I'm still shocked at Glen Johnson's Â£17.5m price tag. Bumping up Liverpool's record defensive
transfer fee by some Â£10m is a lot to take.Â It's only a year since they paid around Â£7m for
Andreas Dossena. It's only 18 months since they paid Â£6m for Martin Skrtel, the Liverpool
defensive record before Dossena's move.
I realized this past weekend that we're so spoiled as soccer fans. We have access to practically
anything that a English football fan desires. Live radio via the Internet, gazillion football
matches on TV, blogs galore, English football magazines and even British tabloids at your local
Barnes & Noble bookstore.
Fresh from giving England fans palpitations after Fridays semi-final win against host nation
Sweden, England's young lions have a chance to win some silverware for the junior lions for the
first time since 1993. England Under 18's triumphed that year, riding a week long wave of growing
optimism and support to beat Turkey 1-0 in front of 25,000 fans in Nottingham.
Well, two days are left until the transfer window opens again and Manchester City look like
they've signed two strikers to help Mark Hughes drag them up the table. I suppose they need some
good news down at Eastlands after the ground flooded on Saturday due to flash floods.Â With both
signings, CityÂ could have an incredible 12 strikers on their books at the last count, but that
number will fall by one on July 1st as young prospect Daniel Sturridge has agreed to join
Living in an age where people demand everything instantaneously is not always a good thing. Sure
it has given us super fast computers, the iPhone, the Playstation3 plus hundreds of other gizmos.
But not everything can be made faster and certain aspects of life take time before they bear the
fruits of success.
ESPN columnist Bill Simmons wrote a now famous article a couple of years ago entitled "Choosing
My EPL Team." At the time, it caused quite a stir. Many Brits were shocked and surprised to learn
that there were people out there picking a Premier League team for the first time. But, for many
people newly introduced to the sport and league, how else was someone supposed to choose a
For a very, very long time Manchester City have been dwarfed by their local rivals Manchester
United. When it comes to winning trophies there are no comparisons, United are in a league of their
own when it comes to success. That's the way it will be in the future to, City will never be bigger
than United while the Red Devils keep their firm grip on all the glory.
The build up had been going on for weeks, with the first teasers of the new kit advertised on
the hoardings surrounding the pitch during Spurs' final home League game against Manchester City.
"Glory Comes In Three Colours" read the tagline, and Spurs fans collectively shrugged at the
thought of having another 3 kitsÂ for the fourth season in a row.
One positive to come out of Italy's disastrous Confederations Cup adventure was the emergence of
Giuseppe Rossi. Having been on the fringes of the Azzurri squad for some months, he finally made
his breakthrough against the nation of his birth, putting himself firmly in the shop window this
Yesterday, I looked at the expectations we often place on international football. This got
me thinking about the Dutch and their legendary Total Football era in the 70s. What does this mean
to us today? Does Cruyff's legacy still influence world football?
This summer, Chelsea FC will be traveling around the United States to play in a series of
high-profile friendlies as part of the World Football Challenge. John Terry, Frank Lampard, Michael
Ballack, Didier Drogba, Michael Essien and the crew along with new manager Carlo Ancelotti will be
playing games on both coasts as well as in the heart of Texas in front of massive crowds (the game
against Seattle Sounders has already sold more than 60,000 tickets).
They always say the truth will come out in the end and after nearly a year of being coy about
how he feels it seems like Cesc Fabregas has finally given us his true opinion on matters at
Arsenal. The Gunners skipper has said he is angry at the club for their failure to win a trophy in
four years and more worryingly admitted that he could still leave the club.
Manchester City are scheduled to announce on Friday a one-of-a-kind concert to coincide with the
launch of their new home football kit for the 2009-2010 season, according to an insider.
The event will be organized in conjunction with Umbro and is entitled "Live From City." The
concert will feature headliner Doves, while the opening acts will be Mike Pickering (doing a DJ
set), Twisted Wheel, Kid British and The Answering Machine.
After months of rumors and leaked pictures, Manchester United has officially unveiled its new
football kit for the 2009-2010 season.
Designed and manufactured by Nike, the new home Man United football kit celebrates 100 years of
Old Trafford history. The players will wear the kit for the first time during their pre-season tour
of Asia next month.
Yesterday, I asked the question of implementing live video review in football. Today's
question is: are our expectations too high for international football? I enjoyed your responses to
yesterday's article. Please weigh in with your feelings on international football in the comment
In its years of broadcasting in North America, Setanta has been both a godsend and a detriment
to the success of the Premier League in the United States. It's been a godsend because, in
combination with Fox Soccer Channel, die-hard followers of the league have been able to watch
almost every single Premier League for several years.
Chelsea today officially unveiled their new away football kit for the 2009-2010 season.
The new adidas kit will be worn for the first time when Chelsea face AC Milan on 24 July during
the pre-season tour. The away kit for 2009/10 uses a tonal hoop in dark navy and new navy with a
neon yellow highlight for the adidas three stripes, and tipping on the collar and sleeves.
After a ton of suspense, hundreds of blog posts and plenty of heated debates over whether the
photographs leaked a few weeks ago were really the new Tottenham Hotspur football kits or not, we
now know the truth after Tottenham Hotspur officially revealed their new kits for the 2009-2010
Wednesday's Confederations Cup semifinal between the United States and Spain had David v.
Goliath written all over it. Coasting to the semis with three wins out of three, it looked like
Spain was about to teach the US a lesson in tiki-taka.
With the US advancing to the semis after shipping six goals to Italy and Brazil, the drawbacks
of a two group, eight team tournament were pretty clear.
Yesterday, I considered the question of the name of our sport, football vs
soccer. Today I jump on another question regarding the purity of the beautiful game: should we
implement live video review? Please use the comment section to weigh in on this issue.
If I ever got dragged to a birthday party for FIFA President Sepp Blatter and was forced to
stand up and say something nice about the guest of honor, the best I could probably muster is:
He's got the coolest name in football after Titi Camara.
Artistic drawings of Portsmouth's new home and away football jerseys for the 2009-2010 season
have been revealed showing what the shirts will look like that are designed by Canterbury, the
The Portsmouth home shirt in the classic Pompey blue features an aerodynamic design that looks
very modern with a dark blue trim that's accentuated with white flecks.
The fallout from the demise of Setanta UK is set to start with the Scottish Premier League,
Football Association and Blue Square Premier League in turmoil after missing out on millions of
dollars of cash and the worry of finding a new suitor to step in to rescue the organizations.
But it's not just the leagues and associations that are impacted by the collapse of Setanta
After another summer of big money spending - and who believes they are anywhere near finished! -
the pressure is on Manchester City boss Mark Hughes to achieve an absolute minimum of qualification
for the UEFA Champions League during the 2009-10 campaign. Although many will feel that City should
be looking to challenge for the title, with a number of strong teams in their way, it may prove a
bridge too far for what will essentially be a new team.
The English Football Association (FA) has released a statement regarding Setanta UK going into
"The FA will now consider options to find the best platform to broadcast those fixtures
contracted to Setanta," said FA Chief Executive Ian Watmore. "These include England home friendly
matches, FA Cup ties, England U21 games and the FA Community Shield.
After the 2006 World Cup I launched a one-man campaign to change the name of American Football
to All-American Pig-Pile. It was time this country embraced the sport's true name, I
thought. I received many chuckles but few converts. One who went along with it was my friend George
from Manchester, England.
With Setanta UK on the verge of going into administration after losing the TV rights to the
Premier League through 2013 in the UK as well as losing the TV rights to the Scottish Premier
League, the demise of Setanta UK looks certain. It may be days or hours before the plug is
The big question is what will happen to Setanta US?
Breaking news. ESPN has acquired all 46 live matches for the 2009-10 season on U.K. TV from the
Premier League. The rights were previously held by Setanta Sports up until Friday, but when Setanta
failed to pay the Premier League the money it owed them, the Premier League opened the bidding up
to Sky, ESPN and other interested parties.
ESPN has made a significant move today by announcing that GolTV has sublicensed some of its U.S.
TV rights of La Liga coverage to ESPN.
In March of this year, GolTV announced that it had renewed its rights to La Liga TV coverage in
the United States for another three seasons. Now, GolTV has sub-licensed a portion of its La Liga
TV coverage to ESPN in a move that compensates for ESPN losing its Champions League TV coverage for
the next three years to Fox Soccer Channel.
We've searched Twitter to find some of the top players in the Premier League who we recommend
you follow on Twitter. After reviewing these, you may think that some of them are fake accounts but
we're pretty certain they're all real, or at least the vast majority are.
Here are six famous Premier League footballers on Twitter (in no specific order):
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) - 15,303 followers - One of the biggest names in
English football is on Twitter.
Episode 119 features an interview with Soccerex Director of Business Development Misha Sher.
Hear about Sher's football background as a youth player in the Ukraine (part of the USSR in those
days), his college and professional career in the United States at Ohio Wesleyan and in the A
League (now USL-1).
The Premier League have announced that they have terminated their contract with Setanta Sports
in the United Kingdom. That means that Setanta has lost the TV rights for the 2009-2010 Premier
League season and will sell the rights to the 46 lives games to the highest bidder.
The bidding deadline for the TV rights to those 46 games in England is Monday.
After Clint Dempsey moved to Fulham in 2007, his leap in quality was beyond remarkable. This was
evidenced in his subsequent call-ups to the US national team. Stronger, defter, more confident. He
was a new player. He'd already been a stand-out in Germany 2006, scoring the only non-own-goal for
the US, but after his move to the Premier League, his ability, drive and influence on others seemed
to escalate drastically in a short amount of time.
Recently, the Football Partnerships Podcast interviewed me about EPL Talk and the business of
football blogging. It's quite different than the typical EPL Talk interview. Listen to the Football
Partnerships interview today.
Some of the topics discussed include:
How the idea of EPL Talk was created,
How EPL Talk's initial target audience has changed over the years,
The business of football blogging and how advertising and partnerships help keep the lights
My personal favorite EPL Talk Podcast interview of all time,
Now I'm certainly not going to start defending Chelsea's players or the reactions of certain
fans after the final whistle back on May 6th. Yes, the referee had a nightmare, yes Chelsea should
have had two penalties at least and yes to some people it was easy to understand the reactions of
some of the players after Tom Henning Ovrebo's performance that night.
The Guardian today has a very interesting article regarding Manchester United's owners changing
the clubs transfer policy to concentrate on signing players under 26. It seems that the Glazer
family want the club to only sign players that they can recoup transfer fees on later in their
With the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo adding Â£80 million to Sir Alex Ferguson's usual Â£25-30 million
yearly budget. A summer spending spree is surely on the cards. Looking at the side, it would appear
to me a winger and some quality in centre midfield are needed, with possibly, a striker as the
icing on the cake.
The buzz coming through the ever-dubious transfer wires claims that Liverpool are close to
signing Glen Johnson from Portsmouth.
Rumors are homing in on a Â£17m move which includes the Â£7m Pompey still owe the Reds for Peter
Crouch. Johnson is a fine player, full of skill, energy and guile, and his addition to the side
could be just the sort of tweaking Rafael Benitez needs to push Liverpool up that final rung on the
Premier League ladder.
The fixtures for the 2009-2010 season have been released, and Sir Alex Ferguson should be happy.
The fixture computer must have applied a "Fergie Filter" to reduce the wrath of Sir Alex Ferguson
fuming about how the fixtures are in favour of other teams except his own. This season, they seem
to have it about right.
In a tribute to the Clint Eastwood movie, "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly," EPL Talk has
categorized the new shirts for the 2009-2010 season into three categories. It wasn't easy. Many of
the ones that we would have placed in a mediocre category, if it was available, had to go into "The
Good" or "The Bad.
Since Real Madrid's Â£80m swoop on Cristiano Ronaldo, I've read plenty of responses by United
supporters insisting this was a positive move for the team. Man U is not one player. We've got
80m to spend.Â We're fine. No, really.
While the Ronaldo move was inevitable and Â£80m is a handsome bundle of cash to take in, I
cannot accept the idea that United are better off without him.
The life of a top level referee is a tough one.Â Before the age of blanket coverage of the
beautiful game referees could go about their job and to a certain extent slip into the background
when the work was done. Such an existence is no longer possible as a badÂ day at the office now
sparks irate calls to football phone-in shows, frame by agonising frame replays of incidents, oh,
and death threatsÂ have becomeÂ another occupational hazard.
In March 2009, Rafa Benitez and Sir Alex Ferguson got into a war of words about how much money
they had spent in the transfer market.
"They [Liverpool] are well ahead of us in spending in the last five years," Ferguson, the
United manager, said, insisting that Liverpool had outspent United by Â£24 million during
BenÃtez's 5Â½-year tenure.
Ah, isn't buying a football club the easiest thing in the world. Look how quickly Abramovich
bought Chelsea, the Glazers bought Manchester United and the Abu Dhabi group picked up City.
Compared to the protracted nature of the proposed takeover of Portsmouth, even buying Newcastle
United may be easier.
It was not the start that England's Under 21 side wanted, but it could have been a whole lot
worse after today's close shave against a Finland side full of surprises. By finding themselves in
the toughest of the two groups with Spain and Germany, this was the game that Stuart Pearce would
have targeted as a must win match.
Few would have expected New Zealand to pull an upset over a Spain who entered the fray boasting
a 32 match unbeaten streak. But no oneÂ could have predicted that Liverpool's Fernando Torres
would score a hat trick within the first seventeen minutes of play.
Torres rapidly erases any doubt he's the best striker on the planet these days.
I've seen some horrible green-screen effects before, but the action footage from the trailer for
Goal 3 (see above) has got to be some of the cheesiest I've ever seen in my life. Let's hope the
movie is better than the trailer, but I doubt it.
For the second summer in a row, the Premier League explains how the process of scheduling the
fixtures for the upcoming Premier League season happens.
Bonhams auction house will be conducting an auction of rare football memorabilia this Wednesday
in England, and some of the items available for bidding are incredible. Here are just a few of the
items that caught my eye. Feel free to browse through the entire catalog to unearth other
1968 European Cup Final Postcard
1920-21 Burnley FC Commemorative Mug
1912 Blackburn Rovers Championship Medal
1934 FA Cup Final Programme: Portsmouth v Manchester City
February 2007, the dawning of a great new era in Liverpool's history as Tom Hicks and George
Gillett bought the club from the Moore's family. Promising massive investment and the funds for the
construction for the new stadium that Liverpool needed, it seemed as if Liverpool were finally
about to catch up with Manchester United financially under the stewardship of Kop Football
Jose Mourinho fell out with Roman Abrahamovic over him, Martin Jol tried twice to sign him for
Tottenham and Barcelona were even watching him but those admiring glances and failed bids seem a
long way off now. When he first burst in to the Premier League back in 2006, I was blown away by
the lad's power and pace, especially for an 18 year old full back and I thought to myself, that's
England's number 2 for the next 10 years then.
It seems that the people who own Carlos Tevez, well the own his economic rights; seem to
underestimate Sir Alex Fergusons strength of character. Over the last few weeks, Tevez has been
quoted several times stating he feels his future lies away from Old Trafford and with a club that
will show him more respect.
It seems like it's been ages since I've had a chance to communicate directly with you, the
readers, about the latest happenings at EPL Talk, so I want to bring you up-to-speed on some
First, I've made some changes "under the hood" at EPL Talk during the past few weeks so that the
pages now load much faster as well as the site being more reliable.
The Global Game - Writers on Soccer. Edited by John Turnbull, Thom Satterlee &
Alon Raab. Bison Books. 296 pp. $19.95.
Living in the States, you are about as likely to find a good book about soccer/football right
off the shelf at your local bookstore as you are to get Anne Hathaway's phone number after bumping
into her at your local pub.
Bring up the topic of indoor soccer and you're bound to get several opinionated viewpoints on
it. Many soccer fans love it. Many hate it. But no matter which side of the Atlantic you live on,
the fact of the matter is that both the United States and, to a lesser degree, the United Kingdom
has had an interesting history involving the indoor game.
Surely Manchester United must sign Carlos Tevez now.Â With Cristiano Ronaldo off to Madrid, the
Red Devils need a replacement that cannot be found in one player.Â CR7 is a complete footballer,
blessed with pace, power, dribbling, shooting, heading, free kicks, etc.
It's a glorious day for Jorge Mendes.Â And a glorious day for the rest of us, as it looks like
the Cristiano Ronaldo-to-Real Madrid saga is nearing its end.Â For Mendes, Ronaldo's agent, he's
looking at the biggest commission of his career, not including secret payoffs, bungs or any
miscellaneous under-the-table perks.
Just when you think you've seen it all, Torino have shelled out Â£100,000 to lure Dennis Law
from Manchester City. Yes, it's 1961 and the record transfer fee paid to or by an English club has
broken the hundred thousand mark.
The previous record was Â£65,000 when John Charles moved from Leeds to Juventus in 1957.
Despite being also-rans for aÂ large part of the season, one cannot help but thinking that the
Premier League is beginning to open up for Chelsea for the 2009-10 season. While Guus Hiddink may
now have left the club, the Blues will certainly fancy their chances under new man Carlo Ancelotti
of regaining their title which has alluded them since the departure of Jose Mourinho.
Photos of Fulham's new home football kit for the 2009-10 season has been leaked.
Fulham's home kit will feature the traditional white and black colours. Designed and
manufactured by Nike, Fulham's new home jersey feature a white shirt with black sleeves. To me, the
design of the home shirt reminds me of Adidas's Classic series of T-shirts (and football shirts)
from the late 1970s-early 1980s (albeit in a different colour scheme that the example shown
The US and Irish assets of Setanta Sports could be sold to raise financing to bail out Setanta
UK, according to The Guardian newspaper.
Setanta UK is desperately trying to raise money between now and Monday to make a Â£30m payment
it owes to the Premier League. As a result, Setanta is looking at all of its assets and are in
talks with numerous investors to raise the necessary cash.
So its official, Manchester United's board have accepted a world record shattering bid of Â£80
million this morning from Real Madrid for Cristiano Ronaldo. I don't know about you, but I couldn't
face another summer of every news outlet boring us to tears speculating on Ronaldo's future as we
had last season.
I was so tempted to ape the feel of the misleading headline that first brought this story to my
attention: "John Barnes set for Rovers Role". He's taking over Blackburn? I thought. Ah... (after
clicking on the link) ...Tranmere Rovers.
So when it came time for my own sensationalist slant on things, how about: John Barnes To Return
Throughout the years, American soccer fans have had to endure the snide remarks and abuse from
the English football press and public towards America. We've all heard the cheap jokes at the
expense of our "Mickey Mouse" league, the tiresome jibes about the term soccer and how Americans
In 2004, he left Liverpool for Real Madrid in search of Champions League glory. Early on, Madrid
mostly shackled him to their bench and later ducked out to Juventus in the first knock-out round.
The Liverpool players bounced on the big stage in Istanbul: lifting the trophy without him.
The next season, after Liverpool didn't take him back, he moved to Newcastle, citing the chance
to play alongside the great Alan Shearer as a big part of what drew him to Tyneside.
On the same day that Kaka moved from AC Milan to Real Madrid for a world record transfer fee of
Â£56 million, Newcastle United put a 'for sale' sign up on their website and put their entire squad
up for sale. At the same time, Setanta Sports looks like it's heading for administration,
Liverpool's financial woes are so severe that the future of the club is in jeopardy, while West Ham
United are 48 hours away from being wound up even after just being taken over by a consortium of
I think it is safe to assume that Alex Ferguson is a keen follower of all things football, to
remain at the top for as long as he has you need to keep your finger on the footballing pulse. I
wonder then if he took the time out during his summer holidays to keep up with the form of his
expensive striker Dimitar Berbatov.
For those not emotionally invested, the sale of a prominent Premier League club is chum in the
water.Â We want easily caricatured nutballs in charge, huge transfer budgets, grandiose schemes
destined to fail and decimations of the club's staff.Â We want entertainment.
Given that context and the club's unique penchant for disaster, West Ham's sale was abominable,
substandard and lamentable.
This week will be the most important in the history of Setanta, the Irish broadcaster who -
according to the British press - could be forced into administration in the next few days. The
implications of such a disaster would be massive for the Premier League and could also cause ripple
effects throughout North America, the Caribbean and Australia where Setanta Sports has a major
Today's important World Cup qualifier between Kazahkstan and England kicks off at 11am ET on
Setanta Premium in the United States. You can either watch the match in select pubs nationwide that
carry the Setanta pub channel (you may need to pay an admission charge), or you can watch it via
pay-per-view through our local cable or satellite provider for $24.
Sunderland have unveiled their new away kit for the 2009-2010 season.
Pictured above, Sunderland's new away football kit is white with carbon-coloured sleeves and a
yellow trim. The color scheme is completely different than the away strip Sunderland wore during
the 08-09 season, which was blue and black.
Burnley FC, the newest team promoted to the Premier League after beating Sheffield United in the
Championship Play-Off Final, are coming to the United States this July to play three friendlies on
the west coast.
Managed by Owen Coyle, the team from Lancashire will kick off their American tour on July 20,
2009 when they play Ventura County Fusion in Los Angeles, California.
Without a lot of herald or press coverage, UEFA announced at the start of the week that there
will be five referees on the pitch for all Europa League matches next season. Â An additional pair
of eyes will be stationed behind each goal, focusing on incidents in and around the penalty
It wasn't so long ago, I was completely outraged by Chelsea FC's spending. 16.6m for Mekelele.
24.4m for Essien. 19.8m for Carvalho. 24m for Drogba. As a business, the club could sustain a 140m
loss on a year because Roman Abramovich was there to bankroll the transfers. This was bad for
The voting for the inaugural EPL Awards has concluded, and the Best of the Best of the 2008-2009
Premier League season can now be revealed as voted by you, the readers. More than 60,000 votes were
cast to identify the best footballers, managers, blogs, podcasts, books and more.
All of the winners in the 41 different categories are now revealed here.
When we had to put up with the on/off Gareth Barry transfer saga all last season, one of the key
facts throughout the drama was that Barry wanted to play Champions League football. It was a purely
football based decision to want to leave Aston Villa, though the fact that his best mate Steven
Gerrard was at Anfield would certainly have increased the pull to Liverpool.
Football's magnificence lies in it simplicity. The rules, the tactics, the culture have adopted
their own complexities over the years, but boots, nets, linesmen, banners and songs all become
luxuries when we acknowledge the lovers of the game would play in the mud in bare feet if they had
When I heard that Steve Bruce was being lined up as the replacement for Ricky Sbragia, a few
alarm bells rang in my head. Bruce, being a Newcastle United fan surely couldn't be Ellis Short and
Niall Quinn's choice as the new Sunderland manager could he? Would Bruce seriously consider near
enough ruling himself out of becoming Newcastle manager in the near future by taking the job?
Everton's Pienaar launched the ball into the box from the left side. Chelsea's Mikel got his
head to it but could not clear. Fellaini headed the ball back into the danger area where Louis Saha
waited, unmarked, uncontended. He spins into the volley to catch it perfectly with his left foot,
catapulting the ball past keeper Petr Cech.
Well, the most unsurprising managerial appointment of the summer has thankfully been completed
this morning, with Carlo Ancelotti taking over as the new manager of Chelsea on July 1st. It was no
real surprise at all really and a couple of weeks ago, I posted my thoughts that Ancelotti was
making sure that Chelsea really wanted him and sure enough, they did.
Supporters of Premier League clubs in the United States have plenty to look forward to in the
next several days and weeks starting with two special new shows from Fox Soccer Channel. Here's
Fox Soccer Channel will broadcast two special programs on Tuesday, June 2, 2009.
A photograph of Tottenham Hotspur's home jersey for the 2009-10 season has been leaked (pictured
Designed and manufactured by Puma, the new design looks completely different than the current
Spurs shirt. The biggest difference of the new white shirt with navy blue trim is the yellow trim
that has been added to accentuate the design.
If we took a quick poll to find out who you think has been the best and most boisterous
supporters during the 2008-2009 Premier League season, Stoke City would win the vote hands-down.
The incredible amount of noise and hysteria generated by Stoke City fans at the Britannia Stadium
has been wonderful to listen to and watch on television.
Special1 TV has combined some of the best moments in this Best Of video which includes the Save
Berba Appeal, the interview with Robbie Keane, the news about the probe into Arshavin and much
While the season had its ups and downs for Special1 TV with some episodes being weak, while
others were superb this Best Of episode clearly shows that this show has legs and, as long as the
off-the-field antics continue in the Premier League - which I'm sure they will, Mario Rosenstock
and the Special1 TV team will have plenty of hysterical storylines for future seasons.