It’s back the new Premier League season started this weekend, Saturdays will return to what they were designed for – watching soccer!!!! With it comes new managers, old managers, new teams, new technology and in the USA, a new broadcasting network
Alex Ferguson may have gone but in his place come a host of colorful characters, and they will be sure to provide some much needed entertainment. Look out for Malky Mackay, yet another hard nosed coach from Scotland, who begins his debut season in the Premier League with Cardiff City. Manuel Pellegrini has the unenviable task of trying to ‘sort out’ Manchester City and the inconsistencies’ of last season. He has won titles in Ecuador and Argentina, turned Villarrel and Malaga into Champions League contenders and finished second in Spain with Real Madrid. Morinho is back at Chelsea, the colorful Portuguese coach beings his second stint at the club (his side won the league title in 20505-06). He has inherited a talented team, but whether he will be able to get the best out of his players, keep himself out of the newspapers and create a winning formation remains to be seen. Also back are the familiar figures of Steve Bruce (Hull City); Mark Hughes (Stoke City) and the always entertaining Ian Holloway (Crystal Palace).
Welcome - Cardiff City, Crystal Palace and Hull City. Crystal Palace and Hull city have been here and done it all before. 1962 was the last time Cardiff experienced top-flight football, and with their arrival comes the first ever South Wales top-league fixture. Cardiff have won 43, Swansea 35 of their 105 meetings so far. Expect drama.
Hawk-eye goal line technology is now installed at the 20 club grounds and at Wembley. Hawk-eye deploys seven cameras on the stadium roof in each half of the field and triangulating the path of the ball. The referee gets the verdict delivered to his watch after a second. The jury is still out as to whether this will be a welcome addition, but if it helps put an end to the many controversial goal line decisions, it can only be a good thing.
In the USA NBC will take over the reigns from FOX Soccer as the main broadcaster for Premier League games. With it comes a new commentary team – Arlo White with either (former Premier League Players) Graeme Le Saux or Lee Dixon as co-commentators. In the studio will be Rebecca Lowe (previously with ESPN in the UK) and she will be joined by studio analysts Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe.
All 380 games will be presented live on television, with roughly 6 matches being shown live each weekend. Also watch out for Match of the Day – a two hour highlights show will be shown every Saturday and repeated Sunday morning.
What more could soccer fans ask for??
And finally, look out for the Liverpool Away and third Kits – easily the worst kits ever designed. The shirts have already been compared with a screen shot from space invaders; a bad Christmas Sweater; or a drunken brawl between Jackson Pollock, Pier Mondrian and a defective photocopier.