Milan in Freefall - AFR Voice Ep.32

‘Crisis’ has been the buzzword this season for the pod, with the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and even Barcelona getting blasted with the dreaded ‘c’ word. But finally we have turned our audio attentions to a club that deserves it more than most – AC Milan.

The Rossoneri are a shocking 40 points adrift from league leaders Juve and we discuss where it all went wrong. Is rookie manager Clarence Seedorf ripe for the sacking in the summer, and will the struggle for power in the boardroom be resolved anytime soon?

Elsewhere, we look at Europe in more positive tones, heralding Bayern’s 50-game unbeaten run, ruffling the hair of little Lionel Messi for eclipsing recent AFR profilee Paulino Alcántara as Barça’s all-time record scorer, and bow down to the mighty Zlatan for making his own little bit of Parisian history.

All that plus a quick fire witness report from Chelsea’s Champions League clash against Galatasaray, a report on Jermain Defoe’s perfect MLS debut and an evaluation of Rivaldo’s career which came to an end this week. He was arguably one of football’s all-time greats, but why won’t he be remembered as such?

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Through Ryu’s Lens: The North London Derby

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"An Ode to Football" by Musa Okwonga

Commemorating its 150th anniversary, The FA reached out to our friend Musa Okwonga to create a poem that captures England’s love for the game, from a grassroots level to the top flight, embracing the emotions experienced by football fans around the country. Joining Musa in the poem are the likes of Arsene Wenger, Theo Walcott, Dizzee Rascal, and Steven Gerrard. Not bad company to keep.

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Santa’s Sack - AFR Voice Ep. 19

This week’s show sees us a man down - and before you ask, no we haven’t sacked Ben for overseeing a series of poor pod performances (he’ll be back next week), but we will be discussing the goings on of a weekend of boardroom-based carnage in the Premier League. Where did it all go wrong for Andre Villas-Boas and Steve Clarke? Will they be stuck on the managerial merry-go-round for long? And with the January transfer window fast approaching, who’s next to join them?

Then it’s off to Europe’s top table, where we’ll be taking a look at the Champions League draw – the tasty looking match against Man City that Barcelona didn’t want, the prospect of two home games for Didier Drogba, and an Arsenal team looking to make sure we don’t get a sixth straight final that includes either Pep Guardiola or Bayern Munich.

We’re also stopping off in La Liga, where Atletico Madrid are doing everything they can to disrupt the established balance of power, Barcelona have broken yet another record, and Cristiano Ronaldo has now got something that not many players in world football can boast – his own museum.

This week’s feature interview sees us chat to journalist, broadcaster and Spanish football expert Guillem Balague about his new book, simply titled “Messi”. We’ll be talking about how he went about writing a book on the world’s best player, how he managed to speak to Messi’s friends, family and coaches to build a true picture of the man, and what makes the Argentine arguably the greatest player of all time.

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AFC vs LFC by Dan Leydon

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Dortmund comes to London

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"Teams, Not Players" by Mark Yesilevskiy

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Özil, the calm conquerer

One player certainly can’t make a team great by himself, but he can help push his teammates to new heights. Enter Mesut Özil. It’s hard to call him a revelation because we all knew he was world class, but Arsenal have found the key that unlocks all kinds of possibilities on the pitch. Ryu was at the Emirates to see the German suck all the spirit out of Napoli to make North London explode. [You can interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and find more on his FlickrPosted by Eric]

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