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Author Archive for Barney Ronay

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Arsène Wenger, Arsenal’s departing general, deserves a fitting farewell | Barney Ronay

No one will lead a top club for so long again. Wenger will stand as one the last of English football’s great Napoleonic managersAll things must pass. Even, it turns out, the glorious, unrepeatable and by the end strangely interminable reign of Arsène W…

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No place in PFA team for Firmino, Liverpool’s high-class goal-angry scuffle-man | Barney Ronay

Roberto Firmino defies easy categorisation and while he may not have done enough to warrant a place in the PFA’s team of the season he is a vital part of Jürgen Klopp’s attacking armoury“We like lists because we don’t want to die,” the highbrow novelis…

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TMS bowled out by TalkSport but stop weeping, change is sometimes good | Barney Ronay

News that the BBC had lost the radio rights to England’s winter tours was greeted with dismay but cricket fans should realise a different voice for the sport is both possible and necessaryStop all the clocks. Stamp a single steel-toed work boot through…

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What next for Pep Guardiola? It has to be the Champions League trophy | Barney Ronay

Manchester City’s joyous romp to the Premier League title presents the manager with a different kind of opportunityYou won. Fine. Now win again. Win better. Even in a moment of triumph, with his beautifully engineered seventh domestic title safely stow…

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Why England need to take a chance on talent and alter their top six | Barney Ronay

It seems the same batsmen from the disastrous Test winter will keep their spots against Pakistan, despite the fact they are England’s weakest top six of the modern ageNobody ever feels completely ready for the start of the English cricket season but he…

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The bald fact for Pep Guardiola is rivals wised up to Manchester City | Barney Ronay

After three straight defeats, City’s manager is not ‘a fraud’ and neither has he been ‘found out’ – rather rivals have realised how to exploit his side’s weak spotsIs Pep Guardiola a bald fraud? Before Manchester City’s three consecutive defeats in the…

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Lionel Messi’s supercharged genius the ideal antidote to grey World Cup | Barney Ronay

Argentina may look in a sorry state but their No 10 could offer something redemptive, a happy ending of sorts, a way of making Russia’s World Cup beautifulI see a bad moon rising: I see trouble up ahead. Or if not quite trouble, then some interest…

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Gareth Southgate reaches a defining question: To Dele or not to Dele?|Barney Ronay

As England approach the World Cup, the manager must decide if the Spurs man’s risky talents can fit with his hard-working, possession-based systemFail again. Fail better. Fail, at the very least, in a slightly more interesting way. As England’s final f…

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Raheem Sterling’s craft offers key for England to throw off the shackles | Barney Ronay

Gareth Southgate’s most pressing need at Wembley was for his players to show something in attack against Italy – Sterling and Vardy were happy to obligeOn Wembley Way before kick-off a louche, drowsy New Orleans?style jazz band dressed in Three Li…

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‘Say it ain’t so Steve’: at least this scandal shows cricket still matters | Barney Ronay

While the ball-tampering furore will die down, it feels as if Steve Smith and his side brought much of this on themselves by neglecting the values Australians attach to their national sport“It ain’t true, is it, Joe?”“Yes, kid, I’m afraid it is.” Conti…

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Gareth Southgate finds what he’s looking for with England’s tireless tyros | Barney Ronay

Assured victory in Amsterdam is more proof that the coach’s plan of canny possession football is not just empty chatterLast month Gareth Southgate did a long broadcast interview with the journalist Guillem Balagué. It kicked off with Balagué lobbing up…

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England need to ditch Trevor Bayliss for a Test tsar with extended power | Barney Ronay

The ECB could do much worse than rotate the head coach out of Test cricket and appoint someone such as Nasser Hussain or Alec Stewart to promote the red-ball gameThe real problem, in the end, was how little it seemed to be a problem. As England’s crick…

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The Russia World Cup has to save international football from crisis | Barney Ronay

Before this set of friendlies, we can focus on Russia 2018 contenders, dark horses – and England – but also the desperate need for a successful tournamentAs football’s friendly international Spring break descends upon the season like a dose of Sunday a…

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Mohamed Salah, superhero gerbil who makes fun out of defenders | Barney Ronay

Liverpool’s striker looks one of the best buys in years now he is being given a proper run after his Chelsea false startTo err is human, to forgive divine. As a coda to this: to err massively and hilariously is also human, as anyone who writes about sp…

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How absurd to boycott World Cup when Russia is so bound up in our economy | Barney Ronay

Politicians were quick to jump on the World Cup and turn it into a political football in the week when 23 Russian diplomats were expelled from the UKAs Anglo-Russian relations grow ever more fraught it seems a good moment to consider just how upset Rus…

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How absurd to boycott World Cup when Russia is so bound up in our economy | Barney Ronay

Politicians were quick to jump on the World Cup and turn it into a political football in the week when 23 Russian diplomats were expelled from the UKAs Anglo-Russian relations grow ever more fraught it seems a good moment to consider just how upset Rus…

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José Mourinho is pretty much cooked as a Champions League force

Manchester United’s exit showed their manager’s methods, built around solidity and defensive control, no longer work against the best teamsThere was a slightly ghostly moment in the second half at Old Trafford as Manchester United were euthanised from …

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Banega outshines Fellaini and shows Mourinho what he’s missing | Barney Ronay

Sevilla’s Argentina midfielder was superb in the midfield forest while United’s Belgian floppedSometimes you get what you deserve in sport. With an hour gone on an angsty night at Old Trafford, with Manchester United fumbling vaguely in front of the Se…

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Even in the era of super-clubs, football’s pleasure principle still holds | Barney Ronay

Whatever we throw at it, no matter how we blind it with greed or dilute its edges, football remains an addictive, engaging, consoling source of human interestFirst impressions tend to linger. For example, I’ve always liked Paul Merson as a pundit despi…

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Pep Guardiola’s yellow ribbon ties football up in knots over true enemies | Barney Ronay

Thirty years on, the basic premise of Football Against the Enemy illustrates a different world where the game was a point of resistance against control and oppressionThis summer it will be 30 years since an event that helped inspire what is still one o…