In the last round of the League Cup, Setanta Sports treated us to coverage from Crewe against Manchester United, and Chesterfield versus West Ham United. While both matches were entertaining to watch, I wrote how impressed I was that Setanta showed all of the footage from SkySports.
While soccer fans in America are able to watch more live matches than viewers in the UK, what we don’t get enough of is the pre-match, half-time and post-match analysis and build-up to matches.
So it was with great pleasure yesterday to watch the Southend against Man United League Cup match. Presenter Tim Lovejoy was more tolerable this time, while football analysts Lee Sharpe and Ronnie Whelan provided plenty of insight. Whelan, who was interviewed for a recent EPL Talk Podcast, managed Southend after ending his Liverpool playing career.
And what a match it was. Southend defended superbly not allowing the United forwards many options or much space. In contrast, the Shrimpers looked more dangerous moving forward and had an easier time creating space to allow penetrating runs (and shots) from Southend’s Freddy Eastwood, their goalscoring machine.
After the fans at Roots Hall ran on to the pitch after the final whistle, the only disappointment was that Setanta didn’t show the post-match coverage from SkySports. I would have loved to see and hear the interviews with Steve Tilson and Alex Ferguson, and to savor the atmosphere of what will go down as one of the biggest giantkilling cup matches in the past decade.
Tonight it’s Birmingham City against Liverpool in the League Cup on Setanta Sports. I’ll be watching it via the On Demand service from ITVN tonight. If it’s anything like the previous League Cup coverage from Setanta, you won’t want to miss it.