Paul MacInnes

Author's posts

Feb 16

Coventry City travel to Brighton for a free hit in the FA Cup

Coventry City may be desperate for promotion but they do not intend to be pushovers at the Amex StadiumMark Robins says he does not want to use the word but it keeps coming up: Coventry City, according to their manager, are “desperate” to climb back up…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/feb/16/coventry-city-brighton-fa-cup

Feb 02

Claude Puel faces managerial litmus test in trying to sort out Mahrez mess | Paul MacInnes

Mahrez case shows how managers will have to simultaneously plan for star players staying and leaving, maximising performance to prepare for the best transfer dealThey say the modern manager has to be all things to all people. He has to have a vision bu…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2018/feb/02/claude-puel-riyad-mahrez-leicester-city-transfer-window

Jan 26

Peterborough’s Darragh MacAnthony: ‘FA Cup is not just a romantic thing’

Owner says a good Cup run would mean he could avoid having to use his own money to keep the club going“Before I came, we trained in a field and there were dogs crapping all over it. Now look at it. The 3G pitch outside, that’s a £600,000 facility. We s…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jan/26/peterborough-darragh-macnthony-fa-cup-leicester

Jan 24

‘It looks like a Gaviscon ad’ – Leeds United criticised for new club crest

• Crest result of ‘consultation involving more than 10,000 people’• Supporters of the club seemingly underwhelmed by new crestLeeds United have revealed a new crest to commemorate the club’s centenary. It has not been universally welcomed.The crest, th…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jan/24/leeds-united-new-crest-criticism-gaviscon

Jan 06

AFC Wimbledon’s Neal Ardley: ‘If the Crazy Gang happened now we’d all be in prison’

Wimbledon’s final remaining link with the FA Cup win of 1988, when the manager of today was a youth-teamer, wants his players to embrace their Wembley date with Spurs 30 years onAn FA Cup win against Tottenham or three points towards AFC Wimbledon’s fi…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jan/06/afc-wimbledon-neal-ardley-crazy-gang-prison-totenham-fa-cup

Jan 05

Big changes at Norwich City leave many fans cold as Chelsea arrive | Paul MacInnes

The Premier League champions visit in the FA Cup on Saturday but Norwich’s main concern after upheaval on and off the pitch is to get back to the top flight before the parachute payments stopAre Norwich City having a bad season? It seems hard to argue …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2018/jan/05/norwich-city-changes-promotion-dream

Jan 02

Phil Taylor tips Rob Cross to dominate darts but throws a final warning

• Retiring legend says he lacks the energy to rule the world any more• ‘There’s a few players I wouldn’t go to the back garden and watch’In the end, it was time. Phil Taylor left the sport he dominated since the early 90s admitting he could no longer m…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/jan/02/phil-taylor-rob-cross-darts-final-warning

Dec 04

Chelsea’s Antonio Conte warns Atlético Madrid to prepare for Europa League

• Chelsea manager Conte says he ‘respects’ Spanish opponents• Antoine Griezmann back in form and threat to league championsAntonio Conte was in bullish mood before Chelsea’s final Champions League group fixture, telling opponents Atlético Madrid: “You …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/dec/04/chelsea-antonio-conte-warns-atletico-madrid-europa-league

Dec 02

Woking’s Nathan Baxter calls on Chelsea education in FA Cup second round

On-loan goalkeeper, on Chelsea’s books since the age of six, has his sights set on yet another Cup shock against PeterboroughIt is only the beginning of December but already Woking are chasing their second FA Cup shock of the season. Last month the Nat…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/dec/02/woking-nathan-baxter-peterborough-fa-cup-second-round-chelsea-graduate-football

Oct 08

Bet your shirt on it: the changing face of Premier League sponsorships | Paul MacInnes

Twenty seasons ago not a single Premier League jersey carried the name of a gambling company – now nine do. We trace the trends on ‘the most cost-effective billboard you can buy’ and examine the impact sponsorship hasFun88 is an online gaming business …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/08/changing-face-premier-league-shirt-sponsorships-gambling

Oct 04

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

• Clubs met on Wednesday to discuss distribution of overseas TV income
• Increasing division between ‘Big Six’ and the rest

The future direction of the Premier League remains uncertain as a crucial meeting between the division’s clubs ended without resolution.

Representatives of all 20 Premier League clubs gathered at a hotel in London’s Mayfair on Wednesday to discuss changing the way in which overseas television income is distributed, covering £1bn of annual revenue and a power struggle between the league’s “big six” and the rest.

Related: Facebook is not ruling out bidding for Premier League live matches

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/04/premier-league-future-unclear-clubs-resolution-tv-rights

Sep 17

Roy Hodgson plays patience principle at Crystal Palace with history on his side | Paul MacInnes

Southampton ensure former England manager was unable to stop the rot in first game in charge but he points to past club escapes and urges fans to stay with him

There is always a touch of pathos about Roy Hodgson. It could be his hangdog expression. Maybe it is the way he insists on being gentlemanly in an age of turbo-charged egotists. Or perhaps the low points in his career – Liverpool, England – seem somehow to conform to the stereotype; nice guy but out of his depth at the top.

Hodgson was welcomed with polite applause by the Crystal Palace fans before the match against Southampton and got the same response after their defeat. As he first walked to the dugout he was embraced by Pete the Eagle in a slightly awkward clinch. The cameras, of which there were many at Selhurst Park, caught him in trademark head-in-hands mode after Steven Davis turned home the only goal in the sixth minute. Later they caught him doing that thing with his finger on his lips as he considered how to improve his team’s prospects. So far, so Roy.

Related: Steven Davis spoils Roy Hodgson’s big day as Crystal Palace lose again

Don’t forget that at Fulham we got out of the relegation zone on the very, very last game of the season

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/sep/17/roy-hodgson-patience-principle-crystal-palace-history-on-side-southampton

Sep 13

Arsène Wenger stresses positives for Jack Wilshere and the Europa League | Paul MacInnes

The Arsenal manager weighs up the ‘hungry and determined’ midfielder as part of a rotation policy for group game against Cologne

Arsène Wenger did not hide from the Champions League on Tuesday night. “Yes I watched‚” he admitted. “I watched a few games and the main game, of course, was Chelsea. After a while I went to Barcelona against Juventus. It raises many questions about the Champions League, the way it is organised now. We will certainly have to think about it.” What issues? Think about what? “We will speak about it another time.”

Such was the way the Arsenal manager teased as he vacated London Colney on Wednesday afternoon. Europe’s premier trophy still transfixes the man who has qualified for the competition on 21 separate occasions. Wenger being Wenger, he also cannot help but suggest that things could be done better. The details, it seems, will have to wait for another time. Until then, Arsenal have other things to think about.

Related: Arsène Wenger says he turned down United as ‘I love the values of this club’

He is not completely at his best but he is getting there every week

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/sep/13/arsene-wenger-jack-wilshere-arsenal-cologne-europa-league

Aug 02

The ‘kidnapping’ of Jesús Navas: football’s summer of bizarre transfer videos

In an attempt to hype their latest signings, clubs are running amok with shareable content. A treat for the fans or just a money-wasting wheeze?

The best way for football clubs to get rid of the massive wads of cash thrown in their direction by benighted supporters and unimaginative TV companies has traditionally been to pay £50m for a half-decent right back who can’t cross. But wealthy teams are always innovating and this summer they have found a new way of blowing their loot: social media content.

The big clubs with a marketing department (ie all of them) and a brand (all of them bar Burnley) have been hiring a load of over-enthusiastic millennials to make stuff for Facebook, Twitter and the rest. I had the misfortune to sit in front of Arsenal’s Snapchat crew last season and let me tell you they made a humdrum 2-0 victory over Hull sound like the second coming of the Christ.

PogBOOM is coming to Old Trafford.@paulpogba: Welcome home to @ManUtd.#FirstNeverFollowshttps://t.co/UKrEgp7Mcy

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/shortcuts/2017/aug/02/the-kidnapping-of-jesus-navas-footballs-summer-of-bizarre-transfer-videos

Jul 29

‘An electrifying jolt’: how Agüero’s goal sealed Premier League’s global rise

Not just a moment to remember, Manchester City’s thrilling late title win in 2012 embodied the Premier League’s ascent to international dominance

The big bang: how the Premier League was born

It’s 4.53pm BST on 13 May 2012. The score at the Etihad Stadium is 2-2 between Manchester City and Queens Park Rangers and the game is into a fourth minute of added time. The Italian international Mario Balotelli has the ball on the edge of the QPR area. Slipping, he pokes a pass beyond two defenders into the box. His team-mate, a £38m recruit from Atlético Madrid the previous summer, manages to read the pass. With one touch, Sergio Agüero eludes a despairing final challenge. With a second, he fires the ball past Paddy Kenny. Flying into the near corner of the net, Agüero’s goal wins the game in the final second. It also means the 20th Premier League title goes to City, ahead of Manchester United on goal difference.

Related: Deceit, determination and Murdoch’s millions: how Premier League was born

It doesn’t always happen that you anticipate the moment but his touch was so sure, I trusted my instinct

Related: Premier League at 25: the best XI, from Petr Cech to Thierry Henry

Related: Premier League at 25: the best signing – Patrick Vieira to Arsenal, August 1996

Related: Premier League at 25: best goal – Matt Le Tissier v Manchester United, 1996

Related: Premier League at 25: the best match – Liverpool 4 – 3 Newcastle, April 1996

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/jul/29/sergio-aguero-goal-premier-league-global-rise-2012-manchester-city

Jul 23

Deceit, determination and Murdoch’s millions: how Premier League was born

Twenty-five years ago Rick Parry, David Dein and Greg Dyke turned British football on its head. Here the men behind the revolutionary deal relive the story

Rick Parry is showing me the most important document in the recent history of British sport. He has a photo of it on his phone. “Here it is in my handwriting,” he says. “Graham was upstairs, waiting for me to tell him, and I’d forgotten to put FA. So that’s Graham’s writing on the top going ‘by the way, that’s the FA Premier League’.”

“Graham” is Graham Kelly, the former chief executive of the Football Association. In 1991 he hired Parry to help him with a problem. Out of that problem was born a football competition that has become a global brand, a sporting hegemon and a form of soft power for the United Kingdom in the 21st century. But visible even in its totemic “founders’ agreement”, the document on Parry’s phone, were the tensions that would make the Premier League sometimes as reviled as it was beloved.

Related: How the Premier League became a dream destination for young Brazilians

Related: Premier League finances: the full club-by-club breakdown and verdict

We knew we had an airplane on the runway ready to take off, but we didn’t know how high it was going to fly

Related: Dele Alli and Harry Kane expose absurdity of football’s silly season

Get your arse here and blow them out of the water

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/jul/23/deceit-determination-murdochs-millions-how-premier-league-was-born