Here's a mantra you'll all be familiar with: English born players are over-priced. That's why clubs
buy so many overseas players. You get good players for much less money.
That's the received wisdom. We can all point to examples to prove this. Everton paid just a couple
of million quid for Arteta who was one of the best, most creative midfielders last season; an
absolute steal for that money.
EPL Talk reader Tokyo Toffeeman wrote in to say how "coincidental" it was that Sky Sports decided
to broadcast its live Championship coverage for the 07/08 season at the same time that Setanta will
be broadcasting its package of matches. Seems like Sky is already trying to make life difficult for
For example, Setanta will be showing the 12:15pm ET match on Saturdays in addition to some of the
Monday 3pm matches.
It's the morning after the night before and all throughout America I imagine there are many soccer
fans with their heads stooped a little lower today. After being convincingly beaten 4-1 by
Argentina in their first match in the Copa America, the harsh realization is that the United States
was outclassed, outplayed and soundly beaten.
The irony is that the United States had a fantastic first half performance and, when the second
half began, the U.
The English Premier League will unveil a new anthem starting with the 2007/2008 season with a theme
song entitled "My Saturday Self" by musician Peter Lawlor, and you can hear a shortened version of
the song here first courtesy of a tip-off by reader David Carroll.
The song definitely sounds like The Who and was recorded at the famous Abbey Road Studios in
For many of you old timers to the world of soccer podcasts, your first foray into soccer podcasts
may have been The Treble or A Game of Two Halves. While the former continues, the
latter has been missing in action for over six months. Until now, that is. A Game Of Two Halves has
returned from the ashes with hosts Mark Hesketh and Chris Knowles at the helm once more.
For the second night in a row, there's been a huge upset in Copa America. The opening night it was
Peru's emphatic 3-0 win against Uruguay. Tonight, it was an even bigger shock as Mexico annihilated
Brazil with a 2-0 win.
I say annihilated because Brazil was hardly in the match. After a lacklustre first half
performance, this Brazil side looked nothing like their former self.
This July, Fox Soccer Channel will be broadcasting Chelsea's first friendly of the summer against
the Suwon Bluewings on Tuesday, July 17, live at 11pm ET. The match will debut Chelsea's new yellow
dayglo away jersey.
Eight days later, you can watch the Toronto FC v Aston Villa friendly on Fox Soccer Channel. The
match will be shown live on Wednesday, July 25, beginning at 7pm ET.
I had the pleasure yesterday evening to watch the opening match of Copa America as Peru shocked
Uruguay 3-0 in a thoroughly entertaining match. The Peruvians were incredibly impressive in all
areas of the pitch. And what a magnificent goal by Juan Carlos Marino to make it 2-0 for Peru.
If you watch the above clip from Sky Sports and you watched the same match on GolTV as I did, take
notice of the difference in crowd noise.
This past week, the two names you can't escape are Arsenal's Thierry Henry and soon-to-be conqueror
of Manchester City Thaksin Shinawatra. I've purposefully stayed away from writing about them. Why?
If you're like me, I'm a bit sick of hearing their names in the news so often, which is why I've
waited until now to share my thoughts.
On Monday, Thierry Henry will be unveiled as Barcelona's newest striker.
It seems likely that a revamped version of the Home Internationals will be revived in a couple of
year's time. England will be invited to join Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in the end of
season tournament but the F.A is likely to turn it down because it thinks England needs to be
playing other European friendlies and their place will be taken by Ireland to make a Celtic Cup
The proposed agreement for GolTV to be purchased by SCP Worldwide for $200 million has fallen
through, according to the St. Louis Business Journal.
The Business Journal reporter quotes industry sources speculating that the deal fell through
because SCP Worldwide, owned by Dave Checketts, "could violate Major League Soccer non-compete
rules because SCP, owner of the St.
If you're planning on going to see Everton play Real Salt Lake on July 21st, be prepared to be
disappointed. According to their web site, you won't be able to buy single tickets to the match but
will be forced instead to buy tickets to three matches instead.
The trend is becoming more common with MLS clubs as they seem to be trying to take advantage of the
popularity of Premier League sides in North America.
Here's an interesting article you may have missed: How Rupert Murdoch Changed Football. The tycoon
launched Sky Sports and changed the history of English football forever. The question is: Did he
change it for better or worse?
Meanwhile, at EPL Talk HQ, I'm busy working on a redesign of the EPL Talk site. As we've grown over
time, many of the sections of the site (the blog included) look inconsistent with other pages.
The quality of soccer blogs throughout the blogosphere is continuing to increase. The difficult
part is finding them.
Two new ones I uncovered and highly recommend are:
Pitch Invasion: It's not just the pretty pictures at Pitch Invasion which make the blog stand
apart, although the images definitely do help. Blogger Tom Dunmore creates a 'thinking man's blog'
with plenty of appealing and irreverant soccer stories.
Pat Dolan (pictured) has decided to continue as a Setanta Sports pundit instead of becoming manager
of Derry City, according to BBC Sport. That means that the Setanta Sports crew for next season will
feature Dolan, Paul Dempsey, Steve McManaman, Les Ferdinand, Angus Young, Steve Bower and Tim
Sherwood (the former Blackburn Rovers player).
Expect a few more acquisitions of talent between now and August 11.
The interview with Peter Hargitay, special adviser to FIFA President Sepp Blatter, is now live on
the EPL Talk Podcast (episode 71).
Hargitay responds to some of the allegations that Andrew Jennings recently made on an earlier EPL
Talk Podcast episode (number 69). Sepp Blatter's special adviser also answers criticism about other
FIFA-related topics including the new headquarters, Jack Warner and the 2005 raid on the FIFA
offices by Swiss fraud police.
The English Premier League will debut a new anthem to be played before matches and during the
"English Premier League Preview" and "English Premier League Review" shows.
That means that the ever-popular track remixed by DJ Judge Jules will be gone, and will be replaced
instead by a track from Peter Lawler that, according to a Premier League official, sounds like a
cross between The Who and The Lightning Seeds.
A funny thing happened tonight. I read an article about LA Galaxy President Alexi Lalas's criticism
of the Premier League and I started writing a blog post ripping him apart. Then I re-read the same
Guardian article and found that I agree with about 90% of what Lalas had to say!
In the piece that will appear in Tuesday's Guardian newspaper in England, Lalas responds to the
criticism by the English media regarding Beckham's "move to Hollywood" and how Becks is now going
Beginning this August, Fox Soccer Channel will begin broadcasting some Premier League matches live
via the Internet at FoxSoccer.com
According to a source at Fox Soccer Channel, the 24/7 soccer network will show a combination of
some live matches not airing on the channel and selected matches on short delay. The live Internet
feed will not be a simulcast of the channel.
Just a quick note to let you know that this week's EPL Talk Podcast interview with Peter Hargitay,
special adviser to FIFA President Sepp Blatter, will be delayed slightly. Instead of its release
tonight (Sunday), it should be released Monday night. Thanks for your patience.
The football authorities need to re-evaluate the way that license rights are managed for football
matches. Case in point, I was listening to BBC Radio Five Live this week and wanted to hear the
live commentary of the England v Italy U-21 international.
After getting excited about the pre-match buildup on the radio, my hopes were dashed when I heard
the words that most overseas soccer listeners dread to hear.
It's been a hectic week getting interviews done for the upcoming EPL Talk Podcast. This Sunday,
it's an interview with Peter Hargitay (special adviser to FIFA President Sepp Blatter) who has some
very interesting things to say about Andrew Jennings. Then, the following Sunday, I'll publish my
interview with Mike Ingham, football commentator for BBC Five Live.
By John Nicholson
Those of us who are still clinging to the wreckage of the 2006/07 season in Europe are all watching
the Under21 European tournament in Holland and fascinating watching it's proving to be, especially
for England fans.
England has drawn both their games. A tedious 0-0 v Czech Republic and a 2-2 against Italy after
being 2-0 up.
Thanks to Brucio from the Du Nord blog for tipping me off about this one. It's a revealing article
by Steven Wells from The Guardian who, believe it or not, defends American soccer fans. The title
of the article? "Americans Are Soccer-Savvy ...And That Scares Little Englanders."
Personally, what I love about Americans is the way that many of them follow the Premier League as a
whole rather than putting blinders on and just following the Premiership team they support.
It's one of the rare times in the year when U.S. soccer takes a front seat. Major League Soccer is
in full swing. The U.S. men's national team is battling in the Gold Cup and looking ahead to Copa
America, and the nation is talking about Beckham's forthcoming arrival after Spain's La Liga season
ends this Sunday.
Closer to home, fellow bloggers and podcasters Kartik and BCJohn have been busy.
A football story that was overlooked by many in mid-May is how the Premier League officially
dropped the usage of the 'Premiership' name and changed the official title of the league to the
Barclays Premier League (BPL).
To me, it's a big mistake. While sponsorship is such a huge part of the game nowadays, it shouldn't
be included in the official name of the league.
West Ham United has unveiled its new home shirt for the 07/08 season (pictured). The club has
changed kit manufacturers from Reebok to Umbro, and the new shirt is based on the Umbro template
which is very similar in design to England, Everton, Rangers and many other clubs adopting the
Chelsea has unveiled their new away shirt for the 2007/2008 season, and it's certainly going to a
love hate relationship for many Blues fans worldwide.
The new shirt, from Adidas, is yellow day-glow in color but a much softer yellow than I had
The bright, almost fluorescent, shirt will be worn for the first time this season in the July 17
friendly at the Home Depot Center against LA Galaxy in David Beckham's debut match for the Major
League Soccer side.
The Premier League has announced the fixtures for the 2007/2008 season, and there's plenty of
mouthwatering matches to look forward to.
On opening day, August 11, the most appealing match is Manchester United v
Reading. New boys Sunderland will play home against
Spurs, while Derby County plays Portsmouth at
home, and Birmingham City tackle Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Blackburn Rovers is the latest Premier League club to be courted by American investors for a
According to BBC Sport, Rovers is in preliminary discussions with an American investor. In addition
to the Lancashire club, Arsenal and Manchester City are targets for American investors, while three
Premier League clubs are already owned by American businessmen: Manchester United, Aston Villa and
Fox Soccer Channel and the English Premier League announced on Monday that the U.S. soccer network
has acquired the U.S. rights to the mobile and Internet highlights for the next three seasons
beginning in August with the 2007/2008 season.
This is a positive step forward for Premier League fans in the United States, especially those who
experience the EPL online.
Duncan Hamilton, the author of a new book about Brian Clough entitled "Provided You Don't Kiss Me:
20 Years With Brian Clough," is featured in episode 70 of the EPL Talk Podcast.
The interview with Hamilton (pictured alongside Brian Clough) focuses on his career as a reporter
for the Nottingham Evening Post where he was responsible for writing about the once great
Nottingham Forest football club.
One of the redeeming qualities about the Internet is its ability to provide news from all corners
of the globe, which may been missed before unless we had subscriptions to newspapers from India,
Vietnam, Thailand and other countries.
For example, here's an article from The India Times about how Nike is trying to surpass Adidas's
popularity in India.
This week's episode of the Major League Soccer Talk podcast features an interview with Andrew Shue,
the former Melrose Place actor and star of the new movie, Gracie.
Shue is interviewed by Major League Soccer Talk host Kartik Krishnaiyer. They discuss Shue's son
who is a Manchester United supporter, as well as delving into the story behind Gracie and Shue's
opinions regarding U.
It's already almost the middle of June and the disappointing news for fans of the English Premier
League in America is that only two English sides have announced preseason friendly tours to the
United States thus far: Chelsea and Aston Villa.
Chelsea will be playing three matches in the States, while Aston Villa - so far - will play just
one here (and another one across the border in Canada).
If you live in the Dallas area, you'll be interested to know that former Liverpool player Ronnie
Whelan will be doing a speaking engagement on June 19.
Whelan, who also played internationally for the Republic of Ireland, will be discussing some of the
stories from his memorable career at Anfield. Tickets, which include the price of dinner, are $50
Setanta's team of pundits for the 2007/2008 season is continuing to grow. In the past few months,
they announced that Steve McClaren, Angus Young and Steve Bower will join the Irish company.
Now, Setanta has added Les Ferdinand to their ranks and The Guardian is reporting that Emmanuel
Petit is in talks with Setanta.
At the same time that all of these deals are happening, current Setanta pundit Pat Dolan -- the
rotund colleague of Paul Dempsey who we saw on Setanta this past season -- has been named manager
of Derry City, a team in Ireland.
Not sure if you caught Alan Mullery on Sky Sports last week, but he called Major League Soccer a
"mickey mouse league." While it's far from that, I am in the land of the Mickey Mouse this week,
that is Orlando, Florida.
I'll be reporting throughout the week. For those of you looking for the reviews of the new football
shirts for the Premiership clubs (as mentioned in this week's EPL Talk Podcast episode with Andrew
Jennings), I'll add those as soon as I get a chance this week.
The final results have been tabulated for the latest EPL Talk poll and one of the answers is quite
surprising. When asked "where do you primarily watch Premiership matches," 80% of the respondents
answered "at home," but surprisingly, 10% voted "online via P2P."
This may not be surprising to many of you. P2P (peer to peer) applications allow you to watch
matches (and share files) online.
In November 2006, Chelsea launched a brand-new redesign of their web site in conjunction with
Premium TV. Some of you may remember that I was the only US-based reporter at the press conference
and I brought back interviews and photographs from the press conference.
Well, Chelsea has now announced that they've made some significant changes to that redesigned web
And so another England game is consigned to the history books. It is a sign of just how little is
expected of England that this morning, the press is writing up this performance as
'reinvigorating.' Indeed, much of the press coverage seems to see it as a return to some sort of
For those of you who subscribe to the EPL Talk Podcast feed from iTunes (give yourselves a pat on
the back!), you'll have discovered a surprise this week with the first episode of the Major League
Hosted by Kartik Krishnaiyer, the podcast aims to cover the MLS just as well as the EPL Talk
Podcast covers the English Premier League.
In the back of my mind, I keep hearing the words "Never underestimate Chelsea." But unless the
Blues make some significant signings this summer, their 2007/2008 season could be dead and buried
If Manchester United continue to make more signings similar to the talent they're purchased in
Anderson, Nani and Hargreaves -- and if Liverpool secures some major transfer signings, especially
in attack -- Chelsea will be left behind.