Ranks FC

By Ranks FC

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Description

Welcome to Ranks FC - the show that takes football and puts it in the right order. Join Jack, Dean & Sam every Wednesday for rankings that discuss the best of football across Europe, from the Premier League to Serie A, La Liga to the Bundesliga, Ligue 1 to the Primeira Liga and beyond! If you're here to hear about the best players on the planet, the next generation coming through, the biggest transfer deals and the under-the-radar steals, you've come to the right place - all with a positive outlook, Things We Love, and the infamous Melon of the Week. It's Ranks!

Episode Date
Ranking World Cup Selection Surprises
3921
Hello Rank Squad! It's been a window full of intrigue, but some players have used it to devastating effect, to make the jump from squad players to locked in starters in Qatar, or to inscribe their name firmly in their managers squad lists. We look at a couple of Dutch delights, an England centre-half (no, not that one ), a brilliant Brazilian shape-shifting to good effect, and a Belgian on the rise. There's also World Cup Watch in Things We Love, where Dean discusses France's strange defeat to Denmark and their potential over-reliance on talented young guns, and Jack pours out some love for the two South American behemoths who have delighted in this window. Melon of the Week is awarded to some senility in the Portuguese camp, whilst Sam's Gibberish includes the price hikes at the supermarket that are giving him nightmares. It's Ranks! If you'd like more from us, especially during the World Cup, we'd love to have you on board as part of our Ultras! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 28, 2022
Ranking the Biggest International Selection Dilemmas Ahead of the World Cup
3528
It's under two months to the World Cup, but which positions for which teams are giving their managers headaches? We discuss the biggest logjam positions in the international realm, from England's right-backs to Spain's left-backs, and from the glut of glorious attacking players for both Argentina & Brazil, to France's ridiculous depth at centre-back. There's Things We Love as well, where we discuss Ethan Nwaneri's emergence as the youngest player in English top-flight history; Iñaki and Nico Williams' goalscoring heroics for Athletic Club and their international call-ups for separate nations; and Granada's coming to fore as Spanish Segunda football continues through the international break. And finally, we discuss an absolute madhouse of a weekend in terms of red cards and melons - in both the Melon of the Week and the extended Gibberish Rankings. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 21, 2022
Ranking the Best Teenagers in World Football
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Teenagers are fleeting - one minute past their 20th birthday, and they're gone into the big wide world of everyday footballers - so we have to give them their due whilst we can. And it seems only yesterday that we were punctuating this list with Ryan Gravenberch, Nuno Mendes - and even Kylian Mbappé and Erling Haaland. But the seasons flow, players grow and new wonderkids wind up on the block every single season, so it's time to put them in order for 2022. We talk a host of names, from a Barcelona cohort including Ansu Fati, Gavi and reigning title-holder Pedri, Eduardo Camavinga, Borussia Dortmund's latest gems off the production line, Harvey Elliott (how is he still elegible?!), Jamal Musiala, Florian Wirtz and many more. Sam also chucks in a big prediction for this season for each of his top five. Things We Love focuses on Graham Potter's rise to the top table of European football management, a rake of late moments for the big guns in Serie A, and Sporting's recovery after a tough start to the season - with some love for some names who were maybe in danger of slipping into unfulfilled promise territory. There's a Melon of the Week out of Turin (or multiple, being frank) and we do a quick draft to select our teams that we'll focus on for the upcoming 2022 World Cup. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 14, 2022
5x5: Predicting the Top Five in Each of Europe's Top Five Leagues
4553
The transfer window has closed and we've had a couple of games in each league, so whilst pre-season predictions are fun, this feels like a good time to lock our selections in for the season - which can only mean it's 5x5 time. The concept is simple - we each pick how we think the top five in England, France, Italy, Germany and Spain are going to look when the curtain falls in May. We look at what happened last time out, before working through our selections, our thoughts on how a shedload of sides have started their campaigns, and some more rogue calls from Jack, where heart continues to take precedence over head. There's a quick Things We Love - where Sam talks his first dive into management, and Jack talks a fairy story out of Exeter. There's also a Melon of the Week, a Gibberish Ranking and the poems are back to kick things off. It's Ranks! To pick up our special deal with NordVPN, head to https://nordvpn.com/ranksfc to get a free month and a load off a 2-year-subscription. And of course, if you want more from us, you can join the Rank Squad Ultras on Patreon! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 07, 2022
Ranking The Best Transfers of the Window
3490
Hello Rank Squad! Welcome to our third and final episode of this week, this time looking back at the transfer window as a whole and working out where we think the best deals, steals and keels have been found. Jack and Sam split the rankings into four parts - best big-money deal (over £40m), best low-cost deal (under £15m), best loan deal and, controversially, the deals where we think clubs might have dropped a bit of a clanger. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 02, 2022
Ranking The Biggest Transfer Stories Ahead Of Deadline Day
4649
Hello Rank Squad! Deadline Day will soon be upon us, and we've set DJ to work in order to line up TEN of the biggest stories and sagas that will look to go right to the wire this summer. From the world's biggest players to free agents looking for a new home, title contenders and relegation battlers, we've covered loads of deals, rumours and late dramas that may well go down to the final hours. There's also Things We Love, which this week entails the off between Richarlison and Brennan Johnson at the City Ground on Sunday, as well as Ander Herrera's homecoming to Athletic Club. And there's a VERY contentious Melon of the Week from Toxic Dean, as well as Sam's Gibberish, which truly has some questionable takes also. It's Ranks! To pick up our special deal with NordVPN, head to https://nordvpn.com/ranksfc to get a free month and a load off a 2-year-subscription. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 31, 2022
The Postbox: Liverpool Roar Into Life, Comeback City, Barca in Control, Serie A Summit Specialties, Sommertime Gladness, Chelsea's Character, The Big Ø & Draw Reaction
5279
Hello Ultras! Happy Bank Holiday to those who are enjoying it! And to those who aren’t: Perhaps this podcast will help you through the day. We covered all of Europe and beyond (as usual), with a heavy dose of transfers included too as we hurtle toward the end of the window. Here’s everything we talked about! Enjoy the week ahead! PREMIER LEAGUE —Liverpool scored 9 and Salah did…nothing? + Midfield transfer talk —Man City’s Mentality Monsters —Arsenal grinding through, Ødegaard brilliance + Saliba’s World Cup hopes —Chelsea finally show some character —United creeping forward + Antony/Gakpo chat —Are Spurs good, or? ON THE CONTINENT —The Raphinha/Lewandowski combo, Koundé debut —Can Aspas make Spain’s World Cup squad? —Edinson Cavani’s next adventure —Juventus vs. Roma was surprisingly fun —Who is the best in Serie A? —Dortmund is bad for your health —Marseille look a lot of fun, Nice look the opposite —Yann Sommer’s record-breaking day —What the hell, Porto? OTHER —Linfield & Atlético Tucumán stories —CL, UEL & UECL draw storylines —Nandos sauce recipe That’s all for this week! If you've enjoyed this and you'd like to join our Ultras community for more of the same, come see us at patreon.com/ranksfc! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 29, 2022
Ranking PL Teams With The Most Left To Do in the Transfer Window
4291
Hello Rank Squad! It's creeping towards the end of the transfer window and certain teams are still desperately in need of reinforcements - as we prepare for things to get stressful over the next week. We take a peek behind the curtains at Goodison Park, Stamford Bridge, the King Power and Old Trafford to analyse the players that need to come and go before the window slams shut if Everton, Chelsea, Leicester City and Manchester United are to live up to expectations this season. Things We Love takes a look at Casemiro's tearful but celebratory departure from Real Madrid and discusses why he's an excellent addition for United; and there's also an outpouring of love for new Napoli starboy Kvicha Kvaratskhelia and some big respect put on Luciano Spalletti's shirt collection. Melon of the Week takes us into the Portuguese Second Tier, and the Gibberish makes some semblance of sense this time out - with Sam ranking the three statistical measures used in football that he thinks are a bit of a nonsense. It's Ranks! To pick up our special deal with NordVPN, head to https://nordvpn.com/ranksfc to get a free month and a load off a 2-year-subscription. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 24, 2022
Ranking Players Who Desperately Need A Move
3968
Hello Rank Squad! We're back to normal programming after the madness of Preview season, and it's nice to be back on home ground. With that in mind, we return to a staple of the Ranks Calendar - the biannual visit around the grounds to see which players are in real need of a move with just two weeks of the transfer window left. We start in Wolverhampton, with a mercurial winger; travel to the Bernabeu in Madrid, the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam and the Westfalenstadion in Dortmund, before ending our journey back in West London at Stamford Bridge - to name five players in need of new homes. There's also Things We Love, which talks about boyhood fans appearing at Manchester City, Arsenal's newly-formed team that fans can finally hail, and discuss the chaotic opening of the Calcio season in Serie A. There's a familiar face returning in Melon of the Week, and Sam takes tactical lessons from his cats in the Gibberish Rankings. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 17, 2022
The Big Serie A 22/23 Preview Show
3670
Hello Rank Squad! Welcome to the sixth and final episode of our Big Season Preview Series - as we culminate in the casa di calcio, Italy! With Milan holding the title, Inter snapping at their heels, Juventus hoping for a return to power, there's a major title race to discuss, first and foremost - and then a dive into the chasing pack, last year's third place side Napoli, who have lost a tonne of major names; the winners of the window (?) Roma, under Jose Mourinho; and Maurizio Sarri's new-look Lazio as well! Can Fiorentina and Atalanta cause upsets this season, and who is best placed right now to seal the European places? Next we look at some candidates for regression - those who have either had tough summers with big names departing for brighter shores, or where managerial changes have led to major question marks. We finish with a look at the promoted sides, especially Monza - whose business has been delightful, and a few of those Serie A stalwarts who might well be slipping into trouble; before Jack and Sam pick a player to watch each this season. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 11, 2022
The Big La Liga 22/23 Preview Show (with Football España's Alan Feehely)
3736
Preview season continues here on Ranks FC, moving over the Iberian Peninsula from Portugal to Spain! La Liga is back, and there's brilliant battles up and down the table - so we were incredibly lucky to be joined on today's show by the expert analysis of Alan Feehely, editor of the mighty Football España. We pose five questions ahead of the season beginning: Who are now title favourites out of Real Madrid and Barcelona? Will Atleti improve now they are back in their underdog role? Is Sevilla's hold on a UCL spot in danger - and are Real Betis, Real Sociedad or Villarreal ready to succeed them? Who are the biggest regression candidates for the season ahead? Which promoted club is most likely to survive, and which surviving club is most in danger of the drop? There's also a Melon of the Week, where two candidates handily put themselves into contention - and Sam's Gibberish is about the things in his life that he wishes he liked, but he doesn't. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 10, 2022
The Big Primeira Liga 22/23 Preview Show
2145
Hello Rank Squad! It's time for our fourth episode of our Big Season Preview Series - this time, a slightly shorter one on the Portuguese Primeira, and the major storylines ahead of this season. We take a dive into where all of Portugal's Big Three are ahead of this season - can Porto retain their title? Are Sporting still their closest contenders? Could Benfica, under Roger Schmidt, be back in this conversation? We also discuss a little bit of the 'best of the rest' - Braga's role of late, but are there challenges too from Vitoria Guimarães or Gil Vicente, last season's surprise package? It's all wrapped up inside here! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 05, 2022
The Big Ligue 1 22/23 Preview Show (with Football Per 90's Alex Collings)
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When everything comes at once, everything drops at once! Moving from England across the Channel, we take to France to look at life in Ligue 1 this season - and we're joined by the expert analysis of Alex Collings, of the Football Per 90 Podcast and a writer for Scouted Football. We pose five questions ahead of the season beginning: Can PSG break their points record (on back of a lot of hype and smart summer) Who is the best of the rest? What can we expect from Paulo Fonseca & Lille?  Who is the biggest regression candidate? Who is your tip for breakout star? There's also talk on the links to Amadou Onana, some revisiting of last year's thoughts and a discussion of Takumi Minamino's new role at Monaco. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 04, 2022
The Big Premier League 22/23 Preview Show
4045
Hello Rank Squad! The summer has passed, the international tournaments have been concluded, and the return of domestic league action is just round the corner, so it's time for the second of our Season Preview series - and it's a big one, because the Premier League is back! We start at the bottom of the table, with the battle for survival taking place there; and end with the thrill of the title race - but in between we discuss everyone else too - from those consolidating to the fight for European spots - and all the mayhem and chaos that we expect to play out with a host of new faces and outcomes joining the PL. There's also a Melon of the Week and a really bizarre Gibberish Rankings with Dean taking the reins, so make sure you hang around for that madness. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 03, 2022
The Big Bundesliga 22/23 Preview Show (with Tifo's Jon Mackenzie)
3824
It's all systems go this week as we head into full preview mode! First up, the Bundesliga! We're joined by Jon Mackenzie of the mighty Tifo Football to work our way through how German football's top tier looks before the season opens. We talk a number of different categories - the Top Four, the European Battles, the teams looking to find their way back to European paradise, the middle-of-the-roaders, and the relegation scrap! How are Julian Nagelsmann's Bayern going to set up? Are Leipzig a genuine challenger for the title? Do Dortmund have the depth to mount a charge? What do the promoted giants need to do to survive? All these and more, answered in detail, in the first of our 5 League Preview episodes coming out in the next fortnight. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 01, 2022
Ranking the Best Players Still on the Transfer Market this Summer
5028
Hello Rank Squad! We've seen some massive movers and shakers in the market this window, but as we settle in the 'deep breath before the plunge' with less than two weeks left until we see the return of many of Europe's top leagues, we take a moment to check on the players who are still where they started the summer, and might well be available if the right option came up. We rank five categories - best overall player, best free agent, best forward, best goalkeeper and best defender - with Sam and Dean each picking a selection for each and Jack mopping up at the back with some honourable mentions. Things We Love discusses PSG's business under new Sporting Advisor Luis Campos, FPL selections as the Premier League draws ever closer, and the start of the Championship season this weekend, which promises to be yet another cracker. There's a Melon of the Week for a manager doing some strange things in Southern Italy, and Gibberish discusses Sam's commitment to being an eco-friendly man, at least in terms of subscription services. It's Ranks! If you'd like more from us (two extra episodes a week) and to join our wonderful Ultras community, why not come and give us a go over on Patreon as the new season gets going? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 27, 2022
Ranking Three Burning Questions Ahead of Next Season
3632
Hello Rank Squad! With pre-season firmly in full swing and the transfer merry-go-round showing no signs of stopping, we wanted to take a look at some of the big question marks ahead of the new season getting underway. We start at Manchester United, where the addition of Lisandro Martinez at CB has posed a dilemma - will it be club captain Harry Maguire or Champions League legend Raphael Varane who starts next to their new man? Then we shift to Bayern Munich, who have similar personnel dramas after the addition of Matthijs de Ligt - how does everyone fit in, in Julian Nagelsmann's system? Finally, we turn to Barcelona, whose plethora of attacking riches has just been massively added to with Robert Lewandowski joining their ranks. Xavi's front three in their first league game is anyone's guess for now! Things We Love discusses some of the big names who are said to be on the move but haven't actually secured their new homes yet, and the anticipation of where the big switches will come in August; as well as discussing Paulo Dybala's switch from Juventus to Roma, and the excitement surrounding having a player of Dybala's quality in a system that will actually suit him. Finally, Melon of the Week is awarded to a man struggling to get into his (or his team's) new groove in pre-season so far, and then in the Gibberish Rankings we each pick the three albums we would listen to for the rest of our lives, if we were forced to renounce all others. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 20, 2022
Ranking Season-Defining PL Transfers Yet To Come
4731
Dean Jones is back, Rank Squad! And on that note, we wanted to give you a transfer ranking to match - so we did. We talked five Premier League teams who have serious work to do before the season begins, if they're to match expectations. From Wolverhampton Wanderers to Everton; Manchester United to Chelsea; and the new enigma that is Newcastle United - we considered where they are right now and what they hope to achieve before the window slams shut. There's also some chat about the business of Luka Jovic to Fiorentina and why it might herald a new era for players who have previously been trapped in their clubs; and the brilliance of the Lionesses and France from what we've seen so far of EURO 2022! Melon of the Week has many contenders, from Premier League pre-seasons, running out of beer in Switzerland, and clearing team-mates shots off the line in the Canadian PL; whilst in Gibberish Dean talks about the weirdest things he found in America - including the legendary Joey Chestnut. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 13, 2022
Ranking FPL Dilemmas To Help You Beat Your Mates with Gianni Butticè
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Pre-season has begun, and with it comes a new rake of questions about how you're going to set up your FPL team for the upcoming season, so we're here to help you mix it with the best of the best (and send your friends to the shadow realm). We've brought in one of our good friends, Gianni Butticè, Official FPL panellist and all-round good egg, to help you work out the finer details in how to get your FPL season off to the best possible start! We talk Defence vs. Attack in terms of premium positions, how you get the most value out of this brilliant Manchester City squad and whether you should go safe or daring in your captaincy selections, as well as some general tips and hints ahead of the Premier League starting again. There's also Things We Love, where Sam discusses Leeds United playing real-life Football Manager with their new signings, and Jack gets giddily excited about the upcoming Euro 2022 tournament, where we think 7 of the 16 teams have a real chance of winning the lot, Melon of the Week goes to a particular Social Media team for their announcement video, and Gibberish talks a little about life's simplest (ish) pleasures. It's Ranks! If you'd like to join our brilliant Ultras community, get the best of the pre-season knowledge and an extra two podcasts a week - we'd love you to join us over on Patreon, for the price of a pint a month! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 06, 2022
Ranking New Managers Taking Clubs in New Directions
3316
We're edging closer to the new season and there are plenty of clubs with a lot of work to do over the course of the next month. We look at five new managers who have it all to do in terms of implementing new philosophies and sorting out their new charges. From Vincent Kompany at Burnley to Alfred Schreuder at Ajax; Paulo Fonseca at Lille to Christophe Galtier at PSG; and a returning legend at Athletic Club - there's plenty to discuss amongst those looking to change things up. We discuss a couple more bits in Things We Love - namely MLS having a real moment in the sun, and Arsenal's excellent work in the transfer market so far. Melon of the Week looks at two candidates - a new man in a hot seat and the candidates in a pre-season friendly blow-out, before Jack finishes off with a Gibberish all about the best acts he saw at Glastonbury Festival. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 29, 2022
Ranking Controversial Takes Ahead of Next Season with Harry Brooks
3735
It's time to start making some bold predictions ahead of next season, and so we brought in the best man for the job - football coach, agent and Twitter extraordinaire Harry Brooks, making his triumphant third Ranks appearance - to give some thoughts ahead of next season. We talk about Arsenal's profile of signings, a potential clash of personalities at Erik ten Hag's Manchester United, and Liverpool's replacements for their outgoing players. There's plenty to discuss, and some disagreements all round, but it's a detailed discussion on how some of the most interesting teams in the Premier League are going to fare based on what we know so far! There's also Things We Love, where Sam discusses the U19 European Championships, and Jack looks at the rumoured new PSG manager Christopher Galtier and how he might fit in at the Parc des Princes. Melon of the Week comes from Canada, and Sam's Gibberish runs the rule over the transport problems he is facing right now. It's Ranks! If you love Ranks and want more from us, why not join the Ultras? There's at least two extra episodes a week over on our Patreon, as well as a brilliant community of like-minded people. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 22, 2022
Grading the Big-Money Moves Made This Summer So Far
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So, the transfer window is open, and nobody has hung around wasting any time! We take a look at the five most expensive deals done so far and give them a thorough analysis, before grading each on how we see them before a ball has been kicked for their new teams. So we talk Brenden Aaronsen to Leeds United, Karim Adeyemi to Borussia Dortmund, Erling Haaland to Manchester City, Darwin Núñez to Liverpool, and Aurélien Tchouaméni to Real Madrid. There's also Things We Love which has a little bit more on Haaland's medical, some love for Australia's hero Andrew Redmayne and his mad antics, and Andrea Pirlo taking a risk on a job at Fatih Karagümrük in Turkey. There's a Melon of the Week from the Nations League, and Sam takes a Gibberish from his local pub. It's Ranks! If you want more from us, why not come join us over on Patreon for two extra episodes a week! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 15, 2022
Ranking The Biggest Rebuilds In Football This Summer
4454
What’s up Rank Squad! Jack’s away enjoying some well-earned rest, so Dean and Sam tackle this week’s pod as a duo—and it’s a big ‘un! It’s the long-promised, much-talked-up REBUILDS episode, where we take a look at 5 clubs in dire need of some help and try to come to their assistance. There’s Benfica, who are facing up to a future without Darwin Núñez—but with Roger Schmidt, pressing mastermind.  There’s Everton, who must now ride of the wings of Frank Lampard and try to improve upon a terrible 2021-22. There’s Chelsea, who need to buy a new defence, maybe a new midfield and possibly a new forward. How exhausting. There’s Juventus, who need star power, creativity, an actual midfield and some support for Dušan Vlahović. And there’s Manchester United, obviously.  All of that, plus a melon to hand out at the end, then Dean takes on the Gibberish ranking and discusses the total mess that is next season’s schedule and rules. It’s Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 08, 2022
Ranking the MVP of Each League Champion
4318
Hello Rank Squad! The domestic season is pretty much all done in Europe, and we're here to take a look back. Originally this was supposed to be a Ballon d'Or ranking, but Karim Benzema has rendered that a little bit pointless, so we're mixing it up. We talk about the big man, of course, who powered Real Madrid to a La Liga & Champions League double, but also his contemporaries. From KDB's immense second-half season surge to Kylian Mbappé's remarkable run across this year (and his desire to stay in Paris); to Rafael Leão's personal mission to take Milan to the Scudetto Crown, and Robert Lewandowski's stunning goalscoring season, and where he goes next in his career, we've covered it all. There's also Things We Love, where Sam talks about early transfer business, Dean discusses Nottingham Forest's return to the Premier League, and Jack talks about Ranks being there as Roma lifted the first ever UEFA Europa Conference League trophy. There's a discussion of the ugly scenes at Saint-Étienne after they were relegated in Melon of the Week, and Sam's Gibberish is focused on spending a week with Jack and the little ruts that entails. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 01, 2022
Ranking the Champions League Final
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As the last (and biggest) annual game of the European football calendar comes hurtling towards us once again, it's one which we've seen before - a repeat of 2018's final between Liverpool and Real Madrid - and a complete reworking of the 1981 Final, which was held at the Parc de Princes between these two sides - it's funny how history can repeat itself! It’s time to turn our eyes to Paris and look in great depth at this seasons Champions League final between Los Blancos and the Reds - between the 13 time winners and the 6 time winners of this very competition. Carlo Ancelotti vs. Jurgen Klopp. Karim Benzema vs. Sadio Mané. Vinicius Jr. vs. Mohamed Salah. There's loads going on. We look at the key places the final will be won and lost, by ranking three reasons for both Real and Liverpool fans to be optimistic ahead of kick-off. Then, there's Things We Love - which is a singular this week, because we're discussing our trip to Lisbon this weekend to watch Porto seal the double in their Taça de Portugal win over Tondela. We were lucky enough to be in attendance, thanks to our partners at New Balance, and we discuss what was a truly unique experience at the game in Jamor. And as ever, to close things off, there's a Melon of the Week, and a Gibberish Ranking. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 25, 2022
Ranking the Biggest Disappointments of the Season
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Every season has its glorious moments, but for every positive, there's a negative. We like to focus on the good stuff here on Ranks, but ultimately there are ups and downs to every season, and we wanted to take a look at some of the clubs who have been on the rough end of things this time around, and why that might have happened. From potential title contenders who just haven't stepped up to the mark to teams at the wrong end of the table, and from signings who just haven't cut the mustard to particularly poor attempts at turning the club around - we're here to look at all of them. There's Things We Love too - which veers from the scenes in Milan's last home game of the Year to Newcastle's brilliant blonde piston pairing in midfield to a preview of the Europa League Final; plus a very obvious Melon of the Week on Merseyside and another Bali Gibberish from Sam. It's Ranks! To see Jack's full Europa League Preview - bash this link here! And we'd love you to join us on Patreon, for eight extra Ranks Episodes for less than the price of a pint, per month, click here! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 18, 2022
Ranking Big Transfers to Be Wary Of This Summer
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Every transfer season there's deals that don't work out, and whilst some are impossible to predict, there's others where the warning signs are truly there - we look at a few big money deals that we have reservations about for various reasons from injuries to physicality to difficult fits. And, back to do it is the Rank God Sam Tighe, returning from his honeymoon to retake his place back in your headphones on Ranks FC. Things We Love talks watching football in tricky time zones, Erling Haaland's big move to Manchester City and the story of Bristol Rovers' ridiculous last-day win to seal their promotion; Melon of the Week is given out to a Championship goalkeeper who performed a gaffe straight out of a 90's bloopers reel, and Sam takes charge of the Gibberish again to talk things that baffled him in Bali. It's Ranks! To join our amazing Ultras community on Patreon, where you get an extra two Podcasts a week and access to our Discord server for a fiver a month, click here! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 11, 2022
Ranking This Season’s Most Exciting Endings
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There are just a couple of matches left in most domestic leagues in Europe, meaning that it's now or never for a lot of things. Title races, relegation scraps, promotion tussles - there's absolutely loads left to play for across the continent. On today's episode we look at the most exciting things left to play for this season - from Man City vs. Liverpool and Inter vs. Milan at the top of the tables, to the survival salvos taking place in the Premier League, Serie A and La Liga; as well as the race to reach Europe in Spain and Italy, where all sorts is still going on in the Europa and Conference League battles, and the fight to reach the top flight in the 2. Bundesliga. As you might expect, the Things We Love from a rather hoarse Dean and Jack talks about Fulham's dismantling of Luton Town and the celebrations that followed as the Whites won a league title for the first time in over 20 years, and also heads to LA to look at the job that Steve Cherundolo is doing as manager of a resurgent LAFC. There's also a Melon of the Week from the lower tiers of English football, and the Gibberish Rankings looks at some of the most ridiculous trophies that are handed out across the world. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 04, 2022
Ranking the Biggest Transfers This Summer
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What’s happening Rank Squad! It’s getting scarily close to silly season, so it’s time for our first big transfer ranking of the 2022 summer window - our first look at the biggest stories that are going to dominate the back pages in the off-season.  Dean walks us through five of the biggest names that are going to be either moving, or talked about moving, for the entirety of this summer. From a Norwegian target man coming home to his boyhood Premier League club, to a French galactico-in-waiting perhaps finally making the move everyone’s been expecting for years; from the in-demand I̶r̶i̶s̶h̶ English midfielder who’s apparently commanding a 9-figure-fee, to a out-of-contract defender being courted by all of Europe’s elite; and two No.9s having very different seasons who might both be on the move - we cover all the headlines.  Before those headlines though, there’s a quick fire questions section from some of the best we got on Twitter this week discussing transfer lines on Arsenal outgoings and their next No. 9, Newcastle United’s plans for the summer, USMNT footballers on the move, potential targets for Chelsea at CB, Nkunku’s future, Real Madrid’s deadwood moving onwards and quality or quantity for newly promoted teams.  There’s also time for a little Things We Love, where Jack starts us off (of course)by talking about his beloved Real Betis winning their first trophy in 17 years as they won the Copa del Rey on Saturday, and the poetry of a momentous occasion in Verdiblanco. If you want more, here’s the link to an article that he wrote on the subject. Plus, there’s Melon(s) of the Week from Serie A, and a Gibberish Ranking. It’s Ranks!  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 27, 2022
Ranking the Last Four in the Champions League, Europa League & Conference League
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We've come to the sharp end of the European competitions, and there's everything to play for in the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Europa Conference League. We rank the four contenders left in each: Liverpool, Villarreal, Manchester City and Real Madrid in the UCL; West Ham United, Eintracht Frankfurt, RB Leipzig and Glasgow Rangers in the UEL; and Feyenoord, Olympique Marseille, AS Roma and Leicester City in the UECL. Dean and Jack work their way through the three competitions, having a go at working out each team's percentage of winning their respective tournaments, and analysing the semi-final matchups as we go. There's also a Melon of the Week all the way from Brazil, and our Gibberish is about things that Dean is just not capable of doing. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 20, 2022
Ranking the Most Exciting Teams for Next Season
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I know what you're going to say! This season hasn't even finished yet and you're already thinking about the next one! But this game never stops, and the best clubs are thinking far in advance - so we thought we'd do so too. And to help us take a peek at some of the teams we're most excited about for 2022/23, we enlisted the help of Alex Stewart, of Tifo Football fame. We talk through the forward planning going on at Roma, Arsenal and Barcelona, as well as taking a little look at Leipzig; where Sam talks through what's gone on this year, Alex gives us some insights on why there's reasons to be excited, and the returning Dean Jones walks us through the latest updates on transfer dealings and rumours going on ahead of the opening of the window. There's also Things We Love, where DJ highlights the brilliance of Manchester City vs. Liverpool and why we should be soaking it in, Sam discusses Porto's new record run for unbeaten games in the Portuguese Primeira, and Jack spotlights the mad race for promotion in the 2. Bundesliga with just five games to go. There's a Melon from Mexico, and Dean takes the Gibberish mantle to talk about things that surprised him from his recent trip to Chicago. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 13, 2022
Ranking Interesting Under-the-Radar Players This Season
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It's that time of year where conversations start happening about Players of the Season and the like, but we wanted to dig under the surface before we get to the sharp end of those debates. So, in Dean's absence, we're joined by our friend Mark Carey, Data Analyst at The Athletic, to look at some of the players whose numbers have thrown up something interesting to look at in a few seasons that might have slid underneath your radar. We race across Europe, taking in a centre-back in Spain, a goalkeeper and a winger in the Premier League, a midfielder in France and a striker in Germany, as well as a few honourable mentions from Italy and beyond, covering all sorts of ground about a few players who are having special seasons or who have jumped up a level to maybe earn themselves a move. There's also Things We Love, where Sam takes a look at his favourite groups from last week's World Cup Draw and Jack discusses a very interesting weekend as the Serie A title race enters it's final straight with three horses neck-and-neck; plus there's a Gibberish Ranking regarding some alternative destinations for Kylian Mbappe this summer. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 06, 2022
Ranking Why World Cup Qualification for Canada Means So Much
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The wait is finally over for the Maple Leafs - for just the second time in their history, and for the first time since 1986, Canada are going to the Men's World Cup, having topped CONCACAF's qualifying pool in some style. Canada fan and content creator Aaron Moniz joins us to explain just why this is such a special moment in the country's history, how it went down, who we should be keeping an eye on, and what it means for Canadian soccer going forward. Things We Love also has an international feel. Sam kicks us off by singing the praises of the also-qualified Ecuadorians; Dean discusses Captain America Christian Pulisic scoring a hat-trick to pretty much see off the demons of the USMNT's failed qualification campaign for World Cup 2018; and Jack sings about how nice it is to have an Ireland team that it's easy to get behind - one which makes you proud to be a fan. There's also a Melon of the Week, kindly provided by the higher-ups in this World Cup's bureaucracy, whilst the Gibberish discusses sources of annoyance and potential solutions to them. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 30, 2022
Ranking Roma and the Derby della Capitale
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Hello Rank Squad! Welcome to a very special episode of Ranks, in association with New Balance! This weekend we headed off to Rome to experience one of the most fervent, intense rivalries in world football - Roma vs. Lazio, in all it's glory at the Stadio Olimpico - where the Giallorossi put on a show to beat their Biancocelesti neighbours 3-0, with Tammy Abraham grabbing the headlines by scoring a brace. We start off with a supercut live from the stadium, before a ranking of five things we learned from our experiences in the Eternal City - from the atmosphere in the city itself and the fan cultures, to just how special this relationship between Abraham and Mourinho could be, and what this means for Roma going forward. There's also a Melon of the Week of course, and Sam's Gibberish gives you a little insight into a few non-football related experiences from our weekend abroad. It’s Ranks! For those of you who might be interested in joining our Ultras for two extra episodes a week, we'd love to have you on board! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 23, 2022
Ranking the Ballon d'Or Contenders for 2021/22
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France Football have finally moved their glittering Golden Ball award to a sensible position in the football calendar - given out after the season is over, rather than trying to piece together two separate ones in an annual award. It might be in the one year it made sense to keep it in December (hello Winter World Cup) but ultimately, we're fans of progress, however it comes. Sam ranks the top five players in the running for the award right now, from a Frenchman lighting it up in Germany and an old-timer with a vengeance mission, to an Egyptian King and a smooth Los Blancos vintage. Things We Love sees Dean talking about Aaron Ramsdale, and a discussion around whether or not he takes England's No. 1 shirt ahead of the World Cup later this year; Sam discussing the impact of Torino's Gleison Bremer and where his next steps are; and Jack seeing the live emergence of a new Octopus at Real Betis this weekend - shouts out Paul Akouokou. There's also room for Melon of the Week and a slightly heated debate about the scenes that went down at the Parc des Princes this weekend, whilst in the Gibberish, Jack goes completely off piste about his favourite food. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 16, 2022
Ranking the Best Defensive Midfielders in the Game
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The No. 6. The pivot. The volante. The trinco. Defensive midfielders come in many shapes and sizes, but they've become perhaps the hottest property in the game behind an elite goalscorer, because the elite ones are so rare and are often the difference between the best and the rest - just ask Manchester United. Today, we took a look at those at the top of the pile - the top five defensive midfielders plying their trade right now, and in the process, had a deep think about what the role actually entails. There's some time to think about who might be the next generation starting to make their mark here as well. On top of that, there's Things We Love, where Dean discusses Kai Havertz's recent glorious form as Chelsea's out-and-out centre-forward; Sam talks about Roberto Carlos playing for a Sunday League side in Shropshire (off the bench!) and Jack waxes lyrical about Mikel Arteta's Arsenal being in the ascendancy, and their youthful vigour paying off. There's a Melon of the Week for a certain Everton defender, we announce the winner of the Porto kit competition, and the Gibberish is all about living on a building site. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 09, 2022
Ranking Leeds United Under Marcelo Bielsa: The Good, the Bad & the Future
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Hello Rank Squad! This week, Leeds finally ended what has been a glorious time in the club's history - the stewardship of Marcelo Bielsa - with the club languishing dangerously above the Premier League relegation zone. It was a sad day for many Leeds fans, even if the change was perhaps necessary for sustaining their top-flight tenure. We're joined by Leeds fan and podcaster Jon Mackenzie, who talks us through five lessons that he has learned from having the Argentine football philosopher in charge of his club - and why the bond between Bielsa and the Elland Road faithful was so strong. There's positives, negatives, and everything in between. Bielsa has been succeeded by Jesse Marsch, once of RB Salzburg and more recently, of RB Leipzig. Our friend, and German football expert, Jasmine Baba, pops by to talk about what the American will bring to the dugout and how things might look for Leeds going forward. There's also Things We Love, where Jack talks about Caoimhin Kelleher's performance in the Carabao Cup Final and his new place on a Liverpool Wall of Fame; whilst Dean discusses Carlos Vela's out-of-this-world return to LAFC as MLS stormed back onto the stage. There's a Melon of the Week too, and Jack takes over for an impromptu Gibberish. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 02, 2022
Ranking Europe's Best Title Races
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We're heading towards the final stretch of the domestic seasons, with just under three months to go until it's all wrapped up - which means that title races are starting to enter their final forms, and that's really exciting! Sam takes a look at the title races across France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and England to determine where the drama lies as we get to that home straight. It's controversial, to say the least - or at least it is in Jack's eyes. But that's the joy of this game - whether you're after a multiple team chase with points being dropped everywhere and chaos reigning, a two-horse race with each pushing the other to new levels of brilliance, or a chase of a multiple-title winning behemoth by a brave underdog, there's something for you here. Before that Things We Love covers MLS restarting this weekend, the belated brilliance of Cesar Azpilicueta's captaincy in the Club World Cup Final, and the Europa League returning with it's usual madness; whilst there's a special double Melon being handed out, and a Gibberish encompassing the return to offices happening across the world. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 23, 2022
Ranking Porto vs. Sporting & The Primeira Title Race
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Hello Rank Squad! Welcome to a very special episode of Ranks, in association with New Balance! This weekend we ventured to Porto to take in O Classico at the Estadio do Dragão - Porto vs. Sporting in a clash with crucial implications at the top of the Primeira table. A win for Porto would see them all but clinch the title, whilst a Sporting win would close things right up in the title race. In a game which had everything - four goals, five red cards and an atmosphere right up there with the best in the world, we put down the things we learned from our adventure. From the invincible city to the Dragão itself, from the youngsters on display to Sporting's resilience, from Coates to the absence of Luis Díaz, we discuss it all - and we're also joined by Marino Peixoto, football journalist and Portuguese enthusiast, to look at it from a more general perspective at the end. Oh, and there's a very special competition in association with New Balance as well. It's all very exciting. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 16, 2022
Ranking Every Champions League Team Before the Last 16
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Welcome back to the Champions League, which returns with a vengeance next Tuesday! Ahead of a massive two weeks of fixtures, we take a stock check of every team left in the competition - comparing it to where they stood at the end of the Group Stages. There are some climbers, some fallers, and some big guns who are just motoring along - but everyone is looked at here. Things We Love takes us through a magical weekend of FA Cup upsets and storylines, Senegal's mighty triumph in the AFCON Final and the ensuing celebrations, and a 'Green-off' in Serie A on Monday night which included two magnificent free-kicks. There's a moment for Melon of the Week too, live and direct from Old Trafford; whilst Sam's Gibberish takes us to 'Things He Just Doesn't Understand'. We curtailed it, I promise. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 09, 2022
Ranking the Best Transfers of the January Window
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Hello Rank Squad! In our traditional first episode post any window we're taking a look at our five favourite deals of the window, which in this particular January, has been heavily skewed by South Americans moving around Europe! From Colombian tricksters swapping Porto for Merseyside, to Uruguayan registas making moves from Turin to Tottenham; and from long-term gems joining in summer moves to those we think will be making immediate impacts - we discussed it all here! Things We Love includes Jack waxing lyrical about just how amazing Sunderland Fan TV was on deadline day, where they were the ones breaking news; Dean talks about Fabio Carvalho's move to Liverpool falling through and about smaller clubs holding out for the valuations they believe are fair; and Sam discusses the Canada MNT and how brilliant they have been in this year's CONCACAF qualification. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 02, 2022
Ranking the Biggest Deadline Day Storylines
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We're coming to the end of the transfer window, Rank Squad; and so we're taking a look at the biggest names and clubs who still have plenty of work to do. We start at Spurs, who are looking to shift on three players and bring a couple in, before heading to Manchester United. Martial might have gone, but Van de Beek and Henderson are still looking for new homes, whilst Jesse Lingard is a man in demand. Newcastle are on the hunt for anybody who could help them survive, and we discuss their approaches, whilst Dusan Vlahovic's probable move to Juventus might free up a whole domino chain of late switches across Europe - perhaps most interestingly, for Arsenal, who also wanted him earlier in the window. We also discuss three players who need a move desperately - a Moroccan wideman in Seville, a former Barcelona starboy struggling for minutes under Mourinho, and Inter's backup CDM who could almost certainly start for 15+ teams in Serie A. Things We Love focuses on Roy Hodgson's return to management at Watford (and a homecoming for his assistant Ray Lewington), Dortmund & Leipzig both on the charge in the Bundesliga, and Comoros' performance in the AFCON Round of 16 which won hearts all over the world, if not a place in the quarter-finals. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 26, 2022
Ranking the Best Things About Football
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To paraphrase Patrice Evra, We Love This Game here at Ranks FC. And with Sam dropping out last minute, we had to spin things on a sixpence for today's ranking - so Dean and Jack sat down to talk about the things that make this game of football the best thing on earth. From Cup Finals to Stadiums, Rivalries to Last-Minute Winners; we broke down our favourite things about the ball game, whether you call it football, soccer, calcio or futbol. There was also Things We Love, where we talked about some of the big Transfer Stories this week, from Erling Haaland to Dušan Vlahović to Wolves' new boy Chiquinho and just how good Nigeria have been so far at AFCON. Melon of the Week goes to a referee who picked up the headlines for all the wrong reasons, and the Gibberish falls to Jack, who ranks his favourite Greek Gods. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 19, 2022
Picking Our 2021 Team of the Year with EA Sports
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Picking a Ballon d'Or winner is always tricky because it's done on a year-by-year basis - so we decided to make it 11 times more difficult and pick our Team of the Year across the whole of 2021 - in association with our friends at EA Sports FIFA 22. We go through piece-by-piece to discuss the best of the last calendar year and every single position within a team, in the formation we thought best to try and squeeze them in! There's also Things We Love, where Dean discusses Dortmund's new kit design competition, Sam sings about Dani Alves returning to play in Blaugrana and grabbing an assist, and Jack waxes lyrical about Francisco Conceiçāo's late winner for Porto and his celebrations with his dad, who also happens to be his manager. Melon of the Week comes from the madness that happened at the Stadio Olimpico this weekend between Roma and Juventus, whilst the Gibberish sheds some light on the best things that happened at Sam's wedding last Friday. It's Ranks! If you want to vote in the FIFA 2021 Team of the Year selections, the link is here! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 12, 2022
Ranking AFCON 2022: Favourites, Wildcards & Underdogs
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It's the first episode of 2022 and kicking off a busy January of football across the globe is the latest edition of the African Cup of Nations, where Algeria will look to defend the crown that they won in 2019! We're joined by Joe Crann, football journalist and adopted South African who has spent some years covering the tournament, to talk about this year's movers and shakers. We look at some of the favourites, including the holders and their nearest challengers, through some wildcard picks and into the underdog stories that you need to be looking out for as we get underway in one of the most exciting, unpredictable tournaments on the planet. There's also time for Things We Love, where Dean gives us a Phil Jones love-in, Sam gushes over Wolves manager Bruno Lage and his post-match interviews, and Jack discusses the transfers of Jonathan Ikone and Michael Cuisance to Serie A clubs Fiorentina and Venezia respectively. Finally, Dean drops his Melon of the Year for 2021 and Sam's Gibberish explains the three most arduous tasks he has had to do in planning his wedding, which takes place this Friday. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 05, 2022
Ranking January's Biggest Transfer Stories
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Welcome back to silly season, Rank Squad; and welcome to the last Ranks FC episode of 2021. Dean Jones walks us through five of the biggest storylines heading into a slightly bizarre window for a lot of clubs. From the next movements of the upcoming batch of best forwards in the world to the strange situation manifesting at Newcastle United; Chelsea's contract dilemmas to Juventus' need to rebuild and some future-proofing at Real Madrid, there's a lot to discuss! There's also time for a little Things We Love, where Sam discusses the latest reincarnation of Joelinton as a World-Class No. 8 and Jack sings the praises of brave little Rayo Vallecano, who end the year in 4th place in La Liga. Dean's Melon of the Week goes out to a special national team performance in the Suzuki Cup, before Sam's Gibberish ranks the things he's most looking forward to in 2022, and Jack is allowed two minutes on why the Darts World Championship is so brilliant. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 29, 2021
Ranks Christmas Special: Giving Gifts to 5 Lucky Managers
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It's the season, so Sam-ta Claus is dropping down the chimneys of five lucky clubs to give them a special gift under the tree that could turn around the second half of their seasons, or at the very least, improve things from where they are right now. Sam and Jack are joined by Pet Berisha of the State of Play Podcast and Copa90 as the Rank God drops in to Manchester, London, Newcastle, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Barcelona to help out some of the managers who are not seeing things quite go their own way this season. There's also Things We Love, where Sam discusses Jorge Molina's glorious hat-trick at 39 years of age, Pet talks about Gabriel Martinelli's wonderful winking habit and Jack brings up the brilliant Shelter 'No Home Kit' campaign tackling homelessness through football on Boxing Day. There's also time for Dean to ring through a pair of Melons of the Week, and for Sam's Gibberish Rankings, which this week are about what Football could learn from Formula 1. Merry Christmas, Rank Squad! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 22, 2021
Ranking the Champions League Last 16
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16 teams remain in the Champions League, drawn (at the second attempt) into eight knockout ties that will take place in February. We examine each of them and how they rank in terms of winning Europe's top competition right now - from the favourites to the outsiders and everyone in between. There's also a chance for Jack to wax lyrical about the other two competitions - the Europa League and the Europa Conference League - and to add in some mini-rankings about the most entertaining matchups and the best narrative prospects thrown up by the two other draws done on Monday by UEFA. Then there's Melon of the Week, where there were no shortage of candidates for a second week running, and a Gibberish Ranking where Sam delved into the ins-and-outs of his Spotify Wrapped for this year. It's Ranks! If you're looking to contribute to the relief aid for those affected by the Kentucky Tornadoes this week, the link, as promised, is here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 15, 2021
Ranking the Biggest Bundesliga Stories with Jasmine Baba
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So the Bundesliga, eh? Jesse Marsch gone at Leipzig, Marc van Bommel gone at Wolfsburg, Freiburg in 4th, Mainz in 7th and stories all over the place. We decided it would be prudent to bring back an expert on all things German football to enlighten us on what is happening across the board - so it's a glorious time to reintroduce Jasmine Baba, German Football Consultant. Jasmine talks us through all the big stories mentioned above, plus the strange goings on at Borussia Dortmund and what's happened to last year's success stories Stuttgart, as we blitz through the good, bad and ugly of the first half of the Bundesliga season! There's also time for Things We Love, where Sam talks about the chaos left in Champions League Matchday 6, Dean discusses the beauty of a perfectly timed volley and Jack waxes lyrical about why Empoli are one of the most fun teams to watch in Serie A. There's a first too in Melon of the Week, where a whole team are nominated, and the Gibberish Rankings threatens to derail Sam's impending marriage. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 08, 2021
Ranking The Most Interesting Player Roles in Europe
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Certain players play the same way their entire lives, whichever coach, manager, tactical setup or formation they're deployed in or by. Some though, are utilised in quirky and interesting ways, and it's those we're looking at today - from Julian Nagelsmann's use of Leroy Sane to Denzel Dumfries' position at Inter. There's also Things We Love, where Dean discusses Roy Keane and Jamie Carragher's big punditry bust-up live on Sky, Sam talks about the brilliant madness of football in the snow and Jack waxes lyrical over Dries Mertens' two glorious goals as Napoli paid tribute to Diego Maradona on the weekend. Melon of the Week has about eight contenders, but the winner comes to us from Norway where Viking went, well, Viking, and the Gibberish Rankings is about 'Things that wind Dean up.' It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 01, 2021
Ranking the Ballon d'Or Contenders
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It's very nearly the most wonderful time of the year (unless you're Sam) and that means it's time for the Ballon d'Or! After a year that has seen a lot of different players make their individual marks to shine sporadically, the big question is - who lifts that Golden Ball in Paris next Monday. We look through the main contenders and some outside bets as well, and talk through the pros and cons of our favourites for the award, ahead of the ceremony. There's also time for Things We Love, which this week includes Mauricio Pochettino's future job prospects, some sumptuous goals and assists from the weekend, the chaos of Fiorentina vs. Milan and a feelgood story from Roma about Mourinho's latest starboy. There's also a Melon of the Week, which has some real contenders this weekend, and a Gibberish Rankings which is the bits we can tell you from Sam's Stag Weekend in Liverpool. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 24, 2021
Ranking World Cup 2022 One Year Ahead
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So the World Cup kicks off in a year and four days, the first teams are starting to secure their spots and qualification is starting to get to the sharp end. We let Jack loose on a couple of mini-rankings to take a look right now at the early front-runners in terms of contenders, the teams with a lot to do in the year ahead if they're going to compete, the dark horses to cause a stir at the tournament, and the big names in a little bit of jeopardy in terms of qualifying at all! There's also time for Things We Love which includes early thoughts on All of Nothing: Juventus, the unbelievable month of narrative ahead of Steven Gerrard and Aston Villa, and the redemption arc of Aleksandar Mitrovic which ended with him sealing Serbia's place at the World Cup, almost a year to the day after he missed the penalty denying his nation a place at EURO 2020. Melon of the Week sees us take a detour to Australia and the FFA Cup, and Sam's Gibberish is the weirdest things that he found on his weekend away in Paris. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 17, 2021
Ranking Players of the Season So Far in Europe's Big 5 Leagues
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The last international break of the calendar year gives us a chance to breathe and take stock of just what we've seen so far this season - now we're around 11/12 games in. Trends have taken shape, teams have gelled (or not) and certain players have emerged already as leading Player of the Year candidates, We stretch our legs across Europe to rank the top three players so far across the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga and Ligue seasons, with plenty of honourable mentions and disagreement along the way. There's also Things We Love, which includes our new merchandise range with New Balance (football shirt, hoodie and walkout jacket), the Brendan Rodgers to Manchester United (and City!) rumours, and Hugo Duro emerging as a cult hero for the right reasons this time, at Valencia. Dean has to backtrack on some big claims last week to pick the latest Melon contender, and Sam's Gibberish takes on the form of his last three searches on Google - don't worry, it's clean. It's Ranks! If you'd like to join us over on Patreon, for two extra podcasts a week, we'd love to have you as part of our brilliant Ultras community! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 10, 2021
Ranking Problems Antonio Conte Must Fix at Tottenham with Nathan A Clark
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Antonio Conte is the new manager of Tottenham Hotspur, and if this season's performances are anything to go by, he has a job on his hands. We're joined by Nathan A Clark of Tottenham podcast The Extra Inch to take a look at five issues which need to be the pillars of Conte's reign at the Lane if he's to succeed where plenty of others have failed. From structuring possession to reigniting the midfield creativity to leaving the club in a better place than he found it, it's a comprehensive look at how things are going to need to pan out under the Italian, if Spurs are going to reach similar levels of success to that which he's achieved elsewhere, both short and long-term. There's also Things We Love, which includes Dean waxing lyrical about the brilliance of West Ham United this season under David Moyes, and how they're a very well-coached unit honed by the togetherness of the squad; and Jack singing the praises of Giovanni Simeone, who is having a purple patch at a resurgent Hellas Verona. Our Melon(s) come from South America and a riled-up fanbase, whilst the Gibberish Rankings discuss the perils of living through Autumn at least once a year. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 03, 2021
Ranking Manchester United's Problems (And How To Fix Them)
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Manchester United 0-5 Liverpool. It's not a pretty scoreline if you're from the red half of Manchester, although it filled plenty of red hearts with unfathomable joy just down the M62. However, this feels like the straw that has broken the camel's back - and now plenty of fans are calling for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, legend that he is at Old Trafford, to be replaced. We take a look at the three biggest problems currently holding Manchester United back, and how they can be fixed; as well as examining the talk around the fact that Antonio Conte will be the next manager in the Old Trafford dugout. There's also Things We Love, which includes some thoughts on the Football Manager 22 Beta being released, the Premier League title race potentially being the greatest of all time this season, and the fact that La Liga had a sensational weekend across the board this week. There's a welcome return for a manager as Melon of the Week too, and the Gibberish Rankings looks at Dean's least favourite songs. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 27, 2021
Ranking Champions League Players You Should Know More About
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Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar, Mbappé, De Bruyne, Lukaku, Benzema, Lewandowski, Oblak, Salah. The list goes on forever - star players who grace the Champions League, who we look to for entertainment every time the Gazprom returns for a midweek slot. But what about those ones that slip under the radar in the light of such radiant brilliance? The next generation playing for clubs who are outsiders, the quiet men in the middle of things, those outside of Europe's big five leagues? Sam walks us through five of the best talents in this season's Champions League who might just have ghosted off your radar, and why you should be looking to learn more. There's also Things We Love, which includes a Mo Salah love-in and a dissection of Osasuna's fast start to La Liga's season; whilst Melon in the Week comes from Serie A and the Gibberish Rankings are a list of things Sam struggles to find most in his own house. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 20, 2021
Ranking the Most Exciting Teams in Europe with Dougie Critchley of Football Daily
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Top-tier club football returns this weekend, and with it, a glut of incredible games and teams to keep an eye on across the continent! To help us pick the most watchable teams so far this season, we enlisted the help of our friend Dougie Critchley, who some of you will know from his work on Football Daily and Euro Football Daily. We talked through some of the best sides on the continent, including some rampant Total Football proponents, a Bundesliga David and Goliath, and a pair of Scudetto challengers - before discussing a bit more why La Liga has struggled to ignite, and a couple of honourable mentions in France. Before that, Sam talks us through the heartwarming story of the Hernandez brothers playing together for France and winning an international trophy; and afterwards Dean returns to the Pod in live form, ranking the best bits from his time in America and dropping a (different football) Melon of the Week. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 13, 2021
Ranking EFL Players Ready For A Step Up with Ali Maxwell of Not The Top 20
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The Championship, League 1 and League 2 are hotbeds of young talent in England. Not only have we seen talent in promoted sides thrive, but transfers up for the likes of Michail Antonio, Ollie Watkins, Jarrod Bowen, James Maddison, Jay Rodriguez, Joe Gomez, John Stones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Tim Cahill, Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale were all success stories, so there's some pretty good historical basis for players making the jump. So we're making this one a staple, and bringing back our old friend Ali Maxwell from Not the Top 20 Podcast and The Athletic's Football Tactics Podcast to talk to us about some of the most exciting talents in the EFL who we might well be seeing on the biggest stages in football at some point in the near future. We start with a look back at Ali's calls from last year, which included Rico Henry, Josh Da Silva and Michael Olise - before heading on to some of the names from this campaign - taking a look at Blackburn's Ben Brereton Diaz, Coventry City's Callum O'Hare, Stoke City's Harry Souttar, Luton Town's Elijah Adebayo and MK Dons' Matt O'Riley and what stage each of them are currently at. As ever, there's time for Things We Love, where Sam talks João Félix's masterclass against Barcelona at the weekend, and Jack discusses a weekend of shock results across Europe and the reverberations they could cause. Dean phones in a Melon of the Week and we finish with a Gibberish that could get Sam in some trouble at home. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 06, 2021
Ranking Under-the-Radar Golden Boy Nominations with Scouted Football's Stephen Ganavas
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We're delighted to welcome the first of our special guests in Dean's absence with Jack and Sam being joined by Stephen Ganavas of Scouted Football to talk through some of the hidden gems in the Golden Boy shortlist. Having talked about the best teenagers in the world a few weeks back, Stephen ranked a few names in here less up in lights, but who you still really need to know - Mohamed-Ali Cho of Angers, Yeremy Pino of Villarreal, Karim Adeyemi of Salzburg, Illya Zabarnyi of Dynamo Kyiv and Josep Gvardiol of RB Leipzig. There was time for Things We Love too, where Sam discussed a particular touch from Emile Smith-Rowe in Sunday's North London Derby, and Jack gushed about the performance of Nicolo Barella in Inter's 2-2 draw with Atalanta at the weekend. Dean phoned in a Melon of the Week from California, and the Gibberish Rankings focused on the TV shows that are next on Sam's radar. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 29, 2021
Ranking Players Set For Surprisingly Big Seasons
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There's always a few players who explode into life each season to make big waves for clubs that we didn't see coming. Whether it's comebacks or breakthroughs, across Europe and beyond, previously fringe options suddenly become crucial elements for a new manager or find themselves in the plans of an old one. We look at five of the most surprising options to have emerged this season so far. There's also, of course, Things We Love, which this week starts with a love letter to Ronald Araujo, and then descends into the Koeman in or out discourse. If you want a full breakdown of our thoughts on the next Barcelona manager, we've done a YouTube special here! We chat too about Danny Drinkwater's renaissance at Reading, and Napoli's perfect start to the Serie A season which included a training ground special on Monday night. Melon of the Week goes to a certain goalkeeper from the Europa League, although there's a nice fan-based counterpoint to that one; and Sam picks his favourite Pringles flavours in the Gibberish. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 22, 2021
Ranking the Best Teenagers in World Football
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Teenagers are fleeting. It feels like only yesterday that we were talking about Kylian Mbappé, Jadon Sancho and Erling Braut Haaland - but they're all into their 20's now and ineligible for consideration. So we take an early look at the brightest stars of the new generation - off the back of one of our Ultras asking if Jamal Musiala was one of the best teenagers in the world. He's in some elite company - Ansu Fati, Pedri, Florian Wirtz, Jude Bellingham, Nuno Mendes, Mason Greenwood, Gio Reyna, Eduardo Camavinga, Ryan Gravenberch - and the list goes on! Sam does his best to put them in the order of how they stack up against each other right now. There's also time for Things We Love - where Dean talks CR7's debut, Sam discusses seeing players live in the flesh again and Jack waxes lyrical on how good Roma-Sassuolo and Serie A as a whole were this weekend. As ever, there's a Melon of the Week, and Dean talks his personal problems in the Gibberish Rankings. It's Ranks! If you'd like to vote for us in the FCA Awards, we're in the International category for Best Club Content Creator - we'd really appreciate it! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 15, 2021
5x5: Ranking the Top Five in Each of Europe's Big Five Leagues
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The transfer window has closed and we've had a couple of games in each league, so whilst pre-season predictions are fun, this feels like a good time to lock our selections in for the season - so it's time for a new game on Ranks. Welcome to 5x5. The concept is simple - we each pick how we think the top five in England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France are going to look when the curtain falls in May. We work through some brilliant backing of those pre-season picks, some drastic changes courtesy of the end of the transfer window, and some absolutely outrageous calls, mostly from Jack, where heart has clearly taken precedence over head. And of course, there's a Melon of the Week, a Gibberish Ranking and the poems are back to kick things off. It's Ranks! If you'd like to vote for us in the FCA Awards, we're in the International category for Best Club Content Creator - we'd really appreciate it! And of course, if you want more from us, you can join the Rank Squad Ultras on Patreon! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 08, 2021
Ranking the Top Five Transfers this Window
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Well, that was quite something, hey? A window like no other, that saw Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jack Grealish, Antoine Griezmann, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Gigi Donnarumma, Romelu Lukaku, Jadon Sancho, Achraf Hakimi and David Alaba all on the move. Oh, and Kylian Mbappé and Harry Kane eventually stay put after weeks and months of speculation. We're here to make sense of it, ranking the best five transfers across the window! We discuss some of the most valuable deals across the course of this summer, and why they're such important pickups for their respective new clubs. There's also time for us to discuss the Things We Love, which includes some bits on the biggest non-deals this summer and also some Narrative FC love; whilst Melon of the Week comes from Spain and Sam's Gibberish Rankings are about the very strange week he's had. It's Ranks! If you want more from us, with two extra episodes and a newsletter a week, and access to our Discord server, why not come join the Ultras on Patreon? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 01, 2021
Ranking the Biggest Stories Left This Transfer Window
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With one week left in this transfer window, there's a lot of storylines still live. Dean walks us through three of the biggest storylines to keep an eye on in Kylian Mbappé, Richarlison and Harry Kane - and how those might play out; before Sam talks about three players who desperately need a move from their current homes, and Jack looks at three clubs who really need to get a move on. Before that though, there's the return of Things We Love, with Ruben Rochina's Granada comeback, the chaotic start of the Serie A season and Memphis taking to Barcelona like a duck to water all in need of serious discussion. And of course, there's Melon of the Week - three guesses, and a brilliant Gibberish Rankings from Sam to close things off. It's Ranks! If you'd like to vote for us in the FCA Awards, we're in the International category for Best Club Content Creator - we'd really appreciate it! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 25, 2021
Ranking the Serie A 2021/22 Season
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The last of the big five European Leagues gets underway this weekend. Here's everything you need to know about the return of Serie A in Italy. So, from the title race between Juventus, Atalanta, Milan and Inter; to the European challenger powerhouses of Roma, Lazio and Napoli; to the wildcards of Fiorentina, Sassuolo and Sampdoria - we’ve got the lowdown on all the key points ahead of the openers this weekend.  But as with all these preview shows, we wanted to get some expert opinion on the other bits you should be keeping an eye on - so we brought in an old friend of ours, Marco Messina of the IFTV Channel and Podcast to give you the lowdown on the newly promoted teams of Empoli, Venezia and Saliternita - as well as which traditional clubs might struggle this time out, and who he expects to improve on last year's showing. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 18, 2021
Ranking La Liga Ahead of the 2021/22 Season
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It's a big week in football, and a big week for the podcast - and whilst Lionel Messi might have left Spain, there is still so much to be excited about in this season's La Liga season, which promises to be the most competitive in a long time. We start off with the title race, examining holders Atléti, solid but unspectacular Real Madrid and the house fire that is Barcelona ahead of the big kick-off; and talk through who the favourites are and how all three will look to make sure this season matters most to them. From there, we bring in some expert help - Spanish football expert and ESPN Editor David Cartlidge joins us to talk through some of the storylines you need to be keeping an eye out for this season - including Espanyol's charge from the Segunda to the Top 10, Granada's future, some underdog relegation shouts, and the chasing pack in the European Spots. We dial in on that chasing pack to finish - talking through what we're expecting from Sevilla, Real Sociedad, Villarreal and Jack's beloved Real Betis this season, and how they can close the gap on the top three in a year like no other. It's Ranks! If you've loved this week with it's extra episodes, and you want to be in with a chance of winning a football shirt of your choice, why not come and join the Ultras over on our Patreon - the best community in football! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 13, 2021
Ranking the Premier League 2021/22 Season
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Well, we're all systems go on the Premier League, which begins in earnest this Friday as Arsenal take on newcomers Brentford in the curtain-raiser. We're here to take a look at just how we think things are going to pan out this season - from title contenders to survival hopefuls, European dreamers to mid-table slumpers and everything else you might need to know. Sam breaks the table down into five clusters, before we discuss how we think the Top Four will shake out. And, given the new season has begun, there's just enough time for the return of Melon of the Week, where a certain card-happy pre-season referee takes the first Melon of 21/22, and a Gibberish Ranking, where Sam raises the three changes he would make to improve the Olympic Games. It's Ranks! If you want to join our FPL League ahead of the new season, the link is here. And if you've enjoyed our taster week and want to join the Ultras permanently, we'd love to have you over on Patreon for two extra episodes a week, the chance to ask your questions in the Postbox, access to the Ranks Discord and our Torcida Newsletter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 11, 2021
The Postbox: Messi Goodbyes, The Paris Globetrotters, Barcelona's Bounce, Lit Ligue 1, Lukaku in London, Spurs' Kanundrum, Interouble and Getting Warnocked
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Hello Rank Squad! It's a special week here on Ranks, where we're giving you a wee glimpse into what life is like as part of our Ultras community over on Patreon, where we do two extra episodes a week. The first of these is the Monday Postbox, where we break down the best (and worst) weekend's action across Europe and beyond, answering your questions on what went down in the world of football . Here's what's inside today's postbox. MESSI —How can PSG fit all these players into the same side? —Where does the defending come from if it's Messi/Hakimi down the right? —Short and long-term planning in Paris —Is this the mark of Ligue 1's rise to prominence —How do Barcelona look without Messi? —Reaction to Joan Gamper trophy, Memphis, Collado and beyond FRANCE —What a brilliant opening weekend —Monaco, Nice, Lille and Rennes all held —Brilliant Marseille are the most fun team around —PSG's second string against an impressive Troyes side —Lille haven't lost the spirit of last season's campaign! ENGLAND —Chelsea, Lukaku and what constitutes success —Who are the main contenders for the Champions League? —Lautaro, Tottenham, Arsenal and the battle for his signature —Christian Romero and who would be his best partner —Kane's return to training and the tricky situation —Arsenal's pursuit of James Maddison —Are City better than last season with Grealish in for Bernardo & Aguero? —Who will be the first manager to get the boot this year? ITALY —The mercurial rise and fall of Inter —Does Inter's breakdown mean the league loses its edge? —AC Milan: Will they try and play Giroud & Zlatan together? —Demiral to Atalanta - potentially a brilliant bit of business —Mourinho, red cards, and the passion alive at Roma RANDOM —If you could pick one manager in the world to be right now, who would it be? —Celtic, Rangers, Kyogo Furuhashi and is there a title race in the SPL? —Christine Sinclair and the Gold Medal she deserved —Harvey Elliott and fighting for a first team start —Neil Warnock, the Championship and Fulham getting kicked to death If you like what you hear, and you fancy coming to get involved on a permanent basis, we'd love to have you - you can find us over here. We'll see you on Wednesday for our full Premier League Preview and on Friday, where we look ahead to the La Liga campaign. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 09, 2021
Ranking the Bundesliga and Ligue 1 2021/22 Seasons
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Like clockwork, we are days away from the start of the return of domestic football in Europe's Big 5, with Monaco taking on Nantes in the Ligue 1 curtain raiser this Friday night. It's like there was no break at all! With that in mind, it's time for us to preview both the French and German leagues, with Germany's DFB-Pokal starting this weekend as well to kick things off. In France, we take a look at PSG's summer squad booster and discuss who is able to challenge Les Parisiens for the throne, discussing Monaco, Nice, Marseille and Lille as serious contenders for the crown; before we're joined by Alex Collings to talk through three other Ligue 1 storylines you can't miss—Rennes' dynamic wing duo, the emergence of Troyes under the City Football Group, and Lyon's season under the effervescent Peter Bosz. Then it's across the Rhine to Germany, where there's been a merry-go-round of managers in the Bundesliga. Bayern, whilst dominant, have a couple of teams circling for a potential slip-up under the new stewardship of Julian Nagelsmann - so we discuss the Bavarians alongside Marco Rose's Borussia Dortmund and Jesse Marsch's RB Leipzig. Then, Jasmine Baba joins us to talk through Wolfsburg's potentially problematic manager situation, Hertha Berlin's rollercoaster rebuild taking a new turn, and Borussia Mönchengladbach's potential under Adi Hütter. It's Ranks! If you'd like to vote for us in the FCA Awards, we'd love you forever. The voting is here and takes just a couple of seconds. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 04, 2021
Ranking Brilliant Transfers That Deserve More Hype
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In a summer dominated by international football, there was always going to be a few transfers that didn't get the love that they perhaps deserve. We're here to set that straight for you - talking everything from Leipzig's new goal machine up top and Brighton's 'computer' in the middle to the Nice Revolution and Leeds' flying full-back acquisition. There's also a return for Things We Love, where Dean discusses how important Raphael Varane could be for Manchester United, Sam talks through the absolute chaos that has been the football at the Olympics so far, and Jack waxes lyrical about how Marseille have been quietly picking up some very clever deals and steals under new boss Jorge Sampaoli. It's Ranks! If you'd like to vote for us at the Football Content Awards, in either the International Podcast or the New Content Creator category, you can do so using this link. We'd love it if you could! And you can submit your Blue Wire Hustle application here: http://bwhustle.com/join Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 28, 2021
Ranking This Summer's Olympic Men's Football
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Oh, you thought this summer's international football was finished? Think again! The Olympic Games start this week in Tokyo and there's a host of football to be played between some very exciting squads. We're joined by the excellent Joe Donnohue of Scouted Football and Leeds Live to talk through the best narratives, the top teams in contention for the gold medal and some squads that we're excited about watching as we build up to a tournament which Neymar lifted for Brazil last time out! Before that, Jack pours some out for the Gold Cup, which has been brilliant entertainment in the most part, with a couple of drab 1-0's for the Baby USMNT aside, and dishes out some love for Jamaica's all-sorts-of-fun Reggae Boyz squad, a patchwork quilt of some of the Championship's finest players. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 21, 2021
Ranking the Best Players & Moments of EURO 2020
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Well, there we have it. EURO 2020, done and dusted, and Roberto Mancini's young, bold and brazen Italy side took home the trophy by beating Gareth Southgate's resilient Three Lions on penalties, but England should be commended for taking the best side in the competition the full distance. In our final Euros episode, Sam and Jack take a look back through the best players in this years competition, ranking them on their performances; before Dean subs in to talk through the highs and lows of being part of a strange but wonderful tournament at Wembley. Finally, there's a quick spin through our favourite games, moments and Teams of the Tournament to round such a wonderful month of football off. It's been emotional. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 14, 2021
Home or Rome: Ranking the EURO 2020 Final & Semi-Finals
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Well, four have become two and Italy and England will face off in the EURO 2020 final at Wembley on Sunday having seen off the challenges of Spain and Denmark respectively, both over 120 minutes; although Mancini's boys also needed the penalty lottery and some big boy moves from Giorgio Chiellini to book their spot. We're joined by Muhammad Butt, Chief Writer at Squawka, to look back through two very different but equally entertaining semis, starting with England's win over Denmark, and how the Three Lions managed to secure their place in a major tournament final for the first time in 65 years; and then heading over to one of the games of the tournament in Italy vs. Spain, where two midfields did battle in a viewing experience from the ages. From there, it's eyes on the final - three reasons England should be confident, three reasons Italy should be confident and of course, a couple of predictions for good measure. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 08, 2021
Ranking the EURO 2020 Last 8
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This week 16 became 8 as we saw the European Championships spring into knockout mode. There were shocks, spills, gaffes, glory and penalty shootouts; and the contenders from the Group of Death - France, Portugal and Germany - are all out of this competition, alongside the Netherlands. So, of all the nations left in, we ranked each team in terms of how likely they are to be lifting the trophy on the 11th July, given how they performed in their first knockout fixture, their routes to the final and their ability to get this done. It's pure, unfiltered, ranking - fresh off the back of the last game of the round finishing at 11pm. There's also our Tales from Wembley - a very hoarse Dean tells us about his experiences today as England saw off Germany 2-0, in all its detailed glory; whilst Jack and Sam discuss their trip to see Italy see off Austria in extra-time last Saturday. With all the twists and turns, that night feels a long time ago. It's Ranks! 21:04.374 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 30, 2021
Ranking the EURO 2020 Group Stages; Previewing Round of 16
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The Group Stages are done, Rank Squad, and so our rescheduled podcast looking back at it is here! We thought it would be best to rank all the qualified teams, 1-16, on their performances during their group stage campaigns - and then look at what that means going forward - from Sweden’s organised resolve to Belgium’s ability to shift gears; England’s defensive masterclass to Austria’s machinations down the left.  Then, we look back at three nations who hugely disappointed us and exactly why we felt so let down by their performances (yes, Turkey are in there, obviously); and pick out our favourite fixture each of the eight that lie ahead in the first knockout round. It’s Ranks!  If you want more from us, why not come join the Ultras over on Patreon, where you get eight extra episodes a month for the price of a pint for us to share? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 24, 2021
Ranking the EUROs Opening Round
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Every team has now played once at the European Championships, meaning we have a bit more to work with in terms of looking at how this whole thing plays out. We break down some categories of things we've learned: looking at the best team performances so far, some of the bet individual performances that came from left-field, players that we were disappointed with and breakthrough stars of the first match round. From the flying squad of the Italian corps to Slovakia's shock win over Poland, full-backs who got run over defensively to young guns making a name for themselves on the biggest stage, we take in the entire first round of games and rank them. Then Sam and Jack talk some tactical quirks so far, taking a peek at three good and three bad quirks we've seen so far, in a segment inspired by Gennaro Gattuso's most famous press conference. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 16, 2021
The Big Ranks Euro 2020 Preview
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Three days to go and excitement at Ranks HQ has reached Fever Pitch. The European Championships, just the 364 days after they were supposed to begin, are finally upon us. The squads are (sort of) set, the players (we hope) are ready, and the storylines (we know) are just about to unfold.  So, without further ado, here is our behemoth Euro 2020 (or ’21) Preview episode, where we’ve each taken two groups and analysed the four teams in each in detail, looking at strengths and weaknesses, how it might be won and lost, and who we think is going to stand up and be counted when the going gets tough.  We talk tournament favourites, golden boots, dark horses; we predict the top two in every single group, look at some of our favourites to go through as third placed dynamos and pick out some of the best narratives that surround this tournament as we ready ourselves for lift off.  It’s Ranks!  If you’d like to join our Ultras for three episodes a week during the tournament, including Friday’s Ones to Watch, we’d love you to come join us for the price of a pint a month for us to share!   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 09, 2021
Ranks FC Meets Liverpool's Harvey Elliott & NB Announcement!
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It's Official! Ranks FC has signed a partnership with New Balance Football, which means that we're going to be working closely with everyone's favourite Boston-based Sports Brand on all their football endeavours, and we can't tell you how excited we are! For a chance to win our new Ranks FC kit designed by the NB Football gang, head over to our Twitter or Instagram and get sharing! This week, we spoke to newly signed New Balance star, Liverpool wonderkid, youngest player to ever play in the Premier League, a man who has been lighting it up for Blackburn Rovers in the Championship this season and one of the hottest prospects in the English game right now, Mr. Harvey Elliott, to dig into just what makes him tick. We talked his loan spell and growing up as a player in the Championship, his ambitions for next season at Liverpool, what he needs to add to his game to break the starting XI, his Liverpool fandom, why there will always be a place in his heart for Fulham, that list of haircuts, his favourite music artists and cuisines and his heroes growing up, as we got to know Harvey a bit better. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 04, 2021
Ranking the Heroes of This Season
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It's been a weird year, nobody is arguing with that. But in the gloom, in the darkness, some heroes have shone on the pitch for their respective clubs. Be these leaders of men, comeback stories, against the odds triumphs or all three, we asked friend of the pod Zach Lowy, co-founder of Breaking the Lines, to come back and help us pick five of the best personal storylines across Europe this season. And boy did he deliver - from Championship hitmen (to the chagrin of Jack and Dean), to versatile Spaniards playing every position under the sun, to champion defenders who went from one end of fans affections to another, to veterans who inspired unlikely title charges, this one had it all. Before that though, as ever, there was time for Things We Love, which this week included Dean talking about Romelu Lukaku's redemption arc and the very real possibility of him returning to the Premier League; Sam discussing one of the best games of the season in the U21 European Championships, and Jack talking about Aguero's unveiling, Barca-born, Betis-bred defenders returning to the Villamarin and his predictions coming true in both European finals last week. It's Ranks! Come and join the Ultras on Patreon for two extra podcasts a week, our Torcida newsletter and access to the Rank Squad Discord Community!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 02, 2021
Ranking the Champions League Final
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Europa League last week, Champions League this week! As the last (and biggest) annual game of the European football calendar comes hurtling at us, it’s time to turn our eyes to Porto (previously Istanbul) and look in great depth at this seasons Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea. Pep Guardiola vs. Thomas Tuchel. Kevin de Bruyne vs. N’Golo Kanté. Cityzens vs. Pensioners. We look at the key places the final will be won and lost, and dissect three reasons to be optimistic for both sides of a well-trodden clash.  Before all that though, there's time to discuss Things We Love - Sam starts us off with some thoughts on Mike Maignan heading to Milan and why we should be keeping a close eye on both Milan and Lille's business across the course of this summer; Dean talks about Luis Suarez's impact on this Atléti team and why his redemption arc was so scintillating this season; and Jack discusses Joaquín's new contract at Betis (he's 40 in a month!) before turning his head to an explanation of the new Europa Conference League and why you should be excited about it as a competition. There's also a Melon of the Season, which goes out to a previous multiple time MOTW winner who you might have thought Dean had forgotten about, and the Gibberish Rankings where we discuss Sam's own Melonish behaviour in the week just gone, and trust me, some of it is pretty special. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 26, 2021
Ranking The Europa League Final and Beyond
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We're into the Endgame now, Rank Squad - the time for European finals, titles, silverware is upon us; and getting ahead of the game, we're looking ahead to next week's showdown in Gdansk between Manchester United and Villarreal. It's Ole Gunnar Solskjaer vs. Unai Emery. Edinson Cavani vs. Gerard Moreno. Red Devils vs. Yellow Submarine. We look at the key places the final will be won and lost, three reasons to be optimistic for both sides of the divide, and some transfers that could well be affected by the outcome of this game; before turning our focus to this year's Europa League as a whole - talking about the best matches we've seen in the competition, and those stories that made our hearts sing. Before all that though, there's time to discuss Things We Love - Dean starts us off with the big transfer news of the moment, that Harry Kane has reportedly asked to leave Tottenham and how he sees this saga playing out; Sam talks about homegrown talent at Southampton and seeing both sides of it - the returning hero Theo Walcott and the new blood in Nathan Tella; and Jack discusses Jenni Hermoso's performance in the UWCL Final and the fact that Karim Benzema is rumoured to be returning to the France setup for this summer's European Championships. There's also a Melon of the Week, which this time out goes to a very particular fan at the FA Cup Final, and the Gibberish Rankings where we discuss the YouGov poll about people in the UK believing they could fight gigantic animals. To the 8% of people who think they could beat an Elephant in a fight whilst unarmed, we're here to tell you that you couldn't. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 19, 2021
Ranking Elite Players Who Need a Transfer This Summer
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As the season draws to it's close, the transfer window looms large and there are certain players who will be literally itching to get themselves to pastures new, for a myriad of reasons: to win trophies, to get their careers back on track, to get themselves some actual playing time. We look at five of the biggest names who will likely be (or at the very least should be) angling for an exit this summer. From a £120m man in Blaugrana to an England captain to a former Los Blancos golden boy, there are big moves across the continent on the tip of everyone's tongue, and we take a look how likely they are to leave and where they should ideally be heading. Things we Love this week discusses the madness left in the Serie A season and why you should be glued to it, Edinson Cavani's contract extension at Manchester United and what it means for the club, and a potential first Primeira title for Sporting CP in Portugal for the best part of two decades. There's also some time for Jack's mourning over Fulham's relegation from the Premier League, Dean to award another Melon of the Week and Sam's Gibberish Rankings for Things That Should Be Easier To Do. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 12, 2021
Jose Mourinho to Roma and Ranking Every PL Club's Record Signing
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No sooner had the Mourinho Bus left North London, then it rocks up in Rome! In a bombshell move, Roma announced that Paulo Fonseca would be leaving on Tuesday morning, and that Jose Mourinho would be taking over next season in the Eternal City on Tuesday afternoon - the world of football waits for nobody.We break down just how this might play out, whether this is a move that might see JoMo get his MoJo back, and which players at Roma might well thrive under the Special One. Then we head into our big ranking, which this week involves Sam taking all 20 of the Premier League's clubs and ranking their record signing - based on how their careers have gone so far, but also projecting onto their futures, and their values in the wider world right now. It's a complex one - how do you compare Chris Wood with Adam Webster with Paul Pogba, but we give it our best shot. And of course, there's just time for a Melon of the Week from the DFB-Pokal semi-finals before we close things off. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 05, 2021
Ranking the World of Goalkeeping with The Modern-Day GK
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It's a No. 1 special over here at Ranks, a glimpse behind-the-curtain and between-the-sticks, as we are joined by Lee Robinson, former professional with Rangers and a host of other clubs, and now one of the brains behind The Modern-Day Goalkeeper - three brothers trying to revolutionise the training and perception of young goalkeepers in the game. First up, we rank three ways that the boys are changing things - from training schedules to specialised gloves to altering perceptions around height; before Lee ranks his favourite five goalkeepers and just why he rates them so highly. As ever, we start with Things We Love, which this week includes the latest from the Bundesliga Manager Merry-Go-Round with Julian Nagelsmann making the hop from RB Leipzig to Bayern Munich; the title races across Europe which we're glued to as we reach the end of the season; and Aston Villa's Keinan Davis finally breaking his Premier League duck on the 29th attempt. Melon of the Week goes to a referee in Spain who absolutely fluffed his lines at the weekend, before Sam rounds things off with a Gibberish Ranking of all the injuries he's currently 'suffering' from. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 28, 2021
The Super League Madness & Ranking Clubs We Can Believe In
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Well, no such thing as a quiet week in football, but I don't think we've ever had 72 hours quite as mad as the last 3 days have been. With the announcement, the fallout, the breakdown and the backdown of an entire organisation in such a short time period, we try to make sense of just what went down regarding The Super League. We take stock of the full timeline of Tuesday's wild events up to recording, react to the seeming death of the Super League at this point and discuss Ed Woodward's resignation and what that might mean for Manchester United going forward (especially in terms of the Glazer ownership). Then we look to the future, opening up the can of worms which relates to the punishments of the "Big Six" - points deduction? relegation? Is that fair on the players or the fans who were the best outlet in this fight against the ESL? Is Juventus' demotion during Calciopoli our closest reference point? And can we use this swell of on-the-ground energy for good moving forward; to tackle racism, elevate the women's game and take back clubs into the hands of fans, with the same ferocity? Finally, we raise some love for the clubs who have been steadfast during this - the clubs that if you're feeling disillusioned with the game right now, that you might be able to draw some inspiration from. We talk the upstart rebels Atalanta in Italy, the young pretenders in France who have set this year's title race alight - Lille; and the mighty conveyor belt that is the backbone of Ajax. We also talk about supporting grassroots football local to you, with Dean waxing lyrical over Walton & Hersham, and Jack calling up his beloved Hanwell Town FC; before we pour out some love for the model of German football and the Bundesliga's commitment to fan investment and ownership. Finally, Sam talks about why he got angry on his first visit to Crystal Palace in a Gibberish, and Dean picks a non-ESL-related Melon of the Week. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 21, 2021
Ranking the Breakout Stars of 20/21
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We're careering towards the end of the season, so we thought we'd shine a little light on the players who have exploded into the public consciousness and into our hearts in the 2020/21 season. From the Premier League to the Bundesliga to La Liga, we've experienced some of the most amazing stories as unknown quantities have brought the limelight streaming down on themselves with incredible performances. From London to Leeds, Barcelona to Bavaria and beyond, Sam ranks his favourite breakouts from a season like no other. In Things We Love, Dean discusses the possibility of Sergio Agüero taking the leap across the Pennines from Manchester to Yorkshire, and linking up with Marcelo Bielsa in the process; Sam discusses the new Ranks FC Discord server and the watchalong we enjoyed with El Clásico taking place on Saturday night; and Jack waxes lyrical about the dramatic nature of the relegation battle in Portugal's Primeira Liga. There's a Melon of the Week from lower down the English Football Pyramid as teammates turn into mortal enemies, and the Gibberish is a very special outside contribution based on club badges. It's Ranks! Come and join the Ultras on Patreon for two extra podcasts a week, our Torcida newsletter and access to the Rank Squad Discord Community!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 14, 2021
Ranking the PL Player of the Year
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It's that time of year again, where the debate begins to rage about who the Premier League's best player has been over the course of the last eight months. It's never easy, but with no obvious front-runner this year, we thought it was a good time to explore just who should be getting the nod for the domestic individual award that causes more debate than any other. We discuss a crop of City's best, as well as talismans for United, Tottenham and Aston Villa, as we head into the final straight for the PL campaign. Before that though, there's time for Things We Love: Sam talks Fiorentina's 21-year-old Serbian hitman Dušan Vlahović, Dean discusses the ins-and-outs of La Liga's twisting title tensions, and Jack waxes lyrical about the languid love-in for Lingard now that the emotional yoke has been removed from his shoulders. There's also time for a Melon of the Week from the other side of North London for once, and the Gibberish rankings are based off of a very special message we got. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 07, 2021
Ranking the Copa del Rey Final
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It's an all-Basque affair in the Copa del Rey final as Athletic Club take on Real Sociedad for the trophy this weekend. They've only had to wait a year! In this special episode, made in partnership with New Balance Football, we delve into a gargantuan game that has more on the line than silverware - this Euskal Derbia is about local bragging rights, regional pride, and a first Copa del Rey since the 1980's for one of the Basque Country's two big guns. To give you what you need to know ahead of the game, we —recap the road to the final, including the elimination of both El Clásico giants —pick three players who you we think are most likely to influence the result —interview Athletic Club's Sales Director Germán Mugueta about what winning would mean to the Bilbao club —spotlight three things to keep an eye out for in the game, ranging from David Silva's influence to Yuri Berchiche's overlaps to the possibility of the trumpet making a reappearance —talk to La Liga Lowdown & Txoko Pod's Beñat Gutiérrez about the rivalry between Athletic and La Real and why it makes the game special There's also a giveaway of a special edition commemorative Athletic Club Copa del Rey final shirt, which you can find over on our Twitter, @RankSquad, brought to you by our partners at @NBFootball - so make sure you head over there to find details of how to enter! And to follow all our game day coverage on Saturday, drop us a follow on our Instagram - @rank.squad It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 31, 2021
Ranking the Champions League & Europa League Last 8
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Draws done, brackets done, and the roads to Istanbul and Gdańsk respectively are paved for Europe's elite. So it's time to take a look closer at how these might play out. First up, the Champions League, where Sam ranks Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Porto and Chelsea on the likelihood of them holding ol' Big Ears to the sky on a balmy evening at the Atatürk Stadium, and why. Then it's over to Jack to take a look at his beloved Europa League - where Dinamo Zagreb, Villarreal, Arsenal, Slavia Prague, Granada, Manchester United, Ajax and Roma remain to do battle in order to bring the storied Coupe UEFA back home from Poland. We take a look at each of their chances, and each's strengths and weakness as we career towards's the competition's conclusion. Finally, Dean takes charge of the end to give us a Melon of the Week straight out of the classic social media muddles archive, and ranks his favourite Takeaways during Lockdown in this week's Gibberish. It's Ranks! If one pod a week isn't cutting the mustard any more, and you want two extra episodes and a newsletter weekly for the price of just a pint a month, why not come join us on our Patreon?  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 24, 2021
Ranking a Player Care Manager's Life with Hugo Scheckter
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It's the third instalment of March's InterviewSZN on Ranks FC as we welcome Hugo Scheckter to the pod to pull back the curtain on what life is like in the world of Player Care - in his words, "anything that's not on-the-pitch or medical!" Hugo was Player Care Manager at Southampton and West Ham United in the Premier League, as well as IndyEleven in the US, and explained to us the ins-and-outs of a field that is still relatively young in the football sphere - ranging from how to get into it, the best and worst parts, how players are welcomed, his funniest experiences with players and the future of Player Care as a whole. There's also Things We Love, where Dean talks about the title race in La Liga, Sam discusses the impending U21 European Championships and Jack pours some love out for New Balance's special edition Rose Lavelle boots, which are full stop exquisite. There's also a special Melon of the Week, dedicated to a certain late-arriving Premier League skipper. Thanks for listening, Rank Squad! Make sure you're subscribed to the pod on whatever platform you use, and if you want to give our Patreon a spin in March's free trial, come join us at patreon.com/ranksfc.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 17, 2021
Ranking a Football Agent's Life with Sonny Coleman
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March InterviewSZN continues on Ranks FC, as we welcome FA intermediary and Head of Football at Distinct Agency, Sonny Coleman, to the pod to give us an insight into the world of being a football agent. We discuss his route into this side of the game, the day-to-day of what as entails, how the agency world is changing, and his engagement with the players he represents, as well as Sonny's roots in football and how that stemmed from his Dad Chris - former professional and manager, with spells at Fulham, Wales, Real Sociedad and Hebei China Fortune. Thanks for listening, Rank Squad! Make sure you're subscribed to the pod on whatever platform you use, and if you want to give our Patreon a spin in March's free trial, come join us at patreon.com/ranksfc.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 10, 2021
Ranking A Commentator's Life with Derek Rae
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There's a familiar voice in the Ranks FC studio this week, and not because it's a returning guest, but because it's the Voice of FIFA, Bundesliga Broadcast Behemoth, and one of the finest commentators to ever grace the microphone, Mr. Derek Rae, who joins the Rank Squad to talk all things commentary. We start off with Derek's own background and how he started life behind the mic, before taking a waltz through five pillars of his glittering commentary career: Preparation, Pronunciation, FIFA, Clichés and Experiences - to get the complete package of just what makes the great man tick when he's in the booth. Thanks for listening, Rank Squad! Make sure you're subscribed to the pod on whatever platform you use, and if you want to give our Patreon a spin in March's free trial, come join us at patreon.com/ranksfc.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 03, 2021
Ranking Post-Lockdown Football Dreams
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On Monday, the UK announced its roadmap towards a world without lockdowns, a world which screams to us - full stadiums and football as we love it. It's not quite a global movement yet, but a glut of vaccines means that wherever you are, it feels like the moment is coming where we can look to an open sky once more. Never again will we take a trip to a new ground or to see the players we love, for granted. With all that in mind, we thought we'd talk about our post-lockdown football dreams and what they might be like - and there's a lot going on here. From VAR decisions we don't understand to train journeys around the country; from trips abroad to stadiums we're gasping to experience to shared moments with our mates; seeing unique players in the flesh and enjoying a sense of community wherever you're watching the game. These are what we can't wait for, but we hope they'll inspire your own dreams about the beautiful game as well. In a particularly harmonious episode, Things We Love covers the Fantasy PL leak that has wound up Aston Villa, Bayern-conquering Eintracht Frankfurt's march into the top four, and the record of Villarreal's Gerard Moreno, who NEEDS to be on the plane in Spain's squad for EURO 2020 (2021). There's a Melon of the Week too, and Sam ranks things that should be easy, but are actually hard - ending in a lesson on how not to whistle. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 24, 2021
Ranking the Europa League Knockout Stage
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You didn't think we were going to miss this opportunity, did you? The return of the Champions League means the return of the Champions League's cooler little brother - because the Europa League, like the UEFA Cup before it, is where the cool kids hang out. Europe's most exciting club competition, back with a Round of 32 that contains some explosive match-ups and some players to watch. We take a look at some of the tournament favourites - AC Milan, Manchester United, Napoli and Leicester City; some dark horses - Lille OSC, PSV Eindhoven, Shakhtar Donetsk, Villarreal; and the most exciting teams to watch - Real Sociedad, RB Salzburg, Bayer Leverkusen and SC Braga; as well as a bit of a deeper dive on some of our players to keep an eye on, namely Yusuf Yazıcı and Wenderson Galeno. In place of Things We Love, there's a whole opening segment dedicated to the appointment of Marco Rose as the next Dortmund boss, why German clubs have a habit of announcing deals like this and Dayot Upamecano's move to Bayern before the window in which they happen, and what the former Salzburg man will have to do to turn things around at the Westfalenstadion. There's also, of course, a Melon of the Week (for an entire fanbase, no less), some love for Pancake Day, and a Gibberish Rankings where Sam talks about everyday scenarios that make him happy. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 17, 2021
Ranking the Champions League Knockout Stage
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That time of year is getting closer, Rank Squad. Oh yes, it's time for European nights, under the lights - as next week the Champions League takes flight again for its knockout stages. It might be a tad premature, but who's asking - we're taking a deep dive on the Round of 16. From the teams who are in the best form, to the best chances of an upset, to the most entertaining fixtures - we've got the mini-rankings that will guide you through the return to the European stage - because a lot has changed since this draw was made! Dive in for the Champions League preview you need before we go again. As ever, we start with Things We Love though, and this week Sam and Dean are waxing lyrical about Raphinha and Phil Foden respectively, whilst Jack shows some love to the title race in Turkey, with a three-team split at the top of the Süper Lig meaning that once again, it looks like it's going all the way in Istanbul to decide a winner between Beşiktaş, Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe. And, to finish, Dean has four contenders for Melon of the Week, including a belated one for an Arsenal goalkeeper, a certain Premier League ref, a Southampton defender with the worst single game points total in Fantasy PL history and a club who have had one of the worst weeks of all time; before Sam ranks his favourite times of day in lockdown Britain to round things off. It's Ranks! If one pod a week isn't cutting the mustard any more, and you want two extra episodes and a newsletter weekly for the price of just a pint a month, why not come join us on our Patreon?  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 10, 2021
Ranking the Best Transfers of this January Window
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This January might have seen deals more scarce than usual, but there was still plenty going on as the transfer window raged across the first month of 2021. We're here to pick up what was hot (and a little of what was not) as Sam ranks the best five deals that have happened in the month just gone. With Liverpool finally signing some centre-back cover (for one of which we sought expert advice from our friend, NTT20's Ali Maxwell), Atléti bringing in a top marksman, Brighton bolstering the Latin cohort down on the South Coast, Gladbach-ing up their midfield options and the Cobham Cannavaro switching Chelsea for Milan, there's plenty to discuss - and we go around the grounds to look at a few deals that perhaps slipped under your radar too. There's also, of course, a Melon of the Week (and it's a huge shock choice from Dean) and we try to rank every Bean in the Gibberish Rankings. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 03, 2021
Ranking Stars Who Should Change Position (Vol. II) with Harry Brooks
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He's back, ladies and gentlemen! The Rank Squad were joined once again by Harry Brooks, head coach at Round World Royals, to discuss five more players who could do with a change of position or system to up their game. This time it's Tanguy Ndombele, Jadon Sancho, Gareth Bale, Mo Salah and Marco Asensio in the spotlight, as we move them around to find their sweet spot. There's also a discussion, fuelled by Jack mostly, about whether Harvey Barnes could function as a No.9 for Leicester. Before we get into that though, there was the little matter of Thomas Tuchel becoming Chelsea boss today, replacing the departing Frank Lampard. We dive into what we can expect from a Tuchel team at Stamford Bridge - and the pros and cons of what the German will bring as a coach. There's also room for a Melon of the Week, and Sam ranks the 'things he's most upset about missing because of COVID' in today's Gibberish Rankings. It's Ranks! If you love the pod and once a week isn't enough for you, why not come and join our Ranks FC Ultras over at Patreon, where you get two extra podcasts and our Torcida Newsletter every week, for just a couple of quid a month?  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 27, 2021
Ranking Europe's Top 5 Title Races
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Across Europe we're seeing a season where the title races are more open than ever before - in England five points separate the top six, in Italy there's at least four sides with a shot at the Scudetto, in France top spot is currently decided on goal difference, in Spain it's a new challenger sitting pretty at the summit, and in Germany the recent wobble from the Champions has contenders getting excited. We take a look at them to see where the drama is most likely to go down (and Jack talks a bit about the Primeira, whilst we're at it). In Things We Love, Dean gives us the latest on some transfer news including Dele Alli's proposed channel hop to PSG and David Alaba's future; Sam pours some love on Inter's centre-back sensation Alessandro Bastoni, who was exceptional against Juventus on Sunday; and Jack gives some props to Iñaki Williams and Athletic Club, after their Supercopa win over Barcelona, which will be celebrated long into the future in Bilbao. There is of course, a Melon of the Week - handed out to a certain Roma Centre-Back after his self-destructive performance against arch-rivals Lazio in the Derby della Capitale last weekend - and Dean takes over to do a Gibberish Ranking of the Subscriptions he made during a year mostly spent indoors. Talking of subscriptions, if once a week isn't enough to scratch your Rank Squad itch, why not come and join us over at Patreon for eight extra podcasts a month? It's loads of fun, we promise! It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 20, 2021
Ranking the 2020 Team of the Year
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As we look forward to a new calendar year stuffed with football, it's worth looking back at 2020, and the Rank Squad teamed up with EA Sports FIFA 21 to take a look at the contenders for 2020's pantheon - a year unlike any other. We talk some of the biggest names from across Europe, including a couple from Champions of the Continent, Bayern Munich, from the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and a couple of attackers from Barcelona and Juventus who you might have heard of. There's plenty of debate across the board, especially in the problem positions of right-back and centre-midfield, but in the end, we settled on an XI we were *mostly* happy with. There's time, as ever, for a Melon of the Week - which this week has a personal tinge for both Dean and Jack, and Sam's Gibberish Rankings, which focus on some of the weirdest jobs to be found across the globe. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 13, 2021
Our Predictions for 2021
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Happy New Year, Rank Squad! It's our first episode of 2021and we thought it was time to wheel out a classic (with a twist) and take a look at some predictions for 2021. Dean bravely took on the mantle that Sam vacated to look ahead to the year to come, making predictions based on a big transfer saga that's been rumbling on for a while between Dortmund and United, his attendance at games, Cristiano breaking international records, will Messi stay or will he go and who will win the European Championships this summer! Sam pipes up with his own couple of predictions about Messi and Tottenham, separately (!) and we take a look back at his predictions from last January, which to be fair to him, have been slightly affected by a worldwide pandemic and the cancellation of football for a couple of months. There's also things we love, where Sam discusses Ralph Hasenhüttl's tears at beating Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool, and Jack talks about Nadiem Amiri's Puskas winner being scored just two days into a new calendar year. Finally, Dean crowns a Melon of the Week from El Gran Derbi in Spain, and Sam's Gibberish Rankings take a look back at his most-used websites in 2020. It's family-friendly, don't worry. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 06, 2021
Ranking Surprise Transfers for January
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Happy Holidays Rank Squad, and welcome to the last episode of 2020. With this year one to forget in many ways, we wanted to throw things forward to January and the first Dean Jones ranking of the Ranks FC era! We take a look at some of the most unconventional rumours coming out of the camp for the transfer window - from former Arsenal widemen being linked to Inter Milan, to Arsenal actually thinking about some sensible business, to AC Milan marking some targets that nobody was expecting! There's also a quick look at some of our favourite things - recently Sam has reignited his love affair for Chelsea's Ben Chilwell, and Jack very much enjoyed Fiorentina hammering Juventus 3-0 and Fede Chiesa's face afterwards. Meanwhile, Dean pens a bit of an ode to why football was so important to him in this year of all years. And, as usual, there's the awarding of a Melon of the Week before Sam rounds things off by talking about his New Year's Resolutions from the previous year and his new ones for 2021, in this week's Gibberish. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 30, 2020
Ranking What Europe’s Desperate Clubs Need for Xmas
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SAMta Claus is...not coming to town, because he's in tier 4, but if he weren't, he'd come to your town and give out some presents! We take a look at some of the things that Europe's most in-need clubs are after - players, managers, Presidents, the lot. With his elves in tow, Santa leaves some gifts under the tree for the clubs that need them most. Then it's on to the festivities, as we name five footballing guests at our respective Christmas parties - nominating who's in charge of the food, entertainment, cracker jokes and snowball fighting - before talking about our favourite Xmas Present stories, and finishing off by signing some magical elves for our own respective clubs. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 23, 2020
Ranking the Champions League Last 16
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The Champions League Last 16 is set and the draw is done, which leaves us salivating at the prospect of eight blistering ties to come in the New Year. Still, with the matchups now set, it felt like a good time to rank the contenders left in Europe's pre-eminent club competition, and so we set Sam to work building a list. We take a look at Bayern, Leipzig, Dortmund, Gladbach, Real Madrid, Atleti, Barcelona, Sevilla, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Juventus, Atalanta, Lazio, PSG and Porto and put them in order of who is best placed to win the competition, before flipping our attention over to the Europa League draw, where Jack picks out three games to watch from a phenomenal Round of 32, and also takes a quick look at some of the favourites. We finish with another London Colney-based Melon of the Week, and Dean takes on responsibilities for the Gibberish Ranking, where he picks the best games to play with a three-year-old. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 16, 2020
Paul Pogba: Ranking the Good, the Bad & the Future
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On Monday, before United's game against Leipzig, Paul Pogba's agent Mino Raiola came out to say that "I can say it’s over for Paul Pogba at Manchester United." Given Pogba had scored in United's game against West Ham at the weekend, and was about to play in a do-or-die game for United in the Champions League, it's worth pointing out that the timing could have been better. And so it proved, with the German side knocking Pogba's side into the Europa League in a thriller in Saxony. There's perhaps more than meets the eye here though, and it's just the latest in a series of chapters which have pitted a club record signing against his employers in almost every sense. So we decided to look at all of it, looking at the reasons we love Paul Pogba, and the reasons we can find the man frustrating; before getting a United viewpoint from an old friend of the pod - Mina of the brilliant Goal Diggers pod, and self-declared President of the Pogba Agenda. Then we kick it forward - if this really is the end, then what next for Pogba? Sam and Dean come together to rank five possible destinations for the World Cup winning midfielder based on how likely they are as landing spots, and also how well they would fit Pogba's playing style and his ambitions. Finally, there's time for a quick Melon of the Week, which is based around foul throws (if you know, you know) and Sam ranks his Spotify Wrapped in this week's Gibberish Rankings. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 09, 2020
Ranks FC Meets: Chris Richards of Bayern Munich & USMNT
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In the first interview of the Ranks FC Era, we meet a man whose star is on the rise at Bayern Munich and a key part of the US Golden Generation coming through, 20-year-old centre-back Chris Richards. It's been a huge year for Chris - he made his first Bayern appearance in June, his first Bayern league start in October, earned his first US senior cap in November and made his first Champions League start just last week. We talked to him about the whole lot - David Alaba being his mentor at Bayern, Hansi Flick's demeanour and influence on this squad, his time playing for Bayern II in the third tier, Leon Goretzka's transformation, marking Robert Lewandowski in training, his friendship with Alphonso Davies, his first USMNT camp, the U20 crop coming through for the national team, Yunus Musah, his perfect defender, playing with Manuel Neuer, what he misses about the US, who the fastest player at Bayern is, his favourite films, Jamal Musiala, and a whole lot more! It's all sorts of fun, and Chris is brilliant insight and entertainment. Aside from that, we announce the three winners of last week's competitions and Sam ranks the weirdest combinations on Earth that work well together in the Gibberish Rankings.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 02, 2020
The Spotlight: An Ode to Diego, Chelsea to Conte, Manchester & Malen
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There was only one place we could start today - in tribute to a genuine legend in this game we love. An icon. A behemoth. The one and only Diego Armando Marandona. There will, simply put, never be another like him and the football world is a darker place without his presence. That said, he was a football man until his last breath, and the game, beset as it is by grief, must go on. The Champions League provided some inspiration of its own this week, as we take a quick flash through Europe's finest, before heading on to the games you need to watch this weekend. Dean starts us off with Chelsea vs. Tottenham, bitter London rivals vying for the Capital's top berth and perhaps even more, in a game which has the subplot of Frank Lampard facing his old boss and friend, Jose Mourinho, who returns to the Bridge. Sam takes a look at Southampton vs. Manchester United, where high-flying Saints will look to continue their good start against a United side that still haven't quite worked out what they are. Jack finally takes us out of the Premier League to head to Italy, where Sassuolo, currently second, host Antonio Conte's Inter Milan, knocked unceremoniously out of Europe on Wednesday night by Real Madrid, and looking a shadow of the side they were last season. It's an intriguing match-up between a side who know exactly how they want to play against one very uncomfortable in their own skin at the moment, as well as being another chance to watch Sass. Finally, Sam takes us to Holland for this week's Scouting Spotlight, flicking the torchlight on PSV's Donyell Malen. The former Arsenal and Ajax man has returned from last season's injury woes in fine style, and is fronting the charge for his side in the Eredivisie. Still only 21, but already a leader in this side - sharing captaincy duties with Denzel Dumfries, there's so much to come from a player who has been quietly doing the business for some time in Eindhoven. It really is Ranks FC. If you've loved three episodes a week and want to join the squad permanently after this week's loan period, come and get involved on Patreon.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 27, 2020
Ranking the World's Best Player in 5 Years
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Welcome to 2025, where the halcyon days of Ronaldo and Messi are long consigned to the past and a new battle rages to be the world's best. There are many contenders, but who tops the award they all want more than any other - Sam Tighe's Player Rankings. We take a look at some of the young superstars who are well on their way to the top of the game and will be the pantheon of the elite in the future (if they're not already). Before that though, there's Things We Love - which in this case involve Tanguy Ndombele's return to both the side and to his blistering best; the madness of both Barcelona and Manchester City being placed 13th in their respective leagues; the title races we didn't expect; Leverkusen's pure chaos approach to playing football, and, as the more eagle-eyed of you might have noticed, the new Ranks FC logo. There's also a special Melon of the Week ranking, which tops out with a refereeing display that put all others to shame, and in this week's Gibberish, Sam ranks the best responses he got to a 'where you're from and who you support' survey. If you want to enter our competition, hit this link or go to bit.ly/RanksFCComp. And if you wanna skip the lottery and just become one of the Ultras anyway, join us on Patreon here.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 25, 2020
The Postbox: Spurs' Credentials, Pep Problems, Destination: Haaland & Forza Milan
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Hello Rank Squad, here's a special Cyber Week treat for you - this week, we're opening up our Patreon offering to everyone, to show you what you'd be getting if you took the plunge and became Ultras. The first of two extra episodes is here - our Monday Postbox, where we talk through the weekend's action and answer as many questions as we possibly can. Opening up in the Premier League, we field some bits about Spurs' title-challenging credentials, comparing Jose's time in North London to his time at Old Trafford, question how City can get out of their rut of inability to break teams down. It's a similar story at Arsenal for Arteta, and there's some love for Liverpool after a highly impressive win over Leicester; and for Tammy Abraham, who is making Frank Lampard's selection dilemmas harder with a series of good displays.  After the break we hop to the continent, starting with a discussion of Dortmund and the ever-more impressive Erling Haaland, as well as a deep dive on how Milan have turned things around to sit pretty at the top of Serie A. Then we head to the New World, with a look at the MLS Playoffs, some thoughts about players wearing shirts tucked in, and a peek at where managers such as Allegri and Pochettino may end up next to finish off.  It's Ranks! If this has caught your fancy, and you want more of it - come join the Ultras over here to get your questions answered and become part of a fizzing community!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 23, 2020
Finding the Next Jack Grealish with Not The Top 20's Ali Maxwell
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The Championship is a wild world, and it's formed some of our most loved stars of the Premier League and beyond. Nobody encapsulates that more than current PL Poster Boy Jack Grealish, who spent three explosive years setting the Championship alight before returning to take the top flight by storm. It's not just him though - right now Ollie Watkins, Patrick Bamford, Jarrod Bowen and loads more are all having their moment in the sun; and we wanted to get ahead of the curve on who the next ballers ready to take the step up are. So we called in one of the big guns and welcomed our friend Ali Maxwell of the Not The Top 20 Podcast, the experts on everything Championship and beyond, to the virtual studio. We discussed a whole load of players, including Brentford's Josh DaSilva and Rico Henry, Reading's Michael Olise, Swansea's Ben Cabango and Stoke City's Tyrese Campbell - looking at how they play, where they might fit, and who has their eyes on these young stars. We also got a quick update from Ali on some of the big name loanees in the second tier - Liverpool's Harvey Elliott and Harry Wilson, on loan at Blackburn Rovers and Cardiff City respectively; Tottenham's Ollie Skipp, who's anchoring the midfield of Norwich City; and Chelsea's Marc Guehi, back at Swansea City. This week's 'Things We Loved' included Dean talking about Wayne Rooney taking on the (player-)managerial hotseat at Derby County; Sam discussing the Football Manager 2021 beta and how much he's enjoying it; and Jack pouring out some praise for the joyful, swashbuckling USMNT and their new crop of young ballers taking up the mantle. There's a new Melon of the Week from the International Break, and Sam's Gibberish involves the very 'English' things that he just doesn't like, to much chagrin. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 18, 2020
Ranking The Biggest Shocks This Season with Jimmy Conrad
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It's time for our first guest on Ranks FC and who better than our old friend Jimmy Conrad, USMNT legend and modern media mogul, who joins us to look at the most shocking things that have happened this season, from Liverpool to Messi to VAR and beyond, we cover it all, from the Champions League to the Gala Dinners that may or may not be happening this winter. On top of that, Dean leads some chat about what's going on over at Real Madrid, Sam pours out some love for West Ham's Declan Rice and Jack harps on for a bit about Sassuolo, who currently sit second in Serie A, just two points behind Milan and without a loss so far. Dean gives out a Melon of the Week to someone very close to his and Jack's hearts, and Sam's Gibberish Rankings look at tips to surviving the winter months. Oh, and the poems are back. It's Ranks! If you fancy two extra episodes a week, come and join the Ultras on Patreon - it's a whole load of fun: patreon.com/ranksfc.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 11, 2020
Ranking the Best Set Piece Takers in Europe
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Off the back of JWP's flurry for Southampton at the weekend, we decided to take a punt at trying to pick the best five set-piece takers in Europe. It's an ardous task for Sam, who has no fewer than five honourable mentions, but he finally gives us his reasoning behind his picks for the five men who he thinks are the best dead ball specialists UEFA has to offer, whether that be on corner kick, free kick or penalty duty. There's discussions on everyone from Leo Messi to Joshua Kimmich and beyond. In this week's 'Things We Loved' Sam pens a love letter to friend of the pod João Félix, who is really coming into his own for Atleti this season; Dean waxes lyrical about Brendan Rodgers' Leicester City and their thumping of Leeds United; and Jack explains why everyone should really be watching Real Sociedad, who currently sit top of La Liga and have won four on the bounce in some style. Obviously there's a Melon of the Week, which comes straight off the back of a Basque nightmare, and Sam's Gibberish sees him ranking the worst things about his new-found hobby - Golf. It's Ranks! If you want more from us, come join the Rank Squad Ultras over at Patreon - where you can get two extra podcasts and a newsletter every week from the Rank Squad.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 04, 2020
Ranking Every Premier League Captain
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There's 20 club captains in the Premier League, but their ability levels are vastly varied. From club stalwarts who don't really play to talismanic leaders, we wanted to dig a bit into the heart of it, so we got Sam to rank all 20 on their footballing ability right at this very moment. Needless to say, arguments followed. It led on to a discussion about what the captain's role really is though, and just why the armband is so important. In Things We Love this week, Dean gets back to his investigative roots and looks at Pep's contract situation at Manchester City, and the problems that come with the delay to signing a new contract; Sam talks about Angeliño's new-found goalscoring form on loan at RB Leipzig (and why City could probably do with him back); and Jack explores Roma's start to the season within the context of their new ownership promising to make them "one of the greatest names in World Football" again. There is of course, a Melon of the Week (from the Bundesliga) and a counterpoint, the anti-Melon, if you will; before Sam rounds things off with his gibberish rankings - what he's missed most about driving, after getting back in a car for the first time in six years. We're just glad we weren't in it. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 28, 2020
Ranking Europe's Best Attacks
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Ranks FC is go! And we're launching back into Wednesday episodes with a big one - ranking the best attacks that European football has to offer. From the Premier League to Bundesliga, it's been a goal-fest since we returned for 2020/21 and we're here to take those clubs and put them in some semblance of an order. Sam takes on a gargantuan task, with a little help from the Rank Squad, and a wildcard in his pocket. Of course, on top of that there's 'Things We Loved' which this week include Pep's use of Joao Cancelo in City's game against Arsenal; Kylian Mbappe's form and just how bright his future is; and Dani Parejo's triumphant return to former club Valencia in the Derbi de la Communitat. As usual, Dean hands out Melon of the Week, although there's a surprise challenge, and we debut Sam's Gibberish Rankings at the end. It really is Ranks FC. If once a week isn't doing the business, and you want to join the Ranks FC Ultras with two extra pods and a newsletter every week, come find us on Patreon: patreon.com/ranksfc  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 21, 2020
Leeds United, Bielsa and Haaland with Stuart Dallas
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In the first full episode of Ranks FC, we talk to Leeds United and Northern Ireland midfielder Stuart Dallas who sets the record straight on Marcelo Bielsa, the agony and the ecstasy of Leeds, recording a documentary during a pandemic and just what Erling Haaland said to him when they swapped shirts. There's also some chat between Jack and Sam on Leeds' hot start to life back in the Premier League and why fans should continue to be excited about watching a Box Office Bielsa side. If you want more from Ranks, come join us on our Patreon, where you get eight extra episodes a month for about the price of a beer (and also we'd love a beer), so if you wanna join the Ultras, come and involved here: patreon.com/ranksfc  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 15, 2020
Welcome to Ranks FC
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Welcome to Ranks FC, the new home of what was B/R Football Ranks, at the start of a new chapter. If you loved what we did before, you'll be glad to know it will take much of the same format as it used to on our staple weekly show; and if you were after more, well, there's plenty more coming at ya. Make sure you hit subscribe as we embark on a journey into the world of football with you - Rank Squad Forever. You can find us on Twitter at Rank Squad - and at Jack Collins, Sam Tighe and Dean Jones.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 13, 2020