Jim White

  • Moyes channels Everton spirit to give United European hope

    That was not the result the anti-Moyes movement was looking for.

    The fans who paid for that aeroplane on Saturday will be sore this morning that the Wrong One so emphatically defied expectation.

    Whether it is enough to maintain him in position to oversee a summer’s spending, remains to be seen. But for now, it is only fair to note that he confounded his critics last night.

    Most observers – certainly this one – were expecting Manchester United to be slaughtered. I had them down for a 7-1 aggregate guffing.

    Instead, against the finest club side in the world, they played with a spirit and

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  • Moyes doesn’t get United, and it could cost him his job

    David Moyes is a good and decent man who strives to be honest in all his dealings with the press. But really, someone in the Manchester United hierarchy ought to have a word with him, just to point out that he is not helping himself with some of the things he says. Because he sounds increasingly like a man anxious to commit career suicide.

    Speaking after the tactically wretched defeat in the Manchester derby, he said of his opponents: “City are what we aspire to.”


    You sort of knew what he meant. You sensed what he was getting at. But as a piece of

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  • Well, they’ll have enjoyed that draw in Bavaria. Bayern Munich managed to get the one everyone left in the competition wanted. They will be taking on Manchester United in the Champions League quarter-final. Somehow you suspect it won’t be like 1999 all over again.

    There could hardly be a bigger contrast between the form of the two sides. One replaced a treble-winning manager with a serial winner and have improved exponentially, leading the Bundesliga by so many points there will surely soon have to be a steward’s inquiry. While the other … well now is not the time and place to intrude on

    Read More »from A chasm in class between brilliant Bayern and unconvincing United
  • Everything on the line for Moyes after his Alan Partridge moment

    It was one of the funniest, if excruciatingly painful, moments in British television comedy. Alan Partridge is making his way across a public car park when he catches sight of an acquaintance in the distance. He shouts out his name. But the man – for reasons too obvious to rehearse here – ignores his calls. Partridge, though, is not to be deterred and keeps shouting out the single name “Dan! Dan! Dan! Dan! Dan!” until it becomes absurd.

    On Sunday, David Moyes seemed to be channelling the spirit of Partridge in the Old Trafford technical area. As his Manchester United side were swamped by

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  • Vincent the ultimate Kompany man for City

    Watching Manchester City play Barcelona on Wednesday night, fans of every other club in the Premier League must have been choking with envy. Sure City lost, sure they failed across two legs to match opponents who were nowhere near their best, sure they are not yet a force to dominate Europe. But one thing we can be confident of after that display in the Nou Camp: there cannot be a better defender in the land than Vincent Kompany.

    My, he was magnificent on Wednesday night. Powerful, intelligent, controlled, he was everything you want of a centre back. And what a leader too, his every

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  • FA Cup glory can salvage Ozil’s season

    Poor Mesut Ozil. We knew he was suffering a dip in form, but last night really was the pits, the very bottom point in his rollercoaster season, the moment the car reaches the end of the ride and comes to a complete standstill.

    In a game when Arsenal needed their best players to perform if there was any chance of progress, in a game moreover which offered him the chance for immediate redemption after his penalty miss in the first leg, he disappeared completely from view. For much of the game in the Allianz Arena he did a very good impression of someone auditioning for the remake of The

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  • Poor Jack Wilshere.

    He must think he has run over every black cat in London. A player of wretched ill luck, he has now had another blow to his development. After Daniel Agger’s close attentions on Wednesday night, he will now be out of action for six weeks. He is facing a race to be fit for the World Cup.

    And so begins another of England’s traditional World Cup warm up yarns. It must happen in other countries too, but here we seem to specialise in the injury drama. Ahead of every tournament one of our principal hopes gets crocked and we spend the next few months fretting whether he will be

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  • Hodgson must pick Shaw over Cole to send right signal

    Roy Hodgson says he has a dilemma. He can only take two left-backs to Brazil and he has four. It is the one area of the pitch where he is so generously over-subscribed. Given that Leighton Baines is certain to be one of those on the plane, that leaves him with a choice between Ashley Cole, Kieran Gibbs and Luke Shaw. Which in truth shouldn’t really be a choice at all.

    Baines will be his number one choice for the World Cup. No wonder. He is a player of real accomplishment, the modern full-back personified, as capable of defending as he is of attacking, a brilliant crosser of the ball, the

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  • Pellegrini needs victory to validate big-spending City

    Does Manuel Pellegrini pay much attention to football history? The Engineer is clearly a thoughtful, studious, thorough kind of coach, who seems more than aware of his position in the grander scheme of things. But if he is a student of the past, on this occasion he might be wise to stick to the present and pay no heed to what has gone before.

    Because here is a quirk of history that the Chilean will certainly not wish to sustain: Sir Alex Ferguson aside, every single coach who has won the League Cup since 2007 has subsequently been fired by their club within a season of lifting the trophy.


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  • Tunstall Town FC are a lesson to us all.

    Last Saturday, the side currently marooned at the bottom of the Staffordshire County Senior League recorded their first win of the season, 2-1 at home to Betley FC Reserves.

    Actually, it wasn’t merely their first win this term. It was their first win since 2007. For nearly seven years the club had not recorded a single victory, the bar in its clubhouse had not rung to a single celebratory chant.

    Indeed, until January last year, they had been engaged in the longest-running losing streak in English league history. But then last January came a draw. And

    Read More »from Manchester United WILL turn it around – but David Moyes may not be there to enjoy it