1,015 episodes

The Game is the premier football podcast from The Times, with the finest writers previewing and reviewing all the action throughout the 2023/24 season. Twice a week, Gregor Robertson and Tom Clarke speak to the leading football writers from The Times and The Sunday Times, offering unparalleled analysis of the latest results and commentary on emerging issues. 
On Mondays, Alyson Rudd, Tom Roddy and Tony Cascarino review the weekend's action and on Thursdays Martin Samuel tackles the biggest issues of the week alongside the likes of Jonathan Northcroft and Ian Hawkey.
Subscribe to The Times to enjoy our award-winning sports journalism on your smartphone or tablet. Just search The Times online.

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The Game Football Podcast The Times

    • News
    • 3.7 • 248 Ratings

The Game is the premier football podcast from The Times, with the finest writers previewing and reviewing all the action throughout the 2023/24 season. Twice a week, Gregor Robertson and Tom Clarke speak to the leading football writers from The Times and The Sunday Times, offering unparalleled analysis of the latest results and commentary on emerging issues. 
On Mondays, Alyson Rudd, Tom Roddy and Tony Cascarino review the weekend's action and on Thursdays Martin Samuel tackles the biggest issues of the week alongside the likes of Jonathan Northcroft and Ian Hawkey.
Subscribe to The Times to enjoy our award-winning sports journalism on your smartphone or tablet. Just search The Times online.

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Klopp's kids triumph and dealing with mardy managers

    Klopp's kids triumph and dealing with mardy managers

    Was it Captain Colossus, Klopp’s charisma or just really good academy players that got Liverpool over the line? Alyson Rudd was Nostradamus, highlighting last week the huge impact Virgil Van Dyke has on his Liverpool team. What now for Pochettino and Chelsea, wilting in extra time and still no trophy.
    At Old Trafford the shoots of hope were trampled by a very good Fulham performance. It left some wondering, what the club have to show for the second most expensive signing ever…Anthony. For Crystal Palace, Oliver Glasner has hit the ground running with signs of a blueprint after only two games.
    Finally, its Arsenal looking strong and good luck to George Elokobi and Maidstone.
     
    Timeline:
     
    Cup final
    2’ Liverpool, well deserved win. Chelsea created better chances, but Liverpool had the fight, hunger and drive.
    4’ Tom A felt Chelsea were in the ascendancy, until extra time. Poch’s disappointment was how they played extra time.
    8’ Alyson the prophet, saw the impact VVD has on Liverpool.
    13’ It is precious to have academy players in big games. It strengthens the bond between team and supporters.
    14’ Chelsea had that and they burnt it.
    15’ Liverpool testament to a long term structure and plan.
    “Its not a coincidence that you get a 19yr old at a club like Liverpool who can step in and look like he’s been there for years.”
    19’ Chelsea have wasted their money. Who is not buying into Poch’s culture.
    21’ Too many mistakes and get too introverted to easily.
    22’ a collective malaise, where is it coming from?
     
    Pricky Pep
    24’ doesn’t like journalists, looked bored
    26’ seems to hate doing press.
    28’ The pressure and demands on managers are enormous.
     
    Manchester United
    31’ Ten Hag back under pressure. Result indicative of what’s going on at the club.
    32’ Tom’s visit to Ajax, no one thought Anthony was worth what Man U paid for him.
    33’ Are they going to build off field first then the team? Or on pitch first.
    36’ Hot managerial market this summer. Liverpool, Barca and Bayern all looking.
    37’ Fulham were excellent, they wanted it and were without Paulinha, Jimenez and Willian.
    38’ Muniz stepping up, looked good. Iwobi, really good, cool finish.
     
    Palace
    40’ already there is a blueprint. 3-4-2-1
    41’ Matheaus Franca, looked good, suddenly can see why they signed him.
    43’ great start for Glasner, good record of signings from championship, Wharton another of them. They have good young players.
    44’ free roll of the dice for a mid table club.
     
    Arsenal
    46’ Playing fantastic, front foot football. They’re flying.
    48’ Goals from 19 set pieces and best defence…
    50’ Should Eddie howe be worried, they’re tailing away. Look poor first half.
    51’ Arsenal suffocated them, pressed them to death.
     
    Good luck George!!
    Maidstone take on Coventry City in the FA cup tonight. They’re the lowest ranked team to reach round five in over 40 years.
     

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    • 54 min
    George Elokobi: "We dance one more time."

    George Elokobi: "We dance one more time."

    Ahead of a huge FA Cup tie for Maidstone United, a special edition of The Game.
    Ever wondered how a part time team prepares for a big cup game against a team four leagues above them? Or what it’s like to score your first premier league goal, or get ‘tortured’ by a winger in front of Sir Alex at Old Trafford..? In a bonus edition of The Game Alyson Rudd and producer Neil went to meet Maidstone manager George Elokobi….

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    • 30 min
    "We’re Manchester United and we’re coming to get you." Really…?

    "We’re Manchester United and we’re coming to get you." Really…?

    A quick look at the mid-week fixtures and a bold claim, Arsenal have the best defence, and defences win leagues… City won again and Klopp likened his teams win against Luton to their famous win against Barcelona.
    James Gheerbrandt went to see Tuchel lose out to Xabi Alonso against Leverkusen. A week later he ‘agreed’ to leave Munich, where next and what are the knock-on effects in the managerial merry go round?  
    Tom, Martin, James and Gregor discuss the bold new vision presented by Sir Jim Ratcliffe at Manchester United, is three years optimistic and why no backing for Ten Hag…?
     
    Timeline:
    2’ Arsenal sucker punched by Porto
    3’ Different feel to European games, lots of fouls, grappling.
    5’ Good for the champions league to have such a different feel. Made it tough for Arsenal.
    8’ arsenal looking at not getting to quarters again, do they need to change mindset. 
    11’ Arsenal have the bets defence in the league, and titles are won by defences…
    13’ Klopp has created, built character at Liverpool, that will get you a long way.
     
    Tuchel leaves Munich
    20’ Will Tuchel leaving mean Alonso goes to Munich?
    21’ Tuchel was out manoeuvred by Alonso, he won the tactical battle.
    22’ Weird move by Munich, not good for dressing room.
    24’ If Liverpool want him, they need to get in now and tell him, before Munich do.
     
    Sir Jim Ratcliffe
    33’ He wants Man Utd ‘turned around’ in three years. Three years isn’t very long…can he do it?
    35’ He has a helping hand with Klopp leaving, and city facing FFP investigations
    37’ he was bullish, might regret that. Came close to slagging the glazers off.
    38’ No mention or backing for Ten Hag
    42’ slates being cleared. They’ve had good managers, it’s the system they work in that needs fixing.
    45’ We’re Manchester United and we’re coming to get you.  
    49’ extraordinary that it has taken 11 years for this to happen for Man Utd to have a modern set up.
    51’ everything is about money. Why is it surprising that Newcastle want money for Dan Ashworth…
    54’ On the pitch looks better, but still a long way to go. Gregor still thinks they are miles off.
     

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    • 1 hr
    The title race, Kane's understudy and Lemon Meringue Pie

    The title race, Kane's understudy and Lemon Meringue Pie

    City dropped points, Liverpool picked up more injuries and Arsenal are eleven nil up from their last two games. So where does that leave the title race?
    Which players are irreplaceable on a title run in?
    Crystal Palace look set to make a managerial change, but how have they handled it, with Roy Hodgson still unwell and Oliver Glasner seemingly lined up to replace him.
    Who is best placed to be Harry Kane’s understudy? Gregor Robertson thinks Ollie Watkins is the complete striker. Alyson Rudd thinks Ivan Tony has international class.
    Rasmus Hojlund has turned a corner and is now the youngster player to score in six consecutive premier league games, will it be enough to drag Man Utd into the top four…
     
    Timeline:
     
    Title race
    2’ Across two games Chelsea were really good. Chilwell handled Foden well.
    3’ Best game Disasi has had in a Chelsea shirt.
    4’ Haaland wont’ have many games like that.
    5’ Can’t believe how nice you’re being to Chelsea. They were defensive smart performance from Chelsea
    8’ city’s record against top 6 is a concern. They’re third, behind Arsenal and Chelsea.
    Liverpool
    9’ Virgil Van Dyke, a man with presence. Key to being clam is enjoying the football.
    11’ having an amazing season 
    Arsenal
    15’ Forward line has grown in confidence as the goals have come.
    16’ Liverpool victory was key.
    18’ Burnley and West Ham abysmal. So 11-0 for arsenal has context.
    19’ all done without Zinchenko and Jesus. 
    Injuries
    21’ could have a key part in title race. Each of the big three have key players- Van Dyke, Stones, Rodri, Saliba…will injuries affect the outcome.
    22’ Liverpool have youngster on the side lines already bedded in who can step in.
    Roy Hodgson
    23’ Awful position to have a manager facing the sack whilst also ill in hospital.
    25’ when Hodgson collapsed he still hadn’t been told, but it is an open secret that Glasner is going to get the job.
    28’ Roy shouldn’t be in a position of being angry with the club going behind his back. 29’ they way they are handling this is terrible. And it isn’t the first time.
    Watkins or Tony
    31’ Masterclass from Watkins at the weekend
    32’ His importance to Villa is immense, their top four challenge rests on his shoulders.
    33’ He is profile similar to Kane.
    36’ His stats put him in elite company.
    37’ Watkins is always involved, even if he isn’t flashy. His skill set is very broad.
    40’ Ivan Tony is very unselfish. He has improved Maupay enormously. Makes unselfish runs and links up others players. Very good intuition. He has international class.
    43’ Kane’s understudy…Watkins for Gregor. Wide skill set. But Alyson thinks Tony, he has more arrogance and would step up to international football. Watkins is developing that arrogance.
    Man Utd and Rasmus Hojlund  
    47’ Youngest player to score in 6 premier league games on the spin.
    48’ Led the line brilliantly, looked confident, strong and with a strikers nose.
    51’ Without his goals they had no chance of top four. Now…it looks possible, but not yet likely.
    Bad tackles
    53’ This was Sheff United’s chance to create hope of safety. Holgate blew it inside 20 minutes.
    56’ Tough times for Chris Wilder. He had a big win at Luton and they haven’t backed it up. So momentum has been lost.

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    • 58 min
    Who owns your club? Kane’s trophy hunt, and Man Utd’s big signing

    Who owns your club? Kane’s trophy hunt, and Man Utd’s big signing

    Could Harry Kane really have another trophy-less season? If he does it won’t be for the lack of effort. The England captain has had a brilliant season, is endearing himself to the German fans, but it could still be not quite enough. Man City strolled to another win in the Champions league, are they now at their best?
    How would you feel if your club was part of a multi ownership model, with sister clubs in other countries…it is becoming more and more common, what are the pros and cons?
    Finally the new era at Manchester United looks set to start with the signing of…sporting director Dan Ashworth from Newcastle. Tom, Martin, Jonny and Gregor all agree, its good business.  
    Timeline:
     
    Harry Kane
    2’ Looking like he may not win anything in Germany.
    3’ if he’d stayed at Spurs he’d be unlikely to win anything either.
    6’ Highly likely Munich will win something, if not this season then next.
    7’ we don’t seem to celebrate success in the same way in this country. He couldn’t do anymore, he’s been great.
    11’ Kane endears himself to the supporters.
    18’ He could stay for two or three years, especially if his family are happy.
     
    City
    22’ They look back to their best, so easy.
    23’ John Stones looked accomplished in pivot role. Is he taken for granted?
    26’ Pep had a pop at Grealish.
    28’ Guardiola has earned the right to criticise, he is subtle with it though.
    Multi club ownership
    33’ Girona in Spain, the smallest ground in La Liga, a budget 700million euros less than Madrid, yet they are in a title race. Astonishing.
    36’ If they’re good owners, what does it matter.
    39’ Girona are the exception, many multi ownership models favour the ‘big fish.’
    40’ 8 of top 18 teams in Belgium part of multi club models.
    42’ it depends on the club, some push back and do wish to be part of a large organisation – Strasbourg declined Chelsea.
    48’ It’s a growth industry, 180 clubs world wide now part of multi ownership groups, it was 40 a decade ago.
     
    Man United
    52’ Looks like Dan Ashworth is going to be poached from Newcastle.
    54’ Looks a good positive move from Jim Ratcliffe.
    55’ Ashworth is one of the best in that particular role.
    54’ Ashworth has ushered in a far greater degree of intelligence in the way clubs are run, he did it at West Brom, FA and Brighton.
    56’ Man Utd are the last of the old style football clubs.
     

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    • 1 hr
    Arsenal for the title? Spurs for fourth? But what is Scott McTominay?

    Arsenal for the title? Spurs for fourth? But what is Scott McTominay?

    For fifteen minutes it seemed Arsenal were the complete team, but was that down to West Ham’s passivity? What does the result from the London Stadium mean for both teams - are Arsenal now back in the title race, if they were ever out of it; and for West Ham is a contract for David Moyes more or less likely?
    The result at Spurs was not reflective of an end to end encounter. Brighton refuse to take a backward step and Spurs now have all their players available again.
    After the break, what/who is Scot McTominay? A six, an eight, a ten or a throwback. The team try to figure it out. He helped Utd to a key win. Villa lost, but played well.
    Finally, Gregor went to meet Luton forward Elijah Adebayo but he was an unlucky omen for a great lad. Oh and Alyson is getting excited about Xabi Alonso…
    Timeline:
    West Ham v Arsenal
    4’ Hard for arsenal to win a title with some many London derbies to negotiate. West Ham have a good record against Arsenal.
    6’ Trossard was superb. 15 min spell with four goals. They had everything for that spell. Pace, power, grace, intelligence.
    9’ Arsenal were in control, they made it a technical contest. Last season it felt like it got tense and emotional.
    10’ the asterix is West Ham are all at sea.
    11’ Gregor thought West Ham were passive.
    13’ easy to extrapolate too much from games like this. Just one win.
    16’ West Ham fans might have seen this performance coming. Team set up on the back foot.
    17’ West Ham have some good players, could do something under a more progressive coach. 
    Tottenham v Brighton
    20’ to teams better at pressing than playing out from the back. Repeatedly stealing the ball off each other in the final third.
    21’ It came down to both teams not quite having the quality in the final third, Son made the difference. The quality makes the difference in those fine margins.
    23’ it was all about Son, it felt like he had been away for a year.
    24’ Spurs are looking good, they’ve got all their options back for the first time under Postecoglou
    26’ Spurs need more out wide if they are going to progress to the next level.
    27’ Brighton missing the cutting edge up front. But still doing remarkably well with the resources they have and the type of football they play.
    28’ Brighton - Playing above themselves, brilliant to watch and a clear style of play.
    Scott McTominay and Villa v Utd
    31’ Jack of all trades or will he be a 8 or a 10? Always looked like he would be a destroyer rather than a goal scorer.
    32’ for all his appearances and goals he still won’t be a starter.
    34’ Its not definitive that he can’t start. 
    35’ Any parallels with John McGinn at Villa, not quite a centre mid or a ten?
    36’ Are their good players being phased out who can’t do what the modern creative/pressing era requires.
    38’ This is Utd from last season, grabbing wins they shouldn’t whilst not playing very well. But still amassing the points.
    40’ Villa have had a dip, but yesterday they played well and felt they were unlucky not to win.
    41’ Utd now seem better placed to finish top four than Villa…But spurs look good.
    Luton v Sheff Utd
    43’ Spent a long time at Fulham without playing for the first team. Appreciates where he is now.
    44’ The energy at Luton comes from players who have had to fight to play top level football.
    47’ Sheff Utd were fearless. Didn’t come for a draw. 
    Bundesliga 
    48’ Leverkusen deserved their great win against Munich. Poor Harry Kane looks like he might not win a title.
    50’ some of Leverkusen’s patterns of play were amazing. 
    52’ Alonso is nothing like Klopp, that could be a really good thing. IF he goes to Liverpool.
     

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    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5
248 Ratings

248 Ratings

NorCalStickyIcky ,

Allyson is too smart

I think she just tries to say the most ridiculous thing possible and then tries to use words to back it up. I don’t actually think she believes half of what she says. I really think it’s just a sign of intelligence or at the very least boredom that she does it. But I swear that’s what she does.

BLK_Russian! ,

Football asmr

You can barely hear them and what little you do hear will put you to sleep!

SpartanDE ,

Audio

Get the volume fixed. You’re recording at too low of a level.

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