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Commonplace Book Football/Soccer

Tightly bonded Leeds United

The boisterous knot of away fans, the intense running patterns, the knot of men in coats on the touchline: there is something collegiate and tightly bonded about Leeds, like watching a brilliantly well-planned travelling stag do unfold before your eyes.

Barney Roney describing Bielsa-ball at the Emirates.

From the match report: Bielsa-ball and Leeds run riot for one half before normal service is resumed.

A Barney Ronay match report on Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds?

I’ll take two please.

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amreading Commonplace Book Football/Soccer

Santi Cazorla, clever gerbil


He’s 5ft 6in tall and weighs 10 stone, a healthy height and weight for a well-developed 13-year-old boy. He remains an amiable, slightly goofy figure, resembling in close-up less a hyper-toned modern athlete, more a very clever gerbil with a pocket watch and a tailcoat who knows how to fly an air balloon and drive an old-fashioned car.

Miracle man Cazorla dances on as last of Spain’s pioneer generation. By Barney Ronay, The Guardian.

A perfect description of Spain’s ageless playmaker.

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Football Pods – The Sumptuous Six

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The modern radio show reigns supreme. Give these six dandies a listen.

Men in Blazers – If Walt Whitman, Lena Dunham and Richard Pryor had two football obsessed lovechilds this would be their podcast. Vulnerable and insightful, U.K. expats Mike Davies and Rog Bennett bring an American perspective on the EPL and a British outlook on MLS, complete with a pair of irresistible accents. Their analysis reveal poetic truths while reminding us why we love football to begin with. And when you hear the pffffsssttt of Guinness cans you know you’re about to enter a football pleasure dome that will massage your eardrums.

Football In Europe – Newest to the bunch. Like a high speed rail, Rob Daly and Chris Parrott will take you on a tight, humor packed tour through Europe’s top leagues. Along the way you may find yourself sharing a cabin car and sipping tea with top football minds Dermot Corrigan and Andy Brassell.

Hand of Pod – Brilliant name. Brilliant show. Hosted each week by the peerless Sam Kelly, Hand of Pod feels like you’re hanging out in Buenos Aires under a dim kitchen light talking football with your friends – if your friends were Argentine football experts. Hand of Pod is a reminder there’s wonderful chaotic football bleeding and breathing outside of Europe.

The Football Ramble – The Sunday League team of football pods. The fabulous 4 of Jim, Pete, Luke, and Marcus, turn the redundant football podcast format into a weekly variety show featuring strange travels to hair islands, provocative questions and highlights of the week. And if M. Speller is feeling spicy you’ll journey north to the Scottish Premiership for some darts and dallies of his beloved Hearts.

The Game – Cerebral.Dignified.Revealing. Gab Marcotti and friends bring both the human and tactical elements of the English Premier League to light. Also, it’s the only pod that includes a qualified referee, a handsome renaissance man and two previous top flight players. Friendly tension drives the show with each guest bringing conviction and thought to the forum. Plus they have the best super sub in all of football podcasts – Max Rushden.

The Spanish Football Podcast – Come for the weekly La Liga analysis and stay for the shit jokes. Sid get-Lowe baby and Big Phil Kitromilides bring you all the La Liga happenings, without things completely turning into a Real Madrid or Barcelona podcast. Take them on a date, and if you enjoy their company buy them a coffee here.

Football Weekly – Podcast godfather (no he really is. Pick up his book Podcast Master) Producer Ben spinning on the ones’ and twos’ provides top production value for each week’s lineup of world eleven football writers. Legends like Horncastle, A.C. Jimbo and Glendenning grace the mike, waxing you with football knowledge and making even the worst Mondays bearable.

There’s plenty of footie pods to devour each week. More than you likely have time for. But whether you’re walking the dogs or groping a metal tube pole on the way home from work any of these six podcasts will make life a joy, for 45 minutes or so.