Jim White

  • The hardest job in football

    It took more than a week, but in the end it was inevitable Kia Joorabchian would ride to Carlos Tevez's defence. Who else was going to do it? The moment the Argentine refused to leave the Manchester City bench in Munich, the adviser who has made a tidy sum from his client's footballing wanderlust over the past five years was faced with an asset whose value was falling faster than that of a Belgian bank.

    Now City have declared they don't want him and he is once more looking to find new employers, what club would be willing to pay big money for someone as tainted as Tevez? Who would want a

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  • Liverpool’s Ayre head in the wrong

    Ian Ayre is not a happy man.

    Liverpool managing director is worried about the manner in which the money from
    overseas sales of Premier League matches is divvied up.
    At the moment, the £1 billion
    a year is split equally among the 20 PL clubs: Wigan and Swansea get the same
    as Liverpool and Manchester United.

    believes this is ridiculous. This weekend, his Liverpool take on United and
    across the 200-odd countries that buy into Premier League action, it will be
    the most viewed game of the season so far. In Addis Ababa and Kuala Lumpur,
    Ayre insists, the locals flock to watch his club play

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  • Of course Rooney must go

    The England way ahead of an international championship is to head there with a talisman compromised. With the nation praying for the rapid healing of a groin strain or snapped metatarsal, off they go with their main man not fully fit for the fight.

    It happened with Kevin Keegan and Trevor Brooking at the 1982 World Cup, with Bryan Robson at '86 and '90, with David Beckham in 2002, with Wayne Rooney in 2006. All were prevented by ill-timed injury from giving their all to the team.

    And every time, their indisposition provided handy excuse. If only Kev and Trev had been fit for more than ten

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  • Fortune smiles on Mancini

    A colleague was at Anfield on Saturday and needed to make a quick getaway after the game. He explained his predicament to the car park attendant and asked if it might be possible for his motor to be left somewhere he wasn't blocked in.

    "Right," said the bloke. "How soon before the final whistle are you looking to be gone? Five, ten or twenty?" You mean, asked my colleague, there are people who come to the match every week planning to be gone 20 minutes before the end? "Yeah, loads," came back the reply. "So where do you want to park?"

    We have all experienced the early leaver, disturbing our

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  • Good luck with that, Stu

    No one can accuse Stuart Pearce of lacking optimism. The England Under-21 coach was unveiled yesterday as manager of the GB Olympic football team and at his inaugural press conference he suggested he will have no problem in choosing exactly who he wants for his squad next August.

    "The players will dictate their availability. I think they will be very, very excited and will dictate to their clubs whether they play or not," he said.

    Good luck with that, Stu.

    The Olympic football competition has never resonated in this country, largely because political in-fighting between the home FAs has,

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  • Terry inquiry: you could call it progress

    When he was 17, Earl Barrett made his first appearance for Manchester City reserves, in an away game. So traumatised was he by what followed, he now cannot remember exactly where it was. But in those days, reserve games were played in the main stadium.

    There were about 100 people watching the match, at least half of whom spent the 90 minutes shouting racist insults at Barrett. Every time he touched the ball, the stadium echoed to a chorus of monkey chants. And in case he didn't get the point, someone chucked a banana at him when he went near the touchline.

    What he chills him most about the

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  • Joey Barton, football’s foremost comedian

    Joey Barton is to irony what Miranda Hart is to pratfalls: the gift that keeps on giving.

    Barton, you cannot fail but to be aware, has taken a shine to new media. So much so, he has waxed continuously on Twitter about how social media will pretty soon now make traditional newspaper reporting redundant. Why bother with received, distorted opinion when you can be delivered fact straight from the horse's mouth, is the gist of his oft-delivered argument. And it is an argument for which we can all have much sympathy. Albeit one undermined by the fact he is one of the guilty twits who forwarded

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  • 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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