Think back for a second and consider the last time that one day had so many brilliant matches as today. For me, it has to be last summer’s World Cup.
Today, of course, we have the extremely intriguing match-ups between Barcelona and Liverpool, Porto and Chelsea, Watford against Wigan and, to a lesser extent, Everton versus Spurs. The Everton match could surprise me — after all, there’s a lot to play for including the struggle for UEFA Cup positions — but I have a feeling the match will pale in comparison to the others on feast today. Without a doubt, today is the biggest football day of the year.
What’s the one thing that Barca v Liverpool, Porto v Chelsea and Watford v Wigan have in common? None of the matches will be shown on Fox Soccer Channel. Instead, it’s a menu of Setanta Sports and ESPN today.
While Fox Soccer Channel had the opportunity to shine last weekend with the FA Cup, they’ve been hurt this season by poor matches — at times — and not much luck in terms of FA Cup draws that pitted non-league Davids against Premiership Goliaths. And even with the Premiership coverage, Fox has been left to pick up what Setanta doesn’t want, so the action on the pitch from Fox hasn’t been the best — except for the coveted Sunday 11am ET timeslot where Fox has shone.
It’ll be a big weekend for Setanta this weekend with the League Cup final in store. Fox Soccer Channel’s most interesting matchup will be Saturday morning’s relegation battle between West Ham and Charlton.
At the end of the day, we shouldn’t look a gift horse in its mouth. The combination of ESPN, Setanta Sports, GolTV AND Fox Soccer Channel allows us fans to experience soccer like we have never experienced in the past. All of the above mentioned networks have their faults, but together we’re living in a dreamworld — in a good way.