Ham player's Lazio connections) that seems pretty certain.
Together with the atmosphere of hate pouring out of Chelsea fans at Rafa Benitez, it makes for bleak reading on a day when football fans showed themselves off at their worst - something the Sun picks up on with its 'HATE 1' and 'HATE 2' tags on the big story of the day.
Benitez's defiance is the lead story in several papers, among them the Daily Mirror ("I'll beat Blues boos") and the Daily Star ("You won't hound me out"). Whatever you might think of Benitez's talents as a manager or the harsh treatment of Roberto di Matteo, it's hard not to have some sympathy for the Spanish boss: he's had not so much a honeymoon period as a honeymoon nanosecond.
Sunday's papers reported that Pep Guardiola would rather wait for Alex Ferguson to retire so he can replace him at Manchester United rather than take the job as Chelsea manager in the summer, but Monday's papers offer a new twist.
The Daily Mirror reports that AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi - who is set to serve a one-year prison sentence for tax fraud unless he can win an appeal - has set his sights on bringing the Spaniard in as mananger, and has even told current boss Massimo Allegri that he can expect to be out of a job should a deal be agreed. Given that Guardiola's reticence about taking the Chelsea job was mainly due to his fears about working for a power-crazed oligarch who is a law unto himself, we don't much fancy Silvio's chances of getting his man.
And finally, the back page of The Sun runs a story about new QPR manager Harry Redknapp, "ordering his QPR squad to rewrite history."
We read on keenly, wondering if perhaps he'd asked them to imagine alternate realities in which Margaret Thatcher never became Prime Minister and Belgium was the first country to put a man on the moon, but no such luck. He's merely told them to stay up despite producing the worst ever start to a Premier League season by any team; because if he hadn't bothered, they'd surely not have realised that was what they were meant to be doing.
- Sports & Recreation
- Rafa Benitez
- Paolo Di Canio