“On the third day of Christmas my true love brought to me….a knowledgeable person on the TV”
We love Twitter. It is like visiting a Roman Forum back in 50BC, stopping to chat to all and sundry about everything under the sun. Want some chat about the wrong tactics used by Inter Milan at the weekend, then touch base with Jonathan Wilson or Zonal Marking. Fancy trying to understand what on earth is going on at Upton Park then have a chat with Jacob Steinberg, Mark Segal from ITV Sport, Matt Law from the Express or Dan Silver from the Daily Mirror. And want to get a Pro’s view on life now or as it was a few years ago then have a chat with Martin Allen, Garry Nelson or Bolton Wanderers Kevin Davies.
But some stand out more than others as people who really know their onions. These are people who make a living out of writing on the beautiful game, and often aren’t afraid to speak their mind. So here are our three favourite journalists from the world of football.
Sid Lowe – Dr Sid, as he is called by the Guardian’s Football Weekly podcast team is known as THE most knowledgeable resource on Spanish football there is. Sid has been reporting back from Spain for the thick end of ten years in which time he’s translated for David Beckham, Michael Owen and Thomas Gravesen at Real Madrid, worked on Real Madrid TV and occupied a seat in every press box in La Liga and beyond. He’s often mocked on the Football Weekly Podcast for continued usage of the phrases ‘Rubbish’, ‘Caveat’ and ‘Hang on minute’ whilst trying to control his dog in the background. Sid writes for The Guardian, FourFourTwo and World Soccer Magazine. He was expertly interviewed by Danny Last last year here.
Jonathan Wilson – Some people can make any subject sound interesting and that applies 100% to Jonathan Wilson. He first came to my attention with the publication of his book “Behind the Iron Curtain”, a journey into football in the old Eastern bloc. Some of his stories inspired me to travel to the likes of Moscow and Belgrade and in 2006 I was lucky enough to sit alongside him on an “experts” panel about England’s forthcoming trip to Zagreb to face Croatia for the EnglandFans London group. He followed up this with his book about tactics, Inverting the Pyramid, which again is a top read. He regularly contributes to The Independent, FourFourTwo magazine and the Daily Telegraph. He is the football correspondent for the Financial Times and the Eastern European football correspondent for The Guardian. Wilson has most recently appeared as the Eastern European football expert on the “The World Football Phone-In” on BBC Radio 5 Live. But above all he seems to know everything about every footballer in the world. Special!
James Richardson – One of our high points of the week is the Guardian’s Football Weekly podcast, which features a host of characters but is nearly always anchored by AC Jimbo. Richardson was the anchor of Football Italia on Channel 4 from 1992 to 2002. During his time on Football Italia, Richardson was joined by Paul Ince and Paul Gascoigne during their periods in Italian Football. Between 2002 to 2005, he presented British Eurosport’s coverage of Serie A as well as on Bravo TV’s live coverage of Serie A and Gazzetta Football Italia.
Richardson had a brief spot on Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday as an on-the-street reporter. So basically he knows what he is talking about in terms of Italian football, but it is the quick wit and tomfoolery that keeps us listening…..Read his interview with Danny Last et al here.
“Of course this wouldn’t be a legitimate football podcast without mentioning the Old Firm derby. Right that’s that done. Serie A …”