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 By Michael Cox

Alexis Sanchez looks to buck the trend of big-money failures at Man United

Steve Nicol explains why Manchester United's purchase of Alexis Sanchez could prove to be a conundrum for Jose Mourinho.
ESPN FC's Rob Dawson and Mark Ogden assess what Alexis Sanchez has to offer after sealing his move to Man United.
With the Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan swap confirmed, Craig Burley and Alexis Nunes break down the deal from both sides.

Despite their status as the world's richest club, confirmed in the most recent Deloitte figures, successful Manchester United sides throughout the Premier League era have rarely been based around multimillion-pound signings and genuine superstars.

In fact, when United have attempted to introduce recognised world-class players, they've often struggled to incorporate them into their tactical system. In 2001, for example, Juan Sebastian Veron was a British record signing, but Sir Alex Ferguson didn't...

 By Michael Cox

Walcott's new start after an Arsenal career that peaked in the middle

With Theo Walcott looking set to join Everton, the FC crew examine whether a change of scenery can help the out-of-favour Arsenal forward reach new heights.
ESPN FC's Stevie Nicol has his say as to whether or not Theo Walcott's time with Arsenal has been a success, amid rumours of a potential move to Everton.
Theo Walcott speaks out on his decision to join Everton, mentioning Wayne Rooney and Sam Allardyce as the main reasons for him doing so.
Arsenal's Arsene Wenger paid an emotional tribute to Theo Walcott after his Everton switch.

The careers of many legendary footballers have been effectively defined by World Cup years: Think Pele, Diego Maradona, Ronaldo or Zinedine Zidane.

Theo Walcott has not attained the status of the aforementioned quartet, but Everton's new signing is another whose career has worked in this manner. The exception is that the 28-year-old never actually played a minute at the World Cup, yet the key watersheds in his career have nevertheless been 2006, 2010, 2014 and, now, 2018.


It goes without...

 By Michael Cox

To beat Man City, you need to press them but it's easier said than done

Craig Burley examines Manchester City's back line after their loss to Liverpool and weighs in on whether additions are needed in January.
Craig Burley examines Manchester City's back line after their loss to Liverpool and weighs in on whether additions are needed in January.
Former Liverpool defender Steve Nicol describes his wave of emotions and explains what Jurgen Klopp's side did right in their win over Man City.

We're 23 games into the 38-game Premier League season and Pep Guardiola's Manchester City have finally been defeated. Sunday's wild 4-3 defeat at Anfield was, in truth, a much tighter game than the scoreline suggests, the goals tally boosted by a couple of defensive errors and some excellent finishing.

Nevertheless, Liverpool's approach should be commended: they pressed in advanced positions to force those defensive errors at the start of the second half and City's upcoming opponents will consider...

 By Michael Cox

Sterling's improvement owes much to a new-look Man City

Ahead of Raheem Sterling's return to his former club, Liverpool, there will be plenty of debate over the difference between Liverpool-era Sterling and City-era Sterling, along with questions about precisely how he's improved so much. But that's a slightly false debate -- or, at least, it's not the most interesting debate.

The key is precisely what has changed between last season and this. After all, Sterling was playing under Pep Guardiola last season, yet his performances were entirely unremarkable...

Can Liverpool succeed where everyone else has failed and beat Man City?

With Pep Guardiola continuing to field strong teams in all competitions, the FC guys question if he is putting his star players at risk.

It is the dilemma that has confronted every Premier League manager: How do you stop the seemingly unstoppable?

Manchester City are unbeaten in 33 games over almost nine months against domestic opponents. They have dropped points against only two teams this season, and on one of those occasions, they played the majority of the match with 10 men. They have scored almost five times as many league goals as they have conceded and could be crowned champions in March.

English football's most unsolvable...

 By Michael Cox

Premier League defending isn't worse, as Ferdinand says: it's just evolving

ESPN's Mark Ogden believes Virgil van Dijk can have the same impact on Liverpool that Rio Ferdinand had for Manchester United.

It's hardly surprising to discover a former professional footballer suggesting that standards have slipped since his day, but there was plenty of truth in Rio Ferdinand's recent suggestion that centre-backs are no longer as defensively solid. It's a common refrain from both former defenders and former attackers: ex-defenders complain that skills simply aren't valued any more, while former forwards boast that they would score a colossal amount of goals in the modern era with such poor defending....