Football Hodgepodge: Premier League Thoughts and World Cup Plans in America

19 July 2009

There really hasn't been much lately for me to just write on one topic, so tonight I'm going to hit on a bunch of unrelated topics.

* I feel for those affected by the tragedy in Indonesia, but with the bombings that took place Friday morning, I am confident in saying that Indonesia won't be seeing a major touring team come through anytime in the next five years. I get why Manchester United does these tours of Southeast Asia, but I think they will be thinking of better venues to travel to next summer. To have the hotel you were going to stay in be bombed tends to make changes to future plans.

* So Ray Stubbs is leaving the safe confines of the BBC to take over the main presenters job at ESPN UK. I don't see it. Stubbs is not that great of a presenter and I'm sure the BBC secretly celebrated this move. While I wasn't fond of the guy who did the Setatna Sports coverage, he would have been a MUCH BETTER choice than Stubbs, and I can't even remember his name. It also looks like Rebecca Lowe will be his number two while Jon Champion is in the lead to be the main play by play guy. I wonder if he moves the Commontweeter gimmick over to ESPN?

* I was tempted to just write a blog on this, but I can say it much more concisely here. Watching ESPN2's four hour football block yesterday was an interesting contrast. I am not the biggest Alexi Lalas fan in the world, but his color with Rob Stone on the Toronto/Houston match was pretty decent. In fact the pairing of Stone/Lalas was damn good. On the other hand, having to put up with JP Dellacamera and John Harkes was just pure torture. They have completely given up as broadcasters and need to be replaced. When a team doing their first match together after plucked out of the halftime booth do a much better job than you, it's time to consider how professional you intend to be, because it's obvious you aren't.

* Chelsea/Seattle was a pretty good caliber of football. For Chelsea's first run out under Carlo Ancelotti, there were a few issues that needed to be addressed. The back four look in total disarray and I think that is based on the fact John Terry is being a punk. He simply needs to make up his mind and let the world know if he wants to stay at Chelsea or not. The media speculation is not helping him at all. Secondly, Petr Cech is just Petr Cech now and I don't think that's a good thing. I know he's a big name keeper, but his decision making is just mind boggling at times. I thought Sturridge was decent, but the link play could have been better. The only thing I felt bad about was Seattle not scoring, they deserved at least one.

* So for now, Adebayor is the highest paid Premier League player? I wonder if that changes anytime soon?

* So Barry Ferguson has reunited with Alex McLeish. To go from Rangers to Birmingham City shows exactly how unwanted he was after flashing the V for Scotland. I hope he enjoys life in the Championship this time next season.

* Gareth Barry is not doing a good enough job convincing us his move to Manchester City was not based on money. Look ambition only gets a club so far, and the money hasn't exactly brought in real big names. Frankly Gareth, you aren't that big of a name. As long as Mark Hughes is still manager of this outfit, City will be lucky to qualify for the European second division of bitches (aka the Europa League).

* Only one tie stands out to me in the third round of Champions League non-champions qualification. Sorry Celtic fans, it isn't your lot. That tie: Sporting Clube de Portugal v FC Twente. McClaren just can't catch a break in the Champions League. If he gets past this round, it only gets worse for the fourth round. As for Fulham, looks like Roy Hodgeson will get a trip back to Finland for their first venture into Europe.

* Thanks to chief editor Jeff Hash for these nuggets via Multichannel News about the 2010 World Cup. ESPN will be airing the World Cup draw live on December 4th, but hasn't decided what channel it will air on. The draw will be available on ESPN360. A big bonus for those masses that will be getting ESPN360 by the 2010 World Cup is they will be airing games in multiple languages outside of the usual English and Spanish. ESPN is also looking to add non-US friendlies to their schedule in the run up to the event. Another thing is Univision will be streaming all matches online. They are also going to be showing all games in HD and are working on finalizing on-demand plans. While Fox Soccer Channel can't show World Cup highlights during the 2010 World Cup, they will be doing a mini-series on the history of the world cup that will air in 2010. They will also be doing a series of previews titled 'Passport to South Africa' and after each match day, a show discussing the action titled 'Ticket to South Africa'. GolTV will have a crew on site in South Africa and the 2010 Report will be making a nightly appearance during the competition.

I will be releasing my next podcast post Gold Cup and from there, it will be a race to the start of the Bundesliga and Premier League seasons. I'm already working on my previews for the upcoming season in the Premier League. It is more likely I will devote a podcast to previewing the Bundesliga season.


football August 5, 2009 at 4:33 AM  

Nice post. i was looking for such post. i learned many more about the world cup football from this blog. thanks for posting.

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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