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Author Archive for Jonathan Liew

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Dembélé and Messi restore order to Barcelona’s chaos against Juventus

There were times in Turin when you could just about glimpse the Barcelona that had once been, and the Barcelona they were trying to become. For a club desperate to shrug off its fetid present, that at least must represent progress. Ousmane Dembélé’s ea…

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Jofra Archer: ‘You’re just counting the days down until you’re free again’

Fast bowler has spent most of the year in biosecure bubbles but has been on top of his game in the Indian Premier LeagueJofra Archer is thinking of buying a calendar. “Just to cross them down and feel like the days are going faster,” he says. As he nea…

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ECB should break the global silence on Pakistan’s sad and strange IPL exile | Jonathan Liew

The unspoken, unexamined decision of the Indian Premier League to ignore one country has turned the dressing room into a proxy battlefield, the auction into a theatre of warLast week, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced it is in the process o…

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Neymar and Bruno Fernandes reveal a tale of two talismans in Paris | Jonathan Liew

United’s captain enjoyed a far happier game, while PSG’s star was booked for dissent on a dim night for the home sideHow Manchester United must wish they could play Paris Saint-Germain every week. Of course, given the current mood within the game, one …

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Neymar and Bruno Fernandes reveal a tale of two talismans in Paris | Jonathan Liew

United’s captain enjoyed a far happier game, while PSG’s star was booked for dissent on a dim night for the home sideHow Manchester United must wish they could play Paris Saint-Germain every week. Of course, given the current mood within the game, one …

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The absurdity of Mesut Özil’s exile, yet another top talent cut adrift | Jonathan Liew

Arsène Wenger must despair at the inefficiency in the game, embodied by the German midfielder’s omissionThere’s been something strangely disconcerting about seeing Arsène Wenger back on our screens, promoting his new book. Almost every interviewer he h…

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Manchester City show Arsenal that the game belongs to the players

The match began as a battle of minds between Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta, but City looked more comfortable as things became more conventional in the closing stagesFor much of the night, the Etihad Stadium was thick with the fog of war. Games between…

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Manchester City show Arsenal that the game belongs to the players

The match began as a battle of minds between Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta, but City looked more comfortable as things became more conventional in the closing stagesFor much of the night, the Etihad Stadium was thick with the fog of war. Games between…

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Southgate’s faith in England’s class of 2018 is showing diminishing returns | Jonathan Liew

Most of the young stars who shone in Russia have stagnated, so is the manager’s faith in them based on stability or nostalgia?At the time – even amid the ruins of defeat – it felt like the start of something. Even as John Stones cried his heart out, as…

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Southgate’s faith in England’s class of 2018 is showing diminishing returns | Jonathan Liew

Most of the young stars who shone in Russia have stagnated, so is the manager’s faith in them based on stability or nostalgia?At the time – even amid the ruins of defeat – it felt like the start of something. Even as John Stones cried his heart out, as…

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Southgate’s faith in England’s class of 2018 is showing diminishing returns | Jonathan Liew

Most of the young stars who shone in Russia have stagnated, so is the manager’s faith in them based on stability or nostalgia?At the time – even amid the ruins of defeat – it felt like the start of something. Even as John Stones cried his heart out, as…

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The Guppy paradox: are England’s left-sided woes back to haunt them? | Jonathan Liew

Gareth Southgate has been wrestling with an all too familiar problem for England managers this week, to which Kevin Keegan certainly never found the answerSteve Guppy is the one everyone remembers. Most dedicated followers of English football in the la…

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Project Big Picture’s offer to EFL clubs: you will be looked after – and know your place | Jonathan Liew

The leaked plans contain both good and bad ideas, but will act as a licence to print money for the so-called big sixNot many people seem to remember Benjamin Disraeli’s novels these days, partly because – by and large – they weren’t very good. Indeed, …

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Gareth Southgate stumbles upon perfect tactics to take down Belgium | Jonathan Liew

England compensated for the lack of a cultured technical midfielder by turning the game into a wrestling matchIt wasn’t the perfect performance. Perhaps, in a weird way, that was for the best. Imagine the nonsense we would have had to put up with for t…

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Premier League may not need the pyramid but England and Southgate surely do | Jonathan Liew

Put simply: this is an England team that would simply not exist without the Football LeagueThe foul was won just inside the Wales half by Danny Ings. Released by Southampton as a teenager for being too small, Ings came through the Bournemouth academy, …

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Premier League may not need the pyramid but England and Southgate surely do | Jonathan Liew

Put simply: this is an England team that would simply not exist without the Football LeagueThe foul was won just inside the Wales half by Danny Ings. Released by Southampton as a teenager for being too small, Ings came through the Bournemouth academy, …

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England’s No 9 cloud lifts as night of experiments yields promising results

Dominic Calvert-Lewin emerged as an alternative to – or foil for – Harry Kane in England’s 3-0 friendly victory over WalesYes, it was only a throwaway friendly at an empty Wembley Stadium between a second-string England and a limited Wales, but … well,…

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England’s No 9 cloud lifts as night of experiments yields promising results

Dominic Calvert-Lewin emerged as an alternative to – or foil for – Harry Kane in England’s 3-0 friendly victory over WalesYes, it was only a throwaway friendly at an empty Wembley Stadium between a second-string England and a limited Wales, but … well,…

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Gareth Southgate needs to find solutions for unbalanced England side | Jonathan Liew

The England manager has picked an inexperienced 30-man squad for the international triple-header. What will he learn? In football, as in life, timing is everything. It is certainly no fault of Gareth Southgate’s that his England side must now take cent…

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Silly season: when is football’s goal-fest going to settle down a bit? | Jonathan Liew

What does this all mean for a sport that has sought to tread a fine tightrope between the credible and the incredible?Somewhere between the fifth and sixth Aston Villa goals on Sunday night, it began to feel as if everything was just getting … a little…