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Saturday, Sep 19th

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Cesc Fabregas discussed how his years in England continue to affect his style of football in an interview with El Pais on Monday. He makes note of the marked differences between the style of play in Spain and England, while also acknowledging the influence of his years at Arsenal meant there was some adapting which had to be done upon his return to the Camp Nou.

English football is typically defined as all pace and physicality while Spanish football is more technique oriented and tactic based. Fabregas reiterated the notion in the interview, reported by ESPN Soccernet, saying, “A lot of my style is based on that of the Premier League but with a base of La Masia. I have the touch, the peripheral vision, but maybe I also have a certain tendency to arrive into the penalty area more quickly, which is very British.”

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The International break is a manager's nightmare across the European leagues, but the round of World Cup qualifiers last night at least provided great entertainment to football fans across the world. The big guns enjoyed a stroll in the park as victories by huge margins were the theme of the night, with England, Spain, Germany and Netherlands all notched up massive wins. England moved atop Group H after their 5-0 thumping of San Marino while Germany hammered Republic of Ireland 6-1 in Group C. The Spanish Armada rolled along with a 4-0 triumph over Belarus, but their Iberian rivals Portugal had an evening to forget as they were shocked 1-0 by Russia. The Dutch secured an important 3-0 win at Andorra to stay ahead of Romania in Group D while in Group A, Scotland were undone 2-1 by rivals Wales in dramatic fashion.

Wayne Rooney responded to being handed the captain's armband by netting a brace at Wembley to help England get back on track after their draw with Ukraine in the previous round. Rooney opened the scoring from the penalty spot ten minutes before the break and his strike was soon followed by Danny Welbeck's goal as the Man United pair came to the fore. The pair again scored in quick succession after the break as England went 4-0 up by the 71st minute, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain rounding off the scoring with his 1st senior goal for the Three Lions. England's comfortable combined with Ukraine's draw against Moldova puts them in pole position in Group H, three points ahead of Montenegro who have a game in hand.

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North-London has fallen under the rule of a diminutive midfield genius from the Iberian peninsula as the compliments keep rolling in every week for Santi Cazorla. Since making a surprise move from Malaga to Arsenal late in the summer, Cazorla has light up the Premier League with his passing vision, deft touches and ambidextrous feet. The 27 year old has also appreciated the increased attention he is receiving in England and ultimately hopes that it will benefit his International career with Spain.

Cazorla has 48 International caps to his name but he has at best been a fringe figure during this enormously successful era for the Spaniards. Vicente Del Bosque’s squad is filled with the biggest names in world football, with the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta, David Silva and Cesc Fabregas keeping Cazorla out of the starting line-up.

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Juan Mata might be the star of the show at Chelsea right now but the diminutive attacker continues to be frustrated on the International stage as he was omitted from Spain’s squad for the upcoming qualifiers. The 24 year old has been in hot form for Chelsea, scoring a brace in the Champions League in mid-week to add to his two assists in the win against Arsenal last weekend.

But Vicent Del Bosque hasn’t picked the ex-Valencia man in his squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and France and he explained his decision to Sky Sports: “We could not find him a place. We have enough players for the games. We have chosen those that we think are the best to compete in these matches."

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The latest sound bite regarding the future of Jose Mourinho has arrived and unsurprisingly it is from the ‘Special One’ himself as the Real Madrid once again spoke of his desire to return to England in a long-ranging interview with CNN. The Portuguese revealed that he wasn’t solely focussed on replacing Sir Alex Ferguson while also disclosing that he still enjoyed a good relationship with Roman Abramovich.

Despite taking over at Madrid only in 2010 and having a contract at the Santiago Bernabeu until 2016, Mourinho has continually been linked with a move away from the Spanish Champions. Like his tempered stay in Italy, Mourinho has enjoyed a fractious relationship with the press and the fans in Spain. But the ‘Special One’ is unlikely to leave the Spanish capital until he clinches Europe’s biggest crown, a trophy that has always dictated the tenure of any Madrid manager.

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