Alex Chick

  • It’s Christmas morning for football fans

    It's Christmas morning for football fans.

    From wide-eyed kids to hard-bitten hacks, we've all got that giddy feeling of anticipation as we prepare to tear into our presents.

    Inside the stocking marked 'Premier League 2013/14' are 380 little gifts. And as with Christmas, it's almost more fun to think about what they might be than to rip open the wrapping paper to discover yet another pair of grey socks (this increasingly tortured metaphor's version of Fulham 0-0 Stoke).

    Look, the Premier League has its bad points.

    It rarely lives up to the hype; it's amoral at best, immoral at worst; it rips

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  • Will Wayne Rooney play? Why England-Scotland is huge for Moyes

    If there are other reasons to care about tonight's England versus Scotland game than Wayne Rooney, I certainly don't know of any.

    At a different time of year - say, not three days before the start of the Premier League - and in a competitive setting, you could present a case for the fixture carrying some of the old Home Internationals' sporting and cultural significance.

    But not tonight. All anyone wants to do in an international friendly is not get injured, and you won’t see a clearer example than at Wembley this evening.

    So thank heaven for Rooney, whose will-he won't-he drama looks set to

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  • Why Hull City Tigers is a grrrrrreat name

    Assem Allam's decision to change Hull City's name to Hull City Tigers has been met with predictable dismay within football.

    Here's a flavour of the reaction.

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  • Have Liverpool only just realised Luis Suarez does bad things?

    "There has been total disrespect of the club ... I will take strong, decisive action, absolutely ... My job is to fight and protect the club ... (An apology is) something I will ensure before anything happens in the future."

    Strong words from the Liverpool manager.

    - Might they have come in October 2011, when Luis Suarez's melodramatic shrieking got Jack Rodwell sent off in the Merseyside derby (a red that was later rescinded)?

    - Or how about in December 2011, when an FA independent regulatory commission found him guilty of racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra and banned him for

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  • Sir Andy Murray: greater than Redgrave, Hoy and Wiggins

    Let's just get the formalities over with and give Andy Murray that knighthood right now. Why wait until the New Year?

    The Scotsman has achieved feats every bit as skyscraping as Sir Bradley Wiggins, Sir Chris Hoy and Sir Steve Redgrave.

    In fact, Murray has surpassed that remarkable trio, and should go down as the greatest British sportsman of the modern era.

    Let me explain, for this is not simply the knee-jerk reaction of a blog drunk on emotion and Pimm's.

    Though he is still ranked number two, Murray looks very much like the best tennis player in the world. He holds two Grand Slams plus the

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  • Where can Rooney go next?

    Where Wayne Rooney wants to go and who actually wants him are not the same thing - despite the England striker's global profile and 214 career goals, the world is not quite his oyster.

    A combination of huge wages, a poor 2012/13 season and over 10 years of wear and tear make him a gamble for potential buyers.

    So where will he end up?

    Bayern Munich - 5/4

    The Bavarians have been installed as short-priced favourites as incoming manager Pep Guardiola looks to spruce up his strikeforce. Rooney would certainly represent a major coup, but with Mario Goetze already signed and Robert Lewandowski likely to

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  • Ten games ludicrously harsh on Suarez

    Luis Suarez against Chelsea (Reuters)

    It's official - what happened on Sunday was officially the joint sixth-worst thing a player has ever done in the history of English football.

    The only things to have earned a longer ban:
    -Kung-fu kicking a fan (Eric Cantona, nine months)
    -Testing positive for cocaine (Mark Bosnich, nine months)
    -Missing a drugs test (Rio Ferdinand, eight months)
    -Getting sent off then committing violent conduct twice (Joey Barton, 12 matches)
    -Pushing the referee over (Paolo Di Canio, 11 games).

    Luis Suarez's nibble on Branislav Ivanovic was worse than:
    -Punching your opponent and breaking his jaw (Paul

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  • Mario Goetze (c) trains ahead of Dortmund's game in Madrid (AFP)

    Borussia Dortmund's Juergen Klopp has crafted a reputation as one of Europe's ablest managers.

    Yet even he could have been forgiven for throwing his hands up in resignation when, two days before the biggest game of his life, news leaked that Dortmund were selling their star player to their biggest rivals.

    Bayern Munich, Bundesliga winners and fellow Champions League semi-finalists, had paid Mario Goetze's €37 million (£32m) release clause to bring him Bavaria.

    At 20, Goetze's potential appears limitless; already one of Europe's best attacking midfielders and a regular in the German national

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  • Ref was wrong, but United deserve share of blame

    It all started off so friendly. A grand occasion, played between two historic teams in a manner worthy of Sir Matt Busby and Santiago Bernabeu.

    Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho said it should have been the final, while Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson unleashed an epic blast of his misty-eyed Euro-love in his programme notes:

    "People ask me why I don't retire after so many years in the game, but how could anyone with an ounce of passion for football in their soul voluntarily walk away from the opportunity to be involved in this kind of occasion?"

    Imagine him saying that about a trip to

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  • 45 more sporting heroes of 2012

    Eurosport-Yahoo! has been profiling sporting Heroes of 2012 all week. Today, you get an arbitrary selection of heroes.

    It's not meant to be comprehensive or objective. It's just a list of people who have enhanced the year in sport for me, in alphabetical order.

    Please add your own selections at the bottom of the page.

    Nicola Adams - Thumped people, hard. Then went to Nando's.

    Sergio Aguero - Completed the most ridiculous end to a football season we will ever see.

    Ben Ainslie - Four consecutive Olympic golds. The ultimate competitor.

    Hashim Amla - Impossible to get out.

    Usain Bolt - Still the

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