Spectator sport

The true winner of this World Cup? Russia

14 July 2018 9:00 am

Like most people with any taste, I like the odd vodka, I love Crime and Punishment, I enjoy Turgenev and…

Never mind VAR – this is a fabulous World Cup

30 June 2018 9:00 am

Let’s talk about VAR, why don’t we? We love the World Cup though the football is getting bonkers. The scoring…

As our World Cup hopes grow, let’s not fret about the brilliant Belgians

16 June 2018 9:00 am

Here’s a question: name some famous Belgians. Well there’s Kevin De Bruyne, Vincent Kompany, and Eden Hazard. And if that’s…

Gareth Bale’s megabucks are not a pretty sight

2 June 2018 9:00 am

I must have missed the memo when it became compulsory for major football matches to operate as a marketing opportunity…

Lord’s next week is the place to be

19 May 2018 9:00 am

Good for Ed Smith. The new national selector can’t just rock a fine pair of sunglasses, he can make bold…

English cricket’s new tournament already looks doomed

5 May 2018 9:00 am

Difficult to know quite what to make of The Hundred, which has the feel of being knocked up on the…

I love this Pep-mania, but don’t forget Klopp

21 April 2018 9:00 am

Fittingly, it took a dire performance from a dismal and dreary United against the worst team in the Premier League…

Cricket’s ball-tampering scandal has been nothing but a tearful pantomime

7 April 2018 9:00 am

I haven’t seen so many men crying since the end of A Tale of Two Cities at the Scala Cinema…

Two perfect kicks from Johnny Sexton destroyed England’s rugby’s dream

24 March 2018 9:00 am

Which would you least like to see coming towards you? An Uber driverless car, Ant McPartlin in his black Mini…

Knighting Bradley Wiggins so early was just asking for trouble

10 March 2018 9:00 am

The incomparable Roger Bannister, whose passing marks the end of our links with a vanished age of sporting innocence, could…

Hate the Winter Olympics? Here’s why you’re wrong

24 February 2018 9:00 am

Despite the best efforts of this column (and the BBC), too many Brits regard the Winter Olympics with the same…

This Six Nations could be anyone’s – and it couldn’t be more exciting

10 February 2018 9:00 am

‘It’s never easy going to Rome,’ observed Anthony Watson after the traditional mauling of a hard-working but outgunned Italian side…

This Winter Olympics, don’t knock our fearless Fridge Kids

27 January 2018 9:00 am

At this time of the year, well-meaning folk of otherwise sound mind start to get very sniffy about the impending…

More Ashes tours like this and long-form cricket will be in trouble

13 January 2018 9:00 am

So will the sight of poor Joe Root at Sydney, pale as a ghost and barely able to stand, heroically…

Less women’s sport might sometimes be more

16 December 2017 9:00 am

The credit sequence for the tennis flick Battle of the Sexes has this very British warning: ‘Contains occasional scenes of…

Why Ben Stokes should be picked for Perth

9 December 2017 9:00 am

And so to a cloudy, chilly Adelaide, more like London in October than Australia in the early days of high…

Let’s give young Ben Foakes a chance to sweep out the Ashes

25 November 2017 9:00 am

So the Ashes has finally got over the line, and not a minute too soon. At the time of writing…

As West Ham go for dull David Moyes, football badly needs more Pep talks

11 November 2017 9:00 am

So West Ham took the least surprising option and sent for David Moyes. Same old same old. I have a…

Death hovers over the scrum

28 October 2017 9:00 am

Rugby’s autumn internationals are almost upon us and dark thoughts hover over lovers of the sport. One day soon a…

Why the England team is so unexciting

14 October 2017 9:00 am

During a riveting session at the Cheltenham Literary Festival with sporting brainboxes Mike Brearley and Matthew Syed, discussion touched on…

All power to the NFL knee protest

30 September 2017 9:00 am

The history of sport and political protest in this country would be a slim old volume. It would feature quite…

Why did you do it, Roy?

16 September 2017 9:00 am

Poor old Roy Hodgson, why did he take on Crystal Palace? He was having lunch at a Côte in a…

Which way will Lord’s leap?

2 September 2017 9:00 am

In the rarefied circles of the sporting establishment a decision will soon be made affecting not just the future of…

What has the Premier League ever done for us?

19 August 2017 9:00 am

Football’s back, I’m afraid, and, in the imperishable words of David Mitchell, every kick in every game matters to someone,…

England’s new heroes were real Test Match specials

5 August 2017 9:00 am

The weather forecast last Saturday promised 100 per cent likelihood of rain. I like that formulation: it doesn’t leave much…