Jim White

  • Newcastle reaching crisis point in relegation battle thanks to Mike Ashley's atrophy

    Newcastle are sleepwalking towards crisis, writes Jim White, and there's a very good chance they could actually get relegated.

    Newcastle fans boycotting the match holds signs demanding the resignation of owner Mike AshleyNewcastle fans boycotting the match holds signs demanding the resignation of owner Mike Ashley

    If Newcastle United fans want to know how to do a protest, they should look to Italy. This week at the San Siro, Milan supporters stayed away from the match with Genoa in their droves. Fed up with the lack of progress under the regime of the disgraced former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, their patience had reached snapping point, so a mass boycott was organised. Unlike at Newcastle a couple of weeks ago, this was done with military efficiency.

    But they did not leave it at that. While tens of thousands swerved the game, a few went in to watch. Those who attended did not stand idly by. In

    Read More »from Newcastle reaching crisis point in relegation battle thanks to Mike Ashley's atrophy
  • It's been 25 years without a league title, and the misery will only continue for Liverpool

    Liverpool marked an unwanted anniversary this week, writes Jim White, and things might get worse before they get better.

    Brendan Rodgers and Steve Bruce exchange pleasantriesBrendan Rodgers and Steve Bruce exchange pleasantries

    As anniversaries go, it is unlikely any of the regulars on the Kop will be embroidering a banner to celebrate this one. It is now exactly 25 years since Liverpool last won the title. A quarter of a century without the trophy that once defined the club. Two and a half decades as also rans.

    Twenty-five years, moreover, during which their loathed rivals from down the M62 have picked up the Premier League championship 13 times and the club they like to mock as being without history is about to claim it for a fourth time. On Merseyside they no longer dare check in the rear view mirror: everything

    Read More »from It's been 25 years without a league title, and the misery will only continue for Liverpool
  • Arsenal v Chelsea: Why the London rivals should admire each other

    Arsenal and Chelsea’s football philosophies clash majorly, but Jim White believes that fans of both clubs long for a little sliver of the other’s style

    Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas (2nd L) shoots between Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez (L) and Santi Cazorla (R) (AFP)Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas (2nd L) shoots between Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez (L) and Santi Cazorla (R) (AFP)

    When I saw Chelsea hammer Swansea City this season, like the rest of the 20,000 enthralled supporters gathered at the Liberty Stadium, I witnessed a performance of unimpeachable quality. It was a demonstration of panache, of style, one that insisted this was easily the most fluent, ambitious and progressive side in the country.

    The speed and fluency of their passing, the fleet footedness of their movement, the dazzling geometry of their interchanging: the only possible reaction was to sit back in admiration. It was hard to remember a better domestic display than that across a career of

    Read More »from Arsenal v Chelsea: Why the London rivals should admire each other
  • Jose Mourinho is right, Eden Hazard has to win PFA and FWA Player of the Year awards

    Harry Kane unquestionably represents the story of the year, writes Jim White, but it is inconceivable that anyone other than Eden Hazard should scoop the individual season awards. Winners should take all.

    Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and Eden Hazard (Reuters)Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and Eden Hazard (Reuters)

    Jose Mourinho, currently entrenched in his most grouchy, grizzly, cantankerous form, is finding fault with virtually everything. Such is the mumbling grumbliness of his mood you might think he is facing relegation rather than an odds-on championship.

    Yet he had a point when he tetchily suggested this week that the footballer of the year really ought to be chosen from the team that won the title. Otherwise, what exactly are we celebrating here?

    Though you wonder what he would say if Chelsea were currently lying second in the Premier League and Eden Hazard was being ignored in the voting

    Read More »from Jose Mourinho is right, Eden Hazard has to win PFA and FWA Player of the Year awards
  • Oscar's dramatic decline at Chelsea accentuated by rise of Juan Mata

    Martin Laurence of WhoScored.com says Juan Mata's great form has put the poverty of Oscar's efforts into even sharper relief.

    Chelsea's Oscar before the gameChelsea's Oscar before the game

    There's little doubt as to the top game in this reduced Premier League gameweek as league leaders Chelsea welcome in-form Manchester United to Stamford Bridge.

    The Blues may not have been in scintillating form themselves of late but continue to scrape together narrow wins to strengthen their position at the top of the league. With Arsenal up next weekend for Jose Mourinho's men, Louis van Gaal's Red Devils have a real chance to put pressure on the Londoners with a win on Sunday.

    [UNITED PLUNGED BACK INTO INJURY TURMOIL]

    WhoScored.com look ahead to the weekend battle and in particular at the

    Read More »from Oscar's dramatic decline at Chelsea accentuated by rise of Juan Mata
  • The smiling assassin: Why Juan Mata returns to Chelsea a player reborn

    Jim White says Juan Mata's rejuvenation has been one of the stories of the season, and he has a chance to show his progress again when he faces the team which cast him aside.

    Juan Mata celebrates scoring for Manchester UnitedJuan Mata celebrates scoring for Manchester United

    Juan Mata is not the sort who relishes revenge. A civilised chap, who likes to visit art galleries in his spare time, he plays his football with a smile, not a scowl. So he won’t be returning to Stamford Bridge tomorrow looking to prove Jose Mourinho wrong.

    He will not be seeking to make personal capital out of playing against the man who considered him surplus to requirements at the soon to be champions. He will not stick two fingers in the direction of the Chelsea bench. Being Mata he is far more likely to greet the home manager with the warm embrace of old friends.

    His polite demeanour,

    Read More »from The smiling assassin: Why Juan Mata returns to Chelsea a player reborn