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Blog - ESPN FC United

A clash of ideologies as philosopher Van Gaal faces Wenger the professor

Louis van Gaal is looking forward to facing Arsene Wenger's Arsenal after Manchester United saw off a spirited Preston side in the FA Cup.

They are the philosopher and the professor. The managers of Manchester United and Arsenal are not seen simply as functionaries; they seem to possess a higher calling. Their work has consumed Louis van Gaal and Arsene Wenger. They are two of the profession's great survivors, the last men born in the immediate postwar years still in charge of Europe's elite clubs. They are antidotes to ageism when many of their rivals are young enough to be their sons.

Wenger, 20 months Van Gaal's senior at 65, became...

 By Tony Mabert

Evans-Cisse spitting row, MLS strike averted, Ronaldo does return U-turn

ESPN FC's Craig Burley and Ross Dyer discuss whether a potential six-game ban for spitting would fit the crime following the spitting incident between Jonny Evans and Papisse Cisse.

This week's roundup of the biggest news stories sees the big kickoff in MLS finally get the green light, unpleasant behaviour on and off the pitch, and a true legend of the game reneging on a promised comeback.

1. Discrimination nation (Monday, March 2)

Figures released at the start of the week made for sad reading, with a report revealing that reported incidents of discrimination have been significantly on the rise since the start of the season.

Reports to anti-racism group Kick It Out have risen...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

What do you dislike most in football?

The FC TV panel have their say. What do you think? Vote now!

There are plenty of things that raise hackles when it comes to the beautiful game, but what is your biggest complaint?

What do you dislike most in football?

Could it be, as Craig Burley suggests, the positive spin that managers put on bad results? Or is it, as Alejandro Moreno claims, diving protests? Or perhaps you agree with Steve Nicol, who gets irate when referees don't explain their decisions?

Or maybe you think it is something else entirely? Spitting? Two-footed tackles? Time wasting?

Watch the FC TV discussion, then vote. Plus,...

 By Nick Miller

Is Everton boss Roberto Martinez the next Premier League manager to go?

Aston Villa's last-gasp victory over West Bromwich Albion saw the Villans rise out of the relegation zone.

With Everton spiraling down the Premier League table, could the once-hailed Roberto Martinez really be the next Premier League manager to be fired? Nick Miller lays the odds in the newest installment of the Sack Race.

The front-runner

One can only assume that football managers regularly read the monthly updates of the Sack Race, hoping and praying that their name isn't at the top, thus signalling their impending doom. Well, fear not, managers of the land, for the football world moves so quickly...

Resurgence of Young a reflection of Manchester United season

Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal says his side were well worth their late win against Newcastle on Wednesday.

It might have seemed like yet another gift for Manchester United, this time from opposing goalkeeper Tim Krul, but you'd forgive Ashley Young for not feeling he deserved to fully accept it.

Young's fortuitous 89th-minute strike against Newcastle United on Wednesday was not just the club's first late winner since Dec. 26, 2012, putting a much more familiar spin on this apparent habit of United achieving unexpected wins. It was also Young's first goal in 14 months, and finally tangible confirmation...

Below Barcelona, Bayern Munich climb and Liverpool make a rankings return

The ESPN FC crew were surprised by Liverpool's return to the power rankings after a long hiatus.

The Power Rankings are back with the same leaders, but there has been plenty of jockeying for position below Barcelona as well as a trio of new entries.

1. Barcelona (no change)

Luis Suarez's scoring form continued -- the Uruguayan now has four goals in his last three games -- with a pair of strikes in wins over Granada in La Liga and Villarreal in the Copa del Rey semifinals. Meanwhile, Neymar netted twice in the latter and suddenly treble talk is heating up in Catalonia, especially after Real Madrid...