Jim White

  • Manchester United: spineless in more ways than one

    The signing of Angel Di Maria has taken Manchester United’s spending on new players since January 2013 up to £213.7 million.

    Wilfried Zaha, Marouanne Fellaini, Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and now Di Maria: when you study who they have signed in that time and for that money -for all that money - it would appear that what United urgently needed to restructure their squad were a couple of left backs, a couple of pacey wingers and some midfield fancy-dans. Plus Fellaini, whatever it is he may represent at some £27m of investment.

    Last night’s performance against MK Dons in the

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  • There has not been much good news associated with football in the last week. What with Malky Mackay’s witless, potty-mouthed text “banter”, the declaration of intent by the Glazers to stay on at Manchester United for at least another five years and poor old Gazza looking wretched on the tabloid front pages, it has not been a celebratory seven days. As yet there has been no requirement to hang out the bunting. The champagne has remained resolutely on ice.

    [PAPER ROUND: BALOTELLI MUST SIGN CODE OF CONDUCT AT LIVERPOOL]

    Which makes the news emanating from Anfield all the more encouraging. It

    Read More »from You thought Suarez was hard work? Welcome to the mad world of Mario
  • United’s transfer travails have deep roots

    One thing that cannot be denied in the Premier League: Manchester United have spent money in the transfer market. The purchase of the excellent Argentinian defender Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon for £16 million means the club will have forked out £46m this summer on left-backs alone.

    The problem the club has is not so much that they are not spending. It is that they have spent poorly. United’s record in the transfer market over the past three or four years is by far the most woeful of any of the clubs with aspirations to win the title.

    It has been the financial equivalent of chucking

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  • Pressure on Mourinho to end two-year trophy drought

    It has been a wholly undramatic summer of transfer activity so far. Steady accumulation, sensible buys, nothing to frighten the season ticket holders has been the way of things. The bigger stars of the World Cup have headed to Spain. The Premier League has been left with the rest.

    There may still be frenetic action ahead. My namesake may explode with excitement as the window slams shut on his head. But for now we are obliged to make predictions for the forthcoming season on the basis of what little has been done this summer. So here goes. In ascending order, this is how I expect the Premier

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  • Louis van Gaal is everything David Moyes wasn’t


    Highlights of the 0-0 draw between Manchester United and Inter (5-3 on pens) by omnisport-gr

    He is having a busy summer watching the golf at the Open, watching the racing at Chester, telling any reporter he meets that Manchester United’s vice-chairman Ed Woodward wouldn’t recognise Lionel Messi if he passed him in the street.

    But you wonder, as he tries to recover from his nine months in a Salford hell, what David Moyes must think of the way Louis van Gaal is going about the business of being Manchester United manager.

    [AMERICANS' MAN UTD GAFFE]

    This time last year, Moyes had it all in front

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  • Mourinho’s next signing can win Chelsea the title

    What a signing Jose Mourinho is about to make for Chelsea. The man responsible for the single most important kick in the club’s history looks as if he is about to make a return. A free agent after his contract at Galatasaray expired, Didier Drogba, whose winning penalty in Munich brought the biggest trophy in club football to Stamford Bridge, seems to be heading back to his spiritual home. If he puts his name to a new contract, it could prove the single most significant piece of transfer business the club undertakes this summer. It could be the signing that wins a title. If nothing else,

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  • Liga giants leaving Premier League rivals in the dust

    If you want a snapshot indicator of the relative standing of the Premier League and La Liga, take a look at this summer’s main playing imports. Between them Barcelona and Real Madrid have signed the two biggest stars of the World Cup, plus the bloke who would have been a star had he managed to control the urge to indulge in a mid-match Italian. James Rodriguez joins Toni Kroos and Luis Suarez as the new boys in the Spanish league, a collection of talent as elevated as there is in the game. What a trio those three represent, as stellar a threesome as could currently be assembled. And all of

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  • How Manchester United might line up in opening match

    Louis Van Gaal sauntered into Old Trafford with the demeanour of a man who felt he belonged. He had been, he insisted, the manager of the number one club in the Netherlands, of the number one club in Spain, of the number one club in Germany. It was surely inevitable that he would end up in charge of the number one club in England. There was really only one question his appearance insisted that needed to be asked about his appointment to become manager of Manchester United: what took you so long?

    It was a bold, ambitious, optimistic attitude he embraced, a quantum leap from his nervous,

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  • Where have all the good defenders gone?

    That was a World Cup memorable for many things. The colour, the noise, the copious public weeping. The brilliance of the Germans, the sparkling promise of the Colombians, the wholly unprecedented collapse of the hosts.

    The defiance of Tim Howard, the blistering pace of Arjen Robben, the comical self-destruction of Pepe. Adrian Chiles’s knees, Rio Ferdinand’s complicated blazer and tie combination, Glenn Hoddle’s continuing difficulties with the English language. Not to forget the boost to the importance of maintaining good dental health that was so conspicuously supplied by Luis Suarez.

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  • Messi and only Messi can stop Germany winning the World Cup

    Just before the World Cup started I was at a function at the Argentine embassy in London, talking about the country’s long established sporting rivalry with England. Or at least that was advertised as the subject that Ossie Ardiles, Ricky Villa and at least one far less qualified observer were supposed to be addressing.

    But it soon became evident from the questions asked by the large crowd of Argentine expats gathered in the magnificent Belgravia mansion that houses the embassy that rivalry with England was of no more than passing interest. What worried them far more was Germany. In

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