Columnist

Andy West

Andy West is a sports writer originally from the UK and now living in Barcelona. He has worked in professional football since 1998 and specialises in the Spanish Primera Division and the English Premier League. Follow him on Twitter at @andywest01.

The joy of cricket

JUNE 11 — I’ve been living in Spain for just over a year now and can honestly say there are very few things about England that I miss. Friends and... READ MORE

Under 21s mirror senior success

JUNE 8 — The European Under 21 Championships got underway in Israel this week, with the eight qualifying teams split into two groups of four.  The... READ MORE

Neymar’s longest day

JUNE 4 — On Sunday night, Neymar played the full 90 minutes in Brazil’s surprisingly entertaining 2-2 draw against England to mark the re-opening... READ MORE

Fair play?

JUNE 1 — With the domestic leagues coming to a close, European football’s silly season of big-money transfers is now under way. And thanks to the... READ MORE

I wanna take you to a Neymar!

MAY 28 — Do you remember that funny little song from a few years back, “Gay Bar” by Electric Six? Well, I reckon Barcelona fans should prepare to... READ MORE

Bayern, Borussia could provide classic

MAY 25 ― I don’t want to set expectations too high, but tonight’s Champions League Final between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich could be a... READ MORE

Goodbye Jose — please don’t come back

MAY 21 — The worst-kept secret in football was finally confirmed last night: Jose Mourinho will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season. At... READ MORE

Ronaldo and Falcao aim for cup glory

MAY 17 — With the majority of Europe’s football silverware already dished out, one of the remaining major domestic trophies will be up for grabs... READ MORE

Mancini deserves to go

MAY 14 — With Roberto Mancini apparently on the verge of being sacked and replaced by Manuel Pellegrini at Manchester City, the big question is... READ MORE

Moyes and the Mad Dog

MAY 11 — I’ve got a good David Moyes story. Well, it makes me chuckle anyway. It was February 2000 and I was working at Reading Football Club.... READ MORE

A sportswriter’s dilemma

MAY 7 — Every sports fan has witnessed a journalist — TV reporter, newspaper writer or radio commentator — who is more than happy to flaunt his... READ MORE

Football’s new Clasico

MAY 4 — This week has seen the birth of a new Clasico — a new footballing rivalry that has swiftly become one of the world’s must-see... READ MORE

Home-grown lack of talent

APRIL 30 — This year there are only three. Last year there were five, while in 2011 it was just two. The year before that there were three, and in... READ MORE

The new era of German dominance?

APRIL 27 — What a week of Champions League football. Surely nobody — and I mean nobody — would have predicted that Bayern Munich and Borussia... READ MORE

Why Liverpool should keep — and help — Luis Suarez

APRIL 23 — I wanted to write today’s column about this week’s Champions League semi-finals. The highest quality football tournament on the planet,... READ MORE

Cardiff make the ascent

APRIL 20 — Cardiff City will be playing in the English Premier League next season after becoming the first team to secure promotion from the... READ MORE

Sociedad surge into Europe’s elite

APRIL 16 — Which is the best football team in Europe at the moment? The four semi-finalists for the Champions League are all obviously in the frame... READ MORE

Old Trafford and Nou Camp’s noise problems

APRIL 13 ― Earlier this week I went to watch Barcelona’s most important game of the season ― their quarter final tie in Europe’s elite club... READ MORE

Timeless Totti still going strong

APRIL 9 — While Manchester United were doing their best to make the English Premier League title race a bit more interesting by losing at home to... READ MORE

Getafe poised to escape obscurity

APRIL 6 — Hands up if you know much about Getafe? I don’t see many hands... and I have to admit mine isn’t exactly shooting up into the air... READ MORE

Di Canio’s a fascist… so what?

APRIL 2 — Sunderland’s decision to sack their manager Martin O’Neill and replace him with the charismatic former Italy international Paolo Di Canio... READ MORE

Boring, boring Europe

MARCH 30 — Is this the most boring league season in the history of European football?  A few months ago I wrote despairingly in this column that... READ MORE

England and Spain in danger

MARCH 26 — Qualification for next summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil is moving swiftly towards the decisive final straight with another batch of... READ MORE

The sporting rhythm

MARCH 23 — Apparently, academics have known for a while that there’s a strong link between music and sport. I’ve just googled the subject and... READ MORE

Motor racing, not motor sports

MARCH 19 — The new Formula One motor racing season got under way this season, I believe, and will be turning up in Kuala Lumpur next weekend. That... READ MORE

The myth of mind games

MARCH 16 — Well done Brendon McCullum, you wily old fox. McCullum is captain of the New Zealand cricket team, which is currently playing against... READ MORE

The mysteries of form

MARCH 12 — My dad took me to my first game of football when I was four years old. I am now 40. In the intervening 36 years, I have been to a lot of... READ MORE

Relegation worries? Just relax!

MARCH 9 — With the title race effectively already decided as Manchester United hold a 12-point lead with 10 games remaining, there is more interest... READ MORE

United and Madrid set for epic encounter

MARCH 5 — Today’s the day: Manchester United against Real Madrid at Old Trafford. If you love football, it doesn’t get any better. Even though the... READ MORE

Changing fortunes in North London

MARCH 2 — More than three years ago, in one of my very first articles for The Malaysian Insider, I write about the North London derby between... READ MORE

United and Barca beware: Kaka is back

FEB 26 — Who can remember Kaka? You know the one: tall, lithe and elegant Brazilian; talks a lot about Jesus; used to play football for a... READ MORE

AVB safe… but he’s the only one

FEB 23 – With less than a third of the English Premier League season remaining, we’re faced with the strange situation where only one of the... READ MORE

Handball?! When? What? How?

FEB 19 — I want to start a campaign. Would anyone like to join me? I want to start a campaign to make FIFA — football’s global governing body —... READ MORE

Reds on the up under Rodgers

FEB 16 — It’s been a mixed season, to say the least, for Liverpool in their first season under the leadership of Brendan Rodgers. A month ago,... READ MORE

Jose’s last stand

FEB 12 — It’s been a terrible, terrible six months for Jose Mourinho. The outspoken Real Madrid boss entered the new season with his personal... READ MORE

Sport’s twin evils

FEB 9 — The integrity of sport — and football in particular — has been thrown into doubt in recent weeks with the emergence from the shadows of two... READ MORE

Beyonce, brothers and blackouts… it’s the Superbowl!

FEB 5 — You’ve got to hand it to the Americans: they know how to put on a show. In the sporting world, there’s no bigger show than the Superbowl,... READ MORE

The Balo and Becks Show

FEB 2 — Mario Balotelli and David Beckham would make a great comedy double act, don’t you think? You can picture it now: some kind of modern-day... READ MORE

Cup upsets cause for EPL concern

JAN 29 — First Bradford, now Oldham, MK Dons, Millwall, Leeds and Luton... and nearly Brentford. Where have all these cup upsets come from? The... READ MORE

Murray joins the elite

JAN 26 – Just how good is Andy Murray? It’s a question that has long been debated, without a firm conclusion being reached. For a few years, it... READ MORE

Armstrong on the highway to hell

JAN 22 — So, Lance Armstrong believes his lifetime ban from competitive sport is a “death sentence” and too harsh a penalty. Sorry Lance, I’ve got... READ MORE

Guardiola’s arrival will hasten Bundesliga’s rise

JAN 19 — German football has been enjoying a steady rise for a few years now, but Bayern Munich’s shock capture of Pep Guardiola will propel the... READ MORE

Lessons in the art of fandom

JAN 15 — On Friday night I enjoyed a thought-provoking trip to watch Barcelona’s basketball team take on Olympiacos from Greece in the highly... READ MORE

City still searching for scoring ace

JAN 12 ― The most important part of football, self-evidently, is scoring goals. It therefore follows that the most highly-valued, highly-paid and... READ MORE

Supreme Spain still in EPL’s shadow

JAN 8 — If last night’s FIFA Ballon d’Or awards ceremony is anything to go by, it’s pretty clear that Spain is easily the dominant force in world... READ MORE

In support of Reading

JAN 5 — If you’re looking for a “second team” to follow in the English Premier League, or wondering who you should support in the battle against... READ MORE

Top five football memories from 2012

DEC 31 — As 2012 draws to an end, it’s time to reflect on an eventful 12 months of football. I’ve picked out my five most enduring memories from... READ MORE

Villa, Isco on Spanish shopping list

DEC 29 ― Considering the soaring success of players such as Santi Cazorla at Arsenal and Michu at Swansea, it’s inevitable that English Premier... READ MORE

Rafa, Pep & Jose set for managerial merry-go-round

DEC 25 – Eight? 8? Ocho? Acht? However you say it, Chelsea’s victory over Aston Villa on Saturday was a ridiculous scoreline. It must have led to... READ MORE

The Arsene Wenger problem

DEC 22 — Where do you stand on the great Arsene Wenger debate? With the possible exception of Mario Balotelli, the Arsenal boss has been polarising... READ MORE

Barcelona: Simply the best

DEC 18 — Who am I kidding? Earlier this season I suggested in this column that Bayern Munich are the best team in Europe. As good as the Germans... READ MORE

Two-team leagues

DEC 15 — At the end of last season, Manchester City won the Premier League ahead of Manchester United by the narrowest of margins — goal... READ MORE

Messi magic rounds off wonderful weekend

DEC 11 — What a wonderful weekend of football in England and Spain: so much to write about; so little space. On Saturday we had Chelsea banging in... READ MORE

Midfield concerns for United

DEC 8 — It’s been a bit of a strange season so far in the English Premier League — strange in that none of the teams have looked particularly... READ MORE

Ronaldo: Blessed and cursed

DEC 4 — By his own extremely high standards, Cristiano Ronaldo has endured a relatively disappointing season. True, he’s the second top scorer in... READ MORE

Must-win for Real and Dortmund

DEC 1 — European football’s two biggest and best games this weekend take place tonight, with Bayern Munich hosting Borussia Dortmund in the German... READ MORE

Mourinho’s Madrid empire crumbling

NOV 27 — Love him or loathe him (and you may be aware that I’m firmly in the latter camp), life is never dull when Jose Mourinho’s around. The Real... READ MORE

Benitez in… but Guardiola looms

NOV 24 — The decision taken by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to replace Roberto Di Matteo with former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is a strange... READ MORE

West Brom benefit from Long game

NOV 20 — While Fernando Torres might have entered Chelsea’s trip to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday as the striker under the spotlight, by the end... READ MORE

The mighty Zlatan

NOV 17 — Did you see Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s fourth goal for Sweden against England on Wednesday night? I mean, really, did you see that goal? If not,... READ MORE

Just win, baby

Nov 13 ― Al Davis, the legendary former owner of the Oakland Raiders American Football team who passed away last year, had a famous three-word... READ MORE

The right to defend

NOV 10 — The two recent Champions League meetings between Barcelona and Celtic, both of which ended 2-1 in favour of the home team, have sparked an... READ MORE

Dangerous days for Wenger

NOV 6 — This could be a make or break few days for Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger. Tonight the Gunners are in Germany for a tough Champions’ League... READ MORE

Beneath the numbers

NOV 3 — Sports fans love a statistic or two. Among the milestones that are being pointed in our direction ahead of this weekend’s football fixtures... READ MORE

EPL still top for entertainment

OCT 30 — For something that enjoys such phenomenal global popularity, the English Premier League (EPL) certainly receives more than its fair share... READ MORE

Reading’s big day

OCT 27 — This weekend’s big game in the English Premier League is the visit of Manchester United to unbeaten leaders Chelsea, and I’ll look back on... READ MORE

Mancini must stop tinkering

OCT 23 — Having won the English Premier League in dramatic circumstances on the final day of last season, the logical progression would be for... READ MORE

Chelsea’s biggest test

OCT 20 ― I have to admit that Chelsea’s unbeaten start to the season has surprised me. Although they are European champions (remind me again...... READ MORE

Timid France searching for identity

OCT 16 — When the World Cup qualifying draw was made, French football fans must have emitted a large collective Gallic groan: “Mon Dieu!” would... READ MORE

Capello’s Russian mission

OCT 12 — Why aren’t Russia better at football? It’s an interesting question with no obvious answer. After all, Russia is by far the largest country... READ MORE

Messi and Ronaldo: Another planet

OCT 9 — What else can possibly be said about Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo? So many words have already been used to eulogise these two... READ MORE

El-Sharaawy — one to watch in timeless derby

OCT 6 — With respect to the upcoming offerings from the English Premier League — Newcastle’s meeting with Manchester United could be a cracker if... READ MORE

Ryder Cup fever

OCT 2 — Maybe I’m wrong but I can’t imagine this weekend’s Ryder Cup enjoyed enormous viewing figures in Asia — surely only expats and hardcore... READ MORE

The best team in Europe is…

SEPT 29 — It’s still early days but, so far, Bayern Munich appear to be more than capable of going one better than last season and ending the... READ MORE

Good riddance JT

SEPT 25 — So John Terry has retired from international football? Excellent. Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say. Terry announced his decision on... READ MORE

United and Liverpool fans find the line

SEPT 22 — Feelings of jealousy, envy and antipathy between supporters of sporting superpowers are inevitable, and in many ways the explosive... READ MORE

Living in the shadow of giants

SEPT 18 — All over the world, you can venture into any major city and find a football club that, however much success and support it might enjoy,... READ MORE

Where next for Europe’s hottest property?

SEPT 15 — When they’ve not been working themselves into a state of frenzy over the latest developments in the Cristiano Ronaldo “sadness” saga... READ MORE

Talented Belgium on the rise

SEPT 11 —  Out of all tonight’s World Cup qualification matches in Europe, one of the most intriguing is the Group A meeting between Belgium and... READ MORE

EXCLUSIVE! Ronaldo’s sadness explained

SEPT 8 — Poor old Cristiano Ronaldo. CR7, the media-shy, modest and self-effacing Real Madrid striker, has declared that he is “sad”. The bombshell... READ MORE

Man United and Barca cut corners for success

SEPT 4 — I will admit to having a specific pet hate in football, a certain tactical element of the game that I really don’t like. It’s not diving,... READ MORE

Question of time for Reds and Rodgers

SEPT 1 ― Liverpool fans have endured so many false dawns in the last few years, they’d be excused for refusing to trust the daily emergence of... READ MORE

Troubled times ahead for Chelsea

AUG 28 — This may sound rather foolish considering they are reigning European champions and currently sitting pretty at the top of the Premier... READ MORE

The greatest game

AUG 24 — As a football fan, surely there can be no place better to be than Camp Nou for Barcelona against Real Madrid. Old Trafford or Anfield for... READ MORE

Mixed beginnings for new bosses

AUG 21 — A number of top flight English and Spanish clubs are under the leadership of new managers this season, and it’s fair to say they endured... READ MORE

Top two in big two

AUG 18 — The new season begins today in the best two football leagues in the world: the English Premier League and the Spanish Primera Division. In... READ MORE

Beating the post-Games blues

AUG 14 — If you happen to speak to any of my fellow Britons in the next few days, please be gentle: they are probably suffering from post-Olympics... READ MORE

Will he, won’t he?

AUG 11 ― The first name on the lips of many Barcelona fans this summer, for a change, isn’t the greatest player in the world and scorer of 82... READ MORE

Lightning Bolt strikes again

AUG 6 — Of all the many events so far from the London Olympics to have thrilled the watching global audience, Usain Bolt’s sumptuous triumph in... READ MORE

Winning is everything?

AUG 4 — I never thought I’d be writing about badminton, but one of the most interesting stories to emerge from the first week of the London... READ MORE

Olympics ceremony exposes British identity dilemma

JULY 31 — I’m usually quite cynical about this kind of thing [What do you mean “usually”? You’re always cynical, you miserable grump!]. Ahem,... READ MORE

Yawn… not another trophy for Spain?!

JULY 26 — I must say, these Spanish footballers are getting rather greedy. Already champions of the world; already champions of Europe; already... READ MORE

Dream Team won’t have it easy

JULY 24 — Back in 1992, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and the incomparable Michael Jordan — all legends of the basketball court — came together to form... READ MORE

PSG: the new Man City?

JULY 21 — The biggest story in European football this week has been Paris St Germain’s €20 million (RM80 million) capture of Swedish superstar... READ MORE

Real already in Barca’s sights

JULY 17 — Just two weeks after providing many of the key players — and the tiki-taka style of play — for Spain’s European Championships triumph, FC... READ MORE

Bright future for Tottenham

JULY 14 ― For Tottenham Hotspur, last season was a strange one. After an excellent start to the campaign, the Londoners were poised to mount an... READ MORE

A load of bull

JULY 10 — With Spain pausing to draw breath after the conclusion of the football season (don’t worry, it’ll be back soon — most leading European... READ MORE

Divided Britain

JULY 7 — Andy Murray enjoyed the fervent backing of the Centre Court crowd as he held on to defeat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in four sets in the... READ MORE

The Spanish revolution

JULY 3 — A little over a year ago, I wrote that Barcelona´s exploits in winning the Spanish League and Champions´ League double merited giving them... READ MORE

Ronaldo goes missing as Spain go through

JUNE 28 — It was billed as Spain versus Cristiano Ronaldo, but Portugal are a far better team than having to rely solely upon their most famous... READ MORE