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 By Michael Cox

Carrick is one of Man United, England's most underrated players ever

Michael Carrick reflects on the evolution of Manchester United's rivalries with Manchester City and Liverpool during his time at Old Trafford.
Michael Carrick describes to ESPN FC's Mark Ogden his frustration with his England career and how it affected him at Manchester United.
Michael Carrick tells Mark Ogden Man United's win in the 2008 UCL final produced one of the best feelings of his life and one of the worst.
As Michael Carrick gets set to retire and join Man United's coaching staff, he shares with Mark Ogden his thoughts on eventually becoming a manager.
In an interview with ESPN FC's Mark Ogden, Michael Carrick describes the influence Sir Alex Ferguson had on him at Manchester United.

It's the summer of 2006, and Manchester United are in a crisis.

This is not the usual football "crisis" -- which increasingly means little more than "they've lost their last two matches" -- but a genuine, wide-ranging, major question about how Manchester United are attempting to achieve success. Chelsea have won the last two Premier League titles. Arsenal have reached the Champions League final and are moving to a new home, while Liverpool have followed European Cup success with FA Cup success...

 By Michael Cox

Man City's Premier League win: six keys to their stunning success

Three weeks after sealing the title, Man City players and staff rejoice as they lift the Premier League title at the Etihad.
Man City's John Stones and Raheem Sterling describe what it means to live out their lifelong dream as first-time Premier League winners.

Manchester City's Premier League title success has been so inevitable, and has been achieved so comfortably, that their revolutionary style has almost been overlooked. Pep Guardiola's approach has been overwhelmingly technical, unashamedly possession-based and has featured positional nuances barely witnessed before in English football -- all of it combined with some "throwback" tactical principles borrowed from yesteryear.

Here are six key features of City's recipe for success:

1. Possession...

 By Michael Cox

Arsenal's opponents Atletico Madrid provide possible direction for Wenger-less future

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti delves into the Europa League semifinal matchups as Arsenal take on Atletico Madrid and Marseille square off with Red Bull Salzburg.
The FC panel believe Arsene Wenger could leave a bad taste in mouths of Arsenal fans if he doesn't handle his departure the right way.
With the Arsenal managerial job now available, the FC crew assess the possible successors to Arsene Wenger and the challenges they will face.

It would be overly dramatic to suggest that 22 years and over 1,000 matches comes down to a two-legged Europa League tie, but Arsenal's performance over the next week against Atletico Madrid will play a significant role in shaping the mood at the Emirates upon Arsene Wenger's departure.

Win, and Arsenal will start the Europa League final as favourites, with an opportunity to claim Wenger's first-ever European trophy and reclaim their position in the Champions League for next season. Lose, and...

 By Michael Cox

Tottenham don't 'need' FA Cup glory but they do deserve it

The further Tottenham progress through this season's FA Cup, the more the debate will continue about whether or not Mauricio Pochettino and the club "need" to win a trophy.

"Need" implies that there's some specific reason why a trophy is required and the explanation tends to vary: to keep players, to keep Pochettino, to act as a springboard to further success. You sometimes wonder whether winning trophies these days is actually ever considered a worthwhile achievement in itself or whether it's...

 By Michael Cox

Man United need a big game from Alexis Sanchez vs. Man City

The ESPN FC panel question if Jose Mourinho's tactics will result in Alexis Sanchez not fulfilling his potential at Manchester United.
The critics are already out on Man United's latest big money signing Alexis Sanchez, who has struggled as of yet to make a splash at his new club.

Alexis Sanchez's January transfer to Manchester United was, on paper, among the most dramatic moves in Premier League history.

There were three major factors to it. The first was the novelty of a genuine, real-life swap deal between Arsenal and United, two of the Premier League's biggest clubs. It was exciting simply because for all the tabloid rumours, such exchange deals barely ever actually come to fruition. But this time everything went through, and two high-profile footballers suddenly...

 By Michael Cox

Might Raheem Sterling be the key to Man City vs. Liverpool?

ESPN's Jonathan Smith and Glenn Price discuss whether the atmosphere at Anfield can be the decisive factor in who reaches the Champions League semi-finals.

Ordinarily, for a fixture like this week's clash between Manchester City and Liverpool, you want both sides to have full-strength squads, managers able to play their strongest hand and for the game to be influenced by top-class attacking talents.

This time around, however, the absence of Sergio Aguero might prompt a more complex, unpredictable game.

Aguero remains an exceptional striker, boasting a mixture of acceleration and clinical finishing that few others in Europe can match. But he's...