Alex Chick

  • Is Drogba really OK?

    Is Didier Drogba trying to make Cheryl Cole look bad?

    The poor pop princess nearly died after contracting
    the illness on safari in Tanzania
    this year.

    She subsequently spent a good 15 minutes crying her
    heart out to Piers Morgan about the ordeal, which left her so weak and addled she
    can no longer judge an X-Factor sing-off without crumbling under the pressure
    of it all.

    As for the Drog?

    Well, yes, he's got malaria, but he'll probably start
    against Fulham tomorrow night. He's a trooper.

    Carlo Ancelotti says Drogba is over the illness he
    contracted while on holiday recently, but Chelsea

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  • Rooney’s lazy lust for trophies

    There are five reasons and five reasons only why anyone chooses a football club.

    1- Money
    It is a huge factor, and anyone who says otherwise is just plain lying. If someone offers to double your money, you're going to be interested, right?

    2- On-pitch success
    Whether in the form of silverware, Champions League qualification or promotion, players love to be associated with a successful club.

    3- First-team football
    Players will sometimes swallow their pride and change clubs just to get a game. Or, if they're Carlo Cudicini, they change clubs to sit on a slightly different bench.

    4- Lifestyle

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  • Strife inevitable at unbalanced City

    It feels a lot like 2009 for Manchester City, doesn't it?

    This time last year, City had 19 points from their first 10 games, but a run of lacklustre performances had put Mark Hughes under pressure. Roberto Mancini was already in the building when Hughes stood in the dugout for his last game on December 19.

    Mancini probably has a greater appreciation now of how his predecessor felt. He has two fewer points from his 10 games this term, and victories against Chelsea and Liverpool count for nothing when set against the fear of drifting out of the title race so early in the piece that Wagner has

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  • Hyping the unhypable

    I like the Ryder Cup a lot. It's three days of
    genuinely gripping action - as tense, thrilling and nerve-racking as golf gets.
    It's also one in the eye for tedious Euro-scepticism, as the Special
    Relationship gets ditched in favour of unlikely blue-and-gold solidarity.

    It doesn't need hyping. But as it's on a popular
    satellite broadcaster that will remain nameless (in this sentence at least), it
    has been hyped to within an inch of its life.

    And the desire to give it equal billing to the
    Premier League is shown in the bizarre red-button option to watch both the
    Ryder Cup and Chelsea-Arsenal

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  • Nigel De Jong: Saint or sinner?

    A day after
    Nigel De Jong made a tackle deemed fair by referee Martin Atkinson, but which
    left Hatem Ben Arfa with a broken leg, he was dropped by his country.

    The Manchester City's midfielder's challenge apparently
    left Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk with "no alternative" but to
    axe him.

    This from a
    man who defended his side after all but two of his outfield players were booked
    in the World Cup final (Johnny Heitinga twice).

    That match
    included an outrageous De Jong kung-fu kick to Xabi Alonso's sternum that Howard
    Webb did not deem worthy of a red card or FIFA of additional punishment.

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  • England inquest live chat

    Join Armchair Pundit Alex Chick to pick over the aftermath of the England v Montenegro Euro 2012 qualifier.

    There are bound to be plenty of talking points, so leave your comments and questions below and we'll conduct a post-match inquest.

    A disappointing result and an even worse performance - what did you make of that?

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  • Are Holland the new Germany?

    Neutrals have always loved the Dutch because of their swagger, their flair and their self-destructive tendencies.

    There was something unbearably romantic about a team of lavishly-skilled but fatally-flawed mavericks breezing to the latter stages before falling victim to those twin foes: in-fighting and penalties.

    Now Bert van Marwijk has taken a well-organised and effective team to the final, everyone seems to have gone off them.

    Barely a minute passed during their 3-2 win over Uruguay without Clive Tyldesley mentioning their new-found pragmatism. 

    The fact five goals were scored seemed to be

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  • Rooney wants out: chat transcript

    Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed every Manchester United fan's worst fears: Wayne Rooney wants to leave the club.

    In a frank and emotional statement, Ferguson said Rooney's agent informed United of his decision in August, and the club have no idea why he wants out.

    So what now? Is there any way back? Where will he go? How much will he cost? What does it mean for United?

    Join the Armchair Pundit to ask questions and have your say on the big issue.

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  • Finally, an England game worth watching

    have already qualified for Euro 2012. Put it in the books. Two games in, and
    it's job done.

    Wins against our two biggest rivals, including the toughest
    match of the whole shebang in Switzerland,
    and we are surely on our way to Poland
    and/or Ukraine
    in two summers' time. Where we will obviously suffer an early exit at the hands
    of technically superior opposition.

    A win on Tuesday against Montenegro (the only other team in
    the group with any points) and it really will be a done deal.

    With a couple of honourable exceptions, England are usually very efficient
    qualifiers. Unlike in Euro

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  • Five World Cup rule changes

    Here are five changes I would make to improve the World Cup. Three of them are alterations to the laws of the game, two are World Cup-specific.

    Challenge system

    Following Frank Lampard's non-goal against Germany, FIFA will look into goalline technology again, and this time it has every chance of being introduced.

    Good, but it will only cover a small percentage of the errors made by officials. Instead, I would introduce a challenge system similar to that used in the NFL.

    Each coach has two challenges, which he can use to review any call during the game. A goal, an offside, a handball, it

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