Football writer, author of Behind the Curtain, Inverting the Pyramid, Anatomy of England, Nobody Ever Says Thank You and The Outsider; editor of The Blizzard.

Jose Mourinho’s stock has diminished greatly — There were two ways of looking at the news that Jose Mourinho had cancelled a news conference on Friday. The ostensible reason - anger that Diego Costa's apparent stamp on Emre Can had been highlighted on television - is patent nonsense, but the actual reason could be one of two things.

Congo, Tunisia, Ghana and Ivory Coast should move on — With the African Cup of Nations reaching the quarter-final stage, our man in Equatorial Guinea, Jonathan Wilson, gives his verdict on who will make the last four. Congo v DR Congo, 8pm, Saturday The two Congos have never met before in the Nations Cup finals, although they did play in qualifying in July 2013, both games finishing in narrow wins for the home team.

Issue Eight of The Blizzard — To get a flavour for what we're about, you can view a sample edition, which includes the editors note, and selected excerpts from some of the issue's highlights from here, absolutely free of charge. The full contents of Issue Eight are below.

Bradford offer Chelsea chance to correct chinks in armour that Liverpool and Spurs exposed — It did not take long for talk of Chelsea's collapse to disappear. Less than three weeks after their 5-3 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur, a result that left them level at the top with Manchester City, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was proudly declaring this a squad that is capable of winning four trophies this season.

With inputs from Mourinho, Middlesbrough coach hopes to upset Manchester City — When Aitor Karanka was appointed manager of Middlesbrough in November 2013, it seemed a strange choice. It was difficult to see what a former Uefa Champions League winner with Real Madrid had in common with a club in one of England's traditional industrial heartlands.

Manchester City can thrive in Premier League despite Yaya Toure's absence during African Cup of Nations — Given the amount of criticism directed at Yaya Toure this season, it comes as something of a surprise to realise that Manchester City have not won a Premier League game without him since they beat West Bromwich Albion 3-1 in April.

Choking Stoke City allowed Alexis Sanchez’s Arsenal to drive home the advantage — LONDON // Three goals, a sense of style, another energetic and effective performance and two goals from Alexis Sanchez: this was Arsenal doing what Arsenal do.

Jose Mourinho’s impending charges will not effect Chelsea’s chances against Newcastle — These have been strange times for Jose Mourinho. He seems to have realised he went too far with recent protestations about supposed conspiracies against his side that he claimed were influencing referees and has started backtracking, apologising to officials. The question, as always with Mourinho, is why.

Tottenham must follow Chelsea display at Crystal Palace to prove top four credentials — Tottenham were superb in beating Chelsea on New Year's Day, producing a performance of vibrancy, organisation and heart to blast open the races for the title and the top four. The question is what happens next. Too often, Tottenham have produced one stellar performance or result but failed to follow up with another.

Why Man United's chase of Mats Hummels could be perfect fit to sort Van Gaal's distribution nightmare — If there's been one theme that Louis van Gaal has consistently criticised his team for this season, it's been their distribution. When Paddy McNair was taken off before half-time in the win at Southampton, it was because, when pressed by Ronald Koeman's side, he lost his nerve and repeatedly gave the ball away.
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Jan 30, 2015

RT @unibet: Who will come out on between #CFC & #MCFC? @jonawils gives us his tactical preview. Read here: http://t.…

Jan 29, 2015

@RusselloMFC Two balls, one marked 2 and one marked 3 - a delegate from each side puts hand in and takes one.

Jan 29, 2015

A Malian delegate in a grey suit has walked out crying. "It's the cruellest way to lose," said another. "They have to find another way."

Jan 29, 2015

Guinea Minister of Youth: "We're lucky to go through. Nobody expected us to be here, but we believe we can go all the way."

Jan 29, 2015

Diabo's now dancing with a man in an orange shirt. He's now speaking on two phones simultaneously. He's milking this and why not?

Jan 29, 2015

Diabo looks a little overcome. His brow is beaded in sweat and he keeps on putting his hand to his head. He's wearing a white Hackett top.

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