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Author Archive for Jonathan Wilson

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Are Manchester City so drilled they can’t think enough on their feet? | Jonathan Wilson

City’s shock defeat by Lyon raised concerns regarding the team’s leadership and capacity to think independently, as well as a susceptibility to pressingIt’s one game, at the beginning of the group stage. There is plenty of time to recover. For Manchest…

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PSG are not playing Tuchel football. It may not even be football | Jonathan Wilson

Leaving three forwards to float about and occasionally turn a trick may be enough in Ligue 1 – but not when it comes to elite level. How have PSG not learned?A net €750m spent in eight years and that’s all you get? Success without money is all but impo…

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If Tottenham’s carelessness continues they could pay a heavy price | Jonathan Wilson

Spurs must kick their habit of letting in goals when seemingly in control, starting against Liverpool, at a time when every bad result threatens to undermine their projectTottenham’s 4-1 win at Wembley against Liverpool last season was one of those gam…

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Why is David de Gea exceptional for United and indifferent for Spain? | Jonathan Wilson

Goalkeeper is an outstanding shot-stopper but does not excel at passing and this is reflected in how Manchester United playDavid de Gea has been named in the PFA team of the year in five of the past six seasons. He has been Manchester United’s player o…

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Champions League group-by-group guide: English quartet should progress

Manchester United, Liverpool and Spurs should squeeze through tricky groups while Manchester City’s task looks relatively straightforwardAtlético Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Monaco, Club Brugge Continue reading…

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Champions League group-by-group guide: English quartet should progress

Manchester United, Liverpool and Spurs should squeeze through tricky groups while Manchester City’s task looks relatively straightforwardAtlético Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Monaco, Club Brugge Continue reading…

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Mourinho’s use of Herrera felt like a coded protest by a man losing his touch

Manchester United’s manager seemed keener to make a point than beat Tottenham and may no longer be able to create a team that can attack without being catastrophically open“From a tactical point of view, we didn’t lose,” said José Mourinho, which must …

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Sergio Agüero embraces defending to erase Pep Guardiola’s doubts | Jonathan Wilson

Argentinian’s strike rate is up there with the best but only now is Manchester City’s all-time top scorer convincing his manager he is the finished articleManchester City beat Huddersfield 5-1 in an FA Cup fifth-round replay in March last year. Sergio …

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How Bobby Robson fought and failed to earn respect at Barcelona

The former England manager won trophies but not a second season in Catalonia, as Jonathan Wilson explains in his new bookBobby Robson had turned down Barcelona twice before, once out of loyalty to Ipswich and once out of loyalty to England. The third t…

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Super Cup loss adds to Real Madrid’s post-Ronaldo narrative of negativity | Jonathan Wilson

Julen Lopetegui’s side conceded four goals for the first time since 2015 against Atlético Madrid, and the lack of galáctico signings add to the sense of a downward driftIt was only the Uefa Super Cup. It was only a defeat in extra-time. Real Madrid won…

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Balancing risk and reward may be Manchester City’s biggest challenge | Jonathan Wilson

Marauding full-backs Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker give City great width but their forays could be exploited by Champions League sharksThe problem with excellence is how commonplace it can quickly come to feel. How long, you wonder, before the questio…

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Will a World Cup hangover spark an unpredictable Premier League season?

Fatigue from Russia could be a factor in the title race as Manchester City bid to retain the title for the first timeSo, we go again – and perhaps this season with an even greater sense of disbelief than usual that it’s back already. It won’t be long b…

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France v Croatia: four areas where the World Cup final can be won and lost | Jonathan Wilson

Kylian Mbappé and Mario Mandzukic offer very individual forward threats but the clash of two midfields boasting energy in abundance could be mesmerisingGiven how Croatia struggled to deal with the pace of Raheem Sterling in the first half against Engla…

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World Cup’s lack of goals is down to issues that stretch back decades

Low strike rate has its roots in the bunker mentality created by the growing gulf between rich and poor and the lack of time more talented teams have to develop attacking tacticsIt did not take long – it never does – for all the pre?tournament hype to …

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Shambolic, frenzied, anarchic – and Argentina crisis has Messi at its heart

He did not cause the defensive collapse against Croatia but the team’s dependence on Lionel Messi makes them predictable and when his country looked to him, he wasn’t thereIt was in 1913 that Racing became the first non-Anglo side to win the Argentinia…

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Shambolic, frenzied, anarchic – and Argentina crisis has Messi at its heart

He did not cause the defensive collapse against Croatia but the team’s dependence on Lionel Messi makes them predictable and when his country looked to him, he wasn’t thereIt was in 1913 that Racing became the first non-Anglo side to win the Argentinia…

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How a stepladder, Liverpool and Man City helped educate Juan Carlos Osorio

The Mexico coach has always forged his own path. And that includes his time in England’s north-west building the foundations of his knowledgeEarlier this month, as the final whistle blew at the Azteca, the boos rangout. Mexico had beaten Scotland 1-0 i…

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Liverpool face key call over how to use Mohamed Salah against Real Madrid

Jürgen Klopp can ask Salah to drop and help Trent Alexander-Arnold or concentrate on exploiting the space behind Marcelo and the Brazilian’s defensive weaknessesNothing, perhaps, should give Liverpool such heart ahead of Saturday’s Champions League fin…

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Forget artist v mechanic: Mourinho and Conte’s midfield duel holds key | Jonathan Wilson

José Mourinho’s dig at Antonio Conte has diverted attention from the FA Cup final’s pivotal confrontation in which Chelsea’s midfield could be overrun by Manchester United“I’m not,” José Mourinho said after Manchester United’s home win over Liverpool i…

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Marseille’s misfits shape up in the face of Atlético and a Europa League final | Jonathan Wilson

Modern economics decree that the 1993 European champions are serious underdogs for a challenge they face against Diego Simeone’s highly efficient Madrid sideOne photograph encapsulated Florian Thauvin’s time at Newcastle. It captures him, cheeks plump …