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.



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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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