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.

Aaron Ramsey ticks all the boxes for Arsenal's campaign this season

thenational.ae — There was something rather touching about Aaron Ramsey's reaction to scoring the winner for Arsenal against Burnley last week as he spoke of his "joy" at the goal and at having reached 150 Premier League appearances.

Physical Manchester United leave Manchester City black and blue

thenational.ae — For Manchester City, the sense of stagnation gets worse and worse. The champions have won just four of their past 15 games and it seems barely credible that they were level with Chelsea at the top of the table on New Year's Day.

Sunderland need to look beyond derby dreams

thenational.ae — Derbies can be strange things, games out of time that can often define seasons, particularly at those clubs for whom winning trophies feels an impossible dream.

Marcelo Bielsa's battle cry for Marseille

thenational.ae — Marseille coach Marcelo Bielsa is often considered a bit otherworldly. He locks himself away with his videos, works out his schemes and struggles to relate to his players - or at least that is the popular image. He has said that if players were not human, he would never lose.

Jermain Defoe and Sunderland defy crtics to beat Newcastle and lift off relegation zone

thenational.ae — Five. In the short term, Sunderland fans will revel in a fifth straight victory over their north-eastern rivals - they had not even won four in a row before this run began.

Liverpool’s defeat to Arsenal leaves Raheem Sterling’s future in doubt

thenational.ae — LONDON // The end, when it came, was sudden. Liverpool's league season, reinvigorated by a superb run since December, fizzled out in a seven-minute spell before half time in which Arsenal scored three times. But that was not the only consequence of Liverpool's defeat at the Emirates - and neither was the maintenance of Arsenal's slim hopes of winning the title.

Arsenal host Liverpool knowing early season slip-ups have proved costly to a genuine title challenge

thenational.ae — What if? All clubs wonder what might have been if only a chance hadn't been missed, a penalty hadn't been given or an opponent hadn't suddenly belted the ball in from 30 yards. To that extent, what-ifs are pointless. Margins in football are fine. Luck happens. Players do things they would not normally do.

Dunga has rebuilt Brazil slow and steady after the World Cup setback to Germany

thenational.ae — Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Dunga's Brazil is how similar they are, in terms of personnel, at least, to Luiz Felipe Scolari's Brazil. The 7-1 defeat to Germany in the World Cup semi-final was a result whose consequences will linger on as a distant trauma.

For Louis van Gaal's Manchester United, good things may be on the horizion

thenational.ae — Louis van Gaal's first season at Bayern Munich began with a string of poor performances that left his future in doubt as they won just five of their first 13 league games. Then, quite abruptly, at the end of November, they beat Hannover 3-0 at the beginning of a run of nine straight Bundesliga wins.

For Louis van Gaal's Manchester United, good things may be on the horizion

thenational.ae — Louis van Gaal's first season at Bayern Munich began with a string of poor performances that left his future in doubt as they won just five of their first 13 league games. Then, quite abruptly, at the end of November, they beat Hannover 3-0 at the beginning of a run of nine straight Bundesliga wins.
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Apr 18, 2015

@MiguelDelaney @CeiminB @kenearlys Waves around a bit of 'the true cross' and everybody assumes somebody else has asked him in.

Apr 18, 2015

@MiguelDelaney @CeiminB @kenearlys There's a bonkers priest bluffs his way in to the hospital room where he's pronounced dead.

Apr 18, 2015

@MiguelDelaney @CeiminB @kenearlys Hang on, WIlliam Manchesteer? Didn't he do the authorised account of the Kennedy assassination?

Apr 18, 2015

@CeiminB @kenearlys @MiguelDelaney According to Wiki, Pied Piper cd be a a metaphor for plague, a Children's Crusade or forced emigration

Apr 18, 2015

@MiguelDelaney @alandunne13 @JohnBrewinESPN That and the word 'Poursuivant', if we're showing of like @kenearlys and citing Ulysses.

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