Jim White

  • The Owen bandwagon rolls again

    According to Sir Alex Ferguson, Michael Owen "isn't getting the games he deserves". If that's the case, then someone really ought to do something about that and pick him for a few. You know, like his manager.

    Owen's briskly-taken brace at Elland Road last night achieved precisely what the player will have hoped: it put him back in the spotlight. Not because he likes the attention, but because he likes to be picked to play football matches and scoring goals on a rare outing is the best way to ensure he is picked again.

    And we learned this much from last night's dismally one-sided mismatch:

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  • Becks and PSG: the fantasy marriage

    Leonardo is clear what is required to take the Paris St Germain revolution to the next level. The Brazilian sporting director said this week that his target is a simple one: David Beckham. Never mind that he has been in semi-retirement for the past four years, never mind that he now moves across the turf marginally slower than Russell grant moves across a dance floor, Beckham's renown is worth the investment. In shirt sales alone, he is still the big one.

    And the move has every chance of happening. Beckham has played in Madrid, Milan and Hollywood, Paris is a shopping opportunity the missus

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  • How do you solve a problem like Fernando?

    Tonight the two Manchester clubs take to Europe safe in the knowledge they have in their ranks strikers currently on fire.

    Every club in the Champions League will be envious of City and United lining up with Sergio Aguero and Wayne Rooney. Even Barcelona. The two have started the season not as if it were a marathon, but as if engaged with Usain Bolt in a gallop to break the world sprint record. It is enough to make the continent's wealthiest football investor turn dollar green with envy.

    The intriguing thing the watching hordes will note is that in neither case was there any hint of a problem

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  • Everton get the blues

    There is to be a demonstration tomorrow at Goodison Park. Ahead of the game against Aston Villa a group called Blue Union is asking Everton supporters to join a march demanding the removal of the current board. Blue Union are hoping several thousand join in. Some Everton loyalists, however, suggest they will be lucky to hit three figures.

    That there is a crisis at Goodison is undeniable. When the transfer window recently shut, Everton were the only Premier League club not to have made any purchases. With a squad in urgent need of input, and with their most creative talent - Mikel Arteta -

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  • It’s all Wembley’s fault

    According to Fabio Capello it is all Wembley's fault. The way the England coach sees it the freshly rebuilt national stadium, the biggest money-pit in English football, is now officially a hindrance to the advancement of the national team. So petrified are the players of its palatial surrounds, its lushly relaid pitch, its luxury dressing rooms filled with grooming products, they cannot function with any creative spark.

    Away against Bulgaria last Friday they fizzed with energy and drive. At home against Wales four days later, they sank into traditional English mediocrity, so insipid that they

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  • England turn red

    Gary Neville was on the radio this morning plugging his freshly published autobiography, a book that promises to sell almost as many copies on Merseyside as the 1989 edition of the Best of The Sun annual.

    Given his experience, he was asked the inevitable question: would England have won something if they had been managed by Sir Alex Ferguson?

    Neville was surprisingly circumspect in his answer. In truth, he said, the players weren't as good as those of Spain, Germany, Holland or Brazil. Fergie's managerial nous might have propelled them further in competitions than they went in 2002, 2006 and

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  • What exactly are they doing at the Emirates?

    The most extraordinary thing Arsene Wenger said during his press conference following Arsenal's mauling at Old Trafford on Sunday was this: "We have a department of 20 people working on transfers."

    To which the only response is: so what do they do all day? David Brent's team was more productive than Arsenal's player recruitment office. They get more work done in the local Jobcentre than in the Emirates negotiations operation. Over the last year Prince Andrew has been more productively employed than Arsene's backroom staff.

    It is one of the oddities of the system that there are 20 people in one

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  • Europe delivers more of the same

    You know that chant they sing at Old Trafford, well following the Champions League draw on Thursday, the denizens of the Stretford End will be able to re-write the lyrics to this: We're Man United, we'll play who we want.

    Before the draw was conducted, the Telegraph printed what would be the dream groupings for each of the English teams in the competition. Picking its way through the seedings, the permutations, the police insistence that two clubs from the same city should not be allowed to play at home in the same week, the paper concluded that for United the simplest, easiest, kindest draw

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  • Harry’s spin can’t hide Spurs woe

    Remember
    the trouble the Blair government got into with its attempt to convey less than
    flattering information to the public? 

    "A
    good day to bury bad news" was how some junior official described
    September 11thas they released new figures on unemployment or inflation
    or whatever bit of bumbling incompetence it was, even as the buildings
    collapsed in New York.

    Well,
    they need not have gone to such trouble. If you want to release something
    difficult, something that might upset the customers, something that most objective
    observers would regard as wholly detrimental to your enterprise, you

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  • Arsenal exodus shows Wenger flaws

    If
    there was any doubt about quite how thin Arsenal's squad is at the start of the
    new season it was dispelled last night.

    An unhappy sequence of injuries struck
    their back four during the Champions League qualifier against Udinese. First
    Kieran Gibbs - himself a replacement for the City-bound Gael Clichy - failed to
    re-appear for the second half. Then, no more than 10 minutes later, his
    replacement Johan Djourou succumbed to a strain.

    To seal up a defence
    increasingly under pressure from counter-attacking Italian visitors, on came
    Carl Jenkinson, a youthful right-back obliged to make his

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