Rory Smith

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Manchester City, Chelsea and Competing With Perfection

Pep Guardiola’s ideas and his teams have changed the way England views the game. The danger is that those changes affect perceptions of what qualifies as success.For a few weeks, around this...

An English Soccer Team's Existential Crisis: Is It Really in Wales?

Chas Sumner has heard the quiz question in all its forms. There was the one that asked: “Which club has an international border running along the halfway line of its stadium?” Or...

For Africa Cup of Nations, Embrace the Unknown

The Africa Cup of Nations probably will be decided by players who earn their livings in Europe. But the best of the tournament lies in its surprises.It was the No. 8 who...

The Premier League's Wealth Is Influencing Title Races Abroad

The outsize wealth of England’s clubs increasingly allows their owners to play a direct role in deciding the champions of other leagues.That first meeting told Alex Muzio all he needed to know....

In the Premier League, There’s No Looking Back

England’s clubs are plowing ahead with their holiday schedule. But amid questions about Omicron and fairness, do they really have a choice?And so on we roll, heads down and teeth gritted, grimly...

Premier League Buckles In Amid Covid Surge

Familiar fears return as the pandemic’s shadow returns to soccer, to sports, to everything.That familiar feeling, the one we hoped we had left long behind, is swelling once again. There is a...

French Soccer Wrestles Surge in Stadium Violence

The return of supporters to stadiums in France has been accompanied by a series of games postponed or marred by trouble in the stands.Only 3 minutes 54 seconds into the match, Dimitri...

What Do We Mean by Good Soccer?

The best games manage to be both compulsive viewing and technically excellent, but those that clear that bar are rare. And that presents fans with a choice.MANCHESTER, England — Jesse Lingard was...

Rory Smith

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