Sunday 23 September 2018

England players celebrate after beating Colombia on penalties

Ewan MacKenna: You have to actually be good to win a World Cup - and that's where mediocre England fall way short 

Before their team kicked a ball at this World Cup, the BBC had managed to set a fair old chunk of the tone. Their introductory video ahead of their opener skipped forward to 15 July, and imagined that England had won the lot of it. There was Gary Lineker and Harry Kane and Theresa May and Alan Shearer, and it would all have been a bit of fun if only we didn't know the neighbours so well.

Tom Humphries and (inset) Donal Óg Cuask and David Walsh

Ewan MacKenna: Humphries, Walsh, Cusack...The Shame Game 

Back on Christmas Day of 2012, the first book taken from a pile of literary presents that would fill a library was always going to be 'Seven Deadly Sins'. It consumed many of the following hours as, despite the great reviews, it surpassed them, with David Walsh documenting his pursuit of Lance Armstrong. But even with the quality of the story and the telling, ultimately it wasn't any of the first 423 pages that would leave an aftertaste. Instead it was a couple of sentences on page 424.

Conor McGregor will make his professional boxing debut when he fights Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas

Ewan MacKenna on Conor McGregor: A would-be 'working-class hero' who became a parody of himself 

The last few efforts on Conor McGregor's Twitter are enough to give a tell-tale insight into his modern-day mindset. "Driving home in this heat and in this nick and in this motor and in this bread and in this f*****g life I am so blessed," he writes beside a picture of himself topless while driving a convertible. "Long rangy dangerous motherf****r," he writes still without a shirt but now on the...