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Blog - Marcotti's Musings

Strootman, Hummels, Man United hype expose flaws in transfer 'system'

ESPN FC's Craig Burley is at odds with the latest Gareth Bale to Manchester United rumours as United are currently in the rebuilding process.

Two transfer stories caught my eye in the past week. Not because they're new, quite the opposite, but because they seem so appropriate in this holiday gifting season.

You know how it works: TV, word of mouth and the other kids on the block create buzz around a toy. You decide that you desperately want it.

And it has to be a brand-name toy. You do not want the cheaper, knockoff version, even though it costs a fraction as much and does exactly the same thing. And you probably don't want the obscure...

Liverpool have something to build on,
plus: Don't mock the Club World Cup!

The ESPN FC discuss Liverpool's recent upturn in form following victory over Bournemouth and a spirited draw vs. Arsenal.

It had been a while since we saw Liverpool so comprehensively outplay an opponent as they outplayed Arsenal in Sunday's 2-2 draw. (No, Bournemouth in the League Cup with half a dozen changes doesn't count.) Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers' 3-4-2-1 system worked for long stretches, befuddling the Gunners' midfield and giving the Reds the kind of territorial dominance in this matchup rarely seen since Arsene Wenger took over at Arsenal.

Liverpool's Lazar Markovic ran rampant down his flank,...

There's reason to hold out hope that Garcia's full FIFA report will be released

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti and Shaka Hislop weigh in on Michael Garcia's departure from FIFA's ethics committee and FIFA's image going forward.

You may be bored stiff already by the reporting on FIFA, their ethics investigator Michael Garcia and German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert.

You may be among those who jumped to the conclusion that all football governance is corrupt, there is no way out and that rather than reading this, your time is better spent doing something more valuable, like looking up players who made dubious fashion choices in their youth (here's Ivan Rakitic. ... Enjoy!)

If that's the case, I don't blame you....

Man Utd-Liverpool reflections, Barca's blip, Bayern march on, Juve slip again

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno, Shaka Hislop and Steve Nicol discuss whether or not Manchester United are Premier League title contenders.

Apart from club allegiances, how you viewed Manchester United's 3-0 victory over Liverpool probably depends on your approach to watching football.

Are you a purist and an aesthete? The game was terrible, an ode to mis-hit passes and bad defending. As Alan Shearer put it on Match of the Day: "The standard of passing for both teams was just so poor..."

Are you a short-attention span type who enjoys goals, thrills and spills? If so, it wasn't so bad. There were plenty of chances and not all of them...

Jose Mourinho's 'ball boy' comments did just what they were supposed to do

The ESPN FC crew discuss Chelsea's loss to Newcastle United. Manager Jose Mourinho blamed the ball boys for time-wasting, but Gab Marcotti thinks Chelsea are still in the driver's seat.

It's been a long-running debate. Does a screw fall out causing him to lose all perspective? Or does he know exactly what he's doing?

With Jose Mourinho, you do wonder. And the answer is that sometimes -- like when he's eye-poking or identifying UNICEF as grand conspirators against him -- he does lose his cool. And he does say and do things he comes to regret.

Other times, he says things for effect. Because he's a clever guy and he knows the reaction he'll get and he believes that reaction...

Do we have a Prem title race yet?
Plus: How far can Real Madrid go?

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti believes Chelsea players may suffer fatigue in the latter stages of the season if they are to make a deep run in the Champions League, while also searching for the Premier League title.

It's not quite "game on" in the Premier League title race, but it's equally true that a year ago Manchester City were six points behind Arsenal and went on to win the title. And this year, they're six behind Chelsea, so you might conclude: why not?

The easy answer is that Chelsea aren't Arsenal. They're coached by Jose Mourinho and they're packed with guys who have won silverware in recent years -- and therefore have that "winning mentality" that will help avoid a second-half meltdown.

(Empirically,...