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Blog - ESPN FC United

For different reasons, Liverpool and Arsenal aren't meeting expectations

ESPN FC's Tommy Smyth gives his betting odds for Arsenal and Liverpool, where he explains the best option would be to side with the Gunners.
Raheem Sterling, left, is managing the Prem pressure fairly well, Alexis Sanchez is thriving. Both players' teams, though, are not living up to expectations.

While Arsene Wenger was at least occasionally joking in his Friday news conference, Brendan Rodgers seemed genuinely abrasive. Gone was the charm so often associated with the Liverpool manager, so too the long descriptive lines about his team's style of play.

Rodgers was abrupt, to the point and occasionally on the attack. He was also defensive of some of his players, particularly Raheem Sterling and Mario Balotelli.

In other words, Rodgers was everything off the pitch that his team need to...

 By Nick Miller

Five questions in advance of Liverpool vs. Arsenal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says his side's Premier League game against Liverpool is a chance to continue their recent good form while praising Thierry Henry following the Frenchman's retirement.

Nick Miller looks at five key talking points regarding Sunday's clash between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield.

1. Will pressure actually help Raheem Sterling?

All the warnings about Raheem Sterling this season seem to have centred on his heavy workload and even heavier weight of expectation, with concerns that such pressure would burn out one of the brightest hopes of English football before he could really start. While it's true that Brendan Rodgers doesn't seem to have managed Sterling's workload...

Roy Keane might be controversial, but his demands aren't unreasonable

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert responded to reports that former assistant manager Roy Keane confronted Tom Cleverley at the midfielder's home believing he had leaked stories about Keane falling out with the club's players.

Roy Keane has departed and yet, he still dominates the agenda at Aston Villa. As the mid-table Midlanders prepare for a testing encounter with Louis van Gaal's resurgent Manchester United, the dust still settles on the now-former assistant manager's latest controversy.

In this tangled web, there are two strands that we can grip with certainty. Firstly, that a respected journalist from the Daily Mail ran a story about Keane's alleged problems with the players that was peppered with spicy quotes from...

Does Cuban defector Osvaldo Alonso have U.S. national team future?

Osvaldo Alonso is a three-time MLS All-Star and has established himself as a vital member of the Seattle Sounders.

Only a few hours had passed after President Obama's announcement of an easing of the relationship with Cuba when the first speculation began appearing about the implications for sports.

The discussion primarily centered on baseball and the prospect of hundreds of Cuban players finding their way to MLB, as everything from immediate all-stars to solid backup players. MLB has long had provisional plans in place for such an eventuality, while for their part the Cuban authorities have already set a...

Sepp Blatter's latest move in FIFA's 'Game of Thrones'-style soap opera

FIFA president Sepp Blatter released a statement saying that FIFA will release Michael Garcia's report but that the bid process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups will not be revisited.

Maybe that's the trick. Heck, maybe it's the secret to eternal happiness. Figure out which way the wind is blowing and make sure you jump on the right bandwagon at the right time. It's the secret to survival, political or otherwise.

On Friday, Sepp Blatter released a statement saying he had asked the FIFA Executive Committee to publish Michael Garcia's report into alleged impropriety in bidding and voting for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Lo and behold, that's what the ExCo did. And -- guess what?...

 By Tony Mabert

Thierry Henry quits, Qatar eyes Prem club, FIFA to publish World Cup report

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti explains that Thierry Henry may be one of the best French players ever, after amassing 20 trophies in a 21-year career.

This week's biggest news stories of the week saw a true great of the modern game bow out, Manchester United step closer to another big-money deal and FIFA and Qatar do yet more wonders for their respective reputations.

TOP 5 STORIES

1. Henry deserves a big hand (Tuesday, Dec. 16)

Thierry Henry calling time on his playing career was widely expected, and that allowed him the time to stage-manage his announcement perfectly. The striker picked what could be predicted as a quiet news day to make...