Kevin McCarra

English clubs in pole position

At this time of the year, it can feel as if the football programme is packed with rehearsals while the true drama lies weeks or months ahead.

Manchester’s title decider cannot hide grim truth

There are players at both Manchester City and United with much to offer but that does not disguise a broader truth -- a place among the elite.

Torres and Carroll have given January sales a bad name

Torres and Carroll lend credence to the belief that January buys aren't good business.

League’s tantalising transition

The English Premier League is a local affair once more.

United still have clout, but more tinkering is necessary

United, after all, had been in reasonably good form and the talk following matches with lesser teams was often of regeneration.

Conservatism rules but City could challenge United

As if it was not enough to win the Premier League title once again Manchester United insisted on staying ahead of the pack even in the closed season.

Guardiola determined to go

Pep Guardiola is one of the very few people in football who does not find his Barcelona side irresistible.

The threat to Fergie’s sunset years

A Manchester United without Sir Alex Ferguson in charge feels as much an absurdity as, in the end, an inevitability.

Over the blues

Chelsea are deserved champions four years after they last lifted the English Premier League trophy.

Scramble for the Premiership

As if they were not busy enough striving for trophies, the top four in the English Premier League have to deliver major stories as well.

Drogba revels in new stature at Chelsea

Goals give a player authority. With his commanding drive that delivered a 1-0 win over Barcelona at Stamford Bridge, Didier Drogba played like a leader of the Chelsea team and also spoke like one afterwards. At present he has a higher status than at any point since he moved to England two years ago. The Ivorian knows that he has not so much hit a new peak as belatedly rediscovered his old self.

Football minnows are wasting everybody’s time

The advent of micro-countries introduced a new terror to international football. You could beat them and still be humiliated. Fifteen years ago Scotland won 2-0 in San Marino, but the goals took a while to come. The game is remembered for the drawl of the late Ian Archer in a radio broadcast: ''We've been playing for an hour and it has just occurred to me that we're drawing 0-0 with a mountain top.''

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