• Spurs still searching for recipe for success

    The term academics use is "historic recurrence." The theory the rest of us are more familiar with is that history repeats itself. Sometimes, however, it has to. It feels as though every new possibility or different tactic has been explored.

    It certainly does at Tottenham Hotspur. They have tried every method of securing a permanent status in the top four. This season has represented a microcosm of the last decade and a half in the way they have swung between opposing approaches: first Andre Villas-Boas and then Tim Sherwood, first a foreign coach then an Englishman. Read »


  • 4/16/2014 - 11:19 PM BST
    Three things: Barcelona vs. Real Madrid
    ESPN FC United

    Three observations from Real Madrid's 2-1 Copa del Rey win over Barcelona at the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia.

    1. Bale displays the Real difference

    Real Madrid completed the first triumphant step of a potential treble. Barcelona sank into even deeper trouble. That one high-profile summer signing in Gareth Bale scored the scintillating winner, and the other in Neymar missed an eminently presentable chance for an equaliser, further displayed the different directions of the sides. Read »

  • 4/16/2014 - 12:49 PM BST
    Wilfried Zaha wanders from the path to greatness
    ESPN FC United

    There was a song they used to sing about Wilfried Zaha. This time last year, not a game went by without Crystal Palace fans offering a chorus of it at some point. It greeted every shimmy, every feint, every dropped shoulder, every body-swerve, every virtuoso sleight of foot. "He's just too good for you," it went. Nobody sings it any more.

    Zaha was on the bench for Cardiff City on Saturday. He has been on the bench a lot recently. He has started a game just once since being removed at half-time as Hull City dismantled Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side on Feb. Read »

  • 4/16/2014 - 9:59 AM BST
    Grit must guide the Gunners
    ESPN FC United

    Age before beauty. On Tuesday night, Arsene Wenger opted for a squad that was the oldest -- by average age -- he had selected in 1,000-plus Arsenal matches. If Arsenal are to get over the line in both Champions League qualification and the FA Cup, they will do so via the force of experience. Two goals from a player with over 100 international caps, in Germany’s Lukas Podolski, and the crucial effort from 27-year-old striker Olivier Giroud did the job against West Ham. On Saturday in the FA Cup semifinal with Wigan, it was Per Mertesacker, a 29-year-old with 96 German caps to his name, who saved the day with a late equaliser before the pressure on penalties told on the Latics. Read »