EPL Talk Archives for January 2010

John Turnbull Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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John Turnbull is the proprietor of The Global Game and an editor of the book by the same name (uk, us). On Wednesday's edition of the EPL Talk podcast he joins me to talk about the importance of football in day-to-day life, the implications of the extended reach (and influence) of the Premier League, and his Arsenal fan's view of Wednesday's Champions League match at the Emirates.

No Coincidence: Frank Lampard’s Return to Form Coincides With Chelsea’s

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As Frank Lampard goes, Chelsea goes; an adage that has served the west Londoners well over the past decade, as Lampard's form rarely takes prolonged dips. But for the month of February and first half of March, the engine that has driven Chelsea to such great successes was showing a few leaks.

Who Would Win in a Real Fight Between David Moyes and Roberto Mancini?

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It's quite possibly last week's news, but you've got to admit, the spat and potential bust up between Everton's David Moyes and Manchester City's Roberto Mancini was a little taste of some quality entertainment. EPL Talk has never condoned football related violence by any means, but the occasional scuffle between two passionate managers, in this case, one of them Scottish and the other Italian, definitely made an intense moment into a lasting and enjoyable memory.

Man United Coming to America, GolTV in HD And More

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Manchester United looks very likely to be the opponent in this summer's MLS All-Star Game, according to press reports. That's just one of the headlines in the news. Here are the latest Premier League-related stories that are making the news in the past 24 hours:

  • GolTV will launch in HD beginning August 1, 2010.

Eriksson Gets Another Chance To Prove British Media Wrong

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You've got to hand it Sven Goran Eriksson, he gets some good gigs.

His latest as boss of Ivory Coast for the World Cup will see him once again perform on the highest stage of all and, whisper it quietly, he might do really, really well.

Ivory Coast is possibly Africa's best side and any side that has Drogba up front has a chance of success even if the increasingly hapless Kolo Toure is at the back.

Ricardo Fuller Wonder Goal Secures 3 Points for Stoke City

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Don't ever let anyone tell you Stoke City fans aren't a passionate lot who love their club and their players. Due to an outpouring of support on the recent Premier League Footballer of the Week, I feel it necessary to give Mr. Fuller and the proud people of Stoke their full amount of credit that's rightfully owed to them.

Premier League Footballer of the Week, Gameweek 32

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  • Leaders leading &
  • Chelsea score 7, Liverpool should have scored 7

And it was Craig Gordon (again) who produced the kind of performance that kept Sunderland from experiencing an embarrassing afternoon, just ask Aston Villa. Such were the fortunes and misfortunes from just 2 of the 9 Premier League matches on offer Saturday and Sunday (with Manchester City and Wigan set to come Monday night).

Weekend Review Show: EPL Talk Podcast

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Manchester United and Chelsea gave dominant weekend performances while Arsenal fell off-the-pace by tripping at St. Andrew's. On this edition of the EPL Talk Podcast's weekend review show, Laurence McKenna and Richard Farley discuss those matches as well as the race for fourth, the relegation battle, and the impending Champions League fixtures.

Why We’re No Longer Watching the Same EPL Matches

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For the past several years in the United States, the majority of soccer fans who were watching Premier League matches saw — for the most part — the same games. The vast majority of us watched the Saturday 10am ET game on Fox Soccer Channel, as well as the 12:30pm ET one and the match of the week on Sunday at 11am ET.

Who Are Your Favorites For Relegation From and Promotion To EPL?

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Not that most of us need many reasons to keep watching for the remainder of this season, but the closing of this season gives us quite a few to keep our DVRs busy. We have, obviously, the race for the title starting to get really interesting with Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal all warranting reasons to be at the top by the season's end.

Nani’s Twists and Turns Against Bolton: Video

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Bolton Wanderers 0 – 3 Manchester United

Bolton Wanderers 0 – 4 Manchester United

Every once in a while, you see a footballer make an incredible move. It's so good that you have to rub your eyes, rewind the DVR and watch it in slow motion to see how he did it exactly.

Bolton-Manchester United: Player Ratings

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Wanderers hosted Man United at the Reebok Saturday evening. The first half was argy-bargy as both teams wrestled for control. Each side had chances during the often end-to-end passages of play. The breakthrough was fortunate for United and abysmal for Bolton when Samual carelessly own-goaled right before the interval.

The Football Association Does F*** A**

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If you are the CEO of a company, you expect to have most if not all the power to make decisions. It's down to you to drive the business, to solve problems and delegate where necessary. You're in charge and you have the power to hire and fire.

However, the Chief Executive of the FA, while technically at the pinnacle of the FA's structure, appears to have almost no power at all.

Fantasy Premier League Tips For This Weekend

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By Josh Allen

It's the Premier League season that just keeps on giving. Nobody is running away with the title, there's a four way battle for fourth position and bar Portsmouth, nobody has been cast adrift at the bottom. As a result, this season has been fiendishly difficult for fantasy football managers, with shocks a plenty and consistency at a premium.

Everton Continue To Be Overlooked

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You've got to feel for David Moyes and the never ending injury situation at Goodison Park. Since they finished fourth in 2005, it seems every season starts in December due to the injury affliction that seemingly curses the Toffees. Thankfully, we're past the days when teams blamed gypsy curses for bad luck or injuries.

Why the USA Needs Match Of The Day

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Fans of English soccer in the United States have everything they could possibly wish for: All Premier League games shown live through television and the Internet. A daily UK sports news program from Sky Sports. Matches shown in HD, when and where available. Ways to get around the BBC blocking radio commentaries.

Daryl Grove Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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At The Offside and World Cup Blog, Daryl Grove is the Managing Editor, but though he has left his West Midlands roots and settled in the United States, Wolverhampton and the Wanderers are never far from him. On this edition of the EPL Talk podcast, Daryl joins us to talk about Wolves, his history in fandom, and their ever-improving chances of Premiership survival.

Premier League Preview – March 27-29

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So much for Manchester City's much-discussed game in hand, eh?

After Wednesday's loss to Everton, City finds itself two points back of Tottenham with eight matches left.

Perhaps a Monday home date with Wigan Athletic will be enough to raise Roberto Mancini's squad's spirits.

Mid-Week Review Show: EPL Talk Podcast

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On the Thursday edition of the EPL Talk podcast, Laurence McKenna and myself look back at Tuesday and Wednesday's fixtures, including the claiming of the final FA Cup semifinal spot. Also, we look forward to the weekend's matches in the Premiership, where Chelsea will be pressed to maintain their midweek form against Aston Villa.

Premier League Footballer of the Week, Games in Hand

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Having a game in hand can be a huge advantage for clubs fighting relegation, chasing the title or attempting a top four finish. Being where you want to be in the table and having another chance to improve your standing can be a positive way to approach a match. That said, most would agree that already having secured the points on offer is a better situation to find oneself in than to have to play an extra midweek match in an already crowded portion of the season.

Richard Whittall Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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On Wednesday's edition of the podcast we welcome Richard Whittall, the award-winning blogger whose work can be found at A More Splendid Life and Pitch Invasion, where he is the associate editor. In this interview he speaks a writer, musician, and Aston Villa supporter, as we talk about his approach to chronicling the game and the year in Villa football.

Fox Soccer Plus and FSCHD: Latest Developments

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It's been three weeks since the launch of the new Fox Soccer Plus channel, and almost three months since the launch of Fox Soccer Channel in HD. But what progress has there been thus far and what do we still not know?

As of this writing, Fox Soccer Plus is currently being carried (in standard definition) on DirecTV, Dish Network, and Verizon FIOS.

Zen And The Art Of Fast-Forwarding Through Soccer Games

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We may not admit it to our friends, but we've all done it before. It seems sacrilegious to say it, especially on a soccer web site, but here goes: I fast forward soccer games. Gulp, there I said it. It's true.

Let me add that I don't do it all the time. In fact, it's pretty rare but I have been known to do it especially when I know I need to be somewhere and there's no way I'll be able to watch the rest of the game I have taped before I head out of the house.

For Liverpool, the Great Unraveling Must Now Begin

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Somewhere deep in the bowels of Anfield there is a timer ticking down. That timer shows about 100 days on it now, and tomorrow it will show about 99, and sometime this July the timer will hit zero. At that point, a bell will ring and Liverpool Football Club will have to begin a massive process of undoing the horrendous financial mistakes of the Rafa Benitez era.

West Ham 1-3 Wolves: Wanderers Hammer Zola

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Despite what the headline in Tuesday night's Daily Telegraph says (see above picture), the scoreline in the West Ham United against Wolverhampton Wanderers was 3-1 to Wolves, not 3-0. But it may as well been 3-0 such was the way that Wolves annihilated Gianfranco Zola's West Ham United with three clinical goals that were top class.

Declan Hill Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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Declan Hill's The Fix (uk, us) has quickly become a seminal book in contemporary football, sounding the alarm on the growing problems of corruption and organized crime in world football. Months after Declan's previous appearance on the show, we redress the issue of match-fixing in Champions League and Europa League while looking forward to the possibility of similar problems in this summer's World Cup.

Questions for Declan Hill, Author of The Fix

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Declan Hill, critically acclaimed author of The Fix: Soccer and Organized Crime (uk, us), will be joining me (later today) for Tuesday's EPL Talk Podcast: talking about the ongoing potential for corruption in football; reflecting the issues discussed in his previous appearance; looking toward this summer's World Cup.

Park Ji-Sung: Manchester United’s Unsung Hero

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You'd be hard pressed to find a single person who had anything negative to say about Park Ji-Sung, the Manchester United midfielder who netted the winning goal Sunday against Liverpool at Old Trafford.

In many ways, Ji-Sung is the model professional. You never see him complaining.

United Haven’t Even Got A Finger On The Title Yet

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Still too early for United to start celebrating

Another weekend, another twist in the race for the coveted prize of the Premier League. This weekend saw two different league leaders and one team slip a little off the pace. Seeing the reaction of Liverpool's no. 1 fan Gary Neville, you would have thought they had just won the title – especially when listening to the talk of the fans after the game who sounded confident – wait, actually cocky – in their views and opinions.

Fan Perspective: Wayne Rooney Injury Concern or The Knee That Carries a Nation

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It seems my fear, dread and worry over the past few months has somehow manifested itself into an Atlantic Ocean-traveling orb of negativity. It's left my old injured knee in Southeastern America, and traveled the 4,000 some miles to Manchester, England and snuck into the knee of the man I place my footballing hopes and dreams upon, Mr.

Is Your Family As Soccer Mad As You Are?

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Watching the Midlands derby on television Saturday between Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers, a smile crept on my face when I saw an elderly woman in the crowd celebrating after Aston Villa scored a goal. To see her beaming and jumping up and down was a natural and beautiful thing to see.

Was Howard Webb Correct in Giving Manchester United a Penalty v Liverpool?

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The weekend's biggest match saw some great, some solid and some absent performances from both sides. I believe the 2-1 scoreline in favor of Manchester United was a good indication of how United dominated possession and created more clear cut chances than Liverpool. That said, Liverpool impressed me throughout the afternoon as they refused to gift United the space they crave in attack to crush opponents by 3 or 4 goals.

The Beauty Of The Ugly Relegation Scrap

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Speaking as a Reading fan, I remember the day vividly. In my time away at University in Portsmouth, we were playing Middlesborough away in an utter dog fight of a match in 2007/2008. This was not going to be pretty, with both teams languishing in the relegation zone, the deepest, darkest echelon of any league table where nobody wants to be in May.

How an EPL Club Can Conquer America In 7 Easy Steps

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There is talk that Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur could be playing friendlies in the United States this summer. It's music to my ears and I'm sure many other soccer fans in America. But while teams in the past such as Chelsea, Everton and others have tried to conquer the States, they all have come up short so far and haven't maximized the level of success that's possible.

Weekend Review Show: EPL Talk Podcast

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Manchester United has snapped their losing streak to Liverpool while Chelsea stumbled at Ewood Park. In this episode of the EPL Talk Podcast, I am joined by Laurence McKenna and Kartik Krishniayer to talk about those results, Arsenal's sole possession of second place, the race for fourth and the two big matches that reinforced the fight against relegation.

Premier League Footballer of the Week, Gameweek 31

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  • Stand Up ye Brave Scots!

The definition of the word epic is as follows: heroic; majestic; impressively great. Such were moments from a few brave Scots this weekend that saw their respective clubs gain a valuable three points to either continue their pursuit of the title, or stave off a potentially feisty relegation battle.

FoxSoccer.tv Drops the Ball with Man United v Liverpool Coverage

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Anyone watching the Manchester United against Liverpool match live on FoxSoccer.tv Sunday would have been terribly disappointed with the poor quality of the service.

You would think that for the biggest game of the Premier League season that Fox would be prepared. But they were not, far from it.

The Big Match from 1974-75 and 1980-81: Must See TV

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No matter whether you're a fan of a particular Premier League club, the league itself or soccer in general, the above two videos should be required viewing so you can get a taste of how English soccer has changed as well as how the TV production of the beautiful game has changed considerably over the years.

Fan Diary #31 – Fernando Torres, Liverpool’s Number Nine (Bounce!)

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Babel lofted the clearance from deep inside Liverpool's half. The ball somehow latched on to Torres' homing beacon. The defender let it bounce. Torres ate it up like a starved Bengal tiger. He kept the other defender just at bay, picked his moment and flicked the ball over the sliding keeper.

What the Premier League vs YouTube Court Document Reveals

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YouTube and Viacom unsealed many of the documents Thursday related to the copyright litigation from 2007 in which Viacom and the Premier League sued Google for $1 billion alleging copyright infringement. The document below is Google's brief asserting that its YouTube service is immune from copyright liability in the Premier League v YouTube case.

Draw for Champions League Quarter-Finals Revealed

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The draw for the quarter-finals of the Champions League has been made, and there are some delightful matches drawn. Arsenal will play Barcelona – two of the most attractive to watch teams in the world. Manchester United will play Bayern Munich – as a repeat of that great 1999 Champions League Final.

John Nicholson Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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In addition to being a contributor to EPL Talk, author John Nicholson writes a regular feature for Football365.com. On today's episode of the EPL Talk Podcast, John joins me to talk about two of his recent pieces, detailing the problems at Chelsea and Liverpool, asking how each club could have avoided their recent dilemmas.

Fantasy Premier League Tips For This Weekend

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By Josh Allen

It's the week of the Cheltenham festival, so in order to celebrate, this edition of fantasy football tips will take on a slightly equine nature. Apologies in advance for the inevitably dodgy puns. I'll try and ensure that there's not too much horse play.

Dempsey’s Wondergoal

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I don't know how much longer this will stay up on Youtube, but Clint Dempsey's goal to send Fulham into the final eight of the UEFA competition is just a thing of beauty.

Related posts:

  1. Two Amazing American Goals In English Football By Dempsey and Harkes
  2. Clint Dempsey Scores Goal Of The Season Contender: Video
  3. EPL Talk Podcast: Catching up with Paul Dempsey, August 2009

Fabulous Fulham Send The Old Lady Crashing Out Of Europe

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European football occasionally throws up the odd freak result, but sometimes you witness a display of football brilliance so sharp it takes your breath away. Tonight, Fulham dazzled and displayed such panache against the tottering giants of Italian football, Juventus, that you had to check that things had really happened.

Premier League Preview – March 20-21

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Two members of the big four clash Sunday when Liverpool visits Old Trafford for a date with Manchester United.

Manchester United will be trying to stay in first place in the league standings, with Chelsea and Arsenal in hot pursuit. Liverpool, on the other hand, is fighting to stay close to a Champions League slot as the games dwindle away.

Fan Diary #30 – Four Goals Against Pompey, Can We Carry On Against Lille?

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Aquilani scores for Liverpool!

Who were we watching? Standing in the pub, we made the irresistible jokes about how Barcelona had flown to Anfield and donned our side's red jerseys. The Liverpool side that couldn't carve out a goal against Wigan or Lille was nowhere to be seen. This was a flowing, determined outfit.

Oliver Kay Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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Six weeks ago, Oliver Kay joined us ahead of the onset of UEFA Champions League's Round of 16, venturing a prediction that the English Premier League teams would find this year's tournament rougher than those of the preceding seasons. Today, Oliver joined me to reflect on the knock-out round performances of Manchester United, Arsenal, and Chelsea.

Owen Hargreaves to Make Reserve Appearance, Holds Hope for World Cup

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Manchester United's Owen Hargreaves is set to (finally) make an appearance for the reserves Thursday night v Burnley. It looks as if the Canadian born midfielder has yet to book a summer holiday somewhere warm as he still holds realistic ambitions to be in wintry South Africa with the England squad this summer (from his mouth to God's ears).

Who Do You Want To See In The Champions League Final?

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After yesterday's final games in the Champions League round of 16, we now know which teams will be in the hat tomorrow morning to decide who will play who in the quarter-finals. But before tomorrow's draw, I thought it'd be fun to fantasize a little and think about which two teams would be the dream Champions League Final this year.

Soccer Fans, When Was The Last Time You Got Goose Bumps?

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It has happened to all of us at one time or another. When we were so excited about something, whether it was soccer-related or not, we've gotten goose bumps. For me, the last time this happened was last week when I saw the Martin Tyler TV commercial on ESPN to promote the World Cup.

The England Outsiders#2 Full-Backs

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With less than 3 months to go until England's first group game against the U.S.A on June 12th in the World Cup and one particular pair of positions are causing more problems than anyone envisaged. At full strength, the English full-backs picked themselves with Ashley Cole easily making a case for being the best left back in world football and Glen Johnson's continual growth as a player.

Ancelotti Outclassed By Mourinho In Battle Of Stamford Bridge

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Proponents of the notion that the Premier League is the best in the world – an oft repeated mantra – might want to shut up for once and take a look at the Champions League this year. For the past few years, English clubs have dominated the latter stages, now they're down to two already.

Mid-Week Review Show: EPL Talk Podcast

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Chelsea has been eliminated from UEFA Champions League, having lost 1-0 to José Mourinho and Internazionale at Stamford Bridge, leaving the tournament on Tuesday after a 3-1 aggregate defeat. On this edition of the EPL Talk podcast, Kartik Krishnaiyer and myself review the Special One's return to the Bridge and ask how the surviving English Premier League sides would fair against Mourinho's Inter.

Same Old Chelsea, Always Complaining in Champions League

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Let me first congratulate Inter Milan on a well deserved victory in the Champions League. In both games against Chelsea, they were the better side and thoroughly deserved to go through to the quarter-finals.

As for Chelsea, the storyline involving this team in the Champions League is becoming painfully predictable.

AJ for England?

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With a little under three months left to the World Cup, the excitement is building up in the air over England's chances and who gets a plane ticket to South Africa. There are a few obvious 'shoe-ins' in the wide areas for the squad – barring fitness – including the likes of James Milner and Aaron Lennon.

Crowd Songs at Football Matches Continue to Drive Incredible Atmosphere

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  • Fans of football, but not shirts

As spoiled as we are in America with multiple platforms to view Premier League matches, I get the distinct feeling that HD television viewing, as glorious as it can be, doesn't come close to attending a match in person. Sure it's nice to sit back, relax and watch football from the comfort of your own home, but the living and breathing action of the world's game right in front of your eyes, live and in person is an event not to forget, regardless of how many matches you've attended in your life.

Bobby McMahon Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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On this episode of the EPL Talk podcast, Fox Soccer Channel's Bobby McMahon joined me to discuss Tuesday's visit by José Mourinho and Internazionale to Stamford Bridge, taking on Chelsea in the second leg of the clubs' UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie. We break down the match as well as talk about FSC's presentation and the rest of the week's matches in the Champions League.

10 Widgets That Will Revolutionize the Premier League On TV

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While watching Tottenham Hotspur against Blackburn Rovers in glorious HD this past Saturday, my mind began to think about how the soccer TV watching experience could be improved. Yes, we've come so far in the past couple of decades in terms of all of the technology that has brought the beautiful game into our living rooms, but soccer fans like myself still want more.

Premier League Form XI

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Is anyone in better form than Wayne Rooney at the moment? Image: MikeEgerton/Empics

The saying goes that ‘form is temporary but class is permanent' and on many levels this holds true, however such a huge part of professional sport is the mental aspect of the game, which at the highest level can be just as, if not more important than the physical aspect.

Premier League Footballer of the Week, Gameweek 30

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Affairs remained all hot and heavy at the top of the Barclays Premier League table this weekend as the three title chasers won either emphatically or dramatically. Arsenal refuse to loose, while Chelsea and Manchester United refuse to stop scoring goals as both sides saw three goal margin victories.

Hull City Search For A Hero

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In a strange yet understandable move, Hull City Chairman Adam Pearson has removed Phil Brown from his position as manager at the struggling side. It strikes me as strange as Brown has been moved on after an impressive, if limited, performance against Arsenal on Saturday. Removal after the dismal showing against Everton the week previously would have made much more sense.

What Now For David Beckham?

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Fabio Capello was always going to have a challenging decision to make about David Beckham. After an up and down season with the LA Galaxy and a more down than up loan stint with AC Milan, Beckham was hoping that his experience and dressing room leadership would allow him to join the England team in South Africa.

The Fall And Rise Of Gareth Bale

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I've always had a soft spot for Gareth Bale. From his time at Southampton where he made quite an impression in the Championship, to his signing by Tottenham Hotspur, where he played brilliantly in his debut season and was explosive down the left wing. Plus whenever he had a chance to take free kicks for Spurs, they often found their way into the back of the net.

Weekend Review Show: EPL Talk Podcast

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The three contenders for the Premier League title got through the weekend unscathed while Spurs find themselves two points clear in the race for fourth after Manchester City got (only) a miraculous draw at Sunderland. On this edition of the EPL Talk podcast, Kartik Krishnaiyer, Laurence McKenna and myself review the weekend's matches as well as look forward to this week's Champions League action as well as ponder the future of David Beckham, who suffered an achilles injury this weekend in Italy.

What Was Your Highlight of the Premier League Weekend?

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One of the advantages of Premier League clubs being more desperate for points at this stage of the season is that it means that we get to see more open matches. It also creates more end-to-end action.

This past weekend was a perfect example of this. I had the chance to watch Spurs against Blackburn, Birmingham against Everton, Hull City versus Arsenal and Sunderland against Manchester City.

EPL Talk Podcast: How Are We Doing?

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In the past few weeks, the EPL Talk Podcast has undergone some major changes. Kartik Krishnaiyer was replaced by Richard Farley. We've since increased the quality and quantity of episodes. And we've published interviews with some of the biggest names in soccer including Dwight Yorke, Andrew Cole, Martin Tyler, Barney Ronay, Jonathan Wilson, Claudio Reyna, Paul Dempsey, Guy Mowbray, Tim Vickery, David Goldblatt, Shaka Hislop, Tommy Smyth, Andy Brassell, Gary O'Reilly, Oliver Kay, Stewart Robson and Simon Hill, just to name a few.

How Many Football Matches Do You Watch Per Week?

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The football supporter is an interesting specie. The sheer amount of time we devote to our passion relegates us to individuals that can be described as borderline obsessive, half psycho, quite anxious and certainly neurotic. Such is the grasp that the beautiful game holds on the strings of our lives that our heads turn and our interests peak with every single match, update, tweet or highlight.

Arsenal And The League Title: Looking Good

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Let me just start off by saying that I'm so glad I put Nicklas Bendtner in my fantasy premier league team this week. So often dismissed as an arrogant egotist, he's showed real ability in this past week, netting a hat trick against Porto and scoring the late winner in this morning's game.

Daylight Savings Time: How It Impacts the Premier League

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In the United States, the clocks go forward an hour tonight for Daylight Savings Time. However the clocks don't go forward in the United Kingdom for another two weeks until March 28.

That means that for viewers in the United States, Premier League games will begin one hour later than usual for the next two weeks.

Super Nick Rescues Arsenal With Last Gasp Winner Against Hull

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Two teams with two different objectives. Hull City battling for Premier League survival. Arsenal battling to win the Premier League title. So, it was no wonder that the KC Stadium on Saturday resembled a battlefield with both teams getting physical as they attempted to become victorious.

Premier League to Use Special Nike Ball This Weekend

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All Premier League games this weekend will feature a special red-coloured version of the usual official Nike T90 Ascente ball. It's all part of the Red charity campaign to fight AIDS in Africa. Serie A and La Liga will be joining the Premier League in the use of the Red ball during their weekend matches.

Fantasy Premier League Tips For This Weekend

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With the 2009-10 Premier League season entering its final furlong, there are still thousands of managers searching for an all important edge to make their team stand out from the crowd.

Ok, so there may be a select group of fifty that get the most publicity and are supposedly under the most pressure but anyone that's played fantasy football knows that it wont just be Arsene Wenger and co that are faced with crucial selection dilemmas this weekend.

How To and How Not To Handle Publicity In Manchester

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Two stories coming out of Manchester today couldn't be more opposite. The blue half will garner an incredible amount of respect and praise for its plans to spend an obscene amount of money to redevelop the area around the City of Manchester Stadium. The red half, meanwhile, is using some heavy-handed tactics to try to suppress the rising tide of interest and support for the green and gold brigade and their support of the Red Knights campaign to take over Manchester United.

Misha Sher Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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On this episode of the EPL Talk podcast, Soccerex's Misha Sher rejoined the podcast to talk about ...

  • his views on the stage of the World Cup 2018 bids,
  • any improvements in England's bid,
  • the strength of Russia's bid,
  • Soccerex's recent European Expo in Manchester,
  • American sports business models and European football,
  • the debt problems in the Premiership,
  • the Red Knights' movement,
  • the importance of Champions League for Liverpool,
  • the Reds' on-the-pitch problems,
  • his views on the new North American Soccer League.

Premier League Preview – March 13-15

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With around 10 games left on the schedule, it's white-knuckle time up and down the table in the Barclays Premier League.

Three teams are within two points of first place, four teams are within four points of fourth place and seven teams are within six points of the drop zone.

Premier League History Will Be Made In US This Weekend

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This weekend will be a turning point for the English Premier League in the United States. For the first time in history, all ten Premier League matches will be available live to U.S. viewers.

Typically soccer fans in the United States have been able to see as many as eight live games out of the ten matches each weekend.

Fan Diary #29 – Why Can’t Liverpool Keep Any Good Form Going?

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Torres: Please, get some goals in before United match...

 I'm the fan who demands my one year in denial. I cling to the hopes of last season, refusing to believe something can't be salvaged from this one (as the definition of salvage changes from Can we still finish top four?

Arsenal Go On a Bendtner

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At last a football performance to measure the fragrance of potential that has been sprayed in the North London air for many years. Finally on a big European stage it could be smelled in from afar cities as Barcelona, Milan and Manchester.

Arsenal's 5 star unleaded performance against Porto was arguably the best all season, in particular Nicklas Bendtner.

Mid-Week Review Show: EPL Talk Podcast

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Thursday gives the team of Kartik Krishnaiyer, Laurence McKenna and Richard Farley their first chance to reflect on a banner week for the Premiership in the UEFA Champions League. The team gets together to discuss

  • Manchester United's 4-0 (7-2) win over AC Milan,
  • Arsenal's 5-0 (6-2) win over Porto,
  • Thursday's Europa League match for Fulham at Juventus,
  • Liverpool at Lille,
  • Monday's Liverpool disappointment at Wigan, and
  • the weekend's important matches in the Premiership.

Is the Premier League The Best In The World?

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After a Champions League week in which both Arsenal and United cruised through, the media in UK goes overboard. There are rarely any shades of grey in press coverage here. You're a hero or a zero and that's pretty much it. At the moment you'd think Rooney had actually invented heading the ball, so extreme has the praise of his goals been.

Open Letter to Arsène Wenger

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Dear Monsieur Wenger,

I wanted to take the time to congratulate you on your team's recent successes in the Premier League and more specifically the UEFA Champions League. You've fought back and are in the heat of a title race and reaching the last eight in any competition is deserved of accolades, but the most prestigious Cup competition in the World, that's something to be proud of.

Top 10 Things Every Premier League TV Viewer Must Have

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Having followed the top flight of English league soccer for 32 years and having spent 26 of those years in the United States scrambling to find the best and most reliable sources of soccer news and information, I have the experience necessary to share with you what every supporter of a Premier League club should have to survive a season and enjoy it in style.

Barney Ronay Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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Barney Ronay is a senior sports writer for the Guardian and a regular contributor to When Saturday Comes. In this edition of the EPL Talk podcast, I pick up when we left off the last time Barney was on the program, talking about the state of the manager in the English game.

Premier League Footballer of the Week, Gameweek 29

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  • Champions find a comfortable spot while potential Champions book Wembley
  • Goodbye Landon (maybe)

There were four Premier League matches this weekend with one Monday night and another two set for Tuesday. Damn FA Cup always causing problems! I'll apologize in advance for any supporters of Portsmouth, Birmingham City or Sunderland, those matches take place on Tuesday (with Bolton thrown in the Tuesday mix who were involved in a win at West Ham on Saturday) and subsequently won't be viewed for this column.

Get the New EPL Talk iPhone App

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I'm really proud to announce that EPL Talk has just launched a brand-new iPhone app today. If you're a regular reader of this site and you own an iPhone app, it's definitely a must-have.

The EPL Talk iPhone app features:

  • The latest blog posts (updated as soon as new articles are published),
  • A comments feed (updated whenever someone adds a new comment to any thread),
  • The latest episodes of the EPL Talk Podcast (updated daily),
  • The latest Premier League-related news items from the EPL Talk Twitter feed (updated throughout the day), and
  • EPL Talk's Flickr feed, which is updated whenever there are new Premier League-related photographs uploaded to the EPL Talk Flickr account.

Behind Most Soccer Fans Is A Great Woman

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You may have heard the phrase before, "Behind every great man there's a great woman." Or as Jim Carrey said, "Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes."

While we're rolling out of bed at indecent hours or sacrificing a part of our life in the name of football, there is often a girlfriend, wife or significant other who is left wondering what this whole soccer madness is all about.

England’s 23-Man Roster For 2010 World Cup: Prediction

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There are only 93 days to go before the 2010 World Cup kicks off. As we get closer to the tournament, the pressure will increase for many England players as they worry whether they'll make the final squad or not.

Based on their experience and what the players can offer on the pitch, here is my prediction for the final England 23-man roster:

GOALKEEPERS: David James, Joe Hart, Robert Green

DEFENDERS: Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Leighton Baines (or Ashley Cole, if fully recovered from injury), Joleon Lescott, Matthew Upson, Glen Johnson, Wes Brown

MIDFIELDERS: David Beckham, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Gareth Barry, Aaron Lennon (or Shaun Wright-Phillips, if Lennon doesn't fully recover from injury), Ashley Young, Michael Carrick, James Milner

FORWARDS: Wayne Rooney, Peter Crouch, Emile Heskey, Jermain Defoe, Carlton Cole

AVAILABLE FOR CALL-UP IN CASE OF LAST MINUTE INJURIES: Gabriel Agbonlahor, Stewart Downing, Stephen Warnock, Joe Cole, Theo Walcott, Paul Robinson

As far as my prediction goes, I believe Carlton Cole would add a little bit of magic up front for England when he has an opportunity to come on as a substitute.

FoxSoccer.tv Wish List: What’s Missing

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Many soccer fans had a chance this past weekend to test the relaunched FoxSoccer.tv broadband service for the first time. While the service is much better than before and features so much more programming, it's still missing some simple features that would make it easier to use and a more pleasurable experience.

Fan Diary #28 – Liverpool at Wigan: Give Me Some Triangles

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Gerrard: Triangle Maker

Last night I hunted down a clip on my 501 goals DVD. It's Liverpool's Craig Johnston talking sometime in the 80s about Liverpool's approach:

"It's the simplicity of the game that Liverpool play that's so amazing... You get the ball at your feet... And you see players like Phil Neal and Sammy Lee—and see them five yards away from you—and they're calling for the ball, and I think: 'Well that's too easy!

Can The Glazers Really Be Forced To Sell Manchester United?

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And so it begins in earnest. After months of pressure being to filter through from fan groups, the last few weeks have seen Manchester United fans begin to turn up the pressure on the Glazer family. Do not be fooled by people giving this anti-American slant, this is not about such trivial matters as nationality.

Martin Tyler Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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BSkyB's Martin Tyler was voted Premier League Commentator of the Decade. This summer, he will be the lead commentator for ESPN's coverage of the World Cup in the United States. On this edition of the EPL Talk podcast, the broadcasting icon joined me to talk about

  • his preparations for the World Cup,
  • what story lines for summer have already caught his eye,
  • the challenges of a long-duration event like the World Cup,
  • his view of the race atop the Premier League,
  • the importance of seeing a new Premier League club in the Champions League,
  • his approach to covering John Terry and Wayne Bridge at Stamford Bridge, and
  • the performance of Kingstonian in the Isthmian Premier Division, for whom he serves as assistant coach.

Would Your Level Of Support Change If You Lived In England?

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Imagine for a minute that you just received a letter from a corporate recruiter congratulating you on a new position you've been selected for. It's a dream job just miles away from your favorite Premier League club in England. Sure, it would be a massive life change, but the new company you'll be working for will make the transition smooth by offering to pay all relocation fees as well as to help you find a home in your price range, and to ease you into life in the British Isles.

Weekend Review Show: EPL Talk Podcast

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The FA Cup quarterfinals and Manchester United and Arsenal's continued assault on the Premiership's lead highlight this weekend review edition of the EPL Talk podcast. Laurence McKenna and Richard Farley take you through

  • the four FA Cup matches,
  • the England national team's mid-week performance,
  • the four weekend matches in the Premier League, and
  • the prospects for Arsenal and Manchester United in mid-week Champions League matches.

Why Portsmouth Has Been My Guilty Pleasure This Season

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It was a bit of an unusual Saturday for me in terms of my viewing habits. I began the day by watching Portsmouth against Birmingham City in the FA Cup. But instead of watching my customary 10am ET Premier League match, I watched Nottingham Forest against Swansea City and later regretted it after seeing Forest's late winner go in to the back of the net.

The Club v Country Debate

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He's my hero of sorts, the integral piece of the attacking puzzle to my beloved Manchester United and my (adopted) country of England. He's the bulldog who never gives up, the born leader with enough natural footballing talent to make the recently departed Cristiano Ronaldo raise an eye in disbelief and possibly realize United haven't missed him quite as much as we all once thought.

What Does Fox Soccer Plus Look Like In HD?

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As of press time, no TV provider is broadcasting Fox Soccer Plus in HD. Fox Soccer Plus is on DirecTV, DISH Network and Verizon FiOS, but each of the three channels are only showing the channel in SD.

But what would Fox Soccer Plus look like in HD if you could see it?

Mother Nature Picks a Side in Lower League German Football

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In a recent post entitled Paul Scholes He Scores,.....Blunders, I asked readers of EPL Talk to leave comments remembering the most odd or freakishly scored goals they'd ever witnessed. The feedback was moderate at best, until my Father of all people recently stumbled upon what has to be the gem of all gems.

FoxSoccer.tv Q&A: EPL Talk Podcast Special Episode

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Bhavesh Patel, vice president of interactive media for Fox Sports International, is the latest guest on the EPL Talk Podcast. Responsible for FoxSoccer.tv and FoxSoccer.com, Patel answers many questions from you, the readers, that you've posted on EPL Talk.

During the interview, Patel answers questions about:

  • whether FoxSoccer.

FoxSoccer.tv and ESPN360.com Product Review

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I recently got the opportunity to sit down and spend some time reviewing a few products that are integral to the football viewing public across the globe. FoxSoccer.tv and ESPN360.com are both online broadband sites that bring the beautiful game to the masses. ESPN360 is available only to customers whose Internet Service Providers have paid ESPN for the service, thus making the service free to certain cable and Internet customers.

The Hypocrisy of the British Press about Shawcross is Mind-Boggling

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In a well-known game in England, one footballer slid into another late. The challenge was poor, two-footed, and probably deserved a card, but there was no malice associated with it. Unfortunately, the defender missed the ball and caught the other player's foot, breaking his metatarsal bone.

Tom Dunmore Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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On the episode of the EPL Talk podcast we move from the action on the pitch to the events surrounding the game, and there is no better person to talk about that than Pitch Invasion's Tom Dunmore. Tom joined me for this edition of the show to talk about the movements pushing for ownership changes at Old Trafford and Anfield, Then, we talk about some issues surrounding the future of football blogging and the role Tom sees Pitch Invasion playing be it through new projects or continued consideration of the course being traveled by the football blogging world.

Where Now For Steve Bruce And Sunderland?

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14 games without a Premiership win would be worrying for several sides, but when you've spent the best part of £50 million to improve the team, 4 months without a win is disastrous. When Bruce took the reigns at the Stadium of Light in the summer, the club had survived a dreadful season which had seen Roy Keane walk out half way through and they limped to the final day staying up.

The England Outsiders#1 The Goalkeepers

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The halcyon days of the 60's, 70's and 80's were apparently a boom time in England's glorious history of great goalkeepers. From the benchmark that was the great Gordon Banks and his understudy, Peter Springett, to the rotation of Ray Clemence and Peter Shilton in the 70's and early 1980's, England always had a top class goalkeeper.

ESPN Commentators For 2010 World Cup TV Coverage Announced

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ESPN today announced the lead commentators for its coverage of the 2010 World Cup. The lead commentators will be Martin Tyler, Ian Darke, Derek Rae and Adrian Healey.

In all, ESPN will employ four teams to cover all 64 tournament games live from South Africa between June 11 and July 11, 2010.

Premier League Preview – March 6-8

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While Cheslea will spend the weekend trying to advance in the FA Cup, Manchester United will have the chance to climb over the Blues and claim the top spot in the Premier League table.

Standing in the way is Wolverhampton and a trip to Molineux.

Making it three:Â United already owns a pair of wins over Mick McCarthy's team this season.

Analysis of ESPN2’s EPL TV Viewing Figures, 2009-10

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Editor's note: As a follow-up to the recent article about ESPN2's number of viewers for Premier League games it has shown so far this season, I asked EPL Talk readers if anyone would be interested in analyzing the data more closely. New York City resident LD Montejo responded to the call and has produced these very eyeopening observations and charts below.

England’s Weaknesses Exposed In 3-1 Win Against Egypt

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Having watched virtually every England game for over 40 years now its odd how little changes. We rarely put on a virtuoso display and we usually come away feeling as though we really should play better. Even when we do play well, many fans will be quick to point out that the opposition was weak.

Jonathan Wilson Interview: EPL Talk Podcast

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The Guardian's Jonathan Wilson is best known for his knowledge of Eastern European football as well as his tactical and formation analysis. On this episode of the EPL Talk podcast, the author of Sunderland: A Club Transformed (uk, us), Behind the Curtain (uk, us), Inverting the Pyramid (uk, us) joins us to talk about his writing, the prospects for Eastern European sides in the World Cup, and the impending travels of former Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink.

ESPN2 EPL TV Ratings: August ‘09 to February ‘10

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It's been several weeks since I've shared the Nielsen Ratings with you for the latest Premier League games televised live on ESPN2, so there's plenty of news to cover.

Overall, what is very evident is that the 10am ET timeslot on ESPN2 garners much higher ratings than the 7:45am ET one.

What Are Your Football Rituals?

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Last week EPL Talk asked the question, "Who Do You Watch Football With?" and for the most part, got the variety of answers we were hoping for. It seems everyone from the "all alone football fan", to the brave pub goers, to a few lucky ones who live with in walking distance of their beloved were all accounted for.

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.

Avram Grant Deserves Credit For Portsmouth’s Team Spirit

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Portsmouth's well documented, if not bizarre, troubles over the last few years have given few Pompey supporters reason for optimism.

It's a lot more likely that drinking has risen drastically on the South Coast. From the high of winning the FA Cup, to the gradual, at first, selling off of players, to Redknapp leaving again, to Gaydamak announcing he would no longer fund the club, to first one, then two Arab billionaires without any money, to a Hong Kong businessman who seized the club for non-payment of debt, yet still claims the debt, to a winding up order, to administration, yet not really administration because the points have not been deducted, to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs challenging the voluntary administration, to another possible winding up order.

Reasons Why Chelsea Won’t Win the League

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Can Terry rediscover his form in time to rescue Chelsea?

For the entirety of the season, Chelsea have seemed poised to put insurmountable distance between themselves and the nearest opposition. Yet this moment never arrived. Draws and losses, often at those crucial games, have seen them lose ground in the Premier League, till now the gap between first place glory and second ignominy is one point.

Liverpool Supporters Erect Anti Hicks and Gillett Billboards

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Spirit of Shankly, a Liverpool supporter's union, has erected billboard posters in its city to protest against the American owners of Liverpool FC, Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

The posters, which read "Tom & George: Debt, Lies, Cowboys Not Welcome Here," have appeared on billboards on major roads into Liverpool.