The Premier League 2019/20 season has come to an end but I tell you what, here at the Footy Gang, we still need our regular fix of football! To still ensure we keep on top of everything and anything football related, here at The Footy Gang, we love a good football podcast. Here at The Footy Gang, we have produced a number of articles on some excellent football podcasts such as: I Had Trials Once, The Honest Football Podcast, The Fantasy5 Podcast, That Chelsea Podcast, The Football Fanalytics Podcast, Scoreless Thriller Podcast and the Bench'd Football Podcast. In this article, we will be talking about the fantastic "VAR at the Bar" podcast, an excellent listen if you are looking for a light-hearted and informative football podcast.
The below article has been written by Chris, one of the hosts of the Var at the Bar football podcast.
It was a cold winter night on the 1st January and the missus had asked me earlier in the day whether I had a new years resolution in mind. I was of thinking back of all resolutions that I had broken after just one day and I started listening to my favourite podcast - then I had a bit of a ‘lightbulb’ moment… “Podcast”!
Most of my nights out with the lads entail a few drinks and lots of football talk/banter, so I asked two of my closest mates (Ant and Dan) if they would be interested in more of the same only recorded for a podcast. Obviously they were up for it! Ant came up with the name ‘VAR at the Bar’ and we were away! The original plan was to meet and record in a pub every fortnight, but that was quickly scuppered by Covid-19 and since then we have been relegated to Google Hangouts indefinitely. Not withstanding being miles apart, we feel we have succeeded in maintaining a relaxed “amongst friends” atmosphere on the pod which was always our goal.
With a lack of live football during the lockdown our hand was forced in turning to football history and listing our top 10 players in various categories. But actually this has probably become our favourite part of the show! We’re proper football fans and we like nothing more than delving back into the archives and reminiscing on legends of the game. Once the top 10 task is set, we each scurry into the dark corners of the internet to conduct our research knowing full well that if we don’t back up our selections on the pod then we’ll get slaughtered!
I’m always nervous when I present my picks, but at the same time it’s really exciting to hear my co-hosts read out theirs and see if we see the world the same way. Although we’re like-minded, our lists are never the same. There is no right or wrong answer though. Unless you’re trying to tell me that Iain Dowie is the #1 most handsome footballer to ever grace a Premier League sticker – in that case you would definitely be wrong.
The biggest challenge without question was trying to rank the top 10 greatest players of all time. OF ALL TIME!
I cannot emphasise enough much it weighed on me that you have all these great players that played in different eras and there is limited footage available he further back you go… How can I possibly judge whether Pele was better than Messi or whether Beckenbauer was better than Zidane… It was hard enough to make a top 10, let alone put them in any sort of definitive order. Nevertheless, we all managed to put a respectable list together and we’re quite pleased with that particular effort.
To date we’ve ranked: the GOAT, Premier League goalkeepers, Premier League managers, Premier League centre backs, players outside the big six, rookie year in the Premier League, Premier League championship winning teams, FA Cup moments, Comebacks.
We’ve got ourselves set up with Email, Twitter and Facebook and we’ve started to get some interaction with our listeners sending us their top 10 lists and making suggestions on what they would like us to cover in the future. That really adds to the fun and really hope we can continue to grow the podcast in this area.
So that the podcast wasn’t all lists, we added a couple of lighthearted segments for a bit of fun. The first one was a look at an English managers aboard, which quickly evolved into ‘Pardew-Gate’ after his spell at ADO Den Haag hilariously descended into chaos! But after COVID-19 ended the Dutch football season and Pardew left the club by mutual consent, we were left with a gaping hole in the show with no obvious replacement.
That was until Middlesborough sacked manager Jonathan Woodgate and replaced him with the ever charismatic Neil Warnock! We promptly renamed the slot as ‘Warnock-Watch’ and have enjoyed some great quotes from the straight-talking 71 year old Yorkshireman.
The second is ‘The Good, The Bad, The Obscure’. Here we pay tribute to a former player who wouldn’t necessarily feature on any of our lists and it gives us an opportunity to uncover some interesting football stories. It is impromptu and fun to see if the co-hosts can add any further information and it hopefully provides the listeners with some football knowledge they can share with their mates down the pub.
And finally we finish off each episode with a quiz. As we have three co-hosts, we have the ability to rotate the quizmaster and mix up our head-to-heads, tracking the results through a league table in true ‘Statto’ form. Typically we will include 7 to 11 questions of football trivia and we hope our listeners enjoy these as much as we do. Who doesn’t love a good football quiz?!
We hope you enjoyed this article, if you did, head over to our Twitter: @TheFootyGang and let us know. Make sure you check out the Var at the Bar football podcast, as it really is an excellent listen and a whole lot of fun too! If you are a fellow football podcaster and would like to promote your podcast on The Footy Gang website, feel free to get in touch.