Jim White

  • Chelsea still a big draw for managers

    It is, according to football's Uncle Fester, all over at Stamford Bridge. Interviewed in the Sun this morning, Ray Wilkins suggests that the decision of Pep Guardiola to spurn Chelsea and head for Bavaria means Roman Abramovich will find it now nigh-on-impossible to recruit a decent manager.

    Guardiola's refusal is the first indication that the Russian's twitchy impatience with his coaches is becoming problematic. It might be thought he has everything available to attract the top talent from across the globe: more money than Croesus, a budget to die for, a state-of-the-art training facility

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  • Arsenal’s Financial Fair Play moans don’t add up

    At first reading it might seem there is nothing wrong with Arsenal’s letter asking for Financial Fair Play to be introduced to the Premier League.

    'Live within your means' seems the minimum requirement for football clubs. Especially when the rewards from television income are now so huge, it appears madness that certain operations are able to sustain un-viable losses thanks to benefactors. And we know precisely who the Gooners are whining about.

    But just ask yourself this: which of the following is a better model for football in the long term? One in which a set of owners, by dint of a

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  • Liverpool strive for renewed relevance

    Before Christmas I went to Elland Road to watch Leeds take on Chelsea in the Capital One Cup and if such spume-flecked fury can be described as such, there was something almost poignant about the hostility the locals showed to their visitors. Back in the seventies the animosity between the two clubs was intense, reflected as much on the pitch as on the terraces: boy did those players hate each other. It was a clash of cultures as much as a reflection of the north/south divide. But it was also a rivalry stoked by this fact: both sides were pursuing the game’s big prizes. When they back then

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  • Premier League has no case for the defence

    There was a lot of hurt English pride in the reporting of FIFA's Team of 2012, which was released yesterday. Not a single English-based player was included. No Van Persie, no Silva, no Kompany, no Yaya Toure. No Rooney or Gerrard either.

    The Premier League - which likes to think of itself as leading the global game - looked rather secondary in the opinion of its footballing peers, who reckoned the best XI players in the world all ply their trade in Spain.

    Such a blank has happened before. In 2010 there were eight representatives of the Spanish League, three from Italy and none from England.

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  • The end of Balotelli? Don’t make me laugh

    Outside Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, stretching across a vast tract of empty brownfield land all the way across to the Manchester velodrome, is the site of the club’s new training complex.

    At a cost of some £250 million, the 80-acre Etihad Campus encompasses all sorts of superlatives, from state of the art medical facilities to the most advanced of all-weather pitches. Construction began last September, using a local workforce and locally sourced materials, suggesting this will not only be a magnificent facility, but one rooted in its community.

    But, among its dazzling array of

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  • New Year, new QPR?

    There are many questions to be asked about football as the New Year gets underway. Such as: if Mario Balotelli is being paid £150,000 a week for the princely return of one goal and no assists this season, where can the rest of us find an employer as generous as his?

    And why did Chelsea feel the need to play in white the other day away at Norwich? Are their players no longer able to distinguish between yellow and blue? Also how long will it be before referees stop allowing their reputations to be continuously assaulted and actually apply some technology to help them in their task?

    But the

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  • Year in Review: Pirlo’s Panenka

    We are asking all of our experts to give us their picks of 2012. Here Jim White reviews the year in football, with a little help from Alex Chick and Tom Adams.

    Best Match

    JW: Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United. A derby that had everything, fizzing with energy, anger and emotion from first to last.

    AC: Reading 5-7 Arsenal. Just days after the poisonous Chelsea-Man Utd game, this was the ultimate palate-cleanser. Just a fantastic, fun game of football.

    TA: Spain 4-0 Italy. This wasn't even close to being a contest. Instead it was the crowning glory of the greatest side international football

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  • Benitez must prioritise Lampard signature

    Rafael Benitez and Frank LampardAfter watching his team beat Leeds on Wednesday in the Capital One Cup, Chelsea’s interim manager Rafael Benitez must have come to this conclusion: if there is one thing he must prioritise over the next month at his new desk, it is making sure Frank Lampard signs on to stay at the club.

    We know Benitez is not the most popular man in football right now. Dislike for him was the one thing that the Leeds and Chelsea fans could agree on. Never mind the bile and bickering pouring from the stands, when a chant of “you’re just a fat Spanish waiter” echoed round Elland Road it was hard to work out

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  • ‘Local’ policy is not Arsenal’s solution

    Arsene Wenger is struggling to hold on to Theo WalcottFor a moment you had to wonder if you had heard him properly. Had Arsene Wenger really just said that?

    After victory at Reading on Monday night, the Arsenal manager was asked – for perhaps the 318th time this season – about the progress of Theo Walcott’s contract negotiations. His answer went a bit further than anyone expected.

    Unprompted, he revealed that his club’s new strategy when it came to long-term team building was to base the construction around a core of British players. Brought up in the culture of the club, the implication was, they would be more likely to understand its purpose

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  • Newcastle face bleak Christmas

    The weekend after he signed his new, secure eight-year contract at St James's Park, Alan Pardew was at Reading, watching his side take a decent point in an early season scramble.

    Always an engaging and open interviewee, after the game he was in a corridor at the Madjeski explaining to a handful of reporters what his spanking new deal meant. Smiling, he suggested that, knowing the workings of Sod's Law, it was guaranteed that Newcastle would now go into freefall and he'd be sacked by Christmas. How we all laughed.

    With five defeats in the last six matches, Newcastle now face a party season

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