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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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:
Latest developments from Setanta Sports, Fox Soccer Channel and GolTV live from
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.
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.
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.
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
Enter Porto boss Jose Mario dos Santos Felix Mourinho, or as we more commonly know him, Jose
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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
As we approach the end of aÂ decadeÂ which hasÂ seen the popularity of world football and the
Premier League increase ten-fold, we look back upon what anÂ incredibleÂ pastÂ ten yearsÂ it's been
with appreciation and maybe even a little bit of nostalgia.Â As I'm sure we'll say againÂ in ten
years time, the Noughties have been an incredibly important decade for the growth of the world's
game in America.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
As we head into the festive season, English fans are wrapping the present they give themselves
before every World Cup â€“ the gift of unbridled confidence in their national football team.Â 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
World Cup Shows Coming Soon from Fox Soccer Channel
HD Coming To Fox Soccer Channel
Chelsea's Blue Revolution Coming to Fox Soccer Channel
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.
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.
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.
Questions About Slovenia
Russian Football Now Podcast #14: Russia-Slovenia Review
Russian Football Now Podcast #13: Russia-Slovenia WCQ Preview
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In the upcoming weeks and months, EPL Talk will be bringing you multiple interviews with
SlovenianÂ JournalistsÂ 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
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
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
'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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.Â Compared to
Arsenal, ManU and Chelsea, Liverpool are pikers.Â Their owners are the least wealthy.Â Their gate
revenues are the smallest.
Thirty minutes before the Arsenal Liverpool game, my mate (a Liverpool fan) turned to me and
tells me Â 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.
For once Arsene Wenger got angry.Â 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.Â
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
This is part one of two podcasts that will be released with some of McManaman's public
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.
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
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.
Simon Kuper and Stefan Syzmanski titled the American version of their new book Soccernomics
(review is here), but their title for theÂ release in the UK is Why England Lose.Â 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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 â€“ but also proving your wits are superior
over the rest of the EPL Talk Predictor members.
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.
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.
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.