Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 3: Open Thread

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Pay very close attention to this weekend’s Premier League matches. After the final whistle blows tomorrow at the end of the Man United against Arsenal match, we’ll have to wait 13 days until the Premier League returns “thanks” to the dreaded international break (a massive waste of time, but that’s another story for another time).

Today we have several intriguing matches in the Premier League.

First, many of you know the drill. Before, during and after the matches today, use this thread to share your rants, raves, observations, questions and more. We look forward to reading your thoughts on what is the biggest day of the week for fans of Premier League clubs (or the Premier League itself).

The early match today is Aston Villa against Wolves (7am ET). Not only is this a West Midlands derby, but there’s nothing quite like a derby at Villa Park where the thunderous noise from the Holte End spurs the Villa side on. Mick McCarthy’s side is flying high right now especially with the golden form of Matt Jarvis. Aston Villa came alive against Blackburn last week. But Gabriel Agbonlahor, scorer of that beauty against Rovers, is out injured. But expect Darren Bent, goal poacher extraordinaire, to play a part in this game.

Kicking off 30 minutes after the Aston Villa game starts is Wigan against Queens Park Rangers (7:30am). Normally this wouldn’t be a game to get the blood racing, but it looks quite likely that Joey Barton will get his debut for QPR and that alone is a reason why it’s worth watching this match.

At the traditional 3pm UK time (10am ET) today, there are three matches being played concurrently. Most readers will be interested in watching Chelsea versus Norwich, which will a brilliant opportunity to see how good Norwich and Chelsea are. The Canaries have impressed me immensely in each game I’ve watched them play so far this season (against Wigan and Stoke). For Chelsea, meanwhile, this will be a good test to see if they can get their chemistry going since they’ve had a tough time so far this month (against Stoke and West Brom).

Blackburn against Everton (10am ET) could be an eyeopening match. Rovers are obviously in trouble after losing their first two matches. And this is a game that you would expect Steve Kean’s men to win. But Everton are never an easy team to defeat and David Moyes’s side are desperate for points too after last week’s disappointing home loss against QPR. Expect this match to be full of a few surprises.

The third 10am kickoff is, gulp, a nervous one for me. I’ll be fascinated to watch Swansea versus Sunderland to see what tactics Steve Bruce employs. Will Sunderland go out with a team intent on launching blistering attacks, or will Steve Bruce’s side let Swansea play (like Wigan did) and soak up the pressure while getting their fast-breaking counter attacks ready to fire when needed? This is a game that both sides must win. Swansea need their first win of the season. So too does Sunderland. Both clubs need a win for different reasons. Steve Bruce needs to get the pressure off his back which is already mounting especially after the club lost at home to their closest rivals Newcastle. Brendan Rogers needs the win to prove to himself and his players that playing beautiful football can equal victories. Personally, I don’t want Swansea being tagged as entertainers this season. I want people to see them for who they are which is winners playing entertaining football.

When I tweeted last night and asked readers which game on Saturday most followers were looking forward to watching, the majority of people who replied said it was Liverpool against Bolton (12.30pm ET). Many were obviously die-hard Liverpool fans, but this match will be interesting for other reasons. First, can Liverpool find their best starting line-up? Andy Carroll, for all of the money spent on him, should be a super sub. Luis Suarez is, by far, a more natural Liverpool player and fits in better with Liverpool’s system. But can Dalglish get his team to gel? Bolton meanwhile have looked promising this season after spanking QPR and their fightback against Man City. Don’t be surprised if Bolton gets a draw here.

Again, don’t forget. Before, during and after the matches today, use this thread to share your rants, raves, observations, questions and more. And, if you need to figure out which games are on what channels (or where on the Internet), check out this Premier League TV schedule.

90 thoughts on “Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 3: Open Thread”

  1. Gaffer — woke to to the sounds of Hurricane Irene outside my home (in North Carolina), but the electricity is still on for now. Bring on the matches!

    1. Timm, best of luck to you and everyone else affected by the hurricanes. Hope you stay safe and get to watch the game. I’ve been through too many hurricanes down here in Florida, and it’s no fun, to say the least.

      The Gaffer

  2. It probably took all of 5 minutes to tape that intro segment with Darke outside the stadium, yet it adds so much. Take notes, Fox.

    Was hoping to see Lichaj at RB, but he doesn’t even make the bench. Boo McLeish.

    1. I agree Jon. It’s a perfect example of how ESPN “gets it.” They completely understand what the US audience wants, which is to show us things that we otherwise wouldn’t see anywhere else.

      The Gaffer

  3. Here we go again. Spinning black and white wheel of death strikes for Wigan against QPR. Inexcusable.

    Can anyone else get it to work?

    The Gaffer

    1. Same as last weekend. When contacted they insist they are not to blame, or it’s just a small number of customers without service. Pathetic.

      1. Mox Nix, that’s the one thing I hate most about customer service is when they give customers lines like that. It’s a horrible attitude to have and says that they don’t care. It also deflects the blame. And as we all know, it’s BS. Sorry that you have to go through this.

        The Gaffer

    2. This may be a first. I don’t recall having back to back weekends being hosed on This is just lovely. They bump up the price to $20 a month for the apps and now the apps are all that seem to work.

      Add the little drama over at Dish with the channel being moved, but the HD not being mapped yet, and this is brewing up for a perfect EPL content boondoggle.

      At least Norwich is keeping Chelsea honest right now.

      1. Not all of us have FOX Soccer Plus, so for many of us is our option to watch games such as Wigan v QPR and Swansea v Sunderland.

        I have Comcast Cable, which does not have FOX Soccer Plus or FOX Soccer HD.

        The Gaffer

        1. The easiest fix would be switch to DirecTV. I mean, you of all people should have it! DirecTV has the best soccer packages around. You obviously love soccer, so there must be a reason why you haven’t switched yet??

          1. I used to be a DirecTV customer but 1) their customer service sucks, and 2) watching games on satellite TV in South Florida is horrible especially in the rainy season like now when the signal goes out all the time.

            The Gaffer

          2. Ahhh, I see. Well luckily here in sunny California I have never, ever had any interruption of satellite. Probably why we pay so much to live here! LOL! I’ve had DirecTV for over 10 years now and it works great. Customer service is not an issue as I’ve probably talked to them 4 times in 10 years, and that was to order more channels. But yeah, if you have the choice, there’s no comparison for soccer. Lucky me I guess.

          3. Between hurricanes, tornadoes, EARTHQUAKES now, giant bugs, freezing winters, humid summers and now satellite issues affecting watching soccer……those are all reasons why I would never live on the East coast. I don’t see how you guys do it. I’ll just live near the coast of California and suffer through my 78 degree days and 3-4 rain storms a year. Damn it’s tough here! Better turn on a Premier League match and crack a cold beer…..


        2. Yeah, easiest fix indeed. Increase my bill by about 30%, lose all that I have on the external hard drive, lose the best DVR on the planet. Oh… and not all the games are on FSC. is a good option content wise, it’s the service that seems to suffer from terrible inconsistencies.

    1. Same here, although it works on the iPhone and iPad versions. Very frustrating.

      The FOXSoccer2Go name is beginning to take on a completely different meaning.

      The Gaffer

  4. Love Darke and McManaman calling Nasri out for his comments about Arsenal and their fans. All I could think about when watching him talk was dollar signs and he proceeds to rag on playing at the Emirates and how City supporters are more passionate than Arsenal supporters? Huh? Idiot.

  5. Finally got a reply from the Murdoch Empire — only affecting a small number of customers, try disabling hardware acceleration, blah blah blah…..

    Doesn’t work. For this level of service they raised the price?

  6. ESPN if you’re reading I just want to say that your EPL team of Ian Darke & Steve McManaman are quite possibly the best on air duo in your entire stable of broadcasters (and I’m not just a soccer fan, also huge NCAA Fball/Bball, MLB, NFL, NBA, Sportscenter, etc). They are truly remarkable together and really compliment each other well. Thank you for bringing them to us.

    Also want to note that your EPL pre-match & half-time coverage are top notch. Please keep it coming.

    @Gaffer, do you know how we as fans can contact ESPN directly to show our appreciation?

      1. Thanks, sent them an email and also tweeted my thoughts to @ESPN, @ESPNSoccernet and @IanDarkeESPN.

        And Gaffer, your site ain’t too bad either. haha, seriously! I don’t comment on here as much as I used to, but you were instrumental in my figuring out the ins & outs of the game in the EPL & Europe. All the different competitions going on simultaneously was really confusing at first, but your coverage helped me sort it all out and I owe you a great debt for my current level of footy knowledge…which is still fairly low in the grand scheme of things.

        Thanks & Cheers!

      1. He says about 30 seconds before that there’s a score update coming. Just listen for when he says that and stop paying attention for a minute.

    1. Agree. I really look forward to the ESPN games because of them (and the superior quality of the broadcast overall, too).

  7. It’s time for Fox to pull the plug on its online offering. It is nothing short of shambolic. They should sell the rights to ESPN who can show it on espn3 (their online offering).

    How can we tell Fox directly about how bad is? Writing to only tells the company hosting the site what the problems are and how bad the product is.

    1. Hi Carolyn, the folks from FOX Soccer and read the threads here quite regularly so they’re aware of the issues.

      The pattern is becoming tiresome. works, then the next weekend it doesn’t, then we receive an apology and refund, they promise things will get better, then the cycle repeats the same the following weekend.

      The Gaffer

  8. I was about to subscribe to and I’m so glad I didn’t now. They are absolutely clueless about how to fix the problems everyone keeps experiencing. The fact that it’s worse this season than last season tells you how clueless they are especially when they had the gall to increase the price on a product that wasn’t that great to begin with.

    Please Fox let espn3 show the games.

    1. Hear hear!

      Same ridiculous pattern of replies from as last weekend. They are SO surprised that a “small number of customers” are not getting the games. Count me as one who is fed up to the back teeth with this errant nonsense.

  9. i didnt get a “only affecting a small number of users” excuse, but i did get a “affecting certain areas of the US.” i take that as “it is affecting ALL of the US”

    now, i wait for them to blame Irene.

    side note/as a gulf coast texan, ive been through a few hurricanes, so i hope everyone on the east coast stays safe during hurricane Irene.

      1. My concern of this, and their track record kept me from getting the annual pass. It was a good deal, price wise, but I could just get it without seeing how the season went.

        They should allow people to quit and get their money back.

  10. Not working for me here too.. it does work on the ipad but not computers.. and just in case they ask I have about 4 computers here of different kind I tried them all and nothing but a spinning wheel on all of them

    1. What I’ve noticed is that the On Demand games pop up a Performance icon before showing the black screen and then the feed. Live games just jump to the black screen.

  11. What a load of crap geez. I didnt even watch games last week and i got an email saying there was problems. Im here watching this weekend and cant even watch a game.

  12. Not working for me in Philadelphia. What a load of crap. They should at least make the service free until they resolve the issues.

  13. I think i want a month cash refund… getting an extra month free means nothing to me as i was going to cancel at the end of the season. I get a month of what reruns? I pay for a service to watch live football they are not delivering so I want a least cash back in my account that is the only thing that will make them move and fix it.
    ESPN can do it, CNN can do it, MLB can do it ..Netflix can do it.. heck TWIT network can do it and they dont even charge. I thought FOX was part of a very large professional empire owned by murdock …

  14. For all you with Dish gonna lose your FSC HD so make your move to Direct Now! Please give my acct. # when you are on the phone to place an order for Directv so we BOTH get additional $100 off. You also get GOL TV HD (and free NFL ticket while it lasts) Order now before everyone does & you don’t get NFL ticket and have to wait long for instal.
    (if you do not do give it at the time of order neither of us will get the additional $100 off!)
    Kevin Directv Acct.#: 062212111

      1. Can’t confirm but based on Dish past track record and from person I know Dish is moving (and has been) away from sports (leaving for Direct) and will continue to move to obscure movie type channels. This is confirmed & will continue to happen with niche channels like FSC, gol tv etc. Best bet in Direct if you want niche sports channels. (& free NFL ticket for now until everyone moves over in next few weeks they will take NFL ticket off free for new subs)

        1. I’m sorry, but that is crap. You don’t have confirmation of it, so you are reporting a rumor as “truth”, and apparently have an economic benefit for doing so.

          Dish had FSC in HD nearly a year before Directv. Whether Dish is losing FSC in HD is to be seen, until then, don’t report something you intend to profit on if you don’t actually know its true.

          1. I agree Yespage. I put messages in to both DISH and FOX Soccer yesterday asking for more information regarding the developments, but have yet to hear from either party.

            As soon as I hear something concrete, I’ll let the readers know.

            The Gaffer

          2. Here is my chat with dish support…
            Please wait while we find a representative to assist you…
            Welcome to DISH Network Chat.
            Rachel (ID: LN9): Hello Adam.
            Rachel (ID: LN9): How may I help you today?
            adam childress: Hi, I see my Fox Socer Channel in HD is moving from channel 149 to 406 on sep7th will they be keeping it in HD or are they dumping FSC in hd?
            Rachel (ID: LN9): Please don’t worry.
            Rachel (ID: LN9): There will be no changes.
            adam childress: oh ok I appreciate it because I recieved an email asking me to switch to direct tv because you were going to dump the FSC HD content and go to Standard def.
            Rachel (ID: LN9): Thank you.
            Rachel (ID: LN9): I assure you that it will remain same.
            adam childress: thanks alot i will be staying with dish then
            Rachel (ID: LN9): There will be no changes.
            Rachel (ID: LN9): We appreciated your business with us.
            Rachel (ID: LN9): Thank you for using DISH Network chat and have a great day.
            adam childress: thank have a great day
            Rachel (ID: LN9): Take care. Bye Adam.

          3. Problem is, people have received replies saying the exact opposite to. Customer service simply doesn’t know. What I don’t get is why would they get rid of HD, instead of the entire channel?

    1. I actually spoke to Dish Network yesterday and they told me they are dropping the HD channel for the time being. Told them then I was dropping Dish. They dont care….

      1. Talked to Dish a few minutes ago and after 3 explanations that made no sense, I got to supervisor level and she said, “We have no room on the HD satellite for the two FSC channels, so we’ve moved them to standard channels (406, 407). We’re looking for a bigger satellite and will replace them when we can.” End of story, not ETA, no price reduction, nothing.
        After almost 6 years of being a big fan of Dish, I’m heading for Direct unless they fix this fast.

        1. If you Google this you’ll see that a lot of people are saying the same. I just hope everyone puts their money where their mouths are and makes this a major pain in the arse for Dish rather than us being walked all over.

          1. Dish has reps at web boards (Satellite Guys for instance) and allegedly there is a positive announcement that will be made regarding this issue, once it is made official… whatever that is.

            Some hope there then.

  15. is not working for me on the web either. This is beyond ridiculous. FOX should be ashamed especially after last weekend was such a disgrace, too.

    It is working on the iPhone app. But it’s not the experience I was expecting. I want to watch it full-screen on my computer. Argh!

    The Gaffer

    1. From

      Hi Tony,

      Thank you for your email.
      We are aware of the issue and we are thoroughly investigating the issue and aim to have it resolved as soon as possible.
      We apologise for the inconvenience caused and thank you for your patience.
      Best regards
      Customer Services

  16. The wheel of death has struck me as well, and I thought the hurricane would be my biggest pain this weekend here in NY. The arrogance or delusion of these people to raise the price on a product that simply does not work is beyond reason.

  17. tweeted “We continue to work on a resolution for access to live games this morning on PC/MAC. We apologize for the inconvenience caused”


    “Subscribers, live games are available on our FOX Soccer 2Go iPhone and iPad apps.”

  18. First half of the 10:00 starts is over and still no games working on I agree with the commenter above who said we should get cash refunds rather than free weeks. There is no excuse for such a bad product.

  19. Same old bollocks from Asked the wife her opinion (she’s an IT project manager) and her assumption is inadequate load testing when rolling out the new platform (probably by a vendor), and so while it can cope with people occasionally watching on-demand, etc., when a good number are logging on at once, the thing just crashes. More server space or get the application server to handle more requests asap, please.

    Not holding out a ton of hope of watching the Stoke game tomorrow on something bigger than a 3″ screen.

      1. Reminds me when Pat Lafontaine was knocked unconscious from a hit and fell flat on him face, breaking several bones. Luckily Drogba landed “well” (pretty much flat), instead of at an awkward angle that could have caused seriously damage. Hard to tell if his eyes were even open when they carted him off.

        Very scary stuff.

    1. That was horrible. Looked like he was knocked unconscious in mid-air, and just landed on his face. Fingers crossed for the big guy.

  20. Official word from FOX Soccer:

    “We are aware that certain subscribers to are having issues viewing live events. This appears to only impact select geographic areas. We are working with our service provider, Perform Group, to rectify these issues as quickly as possible. Live streaming of these events remains available on the FOXSoccer2Go Ipad and IPhone app (no extra cost with a account). We apologize for any inconvenience this is causing those affected and will keep subscribers updated via our @foxsoccertv twitter feed.”

    The Gaffer

      1. Ohio for myself. Think the Gaffer is Florida based… so you know… just the southwest, midwest, southeast, central plain states. There is a small patch in Maine where they can view it.

        1. Yes, I’m in Florida.

          If there is ANYONE out there who got to work today for any of the Premier League matches, please speak up and post a comment.

          The Gaffer

  21. didn’t work here in Connecticut either. Did it work anywhere in the US?

    Time for Fox to call it a day and refund everyone their money and have espn show the games. is getting from bad to worse. I’m afraid pretty soon the site will start attacking my computer. What a waste.

  22. Well, the games that were televised were really good today. Wolves held onto a tie against Villa. Norwich played smashingly well against Chelsea, though the Drogba incident was terrible! Liverpool getting a little more cohesion. I think I’m starting to see what people are saying about Carroll being over-rated, but he needs a little more time.

    And thankfully the top two games tomorrow will be on FSC! Though I’m going to need to see Stoke City play. Thankfully I don’t need to wake up early to not being able to watch the game.

  23. How much longer before we can all agree that Lucas Leiva is world class? He played extremely well (as usual) while looking really sick today. He’s become one of the best (if not THE best) tacklers in the game today, and he’s been a top performer for a full year now, and still looks to be improving. He now makes excellent decisions with the ball, is class in possession, and is the link between Liverpool’s attack and defence. Whenever Liverpool is on, the game runs through Lucas. Oh an also, I forgot to mention that he STARTS for Brazil.

    I mean what else does the guy have to do?

    1. Well, I’m glad that they didn’t listen to me when I said we should eject him a couple of years ago. His presence on the field is much more positive. No more of the diving escapades and when he gets the ball there is promise, not despair.

      Lucas really is developing nicely.

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