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The Blizzard

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The Blizzard is a quarterly football publication put together by a cooperative of journalists and authors. These podcasts feature some of the best articles from our back catalogue, and recordings of live Q&A events we hold with our writers around the UK. Our main aim is to provide a platform for top-class writers from across the globe to enjoy the space and the freedom to write what they like about the football stories that matter to them.For more details - www.theblizzard.co.uk

Read more

The Blizzard is a quarterly football publication put together by a cooperative of journalists and authors. These podcasts feature some of the best articles from our back catalogue, and recordings of live Q&A events we hold with our writers around the UK. Our main aim is to provide a platform for top-class writers from across the globe to enjoy the space and the freedom to write what they like about the football stories that matter to them.For more details - www.theblizzard.co.uk

iTunes Ratings

75 Ratings
Average Ratings
70
1
0
2
2

Wonderful

By Holliwoodinc - Feb 28 2019
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Love the Blizzard! Best in-depth resource for all things football! ❤️⚽️

Excellent Stuff

By Shane O'Toole - Mar 10 2017
Read more
Really terrific listening , informative and provocative footie topics

iTunes Ratings

75 Ratings
Average Ratings
70
1
0
2
2

Wonderful

By Holliwoodinc - Feb 28 2019
Read more
Love the Blizzard! Best in-depth resource for all things football! ❤️⚽️

Excellent Stuff

By Shane O'Toole - Mar 10 2017
Read more
Really terrific listening , informative and provocative footie topics

Listen to:

Cover image of The Blizzard

The Blizzard

Updated 4 days ago

Read more

The Blizzard is a quarterly football publication put together by a cooperative of journalists and authors. These podcasts feature some of the best articles from our back catalogue, and recordings of live Q&A events we hold with our writers around the UK. Our main aim is to provide a platform for top-class writers from across the globe to enjoy the space and the freedom to write what they like about the football stories that matter to them.For more details - www.theblizzard.co.uk

Rank #1: Why The Away Goals Rule Must Be Abolished

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“Europe seemed much bigger in the early 1970s. Iberia was governed by fascist dictators. There were two Germanys, West and East. With no rolling news, Blackberries nor Twitter, a plausible sit-com episode could be written based on the Likely Lads avoiding knowledge of the result of an England match for half a day. Europe’s airlines were almost exclusively national carriers. Countries had unique coins and banknotes. Speedy boarding was an oxymoron, speedy disembarkation even more so; you needed visas to cross most borders.”

In Episode Forty Six we look back at ‘Why the Away Goals Rule Must Be Abolished’ by Ian Hawkey, first published in our pilot edition Issue Zero in March 2011.

He looks at the ‘historical anachronism’ that was originally brought in to encourage attacking play away from home, but thanks to the changes in the modern game now has the effect of encouraging defensive performances from home sides.

Arsene Wenger and Jorge Valdano, among others, agree with Ian, as he explores the changes in the modern landscape (travel, the fall of the iron curtain, tactical shifts) that have seen the number of away wins in Europe’s top competition double in little over 3 decades.

If you have any feedback comments or suggestions email podcast@theblizzard.co.uk or find us on Twitter @blzzrd.

Issue Zero, like all issues of The Blizzard, is available on a pay-what-you-like basis fromwww.theblizzard.co.uk. Digital downloads cost as little as 1p each (RRP £3), while a limited edition print version is available from £12 + postage. You can also find us on the Kindle and Google Play stores.

Jul 14 2016

17mins

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Rank #2: The Centre-back And The Kitchen Knife

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"I think I was looking for something to replace the adrenaline rush, the buzz you get, that feeling of really being alive. You get used to performing in front of thousands every week and when that’s gone then suddenly there’s a huge mental void which becomes almost impossible to fill. At least for me. I just sat at home or did what I wanted to do, go on holiday, whatever. It became a vicious circle for
me where there was more and more alcohol and I started trying this and that, and suddenly you’re in trouble."

Episode Seventy of the Blizzard Podcast looks back at Lars Sivertsen's interview with Claus Lundekvam, 'The Centre-back and the Kitchen Knife' from Issue Five, first published in June 2012.

In it, the former Southampton and Norway international details his struggle with drink and drugs upon his retirement from the game. Chasing the buzz of performing in front of thousands, and with ready access to booze and cocaine, his life spiralled out of control and he was on the verge of a one way trip to Rio to end his life.

At his worst, he was fighting off the police and ambulance service, and hunting in his garden for imaginary paparazzi with a large kitchen knife; unscrewing the light bulbs in his house because he thought they were cameras.

In a frank conversation, he goes into detail about his experiences as a Premier League player in the 90s and early part of the twenty-first century, and how he managed to regain his life after a visit to the Sporting Chance clinic.

If you have any feedback comments or suggestions email podcast@theblizzard.co.uk or find us on Twitter @blzzrd.

Issue Five, like all issues of The Blizzard, is available on a pay-what-you-like basis from www.theblizzard.co.uk. Digital downloads cost as little as 1p each (RRP £3), while a print versions are available from £6 + postage. You can also find us on the Kindle and Google Play stores.

Feb 10 2017

19mins

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Rank #3: The Birth Of The Fan

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“We were sorry to hear the offensive shouts of one ‘Mackintoshed stranger’, which, however, were almost entirely drowned out by the universal supporters of the Druryites.”

In Episode Forty Five we revisit Paul Brown’s ‘The Birth of the Fan’ from Issue Thirteen, which looks back at historical sources to review the birth of football fandom itself.

While our modern proclivities have been passed down from father or grandfather, there was a time when no such familial link existed. From the early 'mob' games between local villages, through the founding of the first works’ teams and the formation of professional football, the role played by the supporter changed as rapidly as the game itself.

If you have any feedback comments or suggestions email podcast@theblizzard.co.uk or find us on Twitter @blzzrd.

Issue Thirteen, like all issues of The Blizzard, is available on a pay-what-you-like basis fromwww.theblizzard.co.uk. Digital downloads cost as little as 1p each (RRP £3), while print versions are available from £6 + postage (RRP £12). You can also find us on the Kindle and Google Play stores.

Jul 07 2016

27mins

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Rank #4: But You Can't Change..

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"You are among the football hacks summoned to Downing Street by Margaret Thatcher. She has the eyes of a tawny owl and clearly terrifies her ministers, who dance attendance. She goes around the table, asking each visitor what they would do to solve football hooliganism. You might as well quote Afghani poetry, because her mind is made up before anyone opens their mouth. In her world, football fans are second-class citizens who have forfeited the right to trust and respect. They deserve to be caged, treated with contempt."

In Episode Sixty Nine of the Blizzard Podcast we look back at ‘But You Can’t Change…’ by Mike Calvin, first published in Issue Eight in March 2013. In it, he writes back to his teenaged self, setting out the life that would become his.

From his early roots as a ballboy at Watford to meeting the Prime Minister, and ultimately committing the cardinal football fan sin of changing his allegiances, Calvin looks at a boy’s world through a man’s eyes, and passes on some of life’s lessons.

If you have any feedback comments or suggestions email podcast@theblizzard.co.uk or find us on Twitter @blzzrd.

Issue Eight, like all issues of The Blizzard, is available on a pay-what-you-like basis from www.theblizzard.co.uk. Digital downloads cost as little as 1p each (RRP £3), while a print versions are available from £6 + postage. You can also find us on the Kindle and Google Play stores.

Feb 03 2017

30mins

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Rank #5: Bye Bye Bebe

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“I am going to be a brilliant player,” Bebé said. He wasn’t. To our surprise, given his mediocre showing for the reserves, he made his United debut six days later in a Carling Cup win at Scunthorpe (Ferguson, scouting Champions League opponents Valencia, didn’t see Bebé play then either). It was the first of seven senior appearances. Two even brought goals, albeit in fortunate fashion; a shot that looped up off the Wolves defender George Elokobi and over the goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and a Champions League goal against Bursaspor, courtesy of a deflection off Ali Tandoğan."

Episode Eighty Nine of the Blizzard Podcast looks back on 'Bye-bye Bebé' by Richard Jolly, originally published in Issue Fourteen in September 2014. In it he explores one of the most mystifying transfers of recent years - that of the unknown Portuguese forward Bebé to Manchester United.

Read the full article here: https://www.theblizzard.co.uk/article/bye-bye-bebe

"Yet his shortcomings were apparent and his United career came to an abrupt halt after the 2011 FA Cup win over Crawley. Ferguson’s team were dreadful and Bebé and Obertan, the two wingers, were the worst of a poor bunch. Their non-league counterparts looked more accomplished players."

Issue Fourteen, like all issues of the Blizzard, is available for £12 plus postage on www.theblizzard.co.uk. Since we’ve relaunched the website, all our articles, including this one, are available to read for free. Non-subscribers get 3 free articles a month, while subscribers have unlimited advert-free browsing, as well as access to digital downloads of all our issues in eBook formats.

Those who want to buy one-off eBooks can still do so – from the Kindle and Google Play stores.

Aug 11 2017

12mins

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Rank #6: Estadio Azteca

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"There have been 836 finals matches in the history of the World Cup, played from Belo Horizonte to Busan. Only 19 of those games have been at the Azteca, yet that tiny sample has provided the amphitheatre for ‘the Game of the Century’, the greatest team goal in World Cup history, one of the biggest controversies in the history of the tournament and ‘the Goal of the Century’. Freakishly high quality, from a tiny quantity."

In Episode Ninety Two of the Blizzard Podcast we look at "Estadio Azteca", by Mike Gibbons, part of the Stadiums section from the newly-released Issue Twenty Six.

Read the full article here: https://www.theblizzard.co.uk/article/estadio-azteca

Issue Twenty Six, like all issues of the Blizzard, is available for £12 plus postage on www.theblizzard.co.uk. Since we’ve relaunched the website, all our articles, including this one, are available to read for free. Non-subscribers get 3 free articles a month, while subscribers have unlimited advert-free browsing, as well as access to digital downloads of all our issues in eBook formats.

Those who want to buy one-off eBooks can still do so – from the Kindle and Google Play stores.

Sep 07 2017

12mins

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Rank #7: Live in Edinburgh - 2017 (Part Two)

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Despite being on a podcast hiatus while we work on some exciting things behind the scenes we still found time to do a live recording of our Q&A event in Edinburgh last week. This is the second half of that discussion.

Hosted by football writer Daniel Gray, the panel of Jonathan Wilson, Jonathan Northcroft and Jonathan Liew took questions from the audience, and discussed footballing matters of import.

May 30 2017

48mins

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Rank #8: The Silenced Crowd

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“There was no fooling the 18,000 spectators at Old Trafford. “Play up, you rotters!” they screamed. The fix was on. They knew it, as Manchester United went through the motions against Liverpool on 2 April 1915, winning 2-0 in a listless performance.”

In Episode Forty we revisit ‘The Silenced Crowd’ by Richard Fitzpatrick from Issue Ten, which looks at the greatest scandal in British football in the first half of the twentieth century, as a group of players from two of the country’s greatest sides colluded to fix a match.

If you have any feedback comments or suggestions email podcast@theblizzard.co.uk or find us on Twitter @blzzrd.

Issue Ten, like all issues of The Blizzard, is available on a pay-what-you-like basis from www.theblizzard.co.uk. Digital downloads cost as little as 1p each (RRP £3), while print versions are available from £6 + postage (RRP £12). You can also find us on the Kindle and Google Play stores.

Jun 01 2016

19mins

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Rank #9: Free For All

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Why is US Soccer so reluctant to promote one of the oldest tournaments in the world?

"Such has been the paucity of tournament coverage that for the past two decades, it’s no exaggeration to say that covering both the past and present of the Open Cup has been close to the sole preserve of one man in his free time. "

In Episode Ninety Six of the Blizzard Podcast we look back at "Free for All" by Tom Dunmore, first published in Issue Twenty Six in September 2017.

Read the full article here: www.theblizzard.co.uk/article/free-all

Issue Twenty Six, like all issues of the Blizzard, is available for £12 plus postage on www.theblizzard.co.uk. Since we’ve relaunched the website, all our articles, including this one, are available to read for free. Non-subscribers get 3 free articles a month, while subscribers have unlimited advert-free browsing, as well as access to digital downloads of all our issues in eBook formats.

Those who want to buy one-off eBooks can still do so – from the Kindle and Google Play stores.

Oct 27 2017

18mins

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Rank #10: A Game Of Three Halves

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"It was at that point that the original referee arrived. According to the Derby Daily Telegraph, Kirkham claimed to have been “misdirected by a ticket collector at Halifax”, resulting in the missed connection. He’d set off from his home in good time, but arrived at Newcastle Road three hours late.

As the teams loitered around the clubhouse at what seemed to be half-time, many in the crowd suspected there had been a hitch – and rumours began to spread that the match wasn’t a league game after all. "

Episode Eighty Five of the Blizzard Podcast looks at 'A Game of Three Halves' by David Moonie, the story of why the 1894 meeting of Sunderland and Derby Country stretched to 135 minutes, first published in Issue Twenty Five in June 2017.

Issue Twenty Five, like all issues of the Blizzard, is available for £12 plus postage on www.theblizzard.co.uk. Since we’ve relaunched the website, all our articles, including this one, are available to read for free. Non-subscribers get 3 free articles a month, while subscribers have unlimited advert-free browsing, as well as access to digital downloads of all our issues in eBook formats.

Those who want to buy one-off eBooks can still do so – from the Kindle and Google Play stores.

Jul 07 2017

8mins

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Rank #11: The Sweep Of History

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Decade by decade league tables chart the changing tides of footballing success

In Episode Ninety Seven of the Blizzard Podcast we revisit "The Sweep of History" by Richard Jolly, first published in Issue Twenty Three in December 2016.

Read the full article here: www.theblizzard.co.uk/article/sweep-history

Issue Twenty Three, like all issues of the Blizzard, is available for £12 plus postage on www.theblizzard.co.uk. Since we’ve relaunched the website, all our articles, including this one, are available to read for free. Non-subscribers get 3 free articles a month, while subscribers have unlimited advert-free browsing, as well as access to digital downloads of all our issues in eBook formats.

Those who want to buy one-off eBooks can still do so – from the Kindle and Google Play stores.

Nov 03 2017

34mins

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Rank #12: Ronaldo In Moscow

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"That 1997-98 Uefa Cup campaign was the last we saw of the 'pure' Ronaldo. Nike's 'R9' brand soon sprang into action, forgetting it had a human at its core. The striker changed his Inter shirt number from 10 to 9 and became the greatest commodity in world sport, selling everything from tyres to sunglasses. Rushed back from one serious injury after another, he lost two years of his career to chronic knee problems until making his comeback in the 2002 World Cup, scoring eight goals on the way to Brazil's victory. He was still the best of his generation and greatest goalscorer the World Cup has ever seen, but never again the turbo-charged extraterrestrial of Barcelona and that maiden season at the San Siro. "

In episode Ninety Nine we look back at "Ronaldo in Moscow" by Sheridan Bird, first published in Issue Four in March 2012. In it, he examines how a slalom through the mud in Moscow in Uefa Cup tie against Spartak Moscow helped confirm the genius of the player known as 'O Fenomeno'.

Read the full article here: www.theblizzard.co.uk/article/ronaldo-moscow

Issue Twenty Four, like all issues of the Blizzard, is available for £12 plus postage on www.theblizzard.co.uk. Since we’ve relaunched the website, all our articles, including this one, are available to read for free. Non-subscribers get 3 free articles a month, while subscribers have unlimited advert-free browsing, as well as access to digital downloads of all our issues in eBook formats.

Those who want to buy one-off eBooks can still do so – from the Kindle and Google Play stores.

Nov 17 2017

8mins

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Rank #13: Setting Sun

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“Leyton Orient Football Club is not my life, but it has been the only constant in it. I realise that every major event, every stage, every shifting moment, is connected in some way to this daft, infuriating football team.

“It defined my childhood, inspired my education, gave me my sense of humour, united my family. It has brought some joy, but mostly pain. Yet it has always been a wonderful, happy distraction from life’s trials and tribulations. I did not have to support Orient, I could have chosen any team in London, but where my dad trod, my brother and I held his hand and followed.”

Episode Eighty Four of the Blizzard Podcast features Setting Sun, Luke Edwards’ emotional article on what Leyton Orient means to him, and how it charts alongside the ups and downs of his own life, first published in Issue Twenty Five in June 2017.

As a post-script to the article, since publication the club’s divisive owner Francesco Becchetti has sold up to a consortium led by lifelong Orient fans, so things are thankfully looking up for the club.

Issue Twenty Five, like all issues of the Blizzard, is available for £12 plus postage on www.theblizzard.co.uk. Since we’ve relaunched the website, all our articles, including this one, are available to read for free. Non-subscribers get 3 free articles a month, while subscribers have unlimited advert-free browsing, as well as access to digital downloads of all our issues in eBook formats.

Those who want to buy one-off eBooks can still do so – from the Kindle and Google Play stores.

Jun 30 2017

19mins

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Rank #14: Rise and Fall of Castel Rigone

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The entrepreneur, the village team and the experiment in humanistic capitalism.

In Episode One Hundred and Seventeen, we take a look back to "Rise and Fall of Castel Rigone" by Pedar Foss, first published in Issue 14, in September 2014.

You can buy our latest magazine, Issue 32, here: www.theblizzard.co.uk/shop/product/i…sue-thirty-two

And access our entire archives here: www.theblizzard.co.uk/articles

May 10 2019

18mins

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Rank #15: Live In Manchester (Jose Mourinho edition)

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The first half of our live event in Manchester on Thursday 30th August. Yes, we know the sound quality isn't the greatest throughout, and we apologise, but would like to bring you at least some of the evening's discussion for those who couldn't make it along.

The panel, hosted by Rory Smith, featured Jonathans Wilson and Northcroft and Miguel Delaney, and in the first half of the evening focussed pretty much exclusively on developments over on the red side of Manchester.

Sep 03 2018

44mins

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Rank #16: Alternate Title

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"The fact that he was asked to change the title only adds to the effect. He had picked up the phrase from the broadcast media. So how could it be inappropriate for broadcast media? What kind of place was this? In such circumstances, what could be a better alternate title than “Alternate Title”? Micky Dolenz had come, walked down our streets, and with no song-writing finesse to filter through the experience, had successfully transformed his confusion about English contradictions into art.

Our craft is less visceral, less intuitive and without the same emotional impact. But we can go deeper. We have the opportunity to identify the contradictions in a footballing culture and then analyse the tensions between them.

By way of example, let us take Brazil, my home for the past two decades. A number of articles in the history of this publication have done their bit to explode the myth of Brazilian football as a kind of Carnaval in boots, a romanticised state of nature in which self-expression is all and the scoreline is nothing."

In episode One Hundred and Five we take a look back at "Alternate Title" by Tim Vickery, first published in Issue Twelve in March 2014.

Read the full article here: www.theblizzard.co.uk/article/alternate-title

Issue Twelve, like all issues of the Blizzard, is available for £12 plus postage on www.theblizzard.co.uk. Since we’ve relaunched the website, all our articles, including this one, are available to read for free. Non-subscribers get 3 free articles a month, while subscribers have unlimited advert-free browsing, as well as access to digital downloads of all our issues in eBook formats.

Those who want to buy one-off eBooks can still do so – from the Kindle and Google Play stores.

Apr 13 2018

10mins

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Rank #17: Crime Of Passion

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"The first full international match between France and England was played on 15 May 1923 at the Stade Pershing in the Bois de Vincennes in Paris. It was an interesting game, attended by an impressive 30,000 spectators, despite driving rain and hail. France had beaten an England Amateurs team at this same venue in 1921, but a similar result was not expected against the full England side.

"The French team was all amateur, drawn from the regional Paris league, and its best player, Paul Nicolas of Red Star Paris, was out injured. The England team, captained by Charlie Buchan, was mostly professional but included three amateurs and six debutants. An injury to the forward Frank Hartley meant England played much of the match with 10 men. Nevertheless, the English dominated throughout and won 4-1, thanks in part to an early own goal from the French defender Pierre Mony – the footballer who got away with murder."

In Episode Ninety Four of the Blizzard Podcast we look back on "Crime of Passion" by Paul Brown, first published in Issue Twenty Three in December 2016.

Read the full article here: www.theblizzard.co.uk/article/crime-passion

Issue Twenty Three, like all issues of the Blizzard, is available for £12 plus postage on www.theblizzard.co.uk. Since we’ve relaunched the website, all our articles, including this one, are available to read for free. Non-subscribers get 3 free articles a month, while subscribers have unlimited advert-free browsing, as well as access to digital downloads of all our issues in eBook formats.

Those who want to buy one-off eBooks can still do so – from the Kindle and Google Play stores.

Sep 29 2017

13mins

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Rank #18: The Best Summer Of My Life

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"Perhaps the death of optimism is just what happens when you reach middle age, that you recognise how cruel and capricious the world can be, how the brightest dreams are sullied and perverted, and so cynicism becomes the natural mode. But in the summer of 1996, it felt like everything was moving in the right direction. Perhaps every generation goes through this, but looking back, two decades on, it’s hard to escape the thought that we blew it."

Episode 41 of the Blizzard Podcast features 'The Best Summer of My Life', Jonathan Wilson's editorial from Issue Twenty One which is available to subscribers now and goes on general sale from the 10th June.

Something of a Euros special, the issue features articles on Pavel Vrba, Leonid Slutsky, André-Pierre Gignac, the Albania-Serbia drone controversy, as well as looking back to games at Euro 84, Euro 76 and a photo essay on the great Hungarian sides of the 50s.
If you have any feedback comments or suggestions email podcast@theblizzard.co.uk or find us on Twitter @blzzrd.

Issue Twenty One, like all issues of The Blizzard, is available on a pay-what-you-like basis from www.theblizzard.co.uk. Digital downloads cost as little as 1p each (RRP £3), while print versions are available from £6 + postage (RRP £12). You can also find us on the Kindle and Google Play stores.

Jun 09 2016

14mins

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Rank #19: Route One

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"Beck would go to great lengths in search of the smallest advantage. Visiting sides were made to feel as unwelcome as possible, with the heating turned off in the cramped away dressing room and flat, soggy practice balls given out. It was psychological warfare. The impact of these unsporting practices and intimidation tactics is impossible to quantify, and many felt they were done simply for effect – pseudoscience to create a hostile atmosphere. Meanwhile, Cambridge players were forced to take ice-cold showers before kick-off to ensure their alertness. A mythology developed around these rituals that remains to this day. Some opponents didn’t take kindly to it."

In episode One Hundred we revisit 'Route One' by Sean Cole, first published in Issue Twenty Seven in December 2017. In it, he examines how John Beck’s long-ball theories brought unprecedented success to Cambridge United in the 1990s.

Read the full article here: www.theblizzard.co.uk/article/route-one

Issue Twenty Seven, like all issues of the Blizzard, is available for £12 plus postage on www.theblizzard.co.uk. Since we’ve relaunched the website, all our articles, including this one, are available to read for free. Non-subscribers get 3 free articles a month, while subscribers have unlimited advert-free browsing, as well as access to digital downloads of all our issues in eBook formats.

Those who want to buy one-off eBooks can still do so – from the Kindle and Google Play stores.

Feb 02 2018

18mins

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Rank #20: Tour of Duty (with By Association)

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For this week’s episode we present the most recent offering from By Association, an award-winning narrative podcast about football, based in Australia.

They took inspiration from Davidde Corran’s article ‘Tour of Duty’, originally published in Issue Three of The Blizzard in December 2011.

For a brand new audio documentary each month, subscribe to By Association on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your audio output. Learn more about the show at their website – byassociation.audio

To find out more about that article head back to Episode 22 of the podcast, or search it out on theblizzard.co.uk

Davidde Corran is an England-based Australian football journalist who works across TV, radio and print. Twitter: @DaviddeCorran

If you have any feedback comments or suggestions email podcast@theblizzard.co.uk or find us on Twitter @blzzrd.

Nov 10 2017

25mins

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