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The Times




Bale and Man City – struggling to be loved

Gab Marcotti and Natalie Sawyer are joined by Matt Dickinson and Alan Smith after a historic weekend in English football. Manchester City equal the biggest FA Cup final win ever with a 6-0 victory over Watford at Wembley, becoming the first English men’s team to complete the domestic treble. But Pep Guardiola is forced to answer some difficult questions about finances while certain fans feel City aren’t getting the credit they deserve. Will City ever truly be embraced, even with the...


Gracia, Griezmann and Lampard’s young Rams

Less football but no fewer football talking points for Gab Marcotti, Natalie Sawyer, Oli Kay and Bill Edgar to pore over. Manchester City look to complete the domestic treble with an FA Cup final win as we examine the historical significance of that feat. Are they the greatest team we’ve ever seen. Or are Watford, and manager Javi Gracia, better equipped to upset City than many think? Both Guardiola and Gracia will be joined in the Premier League by another up and coming English...


Phenomenal Liverpool more limited than Manchester City

The most relentless title race in Premier League history is over. Natalie Sawyer and Gab Marcotti are joined by Paul Hirst and James Gheerbrant to determine where the trophy was won. Manchester City become the first team in a decade to retain the Premier League title, sealing the championship on the final day. Have Liverpool done well to keep the gap to just a point? Do Liverpool have a more limited squad than City? Do City create more chances? And for Jurgen Klopp, how do you possibly...


A night to remember for Spurs and who will claim top spot on Sunday?

On this episode, Natalie Sawyer and Gab Marcotti are lucky to be joined in the studio by Alan Smith, and down the line Henry Winter gives his take on past performances and the big challenges to come with the final day of the premier league season approaching. A night to remember for Spurs with the comeback of all comebacks, making an all English Champions League final! What a weekend it promises to be: the final chapter in a title race that has driven Manchester City and Liverpool on to an...


Arsenal’s big rebuild and a plea to see the real Tottenham

A big weekend in the Premier League and a big week to come in the Champions League. Natalie Sawyer and Gab Marcotti are joined by Alyson Rudd and Oli Kay to discuss it all. Arsenal’s top 4 hopes are over after drawing at home to Brighton. How big a rebuild do Unai Emery and the Arsenal hierarchy have on their hands? The Gunners do have the second chance of a potential Europa League final on their hands. But Manchester United definitely won’t be in the Champions League next season after...


Celestial Messi as Rafa awaits the Reds

After an enthralling midweek of Champions League semi-finals, Natalie Sawyer and Gab Marcotti are joined by Henry Winter, George Caulkin and Bill Edgar to break it all down. Liverpool play well and lose 3-0 at the Nou Camp, as Barcelona are inspired by Messi magic, inspiring Bill to get lost in Messi stats. How will we judge this Liverpool season if they end up without a trophy? Standing in their way in the Premier League title race this Saturday is their old manager Rafa Benitez. To what...


Bielsa back in the good books while Spurs squad enter breaking point

Natalie Sawyer and Gab Marcotti are joined by James Gheerbrant and Paul Hirst after a weekend of unique talking points in the world of football. Manchester City clear another hurdle in the title race. With Pep Guardiola’s men now having taken 192 points in almost 2 seasons in the Premier League, can we expect this trend to continue. And is Burnley’s style of play inhibiting Sean Dyche’s chances of employment at a bigger club? Natalie was at Leeds to witness extraordinary scenes at...


Pogba’s PFA puzzler and the underwhelming race for 4th

Natalie Sawyer and Gab Marcotti are joined by Oli Kay and Alan Smith after a big midweek in the Premier League. Manchester City played their game in hand at Old Trafford and ran out 2-0 winners in the Manchester derby. Was that their biggest hurdle to clear in the title race? Or will Burnley and their anti-football provide sterner opposition? Paul Pogba is named in the PFA Team of the Year which has incensed many. Do players take the nominations seriously enough or do they just look...


Will disgraceful United rally for the Manchester derby?

Natalie Sawyer is joined by Alan Smith, Gary Jacob and Paul Hirst after a seismic Easter weekend. Manchester United are embarrassed and humiliated, losing 4-0 to Everton at Goodison Park. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wasn’t sure if all of his players care enough. We discuss who he might be talking about and look ahead to the Manchester derby on Wednesday. Will United respond, damaging City’s title hopes, helping Liverpool in the process? The race for the top 4 seems to be a race nobody wants to...


Poch reaches new heights as De Gea reaches crossroads

It was a momentous midweek of Champions League football. Natalie Sawyer and Gab Marcotti are joined by Paul Hirst and Alan Smith to pore through it all. Tottenham reach their first ever Champions League semi-final, after progressing past Manchester City on away goals in one of the craziest games in the history of football. How will this affect the Premier League title race? Did VAR make the right decisions? And now that Mauricio Pochettino has scaled new heights, can he outcoach Ajax’s...


Is this title race good for the Premier League?

Natalie Sawyer and Gab Marcotti are joined by Matt Dickinson and Bill Edgar after another Premier League weekend where the top two were victorious. We look at the run-ins of Liverpool and Manchester City for any potential slip-ups. Will Rafa Benitez have something to say about the destination of the title? With City and Liverpool continuing to rack up the points, is this title race good for the Premier League or does it show the disparity between the haves and the have-nots? Ahead of the...


Stage set for Hazard as Liverpool face title race demons

Natalie Sawyer and Gab Marcotti are joined by Oli Kay and special guest, Belgian football journalist Kristof Terreur. Liverpool host Chelsea and the ghosts of their last title race with Manchester City and the damage that Blues did to them 5 years ago. How different is this Liverpool team? How much damage will Eden Hazard do to the Reds and will he be at Stamford Bridge next season? It was a bad week in the Champions League for the Manchester clubs? Despite the phenomenal efforts of Scott...


Will Pep get funky and outfox himself?

Natalie Sawyer is back alongside Gab Marcotti, James Gheerbrant and Alan Smith after an epic semi-final and ahead of some intriguing quarter-finals. As Tottenham get ready to host Manchester City in the Champions League, will Poch and Pep throw each other some tactical curveballs? And is Pep about to be too clever for his own good again? Liverpool face Porto while Ajax take on Juventus. It’s Manchester United against Barcelona in the other quarter-final but should we expect a cagey...


The substance of Sterling and Warnock on the warpath

Gab Marcotti is joined by Henry Winter, Alyson Rudd and Alan Smith to wade through some big issues and talking points in the world of football. Manchester City’s quadruple hopes look stronger than ever as they return to the top of the Premier League. What is Pep Guardiola doing for the club’s image on the world stage? Plus the panel get stuck into the Raheem Sterling-Leonardo Bonucci-Moise Kean racism debate. After condemnation of Cardiff manager Neil Warnock’s criticism of Premier...


Sarri not helping himself as Liverpool & United get lucky

After a Sunday full of drama and controversy, Gab Marcotti is joined by Paul Joyce, James Gheerbrant and Bill Edgar to discuss the major talking points in the Premier League. Liverpool return to the top of the table with a last-gasp victory over Spurs at Anfield. How much of a role is luck playing in this title race? Could the defining moment of Liverpool’s season not involve Lloris and Alderweireld but in fact Van Dijk and Sissoko? And what about Tottenham, who are finding different ways...


Is Solskjaer the new Dalglish?

Premier League football is back, as are Gab Marcotti, Alyson Rudd, James Gheerbrant and Paul Joyce for The Game podcast. And the big breaking news on Thursday morning is that Manchester United appoint Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as their permanent manager on a 3 year contract as Ed Woodward votes for Sunday roast. Is he the right appointment? Is this the right time? Can he be his own man? Liverpool take on Tottenham on Sunday as the title race resumes. How will the Reds handle the pressure? And...


What’s the story Gab and Rory?

In a special episode, Gab Marcotti welcomes back Rory Smith to The Game podcast, as they pore through some of the biggest issues in football today. While Manchester United look to be filling their managerial vacancy with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, are they in danger of neglecting their structural failings as a club? VAR will be in the Premier League next season but is it battling against a narrative of heroes and villains, the laws of the game and an attitude towards officials that is too...


Declan Rice and the curious case of Callum Hudson-Odoi

Natalie Sawyer and Gab Marcotti are joined by Bill Edgar and George Caulkin to discuss the start of the Euro 2020 qualifiers. England face the Czech Republic on Friday night as they get their campaign underway, but where does newly qualified Declan Rice fit into Gareth Southgate's setup? What will Southgate's setup be? And how did Callum Hudson-Odoi get into the squad despite not starting a league match ever? As we grapple with those questions, Newcastle constantly grapple with Rafa...


Will 48 teams dilute the quality of the World Cup?

Natalie Sawyer and Gab Marcotti are joined by Alyson Rudd and Paul Hirst to dissect club football before the last international break of the season. Wolves knock out Manchester United to progress to the FA Cup semi-finals. How does Nuno do it? Can we call it a shock? Do United need this break more than anyone? And have neighbours City been getting the luck of the draw this season? Liverpool are back on top of the Premier League. Did the win at Fulham show that the Reds are nervous or...


Mane among the elite & Dier on Brexit

With 4 English teams making it through to the last 8 of the Champions League, Gab Marcotti, Natalie Sawyer, James Gheerbrant and Oli Kay run the rule over the contenders for Europe’s top title. After Liverpool’s comfortable win in Munich, there’s praise for the maturity of the Reds as well as the Mane man who has kept them on track in the last few months. We can’t rule out Barca or Juve but could Man City become dependent on Phil Foden before they know it? We look ahead to a...