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GUARDIAN – Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend action | Guardian writers

Louis van Gaal struggles for fluidity, Muhamed Besic gives Everton hope, Alan Pardew praises fans and Leicester’s patience with Nigel Pearson is rewarded“The struggle for fluidity” may sound like a PhD thesis but is actually the quality that continues to elude Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United, as was again illustrated in the disjointed fashion they went down 1-0 to Southampton on Sunday. For this 21st outing of each team’s Premier League season, United’s manager went for a 3-1-4-2 formation that featured the sight of Ángel Di María partnering Robin van Persie in attack. Continue reading…

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ESPN – The 10 most memorable English soccer moments of 2014

Check out the 10 most memorable moments of 2014 in what was an unforgettable year in soccer. There were so many life-affirming storylines in the past year of English soccer that it's difficult to choose among them. Who can forget Sunderland's and Crystal Palace's Houdini-like feats of escapology from Championship purgatory? Or how Manchester City withstood the heroic challenge of Liverpool and held its nerve to win the league for the second time in three years? Or how gloriously Sir Alex Ferguson's plans for his succession worked out? Of course, not all the recollections that linger are…

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ESPN – Pardew must avoid reverting back to his old bad habits

Newcastle United midfielder Jonas Gutierrez has been discharged from hospital after an 18-month battle against testicular cancer. Newcastle fans deserve the upturn in their team's form and they're making the most of it. The mood has been buoyant this past couple of weeks following four consecutive wins in league and cup, and not only have results improved, but performances are getting better too. Just as he deserved the criticism levelled at him, manager Alan Pardew deserves credit for the wins that have seen Newcastle pull slightly away from the relegation zone. Although Liverpool dominated possession in last weekend's…

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