Since I am currently on holiday with my family, I hadn't planned to do a second match review
this week. However I caught the replay of yesterday's Chelsea-Bolton match, and thought I'd at
least give the starting formation and a few thoughts.
Chelsea v. Bolton Starting Formations
- This matchup of Bolton's 4-4-2 and Chelsea's 4-3-3 leads to the typical 3-on-2 central
midfield matchup, where the two CM's (in this case, Stuart Holden and Fabrice Muamba) would be
outmanned by the three CM's in the 4-3-3 (Frank Lampard, Ramires, and Michael Essien).
Happy New Year to all EPL lovers.Â I've written this weekly column from some interesting
spots.Â This time from soccer-mad Mexico with an extremely dodgy internet connection.Â So no time
for text per game, just the facts and the ratings.Â ESPN takes its outstanding production to the
Hawthorns this week to follow United.
As the New Year approaches this seasons title race is one of the most open in the history of the
Premier League. No one is showing form that suggests they will run away with it and five teams will
seriously still believe that could become Champions come the end of the season. Let's take a look
at the contenders.
Looking at the table and seeing Fulham currently in 18th position halfway through the season it
makes sense to be concerned as a Fulham supporter. The next thing many fans are going to look at
are the reasons why Fulham are in the relegation zone. I plan on sharing my points on why I believe
Fulham are where they are, and where I think they will end up.
When the final whistle blew at Anfield Wednesday night, the air was deafened by the sound of a
chorus of boos. That was followed by some in The Kop singing Kenny Dalglish's name and cheeky
"Hodgson for England" chants. In what was definitely Liverpool's worst performance of the season,
the team crashed to a 1-0 defeat against Wolves and gave a lethargic performance that can be best
summed up by considering the following four statistics.
A photograph of Arsenal's home shirt for the 2011-12 season has been leaked on the Internet.
The new Arsenal home shirt features a design that is similar to the current 2010-11 one, but the
most prominent new feature is a wreath around the Arsenal crest. Also noticeable is that the
sleeves are white with no red trim apparent.
Yesterday saw Aston Villa slump to another defeat to the hands ofÂ mega richÂ Manchester City.
This leaves VillaÂ one pointÂ above the relegation zone and with anotherÂ four goals conceded it
leaves Houllier's boys with a minus 14 goal difference, joint worst in the league.
Despite what some of the readers may think, I'm not a supporter of the Big Four clubs in the
Premier League. I enjoy watching them. But I enjoy watching them the same as I do the other 16 that
form the Premier League. But what I do especially enjoy is a couple of days like Monday and Tuesday
where the headlines didn't revolve around the massive clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester United and
Liverpool winning matches.
Will Manchester City top the table for a moment (however briefly)?
Will Chelsea be knocked out of the top 4 for a day (at least)?
Will Blackpool actually play a match?
Join me for a live blog for the seven matches today, which include:
Manchester City v Aston Villa
Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle Utd
Stoke City v Fulham
Sunderland v Blackpool
West Brom v Blackburn Rovers (all 10 AM Eastern Time USA)
West Ham Utd v Everton (12:30 PM)
Birmingham City v Manchester Utd (3:00 PM ET on ESPN2)
You may be wondering what the above picture represents. Well, it's the entire 90 minutes plus
stoppage time of yesterday's match between Arsenal and Chelsea. It's a "dataclock," which is a data
representation of the two teams where it measures key moments in the game, passes, shots, fouls and
You had to rub your eyes to believe it. The current Premier League champions, Chelsea, losing
three-nil against the team, Arsenal, who had finished last season in third place. It was a role
reversal of immense proportions. Chelsea played like Arsenal of last season, committing silly
defensive errors while Arsenal played like Chelsea of last year, full of vigor, creativity and
An important London derby took place on Monday, with Chelsea visiting Emirates Stadium to face
Arsenal. The Gunners looked the sharper squad this day, and a big second half breakout sent them to
a 3-1 victory against the struggling champions.
Arsenal v Chelsea Starting Formations
The home squad started in a 4-2-3-1 formation, manager Arsene Wenger's tried-and-true.
India has in recent years become an important market for the development of the Premier League
as the world's most popular team sports competition. The growth of the league has been remarkable
throughout Asia and here in South India it is aided by knowledge of the English language and a
certain amount of Anglophilia and western sympathy that has developed among India's younger
generation who do not remember the independence struggles against the British.
As the final whistle blew at Old Trafford Sunday to seal a Manchester United 2-0 defeat of
Sunderland, the focus of the title race immediately turned south to London as Arsenal and Chelsea
prepare to clash at the Emirates. United now sit top of the league with 37 points having played
only 17 matches, that means the pressure is going to be on in North London come Monday evening.
One of the best segments of the Sky Sports weekly TV show, Soccer AM, is their Showboat section
where they feature some silky skills from footballers around the world. The above video features
the best of 2010 and, as you'll see, there are some absolutely scintillating skills on display.
In what proved to be a highly entertaining Boxing Day encounter, Manchester City saw off a
resilient Newcastle side after a goal from Gareth Barry and Carlos Tevez inside the opening five
minutes of play. Newcastle will surely feel hard-done by after dominating the remaining eighty-five
minutes of play, far outnumbering their ridiculously-paid counterparts in terms of possession and
shots, but once again Carlos Tevez proved that without him, his current team would be sitting
comfortably in mid-table mediocrity.
The holiday season is supposed to be a time to come together with friends and family, but by the
time Boxing Day comes around, all we want is out football, something not even inclement weather in
Blackburn and Liverpool could keep from us. Seven matches kicked-off and completed this Boxing Day,
giving myself, Laurence McKenna, Kartik Krishnaiyer and yourselves more than enough for our weekly
ritual: The EPL Talk Weekend Review show.
It seems like it's been so long since we've had a chance to watch Premier League matches, so
today's assortment of Boxing Day matches is a welcome return. The early kick-off between Fulham and
West Ham has already ended but we have plenty of other matches in store for us today.
Unfortunately there have been two games postponed thus far.
Fox Soccer Channel has released a new version of its Fox Soccer iPhone App. Version 1.1 of its
Fox Soccer iPhone App now allows those who have access to the FoxSoccer.tv broadband subscription
to view live games and watch video highlights on the mobile phone. Previously, FoxSoccer.tv
subscribers had to pay $7.
Merry Christmas one and all and welcome to Gameweek 19. Blackpool Vs Liverpool faces a late
pitch inspection, otherwise it looks set to be a full line up over the festivities. There will be
plenty of action to enjoy as you tuck into your Turkey sandwiches and polish of the last of the
Laurence McKenna, myself and new EPL Talk star analyst John Bannister put together a short video
during this special time of the season. Bannister presents his mini-review of the season thus far
as well as shines a light on some of the predictions for the remainder of the 2010/11 season.
It may be Serie A news, but Rafa BenÃtez's sacking at Inter Milan is Premier League fodder. On
this edition of the EPL Talk Podcast, myself and Laurence McKenna talk about the newly unemployed,
former Liverpool boss. Also, we review Monday's upset at Eastlands and El-Hadji Diof's niceties for
Jamie Carragher before looking toward the weekend â€“ Boxing Day as well as Arsenal-Chelsea.
With all the sack stories and rumors emerging across world football within the last week or so,
I tend to speculate and try to guess myself which manager is most likely to be next.Â While I feel
sorry for anyone who loses their job, I understand the sacking of managers is as much a part of
football as boots and the pitch itself.
In 2010, we've published more than 1,000 posts on all so many different aspects of the Premier
League, England national team, World Cup and coverage of the beautiful game on all sorts of media
devices such as TV, smart phones and computers. Hopefully you've enjoyed most of the posts.
I admire Lionel Messi's incredible skills as much as the next soccer fan, but I'm not a member
of the recent love fest in the British media where they've heralded Barcelona as the greatest team
ever. They're up there, no doubt, but I question Messi's talent when he comes up against the tough
teams either in the Champions League or World Cup, where the Argentine routinely disappears in
matches whenever he's faced against a tough opponent.
Let's hope there is some football to watch this weekend and that the games are not postponed
again due to the weather. Because if they are, here's the next best thing we can watch. Arsenal
playing in an important Premier League match in the form of stop-motion Lego during
Well, so much for my last post!Â A lot of effort and we ended up with 3 of 10 matches!!Â One
lesson we learned, and it was a good one, is that Fox will be quick to make adjustments to their
schedule when games are canceled.Â So I've heard for Boxing Day Sunday that there is a very strong
likelihood of Liverpool's visit to Blackpool being called off as the smallest side in the Premier
League refused to invest in under-soil heating before they joined the big time.
If you would have told me at the start of the season that by the end of December Aston Villa's
big summer signing Stephen Ireland would have been a flop and James Milner had made the worst
decision of his career by moving to mega rich Manchester City then I would have laughed off any
In many ways, 2010 has been the year of Ian Holloway. The man, the mystery, the manager. After
securing an impressive win against Cardiff City in the Championship Play-Off Final to earn
promotion to the Premier League, Ian Holloway's Blackpool side has been a revelation to watch this
season, opening up teams and playing beautiful attractive football, the way it was meant to be
If you could name one Person Of The Year award for someone who has achieved so much in the
Premier League this calendar year, who would it be and why? It's an interesting question because
rather than just narrowing it to a Footballer Of The Year or Manager Of The Year, the nominations
are open to anyone connected with the Premier League.
Ah, it's that time of the year again and I simply love it. No, not Christmas, but the end of the
year lists that all end up being about the same everywhere you look. Seriously, I think every music
magazine has awarded album of the year to Kanye West, but that's a topic for another article.
One of the major complaints for American soccer fans during last summer's World Cup was the lack
of goal scoring punch from the forward position.
That fact hasn't stopped Edson Buddle and, now, Robbie Findley from drawing some level of
interest from English clubs, however.
The Daily Mail, a much debated source of reliable English football news, is reporting that
Wolves' manager Mick McCarthy is considering a move for Findley, who became a free agent after four
years with Real Salt Lake at the end of the MLS season.
Televising live soccer is never an easy job. There's no opportunity to do a re-take and chances
of making mistake are much higher than usual. When a mistake happens, sometimes it's humorous. But
often times it can be downright embarrassing.
By the luck of an act of god blanketing England in snow, Manchester City are poised to be
England's number one at Christmas for the first time in 81 years. With practically the entire
Premier League snowed under this past weekend, City's game against Everton today (3pm ET, ESPN2
USA) has been given the go-ahead.
The year 2010 has featured so many brilliantly produced viral videos for soccer fans. There has
been a lot of garbage too, so we carefully sifted through hundreds of videos from 2010 and picked
our 10 favorites which we believe are the best soccer viral videos of 2010.
Many of them are centered around the world, unsurprisingly, but most of the videos stand the
test of time.
Carlos Tevez has formally withdrawn his transfer request and has committed his future to
Manchester City, the club revealed today.
Manchester City confirmed that Tevez and the club have completed "clear the air" talks with
Tevez. And that during the meeting "Carlos expressed his absolute commitment to the Club and
formally withdrew his transfer request.
Looking back at the year 2010, there have been some wonderful soccer moments on television. The
broadcast of the 2010 World Cup was incredible to see as was the exciting 2009-10 Premier League
season. But there was also a lot of bad television. The type that makes your remote control finger
itch as you're tempted to fast forward or delete.
There wasn't much to talk about around the Premier League this weekend. Not only did seven of
nine fixtures meet with postponement, but none of the league's top five teams were in action. As a
result, our normal weekend review show that strains to make it in under an hour has no material, so
aside from a brief conversation between myself and co-host Laurence McKenna, we shift focus.
I heard a Manchester City fan on the radio the other day. He was saying he couldn't understand
why Tevez wanted to leave City because, â€˜he's absolutely worshipped by the fans.' This guy says
this as though this would mean anything to the Argentinean.
I see this hero worshipping of players like Tevez as totally inappropriate.
The question of whether Landon Donovan will go back to the EPL this transfer window is still up
in the air. The talk of Donovan being linked to going back to Everton or heading to Fulham or
Newcastle is purely rumor and speculation. Fact: No team has verbally expressed confirming interest
in the American.
With the transfer window opening immanently speculation is already mounting on who will be on
the move in January. As teams look to give their squads that bit extra in the push for trophies,
promotion or the battle against relegation, January is always a busy time. Check out the players
below who could have a new home post Christmas.
One year ago here in the Midatlantic United States, we had a rather unwelcome storm system come
through and dump a couple of feet of the white stuff on the ground. The same thing has happened
this year for much of England, and most of the matches scheduled for today were cancelled, as well
as the huge Chelsea/Manchester United fixture that was set for tomorrow.
The "Qatar Royal Family reportedly plan on a Â£1.5bn takeover of Manchester United," screams a
The problem is that the newspaper reporting the news, The Mirror, is renowned for
printing gossip without a sliver of truth to it. And in this particular case, the article in
question is devoid of any sources or any semblance of fact.
Trust Blackpool manager Ian Holloway to call it like it is.
In a press conference Friday, Holloway discussed the topic of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and
had some very strong words to say against FIFA, Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini for their
"brilliant" idea of considering that the 2022 World Cup should be moved to the winter of 2022.
So many storylines to consider on this Premier League Saturday. First up is the match between
Sunderland and Bolton, which promises to be more entertaining this season as both teams have
improved tremendously in recent years. Plus, many viewers will be looking forward to seeing if Stu
Holden can score another wonder goal like he did last week against Blackburn.
Instead of showing footage of matches from yesteryear as I usually do every Friday, I thought
I'd share a selection of videos about one of my favorite hobbies from childhood in the United
Kingdom. The table soccer game called Subbuteo.
In the above commercial (presumably from the 1960â€²s), it captures the excitement of a young
boy playing Subbuteo and imagining that he's playing like the professionals.
It has become the premier match-up of the Premier League: Manchester United and Chelsea. On
Sunday, the clubs meet for the first time this season when the Red Devils visit the defending
champions, clearly this weekend's match of the week.
To talk about that, I'm joined by The Gaffer, making a special appearance on his own show!
The draw for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 was made this morning in Switzerland. The
biggest headline for Premier League clubs is thatÂ Arsenal will face Barcelona, which will be a
rematch of last season's Champions League quarter-final which the Spanish giants won 6-3 on
Trust Jose and his team to put on a great Christmas special on Special 1 TV. The episode even
features a guest appearance by a man in red who has one of the worst costumes ever, which adds to
the comedic genius.
There are plenty more laughs in this episode and even a sentimental bit near the end.
Weather permitting it's Gameweek 18, this roller coaster Premier League season is about to enter
its crucial Christmas period. Three points going into the festivities will be a priority for all
managers this weekend.
Sam Allardyce can put is feet up on Saturday and watch the club that unceremoniously sacked him
take on his potential new employers.
It's sneaky how the Premier League selects its schedule for each season. After the massive match
between Manchester United and Arsenal earlier this week, we now have Chelsea against Man United to
look forward to this weekend (as well as nine other mouthwatering matches).
But who will win at Stamford Bridge, which used to be a fortress for Chelsea but is now a mere
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini will meet with his rebel striker Carlos Tevez tomorrow, in
a bid to save the Argentine's career at the club. The two haven't spoken since Tevez's
representatives informed the City hierarchy that the forward wanted to leave, but Mancini is still
hopeful of persuading him to stay.
It took a bit longer than usual but the sackings in the Premier League have commenced. Led by
Newcastle and soon followed by Blackburn, the sackings have come from clubs that seem to be far
from crisis level. These actions by the respective owners of Newcastle and Blackburn have been met
with almost universal condemnation.
The upcoming transfer window is so vitally important for clubs to bring in the right players
that will change the fortunes of the club, whether that be for the final push towards winning the
league such as in Chelsea's case or if it means to avoid relegation just like supporters of West
Ham United, Wigan Athletic and Wolverhampton Wanderers will be hoping.
8 games of prelude in this penultimate gameweek of the first go-round, and then the BIG ONE.Â
Clear your Sunday morning schedules because Chelsea-United is one you need to watch live!Â From
the 4 live 10 am matches, Fox picked Arsenal for the Channel, and Newcastle for Plus, while the
Blackburn & Wigan matches are appropriately delayed to the afternoon.
ESPN this week broke the record for the largest TV viewing audience ever for a Premier League
match shown on U.S. television. The game between Manchester United and Arsenal, which was shown
live on ESPN2 at 3pm ET on Monday, December 13, 2010 scored a 0.4 rating and was watched by an
estimated 570,000 viewers.
Gameweek 17 ended with Manchester United taking sole ownership of first place after they were
able to overcome Arsenal at home, 1-0. It was a tight game that often lacked the quality needed to
make it the weekend's marquee match off paper, but it wasÂ a result the Reds will welcome.
Fox Sports Media Group today announced that it has renewed its exclusive media rights in the
United States and Caribbean to the UEFA Champions League for three additional seasons from 2012/13
The agreement with UEFA ensures comprehensive coverage of the tournament on multiple Fox
properties including Fox Sports, Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Deportes, Fox Sports Net
(FSN) and FX, as well as online video streaming service FoxSoccer.
What is it about the Premier League which makes it so much more exciting than other leagues? And
what is it about those Premier League broadcasts on ESPN that make them more exciting than similar
matches on Fox Soccer Channel?
For ESPN, maybe it's the fact that the games are shown in HD (I'm still annoyed that my local
cable provider, Comcast, hasn't made Fox Soccer Channel HD available in my area)?
The year 2010 has been one of the best ever for soccer writing. Its unearthed talent such as
Zonal Marking, The Swiss Ramble and European Football Weekends. And the most beautiful thing is
that none of these three are corporate entities although all three can owe part of their success to
the gracious hand of The Guardian.
What would it take for you to stop supporting your favorite football club? Yes, the mere notion
of such an idea seems ridiculous, but it just goes to show how much of a death grip football clubs
have on its supporters.
For the vast majority of us, our allegiance to our favorite club is fused together for the rest
of our lives.
Here's the goal celebrations again from the club Stjarnan.Â It's nothing new but I'm wondering
how long something like this would last in the EPL.Â Would any club get away with something this
elaborate and if so which players?
Gai Assulin was born in Nahariya on the 9th of April 1991 and signed for Manchester City from
Barcelona in December, 2010.Â He is one of Israel's exceptional young talents that exist among
Assulin started his career at the footballing school of Hapoel Haifa. When he was just seven
years old, Assulin moved to the Bietar Tubruk youth ranks.
In the latest round of the best FIFA 11 goals of the week, the above video features a collection
of goals from Manchester United, AC Milan, Arsenal, Real Madrid and Chelsea.
This week's video definitely features a lot more flashy skills exhibited by players. The sort of
showboating skills that could make some of you either mad, especially if someone does it against
you, or drooling with envy.
Rio Ferdinand stars in a new infomercial to promote an exercise product which is quickly
becoming a hit in the United States.
SoccerXizer is the perfect gift for your friends or family who want to combine soccer with
exercise. The workout machine, finely crafted in Mexico, will help you and your loved ones reach
Joe Cole is currently playing for Liverpool and the England national team.
As a youngster Joe Cole was widely regarded as the hottest prospect in English football and was
compared to the likes of Paul Gascoine. He famously scored seven goals in an 8-0 win over the
Spanish under-18 national side.
The Gaffer and I stay in constant communication throughout most weeks in hopes we can continue
to develop relevant ideas into entertaining original content for EPL Talk. Some weeks are
chock-full of story ideas because of the dramatic nature of the Premier League which makes our job
This season there's been a dramatic change in the mentality of North London's fiercest rivals.
In the past, Tottenham Hotspur was always the underachievers, the club who promised so much in the
big matches but always flattered to deceive. And now with Tottenham's resurgence under Harry
Redknapp this season where they have beaten the likes of Inter Milan, Arsenal and came within a
whisker of defeating Chelsea.
Last week I was fortunate to be joined by John Nicholson, whose work you know from EPLTalk.com
as well as Football365.co.uk. In addition to talking about his book, We Ate All The Pies, we
discussed the plight of his club (Middlesbrough), football's place on Boxing Day, and the new shape
of the Premier League.
I started watching soccer just one year ago. I was flipping through the TVchannels one night,
bored, when I got to channel 124, some obscure channel I had never heard of called Fox Soccer
Channel (FSC). I watched some of the match that they were showing. In the beginning, I would watch
the beginning of the Saturday 12:30pm ET match being shown on FSC while eating lunch and the last
20 minutes of whatever UEFA Champions League match was being shown after coming home from school on
Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
It's one of the biggest matches in the EPL this season as Manchester United hosts Arsenal. The
live blog will begin about 10 minutes before kickoff or at 2:50 PM USA Eastern and 7:50 PM local UK
Manchester United (last 6 EPL matches â€“ WWDDWW)
The Red Devils are the only unbeaten team in the EPL and could go on top of the table with a
With Christmas fast approaching and the cold snap beginning to bite, let's take a look at five
films soccer related films that you can enjoy over the festive period without leaving the comfort
of your house, thanks to the joy that is iTunes.
5. The Football Factory
Based on a novel wrote by John King, this film is a fair reflection on the hooliganism epidemic
that caused huge problems in England.
Sunday's draw between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea was one of the best one pointers I've seen
in years. I support neither team but I was nearly crying with tears of joy near the dramatic end
such was the wondrous spectacle that was happening in front of my eyes.
When news came a few days ago that the Red Sox signed former Tampa Bay Rays Left Fielder Carl
Crawford for a seven year $142 Million dollar contract, some supporters of Liverpool were not very
happy to hear that.
I'm dumbfounded to read about Liverpool supporters screaming for half of that amount that should
be given to their club to purchase players during the winter transfer window.
Chelsea visit to Tottenham Hotspur highlighted a nine match weekend in the Premier League, with
an erratic performance from Heurelho Gomes gifting the Blues an equalizer, denying a match winner
in the 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane. That the reqult allowed Manchester City, 3-1 winners at Upton
Park, to sit joint top of the table ahead of tomorrow's marquee match, Arsenal's visit to
Manchester United, where the winner will gain first place in the English Premier League after 17
Manchester City is tied on points atop the league, and while the last two years have been filled
with discussion of the emerging Citizen juggernaut, this still doesn't seem quite right. Perhaps
that's because of the matches played column? One which depicts Arsenal with a match in hand (if for
only a few days) and Manchester United with two, something that will be rectified on Monday when
the pair meet at Old Trafford.
On Sunday, a battle took place in London, as two league powerhouses played an intense match in
front of a lively crowd at White Hart Lane. The match ended in a 1-1 draw, as Chelsea squandered a
wonderful opportunity to go ahead in stoppage time.
Tottenham v Chelsea Starting Formation
Tottenham Hotspur began the match in the 4-4-2 formation.
First against third will take place on Monday when Arsenal travel to Old Trafford to take on
Manchester United in what will be a fitting end to an exciting weekend. Arsenal lead United by the
slimmest of margins, just a point, due to United missing out on league play last weekend against
Blackpool because of extreme weather.
Hello all. Join me again tomorrow for a liveblog of Chelsea and Spurs, from 10:30 am ET (3:30 PM
UK Time). We will discuss the Chelsea-Spurs game as it happens, and look forward to the big Monday
night game, Manchester United v. Arsenal. Meanwhile, let's look at the teams for tomorrow, shall
If there would be any consolation to the unrest in which Tyneside is currently embroiled in,
than a fine home win against a strong Liverpool side would surely go a long way in the eyes of
And, having to watch the events of the past week unfold, helpless but nonetheless staunchly
faithful, some could argue Newcastle's 3-1 triumph over a reinvigorated Liverpool side is one step
towards justice being served.
Manchester City's Carlos Tevez has handed in a written transfer request and wants out in the
January transfer, according to a report in the News of The World.
The Manchester City skipper is so disillusioned with life under Roberto Mancini he wants out in
January. Tevez made his feelings known to chief executive Garry Cook two weeks ago and followed it
up with an official letter on Monday.
If you or your loved ones are looking for last minute present ideas for the holidays, we've
created a list of soccer-related products that you'll be able to order online and get delivered in
lickety-split in time for the big day.
With that said, here are the ideas for last-minute soccer gifts:
It's been a few weeks since I've written, the reason being that the most recent discussions on
football have left me dispassionate. I didn't care about the World Cup bids and their destinations
and don't talk to me about current football fashion issues. If anything the last few weeks have
been the same old stories covered in depth.
In what has been billed as the best Premier League of the weekend (let's certainly hope so),
there is so much in store for today including the biggest clash of the day between Newcastle United
and Liverpool as well as West Ham against Manchester City, and much more. It'll be intriguing day
to say the least as we see Alan Pardew return, as well as matches between Stoke and Blackpool,
Aston Villa against West Bromwich Albion, Fulham versus Sunderland and Everton versus Wigan.
Four of the top five battle it out with each other this week while Man City travel to bottom of
the table West Ham. Arsenal could end gameweek 17 in fourth position, having started it Top of the
table. Chances are it will be as you were. It has been such an unpredictable season that this has
to be the weekend where the top five match each other and pick up a point a piece.
In a fortnight of scandal, everywhere from Newcastle to Moscow and Doha, Special 1 TV has plenty
of fodder to digest and to find ways to add a twist of humor to it. And that's what they just did
with their latest episode released on BBC 3 and now available in the above video.
The usual cast of characters return to this episode entitled "The Leaking.
The stage is set this weekend for several mouthwatering matches in the Premier League. Top of
the list is undoubtedly Manchester United against Arsenal, two teams vying for the Premier League
title. And two teams who are capable of playing some jawdropping football.
So who do you think will win on Monday, the Red Devils or the Gunners?
In the past, there has been no love lost between Manchester United and Arsenal. At times they
have been bitter enemies both on and off the field. In October 2004, there was the famous
"Pizzagate" incident where a pizza allegedly hit Sir Alex Ferguson outside the Arsenal changing
room after a heated argument between Wenger and Ferguson.
Sorry to all the fans of my articles, if there are any.Â This week's Meet the Ref is a
shortened version as i've been ill in bed for a few days and haven't got enough time to do a full
run down of the weekend, but we will be back to normal next week.
In American college football they call it Rivalry Week.Â Well, we don't get all of the
traditional rivals this weekend, but we sure do get many.Â My stars are flying out like Christmas
gifts.Â The 4 Birmingham/West Midlands teams square off on Saturday and Sunday, Bolton face
neighboring Blackburn, there's an extremely juicy London derby in the final Sunday match as Spurs
host Chelsea, and the game-of-the-week has long-time rivals Wenger & Sir Alex meeting for the first
of what might be a few times this year, with the winner going top!
One of the most anticipated managerial appointments of the past twelve months has finally been
done and dusted, much to the bereavement of Newcastle supporters the world-over. Alan Pardew was
announced as Newcastle United's next manager early this afternoon, signed on a massive five and a
half year contract and charged with the task of carrying the team further up the table than the
board believed his predecessor, the now departed Chris Hughton, could do.
Usually when a team has top spot in the Champions League group stage locked up going into the
final matchday, there is little emphasis put on the result of that team in that final group
fixture. Not so when you are Chelsea and are currently mired in a run of form that better suits the
Ken Bates era than the reign of the Roman Abramovich.
All four English Premier League clubs in UEFA Champions League are through to the knock-out
round, though not all advancements are made the same. Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea
topped their groups, but thanks to Arsenal finishing second in Group H, the Gunners can be drawn
against Bayern Munich, Real Madrid or Barcelona in the Round of 16.
Several readers have asked me to share recommendations of what gift ideas would be perfect for
soccer fans this time of the year, especially those who follow English Premier League teams, so
here are 9 great holiday gifts for you, or for the soccer fan in your life.
Editor's note: I included a variety of different gift suggestions based on the type of present
but also a variety of prices, from stocking stuffer ideas to higher priced items.
By now the dust is beginning to settle over England's disastrous 2010 World Cup campaign as well
as the unsuccessful 2018 bid, but a disappointing end to 2010 for England may once again have the
critics debating whether this England team is actually capable of anything noteworthy on the
There is almost unanimous outrage at the dismissal of Chris Hughton. From a football point of
view it looks unsustainable, all the more so when instability and hysterical appointments have been
the reasons behind the decline Newcastle over the past ten years but also because by any same
measure Hughton was doing a great job.
With the dust now settling in the wake of Chris Hughton's shock dismissal as manager of
Newcastle United yesterday afternoon, the spotlight is on owner Mike Ashley and his (hopefully)
inevitable decision in choosing Hughton's successor.
Even before the announcement yesterday, the rumour mills had already been churning with nearly
every available, out of work manager being touted as a possible replacement, and none all too
eye-catching at that.
Occasionally a player will rely upon another player so much that they're less than half the
player they could be without said player who compliments them so well. If you're confused by that
word amalgam, don't be. Just make sure you watch Manchester United's next match on Monday at home
against Arsenal and pay special attention to the brew that has become United's forward two.
So the clock ticks ever closer to the season of goodwill and as a self confessed lover of
Christmas, a word of warning for fellow football fans hoping to receive that special something in
their Christmas stocking or under the tree. As the years have gone by, I have sometimes received
presents based purely on the fact that I am a football fan.
There was something inevitable about Chris Hughton's sacking today, almost if after the last few
weeks, it was a case of when rather than why. I was extremely critical of Mike Ashley's reign in
the season that Newcastle United were relegated and yet here we are again, two years on and the man
simply can't leave things alone.
Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has once again angered the clubs supporters after he sacked
manager Chris Hughton. Despite Newcastle's poor run of form, Hughton's sacking does come as a major
shock, and is incredibly disrespectful to the man who has helped bring the club back to the Premier
The Premiership, probably at the moment, is the most open league for anyone to win since its
introduction in 1992. The emergence of teams like Bolton and Sunderland is making them competitors
worthy of testing the best in the league. The league in my mind has stretched across a different
range altogether, watching a resurgent Newcastle United side under Chris Hughton and a spirited
Blackpool side under Ian Holloway, who in their own way have silenced critics that wrote them off
even before the season kicked off.
The dust is just beginning to settle on a week that could forever change the footballing world. The
decisions to send the 2018 and 2022 World Cup's to Russia and Qatar has left a sour taste amongst
all the unsuccessful bidders. But was FIFA's snubbing of bids from England and the USA all part of
a contingency conspiracy theory?
Though the caveat see Manchester United with a game in hand, Arsenal is now on top of the
Premier League, and there's only one person to thank for it. It was another breakthrough
performance for Samir Nasri, who led the Gunners to a 2-1 win over Fulham and the top spot in the
English Premier League.
Top of the hour, we'll be starting. That's 10 p.m. BST, 5 p.m. on the East Coast, 2 p.m. out
here (on the West Coast of the U.S.). It's myself, Kartik Krishnaiyar and Laurence McKenna, going
over the weekend's events on this, the EPL Talk weekend review show.
With Manchester United's match in Blackpool postponed and Chelsea being drawn by Everton at the
Bridge, Arsenal's win over Fulham sent the Gunners top, with Samir Nasri vaulting himself into the
league's elite. On a team level, Manchester City may have done the some, with their 1-0 win over
Bolton underscored by their more creative display of football this season.
Manchester United are in discussions to launch a pre-season tour to the United States next
summer, according to reports.
Rio Ferdinand, Manchester United's centre back, revealed the news in a tweet (pictured above) to
NFL athlete Chad Ochocinco this past Saturday. Ferdinand mentioned "We [will be] in the States
[next] August" during a conversion on Twitter between the two athletes.
EPL Talk's Jesse Chula is under the weather today so he asked me to step in to handle the
Premier League Footballer of the Week duties. Luckily there was one player who certainly shone out
from the rest, which makes my job easier. But perhaps you disagree with my choice?
There's one EPL fixture on Monday, December 6, 2010 as Liverpool hosts Aston Villa. Below is a
brief match preview along with a live blog. The live blog will begin coverage around 2:50 PM EST
(7:50 PM local UK time).
Liverpool (last 6 EPL matches â€“ WWDLWL)
After a very slow start, Liverpool is slowly climbing their way up the EPL table.
There are certain happenings, namely with regards to managerial shuffling and cup wins, that
live in infamy among and around a club's supporters and grounds. The 6th of December, 2010 is
another one of those dates Newcastle United can attach to an already incalculable list of
In the latest episode of Special 1 TV, a few good men star to deconstruct the past week in
football. Everything from the sensational 5-0 win by Barcelona against Real Madrid (which I watched
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The big freeze and the dismal failure of England's 2018 World Cup bid will not stop the Premier
League from rolling on. Its game week 16, time to forget the disappointment, put the heating on and
enjoy another weekend of Football.
Spurs enjoyed a much needed rest midweek and will be hoping to capitalise on any signs of a
Birmingham hangover following their Carling Cup exploits.
Hello All. Please join me back here Saturday from 9:30 am ET/ 2:30 pm UK for a live blog of all the
English Premier League games this weekend, including Everton v. Chelsea (10 AM, ESPN2), Arsenal
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After a good weekend for the Premier League assistant referees last weekend, the refs will be
looking to impress this week.Â Want to know whose taking charge of your game?Â Then now you can
as I give you information on the men in black and how they will do in your team's matches.
This weekend was possibly the most exciting one ever for Premier League football with numbers of
records being broken in what was a mixed few days for the men in the middle.
Firstly, this weekend's matches saw a record number of goals scored, 41 in total including eight
in Manchester United's demolition of Blackburn Rovers and also for the first time ever since it's
inauguration in 1992, every team managed to score a goal.
While the disappointment of England's failure to land the 2018 FIFA World Cup will take some
time to disappear and questions will be asked of where it all went wrong, one man did himself no
harm and that is the legend that is David Beckham.
As a 24 year old male I'm not afraid to admit that I love David Beckham.
Fox & ESPN made the right choices this week, though you could argue that ESPN might have gone
for the potentially more exciting Man City v Bolton match, or the London derby, but they went with
the champions, home to Everton.Â Remember, record that match and watch it last if you are watching
more than one 10 am Saturday match.
I've been playing Fantasy Premier League (FPL) for several years, but in that time the FPL
website has changed very little. The graphics have been improved in the game itself, but the site
is as jumbled it was the first time I played it. And I often find myself feverishly logging on to
it either Friday night or minutes before the window closes on a Saturday morning to make some last
minute changes and keeping my fingers crossed that my picks will do well.
It's down to the announcement for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups. There are four bids for the
2018 tournament (England, Russia, Portugal/Spain) and five bids for the 2022 tournament (USA,
Qatar, Australia, South Korea, Japan).
Live coverage of the decision will begin around 9:30 AM Eastern, 6:30 AM Pacific, and 2:30 PM
While soccer fans throughout the United States are enjoying their Premier League soccer matches
in glorious HD, Comcast subscribers such as myself and countless others have to watch the same
games in SD. The picture quality in SD, especially on Fox Soccer Channel, is woeful at times.
We go into the 16th match day with a new outlook in the title race. Only a couple of weeks ago
we were narrowing our eyes toward the two team race. Now our whites are exposed to five at the top
in what is playing out as an unprecedentedly open title race.
On this edition of the EPL Talk Podcast, co-host Laurence McKenna and myself graze across this
Huxleyian landscape and try to provide a map for the coming weekend.