Jim White

  • Blue moon rising

    I have an
    unusual and increasingly rare distinction: I have seen Manchester City win a
    major trophy in the flesh. There can't be many of us left. Certainly there will
    be no-one under early middle age. After all, as the banner hanging in the
    Stretford End tauntingly reminds the world, it was 34 years ago that a man in sky
    blue last lifted any decent silverware.

    It was the
    League Cup final and I went because my schoolmate Roger offered me a spare
    ticket. I think he did it in the forlorn hope of weaning me from affiliation
    with Manchester's other club, but whatever the motive I remain grateful

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  • United v City: Match of the season

    Those involved in the arts might deride it, but football remains the country's most reliable source of drama.  It has more tensions, more confrontations, more personal spats than a month-long festival of Shakespeare. A sport that is, at its basics, all about conflict has within its scope all sorts of intrigue.

    It is not simply about team A against team B, it is manager X against manager Y, striker Q against fullback R, old money against new money, chairman Z against the fans. These are the clashes that fill the imagination and keep us engrossed: they are what make English football such a

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  • Only half-time for Jose’s Inter

    It isn't over yet. And nobody knows that more than Jose Mourinho. Offered the opportunity to announce last night's 3-1 win over Barcelona as the best of his Inter career, the manager politely declined. Winning at Chelsea in the previous round was better, he said, because that was in the second leg and ensured his team's progress. He knows it is still only half-time in this semi.

    In many ways for the neutral, last night's result was the best possible thing to happen. You imagine that it will have sparked Barcelona, banished any hint of complacency. In doing so it has set up the second leg

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  • Round up the usual suspects

    It is all very easy to join in a public witch hunt and blame the obvious target. But in the case of Newcastle United and Dennis Wise, that should not necessarily stop us.

    Wise was brought in by Mike Ashley to be executive director of the football club on a salary north of £1million a year.

    He was tasked with scouring the globe to find the finest in previously undiscovered football talent. It was unclear to the local eye why he was obliged to do this out of an office in London, but never mind.

    When Kevin Keegan walked out, fed up with the fact that he could not buy the players he wished

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  • Football’s cruellest word

    You know things are getting a touch surreal in the summer transfer market when news leaks out that Harry Redknapp has managed to sign only one player during the break and hasn't sold any. Not one.

    Indeed, so thin has been the market movement so far that the lead item on Sky Sports News this morning was that West Ham had turned down a bid from Tottenham for Scott Parker. Even in the shouty realm of Sky Sports News, it comes to something when the biggest story is something that hasn't happened.

    Normally at this point in the summer, just around the time fans renew their season tickets, clubs

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  • Welcome to the economic madhouse, Yaya

    Yaya Toure is apparently really looking forward to joining up with his new Manchester City colleagues. He regards the forthcoming season as one of great challenge and enormous potential. With the squad being assembled by Roberto Mancini, all trees in the vicinity of the City of Manchester Stadium, he believes, are in danger of being uprooted. City are on the march. This is going to be massive.

    All right, I paraphrase. Though only marginally. And if it seems a little odd for the Ivorian to be so excited about moving from the club where he won the European title to a place where the passports

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  • Football’s fiscal studies

    It was nice of Alvaro Arbeloa to express concern for the future direction for the Premier League.

    According to an interview this week, Liverpool's Spanish defender is anxious to move back to his homeland as soon as possible. This is nothing to do with the impending arrival of Glenn Johnson to challenge for his first team shirt. No, it is about wider matters. He wants to be gone before the new 50p tax rate for those earning over £150,000 a year comes into force.

    But it is not just him he is worrying about. Arbeloa foresees a mass talent drain of footballers keen to avoid the long fingers of

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  • Not worth a boo

    Steven Gerrard admitted this week that, were he an England fan, he would join in any booing at Wembley tonight.

    In truth, Gerrard will be lucky if there is anything as animated as a boo to greet he and his team's return to action. After what they did this summer, what they deserve to be met by is the crashing silence of indifference.

    The utterly depressing thing about tonight's friendly with Hungary is that no more than six weeks on from England's humiliation in South Africa, nothing has changed.

    Sure, as always, the language in press conferences is of apology and hurt. No-one, according to

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  • Cole: Easy for Hodgson to say

    £90,000-a-week for a player who, in the last five years, has featured in his club's starting line-up on average 19 times a season may not seem the bargain of the decade.

    Cheaper, you would have thought to, buy out Simon Cowell's latest TV contract, better value to take a meaty bundle of used fivers and one by one shove them down the toilet, less risky to employ Harry Kewell as your medical consultant. But actually Joe Cole's recruitment by Liverpool might well turn out to be the signing of the summer, an indication that despite all visible signs to the contrary the club is not in terminal

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  • It all depends on Torres

    It was not perhaps the terminology his manager might use, but Glen Johnson was accurate in his assessment of what Sunday's game against Manchester United means for his club's season. Speaking in Liverpool's training ground earlier this week, the England full-back described the fixture as "s*** or bust".

    His point was this: facing the champions in such a position, after the worst run of defeats in 22 years, with morale so low it is barely detectable, with the possibility of their championship campaign lasting only until the day the clocks go back, might seem like the worst possible bit of

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