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The Game Football Podcast

How to become an elite coach and Pep's excuses

Martin Samuel, Jonny Northcroft and Gregor Robertson join Tom Clarke on Thursday’s edition of The Game.

Manchester City lost for the first time at Newcastle, but did Pep Guardiola give his players an excuse for the loss before the game even started. Plus some confidence boosting wins for some big teams.

In the second part of the show a fascinating insight into what it takes to be an elite coach – the methods, dedication and psyche needed to succeed. Jonny Northcroft met Anthony Barry, once a lower league English footballer now coaching Ronaldo. 

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  • Euros preview 2: Germany awaits and Southgate's future

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

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

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

    Is this Madrid team the greatest ever in club football? After winning their fifteenth European cup could you argue they have three of the best five players in the world. With them also set to sign Kylian Mbappe can any team get close to them?Jose Mourinho is back, this time at Turkish side Fenerbahçe…will it be a marriage made in heaven or a tempestuous affair?  Gregor Robertson, Tom Allnutt and Tony Cascarino discuss who goes to Germany and who goes home from the initial England squad.
  • Are all modern managers the same?

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

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

    Two minutes in and player of the season Phil Foden puts City one up. Title race over. Great player, great team. Tom Clarke, Alyson Rudd, Tony Cascarino and Gregor Robertson consider why City are so good, how other teams can compete and if Foden and Bellingham can play together for England.After a very good season, where do Arsenal go next, a striker, a left back…? Gregor is off to watch the championship play off final, often a cagey affair; will Leeds Southampton buck the trend? After the break a thorough look at some big impending managerial changes. De Zerbi leaves Brighton, could he end up at Man Utd or will Ten Hag be given more time. Poch appears very unsure of his future at Chelsea and how will Slot compare to Klopp…? We’re having a break on Thursday. We’ll be back on Monday to review the FA cup final and play off final.
  • Is it ever ok not to support your team?

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

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