The Big Interview with Graham Hunter

By Graham Hunter

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 May 3, 2022


 Jun 21, 2019

Description

Graham Hunter one-on-one with the biggest names in football. Premier League stars, Champions League winning managers, World Cup winners. There are over 100 interviews here and if you're serious about soccer, you have to listen to the Big Interview.

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Episode Date
Will injuries to Kounde and Araujo derail Barca? #ESPNweekly
14:34

Hola


It's not been a good international break for Barcelona so far, with the loss of Jules Kounde and Ronald Araujo to injury.

Two Champions League matches and the Clasico await - can Barca bounce back? Or will it wreck their season?

Enjoy this audio version of my latest column for ESPN FC.

G



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Sep 27, 2022
'Athletic Club can get fourth and they will NEVER change their identity' - Q & A (part 2)
25:23
Here comes Ansu Fati's pathway to Qatar, the four clubs trying to break into the elite group of Spain's top division and which players can still gatecrash their national team's plans for the World Cup. It's Graham and Pete with part two of our monthly Q&A show.

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Sep 24, 2022
'Players must speak out more on racism - they have huge power' Q&A Part One
33:19

Hola

It's part one of this month's Q&A with me and Pete Jenson taking your questions on - racism in Spanish football, Sevilla under Lopetegui, Getafe's (and ex-Man City) Turkish forward Enes Unal and why there should be a documentary on Joaquin!

Enjoy

G



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Sep 23, 2022
Danny Murphy: 'If You've Got A Ninety Per Cent Pass Rate, You're A Coward'
50:28

In part two of my interview with the superbly engaging Danny Murphy, we hear more about his relationship with the late former Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier, who guided the Reds to a famous cup treble.

We hear about Fulham’s incredible run to the 2010 Europa League Final under Roy Hodgson.

Also: amazing insights into analysing tactics and why midfielders who don’t take risks are just cowards.

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Sep 21, 2022
Simeone: Atleti's Emperor with No Clothes #ESPNweekly
16:46

Hola!


This week's EPSN column focuses on the fallout from the weekend's Mardrid derbi. in which Real Madrid beat Atleti 2-1. I consider the parlous state of Atleti and Simeone's future, plus the racist abuse of Vinicius Jnr.


Enjoy


G



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Sep 21, 2022
Danny Murphy: 'I Had One Ambition – To Play For Liverpool at Anfield'
47:46

Danny Murphy is one of television’s finest analysts, not entirely surprising for a man who played the beautiful game with such intelligence, vision and skill.

In part one of our conversation, Danny describes being taken to Anfield as a child and declaring to his father that one day he would grace the famous Liverpool jersey. He was as good as his promise.

After a glittering spell, the classy midfielder joined Charlton. It was ‘horrible’ being at Anfield again in an opposition jersey, although his last visit there as a player, with Fulham, was therapeutic, especially when the Kop sang his name.

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Sep 19, 2022
Classic Big Interview: Emile Heskey
43:05

Here’s another chance to hear my interview with Emile Heskey from season five.

The title of Emile’s autobiography ‘Even Heskey Scored’ was a good-humoured swipe at the widespread fallacy that he wasn’t a prolific striker.

There’s great insight into why Leicester City’s players would run through walls for Martin O’Neill.

Emile’s big move to Liverpool required a major adaptation; he loved it and the Kop loved him, but eventually he wanted out of the Anfield pressure cooker.

Also: being a serial cup winner, how Steve Claridge was the worst trainer ever, and how the Golden Generation thrashed Germany.



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Sep 14, 2022
Vinicius jnr: The Fast and the Furious #ESPNweekly
21:19

Hola

Self-control is part of greatness. At 22, Vinicius jnr stands at a crossroads. Will he use his fury as fuel?

This is my latest column for ESPNFC.

Enjoy

G



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Sep 14, 2022
Liam Henderson: 'The only thing I want is to play in the same team as my wee brother'
37:36

When I asked Liam Henderson who the best opponent he has faced in Serie A is he didn’t miss a beat: Roma’s Lorenzo Pellegrini.

Also in part two, fascinating stuff about how you can’t sell a dummy to an Italian, Liam’s dream of playing for Steve Clarke’s Scotland and how his relentless practicing of corner-kicks set up Hibs’ historic Scottish Cup triumph of 2016.

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Sep 07, 2022
Liam Henderson: 'Italy is football, food and religion'
40:48

I caught up with Liam Henderson in beautiful Florence, where the elegant midfielder plies his trade with Empoli.

The former Celtic man has spent four years in Italy, initially playing under Fabio Grosso at Bari and Verona, who Liam had watched winning the 2006 World Cup on television and felt he was fated to work under. Liam loves Italy – especially the cuisine, and feels his talents are more appreciated there than in his native Scotland.

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Sep 05, 2022
Can inspired Betis reach nirvana at the Bernabeu? #EPSNweekly
17:36

Manuel Pellegrini's Real Betis are on the rise, and they play their La Liga co-leaders Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Saturday. From my latest column for EPSNFC, here's why I can't wait for the weekend's match.

Enjoy

G



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Aug 30, 2022
Bruno Lage: 'I try to be the coolest guy in the world'
31:13

In part two of my enlightening chat with Bruno Lage, the Wolves manager goes deep into how the power of the image can overcome the distractions of modern life when seeding his football philosophy into the minds of young players.

There’s great content about why a boss should be the coolest guy on the pitch. And I ask: how on earth do coaches of top clubs cope with a World Cup slap bang in the middle of the season?

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Aug 24, 2022
Morata, Ansu, Moreno - Something Great is Coming for La Roja #ESPNweekly
18:33

The La Liga weekend just past was proof that fans of the Spanish national team should be getting excited ahead of their opening match in Qatar in a little over 90 days. The form of Alvaro Morata, Ansu Fati and Gerard Moreno are an indication of a growing maturity.

Enjoy the audio version of my latest column for ESPNFC



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Aug 23, 2022
Bruno Lage: 'Ederson, Rúben Dias, Bernardo... Benfica was a machine'
27:20

Wolves manager Bruno Lage has imported the wisdom and techniques he garnered coaching at Benfica into the Black Country.

The Portuguese has also learned a lot from life in England: about the incredible football passion and, paradoxically, how not to dwell too much on a setback.

Also in part one, amazing insight into Benfica’s talent conveyor belt.

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Aug 22, 2022
Why Casemiro to United is bad news for just about everyone
23:33

The simmering transfer of Casemiro from Madrid to Manchester United would be the most disappointing in my many years reporting on this game.

For Madrid, it's sabotage: their midfield can't be the same without one of its keystones and the domino affect could mean the end of an era.

For a footballer who turns 31 this season, it's bad timing: he is dropped into a team with no Champions League football this season and likely none next season. He does not speak the language. But he will make a lot of money.  

For United, it's a challenge: they are moving for one of my favourite players to watch and analyse - a risk-taker, an improviser, a jazz player. Does that sound like the perfect pivot for an Erik ten Hag team to you?


Here's my take on an extraordinary and incomprehensible transfer saga. Feel free to throw it back in my face at the end of the season if it all works out great. 



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Aug 19, 2022
Ancelotti, Alaba and Dani Alves. Fútbol es para listos #ESPNweekly
16:51

It means football is for the smart guys - Dani Alves told me that a few years ago now, but last weekend the evidence was as clear as ever.

Inspired by the quick thinking of, among others, Casemiro, Davide Ancelotti and CS Osasuna, this is from my writing for ESPNFC.



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Aug 18, 2022
Classic Big Interview: Virgil van Dijk
37:12

Here’s another chance to hear my interview with Virgil van Dijk from season five.

The world’s greatest defender’s big break was his move to Celtic, which grounded him in British football. Next up Southampton, where coach Ronald Koeman picked on Virgil – only to bring out the best in him.

You’ll hear about risk taking, passing and pressing at Anfield, and why Lionel Messi was Virgil’s most challenging opponent.

And I ask, just how the heck did Liverpool turn around the 3-0 defeat away to Barcelona in the semi-final of the Champions League in 2019?

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Aug 17, 2022
Is Simeone in a comfort zone? Q&A Part Two
41:59

Hola!

In part two of this month's Q&A, me and Pete Jenson go big on Atleti. Is Simeone in his comfort zone? Can they challenge this season?

There's our take on Riqui Puig's move to LA Galaxy, Girona's chances of survival, what impact the World Cup break will have on teams... and we even squeeze in some chat on the mighty Aberdeen!

Enjoy!

G




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Aug 12, 2022
Barca's Big Gamble (Q&A Part one)
32:11

Hola

We're back for the first Q and A of the season (with special guest Pete Jenson)... and we've been inundated with questions on Barca's financial situation, player registration and Frenkie de Jong. You'll also get an update on Real Madrid, as they prepare for another momentous season.

Enjoy

G



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Aug 11, 2022
David Moyes: 'When Rice goes to England, I tell him to watch Harry Kane'
27:38

In part two of my second Big Interview with David Moyes, we hear about the ecstasy of beating Seville and the agony of going out to Eintracht Frankfurt in last season’s Europa League.

There’s moving testimony about man-managing Andriy Yarmolenko after his native Ukraine was invaded.

And David also breaks down the stirring talent and mouth-watering potential of Declan Rice, who would do well to observe the likes of Harry Kane when on England duty.

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Aug 10, 2022
Continuity key as Madrid chase six-trophy haul #ESPNweekly
15:51

Only Bayern and Barça have swept the board (all six trophies) in a season. Madrid want to emulate them. Rivals in turmoil, or weakened …but no Mbappé, or a Plan B signing - can they do it? This is my latest column for ESPN FC. 

Enjoy!

G



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Aug 10, 2022
David Moyes: 'I thought it was my last chance - it was time to gamble'
35:30

Here we go friends – a new season of The Big Interview, and we open with David Moyes, a guest so enthralling the first-time round that we invited him back.

In part one we chat about how the phenomenon of pre-season has evolved from afternoon bevvying to the era of the perma-fit player.

Returning to West Ham as manager felt like a big gamble for David, but he was courageous enough to graft style onto his core values – and for that, he deserves all the success he is currently enjoying.

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Aug 08, 2022
Is Kounde Barca's new Dani Alves? #ESPNweekly
14:58
Jules Kounde once kicked his mum as a furious kid but Barcelona's new signing now has an even temperament to match his talent. In my latest column for EPSN FC, I reflect on Kounde's musical passion, the influence of Gus Poyet on his career and how patience proved to be his biggest virtue in snubbing Chelsea for a move to the Camp Nou.

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Aug 02, 2022
Is FC Barcelona ready for Lewandowski? #ESPNweekly
14:43

There's been a great deal written and said about Barcelona's financial operation during the close season. They have mortgaged many of their tomorrows in an attempt to find their way out of a financial crisis. The Polish striker is the biggest bet of all.


Why? Because, as I argue here in a piece I wrote for ESPNFC, he is the one piece they hope will make a difference in a competition whose riches can begin to pay off their suffocating debt: the Champions League.


It could be a happy marriage - but Lewandowski has high standards and his new employer and his new teammates must match them.



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Jul 28, 2022
The Clásico report: Vegas, baby. Vegas.
26:46

I wasn't in Las Vegas for this one, but I was as transfixed by the latest chapter of the rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid as usual.


So many storylines - and I hope most of them are in here. Hazard fails as false 9. Piqué the bad guy. Araújo versus Vinicius forever. Enter Lewandowski.


And in all of that, Raphina emerges as the hero.


You might have missed it. Here's my take.



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Jul 27, 2022
The Kid and the Contract: How Gavi is Running up the bill for Barca
17:50

Money is always in the mix when it comes to working out where FC Barcelona might be next season. On one hand, they have a core of exciting young talent including Ansu Fati, Pedri and Gavi. But, as I write this week for ESPNFC and read here for you, the trick may be keeping them together.

Enjoy

G



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Jun 08, 2022
R-E-S-P-E-C-T (find out what it means to Thibaut Courtois)
24:23
The recipe for Thibaut Courtois’ titanic performance in the Champions League final included a generous helping of Sergio Ramos and a sprinkling of resentment wrapped in an old issue of 4-4-2 magazine. From my writing for ESPNFC, here’s what I thought about after sampling the big Belgian’s showstopper. 

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Jun 01, 2022
BITESIZE | Michael Laudrup: How I did La Croqueta
6:33
Today’s story is from Michael Laudrup. My aim with Michael was simple: I wanted to get HIM to tell YOU how he did what he did. Here’s me trying to do that and Michael exceeding all of our expectations. Not for the first time.

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May 28, 2022
Xavi's search for oasis in football desert: Q&A Part Two
1:01:15

Hola!

Welcome to part two of the final Q&A of the 2021-22 season.

Myself and Pete Jenson take questions on Xavi and Barcelona, Valencia, Ten Haag, Rangers and Aberdeen.

Enjoy

G



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May 27, 2022
Paris in the Summertime: End-of-season Q&A (part one)
38:15

Hola!

This is it... part one of the final Q & A of the season. You asked, we answered. 

Madrid v Liverpool, Ancelotti, Camavinga, Rodrygo, Jordan Henderson, Eden Hazard, La Liga chat and much more.

Sit back and enjoy!

Graham



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May 26, 2022
Is Benzema Real Madrid's greatest No.9?
38:40

Socios 

Ahead of Real Madrid v Liverpool in the Champions League final, myself and Pete discuss where Karim Benzema lands in the pantheon of Madrid forwards. Benzema hit 45 goals in 44 games this season – but how does he compare with Ronaldos 7 & 9, Raul or the forwards who made this trophy the property of Madrid in its early years?

Enjoy

G



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May 25, 2022
Nedum Onuoha: The Pundit Bias – Why We Shouldn’t Believe Our Televisions
32:44

Nedum Onuoha is one of the canniest and best-informed observers of the beautiful game in broadcasting. The likeable Mancunian doesn’t hold back when criticising some of his fellow pundits, who can be biased and have forgotten what it’s like to be a player.

Also in part two – brushing off accusations that Nedum deliberately threw his beloved Man City a line when playing against them for QPR in that most famous of league deciders in 2012.

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May 24, 2022
Real Madrid and Mbappe: The Empire WILL Strike Back
19:21
They may have missed out on Kylian Mbappe, but Real Madrid have already proved that the recruitment plan they drew up after losing Neymar to Barcelona works - and now they have an Mbappe-sized war chest to take into the summer market. Written for ESPN FC, here is my column on the Champions League finalists' inevitable next move. 

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May 24, 2022
Nedum Onuoha: Man City and Me – Supporter, Ball Boy, Player and Pundit
38:20

In his autobiography Kicking Back, Nedum Onuoha describes how his Nigerian immigrant parents instilled in him an incredible work ethic and a sense of respect for others.

The pundit and ex-defender’s time at his beloved Manchester City’s Academy grounded him and taught him other values: how to be streetwise and resourceful. Standing in the tunnel with the teams as a ball boy whetted his appetite for the big time.

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May 23, 2022
BITESIZE | Jamie Carragher: One night in Istanbul
6:31
Today’s story comes from Liverpool legend and analyst extraordinaire Jamie Carragher. He’s going to take you to two European finals – a dressing room so exhausted it can’t celebrate a UEFA Cup win; and first, a certain night in Istanbul in 2005. 

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May 22, 2022
BITESIZE | Gary Neville: The best I ever saw
7:46
Today’ story comes from our very first episode, with Gary Neville. This is Gary breaking down exactly where his ground-breaking analysis comes from and what he hopes to achieve every time he steps into the studio. 

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May 21, 2022
BITESIZE | Harry Redknapp: The King (Kanu) and I
6:56
Today’s story comes from the one and only Harry Redknapp. He’s going to start you out with some Elvis, but then move on to a different King – King Kanu of Nigeria and Portsmouth, and one of my favourite stories from our podcast series. 

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May 20, 2022
BITESIZE | Paul Clement: The Day CR7 Told me to Chill Out
5:40
Today you’ll hear from Paul Clement, Carlo Ancelotti’s former assistant manager at Real Madrid, who reveals how Cristian Ronaldo helped calm him down in the tunnel before the 2014 Champions League final against Atletico in Lisbon

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May 19, 2022
Jon Dahl Tomasson: The Secrets of Denmark’s Success
39:17

In part two of my Big Interview with the eloquent, funny, intelligent Jon Dahl Tomasson we talked coaching, and about how his recent stint as Malmo manager culminated in an at times tough learning experience in the Champions League. Jon lives for football and it’s the challenging all-round nature of a club project that inspires him as a coach.

Also in part two, great insights into how Denmark so regularly punch above their weight, and why Jon knocked back Barcelona to play for Milan.

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May 18, 2022
BITESIZE | Jason McAteer: Roy Keane and the Dog and Duck
8:21
Today you’ll hear from Jason McAteer, who reflects on what it was like to go up against Roy Keane at his peak and the Manchester United legend’s peerless ability to read the game

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May 17, 2022
Jon Dahl Tomasson: How Ancelotti Managed Milan’s Egos
49:28

I caught up with Jon Dahl Tomasson in Rotterdam, the city where he enjoyed one of his greatest moments: scoring in the 2002 UEFA Cup final victory for Feyenoord against Borussia Dortmund.

Jon’s next port of call was AC Milan, where the forward starred alongside greats such as Filippo Inzaghi, Alessandro Costacurta and Andrea Pirlo. There was tough competition for places, but legendary coach Carlo Ancelotti managed the club’s big egos, got under the players’ skin and inspired them with his passion.

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May 16, 2022
BITESIZE | Jimmy Bullard: I convinced myself I was Zidane
7:03
Today’s story comes from Jimmy Bullard but it’s about Zinedine Zidane. Here’s Jimmy on how he convinced himself he WAS Zidane when he was playing in the Premier League - and how a movie that focuses on Zizou during one La Liga match moved him from one footballing genius to another.

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May 15, 2022
BITESIZE | Neil Lennon: Those Barcelona boys will cut your throat
5:45
This story comes from Neil Lennon and was filmed in front of a live audience. To start, here’s me asking him about a titanic series of matches between his Celtic team and the Barcelona side that had as its focal point Ronaldinho.

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May 14, 2022
BITESIZE | Kevin Bridges: Mourinho and me
7:56
Today, our story comes from the great Kevin Bridges, a two-time guest on The Big Interview. Here, he’s going to tell you about his time as a player under Jose Mourinho, and the origins of his feud with Edwin van der Sar. 

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May 13, 2022
BITESIZE | Gaizka Mendieta: The perfect penalty
6:40
Today’s story comes from Gaizka Mendieta – who at Valencia was the most reliable penalty taker in the world. He’s going to tell you all of his secrets, so grab your pen and paper and listen up. 

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May 13, 2022
Classic Big Interview: Gus Poyet
43:04

Here’s another chance to hear my Big Interview with Gus Poyet from season four.

The former midfield maestro explains the indefatigable mindset of players from his native Uruguay which makes the nation overachieve, and culminated in the 1995 Copa America triumph which Gus starred in. That sparked a level of euphoria only football can bequeath, as did Gus’ incredible European Cup Winners’ Cup final win with Real Zaragoza against Arsenal that same year.

Also in this extraordinary Big Interview: why playing in a Chelsea midfield alongside Roberto Di Matteo, Dan Petrescu and Dennis Wise meant he felt they could beat anyone.



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May 09, 2022
Oriol Romeu: Writing My Own Story
36:40

At the start of his pro career at Barca B, Oriol Romeu was under the auspices of Luis Enrique. It was an incredibly demanding experience, but the current Spain manager made the midfielder see football completely differently, not least because of Oriol’s desire to improve.

Also in part two, we chatted about Oriol’s published diaries. He found the writing experience fun, cathartic and self-improving – and he wanted to leave a legacy, a testimony.

And there’s great content about the methods of Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl and why club team-mate James Ward-Prowse is the best free-kick taker in the world.

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May 05, 2022
Oriol Romeu: The Xavi Hernandez Helpline
36:31

Oriol Romeu is a midfielder with such game intelligence that he has adapted to playing a pivotal role under several Southampton managers. Key to this success is his ability to seek out critique in order to improve his game, even contacting Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez for pointers. Xavi said his famously consistent level of performance was rooted in his stubborn refusal to give the ball away.

Also in part one, you’ll hear Oriol’s ultimate five-a-side team picked from the clubs he’s played for – Barca, Chelsea, Valencia, Stuttgart and Southampton. He barely hesitated in rhyming his selections off.

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May 03, 2022
La Liga's don't-miss dogfight - Q & A (part two)
34:31
Which La Liga players should be on Manchester United's radar if they are planning a summer rebuild? And how many of them feature in the relegation scrap that has turned into Spain's most enthralling football attraction? This and more in the final installment of our Q & A show.

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May 03, 2022
'There's no level above Liverpool': Q&A part one
41:29

Hola

Welcome to part one of the April Q&A - yes, we know it's May but we wanted to preview this week's Champions League semi-finals, so we delayed it by a few days. So here's myself and Pete Jenson chewing over Liverpool 2 Villarreal 0 and Man City 4 Real Madrid 3 - and what we expect from this week's second legs.

Enjoy

G



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May 02, 2022
Bolo Zenden: Ronaldo Fenomeno, Master of Disguise
29:44

In part two of my absorbing conversation with Bolo Zenden, there’s great stuff about Ronaldo (the Brazilian one), who blossomed alongside the Dutchman at PSV. Bolo adored and admired Ronaldo, and tells us how fancy dress failed to disguise the genius from recognition at a Dutch carnival. But it was agony losing to his pal’s Brazil in the semi-final of the 1998 World Cup.

There’s also amazing content about working under and alongside Rafael Benítez, and winning the only major honour in Middlesbrough’s history.

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Apr 27, 2022
Villarreal: The Best Village Team in the World
13:47

During my time in Spain, I have seen the heights of Villarreal’s extraordinary rise from a scruffy port town team, playing in front of a couple of thousand fans in a ramshackle stadium.

Here, from my writing this week for ESPNFC, is the special story of how their billionaire owner, Fernando Roig, has sustained that improbable transformation for a quarter of a century, and now stands on the edge of a new frontier: the Champions League final. 



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Apr 26, 2022
Bolo Zenden: The Winger’s Masterclass: How to Beat Your Full-Back
31:20

Boudewijn ‘Bolo’ Zenden was a winger full of pace and precision who graced the jerseys of the Netherlands, Barcelona, Chelsea, Middlesbrough, Liverpool and his beloved PSV Eindhoven, where he now coaches.

His childhood grounding in judo prepared him for epic duels with full-backs, and he’s as good a Big Interview guest as we’ve had at articulating the intricacy of his craft, how he lured opponents into his traps.

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Apr 25, 2022
Big Interview Extra: Mick Clegg - The Man Who Built CR7
30:54

Hola!

Here's an interesting one... this is my chat with Mick Clegg, the former power development coach at Manchester United. Mick is a fascinating character who tells tales of boxing with Roy Keane and Wes Brown, training the 'non-athlete' Paul Scholes and, of course, helping to shape a teenage Cristiano Ronaldo into the specimen he became. A fascinating tale of a unique guy.

G


** Mick has a brilliant book out, The Power and The Glory, expertly ghostwritten by Steve Bartram - You can buy it here **



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Apr 24, 2022
Luuk de Jong: Xavi’s Mind Games
21:19

Xavi often cites Luuk de Jong as setting the standard of professionalism and application that he demands at Camp Nou. In part two of our conversation with Luuk, there’s amazing content about the Barcelona head coach’s methods, which include fun team games at training that seem to have little to do with football yet which sharpen you mentally and teach you positional and possessional play, and also bond the players.

You’ll also hear great insights into the natural talents of Barca superstars Sergio Busquets, Pedri, Frenkie de Jong and Ousmane Dembele.

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Apr 20, 2022
BITESIZE | Brian Laudrup: I'm still waiting for Effenberg's shirt
8:16
Today's story comes from Brian Laudrup. In 1992, he was a teammate of Stefan Effenberg at Bayern Munich and they were both moving to Fiorentina after Euro 92. They met in the final, but Effenberg's pre-match promise of comradery faded quickly after Denmark's upset victory over Germany.

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Apr 19, 2022
Benzema Ballon D'Or (assist by Vinicius jnr.)
24:26
There can only be one winner for the Ballon D'Or, but he has not done it alone. Here, from my writing for ESPNFC, is my argument that Karim Benzema must end the year in possession of his first Ballon d'Or - and my explanation that the key to his incredible level of performance has been his partnership with Vinicius jnr., a player Benzema himself has shaped into exactly the foil he needed. 

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Apr 19, 2022
Luuk de Jong: The Lightbulb Moment
25:02

To celebrate our sixth birthday, The Big Interview did something special: visited the Barcelona training ground to meet with their bright and brilliant Dutch striker Luuk de Jong.

In part one, you’ll hear about how Luuk formed a relationship with Ever Banega at Sevilla which helped them clinch the 2020 Europa League. Sevilla’s record-breaking win was achieved with zero fans present, but the Covid bubble actually helped bond the players for victory.

You’ll also hear about Luuk’s explanation of how the striker’s instinct kicks in in the heat of the moment, and his favourite footballing moment: PSV beating Ajax 3-0 to become Eredivisie champions in 2018.

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Apr 18, 2022
BITESIZE | Conor Coady: The Beauty of 3-4-3
5:20
Today, Wolves defender Conor Coady sells us on the merits of his favourite formation – 3-4-3 – and his it has changed the way he watches football, not just plays it.

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Apr 17, 2022
BITESIZE | Ander Herrera: Big match mentality
4:48
Today’s story comes from Ander Herrer. I asked him to break down how he prepares himself for big games – here’s what he had to say, I think you’ll like it. 

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Apr 16, 2022
BITESIZE | Michael Carrick: Penalties in Moscow
7:09
Today’s story comes from Michael Carrick, former Manchester United midfielder and now a key part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s staff at Old Trafford. Here’s Michael transporting us – and himself – back to the penalty shoot out that ended the 2008 Champions League final. 

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Apr 15, 2022
BITESIZE | Graeme Souness: They were terrified of us
7:39
Today’s story comes from Graeme Souness, once of Liverpool and Scotland. He’s going to tell you that even the most elite club game in world football, the European Cup final, can sometimes be a mismatch, when one team looks into the eyes of the other and sees fear.

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Apr 14, 2022
BITESIZE | Jonny Evans: A debut to remember
6:38
Today our story comes from Jonny Evans, an FA Cup winner with Leicester City in 2021. But he’s going to tell you about one of his earliest experiences of elite football, when, before he had kicked a ball for Manchester United, he found himself playing for Northern Ireland against Spain in a game that would change the course of football history.

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Apr 13, 2022
BITESIZE | Jurgen Klopp: My kind of leadership
6:29
Today’s story comes from the Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who is going to tell you about leadership and the power of second chances. 

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Apr 12, 2022
Dreams and Hard Work: Can Villarreal's Rulli outshine Neuer?
12:58

Hola

Here is my latest column for ESPN FC on tonight's (Tuesday) Champions League quarter-final second leg between Bayern Munich and Villarreal. The Spanish side lead 1-0 from the first leg - and it could prove to be a tale of two keepers.

Enjoy

G



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Apr 12, 2022
Classic Big Interview: Don Hutchison
41:38

Here’s another chance to hear my Big Interview with Don Hutchison from season four.

You’ll hear about Don’s meteoric rise from boys’ club to Hartlepool to Liverpool – where he formed a midfield three with the magnificent Jan Molby and Ronnie Whelan under manager Graeme Souness. Don speaks about the vision, courage and split-second decision making required to be a midfield fulcrum.

There’s moving stuff, too: how Don’s winner for Scotland against England brought his tough miner father to tears. And how Don found Howard Kendall weeping after leading his beloved Everton to top division survival. There’s also a tale about another late, great manager – Walter Smith, who sprung the best bit of man-management ever on Don at Goodison Park.



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Apr 11, 2022
BITESIZE | John Collins: The Making of Thierry Henry
6:16
Today our story comes from John Collins, who moved from Celtic to Monaco in one of the first major Bosman transfers. He tells us how when he got there, he got to witness the making of a future superstar – Thierry Henry.

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Apr 10, 2022
BITESIZE | Emile Heskey: What ex-pros miss the most
6:04
Today’s story comes from Emile Heskey. He remembers the fun of the footballer’s daily work – training – here as part of the Leicester City team that won two League Cups under Martin O’Neill. It’s the part of the life that almost every ex pro tells you they miss the most. Here’s why. 

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Apr 09, 2022
BITESIZE | Darren Fletcher: The truth about Sir Alex
5:49
Today’s story comes from Darren Fletcher, who’s going to tell you about the master of man management, Sir Alex Ferguson – the hairdryers, the calmness, and why he could never tell which of those was coming next. 

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Apr 08, 2022
BITESIZE | David Weir: Team America
7:57
Today’s story comes from David Weir, former centre-back and captain of Scotland, Everton and Rangers, who’s going to tell you about his formative years playing college football in the United States – as a centre forward.

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Apr 08, 2022
Jaap Stam: Being Part of United’s Miracle Year
41:10

In part two of my fascinating Big Interview with Jaap Stam, we hear about how Johan Cruyff said that the centre-half could have defended for a team by himself.

There’s great stuff about being part of Manchester United’s annus mirabilis of 1999. Also: playing with and against Filippo Inzaghi, rating Virgil van Dijk, working under Roberto Mancini… and just missing out on promotion to the Premier League as manager of Reading.

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Apr 06, 2022
Dembélé vs Camp Nou - the comeback of the century
18:38
How has a player who was subjected - not entirely without reason - to some of the most brutal treatment I have seen from the supporters of FC Barcelona become a favourite of that same crowd, while remaining a possible candidate for a summer departure from this financially stricken club? This, from the column I write for ESPNFC, is the story of Ousmane Dembélé and the Camp Nou. 

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Apr 06, 2022
BITESIZE | Conor Coady: Ice Baths and Inflatable Trousers
6:22
Today, you’ll hear Wolves defender Conor Coady break down the science of recovery at the club – and his respect for former boss Nuno Espirito Santo.

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Apr 06, 2022
Jaap Stam: The Man Sir Alex Regretted Letting Go
47:49

Jaap Stam was one of the most eloquent guests we have ever had on the Big Interview.

The Dutch centre-half had a glittering career, not least at Manchester United. He is perplexed by the current state of the club, and compares it to the ultra-competitive environment he arrived at in 1998. Sir Alex Ferguson admitted letting Jaap go was his biggest regret. For Japp, the experience still hurts.

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Apr 04, 2022
BITESIZE | Darren Anderton: Saying No to Sir Alex
8:30

Today you’ll hear from Darren Anderton on the career crossroads which saw him weighing up a move away from his beloved Spurs to Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United – and why he chose to remain in north London.

Enjoy



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Apr 04, 2022
BITESIZE | Damien Duff: Beating Barcelona
7:03
Today’s story comes from Damien Duff, who talks about the unmissable rivalry between Jose Mourinho's Chelsea and Barcelona. 

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Apr 03, 2022
BITESIZE | Craig Gordon: The long way back
7:41
Today’s story comes from Craig Gordon and it’s his incredible account of the journey from an apparently career-ending injury, through two years of rehab, to a return to the Scotland team and the Champions League. 

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Apr 02, 2022
BITESIZE | Christian Fuchs: My hero the bully
9:28
Here’s Christian Fuchs, title winner with Leicester City, to tell you an incredible story from his early years as a teenage professional in Austria. Christian found himself sharing a dressing room with his childhood hero – who then set about bullying him relentlessly. Almost two decades later, Fuchs has a different perspective on what was happening

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Apr 01, 2022
Luis Enrique to Man United is a futile dream... in more ways than one
15:01

Hola

Here's my latest ESPNFC column on why Luis Enrique will be sticking with Spain instead of Manchester United.

Enjoy

G



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Mar 31, 2022
Gareth Bale's Long Goodbye (Q&A part two)
36:52

Hola

Welcome to part two of the March Q and A, where myself and Pete Jenson talk Bale, Cholo, Atleti-Man City, Ukraine and more.

Enjoy

G



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Mar 30, 2022
BITESIZE | Ander Herrera: Superfan
6:45
Today’s story comes from Ander Herrer. You might know Ander as one of Europe’s Premier midfielders, but let me introduce you to Ander Herrer, super fan – of Real Zaragoza  

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Mar 30, 2022
How do Barcelona break even AND keep the Xavi revolution rolling? (Q&A part one)
37:15

What does Aubameyang's contract mean for the future of the Barcelona attack? Are Coutinho, Griezmann and Adama going to start pre-season in Catalonia? Will Xavi get to keep hold of their incredible young core? And how much of this is down to their returning president, Joan Laporta?

It's the March Q&A and our listeners ask the BEST questions. 



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Mar 29, 2022
BITESIZE | Clive Allen: Maracana Memories
6:22
Today you’re going to hear from Clive Allen, a guaranteed goalscorer through the 1980s with Spurs, Bordeaux, QPR and Palace to name a few. Here he’s talking about his England debut in a legendary international in Brazil, and the idiosyncrasies of the man who selected him, Bobby Robson. 

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Mar 28, 2022
BITESIZE | Alan Smith: That FIFA guy
7:14
Today’s story comes from Alan Smith, once of Arsenal and England but now of EA Sport’s FIFA franchise. That’s what he’s going to tell you about – how decades after he finished playing, his voice alone connects him with new generations of football fans. 

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Mar 27, 2022
BITESIZE | Brian Laudrup: The Golden Ticket for Euro 92
5:55
Today's story comes from Brian Laudrup, who was preparing for a big season with Bayern Munich in the summer of 92, when he got the news that would change his life - Yugoslavia had been forced to withdraw from the upcoming European Championships and Denmark had been given a last-minute reprieve.

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Mar 26, 2022
BITESIZE | Benni McCarthy: When Jose met Didier
7:17
Today’s story comes from Benni McCarthy, the former South Africa and Porto striker, who tells us about the first time his old manager in Portugal, Jose Mourinho, fell for Didier Drogba, then of Marseilles. 

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Mar 25, 2022
BITESIZE | Alan McInally: Playing Under Heynckes
7:13
Today you’ll hear from ex-Bayern Munich striker Alan McInally, who recalls the inimitable man-management style of legendary former boss Jupp Heynckes

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Mar 24, 2022
BITESIZE | Charlie Adam: From the Halfway Line
3:51
Here’s a one-two from Charlie Adam, who is going to break down two of his most outrageous goals. First, the free-kick that helped Blackpool to promotion to the Premier League. Then we move on to one he scored from the halfway line against Chelsea and Thibaut Courtois.

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Mar 23, 2022
Andres Iniesta: Big Interview Icon
19:20

Welcome to our Big Interview Icons series where we shine a light on a legend whose name has lit up some of the conversations I’ve had with my guests over the years. This episode focuses on Andres Iniesta.

Gordon Strachan waxes lyrical about watching Iniesta and says that he would never have believed that the standard of football the great Barcelona side he played in was possible.

David Moyes reflects on a clash between Real Sociedad and that Barca side. David’s team won, but boy, could they not get near Andres.

Someone else who knew how hard it was to dispossess Iniesta is former Swansea, Brighton and Blackpool winger Andrea Orlandi, who played alongside and against him while at Barcelona B. Andrea envied Andres his speed – he was quicker than people realise, with incredible acceleration; and he never gave the ball away.

Finally, we hear how Alex McLeish nearly signed a young Iniesta on loan when manager of Rangers. The bid caused a real fuss at Barcelona, forcing their hand about whether to loan out or start playing the blossoming midfield genius. Sadly for Rangers fans, Barca chose the latter.



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Mar 22, 2022
Will Ancelotti take the rap for Madrid's criminal Clásico?
15:05
From my writing for ESPNFC, here is my take on a weird and wonderful Clásico. Paired with Madrid's other embarassing losses this season - at home to Sheriff and to PSG in Paris - it could give president Florentino enough ammunition for a firing of a coach likely to end the season a champion (he has form here). But the list of culprits for this latest crime goes far beyond the Italian.   

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Mar 21, 2022
BITESIZE | Dean Smith: Aston Villa 7 Liverpool 2
5:08
Today you’ll hear from Dean Smith, the Aston Villa manager who masterminded one of the most memorable results in the club’s history when his team overcame defending champions Liverpool 7-2 in October 2020. Here’s how he did it. 

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Mar 21, 2022
BITESIZE | Alan Pardew: He won't shoot from there
8:14
Today's story comes from Alan Pardew, who tells us about the moments that can change the course of a career in football and of the hidden weapon in a manager's arsenal: one-to-one psychology.

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Mar 20, 2022
BITESIZE | Alex McLeish: There's this kid called Messi...
7:07
Today’s story comes from Alex McLeish and it’s taken from an interview we recorded in front of a live audience in Glasgow. He’s talking recruitment – making the most of a player his bosses at Birmingham wanted more than he did; and almost landing Andres Iniesta for Rangers. 

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Mar 19, 2022
BITESIZE | Andy Robertson: The one-man pressing machine
7:21
I got lucky with the timing of my interview with Liverpool’s Andy Robertson. We sat down soon after Liverpool 4 Manchester City 3 in January 2018 – so I got to ask him about that Premier League classic and his one-man press of Bernardo Silva… and Kyle Walker… and John Stones … and Ederson … and Nicolas Otamendi. It was the moment the Kop fell for Robertson, and here’s how it was for him.

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Mar 18, 2022
Ian Cathro: How Conor Coady Ran the Wolves System
43:33

In part two of my Big Interview with Ian Cathro, you’ll hear about the Dundonian’s enduring relationship with Nuno Espirito Santo, an extraordinary manager and leader of men.

The pair worked together at Rio Ave, Valencia and Tottenham, but we chatted a lot about their time at Wolves, about how a culture of trust at every level of that club earned success and how, more than anyone, indomitable centre-half Conor Coady was key to the way the team operated.

Also in part two: how to beat Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid.

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Mar 17, 2022
BITESIZE | Chris Sutton: King Henrik and I
4:57
Today you’ll hear from former Blackburn and Celtic striker Chris Sutton, who tells us that his days playing up front with Swedish legend Henrik Larsson were the richest of his career

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Mar 16, 2022
Rebuilding Barcelona: How Xavi is bringing his old club back to its roots
17:26
From my writing for ESPNFC, here is my pre-Clasico take on the blueprint FC Barcelona are following as they back Xavi to find a new version of the club’s famous ideology – including the three changes he prioritised when he returned to Camp Nou. 

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Mar 15, 2022
Ian Cathro: The Meeting With AVB That Changed My Life
34:55

That Ian Cathro is one of football’s most highly regarded coaches is all the more remarkable considering he never played the game at a high level. He is still aged just 35 and his success is down to determination, supreme confidence in his own abilities, risk taking and sheer talent.

In part one of our fascinating Big Interview, you’ll hear how a young Ian managed to bag a visit to Porto – at incredibly short notice – where he took in a training session and had a ninety-minute conversation with then manager Andre Villas-Boas which changed his life.

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Mar 15, 2022
BITESIZE | Chris Waddle: Maldini fell for that
6:23
Today's story comes from former England winger Chris Waddle, who will tell you how his style of play had the same effect on defenders from the Champions League... to the Sunday League.

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Mar 14, 2022
Courtois v Messi: Can the best goalkeeper in the world stop PSG?
10:39

Hola

Thibaut Courtois, the Real Madrid goalkeeper, is in the form of his life. He will need to produce heroics to take Los Blancos through tomorrow (Wednesday) night in the Bernabeu against Paris Saint Germain, who have a 1-0 lead from the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

This is the audio version of my ESPN column. 

Enjoy

G  



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Mar 08, 2022
Classic Big Interview: Ryan Fraser
41:59

Here’s another chance to hear my Big Interview with Ryan Fraser from season four.

When I caught up with my fellow Aberdonian, life was a beach under Eddie Howe at Bournemouth. Ryan has since moved on to Newcastle United, and perhaps it was fated that Eddie has ended up at St James’ Park, too. We heard how Eddie made his charges better players – and men, and how team-bonding incorporated everything from golf to paddle boarding.

Ryan is an incredibly versatile player and is able to analyse the beautiful game with great clarity. He told us about some of his best performances in a Cherries jersey, including defensive heroics against Eden Hazard and the towering Peter Crouch.

 



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Mar 08, 2022
Chapi Ferrer: Transplanting The Barca DNA
29:20

Chapi Ferrer tells us how Ronald Koeman was the biggest personality in Barcelona’s ‘Dream Team’, a mentally tough character who was Johan Cruyff’s extension on the pitch. Also in part two, you’ll hear about the full-back’s heartbreak when he was let go by his beloved Barca, but how success at Chelsea beckoned. And there’s great stuff about Barca Legends coach Chapi’s philosophy and ambitions.

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Mar 03, 2022
Pedri Forever: The moment and the match that made Xavi call him ‘the best in the world’
14:37

Orgasmic football. Sporting Viagra. Against Athletic, Barcelona – and Pedri in particular – provided that special magic that can get a stadium on its feet and make memories that last as long as we do.

Here in a new weekly feature on The Big Interview is an audio version of the column I write regularly for ESPN FC. This one is my reaction to a game that made Camp Nou believe in the Xavi rebuild and in the gem at its centre – a 19-year-old we will be talking about for a long time to come. 



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Mar 02, 2022
Chapi Ferrer: Cruyff’s Dream Team Thirty Years On
37:12

Chapi Ferrer was the classy right-back for Johan Cruyff’s ‘Dream Team’ who won Barcelona’s first European Cup in 1992. It was a miracle that Chapi played that famous night – let alone that he efficiently marked Sampdoria legend Roberto Mancini – because he had recently suffered torn cruciate ligaments and gastroenteritis. But the moment he stepped onto the Wembley turf he felt strong and focussed, and history awaited. To cap it off, a few weeks later Chapi won Olympic gold in his beloved Nou Camp.

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Mar 01, 2022
Messi, the Picasso of the penalty spot: Q&A part two
29:04

Hola!

This is the second part of February's Q&A where we discuss Atleti and Diego Simeone, the rise of Betis, Messi's 'average' penalty record and the best away-day in Spanish football.

Enjoy

G



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Feb 21, 2022
Grandmaster Xavi lines up his pieces... and Mbappé checkmates Carvajal. (Q & A, part one)
36:24

Part one of this month's Q & A show is all about Barcelona - how is Xavi's principled project being reshaped by the reality of the situation at Camp Nou? Which of his signings have surprised Graham and Pete? What are their chances of a top-four finish or a pathway to the final of the Europa League?


All this and a little look back at the latest evidence that Kylian Mbappé is a very, very good footballer.



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Feb 18, 2022
David Beckham: Big Interview Icon
22:28

Welcome to our Big Interview Icons series where we shine a light on a legend whose name has lit up some of the conversations I’ve had with my guests over the years. This episode focuses on David Beckham.

When player-assistant at Preston, David Moyes initially didn’t think the young Beckham was strong enough to take on a loan deal from Manchester United. But he was soon filled with admiration for the midfielder’s sheer will to succeed.

Sven-Göran Eriksson speaks about the charismatic presence of Beckham when he steps into a room. When he was the Leicester City boss, the Swede asked the superstar to finish his career in the East Midlands – but Victoria soon put the kybosh on that idea!

When describing the 1999 Champions League final between Manchester United and Bayern Munich, Jamie Carragher argues that Becks’ display that famous night – and his abilities in general – are underrated.

Lastly, former president of Real Madrid, Ramon Calderon, gushes with praise for Becks. During his last season in Spain, instead of sulking and biding his time until his move to LA Galaxy, he gave everything for Real, who won the title by a whisker.



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Feb 08, 2022
Classic Big Interview: James Milner
40:01

Here’s another chance to hear my Big Interview with James Milner from season four.

You’ll hear about James witnessing great European nights at Leeds from his perspective as a ball boy, and playing in great European nights with Liverpool. Plus, there’s super stuff about the Anfield midfield maestro’s fantastic charitable foundation.

When I spoke with James, his pain from the 2018 Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid was still palpable, but he vowed to channel it so that he could put things right. Little did he know then that he wouldn’t have long to wait.



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Feb 01, 2022
Martial, Haaland and 10-day old fish: Q & A Part Two
32:32

In the second part of the January Q & A show we cover Anthony Martial's loan to Sevilla and his new club's title challenge. Listen out for strong views on Diego Carlos and Erling Haaland.

Enjoy



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Jan 31, 2022
What does Adama Traore say about Barcelona? Q &A part one
42:24
It's all about FC Barcelona in the first part of the January Q & A show. What does the move for Adama Traore say about Barcelona? What should they do about Dembele and De Jong? Will the current and former boards remain at war while the football team continues to struggle?

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Jan 28, 2022
Jan Age Fjortoft: The Making of Haaland
27:28

In part two of my engrossing chat with Jan Age Fjortoft we hear about how the Norwegian lost three Austrian Cup finals when playing for Rapid Vienna. There’s great stuff about scoring during the last minute of the 1998-99 season to keep Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga. And we speak about Norway’s attacking geniuses Martin Odegaard and especially Erling Haaland, potentially the best striker in the world.

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Jan 27, 2022
Jan Age Fjortoft: The Art of Post-Match Interviewing
42:24

You might remember Jan Age Fjortoft from the 1990s as a formidable striker for the likes of Swindon, Middlesbrough and Sheffield United, but nowadays this erudite man grabs the likes of Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp for post-match television interviews.

The Norwegian gives us fascinating insights into the art of interviewing, telling us how he draws players and coaches away from the tired cliches into revealing their vulnerabilities, their true self.

Also in part one: Doing battle with Roy Keane.

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Jan 25, 2022
Classic Big Interview: Kevin Bridges, The Return
42:11

Here’s another chance to hear my second Big Interview with Kevin Bridges from season four.

We hear about Celtic fan Kevin’s adoration for Henrik Larsson, what it felt like to get his phone number and how he can’t rewatch the 2003 UEFA Cup Final because of Henke’s despair at winning just a runners-up medal.

As well as being one of the world’s funniest guys, Kevin is a genuine football connoisseur and there’s great stuff about his love for La Liga. His eyes lit up when I mentioned Ronaldo; no, not Cristiano, but the original and in some people’s eyes best, Brazilian, Ronaldo.



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Jan 17, 2022
Mark Hateley: When the Ultras Sing Your Name
1:01:29

In part two of my fascinating conversation with Mark Hateley, we hear how his success with Portsmouth and England led to a transfer to the mighty AC Milan. Coach Nils Liedholm was an incredible influence as Mark improved and scored a famous winner in the first victory over Inter in six years – after which he was a hit with the Ultras forevermore.

Graeme Souness signed Mark for Rangers where after a slow start a glittering era awaited, especially once he had bulked up and formed his irresistible partnership with the prolific Ally McCoist.



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Jan 13, 2022
Xavi v Ancelotti: Supercopa Clasico preview
17:05

Here comes a peculiar Clasico - Real Madrid v Barcelona ... in Saudi Arabia.


Here's what I think about the circumstances around the Supercopa clash and then, as I wrote for ESPNFC, a little something about the connections between the two men in charge, and the power balance between these two titanic rivals.



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Jan 11, 2022
Mark Hateley: My Father’s Shadow
46:52

Mark Hateley’s new autobiography Hitting The Mark brilliantly defines the extraordinary career of a truly great British centre-forward.

In part one of an in-depth, fascinating Big Interview, Mark tells us how trying to better his late father Tony – himself a successful striker – was his major motivation as he relentlessly drove himself to improve.

His father was furious that Mark chose a move from Coventry down a division to Portsmouth. But the gamble paid off with 24 goals in his first season at Pompey, and he also enjoyed success with England including a winning goal against Brazil in the Maracana.



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Jan 10, 2022
Pep Guardiola: Big Interview Icon
31:19

Welcome to our Big Interview Icons series where we shine a light on a legend whose name has lit up some of the conversations I’ve had with my guests over the years. This episode focuses on Pep Guardiola.

Rio Ferdinand reflects on Manchester United’s two Champions League final defeats to Pep’s Barcelona and is bighearted enough to wax lyrical about Pep’s genius. He is gutted that he was not brought in to manage at Old Trafford.

Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan loves playing for Guardiola at Manchester City. He’s not an easy man all the time, but ultimately you know that he has got your back, that he adheres to an almost familial sense of personal loyalty.

Namesake and Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders considers Guardiola as one of the best coaches ever, because he is a master at drilling teams to their maximum potential in training, but does so while never impeding the individual class of great players.

When Guardiola took over at Barcelona, experienced Catalan coach Domènec Torrent was one of his trusted lieutenants. They endured a sticky start but the golden Barca era soon dawned, and Domènec gives us engrossing insights into what it was like behind the scenes.



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Jan 03, 2022
'Next year, it'll be Rayo v Liverpool' - the winner is... TBI Oscars (part two)
31:29

Welcome to part two of our annual Oscars show, where our listeners - as well as Graham and Pete - decide who wins categories including lifetime achievement and best original song.

It's the only review of 2021 that comes with red carpet, evening wear and tapas.



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Dec 29, 2021
'Tenacious, technically brilliant and utterly fearless' The winner is... TBI Oscars 2021 (part one)
33:32

Welcome to our annual Oscars show, where our listeners - as well as Graham and Pete - decide who wins categories including best performer in a lead role and best director (of football).

It's the only review of 2021 that comes with red carpet, evening wear and tapas.



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Dec 27, 2021
Scot Gemmill: Galvanising Gilmour
34:29
Scot Gemmill is currently a very successful manager of the Scotland under-21 team. In part two of this absorbing Big Interview, you’ll hear how he hadn’t planned a transition from playing to coaching, and got there through his own initiative, effort and a little slice of luck. He expanded his coaching brain by observing how it was done at Barcelona, Espanyol… and Paisley. And we hear how Scot nurtured Scotland’s most brilliant young talent, Billy Gilmour.

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Dec 22, 2021
Scot Gemmill: Still Under Cloughie’s Spell
41:45

Being the son of Scotland and Nottingham Forest legend Archie was normality for Scot Gemmill when growing up, but having Brian Clough critiquing your performance for a Sunday youth side was downright surreal in anyone’s book.

Despite his initial self-doubt, Gemmill jnr. went on to play for Cloughie at Forest and nowadays he realises the spell the great man cast on him when he coaches footballers. He learned to play like you mean it, like you are competing in the last game you will ever play.

Also in part one: indie gigs and New York, New York.



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Dec 20, 2021
Paul Scholes: Big Interview Icon
18:47

Welcome to our Big Interview Icons series where we shine a light on a legend whose name has lit up some of the conversations I’ve had with my guests over the years. This episode focuses on Paul Scholes.

Michael Carrick describes how when he arrived at Manchester United he was slated for passing to midfield colleague Paul too often – but why wouldn’t you utilise the talents of one of England’s greatest-ever players?

Another former Old Trafford team-mate, Owen Hargreaves, rated Scholesy so highly – not least his game intelligence – that he places him in the pantheon of true footballing greats.

Darren Fletcher says that Paul was technically one of the best players of all time, so much so that the Scotsman had to redefine his own role as a midfielder at Man United.

Quinton Fortune says it was sheer joy playing with Scholes, who he believes taught World Cup winner Paul Pogba everything he knows.



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Dec 13, 2021
Graeme Le Saux: The Dark Side of the Dressing Room
42:10

In part two of my extraordinary conversation with Graeme Le Saux, we hear about dressing-room bigotry and bullying, and the seismic culture change that needs to occur at a club in order to smash the conspiracy of fearful silence that sustains it.

If Graeme felt like an outsider at Chelsea, at Blackburn Rovers he was part of a band of brothers whose incredible work-ethic and self-belief narrowly won them the league against the mighty Manchester United in 1995. It was Graeme’s finest hour, and he lauds the leadership of Kenny Dalglish and his assistant Ray Harford.

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Dec 08, 2021
What Rayo Vallecano could teach La Liga's elite teams
13:44

Hola!

Here's my latest column for ESPN, for your listening pleasure. 

With four of Spain’s teams in danger of getting knocked out of the Champions League there's lots for Simeone, Emery and Lopetegui to learn from Rayo Vallecano and Iraola. 

Enjoy

G



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Dec 07, 2021
Graeme Le Saux: Moneyball, Mallorca-style
49:20

Graeme Le Saux spent numerous family holidays in Mallorca, but he couldn’t have guessed that one day he would become a non-executive director at the island’s – now La Liga – football club. Real got promoted after a thrilling play-off with Deportivo and now the challenge is to keep improving while staying in the top flight.

Graeme was an elegant left-back with Chelsea, Blackburn and Southampton, and he tells us about his toughest opponents, offering insight into how the likes of Brian Laudrup, Chris Waddle and a young Cristiano Ronaldo bedazzled and befuddled. Graeme just loved the challenge.

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Dec 06, 2021
Classic Big Interview: Thierry Henry
43:45

Here’s another chance to hear my interview with Thierry Henry from season four.

You’ll hear about how Barcelona’s talented players adapted to the visionary Pep Guardiola’s methods. The 2009 6-2 victory at the Bernabéu – in which Thierry scored a double and then went off injured –felt like the moment things fully clicked, and the Frenchman recovered in time to star in the Champions League final against Manchester United. Barcelona knew they would win – they could see the defeat in the United players’ eyes, and not even Sir Alex Ferguson had a response.

There’s also chat about playing with Lionel Messi, whose talent is not of this planet.

Brilliant stuff.

Graham



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Dec 01, 2021
Memphis? He's a dud! Q & A part two
38:36
Here comes part two of the November Q & A, in which Graham and Pete mourn Levante's demise, look at interim managers from recent Spanish history and examine the tea leaves of Xavi's first weeks in charge of Barcelona.

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Nov 30, 2021
Messi to Putellas : The Race for the Ballon d'Or - Q&A part 1
31:24

Hola

Welcome to this month's Q and A. Here myself and Pete Jenson talk Vinicius Jnr, the rise of La Real, Rayo Vallecano and who might win tonight's Ballon d'Or.

Enjoy

G



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Nov 29, 2021
A Night at the Opera, or a night at The Improv? Why Madrid's midfield may need a new script
20:04

Watching Real Madrid - and in particular how their coach, Carlo Ancelotti, handles his veteran midfield trio of Casemiro, Modric and Kroos - I saw one side of a theological divide. Call it hawks versus doves; Robin Williams versus the Marx Brothers; systems versus players.

Here is why I think the Madrid ideology cannot navigate a critical run of games ahead, and why it all means Zinedine Zidane was never the guy Manchester United need right now. 



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Nov 25, 2021
Brad Friedel: Confronting Superstitions and My Nemesis Shearer
30:49

For such an intelligent football man, you might be surprised to learn how Brad Friedel was once in the grip of crippling superstitions. Oddly, when he crossed the white line, the nerves disappeared.

Also in part two, you’ll hear about the one man Brad feared facing most of all: Alan Shearer. And there’s great stuff about how goalkeepers must never let their inner feelings show on the field of play.

Thanks, Brad. I could have chatted all day.

Graham.

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Nov 24, 2021
Presenting Between the Lines: Arrigo Sacchi and The Immortals
26:04

Today, I'm presenting to you an episode of Between The Lines, a podcast that tells the stories behind great sports writing, produced by Martin and Neil at BackPage, my producers and the publishers of the books I wrote on Barcelona under Pep Guardiola and the Spain team that won a hat-trick of tournaments.

In this episode, Neil and Martin talk to Mark Palmer, the translator of The Immortals, Arrigo Sacchi’s memoir of Milan’s 1988-89 season, which ended with the first of two back-to-back European Cup triumphs for the great team of Baresi, Maldini, Rijkaard, Gullit and Van Basten.

The Immortals brings to life the training diaries of Sacchi and captures in time one of the greatest club teams in football history.

There are lots more stories on Between The Lines - take your pick here

Buy The Immortals here



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Nov 23, 2021
Brad Friedel: How to Cope with Being Gala’s Goalie
48:57

Brad Friedel fell in love with English football long before he arrived on UK shores to grace the No.1 jerseys of Liverpool, Blackburn, Villa and Spurs. A trip to Wembley during a childhood family tour of Europe gave him the bug.

He was hardened by his Ohio upbringing, which set him in good stead for coping with the glorious craziness of Galatasaray.

This is an absolute corker of a Big Interview.

Graham

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Nov 23, 2021
Time for Xavi to act locally, think globally
13:35

Here's my latest for ESPNFC - on Xavi's first game in charge of his beloved Barcelona, against their city rivals, Espanyol. The two teams are level on points, which means Espanyol have a sniff of finishing ahead of their neigbours for the first time since World War Two concluded. And they have, in Vicente Moreno, a coach who, like Xavi, has a very high ceiling in terms of what he might achieve.


Not the kind of opening act Xavi would have selected.



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Nov 18, 2021
Luka Modric: Big Interview Icon
16:03

Welcome to our Big Interview Icons series where we shine a light on a legend whose name has lit up some of the conversations I’ve had with my guests over the years. This episode focuses on Luka Modric.

Former Tottenham colleague Robbie Keane admired the unassuming Luka’s particular courage: his willingness to take the ball under any circumstances.

I interviewed John McGinn ahead of Euro 2020, and when asked who was the forthcoming opponent he would most like to swap shirts with, Scotland’s midfield maestro chose the classy Croat.

Slaven Bilic espouses the virtues of having an independent Croatian football league to help develop younger players – but he says Modric would have made it anyway.

Lastly, Rafael van der Vaart talks about joining the fantastic, attacking Spurs side Harry Redknapp had assembled in 2010, for which Luka was the midfield fulcrum.



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Nov 18, 2021
Iago Aspas: Spain's absent artist
13:28
As Spain prepare for a World Cup duel with Sweden, here are my thoughts on a player who is absent from the mission: the evergreen Iago Aspas, a player who continues to deliver in the biggest games in La Liga.  This is the audio version of the column I write every week at ESPNFC.

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Nov 12, 2021
Olivier Giroud: How Fraternité won France the World Cup
30:49

Olivier Giroud believes he was destined to play for Arsenal and current club AC Milan because he followed the fortunes of both as a kid.

Also in part two, we hear about Olivier’s brother Romain who was a real talent but who didn’t make it in the professional game. And, of course, there’s France’s 2018 World Cup triumph, delivered, Olivier says, by team spirit. Did you know that N’Golo Kanté really does bend the rules at cards, and that Olivier and Hugo Lloris celebrated in a Moscow duck pond?

Graham.

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Nov 11, 2021
Olivier Giroud: The Believer
32:02

Olivier Giroud is a World Cup winner whose will to succeed was undergirded by his deep religious faith; it’s no coincidence that his brilliant new autobiography is called Always Believe.

In part one of our conversation you’ll hear about the euphoria that broke out after Olivier set up the winning goal against Lille in 2012 which all but clinched Montpellier’s only top-flight title. The big striker is a forgiving fellow, but it was nice to prove one doubter in particular wrong.

And there’s chat about taking on Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk when Olivier was at Arsenal and Chelsea. These were physical battles, but there was always mutual respect.

Graham.

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Nov 08, 2021
Classic Big Interview: Owen Hargreaves
40:47

Here’s another chance to hear my interview with Owen Hargreaves from season four.

As a youngster at Bayern Munich, Stefan Effenberg would kick Owen in training, but it toughened him, taught him to be ultra-competitive. When he went up against the likes of Luis Figo at Real Madrid in the 2001 Champions League semi-final, he soon felt worthy of the task. Owen played in the final in Milan where Bayern beat Valencia on penalties. Owen did well in shootouts with clubs – netting in Manchester United’s shootout win over Chelsea in the Champions League 2008 final, but not so well in them with England.

There’s also great stuff about the legendary Paul Scholes, why England’s golden generation didn’t deliver and why Owen was so desperate to play for Sir Alex Ferguson, the ultimate competitor.

Brilliant stuff.

Graham



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Nov 01, 2021
Koeman's sacking signals return for Xavi at Barcelona
14:23

Here is my column for ESPNFC on the sacking, last night, of Ronald Koeman, by FC Barcelona, following a giant-killing defeat at the hands of Rayo Vallecano, the latest in a series of results that made this outcome automatic.


All of the information I have - some of which you'll hear here - tell me Xavi is the man to replace him, returning to the club with whom he won it all in an historic career. But nothing is simple at Camp Nou these days. 



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Oct 28, 2021
Paulo Sousa: How I Helped Win – Then Steal – Juve’s European Crown
35:19

Paolo Sousa played through the pain barrier for his entire career, but it didn’t stop him winning back-to-back Champions Leagues at Marcello Lippi’s Juventus and then Ottmar Hitzfeld’s Borussia Dortmund. He had come to feel unwanted at Juve, and it was surely karma that it was the Italian club that Borussia defeated in the 1997 final.

Also in part two: How to manage a genius like Poland’s Robert Lewandowski.

You’ll love this.

Graham.

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Oct 27, 2021
Stand On Me: Walter Smith, An Appreciation
24:23

Hola

With the sad news of Walter Smith's passing, I felt moved to record this appreciation. 

Best

Graham



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Oct 26, 2021
Paulo Sousa: Thinking Fast and Slow
33:56

Paulo Sousa was one of the most elegant midfielders of his generation. The Poland head coach is also one of the beautiful game’s deepest thinkers.

In part one of our chat, you’ll hear about how he would visualise techniques and game scenarios before playing. Nobody told him to do this – it was an instinctive process, and one that has now been formally introduced to the coaching curriculum.

Truly fascinating stuff.

Graham.

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Oct 25, 2021
Alaba, Aguero & Something About Xavi: Post-Clasico Q&A
45:17

Hola!

Hope you enjoyed yesterday's Clasico, which finished Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 2.

Myself and Pete Jenson answers your questions covering Alaba's goal, Depay, Modric, Ansu, Koeman's future and whether it is time to make the call to Xavi Hernandez.

Enjoy



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Oct 25, 2021
One Giant Leap For Vinicius - Clasico Q&A (part two)
32:06
Here's part two of this month's Q&A, with a focus on the upcoming Clasico. What does the rest of Spanish football make of the global fascination with Barcelona and Real Madrid? And how will a faltering Barcelona cope with Vinicius as the Real Madrid forward develops game-by-game into a world-class talent? Pete Jenson and Graham Hunter have the answers.

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Oct 22, 2021
Barca: More Questions Than Ansu's - Clasico Q & A, part one
42:03

Here are Graham, Pete Jenson and our beloved socios, asking and answering all around this coming Sunday's Clasico - in this first part, we connect the Champions League performances of Barcelona and Real Madrid to the possible outcome of the weekend's La Liga meeting. And the focus falls on two of the hottest properties in Spain: Ansu Fati, whose signature is still fresh on a new Barcelona contract, and Vinicius Jnr, who shone in Madrid's hugely impressive win in Ukraine. 









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Oct 21, 2021
Classic Big Interview: Alan Smith
38:51

Here’s another chance to hear my interview with Alan Smith from season four.

Alan was part of an Arsenal side which won England’s top division twice, and he won the golden boot twice, but a crisis of confidence blighted the end of his career, even when he scored the winner against Parma in the 1994 European Cup Winners’ Cup Final.

The Gunners’ success was due to the camaraderie and chemistry instilled by George Graham, and Alan offers us brilliant insights into the approach of that managerial legend. The highpoint was winning the league title in 1989 at Anfield with the last kick of the ball – a moment Alan considers English club football’s most iconic.

You will love this fascinating Big Interview.

Graham



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Oct 18, 2021
Jurgen Klopp: Big Interview Icon
28:08

Welcome to our Big Interview Icons series where we shine a light on a legend whose name has lit up some of the conversations I’ve had with my guests over the years. This episode focuses on Jurgen Klopp.

Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders tells us how Jurgen and his coaches instil the players’ inner voice in training. Jurgen’s charges can adapt to personnel changes by sticking to a collective philosophy which is drilled into the squad.

Jamie Carragher describes Liverpool’s amazing 4-0 thrashing of Barcelona in the 2019 Champions League semi-final at Anfield. The Reds trailed 3-0 from first leg, but Jamie contends that Jurgen made his players believe that they could achieve anything.

We caught up with Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson in early 2018, just after he had played a vital part in an awesome 4-3 victory over Manchester City. Andy tells us what it’s like to play for the legend Klopp, and why he isn’t scared to take a creative risk on the field.

Brilliant stuff.

Graham



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Oct 11, 2021
Michael Laudrup: Messi or Ronaldo or Pele or Maradona? You're missing the point.
36:17

In part two of my fascinating conversation with Michael Laudrup, we continue talking about Swansea’s 2013 League Cup triumph. They won the final against Bradford 5-0 but Michael never liked humiliating teams or individuals.

We hear about a masterclass dealt out in Naples by one Diego Armando Maradona when Michael was playing for Juventus. Michael also explains his philosophy of a happy retirement and why he thinks we are asking too much of our modern footballers.

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Oct 06, 2021
Michael Laudrup: A Cruyff Education
41:04

As a player and a manager, Michael Laudrup was pure footballing nobility, so much so that they made him a knight of the Danish realm.

Michael is one of that rare species who can articulate his playing genius. Crucial to his development was playing under Johan Cruyff at Barcelona, who was a genius at conveying his message in simple terms.

There’s great stuff about how the Danish national team transitioned from Corinthian purity to become perennial overachievers. And about how trophies won as a manager – not least Swansea’s 2013 League Cup triumph – felt better than those won as a player.

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Oct 04, 2021
Classic Big Interview: Christian Fuchs
36:52

Here’s another chance to hear my interview with Christian Fuchs from season four.

Back then, Christian was still at Leicester, where he had won the Premier League against all the odds. Nigel Pearson signed him for the Foxes from Schalke – and was then promptly sacked. But the left-back fitted in with Claudio Ranieri’s plans. Ranieri made every player feel special, which was key to their amazing success. Christian describes watching Tottenham drawing with Chelsea – which clinched the title for Leicester – as an incredibly exhausting experience. He had never quite believed that they would become champions.

You’ll also hear about playing alongside the great Raul at Schalke, how Mattersburg captain Dietmar Kuhbauer toughened a young Christian up, and how a loan spell at Mainz under coaching genius Thomas Tuchel was a seminal experience.

Enjoy,

Graham



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Sep 27, 2021
Stephen Glass: Scott Brown and the Leadership Gene
45:08

In part two of my fascinating interview with Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass, we hear about how everyone goes on about ‘pressing’, but no side can truly pull it off for ninety minutes.

You’ll get the skinny on some of the great coaches Stephen has worked under or alongside: Roy Aitken at Aberdeen, Ruud Gullit at Newcastle, Gianluca Vialli at Watford, Tony Mowbray at Hibernian, Tata Martino at Atlanta. Stephen has hired the redoubtable Scott Brown as player-coach, and promises Dons fans will come to love the man they used to hate.

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Sep 22, 2021
Stephen Glass: The Long Road Home
43:31

Stephen Glass might have been brought up as a Dundee United fan, but he gave everything as a player and gives everything as a manager to my beloved Aberdeen. Once, he even helped relegate United while wearing a red jersey.

Stephen learned his trade from coaches who had played during the Dandies’ golden age, but boy, it was a tough apprenticeship. Such were his talents that when at Newcastle, he was compared with Magpies legend Tony Green.

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Sep 20, 2021
Dean Smith: Villa 7 Liverpool 2 and other Extraordinary Stories
25:18

In part two of my riveting Big Interview with Aston Villa manager Dean Smith we hear about how he establishes the right culture by leading by example. He thrives on developing players, and consistency is his byword. All of this laid the groundwork for the incredible 7-2 destruction of then Premier League champions Liverpool in October 2020.

Thanks, Dean. That was special.

Graham

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Sep 15, 2021
Dean Smith: How to Build a £100m player
29:53

Dean Smith is a dyed-in-the-wool fan living the dream. As a youngster, the Aston Villa manager watched his club’s glory days from the Holte End when the European Cup was clinched and talents like Brian Little, Gary Shaw, Gordon ‘Sid’ Cowans, Andy Gray and Didier Six plied their trade. But the man he has just sold for £100million – Jack Grealish – rivals them all.

Enjoy.

Graham

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Sep 13, 2021
Jose Mourinho: Big Interview Icon
25:03

Welcome to our Big Interview Icons series where we shine a light on a legend whose name has lit up some of the conversations I’ve had with my guests over the years. This episode focuses on Jose Mourinho.

Benni McCarthy’s tough time at Celta Vigo ended when Jose brought him to Porto. Benni saw the Portuguese as a father figure, and would have run through a brick wall for him. He repaid Mourinho by helping Porto win the Champions League. A mainstay of that side was Ricardo Carvalho, and Benni says Jose is the only boss the leftfield defender could have thrived under.

Line of Duty star Martin Compston was struck by Mourinho’s will to win even in a charity match. Despite being led astray for a night on the tiles by pal Greg McHugh, he absolutely loved his brief spell playing under the managerial legend.

Robert Huth remembers that when Mourinho arrived at Chelsea, he took training sessions to a new level. The Special One introduced an intensity and an attention to detail that fired the players’ imaginations.

Enjoy

Graham



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Sep 06, 2021
Who won the transfer window? Q&A part two
38:14
Madrid miss out on Mbappe... for now. Valencia look sharp, three Liga talents head for the Premier League and Rayo Vallecano reboot! 

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Sep 06, 2021
The Griezmann Files: Transfer Window Q&A (part one)
45:22
It was quite a transfer window in La Liga, but when we asked our socios for questions, there was one move they all wanted to know more about. Here is Graham and Pete Jenson with a 360-degree look at the deal that took Antoine Griezmann back from Barcelona to Atletico Madrid.

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Sep 03, 2021
Vinny Samways: Ossie’s Pivote
37:14

In part two of my absorbing conversation with Vinny Samways, we speak about the midfielder’s earlier days at his beloved Tottenham, not least his time spent under manager and club legend Ossie Ardiles, who Vinny considered to be ahead of his time. Vinny was the kind of player Ossie wanted the play to flow through, his ‘pivote’. There was even a call-up for Ossie’s testimonial match, when a teenage Vinny starred alongside a certain Diego Armando Maradona. An unforgettable experience.

We also cover two memorable giant-killing thrashings which Vinny was on the right side of, one against Real Madrid when at Las Palmas, and one against Barcelona when he was at Sevilla.

You'll love this Big Interview

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Aug 30, 2021
Vinny Samways: Viva Las Palmas
39:03

Vinny Samways is a man I admire. At the age of 28, the classy midfielder gave up the English top flight and stepped into the unknown. He signed for Canary Islands club Las Palmas, then in Spain’s second tier. It was a struggle to adapt at first, not least because of the number of yellow and red cards Vinny received, but in his fourth season there his perseverance paid off when he was part of a promotion-winning side. It felt like he had repaid the islanders for all the warmth and support they had given him.

Enjoy

Graham

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Aug 29, 2021
Roy Keane: Big Interview Icon
29:02
Welcome to our Big Interview Icons series where we shine a light on a legend whose name has lit up some of the conversations I’ve had with my guests over the years. This episode focuses on Roy Keane.Darren Fletcher believes that Roy was underrated in terms of his passing and ball control simply because he played alongside the magnificent Paul Scholes.Quinton Fortune tells us about receiving a kick from Roy in training for trying something he wouldn’t do during a match. The intensely competitive sessions meant that when Saturday came, United felt they could take on anyone.Kevin Kilbane reflects on the notorious Saipan incident during the 2002 World Cup. Had Roy stayed on board, Kev reckons Ireland could have gone all the way to the final.Jason McAteer states that Roy’s ability to read the game was second to none, and speaks about how he came round to liking and admiring the man.As kids, Jonny Evans and Alex Bruce both idolised Roy and ended up playing under him at Sunderland and Ipswich respectively. They say you should never meet your heroes, but Roy made a positive impression on both players.Enjoy possibly the best Big Interview Icon so far.Graham

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Aug 22, 2021
Rating Atleti, Sevilla, La Real and Betis' La Liga chances - Q & A (part two)
33:57
With Messi gone and both Barcelona and Madrid reassessing their long-term finances, our socios ask Graham and Pete Jenson about the teams most likely to make a title challenge this season

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Aug 19, 2021
La Liga without Messi: politics, finance and intrigue - Q & A (part one)
41:39
Welcome to the first part of our monthly Q & A show. Graham and Pete Jenson answer questions on life after Messi for both Barcelona and La Liga.

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Aug 17, 2021
Rafael da Silva: Fergie Mind Games and Mbappé Magic
28:31

Rafael da Silva’s most memorable Sir Alex Ferguson moment was just after Manchester United had lost the Premier League title on goal difference to their city rivals in 2012. Fergie told the players to remember how the loss felt, and indeed United came back to win the league the next season. Sir Alex understood Rafa and got inside his head.

Also in part two, there’s chat about scoring at Anfield – Rafa’s favourite goal, playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and against Lionel Messi, and how Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s United can win the title this season. And you will hear what it’s like to come up against Kylian Mbappé, who accelerates like a Ferrari and has more trickery than a magician.

Enjoy

Graham

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Aug 12, 2021
Rafael da Silva: Bring Me Sunshine
30:04

Brazil has an uncanny habit of producing truly special right-backs, and Rafael da Silva fits that classification. In 2007, he signed for Manchester United on the same day as his twin Fábio, and the brothers have now released a joint-memoir, The Sunshine Kids.

In part one of this engaging Big Interview, Rafa suggests that Ronaldinho represents the spirit of Brazilian football more than Neymar. Ronaldinho had everything: strength and unbelievable ability, but most of all he made people happy.

Rafa also reflects on the London 2012 Olympics, a difficult experience, but one which taught him not be afraid of taking risks.

Enjoy

Graham

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Aug 11, 2021
Messi on the move as Barcelona face credit crunch
44:57
You know the headline: Leo Messi, maybe the greatest footballer to ever take the field, will leave Barcelona, the only club he has ever played for. Here is my take - and your questions - on how we got here, what is real and what is spin, and what may lie ahead for Messi and for FC Barcelona, whose financial crisis is ground zero for this monumental move. 

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Aug 06, 2021
Pep in. Gareth upstairs. Kane at No.10. England's plan for global domination - Q & A part two
35:13

In our last Euro 2020 episode Graham and Pete take on questions about England's plan for Qatar and beyond; who starts next winter's World Cup as favourites and whether the laissez-faire refereeing of the Euros can unlock a faster kind of football.


Thanks for all your support this season and especially during these daily Euro shows. We're taking a short break before the new season, when we will have more new interviews for you.



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Jul 14, 2021
'The Italian Ramos' - Euro 2020 Q&A (part 1)
30:58
Ciao ragazzi, and welcome to the first part of the Q&A, as we bring our Euro 2020 series to a close. Here, Graham and Pete Jenson discuss: the under-sung stars of the tournament; the errors made by England's management team; and the centurions at the heart of defence for the new champions of Europe.

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Jul 13, 2021
How not to lose a final. Italy 1 England 1 (Italy win 3-2 on pens)
24:25
Recorded late, right after it went down, and with more than a little frustration in my voice. Forza Italia, the new champions of Europe, but where was the new England we had grown so fond of watching? Undone by slow decision-making on the touchline and a tired talisman on the pitch. Here's my on-the-whistle take on the final. 

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Jul 12, 2021
Final Preview (II): Come and Have a Go if you Think You're Italian Enough
31:33

Hola

The big day is here... and we dived into the mailbag to answers all your queries on England v Italy. We talk Chiesa, Kane, Foden, Saka, Chiellini and much more.

Enjoy!

G



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Jul 10, 2021
Final Preview (I): Jorginho or Pirlo? Gerrard or Rice?
29:39

Hola

The last time England met Italy at a major tournament was in the first group game of the 2014 Brazil World Cup. Italy won 2-1 that day, thanks to goals from Balotelli and Marchisio.

One of our Socios posed a challenge: Which player from the England and Italy teams from 2014 would make the current teams?

Never one to shirk a challenge, this is my response...

Enjoy

G



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Jul 09, 2021
England 2 Denmark 1: Keep the Ball, Kill the Game - Ole, Ole, Ole
22:08

Hola!

England have reached their first major final since 1966. Here's my thoughts on a fantastic game at Wembley, when a young England team came of age.

Enjoy

G



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Jul 08, 2021
Italy 1 Spain 1 (Italy win 4-2 on pens) - Everything that football is supposed to be
27:51

Hola!

Wow.... what a semi-final. This was recorded in the early hours of this morning, after I'd gathered my thoughts on events at Wembley last night. It was a privilege to be there.

What. A. Night. Olmo, Pedri, Jorginho, Chiellini... just incredible.

Enjoy

Graham



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Jul 07, 2021
"It's Matchday" Can Spain seize their Wembley moment?
21:45

Hola!

This is it... the day of the Euro 2020 Italy-Spain semi-final - and I'm literally on my way to Wembley.

Jump in my London Cab and listen to some of my semi-final experiences covering La Roja ... and more thoughts on tonight's match. Plus, my Bet365 Player of the Day.

Enjoy

G



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Jul 06, 2021
La Roja: Smells Like Team Spirit
34:51

Hola!

I'm in London ahead of tomorrow night's Italy-Spain Euro 2020 semi-final. Listen up for how La Roja vanquished a century-old Italian curse at Euro 2008.

We also dip into the mailbag to answers questions on how Spain can find a way past Roberto Mancini's hugely impressive Italy.

And there's also my Bet365 Player of the Day!

Enjoy



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Jul 05, 2021
Sancho, Thiago, Pedri plus a LIVE transfer. Your questions answered
33:33
Here's what I think about Gareth Southgate's career-defining moments on and off the pitch, including his response to racists and his management of a talent-packed squad; which players might make big moves after the tournament; why we haven't seen much of Thiago so far. And a loan move happens as we are recording! Wolves fans, be excited. 

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Jul 04, 2021
Spain 1 Switzerland 1 (Spain win 3-1 on pens) - This One Goes Out To The Unai Glove
24:19
Nerves shredded, I send you this from the post-apocalyptic aftermath of Spain's quarter-final with Switzerland. Don't let the outcome fool you, it was Switzerland's gameplan, and not Spain's that prevailed. But thanks to Unai Simon, we're on our way to Wembley. 

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Jul 02, 2021
Messi plays hardball - and there's noone quite like Busquets
25:13

Leo Messi's transition into free agency was a big story yesterday, so here's why I think he's probably not going, but he won't stay until he shapes his final years at FC Barcelona as much as he can while in a position of maximum leverage. 

Then we talk Spain v Switzerland and Italy v Belgium, and why Sergio Busquets has proved to be so influential for La Roja. 




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Jul 02, 2021
Mancini and Vialli: Italy's Goal Twins
18:18

Hola!

We’ve dipped into The Big Interview archive to serve you up a nice little slice of Sven-Goran Eriksson, in which he reflects on the relationship between Roberto Mancini and Gianluca Vialli at Sampdoria. He tells us not only how the Goal Twins ran the dressing room and effectively the whole club, but also how Mancini the artist could turn into a raging bull.

The two men are reunited in the Italy dugout for Euro 2020 and will attempt to negotiate the Azzurri's passage to the semi-final against Belgium tomorrow evening. Listen out for my Bet365 Player of the Day after we hear from Eriksson.

Enjoy

Graham



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Jun 30, 2021
The under-the-radar stars of Euro 2020 (so far)
24:02
A blessed day of rest, so a good chance to get through some of your questions. Including: which of the lesser-known players would I go for if I was FINALLY in charge of a major European club? Who are the equivalents of Rio, Wrighty and Ally on Spanish television's coverage? And which England player has unlocked Harry Kane's mojo? 

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Jun 30, 2021
Spain 5 Croatia 3 (AET): Pedri, Pedri, Pedri
24:08

Another late-night episode recorded right after Spain's game (with an added bonus recorded after France were knocked out by Switzerland - stick around at the end!)

I loved watching Spain v Croatia - I hope you did too. It was about explosive football, some weird moments and above all, character. Watch out. Here come Spain. 



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Jun 28, 2021
Belgium 1 Portugal 0: the one where Courtois makes me think twice
22:24
Belgium have just knocked out Portugal here in Seville in a game that built to a thrilling finale. I recorded this as soon as I left the stadium, just after speaking to Thibaut Courtois - and that was a conversation that really got me thinking. So this is a story about a text I sent a long time ago, and a moment of audacity that helped to win the game. This one's a little different, I hope you like it.

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Jun 27, 2021
Analyse this - how Martinez takes Belgium's opponents apart
30:27
I'm in Seville tonight for Belgium v Portugal - not just the tie of the round but potentially the tie of the tournament. Here I'll tell you about what I learned from interviews with Roberto Martinez and Jan Vertonghen and we'll revisit an old Big Interview - with Martinez's right-hand man, Shaun Maloney. 

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Jun 27, 2021
Spain 5 Slovakia 0 - a glimpse of what is possible
23:24

Forgive the croak in my voice - this was recorded at the end of a very long day and night, before Spain left Seville ... destination - Copenhagen. 

In their destruction of a disappointing Slovakia team, Spain gave us a reminder of what they can do when everything clicks and when the opposition's guard drops. They have a history of these blowout wins in recent years. 

Does that make them contenders? I still have more than a few doubts about that. But for now, let's enjoy the good stuff. 



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Jun 24, 2021
Modric the magnificent; Spain on the brink
22:47

We just finished recording this - my view on Scotland's exit last night and then an examination of what is at stake in the game I'll be leaving for shortly - Spain v Slovakia - and the decisions facing Luis Enrique.

Socios, thanks for sending your questions in - please keep asking them, I'll respond to as many as I can on these daily podcasts. 



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Jun 23, 2021
Group D deciders: Testing times for Scotland
25:36

Here's my look ahead to the final round of games in Group D: Scotland v Croatia and Czech Republic v England.

With the news that  Billy Gilmour is isolating after a positive Covid test, will Scotland find yet another way to break our hearts? I don't think so.

And can England find the courage to unleash Jack Grealish on the Euros? 



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Jun 22, 2021
Spain 1 Poland 1 - Lewandowski's Leadership Lesson
22:21

Hola!

This was recorded late last night, following Spain's disappointing 1-1 draw with Poland in Seville in their second group game of Euro 2020. 

The result leaves them with just two points from their first two games - and sees their Group E qualification hopes resting on Wednesday's meeting with Slovakia. 

Hope you enjoy

Love ya

G



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Jun 20, 2021
Graduation Day For Gilmour
29:16

Here's my take on a new-look Scotland and what Steve Clarke achieved with a bang-on team selection and a game plan to starve Harry Kane of service.

Also, news from the Spain camp on game day for them plus my Player of the Day comes from the tea-time kick off, Germany v Portugal. 



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Jun 19, 2021
The Rain in Spain falls mainly on... La Roja
27:40

Hola!

What a Euros so far eh?

This is my latest bulletin from inside the Spain camp - ahead of tomorrow night's second group match v Poland - but listen out for reflections on some other games and teams that have set my pulse racing... from Belgium's gigantic performance v Denmark to Italy's fizzing 3-0 win over Denmark. And a wee bit of Scottish content, too!

Enjoy!

G



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Jun 17, 2021
Gazza's goal, Macca's miss & heroic Hutch: England-Scotland Special
32:02

Tomorrow, England play oldest rivals Scotland at Wembley in their European Championships group game. We dug into the Big Interview archives and unearthed the recollections of three men who engaged in two famous Euros encounters between the Auld Enemies at the old Wembley in the 1990s.

One of Darren Anderton’s career highs occurred in June 1996 when England defeated the Scots 2-0. He set up Paul Gascoigne for his memorable goal with a superb pass. Darren tells us about the incredible feeling of that summer in England.

For a Scottish perspective, we first hear from Gary McAllister, who featured in the ’96 match’s pivotal moment. With the score at 1-0, David Seaman saved Gary’s penalty. Moments later, Darren picked out Gazza. Sheer agony.

Three years later, Scotland reclaimed pride in the second leg of a European Championships play-off qualifier. They trailed 2-0 from the Hampden match and would ultimately go out, but not without bloodying English noses with a magnificent 1-0 Wembley victory. The scorer and star of the show was Don Hutchison, and we hear from him last.

Scotland fans and England fans, whet your appetite with this special preview episode of the Big Interview.

Graham

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Jun 16, 2021
The case of the missing Gerard
23:52

24 hours later, I still can't figure out why Luis Enrique didn't go with Gerard Moreno earlier in their frustrating but not entirely unloveable 0-0 draw with Sweden. I traveled five hours up through Spain to see him back on the training pitch. Plus, I wonder if Gareth Bale can leave his mark on one more tournament for Wales.




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Jun 16, 2021
Alfred Hitchcock presents... Spain 0 Sweden 0
24:08

I recorded this as soon as my work was done last night. It's my first reaction to the first game in Spain's Euros, an intriguing and dramatic draw.

This was a lop-sided, tension-filled, Hitchockian classic for Spain watchers. And despite their failure to score, they looked pretty damn good to me.


We want your questions for these daily shows, so if there's anything you've seen you want me to talk about, anything you want to know - ask! 







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Jun 14, 2021
La Roja emerge from the bubble; England's flying start
28:01
Here's all the latest from the Spain camp on the morning of their opener against Sweden - I finally got to see the players after their Covid-enforced isolation. And I also got to watch England start their Euros with a win - there was a lot to like.

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Jun 14, 2021
Enrique under fire, Memphis makes his move
29:13
As Spain's Covid crisis appears to ease, the coach Luis Enrique feels the heat from the nation's media while he mulls his opening team selection. Meanwhile, what will England's Gareth Southgate do in the same spot? And how close to a move to Barcelona is the Netherlands' main man, Memphis Depay?.

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Jun 13, 2021
No Zlatan, No Problem: Sweden preview with Jocky Bjorklund
21:11

Hola

Welcome to another of our daily Euro 2020 shows. Ahead of Monday's Spain v Sweden game in Seville, I spoke to legendary Swedish defender Jocky Bjorklund about his country's chances of not only beating Spain but emulating Sweden's quarter-final apperance at Euro 2004.

Enjoy

G



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Jun 11, 2021
La Roja Grapple with Covid Chaos
28:11

Hola!

Welcome to another of our daily Euro 2020 shows. Here's my despatch from Madrid, where the Spanish national team are currently in isolation ahead of their opening group match against Sweden on Monday in Seville. 

Positive tests, training bubbles, player vaccinations - oh, and we talk about the actual football, too! 

Enjoy

G  



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Jun 10, 2021
The Summer of Bellingham: England preview with Jonathan Northcroft
23:06
I caught up with Jonathan Northcroft as he prepared for another tournament covering England for The Sunday Times, to talk about how he thinks they have changed since their run to the final four of the 2018 World Cup - an adventure he documented in the book Deadlines and Darts With Dele. Jonathan picked his one to watch from Gareth Southgate's squad and we decided in advance who was going to make it to the final.

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Jun 10, 2021
Steve Clarke's Coaching Brain: Scotland preview, with Pat Nevin
36:49

Hola

Welcome to the first of our daily Euro 2020 shows. I spoke to Pat Nevin, the former Chelsea and Scotland winger, about Scotland's chances of getting out of a group containing the Czech Republic, Croatia and England. Pat is a former teammate and close friend of Steve Clarke, and I think you'll love his insights into the Scotland boss.

Pat also has a brilliant autobiography out, The Accidental Footballer, which makes for great summer reading.

Enjoy

G



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Jun 08, 2021
Which Man City players get into Pep's 2011 Barca team? Champions League final Q & A
45:58

Ahead of tomorrow's Champions League final in Portugal, Graham and Pete answer your questions. 

It's 10 years on from the 2011 final, when Pep Guardiola's Barcelona put together their signature performance - outclassing Manchester United at Wembley. How many of his Man City players who will take the field tomorrow would have broken into their manager's plans a decade ago?



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May 28, 2021
Ilkay Gundogan: Let me tell you about Pep
27:26
In part two of my fascinating chat with Ilkay Gundogan, we hear about the midfielder’s admiration for his Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. It's just about the best. most detailed and personal account that I have heard of the way the great coach works with his players and the strength of the relationships he forms. There's also plenty here on that unforgettable goalscoring run that Ilkay went on in the middle of the season.The question everybody asked him? Where did THAT come from?

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May 26, 2021
Ilkay Gundogan: My Champions League obsession
23:04

On Saturday, Ilkay Gundogan hopes to line up for Manchester City against Chelsea in the Champions League final - and it's a tournament that he loves - well, as much as I do. He explains it in this interview -from childhood nights in a crowded living room with his family, watching on the television; to tough early experiences and then a run to the final with Klopp's Dortmund. And now a final with Pep Guardiola's City.




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May 25, 2021
How Villarreal can beat Man Utd - Europa League final Q&A
51:49

Graham and Pete Jenson answer your questions about the Europa League final between Manchester United and Villarreal - as well as recapping on a thrilling end to Spanish title race.


How does this version of the Yellow Submarine stack up against the great 2006 vintage of Senna, Riquelme and Forlan? Who has to fire up for Unai Emery's team to win the trophy? And why the hell did Barcelona allow Luis Suarez to leave?



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May 25, 2021
Has the La Liga 'bubble' burst? - May Q & A Part 2
41:39

Hola

Here's Graham and Pete Jenson taking on your questions about the ESL, Malaga, Valencia and debating whether the La Liga bubble has finally burst - it's worth tuning in for the chat on that last one alone!

Enjoy



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May 12, 2021
Can Atleti win La Liga? And will Simeone be there to defend the title? May Q&A part one
49:31
Graham is joined by Pete Jenson to take your questions on the thrilling title race in Spain and the future for Atleti and their manager Simeone.

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May 12, 2021
Brian Laudrup: Denmark 1992 – Football’s Greatest Fairy Tale Part Two
54:38

In part two of my uplifting interview with Brian Laudrup, we get into the detail of Denmark’s Euro ’92 fairy tale.

A disappointing draw with England was followed by defeat to hosts Sweden and the Danes prepared to pack their bags. But a star-studded France team underestimated Laudrup and Co, who clinched a semi-final place against the Netherlands. The Dutch were the competition’s most fancied side, featuring talents such as Rijkaard, Bergkamp and Van Basten. Yet Denmark won a penalty shoot-out to face Germany in the final in Gothenburg where Peter Schmeichel was a hero between the sticks and John Jensen scored an unlikely beauty. Perhaps Destiny also played her part for the Danes that summer.

The lesson, friends, is to never stop believing.

Graham

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May 06, 2021
Brian Laudrup: Denmark 1992 – Football’s Greatest Fairy Tale Part One
45:52

Brian Laudrup was part of the Denmark side who were last-minute additions to Euro ’92. They would have been happy to have taken a point… but they only went on to win the tournament!

Brian and his brother Michael weren’t keen on coach Richard Moller Nielsen’s ideas and both quit the national side. But Brian and Neilsen managed to sort things out only three months before the Euro finals began. When Yugoslavia were disqualified and Denmark invited to take their place just eight days prior to their first game, Brian didn’t think he was recovered enough from a recent injury. But he soon warmed to the idea of proving that Denmark weren’t the ugly ducklings everyone thought they were.

Enjoy,

Graham

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May 05, 2021
John McGinn: Hero of the Holte End
32:35

In part two of my chat with John McGinn, we pick up just after hearing about how the midfielder’s beloved Celtic’s inexplicable dithering meant that Villa swooped for his signature. He relates the thrill of beating rivals West Brom in a penalty shootout to set up a play-off victory over Derby.

John also describes Scotland’s showdown in Serbia to clinch a place at the Euros. A simple but powerful team-talk from Steve Clarke had set the players up psychologically. John, who had been substituted, describes the agony of watching the penalty shootout from the stand. He needn’t have worried, because glory awaited.

Enjoy,

Graham

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Apr 29, 2021
John McGinn: The Fire Inside
33:25

It was a real pleasure catching up with Scotland and Aston Villa midfield maestro John McGinn.

John is a graduate of the academy at St Mirren where he was taught technique by progressive coaches – and also learned how to dodge fireworks! Let’s just say that training took place in Ferguslie Park, the more… boisterous end of Paisley. Hibernian came calling and John describes the Scottish Cup triumph of 2016 over Rangers, replete with a pitch invasion and a stirring rendition of the anthemic Sunshine on Leith.

Enjoy,

Graham

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Apr 28, 2021
Q&A Extra: Madrid’s Three-peat Part 2
31:47

Welcome back to my chat with Pete Jenson and Neil White in which we consider if Real Madrid’s Three-peat side are underrated.

As we heard in part one, certainly Real’s run-up to the first final was underwhelming and they had to take city rivals Atlético to penalties. But the 4-1 thrashing of Juve and then the beating of Liverpool surely deserve more credit. After all, this is a team which featured the likes of Isco, Benzema, Casemiro, Modric and Kroos, as well as talisman Cristiano Ronaldo. Having Ronaldo was like having a goal start, and it is a distinct possibility that he himself was underrated and misunderstood. Just ask any of his team-mates.



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Apr 21, 2021
Q&A Extra: Madrid’s Three-peat Part 1
26:39

With Neil White in the chair, myself and Pete Jenson discussed a brilliant question from one of our Socios: Will time bring more respect to Real Madrid’s Three-peat team?

We’re talking, of course, about the side who clinched successive Champions Leagues in 2016, 2017 and 2018, all under the auspices of club legend Zinedine Zidane. There is a perception that somehow they stumbled their way to these titles, and they aren’t as lauded as the other Three-peat clubs, Ajax and Bayern, who both achieved the feat in the 1970s.



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Apr 19, 2021
Roberto Mancini: Big Interview Icon
26:31

Welcome to our Big Interview Icons series where we shine a light on a legend whose name has lit up some of the conversations I’ve had with my guests over the last six years of The Big Interview. This episode focuses on Roberto Mancini.

At Sampdoria and Lazio, Mancini was Sven-Göran Eriksson’s artist, an elegant, Rolls Royce of a forward beloved by his manager and the club chairman. But he could also be a hothead, a man who lost the rag with team-mates or officials when things went wrong.

As for Mancini the manager, Micah Richards speaks about working under him at Manchester City. He found Mancini to be a brutally honest perfectionist who players either loved or hated. Micah just loved him. He improved him immeasurably as a player, made him fitter and more tactical aware, and, of course, delivered that incredible 2011/2012 Premier League title win in injury time.

Enjoy

Graham



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Apr 15, 2021
Classic Big Interview: Ander Herrera
38:08

Here’s another chance to hear my interview with Ander Herrera from season three.

Classy midfielder Ander is now at Paris Saint-Germain where he was recently a Champions League finalist. I caught up with him when he was still a Manchester United player and he waxed lyrical about his earlier footballing life helping his beloved Real Zaragoza survive in Spain’s top flight. He liked his time at Athletic Bilbao under the footballing romantic Marcelo Bielsa, but he describes losing two cup finals due to the team’s sheer exhaustion. There’s also great stuff about why Ander wouldn’t become a manager, and he makes his case for David de Gea being the best goalkeeper in the world.



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Apr 12, 2021
Rainer Bonhof: Gerd Muller, King of the Penalty Box
28:33

Welcome to part two of The Big Interview with Rainer Bonhof, in which the World Cup winner reveals a secret about his nationality. Let’s just say that his grandfather wouldn’t have been pleased to have seen him help defeat Holland in the 1974 final!

We hear about Rainer’s time as Scotland Under-21 coach when he worked with talents like Shaun Maloney and Darren Fletcher – now Belgium assistant coach and Manchester United technical director respectively. We also chat about who should be the next Germany manager and why Gerd Müller’s greatness will never be surpassed.

Enjoy

Graham

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Apr 07, 2021
Rainer Bonhof: How to Win the World Cup
42:02

Today we welcome our first German World Cup winner onto The Big Interview: Rainer Bonhof.

The elegant midfielder enjoyed his prime during a golden era for Borussia Mönchengladbach. We’ll hear about team-mates Berti ‘The Terrier’ Vogts and Günter Netzer, the side’s bona fide rock star.

It was also a golden era for West Germany, and Rainer made his breakthrough at the 1974 World Cup, scoring against Sweden and then setting up Gerd Müller’s winner in the final against the great Netherlands side starring Johan Cruyff.

Enjoy

Graham

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Apr 05, 2021
Darren Anderton: Sheringham, Euro 96 & Eng-Arg 98
44:05

In part two of my chat with Darren Anderton, we hear about playing for England at Euro ’96, the indescribable feeling of that summer and the classy midfielder’s involvement in THAT Gazza goal against Scotland. There was the perfect performance against Holland at Wembley which was so sublime that Darren was able to take it all in, even hum along to the singing from the terraces. Compare that with the match against Argentina in France two years later, when an inept Danish referee ended England’s World Cup hopes.

Playing alongside Teddy Sheringham was a joy; he made you look a better footballer because of his brilliantly simple movement and assists. He was a leader, as hard as nails, and could score any goal. You’ll also hear about how Sir Alex Ferguson tried to woo Darren – but his loyalty to Spurs was too strong.

Enjoy

Graham

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Mar 30, 2021
Darren Anderton: Fathers, Sons and Football
34:02

Darren Anderton’s late father Norman, a Motherwell man, was his biggest supporter and his best friend. In gratitude, Darren even tried out for Scotland, but his destiny would be with three lions on his shirt.

Darren was brought up a Southampton fan and played for their academy but was not asked to sign up. Therefore, Dad called up arch-rivals Portsmouth, who watched the lad and signed him as a schoolboy. Manager Alan Ball believed in him and Darren improved immensely.

Darren then played for an attacking Tottenham side alongside guys like Teddy Sheringham, Gheorghe Popescu, Nick Barmby, Jürgen Klinsmann and Vinny Samways. Under Ossie Ardiles but they were too attacking, too open, but Gerry Francis improved the shape. If only they’d have kept that team together, who knows what they could have achieved.

Enjoy

Graham

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Mar 29, 2021
Casemiro, Simeone, Morelos - March Q&A part two
39:44
It's part two of the monthly Q&A show, with Graham and Pete Jenson taking questions from our beloved socios on subjects including a scouting report on Manchester United's Europa League opponents, Granada; who Rangers could find in La Liga to replace Alfredo Morelos and the value to Real Madrid of the wonderful Casemiro.

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Mar 29, 2021
Laporta's second coming: March Q & A part one
35:47
In part one of our monthly Q & A show, Graham is joined by La Liga Television's Pete Jenson to take questions from our beloved socios. From Betis to Barcelona - where returning president Joan Laporta has brought back the good vibes - we have you covered.

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Mar 26, 2021
Big Interview Extra: The man who makes the world's best pitches
51:39

My chat with Paul Burgess was ground-breaking, if you’ll pardon the pun, for the Big Interview. Paul isn’t a player or a coach, but one of the world’s leading groundsmen.

Paul was in charge of the last pitch at Highbury and the first at the Emirates. He had a unique view of Arsenal's Invincibles and Real Madrid's European dominance under Zidane, after he was headhunted by the Spanish giants, who believed the atrocious surface at the Bernabeu was beyond repair.


Enjoy seeing football from a different angle in this special Big Interview.


Graham

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Mar 16, 2021
Sir Alex Ferguson: Big Interview Icon
30:55

Welcome to our Big Interview Icons series where we shine a light on a legend whose name has lit up some of the conversations I’ve had with my guests over the last six years of The Big Interview. This episode focuses on Sir Alex Ferguson.

Rio Ferdinand once vented his rage at Sir Alex and was fortunate not to be sold. But he never doubted his genius. Yet there was a flaw to that genius, exposed when he left Manchester United too open in the 2009 and 2011 Champions League final defeats to Barcelona. Rio found the latter defeat particularly embarrassing.

Terry Gibson tells us about how Sir Alex’s arrival at Manchester United was the new broom Old Trafford needed after the lax regime of Ron Atkinson. Terry’s face didn’t fit, but luckily Wimbledon came calling.

Alex McLeish relates how his former Aberdeen boss tried to poach him for Manchester United, while Darren Fletcher provides an amazing insight into a Fergie team talk. He could be unpredictable, but ultimately exuded a calmness which affected his players and filled them with belief.

Lastly, fellow manager Gianluca Vialli speaks of what an inspiration Sir Alex was, and shares with us two golden nuggets of advice he always remembered.

Enjoy

Graham



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Mar 12, 2021
Uwe Rösler: The Cult Hero of Maine Road
30:12

The English game suited Uwe Rösler, and in part two we hear about how he loved the spacious Maine Road pitch and how the home fans made him feel invincible.

Paul Walsh was a great guy to be around and he was also the perfect partner up front. There was also Steve McMahon, Peter Beagrie, Niall Quinn, Nicky Summerbee, Nigel Clough, and, of course, Georgi Kinkladze – the maestro. If you made the run, he would find you with a pass.

You’ll hear about what it’s like to score a brilliant goal in a Manchester derby at Old Trafford. There was also the agony of relegation, when City played out a draw against Liverpool, not realising that a point wouldn’t be enough to save them.

We chat about Pep Guardiola’s Bayern and City revolutions, and we hear about Uwe’s current managerial role at Fortuna Düsseldorf, where promotion to the Bundesliga is the target.

Thanks, Uwe

Graham

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Mar 11, 2021
Uwe Rösler: From Stasi Survivor to City Slicker
33:02

Uwe Rösler was just eleven years old when he went to live at Lokomotive Leipzig’s academy. The experience was seminal, but what he didn’t expect was a terrifying visit from the Stasi, who wanted to him to spy on his team-mates. When Uwe heard that the Wall had come down he knew that nothing would be the same again.

Eventually he would move to Manchester City where the striker, despite not having a word of English, was made incredibly welcome by the players. On the field, he made an instant impact and gave everything, and the Maine Road crowd just loved him for it.

This is an absolutely fascinating Big Interview.

Graham

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Mar 09, 2021
Classic Big Interview: Jurgen Klopp
42:27

Here’s another chance to hear my interview with Jurgen Klopp from season three.

It was spring 2018 when we chatted, just before Liverpool faced Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-final. Little did we know then that Jurgen’s Reds would annihilate City and reach the final, win it the following year and, of course, clinch their long-awaited league title in 2020.

Jurgen is my type of guy – a noisy, honest, heart-on-the-sleeve, larger-than-life character. He gives everything for whichever club he serves and he spoke about how he gets inside his players’ heads and changes their attitudes. Jurgen believes that everyone wants to be the best they can be, and he works to draw out their full potential.

There’s great chat about Borussia Dortmund’s run to Jurgen’s first Champions League final in 2013, and he explains how football is unique because not only do you suffer with others, you also celebrate in a single instant with tens of thousands and potentially millions of people watching on TV.

What a guy.

Graham.



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Mar 02, 2021
Haaland and Mbappe - the new Messi and Ronaldo? February Q &A part 2
41:18
In part two of this month's Q & A, Graham is joined by Pete Jenson to answer questions from our socios: are Haaland and Mbappe preparing a sequel to Messi v Ronaldo in Spain? Which teams have benefited and who has lost out from playing without fans?

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Feb 27, 2021
Simeone, Atleti and a problem like Getafe: February Q&A (pt 1)
47:56

Hola

It's the February Q and A - part one - where myself and Pete Jenson talk Real Mallorca, Getafe, Atleti Barca.



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Feb 26, 2021
Jason McAteer: From Kaka to Keane
35:56

In part two, there’s more on Jason McAteer’s Mini Metro. It once got him and some team-mates into bother when they unwittingly caused a security alert at a nuclear plant.

Jason didn’t like Roy Keane at first – as players on different sides of the Liverpool/Manchester United rivalry, he wasn’t likely to. But Roy’s perfectionism and will to win in the Ireland camp made Jason come to respect.

Jason’s best pal Alan Stubbs was meant to move to Kenny Dalglish’s Blackburn with him, but he couldn’t resist a late bid from his beloved Liverpool. It meant that the deal fell through for Stubbsy, but there were no hard feelings.

Graham

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Feb 25, 2021
Jason McAteer: Bruce Rioch's School of Life
33:53

Friends, I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed so much in a Big Interview as I did with Jason McAteer.

Jason made the grade at Bolton under Bruce Rioch, and quickly upgraded from a Mini Metro to a Lotus Elan. But Bruce wasn’t wearing it and told him to take it back to the shop.

Republic of Ireland midfielder Jason came from a Liverpool boxing family, and his upbringing instilled an incredible competitiveness. That, and the thought of the naysayers who told him he’d never make it, drove him to success. But the fact is that in football and in life you can’t always win, and Jason has had to adapt his psychology to that reality.

Enjoy

Graham

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Feb 23, 2021
Micah Richards: City’s Last Day Ecstasy
36:35

Last season, our Socios at patreon.com/grahamhunter got an exclusive interview with Micah Richards. For the first time, here’s the full episode.

In part two Micah tells how a pre-season trip to LA bonded the Manchester City players and set their course for the famous 2012 Premier League win. Micah’s descriptions of that incredible campaign are fascinating. During the nerve-shredding final match against QPR, Mario Balotelli told fellow substitute Micah not to worry, that he would come on and change the game. He wasn’t lying.

There’s also stuff on Micah’s love for his time at Fiorentina, how a 6-1 win at Old Trafford informed Manchester United that City had arrived, and how a fitness trainer helped the Sky Blues stay the distance to be crowned champions.

Thanks Micah

Graham



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Feb 18, 2021
Micah Richards: Life on Planet Balotelli
32:39

Last season, our Socios at patreon.com/grahamhunter got an exclusive interview with Micah Richards. For the first time, here’s the full episode.

Micah is one of the most astute TV analysts of the beautiful game. In part one we hear about his friendship with the eccentric Mario Balotelli (they were so close that they both sported the same haircut) at Manchester City. While Micah is frank about his pal’s flaws, he also speaks about the often-unfair treatment he, and footballers in general, receive. Micah tried to protect Mario.

Micah also speaks about working under City boss Roberto Mancini, a brutally honest perfectionist who players either loved or hated – Micah loved him. And there’s chat about how winning the 2011 FA Cup set the stage for league glory in 2012.

Enjoy

Graham



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Feb 16, 2021
Lionel Messi: Big Interview Icon
22:27

Welcome to our Big Interview Icons series where we shine a light on a legend whose name has lit up some of the conversations I’ve had with my guests over the last six years of The Big Interview. This episode focuses on Lionel Messi.

Pablo Zabaleta recalls a quiet, skinny Messi in the Argentina Under-20s dressing room… then he did his talking on the pitch. At first, moving to Europe was a struggle for the lad, but he soon became a joy to behold for everyone who loves the beautiful game.

Gary Neville says that seeing Messi playing in the Camp Nou against Manchester City was the only time he has been genuinely mesmerised by a player. He pitches his every description of a footballer with Messi as the benchmark.

Countryman Federico Fernández speaks of a humble, family guy. Fede loves the experience of being around Messi, on and off the pitch.

Ander Herrera recalls playing for Real Zaragoza against Barcelona when Messi decided to take the game by the scruff of the neck and singlehandedly set up victory.

Lastly there’s a quick contribution from Graeme Souness, who considers Messi the greatest of all time. He would easily have held his own in Souey’s more robust playing era.

Enjoy

Graham



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Feb 12, 2021
Classic Big Interview: Paul Dickov
41:20

Here’s another chance to hear my interview with Paul Dickov from season three.

Paul’s dad was delighted to pack his teenage son off to Arsenal to stop him getting into bother. Paul loved Gunners boss George Graham and flourished as a youth striker, but the wealth of talent at the club was stifling so he went to troubled Manchester City, who promptly sacked manager Alan Ball.

Joe Royle had success despite inheriting 56 pros after a period of mismanagement, and Paul’s famous equaliser in the 95th minute of a playoff final against Gillingham set up a return to the Championship. There’s great stuff about that City era, including cult heroes Georgi Kinkladze and George Weah. Paul still adores Man City and its supporters and he is delighted to witness their recent successes. It is, he considers, a club that has kept its soul.

Enjoy a genuine classic.

Graham



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Feb 09, 2021
Martin Braithwaite: In the Court of King Leo
23:31

In part two, Martin Braithwaite speaks about how his dad imbued a winning mentality in him. It was tough love at times but it set him up well for the future.

When playing for Toulouse against Monaco, Martin came up against Eric Abidal – the toughest opponent he has faced. Eric outsmarted him that day, but it was a lesson learned.

Martin is brilliant on Lionel Messi. If you thought it would be hard playing alongside a genius, you’d be wrong. In fact, Lionel is the consummate teammate, because he is so good at setting up himself and his colleagues.

Enjoy

Graham

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Feb 04, 2021
Martin Braithwaite: The Hypnotist of Barcelona
29:19

I enjoyed a brief but brilliant interview with Barcelona and Denmark striker Martin Braithwaite.

Martin’s style, adaptability and attitude remind me of Henrik Larsson, so it’s fitting that he now works with Henke the coach at Barca. They chat every day and Martin just loves picking the great Swede’s mind.

Martin is the thinking football fan’s forward, and he is fascinating when speaking about how patience is key to the striker’s art. You prowl like a predator and get the defenders rattled, waiting for that split-second moment of opportunity and then seizing upon it.

Enjoy

Graham

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Feb 02, 2021
Barca's Bank Balance... and other Extraordinary Tales: January Q&A (pt 2)
25:14

Hola

It's part two baby! Myself and Pete Jenson shooting the breeze on Barca, the revamped Copa, transfers and Cadiz.

Enjoy!



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Jan 30, 2021
Odergaard, Zizou and keeping it La Real: January Q&A (Pt I)
36:26

Hola

This is it, part one of the January Q and A... and once again I'm joined by the legend that is Pete Jenson.

Enjoy!

Graham



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Jan 29, 2021
Kevin Campbell: Glory at Goodison
57:35

In part two of my conversation with Kevin Campbell, you’ll hear about coming through the ranks at his beloved Arsenal under legendary academy coach Pat Rice. You’ll hear what it was like to witness that incredible injury-time Michael Thomas goal at Anfield which clinched the 1989 title for the Gunners.

You’ll also hear about Kev’s time at Everton. He loved it there because he had service from the likes of John Collins, Scot Gemmill, Olivier Dacourt and Don Hutchison, with Franny Jeffers alongside him up front. He also once played with a fourteen-year-old genius by the name of Wayne Rooney.

Now aged fifty, you get the impression that, more than anything else, this modest man is interested in passing on his wisdom – not just about sport, but about life in general.

Kev, it was an honour.

Graham

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Jan 28, 2021
Kevin Campbell: Stopping the traffic in Turkey
45:22

Oh what joy to be sitting in the same room as a Big Interview guest, particularly one as special as Kevin Campbell.

There aren’t many players who can claim they were adored at every club they played for, but Kevin is one. His love for football and his sheer commitment to winning endeared the brilliant, prolific striker wherever he went. He is also one of the beautiful game’s great storytellers.

In part one, you’ll hear about the craziness of Turkish football and what it’s like to net a hat-trick for Trabzonspor at Galatasaray. There’s also an amazing description of how Kev harnessed the indignation he felt towards the social injustice he and his Brixton community endured as a driver for success.

You will love this.

Graham

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Jan 26, 2021
Andrea Orlandi: Rising at Swansea with Roberto and Rodgers
53:48

Last season, our Socios at patreon.com/grahamhunter got an exclusive interview with Andrea Orlandi. For the first time, here’s the full episode.

In part two we hear about how Andrea loved his time at Alavés. They couldn’t get promoted until a wonderful, crazy Ukrainian-American businessman Dmitry Piterman bought the club. There followed a Copa del Rey semi-final against Zaragotha.

Then one day Jordi Cruyff telephoned and sold Andrea the idea of playing for Roberto Martínez at Swansea. Thus began a love affair with English (and Welsh!) football. Unfortunately, the Swans were in League One at the time, and Andrea endured a tough introduction to life in Blighty – tough tackles, a lack of facilities and a bad injury – and received no special treatment from his boss. But Martínez got them into the Championship and Brendan Rodgers took over to finish the job, attaining Premier League football after a thrilling 4-2 play-off final win against Reading. Rodgers wept when he told Andrea that he would have to sit that game out in the stands.

After one minute speaking with Gus Poyet Andrea wanted to sign for Brighton. Being let go due to his injury record was a huge blow. He still adores that club.

Enjoy

Graham



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Jan 21, 2021
Andrea Orlandi: Ronaldinho and Rondos at Barca
46:47

Last season, our Socios at patreon.com/grahamhunter got an exclusive interview with Andrea Orlandi. For the first time, here’s the full episode.

In part one you’ll hear about how this elegant winger perfected his talents at Barcelona B by observing and training with the likes of Ronaldinho, Iniesta and Busquets. The young Busquets was nicknamed ‘Crouch’ because he was tall and skinny; he had to work so hard. Iniesta was quicker than people realise, with incredible acceleration; he never gave the ball away. And Ronaldinho could have been the greatest of all time; physically so strong but with superhuman instincts and skills.

At Barca B Andrea was comfortable with the rondos training drills. You had to be – it wasn’t for fun, it encompassed the way Barcelona play. To this day he can describe precisely how he kicks a football, an ability which explains why he is such an engaging analyst of the game.

Graham



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Jan 19, 2021
Cristiano Ronaldo: Big Interview Icon
28:59

Welcome to our Big Interview Icons series where we shine a light on a legend whose name has lit up some of the conversations I’ve had with my guests over the last six years of The Big Interview. This episode focuses on Cristiano Ronaldo.

We start with Quinton Fortune talking about the rough footballing environment at Manchester United where Ronnie was regularly ribbed – but it only drove him on to work even harder.

Then there’s former Real Madrid assistant manager Paul Clement’s tale of Ronnie calming him down in the tunnel before the 2014 Champions League final against Atletico in Lisbon.

Ramón Calderón talks about signing the genius from Manchester United. Sir Alex Ferguson had stated he’d rather sell Real a virus, but Ramon insists that if a top player wants to leave, you can’t stop him.

Lastly Ryan Fraser talks about playing against Ronnie when Madrid came to Bournemouth to dole out a friendly thrashing. When he put a free-kick in top corner even Ryan was applauding!

Enjoy.

Graham



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Jan 15, 2021
Classic Big Interview: Andy Robertson
38:09

Here’s another chance to hear my interview with Andy Robertson from season three.

We caught up with Andy in early 2018, just after he had played a pivotal role for Liverpool in an incredible 4-3 victory over Manchester City. That really was the moment Andy arrived at Anfield and looking back you can see how the green shoots for Liverpool’s long-awaited title win grew visible that day. There’s great stuff about what it’s like to play for Jurgen Klopp, what it felt like to be signed by Liverpool and how Kenny Dalglish is still such a huge, positive presence at the club.

There’s also chat about why Celtic legend Henrik Larsson was Andy’s boyhood hero and about the ecstasy and relief that came with winning a play-off final with Hull.

Enjoy

Graham



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Jan 12, 2021
Pep Lijnders: Porto’s Fountain of Youth
31:05

Pep Lijnders was in such demand as a coach that Porto took him from PSV Eindhoven at the tender age of 24. The move was a footballing culture shock – Porto’s winning mentality blew Pep away. Their scouting network is second to none, however, this risks impacting the academy. Therefore, Pep and his colleagues had to strive to create their own new generation of stars, and they certainly succeeded.

Pep believes that a successful academy creates a father/son relationship between the young player and his club. He will give you that bit more once he makes the first team, and inspire another hundred boys at the academy.

Thanks, Pep, that was one of the best.

Graham.

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Jan 07, 2021
Pep Lijnders: Klopp and the Reds’ Revolution
32:43

Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders provided me with simply one of the most insightful Big Interviews ever.

You will hear how Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool coaches speak in training as if they are instilling the players’ inner voice. The emphasis placed on how to press when they don’t have possession is phenomenal, and it needs perfect positioning and the players’ total buy-in. Liverpool overcome the adversity of missing stars by defiantly sticking to their philosophy, a ‘collective idea’ that is drilled into the squad. Captain fantastic Jordan Henderson is the team’s motor, the on-field leader and the link between the players and the management team.

Mesmerising stuff.

Graham.

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Jan 05, 2021
Charlie Adam: When King Kenny Came Calling
38:01

Last season, our Socios at patreon.com/grahamhunter got an exclusive interview with Charlie Adam. For the first time, here’s the full episode.

In part two we hear about Charlie’s legendary shooting ability as he describes a free-kick goal in a Wembley play-off final victory for Blackpool against Cardiff. He considers the goal fated because he had hit a carbon copy in training the day before.

Charlie scored against Liverpool and the Anfield club decided to sign him. He endured a battle with Blackpool to gain his release, but it was worth it in the end. Charlie’s dad wept when he signed for his personal hero Kenny Dalglish. At Liverpool, Charlie proved the doubters wrong by demonstrating that he was most certainly good enough to play at that level. He pays tribute to Liverpool legends Luis Suárez and Steven Gerrard, describes what it was like to be man-marked by Phil Jones, and how the Old Firm atmosphere is second to none.

Great stuff from a great guy.

Graham



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Dec 31, 2020
Charlie Adam: The Will to Win
37:49

Hola!

Last season, our Socios at patreon.com/grahamhunter got an exclusive interview with Charlie Adam. For the first time, here’s the full episode.

Charlie was brought up on a Dundee housing estate where he honed his skills by kicking a ball relentlessly at bin recesses and between washing poles. Charlie speaks about the early influence of his beloved late father, who taught him a work ethic and a relentless will to win. It all paid off because Rangers came calling.

As an Ibrox youth he champed at the bit, trying outrageous stuff on the training field or sneaking in to watch the first team prepare. He was always watching, learning, visualising, plotting. To this day he is able to vividly describe his artistry in detail, how he precisely strikes the ball. For example, he relates how on earth he managed to score a goal for Stoke City at Chelsea from inside his own half.

Part two coming soon.

Graham



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Dec 29, 2020
Jamie Carragher: There’s Something About Xavi
35:24

Jamie Carragher never enjoyed international tournaments and wonders if England puts too much into its club game – which is a matter life and death – instead of valuing national side’s endeavours more.

Also in part two, he describes the 1999 Champions League final between Manchester United and Bayern Munich, and argues that David Beckham’s performance that night – and his talents in general – are undersold.

We chat about Liverpool’s incredible 4-0 trouncing of Barcelona last year in the Champions League semi. Jamie says that Jurgen Klopp makes players believe that they can do anything.

Lastly we talk about Xavi, the player Jamie most admires because he had such a quick footballing brain. He took charge of a game and told others what to do.

Thanks Jamie, that was sheer class.

Graham

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Dec 17, 2020
Jamie Carragher: The Greatest Games
40:36

Jamie Carragher’s new book The Greatest Games documents the best matches he has experienced as a player and as a spectator. He played in a few crackers, not least the 2005 ‘Miracle of Istanbul’ when Liverpool came back from the dead against AC Milan in the Champions League final.

As a pundit, Jamie employs the same exacting standards he applied to his long and auspicious career as an Anfield defender. He has to, because supporters are incredibly well informed and analytically astute these days. And Jamie wants to ask why a manager makes a decision rather than just lobbing criticism.

We chat about Jamie’s time playing for England under Sven-Göran Eriksson. Sven picked the safest options and didn’t impart anything new. His coaching was very basic. Yet British players are too loath to criticise. Former Liverpool coach Pepe Reina once told Jamie and Steven Gerrard that he was surprised that they and other senior pros were so humble and silent.

Enjoy

Graham

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Dec 15, 2020
Zinedine Zidane: Big Interview Icon
26:40

Welcome to our Big Interview Icons series where we shine a light on a legend whose name has lit up some of the conversations I’ve had with my guests over the last six years of The Big Interview. This episode focuses on Zinedine Zidane.

Former Bayern Munich and Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves talks about what struck him most when he first played against his hero: he was very quiet, and a tackle with him was like colliding with a brick wall.

Jimmy Bullard admired Zidane so much that he even wore his boots and shorts like him. In fact, on one occasion the tightness of his shorts was such that it impeded him from scoring an easy goal for Wigan!

Next up is Steve McManaman, who speaks about how Zizou endured a frustrating start at Real Madrid. Then came the 2002 Champions League final win over Bayer Leverkusen, and nobody doubted the great man after it.

Lastly we hear from former Real president Ramón Calderón, who says how promoting Zinedine from the position of reserve team coach to the biggest role in club football management was a risk that paid off.

Enjoy.

Graham



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Dec 11, 2020
Classic Big Interview: Terry Gibson
42:09

Here’s another chance to hear my interview with Terry Gibson from season three.

I know Terry well from covering Spanish football over the years, and I find him to be one of the most engaging, funny and astute analysts of the game.

He recounts honestly what it felt like to depart Tottenham, the club he has always loved and who he felt had treated him shabbily. There’s great stuff about his only career hat-trick – for Coventry against the mighty Liverpool, and just how lax Ron Atkinson’s regime was at Manchester United. Alex Ferguson was the new broom and Terry and Fergie soon fell out. Terry withdrew his initial threat to quit football, telling the great manager: I’ll be back to score against you and to win a trophy. He made good on both promises, and the second one was fulfilled when Wimbledon lifted the 1988 FA Cup.

Take it away, Terry.

Graham



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Dec 08, 2020
Stuart Baxter: Working with Laudrup and Larsson
42:35

As part of the post-Kobe earthquake rebuilding job Stuart Baxter was allowed to sign Danish superstar Michael Laudrup. They gained promotion but the experience drained him of every ounce of energy.

Stuart speaks of his love of South African football, especially at Kaizer Chiefs where he won the double in his first season. Fate seems to have stood in the way of him making it big in Blighty. Circumstances denied him key roles at Manchester United and Celtic, but he had the honour of working with Hoops legend Henrik ‘Henke’ Larsson when they were both at Helsingborgs. He brokered Henke’s loan deal to Manchester United where Sir Alex Ferguson adored him.

This is a fascinating Big Interview. Just fascinating.

Graham

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Dec 03, 2020
Stuart Baxter: Rebuilding AIK, Resurrecting Kobe
44:12

If there is a more interesting, well-travelled coach in modern football than my pal Stuart Baxter then I’ve yet to meet him.

Stuart’s dedication to karate was good preparation for an early brush with the rants of legendary Dundee United manager Wee Jim McLean and for the high demands of the passionate fans of AIK. As manager, he made AIK Swedish league champions again and became a hero of the ‘Black Army’ ultras. Stuart loved his spells in Japan, but his first time managing Kobe coincided with the city’s devastating earthquake. Stuart stuck around to help rebuild.

Good for you, Stuart.

Graham

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Dec 01, 2020
November Q & A part two: Messi, Barca politics and the Premier League
26:44
Here's part two of the Q & A, with Qs from our beloved socios and As from Graham and our special guest, Pete Jenson of La Liga television.

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Nov 30, 2020
La Liga Q & A, with Graham and Pete Jenson
45:11

Hola

This is a brilliant episode of our monthly Q and A show featuring my old mucker, Pete Jenson, who reports on Spanish football for the Daily Mail and La Liga TV.

Barca, Madrid, Atleti, La Real and more.

Enjoy



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Nov 27, 2020
Alan McInally: German Lessons at Bayern
42:33

Alan McInally won the Bundesliga in his first season at Bayern Munich, missing only two games. He learned German and starred alongside legends like Klaus Augenthaler, Hans Pflügler and Jürgen Kohler. There was also current boss Hans-Dieter Flick, a quiet scholar of the game who has brought huge success to the club. Alan’s manager Jupp Heynckes was very demanding but brilliant. The players were weighed every day and trained every Sunday. Alan loved president Uli Hoeneß who was so kind to him when his career was tragically cut short by injury at the age of just 30.

Also in part two, Alan vividly describes what it felt like walking out to play in a World Cup match for Scotland.

Thanks for a brilliant Big Interview, Big Man

Graham.

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Nov 26, 2020
Alan McInally: Me and Graham Taylor
46:40

Alan ‘Rambo’ McInally works so well on television because he brings the same passion and astuteness that he employed in his career as a clever, uncompromising striker. In this Big Interview, he describes in forensic detail a goal of the season he once scored for Aston Villa against Millwall.

We chat about Alan’s move from Celtic to Villa where he played under the late Graham Taylor. He had great midfield suppliers like Gordon ‘Sid’ Cowans and the late great Neale ‘Tattie’ Cooper. Graham was a father figure, unyielding but without whose coaching Alan wouldn’t have achieved his next move, to Bayern Munich.

Thanks for a brilliant Big Interview, Big Man.

Graham.

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Nov 24, 2020
Alex Bruce: My Father And Other Football Heroes
36:58

Last season, our Socios at patreon.com/grahamhunter got an exclusive interview with Alex Bruce. For the first time, here’s the full episode.

In part two we hear about Alex’s admiration for Manchester United heroes Ronaldo, Giggs and Keane, but especially Rooney, a pal now but once an enemy who would target him for being Steve Bruce’s son. Alex thinks Wayne is underrated, one of England’s greatest players. We also hear how as a kid Alex would take shots at a young Kasper Schmeichel in their street and how one day they would grace the same Leeds United team.

There’s talk about why Alex switched his international allegiances from the Republic to Northern Ireland – for once ignoring his father’s advice. Alex tells how the Championship is physically harder than Premier League, and how gaining promotion with Hull was an especially sweet experience because his beloved dad was the manager.

Enjoy

Graham



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Nov 19, 2020
Alex Bruce: Walking out at Wembley
32:27

Last season, our Socios at patreon.com/grahamhunter got an exclusive interview with Alex Bruce. For the first time, here’s the full episode.

In part one we hear about how being the Manchester United captain’s son was just normality to Alex, how Old Trafford’s superstars were just his old man’s workmates. But what he saw inspired him, and he wanted it for himself. The culmination was when Alex graced the Wembley turf as an accomplished centre-half, although that FA final with Hull City – a five-goal thriller against Arsenal – ended in defeat.

There’s chat about how his youth career faltered at Man U – and was then resurrected at Blackburn Rovers, we discuss Tom Huddlestone – a wonderfully gifted player who made everything look easy, and we talk of how a terrific Hull dressing room gave him no problem for being the boss’ son.

Enjoy

Graham



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Nov 17, 2020
Henrik Larsson: Big Interview Icon
29:41

Welcome to our Big Interview Icons series where we shine a light on a legend whose name has lit up some of the conversations I’ve had with my guests over the last five years of The Big Interview. This episode focuses on Henrik Larsson.

First up, we’ll hear from stand up star Kevin Bridges and his tale of Larsson and the defiled Glasgow bus ticket. Then Line of Duty actor Martin Compston reflects on his love affair with Celtic’s magnificent number seven. Jocky Bjorklund talks about his former Old Firm rival and international teammate’s football intelligence before Stiliyan Petrov considers how Larsson inspired such confidence in his Celtic team-mates that they almost won the UEFA Cup. Chris Sutton rounds things off by saying that his Parkhead partnership with the legendary Swede was the happiest spell of his career. He felt that between them they could hurt any side in Europe.

Enjoy!

Graham



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Nov 13, 2020
Classic Big Interview: Martin Compston
38:19

Here’s another chance to hear my interview with Martin Compston from season three.

It was so much fun chatting with the guy who plays Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott in the phenomenally popular crime drama Line Of Duty. But did you know that Martin’s earliest role was playing sweeper in the youth teams of Greenock Morton and, later, the mighty Aberdeen? He quit football for his acting career, but his love for the beautiful game, nurtured by watching Celtic heroes such as Paul McStay and Henrik Larsson, never flagged. He played alongside Henrik once and was so starstruck he couldn’t speak.

Martin has made a couple of football-themed movies. He gives us behind-the-scenes insights into performing with The Damned United actors Michael Sheen and Stephen Graham, and what it was like working with legendary director Ken Loach for the film Tickets.

There’s stuff about being led astray by pal Greg McHugh before starring for José Mourinho’s side in a Soccer Aid match, and why he would love to play Scotland’s first world champion boxer Benny Lynch.

Enjoy!

Graham



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Nov 10, 2020
Conor Coady: From Ice Baths to England Caps
36:33

In part two with Conor Coady we continue chatting about Wolves in Europe. Losing late on to serial winners Seville – who featured talents such as Jules Koundé and Éver Banega – in this year’s Europa quarter-final was agony. All their hard work felt in vain.

There’s great stuff about the culture of recovery in place at Molineux thanks to their excellent sports science staff. This even features ice baths and, I kid you not, inflatable trousers. Then there’s Wolves’ secret weapon… a card game called Werewolf which brings unity to the squad.

And we touch on Conor’s recent post-match interview after scoring for England against Wales… even a Scotsman can love that level of passion.

Thanks Conor

Graham

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Nov 05, 2020
Conor Coady: Wolves’ Rough Guide to Europe
36:37

Chatting to a guy like Conor Coady reminds me why I do these Big Interviews. The Wolves’ centre-back’s enthusiasm for football is infectious and engaging.

Brought up a Liverpool fan, he lived the dream for a while playing under youth coaches like Steve Highway, Steve Cooper and Rodolfo Borrell, men who made him a better person as well as a better, problem-solving player. Conor loved playing top clubs in the NextGen European tournament for under-19 footballers. A visit to Dortmund and a painful 6-0 lesson from Ajax stick in the mind. Being released from Anfield broke Conor’s heart, but his dad encouraged him to take his time and wait for his body to fill out, and he has flourished at Wolves.

We chat about Wolves’ recent Europa adventures. Manager Nuno Espírito Santo is a hard taskmaster who hates losing. Even after the delicious victory at Beşiktaş he said he wanted more.

Thanks Conor

Graham

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Nov 03, 2020
Robert Huth: Inside Jurgen’s German Revolution
35:41

When asked who his toughest opponent in football was, Robert Huth doesn’t hesitate: Didier Drogba. Not just a beast, but also an immensely clever player. So was N’Golo Kanté, who Robert played behind at Leicester.

In part two of this brilliant Big Interview, we also hear about Jurgen Klinsmann’s revolution at Germany which a young Robert was the beneficiary of. Despite resistance to his methods, Jurgen was an innovator who cut through the stuffy old ways which had placed the German national team in a rut. Robert’s surprise debut was against a magnificent Brazil side, and he describes watching from the bench one of the greatest Italy performances ever, in the 2006 World Cup. The defeat put Germany in despair, but Jurgen laid the foundations for 2014 glory.

Thanks Robert.

Graham

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Oct 29, 2020
Robert Huth: Inside Jose’s Chelsea Revolution
41:35

Robert Huth will forever be remembered by Chelsea fans for driving a groundsman’s buggy swarming with jubilant players during title celebration day in 2005.

During Jose Mourinho’s Blues revolution not a second of training was wasted. Jose was a totemic figure and there was an intensity and an attention to detail that fired the players’ imaginations.

It was all a far cry from the tough East Berlin neighbourhood where former centre-half Robert had been brought up, where you honed your skills on a gravel surface (just like in Scotland). His dad had been imprisoned for speaking out against the Communist regime. Judo taught Robert self-defence and confidence, but also humility and problem solving skills. He is a critic of the rigidity of modern coaching methods which don’t sufficiently account for what to do when things go wrong. I’m with him on that.

Enjoy this brilliant Big Interview guest.

Graham

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Oct 27, 2020
Eni Aluko: For the Good of the Women’s Game
30:16

Last season, our Socios at patreon.com/grahamhunter got an exclusive interview with Eni Aluko. For the first time, here’s the full episode.

In part two we’ve got more about the progress of the women’s game and how outspoken stars like Eni and Norway’s Ada Hegerberg took stances against mediocrity, poor coaching and bad treatment of players. Eni had a particularly painful experience with the culture at England. She forgives her antagonists now but she was mystified that she wasn’t selected for France ’19.

There’s great stuff about the ruthless attitude that made the US dominate the women’s game, and about Eni’s long-term interest in developing talent and growing a winning culture at a club. Since our interview she has hung up her boots and become sporting director of Aston Villa Women. I’m sure she will be a great success.

Graham.



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Oct 21, 2020
Eni Aluko: Italian Lessons
25:39

Last season, our Socios at patreon.com/grahamhunter got an exclusive interview with Eni Aluko. For the first time, here’s the full episode.

I went to Turin to speak with Eni during her glittering spell with Juventus. In part one we chat about how she went to Juve to develop as a player and a person, and about adjusting to life at one of the world’s biggest clubs. She believes you are never too old to grow. Eni is an elite analyst who spent the summer of 2019 covering the World Cup for Fox Sports, and we discover what it was like watching the women’s game crack mainstream football culture.

By the way, Eni’s autobiography, They Don’t Teach This, is a football story like no other. I’d highly recommend it.

Graham.



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Oct 19, 2020
Eric Cantona: Big Interview Icon
25:10

Welcome to our Big Interview Icons series, where we shine a light on a legend whose name has lit up some of the conversations I’ve had with my guests over the last five years of The Big Interview. First up is Eric Cantona.

How to describe Eric… a Harley-Davidson-riding, collar-turned-up, French rebel genius. He was a totem for an era of fellow magicians and mavericks in England’s top division.

Simon Stainrod played against King Eric in France and predicted that Leeds boss Howard Wilkinson wouldn’t like him, and that Eric would be better off playing for someone like Alex Ferguson. ‘You can’t coach him… you can only put ideas in his head,’ concludes Simon. Chris Waddle played alongside Eric at Marseille and believes he flourished when he moved across the Channel because English fans love a rule-breaker, someone unpredictable. We then hear from Gary McAllister and Gordon Strachan who speak about Eric’s spell at Leeds. Gary says that he wasn’t integral to the club’s 1992 league title win. Gordon takes a different view, that Eric made the difference as the other players started to tire. Gordon, like Simon Stainrod, saw Manchester United as Eric’s perfect fit.

Enjoy

Graham



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Oct 15, 2020
Federico Fernandez: Dinner with Cavani
32:38

Any Argentinian will still play second-fiddle to the legend of Diego Armando Maradona in Naples, but Federico Fernandez didn’t mind this and doesn’t feel that it ever held the club back. When he was at Napoli he lifted two Copa Italias, and he describes the route to the second one, defeating Lazio, Roma and then Fiorentina in a final with a nervy ending.

There’s stuff about ex-Napoli stars Pepe Reina – a man so positive that he is the world’s greatest teammate – and Edinson Cavani – the complete forward who will now make life hell for Premier League defenders.

We also discuss Federico’s international career, from the high of scoring with a header in a victory over arch-rivals Brazil, to the low of being dropped for the latter stages of the 2014 World Cup, the final of which, of course, Argentina lost to Germany in an agonisingly close contest.

Gracias Fede

Graham

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Oct 14, 2020
Federico Fernandez: From Ayala to Veron
34:02

Federico Fernandez has made an impression on Geordie shores over the last two years, but it was Napoli where the Argentinian centre-half made the grade. His hero Roberto Ayala had done a stint at the Stadio San Paolo in the nineties and Federico sought his advice, but nothing could have prepared him for the football-mad city where five hundred people would wait by a restaurant if a player was breaking bread inside. Federico is still remembered by Napoli fans for his first two goals for the club in one Champions League match in Munich.

Before that, at Estudiantes in Argentina, Federico had been taught by Eduardo Berizzo, who had himself been a masterful centre-half. There was also the influence of a veteran Juan Sebastian Veron, whose work ethic, determination, and winning mentality raised the standards at the club. He encouraged a teenage Federico and gave him confidence.

You will love this Big Interview

Graham

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Oct 13, 2020
Classic Big Interview: Jamie Murray
34:07

Here’s another chance to hear my interview with Jamie Murray from season three.

Jamie is one of the best doubles players in the world, but his sporting obsessions extend beyond tennis. Not only did he regularly defeat his wee brother Andy in homespun wrestling bouts, he is also a decent footballer and in this Big Interview he picks his perfect five-a-side team from the ATP tour. It includes a certain Paulo Maldini after the Italian legend had hung up his boots and picked up his racquet. There’s chat about being attracted to Sir Alex Ferguson’s exciting Manchester United side, and of course the 2016 Scottish Cup final when Jamie’s beloved Hibernian at last broke their Hampden hoodoo.

Enjoy,

Graham



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Oct 05, 2020
Jocky Bjorklund: The secrets of Cuper's Valencia
38:17

Here's part two of my chat with Joachim Bjorklund - featuring a staggering Champions League run with Gothenburg, scalping Barcelona and Manchester United, plus stories from his time as part of a wonderful Valencia team under Claudio Ranieri and Hector Cuper. That side reached back-to-back Champions League finals, won a Copa del Rey and had Louis Van Gaal's Barcelona in their pocket.


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Sep 29, 2020
Jocky Bjorklund: Larsson, Brolin and Sweden’s Glory Days
54:06

Here's Joachim ‘Jocky’ Björklund, my former colleague at La Liga TV and now Hammarby assistant manager. His son Kalle plays for him there, just like Jocky once played for his dad at Brann.

We had a simply fantastic conversation, discussing Jocky’s rapid rise to the Sweden team that reached back-to-back semi-finals at Euro ’92 and USA 94, and its stars, including Henrik Larsson and Tomas Brolin, his nation’s rock star footballer, and one worth revisiting.

Jocky says that the best two players he played alongside were Brian Laudrup and Paul Gascoigne when he was at Rangers, and he speaks insightfully and movingly when he describes Gazza’s troubles.

Utterly brilliant, sparkling stuff.

Graham.

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Sep 28, 2020
Matt Jansen Part Two: The Long Road Back
38:42

Last season, our Socios at patreon.com/grahamhunter got an exclusive interview with Matt Jansen. For the first time, here’s the full episode.

In part two, you’ll hear more about the psychological damage Matt’s accident inflicted on him. With the best of intentions, Blackburn got him back playing but his sense of invincibility had given way to fear, and he didn’t want the ball any more. He was on medication and drinking heavily. Psychiatrist Steve Peters was a great help, but he couldn’t be with the footballer all of the time. Matt eventually quit football, but a phone call from his old pal Garry Flitcroft kicked off a spell playing and managing in the lower leagues.

There’s light-hearted chat in this interview too, such as why Matt’s Beatles-mad father nicknamed him ‘Maxwell,’ and how his Crystal Palace team-mate Hermann Hreiðarsson arranged to have him ‘kidnapped’ in Iceland. There’s also great stuff about the ordeal of having to knock back Sir Alex Ferguson, and what it was like to play alongside the wonderful Andy Cole.

What a life story Matt has. What a privilege it was to speak with him.

Graham



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Sep 23, 2020
Matt Jansen: Glory Beckoned, then Everything went Dark
36:39

Last season, our Socios at patreon.com/grahamhunter got an exclusive interview with Matt Jansen. For the first time, here’s the full episode.

In part one, you’ll hear how Matt was a thoroughbred centre-forward with a cultured left foot – and no little courage. After spells at his hometown club of Carlisle United and then Crystal Palace, he signed for Blackburn. He scored the first goal and set up the winner in Rovers’ 2-1 League Cup final victory over Tottenham Hotspur in 2002. Everything was going brilliantly, until he was cruelly denied a place in Sven-Göran Eriksson’s England squad for the 2002 World Cup.

Instead of heading to Japan and Korea that summer, he went to Rome with his future wife. England could wait – he felt invincible, the happiest man in the world. And then disaster struck. Matt was so seriously injured in a scooter accident that the paramedics thought he had died. After six days in a coma, he began his rehabilitation and made a full physical recovery. But when he went back onto the pitch everything he had previously done automatically became laboured. The sound of the crowd sighing added to the agony.

Thanks for sharing, Matt.

Graham



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Sep 21, 2020
Classic Big Interview: Slaven Bilic
32:30

Here’s another chance to hear my interview with Slaven Bilic from season three.

We hear about Bilic the Croatia centre-back, a member of the side so many of us adored at Euro ’96 and which nearly won the World Cup two years later. The manager, Miroslav Blažević was a master tactician and psychologist, but boy did he have the tools: Boban, Šuker, Bokšić and Prosinečki.

At Euro ’96, the players were ambassadors for a new country and lost the final to Germany at Wembley. They were christened ‘Croatian knights’ by their country’s president at France ’98 when they beat the Germans, but Slaven insists it was not a revenge mission. They won because they had more maturity, more self-belief, their usual incredible team spirit and also a slice of good luck. That luck didn’t hold in the semi against the hosts, and surely the Croatians would have prevailed in a final against a troubled Brazil.

A brilliant, passionate Big Interview.

Graham



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Sep 15, 2020
Q & A: La Liga season preview
1:00:48
The new La Liga season starts this weekend and our socios wanted to know all about it. I answer their questions, such as: Who will win the title? Which signings have been the most shrewd? What will the relegation scrap look like? And how will El Mago, the mighty David Silva, fare as he returns to the divison after a decade in Manchester?

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Sep 11, 2020
A Messi Situation: Q & A Part One
36:18

Hola!

Everything you wanted to know about Lionel Messi's situation but were afraid to ask... well, actually our Socios did ask, and here's my thoughts!

Enjoy

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Sep 10, 2020
Michael Bridges: The beauty of Bielsa's Leeds
50:26

Michael Bridges had a special instinct for goals and had a prolific first season at Leeds, which included a tremendous run in the UEFA Cup, but after sustaining a terrible injury in a match against Besiktas he was told by his surgeon he would never play again. But physio Dave Hancock believed in him and persuaded him not to quit. Just as well, because Michael’s career was far from over. He speaks movingly about the tragic events in Istanbul in 2000 when two Leeds supporters were murdered. It is Michael’s biggest regret that the players didn’t refuse to play the game against Galatasaray.

But there’s lighter stuff in part two, too. For example, did you know he could have played for Scotland? And did you know that he is probably the greatest-ever prankster British football has produced? Listen out also for Michael’s enthusiasm for Leeds’ return to the top flight, and his passion for the style of play current manager Marcelo Bielsa has adopted.

Enjoy,

Graham

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Sep 09, 2020
Michael Bridges: Leeds' Impossible Dream
44:43

Michael Bridges was a mixed-up kid. His beloved late father would take him to see Newcastle United, but his adulation for Chris Waddle migrated to White Hart Lane and to this day he remains a Tottenham fan. Michael signed for Sunderland – much to his dad’s horror – and nowadays is Australian ambassador for Leeds United, the club at which he excelled.

We hear about swapping jerseys with Alessandro Costacurta and how David Batty told Michael that he had ‘arrived’ at Leeds after he scored a superb goal against Southampton. Peter Reid and Eddie Gray were massive coaching influences. Lucas Radebe, Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka were on-field inspirations. Oh, and there’s being caught by his manager and fitness coach when about to munch into a hamburger.

Enjoy,

Graham

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Sep 07, 2020
Emiliano Martinez: Playing in Arteta’s Back Five
24:22

In part two of my Big Interview with Emiliano Martinez, we learn about his time on loan at Reading, where he is fondly remembered for helping the Royals avoid relegation from the Championship.

We hear about what it’s like working under Mikel Arteta at Arsenal, what an inspirational, supportive manager he is, a great communicator with a sharp mind. His players have total trust in him. Mikel wants Emiliano to play like an auxiliary centre-half – as though in a back five – and take risks with the ball at his feet, a challenge which the keeper just relishes.

There’s also chat about Emiliano’s dream back four, and being part of the build-up in a dream goal against Manchester City.

Enjoy

Graham

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Aug 19, 2020
Emiliano Martinez: The Tale behind the Tears
23:24

It was heart-wrenching for a teenage Emiliano Martinez to depart his beloved family for the distant prospect of Arsenal. But the Argentinian goalkeeper did what he did best – he worked hard, and after years of commitment he starred in the recent FA Cup final victory over Chelsea.

He wasn’t fazed by the occasion, even when the Gunners went a goal down, because Emiliano has perfected his game psychology. His tears of joy afterwards were profound because this No1 had it tough as a kid and had given everything for his dream.

Enjoy a true rags to riches Big Interview.

Graham

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Aug 17, 2020
Domènec Torrent: Robben, Ribéry and Raheem
37:08

In part two of my Big Interview with Domènec Torrent, there’s more on those glorious Camp Nou days, including Barca’s famous treble of 2008-09.

Domènec grabbed the chance to assist Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich with both hands, and discovered that it was a myth that club legends interfered with team management there. He also busted the myth that Frank Ribery and Arjen Robben would be difficult charges. In fact, Arjen was a joy to work with and thrived under Pep. As if fated, Bayern were drawn against Barca in the 2015 Champion League semi-final, and held their own in the Camp Nou until a late error let Messi in. Then Bayern made the fatal error of chasing the game and ended up losing 3-0. The fans’ passion and improving players of quality such as Raheem Sterling made Domènec’s time at Manchester City a thrill, and he maintains that winning the English top flight is harder than claiming the Champions League. Domènec now can’t wait to get a new managerial role, and I wish him good luck with that. Whoever employs him will have made a wise move.

Enjoy.

Graham.

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Aug 12, 2020
Domènec Torrent: Rising with Pep
47:58

When Pep Guardiola took the reins at Barcelona B in 2007, he quickly snapped up the services of respected Catalan coach Domènec Torrent. Domènec was Pep’s go-to guy whenever he wanted the skinny on an opponent, and he helped nurture talents like Busquets and Pedro.

Soon Pep was managing Barcelona’s first team, and Domènec came along for the ride. Thus began a journey to immortality: three La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues with Barca, two Bundesliga crowns with Bayern Munich, and a Premier League win with Manchester City.

It was great having a Big Interview with someone in the flesh again, and Domènec gives us fascinating insights into what it was like behind the scenes during that glorious Barca era: how the coaches perfected the team’s build-up play and high-pressing game, and how it took a genius like Pep to draw out the absolute best from the array of on-field geniuses at his disposal.

Fascinating stuff.

Graham.

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Aug 10, 2020
Barcelona v Napoli - preview
24:35

The turmoil and internal conflict at Barcelona saw them lose La Liga to their arch rivals and now they face Napoli at Camp Nou in a dangerous second leg, last 16 match on Saturday.


The 1-1 draw in Italy seems a lifetime ago, but the problems that circled Barcelona then remain: primary among them, discord between a new coaching staff and the senior players, and a decline in the physical power of the team. 

But there have also been signs that the players who have achieved so much may be able to fight on in the tournament that their leader, Leo Messi, obsesses over.



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Aug 07, 2020
Pep v Zizou - Part 2
25:23

Hola

This is my look ahead to this week's Champions League last-16 tie between Manchester City and Real Madrid.

Enjoy



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Aug 05, 2020
Viva La Liga: That Was The Season That Was
23:19

Hola

Here's my take on the La Liga season just finished, including reflections on Valencia, Sevilla, Granada and Espanyol.

Enjoy

Graham



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Aug 04, 2020
Guest #100 Rio Ferdinand: Sir Alex and my Champions League Quest (Pt 2)
45:20

In 2008, Rio Ferdinand’s Champions League dream came true on a rainy night in Moscow.

The final against Chelsea was a game Rio was terrified to lose. He had to take a penalty in the shootout, an experience he says you simply cannot prepare yourself for. But his mum just loved it when he walked up to lift the big trophy.

Rio once raged at Sir Alex Ferguson from the pitch. The manager was so angered that he would have sold him had he not apologised. Fergie was a genius, a man with an incredible personal touch. Pep Guardiola was the only guy who could have filled his shoes. United had beaten Barcelona in the ’08 semi, but Pep's team were a different beast in the 2009 and 2011 finals. Rio felt embarrassed after those games and said that Barca ripped the soul from that United team. Although they were up against the greatest side of all time, Rio knows they could and should have done better. Fergie should have set them up differently, more compactly, more counter-attacking.

Thanks Rio.

Graham

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Jul 23, 2020
Guest #100 Rio Ferdinand: Addicted to Winning
52:09

We promised you a special 100th guest … so who better than Rio Ferdinand, a man with a Champions League, six Premier Leagues and 81 England caps under his belt. Rio was a centre-half so elegant that he could have played in midfield. Damn it, he could have played up front if he wanted.

He left Leeds to join Manchester United because he had a burning desire to win. He got his hands on the league title in his first season at Old Trafford but that merely fuelled the addiction. He wanted European glory. He wanted the Champions League.

At Leeds Rio had come close, scoring a sublime header in a quarter-final against Deportivo. But the Valencia of Juan Sánchez and John Carew taught them a lesson in the semi. At Man United they ripped Juventus to shreds but a year later Real Madrid narrowly put them out in a ding-dong 6-5 aggregate win, when Raúl stretched him like never before.

This is a brilliant 100th Big Interview.

Graham

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Jul 22, 2020
99 (Guests) Not Out: The Big Interview Uncovered Part Two
38:44

Hola

Here's part two, as myself and producers Martin and Neil reflect back on some of the 99 guests we've had on the show over the past five years.

Look out for 100th guest, Rio Ferdinand, tomorrow. 

Enjoy

G



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Jul 21, 2020
99 (Guests) Not Out: The Big Interview Uncovered Part One
32:41

Hola

Here's myself, and producers Martin and Neil reflecting back on some of the 99 guests we've had on the show over the past five years. Listen up for some crazy behind-the-scenes tales of our adventures on the road and revealing insights into some of our guests.

Look out for 100th guest, Rio Ferdinand, later this week. 

Enjoy

G



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Jul 20, 2020
Dietmar Hamann: The Return of Il Trap
32:06

There were mixed European fortunes for Dietmar Hamann at Bayern Munich: a famous triumph in Barcelona followed by a UEFA Cup final win over Bordeaux, but also a tough lesson from an Ajax side which Dietmar describes as one of the best ever.

After head coach Otto Rehhagel was undermined by certain players, Giovanni Trapattoni was soon back and Dietmar won his second German title. Trapp also issued the most famous outburst in German football history. Newcastle then came calling, and life in England sparked a love affair with that other beautiful game: cricket. There was an FA Cup Final defeat to the mighty Manchester United but Dietmar’s Tyneside days set him up for a move to Liverpool, where greatness beckoned.

Enjoy

Graham



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Jul 15, 2020
Dietmar Hamann: Me and The Kaiser
38:32

Dietmar Hamann is one of the beautiful game’s most engaging characters; sheer class as a guy just as he had been sheer class as a player. Before his breakthrough, he was a marauding offensive midfielder, but after he caught Bayern Munich’s eye he was given the holding role, a position he made it his own.

Head coaches Franz Beckenbauer and then Giovanni Trapattoni were massive influences at Bayern. ‘Der Kaiser’ had an aura about him when he walked into a room and took a relaxed approach. ‘Il Trapp’ was different: an emotional man and a hard taskmaster, but still loved by his players.

Dietmar describes what it was like to come off the bench to score his first senior goal in a 5-0 victory over Nuremberg as The Bavarians homed in on their first Bundesliga crown in four years.

Enjoy

Graham



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Jul 13, 2020
World Cup 2010 Revista: When Iker met Arjen
1:16:47

Welcome to the World Cup final of 2010.


As our mini-series concludes, let's go back to the build-up to Spain v Holland: both Franz Beckenbauer and Paul the Octopus predicted a Spain win, but nobody foresaw the nature of their victory.


There has never been a dirtier World Cup final - there could easily have been more than the one red card we saw. And Holland could easily have left with the trophy and the glory, were it not for an eternal moment - perhaps the most memorable from my journalistic career - between Arjen Robben and Iker Casillas.


And that's before we even get to Iniesta. Or, for that matter, Gerard Pique, who almost got me into serious trouble in the immediate aftermath of this unforgettable game.


I hope you have enjoyed this series. If you'd like to find out about the book I wrote on Spain's three successive trophy wins from 2008 to 2012, in hardback, paperback and audiobook (read by me), then you can do that here:



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Jul 11, 2020
World Cup 2010 Revista: Arise, Sir Carles
56:14

It's the final four, socios.


For Germany, it's World Cup semi-final number 11. For Spain, number one.


It's a rematch of the 2008 European Championships final. And it's a repeat of the same scoreline. Spain outplay their most dangerous opponent of the tournament but they need a singular goal to reach the final.


Here's the back story to Carles Puyol's majestic leap; where I rank it in the pantheon of World Cup headers; and how the evening ended with Puyi face-to-face with the Queen of Spain, wearing only a towel (Puyol, not Queenie). 



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Jul 07, 2020
World Cup 2010 Revista: Iker & Pepe
49:59

Spain v Paraguay. Quarter-finals.

Spain's top two goalkeepers, Iker Casillas and Pepe Reina, conspire to keep out Oscar Cardozo's penalty - and that's just the start of one of the craziest five minutes in World Cup history - two more penalties, another not given and after all that the score is still 0-0.

With the clock ticking down, and their quarter-final curse looming, Spain turn to the tournament's top scorer once more.



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Jul 03, 2020
World Cup 2010 Revista: The Ronaldo Rules
50:46

It's matchday in South Africa 2010, so it's time to see what Spain were up to.

It's the round of 16 and it's Portugal: that means Ronaldo. He was the world's most expensive footballer and had just finished his first season in the white of Madrid. 

Behind him, was one of the meanest defences in world football.

Spain had to innovate to stifle Ronaldo and break down the defensive barrier that stood between them and a quarter-final spot. Here's how they did it. 


BUY Spain: The Inside Story of La Roja's Historic Treble in paperback, ebook or audiobook (read by Graham)



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Jun 29, 2020
Pat Bonner: The Loneliness of the No.1
52:33

In the sweltering heat of Orlando Pat Bonner misjudged a net-bound shot during Ireland’s knock-out defeat to the Netherlands at USA ’94. Getting over setbacks like that, and indeed the whole psychology of goalkeeping, has obsessed him ever since he hung up his gloves. He has been a top-level coach, he has developed goalkeeping courses and he has been a consultant to the major footballing bodies.

In this brilliant lock-down Big Interview, he is incredibly insightful on the nature of modern goalkeeping, especially on how the No1 has now become a player in his own right. It is little wonder Pat is such a sought-after broadcast analyst. He is also one of the true gents of the beautiful game.

Thanks for breaking the lock-down monotony, Pat.

Graham



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Jun 25, 2020
World Cup 2010 Revista: Bielsa's Uneasy Truce
52:40

It's win or bust in the final group game. Spain must Defeat Chile or go home. 

This was packed full of incident: a whirlwind start by Chile; two beautiful goals from Iniesta and Villa; a red card that should never have been; and the most bitter memory of the World Cup for my taste, as Chile offered Spain a murky deal, which they eventually accepted. 

Before that, nerves were shredded and I had to use all my wiles to get Spain's talismanic superfan past stadium security.



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Jun 25, 2020
Pat Bonner: One Night in Genoa
46:28

Pat Bonner was made in Donegal: his values, resilience and work ethic were instilled in him by his family and his community, while playing Gaelic football toughened him up for a glittering soccer career.

He was Celtic’s stalwart No1 for years, winning nine major honours at the club, and he earned 80 caps for the Republic of Ireland. His penalty save in a shootout in Genoa against Romania - exactly 30 years ago this week - earned his national side a place in the quarter-finals of Italia ’90. Just weeks before, Pat had failed to save a single kick in the shootout against my beloved Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup final. But he analysed and strategised and gave his country one of their biggest parties ever. Everyone in the world was a little bit Irish that night.

Enjoy

Graham



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Jun 23, 2020
World Cup 2010 Revista: Villa steadies the nerves
51:21

As the Spanish press lose their minds in the wake of an opening defeat against Switzerland, Vicente Del Bosque sends his under-fire players on safari.

This is just one of the ways in which the European champions are treated as adults and now, in crisis mode, it pays off. They find a collective solution and move into Game Two, against Honduras, as one.

Elsewhere, England, France and Italy are not so resilient.



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Jun 21, 2020
World Cup 2010 Revista! When Vicente met Ottmar
53:32

We're off and running with our World Cup 2010 recap. Here's what I saw and heard while tracking Spain for the first few days of their tournament, up to and including their first match against Switzerland.


  • Why getting the right training camp counts.
  • How to tame a dangerous Puyol in the wild.
  • The Ali-Frazier nature of the series of matches between Vicente Del Bosque and Ottmer Hitzfeld, the two coaches, when they were in charge of Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.


And, of course, the game. A weird one, at the end of which Spain would know they had to make history if they were to add a world title to their European one.


All of this and a dance through the other games in the first round:

  • Rob Green costs England
  • Maicon scores a belter for Brazil
  • Tshabalala starts the party.




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Jun 16, 2020
World Cup 2010 Revista #1: What's Eating Andrés Iniesta?
43:54

Welcome to a new mini series on the Big Interview feed, retreading Spain's journey to their only World Cup title, 10 years ago.

In this first episode, before the tournament begins, we'll look at the player who will eventually give the 2010 World Cup in South Africa it's signature moment, Andrés Iniesta.

As the countdown to the finals intensifies, Iniesta is broken: physically, mentally and spritually. The extent of his depression and his despair at the death of a close friend and his own physical frailty was unclear back in 2010. What we know now is that the man who will win the World Cup for Spain could very easily have been left at home.



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Jun 09, 2020
Brendan Rodgers: Brown and Morgan, a Tale of Two Captains
32:12

When Brendan Rodgers took the Celtic job he was advised to jettison Scott Brown. Instead, Brendan invited him to his London home where they chatted about what behaviour he expected from a captain, and also how he could incorporate ‘Broonie’ in a different role. Despite the relatively advanced stage in his career, Scott transformed his attitude and style of play, and coach and skipper lifted trophy after trophy in Glasgow.

When Brendan took over at Leicester, he again forged a crucial relationship with the incumbent captain, Wes Morgan, and there’s great stuff about Leicester and England talents James Maddison and Ben Chilwell. Brendan also reflects on why Philippe Coutinho was adored at Liverpool but failed to hit the ground running at Barcelona.

Finally, there’s a moving testament on how Brendan considers himself duty-bound to help preserve the legacy and vision of beloved Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who died in such tragic circumstances in 2018.



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Jun 02, 2020
Brendan Rodgers: The other side of Luis Suarez
40:12

Brendan Rodgers possesses one of the sharpest analytical minds in football, but more than that he is a purist, a devotee of the beautiful game– as demonstrated by the verve with which his high-flying Leicester side plays.

As a rookie coach, Brendan had the foresight to regularly visit Spain to soak up the methods employed there – not least because the Spanish had a way of incorporating players of a shorter stature, something the Northern Irishman could relate to!

Brendan tells us about working with true greats: Samuel Eto’o was the ultimate winner, Luis Suárez was the ultimate team player.



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Jun 01, 2020
Classic Big Interview: Chris Sutton
39:41

Here’s another chance to hear my interview with Chris Sutton from season two.

Chris’ success as a striker in England and Scotland was rooted in a tough start. As a kid, an initial rejection by his local club Norwich just made him all the hungrier – and a second bite at the cherry with the Canaries plus his dad and his youth coach’s tough motivational approaches set him on the trajectory to a trophy-laden career.

At Norwich he once faced Alan Shearer while playing as a centre-half, and was on the end of a 7-1 schooling. But he so shone as a striker at Carrow Road that he would soon partner Shearer at Blackburn after a record transfer move. There, manager Kenny Dalglish had his players walking through walls for him all the way to a famous last-day league title win. Yet it was Chris’ incredibly successful relationship with the legendary Henrik Larsson at Celtic that was his most cherished, not least because it followed a very difficult period at Chelsea during which he had lost his confidence.

I guarantee you will love hearing this very different side to one of the game’s great characters.

Graham



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May 18, 2020
Mark Schwarzer: European Heartbreaks, Clashes with McClaren and Fulham’s Juve Miracle
31:33


Last season, our Socios at patreon.com/grahamhunter got an exclusive interview with Mark Schwarzer. For the first time, here’s the full episode.

Mark had a love affair with the UEFA Cup/Europa League, reaching the final of each with Middlesbrough and Fulham respectively, and, sadly, losing both. But this remarkable man is disarmingly philosophical about both defeats. In part two Mark also describes the incredible encounter against Manchester City that clinched Boro’s UEFA place, in which he crucially saved a late Robbie Fowler penalty in a match in which fellow goalie David James wore an outfield shirt! Mark describes his fraught relationship with Boro boss Steve McClaren, being part of Fulham’s incredible comeback against Juventus and the euphoria of Australia qualifying for the 2006 World Cup.

If you would prefer not to wait 12 months to listen to these extra interviews, it’s time to become a Socio at patreon.com/grahamhunter



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May 13, 2020
Mark Schwarzer: Keeping Calm in the Calderon Cauldron
32:20

Last season, our Socios at patreon.com/grahamhunter got an exclusive interview with Mark Schwarzer. For the first time, here’s the full episode.

Mark – an Aussie with German parents – kept goal for Dresden in the unsettled aftermath of reunification, and then at Kaiserslautern, where he was disrespected and unappreciated. His big break in England came when he was trialling for Manchester City in a friendly against Bradford. Bantams manager Chris Kamara liked the cut of his jib and signed him up. Mark speaks about breaking a bone in his back while at Fulham in a match against Swansea – and then playing on! He also describes being thrown in at the deep end when Chelsea’s Petr Cech was injured in a Champions League semi-final at Atletico Madrid, and keeping the score at 0-0.

If you would prefer not to wait 12 months to listen to these extra interviews, it’s time to become a Socio at patreon.com/grahamhunter



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May 11, 2020
John Hartson: How I Silenced The Kop
35:49

In part two, John Hartson describes his happy days at West Ham – before everything went sour after an infamous incident with Eyal Berkovic. It took a special kind of guy to come back from that low-point.

John once set up Craig Bellamy to score the winner against Italy with a pass worthy of Xavi. It gave Wales one of their greatest-ever nights in football.

John made the best of his abilities and has fond memories of everywhere he played. But if you forced him to choose, he’s pick playing alongside the likes of Henrik Larsson at Celtic as the highpoint of his career. He describes missing a penalty against Rangers in a cup final defeat at the weekend, and then redeeming himself in midweek with a memorable strike at Liverpool, as the Hoops went on a famous run to the 2003 UEFA Cup final.

Enjoy.

Graham



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May 06, 2020
John Hartson: Knock ’em over, pick ’em back up
52:06

John Hartson broke up my Spanish detention with a brilliant remotely-recorded Big Interview.

Big Bad John was the kind of centre-forward who defenders hated marking. If they were smaller than him, he would just knock ’em over, then pick ’em back up. So John was shocked when Valencia’s Roberto ‘The Mouse’ Ayala gave him his hardest shift in a Celtic jersey.

There’s great stuff here about John’s time as an old-school apprentice at Luton, when he looked after his hero Mick Harford’s boots, and there’s chat about losing a European final with Arsenal in agonising circumstances. But he never blamed David Seaman for his horrible mistake.

Thanks, big man.

Graham



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May 04, 2020
Remembering Michael Robinson
25:03
After the sad news that Michael Robinson has died, I recorded this about a man I knew well and admired, who helped me during my career here in Spain and who helped shape as generation of broadcasters and journalists, particularly those making their way in a country that was not theirs by birth. He could play a bit, too.

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Apr 28, 2020
Classic Big Interview: Matt Le Tissier
38:26

Here’s another chance to hear my interview with Matt Le Tissier from season two.

Matt was such a naturally gifted performer that he could have joined any team he chose. Instead, he was that rarity in the modern game: a one-club player. Matt describes the utter joy he took in lighting up Southampton’s old ground The Dell with his stunning tricks and goals – this interview is about football elevated to an art form. Listen as he describes netting the last-ever goal at The Dell, a goal that he just knew he was going to score. You’ll also hear about that special season when he enjoyed a telepathic relationship with Danish genius Ronnie Ekelund, his strained relationship with Glenn Hoddle – the only manager he ever swore at, and the grim, but ultimately triumphant campaigns against relegation in which he led by his example of sheer will to win.

I guarantee, you will love this interview as much as I did.

Graham



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Apr 27, 2020
Jimmy Bullard: Secrets of Soccer AM
45:39

Jimmy Bullard’s on-field and latterly on-screen personality is that of an easy-going joker, but that is only a conscious extension of his true self. He is also a brilliant soccer analyst, and as a talented midfielder he was frustrated by English football’s failure to adopt the Continental passing game. Roy Hodgson was the only manager who understood him. He’s glad to see things changing, thanks mainly to the influence of Pep.

When he joined West Ham the club was full of crazy personalities, not least Paulo Di Canio and John Moncur. Paulo had such charisma that he changed the culture of the entire club.

Oh – and there’s brilliant stuff about Soccer AM, and Jimmy gives us an incredible behind-the-scenes insight into creating magical television.

Enjoy

Graham.



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Apr 22, 2020
Jimmy Bullard: Bend it like Riquelme
44:57

Thanks to the wonders of modern telecommunications, I caught up with Jimmy Bullard and found a man who had been well prepared for lockdown. Jimmy needs meditative pursuits – fishing, golf and landscape gardening, and his sense of detail was also applied to his fledgling footballing career to pave the way for successful spells with, notably, Wigan, Fulham and Hull.

Jimmy used to peel potatoes and paint ceilings for a living. When he was signed from Gravesend & Northfleet by his boyhood heroes West Ham United, it was real Roy of the Rovers stuff.

Jimmy adored Zizou, and loved the arthouse movie Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, but when he watched the featured game, Real Madrid versus Villarreal, he was keen-eyed enough to recognise the other genius on the pitch that day, Juan Román Riquelme. He became his new hero.

Dear friends, I hope that this superb Big Interview helps relieve your isolation.

Enjoy.

Graham.



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Apr 20, 2020
Shaun Maloney: Inside the world's No.1 team
37:23

Last season, our Socios at patreon.com/grahamhunter got an exclusive interview with Shaun Maloney. For the first time, here’s the full episode.

Want to hear what it feels like to set up the winning goal in the FA Cup final? In part two, Shaun recalls Wigan’s famous David v Goliath victory at Wembley over Manchester City in 2013. There’s also a description of Shaun’s sublime goal for Scotland against the Republic of Ireland and a breakdown of his work with Belgium, the No1 ranked side in the world.

If you would prefer not to wait 12 months to listen to these extra interviews, it’s time to become a Socio at patreon.com/grahamhunter



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Apr 15, 2020
Shaun Maloney: Wigan's Great Escape
33:56

Last season, our Socios at patreon.com/grahamhunter got an exclusive interview with Shaun Maloney. For the first time, here’s the full episode.

Shaun was a superbly gifted player who won trophies with Celtic and Wigan, where he worked under Roberto Martinez, the coach who has now made Shaun part of his staff at the Belgium national team. Oh, and he’s a fellow Aberdonian.

He talkks here about how in 2012 he scored to defeat Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United, a victory that galvanised the Latics’ players to attain Premier League survival - winning seven of their last nine games in a heroic run-in.

If you would prefer not to wait 12 months to listen to these extra interviews, it’s time to become a Socio at patreon.com/grahamhunter



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Apr 13, 2020
Tony Currie: Entertainer, Superstar
34:24

In part two, Tony Currie talks more about his lengthy love affair with Sheffield United. But he would sign for their Yorkshire rivals Leeds when most of the talent assembled by Don Revie was still at Elland Road. There was no love lost between Tony and Revie – as England boss the renowned manager didn’t take to him.

Tony also shares his thoughts on the current heady days for Chris Wilder’s side. And there’s brilliant chat about his best goal – for Leeds at Arsenal, how he knocked back Manchester United to stay at Bramall Lane, and how he risked life and limb on legendary BBC programme Superstars – they sure don’t make ’em like that anymore!

Thanks, Tony.

Graham.



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Apr 08, 2020
Tony Currie: London Style, Sheffield Steel
35:59

Tony Currie was one of the ‘Entertainers’ of the 1970s and early 1980s, the ball players of British football who graced an era when men were men and tackles were X-rated.

I caught up with Tony, a London boy adopted and beloved by Yorkshire, at his spiritual home of Bramall Lane. Most of his life has been connected to Sheffield United; in addition to eight years as a player, he has been Football in the Community Co-ordinator for more than three decades. A skilful attacking midfielder, he was named the Blades’ Greatest Ever Player.

This is a brilliant Big Interview, strewn with legendary names from a glorious time: Ball, Harvey, Greaves, Storey, Giles, Harris, Lorimer… and, of course, Aberdeen great Arthur ‘Bumper’ Graham.

Ah, the good old days!

Enjoy.

Graham.



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Apr 06, 2020
Q&A extra: An XI from my La Liga years
36:02

I was asked in our recent Q&A for a selection from teams outwith Spain's 'Big Three' - I chose to focus on the years I have been watching Spanish football, and it was a lot of fun thinking about these guys.

I was recording on my rooftop in Barcelona, and you also get here, at no additional cost, a highlight of our lockdown life here.



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Apr 06, 2020
March Q & A - part two
48:21

Here is the second part of this month's Q & A - thanks to our socios at patreon.com/grahamhunter for all the questions.

This turned into a bit of an Atleti special, and I hope you find what I have to say about that team, their victory over Liverpool and one of their talented midfield interesting.


I hope you are all well. Let's speak again soon.


Graham



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Apr 03, 2020
March Q&A - part one
46:10
This is part one of our March Q & A show - covering my reading preferences, the difference between football media in Spain and the UK, and how this cursed virus might impact European football and the Spain national team in particular. The questions come from our beloved socios, our members, at patreon.com/grahamhunter.

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Apr 02, 2020
Paul Robinson: The Lonely Life of the Goalkeeper
44:36

In part two, Paul Robinson tells how Leeds United’s glorious ride came to its crashing end. It was a time of layoffs and fire sales, and he movingly describes how financial implosion affects a football club. But he sympathises with then chairman Peter Ridsdale, a man who loved the Whites, a man who was only guilty of chasing his dreams.

After Leeds, Paul formed a second love – Tottenham Hotspur. He won the League Cup there and managed to switch off from his little son’s illness when he crossed the Wembley white line. Happily, Robinson junior is now thriving as a talented cricketer.

Paul could be described as the goalkeepers’ goalkeeper – a man who has pondered the psychology of the role. He knows the torment that follows a blunder (it was timely that I caught up with him just hours after Adrian’s nightmare performance for Liverpool against Atlético, as described in part one). You need to have a golfer’s mentality, Paul says, to immediately put the last mistake behind you. Don’t go chasing the game, don’t try to make up for it or you’ll make things worse. He learned this the hard way – playing for England he was unfairly blamed for a crazy Croatia goal and it took him nearly two years to get over it.

Enjoy.

Graham.



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Mar 25, 2020
Paul Robinson: A Leeds Education
39:45

Paul Robinson experienced incredible highs and crushing lows during his goalkeeping career.

The Yorkshireman was a Leeds United academy product and he was there during their glory, glory days under chairman Peter Ridsdale. What players they had – think of names like Smith, Woodgate, Kewell, Maybury, Kelly, Bowyer, Harte and Radebe.

Paul came under the wing of brilliant, tough-but-fair youth coach Paul Hart and was toughened up by John Burridge at Durham City – in my opinion the most wonderfully nutty No1 in British football history. Paul explains how ‘Budgie’ had a truly extraordinary enthusiasm for the beautiful game and a massive heart. An injury crisis handed Paul his first-team debut against Chelsea. He was only eighteen, but he loved every minute of it. Eventually, he would star against top Champions League teams, including a Barcelona side which featured the magical Rivaldo.

You will love this Big Interview with this engaging, thoughtful, articulate man.

Graham.



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Mar 24, 2020
Classic Big Interview: Walter Smith
41:44

Here’s another chance to hear my interview with Walter Smith from season two.

Walter gives us a first-hand insight into the heady days when Scottish clubs competed at the highest levels of European football. As assistant to Jim McLean he helped guide Dundee United to a UEFA Cup final and was only denied a place in the European Cup final by a Roma side well versed in the game’s dark arts. He moved to Rangers to assist the charismatic Graeme Souness where born leaders like Terry Butcher flourished. Taking over the reins, Walter’s Rangers went on an incredible European run, almost reaching the Champions League final. Signing Paul Gascoigne was surprisingly easy – all Walter had to do was ask, but managing the impish genius was another challenge altogether. As for Brian Laudrup, well, he was easy to work with, and a joy to behold plying his trade.

Brilliant stuff

Graham



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Mar 17, 2020
Simon Stainrod: Discovering Dembele
31:25

Last season, our Socios at patreon.com/grahamhunter got an exclusive interview with Simon Stainrod. For the first time, here’s the full episode.

In part two, Simon chats about what it was like to actually play against Cantona – a lesson in one-touch football. He criticises the modern tendency to over-teach promising kids, and suggests coaches should instead go off for a cup of tea and let them get on with expressing themselves. Simon speaks about discovering Ousmane Dembele and how he feels that clubs are nowadays less inclined to take risks on flamboyant individuals. He also explains how playing in the 1982 FA Cup final was a profoundly emotional moment for him, and how winning the league with Falkirk – where he was allegedly paid £1 per week! – was one of the happiest times in his career.

If you would prefer not to wait 12 months to listen to these extra interviews, it’s time to become a Socio at patreon.com/grahamhunter



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Mar 12, 2020
Simon Stainrod: Mavericks - from Currie to Cantona
29:57

Last season, our Socios at patreon.com/grahamhunter got an exclusive interview with Simon Stainrod. For the first time, here’s the full episode.

The term ‘maverick’ is overused in football, but my pal Simon genuinely does it justice. As a lad, he was inspired by watching elegant heroes like George Best who managed to thrive on the battlefields of the 1960s and 70s. This striker of many clubs even got to play alongside a couple of them: Tony Currie – a man of immense courage and physical strength, and Jimmy ‘Jinky’ Johnstone, who no matter how many times he was kicked, just kept getting back up. Simon speaks about the joy, artistry and daring with which football should be played, and the joy it should provide for the fans. And if you want to hear how he tried to persuade Howard Wilkinson NOT to sign Eric Cantona… then listen in.

If you would prefer not to wait 12 months to listen to these extra interviews, it’s time to become a Socio at patreon.com/grahamhunter



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Mar 10, 2020
Sven-Göran Eriksson: Mancini - The Art and the Fury
44:32

In part two, Sven chats more about Lazio’s famous Scudetto win in 2000. He and his players did their bit on the last day – then endured an agonising wait listening to the radio for Juventus to lose against Perugia.

At Sampdoria and Lazio, Roberto Mancini was Sven’s artist, a man who breathed football and went crazy when things went wrong. It was he and Gianluca Vialli who had insisted that Sven be their next manager at Samp.

We hear about Sven’s time as England coach – his one regret is that he didn’t employ a psychologist to focus on penalty shootouts. He did have the pleasure of getting to work with David Beckham, a man he thinks the world of. Sven even tried to sign Becks for Leicester City – but Victoria put the kybosh on that!

There’s chat about the magnificent Pavel Nedvěd, who was such a workaholic that Sven had to ban him from the Lazio training ground during the summer. Sven also describes how he had a contract to become Chelsea boss in front of him but pulled out after the tabloids got wind and accused him of treachery to the England cause. But he did the Blues one massive favour – he advised Roman Abramovich to buy the club instead of Spurs.

Lastly, we also find out about the ‘Gre-No-Li’; the three Swedes who set Italian football on fire during their spells at AC Milan in the 1950s.


Graham.



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Mar 05, 2020
Sven-Göran Eriksson: Lazio's scudetto, 20 years on
41:01

I travelled to Sven-Göran Eriksson’s home beside a glittering Swedish lake to hear about a glittering career. Sven managed numerous clubs, including both of Rome’s sides, and enjoyed more glory than Julius Caesar – notably four Coppa Italias, the UEFA Cup, the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and, twenty years ago, a rare Serie A for Lazio.

Sven’s success was partly due to his willingness to listen to his players. Even a teenager – albeit the genius Clarence Seedorf – was allowed to give him advice. Much of our conversation was about Lazio’s extraordinary title win, but Sven’s passage to that club was only gained by jilting Blackburn, and he was eternally grateful to Rovers owner Jack Walker for being so understanding. By the time he had assembled his holy trinity – Roberto Mancini, Siniša Mihajlović and Juan Sebastián Verón – he knew Lazio would win the Scudetto.

That Serie A was won after a ding-dong battle with Carlo Ancelotti’s mighty Juventus – a club Sven snubbed. He also waxes lyrical about another managerial legend – Marcello Lippi.

Brilliant stuff.

Graham.



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Mar 03, 2020
Champions League Q&A: Håland lights it up
43:18
In the second part of our Champions League Q & A, Erling Braut Håland and Timo Werner are among the footballers up for discussion.

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Feb 29, 2020
Champions League Q&A - Madrid 1 Man City 2
36:00

Hola


For our February Champions League Q and A, we got a lot around of questions around the Madrid-Man City tie, so we bundled them together for the first half of this episode. Part two coming soon.


G



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Feb 28, 2020
Robert Snodgrass: Prank Calls and Killer Balls
27:02

Are you ready to meet Robert Snodgrass, King of the Prank Calls? In part two, Snoddy talks us through his hilarious prank call routines. It's one of the funniest Big Interviews we've ever recorded. There's plenty football, too.

Enjoy!

Graham



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Feb 26, 2020