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Author Archive for Barney Ronay

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Gary Neville asks right questions of Qatar but gets no nearer answers we need | Barney Ronay

The pundit’s documentary is well made but pulls its punches on problems surrounding the next World Cup“I will be able to get away with anything. The most slippery, unthinkable, Machiavellian things” – Ricardo Teixeira, Fifa executive, World Cup 2022 bi…

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Swardeston’s cricket dream comes true with place in continental league

• English T20 club champions into European Cricket League• Major TV deal in the offing for 16-club competitionLook out Pavel Florin: the English are coming. The England and Wales Cricket Board has granted permission for Swardeston Cricket Club to becom…

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Handshakes, dark suits and money-glaze: welcome to the Mendes supremacy | Barney Ronay

The Portuguese super-agent is busy closing deals this month, but is he starting to wield too much influence in football?When Jorge Mendes got married a few years back a story emerged that Cristiano Ronaldo had given football’s most potent agent a Greek…

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Sam Curran has what it takes to be England’s man of the moment | Barney Ronay

The Surrey player has been criticised for what he is not – ‘not quite an all-rounder’ – but it makes more sense to praise the qualities he brings to the England teamA few days before the start of the second Test against New Zealand Sam Curran was asked…

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Why Manchester United can’t see the Woodward for the trees | Barney Ronay

Batter your way through every Woodward the club can hire and you still come up against disengaged vulture capitalistsIt’s the question on every Manchester United supporter’s mind right now. Is there any sales tactic, any favour to be called in that may…

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ICC plan to end five-day Tests would remove all that is best about cricket | Barney Ronay

The tone of the game flows backwards from the possibility of five days – just look at Dominic Sibley’s century in Cape TownNo. No. No. And also: no. Not even: no thanks. Not later or maybe or let’s see. This is simply a hard, flat no. And indeed an ang…

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Cricket may seem insignificant while Australia burns but it shines some light | Barney Ronay

At the elite level, sport is run, funded and used as a reputation-garnish by the world’s greatest carbon-gorgersEdgar Allan Poe wrote a brilliantly sinister short story about a man who wakes up in the night and sees a shadow against the curtains that l…

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Cricket may seem insignificant while Australia burns but it shines some light | Barney Ronay

At the elite level, sport is run, funded and used as a reputation-garnish by the world’s greatest carbon-gorgersEdgar Allan Poe wrote a brilliantly sinister short story about a man who wakes up in the night and sees a shadow against the curtains that l…

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Spectral Arteta coaxes Nicolas Pépé back from the living dead

Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Manchester United shows new manager may already have discovered how to make the most of £72m signingWelcome to the Emirates, Nicolas Pépé. We’ve been expecting you. On a chilly, boisterous night in north London, Arsenal’s £72m re…

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Jaw-dropping sport moments of 2019: Hysteria at Anfield and in Amsterdam | Barney Ronay

No one gave Liverpool or Tottenham a chance of overhauling Barcelona and Ajax before a magical 24 hours of footballLiverpool v Barcelona at Anfield on Tuesday night. Ajax v Tottenham in Amsterdam on the Wednesday. I was there. Or at least, I think I wa…

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Tottenham’s off-brand rotational fouling has a special kind of purity | Barney Ronay

Spurs’ treatment of Wolves winger Adama Traoré was systematic and ugly – but admirable in its way“That son of a bitch kept his arm out and rammed it into my jaw. It wasn’t a kick this time, it was a punch – bam!”One of the best bits in Diego Maradona’s…

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Tottenham’s off-brand rotational fouling has a special kind of purity | Barney Ronay

Spurs’ treatment of Wolves winger Adama Traoré was systematic and ugly – but admirable in its way“That son of a bitch kept his arm out and rammed it into my jaw. It wasn’t a kick this time, it was a punch – bam!”One of the best bits in Diego Maradona’s…

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Arteta, Ancelotti and the guesswork looking to answer two managerial questions | Barney Ronay

Mikel Arteta may make a success of Arsenal. Carlo Ancelotti could triumph at Everton. Even a laughably reactive recruitment strategy tells the right time once a decadeAncelotti to Everton. Arteta of Arsenal-via-Everton back to Arsenal. Transfer assuran…

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Village side Swardeston given go-ahead to play in European Cricket League

• Norfolk-based club won English domestic double last season• Sixteen teams will play T10 over eight days this summerLook out Pavel Florin: the English are coming. The England and Wales Cricket Board has granted permission for the village side Swardest…

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Why Britain cannot claim moral high ground after London 2012 | Barney Ronay

Few sporting nations are qualified to talk with certainty about the failings of others and, with London 2012 the most dope-ridden Olympics ever staged, Britain is not one of themAnd what a time it was, and what a time. Here’s a festive quiz question. W…

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Champions League’s full English another staging post in march of the superclubs | Barney Ronay

For the third year in a row all the Premier League clubs are in last 16, with Manchester City perhaps the most likely winnersWell, fancy seeing you here. For all the pep and vim, the high-energy caffeine-football combinations of Red Bull Salzburg, ther…

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Fans must take it upon themselves to resist football’s politics of hate | Barney Ronay

As poison drips from parliament, racism in football has surged. Clearly our leaders cannot be trusted to set the right toneGary Neville was right. It might have struck a jarring note in the post-match Sky Sports studio, sandwiched between the unsmiling…

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PSG’s Neymar-Mbappé era will end soon, but there is still time for glory | Barney Ronay

A half-a-billion pound project to bring their talents together and the Champions League to Paris has failed thus far but with both strikers now fit can they deliver at the last?“Le grand Paris reste une idée, un fantasme qui tourne dans nos rêves mais …

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Marco Silva appears to be done in England – but he remains a managerial mystery | Barney Ronay

The sacked Everton manager has been in English football for three years but has not grown roots at any of his three clubs, built no notable teams and won only 32 league matches“Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have …

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Amazon’s Premier League arrival comes with a hefty price tag for fans | Barney Ronay

No matter how glossy the Amazon product, fans are still being sold the same things they already owned in the first placeThe Americans are coming. Or rather, they’re already here, and already launching the next step in a takeover by stealth that may onl…