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England U21s -- Strength in depth

Tactics And Analysis Oct 17, 2014

WhoScored: Welbeck a finer scorer than Mario

Tactics And Analysis Oct 3, 2014

Whoscored: Pleasant early Prem surprises

Southampton Sep 26, 2014

WhoScored: Cesc driving Chelsea on

Tactics And Analysis Sep 18, 2014

Whoscored: Welbeck's chance to prove himself

Arsenal Sep 11, 2014
 By Michael Cox
6 days ago

Angel Di Maria and Juan Mata set for reunion with Mourinho

Louis van Gaal believes Manchester United can still win a Premier League title. The ESPN FC panel think otherwise.

Manchester United have broken their record transfer fee twice in 2014, with vastly different levels of success. Juan Mata has rarely sparkled since his 37.1 million-pound move from Chelsea in January, but Angel Di Maria has been in impressive form, having been signed for 59.7 million pounds in the summer. Jose Mourinho, who visits Old Trafford with Chelsea this weekend, might have predicted how things would go.

Mourinho, of course, has coached both, and his perception of the duo tallies closely...

6 days ago

Sam Allardyce has ushered in a new system and a new team at West Ham

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce speaks to the challenge of hosting champions Manchester City in their upcoming Premier League tie.

It's difficult to truly believe how attractive a team West Ham now are given how insipid they were only last season. After a summer of shrewd signings coupled with some rather surprisingly versatile tactical shifts from manager Sam Allardyce, the team's reliance on the combination of Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan has dissipated into thin air. Flying high in fourth place this season, they take on Manchester City this weekend as one of the Premier League's in-form teams.

Three wins from their last...

 By Michael Cox
Oct 21, 2014

Liverpool and Real Madrid's midfields have evolved since their last meeting

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers addressed Mario Balotelli's goal-scoring slump and says it's only a matter of time before he starts turning them in.

Liverpool's 5-0 aggregate victory over Real Madrid in the 2008-09 Champions League was arguably the genuine highlight of Rafael Benitez's six-year reign at Anfield.

OK, it didn't involve actually winning a trophy, like in the 2005 European Cup final, but as an exhibition of pure footballing brilliance, it was unparalleled. Even the most ardent Liverpool fan recognises Liverpool were far from brilliant in 2005, but defeating Real Madrid 5-0 was truly extraordinary.

The two performances were notable...

Oct 17, 2014

England under-21s could be title contender at Euro 2015

England World Cup players Luke Shaw, left, and Raheem Sterling, right, could end up featuring for the Three Lions at next summer's Euro 2015 Under-21 championships.
England World Cup players Luke Shaw, left, and Raheem Sterling, right, could end up featuring for the Three Lions at next summer's Euro 2015 Under-21 championships.

The international break is over, but it has not left as many people thinking "Thank God for that" this time 'round, with a number of shock results enough to keep the neutrals suitably entertained and, in many cases, amused.

The likes of Germany, Spain and Netherlands all lost European qualifiers, while Italy laboured to narrow victories over Azerbaijan and Malta, and England likewise against Estonia. However, it wasn't just the senior superpowers that were underperforming in the most recent hiatus...

 By Michael Cox
Oct 15, 2014

Vincent Kompany and Jan Vertonghen epitomise Belgian school of defending

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots talks to the media after 1-1 draw with Bosnia-Herzegovina in their Euro 2016 qualifying match in Zenica on Monday.

Not all sports blend international and club competition as seamlessly as football, where it's become extremely common for players to be teammates, then opponents, within the same week. How do you spend Sunday, Monday and Tuesday working on understanding and cohesion with a teammate, before setting out to overpower them the following weekend?

This Saturday's contest between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, the weekend's opening Premier League game, is a perfect example. A match between two...

 By Michael Cox
Oct 14, 2014

Euro 2016 qualifying: Three things we learned from the international break

England international Raheem Sterling is now facing backlash for telling England manager Roy Hodgson he was tired before a European qualifier.

A round of unexciting fixtures in a predictable qualification campaign initially promised little, but the latest international break turned out to be surprisingly interesting. Here are three things we learned from Euro 2016 qualifying ...

England really need Raheem Sterling

The backlash against Sterling's omission from England's starting lineup for Sunday's 1-0 victory away in Estonia was gloriously predictable -- the perfect story to keep the English press going in a rare midweek without any...