Jim White

  • Janowicz the real deal, but no match for Murray

    Andy Murray and Jerzy Janowicz

    On Wednesday, during the men’s quarter final, the umpire on court number one was moved to ask those in attendance to concentrate on what was going on in front of their eyes.

    Andy Murray was playing Fernando Verdasco on Centre Court at that exact moment, and the noises coming over the side of the court from the denizens of Murray Mound were causing endless distraction.

    Those in court one were trying to interpret from the grunts and yelps how the main man was doing. Did that ooh mean he his serve had been broken? Was that aah good news?

    Every so often, between games, an update on the score

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  • Moyes holds all the aces in talks with Rooney (and his agent)

    New Manchester United manager David Moyes arrives at the team Carrington training, (PA Sport)New Manchester United manager David Moyes arrives at the team Carrington training, (PA Sport)

    David Moyes has been in work at Manchester United for three days now. He has been arriving at Carrington at 8am every morning, to give himself more time to attend to the growing mountain that is his in-tray.

    On Thursday,  the work starts in earnest. The players, after attending medical checks earlier this week to ensure they are up to the ensuing rigours, will return for the start of their pre-season fitness regime.

    And for Moyes, as he gets to grips with the scale of his new job, meets the backroom staff and the players, acquaints himself with the demands on his time (would the manager be

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  • Anything is possible for Murray and Robson

    And so we reach the second week of Wimbledon with two nearby residents still in contention. Andy Murray and Laura Robson have survived the standard bonfire of the Brits to make it to the fourth round: it is the first time since 1998 the home nation can boast such an enlarged representation. Never mind that half the pair was born in Melbourne - it is enough to give Sue Barker a nose bleed.

    What’s more, in this most bizarre and unprecedented Championship, it is possible the duo could progress together further.

    Far be it from me to risk a prediction after suggesting that Roger Federer was nailed

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  • Roger Federer still believes in Roger Federer

    To the growing irritation of the locals, there is an American journalist at this year’s Wimbledon who is very keen to know what all the players think about Nelson Mandela.

    As the great man ails in hospital, in every press conference this chap pipes up to ask what his legacy means to those coming off Centre Court.

    You may wonder exactly why we need to know what Maria Sharapova – a Russian who has spent all her life in America – thinks about the South African freedom fighter, but the bloke asks anyway. And, as might be expected, he hardly elicits the most riveting answer. These are tennis

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  • Don’t worry about Brazil, 2014 will be a carnival

    Back in the summer of 2011, the London Olympic organisers staged a series of test events. Beach volleyball  was held in Horse Guards Parade at the precise moment what seemed to be half of London was enveloped by rioting, a tsunami of broken glass sweeping across the capital.

    At the volleyball beach, Hugh Robertson, the sports minister, was besieged by reporters ahead of the first service on the sand. How on earth can you think of holding an Olympics, he was asked, when Croydon is burning? Surely the government cannot hope to guarantee the safety of competitors when the country’s youth has

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  • It is a brave pundit who attempts to follow the doyenne. In her guide to Wimbledon, published in Vanity Fair magazine, Pippa Middleton barely hits a bum note.

    What observation, what perspicacity, what insight the future Queen’s sister offers up in her insider’s guide to what to look out for at the All England Club.

    Take a raincoat, she suggests. Don’t plan dinner afterwards because matches sometimes go on late into the evening and there is apparently nothing worse in the human condition than missing Rafa Nadal in action because you’ve booked for a routine pizza with friends.

    Do join in the

    Read More »from Nice work Pippa, but you forgot to mention Wimbledon’s big four
  • Wigan will give Coyle the stable home he deserves

    Welcome back Owen Coyle, you have been missed. Especially by Barclays.

    Coyle was the man who, every time he was interviewed when manager of Burnley and Bolton Wanderers, name-checked the Premier League sponsors so promiscuously the only logical explanation was that he was on piece-work, getting a handy little payment for each mention.

    “The Barclays Premier League,” he would say on an almost hourly basis, “is not an easy league. To win the Barclays Premier League, you’ve got to be the best team in the Barclays Premier League.” Kerrrrr-ching.

    Now with this return to the management at the

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  • England U21s lack the players, but also options for manager

    Watching England’s U21s labour to defeat against Israel yesterday, I kept thinking of something my dad always used to say when I was a teenager. Surveying me and my mates shambling about the place, he would raise an eyebrow and opine: “if you lot are the cream of the country, God help the skimmed milk.”

    It was not the most elevated of 90 minutes, not the most encouraging, not the most uplifting football match I have ever seen. It was not one that filled you with optimism. Actually, Andre Wisdom aside, it was about as sorry a showing as I can recall from a representative side. Players bereft

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  • Why England’s U21 failure doesn’t matter

    It’s all gone gloomy in Israel. Stuart Pearce has been bemoaning his lack of resources as England prepare for their next group game in the Under-21 European championships. Imagine if he could call on a front six of Danny Welbeck, Wilfried Zaha, Raheem Sterling, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere and Tom Ince. Now that is a prospect, he says, to put the fear of God even into the Spaniards.

    We are never going to find out if Pearce is right. We will never discover if such a combination would have the Spanish team shaking in their maracas. An unholy mix of injury, suspension and full

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  • Jose Mourinho: he’s still very, very special

    Never mind the historical revisionism currently coming out of Real Madrid, never mind the withering, lofty contempt of the Barcelona hierarchy who dismiss him as “a disaster for football”, never mind the fact Manchester United preferred not to take up the opportunity to further his career, of this there can be no doubt: Chelsea have signed themselves a brilliant manager in Jose Mourinho.

    Mind, you might not appreciate that given some of the things that are being written about him. The new theory about Mourinho is that he is a busted flush. Writing in the Daily Mail, John Carlin, the English

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