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Transfer Rater: Bellerin to Barcelona

 By Tom Adams

Arsenal's squad is dangerously light on players who relish a battle

Alejandro Moreno re-visits the subject of Arsenal's 'mental problem' in the wake of Laurent Koscielny's comments.

Tony Adams developed a "law of seven." In the opinion of Arsenal's greatest captain, if you wanted to be a successful team, seven was the number of players you needed who were ready to go into battle and give everything for their teammates.

"He believed it was imperative to look around your team and know there were at least seven who would back you up with everything they've got no matter what," writes Amy Lawrence in "Invincible," her story of the 2003-04 unbeaten season. "You could probably...

 By Simon Curtis

Man City can join European aristocracy with deep Champions League run

Man City defender John Stones isn't worrying about the recent criticisms of his defensive mishaps.

Adding Manchester City's enthralling 5-3 victory over Monaco to the emphatic demolition of Barcelona last November makes it tempting to ask whether City are beginning, at long last, to hit their stride in the Champions League. The gradual, year-on-year improvement sought by the club's owners in Abu Dhabi is clearly occurring. Not initially apparent, owing to three campaigns of false starts, the line ever since has been on the gradual climb.

From the initial stuttering start to life with the big...

 By Alex Crook

Claude Puel, Southampton capable of an EFL Cup final shock vs. Man Utd

The Boys from Exploding Heads are here to assure you that the League Cup final is definitely not pointless.

Antonio Conte has rightly been applauded for bringing Chelsea out of their post-Jose Mourinho slumber and turning them into champions-in-waiting with a minimum of fuss. But if Claude Puel stops Mourinho from getting his hands on his first trophy as Manchester United boss in Sunday's EFL Cup final, he should be named manager of the year ahead of Conte.

Despite the sales of key trio Sadio Mane, Graziano Pelle and Victor Wanyama in the summer, Puel has already made history in his maiden season on...

EFL Cup can serve as a "springboard" to more silverware for Mourinho, Man United

The FC crew discuss whether or not winning the EFL Cup will be enough for Manchester United to call this season successful.
Steve Nicol assesses the strength of Man United's squad depth as the remain competitive on four fronts.
The Boys from Exploding Heads are here to assure you that the League Cup final is definitely not pointless.
Mark Ogden discusses whether now would be the right time for Wayne Rooney to leave Manchester United.

Manchester United will make their fourth trip to Wembley in 10 months on Sunday when they face Southampton in the League Cup final.

If United win, Jose Mourinho will become the first manager at the club to win a trophy in his first season, although he's claimed this isn't what motivates him. During Friday's news conference, he claimed individual plaudits drove him on in the beginning of his career, but now he's a "club man". He recognises that silverware for the club is more important than another...

After turbulent offseason, New York Red Bulls are Jesse Marsch's team now

The FC crew discuss the manner in which the Red Bulls went about trading Dax McCarty to the Chicago Fire.

As the dust settles on an offseason of upheaval for the New York Red Bulls, one truth has become very apparent: this is undoubtedly Jesse Marsch's team.

It could have broken differently. An offseason of seemingly very little activity in the transfer market burst into life with the sudden trade of captain Dax McCarty to the Chicago Fire, and in the fallout from that trade a swirl of rumors about the futures of Marsch and sporting director Ali Curtis ended with the announcement of Curtis's departure....

 By Mark Worrall

Chelsea look to extend home run against suddenly surging Swansea

Antonio Conte would rather focus on Chelsea's FA Cup tie against Wolves than comment on Diego Costa's contract situation.
Antonio Conte says while he'd like to win every title possible, he understands how tough of a task it is to ask.
Antonio Conte has revealed his sadness over Claudio Ranieri's sacking, while also looking ahead to Chelsea's game against Swansea.

Saturday sees Chelsea return to Premier League action at Stamford Bridge where Swansea City will provide the opposition. Had the fixture taken place a couple of months ago, the outcome might have been considered a foregone conclusion. The Blues topped the table on Christmas Day having recently registered a club record-equaling 11th straight win, while Swansea were in a tailspin and about to hit rock bottom  -- a failing for which manager Bob Bradley ultimately paid for with is job.

Since then,...