In spite of the more positive developments recently, it looks like we’ll all still have to occupy ourselves in lockdown for that little bit longer. With that in mind, we’ve come up a list of the best football related podcasts to keep you occupied. The majority of the podcasts can be found via either Spotify or Apple Podcasts as well as many being available to anyone with a subscription to The Athletic.
Zonal Marking is the perfect podcast for anyone interested in the more tactical side of the game. The relevance and interest of most of the episodes are not constrained by time so it’s worth looking into the back catalogue. Covering everything from the evolution of the tactics of Jurgen Klopp, to even more niche topics, Zonal Marking is an easy and accessible podcast, never over-complicating anything.
Incidentally, it’s recurring guest Michael Cox has also written two books. The first, The Mixer, tells the history of the Premier League from its inauguration in 1992 right up until Antonio Conte’s triumph with Chelsea. It’s a fascinating read and one which brings along with it many wonderful memories of some of the best players and most innovative tacticians the Premier League has seen.
Cox’s second book, also titled Zonal Marking, is a fascinating read as well. Given we’re in the UK, we can sometimes be guilty of being Premier-League centric. Zonal Marking fixes that by documenting the footballing history of Europe’s powerhouse clubs during their era of dominance. Beginning with the Netherlands in the early 1990s, working his way through the intensity of the Pep and Jose rivalry in Spain during the late noughties to English clubs’ more recent successes in Europe, the book is a fascinating take on European football.
Football Ramble was the first football podcast I came across. At that point, it had four hosts – Jim Campbell, Luke Moore, Pete Donaldson and Marcus Speller – who hosted two shows a week. Since then, it has come on leaps and bounds and is now available five days a week and has added a vast array of new hosts including Sky Sports’ Kate Mason and BT’s Jules Breach.
The Ramble as they are so often known is good for anyone wanting to enjoy the funnier side of the game, taking itself less seriously than Roy Keane berating some poor footballer for the tenth week running.
It’s one of the easiest podcasts to pick up and its host changes daily meaning every show is different. It also includes some great play-along games for anyone who fancies themselves at football trivia.
The Totally Scottish Football Show
Say what you like about Scottish football, it’s never short of a story. If it’s not Celtic jetting off to Dubai in the middle of a pandemic, there’s always a bizarre refereeing decision based on a rule that you’re certain has just been made up. The podcast’s greatest strength is its non-Old-Firm centricity, giving every team’s game some analysis regardless of their size or position in the table.
Unlike the Premier League, every waking minute of every game in Scotland doesn’t make its way onto Sky or BT and so it’s a great way to recap the week’s events if you haven’t had a chance to catch the highlights.
That Peter Crouch Podcast
I personally have no interest in speaking to people that don’t like Peter Crouch. The ex-Liverpool and Spurs man hosts his podcast with Chris Stark and Tom Fordyce and, again, is best for anyone looking for something lighter. Interviews with Prince William and Andy Robertson are stand-out episodes for me but there are so many available.
On top of this, the robot-dancing forward has also released two books – How to Be a Footballer and its sequel, I, Robot: How to Be a Footballer 2. Both are filled with so many anecdotes from the striker’s time as a footballer and are some of the easiest reads you’ll find. His first book is also worth a read to discover who he believes every footballer should emulate and, although known as a funny-man, there are a lot of stories from the highest level of football particularly under Rafael Benitez.