Richard Jolly


Football writer for ESPN, The Guardian, The National, The Observer & the Blizzard.
  • Is Jurgen Klopp Redefining The Liverpool Way?

    It was a jibe delivered with more incision than anything that preceded it on the pitch. Only David de Gea’s save from Joel Matip was remotely as memorable. Some 90 minutes later, Jurgen Klopp took aim at Jose Mourinho and said: “For sure you could not play this way at Liverpool but it's OK for Manchester United.” For once, Mourinho did not conjure the snappiest soundbite. The aftermath of the Anfield stalemate was dominated by talk of the Portuguese’s defensive gameplan. As local rivals tend to claim moral as well as footballing superiority, it gave Liverpool a chance to clamber on to the higher ground. ...

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  • Ander Herrera Will Get A Chance To Re-State His Importance To Manchester United

    Marouane Fellaini tended to be known for his magnetic chest, his sadly sharp elbows and his famous frightwig. Given the fixation on other parts of one of football’s more idiosyncratic frames, his knees went overlooked. Until, that was, a medial ligament sidelined him at a point when Paul Pogba was already out. Enter Ander Herrera. Manchester United’s pivotal performer at Anfield last season should be primed for a return to the side on Saturday. The Spaniard has represented one of United’s obscured curiosities, the reigning Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year, but a man granted just 131 minutes of Premier League football. ...

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  • Ronald Koeman Continues To Labour Under The Weight Of His Everton Spending

    Ronald Koeman has an obsession. He is obsessed with what he thinks is everyone else’s obsession. “It is so easy in this situation to speak about the money,” he said after Sunday’s defeat to Burnley. “Even in Holland, they are saying, ‘Look, they spent £150 million! Look how they play!’ Yeah? But we lost players,” Koeman said on Friday. “And we spent £40 million or £45 million.” ...

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  • Kelechi Iheanacho’s Start At Leicester Stymied By His Sense Of Timing

    The finish was scrappy, the ball poked over the line from about a yard. The foul that preceded it went unpunished. It won’t be goal of the season. It won’t even be Shinji Okazaki’s goal of the season. Or, for that matter, his goal of the week. ...

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  • Mark Hughes Remains At His Most Effective Under A Limited Budget

    It looks a cut-price way of competing with the best. Stoke City face Chelsea on Saturday, completing a trio of demanding home games. Thus far, they have bridged a gulf in resources. They beat Arsenal, courtesy of a goal from the borrowed Jese Rodriguez. They drew with Manchester United, thanks to a brace from the free transfer Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. Perhaps it is Moneyball, Mark Hughes-style. Undervalued and unwanted players were identified, recruited, reinvented. Stoke proved capable of halting rather more expensively-assembled sides, aided by men who both have the potential to prove the snip of the season. And yet they only provide part of the picture. ...

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