Football writer, author of Behind the Curtain, Inverting the Pyramid, Anatomy of England, Nobody Ever Says Thank You and The Outsider; editor of The Blizzard.

For Louis van Gaal's Manchester United, good things may be on the horizion

thenational.ae — Louis van Gaal's first season at Bayern Munich began with a string of poor performances that left his future in doubt as they won just five of their first 13 league games. Then, quite abruptly, at the end of November, they beat Hannover 3-0 at the beginning of a run of nine straight Bundesliga wins.

For Louis van Gaal's Manchester United, good things may be on the horizion

thenational.ae — Louis van Gaal's first season at Bayern Munich began with a string of poor performances that left his future in doubt as they won just five of their first 13 league games. Then, quite abruptly, at the end of November, they beat Hannover 3-0 at the beginning of a run of nine straight Bundesliga wins.

Marouane Fellaini is Manchester United’s big, awkward, physical key against Liverpool

thenational.ae — At least part of the art of tactics, from an attacking point of view, is getting your players into the crevices of the opponent's system. That's why Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana have been so successful for Liverpool since Brendan Rodgers switched to a 3-4-2-1, and it also partly explains why Marouane Fellaini has become such a surprisingly effective figure for Manchester United over the past few weeks.

Dick Advocaat's first job will be to keep Sunderland in Premier League, after that he may not have a job by summer

thenational.ae — By the end, Gus Poyet 's position had become untenable. There was a sense of inevitable drift about Sunderland, and when half of a 46,000 crowd have left by half time and a significant number of those who remain are trying to throw their season-tickets at the manager, dismissal probably is the only solution.

Premier League analysis: Jose Mourinho right to feel a little bittersweet after Chelsea draw

thenational.ae — London // Chelsea ended with a mass of pressure, raining in shots on Fraser Forster's goal. Their fans could probably go home believing they had been unfortunate not to win and, up to a point, probably be right.

Arsenal on course to hit Uefa Champions League target

thenational.ae — LONDON // There are few things more seductive than Arsenal at this stage of the season. When thoughts of a title challenge have faded, the European challenge has (probably) fizzled out and all there is to play for is qualification for next season's Uefa Champions League, Arsenal come into their own.

Arsenal on course to hit Uefa Champions League target

thenational.ae — LONDON // There are few things more seductive than Arsenal at this stage of the season. When thoughts of a title challenge have faded, the European challenge has (probably) fizzled out and all there is to play for is qualification for next season's Uefa Champions League, Arsenal come into their own.

Overstretched and timorous, Jose Mourinho has Chelsea gasping for breath

thenational.ae — Chelsea will probably still win the Premier League. They're five points clear at the top of the table, with a game in hand, and there's been nothing in recent weeks to suggest that Manchester City have the wherewithal to put together the sort of run that could create pressure.

Pardew's Crystal Palace continue to click at Allardyce and West Ham's expense

thenational.ae — WEST HAM UNITED - Valencia 76' CRYSTAL PALACE - Murray 41', 63'; Dann 51' MAN OF THE MATCH - Scott Dann (Crystal Palace) LONDON // A month ago, perhaps this would have felt like a key game at both ends of the table and, while Sam Allardyce must feel some frustration at West Ham 's slide, it is greatly to Alan Pardew's credit that by kick off it had come to look a fairly meaningless mid-table fixture.

Under-pressure Mourinho's paranoia livens up League Cup final between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur

thenational.ae — Sometimes the League Cup final turns up almost unnoticed and passes almost without ­comment. This time, though, with Jose Mourinho having raised the barricades, spouting even more nonsense than usual about conspiracies, the build-up to Sunday's fixture has been ­sulphurous. The Chelsea manager's brooding has turned this into a final that really matters.
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Mar 26, 2015

@barneyronay Maybe you missed it with buffering, but he came in on a flying carpet and somersaulted the ropes.

Mar 26, 2015

@JackPittBrooke @MiguelDelaney It sounded terrible, but how on earth do you answer 'are you tough enough?' without sounding a prick?

Mar 26, 2015

@EnglandRovers That's what I used to have till I started cutting back on carbs. Pret croissant as a treat when travelling.

Mar 26, 2015

@AJCerqueti @iainmacintosh It's first time I've ever seen her in action - a bit like the first time I heard Robbie Savage co-commentate.

Mar 26, 2015

Having come out firmly in favour of Pret's bacon, ham and cheese croissant, I'm glad to see breakfast is such a big issue at this election.

Mar 26, 2015

@iainmacintosh She also seemed weirdly unable to understand, 'if this happens, then this, but it's unlikely.'

Mar 26, 2015

Dunga sticks to same core as Brazil look to rebuild confidence ahead of Copa America. bleacherreport.com/articles/24097…

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