Old Futbol Buffet–Summer Listening

This summer has been super busy for me and for Forza Football and Beyond the Pitch.  Both sites keep the pods this coming with some great guests and topics. 

Anto had Pablo Miralles on the Beyond the Pitch podcast to talk about the new film Gringos at the Gate, which examines the US/Mexico soccer rivalry. They had a fascinating conversation and I hope to catch the documentary as it makes its way across America. You can get more info, including how to order the DVD, at film’s website.

Sid Lowe was on Beyond the Pitch after the Group Stage to look at Spain’s progress in the midst of the boring, boring argument. Doctor Sid put Spain’s success context, noting the luck and close calls they have had during this run. As for the 2012 version, he mentioned the absence of Villa, plus the use of 2 holding midfielders as opposed to just Senna in 2008. Finally, he stressed that Spain are trying to control matches and even best teams are parking the bus against them. They also touched on a couple of La Liga topics, including the Spanish football economics, Malaga and Villarreal.

The second version of Soccernomics was released and Forza Futbol had the authors on to discuss the book and issues in the world of soccer.

Simon Kuper gave his thoughts on the recent European Championships before moving on the use of data in the game, noting that there is plenty of data but the key is in how it is analyzed and how it is used in practice (ie LFC getting wingers and Carroll but using a low percentage strategy to score). Kuper was also surprised that the English contract continues to grow. Finally he noted that US TV ratings increase month after month, year after year, tournament after tournament.

Professor Stefan Szymanski covered a wide range of topics including the role of the manager, data analysis in modern football, Financial Fair Play and soccer in the US. He had some interesting suggestions in terms of how to solve the penalty shootout. Very informative.

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