Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Sound Of Football Podcast 289 - London calling


This weekend a story broke that if true would have been sensational. British tabloid, The Sun on Sunday, reported that Sunderland were looking into the possibility of moving its training HQ down to London in a bid to attract better players and keep hold of the talent it already has. The story was quickly denied by everyone involved in the club and most people seemed happy to label it simply as "football gossip" - which some outlets now refer to as "fake news" - but it did get us thinking.

Could a club really move all its non-match day operations away from its locality? Would the advantages of doing so outweigh the disadvantages?

As a Sunderland fan who himself left the North-east to find his fortune in the South, Jan provides his perspective on the idea. Graham and Terry are on hand to provide additional blue-sky thinking on the concept.

You can listen to the podcast here or if you right click on that link, you can download the MP3.

SIGN UP FOR OUR WEEKLY EMAIL: Get Terry's preview of this weekend's top TV fixtures in your email by signing up to our Weekend Boxset newsletter

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Sound Of Football Podcast 288 - Return to Leicester


What has happened to Leicester City? Could what already looks to be the worst ever Premier League title defence, end in the unthinkable?

Is it just down to Kante's departure to table-topping Chelsea? Have they just ran out of luck? Should they stand by Ranieri to the end, or is there more dignity in letting him go?

Plenty of questions and there are as many theories explaining these events as there were when they created their own miracle last season. Graham, Terry and Jan try to find sense in what's been a wild ride for the Foxes.

You can listen to the podcast here or if you right click on that link, you can download the MP3.

SIGN UP FOR OUR WEEKLY EMAIL: Get Jan's preview of this weekend's top TV fixtures - including the FA Cup 5th Round - in your email by signing up to our Weekend Boxset newsletter

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Sound Of Football Podcast 287 - Aggressive football


In his post match interview on Saturday, Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte expressed surprise at being asked by British media whether or not Marcos Alonso's aerial challenge with Arsenal's Hector Bellerin was a foul. "Not in England. In Italy... maybe."

The challenge itself, which brought Chelsea's opening goal, was defended by almost all commentators, the only dissenting voices being those from Arsenal fans. Was the aggression and desire to win the ball too great? There may not have been any intent to injure the opponent but nonetheless Bellerin lost consciousness, could play no further part in the game and required an MRI scan.

Meanwhile, in Germany a more clearly unacceptable form of aggression took place outside Borussia Dortmund's ground as a section of home fans indiscriminately attacked supporters of RB Leipzig. What had been barely more than a war of words over something as ideological as club ownership, has now seemingly degenerated into an all too familiar out-pouring of anger.

On this week's podcast, Graham, Terry and Jan look at both these incidents to discuss the place for aggression in the game.

You can listen to the podcast here or if you right click on that link, you can download the MP3.

SIGN UP FOR OUR WEEKLY EMAIL: Get Graham's preview of this weekend's top TV fixtures - including Spurs' trip to Anfield and an Edinburgh derby in the Scottish FA Cup in your email by signing up to our Weekend Boxset newsletter

Friday, 3 February 2017

Sound Of Football Podcast 286 - Tackling the SAS



Back in the day, Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton were known as the SAS, a formidable partnership that helped their team Blackburn Rovers to the title in the early years of the Premier League. Nowadays they both ply their trades as pundits for the BBC and both of them seem to find opinions as easy to find as the back of their opponents' nets during that 1994/95 campaign.

This week Shearer took exception to the number of manager's seemingly disrespecting the FA Cup by fielding weaker teams. Sutton's ire was directed at players who have decided to cash in on the opportunity presented by the Chinese Super League. Shearer thinks fans are being "cheated". Sutton thinks China-bound players are "mercenaries". Strong words but are they justified? Is it the job of these former players, and many others like them, to tell players and managers what they should and shouldn't do?

Terry, Jan and Graham are on hand to discuss all this and more. There's also some feedback from last week's podcast to take care of too. Including some more blue-sky thinking from our listeners.

You can listen to the podcast here or if you right click on that link, you can download the MP3.

SIGN UP FOR OUR WEEKLY EMAIL: Get Terry's preview of this weekend's top fixtures - including the African Cup of Nations Final - in your email by signing up to our Weekend Boxset newsletter

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Sound Of Football Podcast 285 - Marco van Basten's blue-sky thinking


We love a bit of blue-sky thinking here on The Sound Of Football, so we were delighted when Dutch legend Marco van Basten left a whole sack of blue-sky thoughts on our doorstep following an interview he gave to Bild last week.

Some of the ideas, such as the removal of the offside rule, have been flatly ridiculed by many in football but some have warmed to other less headline-grabbing proposals such as moves to curb time-wasting. Others see many of the ideas as change simply for the sake of it.

In this week's podcast, Graham, Terry and Jan take a closer look at the former Ajax and Milan legend's proposals and pick out what they think will offer any type of improvement for the game, and what, in their view, should be complete non-starters.

You can listen to the podcast here or if you right click on that link, you can download the MP3.

NEW SERVICE: Get Jan's preview of this weekend's top fixtures - including the African Cup of Nations quarter finals and FA Cup 4th round - in your email this Friday by signing up to our Weekend Boxset newsletter

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Sound Of Football Podcast 284 - Super-sized World Cup


FIFA's decision this month to expand the World Cup finals from 32 teams to 48 teams for 2026 has sparked controversy. Many commentators have suggested that the motivation behind the expansion is purely financial, but is that reason enough for it to be a "bad decision"?

How will the new format work in practice? Does the system of three team groups leave the competition open for abuses and collusion between sides? In addition to their own opinions on the expansion, Graham, Terry and Jan test the new format using game theory, with their very own thought experiment - "Colludo"™.

You can listen to the podcast here or if you right click on that link, you can download the MP3.

NEW SERVICE: Get Graham's preview of this weekend's top fixtures - including the African Cup of Nations and the return of the Bundesliga - in your email this Friday by signing up to our Weekend Boxset newsletter

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Sound Of Football Podcast 283 - Golden Years


There's nothing like the start of a new year to motivate us into trying to hold back the years by improving our diet or fitness. With the Premier League's very own Dorian Grays in the shape of Jermain Defoe and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, there's always a glimmer of positivity for those who like to think that age is just a number.

In our first podcast of 2017, Graham, Terry and Jan discuss those players who seem to defy what we expect from players in their mid-thirties and beyond. Will they be the norm in years to come? Is 34 the new 31?

You can listen to the podcast here or if you right click on that link, you can download the MP3.

NEW SERVICE: Get Terry's preview of this weekend's top fixtures - including the openers of the African Cup of Nations - in your email this Friday by signing up to our Weekend Boxset newsletter