Juan Mata, Shinji Kagawa, and United’s attacking channels

This time last year, Manchester United had only lost three BPL matches, already scored 60 goals, and built a nine point cushion atop the Premier League table. This season, with Moyes at the helm and Fergie in the stands, United have already lost more than three BPL matches at Old Trafford alone, netted less than 40 goals, and fallen 15 points (seven places!) behind league leaders...
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February 05, 2014  |  Discuss

For Club and Country: Does the USMNT need a domestic powerhouse to be elite?

Truth be told, I’ve always thought the dynamic between head coach and employer country is much more like a romantic relationship than a traditional professional one. Okay, using the word romantic might be over doing it, but odds are a coach-to-country union at least sort of begins like a torrid affair. The country covets the coach, the coach promises to be something irresistibly...
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October 18, 2013  |  Discuss

Monday Morning Kick: Ozil’s gonna like it here

Is the Premier League going to be like this weekend forever and ever? - Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City all made big changes this summer. Most of the rest of the league followed suit. The result? Everything is exactly the same as last year… (SB Nation) Send off divers, urges Palace chief - Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has called for players who dive to...
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September 16, 2013  |  Discuss

(Video) Oxlade-Chamberlain grabs the mic, shows Aaron Ramsey’s “treading water” running style no mercy

Every professional athlete knows how trying the media can be, but few expect their teammates to join the onslaught. Check out Arsenal’s wingers doling out their zingers below: (In case you’re wondering, current score = Ox 1, Ramsey 0… mph) (via
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July 23, 2013  |  Discuss

Confeds Cup Review: So when did everyone start hating Tiki-taka?

Somewhere along the line, amid Barcelona winning La Liga and Champions League about a hundred times, and Spain winning the World Cup and Euro in equally dominant and consecutive campaigns, the world soured on Tiki-taka football. “Boring” seems to be the word most often associated with the Spanish style these days, even “sterile” when one wants to be especially severe, but...
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July 02, 2013  |  Discuss

Why Arsenal’s 4th place finish is significantly better than last year’s 3rd place

As another Premier League season fades into a Harry Redknapp-esque state of fleeting significance and football finality, and a slew of bwin betting aficionados make their way towards other odds and underdogs, The Gunners and their manager can once again fondly look back at another campaign of not quite top of the table soccer. While the ol’ Wenger Top Four Trophy may come up...
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June 07, 2013  |  Discuss

Monday Morning Kick: One more magic finish from Bale and Fergie’s farewell

Ferguson, United prove their critics wrong - It ended with just another football match and a team selection that glanced to a future in which Manchester United must do without Sir Alex Ferguson.   The club existed before him, of course, but Ferguson has made it what it is today and must live up to in future. His final season in charge ended with a title won as relentlessly as any...
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May 20, 2013  |  Discuss

Fernando Torres plays the “powerful striker” role in Europa final

Other than both sets of supporters acting out in increasingly more dramatic shows of victory and defeat after the final whistle, the night’s best performances probably belong to Juan Mata and the progressively more “rugged” Fernando Torres. With Mata finally able to create from more entry passes received in the second half and Torres able to use physical play to prolong possession...
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May 16, 2013  |  Discuss

The Moyes-Rooney Equation

It’s true. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season. In a move that has apparently been in the works for quite some time, it’s an event the club had to inform Wall Street about because the implications are so profound, rippling well beyond the boundaries of those immediately involved. I, for one, cannot remember a time when Sir Alex was not at the United Helm,...
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May 09, 2013  |  Discuss

Monday Morning Kick: Top EPL teams hold ground in UCL race

Sir Alex Ferguson: David Luiz like a ‘dying swan’ over red card - Sir Alex Ferguson accused David Luiz of being a “dying swan” to fool the referee Howard Webb into sending off Rafael da Silva near the end of Chelsea’s vital 1-0 win against Manchester United. Ferguson was also strongly critical of the visitors’ Brazilian for smiling on the ground while he apparently writhed...
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May 06, 2013  |  Discuss

Chelsea lead “top four” race, but have toughest remaining schedule

Unlike last season, where the EPL title Gods, mired in supreme indecision, waited until the absolute last day of competition to anoint a league champion, this year’s final verdict was prompt and predictable. “That team up in Manchester”, the mighty football beings likely muttered. “No no no, not them. The ones in red. The ones that always win it. Have them wrap it up before...
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May 01, 2013  |  Discuss

Monday Morning Kick: Gareth Bale takes the honors

Tottenham’s Gareth Bale a worthy winner of double PFA award - At 23, Cardiff-born Bale has elevated himself to the ranks of the world’s elite group of players after another outstanding campaign that has made him one of the most coveted individuals in the game. It takes a special talent to win the vote of his fellow players ahead of Manchester United’s Robin van Persie – last...
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April 29, 2013  |  Discuss

Gary Neville discussing how vastly underrated Michael Carrick is (Video)

Former Red Devils fullback Gary Neville lauds Michael Carrick for his cerebral central midfield decision making and seemingly limitless energy. He closes down passing lanes, rotates fluidly with his midfield/defender compatriots, and basically always puts himself in prime position to make things easier for all his surrounding teammates in the middle of the field. He is vital for...
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April 26, 2013  |  Discuss

Why Borussia Dortmund needs to win the Champions League more than their rivals

Before yesterday, the last time Borussia Dortmund was contending for the spoils of a Champions League semifinal, Bill Clinton was in the midst of a presidential scandal that would see him utter the now infamous words, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”. It was also the year France would win the World Cup on their home soil, James Cameron would release the blockbuster...
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April 24, 2013  |  Discuss

Monday Morning Kick: Luis Suarez shark attacks Ivanovic

Luis Suárez bite does not affect his Liverpool future - The Anfield club has fined its leading goalscorer for the shocking incident and intends to work with Suárez, who earns £120,000 per week with add-ons, on the indiscipline that has brought further disgrace on the PFA Player of the Year nominee… (The Guardian) Villas-Boas’ second half formation switch changes the game ...
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April 22, 2013  |  Discuss

Jermain Defoe finally ends goal drought with great strike (video)

After being beaten on a low cross from Gareth Bale to Clint Dempsey for the first Spurs goal, Vincent Kompany then got beat by a beautifully fluid cut n’ shoot from Jermain Defoe 4 minutes later. This was Defoe’s first goal in 13 Tottenham matches (Prem and Europa), and marks the first Defoe goal for Spurs since the New Year. Jermain Defoe’s goal for Tottenham vs… by BarclaysPremierLeague...
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April 21, 2013  |  Discuss

Why did Sergio Aguero’s two-footed tackle on David Luiz go unpunished? (Gif)

Maybe it was the glaring difference in player sizes, or even just the fact that a smaller offensive player was trying to do something he is never really expected to do that well anyway (tackle successfully)… but dangerous play + intent needs to be met with swift consequences every time. Aguero will likely escape a retrospective carding, due to a foul (and no card) already being...
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April 15, 2013  |  Discuss

Monday Morning Kick: Rooney rules the midfield

Rooney rules Britannia - The situation has been vacant for many a year. Given their considerable success in that time, it has only really cost them on a handful of occasions, but Manchester United have not had a midfield general – one of the rare breed who allies physical power and technical skill, goalscoring ability and real authority… (ESPN) Manchester City’s fluidity...
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April 14, 2013  |  Discuss

Building a Messi-ah

Of all the outstanding football feats Lionel Messi has already achieved in his young professional career (scoring 91 goals in a calendar year, winning La Liga 5 times, winning the Champions League 3 times… all before the age of 25), his ability to stay healthy remains among the most impressive to me. Not so much because he’s already had to overcome some pretty serious health...
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April 12, 2013  |  Discuss

Kevin Mirallas plays “where’s the ball” with Tottenham’s defense en route to another great goal (Gif)

Last week  Kevin Mirallas made Stoke City’s backline look like a series of traffic cones on his way to a game-winning goal. This week he did more of the same against an injury-hit Tottenham. Everton weren’t quite able to hold on for the victory this time around, but the good news is Mirallas’ elusive cut n’ go dribbling is starting to look about as deadly as an Allen Iverson...
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April 08, 2013  |  Discuss

Monday Morning Kick: EPL Roundup, UCL Preview

(Podcast) Football Weekly: Sunderland go for broke and bring in Paolo Di Canio - As well as rounding up the rest of the action from the top and bottom of the Premier League, we’ve got a bumper middle section where we hear from Sid Lowe and Rafa Honigstein about the Champions League quarter finals…. (The Guardian) Passing & possession not helping Aston Villa, says Robbie...
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April 01, 2013  |  Discuss

Match(es) of the Week Review: Manchester defeats Tyne and Wear in comfortable fashion

David Silva   Sometimes I wish I had the time to watch every Premier League match during a weekend, but I do have a life and work, so I must pick and choose based on matches that look good on paper, have two form teams, or a couple of dominant players. In a typical weekend, I can usually find the time to fit in two matches and almost always at least one of those two is a decent...
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March 31, 2013  |  Discuss

Oh, just Wayne Rooney, Chicharito and Danny Welbeck playing soccer… blindfolded (video)

Possibly the Manchester United response to Ronaldo’s “scoring without being able to see” ridiculousness from Tested to the Limit, but most definitely a solid compilation of Rooney getting unknowingly smashed in the face with Danny Welbeck crosses, this video once again (after a few sight-less mishaps of course) shows us why these guys get to play a game for a living. Rooney’s...
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March 29, 2013  |  Discuss

Morning Kick: England aim to quiet Montenegro trash talk (Links)

Montenegro criticism playing into England’s hands, says Steven Gerrard - Steven Gerrard has dismissed Branko Brnovic’s pre-match criticisms of England and suggested the Montenegro coach’s comments actually revealed the visitors have their hosts “right where we want them”, with the locals perturbed by the size of the task ahead… (The Guardian) Fear and loathing...
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March 26, 2013  |  Discuss

Even closed USMNT training sessions are well-attended soccer events in Mexico City

Apparently “closed training session” in Mexico City actually just means find the tallest building across the street from the field and post up on the roof with some powerful-lensed camera equipment… at least that was the scene at Team USA’s practice earlier today. Big game is tomorrow though, and a road win for the USA means Mexico’s slow start is actually something to...
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March 25, 2013  |  Discuss
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