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Solskjaer’s startling start. Plus is spying part of sport?

Natalie Sawyer and Gab Marcotti are back with Alyson Rudd and Paul Hirst in tow to talk the major issues of the weekend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s perfect start as Manchester United manager continues, with victory over Tottenham, as he becomes the first United manager to win his first 6 games in charge. Is Solskjaer more than a just a man who puts smiles on faces and did Wembley showcase his tactical acumen as a coach? From a Tottenham standpoint, with no Son and potentially no Kane, where does...


Arsenal can’t retain Ramsey as Solskjaer pumps up Pogba

Gab Marcotti and Natalie Sawyer are joined by James Gheerbrant and Oli Kay ahead of a big Premier League weekend and following a footballing week that provided plenty of talking points on and off the pitch. Tottenham host Manchester United on Sunday. With the Red Devils rampant under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the panel discuss how the Norwegian has built his team around Paul Pogba. And with a further delay on their new stadium, should Spurs be allowed to stay at Wembley for the rest of the...


Respecting the right to rotate in the FA Cup

Gab Marcotti and Natalie Sawyer are reunited in the studio and are joined by Matt Dickinson and James Gheerbrant after FA Cup 3rd round weekend. Newport knock out Leicester in the most magical moment of the weekend but why do Premier League clubs, particularly those in mid-table, insist on resting star players when there’s a trophy up for grabs? Should we respect a coach’s right to manage their squad? Should these clubs be more honest with the supporters about what their ambitions...


Klopp still a winner as City fight for their title

Natalie Sawyer brings you The Game podcast slightly later than usual – to take in the biggest game of the season so far with Henry Winter, Alyson Rudd and Alan Smith. Champions Manchester City inflict a first Premier League defeat of the season on league leaders Liverpool at the Etihad, closing the gap at the top to 4 points. Does Jurgen Klopp take encouragement from the level of performance it took from City to beat them? Pep Guardiola’s men show their guts and intensity, a...


The Game changes the game

For the final podcast of 2018, Gab Marcotti and Natalie Sawyer bring you a one-off special, as the great writers at The Times give us their ideas for changing the game of football forever. What measures and rule changes would we bring in to improve the sport we love? Full-time buzzers? Physios in play? The ball never out of play? Hear from Henry Winter, Alyson Rudd, Oli Kay and many more. Also on the agenda, VAR, the Super League…and mascots.


Liverpool yet to peak as Burnley suffer identity crisis

After a Boxing Day full of goals and surprises, Natalie Sawyer is back alongside Alyson Rudd, Alan Smith and Paul Hirst to digest it all. Manchester City had lost 2 out of 61 Premier League games and have now lost 3 of their last 4 after defeat to Leicester at the King Power Stadium. Are they simply missing the fatherly Fernandinho? And with Liverpool now 7 points clear of the champions, are the Reds only set to improve under Jurgen Klopp? As for the Foxes, it’s been an incredible...


Piling praise on Palace plus Tottenham’s troubling transfer window

It’s Christmas Eve but Natalie Sawyer and Gab Marcotti are hard at work bringing you The Game podcast from The Times with Henry Winter and Gary Jacob. It’s time to critique an incredible Crystal Palace performance at the Etihad as they beat the champions Manchester City. It’s a result that sends Liverpool 4 points clear at the top of the table but Henry Winter is quick to highlight the humility of Jurgen Klopp’s squad. Including perhaps the most important player in the league, Virgil Van...


The Game meets Martin Tyler

In a special episode, Alyson Rudd sits down at Sky Sports with the voice of football - Martin Tyler. We talk about Martin's days as a non-league striker at Wealdstone, his beginnings in broadcasting and the mechanics and workings of his commentary career. Whether he's stressed in Seville or lauding Rickie Lambert, this is the story of an iconic figure within the game we love as we discuss what makes Tyler tick.


Solskjaer suited to managing Manchester United

Gab Marcotti and Natalie Sawyer are joined by Alyson Rudd, Oliver Kay and James Gheerbrant to discuss the biggest football story of the season, that being the sacking of Jose Mourinho as Manchester United manager. In the eyes of the panel, there’s no conspiracy theory here. Mourinho was given money and support and didn’t deliver the major silverware the club expected. How much damage has been done to his reputation? Where now for one of the game’s most decorated managers? Has the modern...


United need to be working on Mourinho’s replacement now

Natalie Sawyer and Gab Marcotti are in the company of Oliver Kay and Matt Hughes, the morning after Liverpool sweep aside Manchester United at Anfield. Even if United persist with Jose Mourinho until the end of the season, the panel agree that United need to be putting the groundwork in right now to secure his summer replacement. As for Liverpool, they remain unbeaten and top of the league. Does Klopp get enough credit for the work he’s done with the squad? Southampton feel the...


Liverpool in control and Rafa in need of relief

Natalie Sawyer and Gab Marcotti are joined by George Caulkin, Paul Joyce and Bill Edgar ahead of another seismic Saturday and Sunday in the Premier League. League leaders Liverpool host Manchester United at Anfield, with Jurgen Klopp’s men embracing control over chaos this season. Klopp appears to have cracked it when it comes to the goalkeeper, defence and attack. But will the rotation in midfield be what costs the Reds this season. And as Mourinho renews old rivalries on Merseyside, would...


Brave Sterling’s done football a favour

Natalie Sawyer is joined by Alyson Rudd, Henry Winter and Matthew Syed to discuss a weighty issue in the world of football. Raheem Sterling was allegedly the victim of racist abuse during Manchester City’s defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. On Sunday, Sterling took to social media and said that newspapers fuel racism when it comes to young black players. The panel discuss whether incidents like the one at Stamford Bridge stem from sub-consciously negative coverage of young...


No Fred for United and no striker for City?

Gab Marcotti and Natalie Sawyer are joined by Paul Hirst and Bill Edgar to discuss the headlines in the world of football. Arsenal make it 20 games unbeaten as they draw 2-2 at Old Trafford. We discuss Manchester United’s tactical approach. They lump it and the panel don’t like it. Plus with the fourth most expensive signing in United ‘s history – Fred – yet again not even making the bench, does this demonstrate Mourinho’s lack of faith in their transfer policy? The big game of the Premier...


Micro-manager Emery and the incompatible Pogba and Mourinho

What a weekend in the Premier League and with a full set of midweek fixtures to come, Natalie Sawyer and Gab Marcotti are joined by Oliver Kay and Bill Edgar to digest all the action. The panel praise Unai Emery for his role in Arsenal’s North London derby win over Tottenham and the improvement in the players he has inherited. But was Pochettino too passive? And is something brewing between Emery and the absent Mesut Ozil? Liverpool managed to stay 2 points behind Manchester City in the...


More Mourinho melodrama & the Merseyside midfield matchup

Gab Marcotti and Natalie Sawyer are joined by Henry Winter and Gary Jacob ahead of a huge weekend of Premier League action. Tottenham have beaten Chelsea and Inter Milan this week and the panel praise Pochettino for not playing the percentages. Next up is the North London derby. The battle between Ozil and Eriksen could be crucial but how much longer will those players be at their respective clubs? Looking ahead to the Merseyside derby, and with Liverpool losing away in the Champions...


Pochettino proving priceless plus how good are PSG?

After a big weekend in the Premier League, it’s an even bigger week to come in the Champions League. Gab Marcotti and Natalie Sawyer are joined by Alyson Rudd and Matt Dickinson. Tottenham’s dismantling of Chelsea leads to another chapter in the Kante/Jorginho debate. Gab sticks up for Sarri as the panel heap praise on Spurs and their manager, ahead of the make or break clash with the Spursiest team in Serie A – Inter Milan. Meanwhile Alyson sticks up for Salah as Liverpool warm up for...


Sparky losing his spark and the Republic of Ireland reshuffle

The Premier League is back and so are Natalie Sawyer and Gab Marcotti, aided admirably by Bill Edgar and George Caulkin. It’s a big weekend at the bottom with Ranieri taking charge of Fulham for the first time against fellow strugglers Southampton. Can Claudio cook up some chemistry? What will he do with Seri and Sessegnon? And are we about to witness the end of Mark Hughes’s managerial career in the Premier League? We have witnessed the end of Martin O’Neill’s tenure as Republic of...


The Southgate and Scudamore success stories

Gab Marcotti is joined by Matt Dickinson and Matt Hughes in the aftermath of England’s progression to the Nations League finals after victory over Croatia. Iceland feels like a long time ago. In the best Wembley atmosphere since Springsteen, Gareth Southgate continues to find answers to questions as England manager, including proving his tactical flexibility and showing the squad does have strength in depth. We show some love to Southgate and to Fabian Delph. Following the backlash to...


Torreira, Patricio & Fraser – the stars of the season so far

It’s not quite awards season but with a third of the Premier League season gone, Natalie Sawyer and Gab Marcotti are joined by Gregor Robertson and Matt Furniss from Opta to review the best and worst performers of the campaign so far. There’s plenty of love for Wolves while we also try to determine what went wrong for Jokanovic at Fulham. It’s been a better season than you think for Hugo Lloris as we look back at the best goalkeepers. Howe and Pochettino are up there with the best...


Sancho, Silva and United’s waste of money

Gab Marcotti and Natalie Sawyer are joined by Alyson Rudd and Oliver Kay after a massive Manchester derby. Events at the Etihad throw up a number of questions. Is Jose Mourinho getting the best out of this United squad? How have they spent so much to look so average? And despite a slender lead at the top of the table, is it inevitable that City will retain the title? After another virtuoso display from David Silva, we ask is he the player of this Premier League season so far? Or are...