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World Cup Qualifying, Jack Wilshere And Nationalism, Cheerleaders vs Haters (This Week In Soccer)

In the ninth episode of This Week In Soccer, the topics discussed are (1) Qualifying formats for the World Cup, (2) Cheerleaders versus haters in terms of the way US media covers the England national team, and (3) Jack Wilshere and naturalized players.

The guests on this week’s episode are:

Laurence McKenna (EPL Talk Podcast host)

Richard Farley (, and

Kartik Krishnaiyer (Senior Writer, World Soccer Talk).

Subscribe to the World Soccer Talk channel on YouTube. And feel free to share us your feedback in the comments section below.

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  1. john marzan

    October 18, 2013 at 3:47 am

    there is no “american exceptionalism” in soccer–or did you not notice that 95% of american soccer fans shun the MLS and watch the EPL?

    re the american media’s treatment of klinsman, it was teh american players themselves who voiced their dissent and skepticism of the german’s methods in an interesting article in sporting news, before the snow clasico match in colorado.

  2. Kelly

    October 17, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Great Podcast, but, I’d like to throw out the argument that Kartik is not representing the left. It may only be in the background of the discussion, but by always comparing one side of the nationalism debate to the right he is delegitimizing the argument against a player such as Januzaj playing for a country such as England.
    However, from the perspective of the left it is just as easy, I think easier and more correct, to say that racism is not the major power at work, but imperialism. Januzaj’s connection to England is not that of a political refugee. He may have that connection to another nation, but not England. He came to England because a club wanted him who was richer and more powerful than the club he was at previously. That is fair. Now a nation that is richer and more powerful than his other choices is basically trying to recruit him. The rich, powerful nation using its power to co-opt the resources of smaller, poorer nations for its own benefit is imperialism, and arguing against it isn’t right wing racist nut-jobbery, its anti-imperialism. Or at least it could be seen that way.
    I’m not saying this would be bad for the world or should not be allowed, but it is incorrect to rest the argument, theoretically, on political grounds that at least can be seen a different way.

  3. James Coleman

    October 16, 2013 at 10:48 am

    I love the podcast. You guys are rockstars for continually producing quality content. I know its hard to do.

    I thought the conversation on seeding missed the mark, however. What’s the point of the practice, really? Implicit in your discussion seemed to be the idea that seeding was about fairly rewarding teams for past performance. You spent a lot of time talking about how much data the system should use.

    I think the real purpose of seeding is to ensure a quality tournament that people will watch – until the end. Its important to the organizers that the best teams stay around until well into the knockout stages. A tie between Brazil and Germany in the semifinals is a lot more eye catching than one between Costa Rica and Bosnia. Seeding stacks the deck for the best teams, helping to ensure a better world spectacle. I think you can’t have a real discussion about seeding without at least referring to its role in shaping the tournament product.

  4. Nal

    October 16, 2013 at 5:41 am

    Very poor by Richard Farley in the discussion during the last third of the podcast to fudge and misrepresent what Wilshere was asked and what he answered. The type of thing one would expect from a tabloid ‘journalist.’ By all means have an honest discussion about citizenship, national identification and national team eligibility. But be honest about it.

    Aside from your failure to even acknowledge the gap between what is required for citizenship naturalization of various countries and the often lesser residency requirments for FIFA eligibility, you also fail to adequatly adress the questions that arise from the specific case of the UK as a sovereign state with four national teams.

    Kartik raises some very good points, specifically about the reaction among certain Englishmen to call naturalized players or players with naturalized parents foreigners. Something I react to every time I see it with puzzlement and even shock. I wonder where that tendency comes from and if perhaps that’s why the British media don’t seem to be able to have a discussion on this topic without constant fudging and misrepresentation of quotes, opinions and positions. But I would expect better from Farley.

  5. john marzan

    October 16, 2013 at 12:25 am

    FIFA should follow the FIBA model on naturalized players.

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