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4 days ago

Arsenal woe down to Wenger, Milan sides have far to go, Chelsea impress

ESPN FC's Paul Mariner breaks down why Arsenal are in a slide and what they can do to fix it.

I couldn't believe that someone actually asked Louis Van Gaal whether Manchester United's performance in their 2-1 win at Arsenal on Saturday was the best United has played this season.

Talk about mistaking results for performance. To his credit -- unlike some managers who might have basked in the afterglow of a win at Arsenal and suggested it was all part of a master plan -- Van Gaal is brutally honest. He doesn't need to make himself look good.

"With the way we played in the first half,...

7 days ago

James Pallotta wants to take AS Roma, Serie A, to top of world football

Ahead of their league clash with Torino, Roma head coach Rudi Garcia believes his side can achieve great things this season.

The thing about owning AS Roma and telling the world about your long-term project to make the giallorossi into the dominant force in Europe is that there almost too many clichés.

It wasn't built in a day, we get it. But, ultimately, all roads lead there, which is why there is so much potential. The key though, now that you're in Rome, is knowing when -- and to what extent -- to do as the Romans do and when to do your own thing, your way.

James Pallotta eschews these aphorisms. He has his own....

Nov 17, 2014

Could football ever truly ditch FIFA? Plus: Mancini might be ideal for Inter

The ESPN FC team delve deeper as FIFA cleared Qatar and Russia of corruption over their World Cup bids.

It's something mooted by many of those who are disgusted every time FIFA wastes an opportunity to show it can clean up its act. Or at least give the impression it is cleaning up its act.

Like right now, when you have a serious, supposedly independent investigation like Michael Garcia's being withheld from the general public -- indeed, withheld from everyone in the world apart from those you can count on the fingers of one hand. Instead, we're served up a redacted "summary" that Garcia himself...

Nov 13, 2014

Answering questions surrounding FIFA's ethics investigation summary

A FIFA judge has cleared Russia and Qatar of corruption in their winning bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Got questions about the latest goings-on regarding FIFA and the investigation into the bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups? So does Gab Marcotti. He has answers, too.

Q: OK, so I read FIFA's statement which responds to Michael Garcia's investigation and it boils down to the fact that most bid committees engaged in some level of wrongdoing, which might warrant further investigation, but there's no evidence of anything really, really bad. That means it's clear sailing ahead for...

Nov 12, 2014

David Moyes, Jose Mourinho and luck: The trouble with judging managers

ESPN FC's Craig Burley gives his take on how the perception of David Moyes at Manchester United became reality.

Imagine, for a moment, that you are David Moyes.

Eighteen months ago you were probably the highest-regarded British manager in the Premier League. For more than a decade you had stewarded a club with little going for it (apart from, obviously, its history and fan base) from minor miracle to minor miracle, consistently finishing in the top eight and outperforming better-funded rivals.

Then you went to Old Trafford to succeed a legend and things didn't work out. So now you have to rebuild your reputation.

(Quick...

Nov 10, 2014

PSG pick up more than a win vs. Marseille. Plus: more pain for Rodgers

It was another big, big weekend in the English Premier League, Anthony Richardson recaps the best and worst of it.

You could write a fancy academic thesis and wax both philosophical and sociological based on what we saw at the Parc des Princes on Sunday night. Paris St. Germain versus Olympique Marseille was the individual versus the collective, Nasser Al-Khelaifi's chequebook versus Marcelo Bielsa's notebook, Le President versus "El Loco."

A team that's bigger than the sum of its parts versus a collection of superstars used to serving Zlatan Ibrahimovic and underachieving when he's not around (and, sometimes,...