- Violence inside and outside the ground for West Ham-Milwall
- Eduardo's shameful dive versus Celtic
- Wayne Rooney and diving
- Arsene Wenger wrongly and comically sent off by Mike Dean
- Spurs benefit from an old friend's mistake
- Chelsea continue to roll
- Milan derby is no contest
- Manchester City unblemished
- Aston Villa, Everton and Fulham in Europe
- Stoke, a permanent premier league fixture?
Last Friday, August 21st, 2009 was in my opinion a small step back for football in this country.
The controversial day marked the end ofÂ World Soccer Daily, the only daily football talk show in
America. The sense of community that I & so many other American European football fans found at WSD
will truly be missed.
With the Russian Premier League's most important match of the season in the books, Russian
Football Now's Chris Riordan and Richard Farley took ten minutes to break down the result in their
After their 3-0 victory, Rubin sits four points ahead of Spartak atop the league's table.
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Having your articles read by an audience of 300,000 unique visitors per month (and
Invites to movie screenings and special VIP soccer events (when available),
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It was one of the most bizarre scenes you'll see in a football match if not comical. After
Arsenal scored an equalizer in the game against Manchester United, the goal was called back because
of William Gallas being in an offside position. Wenger then kicked a water bottle along the
touchline in frustration.
In the race to finish in the top five in the Premier League to qualify for next season's
Champions League, it'll be interesting to see how contenders Manchester City (Carlos Tevez), Aston
Villa (Nigel Reo-Coker) and Tottenham (Peter Crouch) do against the usual suspects Liverpool
(Steven Gerrard), Arsenal (Cesc Fabregas), Chelsea (Didier Drogba) and Manchester United (Michael
Toward the end of his book Inverting the Pyramid, Jonathan Wilson writes about the
changing nature of modern football.Â A player he brings up to emphasize this is Michael Owen.Â To
Wilson, Owen is a relic of a previous era.
"He appears a player left behind by the tactical evolution of the game," Wilson writes.
Stoke City this week completed the double-signing of Robert Huth and Tuncay Sanli from
Middlesbrough.Â As a Boro fan, I thought I'd run the rule over what these additions will mean to
the Potters.Â I can see ups and downs in both signings.
If you're like me, you have rotten luck with Fantasy Premier League, the official fantasy
football game of the Premier League. Just hours before the season started, I had Didier Drogba and
Jermain Defoe as my two starting strikers. But after a change of heart, I decided to replace them
with Nicklas Bendtner and Carlos Tevez.
Working as a freelance journalist has its perks but one of the drawbacks is having free time
when the rest of the world is out there earning a crust. This time must be filled somehow and today
I found myself perusing the BBC website checking the scores from the early kick offs in the Europa
Eduardo steamed into the box. He shot past two Celtic defenders. Boruc charged out from his goal
and slid to the ground but quickly realized he couldn't get to the ball. BorucÂ put onÂ the brakes.
His foot slid behind Eduardo and his arm bent back, clear of the striker. But Eduardo's body jerked
forward as if shot in the back by a sniper.
We are only a few games into the season and already we have seen a couple of unexpected results
involving the big 4, these results may turn out not to be important at the end of the season but
there does seem to be potential for slip ups from some of the big teams this year so does that open
the door for a new member or two to the top 4?
Last season Manchester United rarely looked their team-devouring best. They oftenÂ struggled
againstÂ the stubborn brickÂ walls put up by sides they used to rout. They didn't dominate so much
as scrape out the clutchÂ wins. Loads of late goals in tight matches. Loads of slim margins. It
wasn't a season of pureÂ stellar performance, yet points are points andÂ United still won the
This Friday, Kartik Krishnaiyer, host of the EPL Talk Podcast, will be interviewing a legend in
football, Mel Charles.
His name may be unfamiliar to many of you Stateside, so here's some background on the Welsh
legend. Mel Charles (pictured above in a 1958 World Cup match when he blocked Pele from reaching
the ball) is best known as the brother of Leeds and Juventus legend John Charles.
Earlier today I wrote a post breaking the news that ESPN had garnered the highest ratings for a
Premier League game in US history with a viewing audience of 374,799 for last weekend's Wigan
against Manchester United broadcast. Well, I spoke too soon. That record has now been smashed by
Monday's TV ratings for ESPN2's coverage of Liverpool against Aston Villa.
In the build up to, and during, the West Ham/Millwall match violence took hold in and around
One man was stabbed in the chest, and a BBC reporter has heard that a second stabbing has
occured. Another fan said that his father had to receive medical attention after having a dart
thrown at his head.
I have football-curious friends who want to come to theÂ pub and watch Liverpool with me. So
they say. See, they thinkÂ watching Liverpool with me will be like watching regular
seasonÂ MLB, NBA or NFL gamesÂ with me. That I'll be conversational. That I'llÂ crack a lot of
jokes. That I'll makeÂ plenty of eye contact.
The unfortunate downside of modern technology means that any armchair fan can now comment on any
team without actually seeing the game. As I type this, I'm listening to Radio 5 and Liverpool
"fans" are calling for the head of Benitez. "The worst display I've ever seen from a Liverpool
team" shouts one fan who obviously missed the F.
Admit it, after the lacklustre opening day game against Stoke City, you simply couldn't see
Burnley picking up anything from their next 2 games with Everton and Manchester United visiting
Turf Moor. They were tough games, that most established Premiership sides wouldn't be relishing to
have back to back so how the Clarets fans must have felt, I can only imagine.
Carlo Ancelotti has certainly stamped his mark on Chelsea early in the season so far. A
Community Shield victory, coupled with 3 Premiership wins on the bounce has seen Chelsea rise to
the top end of the table. So far, so what then? Nothing surprising in that in itself, would we
expect the any of the big four to not already be putting markers down for the early running.
When I first started watching English football, IÂ rarely got to watch the leagueÂ matches live.
I worked in a bar with no TVs. My friends George and Noel would bring us VHS tapes ofÂ theÂ weekend
matches. George taped theÂ Setanta matches and my NoelÂ taped the FSC matches (often tacking on
Sopranos episodes from HBO after each match).
How many times have you been on the BBC Sport or ITV Football website and you've been intrigued
by a video that the publisher is promoting only to find out that a rights restriction message pops
up when you try to play it? It's frustrating especially given that BBC Sport began preventing
international visitors from even watching post-match football manager videos.
Cast your mind back to May 2009, Manchester United were comprehensively and soundly trounced in
Rome by a magical Barcelona side, inspired by Xavi and Iniesta. For many, the lack of quality in
the centre of the park was plain to see, Carrick looked lethargic and unsure of himself, Fletcher
was missed, this, a surprise in itself.
After big recent wins against Stoke and Wigan those bastions of consistency the general
consensus amongst the pundits is that Manchester United and Liverpool are "back on track" after
defeats at Turf Moor and White Hart Lane.
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Hull City manager had to wait three weeks to get young American striker Jozy Altidore into the
lineup. Once he did, Tigers supporters had to wait only 28 seconds for him to have an impact.
With his first touch in the 61st minute, Altidore posted up in front of Bolton Wanderers
defender Gary Cahill and lobbed the ball backwards over his head into an open area in front of
goal, allowing Kamel Ghilas to run in and score the game-winning goal against the run of play.
When ESPN won the rights to show Premier League matches in the U.S., the biggest worry for most
football fans in America was that the "Worldwide Leader" would somehow ruin the presentation of the
game with subpar announcers and other bells and whistles that often make MLS matches annoying to
The 2000-01 Premier League season was a bizarre one, ranging from the mundane to the improbable:
On one hand, Manchester United won the title by 10 points, on the other hand, it was delivered with
a poor Middlesbrough side winning 3-0 at Highbury. Whilst Man United, Arsenal and Liverpool were
the top three, Peter Reid's Sunderland were second in late January.
Hendry Thomas is an unfamiliar name to many English Football fans. But from the vantage point of
the CONCACAF region, he's becoming a giant, an emerging titan in the relatively weak word of
Central American football.
Thomas, is Honduran, like his current Wigan team mate Maynor Figueroa and former Wigan man
Before the new campaign got underway, many pundits were predicting the most open title race in
years. Critics scoffed, but for once the result looks set to match the hype, after the champions
became the second member of the 'big four' to lose in under a week.
Liverpool's opening defeat to Tottenham Hotspur certainly whetted the appetite but it could also
have been perceived as a mere anomaly in an otherwise predictable process.
If you won the lottery, what football dreams would you make come true? What would you do with
the money? Would you buy a club, give it to your favorite team so they could buy a player, or would
you use it for something else football-related?
Yesterday, an EPL Talk reader named Mike posed the question and said he would bring Walthamstow
Avenue, a non-league team back to life.
What on earth is going on at White Hart Lane? Two games into the new Premier League season and
Spurs have put together two convincing performances on the trot and have two wins secured.
Liverpool were put to the sword on the opening weekend, despite Rafa's bleating about penalties,
Spurs should have had the game wrapped up at half-time if Robbie Keane had not been quite so
profligate in front of goal.
Now that the Premier League has launched on ESPN and La Liga TV coverage will debut on September
13, 2009, ESPN are beginning to promote upcoming games on its network with high-energy TV
commercials. The first one featuring football supporters singing the "Seven Nation Army" theme by
the White Stripes has been playing on the ESPN networks all week and is now available on
Special1 TV will not be returning to Setanta Sports in the immediate future, according to a
Setanta Ireland representative.
The cult hit parody show featuring puppets of Jose Mourinho, Sven Goran-Eriksson and Wayne
Rooney will not be returning to the airwaves in the foreseeable future unless the program is picked
up by another broadcaster.
Keeping track of all of the ways that soccer fans in the United States can watch the sport on
television suddenly got very confusing in the past week with the addition of ESPN2 to the Premier
League TV rights package, as well as the glittering array of Champions League matches being shown
across Fox's TV networks nationwide.
It's been one of those weeks when business meetings got in my way of watching the mid-week
Champions League playoff games, so I finally had a chance to sit down Wednesday evening to speed
through five or more games that were waiting for me on my DVR player.
Fox's production aside (I thought they did a spectacular job for the first dip of their toe in
the water; small improvements are still needed before the next round), the games for me seemed to
have a magical quality about them.
While most of the major Premier League clubs are transfixed on creating new fanbases in China
only, most of the clubs have ignored the United States. Chelsea is one of the few exceptions, so
it's interesting to see hear about Chelsea's latest announcement today that it has partnered with
Adidas to develop a basketball shoe, which comes with an exclusive scarf and Chelsea jersey.
The TV ratings are in for ESPN2's opening game of the 2009/2010 Premier League season, which
featured Chelsea against Hull City. And the results are pretty decentÂ especially considering that
EPL Talk didn't break the news until 7:46pm ET on the night before the game. Plus, the fact that
the game kicked off at 7:45 ET on a Saturday morning.
Arsenal beat Celtic 2-0 at Celtic Park, all but assuring their qualification for the Champions
League group stages, with two away goals.Â It was not the presiding effort of their 6-1 away win
at Everton, but the two deflected goals â€“ from Gallas and Gary Caldwell's foot â€“ fulfilled the
requirement in what was arguably the most important match of the season.
Last week I made my Premier League New Year's Resolutions. One of which was to watch more of the
So on day one of the new season I trekked down to the pub to catch most of the Saturday fixtures
(at least the ones being televised in the States). The Chelsea/Hull match was early and it was
aired on ESPN2 so I watched most of the first half at home.
I had a discussion last week with a veteran of the soccer television industry, and I asked him
whether soccer schedules these days were more or less confusing than how they used to be five or
even 10 years ago. His response was a laugh followed by a definitive answer. Things are much more
We received a pleasant surprise today when a Fedex package arrived from Fox Soccer Channel.
Inside was a box of promotional items to help promote Fox's coverage of the Champions League.
Presumably the box is being sent to journalists and bloggers across the country. It's a classy
touch from Fox, and just goes to show what a good job they're doing at promoting the Champions
League coverage across FSN, Fox Sports en Espanol, FX and Fox Soccer Channel.
WhileÂ I tell myself it's a long season and one result cannot shape the year, I can't help but
look to the opening fixture for a sign of what's to come. I mean, I've been waiting all summer for
this! Let me know with some great football that this is going to be a great season!
2008/09 was Liverpool's bestÂ season in ages but it was full of frustration as well.
The opening weekend of the 2009/2010 Premier League season was a success on the pitch and off
the pitch. More than 350,000 football supporters packed the grounds around England despite the fact
that many of the clubs with large capacities played away such as Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester
City and Sunderland.
What a start to the Premier League season... for precisely half of the Premier League clubs. For
the other half, it has not been good at all. The reason? Every single game this weekend has ended
in a positive result for someone, i.e. there have been no draws.
This fact alone is not necessarily positive: If there were 10 home wins out of 10 it would be a
major cause for concern "Is the Premier League too predictable?
The opening day of the 2009/2010 Premier League season felt like a roller coaster ride
especially for viewers in the United States most of whom were more exhausted than usual on Saturday
morning after getting little sleep from the night before after hearing about the eleventh hour
decision by ESPN to acquire the TV rights to the Premier League's early Saturday kickoff as well as
Monday game for the upcoming season.
If there was an ideal start to a new season for Gooners around the world, this certainly was
it.Â With Samir Nasri, Theo Walcott, Tomas Rosicky (again), Johann Djourou and Abou Diaby on the
injury list, it looked like Arsenal were to start this year's campaign with substantial injuries,
though having Cesc Fabregas, Andrei Arshavin and Robin van Persie on the team sheet can hardly be
called less than full-strength.
Â If today's opening match fixture was a litmus test for the rest of the premier league season,
my bet is on the match officials. As soon as the match kicked off I had that gut feeling of "here
we go again". Now I know it's easy to accuse the officials of ruining the game for you, today's
match however was no excuse.
For as many times as Richard Dunne and Shay Given collided today, you might have guessed that
they had never played together before in their lives.
Dunne's defensive woes today nearly overshadowed the lightning-quick start to Manchester City's
season. In the third minute, Emmanuel Adebayor served up a through ball from the center circle that
released Shawn Wright-Phillips far down the right wing.
In an ideal world (read: my ideal world) Manchester City will finish
in the exact same spot as last season. I'd love to see the cash they shelled out for players this
summer come to naught in the table.
The Premier League finally kicks off again tomorrow and I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve. I've
been asking mummy for a shiny new League Title for months but I have this fear I'm destined for a
pile of knee-socks and hand-knitted sweaters. Honestly, I might not sleep tonight.
The boys are back in town for the 2009-2010 Premier League season. Click on the above image for
a full-sized picture showing a footballer from each of the 20 Premier League teams. The players are
We understand that ESPN and Fox Soccer Channel are still feverishly working on concluding the
contract so that the early Saturday morning and Monday afternoon ET Premier League games will be
available on ESPN2. However, no agreement has been completed as of writing, and we're now less than
24 hours away from the kickoff of the 2009/2010 Premier League season.
This season promises to beÂ a pivotal one in the reign of Arsene Wenger at Arsenal. Wenger has
been one of the most influential managers in Arsenal's history but for the first time last year
there were rumblings of discontent from the fans.
In the build up to the new Premier League seasonÂ the Arsenal managerÂ has again been bullish
about his side's prospects.
Rodrigo Lombello the CEO of GOL TV, Shane O'Rourke the President of Setanta North America and
Dermot McQuarrie the VP of Programing and Production for FSC join host Kartik Krishnaiyer to
discuss football coverage plans for the new season.
Every year the IFFHS releases its ranking list of the top football leagues in the world. The
Barclays Premier League won the honor for 2008, thanks largely to the fantastic performances in the
Champions League from English clubs. This ranking was released in April, but on the eve of the
Premier League season, I figured this would be a good time to revisit the list from last year.
Why do I care about the Golden Boot? What does it matter to me as a lover of a club? The Golden
Boot doesn't guarantee titlesÂ (eh, Mr Anelka?)Â or even European placement (eh, Mr
Phillips?)Â ItÂ is glory for the individual in aÂ collectiveÂ endeavor and should be a mere
footnote to the supporter who hungers for team glory.
On December 31st we throw a party, we have some drinks and we make promises for the new year.
I'm going to eat better. I'm going to drink less. I'm going to get myself on track, baby!
If we keep one or two of these promisesÂ deep into the year,Â we feel good. But the important thing
is it's a new year.
The start of the new season brings with it hope and expectation for everyone, fans, managers and
players alike. It does not matter what happened last season or in the summer, the slate is wiped
clean come August and we are all allowed to dream.
For the precocious teenagers at clubs around England they are hoping this will be the season
that will make their dreams come true.
In previous Premier League seasons, clubs have come out of the starting gate that have shocked
and surprised us. The shock was due to the clubs completely exceeding our expectations of where we
thought they'd end up in the table or the cups that they would win. And in some examples, these
were clubs that played entertaining football during those seasons and who gave some of the big
teams in the Premier League a run for their money.
For the fourth year in a row, EPL Talk will be interviewing executives from Fox Soccer Channel,
Setanta Sports and GolTV in a special preview of the 2009/2010 seasons of the Premier League,
Championship, La Liga, Bundesliga and other major soccer leagues from around the world.
Every summer, there's always a host of changes and exciting developments at the different soccer
networks in the United States, so we pose the questions you want us to ask to the big wigs at the
networks that we watch religiously.
This summer has been one of the best preseasons in years. We've been treated to the
Confederations Cup, Gold Cup, World Football Challenge and plenty of so-so friendlies mixed in with
the high-energy Community Shield. But now the season is upon us and the drama both on and off the
I'm generallyÂ not one to promote proselytizing, but I found this old pamphlet in an
antiquarian bookstore in southern Maine. It was written by St. Dickie of Assisi F.C., a reknowned
football missionary and Premier League devotee who travelled throughout North America in the late
20th century, bringing the love of English association football wherever he went.
Simon Evans, sports correspondent for Reuters International joins us to discuss Serie A's place
in the current European football landscape, Burnley FC's promotion and other issues related to the
Following Simon, we speak with our newest correspondent Laurence McKenna who spends some time
previewing the Championship and looking at the English transfer market.
If I was an Arsenal fan, I'd be fed up already listening to people saying that Manchester City
were obviously going to usurp them as one of the "Big Four" sides. It's
amazing what spending money does to peoples judgement when it comes to football and Manchester City
have certainly caught more than their fair share of attention over the summer.
Looking at the predictions that are currently flooding the world of Premiership football, two
teams are entrenched in a dogfight for who will finish bottom. No-one, but no-one thinks both Hull
City or Burnley will stay up. One if not both of them, in the eyes of everyone think they're dead
and buried before a ball is kicked.
It was the last of the pre-season friendlies. The last chance to gauge how our side looks going
into the season proper. We gathered outside the pub in our red kits, awaiting the sound of the
deadbolt sliding out of place.Â All season the sound of that door unlocking will be like Pavlov's
bell toÂ Boston's Liverpool supporters, a signal it is time toÂ pour inside, chooseÂ the bestÂ
vantage point and wait for theÂ friend with theÂ iPhone to announce the starting line-up.
In the baking heat of London, Chelsea won the 2009 Community Shield on penalty kicks after a 2-2
regulation tie against Manchester United at Wembley Stadium. Here are some of my observations from
the match. Feel free to add yours to the comments section.
The match was surprisingly much more competitive than I anticipated and it was clear that both
teams wanted to win by fielding first-team squads and playing with a tenacity that has been missing
from the Community Shield matches over the past several years.
American football writer Ives Galarcep reports that Bobby Zamora and Jhon Samuel have recieved
their Trinidad and Tobago passports after playing for England at the U-21 level. Both will be
called into the full national side for this week's critical World Cup qualifer versusÂ El
On Episode 126, host Kartik Krishnaiyer is joined in a look at the Football Pub show by Brian
Hough. Hough, also gives his take on all 20 EPL teams coming into the new season. Then we catch up
with Misha Sher to discuss the ESPN rights deal in the US, and all things transfer market from
Liverpool to Man City to of course, Real Madrid.
In my mind, the Community Shield (previously known as the Charity Shield) was always a big deal
for me. The winner of the FA Cup against the winner of the Premier League (formerly First
Division). It had to be a massive exciting game, right? But year after year, it felt liked the
jilted bride was left at the altar as the games hardly ever lived up to its promises.
ESPN faces a tough decision for it's upcoming Premier League games it'll be televising for U.S.
television whether to use their in-house commentators in Bristol, CT such as Tommy Smyth, Adrian
Healey and Derek Rae (if available, he's supposed to be taking a job with ESPN in the UK to
commentate the SPL matches throughout the season), or to use the international feed that's
ESPN has acquired the TV rights to two of the weekly Premier League slots on US television for
the 2009-2010 season. Beginning on August 15, 2009, each week ESPN will feature the 7:45am ET
Saturday game and the 3pm ET Monday game.
Those two weekly timeslots were previously held by Setanta Sports who in the past had
sub-licensed those games from Fox Soccer Channel.
If Steven Gerrard is the heart of Liverpool then Xabi AlonsoÂ was one of the lungs. So Liverpool
just lost a lung. It's lung-wrenching. I know they have a potential organ donor lined up
(AF Roma) and that a newÂ lung (Alberto Aquilani) could be on the way already, but what if the
operation doesn't take?
It's not just a Chinese saying. It's really a curse, and Pompey supporters are agonizing over
it. Last season ended, mercifully, with retaining our Premiership status and a new, supposedly
billionaire Arab owner showing interest. He was supposed to be a doctor, a UN ambassador for
children, fronting a group of billionaire investors, worth billions himself, all of which turned
out to be untrue or changing, or not quite true, or something like that.
What the hell is going on at Portsmouth? Despite Sulaiman Al Fayed passing the fit and proper
persons test that the Premier League subjected him to, he's still not completed the takeover at
Fratton Park. The fans of Pompey deserve better than this, it's not fair and it's getting beyond a
I am a football writer, but I am football reader too. I demand freshÂ information.Â I want it
now. I want it in abundance.Â Coming up toÂ a match, I scour the net for preview.Â Is playerÂ X
still injured?Â Did playerÂ Y travel with the team? Did player Z's red card get overturned?Â Â An
hour before kick-off, I'm "handcuffed" to my laptop hitting theÂ refresh buttonÂ again and againÂ
untilÂ the startingÂ elevens finally emergeÂ through the haze.
Episode 125 features Alexander Caufield, a Merseyside native and lifetime Liverpool supporter
joins us on the show to preview the Premier League Season. Alex writes for Seattle based website
Prost Amerika. Hear Caufueld's thoughts about Liverpool's potential title challenge, Manchester
City's spending spree, and Burnely's chances to stay up among other topics discussed.
OK, so if you're expecting sarcasm and a general belittling of Burnley, then I suggest you look
for another article somewhere else on the internet. There will be no mention of pets, the diet of
Burnley's population, nor its voting habits. Just a simple look at the side's footballing
credentials and what next season means to the Claret fans.