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Birmingham City 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Interesting Observations

birmingham tottenham Birmingham City 1 1 Tottenham Hotspur: Interesting ObservationsIt was quite a bizarre weekend for Premier League football. The first half of the Arsenal against Manchester United match was played at such a scintillating pace that it was a joy to watch as both teams played attractive football and there were chances galore. Contrast that with the methodical and uninspiring match between Birmingham City and Tottenham Hotspur from Saturday, and you can see how the difference between some teams in the league is like night and day.

Before the match kicked off on Fox Soccer Channel, I was taken aback to hear Fox presenter Christian Miles call Tottenham “my team,” which was quite a bizarre thing to say especially when he is an Arsenal supporter. But perhaps he was joking?

As for the match itself, the first 30 minutes were a bore. Both teams seemed incapable of doing much right. The accuracy of passing from both teams was poor. And the shooting by both teams was just as bad. One person who was particularly guilty was Chuco Benitez who should by now have settled in to life in England’s top division, but his finishing was absolutely awful. Up until now, I’ve had a lot of patience for the lad because he’s obviously trying his hardest. But my patience has run out. He does the hard work to create the chances, but can’t capitalize on them and usually shoots straight at the keeper.

While watching the match, I had to rub my eyes a little to make sure what I was seeing was to believe. But at the top left of the screen, above the names of the team and the score, were the words “Barclays Premier League On FSC.” Of course, it’s the Premier League. And of course, I’m watching it on Fox. But over the entire weekend, all of the games had words above the score (for example, “Serie A On FSC,” etc), so it appears to be a deliberate move by Fox. It was annoying to see at first but it grew on me over the weekend, and could be a good way to differentiate Fox Soccer Channel’s programming from Fox Soccer Plus games if the latter says, for example “Barclays Premier League On FSC+.”

Right before the second half of the match kicked off, the TWI commentator did something which was very unlike TWI commentators. Gary Taphouse ruined some of the other games by mentioning at the beginning of the second half broadcast that Aston Villa and Liverpool were leading in their games. My hope is that this was a careless mistake and that football commentators won’t reveal spoilers like that again.

After Spurs finally scored, Tottenham Hotspur was far too defensively minded. With 8 mins of regulation to go, they had two successive corners but rather than trying to score from them, they wasted time on the clock instead by playing a short corner. With 8 mins to go this was not the best strategy. Spurs is not Italy. And besides, those 8 remaining minutes become 14 after 6 mins of injury time. If only Spurs had gone out on the attack to try to find a second goal instead of trying to sit on its precious one-nil lead.

So when Birmingham’s Liam Ridgewell scored late for Birmingham to tap in the goal from a Cameron Jerome header, it came as little surprise and was just desserts for Harry Redknapp whose team has become guilty for not being as dangerous as they have been earlier this season.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

9 Responses to Birmingham City 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Interesting Observations

  1. paul qw says:

    I have supported spurs for 40 years and i am hoping they will come on strong in the last quater. We have a hard run in April though.

  2. Tayo says:

    Nice Article, this is my first post on here and I have been following this site for over a month now.
    First thing first, I am a Nigerian living in Maryland, well as you already know football is the main sport in Africa so i tend to follow my national teams progress. Disappointing Nations cup but at least we got the bronze medal when the likes of Cameroon & Ivory Coast were knocked out in the Quarter Final.
    Fox Soccer channel is a complete disgrace! Back in Africa we watched the premier league on Super Sports via satellite, coverage was MUCH better than the crap we get here, you see players in the tunnel talking, getting ready to come out, you see them shaking hands and everything but it is totally different here, FSC are much more worried about commercials that the whole screen is filled up with Sylvania/Verizon Wireless/Geico ads.
    Do not get me started on the people that have on there, that show called ‘Road To South Africa’ is a joke, they were talking about Nigeria and do not even know who the current coach is, they mentioned Berti Vogts, someone who had been fired a long time ago! Gosh I wish we had more options, I am so sad to see Setanta go…. i bet FSC+ will just be as bad as FSC and so much for ‘watching the beautiful game in HD’

  3. Steve W says:

    The World Cup should never have been given to South Africa … its going to be a farce again just like Korea/Japan !

  4. Markus Brody says:

    I never noticed before this past weekend, but during the match on Setanta they do flash the scores of current games when there’s a goal. For example, during Liverpool – Bolton, when Tottenham scored, they flashed the “1-0″ update at the bottom of the screen.

  5. JOHN ADAM says:

    I am glad a writer above has rightly commented on Spurs taking a short corner on two occasions (and losing the ball in the process) when there were only 8 minutes left with only one-goal lead. This is precisely the sort of tactical error, among others, we see Spurs committing practically match after match and costing them valuable points.

  6. Leeboy says:

    Gaffer, you need to lose this obsession with not hearing ‘spoilers’ during games. Each match impacts on the table, therefore you should expect to hear about significant goals and events from other matches played at the same time.
    In the UK we don’t get to watch every match live – 4 or 5 per weekend max, with the rest on delay on Sky, or highlights on the BBC. So for all the 3pm kick-offs (10am US) we have to follow the scores and watch the action later. If there are matches on when another match is on TV the commentators will keep us updated on other scores.

  7. eplnfl says:

    Lets lay to rest the score issue. We live in a the information age. This is not 1960′s England. We in the US expect the information at hand from around the league. Again this is another issue on how English football is letting tradition stand in the way.

  8. Leeboy says:

    “Again this is another issue on how English football is letting tradition stand in the way”

    I will reiterate, this is NOT English football’s issue. On our local coverage gives other match scores and incidents. This is a US issue in that TWI commentators are expected by US viewers to keep other scores a secret so they can watch all the matches as separate little entities. Football isn’t like this – ie. the management and players at all the 3PM games will be aware of other scores around the league!

  9. Jon Sharp says:

    I am new to EPL and new to watching Premier League on the internet – foxsoccer.tv. I’m originally from B’ham and used to go to St Andrews to watch them play the likes of Oxford United and Cardiff. So seeing them doing better in the Prem is encouraging. Brum could defintely use a bit more sparkle up front tho’, but hopefully that’s what McLeish’s check book is for. I was disappointed that the foxsoccer.tv commentator/sound track was again ahead of the picture by about 3 seconds. This seems to be a recurring issue with Fox internet broadcasts (three recent games I watched). Is this an ongoing issue? Or a recent, and hopefully temporary aboration? Seems like thousands of amatuers manage to successfuly post videos on Youtube everyday. Don’t see why the professionals can’t manage it…

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