Jim White

  • Manchester United will mourn the loss of fearsome Vidic

    Nemanja Vidic needs a new challenge. That is the reason, he says, he is leaving Manchester United this summer.

    That is the reason why he has ignored his manager’s entreaties to stay on. A new challenge? You might have thought that playing for a mid-table team, one with zero chance of landing a trophy in the near future, would be sufficiently fresh a challenge for a man whose entire career in England has been conducted at the trophy-acquiring end of the football pool.

    What a player Vidic was for United (and frankly given his performances this season we are entitled to use the past tense even as

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  • The consensus, we can all agree, is that Roy Hodgson is not exactly spoiled for choice. When fewer than 30 per cent of the players turning out in the Premier League are available for selection, he is not going to be losing sleep over who he should be picking for the England side.

    Such is the paucity of options, this is a team that picks itself. In truth, we could all write down now the names of the XI who will turn out in their first game of the World Cup against Italy in June. And barring the inevitable toll of injury, most of us would get it right.

    Which must make it all the more frustrating

    Read More »from Terry impasse means England will head to Brazil without their best player
  • Sky's Jim White and Natalie Sawyer

    If Fifpro had its way, transfer deadline day would be a very different day.

    Sure, it would still be raining.

    But that rain wouldn’t be cascading down on the umbrella of the Sky Sports news reporter stuck outside the Etihad. Streams of water wouldn’t be drifting down the collar of Nick Collins as he stands outside Arsenal’s training ground. And the poor sap standing at the end of the drive outside Manchester United’s Carrington stable wouldn't be in danger of contracting pneumonia.

    Because what the international players' union is lobbying for is an end to the transfer system. And with an end

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  • Magical Mata already transforming Manchester United

    David Moyes was looking very relaxed last night. No wonder. For once his team had negotiated a home fixture without alarm.

    True, they had never looked as if they were about to tear down the footballing citadel. True they are still a long, long way off that fourth place (and if Liverpool continue to play like they did in the Mersey derby, it may be already an unbridgeable divide). But this was more like the way a Manchester United team ought to behave at Old Trafford: they were playing with something approaching conviction.

    It was pretty obvious where that came from. It was sourced entirely by

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  • Goldsands Stadium, home of AFC Bournemouth

    I heard it from the most unimpeachable of sources this week. Jeff Mostyn, the chairman of AFC Bournemouth, told me that there really is only one way for a football club to get on in the modern English game: they need a sugar daddy.

    Mostyn knows what he is talking about. A Manchester-born businessman who made his money locally, he has been involved in Bournemouth for more than a decade. He was in charge of the boardroom when the club were so damaged by accumulated debts they twice went into administration in the noughties. In May 2009, undermined by a massive deduction of 17 points, the club

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  • If Mourinho was United boss, Januzaj would be out on loan

    One thing about Juan Mata if David Moyes manages to secure the Chelsea man’s signature: it’s a start.

    Now all he needs is a decent left-back, a couple of commanding centre-backs, a level-headed right-back, two strong central midfielders, a right winger, not to mention a medical miracle man to sort out Robin van Persie. Then he might have a team capable of challenging for the title.

    There was an interesting debate among fans after the game between Chelsea and Manchester United: where would United be now if they had gone for Jose Mourinho rather than Moyes in the summer? Given that the

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  • Manchester City’s quiet man letting his team do the talking

    One thing about Manuel Pellegrini: he lets his football team do his talking for him.

    This weekend, his Manchester City side will score their 100th goal of the season. There is no doubt about that. Of course they will. They are playing Cardiff at home and they always score at home. Usually by the sack load.

    And when they do, when they rattle up the quickest seasonal century since the Premier League began, the guy on the sidelines masterminding the whole operation will react as he always does. A little punch of the air, both fists clenched in triumph, then back to his quiet, undemonstrative

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  • Premier League badly needs superstars like Ronaldo

    It is not something we generally expect from a man whose public utterances on the subject of football can generally be classified as Blatter. But Florentino Perez, the president of Real Madrid, said something really interesting as his player Cristiano Ronaldo was acknowledged as the world’s best at the Ballon d’Or ceremony this week.

    “As I have always said about big signings,” said Signor Perez. “The most expensive players are in fact the cheapest.”

    He has a point there: in terms of value for money, there is no doubt that Ronaldo has delivered. £80 million it cost to prise the player from Sir

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  • In football, more than most areas of life, you should be careful what you wish for. After spending good money last weekend travelling to watch their team humiliated in the FA Cup by the Championship draw specialists, Nottingham Forest, West Ham’s supporters were hoping for something a little more uplifting at the Etihad stadium on Wednesday night.

    And indeed they were treated to a football lesson, full of fluid passing, cunning movement and magnificent finishing. Trouble is, it was their opponents delivering the masterclass. Their own side were utterly abject as Manchester City hammered home

    Read More »from Big Sam on the brink, but possible replacement could ruffle feathers
  • Empty seats could spell the end for David Moyes

    Most Glaswegians know what it is like to have a New Year head. Hogmanay hangovers arrive with the birth certificate. But none of his townsfolk can have ever suffered from the turn of the year as badly as David Moyes. On the touchline at the Stadium of Light last night he looked dreadful. Many a football manager has turned grey under the pressure of the job. But generally it is their hair that pales. Not their face.

    Football management is a lonely business when things are going wrong. And right now Moyes looks utterly alone, bereft, cut adrift. Last night he paced his technical area trying to

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