Five reads to enliven your day

Posted by Roger Bennett

1. When you're chewing on life's gristle, don't grumble, give a whistle
I've always found Arsenal fans to be among the most eternally optimistic in the league. No matter who leaves, they find a reason to still believe. The RvP saga has challenged that. But here, the rational Amy Lawrence mounts her best case:
"Besides, is it really that much of a crisis? £20m-plus for a 29-year-old with a shaky injury history, replaced by three younger international attackers, does not sound such a terrible piece of business."

2. RvP may not be United's MvP
For all the "Welcome to Manchester"-style celebrations surrounding RvP's arrival, the form of young central midfielder Tom Cleverley may be more important to United's campaign. Good report here after his solid England debut against Italy yesterday.

3. Relax AC fans, Zlatan's replacement has been found ...
Americans with big dreams for their children's soccer future, this is how you do it: Go on vacation to La Manga. This 10-year old Scottish girl did, and was scouted by AC Milan scouts during a kick-a-round.

4. Sub-optimal podcasting is back
Freshly cleaned and pressed just in time for the start of the 2012-13 English Premier League season, the humble Men In Blazers I have the honor of doing with Michael Davies on Grantland is back. Here's our preseason special. Every team previewed. And some Misty-May Treanor discussion, too.

5. And you laughed when FIFA made them number 3 ...
The U.S. were not the only team who conjured an unbelievable win in a meaningless friendly Wednesday. England beat Italy 2-1 and Jermain Defoe scored this stunner. While wearing his pajamas.

ESPN Conversations