Joining Manchester United would be a terrible career move for this man

Thiago Alcantara in action for Barcelona

Thiago Alcantara seems to be the man on the lips of every Manchester United fan out there. His vision, passing range, general composure on the ball would give the Red Devils an overdue holding midfielder. He would be the signing to well and truly stamp David Moyes’ authority on the team. Having just recently won the U21 European Championship with Spain (he scored a hattrick in the final against Italy) Thiago seems primed for a career defining decision. His rather dubious transfer clause at the Nou Camp means the technically gifted Spaniard can leave for another team for a very reasonable fee and United seem like they could be close to securing what would represent one of the club’s biggest coups in recent years. It would be a fantastic capture for the club, for David Moyes, for the supporters - but not for Thiago himself, far from it.

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Bayern unconvincing in Champions League victory

It was almost written in the script that Bayern would avenge the memories of last year’s defeat to Chelsea in suiting fashion. A certain Arjen Robben obliged when - with one minute left on the clock - the Dutchman weaved his way into the Dotmund box before nudging the ball beyond a despairing Weidenfeller to finally capture the Champions League trophy for the Bavarian outfit. However, their victory was nothing near a classic, or even in any way convincing. Read On →

Barcelona face a season defining encounter against Milan

Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona at Camp Nou

Barcelona may well have the league title wrapped up in cotton wool, but their Champions League hopes hang by a thread following a 2-0 defeat away at AC Milan a week ago. The Italians head into the return leg next week with an unlikely two goal advantage, and will hoping to see out a Barcelona onslaught at the Nou Camp in under a weeks time. A lot of people claim that the Barcelona of 201213 are not quite as good as their team the year previous but the performances of Lionel Messi have been nothing short of majestic, notching up 39 goals in the La Liga alone, with a real chance of hitting the 50 league goal mark this season.

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Fantasy Football Focus: What Premier League players should you look at?

It’s that stage of the season again. Your Fantasy League team is either - in my case - trailing behind your mate’s teams, or if you’re one of the lucky ones, you are looking to pull away at the top of the table. We have just entered February, the month where Fantasy Football business well and truly enters the final straight. Who do you choose to captain your team? Who do you trust between the sticks to keep a clean sheet and pull off a few saves? Read On →

Do Manchester United supporters fancy their chances against Real Madrid?

Rio Ferdinand in action for Manchester United

Optimism is a great thing. Realism is quite another.
When Manchester United were drawn against Real Madrid in the first knockout stage of the Champions League, everyone’s mind wandered to Cristiano Ronaldo and his imminent return to Old Trafford, indeed his first return since departing in the summer of 2009. The stylish magician would - in March - reenter the ‘cathedral’ that helped him on his way to becoming one of the best footballers in the world. Old Trafford is the place where he made a name for himself. In fact, Old Trafford could be where the Portuguese maestro helps eliminate his former employers, as Mourinho continues his quest for a Champions League trophy with Real Madrid.

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Manchester City can’t keep relying on Edin Džeko to get them out of jail

To say Eden Džeko is becoming a bit of a ‘super-sub’ would be a slight understatement. Yet again the powerful Bosnian showed up with at the death, to ensure an extremely important 3 points for Manchester City, and stake yet another claim for a starting role at the Etihad. It seems this season that Manchester City must concede before they actually start playing football. Steven Caulker found himself on the end of Tom Huddlestone free-kick to head the visitors in front, and they held that leads to the latter stages of the game. Read On →

How did Liverpool & Brendan Rodgers end up in such a limbo?

Andy Carroll in action for West Ham

If there is one thing any neutral supporter, or indeed Liverpool fan learned from today’s draw with Sunderland - it’s that Brendan Rodgers has a real job on his hands.
I ended up watching this evenings game as it was the only thing on TV. My word, what a shocking game it was. Both sides were truly dreadful. For anyone who didn’t actually see the game; don’t be fooled by the fact there were a couple of goals.
Never have I seen a Liverpool side lacking so much in conviction, and penetration. Gerrard looked rusty to put it mildly while Allen was quite frankly anonymous for the entire game. Only Glen Johnson, who ventured forward every now and again, looked anyways dangerous to a back four that - at one stage - accommodated a certain Titus Bramble.

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Doyle’s late winner fails to mask Ireland’s diabolical performance

Kevin Doyle celebrates after scoring Ireland's winner against Kazakhstan

When Robbie Keane slotted home an 89th minute penalty on Friday evening, there was something very reminiscent about his equaliser. Immediately most Irish fans thought of Stephen Ireland’s late goal away against San Marino four years ago - a goal that saved our embarrassment until the next fixture.
The smash and grab in Kazakhstan prevented what was going to be Ireland’s most embarrassing result in more than a decade.
No offence to Kazakhstan, but a team like Ireland should be going there and taking home three points in a less gut wrenching fashion. Personally, I only managed to catch the second half onwards, but for 40 minutes of that second half; Ireland were nothing short of woeful.

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