What the papers say

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Updated: 1 hour 21 min ago

Manchester United to hand debuts to trio of teenagers against Astana

Wed, 11/27/2019 - 17:40

• Ethan Laird, Di’Shon Bernard and Dylan Levitt to start
• Ole Gunnar Solskjær calls Max Taylor an ‘inspiration’

Manchester United will field the teenage trio of Ethan Laird, Di’Shon Bernard and Dylan Levitt against Astana in the Europa League on Thursday night. They, along with the 36-year-old goalkeeper Lee Grant, will make their debuts in Kazakhstan while the 19-year-old defender Max Taylor is in the senior squad for the first time since overcoming cancer.

Related: Max Taylor in Manchester United squad for first time after chemotherapy

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Michael Knighton: ‘I have been perceived as a charlatan or circus act’

Wed, 11/27/2019 - 12:00

Thirty years after his keepie-uppies at Manchester United, Knighton tells of his regrets, foresight and being underappreciated

“Don’t expect to recognise me from those pictures on the pitch 30 years ago,” Michael Knighton advises on the telephone before our meeting in a Pennines hotel. “I’m an OAP now. You’ll be looking for a fat, balding little man in his late 60s.”

In the event there are no problems with identification. Oddly enough, no one else in the small Yorkshire village happens to be dressed in immaculate three-piece suit, collar and tie. Knighton will always be recognisable anyway, because the manner in which he introduced himself at Old Trafford provided an image just as iconic and easily recalled as anything else from the turbulent and eventful year of 1989.

Related: The Joy of Six: the ups and downs of football chairmen and owners

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Football rumours: Nuno Espírito Santo to take over at Arsenal?

Wed, 11/27/2019 - 09:12

Today’s fluff is going undercover

At time of writing, Unai Emery is still the Arsenal manager, but it’s not looking good. The Spaniard’s office has been relocated to a trestle table in the basement, and Granit Xhaka is using his parking space. Metaphorically speaking, of course. Today’s tabloids reckon anything less than a win at Norwich on Sunday will see Emery permanently relocated at a travel tavern.

Details of the shortlist to replace him are sketchy, but the Mail report that the Wolves manager, Nuno Espírito Santo, is at its summit. Nuno’s rigid philosophy and surly post-match demeanour would be a refreshing change at the Emirates, but why he would take a sideways move at this stage is up for debate. If the club want a company man instead, they could turn to former players Mikel Arteta or Freddie Ljungberg.

Related: Manchester City owner sells 10% share for £389m to US private equity firm

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Max Taylor in Manchester United squad for Astana game after chemotherapy

Tue, 11/26/2019 - 18:07
• 19-year-old called up after testicular cancer scare
• Jesse Lingard rejects suggestion he lost his focus on football

Max Taylor, a 19-year-old defender, is in Manchester United’s squad for the Europa League game at Astana on Thursday, having undergone cancer treatment and got the all-clear only in September.

It is the first senior call-up for the Manchester-born Taylor after Ole Gunnar Solskjær stood down many senior players for the trip to Kazakhstan because United have qualified for the knockout phase before the penultimate group match. There are 14 teenagers in his 18-man squad.

Related: Wilfred Ndidi is the driving force behind Leicester's surge up the table

Related: Sergio Agüero likely to miss Manchester derby, says Pep Guardiola

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

Mon, 11/25/2019 - 08:23

Wolves defying fears of Europa League slump, Harvey Barnes shows Leicester’s potential and Unai Emery’s woes deepen

One of Unai Emery’s buzz phrases nowadays regards the need to form a “connection” with the Arsenal fans. It has crept into his lexicon to the extent there would be no surprise if he was repeating an edict handed down from up high, and it certainly would be among the reasonable criteria against which to measure his performance. The club’s hierarchy will surely have noticed the response to Alexandre Lacazette’s equaliser against Southampton amounted to little more than a collective shrug, and things simply cannot continue this way for much longer. The danger is many around the Emirates have made up their minds what they think of a manager who just cannot get a tune out of his squad. The international break should have helped a stuttering team to reset; instead it was only an excellent Southampton side who took that opportunity. Emery’s demeanour after the match, when he readily lamented that a big chance to begin bonding with the support had been thrown away, suggested he knows he may not have many more. Nick Ames

Related: Flash of inspiration shows Dele Alli can be José Mourinho’s project player | Jacob Steinberg

Related: Chelsea are back in fashion – but Roman Abramovich is out in the cold

Related: Manchester City leave Chelsea with duelling scars after high-class hoot | Paul Wilson

Related: The Dozen: the weekend’s best Premier League photos

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Chris Smalling scores and creates in Roma’s victory over Brescia

Sun, 11/24/2019 - 21:18
• On-loan Manchester United defender helps club climb Serie A
• Roma remain behind neighbours Lazio who claimed late win

Chris Smalling scored a goal and had two assists as Roma moved into the top four of Serie A with a 3-0 win over Brescia in Serie A. The on-loan Manchester United defender nodded in Lorenzo Pellegrini’s corner after 49 minutes and then set up goals for Gianluca Mancini and Edin Dzeko. Mario Balotelli was left out of Brescia’s squad following a training ground dispute with the coach, Fabio Grosso.

Roma remain two points behind their neighbours Lazio, who claimed a fifth successive win thanks to the substitute Felipe Caicedo’s stoppage-time goal giving them a 2-1 victory at lowly Sassuolo.

Related: European roundup: Barcelona edge to win, Bayern make up ground

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The Dozen: the weekend’s best Premier League photos

Sun, 11/24/2019 - 20:35

Jose’s back and late, late goals in this week’s roundup of the best top-flight pictures

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Manchester United’s second-half display shows progress, says Solskjær

Sun, 11/24/2019 - 20:28
• Manager admits his side were ‘very, very poor’ before interval
• Sheffield United’s Chris Wilder says his team’s energy levels fell

Ole Gunnar Solskjær conceded his young Manchester United team were “very, very poor” for 70 minutes at Sheffield United on Sunday but maintained their late fight back to secure a 3-3 draw highlighted his players’ progress from last season.

“It was a very, very poor performance,” said Manchester United’s manager whose side were 2-0 down at Bramall Lane until three late goals in seven minutes from Brandon Williams, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford briefly propelled them into an unlikely lead before Oli McBurnie’s last-gasp leveller for Chris Wilder’s side. “We did play badly first half, we didn’t win any challenges but we turned it round.”

Related: Manchester United’s thrilling comeback masks an abysmal display | Jonathan Wilson

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Manchester United’s thrilling comeback masks an abysmal display | Jonathan Wilson

Sun, 11/24/2019 - 20:22
Phil Jones had a nightmare and what does it say about Solskjær’s side that Scott McTominay is so sorely missed?

Half-close your eyes, squint a little, do not think too hard and you could just about persuade yourself this was nearly a classic Manchester United comeback. But just as they were preparing to hail the youthquake, three goals by players aged 22 or under including one from Mason Greenwood, the third-youngest Premier League scorer in their history, Oli McBurnie popped up to point out that this is an imperfect simulacrum.

It bears certain clear similarities to Manchester United, it has a manager who is clearly Manchester United, it plays with the tropes of Manchester United and yet somehow it is not quite Manchester United.

Related: Sheffield United’s Oli McBurnie grabs point in Manchester United thriller

Related: Sheffield United 3-3 Manchester United: Premier League – as it happened

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Sheffield United’s Oli McBurnie grabs point in Manchester United thriller

Sun, 11/24/2019 - 18:45

As Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn, Jo Swinson and Nicola Sturgeon can testify, Sheffield is a tough place to audition for a job. None of the party leaders appeared to enjoy Friday’s live BBC pre-election debate but, if they found the South Yorkshire audience tough, Ole Gunnar Solskjær endured an even more excruciating time at Bramall Lane.

Granted the denouement could have been worse and his tactical switch did ultimately turn a 2-0 deficit into a 3-3 draw but this was an afternoon which will have only strengthened Mauricio Pochettino’s candidature for potentially succeeding the Norwegian at Old Trafford.

Related: Sheffield United 3-3 Manchester United: Premier League – live!

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Sheffield United v Manchester United: Premier League – live!

Sun, 11/24/2019 - 16:37

4.37pm GMT

7 min: Fred tries and fails to find Martial, who is lurking just outside of the box. A poor pass. Sheffield United look comfortable.

4.36pm GMT

5 min: Wan-Bissaka does well to bomb forward down the right before handing over the baton to Anthony Martial. Martial tries to flick the ball into the path of Daniel James but it’s wayward and Sheffield United hoover things up. No problem.

4.34pm GMT

4 min: Jack O’Connell has a word with Mousset and the Frenchman is helped back to his feet. Mousset joins the cavalry in the box as Oliver Norwood whips in a corner. But he overcooks it and it bobbles out for a goal-kick.

4.33pm GMT

3 min: Fred gives Lundstram a shove but Andre Marriner is having none of it. The Brazilian then catches Mousset on the achilles and the Sheffield United forward is down in a heap.

4.31pm GMT

1 min: Phil Jones is playing to the left of Harry Maguire, with Manchester United matching up Sheffield United by playing with a three-man defence. An early touch for Brandon Williams, who nips in ahead of George Baldock to head the ball upfield.

4.30pm GMT

And we’re under way.

4.27pm GMT

The teams trudge out on to the pitch ...

4.18pm GMT

We are less than 15 minutes away from a belting Bramall Lane rendition of Greasy Chip Butty. Before then, more from Solskjær on trying to improve Manchester United’s away form. “When I came in we went on a fantastic run away from home but now for one reason or another we haven’t got the results but with the form we got going into the international break, we’re hopeful we can change that.” Harry Maguire adds: “Liverpool came here and found it difficult. We have a lot of ability and we need to perform like we did against Brighton and the result will look after itself.”

4.12pm GMT

Some pre-match reading on Wilder:

Related: Sheffield United’s Chris Wilder: the old school manager with new ideas | Louise Taylor

Related: From Alfreton Town to the Premier League: the rise and rise of Chris Wilder | Ben Fisher

4.08pm GMT

Chris Wilder talks. “Every game is an occasion in the Premier League,” he says. “It’s still Man Utd, regardless of anything else, with top players and top manager and we’re going to have to be at our best to get anything. Phil Jones is an England international and they still have the top three players at the top of the pitch that have to be wrapped up but we are still confident that we can cause them some problems going the other way.”

3.52pm GMT

Ole Gunnar Solskjær speaks. “Phil [Jones] has been training well,” he begins. “He’s got experience of playing both central midfield and at the back. When you show the attitude he’s shown in training, it’s time for him to get a chance. Marcos [Rojo] is injured, Axel [Tuanzebe] isn’t really ready to come in so it was an easy option. Brandon [Williams] has played really well in every game he’s played. I didn’t find any reason to leave him out. It’s a testing stadium for him to play at so it’s a good opportunity to show his mentality because his temperament is one of his strengths.”

3.50pm GMT

Let’s party like it’s 2015, when Phil Jones and Phil Jagielka lined up together for England in Italy. Roy Hodgson was in charge and Andros Townsend scored in a 1-1 draw in a friendly in Turin. Jagielka partnered Chris Smalling, ostracised by Gareth Southgate, in defence while Jones floundered in a midfield role and neither have played an awful lot of minutes since. On the bench that day was Rob Green, Ryan Mason and Michael Carrick, these days one of Solskjær’s sidekicks at Manchester United.

3.42pm GMT

On the VIP list at Bramall Lane? Fergie, and Kyle Walker:

3.39pm GMT

Team news news: Phil Jones starts, presumably as part of a back three, while the 19-year-old Brandon Williams gets the nod ahead of Ashley Young. Manchester United’s midfield looks rather lightweight, with Andreas Pereira teaming up with Fred. Jones replaces the injured Scott McTominay and Axel Tuanzebe is back on the bench. As for the hosts, Phil Jagielka makes his first league start since rejoining the club, his first league start in a Sheffield United shirt since May 2007. Meanwhile Simon Moore is in for Dean Henderson, who is ineligible to face his parent club.

3.33pm GMT

Sheffield United (3-5-2): Moore; Basham, Jagielka, O’Connell; Baldock, Fleck, Norwood, Lundstram, Stevens; Mousset, McGoldrick

Subs: Verrips, Osborn, Besic, Freeman, McBurnie, Sharp, Robinson

3.23pm GMT

Welcome to the Harry Maguire Show . The England defender, who came through the youth ranks at Sheffield United, will lineup against his former club but beyond Slabhead there are all manner of potent threats for Chris Wilder and co to be aware of, and the straight-talking Wilder knows as much. “It’s Manchester United and one of our former players will be playing for them,” he said. “But I don’t want it to be ‘the Harry Maguire Show’. I want it to be the Sheffield United Show. I want us to show how good we are.” The Blades are in pretty good nick, too, having not tasted defeat since September. They will be without goalkeeper Dean Henderson, who is ineligible to face his parent club so Simon Moore will make his first league start for 18 months, a 3-2 win at Bristol City in the Championship. That day Enda Stevens, Jack O’Connell, Chris Basham, George Baldock, John Lundstram and Billy Sharp all featured. Nothing new there, then. As for United, five wins from their past six matches have stirred a gentle excitement and another positive result would do Ole Gunnar Solskjær the power of good now that Mauricio Pochettino is handing out his CV, hunting high and low for a new employer.

Kick-off: 4.30pm (GMT)

Related: ‘Confident’ Rashford has Ole Gunnar Solskjær aiming for top four again

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‘Confident’ Rashford has Ole Gunnar Solskjær aiming for top four again

Sat, 11/23/2019 - 22:30

Manchester United manager has detected an uptick in fortunes this month with his strikers all fit and willing to ‘have a go’

It says something about the state of the Premier League at the moment that Sheffield United, a promoted club, will be the closest challengers to a potentially breakaway top four should they win Sunday afternoon’s home game against Manchester United.

It is Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s job to prevent that happening, as well as to discourage speculation that the best four teams in the country have already been identified and the rest of the season will merely be about the order in which they finish. Victory at Bramall Lane would at least take Solskjær’s side closer to the Champions League positions, and the manager admits his team need to do better against this calibre of opponent.

Related: Aubameyang and VAR earn Arsenal draw to leave Manchester United in mire

Related: Manchester City leave Chelsea with duelling scars after high-class hoot | Paul Wilson

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Sheffield United v Manchester United: match preview

Sat, 11/23/2019 - 09:00

Chris Wilder does not want Manchester United’s visit to turn into the “Harry Maguire Show” as the club’s one-time centre-back returns to his first club. From Bramall Lane’s academy Maguire progressed to Hull, Leicester and England, ultimately becoming the world’s most expensive defender when he arrived at Old Trafford in the summer. Sheffield United’s manager said: “I usually say it’s just the next game but perhaps this one does have a little more to it. It’s Manchester United and one of our former players will be playing for them. But I don’t want it to be ‘the Harry Maguire Show’. I want it to be the Sheffield United Show. I want us to show how good we are.” Dean Henderson, the home goalkeeper on loan from Manchester United cannot play so Simon Moore will get a rare outing. “It’s a great opportunity for Simon,” said Wilder. “I’m sure he won’t let us down.” Louise Taylor

Sunday 4.30pm Sky Sports Premier League

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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

Paulinho

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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