The Sound Of Football Podcast

The Sound of Football is one of the longest running, truly independent football podcasts. Half an hour of anything and everything to do with the world of football every week. Listen to it for FREE either through this website or add our feed to your podcatcher of choice.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Sound Of Football Podcast 304 - Who needs a sporting director?


The role of sporting director, or director of football as it's sometimes called, is meant to allow for a separation of the tactical and the strategic operations of football management. While it may be commonplace in parts of Europe, its use in the UK has had mixed results, largely down to mistrust from traditional managers but also by some baffling appointments - Joe Kinnear at Newcastle, readily springs to mind.

On this week's podcast, Graham, Jan and the returning Terry, discuss this week's appointment of Dougie Freedman to this role at Crystal Palace. What can a sporting director offer a club that a manager can't? In the modern age of £100 million plus transfers and super-agents, is the job of manager too big for one man?

Terry gives his perspective on the continental interpretation of the role and how it can help clubs (especially in the Bundesliga) punch above their weight. Jan runs through the chequered history that his own club, Sunderland, has had with sporting directors, and their hand in hiring, firing and being fired by managers. As always, feel free to add your twopenn'orth to the debate.

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


What's in the Weekend Boxset?

Liverpool host Arsenal, Leicester go to Old Trafford and Spalletti returns to the Eternal City - all that and four other games, previewed by Terry, to take you from Friday night to Sunday night. Get our free weekly newsletter in your email by signing up to the Weekend Boxset today.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Sound Of Football Podcast 303 - Russia and the World Cup


With now less than 10 months to go before the start of next summer's World Cup in Russia, we begin our build up to the tournament with an in-depth look at the host nation. Will the stadia be ready in time? Will the home team be any good?

Graham and Jan are joined by writer and podcaster Manuel Veth from the Futbolgrad network. A frequent visitor to Russia, Manu has recently returned from watching the Confederations Cup. In addition to his excellent knowledge of domestic football in Russia, he tells us about his experiences of watching football there and provides us with some invaluable travel tips, if you're thinking of going yourself.

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


What's in the Weekend Boxset?

The two best sides in the Premier League last season meet each other at Wembley after differing performances in the opening weekend, there are also fixtures from the opening round of the Bundesliga, Serie A and La Liga. Get our free weekly newsletter in your email by signing up to the Weekend Boxset today.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Sound Of Football Podcast 302 - Kicking off Premier League 17/18


While Southern Europe scorches in a heatwave, conditions in England are perfect for the return of football. For a summer that was supposedly football free, there seemed to be plenty on offer, with England's youth teams collecting international trophies by the armful. But club football is inevitably what we crave and our fix arrives this weekend with the start of a new Premier League season.

As ever at the start of a new season, positivity is in abundance: Terry is cockahoop that his side Palace has Frank De Boer in charge, while Arsenal's win on ABBA penalties against Chelsea in the Community Shield has impressed Graham. Even Jan, whose team Sunderland dropped into the Championship, can see method in their somewhat austere summer signings. He also reveals his Fantasy League picks for the start of the season - though he could just be feeding you misinformation in the hope you invite him into your league.

With so many new football podcasts coming out and so many good ones available already, we know you have you choice of listening. Thanks for choosing us.

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


What's in the Weekend Boxset?

The Premier League kicks off this weekend with Leicester at the Emirates on Friday evening, there are tough openers for two newly promoted sides and as an extra treat, the first Clasico of 2017/18. Get our free weekly newsletter in your email by signing up to the Weekend Boxset today.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Sound Of Football Podcast 301 - The end of the season show


We've finally made it to the end of the season: the Leagues are all finished and the cups are being handed out. What better time to look at how the dust is settling on 2016/17?

Graham, Terry and Jan select some of their highlights of the season, including their team of the year and the best bit of punditry (well done, Glenn). Terry and Jan will also be looking at what the future holds for their respective clubs now that Palace and Sunderland are managerless. Recorded before the weekend's games it also includes a very spooky prediction of how the Cup Final would play out.

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


What's in the Weekend Boxset?

The last regular Weekend Boxset will be for the upcoming International Break. Get our free weekly newsletter in your email by signing up to the Weekend Boxset today.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Sound Of Football Podcast 300 - The triple century show


Summer is coming and with it a slew of competitions that don't really mean anything. Or do they? When does a hokey summer tournament turn into something that actually counts? All football tournaments are made up so how do we differentiate between the stuff worth celebrating and the stuff opposing fans can happily deride.

Drawing on their own experience of the globalised game, Graham, Terry and Jan look at the perceived rights and wrongs of expanding community based clubs to a worldwide fanbase. Watch out for Terry indiscriminately firing his Bring-Down Ray™ and our new portmanteau word "Greird".

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


What's in the Weekend Boxset?

Graham's preview of this weekend's top TV fixtures includes two possible title winning matches and the National League play-off final. Get our free weekly newsletter in your email by signing up to the Weekend Boxset today.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Sound Of Football Podcast 299 - Integrity and the play-offs


While many sides are still battling for promotion or escaping relegation, when it gets to this stage of the season the majority of sides have little or nothing to play for. Except, that is, for "the Integrity of the League" - that old-fashioned concept that stipulates that everyone is honour-bound to try their hardest to win every game, even when there seems little point in stretching yourself.

David Wagner is the latest to have an accusing finger pointed in his direction after his almost entirely changed, and already play-off bound, Huddersfield succumbed to 10-man Birmingham City. Did facing these toothless Terriers give Harry Redknapp's side have an unfair advantage over their fellow strugglers? Have Colchester's play-off hopes been unfairly disadvantaged by the (justified or not) fan-action affected game with Leyton Orient? Will Blackpool's when they face the Os on the last day?

No Jan this week as he too has put his feet up before the season's end. So it falls to Graham and Terry to discover just how unstable football's integrity really is.

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


What's in the Weekend Boxset?

Terry's preview of this weekend's top TV fixtures includes the final round of Championship fixtures and the A-League Grand Final. Get our free weekly newsletter in your email by signing up to the Weekend Boxset today.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Sound Of Football Podcast 298 - A Messi world


Is Lionel Messi the greatest footballer of all time? His performance in last Sunday's EL Clasico 3-2 victory for Barcelona at the Bernabeu could well be the finest individual performance ever seen. His winning goal, scored with just a few seconds of injury time remaining, was also his 500th for Barcelona. His scoring record alone is remarkable but when coupled with the fact that he doesn't turn 30 until June, his career figures begin to look like the stuff of implausible fiction.

Ronaldo, two years older than Messi, has himself surpassed the 500 club goal mark. Between them they have taken first and second place in eight of the last nine Ballon D'Or. Statistically, it's hard to argue against them deserving such recognition but are they really that far ahead in a decade that has had more than its share of remarkable players? How will history remember them after they have retired and focus is shifted on to the new stars that will replace them?

On this week's podcast, Graham, Terry and Jan look back at the great players they remember, in a bid to see if "great" is being redefined in the modern era.

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


What's in the Weekend Boxset?

Graham's preview of this weekend's top TV fixtures includes the North London derby and the Derbi barcelonĂ­. Get our free weekly newsletter in your email by signing up to the Weekend Boxset today.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Sound Of Football Podcast 297 - Under new management



Harry Redknapp is back, having been swiftly appointed as Birmingham City manager following Gianfranco Zola's exit at the weekend. This piece of surprising news came just a few days after the announcement that Tony Adams had taken over as caretaker manager at Granada CF. Surprising news is always good for those producing topical football discussion podcasts.

On this week's podcast, Graham, Terry and Jan jump on the managerial merry-go-round and look at whose hats are being thrown into whose rings. Are promising British coaches really being over-looked by the top clubs or are they merely swimming in a very competitive pond?

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


What's in the Weekend Boxset?

Terry's preview of this weekend's top TV fixtures includes the FA Cup semi-finals and El Clásico. Get our free weekly newsletter in your email by signing up to the Weekend Boxset today

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Sound Of Football Podcast 296 - Escaping the trapdoor


Squeaky bum time is here: titles are waiting to be taken, play-off places are being snapped-up and the sucking maw of the relegation trapdoor has groaned open. On this week's podcast, Graham, Terry and Jan get together to watch Crystal Palace (Terry's team) take on Arsenal (Graham's team). Both sides have plenty to play for with Palace starting the game still in the relegation mire and Arsenal struggling for form in the chase for their usual Champions League spot

Join us in the gardens of stately Sound of Football Manor, as we discuss who's coming up and who's going down at the end of season 2016/17. We join the action with half an hour to go, Palace leading by a goal to nil...

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


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Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Sound Of Football Podcast 295 - Having a flutter


The link between watching football and having a bet seems to be stronger than it ever was - half of the teams in the Premier League are sponsored by betting companies and the ad breaks during live matches are over-flowing with odds and options. With the wealth of information available today at your fingertips, it seems a world away from the days of Spot The Ball.

On this week's podcast, Graham, Terry and Jan look at the relationship between football fans and gambling from the football pools up to the most modern of innovations, app-based in-play markets. Largely drawing from their own experiences, they describe their favoured ways of losing money.

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


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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Sound Of Football Podcast 294 - National team fans v Non-league fans


As a pivotal international break draws to a close we find ourselves in reflective mood. By the time you've got to almost 300 podcasts, you might think there are few questions about football left to ask ourselves. However this week we stumbled upon a question that the only reason we've never asked it must surely be because we had been subconsciously avoiding it.

This week we pose this question: who are weirder, those who go to watch their national team or those who watch non-league football?

The attractions of both are fairly self-evident: international football offers the stars of the game, a big game atmosphere and maybe some pride in your heritage; Non-league offers a sensation of being almost amongst the action, along with some sense of belonging within a local community. Staunch fans of professional club football could point that their version of the game offers the best of both worlds with the only compromise being expense.

As non-league season ticket holders themselves, Graham, Terry and Jan may not be the most unbiased people to level this question towards, but they give a fair stab at it anyway. Warning: may contain uncomfortable personal insights.

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



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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Sound Of Football Podcast 293 - The Nations League



The Nations League is on its way - UEFA's solution to uncompetitive matches and too many unnecessary friendlies. A two-year cycle of promotion and relegation, a new alternative to qualification play-offs, and a shiny new cup for Europe's elite to battle for, are just some of the promised benefits when it kicks off in September 2018.

And what better time to discuss this than during an international break - a time when the term "meaningless friendly" is never too far from the thoughts of many observers.

On this week's podcast Graham, Terry and Jan attempt to unravel the complexity of the new tournament and how it will sit in the qualification process of the pan-national Euro 2020 and subsequent competitions. Strap yourselves in - it's going to be a wild ride.

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 World Cup qualifiers - in your email by signing up to our Weekend Boxset newsletter

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Sound Of Football Podcast 292 - Rise of the VAR



The use of technology in football is something that this podcast has always viewed with a suspicious eye. Now, however, following a groundbreaking decision last year, the Video Assistant Referees (VARs) are on their way whether we like them or not. So is it time for us to embrace change and look forward to the new age of technologically enhanced decision-making?

Graham, Terry and Jan take a long look at the information material being produced by FIFA and IFAB (which as Jan points out, looks like an in-flight safety card). They go through the processes step by step, all the while looking at the benefits but equally any potential pitfalls.

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



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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Sound Of Football Podcast 291 - With intent


Controversial actions and decisions are far from uncommon in football. The match between Manchester United and Bournemouth last weekend had more than usual. Many of the incidents, including the two most controversial, were seemingly missed by the referee but were soon leapt upon by commentators.

United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the Cherries' Tyrone Mings got embroiled in two incidents that saw the former having his head trodden on and the latter receiving an elbow in the face. On Twitter, Gary Neville was "100%" certain that Mings deliberately stamped on Zlatan's head. Jamie Carragher thought he could divine the inner workings of Mings' psyche by watching what he did immediately after the event. There was also a handball that led to a penalty, another incident where the referee was called upon to decide whether the offence was the intention of the player involved.

This week, Graham, Terry and Jan each analyse the flashpoints of the match. Can they reach a consensus? Will they be able to look into the souls of the individuals concerned to work out what their true intentions really were?

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



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Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Sound Of Football Podcast 290 - Winning's for losers


If any babies were conceived on the night Leicester lifted the title, they might not have been born by the time Claudio Ranieri was sacked, such is the speed in which fortunes can be reversed in the Premier League.

The previous title winning coach, Jose Mourinho, didn't even manage to see the year out. Pellegrini before him lasted a season and a half before being told his contract wasn't to be extended. He, of course, took over from Mancini - a role he was linked with just eight months after the Italian won City's first title for over 40 years. To paraphrase one of Ranieri's former players - win stuff, get hanged.

With the casualty list of winning head coaches growing, why would anyone want to win the Premier League? Is there some wisdom in Arsene Wenger's approach after all? Join Graham, Terry and Jan as they decide whether winning stuff is actually all it's cracked up to be.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 as they found 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