So for the entire 2009-10 season of the Champions League coverage on Fox Soccer Channel, soccer
analysts Bobby McMahon and Warren Barton have worked incredibly hard to hone their skills, study
the teams and deliver some of the best homegrown soccer analysis we've ever seen on television
Man, it's been quite a year for wonderful football stories this season. First, there's Fulham
who have made it to the Europa League Final. And we also have the incredible Portsmouth who have
reached the FA Cup Final (to be played May 15) against Chelsea.
In honor of Portsmouth's FA Cup final appearance, their shirt manufacturer Kappa has designed a
special away shirt that the Pompey players will wear.
Only two weeks remain in the EPL season, and this weekend is our last opportunity to watch
multiple games live on multiple days given all kickoffs will be synchronized for Mother's Day
Sunday on the final weekend. The relegation battle is over very early this year, so it's all about
the title and the terrific battle for fourth.
It seems the planning, preparation and excitement for theÂ World Cup is hitting it's full stride
as of late asÂ we enter into the last two weeks of the Premier League season.Â In addition toÂ more
exciting news from EPL Talk to comeÂ soon,Â ESPN just released it's World Cup guide on sale
everywhere for $9.
A photograph has been leaked of the new Tottenham Hotspur home football strip for the 2010-11
Back in February, we shared a picture of what we believed was the new Spurs home shirt for
2010-2011 season and it turns out that was a legitimate picture. You can see the Spurs players
(pictured above) in a photo shoot at White Hart Lane, presumably modeling the shirts for upcoming
marketing and promotional activities.
Every neighborhood has one of "those" houses.Â From the sidewalk, it is gorgeous â€“ an old
Victorian with plenty of historic, quirky charm.Â Many people have houses, but this is home.Â As
you get closer, you notice that the porch seems a little worn, but nothing that a good coating of
paint won't solve.
Some people don't get football. They think we're mad to follow this mercurial sport that gives
at least as much pain as it does pleasure.
Well the next time someone asks why you're so mad about football tell them about Fulham this
year. Tell them about how a club who, 15 years ago, was at the foot of the football league and
which today has reached the Europa League Final.
Chelsea's last stern test of the season is Sunday at Anfield, where a Liverpool side stunned by
Diego ForlÃ¡n's stoppage time goal will try to rebound from Europe League disappointment. Draw or
tie, and the Blues likely fall behind Manchester United before the season's last weekend.
Don't panic, I'm not going to go all Oprah on you all, but I've got a confession to make that a
man of my age can't hide. Every 4 years, the World Cup comes around and over here in Europe we've a
company called Panini who make sticker books for most major tournaments and leagues. Since the
1980's I used to collect them until about 1988 until the surly teenager in me decided I was far too
mature to muck about with such childish entertainment.
Fulham's amazing transformation under Roy Hodgson just keeps reaching new heights and sending
their fans in to raptures. I know I've written about Roy Hodgson and the fact that the British
press have virtually ignored his career until he took over at Fulham, but no-one could have
expected this level of improvement from the Cottagers.
2006 was a disaster for England's much vaunted strikers in so many ways it was depressing. It
was clearly Sven Goran-Eriksson's nadir as the England supremo as his eccentric choices left
England woefully short of options. Michael Owen was so off the pace as to be redundant and his
World Cup collapse when he ruptured his cruciate ligament against Sweden.
ESPN has announced that former German national team manager and Tottenham Hotspur legend Jurgen
Klinsmann has been added to ESPN's roster for its coverage of the 2010 World Cup.
Klinsmann will work as a studio analyst for ESPN this summer.
In addition to Klinsmann, former South African national team player Shaun Bartlett, who played
in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and Robbie Mustoe, Middlesbrough's longest serving player, will both
serve as television analysts for ESPN during the FIFA World Cup.
For most of the past two and half years I've enjoyed just about every Liverpool fixture live. No
matter my late hours working in restaurants, I've usually been able to trek down to our pub (or at
least roll out of bed and catch the matches that were on ESPN or FSC) and watch the action unfold
as it happened.
Liverpool And Manchester City Refuse To Assure Managers Of Job Security
Both Rafael Benitez and Roberto Mancini have long been on the proverbial hot seat with
Champion's League qualifications seemingly the only way to save their jobs. Benitez has recently
struck out at the British media for the constant stream of "rumors" about his possible departure to
Liverpool and long list of possible replacements for the Spanish skipper.
Nike today officially launched the new US home shirt for the 2010 World Cup at a media event in
New York City which featured Walter Bahr, the legendary American soccer player who played in the
1950 match against England when they won 1-0 in the biggest shock in World Cup history.
The USA World Cup home shirt is now available to order.
This entry is in response to an article I read in February on EPL Talk. The article was
entitled5 Reasons Why Manchester City Can Conquer America. The Gaffer discussed
Manchester City's upcoming preseason tour of the United States. The writer mentions this could be
an opportunity for Manchester City to become popular in the U.
Excuse my error in salutation, if in fact I committed one. I wish to take a fleeting moment to
put pen to paperÂ and congratulate you on your recent 0-1 loss to current world "dominators"
Barcelona FC. I've in fact never seen such an emphatic "jump for joy' the likes I witnessed
WednesdayÂ eve when the final whistle blew at Camp Nou.
ESPN today will be making a massive announcement regarding the addition of a new commentator to
its World Cup broadcasting team. The press conference is scheduled for 2:30pm ET. But the question
is, who is it going to be? All ESPN says is that it's going to be a "marquee FIFA World Cup
The close of the Premier League season is less than two short weeks away. The World Cup,
meanwhile, is almost here. Just 43 days away. So I thought it'd be a great time to update you on
some exciting developments here at EPL Talk as well as to see if you're interested in participating
in a couple of very exciting projects.
Billy Beane may be the general manager of Major League Baseball's Oakland Athletics, but as my
discussion with the former major leaguer shows, a large part of his sporting heart lies in the
On this edition of the EPL Talk Podcast, Beane joins me to talk about his favorite club,
Tottenham Hotspur, his path to football fandom, and the analogs between baseball and football â€“
particularly as it concerns the current trends in football performance analysis.
In a massive show of power and future earnings, Yahoo has won the UKÂ rights to show online
highlights of the Premier League for the next three seasons. Virgin Media, the former onlineÂ
rights holders, will end their three year partnership with the Premier League when Yahoo takes
The 5-minute highlights of matches will be available starting in August, 2010 and will be
available online at midnightÂ each Sunday.
For those who haven't heard, starting this May-June, readers of The Times and The Sunday Times
online will be forced to pay a fee or subscriptionÂ in order to read news from one of Britain's
biggest and most trusted news sources. Some 20 million monthly readers of the two sites will be
effected by a change that analysts say will cause "almost all" of the online readers to look
elsewhere for their daily dose.
The Inbetweeners. Red Dwarf. Doctor Who. Life On Mars. Are You Being Served? Top Gear. Car Pool.
Radio 6. Friday Night With Jonathan Ross. The IT Crowd. Peep Show. Gavin and Stacey. Little
Britain. The Cult. Skins. Wire In The Blood. Just to name a few.
While you're obviously a massive soccer fan, I wanted to ask you what British shows (other than
soccer) you enjoy.
Mike Forde is the Performance Director at Chelsea Football Club.
He joined me last week to talk about the direction of performance analysis in football;
specifically, in the wake of this mention in Simon Kuper and Stefan Symanski's book Soccernomics
(or, How England Lose, as distributed in England), what football can take from the type of
analytical approach Major League Baseball has incorporated over the last decade.
Last year, I was lucky enough to do a fabulous series on English football legends, which saw me
delve back through history to cover 11 players that perhaps never get the credit they deserve.
Football is such a fickle sport that these days, people forget just how many great players passed
through the annals before we became used to such wall to wall coverage as we have today.
It was often said through out much of the last ten years that England's midfield was its
strongest point. With Beckham in his pomp and Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard ably assisted by a
constant rotation of players wedged in to the left midfield position, it often felt a little
Manchester City Attempt To Recall Joe Hart From Birmingham City
Manchester City's lack of a proven goalkeeper is putting their Champion's League hopes in
serious doubt. City approached the Premier League yesterday to request special permission to
execute an emergency loan deal to bring in a keeper for the final two weeks of the season.
English bands have been as important in my life as football has been. Ever since a friend of
mine introduced me to The Clash some 15 years ago, the plethora of bands to emerge from the UK that
have affected my intellect and overall well being have been staggering.
Minus godfathers like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, which, seemingly, everyone grew up
with, bands like the Clash, the Smiths, the Jam, Joy Division, the Stone Roses,Â Radiohead, Oasis,
Elbow and the Arctic Monkeys, to name just a few, are bands that are immensely important to me on a
If someone was counting the number of times a stretcher has come on the pitch this Premier
League season, I have a strong suspicion that this would be a record breaking season for all the
Watching the very physical game between Everton and Fulham this past Sunday was like seeing a
boxing match unfold before my eyes.
Dominic Fifield is the London football correspondent for the Guardian. On this edition of the
EPL Talk podcast, Dominic and I talk about the five London-based clubs in the Premiership, putting
their season's performance in the context of how their managers have performed. Along the way,
Dominic gives his view on Gianfranco Zola, Roy Hodgson, Harry Redknapp, Arsene Wenger, and Carlo
Should Someone Tell Wayne Rooney He's Needed on the Pitch & not in that Hospitality Box?
For a second there I actually thought Rooney was allegorically announcing his retirement from
Manchester United as he symbolically passed on his son, full kit and all, to a family member
perched high above his plot of employment.
So, it all comes down to this. One game to influence who will be the Premier League champion of
2009-10. No offense to Sunderland, Stoke or Wigan, but the game that can swing the title in the
favor of Chelsea or Manchester United is this Sunday's clash between Liverpool and Chelsea at
Anfield (8:30am ET, Fox Soccer Plus and, call for backup, FoxSoccer.
Chelsea answers Manchester United's derailing of Tottenham with a 7-0 drubbing of Stoke while
Aston Villa has left March behind by climbing to the brink of Champions League. On this episode of
the EPL Talk podcast, I am joined by Laurence McKenna and Kartik Krishnaiyer to look at the weekend
that was in the Premiership, where the relegation race was settled and Chelsea stayed on track for
a title ahead of next week's clash at Anfield.
Well, so much for Chelsea buckling under the pressure Manchester United created with their 3-1
victory of surging Tottenham yesterday
The Blues are made up of wily veterans, so Sir Alex Ferguson's futile attempts at mind games
unsurprisingly fell on deaf ears around Cobham, but even the most die-hard Chelsea fan couldn't
have foreseen such an emphatic reply coming.
I hate to be "that guy." I really do but the British media's constant efforts to chalk Chelsea's
EPL campaign as the result of favor from match officials is bordering on insulting. Chelsea's last
three victories against Manchester United, Bolton and Stoke City and in all three the Blues have
come under critcism for calls that went in their favor.
Tonight sees the PFA Awards take place in London â€“ one of the most prestigious individual
accolades to win in English football and unlike the Football Writers' Footballer of The Year, this
is voted by the professional footballers â€˜trade union' of members.Â Shortlisted this year is
Didier Drogba, Carlos Tevez, Wayne Rooney and Cesc Fabregas.
A photograph of Manchester United's new away shirt for the 2010-11 has been leaked on the
Designed and manufactured by Nike, the new Manchester United shirt has been drastically changed.
The new away shirt is white, features the new sponsor's name, but the sleeve design is quite
radical in the way that the black red and white are designed.
It's bad enough that Portsmouth supporters have had to endure a terrible season off the pitch,
but now Fox Soccer Plus prevented them from watching the second half of their match against Bolton
Here's what happened during the 4pm ET delayed match on Fox Soccer Plus.
That's the question I was asking as soon as the team news came out and we saw Harry Redknapp had
moved Benoit Assou-Ekotto from left back to right back; Gareth Bale from left midfield to left
back, and Luka Modric from center midfield to left midfield. Â All to accomodate the return to
action of Wilson Palacios from a two game suspension, which left Younes Kaboul (who had been at
right back for the last two matches) starting on the bench.
In the fifth and final part of the interview series, EPL Talk's Laurence McKenna discusses with
Patrick Barclay UEFA's Finance Fair Play policy, how that changes the English league and the
European structure of leagues.
Founded in 2006, the EPL Talk Podcast is the only Premier League interview podcast on the
Now that we have extraordinary choices in the US with the ability to watch most, if not all 10
weekly matches live, and many of them on-demand at foxsoccer.tv, let me give you my views for these
last 3 weeks as we watch the battles for the league, 4th place/Champions League, Europa League and
Everyone off the Coach, It's Time for a Kick About
Not one of the four clubs competing in a European semi this week could manage an awayÂ win.
Fulham came closest away to Hamburg as they set themselves upÂ with a pretty decent chance of
progressing through to the Europa League finalÂ with a 0-0 draw.
Prepare yourself for an European soccer invasion this summer of epic proportions when some of
the top teams in the world will descend on North America for lucrative preseason tours.
The mouthwatering list of teams scheduled to play matches in North America are Manchester
United, Tottenham Hotspur, AC Milan, Manchester City, Juventus, Valencia, Glasgow Celtic,
Fiorentina, Benfica, Glasgow Rangers and Sporting Lisbon.
In part four of the interview series with Patrick Barclay, the acclaimed author and journalist
talks about living in the shadow of Sir Alex Ferguson, his upcoming biography of Ferguson which is
due out later this summer, and getting inside the mind of The Special One, Jose Mourinho.
Can Spurs finish their run against the table's top three with a win at Old Trafford? And will
rival Arsenal do Tottenham a favor against City on Saturday? To discuss these key match-ups as well
as Thursday's Europa League results, I was joined by the review team â€“ Laurence McKenna and
Kartik Krishnaiyer â€“ to play new, preview roles on this Friday podcast.
For the last five years, Arsenal supporters have looked back on their season feeling
bittersweet. While it is impressive that they have managed to consistently challenge for trophies,
having both reached the Champions League final in 2006 and consistently mixing with the best in the
Premier League each year, it is disappointing that no trophies have been won since 2005's FA Cup
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 01: Footballer Andrew Cole arrives for the Prince's Trust Celebrate
Success Award at Odeon Leicester Square on March 1, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Chris
Andrew "Andy" Cole (he wants to be called Andrew) is one of the iconic players of the Premier
League, a legend at two clubs, one of which is Newcastle.
Liverpool and Fulham square off today in their respective Europa League clashes despite the best
effort of that Icelandic Valcano. But There are plenty of stories coming out of England today. A
major decision on Portsmouth European hopes draws controversy, Manchester retains title as world's
most valuable club and Bobby Zamora gets another endorsement for the World Cup.
Eyjafjallajokull. Yes this is what comes out when I drink too muchÂ coffee and thenÂ
absentmindedly drum my fingers on the keyboard without looking. But it's also the name of the
Icelandic volcano that has been spewing ash into the air causing flight bans inÂ Europe and
disrupting travel all overÂ the world.
With South Africa vs. Mexico only 49 days away Â the promotional machine at ESPN is in full
swing. Their first TV spot titled "Robben Island" was released a few weeks ago and highlighted the
history of South Africa along with the importance of 2010 being the first World Cup to be played on
The 2010 world cup in South Africa looks promising to be the best yet. Â There's huge quantities
of talent spread out across the Groups. Â In addition to the football being played on the pitch,
here are five reasons this summer's world cup will be the best yet for the fans.
In the cut and thrust of professional sports, athletes, coaches and clubs must use every
conceivable tool available to achieve success. With the global media coverage that football
receives, media management has never been so important both on and off the pitch.
Off the pitch, clubs have glitzy interactive websites, their own print media and even their own
TV stations, designed to increase revenue and manipulate their captive audiences.
In the third part of the interview series, Patrick Barclay discusses the World Cup, how England
will do in the tournament, picks the 23 man England squad, gives us his impersonation of Fabio
Capello, discusses the importance of having Wayne Rooney in the squad and much more.
Interviewed by EPL Talk's Laurence McKenna in the privacy of Barclay's home, the Scot shows a
side of himself that you will definitely enjoy.
As much of the coverage surrounding football has increasingly focused on finance, the Deloitte's
Football Money League has garnered more attention. On today's edition of the EPL Talk podcast, I
welcome Alan Switzer from Deloitte to the show to talk about the table, what goes into creating it,
and the trends that he's noticed in doing the research.
Being a London-based football blogger specialising in English and American soccer and a
professional digital-type, The Gaffer's recent post asking why there aren't more good soccer blogs
from England snagged my interest. It's a subject which has cropped up many times, from my work on
football bloggers' influence to discussions about possible studio guests for my blog's sister
podcast, recorded in London.
Manchester City today announced the club will be competing in the New York Football Challenge
this summer as part of their pre-season tour of the East Coast of the United States. The four team
tournament will also feature Tottenham Hotspur.
Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City will each play two games in the tournament and will line
up against New York Red Bulls and Sporting Lisbon.
A few weeks ago, ESPN2 achieved a record high TV viewing audience for a broadcast of a Premier
League match on US television. That game on April 3, 2010 between Manchester United and Chelsea
drew an audience of 526,000 viewers. And now with this past Saturday's derby between Manchester
City and Manchester United, ESPN2 scored an equally impressive viewing audience.
It's safe to assume that the current Liverpool squad needs rebuilding and reconstruction this
off season if they are to replicate the formÂ that saw them finish runners up inÂ the 2008-2009
season.Â ItÂ Liverpool aspire toÂ challenge for a top four finish or the title, new bodies and a
fresh outlook may just be what's needed at Anfield.
While compiling the list of theÂ best of the best blogs to include in the 2009-2010 EPL Awards
competition, I was struck by how few blogs from England are on my must-read list. I'm originally
from the UK. And sure, I often find myself reading soccer blogs from the UK such asÂ Zonal Marking,
Some People Are On The Pitch andÂ Fantasy Football Agent, but they represent such a small
percentage of the tens of English soccer-related blogs I read each day scouring the â€˜Net for news
to share with you, the readers of EPL Talk.
Refereeing has again come to the forefront of our footballing world, with the events at the
Manchester United-Chelsea match bringing officiating under further fan scrutiny. To talk about
that, we welcome John Nicholson back to the podcast. At Football365.co.uk, John has recently
discussed his views on the role of officiating.
In my previous posts, I discussed Arsenal and Spurs and so now we will turn our attention to the
Anfield outfit that has been on a downward spiral this season. Below are my top five
transfer/ownership/managerial suggestions for Liverpool heading into the summer transfer window.
Please add yours in the comments section!
With another FA Cup final, three games remaining on the Premier League fixture list and one
point between Chelsea and second placed Manchester United, it may be a little premature for the
Blue's management and players to think about summer transfers.Â Mercifully, as pundits and fans,
we do not have to play Liverpool with the additional worry of the reigning champions snapping
behind us, and can afford ourselves this idle speculation.
Sergio Aguero is one of the many high-profile transfer prospects on the market this summer
The World Cup will dominate the world's football focus this summer but that doesn't mean the
usual wheeling and dealing of the transfer market won't be in full force. Last summer saw the high
profile departure of Christiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid and Emmanuel Adebayor trading in the red of
Arsenal for the blue of Manchester City.
Hammers legend Julian Dicks (L) and boxer Kevin Mitchell (R)
Richard Farley from EPL Talk will be interviewing West Ham United legend Julian Dicks in the
near future. If you've ever wanted to ask Julian Dicks a question about him, his playing career,
West Ham United or anything else related to football, please post it in the comments section
DirecTV announced today that approximately 30 new HD channels will be added beginning in May.
The good news is that GolTV HD will be available. However, Fox Soccer Channel in HD and Fox Soccer
Plus in HD were not included in the list.
This is frustrating news for soccer fans in the United States because GolTV only announced three
weeks ago â€” on March 29, 2010 that they would be launching a HD channel this summer.
In the United States, it didn't used to be easy to see your favorite English Premier League team
each week. Your team might not be shown on broadcast television each week. You might not be able to
find your team online either. These challenges however I believe have made me a more dedicated fan
To say Americans rely on quality television stations and reliable broadcasts for our fix of the
Premier League and other avenues of the beautiful game is a vast understatement. No, "rely" is
simply too small a word to describe the lifeline, the oxygen, the blood and the water that is
cable, satellite, or Internet broadcasting of soccer matches.
Patrick Barclay, one of the top English football authors and journalists in the world, is the
guest on the EPL Talk Vodcast. In part one of a five part interview series, Barclay discusses Jose
Mourinho, which stadium is his spiritual home, the art of writing, the one match most recently that
astounded him, what it was like to walk down the player's tunnel at Maracana and much more.
Who can handle their nerve in the final weeks of the Premier League?
Last weekend the Premier League was full of drama, the story of â€˜when 3 became 2â€² as
finally, Arsenal's legs went in the final stretch, United gained a â€˜leg up' and Chelsea looked as
if they were start to roast theirs.
A photograph has been leaked of Arsenal's home shirt for the 2010-2012 season. Worn by Mikael
Silvestre, the new shirt marks the 125th year anniversary of Arsenal Football Club and will be
designed and manufactured by Nike.
Arsenal's new home shirt for the 2010/2012 season will be a throwback to the shirt design worn
by the 1971 double-winning team,
Juventus keeper, and Italian World Cup hero, Gianluigi Buffon is reportedly looking for a way
out of Serie A and Manchester looks to be his destination. The only question is whether he'll end
up in blue or red. Juventus is reportedly asking for around Â£30 million and both clubs seemed
poised to make serious offers.
Manchester City supporters took the mickey out on Manchester United fans at Eastlands this past
Saturday (see above picture), but it was the United supporters who were having the last laugh after
Paul Scholes's injury time winner.
Still, you have to give credit to City supporters for being creative.
It has been an emotionally draining week for Tottenham Hotspur. After losing 2-0 to Portsmouth
in the FA Cup semi-final, Spurs regrouped wonderfully and scored a sensational 2-1 victory over
bitter rivals Arsenal. They then stunned a lethargic looking Chelsea side by the same score, a
result that will again leave a fuzzy feeling in the stomachs of Spurs fans, as there is no love
lost between the two London clubs.
I feel the need to recover from this incredible weekend for quite some time, only I won't be
able to. There's simply never enough time in one's life to live and breath and follow this game we
love yet still attempt to lead some form of normal adult life.
It's fortunate timing that the launch of the second annual EPL Awards, to recognize the best of
the 2009-10 Premier League season, coincides with one of the most exciting EPL weekends of the
season. But that's exactly what the EPL Awards are â€” to give you, the readers, a chance to vote
for the best of the best league in the world.
The races for first and fourth places in the English Premier League took unexpected turns this
weekend. On this episode of the EPL Talk podcast, myself, Laurence McKenna and Kartik Krishnaiyer
reconvene to discuss the weekend that was in the EPL, moving from Manchester's Derby to Chelsea's
disappointment at White Hart Lane, back to Wigan stunning Arsenal before taking inventory of an
ever-clearer relegation battle.
Liverpool striker Fernando Torres will undergo surgery tonight to repair torn cartilage in the
Spainard's right knee. The recovery time is estimated around six weeks if there are no
complications during surgery or rehabilitation. This means Torres will miss the rest of the Premier
League and Europa League season and not will return until Spain's June 3 warmup with South Korea at
Incredulous. This is the emotion Arsene Wenger must be feeling after seeing his team go from
being two goals up to a Wigan side battling for survival at the bottom of the Premier League, to
losing the game three goals to two. I don't believe that Wigan pulled off this comeback because
they are the stronger side, because they aren't.
ESPN The Magazine recently announced the chance of a lifetime contest that will award one lucky
winner (and a guest) a week long dream trip to South Africa for this summer's World Cup finals.
Wanna see Rooney bang home a brace against Tim Howard and the United States? Maybe a Donovan
penalty will see the USMNT through to the round of 16?
It's an unbelievable weekend in the Premier League. Manchester United grab an injury winner
against City to keep them in the race. Tottenham Hotspur deservedly beat Chelsea and opened the
Premier League title race wide open. And then on Sunday, everyone expected Arsenal to win the match
against Wigan â€” especially after the Gunners were leading 2-0 â€” to close the gap at the
On Wednesday night, the North London derby wowed English football fans across the globe. Danny
Rose's wonder-goal opener, along with Gareth Bale's clincher just after half-time, and Gomes'
world-class saves from shots by the returning Robin van Persie won the game for Tottenham to break
a run of 11 years without a win in the league against their North London rivals, Arsenal.
The highly anticipated Manchester Derby took place Saturday with frustrating and mixed results.
Both teams seemed satisfied to sit back and not risk over-committing attacking players while each
team was still able to enjoy decent spells of possession, but minimal quality attempts on goal.
This is it. The match that means everything to both teams. Manchester City against Manchester
United. If you remember, the league game between both sides at Old Trafford last autumn was one of
the highlights of the season. The deciding goal by Michael Owen. Fergie time.
There is simply too much riding on this game today that there will be no controversy.
The schedule for the remaining Premier League fixtures on US television has been updated, except
for the last day of the season, and the big news is that you betterÂ start making your plans to
prepare for the May 2nd match between Liverpool and Chelsea if you want to watch it live. That's
because it will be shown on Fox Soccer Plus and FoxSoccer.
With this year's South African World Cup the great majority of weekday matches will be played in
working hours. Coupled with the fact that many pundits are predicting the U.S. making it to the
second round and beyond you are likely to want to watch many of the matches (with your bosses
consent or otherwise) than ever before.
It's time to take any walk down memory lane. This time to 1982 for the Manchester derby. We have
the first half of the match featured on The Big Match with Brian Moore and Jim Rosenthal. And what
a derby it was.
The last two times these teams played each other before the 1982 derby was April, 1974 when
Denis Law scored a back heel goal for Manchester City to relegate Manchester United to the then
The Friday edition of the podcast welcomes Danny Last, proprietor of
EuropeanFootballWeekends.co.uk. The site is dedicated to documenting the adventures of Danny and
his friend as they travel across Europe's different countries, venues, and clubs. Danny joined me
earlier this week to talk about the sites, his most memorable trips, and why he started documenting
The latest installation of the Manchester Derby will be played at Eastlands this weekend, and as
usual, the stakes are high.
This will be the 155th meeting in all competitions, and United has the edge with 63 wins to
City's 42. There have also been 49 draws, a result that won't be good enough for the Red Devils in
their chase for a fourth consecutive Premier League title.
ESPN unveiled the next phase of their advertising campaign Wednesday to promote its coverage of
the 2010 World Cup.
The campaign is entitled "One Game Changes Everything." The first video, see "Robben Island"
video above, began airing across ESPN networks on April 7 and tells the true story of how Nelson
Mandela and many South African activists played soccer while incarcerated in a prison on Robben
So it looks as though that's it for another year for Arsenal. Another trophy-less season.
Wenger's admirable faith in his side may have been slightly misplaced after all. They're not far
away from being winners but not close enough.
But does it really matter?
You'll read and hear a lot about how many years it's been since they picked up any silverware as
though it's fifty years or something.
Tottenham finally broke through in the North London Derby, keeping Arsenal six points behind
Chelsea, whose Tuesday victory over Bolton has the Blues four points clear atop the league. On this
edition of the EPL Talk podcast, Laurence McKenna and myself discuss these and the other mid-week
matches as well as preview this weekend's fixtures in the Premiership, focusing on Saturday's
matches at Eastlands (Manchester derby) and White Hart Lane (Tottenham-Chelsea).
Most soccer pundits will claim that Arsenal's title challenge is over after their deserved 2-1
loss against Tottenham Hotspur Wednesday night when they were outclassed by a Spurs side who played
more like they wanted to win. But the inconsistency that each of the Big Four clubs has shown this
season tells us the Premier League title race is far from over.
As we find ourselves with four matches left in the season, we're starting to have a pretty clear
indication of who's going home with what and who'll be playing where next season. A lack luster,
Rooney-less Manchester United could only manage a point away to Blackburn and seem to now have
enough distance from table toppers Chelsea, who gained 3 points at home to Bolton, to widely be
considered out of the title race.
Fox Soccer Channel broadcasts Champions League in the United States. Their presentation's main
studio analysts, Warren Barton and Bobby McMahon, joined me on
Tuesday to discuss their show; specifically, their preparation, the show's level of analysis, the
choices made in presenting new players and teams to an audience, and the effect of losing the
competition's English Premier League teams.
A photo has been leaked of Chelsea's new home strip for the 2010-11 season.
Designed and manufactured by Adidas, the most notable change to Chelsea's new football kit is
the addition of a red trim around the neck. Red has been used on the home shirt in the past, so
it's not a radical change.
One of the most fascinating aspects of soccer is its formula for declaring a champion. In no
other sport (mind you I come from an American sports background) can a match that pits the team at
the top of the league versus a middle-of-the-pack team be the game that goes further than any other
in determining that season's champion.
England manager Fabio Capello may have forbidden an official England World Cup song, but that
hasn't stopped some of the biggest football commentators in England from recording a song to
support their country's team in this summer's World Cup. Problem is it's one of those songs that is
grating the first time you listen to it.
As the warm spring weather prepares football fans for summer's heat, supporters of the beautiful
game are faced withÂ some pertinentÂ choices concerning their footballing wardrobe. As heavy
jackets and scarves make way for shorts, sunglasses, T-shirtsÂ and replica kits, EPL Talk extends
the rightÂ hand of friendship to you the readersÂ byÂ hopefully guiding your fashion discretion's
into the late spring and summer.
Misha Sher of Soccerex joined me last month to talk about the financial state
of a number of clubs in the Premier League. It was only toward the end of that discussion that we
started to explore issues on the pitch, and that's where we pick-up in this Tuesday edition of the
EPL Talk podcast, where Misha returns to talk about Liverpool's plight, England in this year's
Champions League, the semifinals of that competition, and the upcoming Manchester Derby.
After nearly two years of shadow boxing, the camps of Stan Kroenke and Alisher Usmanov are about
to start to the real battle for control of the Gunners. Arsenal's 4th largest shareholder, Lady
Bracewell-Smith is looking to sell her 15.9% share and his retained the U.S. based brokers
Blackstones to find a buyer.
The powers that be in the Premier League tend to get all uptight when a club manager suggests
that he's going to rest his starters for whatever reason. This is somehow an affront to the
integrity of the competition and unfair to the other clubs fighting to avoid relegation or to get
Fox Sports International sent me a package last week to promote Fox Soccer Plus. You can watch
me open the package to reveal what's inside. It definitely took me by surprise.
The package is part of a marketing campaign called Fox Soccer Plus Rowdies. The aim seems to be
to inform potential advertisers about the availability of Fox Soccer Plus and how 62 million plus
people in America want soccer.
I was lucky enough this weekend toÂ be able to watch both FA Cup semi finalsÂ that took place
atÂ Wembley stadium in London from the comfort of my own home. As we know, Chelsea got the better
of Aston Villa while Portsmouth went through against Tottenham in a fantastically entertaining and
Watch the short trailer for EPL Talk's upcoming interview with Patrick Barclay, one of the top
soccer authors and journalists in the United Kingdom.
The complete interview â€” conducted by EPL Talk's Laurence McKenna â€” will be released in its
entirety in the near future. During the interview, Barclay covers several fascinating topics from
the comfort of his own living room.
Portsmouth's cinderella run through the FA Cup continued on Sunday at Tottenham's expense. They
are joined in the competition's final by Chelsea, whose run toward a domestic double was bolstered
by the result at Ewood Park, with Blackburn holding Manchester United to a nil-nil. To talk about
these results and look forward to the mid-week fixtures, I was joined by Laurence McKenna and
Kartik Krishnaiyer for this edition of the weekend review show.
It's quite rare for Manchester United supporters to look as glum as they did on Sunday. Dimitar
Berbatov missed several half chances. Antonio Valencia came close in the first half when his shot
was saved by Paul Robinson. But, other than that, it was an uncharacteristic static performance
from Manchester United during eight days that has seen them lose against Chelsea, knocked out of
the Champions League and has now seen them lose two precious points at Ewood Park.
As the Portsmouth players put on their uniforms in the Wembley locker room this afternoon, they
were under no allusions about what the future held for them and their team.Â They were going to be
relegated down to the Championship League after the season.Â Once there, they were far more likely
to be relegated again this time next year as opposed to being promoted back to the Premiership.
It's been a good few days for Fulham and Chelsea, the west London clubs that neighbor each
other. Fulham are through to the semi-finals of the Europa League and will face Hamburg on April 22
and 29. Chelsea are through to the FA Cup Final after defeating Aston Villa at Wembley.
But did you know that Chelsea played Fulham in a competition called the Anglo-Scottish Cup in
the mid 1970's?
The 2009-2010 Premier League season is nearing its end, so we plan on launching the second year
of the EPL Awards to recognize the best in soccer podcasts, players, managers, writers, online
games â€” and everything else Premier League related.
Before we launch the 2009-2010 EPL Awards though â€” and invite anyone in the world to vote â€”
I wanted to see if you see anything glaring that's missing from the nominees.
Picklive Football is an online, real-time football gaming website where gamers participate in
picking players during live matches to try and gain points and win chips in 10 minute mini games. I
tried out Picklive on Saturday during the first FA Cup semi final featuring Chelsea and Aston Villa
and was surprised with how fast the games move and how exciting, fun and intriguing the mini games
Speculation continues that Manchester United will be the opponents in the MLS All-Star Game this
summer, to be held in Houston. A July 28th date has been touted. Plus there have been reports of
Manchester United touring a few other cities in the United States. Nothing official has been
announced yet, but the rumors carry a lot more weight now given that Manchester United announced on
their website this week that they will play against Chivas in Guadalajara, Mexico on July 30.
I figured since I gave my last transfer advice to Arsenal that I would be fair and give a little
advice to their eternal North London rivals. Clearly Spurs are once again battling for a Champions
League spot so the question for Harry Redknapp is who to buy/sell in order to secure (or retain, if
they reach it this year) the elusive fourth place finish Spurs fans so desperately want.
Its that time of the year ago when all major sporting events signify the season of spring. The
Masters, The Grand National and FA Cup Semi Finals. Growing up as a kid this was one of my
highlights of the football season (at a time where there wasn't as many games on TV as there is
now) â€“ it was often the two games often offered more excitement, controversy than a number of cup
finals put together.
Liverpool has released a video of its players modeling the new Liverpool home football
Worn by Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Dirk Kuyt and Jamie Carragher, you can see the players
modeling the shirt in front of the photographers and TV cameras during a special shoot recently at
a secret location.
Portsmouth will wear a special one-off football kit for this Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against
Tottenham Hotspur. In what is definitely their biggest game of the season, plus it's at Wembley,
Pompey will wear a new kit designed and manufactured by Kappa â€” the company that will be
Portsmouth's kit supplier next season.
Blackburn Rovers today unveiled an official photograph of their new away football kit for the
2010-11 season. The all red shirt with black trim is available for pre-order through the Rovers
website and will be available beginning April 29, 2010.
Designed and manufactured by Umbro, the new shirt "is part of the â€˜Tailored by Umbro in
England' range and will see Rovers returning to a red and black away kit, that has proved so
popular with fans in the past.
Burnley's survival in the Premier League this season is hanging on by a thread, but they did
have time last week to unveil their new football kit for the 2010-11 season which is their 100 year
centenary year. Whether they'll be in the Premier League is another story which we'll find out in
the next few weeks.
Since this weekend features the semi-finals of the FA Cup, I thought it'd be interesting to take
a trip down memory lane to see what a FA Cup semi-final from 1982 was like featuring two teams that
in today's age would seem like unlikely participants at this stage in the tournament.
Queens Park Rangers played West Bromwich Albion in the 1981-82 semi-final.
Bolton Wanderers unveiled their new home football kit for the 2010-11 season last week. It's a
dramatic improvement from the shirt designs they've worn during the last two years. One looked like
a sports bra. And the most recent one looked like a tea towel. This upcoming season, the shirt
It's FA Cup semi-final weekend which means that for three teams the Premier League will cease to
matter, at least for a few hours. Of course for Portsmouth the Premier League ceased to matter some
time ago and as such, any manager who still has Pompey players in their side will likely be going
the same way as poor Avram.
With all of the Premier League clubs now knocked out of the Champions League â€“ and Liverpool
and Fulham's stays in the Europa LeagueÂ are still up in the air at press time â€“ all eyes now
focus on the two remaining pieces of silverware to be won this season.
ESPN has been patient throughout this entire 2009-2010 Premier League season in regards to which
matches they've been able to televise live on ESPN2. For the vast majority of games, they were B-
level or C-level Premier League matches. But finally after their recent record-breaking Manchester
United against Chelsea broadcast, they finally got a massive match featuring two big teams, and now
they"ve got several matches coming up soon which should continue to garner big TV ratings.
In my last post I asked that we maintain the good form, no matter what the outcome of the
season. I should have added we must cling to clear-headed decision making from now to the end. The
last two outings for Liverpool were derailed by bad judgement by Ryan Babel and (and I rarely say
this in writing) Rafa Benitez.
In the coming days there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth about the fact that the
Premier League, for the first time in seven years, has no teams in the semi-final of the Champions
League. Boo Hoo. Does anyone outside of the media really care?
There's a staggering degree of hubris amongst the English media about the Premier League,
frequently calling it the best in the world and the place where all the top players want to
Previously, I've written about how English soccer matches sound better on radio than television,
as well as how the FA Cup third round is made for radio not TV. Richard Whittall from the A More
Splendid Life blog agreed. However, I was wrong.
What I should have said is that BBC radio commentaries are often better than watching
matches on television.
Manchester United has gone crashing out of Champions League, having succumb to the left foot of
Arjen Robben. On this episode of the EPL Talk podcast, I am joined by Laurence McKenna for our
mid-week review show, talking about United's capitulation and Arsenals ouster at the boots of
Liverpool has officially unveiled their new home soccer shirt for the 2010-12 seasons, which is
now available for pre-order.
Designed and manufactured by Adidas, the new Liverpool home shirt features a "jacquard fabric,
laser cut woven club crest execution, and rich metallic gold piping detail that helps to create a
jersey steeped in history, with a stylish modern twist.
I've never been a big fan of the away goals rule because it seems like an odd rule that exists
only as a cruel and unusual punishment to knock a losing team out of a cup tournament. But the
match between Manchester United and Bayern Munich was a perfect example of how well it can work and
how it adds an important subtext to a game that is already filled with numerous plot lines.
Manchester United were eliminated from the most coveted Cup competition in the world on
Wednesday night in heartbreaking fashion. Having won their home leg 3-2 and finishing off the tie
with a level aggregate score of 4-4, United were put to the sword by the dreaded away goals
Since it's relaunch on March 1, the track record for FoxSoccer.tv â€” Fox's broadband product
that features live and recorded games â€” has been frustratingly poor. First there were the
problems that plagued the Manchester United against Liverpool match shown live on Sunday, March
After the Tuesday night defeat in the Champions League at the hands of Lionel Messi and a
sublime performance from Barcelona, Arsenal supporters are at a crossroads and have an important
decision to make. Do they want beautiful football or do they want to win trophies? It's as simple
Last weekend's Manchester United against Chelsea match televised live on ESPN2 scored the
largest viewing audience number ever for a Premier League game on US television. By U.S. standards,
an incredible 526,000 viewers in 420,000 households watched the broadcast which kicked off at
7:30am ET on Saturday, April 3, 2010.
During the last round of Champions League action, Fox Soccer Channel's Bobby McMahon joined me
to break down Chelsea's pivotal match at Stamford Bridge against Internazionale. Today, the analyst
was kind enough to join us again to engage in the same detailed discussion of Manchester United's
second leg of their quarterfinal match-up with Bayern Munich.
In England football is a game played and watched predominantly by men. Whilst the number of
women playing, watching and following the sport is rising, few can argue that the derivative
culture of English Football is male orientated.
Whilst I am not going to lecture or romanticise on the male working class routes of the game,
behaviours prevalent in these environments can be seen and heard across every football ground in
England on match day.
ManchesterÂ United host Bayern Munich knowing a 1-0 home victory would suffice to advance to the
semi-finals. Manchester are well aware of Bayern'sÂ ability to score given the plethora of talent
on the German side.Â The BavariansÂ arrive in England carrying a slender 2-1 lead but will beÂ
pleased to know they can count on the creativity of Arjen Robben who apparently will play along
with French star Franck Ribery who is slowly but surely rediscovering his form amid a season
defined by injuries.
Arsenal, Manchester United, Fulham and Liverpool are all flying the flag for English clubs in
This mid-week is European week, which means Arsenal, Manchester United, Fulham and Liverpool
will be playing for semi final spots in The Champions and Europa Leagues. Â Always an eternal
optimist â€“ no sooner when the draws were announced I was thinking of the possibility of two all
One of the hottest trends on the Internet right now is location-based social networking services
such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Google Latitude and others. They allow you to "check in" whenever you
visit a public place such as a coffee shop, restaurant or anywhere else, and your friends can see
where you are.
On Tuesday's edition of the EPL Talk Podcast we have an interview I conducted with GolTV's Phil
Schoen. Phil covers the La Liga, the Bundesliga, Brazil, Colombia, as well as other circuits for
GolTV, where he was been able of cover Premier League sides through the channel's broadcasts of
Last week in the build-up to the English Premier League's most anticipated match of the season,
there were many in the press and blogosphere that openly questioned Dimitar Berbatov's ability to
replace Wayne Rooney as an effective lone striker. I, myself, wrote an article arguing that
Rooney's ankle injury made the EPL Chelsea's title to lose, the crux of which was based on
Berbatov's inability to fill the English star's boots.
Odd that Gameweek 33 has fallen on EasterÂ weekend (if you don't get the direct correlation, ask
someone who celebrates Easter) even more odd that a pesky little Argentinian (who may, or may not
be mentioned later) is leading his current club emphatically as his former club and cross town
rivals reaaaaaally could have used his services as they languish in second place.
Watching the Manchester United against Chelsea match on television this past Saturday, it was
clear to see that there were more green and gold colors in the stands at Old Trafford than the
traditional red, white and black of the Red Devils. It made me wonder what's more important for
Manchester United supporters â€” their movement to force the Glazers out or the support of the club
Chelsea's win at Manchester United sees a new leader in the English Premier League. On this
edition of the EPL Talk Podcast, Kartik Krishnaiyer and Laurence McKenna join me to discuss the
match at Old Trafford as well as the match's officiating before shifting our focus to the race for
fourth, where the EPL has another new leader.
You've see the film The Damned United, or read the book by David Peace that inspired it. The
question that remains is, to what extent has the outspoken, charismatic and often times hilarious
manager left a lasting impression on you?
For me, Clough embodies what I think of when I imagine English football in the 60's and 70's and
he remains a true legend in the game.
Birmingham City has made the smart move to allow its supporters to choose which football kit the
club should wear for the 2010-11 season. Too many times, football clubs make the decision without
much or any input from supporters and what ends up being released is an abomination.
During Saturday's Manchester United against Chelsea match at Old Trafford, you may have heard
the sarcastic chants from Chelsea supporters of "USA, USA, USA." The chants were directed at the
Manchester United supporters. They were part tongue-in-cheek humor as well as a little bit of
banter to wind up the Man United supporters and mock their American owners.
Alright, I know the season isn't over yet but it is never too early to think about next season.
And, regardless of how Arsenal finish this season, all eyes will again be on Arsene Wenger over the
summer transfer period. Indeed, it seems that every transfer window over the past few years, Wenger
has been criticized for not buying the right players (or players at all) and, with multiple
injuries to his best players this season, one has to wonder if results would be different this
season if he had better quality coming off the bench.
With so much of the focus in the build up to this Premier League weekend being on Manchester
United against Chelsea, it was unfortunate that many of the other big clashes didn't get as much
attention. Especially at this time of the season where every point means so much.
It's now April, 2010 â€“ the World Cup and business end of the Premier League season both
approach like a swarm of angry bees looking to sting before they're stung. Injuries are piling up
in England to key members of the national team as well as key components of the three headed
monster that is the title race â€“ race for fourth not excluded.
David Moyes joined Everton following the sacking of Walter Smith in March 2002. He was regarded
as one of the most promising young managers in the country when he arrived at Goodison Park and has
justified that assessment ever since.
His transfer activity has been extremely impressive during his Everton tenure, uncovering gem
after gem for extremely reasonable prices.
When I first started watching English football as a Yank six years ago, I was drawn to the best
clubs and star players, like anyone would be. Â But then I quickly realized that being a fan of one
of the Big 4 clubs is no fun. Â Since the â€˜02-'03 season, only once has an outsider beaten one
of England's Big 4 to a Top-4 finish (Everton in â€˜05, and even then they couldn't keep Liverpool
out of the Champs League).
Dimitar Berbatov is almost assured to be included in Sir Alex Ferguson's starting XI against
Chelsea on Saturday. The merits of such inclusion are still debatable. (Photo: ZumaPress)
Wayne Rooney's injured ankle seems to force Dimitar Berbatov into the lineup for Manchester
United's Saturday meeting with Chelsea, but despite the relative paucity of striking options at Sir
Alex Ferguson's disposal, Berbatov need not be the only answer.
Wayne Rooney's on crutches and Cesc Fabregas has a broken leg.
Without kicking a ball, Chelsea has received an Easter basket full of good news in its quest to
dethrone Manchester United this week when the two most important players on its two biggest rivals
went down with injuries in mid-week Champions League action.
Without even kicking a ball, Chelsea were given a gift this week.Â One roll of Wayne Rooney's
ankle has altered the dynamic of the entire 2009-10 EPL campaign, and has handed Carlo Ancelotti
more than just a lifeline, but possibly the title itself.Â While the Italian would never admit
that the championship may have been won Tuesday night in Munich, this is the injury that Manchester
United simply could not afford as the season enters its business end.
Since I'm new at EPL Talk, I'd like to talk a little bit more (before I discuss Wednesday's
match) about my history as an Arsenal fan. Slowly becoming a soccer fan in college, a 2006 trip to
Europe with my girlfriend really cemented my love of the Gunners.
Efan Ekoku will be covering the 2010 World Cup this summer for ESPN, but before that he will be
co-commentating on Saturday match at Old Trafford: Â Manchester United hosting Chelsea, with first
place (and possibly the title) on the line. Â The renown broadcaster and former Norwich and Nigeria
star joined me on Thursday night to break down the match-ups and tactics for Saturday's match.
In my last post (before the United match), I was filled with cautious optimism. But ultimately I
had every reason to believe Liverpool would put up a better fight at Old Trafford than they ended
up doing. Even when the Reds are struggling,Â we tend to switch on and turn into a tougher, more
combative side against United.
The Premier League has launched its own official Premier League iPhone App for soccer fans
around the world. We've been waiting forever for something like this. And the technologically slow
Premier League has finally caught up with the times.
The features of the app include:
Updates on the long list of the Premier League's latest legal filings.
The pleasures of playing football are easy enough to understand. It's a great sport and if
you're any good you get a shed load of cash, the sexual attentions of fake blonde women, and a mock
Tudor house full of 132â€³ plasma TVs.
There's nothing not to like about being a footballer.