What the papers say

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Updated: 2 hours 46 min ago

Premier League fans rate the season so far. Part two: Man City to Wolves

Sat, 11/23/2019 - 00:01

Fans assess the best and worst of the opening stages – top performers, biggest mistakes and the funniest moments
Part one: Arsenal to Liverpool

Best performance? By default, probably the 8-0 win over Watford – but we played our best football against Spurs in that (incredibly unjust) 2-2 draw at home. We tore them apart.

Related: David Squires on … football and the poppy

Related: Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Related: What makes José Mourinho special? Former players give Spurs an insight | Fabrizio Romano

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Solskjær: Pochettino's availability does not make me fear for my job – video

Fri, 11/22/2019 - 14:58

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has insisted he is not threatened by Mauricio Pochettino now being out of work despite the Argentinian having repeatedly been linked to the Manchester United job.

Solskjær said: ‘No, it doesn’t bother me at all because I’ve got the best job in the world and I’m sure that if you’re in or out of a job and you are a manager, you would want this job.’

Of Mourinho’s appointment Solskjær said: ‘It’s good to have José back – definitely especially for you guys and maybe for me’

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Welcome back José: football photographers such as me are delighted

Fri, 11/22/2019 - 12:29

When Mourinho is in the dugout you have to keep one eye on the pitch and one on the touchline. He is pure box office

On Thursday I bumped into a couple of friends of mine, both dyed-in-the-wool Spurs fans. Before I even spoke to them, their shoulders slumped in unison and they let out a joint groan. It was as if they had just been summoned for collective root canal surgery.

“Its not going to end prettily,” they grumbled. “Hang on,” I said. “He hasn’t even started.”

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Ole Gunnar Solskjær: I feel no extra pressure at Manchester United after Pochettino sacking

Fri, 11/22/2019 - 10:32
• Norwegian insists he is not threatened by ex-Spurs manager
• Solskjær: ‘I’ve got the best job in the world’

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has insisted he is not threatened by Mauricio Pochettino now being out of work despite the Argentinian previously being a candidate for the Manchester United job.

Pochettino was sacked by Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday and replaced by José Mourinho as head coach. Yet while Pochettino is now on the market and may still be of interest to United in the future, Solskjær insisted he was not concerned about the potential threat of being replaced.

Related: Tottenham love to talk of glory, but for Daniel Levy business is business

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Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Fri, 11/22/2019 - 00:34

Wilfried Zaha is a threat to injury-hit Liverpool, José Mourinho checks in at Spurs, and Chelsea can make a statement

It has been 50 weeks since the Sun led with the back-page headline “£40m to get Poch”, in which they detailed how Mauricio Pochettino was poised to take over from José Mourinho at Manchester United. “The Tottenham boss is the ONLY contender to replace Mourinho next summer,” they insisted, adding that “Daniel Levy faces a huge battle to keep his manager”. Mourinho did indeed leave United, and some time sooner than the summer, but he has since pulled off a complete reversal of fortunes. Now it is Pochettino who is out of a job, and Mourinho who was headhunted to replace him. Mourinho spoke warmly and generously of his predecessor on Thursday in his first Tottenham press conference, but a person as proud as the Portuguese will surely take some pleasure at the situation. Mourinho will face West Ham in his first game as Tottenham manager, just as Pochettino did, and Tim Sherwood before him. SB

West Ham v Tottenham (12.30pm, Saturday)

Related: Twinkly José Mourinho gives hint of things to come at beefed-up Spurs | Barney Ronay

Arsenal v Southampton (3pm, Saturday)

Brighton v Leicester (3pm, Saturday)

Manchester City v Chelsea (5.30pm, Saturday)

Related: Tottenham and Gareth Bale shake it up – Football Weekly Extra

Everton v Norwich City (3pm, Saturday)

Watford v Burnley (3pm, Saturday)

Aston Villa v Newcastle (8pm, Monday)

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Football quiz: José Mourinho v Tottenham Hotspur

Wed, 11/20/2019 - 12:42

Mourinho has won more games against Spurs than any other club. Can you remember his victories, defeats and moans?

What happened the last time José Mourinho led out a team against Tottenham?

He suffered the biggest home defeat of his whole career

He won his last game as Manchester United manager

He lost the match and was sacked the next day

He was sent to the stands for shouting at the fourth official

Mourinho came out fighting after that defeat, demanding “respect, respect, respect man”. What did he say to reporters after the match, while holding up three fingers?

“I won the Champions League three times”

“We should have had three penalties. Three clear penalties”

“I have won league titles in three countries. I am Mr Europe”

“I won more Premierships alone than the other 19 managers together. Three for me and two for them”

Mourinho’s first ever game against Tottenham, in September 2004, finished 0-0. After the match he said: "They brought the bus and they left the bus in front of the goal. I would have been frustrated if I had been a supporter who paid £50 to watch this game because Spurs came to defend. I'm really frustrated because there was only one team looking to win." Who was the Tottenham manager at the time?

Martin Jol

Harry Redknapp

Tim Sherwood

Jacques Santini

Despite Mourinho’s claims about Spurs “parking the bus” against his Chelsea team, Tottenham pulled off a brilliant 5-3 win when the clubs met on New Year’s Day in 2015. Who scored a penalty for Spurs that day – the only penalty he has ever scored in the league?

Christian Eriksen

Andros Townsend

Roberto Soldado


Mourinho has faced his new clubs once in the Champions League – when Real Madrid were drawn against Spurs in the quarter-finals of the tournament in 2011. How did that tie finish after two legs?

Real Madrid 5-0 Tottenham Hotspur

Real Madrid 6-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Real Madrid 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur (Real win on penalties)

Real Madrid 4-4 Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs win on away goals)

Which former Premier League player scored two goals against Tottenham in that tie?

Luka Modric

Xabi Alonso

Cristiano Ronaldo

Emmanuel Adebayor

Spurs lost the first leg of that tie 4-0. Having one of their players sent off after just 14 minutes did not help. Who was shown the red card?

Michael Dawson

Jermaine Jenas

Peter Crouch

Williams Gallas

Mourinho claims that Tottenham tried to appoint him in 2007. What reason did he give for turning them down?

“Because they never spend any money”

“Because I completed the Premier League many times”

“Because I prefer west London”

“Because I love Chelsea supporters too much. I’m Chelsea”

Before this season began, Mourinho was asked which teams could win the league. He replied: “Man City, Tottenham, Liverpool and …

“… Arsenal if they give me the job”

“… any team that appoints me before Christmas”

“… hang on, not Tottenham. They will bottle it”

“… the Man City B team”

Mourinho has won a cup final against his new club. He was the Chelsea manager when they beat Spurs 2-0 to win the League Cup at Wembley in 2015. John Terry scored the first goal for Chelsea that day. Who scored the second?

Hugo Lloris

Kyle Walker

Danny Rose

Eric Dier

1 and above.

You are a specialist in failure

2 and above.

You are a specialist in failure

3 and above.

You are a specialist in failure

4 and above.

You are a specialist in failure

5 and above.

You won the League Cup early on but were sacked in your third season

6 and above.

You won the League Cup early on but were sacked in your third season

7 and above.

You won the League Cup early on but were sacked in your third season

8 and above.

You are the special one

9 and above.

You are the special one

0 and above.

You are a specialist in failure

10 and above.

You are the special one

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Eric Cantona: ‘Big democracies are, in a way, dictatorships’

Tue, 11/19/2019 - 12:00
Former Manchester United striker on ‘economic terrorism’, a suitcase that shed light on his family and trying to understand himself

For a man who spoke of seagulls and trawlers in March 1995 after he had karate-kicked a fan and quoted King Lear when he collected Uefa’s president’s award almost 25 years later, reciting “as flies to wanton boys, we are for the gods”, there is something in the simplicity of what Eric Cantona says now. He pictures himself standing with his mother and aunt, looking into his grandfather’s eyes, and recalls the moment in the deep, slow voice that’s unmistakably his, accent gently French. “It was something...” he begins to say, pausing to seek the right words. Eventually he settles on “emotional” and then he stops, no flourish needed. “It is the story of my family, mine,” he says.

It is some story. In 2007 a suitcase was discovered in Mexico City, where it had been hidden for almost 70 years. Inside they found 126 old rolls of film containing 4,500 negatives; they also found a part of him. Most of the pictures, smuggled out of France when the Nazis arrived, were taken by Robert Capa during the final months of the Spanish civil war. Capa had also been in Argelès-sur-Mer, where 100,000 people fleeing Spain were held in a refugee camp, among them Pedro Raurich, 28, and his 18-year-old girlfriend, Paquita Farnòs.

Related: Buy a classic sport photograph: Cantona's comeback

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Buy a classic sport photograph: Cantona's comeback

Tue, 11/19/2019 - 09:06

The eighth of a Guardian Print Shop series featuring classic sports images from the likes of Gerry Cranham, Mark Leech and Tom Jenkins – yours to own from just £55 including free delivery

“When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.” Few aphorisms in football are as bizarre or memorable as the one uttered by Eric Cantona in April 1995 when he addressed the national media three months after his infamous ‘kung fu’ attack on a Crystal Palace fan. ‘The King’, as Manchester United fans called him, was unrepentant for his actions and won his appeal against a prison sentence. It would be a further six months before he would return to action, in a home match with arch-rivals Liverpool. After serving one of the longest bans in football history, Cantona’s impact was instantaneous. He crafted the opening goal after just 67 seconds of the match, teeing up teammate Nicky Butt, before a Robbie Fowler double gave the visitors a 2-1 lead. Poetically, the fate of the match came to rest on Cantona’s shoulders. Ryan Giggs won a 71st-minute penalty when he ran onto the Frenchman’s through ball and was nudged to the turf by Jamie Redknapp. Cantona, hands on hips, oozed confidence before casually stroking the spot-kick into one corner as the goalkeeper dived to the other. The subsequent celebration was distinctly odd: he pole-danced in front of the East Stand. Why such a celebration, you might ask? Because ... er, he’s Eric Cantona.

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England’s Marcus Rashford back in the goal groove after confidence takes a hit

Mon, 11/18/2019 - 22:30

• Manchester United striker emerges from ‘tough period’
• Chelsea’s Fikayo Tomori stunned at his progress in past year

Marcus Rashford feels the confidence is flooding back into his game after a run of nine goals in 10 matches for Manchester United and England, casting aside what the forward admits has been a difficult spell.

It was a fruitful international break for Rashford, who scored a slickly taken goal seven minutes from time in the 4-0 win over Kosovo, having replaced Callum Hudson-Odoi before the hour. He was also on target against Montenegro three days before, putting in a scintillating display, and on this form there is every chance he will join Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling in Gareth Southgate’s front three at Euro 2020.

Related: Gareth Southgate admits Euro 2020 is key to him remaining England manager

Related: Euro 2020 roundup: Italy crush Armenia 9-1 while Spain hammer Romania

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Manchester United weighing up move for Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho

Fri, 11/15/2019 - 17:00
• Ole Gunnar Solskjær alerted by recent troubles in Germany
• United may face competition from Liverpool and Real Madrid

Manchester United are weighing up a move in January for Jadon Sancho, with Ole Gunnar Solskjær alerted by the forward’s recent troubles at Borussia Dortmund.

The manager has identified Sancho as a summer target but he and Ed Woodward, United’s executive vice-chairman, have a policy of trying to sign players of interest in the preceding winter window should there be a chance of doing so.

Related: Wilf McGuinness: ‘I thought Munich was the end, that United were finished’

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Wilf McGuinness: ‘I thought Munich was the end, that United were finished’

Wed, 11/13/2019 - 11:56
The 82-year-old former Manchester United player and coach talks about the air disaster, Sir Matt Busby and playing for £20 a week

Wilf McGuinness is 82 but his face lights up with vivid memories of the man who had such an impact on his life. “Matt Busby was a god,” McGuinness says simply as he looks up with an expression of gratitude and awe and remembers the football manager who turned Manchester United into one of the world’s greatest clubs. “We used to look up at him when we were growing up. We thought: ‘There he is. That’s the boss.’ That’s what we called him. Boss. He was a wonderful man.”

McGuinness was one of the original Busby Babes, a team of youthful brilliance which was decimated by the Munich disaster of 1958. He was injured and so missed being on the plane which took the lives of many of his best friends and teammates, while scarring those who survived. McGuinness was part of the second wave of Babes with whom Busby created a new team that would eventually become the first English club to win the European Cup in 1968. Another bad injury had ended his career long before then but Busby respected him so much that he persuaded McGuinness to become a coach at Old Trafford.

Related: How the Manchester Guardian reported the Munich air disaster in 1958

£20 a week was the maximum wage. We couldn’t get more. But I was happy getting the bus to training

Related: Beauty of the Babes: when a classic became a Manchester United legacy | David Lacey

Related: Football: David Meek on the Busby Babes

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Manchester United’s Daniel James says he won’t be intimidated by defenders

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 16:01
• James was on receiving end during 3-1 win over Brighton
• Welshman says return of ‘focal point’ Martial has lifted United

Daniel James has said he stands up as soon as possible when kicked to show opposition players no fear of intimidation.

The 22-year-old again impressed in Manchester United’s 3-1 win over Brighton at Old Trafford on Sunday. One run drew a free-kick when Lewis Dunk fouled him – the Brighton defender was booked – and from the dead ball United forced their second, a Davy Pröpper own goal.

Related: Marcus Rashford inspires Manchester United to simple win over Brighton

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Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 08:30

Emery’s Arsenal have lost their direction and Spurs’ problems start at full-back but Burnley’s Dwight McNeil is on song

Riyad Mahrez impressed only in spells during his first season at Manchester City but, with Leroy Sané felled by a cruciate injury in August’s Community Shield victory, the onus was on the £60m man to step up. An imperious performance at West Ham on the opening day of the season suggested he would do exactly that, yet he has started only four league games since – two of those being defeats – and with his side desperate for goals in a critical game at Anfield he was not called on at all. Mahrez remains a magical player on his day but the suspicion remains that he is a player who reflects his team’s performance rather than dictates it. City broke the bank to sign Mahrez from Leicester. With their defence a shambles, it looks in hindsight like a woeful misjudgment. Alex Hess

Related: Liverpool’s symmetrical full-backs have turned them into world leaders | Barney Ronay

Related: The Dozen: flares, zorbs and Maddison's delight – the best Premier League pics

Related: Brendan Rodgers’ vision keeps Leicester in sight of another miracle

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The Dozen: flares, zorbs and Maddison's delight – the best Premier League pics

Sun, 11/10/2019 - 23:31

Our picture editors chose their favourite pics from the weekend’s action

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Marcus Rashford inspires Manchester United to simple win over Brighton

Sun, 11/10/2019 - 16:22

This was as entertaining a Manchester United display as there has been under Ole Gunnar Solskjær.

Midway through the second half the manager was regaled by fans with the song that pleads not to “take my Solskjær away” in recognition of the verve and vibrancy being witnessed.

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Manchester United v Brighton: match preview

Sat, 11/09/2019 - 09:01

Manchester United are again looking up following the league defeat last time out at Bournemouth after Europa League knockout qualification was secured on Thursday with two group games left. Brandon Williams could make his full debut at left-back as Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s team look for a repeat of last season’s win, though Brighton arrive with two more points than United. Jamie Jackson

Sunday 2pm

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Solskjær predicts big future for Mason Greenwood but will not rush him

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 15:01
• Forward scored in win against Partizan Belgrade
• ‘Mason is going to have a very good career’

Ole Gunnar Solskjær is predicting a big future for Mason Greenwood and has explained why the 18-year-old forward has been used so sparingly this season.

Greenwood scored the opening goal in Manchester United’s win against Partizan Belgrade on Thursday, but missed their previous cup outing against Chelsea through being selected for the U21s to play Doncaster the night before. Even when Anthony Martial was out injured Solskjær resisted the temptation to use Greenwood in league games, because he did not want to rush his development or give him too much responsibility too early.

Related: Ole Gunnar Solskjær feels Anthony Martial’s revival ‘reflects our new mood’

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Premier League title already out of Manchester United's reach, Solskjær admits – video

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 12:23

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær admits the Premier League title is out of the club’s reach this season as his rebuilding project at Old Trafford continues.

‘We’re too far behind the top teams,’ he said. ‘We need to improve our league form, definitely.’

United are in 10th place with 13 points from 11 games this season, already 18 behind leaders Liverpool. They face Brighton at home on Sunday with just one victory in their last six league games.

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Busby review – Manchester United's great manager remains an enigma

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 11:00

This profile of Matt Busby deals well with the horror of the Munich air disaster – but fails to reveal much about its subject

After cinema releases for documentaries about Bill Shankly and Bobby Robson, it was only matter of time before attention turned to Matt Busby, who produced Manchester United’s glamour sides of the late 1950s and 60s and forged the club’s identity.

There’s an understandably elegaic tone to this profile. Busby’s career as a manager was dominated – and interrupted – by the horrors of the Munich air crash, which claimed the lives of eight of his players. The best, and most interesting, material here is that which covers the aftermath of the disaster: the eerie atmosphere of the subsequent games, the absence of any counselling or indeed much sympathy for the survivors, Busby’s recovery period, and resolute team-building to plug the gaps in the devastated side.

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Busby: first look at documentary on the legendary Manchester United manager – video teaser

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 09:10

In this exclusive clip from the upcoming Busby documentary, Sir Bobby Charlton recounts being called up to the first team for the first time. Charlton, an 18-year-old at the time, was suffering with an ankle injury: ‘If there was one time I didn’t want to play it was that day.’ Busby’s decision to put him in the first team would coin the phrase the Busby Babes.

Busby is in select cinemas from 11 November, and can be owned on digital from 15 November, and DVD & Blu-ray from 18 November.

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