Jim White

  • Respect? You’re having a laugh

    Joe Kinnear did not hold back after his Newcastle team were beaten by Fulham. Martin Atkinson, the match official, he insisted, was a "Mickey Mouse referee." The same afternoon, Dave Jones, the Cardiff City boss, spoke about the decisions in his defeat at Queen's Park Rangers and described the FA's Respect Agenda as "a load of baloney. There isn't any respect, there really isn't."

    Meanwhile Roy Keane refused to attend a League Managers' Association meeting this week about the initiative saying that after his recent comments about referees it might not be wholly appropriate for him to be

    Read More »from Respect? You’re having a laugh
  • The Tantrums of Wayne

    Running on Sky television at the moment is a show called Wayne Rooney's Street Striker. In it, England's principal footballing talent fronts a series of challenges designed to test the skills of the country's back street players.

    As Rooney conducts his search, what a contrast there is between the presenter and the contestants, between the wannabes and the superstar. While they are all cocksure swagger and streetwise lip, he looks lost, a shy, self-conscious presence who appears to wish he were anywhere other than in front of a camera.

    Compare that to his demeanour on Wednesday night at Old

    Read More »from The Tantrums of Wayne
  • Why Cloughie would still cut it

    With more advanced publicity than the return of Jonathan
    Ross, The Damned United is released this week. And it's worth the fuss. Witty,
    nostalgic, intelligent, with a brilliant central performance from Michael Sheen,
    it is unquestionably the best film about football ever made (and yes, that does
    include There's Only One Jimmy Grimble).

    Ostensibly a dramatisation of David Peace's novel about
    Brian Clough's 44 days of failure at Leeds United in the late summer of 1974, in
    fact only the situation and the title have been borrowed from the book.

    Whereas Peace's work was an internal monologue,

    Read More »from Why Cloughie would still cut it
  • Whatever happened to sportsmanship?

    Unless Coco the Clown (or, as he is known in the Newcastle area, Mike Ashley) succeeds Brian Barwick as the FA's Chief Executive, it is unlikely that football officialdom will manage to produce as much comedy all season as it did at Watford on Saturday.

    For those who missed what is surely destined to become one of the most played clips on YouTube, it went roughly like this. Reading were attacking and the ball bounced around within the Watford penalty area. There was a shot at goal, which took a deflection and was ballooning out of play, missing the Watford's right hand post by about three

    Read More »from Whatever happened to sportsmanship?
  • It ain’t what you got, it’s the way that you use it…

    It is the clash of the super rich: mega money meets humungo cash, the heavyweight dosh brawl, played out on - presumably - a carpet of fifty quid notes. Arab-endowed Manchester City at home to Russian-bolstered Chelsea has taken on the character of a whole new ball game since the arrival of oil capital at Eastlands.

    Abu Dhabi United, what some might deem an unfortunate name for an investment vehicle for the Blues, are promising to transform the place into the vibrant centre of the football universe. Every player you have ever heard of is apparently a target for their largesse. No-one will

    Read More »from It ain’t what you got, it’s the way that you use it…
  • Here comes the Big Man

    It is a quirk of fate that had the good folk who run the FA been a little sharper on their feet, a little shrewder in their manoeuvrings, a little more aware of the niceties of international football recruitment, Luiz Felipe Scolari would not have been revealed as the new manager of Chelsea this week. He would instead have been in charge of England, looking forward to leading his team to the latter stages of Euro 2008, perhaps even to winning it.

    England's loss is Chelsea's gain. The London club have succeeded where the national association so manifestly failed: they have prised a real

    Read More »from Here comes the Big Man
  • Crisis? What crisis?

    After stepping out of the national attention for ten days it is back to work for the most beleaguered professional in Britain. Not hedge fund speculators or financial advisers, obviously: frankly their parlous condition is largely self-administered. No, these are workers whose immediate future is as unsteady as the share price in one of those companies that used to advertise loans during the breaks in the Jeremy Kyle show. In other words managers in the Premier League.

    The assumption in the media is that it is Juande Ramos and Joe Kinnear who are the only ones suffering right now, presiding

    Read More »from Crisis? What crisis?
  • City on the up, up and away

    Another day, another bunch of alleged targets for Manchester City. If it's Thursday it must be Luis Fabiano of Sevilla and the Schalke goalie Manuel Neuer. A mere £36 million between them is the offer from the Blues, if we are to believe the newspaper back pages.

    The opening of the transfer window is still five weeks away, first we've got to survive the most financially depressed Christmas in a generation, but already the speculation about City's imminent spending spree is reaching a noisy crescendo. John Terry, Kaka, Gianluigi Buffon (pictured): this is the A-list being targeted here. And,

    Read More »from City on the up, up and away
  • Return of the little big man

    Diego Maradona has had something of a hero's reception on his arrival in Glasgow ahead of Argentina's friendly with Scotland on Wednesday night. Fans north of the border still relish his contribution to England's discomfort back in 1986, when he slapped the ball in the net with his hand during the World Cup quarter final.

    With a nice cheek he was asked to put the Hand of God (as he once referred to it) to work on hundreds of programmes, shirts and Scotland flags. All a bit of fun. Though the fact is, his arrival in their midst would have been enough to send Scottish football enthusiasts to

    Read More »from Return of the little big man
  • Who’s going where?

    On his first day in the office, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Chelsea's new manager, revealed that he already had a firm grasp of the arcane mathematics of the English game. Asked what he thought was the future for Didier Drogba at the club, he said he was "100, no 200 per cent" certain that the Ivorian would still be at Stamford Bridge at the start of the season. Which makes the Brazilian coach in a minority of one in claiming that to be the case. And that includes Drogba himself.

    Mid-summer is an odd period in a football manager's life. There are no games to participate in, no pressures of results,

    Read More »from Who’s going where?