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This Football Life

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Welcome to This Football Life, the show that gives you intimate, in-depth interviews with football's most interesting players, coaches, backroom staff and executives. Walk a mile in their shoes and see the game through their eyes.

Welcome to This Football Life, the show that gives you intimate, in-depth interviews with football's most interesting players, coaches, backroom staff and executives. Walk a mile in their shoes and see the game through their eyes.
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Welcome to This Football Life, the show that gives you intimate, in-depth interviews with football's most interesting players, coaches, backroom staff and executives. Walk a mile in their shoes and see the game through their eyes.




Michael Duberry: From Comic to Captain + The Difficult Decision that Destroyed a Friendship

Timeline: 4:45 Pranks at Leeds 17:00 Glenn Hoddle's influence on him 29:43 The trial with Jonathan Woodgate and Lee Bowyer 41:57 Captaining Stoke and Leadership 49:45 Choosing business coaching instead of football coaching Today my guest is ex-professional footballer Michael Duberry. You may remember Michael on those Chelsea teams of the mid-to-late 90s and the Leeds teams of the early 2000s. He was a big, quick centre-back who played for 8 teams during his 20-year career. He's now the...


Michael Johnson:Black & Minority Coaches in 2018 + How to be a Centre Back

Timeline: 3:43 The Chaos of the 1995 Anglo-Italian Cup 10:40 Central defending drills 16:20 The most important lesson he learned from Neil Warnock 23:00 Being a 5'10" central defender 30:50 The impact his father had on him 38:40 The moment that changed his life 45:05 His coaching influences 53:55 State of Black and Minority Coaching Today our guest is ex-professional footballer and current manager of the Guyana national team Michael Johnson. In his nearly 20 year career he made more the...


Alan Tonge: Inside the Groundbreaking Research on Player Psychology

8:45 Academy environment in the late 80s 17:18 Living in U23 Limbo 25:34 The Injury that could have paralyzed him 35:49 Handling deselection 47:20 Sports psychology in practice vs theory Today I am joined by ex-Man United footballer and current sports lecturer at UCFB, Alan Tonge. Alan was a player at Manchester United in the late 1980s, before Sir Alex Ferguson told him he wasn't good enough for United. He then moved to Exeter City and at the age of 24 his career was cut short by a brutal...


Mike Phelan: Inside Man United's Coaching Staff + Keys to Being an Elite Assistant Manager

Timeline: 6:35 The role of sporting director 13:20 Handling rumors 20:39 Playing street football as a kid in the 70s 27:09 Keys to be a good assistant 33:28 Bringing humor to the coaching staff 39:29 His favorite player to coach 1-to-1 Today our guest is Consulting Sporting Director of the Central Coast Mariners, Mike Phelan. Phelan is most well-known for being an assistant manager and first team coach at Manchester United from 1999-2013 under Sir Alex Ferguson. While he was with the club as...


David Goldblatt: Football's Warrior Poet

Timeline: 3:15 His book writing process 14:57 His love of Arabic commentary 22:35 Who are the winners and losers of the globalization of football 30:05 Oligarchs in football 41:39 Falling in love with football 50:53 Going from writer to audio documentarian 59:55 His thoughts on podcasts and Game of Our Lives 1:10:45 Who/what he reads Today, I am joined by sociologist turned author turned podcaster, David Goldblatt. David is the best-selling author of the classic book, The Ball is Round which...


Heath Pearce: Turning $1,400 into 35 US International Caps

Timeline: 3:47 Jetsetting with Thierry Henry 9:56 The Origin of his storytelling 19:02 Would he approach social media differently if he was a player in 2018? 27:55 The golf agent who tried to sell him to Rangers 34:30 Advice to players transitioning to left-back 43:16 Trading shirts with the Spanish national team Today our guest is Heath Pearce. Heath is currently a Creative at Copa 90 and was previously a professional footballer. For those of you who don't know, COPA90 is the world’s...


Osian Roberts: The Welsh Coaching Whisperer

Timeline: 5:39 Meeting his Liverpool idols 10:09 Picking the brains of Liverpool Legend Steve Heighway 18:02 Coaching coaches and His famous Pro License Course 27:07 The most common question he gets and his answer 34:23 Remembering the 2016 Euros 41:19 How he watches coaches Today we are joined by Osian Roberts. Roberts has been coaching in Wales since 1991, becoming the Technical Director in 2007 and the Assistant Manager in 2013. He's even been called the 'most influential man in Wales...


Ian Darke- World Cup Cult Icon

Extra Time Radio Podcast host and longtime friend Dave Gass joins me to talk about our World Cup Adventures. Then (11:16)former World Cup play-by-play commentator Ian Darke joins me. PLEASE NOTE: This was recorded in the summer of 2017. Darke is currently a play-by-play announcer for BT Sport. Darke has been calling sports for over 40 years. He's called every season of the Premier League and before he worked for BT, he worked as a commentator for Sky Sports where he also called boxing. He's...


Bruce Arena- Why the US Didn't Qualify for Russia & How They Can Avoid It In The Future

On today's show, I speak with ex-US Men's National Team Coach Bruce Arena. Arena has coached football for more than 40 years in the United States. He's most famous for coaching the US twice, from 1998-2006, leading the team to their best finish in a World Cup Finals, when the US went to the quarterfinals in the 2002 tournament and also most recently in 2016, when he took over from Jurgen Klinsmann and was unable to lead the US to qualification for this year's tournament. It was the first...


Geir Jordet: Virtual Reality + What World Cup Teams Can Learn From Oil Riggers

Today our guest is sports psychologist Geir Jordet. Jordet is currently a sports psychology professor at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, specialising in psychology applied to football. He is also the Director of Psychology at the Norwegian Centre of Excellence (owned by the Norwegian Premier League), where he advises clubs in the top two professional leagues, as well as Norway’s national teams, on all topics related to psychology. Over the past 15 years, he has consulted professional...


Sergei Baltacha- Memories from the Soviet Union's Last Dynasty

Today our guest is Sergei Baltacha. Baltacha is the U-18s coach at Charlton where he's been since 2012. Before being a youth coach Sergei was a decorated player at Dynamo Kyiv. He played there from 1976-1988, winning the Soviet League 4 times, the Soviet Cup 3 times and the 1986 Cup Winners Cup. After Dynamo Kiev, he finished his career in England and Scotland. He played 45 times for the Soviet Union and represented them at the 1982 World Cup. He was part of the USSR team that won the...


Momo Sissoko: Revisiting the 2007 Champs League final & the Valencia team of the 00's

Today we are joined by Mohamed Sissoko, also known as Momo Sissoko. Sissoko has played for the biggest teams in the world: Valencia, Liverpool, Juventus and PSG. He's won La Liga, the UEFA Cup, the FA Cup, the UEFA Supercup and Ligue 1. However, we mostly focus on his time at Valencia and Liverpool in this episode. As most of you will know the Champions League final featuring Liverpool is this Saturday so we'll be revisiting Sissoko's experience in a Champions League final, which is also the...


Michael Beale- The Mastermind of Youth Coaching

Today we are joined by Liverpool FC Head of Coaching for the Foundation phase, Michael Beale. Beale has worked at every level of youth coaching from the Under 5's all the way to the U-23s. He's worked at two of the biggest clubs in England, Chelsea and Liverpool. He worked at Chelsea with Brendan Rodgers and then followed him to Liverpool. Starting in 2012 he spent 5 seasons there working with the U-21 and U-23 players, coaching the likes of Jordon Ibe, Raheem Sterling and more. He then went...


Raphael Honigstein- Football Broadcasting in 2018 & Beyond

Today we are joined by German writer extraordinaire Raphael Honigstein. Honigstein is a regular contributor to ESPNFC and you can hear him every week on BBC 5 Live's Euro Leagues Football Show. He's also a regular guest on The Totally Football Show and writes for Unibet. He's written 4 books, most famously Das Reboot and Klopp: Bring the Noise. His most recent book is Per Mertesacker's autobiography which comes out on May 11th. Well you have to speak German for that one. I wanted to speak...


Stephen Constantine: The Marco Polo of Coaching

Today our guest is Indian National Team Manager Stephen Constantine. Stephen is a bit of a football nomad having coached in every corner of the world. He's coached 5 different national teams: Nepal, Malawi, Sudan, Rwanda and India twice. He's coached plenty of clubs as well: in the US, numerous teams in Cyprus, Greece, Bournemouth and Millwall. He also holds a UEFA Pro License. In the this episode, we get into some of his adventures from globetrotting around the world, including a story...


Stuart MacFarlane: 17+ Years Capturing the Scenes at Arsenal

Today our guest is Chief Photographer at Arsenal, Stuart MacFarlane. MacFarlane has been working for the club since 2001 and but had worked with the club as far back as 1991 doing assignments for Colorsport. So today take a ride through Arsenal's Premier League years with Stuart and I. Specifically, we'll hear him discuss working with Arsene Wenger, the final days at Highbury, the victory parade after the season of the Invincibles, and who on the current team likes taking photos. You can...


Geremi: From Cameroon to European Champion

Today we are joined by Cameroon legend, Geremi. Geremi has played on some of the best teams in the world and has won the top prizes in the game. He won 2 champions league trophies with Real Madrid in 2000 & 2002, which he talks about in this episode. He then went to England to play with Chelsea in 2003. There he won the Premier League with Chelsea in 2005 & 2006. In this episode, he talks about the frustrations he had there and his relationship with Jose Mourinho. He then went on to play at...


Dave Edwards: Athlete Activism in 2018 & Reliving Wales 2016 Cinderella Run

Today's guest is Reading midfielder Dave Edwards. Edwards has made more than 450 appearances in 18 seasons as a professional. He started his career at Shrewsbury Town, the team he supported as a child, before a brief stop at Luton Town. He then went to Wolverhampton, where he spent 10 seasons from 2008-2017, and won the Championship in 2009. He's affectionately known as Dangerous Dave to those fans and in his career, he has scored 60 goals. He has also represented Wales 43 times across the...


Ted Buxton: The Blitz, the Battlefield, and the 1996 Euros

Today's guest is Ted Buxton. Buxton has led a fascinating life. Growing up in London during World War 2 he lived through the Blitz, which he talks about in great detail. He then was a soldier in Malay before becoming a butcher in Southeast London, near where I live in New Cross. He then went from butcher to coach at Millwall. He then served as a scout at the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the US and at Tottenham before his biggest gig, scouting and coaching under Terry Venables for the English...


Chris Anderson: Pioneering Football's Data Revolution

Today's guest is football analytics guru Chris Anderson. Anderson is the co-founder of Anderson Sally, a football intelligence consulting firm, which helps clubs connect the dots between sport, strategy, and performance. When he's not consulting football clubs, he is a political scientist and visiting fellow at the London School of Economics. In 2013, along with David Sally, he wrote the Numbers Game which is one of the most influential books on football analytics. The Times even hailed it...