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This category contains 151 posts

Twists and turns in the relegation dogfight

FAR away from the banner headlines charting David Moyes’s sacking and Jose Mourinho’s latest sulk, the teams more concerned with losing their place in the world’s most lucrative league are providing plenty of drama. While Liverpool’s extraordinary surge is bringing clarity to the top of the Premier League table, the situation at the other end … Continue reading

Liverpool aim to make history

SUCH is the momentum powering Liverpool forward, their first championship title in 24 years seems almost pre-ordained. Their astonishing run of 10 straight wins and the scintillating style with which they have been accomplished have built an impetus that looks unstoppable. Fuelled by a wave of raw emotion surrounding the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough … Continue reading

Cricket cries out for a fresh start

ENGLISH cricket has a long, steep road ahead before it can even begin to earn public forgiveness. The game, at international level, is crying out for a fresh start. For many, the events of the past few months, especially the Ashes tour, are still too raw and painful to recall. Some of those memories came … Continue reading

Liverpool back on their perch

LIVERPOOL’S exciting pursuit of the Premier League title at precisely the same time as Manchester United are in meltdown represents an extraordinary degree of sporting symmetry. When Sir Alex Ferguson became manager of relegation-threatened United in 1986, his expletive-sprinkled declared goal was to knock Liverpool ‘off their perch’ and end their years of domination. Liverpool … Continue reading

Refs need a better approach

YET another monumental lash-up by a Premier League referee stole the weekend spotlight when all the focus should have been on some spectacular football. Instead of rhapsodising about Chelsea’s stunning 6-0 win over Arsenal or Liverpool’s 6-3 victory at Cardiff, the headlines were hijacked by Andre Marriner. The official managed to send off the wrong … Continue reading

A vintage season despite United’s collapse

THE slow-motion car crash that is Manchester United’s desperate season has obsessed keen Premier League observers but is really only a sub-plot to what has become the most exciting title race for many years. The champions’ demise has been as dramatic as it has been sudden, and while most people expected a blip in their … Continue reading

Bright future beckons Lancaster’s England

ENGLAND’S few minutes of lost focus that turned probable victory in Paris into unmerited defeat may also end up costing them the Six Nations title and grand slam. If France maintain the unimpressive form that they have displayed in the six weeks and three matches that have passed since beating England 26-24 in that opening … Continue reading

FA must get tough on Pardew

RACISM, greed, match fixing . . . just when you think football’s image can’t sink much lower, along come Newcastle United to prove it can. The cause of the latest outrage at the Premier League’s most dysfunctional club was their manager Alan Pardew, who managed to completely upstage his successful team by head-butting Hull City … Continue reading

City must seize their Wembley moment

BY common consent, the attacking brio and fluency produced by Manchester City have lifted them to the greatest heights this season in the Premier League. Never mind the players’ price tags or wages, the currency that matters most is the quality of the football played and City have, at times, conjured some scintillating performances. It … Continue reading

Football loses another legend

EVERY football club in the land has its own legends, never-forgotten stalwarts whose exploits have made them terrace heroes and carried them into local folklore. Only a very special few, however, reach the stratospheric levels where they are claimed and acclaimed by fans across a nation – or even the whole world – as having … Continue reading