Jack Wilshere of Arsenal given ‘brutal reminder of how far he still has to go, as Arsenal were flattened by a supposedly understrength but actually superb Borussia Dortmund.’ Photograph:  Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images

Wenger’s first-choice team undone by understrength but superb German side

Danny Welbeck  during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

At Arsenal, he’ll have a manager who’ll trust him to get on with it his own way, and that could be exactly what he needs. The tran(...)

Republic of Ireland’s Jonathan Walters out-jumps David Kvirkvelia of Georgia European Championship Qualifier, Boris Paichadze National Arena, Tbilisi, Georgia. Photograph: Inpho

If Ireland do qualify for Euro 2016 it will unlikely be by more than the two points that were not lost

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill: “You have to remember what the object is, which is to try and break in and score some goals.” Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

‘Every minute of these matches will be very, very important for us,” says Republic of Ireland boss

West Ham United’s Mark Noble. He is a decent Premier League midfielder who played 20 times for England U21s but never made the senior squad

The news that Mark Noble is seriously considering declaring for Ireland has caused a stir

Everyone agrees Mario Balotelli would be a hell of a player if only he would take the game more seriously. But to do that, he would have to be a different person. Photograph:  Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Anyone hoping the enigmatic forward is about to “grow up” – that is, to start playing with the commitment of a Luis Suarez or a S(...)

Manchester United assistant manager Ryan Giggs speaks to Louis van Gaal  during Saturday’s defeat to Swansea. Photograp: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Van Gaal won’t accept failure to add quality players to squad

Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, a key figure in Germany’s triumph,  with  the World Cup trophy after last Sunday’s victory in Rio. Photograph: Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images

Germany’s triumph is the fruit of smart evolution – and sweet vindication for manager Joachim Löw

Lionel Messi of Argentina  during the 2014 Fifa World Cup Brazil Final against Germany at the Maracana   in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photograph:  Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Argentine looked a shadow of himself despite picking up yet another award

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