Jim White

  • Meet the new boss

    Kenny Huang, Yahya Kirdi, the Rhone Group: the buyers are circling Anfield. It might seem incredible, given the horrible mess the previous owners made of their investment, that others are so anxious to take it on board. But in fact the new boss - and they could be installed by the end of the week - might well be looking at the bargain of the century.

    It wasn't what Tom Hicks and George Gillett planned when they took over in February 2007. Back then their idea was that they would borrow a large amount of money, buy the club, watch its price soar, sell it, pay off the loan and trouser a

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  • Warm balls anyone?

    that couldn't have gone better. Those who believe in the heated ball theory of
    football draws will take some convincing that the draw for the knock-out phase
    for the Champions League was not contrived to reinforce the soap opera
    storyline of the competition.

    First we
    learned that Internazionale were to play Chelsea, thus gifting Jose Mourinho
    the opportunity to remind his former employers quite what it was they let go
    out of Stamford Bridge in the autumn of 2007. Then, after Arsenal and Porto had
    been paired, we knew that the final tie would facilitate the most eagerly

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  • West Ham’s Gold opportunity

    Here is a little parlour game, the rules of which probably only occur to followers of West Ham during their most distressing nightmares. Put together a team line-up of players currently performing elsewhere in the Premier League that have been let go by the Hammers.

    It would read something like this: David James (Portsmouth); Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Rio Ferdinand (Man Utd), James Collins (Aston Villa), Paul Konchesky (Fulham); Joe Cole (Chelsea), Michael Carrick (Man Utd), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Yossi Benayoun (Liverpool); Craig Bellamy (Man City), Jermain Defoe (Spurs).

    Then compare it

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  • So what have the Glazers done for you?

    Back in 2005, when the Glazer family's takeover of Manchester United was marked by supporters wearing black to the Cup final, some of the more militant fan elements spoke about how the Florida dynasty were a bunch of thieves, stealing from the Reds' heritage. It is hard, reading the latest set of accounts to emerge from Old Trafford, to suggest such a view was wrong.

    In one sense, five years of Glazerdom appears barely to have affected United. During the time of their involvement, one Champions League, three successive titles, a couple of League Cups and a world club championship have been

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  • Vieira could make all the difference


    Roberto Mancini's first significant act as manager of Manchester City is hardly going to make a dent in that £90 million working loss the club posted last season.

    £140,000 a week for a veteran deemed too old for the Premier League five seasons ago is not exactly going to help close the deficit.

    Yet if he does what the Italian believes he can do, the £10m or so that will be transferred into Patrick Vieira's bank account over the time of his freshly-signed City contract will be money well spent.

    Anyone who found a DVD of the excellent movie 'The Damned United' in their stocking at Christmas

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  • Only half-time for Jose’s Inter

    It isn't over yet. And nobody knows that more than Jose Mourinho. Offered the opportunity to announce last night's 3-1 win over Barcelona as the best of his Inter career, the manager politely declined. Winning at Chelsea in the previous round was better, he said, because that was in the second leg and ensured his team's progress. He knows it is still only half-time in this semi.

    In many ways for the neutral, last night's result was the best possible thing to happen. You imagine that it will have sparked Barcelona, banished any hint of complacency. In doing so it has set up the second leg

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  • Another stick to beat Capello

    Poor Fabio Capello. If he wanted to demonstrate his now total estrangement from English football's disgruntled opinion formers he could not have picked a better vehicle than the curt dismissal of our sentimental champion.

    According to the tabloids, by suggesting that David Beckham was "a little bit too old" for future international selection, the Italian has committed national outrage, slurring the country's very good name. When he assaults a national treasure, he assaults us all.

    It is not simply that the player should have been treated with more dignity. Or that his loyalty should have

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  • Blue moon rising

    I have an
    unusual and increasingly rare distinction: I have seen Manchester City win a
    major trophy in the flesh. There can't be many of us left. Certainly there will
    be no-one under early middle age. After all, as the banner hanging in the
    Stretford End tauntingly reminds the world, it was 34 years ago that a man in sky
    blue last lifted any decent silverware.

    It was the
    League Cup final and I went because my schoolmate Roger offered me a spare
    ticket. I think he did it in the forlorn hope of weaning me from affiliation
    with Manchester's other club, but whatever the motive I remain grateful

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  • United v City: Match of the season

    Those involved in the arts might deride it, but football remains the country's most reliable source of drama.  It has more tensions, more confrontations, more personal spats than a month-long festival of Shakespeare. A sport that is, at its basics, all about conflict has within its scope all sorts of intrigue.

    It is not simply about team A against team B, it is manager X against manager Y, striker Q against fullback R, old money against new money, chairman Z against the fans. These are the clashes that fill the imagination and keep us engrossed: they are what make English football such a

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  • This was O’Neill’s week

    Despite the noise he made, this was not Carlos Tevez's week. That accolade belongs elsewhere.

    Sure, if nothing else, the Argentine's latest observation about Gary Neville should have ensured golf ball sales go up in Manchester. That the United stalwart is "a moron and a shoe licker" is perhaps not the most original thing that has been said about him, nor, given the Kop's extensive repertoire of fruity Nev-related insults, the wittiest. But if ever there was a time to lay off the slagging, even of such a rich target as United's shop steward-in-chief, a moment to step back and behave with

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