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Author Archive for Paul Wilson

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Riyad Mahrez ready to lead Champions League charge for Manchester City

• £60m signing wants to help club continue progress in Europe• Mahrez confident he can break into Pep Guardiola’s first teamManchester City’s record signing, Riyad Mahrez, is confident he can not only break into the champions’ first team but also help …

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Martínez and Southgate: too naive for Premier League but men of the world | Paul Wilson

Managers of Belgium and England struggled in the Premier League’s long slog but are perfectly suited to the intensity and short time span of a World CupRoberto Martínez lives on the outskirts of Wigan, the dormitory village on the edge of the Lancashir…

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Refreshed or disrupted, talismanic Harry Kane is England’s focal point

Without the captain, no one would have been plotting the best routes but the top scorer must fire instantly against ColombiaNo one seems to know quite what to make of England’s last performance, which is nothing new in the context of recent World Cups …

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Marcelo Bielsa sets modest target for first season as Leeds manager

• Argentinian cited as big influence by Pep Guardiola • On Leeds: ‘Not a great idea to make big statements of intent’Marcelo Bielsa did not make any rash promises on being installed as Leeds United’s 21st managerial rethink since dropping out of the Pr…

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England’s Dele Alli not shackled by history as he lives schoolboy dream

The Tottenham forward is showing no signs of stage fright and says he is looking forward to the World Cup in RussiaThere is nothing like a World Cup for making one feel old. It is not only the reminder that four years have passed every time one comes r…

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Lampard in, Zidane out: welcome to the mad world of management, Frank | Paul Wilson

Zinedine Zidane’s exit from Real Madrid on the same day Frank Lampard took over at Derby County underlines the insanity of the world the former Chelsea midfielder is enteringFrank Lampard was minutes into his new job as Derby County manager when the ne…

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England should use the World Cup as a practice run? What nonsense | Paul Wilson

The squad is young enough to be more or less intact in 2022 but Gareth Southgate’s players must go for broke in RussiaThis is the phoney-war period before the World Cup, the last couple of friendlies are about to commence and in the absence of actual f…

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Kyle Walker: ‘The whole England vibe is different – we’ve taken huge steps’

Kyle Walker believes his humble background has kept him grounded and England’s World Cup team have moved on from Euro 2016It will soon be a year since Manchester City raised eyebrows by paying £50m for a full-back. Actually they paid £102m for two full…

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Real Madrid’s trophy machine bids to set the seal on modern-day mastery

Never mind the record books, Liverpool’s task in Kiev on Saturday is finding a way of beating a team who feel right at home in Champions League finalsSaturday’s Champions League final in Kiev promises to be that rare event, a meeting of outstanding tea…

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Harry Kane’s most important job as England captain is to score goals

Having been given the largely irrelevant honour of leading England at the World Cup, Kane must not lose focus on what brought him to the forefront of the nation’s attentionGareth Southgate may lack tournament experience as manager of a national team th…

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‘I don’t feel like an underdog’: Jürgen Klopp eager for Real redemption

The Liverpool manager still has raw memories of defeat in a Champions League final but he is undeterred as he prepares for another tilt at club football’s ultimate prizePicture the scene. A sunbed by a hotel swimming pool in Las Vegas in May 2014. A Ge…

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Antonio Conte may be latest to find how little FA Cup glory means now

A Cup triumph used to really matter but Roberto Mancini and Louis van Gaal were sacked regardless and Chelsea’s manager seems set to go whatever happens at Wembley“I didn’t bring the magic, it’s always been here,” Bob Stokoe said modestly after second …

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Jack Wilshere and Joe Hart in the cold after losing key to England door

Arsenal midfielder pays World Cup price for continual underachieving while Manchester City exit began downward spiral for goalkeeper on loan at West HamJack Wilshere and Joe Hart appear to be the early casualties of Gareth Southgate’s England planning …

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Everton’s Sam Allardyce braced for boos from both sides at West Ham

• Former Hammers manager still uncertain of future at Goodison• Allardyce was unpopular with fans during his spell in east LondonThese are difficult times for Sam Allardyce, who is not only aware of the speculation that suggests he may be preparing an …

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Jürgen Klopp urges Liverpool not to ‘fall flat on your face’ against Brighton

• Manager tells players to put Champions League to back of minds• ‘I have not been skipping forward to think about Real Madrid’Many Liverpool fans have thought about little other than the Champions League final for the last couple of weeks, waiting to …

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Premier League farewells: six players who may say goodbye on the final day

Sunday will bring the curtain down on several big-name Premier League careers – whether or not they realise it just yetIt is the end of the Premier League season and inevitably it will be goodbye from some of the game’s big names, whether or not they r…

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Sensible Gareth Southgate goes early with his England World Cup picks | Paul Wilson

The England manager this week names his squad for Russia and has hinted there will be no major surprisesGareth Southgate has made the sensible decision to name his World Cup squad early, this coming week in fact, perhaps because of his close proximity …

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Sir Alex Ferguson: true to Clydeside and certainly no average pensioner

Ferguson ended his era as Manchester United manager in 2013 but frequent trips to the United States and demands of the lecture circuit kept him in high spiritsThe news about Sir Alex Ferguson will have come as a shock to anyone who saw him on the pitch…

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Jürgen Klopp seeks top-four slot and end to stupid questions at Chelsea

• Draw would confirm Champions League place for Liverpool• ‘We are strong enough to compete with the best teams in Europe’Liverpool need to take a point or more from their visit to Stamford Bridge this afternoon in order to secure their place in the to…

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Everton’s Allardyce defends style and points to Tosun and Walcott signings

• Allardyce: ‘It is simply not true that I always play the same way’• Everton home to Southampton in Saturday evening gameSam Allardyce has defended his style of football in the face of criticism from Everton fans, arguing he cannot be accused of negat…