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England U21s -- Strength in depth

Tactics And Analysis Oct 17, 2014
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Arsenal are England's supply line

Arsenal Oct 10, 2014
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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...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin
Oct 15, 2014

Rodgers vs. Hodgson: A battle that Liverpool & England could do without

ESPN FC analyst Craig Burley questions Raheem Sterling's work ethic and praises Vicente del Bosque's decision to play Diego Costa despite Jose Mourinho's qualms.

The conflict between England manager Roy Hodgson and Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is barely concealed. First came the battle of Daniel Sturridge's wounded thigh, now a running skirmish over Raheem Sterling's energy levels. Rodgers' weekend preview news conference is keenly awaited, because it seems unlikely that the habitually verbose Irishman would be able to resist the temptation to put his side of the story.

Club vs. country is a debate that has run as long as professional football has been...

 By John Cross
Oct 15, 2014

Wilshere finally living up to the hype after starring for Arsenal & England

Jack Wilshere has been in fine form this season, having impressed for both Arsenal and England.

Jack Wilshere has trotted out a familiar line in interviews for the past few months.

"Judge me after a run of games," he's said. "Give me seven or eight games. I need a few games to get my rhythm, fitness and sharpness."

Now, a couple of months into the season and games under his belt, he has really found his level and it is not just England who are benefitting. Wilshere was comfortably Arsenal's best player in their defeat at Chelsea last time out and that gave him confidence and sharpness to take...

 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...

 By David Usher
Oct 13, 2014

Sloppy Hodgson comments make Liverpool's Sterling an unfair target

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol reacts to Raheem Sterling telling Roy Hodgson that he was too tired to play in England's game against Estonia.

Another day, another club vs. country row. Raheem Sterling is being pilloried by many England fans, as well as some sections of the media, for having the temerity to admit to his coach he was feeling tired. He did not refuse to play for England, he merely informed Roy Hodgson how he was feeling and left the rest up to him. Hodgson sensibly elected to go with the in-form Adam Lallana instead against Estonia but less sensibly then threw his teenage star under the bus by informing the media that Sterling...

Oct 13, 2014

Estonian goes from facing Wayne Rooney to army barracks in 3 hours

Wayne Rooney's breakthrough goal late in the second half lifted England to a 1-0 victory over Estonia.

Estonia left-back Artur Pikk had played five minutes of international football before Sunday's Euro 2016 qualifier against England. Yet he lined up against Wayne Rooney and co, put in more than a decent shift against Premier League stars and ... had to report back to the Estonian army barracks by midnight.

Army service is compulsory in Estonia for all males and, while top athletes don't have to serve the standard eight months, they are obliged to undertake a crash course lasting three months.

Pikk...