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Whoscored: Pleasant early Prem surprises

Southampton Sep 26, 2014
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 By Chris Wright
4 days ago

Full transcript: Fiery exchange between Keane and Irish journalists

Martin O'Neill has admitted an alleged hotel fight between his Ireland deputy Roy Keane and a fan is a distraction ahead of their Euro 2016 clash with Scotland, but backed his assistant.

As Monday happened to be a day of the week ending in 'Y' again this week, the Republic of Ireland's assistant manager Roy Keane found himself embroiled in a tense stand-off with journalists at an FAI press conference.

Keane was asked by a reporter whether or not he believed the media sideshow that constantly envelopes him was becoming a distraction to Martin O'Neill's mission to haul Ireland through Euro 2016 qualification. Of course, Keane took umbrage at the line of questioning and replied in...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff
Nov 11, 2014

Player of the Season so far: Your club's best performer in the Premier League

The ESPN FC crew respond to your tweets and discuss the candidates for EPL MVP thus far and question whether or not Craig Burley will ever manage.

With the season in full swing, who has shone in the Premier League? We asked our ESPN FC bloggers who has been their club's player of the season so far ...

- Europe: Star players for the continental clubs so far

Arsenal: Alexis Sanchez

In a season when Arsenal have lurched from the less than sublime to the beyond ridiculous, the Chilean stands head and shoulders above anyone else. Desire, work rate, energy, application, a hunger to make an impact on games and the end product to back it up. So far...

Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes
Nov 9, 2014

Brad Guzan the lone star as Villa settle for a dull draw vs West Ham

Aston Villa failed to score yet again, as they were held to a nil-nil draw by West Ham.

When Paul Lambert leaves Aston Villa, whether that is in a week, a month or a year, there will inevitably be a review of his time as manager. Within that analysis will be a large tick in the "plus" column against not only his decision to convince Brad Guzan to return to the club in 2012, but also to install the American as his No. 1 goalkeeper.

Guzan has rarely let his boss down in a two and a bit seasons and was at his best again as he earned his team a point from Saturday's 0-0 draw at West...

 By Jason Dasey
Nov 6, 2014

Former Thailand boss Peter Withe: Why I want to manage Aston Villa

Aston Villa's 1982 European Cup hero Peter Withe has coached the national teams of Thailand and Indonesia but is now in charge of a club in the Thai second tier.

For a man who once scored the winning goal in a European Cup final for the reigning English champions, it might have seemed like a small achievement.

Yet Peter Withe felt a strong sense of satisfaction as his struggling Thai club side avoided relegation on the final day of the season last weekend. Withe is a coaching hero in Thailand after helping the national team become champions of Southeast Asia in 2000 and 2002. These days, he carries the same passion as he manages Nakhon Pathom United FC,...

Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes
Nov 6, 2014

Pressure piles up on Paul Lambert and Aston Villa

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert appeared to question Christian Benteke's red card in their 2-1 defeat to Tottenham.

Fortunes change quickly in football. A few weeks ago, Villa were highly positioned in the Premier League, having won three of the four opening fixtures of the campaign, and the announcement of a four-year extension to manager Paul Lambert's contract was perfectly timed.

From that point on, it has been all downhill. Villa have since lost six straight games, a sequence that is the club's worst run of results in 47 years. Most of those six games have been desperately one-sided defeats too. Lambert's...

Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes
Nov 2, 2014

Villa look sharp until Christian Benteke dismissal leads to heartbreak

Harry Kane's 90th-minute goal secured all three points for the Spurs in a 2-1 victory over 10-man Aston Villa.
Aston Villa showed more inspiration than they had for weeks -- and then Christian Benteke was sent off.

Some defeats are harder to take than others, and Sunday's 2-1 loss to Spurs will burn a lot longer than any of the preceding five for Villa.

Aston VillaAston Villa
Tottenham HotspurTottenham Hotspur
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Until the 65th minute, this was the brightest, the sharpest and the most proactively positive performance from Paul Lambert's team for weeks. Up until the moment Christian Benteke got himself embroiled in the middle of a melee of Spurs players and reacted rashly, the story of the match appeared to be that of the Beast waking from his slumber.

For an hour Benteke...