| Oct 10, 2013

World Cup place on line for mediocre England

England’s national football team is like the English weather. Rarely very good, seldom that bad . . . a sort of middle line, occasionally hitting a high like beating Brazil (albeit in a friendly at Wembley) but generally a safe bet with few extremes. ...

| Oct 4, 2013

Hart a major concern for England

He is out of form to the extent of becoming a liability, his mistakes are too frequent and costly, while his goal probably seems like the Grand Canyon, but Joe Hart will play for England in the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and ...

| Sep 27, 2013

Di Canio hiring doomed from start

Ellis Short is a billionaire, rich beyond the dreams of most. The American owner of Sunderland achieved this by being one step ahead of his business rivals, making shrewd and correct decisions while appointing the best senior management. So why on earth did Short ...

| Sep 20, 2013

Goals bring Rooney United pardon

Rarely can a player who had bad-mouthed his club and let it be known via “sources” he wanted to leave have been given such a standing ovation as Wayne Rooney when he was substituted in the 84th minute of Manchester United’s 4-2 win over ...

| Sep 13, 2013

England sweating on World Cup slot

England is top of its group with two home matches to play as qualification for Brazil 2014 approaches what Sir Alex Ferguson would call “squeaky bum time.” They are the third-highest scorers in the European qualifying section and only two countries have conceded fewer. ...

| Sep 5, 2013

Uneasy feelings persist about England

If England beats Moldova at home Friday night and then defeats Ukraine (a) and Montenegro (h), it will top Group H and qualify automatically for the World Cup finals next year. Its fate is in its own hands. The bad news is — so ...

| Aug 30, 2013

Taylor's gambling no laughing matter

If Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, did the equivalent job in the National Football League he would not have been allowed to run up alleged gambling debts of £100,000 to a bookmaker. Taylor, whose £1,082,615 a year salary makes ...

| Aug 23, 2013

Mourinho picks up where he left off

He had changed, he assured us. The self-styled “Special One” was now the Mild One and there was a collective nodding as the gullible ones bought into Jose Mourinho’s promise that he was Mr. Nice Guy. The Portuguese has a style and charisma that ...

| Aug 16, 2013

Chelsea, Man City start as favorites

We know the short list from which the Premier League champion will come. It’s been the same for the last four years and shows little sign of changing. Money talks and those talking loudest are Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United with Arsenal and ...

| Aug 9, 2013

Suarez not worth trouble for Arsenal

It is difficult to decide which to dislike most about Luis Suarez. The way he racially abused Patrice Evra; how he subsequently refused to shake Evra’s hand; the way he clamped his teeth into two opponents — Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic the latest victim; his ...