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
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
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).
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.
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.
An international break is a perfect time to take a step back and look at the Premier League season
thus far.Â 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.
This Monday night, EPL Talk will interview the legendary Toby Charles from "Soccer Made In Germany"
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
The Independent newspaper knew who the club was before the MyFootballClub members did.
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, 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).
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.
Pop question: Which two Premier League clubs have executives who are currently in the United States
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.
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.
This past Saturday was a perfect example of the gulf between the pundits on Fox Soccer Channel and
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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):
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
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.
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 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.
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.