Premier League NBC

via press release:


Robbie Earle on Opening Weekend: “It’s like being a little kid on Christmas Day.”

Robbie Mustoe on Wayne Rooney: “It’s just surprising to me that he wants to leave.”

STAMFORD, Conn. – August 17, 2013 – NBC Sports Group began its exclusive coverage of the Premier League today with Premier League Live on NBCSN at 7 a.m., followed by Liverpool- Stoke City on NBCSN at 7:45 a.m. ET.

Rebecca Lowe hosts Premier League Live alongside former Jamaican National Team Player Robbie Earle and former English footballer Robbie Mustoe. All matches will be preceded and followed by Premier League Live pre- and post-match shows from the NBC Sports Group International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn.

Premier League Live (7-7:45 a.m. ET)

Opening Montage (narrated): “By the time the first whistle blows today, all across England, hundreds of thousands have already been singing, singing from Wales to East Anglia, Tyneside to London, in Merseyside and Manchester. They’ve been at it since dawn, from the tube to the pubs, from the car park to the pitch, swaying in the creaking stands, chanting for their lads. And though their throats may be raw and their faces flushed, from August to May, these chants run through their veins and vocal chords as faith. Welcome to the new home of the Premier League.”

Rebecca Lowe: “The opening weekend has arrived… Welcome to Premier League Live, we are coming to you live this morning from our International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn. It’s a big day for everyone here. For the next nine months, we will be your home for exclusive coverage of Barclays Premier League. The new season has at last arrived and we will cover every angle of the opening weekend and bring you all 10 matches live… An exciting weekend ahead.”

On how it feels to be a player the first day of the season:

Robbie Earle: “It’s a little bit like being a little kid on Christmas Day. You can’t wait for the day to unfold.”

Robbie Mustoe: “I was nervous. It was always a very big occasion, your family traveled to wherever you were going and of course the anxiety of the first game for the club with your targets for the new season… There are so many uncertainties, but of course, very, very exciting.”

Robbie Mustoe on Manchester United’s Rooney: “It’s just surprising me that he wants to leave. He’s at a great football club, he’s been there a long time, and has the potential to be a real legend at the club.”

Earle on Rooney: “Anyone who’s played or knows Wayne Rooney will tell you that this guy just loves playing football. It’s almost as if it’s in his DNA.”

Earle on looking forward to Swansea-Manchester United: “The great Sir Alex Ferguson is no longer with [Manchester] United. David Moyes is the new era. The eyes of the football world will be on everything David Moyes does today. That, for me, is a huge game for Manchester United.”

Earle on manager Mark Hughes’ changing Stoke City’s ethos: “He’s got a big job because he’s got to change his identity, player style on the pitch, to start to play more possession, but also the perspective of what people think about Stoke City, the reputation, the long ball, the rough style, that’s going to be a difficult job. There are some good things about Stoke, the dangerous set pieces, they’ve got a good work ethic, they must retain some of that, but just adapt the style a little bit going forward.”

Earle on the “new” Stoke: “That’s a huge challenge, and this doesn’t happen in six weeks of preseason. This happens over the course of years. What we’ll see is something evolve in terms of not going quite so long, playing a little bit shorter, mixing the game up, having more dimensions to the play. In the old Stoke, it was like hammering at the door one way, now they need to be a little bit cleverer and a little bit more cuter in terms of how they open up the defense.”

Halftime: Liverpool-Stoke City

Earle on US Men’s National Team and Sunderland player Jozy Altidore: “It’s going to be a big season for him with the World Cup coming up. Can he get his craft and learn to be a collaborative footballer as well as a powerful footballer? I’m looking forward to seeing how he does this year.”

On Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge’s goal:

Mustoe: “This is what Liverpool are all about, this is what they try and do, find a way through the middle.”

Earle: “What I liked about Sturridge in that move is that he allowed the Stoke defenders to go back towards their own goal as defenders always do to defend. He just stayed still and a little bit of space – didn’t go and get himself marked. That allowed him to strike, it was a wonderful finish.”

On what Liverpool has done well:

Earle: “Their persistence, their ability to move around and not stay in set positions against Stoke positions… They’ve had great rotations, haven’t quite finished off enough and I think they’ll need a second goal, but certainly the way they’ve played has been impressive for the first day.”

Mustoe: “It [the intensity] didn’t slow and the persistence paid off with the high energy from Liverpool as well.”

Mustoe on challenges facing new Everton manager Roberto Martinez: “Roberto Martinez, new job, new challenge, and the pressure really to be successful at Everton after [former Everton manager] David Moyes finished sixth last year, but in his own way. That’s going to be difficult.”

Post-Game: Liverpool-Stoke

Lowe: “Now that is what we’ve been missing over the summer, a bit of classic Premier League drama, a gripping end to the game at Anfield. We are done with the first Barclays Premier League match of the season: Liverpool 1, Stoke City nil.”

On Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet:

Earle: “What a way to introduce himself to his new set of fans.”

Mustoe: “When it comes to the crunch, he steps up very, very big. It’s a crucial save and a double save as well there.”

Pre-Match: Arsenal-Aston Villa

Earle on Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere: “Jack Wilshere has to get that rhythm of playing regular games over the course of the season. We’ve seen that in short spells how good he can be, now he needs to get a good season under his belt.”

Mustoe on Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: “It’s a big year for him, and I think he’s ready now to step up. I believe in him. I think he’s going to have a big season.”

Earle on Aston Villa’s inexperienced back four: “What happens if you look at the goals, is that it was a lot of individual mistakes. You can work and as hard as you want on the training ground and get your organization, but if somebody slips over, if somebody doesn’t make a clearance, if somebody doesn’t make a header, it costs you a goal at this level of football. That’s the lesson that this young Villa team have to learn. You cannot give easy goals away.”

Mustoe on Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski not starting: “I think it stands out a little bit. I think he was absolutely fantastic for Arsenal last season with his creativity, with his goals.”

NBC Sports Group presents the most ambitious, extensive and comprehensive coverage of the Premier League available anywhere in the world.  All 380 Premier League matches will be made available live in the United States on the networks of NBCUniversal, on the Premier League Extra Time bonus TV package, and streamed live on NBC Sports Live Extra — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktop, mobile and tablets. In total, NBC Sports Group will present more than 1,600 total hours of Premier League programming.

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