Jim White

  • Hull City can't rely on favours as relegation looms large for Steve Bruce

    Jim White says all signs point to Newcastle's survival and Hull's relegation - but what about a play-off for third?

    Will Sam Allardyce do his good mate Steve Bruce a favour?Will Sam Allardyce do his good mate Steve Bruce a favour?

    Harry Redknapp insisted on Thursday that West Ham would be fired up against Newcastle in Sunday’s final game of the season, determined to beat them and thus do a good turn to Hull City. His reason? Sam Allardyce’s closest friend in football is the Tigers’ boss, Steve Bruce. According to Redknapp, Allardyce will do anything he can to help his mate. Pull out all the stops. If that involves relegating Newcastle, well so be it.

    There is just one slight problem with such an analysis. In the history of football I am not sure there is any evidence of a team winning a game in order to help their

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  • Liverpool have bigger problems than just Raheem Sterling - here's a few to start with...

    Jim White says Raheem Sterling may have been booed at Liverpool's awards do, but the club have bigger problems on the horizon.

    Raheem Sterling arrives with a guest to Liverpool's awards dinnerRaheem Sterling arrives with a guest to Liverpool's awards dinner

    For Liverpool fans, the end didn’t come soon enough. Their season climaxed in March, when their team was still in contention, still at the party. If only it had finished then: the summer might have been one tinged with optimism. However misplaced that optimism might have been.

    Instead, since then it has been a miserable slide. In their last 10 games in all competitions, Brendan Rodgers’ team have won but three. And those were against Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle and Queens Park Rangers. In that time they have lost five times, and have accrued but eight points from their last eight league

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  • Steven Gerrard: A once-in-a-lifetime talent, and the last of his kind

    Jim White pays tribute to Steven Gerrard, a transformative talent and possibly the last remaining player who sustains the fragile link between clubs and supporters.

    Steven Gerrard - a career like no otherSteven Gerrard - a career like no other

    The long goodbye is almost over. The Tony McCoy-like farewell tour is reaching its final destination. Tomorrow will see Steven Gerrard play his last competitive game for Liverpool at Anfield. It will be an emotional moment. There will be sniffs and snuffles. Eyes will water. Not least among those who have parted with upwards of £1200 for a ticket to witness his departure.

    No wonder emotions will be raw. No wonder the ticket touts are rubbing their hands in glee. This will be a moment to witness, a moment of history, a moment in which the guard changed forever. Gerrard was a once-in-a-lifetime

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  • Gareth Bale is playing for his future against Juventus - and Man Utd will be watching

    Jim White says Gareth Bale's career may hinge on his display in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final.

    Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)

    A year ago, the idea that Gareth Bale might be surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu was ridiculous. In the final of the Copa Del Rey he demonstrated precisely why he is the world’s most expensive footballer.

    With extra time looming in the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia, in an atmosphere boiling with tension and nerves, the Welshman picked up the ball just inside the Real Madrid half and simply ran at the Barcelona defence. And he kept running, sprinting around the centre-back Marc Bartra as if he were a training ground dummy, taking a detour so extreme he almost ended up in the back row of

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  • Whoever picked Nigel Pearson over Jose Mourinho for Manager of the Month is the true 'ostrich'

    Jim White admires the Leicester manager's brilliant April, but cannot believe Chelsea's title-clinching tilt was overlooked.

    It makes you wonder what Jose Mourinho has to do to win the Premier League manager of the month award.

    There he was in April, steering his side to the title with a steel and organisation that is simply unmatched, winning the most significant championship honour of his career through unmatched levels of planning and preparation, ensuring that not a moment’s doubt or hesitation came between his team and the trophy, and he didn’t win.

    Instead the award goes to Nigel Pearson, a manager whose club are still not certain of being in the division next season.

    And then we are surprised when Mourinho

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  • ‘Boring Chelsea’ claims are absolute nonsense

    Fans of Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham would love to be a little more like Chelsea, writes Jim White

    Chelsea fans celebrate winning the Premier League (Reuters)Chelsea fans celebrate winning the Premier League (Reuters)

    At Stamford Bridge on Sunday I saw one of the most bizarre things I have ever seen at a football match.

    Stationed at the back of the East Stand was a line of Xbox computer consoles, on which it was possible to play games of Fifa. As a pre-match and half time diversion, this seems a perfectly legitimate thing to do, a promotion for the computer game in the very place it is aping. Except these machines weren’t switched off as the match got underway.

    So there, as the team they supported were negotiating their way to the title, were a bunch of kids in full Chelsea kit playing Fifa, with their

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  • Newcastle reaching crisis point in relegation battle thanks to Mike Ashley's atrophy

    Newcastle are sleepwalking towards crisis, writes Jim White, and there's a very good chance they could actually get relegated.

    Newcastle fans boycotting the match holds signs demanding the resignation of owner Mike AshleyNewcastle fans boycotting the match holds signs demanding the resignation of owner Mike Ashley

    If Newcastle United fans want to know how to do a protest, they should look to Italy. This week at the San Siro, Milan supporters stayed away from the match with Genoa in their droves. Fed up with the lack of progress under the regime of the disgraced former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, their patience had reached snapping point, so a mass boycott was organised. Unlike at Newcastle a couple of weeks ago, this was done with military efficiency.

    But they did not leave it at that. While tens of thousands swerved the game, a few went in to watch. Those who attended did not stand idly by. In

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  • It's been 25 years without a league title, and the misery will only continue for Liverpool

    Liverpool marked an unwanted anniversary this week, writes Jim White, and things might get worse before they get better.

    Brendan Rodgers and Steve Bruce exchange pleasantriesBrendan Rodgers and Steve Bruce exchange pleasantries

    As anniversaries go, it is unlikely any of the regulars on the Kop will be embroidering a banner to celebrate this one. It is now exactly 25 years since Liverpool last won the title. A quarter of a century without the trophy that once defined the club. Two and a half decades as also rans.

    Twenty-five years, moreover, during which their loathed rivals from down the M62 have picked up the Premier League championship 13 times and the club they like to mock as being without history is about to claim it for a fourth time. On Merseyside they no longer dare check in the rear view mirror: everything

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  • Arsenal v Chelsea: Why the London rivals should admire each other

    Arsenal and Chelsea’s football philosophies clash majorly, but Jim White believes that fans of both clubs long for a little sliver of the other’s style

    Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas (2nd L) shoots between Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez (L) and Santi Cazorla (R) (AFP)Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas (2nd L) shoots between Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez (L) and Santi Cazorla (R) (AFP)

    When I saw Chelsea hammer Swansea City this season, like the rest of the 20,000 enthralled supporters gathered at the Liberty Stadium, I witnessed a performance of unimpeachable quality. It was a demonstration of panache, of style, one that insisted this was easily the most fluent, ambitious and progressive side in the country.

    The speed and fluency of their passing, the fleet footedness of their movement, the dazzling geometry of their interchanging: the only possible reaction was to sit back in admiration. It was hard to remember a better domestic display than that across a career of

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  • Jose Mourinho is right, Eden Hazard has to win PFA and FWA Player of the Year awards

    Harry Kane unquestionably represents the story of the year, writes Jim White, but it is inconceivable that anyone other than Eden Hazard should scoop the individual season awards. Winners should take all.

    Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and Eden Hazard (Reuters)Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and Eden Hazard (Reuters)

    Jose Mourinho, currently entrenched in his most grouchy, grizzly, cantankerous form, is finding fault with virtually everything. Such is the mumbling grumbliness of his mood you might think he is facing relegation rather than an odds-on championship.

    Yet he had a point when he tetchily suggested this week that the footballer of the year really ought to be chosen from the team that won the title. Otherwise, what exactly are we celebrating here?

    Though you wonder what he would say if Chelsea were currently lying second in the Premier League and Eden Hazard was being ignored in the voting

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