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Quality of Premiership Slipping on Saturdays?

Is it me or has the quality of live Premiership football matches on TV this past Saturday been extremely substandard?

This past Saturday we were subjected to the horror that was Manchester City (remember when they were a fun team to watch?) against Newcastle United, but we also had to sit through Everton against Aston Villa (the Toffees were absolutely awful in front of goal)?

Chelsea against Watford saw the Blues strolling to victory after horrible defensive errors from Watford left a back door open for Drogba and Shevchenko.

The Blackburn versus Manchester United match, meanwhile, didn’t live up to its promises partly due to Rovers doing a good job shutting down the Red Devil’s midfield thus preventing Man United from scoring more.

I haven’t had an opportunity to watch the highlights of the other matches yet, but Setanta and Fox Soccer Channel probably wished they had shown Sheffield United v Bolton (2-2) and Wigan v Charlton (3-2). Sure, goals aren’t everything, but both of those matches sounded exciting.

Thank goodness the past two Sundays have been more entertaining (with fewer matches on live TV in America) than Saturdays.

If you’ve been reading the comments on this blog recently, you’ll notice that Fox Soccer Channel has been receiving quite a bit of criticism for several different reasons. But, on a good note, here are some of the matches to look forward to watching on FSC in the coming weeks:

Sunday, November 26, 11am ET:
Manchester United v Chelsea

Sunday, December 10, 11am ET:
Chelsea v Arsenal

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  1. thescout

    November 15, 2006 at 11:42 am

    It’s difficult to know which matchups are going to produce exciting games and which are not. Did anyone really expect Wigan and Charlton to be a 3-2 thriller? Not many I expect. I agree with you that there have been some lackluster games recently but I’m just glad that we get to see any of the games.

    I don’t think that torrential downpour at Ewood Park did much to help the quality of the game.

    The two best matches of the season so far have been on Sunday – ManU-Arsenal and Tottenham-Chelsea. Lots of quality on display in both those matches. Hopefully the ManU-Chelsea game can live up to that standard.

  2. Anonymous

    November 14, 2006 at 1:58 pm

    I agree completely with the above poster…I’m tickled pink at the smorgasbord of coverage available…I’ve seen spurs more often this year in the states than I did when I lived in London

  3. Anonymous

    November 14, 2006 at 12:36 pm

    I grow a little tired of the FSC bashing. I’m not sure why the 5 minute delay is such a big deal. What percent of the viewing population is watching live, picture in picture with Setanta. I’m guessing very, very few. I’d guess a large portion even TIVO the games to watch later.

    That’s the great thing about EPL in the states, is it’s pretty easy to avoid the scores and watch the games when convenient.

    I also completely disagree with those bashing FSC for the quality of games. Every weekend, their line-up has been just as good as Setanta, if not better. Sure, the best games are split between the two, but why bash FSC for that? Haven’t they done us all a favor by basically allowing us to see every big game every weekend between FSC and Setanta? And at a rate cheaper than previous pay-per-view.

    And finally, enough already with the half-time commentary. If I were Fox and I’m losing money on EPL, what is the value in paying extra to obtain rights to half-time chatter. Yea, there isn’t much to the halftime talking heads at Fox, but can’t we be thrilled we’re actually seeing the games!! Maybe try following this weekends matches on Gamecast and see how that compares to live (or semi-live) television.

    Admittedly, reading many of the comments on this blog I’m starting to think the majority of us EPL football fans are spoiled, and may be begging for the lame Fox halftime commentary when both Setanta and FSC business models can’t sustain themselves in the long run and we’re back watching pay-per-view.

  4. JC

    November 13, 2006 at 3:36 pm

    Well, I’m excited to hear that ManU-Chelsea is on FSC, not Setanta, ’cause that means I’ll be able to watch it 🙂

  5. tyler

    November 13, 2006 at 11:51 am

    I completely agree. I fell asleep during both the Man City-Newcastle match and the Chelsea-Watford match. I was hungover but still…

  6. Anonymous

    November 13, 2006 at 12:46 am

    Thank you, lumberjack.

  7. Anonymous

    November 13, 2006 at 12:05 am

    Oh, God, that means FSC will show the games with a 5 minute delay and retarded half-time commentray from their LA studios. Awesome!

    As to the EPL quality. I do agree to an extent.

    1. There have been very few breath-taking games this season: Man U-Arsenal, Reading-Boro, Tottenham-Chelsea are three that I can think of off the top of my head.
    2. Everton-Villa. Well, after Cahill left early in the game due to injury(what’s his status, by the way) and considering the wind and the freezing weather, that’s as good as you would expect from Everton. Everton has always been a team made up of lumberjacks with the footballing brain of squirrels. Everton has as much in common with attractive, technical football as a donkey and a spaceship. That can be said for about 10 other teams: all 3 newcomers, Bolton, West Ham, Man City, etc, etc. Even in Liverpool the lumberjacks outnumbered the footabll players in their starting 11 today and we all saw what happened.
    2. At least it is going to be a tight title race -for the first time in many years. Even Arsenal is still in the game, once they figure out how to win against the above-mentioned lumberjack(or, you can call them-anti-football) teams away from home.
    3. EPL is what it is. The most difficult league to play in, and the most exciting to watch. Definitely not the best league, though. Spanish Primera is head and shoulders above EPL, but I still rather watch Watford-Middlesborough than Getafe-Santander.
    4. Still, all is not bad-English teams are doing really well in Europe so far, including “lumberjack teams” such as Blackburn Rovers.
    Final Word: Manchester United is not deep enough squad and they will be going away to all the top teams after New Years. With players like Fletcher, O’Shea, and Brown they will never win the EPL.
    Chelsea is still solid-they win even if it is ugly and they have depth. Unfortunately, but realistically, they will win again.
    Arsenal-the most attractive team in the EPL at the moment. Will they win ? Probably not-see above.
    Liverpool? Kinda like a dead person-either good or nothing. And I thought that Rafa was the best thing to happen to the club since Paisley. They were one sorry team to watch today…
    that’s enough for now.

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