The Athletic Football Tactics Podcast

The Athletic Football Tactics Podcast

By The Athletic

Hosted by Ali Maxwell, revered football tactics writer Michael Cox is joined by more of The Athletic's brightest tactics and data analytics writers to break down the tactical and technical details behind the biggest footballing stories each week - assessing the latest trends, systems, players, managers and all manner of statistics in order to give you a deeper understanding of the game.

Episodes

Why were there so many goals this season?

In this episode, The Athletic’s Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme join Ali Maxwell to talk about why this Premier League season has had an unbelievable number of goals. The number of goals being scored in the top division of English men’s football is at its highest rate since the 1960s. But what has caused this? Are goalkeepers not as good as they used to be at keeping the ball out of the net? What has VAR done to the game in the context of goals given or denied? And are players shooting more and better?  This and much, much more on the final Tactics podcast of the 23/24 season. Hosted by: Ali Maxwell With: Michael Cox, Mark Carey & Liam Tharme  Produced by: Steve Hankey Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
23/05/2445m 49s

Alternative Team of the Season 2023/24

In this episode, The Athletic’s Michael Cox and Mark Carey join Ali Maxwell to put together an alternative team of the season from the 23/24 Premier League. Mark and Michael are allowed to choose one player from each of the teams in the bottom half of the Premier League to make up their side. The mathematically minded amongst you will clock that only gives them eleven players, so from one team they get two picks. This episode really illustrates the truth held within that famous internet aphorism from E.M. Hudson: “Dudes can literally just sit around and name old sports players and just have the best time.” Hosted by: Ali Maxwell With: Michael Cox & Mark Carey  Produced by: Steve Hankey Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
16/05/2443m 56s

Champions League semi final review and final preview

In this episode, The Athletic’s Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme join Ali Maxwell to discuss the final stages of this season’s Champions League in men’s football. Real Madrid came from behind in the dying minutes to knock out Bayern Munich and further cement their pedigree in this competition. Borussia Dortmund ensured their surprising run this season continued by securing a second consecutive 1-0 win over Paris St Germain to take the semi-final 2-0 on aggregate. Then, we look ahead to the final on Saturday 1st June at Wembley.  Can Dortmund shock the football world to claim their second Champions League trophy at Real’s expense? Hosted by: Ali Maxwell With: Michael Cox, Mark Carey & Liam Tharme Produced by: Steve Hankey Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
09/05/2453m 1s

How well set up are Liverpool for life after Klopp?

In this episode, The Athletic’s Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme join Ali Maxwell to discuss how Liverpool can ensure a smooth succession from Arne Slot to Jurgen Klopp. We look at how well suited his style of play and personality are for taking on one of the biggest jobs in club football. And how well set up Liverpool are as a club to move on from such a legendary manager? Then, we look to the past to see if we can learn much about the future.  Can Liverpool learn anything from how Manchester United moved on from Alex Ferguson and how Arsenal handled life after Arsène Wenger? Host: Ali Maxwell With: Michael Cox, Mark Carey & Liam Tharme Producer: Steve Hankey Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
02/05/2442m 21s

What's the most competitive league in Europe?

In this episode, The Athletic’s Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme join Ali Maxwell to discuss which leagues are the most competitive in Europe. We cast our eyes across Europe’s top five leagues, and then beyond them into the top twenty leagues across the continent, including some second tiers… What matters most when measuring what makes a competitive league?  Is it the finance or the depth of talent in each league year on year? Or is it how well spread both of those things are across a division?  And should looking at how competitive a league is compared to other places influence where clubs scout for players? HOST: Ali Maxwell WITH: Michael Cox, Mark Carey & Liam Tharme PRODUCER: Steve Hankey Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
25/04/2451m 58s

Champions League review & how Leverkusen won the Bundesliga

In this episode, The Athletic’s Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme join Ali Maxwell to reflect on the Champions League quarter finals; which concluded this week. First up, Bayern Munich let their experience show by knocking out Arsenal 3-2 on aggregate at the Allianz Arena. We then head to Manchester as reigning European champions Manchester City failed to retain their crown as they were knocked out on penalties by the perennial Kings of Europe Real Madrid.  We also assess Paris St Germain progressing against a poorly disciplined Barcelona as well as discussing Borussia Dortmund doubling the German contingent in the semifinals with their win over Atletico Madrid. And it’s in Germany we remain for the rest of the episode to reflect on the incredible achievement of the Bundesliga’s new champions, Bayer Leverkusen. HOST: Ali Maxwell WITH: Michael Cox, Mark Carey & Liam Tharme PRODUCER: Steve Hankey Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
18/04/2446m 31s

Champions League quarter finals first leg review

In this episode, The Athletic’s Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme join Ali Maxwell to reflect on the halfway point of the Champions League quarter finals; and what to look out for when those ties conclude next week. First up, it’s Arsenal and Bayern Munich sharing the first leg spoils by drawing 2-2 in North London. We then head to Madrid and rule the rule over the incredible 3-3 draw between Real Madrid and reigning European champions Manchester City.  Our third stop is Paris to decide who showed the most “Barca DNA” in Barcelona’s 3-2 victory over Paris St Germain. And finally, we return to the Spanish capital to assess whether Atheltico Madrid’s 2-1 advantage over Borussia Dortmund is enough when Diego Simeone’s side face the fierce atmosphere of the Signal Iduna Park. HOST: Ali Maxwell WITH: Michael Cox, Mark Carey & Liam Tharme PRODUCER: Steve Hankey Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/04/2455m 21s

Where will the Premier League contenders slip up?

In this episode, The Athletic’s Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme join Ali Maxwell to take a look at where the Premier League title contenders may drop precious points. Firstly, we run the rule over the final clash between the pretenders to the crown this season.  Was Man City vs Arsenal just really boring or were there some “tactically intriguing” aspects? The title race remains as tight as it was when we last cast our eye over it in detail five episodes ago.  But what’s changed since then that should alter the way we analyse who will win the league? And finally, which teams across the league will have the biggest role to play in tripping up Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool? HOST: Ali Maxwell WITH: Michael Cox, Mark Carey & Liam Tharme PRODUCER: Steve Hankey Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
04/04/2450m 25s

The rise of specialist coaches

In this episode, The Athletic’s Jay Harris, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme join Ali Maxwell to take a look at specialist coaches. From set pieces to subs to sleep and scran, elite football teams are constantly on the lookout for ways to make improvements. One thing you will learn is why they’re NOT making marginal gains… So which specialist coaching jobs have gone from niche to mainstream?  How do you measure success when a coaching role is completely brand new? And what role may be the next to evolve from non-existent to completely essential? Produced by Steve Hankey. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
28/03/2447m 46s

How Inter are dominating Serie A

In this episode, The Athletic’s Mark Carey, Liam Tharme and Jon Mackenzie join Ali Maxwell to do a deep dive into Internazionale. Simone Inzaghi’s side are dominating Serie A in every sense of the word.  They have a bigger lead at this stage of the season than runaway leaders Napoli had last time out and at time of recording they have the best defensive record of any team in Europe’s top five leagues. So what makes them so good? What do they do that very few, if any, other teams do at the elite level of the game? And will their manager Simone Inzaghi ever test his managerial mettle away from Italian shores? Produced by Steve Hankey. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
21/03/2450m 40s

Champions League notebook: Is the tournament about to come alive?

In this episode, The Athletic’s Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme join Ali Maxwell to reflect on the Champions League last 16. Manchester City, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Bayern Munich, PSG, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund make up the 2024 Champions League quarter finals. So what shape are the last eight in Europe’s elite competition in?  Which individual players shone in the last 16? And how has the first knockout round changed who we think the favourites are to win the whole thing? Produced by Steve Hankey. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
14/03/2448m 23s

Klopp vs Guardiola: an era-defining rivalry

In this episode, The Athletic’s Michael Cox, Duncan Alexander and Liam Tharme join Ali Maxwell to reflect on one of the Premier League’s great managerial rivalries. Pep Guardiola's final tactical tussle with Jurgen Klopp, in the Premier League at least, is this weekend.  We look at their individual influences on the English game since they arrived and how they’ve influenced each other too. But who has struggled the most against the other: Pep vs Klopp, or vice versa? And will we ever see the like of this managerial rivalry in English football ever again? Produced by Steve Hankey. Podcast listening habits survey - theathletic.com/survey24. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
07/03/2447m 32s

Breaking Down The Three Horse Title Race

In this episode, The Athletic’s Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme join Ali Maxwell break down what is potentially the most exciting title race for years. At time of recording, two points separate three teams at the top of the Premier League. We’ve scoured over the three title contenders to see if we can scientifically suss out who’ll be crowned Premier League champions in May. Will it be Man City, Liverpool or Arsenal? And which small details could cause delight or downfall for each side? Produced by Steve Hankey. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
29/02/2438m 51s

Do teams want superstars anymore?

In this episode, The Athletic’s Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme join Ali Maxwell to ask whether modern football teams actually want superstars anymore? Kylian Mbappé is leaving Paris Saint-Germain in the summer but, whisper it quietly; will they be a better team without him? How have Tottenham Hotspur adapted to the loss of their star man Harry Kane?  And how Have Bayern Munich had to adapt to having him? Also, is tournament football, at club and international level; the last bastion for the superstar? Produced by Steve Hankey. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/02/2442m 59s

The Champions League knockouts: A deep dive

In this episode, The Athletic’s Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme join Ali Maxwell to give an overview of the runners and riders as the Champions League enters the last 16. Will anyone be able to stop Manchester City from retaining their crown? Should Bayern Munich be amongst the favourites considering their recent blunders in the Bundesliga? And is a dark horse going to ride to glory in this year’s competition? Produced by Steve Hankey. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/02/2446m 40s

How To Beat Elite Teams

In this episode, The Athletic’s Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme join Ali Maxwell to discuss how to take on the elite teams. Should teams adapt their style against the big boys to try and get a result, or try to play the way they want to regardless of opposition? Who has been most effective against the elite teams in the Premier League this season? And what about when elite teams play each other? Produced by Steve Hankey. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
08/02/2447m 15s

The evolution of Klopp's Liverpool tactics

In this episode, The Athletic’s Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme join Ali Maxwell to discuss the tactical differences between the two eras of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool tenure. We’re broadly speaking splitting Klopp’s teams into the 2019 - 21 side as “Liverpool 1.0” and looking at this current iteration as “Liverpool 2.0” What were peak Klopp Liverpool tactically? What has and hasn’t changed in the transition to this new team? And what kind of a squad is he leaving for whoever Liverpool’s new manager is? Produced by Steve Hankey. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
01/02/2450m 43s

Premier League Stat Attack

In this episode, the Tactics Pod team launch a load of stats into your ears, so strap in. The Athletic’s Michael Cox, Thom Harris and Liam Tharme join Ali Maxwell to sift through forty five minutes of figures, including… Who is the fouliest footballer in the Premier League so far this season? Which side loves turning the opposition around at the coin toss? What is the biggest (statistical) problem with Manchester United this season? And seventeen more. Produced by Adonis Pratsides and Steve Hankey. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
25/01/2449m 37s

Has modern football left Mourinho behind?

The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme join host Ali Maxwell, to reflect on Jose Mourinho's fall from grace - 20 years on from winning the Champions League with Porto. Has modern club football left Mourinho behind. Do a younger generation of footballers tire of his methods too quickly and has he ever been a 'defensive' coach? Plus, why he is perfectly suited to international management now. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
18/01/2441m 17s

Does Arsenal's 'dream striker' really exist?

Since Arsenal were dumped out of the FA Cup, the prevailing 'narrative' has been their desperate need to sign a more clinical goalscorer in the January transfer window... But does a number 9 who could fulfil all the requirements of an Arsenal striker even exist? Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey & Liam Tharme - for their first podcast of 2024 - to explore the 'unrealistic' expectations on the modern-day Premier League forward. How would an iconic frontman like Didier Drogba be judged today, is it more sustainable to have a strong finisher or to keep creating high quality chances and do goalscorers even play upfront anymore!? Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/01/2449m 53s

The tactical trends of 2023

In this episode, we discuss the tactical trends of 2023. The Athletic’s Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme join Ali Maxwell to explore… First up, full backs and defenders moving into midfield. Inversions, actions and equal & opposite reactions are all covered here. Did the back three become an endangered species in 2023 and will wingbacks go the way of the Dodo in 2024? What were the big statistical trends this year? More goals, fewer red cards and the comeback of… the comeback. The 2023 “Calendar Year” table finds Chelsea and Aston Villa in unexpected places. And Michael reflects on the multiple tactical evolutions we saw during the 2023 Women’s World Cup. Produced by Steve Hankey. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
21/12/2348m 45s

Game changers: Do you still need a Plan B?

The Athletic's Michael Cox, Liam Tharme and Mark Carey join host Ali Maxwell to try and work out the best way to 'chase' a football match... Has modern football moved away from the stereotypical 'plan B' of earlier Premier League eras and how do teams like Liverpool, Arsenal and Newcastle keep finding late goals. Plus, how the role of the substitute might be evolving into a more specialist role and what is now asked of 'game-changers' like Harvey Elliott, Youri Tielemans, Elijah Adebayo and more... Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
14/12/2343m 6s

The art of taking a penalty

The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme join host Ali Maxwell to discuss penalties in football... Are there too many, are they too big a reward in the VAR era, or, is it in fact becoming more difficult to score? Plus, the best player in the Premier League at winning penalties, who sent the keeper the wrong way every time, are left-footers better than right-footers and if further rule changes are in order. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
07/12/2348m 43s

Is Bernardo Silva the best player in the Premier League?

In this episode, we discuss Michael Cox’s argument that Bernardo Silva is the best player in the Premier League. The Athletic’s Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme join Ali Maxwell to explore… First up, there’s a discussion and reflection on the managerial career of Terry Venables.  The former England and Barcelona manager passed away this week at the age of 80 after a long illness. Then, on to Bernardo Silva. How rare is his level and type of versatility? Does his ability as an elite all rounder mean he’s better than some elite players with narrower skill sets, like Haaland or Salah? And does his tactical acumen and strong communication skills mean a future in coaching is in the offing? Produced by Adonis Pratsides and Steve Hankey Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
29/11/2340m 50s

Ten Hag, Wiegman & Dutch tactical identity

Both Manchester United and England's Lionesses face a crucial fortnight ahead under their respective Dutch coaches Erik ten Hag and Sarina Wiegman. To compare and contrast their styles Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox, Liam Tharme and Charlotte Harpur to discuss their similar coaching identities and explore how much that is tied to their nation's football identity. The panel analyse their on-pitch tactical focus, with influences from Johan Cruyff and Louis van Gaal as well as their off-pitch handling of the media and personnel with their respective squads. Produced by Guy Clarke Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
23/11/2346m 58s

Leverkusen, Girona and surprise league leaders

A collection of Europe’s major leagues have had surprise league leaders topping the tables this season. The Athletic’s Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Thom Harris join Ali Maxwell to explore… Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen. What do they do in and out of possession, how have their new signings settled in and can they sustain it to beat Bayern Munich to the Bundesliga? We also talk about an even bigger surprise in La Liga. At time of recording Girona top La Liga by two points ahead of Real Madrid with former Rayo Vallecano coach Michel performing a minor miracle for the Catalan minnows. There’s also a nice nod to… Nice. They aren’t top but have hovered around second place in Ligue 1 this season with a collection of players who really hit the “oh yeah that guy, he’s still around” spot.   Produced by Steve Hankey Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
16/11/2343m 59s

How to play with 10 (or 9) men

After Spurs and Man United suffered defeats in big games this week, where a red card (or two) was a big factor - The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme join host Ali Maxwell to debate the best ways for a manager to deal tactically with a sending off... Did Big Ange's surprisingly high defensive line make sense, can you stick with three-at-the-back and is it actually harder to play against ten men? Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
09/11/2350m 1s

Where have all the dribblers gone?

As Michael informs us - in the beginning - the beautiful game almost completely revolved around the art of 'dribbling'. So, as football continues to evolve tactically, how and why did we reach a point where many commentators are now asking: "Where have all the dribblers gone?" The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme join host Ali Maxwell to explore... Who are the best/worst dribblers in the Premier League, what even constitutes a 'dribble' and are coaches like Pep Guardiola really responsible for the apparent lack of dribblers today? Plus, how many of Ronaldo Nazario's 414 goals were scored by dribbling the ball round the goalkeeper? Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
02/11/2351m 9s

Ronaldo, Diego Costa, Benzema: When does a striker peak?

Ali Maxwell is alongside The Athletic’s Liam Thame, Mark Carey and Michael Cox to explore the varying ‘peak’ performance of strikers, and whether it’s changing over time. From Robbie Fowler who ‘peaked’ aged 20, to Fabio Quagliarella who saved his best ’til 35, the panel dissect why players hit their prime at different ages, but ask if the way we classify ‘peak’ needs updating. Plus, can ones ‘peak’ be predicted, and how is sports science altering the landscape. Produced by Jay Beale. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
26/10/2340m 44s

How to build the perfect footballer

Jude Bellingham's been described as a player 'who can do everything', so Ali Maxwell, challenged The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme to build the 'perfect' player... A left foot from Messi? As strong as Van Dijk? With Bernardo Silva's brain? Agree or disagree with our selections? Let us know in the comments. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
19/10/2334m 16s

David Beckham's Data

Ali Maxwell is alongside The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Duncan Alexander to explore the data behind David Beckham's incredible career - to discern just how good a player DB7 really was... The best crosser of the ball of all time? How accurate was the documentary? Our panel dissect the free-kicks, assists, goals and tactical roles to find out. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/10/2339m 42s

Arsenal v Man City: Do head-to-head matches between the top two really matter?

Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Duncan Alexander to look ahead to the first Premier League meeting between last season's Top 2: Man City and Arsenal... How often have head-to-head games between the eventual top two Premier League teams decided where the title ended up? And ahead of Man City's trip to Arsenal on Sunday, a tactical preview of where the game might be won and lost and some squad selection headaches for both managers analysed. Produced by Adonis Pratsides & Jay Beale Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
05/10/2346m 39s

Ewing Theory: Life after losing a star player

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme to assess the concept of 'Ewing Theory' - the idea that any team can lose their star player and actually improve? How is this playing out in the Premier League so far this season, at Spurs after Kane... but also at West Ham after Declan Rice, Crystal Palace after Zaha and Brentford without Toney too? And can you become overly-reliant on a goalscorer in particular? The panel also find examples of the phenomenon on the continent and throughout recent history too. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
28/09/2344m 7s

The Champions League is back!

Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme to pick out their tactical insights and highlights from the opening round of Champions League group games... Why are Man United so fragile after conceding a goal, and how good was Bayern's Jamal Musiala? - 2:05 As Arsenal cruised to a 4-0 win over PSV in their return to the competition - was that the perfect preparation for this Sunday's North London Derby... and are they a different proposition when Gabriel Jesus leads the line? - 7:55 Did AC Milan and Newcastle BOTH think they were the underdogs at San Siro? - 13:05 Are PSG a better team even if they're less exciting to watch now, having ditched so many of their Galacticos in the summer? - 17:01 Is Julian Alvarez making Man City fans forget about Kevin de Bruyne? - 20:40 ... Later in the pod, the panel preview the North London Derby and discuss Michael Cox's article in The Athletic - where he suggests Chelsea are playing better than their results would suggest! - 23:32 Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
21/09/2345m 1s

Bellingham’s ceiling, Brazil’s new era, and where have the Spanish playmakers gone?

Ali Maxwell is joined by Michael Cox, Liam Tharme and Mark Carey to reflect on Jude Bellingham's performance vs Scotland, debate whether Neymar should be considered one of football's true greats, and ask where the Spanish playmakers have gone? Plus, Nigeria's striker dilemma, Bielsa's Uruguay, and Fernando Diniz's anti-establishment tactics. Produced by Jay Beale. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
14/09/2342m 42s

Bukayo Saka: Goalscorer, Creator, Swiss Army Knife

Ali Maxwell is joined by Michael Cox, Liam Tharme and Arsenal correspondent Art de Roche, to celebrate Bukayo Saka's evolution into possibly, the best right-sided forward in the world right now... The panel reflect on his breakthrough as a left wing-back, the tactical challenges Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta sets for him and the amazing numbers he's already posting, despite having only turned 22 years old this week! Produced by Adonis Pratsides *** Grab your EXCLUSIVE NordVPN Deal by going to https://nordvpn.com/tactics to get a Huge Discount off your NordVPN Plan + 4 months for free! It’s completely risk free with Nord’s 30 day money-back guarantee!  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
07/09/2350m 50s

Do Central Midfielders make the best modern managers?

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Mark Carey and Liam Tharme to dig into why so many modern-day head coaches were once central midfielders? As Guardiola, Arteta, Xavi, Pirlo, Motta, Alonso, Amorim and others thrive - what is it about the position that lends itself to coaching and is it the most difficult position to play in a team? Has it contributed to the current hegemony of football tactics and does it also explain why the price of a good deep-lying midfielder has skyrocketed over the last year. Produced by Adonis Pratsides & Guy Clarke *** Grab your EXCLUSIVE NordVPN Deal by going to https://nordvpn.com/tactics to get a Huge Discount off your NordVPN Plan + 4 months for free! It’s completely risk free with Nord’s 30 day money-back guarantee!  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
31/08/2342m 34s

Big Ange's Big Spurs Overhaul

Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Mark Carey, Liam Tharme and Tottenham writer Charlie Eccleshare to dissect the radical tactical overhaul in progress at Spurs... How quick, is too quick to try and implement a new tactical system and playing style - especially after losing Harry Kane so late in the window? And what can we learn from an impressive win over Manchester United last weekend? How does Ange Postecoglu's impact compare to Mikel Arteta's three years ago at Arsenal, is Bissouma good enough to play as a single pivot in midfield and are Spurs' attackers simply lacking confidence? Plus, with a week to go before the transfer window closes, where might they still need to strengthen, and you'll also hear a snippet from Mark's exclusive interview with their former set-piece coach Gianni Vio. Produced by Adonis Pratsides *** Grab your EXCLUSIVE NordVPN Deal by going to https://nordvpn.com/tactics to get a Huge Discount off your NordVPN Plan + 4 months for free! It’s completely risk free with Nord’s 30 day money-back guarantee!  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
24/08/2356m 11s

Tonali 'box-crashing', Caicedo's talents & Saka vs Salah: New Season Notebook 23/24

Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Mark Carey, Liam Tharme and Duncan Alexander, to reflect on the opening weekend of a new Premier League season... When did Newcastle's Sandro Tonali start making those runs into the box, is Richarlison the right profile of striker for Postecoglu's Spurs and is Saka the best right-sided forward in world football right now? Plus, defenders taking goal kicks, man-to-man trends and more as our panel open their tactical notebooks once again. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
17/08/2353m 31s

The Big Tactical Premier League Season Preview - Part Two

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Mark Carey, Liam Tharme, Ahmed Walid and Thom Harris, to preview the rest of the Premier League teams and the biggest tactical question they'll each have to answer this season; Will Sheffield Utd have to change system after losing so many players? Why Everton are still reliant Dominic Calvert-Lewin's fitness. Will Manchester City continue to use ball-to-feet wingers? Could a more possession-based style help Nottingham Forest survive again? If building from the back will help Chelsea get back to winning ways? How will Unai Emery combine Mings and Pau Torres in the Aston Villa defence? Where are goals coming from for Wolves this season? Can Andoni Iraola give Bournemouth more of an identity? How will West Ham reconfigure their midfield after losing Declan Rice? Can Eberechi Eze lead Crystal Palace's attack this season? ... And by which metric did Ali decide the running order for the entire preview?! Produced by Adonis Pratsides & Jay Beale Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
08/08/2340m 41s

The Big Tactical Premier League Season Preview - Part One

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Mark Carey, Liam Tharme, Ahmed Walid and Thom Harris, to preview the new Premier League season - and the big tactical dilemmas facing each team... In part one, the panel debate; How quickly the Spurs players can adapt to new manager Ange Postecoglu's principles If Brighton can 'evolve' before they're worked out Why Brentford can cope without Ivan Toney for the first six months What Newcastle will have learnt about Anthony Gordon from his success with Englands U21s If Vincent Kompany's Burnley will have to adjust their playing style in the Premier League How Arsenal's efforts to become more versatile will help them challenge for the title again If Liverpool will still suffer from the same defensive achilles heel Why Fulham must improve their record against the 'big teams' Why Manchester United have to get better at attacking set-pieces And why Luton are going to be a lot of fun to watch Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
04/08/2350m 28s

Access All Areas: Brentford - How to build a Premier League team

Jay Harris introduces The Athletic's new podcast series, Access All Areas: Brentford. It's a behind the scenes look at how to build a modern Premier League team. In this episode - episode 2 of the series - Jay talks to those responsible for Brentford's famed recruitment strategy to detail how they scout and how they convince players that west London is a place for them to thrive. To listen to the full series click here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
25/07/2328m 32s

Introducing the Daily Football Briefing

The Athletic has just launched its brand new, daily 10 minute podcast for all those people who are just too busy in the mornings for anything longer. It’s called The Daily Football Briefing and will bring you right up to speed with the biggest stories from the night before and what to expect from the day ahead. Missed a big transfer story? David Ornstein will have you covered. What’s the latest about that club’s takeover saga? Matt Slater will have the latest. What’s Lionel Messi getting up to in MLS? Our American experts will know best. It’s your essential guide to the biggest stories in football - all wrapped up before you’ve finished your first cup of coffee. Follow and subscribe to The Athletic’s Daily Football Briefing for free wherever you get your podcasts so you don’t miss an episode. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
18/07/233m 8s

UCL Final Reaction: How Manchester City beat Inter Milan

Host Ali Maxwell is joined - straight after the full-time whistle - by The Athletic's Michael Cox, Liam Tharme and Ahmed Walid, to dissect Manchester City's 1-0 win over Inter Milan in the Champions League final... The panel break down the tactical story of a cagey finale in Istanbul, big team selection decisions and the culmination of City's tactical evolution into a truly formidable 'cup side'. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/06/2330m 8s

Cup vs League & Champions League Final Preview

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic’s Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme to discuss whether tournament and league football needs to be treated differently, perhaps even viewed as entirely different disciplines... Plus, a look ahead to this weekend’s Champions League final, as Manchester City look to complete the treble vs Inter Milan. Produced by Jay Beale Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
08/06/2343m 52s

Premier League Season Review... in just 10 games

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme to review a record-breaking and unforgettable Premier League season... in just 10 matches. From early warning signs of De Bruyne x Haaland's link up and Arsenal's leaky defence, to Spurs self-destruction, Villa's transformation and Leeds' lack of goals. Plus, an interesting discussion about xG underperformance in strikers who do a lot more than shoot and where the cut-off for parachuting in an interim manager should be. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
01/06/2351m 52s

Alternative Team of the Season

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme to pick their alternative Premier League Team of the Season - The catch? They can only select one player from each team in the bottom half of the table (plus one bonus pick)... Forget Saka v Salah as the guys condemn the lack general lack of viable full-back options, wrestle with the data and accidentally unearth the best player in the bottom half of the league. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
25/05/2342m 29s

Man City masterclass & how Pochettino could transform Chelsea

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic’s Michael Cox, Liam Tharme and Mark Carey following the conclusion of the Champions League semi-finals. Man City swept away holders Real Madrid in a crushing 4-0 victory, 5-1 on aggregate, so how did they do it? Were they that incredible, or were Madrid that far below par? Meanwhile, Inter beat city rivals Milan over two legs to set up a tasty final against Pep Guardiola’s side. There’s also a section dedicated to imminent new Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino, and how he could set up the Blues next season. The west Londoners have a huge squad, so who may thrive under the former Spurs boss, and who is unlikely to? Produced by Mike Stavrou & Jay Beale. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
18/05/2351m 55s

How Xavi's Barcelona won La Liga

Pragmatic Xavi, Busquets' successor and is it actually a good idea to bring Messi back in the summer? Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox, Liam Tharme and John Muller to explain how Barcelona won the league...  An outstanding defensive record, playing to Lewandowski's strengths, why Pedri and Gavi are not simply Xavi and Iniesta 'mini-clones' & how a prodigious young coach has balanced a squad overhaul, the mantle of being Guardiola's "disciple" and Real Madrid's continued success in Europe.  Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/05/2335m 27s

Alexander-Arnold's new role: Explained

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Duncan Alexander to explain Trent Alexander-Arnold's new role for Liverpool and assess to what extent it's responsible for their recent good run of form...  Is he any more creative in central areas and are Liverpool better defensively? Was Trent really having a bad season and will he chase down Ryan Giggs' Premier League assists record?  Plus, the impact on some of his teammates, if this tactical switch is a 'Plan B' or the blueprint for next season and if Liverpool can sneak into the Top 4.  Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/05/2343m 45s

Have Premier League teams forgotten how to defend?

Duncan Alexander makes his tactics pod debut, joining The Athletic's Michael Cox, Liam Tharme and host Ali Maxwell, to discuss a potentially record-breaking number of goals being scored in the Premier League this season...  Why the art of defending seems to have lost its appeal, why we're seeing more goals in big games and to what extent the five subs rule, the World Cup, manager sackings and 'mysterious goalkeeper injury-enforced breaks' have contributed. Plus as Big Sam Allardyce steps in at Leeds, the panel reflect on his title as one of the 'forefathers of football analytics', what he'd be capable of with Thomas Frank's hair and some salient advice for what not to do on a golf course in a thunderstorm. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
04/05/2345m 3s

How Pep's Manchester City took advantage in the title race

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's tactics writers Michael Cox and Ahmed Walid, to reflect on a chastening defeat for Arsenal as Manchester City wrestled back control in the Premier League title race...  How did Pep Guardiola's tactical set-up help them dominate the match? Have Arteta's Arsenal become slightly predictable and is that understandable, considering they are still at a relatively early stage in their own development? Plus, what exactly is Kevin de Bruyne the 'best in the world' at and is the treble really on for Man City now? Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
27/04/2330m 2s

Women's Champions League Semi-Final Preview

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox and Charlotte Harpur to assess the final four teams in the Women's Champions League, as Chelsea face Barcelona and Arsenal meet Wolfsburg, without Leah Williamson...  The panel reflect on how mounting injury lists for both English teams will affect the balance of the games, how England Euro 2022 star Keira Walsh is adapting to life in Barcelona and discuss the WSL title run-in too. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/04/2331m 45s

Champions League Quarter-Final breakdown

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme to dissect and appreciate Manchester City's physicality, Real Madrid's insane semi-final record, Inter's defence and Milan's secret weapon... Plus, why Liam loves Vini Jr, Michael's defence of Lampard's tactics and the pleasure of still being able to watch Giroud doing what he does best. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
20/04/2346m 47s

Pep Guardiola’s never-ending tactical evolution

From Philipp Lahm at the base of a midfield, to Eto'o the winger, Zinchenko the inverted full-back, Kevin de Bruyne the crossing no.8 and Gundogan the goalscorer; Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey and John 'Big Ticket' Muller, to explore the brief history of Pep Guardiola's constantly evolving tactics... Why Grealish and Bernardo Silva offer Man City more defensive protection, the Messi 'false 9' falsehood and how he might try to tweak the tactics next. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
14/04/2347m 48s

The Art of winning 'without playing well'

Is mastering the art of winning 'without playing well' something that all great sides need to learn? Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey & Liam Tharme to investigate... What do Ancelotti's Real Madrid and Fergie's Manchester United have in common, what does 'playing well' even mean and why Champions must know how to "suffer". Produced by Adonis Pratsides *** This episode is brought to you by Betterhelp, Visit betterhelp.com/tactics today to get 10% off your first month. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
06/04/2342m 9s

Why football left Mesut Ozil & 'the specialists' behind

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme to reflect on Mesut Ozil's retirement and the 'death of the luxury no.10'... Was Ozil a specific case or has does the game no longer have any room for 'specialists', where else on the pitch have the guys noticed significant change and how have the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Mason Mount, Kieran Tierney and more been affected. Plus, find out more about 'the last of the sweepers', Salvatore Fresi. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
31/03/2359m 12s

Was Southgate right about the supply line of English talent?

Ali, Mark and Liam reconvene for another bonus tactics podcast to examine Southgate's use of 'data' in his alarming recent comments about decreasing Premier League minutes for English youngsters... Did his interpretation of the statistics lack context, how does English football compare with other major European footballing nations and is the U21 job as 'utterly impossible' as previous head coaches have suggested? Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
30/03/2317m 39s

Brighton's Super-strengths: De Zerbi v Potter, Scouting Mitoma & The race for Europe

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Mark Carey and Liam Tharme to explore Liam's favourite subject, Brighton... Has Roberto de Zerbi actually improved them since Graham Potter was poached by Chelsea and has Brighton's goalscoring form also laid bare Potter's coaching blindspot? How well-suited would De Zerbi be to succeeding Antonio Conte at Spurs? RDZ's use of wingers such as Mitoma and March, swapping Robert Sanchez for Jason Steele in goal and the revival of the good old' through ball! Plus, completely buying into a data-led recruitment strategy, how easy a model it is for their Premier League rivals to replicate and the '3 things Brighton do better than your favourite team'. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
23/03/2355m 12s

Osimhen, Kvara & Why Spalletti's Napoli CAN win the Champions League

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox, Liam Tharme and Ahmed Walid to explore Napoli's marvellous season and discuss whether or not they can go onto to win this year's Champions League, as well as, a first Serie A title since 1989/90... Does head coach Luciano Spalletti get enough credit for continuing to innovate at 64 years old? Is star-striker Victor Osimhen destined for a Premier League move to Manchester United or Chelsea and which of Kvaratskhelia's many nicknames is your favourite? Plus, does the 'perfect UCL play-style' exist and how to effectively rank all the remaining sides who safely made it through to the Champions League quarter-finals this week. Produced by Adonis Pratsides *** • Get a FREE 1-year supply of immune-supporting Vitamin D AND 5 FREE travel packs with your first purchase at athleticgreens.com/EPL Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
16/03/2351m 13s

PART TWO: Potter, Conte & A New Manager Bounce - How important is the manager?

In part two of our investigation into the state of PL management, Ali, Michael, Mark and Liam ask how important is a manager and if we can ever prove definitively whether a manager is good or bad? The Athletic's tactics team explore the evolution of the manager's position from arranging the team's transportation to setting pressing traps! How much can a Premier League manager impact a team and are we able to actually predict whether a new manager will be a 'good fit' for a particular football club using A.I.? Plus, the panel embark on some myth-busting involving the 'new manager bounce' and if every manager simply deserves 'more time'. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/03/231h 5m

Rashford x Mbappe: Goals, super-strengths & how to stop them

Despite huge disappointment for both Kylian Mbappe and Marcus Rashford this week, host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Mark Carey & Liam Tharme for a bonus episode to dissect the frighteningly good numbers the pair have posted already this season... Has Rashford found his best position and how much credit does Benni McCarthy deserve for his resurgence? What is Mbappe hilariously bad at and does he thrive despite the tactical flaws at PSG? How Rashford has matured as a footballer and why Mbappe to Real Madrid is problematic. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
09/03/2322m 54s

PART ONE: What constitutes success for a Premier League manager?

In part one of a two-part investigation into the state of Premier League management, host Ali Maxwell & The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme, explore the many reasons why it is becoming impossible to become a 'long-serving' manager in the most demanding league in the world... How long is the optimum tenure of a Premier League manager now, how Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger warped our perceptions of longevity and success, how PL data compares to the other major European leagues and if increased media scrutiny, player power and data analytics has simply made the job more draining! Produced by Adonis Pratsides and Ben Green *** This episode is brought to you by Betterhelp, Visit betterhelp.com/tactics today to get 10% off your first month. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
02/03/2352m 9s

Red Bull Football: What makes an 'RB player' & Does it work in the Premier League?

After praise for Marco Rose's RB Leipzig in their Champions League draw with Man City on Wednesday night, host Ali Maxwell and The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey & Liam Tharme explore the many virtues of Red Bull Football... How is the philosophy defined on and off the pitch, what is the make-up of the quintessential 'RB' player, the coaching tree from Ralf Rangnick down and how effective it has been in the Premier League? Plus, as the high-octane playing style has taken hold across Europe, has it actually made the game more or less watchable, does it lend itself to knockout tournament football and why managers like Jesse Marsch and Ralph Hasenhuttl can't just be plucked from within the multi-club model and expected to flourish. Produced by Adonis Pratsides *** • Get a FREE 1-year supply of immune-supporting Vitamin D AND 5 FREE travel packs with your first purchase at athleticgreens.com/EPL Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
23/02/2358m 46s

How Man City beat Arsenal, Mbappe's 30-minute masterclass & Goal-shy Chelsea

How badly are Arsenal missing Gabriel Jesus, why Pep courted disaster with Bernardo Silva at left-back again, why Chelsea are not missing Aubameyang despite their problems infront of goal and why Kylian Mbappe is the best in the world... Host Ali Maxwell and The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey and (award-nominated) Liam Tharme reflect on all the midweek Premier League and Champions League action. The panel discuss best-practice when taking a corner *cough Chelsea*, how to Gabriel Martinelli's form, a quietly impressive display for Spurs' Pape Matar Sarr and why PSG keep making the same old mistakes in Europe. Produced by Adonis Pratsides *** This episode is brought to you by Betterhelp, Visit betterhelp.com/tactics today to get 10% off your first month. • Building a bet just got easier! Visit livescorebet.com to find out more about how to make your selections today! 18+ only Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
16/02/2345m 28s

What does the data say about your favourite PL team?

How is Ten Hag getting the best out of Marcus Rashford? Which London-based club are the worst at shooting in the division and who is the most left-footed? Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme, to explore what the data tells us about your favourite Premier League team... Which young goalkeeper has the lowest save percentage, who are the most fouled team, which unlikely Big 6 club needs to 'get it in the mixer' more often and more 'pub ammo' for the PPDA generation! *** • Get a FREE 1-year supply of immune-supporting Vitamin D AND 5 FREE travel packs with your first purchase at athleticgreens.com/epl Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/02/2349m 47s

Harry Kane - The evolution of Spurs all-time record goalscorer

Harry Kane's 267th goal for Spurs in their 1-0 win over Man City last week, put him clear of the great Jimmy Greaves as Tottenham's all-time leading goalscorer. In this week's bonus offering, host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Mark Carey and Liam Tharme to dissect a truly incredible achievement... Can we chart his evolution into a more 'complete' player by analysing his shot locations over the years, how many different types of goals can Harry score and at which point (and under which manager) was Kane at his absolute peak? Plus - if he were to leave Tottenham this summer - which European giant would be the best fit and is he on course for Alan Shearer's Premier League record of 260 goals too? Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
09/02/2319m 46s

Sean Dyche's Everton rescue mission

No signings in January and Anthony Gordon off to Newcastle - so what chance does Sean Dyche have of avoiding Premier League relegation with his new Everton side? Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey & Liam Tharme to explore... Where can Dyche look to instantly improve them, despite a baptism of fire against league-leaders Arsenal and the small matter of a Merseyside derby? What can we learn from the numbers behind his Burnley team and who in this current Everton squad can benefit most from his arrival? *** This episode is brought to you by Betterhelp, Visit betterhelp.com/tactics today to get 10% off your first month. Get 20% Off and FREE shipping with the code EPL23 at manscaped.com Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
03/02/2346m 39s

Enzo 'The Metronome' Fernandez & What Chelsea can expect

A 'tempo dictator', 'metronome' with a 'youthful exuberance', The Athletic's Mark Carey and Liam Tharme join host Ali Maxwell, to put Chelsea's British transfer record-breaking signing - Enzo Fernandez - under the microscope... How versatile is he and how well will he adapt to Graham Potter's burgeoning Chelsea team? Plus more on his impressive passing repertoire, whether or not he is the ideal candidate to replace the departed Jorginho and why he's an outlier in more way than one, in terms of British record signings. Produced by Adonis Pratsides *** This episode is brought to you by Betterhelp, Visit betterhelp.com/tactics today to get 10% off your first month. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
02/02/2319m 13s

Has Erling Haaland made Man City better?

Erling Haaland has scored 25 Premier League goals already. Enough to win the Golden Boot in 12 of the last 30 seasons (16 if you he'd be willing to share the award) - but has he made Manchester City better? Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey to investigate... How is performing against his expected goals tally and are there any signs that he'll slow down in the second half of the campaign? Are City better as both an attacking & defensive unit with Haaland in the team and how has his arrival impacted his team-mates - most notably Kevin de Bruyne. Plus, as Pep Guardiola surpassed 500 top-flight league games in management, how are City 'evolving' once again and how the 22-year-old Haaland is already becoming a more complete footballer under his tutelage. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
26/01/2348m 47s

Trossard, Mudryk & How many players do Arsenal need to win the Premier league?

Having narrowly missed out on Mykhailo Mudryk and with reports suggesting Leandro Trossard could be on his way to the Emirates, host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme, to bust some myths about Premier League squad depth and the accusation that Arsenal's squad is still too thin to win the Premier League... The panel delve into the history books to see how many players it really takes to lift the title, how previous winners have acted in the January transfer market, how cup-runs factor into the equation and if versatility trumps sheer quantity? Plus, how a lack of rotation during Liverpool's 63-game season last year contributed to a downturn in results lately, if Graham Potter simply has too many players at Chelsea and how substitution coaches and five subs rules have changed the game. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
19/01/2357m 23s

Scouting for Liverpool's 'next Wijnaldum'

Once described by Jurgen Klopp as 'the architect of their success', why have Liverpool failed to replace Georginio Wijnaldum? Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Mark Carey and Liam Tharme - for a bonus podcast - to scout for some potential reinforcements from around Europe and in the Premier League... The panel dive into the data to produce a handful of midfielders the club could look to in the transfer market and revisit how good Wijnaldum actually was in Liverpool's title-winning season of 2019/20. Plus, how and why Klopp's midfield has evolved into a more 'creative' than 'functional' one and if the centre of the pitch is ultimately to blame for a downturn in results this season? Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
16/01/2332m 54s

Why Chelsea gambled on Joao Felix & What Weghorst will bring to Man Utd

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Liam Tharme and Mark Carey, to assess what January loanees Joao Felix and Wout Weghorst will bring to Chelsea and Manchester United respectively... Are Felix's numbers reliable given the system in which Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid play and are we allowed to completely ignore Weghorst's stint at Burnley last season? The panel also reflect on Chelsea's wider tactical problems, how Graham Potter succeeded at Brighton and whether Weghorst's arrival simply buys United more time to find a marquee striker this summer? Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/01/2356m 55s

Conte's Spurs: Kane's goals, January transfers & 'Second-Half FC'

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme for a closer look at Antonio Conte's Tottenham Hotspur... As second-half comebacks have become almost routine at Spurs, our panel investigate the tactical issues, squad limitations and off-field drama at the heart of the phenomenon. Plus, Kane and Son's role reversal, an over-reliance on Kulusevski for creativity, problems building out from the back, how good their summer transfer window was in hindsight and which January targets could really help this month. *For more on Spurs why not check out our twice-weekly Tottenham podcast 'The View From The Lane', available wherever you get you podcasts. Produced by Adonis Pratsides *** This episode is brought to you by Betterhelp, Visit betterhelp.com/tactics today to get 10% off your first month. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
05/01/2354m 59s

World Cup Final tactical breakdown

Ali Maxwell is joined by the Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme to breakdown the world cup final - one of the most remarkable games of football you'll ever see and a contender for the best final of all-time. Amidst all the drama and narrative, how was the game actually won and lost? From Messi's calmness in the big moments, to Di Maria's crowning performance, to Mbappe's ultimately forlorn heroics, our panel pore over the detail and analyse every aspect of this unforgettable occasion. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
19/12/2256m 59s

Shackling Griezmann, 'Big-Game' Di Maria - Argentina v France: World Cup Final Preview

Host Ali Maxwell and The Athletic's tactics writers, Michael Cox and Liam Tharme, dissect the World Cup semi-finals and ponder the big tactical questions facing Didier Deschamps and Lionel Scaloni ahead of Sunday's final... Is Griezmann a 'complete' footballer, how Thuram's introduction wrestled control back from Morocco and how 'Scaloni roulette' nullified Croatia's midfield. Plus, the various selection headaches facing both managers - Di Maria, Rabiot, Konate and more. Will Morocco have any regrets about tweaking their shape for France and will Croatia come again after Luka Modric's last World Cup? Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/12/2242m 32s

Morocco's 'England' Blueprint & The Perfect Penalty Shoot-Out: World Cup Semi-Final Preview

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey to assess the World Cup final 4... What tactical lessons might Morocco learn from England's plan for Kylian Mbappe? Could Argentina's 'ill-discipline' cost them, and Messi, a place in Sunday's final? Is Griezmann actually leading the race for the Golden Ball? And how Croatia have improved since the World Cup final in 2018. Plus, the proper order for a successful World Cup penalty shoot-out and why big inquests in to Brazil and England's World Cup exits are unnecessary. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/12/2250m 26s

The tactics behind Tite's 'Joga Bonito' Brazil

Host Ali Maxwell returns and joins The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey to explore the tactical system behind Brazil's beautiful football... The similarities with both Manchester City and Arsenal, playing two number 10s in an era of none and their philosophical evolution since the 'dark days' of 2010 and 2014. Plus, Casemiro's quality, Raphinha's role as creator-in-chief and if set-pieces are still an Achilles heel? The panel also discuss what they have in common with fellow quarter-finalists France - and how England should set up against them on Saturday. Why Argentina are such a 'throwback', the 'functional' Netherlands and how much happier everyone in Portugal's attack looked without Ronaldo. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
07/12/2247m 34s

Aussie xG, Ziyech's Quality & Blame it on Lukaku: World Cup Notebook - Round 3

The Athletic's Mark Carey, Michael Cox and Ahmed Walid pause to reflect on the conclusion of the World Cup group stages...  The panel discuss the strength of England's last-16 opponents Senegal, as well as Argentina's aggression and Messi in a more classic false-9 role. Whether it's actually fair to judge Australia by their low xG numbers and how else to decide between two teams level at the end of the group stage besides fair play! Ahmed reckons Morocco's Hakim Ziyech is back to his 'Ajax best' and Michael explains why Belgium's golden generation have already won. Plus, Spain's Achilles heel and how Japanese tinkering almost cost them a place in the knockout stages.  Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
02/12/2239m 3s

Replacing Neymar, Onana's Goal-kicks & Asymmetric Full-Backs: World Cup Notebook - Round Two

Mark Carey is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox and Liam Tharme to reflect on the most interesting tactical trends and data insights from the second round of World Cup matches... A distinct lack of shots from distance, the impact of substitute strikers and why any memorable tournament really needs the big favourites to make it out of the group stage. Plus, 'steering wheel' full-back systems, how Brazil are coping without Neymar and Onana's goal kicks! Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
29/11/2240m 53s

How Japan Beat Germany, 100+ Mins Injury Time & Spanish Attacking Rotations: World Cup Notebook - Round One

Mark Carey hosts in Ali's absence as The Athletic's tactics writers, Michael Cox and Ahmed Walid, reflect on the key takeaways and trends from the opening round of World Cup group games... How did Japan and Saudi Arabia pull off two historic World Cup upsets and how much of it was down to tactical flexibility and ingenuity. Were Spain actually underrated going into the tournament and how are their front 3 functioning even without a more traditional number 9? Plus, France's many ways to hurt the opposition, Kieran Trippier's importance to England, goalless draws, increased injury time and a bit of a Canada love-in too. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
25/11/2235m 30s

England's Control, Beating Messi’s Argentina & The Real ‘Dark Horses’: The Big World Cup Preview Pt. 2

In part two of The Athletic Football Tactics Podcast’s World Cup preview, host Ali Maxwell is once again joined by Michael Cox, Liam Tharme and Mark Carey to run through the rest of teams competing at next week’s tournament... In this episode they cover: Group B (featuring England, Wales and the USA), C (Favourites Argentina), D (Reigning World champions France) and last but not least, Group F (Belgium, Canada and 2018 finalists Croatia).The panel discuss whether England fans are too negative, and why USA supporters have a similarly downbeat view of their own national side. How far can Canada’s Golden Generation go? And could Canadian striker Jonathan David have an outside chance of scooping the Golden Boot? Produced by Mike Stavrou Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
18/11/221h 5m

Uruguay's Last Dance, Neymar's 'Favourites' & The Group of Wonder-kids: The Big World Cup Preview Pt. 1

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox, Liam Tharme and Mark Carey to breakdown the data and the tactical trends behind every World Cup nation set to compete in Qatar next week... In this podcast (part 1 of 2) our panel navigate Groups H and E (their own personal favourites) as well as Group G (Brazil's) and Group A (containing Netherlands & Senegal). Will Cristiano Ronaldo's club drama plague Portugal too, how much can we expect from Uruguay's very old guard and who will shine the brightest from the 'Group of Wonderkids', including Bayern's Jamal Musiala, Barcelona's Pedri and... Sunderland's Jewison Bennette! Plus, were Cameroon unlucky at AFCON, why Coxy has a soft spot for Netherlands and more. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
17/11/221h 8m

How To Win The World Cup

Host Ali Maxwell and The Athletic's Michael Cox delve into World Cup data from every tournament since 1998 in an attempt to establish the anatomy of a World Cup-winning team... How good do you actually have to be to win a World Cup? Is current form actually the best reason to pick a player and how big a role experience plays on the biggest stage of all. Plus, odd trends involving unlikely stars of the tournament, slow-starters in the group stages, non-goalscoring no.9s, clean sheet records, Didier Deschamps' underrated tactical intelligence and plenty more myth-busting besides. ... Make sure you're subscribed to this feed to ensure you catch our two-part World Cup 2022 preview podcasts next week. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/11/2257m 27s

Kvaradona, Conte's Late Show & Barca's Limit: The Champions League Last 16

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey to review the bonkers and the brilliance from the Champions League group stages as 16 teams made it through to the knockout rounds... Are Man City deserving favourites, how Spalletti's super-slick Napoli continue to impress, Milan's interesting age-profile, leaky Dortmund, patchy Liverpool and so much more. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
03/11/221h 3m

The Stats Behind The Set-Piece Revolution

Host Ali Maxwell is joined, as usual, by The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey to investigate the stats behind set-pieces and how they have evolved as the influence of data and analytics has grown... Precisely what constitutes a set-piece goal, how decision-making has been impacted, are out-swinging or in-swinging corners more effective in the Premier League and who are the best and worst exploiters? Plus, Megan Campbell, of Liverpool Women, and her extraordinary throw-ins, Ben Tozer's threat in League Two, why Michael has been impressed by Fulham this season and which countries possess the biggest World Cup set-piece threats? Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
26/10/221h 1m

Karim Benzema's Ballon d'Or

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey to discuss Karim Benzema's Ballon d'Or win... The numbers behind an incredible year for the Real Madrid striker, comparisons with the legendary Brazilian striker Ronaldo, and how his form has forced those who work in football data analytics to reconsider a player's 'peak age'. Plus, how Mane pipped Salah in the standings, Mbappe the provider, if Courtois had a point, which of the Kopa finalists have the highest ceiling and why Alexia Putellas shouldn't have won the Women's award for a second successive year. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
19/10/2253m 38s

Liverpool vs Man City tactical preview

Ali Maxwell is joined by the Athletic's tactical maestros Michael Cox and Mark Carey for an in-depth preview of Sunday's game at Anfield - Liverpool against Manchester City. Should Klopp start Nunez and is there more to his game than just being a big no.9? How can that porous Liverpool defence stop the likes of Foden, Silva, De Bruyne and of course Haaland from exploiting the space in behind? Is there any way Klopp can play a front four again and try to press the life out of Man City? An intriguing clash awaits and we dig down into the tactics and the data to see how it might play out. Plus there's also a look at the resurgence of no.9s playing for the Premier League's big six clubs - the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Harry Kane, Aubameyang, plus Nunez and Haaland. What impact have they made this season and why have clubs reverted to a focus on proper central strikers? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
13/10/2255m 31s

Neves @ CB, Eriksen the 6 & Ben White Right-Back: PL Shape-Shifters and Measuring Football IQ

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey to explore how and why certain Premier League stars are being deployed in some unusual roles and positions recently... Has Ben White's move to Right-back hurt his World Cup chances, why Ruben Neves' makes sense at centre-back and if Joelinton was always destined to play in midfield? Plus, a fascinating discussion about whether or not footballers actually have 'natural' positions, why 'all-rounders' are so sought after in the modern game, if a key metric for measuring football IQ actually exists, as well as, some of our favourite examples of players who changed position in history and who our panel think should be next. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
06/10/221h 4m

Arsenal v Tottenham: NLD Tactical Preview

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's tactics writers Michael Cox and Ahmed Walid, to preview an intriguing clash of tactical styles as Arsenal and Spurs face off in the first North London Derby of the new Premier League season... The panel discuss Arsenal's progress since the arrival of players like Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko and why Conte might elect to start an attacking trio of Kane, Son and Richarlison, despite Kulusevski's impact. Plus, why set pieces have become a massive strength for both teams, how Xhaka's redemption story is going, Kane's suffering for club and country and much more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
28/09/2247m 17s

What will Roberto De Zerbi bring to Brighton?

Ali Maxwell is joined by the Athletic's Italian football correspondent James Horncastle and our tactics writer (and Brighton fan) Liam Tharme for a deep dive into the Premier League's newest head coach Roberto De Zerbi. We look at De Zerbi's journey from the very bottom of Italian football in Serie D right up to his recent successes in Serie A with Sassuolo and his time at Shakhtar Donetsk. Known for a strong commitment to possession football, we assess which members of this Brighton team will most benefit from his arrival and how his particular style will fit into the Premier League. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
21/09/2249m 15s

xG: How Data Conquered Football with Rory Smith

New York Times' Chief Soccer Correspondent Rory Smith joins host Ali Maxwell, The Athletic's Michael Cox & Mark Carey to reflect on football's data revolution...  While its effect on recruitment has been undeniable, the group discuss if data has actually impacted matters on the pitch. High-defensive lines, VAR, tactical fouls, crossing, goal-kicks and more all under the microscope as the search for a key metric for winning football matches continues... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/09/2258m 46s

BONUS: Keira Walsh's Euro 2022 Final Re-Watch - Tactics, Technique & Barcelona with Michael Cox

In this bonus podcast episode, one of England's Euro 2022 heroes, Keira Walsh, sits down with The Athletic's Michael Cox to analyse her own performance in the final... Keira talks with fascinating depth and insight about: Sarina Wiegman's tactical plans for Germany Her technique and early Barcelona influences Her relationship with teammates like Georgia Stanway, Leah Williamson & Alessia Russo The nuances of being a deep-lying playmaker and inspiring the next generation to play in midfield The emotions of that historic Wembley final & more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/09/2245m 30s

Tuchel's Sacking + Messi x Nkunku, Zidane x Thiago - The modern stars who play like legends

Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey to delve into the data and attempt to uncover the modern European stars who most closely resemble some of the biggest footballing icons of the past... Is Harry Kane actually the most Messi-eque player besides Leo himself? What do Ruben Dias and Fabio Cannavaro have in common? And what position would Luis Figo actually play today? Plus: immediate reaction to Thomas Tuchel's sacking at Chelsea. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
07/09/221h 1m

Chelsea & Man United 'Out-Run' - Smarter Running Stats For TV Pundits

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Brentford correspondent Jay Harris, as well as, Liam Tharme and Mark Carey to explore the relationship between 'distance covered' and winning football matches... Do the best teams, also run the most in the Premier League and is there better data to show 'hard work'. What is the Robert Huth Theory and why Paolo Maldini and Jamie Vardy might both have had something to say to TV pundits in the wake of Brentford 'out-running' Manchester United earlier this month! Plus, do centre-mids cover more ground than wing-backs, is the Premier League actually the most physically demanding in Europe and how have those demands changed over the last decade or so? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
30/08/2250m 39s

Liverpool's Injuries, Re-training Iwobi & New Wolves in the Pack: The Anatomy of a Poor Start

After 3 Premier League games, just 5 sides currently have 2 points or less... Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's tactics and analytics writers - Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Liam Tharme - to explain the various mistakes a team can make at the start of a new Premier League season...  Has Liverpool's high-line been exposed one too many times and why Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez can't play next to each other. Wolves are finally shooting-on-site but should they actually shoot less, why Everton are crying out for new signings and why both Leicester and West Ham are victims of their own success. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
24/08/2255m 26s

Mount's IQ, 'Hack-a-Shaq' Tactical Fouls & Haaland v Nunez: New Season Notebook

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey to explore some of the interesting quirks they've noticed so far in this new Premier League season... The pros/cons of being able to make five substitutes, three-at-the-back formations winning out across the top flight and the consequences of referees 'letting the game flow more' this year. Plus, how the Haaland v Nunez debate is shaping up after just two weeks, if the deepening crisis at Old Trafford is showing any signs of letting up, Brighton's most unlikely wing-backs and if a free-kick is suitable punishment for tactical fouling? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
18/08/2256m 57s

Kane 'The Roamer', Foden 'The Box Crasher' & R.I.P The Long Ball

The Athletic's giant tactical minds, Michael Cox and John Muller, join host Ali Maxwell to carefully deconstruct their work on how we might redefine modern player roles and why Burnley's relegation last season signals the end of the long-ball in the Premier League...  The panel reflect on the long-ball's 'glory years' and debate whether it will ever make a return to the Premier League in the future?  Then, John reveals how he developed 18 new player roles, using data to better understand what role box crasher Phil Foden, Progressor Joao Cancel or Unlocker Mason Mount really play in their respective teams. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/08/221h 7m

Fulham, Bournemouth & Nottingham Forest: The Premier League New-Boys

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by The Athletic's Mark Carey and pod-debutant - newly appointed tactics writer - Liam Tharme, to put all three newly promoted sides under the microscope ahead of a new Premier League season...  How will Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic follow up his record-breaking 43-goal season in the top flight and fill the void left by Fabio Carvalho?  Can Scott Parker's Bournemouth afford to shift to a back-three without defensive reinforcements, plus, Billing 'the unicorn' and Lloyd Kelly for England (too soon?) And despite not being promoted automatically, is Forest's style actually the most conducive to starving off relegation in their first season back in the big time? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
03/08/221h 11m

How England Can Beat Germany: Euro 2022 Final Preview

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey, join host Ali Maxwell, to dissect two captivating semi-finals and assess the German threat to England's chances of lifting the European Championship trophy... Who's been the player of the tournament regardless of what happens in Sunday's finale, what are Germany's strengths besides Alexandra Popp, how should we reflect on France's tournament and why Michael has totally given up any hope of Alessia Russo starting the match. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
29/07/2241m 49s

The Semi-Finals: How Wiegman's England Out-Thought Spain & Sweden Peaking

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey join host Ali Maxwell, to preview the semi-finals, with England facing their toughest opponents to date - Sweden and their set pieces. How exactly did Sarina Wiegman turn the tide against Spain and could Michael's player of the tournament so far - Kosovare Asllani - cause big problems for Millie Bright and the English defence on Tuesday night... Plus, the panel discuss why the current xG model may not be fit for Women's football, why Belgium have paid the price for not investing in the women's game, why Arsenal's Stina Blackstenius is due a goal, how the French lifted their QF Euros curse and more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
25/07/2240m 7s

England's QF Preview: Wiegman's Rhythm, Spain's Issues & A Winger's Tournament

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey join host Ali Maxwell to preview England's Women's Euros Quarter-Final against Spain... How best to get the ball to Lauren Hemp, why Alessia Russo should start over Ellen White and if England's defence will receive its first proper test? Plus, a review of some of the standout performers of the tournament so far, how Germany have impressed, why Norway fell short, if Miedema can shock an unconvincing French defence and if you can pick a 'dark horse' this deep into the competition! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
18/07/2245m 55s

England rampant but are France still the team to beat? | Euro 2022 tactical roundup

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey join host Ali Maxwell, to reflect on England's amazing 8-0 hammering of previously fancied Norway, looking at the stand-out performance of hat-trick hero Beth Mead but also heaping praise on the likes of Lauren Hemp, Ellen White and Keira Walsh Plus, the panel look at the rest of the tournament so far with an eye on whether France's performance in thrashing Italy 5-1 still keeps them as the team to beat, and there's analysis of Holland's 1-1 draw with Sweden Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/07/2246m 37s

England's Cutting Edge, Replacing Putellas & The Major Contenders @ Women's Euro 2022

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey join host Ali Maxwell, to reflect on England's nervy win on opening night at Old Trafford... Millie Bright's passing range and a selection headache for head coach Sarina Wiegman... Plus, the panel assess England's major threats; whether Group B can actually be described as a 'Group of Death', if Sweden will finally get over the line in a major tournament, if Spain can adapt to missing Alexia Putellas & Jenni Hermoso, Marie-Antoinette Katoto's unbelievable numbers and Viv Miedema's legend. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
07/07/2254m 59s

Liverpool v Real Madrid: Champions League Final Preview

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey join host Ali Maxwell to preview an all-star Champions League final as Liverpool prepare to face Real Madrid on Saturday... What can Klopp learn from Real's performances in Europe this season, how might they adjust tactically in Thiago's absence, and what has a thrilling, but ultimately draining, Premier League title race done for their chances? Plus, why Ancelotti could deploy Camavinga from the start, Trent Alexander-Arnold vs Vinicius Jr and a mind-blowing statistic about Spanish teams in European finals. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
24/05/2252m 55s

Premier League Manager Of The Year

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey join host Ali Maxwell to explore the shortlist for this season's Premier League Manager of the Season... How the award should be judged, who else deserved a nomination and should we be able to use underlying metrics to make a better case for some of them. Is Thomas Frank the best pound-for-pound boss (literally ££), should Eddie Howe even be eligible and has David Moyes become a victim of his recent success? Plus, whether or not it's still too soon to judge Vieira at Palace, if Klopp's incredible cup runs count, does a 'new manager bounce' actually exist and what the numbers can tell us about Antonio Conte and Mikel Arteta's respective progress. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
18/05/2256m 24s

Chelsea v Liverpool: FA Cup Final Preview

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey join host Ali Maxwell to preview the FA Cup final between Tuchel's Chelsea and Klopp's Liverpool. Our panel explore the key tactical battles, possible team selection and analyse two unorthodox number 9's, in Sadio Mane and Kai Havertz, who will be expected to lead the line for their respective clubs on Saturday... Plus, why Tuchel has failed to find 'balance' in the final third, why Salah has struggled against Rudiger in previous meetings and why Chelsea will have paid close attention to the way Conte's Spurs frustrated Liverpool last weekend. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/05/2246m 46s

How Good A Manager Is Carlo Ancelotti?

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey join host Ali Maxwell to take a closer look at Carlo Ancelotti's managerial career, after he became the first manager to win all five big European league titles... Sounds great... but should he have won more? The panel explore the common tactical themes of his title-winning teams, why Michael thought his fourth title would be his last, how he is perceived by supporters and big players and ultimately, whether he should have won a lot more! Plus, an all-time Carlo XI to die for. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
04/05/2253m 54s

Can we measure the value of a goal?

All goals are worth the same, or are they? The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey join host Ali Maxwell to try and work out whether it's possible to accurately measure the true value of a goal, and try to find out which players score the most valuable goals. Taking our lead from Mark's recent piece on the subject, we delve into the data to look at the likes of Didier Drogba, Christian Benteke, Richarlison and Christian Eriksen as we attempt to work out why certain players appear more capable of delivering in the big moments than other more renowned goalscorers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
27/04/2251m 2s

Liverpool v Man City: Tactics & Rivalry

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey join host Ali Maxwell to explore the recent tactical battles between Liverpool and Manchester City and the questions both Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp will face, if both sides reach this season's Champions League Final... Why Zack Steffen's FA Cup semi-final-freeze was predictable, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joao Cancelo's impact in the 2-2 draw at the Etihad. Plus, Jesus over Mahrez, Keita or Henderson and whether it's too soon to write this off as the greatest rivalry in English football history? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
20/04/2254m 48s

Erik ten Hag's Manchester United: Maguire, Ronaldo & What To Expect

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey join host Ali Maxwell to explore what Manchester United fans can expect, should Erik ten Hag become their next permanent manager... The panel analyse the tactical system employed by Ajax in the Champions League and why he wouldn't necessarily be able to just copy and paste at Old Trafford. Plus, wingers doubling up on the same flank, left-footed vacancies in the current squad, whether they will finally sign a defensive midfielder and what his arrival could mean for likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
13/04/2256m 14s

Ward-Prowse, Beckham... Rick Holden? Is It Actually Worth Shooting From A Free-Kick?

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey join host Ali Maxwell to explore the art of (and the data behind) Free-Kicks... The best and worst FK takers in Premier League history, the cult-heroes, the myths and why the 'knuckle-ball' isn't as good as the 'whip n' dip'. Why James Ward-Prowse is an even better free-kick taker than you already thought, whether or not you actually need a wall, plus, Watford's unwanted record and the ambidextrous exploits of Salernitana's Simone Verdi. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
06/04/2259m 34s

Xavi's Barcelona: Physicality, Width & Ajax

The Athletic's Michael Cox and John Muller join host Ali Maxwell to assess Xavi's impact at Barcelona, since returning as Head Coach... But was the club's 'crisis' slightly overplayed and how do Xavi's team differ to the ones he played in? Plus, the trio celebrate Pique's long-passing, Busquets longevity and the shift in the physical profile of their newest signings. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
30/03/2257m 31s

Saka, Sancho & Selection Headaches: Gareth Southgate's England Squad

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey join host Ali Maxwell, to run the numbers of Gareth Southgate's latest England squad... Will Southgate alter his formation to accommodate the wealth of attacking talent? Mings over Tomori, justifying the omissions of Sancho and Rashford, plus, who starts in goal in Qatar? Our trio shine a light on England ahead of this year's Winter World Cup. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
23/03/221h 3m

Brighton, Man United... England. Is Graham Potter an Elite Manager?

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey join host Ali Maxwell to explore the hype around Brighton boss Graham Potter, which has led to the widespread belief that a 'Big 6' Premier League team, a Champions League club abroad or even the England National Team job are on the horizon... The trio assess the notorious xG underperformance, the bold response to going behind in games, the admiration from the likes of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, as well as, why not all Brighton fans are quite so enamoured by him. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
17/03/2257m 9s

Arteta's Arsenal: No Straight Lines To Success

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey join host Ali Maxwell to assess Mikel Arteta's Arsenal - just over two years on from his arrival... Does the club now have an established tactical identity, in which key areas have they dramatically improved and what's next - irrespective of whether or not they finish inside the Top 4 this season. Plus, how Odegaard has helped unlock their attacking potential, being less reliant on Kieran Tierney's relentless crossing, how to replace Lacazette and if Ben White should go to the World Cup? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
09/03/221h 2m

The Evolution of Premier League Shooting & Saints' Sly Stoppages

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey join host Ali Maxwell to discuss how shooting has evolved in the Premier League thanks to the rise in analytics over the last decade... Have we properly addressed the shared 'nostalgia bias' associated with long-range wonder goals, Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes and more... Then in part two, building on the recent revelations made by The Athletic's Dan Sheldon over Southampton's 'manufactured' stoppages; How important is the rhythm of a Premier League match and how might some minor rule tweaks better impact the game. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
02/03/2253m 30s

The Business End Of The Season: Premier League Notebook

The Athletic's Michael Cox (tactics) and Mark Carey (data) join host Ali Maxwell to re-open their Premier League notebooks to discuss the sudden outbreak of a genuine title race after Conte's Spurs shocked the Champions last weekend... But will Liverpool's attack or Manchester City's defence ultimately prevail? Have West Ham officially run out of steam and are Arsenal the favourites for the last Champion's League spot? Plus, why Everton, Crystal Palace and Brentford should be looking nervously towards the relegation places. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
23/02/2253m 9s

How Good Is Your Team In Transition?

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey join host Ali Maxwell to explore 'transitions' in football... How are they distinct from counter-attacks, how 'brave' it is to press high, as well as whether or not typically good counter-attacking sides like Liverpool and Leeds are still defined by this style? Plus, which Premier League teams are both the best and the worst in transition and which style is best=suited to Rangnick's Manchester United. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
17/02/2255m 28s

Michael Cox on the WSL title race: Bonus episode

A bonus chance to hear what happened when The Athletic's Michael Cox, joined The Athletic Women's Football Podcast, to discuss a fascinating title race in the WSL this season, as well as, why he thinks the league might benefit from a 'mid-season split'. Our weekly tactics podcast will be available from Thursday morning. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
16/02/2220m 4s

Van Dijk, Rudiger & Rating Premier League Centre-Back's Properly

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey join host Ali Maxwell, to talk Premier League centre-backs... How to properly 'rate' them, both in and out of possession, playing in different tactical systems, within teams which are more dominant than others and within their respective centre-back partnerships too. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
09/02/2245m 36s

Declining Three-Man Defences & Crediting The Pass Receivers

The Athletic's tactics and data analytics writers Michael Cox and Mark Carey, join host Ali Maxwell, to explore the rise and fall of three-man defences in the Premier League in recent years... Plus, the trio discuss their colleague John Muller's article, which encourages us to start giving the pass-receivers some long-overdue credit. How the league's best created 'receiving value' over the course of the 2020/21 Premier League season, what Liverpool's front-three stats can tell us about Trent Alexander-Arnold's passing and how advanced analytics at a Belgian University can help us to better understand a target man's true value. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
03/02/2257m 37s

Antonio Conte's Spurs

The Athletic's tactics writer Michael Cox and Spurs correspondent Charlie Eccleshare, join host Ali Maxwell to reflect on Antonio Conte's start to life as Tottenham head coach... The trio reflect on his own personal 'tactical timeline' and explore comparisons between his Chelsea side and the team he is currently building in North London, with reference to the recent trilogy of defeats at the hands of his former employers. Plus, as the January transfer window draws to a close - why outcasts Ndombele, Alli, Rodon and others have failed to impress their new manager. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
26/01/2256m 35s

Correcting The Men's & Women's FIFPro World XI

The Athletic's Mark Carey and Michael Cox join host Ali Maxwell to debate the results of this week's FIFPro World Xi... Have Ronaldo and Messi outstayed their welcome or do the statistics support their continued selection? Do trophies skew the numbers and do footballers watch enough actual football? Plus, Alex Ibaceta (from the Box To Box WSL podcast) joins us to help correct an even more eyebrow-raising Women's Xi - as Champion's League winners and Olympic gold medalists were overlooked. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
20/01/221h 11m

Kane, Lacazette, Jota... Where Have All The Goalscorers Gone?

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey join host Ali Maxwell to explore a recent trend, affecting goal-scorers in the Premier League... The trio reflect on how their role has changed over the last two decades and put the current crop of leading men under to spotlight, to see how their collective goal output has been affected and why. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
13/01/221h 17m

Pep's Innovation, Lukaku's System & Ralf's False Start: Premier League Notebook

Are Man City simply playing against themselves now, did Lukaku have a point about Tuchel's system and why are Arsenal better in Aubameyang's absence? The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey once again open their notebooks and re-join host Ali Maxwell, following a busy period of festive football, to assess the state of play in key areas of the Premier League table in 2022... Is the title race already over, will Burnley's relegation record count for anything this season and has Ralf Rangnick actually improved Manchester United at all? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
05/01/221h 4m

January Transfer Window Scouting

Ali Maxwell. Mark Carey and John Muller are on a mission. A mission to go through the Premier League and identify a position and transfer for each team. It's a data scouting special! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
23/12/211h 4m

Gerrard, Ancelotti, Venables & The 'Christmas Tree' Formation

The Athletic's tactics writer Michael Cox and data analytics writer Mark Carey join host Ali Maxwell for a festive dissection of the 'Christmas Tree' Formation... They trace it's roots from Crystal Palace in the 1970's, Ancelotti's fabled 80's Milan teams, through to Terry Venables 90's England and all the way to modern day Aston Villa and new manager Steven Gerrard. The trio debate its strengths and weakness, and even pick their own 'Xmas Tree PL XI' - one player per club rule! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/12/2158m 57s

'The Rise Of The Underlap'

The Athletic's newest signing and data analytics writer, John Muller, makes his podcast debut alongside Michael Cox and host Ali Maxwell, to discuss the growing trend of UNDER-lapping full-backs...  The trio explore what it means to underlap both laterally and diagonally, who the real pioneers of this tactical evolution are and why more and more coaches are setting up their teams in this way. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
09/12/2149m 5s

Ralf Rangnick's Manchester United

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey, join host Ali Maxwell to discuss what incoming manager Ralf Rangnick's Manchester United may look like from a tactical perspective... The trio assess what they can learn from his old Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig sides and reflect on the nuanced differences between pressing and Rangnick's notorious 'gegenpressing' ideals. Plus, why the age profile of the current Manchester United squad adds another layer of interest to Ralf's appointment and which players might be the biggest winners and losers of his reign at Old Trafford... cough, Donny van de Beek, cough. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
01/12/2155m 44s

Musiala's Superpowers, Dysfunctional Dortmund & Wing-less Red Bull Leipzig: Bundesliga Revisited

The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey and host Ali Maxwell are joined by German football expert Raphael Honigstein as their European tour extends to Germany... Rafa guides the trio through Bayern's latest anti-vaxx headache and how Jude Bellingham is carrying an entire Borussia Dortmund midfield at just 18 years old! Plus, more on RB Leipzig's identity crisis, why Freiburg are the 'neutrals darlings' and why Union Berlin manager Urs Fischer and Sean Dyche need to grab a pint/stein together sometime. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
25/11/2158m 32s

Simeone's Achilles Heel, Ancelotti's Vibes & Xavi's Teaching Style: La Liga Revisited

The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey and host Ali Maxwell, continue their survey of Europe's major leagues - Next stop, Spain, as Dermot Corrigan guides them through an usually chaotic start to this La Liga season... Together they explore why Klopp's recent criticism of Diego Simeone's Atletico was way off the mark, how much harm the Newcastle links have done to Unai Emery at Villarreal, if Barcelona youngsters Pedri and Gavi can form a similar partnership to the one their new manager Xavi had with Iniesta, why Vinicius Jr. needs confidence, not tactics, and much more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
17/11/211h 11m

The 'MK Messi', Matching PSG's Possession - An Interview with MK Dons Sporting Director Liam Sweeting

The now Germany-bound Tom Worville stopped off in Milton Keynes with host Ali Maxwell for one last interview with MK Dons Sporting Director Liam Sweeting... Liam reveals how data contributed to an emergency manager search when Russell Martin departed for Swansea a week before the new League One season, how the Dons average as much possession as PSG, what midfielder Scott Twine has in common in Messi and more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/11/2155m 42s

Mourinho's Roma, Cholo's Free-Scoring Son & Zlatan-less Milan: Serie A Revisited

The Athletic's Michael Cox and host Ali Maxwell are joined by James Horncastle to discuss Jose Mourinho's latest vendetta with the Italian referees, what Juventus and Manchester United have in common, Milan's best start to a domestic season since the 50s and a Venetian Xmas Tree... Plus, how Diego Simeone's son has become Europe's hottest striker, why Fiorentina's starting XI is perennially changing, how Atalanta keep on surprising us and much much more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/11/211h 6m

The Rise of Data Journalism & Farewell Tom Worville

For Tom Worville's last podcast (before leaving us to join RB Leipzig!) host Ali Maxwell and The Athletic's Michael Cox, join him to reflect on the continued rise of data and analytics in football journalism and Tom's pioneering work in the field... From xG going mainstream, 'field tilt' being referenced on MNF, 'translating' the language of football data, the remaining 'blindspots' in the profession and even some advice for aspiring analytics writers - we say a fond farewell to Tom. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
03/11/2150m 17s

Neymar, Robben, Lewandowski & Benzema: Out of Messi & Ronaldo's Shadow

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join host Ali Maxwell to assess how the careers of Neymar, Arjen Robben, Karim Benzema and Robert Lewandowski might be viewed if they didn't simply exist in an era dominated by both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
27/10/211h 10m

How To Build A Premier League-Winning Team

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join host Ali Maxwell, for a fascinating exercise in hypothetical Premier League squad-building...  From unbalanced centre-back partnerships to midfield weakness, asymmetrical quality on the flanks and whether the goalkeeper or the main striker is the most important? Under strict parameters, our trio attempt to build one squad capable of lifting the Premier League title AND one of avoiding relegation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
20/10/2145m 22s

Rebuilding Newcastle & Improving the laws of the game

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join Ali Maxwell to assess the Newcastle United squad following their takeover last week. Which areas will they need to strengthen in January? And if and when a new manager is announced, will they be able to improve the performances of the current squad? Plus...Michael outlines a number of changes he would like to make to the laws of the game. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
13/10/211h

Why Chelsea, Liverpool & Man City Full-Backs May Decide Title Race + Euro Scouting

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join host Ali Maxwell to reflect on the chaotic but tactically fascinating contest between Liverpool and Man City - and discuss how a common trend among England's top three clubs could hold the keys to this season's Premier League crown...  Plus, Tom explains how Mo Salah and Phil Foden were able to wreak such havoc last Sunday, and later, adopts the role of European data scout to highlight four young prospects who Premier League fans should keep a close eye on. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
06/10/2146m 12s

Messi in Moments, Traore's Take-Ons, 'Direct' Brentford: Notebook Re-Opened

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join host Ali Maxwell to reflect on Lionel Messi's role in PSG's victory over Manchester City. Plus, a closer look at how Adama Traore is performing under new Wolves boss, Bruno Lage, and how both Brighton and Brentford's numbers continue to impress. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
29/09/2151m 25s

Salah, Mane & Sterling: The PL 100 Club Wide-Forwards

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Mark Carey join host Ali Maxwell to assess the respective journey's of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Raheem Sterling - on their way to scoring 100 Premier League goals... The trio analyse not only the changes in the individual players but the wider game around them, as well as, the influence of their coaches, as a new type of forward starts to join an illustrious group of goal scorers. Who will end their respective career with the most goals? What are their biggest strengths and weaknesses and who would you choose if you could only have one in your side? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/09/2157m 47s

How Creative Is Paul Pogba Really?

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join host Ali Maxwell to assess whether or not 'assists' tell the whole story when it comes to measuring a players creativity... The trio investigate how expected assists (xA) and other metrics can provide a clearer picture, if Pogba stands any chance of breaking the Premier League assists record this season, as well as, to what extent set-pieces 'stat-pad' for the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/09/2147m 38s

Who Won The European Transfer Window & Ultra-Consistent Mo Salah

The Athletic's Tom Worville and Mark Carey join host Ali Maxwell to assess the big winners from the summer transfer window on the continent. How AC Milan got back into the Champions League after an eight-year hiatus, why Norwich are better prepared for a season in the top flight this time around and more... Plus, Mark elaborates on the innovative new ways in which data can be used to assess how consistent some of the world's top forwards really are. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
08/09/211h 2m

Ronaldo's Return

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join host Ali Maxwell to assess the many ramifications of one of the biggest Premier League transfer stories in history - as Cristiano Ronaldo returns to Manchester United... Does he slot into Solskjaer's team as a pure no.9 and how will his arrival impact the likes of Mason Greenwood and notably, Paul Pogba from a tactical perspective? Will it become a struggle to accommodate a 'passenger' in big games this season and how might he have fit in at Pep's Manchester City had United not intervened? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
31/08/2148m 14s

Alexander-Arnold, Walker, James... Are Right-Backs Still Right-Backs?

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join host Ali Maxwell to discuss an interesting trend in the number of Premier League right-backs, simply not playing at right back... Our tactical trio discuss Trent Alexander-Arnold's narrow positioning against Burnley, a marauding Reece James at the Emirates, Matty Cash's long-throws, Livramento's debut and if Kyle Walker is better technically that he gets credit for? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
25/08/211h 3m

Premier League Opening Weekend Notebook

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville open their notebooks and join host Ali Maxwell for their reflections on the opening weekend of a new Premier League season... The differences between Everton and Arsenal's crossing tactics, Mason Greenwood and Adam Armstrong's finishing, plus, Chelsea's "total dominance" and much more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
18/08/2150m 28s

The Premier League Season Preview

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join host Ali Maxwell to assess each Premier League club's chances for success this season. How might European football impact on West Ham's campaign, are Liverpool and Man United genuine title contenders, will Bielsa's Leeds be immune to 'second season syndrome' and much more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/08/211h 8m

Transfer market trends and the enduring greatness of Messi

The Athletic's Michael Cox, Tom Worville and Ali Maxwell are here to gently ease you back in to the new football season as they take a look at how the transfer market and player recruitment is changing - with teams increasingly on the lookout for young talent could those teams who gamble on a slightly older vintage gain an edge? How have the combined forces of the Euros and the ongoing pandemic affected the market this summer? And after Messi finally won an international tournament with Argentina this summer we take a look at the curious position the great man now finds himself in - he's out of contract but undoubtedly still Barcelona's best player, but is he still the world's best player? We look at his numbers to assess his current role and cast an eye over the contenders lying in wait to take over his status at the pinnacle of the game. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
04/08/2140m 16s

Euros Notebook - breaking down the final and where England went wrong

The Athletic's Michael Cox, Tom Worville and Ali Maxwell open the Euros notebook for the last time in order to reflect on the final between England and Italy and work out how the game was won and lost. We look at England's cautious approach after going ahead so early, how the midfield of Verratti and Jorginho dominated possession, the substitutions and tactical decisions from Southgate & Mancini and of course the penalty shoot-out that ultimately decided the tournament. We also reflect on Euro 2020 as a whole and pick our alternative team of the tournament. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
14/07/2143m 52s

England v Italy tactical preview

The Athletic's Michael Cox, Tom Worville and Ali Maxwell open the Euros notebook for the penultimate time as they look back at two contrasting but equally thrilling semi-finals and then look ahead to Sunday's final of England against Italy Will the Italians dominate midfield? Will England's pace on the flanks be the difference for them? These questions and more answered as we preview the game from every possible tactical angle Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
08/07/2144m 40s

Euros Notebook - semi-final preview

The Athletic's Michael Cox, Tom Worville and Ali Maxwell open the Euros notebook once again for a look back at the key tactical moments from the quarter-finals and look ahead to the semi-finals Will Southgate change England's system again or will we see a similarly high-pressing intense approach that vanquished Ukraine? Could Denmark switch their outstanding right-footed left-back to the right side to take advantage of Luke Shaw's surges forward? And who will come out on top in the battle of the possession obsessed midfields of Spain and Italy? Could Italy's dependable centre-back pairing of Chiellini and Bonucci be the difference compared to Spain's haphazard duo of Pau Torres and Aymeric Laporte? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
05/07/2142m 48s

Euros Notebook - How the round of 16 was won and lost + Quarter-Final preview

The Athletic's Michael Cox, Tom Worville and Ali Maxwell are here with the latest edition of our Euros Notebook, picking out the key tactical observations that tell us how the round of 16 games were won and lost - particularly what went wrong for the big boys France, Portugal, Germany and Netherlands. We also look ahead to all four quarter-finals with versatile Switzerland up against the passing masters of Spain, injury-wracked Belgium taking on the impressively deep squad of Italy, the resilient Czech Republic against gung-ho Denmark and of course Zinchenko-inspired Ukraine will face Gareth Southgate's rock solid and tactically flexible England. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
30/06/2143m 53s

Euros Notebook - Pogba impressing, Spain improving, England v Germany tactical preview

The Athletic's Michael Cox, Tom Worville an Ali Maxwell open the Euros notebook once again to share their insights on the final round of group games and look ahead to the round of 16 There's a look at how France are progressing and in particular how impressive Paul Pogba has been so far, talk of Spain's improvement as the group stage has gone on, and picking out some intriguing trends from across the tournament as a whole. We also go in-depth on the two most tantalising round of 16 ties in Belgium v Portgual and England v Germany. Can Belgium exploit Portugal's weakness at full-back? Will Ronaldo sweep aside Belgium's ageing back-line and break the all-time national goalscoring record? Will Gareth Southgate match up Germany's 3-4-3? Can he trust Jack Grealish in a game like this? Will Kai Havertz continue his excellent form and break English hearts? All this and more discussed on the Zonal Marking Euros Notebook Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
24/06/2145m 17s

Euros Notebook - Cautious England, woeful Turkey and galloping Gosens

The Athletic's Michael Cox, Tom Worville and Ali Maxwell are back with another Euros tactical notebook, picking out a variety of interesting things from across the second batch of group stage games. Topics covered include a possible explanation for Gareth Southgate's cautious use of England's full-backs so far, a look at Turkey's astonishingly bad defence, and Portugal's repeated struggles to deal with the threat of Germany's galloping wing-back Robin Gosens. All that plus we pick some of our stand-out players of the tournament so far both good and bad - David Alaba, look away now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
21/06/2137m 33s

The Zonal Marking Euros Notebook - what we've noticed so far

The Athletic's Micheal Cox, Tom Worville and Ali Maxwell have been hard at work watching every second of Euro 2020 so far and have been noting down anything and everything they consider to be interesting enough to bring to your attention. From England's creative throw-ins, Sweden's flat pack four, France's surprising counter-pressing, a proliferation of alliteration, a Scotsman with a better xG than record-breaker Cristiano Ronaldo, and loads more, we've got every tactical and analytical angle covered. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
16/06/2139m 24s

Euro 2020 Preview - Groups D, E and F

The Athletic's Michael Cox, Tom Worville and Ali Maxwell are back with the second of our big Euro 2020 previews and this time we cover the second side of the draw with groups D, E and F Plenty to get stuck into here as England find themselves in group D with Croatia, Czech Republic and of course Scotland. Could Sweden be one of the tournaments 'dark horses' in Group E with Spain, Poland and Slovakia? And we've got the official Group of Death with France, Portugal, Germany and Hungary in Group F We look at every team in-depth and pick out the player to watch for each side - the perfect way to set yourself up for the start of the tournament in a few days time Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
09/06/2154m 16s

Euro 2020 Preview - Groups A, B and C

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join Ali Maxwell for the first of our big Euro 2020 preview pods and we kick things off with groups A, B and C. Michael has watched many hours of footage to bring you his considered take on every team and Worville has been scouring the data to try and unearth the key player to watch for each side. So if you want to learn more about the tactics and the players of Italy, Wales, Switzerland, Turkey, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Russia, Austria, Netherlands, Ukraine and North Macedonia then step right this way! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
08/06/211h 3m

Bonus Pod - England at the 2018 World Cup

This episode originally went out in March but seeing as we're having a week off to prepare for our massive Euro 2020 preview episodes next week we thought we'd kick this back up the feed for any of you who may have missed it first time round. Enjoy! The Athletic's Michael Cox, Tom Worville and Ali Maxwell travel back to summer 2018, to the hazy days of waistcoats and wasted pints, as Gareth Southgate's England came within twenty minutes of a World Cup final. We all remember the penalty shoot-out and the Trippier free-kick, but were England actually any good in that tournament? Cox and Worville have looked at the footage and the data to determine whether Southgate's Three Lions were worthy semi-finalists. We look at the supposed lucky draw, the reliance on set pieces and penalties, plus pick out some highlights featuring the likes of Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard that you've probably forgotten about by now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
01/06/2155m 18s

Pep v Tuchel - Champions League final tactical preview

The Athletic's Michael Cox, Mark Carey and Ali Maxwell look ahead to Saturday's Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea from a tactical and analytical perspective. Can we learn anything from the two games they've played against each other recently? Will City stick with their strikerless approach or throw in Jesus or Aguero? Which of Chelsea's array of attackers are best suited to exploit City's high defensive line? All this and more as we study the game from all manner of tactical angles Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
26/05/2143m 8s

The Alternative Team of the Season

The Athletic's Michael Cox, Tom Worville and Ali Maxwell gather to offer their distinctive take on football's traditional end of season awards Tasked by Ali with picking an alternative team of the season, with the stipulation being that they can't pick any players who got more than one vote in The Athletic's writers poll, Tom and Michael have picked the players they think have gone under the radar this season and were perhaps more deserving of a bigger share of the votes. As well as the teams we go through a few alternative categories of our own including Tactical Change of the season, Underrated Player of the Season and the inaugural Zonal Marking Data Darlings award. DO YOU LOVE FOOTBALL MANAGER? WE'VE GOT THE PERFECT EVENT FOR YOU... Join The Athletic's Iain Macintosh on May 25th for the ultimate Football Manager masterclass. Sports Interactive's Tom Davidson will deliver a top level briefing on the secrets of FM21 and then former Rangers, Aston Villa and Birmingham manager Alex McLeish will be in the studio to pass on some real life lessons from nearly 25 years in management. There are top prizes to be won too, not least the opportunity to take on McLeish in a live streamed, winner-takes-all game of FM21. Your ticket will give you full access to the Football Manager Masterclass. This includes an audience quiz and a chance to take on Alex McLeish in a live streamed Football Manager game. You will also get top tips and game insight from Sports Interactive insider, Tom Davidson and a touch of football management reality from Alex McLeish. All for £7. link.dice.fm/masterclass Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
19/05/2152m 39s

How Guardiola made Man City champions again

On October the 15th, four games into the Premier League season, we released a pod titled 'How does Guardiola get Man City back on top?' - they were struggling and looked miles off the pace. Eight months later they have won the Premier League at a canter and have reached the Champions League final - so how has Pep done it and how does this side compare to the title winners of 17/18 and 18/19? The Athletic's Michael Cox, Tom Worville and Ali Maxwell look at the tactics, the numbers, the key performances & performers to get to the bottom of City's title-winning campaign. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/05/2147m 52s

What went wrong for Fulham, West Brom and Sheffield Utd?

The Athletic's Michael Cox, Tom Worville and Ali Maxwell have called time on Fulham and West Brom's stay in the Premier League and all but consigned them to the Championship for next season along with Sheffield Utd, so what went wrong for them this season? Why have they been the worst three teams in the Premier League and what are their respective chances of bouncing back next season? And we also look at whether Norwich and Watford's immediate return to the top flight could give this season's basement boys any hope for the 2021/22 season Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
05/05/2157m 18s

The defensive glossary - half-backs, sweeper keepers, the libero and beyond

The Athletic's Michael Cox, Tom Worville and Ali Maxwell complete their quest to classify every possible position and role on a football pitch with the third and final edition of the ZM pod footballing glossary, this time focusing on defenders and goalkeepers. What's the difference between a libero and a sweeper? When is a back three really a back five? Should the outside centre-backs in a three man defence be called full-backs? Is Joao Cancelo the modern half-back? What is the opposite of a sweeper keeper? All these questions answered and more as we journey deep into the the defensive third Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
28/04/2148m 55s

We need to talk about crossing...

This week's Zonal Marking pod is a European Super League Free Zone, come shelter from the storm with The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville as they take a deep dive into that most quintessential part of the English game - crossing. Tom has scoured the data to look at how effective crossing is in the modern Premier League, how many teams focus on it as a main source of attack, which players are best at it, and the best positions to cross the ball from. You won't believe how many time Aubameyang has crossed the ball without getting an assist! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
21/04/2136m 27s

The race for the Champions League - analysis & predictions

The race to qualify for the Champions League looks set to be the most exciting thing about the run-in as we approach the end of the Premier League season. Leicester, West Ham, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton are all still in contention with eight games remaining. The Athletic's Michael Cox, Tom Worville and Ali Maxwell have studied the form and the data to give you their considered take on each team's chances of making it into those sought-after top 4 spots Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
14/04/2148m 55s

What makes an entertaining football match?

What makes an entertaining football match? Loads of goals? Tactical battles? Tension? The Athletic's Michael Cox, Tom Worville and Ali Maxwell pick five games from the Premier League this season with the highest and most evenly balanced xG they could find to see whether they can crack the code and determine the key ingredients needed for the ideal crowd-pleasing game. Game 1 - Arsenal 3 - 1 Chelsea Game 2 - Leeds 1 - 4 Leicester Game 3 - Manchester United 6 - 2 Leeds Game 4 - Liverpool 3 - 0 Leicester Game 5 - Newcastle 2 - 2 Tottenham Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
07/04/2152m 6s

The Championship Run-In Rundown - stats and players to watch for every club

When Michael Cox is away... The Athletic's Tom Worville and Ali Maxwell will delve into the Championship and pick out the most interesting stats and best players to watch from each of the 24 teams as we prepare to head full-steam into the business end of the season Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
31/03/211h 3m

How good were England at the 2018 World Cup?

With the international break upon us The Athletic's Michael Cox, Tom Worville and Ali Maxwell thought it would be the ideal time to travel back to summer 2018, to the hazy days of waistcoats and wasted pints, as Gareth Southgate's England came within twenty minutes of a World Cup final. We all remember the penalty shoot-out and the Trippier free-kick, but were England actually any good in that tournament? Cox and Worville have looked at the footage and the data to determine whether Southgate's Three Lions were worthy semi-finalists. We look at the supposed lucky draw, the reliance on set pieces and penalties, plus pick out some highlights featuring the likes of Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard that you've probably forgotten about by now. There's also a look ahead to the forthcoming set of international fixtures and the Euros that loom in the summer - what is Southgate's best XI? Are we going to end up with a very similar team to 2018? Do the likes of Ollie Watkins or even Patrick Bamford have any hope of making the squad in the summer? And what's going on with Trent Alexander-Arnold? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
24/03/2154m 20s

The goalkeeping blind spot - why is it so hard to measure the performance of keepers?

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Ali Maxwell are joined by our new analytics writer Mark Carey to tackle the thorny issue of how we measure the performance of that most unique of positions - goalkeepers. Taking the lead from Mark's recent pieces on Kasper Schmeichel and Vicente Guaita we look at the various metrics we use to analyse goalkeeping performance, how useful they are at accurately assessing their performance, and we try to dispel some common myths around the importance of save percentages and distribution. And it wouldn't be a pod about goalkeepers if we didn't try to work out who should be England's no.1 for the Euros so we look at the numbers to try and work out whether Pickford, Pope or Henderson deserves the shirt for Southgate's side. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
17/03/2147m 51s

Quite Unique FC - finding Europe's unicorn players

The Athletic's Michael Cox, Tom Worville and Ali Maxwell set out to select an XI from across Europe's top five leagues consisting of players who are unique in their positions - whether it be a curious tactical style, strangely high or low stats compared to what you'd expect, or just the fact that they are ridiculously tall, this is Quite Unique FC See if you can guess who we've picked from these clues: A veteran keeper who keeps it simple and is the best cheerleader around A right-back who would be more at home in 1992 than 2021 A young Premier League centre-back who doesn't really tackle but also doesn't pass A ball-playing centre-half from Serie A who loves to use his weaker foot An all-action left-back from Berlin who loves to surge forward A decorated defensive mid who has quietly turned into an attacking midfielder An Italian midfielder who plays like a young David Silva The most tactically diverse midfielder in Europe A prolific Argentinean who has never scored for Argentina A 6ft7 striker with elegant feet on a hot streak A sleep-loving Spanish winger whose mother named her dog after her son's famous night on Merseyside Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/03/2159m 46s

The Attacking Glossary - Striker, Centre-Forward, False-9, Second-Striker and beyond

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join Ali Maxwell to bring you the definitive guide to the many, many roles and positions you may find among attackers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
02/03/2155m 40s

West Ham & Leicester - the top four gatecrashers

Are West Ham genuine top four contenders? Can Leicester do what they failed to last season and hang on to a Champions League spot? The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join Ali Maxwell to examine the contrasting tactical approaches of the Premier League's gatecrashers and assess whether either side is the real deal. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
24/02/2154m 35s

Champions League knockout phase - every team analysed

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join Ali Maxwell to preview the Champions League knockout stages which get underway on Tuesday night. Coxy has studied the tactics, Worville has mined all the data, and Ali will guide us through all the ties as we look at every single game and every single team left in the competition in detail. The Champions League last 16 in full: RB Leipzig v Liverpool Barcelona v PSG Sevilla v Dortmund Porto v Juventus Atletico Madrid v Chelsea Lazio v Bayern Munich Atalanta v Real Madrid Gladbach v Man City Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
16/02/2157m 28s

Europe's biggest outliers - from Leeds, to Montpellier, to Berlin and back again

What do Leeds, Nîmes, Montpellier, Union Berlin, Elche, Nice, Freiburg, Brighton, Burnley, and Benevento all have in common? They're all mixing it with the big boys of European football in areas you might not expect. Punching well above their weight or standing out like a sore thumb when it comes to a whole host of different metrics. In this week's ZM pod The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join Ali Maxwell to look at why these clubs and their players are among Europe's biggest statistical outliers Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/02/2139m 59s

Running stats explained: Pace, intensity and the Premier League 'plodders'

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join Ali Maxwell to delve into the world of running stats and explain the many different ways in which they are used in the modern game. We'll look at whether the 'distance covered' stats actually mean anything, at how intense pressing sides may end up running less than you think, and the role of tracking data in the recruitment process. Plus we consult the data to reveal which players top the sprinting, jogging and walking charts in the Premier League. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
03/02/2139m 37s

What Chelsea can expect from Thomas Tuchel

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join Ali Maxwell to tell us what Chelsea can expect from Thomas Tuchel, the tactical chameleon. We'll study his career to date starting with his first job causing a scene at Mainz, his first big gig at Dortmund where he pushed Bayern close but not close enough and then on to PSG who he guided to the Champions League final last season. There's a look at how Pep and Klopp influence his tactical style to differing extents, his preference for using his players in a variety of different roles, his knack for getting the best out of his strikers, and of course the big question is what he'll do with his under performing compatriots Timo Werner and Kai Havertz. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
27/01/2145m 21s

Mesut Ozil's Arsenal legacy

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join Ali Maxwell to assess the legacy that Mesut Ozil leaves behind at Arsenal as his seven and half year spell at the Emirates comes to an end. We remember the excitement which greeted his arrival, the way Arsene Wenger had to adjust to fit him in to a playmaker-laden squad, and of course all those assists. There's also plenty of discussion of how it all unravelled for Ozil at Arsenal, when and why did his numbers start to decline? Should he have lead the team to the title in 2015/16? Why didn't Emery or Arteta ever really trust him? All this plus further reminiscing on his career pre-Arsenal and a look at what could be in store for him in Turkey as he gets set to join Fenerbahce Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
19/01/2141m 24s

The midfield glossary - 6s, 8s, 10s, Enganches and beyond...

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join Ali Maxwell to bring you the definitive guide to the many, many roles and positions you may find in midfield. What's the difference between a 6 and an 8? What makes a true holding midfielder and is it different to the 'Makelele role'? Why do Argentineans love no.5s so much? What's the difference between an Enganche and a Trequarista? And what on earth is a shuttler? All these questions and more answered as the ZM pod goes box-to-box for the next fifty-five minutes Subscribe to The Athletic Right now you can enjoy the Athletic for just £3.99 per month as part of our January sale. Enjoy great analysis and in-depth features from the very best football writers around, as well as ad-free versions of all of our podcasts.  Just go to theathletic.com/zonalmarking to sign up. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
13/01/2159m 36s

What's going wrong at Chelsea?

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join Ali Maxwell to explain what's going wrong with Frank Lampard's out-of-form Chelsea side from a tactical point of view. Why have they struggled to beat anyone above them? Why are they so easy to pass through? Is it all down to poor finishing from Werner and bad goalkeeping at the other end? What would be the ideal midfield with the players they have? What's the best role for Werner and Kai Havertz? These are just some of the questions being asked of Lampard at the moment and we've studied the data and the footage to deliver the answers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
06/01/2144m 13s

An interesting stat from each of the 20 Premier League teams

The Athletic's Michael Cox, Tom Worville and Ali Maxwell round off 2020 by looking at all 20 Premier League teams and picking at least one interesting stat, observation or quirk for each of them. You'll find out which team has taken the most throw-ins, the player has had zero touches of the ball in his own penalty area, which team is best at 'winning' offsides, and how about the team who have scored the most goals from outside the box but taken the second-most touches in it? All these and loads more statistical curiosities you never thought you needed to know, until now... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
30/12/2046m 46s

Is Big Sam more than just a long ball merchant?

Is Big Sam really just a boring long ball merchant? The Athletic's Michael Cox, Tom Worville and Ali Maxwell gather to look at the stats, the data and the evidence from Sam Allardyce's career in the aim of answering that very question. From his days as a pioneer of Pro-Zone at Bolton, to 'out-tacticing' Jose Mourinho with West Ham, through to his more recent great escapes with Sunderland and Crystal Palace, whatever you think of Big Sam there is certainly a bit more to him than the caricature suggests. All this plus a look at the situation facing him at his new club West Brom as they sit 19th in the Premier League having won just once this season but crucially still only five points from safety. Give the gift of The Athletic this Christmas Subscribe to The Athletic and get a second subscription for free to give to someone as a gift Head to theathletic.com/fplpod to take advantage of this offer now Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
23/12/2041m 10s

Do Arsenal have a problem with the 'big games' in the WSL?

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Ali Maxwell are joined by our women's football writer Katie Whyatt to look at why Arsenal are struggling in the big WSL games this season after they lost to Manchester City at the weekend, a result which followed up failures to win against Manchester United and Chelsea earlier in the season. We look at how manager Joe Montemurro is responding to increased scrutiny in the face of these disappointing results There's also a look at the WSL more generally as we assess the credentials of the other title challengers which include Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
16/12/2035m 57s

Why have Arsenal become obsessed with crossing the ball?

When Mikel Arteta recently referred to Arsenal putting in 33 crosses in one game as "pure maths" it piqued the interest of The Athletic's resident analytical gurus Michael Cox and Tom Worville - what could Mikel mean by such a phrase and is this really a good idea? The pair join Ali Maxwell this week to look at why Arsenal have recently become obsessed with slinging the ball into the mixer and to take a broader look at the various problems besetting Arteta's side at the moment as they find themselves in 15th place in the Premier League after 11 games. We also get an informed take from Worville on Dominik Szoboszlai who has been heavily linked with the Gunners and it sounds like he could be just the player Arteta needs to breathe some much-needed creativity back into midfield. Subscribe to The Athletic Subscribe to The Athletic for access to all of Michael and Tom's brilliant writing as well as this podcast advert free - and right now if you sign up you get a second subscription to gift for free Head to theathletic.com/zonalmarking Exclusive Virgin Wines Deal For this weeks partnership go to www.virginwines.co.uk/theathletic Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
09/12/2044m 27s

What kind of player is 2020 Cristiano Ronaldo?

The Athletic's Michael Cox, Tom Worville and Ali Maxwell take an almighty leap into the stats to work out what sort of player Cristiano Ronaldo is right now in 2020 as a 35-year-old at Juventus. We know his game has changed dramatically since his early days coming through as a brilliant dribbler and speed merchant at Manchester United, and the assumption is that he's even changed quite a bit since his days as a ruthless goal machine at Real Madrid, but if you look at the numbers it seems that there may well be a bit more variety to Ronaldo's game since he's gone to Serie A than you think. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
02/12/2034m 14s

Half-backs, inverted centre-backs and more unusual positions we're seeing this season

The Athletic's Michael Cox, Tom Worville and Ali Maxwell are back with another tactical masterclass, this week casting their eye on some of the more unconventional roles and positions we've seen a host of players taking up this season in the Premier League and beyond. Has Nuno turned Wily Boly and Max Kilman into the first ever pair of inverted-centre backs? Pep Guardiola loves to conjure up interesting roles for his players and Joao Cancelo has gone from conventional right-back to what we're calling half-back over on the left. There's also a look at the roles Moussa Sissoko and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg are playing at Spurs dropping into the defence and doubling up out wide, and at Arsenal there's the ever versatile Bukayo Saka who's been playing almost everywhere. Michael and Tom give you their considered verdict on all of the above while Ali witters on about funky full-backs and Stuart Dallas. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
26/11/2038m 24s

Javier Mascherano: the accidental centre-back

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Ali Maxwell are joined by Argentinean football expert Rupert Fryer to celebrate the career of Javier Mascherano as he announced his retirement this week after an outstanding 17-year career. We chart his career starting with the early days coming through at River Plate, his move to Corinthians in Brazil, that bizarre spell at West Ham before establishing himself alongside Gerrard and Alonso at Liverpool under Rafa Benitez. Our focus then turns to his time at Barcelona where things really got interesting as Pep Guardiola, either by luck or design, converted him into a centre-back with surprisingly effective results. There's also discussion of his storied exploits for Argentina, serial runners-up during his time with the national side but not without some memorable highlights along the way, chief among them that tackle on Arjen Robben in the World Cup 2014 semi-final, if you know, you know. Sign up to The Athletic for just £1-a-week for access to Michael Cox's brilliant tactical analysis - simply head to theathletic.com/zonalmarking Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
18/11/2048m 15s

The top five overachievers across Europe this season

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join Ali Maxwell for a whistle-stop tour across Europe to look at five unheralded teams who have found themselves in unexpectedly lofty positions in the league table so far. Starting on home soil with high-pressing Southampton. We also head over to Italy to look at a swashbuckling Sassuolo side who find themselves second in Serie A, before crossing to Spain to look at the surprising top two of Real Sociedad, who we think could be the real deal, and Villareal who are of course managed by Unai Emery. There's also a trip north of the border for some detail on Rangers, currently nine points ahead of Celtic, with The Athletic's Rangers correspondent Jordan Campbell Will any of these sides go the distance and deliver on their early promise? We look at the numbers and the eye test to give you our verdict You can subscribe to The Athletic for just £1-a-week at the moment - head to theathletic.com/zonalmarking for access to Michael & Tom's unrivalled tactical & statistical analysis plus all the other brilliant content from our world class team of football writers Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/11/2052m 56s

Surviving the difficult second season in the Premier League

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join Ali Maxwell for the second part of our series looking at the challenges of staying up after being promoted to the Premier League. This week we look at the various ways teams have gone about trying to establish themselves in their second season. Looking at how Leicester famously managed to win the league in 2015/16, back-to-back 7th placed finishes for Wolves, to Burnley's less heralded Europa League clincher in 2018, we examine what you need to do to thrive after you've survived. There's also plenty of cautionary tales too from the likes of Ipswich in 2001/02 to the Huddersfield side of 2018/19 plus teams like Bournemouth and Stoke who eventually went out with a whimper after appearing to have cracked it - what is it that these sides got wrong? Subscribe to The Athletic for access to Michael and Tom's unrivalled tactical and statistical analysis of the Premier League, Champions League and beyond - you can sign up for just £1-a-week by heading to theathletic.com/zonalmarking Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
04/11/2046m 8s

How to survive your first season in the Premier League

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join Ali Maxwell to debate the various 'do's and dont's' for a maiden season in the top flight of English football...  Is it better to sack or stick with the manager who brought you up? Discard the playing style and sure things up at the back? Splash the cash in the market or trust in the players who won so many games last year? The Zonal Marking team delve into the Premier League archives to find out... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
29/10/2050m 27s

Bad Stats - where we are all getting it wrong when talking about football

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join Ali Maxwell to get a few things off their chests about the use of statistics in the general conversation around football. Do assists really tell us anything about creativity? Why do we harp on about manager win percentages? Does it really matter that Team A haven't won at Team B's ground for 27 years? And don't get us started on pass completion percentage. All these and loads more sloppy statistics are picked apart, but it's not just one big moan-fest as the guys also provide some suggestions as to how we can be smarter with the data in the future. Subscribe to The Athletic for access to Michael Cox and Tom Worville's unrivalled analysis of football from all manner of tactical and data-driven perspectives - head to theathletic.com/zonalmarking to sign up for just £1-a-month Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/10/2047m 1s

How does Guardiola get Man City back on top?

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Sam Lee join Ali Maxwell to look at Manchester City's start to the season and assess the ways Pep Guardiola's side have changed their tactical approach since they last won the title. Why did they come up so short so often last season? What went wrong in the Champions League? Are there early signs of the same problems being an issue this season? Have we underestimated the loss of Leroy Sane and David Silva? Are we too quick to pounce on Pep at the first sign of anything going wrong? Sign up to The Athletic for access to Michael Cox's brilliant tactics pieces and Sam Lee's unrivalled Man City coverage - head to theathletic.com/zonalmarking to subscribe for just £1-a-month Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/10/2054m 28s

Why have there been so many goals in the Premier League this season?

The Athletic's Michael Cox joins Ali Maxwell to assess what has been a goal-tastic start to the season in the Premier League as we head into the international break. They look at the numbers and the tactics to try and understand why there have been so many goals, high-scoring games and a distinct lack of 0-0 draws in the opening weeks of the season. Sign up to The Athletic now for just £1-a-month and get access to Michael Cox's unrivalled tactical analysis of the Premier League, Champions League and beyond. Just head to theathletic.com/zonalmarking Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
08/10/2034m 19s

AC Milan: the history and reawakening of a sleeping giant

The Athletic's Michael Cox and James Horncastle join Ali Maxwell for an in-depth look at one of the most iconic clubs in world football: AC Milan. Taking the lead from James recent behind-the-scenes piece on the club we cast our eye back through the history books to examine the great sides and coaches that built the legend, before examining the past decade of disappointment, and finally looking at whether the present day set-up is poised to bring restore the Rossoneri to its former glory as they prepare to move away from the famous San Siro. Subscribe to The Athletic to read James Horncastle's deep dive into AC Milan and his unrivalled coverage of Serie A just head to theathletic.com/zonalmarking to sign up for just £1-a-month Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
30/09/2046m 50s

Every Premier League squad profiled

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join Ali Maxwell to profile every Premier League squad by average age, depth of quality and numerous other quirks along the way. Who is well-stocked across the pitch? Who are the unsung players who could have good seasons? Who could yet dip into the market for a bit more depth? All this and more answered in this week's ZM pod.  Subscribe to The Athletic for access to Michael Cox and Tom Worville's unrivalled tactical & technical analysis including the piece this pod was based on:  https://theathletic.com/2059611/2020/09/12/leeds-are-youngest-burnley-the-oldest-every-premier-league-squads-age-profile/ Head to theathletic.com/zonalmarking to sign up for just £1 a month Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
23/09/2054m 49s

Explained: Why left-footed centre-backs are so in demand

Right now we're offering listeners of this show the opportunity to try out The Athletic for just £1 a month You can enjoy all of Michael's great tactical analysis, including a recent article on how Bielsa's Leeds approached their first game back in the Premier League and another looking at why Chelsea repeatedly went route-one against Brighton Just go to theathletic.com/zonalmarking to sign up for just £1 a month Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
16/09/2036m 51s

Breaking down the Champions League final - PSG's pressing & Bayern's switching of possession

Right now we're offering listeners of this show the opportunity to try out The Athletic for FREE.  You can enjoy all of Michael's great tactical analysis, including a recent article on how Pep's decision to field a 'Mourinho Team', saw City crash out of the Champions League to Lyon. Just go to www.theathletic.com/zonalmarking to sign up for a 30 Day Free Trial. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
27/08/2033m 5s

Champions League Special

Right now we're offering listeners of this show the opportunity to try out The Athletic for FREE.  You can enjoy all of Michael's great tactical analysis, including a recent article on how Pep's decision to field a 'Mourinho Team', saw City crash out of the Champions League to Lyon. Just go to www.theathletic.com/zonalmarking to sign up for a 30 Day Free Trial. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
20/08/2039m 8s

Lionel Messi - how many things is he the best in the world at?

Sign up to The Athletic now for access to Michael Cox's tactical musings and Tom Worville's statistical masterpieces - including recent pieces breaking down the tactics that lead Arteta's Arsenal to triumph over Chelsea in the FA Cup final and why ball retention actually does matter a lot more than you may think Head to theathletic.com/zonalmarking for a 30-day free trial Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/08/2047m 37s

The Big Champions League & Europa League Preview

The Athletic's Raphael Honigstein, James Horncastle and Dermot Corrigan join Ali Maxwell for a comprehensive look ahead to the return of the Champions League - looking at every single game on the schedule and all the potential storylines that could emerge from this truncated single-leg knockout format. It promises to be a furious festival of elite football and we've got every angle covered. We also dive into the Europa League with teams like Manchester United, Wolves, Inter, https://dashboard.simplecast.com/shows/ba079c3d-1cf0-42ea-9801-64f6137198c0/episodes/theathletic.com/steilcastpodRoma, Sevilla, Getafe and Leverkusen all still in the mix there is plenty to look forward to in that competition too. Sign up to The Athletic now for Honigstein, Horncastle and Corrigan's unrivalled Champions League & Europa League coverage - head to theathletic.com/zonalmarking for a 30 day free trial Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
04/08/2058m 57s

Evaluating the managerial changes in the Premier League last season

There were seven managerial changes in the Premier League last season, three of them at Watford, but did Tottenham, Arsenal, West Ham, Everton and the Hornets make the right calls in sacking their managers?     The Athletic's Michael Cox joins Ali Maxwell to evaluate those decisions, to look at what's happened since the likes of Mourinho, Arteta, Moyes and Ancelotti took over at their respective clubs, and also to look at what lead to the departures of Pochettino, Emery, Pellegrini and Marco Silva.   We're also joined by The Athletic's Watford correspondent Adam Leventhal to examine the chaotic season at Vicarage Road which started with Javi Gracia in the dugout, saw Quique Sanchez Flores return, only for him to be replaced by Nigel Pearson who then himself got the boot with two games still to play. Sign up to The Athletic for access to Michael Cox's unrivalled coverage of football tactics and trends - head to theathletic.com/zonalmarking for a 30-day free trial Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
30/07/2057m 40s

The resurgence of the three-man defence

The Athletic's Michael Cox joins Ali Maxwell for a look at the tactical increasingly fashionable trend of playing a back three this season after Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea all used the system last weekend in the FA Cup semi-finals. 13 of the 20 Premier League sides have tried a three-man defence at some point this season, some like Sheffield Utd and Wolves have used it in different ways but to great success, and others like West Ham and Southampton found it more difficult, so we examine the philosophy, the type of players and the tactics required to make a back three work. Elsewhere Ali takes us down into the EFL with details of a spectacularly successful 3-6-1 system at Coventry and a League Two which is overflowing with three-man defences. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
23/07/2041m 45s

Judging Sarri's impact on Juventus and Ronaldo

The Athletic's Michael Cox and James Horncastle join Ali Maxwell to assess Maurizio Sarri's first season at Juventus. On the verge of leading Juve to their ninth straight Serie A title, we look at how Sarri has measured up to expectations in Turin, how he has impressed his tactical philosophy on the squad, as well as how he's used key individuals like Cristiano Ronaldo, Aaron Ramsey, Matthijs de Ligt and Miralem Pjanic.   Sign up to The Athletic for James Horncastle's unrivalled coverage of Serie A and Michael Cox's tactical insights - head to theathletic.com/zonalmarking for a 30-day free trial Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/07/2042m 50s

The tactics behind Manchester United's resurgence

The Athletic's Michael Cox & Laurie Whitwell join Ali Maxwell to look at Manchester United's recent transformation from a struggling mid-table outfit into the Premier League's form side with attacking options aplenty.They look at how Solskjaer has managed to fit Rashford, Martial, Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba into the same side, and how the individual roles they are all playing all knit together so well Elsewhere we study the re-emergence of Nemanja Matic as a crucial part of the team, plus the role of the full-backs, the Maguire-Lindelof axis at the back, the form of David De Gea and also how the rumoured pursuit of Jadon Sancho and a new striker could affect the squad next season. Subscribe to The Athletic for access to Michael Cox's insightful tactical pieces and Laurie Whitwell's unrivalled Manchester United coverage - head to theathletic.com/zonalmarking for a 30-day free trial Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
08/07/2043m 19s

Liverpool's underappreciated passing game

The Athletic's Michael Cox & Tom Worville join Ali Maxwell to look at a perhaps underappreciated aspect of this all conquering Liverpool side - their possession game.   We dive into the data to analyse how Liverpool use the ball and the passing combinations they most rely upon.   Looking at how crucial Alisson is to starting the moves, how Van Dijk's passing differs from Matip & Gomez, how Trent Alexander-Arnold is able to dictate the play from right-back, the changing role of Henderson, the importance of Fabinho, the calmness of Wijnaldum and the creative skills of Salah, Mane and Firmino. Sign up to The Athletic for access to Michael Cox & Tom Worville's unrivalled tactical and data analysis. For a 30-day free trial head to theathletic.com/zonalmarking Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
01/07/2032m 24s

Assessing the best performers since the Premier League returned

The Athletic's Michael Cox joins Ali Maxwell to look at the first batch of Premier League games under Project Restart and pick out the teams & players who have best adapted to the unfamiliar conditions - with a particular focus on Tottenham, Man Utd, Brighton, Newcastle and Southampton. Elsewhere The Athletic's Crystal Palace writer Matt Woosnam drops in to give us the lowdown on how Roy Hodgson continues to inspire impressive performances from the Eagles, plus we look at the impact of the new five subs rule, the unexpected benefits of drinks breaks, and how the players have been affected by empty stadiums. Subscribe to The Athletic for access to all of Michael Cox's brilliant tactics coverage and get a 40% discount - just head to theathletic.com/zonalmarking Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
24/06/2050m 50s

Italian football's search for the next Pirlo

The Athletic's Michael Cox and James Horncastle join Ali Maxwell ahead of Serie A returning this week for a look at the next generation of Italian midfielders, starting with a man some have compared to the legendary Andrea Pirlo - Brescia's Sandro Tonali. Tonali has been lighting up Serie A this season and drawing comparisons to Pirlo but is there more to his game than that comparison suggests? Elsewhere we take a broader look at the history of Italian midfielders - be they registas, fantasistas or medianos - and also run the rule over some of the other contenders aiming to grasp the midfield mantle for the Azzuri from the established figures of Jorginho and Marco Veratti to the emerging talents of Gaetano Castrovilli, Stefano Sensi, Nicolò Zaniolo and Nicolò Barella. Sign up to The Athletic for access to Michael Cox's tactical musings and James Horncastle's Italian dispatches plus the best Premier League coverage you'll find anywhere - head to theathletic.com/zonalmarking for a 40% discount Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
17/06/2050m 59s

Is this Setién's Barca or Messi's Barca?

Ahead of La Liga returning this weekend The Athletic's Michael Cox & Dermot Corrigan join Ali Maxwell to look at current state of Barcelona. They discuss how recently installed manager Quique Setien is settling in, how his tactical approach differs from his predecessors, why they're more reliant on Messi than ever, why Griezmann hasn't really hit the heights yet, plus a wider look at what's to be decided in La Liga with ten matches remaining. Subscribe to The Athletic for access to Michael Cox's unrivalled coverage of football tactics & trends  - head to theathletic.com/zonalmarking for a 30-day free trial Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/06/2039m 3s

Eddie Howe's Bournemouth - not as open & attacking as you think

Michael Cox & Ali Maxwell are joined by The Athletic's Bournemouth writer Peter Rutzler to look at what has been a disappointing season for Eddie Howe's side. We pick apart the tactics - which may not be quite as open & entertaining as they once were - and look at the individual players who will be key if the Cherries are to avoid relegation when the season returns.   Sign up to The Athletic here to access Michael Cox's unrivalled tactical coverage of the Premier League and get a 30 day free trial Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
03/06/2045m 32s

How Mourinho won the treble with Inter Milan in 2010

Jose Mourinho spoke to The Athletic's James Horncastle last week for an exclusive interview looking back at his treble-winning Inter Milan side ten years on, so for this week's pod we got James together with Michael Cox & Ali Maxwell for a deep dive into that famous season looking at the tactics, the players and the stories from one of the great sides of the modern era. Subscribe to The Athletic here for access to Michael Cox's unrivalled tactics writing and get a 90 day free trial Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
27/05/2052m 32s

What's gone wrong with Man City's tactics this season?

The Athletic's Michael Cox & Ali Maxwell are joined by our resident Manchester City writer Sam Lee for a look at the tactical reasons behind City's failed title defence this season.Aiming to evaluate how much of an impact has the loss of Sane made, whether other teams have simply got better at playing through City's press, and assessing the pivotal relationship between De Bruyne and Aguero. Sign up to The Athletic here for access to Michael Cox's tactical musings and Sam Lee's unrivalled Manchester City coverage and get a 90 day free trial Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
20/05/2047m 59s

Bundesliga Special with Raphael Honigstein

The Athletic's German football writer Raphael Honigstein joins Michael Cox & Ali Maxwell to look at the teams, coaches, and players to look out for when the Bundesliga returns this weekend.Rafa explains how Hansi Flick has turned Bayern's season around, how this Dortmund side compares to Klopp's famous team, and we look at the strengths & weaknesses of the clutch of sides chasing the top two including RB Leipzig, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Mönchengladbach.   Sign up to The Athletic here for Raphael Honigstein's exclusive Bundesliga coverage and get a 40% discount Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
13/05/2045m 40s

Unique Athletic Bilbao

The Athletic's Michael Cox & Ali Maxwell are once again joined by our resident Spanish Football Writer, Dermot Corrigan, this time to give Athletic Bilbao the Zonal Marking treatment... A whole host of familiar names including Marcelo Bielsa, Aymeric Laporte and Inaki Williams, a truly unique recruitment policy and a history inextricably linked to English football. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
07/05/2044m 49s

Why Norwich could be the best team to ever finish bottom of the Premier League

Subscribe to The Athletic here for plenty more from Michael Cox, Michael Bailey and the rest of our unrivalled team of football writers and get a 90 day free trial Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
29/04/2054m 27s

How has Zidane coached Real Madrid to three European Cups?

Sign up to The Athletic here and get a 90 day free trial Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/04/2048m 23s

There's more to Wilder's Sheffield United than overlapping centre-backs

The Athletic's Michael Cox & Ali Maxwell are joined by football data analyst Jay Socik - aka Blades Analytic - for an in-depth look at the tactics that Chris Wilder has deployed in getting Sheffield United to 7th in the Premier League, and how they've evolved over time Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/04/2052m 19s

1998/99 Rebooted: Alberto Zaccheroni's AC Milan

The Athletic's Michael Cox & James Horncastle join Ali Maxwell for a look back at Alberto Zaccheroni's Milan side of the 1998/99 season, featuring players such as George Weah, Zvonimir Boban, Leonardo and of course Paolo Maldini. A campaign which saw them clinch the title in a thrilling race with Lazio & Fiorentina that went right down to the wire. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
08/04/2044m 54s

What new tactics might we see from Pep Guardiola when football returns?

Earlier this week Michael Cox joined The Athletic's Manchester City podcast 'Why Always Us?' for a chat about his recent written piece where he proposed some potential tactical tweaks Pep Guardiola may choose to experiment with when football returns, and we thought regular Zonal Marking listeners would appreciate hearing Michael explain why he thinks Kevin De Bruyne would make a good right-back or why Pep could make Rodri into a number 10, so here it is. Enjoy! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
03/04/2026m 20s

Why Atalanta are the most exciting team in Europe - with James Horncastle

The Athletic's Michael Cox & James Horncastle join Ali Maxwell to examine how and why Atalanta have become one of the most exciting teams in Europe over the last year or so, culminating with their recent Champions League victory over Valencia   Sign up to The Athletic today for all of Michael's tactical insights... Get a 40% discount by visiting the athletic.com/zonalmarking Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
01/04/2047m 42s

Why Liverpool's success is built on their defence

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join Ali Maxwell to examine why Liverpool's imperious defence has been the driving force behind their outstanding season and not necessarily their glittering front three, uncovering a number of surprising stats along the way Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
26/03/2038m 24s

How Ajax have adjusted to life after De Ligt & De Jong

The Athletic's Michael Cox & Ali Maxwell are joined by Dutch football expert Priya Ramesh to look at how Ajax have adjusted to life after losing two of their star players last summer in Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt, looking at their replacements, Ajax's fortunes in Europe, and the future of their much-admired coach Erik Ten Hag   Sign up to The Athletic today for all of Michael's tactical insights... Get a 40% discount by visiting the athletic.com/zonalmarking Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
18/03/2040m 37s

Sean Dyche's Burnley - It's a long 'PASS' not a long 'BALL'

Sign up to The Athletic today for all of Michael's tactical insights... Get a 40% discount by visiting the athletic.com/zonalmarking Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/03/2040m 58s

How Ancelotti has transformed Everton

The Athletic's Michael Cox & Ali Maxwell are joined by our resident Everton expert Patrick Boyland to look at the tactical changes Carlo Ancelotti has made during his reign at Everton so far, how he has attempted to fix some of the problems he inherited from Marco Silva, while also casting their eye back on Carlo's long and storied career as a top level manager   Sign up to The Athletic now for all of Michael Cox's tactical musings and get a 40% discount at theathletic.com/zonalmarking Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
04/03/2051m 11s

Away Goals DON'T Count Double!

Was Gary Lineker right when he famously announced that NO goal should be of greater value than another? It's the debate you never knew you felt so strongly about... Should 'Away Goals' be scrapped? Ali Maxwell & Michael Cox are joined by Omar Chaudhuri, Head of Football Intelligence at 21st Club, to present their arguments... Where did the law come from, is it fair, and what if two teams have the same home ground?? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
26/02/2035m 47s

How has the new goal kick rule changed the game?

Does it really make sense to play out from the back or are you better off hoofing it down the field? The Athletic's new Football Analytics writer, Tom Worville, joins Michael Cox & Ali Maxwell to explore the impact of the latest changes to the goal-kick rule... The trio assess the risks and the rewards of shorter goal kicks, how the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal and even Burnley have exploited it, plus, Michael's suggestions for even more rule changes! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
19/02/2033m 17s

Can PSG & THE FANTASTIC 4 win the Champions League?

1. Why do they keep coming up short? - 3:30  2. Tuchel vs Emery - 11:30 3. Neymar and Les 4 Fantastiques! - 15:30 4. Cavani the outcast - 16:30 5. The importance of Idrissa Gueye - 23:40  6. The Dortmund threat - 28:30 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/02/2036m 16s

How Arteta has changed Arsenal

The Athletic's Michael Cox & Ali Maxwell analyse the key tactical features of Mikel Arteta's Arsenal so far during his first 10 games in charge - looking at the way he's used the players at his disposal, to what extent he's mirrored the approach of Pep Guardiola, and whether what we've seen so far could tell us much about what his team might look like next season. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
05/02/2040m 32s

The Makelele Role

The Athletic's Michael Cox & Liam Twomey join Ali Maxwell to reflect upon the career of a player so good they named a position after him - Claude Makelele. Why was he so good at playing defensive midfield? Did he have more to his game than just getting it and giving it? And how has his legacy in that position affected those who've played it since? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
29/01/2037m 24s

Goalscoring goalkeepers

The Athletic's Michael Cox, Ali Maxwell and Jack Lang take a closer look at the goalkeepers who  made a career out of doing the business at the other end of the pitch. Not just popping up for the odd corner or accidentally knocking in a long goal-kick but those - and there are quite a few - who have genuinely played an attacking role for their teams.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/01/2041m 33s

Assessing Frank Lampard's tactical nous

The Athletic's Michael Cox & Ali Maxwell are joined by our Chelsea writer Liam Twomey to analyse the tactical approach Frank Lampard has taken so far in his inaugural season as a Premier League manager, with a particular focus on how he has tackled the games against the other 'top 6 teams' Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/01/2041m 56s

Harry Kane’s evolution and how Spurs cope without him

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Ali Maxwell are joined by our Spurs writer Charlie Eccleshare for an in-depth look at Harry Kane and how his game has changed in the years since his breakthrough in 2014, and we also assess the tactical options at Jose Mourinho's disposal after Kane's torn hamstring looks set to keep him out for a lengthy spell. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
08/01/2043m 52s

Rafa Benitez on why Colombia's Francisco Maturana is his hero

Rafa Benitez once cited the relatively little-known Colombian coach Francisco Maturana as one of his biggest influences, but who is he and what's his story? The Athletic's Michael Cox is joined by Rafa Benitez himself and Colombian football writer Carl Worswick to delve into Maturana's fascinating career. It's a story that takes in triumphs, tragedies, and many colorful characters from Colombia's footballing past along the way. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
24/12/1950m 7s

How did the 7-1 affect Brazilian football?

The Athletic's Michael Cox & Ali Maxwell are joined by The Athletic's Brazilian football writer Jack Lang to examine how the 7-1 humiliation at the hands of Germany in the 2014 World Cup semi-final affected Brazilian football; breaking down the details of the match itself, how the nation coped with the aftermath, and how the team have rebuilt since.     Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
18/12/1943m 40s

The tactical evolution of Jurgen Klopp

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Ali Maxwell are joined by The Athletic's resident German football writer Raphael Honigstein for a look at the managerial career of Jurgen Klopp and how his tactics & philosophy have evolved from his days conquering the Bundesliga with Dortmund to his current outstanding Liverpool team. Zonal Marking is a podcast where The Athletic’s Michael Cox & Ali Maxwell break down the tactical & technical details of football past & present, focusing on a single subject each episode with the help of expert guests. Subscribe to The Athletic  and receive 40% off by following this link: theathletic.com/zonalmarking Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/12/1938m 52s

Is Ljungberg the answer for Arsenal?

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Ali Maxwell are joined by Swedish football journalist Frida Fagerlund for an in-depth look at both the playing and coaching career of interim Arsenal head coach Freddie Ljungberg, as they attempt to work out whether he's got what it takes to land the Arsenal job full-time Zonal Marking is a podcast where The Athletic’s Michael Cox & Ali Maxwell break down the tactical & technical details of football past & present, focusing on a single subject each episode with the help of expert guests. Subscribe to The Athletic using the special promo code UKPOD and receive 40% off! Also, subscribers will have access to exclusive episodes. SIGN UP NOW: http://theathletic.com/ukpod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
04/12/1932m 29s

Is Jose Mourinho actually a defensive manager?

The Athletic's Michael Cox, Ali Maxwell and Liam Twomey examine Jose Mourinho's career from Porto, through Chelsea, Inter, Real Madrid, right up to Man Utd, with a particular emphasis on how his style of play has evolved over the years and what that might tell us about how his Spurs reign will pan out. Zonal Marking is a podcast where The Athletic’s Michael Cox & Ali Maxwell break down the tactical & technical details of football past & present, focusing on a single subject each episode with the help of expert guests. Subscribe to The Athletic using the special promo code UKPOD and receive 40% off! Also, subscribers will have access to exclusive episodes. SIGN UP NOW: http://theathletic.com/ukpod  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
26/11/1945m 41s
-
-
Heart UK
Mute/Un-mute