Oliver Holt

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OLIVER HOLT: Manchester United will be stuck with a mindset that failure is tolerated until they get rid of the Glazers... there was no hunger in their Europa League final defeat - the way they shrank from the prize was dispiriting

In the wake of Manchester United’s defeat in the Europa League final in Gdansk last Wednesday night, many identified the gloom that had suddenly descended upon the club’s prospects as a sign of how fickle fans can be and said that if David de Gea had saved just one Villarreal penalty, United’s triumph would have been hailed as a clear sign the club were on the brink of a new era of greatness.
Picture for OLIVER HOLT: Manchester United will be stuck with a mindset that failure is tolerated until they get rid of the Glazers... there was no hunger in their Europa League final defeat - the way they shrank from the prize was dispiriting
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OLIVER HOLT: It's right for everyone at Spurs to sell Harry Kane as soon as possible. This should NOT be about Daniel Levy's ego... instead it's about what is best for a club that is continuing to go backwards

The Premier League have confirmed that the summer transfer window in England will open on Wednesday June 9 and close at 11pm on Tuesday August 31. If things go to form, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy will strike a deal to sell Harry Kane to Manchester City at 10.59pm on the final day and people will smile admiringly and nod knowingly and trot out the usual platitudes about how Daniel's a nightmare to deal with but he drives the hardest bargain in football.
Picture for OLIVER HOLT: It's right for everyone at Spurs to sell Harry Kane as soon as possible. This should NOT be about Daniel Levy's ego... instead it's about what is best for a club that is continuing to go backwards
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OLIVER HOLT: These owners make the Borgias look like a happy family. They need help or they'll self-destruct... but the Premier League is stiff scared of reform and clearly isn't interested in the wider good of football in this country

On Friday, the Premier League chief executive Richard Masters cast a defiant glance back over the chaos of lies, deceit, distrust, obfuscation, greed, liquidation, acquisitiveness, apology, failed breakaways, recidivism, schism, fan anger, fan heartbreak, fan disconnection and fan disillusion that has enveloped English football since the start of this season.
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OLIVER HOLT: Arsenal used to stand for class, for dignity, for gravitas - now it's just mediocrity... they slipped out of the Europa League pathetically and they are Super League material in the delusional dreams of Stan Kroenke

It is a close-run thing but the idea that Arsenal gained admittance to the European Super League is even more bitterly funny than the fact Spurs would have been in it, too. And in the couple of weeks everyone has been laughing about it, it never seemed funnier than when Arsenal slipped quietly and pathetically and apologetically out of the Europa League on Thursday evening, vanquished by Villarreal.
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OLIVER HOLT: The Glazers have milked Man United like a cash-cow and the club's history is absorbed by their greed... theirs and other billionaire owners' twisted legacy brings rivals united in disgust

At least Ed Woodward apologised. And at least he turned up to the fans’ forum on Friday to hear what Manchester United supporters had to say about him and the club’s craven involvement in the European Super League. None of it was complimentary but Woodward was there to listen to it. Which is more than can be said for Joel Glazer or any of the family that own England’s most famous club.
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OLIVER HOLT: Customers not fans. Brands not clubs. It's no wonder we are so angry about the European Super League... the 'Big Six' owners threatened to destroy the entire fabric of our national sport

There is a task that lies beyond the fabulous wealth of Joel Glazer and John W Henry and Stan Kroenke and Joe Lewis and Roman Abramovich and Sheik Mansour. None of the owners who plotted to betray their own clubs, their fans, their managers, their players, their staff and the rest of English football last week, seeking to destroy generations-old traditions in the process, is rich enough to buy back his past. No man is.
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OLIVER HOLT: Hysteria greeted injuries to David Beckham and Wayne Rooney... but Harry Kane is more central to our chances of success at this summer's Euros than either of them were

When Harry Kane was injured against Everton on Friday night, it was close to 19 years to the day since Deportivo La Coruna’s Aldo Duscher flew into a two-footed tackle with David Beckham at Old Trafford and ushered in a frenzied two-month period when it seemed all of England grew obsessed with a bone in the foot no one had heard of until Beckham broke it.
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OLIVER HOLT: Rachael Blackmore's historic victory at the Grand National shows the glass ceiling has been shattered... it was a win that rendered gender irrelevant in horse racing

Rachael Blackmore said it better than anybody else ever could when she became the first female jockey to win the world's most famous horse race. 'I don't feel male or female right now,' she said after winning the Grand National on board Minella Times. 'I don't even feel human.'. Maybe...
Premier Leaguechatsports.com

OLIVER HOLT: Manchester United look small-time by praising Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's 'phenomenal success'… he is making progress but they are still 14 points behind City with nine games left to play

It is not Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's fault that the managing director of Manchester United, Richard Arnold, appears to be trying hard to be as adept at putting his foot in his mouth as he is at signing new global noodle partners. You can't choose your parents, they say, and if you're a football manager, you can't choose your club executives, either.
Premier Leaguechatsports.com

OLIVER HOLT: The Special One? Tottenham have got a dinosaur in a designer coat... Jose Mourinho was once king of the world but has now been left behind by the likes of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp

It's not easy being special. Not when being special has become an act. Not when it is just a line you use in a TV advert for a bookmaker. Not when it has become a fond remembrance and nothing more. Not when it's part of the past rather than part of the present. Not when you're on the outside, looking in.
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OLIVER HOLT: If he is the true architect of Britain's medal factory, why isn't Sir Dave Brailsford the one under pressure now? The illusion of marginal gains has finally been debunked

Cycling's betrayal by Team Sky, now Ineos Grenadiers, cuts deeper than many of the other betrayals that litter the sport because they arrived in it 11 years ago promising they were different. Yes, I know, you're right: that's what they all say. They all say they're different. They say they're...
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OLIVER HOLT: Murray Walker's passing marks the end of an era... like Richie Benaud and David Coleman his voice was enough to spike the heart rate, he was part of the soundtrack of our lives

I am from a generation of sports fans who grew up idolising commentators such as Dan Maskell, David Coleman, Richie Benaud and Cliff Morgan. Their words breathed vivid colours into the action that unfolded in front of us on our screens. The sound of their voice was enough to spike the heart rate, the sign that something special was about to unfold. Murray Walker was the last of them.
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OLIVER HOLT: Rather than troll a reporter for doing her job, why not ask for an England captain who's not too scared to think for himself... whenever Owen Farrell is challenged, he behaves like a robot whose machinery has just suffered a short circuit

THE BBC’s Sonja McLaughlan is a fine journalist with a talent for asking good post-match questions and not being intimidated by sullen answers. Her style is polite and respectful and it is also the antithesis of the braying sycophancy that has invaded some modern broadcasting as rights holders grow more and more nervous about offending sport’s protagonists.
Premier LeaguePosted by
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OLIVER HOLT: Now we can all hear the screams, games without fans in the stadium sound more like a slasher movie. At the end of a week when death threats were made to Mike Dean, can players stop trying to con our referees?

A football match without fans in a stadium built for tens of thousands of supporters is often a strange and soulless spectacle but it brings with it certain curiosities and revelations that were once hidden from us by the sound and passion of the choirs that congregated there before the pandemic.