Jim White

  • Football’s still our bread and butter

    In this glorious summer for British sport, the golden months of Wiggo, Rory and Andy, of Mo, Jess and Sir Chris, everything has been touched with delight.

    So ludicrously endowed have we been with moments to savour, the BBC montage of the best bits that was screened last month lasted half an hour. Everything has been wonderful. Well, almost everything. The football hasn't been great.

    In every competition over these weeks of sporting nirvana, the footballing representatives from this island have come up short. In the Euros, England were evicted at the quarter-final stage, as is customary on

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  • Ronaldo sympathy in short supply

    Poor Cristiano Ronaldo. We can only sympathise with the miserable position he finds himself in. No wonder he's sad. No wonder he needs to go public with his unhappiness. No wonder he refuses to celebrate scoring. Even when the landmark he notched up with his latest effort (150 goals in 149 games for Madrid) would send lesser mortals into ecstasy.

    It is not just a matter of money (though obviously £10 million a year these days can barely be described as adequate for a man of his distinction). It is not just a matter of prominence (though being the most noted player in the world's most renowned

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  • Rodgers saddled with poisonous legacy

    Legacy - that's this summer's buzz word. The Olympics, the Paralympics - between them they are supposed to leave us with something that will flourish for decades, change the emotional and geographical landscape, put a spring in our collective step for years to come.

    And then there is the legacy left by Kenny Dalglish and Damien Comolli at Anfield. Over £100 million spent in developing a team for the future, a team that was supposed to take Liverpool back to where they feel they belong: the top. So, how did that one go?

    The recently concluded transfer season saw one of the biggest slaps in the

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  • Au revoir, Joey/Joseph/Joe

    You wonder if Elie Baup gets out much. Or at least reads the papers. Or indeed has any knowledge whatsoever about the workings of human nature. Greeting his latest signing, the manager of Marseille said this:

    "He has to be part of the project, respect the team rules and work in the greater interest of the team. He must comply with these standards. His career indicates that he knows that already. And a player of character is often necessary."

    The player of character he is talking about is Joey — now Joe — Barton. Signed on a season-long loan from Queen's Park Rangers, Joe — previously Joseph —

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  • One picture from last weekend's Premier League programme should be framed and kept for reference by those quick to assault the integrity and motivation of modern players - as a reminder that theirs remains the most fragile of callings.

    It was of Joe Cole, hobbling off at West Brom, clutching the back of his thigh. He had only come on as substitute for the visitors Liverpool 10 minutes earlier, and here he was himself being replaced after barely kicking a ball.

    The look on his face was of a man devastated by his ill fortune. And you can understand why: his luck is so wretched he must have run

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  • Chelsea face Reading tonight with this their possible starting line-up: Cech; Ivanovic, Terry, Luiz, Cole; Lampard, Ramires; Mata, Hazard, Oscar; Torres. If that is not going to excite their restless owner, then he really is in need of urgent surgery of his saliva ducts. That looks potentially as attacking an outfit as has played in blue since Roman Abramovich bought the club; a fizzing, potent cocktail.

    Roberto Di Matteo has had a productive summer in the transfer market. Oscar, heir apparent to Brazil's number ten shirt, and Eden Hazard, who everyone else wanted and a couple of rivals

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  • Arsenal will survive without RVP – but is that enough?

    Gooners fear the lack of a world-class match-winner"We have lost world-class performers before and we have survived," said Arsene Wenger this week, reacting to the news his club had sold their principal asset, Robin van Persie, to Manchester United.

    And he is right. Survival is an apt term for how Arsenal have coped since they became a feeder club to others' ambitions. Since they lost Cole, Henry, Fabregas, Toure, Nasri, Clichy and now the best of the lot they have kept calm and carried on. Every summer as they have been obliged to stand back while others pick through the bargains on offer, every transfer window over the last few years has

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  • As starts to the season go, Manchester United’s could not be defined as a sprint from the blocks.

    Not on the field of play, as yet, but on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The club’s flotation is hardly a runaway success. Together with Facebook, they are in danger of sinking into the stock market relegation zone, on the point of ejection from the big time.

    Hoping to sell off 10 per cent of their holdings in order to pay off some debt and channel some cash into their other failing businesses, the Glazer family anticipated that United shares would spin off at around $14 a piece. Some

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  • Here we go again

    On Sunday it all starts again. We can forget the brief East London sideshow and gird ourselves for the main event.

    While the last of the gold is being struck at the Olympics, Manchester City will be taking on Chelsea in the Community Shield. There are those who have suggested the very idea of a football match kicking off while the world's favourite sporting fiesta is still in action seems self-defeating. But that is to forget the real purpose of this match: to provide Sky with some live content to offer its subscribers as the BBC hoovers up television audiences.

    Imagine what it must have been

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  • What footballers can learn from Olympians

    Britain's bronze medallist Jonathan Brownlee is carried away after he collapsed after finishing in the men's triathlon (Reuters)

    Jonathan Brownlee, the bronze medallist in the Olympic triathlon, held the press conference spellbound as he talked about the conditions in which he had trained for his event. There was one occasion when he had gone out for a ride on his bike and it was minus 14 in the Yorkshire hills where he prepares. Everywhere was under snow and he was riding along what he thought was just a field. It was only when he slipped off his bike and put his arm through the ice into the water below that he realised it was a lake. He was soaked and freezing. But never mind that, he carried on with his ride for

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