EPL Talk Archives for January 2010

The Outsiders Chasing A Place In The England World Cup Squad

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Tomorrow sees that magical mark of 100 days until the 19th World Cup begins and the chase for places outside of the main names is really beginning to hot up. Fabio Capello will probably have a definite idea of around 10 names who will certainly be on the plane to South Africa injury willing.

Paul Dempsey Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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Setanta Ireland's Paul Dempsey has been a fixture on the channel's Premier League studio presentation since he moved to the channel from Sky in 2006. This weekend was Paul and Pat Dolan's last broadcast to the United States, Setanta having lost the U.S. rights to the Premier League.

Poll: Which US Soccer TV Network Is The Best Value For Money?

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View Poll

Which US soccer TV network represents the best value for money? Vote in the poll above and share your opinions in the comments section below. Yes, ESPN2 is not a US soccer network, but it does show a lot of soccer throughout the season. But tell us who you think is the best value.

Get Your England World Cup Shirts, Home and Away

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Today marks 100 days to go until the World Cup kicks off in South Africa. If you haven't bought your England World Cup home shirt or England World Cup away shirt yet, now is the time to do it. The away shirt (pictured above) is available for pre-order so you can be one of the first to get it as soon as it's released.

Have Arsenal Really ‘Turned The Corner’?

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That's it then. Arsenal have officially turned the corner. In the same way that Eduardo's injury, Stuart Parnaby's dive and William Gallas's teary outburst reflected the collapse of their 2007-08 title challenge, so Ramsey's injury, Danny Pugh's waving arms and Cesc Fabregas's penalty will reflect Arsenal's glorious rampage to the title.

Why All The Fuss About Fox Soccer Plus?

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Alright, it's been a couple of days since Fox Soccer Plus/FS+/FSP launched on only a few cable/satellite providers. Here are my observations and opinions after actually viewing some of the programming on the channel and reading/hearing an overload of viewer opinion. As always, I'd love to hear yours!

Claudio Reyna Interview (Part 1): EPL Talk Podcast

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Claudio Reyna play midfield for Manchester City and Sunderland after stints with Rangers, VfL Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen, earning the nickname Captain America along the way. Last week, I sat down with Claudio at the Adidas World Cup Media Day and talked to him about his career and his view on the changes at Manchester City and in the Premiership.

Aaron Ramsey and Arsenal Victimized by “Getting Stuck In”

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Ryan Shawcross had no intention of turning Aaron Ramsey‘s leg into putty when he went into his tackle yesterday. Martin Taylor had no interest in seeing Eduardo's leg shattered in two when he went studs up against him two years ago. Dan Smith took no delight in the crunching sound of Abou Diaby's ankle being fractured and dislocated when he went in late against him two years before that.

The Day When Arsene Wenger’s Boys Became Men

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In the Jewish faith, the act of becoming a man at thirteen is a huge step. Standing before your family, friends, and the community as a whole, you are recognized as a full member of the community. For me as a Jew, that is the moment that I became a man. For most of you, you can probably remember the moment that you became a man.

Poll: Who Will Win The Carling Cup? United or Villa?

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View Poll

Don't forget that Sunday morning will feature the Carling Cup Final between Aston Villa and Manchester United (10am ET, Setanta US, Setanta-i and ESPN360). But who do you think will win? Vote in the poll above and share your opinions below.

Personally, I hope it's a close contest between two teams that both have the potential to win it.

Aaron Ramsey Horrific Injury Against Stoke City: Video

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Anyone watching the Stoke City against Arsenal game on Saturday would have been absolutely sickened to see the horrific injury against Arsenal forward Aaron Ramsey. The horror show tackle could easily end Ramsey's career such was the extent of the injury.

The incident happened in the second half when Ryan Shawcross knocked the ball ahead of him and tried to catch up to it while Aaron Ramsey ran forward to intercept the ball.

Premier League to Launch 24/7 TV Service Next Season

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The Premier League will launch a 24/7 TV service next season with all of the content available for selection by TV rights holders around the world except Great Britain.

The types of TV programming available will include classic Premier League matches, studio discussions, news and feature shows.

The Importance Of A Defensive Midfielder

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When watching Manchester City's fantastic 4-2 Victory away to league leaders Chelsea, one thing was paramount in that game and it wasn't Wayne Bridge V John Terry,  Two red cards, Manchester City's flowing football, Shay Given's commanding goal keeping or Roberto Mancini's great man management and control of the game.

Chelsea 2-4 Man City: Walking In A Tevez and Bellamy Wonderland

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As bizarre as it may sound, if Manchester City could play against Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal each week, they'd be in a better league position than they are now. City continue to look flaccid when they play teams such as Stoke City, but always seem to be up for it when they play powerhouses such as Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

Fox Soccer Plus May Not Be Available On Time Warner Cable Yet

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On Friday night, Fox released a press release stating that Fox Soccer Plus would be available on Time Warner Cable beginning March 1. EPL Talk broke the news on Twitter. Time Warner Cable customers got excited.

Except that Time Warner Cable won't be launching Fox Soccer Plus on Monday.

Fox Soccer Plus to Launch on DISH Network March 1

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DISH Network announced today that it will launch Fox Soccer Plus on Monday, March 1.

As of Monday, Fox Soccer Plus will be available on DirecTV, Verizon FiOS and now DISH Network. The announcement was made by a crawl at the bottom of the Setanta channel on DISH on Friday, mentioning that the channel would be available as Fox Soccer + on Monday.

A Tale of Two Waynes

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In ten years time, English football fans will look back in the annals of history and cast villainous or glorious eyes upon someone named Wayne. This pending assignment of fates will depend on the outcome of this summer's World Cup. Wayne Bridge, as unfortunate as it is, has been in the media for all the wrong reasons in recent weeks.

Why Fox Soccer and Premier League Need To Be On Roku

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The year is 2010. Fox Soccer Channel still doesn't have a podcast, which would have been a perfect medium to tell people about going to HD, and to answer questions about Fox Soccer Plus. And neither Fox Soccer Channel nor the Premier League have an official iPhone app, although in case of the Premier League, maybe it has more important things to worry about right now such as the first EPL club going into administration.

Guy Mowbray Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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Guy Mowbray is one of the components of BBC's Match of the Day and will be on hand at Wembley on Sunday for the League Cup final. Earlier this week, he joined the EPL Talk Podcast to break down the match-up between Aston Villa and Manchester United as well as talk about the English football landscape, including his summer expectations for the Three Lions.

Premier League Preview – Feb. 27-28

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Hi Roberto, welcome to life in the Premier League.

Once upon a time, Roberto Mancini rode in on a white horse, donned a dashing scarf and sparked hopes of not only sneaking Manchester City into the top four, but winning a trophy of some sort to snap decades worth of frustration in that area.

Fan Diary #27 – At Least Torres Is Back…

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Well, Torres is back. That's about the biggest consolation I can take from the last two outings. We may have gotten the right result against Unirea, but if you didn't watch that match, trust me, the outcome doesn't reflect the awful, numbing football we sat through for most of ninety minutes.

Who Do You Watch Football With?

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This may apply more to my American brethren than to my English brethren, but as I sit watching football alone for the thousandth time, I wonder if fellow footie friends like myself experience countless hours solely devoting themselves to their passion in an excited state of oneness.

Arseblogger Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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The success of Andrew Mangan's blog has branded him as the Arseblogger, proprietor of Arseblog.com. On this edition of the EPL Talk podcast, Stephen Darwin welcomes the Arseblogger back to the podcast, getting his views on the start of Arsenal FC as they sit third in the Premiership and are amidst their Champions League tie with FC Porto.

Fox Soccer Plus Could Have a PR Problem

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As the Setanta era of soccer broadcasting in America comes to a close, and Fox Soccer Plus looks to fill in its spot, the good people at Newscorp will have to wrestle with one important difference between Setanta and Fox Soccer – the Fox brand. Will consumers spend money for a stand-alone Fox channel that is not so distinct from the myriad of other Fox offerings?

FoxSoccer.tv to Begin Broadcasting Select Live Premier League Matches

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Fox Soccer Channel will begin live streaming of select Premier League matches on FoxSoccer.tv beginning March 6, 2010, a Fox representative told EPL Talk on Wednesday.

Earlier today, Setanta Sports sent an e-mail to Setanta-i subscribers informing them that Fox Soccer Channel "your favorite club competitions are coming to FoxSoccer.

Is Unrestricted Free Agency a Model that Soccer Should Consider?

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Editor's note: This is part two of a series of articles written by Stephen Lucey. Part one, released earlier this week, focused on whether a salary cap could save the Premier League from itself. Part two, here, discusses unrestricted free agency and compares the NFL model to the Premier League.

Why Aren’t There More English Footballers Playing Abroad?

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I ask myself that question two or three times a year and rarely come up with a discernible answer. Is it the language, the culture, the food? Maybe it's the pop music? Whatever the answer is, I wish it wasn't so. I wish I could see English footballers deputizing or leading an attack for Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Roma, Lyon, Bordeaux or any of the clubs in the fantastic Bundesliga.

Play 7 Classic Commodore 64 Soccer Games Online

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Some of you may be too young to remember the Commodore 64 computer from the 1980's, but for soccer fans such as myself who had time to kill, it was the best way to play soccer games on a home computer that sold millions around the world.

The C64 wasn't a ZX Spectrum, which had plenty of classic soccer games too, but the games were pretty addictive.

New Arsenal Home Shirt for the 2010-2011 Season

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Arsenal will sport a new home shirt for the 2010/2011 season which will be a throwback to the shirt design worn by the 1971 double-winning team, according to the Arsenal Insider blog.

According to the blog, the shirt commemorates players such as Charlie George, John Radford and George Armstrong when Bertie Mee's side won the Division One title and the FA Cup.

David Goldblatt Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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On the Wednesday edition of the EPL Talk Podcast we were proud to welcome David Goldblatt, renowned for his work on The Ball is Round (uk, us), possibly the definitive book chronicling the history of football. David is also regularly featured at Prospect Magazine, where he has recently written pieces on the legacy of the 2010 African Cup of Nations and the criticisms of South Africa in the build-up to the World Cup.

Manchester Utd 3-0 West Ham: Business As Usual For United

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The race to the top narrowed Tuesday night as Manchester United swept aside West Ham United at Old Trafford.

Shades of 1966 early on as Man United's Ben Foster dropped Alessandro Diamanti's dipping shot onto the goal-line. Did it cross? Sir Alex Ferguson's sometime nemesis, referee Alan Wiley, thought not.

Chelsea Are Fast Becoming An Off Field Joke That Could Ruin England’s Summer

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The Marquis De Sade was never short of a quote or two, but one that currently could be applied to certain members of Chelsea's first team squad at the current time sprang to mind after today's latest off field crisis at Stamford Bridge. "Lust is to the other passions what the nervous fluid is to life; it supports them all, lends strength to them all ambition, cruelty, avarice, revenge, are all founded on lust.

Can Joe Hart Become England’s Number One?

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With just over 15 weeks left until the 19th World Cup begins in South Africa and one player is making a real case to force his way in to the starting line up. Joe Hart could have been put out by Manchester City signing Shay Given last January, a smack in the face for his aspirations to make himself City's number one.

Fox Soccer Plus to Launch On DirecTV and FiOS March 1

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Fox Soccer Plus, the new 24/7 soccer network from Fox Soccer Channel, will launch on DirecTV and Verizon FiOS on March 1, 2010.

In phone calls and e-mails with DirecTV and FiOS representatives with several EPL Talk readers, DirecTV and FiOS representatives have confirmed that Fox Soccer Plus will be available.

Portsmouth To Enter Administration On Friday; Unless Another Investment Is Found.

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In a statement on the clubs website, Portsmouth FC owner, Balram Chainrai, has announced that unless new owners can be found by this coming Friday 26th February the cash strapped club will enter administration. Chainrai, has been meeting potential investors in London all week however he has admitted it is unlikely that new investors will be found before the clubs winding up hearing.

Jose Mourinho: Why We Love The Man

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Jose. What a man. He patrols the touchline, immaculately dressed part drama queen, part coach. Watching Inter Milan on TV is essential viewing, less for the football than for the Jose show.

Love or loath him, he is compulsive viewing. It's a no-holds barred exercise in facial expressions and physical theater.

Why Soccer Shirts Are More Than Just Shirts

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When you're wearing the shirt of your favorite soccer team in public, have you considered what nonverbal communications you're sending?

Sure, the majority of the time, we're wearing a soccer shirt because it's the team we support, we like the design, it's comfortable, fashionable and sometimes it's one of the few pieces of clothing that is clean and readily available.

Tim Vickery Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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On this episode of the EPL Talk Podcast we welcome Tim Vickery, who picks up on some of the theses regarding player developed that we addressed with Andy Brassell two weeks ago. Then, Tim talks to us about some notable players in Brazil, talking about how their styles would fit into the Premier League.

How To Demand Your TV Provider Adds Fox Soccer Plus or FSCHD

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The first quarter of 2010 has been the most traumatic ever for Premier League fans in the United States with several key changes that significantly impact the quantity and quality of matches on television. Setanta US will close its doors after February 28, and will be replaced by Fox Soccer Plus which launches March 1 on DirecTV and FIOS.

Premier League Footballer of the Week, Gameweek 27

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  • Everton for the World Cup, Adam Johnson for England and Mud.

How can you not love this game, this league, the drama, the terrible state of the DW in Wigan? Forget that last one. Gameweek 27 saw Everton continue their fantastic league form as they beat Manchester United emphatically at home only ten days removed from performing so gallantly against league leaders Chelsea.

Can A Salary Cap Save The Premier League From Itself?

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I was posed a question last night about the Premier League by a casual American observer. "Why don't they have a salary cap?" While on the face of it I know that in some ways the comparisons aren't entirely fair, it certainly is a fair question. My knowledge of the economics of the Premier League isn't as intricate as that of the NFL; however, I have a reasonable grasp.

The FA Cup That Killed Portsmouth

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Since 1996, every Championship Trophy and FA Cup has rested in the trophy case of either Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea or Liverpool with one singular exception. All 30 of those pieces of silverware have gone to the Big Four except for the 2008 FA Cup, which has been ensconced in a sacred place at Portsmouth's Fratton Park.

Drawings of Torres, Rooney and Adebayor

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Editor's note: EPL Talk reader Nicholas Buchel shared a series of three drawings he made that I should many of you would enjoy. The first features Fernando Torres who returned to action Sunday against Manchester City. The above picture is hand drawn in ballpoint by Nicholas. Below the fold, Buchel has included a ballpoint drawing of Emmanuel Adebayor (when he was with Arsenal) as well as a drawing of Wayne Rooney.

When A Soccer Match Feels Like A Nil Nil

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Watching the Manchester City against Liverpool game on Sunday, it felt like I was watching a tedious chess game. There was little fluidity to the game and mistakes were plentiful. Just as one team made a move, the opposition would make a counter-move. And moments of style and panache were few and far between.

Moyes Continues Everton Midas Touch

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On August 15th 2009, Everton faced Arsenal on a sun drenched, season opener and lost 6-1. Joleon Lescott pulled on a royal blue shirt that afternoon despite reinforcing his desire to leave Goodison Park and angering manager David Moyes. The team were without influential performers such as Phil Jagielka and Mikel Arteta and looked to be careering dangerously towards a long, hard season.

Tottenham Supporters Sing Savage Garden, Seriously

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What would happen if you took a pub full of Tottenham Hotspur supporters and asked them to sing a 90s pop song by the Australian band Savage Garden? As weird as it may sound, this is exactly what Puma did recently and turned it into a TV commercial to celebrate Valentine's Day.

Of course, I'm sure the ad agency spent quite a bit of time figuring out who would sing which parts of the song.

Weekend Review: EPL Talk Podcast

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Chelsea has increased their lead atop the Premier League, Tottenham is back in fourth place, while Everton gets three more points from one of the league's leaders. On this edition of the EPL Talk Podcats, analysts Laurence McKenna and Kartik Krishnaiyer join host Richard Farley to discuss the weekend's results.

Book Review: A Random History Of Football

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Colin Murray is fast becoming the rising star of British sport punditry. After cutting his teeth with Channel 5's football coverage here in the UK, Murray has slowly been making his mark at BBC Radio 5 through the excellent Fighting Talk. Last summer, Murray officially joined Radio 5 as a presenter and he's shown himself to be a witty, enjoyable and knowledgeable host.

Portsmouth’s Potential Demise Spells Trouble For Other Premier League Clubs

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  • The Danger isn't just Administration, it's Liquidation.
  • £22m-£26m required to see out season.

As fans of football, we never want there to be less football clubs around. As simple as that sounds, it makes perfect sense to leave it at that. The Premier League that we all love, follow and obsess over stands in line for a pretty embarrassing black eye if they can't implement some form of lifeline to the South Coast club who stand literally inches from no longer existing.

England Legends Star In New World Cup Commercial

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England legends from yesteryear star in a new World Cup TV commercial. Players such as Peter Shilton, Martin Peters, Stuart Pearce and Viv Anderson are featured and describe what it feels like to represent your national team on the world stage. The legends also describe putting the jersey on, the sound of the fans and what it felt like to have their country cheering them on.

Now You Can Follow EPL Talk On Google Buzz

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You follow EPL Talk on Twitter, Facebook and other sites. But now you can follow EPL Talk on Google Buzz, the new social networking tool that integrates into Gmail and works very similarly to FriendFeed, the company that Facebook recently bought.

At EPL Talk, we've created the Google Buzz account to give us a presence on Google Buzz and to deliver the latest Premier League news to your Buzz account via Gmail.

Poll: For Fox Soccer Plus, Will You Pay $14.99 Per Month?

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On March 1, Fox Soccer Plus will launch on select TV providers across the United States. According to several EPL Talk readers, it looks like FSC+ will be launching first on DirecTV and FIOS. EPL Talk believes that the monthly fee for Fox Soccer Plus will be $14.99 although we're awaiting confirmation from Fox.

BBC Sport Erases Everton’s Victory Against Man United

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What's wrong with this picture above? Read the caption to see how BBC Sport accidentally erased Everton's impressive 3-1 victory against Manchester United on Saturday. Since the BBC is based in The Old Smoke, maybe it's a London bias against teams from Merseyside?

Thanks to reader Griff for the news tip.

Fox Soccer Plus Reveals Weekly Programming Schedule

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Fox Soccer Plus, scheduled to debut on March 1, has released TV schedules for the first three weeks of its programming, giving soccer fans a glimpse of what they can expect on the new soccer network.

Fox Soccer Plus will show two live Premier League games each weekend as well as two on delay in addition to live games during mid-week.

Jack Rodwell Puts Himself In Shop Window Again

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If you can't beat them, buy them. That has often been Manchester United's strategy when the club has lost pivotal league games against smaller English clubs and/or have been embarrassed by Premier League players who display incredible raw skill. United has often gone on to purchase many of those footballers.

ESPN2 Will Televise Man United v Chelsea in April

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ESPN2 received some good news Friday when the Premier League announced the list of games that have had their kickoff times moved to be shown during key television times.

During April, ESPN2 will televise what many believe will be the Premier League title decider between Manchester United and Chelsea on Saturday, April 3 at 7:45am ET.

The FA, Paul Gascoigne and Help

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  • A Lion who's seen better times.
  • Will it all end in tears?

Yet again, Paul Gascoigne has been in the English media headlines in recent weeks for all the wrong reasons. The 42 year old midfield maestro of yesteryear who looks the worst part of 60 was arrested twice in a week, once for public disorder and then again for being drunk in charge of a vehicle.

Shaka Hislop Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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Shaka Hislop currently works as an analyst for ESPN, but before that he was a goalkeeper for Newcastle United, West Ham United, Reading, and Portsmouth. On this edition of the EPL Talk podcast, the Trinidand and Tobago international who represented that country at the 2006 World Cup joins The Gaffer during ESPN's Super Bowl at Sea cruise.

Fox Soccer Channel Promotes TV, Web and Mobile Capabilities With New TV Ads

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Fox Soccer Channel has released two new TV commercials that promote the channel being available to soccer fans via the Internet, mobile and television.

The ads, entitled "Work" and "Chores," show a passionate Barcelona supporter looking for ways to watch his favorite team in his busy life.

The Issue With Manchester City’s Midfield

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Along with the recent dip in form at Manchester City has come an unrest amongst the fans who have began to question as to why virtually the same team as the one that began the season so brightly currently appears to lack energy, creativity and flare. It seems as though one way or the other, the reasoning's all revolve around the central midfield, the common consensus being that Mancini has brought with him the Italian obsession of defensive midfielders, breaking the link between the midfield and attack.

Premier League Preview – Feb. 20-21

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Until the Premier League institutes a playoff for the fourth Champions League, we'll have to settle for matches like Sunday's clash between Liverpool and Manchester City to decide the fate of the league's final golden ticket into Europe's glamour competition.

City is a point ahead of the Reds with a game in hand – and it's playing at home – so if this is truly to be the year that someone cracks the big four, this match is an opportunity to strike a blow.

Fox Soccer Plus Adds Carling Cup, Coca-Cola Championship and Rugby

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Fox Soccer Plus officially announced today that in addition to the Premier League, Serie A, FA Cup and Champions League, the network will televise Carling Cup games, the Coca-Cola Championship and marquee rugby matches.

The new TV network is scheduled to launch March 1, 2010.

Mid-Week Review Show: EPL Talk Podcast

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Looking back on the mid-week action for Premier League sides in Champions League, Europa, and within the Premiership, analysts Laurence McKenna and Kartik Krishnaiyer join host Richard Farley on this edition of the EPL Talk podcast.

Topics:

  • Arsenal's 2-1 loss at Porto and the circumstances behind each curious goal allowed by the Gunners,
  • Manchester United's 3-2 Â win at the San Siro over AC Milan,
  • Everton's 2-1 win in Europa League over Sporting CP,
  • Mid-week EPL action from Stoke City-Manchester City and Wigan-Bolton,
  • a quick look at the weekend's key fixtures.

The Life Of An Arsenal Supporter Down Under: Video

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Three: An Arsenal Web Documentary (Part One) from Andrew Weber on Vimeo.

Earlier this week, we shared with you a video that showed you the experience of going to the Emirates to see a match. But what is the experience like if you go to a pub to watch a match? Not just any ordinary pub, but a pub down under in Australia.

Paul Scholes He Scores,…..Blunders

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  • What a couple of days it's been for oddly scored goals.

Paul Scholes entered into the fluke goal history books Tuesday night as Manchester United beat AC Milan in the Champions League round of 16 with a 3-2 away win that made a quarter final birth just a bit more attainable.

Who is to Blame for Foolish Arsenal Goal?

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Porto's second goal against Arsenal in today's Champion's League game is destined to live forever on any number of football blooper DVDs.  It was a comedy of errors that resulted in a goal that any 7 year old could score.

In order, these were the errors that occurred:

Sol Campbell's sent a backpass to Lukacz Fabianski.

Why Premier League Clubs Need To Think Globally, Not Locally

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What do SB Waste Management and Recycling Services, Haynes Manuals, Brindley Kia, The Money Shop, Imperial Snack Foods and Beacon Radio all have in common? Answer they're all sponsors of signboard advertising at Molineux, the home of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

This isn't meant to be a plug for those companies.

No place for a 4th place play-off

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On Monday afternoon the Premier League announced that it's in discussion with all 20 teams on the possibility of a 4-team play-off for the final Champions League spot. The Premier League see this as opportunity to make the league more competitive, as 5 of the last 6 seasons have seen the so called ‘big four' finish in the Champions League places.

Dwight Yorke Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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Dwight Yorke is best known for his days playing for Manchester United and Aston Villa. On this edition of the EPL Talk Podcast, the Trinidad and Tobago international, who represented his country at the 2006 World Cup, joined the Gaffer as part of ESPN's Super Bowl at Sea cruise.

Yorke, who partnered with Andrew Cole (Cole interview) in attack for Manchester United in the late 1990s, made his First Division debut in 1990 and would go on to play for Villa, United, Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City and Sunderland, with a brief sojourn in Australia before his final days at the Stadium of Light.

Why I’ll Be Cheering For Man United, Arsenal and Liverpool This Week

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Watching European football has always had an exotic element for us in Britain. In the 60s and 70s, abroad was a long way away. The world seemed much bigger and the visit of a team from Italy, Germany or Albania was like a visit from another football planet. We hadn't heard of most of the players, we didn't know much about the teams.

Poll: Will Manchester United Win The Champions League?

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Will Manchester United Win the Champions League?(polls)

It was a textbook Manchester United performance. The Red Devils entered the San Siro with the pressure of performing against some of the top footballers in the world such as Pato, Beckham, Ronaldinho, Seedorf, Nesta, Pirlo, Ambrosini and Huntelaar.

AC Milan 2-3 Manchester United: 8 Key Observations

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Classic European nights. When we complain about the stifling dominance of the Big Four; when we curse every transfer that sends a promising young player from a lesser club to the Big Four; when we ponder proposals such as debt-to-revenue restrictions, foreign player quotas, and playoffs for European places; when we talk about all these things, we are talking about the promise of classic European nights like Tuesday night at a raucous and roaring San Siro.

Fan Diary #26 – Not As Devastated By The Arsenal Loss As I Could Be

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I can't believe I'm saying this, but: Why take Lucas off??

We could see the goal coming. Rosicky tore down the right sight while our defense struggled to get back into position. His cross was going nowhere but to Diaby's head which had no one marking it. Diaby knocked the ball past Pepe and the Gunners were up.

A Night At The Emirates: A Fan’s Perspective (Video)

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If you're ever wondered what the fan experience is like going to a Premier League soccer match, or what it's like going to the Emirates Stadium, film director Rohan Blair-Mangat has put together a five-minute video that beautifully captures the sights and sounds of a midweek football match.

Champions League Play-Off: What’s Your Opinion?

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The Premier League could soon implement a plan that sees its fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh place finishers contest an end-of-season play-off at Wembley to determine England's fourth Champions League contestant. At first blush, the plan seems rather appealing as further excitement would be added to season's end while allowing clubs outside the Big Four the chance to enjoy the financial and athletic splendours of top-flight European competition.

5 Reasons Why Manchester City Can Conquer America

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Manchester City is considering embarking on a preseason tour of the United States this summer to establish itself as a global brand and to gain ground on Manchester United's popularity overseas.

The report in The Guardian from last Tuesday says that the talks are only at a preliminary stage, but there have been talks about staging one of the preseason games (after the World Cup) in either New York or Philadelphia.

Andrew Cole Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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On this edition of the EPL Talk Podcast we are joined by Andrew Cole. Cole is an iconic player of the Premier League era, coming to prominence in 1993-94 when he scored 34 league goals for Newcastle United. He later joined Manchester United where he collected three consecutive 20-goal seasons from 1997-98 through 1999-2000, playing an integral part in United's treble winning season in 1998-99.

The “World Class” Debate

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  • There's got to be some rules here folks.

I'm a fan of lists. If you can rank it, categorize it, number it, subdivide it, label it, then I'm usually interested. Every December I rank the top ten albums of that particular year and I'm constantly trying to re-work, re-figure and re-align my top ten films of all time, a project that's been ongoing now for the better half of a decade.

EA Sports Announces Release of FIFA Online for the PC

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Electronic Arts, makers of the FIFA video game series, have announced they will release a free PC game called FIFA Online in June 2010.

The game is currently in closed beta mode which allows players to test the game and provide feedback to the developers. It will change to open beta mode in June 2010 and be widely available.

Adventures On The High Seas With ESPN, Dwight Yorke and Andrew Cole

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This week on EPL Talk we'll bring you exclusive interviews from some of the biggest names in English football such as Andrew Cole and Dwight Yorke, as well as an interview with ESPN pundit Shaka Hislop. Our coverage began last Friday with an exclusive interview with ESPN analyst Tommy Smyth.

EPL Talk Review Show – FA Cup Weekend Edition

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Reviewing the weekend's FA Cup, fifth round action, analysts Laurence McKenna and Kartik Krishnaiyer join host Richard Farley to look at the eight matches of the fifth round proper. That, and the trio talk about the future of Portsmouth as well as Chelsea's (and England's) conundrum in the wake of Ashley Cole's ankle injury.

The Top Three Premier League Clubs Return to the UEFA Champions League

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  • They're all back, the world's best club cup competition, Anelka, Van der Sar, photographers and tasty green bottle.

It was a mas o menos weekend as Premier League action gave way to FA Cup fifth round ties. There are a few interesting replays to look forward to as a couple of Premier League clubs remain in the world's oldest cup competition, but overall a bit lackluster.

Fox Soccer Plus Could Create Chaotic End to EPL Season

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There may be a lot of upset soccer fans on March 1, 2010 when Fox Soccer Plus is launched and the network isn't available on all satellite and cable TV providers.

During the most crucial phase of the Premier League season, the run-in from March through early May when titles are won and lost and the relegation battle takes plenty of twists and turns, it's imperative that as many Premier League games are on television as possible.

Fox Soccer Channel in HD on DISH Network: Open Thread

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Now that DISH Network was the first satellite or cable provider to broadcast Fox Soccer Channel in HD on February 10, 2010, the race is on for other TV providers to get the channel as part of its programming.

For those of you who have DISH Network and you're able to get FSCHD, use this thread to tell us what the quality of the HD picture is, to post questions and to discuss the techie topics you want to discuss.

Is This Aston Villa Song the Worst Football Song Ever Recorded?

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There are many English football fans who like World In Motion, New Order's 1990 World Cup song. I am not one of those people, but I don't think the song is an sort of embarrassment to that group.

Compared to this, however, World In Motion might as well be the Champions League theme.

Is This Tottenham’s New Home Shirt For the 2010-11 Season?

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An image of what may be the new Spurs home football shirt for the 2010-11 season has been leaked on the Internet thanks to a Tottenham blog.

Designed by Puma, the image shows what may be the new design of the shirt for the next Premier League season. The image is very fuzzy but was shot from a Puma vendor catalog released in the United States.

Who Should Replace Ashley Cole In the England World Cup Squad?

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It was all going all too swimmingly in the run-up to the World Cup, wasn't it England supporters? That vindaloo dinner was digesting so well. A triumphant qualifying campaign, including two supremely satisfying Croatia thumpings. A seemingly straightforward World Cup draw. Rooney on a rampage.

What Will Happen to Setanta-i?

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When Setanta US goes off air at the end of February 28, 2010, what will happen to Setanta-i, the broadband channel that many of us, myself included, have learned to love especially when watching Premier League games?

The good news is that even though Setanta US is going out of business, Setanta-i will still continue.

Tommy Smyth Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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Tommy Smyth is one of the most prominent personalities covering soccer at ESPN. Earlier this week, Tommy sat down with The Gaffer for this edition of the EPL Talk podcast.

Don't forget that the EPL Talk Podcast is the only Premier League interview and analysis podcast available for free.

Will Chelsea Win The Title?

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It all looked so easy on Sunday. Despite losing the titanic battle for possession and corners, Chelsea garnered enough wherewithall to dismiss title rivals Arsenal 2-0, moving solidly to the top of the table. Arsenal were dead and buried; United were still walking their admittedly impressive tightrope, though never far away from collapsing around a broken Rooney metatarsal heck, even John Terry was getting praised for his performance.

Premier League Footballer of the Week, Gameweek 26

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  • Quality Programming v the Direct Influence of Reality TV on Stupidity
  • Hovering, the mother-ship runs low on Petrol
  • Some Boys in Blue

The exhausting marathon that was analyzing a full 90 minutes of six matches followed by bits and pieces of the remaining four that took place on Tuesday and Wednesday this week is now thankfully over.

ESPN to Broadcast All 2010 World Cup Games On ESPN Radio: Exclusive

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ESPN will broadcast all 2010 World Cup games this summer live on ESPN Radio in addition to its coverage on television, broadband and mobile phones.

Tommy Smyth has been named as the lead analyst for ESPN Radio and will probably do all of the games as well as being in the stadium to broadcast the World Cup Final live.

Why 3-D Soccer Broadcasts Are Not For Me

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The hype about 3-D in recent weeks has been immense. First it was ESPN announcing it would unveil the first 3-D television network this summer and would show up to 25 World Cup games in 3-D. Second, Sky Sports debuted the first Premier League game in 3-D when it broadcasted Arsenal against Manchester United in three dimension at select locations around England.

EPL Talk Podcast: Mid-Week Review Show

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Key fixtures at the Emirates, Goodison, and Villa Park bring Laurence McKenna and Richard Farley together for a mid-week review show. In addition to the results and their implications on the Premier League table, Laurence and Richard talk about the crisis at Portsmouth and the conflict between boardroom and manager at West Ham.

Helpful Advice for All Of Us Who Want Fox Soccer Channel in HD!

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The vast majority of questions and concerns over the past month in the American soccer viewing world have nearly all been centered on the availability of Fox Soccer Channel in High Definition. With today's reported release of Fox Soccer Channel in HD on Dish Network, soccer fans in America are either fuming or cheering, depending on who your cable/satellite provider is.

Tottenham Champions League

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How far can Harry Redknapp take his Tottenham Hotspur team? A thumping 3-0 victory over Manchester City on earlier in the season cemented their status as perennial fourth place chasers. But who will drop out of the top four to make way for Spurs? And does Mr. Redknapp have the financial clout to usurp one of the traditional big four?

Man City Got The Right Man With Adam Johnson Signing

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If you hadn't been paying attention to Middlesbrough last season or the first half of the current campaign in the Championship – and let's face it – most people don't pay much attention to Middlesbrough – you won't have seen how good Adam Johnson is.

A graduate of Middlesbrough's fantastic youth academy, many Boro people have thought for many years now that Johnson is the very best players the club has ever produced.

Fox to Televise Champions League Final, Not FX

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Fox, not FX nor Fox Soccer Channel, will show the live broadcast of the 2009-2010 Champions League Final this May according to a report in the industry publication Sports Business Journal.

What exactly happened to force the change was not explained, but the change is a massive boost for soccer fans in the United States as it means this will be the first time that the Fox Network has shown a soccer game.

Showwww Hodgson the Moneeeeeyyyy

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Fulham manager Roy Hodgson put an early bug in Mohamed Al Fayed's ear for coinage toward the'10-'11 season. After reading about it and watching his current patchwork team, decimated by injuries, put together two wins and a draw while keeping three clean sheets in a row- in addition to morphing/improving steadily over the course of the last two and a half seasons- I'm thinking, "Does any manager in the Prem have more of a right to some cold cash money than Hodgson?

ESPN Reaches Deal To Show More Premier League Games In U.S.: Exclusive

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ESPN has reached an agreement with Fox Sports International to sub-license more Premier League games beginning with the 2010-2011 season, a source confirmed to EPL Talk on Tuesday.

The number of games ESPN will show during the 2010-2011 season will be 83, which is almost double the number of Premier League games shown (48) by ESPN during the current 2009-2010 season.

Andy Brassell Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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This episode of the EPL Talk podcast is a continuation of yesterday's Major League Soccer Talk podcast, where we spent thirty minutes talking to Andy Brassell about the Algerian national team, as well as other issues surrounding English football.

Algeria is in a World Cup group with both England and the United States.

England Away Football Shirt for 2010 World Cup Revealed

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Umbro today revealed pictures of the new England away soccer shirt for the 2010 World Cup. The red design is reminiscent of the England away shirt from the 1966 World Cup and features white cuffs and a round collar and the England Three Lions crest above the heart with a red star to identify England's one World Cup Final victory.

Fan Diary #25: Going Into Arsenal v. Liverpool

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It's hard to know how to call this match. On one hand Liverpool are coming off back-to-back victories including a ten-man derby win. On the other Arsenal definitely have something to prove after Manchester United and Chelsea have patently exposed the holes in their armor. They'll see us as a big team they can beat (because they've already done it this season).

The Own Goal Debate

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By definition, an own goal occurs in association football when a player scores a goal that is registered to his or her own team. That definition was in fact one of many I found while scouring the Internet, but most of the others are similar in that they mention players knocking or kicking the ball into their own net.

Simon Hattenstone Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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Simon Hattenstone is a features writer for the Guardian who used to write a weekly sports column.  He joined the EPL Talk podcast  to talk about his background as a Manchester City supporter, the John Terry affair, and his background in sports writing.

Don't forget that the EPL Talk Podcast is the only Premier League interview and analysis podcast available for free.

Why Wayne Bridge Needs To Grow Up After John Terry Episode

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Not many think Capello has made the wrong decision to strip Terry of the England captaincy. But I think its an awful decison. I'm not concerned with Terry in the slightest, nor Bridge. But as soon as you start making decisions because there's a media howl so to do, you are in trouble.

Finding The Balance Between Soccer and Advertising

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Many of you will probably not like what I'm going to say, but I think we as soccer fans, myself included, are very hard to please. We want HD. We don't want a sports ticker across the bottom. We want a clean presentation on screen with very few bugs, just the beautiful game. We want the best football commentators.

Fan Diary #24: Recovering From The Derby

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Yes, I should be all wound up about the upcoming Arsenal match. Yes, that should be all I think about. But I'm still buzzing from Saturday's derby. I went from being a shifty mess during the ninety minutes to climbing the walls and swinging from the chandeliers with pure elation once that final whistle blew.

Top 5 Harry Redknapp Signings

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Harry Redknapp is known as a bit of a wheeler dealer, scouring the football bargain bins for days. He is so good at finding bargains he takes half of January off to play the Wii with son Jamie. It is also reported Redknapp once sold ice to Eskimos, but this hasn't been confirmed but Mr. Redknapp's representatives.

Premier League Footballer of the Week, Gameweek 25

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  • Feeling the need to award some warm goal scorers this week.
  • Feeling the need to award some ice cold shot stoppers this week.
  • Feeling the need for some warmth from this ice cold week.

There were derbies galore this weekend including a dramatic West Midlands derby featuring Wolves and Birmingham City and a certain 36 year old who proved he's still got something in the tank, a bruising Merseyside derby that could have ended 9 v 9 or less, and a highly anticipated London derby where one team of giants continued their pursuit of silverware and the other team of beautiful passing gnomes gracefully bowed out of the title race.

Manchester United’s Defensive Solution

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One player highly thought of and sought after is Bari defender Andrea Ranocchia, who is one of the hottest defensive prospects currently plying his trade in Europe. Manchester United seen particularly interested along with cross town rivals Manchester City and Chelsea.

The 21 year-old, Italy under 21 international has been in superb form for the newly promoted side as they surged up the Serie A table.

Arsenal Drogged, Title Aspirations Smashed

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The word "drog" should be in the dictionary(no not the urban one). "Drog" verb- Completely dominating one's opponent in the style of an Ivorian footballing machine.

It was an all too familiar story at Stamford Bridge. Dider Drogba, 12 goals in 12 games against Arsenal.

EPL Talk Podcast: Weekend Review Show

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This weekend's EPL Talk review show features Laurence McKenna, Kartik Krishnaiyer and Richard Farley discussing Chelsea downing Arsenal, the stalemate at White Hart Lane, and Liverpool's victory in the Merseyside Derby. That, a close look at the relegation battle, a look at England's Euro 2010 draw, and a look back at Friday's news: John Terry, removed from his Three Lions captaincy.

Top 5 Aston Villa Players of the Last Decade

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Aston Villa are riding high under the tutelage of Martin O'Neill, a good crop of young English player have established the club in the higher echelons of the Premier League, but the last ten years has seen a number of player come and go at Villa Park, but who are the top five from the previous decade.

Altidore Scores First Premier League Goal As Hull City Upsets Man City

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Had you wagered with any American soccer fan back in August that Landon Donovan would score his first Premier League goal before Jozy Altidore, he probably would have taken you up on it. You would have won that bet, too, as Altidore has struggled to find his form in his first Premier League season, leaving many Americans wondering why he hasn't succeeded in England like he has in CONCACAF.

Arteta, Everton Suffer From Tim Duncan Syndrome

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When Tim Duncan was a senior at Wake Forest University, his teammates often utilized a very basic strategy: 1.) get the ball to Duncan, and 2.) watch him play. A 7-footer can only do so much on a basketball court, however, and the lack of real help from Duncan's teammates allowed opponents to double- and triple-team Duncan, decreasing his effectiveness.

Fan Diary #23: I Love The Smell Of The Merseyside Derby In The Morning

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Aquilani: Ready to start in a derby?

7:45am. That's the time to tune in here in Boston if you want to see Liverpool FC take on Everton FC. And though I could feasibly be at work tonight until 3:30am (that's if I get the closing section: worst case scenario—I could be out as early as 11pm, but I'm not getting my hopes up until my manager says I am free), I will be at the pub, coffee in hand ready to take in another Merseyside derby.

John Terry Out as England Captain, Rio Ferdinand Promoted

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John Terry has been removed as England men's national team captain, according to Sky Sports.

Fabio Capello is said to have given the Chelsea captain the verdict during a short meeting on Friday at Wembley.

The FA released a statement from Capello outlining his decision:

"After much thought, I have made the decision that it will be best for me to take the captaincy away from John Terry.

Chelsea-Arsenal: What Arsène Wenger Can Use From Loss to Manchester United

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Arsenal's Nicklas Bendtner, returning to health for the Gunners, could play a pivotal role in Sunday's match against Chelsea, if Arsène Wenger takes a page from Alex Ferguson's book. (Photo: Newscom)

If Arsène Wenger and Arsenal can take a page from Sir Alex Ferguson's book, the Gunners can replicate last year's result at Stamford Bridge.

Once In A Lifetime Film Review

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Pele, Franz Beckenbauer, Carlos Alberto, Giorgio Chinaglia The New York Cosmos. The mission: conquer America. Once In A Lifetime (2006) is the documentary film about the rise and fall of the North American Soccer League (NASL) told from the mouths and memories and seen through the eyes of players and staff from the New York Cosmos.

Stewart Robson Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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Stewart Robson made 150 league appearances as a midfielder for Arsenal in the first half of the 1980s before moving on to stays with West Ham and Coventry City. On this edition of the EPL Talk podcast, Robson talks about his playing career and his view of the Premiership from his role with Arsenal TV.

Fox Soccer Report Will Not Be Aired in HD Anytime Soon

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While the Fox Soccer Channel HD saga has more twists and turns than a well crafted thriller, one storyline that we know the ending to is that you won't see Fox Soccer Report in HD anytime soon.

Fox Soccer Report (FSR) is a nightly news program that airs on Fox Soccer Channel.

Portsmouth Football Club Now For Sale On eBay

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Times are bad at Portsmouth Football Club, but when the club is put up for sale on eBay, you know things can only get worse.

To be clear, the actual listing is a prank. But there's already been 80 bids and the highest bid is now at £999,999.00

The auction is listed as "Portsmouth City Football Club Ltd.

Oliver Kay Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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Oliver Kay is a Chief Football Correspondent for the Times. Â He joins us on the Thursday edition of the podcast to talk about the current state of the Premier League, the John Terry saga, the state of the England national team, his background in sports journalism and the future of coverage in a struggling print media.

Premier League Preview – Feb. 6-7

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Another Big Four match and the Merseyside Derby highlight this weekend's slate, but really, the one key question is this:

Will Arsenal fall from title to contender to afterthought in a week's time?

That may sound a bit drastic, but after falling to Manchester United last weekend the Gunners now have to cross London and face front-running Chelsea.

Soccer Podcasts: The Complete List

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It's incredible to see the number of soccer podcasts continually grow. A few years ago it was only a handful. Now, there are more than 55, many of them excellent in quality, and there'll be several more added in time for this summer's World Cup. The choices seem almost endless, so I thought I'd compile a comprehensive list of the soccer podcasts available.

Revealed: First Images Of Fox Soccer Channel HD

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EPL Talk has the first images of Fox Soccer Channel HD. Ever since Fox switched to HD on Thursday, January 28, soccer fans around the United States have been calling their cable and satellite providers to find out when the soccer network's HD signal will be added to the channel listings.

Questions Please for Andrew Cole, Dwight Yorke and Shaka Hislop

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If you've ever had a question you've always wanted to ask Andrew Cole, Dwight Yorke or Shaka Hislop, here's your opportunity.

Later this week, I'll be sitting down separately with each of the three football legends for one-on-one interviews to discuss their careers, their work in broadcasting and some of the highlights of their life such as, for Yorke and Cole, winning the treble in 1999 (including the Champions League) with Manchester United, and, for Hislop, playing in the 2006 World Cup.

Fever Pitch

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Many of you may have already seen this movie, or read the book on which it was based. I recently re-watched Fever Pitch again for the first time in a few years. It's a movie that, at the heart of it, tells the story of the childlike enthusiasm the protagonist has for Arsenal. The movie is an adaptation of Nick Hornby's novel of the same name, intertwining the love life of the main character with the 88-89 season that culminated in Arsenal's first championship in 28 years.

Gary O’Reilly Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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Gary O'Reilly is a former defender for Spur, Crystal Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion who now works as a commentator with TWI. He joined Kartik Krishnaiyer earlier this week, when he was interviewed for this edition of the EPL Talk Podcast.

Don't forget that the EPL Talk Podcast is the only Premier League interview and analysis podcast available for free.

John Terry Scandal May Help England, Not Hurt Them

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There are few worse sights in life than the British public led by a feral media into a moral uproar. I mistrust the morality of the mob. I heard one fan saying he wouldn't want a man like Terry holding up the World Cup or England. Do me a favour, do we have to like all our footballers now; do we have to find them morally and politically acceptable too?

Fox Soccer Channel HD Launch Frustrates Soccer Fans

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The anticipation and excitement of Fox Soccer Channel launching in HD has been building for ten months now ever since the January 2010 date was first announced last April. Soccer fans across the United States have been drooling at the prospect of watching their favorite Premier League team and international football in glorious HD on FSC.