Jim White

  • Paul Gascoigne shows Jack Wilshere and England the way forward

    Jim White says Jack Wilshere was right to look to Gazza for inspiration, and England should continue to embrace the attitude which made him so brilliant at Italia 90.

    England's Jack Wilshere celebrates after scoring a goalEngland's Jack Wilshere celebrates after scoring a goal

    After his stirring performance for England on Sunday, Jack Wilshere revealed he had a new source of inspiration. He had been watching a documentary about Paul Gascoigne and seeing footage of the young Gazza taking Italia 90 by storm, the Arsenal man had tried to play against Slovenia as the then Newcastle midfielder did in that tournament.

    He tried to be bold, to attack without fear, to play his natural game. And the result was two coruscating goals, one of which was as good as any by an England player in a decade. He owed Gazza for those, he said. He dedicated them to the former maestro.

    The

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  • 'Deranged cannibal' Luis Suarez proving bargain of the century - even at £75 million

    Jim White argues that if Barcelona clinch the treble, it'll be down to the efforts of a famous Uruguayan rather than an Argentine icon.

    Luis Suarez: If Barcelona win the treble, he'll be the reason whyLuis Suarez: If Barcelona win the treble, he'll be the reason why

    Back in April 2014, it all seemed over for Barcelona. Evicted from three competitions in a week, the hints of decline were nagging. It wasn’t just a blip, the obituaries for tika taka were extensive and heartfelt. Everywhere the Barca way appeared to being found out. Atletico had torn into them in La Liga, Madrid had eviscerated them in the Copa del Rey, they could not sustain a European run. They had even lost to Granada.  Xavi and Iniesta, the architects of the decade of dominance, were ageing and slowing. And worst of all Lionel Messi appeared to have misplaced his mojo.

    In the Copa del

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  • Goodbye and good riddance to Sepp Blatter, the Nigel Farage of sporting politics

    Jim White takes a look at the outgoing FIFA President, once seemingly as tenacious as a barnacle on heat, who has fallen on his sword.

    FIFA's ex-president Sepp BlatterFIFA's ex-president Sepp Blatter

     

    The end when it came took everyone by surprise. Sepp Blatter, the man who knew no shame, the leader who would apparently withstand any amount of opprobrium in the conviction that he was right, right and right again, who had celebrated his soiled election victory last week by accusing the British and American media of running false accusations against him, on Tuesday announced he would resign as president of FIFA.

    Though this being Blatter – the Nigel Farage of international sporting politics – this was not as straightforward a departure as it first seemed. After jaws had been replaced in

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  • FBI corruption probe marks beginning of the end for slippery Sepp Blatter

    The end is nigh for the FIFA president Sepp Blatter and a culture of corruption, writes Jim White.

    Sepp Blatter.Sepp Blatter.

    They must have assumed it was a standard FIFA jolly. Nothing more than a run of five-star hotels, first class flights, limos with blacked-out windows, the usual hand of mink-lined benefits that come from being at the top of the world’s most self-serving sporting institution. They were gathering in Zurich for the Fifa Annual Congress. And they weren’t stinting on personal comfort.

    But then, at dawn this morning, they got their collars felt. A number of plain clothes Swiss detectives broke the privileged calm of the swanky, lakeside Baur au Lac Hotel, demanded from reception the keys to half a

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  • 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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