Rank #1: SPM 113: Do we treat some players differently?
The football: Are some players treated differently than others? If two players dive to win a penalty for example, are their transgressions considered differently if they don't share the same club, position, nationality or race? And why do we default to certain terms when describing non-white players?
The food: Brunch twice removed. Brunch because there's a collection of pastries, fruit and yoghurt to be enjoyed. Twice removed because Chinch instructed his wife's daughter to go to M&S to buy it all.
Your correspondence continues to be very gratefully received, so thank you!
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Jan 23 2019
Rank #2: SPM 107: Commentary
The football: The Art of Commentary. Football commentators are the people who provide the soundtrack to every game, but what makes them good (or bad!), and how do they go about their job? We ask you to ask our commentator Steve how it works; he gives the what, while pundit Andy gives you a why. Which is actually kinda how it works.
Thanks for all your questions and comments for this week's episode! Any more? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dec 12 2018
Rank #3: SPM 3: Is there ever anything new in football?
Dec 21 2016
Rank #4: SPM 93: What is Beautiful Football?
The football: in what guise is the game at its most beautiful - and who's to say what style of football we should admire above all others? Plus Chinch reveals the zen-like preparation that helped him hone a left foot that could "open a can of beans", and Set Piece Menu bingo returns for the 2018/19 season.
The food: chocolatey goodness from Mrs Ferris' latest business trip to Croatia. Trips that are in no way becoming suspiciously frequent...
Your correspondence remains crucial to the content. @setpiecemenu on twitter, Facebook.com/setpiecemenu on email email@example.com
Sep 12 2018
Rank #5: SPM 112: Where Is The Line?
The football: Where's the line? You know, the line that separates gaining a fair advantage with unsportsmanlike behaviour? And why have we decided that some things are allowed, and others not? Includes our thoughts on spygate, and long-grass-gate...
The food: Chinch's Chop and Lob Salad, prepared by Hugh. Involves healthy things that the athlete of the group recommends we all eat: quinoa, broccoli, asparagus, feta and orange; all chopped and lobbed in a bowl.
Get in touch via twitter @setpiecemenu
Jan 16 2019
Rank #6: SPM 72: What's the Point?
The football: What's The Point? So many fans support a team that'll never win anything, reach Europe, or maybe even play good football; some will follow a club that might get promoted, but then get relegated straight away. So what's the point, and why do we still love our team?
The food: a New York-themed brunch from Steve, even though he returned from the city (that's famously off the beaten track) nearly three weeks ago.
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Apr 18 2018
Rank #7: SPM 135: The Legitimate Football Voice (Part 1)
The football: Part one of our summer special series of 2019! Over the next four weeks we're talking about legitimate football voices. Why has football discourse become so polarised, fractious and angry, particularly towards the end of last season? We discuss why so many believe there is a lack of legitimacy in voices other than their own.
The food: A beige buffet. Ever had a meeting over lunch in the office? We try to recreate the kind of spread that is provided for such an occasion, albeit adding in a little too many M&S products. We then throw open Steve's bifold doors and let the sound of Didsbury rush in (the sound is a very loud lawnmower in close proximity).
Jun 26 2019
Rank #8: SPM 84: People Who Helped To Shape Modern Football (Part 4) - Silvio Berlusconi
The football: The People Who Helped To Shape Modern Football (Part Four) - Silvio Berlusconi. Rory proposes the TV magnate turned football club owner turned politician as one of game's (albeit self-serving) visionaries.
The food: a two, maybe three, course lunch at local vegetarian establishment Greens, that Chinch pays for because he has a very understanding accountant.
Thanks for downloading our summer specials! If you have anything to add get in touch @setpiecemenu or email@example.com
Jul 11 2018
Rank #9: SPM 127: Are players any good at judging other players?
The football: In the week that the Players' Player of the Year is announced, we ask if footballers are actually any good at deciding who should win the award. If you considered their motivations and inspirations, are they any better than anyone else at picking the best player each year?
The food: Not much, thankfully, because if Rory eats anything it'll immediately escape his virus-ridden body in any number of directions. For the others, chocolates from Croatia, after Hugh's wife Gemma's most recent work trip. Traditions must be observed!
Don't forget we're now asking you for your soccer stories, to fill any future Chinch-shaped holes. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org!
May 01 2019
Rank #10: SPM 155: Do we talk about managers too much?
The food: Cinnamon swirls that prove so tasty that Rory's wife Kate comes to grab one after hearing about them from upstairs.
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Dec 04 2019
Rank #11: SPM 7: Are there really that many world class players?
The football: are there really that many world-class players?
The food: Steve's chicken and mozzarella paninis - homemade and mightily handsome.
Jan 18 2017
Rank #12: SPM 140: Tactical Periodisation
The football: Tactical Periodisation. A rather boring name for a vital part of the game. What is it, who came up with it, and how has it essentially become football's common sense approach to training.
The food: Rory provides sandwiches, which are bought from the Co-op in the most testing of circumstances, as his sodden clothes can testify.
Please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
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Jul 31 2019
Rank #13: SPM 8: Set Pieces
The football: fittingly - set pieces. Are they as good as they used to be, and do they matter as much?
The food: jambalaya, a bit on the spicy side for Chinch.
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Jan 25 2017
Rank #14: SPM 86: England's World Cup Story
The football: The England World Cup debrief. Football didn't come home, but why, how, and should it even have been a thing in the first place? Hugh and Steve get all sanctimonious, while Chinch admits he didn't even notice it happening from his Woodford bubble...
The food: Biscotti from, as the label says, Eataly.
Next week we open entries to the Set Piece Menu Premier League Predictions League - yes it's back!
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Jul 25 2018
Rank #15: SPM 96: Local or Inherited Teams (Part 1)
The football: If you don't support your local or inherited team, can you still be called a legitimate fan? Has localism and tradition made way for a more modern way to select your favourite club, and if it is, is it being frowned upon ?
The food: Rory's oven-bottom muffins filled with a selection of meats and additional optional items (a combination apparently known as a sandwich), with a range of lubrications on offer to satisfy the more particular members of the group.
Keep your suggestions coming for our Atteveld XIs and our 100th episode: @setpiecemenu, firstname.lastname@example.org, facebook.com/setpiecemenu
Oct 03 2018
Rank #16: SPM 95: Does European Football need fixing?
The football: Does European football need fixing? The Champions League and Europa League are back as the latest forms of European club competition, and they've undergone several tweaks in recent years, but do they need to change further to work?
Plus - Rory's big idea. We commit to tape the competition format Rory thinks will change the face of European club football. Mainly because he's worried someone will steal it, and prevent him from making millions.
The food: Well, drink. Luwak coffee from Indonesia. Hugh insists it's fancy and expensive, everyone else thinks it smells of toilets.
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Sep 26 2018
Rank #17: SPM 144: Can football sustain the 92?
The football: In the context of Bury and Bolton's dramatic fight for financial survival, we ask if the Football League can sustain all of its professional clubs. Surprisingly, solutions are offered. Less surprisingly, nobody will pay attention.
The food: Rory surpasses himself, with a lunchtime spread that would be appreciated by any number of the local delis. Except they won't sponsor us so he went to M&S.
This is your final reminder for the SPMPLPL!
The deadline for entries is August 30th at 6pm, so head to www.tinyurl.com/setpiecemenu right now!
If you'd like to tinker with your original picks then click on 'Edit your submission' on the email received when you made your choices
And send all your Soccer Stories and Out of Context Reacher extracts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Aug 28 2019
Rank #18: SPM 94: S**thouses
The football: S**thouses. Does every team need one, and do we all grudgingly respect their prowess in the dark arts? Comes in association with Sergio Ramos, and with apologies to Ray Atteveld.
The food: falafel, samosas and hummus (so much hummus). These are provided by Rory's wife Kate, and are served with homemade cookies, which are made at home, by Kate's husband Rory.
Thanks for all your tweets and emails, keep them coming @setpiecemenu and email@example.com
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Sep 19 2018
Rank #19: SPM 50: Youth (Part 3)
The football: Youth - Part Three. The conclusion of our discussion on the development of young players. What's next for a footballer after breaking into the first team, and how is early promise sustained to ensure a long and decorated career?
The food: we're forced to raid Hugh's kitchen for snacks whilst he continues to gently simmer a chicken one-pot lunch.
As always, reviews, ratings and spreading of the word is very much appreciated.
Points of contact: @setpiecemenu on twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org is our email
Nov 15 2017
Rank #20: SPM 83: People Who Helped To Shape Modern Football (Part 3) - Arsene Wenger
The football: The People Who Helped To Shape Modern Football (Part Three) - Arsene Wenger. The former Arsenal boss transformed a team, a country, and a way that both prepared for and played their football.
The food: the team are now perusing the menu for their lunchtime treat, courtesy of Chinch, while trying to convince Steve that he is indeed allowed to eat vegetarian food.
Next week brings the final part of our summer series!
Jul 04 2018