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New Managers, Negativity in Sports and League Transparency (This Week In Soccer)

In the sixth episode of This Week In Soccer, we tackle three topics — namely (1) To what extent should new managers adapt their style to inherited personnel? (2) What place does negativity have in healthy coverage of sport?” and (3) Are leagues obligated to be transparent? And to the benefits of accountability offset sacrificing control and flexibility?

There’s a myriad of sub-topics discussed including specific examples of NASL (and their transparency, or lack thereof), as well as managers including Jose Mourinho, Rafa Benitez and more.

The guests on this week’s episode are:

Laurence McKenna (EPL Talk Podcast host)

Richard Farley (, and

Kartik Krishnaiyer (Senior Writer, World Soccer Talk).

Subscribe to the World Soccer Talk channel on YouTube. And feel free to share us your feedback on the second episode in the comments section below.

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  1. Greg

    October 3, 2013 at 5:59 am

    There were a few very strange points in this podcast. Richard tells Laurence not to be concerned about the quality and accuracy of information provided about an issue because he’s just a consumer and, if he doesn’t like it, find another source.

    Richard then launches into an earnest discussion about the transparency of information – an issue that means absolutely nothing unless considered in the context of …ahem… the quality and accuracy of information provided.

    Someone please tell me he’s joking.

  2. Hugo

    October 1, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Oh Richard….

  3. jebus

    September 28, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Laurence is very passive aggressive and very annoying. He just keeps waffling till he tires the other guy out. He’s as annoying when he is angry as he is when he is tryin to be Alan Partridge

    • Laurence McKenna

      September 29, 2013 at 9:17 am

      Hi jebus,

      Great feedback. You’ve really nailed it! I think that the podcast/video can be a little waffley at times, I’ll try to take your comment on board for the future. I hope that it didn’t get in the way of your enjoyment of the video.

      Really appreciate you taking the time to leave your thoughts. If there were any moments that you can pick out in particular then it would be good to hear them.

      Do you like Alan Partridge too?



      • jebus

        September 29, 2013 at 9:50 pm

        Yes actually I also love Alan Partridge you mentalist. Sorry for calling you annoying. Insomnia has that effect on me & you are annoying (lol kidding)…. Great Podcasts .. keep up the good work

  4. Nick

    September 26, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Guys, This Week in Soccer is a seriously good show. I think you are all on to something. Please continue with this format, because in due time I think you’ll hear more of this kind of talk in the football ether, which will have meant you effected positive change.

    Regarding both transparency and click-questing puff pieces, ESPN (in the U.S.) might be going in an interesting, positive direction. The new ombudsman, Robert Lipsyte of this-guy’s-a-seriously-good-writer fame, has been highly critical of ESPN’s iron curtain approach and been fair in handing the network praise over its recent moves in the other direction. I mean, Keith Olbermann is back on the air. Having a guy like that, especially given his past with the network, can be nothing if not a sliver of hope that the mainstream media is at least experimenting with the idea that its consumers are not collectively as dumb as previously thought. I have always seen World Soccer Talk (previously EPLTalk, of course) as being more Olbermann than Tim Tebow. So, kudos to you guys, and I appreciate the FREE, intelligent, honest content that you all contribute to the conversations.

    This comment might seem like fawning, but I wanted to take a “positive action,” eh Laurence?

    • Laurence McKenna

      September 29, 2013 at 9:22 am

      Hi Nick,

      Thanks for the “positive action”!

      I think you’re right that it will take some experimentation with how the dynamic works. I wonder if it’s possible to do it in increments as opposed to a system overhaul. It’s the kind of thing that takes an editorial commitment (from my perspective) because otherwise we might mistake just saying more as transparency.

      Reputation is at stake here I guess…



  5. Garrett

    September 26, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Yet another podcast of unruly discussions. You definitely have to be ready for the back and forth arguing but I love it nonetheless. Very interesting views on MLS. I really don’t see the transparency that was referenced in the discussion, at least from a competitive standpoint. Besides the salaries and attendance numbers that are published (are they even accurate?), lots of league business is backroom dealings. Look at Dempsey’s transfer fee, the “retention funds” given to KC, and the ever elusive salary cap. Even the insiders don’t completely understand how the league works and scratch their heads at “board of governors” meetings. Anyway, keep up the good work.

    • Laurence McKenna

      September 29, 2013 at 9:28 am

      Hi Garrett,

      Thanks for your info on the MLS, will be handy for future discussions to integrate these. They also raise more questions.



  6. JCK

    September 26, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Wow…how annoying Can Richard be? He persists with his dogmatic opinions against all and any comers. How can he say that managers bear no responsibility to anyone, full stop?? So ignorant. I love this podcast, but his “blinders on” approach to these discussions is painful to listen to!!

    • Laurence McKenna

      September 29, 2013 at 9:26 am

      Hi JCK,

      You’re right, Richard and Kartik can be really annoying 😉

      I really appreciate working with him though because his willingness to grapple with ideas and mix them with such a passion and intelligence is a great way to progress the conversation. Even if it might not seem like it in this podcast, I think it can be important to have someone who is so sure of the ideas that they are conveying because it gives a grounding/soundboard for new ideas and angles to build from.



      • Hugo

        October 1, 2013 at 12:32 pm

        Passion and intelligent…assuming he’s not lying, which we now know is something he thinks is entirely justifiable.

  7. Arul

    September 25, 2013 at 3:19 am

    I loved the discussion guys, excellent football commentary which had some intriguing socio-political undertones 🙂

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