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Blog - Marcotti's Musings

FIFA's Transfer Matching System a good step toward accountability

ESPN FC analyst Craig Burley sounds off on David Ginola's run for FIFA presidency, pleading for a credible candidate to emerge.

It's one of those ideas that, once implemented, leaves you wondering why it took so long.

Before FIFA's Transfer Matching System (TMS) went live in October 2010, moving players across national borders was a laborious, and sometimes haphazard, task. Two clubs would agree a deal, the player would sign a contract and then you would wait for something called the "International Transfer Certificate" (ITC).

To get it, you would send the relevant documentation to FIFA, who would check it and then send...

An un-Arsenal-like win, Chelsea's inspiration, Spain's big two on track

A big weekend in the Premier League featured Louis van Gaal's younger look-alike, Alan Pardew's continued honeymoon with Crystal Palace and Arsenal's revenge at the Etihad.
ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno had nothing but praise for Lionel Messi who notched his 22nd hat trick in La Liga, now one off leader Cristiano Ronaldo.
The ESPN FC crew debate whether Real Madrid's lack of squad rotation will cost them as the season progresses. Alejandro Moreno believes there is plenty of depth at Madrid.

Somewhere out there a lot of folks are directing a bunch of "I-told-you-sos" at Arsene Wenger. They are the same people who told him to employ a specialist defensive midfielder, the ones who told him not to push both full-backs up the pitch at the same time, the guys who said his Arsenal team was soft and should play with an edge.

Now, no doubt, they feel vindicated. Arsenal won 2-0 at Manchester City, doing Chelsea a huge favor as Wenger's plan worked to perfection. By sitting back, conceding sterile...

Barcelona impress, Man Utd's Falcao puzzle, Serie A excitement, more

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti discusses Lionel Messi's comments that he has no intention of leaving Barcelona and instead, calls for Barcelona to unite.
A big weekend in the Premier League featured relegation battles, a battle for Champions League position, and a manager returning to a familiar place.
ESPN FC's Steve Nicol breaks down Manchester United's 1-0 loss to Southampton at Old Trafford where he seems just as confused as the players as to where their positions are.
ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti is at a loss for words when discussing Francesco Totti's form for AS Roma and Juventus' important win over Napoli.

If you're an optimist, Barcelona's 3-1 win Sunday over Atletico Madrid was the watershed moment when it all came together. It was the point where Lionel Messi set the record straight on his relationship with manager Luis Enrique and, more importantly, when the team finally came together and produced a "statement win" against the Liga champions, an opponent they had not defeated in six attempts.

If you're of a more cynical, negative persuasion, this was a classic example of papering over the...

Different landscape means Rooney Rule alone won't be enough

There are 92 league clubs in the top four divisions of the English pyramid. Three are managed by English-formed managers who are what is known in British academia as "BME": black and minority ethnic. Two others -- Fabio Liverani at Leyton Orient and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink at Burton Albion -- are foreign and made their coaching debuts abroad.

Chris Hughton was recently appointed at Brighton and Hove Albion, while Chris Powell is manager at Huddersfield Town and Keith Curle is in charge at Carlisle...

Real Madrid's bad weekend was even worse for Luis Enrique, Barcelona

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop and Alejandro Moreno share a laugh at Steve Nicol's thoughts on Valencia's 2-1 win over Real Madrid, which reminded him of a Premier League like atmosphere.
ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti believes Lukas Podolski's loan move to Inter Milan benefits both Arsenal and Inter Milan as the German international has yet to record a start in the Premier League this season for the Gunners.
Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi have each been suspended two matches for returning to PSG late from winter break, and ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti believes they will leave if big enough offers come PSG's way.

Real Madrid's winning streak was halted at 22 games at the Mestalla by a Valencia team that was unafraid to go toe-to-toe with the European champions. Nuno Espirito Santo opted to take the game to the opposition, to harry, to pressure, to harass, believing he could disrupt Madrid's rhythm.

And he was right. Dani Parejo, Andre Gomes and Enzo Perez pushed right up against Real's midfield trio and repeatedly broke up their usually synchronized passing. The visitors were clearly rattled. Even after...

FIFA reform, Prem change and Mourinho: 30 football wishes for 2015

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti previews the upcoming January transfer window, where Kevin Strootman and Mats Hummels are both names that seemingly are coming up on everyone's radar.
As Barcelona are currently still under a transfer ban, ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti believes the Catalans will be best served counting on the likes of La Masia and Barcelona B.

This time last year, I gave you my 30 wishes for 2014.

Some of them came true. We had a clean winner at the 2014 World Cup. We got that vanishing spray to mark out distances on free kicks. And folks really did realize that there's no such thing as a "retroactive sponsorship."

Many did not, mainly because they were never likely to happen overnight. And others can't really be measured in real time. They still apply, though. I still wish for more transparency, more accountability and hard-and-fast...