Barney Ronay

Author's posts

Feb 21

José Mourinho questions focus on substitute Paul Pogba after Sevilla draw

• United manager praises Scott McTominay after 0-0 draw in Spain• Mourinho calls for a ‘Big Champions League night’ at Old TraffordJosé Mourinho refused to be drawn on the absence of Paul Pogba from his starting lineup in Seville where Manchester Unite…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/feb/21/manchester-united-paul-pogba-jose-mourinho-criticism-champions-league-sevilla

Feb 14

It’s time to ignore the sceptics and take delight in this Tottenham team | Barney Ronay

While the doom merchants point out they have yet to win anything, most fans would like to see their own team built, and play, like Mauricio Pochettino’sThe last time a Premier League team produced a stirring two-goal comeback in Turin was in 1999 when …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/feb/14/tottenham-hotspur-delight-champions-league-juventus

Feb 14

First the knife but then Juve’s assassin turns into a Sunday League fat bloke | Barney Ronay

Gonzalo Higuaín followed up a stunning volley with a penalty to put Tottenham on the rack but missed a second spot-kick that may prove Juventus’s Champions League undoingFor all the goals and the garlands Gonzalo Higuaín still carries a shadow. There i…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2018/feb/14/juventus-tottenham-gonzalo-higuain-assassin-fat-bloke-champions-league

Feb 03

Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey goes on hat-trick rampage against Everton

Well, that didn’t take long. For Arsenal this was an evening of instant ignition, a 5-1 win that scarcely reflected their superiority against a meek and muddled Everton.Arsène Wenger had enjoyed one of his more frantic January transfer windows, the doo…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/feb/03/arsenal-everton-premier-league-match-report

Dec 15

England hope Terminator Stuart Broad can conjure magical Ashes spell | Barney Ronay

Broad’s powers are waning but he remains competitive and one of those giddy bowling spells of his will surely come again. The Ashes would be just the stageA theory has been doing the rounds in my household about the Indian pace bowler Varun Aaron. Whic…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/dec/15/england-stuart-broad-ashes-anything-is-possible-third-ashes-test-cricket

Dec 08

Sorry celestial Sachin but Virat Kohli has taken command of the space fleet | Barney Ronay

India’s captain is on the verge of becoming the first player to be No1 simultaneously in Tests, ODIs and T20s – a feat that would end debate about his status among the greatsA disturbing thing happened last month. Sachin Tendulkar, the most unapproacha…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/dec/08/virat-kohli-sachin-tendulkar-india-cricket-space-fleet

Dec 08

Sorry celestial Sachin but Virat Kohli has taken command of the space fleet | Barney Ronay

India’s captain is on the verge of becoming the first player to be No1 simultaneously in Tests, ODIs and T20s – a feat that would end debate about his status among the greatsA disturbing thing happened last month. Sachin Tendulkar, the most unapproacha…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/dec/08/virat-kohli-sachin-tendulkar-india-cricket-space-fleet

Dec 08

José Mourinho’s harry and hurry battle plan could unstitch Manchester City | Barney Ronay

Manchester United have pressed aggressively in recent matches and Pep Guardiola’s Premier League leaders could find the seams in their defence coming apart in Sunday’s Old Trafford derbyIt may go right, it may go wrong. But this is the one – this is th…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/dec/08/jose-mourinho-manchester-united-city-pep-guardiola-derby

Dec 06

Chelsea ensure Atlético pay a high price for their stretched resources | Barney Ronay

Atlético Madrid’s no transfer policy contributed to their failure to reach the knockout stage of the Champions League, while Eden Hazard’s dazzling display gives Chelsea cause for optimismAt the end of this occasionally heated, largely room temperature…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/dec/06/chelsea-atletico-madrid-high-price-champions-league

Nov 10

A Premier League all-star XI: young, energetic and upwardly mobile

Fifa’s The Best awards included a wonderful team of the year – from Buffon to Ronaldo – but these stars are getting a little bit old and some of the finest youngsters in world football are playing in EnglandWhen Andy Warhol was asked his opinion on pho…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/nov/10/premier-league-all-star-young-energetic

Oct 21

Beyond the warm hug, Pochettino and Klopp embrace total reboots | Barney Ronay

Tottenham and Liverpool are well-matched in skill and ambition and their managers are seeking to construct futures that will end obsession with the pastMauricio Pochettino loves a hug. The pre-match handshake may be no more than a glazed formality for …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/oct/21/tottenham-liverpool-mauricio-pochettino-jurgen-klopp-past-future

Oct 05

Premier League TV rights spat is all about richest getting richer | Barney Ronay

Greed was the foundation stone of the Premier League, so we can hardly be surprised by an outbreak of further avarice over overseas television income

First they came for the Football League. And I did not speak up. Because I was not the Football League. Then they came for an outmanoeuvred Greg Dyke, blown out of the water by BSkyB’s covert second TV rights bid. And I did not speak up. Because I was not an outmanoeuvred Greg Dyke.

Finally, a quarter of a century later, they came for Premier League clubs outside the top six via a potentially divisive rejig of overseas TV-rights income. And this time I did speak out. Because I was Crystal Palace, Burnley, Huddersfield Town and everyone else who stands to lose something from the innate financial elitism of the Premier League being turned, finally, upon itself.

Related: Future unclear after Premier League clubs fail to find resolution on TV rights

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/05/premier-league-tv-rights

Sep 30

Gabriel Jesus stars to help Manchester City cope without Sergio Agüero | Barney Ronay

He may be only 20 and not really a No9, but the Brazilian showed at Stamford Bridge just why he could prove so crucial in his first full season for City

Gabriel Jesus will have more spectacular games than this. He will no doubt make the highlights reel more often and contribute more eye-catching moments of skill and craft than he did in Manchester City’s 1-0 victory at a relentlessly boisterous Stamford Bridge.

This, though, was something else, a performance of deeper attacking gears from City’s inside-forward, turned-false-nine, turned out-and-out central striker. Up front on his own, Jesus played with real heart and skill at the Bridge, never faltering in his energy and movement, never letting his levels drop, and doing just enough at just the right time to help nudge this match Manchester City’s way.

Related: Chelsea sunk by Kevin De Bruyne winner for Manchester City

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/sep/30/chelsea-manchester-city-gabriel-jesus-sergio-aguero

Sep 27

The Ashes needs Ben Stokes more than England all-rounder needs the series | Barney Ronay

Should the all-rounder be prevented from going to Australia, as a less important player already might have been, he can earn more by playing in the Big Bash

A day in the life of English cricket, September 2017: anatomy of a shemozzle. Three hours before the fourth one-day international was due to start, with the skies above Kennington still bearded in white autumnal fog, an unusually thick knot of reporters and camera crews was already gathered in the bowels of The Oval deep below the rush-hour traffic, fussing and fluttering and brandishing their recorders.

This had been billed originally as a cosy morning briefing on the Ashes squad, with a ring of soft chairs ranged chummily around the hard floor of the Ken Barrington practice dungeon. In the circumstances, entering, as we are, the post-Mbargo landscape, it was deemed more appropriate for James Whitaker and top-table guest Andrew Strauss to mount the plinth and address the floor from behind a table.

Related: Ben Stokes named in Ashes squad despite broken finger and arrest

Related: England opt for a ‘pick your mates’ policy as Stokes overshadows Ashes selections | Vic Marks

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/27/the-ashes-needs-ben-stokes-more-than-england-all-rounder-needs-series

Sep 25

Mark Stoneman: ‘Opening in the Ashes … it’s what you live for’

The Surrey batsman looks to have done enough over the summer to earn his spot on the plane to Australia and be the man to partner Alastair Cook in the first Ashes Test at the Gabba on 23 November

Like most top-class English opening batsmen Mark Stoneman has a careful, intense, fidgety kind of quality, even when he’s sitting across a plastic table in the Surrey players’ lounge, having spent the morning reeling off a breezy half-century, the seventh 50-plus score of a stellar county season. Naturally this includes an exceptionally good eye for those moments when its best to sway inside the line and leave well alone. As Stoneman does with the tiniest smile when asked his thoughts on Trevor Bayliss announcing that he had never actually seen him play in the flesh shortly before Stoneman ended up making his Test debut this summer.

“Well, it was fair enough really,” he says. “He’s got a pretty busy job. He’s got to focus on matters at hand and the squad of players that he’s given and managing the situation day to day, trying to win matches with England. If you’ve been in the system all the way through you’re going to be well known maybe. But everyone’s got a different pathway, everyone’s going to mature at different rates and speeds.”

Related: England strive to solve Ashes puzzle with key pieces still missing | Vic Marks

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/25/mark-stoneman-ashes-2017-england-australia-cricket

Sep 10

Ederson’s good decision exposes Liverpool’s flaws on Jürgen Klopp’s day to forget | Barney Ronay

Sadio Mané’s red card was not bad luck but bad judgment and Liverpool’s resultant collapse allowed Manchester City to show their best side

If you can meet a 5-0 thrashing and a messy 1-1 draw and treat those two impostors exactly the same; well, there is a fair chance you will be a testy, process-obsessed Catalan super-manager, my son. Six months ago Pep Guardiola described Manchester City’s draw with Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium as “one of the best moments of my career”. Fast forward to Saturday lunchtime and City’s 5-0 shellacking of the same opponents on the same ground left Guardiola a little restless, a little cagey in his judgments.

City’s manager was pleased and talkative but still rueful over the opening half-hour when Liverpool perhaps shaded it and when, if you had had to bet on a player being sent off, it would surely have been Nicolás Otamendi, whose performance combined ponderousness with a blind scything violence whenever he got near the ball.

Related: Kevin De Bruyne’s perfect touch delights Pep Guardiola and keeps Silvas at bay | Sachin Nakrani

Related: Manchester City and Gabriel Jesus hammer 10-man Liverpool 5-0

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/sep/10/manchester-city-liverpool-pep-guardiola-jurgen-klopp-ederson