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Author Archive for Michael Butler

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Football transfer rumours: Mario Mandzukic to Manchester United?

Today’s whispers need to get a new HiveMario Mandzukic, without a minute of competitive football since May, is top of Manchester United’s shopping list in January. The Croatian is more out of favour at Juventus than Paul Simon at an Art Garfunkel gig, …

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Pierre van Hooijdonk: ‘I told Ron Atkinson he was a pub manager’

The Dutch striker on his time at Nottingham Forest, Celtic and returning to Glasgow to pay tribute to Fernando RicksenPierre van Hooijdonk does a very good Ron Atkinson impression. It is genuinely funny as, in the lobby of an Amsterdam hotel, he tries …

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Portugal v England: women’s international football friendly – live!

Updates from the friendly kicking off at 7pm BSTPortugal game a reminder of how England nearly lost BronzeGet in touch with Michael via email or on Twitter 5.59pm BST Much of the talk before this friendly has been about Phil Neville, and yep, it’s true…

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The Fiver | Wholesome, hypothetical gestures that depend less on actual reality

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!The early 2000s were a simpler time for comedy – people were happy to laugh at anything. David Beckham’s cornrows? Ha! John Malkovich and Rowan Atkinson being reduced to appearing in light-hearted spy …

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Football transfer rumours: Celtic’s Edouard to join Napoli for £30m?

Today’s whispers are wearing Italian sunniesAfter the scintillating start to the season, Manchester United are flying high. Well, high-ish, in fourth, with the indignity of a sixth-place finish last season fading as quickly as Bobby Charlton’s hairline…

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Football transfer rumours: what did PSG offer to try and sign Paul Pogba?

Today’s whispers are going to the Bank of FriendshipIt’s all working out for Ander Herrera. After a season of mediocrity at Manchester United last season, behind Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay in the pecking order, the Spaniard signed a mega-money cont…

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Juventus v Napoli: Serie A – live!

Serie A updates from a blockbuster meeting in TurinSerie A returns with goals, VAR controversy and MihajlovicAnd you can email Michael or tweet @michaelbutler18 7.36pm BST Sarri is in the house! Although it’s not clear if he will watch from the stands …

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Manchester City v Brighton, Chelsea v Sheffield United and more – live!

Follow updates from all of the day’s games around EuropeAnd feel free to email Michael or tweet @michaelbutler18 2.45pm BST Bayern Munich, who have already dropped points this season, have just fallen 1-0 behind at home to Mainz. Jean-Paul Boëtius with…

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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…