EPL Talk Archives for January 2010

What More Can England Do?

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Could this man help?

In the aftermath of England's World Cup exit, the media and the fans are already planning for 2014, and the European Championships in 2012. There are calls for a new manager, an overhaul of the squad and even a change to the domestic league. However, that is all obscuring the main point.

Arsenal Launches 2010-11 Official Home Kit: Photos

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After plenty of speculation and faked designs, Arsenal has officially revealed photographs of their new football kit for the 2010-11 season.

As revealed two days ago, Arsenal's new home shirt is a classic retro design that is very reminiscent of the same shirt that Arsenal won the 1970-71 double in.

English Football Is Not Dead, But It’s On The Critical List

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There is a current malaise effecting almost everyone in England that follows the national side, from fans, retailers, journalists and TV executives. The finger of blame is being pointed fairly equally between Fabio Capello and the highly paid, highly hyped and self important members of the squad.

Everton Launches New Home Football Kit for 2010-11 Season

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Everton has officially unveiled their new home football kit for the 2010-11 season.

Everton's new home shirt from Le Coq Sportif features a simple yet elegant blue top with white trim (see above picture featuring Tim Cahill wearing the kit). The shirt also features a wave of blue across the upper part of the chest, a stylistic feature that is also included in Everton's new away kit.

Should Landon Donovan Join Manchester City?

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He's had a successful World Cup and proved last season he can play in the Premier League, but should Landon Donovan join big spending Manchester City this summer? Donovan is now in high demand, but is Manchester City the right fit for the US international's second go at the Premier League?

Poll: How Do You Rate this World Cup So Far?

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We've seen 19 straight days of World Cup soccer. During that time, we've watched an mind boggling 56 games. There have been plenty of highs, lots of controversy and a few lows. But how does this World Cup compare to previous ones in your opinion? Better or worse, or same?

Vote in the poll below.

Roy Hodgson to be Named New Liverpool Manager: Good or Bad Decision?

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Roy Hodgson's possible move to Liverpool is, of course, still in the realm of speculation, however, multiple sources (including The Guardian and The Telegraph) have reported he will be named as early as Thursday as the new manager.

With reports that Fabio Capello will more than likely retain his position as manager of the English National Team, Roy Hodgson could be out of the running for the England manager position he was supposedly interested in.

Where it all went wrong for England: The Sequel

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In short: Everywhere. Though that won't do. England's problems were numerous and solutions are not easy to come by. It's best to look at the team and the manager as a whole.

Hang on, that sounds awfully familiar, oh well the point still stands. England's elimination was in hindsight predictable but before the game started only Boris Becker laughed at the notion of a close game in a, presumably, comedic piece to camera.

England 1-4 Germany in Lego Football: Video

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Watching the highlights of Germany's demolition of England in the World Cup are a pretty depressing sight, but LegoFussball.eu have brought some levity to the situation by featuring the highlights as played out by Lego characters.

Each scene uses stop motion photography. Particularly interesting is the replay of Frank Lampard's disallowed goal.

How Fabio Capello Blew it, and Why He Should Be Fired

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I am fully aware that I am late to the why-England-were-eliminated-party here, but as I've pored over the litany of explanations on the web, I've found that there is an unfair discrepancy of player blame vs. manager blame.

Sure, the England stars appeared lackadaisical and short on ideas, but these are the same players that excel for their clubs under different systems than England's, so blaming them can only go so far.

Why FIFA Must Tread Carefully When Stepping Into the Realms of Merging Football With Technology

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The contrasting World Cup fortunes of Frank Lampard and Carlos Tevez have inadvertently opened up the chronic video technology virus that is damaging football at the highest level.

In the space of one day of the World Cup both Frank Lampard and Carlos Tevez were affected by controversial refereeing decisions.

World Cup 2010 Day 19 (Spain-Portugal, Paraguay-Japan): World Cup Buzz Podcast

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Spain is through to the quarterfinals, eliminating the third ranked team in the world (per FIFA) in Portugal. They joined Paraguay, who won the tournament's first penalty kick shoot-out to eliminate Japan. On this episode of the World Cup Buzz Podcast, I am joined by Laurence McKenna to talk about those matches as well as the news around the 2010 World Cup.

Why Making Premier League More English Is Not England’s Answer

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England's exit in the Round of 16 in the World Cup has triggered a fresh call to rein in the cosmopolitan roster sheets of the Premier League by placing quotas on the number of foreigners on each team. I have yet to come across a coherent argument as to why such a move will assist the English national team.

Are We Taking England’s World Cup Exit Too Seriously?

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And so the England inquest begins once again. After every tournament the same earth is dug over and over again. There can't be a single argument, idea or notion that hasn't been given an airing in the last 48 hours. I should know, I've been as responsible as anyone for writing them.

Behind The Scenes of Lego Football: Video

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It's been a decent summer for viral soccer videos. Nike's Write The Future, despite being overblown, was entertaining to watch and produced a few chuckles. The return of Special1 TV has been a nice distraction even though they haven't been able to find their groove yet. But the highlight for me has been the series of Lego football videos which uses stop-motion photography to capture key incidents from the 2010 World Cup.

Special1 TV, Episode 4: Next The Germans

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It's that time in the World Cup 2010 tournament where a little bit of comedic relief would do a lot of people the world of good, myself included. So who better than The Special One to provide the laughs?

Following their victory against Slovenia the English team prepared for their next game against Germany.

Wigan’s Third Choice Goalkeeper Richard Kingson Shines for Ghana at World Cup

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There's been an interesting undercurrent of first choice World Cup goal keepers performing brilliantly in the tournament so far who represent Premier League clubs. Besides a few early blunders from keepers, the goalkeeping has in fact been quite solid throughout the majority of the tournament.

Why the England Job Should Not Be The Focus Right Now

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The British press are in a tizzy about who should replace Fabio Capello as the next England manager, or whether the Italian should remain in charge. Harry Redknapp? Roy Hodgson? Martin O'Neill? I've even read David Beckham's name mentioned as a potential candidate.

But let's face the bitter reality.

Fulham Home Shirt for 2010-11 Season: Photo Teaser

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A teaser of what Fulham's new home kit for the 2010-11 season will look like was recently released on the Internet.

The shirt is designed and manufactured by Kappa. And the photograph gives just enough of a hint to show how special the design may be.

According to Football Shirt Culture website, "Kappa, a leading brand in European sportswear, has developed this innovative Home shirt for the Fulham Football Club squad at its Kappa R&D centre in Turin, Italy, to the finest quality and design standards.

Where Does England Go From Here?

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There is a saying that once you hit rock bottom the only way out is up. Unfortunately there is another option, stagnating at the rock bottom. The England national team hit rock bottom in South Africa and those out there flattering themselves that England will emerge from the utter mess a stronger team cannot be further away from reality.

When Will Soccer Officiating Get With the Times?

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Sunday's refereeing blunders, following the many glaring group stage errors, have reignited a debate over changing the sport's rules. Some favor video replay, some favor an additional referee who would only monitor each goal area, while others would prefer a sensor-system for goals similar to that used in hockey.

World Cup 2010 Day 18: World Cup Buzz Podcast

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Brazil and the Netherlands are through to the quarterfinals of World Cup 2010 after Monday wins, sending Chile and Slovakia home while setting-up a match we've looked forward to since the tournament's onset. To talk about that as well as the last two Round of 16 matches (taking place Tuesday) I'm joined by Laurence McKenna and Kartik Krishnaiyer for this version of the World Cup Buzz Podcast.

Record Ratings for ABC and Univision World Cup TV Broadcasts

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If anyone doubted if soccer is a mainstream sport in the United States, they only have to look at the eyepopping numbers of people who watched the World Cup this weekend to see how ABC and Univision both had record TV ratings for soccer.

Saturday's broadcast of the United States against Ghana game on ABC drew an outstanding 14.

RTE Analysis of England’s World Cup Campaign: Video

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Whether you love or hate RTE's analysis of English football, watch the following video for analysis of England's 2010 World Cup campaign.

For some England fans, it may feel like rubbing salt into open wounds. But the critical analysis, whether you agree with it or not, is something that you won't see on BBC, Sky or other networks.

Poll: How Will the Premier League Be Affected By England’s World Cup Exit?

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Now that England is flying home today from the 2010 World Cup, what type of impact do you think this will have on the Premier League in England?

Will it not change anything at all? Will people be upset that the Premier League is killing the England national team? Will crowds and season ticket sales decrease?

ESPN Dealt Blow By Losing US, England and Mexico Soccer Fans In 48 Hours

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Not only was this a depressing weekend for supporters of England, USA, Mexico and South Korea, but the news that all four teams had been knocked out of the tournament must have come as a disappointment to ESPN and other media organizations who are hoping to capitalize on the popularity of the 2010 World Cup.

FIFA Ruining Growth of Soccer Worldwide

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Soccer is by far the most popular sport in the world. But there are still two massive continents in this world (Asia and North America) as well as other regions where the sport could be much more popular and where the populations are burgeoning.

However, FIFA continues to make cataclysmic mistakes that severely ruin the chances of new sports fans being attracted to the sport of soccer.

So Much for the Three Lions

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I now have a new all-time favorite soccer quote. After the English team drew against the USA and Algeria, barely beat Slovenia and was torn open and summarily dismissed from the World Cup by Germany, BBC commentator Chris Waddle had this observation:

"England will never win the World Cup while playing a 4-4-2.

5 Reasons Why England Aren’t Good Enough to Compete with the World’s Best

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In all actuality, shouldn't we have seen this coming like some run away freight down the frozen road of Precedence St. set by all those England players before? A capitulation of the highest order, a failing against those we least want to fail against and lastly, an outcome that was so sure to happen, we all seemed to pull the wool over our very eyes and convince ourselves through sheer self fulfilling prophecy that it was somehow going to end different this time.

Arsenal Home Jersey for 2010-11 Season: New Photos Released

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New photos of what appears to be Arsenal's new home jersey for the 2010-11 season have been leaked on the Internet. There's no confirmation that these are authentic or whether they're knock-off designs. However, many experts believe these are either the real-deal or very close to the new design which will be released by Arsenal in the coming weeks.

Tottenham Hotspur Home Jersey for 2010-11 Season: New Photo

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A new photo of Tottenham's new jersey for the 2010-11 season has been leaked on the Internet.

Designed and manufactured by Puma, the new Tottenham home shirt features a retro design with navy trim. Exquisitely designed, the new Spurs shirt has thankfully dropped the yellow from last season.

Top 10 Similarities Between USA-Ghana and England-Germany

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The similarities between England's devastating loss to Germany Sunday and the United States's loss to Ghana on Saturday are remarkable.

Here are ten similarities:

  1. Both games featured incredible goalkeeping performances. Neuer for Germany. Kingson for Ghana.
  2. In both games, the winning team completely outplayed their opposition.

World Cup 2010 Day 17: World Cup Buzz Podcast

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Sunday's highly anticipated match day featuring two great international football rivalries ended in a relative fizzle, with Germany defeating England (4-1) and Argentina defeating Mexico (3-1) by multi-goal margins. To talk about those matches and Monday's two Round of 16 fixtures, I was joined by Kartik Krishnaiyer and Laurence McKenna for this edition of the World Cup Buzz Podcast.

Defeat Against Germany Marks Decline of English Football

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Today was a watermark moment in world soccer. And, with great difficulty but complete honesty, I believe that today marks the final evidence that England is no longer a soccer giant.

Depending on which side of the fence you sit on, this may seem like common sense or complete hypocrisy.

In One Word, Depression: England 1-4 Germany

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Devastated. Demoralized. Disgusted. Dissolution. Can we get one more D? How about depression. This is a dark day in the history of the World Cup. And in the history of soccer. Yes, it's that dark.

It's hard to write the emotions I feel right now. I'm a citizen of the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

In Pictures: Frank Lampard’s Disallowed Goal v Germany

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In one of the most incredible moments in World Cup history, England were robbed a legitimate goal that would have leveled the score v Germany and created an entirely different second half for the surging English.

After going down by 2 well scored goals by Germany, England were able to get themselves back into the game through a Matthew Upson header.

England 1-4 Germany: England Eliminated and Left to Rue Disallowed Goal

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In the crucial last 16 clash v Germany, England boss Fabio Capello elected to stick with his winning eleven that saw off Slovenia in the last group stage match. Unchanged and with growing confidence, England took the field against one of, if not their most hated international rival.

England Cheated Of Blatant Goal Against Germany: Video

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England was cheated of a blatant Frank Lampard goal Sunday against Germany when the Chelsea midfielder's shot hit the crossbar, bounced 2-3 feet inside the goal and back out of the goal. But incredibly, the referee decided that it wasn't a goal which allowed Germany to go into half-time 2-1 ahead.

England v Germany, World Cup 2010: Open Thread

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They think it's all over (Sie denken es ist alles vorbel), well it is now. Not quite, but before, during and after England's massive game today against Germany, post your opinions and observations in the comments section below as Fabio Capello's men aim to overturn the Germans to reach the quarter-finals.

Manchester City Home Shirt for 2010-11 Season: Leaked Photo

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Manchester City's new home shirt for the 2010-11 season will look very similar to its current design except with a few changes, according to a photo that has been leaked on the Internet.

If this is in fact the new Manchester City home shirt, the most noticeable differences are the collar change.

World Cup 2010 Day 16: World Cup Buzz Podcast

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?The United States is out at the Round of 16, losing in extra time to Ghana, but did their play match the final score? The panel disagrees, discussing that, Uruguay's win over South Korea, and tomorrow's matched: England-Germany and Argentina-Mexico. It's all on this edition of the World Cup Buzz Podcast.

Who Will You Support in this World Cup Now that the USA Are Out?

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No matter what country you support, the pain of losing in a World Cup is a bitter pill to swallow. After a frustrating performance by the United States against Ghana, the United States men's national team will be returning home shortly after a successful tournament. The team and fans can keep their head held high.

Beat The Pundits: Results From First Round of World Cup Predictions

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A few weeks ago, I pulled together predictions from several sources where pundits had made their World Cup picks. As is so often during tournaments, we always conveniently forget what the predictions were so we rarely go back to see how wrong or right those pundits were.

Until now.

World Cup 2010: This Is Where It All Begins

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The first round of a World Cup tournament is a mere dress rehearsal for what we are about to experience. Starting today, this is where the World Cup begins. Where every game matters. Where teams will either live or die by the sword.

During the first round, teams are often playing conservative and calculated soccer.

Court Throws Out Premier League’s Case Against YouTube

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In a landmark decision, a US district court has ruled in favor of YouTube in a copyright infringement case where the Premier League sued YouTube in 2007.

The court case dragged on for three years. In it, the New York district judge ruled that "YouTube was protected by US legislation which says a service provider isn't liable for infringement if it removes material from its site when notified by the copyright owner.

Blackburn Rovers Home Jersey 2010-11 Season: Photo

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Blackburn Rovers and Umbro have unveiled their new home shirt for the 2010-11 season.

As is common with Umbro designs recently, the new Blackburn Rovers home shirt is cleanly designed with a less is more approach. While not a drastic change from last season, the biggest difference is the new traditional collar.

Sunderland Away Jersey for 2010-11 Season: Photo

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It's not uncommon for Premier League clubs to radically change the design of their away jerseys from season to season, but this upcoming's Sunderland shirt is absolutely a big departure from their current design.

According to Umbro, "The shirt is stone with a burgundy trim and a crew neck, and is built in the unique ergonomic shape used for the latest England kit.

The Capello Show: Video of Fabio On England’s Bench Against Slovenia

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It's seldom that a highlights video is laugh-out-loud funny, but this compilation video showing Fabio Capello and his reaction to England's performance against Slovenia in the World Cup made me guffaw several times.

The best moments include Stuart Pearce. So much for Pearce's "Psycho" nickname.

World Cup 2010 Day 15: World Cup Buzz Podcast

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Group stage is over, with the final four survivors identified. Brazil and Spain are through, both as group winners, joined from their respective groups by Portugal and Chile. On this edition of the World Cup Buzz Podcast, Kartik Krishnaiyer and Laurence McKenna join me to talk about that as well as the two Round of 16 match-ups scheduled for Saturday: Uruguay-South Korea and United States-Ghana.

The PK Struggle

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The conclusion of the group stage this afternoon pushes the tournament into the win or go home stage. Â No longer can games be capped at 90 minutes and a tie. Â Now they can go a full 120 minutes with out a single goal before it is extended into the delicious realm of penalties.

Dreaded by almost every player out there; it would be surprising if there was single professional who says he enjoys settling a game this way.

England 1-0 Slovenia: Played Out In Lego Football

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In what is becoming one of my most favorite series of viral videos this World Cup, here's the next installment of Lego Football which features the highlights of England against Slovenia in beautiful stop-motion Lego graphics.

And how good is it to see John Terry's salmon-like dive across the box as performed by a Lego character?

5 Players to Watch During England v Germany Round of 16 Clash

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In this weekend's tastiest World Cup fixture, long time rivals Germany and England will meet in a head on battle with dramatic implications and a quarter final birth on the line. Will the English get their chance to conquer their demons during a dramatic penalty shootout, or will the young and organized Germans overrun the tired looking English midfield and back line?

YouTube Gets a Vuvuzela Button

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Leave it up to the world's largest online video portal to come up with some pretty hilarious stuff, from idiots dancing in front of a camera to people falling flat on their faces while attempting some ridiculous stunt, YouTube has now added a Vuvuzela button featured on some soccer related videos.

ESPN World Cup Commentators: Progress Report Card

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ESPN's coverage of the 2010 World Cup has been spectacular. But if I must be honest, some of the commentators are beginning to get on my nerves. It's normal, I guess – especially after you consider how many hours we've spent listening to these commentators since the tournament began on June 11.

Where Will You Be Watching USA v Ghana and England v Germany?

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It's another massive weekend of soccer for all of us around the world. On Saturday, the United States plays Ghana (2:30pm ET) while on Sunday, England takes on Germany (10am ET). Plus, in addition to that, there's the mouthwatering clash between Argentina and Mexico (Sunday, 2:30pm ET) and last, but not least, Uruguay versus South Korea (Saturday, 10am ET) which should be a very entertaining game.

Everton Home Jersey for 2010-11 Season: New Photo Leaked

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Everton's new home jersey for the 2010-11 season will be a simple but beautiful design instead of their away kit, which is bright pink.

The new leaked photo of the Everton home shirt reveals a very traditional and clean design featuring Everton's famous blue shirts. The sponsor's name and the Le Coq Sportif are in white but the rest of the shirt, other than the Everton team crest, is in blue.

World Cup 2010 Day 14: World Cup Buzz Podcast

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?The world champions are out, Italy having been eliminated by Slovakia on Thursday. The Slovaks do through with Paraguay out of Group F, with the Netherlands and Japan, having beaten Denmark, advancing in second place. To talk about those results as well as Friday's matches, I was joined by Laurence McKenna and Kartik Krishnaiyer for this edition of the World Cup Buzz podcast.

World Cup South Africa 2010 – Is this the Year of the Underdog?

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As the final whistle shrieked like a gunshot into the eardrums of the Italians and sent the Slovakians into delirious celebrations in Johannesburg, the second giant killing of the tournament sent goose bumps down the spines of the millions, if not billions of people watching across the globe.

New Updated ESPN “Power of 10″ TV Spot for World Cup

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A couple months before the World Cup, ESPN released a series of 4 TV ads in their "One Game Changes Everything" campaign. If you don't remember the ads, there was "Robben Island", "United", "Power of 10″ and "Passion", and they came out in that order separated by about two weeks.

World Cup Diary: Surviving The Group Stage

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Is this World Cup smoking crack?

It has been a strange one. Sure, there have been moments of  crisp, clear beauty (beginning with Siphiwe Tshabalala's screaming torpedo of a shot in the first match), but for me the event has been overtaken by the surprises woven throughout. The unexpected moments and outcomes have ruled this group stage:

Robert Green allowing Dempsey's strike to trickle in.

Special1 TV: Episode 3 Featuring England v Algeria Humor: Video

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The third episode of Special1 TV, the BBC 3 version, has been released and there are plenty of laughs to be had in this video.

Some of the highlights include:

  • A few laughs at the expense of England's performance against Algeria,
  • Sven pimping for a Dutch ambush marketing company,
  • Someone stole Wayne Rooney's tuna fish sandwich,
  • A couple of Robbie Earle jokes, and
  • Two guest callers from Manchester named Noel and Liam.

RTE Analysis of England v Slovenia Calls 3 Lions Performance Shocking

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Irish broadcasting company RTE delivered heavy criticism against the performance of the England side against Slovenia Wednesday night.

In the analysis (see above video), pundits Eamon Dunphy, Johnny Giles and Ronnie Whelan were very critical regarding the England team's performance especially in the second half.

Why USA’s Algeria Win Was a Victory Against England

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It's incredible how one goal can make such a difference. With the game between Algeria and the United States still at nil-nil in the 90th minute Wednesday, the USA men's national team was on the precipice of getting knocked out of the tournament. But the last-gasp winner by Landon Donovan changed everything in so many ways.

Paul Scholes Interview: Exclusive

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During a recent visit to Florida, EPL Talk had the opportunity to sit down with Manchester United and England midfield legend Paul Scholes for an exclusive interview.

Among the topics covered include:

  • What makes the north west of England so much stronger than other parts of the country,
  • What it was like playing with legends such as Eric Cantona, David Beckham and others,
  • How Sir Alex Ferguson has affected his career,
  • His thoughts on other England managers he's been coached by including Glenn Hoddle, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Kevin Keegan,
  • What it's like playing at Old Trafford and what makes it a fortress,
  • Whether he would like to coach some day,
  • His fondness for Oldham Athletic, and
  • Much more.

Win an Autographed John Terry England Shirt and More at Wowies

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If you live in South Florida, there's only one place to be this weekend to watch your World Cup games and that's Wowies Sports Grill in Boca Raton, Florida. EPL Talk is hosting all of its official World Cup Viewing Parties at Wowies, a modern sports bar featuring 31 big screen TVs, three full-liquor bars, excellent food and the lovely Wowies Girls.

John Terry Defends Slovenia Shot With Diving Header: Video

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Out of all of the soccer games you've seen in person or on television, how many times have you seen a player move his head out of the way to avoid getting pummeled by a shot that looks like it's going to hit him? For me, it's been too many times to count. At that velocity, the ball is going to sting and hurt someone.

World Cup 2010 Day 13: World Cup Buzz Podcast

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It was a glorious day for the United States and England, who move on from the World Cup's Group C in first and second place. This weekend, they will meet Ghana and Germany, respectively – the two teams that qualify for the knockout rounds from Group D. To talk about that, and Thursday's action (Groups E and F) I'm joined by Laurence McKenna for this addition of the World Cup Buzz Podcast.

England to Play Germany in World Cup This Sunday

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After Germany overcame Ghana in the last game of Group C today, Germany will now play England in a mouthwatering second round World Cup tie, which is scheduled for this Sunday at 10am ET.

Germany is one of England's greatest rivals. The teams have played against each other many times in major tournaments including the 1966 World Cup Final which England won 4-2, and the 1990 World Cup semi-final which England lost on penalty kicks in Italy.

England Survive Group Stage Scare as Form and Belief Continue to Grow

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Was that the best that England have to offer? Probably not, but it was better than the last two group stage matches in a myriad of categories. Possession, defense, passing and a more cohesive attack were all sharper from England as they continue to build on their World Cup form that, let's face it, could only get better considering their first two matches.

England 1-0 Slovenia: Defoe’s Goal: Video

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For England supporters who can't get enough of seeing how England scored the goal against Slovenia today in the 2010 World Cup, here is the video replay of the goal scored by Jermain Defoe.

And what a beautiful cross it was that led to the goal. Defoe got into a good position and was able to slot the ball away with ease.

7 Ways to Improve the FIFA World Cup

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We've all been enjoying a wonderful World Cup tournament that has featured some incredible teams playing the beautiful game, but there are several improvements that need to be made to make it even better.

Here are the top 7 ways to improve the World Cup:

  1. Remove the lots.

England 1-0 Slovenia: Three Lions Qualify for Second Round

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Jermain Defoe is the hero in England today after he scored the only goal of the game that helped England move into the second round of the 2010 World Cup.

In a game that England dominated, despite some good chances by Slovenia to equalize, Defoe's goal was what separated the sides and enabled England to finish in second place in the group.

England v Slovenia, World Cup 2010: Open Thread

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It all comes down to this. Ninety minutes in Port Elizabeth. England against Slovenia in a must-win World Cup game for Fabio Capello's team.

Before, during and after the match, post your comments, questions or observations in the section below. And no matter where you live in the world, let's hope you enjoy what we hope will be a brilliant game to watch (no guarantee).

The BBC’s England World Cup Rallying Cry

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The offices, factories and roads of England will fall silent at 3pm GMT today as virtually the entire population pause to watch the national sides final group game of the World Cup.

The nation will collectively hold its breath once more, as the hope and torment of the England national team captivates for another 90 minutes at least.

World Cup 2010 Poll: Who Will Advance From Group C?

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When the draw for Group C was named in December, little did we know how difficult it would be to predict who would advance and how close the race was going to be on the final day of the first round games in Group C.

The beauty of World Cup Group C is that it's in the hands of all four teams.

Who Would You Start If You Were Fabio Capello?

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You're Fabio Capello and it's the night before one of the biggest games of your career where your name is on the line and you have millions of England fans putting the pressure on you to make the correct decisions.

But who would you start for England against Slovenia tomorrow?

World Cup 2010 Day 12: World Cup Buzz Podcast

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Uruguay, Mexico, Argentina and South Korea are through to the knockout stage of World Cup 2010, while South Africa, France, Greece and Nigeria are the first teams sent hope. To talk about the conclusion of Groups A and B and Wednesday, the final day for Groups C and D, I'm joined by Laurence McKenna and Kartik Krishnaiyer for this edition of the World Cup Buzz Podcast.

It’s Time for FIFA to Put an End to Cheating and Diving In Soccer

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I appeared on a CBC TV news program in Canada Monday night and was asked to defend the theatrics of soccer. The diving and the cheating that are so woven into the fabric of soccer and are most evident to the public when the World Cup takes center stage every four years. To be fair, the diving and cheating is indefensible other than the fact that this is what countries often do to gain a edge in soccer.

England Fans: Underestimate The Opposition At Your Peril

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If you support England, how are you feeling right now? The next 24 hours or so are a test of everyone's bottle. Some England fans tend to think this is a unique condition that afflicts them only but it's the same for many countries supporters in the coming days. It's all part of life's rich tapestry as a football fan; the grit that makes the pearl.

World Cup 2010 Day 11: World Cup Buzz Podcast

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Portugal gave us our first true rout of the World Cup, beating North Korea 7-0, while Spain returned to their winning ways and Chile said goodbye to Valon Behrami and hello to first place in Group H. To talk about these three Monday matches and a Tuesday's docket which will see four teams sent home, I was joined by Laurence McKenna and Kartik Krishnaiyer for this edition of the World Cup Buzz Podcast.

England 0-0 Algeria: Lego Highlights

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There's something beautiful about watching soccer highlights played out by stop-motion Lego characters. It even makes a boring match such as England 0-0 Algeria look exciting.

Watch the above video to see the highlights, which even includes Wayne Rooney's rant in front of the TV camera and the England fans booing.

Who Will You Support: England or the United States?

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Having England and the United States in the same World Cup group is one thing. They played each other once and life moved on. However, one item we neglected to consider is what happens on the final day of the World Cup first round matches (which begin tomorrow), and who we'll support on Wednesday when both England and the United States kick off at the same time with their future in their own hands.

Henry Winter Interview: World Cup, Premier League and Custard Creams

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EPL Talk's Laurence McKenna had an opportunity recently to sit down with Henry Winter, one of the most accomplished English football authors and writers in the United Kingdom.

Just minutes before the England versus Mexico friendly at Wembley, McKenna had a chat with Henry Winter, outside the hallowed Wembley Stadium, about several fascinating topics revolving around the World Cup, England national team and the Premier League including:

  • Which world famous manager has a weakness for custard cream biscuits,
  • His impressions of the 2009-2010 Premier League season,
  • His favorite memories of previous World Cup tournaments,
  • What makes the World Cup so different,
  • What he would have given Fabio Capello to bring with him to the World Cup,
  • What is his approach to writing,
  • And much more.

Is Joe Cole the Answer to England’s Attacking Deficiencies?

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As England approach their last chance to qualify for the round of sixteen, the avoidance of certain embarrassment and arguably this generation's most important make or break match, John Terry and the England squad have voiced their concerns over a beer with Fabio Capello resulting in the request to include Joe Cole (among other things) in the starting line up on Wednesday v Slovenia.

Best 15 World Cup Murals from ESPN’s 2010 World Cup Ad Campaign

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One of the many aspects of ESPN's World Cup advertising campaign I've enjoyed most so far has been the beautiful murals the TV network has used both in banner advertising and promotion for the biggest sports tournament. If you haven't seen them yet, take a look at all 33 murals that were designed by ESPN's agencies, Wieden+Kenny and AM I Collective.

World Cup 2010 Day 10: World Cup Buzz Podcast

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Brazil has clinched a place in the knockout stage, for which Kaká will be rested, thanks to a one match suspension. The defending world champion Italy was drawn by New Zealand, while Paraguay sits alone at the top of Group F after their win over Slovakia. To talk about these matches plus Monday's three fixtures, I was joined by Laurence McKenna and Kartik Krishnaiyer for this edition of the World Cup Buzz Podcast.

ESPN’s Adrian Healey Confuses Slovakia with Slovenia

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Looking at the ESPN's team of commentators for the 2010 World Cup TV coverage, we knew ahead of time that Adrian Healey and John Harkes were the weakest links in a team that features some of the best commentators in the world. Both men are qualified professionals. However, they're not nearly as good as Martin Tyler, Derek Rae, Ian Darke and others.

The One Thing That England Is Missing In This World Cup

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Think back to the 2006 World Cup in Germany and the game that England played against Portugal in the quarter-final. There were many vivid moments from that match including Cristiano Ronaldo's wink, Wayne Rooney getting sent off for his stamp on Ricardo Carvalho and David Beckham exiting the game with an injury.

Experience or Form? Which One Would You Go For?

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We have been here before. England's performances so far have been under scrutiny and they have been panned by blood thirsty critics and fans alike. There is a feeling among most of us that the barrage aimed at England is quite reasonable but is it entirely the players fault? End of the day, it should be as after all, they are the ones playing but on this instance, I do believe that the coaching staff has to take some blame for England's downfall.

World Cup TV Ratings Break New Records On ESPN and Univision

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The 2010 World Cup has exploded on US television with record ratings. During the first weekend, the audience numbers for the first five games for the 2010 World Cup on ESPN were twice as high as those from four years ago during the 2006 World Cup. And now, during the second weekend, Univision is reporting that their broadcast of Mexico against France was the largest audience for a World Cup match on its network.

World Cup 2010 Day 9: World Cup Buzz Podcast

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The Netherlands are the first team to have clinched a place in the second round, beating Japan, while Cameroon is the first be eliminated at World Cup 2010 after losing to Denmark. Also, we discuss Ghana only getting one point from 10-man Australia when myself, Laurence McKenna, and Kartik Krishnaiyer engage in a special edition of the World Cup Buzz Podcast, where we take some time at the end of the show to reflect on how media is coming to grips with the shrinking soccer world.

Top 10 Excuses to Expect from England and its Supporters

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England is one game away from being knocked out of the World Cup. And while England's supporters are still reeling from the abysmal performance against Algeria, they're now looking for excuses. They need someone to blame. What else can explain the dire performance in a game that most people (myself included) predicted they would win comfortably?

World Cup 2010: Where Have All of the Goals from Free Kicks Gone?

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe there has a been a goal in the 2010 World Cup thus far that has been scored directly from a free kick. In a sport where the difference between a winning and losing team is often a goal from a direct free kick, it seems odd that there have been none thus far.

Download the FREE EPL Talk Toolbar For Latest WC 2010 News

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With all of the different news, blog, and sport sites available on the internet, sifting through the pile for worthwhile material can be a nightmare.

This is why I have, in association with The Gaffer, created the EPL Talk toolbar. It allows you to find the latest football news, blogs, and opinion quickly and efficiently without leaving your current webpage.

How to Unlock World Cup Badges On Foursquare, Gowalla and Miso

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Some of you who regularly read EPL Talk know that I'm a big fan of location-based social networking apps such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Miso and – one of my new favorites – Foodspotting. The apps, which can be used on your phone or online, allow you to "check in" to different places so your friends and followers can find out what establishments you like and which TV programs you watch.

England’s Biggest Problem – They Are Just Not that Good

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For a number of months there has been a debate on this site about how good the English team really is. Most have claimed that this version of the Three Lions represented a golden generation of players finally coming to the pinnacle of their skills and ready to challenge for the most valued trophy on earth.

Newcastle United Away and Third Kits for 2010-11 Season: New Photo

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New photographs of Newcastle United's away and third kits for the 2010-11 season have been revealed.

The new Newcastle United kits are designed and manufactured by Puma. The away shirt, pictured below, is blue with white trim. While the shirt is well designed, I'm not a big fan of where the Puma logo is positioned on the shorts.

What England Needs To Do

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England so far have been...poor to say the least. Still, it hasn't been for want of effort or heart as some fans would believe. If they didn't care then the scorelines against the United States and Algeria would have been much worse. However, changes need to be made, not only to qualify from the group, but to ensure a satisfactory run in the World Cup.

Poll: Which Team Has Been the Worst In the 2010 World Cup?

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Before the 2010 World Cup started, who would have expected nations such as Portugal, England, France and Australia to perform so poorly in the tournament?

But who, out of those four worst teams in the World Cup thus far, has been the worst? Vote below and share your opinions in the comments section below.

Where it All Went Wrong for England

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In short: Everywhere. Though that won't do. England's problems were numerous and solutions are not easy to come by. It's best to look at the team and the manager as a whole.

Firstly, England played their usual tactics against Algeria who, in turn, played to stifle those tactics.

World Cup 2010 Day 8: World Cup Buzz Podcast

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Was the United States robbed by the referee against Slovenia? Perhaps, but we were all robbed of a football match from England and Algeria, two results that overshadowed the days' biggest surprise: the? Serbian derailing of the Nationalmannschaft. On this edition of the World Cup Buzz podcast, I'm joined by Laurence McKenna and Kartik Krishnaiyer to talk about Friday's triad of results and the trio of matches awaiting us on Saturday.

Wayne Rooney Has Words For England Supporters

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Wayne Rooney has never been one to hide his personality. His temper on the field has been scrutinized for years, but most Rooney and Manchester United fans chalk it up to the passion and heart he has for the game and for winning. The same passion and heart that makes Rooney one of the best players in the world.

Abject England Draw Algeria and Face Elimination in 2010 World Cup Group Stage

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As the three lions bow their heads in shame and continue to yawn and whimper their way through what was supposedly the easiest group they've ever encountered, I feel the need as one of their biggest fans, at least on this site, to step up and face the music and admit my passions exist for a team that simply isn't good enough.

England 0-0 Algeria: Pathetic England Ruin Chances

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England continued their dismal 2010 World Cup performance today with a 0-0 draw against Algeria.

After England's 1-1 draw last week against the United States, everyone expected England to come out guns a-blazing against Algeria. But the way they played was embarrassing. Wayne Rooney was absolutely abysmal yet again for England.

England v Algeria, World Cup 2010: Open Thread

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After an incredible draw between Slovenia and the United States, the world will now be watching England against Algeria this afternoon to see what those two teams in Group C can do.

For England, it's more important than ever for them to win this match especially if the games in Group C will go down to the last day (next Wednesday).

Special1 TV, Episode 2 (BBC3): World Cup Special

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Episode 2 of Special1 TV has been released, and it's an instant classic. This one has many more laughs than the debut episode on BBC 3. It's one of those episodes that has a little something for everyone.

It's a perfect episode to watch in the build-up to today's England against Algeria game.

World Cup 2010 Day 7: World Cup Buzz Podcast

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Argentina all-but-claimed Group B their own, rolling to a 4-1 victory over the South Koreans. Greece gets their first win in World Cup history at 10-man Nigeria's expense, while Mexico earns Ireland's most preferred nation status by push France to the proverbial precipice. Joining me to talk about that is Kartik Krishnaiyer for this edition of the World Cup Buzz Podcast.

World Cup 2010: Six Reasons Why I Love Argentina

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Shhh, don't tell anyone. But I'm in love with Argentina. Not the country but the incredible way that the Argentina national team is playing soccer. After today's performance, they are by far the greatest football playing team in the tournament.

Against Nigeria in the opening game, they showed glimmers of hope but today against South Korea, Diego Maradona's side looked like the finished product except for a few vulnerabilities in defense.

ESPN “Fan Rant Challenge” – Who is the World Cup’s Best Player So Far?

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ESPN's proclaimed "footy fanatic", Josh Elliot has called out all World Cup fans. Sportscenter wants to know who you think is the best player in the 2010 World Cup so far. The ESPN anchor picks Gonzalo Higuain, the convenient choice after today's hat trick against South Korea. However, I think the EPL Talk readers are more creative and knowledgeable than that.

Robert Green and England: If Only Things Had Been So Different: Video

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What if? What if Robert Green had spilled that shot from Clint Dempsey in the World Cup, but then he managed to grab it before it crossed over the line.

Watch this video to see what could have happened if things were different. It's a handy piece of revisionism that England fans would much prefer to watch than what actually happened.

7 Reasons to Attend Wowies for USA-Slovenia and England-Algeria World Cup Viewing Parties

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Friday is a big day for readers of this blog as we prepare to watch two massive World Cup games, both of which are must win matches. USA against Slovenia kicks off at 10am ET. Followed by England versus Algeria at 2:30pm ET. And we have the added bonus of the early kick-off at 7:30am featuring Germany against Serbia in another game of immense proportions.

The Final Third: The 2010 World Cup’s Black Hole

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During his broadcast of the Italy-Paraguay match, Ian Darke, never shy in his observations of that match before him, made the astute observation that the Italian penalty area "must be a minefield" to the Paraguayans by the way they seemed to avoid it at all costs.

While Darke's comment focused on Paraguay's defensive "negativity," that match was one of the many where we have seen teams exhibit solid approach play, only to loop a cross to row Q, fire a missile well over the bar, or fail to pick out a teammate in the box with a fairly simple pass.

2010-11 Premier League Opening Day Fixtures Fiasco

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Yay! The new fixtures for the 2010-11 Premier League season have been announced. And all around the world we soccer fans are rubbing our hands with glee at the thought of who our team will play on the opening day of the new season, scheduled to kick off on Saturday, August 14.

If I sound slightly sarcastic, it's intentional.

The World Cup Summary Week One- How Is Your Team Doing?

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So the World Cup is now a week old, every team has played at least once. It is now becoming clear whether your team was a sound bet or as dodgy as a Northern Rock balance sheet.

There have already been a few surprises, and those following a minnow may have had a nice surprise.

World Cup 2010 Day 6: World Cup Buzz Podcast

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Switzerland pulls off the first major upset of the tournament, Chile broke out the Twister and got this party (re-)started, ?while Uruguay's awakening has South Africa on the verge of going dormant. To talk about these matches as well the matches on Thursday's agenda, I'm joined by Kartik Krishnaiyer and Laurence McKenna for this version of the World Cup Buzz podcast.

Will You Be Suffering from World Cup Fever This Friday?

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Ladies and gentlemen, take a second and place the back of your hand on your forehead to check to see if you have a fever. I have a gut feeling you may be suffering from World Cup Fever. But if you're feeling 100% healthy, perhaps it's time to check your paid time off balance to see if you have time available to skip work on Friday.

The Times Closes Door On Online Soccer Coverage

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EPL Talk reported in April that the days of free articles on the Times were soon coming to an end. It now seems as if the Times have taken the first big step in keeping good on their promise by closing it's online website, timesonline.co.uk, last Tuesday. For me, the move seems slightly odd considering the Times could loose substantial online viewership during the next month as the World Cup continues to be played out in South Africa.

Vuvuzelas: Tell ESPN If You Want to Hear Them or Not

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So far during this 2010 World Cup tournament, the talking points have been more off the field than on it. While the players from the 32 teams have failed to sparkle thus far, most of the talk seems to be focused on the vuvuzelas – whether they should be banned or not, and how Host Broadcasting Services and other broadcasters have added an audio filter to suppress the noise from horn-blowing fans.

World Cup 2010 Day 5: World Cup Buzz Podcast

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Cote d'Ivoire and Portugal made up the marquee match-up on Tuesday, but it was the efforts of New Zealand (against Slovakia) and North Korea (against Brazil) that wrote the stories. In this edition of the World Cup Buzz podcast, I'm joined by special guest The Gaffer to wrap-up Tuesday's action from South Africa 2010.

In Defense of the 2010 World Cup

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It's only five days into the 2010 World Cup and the critics are already taking digs at the tournament. And most of those criticizing the World Cup are soccer lovers, not haters.

I've had the good fortune to watch each game live on TV and while I agree that the games have not been very exciting, my response is this: Come on, get a grip.

5 Days In – A Peculiar World Cup – The Real Reason

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There are the obvious explanations. Teams are not accustomed to the new Adidas football, teams are frightened to lose the first game, teams are set up to not concede the first goal. Could the real explanation be that football has changed?

The game is professional in a way that it has never been before.

Watch “The Two Escobars,” Tonight on ESPN at 9pm ET

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Tonight on ESPN, the sports TV network, will debut its brand new documentary entitled "The Two Escobars," the story of Andres Escobar, the talented Colombian soccer player who was tragically murdered after he scored an own goal in the 1994 World Cup. The film investigates the surprising relationship between the murders of Escobar and his namesake, Pablo Escobar, the drug cartel warlord.

Confessions of a Frustrated World Cup Fan

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Raise your hand if you live in these great United States, you work full time Monday-Friday, or close to it, and you're a passionate football fan and love the World Cup with every fiber of your being?

If you're anything like me, your hand is probably (frustratingly) raised high in the air because of your inability to experience the World Cup live in all it's beauty during your 9-5.

World Cup Drinking Game Update

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They say that you learn from your experiences and no statement is truer than with a drinking/bingo game, sadly my original effort was not realistic enough, there were not enough points scored or drinks consumed.

Therefore with the Vuvela's cracking off, goalkeeping gaffes and lack of excitement in the tournament so far, I have updated the game to make the games higher scoring affairs.

Should FIFA Ban the Vuvuzela for the Duration of the World Cup?

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Whether you're new to the World Cup or you're taking in your tenth finals, you're sure to have noticed the incessant drone at matches this past weekend from the stadium horns known as vuvuzelas that are so common in South Africa. Love them or hate them, it seems the vuvuzela, or lepatata is as much apart of football in South Africa as crowd songs are in England or hot dogs are in American baseball.

Barney Ronay Interview: The World Cup

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Laurence McKenna, co-host of the EPL Talk and World Cup Buzz Podcasts, recently had a golden opportunity to sit down with one of the most remarkable English football writers and authors, Barney Ronay of The Guardian and When Saturday Comes.

In this second part of the interview series (part one is included below), Ronay shares his opinion regarding several fascinating topics including:

  • How he assesses Fabio Capello as a manager,
  • How England measures up to the rest of the world,
  • His fondest memories of previous World Cup tournaments,
  • What we will remember the 2010 World Cup for,
  • What sets the World Cup apart from other sporting tournaments,
  • Who will win the 2010 World Cup in South Africa,
  • And much more.

England v USA Viewing Audience Beats First 4 Games Of NBA Finals

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Sunday we reported that ESPN's viewing numbers for the first five games of the tournament were double the number from four years ago. And now there's more good news as the TV ratings and updated audience numbers for Saturday and Sunday's matches add more ammunition to the argument that the 2010 World Cup is taking America by storm — especially when you consider that the England v USA game drew more viewers than each night of the first four games of the NBA Finals.

Arsenal Away Jersey for 2010-11 Season Revealed: Photo

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Arsenal's new away shirt for the 2010-11 season has been revealed. The new Arsenal away jersey is yellow with redcurrant trim and redcurrant pinstripes on the front of the shirt.

Designed and manufactured by Nike, Arsenal's new away kit are a throwback to Arsenal's history when they were known as Woolwich Arsenal.

World Cup 2010 Day 4: World Cup Buzz Podcast

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Two surprise results highlight the fourth day of action of South Africa 2010. Joining me to talk about them is co-host Kartik Krishnaiyer as we break down the Netherlands' opening win over Denmark, Japan's first World Cup win away from home (beating Cameroon), and Paraguay drawing with reigning champions Italy.

Mesut Özil: Birth of a star

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When Germany lost Michael Ballack coming into this world cup, some commentators were writing them off, or at the very least not touting them as tournament favourites. Despite an excellent qualification campaign in a less than forgiving group Germany emerged without a loss and played with a freedom that went unnoticed.

Roberto Martinez Shines For ESPN In World Cup Coverage

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There has been a lot to be thankful to ESPN for during their 2010 World Cup coverage this summer, but the most significant contribution – by far – has been the rise of Roberto Martinez in the role of ESPN studio commentator.

The Wigan Athletic manager is no stranger to soccer punditry.

World Cup 2010 Day 3: World Cup Buzz Podcast

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Germany trounced Australia in their World Open opener. Ghana because the first Africa team to win, while Slovenia moved to the top of Group C. On this edition of the World Cup Buzz podcast, myself, Laurence McKenna and Kartik Krishanaiyer review Sunday's action and look for want to Mondays matches while taking time to get an update on Group C.

The U.S. Becomes a Soccer Nation, If Just For One Day

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Walking up and down the streets of New York before the most highly anticipated U.S. soccer match in history, one could have mistaken this city for London, Berlin or Rio de Janeiro. Thousands of people clad in football jerseys, and not the variety of Manning, Brady, or Peterson, but those of Donovan, Altidore and Dempsey.

USA v England World Cup Game Draws a 9.0 TV Rating on ABC

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The 2010 World Cup clash between USA and England drew a 9.0 overnight TV rating for the 2:30pm ET kick-off which was shown on ABC this past Saturday.

To put it into perspective, Saturday's U.S.-England also drew the fifth-best overnight ever for a World Cup game. In addition to ranking behind the 1994 Romania-U.

FIFA’s TV Coverage of World Cup Underwhelms

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FIFA, what are you doing?

With a global population that is so used to the quality of the Premier League coverage on television, it's ridiculous that FIFA's TV replays are so poor. How many times in this tournament have we already been frustrated with the lack of TV replays after crucial incidents?

ESPN Impress with World Cup Coverage Thus Far

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The first few days of the 2010 FIFA World Cup have come and gone like Robert Green's stint as England's #1 and ESPN (so far) have impressed with their fantastic coverage here in the States. It seems like ITV is the Robert Green of the tournamentthus far while ESPN's solid coverage, analysis and team of experts can be compared more to Tim Howard's man of the match effort v England.

Analysis Of The Rivals – Part 3: Slovenia

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Life is rosy if you are a Slovenian football fan. Not only have the Slovenians qualified for a World Cup for the second time, their Prime Minister Borut Pahor also cleaned the team's boots as a reward, a charming act showing how football can emphasize a sense of community in a country.

For Abject England, Expect More of the Same

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England fans have traditionally been guilty of the sin of not really looking. Reading the English press, there seems a general sense of shock about how their team performed in their first game yesterday. But to a neutral observer, the result, and England's sorry, tired performance, was not really all that much of a surprise.

US Soccer Fans Lead Chorus of “BP Sucks” Chants

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It wasn't the prettiest game by either team, but Saturday's clash between England and the United States reached fever pitch levels at sports bars and restaurants across the US and around the world. One such party was held in South Florida at Wowies Sports Grill, the host site for EPL Talk's official World Cup viewing parties.

World Cup Day 2, United States-England: World Cup Buzz Podcast

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It finally came. It finally went. The United States versus England, and as if there was any way we would forget the result, Robert Green made sure to make Saturday's match an inadvertent classic. On this show, Laurence McKenna, Kartik Krishnaiyer and myself discuss the results of that match, Argentina's win over Nigeria, and South Korea's win over Greece.

World Cup Poll: Should England Pick David James or Joe Hart?

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Robert Green's blunder for England against the United States means that England coach Fabio Capello now faces the decision of whether to pick David James or Joe Hart for England's next game, against Algeria on Friday.

But if you were Capello, who would you pick? David James has his strengths and weaknesses, but Joe Hart is unproven at the highest international level in terms of the world's stage.

ITV HD Viewers Miss England’s Opening Goal After Major Flub

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Imagine you're ITV, one of the biggest TV networks in the United Kingdom, and you have the rights to the live match between England and the United States. It's the biggest match of the World Cup thus far. And it's the added bonus of being in HD.

As ITV, you begin showing the match but then the worst case scenario happens.

Lackluster England Draw USA, But Better Things to Come from the Three Lions

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Let's face it, England were quite poor in their opening game match of the 2010 World Cup with the United States, but I whole-heartedly believe that it's not all doom and gloom just yet and England fans have seen nothing near the best that will come from the Three Lions throughout the rest of this month long tournament.

England v USA, 2010 World Cup: In Pictures

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After what began as a brilliant start for England after Steven Gerrard scored the opener in three minutes, it looked as if it was going to be England's night. But the US battled back, were fortunate that Robert Green spilled the ball into the net. And the rest is history.

At EPLTalk.

England v USA: Open Thread and Live Streaming From Wowies, Boca Raton

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Video clips at Ustream

England v USA. This is the match that we've all been waiting for. Feel free to post your comments before, during or after the game in the section below.

We're also proud to be sharing this game via UStream live from Wowies in Boca Raton. If you're in the area, stop by and experience the biggest game of the World Cup so far at 7036 W.

Special 1 TV, Episode 1 on BBC 3: Video

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The Special One has returned to the airwaves with episode 1 on BBC 3. This one, released on the first day of the World Cup, features Jose alongside Wayne Rooney and Sven-Goran Eriksson as well as the usual cast of call-in experts such as Rafa, Didier Drogba, David Beckham and even Tom Cruise.

South Africa-Mexico, France-Uruguay: World Cup Buzz Podcast

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Four years of waiting is over, and Richard (me) is a little choken up. He, Laurence McKenna and Kartik Krishnaiyer stop to reflect on World Cup 2010's significance amidst discussion of South Africa's tie with Mexico, France's draw with Uruguay, and Saturday's matches: Greece-Korea, Argentina-Nigeria, and England-United States.

Glenn Beck Hates Soccer and the World Cup

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If every day could be like the World Cup, that'd be magic especially for soccer fans in the United States.

Driving to the World Cup Viewing Parties at Wowies in Boca Raton today, I saw a billboard on the side of the highway advertising a World Cup party at a local casino. Then, after arriving at my destination to watch the lackluster opening games (including the mind-numbing France against Uruguay match), it suddenly hit me that the World Cup is everywhere.

American Shmundits. Argh!

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I play much more soccer than basketball. But when it comes to the end of televised seasons, I watch much more basketball than soccer. Maybe it has something to do with the excitement of a top quality league that actually has playoffs combined with the speed and high scoring of the NBA.

South Africa v Mexico, 2010 World Cup: Open Thread

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Finally. It. Is. Here. The 2010 World Cup kicks off today with the first match up between South Africa and Mexico.

I'm picking South Africa and Mexico to draw in this one. Mexico should win, but buoyed by the incredible support of the South African nation, I think the South Africans will rise to the occasion and grab an equalizer.

How Weak is Englands Backline?

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With England's captain Rio Ferdinand now out of the World Cup Finals, one would think the notoriously pessimistic English would be packing it in already with fears about their defense, but there has hardly been a tremor. Throughout the Premiership campaign Ferdinand had not played up to potential, and many believe that his replacement, likely to be Ledley King, is at least, if not more, capable than the Man United man.

World Cup Poll: Who Will Win, England or United States?

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After over six months of anticipation, we're now on the verge of seeing the World Cup kick off and the first gigantic matchup of the tournament when England plays the United States on Saturday at 2:30pm ET (live on ABC).

But who do you think will win? Who has the ability to win this match and will you get the prediction correct?

BBC Launches Big Mexican Wave Campaign for 2010 World Cup

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Today marks the launch of a brand-new campaign by the BBC to encourage soccer fans to create the mother of all Mexican Waves from around the world.

To launch the campaign, BBC collected snapshots of key individuals doing the Mexican Wave and pieced them all together into the above video.

Why Some England Supporters Are Their Own Worst Enemy

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Well we're almost there.

The future is about to be written.

English football fans are right now full of typical pre-tournament nervousness, arrogance, pitiful lack of self-belief, cynicism, doubt and jingoism. Welcome to England.

The World Cup is the world's biggest sporting event and captivates almost everyone on earth and even some people in Texas.

England v USA World Cup Viewing Party: Boca Raton and Online

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No matter if you live near South Florida or halfway across the world, you can join the England v USA World Cup Viewing Party festivities this Saturday and participate in what will undoubtedly be the biggest day ever for EPL Talk. We have a ton of exciting developments planned for you to help you get the most out of one of the biggest days in US soccer history.

World Cup Predictions, Knockout Stage: World Cup Buzz Podcast

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You have invested the last month with us, though the expert interviews to the two weeks of group breakdowns, and now – the day before the 2010 World Cup starts – Laurence McKenna, Kartik Krishnaiyer and myself make out final predictions: the Round of 16 to the July 11 final. Join us in this final preparatory step for South Africa 2010 as we tell you who we think will be the next world champions.

England Should Beware Slow Start (and Germany) in Rustenberg

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Whether it is the fear of losing, lack of fitness or early tournament nerves England have consistently struggled to grab all three points in their recent opening matches at International tournaments.

In fact, a quick look at the history books shows that since 1986 The Three Lions have only won their opener on two occasions – against Paraguay in 2006 and Tunisia in 1998.

Should I Support England or the United States?

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With the World Cup literally hours away from kicking off in South Africa, there are so many thoughts running through my head that I thought I'd share many of them with you. And one is of major importance to me. Should I support the USA or England?

I agree with many of you that too much time and energy is being spent on the hype for the England against United States match.

England v USA: The Key Matchups

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Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, John Terry, Ashley Cole. An illustrious lot, these world footballing stars would make the starting XI of just about every squad on the planet and are known from the Midwest to the Midlands.

Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Tim Howard.

South Africa 2010 World Cup Bingo/Drinking Game

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The World Cup is here; there is nothing better than watching the games with friends, having a few drinks and watching a game of football.Â

In case the football is not quite enough on it's own to entertain you, this World Cup bingo/drinking game could possibly make things more interesting.

World Cup Fans: How Are You Feeling?

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In reference to the World Cup, a friend of mine sent me a note on Facebook this morning saying that she felt like a kid who is too anxious to find out if Santa will bring her what she wants for Christmas. It certainly feels that way with one big exception. This celebration will last longer than one morning.

BBC Panorama Documentary Exposes Glazer Family Debt at £1.1bn

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The Glazer family are in the news yet again for all the wrong reasons as BBC Panorama has found evidence exposing the Glazer family debt at £1.1bn which is some £400m more than previously thought. After borrowing extensively against their suffering shopping malls in America, the Glazier's hold as owners of Manchester United must surely be threatened as the recently quieted green and gold protest led by MUST will surely gain more steam in the upcoming weeks and months.

2010 World Cup Fever: A Warning to Businesses Everywhere

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The World Cup has stopped wars, launched dictators and broken hearts. The month-long quadrennial soccer extravaganza can also reduce a nation's GDP: neither over-zealous victory parties nor wallowing in defeatism do much for worker productivity.

World Cup 2010 begins in South Africa on June 11.

Liverpool Away Shirt for 2010-11 Season Revealed: Photos

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Photographs of Liverpool's new away shirt have been leaked on the Internet ahead of the official unveiling on Thursday.

The photographs confirm that Liverpool's new away jersey will be white with vertical pinstripes in red, gold and black, running down the front and sleeves. The shirt features a v-neck collar, the iconic Adidas three stripes down the sleeve and, overall, is a very sleek design.

World Cup Group C Preview: World Cup Buzz Podcast

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We left the most anticipated to the end, with today's episode of the World Cup Buzz Podcast breaking down Group C. In that group England is the seed, and they are joined by Algeria, Slovenia, and a United States team that will look to conjure the same magic used on their last trip to South Africa.

England v USA: EA Match Simulation

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The techie folks over at Electronic Arts have created a simulation of what the final score of the England versus United States game may be.

It's set to the sounds and graphics of their 2010 FIFA World Cup game which was recently released in stores. EA went ahead and performed simulations of all of the games in the World Cup and found that the eventual winner of the tournament was Spain.

King Can Rise To The Challenge

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For some, the end of Rio Ferdinand's World Cup also sent a blast across the bows of English hopes of winning the trophy. One of the squads truly great players being forced out simply weakens the side is the consensus, but me I'm not so disillusioned by the news. Yes it's a blow and I feel dreadfully sorry for Ferdinand, but thankfully, England have something as good as to fall back on.

Google Enhances Search Engine Results For World Cup

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Either Google (GOOG) is a very worldly company, they understand marketing or they have a lot of die-hard soccer fans who work within their successful organization. Whatever the case, Google has implemented a couple of interesting features to its search engine results.

When you visit Google.

Prediction: England Will Beat the U.S. in World Cup

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World Cup fever has got it's abnormal hold on my mind, body and soul this week as Friday's opening match approaches like a cold sweat in the night, (if only World Cup fever was an adequate excuse to get out of work). Having awoke the previous two nights contemplating tactics and potential match ups for the England v USA game, I remain tired but at least ready to make a concrete prediction that England will win the match 2-0, better make that 3-0 if Bob Bradley starts Oguchi Onyewu.

Where to Watch the World Cup On TV, Online, Radio And Mobile Devices

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Where can you watch the World Cup if you're in the United States this summer? During previous tournaments, the answer was pretty simple. But for the 2010 World Cup, the number of options to follow the tournament is enormous and can be quite confusing.

So, here's our comprehensive guide and some tips on how you can experience each World Cup game whether you're at home, at work or on the go.

2010 World Cup Predictions: Beat The Pundits

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It's time for the World Cup predictions, to determine which teams will advance from each of the first round groups and which country will go on to win the biggest prize in world soccer — the World Cup trophy.

Up until now, I've held off on providing my predictions namely because I wanted to wait unless there were any last minute injury scares.

Birmingham City Home and Away Jerseys for 2010-11 Season: Photos

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Photographs of Birmingham City's new home and away jerseys for the 2010-11 season have been revealed.

Designed and manufactured for a Premier League club by a Chinese company (a first) named Xtep, the Birmingham home and away strips are two of the smartest I've seen for the new season.

Everton Home Jersey for 2010-11 Season Revealed: Photo

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Everton's new home jersey for the 2010-11 season will thankfully be a lot more traditional as opposed to the club's new away kit which is a bright pink.

The news will come as a welcome relief for many Everton supporters. The traditional blue and white colors of Everton are featured in the new design which is manufactured by Le Coq Sportif.

World Cup Group D Preview: World Cup Buzz Podcast

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The deepest group in the tournament was made all the more interesting when injuries to Michael Ballack and Michael Essien took the two biggest names out of Group D. On this episode of the World Cup Buzz podcast, myself, Laurence McKenna and Kartik Krishnaiyer consider what the absences of Ballack and Heiko Westermann do to Germany's chances to get out of a group that also features Ghana, Serbia, and Australia.

World Cup Legends #5: Archie Gemmill

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For Scotland fans, there is one goal above all others than stands alone as a probably the best goal they've ever scored in a World Cup. In fact, lets be honest, it's one of the best goals scored by any team at a World Cup. It's certainly one of my favourite goals in the tournaments history.

Wolves Show Their Teeth In The Transfer Market

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The Molineux faithful can be pleased with the efforts of their team last season on returning to the Premiership under Mick McCarthy. With plans afoot to increase the stadium to a 50,000 capacity, things are looking brighter for Wolves across the board. Now, McCarthy has begun to strengthen the side to continue progressing upwards and onwards.

World Cup Fans Tell Employers to Show Games at Work, Or Else

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Companies in the UK and in Latin America better ready themselves for a month of low attendance, low productivity and low morale if they don't find a way to let employees view World Cup matches this summer if a recent survey conducted by YouGov is to be believed. Â

The survey produced results from members of the work force in the UK, Mexico and Brazil and showed just how willing employees were to miss work or watch matches on mobile devices while at work as to not miss any action.

Rafa Benítez: A Success?

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At the end of the 2003-4 season Liverpool had finished 4th in the Premier League and had not won a trophy. It was to be Gerard Houllier's last year in charge and Liverpool began the search for a new manager. At the end of the 2003-4 season Valencia had finished 1st in La Liga and won the UEFA cup.

World Cup Group B Preview: World Cup Buzz Podcast

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Argentina's turbulent qualifying ride is over, and now they look to be one of the stronger teams at the World Cup. To look at the Albiceleste and their group – which includes Greece, Nigeria, and South Korea – I was joined by Laurence McKenna and Kartik Kishnaiyer to break down each squad and match and determine the two teams best situated to survive Group B.

Analysis Of The Rivals Part 2: Algeria

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Algeria's path to South Africa was nothing short of explosive. Their savage rivalry with Egypt produced incredible displays of passion and shocking, barbaric violence. England's second group opponents lost 2-0 to their bitter rivals in their last qualifying match, after seething Egyptian fans pelted the Algerian's team bus with missiles.

Fox Soccer Channel Reveals England vs USA Result Ahead of Time

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Does Fox Soccer Channel have a time machine where they're able to go into the future to find out the results of games, and then report back to present day to reveal the scores? Maybe not, but currently running on Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Soccer Plus is an advertisement promoting Fox Soccer's new mobile app where they show USA losing to England.

Aston Villa Launch Viral Videos Starring Milner, Carew and Cuellar

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When you're a football club and you have to come up with ideas of how to promote the sale of season tickets during the summer months, what do you do?

If you're Aston Villa, you release three very creative videos and hope that they go viral.

James Milner, Carlos Cuellar and John Carew star in three separate videos.

What Are Your Best Memories of Watching World Cup Games at a Pub?

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When you think back to previous World Cup tournaments, what are the fondest memories of the games you watched? For me, it were the ones I watched with friends and strangers.

Watching a World Cup on a giant TV screen with friends or strangers is a surreal experience. Every moment in the game is heightened as you stand around practically praying that the ball finds its way into the back of the net.

Simon Cowell’s Unofficial England World Cup Song: Video

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Simon Cowell's unofficial England World Cup song debuted last night on Britain's Got Talent TV show. The song features Dizzee Rascal rapping and actor/comedian James Corden singing the chorus, as they're both accompanied by flag waving England supporters onstage.

The song features a chorus from the Tears For Fears classic song, "Shout.

Flurry of Premier League Stars’ Injuries Could Tarnish World Cup

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Just as the hype and excitement for the World Cup is building to a feverish pitch, over the last two days we have had to read devastating headlines about star players (most of them Premier League stalwarts or ex-EPL stars) going down to injury in exhibition warm-up matches.

Devastating because in the World Cup you want to see the best of the best out on the pitch, that is what this tournament is about, it is what makes it so special.

Chris Kamara Thinks Cabanga

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It would not be a World Cup for England without a few injury problems and general chaos.

However Middlesborough born football legend Chris Kamara, or should I say Cabanga, has other come up with his own strategy to propel England to glory despite the chaos.

Apparently he has sought the advice of a Neuropsychologist who believes in the power of words and positive thinking.

David Beckham Featured in Star Wars TV Commercial from Adidas

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What happens if you combine Star Wars with Adidas, Snoop Doggy Dogg, David Beckham, Ian Brown from The Stone Roses and other famous musicians? It sounds like a surreal dream, but it's all here in the TV commercial above.

When you think about it, both Star Wars (the original) and Adidas are icons of the 1970's, so it's a perfect marriage of two brands that have stood the test of time.

Rio Ferdinand’s Exit Doesn’t Hinder England’s Chances of Winning the World Cup (Welcome to the England Captaincy Steven Gerrard)

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On a day where two of the Premier League's brightest and most popular stars succumbed to various knacks and knocks and subsequently exit the World Cup, another of the league's most popular athletes ascends into the captaincy of the England National team feeling strangely like some hand me down jacket worn by your older brother.

Why It Was Time For Rafa Benitez To Leave

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There can no be no denying that Rafael Benitez has done a good job at Liverpool. His ever growing number of acolytes of the Liverpool persuasion would of course point to Istanbul, Cardiff, Old Trafford and Fernando Torres. He further helped re-establish Liverpool as a European force who could consistently challenge, if not for the Premier League, certainly for the Champions League where his record is superb.

Where to Watch the World Cup in the United States

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Many of us, whether we live here or are on vacation, will be in the United States this summer when the World Cup is on. But which pubs, restaurants, sports bar or venues will you be attending nearby to watch the game with tens or hundreds or thousands of sweaty soccer fans?

The problem is where can you find a comprehensive list of the venues that will be hosting World Cup viewing parties — especially when a lot of the games are on when US venues haven't opened for lunch yet?

Michael Ballack: We Hardly Knew Ye

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When Chelsea signed Michael Ballack as a free agent in the summer of 2006, it was regarded as a coup. With both Manchester United and both Milan clubs apparently tracking the dynamic German Midfielder, reports actually indicated a fear for Lampard's presence in the Chelsea midfield.

Man United Home Shirt for 2010-11 Season: New Photos

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New photographs of the Manchester United home jersey for the 2010-11 season have been leaked on the Internet.

Both images provide close-ups of what the new Man United home shirt looks like. The now familiar retro look continues to grow on me. It's simple but beautiful. The traditional white collar is a nice touch as well as the white stripe down the arms.

Chelsea Third Shirt for 2010-11 Season: Leaked Photo

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A photograph has been leaked of what seemingly is Chelsea's third jersey for the 2010-11 season.

Designed and manufactured by Adidas, Chelsea's new third kit features a unique design that can best be described as a mixture of fluorescent blue and tartan (apologies to Scottish readers).

World Cup Group G Preview: World Cup Buzz Podcast

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Brazil is one of the anointed co-favorites but are in the tritely dubbed Group of Death with Cote d'Ivoire, North Korea and rival Portugal.

On this edition of the World Cpu Buzz podcast, Laurence McKeena, Kartik Krishnaiyer and myself look at the Selecao and the rest of World Cup's Group G, discussing each team and breaking down the group's six matches as we try to get an idea of which pair will move into the tournament's second round.

Liverpool Fans Burn American Flag In Protest Against Owners

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Liverpool fans swarmed Anfield on Thursday in protest against the removal of manager Rafa Benitez and of the reckless ownership of two Americans, Tom Hicks and George Gillett. The story is nothing new. Liverpool fans, spearheaded by the vocal Spirit of Shankly (SOS)  supporters union, have been adamant in calls for new ownership for the past several months.

Special 1 TV Returns: BBC3 Trailer

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The trailer for the upcoming relaunch of Special 1 TV, this time on BBC 3, has been launched (see above video).

While I'm excited about the show coming back on the airwaves, I must say that I am very underwhelmed by the trailer. They could have put some effort into it rather than this weak attempt.

FAIL: Nike’s Mount Rushmore Campaign Features Theo Walcott

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In one of the all time moments of counting chickens before they've hatched, Nike, in all their brilliant ad campaign glory have erected a giant rock billboard emulating Mount Rushmore in London featuring the faces of some of the key England players heading to South Africa. Only problem is that one of those key faces happens to be Theo Walcott, who obviously isn't headed to the World Cup.

Liverpool Confirm Rafa Benitez’s Departure From Anfield

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Liverpool has confirmed that Rafa Benitez is leaving the club by mutual consent.

"Rafa will forever be part of Liverpool folklore after bringing home the Champions League following the epic final in Istanbul but after a disappointing season both parties felt a fresh start would be best for all concerned," said Liverpool FC Chairman Martin Broughton.

Barney Ronay Video Interview

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Barney Ronay, author and football writer for The Guardian, sat down with Laurence McKenna of EPL Talk recently for a one-on-one interview from the Guardian studos in London. Ronay discusses several topics including his favorite football manager, his favorite football writer, how he got into football journalism, what he did before he became a writer at The Guardian and much more.

Who Will Advance from the World Cup Group Stage?

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Ladies and gentlemen, it's time to make your predictions for the 2010 World Cup. Who will advance from each group, and who will go on to win the tournament?

The top two teams from each group will advance past the Group Stage and into the round of 16. Then it's into the quarter-finals, then semi-finals and finally, the World Cup Final on July 11.

Everton Launch Pink Away Shirt for 2010-11 Season: Photo

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Everton today launched their new away shirt for the 2010-11 season. And it's pink, yes pink. Don't say we didn't warn you (we posted a sneak peek of the shirt last week).

Everton's new away jersey is described as "lightning pink" with a navy blue bar across the chest. According to the club website, the shirt color "combination that has been designed to make players more visible in their teammates' peripheral vision.

World Cup Group F Preview: World Cup Buzz Podcast

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Despite winning their UEFA qualifying group, the defending world champions' Italy have failed to impress since winning the 2006 World Cup. Many will point to history in warning against reading too much into the Italian's results, while others will point to the squad's age as a reason to think a different type of history will be made in South Africa.

Is Rafa Benitez About To Walk Alone?

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So it seems the end is drawing close for Rafa Benitez at Anfield, with reports all over the place pointing to the Liverpool owners offering Benitez £3 million to leave immediately. Quite what has happened to bring Liverpool lurching in to another crisis so soon after the season has ended is unsure, but for me, he's been under pressure ever since he guaranteed the club would finish 4th back in January.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2011: Trailer

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A trailer has been released to promote the forthcoming release of PES 2011, better known as Pro Evolution Soccer.

The above video gives you a sneak peek at some of the graphics that you may be able to see in the game. With Lionel Messi gracefully running across the pitch, PES 2011 definitely looks mouthwatering.

Wayne Rooney Stars In TV Ad With James Corden

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Manchester United and England legend Wayne Rooney stars in a new TV commercial which also features British actor and comedian James Corden.

In the advert, Corden pretends to be a TV director shooting Rooney as he scores a winning goal in the World Cup. Except that things don't go according to plan.

ESPN Digital Offerings to Bring Unprecedented Coverage of 2010 FIFA World Cup

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The folks at ESPN are holding good on their promises to bring unrivaled coverage stateside this summer as the World Cup descends upon an eager nation. With HD television broadcasts on the ESPN family of networks set to cover every one of the 64 matches throughout the tournament, unsatisfied fans can now turn their eyes to multiple online platforms and are sure to get fat on ESPN's digital offerings.

How Popular Is The World Cup?

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As the 2010 World Cup approaches like a runaway train down a slick international track, a mob of detractors and naysayers are queuing up a mile long to have their say against the legitimacy of soccer in the USA and across the world. At times, the very purpose and existence of the World Cup is unknown to naive and uneducated Americans (yes, believe it or not, there are unsuspecting Americans who know nothing of what this tournament even is).

USA or England? It’s Time to Show Which Side You’re On

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When I wrote a recent post entitled 8 Rules of World Cup ‘Fight Club,' I encouraged soccer fans to rise up, begin talking the World Cup up to non-believers and to stand firm against the sports fans who laugh and joke at the sport we love.

My "call to arms" was met with a mixed response.

World Cup Group A Preview: World Cup Buzz Podcast

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South Africa as the seeded nation in Group A has created the most evenly-matched group in the tournament, with the Bafana Bafana's home pitch advantage helping to mitigate the talent gap between them and their other group mates: France, Mexico and Uruguay. On this edition of the World Cup Buzz podcast, Laurence McKenna, Kartik Krishnaiyer and myself preview the group that starts play on June 11, detailing each time and going match-by-match to determine which teams should advance to the second round.

With Walcott Axed, Zero Arsenal Players in English Team

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Perhaps this is a frivolous post, but with Theo Walcott shockingly omitted from Fabio Capello's World Cup squad, the England national team are left with ZERO players from Arsenal traveling to South Africa.

Sure, Arsenal FC will be well-represented in this year's tournament: William Gallas (France), Robin van Persie (Holland), Niklas Bendtner (Denmark), Cesc Fabregas (Spain) to name a few.

England Match Memories: Which Games Do You Remember?

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Every country has its historic matches that will never be forgotten and England's rich World Cup history provides many celebrated games. Say phrases like "1966 World Cup", "hand of God", "David Beckham free kick", "Gazza", or "losing to penalties" to an England fan and watch his eyes light up with pleasure or grief thinking about the matches that define the England National Team.

ESPN Unveils England v USA TV Commercial: Video

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ESPN has unveiled their TV commercial for the England versus USA game which will be televised live on ABC to an audience of millions in the United States.

Not surprisingly, the video features sounds and images that are very patriotic. While it's not as good as some of the earlier ads that ESPN has created to drum up interest in the World Cup, it definitely gives me goosebumps and prepares me for the biggest soccer match of the decade.

FLO TV Personal Television: Product Review

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In time for the World Cup which kicks off on June 11, EPL Talk got its hands on a brand-new FLO TV Personal Television. Our goal was to see whether it would be worthwhile for you, the readers, especially for those of you who will be at work or on the road and unable to watch the World Cup games on ESPN and ESPN2 during the tournament.

England Name Final 23-Man World Cup Squad

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The Football Association (FA) has just announced the final England 23-man squad for the World Cup. They are:

  1. David James
  2. Joe Hart
  3. Robert Green
  4. John Terry
  5. Jamie Carragher
  6. Glen Johnson
  7. Rio Ferdinand
  8. Ashley Cole
  9. Stephen Warnock
  10. Matthew Upson
  11. Ledley King
  12. Joe Cole
  13. Gareth Barry
  14. Aaron Lennon
  15. Shaun Wright-Phillips
  16. James Milner
  17. Steven Gerrard
  18. Frank Lampard
  19. Michael Carrick
  20. Emile Heskey
  21. Peter Crouch
  22. Wayne Rooney
  23. Jermain Defoe

So the big news is that there's no room for Theo Walcott (replaced by Joe Cole).

The Other Time When England Lost to the United States

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When soccer experts remember the United States beating England, they almost always refer back to the 1950 World Cup when Joe Gaetjens got only the goal in the match to cause the biggest upset in the history of the tournament when the States won 1-0 in Brazil.

But there was another day that many England fans try to forget.