the mixed emotions of the premier league finale

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This is a short excerpt from my first featured post for the blog of Over-the-Rhine’s original sports bar, Rhinehaus, located in my hometown of Cincinnati and home to many WSOTP Watch Parties and Events. To read it in it’s entirety, please click here or click the link at the end of the post.

The end of the Premier League season is finally upon us. For the last 280 days, most of the world’s soccer loving eyes have been squarely focused in on the English top flight. Weekend after weekend, we pried ourselves out of our beds at ungodly hours to make a trek down to our favorite pubs — like Rhinehaus — to watch our favorite clubs through squinted eyes. Tomorrow, that routine ends.

For some of us, the end is welcomed. Underwhelming and disappointing seasons abound, particularly if you’re a Tottenham fan such as myself. For those with me in that crestfallen camp — such as my Manchester City counterparts — we look forward to the summer silly season of transfers and far flung exhibition matches to give us hope that next season will go better.

Others of us will wave goodbye with tears in our eyes, sad that such a memorable season’s time has come to pass. Chelsea supporters might feel that way, but they’ll surely find comfort staring at their reflections in the shiny new cups in their trophy cabinet. Too, fans of Southampton will have enjoyed a successful campaign that earned them a place in Europe next season. Manchester United devotees will be pleased that Van Gaal hauled them back to Europe as well. And I’m sure Arsenal fans will be content with yet another Champions League place trophy, too.

Continue reading “The Mixed Emotions of the Premier League Finale” on the Rhinehaus blog. →

WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 37

WSOTP Podcast - Season 2 Episode 37

Since we last recorded, league champions have been crowned in the upper two levels of the English pyramid, and we took time in this week’s episode of the #Pondcast to discuss the incredible seasons by both favorites’ Chelsea and the underdogs’ AFC Bournemouth. But while the tops of the tables were interesting, the bottoms of them are even more fascinating. And while the bottom three may be locked in the Championship, there’s a lot left to be settled in the Premier League. There was, of course, still plenty of time left for the domestic side of things too — including a Crew collapse on the road, Montreal’s collapse in the CONCACAF Champions League — and our usual weekly segments.

Have a question that you want to ask on next week’s podcast, reach out to us by email at contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com or hit the social media links at the bottom of the page. And subscribe below to automatically receive new episodes on your favorite mobile device.

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the feast of insecurities

My friends over at the brand new Sixth Day Soccer are mostly Arsenal fans, and they wrote a detailed look into one of their supporters’ favorite annual traditions. As a Tottenham supporter, I felt the need to script my own reply after some banter-inspired prodding on Facebook. 

As a longtime Spurs fan, I’ve been conditioned to expecting the close of the season to be a bit uncomfortable.

Most of the time it’s depressing feelings that swell up due to the finality of Spurs again failing to meet our foolishly high expectations. And even when they do seem capable of actually reaching those lofty goals, a gut-wrenching fall from grace always seems to await just before the finish line. It’s tough not to be a realist in those situations, especially after seeing things play out following a similar pattern for majority of the last 20 years.

Luckily, I’ve always been an optimist, too. As such, I actively search out the bright spots in the dark clouds of each season’s close. Last year, it was Eriksen looking a capable creator. This season, it’s been Kane. And so long as I manage to plant those seeds of positivity during the gloomy stretch, it will normally yields hope for the following season in the early weeks of summer.

Unfortunately, Spurs’ easily-overlooked habit of under performing isn’t the only thing that makes the end of each season so aggravating for Tottenham supporters.

If there’s one thing that I truly loathe more than any other aspect of the end of each season, it’s “Saint Totteringham’s Day”.

Continue reading

WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 36

WSOTP Podcast - Season 2 Episode 36

Yeah, the EPL races are getting tighter and tighter — well, maybe not at the top of the bale — and we’ll be sure to get into those. There was also Champions League action near and afar, and that’s on the agenda for this #Pondcast, too. There’s plenty of Major League Soccer action for us to get into as well, and that’s where we’ll be spending most of our time on this week’s episode. So to really dial in on the domestic league action, we welcomed on domestic soccer aficionado and Sporting KC fan Mike McGrew, perhaps better known through his Twitter handle @CincySportingto talk all things MLS. Yes, you’ll get all the other usual segments you know and love too, and lots more.

If you have a question or topic for next week’s podcast, reach out to us by email at contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com or hit the social media links at the bottom of the page. And if you haven’t yet, subscribe to automatically receive new episodes on your favorite mobile device.

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WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 35

WSOTP Podcast - Season 2 Episode 35

“Yeah, yeah, yeah… there’s a lot of soccer to talk about this week, we’ve heard you say that on the Podcast around a million times.” Well, pardon us, but you’re going to hear it again. And really, it might be the most soccer we’ve ever tried to fit into one recording. We’ve got Premier League races, FA Cup shocks — including further professional trolling from Tim Sherwood — a very interesting round of MLS fixtures, a random international in USA-Mexico, plus the weekly Fantasy Update, Crap Football Watch and Winners & Wankers segments. And oh yeah, we did it all on a fancy new microphone set up thanks to friend of WSOTP, Adam Maloney. So we’ll be coming at you with “HD” sound… whatever that means.

Also, don’t forget to make our jobs easier by sending us your questions and topics to discuss on next week’s #Pondcast — the less content we have to come up with the better! You can reach us by email at contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com or hit the social media links at the bottom of the page. And if you haven’t yet, subscribe to automatically receive new episodes on your favorite mobile device.

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WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 34

WSOTP Podcast - Season 2 Episode 34

We’ve nearly reached squeaky-bum time in the Premier League season, and as such, most of the latest #Pondcast focuses in on the increasingly interesting races at the top and bottom of the English top flight. Who will go down? Who will go to Europe? And how will Spurs let D.J. down next? We certainly tackled all those questions, but also made sure to leave time for domestic matters too. A short preview of USA-Mexico, USMNT roster selections for it and an interesting few storylines worth watching in MLS all made the cut along with our other normal weekly segments. And we even managed to squeeze all that in without exceeding the hour mark for the first time in ages — you’re welcome.

If you have a question or topic for next week’s podcast, reach out to us by email at contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com or hit the social media links at the bottom of the page. And if you haven’t yet, subscribe to automatically receive new episodes on your favorite mobile device.

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WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 33

WSOTP Podcast - Season 2 Episode 33

Another full plate of football talk awaits you on the latest episode of the #Pondcast. The bottom and top of the Premier League were awash with interesting results, punctuated by a series of amazing goals. Major League Soccer’s early season might be proving inconsistent, but it’s also yielded some really interesting stories. And the tail end of the international break gave everyone a chance once again complain about how the US national team are supposedly in crisis mode. And what of our normal Fantasy Update, Championship Watch, and Winners & Wankers segments? Yeah, there in there too.

Questions and topics that you would like to hear talked about on the next podcast can be sent by email to contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com or by reaching out to us on the social media using links at the bottom of the page. And don’t forget to use the buttons below to subscribe so that you automatically receive new episodes on your favorite device.

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WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 31

WSOTP Podcast - Season 2 Episode 31

Premier League recap? Yep. Champions League wrap? Uh huh. A look at domestic matters ranging from the US Open Cup field finally being set, Minnesota United’s impending announcement as the 23rd MLS club and the media frenzy swirling about one of the investors in the potential Miami franchise? Oh you better believe that’s in here, too. There was a lot on the #Pondcast team’s plate this week — including Winners & Wankers, Fantasy Update and the Championship Watch — and the boys did well to stomp their way through it all in a manner that only Steven Gerrard could appreciate.

Have a question or topic suggestion you want the guys to hear the guy’s tackle on the next podcast, shoot them our way by email  (contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com) or by social media using links at the bottom of the page. If you haven’t yet subscribed? Well, best get on that too using the links below to get the WSOTP Podcast on your favorite mobile device automatically.

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WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 30

WSOTP Podcast - Season 2 Episode 30

After spending all day Saturday emceeing Cincinnati’s downtown St. Patrick’s Day party, it was a tad tricky for the Pondcast team to take in most of this weekend’s action. They made do, however, by huddling around a tiny laptop stream for hours on end to catch it all so that we could provide you with the adequate coverage on this week’s podcast. And in this week’s episode, we delve into matches across, Major League Soccer, the English Premier League and UEFA Champions League. And in addition to weekly segments like Winners & Wankers and Championship Watch, we also made room to tackle the debate surrounding the American Outlaws and the furor that’s caused. So saying this episode is jammed tight is putting it lightly.

Questions made it back into this week’s podcast, and we’re hoping to field them next week too. So make sure to send your’s our way by email  (contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com) or by social media using links at the bottom of the page. Also, if you haven’t yet subscribed, be sure to do so using the links below to get the WSOTP Podcast on your favorite mobile device automatically.

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WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 29

WSOTP Podcast - Season 2 Episode 29While there was still Premier League and FA Cup action to cover, this week’s episode of the Pondcast takes on a decidedly domestic feel as we do a full-scale preview of the already started 20th season of Major League Soccer. And to help us talk it over, we brought on a man who’s watched every one of the previous 19 seasons from Columbus Crew SC’s broadcast booth: Dwight Burgess! We chatted with Dwight about how he landed his gig, how the game has changed, his outlook for the Crew and much more. And if you come for Winners & Wankers, Championship Watch or Fantasy Update, we’ve got all that for you again this week too.

We didn’t have room in this week’s podcast for listener questions, but we will make room for this week’s and more on next week‘s podcast. So make sure to send your quesetion or topics our way by email  (contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com) or by social media (links at the bottom of the page). And for the lazy, don’t forget to subscribe using the links below to automatically receive the latest episode of the WSOTP Podcast on your favorite mobile device.

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