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What’s cooler than being cool? Ice cold… (EPL Talk Review Podcast)

…alright, alright, alright, alright, alright, alright, okay now Wenger: we bon’ break this thing down for just a few seconds. So don’t have have me break this thing down for nothing, I want to see your team on their best behaviour, gimme some gum, I am your…podcaster. We are going to break Arsenal and Spurs down a little this week. Take a look at the North London derby with guest: Natasha Henry, freelance journalist, in London.

As well as London, the pod look at Owen, diving; the possibility of relegation and the unlikely event that QPR stay up. Or is it?

Reading beats someone and Everton don’t feel good about it. West Brom mastermind a game to beat Chelsea and Sir Alex is thwarted in Norwich. Did United deserve to be beaten? Let the podcast know:

EPL Talk: @epltalk

Kartik: @kkfla737

Natasha: @NatashaSHenry

Kristan: @kheneage

Matt: @mattcrduncan

Morgan: @Morgan_Green

Laurence: @lozcast

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  1. JM

    November 21, 2012 at 11:00 am

    First time commenting about this podcast though I have been listening for a while.

    I don’t feel I can weigh in on the technicalities of the discussion, I just wanted to say that I really really enjoyed listening to what Natasha had to say on the podcast. I felt she was an excellent contributor and I hope you have her on again.

    I have previously thought it a shame that not more football podcasts include female commenters considering how many female fans there are, but I guess that is a discussion for another time.

    I just wanted to say that this is my favourite football podcast out there, you all do an amazing job.

  2. Sammy

    November 20, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Wow, first time I’ve seen a podcast on here with so many comments.

  3. BouncyGirl

    November 20, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Hello Scotland Calling

    Evening/Morning All

    All the Dust and Natasha input are all very amusing.

    But lets us cut to the chase

    On Saturday: AVB 4-4-2 at start with speedy wingers to become 4-2-4 in attack.

    Inspiring tactics especially away

    It worked for the first goal and may have worked for the almost second.

    Ade got sent off. Red card all the way.

    The tactic remain the same until second half when AVB changed it to a 3-5-1
    Observation: The DEFENCE did not change… only a striker was sent off, which means that you should not let 5 goals; but be able to defend your position with 9 outfield players and win or draw

    BUT Spurs leak goals AND Arsenal leak goals HOWEVER Arsenal leaked fewer goals on Saturday, and not because they had an extra man. (Mertesacker and Sagna fell asleep)

    P.S. Please note 11 v 11 in February 2012, Spurs imploded, my gut feeling
    Arsenal would have won the game, because Cazorla was sensational for 70 minutes and Bale for only 20 minutes.

    I’m a Celtic fan


    Great Pod…I just discovered it today

    • Laurence McKenna

      November 20, 2012 at 9:53 am


      Lovely to have you, and the summary was probably better than the one that we gave. There will be comments included in Wednesday’s podcast so maybe we’ll see you again then 🙂



    • Dust

      November 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      Hey bouncy,

      Would you mind linking me to the avb transcript or team sheat where he says its a 442 because of 2 strikers starting. I asked natasha but she is unwiling. oh i based my assesment of what shape i saw on the field during play.

      Thanks in advance for finding the link

      • Laurence McKenna

        November 20, 2012 at 12:22 pm

        Hi Dust,

        Just wondering what you are saying the formation was and why that matters so much?

        Most outlets have it listed as a 4-4-2 and it certainly looked like two up top which doesn’t mean that only they would roam that area of the pitch but that they certainly lead the line. It was mentioned a few times post game that he played 4-4-2, or maybe he doesn’t care what the media or anyone thinks. Are you saying one of the two was out wide? or in a 1-1? Or maybe you mean it’s a 4-2-4, if it had been a 4-2-3-1 then outlets such as TG would have listed it that way?

        Just want to be sure.



        • Dust

          November 20, 2012 at 1:41 pm

          Hey Lawrence,

          It doesn’t matter, its just opinion. What I was addressing was Natasha’ s point that it was 442 or 4411 because there were 2 strikers on the pitch. My point is that just because there are 2 strikers on the pitch that doesn’t mean it was 442 or 4411.

          That’s all, it s really no biggie.

          Everyone says its 442 but avb hasn’t said he played 442, maybe he did? But from when I watched the game, the shape looked the same it has done on previous occasions. With transition being a big part of the game now and shapes changing depending on possession etc.. I just don’t subscribe to 2 strikers only being 442 or 4411 for the 90 minutes.

          It’s just a discussion, I didn’t agree with the analysis and then the thread took on a different topic is all, I’m not offended by what Natasha believes, I just offered an alternative to what it could be given the shape he likes to play.

          I could be wrong it’s just a discussion, pub talk.

          I occasionally listen to the podcast, when I do I post my thoughts on it, it really isn’t anymore than that.

          • Laurence McKenna

            November 20, 2012 at 7:05 pm

            Hey Dust,

            Thanks for clarifying, I was just wondering what your opinion on the formation was. You probably watch Spurs more than any one else on this thread. I wouldn’t put your opinion down in any way so I appreciate your opinion. Keep it coming, the podcast is not a definitive voice: as you know.

            I guess if you play two recognised strikers it can be hars to differentiate, at least we won’t have that problem this weekend 🙂

            We’ll email soon!



  4. Dust

    November 20, 2012 at 12:29 am

    Hey Andrei,

    What did you make of Di Matteo taking off a striker for a attacking midfielder (Mata for Torres) against West Brom when they were down 2-1?

    From 2 strikers to 1 with sturridge. So apparently some people believe 2 strikers means you havevto be playing either 442 or 4411. 😉 were Chelsea playing 442 and then changed it to 4-2-3-1?

    (No I don’t think u are “some people”)

    • Andrei

      November 20, 2012 at 12:42 am

      Well that was rather obvious move. Torres wasn’t likely to produce anything and introducing Mata gave Chelsea a better chance to find an equalizer. Which they almost did if Sturridge used his chances. Fore whatever his shortcomings are Di Matteo is very pragmatic manager and I’m sure he wasn’t trying to play any tactical schemes at that moment. Just increase his team chances to find an equalizer.

  5. Natasha Henry

    November 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Hi Dust,

    Natasha the arsenal fan here.

    I would love to know how a team of:
    Lloris; Walker, Gallas, Vertonghen, Naughton; Lennon, Sandro, Huddlestone, Bale; Adebayor, Defoe is not a 4-4-2. Feel free to be a pedant and say 4-4-1-1 if you like, but lets not be silly.

    I would suggest that 17 minutes is not enough time to see who won the battle, given that a game lasts for 90 minutes. Funny, you seem to accept Ahmed’s view of Mertersacker yet not mine. When they are much the same…

    And cheers for the comments from those who enjoyed the podcast.

    It was fun and maybe you’ll hear from me again soon.

    🙂 x

    • Dust

      November 19, 2012 at 8:05 pm

      Hi Natasha the arsenal fan. 😉

      Opinion is one thing, I have no problem with that as I have stated several times above, the podcast just didn’t get the chronology right and dismissed the effort of spurs, it wasnt 5-1 with bale scoring in garbage time as stated in the podcast. Especially when it was charactarized in the way it was. The derby was 4-2 with 20 mins left and we still attacked with 10 men.

      I have members of my own family back in north London afflicted with the same unfortunate condition as you of being arsenal fans, so banter isn’t meant to offend.

      As for 442….

      I’m not sure what would be silly about being specific about a 4-4-1-1 instead of a 4-4-2 as they are tactically different, the roles and responsibilities should be the focus. The 4-2-3-1 formation is like a template default / reset formation used to better position players in transition. Don’t focus on the numbers but the roles that those numbers represent. Today’s game is tactically phased.

      Here are some quick thoughts of mine… On how it doesn’t have to be a 4-4-2

      4-2-3-1 with Ade or Dempsey behind a “striker” / “Target Man” (Defoe) (against city Ade was the target man.)

      Spurs V Arsenal

      Walker, Gallas, Jan, Naughton



      *Huddlestone’s role is slightly more forward than sandro, but its important the roles are defined, I can’t show it as this is a limited format for illustration and there are multiple diagrams needed for different phases.

      Now, the 4-2-3-1 system AVB plays is focused on a spine and on transition, it allows for alot of flexibility. The players and their roles matter greatly between states of posession.

      4-2-3-1 DOESN’T have to be solely negative or defensive, as the game (football) changes the personnel in the systems used today change all of that.

      (Démbèle vs Modric a great example, both have great passing and vision / creative spark but Démbèle is more physical and better defensive abilities, this means Démbèle is more versatile. Not necessarily better, just more versatile. Another sample of a new player type would be the beast that is yaya toure attacking vision defensive vision also, his role decided by Mancini in their 4-2-3-1 determines his impact).

      It’s the shape above and personnel that means it can look like a 4-4-2, 4-4-1-1 or even 4-3-3 in posession as u transition to attack, and, 4-5-1, 3-5-2 or 5-3-2 when not in possesion and in your own half, it can depend on who is where on the field after broken attacks.

      Huddlestone’s role is supposed to be key in distribution when in possession, as a way to feed the flanks,/expose gaps created by movement off the ball, like a modric or Démbèle would do. The obvious and unfortunate difference would be the physical and mental talent girth between Huddlestone and…well anyone. It’s sandro that has most defensive responsibility out of the 2 “pivot” midfield roles.

      Dempsey & Adebyor are “strikers” / “versatile players” that have a higher work rate and link up play, (ade showed that last year with saha) they will by default play just behind the striker and are supposed to act as release valves in transitions in counter attacks. (Ade has played in similar roles at Real Madrid under Jose while on loan).

      Even David 4-4-2 Moyes has used 4-2-3-1 this season.

      I don’t want to bore anyone with to much detail do I shall now stop.

      I would like to premis that the following is in no way ment to be patronizing to anyone.

      It is a simple game but as humans have always done, with more knowledge and capacity we develop a better understanding and complexities emerge. labeling everything as 4-4-2 because there are “2 strikers” is not the nature of the game now.

      If you don’t have access to TactFoot ( to see this explained far better than i am now in this post, you could even use EA’s FIFA advanced settings see it isn’t as simple as 4-4-2 even on a video game.

      I wish football journo’s after getting their degree in journalism school did their coaching badges, at least there would be some substance to the spice they add to analysis.

      IMO Football is going through a changing of the guard, new detail’s oriented and younger coaches with sports science degrees and advanced tactics are now in clubs that now have to change infrastructure and youth academy philosophies to give players the ability to digest and implement these new complexities. Then you add in the media, the 35 year beat writers of the red tops & some broadsheets who just reject the change, especially if they don’t see instant results from it rests from it. (Let alone blogs)

      Some go with change, but most reject it and label it as over complicated rubbish and fall back on ‘arry wouldn’t do that, he’d just have a word, go out and run around!

      All those things drive me nuts.

      Spurs fans will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into this new era, I hope levy sticks with it.

      Happy holidays!!! We will get you in march! 😉

      • Andrei

        November 19, 2012 at 8:22 pm

        Wow a wall of text on football tactics 🙂 I would suggest that clever tactics is not what Spurs need to start winning trophies. It is ability to maintain composure and discipline to avoid hitting self-destruct button which seems to be Spurs’ trademark.

        So as a Spurs fan you’d better hope that Levy and AVB (if he lasts that long) instead of buying clowns like Adebayor consider bringing in true leaders like Keane or Viera. Or Mertersacker for that matter if anybody better is not available/affordable.

        • Dust

          November 19, 2012 at 10:16 pm

          It’s professional football, not Sunday league tactics, human chess is what it is. It is the modern game.

          • Andrei

            November 19, 2012 at 10:38 pm

            As modern football tactician to modern football tactician tell me what would you have done differently for Spurs to avoid Sunday’s meltdown?

          • Dust

            November 19, 2012 at 11:22 pm

            I would love too but there isn’t any space. LoL.

            I think my starting 11 would have been different. Carroll would have gotten the nod over Huddlestone.

            After the red, AVB expected the defense to defend, and they couldn’t. His squad options are limited. Huddlestone & gallas had a nightmare.

            I thought 3-5-1 was a good move, the clinical finishing was missing for spurs at 3-1.

            I would have used different personnel.

            Spurs fans will not agree but I would still look to replace Defoe he isn’t clinical enough.

            What would you do?

          • Andrei

            November 20, 2012 at 12:21 am

            To begin with I would not play Adebayor. It was a bad character judgment by AVB. I know AVB was counting on Adebayour ‘extra’ motivation when playing against Gunners. But given Adebayour’s record something like that was bound to happen in the highly charged derby game.

            In general, playing conservatively with one striker (JD) in front Spurs had a very good chance to get some result against not particularly impressive Arsenal. It just wasn’t the right time to try to make a statement against old rival. A pragmatic draw or even an opportunistic win would have done a great deal more to stop the rot and restore confidence in the team.

      • Natasha Henry

        November 19, 2012 at 9:17 pm

        Wow! You have too much time on your hands.

        I’ll say this: I stated they lined up as a 4-4-2 because that’s what AVB stated. I know all about the difference in formations and I know how they change as teams attack and/or defend.

        But could you please do us all a favour, and look up the definition of the word ‘quick’. You are clearly as confused by its meaning, as I am by formations 😉

        • Dust

          November 19, 2012 at 10:13 pm


          It took no time at all Siri Is good like that.

          For someone that “Knows all the formations” you sure seemed glib about 4-4-1-1 not being a legit tactical differentiator to 4-4-2.


          With all respect WRITING about football is not my profession, just something i do on a blog.

          I thought you wanted an answer? So foolishly I endulged.

          If you would be so kind as to send me a link to transcript of the statement where AVB says he used 442 against arsenal that would be great.

          • Natasha Henry

            November 19, 2012 at 11:26 pm

            Clearly sarcasm doesn’t transfer through your iPhone.

            If you wantt quote me, at least do it verbatim,particularl when the words are right in fronto you

            And I won’t be sharing any transcripts with you. As you knoweverythin, I’m sure you can find it for yourself 😉

          • Dust

            November 20, 2012 at 11:56 am

            I can’t find any transcripts of AVB saying he played 442, I see lots of media experts assuming that he did against arsenal.

            LoL you are in the media so a paraphrased statement in quotation marks should be fine.

            No need to get so upset lol

  6. Ahmed Yussuf

    November 19, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I enjoyed the podcast, it was great to get an Arsenal perspective on things.

    Also, I somewhat agree with Dust about the Ade v Mertersacker dual. The goal showed the movement of the two strikers confusing Mertersacker and him being exploited by pace.

    But, Mertersacker’s shown throughout his reading of the game more than makes up for the lack of pace, e.g. Man City away. So there’s an argument of him finding his feet in English football and being the best defender this season for Arsenal.

    I honestly believe if Ade didn’t get sent off Tottenham might’ve won. Their pace down the wings and through the middle was scary in the opening 20 odd minutes! AVB was dealt a real blow and I don’t think he is being given enough credit for changing the tactical setup and limiting Arsenal in the second half.

    Despite the man advantage Arsenal didn’t play that well. There were moments, but not enough to really show the dominance. The game was won in the 1st half. If AVB made the changes earlier I could see them at least getting a point.

    • Dust

      November 19, 2012 at 10:37 am

      See, an arsenal fan giving a more accurate evaluation of the game.

      AFC won but in all that even against 10 men he acknowledge’s it was not a walkover as implied by Durham…I mean Morgan.

      I didn’t bother listening to the rest as i was occupied, I’m gonna guess that the 4th BPL game without a win for the mega squad lead Di Matteo was somehow argued there is a depth of squad problem and not the tactical inability of the manager. All those world lass players, and Di Matteo comes out and says they played too attacking in the post game interview. LMAO

    • Dust

      November 19, 2012 at 10:40 am

      Thanks Ahmed for a view based off watching the game. Lets hope you can’t turn this into any good momentum for the gooners. 😉

      • Laurence McKenna

        November 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm

        Hi Dust,

        Siri works very well by the looks of it. That was also helpful.

        I always appreciate your evaluations. They are lengthy and detailed which helps me to evaluate the podcast too. I think, like you say that, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I agree with you that Spurs had a good chance with 11 but with 10, no… at 4 – 1 you’d say it’s pretty difficult to come back.

        There’s a great irony to: “I’m gonna guess…” but accusing Morgan of not watching the game. Something about not commenting on something you haven’t somethinged…? 😉

        I agree with some of your comments. The Guardian aren’t 1,000,000 miles away with some of their comments about the game though…Amy Lawrence offering up some interesting comments and leaving us to wonder about Spurs too.

        I think overall the idea might be that, because we had an Arsenal guest the conversation was more about Arsenal, should we have someone on with a Spurs perspective we might have asked more about Spurs.

        My EPL Talk email isn’t working right now but drop me an email about your free time and we can get you on for a comment:



        • Dust

          November 19, 2012 at 12:24 pm

          Hey Lawrence,

          Thanks for posting a reply. I want to clarify having an arsenal perspective was not an issue at all, I have zero problem with that.

          The issue I had with the review was morgans chronology and categorization of the remaining 25 mins of the game at 4-2 as “garbage time”. The assertion that it was a whimper of an effort from spurs and the goal was pointless was IMO incorrect.

          Lets figure something out, you have my email, let me know what works for you and I’ll see if it can work.

  7. Dust

    November 18, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    I Listened to section 1 in the car on the way to see flight, I am now writing using a combo of Siri and keypad on my phone in the concession area, so excuse my brevity.

    I laughed quiet a bit, but not because it was funny. Obviously everyone is entitled to their opinion like Natasha the arsenal fan believing Garath Bale is overrated but that Mertisaker is quality.

    However, if you are going to review the north london derby game at least get some facts right or at least watch it.

    It was 3-1 coming out for the second half and we attacked, the reason we conceded the 4th goal on the 60th minute is because we were continuing to attack and not trying to put something on the board “in garbage time” as was asserted by the Adrian Durham of the epl talk podcast–Morgan Green.

    It was 4-1 and in the 70th minute Bale scored to make it 4-2, no where near garbage time. We continued to attack and missed several opportunities and that was with 10 men. It remained 4-2 until the 90th + minute when in actual garbage time with Spurs still attacking they left themselves open and Walcott scored an actual garbage time goal to make it 5-2.

    Morgan did you really watch the game? Perhaps you can look at the game day thread on the epltalk site to get an accurate chronology of the game?

    I’m sure you can read other match reports and they sound easily similar to what I wrote above or the epltalk game day thread?

    I could get into why avb playing 2 attackers does not mean a 442 formation but if it isn’t obvious to a podcast dedicated to football analysis then where would I begin?

    As for Natasha wanting to see how the great metrisaker would stand up to Adebyor, the results are in, after 17 minutes it was 1-0 to Ade.

    Yes we lost, but in no way shape or form after playing with 10 men in a derby game for 70 minutes was our performance one typified by a garbage tome bale goal

    The time between the sending off and the end of the half were not good. This review of the north London was unfortunate and a lazy analysis of the game.

    Kartik raised some good points and observations of the levy AVB relationship…so there is hope!

    Ohh…the reference to Beckham and Owen getting caps because of their stature and not performance I found very funny especially coming from Natasha the arsenal fan, who’s manager hasn’t won anything in 7 years and is only still there because of achievements of 7 years ago. LMAO.

    • Jack Tomczuk

      November 18, 2012 at 11:15 pm

      I’m laughing as well dust, but not because of the pod. I’m laughing because of a bitter Spurs fan.

      • Dust

        November 19, 2012 at 10:30 am

        Ha Ha! Not bitter, we were beat, it’s three points to the gooners. If you are going to review the game then at least get things like, the chronology of the game correct.

        I’m guessing you are a gooner, when an 11 man Newcastle came back from 4-0 to draw 4-4 against arsenal did you think the goals from the 70th minute on where garbage goals?

        If you are want people to listen and take on opinions it needs to be factual at least, Morgan was not.

        Anytime a gooner can laugh during the inevtiable transitional period that awaits you when wenger and your 16 years of stability does go is a good thing, so…you are welcome.

      • Alex Wolcott

        November 19, 2012 at 12:06 pm

        Dust I completely agree with all your points but also must laugh at the “bitter Spurs fan.”

        I’m sure I myself will be bitter in a few days time when Real busts a final cap into our disastrous CL run.

        • Dust

          November 19, 2012 at 11:03 pm

          what’s happened to city in the UCL is a real shame, it is the only team I wanted from England to do something in the competition.

          Shaktar, City and Dortmund are the better sides in the comp and I would be fine with either one winning

  8. j

    November 18, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Natasha needs to stay on the podcast. Estrogen and intelligence is a good combination (:

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