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EPL Talk Podcast Live Show: FC Cup Fourth Round Review, Transfer News Updates, Discussion

EPL Talk Podcast Logo draft 300x242 EPL Talk Podcast Live Show: FC Cup Fourth Round Review, Transfer News Updates, DiscussionChelsea barely survived Everton in the first match of the FA Cup fourth round, a harbinger of what was to come for the Premier League’s big five. Yes, Manchester United and Arsenal are through, but between a late comeback, a red card, and some dubious theatrics on a match-winning penalty kick, each had their problems getting through to the fifth round. Chelsea and Manchester City needed late goals to force replays, while Tottenham Hotspur were blitzed a Craven Cottage, bowing out after being blown out by Fulham.

On today’s edition of the EPL Talk Podcast, myself, Kartik Krishnaiyer and a jet-lag ridden Laurence McKenna will talk about this weekend in the FA Cup as well as consider the news around the Premier League on this, the last weekend before the close of the winter transfer window. The league has added the likes of Luis Suarez, Demba Ba, Stephane Sessegnon and Sulley Muntari, and while Robbie Keane, Carlos Vela, Stephen Ireland and Jamie O’Hara are on the move, it’s the potential move of Fernando Torres that has overshadowed the weekend’s action on the pitch. We’ll talk about the state of affairs with Liverpool’s falling idol.

That, a tour of Europe, a look at the Championship, and …

Your comments, questions, and reactions as we got live at 10 p.m. BST, 5 p.m. EST, 2 p.m. PST. After the jump, the UStream audio player and chat will allow you to interact with us come show time (expect music and chat to start roughly 30 minutes before the show). Use that, the comments to this post, Twitter and email to let us know you thoughts on the news and action around the Premier League, and if you’ve listened to any of our recent shows, you know: The podcast is always better when you’re involved.

Showtime is 10 p.m. BST, 5 p.m. EST, 2 p.m. PST. We’ll start chatting a bit before start time, and we’ll be responding to your comments and feedback up until show time.

Live Video streaming by Ustream

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15 Responses to EPL Talk Podcast Live Show: FC Cup Fourth Round Review, Transfer News Updates, Discussion

  1. MennoDaddy says:

    OK, here’s my question for the day.

    What is up with the FA fining Blackpool for fielding a “weakened side” in a game earlier this season? Isn’t that what *most* EPL teams do on a regular basis? I thought it was commonplace for teams the likes of United, Chelsea, Arsenal, etc. to field teams of younger or less-used squad players in early round cup matches, or even against bottom of the table sides where they have an excellent chance of winning. In a year where all EPL teams must pick a 25-man roster, all of whom one would think are pretty good players, why does Blackpool get the hammer from the FA for fielding a “weakened side” when the big teams that do the exact same thing skate?

    • Richard Farley says:

      Great question, the most interesting angle (to me): Nobody outside the FA seems to think this is a fine-worthy offense. How has the FA become so out of step with the realities of Premier League football, management?

    • SaltyGunner says:

      And additionally – who decides what a “weakened side” is? Where is the line? One team’s “weakened side” is another team’s strength? What if the team is putting out a side that will compete better with the competition?

    • brn442 says:

      Great point Menno. First off, it is the Premier League NOT The Football Association that has this silly, outdated rule. As The League and FA Cups are run by the Football League and the FA respectively; clubs have have a bit more discretion on player selection for cup matches.

      I’m going from memory here but the rule made more sense in the mid – late 90′s when teams were allowed to have 40+ man squads, which usually included boys and reserves. As the old European Cup morphed into the Champions League, you could imagine back then the Premier League fearing becoming second priority on weekends before crucial CL matches. Ironically, the rule now affects mainly smaller clubs as they naturally do not have the strength in depth to rotate their squads the way Arsenal, Man U, and Man City do. The rule puts smaller clubs in a conundrum if they go on a fabulous cup run, like Fulham did last season or simply have an overloaded fixture of matches?

      As you and Mr. Holloway pointed out – what’s the point of the Premier League telling clubs to name a 25 man squad if they are going to subjectively decide who their best 11 players are? They might as well tell clubs to name their “first 11″ players at the start of the season too.

      • MennoDaddy says:

        Well, duh. Of COURSE it was the Premier League, which is what I meant to say. Thanks for the correction, brn442.

    • S says:

      The rule is in place to keep teams from ‘throwing’ games they pretty much know they are going to lose. United, Chelsea, and Arsenal, etc. field ‘weakened’ sides in games they are confident they are going to win either way. I think this is the difference IMO.

      • brn442 says:

        Sorry Menno, I honestly didn’t know, as many fans often mistake the roles of The Premier League, The Football League, and the Football Association.

        Yes S, that has been the strategy of newly promoted clubs the past few years, especially if their next match was a potential relegation six – pointer. However, the past couple of seasons – these clubs seem to be up for the matches against the big boys and expect to get a result, eg, the result Blackpool got at Anfield and W.B.A. at the emirates.

        The rule is still not enforced on so-called top four clubs who are out of the title race but may field a “weakened” side in a PL match right before a CL quarter or semi-final should they get there; something , if results hold – Chelsea and Spurs may probably end up doing this season.

  2. Jason says:

    I think we can count out having a repeat of 2008 in the FA Cup this year with the smaller cups advancing of the bigger clubs. The draw for the 5th round was not very freindly. I was hoping for draw pitting a combmination of Man Utd/Arsenal/Chelsea against each other. But that aint happening. Look for all all of the lower division sides left to be gone after this round now. I’m cheering for Man City to win the FA cup now. But I also want to see Fulham, Birmingham, or Stoke get in there with a shot at the final.

  3. Lyle says:

    The Guardian is reporting Michael Bradley will be signed on loan by Aston Villa from Mönchengladbach from the rest of the season. What’s the rational behind this, from Aston Villa’s and Gladbach’s perspective. Gladbach shouldn’t want to let Bradley go at the moment, I’d think… being that they are dead last in the Bundesliga at the moment.

    • Richard Farley says:

      Gladbach went out and got some reinforcements in midfield. I think they’re being realistic about the fact that they need to cash-in on Bradley now. I also think this loan deal to Villa is a hint that Bradley wants to move.

      But we’ll talk about it more on the show. Aston Villa’s side of the coin is much more confusing, to me.

  4. US Stoke Fan says:

    I was pretty confused by some of the FA Cup matches that took place. Mancini puts forth a City side that looks like he cares, but the team doesn’t play like he cares about the FA cup until he subs in David Silva for Jo in the 63rd minute. Does Mancini care about these competitions, because he sure didn’t seem to care last year?

    Also, Tottenham gets blasted out out of the park in the first 20 mins at Craven Cottage, yet Harry Redknapp doesn’t start subbing some of his star players till after the half when he was already down 4 goals? Van de Vaart, after getting a stupid yellow card early in the match should have been pulled immediately as it was a lost cause. On the other side, Fulham proceeds to play Dempsey the full 90 despite the fact that they have a short week with lots of matches and were up 4 goals.

    I guess ultimately I don’t really get how this competition is supposed to be treated. There are premier league teams playing 3 games in a week because of FA Cup games and there have already been several managers complaining about replays that neither team wanted to participate in. Man City certainly doesn’t want to replay Notts County yet here they are.

  5. Nick says:

    Isn’t it time we star considering Liverpool a 2nd tier club in the vein of Bolton & Sunderland? The place they’re fighting for right now is European football and a Top 10 spot. I don’t think we can realistically see Liverpool taking a 4th place off Spurs, City, or Chelsea, and even Bolton & Sunderland are going to be giving them a hell of a fight for a European spot and considering Aston Villa and Blackpool’s recent form, they can’t be dismissed either.

    You look at Liverpool and they’re now a side that has to sell their best players to the big teams to survive. Fernando Torres at his best is one of the best footballer in the world, he already stayed with Liverpool for a season and a half of football at a midtable team.

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