City Slickers - AFR Voice - Ep. 40

After 10 months of highs and lows, twists and turns, head butts and slips, it’s over (well in the Premier League at least). Join us this week as we talk through Man City’s title win, Liverpool coming up just short, the continued emergence of yet another Belgian superstar, and all our favourite moments from what has been yet another superbly entertaining season in the English top flight.

Premier League aside, there have been some rather interesting developments elsewhere lower down the pyramid in football’s spiritual home. We’ll be taking a look at The FA’s idea to create a league for Premier League B-teams with the premise of helping to develop the nation’s young players. However, without consulting lower leagues and supporters before making the proposals, the governing body have opened themselves up to protest, and ridicule from their own members.

Elsewhere, the pod crew throw any pretensions of neutrality to one side as World Cup excitement builds, going through Roy Hodgson’s England World Cup squad with a finer toothcomb than passport control at Rio airport; as well as looking at a familiar, goal-hungry face in Germany’s provisional 30-man squad, and some more predictable omissions from the hosts’ roster.

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Three Times and An Old Lady - AFR Voice Ep. 39

They’ve done it again. For the third year running the Scudetto will be sitting pretty in Juventus’ trophy cabinet after they took the title at the weekend without even having to kick a ball. On the show this week we take a look at what’s been another superb domestic season for the Old Lady, as well as trouble at the Coppa Italia final, a certain aging striker who might just find himself sneaking onto the plane to Brazil this Summer, and a 24 goal thriller in Serie D. And no, you didn’t read that wrong – 24 GOALS.

Things may be wrapped up in Italy, but the opposite can be said of La Liga. After a weekend when neither Barcelona, Atlético or Real Madrid managed to notch up a win the three-way title race continues to be wide open with only one thing now clear – it will be going down to the final day. So why not join us and get bogged down in the seemingly infinite potential outcomes involved in what’s going to be a truly great run-in for fans of permutations and confusing head-to-head records.

If that sounds a bit much, then things are a bit simpler in the Premier League where we cast a keen eye on a Man City side edging ever closer to the title, Chelsea running out of steam, and plenty of drama at the bottom of the table both on and off the pitch.

Away from Europe, we’ll head Down Under where a new A-League champion has been crowned after this weekend’s Grand Final between Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers. Hear us talk through the game, as well as discuss why there could be a strong Aussie showing in next year’s Asian Champions League, and how the league moving away from big name players isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

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Bad Kompany - AFR Voice Ep. 36

On this week’s show we’ll be taking a look at what could be a season-defining win for Liverpool, after they came out on top of a 3-2 Anfield thriller against Man City. Can they really win fourteen games in a row and take the league title, should an unfit Vincent Kompany have played, and what will Fergie make of all this as he sits in the Old Trafford Directors’ box?

Then it’s off to the home of this season’s surprise package in Europe – the Vicente Calderón. After booking their place in the Champions League semi-finals at Barcelona’s expense, we’ll be discussing Atlético Madrid’s modestly assembled squad, a manager that is quickly becoming one of the most highly regarded on the continent, and the use of some cutting edge technology on the touchline (although we’re not quite sure what they’re using it for, just yet).

Elsewhere, we jet off to the end of regular season play in A-League, and catch up with good friend of the show Ahmed Yussuf, who unleashes his inner Craig David to fill us in on the runners and riders in the Finals Series playoffs; as well as giving us all a lesson in geography, timezones and logistics by showing a detailed knowledge of how on earth the Asian Champions League actually works.

Then we head over to Brazil, where it’s been a bit of an up and down time for everyone’s favourite left footed powerhouse – Adriano. It looks like even scoring in the Copa Libertadores isn’t quite enough to keep your job these days…

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Barça storm Manchester

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Boxing Day Bonanza - AFR Voice Ep. 20

In England, the day after Christmas means only two things – one, gulping down the remainder of the Christmas turkey and two, watching a phenomenal amount of football.

Each side in the top tier played on the 26th December, and we’ve picked out the major points for debate – including the continuation of Newcastle’s astonishing hot-streak, a potentially season-defining win for Manchester City and the welcome return of Darren Fletcher at Manchester United.

After we made our way out of that dizzying coma of food and goals, we took a far more global approach – analysing The Guardian’s list of the top 100 players in the world and doffing our caps to Bayern Munich who won the Club World Cup in Morocco. But what about the tournament itself – is it simply a vacuous money-spinner for FIFA, or is it a credible title that deserves more respect?

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The Long Road to Premier League Relapse

By John Ray

Have you ever taken a break with your girlfriend only to get back together? The process begins with a conversation, generally in a neutral location; let’s say a coffee shop, maybe Kayak’s Coffeeshop in Saint Louis, MO. You discuss all the things wrong with your relationship and why you should see other people. One party pleads, begs, and cries to let it go on a little longer, “one more week…this can work,” but there’s no hope. You’re both released back into the sea from whence you came like baby sea turtles: to return home if fate commands it.

Now you’re back on the open market dating Brazilians and Russians, hitting on 19 and 21 year olds, and having some “friendly” hook-ups. These encounters are alright, but something feels a bit off. The chemistry isn’t there, there’s no attachment, and the thrill is gone. A rebound sounded nice, but it just made you realize how much you missed your girlfriend and the familiarity that comes with knowledge of the intricacies of each other’s lives.

Right, that’s kind of what my summer was like. And how I missed you Premier League. It’s like old times again: Wayne Rooney wants out, Real Madrid are tapping someone up, and Arsenal have been linked to big name players that they are almost certainly not going to sign (David Moyes, feeling jealous, is doing his best impersonation). But not everything is the same. There’s some new furniture your apartment, your wine cellars been emptied, and everything seems a bit more Welsh.

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The Summer of No One Gets What They Want

By Nicol Hay

Europe is enjoying a heat wave, the Confederations Cup was the greatest summer tournament since records began, and every club is spending money like Kanye in Mothercare. So why is the major theme of this transfer window one of crushing disappointment? 

All winter long, football fans yearn for the irritating formality of men kicking balls around pitches to get itself over with so the real business of paper talk, In The Know intrigue and opinion pieces on the inevitable economic collapse of football if something isn’t done about these bloated transfer fees can begin. All those boring Saturday afternoons spent wistfully staring past your inept right back’s attempts to play a pass and remember which colour his teammates are wearing at the same time are just counting down to the moment when the June-August bonanza drops a steaming dose of moneyed potential into your life.

And this summer, it’s been all for naught. Every major club made their careful plans, only to see them dashed.

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Man City is scattered around New York City

For the club’s trip to the States (and the announcement of NYC FC), 85 Man City-themed posters designed by Luke Barclay were just put up across Manhattan and Brooklyn. A few have already been found, but the real kicker in this is that tweeting posters that are found to @KICKTV is the ticket to two seats at Yankee Stadium for Man City-Chelsea this Saturday.

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State Of The Game - AFR Voice Ep9

With the start of the New Year comes a brand new audio offering from AFR Voice, packed with all of the news and views from a frantic festive period of Premier League fixtures that seemed to have more games than a Nadal-Federer Wimbledon final.

We’ll be taking a look at the best and worst from the Christmas run of games, including Baywatch at the Etihad Stadium, politics at Stamford Bridge, Wizards at Loftus Road, as well as looking into why 2013 could be a bad year for fax machines, Marouane Fellaini’s lady problems, and a heart warming canine-based tale from the Bundesliga.

Then it’s time to get serious and give the Premier League its annual check up when we discuss what direction it’s going in, who look like being the winners and losers, and just when will the financial bubble burst? 

And an early January show wouldn’t be complete without signing off 2012 with our highlights of what has been another (mostly) superb year of football, of which there are almost too many moments to choose from. And with that, roll on 2013….

As always, you can get in touch with the team by tweeting @AFRvoice or emailing afrvoice@gmail.com. You can also subscribe to AFR Voice on iTunes and find us on Soundcloud.

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