EPL Talk Archives for January 2010

Poll: Will Arsenal Or Chelsea Win On Sunday?

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Arsenal's record against Chelsea last season was miserable. In the first match in November 2009, they were completely outplayed to such an extent that it really showed the gap in talent between both clubs. Chelsea won that match 3-0 at the Emirates. Then in February, Arsenal's hopes were dashed again when Drogba stormed to an early lead against the Gunners at Stamford Bridge in a game that ended two-nil to the Blues.

End Of September Quiz…The Answers

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So, the month is over and the guess are in, let's see how you did in the ‘End of September Quiz'.

1. Who is the tallest player to have appeared in the EPL this season?

While Peter Crouch stands at a massive 6ft 7, Birmingham City's towering new signing Nikola Zigic rises high above him at a mammoth 6ft 7 and a half.

Pre-Show Open Thread: EPL Talk Podcast Weekend Preview (Mid-Week Review) Show

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Time's ticking down to our 10 p.m. BST/5 p.m. EST/2 p.m. PST recording, where myself, Kartik Krishnaiyer and Laurence McKenna will be looking back on mid-week action and forward to this weekend in the Premier League.

Of course, we're going to talk about United winning at the Mestalla.

FIFA 11 Now Available On Apple iPhone and iPod Touch

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EA Sports today launched FIFA 11 on the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch.

Here are some of the features in the game:

  • 500+ Licensed Teams
  • Over 50 stunning stadiums
  • Optimized Retina Display Graphics
  • 360° Player Movement
  • Gesture Based Skill Moves
  • Penalty Shootouts

FIFA 11 is available for $4.

EPL Weekend Viewing Guide: Gameweek 7

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Wow, what a weekend Gameweek 6 was. The four Champions League sides really struggled, producing a single point amongst them, and Liverpool, even benefiting from a gift goal, could not win at Anfield. (Five demerits to me for not mentioning the exploding balloon match). I doubt any 27-year olds will be assigned for the reverse fixture on March 19.

English Premier League Super Sunday Preview: Chelsea v Arsenal

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Another weekend in the Premier League brings another mouth watering clash as London big boys Arsenal and Chelsea meet at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. A Chelsea win would see the Champions go seven points clear of Arsenal in the first week of October, a comfortable distance early on.

Hollywood Film Producer Mike Jefferies Creating Anti-Tom Hicks Video

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Filmmaker Mike Jefferies, who is best known as the writer and producer of the movie trilogy, Goal, is on the warpath against Tom Hicks and George Gillett and want them to cease trying to get new funding to run and club, and to leave Liverpool FC.

And now Jefferies is working on a short movie to demonstrate his (and fellow Liverpool supporters) frustration about Hicks.

40 Reasons to Be Excited About the Premier League

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I had a chance to do some self-reflection this past weekend. One of the few things I realized was that I'm a club man. When I think about English football, I think in terms of clubs and rarely focus on the individuals. Part of this realization was after listening to the EPL Talk Weekend Preview Show and listening to Richard Farley and Kartik Krishnaiyer extol their appreciation for particular footballers.

Is Javier Hernandez Ready For His Chance?

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When Manchester United travelled to Valencia without Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney, there was always going to the opportunity for somebody to step up into their shoes. Well five minutes from time young Javier Hernandez took his chance with a well taken goal that will have done his hopes of breaking in to the United first team no harm.

Is it Heskey’s Time To Shine Under Houllier?

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Frozen out towards the end of Martin O'Neill's reign at Aston Villa one man who would have been delighted to see Gerard Houllier return to the Premier League is former England international Emile Heskey.

The Frenchman took Heskey to Merseyside back in 2000 for £11 million where the powerful striker enjoyed some of the best times of his career forging a good partnership with Michael Owen and breaking into the national side.

Football Tactics: Thom Yorke’s Role in Radiohead’s 4-5-1

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In our ever evolving online community, where any Joe, Tim or Reba can start a blog, post, pontificate or reminisce, the lost art of responsibility can evade even the most keenly trained eye. As budding young bloggers dressed all in their khakis attempt the fine art of emulation, a shout to their messianic journo idols, a plethora of newbie soccer fans in America, the UK and anywhere else a laptop can connect to a local wi-fi spot fall prey to their misuse and barbarism of all things football related and the written word.

Why It’s Unfair to Expect Footballers To Be One Of Us

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Something great happened to me this week, my latest book We Ate All The Pies: How Football Swallowed Britain Whole was listed for the William Hill Sports Book Of The Year 2010 prize; the most prestigious sports book award in the UK.

Naturally, I'm super chuffed by this as are my publishers and literary agent as it confers some status on the book.

The Rebirth Of Johan Elmander

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When Bolton paid a club record fee of £8.2 million for the Swedish striker Johan Elmander, a few eyebrows were raised. Yet, the former Toulouse striker had been one of the most consistent players in the French league during his time for the Téfécé and had built a reputation as a creative deep lying centre forward.

Is Mario Balotelli What Manchester City Are Missing?

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Manchester City fans will have today been hurt by the news that big summer signing Mario Balotelli is weeks rather than days away from a return to action. The £24 million summer singing from Inter Milan has only made a brief substitute appearance since his arrival at Eastlands, and City fans will now have to wait even longer to see their new striker.

EPL Talk Player Profile: The Search for the League’s Best Left Back

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As important to a side's balance – attacking and defending – as the right back is, so too is his not so distant cousin, the marauding (at times) left back. If you missed Football Formations 101 in school, just keep in mind that what the right back does in regards to his footballing duties, the left back mirrors on the opposite flank.

Where Is Soccer’s Version Of Ken Burns?

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Tonight, Ken Burns debuts his new documentary on PBS stations around the United States on the topic of baseball. The new documentary, "The Tenth Inning," examines the tumultuous story of the national pastime from the 1990s to the present day.

But my question is, where is soccer version's of Ken Burns?

Florent Malouda, A Chelsea Success Story

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Chelsea may have dropped their first points of the Premier League season at the weekend, but the result will have taken little away from a supremely impressive start to their defence of the Premier League.

One man who has been crucial to Carlo Ancelotti's sides start has been Florent Malouda whose individual performances have very much mirrored Chelsea's improvement under the Italian.

FIFA 11 TV Ad: Behind The Scenes (Video)

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EA Sports has released a video featuring a behind-the-scenes look at the making of their TV commercial for FIFA 11. The video stars Wayne Rooney, Andres Iniesta, Kaka, Mesut Ozil, the Arsenal ladies and more.

If you haven't seen the FIFA 11 TV commercial yet, watch it now.

And don't forget that FIFA 11 will officially be released on Tuesday, September 28 in North America, September 30 in Australia and October 1st in Europe.

Darren Bent For England…Again?

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It's not often a regular 20 goal a season Premier League striker isn't seen as a regular for the England side, but Darren Bent has bucked the trend with his continued failure to break through on to the international scene.

Since arriving at Sunderland last summer, Bent's goal scoring record has been nothing short of sensational.

End Of September Premier League Quiz

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As the second month of a pulsating Premier League season draws to a close, I think it's time to test your knowledge of the most exciting league in the world. What better way then a quick pop quiz about this Premier League. And if you cheat by using the internet, I will find out.

  1. Who is the tallest player to have appeared in the EPL this season?

Premier League Footballer of the Week, Gameweek 6

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  • Emphatic Wins in their Infancy

While two massively different matches played out to identical score-lines on Saturday, the meaningful implications associated with those 1-0 wins by Manchester City and West Ham United may go somewhere over the rainbow in defining the seasons of the victors.

Was This The Best Premier League Weekend Ever?

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If I had to pick one Premier League match of the weekend from the past few days, the winner would easily be West Ham United against Tottenham Hotspur. The match seemed like it took me on a timewarp to the 70s or 80s when teams would often take long range strikes at goal and goalkeepers would seemingly float through air to tip the ball around the post to safety.

Match Of The Day Poll For UK Readers

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I remember living in the United Kingdom in the early 80s. After spending a long day going to see your club either home or away, I would finally get home, take my boots off next to the fire, and sit on the couch with a hot cup of tea and then watch Match Of The Day to find out what the scores were from the matches around England and Wales.

English Premier League Weekend Review, Match Day 6: EPL Talk Podcast

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Chelsea is not invulnerable, but what will be the next meme to dominate the Premier League? We try to avoid that on this edition of the EPL Talk Podcast. Instead, we focus on the action at Eastlands, the Emirates, and the Reebok on a weekend that kick-started this year's Premier League season.

Newcastle United And Stoke City, Two Sides That Won’t Go Down

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Stoke continued their recent revival with a hard fought win over Newcastle today, but the game will have been a learning curve for Potters boss Tony Pulis who had to switch back to his old ways after a poor first half.

The Potters boss comes under criticism for his long ball tactics that offend most eyes.

Pre-Show Open Thead: EPL Talk Podcast, Week 6 Review

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The top of the Premier League table was rocked, with each of the Big Three dropping points on the sixth match day. Manchester City's performance at Eastlands, Arsenal's flop against Brom and Manchester United's draw at the Reebook will all be talking points, but beyond that ...

What do you want to hear about on tomorrow's edition of the EPL Talk Podcast?

5 Things We Learned About Manchester United During Gameweek 6

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As the Premier League wraps up its 6th Gameweek, the league table begins to take a familiar yet still somewhat open shape. Manchester United failed to take advantage of the losses suffered by Chelsea and Arsenal when they made the short journey to Bolton and came away with only a point.

Birmingham City Are Tough To Love

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Being unbeaten at home for one of the smaller Premiership sides is something that should always be celebrated but at Birmingham City, things are never that simple. They have now equaled the clubs longest unbeaten home record of 18 games, it hides another story entirely. Now, 6 games in, the club have 7 points and sit mid-table but once again, the crowd was just over 2/3rds of the capacity.

Wolves: So Little To Show For So Much Effort.

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Another Premier League game, another defeat and you'd be mistaken for thinking Wolves were a side struggling to play football. Oddly, Wolves have lost the last 3 league games when they probably deserved so much more for their efforts. After running Fulham so close at Craven Cottage, with two defensive slip ups gifting the hosts all three points, Mick McCarthy was honest in his criticism.

Wolves 1-2 Aston Villa, A Winning Start For Houllier

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Gerard Houllier has Emile Heskey to thank for making his first Premier League game in charge of Aston Villa a memorable one. In a match which was very much a game of two half's, Houllier's side showed that they do still have plenty of quality with the powerful striker netting a late winner.

Is Steve Bruce The New Premier League ‘Wheeler-Dealer’?

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Yesterday's result at Anfield has seen a lot of chatter around this and other Blogs, mostly negative and mostly about Liverpool. However, two teams played yesterday and after an odd set-back (for my money you kick a ball when it's still you've taken the free-kick) Sunderland were Liverpool's equals.

More Frustration For Manchester United

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While Michael Owen came off the bench to rescue a point for Manchester United at Bolton, it was another disappointing result for Sir Alex Ferguson's men. The result completed a bitterly disappointing day for the Scott, who once again saw his talisman Wayne Rooney produce another ineffective display.

Arsenal 2-3 West Brom: Role Reversals On Display At Emirates

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If you watched the Arsenal against West Bromwich Albion game on Saturday, you would have sworn that the team playing in navy blue and white stripes was Arsenal and that the team in red and white were the Baggies.

The Albion played a beautiful passing the game and featured far more creativity than Arsenal.

The Secret to How Manchester City Beat Chelsea

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Shh, don't tell Jonathan Wilson, Zonal Marking or the trio of Richard Farley, Kartik Krisnaiyer or Laurence McKenna, but I believe that formations are sometimes overrated.

In most matches, they have a massive impact on how teams play and how they match up against each other. But in certain circumstances you may as well throw the formations out the window.

Liverpool Supporters Need to Be Patient During Trying Times

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The mood on Merseyside is definitely one of frustration for both the red and blue halves of the city. Both clubs have had a terrible start to the season, but it's Liverpool that is feeling the most angst. Frustration at poor results, owners that won't seem to leave the club, lack of cash injections for much-needed transfer signings and a manager who hasn't won over the masses.

Hodgson’s Made Some Mistakes But Gerrard’s Position Isn’t One

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If a side is losing, obviously something needs to be changed. What it generally means, is that in a team of 11, 2 or 3 aren't pulling their weight. Whether that's because they're not good enough (hint, Poulsen is in this category), or because they're in the wrong role is the decision that has to be made.

Pressure Mounts On Hodgson

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Make no mistake about it; it's been nothing short of a disastrous week for Liverpool. It started with a defeat at arch rivals Manchester United and ended with a disappointing home draw with Sunderland. Sandwiched in between the two Premier League games was a shock Carling Cup defeat at the hands of League Two side Northampton Town.

Is Roberto Mancini Bluffing?

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Manchester City's victory over Chelsea today could just be the turning point in their season. After a start which saw the Eastlands club drop vital points away at Sunderland and at home to Blackburn Rovers, the victory today could go a long way in to inspiring belief amongst the blue half of Manchester.

Carling Cup Fourth Round Draw Revealed

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The draw for the fourth round of the Carling Cup was announced Saturday morning and several plum ties were unveiled. Current Carling Cup champions will play against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford, while Newcastle United faces Arsenal at St James' Park.

In the other matches, Birmingham City will play at home against Brentford, the side who knocked Everton out of the Cup.

Liverpool’s Dirk Kuyt Scores Bizarre Goal From Sunderland Free Kick

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You may have seen some bizarre goals in your time, but this one has got to be in the top ten. And, without a doubt, it's got to be the easiest goal that Liverpool's Dirk Kuyt has ever scored.

In the first half between Liverpool and Sunderland, Dirk Kuyt committed a foul which resulted in a free kick for Sunderland.

ESPN Raises the Bar With Premier League Coverage In United States

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ESPN today significantly raised the bar today on the quality of Premier League coverage in the United States. Their early kickoff between Manchester City and Chelsea was a turning point for a few different reasons. First, the game featured one of the top English commentators, Ian Darke, broadcasting exclusively to a U.

Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 6: Open Thread

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Another Premier League Saturday is about to kick off and there is plenty of matches to look forward to. The London derby between West Ham and Spurs is always entertaining. So too will be the clash of the billionaires club between Manchester City and Chelsea at Eastlands.

Then later we have Liverpool against Sunderland where the Reds are desperate for three points (and where Liverpool fans are scheduled to enact a sit-in protest against Tom Hicks).

Time For Arsenal To Splash The Cash?

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Arsenal have today announced record profit levels of £56million, an announcement that only further fuels the claim that the Premier League really is recession proof. But will these impressive financial figures finally see Arsene Wenger tempted in to splashing the cash?

The probable answer is no.

Ian Darke to Make EPL Debut for ESPN in Man City v Chelsea Game

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Top British sportscaster Ian Darke, one of the lead commentators during ESPN's critically acclaimed coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, will join the ESPN network as its lead soccer voice in the United States, it was announced today by Jed Drake, senior vice president and executive producer, ESPN Event Production.

Can Man City (finally) Replicate Chelsea’s Success?

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As the teams take to the pitch in Eastlands on Saturday two teams will meet who have a very similar ownership structure and transfer policy. Whilst Chelsea have stopped their mega-spending they did attempt to assemble a squad of the best players at any cost after their initial take over, Manchester City have had to continue to try to ‘buy' success.

Manchester United’s Owen Hargreaves Close to Return

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In the ongoing saga that is the life, career and knees of Owen Hargreaves, an end to the dramatic and heart-wrenching setbacks the England international has experienced over the last few years may finally have an end in sight.

It's not as if United supporters haven't had good news on Hargreaves' progress heaped upon them every six months or so as a new niggle or additional set back emerges to dash any hopes of his curls on the pitch anytime soon.

Harry Redknapp Pranked By Arsenal Supporter: Photo

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Harry Redknapp, while taking a nap on a recent flight, was pranked by an Arsenal supporter who snapped this candid photograph of him holding up an Arsenal notepad in front of his face.

Knowing Redknapp's track record of telling a Sky Sports reporter to f*** off, I'm show the Arsenal supporter would have met a similar fate if ‘ol Harry would have woken up to see a bloke holding a piece of paper in front of his face.

English Premier League Preview, Match Day 6: EPL Talk Podcast

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Chelsea will get their first major test of the season when they go to Eastlands for Saturday's early match, facing fourth place Manchester City, a team against whom they earned no points last season. On this edition of the EPL Talk Podcast, myself, Laurence McKenna and Kartik Krishnaiyer look at that match-up and talk about the rest of the weekend's fixtures as well as look back on the mid-week, Carilng Cup results (while trying not to fall into Liverpool's prematurely dug grave).

Arsenal Win 1988-89 League Title In Injury Time: Friday Flashback Videos

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Twenty one years ago, Arsenal won the League title in the most unbelievable way by scoring an injury-time goal at Anfield. Arsenal was leading 1-0, but if the score had remained the same, Liverpool would have won the 1988-89 League title. Instead, the ball fell to Arsenal's Michael Thomas who knocked the ball past Bruce Grobbelaar to win the match 2-0 to the Gunners and to crown Arsenal champions based on goal difference.

Go ‘Beyond The Pitch’ For Quality Soccer Interviews

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In life, things evolve. That includes the EPL Talk Podcast which has transformed from its launch in 2006 as an interview show to it's current format which is a mixture of expert analysis on the Premier League and a bonus of an occasional interview now and again. Over the years, we've conducted interviews with some of the biggest names in the sport such as Paul Scholes, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Steve McClaren and over 100 others.

Pre-Show Open Thread: EPL Talk Podcast, Week 6 Preview

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Mid-week Carling Cup results and the sixth match day in the Premier League, featuring Chelsea's first test – these are the big stories for today's recording of the EPL Talk Podcast, which will take place at 10 p.m. BST / 5 p.m. EST / 2 p.m. PST. But before that recording can happen, myself, Laurence McKenna and Kartik Krishnaiyer need to know:

What do you want to hear about on tomorrow's edition of the EPL Talk Podcast?

EPL Weekend Viewing Guide: Gameweek 6

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Last week's 4-star match certainly lived up to its billing! And do we already have the goal of the season from Berbatov, just 5 matches in?

This weekend leads off with a fantastic 4-star match, Man City v Chelsea. Ancelotti's team finally face a stiffer test, after their Wednesday exit from the League Cup, and they have Marseille and Arsenal visiting Stamford Bridge too before the international break.

Everton Must Up Their Game Quickly

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While Liverpool's shock defeat to League Two side Northampton may have gone some way to lighten the mood for Everton fans, it has done little to cover up what has been another disappointing start to the season for David Moyes' men.

The Toffees have had their usual slow beginning of a season and their Carling Cup defeat at the hands of Brentford means that out of the seven games Everton have played this season they have just one win to their name, which its self came against League One Huddersfield Town.

It’s Time for Premier League to Take the Carling Cup More Seriously

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Controversy about fielding ‘weakened' sides in the League Cup looks set to rage on after this weeks patchy results for Premier League teams. Increasingly it is starting to look like a very bad idea, not so much in principle because its good to give squad players a game and get some experience, but more because the simple fact is, most club's reserve team players are, with a few exceptions, not really very good, certainly little better than the best players in the lower division as we have just witnessed.

When Was The Last ‘Town’ Club in the Premier League?

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Liverpool's shock Carling Cup defeat Wednesday night at the hands of Northampton Town made me wonder when the last time a club with the name ‘Town' was in the Premier League. After all in today's busy metropolitan world, a club with a ‘Town' name affixed to it seems like a walk through the past.

Top 24 Manchester City Goals Of 70s and 80s: Video

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Life for Manchester City supporters in the 1970s and 1980s was one filled with plenty of highs and lows. The highs included a European Cup Winners Cup trophy, two League Cup trophies and a Charity Shield. But the lows included City's flirtation with relegation throughout the 80s as they see-sawed between the top and second flight of the English pyramid system.

Carling Cup Round Up: Goals Galore in Two Brilliant Nights of English Football

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Had you switched off your TV or DVR in anticipation of a dull night of useless Carling Cup ties filled to the brim with unknowns, B squads and fringe footballers, your premature condemnation of the old Football League Cup while not monumental, was at least a bit judgmental.

The restoration of the League Cup wasn't conceived Tuesday and Wednesday night.

Carling Cup: Is It All Worth It?

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Two questions for you, a soccer aficionado. What do the following sets of players have in common?

  • First set: Salomon Kalou, Gael Kakuta, Yossi Benayoun, Asamoah Gyan, Kieran Richardson, Anton Ferdinand and Kieran Gibbs.
  • Second set: Mendoza Marcos Alonso, Moreno Machado Rodrigo, Jan Mucha, Magaye Gueye, Ben Mee, Javan Vidal, John Guidetti, Jake Livermore, Steven Caulker, Thomas Ince, Nathan Eccleston, Jonjo Shelvey, Patrick van Aanholt and Jeffrey Bruma.

Can West Brom Now Establish Themselves As A Top Flight Side?

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In recent years West Brom have picked up the tag as the ultimate yo-yo team, proving too good for the Championship and not quite strong enough for the Premier League. This season under the guidance of Roberto Di Matteo the Baggies are looking to put that name to bed and they have made the perfect start.

What Kind of Footballer Are You?

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It was only a few years ago when I had a conversation with my work colleague Jeremy that I suddenly realized how your favorite position on the soccer field has a profound impact on how you view the sport.

Let me explain.

Growing up, I played every position on the pitch at one time or other.

Will Chelsea Pass Their First Real Test Against Manchester City This Season?

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So far, Carlo Ancelotti has had it easy this season. The only times he has risen off his manager's chair is to celebrate the blitzkrieg of goals his Blues have been putting in the back of the net. The Premier League champions have 5 wins out of 5 with a whopping goal difference of +20.

What’s Next For FoxSoccer.tv?

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Now that the relaunched FoxSoccer.tv worked so flawlessly for its biggest match yet, this past Sunday's Manchester United against Liverpool encounter, I have to wonder what is the future for this platform.

Many readers have already exclaimed how they've dumped Fox Soccer Plus in favor of FoxSoccer.

Liverpool 4-3 Newcastle United, A True Premier League Classic

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Date: 3rd April 1996

Let me set the scene. Newcastle United had been having their best season in decades. But after blowing a huge lead at the top of the Premiership, they know they that must bring back three points from Merseyside to stay in compeition with Alex Ferguson's (Not a sir back then) Manchester United.

Benitez Hits Back At Liverpool

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It's already not been the best of weeks for Liverpool. A defeat at Manchester United is never easy to take, but now former manager Rafa Benitez has revealed some worrying information about the clubs hierarchy.

Pressure on the decision makers at Anfield is already at fever pitch, and Benitez's accusations will only add further strain to the relationship between the Liverpool board and the clubs fans.

The EPLtalk Beginner’s Guide to Tactics

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Following on from the Gaffer's suggestion for articles to use as resources one of the key elements of a Football match are the Tactics each team employs. Unfortunately for converts the terminology can be impenetrable – 4-4-2 & 4-3-3 are just random numbers and with two teams lining up it can be hard to understand how it all works.

Fan Diary – 21 Sept 2010: The Goals In A Loss

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Despite the miserable performance (and result), I needed those two goals from Steven Gerrard. Badly.

After Liverpool's goalless, soulless visit to Birmingham the previous weekend, I expected Manchester United to annihilate as literally as possible within the law (I hear it's a four-match ban for an actual multiple homicide on the pitch).

EPL Talk Player Profile: The Search for the Premier League’s Best Right Back

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Whether they're man marking the opposition's left sided attacking winger or bombing up and down the flank conducting intelligent overlapping runs in support of their right sided midfielder, the modern day right sided full back is an integral part of a team's make up. Although not a glamour position like that of his brother the winger, a solid right back can add dimensions to a side bereft of natural width or a side facing a dangerous wing attack.

A New EPL Fan’s Search For A Team: Episode 2 – Paring Down

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Editor's note: Three weeks ago, Earl began this series as a chronicle of his quest to find the Premier League team that connects with his spirit as a fledgling soccer fan from afar.

Between the Euro 2012 qualifying weekend (where I found myself happy for Wayne Rooney to overcome his personal distractions) and a weekend trip to see my favorite American football team, the Buffalo Bills, I didn't catch much Premier League action the last two weeks.

Poll: What Are Your Premier League TV Viewing Habits?

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Sometimes I wish I supported one Premier League club. Instead, I support Swansea City, the club I've followed since I was 10 years-old.

The reason why I sometimes wish I followed a Premier League club is two-fold. One, there would conceivably be only one fixture on my TV schedule each weekend that I would feel obligated to watch.

Who Was the Last Player to Score A Hat Trick in a Man Utd v Liverpool Match?

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Dimitar Berbatov's hat-trick against Liverpool on Sunday, which included an audacious overhead kick, sealed a crucial win for Manchester United. Moreover, it was the first hat-trick by a United player in this fixture since Stan Pearson scored three for United in a 5-0 trot past their ancient rivals on September 11, 1946 in a match played at Man City's Maine Road due to the wartime damage to Old Trafford.

Tottenham Vs. Arsenal – Time for Wenger To Play A Full Strength Side?

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The League Cup is now entering the stage of when the remaining big boys who are flying the flag in Europe enter the fray, and without question the tie of the round is Tottenham vs. Arsenal. Three seasons ago The Gunners visited White Hart Lane and were left humiliated, as they missed out yet again on a cup final appearance by a 5-1 battering.

Torres: How Does Roy Solve A Problem Like Fernando?

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It is never surprising to hear Sir Alex Ferguson saying something ‘controversial'. Whether it's emotional, pointless sniping at a beleaguered enemy or an attempt some kind of Jedi Mind Trick deployed to ‘psych out' Liverpool and their players is up to you. An interesting point with Ferguson's ‘Torres is the biggest cheater ever, EVER' (possible paraphrase) comments is that they made headlines in most of Monday's (English) newspaper sport sections – and this is indicative of the apparent need for character-centric narratives for much of the English press.

Houllier Needs To Hit The Ground Running

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So after a somewhat belated start to his managerial career at Villa Park, Gerard Houllier will need little time to assimilate himself back in to the rigours of English football. His six year stint at Liverpool is still fresh in the memory for many, especially for landing us with El Hadj Diouf for the last six years.

English Football Has Evolved to A Monumental Place

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After watching the Premier League games on television this past weekend, I realized that we've now reached a monumental place in the evolution of English football. Out of the 20 clubs in the Premier League, there's only one that plays a traditional English style of football. And that is a huge achievement.

Top 10 Observations from Man United 3-2 Liverpool

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When you consider that the match between Manchester United and Liverpool didn't come alive until the 65th minute when Gerrard scored a penalty, it's amazing to consider how much drama and action were sandwiched into the last 25 minutes of the clash between these two legendary sides at Old Trafford.

Poll: Which Premier League Club is Most Popular In the U.S.?

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The highs of the United States's amazing run during the 2010 World Cup are over, and we'll have to wait another four years to experience anything close to that. But in the meantime, we have the Premier League and the wonderful soccer on display as well as the soap opera off the pitch to occupy our lives.

Premier League Footballer of the Week, Gameweek 5

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A truly great weekend of football was witnessed during Gameweek 5 where football fans saw enough goals, controversy, late drama and skill to once again prove the Premier League as the world's most exciting domestic league. Manchester United v Liverpool will steal most of the headlines, yet there was some great football played in matches featuring Tottenham v Wolves, Everton v Newcastle and West Brom v Birmingham City that shouldn't go unnoticed.

English Premier League Review Show, Week 5: EPL Talk Podcast

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Manchester United blew another two goal league only to comeback and take three points from this year's first North West Derby. On this edition of the EPL Talk Podcast, I am joined by Kartik Krishnaiyer and Laurence McKenna to talk about that, Arsenal being drawn late, Chelsea's continued dominance, and the rest of this weekend's action in the Premier League.

Chelsea Continue Good Start, But The Big Tests Will Now Start To Arrive.

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After watching the dramatic Manchester United v Liverpool game, my Sunday afternoon Premier League viewing was completed by watching Chelsea cruise past Blackpool. During the later of the games the following comment from my Dad got me thinking. Â

"Chelsea would put five or six past United or Liverpool at the moment.

Pre-Show Open Thread: EPL Talk Podcast, Week 5 Review Show

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The EPL Talk Podcast's review of the Premier League's fifth weekend will record at 10 p.m. England-time (5 p.m. Eastern, 2p.m. Pacific). Of course, these will be lost of talk of Dimitar Berbatov's hat-trick, and I'm sure we'll have a lot of say about failed clearances and 95th minute goals.

Is Dimitar Berbatov Finally Living Up To His Vast Price Tag?

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They may have done it the hard way but Manchester Untied did get their victory over arch rivals Liverpool. But Sir Alex Ferguson will have to thank Dimitar Berbatov for the win, after the Bulgarian scored a stunning hat-trick. Â Was this performance when Bulgarian finally won over the sceptical United fans?

Jack Wilshere, A Future England Talisman?

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While he may not have been able to propel Arsenal to the top of the Premier League yesterday, it has been a supremely impressive start to the season for the latest star to come off the Arsenal production line.

Jack Wilshere has finally been given his chance to showcase his talents on a regular basis in the Arsenal first team.

Premier League Sunday, Gameweek 5: Open Thread

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Massive day in the Premier League with the biggest game of the season kicking off between Manchester United and Liverpool. Plus there's Wigan against Man City, and Chelsea against Blackpool.

During any of the games, post your observations, questions, comments or venting into the comment section below.

Suggestion Box: Please Share Your Ideas

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The fifth anniversary of EPL Talk is just a few weeks away, so I wanted to ask for your advice. While we continue to post several interesting articles each day on all sorts of different Premier League topics, I wanted to get your input on what resources would be helpful to you that we could have on EPL Talk.

Manchester United Game Is Roy Hodgon’s Acid Test

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After a fairly solid start to life on Merseyside, Roy Hodgson will today take his Liverpool side along the M62 for the crunch meeting with arch rivals Manchester United. The meeting will be a real indication of Hodgson's time at Liverpool so far, and a win could set the tone for his tenure.

The Dilemma: Is FoxSoccer.tv Better Than Fox Soccer Plus?

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After the World Cup, I was so jazzed about the beautiful game. I couldn't wait for the Premier League season to commence. I had checked out all the options available to a DirecTV subscriber, as well as the possibility of foxsoccer.tv since we do have broadband. Foxsoccer.tv were rather sluggish in putting information about their package for the 2010-11 season, so I went out and picked up the DirecTV Sports Pack (to get Fox Soccer Channel) as well as Fox Soccer Plus.

Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 5: Open Thread

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It's another Premier League Saturday and we have a ton of mouthwatering games in store for us today. As you go through the day, feel free to post your observations, outrage, questions or comments about the matches in the comments section below.

If you live in the United States, be sure to refer to EPL Talk's Premier League TV schedule so you know which games are on which channel at what time.

FIFA 11 TV Commercial Starring Wayne Rooney (Video)

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EA Sports has released their official US TV commercial for the upcoming release of the FIFA 11 video game.

The FIFA 11 video is choc-a-bloc with football superstars such as Rooney, Ozil, Cech, Iniesta and many more. It's one of those videos that you'll want to watch over and over again, and each time you do you'll probably notice something different.

Everton Third Shirt for 2010-11 Premier League Season: Photo

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Everton has published a photograph of its third shirt for the 2010-11 Premier League season, and it's a thing of beauty.

Designed and manufactured by Le Coq Sportif, Everton's third jersey is a vanilla-colored shirt with a classic polo-shirt design, navy shorts and hooped socks.

Could The Three Man Defense Work In England?

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Well...maybe not three of him, but you get the idea

For most Premiership clubs with title aspirations it's not the loss at Stamford Bridge or the Emirates that puts the trophy out of reach, when looking at the schedule those are games that a manager knows are hugely difficult to win.

Manchester City In 1930s, 1960s and 1980s: Friday Flashback Videos

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I'm starting a new column each and every Friday entitled Friday Flashback Videos. If you're a regular reader of EPL Talk, you'll know that we quite often spring a surprise by finding a classic old video from yesteryear which helps give us perspective on how much English football has changed compared to today's Premier League.

Is Bebe Destined to be the Premier League’s Next Flop?

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Manchester United reserves were beaten emphatically by Aston Villa reserves on Thursday night while United new boy Bebe made his debut finishing out the full 90. Bebe stole most of the headlines due to his high profile summer transfer and has been rumored as cover for the now injured Antonio Valencia.

English Premier League Weekend Preview, Mid-Week Review Show: EPL Talk Podcast

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It's a Manchester United-Liverpool week in the English Premier League, bringing a fixture which overshadows Chelsea and Arsenal dominating in Champions League, Manchester City and the Reds sitting top of their groups in Europa, as well as the midweek news from around the league. Regardless, Kartik Krishnaiyer and myself cover it all in this weekend preview edition of the EPL Talk Podcast.

The Ultimate World 5-a-side Team

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Inspired by the FA Umbro Fives competition (with a final at Wembley), I've picked the ultimate 5-a-side team. The only criteria is that the players must be currently active, regardless of which league they are playing in.

Have a look through my selection below, and then share your own in the comments.

Are Wolves Dirty?

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Mick McCarthy has today insisted that his Wolves side our not dirty. The former Republic of Ireland boss was left incensed at claims his side were deploying overly physical tactics so far this season, and maintains his side are playing fair.

But after Wolves picked up a remarkable 13 yellow cars in their last two games, surely there must be something going a miss at Molineux.

Interview With Kyle Martino, Host of Soccer Talk Live

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Kyle Martino, the host of Soccer Talk Live on Fox Soccer Channel, is the interview guest on the latest episode of our sister podcast, MLS Talk.

During the interview conducted by host Richard Farley, Martino discusses:

  • The transition from an analytical role with ESPN to a host's position with Fox,
  • His last days as a player,
  • His feelings regarding the negative criticism that the Soccer Talk Live show has received,
  • And much more.

Pre-Show Open Thread: EPL Talk Podcast, Week 5 Preview Show

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The EPL Talk Podcast's weekend preview show needs your help. We're going to talk about Champions League and Europa – the six teams from the Premier League who are active in Europe. We'll preview the weekend's fixtures and the semiannual epic: Manchester United and Liverpool.

But what do you want to here?

Man United 0-1 Southampton, 1976 FA Cup Final: Video

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Our friends over at Footysphere uncovered a brilliant video from yesteryear which is the 1976 FA Cup Final featuring Southampton against Manchester United.

As you can see from the above video, it was a very eventful final pitting Division Two side Southampton battling against Division One club Man United.

EPL Weekend Viewing Guide, Gameweek 5

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A four-star game is back, and I suppose Manchester United v Liverpool will always be a four-star match, no matter what troubles one team or the other are having. I know the debate will start anew regarding why this match is on Fox Soccer Plus, or how well the FoxSoccer.tv web site can handle the increased traffic.

MSK Zilina 1-4 Chelsea, Champions League Highlights (Video)

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Chelsea strolled to a comfortable win away from home Wednesday in their opening game of the 2010-11 Champions League journey.

Despite some early scares in the game, Chelsea were soon able to cruise to victory thanks to goals from Michael Essien (again), two from Nicolas Anelka and one from Daniel Sturridge.

As Liverpool Approach, What is Manchester United’s Best Starting XI?

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Sir Alex Ferguson made ten changes from Saturday's 3-3 draw away to Everton in hopes what was essentially his Carling Cup squad could see off Scottish champions Rangers last time out. A dour 0-0 draw at home is what played out on Tuesday night to open Champions League group stage play while those ten changes got me thinking about the personnel involved in an at times spirited, yet overall lackluster effort.

Arsenal v Braga, Champions League Highlights (Video)

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CL Highlights: Arsenal/Braga

Arsenal began their 2010-11 Champions League campaign with a home match against SC Braga. Rather than ruin some of the reader's day by providing a spoiler of what happened, feel free to watch the highlights of the game in the above video.

Share your observations about the game and the highlights in the comments section below.

Fox Soccer Channel Executive Discusses Soccer Talk Live and Other Shows

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In the latest episode of our sister show, the MLS Talk Podcast, host Richard Farley interviews Dermot McQuarrie (pictured, right) of Fox Sports International. Many of you may remember McQuarrie as a regular guest on the EPL Talk Podcast where he has appeared each year to discuss the latest developments regarding Fox Soccer Channel's programming.

FIFA 11 Demo for PC Available Today: Download It Now

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EA Sports today launched the demo version of FIFA 11 to soccer fans around the globe.

The full playable demo is available in a version for the PC. You can download the zipped file by clicking the button below. Or, you can download it directly from the FIFA 11 website.

A FIFA 11 demo was also released for Playstation 3 today, which is available through the Playstation Store.

Can Manchester United Replace Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes?

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Manchester United's drab draw with Rangers summed up a relatively disappointing start to the season for Sir Alex Ferguson's men. While they are undefeated, disappointing draws with Fulham and Everton have left United off the pace in the Premier League, couple that with the off the field dramas involving star striker Wayne Rooney and it makes for a frustrating few weeks at Old Trafford.

UEFA Champions League Preview – Part 2

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After a goal strewn Champions League opener (unless you were at Old Trafford) highlighted the quality on show in the world's Elite club competition. The games in Group A were a particular highlight. Tonight see's the rest of the competition kicking off and provides me with another opportunity to embarrass myself publicly with my predictions, Bursaspor anyone?

Dimitar Berbatov: Man United’s (Not So) New Talisman

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Amazing that just four matches deep into the new Premier League season "Berbaflop" has seemingly replaced the all-action Wayne Rooney as Manchester United's favored striker. On Saturday Sir Alex Ferguson was taking flak for omitting Rooney from his teamsheet and at some cost, United relinquishing a 3-1 lead at Goodison Park to allow Everton to claim a miraculous point.

Does Carlo Ancelotti Need To Win The Champions League for Chelsea?

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Despite their excellent start to their campaign the pressure is on Chelsea ahead of their Champions League opener tonight. Carlo Ancelotti's men travel to MSK Zilina and the general consensus amongst the footballing world is that they need to succeed to in Europe this season.

While last year saw Chelsea return to the domestic heights of the Jose Mourinho days, their capitulation against Mourinho's Inter Milan would have no doubt infuriated owner Roman Abramovich in his quest to complete a clean sweep of trophies.

PES 2011: Download the PC Demo Today

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The Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 (PES 2011) demo launched today for the PC. The free game is available now for downloading at www.pes2011.com

In addition to changing commentators from Jon Champion to Jim Beglin, new features include:

  • Total Control
  • Shot & Stamina Gauge
  • New Defender AI
  • Improved Goalkeepers
  • Animation and Player Physics
  • Stadium Editor
  • Speed of Play
  • Aesthetics
  • Tactical and Strategy
  • Feint settings
  • Master League Online

A demo of PES 2011 is already available for Playstation Plus subscribers.

Poll: Do Arsenal Fans Overreact Regarding Tough Tackling?

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It seems to be the story that won't go away. The question is whether Arsenal supporters overreact regarding the way other teams tackle their players? Depending on which side of the fence you sit on, there are convincing arguments either way.

But what do you think? Do they feel that Arsenal supporters (and their manager Arsene Wenger) have a victimization complex, or are their arguments solid?

Man United 0-0 Rangers: A Harbinger Of Dour Draws At Old Trafford?

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Glasgow Rangers's well-deserved draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford Tuesday night is a massive confidence boost for the Scottish club, but the nil-nil draw may end up being a harbinger of what will come in the Premier League for the remainder of the season.

Rangers made it look relatively easy, but you can guarantee that many managers of Premier League clubs were watching Walter Smith's tactics tonight thinking that they can replicate a similar result when they come to visit Old Trafford this season.

That’s The Champions League For You

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Eighteen minutes in to their Champions League debut and Tottenham fans could have been forgiven for thinking life in the planets elite club competition was easy. 2-0 up and pressing for a third against a beleaguered Werder Bremen side, Spurs seemed to be adjusting to life amongst Europes top clubs in fine style.

Fabregas To Get Reward For Staying Loyal?

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While it has been Chelsea taking the Premier League by storm during the opening few weeks of the season, their London rivals Arsenal have gradually been gradually continuing their solid start to the campaign.

Arsene Wenger's side have been in very impressive form so far this season.

Roberto Mancini Blames Man City’s Woes on David Villa, According to Daily Mail

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The Daily Mail newspaper made an embarrassing mistake Tuesday morning when it reported that Roberto Mancini was blaming Manchester City's slow start to the season on David Villa's international commitments with Spain.

Problem is that David Villa doesn't play for Manchester City.

UEFA Champions League Preview – Part One

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Tonight see's the opening games of the 2010/2011 UEFA Champions League competition. With all 4 English teams in the group stages and this being Tottenham's first crack at Europe the competition will be given a lot of attention over the coming weeks and months. Few things have truly changed around Europe over the summer but the biggest being the defection of Treble winning Champions League stalwart Jose Mourinho's to Real Madrid.

Paul Robinson’s Horror Tackle on Abou Diaby Goes Unpunished as Arsenal Fans Cry Foul

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Last week on EPL Talk some discussion surfaced concerning Ryan Shawcross of Stoke City and his vilification at the hands of Arsenal supporters. Regardless of your personal opinion on Shawcross, through articles and comments, a line was drawn in the sand concerning the disgusting trend of horror tackles on Premier League players, specifically from Arsenal.

Why a Rangers Result Against Man Utd Would Mean So Much To Scotland

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As Rangers walk out at Old Trafford today, old timers will recall when clashes between English and Scottish clubs were some of the biggest, most vibrant, most electric games imaginable.

The European Cup semi-final clash between Leeds and Celtic in 1970 was one of the most momentous games of that decade, possibly of all time.

Pulis Shows Incredible Commitment

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While Robert Huth's stoppage time strike may have earned Stoke their first Premier League win of the season, the night will forever be remembered for the unbelievable dedication shown by Potters boss Tony Pulis.

Hours after the death of his Mother, Pulis arrived at the Britannia Stadium to inspire his side to a dramatic turn around.

Ian Darke Joining ESPN to Become Voice of Premier League in USA, Reports Say

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Ian Darke, one of the leading soccer commentators in the world, is reportedly in talks to join ESPN to be the voice of the Premier League in the United States.

Darke's popularity rose to new heights during the summer of 2010 when he commentated several memorable World Cup broadcasts for ESPN.

Top 7 Things We Loved About the Premier League This Weekend

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There were so many highlights from this past weekend's Premier League matches that it was hard to narrow it down to seven. There was Tim Howard's wonderful kick save against Manchester United, Asamoah Gyan's beautiful debut goal for Sunderland, Scott Parker's cheeky goal for West Ham United, and the list goes on and on.

Top 10 Premier League Attendances For Gameweek 4, 2010

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For a change of pace, I thought it'd be interesting to see which clubs had the highest attendances from this past weekend's Premier League matches. Usually the list is pretty predictable especially when Manchester United plays at home because they always have the biggest attendances.

Torres Must Up His Game To Get Move

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This coming weekend Liverpool will travel to Old Trafford giving Fernando Torres a chance to relive arguably his finest hour in a Liverpool shirt. In March 2008 Liverpool travelled along the M62 take on Alex Ferguson's men knowing a win was vital to keep them in the title race. Enter Fernando Torres who raised his game to United defender to give Nemanja Vidic a torrid afternoon.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s Wayne Rooney Exclusion Error goes Unpunished but not Unnoticed

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Wayne Rooney is set to face Rangers on Tuesday as Manchester United open their 2010-11 Champions League season at Old Trafford. United will be favored to finish first in a group which features the Scottish champions, Valencia and Bursaspor of Turkey.

The news of Rooney's return just a few days removed from the weekend doesn't come as a surprise as his absence in United's 3-3 away draw at Everton was either a meticulous stroke of coddling by manager Sir Alex Ferguson, or a message sent to the players at Manchester United that no one player is bigger than the club itself.

The Evolution of a Sports Fan: What Are Your Favorite Sports?

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As long as I can remember, I've been a sports fan....both active and passive. Growing up outside of Philadelphia I had plenty to follow even in those days: the Eagles, the Phillies, the A's, the Warriors. Yeah, I know, I've been around a while. Those other teams, the Sixers and Flyers, didn't come till later, but I followed them too.

The Premier League Weekend in Review

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Another Premier League weekend is in the books with plenty of shocks, stops and talking points. The story of the weekend would be Everton's dramatic comeback against Manchester United and the continued good form of Blackpool. On a sad note though there were one or two concerning injuries and the continued discussion over officiating standards.

Could Man Utd’s Success Be Attributable To Fewer International Commitments?

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Could Manchester United's success in the past be attributable to the fact that very few of his players, as a percentage, play international soccer? And even when his players are picked for duty, you know and I know that his footballers often pick up mystery injuries where they have to pull out at the last minute.

Premier League Footballer of the Week, Gameweek 4

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  • Power Outage & a Blow Up Doll

Just a few moments before my Saturday looked set to be a brilliant day of football, a pursuit of all things leisurely, and with Manchester United up 3-1 away to Everton at Goodison, my power suddenly and mysteriously went out. Upon its recommence, Everton, through Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta, had scratched themselves level while I, like United, were left in tears picking up the pieces.

English Premier League Weekend Review Show, Week 4: EPL Talk Podcast

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Manchester United's collapse at Goodison Park sees the league's third place team lose ground to Chelsea and Arsenal, winner during the fourth weekend of the English Premier League season. To review all the action, I am joined by Laurence McKenna and Kartik Krishnaiyer for this edition of the EPL Talk Podcast.

Pre-Show Open Thread: EPL Talk Podcast, Week in Review Show

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The EPL Talk Podcast's review of the Premier League's fourth weekend will record at 10 p.m. England-time (5 p.m. Eastern, 2p.m. Pacific). This weekend's Match of the Week – Everton's comeback against Manchester United – will be high on the agenda, as will the performances from Chelsea, Arsenal, and the rest of the League.

The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same at Liverpool

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We have now seen Liverpool play a few times under Roy Hodgson and the most surprising thing about their season so far is how familiar it all feels. Their only win this season in the Premier League has been at home against West Bromwich Albion, a team destined for a relegation dog-fight.

How Arsenal’s 4-1 Victory Was Diminished by EPL Video Highlights

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Arsenal maintained their unbeaten start to the season Saturday with an impressive 4-1 victory against Bolton Wanderers. It was a wonderful match to watch, but you wouldn't know the complete story of how magical it was by watching the official highlights from the Premier League.

First, go ahead and watch the official highlights (see video above; be sure to expand the view so you can watch the highlights in full-screen) which is 2 minutes and ten seconds of "the best parts" from the game.

High Scoring Premier League Matches Expose Defensive Frailties

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It was a welcome return to Premier League action Saturday after a long international break. I'll be the first to admit that I found the matches I watched exciting. My Saturday began by watching Everton versus Manchester United, then West Ham against Chelsea, followed by Arsenal and Bolton.

Zamora Suffers Injury Heartache

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Have Fulham found a replacment already?

Just two days ago I wrote about Bobby Zamora singing a new contract at Fulham, but just typical of the cruel luck that is often associated with the sport, the Fulham forward suffered a horrific leg break in his very next game he played.

You can't help but feel the pain for the likeable Zamora.

Worrying Times for West Ham United: Deja Vu Avram Grant

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I believe West Ham United supporters should be worried, if they're not worried already. Not only because they're bottom of the table. But more so because the team reminds me a lot of the way that Avram Grant's previous club, Portsmouth, played last season. And we all know where they ended up.

Blackpool Continue Promising Start

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A relegation certainty was the tag given to Blackpool after their shock promotion to the Premier League. But after the Tangerines continued their stunning start to life in the top flight with an impressive 2-0 victory over Newcastle United, are Ian Holloways men primed to prove all the doubters wrong?

Shouts For City: Stoke City Documentary, 1975 (Video)

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On Monday, Stoke City will play at home against Aston Villa in the Premier League. The Potters have lost all three of their games so far this season, so they'll be anxious to walk away with three points, or one at the minimum. It's just another day in the life of Stoke, a club that has had its up years and plenty of down ones too.

Everton, It Could Be Worse: Classic Video Of Ref Blowing Whistle For Full-Time As Ball Goes Into Net

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It's a good thing that David Moyes wasn't the manager of Brazil in the 1978 World Cup. When Moyes went into a rage this Saturday after the final whistle blew in the game against Manchester United, he was upset because the referee blew his whistle before Everton had a chance to grab an injury time winner.

Blackburn Point Shows City’s New Problem

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While a Patrick Vieira goal was enough to rescue a point for Manchester City against Blackburn a draw won't be good enough to satisfy City's ever demanding owners and fans. But expect more results of a similar nature as sides adjust to City's new statute.

City's vast spending over the last few years has now taken them in to a different bracket of Premier League class.

Everton and Manchester United Thriller Overshadowed by Injury Time Controversy

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David Moyes Was Livid at the End of the game despite heroic comeback

Manchester United and Everton contested one of the most entertaining games of the Premier League season so far at Goodison Park this weekend.

After taking the lead only to let it slip to a two goal deficit, Everton launched a late rally to score two injury time goals and earn a 3-3 draw in a game that encapsulated all the qualities that make the Premier League one of the most entertaining leagues in the world.

Premier League Gameweek 4, Saturday Games: Open Thread

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Alas, the Premier League has finally returned after a long international break and there are several mouthwatering games that will be played today. Can Man United overcome Everton without Rooney? Can Everton can much-needed points? Can West Ham get something out of their game against Chelsea?

West Brom Fans Make A Stand

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Osaze Odemwingie has escaped the sick Racist taunts that marred his time with Lokomotiv Moscow

West Brom fans will today display a banner in support of Osaze Odemwingie after the striker received a sick racist taunt from ‘supporters' at his former club Lokomotiv Moscow.  Baggies fans will have a created a banner which will read "Thanks Lokomotiv".

FIFA 11: Advanced Defending Tutorial (Video)

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Here's another preview of FIFA 11, which will be released this autumn around the world. The preview shows the advanced defending tutorial with a voiceover by commentator Martin Tyler. It's a good indication of the graphics, audio and gameplay you can expect in the upcoming release.

However, unless you're a FIFA video game expert, some of you may feel overwhelmed as I did when watching the preview.

Rooney Will Deal With Pressure

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Last week I backed Wayne Rooney to deal with media storm surrounding him ahead of England's clash with Switzerland, well ahead of Manchester United forwards return to Goodison Park can he deal with yet another hostile atmosphere he faces?

Once again the answer is of course he can.

FIFA 11 PC Gameplay Footage: Video

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EA Sports has released another preview of FIFA 11. This time it's a sneak peek of their gameplay footage for the PC.

The preview features a match between Arsenal and Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium. As you can see from the graphics, gameplay and the audio, this is a fantastic representation of the beautiful game we love.

Injuries Increase Ever Growing Pressure On International Football

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For years on end managers across the country have sent their players away to represent their country and spent the whole time of their absence praying they all return fit and well.  But after a week that saw several big name players pick up injuries while playing for their country, the pressure from managers for a change in the scheduling of international games will be higher than ever.

Giggs Would Be A Fool To Leave For Wales

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With John Toshack standing down as manager of Wales rumours of a possible first managerial job for Welsh star Ryan Giggs have surfaced. But Sir Alex Ferguson has quickly quashed the speculation linking the evergreen winger with his first move in to management.

Ferguson said: Â "We have to be selfish here; I am not even prepared to negotiate on this matter.

Join the UEFA Champions League Fantasy Football: EPL Talk Private League

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Great news. The group stages of the 2010-11 Champions League kick off next week, so I'd like to invite you to join the EPL Talk private league version of the UEFA Champions League Fantasy Football competition which is free to join.

To play for free against thousands of football fans from around the world, here's all you have to do:

  1. Visit the UEFA Champions League website and log in
  2. If you've never registered before, sign up today.

Zamora Indebted to Fulham

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Bobby Zamora has today put pen to paper on a new four-year-deal at Fulham. The forwards commitment to stay at Craven Cottage demonstrates a massive coup for Fulham and Mark Hughes who had admitted he had to fight to hang on to his star striker.

Zamora's career resembles a roller-coaster of highs and lows.

English Premier League Preview Show, Week #4: EPL Talk Podcast

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Welcome back to the Premier League, returning from the international break. Forming the welcoming party, myself and Laurence McKenna look at the weekend's action including an eight match Saturday commencing with our match of the week, a struggling Everton hosting Manchester United.

Gary Lineker’s Soccer In The 70s: Video

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Match Of The Day presenter Gary Lineker has come a long way since his TV appearances in the early 1990s when he hosted a show entitled "Soccer In The 70′s." The former England and Everton striker was, at the time, uncomfortable in front of the camera. And very stiff. Thankfully he's improved over time, but it is interesting to take a look back at two excerpts from the show.

Idiotic Promise May Cause Future Trouble

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With Fabio Capello insisting that he won't manage England past the 2012 European Championships, names are already been branded about as a possible successor to the Italian. But with the FA proudly boasting that their next manager will be English there is hardly a wealth of managers to choose from.

Tell Comcast ‘We Want Our Fox Soccer Channel HD and Fox Soccer Plus’

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So far this year, the major satellite providers in the United States have added Fox Soccer Channel HD and Fox Soccer Plus. But for those soccer fans who have cable, especially Comcast, it's been a frustrating year with no hope of the two channels being added to Comcast anytime soon.

The Times Online Pay-Wall Mistake

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Last April I reported on The Times and The Sunday Times implementing a pay-wall for their news articles and online content that was once free. I decided I'd allow a few months to pass in order to get an accurate read on whether or not the new pay-wall was successful or an abysmal failure.

Adam Johnson…Could He Star For Club and Country In The Future?

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 While the injury to Theo Walcott would have slightly marred England's excellent 3-1 win in Basel, it did give Manchester City winger Adam Johnson a chance to enhance his ever growing reputation. The former Middlesbrough man did just that with an confident display that saw him get his second England goal in as many games.

ESPN and Fox Soccer Plus Rearrange Weekend Premier League TV Schedule

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Soccer fans in the United States who are looking forward to watching Premier League matches on television and online this weekend will want to refer to the following schedule to make sure they don't miss any of the action. Reason being is that there have been several changes regarding which games will be shown on which channel.

John Nicholson Interview, Part II: EPL Talk Podcast

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In the second part of my interview with John Nicholson, we continue discussion his new book, We Ate All The Pies: How Football Swallowed Britain Whole. The first part can be found here or through the EPL Talk Podcast on iTunes

Fabio Capello to Step Down as England Manager After Euro 2012

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Fabio Capello has confirmed that he'll step down as England manager after the end of Euro 2012.

Usually when a manager announces to his squad that he'll no longer be a manager after a specific date, it's an accident waiting to happen. Take for example Raymond Domenech and his French team in the 2010 World Cup.

Pressure Is On Sunderland’s New Star

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Sunderland's record signing Asamoah Gyan has admitted he faces a stern task to justify his £13million transfer fee. The Ghanaian forward completed a move to the North East on deadline day, but the transfer raised eyebrows with its vast price tag, and Gyan is well aware that expectations from him will be high.

Will Chelsea Continue Their Dominant Start?

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Although Chelsea will take on a West Ham side that are rock-bottom of the Premier League on Saturday, the trip to Upton Park represents Ancelotti's toughest task so far this season, and Chelsea will have to up their game to continue their stunning start to the season.

Chelsea have had nothing short of seamless start.

The Beginner’s Guide to the English Premier League

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If you're new to the Premier League this season or new to EPL Talk, we're glad you found us and even more excited you've been drawn into the Premier League, easily the most entertaining and exciting domestic football league in the world.

Maybe you caught some recent matches during the 2010 World Cup and were intrigued by a certain player or maybe you've got some friends or family interested in soccer.

EPL Weekend Viewing Guide, Gameweek 4

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Once again, all 10 matches are available on television in the US, once again 6 live and 4 delayed. Note the date change on Everton-United; the channels remain the same. I do enjoy getting those early morning matches on Saturdays.

**** Must-see. Cancel all other activities.

Why I’m Looking Forward to Gerard Houllier’s Return to English Football

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A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Gerard Houllier when he was visiting the United States for a coaching clinic at the annual National Soccer Coaches of America Association (NSCAA) event in Baltimore. He was the perfect gentleman, who had plenty of time for the press, but he also seemed so at ease on the football pitch training young kids and offering words of wisdom.

Five Things I Learned From England 3-1 Switzerland Euro 2012 Qualifier

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England continued their perfect run in Euro 2012 qualification on Tuesday night with an impressive 3-1 win away to Switzerland. Before the match, a clash of world class club managers was touted as the main story line as Fabio Capello faced off against Ottmar Hitzfeld. Between the two, three Champions League trophies are shared, while a myriad of various domestic trophies, too many to count, are split between the two veteran managers.

Frustrations Continue For Wright Phillips

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When Shaun Wright Phillips appeared as second half substitute against Switzerland, he was probably hoping that an impressive display could kick-start his club season. But things didn't go according to plan for the Manchester City winger and a below par display was topped off with a woeful cross that eluded Darren Bent and infuriated boss Fabio Capello.

Wenger Fighting A Pointless Fight

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Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross has today hit back at Arsene Wenger's claims that Stoke players act like "rugby" players. The 23-year-old defender was left fuming after Wenger's allegations saying: "He's obviously got something against me. It's just weird

"He seems to have a problem with Stoke, our manager and certain players.

Top 5 Reasons Why I Dislike FIFA International Dates

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I'll be the first to admit that FIFA international dates are something that I don't get excited about. It means either meaningless friendlies or semi-interesting football matches. These games fail to have the fever pitch excitement and build-up to games that we're accustomed to experiencing each week in the Premier League.

Non-League Football Day: One Story From a Stepping Stone to Success

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In the run up to the weekend, I wrote about the Non-League Football Day campaign that was launched to try and use the international break to encourage Premiership and Championship football fans to use their free weekend to support their local non-league sides.

This was a fantastic idea and an opportunity to plug the finances of non-league clubs and promote clubs that operate on tiny budgets and are truly part of their community.

Does the Premier League Turn Gifted Players Into More Functional Footballers?

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Whilst England fans around the globe take the first tentative steps back towards trusting their national team, my eye was caught not by yet more allegations of poor behaviour from within the England squad but by comments from a diminutive Russian.

Andrei Arshavin has said that after a year and a half in the Premier League he is "more effective but less sparkling" as a player.

A Step in the Right Direction: FIFA to Implement Video Technology to Judge Diving

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The world football governing body seems to have removed the sleep from their eyes, poured themselves a fresh cup of coffee, and in a shocking turn of events, looks to be attempting some ‘governing' as they've recently stated they'll allow national associations the use of video footage when it comes to punishing diving and simulation.

Non League Football Day – One Story From A Stepping Stone To Success

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In the run up to the weekend, I wrote about the Non-League Football Day campaign that was launched to try and use the international break to encourage Premiership and Championship football fans to use their free weekend to support their local non-league sides.

This was a fantastic idea and an opportunity to plug the finances of non-league clubs and promote clubs that operate on tiny budgets and are truly part of their community.

Non League Football Day – One Story From A Stepping Stone To Success

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In the run up to the weekend, I wrote about the Non-League Football Day campaign that was launched to try and use the international break to encourage Premiership and Championship football fans to use their free weekend to support their local non-league sides.

This was a fantastic idea and an opportunity to plug the finances of non-league clubs and promote clubs that operate on tiny budgets and are truly part of their community.

Ancelotti After Long Period In England

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Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has today claimed that he wants to emulate the success of Sir Alex Ferguson and have a prolonged stay in the English game. The Chelsea boss has also suggested he may even wish to manage England some time down the line. But could the Italian really fuflill his claims?

Is Houllier The Right Man For Aston Villa?

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Former Liverpool boss Gérard Houllier is reportedly the man earmarked to take over at Aston Villa. The commanding Frenchmen has been out of work since 2007 after leaving Lyon but rumours have it that he is currently considering  an offer from Randy Lerner to return to work with the Midlands side.

Real Madrid’s Proposed January Transfer Bid for Gareth Bale Would be a Step in the Wrong Direction

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According to reports scoured across the Internet, Spurs boy wonder Gareth Bale is the subject of a potential Real Madrid transfer bid this January. Should the Spanish giants make a move for the Welsh winger, Tottenham and Harry Redknapp would be foolish to let their young prized possession leave White Hart Lane regardless of the transfer fee involved.

Liam Brady’s Swerving Goal for Arsenal Against Spurs, 1978: Video

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One of the most extraordinary goals that Liam Brady scored for Arsenal was on December 23, 1978. And of all teams, it was against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in the north London derby. The 1978-79 season saw the return of Tottenham to the top flight, but Spurs were buoyed by the addition of Argentina stars Ossie Ardiles and Ricardo Villa.

Amazing Goal Celebrations From Stjarnan, Icelandic Soccer Club

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For a change of pace, I wanted to share some videos from Stjarnan, the Icelandic team that has become an Internet celebration thanks to their very unique and creative goal celebrations.

Stjarnan FC plays in the Men's Premier League division in Icelandic football in front of a stadium that has a capacity of 1,000.

Why It May Be Your Girlfriend’s Fault Your Team’s Star Striker Can’t Score At Home

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Wayne Rooney and John Terry are no strangers to negative gossip media, but do not blame them, it is not their fault

It seems impossible now to go more than a few weeks without a media story breaking that exposes the alleged infidelity, criminality or immorality of a Premiership footballer.

Hart Set For A Long Spell as England’s Number One

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While Jermain Defoe took the goal-scoring honours on Friday night at the other end of the pitch Joe Hart was going a long way to establishing himself as England's goalkeeper for the foreseeable future with another fine display.

Fabio Capello's decision to opt for an experienced ‘keeper at the World Cup at the expense of Hart was one of the biggest blunders he made in South Africa.

Should Fabio Capello Still Be England Manager? Of Course.

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After a successful, if occassionally indifferent 4-0 win over Bulgaria on Friday, England have won 11 successive home games. Before this game, the British tabloids were ready, knives sharpened, to cut England's manager to pieces. In his England-Bulgaria preview last week, titled ‘Fabio Capello has lost his players and now he will lose his job', The Mirror columnist Oliver Holt cites Fabio Capello's body language as proof that he has given up.

Switzerland Game A Welcome Distraction For Rooney

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Wayne Rooney will represent England against Switzerland in the midst of a media storm that is threatening to overshadow England's 4-0 demolition of Bulgaria. While most would expect Rooney to struggle under the pressure, it would be just like him to return to form with a bang and do all his talking on the pitch.

Wayne Rooney Cheating On Wife Story is a Sad Reflection On Humanity

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Wayne Rooney has been caught, according to British newspapers, of having an affair with a prostitute while his wife Coleen was pregnant. Rooney supposedly slept with the 21-year-old call girl seven times in four months.

If the story is true, then it's reprehensible of Rooney to do such a thing.

Gary Cahill’s Feel Good Senior Debut Proves Passion Still Exists for England

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It wasn't the most opportune of debuts as England center back Michael Dawson lay writhing in pain in the 56th minute of England's eventual 4-0 win over Bulgaria. But when Bolton defender Gary Cahill's name was called by Fabio Capello to replace the injured Dawson, it was a proud moment for Cahill himself, his family and friends, and especially his Father, who was said to have burst into tears upon his son's arrival into the match that saw Cahill earn his first international cap.

RIP Eric Altshule, Soccer Blogger, 1966-2010

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With great sadness, I need to announce that Eric Altshule, a blogger for EPL Talk and MLS Talk, died this past Wednesday in Los Angeles from a massive heart attack. Eric is survived by his wife and two beautiful young daughters.

Eric's brother said that "Eric was a passion­ate soccer fan, and loved more than any­thing contributing to [MLS Talk and EPL Talk].

A Welcome Result For Capello

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With the pressure on Fabio Capello, Â England finally delivered a performance to make the country proud. But was this result and the performance the start of a change in fortunes for Capello or another result that get's our hopes up only to be disappointed down the line?

England may have gone some way to igniting some confidence amongst fans last night.

England 4-0 Bulgaria: Match Highlights (Video)

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Watch match highlights of England's 4-0 victory against Bulgaria featuring a hat-trick for Jermain Defoe and the first international goal for Adam Johnson.

It was a convincing win for England, but let's hope England doesn't get too overconfident from this one victory when they face a tough Switzerland team on Tuesday.

Au Revoir, Brian McBride

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American soccer will lose one if its most venerated heroes at the end of the MLS season when 38-year-old Brian McBride finally call it quits after a 16-year career.

McBride is most known in the United States as a star for the national team. A decade of solid performances punctuated by moments of absolute brilliance.

England 4-0 Bulgaria: Spoilt For Choice

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Qualification matches for European Championships used to be a rare delicacy in the United States. Often times it would be impossible to watch or listen to the games. The next best thing was reading the scores on the Internet and trying to imagine how the game must have played out in your head by reading the match report.

Carragher’s Honour Overshadowed

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While his Liverpool teammate and close friend Steven Gerrard will be captaining England tonight, Jamie Carragher will be preparing himself for a well earned testimonial against an Everton XI.

Carragher's time at Anfield has been varied. He has achieved some incredible success most notably on that night historic night in Istanbul.

Harry Redknapp’s Rafael van der Vaart Dilemma: Where Will the Dutch Midfielder Fit In?

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This past week in football taught the world that Harry Redknapp is a football manager first and a ‘wheeler dealer' last. If you missed his verbal tirade on the poor Sky Sports reporter who so mistakenly uttered the phrase in Redknapp's direction, you'd have also missed Tottenahm's securing of Dutch playmaker Rafael van der Vaart as the transfer deadline so quickly approached – both were major news items during a not so exciting week.

Premier League News, Daily Ticker: Sept. 3

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Gerrard Backs Capello Ahead Of Euro 2012 Qualifiers

English captain Steven Gerrard has defended Fabio Capello ahead of England's first Euro qualifiers versus Bulgaria and Switzerland, calling the cries for his ousting "crazy."

"It's important Fabio is still given a chance.

Manchester United Supporter Groups Planning Weak Protest Against Glazers

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The Telegraph newspaper is reporting that Manchester United supporters are planning on staging a protest against the club's owners, the Glazer family, in the upcoming clash against Liverpool at Old Trafford on September 19.

In the past, United supporters have worn green and gold to show their dissatisfaction with the Glazer's ownership of Manchester United.

Top 5 Conclusions to Jump to for Premier League Season

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After three matches, jumping to conclusions about how the season will play out seems a bit hasty. We can't possibly know after three short weeks what's going to happen in the next eight months, right? Wrong. Here are five conclusions I'm ready to jump to:

  • This is the last season you'll see Fernando Torres in a Liverpool shirt

The season surely hasn't been the start Roy Hodgson dreamt of.

Premier League-Related News Items, Sept. 3

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If you follow EPL Talk on Twitter, you'll know that I send out a ton of links each day featuring breaking news, fascinating articles, updates on availability of soccer on your local TV provider, and much more including my ramblings. But here are a few stories that I wanted to share with you here on EPL Talk that I thought you'd find interesting:

  • Fulham supporters, put yourself on the map.

Walcott Finally Set To Reach His Potential?

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It's almost two years since Theo Walcott's finest hour in an England shirt. The Arsenal's man smashed his way in to Fabio Capello's thoughts with a sublime hat-trick in England's 4-1 demolition of Croatia. After slowly falling from grace since that day, the former Southampton man has started this season with a bang, scoring four times in his last two games.

How supporting a team can make you realise you’re not the person you imagined you are………

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Thinking about the foundation of law in the United Kingdom, and all of Europe for that matter, that a person is innocent until proven guilty, made me wonder how, as an Arsenal fan, my immediate reaction to Jack Wilshere's arrest differed to that of the Pakistani cricketing trio (three Pakistani cricket players were this week arrested on charges of spot fixing).

Euro 2012 Qualification Begins: Where to Watch The Games

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It hasn't even been two months since Andres Iniesta's golaso in Johannesburg yet meaningful international football returns with Friday's slate of Euro 2012 qualifiers. No doubt Spanish supporters are looking forward to the defence of their 2008 title but can English fans summon the passion after their bummer summer?

Euro 2012 Qualification Preview: England v Bulgaria

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The Three Lions resume meaningful international competition this Friday v Bulgaria at Wembley stadium as weary and untrusting eyes focus on equal parts Fabio Capello's management and various members of the new look England squad. Bulgaria is the opponent and three points towards Euro 2012 qualification is the goal.

England Home Shirt, 2011-13: Tailored By Umbro

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What would England's home shirt look like if it was designed by New Order's album cover designer?

In March 2009, there was a lot of hoopla about the launch of the innovative new England home jersey from Umbro. Four Four Two Magazine had the exclusive. And millions of soccer fans around the world, mostly England supporters, were clamoring to see what the new kit would look like.

Make Or Break Time For Capello

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After a hectic start to the Premier League season attentions now turn to England who face two crucial games in five days that will set a trend for Fabio Capello's next two years in charge of England.

Before the World Cup Fabio Capello could do no wrong. He was seen as the saviour of English football for turning around our fortunes after the disaster that was Steve McClaren's tenure.

FIFA 11 Video Game: Next Gen Gameplay Footage (Video)

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EA Sports has released footage of the next gen gameplay for the FIFA 11 video game, which is scheduled for release this autumn.

In the above video, you can see gameplay from Arsenal versus Real Madrid. It features the Next Gen Gameplay Engine which will be available on FIFA 11 for the Xbox 360, PC and PS3.

Support Your Local Non-League Club This International Break

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The Premier League season has ground to a halt as the first international break of the season means that there will be no Premier League or Championship fixtures this weekend.

Whilst only a small percentage of fans that would normally travel to watch their club play will be at Wembley to see England play Bulgaria, a few well intentioned fans have started a viral campaign to give fans their weekly football fix and benefit the lower levels and grass roots of the game.

Will The 25 Man Squad Rule Help England??

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Will the new rule help England have success?


So all of the squads are in and Premier League clubs have managed to cope with the new rules on their squads. On the face of things after much debate it seems as if most sides have dealt with the rule with relative ease. But only time will tell if the rule will have its desired impact and give England a greater quota of players to chose from.

The Top 5 Premiership Transfer Flops

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As the summer transfer season comes to a close Premiership teams are registering up to 25 players to compete until January. Some have spent big, some barely spent at all but the movement of players is a key in any clubs success. However, now and again transfers don't work out at all, these so called flops become topics of debate at every club.

Arsenal’s Inability to Get a New Goalkeeper Is Inexcusable

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Arsenal supporters could blame Shay Given for their club's inability to sign a much-needed goalkeeper in the summer transfer window, but I really feel the blame needs to be aimed squarely at the shoulders of Arsenal Football Club. They needed to have a Plan B in place. They did not.

Robinho Was A Success At Manchester City

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The sale of Robinho has marked the end of an era for Manchester City. The Brazilian arrived with high expectations of taking City to the next level and in a strange way he has sort lived up to the expectations.

City fans will look back fondly to the day of Robinho's arrival.

English Media Sharpen Their Knives In Preparation for Fabio Capello

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As England get set to play Bulgaria at Wembley on Friday a large section of the UK media will be sharpening its knives ready to plunge them into Fabio Capello. There is a sizeable majority of the media who would be only too pleased to see England lose to Bulgaria as it would ensure his immediate dismissal and the installation of a more media-friendly English manager called Harry.