Jim White

  • What happened to the Chelsea who tore apart Swansea? Mourinho happened to them. And just as well he did.

    Chelsea looked a shadow of their mighty selves in Paris - but that's exactly how the manager wanted it, explains Jim White.

    Jose Mourinho Jose Mourinho 

    Watching Chelsea scrap their way to a draw with Paris St Germain in the Champions League this week, one thought occurred above all others: is this really the same team who hammered Swansea just a month ago?

    Back then in the Liberty Stadium, Jose Mourinho’s team had been fast, fluid and fearsome. Looking the Premier League champions elect, they had scored four by half time, each goal a model of speed and precision, the culmination of perfect interchange. For much of the first 45 minutes, as the ball zipped and span between the men in blue, they were utterly unplayable, the accuracy and

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  • Paul Lambert had to go but Villa shambles down to Randy Lerner

    Paul Lambert had to go but even Pep Guardiola or Sir Alex Ferguson would struggle at Villa Park

    Paul LambertPaul Lambert

    After an uncharacteristic lull, the Premier League sack race is back in full flow. To the pile of shattered egos in the out-tray has been added this week the name of Paul Lambert. He joins on the naughty step Neil Warnock, Alan Irvine and Harry Redknapp (though obviously Our 'Arry resigned due to a dodgy knee rather than receiving a dodgy bullet). The only surprise this week is that Nigel Pearson somehow managed not to be admitted to their increasingly less exclusive club.

    In Lambert's case the news - as it so often is in the business – was delivered with a brutal lack of respect. He was

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  • The Premier League's £5.14bn could make football better - but don't hold your breath

    Jim White says the grass roots game could be revolutionised thanks to the new TV deal, but the Premier League has other priorities.

    Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore looks on as Yaya Toure of Manchester City celebrates with his team-matesPremier League chief executive Richard Scudamore looks on as Yaya Toure of Manchester City celebrates with his team-mates

    Well, that’s me proved wrong again. For the past 20 years I have been predicting that the football bubble was about to burst, issuing dire warnings to the Premier League that the years of television bounty would inevitably come to an end, that they were living in a false economy. Back in 2013, I boldly insisted that the peak had been reached, that no more money could ever be forthcoming, that television had been milked for all it could possibly afford.

    [SKY AND BT STRIKE RECORD TV DEAL]

    How wrong I was. Yesterday’s announcement that Sky and BT had between them agreed to pay £5 billion across

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  • Dodgy spending not a dodgy prompted Harry Redknapp's QPR exit

    Harry Redknapp was damaged more by QPR owner Tony Fernandes's unwillingness to trust his judgement in the transfer market than a sore knee, writes Jim White.

    Harry Redknapp has never had the most secure relationship with facts. A bit of seasoning, a touch of lily-gilding with a hint of exaggeration has always been the recipe he has followed when it comes to a yarn, a story, an anecdote.

    When it came to managerial decisions and transfers too, his approach to disseminating information was on a par with that of the CIA: if possible, don’t reveal anything that might be of use to an enemy. His recent autobiography was full of incidents which did not fall within the strictest parameters of what pedants insist on calling the truth, the whole truth and

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  • Any Chelsea fans who boo Frank Lampard are in need of urgent help

    Jim White says Frank Lampard is an essential part of Chelsea's history - and any fans seeking to abuse him on Saturday will need their heads checking.

    Manchester City's Frank Lampard is seen during their English Premier League match against Sunderland at the Etihad StadiumManchester City's Frank Lampard is seen during their English Premier League match against Sunderland at the Etihad Stadium

    When Frank Lampard returns to Stamford Bridge in the colours of Manchester City tomorrow afternoon, the response from the home crowd will be overwhelmingly appreciative. They will welcome him back as someone who was a critical component of the best period in the club’s history.

    This, after all, is Chelsea’s record goalscorer, a central part of three title-winning teams, captain on the night they lifted the Champions League trophy. He was there when four FA Cups, two League Cups and the Europa League were won. He scored goals: 211 in all, including 13, 16 and 22 in the league triumphs of

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  • Replacing the irreplaceable: Why Manchester City have a problem with Yaya Toure

    Manchester City will want Yaya Toure's African Cup of Nations involvement to end ASAP, says Jim White, as there's no replacing Yaya Toure.

    Can Manchester City envisage a future without Yaya Toure Can Manchester City envisage a future without Yaya Toure 

    It would be a ridiculous suggestion to claim that Manchester City are a one-man team. It was never possible to win the title by employing a superstar and 10 passengers, let alone in this era of power squads and benches worth millions.

    But of this we can be certain: all of City’s Premier League rivals will be supporting Ivory Coast in tonight’s showdown with Cameroon, hoping that a victory will extend the nation’s interest in the African Cup of Nations. And thus keep Yaya Toure occupied elsewhere for another couple of rounds of league matches.

    [JIM WHITE: DIEGO COSTA IS A DISGRACE - BUT HE

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  • What If... Someone repeated Eric Cantona's 'kung-fu' incident today?

    It's 20 years since one of the most shocking incidents in Premier League history. Jim White wonders if it could ever happen again.

    On Sunday it will be twenty years ago since Eric Cantona took a detour to the dressing room at Selhurst Park via the chest of a gobby Crystal Palace fan.

    Sent off for kicking an opponent off the ball, as Manchester United’s charismatic French playmaker completed his walk of shame he reacted to something shouted in his direction in the most extreme fashion: he vaulted the advertising hoarding and launched himself studs-first into the chest of a bloke called Matthew Simmons.

    Hilariously, Simmons claimed later that all he had yelled was “it’s an early bath for you Mr Cantona”. Others nearby

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  • No one could blame QPR for sacking Harry Redknapp this weekend

    Jim White says Harry Redknapp's demeanour has been bad for months and if QPR lose again it could be time to go.

    Harry Redknapp has cut a dejected figure all seasonHarry Redknapp has cut a dejected figure all season

    Harry Redknapp was quick to deny it. As far as he was concerned he hadn’t heard anything about the rumour sweeping through Loftus Road that QPR’s game with Manchester United represented the very last of last orders for him.

    “Nah,” he said at his Friday press conference. “Nobody’s said anything to me about losing my job if we don’t win this one.” He speaks regularly to the chairman, he added, and there had been no hint of ultimatum. As far as he knew, he was here to do a job and he would carry on doing it. 

    But then, he would say that wouldn’t he? And when exactly was the last time anyone

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  • Falcao's agent is putting him in the shop window - but is he past his best?

    Jim White says there are real concerns about Falcao's ability to get back to his best at Manchester United - which explains his agent's recent behaviour.

    Falcao's long-term future at Manchester United is very much up for debateFalcao's long-term future at Manchester United is very much up for debate

    Taking heed of an agent’s whinges is not something anyone associated with football is inclined to do. Especially not an agent who has leeched as much money out of the game as this one. Yet when Jorge Mendes this week asked a question of one of his clients it was hard not to wonder whether he had a point. What, the Portuguese wheeler dealer wanted to know, is going on exactly with Radamel Falcao at Manchester United?

    “One of the very best in the world,” Mendes claimed of the Colombian, “who would without doubt play 90 minutes of the match, every time, with any other club.” Yet there he was on

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  • Wilfried Bony deal can win Manchester City the league. The only question is how City have pushed it past UEFA.

    Manchester City's canny decision to sign Wilfried Bony is the sort of move that wins titles - but they've ridden roughshod over FFP rules to force it through, says Jim White.

    Wilfried Bony (PA)Wilfried Bony (PA)

    It appears Wilfried Bony has scored his last goal for Swansea. A £30 million deal has been agreed with Manchester City, and the Ivory Coast striker is expected to head north as soon as he returns from Equatorial Guinea, where he is about to play in the African Cup of Nations for Ivory Coast.

    While nobody could dispute that Bony is some prospect, a striker of power and pace, who may well prove an excellent addition to the champions’ squad, his purchase seems a somewhat extravagant bit of business for a club supposedly operating under strict, UEFA-imposed transfer restrictions.

    You will recall

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