Darron Gibson Learns Invaluable Lesson On The Division Of Work And Heavy Drinking

We get it, we really do. You get drunk, you start to air some grievances at your employer and your colleagues, it happens. We don’t do that at The18 per se, because we love each other and you shouldn’t do that, but we totally get it when you’re a Sunderland employee. 

Can you imagine how stressful working for Sunderland must be? Every year, your company is sometimes weeks, sometimes days from going under. There’s no stability, and you’re micromanaged by David Moyes. You have to watch the company visionaries do things like spend $13 million on Jozy Altidore.  

It’s Not Fun To Be A Fiorentina Fan Right Now

Fiorentina is having a terrible summer. While many of Italy’s top teams have reinforced considerably, the Florentines have managed to decimate their own squad and infuriate their supporters in equal measure. To look at the summer as a whole, it’s awful. Dreadful. Rotten. But when you closely examine each wretched piece of business individually, things look even worse. So, let’s do exactly that.

Phil Jones And Daley Blind Are In Trouble With UEFA's Anti-Doping Program, But Not For The Reason You Might Think

Manchester United players Phil Jones and Daly Blind are in trouble with UEFA's anti-doping arm, but not for having actually doped. Before the Europa League final in May, Jones reportedly insulted a doping control officer and Blind reportedly wasn't following the controllers' directions.

Manchester United Just Bought An Ideal Midfield Partner For Paul Pogba

Last season, I felt really bad for Paul Pogba. Manchester United's record signing had to play in central midfield partnered with Marouane Fellaini. Pogba never had time or space to do cool Pogba stuff because he was busy putting out fires Fellaini had started.

This season, it looks like Pogba will be free, as Manchester United have brought in Serbian defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic, formerly of Chelsea, who complements Pogba's playing style way better than Fellaini did.

Ivan Rakitic Claims American Referee Insulted Him Three Times During El Clasico

Saturday’s El Clasico at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami gave over 66,000 spectators the opportunity to watch the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Gareth Bale, but the lasting legacy of this match will probably be the confrontation between Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic and American referee Jair Marrufo.

Rakitic’s goal in the 7th minute gave Barca an early 2-0 lead, but his 73 minutes on the pitch weren’t entirely enjoyable.

If Your Team Loses In Week 1, Kiss That Trophy Goodbye

The start of major European leagues looms and fans are anxious to see how their teams fare on opening weekend. But how much does the first match even matter? After all, it's a long season and teams have plenty of time to rebound from week one losses. Or do they?

Looking at the statistics, it appears that the first game can set the tone for an entire season. It can either give a burst of confidence or present an omen of troubles ahead.