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Author Archive for Barney Ronay

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Marouane Fellaini: forever tainted as Old Trafford’s king of dark times | Barney Ronay

Through successive managerial eras at Manchester United the big Belgian has fronted up gamely but remained an inherited burden, the embodiment of the post-Fergie wilderness yearsCarry on then, Marouane. After some suggestions this week that Marouane Fe…

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Can Franck Ribéry not have his gold-leaf steak and eat it? | Barney Ronay

The Bayern Munich forward has been vilified for his display of wealth in Dubai but that ire would be better directed at the excesses of the game rather than those who play itIn his book This One’s On Me Jimmy Greaves describes the pre-match meals of hi…

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Andy Murray: from gangly kid to genuine sporting grownup

Widely loved and politically progressive, the Scot will retire as arguably the greatest individual British sports person of the modern ageStop all the green and yellow Timex clocks. Put away that union jack tea towel. Stow the Pimms-sodden crash barrie…

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Resist the machine: Mo Salah should surely fight the urge to be a galáctico | Barney Ronay

In the past 10 years, any Premier League attacker who can maintain an A-list run has become a target of La Liga super clubs – but it would be a terrible idea for the Liverpool strikerIs English football in danger of losing Mohamed Salah to Real Madrid …

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Pep Guardiola faces new challenge of winning ugly with Manchester City

The manager’s previous title-winning teams have all been frontrunners – this time his side must come from behindIt’s the most wonderful time of the year. Or rather, it is if you take your lead from a chortling, bearded man who has spent most of the las…

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: The gloss-finished striker we hardly notice | Barney Ronay

The Arsenal striker has a claim to be the most thrillingly old-fashioned centre-forward in the Premier LeagueOK, but apart from that. Apart from scoring more goals in the last three and a half seasons than anyone else we have seen in England. Apart fro…

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Darts keeps dreaming big but its spirit remains rooted in Alexandra Palace

While the PDC world championship offers a glimpse of new horizons, brand tweaks and the next generation of players, stereotypes are hard to avoidAs Dimitri Van den Bergh makes his way on stage after a raucous, fist-bumping entrance-walk, he starts to d…

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Test sensation, overnight millionaire: it’s been quite a year for Sam Curran | Barney Ronay

He may look like he should still be playing for the colts but after bursting on to the Test scene in the summer England’s tyro has pocketed a lucrative IPL contract to crown his 2018Last year my kids went to do some holiday cricket training at Surrey’s…

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Mourinho and United ended up like a loveless celebrity marriage | Barney Ronay

His style at Manchester United has been defence-heavy and excitement-free but problems exist in all areas of the clubFarewell, then, José. It’s been fun. Or if not exactly fun then fitful, tedious and wreathed in a familiar sense of entropy. Either way…

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We’ve finally got one – welcome to a real-life Premier League title race | Barney Ronay

Liverpool’s demolition of Manchester United on Sunday to get back ahead of City at the top underlined the closeness of the competition as the two pull further clearThere was something telling about the roar around Anfield at the end of Sunday’s expertl…

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Klopp and Liverpool sense chance to inflict killer blow on Mourinho | Barney Ronay

Liverpool’s manager has something of a habit of handing his rival at Anfield on Sunday defeats that spell the end of the roadIt is a tribute to the indelible grandeur of Manchester United that even a season of constipated football and toxic managerial …

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Football should not carry the can for society’s ills – but can help to remedy them | Barney Ronay

Raheem Sterling kickstarted a welcome debate on racism this week and while the game should not shoulder all the blame perhaps everyone in football has learned somethingTo be fair to the more risque element of Chelsea’s matchday support, they have been …

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José Mourinho should cheer up – United are far too rich to go down | Barney Ronay

Manchester United ever being relegated is now unthinkable but when it was a reality the club were revitalisedThere was a good story at the start of this week’s BT Sport documentary Too Good To Go Down, a highly watchable 90-minute blockbuster about Man…

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Unai Emery has inherited much from the good work of Arsène Wenger | Barney Ronay

The former Arsenal manager overstayed his welcome but Unai Emery, who takes a team on a long unbeaten run to Old Trafford on Wednesday, owes Arsène Wenger a lotTowards the end of Arsenal’s north London derby victory on Sunday afternoon it was tempting …

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Tyson Fury casts some unexpected light from the darkest of places | Barney Ronay

On his road back to a world title fight against Deontay Wilder, the British heavyweight has become an unlikely but powerful advocate on mental health issuesIn 1990 the poet Robert Bly wrote a runaway American bestseller called Iron John: A Book About M…

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Liverpool need a midfield rethink to help end their continental drift | Barney Ronay

Their manager’s moans in Paris should not distract him from the fact that his side needs a rebootAt the end of Liverpool’s defeat in Paris on Wednesday night Jürgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel offered up a weirdly self-referential round of press conference…

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Manchester City fans’ defence of UAE shows sportswashing in action | Barney Ronay

Tribal loyalty has been taken too far when supporters pontificate on an area that has nothing to do with football as if they are debating an offside decisionIt seems an odd detail now but the first person to find oil in Abu Dhabi was the deep sea explo…

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Wealth of Nations League: Uefa’s rare good idea a wonder to be savoured | Barney Ronay

The Nations League has not only breathed much-needed new life into international football, it has also eclipsed the increasingly tedious group stage of the Champions LeagueThe time has come! Oh, new day! The Nations League. They laughed when Uefa annou…

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Harry Kane: probably not best in the world, but perfect for this England team | Barney Ronay

Gareth Southgate’s post-match proclamation about his captain raised a few eyebrows but 20 goals and a World Cup golden boot in his first 35 games is not bad goingOh, Gareth. We almost made it. Although, who knows, with a little time those Harry Kane re…

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Harry Kane: probably not best in the world, but perfect for this England team | Barney Ronay

Gareth Southgate’s post-match proclamation about his captain raised a few eyebrows but 20 goals and a World Cup golden boot in his first 35 games is not bad goingOh, Gareth. We almost made it. Although, who knows, with a little time those Harry Kane re…