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Author Archives: Michael James

Premiership Preview–10. West Ham

Posted on by Michael James

I think it would come as a surprise to many to know that West Ham, not Middlesbrough, not Aston Villa, not any of the promoted clubs, had the highest average of English players in their starting lineups (6.61/11) in the … Continue reading

Premiership Preview–11. Blackburn Rovers

Posted on by Michael James

In his four-season tenure at Blackburn, Mark Hughes guided the club to three top-10 finishes, including 7th place last year, and two appearances in European competition. He compiled an 82-47-59 record in competitive games over that span, and his team … Continue reading

Premiership Preview–12. Newcastle

Posted on by Michael James

When Sam Allardyce left by “mutual consent” in early January, Newcastle turned to a familiar figure to turn the club’s fortunes around. I said it then and I’ll say it now: Kevin Keegan, who spent over a decade away from … Continue reading

Premiership Preview–13. Sunderland

Posted on by Michael James

Backed by the loudest supporters in the Premier League last season, measured at average peak volume at 129.2 decibels, almost as loud as a jet, Sunderland will look to improve on last season’s respectable 15th-place finish. The Black Cats were … Continue reading

Premiership Preview–14. Middlesbrough

Posted on by Michael James

According to the BBC in an online article published in December of last year, Middlesbrough’s youth academy has produced the most graduates (9) eligible to represent England at international level and start in at least five senior games for the … Continue reading

Premiership Preview–15. Wigan Athletic

Posted on by Michael James

They play some of the ugliest soccer in the Premiership. Their field surface is undoubtedly the worst in the Premiership and sits in one of the league’s smallest stadiums, which is also shared with a rugby club. They have no … Continue reading

Premiership Preview–16. Fulham

Posted on by Michael James

Fulham’s “Great Escape” was one of the best stories of the ’07-’08 Premiership season. The Cottagers looked down and out so many times, so close to the end of the year, but a shocking 3-2 come-from-behind victory at Manchester City … Continue reading

Premiership Preview–17. Bolton Wanderers

Posted on by Michael James

For everyone outside of Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Arsenal, success in the Premiership can be fickle. We saw it last year with Tottenham, who wound up an extremely disappointing 11th after two straight 5th-place finishes. We saw it last … Continue reading

Premiership Preview–18. West Bromwich Albion

Posted on by Michael James

After two years in the Coca-Cola Championship, West Brom returns to the top flight of English soccer as the team best primed to make a run at survival amongst their fellow promotees. Tony Mowbray’s club made a surprising appearance in … Continue reading

Premiership Preview–19. Hull City

Posted on by Michael James

The most profitable single game in the world was won by…no, not Manchester United…no, not the New York Giants…Hull City last season, as the Tigers’ 1-0 Coca-Cola Championship playoff final victory over Bristol City at Wembley will net the East … Continue reading

What's Happened to Aaron Lennon?

Posted on by Michael James

With Tottenham’s $30 million acquisition of David Bentley from Blackburn, it would appear that the meaningful tenure of Aaron Lennon, who was a boy wonder and the next big thing in English soccer just a few years ago, at White … Continue reading

Premiership Preview–20. Stoke City

Posted on by Michael James

August is finally here, and with it comes the final run-in to the start of the 2008-2009 Premiership season. You all know my preview plans by now — I’ll cover all 20 teams in the next 10 days — and … Continue reading

Luiz Felipe Scolari Will Be Chelsea's New Manager

Posted on by Michael James

Before I get to Scolari’s appointment as Chelsea manager, I just want to announce that there will no Euro 2008 daily recaps from me for today’s and tomorrow’s action. I’m taking a five-week summer school class right now and had to … Continue reading

Euro 2008 Recap–Day 4

Posted on by Michael James

An alarming trend is developing after one round of games at Euro 2008 — eight matches have been played so far, and only one of them has featured goals from both teams. Once a team takes the lead, they’re basically … Continue reading

Euro 2008 Recap–Day 3

Posted on by Michael James

It’s fair to say that the third day of Euro 2008 didn’t necessarily provide us with entertaining soccer for the duration of both games (certainly not in the first one), but the results of those games were perhaps the most … Continue reading

Euro 2008 Recap–Day 2

Posted on by Michael James

Was it just me, or did you all also get a sense of déjà vu when watching today’s action from Group B? I felt like I was witnessing yesterday’s games all over again. Consider: • Both yesterday’s first game and … Continue reading

Euro '08 Recap–Day 1

Posted on by Michael James

The 13th edition of the European Championships started out in decent fashion today, as both games had their exciting moments and neither ended in draws. The picks of many to advance from Group A, Portugal and the Czech Republic, both … Continue reading

TV Schedule for Euro '08 Group Stage

Posted on by Michael James

 The long wait for Euro 2008 is just about over as we’re roughly 17 hours away from kickoff in the tournament opener between Switzerland, the co-host, and the Czech Republic. The group stage will end on June 18, with two … Continue reading