FWA Q&A: NICK SZCZEPANIK

NICK SZCZEPANIK on a wee problem at Portsmouth...a chilly Big Apple reception for mustard...and feeling dicky in Bucharest

Have you ever worked in a profession other than football?
Quite a few, most recently arts publicity. Best football-related memory of that is spending a day while a Brighton Festival press officer with the late, great Brian Glover, Mr Sugden from Kes. And a Barnsley fan.

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FWA Q&A: PAUL JIGGINS

PAUL JIGGINS of The Sun on the greatest gift from his dad...minky whale and reindeer in Reykjavik...and Dyson with death in Baltimore


Have you ever worked in a profession other than football?
Yep. Supermarket shelf-stacker, early morning office cleaner and trainee asphalter. I then joined The Sun as a messenger before going on to write, take photos for and eventually edit the company's staff newspaper and newsmagazine. I later spent a year (six months of that on gardening leave) as officer of communications for the NHS in North London before John Wardle and Ian Whittell saved me from insanity by ...

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“IT WAS A MIX OF ANGER, DEFIANCE AND CONFRONTATION” – Daniel Taylor of the Guardian

footballwriters.co.uk looks at the media coverage of Arsene Wenger’s most amazing press conference

By CHRISTOPHER DAVIES

TWO THINGS took the assembled football writers attending Arsene Wenger’s press conference on the eve of Arsenal’s Champions League tie against Bayern Munich by surprise. Firstly, that a manager known for being so helpful to the media suddenly turned on the French equivalent of the hair-dryer and secondly, that a story about him being offered a new two-year deal upset him so much.

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Philippe Auclair of France Football looks ahead to Arsenal v Bayern Munich

Philippe Auclair of France Football on the chances of "schizophrenic" Arsenal producing their best to topple European giants Bayern Munich in the Champions League.






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CAPITAL ONE WILL BE REMEMBERED FOR THIS FINAL

By CHRISTOPHER DAVIES

SIMON PARKER, the football writer closest to Bradford City, on the rise and rise of the Bantams

"In the future everybody will be world famous for 15 minutes" – Andy Warhol, 1968.

BRADFORD CITY are one win away from securing a place in the Europa League. Old sages may say nothing in football surprises them, but the rise and rise of the Bantams is up there with all the tales of the unexpected the occasionally beautiful game can offer.

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WHEN THIERRY BECAME HENRY

PHILIPPE AUCLAIR thinks Thierry Henry has a right to be considered France’s greatest footballer but in a ‘love letter’ he explains the character of the player changed...

By CHRISTOPHER DAVIES

IT IS sad that a player who gave Arsenal, English and French football such joy, so many moments of incredible skill, scoring breathtaking goals after a 60-yard lung-bursting run should be remembered as much for a handball (pedants will argue two handballs) as the pleasure he served up.

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FWA Q&A: RORY SMITH

RORY SMITH of The Times on being mistaken for a drugs trafficker in Chile...why Ian Herbert grew a beard in 17 minutes...and Joycey’s two-foot long loaf

Have you ever worked in a profession other than journalism?
Regulars at several pubs in west Yorkshire will bear witness to the fact that I’m a better barman than a journalist. I was a Christmas card salesman for a while, too – in an office, not door-to-door, like some sort of festive tinker – but the best job I ever had was with a landscape gardener. My boss was a raging alcoholic. We’d do ...

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