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5 Towns Ladies »
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A.F.C. Sneyd »
Adult Male
Ac Bird In Hand (Leek) »
Cheddleton, Leek, Staffordshire
Adult Male
Adderley Green »
Alexandra Road, May Bank, Newcastle-Under-Lyme
Adult Male
Afc Westway »
Barnes Road, Stafford, Staffordshire
Adult Male
Ball Haye Green »
Ball Haye Green, Leek, Staffordshire
Adult Male
Bench & Bar »
Grove Road, Mount Pleasant, Fenton
Adult Male
Biddulph Victoria »
Tunstall Road, Biddulph, Stoke-On-Trent
Adult Male
Birches Head »
Corneville Road, Bucknall, Stoke-On-Trent
Adult Male
Birches Head Hotel »
Adult Male
Bradwell Britannia »
Chell Heath Road, Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire
Adult Male
Brocton »
Silkmore Lane, Stafford, Staffordshire
Adult Male
Draycott Potters »
Adult Male
Dresden Park Inn »
Adult Male
Dresden Park Rangers »
Victoria Road, Fenton, Staffordshire
Adult Male
Duke Of York (Barlaston) »
Adult Male
Dyers Arms »
Cheddleton, Leek, Staffordshire
Adult Male
Eccleshall A.F.C. »
Chester Road, Pershall, Eccleshall
Adult Male
Florence »
Lightwood Road, Longton, Stoke-On-Trent
Adult Male
Fox And Duck Veterans »
Stoke-On-Trent, , Staffordshire
Adult Male
Gardeners Arms »
Adult Male
Gardeners Rest »
Adult Male
Goldenhill Wanderers »
Adult Male
Green Star »
Adult Male
Hanley Town »
Adult Male
Hollybush Bentilee 2008 »
Finney Green, Off Werrington Road, Stoke-On-Trent
Adult Male
Horseshoe Inn »
Adult Male
Joiners Flights »
West Way, Newport Road, Stafford
Adult Male
Knave Of Clubs »
Chell Heath Road, Chell Heath, Stoke-On-Trent
Adult Male
Leek C.S.O.B. »
Macclesfield Road, Leek, Staffordshire
Adult Male
Longton Ashwood »
Wood Street, Longton, Stoke-On-Trent
Adult Male
Marchington »
Adult Male
Meir K.A. »
Hilderstone Road, Meir Heath, Meir Heath
Adult Male
New Finney Gardens »
Corneville Road, Bucknall, Stoke-On-Trent
Adult Male
New Inn (Burslem) »
Adult Male
Newcastle College »
Kuntton Lane, Newcastle, Staffordshire
Adult Male
Northwood Inn »
Adult Male
Northwood Merx »
Stoke-On-Trent, , Staffordshire
Adult Male
Norton United »
Adult Male
Polonia Stoke »
Adult Male
Port Vale D.F.C. »
Vale Park, Hamil Road, Burslem
Adult Male
Porthill Potters »
Knutton, Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Staffordshire
Adult Male
Post Office Vaults »
Adult Male
Queens Head Kidsgrove »
Adult Male
Red Lion »
Westbridge Park, Stone, Staffordshire
Adult Male
Silverdale Athletic »
London Road, Chesterton, Newcastle
Adult Male
Social Services (Beehive) »
Adult Male
Stafford College »
Adult Male
Stafford Rangers Fc »
Marston Road, Stafford, Staffordshire
Adult Male
Staffordshire Police »
Chester Road, Pershall, Eccleshall
Adult Male
Staffordshire University Men's (Stoke) »
Adult Male
Stoke City Ability Counts »
Adult Male
Tb Elkes Social »
Sunnyside Road, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire
Adult Male
The Beverley »
Finney Green, Off Werrington Road, Stoke-On-Trent
Adult Male
The Smithfield (Hanley) »
Victoria Road, Fenton, Staffordshire
Adult Male
The Valiant »
Adult Male
Trent Tavern Bucknall »
Trent Mill Road, Stoke, Staffordshire
Adult Male
Uttoxeter Town »
Springfield Road, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire
Adult Male
Vodafone Stoke »
Adult Male
White Lion (Penkhull) »
Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Staffordshire
Adult Male
Wolstanton United/Cavalier »
Adult Male

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Football News

» Two friends win nearly £400k from £12.50 football bets as Betfair cleaned out
Two pals have made a fortunate after predicting some incredible details from the midweek Carabao Cup ties between Wolves and Tottenham, and Chelsea and Aston Villa
» Tim Sherwood slams Arsenal and Tottenham's transfer business ahead of North London Derby
The former Spurs midfielder says Arsenal's recruitment is blocking opportunities for their academy talents, while he accused Tottenham of having a "scattergun approach"
» Takumi Minamino had "difficult" Liverpool start as Jurgen Klopp gives verdict on loan
Takumi Minamino scored two of Liverpool's three at Norwich in midweek and has received high praise from Jurgen Klopp, who sent the Japan star out on loan last term to further his development in England
» Sergio Busquets' lack of sportsmanship saves Barcelona from another defeat
Barcelona were held to a scoreless draw against Cadiz in La Liga on Thursday night but captain Sergio Busquets made a cynical move to ensure the result was not even worse
» Arsenal told to target Tottenham's "weak links" in north London derby
Ahead of the north London derby this Sunday Arsenal have been told to target Tottenham's "weak links" to recreate Crystal Palace win if they hope to take all three points
» Who is Hulk? Brazilian footballer in a relationship and expecting baby with ‘niece’
The Brazilian football star Hulk is expecting his fourth child, his first with his current partner who is the niece of his ex-wife
» Man Utd transfer chiefs' worrying report on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's top target Declan Rice
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has identified West Ham United's Declan Rice as a top target for next season, but Old Trafford chiefs reportedly have their doubts
» Diogo Dalot lifts the lid on Cristiano Ronaldo's Man Utd dressing room influence
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United have enjoyed a fantastic start to the new Premier League campaign, and a certain Cristiano Ronaldo is largely responsible for that
» Michael Owen predicts Arsenal vs Tottenham, Chelsea vs Man City and Man Utd results
Former Liverpool and Manchester United striker Michael Owen previewed his former sides' Premier League clashes as well as Arsenal versus Tottenham and Chelsea versus Manchester City
» Excel sign Tom Leese from Hashtag United for a transfer fee in FIFA Esports first
BREAKING: British esports organisation Excel Esports have completed the signing of professional FIFA player Tom Leese from Hashtag United, with Hashtag receiving a transfer fee for the player in what is a FIFA Esports first.
» Naby Kieta suffers another Liverpool setback to leave Jurgen Klopp light in midfield
Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that Naby Keita will miss Liverpool's trip to Brentford on Saturday, compounding their selection woes after Thiago Alcantara and Harvey Elliott's recent injuries
» Tierney, Xhaka, Partey: Arsenal injury latest and expected return dates
After securing three consecutive wins, including a Carabao Cup victory in midweek, Arsenal are looking to make it four in a row in the north London derby clash with Tottenham
» Jose Mourinho still up to his old tricks with thinly-veiled referee dig on social media
Roma boss Jose Mourinho was unhappy with the red card shown to captain Lorenzo Pellegrini in their Serie A clash against Udinese which could prove costly for his side
» Mark Clattenburg and Martin Atkinson threw punches during five-a-side brawl
Premier League referee Martin Atkinson responded violently after Mark Clattenburg left one in on him during a game of five-a-side while they were still colleagues
» Man Utd ramp up security with new spiked steel gate at training ground to deter protestors
Man Utd have added a spiked steel gate as they look to bolster the security at their Carrington training ground after fans broke in and protested back in April
» David de Gea agrees with Lee Grant about Cristiano Ronaldo's influence at Man Utd
Cristiano Ronaldo's immediate impact at Manchester United is undeniable after scoring four goals in his opening three matches, but he is also causing a stir off the pitch
» Mendy, Pulisic, Werner - Chelsea injury latest and expected return dates
Thomas Tuchel could be without three of his Chelsea stars on Saturday when the Blues take on Manchester City in what may prove to be be an early Premier League title six-pointer
» Mark Clattenburg claims former colleague 'not trusted' to referee Man Utd vs Liverpool
Mark Clattenburg was one of the most-respected referees in the Premier League during his career as a match official - and he admits not everyone could take charge of the biggest fixtures
» Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford, Amad - Man Utd injury latest and expected return dates
Manchester United still have men in the treatment room such as Rashford, Cavani and Amad - here is the latest from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ahead of the Red Devils' match against Aston Villa
» Alexander-Arnold, Thiago, Firmino - Liverpool injury latest and expected return dates
Jurgen Klopp is again having to battle a host of injuries as first team stars Trent Alexander-Arnold, Thiago and Roberto Firmino all battle for fitness ahead of Liverpool's trip to Brentford
» Barcelona "in freefall" - Spanish press react as Gerard Pique blasts Ronald Koeman
Barcelona's difficult start to their La Liga campaign without Lionel Messi continued on Thursday as Ronald Koeman's side were held to an underwhelming draw at Cadiz
» Where Cristiano Ronaldo ranks in Man Utd and Premier League top scorers lists
Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the most prolific attackers of all time and looks poised to climb higher up the list of Manchester United's and the Premier League's all time goalscorers
» "Weirdos, squares, snakes": Mark Clattenburg lets rip at rival Premier League referees
Mark Clattenburg came to blows with bitter rival Martin Atkinson during a game of five-a-side and also butted heads with former Premier League colleagues Howard Webb and Mike Riley
» Premier League clubs report impressive attendance figures despite ongoing Covid crisis
EXCLUSIVE: The average attendance across Premier League games so far this season has been 39,171 - just shy of the same period in the 2019/20 season

Other sport news:

» Thomas Tuchel at Mainz: ‘You need A-levels for some of these exercises!’

A new book about the Chelsea manager details the work that went into the training sessions at his first top-flight club

Over the course of 10 years in youth football, Thomas Tuchel had made progress. First, as assistant manager, he learned from Hansi Kleitsch at Stuttgart, who was considered a luminary in German junior football. Then he gained experience as head coach of teams in various age groups.

As was both tradition and doctrine at German academies at the time, Tuchel used repetition to drill in his exercises: the same pass practised 100 times, the same 100 passing sequences repeated during a training routine.

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» Premier League team news, Chelsea v Manchester City buildup and more – live!

Leeds United v West Ham: West Ham travel to Elland Road tomorrow and David M oyes has been looking ahead to the encounter. “I’m a big admirer of Marcelo Bielsa because of his record and the way his teams play,” he said. They’re a great football club, Leeds, fantastically supported, so it’s a really tough game. The energy they put in and how they go about winning, it’ll certainly be a test for us.”

While Leeds will be missing several key players through injury, West Ham have a fairly full squad to choose from. Ryan Fredericks limped off following his assist during their midweek Carabao Cup win over Manchester United and has been ruled out, but Michail Antonio is expected to return.

Brentford v Liverpool: Brentford welcome Liverpool to their small corner of west London tomorrow evening and the invariably entertaining Thomas Frank has been chatting to the ladies and gentlemen of the Fourth Estate ahead of the fixture.

He took time to sing the praises of his Danish midfielder Christian Norgaard. “I think Christian is a late bloomer,” he said. “And I’m very, very pleased that he’s playing for Brentford. Because I think if you took him out and put him into Liverpool, and changed the two players, Fabinho and him, I don’t think you’d see much difference.”

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» Brighton’s Danielle Carter: ‘Those injuries are a massive part of my life’

The forward discusses her two life-changing ACL ruptures, how hard it was to leave Arsenal and why Brighton have no excuses

Danielle Carter is reflecting on the double ACL hell that ended her 11 years at Arsenal. “I would say it was life-changing,” the Brighton forward says. “Life-changing in the sense of it almost halted my career progression but also life-changing in the sense of it made me dig deep within to develop mental strength.”

Carter ruptured an ACL in the final game of the 2017-18 season and returned 10 months later only to rupture her ACL in the same knee in a friendly with Bayern Munich in July 2019.

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

A finely poised North London derby, a meeting of midfield maestros and Mike Dean refereeing Cristiano Ronaldo

Thomas Tuchel has masterminded three wins out of three against Pep Guardiola since his arrival in England. Another at Stamford Bridge on Saturday will give Chelsea a six-point cushion over the reigning champions after as many Premier League games. Guardiola was roundly criticised following City’s Champions League final defeat for not picking a holding midfielder, despite having lost the FA Cup semi-final between the two sides with both Rodri and Fernandinho in his starting lineup, then a subsequent Premier League match with just the Spaniard shielding his defence. In a fixture where it seems Guardiola can’t seem to do right for doing wrong in terms of team selection, we can only ponder if and how he might “overthink” his tactics for this crunch game. BG

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» Ban on football fans drinking alcohol while watching in stadiums could be lifted
  • Tracey Crouch supports move as part of fan-led review
  • She wants pilot scheme in League Two and National League

Football’s long-standing ban on fans drinking alcohol while watching matches could be lifted if the recommendations of the former sports minister Tracey Crouch’s fan-led review are accepted.

The ban has been in place since 1985 when the game was plagued by hooliganism, but Crouch’s independent review will call for pilot schemes to allow drinking at clubs in the National League’s top division and League Two with a view to ending the restrictions across all divisions.

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» Derby’s Wayne Rooney hits out at ‘disrespectful’ owner Mel Morris
  • Rooney: Morris wasn’t honest after club entered administration
  • Pair have not spoken in more than six weeks

Wayne Rooney has laid bare the chaos at crisis-hit Derby County by revealing he has not spoken with Mel Morris for more than six weeks and said the owner’s address in the wake of entering administration was insincere.

Morris met playing and coaching staff on Tuesday, 24 hours before the insolvency specialists Quantuma were placed in control of the Championship club. The administrators have conceded there will be several redundancies but said they are confident Derby would not be liquidated and that a buyer would be found, with six parties expressing their interest.

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» Government could ban foreign betting firms from sponsoring UK football shirts
  • Ministers want to close ‘loophole’ as part of gambling law reform
  • DMCS also weighing up banning UK-based firms from club shirts

The “loophole” that allows foreign betting firms to advertise on English and Scottish football teams’ shirts and pitchside hoardings is likely to be scrapped as part of government plans to reduce gambling’s hold on the game.

Ministers finalising a planned reform of gambling laws are expected to unveil their proposals within weeks, with an outright ban on betting company logos appearing on football shirts thought to be a strong possibility.

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» European roundup: Barcelona held by Cádiz, Abraham scores in Roma win
  • Frenkie de Jong and Koeman sent off as Barça fail to win again
  • Abraham seals 1-0 win at Udinese, Napoli extend perfect start

Barcelona’s ongoing crisis worsened as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Cádiz in La Liga, extending their winless streak to three matches and adding pressure on their coach, Ronald Koeman.

Barcelona had to hold on after the midfielder Frenkie de Jong was sent off for picking up a second yellow card in the 65th minute. Koeman also was sent off for complaining to the referee in the final minutes.

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» Pep Guardiola’s tinkering keeps Manchester City A-listers on their toes | Jamie Jackson

Sterling, Silva and Stones are among recent victims of a policy that has backfired against Chelsea before and may do again

Rodri, João Cancelo, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva: the Manchester City A-list acts recently dropped by Pep Guardiola for culpabilities (apparently) unknown.

This is the savant manager’s intriguing idiosyncrasy: an enigmatic bent for removing star turns from the XI that can cause bafflement and that yields mixed results. Now, as City play Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool (all away) in a pivotal eight-day sequence that starts at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, Rodri, Cancelo, Laporte and Silva are back in favour (for the moment), while Stones and Sterling remain exiled.

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» Chelsea: a defensive team, or simply a team that is excellent at defending?

A curious debate is swirling around the success of Thomas Tuchel’s remarkably miserly but often thrilling side

A couple of weeks ago the Netherlands coach, Louis van Gaal, got into an argument with a scornful Dutch journalist about Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea. “The one that applauds defensive football is you,” the journalist said. “You want to play the same way as Chelsea and Liverpool.” At this provocation, Van Gaal shifted himself a fraction of an inch higher in his seat, like a praying mantis preparing to snap the head off a snake.

“Is that defensive football in your opinion?”

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» Allegri’s anger fades as Chiesa leads Juventus through Spezia six-pointer

The Juventus manager had called the game against Spezia a ‘relegation showdown’ and they had to fight hard to win it

Even as he presided over Juventus’s worst start to a season for 60 years, Massimiliano Allegri still felt able to joke around. “If we look at the league table,” he quipped at a press conference before the Bianconeri faced Spezia on Wednesday night, “This is a relegation showdown.”

He was joking, right? It was hard to tell, when neither he nor anybody else in the room laughed. Poor results are rarely met in good humour at a club that lives by the manta of its former president, Giampiero Boniperti: “winning isn’t important, it’s the only thing that counts”. Only three times before in Juventus’ history had they started a Serie A season as poorly as this – without a victory in four games.

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» Brentford v Liverpool: match preview

Liverpool travel to Brentford in the knowledge that, as their commanding League Cup win at Norwich showed, their strength in depth looks formidable this season. Jürgen Klopp has the luxury of making some tough decisions, such as whether Andy Robertson comes back in for the increasingly impressive Kostas Tsimikas. Brentford’s second string did not do badly themselves in thumping Oldham 7-0. Nick Ames

Saturday 5.30pm Sky Sports Premier League

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» Leigh Griffiths charged by police for kicking smoke bomb into stands
  • Dundee striker sent pyrotechnic into crowd in cup game
  • ‘My intention was just to remove it from the pitch’

Leigh Griffiths has been charged by police over an incident during Dundee’s Premier Sports Cup defeat by St Johnstone. The Dundee striker kicked a smoke bomb back into the stand housing the away supporters after it had been thrown on to the Dens Park pitch.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Police Scotland can confirm that a 31-year-old man has been charged in relation to culpable and reckless conduct, following an incident at Dens Park, Dundee, on Wednesday 22 September. A report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.”

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» Romelu Lukaku calls for summit with social media giants to tackle racism
  • Chelsea striker wants stronger action from platforms
  • Belgian understands why some might stop taking the knee

The Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku feels football should adopt “stronger positions” than just taking the knee, calling for a players’ summit with social media companies, governments and stakeholders to help combat online racism.

Earlier this week the Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso explained his decision to stop taking the knee before matches, instead continuing to stand and point to the “No To Racism” badge on his shirt, as he feels taking the knee has lost some of its impact.

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» Jorge Sampaoli is building something special at Marseille

After years of underachievement in Ligue 1, it looks like Marseille have finally found the right formula

By Adam White for Get French Football News

“Nietzsche thought while walking too,” said Marseille coach Jorge Sampaoli to explain why he constantly paces up and down the touchline. “I analyse things better while on the move.” Following Sampaoli’s arrival in March, Marseille lacked the ferocity and intensity of their coach. Now, however, they are playing with intensity and dynamism, embodying their manager’s snarling, prowling touchline presence. Club and coach are a perfect match and, after years of underachieving, Marseille may have finally found the right formula.

Known as a Marcelo Biesla “disciple”, even if he quietly rejects the comparison, Sampaoli has based his success this season on a gung-ho outlook. It is working, with four wins and two draws from Marseille’s first six games. Their asymmetrical setup falls somewhere between Bielsa’s preferred 3-3-1-3 and Hungary’s 2-3-3-2 formation from the 1950s, with Dimitri Payet playing Nándor Hidegktui’s withdrawn striker role, albeit with a holding midfielder dropping in at right-back when needed. This seemingly unwieldy team has worked perfectly so far this season. All three centre-backs are technical ball-players and the midfield is a fluid diamond full of creativity, while wing-backs maraud down the flanks.

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» Uefa doubles Women’s Euro 2022 prize money but still a fraction of men’s
  • The 16 qualifying teams will share a pot of €16m next year
  • The 2021 men’s Euros saw a total prize pot of €371m

The prize fund for the 2022 Women’s European Championship finals in England has been doubled, Uefa announced on Thursday, but the new figure is still only 4.3% of the money that is made available to teams competing in the men’s tournament.

The European governing body has increased money available to the 16 qualifying teams for the women’s Euros to €16m (£13.7m) from €8m and approved the introduction of a system under which club sides will be remunerated for the release of players with payouts from a €4.5m fund.

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» James Rodríguez and Everton was always a beautiful doomed marriage | Jonathan Liew

The playmaker has gone to Qatar after becoming an expensive spare part at a club both right and wrong to sign him

James Rodríguez has gone to Qatar in search of work, although unlike many others who have made the trip before him he can at least keep his passport and will be allowed to leave whenever he wants. The bewitching Colombian playmaker has signed a contract with Al-Rayyan, bringing down the curtain on his Everton career, and – you suspect – much else besides.

The first thing to be said is that this is probably for the best all round. Ever since the sudden departure of Carlo Ancelotti to Real Madrid Rodríguez had felt like an expensive spare part in a team increasingly based on hard running and well-organised defence. The new manager, Rafael Benítez, had no use for him. Rodríguez is not only 30 and at about £220,000 a week the highest-paid player in the club’s history, but highly injury-prone and last season ran the least of all Everton’s attacking players. There is a sense of inevitability here.

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» Lewes’ Kelly Lindsey: ‘In Afghanistan I had to build trust with the players’

Club’s head of performance talks about coaching the Afghan women’s national team and being ‘100% herself’ in her new role

“We’re eager to do something that the world doesn’t believe is possible, to take this little club and become champions on the world stage and make sure we do it with all the right values,” says Lewes’s new head of performance and former head coach of the Afghanistan women’s team, Kelly Lindsey.

Few people could talk of such lofty ambitions for the south coast team, whose men play in the Isthmian League Premier Division and women in the Women’s Championship, and be taken seriously. Lindsey, though, comes with strong credentials on and off the pitch and feels like the missing piece in the developing project at Lewes, bringing elite performance know-how to the community-owned club that funds its women’s and men’s teams equally.

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» Rebels without a cause: has title win taken away Atlético Madrid’s hunger?

Their old gunslinger Suárez got the champions out of jail again but something is missing in Simeone’s team

Diego Simeone had pretty much seen it all but he had never seen this and he didn’t much like it either. It was 8.15 on a Tuesday night down by the side of the M45 motorway, the last move before half-time in the sixth game of Atlético Madrid’s title defence, and he stood and watched as Stefan Mitrovic’s header thudded off a post, off Jan Oblak’s hand and into the net. They were behind again – and to Getafe of all teams, the league champions losing at the worst side in the division. This wasn’t the way it was supposed to be. This was bad: it was also, Simeone later admitted, what they needed. It was a shock, that’s for sure.

The last time Getafe’s fans had been here, they had whistled their players off. Now, as they headed for the tunnel 1-0 up at half-time supporters stood and applauded. Back then, the touchline reporter on Spanish TV noted how they chanted the name of their under-pressure manager. Which was true, it’s just that the word Míchel was followed by two others: go and now. That night, last Monday against Elche, Getafe had produced 25 minutes as bad as anyone could remember, emotionally shot, legs wobbling, the manager lamenting a “mental block”. Then they had gone to Rayo Vallecano and let in three. “A lot’s happening, and it’s all going against us,” he said.

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» Which football teams could cut travel by joining another nation’s league? | The Knowledge

Plus: more long spells in sole possession before scoring, international players refusing to celebrate goals and more

Mail us your questions or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU

“In terms of travel , which top-flight teams would fare better by playing in a different nation?” asks Mike Wood. “For example, would Newcastle have a shorter average round trip to most Scottish Premiership teams than they currently do to Premier League teams?”

Well Mike, to answer the question about Newcastle, the answer is most definitely yes. Research by Green Flag worked out that Magpies fans would have to travel 8,724 miles if they were to attend every Premier League away game in the 2021-22 season. With the different mechanics of the Scottish Premiership (the third meeting against a team could be home or away and the league splits after 33 matches to determine European places, the title and which clubs will be relegated) it is impossible to get a definite figure, but even if Newcastle were to join as a 13th member and travelled to all 12 teams twice in a 44-match season, they would still only rack up 8,676 miles. Take away six matches and that’s a decent saving on carbon.

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» Key lessons from Sarina Wiegman’s first games as England manager

Signs of progress and relentlessness were among the initial impressions from two matches with a combined 18-0 scoreline

It is hard to learn much two games into a manager’s tenure and even less can be taken from bulldozer performances against amateur players for teams ranked outside the world’s top 100. However, England do not choose their 2023 World Cup qualifying opponents, so what have we learned from the 8-0 defeat of North Macedonia and 10-0 win over Luxembourg?

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» Special bond: how chance – and Kafka – turns football strangers into friends

A Fulham fan explains the joys and pain of the season-ticket friendship in an extract from a new book by female writers

It was a reference to Franz Kafka that made me realise my friendship with Dom was pretty special. It was around the time when we had a player at Fulham called Alex Kacaniklic. During one match, Dom suddenly referred to the player as ‘Alex K’, linking him (who knows how) to Josef K. and Kafka’s book The Trial. Understanding the reference, I replied, keeping up the slow connections to Kafka’s work, to which mid-match he delightedly exclaimed, ‘Ah, you’re a Kafka fan, Hayley!’ and we continued to discuss our shared enjoyment of the great author.

Dom and I were to become friends purely by the anomaly of a computer. My friend Rob and I had recently acquired season tickets next to each other in H4 of the Hammersmith End. To my right sat Rob, and to his right sat Dom. We were distinctly British about our first seating together, politely saying hello, not knowing if those around us were ‘tourists’ for the day, another newly moved season-ticket holder or, as it turned out, an already formed ‘season-ticket bubble’ to which we were the newbies.

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» Jimmy Greaves: peerless player whose legacy is etched in football history | Barney Ronay

The relentlessly effective Tottenham and England player remains the highest scorer in English top-flight football history

Farewell, then, Jimmy. Sporting celebrities come and go but Greaves, who has died at the age of 81, was something different, not just a peerless English goalscorer but a footballer who remained etched in the memory of those who saw him play, who seemed in his prime years to be playing with a rare kind of light around him.

There were three aspects to the lasting fascination with Greaves. First, the grace of his movement. Even for those who know him only from archive film it is striking how modern Greaves looked even as a teenager: slim-hipped and dapper, swaying through the heavy-booted defences of the early 1960s like a visitor from some elegantly appointed version of the near future.

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» Absolute howler: dog steals ball and nutmegs players in Bosnian football match – video

A pitch-invading dog stole the show in a football match in the Bosnian Premier League after it ran on to the pitch, dribbled with the ball and even nutmegged three players before being escorted away. The pesky pooch interrupted play in the first few minutes of the match between Sloboda and Posusje and tried to show the away side how it's done

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» Jimmy Greaves: one of England's greatest ever forwards – video obituary

Jimmy Greaves, one of England’s greatest strikers and a member of the squad that won the 1966 World Cup, has died at the age of 81. Greaves made his name at Chelsea, scoring 132 goals in 169 matches between 1957 and 1961. After a brief spell in Milan he headed to north London to join Tottenham, scoring 266 goals in 329 games. He had a similar impact with England, netting 44 goals in 57 appearances to become his country's fourth-highest goalscorer of all time

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» 'We can't expect miracles': Koeman calls for patience from Barcelona fans – video

Ronald Koeman's dream of one day managing the team with whom he made his name is slowly turning more into a nightmare. Barcelona's head coach took no questions in a brief news conference on Wednesday and instead read a statement calling for fans to be patient and saying that Barça were in a period of transition. 'We have to reconstruct the team as a squad without making big investments and this takes time.' he said, 'Finishing high in the table would be a success on its own and in the Champions League we cannot expect miracles.'

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» 'A massive achievement': Klopp praises Mané for reaching 100 Liverpool goals – video

Sadio Mané joined a distinguished band by becoming the 18th man to score a century of goals for Liverpool during the 3-0 win against Crystal Palace on Saturday. Mané is now level with Kevin Keegan and has John Barnes next in his sights. 

 The Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said: 'The 100 goals are just one number, there are so many other numbers which are similarly important,' in reference to Mané's work rate and creativity.

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» Pep Guardiola says he 'will not apologise' for his comments about Manchester City fans – video

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday that he will not apologise for saying he would like more fans to attend this weekend's home game after his side's 6-3 win over RB Leipzig on Wednesday. This led Kevin Parker, general secretary of Manchester City's supporters club, to tell Guardiola to concentrate on coaching.

A visibly disgruntled Guardiola responded on Friday “interpretation is interpretation. I’m not going to apologise for what I said. I’m surprised about what happened with this man."

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» 'They love scoring': Thomas Tuchel on comparisons between Kane and Lukaku – video

Thomas Tuchel says the main similarity between Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane is 'they score decisive goals, and they love scoring and they always did score'.

Speaking in the buildup to Sunday's clash with Tottenham, Chelsea's head coach went on to contrast the two players' styles. He speculated that the best way to stop Kane would be to 'close the deliveries down, because once he has the balls he's one of the most dangerous guys in the world, to finish attacks'.

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» The Tiger who came for free: Falcao is back and scoring in La Liga | Sid Lowe

Rayo Vallecano’s top-flight return was a miracle and now they have signed Radamel Falcao. But all is not well with the club

This was the kind of moment you didn’t want to miss and on the corner of Avenida Albufera and Payaso Fofó street, down in the People’s Republic of Vallecas, the opening bars of the Final Countdown boomed out. Inside, in the front row of seats on the eastern side of the ground where Colombian flags joined tricolours and the smoke smells sickly sweet, the fan in the tiger onesie roared and sang along. Around him, they did the same. Or just laughed. There were 3,280 people, plus a dozen or so gathered in the tower blocks overlooking the wall at one end, all going slightly mad while their striker wore a smile the size of the city he had returned to.

None of this made much sense, but things rarely do down there. The smallest team in the first division, and by a very long way, one that shouldn’t even be there but was somehow promoted through the play-offs, a crumbling club in perpetual conflict and crisis where many of the fans that make the place unique had chosen to stay away, was 3-0 up. Two home games, two wins, seven goals scored, none conceded. And out in the sunshine, that really was Radamel Falcao kissing their badge. He had played 10 minutes and 24 seconds for them and he already had a goal.

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» Lyon show PSG they will not have it all their way in Ligue 1 this season

Lionel Messi was meant to be the star of the show on his home debut but Lyon had no intention of playing a supporting role

By Eric Devin for Get French Football News

Ligue 1 served up a sumptuous weekend of football filled with local derbies and high-pressure matches. French football undoubtedly delivered, with the thrilling Côte d’Azur derby between Nice and Monaco impressing as much as the bitter Derby du Nord, where hosts Lens beat Lille to leave them in real trouble. Marseille shook off their disappointing Europa League draw with 10-man Lokomotiv Moscow, beating Rennes 2-0 to burnish their top-three credentials. Nantes went to Angers and blew them away, winning 4-1, and Lyon’s trip to Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday evening was a fitting denouement to the weekend.

Both teams were missing some key players – including Moussa Dembélé and Léo Dubois for Lyon, and Sergio Ramos for PSG – but the prospect was still an exciting one. Having won their first five league matches of the season, this was PSG’s first stern test. It was also Lionel Messi’s home debut. While the match eventually turned on a pair of contentious non-decisions, it was a thoroughly entertaining game, and one that showed there will be quality in France this season beyond the confines of the Parc des Princes.

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» Inter serve up a storm as Inzaghi looks to blow memories of Conte away | Nicky Bandini

Inter wanted evolution, not revolution, after claiming a first Serie A title in 11 years. The rout of Bologna showed how

Like a bird seeking shelter in the hours before a storm, Sinisa Mihajlovic knew trouble was coming and yet was powerless to stop it. “Let’s talk about something else,” he said, cursing freely, after being asked on Friday about Bologna’s success in keeping back-to-back clean sheets.

“Now we’re just inviting bad luck … if we concede a goal tomorrow, I’m going to get mad with you guys,’ he said. “What even is this? When we don’t concede for 20 games in a row, then we can talk about this stuff. Not after two games.”

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» Hertha Berlin’s long-mooted revamp is favouring humility over stardust | Andy Brassell

Fredi Bobic may have been a big-name board appointment but he didn’t arrive with the vision of assembling an all-star cast

The fans on the Ostkurve of Berlin’s Olympiastadion celebrated with abandon on Friday night, looking “more euphoric than they had for a long time”, as Jörn Lange of Berliner Morgenpost put it. Hertha had just avoided embarrassment, coming back from a goal down to win and – almost as importantly – avoiding becoming Greuther Fürth’s first victims of the season.

For those looking at the bare numbers on paper, it might have been harder to raise a substantial cheer, following on from a flattering but necessary win at Bochum last week. Two victories over promoted teams are not the stuff major investor Lars Windhorst’s dreams are made of, but they are a start – and a good one, bearing in mind the mettle Hertha have had to show in both matches.

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» Suárez double seals Atlético comeback, Dzeko leads Inter past Fiorentina
  • European roundup: Atlético leave it late against lowly Getafe
  • Internazionale fight back for win, Falcao lifts Rayo into top four

Atletico Madrid’s Luis Suárez struck two late goals to give the defending Spanish champions a 2-1 win at Getafe on Tuesday, after the hosts were reduced to 10 men in the second half.

The win took Atlético top of the La Liga standings on 14 points from six games, while Getafe are mired in the relegation zone with no points. The lowly hosts had gone in front on the stroke of half-time with a header from Stefan Mitrovic after Jan Oblak had uncharacteristically spilled a cross.

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» Ronald Araujo’s late equaliser spares Barcelona’s blushes against Granada

Ronald Araujo came to Barcelona’s rescue with a last-gasp equaliser to deny lowly Granada a second successive La Liga victory at the Camp Nou. Araujo struck in the final minute of normal time amid concerted pressure, to cancel out Domingos Duarte’s early opener and spare his side’s blushes as the game finished 1-1.

The home crowd had been stunned into silence within two minutes of kick-off when Duarte headed Sergio Escudero’s corner past Barcelona’s goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen and into the net. Jorge Molina went close to a second for the visitors but Sergi Roberto was denied at the other end by the crossbar and Memphis Depay failed to round off a quick break as the Catalan giants turned the screw.

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» Carli Lloyd scores five goals as USA women hammer eight past Paraguay
  • Lloyd launches farewell tour with first career five-goal game
  • USWNT win in first match since Olympic bronze medal game

No Carli Lloyd isn’t reconsidering her retirement – even after a five-goal game.

Lloyd hit a career high for goals in the US national team’s 9-0 rout of Paraguay on Thursday night. The 39-year-old forward has just three more games with the team before she walks away from the game.

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» European roundup: Icardi scores late PSG winner after Messi substituted
  • Paris Saint-Germain recover to beat Lyon 2-1
  • Juventus 1-1 Milan; Real Madrid defeat Valencia

A late Mauro Icardi strike earned Paris Saint-Germain a last-gasp 2-1 home victory against Lyon, with Lionel Messi making limited impact on his Parc des Princes debut.

Icardi headed home from Kylian Mbappé’s cross four minutes into stoppage time after Neymar had levelled with a controversial penalty after Lucas Paqueta’s second-half opener, as the leaders maintained their perfect record, with 18 points from six games.

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» Cristiano Ronaldo offers support to Perth-based football player in coma
  • English striker Danny Hodgson in critical but stable condition
  • Ronaldo, Man United teammate Dean Henderson send videos

Manchester United stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Dean Henderson have offered support to a Perth-based football player who was critically injured in an alleged unprovoked attack.

English striker Danny Hodgson, who plays for ECU Joondalup in the National Premier Leagues Western Australia, turned 26 on Sunday.

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» David Squires on … his favourite football cartoon panels

Two Arsenal legends, an unpublished gem, Poppies and more – our cartoonist talks us through some memorable drawings

The Guardian have granted me a week off from the back-breaking physical labour of drawing football cartoons, so I’m afraid you’ll have to wait another week to read my searing analysis of Ralph Hasenhüttl’s waistcoat game. However, as punishment, I’ve been asked to scour my back catalogue and pick out 10 panels from the last few years that I hate the least. Usually when I’m away from my drawing board, a huge story breaks, so feel free to dip in and out of this selection as you wait for the liveblog to refresh with updates on Pep Guardiola’s shock move to Chippenham Town.

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» Jimmy Greaves redefined perception of what a centre-forward should be | Jonathan Wilson

Like Brian Clough, Greaves was very different from the classic English No 9 and together they changed the game’s tactics
Jimmy Greaves dies aged 81

For those of us too young to have caught the end of Jimmy Greaves’s playing career, there was always a slightly awkward adjustment to be made.

He remained the goalscorer to whom all others were compared for two decades after his retirement in 1971 and yet it was hard to equate his legend with the slightly tubby, moustachioed bloke in the V-neck jumper who was all over ITV. But then you see the footage, see the speed and elegance, the capacity to beat defenders with a subtle change of pace or direction and, above all else, the finishing.

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» Tuchel’s powerplay shows widening gulf between Chelsea and Tottenham | Barney Ronay

Manager’s half-time introduction of N’Golo Kanté emphasised a vast difference in resources during the Blues’ 3-0 triumph

With 10 minutes to play at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Chelsea 2-0 up and looking like a team just running up and down the scales of their own attacking possibilities, N’Golo Kanté took the ball and surged towards the Spurs defence. By that stage this London derby had descended into a selection of minor human interest storylines. Most obviously: can anyone on this pitch, in either a blue or white shirt, force Timo Werner to score a goal?

Related: N’Golo Kanté transforms Chelsea in second-half rout of Tottenham

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» Ryder Cup memories, the greatness of Jimmy Greaves and brawling boxers

This week’s roundup also features a perilous reaction to a run-out, animals on the pitch and road race rain hazards

1) The Ryder Cup starts on Friday after a three-year pandemic-induced hiatus. Europe won impressively last time at Le Golf National, highlights including a Friday foursomes clean sweep. Here’s Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose leading the way, and Europe’s winning moment on the Sunday, as Francesco Molinari beat Phil Mickelson. The USA were rampant, however, when they last hosted, in 2016, and Ryan Moore clinched victory. The competition has often traded on a bit of spice, of course, so here’s a slice of the Battle of Brookline in 1999, when emotions ran high on both sides of the rope. Pressure is another Ryder Cup ingredient of course, so here’s a compilation of 10 memorable pressure putts. The first time Europe competed as a whole, came in 1979, losing 11-17. It all began more than half a century earlier, with only a Great Britain team competing, and here’s some Pathé News footage of that early action.

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» The Fiver | The Caffeine Cup remains a trophy well worth winning

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While it might languish in sixth place in terms of prestigious domestic honours after the league title, both transfer windows, and the FA Cup, the Caffeine Cup remains a trophy well worth winning. When even the lowliest clubs left in this season’s competition are fielding deliberately weakened sides, The Fiver can’t help but wonder why one or more of the Premier League’s more pointless mid-table perennials doesn’t grab the Carabao by the horns, put out their strongest team and go all out to give their fans a rare chance to visit Wembley … even if it is just to watch their brave boys lose to Manchester City.

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

Liverpool and Arsenal find defensive solidity, Leon Bailey changes the game for Villa, and Ivan Toney for England?

It is true that Thomas Tuchel’s decision to replace Mason Mount with N’Golo Kanté at half-time against Tottenham had a profound impact on the match. But Tuchel’s managerial skill goes far beyond formations and tactics. Through the strong relationships he builds with players and the team spirit he engenders, he has created an environment in which he can take these decisions while running little risk of alienating players such as Mount. “Everybody is humble enough to accept it,” the captain, César Azpilicueta, said of the conversations that took place at half-time. It helps to have players of Kanté’s calibre to call on, of course, with your team on the back foot. But a strong-willed manager with less emotional intelligence than Tuchel would doubtless end up with a dissatisfied, restless group of players, as has happened more than once at Chelsea. Tuchel is a very modern manager, but his old-fashioned expectations of selflessness and teamwork are making Chelsea a formidable force. Luke McLaughlin

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» David Squires on … Cristiano Ronaldo’s second Manchester United debut

Our cartoonist looks back on the celebrations as not one, but two Manchester United legends returned to Old Trafford

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» Women’s Super League: talking points from the weekend’s action

Hannah Hampton keeps Hammers at bay, Millie Turner injury a concern for United and Spurs are handed some good fortune

The omission of the forward Beth Mead from the Team GB squad for the Tokyo Olympics raised eyebrows, particularly with Manchester City’s Chloe Kelly injured. If there was a beneficiary though, it was Arsenal. With the club having signed the US superstar Tobin Heath, Japan maestro Mana Iwabuchi and the England forward Nikita Parris, it would have been fair to assume Mead’s place in the starting XI was at risk. She has risen to the challenge and has four goals and six assists in the team’s opening six games (two WSL matches and four Champions League qualifiers). In the team’s 4-0 defeat of Reading Mead scored Arsenal’s second and turned provider for Vivianne Miedema’s two goals, with an increasingly potent partnership emerging between the pair. The manager, Jonas Eidevall, said Mead’s form had been “a really positive surprise”. He added: “I hope she can keep her form when she gets the England shirt on and to show that she’s a great player for the national team again.” Suzanne Wrack

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» The Joy of Six: Leeds United v Liverpool Premier League meetings

A look at classics from a Tony Yeboah special in 1995 to a symbolic defeat for David O’Leary in 2002

What’s your favourite: Liverpool or Wimbledon? Tony Yeboah won Goal of the Month in August and September 1995 for two screamers, at Elland Road and Selhurst Park, both scorched off the underside of the bar from distance. The Wimbledon goal, a manic, impromptu explosion of brilliance, has greater charisma and was the BBC’s Goal of the Season. But the goal against Liverpool involved a more difficult skill, volleying a ball that was dropping from the heavens.

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» Golden Goal: Bryan Robson for Manchester United v Wimbledon (1993)

A goal that meant nothing also meant everything, because football is about a lot more than football

Very little gets people as excited as football, a fairly embarrassing admission to make given 200,000 years of human history: a bunch of people kick a ball about, then the rest of us go on like it’s something we’ve done ourselves. Except in a way it is, because our clubs were built by us and form part of us, representing where we’re at and what we believe in. So inasmuch as anything makes sense the extent of our love for them makes sense, and when we talk about football what we’re really talking about is love – love for who we are.

Related: Golden Goal: Ronaldinho for Barcelona v Chelsea (2005) | Daniel Harris

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» Buy a classic sport photograph: Dalglish seals the title

The latest in a Guardian Print Shop series featuring classic sports images. This week’s picture is of Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish who spurred the Reds to eight league titles during his time as a player and manager

The 1985-86 season was Kenny Dalglish’s first term as player-manager of Liverpool and although he only netted three times that campaign, this strike was particularly precious. It came in the final match of the season, away at Chelsea, as the Reds secured a 1-0 victory to win the league title at Everton’s expense. Dalglish controlled a looping through-ball on his chest and laced a sweet right-foot volley into the far corner – “an unerring finish” in the words of commentator John Motson – before wheeling away in celebration. Dalglish inspired ongoing success, primarily from the dugout, and by his final appearance in 1990 he had netted 169 times in 502 appearances for Liverpool. No wonder they call him ‘King Kenny’.

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» Jimmy Greaves: the Boys' Own hero who stole the heart of a nation | Kevin Mitchell

Tottenham and England striker with two accurate feet brought magic to football, whether you were there to see it or not

There are some heroes you illogically hope will never die, certainly in the imagination. Muhammad Ali was one, George Best another (despite his best efforts) and Jimmy Greaves, too. Even Tottenham fans who never saw him play in the flesh so treasured his deeds it seemed he belonged solely to them. Only Glenn Hoddle and Harry Kane were later revered at White Hart Lane with such unquestioning intensity.

Others from the black-and-white era will have loved Greaves for his goals at Chelsea, for England and in early- and late-career cameos at Milan and West Ham. He was not exclusively ours but, for those who trekked up the High Road in N17, Spurs have always laid the strongest claim, and the feeling was mutual.

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» Paul Merson: ‘Gambling is a horrible addiction. Your career passes you by’

The former Arsenal and England player talks about his ‘worst addiction’, as detailed in his often harrowing new book

A few minutes before Paul Merson tells the surreal story which makes him cry, in a beautiful but broken memory, he looks at me intently. “It’s been 36 years of pure madness,” Merson says as he reflects on the gambling disorder which, coupled with alcoholism and a brief but ruinous addiction to cocaine, has scarred his life.

Merson won two league titles and three cups with Arsenal, while playing some visionary football which he produced again for Aston Villa. He won 21 caps for England, played in the 1998 World Cup and, now, at the age of 53, he is a much-loved, or often cruelly mocked, member of Sky Sports’ Saturday Soccer panel alongside his close friend Jeff Stelling.

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» A visit to FC Sheriff: Champions League upstarts from an unrecognised land

Soviet sounds, unanswered questions and local pride emerge from trip to Moldovan club from Russia-backed Transnistria

The strains of one anthem give way to a hybrid version of another. A meaningful show of applause for the Champions League music is dying down when, as FC Sheriff Tiraspol prepare for kick-off, the ultras in sector 13 erupt into verse. They do it before every game but rarely in numbers like these, nor in comparable volume: the lyrics have been tweaked but the melody is unmistakably that of the old Soviet national song, nowadays used by Russia. The choir then segue into their adaptation of another rousing tune from the USSR era, the “Moscow in May” army march. Moscow is 700 miles and two borders away but in the capital of Transnistria, whose biggest bookshop offers framed posters of the local president Vadim Krasnoselsky alongside images of Vladimir Putin and Joseph Stalin for about £1 each, no such flourishes feel out of place.

Somewhere, presumably in a secure part of the stadium, although clarity is fittingly absent, Viktor Gushan can allow himself to bask. “Europa League? My friends are laughing at me!” the secretive Sheriff president would once complain to club employees, even though a series of shots at the continent’s second competition seemed well above par for a team nominally representing the tiny Moldovan league. They routinely win that at a canter and are playing tonight because, in May, they were champions for the 19th time since the beginning of the century. With varying degrees of near-miss, the big time had been beyond them on the previous 18 attempts.

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» We should relish results that jolt the toxic Ronaldo and Messi fanfare | Barney Ronay

Young Boys and Brugge gave a reminder of football’s sharp edges against stars mangled through a corporate machine

When talking about Young Boys of Berne, who are always funny, and always funny in exactly the same way, it is important to remember that Young Boys are in on the joke. In fact it was their joke in the first place, the club’s name coined in 1898 as a wry dig at Old Boys of Basel, the chief footballing power in that city.

Needless to say the same goes for the other half of everyone’s favourite midweek football gag, the Wankdorf Stadium, home of Young Boys which is itself a nod to Old Boys’ legendary Stadion Masturbatorix in the northern suburb of Frig.

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» Next Generation 2020: 60 of the best young talents in world football

The ‘Tanzanian Mbappé’, Juan Pablo Ángel’s son and the next Kai Havertz are among our players born in 2003. Check the progress of our 2019 selection | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

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» Next Generation 2020: 20 of the best talents at Premier League clubs

We pick the best young players at each club born between 1 September 2003 and 31 August 2004, an age band known as first-year scholars. Check the progress of class of 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

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» From Ødegaard to Mastour: what happened to Next Generation 2015?

As we prepare to publish our Next Generation 2020 selection, we say goodbye to the class of 2015. So how did they get on?

This is what the Guardian’s Andy Hunter wrote about his 2015 Liverpool player for our series the Next Generation, where we pick one player from each Premier League club in the first-year scholar age group and follow their developments for five years.

The 16-year-old has received rave reviews not only from Liverpool and England coaches during a rapid rise up the ranks but also from Steven Gerrard, his boyhood hero, in the former Anfield captain’s new autobiography. Gerrard reveals he asked Pepijn Lijnders, the first-team development coach, to always include Alexander-Arnold in his group when taking his ’B’ Licence course, and handed him the captain’s armband during a comeback game in Liverpool’s Under-18s side last season. “It was my way of telling Trent that I believed he could make it for Liverpool one day,” Gerrard writes.

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