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Detailing The Pyramid, Part 1: Interview with Jonathan Wilson And Others

Earlier this month, exclusive members of EPL Talk Pro received the first part of a new audio documentary series that was entitled Detailing The Pyramid. Parts two and three are in the works, but we thought we’d give EPL Talk readers a taste of what you’re missing.

Thus, we present to you, as a special treat:

Detailing The Pyramid

Looking at the current role of tactical analysis in football coverage

Part 1:
Meeting The Growing Demand

Richard Farley

Executive Producer:
Christopher Harris

March 8, 2011.

To listen to the audio, press play on the above audio player. Or feel free to click the “Download” button to save the audio to your computer, mobile device or portable music player.

In part one of this three part series, Richard Farley interviews some of the leading experts on football tactics, such as:

Jonathan Wilson (The Guardian)

Michael Cox (Zonal Marking)

Andy Brassell (BBC World Football Phone-In)

Bobby McMahon (Fox Soccer Report)

Grant Wahl (Sports Illustrated)

Richard Whittall (A More Splendid Life)

Oliver Kay (The Times)

Luke Moore (Football Ramble)

The experts discuss, among other things, how we got to where we are today with football tactics, the influence of Wilson’s book Inverting The Pyramid, and much more.

We hope you enjoy this first episode. Parts two and three will be released in the coming weeks to EPL Talk Pro members only. Parts two and three will not be released to the general public. The only way to get them will be to sign up for EPL Talk Pro for $4.99/month.

To learn more about the benefits of becoming an EPL Talk Pro member, for just 16 cents per day, visit or sign up today.

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  1. David Guarnero

    March 28, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Thank you for the free preview. I thought while Richard is not quite Ira Glass yet (who is?) I think he did a great job. I did find all the quick cuts a little much though. I had some trouble keeping up with who was who (not being as used to non-American English accents might not help). All in all great job!

  2. Sanjay

    March 25, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    I’ll be honest, I was a bit skeptical about EPL Talk Pro when you first came up with the whole idea, but I’m almost sold listenting to this podcast. I hope other listeners, were able to tell the difference between this and the regular EPL Talk Podcast. But, the production value with the music and everything else was great. I’m definitely thinking of getting a pro subscribtion. Are you going to give us a preview into other content that you might have on EPL Talk Pro? You know like say, articles or videos that you might have on there.

    • The Gaffer

      March 26, 2011 at 7:05 am

      If you’re on the fence, I would recommend just springing for the $4.99 cost. That way, you can get Jesse Chula’s article about a revolutionary new online soccer game. Plus, you’ll get parts 2 and 3 of Detailing The Pyramid when they’re released (next week). And you’ll get a video documentary as soon as it’s released. Plus, you’ll be entered into a contest to win a Premier League jersey.

      We will have a few more previews of content but not for a few weeks. Everything goes to EPL Talk Pro members first. Some of it will be released as a preview, but it’s usually weeks later. Sign up for EPL Talk Pro today at

      The Gaffer

  3. BC

    March 25, 2011 at 12:30 am

    These are unsolicited responses from a listener, but I think they are meant to be constructive so let’s hope you guys take the comments in the spirit in which it is intended from a listener who listens to both TAL and loads of football related podcasts around. I’m also on nyquil so I hope the comments are lucid.

    This kind of podcast is an attempt at doing almost radio theatre, not just your regular conversational podcast of guardian football weekly. This type of podcast is trying to tell a story. But radio is a theatre of the mind, and that makes it a very unique skill for people to master.

    The podcast suffers from very choppy narration. The narrator is trying to copy (his admitted this much himself) Ira Glass so much that his syntax was all over the place. Awkward pauses were everywhere, which made it even harder to follow. In everyday conversations, such awkward syntax simply doesn’t exist, and when they do they can be conversationally corrected, bypassed, and the communicative intent are easily recovered. But when it’s in recorded form, to a third party listener who are not in dialogically involved, it becomes very difficult to follow. It’s the analogical equivalent of grading a college essay in which the paper is obviously trying to come off more well research or intelligent than their paper suggests. It’s very easy to detect (I’m outing myself as a Ph.D candidate who grades a lot of these papers) when compared to the real deal. But before you get defensive, let me point out that Ira Glass himself admitted that his earlier shows suffered from these kind of problems. Indeed, this is something that’ll come with experience. But I would encourage you to suppress the urge to pontificate and improvise when it seems like you clearly have a story to tell. I’m not even sure you’re doing that, and if the narrator isn’t, then it suggests that the script needs polishing. I personally suffered from that during the early career of doing academic presentations, and it takes a lot of work (running drafts and drafts of scripts) to make it sound natural, and i’m sure i still have problems with it now after 5 years.

    Another issue I find with the episode is that the interchange between the narration and the interview clips was WAY to frequent and fast. TAL’s great strength is the ability to keep the number of subjects down so we can follow the players through the journey. One of the episodes they did about the financial meltdown had 5 interviewees and they kept apologizing about having too many people for the listeners to keep up with. Again, when I give a talk myself I keep the interviewee quotes that I present to a minimum of 3 (and when I do interviews I usually end up with about 20 to 50 respondents). While I’m not sure if academic talks are the same thing as podcasting but I think the point should be taken, when communicating a story verbally the less characters the easier it is to follow.

    I won’t say whether I find this sample of your new venture is enough to convince me to subscribe to paid content. However, I do think this is an interesting direction with promise and I hope it works out for you all and I’m sure it can only get better.

    • The Gaffer

      March 25, 2011 at 7:35 am

      BC, thanks for the constructive criticism. I personally loved the episode and found the choppiness enlightening because I had no idea what was coming next since it wasn’t so formulaic.

      The Gaffer

  4. MG

    March 23, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    Nice. Thanks 🙂

    • The Gaffer

      March 24, 2011 at 7:01 am

      Thanks MG. I glad you enjoyed it.

      The Gaffer

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