The Game Football Podcast

The Game Football Podcast

By The Times

The Game Football Podcast will be there twice a week once the new season starts. It's the thinking fan's podcast for discussing the tactics, the personalities, injuries, goals and substitutions - whatever it takes to understand every nuance of the game, even if the team has to go to extra time, or penalties to reach agreement. Listen back here to our daily updates from across Germany, when we had all the latest news, controversies, hopes and victories from the UEFA European Championship.

Presented by Tom Clarke with contributors including Martin Samuel, Jonathan Northcroft, Charlotte Duncker, Hamzah Khalique-Loonat, Gregor Robertson, Alyson Rudd and others.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.


Euros Daily #33: Is Eddie Howe the answer?

You thought we were done, didn't you? No chance. Martin Samuel has returned to the office just to say hello (but mostly to get his laptop fixed). Tom Clarke takes the opportunity to get his views on the final and who comes after Southgate, if Southgate leaves. And now we're fully over England's loss (we are, promise), Tom Clarke, Tom Allnutt and Gregor Robertson look back over the tournament in full to pick their favourite moments and pick The Game's Euros XI. We really are done now, for a couple of weeks at least. Stay tuned for the new season... Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/07/2453m 29s

Euros Daily #32: Heartbreak for England - immediate reaction

So near and yet so far…for the second Euros in a row England are runners up. A team and a nation left bereft.Tom Clarke, Gregor Robertson, Alyson Rudd and Hamzah Khalique-Loonat try to make sense of where it went wrong for England. Was the captain fit, why couldn’t they retain the ball and were they always a safety-first team?  What on earth do England need to get over that final hurdle!? Spain are the first team to win every game at a Euros, so can England really complain, the best team won didn’t they? Where now for a team of world stars and a manager loved by his players but perhaps now doubted by many fans. Was getting to the final enough, or did performance and silverware matter? Many questions, but for now, few answers… just disappointment. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/07/2442m 13s

Euros Daily #31: 'I really, really want England to win'

It's finally here: England v Spain. One more for European glory. All eyes on Berlin. Still, there's plenty of time to debate who should start at left back. Tom Clarke is joined by Martin Samuel, Gregor Robertson and Jonathan Northcroft, who's very excited, or in his words has a 'frisson of interest'. If England win, IF, could Southgate stay? If he doesn't, who is there to replace him? How do England stop this high flying Spain side? And don't worry, we'll be there for you after the game, no matter what.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/07/2447m 52s

Euros Daily #30: What's the Spanish for 'it's coming home?'

If it really is coming home, England will need to beat Spain. Tom Clarke is joined by Ian Hawkey, Tom Allnutt and Gregor Robertson for a Spanish deep dive in the first of two final preview shows. How much credit does Spain's manager, Luis de la Fuente, deserve for their success? Why has it seemingly clicked for Spain more than any other team in the tournament? And what are their weaknesses (good news for England fans, there are a few)?¡Está volviendo a casa! Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/07/2453m 13s

Euros Daily #29: Joy, defiance and terrible eggs

Chief sports writer Owen Slot is England’s lucky charm. He has covered the whole tournament but until the semi-final he hadn’t covered England. He turned up and they put in their best performance and won. He’s booked for the final.Tom Clarke joins Owen to discuss the atmosphere around the England team, the depth and togetherness of the squad and England manager Gareth Southgate.  Owen then gives a behind the scenes look at life on the road covering a tournament, from the sheer joy of a football festival in Europe, with thousands of fans and without covid; to the Romanian soul generation and terrible eggs.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/07/2428m 52s

Euros Daily #28: England are in the final!

They’ve done it, and what a way to do it! Another last minute, last gasp winner, this time from Ollie Watkins. Weston-Super-Mare to the Euros final, yes!Gregor Robertson, Jonathan Northcroft and James Gheerbrant join Tom Clarke to react to a fantastic win and – say it quietly – a good performance.Does this vindicate the approach of Gareth Southgate; another final, the first on foreign soil, surely, he gets the credit? Not so fast…Gregor doesn’t want to re write history just yet.We’ll worry about Spain tomorrow, first, let’s look at how England won and put in a performance to be proud of…dodgy penalty aside.   Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/07/2439m 28s

Euros Daily #27: Bring on the penalties...

One semi down, one to go. Tom Clarke is joined by Martin Samuel, Gregor Robertson and Hamzah Khalique-Loonat to marvel at a very impressive Spanish 16 year old(!). Whoever Spain face in the final, surely they've got to be favourites? And are we actually looking forward to a penalty shootout tonight? No, not really. But it could be England's best route to another Euros final.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/07/2448m 40s

Euros Daily #26: France or Spain, who would England prefer?

It is semi-final day, dare we even consider who England would prefer to play out of France and Spain? Let’s indulge ourselves; Tom Allnutt and Gregor Robertson look at the strengths and weaknesses of both teams. IF England were to beat the Netherlands, how would they fair against the irresistible force of the Spanish team, or the immovable object that are the French?Paul Joyce joins Tom Clarke and offers a glimpse inside England press conferences and the mindset that Gareth Southgate is projecting, to the press at least. As the Times reporter who covers Merseyside, he also looks at the Dutch’s main weapons – Virgil Van Dyke and Cody Gakpo. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/07/2439m 18s

Euros Daily #25: England; flamboyant or ’filthy’?

A second look at England’s win over Switzerland. Some would call it resilient, a friend of Martin’s called it a ‘filthy’ win, but that’s football. Gregor Robertson, Martin Samuel and Tom Clarke take a detailed look at the performance and the changing narrative around Gareth Southgate. If you win, does it matter how you play? Is resilience more valuable than cohesion...? Captain Kane has drawn some criticism in the press, is that fair or a reflection of the system he is playing in? Finally, is Declan Rice the forgotten man of England? Getting better with every game, filling the gaps and front foot aggression. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
08/07/2439m 37s

Euros Daily #24: Are England the new Germany?

Penalties... no problem. In his press conference, Gareth Southgate was asked if his side were the 'new Germany': the team that doesn't play well but is very good from 12 yards. Jonathan Northcroft and Gregor Robertson join Tom Clarke to discuss. Was the 3 at the back experiment a success? Who do you now pick between Guéhi and Konsa? Do England still need to sort out their left hand side? Yes, yes they do. And a quick mention of Turkey v Netherlands. Another classic? 'Get your rave on!' Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/07/2445m 7s

Euros Daily #23: England: Is a back three the answer?

 Here we go again…do England have a ‘performance’ in them? If so, will it materialise today? Gregor Robertson, Ian Hawkey and Hamzah Khalique Loonat join Tom Clarke to discuss if a back three from Gareth Southgate will be the magic formula. Gregor is fearful of playing Luke Shaw, Hamzah thinks England could be Sheffield United in disguise and Ian knows how good Switzerland are. But… they also offer some hope.Elsewhere, was Spain’s win over Germany the ‘final’ many wanted? And France, well they’re sparing England’s blushes by playing dreadfully and still winning… Oh and would you still pick Ronaldo? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/07/2447m 11s

Euros Daily #22: Are England about to change system?

Rumours abound of England switching to a back three for their quarter final against Switzerland. Could this finally be the way to get the best out of an underperforming squad? Martin Samuel, Jonathan Northcroft and Gregor Robertson join Tom Clarke to look at the pros and cons of changing the system at this stage in the tournament. If Southgate does change, who would play in that line up; is there a place for Trent, does Shaw have to play for the first time since February…and who plays up front?In today’s games, arguably the best two teams meet as the hosts take on Spain. Will the Spanish attack be able to unlock a very strong German defence? In the other quarter final France play Portugal, like England two teams who have so far underperformed. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/07/2446m 52s

Euros Daily #21: Is Bellingham 2024 the Rooney of 2004?

Another pause between rounds allows for some reflection, this time with Matt Lawton, the chief sports correspondent of The Times. Having covered 15 major tournaments, he's in a pretty good spot to assess how good Euro 2024 has been. He offers his take on England's tournament so far and what Gareth Southgate's future might look like.Plus, he tells Tom Clarke about his recent eye-opening trip to Ukraine with the President of World Athletics, Seb Coe. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/07/2438m 15s

Euros Daily #20: Stick in the mixer & get the big man on the end of it, dude!

It's an England free zone today. But that might just mean it's more joyous than ever. Gregor Robertson and Hamzah Khalique-Loonat join Tom Clarke for a round of 16 stocktake. Did we just watch the game of the tournament in Austria v Turkey? Or at the very least, the save of the tournament? And the Netherlands have finally joined the party! Are they now in with a chance? Well, technically, yes.  Plus, some honourable mentions now that 16 teams have been sent home.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/07/2437m 30s

Euros Daily #19: England; “…don't cry, we’re still in it.”

The England inquest continues; if they pick the same team, will they beat Switzerland? The resounding response is no. But is Southgate, a pragmatic manager willing to change the script? Gregor Robertson, Martin Samuel, and Tom Allnutt join Tom Clarke to ask; can England rely on having one or two players capable of the exceptional to drag them through? As Cristiano Ronaldo wore his heart on his sleeve it turns out tournament football is quite tough. A star studded Portugal team struggling to get past Slovenia and France scrapping past Belgium. Gregor casts an admiring eye on the French defence, never mind that they haven’t scored from open play yet…  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/07/2433m 39s

Euros Daily #18: England – The Debrief (put someone on the left!!)

One moment of brilliance saved England from humiliation. Jude Bellingham’s overhead kick helped secure England’s unlikely win, but it doesn’t paper over the chasm in England’s performance; lacklustre, disjointed, blunt, pedestrian. Where does Gareth Southgate go now? Gregor Robertson, Jonathan Northcroft and James Gheerbrant join Tom Clarke to dissect a performance which was so disappointing and left so many questions. Left being the operative word…”Just put someone on the left!!” In the other game, Spain…they look rather good. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
01/07/2441m 40s

Euros Daily #17: England, don't do what the Italians did...

England's path to the final looks clearer than ever, what could possibly go wrong? Tom Clarke is joined by Ian Hawkey, Alyson Rudd and Gregor Robertson to discuss exactly what could go wrong... they could do an Italy. Is there anything more infuriating than VAR? Gregor Robertson doesn't think so. But does Germany's under par performance give other teams hope?And will Georgia upset Spain? Probably not, but here's to hoping.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/06/2446m 59s

Euros Daily #16: 'There is no life without football'

Two days without football felt like a lifetime. But it's back! Martin Samuel, Alyson Rudd and Gregor Robertson join Tom Clarke to preview the last 16: Which game are we most looking forward to? Will there be any shocks on the cards? And how does Alyson decide which decorative flags on her house stay up and which go down?  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/06/2441m 35s

Euros Daily #15: Play the kids and eat kebabs

With the group stage finished its time to step back, take a breath and have a considered look at Euro 2024. Which teams have impressed, which have disappointed? Who are the players who’ve stood out and who are the surprise packages? One man perfectly placed to answer most of those questions is Times writer Paul Hirst. He has seen ten teams, travelled across Germany and watched England with England fans in a fan park. Tom Clarke catches up with Paul to get his tips for who to look out for in the knockout stages, the best players he’s seen so far and is German rail really as bad as it is in the UK? Oh, and England, what does he make of them? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/06/2428m 17s

Euros Daily #14: Have England got lucky?

Are England the luckiest team in football? They have somehow contrived to avoid France, Germany, Portugal and Spain; only playing them if they reach the final. Or is that to disrespect the teams who have made it through in their half of the draw  – Austria, Switzerland and their next opponents – Slovakia? Martin Samuel, Gregor Robertson and Hamzah Khalique-Loonat join Tom Clarke to round up a brilliant night for Turkey and Georgia; and to plot England’s unlikely route to the final. Surely, they will beat Slovakia…surely?  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/06/2441m 13s

Euros Daily #13: Who starts for England in the last 16?

Ok, so a 0-0 draw against a country smaller than Manchester doesn't sound great... but there are positives. Tom Clarke, Gregor Robertson, Jonathan Northcroft and Alyson Rudd are intent on finding them. The big question remains, though: who starts in the next round? Plus, Austria are showing the rest of Europe how to win AND entertain. And Alyson thinks the Netherlands will come good eventually. Perhaps in the last 16 against England. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/06/2439m 52s

Euros Daily #12: England – hopes and fears

Will it be a convincing win, a team that clicks and all doubt banished…? Or another edgy one one draw followed by a three-day inquest? The speculation is that Gareth Southgate will swap Trent Alexander Arnold for Conor Gallagher. Will that be enough, will it change the dynamic of a team slow to press and lacking a cutting edge?A thrilling conclusion to group B as football once again proved so much can change in a minute. On ninety-eight minutes Italy were likely heading out, Croatia were going through. But by ninety-nine Italy were through, Croatia as good as out. And England, well even if they were to lose tonight, they’re also through as one of the best third placed teams. But surely, they won’t lose… will they?  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/06/2440m 36s

Euros Daily #11: Scotland limp out and how to fix England

The dream is over for Scotland. It was Hungary who got the late winner, leaving Scotland bottom of group A. Did the Scots go out with a whimper or with a bang? Gregor Robertson, Alyson Rudd and Martin Samuel join Tom Clarke to dissect Scotland’s performance.Gregor thinks they have been the worst team at the tournament, even though they’re not the worst team. Martin and Alyson lament a complete lack of cutting edge. In the other group game Germany nearly suffered a shock defeat to Switzerland, trailing one nil going into injury time. Did their very late equaliser paper over the cracks or are the home fans now wondering if their team are as good as they thought?After the break, a look ahead to England. What is Gareth Southgate’s next move? Double down, change the system or change the personnel? It all feels a bit like closing your eyes and hoping for the best…same old England then…      Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/06/2444m 23s

Euros Daily #10: Attitude, aggression & a spine-tingling national anthem

It's all still to play for, with only 3 teams qualified after 2 rounds of matches. Martin Samuel and Gregor Robertson join Tom Clarke to discuss Belgium's arrival, Portugal's improvement and Georgia's last second heartbreak. Martin weighs in on England... What is the question? And is Adam Wharton the answer? Oh, and of course we talk more about Trent Alexander-Arnold. And Gregor is getting ready for his '90 minute panic attack' this evening... Scotland win and they're through. How do they go about that, then?  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/06/2441m 39s

Euros Daily #9: The inquest continues...

There's no sign of the debate around England's form cooling down. Square pegs in round holes, or is everyone just a bit tired? Gregor Robertson is joined by Alyson Rudd, Charlotte Duncker and Hamzah Khalique-Loonat to attempt to answer those questions and more. Finally, 21 games in, we've had our first 0-0 draw. But the Netherlands and France still provided plenty of talking points. One being VAR (yawn). Ukraine brought the emotion in an impressive comeback win against Slovakia. And it turns out Ralf Rangnick is a genius, who knew?! Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/06/2438m 49s

Euros Daily #8: It's still coming home, right?

We've seen it all before, England playing out a drab, uninspiring 1-1 draw at a major tournament. But how bad was it, really? Well... quite bad. Jonathan Northcroft, James Gheerbrant and Gregor Robertson join Tom Clarke to talk through the problems Gareth Southgate has to tackle. One of those problems will be Slovenia, England's final opponents, who look like they'll be another tricky side to break down. And are Spain quietly making themselves the favourites to win the Euros? All that and more...  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/06/2443m 40s

Euros Daily #7: Scotland fight on and England expect

Scotland finally turned up and gave their thousands of fans something to shout about in a spirited draw with Switzerland. Lose to Germany, draw with Switzerland, best Hungary…its all going to plan! But Gregor Robertson is still terrified, especially by the defending.Germany were a picture of ‘contained superiority’ so says Alyson Rudd who is tipping them to win it. For England will it be stick or twist? Tom Allnutt thinks they need a performance, or the pressure will mount. Who will Southgate pick, will he get the best out of Foden…get the first reaction and analysis with Tom Clarke and the team tomorrow.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/06/2444m 33s

Euros Daily #6: The best game of the Euros so far?

Have we just watched the game of the tournament... so far? Georgia and Turkey served up a thriller that had just about everything. But Martin Samuel had some gripes about Georgia's late tactics. He joins Gregor Robertson, Hamza Khalique-Loonat and Tom Clarke to discuss, plus Ronaldo's importance to Portugal and a look forward to Scotland's second game and Switzerland. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/06/2436m 22s

Euros Daily #5: Who are the favourites now?

It turns out its not only England that can win one nil and be disappointed. Tom Clarke joins Charlotte Duncker, Alyson Rudd and Gregor Robertson to look at tournament favourites France. Kante rolled back the years, Mbappe shone, but by the end were the French hanging on to beat a resilient Austria?Having seen all the best teams apart from Portugal, who has stood out and who isn’t living up to expectations? Belgium certainly fell into the later camp. Their ‘golden generation’ once again struggled, albeit with some questionable officiating.  Quick look and Romania and Georgia and that is day 5. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/06/2437m 23s

Euros Daily #4: England – more questions than answers

England beat Serbia, but it wasn’t convincing. Does it matter? Who played well, who didn’t; and will there be changes for the next match?  Martin Samuel, Gregor Robertson and Jonathan Northcroft join Tom Clarke to dissect England’s tournament opener. The midfield is the main focus, is Trent the right man to partner Declan Rice? Further forward, is Foden best suited to the left side and if not there, where?  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
17/06/2441m 11s

Euros Daily #3: Laying down a marker & experience over youth?

Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Italy all made their presence known with wins (some more impressive than others) in their first games of the Euros. But how important is it to lay down a marker early? Alyson Rudd and Gregor Robertson join Tom Clarke to discuss.And England's campaign starts tonight! Will Trent Alexander-Arnold take the third midfield spot, how hard will Serbia be to break down, and what matters more: experience or youth?  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/06/2447m 13s

Euros Daily #2: Germany good; Scotland bad.

Martin Samuel, Gregor Robertson and Hamzah Khalique-Loonat join Tom Clarke to reflect on a sorry night for Scotland, but a perfect start for the hosts. Were Scotland bad, or were Germany very good? Could the approach of Nagelsmann offer England a way to harness more of their creative players? Hamzah breaks down England’s first opponents, Serbia. Finally, who are the players to watch out for and where is Martin off to today? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/06/2436m 56s

Euros Daily #1: It's finally here...

The excitement builds for tonight's mammoth opener: Germany v Scotland. Tom Clarke is joined by Martin Samuel, Jonathan Northcroft and Gregor Robertson to make their predictions, plus they discuss the merits and flaws of tournament camps. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/06/2432m 4s

Euros preview 2: Germany awaits and Southgate's future

Martin Samuel, Gregor Robertson and James Gheerbrant join Tom Clarke for the first episode of ‘The Game: Euro pods.’ Martin is in Berlin ahead of the first match, James is packing his bags ready to join him.   They run the rule over who starts along side Declan Rice in midfield…someone makes a surprisingly strong case Adam Wharton. Martin pulls on a Wham analogy, “sometimes someone just needs to play the tambourine!”Before assessing if Scotland have a chance against the hosts, a quick look at domestic matters as Ten Hag stays at Manchester United. Is he there on merit, or through lack of alternatives…?Finally, Scotland can they, will they…?  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/06/2441m 45s

Euros preview: Are England and Scotland ready?

 Gregor Robertson, Tony Cascarino and Alyson Rudd join Tom Clarke to select England's starting line up. After some surprising squad selections and a disappointing final performance…should fans be worried? The team look at potential partnerships, at the back, in midfield and out wide.Gregor thinks there are question marks against all bar four of England’s starting line-up, Alyson sees a right foot heavy squad, Tony wonders if they could take a gamble on a different formation…?After the break a look at Scotland; where will the goals come from and does Steve Clarke need to re build some confidence.Finally, have Manchester City sparked a civil war within the premier league? What are the ramifications of their legal challenge to the premier league…? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

David Moyes and the Famous Tartan Army

In a special edition of ‘The Game’ former player and Premier League manager David Moyes joins The Times team to discuss all things Scotland. David is alongside two other die-hard Scotland fans Jonathan Northcroft and Scotland correspondent Michael Grant.Englishman Tom Clarke is the awkward one asking the questions.David has followed Scotland all over the world for more than 40 years, he’s been through the coaching system and worked with many Scotland greats. He even lays claim to having part of the famous Wembley posts on his bus back north in 1977.Between them the team discuss great Scottish players and coaches, famous games and even a bet with Kevin Kegan at Wembley.Finally, they look at the current Scotland team as they head to Germany…oh and a quick chat about David’s time managing England linchpin Declan Rice. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/06/241h 11m

Who makes England’s final squad? And the greatest ever club side…?

Is this Madrid team the greatest ever in club football? After winning their fifteenth European cup could you argue they have three of the best five players in the world. With them also set to sign Kylian Mbappe can any team get close to them?Jose Mourinho is back, this time at Turkish side Fenerbahçe…will it be a marriage made in heaven or a tempestuous affair?  Gregor Robertson, Tom Allnutt and Tony Cascarino discuss who goes to Germany and who goes home from the initial England squad. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/06/2444m 7s

Are all modern managers the same?

It’s been a long season…but it’s not over just yet.Some very big clubs are looking for new managers and some big managers are available. So, who goes where?Jonny Northcroft, Gregor Robertson and Martin Samuel join Tom Clarke to take a closer look at potential appointments.With Maresca looking likely to leave Leicester, where does that leave the football league champions? Wayne Rooney has been given a chance at Plymouth…is it warranted?Ahead of this weekend, Martin Samuel has been to meet Carlo Ancelotti, a great coach and a true gentleman. With the Euros only two weeks away a quick look at England’s road to being joint favourites for the tournament.Finally, Martin and Jonny are off to Germany. From there they’ll be part of daily episodes of ‘The Game’ where you can get the inside track on the tournament from all the regular panellists. Please follow to make sure you don’t miss an episode. PS – what is a resting bitch face…? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/05/241h 2m

Managers on the move and a Ten Hag triumph

On Friday Erik Ten Hag was supposedly out of a job. By Saturday evening the jury was out again. After a gripping FA Cup final, with a performance and result which surprised almost everyone could Ten Hag still be the man for the job?A very busy Manchester reporter Paul Hirst joins James Gheerbrant, Gregor Robertson and Tom Clarke to look at what happens next at Old Trafford? There seems to be a four-man shortlist, but none of the candidates convince the panel…Gregor was at the richest game in football as Southampton beat Leeds in a tight play off final. Will Russell Martin be in contention for any of the managerial vacancies? Finally, who is on Chelsea’s shortlist? McKenna was, now he isn’t; but would any ambitious young manager want to step into the chaotic situations at Manchester United, Chelsea or Bayern Munich? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/05/2451m 51s

Managerial merry-go-round and how to beat City…

Two minutes in and player of the season Phil Foden puts City one up. Title race over. Great player, great team. Tom Clarke, Alyson Rudd, Tony Cascarino and Gregor Robertson consider why City are so good, how other teams can compete and if Foden and Bellingham can play together for England.After a very good season, where do Arsenal go next, a striker, a left back…? Gregor is off to watch the championship play off final, often a cagey affair; will Leeds Southampton buck the trend? After the break a thorough look at some big impending managerial changes. De Zerbi leaves Brighton, could he end up at Man Utd or will Ten Hag be given more time. Poch appears very unsure of his future at Chelsea and how will Slot compare to Klopp…? We’re having a break on Thursday. We’ll be back on Monday to review the FA cup final and play off final. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/05/241h 2m

Is it ever ok not to support your team?

When is a fan not a fan? Tom Clarke, Tony Cascarino, Martin Samuel and Gregor Robertson discuss the bizarre atmosphere at the Tottenham stadium on Monday night as some Spurs fans struggled to cheer on their team against Man City.After Spurs didn’t do Arsenal a favour, could West Ham in the final game? In a word the universal opinion is… no.Premier League clubs meet next week to discuss the future of VAR…Martin has a simple solution; we need better humans. The discussion gets heated, proving the point that it is a very subjective business.Finally, Tony belatedly offers his alternative team of the season. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

The best alternative team of the season ever!

Arsenal have taken the title race to the final week of the season. But as Man City find their form on the run in, will it matter…? Aside from the title race Manchester United kept the score respectable at Old Trafford, but it was yet another lamentable performance from a club in the doldrums. What now for Casemiero et al?Tom Allnutt is confident that most Spurs fans will not want them to beat City, so handing Arsenal the title…Alyson Rudd isn’t so sure.Gregor Robertson witnessed the discontent at the City ground as Forest stay up but almost because of three worse teams then because of their own efforts.After the break it is ‘Tom Clarke's fun time’ as he makes everyone pick an alternate team of the season with a player from eleven different teams…which one player will make it from City and Arsenal and where will the other nine come from…? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/05/2448m 29s

Ancelotti masterless; Ten Hag car crash.

Madrid do it again. Do they have better players, a better coach? Is it the ground, their history or all of it rolled together? Martin Samuel, Jonathan Northcroft and Gregor Robertson join Tom Clarke to look at just how special Real Madrid are.Mbappe ends his time with PSG with a whimper, where now for the French star? Domestically Crystal Palace are reborn under Oliver Glazner. Which of their team have a chance of the euros, Olise, Eze, Wharton..? On the receiving end of the Palace trio were a sorry Manchester United. With a cup final on the horizon, is there any hope for Ten Hag and his tenure at Old Trafford?Lastly, a reflection on David Moyes parting of the ways with West Ham Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/05/241h 3m

What's the future for Ange-ball and are Chelsea good?

Tony Cascarino and Alyson Rudd took a road trip to see Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp’s penultimate home game in charge. Whatever happened in the car stays in the car. Tom Clarke and Gregor Robertson quiz them on Spurs’ alarming dip in form, and the performance of Harvey Elliot. Tony finally got to ask Klopp a question…In the title race Haaland and Rice are purring, Gregor is very impressed with the all round contribution of Declan Rice on and off the pitch. Tony thinks Haaland leaps like a salmon!Elsewhere Chelsea are starting to look like a real team…will it last? And West Ham have agreed personal terms with Julen Lopetegui…Is relegation now all done and dusted…? And what does it take to survive in the Premier League for promoted teams?  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/05/241h 7m

Can Sancho and Dier make Euro squad?

 English players star in Europe, but not the ones you might think. Martin Samuel, Gregor Robertson and Tony Cascarino join Tom Clarke to discuss the fluctuating careers of Eric Dier and Jaden Sancho. Will either make the England squad? And why couldn’t Man Utd get the best out of a gifted player?Hindsight is twenty twenty but Kai Havertz now looks like a bargain at sixty million…Martin thinks he saw it coming. Ipswich are on the verge of back to back promotions, where does the achievement of Kieran McKenna rank? With plenty of big clubs looking for new managers will he be near the top of their lists?A big manager leaving is Jurgen Klopp, what do the panel feel about his final season?And from a manager whose team amassed 97 points and were runners up, who were some of the greatest teams to finish second…? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/05/241h 7m

Title down to two and will Salah leave?

And then there were two… It’s no longer a three-horse race, much to Alyson Rudd’s regret. Alyson joins Tom Allnutt, Gregor Robertson and Tom Clarke to pick over the bones of good wins for City and Arsenal, and touchline altercations for Liverpool and Mo Salah. Could this be the end of the ‘Egyptian King’ at Anfield?The race for fourth continues to ebb and flow, Villa threw away a two goal lead, but still gained on Spurs. Chelsea and their midfield in particular, confound the panel…again.Andoni Iraola has taken Bournemouth to their highest ever points total, does he deserve manager of the season? To finish, its two from three at the bottom. Forest showed form in defeat against City, do Luton have one last push in them? And Burnley, too little to late, or in with a shout…?   Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/04/241h 2m

Klopp crushed

Martin Samuel and Tom Allnutt join Gregor Robertson to console Tony Cascarino as Liverpool’s title challenge hits the buffers. What can Liverpool’s bad form be put down to, fitness, desire, off field issues? Tony has a hunch… And is Arne Slot the man to right the ship…?Arsenal have the wind in their sails again can they now go unbeaten for the rest of season…? Chelsea, are a mystery to the entire panel. What will happen to Poch and his erratic team come the summer?Erik Ten Hag may not be embarrassed but is his tenure coming to an end? Martin can understand his response to the media, Tom isn’t so sure…  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/04/2457m 17s

A Wembley rollercoaster and does it matter who the officials support?

Gregor Robertson joins Tony Cascarino, Alyson Rudd and Hamzah Khalique-Loonatto look back on a remarkable FA cup semi final.Did the last gasp VAR decision deny us an iconic FA cup memory? Gregor and Alyson think yes, ever the realist Hamzah is not so sure. Where does the result leave beleaguered Man Utd fans and their manager? Is an FA cup final enough or was this the final straw for Eric Ten Hag? The deduction derby at Goodison Park lifted Everton clear of the drop zone, but the real drama came from Nottingham Forest’s ‘X’ account. Has a line been crossed by Forest, casting aspersions on the neutrality of officials?  On the pitch hope for Burnley, but is time up for Luton? In the title race, good starts to a big week for Arsenal and Liverpool.     Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/04/241h 9m

What’s the future for Haaland and City?

Gregor Robertson, Jonny Northcroft and Martin Samuel join Tom Clarke to perform the post-mortem on Man City and Arsenal’s exit from the champions league. Did they just meet better teams or was there any mental fragility or fatigue on show?Will last nights results have a bearing on the title race, if so, who could benefit?For Manchester City is the form of Erling Haaland a worry? 21 touches in the whole game and 37 minutes before he completed a pass… Martin has had his head turned by Cole Palmer and it’s given him a bold plan for England.Finally, a look at the FA cup semi-finals - Chelsea managed to find a negative in a 6-0 win, will they offer any threat to City? For Manchester United is it win or bust for Ten Hag…?    Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/04/2458m 48s

Is the title race over?

Liverpool to finish fourth. Arsenal stumbling. Villa masterclass and City…back on top.  Liverpool and Arsenal lose at home - is that the final twist in the title race, or just the first?Tom Clarke is joined by Alyson Rudd, Gregor Robertson and a despondent Tony Cascarino who thinks Liverpool looked so bad they could even finish fourth behind Villa. Arsenal looked edgy but was that down to a masterclass from Unai Emery and his team? City sail on serenely, are there any potential slips in their run in.Was Spurs’ result a freak or a sign of things to come? How good is Alexander Isak and can Newcastle keep hold of him?After an appreciation of some mid table sides in Wolves, Fulham, Chelsea and Bournemouth  it’s time to consider the chaos at Manchester United… again. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/04/2458m 11s

Will it be a City v Arsenal semi final?

Fresh off the Eurostar having watched PSG v Barca Gregor Robertson joins Tom Clarke and Martin Samuel to review a thrilling set of Champions League quarter finals. Are Arsenal and Man City now favourites to meet in the semis? And is City v Madrid really the final everybody wanted? In the other half of the draw do any of the four have a chance, Gregor thinks Barca might…In the Premier League Everton face another points deduction, what does that do to the relegation battle? Is it fair for teams to go into the final day not knowing what they need to survive?We take another look at the title race, Alyson Rudd offers her belated thoughts on Liverpool’s ‘failure’ at Old Trafford and Gregor and Martin almost pin their colours to one particular mast…  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/04/241h 4m

Squad strength and who is the most adaptable player in the Premier League..?

Has Pep ruined football? Arsenal’s proper squad, the leagues most adaptable players and ‘treadmill to oblivion’. Martin Samuel, Gregor Robertson and Henry Winter join Tom Clarke to reflect on a show of squad strength from Arsenal and City. Are the Gunners now at the same level as Man City and Liverpool in terms of squad depth? Who took their chance to shine and who didn’t? As Ben White stars, are traditional full backs now a thing of the past and who are the most adaptable players in the premier league…? Answers on a postcard…Referee Andy Madley decided to ignore VAR at the Brentford v Brighton game last night; could this finally be a turning of the tide?Finally, Brighton post record profits, thumbs up. Daniel Levy is the best plaid club chief ever, thumbs down. Martin over to you…  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/04/241h 1m

Advantage Liverpool, will they hold on..?

Pep gave up, Thomas Frank is special, and goals galore…despite VAR. Tom Clarke, Gregor Robertson, Alyson Rudd and Tony Cascarino contrast the snooze fest at the Etihad with the and to end fest at Anfield.Arsenal proved a point to get a point, but City could be happy with the easier run in to come. Liverpool put in their best performance against Brighton, but with Alonso not available who replaces Klopp at Anfield…Alyson Rudd loves Thomas Frank.Goals galore at Newcastle, Stamford Bridge and Bramall Lane but oh VAR, why why why…?A whistle stop tour of all the other weekends games, plus Kalvin Philips’ woes continue and the relegation scrap is far from over. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
01/04/2455m 11s

Who starts for England at the Euros?

Tom Clarke, Gregor Robertson, Jonny Northcroft and Martin Samuel pick their England starting 11’s for the opening game of the Euros. There are some surprising omissions, Jonny has a left field suggestion and Martin has been swayed by recent performances.Kobbie Mainoo may have written his name on the team sheet, but will Henderson, Rashford or Grealish even make the squad? Following on from the focus on Mainoo the team recall the most impressive debuts they’ve seen, from Gascoigne and Rooney to Charlton and Shearer from the archive.Which is the toughest managers job in football? And finally, a look ahead to the weekend and the language used towards officials. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/03/241h 2m

How to make England better..?

England disappointed, but does it matter? Gareth Southgate and his team conspired to lower expectations after a lacklustre display at Wembley; Tom Clarke, Tony Cascarino, Gregor Robertson and Matt Dickinson discuss who played well, who didn’t and why England looked so blunt. After the break a look at the production line of new footballers – academies. Young players are now given a holistic programme which creates well rounded young men, not just footballers. Is the new battle ground of the elite at academy level, creating the stars of tomorrow?Finally, are footballers ‘thick’? Gregor responds.   Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/03/241h 1m

Is Mainoo the answer to England's midfield issues?

Are points deductions fair, what's the point of a football regulator, and should Kobbie Mainoo start for England?Martin Samuel, Gregor Robertson and Tony Cascarino join Tom Clarke to ask if you’d rather have a good centre forward or a good lawyer? As Nottingham Forest fall foul of the regulator are points deductions the best way to tackle the problem? Should more money go to the wider football pyramid and what happens if it doesn’t?Back on the pitch have England found their midfield answer, will Kobbie Mainoo be the late edition that balances the team? If he makes the squad, then who misses out – Maddison, Henderson, Bowen…? Finally, best Brazilians to ever play in the Premier League…? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/03/241h 3m

The best game of the season...?

A pulsating game won in the 120th minute with a raucous atmosphere and ending their arch-rivals fairy tale in the process - has Eric Ten Hag suddenly seen what is possible at Old Trafford?Will the result be a turning point in Man Utd’s season or just another glimpse of potential? For Liverpool did tiredness catch up with them? Gregor Robertson thinks Mark Robins is doing some of the best coaching work in the country at Coventry and it’s paying off. They’ll fancy their chances against Utd in the semis. Tom Allnutt has been to meet Gerad Pique; he has some fascinating ideas on the future of football – will clubs soon be paying fans to attend games?Finally, Alyson Rudd is impressed with Fulham and Tom Clarke wants to hear your favourite own goals… Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/03/241h 3m

The Dark Arts…

Are footballers stupid? Why do footballers cut holes in their socks? And how to write a match report in 2 minutes.Martin Samuel, Jonathan Northcroft, Gregor Robertson and Tom Clarke discuss the dark arts of football and sports writing.On the pitch they were exemplified by Porto on Tuesday night. But what are the dark arts of the press box? How do writers produce a piece when the result turns around in the final minutes?  Martin recounts the Nou Camp in 99’ – from “Poor old Fergie gets his tactics wrapped around his neck..." to "Arise Sir Alex!…” And facing a deadline, Jonny McNorthcroft found himself hoping Scotland didn’t score.Gregor had a surprising response to his article on ‘Why do footballers cut holes in their socks?’ Which led to another question - are footballers stupid?Finally – its FA cup weekend. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

The best title race in years – so who wins?

It’s a three-horse title race, the first in years, so who did the result at the weekend benefit the most?Tom Allnutt, Alyson Rudd and Gregor Robertson join Tom Clarke to predict who will win the league. Was a point at Anfield good for City, was Liverpool’s momentum stalled and will Arsenal handle the pressure of going top?Who has the tougher run in and who is each team’s most important player?Spurs love playing the top teams, but Villa seemed to lack belief. Either way, does the race for fourth even matter, if you qualify for the champions league and your team’s not ready?Plus, a rattle through the weekends other results. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/03/2457m 40s

Is European football becoming boring?

Gregor Robertson mediates as Martin Samuel and Tony Cascarino discuss sabbaticals, John Peel and Yu-Gi-Oh!Oh, and some of the week's biggest football talking points: Are Sheffield United the worst team to ever play in the Premier League? Has the Champions League become too predictable? And who will win Sunday's era ending game between Liverpool and Man City? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/03/2457m 47s

Who is better than Phil Foden?

Tom Clarke reviews a bumper weekend of Premier League talking points with Gregor Robertson, Tony Cascarino and Paul Hirst...... What level are Manchester United at? Who is currently the best player in the League (Guardiola thinks it's Phil Foden)? And why on earth have Nottingham Forest hired Mark Clattenburg?  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/03/2458m 0s

Fathers, sons, money and mavericks

Genes count as three sons of former players star for Liverpool. As academy players are in the spotlight the team discuss the modern player, private education and clubs more holistic approach to their assets. Had Stan Bowles been a player now he may have had more help with gambling problems that beset his life, Martin and Tony share their memories of a great player with a crazy life. With Wolves one game away from Wembley, is Gary O’Neil in line for manager of the season?On to FFP and points deductions, Finally, its Paul Pogba, Eric Ten Hag and martin makes a bold prediction about Brighton. Timeline: FA Cup2’ Klopps trust in the kids3’ This is Klopp’s chance to play the kids, they won’t be playing against City in two weeks. Great for the Dads. Three kids there all whose dads got them playing.5’ How have Liverpool not conceded in last two games?7’ all seem well rounded young men. Moulding good young people not just players.8’ Players with pros as parents know how to stay the course.11’ Lots of young players sent to private school by clubs.14’ They’ve done brilliant but a long way to go.17’ At Wolves, Gary O’Neil, took over five days before season started. He could get them to a Wembley semi/final.20’ He has walked in and not asked for too much change. Everton points deduction23’ six is better then ten. But its still too much.24’ Not good to have lawyers deciding league placings.25’ guidelines are better than nothing. But still no structure.26’ we need clear rules.27’ Everton will now be fine, little danger of relegation. Stan Bowles32’ A maverick, a gambler, and an entertainer.33’ Many stories about the colourful life, playing snakes and ladders for £50 a corner…34’ The stories obscure how good he was as a player. In 74’ QPR were 14 mins from winning the league.37’ Don shanks compared him to Aguero, he was a continental footballer in Britain. Tony thinks Zola.38’ there was a sad side to stan. He had a testimonial and gambled all the money away within a few weeks. Brighton42’ Martin thinks Brighton are too good…they will keep losing good staff and good players. You can’t sustain that.44’ No matter the data team, at some point you can’t pull another rabbit out the hat.45’ Bloom is a genius; he is possibly the best owner of a club in the world. Pogba53’ Pogba banned for four years for doping. effectively ending his career54’ Very sad, Sad way for a player of his talent to end his career. It won’t end with this, there is more to come out. Manchester derby56’ who knows, Martin can’t predict.57’ I can’t see how he [Ten Hag] can be there man for next season. Because if he was, they’d have come out and said it.60’ fabulous team, but you just can’t get the ball off them. Be amazed if Man City don’t win Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/02/241h 2m

Klopp's kids triumph and dealing with mardy managers

Was it Captain Colossus, Klopp’s charisma or just really good academy players that got Liverpool over the line? Alyson Rudd was Nostradamus, highlighting last week the huge impact Virgil Van Dyke has on his Liverpool team. What now for Pochettino and Chelsea, wilting in extra time and still no trophy.At Old Trafford the shoots of hope were trampled by a very good Fulham performance. It left some wondering, what the club have to show for the second most expensive signing ever…Anthony. For Crystal Palace, Oliver Glasner has hit the ground running with signs of a blueprint after only two games.Finally, its Arsenal looking strong and good luck to George Elokobi and Maidstone. Timeline: Cup final2’ Liverpool, well deserved win. Chelsea created better chances, but Liverpool had the fight, hunger and drive.4’ Tom A felt Chelsea were in the ascendancy, until extra time. Poch’s disappointment was how they played extra time.8’ Alyson the prophet, saw the impact VVD has on Liverpool.13’ It is precious to have academy players in big games. It strengthens the bond between team and supporters.14’ Chelsea had that and they burnt it.15’ Liverpool testament to a long term structure and plan.“Its not a coincidence that you get a 19yr old at a club like Liverpool who can step in and look like he’s been there for years.”19’ Chelsea have wasted their money. Who is not buying into Poch’s culture.21’ Too many mistakes and get too introverted to easily.22’ a collective malaise, where is it coming from? Pricky Pep24’ doesn’t like journalists, looked bored26’ seems to hate doing press.28’ The pressure and demands on managers are enormous. Manchester United31’ Ten Hag back under pressure. Result indicative of what’s going on at the club.32’ Tom’s visit to Ajax, no one thought Anthony was worth what Man U paid for him.33’ Are they going to build off field first then the team? Or on pitch first.36’ Hot managerial market this summer. Liverpool, Barca and Bayern all looking.37’ Fulham were excellent, they wanted it and were without Paulinha, Jimenez and Willian.38’ Muniz stepping up, looked good. Iwobi, really good, cool finish. Palace40’ already there is a blueprint. 3-4-2-141’ Matheaus Franca, looked good, suddenly can see why they signed him.43’ great start for Glasner, good record of signings from championship, Wharton another of them. They have good young players.44’ free roll of the dice for a mid table club. Arsenal46’ Playing fantastic, front foot football. They’re flying.48’ Goals from 19 set pieces and best defence…50’ Should Eddie howe be worried, they’re tailing away. Look poor first half.51’ Arsenal suffocated them, pressed them to death. Good luck George!!Maidstone take on Coventry City in the FA cup tonight. They’re the lowest ranked team to reach round five in over 40 years.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/02/2454m 58s

George Elokobi: "We dance one more time."

Ahead of a huge FA Cup tie for Maidstone United, a special edition of The Game.Ever wondered how a part time team prepares for a big cup game against a team four leagues above them? Or what it’s like to score your first premier league goal, or get ‘tortured’ by a winger in front of Sir Alex at Old Trafford..? In a bonus edition of The Game Alyson Rudd and producer Neil went to meet Maidstone manager George Elokobi…. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/02/2430m 15s

"We’re Manchester United and we’re coming to get you." Really…?

A quick look at the mid-week fixtures and a bold claim, Arsenal have the best defence, and defences win leagues… City won again and Klopp likened his teams win against Luton to their famous win against Barcelona.James Gheerbrandt went to see Tuchel lose out to Xabi Alonso against Leverkusen. A week later he ‘agreed’ to leave Munich, where next and what are the knock-on effects in the managerial merry go round?  Tom, Martin, James and Gregor discuss the bold new vision presented by Sir Jim Ratcliffe at Manchester United, is three years optimistic and why no backing for Ten Hag…? Timeline:2’ Arsenal sucker punched by Porto3’ Different feel to European games, lots of fouls, grappling.5’ Good for the champions league to have such a different feel. Made it tough for Arsenal.8’ arsenal looking at not getting to quarters again, do they need to change mindset. 11’ Arsenal have the bets defence in the league, and titles are won by defences…13’ Klopp has created, built character at Liverpool, that will get you a long way. Tuchel leaves Munich20’ Will Tuchel leaving mean Alonso goes to Munich?21’ Tuchel was out manoeuvred by Alonso, he won the tactical battle.22’ Weird move by Munich, not good for dressing room.24’ If Liverpool want him, they need to get in now and tell him, before Munich do. Sir Jim Ratcliffe33’ He wants Man Utd ‘turned around’ in three years. Three years isn’t very long…can he do it?35’ He has a helping hand with Klopp leaving, and city facing FFP investigations37’ he was bullish, might regret that. Came close to slagging the glazers off.38’ No mention or backing for Ten Hag42’ slates being cleared. They’ve had good managers, it’s the system they work in that needs fixing.45’ We’re Manchester United and we’re coming to get you.  49’ extraordinary that it has taken 11 years for this to happen for Man Utd to have a modern set up.51’ everything is about money. Why is it surprising that Newcastle want money for Dan Ashworth…54’ On the pitch looks better, but still a long way to go. Gregor still thinks they are miles off.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

The title race, Kane's understudy and Lemon Meringue Pie

City dropped points, Liverpool picked up more injuries and Arsenal are eleven nil up from their last two games. So where does that leave the title race?Which players are irreplaceable on a title run in?Crystal Palace look set to make a managerial change, but how have they handled it, with Roy Hodgson still unwell and Oliver Glasner seemingly lined up to replace him.Who is best placed to be Harry Kane’s understudy? Gregor Robertson thinks Ollie Watkins is the complete striker. Alyson Rudd thinks Ivan Tony has international class.Rasmus Hojlund has turned a corner and is now the youngster player to score in six consecutive premier league games, will it be enough to drag Man Utd into the top four… Timeline: Title race2’ Across two games Chelsea were really good. Chilwell handled Foden well.3’ Best game Disasi has had in a Chelsea shirt.4’ Haaland wont’ have many games like that.5’ Can’t believe how nice you’re being to Chelsea. They were defensive smart performance from Chelsea8’ city’s record against top 6 is a concern. They’re third, behind Arsenal and Chelsea.Liverpool9’ Virgil Van Dyke, a man with presence. Key to being clam is enjoying the football.11’ having an amazing season Arsenal15’ Forward line has grown in confidence as the goals have come.16’ Liverpool victory was key.18’ Burnley and West Ham abysmal. So 11-0 for arsenal has context.19’ all done without Zinchenko and Jesus. Injuries21’ could have a key part in title race. Each of the big three have key players- Van Dyke, Stones, Rodri, Saliba…will injuries affect the outcome.22’ Liverpool have youngster on the side lines already bedded in who can step in.Roy Hodgson23’ Awful position to have a manager facing the sack whilst also ill in hospital.25’ when Hodgson collapsed he still hadn’t been told, but it is an open secret that Glasner is going to get the job.28’ Roy shouldn’t be in a position of being angry with the club going behind his back. 29’ they way they are handling this is terrible. And it isn’t the first time.Watkins or Tony31’ Masterclass from Watkins at the weekend32’ His importance to Villa is immense, their top four challenge rests on his shoulders.33’ He is profile similar to Kane.36’ His stats put him in elite company.37’ Watkins is always involved, even if he isn’t flashy. His skill set is very broad.40’ Ivan Tony is very unselfish. He has improved Maupay enormously. Makes unselfish runs and links up others players. Very good intuition. He has international class.43’ Kane’s understudy…Watkins for Gregor. Wide skill set. But Alyson thinks Tony, he has more arrogance and would step up to international football. Watkins is developing that arrogance.Man Utd and Rasmus Hojlund  47’ Youngest player to score in 6 premier league games on the spin.48’ Led the line brilliantly, looked confident, strong and with a strikers nose.51’ Without his goals they had no chance of top four. Now…it looks possible, but not yet likely.Bad tackles53’ This was Sheff United’s chance to create hope of safety. Holgate blew it inside 20 minutes.56’ Tough times for Chris Wilder. He had a big win at Luton and they haven’t backed it up. So momentum has been lost. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/02/2458m 25s

Who owns your club? Kane’s trophy hunt, and Man Utd’s big signing

Could Harry Kane really have another trophy-less season? If he does it won’t be for the lack of effort. The England captain has had a brilliant season, is endearing himself to the German fans, but it could still be not quite enough. Man City strolled to another win in the Champions league, are they now at their best?How would you feel if your club was part of a multi ownership model, with sister clubs in other countries…it is becoming more and more common, what are the pros and cons?Finally the new era at Manchester United looks set to start with the signing of…sporting director Dan Ashworth from Newcastle. Tom, Martin, Jonny and Gregor all agree, its good business.  Timeline: Harry Kane2’ Looking like he may not win anything in Germany. 3’ if he’d stayed at Spurs he’d be unlikely to win anything either.6’ Highly likely Munich will win something, if not this season then next. 7’ we don’t seem to celebrate success in the same way in this country. He couldn’t do anymore, he’s been great.11’ Kane endears himself to the supporters.18’ He could stay for two or three years, especially if his family are happy. City22’ They look back to their best, so easy.23’ John Stones looked accomplished in pivot role. Is he taken for granted?26’ Pep had a pop at Grealish.28’ Guardiola has earned the right to criticise, he is subtle with it though.Multi club ownership33’ Girona in Spain, the smallest ground in La Liga, a budget 700million euros less than Madrid, yet they are in a title race. Astonishing.36’ If they’re good owners, what does it matter.39’ Girona are the exception, many multi ownership models favour the ‘big fish.’40’ 8 of top 18 teams in Belgium part of multi club models.42’ it depends on the club, some push back and do wish to be part of a large organisation – Strasbourg declined Chelsea.48’ It’s a growth industry, 180 clubs world wide now part of multi ownership groups, it was 40 a decade ago. Man United52’ Looks like Dan Ashworth is going to be poached from Newcastle. 54’ Looks a good positive move from Jim Ratcliffe.55’ Ashworth is one of the best in that particular role.54’ Ashworth has ushered in a far greater degree of intelligence in the way clubs are run, he did it at West Brom, FA and Brighton.56’ Man Utd are the last of the old style football clubs.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Arsenal for the title? Spurs for fourth? But what is Scott McTominay?

For fifteen minutes it seemed Arsenal were the complete team, but was that down to West Ham’s passivity? What does the result from the London Stadium mean for both teams - are Arsenal now back in the title race, if they were ever out of it; and for West Ham is a contract for David Moyes more or less likely?The result at Spurs was not reflective of an end to end encounter. Brighton refuse to take a backward step and Spurs now have all their players available again.After the break, what/who is Scot McTominay? A six, an eight, a ten or a throwback. The team try to figure it out. He helped Utd to a key win. Villa lost, but played well.Finally, Gregor went to meet Luton forward Elijah Adebayo but he was an unlucky omen for a great lad. Oh and Alyson is getting excited about Xabi Alonso…Timeline:West Ham v Arsenal4’ Hard for arsenal to win a title with some many London derbies to negotiate. West Ham have a good record against Arsenal.6’ Trossard was superb. 15 min spell with four goals. They had everything for that spell. Pace, power, grace, intelligence.9’ Arsenal were in control, they made it a technical contest. Last season it felt like it got tense and emotional.10’ the asterix is West Ham are all at sea.11’ Gregor thought West Ham were passive.13’ easy to extrapolate too much from games like this. Just one win.16’ West Ham fans might have seen this performance coming. Team set up on the back foot.17’ West Ham have some good players, could do something under a more progressive coach. Tottenham v Brighton20’ to teams better at pressing than playing out from the back. Repeatedly stealing the ball off each other in the final third.21’ It came down to both teams not quite having the quality in the final third, Son made the difference. The quality makes the difference in those fine margins.23’ it was all about Son, it felt like he had been away for a year.24’ Spurs are looking good, they’ve got all their options back for the first time under Postecoglou26’ Spurs need more out wide if they are going to progress to the next level.27’ Brighton missing the cutting edge up front. But still doing remarkably well with the resources they have and the type of football they play.28’ Brighton - Playing above themselves, brilliant to watch and a clear style of play.Scott McTominay and Villa v Utd31’ Jack of all trades or will he be a 8 or a 10? Always looked like he would be a destroyer rather than a goal scorer.32’ for all his appearances and goals he still won’t be a starter.34’ Its not definitive that he can’t start. 35’ Any parallels with John McGinn at Villa, not quite a centre mid or a ten?36’ Are their good players being phased out who can’t do what the modern creative/pressing era requires.38’ This is Utd from last season, grabbing wins they shouldn’t whilst not playing very well. But still amassing the points.40’ Villa have had a dip, but yesterday they played well and felt they were unlucky not to win.41’ Utd now seem better placed to finish top four than Villa…But spurs look good.Luton v Sheff Utd43’ Spent a long time at Fulham without playing for the first team. Appreciates where he is now.44’ The energy at Luton comes from players who have had to fight to play top level football.47’ Sheff Utd were fearless. Didn’t come for a draw. Bundesliga 48’ Leverkusen deserved their great win against Munich. Poor Harry Kane looks like he might not win a title.50’ some of Leverkusen’s patterns of play were amazing. 52’ Alonso is nothing like Klopp, that could be a really good thing. IF he goes to Liverpool.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/02/2453m 8s

Sin bin's and the celebration police

Are sin bins a good idea? It looks increasingly likely that they will be trialled in specific games/competitions next season. Tom, Martin, Gregor and Tony discuss the pros and cons of sinbins and other IFAB proposed rule changes. Chelsea confounded the critics with a five star display at Villa park, but can they reproduce it?While Chelsea celebrate the team move on to discusshow, where and when one should celebrate. FYI, its not in front of the Millwallfans when you’ve just scored against them. Finally, Jesse Lingard is off the South Korea… Timeline: Chelsea and Villa5’ how do you predict football. Convincing performance, but off the back of Wolves and Liverpool performances.7’ young players will have good nights, but its about consistency.9’ Jackson’s confidence will rise from playing wide and contributing.10’ A drop in standards from Villa.11’ Early goals made all the difference.Celebrations14’ I’m not the celebration police, but keep your trousers on. Play nice.16’ Tony and his limo. Jibes about players wages on the pitch.18’ Carful how you mock…what goes around…22’ Its part of the game. Gregor would love to have someone like Maupay in his team, winding up the opposition is part of the celebration.27’ The dentists chair was a classic orchestrated celebration29’ the plans that go into each game. High fiving defenders for a clearance.32’ We’ve turned into the celebration police.38’ Tony celebrated against his former clubs…Cooling off38’ the self pass is a good rule, one used in rugby and hockey. That would cut out decent.38’ The cooling off period wouldn’t achieve that. 40’ there are easier things to do which don’t alter the structure of the game.41’ The laws need to be simplified, not complicated.43’ All seem in favour of a Sin bin46’ Are we setting unrealistic targets for perfection in the running and ruling of football.50’ the penalty spot is the perfect example of the madness at IFAB…by trying to improve it they make it worse. Jesse Lingard 53’ Korean culture doesn’t need Lingard. He might need it though.55’ It’s a shame, he’s a better player than south Korean league.56’ He might regret not taking the offers on the table58’ did he choose money over a good football choice. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
08/02/241h 2m

Gunners fire, Liverpool stall. United hope, Chelsea despair

Arsenal are back in the title race, but are Liverpool suffering the delayed effects of Jurgen Klopp’s announcement last week? Tom, Alyson, Gregor, and Tony discuss the result at the Emirates and where it leaves both teams. It was a positive weekend for Manchester United, two wins on the bounce and Erik Ten Hag more upbeat than ever, have they finally turned a corner?Chelsea by contrast go from bad to worse. The team see no light at the end of the tunnel for a team over budget, with no identity, no character and facing FFP restrictions. No such trouble at Wolves who are a showcase for the ability of Gary O’Neil…will Crystal Palace come calling if he isn’t given a new contract by Wolves soon. And a quick tip of the hat for Luton.  Timeline:Arsenal v Liverpool2’ Keepers at fault, Alisson and Reya,  should have stayed on their line.4’ the let down after Klopp’s announcement6’ Nunez should start if fit. 7’ poor as a team, off the pace, Trent AA nose out of joint.10’ Arsenal were fantastic. Structured, first goal was great.11’ Brave on the ball at the back, resisting Liverpool’s press13’ What do Liverpool do now?18’ It’s a reset moment for Liverpool…will they or not? Manchester united20’ Positive signs, two wins on the trot.21’ there is balance in the team with Shaw and Martinez back. Mainoo offers legs alongside Casimero.22’ Ten Hag suddenly has a predictable eleven.25’ The Kobbie Mainoo goal could have been the springboard.26’ There are lights and reasons for optimism, can they sustain it. West Ham29’ Tough start for Kalvin Philips at West ham. He looks short on confidence and a little unfit.32’ missing pre season is key. Philips playing catch up from not playing at City. Chelsea and Wolves   35’ Fans berating players, some berating manager, joined with the Wolves fans who sang you’re f**ing sh*t.36’ Wolves were a joy to watch. Everything Chelsea are not. Pace, bravery and positivity.37’ Gary O’Neil not getting credit because it’s about the Chelsea crisis.38’ Chelsea sold all their personality. 41’ Chelsea could be in freefall, they need to move players on.41’ Chelsea If you take Tiago out it looks like a team of little boys.43’ Is Poch the problem? 46’ They can’t afford to sack him, even if they want to.48’ Will O’Neil stay at Wolves? He’ll be in demand. Are Palace looking?Crystal Palace51’ no depth in squad, can’t afford it, results reflect that. Bit of bad luck with injuries to key players. 54’ Getting rid of Hodgson would be a political decision.55’ It’ll end badly, because the club shouldn’t have reemployed him in the summer. 57’ bigger issues at Palace, Steve Parish owns 10% but his a bigger say on pitch,,,why? 58’ There is conflict in the board room.Luton58’ Of course they can stay up!!60’ They’re brave, they play with positivity and ross Barkley has found a home.   Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/02/241h 2m

Defying expectations: Luton, Eze, Tevez and Bradley

If Luton stay up is Rob Edwards the manager of the season? Tom, Martin, Gregor and Jonny discuss. Kenilworth Road has become the awkward advantage that many pundits thought it would be, and Ross Barkley is providing flashes of inspiration. At Selhurst park it is the Eze and Olise show, just how good are they? Sticking with attacking flair Ange-ball is back in full flow at Spurs, will Postecoglou take Tottenham into the Champions league?After the break its Liverpool and their title chances and life after Jurgen Klopp, plus a remarkable tail of a very unlikely manager…Carlos Tevez. Timeline:Luton2’ If Luton stay up, Rob Edwards is manager of the season.3’ they playing good football, they’ve revitalised ross Barkley and lost their captain to a cardiac arrest.5’ Rob Edwards has got the best out of his players. Played positive football and recovered from a poor start.7’ They have harnessed community spirit and togetherness.8’ Kenilworth road is a completely different environment to any other premier league ground.10’ Still ow down on XG but Carlton Morris and Adebayo have stepped up.11’ Don’t underestimate Ross Barkley’s influence.13’ A dip for Brighton, have they sold too many players? Palace; the Eze and Olise show17’ Eze creates goals out of nothing.18’ They do the unorthodox and show there is still a value in the game for that.19’ both were rejected by other clubs…21’ Eze is an X factor player, he’s in the England squad, he’s doing better than Grealish this season. Spurs25’ Ange does not take backwards step, there will be problems, but he seems to have come through it.26’ Still only 8 points off the top. In the top four.27’ Martin on Postecoglou “If he gets them in the champions league he’s done a fabulous job.”28’ This man has added to the gayety of nations, no doubt about it. Tevez – worlds least likely manager31’ crazy character, very open, loved his family and Argentina.34’ Tevez unlikely rise to management. Got Independiente winning and playing high press football.36’ will he, could he come the Premier League…?37’ Always the players you don’t suspect who become good managers.39’ He has brought in neuroscience and a school teacher. A kind calm man.Liverpool v Chelsea42’ Connor Bradley, the player that puts alexander Arnold into midfield.43’ Liverpool a squad refreshed, Klopp is leaving a gift.45’ Lets wait and see on Alonso.46’ Postecoglou is the ideal replacement for Klopp49’ Hardest job is replacing Klopp’s relationship with the fans.51’ Liverpool could steamroller Arsenal…Gregor thinks otherwise, Liverpool could be tested going the other way. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
01/02/2454m 6s

Liverpool’s next manager, Maidstone’s current manager and the Rashford mystery

Tom gets the tissues out to console Alyson and Tony before they discuss who will replace Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool. Alonso is the favourite, but as Gregor points out he’s only had 18 months first team management experience.As Klopp departs has the scrutiny of referees added to the increase in football disorder and referee attacks?Alyson met George Elokobi and his mentor Mick McCarthy ahead of Maidstone's FA Cup win. It was such a good omen, they want to do it again before round six.Finally what’s eating Marcus Rashford…? Is Joao Pedro worth 100million and is Vincent Kompany listening to Alyson…?Timeline:Klopp 2’ three words to sum up Jurgen Klopp4’ who is next to replace Klopp.5’ Does Alonso have the experience?6’ Alonso has earned his stripes, his father was a coach, he has turned down other big jobs.7’ Other options…10’ only 18 months experience.14’ all coaching staff leaving too.15’ Van Dyke also showing signs of coming to end..?17’ He should stay, careful about too much change too quickly. Disorder and football 21’ violence at the Hawthorns after Wolves scored their second and a referee chased at Port Vale.22’ A sign of increasing disorder, or just the odd idiot?24’ should we be grateful it isn’t as regular as it used to be.26’ you can’t legislate for idiots28’ VAR, there is more anger, we’re seeing this across Europe. It isn’t surprising that referee’s are getting targeted. Maidstone and George Elokobi 31’ Mich McCarthy and George Elokobi love in.34’ George Elokobi modelled much of his management on Mick McCarthy. Much of what he did as a player was on Mick’s recommendation.36’ he’s built a team where they are all a little bit like a Mick McCarthy team38’ all about effort, never give up, energy, spirit, give it all. Rashford 42’ There is something behind the scenes, we don’t know what yet. Ten Hagg, clearly not happy about something.44’ If he has done things wrong he has to own it and then change it.47’ Is he unhappy, distracted or uncomfortable?48’ don’t rush to judge Joao Pedro 49’ Is he going to be the next big signing to leave Brighton. De Zerbi thinks so.51’ Hard to place the type of player he is. He is Brighton’s record signing.52’ He is improving under De Zerbi. Burnley… 53’ Alyson’s biggest fear at the start of the season has proved true – commitment to nice style of play. Is that changing ?54’ are we finally seeing some pragmatism.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/01/2458m 37s

League Cup repeat, transfer troubles and Beyonce make Spurs rich

No signings in the window but Beyonce makes Spurs rich Tom Clarke is joined by Gregor Robertson and Martin Samuel for more football discussion and a crash course in Beyonce lyrics.First off, the team look back at a very positive performance for Chelsea in the league cup. Do they now have a cutting edge and are some of their big signings starting to gel? Liverpool are progressing without Mo Salah, but opinion is still split on Darwin Nunez.The transfer window has been a damp squib, Martin has a theory as to why.After the break Tom goes Beyonce crazy as he looks at the role the megastar played in making Spurs London’s richest club. What does the Spurs model mean for teams like Chelsea and Newcastle and how they monetize their football clubs?We finish with a long FA cup weekend, are there shocks anymore…?Timesline:Chelsea triumph2’ there is a good team at Chelsea trying to get out. Now they’re in a final.3’ Chelsea are more organised, and have plenty of confidence players. Its growing now. Pace in the team.4’ but they lack a centre forward and Tiago at 39 is thill their best defender.6’ Too reliant on full backs – Chilwell and James. Should Poch have a better plan b7’ Winning the final could be a springboard. Only two players left from the Chelsea Champions league team.Liverpool and Salah8’ Salah’s loss is big but can be absorbed.10’ Liverpool’s youngsters all doing well. Entering a winning team helps.12’ Great collection of forward players15’ Nunez, Gregor still not convinced. Transfer window21’ the ten point deductions have scared clubs into not signing anyone.23’ Why do we have a transfer window. The restriction doesn’t apply in any other business.27’ Should you be able to buy your way out of trouble? Is that why the window exists…28’ Profit and sustainability rules are pushing teams to do much of their business in the summer. Richest clubs and finance models32’ They’ve done so without winning anything. Proof of modern football thinking.33’ Financial success not built on sporting success. Built on good business planning.33’ All done by monetizing the stadium.34’ Very modern success story. Comparison to Chelsea who fall behind every match day.All returns to profit and sustainability rules. Newcastle now busy tryign to maximise every aspect of the club.36’ Spurs stadium cost 1 billion, not everyone can do that. It should be good!38’ This affects on pitch. Because higher revenues allow clubs to spend more on players.38’ Newcastle a long way off, not built a following outside on Newcastle.39’ Should Newcastle consider naming rights on their stadium?39’ Newcastle ideal owner was mike Ashley, he ran it as an accountant.. Ashley was great re P and S rules. But awful for football. FA Cup46’ All the fixtures spread out. Best two games on Friday night.Chelsea Villa the stand out.47’ Only four games on Saturday. 52’ lamenting of teams outside the top division not featuring in finals  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/01/2453m 21s

Toney is back, Arsenal bounce back, VAR back again and Liverpool back to the front.

Gregor Robertson and Alyson Rudd join Tom Clarke for Monday’s edition of The Game.Four games and four talking points from the weekend’s fixtures. A statement win from Liverpool against in form Bournemouth and two strikers hit form in Jota and Nunez. Are the reds capable of winning the title?At Bramall Lane the tail of two penalties, one that was and one that wasn’t but which way round was it? And do we need an orange card?Arsenal returned with a bang, they’re the set piece kings but will they need more than that to stay in the title race.Finally, Ivan Toney returned amid great fan fare but more than lived up to his billing.  Timeline:Bournemouth v Liverpool4’ Liverpool were clinical. Young players stepped up.5’ still not convinced on Nunez. Will he do it consistently? 6’ Liverpool have a character and mentality of scoring, wildness, 7’ not much control but swashbuckling, front foot attacking. Unstable but gets results.8’ Klopp’s half time changes and in game changes are very effective and exciting.10’ Klopp seems happy and creative again. Generating excitement after 8yrs at a club, not easy.11’ Klopp likes to promote younger academy players; he seems to trust them.15’ improvement from Bournemouth but just not the cutting edge.17’ Title chances… Sheff Utd v West Ham18’ Brewsters red card…was it or wasn’t it?20’ Does ‘getting in the refs ear’ make any difference?24’  The mystery penalty…where was the foul?26’ Hard to see a foul from Ariola, similarly at the other end, not obvious, Bowen was six of one half a dozen of the other.29’ looking grim for Sheff Utd. Wilder has had an effect but not quite managing to turn draws into wins. 31’ Sheff Utd don’t play with fatalism, they play with fearlessness, energy and camaraderie.33’ Tight at the bottom. Forest look like a team who could take a points deduction and survive. Sheff Utd will get better. Arsenal v Palace35’ Arsenal have best record from set pieces in Premier League.36’ level of detail in set piece coaching, almost like a dance routine. Almost a different coach for set pieces.37’ a lot of the time it is about blocking. 38’ are the blocks technically fouls? Fouls and counter fouls going back and forth.41’ But is it enough to keep arsenal in the title race. If they are starved of set pieces will they be bale to score?43’ Lacking creativity, especially centrally. Not hectic but more structured and as a result predictable…?44’ Is it still a three-team title race?45’ Arsenal not hit their stride, yet they are still right in the title race.  Brentford v Nottingham Forest46’ Ivan Toney has great self-confidence.47’ Gregor played with Toney as a 17 year old. Mentality, confidence and belief.50’ to cope with all the noise around his return and still play well. Shows and elite mindset. 51’ He visualised it all happening.53’ The power of the mind. He said all the things  he would do and he is doing them.54’ Thomas Frank deserves credit for the way he has handled Toney.59’ how many mangers would have sanctioned an enormous bill board and gardy promo? But they trusted Toney and knew he was ready.   Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Points deductions, Toney's point to prove and what's the point of José Mourinho?

Tom Clarke is joined by Martin Samuel, Gregor Robertson and Jonathan Northcroft to discuss Premier League punishments, Ivan Toney's return and Jose Mourinho's Roma sacking. With Everton and Nottingham Forest facing potential points deductions (Everton for the second time this season), the panel assess the rules and debate whether the possible punishments are justified. Ivan Toney could make his footballing return on Saturday. So, what's he been up to for the last 10 months? Plus, José Mourinho's made a teary-eyed exit after being sacked as Roma's manager. What comes next, only José knows. Points deductions for Everton and Forest?3' Are profit and sustainability rules fit for purpose? 6' Are the punishments too harsh? 12' Have Nottingham Forest been careless in their spending?15' Should we have sympathy for the clubs who have complied with the rules?18' Is it a problem for football that very rich men chase a dream in football?19' How do we keep competitive balance without such rules? 21' Why haven't clubs outside the big six voted to get rid of the rules? 26' What about how long these investigations are taking? 28' Solutions? An independent regulator? More power for the Football League/Premier League? Ivan Toney:41' What has Ivan Toney been up to since his ban came in? 45' Is Toney the second best striker in the Premier League?46' What do Brentford do? Keep, sell or something else? 48' Is he in good contention for the England Euros squad?Jose Mourinho:52' Where are we at with Jose Mourinho now?55' Has modern football passed Mourinho by?59' Does he need to rebrand?61' What about an international job? Or Saudi Arabia? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/01/241h 1m

Ratcliffe's game plan, Reading's misery and unnerving pressbox encounters

Matt Dickinson, Alyson Rudd and Gregor Robertson join Tom Clarke to discuss Sir Jim Ratcliffe's plan of action, why Reading fan's invaded the pitch and what spooked Alyson over the weekend. Matt Dickinson gives an in-depth insight into what Manchester United's new 25% owner should be prioritising once he's got his feet under the table. Now Kevin De Bruyne has returned (and immediately delivered), will City run away with the Premier League title? There were chaotic scenes at The Madejski Stadium at the weekend. Gregor gives his take on events. And what 'unnerving' event did Alyson experience in the Stamford Bridge Press box? Timeline: Man United2' Did we learn more about Tottenham or United from Sunday's draw at Old Trafford? 4' How impressive have Spurs been this season? 6' Does the club stop any personality from doing what Ange Postecoglou has done at Spurs, at United? 10' What is Sir Jim Ratcliffe like as a person? 13' Is there a sense of fandom for Ratcliffe? Or strictly business? 15' Is 25% ownership enough for Ratcliffe? 17' For the Glazers, Man United became a commercial operation with a football club attached19' How much money will Man United be spending? 20' Will Sir Dave Brailsford be involved in footballing decisions? 22' Where are Man United currently at? Is a total reset needed? 24' What will Sir Jim Ratcliffe's approach to managers be? Clinical, or romantic? 26' What is the priority for Ten Hag after the takeover?28' Will there be any transfer activity in January? Man City v Newcastle 32' Five beautiful goals, but which was the best? 36' Do defenders pay De Bruyne too much respect? And what position will he play?42' Will City now run away with the league now De Bruyne is back?43' Does Newcastle's downturn in form signal the end for Eddie Howe? England job for Howe?Reading46' What's the background to the protests we saw over the weekend? 49' Do the panel condone the protests?Chelsea v Fulham53' A nonevent derby, with a poor atmosphere and poor performances?55' What's Pochettino's mood like? Any fear about his position?57' Alyson's 'Unnerving' encounter at Stamford Bridge Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/01/241h 1m

Poch pressure and what next for Mbappe, Werner and Sancho

Gregor Robertson, Martin Samuel and Tony Cascarino join Tom Clarke for the Thurs edition of The Game. Is Mauricio Pochettino under pressure at Chelsea? After a loss to championship side Middlesborough in the first leg of the league cup semi final and indifferent league form, will the owner demand more after spending a billion pounds? Liverpool won again, with two youngster shining in Curtis jones and Conor Bradley. Could Jones make the England squad. After the break, how much does FFP affect January transfers; where will Mbappe end up an will Werner and Sancho be good signings?Timeline:2’ BeckenbauerChelsea4’ Poch under pressure. After a loss to Middlesborough, where next?5’ Lots of quality, not much spirit. Not clinical, they’re an easy team to play against.7’ look soft, no edge but they’ll probably still beat Middlesborough.8’ They’d be mad to get rid of Poch. Who is out there that is guaranteed to do better?11’ You can’t keep sacking managers every six months.12’ This is a big month for Poch. Both cups, and key league games. How January goes could affect the mood music, rightly or wrongly.16’ If not Poch then who. Owners must have one eye on that. Review at the end of the season seems likely.17’ They had a good manager, and they sacked him – Thomas Tuchel.20’ Owners are erratic and at times irrational.22’ Are any of the strikers they have bought good enough?24’ Top eight team at best, don’t look like they’ll go on a run.Liverpool27’ Conor Bradly and Curtis Jones shone. Jones now looks a really good midfielder.30’ Brady has bundles of energy.31’ Curtis Jones looks like a very live England chance. Gregor not so sure.Transfers…Mbappe, FFP and Timo Werner34’ Why aren’t more teams looking at Mbappe? FFP restricts what teams can do.36’ Gregor wants Mbappe, but not unfettered spending.37’ Premier league already getting less competitive, if rich teams are allowed to spend unfettered, it will make it worse.43’ Rules in place are currently inhibiting teams from getting the best players. But some would prefer the premier league slip a little at the benefit of the wider football pyramid.46’ Werner will get chances at Spurs, and Postecoglou might get the best out of him.50’ He’s only 27, it could be a redemption story.51’ His numbers are not that bad, he is involved, he assists and contributes.52’ Sancho likely to return to Dortmund. What went wrong?55’ Sancho still not off the wage bill. Could a new manager pull him back to Old Trafford?57’ He’s already made some brave decisions in his career. Is this another one?59’ does he have the potential to be truly world class?61’ lots of players at United are underperforming, is it related to style of play?  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/01/241h 3m

Gunners misfire, replay rows and free pints

Gregor Robertson, Alyson Rudd and Martin Hardy join Tom Clarke to discuss why Arsenal are stumbling, who paid for the Newcastle beers and if we should re-record the whole podcast.First up Arsenal’s blunt strike force, do they have the answer or do they need to buy. A character building win for Liverpool, but do either team have enough to trouble Man City in the league. Martin Hardy reflects on an important result for Newcastle and Eddie Howe, and the difference a weeks rest made. For Sunderland it was a week to forget.Finally, to replay or not to replay? It depends on who you ask, Gregor has little sympathy for elite teams setting the agenda for all of the football pyramid. Timeline:Arsenal v Liverpool2’ Are wheels coming off Arsenal. Arteta has referenced a mental block around scoring.4’ Arsenal should have bought a top class forward. Their current strikers are not top class.5’ Are there as many top class forwards in the premier league now?6’ Havertz a box crasher.8’ Should Arteta be speaking out? Where will goals come from?9’ Liverpool looked good. Still lacked a clinical edge though, but more resilience.11’ Liverpool are a different side second half in most games. So many goals after 75mins.13’ Both teams good, but are either good enough to finish above Man City?14’ Nunez a handful but will he win you a title?Wear Tyne derby16’ crazy derby stories, ghosts, Di Canio, horses and graffiti. 19’ Sunderland were not ready for the occasion.21’ Odd tactical choice by Michael Beale.22’ Newcastle looked like they had had a weeks rest 24’ Why play out from the back against a team who love to press.25’ Tripper looked back. Springboard for the rest of the season, injuries returning.27’ Very important win for Eddie howe and Newcastle. Weekend highlights31’ Maidstone, penalty saves, away followings and Patrick Bamford’s worldie.Replays35’ Good idea of not? 36’ Removal of a replay might create teams who play for penalties. It used to be three replay’s37’ Replay’s look likely to be dropped.40’ We shouldn’t be changing the calendar for 16 elite teams.42’ Replays are great for teams seeking revenue and hope. They’re not for big teams seeking a break.43’ The problem highlights the vast financial differences between all the levels of football.48’ Given the money on offer for one extra point in the premier league, do cups matter anymore?50’ “Domestic football should not be shaped in the image of 6 to 8 rich elite owners.”Transfers53’ Where should Henderson or Mbappe go?   Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
08/01/2454m 3s

Rooney blues and the winners and losers of Christmas

It's a Happy New Year from Jonathan Northcroft, Martin Samuel and Gregor Robertson as they join Tom Clarke for the first 2024 edition of The Game.It was a new year to forget for Wayne Rooney, another example of the golden generation failing in the managerial world. What is the difference between a manager and a coach and is it the same game in the Champions League or League One?   A look back at a thrilling Christmas and New Year, which young manager topped the table of festive fixtures? Finally, it’s not FA cup weekend, its FA cup week and there are some top ties to look forward to. Timeline:Rooney2’ Rooney sacked at Birmingham, shocked and a reality check?5’ took over a club doing well, a manager well liked by fans and players. 6’ he was appointed to change a culture and direction of club…can you do that in 15 matches? Gary Cook, odd decision.8’ he was employed to take them to prem league11’ Was Rooney set up to fail. After two games the crowd turned, but tat was because of the loss of John Eustace.13’ Calling out players after only 3 games, not a good idea.17’ he admires Guardiola. But he thrived with Liam Rosenior19’ Rooney could be a manager as much as a coach. He is good with people. 21’ Vale park on a Tuesday night isn’t the Nou Camp on a champions league night. 25’ surrounded himself by young ambitious but not very experienced coaching staff. 27’ Rooney doesn’t want special treatment, he will try to reinvent himself.31’ difference between playing and managing.33’ He’ll be back. Title race36’ Great festive period for Wolves and Gary O’Neil37’ Man City return only two adrift and with the fire back. And unaffected by AFCON.38’ Liverpool in great shape but about to lose salah.40’ What’s gone wrong at Arsenal? Hard to win your first title.43’ Villa have bounced back, but are they starting to look tired?45’ all the top teams have flaws this year. Open title race. West Ham, Wolves and Luton45’ Looks like Moye will get a new contract. Is peace breaking out at the London stadium?47’ Wrong that one fixture has moved beyond the AFCON cut off date.48’ Great back to back wins for Hatters. Ross Barkley pulling strings, adjusting to the league.  FA Cup 53’ Sunderland v Newcastle tie of the round. Newcastle look on the knees with no energy. Sunderland with new manager bounce. Could be a big game. 56’ Is Eddie Howe under pressure?  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Christmas crackers and end of year awards

The Christmas spirit is alive and well as Alyson Rudd, Gregor Robertson and Molly Hudson dial in from all parts of the country to join Tom Clarke for an assessment of the festive fixture list. An amazing turn around at Old Trafford but seasonal struggles for Villa and Newcastle. Nuno has made a good start at Forest and Luton have racked up back to back wins. Who’ll be top on Jan 1st, is Alyson Dom Solanke's lucky charm? Finally, some end of season awards.See you in the new year.Timeline:5’ Christmas quiz questionsMan Utd v Villa7’ Villa gifted it to Utd.10’ Man Utd looked good and played well, despite going two down. Garnacho very threatening.11’ return of Eriksen important. Important for Hojlund to score. All with Ratcliffe watching on.13’ At west Ham Man Utd had been lifeless. They summoned their reserves for Villa.14’ huge relief for Ten Hag. Important result, but will it be enough and is it a turning point.15’ Jim Ratcliffe announcement odd. Naff to own only 25%. Can’t do too much because of FFPNewcastle v Forest22’ Bad run and some shock results for Newcastle. Is it a reality check, a reflection of where they are or just injuries and fatigue?23’ Does Eddie Howe have a target on his back?26’ buoyance lacking, atmosphere suffering, Eddie Howe looks tired.28’ players benefited for a managerial change. Shame for Cooper, but Nuno has had two good performances.30’ Elanga was fabulous and will be important in the future. Should he have stayed at Utd?32’ Nuno really pleased to take the job, lots of potential. Clean slate for players like Joe Worrel35’ Niuno’s Wolves team were good to watch.Bournemouth38’ Dom Solanke pulling up tress, Ally is his good luck charm.42’ Iraola has proved his worth. Topic of the year seems to be managers with strong philosophies.43’ Dom Solanke now knocking on the door of Harry Kane back up, along side Tony, Watkins and Wilson.Luton46’ Great team to watch. Involved in some thrilling matches, played well, even in games they have lost.47’ signings have added quality. Discipline, shape and great work ethic.Liverpool49’ top of the league. But injuries mounting and Salah and endo about to depart for international competition.50’ Klopp good at integrating fringe players. No need for signings.51’ do Liverpool have deepest squad in the league? Elliot, Quensah, Jones all very much part of first team squad. End of year awardsMatch of the year, goal of the year, player of the year.See you in 2024. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/12/231h 6m

And so this is Christmas... power to the people right on!

Jonathan Northcroft, Gregor Robertson and Martin Samuel join Tom Clarke for the final pre-Christmas edition of The Game.First on the agenda is the super league…its back, but will it actually happen? Perhaps the fans will have more power than they realise.Away from a potential super league why were West Ham so lacklustre, is Keiron Trippier fatigued and all change at Nottingham Forest. Who will be top at Christmas, Villa are in with a shout after an exceptional 2023. And finally a Christmas wish for 2024...Merry Christmas one and all, we’ll see you for a Christmas pod on Wed 27rh Dec..Timeline:Super League3’ the super league…so depressing. Making football less competitive. Enriching the richer clubs.5’ can’t exist unless people want it to exist.7’ danger of the rich getting richer at the expense of all football.8’ the model doesn’t offer meritocracy.12’ the revamped champions league looks to be a testing of the water15’ ”to what extent have fans lost control of their clubs to the global market place.”18’ “eternal lust for growth….football doesn’t need more money.”West Ham24’ odd team selection25’ weak semi final line up, three steps from a trophy.26’ Competent, pragmatic manager but a romantic fan base. Tough mix.Newcastle and Trippier30’ Fatigue, confidence, even the best are affected.32’ has he been the same since the confrontation with the fans and Bournemouth?Nottingham Forest39’ Hurling pieces at a board, no plan, no structure. He got lucky with Cooper.41’ Cooper earned the right to see out the season. Instead he’s got more players and out before Christmas.45’ Nuno not a good fit. He likes, small simple. Forest is not that.Villa49’ Will they be top at Christmas. It would underline an extraordinary year for Villa.51’ Villa won’t fall away. They’ve sustained this from for a year. 15 wins at home.52’ Jonny on Emery “You can see when a coach has a club in the palm of his hand.”54’ Martin on Emery “I’m gonna ask for what I want and I’m gonna get what I want.” Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/12/231h 1m

Sh**housery, idiots and control freaks

Tom Clarke is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tom Allnutt and Hamzah Khalique-Loonat.They look at a lamentable game at Anfield, a good result for Utd, a reality check for Liverpool?Arsenal seems to be the only team playing with control, Odegaard is on form and Rice remains imperious. Will it be enough to get them to the title?Aston Villa ground out a win at a tough place to go, but is their keeper the dogs bo**ocks or a sh**house?Lower down the table Everton are on a fantastic run as Dych once again shows his quality - identity, endeavour effectiveness. Forest by contrast look a little lost. **Few technical issues today, sorry. They'll be fixed for Thurs. Timeline:Liverpool v Man Utd2’ a game to forget4’ Consistent with where United are at, stutter, lack of creativity but a valuable well earned point. Reflective of a changed midfield that is energetic and hard working. Better defensive organisation.5’ Kobbie Mainoo, looks exciting, promising but will the expectations mount?6’ lack of creativity and width from Liverpool. 34 shots, but no real danger. Some poor decisions.7’ was this a surprise for Liverpool. They have been lucky in recent games and looked listless at home against Man Utd. Is this the reality dawning?8’ No goals for Nunez in 9 games. Diaz not the same since the incident with his father.9’ But all teams have looked patchy and inconsistent. The only team looking to have control are Arsenal. Arsenal, City and Villa11’ The team look to have control. Their stats are on the up while City and Liverpool are dropping.13’ Jorginho off the pitch providing unity.14’ Martin Odegaard has come into form. Past 6 matches,15’ Declan Rice covering cast areas for Arsenal, gave Odegaard freedom to create. Rice absolutely key to that.17’ Arsenal very good front to back, After a rough spell now well oiled, in defence and attack. Defences wins titles.20’ Arsenal seem to have tunnel vision and appear ready to be champions. Predictable, not exciting, but regular, winning controlled.22’ Ben Mee’s sending off changed the game. But thereafter Villa went for the win, not the draw.23’ A gritty win at a place no one likes to go to. Despite chaos Villa got the three points.24’ VAR inconsistent again. Ben ?Mee should have had a penalty.25’ Why are Villa doing well, the players of the manager? Both.27’ Emery has improved Watkins, Kamara is back from injury. Emery has brought intensity and focus.30’ Nice family man outside of football. But on the pitch stretches ever opportunity to his advantage. Believes he is the best in the world and wants to live up to that.31’ His antics got his own player sent off. West Ham v Wolves35’ Paqueta, Alvarez Bowen and Kudos. Fabulous four. Their creativity won West Ham the game.36’ Free flowing forward line could be the future, but Moyes prefers stable reliable, Antonio. Can he squeeze both in?37’ Conflict still at heart of West Ham. How are they laying, are they committed to Moyes?41’ Will Moyes still be manager next season? Everton, Forest and Burnley46’ What a run for Everton. Classic Sean Dyche, getting best out of players. Finding a system that suits the players and drilling them.47’ Maximising everything at his disposal.48’ Burnley, endeavour, quality but soft centre. Everton ruthless.49’ Kompany not changing his methods, sticking to his principles.50’ Everton play effective football. Its refreshing as it is different to others.53’ Forest are on a bad run, but look a little lost. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/12/2359m 54s

Both United's out with a whimper and Wally Downes – founder of the ‘Crazy Gang’

Tom Clarke is joined by regulars Martin Samuel and Gregor Robertson and special guest Wally Downes. They look back on the weeks champions league fixtures and the exit of Manchester and Newcastle United from Europe. Were Newcastle naïve to not kill off a game they led in? Did Manchester United even put up a fight? After the break a reflection on Wally’s career in football, from being one of the founders of the crazy gang at Wimbledon through to his time in coaching throughout the leagues. Timeline:Newcastle2’ Newcastle, yes they were good, yes they have progressed. But they still lost.5’ Injuries and fatigue affected them. 7’ May well dip into transfer market.8’ Limitations because of FFP11’ Newcastle are not well known outside of the UK. That creates problems with income.15’ It was nip and tuck, they were unfortunate. They are still ahead of schedule.Man Utd16’ Lost their identity. Buying the wrong players with the wrong attitude.17’ Delusions on grandeur. Needs a sea change a policy change.19’ Anthony given chance after chance. Dan James wasn’t20’ look at the subs, not good enough.22’ Man Utd did well to stay in the game, no chance of winning it.24’ There is desperation now. 26’ Modern football doesn’t suit Man Utd – not as much up and at em’28’ Red flag over Sancho. Arsenal and Man City30’ Both look good. Could draw each other.31’ Final year of the current champions league format Life and Career of Wally Downes35’ Debut for Wimbledon at leatherhead – balled out by his keeper wrestling players and punched the keepers  brother in law.38’ Style of play40’ shuttle runs, fitness and 3 mile runs.42’ not a cake walk to the top. Played on the crazy gang tag.45’ they had very good players and developed good players.47’ “can’t afford to show respect, we’d have got our arses kicked.” Never got cocky.48’ Alan Cork took his boots off…”they’re not crossing to me.”52’ Vinnie Jones story.55’ Coaching style59’ Nothing new under the sun, most tactical analysis is the same as it always was, just a different name. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/12/231h 2m

Jeff Stelling joins us to discuss wins for Villa, Spurs, and Fulham; and defeats for Chelsea and Man Utd.

Tom Clarke has crawled off his sick bed to join Monday regulars Alyson Rudd and Gregor Robertson and special guest Jeff Stelling.After a quick hello to Jeff its on to a brilliant set of matches this weekend. Spurs and Bournemouth are committed to attacking football, no compromise, at the expense of a tired Newcastle and a disjointed Manchester United. Villa are the real deal. Emery has re-ignited Villa park, has strength in depth and has the fans and team united. The same can’t be said of Chelsea and Pochettino.And a great week for Fulham.  Timeline:2’ A big hello to Jeff Stelling. Whistle stop tour of all things Jeff, career, Hartlepool and more Hartlepool.9’ Modern football, access to players, how things have changed.11’ City players in the 70’s used to do a panto for the fas!Spurs v Newcastle12’  Postecoglou stuck to his principles and went for it, all guns blazing. It paid off. Newcastle looked tired, running on fumes.13’ Eddie Howe is already picking youngsters, hard to see what else he can do. Pantomime of a game.14’ Post playing the sort of game expected and welcomed at Spurs. The fans love it, it’s a thrown back to glory glory Tottenham Hotspurs. Newcastle out on their feet. Fans left after the game with no trains – again.17’ As tired as Newcastle are, there is an element of poor form. Can form stem from fatigue. Howe not claiming tiredness as an excuse.Man Utd v Bournemouth19’ Bournemouth turned the corner. Iraola was on the edge now looks genius to appoint and stick with him. 20’ nit many sackings this year.22’ Iraola believes in attacking football. Players now buying into that and starting to gel. Results and confidence are coming.25’ Where do Man Utd stand. Limited plan or vision. Hard to know what the team will produce. 26’ Are players short of confidence or not trying…hard to tell.27’ playing players out of position, lack of clarity. Martial…would he rather be Christmas shopping…Villa v Arsenal29’ Its not hype, Villa are very good. How is Emery doing it?30’ Emery always hard a better than average home record at his clubs. 31’ he is linking fans and the team igniting Villa park and its atmosphere, which is historically a hostile place to go. 32’ Villa were amazing against City, a bit lucky against Arsenal.34’ They play an incredibly high line. The manager improves players.36’ top four more realistic than title winners.37’ Arsenal a bit below par, but unlucky not to have a goal or a penalty in last minute.38’ Club built around Emery and to support.39’ Arsenal not playing as well as last season, but right up there. Bodes well for a serious title tilt, winning when not playing well.41’ could go to the final weekend. Fulham43’ Suddenly found some goals and the results are following.47’ Good players finding confidence.48‘ Palhinha top of the stats each week.ChelseaHow do you spend a billion and look so poor…Too many signings on potential. Rumour has it Poch wants to sign more.Poch was brought ot build a team, gel them together. Doesn’t look like he is doing that yet.Behind the scenes the club is still messy. Poch is hinting at that.Gap between perception and reality.Will Poch be given time?They need results, fast. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/12/2359m 40s

Villa rockin’, Arsenal not stoppin’, Forest and Palace shockin’

The Thursday club of Tony Cascarino, Gregor Robertson and Martin Samuel join Tom Clarke to discuss a fantastic title race and a pressure mounting in midtable.Villa park was rocking as they extended their unbeaten home run, playing front foot football and bullying the reigning European and Premier league champions. Man City look to be in a mini crisis. Meanwhile Arsenal are a reflection of their big summer signing, Declan Rice – powerful, accomplished and never give up. Rice looks a bargain at 100 million.Forest and Palace are currently mid table, but the fans are not happy. Steve Cooper and Roy Hodgson are feeling the pressure as modern football is showing its about entertainment, not just survival. TimelineVilla2’ Villa, not just top four but serious contenders. Christmas will be key.3’ Emery is a very good manager. Does it reflect more on Arsenal that he didn’t succeed there…?5’ Villa played a high line and battered City7’ Well drilled, pace at full back, front foot full of confidence. Silk and steel.9’ When Villa park is up it is a fabulous place. The feeling around the club is very positive.10’ McGinn outstanding.City12’ Why isn’t Kalvin Philips in the team, is he worse than Akanji in midfield?13’ midfield mismatch – McGinn, Luiz over ran City – Stone and Akanji.15’ Is there something wrogn at City? MArhez, Gundogan both left and very hard to replace.19’ very hard to do it three seasons running.  20’ Very dependant on Rodri and De Bryne.Arsenal23’ Declan Rice. Mentality as much as physical ability. A bargain at 100m 25’ As with Bellingham Rice impacts a game.27’ consummate professional, skilled, improves those around him.Nottingham Forest30’ Things don’t look good for Steve cooper. Chairman left at four nil and his pass was found flung into a nearby garden.31’ But the Forest fans chanted his name in the second half.33’ post match Cooper referenced the unsettled nature of his team.Crystal Palace35’ Hodgson under pressure. Fans want to see better football. Hodgson says the fans are spoilt. 37’ He was lucky last season with the fixtures. This season its proving much harder.39’ Fans not happy with just surviving, they want better football.40’ Not that long ago the conversation around palace was a lot different. Players from the local area, young exciting. Now its gone backwards. 42’ what’s the point of playing to finish 16th. Have a go, have fun.Excitement 50’ Survival isn’t enough. Fans look down the road and think “why aren’t we playing like that?”Moyes may see out his contract, but look at Bournemouth, Spurs, Wolves all playing exciting football.Man Utd v Chelsea54’ Good win, but it was the worst Chelsea team in a long time. Kept giving the ball to Utd.55’ Chelsea haven’t put in one 90min performance.57’ they’ve shipped out experience and bought potential, but not established.59’ they won’t be a top six team. Look at their bench last night.61’ Utd created lots of chances and things looked better. Only three of top four. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/12/231h 5m

City cracks, Trent whacks and Heckingbottom sacked

Tom Clarke is back fresh as a daisy from his holidays, and he is joined by Charlotte Duncker, Tony Cascarino and Gregor Robertson to review the weekend’s goal fest.Are standards slipping at City or were Spurs brilliant. Trent Alexander Arnold was outstanding, and he was everywhere, does it matter what his starting position is. All change at Sheffield United as Paul Heckingbottom bows out after a five nil defeat at Burnley. Chris Wilder is back, but with the current owners is the Bramall Lane job a poisoned chalice.Plus big wins for Burnley and Everton and some boos for Steve Cooper. City v Spurs2’ Problems for City or brilliant spurs5’ drop off in defending, standards not the same. Injuries are key – Stones, De Bryne.9’ three games back to back with things to worry about and lack of control. Very un-City like.11’ Spur were brave, clever and relentless. But could they have even won if they had tailored their approach just a bit?13’ all or nothing under Postecoglou. Arsenal 15’ Rice adds resilience and stability. More pragmatic.17’ Learning from previous seasons. Have a stronger squad this season. Liverpool and Fulham19’ Trent AA outstanding. Should he just play in midfield. Teams exploiting the space he leaves though.21’ Down to bones defensively, Matip and Robertson out for some time.22’ TAA is a generational talent. How many players can do what he can do. But what is his role?25’ Does it matter if he has a position. Do Liverpool have an alternate right back?27’ Fulham lacking a bit of edge but played well. Similar to last season, need to strengthen. Still nearly men. Villa29’ Over achieving, but now with champions league aspirations.30’ Emery doing it with effectively the same squad Gerrard had. It is now Emery’s club, his staff, his set up. Involved in everything and working very well. But will they make top four.  Sheffield United 34’ Paul Heckingbottom out, Chris Wilder back in.35’ coming into a a club up for sale, in need of players and a team dispirited.36’ owners are a real problem. 37’ Why would wilder go back to such a mess? 15 fit players before the season started.40’ Owner admitted to being in touch with wilder all season, unfair on Heckingbottom.44’ no chance of staying up. Owners fault, not Paul Heckingbottom. Burnley 45’ Finally some relief for Kompany. Will this be the spark?46’ Confidence yes, but turnaround, not sure. Look at who they beat…48’ They have been the better team in many of their games, but to open to hang on. Does Kompany need to temper his principles a bit? Forest51’ first boos for Steve Cooper at the City ground. Are fans starting to doubt him?53’ leading striker out till new year. Replacements not up to same level. No shot on goal until 31st minute.55’ next two games make or break for Cooper. Results need to improve.57’ Everton created lots of chances. Chris Wood right up the street of Everton centre halves. Needed a different approach.59’ Everton comfortable. But game lacked quality. Everton good enough to pull away, even with a ten point deduction.60’ But Calvert Lewin injured again. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/12/2359m 55s

Champions League and jeez, referees!

Martin Samuel, James Gheerbrant and Jonathan Northcroft join Gregor Robertson for the Thursday edition of The Game.Manchester United once again take centre stage. Free scoring, but also conceding freely too and dropping a two goal lead twice in Türkiye.  Arsenal in contrast are less expansive than last year but more defensively solid, they’re also top of their group and top of the Premier League…can they possibly be under the radar?Newcastle suffered at the hands of VAR and the team finish by discussing the attempts being made to attract more ex-players into helping VAR officiating.  A bonus section includes Martin Samuel giving his fascinating memories of Terry Venables TimelineMan Utd2’ Scoring freely away from home, but conceding just as easily.6’ Bruno Fernandes and Onana8’ A poorly set up team, too stretched. Everton game was a warning sign. Everton had tons of shots.10’ United have gone backwards this season, if you look at performance not result. Emotionally unstable as a team.14’ players have to manage games, less flash and volatility. More steel sense and game management.Newcastle21’ ludicrous decision. But Eddie Howe’s reaction has been fantastic. 23’ Group still wide open, anything could happen.24’ Eddie Howe has done a remarkable job25’ the differing interpretation of the handball law between UEFA and all domestic league. Not a sustainable position.28’ how can there be ‘a version’ of the rules…? Arsenal 31’ what happened to boring boring Arsenal? 33’ are Arsenal under the radar. Top of the league and through as top of their Champions league group. Very effective.35’ Rice outstanding, allows others to play. Used to be very exciting, second most goals per game last season. This season much further down, but seemingly more managed, secure.38’ Declan Rice is rhythm guitar, and he is essential and really good.41’ Arsenal have bounced back two season running after disappoint/frustrating ends to the previous season. Refereeing 44’ How to overcome the accusation of bias if you’re seeking ex pros to be referees.47’ more trust required. Ex pros have a lot to offer.53’ something needs to change and probably will. It is now to regular.55’ economically not viable to be a referee, takes a long time to qualify and doesn’t pay a lot. For ex players that will be problematic.59’ can we ever foresee a top player officiating and not being called biased.1hr it works in cricket. Terry VenablesWhy did he leave England… Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/11/231h 13m

Tactics at the top, belief at the bottom and adios El Tel

Tony Cascarino, Alyson Rudd and Tom Allnutt join Gregor Robertson on the Monday edition of The Game. The team pay tribute to Terry Venables and reflect on his eclectic range of interests outside the game and his tactical ability as a coach.Reflecting on the weekends fixtures they look at the tactical battle at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, Man Utd have won five in six and are two off the top four. At the bottom, Everton’s belief and frustration couldn’t get a result, whereas Luton showed they never give up.What will be the difference in making the top four or avoiding relegation? TimelineVenables memories2’ A remarkable man who did so many things outside of football. Busi9ness, singing, tailor, bought a club…sold Maradona and bought Archibald.4’ edit neil and tony.5’ shrewd, negotiator, charismatic, loved football. Tactically ahead of his time.7’ Loved in Spain, tactically respected. A Penalty shootout away from winning the European cup with Barca.9’ Embodied Tottenham.Tottenham v Villa10’ Spurs opened very well. Unlucky not to be further ahead. Fair result could have been a draw.12’ the offside derby, two teams playing a high line.14’ Villa applied the break more often, spurs remained gung ho and paid for it.15’ intriguing game. No compromise by either team. Good decisions by Emry, taking cash off, getting Teilemons on. Demonstrates the level of management in the premier league.19’ Villa right in shake up for top four. But spurs heavily hit by injuries and suspensions.Everton v Man Utd21’ Not in the script for Everton to be hit by a wonder goal.23’ where did Garnacho’s goal rank? Great goal, how important was it?27’ Bergkamp, Adam, Crouch, Bergkamp again…29’ Utd, fifth win in six games. Only two off top four.32’ Everton now have a BIG job to avoid relegation. Luton v Palace36’ Lift off at Luton. Performances starting to get results.38’ Fit team, heads don’t drop. Not capitulated in any game. Great self belief.39’ Place facing injury problems to key players. Could they get sucked in?40’ Injuries came at key time in the game. Hodgson has defensive know how. Newcastle v Chelsea48’ Is Tiago Silva starting to show his age? At 39 are the years catching up?50’ Backward step for Chelsea and Poch. First time he has called out his players.52’ Anthony Gordon gave Reece James a torrid time. City v Liverpool55’ there for city to win, they missed the chance.56’ Good result for Liverpool, a point at City, how can you grumble? ArsenalTop and under the radar.Brentford not at their best.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/11/231h 2m

Crime and Punishment

Gregor Robertson is joined by Jonathan Northcroft, Tony Cascarino and Martin Samuel for heated discussion on the murky world of football finance and governance. As Everton face a ten point deduction for breaching profit and sustainability rules, the team ask, does the punishment fit the crime? The answer is a resounding no! But why is that, is it a level playing field and what are the wider implications for clubs such as Manchester City and Chelsea. After a quick look at the vote on multi club ownership models finally some actual football and a look ahead to the big game at the weekend, as Manchester City take on Liverpool.Timeline2’ internationals. Learnt nothing from England. But Italy Ukraine…a shocking decision and Martin thinks something stinks.4’ Head of UEFA said Italy not qualifying would be a disaster. Why are officials saying who they want to progress.Everton points deduction8’ The facts, what were Everton penalised for?10’ FFP is a construct of the riches clubs to keep the status quo. 12’ no such thing as organic growth because the best teams cherry pick the best players from smaller clubs. Inward investment to beat that system should not be punished.15’ Everton have had a go and have been punished.18’ why are the rules there, are they doing what they are supposed to do?20’ the commission agreed it wasn’t an attempt to cheat, just poor management, but without danger to the club. The punishment doesn’t fit the crime. 21’ the commission portrayed Everton as ‘continually reckless.’22’ Premier league stopped working with Everton, why?24’ will there be, or should there be an independent regulator.27’ What is the alternative? Unfettered spending, so long as it isn’t based on debt.29’ is this punishment going to kill the under dog story? An arbitrary construct. 33’ We want two things in football, clubs not going into debt and going bust and healthy competition.35’ Man City charges…being bogged down by expensive lawyers.  38’ pick a team of lawyers because they’ll decide who wins what, but they’ll do it in five years time.41’ City charges.Vote to NOT ban signing players from associated clubs49’ similar issue and touches on self regulation. 52’ need a robust set of loan regulations.Historic agent issues58’ The FA are looking into a breach from 2008 when Jermaine Defoe left Portsmouth to go to Spurs.City v Liverpool 1’02’ Every player who has come in to the midfield has been an upgrade. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/11/231h 6m

The modern Mr Luton: Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu

In a special episode of The Game Tom Clarke is joined by regulars Gregor Robertson and Jonathan Northcroft as they speak to special guest Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu about his life and career.Pelly is the first player to play for the same club from the national league through to the Premier league. Following ten years at the club, he is now mentioned alongside Luton legend Mick Hartford and has a mural, song and type of honey all created in his honour.On the pitch he has played under an England manager and in a Wembley final. This is a chance to hear more from one club man Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu. Timeline:2’ start of career. Belmont and Boreham Wood.6’ West Ham and playing for Allardyce.8’ Dec 2013…on loan to Luton. Shock compared to Luton and Boreham Wood.10’ John Still 100 goals and hundred points.11’ Debut at Staines in the cup. Playing out of position at centre half.18’ injuries and adjusting to the demands of regular league football.21’ Nathan Jones. Great guy spoke a really good game, good tactically. Great use of data.22’ Near misses and promotion to league one.28’ Tough first season in the championship. Manager coming and going. The return of Nathan Jones.30’ Footballers during covid.33’ Nathan Jones leaves again. Pelly stays…why?38’ loyalty to Luton and the opportunities they have given him. 40’ fairy tales…getting to the premier league.41’ What’s the difference in the premier league.45’ difference between levels. League one, championship, premiership. In the prem ever chance is taken.48’ the fans don’t change50’ I think I’m a good player actually.Reflection on promotion season and the arrival of Rob Edwards.55’ Wembley and nerves who do you celebrate with. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Mic’d up but p***ed off. And England’s midfield conundrum

James Gheerbrant, Jonathan Northcroft and Gregor Robertson join tom Clarke to give VAR a grilling.Does the mic’d up programme help or hinder the case for VAR in games? The team look at issues around how subjective football is, how effective current VAR is and are there other, better options to use the technology? After an inconclusive but heated debate it’s on to England’s midfield.Bellingham and Rice seem certain starters, but who plays alongside them? Do England have a defensive midfielder, and if not, who plays instead?Finally, Jonny recently voted in a poll asking who are currently the world’s best players…he names his top five. TimelineVAR2’ VAR, are the audio releases helping or hindering 4’ Pain is not worth the gain. It is a really difficult job, but it has become farcical.8’ Running VAR can be exhausting, in the spotlight, no clear right and wrong, walking a tightropePossible clips 11’ the number and detail of incidents can’t be assessed in the time allowed. 15’ modern mania to achieve perfection…in a subjective sport.17’ timing is an issue; it takes too long the flow of the game has been affected.20’ Has the mic’d up programme improved things or further mudded the waters. 22’ sin bins. Good idea or not?  Keeping refs mics on would stop player dissent quickly. 26’ do players influence VAR by appealing and asking refs to check things.  England midfield 31’ who plays alongside Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham.33’ the chemistry of the three is important. Southgate prizes control over everything else. Gregor thinks still Philips.35’ can’t pick Philips or Henderson because of lack of top flight football.37’ Trent Alexander is the answer according to Jonny.40’ James, consider Connor Gallagher.45’ stones, Rico Lewis, Foden Maddison. Jonny think whoever Jude wants Keep Bellingham happy. Best players in the world 49’ Jonny voted for worlds best players. Hard to over look Premier league and England players. Haland, Rodri, Kane, Bellingham.55’ Kane now getting the coverage he deserves. 57’ Messi still the man. What about defenders??  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Thrillers galore and John McGinn's big bum.

Alyson Rudd, Gregor Robertson and Tony Cascarino join Tom Clarke to discuss the weekend’s games. And what a weekend of fixtures, 37 goals, the top five separated by three points and last minute winners.Stamford Bridge saw one of the games of the season so far. What stood out, team performance or individual brilliance? At Molineux Wolves mounted a stoppage time come back to stun spurs, who have now lost twice in a week and dropped to fourth. Hot on their heels and only three off the top at Villa after yet another convincing home win, led by a very impressive John McGinn. Plus West Ham, Liverpool and Everton.  TimelineChelsea and City3’ great game at the bridge.4’ Raheem Sterling, fantastic performance. How can he not be in the England squad.7’ Is it turning for Poch, all the signings and stars starting to come good?9’ Chelsea were very good, but can they replicate it.12’ what is to come from Chelsea, very exciting, to play that well and still be a work in progress. Chelsea fans are excited.15’ Poch says team should be in top four, that’s is the expectation. Young players now coming good.18’ Are City at their best? Probably not but they still scored 4 away from home. And with no De Bryne.20’ if City don’t win the title, who could? Liverpool seems to be the consensus. 23’ City still have best squad and know how to win. When its crunch time they get better.West Ham25’ Moyes development and blending old with new. Ward-Prowse on song. Lots of flare and creativity in the West Ham team now.28’ Gregor a little less convinced. Team reliant on moments of brilliance from players not team identity or playing patterns. But still achieving and deserve credit. Is there a next step to take…Newcastle and Bournemouth32’ Poor result for Newcastle, and a tough day for Trippier.33’ Alyson thinks the fans have become a bit entitled.38’ Team are ravaged by injury, they tried very hard. Fans should see that. Look how far they have come.40’ Well played Bournemouth.Wolves Spurs44’ Wolves a well drilled, well coached, well organised team. With key players playing well. When they win the ball, they know what to do with it. For spells they outplayed Spurs.46’ Spurs need certain type of player in key positions, with both centre halves out it makes a big difference.47’ Fantastic coaching from the sideline by Gary Oneil. Spurs wiped out by injuries and suspension.Top four…50’ Who‘ll make it? Seems there is confidence in Villa making it…Villa53’ Villa Park is a great place to watch football. Tactically intelligent, versatile. They have control, pace and interchange. Gregor VERY impressed with Villa.John McGinn is the poster boy for a fantastic team. Gregor loves his bum, its big and he uses it as a weapon.Everton58’ Dyche working magic. Team have momentum, getting goals and have the third best away record in the league.1;00” Goals coming from places other than Calvert Lewin.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/11/231h 3m

Two games, twelve goals, one VAR

The Thurs team of Martin Samuel, Tony Cascarino and Gregor Robertson join Tom Clarke to discuss one thing…VAR. With two thrilling games and twelve goals between them the Man Utd v Copenhagen and Spurs v Chelsea games were dominated by VAR. Is it inevitable, will it change or will football adapt to a brave new world? Discuss… TimelineVAR and Man Utd10’ is football and footballers now going to change.12’ how do you police a subjective game played in milliseconds.16’ the difference in officiating and the interpretation of rules.22’ Positives for Man United despite losing the game. 26’ Copenhagen not a good team, don’t get carried away.34’ All to random at Man U. Performances are fracturedVAR and Chelsea Spurs38’ Romero red card…41’ Intent or not intent. How to define it.47’ Offside, Jackson had a yard start, but it was phase two. Is that fair? Martin thinks the rules are nonsense. Active or inactive.51’ We’re talking about VAR, not about football.58’ Ange and his brave…or crazy tactics. High line with nine men. Amazing spectacle, but not sure if it was the best approach. 59’ Glorious failure. They lost but they lost player to their philosophy.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/11/231h 9m

Hats off to the Hatters but Arteta losses his head

Monday regulars Gregor Robertson and Alyson Rudd join Tom Allnutt and Tom Clarke for The Game.The team look at good wins for Sheffield Utd and Forest and a point for Luton. But what about the performances, was it luck or are there positives to build on? Erik Ten Hag got a win to take the pressure off, but again, what of the performance.Disappointing weekends for Villa and Liverpool, but it was the post match reaction of Mikel Arteta that took most of the headlines. Is the pressure telling so soon into the season?Finally a look at the end of an era as Emma Hayes announces her departure from Chelsea. Where next for the most well known of the WSL managers…?Timeline:Sheff Utd2’ Great win for Sheff Utd. Will it stop the rumours of Chris Wilder waiting in the wings to replace Paul Heckingbottom.5’ Soft pen, and truth be told Sheff Utd are still not a great team.7’ how do Sheff Utd play from here on out?10’ Does this win turn around the narrative of the bottom being the three promoted clubs plus Bournemouth being in a relegation scrap.14’ Wolves still struggling in front of goal and heavily reliant on Neto. But they played well, just a little unlucky,Forest 16’ Impressive from Forest, demonstrates togetherness, mental strength and work rate.17’ Cloud still hanging over Steve Cooper as the owners put pressure on. Forest did a great job of exploiting Villa’s high line.20’ Forest under Cooper have a really solid structure. Play as a unit, fight for each other. According to opta, not a settled side though.23’ Gregor still worried for Steve Cooper. Thinks the owners still want change. Not a good environment for cooper, hard to stabilise.24’ Villa looked flat, never looked threatening. Didn’t take chances.Man Utd29’ Alyson thinks Ten Hag is too passive, in press and on touch line. Unimpressive. Fulham the better side. But a win is a win, after the goal and players and fans showed unity.32’ Why did he start Anthony? BREAKLuton36’ Kenilworth Road finally showed its worth. Luton played brilliantly, organised, waited then went for it.39’ Luton showed composure. Doughty, Barkley great. Nunez, active but missing sitters.42’ Stuck to their principles, showed how they want to play.Liverpool44’ Nunez, a handful works hard, but lacks composure, missed the key chances.45’ No sign of complacency. Luis Diaz moving. Well handled by Klopp.Arsenal47’ Havertz should have been red, or orange carded.48’ The best teams take the sting out of these kind of games. Arteta didn’t. Tried to battle it out with Newcastle. Poor choice. Areta’s emotional state didn’t help.51’ VAR decisions a mess. Pressure on officials, lack of suitable technology and lag from past bad decisions.54’ no need to do it, sign of weakness from Areta, unnecessary stress. Arsenal missed Odeguaard badly.58’ Has the goal keeping decision backfired.Newcastle1hr Were fantastic. Deserved the win. Played superbly. Better still the reflection on Eddie howe. Playing with a team full of players signed by others but he has improved them all.Emma Hayes1;01 End of an era. What next, could she, would she take the USA job? Why not England? Possesses a huge desire to grown and learn. Said many years ago she didn’t want the England job….have the FA missed out? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/11/231h 4m

Tick tock Ten Hag. And the Saudi influence grows

 The regular Thursday club of Martin Samuel, Tony Cascarino and Gregor Robertson join Tom Clarke.Déjà vu as Man Utd are once again the main talking point. Is Erik ten Hag now under pressure, a team with no identity, players under performing and a poor attitude. When does the spot light fall on the manager.Saudi were given the 2034 world cup with little fan fare and no celebration.  What does it mean for football…a battle between UEFA and FIFA? Will the Saudi’s be threatening    Man Utd2’ Ten Hag surely now he is under pressure? Fate depends on when Jim Ratcliffe arrives.6’ no players performing, as proven by the fact no one wants to buy any Man Utd players.8’ can’t keep mentioning the club, at some point its about what the manager does10’ has he improved any players?13’ no team identity16’ it’s a massive mess. But at some point the manager should do the basics, but they weren’t there last night.19’ manager stays until new owners come in. 23’ Will good players get sucked down the same path.24’ Rashford going out after the City defeat 26’ Tony worked with Don howe, who helped keep him on the straight and narrow. Less going out, better focus.31’ perception is everythingSaudi world cup36’ it was always going to happen. It is now sad acceptance. Money talks.38’ No federations have complained. There is a difference between world cup and Saudi owners. One is governing body, public property and one is private business.41’ FIFA is no structured in such a way that UEFA is irrelevant. Infantino has the other votes locked down…very hard to change. It is a battle between UEFA and FIFA.43’ The only way to challenge it would be to boycott. I high price…would any federation pay it?46’ Isn’t it just about showcasing football in new countries, building the brand, growing the sport?50’ Its taken the Saudi’s 18mnths to get a world cup. They are/will come for club football…what happen next, is the premier league under threat? 52’ the wind has changed and no longer China but Saudi, and UK gov seems happyChelsea v Spurs58’ Chelsea face same problem…can’t score goals. Jackson didn’t actually have a great record at Villa reale…4 in 28 before a streaky run. Not surprising he can’t score regularly at Chelsea.1;01’ Chelsea erratic. Done well against some teams, but inconsistent and lacking any edge. Tony thinks they’re a long way off. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/11/231h 8m

Are Spurs and Liverpool title contenders? And who is the most exciting young English player...

Ally Rudd, Gregor Robertson and James Restall join Tom Clarke on Mondays edition of The Game.After reflecting on another one-sided Manchester derby they move on to who can win the title. Spurs fans are dreaming, and Ange is happy they are…but can it last. And what of Liverpool, three off the top, getting better and with players returning to form. After the break a quick look at Calvert Lewin’s form and finally who is the most exciting ever young English player? Gazza, Rooney, Owen, Bellingham? Timeline:Manchester derby2’ Man Utd had average plan A, no plan B.6’ Mason Mount only had 14 touches. No balance in midfield. 9’ Who is at fault, poor signings, signings not performing, or a club with a poor culture.12’ no identity, and doesn’t have the players to create the identity Ten Hag wants.17’ Will Haaland win the Ballon’ D’or. Or is it Mesi all the wayCan they win the league…20’ Can Spurs win the title? They’re adaptable, tough, confident and no longer flakey. Big strong team.  In short, it’s not impossible. 24’ They believe they can win it. That’s half the battle. Son been amazing.28’ outstanding centre halves, decent squad depth. 32’ The coaching improvement is impressive. Liverpool Forest36’ City’s biggest challengers. Very creative midfield, not as reliant on fullbacks.38’ very good signings. Dominik Szoboszlai could be a special player. Firs the club very well.44’ Forest had a tough start, individual mistakes, but Cooper probably happy…for now.44’ Got a good structure, hard to breakdown. A platform to build from.Everton and Calvert Lewin46’ Is he in the fight to be Kane’s understudy?48’ great goal, good for Dyche.49’ Ally met Kenwright.Best ever young English young player55’ Gregor played against Rooney, a shuddering experience. Bellingham will have impact but not the same shocking impact. Others…Owen, Walcott, Gazza.59’ With Kane and Bellingham, can England win the euro’s…  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/10/231h 5m

A tale of two Uniteds and a rough start for Rooney

Gregor Robertson, Jonathan Northcroft and Martin Samuel join Tom Clarke. They look back at the weeks European fixtures, have things turned around for Manchester United and two of their players in particular Onana and Maguire? Was it a reality check for Newcastle and is Jesus the main man for Arsenal?Gregor went to watch Birmingham, and reflects on Wayne Rooney’s start at St Andrews. The team look at new owners setting unrealistic targets, getting rid of unfashionable managers and how Rooney might react. Finally Martin and Jonny remember Bill Kenwright a toffee through and through.  Timeline:Man Utd – a win but has anything changed.2’ Onana the hero…is he coming good? Does one good game change things?5’ needs to be proved over a period of games. overall performance still not great.7’ what is United’s identity. 10’ These were once assumed wins, now they are celebrated. Relying on players who they were trying to sell a month ago.12’ Parts don’t fit. Sweeper keeper but with slow centre backs. Creativity or industry, not both.19’ character and self-belief in players. Perspective, they’re doing the very basics. Lets see how they do against better teams.Newcastle25’ not quite a reality check, Dortmund are a good side. Hard to play two games a week of such high intensity.27’ Perhaps lacking a little in player experience. Slightly affected by injuries, at that level. There is a reason it took Man City so long to succeed at that level.30’ need to play differently in Europe.31’ Now looking thin – Tonali long ban, Isak, Botman, Murphy and Barnes all injured.  Will they be able to sign anyone given FFP??34’ Jesus injury. Is he the main man for Arsenal, or do they need another striker?Rooney and Birmingham.44’ Rooney’s tough start at St Andrews. Fans not happy, previous manager sacked too early and the team not played well in either of his first two games.46’ the players are not comfortable playing the kind of football he wants to play. Too much too soon. Rooney thinks that might be the case.52’ Rooney not bothered by criticism. But will the fans turn round.54’ far to soon to be turning on him.55’ Are the owners – DC – well equipped to bring success to Birmingham or are they half hearted? They have done a lot of good things, but are they running before they can walk on the football side?58’ Carrying the weight of being a player from ‘the golden generation.’ He has to prove himself.  Bill Kenwright1;03 a fan who ended up at the top of the club. Tried really hard to find a credible buyer. Had a rough time but loved Everton wanted the best for them and tried his hardest.1;05 Nice guy, and true fan. But became a lightening conductor for a fan base who had been let down. But Kenwright didn’t have the money himself, tried to find it with other investors. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/10/231h 9m

Are Villa in five-team title race and is Toney on the move?

Tom Clarke is back and joined by Monday regulars Alyson Rudd, Tom Roddy and Gregor Robertson. After paying tribute to the late great Sir Bobby Charlton they look back on a fantastic weekend of football.Villa are flying high and don’t look like stopping. City and arsenal are up there without really playing well. Someone who is playing well is Harry Maguire, a man of the match performance against Sheffield united, but a test awaits next week against City and Haaland.Finally revenge for Gary O’Neil and is Ivan Tony set to leave Brentford.Timeline:1’ Sir Bobby tributesVilla4’ Villa, title contenders? Amazing home record.10’ Emery getting the best out of players already at the club. Ollie Watkins the best example.14’ Villa playing style. Big physical side, with pace.City and United21’ back on track, flying? Not so much according to Gregor. Still time to adjust to losing key players.24’ Has Guardiola lost some control over in’s and out’s26’ Maguire back to his best?27’ United winning but look at who is scoring.32’ Pace of the game has increased, that has affected Maguire.Arsenal Chelsea35’ Positivity for Chelsea. But are they getting an easy ride, should fans be more frustrated at results.38’ Chelsea missing four starters, played good football, the tide is turning.40’ Formation unusual, Poch optimistic.45’ Arsenal, gifted a route back into the game. But they found a way.Wolves Bournemouth48’ Iraola running out of time. Lots of individual mistakes but he needs a win.50’ Need to re asses their style. High press needs to be backed up.52’ Wolves looking great. O’Neil deserves huge credit. Neto and Cunha keyBrentford56’ Were struggling but first home win of the season58’ Faith in Thomas Frank, despite the rough start. Henry injury, Toney out…they’ll get better.60’ Looks like Tony will leave Brentford in Jan, possibly Arsenal.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/10/231h 6m

Sancho alone with his lunchbox and can England win the Euros?

Sancho alone with his lunchbox and can England win the Euros?Gregor Robertson is joined by Martin Samuel, Tony Cascarino and James Gheerbrant.Should England dare to dream…? Martin Samuel thinks they should embrace the expectation that they are one of the favourites to win the European Championships in Germany next year. They look at England’s strength in depth, and particularly the rise of Jude Bellingham, now one of the world’s best players.From one former Borussia Dortmund player to another and the plight of Jadon Sancho. Training with the youngsters, getting changed alone, given his lunch in a club lunchbox. How did it come to this…?Finally, a look at the once sacrosanct Saturday afternoon 3pm kick off. Once upon a time never televised, that looks like changing. Does it matter?Timeline:England1’ England – they really could win the euros. They’re a very good team. Embrace the expectation.6’ Could England go back to back?> Where is the weak link…centre half?8’ Evolution in Southgate’s approach. Has he found a balance.10’ If not England who?15’ Kalvin Philips and Harry Maguire22’ Bellingham…brilliant.Sancho33’ From seventy million pound player to pariah. What happened to Jadon Sancho.35’ massive breakdown between Ten Hag and Sancho.37’ Sancho was amazing at Dortmund.42’ The agent should be the intermediary and her their money.44’ Ghost of Fergie…3pm kick offs54’ Will it impact smaller teams.55’ wall to wall football. Similar to America.58’ all designed by the premier league to stop the bigger clubs breaking away to strike their own TV deals Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Manchester United changing hands? Plus Wembley boos, Scotland cheers and meeting your heroes.

In todays edition of The Game Gregor Robertson is joined by Tony Cascarino, Tom Roddy and Alyson Rudd. No surprise that Gregor starts with a look back at Scotland’s qualification for next years Euros, their second in succession. While there were cheers in Scotland, there were boos at Wembley for  Jordan Henderson. Were they justified? No boos in Cardiff as Wales reignited their qualification hopes.After the break Matt Lawton joins to discuss the story unfolding at Manchester Utd as Sir Jim Ratcliffe now looks set to buy the club, in stages, after the Qatar bidders withdrew. Will it change things at Man Utd?Finally, after Alyson Rudd met her footballing hero, Jari Litmanen,  should you ever meet you heroes?  Timeline:ScotlandMichael Grant reviews Scotland’s qualification for the EurosSteve Clarke achievement. Fans going to the finalNew culture at Hampden and Scotland now.EnglandHenderson was booed at Wembley. Southgate disappointing to say he didn’t understand.Henderson coming to the end of his career, or one more tournament.Confused at being booed.Little sympathy.    WalesQualification back in their hands Harry Wilson coming good.Rob page is safe, for nowFirst big result post Gareth Bale.Man UtdMatt Lawton joins to discuss the moves taking place in the race to own Man Utd. Qatar’s pull out, which leaves the way clear for Jim Ratcliffe to take a sizable percentage ownership in the club. This is the first stage of a full takeover, it will not be part measure. Jim Ratcliffe will be the full owner, this is just the way the deal has to be structured.The mechanics of how Man Utd were put up for sale, what/who they wanted and how it panned out.Is the gloom around old Trafford to lift?What do we know about Ineos. What is their track record in cycling and at French ligue 1 side Nice.Lot of things to fix at Man Utd. Injury recurrence, recruitment, contracts…general decision making HeroesAlyson Rudd has final met and interviewed her hero, Jari Litmanen. Seems she is in love with him.Should you meet your heroes? Was it worth meeting him?He was a nice man, humble, he has heroes to.Sidcup high street and Tony met Steve Harley…oh dear.Ton has no heroes. Gregor …Dani Alves and Jon Collins.    Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/10/231h 7m

Gareth Southgate special part 2: "He was born for that role."

Chief sports correspondent for The Times Matt Lawton and Chief sports writer for the Sunday Times David Walsh join Tom Clarke for a unique look at England manager Gareth Southgate.David Walsh helped write Southgate’s award winning book in 2004 and broke the news in 2022 that Southgate would be staying on as England manager. Matt Lawton has covered England throughout Southgate’s tenure. Both give rare insight into how he operates and what the man is really like. If you missed part one yesterday they discussed his playing career. In part two it is management…Managerial career2’ Destined to be manager. Many thought he effectively managed Middlesborough from the changing room in his final season. 4’ Southgate happy to express his frustration and disapproval of managers, or situations. 6’ Worked under a wide variety of England managers. David Beckham.7’Middlesborough a great opportunity, but at a tough time with money running out. Southgate blooded the young players. Devastate to get the sack at Middlesborough. Steve Gibson now acknowledges he should never have sacked him. Was he too nice.England 15’ England under 21’s opportunity. A chance to change English football. How to produce technically better footballers.18’ Not a candidate for England after Hodgson left. Nor did he think he’d get the job. He was put forward as a shop gap, a second rater for three games. Southgate objected and wished to be a contender or not at all. FA relented and gave him the chance. He took it. 24’turbulence and distraction with Eriksen and Capello. Then the farce of Allardyce. Southgate proved to be the antidote.27’ a natural in the arena. Became what he wanted to be. Changed how England play, how they are perceived and turn England into a place where players want to be.  His three tournaments as manager32’ was 2018 his bets achievement. With the team he had and the system he played? He changed the culture. Brings good people around him. 36’ How he handled Wayne Rooney’s exit. Losing on penalties to Italy and losing to a very good French team in Qatar.  Tactical awareness…40’ he has always been tactically aware, as player and manager. He never respected managers who he thought had no idea. 46’ Not really close to leaving. “We talked about the game…”52’ Jude Bellingham age.Does he need to win something. Not really he has already been a success.  Is he still the best man for the job. From losing to Iceland a euro final and world cup semi. England in a much better place than when he took the job. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/10/2357m 38s

Gareth Southgate special part 1: "Nice guy, bit boring..?" Not so fast.

Chief sports correspondent for The Times Matt Lawton and Chief sports writer for the Sunday Times David Walsh join Tom Clarke for a unique look at England manager Gareth Southgate.David Walsh helped write Southgate’s award winning book in 2004 and broke the news in 2022 that Southgate would be staying on as England manager. Matt Lawton has covered England throughout Southgate’s tenure. Both give rare insight into how he operates and what the man is really like. If you think the England manager is a bit boring, listen to this first.Timeline:Boring ?2’ Are fans getting a bit tired of Southgate? Nice guy, bit boring…might be a misconception.4’ one of the most interesting people I have ever met.6’ Gareth wrote a chapter of his book in four hours overnight. The subject was Alen Boksic.Playing career12’ Southgate’s playing career. Never got the big move he wanted.14’ loved by Venables.18’ unfulfilled as a player.21’ Middlesborough, leader in the dressing room.23’ Euro 96 Gareth Southgate played every game. Arguably England’s best player. Took a penalty, but others didn’t step up in front of a young player. The press were kind. What does that say for how they viewed Southgate.29’ Southgate learnt and changed. He implemented practicing penalties.  34’ captain everywhere he went. But to start with quite nice. Managers worked to bring out his toughness. He had has an inner steel. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/10/2335m 39s

Tottenham top, remarkable Rice, happy Hammers and leg breaks from a players perspective

 Most teams get a mention as Tony Cascarino, Tom Roddy and Gregor Robertson join Tom Clarke for Mondays’ edition of The Game.Who are city missing most and is the result Arsenal’s spring board.West Ham are playing good football and getting good results, will David Moyes get the credit. At the other end of the table Luton and Burnley are good to watch, but they’re getting no results, will that start to effect morale and belief. For Bournemouth they’re still winless, despite a new manager who arrived with much expectation.Following the injury to Sheffield United’s Chris Basham, Gregor Robertson talks with painful honesty about his time recovering from a severe leg break, the immediate shock, the monotonous daily routine and the thoughts of how it might affect the rest of your life/career.Timeline:Arsenal v City1’ Arsenal, champions after beating City..? Declan Rice was immense. 3’ City weakness or Arsenal strength. What’s happened to Kalvin Philips?4’ Poor quality games. City playing with four centre backs. Both teams more defensive then one might imagine. Do City have a new approach to breaking the press? Overload midfield.8’ Is Rodri their most important player? Tony thinks it is still De Bruyne.10’ Keepers asked to do very risky things. Raya a wreck but then improved. Tottenham top15’ Ange ball, gritty ball. Impressive spirit and character. Van de Venn impressive.16’ Does expectation need to rise, are they the real deal. Spurs still don’t have enough to go the whole season.19’ will the style get figured out. No cover for Maddison and Bissouma.  Top four only.Luton and Burnley20’ Luton played well can’t take chances. What happens if belief starts to wain.  Rob Edwards job could be to keep a team motivated if defeats mount.  24’ Kompany’s style is risky and will often concede goals, but if it works…26’ Burnley will grow into the league.Chelsea28’ turning the corner…had some luck, but results turning. Injured players coming back. Key players scoring, building confidence.31’ Cole Palmer took the penalty…a young player brought in to cover two kep injuries in the Chelsea squad.West Ham v Newcastle37’ Hammers impressive playing good football. Signings all working, Alvarez, Kudos, Ward Browse all playing very well. 39’ Newcastle come down after Europe, Isak best player, looks very good.41’ West Ham players who were off it last year are back on it. 42’ Is Moyes the chucky monster. Cas thinks he’s tough, resilient and deserves huge credit. Now has his best West Ham team.Fulham v Sheff Utd46’ Willian stole the show. 35 signed from a trial at Fulham, set up chance after chance all game. Despite that the team lack goal scorers. Can’t convert their chances. 51’ still good to watch but no edge. 53’ Gregor had the same injury as Basham, severe lower leg injury. He talks graphically about his recovery and the long road ahead for Sheff Utd. How will his absence affect the team? 58’ even with the injury, Sheff Utd weren’t good. Bournemouth59’ No wins under Iraola. They play Wolves and Gary O’Neil after the international break. Will he be under pressure if they lose. Noise is he could be starting to panic.1;00 Club are invested in Iraola, he won’t go. Belief is an issue though.    Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/10/231h 4m

Three tournaments, two Champions League nights and a VAR farce

Tom Clarke is joined by Martin Samuel, Gregor Robertson and Tom Allnutt for a jam packed show. They look back at a memorable night on Tyneside, Martin Samuel thinks Newcastle will win the Champions League before PSG ever will. Then its on to a miserable night at Old Trafford and a look at how Mikel Arteta manages Bukayo Saka.Then its VAR, Gregor thinks the rules are an ass, Martin thinks it’s the rules and the officials.Finally, it’s the awarding of the 2030 world cup to just the three continents…all agree it is a precursor to where 2034 goes…clue; its got a lot of sand and a lot of oil. Timeline:Newcastle1’ Martin Hardy reflects on a special night at St James park.3’ This is not a one off for Newcaste, it is a sign of things to come.7’ the prestige of European competition. Goals scored by locals, people playing for the team.How has Eddie howe done it. And what went wrong with PSG.10’ what’s the problem at PSG. Mbappe is the star but how long will he stay. Does Enrique have a long term vision. This result will not be acceptable in Paris. Gregor thought the tactics were at fault. PSG invite pressure, but they couldn’t cope with it.14’ Its not just teams that win the champs league, its clubs. Newcastle will win it before PSG will.16’ running an elite club is not easy, as Man Utd are demonstrating. Newcastle is well run, good plan, good recruitment and plenty of money to back it up.18’ this was a statement victory, announcing yourself on the European stage. But Tom Allnutt thinks beating a weary club in the group is not winning a two leg semi.20’ Does the result gloss over who owns the club and the issues surrounding Saudi ownership?23’ The French Eddie Howe is not getting the PSG job. They are not connected to the feeding ground of the Paris suburbs. Not enough attention taken to off field appointments. Man Utd25’ It started so well. Goals for Hojlund then it imploded. 26’ Its about a well run club, Utd isn’t. They’ve tried new coaches, experienced, but the club is badly run. No vision.  How are good players turned bad…is it them or the club? Gregor says good players but played out of position and no clear vision and structure.28’ Club culture and off field appointments.  Ten Hag has had to fire fight but is there a consistency to his coaching. How does he want to play.32’ Off field division breeds lack of confidence.  Ten hag is under pressure, he shouldn’t be but he is. as the signings are his. Martin not convinced by Onana.  City v Arsenal35’ Arteta’s management of Saka. Playing him through injury, has that now caught up with them? He is vital for Arsenal, that’s why he keeps playing him.38’ Saka getting kicked a lot. Does Arteta need to protect him. Should they have bought cover? No longer acceptable to jab players up to play.VAR44’ VAR debacle. Gregor has sympathy for Darren England. Made a huge error, for the world to see. The clip humanises45’ Martin looks at the rules that says the game can’t be stopped. 46’ They were incapable of thinking for themselves. The rules are an ass.55’ Bravery needed to go against the rules in a pressure situation being watched by millions. 1;00’ who should serve on ifab1;02’ No replay, despite it being wrong.World cup 1;04’ awarding the world cup to three continents clears the way for Saudi world cup in 2030. What about planet earth. FIFA do many strange things. Martin says Infantino is an appalling figure at the head of football.  Many of the things said about the Qatar world cup proved, after the fact to be true – carbon footprint, workers rights, player welfare - but none of it mattered, FIFA didn’t really care. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/10/231h 8m

TV should run VAR, Luton, Watkins and WSL economics

Joining Tom Clarke on this episode of The Game are Alyson Rudd, Molly Hudson and Gregor Robertson. VAR is given a thorough grilling, but will anything change. Should it be referees operating VAR.City without Rodri.Gregor optimistic on the chances of Luton Town and impressed by the potential of Ollie Watkins.Finally the panel discuss the economics of the WSL and how feasible it is to see regular WSL fixtures at the main stadiums.Timeline:VAR at Spurs v Liverpool1’ Alyson has a analogy… is the VAR an old boys club, people who all know each other, not paying close enough attention.3’ Gregor points out the need for the best professionals, not necessarily former refs.7’ why can’t we consider the same skilled professionals that deliver TV, do VAR, are they not as skilled as referees?9’ there has been a development in what a referee is asked to do. Communicate, relay decisions in English.14’ Should ex players be referees? Molly Hudson gives the example of a former Chelsea player who received the most red cards wanting to be a ref once she retires.18’ Liverpool looked good, even with nine men. Spurs win again, they find a way. 21’ Spurs lucky, or finding a way to win. Gregor thinks a bit of both.Wolves v Man City25’ Are City the same team with Rodri missing? Gregor really likes Gary O’Neil he thinks he is going to be a big success somewhere. Neto and his pace is a huge threat.    27’ Wolves finally got a result for their good performances so far this season.29’ Molly also a Gary O’Neil fan. She thinks it is because he isn’t fashionable that he has struggled, particularly why he lost his job at Bournemouth.Man Utd v Palace33’ A classic Hodgson result. Alyson points out Roy is undefeated in his visits to Old Trafford.36’ Not at all surprising result, Man Utd are in flux and struggling for consistency. For Palace is the old result like this enough for Hodgson, does he need to change the brand of football and the consistency?38’ Gregor thinks truth be told, they’ll be happy to survive each year, and by appointing Hodgson survival is the aim.Luton’s first win40’ Big moment for Luton, finally getting their first win, two in two for Carlton Morris.41’ Gregor believes it will give a huge boost. He thinks they have played well, created chances and lost games through individual errors. He thinks they can turn it around.42’ Everton, after a big win against Brentford and Villa in the cup…now losing at home against Luton. Alyson thinks it is really worrying. There is more to be read into this defeat, something is wrong.Aston Villa46’ Villa an attacking team with variety and pace. Gregor likes their style, likes Watkins but also felt Brighton gifted Villa two goals. Watkins has strength, explosive pace and can finish…how far can he go?50’ Brighton fell foul of tinkering and rotation. Alyson thinks they are either very good, or horrid. They’ll come good and play good football, but there will be ups and downs as they negotiate losing players and playing in Europe.52’ Brighton need to maintain the feeling of strength, it can easily slip away. Is DeZerbi too reckless?WSL53’ Surprise of the weekend as Liverpool won at the Emirates against Arsenal, all in front of 50, 000 fans. Big worries and pressure at Arsenal, Chelsea only dropped 8 points last year, Arsenal have already dropped 3.57’ Gregor heard Emma Hayes thoughts on growing the game and the sustainability of the women’s game. The issues around pricing, and timing of games The match was loss making as it costs 300,000 to open the stadium.59’ economics of opening main stadiums for WSL fixtures. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/10/231h 7m

How to become an elite coach and Pep's excuses

Martin Samuel, Jonny Northcroft and Gregor Robertson join Tom Clarke on Thursday’s edition of The Game.Manchester City lost for the first time at Newcastle, but did Pep Guardiola give his players an excuse for the loss before the game even started. Plus some confidence boosting wins for some big teams.In the second part of the show a fascinating insight into what it takes to be an elite coach – the methods, dedication and psyche needed to succeed. Jonny Northcroft met Anthony Barry, once a lower league English footballer now coaching Ronaldo.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/09/231h 4m

Who is happier Arsenal or Spurs? They’re both happier than Chelsea and the promoted clubs

Gregor Robertson, Alyson Rudd and Tom Allnut join Tom Clarke to discuss the Ange, Chelsea and thrashings. The team pick through the aftermath of the north London derby, Ange’s influence, Raya v Ramsdale and the impact of James Maddison. Chelsea have had their worst start in forty five years, will they even make the top half. Their run of fixtures in the next two months mean it could be tough to turn it around. In contrast Villa are playing good football, climbing the table and looking every inch an Emery team. Does eight nil mean anything anymore?  Are the three promoted trams already doomed? Timeline:Arsenal / Spurs2’ Alyson Rudd was underwhelmed by the north London derby. Error strewn, chaos and mistakes for the goals. Tom Allnut was very impressed with Spurs. They went to the emirates, played the gam they wanted to play and didn’t lose, could even have won. Bigger picture spurs going in the right direction 7’ Gregor says it isn’t a surprise, ‘Ange ball’ has an identity, which Gregor has seen at Celtic, and he is sue he’ll continue in the same vein at Spurs.12’ Rice’s injury.  Not serious, but what effect did it have on Arsenal? 14’ Playing the Raya way. Alyson believes his selection sets the tone for the whole team. While his distribution wasn’t the best this weekend, she thinks he’ll remains Arteta’s first choice, with no rotation. ‘Raya is like having a coach on the pitch.’ Cleve, quick, vocal and good distribution.19’ Tom Allnut discusses how and why Arsenal signed Raya, and other historic examples of two ‘first choice’ goalkeepers at the same club. In the end…Raya is number one.23’ James Maddison…what a great performance in a big game for a new club. They look a good fit. Gregor still baffled no other club tried to sign him. He represents the new sense of joy at spurs. Maddison and son bromance has smoothed the loss of Harry Kane. His value is not just in possession, he is also working hard.28’ Tottenham predictionsChelsea29’ Chelsea…dear oh dear. Worst start in 20 years.30’ Chelsea a billion pounds and still go backwards. Chelsea are a really bad team. Results go a long way back.32’ Tom Allnut can’t believe Pochettino went to Chelsea. Dysfunctional club. Poor signings. Lots of ‘punts’ on players who may or may not come good.35’ two hundred million pound plus players in Caicedo and Fernandez outshone by Villa. Chelsea didn’t just struggle in front of goal. Villa had more shots.38’ Chelsea’s poor disciplinary record, Jackson in particular. 39’ Chelsea predictions…. Villa41’ Villa doing well. Looked strong, organised, hard to beat, but with a cutting edge. Gregor worried about their high line though.Promoted clubs under pressure44’ Eddie Howe steal, Sheffield united woe.50’ Gregor said Sheff Utd were the worst placed of the promoted teams, he fears that is proving to be true.52’ All three promoted teams are in the relegation zone. Why and will it change. 55’ The three clubs have different problems. Luton ambition, or lack of… Burnley style of play.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/09/231h 1m

Champions League? Or is it an English Super League? Just don't tell Man Utd...

Gregor Robertson, Jonny Northcroft and Martin Samuel join Tom Clarke for a debrief of this weeks Champions league matches. A good week for Arsenal and City, an ok week for Newcastle but another forgettable week for Manchester United.Can you really sub a goalkeeper for tactical reasons?Given the strength in depth and the money in the Premier league, is it now almost a super league in its own right?And Gregor has a new celebrity mate…iTimeline:Man Utd 1’ Another bad night for Man Utd. The score was 4-3 but the game was nothing like that. Another defeat, another 6’ Onana Gregor analysis the start to Onana’s Old Trafford career. “Another new player is wobbling.”  10’ Martin recalls the different approaches from various managers he has dealt with towards goalkeepers. He goes on to give an interesting take on pessimists and optimists on the football field. Mourinho didn’t want optimists as defenders. 13’ Is Onana a good enough footballer, is his defence in front of him good enough. Jonny Northcroft, thinks it could be a mix of the two. Wider concern is the recruitment policy.15’ Gregor thinks it isn’t the players but players in a dysfunctional set up look worse than they are. 19’ Winter of discontent. Man Utd have a generous run of fixtures in the next few weeks if they want to get back on track. But Marti Samuel has written about how this team may still struggle.22’ where to start to fix it. Jonny thinks the midfield is the place to begin. He thinks they lack legs, creativity and strength. There is too much pressure on Casimero but he is too old to cover the space in the midfield. Dito Eriksen.23’ Players get better when they’re not in the team, says Martin. Mason Mount didn’t start well but is now touted as the answer. Could Amrabat be the answer, he’ll need time to adjust.Arsenal25’ Arsenal returned to the Champions league as if they had never been away. Gregor thinks it shows the gulf between the Premier league and the rest of Europe. PSV sold their best player this summer…to Nottingham Forest. The development in the Premier League is such that an English team are automatically going to compete well in the Champions league.27’ Arsenal are no longer a prospect, they are ‘there.’ Jonny is beguiled by the ‘vibe’ from Arsenal, the interplay of players like Odegaard, Trossard, Saka and Jesus was a joy to watch.29’ Raya retained his place in goal for Arsenal. Is this going to be the new approach to goalkeepers33’ North London derby. Ange revolution v Arsenal on a high.Newcastle38’ Do Newcastle need to evolve, will they be able to? What does the result say about the premier league. Newcastle were average but they got a result, in the San Siro. 44’ Premier League strength, demonstrated by the players brought to the league and also players sold to other major European clubs. 48’ IS the premier league a de-facto super league?Man City50’ Jeremy Doku gives Man City a new dimension. Beating men, creating space, staying wide. Are they already favourites. 55’ Favourite Champions League moments from the week.58’ Gregor is star struck after interviewing Norman Cook - Fat Boy slim Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/09/231h 6m

Rubbish parties, sausage rolls and national treasures

Gregor Robertson, Tony Cascarino and Alyson Rudd join Tom Clarke for the Monday edition of ‘The Game.’The postmortem on Man Utd v Brighton takes centre stage. Brighton were brilliant, a well run well managed club playing great football. Manchester United were the polar opposite in almost every sense. Will matters improve?Are Liverpool title contenders. Gregor and Tony are far from convinced but Alyson is a convert.Chelsea have stalled, no identity, injury prone and yet they have spent a billion pounds. Where next…?Tinkering from Arteta, resilience from Spurs and what are Everton? Finally Alyson caught up with Roy Hodgson to ask if he is becoming a national treasure. Man Utd v Brighton1’ Mystic Tony. Tony Cascarino predicted the result and the score of the Man Utd game. No one was surprised by the result. Was it brilliant Brighton or woeful Utd. Or both. Are the problems on the pitch or off…or both. 7’ Gregor Alyson and Tony all agree Man Utd are a club in chaos. In stark contrast to Brighton. “Man Utd are paying people to attend their party, Brighton just throw a good party.” 12’ off field trouble leaking on to the pitch? Tony thinks there could also be an issue around the type of football that Ten Hag wants to play.Liverpool…title contenders?17’ Gregor is so sure. He was at Molineux for Wolves v Liverpool. They are erratic, very poor first half, low in energy. But they have a wealth of riches on the bench and a manager willing to take risks. He thought second half they effectively played 4-2-4, throwing caution to the wind. But is that sustainable? What is their midfield balance. Can Trent defend and is Robertson being shackled? Alyson is convinced. On a bad day Liverpool still got the job done and she sees enormous potential. 25’ Tony doesn’t think they will challenge.  27’ Gary O’Neil gets a bit tick. Sleepy Sunday29’ A slow day on Sunday. Alyson was at Bournemouth v Chelsea. A dull nil nil. The two managers cancelled each other out. One creating ordered chaos, the other well-structured and a bit negative.  Chelsea didn’t have an identity.32’ lots of injuries at Chelsea, 12 well known players out. But are those players all important, Gregor isn’t so sure.AI and injuries33’ Injuries are not just bad luck. In an interesting take Alyson quotes the use of AI to predict potential injuries. She isn’t sure the injury list at Chelsea is just bad luck.34’ Tony, as an ex blue says the club is in transition. Lots of new players and staff. Everton38’ “Everton are a poor version of Dyche’s Burnley” Tony is worried by Everton, a team unsure which way they need to play t get a result.Arsenal - Ramsdale or Raya?Is Arteta tinkering too much? Gregor thinks modern football has changed and perhaps interchanging a goalkeeper isn’t that unusual. Interesting all three prefer Raya to Ramsdale. West Ham – diving headers46’ Tony loves a diving header. Scored a few, but also talks about the technical benefits of a diving header, not giving the keeper time to get set. Spurs v Sheff Utd49’ Heart break for Sheff Utd. But is there a quiet Ange revolution going on at Spurs? 51’ Has Paul Heckingbottom been harshly treated by the media? Villa comeback56’ “Villa now look so dynamic.” “Diaby is a real player.” Roy Hodgson1’00” Alyson recently chatted to Roy again, before he fell ill. He talked about taking a surprise job on, gaining new fans and giving his players freedom.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/09/231h 10m

Maguire fights back, Brighton in Bloom and damned statistics

Gregor Robertson, Tony Cascarino and Martin Samuel join Tom Clarke for this episode of The Game.The team address the criticism surrounding Harry Maguire. Tony Cascarino says the situation reminds him of one of his former international colleagues. They go on to discuss the fans response, Maguires reaction and how the player rebuilds his confidence.Looking at England and Judge Bellingham in particular, have England ever had greater strength in depth in the middle of the park? Paul Pogba’s situation is briefly discussed.As Brighton head to Old Trafford, with many expecting them to win, Martin secured a rare interview with Brighton chairman Tony Bloom. Brighton are doing more than challenging on the pitch, off it, they are now a set up admired throughout Europe.Finally – lies, damned lies and football stats. Are they worth the paper they are written on?Times:Harry Maguire1’-14’ Is the treatment Harry Maguire has had from fans fair?4’ – comparisons with Mick McCarthy and his contrasting club and international career6’. Managers trust certain players and stick with them until they let them down.14’ Do the media have a case to answer. Are they making Maguire’s situation worse.Maguires mum has commented on social media.15’ Gregor on Harrys mum.England strength and Jude Bellingham18’ Jude Bellingham shone for England at Hampden park. But Gregor says it isn’t just physical ability, it is his mentality and mindset which sets him apart.20’ Bellingham’s positioning for Real and for England. Might England still not be getting the best out of him.22’ England’s strength in depth, especially in the creative positions.27’ Kalvin Philips. Not playing for city but still getting picked for England. Another case of a player Southgate trusts and continues to use.30’ Paul Pogba. Is his career heading down the ‘lost talent’ route? With a provisional suspension what happens next. Brighton v Man utd32’ Big week for Brighton who play Manchester Utd and then head to Athens in Europe. Martin has been speaking with Brighton chairman Tony Bloom. On the pitch they have beaten Utd the last four times they have played, they have a coveted centre forward and an international centre half. They go into the game – at Old Trafford – as favourites. A sign of how far they have come.38’ How far can Brighton go? How to make the step up from being viewed as a ‘smaller club’ dealing with Europe and the squad strength following the loss of their two main midfielders.48’ And what about Man Utd. If they lose is Ten Hag under pressure?“Nice kit, but doesn’t look like Man Utd, but neither do the team.”49’ Lies, damned lies and football stats.Are football stats worth the paper they’re written on Martin wrote a piece addressing possession stats in particular.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Saudi's football giants - How the signings work and will the spending continue?

Saudi's football giants - How the signings work and will the spending continue? Tom Clarke is joined by regular Monday panellist Alyson Rudd and debutant Tom Kershaw. Messrs Martin Hardy and Michael Grant drop in to give reaction and updates from England and Scotland perspectives. Alyson Rudd gives her reaction to the resignation of Luis Rubiales. Tom Kershaw gives a fascinating and unmissable insight into Saudi sport, how it operates, its fans, culture and the plans in place for the future. 02’.00 – An emotional night as Ukraine fans travelled to see their team play England in Poland. On the pitch - disjointed England. Reaction to England’s less than inspiring performance against Ukraine. How to make the most of the talent on offer, why did the two form players – Bellingham and Maddison appear restricted? 12’00– Are England about to poach a player from the Scottish ranks? Newcastle’s Eliot Anderson could be about to cross the border…Martin Hardy wrote the story. 18’30 - England have the chance to spoil Scotland’s party yet again…” Scottish football correspondent Michael Grant is optimistic this time could be different. Michael updates on the Scotland camp. Are the tartan army booking their tickets to Germany next summer? And what does Michael make of the potential switch of two players from Scotland to England.25’00 - England Scotland predictions. Will it be a match to remember or a bore draw. Alyson Rudd predicts an underwhelming nil nil.30’10 – Discussion and reaction to Luis Rubiales resignation. Is it a case of sorry not sorry? Has the Spanish world cup victory become a post script, with the Rubiales incident being the focal point?33- Tom Kershaw gives a fascinating insight in to Saudi sport. Tom has been to the country on a number of occasions in recent times. he discusses Saudi fans, the atmosphere they create at games and how there are attempts to use football to generate a sports culture, energise the young male population in a country with high rates of diabetes. 36’ atmosphere at matches in the Saudi pro league. Fan culture and behaviour. 41’ the heat and humidity and the effects it has on foreign players.43’ what are the training facilities like in the pro league?47’ is this a flash in the pan, will the money dry up. Or do the league and the financial backers have a long term plan…?49’ What is the financial structure, how is a player signed to play in the pro league. It is different the transfer deadline day type bidding wars we are used to seeing in European leagues.52’ will the bubble burst. Alyson thinks it might. Tom is sure it won’t. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/09/231h 1m

England: Balled out by Hodgson, blanked by Beckham and bluntness from Capello. Plus a look through the week's other football news

The Game Tom Clarke is joined by Matt Dickinson, Matt Lawton and Martin Samuel to discuss the weeks footballing news, this weekend’s international fixtures and a few very funny stories of runs ins with former England managers and captains. 1.10: Roy Keane incident/sports pundits.  Was the Roy Keane incident an accident waiting to happen. Martin Samuel discusses the loss of impartiality in sports broadcasting. Wider comments on ex-players as pundits. Is their perceived fan loyalty detracting from their in-depth knowledge.15.30: Anthony/Greenwood/Man Utd. Tough times at Manchester United off the pitch. In light of the Anthony allegations have the club set a precedent in the way they have handled the Mason Greenwood situation.20.00: Jordan Henderson. Was the former Liverpool players interview a good idea? Were his responses to his critics believable? The discussion broadens out to Saudi influence on sport. Matt Lawton highlights the vast amounts of money involved. All agree that Saudi Arabian influence, across all sport, not just football is an unstoppable force. 35.50: England. Do managers or journalists learn anything from friendlies? What areas of the England team need to be looked at.39.00 – Gareth Southgate. Is he still under pressure? Is he tactically astute enough? What does the future hold for Southgate. Matt Lawton is adamant that the FA can not let him leave the FA. With his knowledge he must be retained in some way. Should he be the most important and influential person in English football? 50.00: The writers discuss their best stories of run ins they’ve had with England managers of the past. Should journalist be told the team ahead of time? Tales of Roy Hodgson, Fabio Capello, Sven Eriksen and Glen Hoddle follow. 1’.08: Which England captains have the writers worked with, who have been engaging, who have been reluctant to work closely with the journalists. The press pack take on David Beckham. The Spice Girls and Beckhams Mohican.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/09/231h 19m

Sancho Hits Out At Ten Hag; Chelsea's Forward Problems & Sensational Spurs!

Gregor Robertson is joined by Tony Cascarino, Tom Roddy and Alyson Rudd to look back at the weekend's Premier League action.They start by reviewing Arsenal's 3-1 win over Manchester United at the Emirates and ask just how significant it was for the Gunners. They also reflect on Jadon Sancho's statement released on social media and how damaging it could be for his career. (00:00)Chelsea's woes continued with a 1-0 defeat at home to Nottingham Forest, what can Mauricio Pochettino do to solve their problems in attack? They also debate how important that win was for Nottingham Forest, and discuss their hopes for the season. (17:35)Spurs continued their unbeaten start to the season with a 5-2 victory at Burnley. Just how important is James Maddison if they are to achieve any success season? How influential has Ange Postecoglou been in their start to the campaign? (28:45)Brighton rounded off Saturday afternoon with a 3-1 win at home to Newcastle, with Evan Ferguson starring with a hat-trick. How far can he go in his career, and how exciting is Brighton's season with Europa League football to come? They also debate if Newcastle fans should start to worry after 3 defeats in their first 4 games? (41:46)Mohamed Salah stars for Liverpool as they thrash Aston Villa 3-0 at Anfield - but will he still be at the club by the end of the Saudi Pro League transfer window? They also hail the performance of Dominik Szoboszlai. (55:54)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/09/231h 5m

Will City Live To Regret Selling Cole Palmer To Chelsea?

Gregor Robertson is joined by Jonathan Northcroft, James Restall and Martin Samuel in The Times office.Chelsea are close to signing Cole Palmer from Manchester City for a fee of around £45m. Should City have found a way for him to fit into their side and is a move to Stamford Bridge the best option for someone who wants minutes? (00:00)Ansu Fati looks like he’s on his way from Barcelona to Brighton on loan. Is this a sign that Brighton are about to step up their spending? (11:00)Harry Maguire looks like he’ll be staying at Old Trafford after a move to West Ham failed to materialise. Given his projected lack of minutes, should he still be in the England team? The same question could be asked of Jordan Henderson after his move to Saudi Arabia (16:52)Luis Rubiales is still in a job as the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, despite calls from all corners to resign over his conduct at the Women’s World Cup final. How will this situation conclude and how damaging has this saga been for women's football? (34:26)We’ve seen some Premier League teams slip up in the League Cup second round. Sheffield United went out against Lincoln City and Tottenham dropped out thanks to Fulham. We round up the latest results and ponder whether pundits should work on games where the team they support are playing (45:40)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
31/08/231h 9m

Late goals, ladles of drama and a Liverpool comeback "for the ages”

Gregor Robertson is joined by Alyson Rudd, Tony Cascarino and Martin Hardy in The Times office in London.Liverpool’s Darwin Núñez came off the bench to score twice late on for ten-man Liverpool against Newcastle United in a modern classic at St James’s Park. The Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp ranked the victory among the most special of his career, but just how big a missed opportunity was this for Newcastle?Manchester United also produced a stirring comeback, after going 2-0 down in the opening four minutes against Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford. But has Old Trafford lost its fear factor?Following a series of high-profile stories involving the mistreatment of women by men working in football, including the recent suspension by Fifa of the Spanish Football Federation’s President Luis Rubiales, we ask: is football, as an industry, failing women?There was more late drama at the Emirates as Arsenal conceded an 87th minute equaliser against ten-man Fulham. The Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta, is trying to evolve last season’s title challengers, but does he need to? And Manchester City took advantage to go top of the table with a late winner at Sheffield United, much to the relief of Erling Haaland — and Kyle Walker.Following impressive wins for West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur, inspired by two new recruits familiar to the Premier League, could the relatively unheralded signings of James Ward-Prowse and James Maddison respectively be the summer’s most inspired transfers?Finally, after Joachim Andersen equalised for Crystal Palace with what can only be described as a slide tackle through the legs of the Brentford goalkeeper Mark Flekken, Tony Cascarino talks us through a goal he scored for Aston Villa that was so bad it won an award.Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/08/231h 11m

Is Pep Starting To Panic?

Tom Clarke is joined by Gregor Robertson, Jonathan Northcroft and Martin Samuel in The Times office.Mason Greenwood will leave Manchester United imminently, but how easily will he find a new club and where in the world could that club be? (00:00)Manchester City are being forced back into the transfer window later than they usually would. Are they starting to panic or just simply reacting to the injury to Kevin De Bruyne? (06:38)Aston Villa are practically through to the group stages of the Europa Conference League after a 5-0 first leg win at Hibernian. How much does this European involvement mean to the club and why do Scottish clubs struggle to compete at this level? (18:22)Everton have started the season badly and look like they’ll struggle for goals. Is this the season they finally go down and how important is moving to their new stadium in the search for fresh investment? (27:15)Martin Samuel has written in The Times about Bruno Fernandes’ captaincy at Manchester United and why managers choose certain players to lead the team. As a former pro, Gregor has some thoughts on his favourite skippers he’s played under (38:31)A mention of Ben Foster’s second retirement leads to a conversation about the difficulty players have getting into elite sides and how the quality of the football pyramid is improving as a result (49:31)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/08/231h 1m

Triumphant Tottenham, Disastrous Debuts and Victorious Villa

Tom Clarke is joined by Gregor Robertson, Alyson Rudd and Tom Roddy in The Times office in London, with Molly Hudson in Australia.The Lionesses came up just short in the World Cup final on Sunday - Molly Hudson joins us from Sydney to look back on a close game against Spain and look ahead to a future with or without Sarina Wiegman in charge. (00:00)In the Premier League, it was a disastrous weekend for Everton who won’t forget their visit to Villa Park in a hurry and Chelsea won’t be overly keen on the London Stadium after a 3-1 defeat to West Ham. How long will it take Mauricio Pochettino’s side to fully gel and what can realistically be expected of them this season? (11:40)Tom Roddy gives us an insight into his exclusive conversation with former Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who left the club for AC Milan in the summer. You can read the full conversation on The Times website (25:24)Tottenham began life after Harry Kane with a 2-0 win over Manchester United. Have the club finally found the right manager to give them a clear identity and vision? As for United, are they still quite a way off where they need to be or was it just one of those days? (29:44)Manchester City overcame Newcastle without Kevin De Bruyne, who is out for several months through injury. Phil Foden stepped up to fill in, but did he impress? (46:00)We round up the rest of the weekend results as Fulham and Brentford share a similar problem in attack, while Brighton end the weekend top of the table despite their summer outgoings (52:05)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/08/231h 1m

Can The Lionesses Lift The World Cup On Sunday?

Tom Clarke is in The Times office in London and he's joined by Molly Hudson and Owen Slot in Australia at the Women's World Cup.The Lionesses are now just one win away from lifting the World Cup trophy. Molly and Owen share the latest from the England camp down under as Sarina Wiegman prepares her squad for the biggest game of their careers.Lauren James is available to play after serving her two match ban - but should she come straight back into the starting line up? We debate this huge decision with a little help from former Lioness and Times columnist, Casey Stoney.Spain are tough opponents with a lot of quality, but behind the scenes they're a team in turmoil. Molly shares tales of striking players, a coach that doesn't connect with the squad and how the team are looking to write their own history on Sunday.Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/08/2328m 53s

Who looks good, who doesn’t and a title decider…in Aug?

Tom Clarke is joined by Jonny Northcroft, Gregor Robertson and Martin Samuel. In today’s pod Manchester United beat Wolves but how did they look? Wolves lost, but how did they look.Manchester United have more than on field issues to worry about as they are poised to make a decision about the future of Mason Greenwood.A London derby as West Ham face Chelsea, which team has a plan and which one doesn’t?Jonny Northcroft has been to meet the premier leagues first black official in fifteen years, Akil Howson.Could there really be a title decider this early in the season? And some funny stories about scary managers. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
17/08/231h 4m

Opening Weekend and an Ecuadorian adventure

This week Tom Clarke is joined by Alyson Rudd, Tony Cascarino and Gregor Robertson. On the agenda is a scintillating start for Newcastle and a tough start for the three promoted clubs Luton, Sheffield United and Burnley. The team hear from Molly Hudson who is following England as they prepare for a semi-final against the Matilda’s at the Women’s World Cup. They then move on to address Spurs without Kane and Gregor finishes the pod with a fascinating take on the other impending one hundred million pound transfer, that of Moises Caicedo. Gregor recently visited Caicedo’s first club in the mountains of Ecuador, he describes what life is like for many young footballers in a country deeply affected by poverty.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/08/231h 7m

Premier League season preview: Part Two

The Premier League season is back and The Game podcast previews the new season with a special two-part show. In Part 2 Tom Clarke, Alyson Rudd, Gregor Robertson and Tom Roddy discuss the rest of the teams in the Premier League. They are joined by Paul Hirst to discuss the Community Shield, debating the title hopes for Manchester City and Arsenal as well as discussing Manchester United's pre-season preparations. They assess whether Brighton and Brentford can hit the same heights and share some concerns over Everton, Fulham, Bournemouth, Wolves, Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace. Aston Villa, Newcastle and Liverpool are the big clubs with big talking points to conclude the show.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/08/231h 16m

Premier League season preview: Part One

The Game: Season preview - part one The Premier League season is back and The Game podcast previews the new season with a special two-part show. In Part 1 Tom Clarke is joined by Alyson Rudd, Gregor Robertson and Tom Roddy to talk Luton, Sheffield United and Burnley and their hopes of survival as the League's new arrivals. The team also tackle some London clubs going through change this summer: West Ham, Chelsea and Tottenham. Finally they react to England's penalty shootout victory against Nigeria in the Women's World Cup.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
08/08/231h 10m

Women's World Cup & 2023/24 EFL Preview Show

Tom Clarke is joined by James Restall in London and Molly Hudson in Australia to discuss the latest from the Women's World Cup.Sarina Wiegman has shown she's not afraid to make changes in this tournament - is this key to England's success? Lauren James has been the standout player for the Lionesses so far, but which other players deserve praise? (00:00)England take on Nigeria next - what kind of challenge do they pose? Former England defender and Times columnist Casey Stoney has her say on which Lionesses will play a huge part in how the rest of the tournament will play out for England. (22:45)In the second half of the show, Gregor Robertson and Willis Bennett join Tom Clarke to look ahead to the brand new EFL season. The Championship begins on Friday, but which teams are predicted to have a positive season in the 'toughest league' to progress from? (35:25)Leagues One and Two also get started this weekend - and you might be surprised to find out which team in the latter are expected to shine this season! (55:06)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/08/231h 4m

What Did We Learn From England's Euro 2024 Qualifiers & What Next For O'Neil & Moore?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson and Tom Clarke to look back at the week's Euro 2024 qualifying action, and discuss the week's biggest stories.The Times' Deputy Sports Editor James Restall joins the show to look back at England's 7-0 win over North Macedonia in their Euro 2024 qualifying group. They discuss what we may have learned from the game, and ask if England are now ready to win a major tournament. (00:00)The Times' Scotland Reporter Martin Grant joins the show to reflect on Scotland's 2-1 win over Norway which sees them top of their Euro 2024 qualifying group, and they also preview tonight's game with Georgia. (16:10)Wales suffered back-to-back defeats this week, but should the pressure now be on their manager Rob Page? Did they make a mistake at the World Cup by still playing the likes of Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen? (24:30)Bournemouth have sacked manager Gary O'Neil and replaced him with the former Rayo Vallecano manager Andoni Iraola, but was it the right decision? Are the owners showing ambition by having a plan in place for next season, or will Iraola's lack of experience in the Premier League cost them next season? (34:25)The panel reflect on Darren Moore's sacking as Sheffield Wednesday manager and what next for him? Hugh Woozencroft also says his goodbye as the presenter of The Game Podcast. (44:55)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/06/2355m 38s

Bellingham Unveiled At Real Madrid & International Football Returns!

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson and Tom Clarke to discuss the week's biggest stories, and look ahead to the weekend's International football.The Times' Chief Football Writer Henry Winter joins the show to look ahead to England's Euro 2024 qualifier against Malta on Friday, and discuss some of the selection headaches for Gareth Southgate. He also discusses Harry Kane's future and whether he will leave Spurs this summer. (00:00)Jude Bellingham has been unveiled as a Real Madrid player following his move from Borussia Dortmund. How significant is this transfer for English future, and what can we expect to see from him in Spain in the coming seasons? (14:30)The Times' Scotland reporter Michael Grant joins the show to preview Scotland's trip to Norway in a huge game in Euro 2024 qualifying. He also discusses Ange Postecoglou going to Spurs, and a possible return to Celtic for Brendan Rodgers. (31:15)The transfer window has officially opened, the guys discuss their dream transfers this summer! (42:15)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/06/2355m 41s

Manchester City Seal The Treble With Champions League Triumph!

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson and Alyson Rudd to look back at the Champions League final, as Manchester City complete the treble with a 1-0 win over Inter Milan in Istanbul.The Times' Manchester Correspondent Paul Hirst joins the show to reflect on the game, and discuss how Inter Milan made it so difficult for Manchester City. We also discuss the off-the-field issues in getting to the stadium on the day, and look at how Pep Guardiola has transformed the careers of some of his players. (00:00)What does Manchester City's treble victory mean going forward? How big of an achievement is it for Pep Guardiola's side to do this, or should they have won the Champions League sooner? (22:30)The Times' Chief Sports Writer Owen Slot joins the show to reflect on his recent visit to Abu Dhabi. He discussed what it was like there to watch Man City win the Champions League, and whether Abu Dhabi have embraced Manchester City and if the locals now support the club. (44:30)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/06/231h 8m

West Ham's Europa Conference League Glory & Man City On The Verge Of The Treble!

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tony Cascarino and Alyson Rudd to look back at the FA Cup final and discuss the week's biggest football stories.West Ham have won their first cup competition since 1980 after winning the Europa Conference League following a 2-1 win over Fiorentina in the final - can the club push on from here, and will David Moyes be at the helm to do so? (00:00)The West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has confirmed that captain Declan Rice will leave the club in the summer, but where will he end up? And despite this, is the future bright for West Ham with a season in the Europa League to come? (17:16)Manchester City are 90 minutes away from completing the treble this season - but do we give Inter Milan any chance of an upset? What will they need to do to defy the odds to win in Istanbul? (27:20)Real Madrid are set to sign the Borussia Dortmund teenager Jude Bellingham after the two clubs agreed a fee for the England international. How good will it be for him to go to La Liga, or is this the right move for him? Lionel Messi is set to go to Major League Soccer to play for Inter Miami, and we also react to Liverpool signing Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton. (37:30)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
08/06/2352m 35s

Manchester City On Course For The Treble & Could Postecoglou Rebuild Spurs?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tony Cascarino and Alyson Rudd to look back at the FA Cup final and discuss the week's biggest football stories.Manchester City remain on course for the treble after beating Manchester United in the FA Cup final. The Times' Paul Hirst joins the show to reflect on the game, discuss how important Ilkay Gundogan is for Man City, and debate how United can compete with their neighbours in the future. (00:00)The Times' Senior Sports Writer Matt Dickinson joins the show to discuss his book, and also reflect on his piece with the Manchester United legend Brian McClair, in which they look back at the United treble-winning side of 1999. (26:10)Real Madrid announce that Karim Benzema will leave the club at the end of the season after 14 years in the Spanish capital, but should Spurs striker Harry Kane replace him at the club? We discuss Benzema's legacy, and also discuss what Kane should consider if he makes the move. (36:00)Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou is the favourite to take over as Spurs ahead of the new Premier League season. We'll discuss if the step up will be too much for him, and whether he can cope with managing in one of Europe's Top 5 leagues. (46:15)Alyson reflects on her interviews with the Southampton owners Sport Republic, and the Brentford manager Thomas Frank, and looks back on her key findings from both conversations. (58:45)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/06/231h 12m

Can Man United Stop Man City's Treble Quest At Wembley?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tom Roddy and Molly Hudson to discuss the week's biggest football stories.Jose Mourinho misses the chance to win the Europa League after a penalty shoot-out defeat to Sevilla in Budapest, but will he stay in Serie A next season, or will he make the perfect International manager? (00:00)The Times' Manchester Correspondent Paul Hirst joins the show to preview the weekend's FA Cup final as Man United face Man City at Wembley, how motivated will United be to stop City winning the treble? How important a day is it for Manchester United? (09:25)Gregor, Tom and Molly continue building up to the FA Cup final. What type of game will we expect to see? Will City's complacency cost them with their eyes on the Champions League final? What do United need to do in the summer to strengthen? (24:30)Manchester United have reportedly agreed terms with Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount - how disappointed should Chelsea be to lose another homegrown player? What can Mount add to the Manchester United midfield? Will Declan Rice be a good signing for Bayern Munich? (34:45)Molly looks ahead to the start of the Women's World Cup, as Sarina Weigman names England's squad for the tournament this summer. Will their injuries catch up with them? When will the off-the-field problems such as broadcasting rights etc be solved? (46:55)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
01/06/2357m 22s

Survival Sunday ends with Leeds & Leicester suffering the drop

Gregor Robertson is joined by Tony Cascarino, Tom Allnutt and Alyson RuddThe curtain comes down on another Premier League season and the final day saw Leeds & Leicester drop down to the Championship.Despite survival is Sean Dyche the right man to keep Everton out of trouble and push them up the table?Where did it all go wrong for Leicester? Premier League and FA Cup winners drop down to the Championship after 9 years in the top flight.After going from Bielsa to Allardyce where do Leeds go from here? Spurs won't be playing any form of European football for the first time in 14 years despite victory on the final day. We discuss whether Ryan Mason should get the job permanently and of course what happens with Harry Kane.Aston Villa will be playing European football next season after Unai Emery's transformed them post Steven Gerrard. Why couldn't Gerrard get out the best from this squad?And we review the season as a whole which has seen the Premier League season break mid way through for the World Cup and and a record number of managers losing their jobs. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/05/231h 12m

Final day drama predicted as Everton, Leicester & Leeds fight for survival and Spurs manager hunt continues

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Tom Clarke, Jonathan Northcroft & Gregor RobertsonAfter Leicester parked the bus against Newcastle to pick up an all important point we ask the question is it too little too late for The Foxes?How important will the fans be at Elland Road, King Power & Goodison Park as all three have must win home games on the final day.The panel predict who they think will drop out of the Premier League.Newcastle United will be playing Champions League football next season. What does that mean for their summer transfer plans?What is going on at Spurs as yet another manager turns down the club. Feyenoord boss Arne Slot has revealed that he plans to stay in the Netherlands.And we look ahead to the Championship play-off final between Luton Town & Coventry City. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/05/231h 13m

Man City Are Champions Again; Forest Survive & Brighton Qualify For Europe!

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Alyson Rudd and Tom Roddy to look back at the weekend's Premier League action and discuss the biggest stories of the week.Nottingham Forest have secured their Premier League status for another season after beating Arsenal 1-0 at the City Ground. They discuss just how well Steve Cooper has done this season, and ask if the owner Evangelos Marinakis deserves credit for showing faith in him. (00:00)Manchester City win the Premier League for a third consecutive season, how has Pep Guardiola been able to maintain the consistency at the club whilst also managing a number of world-class players? Will their dominance continue in the years to come? (14:55)Pep Guardiola's side have now won 5 Premier League titles in the last 6 seasons, but why do fans still not consider them to be one of the greatest teams in history? We'll ask if the 115 alleged breaches of financial rules from the Premier League has tarnished their legacy in how they are viewed. (26:05)Leeds United's Premier League status is hanging by a thread after losing 3-1 at home to West Ham. They have now lost 25 points from winning positions this season, so was it too late to make a change in the dugout? We'll also reflect on Everton's late equaliser at Wolves and why that makes them favourites to stay up heading into the final day. (45:35)Brighton have qualified for Europe for the first time in their history, with it looking likely they'll play in next season's Europa League - but how do they cope with the step up? What's their plan to be able to deal with the Thursday-Sunday schedule next season? (54:30)Roberto Firmino received an emotional send-off after his last home game as a Liverpool player - we discuss the legacy he has left behind and where he ranks amongst the greatest No.9s in Liverpool's history. (1:02:20)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/05/231h 8m

Man City on course for treble as Toney gets hit with 8 month ban

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Ian Harkey & Tom Allnutt.Man City produce a masterclass against Real Madrid to book their place in the Champions League final with some billing it as the best performance by any English side in European historyWe compare Pep Guardiola's Barcelona with his Man City side and ask why his current team lacks the romanticism of his previous success.England and Brentford striker Ivan Toney has been hit with an eight month ban after he was found guilty of betting charges.Is the ban harsh and does football and gambling have an unhealthy relationship?And we discuss the latest in the Championship as Luton and Coventry prepare to face each other in the play-off final. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/05/231h 13m

Man City hold their nerve to move one step closer to title

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Alyson Rudd, Tom Roddy & Gregor Robertson.Arsenal's title bid finally comes to an end as they lose at home to Brighton by three goals.Are Brighton the best team to watch in the Premier League and are they the story of the season?How long can Brighton hold on to their star players and their manager Roberto De Zerbi with sharks already circling.We discuss Leeds and the impact that Sam Allardyce has made since joining on a short term deal until the end of the season.With Champions League qualification now mathematically impossible do Spurs even want to play in the Europa Conference league?Frank Lampard tells the Chelsea players they need to take a look at themselves after they dropped more points, this time at home to Nottingham Forest.And with Southampton's relegation finally confirmed we pick a part where it's gone so wrong this season for The Saints. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/05/231h 14m

Champions League final in sight

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Jonathan Northcroft, Gregor Robertson & Ian Hawkey.Following the 1-1 draw at The Bernabeu are Man City now heavy favourites or just favourites to reach the Champions League final.Kevin de Bruyne scored the goal for Man City as he continued his fine form but does he need to win the Champions League to go down as one of the all-time greats?In the other semi-final Inter Milan took the bragging rights and one foot in the final after a 2 nil win over AC Milan.Is Edin Dzeko the most underrated striker in Europe following his exploits at the San Siro?Inter Milan had the opportunity to make it 3 nil after they awarded a penalty in the first-half however the referee decided to overturn his own decision after consulting VAR. Was that the correct decision?As we head into the Championship play-offs who are favourites to make it to the promised land of the Premier League?In-form Sunderland's injury issues continue and take on Luton, who aim to become the first team to go from the National League to the Premier League.After all the issues Coventry have had in recent years would Mark Robins guiding the Sky Blues to promotion be the story of the season? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/05/2351m 18s

Goals galore on a manic Monday of Premier League football!

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Tom Clarke, Alyson Rudd, Gregor Robertson & Charlotte DunckerWas Everton's win the most bizarre result this season? A team that played more like champions elect as opposed to relegation threatened.Is Brighton's season tailing off and now in danger of missing out on European football next season? Following Nottingham Forest's thrilling win over Southampton does that put them in pole position to stay up this season? Are Leicester "too good to go down"? A 5-3 defeat to Fulham at Craven Cottage leaves the foxes in the bottom 3 and in real danger of losing their Premier League status.Arsenal playing Newcastle at their own game. A frustrated Eddie Howe complained about the time wasting from Arsenal although the stats show that it is Newcastle who have been the worst culprits of the dark arts this season.And finally what is going wrong at Manchester United with just 4 wins from the previous 10 games. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/05/231h 4m

Record-Breaking Haaland & Big Sam Is Back!

Tom Clarke is joined by Gregor Robertson and Tom Allnutt to look back at the week's Premier League action and discuss the biggest stories of the week.The Times' Chief Sports Correspondent Matt Lawton joins us to reflect on the news that Sam Allardyce has been appointed the new Leeds manager until the end of the season. He discusses what he can bring to the side, and explains why his long-standing assistant Sammy Lee won't be with him this time around. (00:00)The panel continue to discuss Sam Allardyce's appoint at Leeds and try make sense of it all. Gregor Robertson believes the appointment has no logic to it, whilst Tom Allnutt says Leeds no have identity, so he could understand why they have made the decision to bring him in. (08:10)Leicester drew 2-2 with Everton in a huge game at the bottom of the table on Monday night, they reflect on this result, and explain why a point may not be the worst result in the world for both teams as they look to stay in the Premier League. (18:00)Arsenal keep their slim hopes of winning the Premier League title alive with a 3-1 win at home to Chelsea in midweek, but just how bad have things got at Chelsea, and how much of a job does Mauricio Pochettino have on his hands if he were to be appointed the club's new manager? (24:00)Erling Haaland breaks the record for the most Premier League goals in a single season as his 35th helped Man City brush aside West Ham - they discuss that result and also reflect on Liverpool's 1-0 win at home to Fulham on Wednesday night. (34:20)Molly Hudson joins the show to reflect on Arsenal's defeat to Wolfsburg in their Champions League semi-final second leg at a sold-out Emirates Stadium, and also reflect on the news of a 4th Arsenal player picking up an ACL injury in just 6 months (47:15)We end the show by discussing Lionel Messi's future after he took some unauthorised leave from PSG, and we preview the final day of the Championship season, with so many teams still in contention for a possible play-off place. (55:45)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/05/231h 2m

Mayday For Leeds and Groundhog Day For Spurs

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Alyson Rudd and Tony Cascarino.Spurs once again started very poorly, but this time managed to almost salvage a point against Liverpool. How do they even begin to fix their shortcomings? (00:00)Possible red cards and Jurgen Klopp’s actions on the touchline also came up in our thorough analysis (14:18)Bournemouth are surely secure now, but Leeds are deep in trouble. Where can they get the points they’ll need to survive? (33:39)Forest could have given themselves a huge chance of staying up, but let Brentford snatch all the points in West London. Did Steve Cooper get his tactics spot on, though? (45:30)Southampton are sure to be playing in the Championship next season - but are they the next club to free fall down the leagues? (50:55)Crystal Palace have been a joy to watch since Roy Hodgson came back - but where do they look after the season is over? (60:54)Brighton are within touching distance of Europe - what have they got so right that other clubs have struggled so much with? (70:02)Erling Haaland is on the verge of breaking the Premier League scoring record, but is there another gem starting to shine at the Etihad? (74:38)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
01/05/231h 18m

Is That The Title Decided?

Hi all, The latest episode of The Game podcast was released earlier:Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tom Allnutt & Jonathan Northcroft.Title decided? Following Man City's comprehensive 4-1 win against leaders Arsenal does that mean the title is once again heading to Manchester.What is wrong at Chelsea? Has Frank Lampard's reputation been damaged during this so far unsuccessful interim spell. With Mauricio Pochettino looking likely to return to the Premier League is this the right job for him and is he the right man to turn around the clubs fortunes.Leeds & Leicester battle it out in a relegation 6 pointer but should Leicester be disappointed not to take all 3 points and is Dean Smith the man going forward?"Spurs are a mess of a club" but who really is to blame for the seasons shortcomings? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/04/231h 12m

Arsenal Slip Up; Spurs Swept Aside & Who Will Go Down?!

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tony Cascarino and Tom Clarke to look back at the weekend's Premier League and FA Cup football.Arsenal drop 2 more points after drawing 3-3 at home to Southampton on Friday night, but can they recover from this blip and regain control of the title race? Manchester City sweep aside Sheffield United in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, can they now go on and win the treble this season? (00:00)Spurs are thrashed 6-1 away at Newcastle, but does the culture need to change if they are to become successful, and who would join the club as their new manager if results continue like this? What additions should Eddie Howe make to his squad with Newcastle set to qualify for next season's Champions League? (25:30)The Premier League relegation battle takes another twist, as Leicester move out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 win at home to Wolves, and Leeds lose at Fulham. Bournemouth are thrashed 4-0 away at West Ham, and Nottingham Forest lose 3-2 against Liverpool at Anfield, but who will go down this season? (47:00)Manchester United book their place in the FA Cup final after beating Brighton on penalties, and both Wrexham and Leyton Orient secure promotion from their prospective divisions. (1:02:55)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/04/231h 10m

Will Manchester City Finally Win The Champions League?!

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Jonathan Northcroft and Ian Hawkey to look back at the midweek Champions League action, and look ahead to the weekend's football.Manchester City book their place in the semi-finals with a 4-1 aggregate victory over Bayern Munich, but is this the year they finally go all the way in Europe? They dissect the performance at the Allianz Arena and also discuss a potential new contract for Erling Haaland (00:00)Chelsea's season is all-but over after losing 4-0 on aggregate to Real Madrid in their Champions League quarter-final tie, can things get any worse for Frank Lampard? What do they make of the owner Todd Boehly going into the dressing room to speak to the players? (12:00)Can history repeat itself with Real Madrid knocking out Manchester City in a Champions League semi-final? They discuss the threat posed by the Spanish club, and also discuss the other semi-final, with sees AC Milan face Inter in a Milan Derby. (28:15)Molly Hudson joins the show to look back at a crucial game in the WSL, as Manchester United beat title rivals Arsenal to go top of the table. They also discuss the injury to the England captain Leah Williamson, and how it may impact both Arsenal and England. (38:15)The FA Cup semi-finals take place this weekend! Can Sheffield United cause an almighty upset and beat Manchester City? Is this also Brighton's best chance to reach the final? Do they have enough to beat Manchester United? (47:30)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/04/2354m 47s

Are Arsenal Cracking Under Pressure?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Alyson Rudd and Tom Roddy.Arsenal dropped more points in the title race at the weekend. Are they struggling under the pressure and will the title come down to the result of the game against Manchester City? (00:00)Ollie Watkins continued to impress for Aston Villa as they put Newcastle in their place. Could Unai Emery’s team make Europe? (17:28)Brighton have a knack of finding exciting young players with Julio Enciso the latest to impress - scoring the winner at Stamford Bridge. Tom Roddy has more about his exclusive story on the likely identity of Chelsea’s new manager (26:20)Dean Smith’s 600th game in management didn’t go to plan - with Leicester losing to Manchester City. Do the Foxes have a better chance of survival under him, though? (39:02)Bournemouth showed they’re up for the fight with a stunning victory against Spurs. Are the Tottenham fans losing focus on the action on the pitch? (49:22)We round up the rest of the games across the weekend - with several teams fighting for their lives in the Premier League (65:59)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
17/04/231h 13m

"The Biggest Vanity Job You’ve Ever Seen"

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Tony Cascarino and Tom Clarke in London - and Gregor Robertson in Ghent.Chelsea have it all to do in their Champions League second leg against Real Madrid. Was Frank Lampard the best choice and did the club wait too long to part company with Graham Potter? (00:00)Manchester City have a lot less to worry about against Bayern Munich. Have they found form at the right time and will they finally achieve European glory? (22:07)Dean Smith is in at Leicester City. Is he a good choice and did the club miss a trick in keeping the faith with Brendan Rodgers for so long? (40:30)Liverpool are said to have cooled their interest in Jude Bellingham and Gregor tells us about his trip to Wrexham as we round up the other big stories of the week (52:26)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/04/231h 7m

The Title Races Take Another Twist & More VAR Drama In The Premier League!

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson and Alyson Rudd to look back at the weekend's Premier League football and discuss the biggest stories.Arsenal draw 2-2 away at Liverpool in a thrilling game to round off the weekend's football, but with the gap now just 6 points between them and Manchester City, are they still favourites to lift the title? What did the panel also make on Trent Alexander-Arnold's new position and his performance in general? (00:00)Aaron Ramsdale pulled off a string of fantastic saves in the draw at Anfield, but should the Arsenal goalkeeper now be considered England's Number 1? (18:30)What punishment should Assistant Referee Constantine Hatzidakis receive for his altercation with Andy Robertson? We discuss that and also how behaviour towards officials need to change, and what punishment will allow those changes to happen? (24:10)VAR was again the talking point at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as Brighton lose 2-1 to Spurs in an incident packed game. The PGMOL have since apologised to Brighton for their error in not awarding them a penalty, but how can we stop the constant scrutiny on VAR decisions? (46:45)Bournemouth moved out of the relegation zone with a 1-0 win at Leicester City, they discuss the job Gary O'Neill is doing on the South Coast and ask how worried fans should be about Leicester's bid to stay in the top flight? They also look back at a huge win for Crystal Palace against relegation rivals Leeds United. (54:50)Frank Lampard began his second stint in charge of Chelsea with a 1-0 defeat at Wolves, but what is the point of re-appointing him if they don't beat Real Madrid in the Champions League? (1:06:15)Ian Hawkey joins the show to look ahead to the week's Champions League action, and discuss how Bayern are faring ahead of meeting Manchester City, and how important it is to have the likes of Napoli and AC Milan in the latter stages. (1:10:30)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/04/231h 22m

Lampard Returns To Chelsea & Will More Owners Sack Their Managers?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tom Clarke and Tom Roddy to look back at the midweek Premier League football and discuss the biggest stories.Frank Lampard has return to Chelsea as their interim manager until the end of the season, but was it a right decision? Will that galvanize the players ahead of the Champions League, or should they have stuck with Potter if there permanent replacement will be appointed in the summer? (00:00)West Ham were thrashed 5-1 at home to Newcastle on Wednesday night, as the pressure ramps up on David Moyes. Should the club stick with him, or do they make a change to try and keep them in the league? (28:20)Are Newcastle now favourites to finish in the Top 4? How much credit does Eddie Howe deserve for recovering from a mini-blip last month to lead them to third in the Premier League table? (34:40)Nottingham Forest show their support to under-fire manager Steve Cooper, but if their eight-match winless run continues, should the club make a change, or is peer pressure from the supporters stopping the owners from sacking him? (38:00)Leicester City are still without a manager as they lost at home to in-form Aston Villa - do we consider Aston Villa to be a threat next season under Unai Emery? Who should replace Rodgers at Leicester, Martin O'Neill or Rafael Benitez? (44:56)Fulham's Aleksandr Mitrovic has been banned for 8 games for a push on referee Chris Kavanagh in their defeat to Manchester United last month, but is that the right amount of time, or does he deserve stronger punishment? (53:23)We end the show by looking ahead to huge games in the EFL and National League, as Burnley can be promoted back to the Premier League this weekend, and Wrexham face Notts County in a huge game at the top of England's fifth tier. (1:00:30)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/04/231h 4m

Potter Sacked, Rodgers Leaves & Should Liverpool Sell Alexander-Arnold?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tony Cascarino and Alyson Rudd to look back at the weekend's Premier League football.Graham Potter has been sacked as Chelsea manager after just 7 months in charge, we discuss where it went wrong for him, whether the ownership were at fault for hiring him in the first place, and who could potentially replace him at Stamford Bridge. (00:00)Aston Villa go to Stamford Bridge and win 2-0, and with the points tally since Unai Emery was appointed only bettered by 3 of the Top 4 in the Premier League, can they make a late charge for Europe? (25:25)Manchester City maintain their pressure on the league leaders Arsenal after dismantling Liverpool at the Etihad, but how poor were Liverpool, and should they start to conceding selling players such as Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold? (28:50)Manchester United hold a dressing room inquest following their 2-0 defeat to Newcastle, but is Erik ten Hag already ahead when it comes to his long-term project at the club? Was this defeat a gentle reminder of how much work needs to be done before they're challenging at the top again? (45:40)Brendan Rodgers leaves Leicester City by mutual consent - what can we do to ensure Premier League clubs are not just firing managers so frequently? Who do Leicester appoint in the interim? (59:48)We end the show by discussing the weekend's other Premier League football, as West Ham beat Southampton, Bournemouth beat Fulham and Brighton and Brentford share the spoils in a six-goal thriller. (1:11:09)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/04/231h 15m

Sensational Scotland Stun Spain & Roy's Return To The Dugout!

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tom Roddy and Jonathan Northcroft to look back at the weekend's International football, and look ahead to the return of the Premier League.Scotland stun Spain with a 2-0 win at Hampden Park to top their Group after the first 2 games of Euro 2024 qualifying, how much credit should we give Steve Clarke for the job he has done with the national side, and what did we make of Rodri's comments about Scotland's style of play? (00:00)Wales begin life without Gareth Bale with 4 points from their first 2 games - but has the team now been allowed to express themselves without having to fit around his style of play? (16:30)What's going on at Spurs, and what's next for the club? They discuss the news that their Managing Director of Football Fabio Paratici's ban from football has been extended to worldwide. They also assess the job Daniel Levy has done at the club in the light of this story. (20:00)Roy Hodgson returns to the Premier League as Crystal Palace manager at the age of 75 when they host Leicester on Saturday, but have the club made a step back with his appointment, and what would the ramifications be if they were to be relegated? (39:20)The guys end the show by previewing the other big games and the bottom, and look ahead to a huge game at the top between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium. (48:30)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/03/2357m 50s

What Now For Spurs After Conte, And Is It Job Done For England?!

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson and Tony Cascarino to look back at the weekend's International football.Spurs have parted company with Antonio Conte, was it always a marriage in hell? Does Daniel Levy deserve the criticism that has come his way? Is it more than just recruitment that's to blame? (00:00)The former Bayern Munich manager Julien Nagelsmann has been linked with the role, but will he be a good appointment, or shall they appoint someone left-field such as Vincent Kompany (19:55)Harry Kane surpasses Wayne Rooney to become England's all-time record goalscorer - is he the greatest England striker of all-time? (32:20)England begin their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with two wins from two - they reflect on a 2-0 win for England against Ukraine, and praise the performances of Bukayo Saka and James Maddison. (42:26)The guys reflect on the weekend's other International football, as Wales leave it late to secure a point against Croatia in Split, Scotland start their campaign off with a 3-0 thrashing of Cyprus, and the Republic of Ireland beat Latvia. (59:48)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/03/231h 9m

Is Southgate under pressure?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tom Clarke, Michael Grant & Matt LawtonMatt Lawton joins the show from Naples ahead of England's European Championship qualifier plus he gives an update on the protracted takeover of Manchester United.Is Gareth Southgate under pressure despite qualification for Euro 2024 not even underway?Michael Grant discusses Scotland as they play their first competitive fixture since September.And after Mesut Ozil announcing his retirement how should he be remembered? A Premier League legend or a wasted talent? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/03/231h 2m

Conte and Mitrovic take centre stage

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tom Clarke & Tom Allnutt Antonio Conte lets rip at his players after throwing away a 3-1 lead at Southampton. Should Conte keep his job? And was his rant directed at the board or the players?Following the sacking of Patrick Vieira we discussed if that was the right decision. Still in 12th and after a tough run of fixtures should Vieira have been given more time?Leeds picked up a huge three points as they won at fellow relegation rivals Wolves.With Alexander Mitrovic losing his cool and being shown red for his actions at Old Trafford what should Mitrovic's punishment be?Paul Heckingbottom continued to work wonders at Sheffield United with promotion back to the Premier League on the cards and now an FA Cup semi final.Have Brighton unearthed another gem in Evan Ferguson? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/03/231h 22m

Is Pep A Party Pooper?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Ian Hawkey and Jonathan Northcroft.Erling Haaland scored five goals in little over an hour for Manchester City in their 7-0 win over Leipzig. Can we finally put to bed the theory that he’s made their side worse? (00:00)Liverpool are out of the Champions League after a comprehensive defeat over two legs against Real Madrid. How much of a rebuild do they need to be back challenging in Europe? (21:50)Trent Alexander-Arnold is in the spotlight again after comments from Jamie Carragher. Is he reaching a crossroads in his career? (30:46)Hugh gets his random Champions League quarter finals generator out to see how the teams left in the competition could get matched up and could we see a new name from Italy on the trophy this season? (39:12)We share our favourite individual performances in the history of the Champions League, with a couple of surprise suggestions in the mix (45:00)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/03/2354m 1s

What A Difference A Week Makes

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Alyson Rudd and Tony Cascarino.Gary Lineker will return to MOTD this weekend after everything that transpired over the last few days. Have you ever seen football presented in such a miserable way as they did on Saturday night? (00:00)Liverpool followed their thrashing of Manchester United with a 1-0 loss at Bournemouth. Can the south coast side stay up and will Liverpool bounce back to shock Real Madrid? (08:42)Everton got a much-needed win over Brentford. How can they stay in the Premier League and how important will Goodison Park be to them? (27:04)It’s been suggested that Ivan Toney is in line for another England call up - but should he be involved with the possibility of a lengthy ban on the horizon? (35:42)Leeds battled to get a point against Brighton - was Roberto De Zerbi’s disappointment a sign of how far Brighton have come? (39:36)How important was West Ham’s point against Aston Villa in their survival hopes under David Moyes? (46:17)We round up the rest of the weekend’s games with big wins for Chelsea and Spurs (53:13)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/03/231h 14m

Time for Conte to get off the Spurs train?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson & Tom Allnutt Is Graham Potter beginning to turn things around at Chelsea following back to back wins and Champions League progression?Another disappointing evening for Spurs as they crashed out of the Champions League against AC Milan.Is it time for Antonio Conte to leave and for the emotional return of Pochettino?Another year passes without Harry Kane winning a trophy. He is now approaching the final 12 months of is deal at Spurs so what of his future?Premier League preview as sides chasing Europe come up against sides at the other end of the table fighting relegation.After hitting Man United for 7 last week can Liverpool back it up with a big win over Bournemouth? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/03/231h 2m

Man United hit for 7 (seven)!

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Alyson Rudd & Matt DickinsonHistory is made at Anfield as Liverpool hit Man United for seven as the race for the top four hots up.Arsenal hitting back like champions? Reiss Nelson scoring late to seal a 3-2 comeback at The Emirates.Would missing out on the top 4 be an opportunity missed for Newcastle? Defeat to Man City sees them drop down to 6th.In how big trouble are Crystal Palace? Without a win since December!Despite a 4 nil defeat at Brighton why is David Moyes still safe at West Ham?Stay of execution for Graham Potter at Chelsea after a narrow 1 nil win at Stamford Bridge against Leeds. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/03/231h 15m

The Saints Go Marching Out (Of The Cup)

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Molly Hudson and Jonathan Northcroft.Grimsby triumph as Southampton reach and even lower low. Gregor’s former side are celebrating a famous cup win - but are the Saints doomed? (00:00)Sheffield United shine to knock Spurs out of the FA Cup. Despite better results, are Spurs actually playing any better at the moment? (15:58)Manchester United continued their good form to brush West Ham aside. Can they add a second domestic cup to their haul this season? (24:10)Liverpool made slight improvements to beat Wolves - but are they going to be shown up by United at the weekend? (30:57)Everton were blown away by Arsenal in the league. Will Sean Dyche be able to turn things around and if so, how? (36:12)Leeds United go to Chelsea looking for points against a side who can’t find form. Would a loss at the weekend be the final straw for Graham Potter? (42:14)The Continental Cup final takes place this weekend with Arsenal facing Chelsea. Molly tells us why Lauren James could be the key to a Chelsea win (50:45)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/03/2358m 32s

A Trophy For Ten Hag & Pressure On Potter?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tom Clarke and Tom Roddy to review the footballing weekend.Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/02/231h 5m

What's wrong at Liverpool & Man City?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Ian Hawkey & Tom AllnuttWhat is wrong with Liverpool at the moment? A heavy defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League first leg leaves their season in tatters.Is Erling Haaland the problem for Man City? Struggling for goals and drawing away to RB Leipzig in the Champions LeagueJavi Gracia returns to the Premier League. The former Watford manager has signed a 'flexible contract' with Leeds.And we look ahead to the Carabao Cup final as Manchester United take on Newcastle United. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/02/231h 6m

Game Of The Day

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tom Clarke & Tony Cascarino.The title race continues to hot up as Arsenal score two late goals to secure the points against Aston Villa, whilst Man City can only draw at Nottingham ForestIt's another defeat for Chelsea and Graham many more can he oversee before the dreaded axe is dropped?Wins for Bournemouth, Everton & Southampton made things even tighter towards the bottom as West Ham dropped back into the bottom 3. Should David Moyes keep his job? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/02/231h 24m

Are Arsenal's Wheels Coming Off?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tom Roddy, Ian Hawkey - with Tom Clarke.The master beat the apprentice as Manchester City took the Premier League lead from Arsenal. Are the wheels starting to come off for Mikel Arteta’s side? (00:00)Chelsea will have to win at Stamford Bridge to progress in the Champions League after a 1-0 loss away at Borussia Dortmund. Is the lack of a striker going to continue to haunt them until the end of the season? (20:38)Tom Roddy joins us from Dortmund fresh from his sit-down interview with Dortmund striker Sébastien Haller, as he continues his comeback from testicular cancer (33:28)Tottenham also need to win at home to make the last 8 of the Champions League, but should they be quietly confident against AC Milan? (37:46)Bayern got the better of PSG and Ian Hawkey casts his expert eye over where both European giants find themselves at present (43:54)Southampton and Leeds are still on the lookout for new managers ahead of their meeting on Saturday. Just how important is the Premier League match at Elland Road? (49:50)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/02/231h 3m

95 Days Later..

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Alyson Rudd and Tom Clarke.Southampton have parted company with Nathan Jones after a whirlwind 95 days in charge. Does this actually go down as the worst Premier League appointment ever? (00:00)City cut Arsenal’s lead to 3 points with a 3-1 win against Aston Villa. Do they have the momentum to overtake the Gunners and leave them in the dust? (18:15)VAR was once again a huge talking point over the weekend, with changes for the next couple of games already made by the PGMOL (38:24)Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw by West Ham - did another mistake in that game hold them back? (45:48)Spurs lost 4-1 at Leicester City. Are their inconsistency problems ever going to be solved and where will they realistically finish this season? (53:16)We round up the rest of the games with Alyson giving special praise to a Fulham defender (60:30)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/02/231h 12m

Leeds On The Hunt For A Manager!

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Jonathan Northcroft, Tom Clarke and Gregor RobertsonLeeds sacked Jesse Marsch this week and are now on the hunt for a new manager but is there a long term plan strategy in place? Why didn't it work out for Marsch and should the owners take more of the blame for Leeds' current position in the table? (00:00)Manchester United came back from 2-0 down to draw with Leeds last night, was this a missed opportunity for them to put pressure on Arsenal and Manchester City in the title race and how pleased will Erik Ten Haag be to see Jadon Sancho back amongst the goals? (10.30)It was reported that the investigation into Manchester City's alleged financial breaches could take 2-4 years to be resolved, should more focus be put on the timing of this announcement by the Premier League this week with increased reports of a proposed independent regulator for the Premier League? (21:40)Pressure is on Southampton and manager Nathan Jones with uncertainty over his future, can they get a result against Wolves this weekend? If they don't, should Nathan Jones stay or go? (37:14)Are questions now starting to be asked of Arsenal ahead of their game vs Brentford this weekend? Should we be expecting more from Chelsea and Graham Potter now? Can Sean Dyche add to Liverpool's woes in the Merseyside Derby? (47:54)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/02/231h 1m

SPECIAL: The Hollywood Fairytale of Wrexham Football Club

When two actors decided to buy non-league football club Wrexham AFC, they brought the cameras with them to document every moment. With the Hollywood lights came a large injection of cash and mass media interest, but what has it meant for the club, the community - and for football more widely?Guest: Gregor Robertson, former professional footballer and columnist, The Times.Host: Manveen Rana.Clips: Welcome to Wrexham/FX, Sky News, Wrexham AFC, Beanyman Sports2, The Emirates FA Cup, BBC Sport, Times Radio, Deadpool/20th Century Fox/Marvel Entertainment, CBS The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, ABC Good Morning America, talkSPORT, ESPN. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/02/2330m 41s

Could Manchester City Be Relegated?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Alyson Rudd and Tony Cascarino - with Martyn Ziegler.Sean Dyche started his Everton career with a 1-0 win over leaders, Arsenal. Can he continue to make progress as the season continues? (00:00)Arsenal were let off by City’s loss at Tottenham but how will Mikel Arteta and the team react to this bump in the road? (13:40)Manchester City’s form continues to show signs of cracking - what can we take from Pep’s comments and recent team decisions? (19:25)Harry Kane becomes Spurs’ all-time top goalscorer - but is he better than Alan Shearer? (33:26)Liverpool lose again and this time it wasn’t even close. Are Jurgen Klopp and his players suffering from both physical and mental exhaustion? (39:19)The Times’ Chief Sports Reporter, Martyn Ziegler joins us to discuss the breaking news about Manchester City’s alleged rule breaking (52:21)We round up the rest of the weekend’s games with Forest and Brentford feeling positive while pressure mounts on Leeds and Southampton (56:38)Chelsea and Leicester did business at the end of the transfer window and it seems like they’ve made some wise purchases (70:08)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/02/231h 17m

Chelsea's Shopping Spree!

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, James Restall and Tom Allnutt - with Tom Roddy.Newcastle are through to their first final since 1999 - how significant is this moment in the club’s history? (00:00)Chelsea signed eight players in January. Does Graham Potter have a problem on his hands and how did they get around FFP whilst spending so much? (13:20)Everton failed to sign any players in the January transfer window - does Sean Dyche have any hope of keeping them in the Premier League? (42:07)Plenty of other deadline day deals went though - we take a look at the winners and losers in the window (55:20)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/02/231h 7m

How Far Can Wrexham Go?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Alyson Rudd and Tom Roddy.The master beat the apprentice in the FA Cup fourth round - what did we learn from Manchester City vs Arsenal on Saturday? (00:00)Brighton beat Liverpool for the second time this season - but was it actually unexpected given their league position? (15:28)Wrexham nearly caused a huge upset against Sheffield United. Is it hard to deny the positive impact the Hollywood investment has had on the club? (33:52)Everton have appointed Sean Dyche as their new manager. Is he the man to save them from relegation and what does he need to do as soon as he takes charge? (48:31)Anthony Gordon has finally moved to Newcastle - is he worth the reported £45m transfer fee? (55:34)Chelsea have added another player in the last few days and they’re not stopping there as Tom Roddy brings us some behind-the-scenes information on another potential incoming at Stamford Bridge (60:22)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/01/231h 6m

Manchester United and Newcastle Edge Closer To Wembley

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Molly Hudson, Tom Clarke and Gregor RobertsonNewcastle get closer to a domestic cup final date at Wembley after beating Southampton in the first leg of the Carabao Cup Semi-Final but is their attack struggling? What does the future look like for Southampton with their Premier League status up in the air? (00:00)Manchester United breeze past Nottingham Forest in the other Carabao Cup Semi-Final first leg but were Forest actually that bad despite losing 3-0? Is Weghorst going to be an important player for Erik Ten Haag after scoring his first goal for the club? (07:48)Everton sacked manager Frank Lampard this week and now the focus is on who his replacement could be. Is Marcelo Bielsa or Sean Dyche the answer and what are the expectations of Everton fans currently? (19:57)Manchester City face Arsenal in the fourth round of the FA Cup this weekend, can we expect a classic? Will Guardiola overthink his team selection too much? (33:58)After Chelsea vs Liverpool in the WSL was abandoned after six minutes at the weekend, what can be done about frozen pitches at this time of year and why does the WSL deserve better? (45:45)With the Premier League Player of the Month nominees being announced, the team offer their opinions on their alternative Player of the Month candidates. (53:27)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Lampard Shown The Goodison Door

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Alyson Rudd, Tom Clarke and Tony Cascarino.Manchester United were beaten by a late minute goal at Arsenal - but did their performance show how far they’ve come under Erik ten Hag? In this extended conversation about the club, we look at which players are stepping up, what they did wrong against the Gunners and how ten Hag’s signings are fitting in (00:00)Everton have fired Frank Lampard. At the time of recording, the news wasn’t confirmed - but heavily rumoured. Was Lampard ever going to succeed and was he actually given longer than other managers would have been? (33:26)West Ham got the win they needed to ease some of the pressure on their manager, David Moyes. Will they turn the corner and will the Scotsman still be in charge at the London Stadium in the summer? (49:51)Manchester City showed they have no intention of giving up the title challenge - but despite another hat trick, are they still hampered by Haaland? (54:07)Liverpool vs Chelsea really wasn’t the game we all hoped it would be. Is it any surprise the fixture was a mid-table encounter? (63:30)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/01/231h 9m

Will Everton Deal Moyes The Hammer Blow?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Molly Hudson and Tom Allnutt - with Matt Lawton.Manchester United were denied second place in the Premier League table by a stunner at Selhurst Park and how much of an impact will this weekend’s game against Arsenal have on the title race? (00:00)Matt Lawton joins us to discuss The Times exclusive that David Moyes is set to be sacked by West Ham if they lose to Everton on Saturday (20:56)We also get the latest on the sale of Manchester United as Sir Jim Ratcliffe shows his hand early in negotiations (25:19)A landmark case saw former Lyon footballer Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir win a maternity case against the club. What does this mean for future cases? (32:23)John Yems received a 15-month ban for breaching discrimination rules. The FA are considering an appeal - so was his punishment too lenient? (42:44)A new VAR trial is planned for the Club World Cup - but are high profile tournaments the place to test new ideas? (54:22)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/01/231h 1m

Are Man United In A Title Race & What Next For Everton & Frank Lampard

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tony Cascarino and Alyson Rudd to look back at the weekend's Premier League action,Are Manchester United now in a title race? What did you make of their performance at Old Trafford - has Erik ten Hag turned them back into an elite football club again? How do Manchester City adapt to playing with Erling Haaland? (00:00)Should Bruno Fernandes' controversial equaliser stood? We discuss whether the officials, or the law was to blame for that incident? (13:15)Are Arsenal now the genuine favourites for the Premier League title after their 2-0 win over Spurs? Is Conte partly to blame for Spurs' recent woes so far this season? Were you surprised at how easy Arsenal made this victory look? (20:43)What now for Everton and Frank Lampard after yet another home defeat? How important was this week in Southampton's season - can they now stay up? Reflecting on James Ward-Prowse's new role in the Southampton midfield. Everton face a relegation six-pointer against West Ham this weekend (36:38)A huge win for Graham Potter and Chelsea? Are Crystal Palace starting to look over their shoulders? (56:20)Liverpool are thrashed 3-0 at Brighton in what Jurgen Klopp describes as the worst performance he's seen - how big are the club's issues? Do we need to start praising Brighton more for their recent run of form under Roberto De Zerbi? (1:00:00) Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/01/231h 9m

Win Or Bust For Lampard & Derby Day Beckons In The Premier League!

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tom Clarke and Jonathan Northcroft to look back at the Carabao Cup action, and preview the weekend's Premier League fixtures.Newcastle reach the Carabao Cup semi-finals as they move one step closer to ending their long run without winning a trophy - how important would it be for the club to win silverware this season? (00:00)Nathan Jones eases the pressure on his job as Southampton beat Manchester City in their quarter-final last night, how crucial is their trip to Everton at the weekend - has he changed the opinions of the Saints supporters? (06:15)Will Everton manager Frank Lampard lose his job if he loses against Southampton on Saturday? How much pressure is on him to get a result (13:45)How important was it for Nottingham Forest to reach the Carabao Cup semi-finals? Praising the job Steve Cooper is doing at the football club (20:00)Previewing the Manchester Derby - is this the time where Erik ten Hag's side can finally compete against their local rivals? Are City showing signs of decline under Pep Guardiola? What is this crazy idea he has spoken about? (21:15)Will Arsenal show their continued title credentials and beat Spurs in the North London Derby? How will the game pan out, do Spurs have to be the more physical side? (35:55)Discussing the legacy of Gareth Bale - how will he be remembered following his retirement from the game last week? (45:55) Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/01/2355m 53s

Potter In A Spot Of Bother

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Alyson Rudd and Tony Cascarino.Chelsea were humbled by Manchester City in the FA Cup, hours after they lost to the same opponents in the Premier League. Is Graham Potter already doomed? (00:00)Stevenage and Wrexham both caused upsets, but it was Hugh that was most upset when a debate over club ownership took over (24:58)Newcastle lost to Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest didn’t enjoy their trip to the seaside and Burnley showed Bournemouth why they’re top of the Championship (47:56)Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Wolves provided a handful of talking points - including Hugh’s favourite subject.. VAR (58:14)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/01/231h 6m

Was Nathan Jones A Mistake For Southampton?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tom Clarke and Molly Hudson.Southampton are still rooted to the bottom of the Premier League after a 1-0 loss at home to Nottingham Forest. The fans are already turning on Nathan Jones, but was his appointment a mistake? (00:00)Nottingham Forest are out of the relegation zone with that win - has Steve Cooper turned a corner as his almost entirely new squad seems to finally gel? (13:24)West Ham let a lead slip to only take a point home from Leeds. Can David Moyes turn it around if he’s given time? (17:34)Everton continue their slide towards the bottom three after an embarrassing 4-0 loss at home to Brighton. What’s going so wrong at Goodison? (26:55)Spurs made up for their New Year’s Day loss to Aston Villa with a 4-0 win away at Crystal Palace. Are Antonio Conte’s concerns realistic? (35:46)Arsenal and Newcastle drew at the Emirates. Did we actually learn anything from the game? (46:38)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/01/2357m 50s

Are Spurs Actually Underperforming?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson and Alyson Rudd.Tottenham lost at home to Aston Villa and Antonio Conte with some classic deflection - but are Spurs fans expecting too much of the team? (00:00)Aston Villa were impressive once again under Unai Emery. How far can he take them? (19:30)Chelsea were eventually lucky to get a point, away at Nottingham Forest. Is Graham Potter too different to what the club are used to? (23:17)Arsenal continue to impress and Martin Ødegaard is at the centre of it all. Can this form continue until the end of the season? (46:15)Everton showed you can get into Erling Haaland’s head as they held Manchester City to a draw. How can they escape the relegation battle they’re in? (55:50)West Ham are also in trouble, but David Moyes is remaining upbeat. Fulham continue to impress as Marco Silva finds the right balance and are Southampton doomed? (62:49)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/01/231h 13m

Liverpool’s Stealth Signings

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson and Alyson Rudd, with Paul Joyce and Martin Hardy.Erling Haaland picked up where he left off for Manchester City, but are they still the team to beat - despite Arsenal’s lead? (00:00)Arsenal are five points clear at the top of the Premier League after the first games after the World Cup - can they continue this form and what did we make of Arsene Wenger’s return to the Emirates? (09:15)West Ham are 16th and a point from the relegation zone. What’s gone wrong at the London Stadium and how long can David Moyes last if results don’t change? (18:28)Liverpool have added Cody Gakpo to their squad. Paul Joyce broke the story in The Times and he joins us to discuss their ‘stealth’ approach to transfers (26:08)Newcastle were briefly in second place earlier in the week - but can they actually maintain a title challenge or should they focus on the top four? (39:09)Wolves have made a managerial change and it’s already showing signs of working - should Everton do the same? (48:55)Dean Smith has left Norwich after 13 months in charge - who do they go with to replace him? (58:08)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/12/221h 8m

The World Cup Is A Distant Memory

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Tom Clarke, Molly Hudson and Tom Allnutt.The EFL Cup is back and already we’ve seen some excellent football. Were people wrong about players feeling fatigue after the World Cup? (00:00)As 2022 comes to an end, we make some bold predictions for the second half of the season (17:32)We take a look back at the predictions we made at the end of 2021 and some are actually quite accurate! (35:41)It’s time to pick our alternative player of the year as Gregor Robertson, Tom Roddy and James Restall join the conversation (41:56)We reflect on a huge year in women’s football that has seen female players become household names (57:30)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/12/221h 5m

World Cup 2022: Episode 26 - Messi’s World Cup

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson and Alyson Rudd in London, with David Walsh in Qatar.Argentina have won their third World Cup in one of the most entertaining World Cup Finals ever - what impressed us most? (00:00)With the World Cup in Qatar over - what did we make of the action on the pitch throughout the tournament? (17:00)Lionel Messi finally gets his hands on the World Cup - but does it make him the greatest ever? (26:45)Kylian Mbappé scored a hat trick in the final but still didn’t take home the trophy. Will he be the player we consider the best in the world for the next decade? (38:13)The Times’ David Walsh joins us from inside the Lusail Stadium after the trophy ceremony and brings us the latest on Gareth Southgate’s decision to stay in charge of England (49:55)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/12/221h 2m

World Cup 2022: Episode 25 - The World Cup Final Preview

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson and Alyson Rudd in London, with Jonathan Northcroft in Qatar.We look ahead to the World Cup Final. Jonathan Northcroft joins us from Doha to share his thoughts and reflect on his time in Qatar (00:00)What can we expect from France? Do they have a better supporting cast around their leading man, Kylian Mbappé than Argentina do, to Messi? (12:01)Are Argentina too emotional and will that be their undoing in the final? (27:07)What would it mean for France to become the first team since 1962 to win back-to-back World Cups? (49:34)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/12/2257m 44s

World Cup 2022: Episode 24 - Morocco Dominate, But France Make The Final

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tom Allnutt and Alyson Rudd.Morocco fell short of making the World Cup final as France won 2-0 in the second semi-final - but who were the better side? (00:00)Where was the game won and lost? Could Morocco have played it differently? (16:58)Does France’s performance make Argentina the clear favourites in the final on Sunday? (25:33)Gregor gives his thoughts on the officiating in the semi-final and what he hopes for in the final (34:25)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/12/2238m 2s

World Cup 2022: Episode 23 - More Messi Magic Inspires Argentina!

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson and Alyson Rudd to review Argentina's 3-0 win over Croatia in the first 2022 World Cup semi-final.Were Argentina fortunate to have been awarded a penalty for their opening goal? Would the outcome of the game have been different in that wasn't given? How unlucky were Croatia? (01:35)Lionel Messi proves why he's considered the greatest of all-time by stepping up and performing when it mattered to send his side through to a World Cup final - but is he playing in a good Argentina side? (09:25)Will Argentina have to adopt a different game plan depending on whether they'll play France or Morocco in the final? Would it actually be more difficult for them if they were to face Morocco? (19:45)Luka Modric bows out of the World Cup after a brilliant international career for Croatia, we pay tribute to his career and also ask if he can still go until the 2024 European Championships. (26:27)Who wins the second semi-final, France or Morocco? (31:33)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/12/2234m 11s

World Cup 2022: Episode 22 - Crunch Time For Messi and Modrić

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Molly Hudson and James Restall.We continue to look at where England go next following their World Cup exit and James and Molly add their thoughts to the questions over Gareth Southgate’s future (00:00)Do you want Gareth Southgate to stay or go? The Times polled 20,000 readers and there’s an overwhelming majority for one outcome (19:40)Argentina take on Croatia today in the first World Cup semi-final - which great player will fall short in their search for a golden end to their international career? (32:48)Morocco face France on Wednesday. Are the French too strong or are they capable of complacency against the Moroccans? (49:44)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/12/221h 2m

World Cup 2022: Episode 21 - The End Of The Road For The Three Lions

Hugh Woozencroft is in Qatar and Tom Clarke, Gregor Robertson and Alyson Rudd are in London.England are out of the World Cup. What have we learned from their time in Qatar, did they get it wrong against France and where do they go from here? (00:00)Gareth Southgate has a contract until the Euros in 2024. Should he stay in the job or is it time for a change? (24:05)Morocco have quickly become the feel-good story of this World Cup. Can they actually go all the way to the final? (34:10)We’ve likely seen the last of Cristiano Ronaldo in an elite football match. How much has the last 6 months tainted his legacy? (45:34)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/12/2252m 33s

World Cup 2022: Episode 20 - A Nauseating Fascination With Messi

Hugh Woozencroft is in Qatar and Tom Clarke and Alyson Rudd are in London.Argentina lost a 2-0 lead but eventually triumphed on penalties against the Netherlands. Does this further back up Hugh’s idea that they’re really not very good? (00:00)The game was quite feisty, the Netherlands comeback was a bit confusing and are we a bit sick of the Messi love-in? (23:30)The dream semi-final between Brazil and Argentina is still a dream after the Brazilians lost on penalties to Croatia. Do we actually give the Croatians the respect they deserve given their recent major tournament record? (27:17)It’s Morocco’s big day as they take on Portugal for a place in the semi finals. Alyson’s found herself a Moroccan friend to tell us what it means to people from the country (44:42)It’s a big day for England too. Are France too good for Gareth Southgate’s side or should they get the better of Mbappé and co? (52:26)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/12/221h 2m

World Cup 2022: Episode 19 - The World Cup Of Falseness

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Tom Roddy, Matt Lawton and Owen Slot in Qatar.From last minute u-turns to questions over the authenticity of some fans - what are our experiences of the World Cup in Qatar so far? (00:00)How will Qatar 2022 be seen in the future? Will football ever be the same again? (19:22)England are a day away from their quarter final against France - has Raheem Sterling’s situation been a distraction and how do England deal with Mbappé? (33:13)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/12/2251m 48s

World Cup 2022: Episode 18 - The Business End Of Qatar 2022

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Jonathan Northcroft and Matt Dickinson in Qatar.What has Qatar 2022 been like for our journalists so far? Has the lack of alcohol and location made the event feel safer? (00:00)We discuss our best moments on the pitch as two teams stand out (09:52)Morocco take on Portugal after beating Spain. Do they have what it takes to make the World Cup semi finals? (20:05)Croatia are tournament specialists, so can you really write them off against Brazil? (29:20)Should England change anything going into the France game and what would winning mean for Gareth Southgate’s legacy? (33:03)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
08/12/2245m 49s

World Cup 2022: Episode 17 - Step Aside Ronaldo, There’s A New Kid In Town

Hugh Woozencroft is in Qatar - with Gregor Robertson and Alyson Rudd in London.Morocco have provided us with the latest World Cup shock - beating Spain on penalties to become the first Arabic-speaking country to make the quarter finals. Was it a case of Spain missing their chances or Morocco being too good for their opponents? (00:00)Some are saying this Morocco win is a victory for Africa. We discuss the added importance to a lot of Moroccan fans (14:21)Portugal thrashed Switzerland 6-1 but didn’t need Cristiano Ronaldo, dropping him in a tournament for the first time in 31 games. Does he return from this latest setback? (22:55)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/12/2233m 30s

World Cup 2022: Episode 16 - It’s Just Like Watching Brazil

Hugh Woozencroft is in Qatar - with Gregor Robertson and Tom Clarke in London.Brazil danced their way to a 4-1 victory over South Korea. Can anyone realistically stop them? (00:00)Speaking of dancing - did their goal celebrations go too far? (13:12)Japan came up short against Croatia as 2018’s World Cup finalists progressed. Do the Croatians have any hope of getting past Brazil? (16:44)Hugh has been in the England camp and spoke to James Maddison about his involvement in the squad and Raheem Sterling’s return home (26:36)The final Round of 16 games take place today - which teams are most likely to progress and what part will Cristiano Ronaldo play? (33:45)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/12/2245m 45s

World Cup 2022: Episode 15 - England Set Up A Quarter Final Against France

Hugh Woozencroft and Tom Roddy are in Qatar - with Gregor Robertson, Tom Clarke and Alyson Rudd in London.England are through to the quarter finals of the World Cup with a 3-0 win over Senegal - but as some fans were suggesting, was it a boring performance? (00:00)Tom Roddy was at the Al Bayt Stadium and gives us his thoughts before we look ahead to Saturday’s quarter final against France (17:28)The French proved too much for Poland, beating them 3-1 and showing everyone they have every intention of defending their crown. How will England handle Kylian Mbappé? (29:21)Hugh ends with a theory that scoring the first goal is more important than ever if you’re the underdog - but does anyone agree with him? (44:35)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/12/2250m 46s

World Cup 2022: Episode 14 - Messi Scores In His 1000th Game, But Argentina Look Beatable

Hugh Woozencroft is in Qatar - with Gregor Robertson and Tom Allnutt in London.Messi impressed as Argentina avoided a late shock to beat Australia - but are the rest of the team offering enough? (00:00)The Netherlands ended the USA’s tournament - but is the future bright for the Americans? (11:31)Argentina will play The Netherlands next - are the South Americans good enough or do they rely on Messi too much? (19:42)England play their Last 16 game against Senegal today - but who should Gareth Southgate name in his starting XI? (30:10)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/12/2236m 23s

World Cup 2022: Episode 13 - Elation For South Korea, Despair For Uruguay

Hugh Woozencroft is in Qatar, whilst Alyson Rudd and Gregor Robertson are both in London to look back at an eventful final day of World Cup Group action, with late drama as South Korea secured a place in the last 16 at Uruguay's expense. There was also a famous win for Cameroon against Brazil and Serbia and Switzerland played out a fiery game as the Swiss also head through to the last 16. Hugh discusses being at South Korea vs Portugal and witnessing the incredible scenes as South Korea qualified for the last 16 (01:58)Alyson discusses Andre Ayew's penalty miss for Ghana and how it completely changed the game (09:30)Despite Cameroon beating Brazil, Alyson isn't impressed with Aboubakar's actions in taking off his shirt to celebrate the winner and receiving a second yellow card in the process. (31:22)Gregor was really impressed with the quality shown in Switzerland vs Serbia and believes the Swiss deserved to win (34:37)The panel discusses which team's could spring a surprise in the Round of 16 with Alyson predicting the USA and Australia to be victorious (41:58)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/12/2246m 57s

World Cup 2022: Episode 12 - Germany Crash Out & Belgium's Limp Exit!

Hugh Woozencroft is in Qatar, while Tom Clarke and Gregor Robertson are both in London to look back at an eventful day of World Cup action, with both Germany and Belgium being knocked out of the competition in the group stages.The panel debate whether some of the teams are now only starting to find their feet after their third matches. Are they finally adjusting to conditions in Qatar given their lack of preparation ahead of the tournament? (00:30)Did the ball cross the line in the build-up to Japan's second goal against Spain? Gregor and Tom have their say (09:30)Where did it all go wrong for Germany after their elimination from the tournament, and just how catastrophic is their early exit? Can they rebuild ahead of the next European Championships? (11:43)Belgium's Golden Generation are knocked out of the group stages just 4 years after finishing third in Russia - what now for the national side with several of the key figures set to be absent from the next World Cup? (24:30)How much credit do Morocco need after qualifying for the Round of 16 as Group winners? How significant is this for African football? (35:17) Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/12/2241m 48s

World Cup 2022: Episode 11 - The Socceroos Are Going Through!

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson and Tom Allnutt to review all the World Cup action from Day 11 of the 2022 World Cup whilst Matt Dickinson discusses England's Group Stage Campaign!Tom Allnut on the incredible moment Tunisia beat France but still didn't manage to qualify for the last 16 and how despite being disappointed in not moving forward, they would be proud of their achievement (02:19)Tom Allnut on Australia being a joy to watch in the group stage and how they have a real team spirit under Graham Arnold (07:40)The panel discuss what on earth went wrong for Denmark in this tournament? Gregor feels they have been a shadow of the team they were at the Euros (11:50)Hugh believes the penalty awarded to Argentina was one of the worst VAR decisions he has seen. The panel discuss how VAR could make such a decision which left Gregor astonished. (14:13)Matt Dickinson joins Hugh to discuss England's group stage campaign and what to expect from Senegal on Sunday evening (28.26)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
01/12/2239m 30s

World Cup 2022: Episode 10 - England Progress But Wales Eliminated In 'Battle Of Britain'

Hugh Woozencroft is in Qatar and Tom Allnutt, Alyson Rudd and Gregor Robertson are all in London to review England's 3-0 win over Wales and the other action from Day 10 of the 2022 World Cup.Tom Roddy joins us to give his on-the-whistle report from Qatar, as England ease to a 3-0 win over Wales, who have been eliminated from the World Cup as a result. (00:00)The panel discuss whether England's performance was good, or Wales were particularly bad. They also discuss the performance of Marcus Rashford, and look ahead to what changes could be made for the Round of 16 tie with Senegal. (02:07)Can the USA cause the Netherlands problems in their Round of 16 tie after beating Iran to qualify for the next round of the tournament? (26:14)Paul Hirst joins us live from Qatar to look back at Senegal's win over Ecuador and how tough a test they'd be for England on Sunday. (29:25)Did Rob Page make a mistake by persisting with an unfit and out of form Gareth Bale? What message does it send to the younger players in the Wales squad that he'll play no matter what happens? (34:43) Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/11/2244m 45s

World Cup 2022: Episode 9 - Goals Galore As The Group Stages Heat Up!

Tom Clarke, Alyson Rudd and Gregor Robertson are all in London to review the day's World Cup action, with goals galore on Day 9 in Qatar.Was Cameroon 3-3 Serbia the game of the tournament? And was Vincent Aboubakar's chip the goal of the World Cup so far? They look back at a six-goal thriller to start off the day's football. (00:00)South Korea and Ghana put on a show, with the latter winning a 3-2 thriller! How good is the Ghana goalscorer Kudus, and what does this result mean for the final match in this group? (10:07)Does Cristiano Ronaldo help or hinder Portugal? Tom Clarke believes that his presence may be holding back some of the younger players, but Alyson believes he still has a role to play for his national side. And are Uruguay too afraid to drop Luis Suarez? Why do they keep persisting with an aging side? (18:42)Did Brazil miss Neymar, or do the side look better without him? They review their 1-0 win over Switzerland (27:05)Jack the England fan and George the Wales fan join us live from Qatar to look ahead to the game, discuss their teams' performances so far, and talk about what it's been like being in the country during this World Cup (31:26) Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/11/2248m 20s

World Cup 2022: Episode 8 - Morocco shock Belgium and Messi on the Move

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson and James Gheerbrant to review the day's World Cup action whilst Matt Lawton joins from Qatar to discuss his exclusive in the Times on Lionel Messi looking likely to move to Inter Miami. James Gheerbrant on both Germany and Spain lacking a real quality number nine which could hold both team's back in the World Cup (5.30)Why did Japan make 5 changes for the Costa Rica game? Has this cost them a place in the last 16? (13.14)With Belgium's defeat to Morocco leaving them on the cusp of a group stage exit, the guys discuss what's gone wrong and will they even make it out of the group? (21.19)Hugh discusses Canada's performance vs Croatia and believes their performance was naive and the occasion got to them (26.35) Matt Lawton discusses his exclusive story of Lionel Messi edging closer to a move to the MLS with Inter Miami and why he would be interested in going there (32.56) Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/11/2239m 19s

World Cup 2022- Episode 7- More Messi Magic & France Look the Business

Martin Hardy joins us live from Qatar after attending Argentina vs Mexico to explain what it was like seeing Messi produce more World Cup Magic (02:35)What are Argentina lacking and why aren't they reaching the high expectations people had for them so far? (04:19)Poland beat Saudi Arabia 2-0 as Robert Lewandowski breaks his World Cup goal duck with Martin Handy in attendance for the game (10.20)France beat Denmark 2-1 and Kylian Mbappe continues to impress in the tournament. Jonathan Northcroft joins us live from Qatar and believes he has the wow factor when watching Mbappe live (16.10) How will Group D end? They discuss whether Australia can make it out of the group and Jonathan gives his thoughts on England and Wales' showings so far (21.15) Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/11/2229m 40s

World Cup 2022: Episode 6 - England Held By USA & Wales Suffer Sickening Defeat

Tom Clarke, Alyson Rudd, Gregor Robertson and Molly Hudson are all in London to review the day's World Cup action.Tom Roddy joins us live from Qatar to explain what it was like being in the stadium as England were held to a goalless draw against the USA, and discusses what questions he'll pose to Gareth Southgate. (00:16)Where did it go wrong for England? How could a team that brushed aside Iran look so lacklustre and lethargic just days later? How did they assess Gareth Southgate's in-game management and substitutions? (01:28)Wales' hopes of reaching the Round of 16 are all but over following a 2-0 defeat against Iran - Hugh Woozencroft joins us live from Qatar and believes Rob Page's management was 'inept' while he also calls for both Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey to be dropped for Tuesday's game with England (28:40)How will Group A end? They discuss a tournament to remember for Ecaudor's Enner Valencia and also ask why the Netherlands are so inconsistent in their opening 2 group games. (47:45)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/11/2254m 12s

World Cup 2022: Episode 5 - It’s All About Ronaldo

Hugh Woozencroft and Paul Hirst are in Qatar - with Gregor Robertson and Tom Allnutt in London.Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score in five World Cups as Portugal (just about) beat Ghana. How far can they go? (00:00)Uruguay vs South Korea was goalless and it was no surprise when you saw how off the pace Luis Suárez was - should they lean more on youth? (16:15)Group G got underway and Brazil got off to a good start with victory over Serbia. Did they live up to our expectations and what caught our eye? (21:43)England and Wales are back in action today. Have the Three Lions got enough to cruise past the USA and should Rob Page take a risk on Joe Allen? (30:52)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/11/2237m 5s

World Cup 2022: Episode 4 - Germany Grab All The Headlines

Hugh Woozencroft, Tony Cascarino and Matt Dickinson are in Qatar - with Tom Clarke and Alyson Rudd in London.Japan shocked Germany with a 2-1 win. Some clever substitutes played a huge part - but did anyone see it coming? (00:00)Germany’s players staged a silent protest during their team photo - will we see continued protests throughout the finals? (14:09)Spain put seven goals past Costa Rica - but did their opponents make them look better than they actually are? (24:31)Canada came up short against Belgium, but the Belgians hardly impressed. Is their team over the hill? (33:44)Matt Dickinson has been trying to do something a lot of fans in Qatar have been dreaming of - but did he make it to four World Cup games in a day? (43:11)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/11/2251m 55s

World Cup 2022: Episode 3 - Saudi Arabia Shock Argentina

Hugh Woozencroft is in Qatar - with Tom Clarke and Gregor Robertson in London.Saudi Arabia provided one of the most shocking moments in World Cup history as they beat Argentina 2-1 in their opening game. Was it a tactical masterclass from Hervé Renard? (00:00)Robert Lewandowski is still looking for his first World Cup goal after having a penalty saved against Mexico - but was it actually the right decision? (15:02)France came from behind to beat Australia 4-1 and Olivier Giroud achieved a huge personal milestone in the game - but are they the real deal? (23:18)Christian Eriksen had an emotional day as he played in a major tournament for the first time since the events of Euro 2020. There were also some pretty big political statements surrounding the match (31:40)Hugh was at Wales’ game against the USA and as he was missing from last night’s podcast, he gave us his thoughts on what Wales need to do to make it through (38:30)Away from the World Cup - two huge stories at Manchester United as the club part ways with Cristiano Ronaldo and the owners could be open to selling up (42:56)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/11/2252m 38s

World Cup 2022: Episode 2 - Bukayo & Gareth

Tom Clarke is joined in London by Gregor Robertson and Alyson Rudd - with Tom Roddy and Jonathan Northcroft in Qatar.England proved that going into a World Cup in poor form doesn’t matter with a 6-2 win over Iran. What did we learn and did Gareth Southgate get everything right? (00:00)At the last moment, the ‘One Love’ captain’s armbands were scrapped. What does this say about the nations involved standing up for human rights? (22:45)What’s it actually like in Qatar at the moment? With Tom and Jonathan joining us from Doha, they’re pretty well placed to give us their experience so far! (27:35)Wales managed to snatch a draw against the USA. A poor first half led to an impressive second - but have they shown enough to give us faith they’ll make it through? (32:50)The Netherlands also got their tournament started against Ecuador - but something wasn’t right (45:17)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/11/2249m 43s

World Cup 2022: Episode 1 - Qatar Fail To Impress

Hugh Woozencroft is in Qatar and is joined by Gregor Robertson and Alyson Rudd in London.Qatar lost 2-0 to Ecuador in the opening game - but only two thirds of the stadium were there to see the final whistle. Will this be a problem going forward? (00:00)Gianni Infantino gave one of the most bizarre speeches the day before the World Cup started - did any of it make sense? (21:10)England and Wales being their campaign today - what will the England team look like and how can Wales get past the USA? (34:07)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/11/2246m 48s

World Cup 2022 Special: Wayne Rooney's World Cups

Jonathan Northcroft sits down with England’s all-time record goalscorer, Wayne Rooney. They discuss the three World Cups he played in, what was going on behind the scenes in each England camp and how he looks back on his time with the national team.2006 - A broken metatarsal, THAT red card against Portugal and a World Cup debut for a 20 year old Rooney in Germany (00:00)2010 - Fabio Capello lead England and Rooney into the next World Cup in South Africa, but another disappointing showing ended with Rooney ranting at the fans after elimination against Germany (17:30)2014 - Wayne’s first World Cup goal came in his third finals in Brazil, but a dismal performance from England left them bottom of the group and on the plane home (32:36)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/11/2244m 27s

World Cup 2022 Preview: The Favourites

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Alyson Rudd and Tony Cascarino.Tony Cascarino shares his favourite stories from representing the Republic of Ireland in two World Cups (00:00)Which South American teams are in the running to lift the trophy? Are Brazil favourites or could Argentina cause them a problem or two? (07:41)What about the European teams? Can France become the third nation ever to win back-to-back World Cups? (16:12)Which players are likely to stand out and create World Cup memories? (33:38)Several players are possibly playing in their final World Cups - and it’s not just Messi and Ronaldo (38:32)There’ve been some iconic World Cup goals, but which are our favourites? (51:30)Tony picks his favourite World Cup moment from his time playing at the finals in 1990 and 1994 (60:02)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
17/11/221h 3m

World Cup 2022 Preview: England and Wales

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Alyson Rudd and Matt Dickinson.The World Cup is days away - but how far can England actually go? (00:00) What is England’s best XI and is there any chance Harry Maguire starts against Iran? (19:46)Regardless of how England get on in Qatar - what does the future hold for Gareth Southgate? (24:01)Wales play in their first World Cup finals for 64 years - but is their ageing squad capable of performing at the highest level? (28:32)Just days from the start of the tournament, how is everyone feeling about the tournament being held in Qatar? (40:19)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/11/2246m 35s

The Rise of Garnacho

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson and Alyson Rudd.Cristiano Ronaldo has launched a scathing attack on Manchester United with few getting away without comment. Why has he chosen to do this television interview right now and is there any way back? (00:00)There’s a new kid on the block - but could Alejandro Garnacho replace Ronaldo in the United starting lineup? (24:25)Ivan Toney showed Gareth Southgate what he’s missing by not picking him for England. Will the England manager live to regret his choice? (32:05)Bournemouth have been linked with Marcela Bielsa - but would a move for the former Leeds boss be a good idea? (43:13)Everton’s poor form continues. Just how long does Frank Lampard get to turn things around? (47:16)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Jones In At Southampton, FSG Out Of Liverpool?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson and Tom Roddy - with Martyn Ziegler.Liverpool’s owners have suggested they’re open to new investment in the club, sparking talk of a sale of the club. The Times Football Writer Martyn Ziegler joins us to discuss what this means to the club in the short term future (00:00)England's “big six” clubs have failed to halt a move by the Premier League to start discussions with the FA and EFL over a radical overhaul - Martyn also has the details on what this means for the English game (9:31)Harry Kane goes into the World Cup fatigued, with his manager at Tottenham - Antonio Conte confirming he had to stop training to deal with it. What does this mean for the Three Lions chances and what are the biggest concerns over player safety (17:48)West Ham have had a tough time of late - with their penalty shootout loss to Blackburn Rovers in the League Cup the latest failure. Is David Moyes in trouble? (30:00)Nathan Jones is the new Southampton manager - but will his time there be more like his time at Luton Town or Stoke City? (41:00)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/11/2251m 5s

England World Cup Squad: Initial Reaction

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Tom Roddy for a special episode of The Game podcast with their initial thoughts on the 26-man England squad that Gareth Southgate named today.We'll bring you an extensive two-part World Cup preview next week - and an exclusive conversation with one of England's greatest ever players, ahead of the start of Qatar 2022.Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/11/2226m 24s

Nathan Jones by Bananarama

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Alyson Rudd and Tony Cascarino.Liverpool came away from North London with three points from Spurs. What’s going on at Tottenham and why do they fall behind so often? (00:00)Arsenal returned to the top of the table with a 1-0 win over Chelsea. Can we finally call Arsenal credible title contenders? (17:17)Unai Emery started well at Aston Villa, beating Manchester United 3-1. Was he ever given a fair chance at Arsenal? (36:56)Southampton have parted company with Ralph Hasenhüttl with the club in the bottom three - but was it a surprise? (50:20)Leeds and Bournemouth played in the game of the weekend in the top flight. Has Jesse bought himself more time? (64:18)The draw for the last 16 of the Champions League took place as we were recording. We react live! (70:24)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/11/221h 13m

Heartbreak for Chilwell

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tom Allnutt and Ian Hawkey - with Charlotte Duncker.Tottenham are through to the knockout stages of the Champions League as group winners after their comeback in Marseille - but how far can they go? (00:00)Liverpool finished second in their group - but they did beat the in-form Napoli. Is Darwin Nunez starting to find his feet? (11:05)Chelsea won their group too, but their final group game was overshadowed by an injury to Ben Chillwell. Despite that, how far can they go?(19:01)Manchester City came from behind in their final group game against Sevilla. Charlotte Duncker was there for The Times and joins us to discuss Rico Lewis, who made history in the game (31:50)Rangers became the worst Champions League side ever -but Celtic weren’t much better. Can the Old Firm realistically ever compete in the Champions League? (36:36)There’s only one Spanish side through to the Champions League knockout stage. Why are clubs other than Real Madrid struggling at the moment? (42:41)Burnley came from behind against Rotherham to extend their lead at the top of the Championship. Just how impressive is Vincent Company and the job he’s doing at the club? (48:56)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/11/2258m 33s

What Could Derail Arsenal’s Title Hopes?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tom Clarke and Alyson Rudd, with Tom Roddy.Brighton gave Graham Potter a hostile welcome on his return with Chelsea. Was his in-game management affected by the boos? (00:00)Leeds got the better of Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp’s side continued to struggle. How do they turn the corner? (19:31)Unlike Liverpool, Arsenal didn’t fall foul of Nottingham Forest. In fact, they embarrassed them - but what could derail the Gunners’ charge towards an unexpected title fight? (31:32)Alyson tells us all about her enlightening conversation with Fulham’s Bobby Decordova-Reid and his Labour MP sister, Marsha (40:11)Hugh has a big statement to make about Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne - but will everyone else agree? (45:06)Marcus Rashford continues to impress - but can he break into the England World Cup squad? (51:39)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Super League? More Like Europa League..

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Jonathan Northcroft and Ian Hawkey.Antonio Conte was sent off as Spurs had a winner ruled out against Sporting on Wednesday night - but was it the right decision? (00:00)Liverpool cruised into the knockout stages with a 3-0 win at Ajax - are we starting to see them find their form again? (10:24)Chelsea are already looking like a Graham Potter side, but how far can they go in the tournament? (16:22)Three of the original Super League clubs are already out of the Champions League. Ian Hawkey joins us from Barcelona to discuss the fate of Xavi’s side as well as Juventus and Atletico Madrid (30:09)Unai Emery is back to have another crack at the Premier League. Why is he a good fit for Aston Villa? (40:17)It’s the end of the month, so we pick our alternative players of the month for October (49:08)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/10/2255m 19s

Under Pressure!

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Alyson Rudd and Tony Cascarino.Aston Villa looked like a different team this past weekend as they put 4 past Brentford. Were the players not backing Steven Gerrard? (00:00)Leicester also scored four goals, thrashing Wolves without reply. Is the pressure off Brendan Rodgers now? (18:08)Wolves are still looking for a new manager - are they right to keep Steve Davis in place until the near year? (21:35)Leeds are sliding further into the bottom three. Does Jesse Marsch have much time to turn things around? (25:38)Fulham are seventh in the Premier League - but how!? (33:14)Steve Cooper was awarded a new contract when Forest were on a huge winless run - they’ve now beaten Liverpool, so is this the start of the turnaround? (36:38)Everton backed Frank Lampard and that looks to have paid off too. What can we expect from Frank Lampard’s side next? (43:18)Newcastle are fourth after a 2-1 win at Tottenham. Eddie Howe is happy, Antonio Conte isn’t - but what did we learn from the game? (51:02)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/10/221h 4m

The Famous (Fifty) Five

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Tom Clarke, Gregor Robertson and Martyn Ziegler.Manchester United looked vastly improved in their 2-0 win over Spurs - is Erik ten Hag’s vision for the club starting to show? (00:00)Ronaldo marched off down the tunnel before the final whistle - but who is to blame for his situation at the club? (09:18)Chelsea are Spurs haven’t had the ‘wow’ factor recently - but why? (12:42)Southampton have finally got a win, much to the delight of their manager Ralph Hasenhüttl. Where do they go from here and is he the right man to lead them forward? (24:42)Is Crystal Palace’s south London identity the secret to them consistently punching above their weight? (34:17)West Ham missed another penalty, this time against Liverpool. Why can’t they find the back of the net? (45:30)Martyn Ziegler joins us to discuss the reemergence of the European Super League and how it differs from the 2021 proposition (55:56)With Gareth Southgate set to name a provisional 55 man England squad for the World Cup - we attempt to choose 5 players who have an outside chance of being included (58:20)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/10/221h 10m

Is Salah Back To His Best?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Tom Clarke, Molly Hudson and Tony Cascarino.Liverpool beat Manchester City 1-0, but at what cost for their next few matches? (00:00)David Moyes wasn't happy with some of the decisions in their draw against Southampton. Does he have a point? (20:35)Arsenal are still top after another win, this time over Leeds United. Are we getting used to them being a title contender? (24:12)Ivan Toney once again looked impressive for Brentford. He’s got to be on the plane to Qatar, surely? (37:14)Bournemouth continue their unbeaten run since Scott Parker was sacked. One player in particular has caught our eye (48:53)There were plenty of red cards over the weekend - including in the women’s game, as Molly Hudson explains (59:59)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
17/10/221h 6m

Mbappé Isn't Happy

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson and Tom Clarke - with Ian Hawkey and Owen Slot.Barcelona are on the brink of failing to make the Champions League knockout stages for the second year running. Ian Hawkey was at the game last night and tells us just how problematic this is for the club (00:00)Rangers were embarrassed 7-1 at home to Liverpool in the Champions League. What does that result mean for both teams? (17:44)Following their 7-1 win over Rangers, Liverpool take on Manchester City at the weekend. Are they back in with a chance of a result? (21:01)Is Ralph Hasenhüttl most likely to be the next Premier League manager to be fired? (29:22)Kylian Mbappé is said to be desperate to leave PSG once again. The Times’ Owen Slot was in Paris earlier in the week and joins us to discuss why the Frenchman is unhappy (37:58)After a long campaign, the first black player to be selected for England - Jack Leslie - has been awarded a posthumous honorary cap by the Football Association. But why was he not recognised for so long? (50:38)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/10/2256m 14s

Is The Super League Back?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Alyson Rudd and Tony Cascarino - with Martyn Ziegler and Molly Hudson.Arsenal continue to impress - this time with a win over Liverpool. How have both clubs suddenly started moving in different directions? (00:00)Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winner as Manchester United beat Everton - but what’s the latest with their relationship? (17:47)Bournemouth won again too - surely Gary O'Neil’s case for taking over full time is getting stronger by the week? (30:48)Martyn Ziegler joins us to discuss Barcelona President Joan Laporta’s latest comments on the European Super League (33:41)Iker Casillas was ‘hacked’ on Sunday, with a tweet supposedly coming out posted on his account. Molly Hudson joins us to discuss the potential damage this could have caused in terms of footballers being open about their sexualities (50:42) Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/10/221h 4m

The Reece James Fan Club

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Tom Clarke, Jonathan Northcroft, Ian Hawkey and Molly Hudson.Chelsea made short work of the Italian champions, last night. What does their win over AC Milan tell us about where they’re going under Graham Potter? (00:00)Liverpool and Manchester City both won too. What did we learn from their latest games in the Champions League? (5:22)Spurs drew in Frankfurt - what are they lacking and will Antonio Conte be forced to spend more money in January? (17:06) Napoli are on fire in both Serie A and in Europe - are they the real deal or will their season fall away as it has done in the past? (23:55)Julen Lopetegui looks set to take over as Wolves manager - but what went wrong for him at Sevilla? (29:10)England’s women play friendlies against the USA and Czech Republic in the next week. Molly Hudson joins us to discuss the games and the players who miss out (34:10)Leicester City got the better of Nottingham Forest in the East Midlands derby. Is this the start of their turnaround and what’s next for Steve Cooper’s side? (43:00)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/10/2251m 22s

North London Is Red, Manchester Is Blue

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tom Clarke, Charlotte Duncker and Tom Roddy.There were nine goals at the Etihad, but twice as many of those goals went City’s way. What did we learn from the Manchester derby? (00:00)Arsenal also got one over their local rivals - are there some big questions for Antonio Conte following the 3-1 defeat? (13:00)Wolves are on the lookout for a new manager after Bruno Lage departed on Sunday. Charlotte Duncker joins us with the latest (26:55)After Liverpool drew 3-3 with Brighton at the weekend, Hugh wants to know - is this the end of this era of success at the club? (37:16)Brighton were impressive and with Leandro Trossard scoring a hattrick, the conversation turned to the most underrated players in the Premier League (47:25)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/10/2259m 46s

Scotland On The Up!

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tom Clarke and Michael Grant.The Nations League games are over - England haven’t won for 6 matches, they’ve been relegated too - but did we see positive signs against Germany (00:00)Scotland have had a much better Nations League campaign with promotion to the top group. Michael Grant was at their most recent matches and joins to discuss the positive trajectory in Scottish football (17:51)The Premier League returns this weekend with the North London derby at the Emirates - but is it the biggest meeting between the two sides in a long time? (28:22)Manchester United visit Manchester City for another derby match at the weekend. If United win - does it mean the ‘new’ United are here? (38:00)We finish with our Alternative Player of the Month - listen an cast your vote in The Times app (47:48)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/09/2256m 27s

A Step In The Right Direction?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Alyson Rudd, Tom Clarke and Molly Hudson.England have been relegated from the top Nations League group - but is that the least of their worries going into the World Cup? (00:00)Wales have also dropped down a level, but Rob Page has his eyes on the World Cup. What kind of shape will Gareth Bale be in for the finals, though? (27:35)Arsenal set a new WSL attendance record at the weekend. Molly Hudson joins us to discuss what we learned from the last round of games (33:55)This section is called ‘Ruddy Angry’ and you’ll have to listen to find out why Alyson has lost her cool with Deadpool (43:10)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/09/2256m 11s

Have England Regressed?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Alyson Rudd, Jonathan Northcroft and Martyn Ziegler.England have two more games before the World Cup begins - but has Gareth Southgate got too many problems on his hands? (00:00)Ivan Toney is in the squad for this weekend’s Nations League matches - what chance does he have of becoming Harry Kane’s number two? (16:39)Is the game up for Trent Alexander-Arnold as an England player? (21:25)Harry Kane and other captains will wear ‘One Love’ armbands during these games and at the World Cup - but does it actually mean anything? (25:54)What will happen now Liz Truss has put the plan for an independent football regulator on hold? (45:14)A chat with former Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini ends up creating the most surreal games Hugh Woozencroft has ever come up with (52:07)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/09/221h 1m

Are Arsenal Actually Title Contenders?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Tom Clarke, Alyson Rudd and Tony Cascarino.Arsenal continue to surprise many and will be league leaders going into October - how did they turn things around? (00:00)West Ham are having a disastrous season so far, but what can they do to turn things around - and is David Moyes the man to do it? (15:57)Spurs are third in the Premier League, only a point off the lead - but are they any good? (33:37)Leicester City are bottom going into the international break - but will they make a change in the dugout before their next game? (41:45)Fulham are impressing so far, but Nottingham Forest are struggling with all their new signings - which are most likely to stay up? (46:36)Hugh claims Aston Villa vs Southampton was the worst game he’s ever seen - but what about everyone else? (57:45)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/09/221h 5m

SPECIAL: Ed Smith on his book 'Making Decisions'

Former England cricketer and national selector Ed Smith joins us to discuss his new book 'Making Decisions: Putting the Human Back in the Machine'.Tom Clarke sits down with Ed to discuss the analysis of data in sport and why it doesn't mean we'll simply rely on algorithms to pick squads and tactics in the future. We also hear his thoughts on the different mentalities of football managers and his love for Arsenal. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/09/2236m 36s

How Do You Stop Erling Haaland?

Tom Clarke is joined by Gregor Robertson, Ian Hawkey and Ed Smith.Erling Haaland scored (again) as Manchester City came from behind to beat his former side Borussia Dortmund. How can he be stopped? (00:00)Graham Potter took charge of Chelsea for the first time - what did we learn from their draw in the Champions League? (13:22)Liverpool left it late to beat Ajax - why aren’t they the team of previous years this season? (32:55)Tottenham let it slip late on in their match against Sporting. How does Antonio Conte improve their mentality? (45:49)Ian Hawkey gives us his opinions on the other results in the Champions League - including mixed fortunes for Real and Barcelona (51:52)News of a special episode of The Game out on Friday (60:18)Gregor and Tom discuss how Rangers and Celtic got on in the Champions League and we touch upon the EFL results from the week (62:50)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/09/221h 15m

Potter Set For A Chelsea Spell?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Molly Hudson, Tom Roddy and Tony Cascarino.***This episode was recorded on the morning of Graham Potter’s appointment as new Chelsea manager***Thomas Tuchel has been fired - did he see it coming? (00:00)Tom Roddy broke the story in The Times and he tells us his understanding of what happened behind the scenes? (9:50)At the time of recording, Graham Potter was heavily rumoured to be taking over at Chelsea. How suitable will he be at Stamford Bridge? (19:55)Liverpool had a night to forget in the Champions League on Wednesday. What’s going wrong for Jurgen Klopp’s side at the moment? (35:08)Celtic and Rangers both had disappointing evenings in Europe - our resident Scotsman and former Celtic striker give their thoughts (46:41)The WSL season gets underway this weekend and Molly Hudson brings us up to date with some last minute transfers (51:43)Spurs take on Manchester City in the Premier League this weekend - can Antonio Conte get one over Pep Guardiola? (60:10)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
08/09/221h 8m

VAR You Having A Laugh?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Alyson Rudd and Matt Dickinson.Manchester United vs Arsenal was as eventful as ever. Did Anthony live up to expectation? (00:00)This game featured one of many VAR talking points over the weekend, but was the decision to rule out Arsenal’s goal actually correct? (13:46)Brighton have quietly continued their excellent run - should Graham Potter be offered the England job and would he actually accept? What next for Brendan Rodgers at Leicester? (25:08)Ivan Toney has impressed for Brentford, scoring a hat trick this past weekend. Is it the right time for an England call-up? (37:40)Along with Toney, we pick our suggestions for curveballs call-ups to Gareth Southgate’s next squad (44:06)A discussion on VAR turns into a debate, and then a full blown argument! (46:50)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/09/221h 7m

Who Won The Transfer Window?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Jonathan Northcroft and Molly Hudson.We take a look back at the transfer window for a selection of Premier League clubs - starting with Chelsea and Manchester United (00:00)Nottingham Forest and Arsenal (11:28)Bournemouth, Everton and Southampton (19:19)Manchester City and Leicester City (27:08)Fulham and Liverpool (38:39)Hugh has also picked a selection of other clubs who deserve a mention for some solid business ahead of the window shutting (45:08)Molly Hudson joins us from Austria to discuss the Lionesses first competitive games since their Euros success (48:58)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/09/2255m 46s

We Want Ten!

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Tom Roddy and Alyson Rudd.Liverpool hit Bournemouth for nine goals at the weekend - but why do teams struggle to make double figures? (00:00)Scott Parker made it well known he wants more players at Bournemouth, but will his frustration be resolved? (13:25)Manchester City and Erling Haaland look impressive in front of goal - but are they looking shaky at the back? (22:50)Steven Gerrard is struggling at Aston Villa after yet another loss. Will he be given time to turn things around? (32:42)Forest put up a notable fight against Tottenham, but Richarlison got a lot of attention for his showboating - was it rudeness or flair? (45:46)Hugh doesn’t like VAR much, as you’ll hear with his weekly rant (51:12)Who was our Player of the Month? Listen and vote now on The Times website (54:06)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/08/221h 2m

Sporadic Acts Of Passion

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tom Clarke and Jonathan Northcroft - with Molly Hudson and Henry Winter.Manchester United surprised a few with their 2-1 win at Old Trafford on Monday. What does that win over Liverpool mean for their progression after a rocky start under ten Hag? (00:00)Liverpool are having a nightmare start to the season - what does Jurgen Klopp need to do and could another signing be necessary before the window shuts? (18:31)Rangers are in the Champions League group stages for the first time in 13 years - we discuss their progression and what this means for the club going forward (30:00)Molly Hudson joins us to discuss the two big retirements from the successful Lionesses squad this week (40:01)The Times’ Chief Football Reporter Henry Winter has been to Kyiv for the symbolic start of the Ukrainian Premier League. He tells us about his experience in the capital (49:03)We end with our Games of the Weekend - which fixtures are catching our eye across the Premier League and EFL? (53:44)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/08/221h 1m

Saint Allan of Maximin

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Alyson Rudd and Tony Cascarino.Newcastle gave Manchester City a scare on Sunday - what does this result tell us about their progression since the takeover? (00:00)Hugh is not impressed with VAR again and one incident in that game was largely to blame (16:53)Leeds blew Chelsea away at Elland Road. How desperately do Chelsea need a number 9 and are modern goalkeepers taught to play with their feet too much? (27:16)Brighton came away from the London Stadium with three points as West Ham’s goalless start to the season continues - is it time to panic for David Moyes? (41:00)Arsenal end the weekend on top, but how seriously should we take them this season? (54:47)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/08/221h 6m

Are The Glazers Ready To Sell Up?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tom Clarke, Matt Dickinson and Martin Hardy.Sir Jim Ratcliffe is keen to explore the possibilities of buying Manchester United. Matt Dickinson broke the story in The Times and joins us to explain how likely this deal is (00:00)What numbers are involved in any potential deal for Manchester United? Football finance expert Kieran Maguire breaks down the figures The Glazers are likely to be keen to do business at (10:21)The Times’ Martin Hardy joins us to discuss how things are going at Newcastle United ahead of their game against Manchester City on Sunday (17:54)Leeds United have had a positive start to the season, but after losing important players - how will they get on in their ‘tricky’ third season? (35:40)Manchester United take on Liverpool on Monday as the bottom side in the Premier League. Will Erik ten Hag change his footballing philosophy or stick to the plan? (48:39)Who is the unluckiest manager? Gregor spoke to Graham Alexander, who could be a pretty good candidate (62:44)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/08/221h 12m

Super Sunday or Fight Night?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tom Clarke, Alyson Rudd and Matt Dickinson. Spurs showed a different side to their game on Sunday in a fiery encounter against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. We unpack the most eventful game of the season so far (00:00)Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte got into a couple of heated debates on the touchline - is this kind of behaviour acceptable and is it beneath them? (16:45)Brentford thrashed a sorry Manchester United - but was it a shock? (27:20)The Times’ Senior Sports Writer Matt Dickinson joins us to discuss his new book about Sir Alex Ferguson’s resignation on the eve of the 1998-99 season and what transpired (44:32)Nottingham Forest won their first home game in the Premier League for 23 years - but are they actually buying too many players? (50:08)We end with a discussion on our favourite ever assists (57:42)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/08/221h 5m

Kings of London

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tom Clarke, Jonathan Northcroft and Tom Roddy.Antonio Conte has been praised for his work at Spurs so far - but have they actually stepped up yet? Is Sunday’s game against Chelsea their opportunity to show everyone what they can do? (00:00)Arsenal have also made improvements with Gabriel Jesus the standout addition at the Emirates. What can they expect to achieve this season? Leicester have brought no players in and have seen Kaspar Schmeichel leave in this window - are they destined for a disappointing season? (22:06)It’s Steven Gerrard against Frank Lampard at the weekend as Aston Villa host Everton. Which of the former England teammates will come out on top? (35:30)Jonathan spent some time with Brighton boss, Graham Potter. You can read the full conversation in The Times - but does Jonny think he’s a future England manager? (42:55)Every club has made a desperate transfer deadline day signing or two - we recall our favourites (51:40)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/08/221h 1m

Haaland Makes His Mark

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Alyson Rudd and Tony Cascarino.Erling Haaland has arrived and already has two goals to his name. Are Manchester City going to be more dominant than ever or will Liverpool find their feet after their opening performance? (00:00)Aleksandar Mitrović caused Liverpool problems - but can the Fulham striker have a better season in the Premier League this time around? (15:24)Brighton won at Old Trafford for the first time in the league - what’s the secret to Graham Potter’s success? Manchester United are back with a new manager - but has anything really changed? (23:00)Steven Gerrard caused a bit of a stir with his comments about Tyrone Mings following their loss against Bournemouth. Was he right to replace his captain? (42:31)Tottenham were impressive against Southampton - are they actually in the conversation for a title challenge? (50:02)Ismaïla Sarr scored from his own half for Watford on Monday night, so we end with our favourite goals from the ‘wrong’ half of the pitch (55:28)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/08/221h 2m

The Big Premier League 2022/23 Preview Show

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Tom Roddy and Tom Clarke.We’re back for the new season with an extended episode of The Game Podcast from The Times.We start by looking at the big striker signings - which club has got the best deal for their new frontman and which one will hit the ground running? (00:00)Chelsea have lost a number of key players and they’ve not yet replaced all of them. Despite signing Raheem Sterling, is their squad weaker than last season? (23:11)It’ll be a big season for Manchester United and Erik ten Hag. Do they have any chance of breaking back in to the top four? (33:53)Which team is the team to watch out for this season? Who’ll surprise us in 2022/23? (42:30)Fulham, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest are back in the top flight, some have been away longer than others. What does the season have in store for the newly-promoted clubs and which is the best bet to stay up? (55:32)We’re a week in to the EFL season and already Burnley have impressed a lot of people. Which sides have stood out to us so far? (68:27)We end with our predictions for the upcoming season. Which will come true? You’ll have to check back at the end of May! (75:42)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/08/221h 27m

EURO 2022 | Episode 8 | Football Came Home

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Molly Hudson, Gregor Robertson, Owen Slot and Casey Stoney.The Lionesses have done it - football is home and an emotional former England captain Casey Stoney joins us for the final time to look back at the game and look ahead to what this result will do for the women’s game in the UK and beyond (00:00)The Times Chief Sports Reporter Owen Slot joins us having been at the game at Wembley last night (21:42)Molly Hudson has been in Trafalgar Square soaking up the atmosphere as the Lionesses lifted the trophy again for the fans (28:43)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
01/08/2240m 32s

EURO 2022 | Episode 7 | One Game From Glory

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Molly Hudson, Gregor Robertson and Casey Stoney.Casey Stoney joins us from the US to give her thoughts on the Lionesses semi-final win and what they’ll need to do on Sunday (00:00)What worked for England against Sweden and do they need to make any changes to combat Germany at Wembley? (11:32)Do England need to lift the trophy to maximise the legacy of the competition - or have they already done enough to inspire a generation? (35:30)How do our journalists think the game will play out? Are England the favourites? (44:20)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/07/2249m 40s

EURO 2022 | Episode 6 | One Game From Wembley

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Molly Hudson and Gregor Robertson.England take on Sweden for a place in the final of Euro 2022 on Tuesday night - how will they be feeling and what will the mood be in the camp? (00:00)Should Sarina Wiegman stick with the same side or should the England manager make changes to combat the Swedes? (06:40)What chance do Sweden have of sending the hosts home? (22:56)Germany take on France in the other semi-final - which side is most likely to book their place in the final at Wembley? (28:26)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/07/2235m 50s

EURO 2022 | Episode 5 | A Place In The Semis

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Molly Hudson, Gregor Robertson and Casey Stoney.England are through to the semi finals of Euro 2022 after an extra time winner from Georgia Stanway. Casey gives us her review of the nerve-wracking quarter final with Spain (00:00)Do we have any sympathy for Spain after their loss? Did their injury problems ultimately end their chances of success? (21:12)There are two more quarter finals - who will England want to face the most? (32:32)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/07/2240m 40s

EURO 2022 | Episode 4 | Into The Quarters

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Molly Hudson, Gregor Robertson and Casey Stoney.England face Spain in the first Quarter Final of the tournament on Wednesday. Some had Spain down as the team to beat, but are England now the clear favourites? (00:00)We’ve seen a number of ACL injuries in the women’s game recently. Why is this happening more frequently than in the men’s game? (26:00)Germany take on Austria in Thursday’s quarter final. Can Austria beat the free-scoring Germans or will Alexandra Popp’s side continue their impressive run? (36:00)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/07/2250m 19s

EURO 2022 | Episode 3 | 8 (Eight) - 0

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Molly Hudson, Gregor Robertson and Casey Stoney.England shocked many with an 8-0 thrashing of Norway on Monday night. Was it a case of England playing well and Norway having an off day? (00:00)Beth Mead scored a hat-trick (11:53) and there were also goals for Ellen White (14:50). Casey gives us her opinion on them both. Northern Ireland are out after a 2-0 loss to Austria. Should they be disappointed and what does the future look like for the team? (26:25)Casey and the team look ahead to the other games coming up, ahead of England vs Northern Ireland on Friday (33:05)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/07/2241m 33s

EURO 2022 | Episode 2 | Start With A Win

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Molly Hudson, Gregor Robertson and Casey Stoney.England got their Euros campaign started with a 1-0 win over Austria - but after the convincing nature of the warm up matches, should fans be a little disappointed? (00:00)Northern Ireland play their first match tonight against Norway and we take a look at the fixtures over the weekend (17:53)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/07/2227m 47s

EURO 2022 | Episode 1 | Tournament Preview

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Molly Hudson, Gregor Robertson and Casey Stoney.Former England captain Casey Stoney joins us for Euro 2022, but what’s it like to be a player preparing for a major tournament? (00:00)Ahead of the start of the tournament, how has Sarina Wiegman been received so far? Is she under pressure to win back-to-back championships? (13:38)England go into this tournament with a lot of hope, but which players are most likely to impress and which players should make the starting line up? (19:35)Northern Ireland are in England’s group and Gregor has been looking at their squad in detail. What will they be aiming for this summer? (35:35)With England’s eyes firmly on the prize, which other teams will pose them problems and who are the favourites? (40:48)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/07/2251m 28s

Final Day Of Our Season

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Tom Clarke, Gregor Robertson and Tom Roddy.England’s disastrous Nations League games ended with the most disappointing result of the break - but does Gareth Southgate really deserve the abuse he’s getting? (00:00)Premier League clubs are already doing business with some big strikers on the move - but who got the better deal? Also, what’s going on with Romelu Lukaku? (22:00)We take a look back some of our good, bad and hilarious predictions from earlier in the season. Gregor’s team to watch is a particular favourite (38:00)Who doesn’t like to end the season with a quiz? Hugh and Tom both came prepared! (45:15)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/06/2255m 12s

Does Gareth Need A Rest?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Tom Clarke, Alyson Rudd, Gary Jacob and Michael Grant.The Nations League games continue and England once again failed to impress against Italy. Are the squad tired and is the manager in need of a rest too? (00:00)Gareth Southgate changed things around for the game against the European Champions - which players showed they deserve more of a chance in the starting line up? (09:45)Scotland have had a disastrous start to their Nations League campaign. Michael Grant joins us to discuss their current slump after watching them lose 3-0 in Dublin (23:16)Wales showed more promise, holding Belgium to a 1-1 draw in Cardiff. Gareth Bale edges closer to becoming a free agent, but is there any indication of where he’ll end up? (32:52)Everton have signed a record shirt sponsorship deal with a betting company - but with these kinds of sponsorships looking like they’ll be banned, was that a foolish decision on several levels? (43:42)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/06/2259m 19s

Super Sub or Super Starter?

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Gregor Robertson, Jonathan Northcroft and Matt Lawton.England did a lot better against Germany than they did previously in Hungary - but what questions have been left to be resolved? Will Jack Grealish ever be in the first XI or should he embrace being a super sub? (00:00)Scotland bounced back from their World Cup disappointment against Armenia. What’s next for Steve Clarke’s side and has a new phase begun for the national team? (23:10)Matt Lawton joins us fresh from Munich, where he’s been looking into policing on the continent and how it differs from our own in the UK (32:20)We take a look at the latest transfer rumours with Liverpool’s attack potentially getting an overhaul and what Arsenal need to get done before the start of the season (51:40)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/06/221h 7m

World Cup Wales

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Alyson Rudd, Gregor Robertson and Tony Cascarino.Wales are going to the World Cup after they went one better than Scotland by beating Ukraine. How much credit do their stars deserve and where does the job Rob Page has done rank in terms of managerial achievements? (00:00)With ageing stars, how will Wales get on in Qatar and how likely are we to see both them and England progress to the knock-out stages? (18:53)England lost in Hungary - but what are the bigger things to come from a game that saw James Justin and Jarod Bowen make their debuts? (22:17)We bring you our long-awaited End of Season Awards. Which players, managers and teams have done well (or not so well) this season? (36:17)Get more of The Times and The Sunday Times for less than £1 a day. Start your free trial: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/06/221h 3m

Ukraine Show Their Strength

Hugh Woozencroft is joined by Tom Clarke, Michael Grant, Gary Jacob and Tomas Hill Lopez-Menchero.Scotland came up short against Ukraine, who go on to face Wales on Sunday for a place in the World Cup. Michael