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John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Stagnant League Cup needs reforms to inject life into failing competition

Paul Mariner proposes that Premier League teams should be given the option to play in the Carabao Cup.
Paul Mariner proposes that Premier League teams should be given the option to play in the Carabao Cup.

Jose Mourinho, despite winning the League Cup for the fourth time last season, voiced what has become a common question.

"If you ask me could the English football survive or even be better without this competition?" he said after Manchester United's 4-1 defeat of Burton Albion.

"Maybe we would be fresher for European competitions, for example." 

Elsewhere, Tuesday's crowd of 23,926 at Wembley for Tottenham's 1-0 win over Barnsley had said much of the cachet of the Carabao Cup.

"If...

 By Tony Evans

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool must tighten up in order to ease growing dissent

The FC panel address Liverpool's B-squad against Leicester, and how they won't mind an early exit from the cup competition.
The guys answer your tweets on Klopp's effectiveness, Wenger's dubious sale of the Ox, and Mourinho's managerial prowess.
Liverpool's poor run of form continues after Leicester ousted them out of the Carabao Cup, with Islam Slimani bagging a superb goal.

The path from saviour to scapegoat is a short one at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp has to be careful that his career does not go down a blind alley.

Liverpool's 2-0 Carabao Cup defeat by Leicester City is not disastrous but it adds to the pressure building on him. The Reds return to the King Power Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday and the spotlight will be on the 50-year-old. Nearly two years into his tenure on Merseyside, questions remain about Liverpool's direction and there are no easy answers.

Klopp's...

 By Nick Miller

Aymeric Laporte tops the list of the Europe's best young defenders

Aymeric Laporte epitomises the modern defender: equally comfortable on defence as he is in leading an attack.

With so much emphasis placed on young attacking talent, it's easy to forget there are plenty of impressive defenders out there too. Here are 10 of Europe's best defenders under the age of 25.

10. John Stones, 23, Manchester City

The English are often very harsh on their own. Quite why is unclear, but for evidence you only have to look at Stones' career. Presumably because of his colossal £47.5 million transfer fee, you will usually find more people commenting on the negatives of Stones' game...

Marco Asensio's road to Real wasn't easy but he's now poised for greatness

Relive Asensio's wonder goal during the Super Cup, and delve into the FC crew's thoughts about his future at Real Madrid.
The FC crew evaluate Real Madrid's win over Sociedad, including Gareth Bale's goal and the emergence of Borja Mayoral.
Zinedine Zidane believes Gareth Bale can use jeers from fans to improve his game, just as Zidane did during his playing days.
Zinedine Zidane admits he is not surprised by the comparisons made between Marco Asensio and Lionel Messi.

Watch him play and there's an unadulterated freshness to him, a nothing-is-impossible vibe that gets crowds -- even those used to watching Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Luka Modric on a weekly basis -- on their feet.

It's fun. It's innocent. It's a kid playing unbridled football and doing it with joy. Sometimes it feels as if Marco Asensio popped out fully formed, perhaps straight from a Japanese cartoon, as if he'd been playing alongside Captain Tsubasa until last year. But that's not who...

Tony Coton: Tim Howard was to blame for his Man United failure, not me

Tim Howard signed for Manchester United in 2003 and made 77 appearances for the club.

The following is an excerpt from Tony Coton's autobiography, "There To Be Shot At." Taken from the chapter entitled "Tim Coward," Coton discusses his relationship with Manchester United's U.S. international goalkeeper from the summer of 2004 onward.

Yet it was clear when Howard returned for preseason training that he was a changed man -- and not for the better. He suddenly started playing 'bigger' when he was between the sticks, moving forward so that his only option to make a save was to block...

 By Noah Davis

After brush with greatness in US Open Cup, Christos FC just wants to have fun

An amateur team sponsored by a local liquor store in Maryland, Christos FC made a Cinderella run to the U.S. Open cup's fourth round, in which D.C. United brought their dreams to an end. Scott Van Pelt explains how the run came to be.

BALTIMORE, Md. -- The fellas of Christos FC do many things well. They coach. They found companies. They are marketers and statisticians. But the two things they do best are play soccer together and drink beers together.

On a recent Friday night, a handful of them were doing the latter. They ostensibly came together on my behalf so I could meet members of the team that reached the fourth round of the 2017 US Open Cup. They even took a 1-0 lead against D.C. United before falling 4-1, the furthest...