The two sides of Nick Kyrgios, football during the war and more from the best sports writing of the week

1. Soon the heavens will open. As thunder and lightning vie for attention overhead, your players will be sent out of their inner dome onto the grass pitch so they can perfect their off-the-ball form. They are 40 km from the Russian front; Overnight there has been barrel bombing in the south, and these weather conditions are water off a footballer’s back.

“Of course I have some fears about starting the league now, any smart person would,” says Vernydub. “It is probably the first time in history that a championship will be played in the middle of a war. But I’ve seen real bombings with my own eyes, so I’m less scared.”

In The Guardian, Nick Ames reports from Kryvyi Rih ahead of the start of the Ukrainian Premier League season.

two. For a decade, Kyrgios has divided the Republic of Tennis, creating two sides, more or less equal in proportion, that might as well be divided by a net. He is the box office shooter, the candid, charismatic and convincingly volatile McEnroe meets Draymond package of unpredictability that will bring freshness and electricity, appeal to children and bring change to a sport stifled by tradition.

Or he’s a deranged narcissistic brat (or something even darker), who competes like a coward and has no respect for anything, not his opponents, not his sport, not his predecessors, not least his own talents.

Or both.

It’s complicated.

For Sports Illustrated, Jon Wertheim examines both sides of Nick Kyrgios.

3. Marsch certainly comes from a different background than the traditional Premier League manager and part of that difference is his education. At Princeton, Marsch earned a bachelor’s degree in history and produced a 117-page thesis entitled Shaken, Not Stirred: An Evaluation of Earthquake Awareness in California.

He completed it during his first year as a professional footballer, for DC United in the fledgling MLS, having accepted a contract worth just $6,750 to pursue his dream of a career in the game. In doing so, he turned his back on a job in advertising with an annual salary of $45,000.

However, although different, Marsch is not unique. Today, Leeds face Chelsea, whose manager Thomas Tuchel has a business degree and next weekend’s opponents are Brighton & Hove Albion, managed by Graham Potter, who has two degrees – one in social sciences and the other in emotional intelligence.

Jonathan Northcroft discusses why titles have become must-have accessories for the modern breed of manager, for The Times.

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Four. His favorite moment in the 400 hurdles comes between the seventh and eighth hurdles, when the top of the final turn gives way to the view of the homestretch. She “wakes up” there, 300 meters away, from her blinded focus on her stride pattern and assesses where her and her challengers are. This month, as she wrapped up her 2022 season and lifted a weight after scoring the two main goals of her career: Olympic and world championship gold medals, McLaughlin-Levrone finds herself in a similar phase of transition.

And so he has begun to take stock of who and where he is and what the future holds.

Andrew Grief of the Los Angeles Times writes about one of athletics’ biggest stars, Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone.

hayward-field-eugene-oregon-usa-19th-july-2022-sydney-mclaughlin-usa-july-19-2022-athletics-iaaf-world-championships-oregon-2022-womens-400m-hurdles-heat-at- hayward-field-eugene-orego

McLaughlin in action at the World Championships in Oregon.

Source: Alamy Stock Photo

5. When I was playing for Everton I remember I used to make these long journeys on the M62 from Sunderland to Liverpool. Just to set you up, I had this legendary Peugeot 106 with alloy wheels, and the radio was broken, and I always lost my MP3 player, so during the three hour drive, I passed the time by interviewing myself.

Not in my head. Aloud. It would be both the interviewer and myself. I was thinking, someday, this will come in handy…

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“Jill, you have a great game this weekend against Arsenal. How does the team feel?

“Yeah, well, it’s obviously a great opportunity for us…”

Imagine all this while I’m driving down the M62 in my little Peugeot, but I also have packs of Dairylea Lunchables and Yazoo shakes all over the backseat, because I’ve just stopped for tea at the petrol station.

Recently retired Euro 2022 winner Jill Scott reflects on her life in football and the growth of women’s football, in her farewell letter to The Players’ Tribune.

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6. Nolan assisted them in his role as selector/trainer, which means that as of late, he has been training horses in the morning and pitchers at night. A little life.

“Oh God, none of them are easy,” he says.

“I would say, at the end of the day, as devastating as both businesses can be, I would almost say pitching can be more taxing on the mind,” he adds with a laugh.

“It’s hard to watch them both, games and runs, when you have skin in the game. But it’s really, really fun and I love being involved in hurling. There’s nothing like being in your own patch.”

Horse trainer Paul Nolan tells SportsJOE’s Niall McIntyre about a sweet victory for the Davidstown Courtnacuddy Hurlers in the Wexford Junior Hurling Championship.

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