EPL Talk Archives for January 2009

Manchester City Vs Arsenal: Round Two

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Well if there was one game I couldn't wait for the return leg this season so far, then Manchester City vs Arsenal was the one. Now thanks to the magic of the League Cup draw, we get an extra episode in this intriguing match up. There is no doubt that the first league clash saw some pretty unsavory scenes both on and off the field and the repercussions are still rippling through both clubs.

West Auckland F.C., The First World Champions!

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As it's World Cup draw week, I thought I'd share one of my favourite football stories with you, about the first ever World Cup, though it was only for domestic sides at the time.I heard this story for the first time when I was nine, due to it being made in to a television drama in 1981, called a Captain's Tale.

Breaking News: Ireland Ask FIFA To Let Them Go To South Africa

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Well, you can't blame them for trying, two weeks after that hand ball incident and FIFA and UEFA being as patronising as possible, the Football Association of Ireland have asked to be included in the World Cup draw on Friday as a 33rd team.I've just had the misfortune of sitting through a Sepp Blatter press conference, which saw a bunch of smug and arrogant bureaucrats laugh at Ireland's suggestions.

ESPN Promotes World Cup Draw And Group Of Death

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I want to take a break for a minute from the whirlwind Premier League season to remind everyone that the World Cup Draw is happening this Friday, December 4th, and will be televised live around the world.

For soccer fans, it's one of the most exciting days every four years as the fate of the 32 teams competing in the 2010 World Cup are decided when we find out which groups the countries will be playing in.

Hodgson and Fulham Set To Continue The Good Work

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Over the years since he bought an ailing and abject club, Mohamed Al Fayed has certainly made some "interesting" decisions over the years. Taking a team that had fallen to it's lowest ebb and eventually returning them to the top tier of English football after an absence of 32 years was certainly some achievement.

Soccer By the Numbers: Soccernomics Book Review

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Over the past decade or so, there has been an odd trend of political and financial analysts, economists and behaviorists writing books analyzing sports. Some of these books have shifted the paradigm in those sports like Michael Lewis' baseball analysis Moneyball. Some of these books found very creative ways to portray obvious truisms (the more you practice, the better you get) like Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers.

Burnley’s Away Day Woes Continue

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Another away game and another game which could have been closer ends up running away from Burnley. Similar to the match against Tottenham, when they had a dubious offside decision against them, Burnley pushed West Ham close for the first 15 minutes, conceded a goal and ended up finding themselves 5-0 down.

Photo Of The Day: Soccer Taxi Disaster

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Whatever you do, don't open this taxi door (unless you really are desperate for a cab ride in Sweden).

Source: PhotoshopDisaster (thanks Phil for the tip).

Related posts:

  1. Guest Appearances on Soccer Shout & Inside Soccer
  2. McClaren's Weaknesses Spell Disaster for England
  3. Football Photo Of The Week NOT Involving Thierry Henry


Interview With Gary James, Football Historian and Author

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While the Premier League continues to become more commercial with each passing year, there is I believe a resurgence in football supporters wanting to learn more about the history of this beautiful game (when it truly was beautiful and when corporations and television networks didn't own it).

Chelsea Expose Flaws Of Arsenal And Their Beautiful Game

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Chelsea is a machine. Indestructible. Precise. Physical. Flawless. Arsenal is the total opposite. They're more fluid, and play a beautiful brand of football that is easy on the eye. When the two opposing forces came together on Sunday afternoon, few would have predicted how Chelsea completely tore the Gunners apart, leaving behind an Arsenal side that looked lifeless on the green, wet pitch at Emirates Stadium.

Everton and Liverpool Attempt to Breath Life into Decaying Campaigns

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What a difference a year makes. In 2009 the Merseyside derby represented emerging opportunities for both Liverpool clubs, and all four encounters (two in the league, two in the FA Cup) produced gritty football. Ultimately Liverpool drove deep into Europe and pushed Manchester United all the way to the Premier League finish line, while Everton capped another successful campaign by reaching the FA Cup Final and finishing fifth in the league.

Jimmy Bullard Goal Celebration: Video

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Watch the video of Jimmy Bullard and his Hull City teammates making fun of Phil Brown earlier today after Bullard scored a goal in the match against Manchester City at the City of Manchester Stadium.

The incident made fun of Brown's lecture he gave Hull City almost a year ago on the same pitch when Brown sat his players in a circle in front of the Hull City supporters and gave them a good telling off.

Portsmouth v Manchester United and the Dubious Penalty

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Not that it mattered much in the end, but Saturday in the Premier League saw Mike Dean (with the help of his linesman Richard West on one instance) award three penalties, one of which must have been one of, if not the most dubious penalty this season in the Premier League.

Q. & A. With Rob Smyth, Freelance Sportswriter

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I recently got the opportunity to sit down with Rob Smyth over electronic mail and ask him a few questions about how he got his start, what he's currently up to, and even get his pick on next summer's World Cup. Many of you will know Mr. Smyth from his appearances on the Guardian Podcast and his writing on the Guardian website.

The Europa League is Not the End of the World for Liverpool

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It can't be much fun to be a football fan in the city of Liverpool these days. With Sunday's Merseyside Derby approaching, the red side has fallen out of the Champions League and is slipping from its Top Four perch, while the blue side is so decimated by injuries that it's can't even stop Hull City from scoring.

Pele’s Thoughts On World Football

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Yes, inernational football is off the agenda for the time being as we dig in for the weekly grind of club football over the winter. I thought however,  EplTalk readers would be interested in what Brazil's finest had to say about the current state of football.

Pele was in Dublin on Thursday to raise money for the Crumlin Children's Hospital and the Little Prince Hospital in Brazil, two very worthy causes to be sure.

Premier League Preview, Nov. 28-29

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It hasn't been a great week for Liverpool, with its elimination from contention for the knockout stages of the Champions League casting a larger shadow on a season that's already looking a bit dim.

It hasn't been a much better week for Everton, with a 3-2 loss at Hull in mid-week sticking in its crawl like an undetected wishbone.

Why Kirkby Rejection Is Good News For Everton FC

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The government's rejection of Everton's plans to move the club from Goodison Park to a stadium outside Liverpool, in Kirkby, is the best thing that could have happened for Everton FC and its supporters.

Financially speaking, the rejection of the Kirkby plans is a massive blow to Everton.

FA Cup Tour Visits Millwall FC: Video

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A lot has changed in the world since the FA Cup, the oldest football competition in the world, began in 1871. But the magic of the tournament still remains. The prospect of non-league minnows upsetting giants. And the nostalgia of seeing matches played in front of standing-room only crowds in the heart of the English countryside.

Happy Thanksgiving Day, Soccer Fans

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Today is one of the biggest days of the year in America as everyone celebrates Thanksgiving Day. Like many Americans, I'll be spending the day with my family as we spend all day cooking a turkey dinner and baking apple pies. I trust that you'll have a special day too with your friends or loved ones.

Liverpool Stand On The Edge Of Failure

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The morning after Liverpool crashed out of the Champions League has seen the club reiterate that Rafa Benitez's position is safe. Not qualifying for the Champions League knock out stage is a big blow for a club that strives for parity at Europe's top table. Throughout this season, Liverpool have struggled in the League and in Europe.

David Beckham Will Not Be Going to South Africa

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Hello. My name is Fabio Capello. Over the past 18 months, I have been hailed as the savior of English football. Under my stewardship, England easily qualified for the World Cup Finals next year in South Africa. Granted, our qualifying group was fantastically weak, and in our friendlies against other big nations like Spain and Brazil we have come out second best, but no matter.

Andy Mitten Interview: Author of “Glory Glory: Man Utd in the ’90s”

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Andy Mitten, author of "Glory, Glory: Man Utd in the 90s," is the latest guest on the EPL Talk Podcast.

During the interview, Mitten discusses the stories both on and off the pitch of some of the legendary Manchester United players from the 1990s. Plus he talks about the Manchester United team of 2009.

Megson Begins A Dangerous Game At Bolton

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Ah, Gary Megson, never a manager to pass the blame on to anyone else for his own shortcomings, has decided that today he would announce that certain players are trying to destabilise the club. After watching Sundays performance, I don't blame them, they look a team with no self confidence, no belief and no faith in the manager.

Breaking News: Paul Hart Leaves Portsmouth FC

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Well, you wonder if sanity has left the South Coast this summer at Portsmouth, with weird takeovers, scraping around for signings, the chief executive being charged with tax evasion, another takeover, being banned from signing due to unpaid debts and now Paul Hart being moved out of the managers seat.

Fan Diary #17 – Skrtel

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Oh, Martin Skrtel.

Since Sami Hyypia left, I've been cheering for Srktel to score from a corner or free kick. I've seen some sweet goals from Agger. I've even seen Carragher score (and he's only scored 5 in 594 matches). In the pub, we used to yell for Sami Hyypia to put one back whenever he came forward to try and get his head on the end of a set piece.

Murdoch Sounds The Death Knell For News Corp Soccer Coverage

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In the clash between old media and new media, I find it comical to see traditional old media establishments floundering to survive and concocting irrational business plans to hold on to the very little power they still have. The best example is Rupert Murdoch's recent attempt to remove the websites he owns from the Google search engine results pages, and his plans to put up a paywall for many of his news sites to prevent readers from accessing articles for free.

Poll: What Should FIFA Do To Help Referees?

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Ireland's loss may be football's gain. Fifa may fast-track the approval of an additional assistant referee on each goal line in time for next summer's World Cup in South Africa. This system is currently being tested in the Europa League. As we well know, on-the-spot human judgment is not perfect, but an additional referee positioned by the goal would have been in a prime position to spot Thierry Henry's handball and could have helped unapologetic referee Martin Hansson make the right call.

EPL Talk Podcast: Chris Oakley

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Frequent guest Chris Oakley of Some People on the Pitch, the Sound of Football and the Onion Bag joins us to discuss International Football, West Ham United, and the World Cup Draw.

Be sure not to miss a single episode of the EPL Talk Podcast, the only Premier League interview show on the Internet.

Can Defoe Finally Realise His Full Potential

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One thing that has never been in question about Jermaine Defoe is his undoubted ability. Since West Ham United nicked him off of Charlton Athletic as a 15 year old, Defoe has scored goals. Be it for AFC Bournemouth on loan, West Ham United, Portsmouth, both spells at Tottenham and England, Defoe scored.

Jermain Defoe’s Five: Is he on his way to South Africa?

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Jermain Defoe hit five goals yesterday in Spurs'Â demolition the word doesn't seem strong enough, at times of Wigan Athletic, but has he done enough to merit a place in Fabio Capello's world cup squad next summer?

Many pundits and people in the game, including 'Arry (who would of course be a neutral observer in such matters), have rushed to declare Defoe as the 'best finisher in England'Â and a certainty for this forthcoming squad.

Wolves Struggle To Cope With Premiership Demands

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I have to admit if there is one name in the bottom six that surprises me by being there this season, then it has to be Wolves. Arriving back to the Premiership as Championship winners, they currently stare upward towards Birmingham City and Burnley. West Ham and Portsmouth have struggled with financial issues, Bolton Wanderers fans hate their manager which doesn't help when you lose a local derby, Hull City are still struggling with the hangover from last season and Wigan are still coming to grips with life without Steve Bruce.

Bullard’s Resurgence Can Lift Hull City

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Things are very rarely simple at the K.C. Stadium, not while Phil Brown is there. Back in January, he raised eyebrows when he paid £5 million for the effervescent Fulham midfielder Jimmy Bullard. Not that there is any doubting the quality that Bullard offers, but that a player who had suffered so much from a bad run of injuries could be worth such a punt for a team that were in free fall at the time.

Bruce’s Masterplan Downs Big Guns Again

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Like a lower league side strutting their stuff in the latter rounds of the FA Cup, Steve Bruce is transforming his Sunderland side into one of the biggest upset merchants in the Premiership. The Black Cats' latest scalp was a 1-0 victory at home to Arsenal. Bruce's side have now taken 7 points from a possible 12 this season against the big four.

Fox and ESPN Bring Their A Game To Soccer Analysis

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Analyzing soccer tactics has never been a strongpoint of US television, but if you haven't being paying attention recently, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find out that both Fox Soccer Channel and ESPN have made giant improvements to their coverage.

At Fox Soccer Channel, Warren Barton has come into his own during halftime of Champions League matches as he stands in front of a flat-screen monitor and routinely analyzes tactics alongside the soccer mastermind Bobby McMahon.

Fox Soccer Channel Misses Live Coverage Of EPL Goal Fests

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While playing with my kids on Sunday morning, I checked Twitter for a minute and was astonished to see that Jermain Defoe had just scored a hat trick for Tottenham Hotspur. My first impulse was to grab the remote and to switch on Fox Soccer Channel, but I was greeted with the live match between Stoke City and Portsmouth.

EPL Talk Podcast: Robbie Earle

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Robbie Earle MBE, leading Football pundit joins us to discuss his career in football and broadcasting.

Be sure not to miss a single episode of the EPL Talk Podcast, the only Premier League interview show on the Internet. We have a long list of high-profile guests scheduled over the next weeks each with their own fascinating stories to tell.

Football Photo Of The Week NOT Involving Thierry Henry

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It's been a nice return to club football this weekend after all 32 countries are now locked in & booked for South Africa next Summer. What a week it was though for memorable moments and unforgettable photos in world football. Long will football fans remember the handball heard 'round the world, the pain and dejection on the Irish players faces and moments of pure passion and joy from other countries who will be playing their part in 2010.

Poll: Which EPL Team Do You Least Look Forward To Watching On TV?

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Okay, admit it. Even though you thoroughly enjoy watching the Premier League, especially your favorite team each week, there are often times when you're not too bothered about missing a match on television featuring teams that either don't excite you or that you're not interested in.

But which team in particular do you dread watching more than any other in the Premier League?

Observations About Premier League Saturday Matchday 13

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Thank god the Premier League is back. Nothing against international football, but there's something very comforting with getting back into the ritual of watching Premier League football and being familiar with the surroundings, the pace of the game and the excitement it creates.

So the Liverpool against Manchester City game on early Saturday was the perfect re-introduction to the Premier League.

Carlos Tevez Proves His Worth to Man City

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When football pundits discuss Carlos Tevez, they often talk about his "work rate" and his "eye for the ball." At times, though, the words "work rate" can morph into a backhanded compliment as if those pundits are really saying, "He's rubbish as a goal scorer, but boy, he sure works hard, doesn't he?

Arsene Wenger’s Wise Words on the Fiasco in Paris

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The appetite for commentary on the farce in Paris still seems strong, and I thought Arsene Wenger had a very wise take on the entire situation today. Wenger is, obviously, a French supporter and very close with Henry. In fairness to the Irish fans, the world football community, and for the sake of Henry, he called for the game to be replayed.

The Hand Of Henry: An Irish Perspective

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I thought I should jump in on this issue while the water is still warm and explain an Irish view of Wednesday's larceny. In Ireland we do not do football dramas in small measures, Roy Keane's walkout at the 2002 World Cup practically sparked a civil war and now the 'Hand of Henry' has turned into a diplomatic incident.

Henry’s Story Continues to “Evolve” Thanks to Public Opinion

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Since Thierry Henry's handball on Wednesday, the former Arsenal striker's reaction has gone from arrogance, to indifference to being contrite. From where I sit, this simply proves that Henry is a Public Relations driven phony. He's cultivated an image for over a decade in conjunction with his handlers and now sees the possibility it can all come undone.

Liverpool Legend Jan Molby Coming To New York City

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Jan Molby is a player that I have a lot of time for. The Danish footballer was a maestro in midfield. While he's best remembered as being a pivotal player for Liverpool during his time there between 1984 and 1996, he has a special place in my heart for being a pioneer with the club I support, Swansea City, where he introduced a beautiful style of play as player manager which laid the groundwork for Roberto Martinez's arrival, much later, in 2007.

EPL Talk Podcast: Henry Aftermath from a French Perspective

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On this episode of the EPL Talk Podcast, host Kartik Krishnaiyer and French Football expert Dave Trotter discuss one of the most controversial football stories of the year — the Thierry Henry handball incident for France against Ireland which ended up knocking the Republic Of Ireland out of the World Cup qualifying match while France will be making their way to South Africa next summer.

Review: FIFA 10 For Wii

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EA Sports' FIFA franchise strives for realism, to approximate the experience of being a footballer or managing a club. When you see the gaudy, arcade style interface of FIFA 10 for the Wii, you realize this will be a very different game.

Creating for the Wii constrains developers.

How To Cheat At Football – A Primer

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For many, cheating is an ugly blight on the beautiful game. Players who break the rules are regularly vilified and criticized. But cheating, when used effectively, can be a great way to help your team out. It is so much easier to score from the penalty spot than from open play with all those pesky defenders around.

Re-Playing Around

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Okay okay, I guess I have to write something about this Thierry Henry hand ball or something. Here is the obligatory (and slightly sarcastic) background info already reported: The World Cup playoffs are seeded, seemingly hurting the minnows like Republic of Ireland. Then, Ireland are given an away game in Paris for the second leg, presumably giving them yet another disadvantage.

EPL Talk Podcast: The Henry Aftermath

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We examine both sides of this debate fairly. A must listen to pod.

Related posts:

  1. EPL Talk Podcast: The Henry Aftermath
  2. EPL Talk Meets Henry Winter
  3. First Look At The EPL Talk Podcast App


EPL Talk Podcast: The Henry Aftermath

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We examine both sides of this debate fairly. A must listen to pod.

Related posts:

  1. EPL Talk Podcast: The Henry Aftermath
  2. EPL Talk Meets Henry Winter
  3. First Look At The EPL Talk Podcast App


Premier League Preview, Nov. 21-22

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After an International break that completed the 32-team field for the World Cup next summer in South Africa, the EPL surges back to action this weekend with an important fixture at Anfield.

That game is on ESPN in glorious high definition. Here's the entire TV schedule.

Now, on to the previews:

Liverpool vs.

Nike’s CTR360 Trequartista AG Boots/Cleats Product Review

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Nike is a relative newcomer to the boot game. What Nike has lacked in substance they've usually made up in style. Their autumn ad campaign channels Irvine Welsh's finest prose by asking us to choose; choose control, choose speed, choose accuracy, choose touch or choose 5-a-side. I chose control, specifically Nike's CTR360 Trequartista AG.

A Little Bit Of Rationality.

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It has been all about Thierry Henry and his "Hand of God" this past 24 hours. Articles, comments, they are everywhere, lambasting the striker for his role in the controversial equaliser. I am a Gooner, and Henry scored the goal which mesmerized me into pledging my allegiance to Arsenal.

Russian Football Now Podcast #15: Russia Misses the World Cup

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In partnership with Russian Football Now, EPL Talk presents the thirteenth episode of RNF's podcast.

Russia was many's dark-horse in South Africa. One problem: getting there.

Slovenia completed their upset of Russia with a 1-0 win in Maribor, going through on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate.

Thierry Henry’s Responsibility

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In my piece yesterday, I discussed all of the reasons that Ireland's potential qualification was better for World Football than France's would be. I detailed my reasoning without any mention that a group of hard working custodians of the game should not be denied by a group of talented but unsporting cheats.

A Robbery in Paris

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Thierry Henry is my favorite player of all time. He has had so many magical moments on the pitch that it is hard for me to list them all. That is what makes this all the more painful. Yes, Ireland should have taken their chances. Yes, this will renew the call for instant replay.

Questions Please For Robbie Earle

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Later this week, it'll be our distinct pleasure to interview Robbie Earle for an upcoming episode of the EPL Talk Podcast, the number one Premier League interview and analysis show.

Earle is a familiar voice to English football supporters worldwide with his wonderful co-commentating of most of the major Premier League matches.

An Irish Defeat Would be a Loss for International Football

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I'll admit that hearing many a pundit say that a World Cup without France would lose some of its bite made my blood boil. Â I have nothing against French Football, and in fact cheered for them in each of their four knock out stage matches of Germany 2006.

But from my perspective an Irish defeat today in Paris would be a defeat for football.

David France Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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David France, a football philanthropist and previous owner of the world's largest football memorabilia collection, is the guest on the latest episode of the EPL Talk Podcast.

France has an incredible story to tell about the 20 years he spent traveling the world and assembling the most amazing and comprehensive collection of memorabilia items for any English football club.

Revealed: What England Must Do To Win The World Cup

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England may have gone down to Brazil this past Saturday but they sure looked sharp in defeat. Call me old-fashioned, call me Wilford Brimley if you must, but England currently rock the finest football shirts on this here planet Earth. Flying in the face of modern trends, their simple collared white shirt features nothing more than England's venerable Three Lions crest and the Umbro logo.

Aquilani: Will He Live Up To The Hype?

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As a child, I could never sleep on Christmas Eve. There was a greedy little materialist in me who sneaked into the living room in the dark to count, shake and feel up all the presents under the tree with my name on them and then stayed up all night trying to imagine what the morning would really bring.

Did the EPL Blow a Chance to Seize the American Market?

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For many in England, last week's news that the Premier League would not be inviting Rangers or Celtic to join anytime soon was a welcome relief. After all, the Premier League has already done enough damage in some eyes to the traditional feel of English football, despite unquestionably expanding the international reach of the English game.

Is Rafa Headed Out the Door?

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Rafa Benitez gave a bizarre interview to the Times yesterday, and Liverpool fans should be worried that the pressure may be getting the better of their leader. When a manager spends time talking about the support he is getting from the management, threatening to quit, and talking about the legacy he wants to leave behind, he sounds less like a manager worried about this weekend's game against Man City and more like a man who wants to put this whole mess behind him.

More players injured on international duty

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This weekend saw another round of international games, some important like the playoffs for the final positions at the World Cup, but all too many were unimportant games that counted for absolutely nothing t should the top players be excluded form playing in them to avoid injury?

I know that this brings up loads of potential problem like who do you classify as a top player etc.

Play 7 Classic Football Management Computer Games Online

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Many of the regular readers of EPL Talk will know that I'm a massive fan of retro football computer games, so I was pleased to come across a video showing what the original Football Manager game, made in 1982, looked like when played on a Sinclair Spectrum computer.

The video painstakingly goes through step-by-step of how to play Football Manager, which was the classic computer game that started the football management game craze.

EPL Talk Podcast: Misha Sher on WCQ, World Cup TV implications and 2018 bids

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Will football come home to England for the 2018 World Cup? We explore this topic as well as look back at the weekend's UEFA World Cup Qualifying playoffs and discuss the potential impact of Ireland's elimination on US/UKÂ TV viewership and traveling supporter attendance to South Africa with Soccerex Business Development Director, Misha Sher.

Adventures Of The Football-Curious: No Football, Religion, Politics At Work

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My co-worker Doug has become Football-Curious. Between me talking about Liverpool every week (lately: moaning about Liverpool most every week) and an article he read about Clive Owen talking about being a Liverpool supporter, he has taken an interest in the Reds. He asks me tons of questions whenever we work together, everything from "What's a Scouser?

Cracks Continue To Show At Manchester United

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Just how serious is this mini-crisis at United?

Manchester United currently sit third in the Barclays Premier League table level on points with Arsenal (who have a game in hand) and 5 points behind league leaders Chelsea. But how much is Sir Alex relishing this most recent International break?

Russian Football Now Podcast #14: Russia-Slovenia Review

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In partnership with Russian Football Now, EPL Talk presents the fourteenth episode of RFN's podcast.

Russia has pulled ahead of Slovenia after leg one, but thanks to a late goal from the Slovenes, the favorites are in a precarious place ahead of Wendesday's second leg.

Premier League Matchday 12 Ratings Released For US TV

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The TV ratings are in for the last round of Premier League games on ESPN2 and Fox Soccer Channel. For ESPN2, it's a tale of two cities as they had an impressive number of viewers for the Tottenham against Sunderland game (259,831) but a very disappointing number of viewers for the Monday match between Liverpool and Birmingham City (182,138) the second lowest viewing figure all season long on ESPN2.

What is Best For Manchester United and Rooney?

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With the international break nearly over, the excitement of the Premier League will be back with us and Manchester United will be looking to get back to winning ways against Everton at Old Trafford at the weekend.

Following the Chelsea defeat I began thinking about what the best Manchester United eleven actually is?

Aston Villa For Champions League?

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Since Randy Lerner appointed Martin O'Neill as Aston Villa manager, the club's fortunes seem to have changed. No, Villa haven't realistically competed for any silverware yet, but there are certainly promising signs at the club. Villa have recently appeared to be a club who are a solid top 6 team, with some promising talent on their books.

EPL Talk Podcast: England-Brazil and Other Internationals with an EPL Flavor

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Kartik Krishnaiyer and Laurence McKenna break down the friendly between Fabio Capello's England and the reigning Copa American Champion Brazil. We also look at Ireland's chances to beat France and advance to the World Cup as well as the other three UEFA playoff matchups.

Related posts:

  1. EPL Talk Podcast: Champions League Matchday Four Review Show
  2. EPL Talk Podcast: Jon Champion
  3. EPL Talk Podcast: Matchday Seven Discussion And Review


Is This The Arsenal Side to Redeem Wenger?

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Gooners should be forgiven for indulging in optimism. With 36 goals in 11 matches, talk of Arsene Wenger's gun slinging side has done much to impress, and you can sense the Frenchman is a few wins away from making some sort of bold prediction, ala the Invincibles. To be five points from leaders Chelsea with a game in hand, and especially with such a heavily-populated injury list, the Professor must believe his seemingly eternally-young side has the best shot at a domestic title since the Gunners' monumental collapse two years ago.

First Look At The EPL Talk Podcast App

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Fans of the EPL Talk Podcast who are also iPhone & iPod Touch users have a chance to take advantage of the new App which was recently released in the official App Store.

The EPL Talk Podcast (which is now daily) can conveniently be accessed directly from your iPhone when new episodes are uploaded (the podcast is still available via download using iTunes from your laptop or desktop).

Panic Over Cudicini Motorbike Crash

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It seems that the Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper, Carlo Cudicini, has been involved in a serious crash this morning after hitting a car whilst riding his BMW motorbike. It's been confirmed that Cudicini has fractured both wrists and sustained serious pelvic injuries according to a statement by London's Metropolitan Police.

Premier League Say No Again To The Old Firm

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Like leaves fall from the trees in Autumn, it seems every year some chairman in the Premier League wants to try and get the Old Firm into it. This time Phil Gartside, the Bolton Chairman once again tried to get the League to agree to invite Rangers and Celtic in to the fold. Thankfully, the request has been voted down.

Russian Football Now Podcast #13: Russia-Slovenia WCQ Preview

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In partnership with Russian Football Now, EPL Talk presents the thirteenth episode of RNF's podcast.

Two close losses to Germany in UEFA World Cup qualifying has the Russian national team in a two-legged playoff with Slovenia. Many see this as the most lopsided of the four UEFA qualifying playoffs, though Slovenia who allowed only four goal in ten qualifiers should give the Russians significant problems.

Top 10 Premier League Legends We Should Cherish Now

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It's human nature for us to take things for granted. When they're taken away from us, we moan and complain. But while we have them, we often don't appreciate these things as much as we should.

The same goes for footballers and football managers. Years from now, we'll look back and talk incessantly about "the good 'ol days" when so and so was in the Premier League.

Fan Diary #16: Fearless Liverpool (As In, We Scare Nobody)

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Liverpool Need Their Roar Back

Liverpool aren't scaring anybody these days. Danny Murphy pointed this out during the Liverpool/Birmingham City half-time show. Unfortunately, he's too right.

Against Birmingham, Liverpool spent more time with the ball than an NBA forward playing one-on-one with a ten-year-old kid.

Fan Diary #15: Fearless Liverpool (As In: They Aren’t Scary)

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During the halftime show during the Liverpool/Birmingham match, Danny Murphy basically said Liverpool weren't scaring their opponents these days. Unfortunately, he's too right.

Against Birmingham City, Liverpool enjoyed more possession than an NBA forward playing one-on-one with a five-year-old (sorry, I'm reading an enormous book on basketball right now and it's filtering into my football psyche).

Memories Of Football Ground Spotting In The UK

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After viewing photographs in The Guardian last week about the greatest number of league grounds that can be seen on a single train trip in Great Britain, the feature got me thinking about my life growing up in Wales.

From as far back as I can remember, I always loved traveling.

EPL Talk Podcast: Respect Campaign

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The EPL Talk Podcast discusses the FA's Respect campaign towards officials. Why are officials so badly treated by supporters, players and managers? Has the campaign had any positive affect? Why does John Yerry always lead a group of Chelsea players to crowd around the officials? Why does Sir Alex Ferguson always seem to blame the officials when Manchester United has an unexpectedly bad result?

Chelsea Gain Edge in Premiership Title Race

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In the first showdown between the two teams most likely to be challenging for major honours at the start of the season, Chelsea took one step closer to the Premiership title on Sunday after beating Manchester United 1-0 in a match many felt that United had to win. Chelsea are now 5 points clear of their rivals, and although there is a long way to go have taken the early lead in the title race.

Blatant N’Gog Dive Rescues Liverpool, Angers Birmingham

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Another day, another dive. With a stilted Liverpool trailing a frisky Birmingham City at Anfield late, David N'Gog (pronounced like "own goal") sensationally split two defenders while charging in from the left. N'Gog then almost blew past Lee Carsley, but Carsley slid towards him, grazing the ball while managing to avoid any contact.

Tottenham Hotspur Disappears On Fox Soccer Channel

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When Fox Soccer Channel displayed the top half of the Premier League table on its channel last weekend after the Chelsea versus Manchester United match, eagle eyes EPL Talk reader Michael V. Miracolo noticed something unusual. Tottenham Hotspur wasn't listed in the top half of the table!

Hail Sir Alex Ferguson

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The most eagerly waited fixture in the EPL so far took place on Sunday 8 November when champions Manchester United took on potential challengers Chelsea at fortress Stamford Bridge. So much talking about Chelsea form lately and the run they are on, Manchester United injury list was a major talking point with world's best centre back partnership in the shape of Vidic & Rio Ferdinand both sidelined, though Vidic was on the bench but unable to start to game.

Memo To Fox: We Want US Commentators For Champions League

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I admit it. I was wrong. When Fox Soccer Channel announced in the Spring that they had acquired the US TV rights to the UEFA Champions League for the next three seasons, I recommended to the EPL Talk readers that Fox should hire the world feed that featured the UEFA commentary team instead of putting Fox's crew behind the mic.

EPL Talk Podcast: Matt Dickinson

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Matt Dickinson, football writer for the Times joins Christopher Harris on this edition of the EPL Talk podcast.

Be sure not to miss a single episode of the EPL Talk Podcast, the only Premier League interview show on the Internet. We have a long list of high-profile guests scheduled over the next weeks each with their own fascinating stories to tell.

Winners of FIFA 10 and The Manager Contest Announced

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Sorry for not posting this on Saturday, but it's been a busy weekend preparing for my trip to Las Vegas this week to attend a search marketing conference. Nevertheless, drumroll please, here are the winners of the copies of FIFA 10 and The Manager book by Barney Ronay:

  • FIFA 10 winner: Bernard Cahill
  • FIFA 10 winner: Peter Edmiston
  • FIFA 10 winner: Marc Shepherd
  • The Manager winner: Dave Griffiths

Congratulations to each one of you.

Poetic justice as Drogba has last laugh against United

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Chelsea's Didier Drogba is a man who has a beautiful ability to make headlines, be it good or bad. This weekend, he was the victim of a shocking tackle, no, make that assault from Manchester United's Johnny Evans. He then had the last laugh, darting across Edwin Van Der Sar in an offside position for John Terry's late goal.

Guide to Official Premier League Club Podcasts

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The number of football podcasts that are available on iTunes is staggering. In terms of quality, it's definitely a case of the good, the bad and the ugly. But if you're a football supporter of a Premier League club, you may find the following list helpful of the official podcasts that are avalable for each club (well, most of them there are still some Premiership clubs who are living in the dark ages).

EPL Talk Podcast: Chelsea-Manchester United Review

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Richard Farley, the host of the Inside the Six podcast joins us to breakdown the top of the table matchup between Chelsea and Manchester United.

Be sure not to miss a single episode of the EPL Talk Podcast, the only Premier League interview show on the Internet. We have a long list of high-profile guests scheduled over the next weeks each with their own fascinating stories to tell.

Chelsea Fan Brushes Teeth During Man United Game: Bizarre Video

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This is one of the most bizarre things you can expect to see at a professional football match. With Chelsea leading 1-0 against Manchester United, Salomon Kalou was getting ready to come on for Didier Drogba in the 83rd minute of the game. However, who would have expected a Chelsea supporter to look so calm and collected as he brushed his teeth in the crowd.

Chelsea 1-0 Man United: Ugly Match Exposes United’s Frailties

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This was one of those Premier League matches that had a draw written all over it that was crying out for just one decent attempt to puncture the dull game. And it finally came three-quarters into the match where John Terry headed the ball into the corner of the net.

Yet again, Sir Alex Ferguson put out a defensive minded team that played very cautiously with Wayne Rooney often up front on his own.

Hull City 2-1 Stoke City: Tigers Pull Off Last Gasp Winner

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It wasn't the prettiest of games, but it was enjoyable to watch. Reminiscent of old-style English football with plenty of balls kicked high and long, Hull City pulled off a last gasp winner to beat Stoke City 2-1 and to give manager Phil Brown a chance of remaining as manager of the Tigers just for a little longer, perhaps.

How Did You Find Who You Support? & The Search For Credibility

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Following up from an earlier article I'd like to pose a question to all the non ex-pat North American readers of EPL Talk: How Did You Find Who You Support?

It's ultimately a broad question that has more potential answers to it than current injury concerns at Liverpool. But I believe the question sparks an interesting debate as Americans are still searching for their place in world football.

Observations From Saturday’s Premier League Games, Matchday 12

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As you know, EPL Talk focuses on the Premier League and not the lower leagues of England, but my day didn't start so well when Setanta-i had technical problems which prevented me and all other Setanta-i customers from viewing the Welsh derby featuring the club I've supported all my life, Swansea City, against Cardiff City.

Fan Diary #15: Curse You, Lisandro Lopez! Now, Get In There And Win It In Italy…

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So... to review... for Liverpool to qualify for the Champions League round of sixteen one of the following scenarios needs to occur:

1.) Liverpool beat Debrecen AND Lyon beat Fiorentina AND Liverpool beat Fiorentina.

2.) Liverpool beat Debrecen AND Lyon draw with Fiorentina AND Liverpool beat Fiorentina by at least three goals.

Premier League On US TV Schedule Revealed For January 2010

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Several Premier League clubs announced today changes to their January fixtures so matches can be moved to TV timeslots. As a result, we can infer which matches will be shown on the US soccer TV networks.

January's highlights include:

  • Arsenal v Manchester United, Sunday, January 31, 11am ET, Fox Soccer Channel
  • Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur, Sunday, January 10, 11am ET, Fox Soccer Channel
  • Birmingham v Man United, Saturday, January 9, 12;30pm ET, Fox Soccer Channel
  • Hull v Chelsea, Saturday, January 9, 7:45am ET, ESPN2

Be sure to read the complete TV schedule of Premier League matches shown in the US.

Poll: Who Will Win Sunday, Chelsea or Man United?

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Without a doubt, Sunday's game between Chelsea and Manchester United is the biggest of the season between the two clubs who have the best chance to win the Premier League title this season (sorry Arsenal fans). So, it's no wonder that so much importance is being placed on this game. Not that who wins will decide anything, but it will be a massive psychological boost for the winning team and will show which club has what it takes to win the title.

Everton unable to take revenge on Benfica

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This season has not started the best for Everton, so far they have been unable to recapture the form they showed last season in the league and  sit a lowly 13th. Couple this with two heavy defeats and the hands of Benfica in the Europa league and things aren't looking so rosy for David Moyes and his men.

Last Chance To Win FIFA 10 and The Manager By Barney Ronay

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I'm leaving on Monday for a trip to Las Vegas for a search marketing conference, so I want to wrap up the EPL Talk contests before I leave in order to mail the packages and to make some football fans very happy. So today, if you're lucky enough to be reading this, you have the opportunity to win one of three copies of FIFA 10 we're giving away and a copy of the book by Barney Ronay named The Manager.

How Stadium Naming Rights Are Getting Out Of Control

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Traditional terrace tipplers still mouthing up their marmite at the news that Newcastle's St. James' Park will henceforth be known as sportsdirect.com@St. James' Park Stadium will be further aghast to learn that Chelsea would consider cashing in on Stamford Bridge. We are not too far off from Ethan Armstrong's vision here at EPL Talk of sponsored songs and players.

1992-93 Premier League Season In Review: Video

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Here are the video highlights for the very first season of the Premier League, 1992-93. Included in the video is the great Brian Clough, once-great clubs such as Norwich City, Crystal Palace and Ipswich Town, as well as the intriguing race for the title featuring Manchester United, Aston Villa, Norwich City, Queens Park Rangers and Blackburn Rovers.

Finally, a Little Honesty from the Captain

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Former teammates; Alonso and Gerrard

I really can't wait to read the December installment of FourFourTwo Magazine. In this issue Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard finally states what we all know: the departure of Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid has undeniably damaged the Merseyside club.

EPL Talk Podcast: Champions League Matchday Four Review Show

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Kartik Krishnaiyer and Laurence McKenna break down all the midweek Champions League action. Hear Kartik's very sharp opinions on UEFA's seeding process and Laurence's views on Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benetiz. We also preview this weekend's headline top of the table clash between Chelsea and Manchester United.

The Cold War For Arsenal Continues

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Stan Kroenke has purchased even more shares in Arsenal today taking his holding to 29.9% of the club. With only another 0.09% required to reach the threshold to make an offer for the rest of the clubs shares, Kroenke has purchased 627 shares this week for the princely sum of £5.3 million.

Benitez Cannot Buckle Under Pressure

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"It is difficult for us to qualify, but not impossible,We have to win our game and see what happens with Fiorentina and Lyon. Then we will approach the last game." Benitez has certainly fought his corner today after the galling last minute equaliser Liverpool conceded in the Stade Gerland last night.

Happy Guy Fawkes Night

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Ten years ago today, when I was still single, I threw a party for about 20 of my friends in my studio apartment. It was November 5th, 1999. On a shoestring budget, I had an assortment of sausage rolls and poppadoms available for people to eat and plenty of bottles of beer to wash the food down.

Premier League Preview, Nov. 7-9

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Does it get much better?

Manchester United visits Chelsea this weekend with first place on the line.

I could stop there, but then this wouldn't be much of a preview, would it?

Before we get into the games, check out the TV schedule.

And don't forget to tab the winners with the EPL Talk Predictor.

Arsenal v Spurs ESPN2 TV Ratings Revealed

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The Nielsen Ratings are in for ESPN2's biggest match of the season thus far featuring the north London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

Approximately 325,187 viewers watched the game in the United States which represents the third highest viewing figures for ESPN2's coverage of the 2009-2010 Premier League season thus far.

Wayne Rooney’s Street Striker 09: Sneak Peek Video

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This Sunday, Wayne Rooney will star in his latest version of the TV show "Wayne Rooney's Street Striker," where 24 players compete in six challenges in three shows. The ultimate goal is to crown the new, undisputed ‘Coke Zero' Street Striker 09.

Watch the above video to get a sneak peek of some of the action where Rooney shows off his dribbling and concentration skills.

Win FIFA 10 For Xbox or Nintendo Wii

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For the past week, we've been giving away a copy of FIFA 10 the new video game from EA as well as soccer books. I just took a look inside the treasure box and I still have several copies of FIFA 10 that I need to give away as well as Barney Ronay's book, The Manager. So even if you don't win today, be sure to keep on checking back each day for your chance to enter and win the contest.

Russian Football Now Podcast #12: Champions League Review

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In partnership with Russian Football Now, EPL Talk presents the twelfth episode of RNF's podcast.

Russian football may have gotten off to a shaky start in the 2009-10 Champions League, but the last two weeks have seen a measure of redemption. On Tuesday, CSKA Moskva came within minutes of a historic win at Old Trafford, while Rubin continued to their improved form by taking a fourth point in two matches from Barcelona.

Paul Peschisolido Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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Burton Albion manager and former Canadian international Paul Peschisolido is the latest guest on the EPL Talk Podcast, North America's only daily football show.

Peschisolido has a proud history as a journeyman footballer in the United Kingdom who has played at several clubs including Fulham, Birmingham City, Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion and other clubs.

Lyon 1-1 Liverpool: Kyrgiakos Mistake Condemns The Reds

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Everyone's doing a brand new dance now. C'mon baby, do the Kyrgiakos.

It must have been yet another very frustrating night for Liverpool supporters Wednesday night after the Reds failed to win against Lyon in a 1-1 draw. The dreams of advancing in the Champions League are quickly disappearing.

Fan Diary #14: Devastation, Red Cards and Horror

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In my NyQuil haze, I screwed up the math. Through some combination of the time change (which happens earlier in England than in the States) and me sleeping through my usual routine of checking multiple sites to figure out the kickoff, I was an hour off. As I slumped into the pub, sucking on a cough drop, I still thought I was early enough to grab a seat and some pre-match breakfast, but I found a room full of sullen Liverpool supporters and a match well underway.

British Journalists Have a Lousy Deal, and the Fans Suffer for It

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I once read about a British sports journalist's amazement at the access that American sportswriters had. The British writer was visiting Chicago and asked to tag along with the Sun Times reporter who covered the Bulls. First, he went to a Bulls practice, and after the practice was over, the Chicago reporter ambled up to Scottie Pipen and Phil Jackson and asked a few questions.

ESPN Doesn’t Know The Difference Between Emirates and Highbury

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In the intro to every Premier League game that ESPN2 shows on Saturday mornings, they begin with a graphic of the world and then zoom in on England and directly to the home ground where the match is played. It's a brilliant sequence, but they goofed this past Saturday when instead of zooming in on the Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal Football Club, they zoomed in on the Arsenal Stadium, better known as Highbury.

Which Has Been Your Favorite Football Interview On the EPL Talk Podcast?

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Since the EPL Talk Podcast has moved to a daily schedule in the past four weeks, we've had a ton of high-profile guests on the show and I hope you agree that we definitely have the best selection of interviews anywhere on the web.

But, we'd like to hear from you to get a sense for what you thought were the best interviews during the past month.

EPL Talk Podcast: Martin Chivers

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Chivers with Bill Nicholson/From BBC Sport

Spurs and Southampton legend Martin Chivers joins us on the podcast. Among the topics discussed are:

  • His new autobiography
  • His current hospitality work with Spurs
  • His thoughts on Spurs potential new stadium
  • What it took get noticed by Southampton
  • Did the move to White Hart Lane help his prospects for making Alf  Ramsey's England squad?

Man United 3-3 CSKA Moscow: Thoughts About The Game

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After the boring 1-0 win by Manchester United on the plastic pitch in Moscow a couple of weeks ago, my expectations were lowered before I began watching last night's game from Old Trafford. But surprisingly, the game was extremely entertaining and a very close match.

CSKA Moscow played with a confidence and direct tactics that definitely shocked me and put Manchester United on the backfoot.

Fox Soccer Channel Ratings Surge For Premier League Games

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Fox Soccer Channel's TV ratings for the past year have been released, which reveal how many viewers the channel has been getting for Premier League, Serie A, Major League Soccer and other leagues and programs.

Fox Soccer Channel began being rated by Nielsen on October 1, 2008, so it's perfect timing to reflect how the numbers for Premier League coverage have grown by 69% in the past 12 months.

EPL Talk Podcast: The Wenger Way

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Brant Parsons of the Orlando Sentinel, and the Orlando Sentinel.com stops by to talk about Arsene Wenger's impact on Arsenal and English Football. Wenger recently collected his 1,000the Premiership point and broke the record for the longest tenure as an Arsenal manager. Among the topics discussed on this show are Wenger's training techniques, his ability to spot excellent young players, his emphasis on eating right and how that lengthened he careers of several players and much more.

Mike Jones Does Phil Brown No Favors

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I recently asked the question: When Will Phil Brown Go?, & it seems in all actuality I'm no closer to an accurate answer of that question than when I posed it last week. Hull City lost another football match this weekend at Turf Moor to current over-achievers Burnley, 2-0. Two Graham Alexander goals were enough to see off a brave Hull City that will feel slightly cheated by the outcome.

My First Impression Of Man United’s Gabriel Obertan

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Saturday's snoozy session between Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers turned Old Trafford into a literal Theatre of Dreams. Even the linesman sailed off to the Land of Nod, for what other excuse could there be for deeming Rovers sub Nikola Kalinic offside when he banged in Edwin Van der Sar's deflection off a Benni McCarthy strike for a goal?

Hughes, We Have A Problem (Birmingham v Man City)

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Is anyone else starting to get a little nervous for the Man City "project"?

I was thrilled by the way the team were playing for the first two months of the season. Â They were incisive, dashing, and had a swagger about them that said "we can do this". Â As sure as one swallow doesn't make a summer, a handful of early victories doesn't define a season.

EPL Talk Podcast: Paul Armstrong from Match of the Day

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Paul Armstrong the editor of the iconic BBC production, Match of the Day joins us to answer everything you want to know about the show.

Topics discussed include the theme music from the program, the running order of highlights, why certain matches have more highlights, why some weeks have midweek MOTD and others do not, what MOTD2 is, and much, much more.

Just Why Are Liverpool Still Losing?

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Almost everything is going wrong for Liverpool. I say 'almost', because last week they beat Manchester United at Anfield, and the gloom was temporarily lifted. "Liverpool have turned a corner... This will kick-start their season... etc" in the end, it hasn't. Liverpool's continued struggles share similarities with those of the aforementioned United in the 2004-05 season, where, after an awful start to the season, a victory against Big Rivals (in that case, Arsenal) threatened to send the Old Trafford club on a march back to glory.