This is Set Piece Menu - the podcast where four friends talk about football over food. They are together a writer, a commentator, a presenter and a pundit. Rory Smith is the Chief Soccer Correspondent of the New York Times, Steve Wyeth commentates for BT Sport, Hugh Ferris is a presenter at BBC Sport, and Andy Hinchcliffe is a former England international (seven caps) who is now a pundit for Sky Sports. On each episode they discuss one footballing issue, while digesting a delicious lunch or brunch, and almost never reaching any sort of conclusion.
SPM 219: System or Circumstance?
The football: When a coach is so wedded to a system that has brought them success, should they modify it when unforeseen circumstances dictate? Or is the eschewing of a winning philosophy defeat in itself, even if it's the very reason things aren't working out?
The food: We have had another suggestion of where you might be able to send your hard-earned cash, so that others can be sent some much needed food. Thanks to listener Euan Hague for telling us about his food bank in Chicago, about which you can learn more here: https://www.chicagosfoodbank.org/
Send us any suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org, which is also the email address for all correspondence, including any soccer stories you'd like us to tell!
SPM 218: GOATs
The football: Why the obsession with crowning someone as the GOAT? And not even just the GOAT of a particular sport, but an overall GOAT for all sports? Steven is annoyed by the discussion, particularly because it involves Tom Brady; Rory thinks the discussion is pointless; Hugh attempts to have the discussion anyway.
The food: We have had more listener suggestions of local food banks as we continue to ask for you to give generously to those who are struggling to find food right now. Any that mean a lot to you please send to email@example.com
We have been nominated for the Football Supporters Association Podcast of the Year! If you'd like to vote for us, which we recommend you do (even if you prefer the other nominees), head to www.thefsa.org.uk and click on the awards link. You only have until the morning (UK time) of the 22nd February, so GET VOTING!!!
SPM 217: Statistics have growing power, but are we using them responsibly?
The football: We apply the 'Peter Parker Principle' to football statistics, asking if the growing power of data should be wielded in a more responsible way. Can a player's performance be measured by anything other than measurable metrics, and if not, how can there still be room for artistry, and other more intangible, non-data-driven elements of the game?
The food: We are asking for your suggestions of local food banks that you'd like us to mention, as while we're unable to eat together, some are finding it hard to eat at all, and we'd like you to use us to promote a local cause that's doing work you admire. Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
And we have another listener soccer story, so send us yours and we could be reading it out on a future show!
SPM 216: Managers' teams or players' teams?
The football: Why are some teams defined by the success or otherwise of the man who leads them, and why is the story of others told through the prism of their players? Whose fault is it when things go wrong? Who is the chief architect of their triumphs? We discuss if there are managers' teams, and players' teams, and what it says about them.
The food: After an email last week that wondered whether you might like to donate food to those more in need than the four of us during lockdown, a listener has made the first suggestion: a food bank local to Steven and Hugh. If you are so inclined, please head to https://www.justgiving.com/fallowfield-withingtonfoodbank, or please email email@example.com with your own ideas of how to help in these difficult times. Thank you!
SPM 215: The Non-Elite World Cup
The football: Following FIFA's threat to bar from their tournaments all those involved in a potential breakaway European Super League, we imagine those 15 clubs have called FIFA's bluff, and envision a World Cup without their players. Rory's done all the research into who would be left, how that effects their national squad, and together we all try to pronounce their names correctly.
The food: Hugh's assertion that the best chicken samosas ever come from a local deli is confirmed by someone with ties to that very deli. Well, someone who knows someone whose uncle works there. Also, a buffalo makes an interesting suggestion as to how to overcome the fact we haven't eaten in each other's presence for nearly a year...
Emails to firstname.lastname@example.org
SPM 214: What's our current relationship with behind closed doors football?
The football: Now that it's been more than seven months, and an end is not immediately in sight, have we become so accustomed to behind closed doors football that we're not noticing the potential pitfalls anymore? As we enter the second half of the season, when stakes are raised and competitions are decided, will we start to realise the relationship has become a little more comfortable than we'd like, particularly as we're about to experience those seasonal denouements without fans for a second time.
The food: Hugh feels the need to make a public service announcement about the chicken samosas he had at a local deli. Yes, Didsbury has more than one deli, and these are the best samosas he's ever had.
And don't forget to enter the competition to get Andy's name (or some sort of ridiculous derivative) in the next Jack Reacher novel: www.jackreacher.com/winyourname
Customer ReviewsSee All
A must for anyone who has a serious interest in football
An absolutely wonderful podcast that provides an interesting and always engaging insight into football
A real gem
No idea how it took so long to find this amazing podcast. Great listen! Highly recommended
Insightful look at the beautiful game
Massively entertaining pod 200+ episodes of intelligent and witty ramblings about all aspects of football .