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Morning Call: pick of the papers

The ten must-read comment pieces from this morning's papers.

1. Booming Britain running smoothly? Don't believe the hype just yet (Guardian)

Growth figures will show a rise in output, but despite Bank of England repairs, the economic model may yet run out of road, warns Larry Elliott. 

2. Don’t lose heart. There are ways of defeating Ukip (Times)

Trust the people, says John McTernan. They don’t get it wrong. They know a bad argument when they hear it.

3. China’s crisis is coming (Financial Times)

The longer the economy stays unbalanced, the worse the outcome will be, says Prasenjit Basu. 

4. Stand with Lenny Henry, not just against Ukip's bigots (Guardian)

It is easy to get angry over racism when it is overt, but let's not forget the scandal that gave rise to the Henwood outburst, says Owen Jones.

5. Why Janet Yellen and the Federal Reserve should make workers’ wage growth into a target (Independent)

Wage inflation should be used as an additional target for monetary policy by the US central bank, says David Blanchflower. 

6. To Birmingham and Beyond (Times)

The case for new high-speed rail links between London and the north is strong, says a Times editorial. The interests of a few must not derail it.

7. There’s a simple solution to this Euro-elections sham (Daily Telegraph)

Westminster politicians are well placed to do a good job in Brussels and Strasbourg, writes Boris Johnson.

8. America’s compulsive urge to regulate (Financial Times)

With its spider’s web of local and federal rules, the US is swinging back to intrusion, writes Edward Luce.

9. Abbas’s recognition that the Holocaust was a ‘heinous crime’ was a goodwill gesture Netanyahu is ungracious to spurn (Independent)

If progress is ever to be made towards ending the conflict, this dialogue has to stop, says an Independent editorial. 

10. Ten years of Clegg? Let's all get ready to emigrate (Daily Mail)

More than with most senior politicians, you feel the political positions he adopts accord with European rather than UK tastes, writes Peter McKay. 

Steve Garry
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The footie is back. Three weeks in and what have we learned so far?

Barcleys, boots and big names... the Prem is back.

Another season, another reason for making whoopee cushions and giving them to Spurs fans to cheer them up during the long winter afternoons ahead. What have we learned so far?

Big names are vital. Just ask the manager of the Man United shop. The arrival of Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger has done wonders for the sale of repro tops and they’ve run out of letters. Benedict Cumberbatch, please join Carlisle United. They’re desperate for some extra income.

Beards are still in. The whole Prem is bristling with them, the skinniest, weediest player convinced he’s Andrea Pirlo. Even my young friend and neighbour Ed Miliband has grown a beard, according to his holiday snaps. Sign him.

Boots Not always had my best specs on, but here and abroad I detect a new form of bootee creeping in – slightly higher on the ankle, not heavy-plated as in the old days but very light, probably made from the bums of newborn babies.

Barclays Still driving me mad. Now it’s screaming from the perimeter boards that it’s “Championing the true Spirit of the Game”. What the hell does that mean? Thank God this is its last season as proud sponsor of the Prem.

Pitches Some groundsmen have clearly been on the weeds. How else can you explain the Stoke pitch suddenly having concentric circles, while Southampton and Portsmouth have acquired tartan stripes? Go easy on the mowers, chaps. Footballers find it hard enough to pass in straight lines.

Strips Have you seen the Everton third kit top? Like a cheap market-stall T-shirt, but the colour, my dears, the colour is gorgeous – it’s Thames green. Yes, the very same we painted our front door back in the Seventies. The whole street copied, then le toot middle classes everywhere.

Scott Spedding Which international team do you think he plays for? I switched on the telly to find it was rugby, heard his name and thought, goodo, must be Scotland, come on, Scotland. Turned out to be the England-France game. Hmm, must be a member of that famous Cumbrian family, the Speddings from Mirehouse, where Tennyson imagined King Arthur’s Excalibur coming out the lake. Blow me, Scott Spedding turns out to be a Frenchman. Though he only acquired French citizenship last year, having been born and bred in South Africa. What’s in a name, eh?

Footballers are just so last season. Wayne Rooney and Harry Kane can’t score. The really good ones won’t come here – all we get is the crocks, the elderly, the bench-warmers, yet still we look to them to be our saviour. Oh my God, let’s hope we sign Falcao, he’s a genius, will make all the difference, so prayed all the Man United fans. Hold on: Chelsea fans. I’ve forgotten now where he went. They seek him here, they seek him there, is he alive or on the stairs, who feckin’ cares?

John Stones of Everton – brilliant season so far, now he is a genius, the solution to all of Chelsea’s problems, the heir to John Terry, captain of England for decades. Once he gets out of short trousers and learns to tie his own laces . . .

Managers are the real interest. So refreshing to have three young British managers in the Prem – Alex Neil at Norwich (34), Eddie Howe at Bournemouth (37) and that old hand at Swansea, Garry Monk, (36). Young Master Howe looks like a ball boy. Or a tea boy.

Mourinho is, of course, the main attraction. He has given us the best start to any of his seasons on this planet. Can you ever take your eyes off him? That handsome hooded look, that sarcastic sneer, the imperious hand in the air – and in his hair – all those languages, he’s so clearly brilliant, and yet, like many clever people, often lacking in common sense. How could he come down so heavily on Eva Carneiro, his Chelsea doctor? Just because you’re losing? Yes, José has been the best fun so far – plus Chelsea’s poor start. God, please don’t let him fall out with Abramovich. José, we need you.

Hunter Davies is a journalist, broadcaster and profilic author perhaps best known for writing about the Beatles. He is an ardent Tottenham fan and writes a regular column on football for the New Statesman.

This article first appeared in the 27 August 2015 issue of the New Statesman, Isis and the new barbarism