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Author Archive for Michael Butler

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Premier League 2019?20 preview No 13: Newcastle United

Under new manager Steve Bruce, it is a squad high on quantity but low on outstanding quality. Newcastle could struggleGuardian writers’ predicted position: 18th (NB: this is not necessarily Michael Butler’s prediction but the average of our writers’ ti…

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The Fiver | On paper, it’s an exciting time to be an Evertonian

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!Success for Everton has ebbed and flowed. The School of Science was born in the 1920s, with Dixie Dean leading the club to the league title, a razor-sharp finisher behind methodical and thoughtful buil…

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Football transfer rumours: Samuel Umtiti to Manchester United?

Today’s fluff is freshly filteredThe next big thing? No, it’s not esports or a Mercury Music Prize-nominated artist that you’ve never heard of. It’s Marseille’s Isaac Lihadji, a 17-year-old that is so fresh off the production line, he doesn’t even have…

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Welsh clubs breaking new ground after stirring European triumphs | Michael Butler

The New Saints and Connah’s Quay Nomads are reaping the rewards in a resurgence of Welsh club footballSomething is happening in Welsh football. The domestic league has long been seen as something of a wilderness by some but, slowly, things are changing…

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Carles Puyol: ‘La Masia was like the Scouts, 40 boys sharing four rooms’

The Spanish defender talks about Barcelona, how football became his cure and clears up rumours of liking Napalm DeathHi Carles. Hi Small Talk.We’re talking to you because of yoghurt, why don’t you tell us a bit about that? I am very proud to be an amba…

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Tour de France 2019: stage two, team time trial – live!

Rolling coverage of Sunday’s team time trialStage one report: Teunissen pips Sagan in photo finishMerckx casts shadow over Belgium’s current cropEmail michael.butler@theguardian.com | Tweet @michaelbutler18 12.30pm BST Welcome to the second stage of th…

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Football transfer rumours: Arsenal in for Real Madrid’s Marcelo?

Today’s rumours can’t find the maresArsenal need to shore up their defence if they are to stand a chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season, so naturally they have been linked with Marcelo, the Real Madrid left back. Now 31, Arsenal cou…

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The Fiver | Teenage YouTubers and apparent social media parodies

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!Just like New York City and the poor woman that lives in the flat above Weird Uncle Fiver, football never sleeps. It’s mid-June and you should be outside being wholesome: fishing with your dad, running…

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Football transfer rumours: Nicolas Pépé to Manchester United?

Today’s fluff is nearly doneAfter his costly miss on international duty with Wales, Manchester United have turned their nose up at signing Gareth Bale. The winger hasn’t scored in three months, with Ed Woodward unwilling to spend top dollar on a player…

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Football transfer rumours: Nicolas Pépé to Manchester United?

Today’s fluff is nearly doneAfter his costly miss on international duty with Wales, Manchester United have turned their nose up at signing Gareth Bale. The winger hasn’t scored in three months, with Ed Woodward unwilling to spend top dollar on a player…

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The Fiver | Luka Jovic and Real Madrid making moves

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!Everybody loves Madrid. Just ask Spurs fans. And Gareth Bale. And Catalonia. The allure is sometimes just too much: the glory of wearing the white shirt, as Cristiano Ronaldo did, before he was booed o…

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Football transfer rumours: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to China?

Today’s fluff can smell the moneyIt’s been a tough few weeks for Arsenal fans. Pipped to fourth place by Tottenham, an expensive and ultimately humiliating trip to Azerbaijan, and their north London rivals reaching the Champions League final has left m…

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Football transfer rumours: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to China?

Today’s fluff can smell the moneyIt’s been a tough few weeks for Arsenal fans. Pipped to fourth place by Tottenham, an expensive and ultimately humiliating trip to Azerbaijan, and their north London rivals reaching the Champions League final has left m…

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Lothar Matthäus: ‘With Putin I talked football, judo and Brexit’

The German legend discusses Bayern’s defeat by Manchester United 20 years on, Maradona and meeting Russia’s presidentIt is hard to define Lothar Matthäus. A box-to-box midfielder or a libero? Germany’s most-capped player but perhaps still a little unlo…

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Antoine Griezmann announces shock departure from Atlético Madrid

Frenchman expected to join Barcelona for €125m (£108m)Forward tells Atléti fans: ‘I’ve made the decision to leave’Antoine Greizmann has announced that he has told Atlético Madrid of his intention to leave the club, opening the door for a €125m (£108m) …

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Premier League 2018-19 review: young players of the season

This year’s suggestions are made up of players who were aged 21 and younger at the start of the seasonWelcome to theguardian.com review of the 2018-19 Premier League season. We have nominated some contenders for this category but this is just to get th…

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Chelsea v Eintracht Frankfurt: Europa League semi-final, second leg – live!

Europa League semi-final, second leg updates (first leg: 1-1) Valencia v Arsenal – the latest from the MestallaAnd you can email Michael here or tweet him here 7.40pm BST It’s a very attacking line-up from Frankfurt, who also have Sebastian Haller on t…

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Aberdeen v Celtic: Scottish Premiership – live!

Celtic need point to seal title in 12.30pm BST kick-offJoin Scott Murray for Bournemouth v Tottenham – live!Get in touch: email Michael or tweet @michaelbutler18 12.59pm BST 25 min: Good pressing from Celtic wins them the ball back in midfield, where R…

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Football transfer rumours: Portugal pair to Manchester United for £150m?

Today’s whispers are dozing offSigning the next big thing from Portugal can be a tricky business. You might end up with Cristiano Ronaldo, you’ll probably end up with either another Renato Sanches or Hélder Postiga. Still though, sometimes it’s worth r…

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Football transfer rumours: Cristiano Ronaldo demands Juve spending spree?

Today’s tattle is going tit for tatCristiano Ronaldo has issued Juventus with a six-man list of transfer targets, according to the Mirror, seemingly unaware the main reason Juventus won’t be able to buy those players is because they pay him too much mo…