After a really nice reception to my post about football books for FM fans about, ooo, two or three months ago, I felt it was time to dip back into recommendation mode once again.
And as I spend the best part of a day a week recording and producing the podcast, I thought that giving you a little look at my favourite football podcasts might be a nice thing to do.
So here are my six of my favourite football podcasts that I think will prove relevant to all of you FM fans out there.
An obvious choice to start with, but Football Weekly is basically the best football podcast on the market. Hosted twice a week by James Richardson, it succinctly and sharply rounds up the major news of the week in informative style.
The major strength of it is the quality of the regular contributors on each show. The likes of (in no particular order) Jacob Sternberg, Barry Glendenning, Iain Macintosh, Phillippe Auclair and James Horncastle tend to counter balance each other nicely, mixing serious analysis with a levity that keeps each show floating along nicely.
Meanwhile, the additional contributions from roving experts also helps each show to feel deeper despite the relatively short run time. The option to dial up Rafa Honigstein, Jonathan Wilson or Sid Lowe (and his dog) helps provide important context on developments in Europe and beyond.
All in all, an excellent show which offers good, broadly applicable, thoughts for FM fans to bear in mind for their saves.
The Football Ramble
The best thing about The Football Ramble is the organised chaos. Irrespective of whether you find the foursome funny or not (I personally do), the format of the show is one of the major inspirations for the format of The Deep Lying Podcast.
The secret to its success is how it shapes informality. The opening question, highlights of the week, the ridiculous break stings, the comically acted adverts and the superb hosting of Marcus Speller holds what could easily be a total shambles together very nicely indeed.
And for FM fans, the major reason to listen is to remind yourself that football is meant to be a little bit fun at times. When you’re preparing to kick your laptop in after you’ve blown another lead, The Football Ramble is the reminder that, at the end of the day, it is just a little bit funny we’re all obsessed by men kicking balls around.
For anyone with a taste for La Liga, The Spanish Football Podcast is your perfect fix. Hosted by Phil Kitromilides and Sid Lowe, it manages the uncanny combination of being both insightful and quick to listen to.
This is down to two reasons. The first is the strength of Sid Lowe’s analysis, which is (for my money) amongst the best in the entire world due to its nuance and thoughtfulness. And the second reason for the podcast’s success is Phil’s hosting. Intelligent and witty, he has the presentational skill to keep things progressing and to leave room for Sid to ponder without going on too long.
Added to the fact the final five minutes is given over to lookalikes and crap Spanish jokes, the show achieves the balance between providing serious analysis of the state of play in La Liga and being an undemanding half hour listen.
The Big Interview
Getting into the podcasts that are really informative for FM fans, Graham Hunter’s The Big Interview is a meaty one on one format that absolutely drips with interesting information.
Graham’s connections with leading figures in the game gives him both access and an intimacy that none of the other podcast have. We hear David Moyes make no excuses for his failure at Manchester United, despite the fact that Graham gives him every opportunity to defend himself. Michael Carrick provides real food for thought when discussing how he formed an on pitch relationship with Rio Ferdinand. And we get a good close glimpse at Gary Neville’s thought processes well before he departed for Valencia.
The reason this podcast is ideal for FM players is the way each conversation unearths different aspects of football as a game through a multitude of expert perspectives. It’ll change the way you think, making it a must listen.
More of an audio book than a podcast, The Blizzard podcast offers you the chance to listen to free readings of some of the best pieces in the football quarterly.
Though I highly recommend purchasing a subscription to the publication due to the quality of the pieces, for someone who may lack the budget or inclination to read hundreds of pages every three months this is an excellent digest. And some of the pieces read out offer spot on thoughts for Football Manager players to consider.
The best example I’ve heard so far is the recent The Peter Principle episode. Talking about how people in businesses are promoted to the point of incompetence, the application of the concept in a football context explains how certain players (such as Stewart Downing at Liverpool) clamber the heights but don’t make the grade. Episodes like that are right in the sweet spot of FM fans and perfect to listen to.
Well I had to, didn’t I?…
Which football related podcasts do you listen to?