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Veteran U.S. Soccer Writer Takes Aim At Premiership & Fox Soccer Channel

Veteran Soccer America columnist Paul Gardner has never been one to refrain from writing what he believes, so it’s interesting to read his take on the English Premier League and its recent lack of goals and quality in an article published in The New York Sun newspaper.

What’s more interesting to me, though, is how Gardner takes a couple of swipes at Fox Soccer Channel. For example, Gardner writes “The EPL being offered with such ballyhoo on FSC is a fraud. This is not the best, nor the most exciting league in the world. Merely the richest.”

While I agree with many of Gardner’s points about the overall lack of goals and quality this season in the Premiership, I do disagree with his criticism of FSC. Prior to this season (when many of the promos and marketing would have been created by Fox), many regarding the Premiership as the best league in the world (including me).

The other thing about Fox is that when they’re promoting Premiership matches, they have no way of knowing whether the matches are going to be the most exciting of the season or “duds” as Gardner says.

Hopefully The New York Sun will publish my response to Gardner’s article. I brought up a few other points including the fact that Setanta Sports is also showing Premiership matches, and the three that they showed on Saturday featured 11 goals and were extremely exciting.

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  1. chuck

    December 8, 2006 at 8:57 am

    Gardner is a dope. Would he rather watch Serie A? Talk about boring. Maybe the Ligue 1? Give me a break. Gardner is just taking the role of the contrarian to make column-inches. What a fraud.

    And since when is the number of goals scored the sole indicator of good soccer? I’ve seen some awesome 0-0 matches and some totally worthless 3-3 goal-fests. For my money (and I do pay for FSC, Gol TV, and Setanta) the Premier Lg. is the best with the most exciting matches and top teams. The only team that comes close to playing as scintilating at Man U right now is Barcelona.

    Gardner can continue to watch the Bulgarian 2nd division for all I care. Give me the EPL.

  2. Anonymous

    December 6, 2006 at 12:08 pm

    I can’t say I disagree with the his criticism. The games on FSC, for the most part, aren’t the best games for any particular weekend. Up until this year, FSC (and it’s predecessor FSW) had been very good, but the advent of Setanta has meant the demise of FSC.

    That said, FSC still has a future, simply because Setanta isn’t available on cable. I, personally, can’t get direct tv, and the poor quality of itvn means that I will be sending it back within the trial period. So, I am stuck with the usually poor matchups on FSC, but if Setanta ever did become available via cable, FSC would be in serious trouble.

  3. tyler

    December 6, 2006 at 1:12 am

    FSC already paid for the rights to Premiership games. What are they supposed to say “come watch Man City and Watford dredge out a 0-0 draw”? Their embellishments are nothing compared to every other Fox Sports production.

    Yes, the other leagues average more goals. Does that honestly mean the quality of play is better? Is the Bundesliga really the epitome of excitement?

    I think that Premiership is the most balanced league from top to bottom. I believe 7/8 teams made it out of the group stages in Europe this year. I think the aggregate lack of goals is due more to parity, whereas in say Italy, there are two decent teams and the rest are absolute rubbish.

    As your recent trip showed, what the Premiership may lack in technical quality on the pitch it more than makes up for in atmosphere. You can’t tell me that a half-empty stadium in Italy is a more exciting venue to watch a game.

  4. Anonymous

    December 5, 2006 at 4:05 pm

    I feel his article was poorly researched as it seems like he doesn’t realise that Setanta has the pick of the games on Saturday and he didn’t watch any of those games, which were alot more exciting than the FSC games.

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