Ewan Murray

Author's details

Name: Ewan Murray
Date registered: October 11, 2014
URL: http://www.theguardian.com/football/manchester-united

Latest posts

  1. Brendan Rodgers urges Celtic players to relish taking on PSG’s superstars — September 11, 2017
  2. PSG’s Unai Emery admits to big ‘responsibility’ as side prepare for Celtic — September 11, 2017
  3. Celtic have the talent to take on Neymar’s PSG, claims Scott Sinclair — September 9, 2017
  4. Another European adventure would be great for Celtic – but not Scottish football | Ewan Murray — August 17, 2017
  5. BBC’s coverage of US PGA was not perfect, but criticism has been rough | Ewan Murray — August 16, 2017

Author's posts listings

Sep 11

Brendan Rodgers urges Celtic players to relish taking on PSG’s superstars

• Manager says Celtic must ‘embrace challenge’ set by Neymar and co
• Rodgers expects Champions League match to be ‘a really exciting night’

Brendan Rodgers has urged Celtic not to be intimidated by Paris Saint-Germain, with intense focus on the French side dominating the buildup to their Champions League opening fixture in Glasgow.

Celtic have recent and wounding experience of a football superpower. In their first match of the Champions League last season, they were humbled 7-0 at Barcelona. PSG’s heavy spending – Neymar and Kylian Mbappé form part of world football’s most expensive frontline – presents a similar challenge for Celtic 12 months on.

Related: Celtic have the talent to take on Neymar’s PSG, claims Scott Sinclair

Related: PSG’s Unai Emery admits to big ‘responsibility’ as side prepare for Celtic

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/sep/11/celtic-psg-champions-league-brendan-rodgers-neymar

Sep 11

PSG’s Unai Emery admits to big ‘responsibility’ as side prepare for Celtic

• PSG manager knows he must repay heavy spending in Champions League
• Captain Thiago Silva believes PSG have good chance of lifting trophy

With heavy spending comes heavy expectation. Unai Emery, Paris Saint-Germain’s manager, has admitted on the eve of the Champions League getting under way that he feels a “responsibility” to deliver success after a summer transfer splurge.

Neymar and Kylian Mbappé have joined Dani Alves in Paris, with finance as delivered from Qatar placing the club among Europe’s elite. All three are expected to play at Celtic on Tuesday evening.

Related: Paris Saint-Germain’s £400m strike force put five past struggling Metz

Related: Brendan Rodgers urges Celtic players to relish taking on PSG’s superstars

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/sep/11/psg-celtic-champions-league-unai-emery-thiago-silva

Sep 09

Celtic have the talent to take on Neymar’s PSG, claims Scott Sinclair

The Glasgow club can step up from the demands of the SPL to tame the world’s most expensive player in the Champions League, insists the English winger

Brendan Rodgers is well used to the great Celtic paradox. Supporters headed to Friday’s canter at Hamilton via a badly maintained lane, dodging beer cans and dog mess. Upon reaching the SuperSeal Stadium, the scene was of two permanent stands, an artificial pitch and the prospect of fierce clearances ending up in a supermarket car park. It seems faintly laughable to label such a fixture as preparation for the visit of Neymar and Paris Saint‑Germain.

Related: Another European adventure would be great for Celtic – but not Scottish football | Ewan Murray

Related: Scott Sinclair double inspires classy Celtic to march towards group stages

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/sep/09/celtic-champions-league-psg-neymar-sinclair-rodgers

Aug 17

Another European adventure would be great for Celtic – but not Scottish football | Ewan Murray

Celtic have a foot in the Champions League group stage after beating Astana 5-0 in the first leg of the play-off but this success will not benefit other clubs

It wasn’t enough to appreciate Celtic’s 5-0 trouncing of Astana in isolation. The full-time whistle had barely blown on yet another stirring European occasion when the tired cliche arose regarding how wonderful imminent Champions League qualification was for Scottish football. There should be no harm in dismissing such a theory even if it is obvious as to why it arises: Scottish football is desperate for all the scraps of hope it can gather.

Related: Scott Sinclair double inspires classy Celtic to march towards group stages

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/aug/17/celtic-champions-league-play-off-astana-scottish-football-disparity

Aug 16

BBC’s coverage of US PGA was not perfect, but criticism has been rough | Ewan Murray

The corporation stepped in to replace Sky at short notice, would it have been better to sit back and allow a blackout?

Criticisms of the BBC’s live coverage of the US PGA Championship were as immediate as they were predictable. Peter Alliss, again, was widely described as an anachronism, representing the dated image golf is trying desperately hard to leave behind. That elements of the BBC’s broadcast were only available via red button, or without high definition, was another cause for social media screaming. The slightest gaffe was met with widespread derision and insistence of incompetence.

Criticism of the coverage was inevitable from the moment a BBC deal for the Quail Hollow major was confirmed. It was easy to infer minds were made up from as soon as Sky Sports’ loss of the tournament broke. Anything else, surely, was second best.

Related: Justin Thomas says jealousy over Spieth’s Open win inspired US PGA victory

Related: Two of five drugs in Tiger Woods’s system on his arrest banned by PGA Tour

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/aug/16/bbc-coverage-us-pga-criticism-rough

Aug 05

Jordan Spieth must get past Rory McIlroy to make history at US PGA | Ewan Murray

The young Texan is looking to complete a full set of majors at Quail Hollow but the Northern Irishman could turn into party pooper for the home crowd

The enthralling conclusion to the Open Championship did not supply proof of Jordan Spieth’s ferocious competitive spirit . Events at Royal Birkdale last month merely served as a reminder. Though his technical ability is hardly irrelevant, Spieth’s psychological approach has played a massive part in pulling him to the brink of history: at this week’s US PGA Championship he can become the youngest golfer in history to complete a grand slam of majors.

“The pros and cons of it being so soon? Pros is you believe you’re in form,” says Spieth. “When you feel that way going in, it feels that much easier to get into contention. I’m not really finding any negatives in this. I’ve been asked this a few times and I mean it.

Related: Rory McIlroy dropped caddie JP Fitzgerald ‘to preserve their friendship’

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/aug/05/jordan-spieth-rory-mcilroy-uspga-quail-hollow

Aug 02

Rory McIlroy dropped caddie JP Fitzgerald ‘to preserve their friendship’

• ‘I still consider JP one of my best friends, one of my closest friends’
• World No4 will have friend Harry Diamond on the bag for next fortnight

Rory McIlroy has explained how the maintaining of a valued friendship with JP Fitzgerald was key to the Northern Irishman parting company with his caddie of nine years. McIlroy, who refused to rule out a reunion with Fitzgerald, also admitted to unease following terse moments between them in recent times.

News that the world No4 had called time on one of the most high-profile alliances in sport broke on Monday. The four-times major winner, who will have his best friend, Harry Diamond, on the bag for the WGC Bridgestone Invitational this week and the US PGA Championship after that, addressed the matter in full at Akron on Wednesday.

Related: Rory McIlroy sacks caddie who inspired first-round comeback at the Open

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/02/rory-mcilroy-caddie-jp-fitzgerald-world-no4-harry-diamond

Aug 02

Laura Davies makes Women’s British Open the hard way and with point to prove | Ewan Murray

Leading light of the British game tees it up for 37th consecutive home Open and is all set to chase for a fifth major title

It was almost the end of one of sport’s most enduring runs. Laura Davies will tee up at the Women’s British Open on Thursday morning for the 37th consecutive time. However, only a week ago, the run looked like stopping at 36; Davies had to progress through final qualifying on Monday, earning a spot in the Kingsbarns field.

Davies, now 53, has long since assumed regal status in the sport. Her roll of honour includes 84 worldwide wins and a place in golf’s hall of fame. Her results may have tailed off – she is without a victory on the main tours since winning five in 2010 – but she remains an instantly recognisable figure.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/02/laura-davies-womens-british-open-2017-golf-kingsbarns

Jul 24

Premier League’s missing men: where have all the Scottish managers gone?

For the first time since England’s top division rebranded there will not be a Scottish manager in charge of one of its clubs when the season gets under way. In 2011 there were seven, so why has their star fallen?

It was a high point at the most curious of times. In 2011, long after Scotland’s national team had slid away from finals participation and its players had been revered in the English top flight, a mini coaching phenomenon was in play. Seven of the Premier League’s 20 managers were Scottish.

To say nothing lasts forever is gross understatement in these short-term football times but the onset of season 2017-18 still provides a grim line in the sand. There will not be a single manager from north of the border when England’s top division gets under way, breaking a record of at least one per seasonal start which stretches back to the league’s 1992 rebranding. The run is technically even longer, given Sir Alex Ferguson took over at Manchester United six years earlier. Context is of course necessary; only five of those in Premier League office are English.

Related: Premier League at 25: the best player – Eric Cantona | Paul Doyle

Every time a club seeks a manager it doesn’t look, as in the past, to the British Isles; it looks to the whole world

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/jul/24/premier-league-scottish-managers-alex-ferguson-david-moyes

Jul 18

R&A calls BBC golf coverage ‘tired and outdated’ and defends Sky’s Open deal

• Martin Slumbers rejects criticism of Sky Sports golf deal
• US PGA set to be screened on the BBC after Sky loses rights

Martin Slumbers, the chief executive of the R&A, has taken a swipe at the BBC by criticising “tired and outdated” golf coverage by the terrestrial channel. Slumbers’ comments are especially pertinent with the final major of the year, the US PGA Championship, on the verge of reverting to the corporation for live UK coverage after the PGA of America opted not to renew a deal with Sky Sports.

This year’s Open Championship will be the second to be shown live on Sky. The 2016 tournament at Royal Troon suffered a huge decline in television audience, including 75% on the previous year’s final round, which to many vindicated criticism of the R&A for taking the Open away from the BBC.

Related: The future of the Open: can golf survive in the modern era? | Sean Ingle

Related: Era of major dominance by single player is probably over, says Jordan Spieth

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jul/18/us-pga-championship-bbc

Jul 16

Darren Clarke: I have a love-hate relationship with golf. Hate is winning

The 2011 Open champion has not made a European Tour cut this season and is outside the world top 1,000 but, in the buildup to the Open, is refusing to give up

Darren Clarke can hardly be accused of trading on former glories. “If you walked into my house, you wouldn’t know that I play golf,” says the Northern Irishman. “There is a 50% replica of the Claret Jug but that’s the only reference.”

That treasured ornament provides Clarke with deserved memories of 2011, when at the age of 42 and at the 20th attempt, he became Open champion. Amid emotional scenes at Royal St George’s, Clarke had reached his holy grail. Six years on, as he prepares for another appearance in the major he placed higher all others even before victory, Clarke admits an element of psychological turmoil.

Related: The Open 2011: Darren Clarke wins first major aged 42

Related: Rory McIlroy: Ryder Cup defeat hurts but USA win is good for golf

Related: Royal Portrush to host 2019 Open Championship

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jul/16/darren-clarke-struggles-open-ryder-cup-tiger-woods

Jul 16

How a young Rory McIlroy burst on to the Open scene in 2007

Those who were close to the 18-year-old amateur making his debut at a major tournament at Carnoustie knew immediately that he was something special Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jul/16/rory-mcilroy-open-debut-carnoustie

Jul 15

Henrik Stenson heads to Birkdale proud of making Open history at Troon

As Henrik Stenson prepares to defend his title, he reflects on his closing 63 and becoming Sweden’s first major champion – but there are plenty aiming to prise the Claret Jug away

It is not just Henrik Stenson who wishes he could bottle the Royal Troon scene of 51 weeks ago. If the organisers of the Open Championship ever need advertising material, or to supply proof to a cynical world that golf at the highest level can be box office stuff, Stenson’s mesmerising duel with Phil Mickelson represents exhibit A.

Stenson was to emerge victorious, his closing 63 contributing to the creation of Open records and proving sufficient to see off Mickelson by three shots. A misty Sunday afternoon on the Ayrshire coast was to provide the backdrop for the most epic battle, affording the Open status it probably needed amid the controversial switch away from live terrestrial television coverage.

Related: Rory McIlroy heads to Birkdale after missing cut in Scottish Open

Related: Henrik Stenson holds off Phil Mickelson for brilliant triumph at the Open

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jul/15/henrik-stenson-birkdale-open-history-troon

Jul 05

Embarrassment and shame on and off the pitch for chaotic Rangers | Ewan Murray

The news that Rangers were found to have used employee benefit trusts to pay players came hard on the heels of one of the Ibrox club’s most humiliating nights

The rest of Scottish football will never tire from laughing at Rangers. If that seems harsh, it is the natural reaction from a phase led by Sir David Murray in which the Ibrox club made it their business to lord success and extravagant spending over all before them. Rangers’ largesse came at the cost of unpopularity; not that they cared one jot. Big business, too big for Scotland, heading for another stratosphere. Which indeed they were; just not in anything like the form Murray promised.

Related: Rangers suffer humiliating loss to Luxembourg side in Europa League qualifying

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/jul/05/rangers-europa-league-supreme-court-ruling

Jun 29

Steph Curry’s vanity project is a kick in the teeth to journeymen golf pros

Golden State Warriors basketball star’s appearance in the Ellie Mae Classic is borderline offensive to those battling in the tough world below the main tours

Imagine the scenario. Golden State Warriors are locked in a fierce play-off battle when Jordan Spieth – inspired by his brother’s basketball success and a capable player in his own right – decides he wants to feature in match five. Spieth’s overtures are accepted, thereby handing the golfer a key spot in another sport’s top domain.

Ludicrous, right? It certainly should be but while the circumstances are not identical there is cause to wonder about the legitimacy of the web.com Tour’s dispensation as given to Steph Curry. The Ellie Mae Classic in California will feature Curry – a basketball superstar and Under Armour icon who plays off two – after the Warriors player was handed a sponsor’s invitation. If it sounds like a vanity project and looks like a vanity project, it tends to be a vanity project.

Related: Steph Curry’s revival, not Durant’s brilliance, may be the Warriors’ best weapon

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/jun/29/steph-curry-basketball-golf-ellie-mae-classic

Jun 20

Tiger Woods receiving professional help to manage back pain medication

  • Former world No1 checks into rehabilitation facility
  • ‘I want to thank everyone for the amazing outpouring of support’

Tiger Woods’s manager has confirmed the golfer has checked into rehabilitation as he seeks to handle medication issues linked to his recent arrest for driving under the influence.

Woods was taken into custody by police in Florida on 29 May, having been found asleep at the wheel of his car by the side of the road. Police officials confirmed a breathalyser test as taken by Woods – who was disorientated and unsure of where he was – for alcohol consumption was blank, with the 14-time major champion later insisting upon an “unexpected reaction” to prescription medication.

Related: Tiger Woods: a lost, sorry soul who was once invincible

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/20/tiger-woods-receiving-professional-help-to-manage-back-pain-medication

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