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Author Archive for Jonathan Wilson

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Manchester City’s sky blue smashing of Watford proves football is broken

Watching Pep Guardiola’s side dismantle their opponents in the FA Cup final was gruesome and reflective of a trend across Europe that suggests the time has come for a super leagueGoals! Goals! Goals! Trophies everywhere. Manchester City were brilliant …

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Manchester City’s sky blue smashing of Watford proves football is broken

Watching Pep Guardiola’s side dismantle their opponents in the FA Cup final was gruesome and reflective of a trend across Europe that suggests the time has come for a super leagueGoals! Goals! Goals! Trophies everywhere. Manchester City were brilliant …

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Premier League 2018-19 review: what we learned tactically from the season | Jonathan Wilson

For the elite clubs press-and-possess remains the dominant mode and the league’s less wealthy simply cannot competeOnce upon a time, not so very long ago, football was a game in which two teams battled for the ball and, when they had it, tried to score…

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How Manchester City tweaked their tactics to counter Liverpool threat | Jonathan Wilson

Pep Guardiola adopted a more pragmatic approach in some games, including at Anfield, and while their football was maybe less exciting their season was hugely impressiveFootball changed in 2008: Pep Guardiola became manager of Barcelona. Football had be…

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Premier League’s freakish finale leaves no margin for error | Jonathan Wilson

Consistent Liverpool or implacable City? Regardless of the title’s destiny, the chasing pack must fear two clubs so far aheadAfter Tuesday at Anfield and Wednesday in Amsterdam, perhaps nothing will ever seem impossible again. Nonetheless, it remains e…

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Belief fuels era of remarkable Champions League comebacks | Jonathan Wilson

Liverpool and Tottenham recovered from seemingly impossible situations to show that, in the Champions League, anything is possible these daysYes, yes, very good, but does the Champions League have any other tricks? It has become like Jed Mercurio killi…

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Liverpool’s power shows Barcelona that passing alone is not enough | Jonathan Wilson

Technique must now be matched by physique and Klopp’s side used old English virtues to blow away a decadent BarcelonaTalk all you want about great European nights. Talk of the swell of the crowd, the roaring emotion inside Anfield. Talk of St-Étienne a…

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Liverpool’s dogged pursuit could push Pep Guardiola’s side to their limit

Manchester City have been unable to shake off their title rivals and Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester could provide a decisive twistAre Manchester City human? Do they doubt? Do they wonder? Is their faith in their own ability as implacable as it often appear…

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Klopp took a risk with his tactics at Barcelona – and Messi made him pay | Jonathan Wilson

Attacking Barcelona is not wrong given it can unsettle them but it leaves teams exposed and Liverpool found that can be fatalContemplating his side’s Champions League quarter-final against Manchester City last season, Jürgen Klopp said that to sit back…

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Klopp took a risk with his tactics at Barcelona – and Messi made him pay | Jonathan Wilson

Attacking Barcelona is not wrong given it can unsettle them but it leaves teams exposed and Liverpool found that can be fatalContemplating his side’s Champions League quarter-final against Manchester City last season, Jürgen Klopp said that to sit back…

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How Marcelo Bielsa gave Leeds fans something to be proud of again | Jonathan Wilson

The Leeds manager, who let Aston Villa score after his team had taken the lead against the spirit of the game, understands what it means to be a representative for your clubWhat is football for? Why do people go, week in and week out, to watch teams th…

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Dominant Manchester City show how vast the gulf has become with United | Jonathan Wilson

While Ole Gunnar Solskjær tries to reconjure old values, City are breaking free from their past with the title a step closerIn prospect, six weeks ago, in that golden age when Manchester United didn’t have a permanent manager, the derby looked like bei…

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Is there a single Manchester United player the fans would be sad to lose? | Jonathan Wilson

Manchester United were woeful at Everton on Sunday and would Ed Woodward actually appoint Ole Gunnar Solskjær as a permanent manager now?So that’s the team Liverpool are banking on to win them the title? There could have been little pleasure for Liverp…

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Is there a single Manchester United player the fans would be sad to lose? | Jonathan Wilson

Manchester United were woeful at Everton on Sunday and would Ed Woodward actually appoint Ole Gunnar Solskjær as a permanent manager now?So that’s the team Liverpool are banking on to win them the title? There could have been little pleasure for Liverp…

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Manchester City machine creaks under pressure but title a step closer | Jonathan Wilson

Pep Guardiola’s champions showed they are human in the fraught 1-0 win over Spurs but another obstacle has been overcome with the Manchester derby up nextAt last some cracks are showing. This has been a title race characterised by the implacable excell…

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Pep Guardiola will be seen as a Champions League failure. But is it fair?

Manchester City manager’s last final was in 2011. Away goals, missed penalties and a volcano have helped to trip himThis will be the eighth Champions League final in a row not to feature Pep Guardiola – which perhaps should feel as extraordinary as it …

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Hendo Unchained: Liverpool’s dogged captain takes centre stage in title race

Jordan Henderson is thriving in his more advanced role under Jürgen Klopp after years spent filling in where requiredOne of the hallmarks of great drama is when a previously unheralded character turns out to have a significant impact on the denouement …

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Solskjær needs to be more than just not-Mourinho at Manchester United | Jonathan Wilson

Home defeat by Barcelona was no disgrace but it did raise further questions about the manager and Paul PogbaSo Manchester United need a 2-1 win in the Camp Nou to progress. Can anybody think of a time when they’ve done that? Yes, you at the back there …

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Solskjær needs to be more than just not-Mourinho at Manchester United | Jonathan Wilson

Home defeat by Barcelona was no disgrace but it did raise further questions about the manager and Paul PogbaSo Manchester United need a 2-1 win in the Camp Nou to progress. Can anybody think of a time when they’ve done that? Yes, you at the back there …

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Pep Guardiola last won a big European away game in 2011. Is he overthinking? | Jonathan Wilson

Manchester City’s defeat at Tottenham took his run without a quarter- or semi-final victory to 10. It feels like more than a blipEight years ago Pepe was sent off and Lionel Messi scored two goals, one of them brilliant, as Barcelona beat Real Madrid i…