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Author Archive for Barney Ronay

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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. …

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English football gets David Luiz wrong. He is a fine Arsenal signing | Barney Ronay

Brazilian’s blunders have met with much mockery but he has been one of the Premier League’s most influential defendersEver since he first arrived at Chelsea, bursting on to the scene like a labrador puppy at a family gathering unsure of whose face to l…

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English football gets David Luiz wrong. He is a fine Arsenal signing | Barney Ronay

Brazilian’s blunders have met with much mockery but he has been one of the Premier League’s most influential defendersEver since he first arrived at Chelsea, bursting on to the scene like a labrador puppy at a family gathering unsure of whose face to l…

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English football gets David Luiz wrong. He is a fine Arsenal signing | Barney Ronay

Brazilian’s blunders have met with much mockery but he has been one of the Premier League’s most influential defendersEver since he first arrived at Chelsea, bursting on to the scene like a labrador puppy at a family gathering unsure of whose face to l…

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New world order? Welcome to Premier League’s new era of excellence | Barney Ronay

As the season kicks off the Premier League appears to have it all. But this brave new world brings fresh challenges for allBring me my bow of burning gold. Bring me my all-English Euro finals. Bring me my £5bn three-year domestic TV rights cycle. Bring…

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Tayla Vlaeminck’s rarity shows coaching changes are needed to close pace gap | Barney Ronay

Difference between everyday male bowling speed and top female speeds is too large to make any real senseThe first rule when comparing women’s sport to men’s sport is: don’t compare women’s sport to men’s sport. This is generally a pointless exercise, u…

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Steve Smith enters as the pantomime villain, but departs a hero | Barney Ronay

The Australian batsman was booed on his way to the crease, but 144 runs later left to applause from all around the groundThey came for one kind of story. What they got was another entirely. Under gloomy Birmingham skies Steve Smith produced an innings …

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Fuss over Joe Root’s move to No 3 is just another part of Ashes mythology | Barney Ronay

Australian fast bowlers against English batsmen has been the defining contest in this most famous of sporting encountersThere are the usual signs that it is getting closer. The Ashes white noise starts to fade. The Ashes hum starts to die back, wider c…

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Fuss over Joe Root’s move to No 3 is just another part of Ashes mythology | Barney Ronay

Australian fast bowlers against English batsmen has been the defining contest in this most famous of sporting encountersThere are the usual signs that it is getting closer. The Ashes white noise starts to fade. The Ashes hum starts to die back, wider c…

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This Is Football shows the ‘magic of the game’ is not just a sales pitch | Barney Ronay

For once, emotions are genuinely stirred by the story of Rwanda and how the game helped heal its divisionsIt can be hard in England to get a feel for the scale, the power and – yes really – the beauty of the Premier League’s vast global reach. Probably…