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, Steven Wyeth commentates for BT Sport and the BBC's Match Of The Day, 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 275: Last Night In Soho
The football: It's our last show, live in London (slightly edited for content like movies on ITV in the 1990s, but still self-indulgently long). We're joined by Nedum Onuoha and an audience of well-wishers to send you off into a future without SPM. There are multiple middle class heckles, some essential beepings out of inappropriate words, and by the end even the odd something in the eye as we say goodbye after five and half years of podding.
To you all, wherever you are, and to whichever level you let us into your lives, thank you. It was about football, of course, but it was also all of us sitting around a virtual lunch or brunch table to have a chat, quite often about nonsense. We will miss you, and if you'd like, we're still available on email@example.com, and @setpiecemenu. On the latter, there will be stuff for you to have fun with even in the absence of our audio form.
Hopefully we'll find a similarly self-regarding way to speak to you again in the future. But until then, there'll be a little hole for you to fill in your podcast schedule.
Rory, Steven, Andy and Hugh.
SPM 274: Is the landscape of the women's game shifting?
***Nedum Onuoha will be our guest at the live show in London! He's joining us for our final episode on July 20th. Get your tickets here: https://myticket.co.uk/gigs/set-piece-menu-live-london-2021-12-16-19-00***
The football: With the emergence of European clubs and the nations a lot of their players serve, is the dominance of the US Women's National Team under threat, and what will Euro 2022 tell us about how next year's World Cup might go?
SPM 273: The Ajax Exodus
The football: At time of recording, three players key to Ajax's recent success had already left during this transfer window, with potentially at least another three heading out (maybe all to Manchester United) before it's over. Rory is annoyed about the financial and demographic realities that has led to another exodus, and wants to tell us why. Steven prepares a whole string orchestra's worth of tiny violins...
LIVE SHOW TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE!!! Head to https://myticket.co.uk/gigs/set-piece-menu-live-london-2021-12-16-19-00 to join us on 20th July at 21 Soho in London
SPM 272: Soccer Story Memory Lane
The football: Some Set Piece Menu nostalgia. You miss Andy Hinchcliffe, we do too. So in response to requests to revisit some of his stand out 'Soccer Story' moments, Hugh, Rory and Steven introduce a trip down memory lane. Whether it was crustaceans in the bath at Bellfield, Mrs Big Ron's platter of Kit-Kats or the injury that finally ended an entirely sufficient career, Chinch never failed us when a tale from his playing days with all adult behaviour and libel-worthy details removed was required.
SPM 271: EA v FIFA (plus a BIG announcement)
The football: 2022 has brought about a notable conscious uncoupling. After 30 beautiful and productive years together the video game partnership between EA Sports and FIFA is ending. How did this happen, why does it matter and whose future looks brighter: the gaming behemoth or the owner of 'the brand'?
Plus, a not inconsiderable announcement that we think will make a ticket to SPM Live in London on 20th July even more valuable... https://myticket.co.uk/artists/set-piece-menu-live
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter: @setpiecemenu
SPM 270: Nedum Onuoha
The football: Did Hugh say he'd written a book? Well just in case you missed it, he takes the opportunity of Rory and Steven being distracted by a combination of covid and foreign travel (not both at the same time) to chat with the subject of said book. Nedum Onuoha is a former Manchester City, QPR and Real Salt Lake footballer with a tale to tell about his career and those with whom he shared it, but Kicking Back is about so much more. This conversation focuses on the so much more.
So now we have TWO plugs:
The book is out in the UK, and can be bought here (and elsewhere): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kicking-Back-Nedum-Onuoha/dp/1785907476/ref=sr_1_1?crid=19PYI2J78MI62&keywords=nedum+onuoha+book&qid=1653580026&sprefix=nedum%2Caps%2C107&sr=8-1
And tickets for our live show on the 20th July in London are here: https://myticket.co.uk/gigs/set-piece-menu-live-london-2021-12-16-19-00
Late comer but 100% addicted
Having heard Rory and enjoyed his views on the MNC I sought out some more of his work. I found this a few months back and after listening to a few back episodes but mainly the new episode each week I decided to start from the start. I can’t stop listening, I just dread the day I catch up and have to wait to listen to the next one. I really enjoy each of the panels contribution and it’s actually refreshing to hear 4 men talk about their lives as well as the topic at hand.
Ever increasing tedium
Used to be a really intelligent and insightful show. Since losing Chinch it has really slipped - unusually for an ex footballer, he was the down to earth voice of reason.
Steven manages to spend a huge amount of time talking to basically say nothing at all. Rory is increasing narcissistic and pontificating. A lot of words said for the sake of it.
The latest instalment talking pointlessly about Ajax’ place in the football economy warranted about ten minutes of discussion, not an hour. You could replace the word Ajax with 98% of football clubs and it’s the same story. Almost as if they’re looking for news where it doesn’t exists (they are journalists I suppose)
Fell in same trap as many others who believe they’re comedic personalities (no you aren’t) so drop jack reacher nonsense and play to your strengths.
Listen to the back catalogue. I can see why they are calling it a day - at least there’s self awareness.
Different and Great
As they would say themselves, a fab mix of thoughtful, nuanced debate and gentle humour. Attempts to change the timbre of the furious anger stirred up by (somewhat ironically) Sky and others. Really good!