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Blog - Marcotti's Musings

Brendan Rodgers, Rafa Benitez, Luis Enrique, others face uncertain futures

The ESPN FC crew recap Liverpool's performance against Stoke City, where Steve Nicol says Liverpool have been extremely poor this season.

With nothing left to play for, you imagine Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was hoping that Sunday would pass largely unnoticed.

A trip to the Britannia Stadium and Stoke City offered a chance for the home team to bask in the afterglow of a tremendous season, while Rodgers' own team could go through the motions, get the departing Steven Gerrard on the scoresheet and retreat quickly to reload for next season.

As has happened time and again this year, things didn't quite work out as Rodgers had planned....

Understanding Platini's proposal to ease the financial fair play rules

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti discusses financial fair play and its possible changes moving forward in regards to business plans of football clubs.
UEFA President Michel Platini admits he could be in favour of reducing the Financial Fair Play restrictions currently in place across European football.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says any new financial fair play rules introduced by UEFA will make no difference to his club, thanks to their financial prudence over the years.

Gab Marcotti tells you everything you need to know about Michel Platini's proposal to ease some of UEFA's financial fair play rules

Q: What's this? UEFA President Michel Platini says they're relaxing financial fair play restrictions? So they're getting rid of those pesky spending limits?

A: Not quite. They're going to consult with clubs and leagues and then vote on a proposal, most likely at the UEFA Executive Committee meeting in late June. Beyond that, as I understand it, the limits...

Enrique deserves credit at Barca, and Man United to blame for De Gea unrest

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno discusses the elements that led to FC Barcelona's season turnaround, which culminated in the Catalan side securing the league title.

In the end, there was less drama than anticipated. Barcelona's trip to the Calderon to seal the title with Sunday's 1-0 win felt a bit like stamping a time card: routine, dull and a necessary step on the way to the title. Exactly a year earlier, it was Atletico winning the title in Barca's house; now it was the other way around.

Luis Enrique, who had won absolutely nothing as a manager before Sunday, is on the verge of winning the treble (La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey) in his debut...

Is Pep Guardiola leaving Bayern, Real let La Liga slip, Gareth Bale criticism

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti weighs in on Pep Guardiola's sensitive situation at Bayern Munich.

It's been a tumultuous few weeks for Pep Guardiola, from the acrimonious departure of Hans-Wilhelm Mueller-Wohlfahrt, Bayern's club doctor, to the fact that he's lost three games on the spin; four, if you count getting knocked out on penalties by Borussia Dortmund in the German Cup semifinal.

Managers go through rocky patches and when it happens, it's good to separate what matters from what does not. With the Bundesliga already in the bag, the league defeats are less important, though psychologically,...

Real Madrid's big win; Terry's message; credit to Allegri; Bayern concerns

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno believes the pressure is back on Barcelona following Cristiano Ronaldo's thrilling hat trick against a Sevilla side who had not lost at home in 34 matches.

You step on the pitch with the table saying you're five points back. Sure, you have a game in hand, but it happens to be at Sevilla's Sanchez Pizjuan, where you haven't won since 2011 and, in fact, where no visiting team has won in 35 games.

You need to conjure up a result but, at the same time, you're playing your biggest game of the season thus far on Tuesday night in the Champions League, where you're 180 minutes away from the final and the chance to make it two in a row, something nobody has...

Jose Mourinho's Chelsea changes and choices make title win satisfying

Eden Hazard's header following a saved penalty was enough to secure Chelsea's fourth Premier League title.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley believes Chelsea were far better than the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City after being crowned 2015 Premier League champions.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley believes Chelsea were far better than the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City after being crowned 2015 Premier League champions.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley discusses Chelsea's title-clinching win over Crystal Palace and breaks down the keys along Chelsea's road to the title.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley joins SportsCenter to discuss Chelsea's dominating title win.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley discusses Chelsea's title-clinching win over Crystal Palace and breaks down the keys along Chelsea's road to the title.

It was around this time two years ago that Chelsea and Jose Mourinho began plotting his return to Stamford Bridge.

It was a telegraphed return. His Real Madrid experience was coming to an end amid acrimony and accusations, and the fact that he had three years left on his deal at the Bernabeu wasn't worth, for either side, the paper it was written on. Meanwhile, Chelsea's own manager, Rafa Benitez, was due to leave Stamford Bridge in a few weeks.

From the earliest meetings between Chelsea and Mourinho,...