Jim White

  • Pearce rejuvenating his reputation

    There have been some unexpected moments of British success at these Olympics. Take Etienne Stott and Tim Baillie, two men who considered packing in their sport after failing to be selected for Beijing, winning gold at the canoe slalom. Or Peter Wilson, stripped of funding by UK Sport in 2009 because he was not deemed good enough, shooting his way to gold in the double trap.

    But the one we really didn't see coming has been mapped out on the football field: Stuart Pearce's emergence as a coach of thought and substance. His Great Britain team play a quarter-final tomorrow in the Millennium

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  • Fergie’s backed the wrong horse in Glazer affair

    The news that certain members of Manchester United senior management are to benefit from the club's public listing by being gifted shares will come as little surprise to those who have followed the club's recent history.

    The sale is a botched and sorry effort, an asset stripping operation which has been chased across the stock markets of the globe as it sought some sort of refuge from the prevailing economic woes. The idea, we were told by the acquisitive family who own the club, was to free up some of the debt. Accrue investment and pay off the loans was the idea, that way the interest

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  • Team GB concept fails to convince… for now

    Seventy-two thousand people: that is some crowd. Never mind that they were drawn to Old Trafford as much by curiosity and a desire to participate in the Olympic spirit as any affection for a freshly-minted team, such a pull cannot be easily dismissed.

    It was a strange sight, seeing the home of Manchester United playing host to someone else's show. On the route from the tram stop, usually lined by shouty swag workers and fanzine sellers telling you that no, their publication is not the official match programme, dozens of smiley volunteers in horrible purple outfits were stationed to point the

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  • Team GB relying on Welsh wizards

    The madness is underway. The biggest show on earth, the one we have been told repeatedly over the past seven years is going to alter our lives for the better, is ready to launch. Here's hoping it's as good as promised. It had better be, given we all paid for it.

    And, with characteristic self-aggrandisement, it is football that gets it all underway. The Olympics competition kicks off in Cardiff this afternoon with the GB women's team playing New Zealand in front of an anticipated crowd of tens of giddily excited enthusiasts. I saw as many as three New Zealand fans at London's Paddington station

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  • Fletcher worth becomes clear in his absence

    When the NBA Allstars of the USA basketball team came to town this week, Manchester's glitterati were out in force. Aping those pictures they had seen of David Beckham courtside at the LA Lakers, the local camera fodder had been artfully positioned on the front row of a packed MEN arena. All the better to take in the important things of the event. Like Lebron James's slam dunks and Kobe Bryant's convincing demonstration of the little known fact that man can indeed fly. Not to mention the close attentions of Kiss Cam, those candid camera shots of lovers smooching beamed to the watching

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  • Craig Bellamy trains with the Great Britain team

    Those who were there agreed they had never seen anything like it. At the GB Olympic football team press conference this week, Craig Bellamy was positively gushing. A man whose normal exchanges with the media are characterised by the donning of steel helmets, the footballer who generally puts the grump in grumpy was giddy with excitement.

    Bellamy had just checked into the Olympic Park and was beginning to take in the scale of the event in which he was about to play a part. He admitted that it is not often in the world of the Premier League star, where everything from adulation to cash comes on

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  • United signings a sign of new austerity

    Sir Alex Ferguson with signings Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell

    Sir Alex Ferguson staged a press conference yesterday to introduce to the world his two new summer signings for Manchester United.

    Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell were afforded all the hullabaloo of grand new arrivals. And both represent prudent purchases.

    For £17 million, Kagawa will bring goals from midfield, an ability to ghost into the penalty area with clockwork timing, a sharpness and resilience that belies his stature. He was loved in Dortmund, and they know a player.

    Powell, Ferguson hinted, is likely to be used in a deeper role, his job to start rather than finish attacks.

    At 18, the

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  • Mad Maradona will be back

    The story was as brief as it was predictable: "Former Argentina World Cup-winning captain Diego Maradona has been sacked as coach of United Arab Emirates club Al Wasl," it read.

    And really that was all you needed to know. The man with a legitimate claim to be regarded as the greatest player ever to kick a football has seen his career as a coach once again stall at the lights.

    "The 51-year-old, who agreed a two-year contract with Al Wasl in May 2011, was dismissed following a meeting of the club's board on Tuesday," continued the news copy.

    At least you could say this: 14 months, by Maradona's

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  • Red flags at Arsenal

    In the middle of last season I was at the Emirates to watch Arsenal take on Everton. With the game drifting towards inconsequence, Alex Song lobbed the ball forward into the visitors' penalty area. Running on to it with Rolex timing, Robin van Persie leapt off the ground and, connecting on the volley with his left foot, hammered home the sweetest of winners.

    The response from the home fans to the goal of the season strike was instructive about where Arsenal stand these days. It was a wonder effort, magnificent in its daring and execution. But for many of those who pay their money to watch

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  • AVB: Carry on up the Tottenham

    About six months ago, I mentioned in a report from a Chelsea game that the club's manager Andre Villas-Boas ought to be careful about his choice of attire.

    When Jose Mourinho first stalked Premier League touchlines, his coat quickly became a symbol of his style and panache; in that mac, the belt tightly fastened at the waist, Villas-Boas was forging an altogether less impressive sartorial image. He was in danger of resembling Frank Spencer.

    Almost as soon as the piece was published, into my inbox pinged an email from someone whose email name suggested where they were coming from. Chelsea Till

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