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Author Archive for Barney Ronay

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Gareth Southgate was right to lay down marker over Raheem Sterling | Barney Ronay

An England manager has nothing but mystique and soft power. If they don’t use it they become irrelevantHappy thousandth everyone. Another month, another England landmark. Welcome to the 1,000th overblown mini-drama to enliven an otherwise deathly inter…

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Genesis, Revelation … Exodus: has Guardiola reached City endgame | Barney Ronay

Guardiola is generally in one of three phases of engagement – it is tempting to conclude we are in this third stage now, that the Pep exodus has begunThis is the end, beautiful friend. Or rather, it may just be a vision of it. Watching Pep Guardiola ca…

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Pep Guardiola to set City scheme to the extreme for Anfield summit | Barney Ronay

Early-season tussle between title rivals will see Guardiola turning up the intensity and going the Full MidfielderIt is, of course, absurd to talk about title deciders in early November. As Liverpool and Manchester City prepare to meet at Anfield on Su…

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Arsenal can offer a last surge through the gears for Mourinho’s diesel destroyer | Barney Ronay

Once hailed as a winner, the Portuguese is now regarded as pure plutonium, but his expensively-badged pragmatism may be what the Gunners needStrange how easy it is to end up missing things. Misplaced nostalgia is as old as people being old. Although od…

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Jadon Sancho holds all the cards as Dortmund look to cash in on his promise | Barney Ronay

The most promising of England’s teenage footballers is Dortmund’s next dividend but the money game needs to be played right and there have been some problems“Whom the gods wish to destroy they first call promising.” Good news, then, for Jadon Sancho, w…

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Hundred gets the ball rolling with sparkly draft for new-born franchises | Barney Ronay

ECB’s competition takes first steps in engaging piece of contrived TV theatre as eight franchises hand out contractsRoll up. Roll up for the mystery tour. On a night of fevered transactional tension at the Sky TV studio complex English cricket rolled o…

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N’Golo Kanté: so much more than just the Premier League’s best midfielder | Barney Ronay

It is no surprise that Real Madrid and Juventus are said to be coming for Chelsea’s Kanté – the Frenchman has conquered all before him over the last four yearsRemember the N’Golo Kanté riots of 2018? Those were high times, man. It seems strange now but…

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Paltry fines and spineless words helped create the scenes in Sofia | Barney Ronay

Uefa is historically culpable for what happened in Bulgaria’s national stadium but there are losers on all sidesThe taxi driver on the morning run to Sofia airport was lugubrious, middle-aged and wearing an England football shirt. What had he made of t…

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Why China’s fevered dream of World Cup domination has no boundaries | Barney Ronay

China’s upsurge in fortunes follows the decision to redefine what being a Chinese footballer actually meansChina is a very large country, inhabited by many Chinese. Looking back it seems fair to say Charles de Gaulle was probably right in this assessme…

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Why China’s fevered dream of World Cup domination has no boundaries | Barney Ronay

China’s upsurge in fortunes follows the decision to redefine what being a Chinese footballer actually meansChina is a very large country, inhabited by many Chinese. Looking back it seems fair to say Charles de Gaulle was probably right in this assessme…

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Millwall overcome ground threat and free to advance regeneration plans

• Conditional sale agreement for the Den formally cancelled• Developer Renewal’s scheme no longer threatens stadiumIn the end the final blow came not with a bang and not with a whimper – but with a vote in the council chamber. Six years on from the cre…

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Sebastian Coe’s stance on Salazar displays a very British hypocrisy | Barney Ronay

The response of the IAAF president and the athletics commentariat to the doping ban of Alberto Salazar, Mo Farah’s former coach, is little short of nauseatingSay what you like about British hypocrisy. It’s still the best hypocrisy in the world. This is…

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The Spin | Rajasthan Royals’ English academy: a glimpse of cricket’s future?

The IPL franchise has branched out into remote Surrey and this is the kind of development English cricket will have to accept as the game continues to evolveJust a month to go, then, until the beginning of the end. Or the start of the beginning. Or som…

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Punkish Pochettino nears end of Tottenham era that never quite was | Barney Ronay

It has been a thrilling ride but it is degrading running so hard to stand still – now might be the time to say goodbyeRemember the Nigel Adkins riots? I was there when it all went down. Although to be fair, this is probably stretching the definition of…

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Punkish Pochettino nears end of Tottenham era that never quite was | Barney Ronay

It has been a thrilling ride but it is degrading running so hard to stand still – now might be the time to say goodbyeRemember the Nigel Adkins riots? I was there when it all went down. Although to be fair, this is probably stretching the definition of…

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Lionel Messi’s enduring luminous talent marks him out as The Best

It is easy to become a little inured but his achievements are astonishing – 54 goals, the European golden boot and Champions League top-scorerWas it ever really in doubt? Lionel Messi is The Best: it’s official. On a night of pomp, power?play and delic…

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Eden Hazard can shine at Real Madrid without being the new Cristiano Ronaldo | Barney Ronay

The former Chelsea player has the skill and the attitude to succeed at the Bernabéu even if the club is still a little infatuated with the former owner of the No 7 shirtEden Hazard’s first start for Real Madrid on Wednesday night was always likely to b…

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Cristiano Ronaldo can draw line under superstar era with international record | Barney Ronay

Cristiano Ronaldo has Ali Daei’s unheralded milestone in sight, which would suitably crown a unique type of brillianceFamously, the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il only ever played one game of golf. In 1994 state media reported Kim had picked up a clu…

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Michel Platini, four years on from his downfall, still stalks the stage | Barney Ronay

The Frenchman wanted to be his own man and to parade as some kind of sporting conscience but in the end he found himself beaten thin and ultimately lost within the machineAs the sun-bleached August prelims fade away and the season proper kicks into gea…

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Bury’s expulsion from EFL shows football’s regulations are meaningless | Barney Ronay

Demise is another warning that huge social value of clubs cannot beat the cold, hard edges of a free marketA good day to bury Bury. The swell of public sympathy at Bury FC’s expulsion from the English Football League was tangible on Wednesday morning. …