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Pep Guardiola: A Victim Of His Own High Standards?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City looks on prior to the Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Etihad Stadium on December 3, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) Pep Guardiola

Has Pep Guardiola set the bar impossibly high for himself? When I was 13 it was arranged that my friend would have his first kiss down a laneway in our local housing estate. The girl he was meant to kiss was tall, blonde and pretty and all the lads were routeing for him. All except me, because this girl was …

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Ronda Rousey And The Problem With The UFC’s Aggressive Matchmaking

So-called ‘gimme’ fights are all too common in the sport of professional boxing. Fighters take them for far too long at the beginning of their careers in order to build impressive looking records and any type of setback – defeat, injury, suspension – seems to necessitate another lengthy run of battering helpless canvas-seekers. The proliferation of mismatches in the sport …

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Five Star Replacements For Santi Cazorla At Arsenal – And Ranking The Likelihood Of Their Arrival

Premier League

Arsene Wenger’s reluctance to admit that Santi Cazorla will be offered a new deal with Arsenal surely points to the exit door for the Spaniard. With Cazorla’s departure imminent in the summer, Wenger’s search for a replacement has surely gotten underway. We’ve tried out hand at scouring the globe for the best talent that would fit Arsenal’s ethos as well …

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Top 10 Players Most Likely To Break Into The Ireland Squad In 2017

BRENTFORD, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 04: John Egan of Brentford applauds supporters during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Fulham at Griffin Park on November 4, 2016 in Brentford, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

With 2016 drawing to a close, a number of Irish players will be hoping to break into Martin O’Neill’s plans. This time last year very few would have anticipated Shane Duffy becoming an automatic starter or Callum O’Dowda making the grade at senior level. Here we take a look at some players hoping to establish themselves in the squad and …

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Boxing Vs MMA: Dream Match-Ups From Seven Different Weight Classes

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10: Anthony Joshua (L) of London in action against Eric Molina of the United States during their IBF World Heavyweight Championship fight at Manchester Arena on December 10, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Having followed both boxing and mixed martial arts for as long as I can remember, I have learned that just about anything is possible once the opening bell sounds. Having said that, I feel that it’s highly unlikely for a fighter to make a successful transition from one elite level to the other. I’m convinced a top mixed martial artist …

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Laporte To Cull Foreign Internationals In French Rugby, Will The Rest Of International Rugby Follow?

‘If you want something done, do it yourself’ is the age old adage and the attitude that has largely been adopted by new Fédération Française de Rugby President Bernard Laporte. The former Toulon Director of Rugby was elected as the FFR’s latest president after taking over from Pierre Camou earlier this month. One of Laporte’s main promises in his run for presidency …

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Hayden Triggs And Pat Lam Exemplify Rugby’s Changing Culture

When you’re a journalist you come across all different types of people. You talk to people with a clear agenda, you talk to people who just want to be heard, you talk to people who are used to the media and those who aren’t. In sports journalism you often want to talk to those who haven’t received a near undergraduate degree in …

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Pundit Arena’s Rugby Wishlist For 2017

With 2016 quickly coming to a close and after a fantastic 12 months of international rugby, we look back at the year in full and make five wishes for 2017. 5) A return to rugby’s traditional values The sport has always prided itself on its moral compass, treasuring such values as honesty and integrity. However, in recent years professionalism has …

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How Good Is The All Blacks’ Depth? Ranking The Top Three Players In Every Position

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Samuel Whitelock of the All Blacks dives over to score a try during the Rugby Championship match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the South Africa Springboks at AMI Stadium on September 17, 2016 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

Following Paul Wassell’s article on England’s unprecedented (that’s how you spell it, Donald) squad depth, we take a look at the only team in the way of Eddie Jones’ marauding men: the All Blacks. How does their player depth measure up heading into 2017? _______ Loosehead Props 1. Joe Moody 2. Wyatt Crockett 3. Ofa Tu’ungafasi Bubbling under: Daniel Lienert-Brown, …

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Four Things We Learned From Manchester City’s Win Against Arsenal

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18: Raheem Sterling of Manchester City (CR) celebrates scoring his sides second goal with his Manchester City team mates during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium on December 18, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Manchester City overturned a 1-0 deficit to defeat Arsenal 2-1 at the Etihad on Sunday, moving to second place in the Premier League in the process. The visitors made a bright start, and took the lead after just five minutes via Theo Walcott, but their overall performance – especially in the second half – was little short of wretched. Man City, …

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Five Reasons Why Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather Will Happen

Conor McGregor Floyd Mayweather

It’s a fight that many view as a sideshow or some form of circus. However, if Conor McGregor actually faces Floyd Mayweather in a boxing ring, it will undoubtedly be the most watched event in the history of combat sports.  When the Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather rumour initially started to gather momentum last summer, HBO pundit, Max Kellerman, perfectly …

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Opinion: Why We All Love The Romance Of Connacht

Despite possessing limited financial fire power in comparison to most of the major teams in European rugby, Connacht’s latest win over Wasps shows sometimes heart and soul can mean so much more than money. The Pro 12 champions continue to inspire fans right across the global rugby community with their intelligence and forethought, but most importantly their determination. These were …

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