48 episodes

The Athletic’s Michael Cox, Tom Worville & Ali Maxwell break down the tactical & technical details of football past & present, focusing on a single subject each episode with the help of expert guests.

Zonal Marking - A show about football tactics The Athletic

    • Soccer
    • 4.7 • 100 Ratings

The Athletic’s Michael Cox, Tom Worville & Ali Maxwell break down the tactical & technical details of football past & present, focusing on a single subject each episode with the help of expert guests.

    How to survive your first season in the Premier League?

    How to survive your first season in the Premier League?

    The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join Ali Maxwell to debate the various 'do's and dont's' for a maiden season in the top flight of English football... 
    Is it better to sack or stick with the manager who brought you up? Discard the playing style and sure things up at the back? Splash the cash in the market or trust in the players who won so many games last year? The Zonal Marking team delve into the Premier League archives to find out...
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    • 48 min
    Bad Stats - where we are all getting it wrong when talking about football

    Bad Stats - where we are all getting it wrong when talking about football

    The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join Ali Maxwell to get a few things off their chests about the use of statistics in the general conversation around football.
    Do assists really tell us anything about creativity? Why do we harp on about manager win percentages? Does it really matter that Team A haven't won at Team B's ground for 27 years? And don't get us started on pass completion percentage.
    All these and loads more sloppy statistics are picked apart, but it's not just one big moan-fest as the guys also provide some suggestions as to how we can be smarter with the data in the future.
    Subscribe to The Athletic for access to Michael Cox and Tom Worville's unrivalled analysis of football from all manner of tactical and data-driven perspectives - head to theathletic.com/zonalmarking to sign up for just £1-a-month
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    • 45 min
    How does Guardiola get Man City back on top?

    How does Guardiola get Man City back on top?

    The Athletic's Michael Cox and Sam Lee join Ali Maxwell to look at Manchester City's start to the season and assess the ways Pep Guardiola's side have changed their tactical approach since they last won the title.
    Why did they come up so short so often last season? What went wrong in the Champions League? Are there early signs of the same problems being an issue this season? Have we underestimated the loss of Leroy Sane and David Silva? Are we too quick to pounce on Pep at the first sign of anything going wrong?
    Sign up to The Athletic for access to Michael Cox's brilliant tactics pieces and Sam Lee's unrivalled Man City coverage - head to theathletic.com/zonalmarking to subscribe for just £1-a-month
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    • 52 min
    Why have there been so many goals in the Premier League this season?

    Why have there been so many goals in the Premier League this season?

    The Athletic's Michael Cox joins Ali Maxwell to assess what has been a goal-tastic start to the season in the Premier League as we head into the international break.

    They look at the numbers and the tactics to try and understand why there have been so many goals, high-scoring games and a distinct lack of 0-0 draws in the opening weeks of the season.

    Sign up to The Athletic now for just £1-a-month and get access to Michael Cox's unrivalled tactical analysis of the Premier League, Champions League and beyond. Just head to theathletic.com/zonalmarking
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    • 32 min
    AC Milan: the history and reawakening of a sleeping giant

    AC Milan: the history and reawakening of a sleeping giant

    The Athletic's Michael Cox and James Horncastle join Ali Maxwell for an in-depth look at one of the most iconic clubs in world football: AC Milan.
    Taking the lead from James recent behind-the-scenes piece on the club we cast our eye back through the history books to examine the great sides and coaches that built the legend, before examining the past decade of disappointment, and finally looking at whether the present day set-up is poised to bring restore the Rossoneri to its former glory as they prepare to move away from the famous San Siro.
    Subscribe to The Athletic to read James Horncastle's deep dive into AC Milan and his unrivalled coverage of Serie A just head to theathletic.com/zonalmarking to sign up for just £1-a-month

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    • 44 min
    Every Premier League squad profiled

    Every Premier League squad profiled

    The Athletic's Michael Cox and Tom Worville join Ali Maxwell to profile every Premier League squad by average age, depth of quality and numerous other quirks along the way.
    Who is well-stocked across the pitch? Who are the unsung players who could have good seasons? Who could yet dip into the market for a bit more depth? All this and more answered in this week's ZM pod. 
    Subscribe to The Athletic for access to Michael Cox and Tom Worville's unrivalled tactical & technical analysis including the piece this pod was based on: 
    https://theathletic.com/2059611/2020/09/12/leeds-are-youngest-burnley-the-oldest-every-premier-league-squads-age-profile/
    Head to theathletic.com/zonalmarking to sign up for just £1 a month



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    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
100 Ratings

100 Ratings

Joseph M S ,

10/10

I’ve followed Michael’s writing from the old zonal marking blog days, and my opinion of him has not changed one bit: simply the best pundit out there when it comes to talking tactics and breaking down team shapes and manager ideas. Whether it’s on this podcast, in print, or on twitter, it simply doesn’t matter; Michael is the tactics Don and a weekly podcast to boot is heavenly for every follower of the beautiful game. Whether you are a casual fan, someone newly introduced to the game, or a battle hardened supporter, this podcast is top tier. Can not recommend enough..

april 27 is quarimtine ,

Love it

Easy to follow but not dull

Coach Sarah Brady ,

Fun, Fresh & Approachable

A fun, fresh & approachable look at football tactics.

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