235 episodes

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.

The Athletic Football Tactics Podcast The Athletic

    • Sport
    • 4.6 • 33 Ratings

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.

    Why were there so many goals this season?

    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
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    • 45 min
    Alternative Team of the Season 2023/24

    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
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    • 43 min
    Champions League semi final review and final preview

    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
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    • 53 min
    How well set up are Liverpool for life after Klopp?

    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

    • 42 min
    What's the most competitive league in Europe?

    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

    • 51 min
    Champions League review & how Leverkusen won the Bundesliga

    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

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
33 Ratings

33 Ratings

Butter### ,

Great podcast, brings something different

A really entertaining listen where people talk intelligently about football, make the conversation interesting and might make you see a team / players differently

If you are bored of the ‘typical’ football podcast which tend to lean on cliches or say the same thing as everyone else (following the narrative), give this a listen!

Nathan_robbo ,

Love of data 🤝🏻 Love of football

I love hearing you guys talk. Your passion for data, football and communicating your findings really comes through. Naturally I gravitate towards the teams and leagues I am interested in but even when I am willing to stretch to unfamiliar topics, I find myself getting rewarded and come away from episodes with a better knowledge of the game.

One minor gripe I do have though is that whoever is mixing the audio needs to turn on - or dial up - the compression. This will help with minimising the peaks but especially the troughs in audio levels. Even with volume on max, if there is any background noise and one of the hosts talk quietly, there is a chance I will have missed what they said. The difference in audio levels is evident when the show cuts to ads and they are way louder.

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