Analyzing soccer tactics has never been a strongpoint of US television, but if you haven’t being paying attention recently, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out that both Fox Soccer Channel and ESPN have made giant improvements to their coverage.
At Fox Soccer Channel, Warren Barton has come into his own during halftime of Champions League matches as he stands in front of a flat-screen monitor and routinely analyzes tactics alongside the soccer mastermind Bobby McMahon.
Over at ESPN, Julie Foudy has made vast improvements in her analysis since her abysmal work during Euro 2008 and is now actually quite tolerable and, believe it or not, enlightening.
Both Barton and Foudy do a superb job at using footage from the first half of games and marrying that with technology to pause key moments and use on-screen graphics to get their points across. And trust me, the analysis they share is not child’s play. They both point out very insightful tactical gems and do so quite convincingly.
If you haven’t been watching Foudy and Barton closely, I urge you to watch them more closely the next time you see their analysis on television. You may be pleasantly surprised as I was.