EPL Talk Archives for January 2009

Makelele Blames Terry for Mourinho Exit

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Claude Makelele's grit in Chelsea's midfield and ability to play a quick pass made him the fitting example of the 'Claude Makelele' role, whatever that means. It's even been said that he's managed to define the holding midfield position as much as Franz Beckenbauer the sweeper role. And he's now cashing in on the footballer bio.

FA Cup Final Live Blog: Everton v Chelsea

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The last dance of the season, of every season, the FA Cup Final is the jewel in the English Football Crown. Last year's final between Cardiff and Portsmouth was arguably the exception, but this year's certainly isn't:

Underdogs Everton come into the final for the first time in 14 years, since Joe Royle's infamous 'dogs of war' - led by the terrifying Duncan Ferguson - beat Manchester United in a final that was described by many as "rubbish".

The FA Cup: Everton Can Win

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I was completely seduced by last year's FA Cup.

Barnsley and Cardiff City charged toward the final in a gripping giant-killing warpath. They toppled Liverpool, Chelsea and Middlesbrough in their wake. (Boro were still a mid-table Premier League side, so their undoing was still a feat.

FA Cup Final Preview

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 With the Premier League race done and dusted and the Champions League trophy spending the summer in Catalonia, there's only one more piece of silverware on offer in the 2008-2009 season, and either Everton or Chelsea will lay claim to it tomorrow at Wembley. Who's in and who's out - Frank Lampard, Alex and Juliano Belletti are available for Guss Hiddink's alleged swan song as Chelsea's manager while David Moyes can select Phil Neville and Steven Pienaar, if he so chooses.

Congratulations David Moyes

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No no I am not jumping the gun about the result of FA Cup Final.

But even if Everton lose on Saturday David Moyes can have the consolation of collecting a personal piece of silverware this season - The LMA Manager Of The Year Award.

It is the first time a manager has won the award three times, after the Scot received the accolade in 2003 and 2005 - even Sir Alex Ferguson hasn't done that!

EPL Talk Podcast: Jon Champion

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Legendary British Football Presenter Jon Champion joins host Kartik Krishnaiyer on the EPL Talk Podcast. Champion currently works for Setanta Sports, ITV and TWI International.

Hear Champion's thoughts on this Saturday's FA Cup Final, his coverage of the Premier League and his five previous World Cups.

Fernando Torres Signs New Liverpool Contract

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Liverpool have been handed a massive boost with the news that Fernando Torres has signed a new contract with the club. The extension of the Spanish forward's contract is a key step forward as manager Rafa Benitez continues to turn his side into genuine title contenders.

The former Atletico Madrid striker has signed a four year extension which will keep him at Anfield until 2014.

Gulf in class exposes weary United

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Cristiano Ronaldo scowls to the heavens on a frustrating night for the deposed champions

I think it's fair to say that the Barcelona 'passing carousel' was out in force last night. Even fairer to say that the United midfield wasn't really out in any force.

After a bright start, where Anderson looked to have the energy that could light up United's midfield, the Champions capitulated.

Barcelona v. United: Final Thoughts

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Football is often at its best when it revels in simplicity. And Barcelona used a simple principle to win yesterday's final: if you never give your opponent the ball, he cannot beat you. Sounds like something out of the Art of War. Maybe it was. United did have some time on the ball, but it came in such short supply, they couldn't develop any serious attacks after the opening minutes.

Vote For The Best Of The Best Of 08-09 Premier League Season

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Only a few days remain before the polls close in the inaugural EPL Awards, so if you haven't voted yet, be sure to vote before midnight ET on Sunday, May 31st.

The voting is still very close in many categories. You have a chance to vote for the best players, teams and managers of the 2008-2009 Premier League season as well as the best podcasts, radio shows, web sites, football commentators, bloggers, football blogs and much more.

FA Cup Fever: TV Coverage News, Live Chat, Programme And More

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With the Champions League Final over, we now can look forward to the FA Cup Final this Saturday featuring Everton against Chelsea in what promises to be an entertaining match with two teams very hungry to win the trophy. There's alot of news and surprises in store in the build-up to the FA Cup Final.

08-09 Fantasy Premier League, IKTS And Prediction Winners

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Now that the 2008-2009 Premier League season is over, it's time to take care of some business. Namely announcing the winners of the Premier Fantasy League (EPL Talk private league), the winners of the two I Know The Score (IKTS) leagues and a look at how well you, the readers, and I did in our predictions for the final 2008-09 Premier League table.

Man Utd Fail To Show Up Against Barcelona

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Manchester United couldn't have picked a worse night not to show up in one of the most important games of their club history. The Red Devils were so close to history. Just 90 minutes away from being the first team ever to win two Champions League Finals back-to-back. So close to putting Sir Alex Ferguson is the record books as one of the most successful club managers in the history of the sport.

Barcelona v. Manchester United: Time To Choose

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And now it's time for all good little football writers to predict the winner of today's final. No dodging the question. No avoiding the responsibilities of punditry. Well, Clyde, I think it's too close to call. I mean, if we don't pick a side, we're being wishy-washy, right? Readers want deliberate statements.

Champions League Preview

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Today is the day when we will crown, or perhaps re-crown, the champion of Europe.

As usual, EPL Talk has you covered. At 2 p.m. EST today, don't forget to check out our live blog, hosted by Dave Warner from a sports bar in Cary, North Carolina - or about 55 miles from where I'm writing this.

Messi Mania: Exclusive Interview, Video & More

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  • The above "Every Team Needs The Spark" video from Adidas featuring Lionel Messi and promoting his new football boot he'll be wearing for tonight's Champions League Final. It's the TUNIT boot – the F50i.The new design boasts SprintSkin technology, the first-ever single-layer, thermobonded upper designed to envelop the player's foot like a second skin.

Three Epic Champions League Finals

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As we count down the hours until tomorrow's clash of titans in Rome, wondering if we're going to enjoy a goal fest or another penalty kick shoot-out, here's a look at the most memorable European finals from the last ten years:

Liverpool 3-3 AC Milan 2005

One of the most legendary comebacks of all time in any sport.

Your 2009 UEFA Champions League Final Liveblog

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Some years, it seems like the UEFA Champions League is one part football, four parts money and twelve parts hype. This year, however, the hype surrounding the Champions League Final certainly seems justified. Manchester United v. Barcelona. Champions of England v. Champions of Spain.

Sunderland Need To Move Quickly But Realistically

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The only thing that surprised me about Ricky Sbragia's resignation was the timing of it, coming just 20 or 30 minutes after the final whistle. It was odd to watch Niall Quinn speaking about his manager not wanting to take up the option of another year as manager, whilst Sbragia stood there impassively.

The Premiership Will Hold No Fear For Burnley Fans

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So less than 24 hours after Promotion to the Premiership and the usual round of tired cliches and articles about "brave little Burnley" are beginning to pop up on-line and in the press. Do they never learn, Do they know the football history attached to this club? Burnley fans will probably laugh in the face of these doom mongers and pessimists, they're just glad that they still have a club to support and after you've faced that, you can cope with anything.

Special1 TV: Season Finale

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The season finale of Special1 TV has premiered with plenty of entertainment for football fans including:

  • A message from a very famous West Ham United supporter,
  • A special appeal from Carlos, a deprived young man on the streets of Manchester,
  • Jose fancies himself as the new speaker of the House of Commons,
  • And the cast of characters from the show sign up for next season.

Champions League Final, Boobs And Curries: Paul Merson Style

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Paul Merson. The name conjures up many memories. For some, it's the troubled footballer who suffers from addictions of drugs, gambling and alcohol. For others, it's the former England international footballer Paul Merson, who played 327 matches for Arsenal.

If you're wondering what the legend has been up to lately, he's been doing the dinner circuit in the United Kingdom which consists of speaking engagements at sports and men's clubs.

The Premier League Relegation Battle: Life And Death At The Bottom

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The weekend promised excitement, drama and last-minute heartache with several sides still fighting for survival at the season's very end. Sunderland, Hull, Newcastle and Middlesbrough were all on the edge of the cliff. Some already hanging off the side. Others teetering on the brink. In the end, four losses would keep all sides in their places.

Burnley Promoted to Premier League

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Burnley Football Club has been promoted to the Premier League for the first time in its history after an impressive 1-0 victory against Sheffield United in the Coca-Cola Championship Playoff Final at Wembley Stadium this afternoon.

Wade Elliott scored the all important goal for Burnley in the 13th minute after his long range effort found the top corner.

New Aston Villa Away Shirt 09/10 Season

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Images of Aston Villa's new away football shirt for the 2009-10 season have been released on its website. The new kit is currently available for pre-order and will be officially launched on June 20.

I'm not sure what it is about Nike, but many of their new shirt designs feature pinstripes which I'm not a big fan of whether it's the United States men's national team home strip, the new blue one for Arsenal or other pinstripe designs.

Club-by-Club Review of the Season - Bottom Half

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2/10 - Newcastle's bad boy typifies their season. Fancy a McDonald's, Joey?

West Brom: A season of Ifs, Buts, Maybes and Not Quites for The Baggies this season, but it was nevertheless extremely entertaining. Tony Mowbray will not leave, nor should he, and he has created a side who played some of the most exciting football this season.

Championship Play-Off Final - The Final Piece Of The Jigsaw

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Wembley, the venue for Monday's Championship play off final.

Well the epic survival Sunday is now over and it included tears flooding in Newcastle and Middlesbrough - not to mention Fulham qualifying for Europe and Ricky Sbragia quitting as manager of Sunderland.

We now turn our attention to the Championship final tomorrow at Wembley between Sheffield United and Burnley, contesting for that precious final place in the Premier League.

Sbragia QUITS - Breaking News

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It has been announced in the last few minutes that after Sunderland's home defeat to Chelsea, Ricky Sbragia has stepped down.

More soon...


Live Blog: Premier League Final Day

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It's finally here. This is what we've all been waiting for. The final day of the Premier League season. Cue the TV footage of football supporters biting their nails, heads in hands, young children crying and fans frozen in their seats even after the final whistle.

And, of course, we cannot forget the jubilant supporters singing, dancing and crying tears of joy as their team stays up.

Frank Lampard…Meet Carlo Ancelloti?

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Should he be appointed Chelsea manager, will Ancelloti continue his trophy throwing antics at Stamford Bridge?

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I think we are all about 90% sure now that Carlo Ancelotti is to take the reigns at Stamford Bridge. Rossoneri vice-president Adriano Galliani confirmed last week that the club will make a statement on Ancelotti's future this coming monday, after achieving Champions League qualification.

Who Will Relegation Hit The Hardest?

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With West Bromwich Albion's fate sealed last week we can now prepare ourselves for a dramatic conclusion to the Premier League season on Sunday. The neutral (including yours truly) will relish it and will want to see as many twists and turns as possible. Anyone supporters involved will have struggled to sleep for a week.

Chelsea Fans Nun Too Pleased About Hiddink Leaving Blues

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No, it isn't the latest in Photoshop trickery. It's temporary Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink during a promotional photoshoot for the cast of the West End musical Sister Act now playing in London.

If you're as amused by the above picture as I am, be sure to view the entire collection of images which are as equally embarrassing for Hiddink as they are for the Sister Act performers.

Birmingham City Away Kit For 09/10 Season Leaked

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Pictures have been leaked of the new away kit for newly promoted Birmingham City.

Designed and manufactured by Umbro, and sponsored by F&C Investments, the new Birmingham City away kit will be released this summer for the 2009-10 season.

Just like many Premier League clubs next season, Birmingham City has decided to choose a black away kit.

EPL Talk Podcast: Champions League Final Preview

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We preview the 2009 UEFA Champions League final between FC Barcelona and Manchester United. Martin Rogers of Yahoo! Sports, Chris Oakley of Some People on the Pitch, Phil Schoen who calls LaLiga matches for GOL TV and South Florida Sun Sentinel Soccer writer Jeff Rusnak joins us.

Hear each of our guests feelings about the matchup in Roma as well as their feelings about the seasons both sides have had and some general thoughts about European Football.

Premier League Finale Podcast And House Notes

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A few important house notes before this long holiday weekend (Memorial Day in the United States, and a Bank Holiday in the United Kingdom):

  • The latest episode of the highly-recommended Soccerlens Podcast, hosted by Stephen Darwin, features an interview with yours truly about the final weekend of the Premier League, my predictions on how are going to get relegated, what team will give Man United a run for the money next season, what position Liverpool needs to fill to have a strong chance of winning the league next year, and much more.

The English Premier League: Finding Your Match

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The final weekend is upon us. And with all the English Premier League fixtures kicking off at the same time, the age-old question arises: where the hell do I watch my match?

Stateside, where I live and watch, three channels will show live games. Villa, Newcastle, Sunderland, Chelsea, Hull and Manchester United fans need not worry.

What Next For Michael Owen?

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With Newcastle teetering over the relegation trap door, skipper Michael Owen will lead a mass exodus at the club, should they fall through it into the Championship on Sunday. With Owen out of contract it is likely that he will leave the club in the summer regardless. The question is where will he go?

New Man Utd Home Football Kit For 09/10 Season LEAKED

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Another new picture of Man United's new home football kit for the 2009-10 season has been leaked.

While there's been a lot of debate regarding recent pictures of the shirt and whether they're legitimate or not, this one appears to be the real deal.

It's a promotional image from Nike that features the new Manchester United home football kit.

Premiership Final Day Preview

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Ready For Sunday then?

So, how's your nerves? Sky Sports News have today been running an article about stress relief for fans for Sunday. Tips included having a hot bath, avoiding alcohol and meditating to stay relaxed in the build up to the final round of matches in the Premiership. Which will be no help to any of the fans who's nerves are probably already shredded about Sunday.

ESPN Unveils Champions League Final Plans

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This Wednesday's Champions League Final will be a mix of emotions both on and off the pitch. Reason being is that it'll be ESPN's last coverage of the Champions League before they hand the "keys" over to Fox Soccer Channel and Setanta Sports for next season. After broadcasting the Champions League for 15 years, I for one will definitely miss ESPN's coverage.

The Great Escape: 5 Relegation Escapes To Remember

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Diomansy Kamara celebrates comeback vs Manchester City

For most of the season in the Premier League all the attention is focussed on the major issues at the top of the league. The race for the title and the battle for the big prizes grab the majority of the headlines and the lesser lights of the league are left to battle it out for much of the season.

How Harry Redknapp Saved Tottenham Hotspur

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Remember how awful Tottenham were at the beginning of the season? Their fixtures and results page looked like a game of Duck, Duck, Goose only the ducks were losses and the goose was a draw. One squinted at the players dressed in white, wondering where they came from and what they had done with the team who'd been knocking on the Champions League's door only a couple of seasons earlier.

Premier League Preview - May 24

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Will there be joy or pain in Middlesbrough come Monday?

This is it.

Match day 38 has arrived, and with it comes the promise of Premier League salvation or the gloom of a forced descent into the Championship.

Here's what we know

Manchester United own the championship trophy, while Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal will be joining them in varying stages of the Champions League in 2009-2010.

Some People Are On The Pitch Interview: Chris Oakley

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SPAOTP blogger Chris Oakley is the featured guest of the latest episode of the EPL Talk Podcast. Interviewed by Kartik Krishnaiyer, Oakley discusses several interesting and timely topics such as:

  • Looking ahead to the final week of the Premier League season,
  • How the relegation of two EPL clubs from the northeast will affect football in England,
  • A discussion of the Dutch league and how Steve McClaren has become reborn at FC Twente,
  • His thoughts on the Bundesliga race, and more.

FSC Presents FA Cup Final Viewing Parties in New York and Chicago

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Followers of English football have a lot on their minds right now. There's the final day of the Premier League season followed a few days later by the Champions League Final in Rome. But just around the corner is one of the most traditional and glorious days of English football, the FA Cup Final.

Fox to Broadcast 7 Hours Of Sky Sports Champions League Coverage

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What do you do if you're the programming director of a soccer channel and you don't have the TV rights to this year's Champions League Final featuring the giants of Manchester United against Barcelona? If you work at Fox Soccer Channel, you provide seven hours of live coverage from Sky Sports.

That's what Fox Soccer Channel has planned for next Wednesday, May 27th, 2009.

Time For The Other Big Four To Step Up Next Season

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With another season drawing to a close and the usual suspects in their normal places in the top four, isn't it about time that the second level of teams finally pushed up to join them? With Everton once again in a Europa League place, Villa making massive strides, despite the fall away they suffered after Christmas, Harry Redknapp finally making Tottenham hard to beat and Manchester City getting ready to add to the squad to make them more consistent, next season may finally see the gap between the big 4 and the other 4 draw a little bit closer.

Manchester City Home, Away and Third Kits For 09-10 Season

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A picture has been leaked of Manchester City's new home, away and third football kits for the 09-10 season. Designed and manufactured by Umbro, and featuring new sponsors Etihad Airlines emblazoned across the front of the shirts.

During the past few seasons, Manchester City have been on the receiving end of some awful shirt designs.

Arsenal Away Kit For 2009/2010: Revealed

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A new photograph has been leaked that features the new Arsenal away kit for the 09/10 season. Modeled by Theo Walcott, the navy blue away strip is designed and manufactured by Nike, sponsored by Emirates.

The new Arsenal away football shirt features pinstripes and a polo-shirt styled collar.

What Next For Michael Owen?

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Michael Owen injured, unfortunately a familiar scenario.

With his international career apparently over and his club's Premier League status under major threat it begs the question, 'What will happen to Micheal Owen'?

On 30 June 1998, 18 year-old Michael Owen's name resonated around the football world after scoring THAT goal for England against Argentina.

Now Mark Hughes Knows Exactly What’s Required

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When Mark Hughes agreed to replace Sven Goran Eriksson last summer, no doubt he knew things would be interesting at Manchester City, it very rarely isn't in the sky blue half of Manchester, but I doubt he'd have expected anything like the events that ultimately played out. What with the takeover and the crazy final day of the summer transfer window, with City making 10 bids of over £15 million for players, it was probably the maddest 24 hours the City faithful could remember in years.

Disappointing Season For Liverpool Is Their Best In 19 Years

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The season brought no trophies to Anfield... Manchester United tied the league title record... The big money summer signing proved a flop... Seven miserable home draws... Mid-season position squandered... Lengthy injuries to the big guns...

And Liverpool still had an outstanding season.

Premier League 09/10 Football Kits: Launch Dates

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The majority of Premier League clubs have already announced release dates for their new 2009-2010 football kits. Many of the clubs will adorn themselves in new home, away and third kits. Please note that the dates are subject to change.

  • Arsenal: June 25 (away, 2009-2010 season), July 23 (third, 2009-2010 season)
  • Aston Villa: June 20 (away, 2009-2010 season), August 13 (home, 2009-2010 season)
  • Birmingham City: June (away, 2009-2010 season), August (home, 2009-2010 season)
  • Blackburn Rovers: May 14 (away, 2009-2010 season), July (home, 2009-2010 season)
  • Bolton Wanderers: June (home, 2009-2011 seasons)
  • Chelsea: May 14 (home, 2009-2011 seasons), July (away, 2009-2010 season), August 27 (third, 2009-2010 season)
  • Everton: June (home, 2009-2010 season), July (2009-2010 season), August (2009-2010 season)
  • Fulham: Unknown at press time
  • Hull City: Unknown at press time
  • Liverpool: June 11 (away, 2009-2010 season), August 27 (third, 2009-2010 season)
  • Manchester City: July (home, 2009-2010 season), August (away, 2009-2010 season)
  • Manchester United: June 29 (away, 2009-2010 season), July 16 (home, 2009-2011 seasons)
  • Middlesbrough: Unknown at press time
  • Newcastle United: May 14 (home, 2009-2011 seasons), July 23 (away, 2009-2011 season)
  • Portsmouth: May (home, 2009-2011 season; away, 2009-2010 season; third, 2009-2010 season)
  • Stoke City: May 21 (away, 2009-2010 season)
  • Sunderland: May 20 (home, 2009-2010 season), July (away, 2009-2010 season)
  • Tottenham Hotspur: June (home, 2009-2010 season), July (away, 2009-2010 season)
  • West Ham United: Unknown at press time
  • Wigan Athletic: May 25 (home, 2009-2010 season), August (2009-2010 season)
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers: May 15 (home, 2009-2010 season), July (2009-2010 season)

For the widest selection of Premier League shirts for all 20 clubs, visit the EPL Talk Shop.

Premier League Teams Named For 2009 Asia Trophy

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The four teams have been named for the 2009 Premier League Asia Trophy to be played in China between July 29-August 1, 2009. It's the first time the tournament will be played on mainland China when Beijing will be the host to Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Hull City and Beijing Guo'an.

ESPN360 Coming To Comcast: Soccer Fans Rejoice

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It's the news that soccer fans with Comcast have been waiting for. ESPN and Comcast have agreed to deal to bring ESPN 360 to Comcast customers by the fall of 2009.

Up until now, none of the 17 million Comcast subscribers had access to ESPN 360, the broadband video site that features the Champions League, Coca-Cola Championship, Serie A, Major League Soccer, Bundesliga and several other leagues.

TV Schedule For Premier League Finale

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The final day of the 2008/2009 Premier League season is this weekend, and all of the attention will be focused on the bottom of the table to determine who will be relegated or not. Here's the TV schedule for residents in the UK and USA:

UK:

  • Aston Villa vs.

Welcome back West Brom

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Will the Baggies bounce back?

The predicted great escape was sadly not to be for West Bromwich Albion, a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool condemned Tony Mowbray's side to life in the Championship. It seemed a late run of form was going to provide the springboard for the Baggies to perform another miraculous feat, ala 2007, but it was too little too late for them as relegation was confirmed on Sunday.

Without Keane, Sunderland Flirt With Relegation

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Is Roy Keane smirking right now? Is he rolling his eyes? Both?

For two years Sunderland was Roy Keane's baby. He took the struggling side, nurtured it back to health and delivered it from the relegation zone of the Championship and back to the top flight. In every transfer window he made moves to improve the squad.

Steven Cohen Apologizes For Inaccurate Hillsborough Claims

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World Soccer Daily host Steven Cohen issued an apology Monday in response to his inaccurate statements he made in April when he blamed Liverpool fans for being the root cause of the Hillsborough Disaster, as well as other false claims.

In an open letter to his listeners and readers, Cohen said "I would like to apologize for comments made on World Soccer Daily on Monday April 13th that referred back to an event from April 1989 (the Hillsborough Disaster).

Sunderland’s Defeat Sets Up Sensational Sunday Showdown

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All they needed was a win to make sure they were free of being dragged in to the final day relegation battle against a side guaranteed Premiership Football for next season but Portsmouth proved a bridge too far for Sunderland. They will now go in to Sunday's final round of matches knowing whatever happens they have to match Newcastle United and Hull City's results come 6pm to have any chance of survival.

Rio Ferdinand’s New Website Is Shocking, In A Good Way

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It's perhaps inevitable in this day and age that footballers will not follow in the footsteps of their predecessors into the inevitable job opportunities that present themselves. Manager, Coach, Television pundit, Pub landlord, Priest and Horse trainer are just some of the roles that former players often either fell into, or chose to follow their career.

Wigan Pass On Amr Zaki

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I admit it. I was fully dazzled by Amr Zaki when he first came to play in England. The stunning goals came so quickly. And they were gorgeous. Wigan Athletic's unknown striker just needed half a second on the ball to make miracles happen and it seemed like the goals were going to stream from his thirsty feet all season.

Newcastle United Begin To Make Excuses Already

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Why do managers always complain about opponents resting players on the last game of the season? Alan Shearer became the latest to ignore 37 games in a season when he admitted he was worried that Manchester United and Chelsea will rest players for the last round of Premiership matches. Yes they're playing Hull City and Sunderland, Newcastle's relegation rivals, but the Geordies aren't 3rd bottom out of bad luck.

Newcastle Provides Bigger Headlines than Man United as Season Ends

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Supreme No More

It says a lot, for better or for worse, that Manchester United's eighteenth championship sent barely a ripple through the footballing press. Most headlines read, "Man United 0 - Arsenal 0," with United's Premier League-winning feat mentioned in the sub header. It seems the Premier League ended some time ago, perhaps when Liverpool drew Arsenal in a more exciting fashion then Saturday's soaking wet kick about (or at least for me, when Aston Villa drew Stoke in early March).

Is Drinking A Problem In The EPL?

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Bendtner - caught with his trousers down.

It is one of the more unsavoury sides of English football. The tabloid headlines and pictures outlying in detail the drunken antics of professional footballers.

Court appearances, suspensions, rehab visits, it isn't what a manager needs when planning a big game, let alone the far reaching impact such problems can have.

Premier League Classic Matches Come To iTunes (UK Only, For Now)

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The decision makers at the Premier League and IMG Media are finally starting to wise up. Classic Premier League matches and goal highlights are now available on iTunes, but only in the UK iTunes store, for now.

The deal between the Premier League, IMG Media and Apple means that iTunes users in the United Kingdom can now download up to 50 Classic Matches from 5 seasons from 2002/03 up to and including 2006/07.

ESPN And SBS Beat Fox To Champions League Rights Down Under

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The past several months have been a game of cat and mouse for Fox and ESPN. This year has already seen Fox beat ESPN to the UEFA Champions League TV rights in the United States, Central America and South America. Now, ESPN along with SBS have acquired the TV rights in Australia to the Champions League, Europa League and UEFA Super Cup

According to The Australian, it's not known whether Fox tendered a bid for the Australian rights.

How Long Left for Southgate at Middlesbrough?

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A man under pressure

Gareth Southgate's Middlesbrough look al but destined for the drop after a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon. Sanli Tuncay scored their only goal, which was a sublime overhead kick. But the impotence of the Boro' attack was apparent as they failed to convert one of the many chances they fashioned.

Benitez’s United Comments Wide Of The Mark

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So the race is run and we football enthusiasts are left to pick the bones out of a season that had many twists and turns but concluded with a very familiar outcome. Yes, once again, for the the third time in a row Manchester United have won the Premier League title, and deservedly so. Liverpool pushed them all the way but their poor run after Christmas left them with too much to do.

West Ham Await Summer Progress

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West Ham's 'Sculpture Of Champions' on Barking Road.

When Gianfranco Zola got back on the team bus from Goodison Park yesterday he could be forgiven for thinking "Only one more week and we can get this club sorted out".

Gianfranco Zola is a legend of English football - particularly at West Ham's city rivals Chelsea.

Special 1 TV: Wayne Rooney And Cristiano Ronaldo

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Episode 13 of Special 1 TV is now available featuring Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo getting up to all sort of tricks. That's brilliant, that is, like.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Ronaldo releases a DVD on simulation techniques,
  • The return of Dave from Newcastle, who shares some poetry,
  • Wayne Rooney reports from the Eurovision Song Contest,
  • A few words from man of the moment, Sir Alex Ferguson, and
  • Ronaldo throws a strop again.

Is This Man United’s New Home Shirt For The 09/10 Season?

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Two new photographs have been leaked of what is allegedly Manchester United's new home shirt for the 09/10 season. Both designs featured in the images are quite similar. The major difference being the collar. But whether either of these photographs of the new home shirt is legitimate is unknown at this time.

No Star, No Matter: Bright Future In The Offing

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Will there be more to come for United?

As far as title winners go, Manchester United's Class of 2009 have been one of the best. In cold, hard terms of consistency United have been absolutely incredible - 27 wins from 37 games, 87 points from 37 games and just 7 points being dropped at home belies a level of reliability unmatched since Mourinho's glory days in the mid-2000s.

Half Empty or Half Full: A Look At Arsenal’s 2008-09 Season

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Facing the sobering reality of a fourth season without a major trophy, Arsenal fans have been disappointed. The disenchantment has created a culture of negativity around the club, which Arsene Wenger lashed out at on Friday.

"When you look at people assessing the situations of the clubs, it has become ridiculous," Wenger said.

Man United: Premier League Champions, 2008/2009

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Manchester United have won the 2008/2009 Premier League title after drawing Arsenal 0-0 at Old Trafford. Congratulations Man United. The trophy is well deserved after a fantastic season.

Please share your thoughts, congratulations and commiserations below by in the comments section.

Time For City To Get Real, Not Real Madrid.

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When will City come back to planet Earth?

On 27 May the last meaningful game involving an English club will take place this season. That is of course the Champions League Final between Manchester United and Barcelona - a nice little birthday present for me. It will be an even better week for me should my team prevail at Wembley on 25th May.

Will Liverpool Play At Carlsberg Stadium?

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When did it come to this? I thought.

As I watch Bolton's Reebok Hunt slide tackle Liverpool's Xabi Carlsberg at Carlsberg Lite Stadium in Liverpool on an overcast Saturday in April, I am filled with an unbearable nostalgia for the past.

As Fly Emirates Bennett holds the red card aloft in Hunt's face who behins his long walk of shame, (brought to you by Reebok), I can't help but long for the days before players, refs and stadia started adopting the names of massive corporate sponsors.

Vote For The Best Of The Premier League, 2008/2009 Season

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It's been a long but very exciting Premier League season. In some ways, the season has flown by. The close title race between Manchester United and Liverpool has been incredible to watch. There have been so many scandals off the field. On it, we've seen some wonderful goals and brilliant play. We've seen Hull City rise and fall.

Programming Note

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Just a quick note to let you know that National Public Radio (NPR) will be airing a segment regarding the Hillsborough Disaster and the misinformation that Steven Cohen has been presenting on its afternoon show, All Things Considered, which will be aired nationwide today (Friday) between 4-6pm ET.

Wigan Athletic Unveil New Football Kit For 09/10 Season

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Wigan Athletic have unveiled their new home football kit for the 2009-2010 season.

The new kit is designed and manufactured by Vandanel and is sponsored by 188Bet, the same company who is also sponsoring Bolton's football kit for the 2009-2010 season the first time a company has sponsored two clubs in the same season of the Premier League.

Bolton Wanderers Home Football Kit For 09/10 Season Revealed

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Bolton Wanderers have unveiled their new home kit for the 2009-2010 season, and boy is it awful.

Why on earth they decide not to consult fans regarding these designs before they're released to the public, I don't know. For the 2008-2009 season, the Trotters wore a football shirt that was designed, not on purpose I hope, to look like a sports bra.

Bolton Slowly Sliding

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Bolton Manager Gary Megson

In October 1999 Sam Allardyce breezed into his office at the Reebok Stadium to take over a club at the foot of the first division table. Amazingly, he guided Bolton Wanderers to the play-off semi finals the same season as well reaching both domestic cup finals.

What next for Liverpool?

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Liverpool have come close to the title this season and if it hadn't been for some silly points dropped along the way could have been even closer to Man United at the top of the table. It is still possible that they can win, but it looks increasingly unlikely.

Benitez has built up a good squad and has some exceptional players in the team but what is next for Liverpool?

New Liverpool Away Football Kit For 09/10 Season Revealed

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Liverpool FC has officially unveiled their new away football kit for the 2009-10 season. Designed and manufactured by Adidas with Carlsberg as sponsors, the new shirt is currently available for pre-order. Pictured above, the new Liverpool away shirt is black with red and gold trim.

The new away Liverpool football kit has been launched under a new advertising campaign from Adidas entitled "Every Team Needs The 12th Man.

The Bahamas: Where to Watch the Premier League On TV

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A couple of weeks ago, I took a weekend cruise to Nassau, the capital of The Bahamas. Sailing from Fort Lauderdale, all I had on my mind was relaxation. The kids stayed at home with my relatives. I left the laptop home. Instead, it was a rare weekend of just sun, drinks, gambling and food.

Manchester United: Quality in Reserve

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If Wigan had hosted United in mid-August rather than mid-May, they might have thought they had a chance to hold onto the draw as the 80th minute mark passed. Ten minutes to go. A one all scoreline. Why not? But this season has been a long lesson on Manchester's late resolve, and so Michael Carrick's 87th minute winner came as no surprise to Steve Bruce or the Wigan players or anyone else.

Manchester United v Arsenal: Five To Remember

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After Manchester United's 2-1 win over Wigan last night Alex Ferguson's men require just one more point from their last two games to retain their Premier League title. On Saturday they take on Arsenal at Old Trafford and will be eager to put one over their rivals and wrap the league up in front of their own fans.

Premier League preview - May 16-18

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One point.

One point in two matches is all Manchester United must earn to claim the 2008-2009 Barclays Premiership title to its trophy case.

The Red Devils trot out Saturday for their first opportunity to claim the crown as struggling Arsenal come calling.

The Gunners have dropped two straight matches – a 4-1 drubbing to Chelsea last weekend and a 3-1 pasting against United back on May 5 in Champions League play.

New Arsenal Away Football Shirt For 09/10 Season Revealed

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Pictures have been leaked of Arsenal's new away football kit for the 2009-10 season. Pictured above, the shirt is navy blue with thin light blue pinstripes and is designed and manufactured by Nike. Emirates will continue to be featured as Arsenal's shirt sponsor.

The last time Arsenal wore a navy blue shirt was the 2001-02 season when they wore a navy blue shirt as their third strip.

Blackburn Rovers Unveil New Away Football Kit For 2009-10 Season

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Blackburn Rovers have officially unveiled their new away football kit for the 2009-10 season.

The new Blackburn Rovers away kit, designed and manufactured by Umbro and sponsored by Crown Paints, features a white shirt with red and blue trim, and red shorts and socks.

What do you think of the new Blackburn Rovers away kit?

New West Ham United Away Shirt For 09/10 Season: Revealed

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A photograph has been leaked of West Ham United's new away football shirt for the 2009-10 season.

Pictured above, the new away shirt is black with a sky blue strip down the middle of the shirt. The new West Ham away kit is designed and manufactured by Umbro and sponsored by SBOBET.

The new shirt is almost identical to the 2008-2009 away shirt for Blackburn Rovers, also designed by Umbro.

Liverpool - On The Verge Of Nothing This Season

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Liverpool's enormous trophy cabinet but nothing from 2009

They huffed, they puffed but they failed to blow United's house down. Liverpool look set to finish the season with no silverware to show for it and yet to make an appearance at the rebuilt Wembley.

After tonight's victory for Manchester United at the JJB the title race will be over if United gain a single point from their remaining two games.

Tim Lovejoy’s Luck Finally Runs Out On The BBC

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Over the weekend, the BBC gave football fans the length and breadth of the world the news that they'd waited years to hear. Finally, after 13 years of clueless ramblings, smug arrogance and a frighteningly poor knowledge of the game he professes to love, Tim Lovejoy is to be booted off as a regular presenter of 5 Live's 6-0-6 football phone in show.

Is Carlo Ancelotti Leading Chelsea Or A.C. Milan A Merry Dance?

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When Guus Hiddink stepped into the breach after a heartfelt plea from Roman Abrahamovich, the only definite thing we knew was that Hiddink would only be there until the end of the season. Hiddink has stuck to his line of response throughout his time at Stamford Bridge, politely but firmly dealing with the increasingly banal questions fired at him over his future plans.

Vote For The Best Arsenal Home Shirt: 1969-Present

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Here's more information about a poll to select the best Arsenal home shirt from the past 30 years. Plus, plenty of other football-related news. Enjoy.

  • Vote For The Best Arsenal Home Shirt: 1969-Present. Whether you're a Gunners fan or not, take a couple of minutes and vote for your favorite Arsenal home jersey from the past 30 years.

Liam Lawrence’s Timely Goals

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Yes, yes: Football is a team sport and all that... but lately it feels like Liam Lawrence is keeping Stoke City clear of the drop all by himself. Two dazzling goals to secure key points for his side will standout as the highlights of Stoke's late climb from the danger zone.

The first was a deft piece of in-the-box maneuvering 15 minutes from time in a tense match against Blackburn Rovers.

This Year’s Champions League Final Will NOT Be Ronaldo vs Messi

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If you would believe various pundits, the annoying debate that many football fans have been subject to this year and last - Ronaldo vs. Messi - will come to its conclusion in the UCL final in Rome. On the biggest stage in club competitions, the two most complete players in attacking football will meet head to head.

Strikers For Sale?

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Tevez - listening to offers?

Well another week has meant another win for the top two, another bad week for Arsenal and of course another week of transfer rumours.

For months now specualtion has never really gone away that Manchester United will not stump up the reported £30 Million or so that Media Sports Investments want for him.

Young English Players Need Time To Mature

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The life of Theo Walcott must be a peculiar one, thrust into the limelight in 2006 as a 17 year-old when picked for the England World Cup squad, the glare has been on him ever since. When he scored a hat-trick against Croatia for the national team last September he was hailed as the next English great.

Alan Shearer Gets It Right

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Alan Shearer needs all the good luck he can find in the dying weeks of Newcastle United's disaster of a season. And after his 69th minute substitution of Michael Owen for Obafemi Martins, fortune smiled on the Magpies' former number nine when their current number nine found the back of the net almost immediately after being subbed into the match.

Complete Guide to Premier League Preseason Friendlies

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Depending where you live in the world, there's a good chance that a Premier League club will be traveling during the summer of 2009 to play friendly matches near you. Here's the latest schedule of where the clubs will be playing, as of press time (dates are subject to change):

  • Arsenal: Other than training in Austria, Arsene Wenger doesn't take his team too far away from England on their summer preseason schedule.

APr

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Mr Wenger has some thinking to do

After another defeat against a fellow top four side, it is clear that Arsenal have a fair amount of work to do that will enable them to challenge for the end of season silverware once more. Defeats from Manchester United and Chelsea have shown that the Gunners are a long way from being a championship winning side once more, but the manner of the losses were far more telling.

Tevez will be missed at Manchester United

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A man on a mission?

As Manchester United moved closer to their 18th championship, it was Carlos Tevez who made the back pages of the Sunday papers with the revelation that he probably wont be a Manchester United player next season. After months of speculation it appears the Argentinean has ran out of patience with United's lack of urgency in making his loan move permanent.

UEFA’s Appeal Committee Show No Common Sense

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Why is it so hard to have a governing body with an ounce of common sense, UEFA just seem bereft of it every time it seems like they'll do the right thing. Are your matches blighted by neo-nazi's forming swastika shapes on the terrace? Here, have a fine of $3 and don't do it again. Do your fans steal a visiting fans scooter, carry it into the ground, set it on fire and throw it on the pitch during a game?

Ledley King & Wilson Palacios: Two Very Different Footballers

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Too often, players will often blame off field problems for a lack of discipline, form or fitness, it becoming something of a Teflon shield to protect them from criticism off fans and players. It's a catch all term to cover all kinds of issues, from drinking (Too numerous to mention) , drugs (Adrian Mutu) , gambling addiction (Michael Owen) to having a persecution complex even though you do yourself no favours at all (Joey Barton).

Arsene Wenger Faces His Most Important Preseason Yet

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When the final whistle went after Sunday's match, Arsene Wenger could possibly view the previous 7 days as one of his worst weeks since he began his 13 year tenure in charge of Arsenal. In two massive matches, Wenger has seen his side start fantastically well in both games, get caught by a sucker punch and then collapse, his players heads dropping with a collective "Here we go again".

Why Sometimes The Best Football Commentary Is None At All

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Watching the brilliant game on Saturday between Fulham and Aston Villa two shining examples of entertaining English football clubs outside of the Big Four, I decided to try something I occasionally do. I turned off the volume.

The results were remarkable.

Believe it or not, but you get to "see more of the game" with the volume turned off because you're not limited by only what the commentator points out - which is usually the obvious.

A Game Neither Newcastle United Or Middlesbrough Can Afford To Lose

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When the fixture list was released back in June 2008, no doubt the fans of both Newcastle and Middlesbrough hadn't a thought that they'd be facing a six pointer to try and save their Premiership survival with today's clash. Yet here they are, staring down the barrel of relegation with West Bromich coming up close behind and it would seem a choice between any three from 5 clubs.

Deja Vu All Over Again At Arsenal

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After watching Arsene Wenger's young guns humiliated at home for the second time in less than a week, the perennial questions surrounding Le Professeur's philosphy and transfer window policy are being whipped about in earnest.

The possibility of a waning Arsenal side doing enough to steal third place from Chelsea could only be called that, a possibility, if the Gunners' recent performances were anything to go by.

Ryan Babel: Should He Stay Or Should He Go?

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Marco van Basten told us Ryan Babel might just be the next Thierry Henry. And there have been some instances to suggest the 22-year-old could be on the path to greatness:

Babel's 40 yard blast against Chelsea to give Liverpool a breath of hope in last year's Champions League semi-final.

New Stoke City Away Shirt For 09/10 Season: Revealed

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A photograph of Stoke City's new away shirt for the 2009-2010 season have been revealed.

Stoke City's new away football kit will be black with red trim. Designed and manufactured by Le Coq Sportif, the shirt will be sponsored by Britannia Building Society.

The new black away kit will replace Stoke's current design which is yellow.

Observations From Premier League Weekend, May 9-10

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It was another exciting weekend of football in the Premier League. Liverpool continued to keep the heat on Sir Alex Ferguson after the Merseyside club beat West Ham United 3-0, while Manchester United moved one step closer to the 2008/2009 title with their comfortable 2-0 derby win. Is the race over or is it just beginning?

Special 1 TV: Jose Tackles The Champions League

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The latest episode of Special 1 TV is out, and it's chock full of references to last week's Champions League drama.

The Special One gives his views about Pep Guardiola, Didier Drogba, Guus Hiddink, Arsenal's exit at the hands of Manchester United and more including the Swedish version of Special 1 TV.

Tevez, Ronaldo Give Ammo to the ABU Crowd

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The Kids Are Our Future

Football loves dominant sides.

Think of Herbert Chapman's Arsenal of the 1920s, ravaging England with the WM formation; Real Madrid of the early days of the European Cup, with Alfredo di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas wreaking havoc on unsuspecting continental champions; Liverpool getting comfy on their "fucking perch," winning four European cups in the span of seven years in the late seventies and early eighties; AC Milan's post-Berlusconi Dutch delight in the mid to late eighties and early nineties.

Big Sam Sparks Rovers’ Revival

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Allardyce's Arrival Has All But Staved Off Relegation

Who else could have saved Blackburn so effortlessly? Sat second bottom of the Premier League, five points from safety with just 13 points from 17 games, Sam Allardyce succeeded Paul Ince as Blackburn Rovers' manager, and in less than 20 games he has made them all but safe - almost in second gear.

Roy Hodgson Has To Be The Manager Of The Year

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Roy Hodgson, surely the Premier League manager of the year?

On 28 December Roy Hodgson accepted the managers post at Premier League side Fulham. The Cottagers' immediate future was looking bleak - in the bottom three, with just 14 points on the table. The revival was hardly immediate either, taking just two points from his first five league games in charge.

Who Will Take Over From Fergie At Manchester United?

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Can anyone fill this man's shoes?

One day hell will freeze over,the same day pigs will indeed be given the power of flight. Quite probably this will be the same day that Sir Alex Ferguson makes his departure from Old Trafford.

On 6 November 1986 sat behind the managers desk for the first time at the helm of arguably the biggest club in world football, even the human-hairdryer himself could never have predicted the magnitude of success to follow.

Chelsea’s UEFA Conspiracy Claims Are Laughable

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With their typical class, Chelsea players and staff asserted their belief, following their 1-1 agg defeat to Barcelona, that UEFA conspired against them to prevent an all-English final in the Champions League.

Players, such as Didier Drogba, displayed their sentiment by all but physically assaulting the referee as he left the pitch.

Away Goal Rule: Why Do We Need It?

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Away goals carry an immense weight in the Champions League.

They delivered Milan to the final in 2005. They saw Liverpool oust Barcelona in 2007, despite the latter winning the leg at Anfield. And they pulled Barca's fate from the abyss in the 93rd minute in this past Wednesday's controversial leg at Stamford Bridge.

Technology In Football: Common Sense Must Prevail

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The fall out from Chelsea v. Barcelona on Wednesday night continues unabated today as PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor has called for the use of technology in football to assist referees. Speaking to the BBC, he said: "We are putting referee's in too vulnerable a situation with the conspiracy theories that abound that UEFA would not want an all English final, it was an accident waiting to happen.

Footballrama.com Review

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There's no doubt you've experienced the same frustration. You go to Google and search on a specific phrase for your favorite Premier League club, click the 'Search' button and wet your lips in anticipation. Except, the search results don't show the listing you were expecting. You try again with a different search phrase thinking that this time, yes this time, Google will understand your logic.

New Blackburn Rovers Away Shirt For 09/10 Season: Revealed

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Parts of the new away football kit for Blackburn Rovers for the 2009-10 season are being unveiled on a daily basis. So far, the above pictured photograph/drawing shows what the new away kit will look like.

Designed and manufactured by Umbro, the new away shirt will look drastically different than the current away shirt (pictured here).

Blip, What Blip?

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Ferguson and Ferdinand - probably laughing at the accusation they were losing their nerve.

Cast your minds back to Saturday March 21 2009. Manchester United have just lost 2-0 away to Fulham, I think we were all surprised but it wasn't what one would deem unbelievable. Something I did deem unbelievable was the reaction of some fans and pundits after the result.

Barca v Chelsea Game Reveals Blatant Flaws Of Football

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The last time I visited my relatives in England, I was embarrassed after I switched on the television and The Jerry Springer Show came on. As usual, the host, guests and audience members went through their disgusting charade of ridicule and comedy at the expense of a few members of the human race.

Top 10 Dramatic European Encounters

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Following last night's drama between Chelsea and Barcelona in the Champions League I felt it was an appropriate occasion to dwell on memorable European encounters involving English teams in the past. The Champions League/European Cup has at different times proved a hugely rewarding hunting ground for English teams.

Premier League Preview - May 9-11

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There's some debate over whether or not the Tyne-Tees Derby is actually a derby, as Newcastle fans point to the annual matches with Sunderland as the more important derby.

There's no doubt, however, that Monday's clash between the Toon Army and Middlesbrough at St. James' Park is absolutely massive to the hopes of both teams' Premiership survival.

Gianfranco Zola – Football’s Mr Nice Guy

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Ok I give up, I can't find one.

I've tried to find a football fan that has a strong disliking for Gianfranco Zola and failed miserably – the guy is just too darn nice!

Even those who aren't fond of Chelsea – the club he played for so successfully - can't help but respect and admire not just his skills as a footballer but his attitude and professionalism both on and off the field.

Is It The Beginning Of The End For Arsene Wenger?

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Many have compared Manchester United's 3-1 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates last night to Manny Paquiao's demolition of Ricky Hatton. In all honesty, it is clear to see the similarities – Hatton and Arsenal were brushed aside by opponents with more speed, power and all round ability.

Sami Hyypia: Leaving Liverpool

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There won't be a sympathy vote PFA award for Sami Hyypia as he ends his ten year career with Liverpool FC, but for Reds supporters his legend will remain as large as the 6′4 Finn himself.

Bought from Willem II in 1999 for a mere £2.5m, Hyypia is easily one of the greatest bargains in Liverpool's rich history.

Chelsea v Barcelona: The Beautiful Game Triumphs

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I had said before the contest between Chelsea and Barcelona would be a contest of league styles. Barca had yet to face an English side and this would be a vastly different context for the Spanish giants. Chelsea would not allow them the space for the same kind of free-flowing football they enjoy at home in La Liga.

The Achievements of David Moyes Need to be Recognised

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How long will he stay at Goodison Park?

For me a leading contender for manager of the year is none other than Everton's David Moyes. The steps he has taken with Everton, comfortably 6th in the Premier League, an F.A Cup final to look forward to and although lacklustre during the first few months, Moyes has brought the Toffees forward, only to occupy that all to familiar area just below the big four.

Newcastle United: Retirement Home For Aging Footballers

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If there was a Premier League Hall Of Fame, you could guarantee that many of Newcastle United players from 1992 onwards would have made the list. Superstars such as Peter Beardsley, Alan Shearer, Les Ferdinand and David Ginola would be certain inductees just to name a few.

You could also argue that many of Newcastle United's current players could be included in that list too, but that's precisely one of the main issues of why I believe Newcastle are performing so poorly this season and why they will get relegated.

New Chelsea Third Shirt For 09/10 Season: Revealed

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A picture of Chelsea's new third shirt for the 2009-2010 season has been revealed, thanks to Football Shirt Culture.

The new design, manufactured and designed by Adidas, features blue and navy blue hoops along with a fluorescent yellow trim and is sponsored by Samsung.

The new shirt will be available for purchase this summer.

New Chelsea Away Shirt For 09/10 Season: Revealed

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A leaked picture of the new Chelsea away shirt for the 2009-10 season has been revealed, courtesy of Football Shirt Culture.

Designed and manufactured by Adidas, the new shirt is white with black trim and is sponsored by Samsung. In comparison to Chelsea's new home football shirt, the away shirts is quite conservative.

Tigers doing the most to save themselves from extinction

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The football season is nearly over for another year and you know you are getting down to the business end of things when talk outside the Premier League turns to the play-offs. In England's top flight there are still three games to go with essentially everything to play for. At the bottom things are as they were at the start of the weekend after everyone from 13th downwards lost.

Arsenal Fail To Find A Way At Home

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Gooners and Nike execs are already familiar with the Cesc Fabregas Show. Tonight at the Emirates, it was the Cristiano Ronaldo Experience.

Though Ji-sung Park started off the scoring for Manchester United on a Kieran Gibbs mistake, it was Ronaldo who sealed the deal for the Red Devils on a searing free kick.

GolTV And Premier League: Gol TV Declares Interest In US TV Rights

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After announcing that GolTV has renewed its TV rights to the Bundesliga for the next three seasons, a GolTV executive has revealed that the US TV broadcaster is also interested in the TV and/or Internet rights to the Premier League which are up for renewal in the next 30 days for the 2010-2013 seasons.

Arsenal v Man United: The Clash of Giants

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The clock is ticking towards today's Champions League semi-final second leg between Arsenal and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium. As part of the excitement for the clash between the two Premier League giants, click on the above video from Nike to watch Cristiano Ronaldo, Cesc Fabregas and other stars strut their stuff.

Paul Scholes: Legend

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The Ginger Prince scores against Barcelona

Paul Aaron Scholes recently celebrated his 600th appearance in a Manchester United shirt. Joining a club that consists of Ryan Gigs, Bobby Charlton and Bill Foulkes, where these players receive plaudits, accolades and awards, Paul Scholes is a humble more understated type, preferring to let his football do the talking, while also shunning the celebrity footballer lifestyle.

Key Relegation Battles This Weekend

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While this weekend could be the last stand for West Brom, there are four other key battles on show

 I have spent this morning perusing the remaining fixtures for the relegation threatened teams and it appears that everything seems to point to the round of matches starting Saturday 9th May to Monday 11th May.

Yossi Benayoun: Liverpool’s Secret Weapon

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Liverpool fans voted Xabi Alonso man of the match against Newcastle. Clairvoyant passing and two shots from distance that ricocheted off the bar: Alonso was a beast against the Magpies. But I suspect it was his temporary martyrdom that won Alonso the honor over some of the other candidates.

EPL Great Escapes

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It's that time of yearagain, where nerves are shredded, nails are bitten and the relegation trapdoor gets ever closer.

But for those fans of teams at the bottom of the EPL there is hope.

I had a dig round the archives and have found some examples of teams who looked dead and buried, but somehow found Premier League salvation.

Important Champions League Reminder

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I just returned from a weekend getaway to Nassau, Bahamas, so I didn't get a chance to watch any football this past weekend. I'll write about my experience in Nassau sometime later this week, but for now, the attention turns to the Champions League with two massive matches this week especially for Premier League clubs.

Why West Brom shouldn’t abandon their footballing principles

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It become an almost weekly occurrence throughout the season.

After each and every defeat Tony Mowbray, West Brom's beleaguered manager, has been forced to batter away suggestions from the baying press that his side should change their style of play in order to compete in the division.

Joey Barton’s Latest Red Card

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When I saw Newcastle United's lineup today before their 3-0 loss to Liverpool, I said aloud: Joey Barton's going to get a red card. I only meant it to elicit a laugh from friends, but with Newcastle's fate in the balance and Barton's famous temper in mind, I had a vision of Barton heading for the showers a bit earlier than his co-workers.

Newcastle United Need a Miracle to Stay in the EPL

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The Magpies look destined for the drop

After another defeat, Newcastle United look destined for the Championship. Alan Shearer's men have three games to save their season, but it appears too little too late, and although it is not mathematically certain they will go down, performances on and off the pitch have made it clear they are just not good enough to remain in the EPL.

Sunderland Can Still Go Down!

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The relegation battle is reaching its culmination. This weekend Middlesbrough faced Manchester United, Liverpool hosted Newcastle and Sunderland took on Everton, with Hull still to play Aston Villa.

Sunderland entertained Everton at the Stadium of Light and succumbed to a 2-0 defeat and put more pressure on themselves to reach the magical 40 points total.

Who Will Go Down?

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Can Gareth Southgate keep Boro up? 25 goals in 35 games says he can't.

With West Brom's unfortunate defeat at White Hart Lane yesterday, the Baggies are all but relegated with 28 points from 35 games leaving them 6 points behind Hull City - with the Yorkshiremen having a game in hand. Barring a miracle, Tony Mowbray's outfit will be playing Championship football next season, but who will join them?

The Matchday Experience In The Premier League - So Very Different

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Pottermus of Stoke City, sometimes plays under the name of Ricardo Fuller

When we talk about nostalgia and football we think of images of photographs of 20,000 people crammed onto an open concrete terrace, a black and white sea of flat-caps and players kicking a ball that weighed half a tonne.

UEFA Europa League, A Second Rate Competition

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UEFA Europa League, formerly the UEFA Cup

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With four games of the Premier League campaign left, Fulham are leading the 'race' for seventh place and for the Cottagers it will be a rare European adventure. This would of course be via the all singing, all dancing UEFA Europa League.

This 'new' competition was created by reformatting and re-branding the ailing UEFA Cup.

American Ownership In The English Premier League Is Not Necessarily a Bad Thing

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Those who would purify English football believe the current debauchery and debt stems from foreign ownership. That is not necessarily true.

American billionaire Stan Kroenke bought out the Carr family shares in Arsenal for about £45m, increasing his stake in the club to 28.

Liverpool: No Need For Gareth Barry

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As Aston Villa's European dreams come to a halt, manager Martin O'Neill says he would allow Gareth Barry to move on if the midfielder so desires. Once again, Barry is expected to request a move to Liverpool. We all remember the tiresome saga of his transfer attempt last summer when Liverpool tried to unload Xabi Alonso to fund Villa's hefty asking price, a reported 18m.

New Chelsea Home Shirt For 09/10 Season Unveiled

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The new home shirt for Chelsea for the 2009-2010 has been unveiled by Chelsea FC.

The blue shirt, designed and manufactured by Adidas and sponsored by Samsung, incorproates the new template design by Adidas.

The new home shirt will be worn for the first time by Chelsea in the May 17th game against Blackburn Rovers.

The No-Big-Four-Allowed EPL Team Of The Season

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As we near the end of what has been and still is an exciting season in the EPL, the various gongs and awards are being given out. As usual, they create plenty of controversy, particularly in the case of Ryan Giggs, who was named Footballer of the Year despite only starting 12 league games this season.

David Pleat: A shining star of commentary.

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"A few South Americans in this Porto team. Three Romanians and three Portuguese. We should be in for some Samba action tonight"

"To be fair, he probably struck the ball too well" (on Frank Lampard shooting wide of the goal)

"A two-footed beaver of a player" (on Wesley Sneijder)

"He looks a bull of a defender but I have to say he's playing like quite a cultivated bull at the moment"

"Craig Bellamy definitely runs faster forwards than he runs backwards"

"I think I'll have to sit on the bench on that one" (when asked to pick a winner between Spain and Russia)

"Terry Sheddingham"

"Lovely cultivated player, or is it cultured?

Sir Alex Ferguson is at it again

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Oh dear here we go.

Man United boss sir Alex Ferguson, not content with moaning about Rafa Benitez's arrogance or Arsene Wenger's team selection, has found another excuse for his side's failings: The changing rooms.

Yep according to Fergie the changing rooms at some Premier League clubs are below the standards expected of the modern day footballer and he believes some sort of minimum code of standards need to be brought in – like those for the stadium terraces.

Sneak Preview of New Arsenal Away Shirt

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The Arsenal website has unveiled a sneak-peek of the new Arsenal away shirt for the 2009-10 season.

There had been rumors it would be green or white, but it will in fact be blue. In the picture on the Arsenal website (pictured above), a part of the kit has been revealed to show the blue color.

New Wolves Home And Away Shirts For 09/10 Season

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Photographs have been released of the new football shirts for future Premier League team Wolves.

The new football shirts for Wolves are designed and manufactured by Le Coq Sportif, the French company who will be unveiling the new Everton kits this summer.

The home shirt is gold in color with black trim and black shorts.

Blake’s Top 10 Footballing Sides 08/09

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Well, I'm sure you're all aware that this season has produced some top-notch football, and some horrible dross. So, let's get down to business, shall we?

10.) West Brom- What they lack in quality, they at least make up for with their desire to play the game as it should be played. I applaud Tony Mowbray and his attempts to stick by his attacking philosophy, despite the fact that it currently leaves West Brom at the foot of the table, and almost surely- relegation to the fizzy-pops.