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Author Archive for Jonathan Wilson

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Rafa Benítez’s efficient Everton may not be entertainers – but they are working | Jonathan Wilson

Everton manager’s rice-and-vegetables approach is not to all tastes but who better to lead the club to the game’s high table?What we want and what we need are often very different things. You get home weary in the evening and look around the kitchen. Y…

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Louis van Gaal may be rude and stubborn but his vision should be celebrated | Jonathan Wilson

Look past the Netherlands coach’s truculence and you see someone of integrity who cares for football and how it’s playedThe 70-year-old walks over to the 24-year-old and peers at what he is watching. His hands flick out in a shrug of incomprehension. “…

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Newcastle fans speak of suffering but what about actual suffering in Saudi Arabia? | Jonathan Wilson

Supporters sang about getting their club back but it is hard to imagine a way it could be more profoundly taken awayThere used to be a sport over there.Football has never been pure. There have always been the rich looking to improve their reputations b…

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A striker isn’t everything, but might solve Pep Guardiola’s all-or-nothing problem | Jonathan Wilson

Score early and Manchester City can be devastating – but they often lose heart if their rivals strike firstThe temptation watching Manchester City’s 1-0 win at Chelsea last Saturday was to think we were witnessing the very best of modern football. It m…

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Ronaldo’s winner fuels Solskjær myth but success seems as far away as ever | Jonathan Wilson

Manchester United’s Champions League win against Villarreal was ill-deserved – the team are too open and will be punished for itHow much time does love buy you? That Manchester United fans want Ole Gunnar Solskjær to succeed is understandable. It’s not…

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PSG’s forwards are brilliant but how far can they go with a ‘broken team’? | Jonathan Wilson

Messi, Neymar and Mbappé leave side playing almost 4-3-0-3. It earned a win against Manchester City but may not always workLionel Messi scored a brilliant goal. Gianluigi Donnarumma kept a clean sheet. Paris Saint-Germain won, easing immediately any se…

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Chelsea miss Mount as Guardiola wrestles control back from Tuchel | Jonathan Wilson

Starved of creativity, Chelsea were swarmed by Man City’s press as Pep Guardiola beat his German rival at the fourth attemptIt’s dangerous always to elevate players in absentia, to assume that if only they had been there they would have produced a flaw…

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Struggling neighbours offer Spurs a grim warning of their own mediocre future | Jonathan Wilson

Tottenham play mid-table football in a shiny new stadium and fail to bridge the gulf to the rich elite – just like their derby rivalsThe phantom slowly, gravely, silently approached Spurs. It was shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its he…

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Struggling neighbours offer Spurs a grim warning of their own mediocre future | Jonathan Wilson

Tottenham play mid-table football in a shiny new stadium and fail to bridge the gulf to the rich elite – just like their derby rivalsThe phantom slowly, gravely, silently approached Spurs. It was shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its he…

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Jimmy Greaves redefined perception of what a centre-forward should be | Jonathan Wilson

Like Brian Clough, Greaves was very different from the classic English No 9 and together they changed the game’s tactics• Jimmy Greaves dies aged 81For those of us too young to have caught the end of Jimmy Greaves’s playing career, there was always a s…

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Brighton are making strides under Graham Potter but the hard yards lie ahead | Jonathan Wilson

The south coast club, who host Leicester on Sunday, have made a flying start but have had a favourable fixture listxG is not a perfect tool. Models vary. They have flaws. But still, it is striking that most xG – expected goals – models for last season …

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Champions League’s group stage is oddly palatable in a stale world | Jonathan Wilson

An unusually open group stage highlights the waning power of super-clubs and offers better football than what is to comeThere is, perhaps, no better indication of how broken modern football is that the return of the Champions League group stages feels …

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Rise of the petro-giants: PSG, Manchester City and Chelsea eclipse old guard | Jonathan Wilson

The travails of the traditional European elite as new money dominated the transfer window suggest things have changedIn times of crisis, the winners are usually the rich. As clubs across Europe continue to struggle against the financial impact of the p…

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Jack Grealish does enough in efficient England display without fireworks | Jonathan Wilson

Questions remain about how well he uses his ability but £100m Manchester City signing played his part in comfortable victoryMessiahs in football tend to exist more in the mind than on the pitch. The clamour for Jack Grealish to start for England may ha…

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Edward Shires: typewriter seller who helped make Hungary a football giant

Englishman paved the way from Budapest for Jimmy Hogan’s transformative impact on football in Hungary and far beyondWhen Hungary won 6-3 at Wembley in 1953 and so dispelled the lingering myth of English footballing superiority, their guest of honour wa…

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Tactical corkscrew turns as Tuchel’s Chelsea keep Liverpool at bay

Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea team can keep dangerous opponents at arm’s length, an unusual asset in the modern eraStep back from football and amid various ups and downs, backs and forths, check-backs and dead-ends, the first 100 years of its development aft…

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Tactical corkscrew turns as Tuchel’s Chelsea keep Liverpool at bay

Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea team can keep dangerous opponents at arm’s length, an unusual asset in the modern eraStep back from football and amid various ups and downs, backs and forths, check-backs and dead-ends, the first 100 years of its development aft…

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Tactical corkscrew turns as Tuchel’s Chelsea keep Liverpool at bay

Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea team can keep dangerous opponents at arm’s length, an unusual asset in the modern eraStep back from football and amid various ups and downs, backs and forths, check-backs and dead-ends, the first 100 years of its development aft…

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Tactical corkscrew turns as Tuchel’s Chelsea keep Liverpool at bay

Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea team can keep dangerous opponents at arm’s length, an unusual asset in the modern eraStep back from football and amid various ups and downs, backs and forths, check-backs and dead-ends, the first 100 years of its development aft…

0

Tactical corkscrew turns as Tuchel’s Chelsea keep Liverpool at bay

Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea team can keep dangerous opponents at arm’s length, an unusual asset in the modern eraStep back from football and amid various ups and downs, backs and forths, check-backs and dead-ends, the first 100 years of its development aft…