Jim White

  • Moyes must not become Fergie ‘Mini Me’

    A six year contract: that is quite a statement of faith in David Moyes by Manchester United. Never mind that he has managed no more than two matches in the Champions League, never mind that he has added not a single piece of silverware to the Goodison Park trophy room during his decade at Everton, United clearly believe he is the man for the long haul. That is why they appointed him to replace Sir Alex Ferguson, rather than a quick fixer like Jose Mourinho: they want him to hang around for a while.

    Ferguson's fingerprints are all over the decision to appoint Moyes. Most managers are quickly

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  • Moyes the right man to replace Fergie for the long haul

    After what he termed the “absolute disaster” of his last ceremonial retirement announcement back in 2001, Sir Alex Ferguson said that next time he would go suddenly and without fanfare.  A dozen years later he was as good as his word.

    Following a night of fevered speculation in which a leak from the Manchester United players’ annual golf day spun round the ether, United revealed this morning that it was indeed the case.

    The greatest manager in the history of the game in this country was to vacate the dugout immediately after the final game of the season against West Bromwich. He will take up

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  • Carragher to leave huge hole at Liverpool

    This Sunday lunchtime a great career will reach a final milestone. Jamie Carragher will play in his last Mersey derby.

    Already we know how it will pan out. There will be a last-second tackle to rob Maroune Fellaini of a goal-scoring chance, there will be a lot of pointing out where colleagues should be standing at a corner, there will be a lengthy lecture to the referee on the minutiae of the offside rule. And there will be the kind of focus and commitment that, if bottled, could transform footballers in this country.

    That’s what Harry Redknapp and Alan Pardew needed to give their players as

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  • ITV shambles only further whets appetite for Mourinho return

    Whoever was the comedian shouting in Gabriel Clarke’s ear to curtail his interview with Jose Mourinho last night after Real Madrid had been eliminated from the Champions League, you can bet the Professional Footballers Association have already booked him for next year’s annual dinner.

    Just as the great man was about to tell us where he was heading next year, Clarke was obliged to cut him off. There were adverts to be shown, after all. It is not often anyone leaves Mourinho speechless. But Clarke’s savage cut left him perfecting his goldfish impression.

    Or at least that was how it looked. I’m

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  • Manchester City must mimic Bayern’s statements of intent

    There are many lessons English football can learn from its German counterpart.

    As the Bundesliga suddenly becomes the new source of football fashion, the list of things it does rather well is extensive. There is the attitude to youth development which ensures youngsters get a proper chance to shine. There is the clear-headed approach to finance which means no club would ever be in a position to sink into administration.

    And there is the rational stance on fan culture which allows supporters not to have to break the bank for a match ticket and when they turn up, lets them stand watching a game,

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  • United’s flat-track bullying a mark of champions

    When Robin Van Persie smacked home that magnificent volley on Monday night, the delirious crowd in the Stretford End as one found their voice: “That’s why we’re champions,” they chanted.

    You could see their point. Last season we witnessed the tardiest conclusion in Premier League history, the destination of the trophy not decided until the third minute of added time in the final game. This time it was over before St George’s Day, with four games still to play.

    Though there is an argument that the race was done as early as 12 August last year. That was when, on deciding that he had had enough

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  • Spendthrift QPR should look to Swansea model

    Queens Park Rangers could be relegated this weekend. If results go against them, if they lose and their rivals for the drop all win, they will be down. Not even Houdini could escape from a predicament as perilous as theirs. Never mind Harry Redknapp.

    It may not be this weekend, but when they go (the 'if' long ago left the Loftus Road building) it will signal the conclusion of one of the most ignominious spending sprees in Premier League history. Sure, back in 2004 Leeds paid the nightmare price of living the dream. But at least they got to the Champions League semi-finals in their midst of

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  • Stoke and Sunderland face scramble for last seat on life raft

    Ultimately, for all the angst and chin stroking, football is the simplest thing. If you score goals you are more likely to win than if you don’t.

    Apply that simple lore and the scramble at the bottom of the Premier League looks suddenly clearer. The fog of panic and scramble lifts. The clubs that can score goals will survive. Those that can’t are doomed.

    Hard as it might be for him to accept it, we can safely say Harry Redknapp has not managed to burnish his Houdini reputation at Loftus Road. Unless there is an imminent intervention from a force even more divine than Loic Remy’s strike last

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  • Life in the old title race yet

    Phil Jones’s face has become a thermometer to take the temperature of the title race. Last May down on the pitch at the Stadium of Light, as the news was broken to him that Manchester United had not, in fact, won the title and that Manchester City had snatched it at the very last, the young utility player wore an expression that passing Hollywood directors should have recorded to use as a template for any actor looking to play a character who has just seen a ghost. Rarely has anyone looked so manifestly crestfallen. He really did look as though his world had just ended.

    Then, on Monday night

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  • With Di Canio, Sunderland’s real action will be off pitch

    Sunderland supporters should brace themselves for drama when their team take on Chelsea on Sunday.

    Not so much on the pitch, where the delivery of excitement has been more than a touch limited this season. No, the action will all be in the away team’s technical area.

    If Sunderland fans thought that their previous manager Martin O’Neill could get a little exercised on the touchline, with his St Vitus Dance twitches and attempts at the world standing high jump record every time his team scored, they have seen nothing compared to what their new man will bring.

    For Paolo di Canio, the manager’s

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