EPL Talk Archives for January 2007

Where to Watch England v Croatia

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England's biggest match since the 2006 World Cup quarter-final is today when the Three Lions take on Croatia at Wembley (kickoff is 3pm ET). Becks and Robbo have reportedly been dropped to the bench to be replaced by Wright-Phillips and Carson.

The anticipation for this match is reaching a fever pitch.

Yet in the United States, you'll be hard pressed to find that many people who will be able to watch the game.

Interview with Toby Charles

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EPL Talk has tracked down Toby Charles from Soccer Made In Germany fame and has released an exclusive interview. Be sure to download it today via iTunes or listen to it from the EPL Talk Podcast page.

Whether you're familiar with Mr. Charles or not, I think you'll enjoy this interview as we walk into the past and discuss memories of some of the best German soccer players (yes, it's a different topic for an English centric podcast).

Grandstand Vidiprinter Footage

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BBC's Grandstand was a sports programme that aired on Saturdays and provided football fans from across the country with the latest scores running across the screen.

In the 80s when the technology, called a vidiprinter, became popular, I remember watching the flashing cursor scroll across the screen hoping and wishing that a favorable score was listed for my team.

Most Famous Soccer Players on Facebook

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Several months ago, EPL Talk published an article featuring the MySpace pages for celebrity footballers and commentators. While MySpace's popularity is starting to fade and more people are embracing Facebook, we thought it'd be good timing to point out which famous footballers are on the cutting edge of social networking and who have their own Facebook pages.

EPL Talk TV Survey Results

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Last week, we asked you -- the readers -- to rate EPL Talk TV and let us know what we could do to improve. EPL Talk TV is the latest innovation from us which features five minutes of Premier League news delivered to you via video each weekday morning.
Your feedback is vital and we value it greatly, so read on to see what you and your fellow readers thought and -- based on the results -- what changes we plan on making.

50% of Premier League Clubs are Relegation Candidates

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An international break is a perfect time to take a step back and look at the Premier League season thus far. Without a doubt it's been one of the most exciting ones in several years. Despite this, the number of teams that are playing like relegation candidates is perhaps greater than ever.Â
Take a look at the following table and count how many clubs have been below-par and should be concerned with relegation this season:
By my count, it's 50% of the clubs in the league -- from positions 11 down to 20, beginning with Newcastle United and ending with Derby County.

Breaking News: Toby Charles Interview

EPL Talk at related • 21 views
This Monday night, EPL Talk will interview the legendary Toby Charles from "Soccer Made In Germany" fame.

The host and commentator of the show, which ran from 1976 to 1988 on PBS stations in the United States, is one of the pioneers for soccer in the United States. Ask the majority of soccer fans who grew up with the sport in the late 70s and early 80s, and you'll hear stories of nostalgia about Toby Charles, his voice and the brilliant one hour show that used to air on early Saturday mornings.

England Handed a Lifeline by Israel Win

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Steve McClaren must be the luckiest man on earth today. In injury time between Israel and Russia in the Euro 2008 qualifier today, Russia had a shot that struck the post. If it went in, it would have been 2-1 to Russia and would have signaled England's downfall. But, luckily for England and McClaren, the ball hit the post and went out for a goalkick.

What Premier League Clubs can Learn from Baseball

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By Kent Darcy

Why don't football clubs employ baseball models (i.e. sabermetrics) for evaluating talent? As a football and baseball junkie, I'm more than aware of the fact that both sports are entirely different. But, it seems to me that baseball is on to something when clubs like the A's and Twins (and many others) are able to evaluate talent aside from "the name" of a player and able to save marginal revenue by signing Player X (70% as good as Player Y, 1/25th the price) over Player Y (Better than Player X to be sure, but W-A-Y more expensive).

Israel v Russia: Live and Online

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When was the last time so many millions of people around the world were so interested in watching what will seemingly be a boring match between Israel and Russia? Of course, we all know there is so much at stake in this game, especially for England.

In the first and probably last time, Israel will be featured on the EPL Talk Chat on Saturday at 1pm ET in their match against Russia.

Fantasy Football Tips

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Since there's no Premier League action this weekend, we'll skip the release of the EPL Talk Email Newsletter until next week, but for those football fans who are actively involved in fantasy football, we have a fantasy football tip for you from Jeremy Lay (see below).
Note: If you'd like to receive these tips for free on a weekly basis as well as the latest Premier League news, TV schedule, links to the best articles and more, subscribe to the EPL Talk Email Newsletter for free.

MyFootballClub Interview and Premier League News

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Pretty remarkable news in the Premier League today as:
  • The Walt Disney family are in acquisition talks with Derby County,
  • Steve Bruce looks set to join Wigan as their new boss,
  • Premier League opens up a website in China,
  • Michel Platini criticizes the U.S. owners in the Premier League,
  • And more.
We're doing things a little differently today as a test.

Injury Crisis for England and Chelsea: EPL Talk TV

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The latest episode of EPL Talk TV discusses the injury crisis for Chelsea and England, Gordon Brown wants to meddle with the Premier League, the winner of the book contest and why next week's England against Croatia match will be must-see TV for all the wrong reasons.

10 Days to Explore Europe and its Football

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It's almost a year to the date since I traveled to England for a 10-day EPL Talk tour taking in six matches on a grueling journey from Miami to Manchester and then through the cities of Liverpool, Blackburn, London and back to Manchester.

Along the way, I released a daily audio podcast, snapped hundreds of pictures and wrote passionately on my blog each day.

5 Mistakes MyFootballClub Made On Day One

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MyFootballClub announced today they have agreed to buy Ebbsfleet United, a non-league team in England with hopes of being promoted to the Football League for the first time.

Despite MyFootballClub's track record of acting very professionally since they launched their site in late April, businessman Will Brooks and his team at MyFootballClub are guilty of making five mistakes that could have easily been avoided:
  1. The Independent newspaper knew who the club was before the MyFootballClub members did.

Latest Premier League News from EPL Talk TV

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Episode 5 of EPL Talk TV features news about David Beckham and whether he's going to England or not, who the next Wigan manager may be, why Jens wants to quit Arsenal, a famous footballer says he's sorry and MyFootballClub announces a club takeover. This plus much more in 5 minutes of Premier League news delivered to you each weekday morning.

MyFootballClub Prepares to Announce Club Takeover

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MyFootballClub, the revolutionary website that launched earlier this Spring, is preparing to announce that it has agreed in principle to purchase a non-league football club.

According to The Independent newspaper, MyFootballClub will announce that an agreement has been made with a club from the BlueSquare Premier (aka Conference National, which is one league below League Two in England).

Israel v Russia on Fox Soccer Channel

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Out of the two biggest Euro 2008 matches scheduled this Saturday, Fox Soccer Channel will be showing one of them -- the crucial Israel against Russia match live (1pm ET). The other one, Scotland v Italy, is only available on ESPN Deportes and RAI for viewers in the United States.

Sure, there are plenty of other Euro 2008 qualifiers on TV, but the one between Israel and Russia is an enticing match.

Tottenham and Derby Chairmen Head to the U.S.

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Pop question: Which two Premier League clubs have executives who are currently in the United States on business?

If you answered Tottenham Hotspur and Derby County, you're correct. During the Spurs against Wigan Athletic match on Sunday, commentators Gary Taphouse and Tony Gale mentioned that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is currently in Florida on business.

Review of Past Premier League Weekend

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EPL Talk TV is back with a 5 minute review of the highs and lows from this past weekend's Premiership action.

We'll return tomorrow morning (and each weekday morning) with the latest news from the Premier League.

Italy Soccer Violence Reminiscent of England's Past

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The football-related violence that happened on Sunday is a perfect example of how epidemic the hooliganism problem is in Italy. Incidents occurred throughout Italy in Serie A and lower leagues after Lazio supporter Gabriele Sandri was accidentally killed by police earlier in the day.
The incident sparked violent protests throughout Italy:
  • Rioters set vehicles alight near Rome's Stadio Olimpico
  • The match between Atalanta and AC Milan was stopped as fans and police clashed
  • Hundreds of fans rampaged in Rome and Milan
  • Fans attacked police barracks and the Italian Olympic Committee headquarters in Rome
  • The match between Roma and Cagliari was postponed, but fans who wielded rocks and clubs turned up outside the ground
It was only last February when similar violence erupted in Italy and resulted in a police officer being killed and all of Italian football being suspended.

Dempsey and Dolan On Song for Setanta Sports

EPL Talk at related • 32 views

This past Saturday was a perfect example of the gulf between the pundits on Fox Soccer Channel and Setanta Sports.
During the pre-match, half-time and post-match of the Derby County against West Ham United game, pundits Paul Dempsey and Pat Dolan (pictured) from Setanta Sports asked pointed questions about the juvenile defending of Billy Davies's side.

Take the EPL Talk TV Survey

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Please take 3 minutes and complete the EPL Talk TV survey and let us know what you think about it thus far. If you haven't watched an episode yet, take a look at http://www.youtube.com/thegaffer

Thanks in advance for your valuable feedback which will help shape the future of EPL Talk TV to bring you the best quality product.

The Secret to Getting More EPL Clubs to Tour the US

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If soccer fans in the United States want to see more Premier League clubs visit the country each summer for friendly matches, there's only one thing they need to do: Convince corporations in the U.S. to sponsor Premiership clubs!

That's what sponsors in China and Thailand have done after deciding to invest approximately $40 million in Manchester City.

Chelsea, Wigan and Champions League News

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The latest episode of EPL Talk TV is live featuring five minutes of Premier League news including:
  • Is Chelsea doomed with their new injury crisis?
  • Could Wigan Athletic be more childish regarding finding someone for their new manager's position?
  • And is the Champions League boring? Harry Redknapp and Wayne Rooney think so.

What Do You Know About The Perry Boys?

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Regarding the EPL Talk Podcast, one of the many enjoyable benefits of interviewing some of the top (and most interesting) people on the topic of football is that I'm often learning more about the sport (and its impact on people) at the same time that you are too.

So whether it's previous interviews with Chuck Culpepper about Portsmouth FC, professor Tom Cannon about the financial side of the Premier League, refereeing with Jeff Winter or Graham Poll -- or a host of other fascinating topics and/or guests, I enjoy the episodes as much as I hope you do too.

Buy the Premier League Theme Song

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People often write to me at EPL Talk about where they can buy the Premier League anthem or theme song. They usually ask about the classic one remixed by DJ Judge Jules, and sometimes the most recent one by Peter Lawlor.

Thanks to a tip from reader Charles Hurley, we can now reveal that you can buy the Premier League anthem from Amazon.

Hopes of European Super League Are Dashed

EPL Talk at related • 4 views

Peter Kenyon, chief executive at Chelsea, has snubbed the G14's invitation to join the organization. It looks very likely that the G14 wlll be disbanded, not because of Chelsea's snub but because of UEFA and specifically Michel Platini, the new UEFA president.

With the power struggles in the past between the G14 (an elite organization featuring some of the top and most powerful clubs in Europe - except Chelsea) and UEFA, it appears that UEFA has taken the lead and has formed a "G14 of its own" with a UEFA Strategy Forum.

Football Fans Packing Premier League Grounds This Season

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Yesterday EPL Talk looked at the highest average attendances in the Premier League so far this 2007-2007 season. Today, we take a closer look at the 20 clubs to see which grounds have the highest average attendances based on the capacity of their ground.

For example, Arsenal's home matches in the league this season have resulted in an average attendance that's 99.

Latest Episode of EPL Talk TV is Now Live

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(Summary is not available.)

Wigan Athletic Sacks Chris Hutchings as Manager

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After six successive defeats in the league, Chris Hutchings has been sacked as manager of Wigan Athletic. His last match in charge for Wigan was the 2-0 home loss against Chelsea on Saturday.

Wigan's decision to appoint Hutchings in the summer to replace Paul Jewell was a poor decision. The same applied to Bolton's decision to appoint Sammy Lee in place of Sam Allardyce.

Only a Matter of Time Before Berbatov Leaves Spurs

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So Dimitar Berbatov's agent is to hold talks with Tottenham's director of football Damien Comolli today to discuss the player's future.

It was most probably Berbatov's agent Emil Dantchev who leaked the news to the press, and by doing so, we can assume he wants to send a strong message to Tottenham's board that the player is dissatisfied.

Average Attendances in Premier League

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If you wonder why clubs such as Portsmouth, Chelsea, Spurs, Everton and Liverpool are planning on moving into new stadiums in the near future, take a look at the chart below featuring the average attendances in the Premier League for the 2007-2008 season, as of November 5, 2007 (Happy Guy Fawkes Day, by the way):

1. Manchester United, Old Trafford, 75,614

Rafa Needs to Drop Dirk Kuyt and Start Peter Crouch

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Why does Rafa Benitez persist with Dirk Kuyt especially considering the Dutchman's current form? It wasn't just Kuyt's performance today against Blackburn. Kuyt has been lacking form for several weeks now.

Kuyt was dreadful against Blackburn today wasting several clear-cut chances to put three points in the bag for Liverpool. The final score at Ewood Park was nil-nil.

Arsenal Score Late Equalizer Against Man United

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In what was heralded as the biggest game of the Premier League season thus far, Arsenal scrambled a late equalizer by William Gallas to tie the match 2-2.

United took the lead near the end of the first half with a goal by Wayne Rooney that was ironically deflected into the net by Gallas. However soon after the second half begun, Cesc Fabregas got the equalizer for Arsenal after being left completely wide open in front of goal to knock the ball into the net past Rio Ferdinand standing on the line.

Arsenal v Man United: Live and Online

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Arsenal v Manchester United, Setanta, Saturday, 8:45am ET/12:45pm GMT: Last season's encounter at Ashburton Grove was a classic with the Gunners getting a late winner from a Thierry Henry header. Will this one live up to the hype?

If you're searching for a way to experience the match between Arsenal vs Man Utd online, join the EPL Talk Chat hosted by bcjohn.

Top 10 Most Visited Soccer Websites in the UK

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For the week ending October 27, here are the ten most visited soccer websites in the UK:

1 Liverpool Football Club, www.liverpoolfc.tv, 5.16% market share
2 Manchester United, www.manutd.com, 4.10%
3 TEAMtalk Football, www.teamtalk.com, 3.67%
4 Arsenal.com, www.arsenal.com, 2.65%
5 Premier League, www.premierleague.com, 2.