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Author Archive for Nick Ames

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Redemption awaits Algeria’s Youcef Belaili if form holds against Nigeria

From a ban for drug use in 2016 to an enduring strike partnership with Baghdad Bounedjah, destiny appears to be on the side of Djamel Belmadi’s unheralded mavericksIn March 2016 a shot at the Africa Cup of Nations title was the last of Youcef Belaili’s…

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Women’s World Cup game-changing moments No 5: Japan in 2011 | Nick Ames

Within months of the earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands, the Nadeshiko let a grieving nation take leave of its senses for just a moment“We ran and ran,” the Japan captain Homare Sawa said. “We were exhausted, but we kept running.” Japan’s foo…

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Football rumours: Newcastle set for takeover by Dubai-based billionaire?

Today’s tittle tattle is hanging on until Doomsday Here’s some grim news for anyone who fancies a quiet life. Newcastle’s slow-burning takeover saga could be about to conclude, with the Dubai-based billionaire Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan reporte…

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Riyad Mahrez happy to stay and take his chances at Manchester City

• City winger has ‘no doubts about my quality’• ‘I knew it wouldn’t be easy in my first season’Riyad Mahrez had no doubt he would take his chance to fire Manchester City towards the Premier League title after his unexpected selection at Brighton on Sun…

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Chris Hughton pays the price for Brighton’s lack of attacking quality | Nick Ames

The chairman, Tony Bloom, was alarmed at a loss of form that plunged the club into the Premier League relegation dogfightChris Hughton has rarely been tempted to overplay his hand and, speaking to a small huddle of journalists at the end of December, h…

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Premier League 2018-19 review: innovations needed for next season

From the age-old shirt removal debate to an expansion of goalline technology, via a cap on clubs’ total playing staffWelcome to theguardian.com review of the 2018-19 Premier League season. We have nominated some contenders for this category but this is…

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The Fiver | Great goals are worth celebrating simply for what they are

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!If somebody hasn’t already bulk-ordered a few thousand “VINNY DON’T SHOOT” t-shirts for Sunday, or whenever Manchester City arrange their open-top bus parade, then consider this a helpful reminder and …

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Football transfer rumours: Anthony Martial to leave Manchester United?

Today’s rumours need a strawberryRemember when Manchester United trumpeted the £36m – rising to £58.8m – signing of Anthony Martial in 2015? It made the forward, then 19, Britain’s most expensive teenage player and it seemed the start of a bright new d…

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Huddersfield Town v Manchester United: Premier League – live!

Live updates from the John Smith’s Stadium, kick-off 2pm (BST)I will get realistic chance to revive Manchester United, says SolskjærFeel free to tweet Nick or email nick.ames@theguardian.com 1.57pm BST And the teams are out on the pitch here! It seems …

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‘He’ll be the best striker in Europe’ – the stunning emergence of Luka Jovic | Nick Ames

The 21-year-old Serbia striker is being chased by clubs such as Real Madrid and Liverpool as he prepares to face Chelsea in the Europa League semi-finalEintracht Frankfurt had just beaten Schalke 3-0 and, among the smiling faces inside Commerzbank Aren…

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Fernando Llorente warns Tottenham to raise game for Ajax after first home loss

• Striker says team were not ‘mentally’ ready for West Ham game• Repeat performance risked Champions League semi-final defeatIt took most of Tottenham’s players over an hour to leave the dressing room after falling to West Ham but, when he finally emer…

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Sokratis says Arsenal are ‘not stupid’ and must address poor form

• Arsenal were beaten 3-1 at Wolves on Wednesday• Team have lost for third time in four league gamesSokratis Papastathopoulos says Arsenal’s players are “not stupid” and must be accountable for a run of performances that threaten to end their hopes of …

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GB look to tear up old script in Fed Cup as tennis heads to new venue | Nick Ames

Anne Keothavong’s team lost in World Group play-offs in 2017 and 2018 but they host Kazakhstan at east London’s Copper Box Arena focused on victory and attracting a fresh audienceWhen Anne Keothavong was growing up in east London it was, at times, all …

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Football transfer rumours: Rashford to Barcelona? Mané to Real Madrid?

Today’s rumours are in full blossomManchester United have big game at Barcelona tonight. You might have heard about that. And although they’re the underdogs they’re getting a bit confident, all this talk about 1999 and stuff, so is there anything to ha…

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Emmanuel Frimpong: ‘All those at the top making decisions are white men’

The former Arsenal midfielder was not surprised by Danny Rose’s exasperation at how football handles racism“You honestly wouldn’t want to know.” Emmanuel Frimpong laughs when asked how, now that playing football is no longer an option, he spends his da…

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Leicester City v Newcastle United: Premier League – live!

Minute-by-minute updates from the 8pm BST kick-offBenítez likens contract talks with Ashley to BrexitEmail your thoughts to Nick, or tweet him @NickAmes82 7.12pm BST Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo Pereira, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Ndidi, Gray, Tielem…

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The Fiver | Expected to bow to the irresistible forces of Narrative and Destiny

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!Being a key protagonist in today’s fast-moving media environment, the Fiver sometimes finds it hard to stop and pause for breath. In between dashing from one side of our cupboard to the other, it’s goo…

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Behind Slavia Prague’s eccentric chairman lies danger for Chelsea

Slavia’s rise is tied to their social media-savvy chairman while the team’s talent threatens Chelsea’s Europa League hopesTo check Slavia Prague’s pulse just keep an eye on the Twitter feed of the club’s chairman. Jaroslav Tvrdik’s stream of consciousn…

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Norwich’s Onel Hernández: ‘It’s sad. Cuban players want to play for free’

The midfielder discusses his dream of reaching the Premier League and one day being able to represent Cuba as wellOnel Hernández cannot remember touching a football during the first six years of his life. He and his friends in Morón, a city in central …

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England must contend with harsh memories when facing Montenegro

England face guaranteed hostility in European Championship Qualifying match at Gradski Stadion where Wayne Rooney was sent off in 2011Gradski Stadion is one of Europe’s less accommodating venues for international football. Only around 15,000 will cram …