EPL Talk Archives for January 2009

Arsenal Re-Ignite Thier Title Challenge

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4 weeks ago, Arsenal's title challenge was over. The home defeat to Chelsea had seen everyone and their dog line up to kick Arsene Wenger's team. While they were still licking their wounds, Manchester City snatched a win against the usual collection of youngsters, sprinkled with experience in the League Cup.

F.A. Cup Offers Giant Killers A Chance For Premiership Scalps

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This weekend sees the entrance of the Premiership and Championship clubs in to the F.A. Cup as the worlds oldest domestic cup competition continues in its 128th year. It's one of those weekends that gets football fans excited, throwing up all kinds of memories for fans of every club from every level of the domestic game.

The Worst Premiership Signings Of The Noughties

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For every Ronaldo, there's a Shevchenko. Sometimes, great reputations come at a great cost yet fail to deliver. Shevchenko is a great player to start with. Feared throughout Europe, his performances for Dynamo Kiev and A.C. Milan saw him become one of the most lethal strikers in the world.

Breaking News: Portsmouth Face Winding Up Order

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Is there a worse chairman in the history of the Premiership than Sulaiman Al-Fahim? I'm struggling to think of anyone who has misled, misinformed and treated the supporters of a club so clearly as Al-Fahim has in his 8 month relationship with Portsmouth. Today the HM Revenue & Customs have issues a winding up order against Portsmouth F.

Bolton Makes Wrong Decision By Sacking Gary Megson

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Watching the entertaining match Tuesday night between Bolton and Hull City, the thought crossed my mind that being the manager of Bolton Wanderers was the least desirable job in the entire Premier League. Little did I know that less than 24 hours later Gary Megson would be sacked as the gaffer.

Wenger Plans for the Two Weeks that Will Determine Arsenal’s Season

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Arsene Wenger is nothing if not strategic. To those who follow the professor closely, today's announcement that Nicklas Bendtner is still three weeks away was no surprise. In the next day or two, I would expect an announcement that Cesc Fabregas will need another couple of weeks to fully recover.

Top 15 Podcast Episodes Of 2009

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During 2009, EPL Talk made some big changes in the podcast department by moving the weekly show to a daily format, promoting Kartik Krishnaiyer to host and adding new guests and analysts such as Laurence McKenna and Alex Caulfield. In 2010, we have even bigger plans and some major celebrities lined up to be interviewed, but before we get too far ahead of ourselves, I want to share with you the top 15 most download EPL Talk Podcasts of 2009:

  1. Latest developments from Setanta Sports, Fox Soccer Channel and GolTV live from SportelAmerica.

Tuesday Night Premier League Roundup

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When soccer purists criticize the Premier League, they often mention Bolton Wanderers and Hull City as two teams that send them into a comatose state. They conjure up images of a nil-nil draw with the ball played in the air more than on the muddy pitch. They imagine unskillful players playing drab, gray football.

The Premiership Team Of The Decade

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This decade has seen the Premiership continue to grow and attract some of the worlds greatest players throughout the last ten years. By continuing to attract some of the biggest stars in the world, only La Liga can truly consider itself a rival for the quality of the players on show throughout the league.

The 10 Best Premiership Goals Of The Noughties

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So what makes a great goal? I know it seems a easy question but honestly, what makes a goal truly great? Is it the goal that keeps a side up or a lob from the half way line? The goal that drags a side back in to a game when they're 2-0 or a last minute winner in injury time? Everyone has a different variation on what they judge to be a great goal or what the ingredients are that makes some goals stand out above all others.

The Inevitable Return Of Jose Mourinho

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It was the 10th day of March, 2004. The setting was the Theatre of Dreams, Old Trafford. Costinha had just equalized in stoppage time for FC Porto thus knocking out Manchester United of the Champions League and advancing to the final eight in Europe's most coveted club competition.

Enter Porto boss Jose Mario dos Santos Felix Mourinho, or as we more commonly know him, Jose Mourinho.

Monday Premier League Roundup in 232 Characters

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Because Twitter won't let me post more than 140 characters, here are my thoughts about the Premier League matches I watched on television Monday:

Sunderland can't hold on to a lead, Wolves can't score, Spurs look fast on the break, Bellamy and Tevez are both dynamite when they're playing together, Darren Bent should start for England, and Fulham looked amazing for 73 minutes.

Top 10 Posts Of 2009

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It's been the best year ever for EPL Talk not only in terms of site traffic but also, I believe, based on the quality of articles and the interaction of the EPL Talk community of readers (i.e. you) via the comment sections.

So, before 2010 arrives, it's time to look back at the top 10 most read posts of 2009:

  1. ESPN Adds Premier League to Soccer Line-Up.

EPL Talk Podcast: Steven Szymanski

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Steven Szymanski, noted sports economist and co-author of the book Soccernomics (with Simon Kuper) joins us on the EPL Talk podcast to discuss the book and other economic trends in football.

Don't forget that the EPL Talk Podcast is the only Premier League interview and analysis podcast available for free.

Wayne Rooney’s Continued, Increased Role For Manchester United

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Wayne Rooney: husband, father, footballer, striker, play-maker, defender, captain, international, the list could really go on, was involved in all four goals (Manchester United only had 3) Sunday as the reigning champions not-so-impressively beat relegation applicants Hull City at the KC Stadium.

5 Bold Soccer Predictions For 2010

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In the past four years, the world has made significant strides in better broadband access as well as the latest in high-definition TVs and better access and programming to carry the beautiful game around the world. It's no wonder then that next year is going to be the biggest World Cup in the history of the sport.

Bank Holiday Premier League Matches Expose Divide Between US and UK

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It's this time of the year when it's most noticeable how many more public holidays the United Kingdom has compared to the United States. Because Boxing Day this year fell on a Saturday, it means that today (Monday, the 28th) is recognized as a bank holiday where the vast majority of the UK gets to stay at home while most people in the States are back at work.

Arsenal 3-0 Aston Villa: Fabregas Makes a Statement, But At What Cost?

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Cesc Fabregas came on as a second-half substitute to completely turn this game in Arsenal's favor by first scoring a sublime free kick from outside the area and second, by latching on to an exquisite Theo Walcott pass to secure all three points for the Gunners. But immediately after scoring the second goal, Fabregas pulled up and could be seen wincing from an injury that could derail Arsenal's title chances such is the impact that the Spaniard has on this Arsene Wenger side.

Boxing Day Premier League Round-Up: My Observations

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Christmas Day is definitely a hectic one for me, as it was this past Friday. After the kids opened the presents. we headed to my in-laws for Christmas lunch, followed by more presents to open and then tried to stuff them all into my car. We were then whisked away to my parents where we had Christmas dinner, which was then followed by you guessed it more presents to open and then dessert.

Premier League Preview, Dec. 26-27

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Happy Holidays!

It's Christmas Eve, so I would be remiss if this week's preview didn't have a Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus/Ashura theme.

I'm more of a Christmas kind of guy myself, so that's the direction I'll be heading in first.

It may not have come upon a midnight clear, but this is the TV schedule for the week so dear.

A Decade In The Premier League

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As we approach the end of a decade which has seen the popularity of world football and the Premier League increase ten-fold, we look back upon what an incredible past ten years it's been with appreciation and maybe even a little bit of nostalgia. As I'm sure we'll say again in ten years time, the Noughties have been an incredibly important decade for the growth of the world's game in America.

Emile Heskey Shows the British Press Still Has Lots to Learn

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For years, the British press has maligned Emile Heskey. Yet for the duration of the decade, English managers have found reason to call him into the national side. Even in his club career, he has been maligned during several Premier League stops, beginning with Leicester City in the late 1990s through today with Aston Villa.

Looking Ahead to the FA Cup Third Round On US Television

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Without a doubt, the third round of the FA Cup is one of the highlights of the calendar year for football supporters. It's a golden opportunity to see the giants of football compete against amateur teams made up of people with ordinary professions such as postmen, labourers, accountants and policemen, etc.

Nielsen Ratings for Portsmouth v Liverpool on ESPN2

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If you've watched a lot of Premier League football on television this season, you've seen plenty of matches involving Burnley and Portsmouth in addition to the Big Four and other teams. Surprisingly, the games involving Burnley and Portsmouth have done quite well in the TV ratings game as we again see from last weekend's match between Portsmouth and Liverpool, which was shown on ESPN2.

The Group of Death: Rockumentary Video and Exclusive Interview

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Before I became a sports blogger, I was a rock journalist. I saw over one hundred concerts from the 80s to the 90s and witnessed incredible performances from The Rolling Stones, U2, Nine Inch Nails, Midnight Oil, Adam Ant, Metallica and so many other bands. But the one gig that is most vivid for me is from the summer of 1986 when I went to a small club called Summer's On The Beach on the Fort Lauderdale strip to see rock gods The Group Of Death.

Where Might Craig Bellamy Land in January?

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It should be plainly obvious to any football fan with half a brain that Craig Bellamy is looking at the front door.

From the moment that his fellow Welshman Mark Hughes was sacked at Manchester City, reports emerged that Bellamy was preparing to hand in a transfer request. Just days later, Bellamy and new boss Roberto Mancini reportedly clashed over Bellamy's training regimen, which Hughes created to help Bellamy with a recurring knee problem.

Group C World Cup Coverage

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Over at our sister site, Major League Soccer Talk, we have begun weekly looks at the opposition for the US and England in Group C. Each week we'll have a look at both Algeria and Slovenia.

This week we ran two features. A news roundup today, and a summary of weekend action on Monday.

EPL Talk Podcast: Holiday Edition

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This special holiday edition of the EPL Talk podcast features Simon Evans of Reuters, The Gaffer and EPL Talk's Kartik Krishnaiyer describing holiday football memories and the year that was 2009. The show was taped on location at Kingshead Pub in Sunrise, FL.

Don't forget that the EPL Talk Podcast is the only Premier League interview and analysis podcast available for free.

Overrated England Sure to Disappoint in 2010

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As we head into the festive season, English fans are wrapping the present they give themselves before every World Cup – the gift of unbridled confidence in their national football team. And yet, as they have for the past 40+ years, those English fans are likely to stick their thumb in the Christmas pudding and pull out something far less enjoyable than the plum.

Happy Holidays From EPL Talk

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My earliest memory of the beautiful game is from my childhood in Wales playing football with my friends in the local playground. I was probably seven or eight years old. But the event that happened that really cemented my love of the sport was the Christmas morning when I woke up and found a black and white leather ball at the foot of my bed.

Wenger Needs to Let Arsenal Plan U.S. Preseason Tour

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Most of us would agree that it appears very likely that Stan Kroenke may be the new owner of Arsenal Football Club in the near future. The American billionaire has been slowly purchasing shares for more than a year now and is on the verge of having the magic 30 per cent number that will require him to make a formal takeover bid.

Which Club Outside the Big Four Can Win the Premier League?

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If you blinked, you may have missed it. But in Tuesday's Daily Telegraph, Manchester United captain Gary Neville said he believed that an outsider could win the Premier League.

"I think the Premier League is getting stronger, with teams like Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Villa spending a lot of money," said Neville.

Garry Cook and the Uncomfortable Press Conference: Video

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Press conferences in England are hardly ever tame experiences (ask Joe Kinnear), but Monday's unveiling of Roberto Mancini as the new manager of Manchester City didn't go particularly well for City chairman Garry Cook.

The City chairman, who is not a fan favorite, stepped in to answer questions from journalists about the sequence of events in previous weeks that led to the removal of Mark Hughes and the appointment of Mancini.

Are The Days Of Cable and Satellite Providers Numbered?

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In the past decade, we've seen plenty of changes but one of the biggest ones has been that middle men have seen their power stripped away because of the Internet. Record companies are no longer as powerful as they used to be. Authors are self-publishing their books. Filmmakers are releasing their movies online.

What Fox Soccer Channel In HD Means For The Soccer Fan In America

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Fox Soccer Channel will be broadcasting in HD very soon. There are a few positives and a few negatives, yes negatives, to this development. Here are a few positives and negatives as I see it:

Positive #1: Fox Soccer will be broadcasting in HD beginning in January.

Blossoming Bellamy Excelled Under Hughes

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He has a record of 1 goal in every 3 games and has captained his country in a career spanning over a decade and eight different clubs, but this season Manchester City finally brought the very best out of Craig Bellamy. Bellamy has a record of 7 goals in 15 for the Northerners and is in the form of his life.

EPL Talk Podcast: Vijay Setlur

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Vijay Setlur, Football writer/consultant joins us on the show to discuss the business around the World Cup, the popularity of football in Canada, television rights around the world and much much more.

Don't forget that the EPL Talk Podcast is the only Premier League interview and analysis podcast available for free.

Are Google Real-Time Results a Boon or Bane for Soccer Fans?

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Soccer fans around the world have been trained to proceed with caution when surfing the Internet and recording matches on television for later viewing. The obvious rules apply about avoiding soccer websites, blurring ones vision when accidentally seeing a BottomLine ticker scrolling by, and avoiding contact with Twitter or friends who like to blabber what the latest score is in a crunch game.

Holiday Greetings From Premier League Clubs

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It's that time of the year when not only your friends or family send holiday cards, but so do your favorite Premier League clubs. I subscribe to lists for most of the Premier League clubs so I can stay on top of the latest news, so here are the ones I've received thus far for Aston Villa and Everton.

Fox Soccer Channel In HD Coming Soon: Video

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Fox Soccer Channel is raising the bar in to how you watch games on television and will be launching HD in January, 2010. Here's a sneak-peek at the new promotional video that you can expect to see on Fox Soccer Channel in the coming days and weeks.

Related posts:

  1. World Cup Shows Coming Soon from Fox Soccer Channel
  2. HD Coming To Fox Soccer Channel
  3. Chelsea's Blue Revolution Coming to Fox Soccer Channel


Time Warner Customers In Danger Of Losing Fox Soccer Channel

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Time Warner Cable customers are in jeopardy of losing Fox Soccer Channel next month unless a deal can be agreed between the two companies before December 31, 2009.

The standoff between Time Warner Cable and Fox is similar to what happened between DISH Network and GolTV recently where both parties were unable to come to an agreement of how much the sports network should be paid.

Poll: Should ESPN Display A Ticker During Premier League Matches?

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Do you think ESPN2 should display the BottomLine Ticker during Premier League matches?(polling)

Love it or hate it, ESPN2 has been featuring their BottomLine ticker on the bottom of their Premier League broadcasts during the 2009-2010 season. But should it stay or should it go?

A Tale Of Three Penalties

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It was an amusing night for most of us. 61 minutes into the match at Upton Park, Matthew Upson brings down Daniel Sturridge in the box. Our Football Channel pundits for the night, Trevor Sinclair and Carlton Palmer, voiced their disagreements at the end of the night. Both of them felt that because Mike Dean didn't see the incident, and the linesman had his flag up, he had no choice but to give it.

EPL Talk Podcast: A Look At Slovenia

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We get an up close look at Slovenia the nation and football side from Robert Porderos of the Slovenian Press Agency. Hear about the reaction to World Cup Qualification in the Balkan Nation, as well as details about the nation and football in Slovenia.

Related posts:

  1. Questions About Slovenia
  2. Russian Football Now Podcast #14: Russia-Slovenia Review
  3. Russian Football Now Podcast #13: Russia-Slovenia WCQ Preview


What Is This Current Manchester United Team Capable Of?

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That sound you hear is United's stuttering attack.

I sat utterly bemused Saturday as I watched Manchester United altogether inept in front of goal away to their current bogey ground, Craven Cottage. Manchester United lost their second out of the last three matches and fifth league match of the year to Fulham 3-0, a scoreline that flatters the current champions as it could have easily been more.

Ref Mike Dean Teaches West Ham and Chelsea A Penalty Lesson

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Anyone who watched the London derby between West Ham United and Chelsea would have been bemused to see referee Mike Dean make Frank Lampard take his penalty kick three times in a row before he awarded the goal. During the first two kicks, Dean ruled that both Chelsea and West Ham players ran into the penalty area before the ball was kicked.

Richard Dunne Shows Manchester City What They Need

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During the takeover of Manchester City last summer, City's Chief Executive, Gary Cook made several rather tasteless comments but one stood out above all the others for me. During an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Cook was outlining City's plan for world domination. As Wednesday's defeat at Tottenham showed, sometimes things don't go to plan.

Hughes Sacking Again Shows Garry Cook Does Not Understand Football

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Mark Hughes sacking by Manchester City's Abu Dhabi based ownership group has been reportedly pushed for weeks by club Chief Executive Garry Cook. Cook, the former Nike Executive who claimed dumping the Citizens best player of the past five years (Richard Dunne) was about shirt sales, again demonstrated his naivety about English football with this move.

Javier Mascherano and Samir Nasri Should Hang Their Heads In Shame

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There's no doubt that the Premier League season is heating up. The last few weeks have been extremely entertaining. And, for the casual observer, it's wonderful to see the Big Four teams getting beat. But there were two incidents on Saturday that I found deplorable. The first was Javier Mascherano's horror tackle on Portsmouth's Tal Ben Haim.

Manchester City Lose Patience With Mark Hughes

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So it's official now, Manchester City's owners have shown there true colours with yesterdays sacking of Mark Hughes and replacing him with Roberto Mancini. Rumours had been circling Hughes since Saturday morning, with several British papers stating that the game against Sunderland was to be his last.

EPL Talk Podcast: ESPN Personalities thoughts on draw PT II

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Former Premier League footballers and current commentators Steve McManaman and Efan Ekoku give their thoughts on the World Cup draw. Hear Ekoku's thoughts on the host nation and McManaman discuss who could surprise next summer.

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

Music And Football – The Ability To Unite

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There's been a lot of chatter here recently on EPL Talk about different cultures, stereotypes (good or bad), likes and dislikes, etc. Since it's all opinion in the end, let's see if we can't spread a little love 'round these here parts, if not for your fellow man, then for none other than the spirit of the season.

West Ham United v Liverpool, 1978: Classic Video

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It's hard to believe that a classic West Ham United team featuring legends such as Trevor Brooking, Alan Curbishley, Frank Lampard Sr., Billy Bonds and a young Alvin Martin were staring down the face of relegation on the last day of the 1977-1978 season. But they were, and they needed a win to try to stay up.

Premier League Preview, Dec. 19-21

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The season chugs on towards the half-way point, and while this weekend's fixture list might be lacking a marquee matchup, the need for points is still critical for all of the teams.

Here's the TV schedule.

And now, on with the preview:

Portsmouth vs. Liverpool

Fratton Park is the venue for a match between teams looking farther up the table than they would like to be.

Questions About Slovenia

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In the upcoming weeks and months, EPL Talk will be bringing you multiple interviews with Slovenian Journalists to discuss the National Team that has been drawn with England for the World Cup, as well as some background on the nation itself.

Please leave any questions you may have about Slovenia, the national team and the country in the comments section.

Fox Soccer Channel Launches Redesigned FoxSoccer.com: Website Review

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Fox Soccer Channel this week launched a redesign of their FoxSoccer.com website. The website, which was a massive success during the 2006 World Cup and continues to be a valuable resource for soccer fans, has been redesigned to look less busy and as a result looks drastically different.

Here are my initial thoughts on the new site:

  • My first impression is that the site design is that it is vastly different and better than before.

Nielsen Ratings for Stoke City v Wigan Athletic on ESPN2

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Let's be honest. It was the game that almost no one wanted to watch but for those of you who did watch it because there was nothing else on or because you love football no matter who is playing, the Stoke City against Wigan Athletic match was a surprising delight.

Because both teams are not big draws, the Nielsen Ratings on ESPN2 for the game weren't too impressive (the broadcast of the game garnered a 0.

Was Mick McCarthy Justified In His Team Selection v Manchester United?

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I'd like to open up a bit of good old fashioned debate here on EPL Talk concerning the recent exploits of one Mick McCarthy. Tuesday night at Old Trafford saw Manchester United draw level on points with league leaders Chelsea with a 3-0 victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

You might be thinking, "that doesn't sound out of place".

Arshavin Goes Back to the Future to Stick It to Liverpool: Video

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There are plenty of spoof videos on the Internet, but most of them are cheaply done. However, I came across this one today that I think is one of the best ones I've ever seen that features Andrei Arshavin going "Back to the Future" to stick it to the Liverpool players and Rafa Benitez.

The Best And Worst Of The Premiership Through The Noughties

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Over the next few days until the end of 2009, I'll be compliling a few articles looking at my favourite moments from the Premiership's second decade. I'll be looking at some of the great players, some of the great managers, matches, goals even kits. I'll be giving you my honest opinion on what and who I thought were the best of the best in a variety of subjects.

What Brits See When They Think Of Americans

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Listening to last week's episode of the Football Weekly Podcast on The Guardian, I had to laugh when studio guest (and occasional EPL Talk blogger) Richard Whittall brought up the topic of stereotypes about British women. Astounding as it may seem, The Guardian's Barney Ronay had no idea what Whittall was talking about and seemed perplexed by Whittall's polite hints of what British women are famous for.

Ashley Young is not good enough for England…………But He’s Too Good for the United States

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Since the US was drawn into England's group in the World Cup, I have seen and heard lots of discussion of why the USMNT can either draw or beat England. Yet, to this point I have not seen one single shred of analysis to defend this point.

ESPN commentators and bloggers alike have made reference to 1950, the heart of American players, and the excitement of being drawn in with an opponent perceived to be arrogant and over rated.

What’s Your Saturday Premier League Routine?

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Listening to the excellent radio program This American Life recently on National Public Radio, I became deeply enthralled by a segment they played about an improv group from New York that often played mind games (which, for some bizarre reason, is something I love to do at times).

MLS Snobs Need To Give English Premier League Some Respect

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Have a friendly chat with a MLS Snob and one of the many criticisms you'll hear from them about the Premier League is that "Sure, the top teams are exciting to watch, but the bottom has teams that actually hurt your eyes to watch."

While in the past this was true, especially in the days when Derby County and Sunderland stunk up the Premier League, I truly believe the bottom half of the table has improved considerably in recent years, and most especially this season.

What Americans See When They Think Of Brits

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Being born in the United Kingdom and having lived in the United States for more than 25 years, I've dealt with many years of jokes and abuse from Americans who tell me point blank what they think of Brits. After years of experience, I've heard so many stereotypes that Americans have about Brits that I thought I'd share them with you.

Is Roy Hodgson Playing With Scared Money?

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While Fulham needs a win in Basel today to advance to the knockout stage of the Europa League, Roy Hodgson doesn't seem to think this is a must-win game for his club. He told reporters on Monday that he planned to run out the reserves for this match, saying that his club "didn't enter the competition to win it anyway" and was much more focused on "doing well" in the Premier League.

EPL Talk Podcast: John Harkes Talks World Cup Draw

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ESPN's John Harkes addressed the media in Bristol, CT after the World Cup draw. Hear Harkes draw about the US and England teams.

Don't forget that the EPL Talk Podcast is the only Premier League interview and analysis podcast available for free. In the past few weeks, we've interviewed legends of the game such as Steve McManaman, Efan Ekoku, Martin Chivers and Robbie Earle as well as experts such as Declan Hill, Simon Kuper, Misha Sher, Matt Dickinson and many others.

Happy Holidays From Setanta Sports

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'Tis the season for soccer networks to be spreading good wishes to bloggers and business contacts at this special time of the year. Last week we showed you what the Fox Soccer Channel holiday card looked like. Now it's the turn of Setanta Sports (see above).

If and when we get a holiday card from GolTV and ESPN, we'll be sure to share those with you too.

When and Where Will Fox Soccer Channel Be Available In HD?

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Fox Soccer Channel has confirmed that the 24/7 soccer network will begin broadcasting in high definition (HD) in January, 2010. Here's what we know so far:

  • To find out if your local cable or satellite provider will have Fox Soccer Channel available in HD, visit the Fox Soccer Channelfinder and enter your zip code and select from your provider from the drop-down menu.

How Much Attention Do You Give Premier League Games?

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If you're like me, you probably find that it's getting harder and harder to watch Premier League games without being interrupted. And the interruptions are sometimes my own fault whether it's my laptop and my inclination to open as many tabs as possible on my Chrome browser. Or my addiction to Twitter, or the ability to watch more than one Premier League game at a time.

Ron Davies Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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Southampton and Wales legend Ron Davies is the latest guest on the EPL Talk Podcast, the daily Premier League interview and analysis show.

To say that Davies is a legend to Southampton supporters is an understatement. In his first season with the Saints, Davies scored an incredible 43 goals.

Martinez Set to Raise Wigan’s US Profile

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ESPN in the United States has hired Wigan Manager Roberto Martinez to provide commentary from South Africa during the 2010 World Cup.

The animated Martinez who had an excellent playing career in England and Scotland along with his native Spain is major capture for the American broadcaster.

Fabio Capello And The England Goalkeeper Debate

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Don Fabio keeping an ever-watchful eye on his potential #1.

On Sunday's BBC 606 Football Phone In, co-host Gabriele Marcotti made an interesting point that I believe Fabio Capello has already considered. Baring match fitness and current form, the starting outfield ten for England will mostly pick themselves for the group stages of next summer's World Cup, and more importantly for now, the June 12th clash with the U.

Does Even Google Not Love Rafa Benitez?

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Graeme Souness and Jurgen Klinsmann have come out and criticized Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez during the past week, but now it's the turn of Google. Well, kind of.

If you go to the Google homepage and start typing in Rafa Benitez's name, the search engine displays suggestions based on the most popular searches made by users across the Internet.

Google Doesn’t Like Liverpool Manager Rafa Benitez

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Graeme Souness and Jurgen Klinsmann have come out and criticized Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez during the past week, but now it's the turn of Google. Well, kind of.

If you go to the Google homepage and start typing in Rafa Benitez's name, the search engine displays suggestions based on the most popular searches made by users across the Internet.

Happy Holidays From Fox Soccer Channel

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EPL Talk received a Happy Holidays card late last week from Fox Soccer Channel, so I thought I'd share it with you. In previous years, Fox have sent holidays cards via e-mail such as this one as well as Flash greeting cards. If I get any holiday cards from GolTV, ESPN, Setanta Sports or others, I'll post them online so you can see how the networks spread their good cheer.

Liverpool in Deep Hole with No Easy Way Out

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There is probably no team in the EPL whose economics are more dependent on success on the pitch, and whose success on the pitch is more dependent on economics, than Liverpool. Compared to Arsenal, ManU and Chelsea, Liverpool are pikers. Their owners are the least wealthy. Their gate revenues are the smallest.

EPL Talk Podcast: ESPN Personalities thoughts on draw

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ESPN Personalities Bob Ley, Efan Ekoku and Alexi Lalas share their initial thoughts about the World Cup draw. This commentary was recorded right after the draw was completed.

Related posts:

  1. EPL Talk Podcast: Steve McManaman on the World Cup Draw
  2. Alexi Lalas Criticizes Premier League
  3. World Cup Coverage in America, Day 5


Arsenal And Divine Intervention

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Thirty minutes before the Arsenal Liverpool game, my mate (a Liverpool fan) turned to me and tells me  that we need a miracle to beat them. At the final whistle, he looks at me with a huge frown on his face and says that we had four. I personally don't believe in miracles, so let's try to clear things up.

Arsenal take advantage of stumbling Liverpool

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For once Arsene Wenger got angry. Or so at least say his players, as they point to his halftime talk as a motivator for coming from a goal down to beat Liverpool 2-1 at Anfield. Apparently, he told his players they didn't deserve to wear the Arsenal shirt, which surprised them, as well as those familiar with the Frenchman's tendency to coddle his players.

Google Doesn’t Like Liverpool Manager Rafa Benitez Either

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Graeme Souness and Jurgen Klinsmann have come out and criticized Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez during the past week, but now it's the turn of Google. Well, kind of.

If you go to the Google homepage and start typing in Rafa Benitez's name, the search engine displays suggestions based on the most popular searches made by users across the Internet.

Alex McLeish and Birmingham: Success Not An Accident

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Alex McLeish has built the right type of squad to maintain Premier League status. After several consecutive "yoyo" seasons, the Blues appear poised to survive easily this season.

McLeish's strategy: combine veteran British footballers with one very special bargain buy from CONCACAF.

Liverpool v. Arsenal Will Shape the Rest of the Season

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It goes without saying that both the Reds and the Gunners will have much to prove at Anfield on Sunday. Â Liverpool are out of the Champions League and will be clawing their way back into contention for a top four finish in the Premier League. Â Arsenal will be thirsting to prove that the losses against the only teams above them in the table were flukes.

Aston Villa Defeat Man United On A Spectacular Day in the Premier League

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There have been very few if any boring Premier League weekends so far this season, and this Saturday was another example of why this is one of the most entertaining leagues in the world. Here are my observations from the Saturday games I've watched thus far:

Stoke City v Wigan Athletic
  • When ESPN2 looked at the fixture list and saw Stoke City versus Wigan Athletic on a Saturday morning in December, they probably weren't too excited just like many of you, the readers.

Fan Diary #19 – Liverpool v. Arsenal: Pre-Match Thoughts

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Is He Truly Match Fit?

I'm more nervous about this Arsenal match than any other time I've awaited Liverpool taking on the Gunners. Well: outside of a European quarterfinal, anyway. It's the context of this season that has me all wound up. The injuries. The results. The fall from the Champions League.

Should Craig Bellamy Have Been Sent Off Against Bolton For Diving?

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Referees never have an easy job, but they don't make their life any easier when they make costly mistakes in heated Premier League games. A perfect example of this was in Saturday's game between Bolton Wanderers and Manchester City when Craig Bellamy was making a run down the left wing.

When Will Owen Hargreaves Return To Manchester United?

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Owen, show us how close you are to a return.

It's been a rough few months for Manchester United players as the rigors of competing in multiple competitions have taken their toll. Sir Alex Ferguson's defensive dilemma has been well documented in recent weeks so weary eyes now turn to the almost 29-year-old Canadian born England and Manchester United midfielder, Owen Hargreaves.

Welcome to The Group Of Death: Live In Concert Video

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A few weeks ago I introduced you to The Group Of Death via a video showing a special package from ESPN that was delivered to my doorstep. But now, in homage to Spinal Tap and for a little bit of fun on a Friday, we have a video of The Group Of Death rock band playing the first song off their EP entitled "Welcome To The Group Of Death" (see above).

EPL TV Ratings On ESPN2: Aug 15 to Dec 5, 2009

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Maybe it was the World Cup Draw bounce or a nice lift from the previous weekend's Manchester United game, but the Nielsen Ratings for last weekend's match between Portsmouth and Burnley, far from being two popular teams in America, achieved the sixth highest rating of the 2009-2010 Premier League season thus far.

Fox Soccer Channel Switches to Sky Sports Champions League Feeds

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Christmas has arrived early thanks to Fox Soccer Channel with the exclusive news that the knockout stages of the Champions League on FSC and FSN, as well as the final on FX, will feature the two-person commentary teams from Sky Sports instead of the UEFA/international commentary teams.

Some of you observant Fox Soccer Channel viewers may have noticed that Martin Tyler and Andy Gray commentated the Wolfsburg against Manchester United game earlier this week, while Alan Parry and Don Goodman were behind the mics for the Olympiakos against Arsenal match.

Premier League Preview, Dec. 12-13

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How many "Liverpool must win" stories can be written about this year's squad?

Well, at least one more.

Already 12 points adrift of Chelsea and headed for the Europa League, the shine off the 2009-2010 campaign is fading fast.

At least Sunday's latest all-or-nothing fixture with Arsenal is at Anfield.

Landon Donovan Secures Loan Deal to Everton

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Landon Donovan, U.S. national team star and Los Angeles Galaxy captain, has finalized a three-month loan deal with Everton which will see the most talented player in American history heading to Goodison Park on January 1, according to sources close to SBI.

Donovan will join fellow American Tim Howard at Everton, and will have the opportunity to play against fellow Americans who ply their trade in the Premier League such as Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Jozy Altidore (Hull City), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United), Brad Friedel (Aston Villa) and others.

Top 7 Football Managers Who Should Be Put Out To Pasture

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While having a drink at a local coffee shop Wednesday evening with Kartik Krishnaiyer, the topic of Graeme Souness came up and what an abysmal football manager he was especially at Newcastle. It got me thinking, though, that just as footballers retire from playing, football managers should be put out to pasture too when they're obviously inept or past their prime.

Adidas adiNOVA TRX FG Product Review

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Sir Alex Ferguson's face flushing red on a frosty winter's day. Emile Heskey returning from an injury. Xavi and Iniesta gently stroking the ball back and forth to one another to the rising applause of the Catalan faithful. Steven Gerrard's wife. The sweet smell of bacon, beans and eggs permeating the pub on a matchday morning.

EPL Talk Podcast: World Cup Draw- England and Premier League Related Thoughts

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Chris Oakley of Some People on the Pitch and the Sound of Football joins EPL Talk's Kartik Krishnaiyer and Laurence McKenna to break down the World Cup Draw, focusing on England's group and look at some other Premier League players of impact.

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

Would Landon Donovan Playing at Everton be a Smart Move or Not?

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Everton are in advanced discussions with Landon Donovan to acquire him on loan for a three month deal, according to several sources in the English press.

If the deal goes through, it should be a win-win for both Everton and Donovan. For Everton, the club is desperately in need for new players to help a team that has been savagely disrupted by injuries.

EPL Talk Podcast: Chris Riordan, Russian Football Now

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Chris Riordan of Russian Football Now joins us to discuss Andre Arshavin and the Russian based players who may make their way to England this January.

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.

Steven Gerrard and David Beckham Star In New Advert: Video

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Steven Gerrard and David Beckham star in a new Adidas TV advert for the Predator X boot. Both Stevie G and Becks are on the football pitch and engage in a playful competition between each other to figure out who has the best accuracy.

Zinedine Zidane also stars in the commercial.

Martin Tyler Shares His Reaction to England v US World Cup Draw

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Martin Tyler, the world's number one football commentator, was on ESPN last week with Bob Ley to provide his reaction and analysis to the draw that will see England play the United States in the 2010 World Cup. In addition to Tyler's analysis of that match, he also discusses the other groups and how he sees the other countries fairing in the tournament.

England v USA: Why The Biggest Winner Will Be The Premier League

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No matter which way you look at England's opening game of the 2010 World Cup against the United States, the biggest winner will be the Premier League. Sure, the headlines will be focused on the World Cup but after the tournament is over, the long-term winner of the increased interest in this game will be the Premier League.

EPL Talk Podcast: Steve McManaman on the World Cup Draw

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Former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester City great Steve McManaman shared his thoughts on the World Cup draw with the assembled press in Bristol, CT, USA. including EPL Talk host Kartik Krishnaiyer.Â

This is part one of two podcasts that will be released with some of McManaman's public thoughts.

Ferguson’s Defensive Dilemma

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What an incredible week it's been in world football -

  • The hype of the World Cup draw lived up to the anticipation with more talking points than an O'Reilly Factor marathon. The England v USA debate has just started and I imagine it won't end until June 13th, 2010. The group of death, who will go through, which teams will underachieve, which teams will overachieve all these points have been at the fore front of our minds and will continue to raise interesting debate for the next 7 months.

Poll: How Far Are You Away From Your Nearest Professional Soccer Club?

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How far are you away from your nearest professional soccer club?(online surveys)

Out of curiosity, I want to know how near or far the closest professional soccer club is to your home. Are you fortunate that one is nearby or, as in my case, are you far away from the closest professional club?

England v US: Who Will You Support and Why?

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In the weeks leading up to the biggest match of the new decade, there'll be plenty of psychological mind games played out in the press between the players and coaching staff of both England and the United States. But those mind games will be nothing compared to some of the warfare played out in the minds of soccer fans in the United States.

US vs England – A Soccernomics Analysis

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Simon Kuper and Stefan Syzmanski titled the American version of their new book Soccernomics (review is here), but their title for the release in the UK is Why England Lose. In the book, Kuper and Syzmanski identified the US as a rising power in soccer and England as a permanent disappointment to their rabid fans.

Everton 2-2 Tottenham: Howard Penalty Save Rescues Toffees

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Tottenham Hotspur isn't one of the most fashionable clubs in the English Premier League, but judging by the amount of "jump out of your seat" incidents in the second half, maybe it's time to start paying more attention to the boys from White Hart Lane even though they failed to capitalize on a golden chance to get all three points and leapfrog Arsenal into third place.

Slovenia Poses Danger to England

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England got the draw of dreams on Friday facing off with three weaker sides, and avoiding any Sub-Saharan Africa or South American competition at least at the Group Stage. The Three Lions who under the seeding criteria were close to being knocked off in favor of France, now is an overwhelming favorite to win the group.

Man City 2-1 Chelsea: City Get Serious About Top Four Challenge

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It was quite a contentious match on an unordinary day at Eastlands Saturday as Manchester City held on for a morale-boosting 2-1 win against Chelsea.

What was most obvious about this game is how much it mattered to most teams. I lost count of the number of times Chelsea and City players collided when trying to win 50/50 balls.

Reporters Notebook: ESPN VP For Content, John Skipper

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In our continued quest to make the EPL Talk Network, a one stop shop for all your football analysis, I am going to depart from the typical type of commentary you normally find on this site from me to share with our readers my reporter's notebook from a private briefing with ESPN's leading soccer programmer.

England and United States: The Dream World Cup Draw

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England and the United States in the same World Cup group is a draw that is made of dreams for me. Not purely because I'm an American citizen and a British citizen, but because it'll shut a lot of people up. Whether that's the egotistical English journalists that feel that a game against the United States will be a pushover for England.

World Cup 2010 Draw: Live Blog

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Follow the World Cup draw via a live blog beginning at 2pm ET/11am PT/7pm GMT today. Whether you're at work and away from the TV set or you want to join in the discussion online as you watch it on TV, join EPL Talk blogger Iain Liddle as he takes you through the draw and all of the suspense surrounding it.

Premier League Preview, Dec. 5-6

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Getty Images

A clash of the wealthy highlights this weekend's schedule as Chelsea pay a visit to the blue side of Manchester to face City.

And no, there's no truth to the rumor that Mark Hughes will be on hand in South Africa for the World Cup festivities. I can understand where it came from, though.

Talk of EPL TV Ratings On ESPN2 Plateauing Are Premature And Misguided

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Many soccer fans in the United States have posted here and on other sites that Nielsen Ratings for Premier League games shown on ESPN2 have flatlined. Based on the latest numbers from ESPN2, that is simply not true.

The reality is that the teams that were featured in the games shown by ESPN2 over the past two months had "flatlined" in that they featured teams that for the most part are not appealing to the mass of soccer fans in the States.

Read Our Blueprints for World Cup 2010 Coverage

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Ladies and gentlemen, this is it. Tomorrow is the official draw for the 2010 World Cup and I can tell you now that I'm incredibly excited, as I'm sure you are, at the prospect of finding out which countries will be in what groups. I can't wait!

This is a perfect opportunity for me to share EPL Talk's "blueprints" about the World Cup coverage you can expect over the next 24 hours and the next 7 months as we build up to what is the biggest soccer tournament in the world.

Should managers be forced to shake hands?

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After Mark Hughes' Manchester City side produced a 3-0 victory Arsene Wenger's Arsenal in the Carling Cup quarter-finals last night, Hughes was found looking unsuccessfully for his counterpart Wenger before the traditional post-match shake of hands. Wenger of course is no stranger to controversy and rarely retreats in his opinions or criticisms, and he can be described slightly ungracious loser at times.

The Daily Star Claims That Chelsea, Not Blackburn Won Carling Cup Match

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Blogs often get the raw end of the deal from avid readers when mistakes are made in posts. That criticism is then usually coupled with a remark that belittles the blogosphere and puts daily newspapers on a pedestal as the real form of journalism. However, as we've indicated on several occasions, daily newspapers are guilty of mistakes too and sometimes, as in the example we're about to show you, they're guilty of embarrassing mistakes of cataclysmic proportions.

Arsenal Forced Back To Reality.

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The inevitable has finally happened. After a series of good results, solid performances and goal-scoring exploits, Arsenal have been shaken awake. Dreams of Premier League glory looks to be in pieces after defeats against Sunderland and Chelsea, and even though Arsene Wenger claims that the Carling Cup isn't a priority, defeat had to taste bitter.

Fan Diary #18 – Derby Day

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Why do I love a derby? I nervously await each Merseyside derby as if it is the most important match of the season. I bite nails. I refresh webpages. Â I await injury updates. I lose sleep. This doesn't make sense for two big reasons:

1.) I am not from Liverpool.

2.) The Merseyside derby is almost never pretty.

England to be Seeded for World Cup Finals

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As I'm sure you've heard by now, England are to be one of eight seeded teams to compete in the World Cup Finals next summer in South Africa. Italy, Holland, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Spain and South Africa round out the other seeded nations. France miss out on a seed due to FIFA's decision to not take into consideration performances in past Finals.

Which British Newspaper Is Your Favorite And Why?

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Whether you're an expat, live in Britain or travel to the UK from time to time, what for you is your favorite British printed newspaper that you read and why?

When I was a teen growing up in Wales, my favorite newspaper was The Daily Mail. Why? I suppose there were a few different reasons.

Play the EPL Predictor: New and Improved

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After very long and hard work, we are proud to announce that the new version of EPL Talk Predictor is up and running, offering a new experience for our members.

For the past couple of football seasons we tried to make all necessary adjustments to make EPL Talk Predictor a virtual betting site combining the fun elements of football betting with the competitive elements of not only beating the bookie – but also proving your wits are superior over the rest of the EPL Talk Predictor members.

EPL Talk Podcast: Declan Hill

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Declan Hill, the author of the critically acclaimed 2008 book, The Fix joins us on the EPL Talk Podcast to discuss recent events related to corruption in the game.Â

Among the topics discussed with Hill include how the UEFA Champions League and Europa League early rounds are susceptible to match fixing, the plight of smaller European leagues, match fixing in Asia and UEFA's attitude towards corruption as contrasted with FIFA's.

Premier League Supports Controversial Three Strikes Bill In UK

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If you want to better understand the Premier League's position on digital rights, go ahead and read Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore's letter that was published in The Guardian last week on the topic of The Digital Economy Bill. The proposed legislation would kick accused, not convicted, file sharers off the Internet in the United Kingdom.

Top 4 Soccer iPhone Apps That Are Missing From The App Store

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If you're addicted to your iPhone as much as I am, you've probably been disappointed that some crucial iPhone soccer apps don't exist in the App store. Here are the top 4 that are missing:

  1. Official Fantasy Premier League iPhone App. Out of all of the apps that are missing, this is the one I would use the most if it was available.

Questions Please For Ron Davies, Southampton Legend

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Later this week I'll have the distinct pleasure of interviewing Ron Davies, a football legend who achieved incredible success at Southampton and Norwich City, as well as playing for Manchester United and several other clubs.

In fact it was while playing for Southampton against Manchester United at Old Trafford in August 1969 where Davies scored an incredible four goals.