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Author Archive for Jonathan Howcroft

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Case for defence presents penalties to settle A-League grand final | Jonathan Howcroft

It’s common to bemoan the ending of a football match in such fashion, but not in Perth on Sunday nightSeven kicks. A championship season 140 matches long spanning seven months came down to seven kicks. Sport can be grotesquely cruel.Those seven kicks f…

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A-League grand final preview: a celebration of Perth’s rebirth or Sydney’s continuity?

It’s cruel that one football match can determine an entire season, but therein lies the drama of finalsGrand finals are torturous affairs. They funnel the blood sweat and tears of a 140 match season into a single 90 minute duel. When the final whistle …

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What’s more important in football: modern tactics or old school physicality? | Jonathan Howcroft

It is possible to enjoy a match on one plane alone but it can be enhanced by combining both – as Victory and Phoenix did“I’m fed up listening to people talk bull about tactics and formations and too much football science,” remonstrated Graeme Souness l…

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A-League also-rans look to rebuild after race that was done by Christmas | Jonathan Howcroft

A season to forget for the four clubs that missed the A-League finals – the rebuild starts nowLeague seasons are a marathon, not a sprint, or so the cliché goes. And if that is the case, the A-League premiership campaign that concluded on Sunday was on…

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‘Humble, no-fuss’ – model leader Carl Valeri hangs up A-League boots

As the last of the Socceroos ‘golden Generation’ call it quits, Carl Valeri’s quiet contribution back home deserves due respectCarl Valeri announced his retirement last week, elegantly concluding an A-League career executed to near perfection. It’s bee…

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Formula One: China Grand Prix – live!

Updates from the second race of the season in ShanghaiAny thoughts? Email or tweet @JPHowcroft 6.42am BST Here’s Giles Richards’ report from qualifying, noting the intriguing battle likely to unfold during the race whereby Ferrari’s straightline speed …

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The penalty science giving keepers an edge when they’re on the spot

There was a lot more to Ben Kennedy’s incredible injury-time penalty saves for the Mariners on Saturday than simply “guessing the right way”, reveals Vedran Janjetovi?The trill of the whistle pierces the night air. Jolted, thousands of spectators grasp…

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Bruno Fornaroli debacle exposes Melbourne City’s soullessness

The bruising departure of cult favourite Bruno Fornaroli has laid bare Melbourne City’s challenge to captivate fansMelbourne City last week dotted the final i on its relationship with Bruno Fornaroli. How the club and its former captain each addressed …

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Australia v New Zealand: Cup of Nations – live!

Updates from Ante Milicic’s first game in charge of the MatildasAny thoughts? Email or tweet @JPHowcroft 8.33am GMT 2 mins: Australia are bossing the opening exchanges with the fullbacks both pressing high and Carpenter in particular invited to carry t…

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Neil Kilkenny thrives under perfectionist Popovic as Perth revolution continues | Jonathan Howcroft

The little details Tony Popovic demands are the difference this season, says the Glory midfielderPerth Glory have missed the finals in seven of the 13 iterations of the A-League. They have won no silverware during that time and have only once finished …

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January signings set A-League for reboot and lively finals run in

With clubs across the league strengthening in key areas the back end of the season could dramatically come to lifeDecisive activity during the mid-season transfer window has the potential to transform the remainder of the A-League season. What’s more, …

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January signings set A-League for reboot and lively finals run in

With clubs across the league strengthening in key areas the back end of the season could dramatically come to lifeDecisive activity during the mid-season transfer window has the potential to transform the remainder of the A-League season. What’s more, …

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Dark clouds and silver linings: the A-League season so far

Despite off-field dramas, there are still plenty of positives to take from the season at its midpointAre you a glass half-full or half-empty A-League follower? At the midpoint of the home-and-away season it’s possible to take stock and conclude there’s…

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Maria Sharapova v Caroline Wozniacki: Australian Open third round – live!

Updates from the match on Rod Laver ArenaAny thoughts? Email or tweet @JPHowcroft 4.31am GMT Here’s some more background on Wozniacki’s rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis that she revealed late last year. Related: Caroline Wozniacki reveals battle with rh…

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Maria Sharapova v Caroline Wozniacki: Australian Open third round – live!

Updates from the match on Rod Laver ArenaAny thoughts? Email or tweet @JPHowcroft 4.31am GMT Here’s some more background on Wozniacki’s rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis that she revealed late last year. Related: Caroline Wozniacki reveals battle with rh…

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Palestine v Australia: Asian Cup Group B – live!

Updates from the Socceroos’ crunch game in DubaiAny thoughts? Email or tweet @JPHowcroft 10.39am GMT The @Socceroos warming up #PLEvAUS #AsianCup2019 pic.twitter.com/RHeCgufVsc 10.39am GMT Here’s a bit more on Tom Rogic’s diagnosis, a rare skerrick of …

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Ashleigh Barty or bust for home hopes at Australian Open | Jonathan Howcroft

The Queenslander is in the form of her life but there are limited local expectations for the menNo Australian has won a singles title at the Australian Open since 1978. Let’s not beat around the bush, there is only one local hope that stands a chance o…

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Australia v Jordan: Asian Cup 2019 – live!

Updates from the Socceroos’ Group B opener in Al AinAny thoughts? Email or tweet @JPHowcroft 11.01am GMT Australia’s Asian Cup defence is underway! 10.59am GMT The referee tonight is Ahmed Al-Kaf. He is from Oman. Continue reading…

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Australia v Jordan: Asian Cup 2019 – live!

Updates from the Socceroos’ Group B opener in Al AinAny thoughts? Email or tweet @JPHowcroft 10.54am GMT The teams are waiting in the tunnel, Australia top to toe in gold, Jordan a block of red. 10.51am GMT Last preview link before we settle into the …

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Asian Cup could fly under the radar as Socceroos face uphill battle

Shorn of its stars, Australia has a fight on its hands to capture the public’s imagination“I don’t believe there’s any sport that unites the nation quite like the Socceroos,” enthuses Graham Arnold on a skillfully compiled hype reel for Fox Sports’ cov…