Ranks FC

Ranks FC

Welcome to Ranks FC - the new home of Football Ranks, once B/R Football's flagship podcast, now independently taking over both sides of the Atlantic. #RankSquadForever

All Episodes

It's very nearly the most wonderful time of the year (unless you're Sam) and that means it's time for the Ballon d'Or! After a year that has seen a lot of different players make their individual marks to shine sporadically, the big question is - who lifts that Golden Ball in Paris next Monday. We look through the main contenders and some outside bets as well, and talk through the pros and cons of our favourites for the award, ahead of the ceremony. There's also time for Things We Love, which this week includes Mauricio Pochettino's future job prospects, some sumptuous goals and assists from the weekend, the chaos of Fiorentina vs. Milan and a feelgood story from Roma about Mourinho's latest starboy. There's also a Melon of the Week, which has some real contenders this weekend, and a Gibberish Rankings which is the bits we can tell you from Sam's Stag Weekend in Liverpool. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Nov 24

1 hr 8 min

So the World Cup kicks off in a year and four days, the first teams are starting to secure their spots and qualification is starting to get to the sharp end. We let Jack loose on a couple of mini-rankings to take a look right now at the early front-runners in terms of contenders, the teams with a lot to do in the year ahead if they're going to compete, the dark horses to cause a stir at the tournament, and the big names in a little bit of jeopardy in terms of qualifying at all! There's also time for Things We Love which includes early thoughts on All of Nothing: Juventus, the unbelievable month of narrative ahead of Steven Gerrard and Aston Villa, and the redemption arc of Aleksandar Mitrovic which ended with him sealing Serbia's place at the World Cup, almost a year to the day after he missed the penalty denying his nation a place at EURO 2020. Melon of the Week sees us take a detour to Australia and the FFA Cup, and Sam's Gibberish is the weirdest things that he found on his weekend away in Paris. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Nov 17

1 hr 33 min

The last international break of the calendar year gives us a chance to breathe and take stock of just what we've seen so far this season - now we're around 11/12 games in. Trends have taken shape, teams have gelled (or not) and certain players have emerged already as leading Player of the Year candidates, We stretch our legs across Europe to rank the top three players so far across the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga and Ligue seasons, with plenty of honourable mentions and disagreement along the way. There's also Things We Love, which includes our new merchandise range with New Balance (football shirt, hoodie and walkout jacket), the Brendan Rodgers to Manchester United (and City!) rumours, and Hugo Duro emerging as a cult hero for the right reasons this time, at Valencia. Dean has to backtrack on some big claims last week to pick the latest Melon contender, and Sam's Gibberish takes on the form of his last three searches on Google - don't worry, it's clean. It's Ranks! If you'd like to join us over on Patreon, for two extra podcasts a week, we'd love to have you as part of our brilliant Ultras community! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Nov 10

1 hr 13 min

Antonio Conte is the new manager of Tottenham Hotspur, and if this season's performances are anything to go by, he has a job on his hands. We're joined by Nathan A Clark of Tottenham podcast The Extra Inch to take a look at five issues which need to be the pillars of Conte's reign at the Lane if he's to succeed where plenty of others have failed. From structuring possession to reigniting the midfield creativity to leaving the club in a better place than he found it, it's a comprehensive look at how things are going to need to pan out under the Italian, if Spurs are going to reach similar levels of success to that which he's achieved elsewhere, both short and long-term. There's also Things We Love, which includes Dean waxing lyrical about the brilliance of West Ham United this season under David Moyes, and how they're a very well-coached unit honed by the togetherness of the squad; and Jack singing the praises of Giovanni Simeone, who is having a purple patch at a resurgent Hellas Verona. Our Melon(s) come from South America and a riled-up fanbase, whilst the Gibberish Rankings discuss the perils of living through Autumn at least once a year. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Nov 3

59 min 56 sec

Manchester United 0-5 Liverpool. It's not a pretty scoreline if you're from the red half of Manchester, although it filled plenty of red hearts with unfathomable joy just down the M62. However, this feels like the straw that has broken the camel's back - and now plenty of fans are calling for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, legend that he is at Old Trafford, to be replaced. We take a look at the three biggest problems currently holding Manchester United back, and how they can be fixed; as well as examining the talk around the fact that Antonio Conte will be the next manager in the Old Trafford dugout. There's also Things We Love, which includes some thoughts on the Football Manager 22 Beta being released, the Premier League title race potentially being the greatest of all time this season, and the fact that La Liga had a sensational weekend across the board this week. There's a welcome return for a manager as Melon of the Week too, and the Gibberish Rankings looks at Dean's least favourite songs. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Oct 27

1 hr 4 min

Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar, Mbappé, De Bruyne, Lukaku, Benzema, Lewandowski, Oblak, Salah. The list goes on forever - star players who grace the Champions League, who we look to for entertainment every time the Gazprom returns for a midweek slot. But what about those ones that slip under the radar in the light of such radiant brilliance? The next generation playing for clubs who are outsiders, the quiet men in the middle of things, those outside of Europe's big five leagues? Sam walks us through five of the best talents in this season's Champions League who might just have ghosted off your radar, and why you should be looking to learn more. There's also Things We Love, which includes a Mo Salah love-in and a dissection of Osasuna's fast start to La Liga's season; whilst Melon in the Week comes from Serie A and the Gibberish Rankings are a list of things Sam struggles to find most in his own house. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Oct 20

59 min 26 sec

Top-tier club football returns this weekend, and with it, a glut of incredible games and teams to keep an eye on across the continent! To help us pick the most watchable teams so far this season, we enlisted the help of our friend Dougie Critchley, who some of you will know from his work on Football Daily and Euro Football Daily. We talked through some of the best sides on the continent, including some rampant Total Football proponents, a Bundesliga David and Goliath, and a pair of Scudetto challengers - before discussing a bit more why La Liga has struggled to ignite, and a couple of honourable mentions in France. Before that, Sam talks us through the heartwarming story of the Hernandez brothers playing together for France and winning an international trophy; and afterwards Dean returns to the Pod in live form, ranking the best bits from his time in America and dropping a (different football) Melon of the Week. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Oct 13

1 hr 16 min

The Championship, League 1 and League 2 are hotbeds of young talent in England. Not only have we seen talent in promoted sides thrive, but transfers up for the likes of Michail Antonio, Ollie Watkins, Jarrod Bowen, James Maddison, Jay Rodriguez, Joe Gomez, John Stones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Tim Cahill, Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale were all success stories, so there's some pretty good historical basis for players making the jump. So we're making this one a staple, and bringing back our old friend Ali Maxwell from Not the Top 20 Podcast and The Athletic's Football Tactics Podcast to talk to us about some of the most exciting talents in the EFL who we might well be seeing on the biggest stages in football at some point in the near future. We start with a look back at Ali's calls from last year, which included Rico Henry, Josh Da Silva and Michael Olise - before heading on to some of the names from this campaign - taking a look at Blackburn's Ben Brereton Diaz, Coventry City's Callum O'Hare, Stoke City's Harry Souttar, Luton Town's Elijah Adebayo and MK Dons' Matt O'Riley and what stage each of them are currently at. As ever, there's time for Things We Love, where Sam talks João Félix's masterclass against Barcelona at the weekend, and Jack discusses a weekend of shock results across Europe and the reverberations they could cause. Dean phones in a Melon of the Week and we finish with a Gibberish that could get Sam in some trouble at home. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Oct 6

1 hr 17 min

We're delighted to welcome the first of our special guests in Dean's absence with Jack and Sam being joined by Stephen Ganavas of Scouted Football to talk through some of the hidden gems in the Golden Boy shortlist. Having talked about the best teenagers in the world a few weeks back, Stephen ranked a few names in here less up in lights, but who you still really need to know - Mohamed-Ali Cho of Angers, Yeremy Pino of Villarreal, Karim Adeyemi of Salzburg, Illya Zabarnyi of Dynamo Kyiv and Josep Gvardiol of RB Leipzig. There was time for Things We Love too, where Sam discussed a particular touch from Emile Smith-Rowe in Sunday's North London Derby, and Jack gushed about the performance of Nicolo Barella in Inter's 2-2 draw with Atalanta at the weekend. Dean phoned in a Melon of the Week from California, and the Gibberish Rankings focused on the TV shows that are next on Sam's radar. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Sep 29

1 hr 5 min

There's always a few players who explode into life each season to make big waves for clubs that we didn't see coming. Whether it's comebacks or breakthroughs, across Europe and beyond, previously fringe options suddenly become crucial elements for a new manager or find themselves in the plans of an old one. We look at five of the most surprising options to have emerged this season so far. There's also, of course, Things We Love, which this week starts with a love letter to Ronald Araujo, and then descends into the Koeman in or out discourse. If you want a full breakdown of our thoughts on the next Barcelona manager, we've done a YouTube special here! We chat too about Danny Drinkwater's renaissance at Reading, and Napoli's perfect start to the Serie A season which included a training ground special on Monday night. Melon of the Week goes to a certain goalkeeper from the Europa League, although there's a nice fan-based counterpoint to that one; and Sam picks his favourite Pringles flavours in the Gibberish. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Sep 22

1 hr 9 min

Teenagers are fleeting. It feels like only yesterday that we were talking about Kylian Mbappé, Jadon Sancho and Erling Braut Haaland - but they're all into their 20's now and ineligible for consideration. So we take an early look at the brightest stars of the new generation - off the back of one of our Ultras asking if Jamal Musiala was one of the best teenagers in the world. He's in some elite company - Ansu Fati, Pedri, Florian Wirtz, Jude Bellingham, Nuno Mendes, Mason Greenwood, Gio Reyna, Eduardo Camavinga, Ryan Gravenberch - and the list goes on! Sam does his best to put them in the order of how they stack up against each other right now. There's also time for Things We Love - where Dean talks CR7's debut, Sam discusses seeing players live in the flesh again and Jack waxes lyrical on how good Roma-Sassuolo and Serie A as a whole were this weekend. As ever, there's a Melon of the Week, and Dean talks his personal problems in the Gibberish Rankings. It's Ranks! If you'd like to vote for us in the FCA Awards, we're in the International category for Best Club Content Creator - we'd really appreciate it! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Sep 15

1 hr

The transfer window has closed and we've had a couple of games in each league, so whilst pre-season predictions are fun, this feels like a good time to lock our selections in for the season - so it's time for a new game on Ranks. Welcome to 5x5. The concept is simple - we each pick how we think the top five in England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France are going to look when the curtain falls in May. We work through some brilliant backing of those pre-season picks, some drastic changes courtesy of the end of the transfer window, and some absolutely outrageous calls, mostly from Jack, where heart has clearly taken precedence over head. And of course, there's a Melon of the Week, a Gibberish Ranking and the poems are back to kick things off. It's Ranks! If you'd like to vote for us in the FCA Awards, we're in the International category for Best Club Content Creator - we'd really appreciate it! And of course, if you want more from us, you can join the Rank Squad Ultras on Patreon! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Sep 8

1 hr 8 min

Well, that was quite something, hey? A window like no other, that saw Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jack Grealish, Antoine Griezmann, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Gigi Donnarumma, Romelu Lukaku, Jadon Sancho, Achraf Hakimi and David Alaba all on the move. Oh, and Kylian Mbappé and Harry Kane eventually stay put after weeks and months of speculation. We're here to make sense of it, ranking the best five transfers across the window! We discuss some of the most valuable deals across the course of this summer, and why they're such important pickups for their respective new clubs. There's also time for us to discuss the Things We Love, which includes some bits on the biggest non-deals this summer and also some Narrative FC love; whilst Melon of the Week comes from Spain and Sam's Gibberish Rankings are about the very strange week he's had. It's Ranks! If you want more from us, with two extra episodes and a newsletter a week, and access to our Discord server, why not come join the Ultras on Patreon? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Sep 1

1 hr 2 min

With one week left in this transfer window, there's a lot of storylines still live. Dean walks us through three of the biggest storylines to keep an eye on in Kylian Mbappé, Richarlison and Harry Kane - and how those might play out; before Sam talks about three players who desperately need a move from their current homes, and Jack looks at three clubs who really need to get a move on. Before that though, there's the return of Things We Love, with Ruben Rochina's Granada comeback, the chaotic start of the Serie A season and Memphis taking to Barcelona like a duck to water all in need of serious discussion. And of course, there's Melon of the Week - three guesses, and a brilliant Gibberish Rankings from Sam to close things off. It's Ranks! If you'd like to vote for us in the FCA Awards, we're in the International category for Best Club Content Creator - we'd really appreciate it! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Aug 25

1 hr 9 min

The last of the big five European Leagues gets underway this weekend. Here's everything you need to know about the return of Serie A in Italy. So, from the title race between Juventus, Atalanta, Milan and Inter; to the European challenger powerhouses of Roma, Lazio and Napoli; to the wildcards of Fiorentina, Sassuolo and Sampdoria - we’ve got the lowdown on all the key points ahead of the openers this weekend.  But as with all these preview shows, we wanted to get some expert opinion on the other bits you should be keeping an eye on - so we brought in an old friend of ours, Marco Messina of the IFTV Channel and Podcast to give you the lowdown on the newly promoted teams of Empoli, Venezia and Saliternita - as well as which traditional clubs might struggle this time out, and who he expects to improve on last year's showing. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Aug 18

1 hr 20 min

It's a big week in football, and a big week for the podcast - and whilst Lionel Messi might have left Spain, there is still so much to be excited about in this season's La Liga season, which promises to be the most competitive in a long time. We start off with the title race, examining holders Atléti, solid but unspectacular Real Madrid and the house fire that is Barcelona ahead of the big kick-off; and talk through who the favourites are and how all three will look to make sure this season matters most to them. From there, we bring in some expert help - Spanish football expert and ESPN Editor David Cartlidge joins us to talk through some of the storylines you need to be keeping an eye out for this season - including Espanyol's charge from the Segunda to the Top 10, Granada's future, some underdog relegation shouts, and the chasing pack in the European Spots. We dial in on that chasing pack to finish - talking through what we're expecting from Sevilla, Real Sociedad, Villarreal and Jack's beloved Real Betis this season, and how they can close the gap on the top three in a year like no other. It's Ranks! If you've loved this week with it's extra episodes, and you want to be in with a chance of winning a football shirt of your choice, why not come and join the Ultras over on our Patreon - the best community in football! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Aug 13

57 min 4 sec

Well, we're all systems go on the Premier League, which begins in earnest this Friday as Arsenal take on newcomers Brentford in the curtain-raiser. We're here to take a look at just how we think things are going to pan out this season - from title contenders to survival hopefuls, European dreamers to mid-table slumpers and everything else you might need to know. Sam breaks the table down into five clusters, before we discuss how we think the Top Four will shake out. And, given the new season has begun, there's just enough time for the return of Melon of the Week, where a certain card-happy pre-season referee takes the first Melon of 21/22, and a Gibberish Ranking, where Sam raises the three changes he would make to improve the Olympic Games. It's Ranks! If you want to join our FPL League ahead of the new season, the link is here. And if you've enjoyed our taster week and want to join the Ultras permanently, we'd love to have you over on Patreon for two extra episodes a week, the chance to ask your questions in the Postbox, access to the Ranks Discord and our Torcida Newsletter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Aug 11

1 hr 7 min

Hello Rank Squad! It's a special week here on Ranks, where we're giving you a wee glimpse into what life is like as part of our Ultras community over on Patreon, where we do two extra episodes a week. The first of these is the Monday Postbox, where we break down the best (and worst) weekend's action across Europe and beyond, answering your questions on what went down in the world of football . Here's what's inside today's postbox. MESSI —How can PSG fit all these players into the same side? —Where does the defending come from if it's Messi/Hakimi down the right? —Short and long-term planning in Paris —Is this the mark of Ligue 1's rise to prominence —How do Barcelona look without Messi? —Reaction to Joan Gamper trophy, Memphis, Collado and beyond FRANCE —What a brilliant opening weekend —Monaco, Nice, Lille and Rennes all held —Brilliant Marseille are the most fun team around —PSG's second string against an impressive Troyes side —Lille haven't lost the spirit of last season's campaign! ENGLAND —Chelsea, Lukaku and what constitutes success —Who are the main contenders for the Champions League? —Lautaro, Tottenham, Arsenal and the battle for his signature —Christian Romero and who would be his best partner —Kane's return to training and the tricky situation —Arsenal's pursuit of James Maddison —Are City better than last season with Grealish in for Bernardo & Aguero? —Who will be the first manager to get the boot this year? ITALY —The mercurial rise and fall of Inter —Does Inter's breakdown mean the league loses its edge? —AC Milan: Will they try and play Giroud & Zlatan together? —Demiral to Atalanta - potentially a brilliant bit of business —Mourinho, red cards, and the passion alive at Roma RANDOM —If you could pick one manager in the world to be right now, who would it be? —Celtic, Rangers, Kyogo Furuhashi and is there a title race in the SPL? —Christine Sinclair and the Gold Medal she deserved —Harvey Elliott and fighting for a first team start —Neil Warnock, the Championship and Fulham getting kicked to death If you like what you hear, and you fancy coming to get involved on a permanent basis, we'd love to have you - you can find us over here. We'll see you on Wednesday for our full Premier League Preview and on Friday, where we look ahead to the La Liga campaign. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Aug 9

1 hr 5 min

Like clockwork, we are days away from the start of the return of domestic football in Europe's Big 5, with Monaco taking on Nantes in the Ligue 1 curtain raiser this Friday night. It's like there was no break at all! With that in mind, it's time for us to preview both the French and German leagues, with Germany's DFB-Pokal starting this weekend as well to kick things off. In France, we take a look at PSG's summer squad booster and discuss who is able to challenge Les Parisiens for the throne, discussing Monaco, Nice, Marseille and Lille as serious contenders for the crown; before we're joined by Alex Collings to talk through three other Ligue 1 storylines you can't miss—Rennes' dynamic wing duo, the emergence of Troyes under the City Football Group, and Lyon's season under the effervescent Peter Bosz. Then it's across the Rhine to Germany, where there's been a merry-go-round of managers in the Bundesliga. Bayern, whilst dominant, have a couple of teams circling for a potential slip-up under the new stewardship of Julian Nagelsmann - so we discuss the Bavarians alongside Marco Rose's Borussia Dortmund and Jesse Marsch's RB Leipzig. Then, Jasmine Baba joins us to talk through Wolfsburg's potentially problematic manager situation, Hertha Berlin's rollercoaster rebuild taking a new turn, and Borussia Mönchengladbach's potential under Adi Hütter. It's Ranks! If you'd like to vote for us in the FCA Awards, we'd love you forever. The voting is here and takes just a couple of seconds. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Aug 4

1 hr 26 min

In a summer dominated by international football, there was always going to be a few transfers that didn't get the love that they perhaps deserve. We're here to set that straight for you - talking everything from Leipzig's new goal machine up top and Brighton's 'computer' in the middle to the Nice Revolution and Leeds' flying full-back acquisition. There's also a return for Things We Love, where Dean discusses how important Raphael Varane could be for Manchester United, Sam talks through the absolute chaos that has been the football at the Olympics so far, and Jack waxes lyrical about how Marseille have been quietly picking up some very clever deals and steals under new boss Jorge Sampaoli. It's Ranks! If you'd like to vote for us at the Football Content Awards, in either the International Podcast or the New Content Creator category, you can do so using this link. We'd love it if you could! And you can submit your Blue Wire Hustle application here: http://bwhustle.com/join Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jul 28

50 min 58 sec

Oh, you thought this summer's international football was finished? Think again! The Olympic Games start this week in Tokyo and there's a host of football to be played between some very exciting squads. We're joined by the excellent Joe Donnohue of Scouted Football and Leeds Live to talk through the best narratives, the top teams in contention for the gold medal and some squads that we're excited about watching as we build up to a tournament which Neymar lifted for Brazil last time out! Before that, Jack pours some out for the Gold Cup, which has been brilliant entertainment in the most part, with a couple of drab 1-0's for the Baby USMNT aside, and dishes out some love for Jamaica's all-sorts-of-fun Reggae Boyz squad, a patchwork quilt of some of the Championship's finest players. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jul 21

1 hr 6 min

Well, there we have it. EURO 2020, done and dusted, and Roberto Mancini's young, bold and brazen Italy side took home the trophy by beating Gareth Southgate's resilient Three Lions on penalties, but England should be commended for taking the best side in the competition the full distance. In our final Euros episode, Sam and Jack take a look back through the best players in this years competition, ranking them on their performances; before Dean subs in to talk through the highs and lows of being part of a strange but wonderful tournament at Wembley. Finally, there's a quick spin through our favourite games, moments and Teams of the Tournament to round such a wonderful month of football off. It's been emotional. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jul 14

1 hr 19 min

Well, four have become two and Italy and England will face off in the EURO 2020 final at Wembley on Sunday having seen off the challenges of Spain and Denmark respectively, both over 120 minutes; although Mancini's boys also needed the penalty lottery and some big boy moves from Giorgio Chiellini to book their spot. We're joined by Muhammad Butt, Chief Writer at Squawka, to look back through two very different but equally entertaining semis, starting with England's win over Denmark, and how the Three Lions managed to secure their place in a major tournament final for the first time in 65 years; and then heading over to one of the games of the tournament in Italy vs. Spain, where two midfields did battle in a viewing experience from the ages. From there, it's eyes on the final - three reasons England should be confident, three reasons Italy should be confident and of course, a couple of predictions for good measure. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jul 8

1 hr 24 min

This week 16 became 8 as we saw the European Championships spring into knockout mode. There were shocks, spills, gaffes, glory and penalty shootouts; and the contenders from the Group of Death - France, Portugal and Germany - are all out of this competition, alongside the Netherlands. So, of all the nations left in, we ranked each team in terms of how likely they are to be lifting the trophy on the 11th July, given how they performed in their first knockout fixture, their routes to the final and their ability to get this done. It's pure, unfiltered, ranking - fresh off the back of the last game of the round finishing at 11pm. There's also our Tales from Wembley - a very hoarse Dean tells us about his experiences today as England saw off Germany 2-0, in all its detailed glory; whilst Jack and Sam discuss their trip to see Italy see off Austria in extra-time last Saturday. With all the twists and turns, that night feels a long time ago. It's Ranks! 21:04.374 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jun 30

1 hr 7 min

The Group Stages are done, Rank Squad, and so our rescheduled podcast looking back at it is here! We thought it would be best to rank all the qualified teams, 1-16, on their performances during their group stage campaigns - and then look at what that means going forward - from Sweden’s organised resolve to Belgium’s ability to shift gears; England’s defensive masterclass to Austria’s machinations down the left.  Then, we look back at three nations who hugely disappointed us and exactly why we felt so let down by their performances (yes, Turkey are in there, obviously); and pick out our favourite fixture each of the eight that lie ahead in the first knockout round. It’s Ranks!  If you want more from us, why not come join the Ultras over on Patreon, where you get eight extra episodes a month for the price of a pint for us to share? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jun 24

1 hr 26 min

Every team has now played once at the European Championships, meaning we have a bit more to work with in terms of looking at how this whole thing plays out. We break down some categories of things we've learned: looking at the best team performances so far, some of the bet individual performances that came from left-field, players that we were disappointed with and breakthrough stars of the first match round. From the flying squad of the Italian corps to Slovakia's shock win over Poland, full-backs who got run over defensively to young guns making a name for themselves on the biggest stage, we take in the entire first round of games and rank them. Then Sam and Jack talk some tactical quirks so far, taking a peek at three good and three bad quirks we've seen so far, in a segment inspired by Gennaro Gattuso's most famous press conference. It's Ranks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jun 16

1 hr 7 min

Three days to go and excitement at Ranks HQ has reached Fever Pitch. The European Championships, just the 364 days after they were supposed to begin, are finally upon us. The squads are (sort of) set, the players (we hope) are ready, and the storylines (we know) are just about to unfold.  So, without further ado, here is our behemoth Euro 2020 (or ’21) Preview episode, where we’ve each taken two groups and analysed the four teams in each in detail, looking at strengths and weaknesses, how it might be won and lost, and who we think is going to stand up and be counted when the going gets tough.  We talk tournament favourites, golden boots, dark horses; we predict the top two in every single group, look at some of our favourites to go through as third placed dynamos and pick out some of the best narratives that surround this tournament as we ready ourselves for lift off.  It’s Ranks!  If you’d like to join our Ultras for three episodes a week during the tournament, including Friday’s Ones to Watch, we’d love you to come join us for the price of a pint a month for us to share!   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jun 9

1 hr 36 min

It's Official! Ranks FC has signed a partnership with New Balance Football, which means that we're going to be working closely with everyone's favourite Boston-based Sports Brand on all their football endeavours, and we can't tell you how excited we are! For a chance to win our new Ranks FC kit designed by the NB Football gang, head over to our Twitter or Instagram and get sharing! This week, we spoke to newly signed New Balance star, Liverpool wonderkid, youngest player to ever play in the Premier League, a man who has been lighting it up for Blackburn Rovers in the Championship this season and one of the hottest prospects in the English game right now, Mr. Harvey Elliott, to dig into just what makes him tick. We talked his loan spell and growing up as a player in the Championship, his ambitions for next season at Liverpool, what he needs to add to his game to break the starting XI, his Liverpool fandom, why there will always be a place in his heart for Fulham, that list of haircuts, his favourite music artists and cuisines and his heroes growing up, as we got to know Harvey a bit better. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jun 4

29 min 29 sec

It's been a weird year, nobody is arguing with that. But in the gloom, in the darkness, some heroes have shone on the pitch for their respective clubs. Be these leaders of men, comeback stories, against the odds triumphs or all three, we asked friend of the pod Zach Lowy, co-founder of Breaking the Lines, to come back and help us pick five of the best personal storylines across Europe this season. And boy did he deliver - from Championship hitmen (to the chagrin of Jack and Dean), to versatile Spaniards playing every position under the sun, to champion defenders who went from one end of fans affections to another, to veterans who inspired unlikely title charges, this one had it all. Before that though, as ever, there was time for Things We Love, which this week included Dean talking about Romelu Lukaku's redemption arc and the very real possibility of him returning to the Premier League; Sam discussing one of the best games of the season in the U21 European Championships, and Jack talking about Aguero's unveiling, Barca-born, Betis-bred defenders returning to the Villamarin and his predictions coming true in both European finals last week. It's Ranks! Come and join the Ultras on Patreon for two extra podcasts a week, our Torcida newsletter and access to the Rank Squad Discord Community!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jun 2

1 hr 4 min

Europa League last week, Champions League this week! As the last (and biggest) annual game of the European football calendar comes hurtling at us, it’s time to turn our eyes to Porto (previously Istanbul) and look in great depth at this seasons Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea. Pep Guardiola vs. Thomas Tuchel. Kevin de Bruyne vs. N’Golo Kanté. Cityzens vs. Pensioners. We look at the key places the final will be won and lost, and dissect three reasons to be optimistic for both sides of a well-trodden clash.  Before all that though, there's time to discuss Things We Love - Sam starts us off with some thoughts on Mike Maignan heading to Milan and why we should be keeping a close eye on both Milan and Lille's business across the course of this summer; Dean talks about Luis Suarez's impact on this Atléti team and why his redemption arc was so scintillating this season; and Jack discusses Joaquín's new contract at Betis (he's 40 in a month!) before turning his head to an explanation of the new Europa Conference League and why you should be excited about it as a competition. There's also a Melon of the Season, which goes out to a previous multiple time MOTW winner who you might have thought Dean had forgotten about, and the Gibberish Rankings where we discuss Sam's own Melonish behaviour in the week just gone, and trust me, some of it is pretty special. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

May 26

1 hr 3 min

We're into the Endgame now, Rank Squad - the time for European finals, titles, silverware is upon us; and getting ahead of the game, we're looking ahead to next week's showdown in Gdansk between Manchester United and Villarreal. It's Ole Gunnar Solskjaer vs. Unai Emery. Edinson Cavani vs. Gerard Moreno. Red Devils vs. Yellow Submarine. We look at the key places the final will be won and lost, three reasons to be optimistic for both sides of the divide, and some transfers that could well be affected by the outcome of this game; before turning our focus to this year's Europa League as a whole - talking about the best matches we've seen in the competition, and those stories that made our hearts sing. Before all that though, there's time to discuss Things We Love - Dean starts us off with the big transfer news of the moment, that Harry Kane has reportedly asked to leave Tottenham and how he sees this saga playing out; Sam talks about homegrown talent at Southampton and seeing both sides of it - the returning hero Theo Walcott and the new blood in Nathan Tella; and Jack discusses Jenni Hermoso's performance in the UWCL Final and the fact that Karim Benzema is rumoured to be returning to the France setup for this summer's European Championships. There's also a Melon of the Week, which this time out goes to a very particular fan at the FA Cup Final, and the Gibberish Rankings where we discuss the YouGov poll about people in the UK believing they could fight gigantic animals. To the 8% of people who think they could beat an Elephant in a fight whilst unarmed, we're here to tell you that you couldn't. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

May 19

1 hr 8 min

As the season draws to it's close, the transfer window looms large and there are certain players who will be literally itching to get themselves to pastures new, for a myriad of reasons: to win trophies, to get their careers back on track, to get themselves some actual playing time. We look at five of the biggest names who will likely be (or at the very least should be) angling for an exit this summer. From a £120m man in Blaugrana to an England captain to a former Los Blancos golden boy, there are big moves across the continent on the tip of everyone's tongue, and we take a look how likely they are to leave and where they should ideally be heading. Things we Love this week discusses the madness left in the Serie A season and why you should be glued to it, Edinson Cavani's contract extension at Manchester United and what it means for the club, and a potential first Primeira title for Sporting CP in Portugal for the best part of two decades. There's also some time for Jack's mourning over Fulham's relegation from the Premier League, Dean to award another Melon of the Week and Sam's Gibberish Rankings for Things That Should Be Easier To Do. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

May 12

1 hr 6 min

No sooner had the Mourinho Bus left North London, then it rocks up in Rome! In a bombshell move, Roma announced that Paulo Fonseca would be leaving on Tuesday morning, and that Jose Mourinho would be taking over next season in the Eternal City on Tuesday afternoon - the world of football waits for nobody.We break down just how this might play out, whether this is a move that might see JoMo get his MoJo back, and which players at Roma might well thrive under the Special One. Then we head into our big ranking, which this week involves Sam taking all 20 of the Premier League's clubs and ranking their record signing - based on how their careers have gone so far, but also projecting onto their futures, and their values in the wider world right now. It's a complex one - how do you compare Chris Wood with Adam Webster with Paul Pogba, but we give it our best shot. And of course, there's just time for a Melon of the Week from the DFB-Pokal semi-finals before we close things off. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

May 5

1 hr 14 min

It's a No. 1 special over here at Ranks, a glimpse behind-the-curtain and between-the-sticks, as we are joined by Lee Robinson, former professional with Rangers and a host of other clubs, and now one of the brains behind The Modern-Day Goalkeeper - three brothers trying to revolutionise the training and perception of young goalkeepers in the game. First up, we rank three ways that the boys are changing things - from training schedules to specialised gloves to altering perceptions around height; before Lee ranks his favourite five goalkeepers and just why he rates them so highly. As ever, we start with Things We Love, which this week includes the latest from the Bundesliga Manager Merry-Go-Round with Julian Nagelsmann making the hop from RB Leipzig to Bayern Munich; the title races across Europe which we're glued to as we reach the end of the season; and Aston Villa's Keinan Davis finally breaking his Premier League duck on the 29th attempt. Melon of the Week goes to a referee in Spain who absolutely fluffed his lines at the weekend, before Sam rounds things off with a Gibberish Ranking of all the injuries he's currently 'suffering' from. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Apr 28

59 min 5 sec

Well, no such thing as a quiet week in football, but I don't think we've ever had 72 hours quite as mad as the last 3 days have been. With the announcement, the fallout, the breakdown and the backdown of an entire organisation in such a short time period, we try to make sense of just what went down regarding The Super League. We take stock of the full timeline of Tuesday's wild events up to recording, react to the seeming death of the Super League at this point and discuss Ed Woodward's resignation and what that might mean for Manchester United going forward (especially in terms of the Glazer ownership). Then we look to the future, opening up the can of worms which relates to the punishments of the "Big Six" - points deduction? relegation? Is that fair on the players or the fans who were the best outlet in this fight against the ESL? Is Juventus' demotion during Calciopoli our closest reference point? And can we use this swell of on-the-ground energy for good moving forward; to tackle racism, elevate the women's game and take back clubs into the hands of fans, with the same ferocity? Finally, we raise some love for the clubs who have been steadfast during this - the clubs that if you're feeling disillusioned with the game right now, that you might be able to draw some inspiration from. We talk the upstart rebels Atalanta in Italy, the young pretenders in France who have set this year's title race alight - Lille; and the mighty conveyor belt that is the backbone of Ajax. We also talk about supporting grassroots football local to you, with Dean waxing lyrical over Walton & Hersham, and Jack calling up his beloved Hanwell Town FC; before we pour out some love for the model of German football and the Bundesliga's commitment to fan investment and ownership. Finally, Sam talks about why he got angry on his first visit to Crystal Palace in a Gibberish, and Dean picks a non-ESL-related Melon of the Week. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Apr 21

1 hr 3 min

We're careering towards the end of the season, so we thought we'd shine a little light on the players who have exploded into the public consciousness and into our hearts in the 2020/21 season. From the Premier League to the Bundesliga to La Liga, we've experienced some of the most amazing stories as unknown quantities have brought the limelight streaming down on themselves with incredible performances. From London to Leeds, Barcelona to Bavaria and beyond, Sam ranks his favourite breakouts from a season like no other. In Things We Love, Dean discusses the possibility of Sergio Agüero taking the leap across the Pennines from Manchester to Yorkshire, and linking up with Marcelo Bielsa in the process; Sam discusses the new Ranks FC Discord server and the watchalong we enjoyed with El Clásico taking place on Saturday night; and Jack waxes lyrical about the dramatic nature of the relegation battle in Portugal's Primeira Liga. There's a Melon of the Week from lower down the English Football Pyramid as teammates turn into mortal enemies, and the Gibberish is a very special outside contribution based on club badges. It's Ranks! Come and join the Ultras on Patreon for two extra podcasts a week, our Torcida newsletter and access to the Rank Squad Discord Community!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Apr 14

59 min 44 sec

It's that time of year again, where the debate begins to rage about who the Premier League's best player has been over the course of the last eight months. It's never easy, but with no obvious front-runner this year, we thought it was a good time to explore just who should be getting the nod for the domestic individual award that causes more debate than any other. We discuss a crop of City's best, as well as talismans for United, Tottenham and Aston Villa, as we head into the final straight for the PL campaign. Before that though, there's time for Things We Love: Sam talks Fiorentina's 21-year-old Serbian hitman Dušan Vlahović, Dean discusses the ins-and-outs of La Liga's twisting title tensions, and Jack waxes lyrical about the languid love-in for Lingard now that the emotional yoke has been removed from his shoulders. There's also time for a Melon of the Week from the other side of North London for once, and the Gibberish rankings are based off of a very special message we got. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Apr 7

1 hr

It's an all-Basque affair in the Copa del Rey final as Athletic Club take on Real Sociedad for the trophy this weekend. They've only had to wait a year! In this special episode, made in partnership with New Balance Football, we delve into a gargantuan game that has more on the line than silverware - this Euskal Derbia is about local bragging rights, regional pride, and a first Copa del Rey since the 1980's for one of the Basque Country's two big guns. To give you what you need to know ahead of the game, we —recap the road to the final, including the elimination of both El Clásico giants —pick three players who you we think are most likely to influence the result —interview Athletic Club's Sales Director Germán Mugueta about what winning would mean to the Bilbao club —spotlight three things to keep an eye out for in the game, ranging from David Silva's influence to Yuri Berchiche's overlaps to the possibility of the trumpet making a reappearance —talk to La Liga Lowdown & Txoko Pod's Beñat Gutiérrez about the rivalry between Athletic and La Real and why it makes the game special There's also a giveaway of a special edition commemorative Athletic Club Copa del Rey final shirt, which you can find over on our Twitter, @RankSquad, brought to you by our partners at @NBFootball - so make sure you head over there to find details of how to enter! And to follow all our game day coverage on Saturday, drop us a follow on our Instagram - @rank.squad It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Mar 31

1 hr 9 min

Draws done, brackets done, and the roads to Istanbul and Gdańsk respectively are paved for Europe's elite. So it's time to take a look closer at how these might play out. First up, the Champions League, where Sam ranks Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Porto and Chelsea on the likelihood of them holding ol' Big Ears to the sky on a balmy evening at the Atatürk Stadium, and why. Then it's over to Jack to take a look at his beloved Europa League - where Dinamo Zagreb, Villarreal, Arsenal, Slavia Prague, Granada, Manchester United, Ajax and Roma remain to do battle in order to bring the storied Coupe UEFA back home from Poland. We take a look at each of their chances, and each's strengths and weakness as we career towards's the competition's conclusion. Finally, Dean takes charge of the end to give us a Melon of the Week straight out of the classic social media muddles archive, and ranks his favourite Takeaways during Lockdown in this week's Gibberish. It's Ranks! If one pod a week isn't cutting the mustard any more, and you want two extra episodes and a newsletter weekly for the price of just a pint a month, why not come join us on our Patreon?  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Mar 24

1 hr 12 min

It's the third instalment of March's InterviewSZN on Ranks FC as we welcome Hugo Scheckter to the pod to pull back the curtain on what life is like in the world of Player Care - in his words, "anything that's not on-the-pitch or medical!" Hugo was Player Care Manager at Southampton and West Ham United in the Premier League, as well as IndyEleven in the US, and explained to us the ins-and-outs of a field that is still relatively young in the football sphere - ranging from how to get into it, the best and worst parts, how players are welcomed, his funniest experiences with players and the future of Player Care as a whole. There's also Things We Love, where Dean talks about the title race in La Liga, Sam discusses the impending U21 European Championships and Jack pours some love out for New Balance's special edition Rose Lavelle boots, which are full stop exquisite. There's also a special Melon of the Week, dedicated to a certain late-arriving Premier League skipper. Thanks for listening, Rank Squad! Make sure you're subscribed to the pod on whatever platform you use, and if you want to give our Patreon a spin in March's free trial, come join us at patreon.com/ranksfc.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Mar 17

1 hr 8 min

March InterviewSZN continues on Ranks FC, as we welcome FA intermediary and Head of Football at Distinct Agency, Sonny Coleman, to the pod to give us an insight into the world of being a football agent. We discuss his route into this side of the game, the day-to-day of what as entails, how the agency world is changing, and his engagement with the players he represents, as well as Sonny's roots in football and how that stemmed from his Dad Chris - former professional and manager, with spells at Fulham, Wales, Real Sociedad and Hebei China Fortune. Thanks for listening, Rank Squad! Make sure you're subscribed to the pod on whatever platform you use, and if you want to give our Patreon a spin in March's free trial, come join us at patreon.com/ranksfc.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Mar 10

1 hr 7 min

There's a familiar voice in the Ranks FC studio this week, and not because it's a returning guest, but because it's the Voice of FIFA, Bundesliga Broadcast Behemoth, and one of the finest commentators to ever grace the microphone, Mr. Derek Rae, who joins the Rank Squad to talk all things commentary. We start off with Derek's own background and how he started life behind the mic, before taking a waltz through five pillars of his glittering commentary career: Preparation, Pronunciation, FIFA, Clichés and Experiences - to get the complete package of just what makes the great man tick when he's in the booth. Thanks for listening, Rank Squad! Make sure you're subscribed to the pod on whatever platform you use, and if you want to give our Patreon a spin in March's free trial, come join us at patreon.com/ranksfc.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Mar 3

1 hr 26 min

On Monday, the UK announced its roadmap towards a world without lockdowns, a world which screams to us - full stadiums and football as we love it. It's not quite a global movement yet, but a glut of vaccines means that wherever you are, it feels like the moment is coming where we can look to an open sky once more. Never again will we take a trip to a new ground or to see the players we love, for granted. With all that in mind, we thought we'd talk about our post-lockdown football dreams and what they might be like - and there's a lot going on here. From VAR decisions we don't understand to train journeys around the country; from trips abroad to stadiums we're gasping to experience to shared moments with our mates; seeing unique players in the flesh and enjoying a sense of community wherever you're watching the game. These are what we can't wait for, but we hope they'll inspire your own dreams about the beautiful game as well. In a particularly harmonious episode, Things We Love covers the Fantasy PL leak that has wound up Aston Villa, Bayern-conquering Eintracht Frankfurt's march into the top four, and the record of Villarreal's Gerard Moreno, who NEEDS to be on the plane in Spain's squad for EURO 2020 (2021). There's a Melon of the Week too, and Sam ranks things that should be easy, but are actually hard - ending in a lesson on how not to whistle. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Feb 24

1 hr 3 min

You didn't think we were going to miss this opportunity, did you? The return of the Champions League means the return of the Champions League's cooler little brother - because the Europa League, like the UEFA Cup before it, is where the cool kids hang out. Europe's most exciting club competition, back with a Round of 32 that contains some explosive match-ups and some players to watch. We take a look at some of the tournament favourites - AC Milan, Manchester United, Napoli and Leicester City; some dark horses - Lille OSC, PSV Eindhoven, Shakhtar Donetsk, Villarreal; and the most exciting teams to watch - Real Sociedad, RB Salzburg, Bayer Leverkusen and SC Braga; as well as a bit of a deeper dive on some of our players to keep an eye on, namely Yusuf Yazıcı and Wenderson Galeno. In place of Things We Love, there's a whole opening segment dedicated to the appointment of Marco Rose as the next Dortmund boss, why German clubs have a habit of announcing deals like this and Dayot Upamecano's move to Bayern before the window in which they happen, and what the former Salzburg man will have to do to turn things around at the Westfalenstadion. There's also, of course, a Melon of the Week (for an entire fanbase, no less), some love for Pancake Day, and a Gibberish Rankings where Sam talks about everyday scenarios that make him happy. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Feb 17

1 hr 6 min

That time of year is getting closer, Rank Squad. Oh yes, it's time for European nights, under the lights - as next week the Champions League takes flight again for its knockout stages. It might be a tad premature, but who's asking - we're taking a deep dive on the Round of 16. From the teams who are in the best form, to the best chances of an upset, to the most entertaining fixtures - we've got the mini-rankings that will guide you through the return to the European stage - because a lot has changed since this draw was made! Dive in for the Champions League preview you need before we go again. As ever, we start with Things We Love though, and this week Sam and Dean are waxing lyrical about Raphinha and Phil Foden respectively, whilst Jack shows some love to the title race in Turkey, with a three-team split at the top of the Süper Lig meaning that once again, it looks like it's going all the way in Istanbul to decide a winner between Beşiktaş, Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe. And, to finish, Dean has four contenders for Melon of the Week, including a belated one for an Arsenal goalkeeper, a certain Premier League ref, a Southampton defender with the worst single game points total in Fantasy PL history and a club who have had one of the worst weeks of all time; before Sam ranks his favourite times of day in lockdown Britain to round things off. It's Ranks! If one pod a week isn't cutting the mustard any more, and you want two extra episodes and a newsletter weekly for the price of just a pint a month, why not come join us on our Patreon?  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Feb 10

1 hr 4 min

This January might have seen deals more scarce than usual, but there was still plenty going on as the transfer window raged across the first month of 2021. We're here to pick up what was hot (and a little of what was not) as Sam ranks the best five deals that have happened in the month just gone. With Liverpool finally signing some centre-back cover (for one of which we sought expert advice from our friend, NTT20's Ali Maxwell), Atléti bringing in a top marksman, Brighton bolstering the Latin cohort down on the South Coast, Gladbach-ing up their midfield options and the Cobham Cannavaro switching Chelsea for Milan, there's plenty to discuss - and we go around the grounds to look at a few deals that perhaps slipped under your radar too. There's also, of course, a Melon of the Week (and it's a huge shock choice from Dean) and we try to rank every Bean in the Gibberish Rankings. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Feb 3

59 min 24 sec

He's back, ladies and gentlemen! The Rank Squad were joined once again by Harry Brooks, head coach at Round World Royals, to discuss five more players who could do with a change of position or system to up their game. This time it's Tanguy Ndombele, Jadon Sancho, Gareth Bale, Mo Salah and Marco Asensio in the spotlight, as we move them around to find their sweet spot. There's also a discussion, fuelled by Jack mostly, about whether Harvey Barnes could function as a No.9 for Leicester. Before we get into that though, there was the little matter of Thomas Tuchel becoming Chelsea boss today, replacing the departing Frank Lampard. We dive into what we can expect from a Tuchel team at Stamford Bridge - and the pros and cons of what the German will bring as a coach. There's also room for a Melon of the Week, and Sam ranks the 'things he's most upset about missing because of COVID' in today's Gibberish Rankings. It's Ranks! If you love the pod and once a week isn't enough for you, why not come and join our Ranks FC Ultras over at Patreon, where you get two extra podcasts and our Torcida Newsletter every week, for just a couple of quid a month?  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jan 27

1 hr 7 min

Across Europe we're seeing a season where the title races are more open than ever before - in England five points separate the top six, in Italy there's at least four sides with a shot at the Scudetto, in France top spot is currently decided on goal difference, in Spain it's a new challenger sitting pretty at the summit, and in Germany the recent wobble from the Champions has contenders getting excited. We take a look at them to see where the drama is most likely to go down (and Jack talks a bit about the Primeira, whilst we're at it). In Things We Love, Dean gives us the latest on some transfer news including Dele Alli's proposed channel hop to PSG and David Alaba's future; Sam pours some love on Inter's centre-back sensation Alessandro Bastoni, who was exceptional against Juventus on Sunday; and Jack gives some props to Iñaki Williams and Athletic Club, after their Supercopa win over Barcelona, which will be celebrated long into the future in Bilbao. There is of course, a Melon of the Week - handed out to a certain Roma Centre-Back after his self-destructive performance against arch-rivals Lazio in the Derby della Capitale last weekend - and Dean takes over to do a Gibberish Ranking of the Subscriptions he made during a year mostly spent indoors. Talking of subscriptions, if once a week isn't enough to scratch your Rank Squad itch, why not come and join us over at Patreon for eight extra podcasts a month? It's loads of fun, we promise! It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jan 20

1 hr 3 min

As we look forward to a new calendar year stuffed with football, it's worth looking back at 2020, and the Rank Squad teamed up with EA Sports FIFA 21 to take a look at the contenders for 2020's pantheon - a year unlike any other. We talk some of the biggest names from across Europe, including a couple from Champions of the Continent, Bayern Munich, from the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and a couple of attackers from Barcelona and Juventus who you might have heard of. There's plenty of debate across the board, especially in the problem positions of right-back and centre-midfield, but in the end, we settled on an XI we were *mostly* happy with. There's time, as ever, for a Melon of the Week - which this week has a personal tinge for both Dean and Jack, and Sam's Gibberish Rankings, which focus on some of the weirdest jobs to be found across the globe. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jan 13

56 min 27 sec

Happy New Year, Rank Squad! It's our first episode of 2021and we thought it was time to wheel out a classic (with a twist) and take a look at some predictions for 2021. Dean bravely took on the mantle that Sam vacated to look ahead to the year to come, making predictions based on a big transfer saga that's been rumbling on for a while between Dortmund and United, his attendance at games, Cristiano breaking international records, will Messi stay or will he go and who will win the European Championships this summer! Sam pipes up with his own couple of predictions about Messi and Tottenham, separately (!) and we take a look back at his predictions from last January, which to be fair to him, have been slightly affected by a worldwide pandemic and the cancellation of football for a couple of months. There's also things we love, where Sam discusses Ralph Hasenhüttl's tears at beating Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool, and Jack talks about Nadiem Amiri's Puskas winner being scored just two days into a new calendar year. Finally, Dean crowns a Melon of the Week from El Gran Derbi in Spain, and Sam's Gibberish Rankings take a look back at his most-used websites in 2020. It's family-friendly, don't worry. It's Ranks!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Jan 6

50 min 57 sec