ESPN – Brendan Rodgers clings on despite Liverpool failings this season

The ESPNFC team fiercely debate whether the news that Brendan Rodgers staying at Liverpool is good for the club. In the final day of our week-long look at the top clubs in the Premier League, it's time to look at the managers. BOSS REVIEW: Premier League managers Chelsea: Mourinho needs UCL improvement Man Utd: Decent start from Van Gaal Man City: Pellegrini peril with Pep lurking Arsenal: Cup King Wenger needs a title challenge Liverpool: Rodgers clings on despite failings Rate the boss — how Brendan Rodgers performed in 2014-15 The middle section of the season was good for results at least but it was bookended by a start and a finish so appalling it has seen many fans call for the manager to go, even after being informed he was staying. The lack of a decent replacement for Luis Suarez and an injury to Daniel Sturridge certainly hampered him but there…

ESPN – Manchester United lack incisiveness against lively Everton

ESPN FC's Craig Burley breaks down Everton's convincing 3-0 win at home against Manchester United. There is no use beating Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City if you let Everton walk all over you. Manchester United were out-thought and outfought by a well-drilled Everton team who seemed ready for everything their opponents had up their sleeves. The visitors lacked incision up front and a response to the home side's lively, fast-breaking football. The memorable quote from Arsene Wenger on Barcelona's style of play was “sterile possession.” This descriptor could accurately describe Manchester…

ESPN – Stakes and drama always high when Man United play Liverpool at Anfield

Our football gurus discuss which teams in Premier League are still in the running for a Champions League spot at season's end. Anfield. It's a word that evokes a multitude of mixed memories for Manchester United fans, mainly negative in recent seasons as United's form has been so poor at Liverpool. Ahead of United's game at the ground currently having a huge new main stand built which will boost the capacity over 50,000, this column is not going to dwell on the negative. No mentions of losing the league there in 1992, of Paddy Roche dropping a cross in 1975, of cup defeats or bad results year after year. No, any United…

ESPN – Wayne Rooney key as Man Utd must click into gear at Newcastle

ESPN FC's Ian Darke previews Manchester United's midweek fixture against Newcastle and predicts whether or not the Red Devils will hold on to their top four spot by season's end. The ESPN FC crew discuss potential replacements for Manuel Pellegrini at Manchester City next season, the most exciting team in the Premier League and whether or not Championship side Ipswich Town will be promoted. Manchester United play Newcastle United away on Wednesday, with Liverpool looming large behind them in the Premier League table. It is as good a time as any to produce a performance that confirms their pedigree as a UEFA Champions League team, but Louis van Gaal faces familiar problems over selection. While Ander Herrera finally seems to have established himself as a regular starter — to the delight and the relief of many — Van Gaal is struggling to get the best from Angel Di Maria, someone whom…

ESPN – A tribute to Darren Fletcher: Manchester United’s consummate pro

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti believes it is financial factors that have played the key role in the lack of transfers during the January transfer window, but Chelsea and Manchester City benefitted from their additions. “Shoot,” implored the away end. Darren Fletcher had been on the field at Villa Park for less than a minute and had taken his first touch as a United player in a little over a year. The fans were delighted to see him and there was more than a hint of a smile on the Scot's face as he calmly passed the ball sideways to Antonio Valencia. WINTER TRANSFER WINDOW LATEST – TRANSFERS: All the deals – Lythell: Cuadrado, Schurrle good business for Chelsea – WATCH: Premier League transfer window review – Usher: Liverpool's quiet window puts the burden on Sturridge – McNicholas: Arsenal's decent transfer window – Insider: Grading Prem's 10 biggest transfers Things looked grim for Fletcher for the two years before that comeback on Dec. 15, 2013. Being diagnosed with a degenerative virus had caused the midfielder to…