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    Why Spurs are on the rise under Mauricio Pochettino

     

     
     

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    The ESPN FC guys talk tactics and give their predictions ahead of Chelsea's clash against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

    It would be easy to look at Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham Hotspur and see a team that remains not quite good enough.

    Sure, they might have been in the title hunt last season, but ultimately they finished in third, with only 70 points. And, yes, those 70 points were a solid improvement over the 64 from Pochettino's first season with the club, but his first season was arguably a disappointing one, following on the heels of a 2013/14 season which saw Spurs accumulate 69 points despite the turbulence of a managerial change, with Andre Villas Boas getting fired midseason and Tim Sherwood taking over. And the year before that Spurs ran up 72 points.

    ...

     

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    59 minutes ago

    Lassana Diarra history makes United move unlikely, China deal possible

    ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti previews the now open January transfer window and which clubs will be looking to bolster their ranks.

    Lassana Diarra -- the former Chelsea, Arsenal and Real Madrid midfielder -- has been linked with moves to Premier League giants Manchester United and the Chinese Super League in the January transfer window.

    The 31-year-old, currently at Marseille in the French Ligue 1, could be the ideal man to replace Morgan Schneiderlin at Old Trafford. But, given that he has a rocky past with United boss Jose Mourinho and the riches on offer in China offering the chance to settle a huge €10 million...

     

    about an hour ago

    Trending: Wenger slams fixture scheduling, Chapecoense to rebuild

    The FC panel discuss Arsene Wenger's tactics against Bournemouth that saw Arsenal come back from a three-goal deficit.

    Here are the latest stories for Wednesday.

    ARSENAL: Arsene Wenger blamed the Premier League scheduling for Arsenal's poor start but admitted he must "shut up and cope with it" after they rallied from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 draw at Bournemouth on Tuesday.

    - William Gallas has told his former club Arsenal they need to abandon their ambition of playing "perfect football" if they are to challenge for the Premier League title.

    - Arsenal are set to sign 20-year-old left-back Cohen Bramall from...

     

     

    about an hour ago

    Should Olivier Giroud or Alexis Sanchez lead the line for Arsenal?

    The FC panel discuss Arsene Wenger's tactics against Bournemouth that saw Arsenal come back from a three-goal deficit.

    Has Plan B suddenly turned into Plan A for Arsenal? Olivier Giroud has certainly managed to pose a question few people thought needed answering a few weeks ago: should Alexis Sanchez still be playing up front for the Gunners?

    Sanchez seemed to have that position locked down after a string of stellar performances that looked to have consigned a frustrated Giroud to a role as a substitute for the rest of the campaign. The Frenchman was just another option, coming off the bench to be used as a battering...

     

    about an hour ago

    Jose Mourinho 'in love' with Manchester United supporters

    Jose Mourinho delves into how he feels about some of the recent decisions that have gone against Man United.

    Jose Mourinho has told MUTV he fell in love with Manchester United because of the supporters and said he is "really happy" with life at Old Trafford.

    Mourinho was appointed on a three-year contract in May and has started life well, with United currently on a six-game winning run in the Premier League and in the semifinals of the EFL Cup.

    "Well, the thing that made me immediately feel deeply about the club and the people, and the desire to work for the people, is the people," he said.

    "The [people...

     

     BY PA SPORT
    2 hours ago

    Lucas Perez goal for Arsenal at Bournemouth 'pure class' - Wenger

    Arsene Wenger hailed Lucas Perez's first Premier League strike as an "exceptional goal of pure class."

    Perez hammered home a sumptuous volley from Olivier Giroud's flick over the defence as Arsenal rallied for a last-gasp 3-3 draw at Bournemouth on Tuesday night.

    Arsenal trailed 3-0 on the hour at Dean Court before Giroud laid on goals for Alexis Sanchez and Perez -- then headed the equaliser in the second minute of added time.

    Perez joined Arsenal from Deportivo La Coruna in a £17 million...

     

    2 hours ago

    Watford defence crumbles to leave Mazzarri under pressure

    Watford slumped to another defeat as Walter Mazzarri's men went down 2-0 at Stoke.

    Watford turned in a vastly improved performance after their New Year's horror show against Tottenham, but conceded two wholly avoidable goals in Tuesday's 2-0 defeat at Stoke.

    Positives

    This was a spirited performance for the most part and despite conceding early in the second half, Watford continued to push. This was a patched up side with a whole host of players missing through injury and others playing out of position. They deserve some credit for turning in a vaguely competitive display.

    Negatives

    It...

     

    3 hours ago

    Pochettino tells Guardiola: Premier League 'totally different' to elsewhere

    The ESPN FC guys talk tactics and give their predictions ahead of Chelsea's clash against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

    Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has warned Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola that football in England is "totally different" to anywhere else, saying anyone who underestimates the Premier League will struggle.

    Guardiola is still getting to grips with life at City and this week he accused the Premier League of having "different" rules after his team had a player sent off and conceded a controversial goal in the 2-1 win over Burnley.

    Pochettino, like Guardiola, moved to England with...

     

     BY PA SPORT
    3 hours ago

    Rudy Gestede completes transfer to Middlesbrough from Aston Villa

    Rudy GestedeRudy Gestede has scored four goals in the Championship this season.

    Middlesbrough have completed the signing of Aston Villa striker Rudy Gestede for a fee reported to be in the region of £6 million.

    Gestede, 28, has signed a deal which will keep him at the Riverside Stadium until June 2020 after agreeing personal terms on Tuesday.

    Benin international Gestede made 19 appearances for Villa this season, scoring four goals, but had fallen out of favour with new boss Steve Bruce.

     

     

    3 hours ago

    Marco Silva to rival Gary Rowett for Hull City job - sources

    The FC crew answer your tweets on Arsenal's draw at Bournemouth, Mike Phelan's sacking and Julian Draxler's move to PSG.

    Former Olympiakos coach Marco Silva has emerged as a surprise candidate to rival ex-Birmingham boss Gary Rowett for the vacant manager's job at Hull City, sources close to the club have told ESPN FC.

    Hull are looking for a new boss after Mike Phelan was sacked on Tuesday evening with the Tigers bottom of the Premier League, having taken only 13 points from their first 20 games.

    Rowett, who left Championship side Birmingham City three weeks ago, is among those linked with the job at the KCOM Stadium,...

     

    3 hours ago

    Dele Alli 'most important player' of England's new generation - Pochettino

    The ESPN FC guys talk tactics and give their predictions ahead of Chelsea's clash against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

    Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has heralded Dele Alli, telling Spanish news agency EFE that the midfielder is "the most important player to emerge in English football in recent years."

    Alli, 20, was named PFA Young Player of the Year after a remarkable breakthrough season at Tottenham last term and he was selected in the England squad for Euro 2016 along with clubmates including Harry Kane and Eric Dier, and other young stars such as John Stones, Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling.

    Pochettino,...

     

    3 hours ago

    Bournemouth appeal Simon Francis sending off against Arsenal

    Eddie Howe remains positive on his team's draw with Arsenal, and credits Arsenal for their remarkable turnaround.

    Bournemouth have appealed the red card shown to Simon Francis during the 3-3 draw against Arsenal on Tuesday night.

    Francis, 31, is set to miss the fixtures against Millwall in the FA Cup and Hull City and Watford in the Premier League.

    The defender, who has been ever-present for Bournemouth in the Premier League this season, was dismissed for a challenge on Aaron Ramsey after 82 minutes with the game finely poised at 3-2.

    The Gunners used their man advantage to salvage a point, after recovering...

     

    3 hours ago

    Jose Mourinho must find adequate Michael Carrick replacement at United

    The ESPN FC crew discuss whether Manchester United's early season form will cost them.

    Last summer, Michael Carrick signed a one-year contract extension at Manchester United to keep him at the club until June 2017. With the January transfer window open and no new contract on the table, Carrick is now free to talk to other clubs about a move on a free transfer at the end of this season.

    Ahead of Manchester United's 2-1 win over Middlesbrough on New Year's Eve, club legend Gary Neville spoke to prematch diners at Hotel Football about a range of issues relating to the club and the topic...

     

    4 hours ago

    Paul Clement offers Swansea a road to redemption amid relegation battle

    Swansea caretaker Alan Curtis said Paul Clement made a difference in the side's 2-1 win at Crystal Palace.

    It might only be by comparison, but Swansea City no longer appear the Premier League's crisis club. Tuesday's 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace can be a turning point, and not only because of new manager Paul Clement's arrival. Their rivals in the battle to avoid relegation are beginning to reveal their own troubles.

    Swansea, 19th, are just a point behind Sam Allardyce's new side and at Selhurst Park it was the home side and not Swansea who looked riven by disunity. Allardyce was clapped on...

     

    4 hours ago

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic named PFA Fans' Premier League Player of the Month

    Craig Burley praises the leadership of Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Man United, but expects more from Paul Pogba.

    Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has won the PFA Fans' Premier League Player of the Month award for December.

    Ibrahimovic, 35, enjoyed an impressive month for United, scoring five goals in six league appearances for the club, including a brace against West Bromwich Albion.

    The former Sweden international also helped the Red Devils remain unbeaten throughout December, winning five consecutive Premier League games. United are currently enjoying their longest unbeaten run since Sir Alex...

     

    Read more »
  • Arsenal Manchester United chelsea city Liverpool transfer news

    Juventus boss Max Allegri wants to replace Arsene Wenger at
    Arsenal and create a 10-year dynasty at the Emirates.
    Memphis Depay has been caught puffing on a shisha pipe in
    photos that may harm his frosty relationship with Manchester United
    boss Jose Mourinho.
    Sam Allardyce is so angry with Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha
    over his Africa Cup of Nations call-up that he is considering selling
    him for £30m.
    Emmanuel Adebayor could be about to make a shock return to
    football with French strugglers Montpellier.
    West Ham's striker misery continues after they had an £8.5m
    bid for Martin Braithwaite knocked back by Toulouse.
    Chelsea have seen a £21.5m bid for Franck Kessie rejected by
    Atalanta.
    Andre Villas Boas wants to sign Aston Villa striker Jordan Ayew
    for his Chinese club Shanghai SIPG.
    Jordan Pickford has given Sunderland a devastating blow after
    being ruled out for more than two months.
    Swansea have targeted former Manchester City midfielder Albert
    Rusnak in a January swoop to help save their season.
    Leicester have moved to snap up midfielder Wilfred Ndidi from
    Genk in a deal potentially worth £18m.
    Ronald Koeman will start Everton's biggest ever transfer splurge
    by signing Charlton's Ademola Lookman.
    Swansea are plotting a move for Chris Coleman as the Welsh FA
    brace themselves for an approach from the Premier League
    strugglers.
    Anthony Martial could leave Manchester United for Sevilla in
    January, claims the player's agent.
    Manchester United will not make a January bid for Benfica
    defender Victor Lindelof.
    Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins is pushing for Ryan Giggs to be
    the club's new manager.
    Leicester want £20m-rated Burnley defender Michael Keane to
    help stop their slide down the table.
    AC Milan are reportedly ready to offer 17-year-old goalkeeper
    Gianluigi Donnarumma a bumper new long-term deal worth £42.5m
    as Europe's elite clubs circle.
    Manchester United will oppose the attempts of Anthony Martial's
    agent to engineer a move out of Old Trafford in January after
    rumours surfaced linking the France international with Sevilla.
    Middlesbrough have held further discussions with Aston Villa
    over a £6m move for striker Rudy Gestede.
    Harry Redknapp has put himself forward for a shock return to
    management with Swansea City and wants to take Chelsea captain
    John Terry with him.
    Aston Villa have rejected a mammoth £25m bid from China for
    defender Jordan Amavi.
    Liverpool are considering an ambitious bid for Arsenal's Alex
    Oxlade-Chamberlain in the January transfer window.

    Premier League
    P
    PTS
    1
    Chelsea
    18
    46
    2
    Liverpool
    18
    40
    3
    Manchester City
    18
    39
    4
    Arsenal
    18
    37
    5
    Tottenham Hotspur
    18
    36
    6
    Manchester United
    18
    33
    7
    Everton
    18
    26
    8
    Southampton
    18
    24
    9
    West Bromwich Albion
    18
    23
    10
    Watford
    18
    22
    11
    West Ham United
    18
    22
    12
    AFC Bournemouth
    18
    21
    13
    Stoke City
    18
    21
    14
    Burnley
    18
    20
    15
    Middlesbrough
    18
    18
    16
    Leicester City
    18
    17
    17
    Crystal Palace
    18
    16
    18
    Sunderland
    18
    14
    19
    Swansea City
    18
    12
    20
    Hull City
    18
    12

     

    Read more »
  • Transfer news

    West Ham have more than doubled their offer to £13m for
    Jermain Defoe as they try and persuade Sunderland to sell their star
    striker.
    Espanyol are set to renew their interest in Celtic's Nir Bitton but
    will have to stump up close to £10m to land the Israeli midfielder.
    Memphis Depay could remain at Manchester United until the end
    of the season with interested clubs including Roma and Nice
    struggling to meet the Dutchman's £20m price tag and £90,000 a
    week wages.
    China's government has ordered a clampdown on "irrational
    investment" and vowed to "regulate and restrain high-priced signings
    and make reasonable restrictions on players' high incomes" which
    could signal the end of its record-breaking splurge on foreign football
    stars.
    Arsenal's second-biggest shareholder, Alisher Usmanov, has
    entered into a multi-million pound business partnership with Everton
    to sponsor their training ground.
    Chelsea are on course to gain planning permission to rebuild a
    60,000-capacity stadium in place of Stamford Bridge.
    Rafael Benitez is weighing up a £4m bid for Nottingham Forest
    midfielder Ben Osborn.
    Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has tipped Gerard Pique to
    one day become president of Barcelona.
    Aston Villa have been told they must pay at least £10m if they
    want to sign Middlesbrough striker Jordan Rhodes.
    Ronald Koeman insists Everton won't be held to ransom by other
    clubs as they look to conduct more business after completing
    Ademola Lookman's £11m transfer from Charlton.
    Arsene Wenger is set to welcome Danny Welbeck back for
    Arsenal's FA Cup tie with Preston this weekend but risks angering
    forward Alexis Sanchez by dropping the Chilean for the visit to
    Deepdale.
    Crystal Palace have missed out on Rennes striker Paul-George
    Ntep.
    QPR are set to terminate midfielder Sandro's contract.
    Antoine Greizmann has been promised the same Galactico
    contract as Paul Pogba if he joins Manchester United.
    Jose Mourinho has made a £32.5million bid for Roma's Greek
    international defender Kostas Manolas as a deal for Benfica's Victor
    Lindelof continues to stall.
    Arsenal are interested in signing Torino striker Andrea Belotti but
    have been put off by the Italian club's £50m valuation of the player.
    Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has instructed the
    club's hierarchy to offer Michael Carrick a 12-month extension to his
    contract which expires this summer.
    West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has held showdown talks with
    Dimitri Payet. Bilic has been concerned by Payet's attitude in recent
    weeks and ordered the winger to up his effort in the coming weeks.
    The Chinese Super League will continue to attract top players at
    the peak of their careers and could end Europe's football domination,
    according to Barcelona legend Xavi.
    Celtic will reject a £20m West Ham bid for Moussa Dembele.
    Stoke are planning a loan move for Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-
    Cheek.
    Jermain Defoe is keen to return to boyhood club West Ham who
    are prepared to offer him a two-and-a-half year deal worth £100,000
    a week but the striker unlikely to force through a move by handing in
    a transfer request.
    Middlesbrough are set to make a move for Patrick Bamford with
    Chelsea considering cutting short the striker's season-long loan
    move to Burnley due to a lack of game time.
    Celtic have told West Ham they must pay £30m if they want to
    land striker Moussa Dembele.
    Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri faces a four-year ban if
    he is found guilty of breaking World Anti-Doping Agency rules
    following recent treatment at the Drip Doctors clinic in Los Angeles.
    Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce has made a bid to sign
    French winger Paul-Georges Ntep from Rennes.
    Swansea City stalwart Alan Curtis was told by text message he
    was no longer part of the team's coaching set-up.
    Leicester are ready to enter the bidding war for Norwich utility
    player Robbie Brady.
    Manchester United will shelve their transfer plans until the
    summer even though Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay are
    expected to leave for Everton this month.
    Everton are planning to increase their original £19m bid for
    Manchester United's Morgan Schneiderlin.
    Millwall have admitted for the first time that they may be forced
    to leave their south London home and relocate to Kent should the
    seizure of their land go ahead.
    Chelsea are still in talks with Atalanta over the possible signing
    of Franck Kessie but the Premier League club may have to wait until
    the summer before a transfer can be concluded.
    Tottenham are unlikely to return with a new offer for for Wilfried
    Zaha in the January transfer window after the Crystal Palace winger
    joined up with the Ivory Coast for the Africa Cup of Nations.
    Dundee United are set to bid for Danish striker Thomas
    Mikkelsen who is out-of-favour with current club Odense.

    Read more »
  • Friday December 30 transfer rumors

    Real Madrid are poised to offer Thibaut Courtois an irresistible deal to lure him away from Stamford Bridge at the end of theseason.Manchester United have invited Livingston wonderkid Matthew Knox for a third trial next week, but the 17-year-old striker is also a target of Liverpool, Everton, Tottenham and Nottingham Forest while Rangers have already had bids rejected.Chris Coleman has already turned down an approach from Swansea to replace Bob Bradley as manager.Chelsea and Bayern Munich will reportedly battle it out for Stefan de Vrij after the defender told Lazio he wants to leave.The Blues, meanwhile, are preparing to launch a bid for former Manchester United strikerJavier Hernandez, who has become one of the leading goalscorers in the Bundesliga with Bayern Leverkusen.Liverpool are ready to move for Jese Rodriguez in January - even though his Paris Saint-Germain transfer has been branded a 'mistake'.AC Milan have made Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas their top target next summer.Derby County owner Mel Morris has jumped into the race for Middlesbrough hotshot Jordan Rhodes as he looks to fulfil his Premier League dream.Alexis Sanchez is being targeted by Inter Milan as part of an ambitious triple raid.Slaven Bilic has revealed his checklist for making signings in the January transfer window - and refused to rule out a move for Jermain Defoe. Tottenham still have Real Madrid midfielder Isco in their sights.Claudio Ranieri insists there is nochance Kasper Schmeichel will be sold by Leicester next month.Serie A giants AC Milan and Roma have reportedly reignited their interest in Jack Wilshere.Torino have reportedly pulled out of the race to sign Joe Hart permanently. Chelsea are reportedly ready to offer Thibaut Courtois a bumper new contract in January to ward off interest from Real Madrid.Sunderland are reportedly set to move for Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone in thewake of Jordan Pickford's injury.Manchester City are willing to hold off on a move for Virgil van Dijk until the summer but Chelsea's interest could spark a £55m bidding war for the Southampton defender.Simone Zaza is in talks with Valencia over a possible January move as he looks to end his disastrous loan spell at West Ham. The Professional Footballers' Association has called on the game's authorities to consider a ban on heading for children aged under 10.Tottenham Hotspur are considering bringing forward their planned bid to sign Ross Barkley by making a January offer for the midfielder.

    Read more »
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