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The Chinese Football Podcast
42 minutes | 2 years ago
Cup Drama and Guoan in-depth: s3e30
This week the pod reviews a couple of high-drama CFA cup semi finals, and looks forwards to the prospect of a high-stakes Shenhua - Shandong final. How impressed are we by Shenhua’s mid-season resurgence, and does Li Xiaopeng get enough credit for the progress his Shandong side are making? There’s plenty of time to prepare for the final - we talk through the scheduling issues along with just why so few clubs take the early rounds seriously before the cup bursts into life from the quarter finals onwards.We then follow-up on last week’s discussion of where it went wrong for Roger Schmidt and Beijing Guoan, and what this means for the short-term future of Guoan and their new coach. Job security and the risks and benefits of CSL management - along with the relative stability enjoyed by Vitor Pereira at the reigning champions - all come under scrutiny.Host Steve Crooks is joined by the regular panel of Chinese football experts Cameron Wilson in Shanghai and Brandon Chemers in Beijing.
32 minutes | 2 years ago
So much for that title race: s3e29
The pod is back from a brief mid-season break and jumps straight into business by asking whether Guangzhou Evergrande have the title sewn up already after some prolonged patchy form from their nearest challengers. There's some grudging praise for Fabio Cannavaro and a lot of credit given to the players and performances on the pitch - Evergrande being Evergrande, there are plenty of rumours and allegations swirling in the background, though.There's some spirited debate on Beijing Guoan's sacking of Roger Schmidt - it's a decision met with derision and confusion from outside the capital, but is there a case to be made for the warning signs having been there for some time - and can it be the right decision to part with a coach even if you follow it up with the wrong decision on his replacement?Moving on from the rhetorical and hypothetical, we look forward to the CFA cup once again prolonging interest in the domestic season with some tasty semi-final ties coming up - and we take some listener questions and suggestions on board for both this week's return episode and some upcoming deep-dives to keep us all sane through the international breaks.Host Steve Crooks is joined by the regular panel of Chinese football experts Cameron Wilson in Shanghai and Brandon Chemers in Beijing.
40 minutes | 2 years ago
Catching up on the title and relegation races: s3e28
Beijing Guoan's surprise loss to a struggling Jiangsu is the lead story this week - with Evergrande back at the top and just a couple of points covering the top three, do we see the title race going deep into the season again - and could this be the wake-up call that Guoan need?There's plenty of drama at the bottom of the table too, with Kim Shin-wook making an instant impact and firing Shenhua away from the precipice - how much work is there still to do for the Hongkou side, and despite Tianhai and Renhe's struggles, how many sides should still be looking over their shoulders?We're catching up on the league table and also our mailbag this week - listener questions new and old give us a chance to reflect on the CFA's approach to ethnic Korean players, some great away day stories, and the impact that big money and rule changes have had on domestic players' development and career progression.Host Steve Crooks is joined by the regular panel of Chinese football experts Cameron Wilson in Shanghai and Brandon Chemers in Beijing.
40 minutes | 2 years ago
Unrest in Jiangsu and what fans want: s3e27
With fan protests escalating in Nanjing, the pod takes a deep-dive into the story to understand more. What are the key issues and why has the club's response left fans cold? Is it as simple as ownership getting distracted by their Italian club, or are there more cultural factors at play? After looking at the Jiangsu situation from the inside and outside, we move on to a broader discussion of fan expectations and satisfaction levels - and why fan protests are an impressive phenomenon given the cultural landscape they sit in. Host Steve Crooks is joined by Chinese football experts Cameron Wilson in Shanghai and Brandon Chemers in Beijing along with a special guest for this week's episode - Sun Ning bringing us a Jiangsu fan voice.
47 minutes | 2 years ago
Looking forward to Arnautovic, and back on Women's World Cup: s3e26
The transfer season is in full swing - the pod gets stuck into how Marko Arnautovic will fit into the red quarter of Shanghai, and what to make of El Shaarawy and Kim Shinwook joining Shenhua. There are some other ins and outs at the bottom end of the table, including the return of a familiar face to attempt to lead Beijing Renhe out of trouble.Yaya Toure's move to China League One is met with some bafflement and skepticism from the pundits, who go on to share their insights of the kind of import Chinese clubs should target for success - along with some pertinent listener questions on the Rafalution in Dalian and a curious historical imbalance between Korean and Japanese imports. With the Women's World Cup wrapping up in France, Chris Atkins joins us to share some insights from inside the game - how disappointing was China's goal-shy performance, what factors were behind the negative approach, what does the future hold and how can interested listeners follow the game in China?Host Steve Crooks is joined by Chinese football experts Cameron Wilson in Shanghai and Brandon Chemers in Beijing for this week's episode.
36 minutes | 2 years ago
Benitez arrives, Shenhua plummet and ACL sides soar: s3e25
We welcome Rafa Benitez to the CSL amid some confusion at what exactly Dalian can hope to achieve, and whether the last couple of managers have really done such a bad job. The confusion continues with the pod's bafflement and despair at Zhou Jun's return to Shenhua, and some listener questions to salt Shenhua wounds.One manager who shouldn't be under pressure is Roger Schmidt - but why are Guoan fans getting nervy about their table-topping side, and do our pundits share the concerns? There's some acknowledgement for Jordi Cryuff at Chongqing, and further confusion at the latest naturalization news.To keep the focus on football, we salute both Chinese sides who made it into the quarter finals of the AFC Champions League - with a eulogy for Shandong's hopes thrown into the mix - and look forward to some tantalizing ties and the prospect of an all-China semi-final.
38 minutes | 2 years ago
Naturalization, Carrasco, and the top three streak clear: s3e24
We're back with a discussion on the soul of Chinese football - are naturalized Brazilians the answer to World Cup qualification woes, or yet another example of the governing bodies making a laughing stock of the game? It's an opinionated start to the pod as we move on to the latest mid-season rule changes from the CFA - good, bad, indifferent, or just ill-timed?After getting back into the swing of Phenomenon of the Week, the panel turn to the CSL - there's clear daylight between the top three and the rest of the league. Is this a European-style financial disparity or down to good management, what impact does this gap have on the title race - and what could the trailing pack do to catch back up?This ties into a discussion of the latest PR battle between Yannick Carrasco and Dalian - are the club, the player, owners Wanda or perhaps some mysterious background figures the big losers in this mess?Host Steve Crooks is joined by Chinese football experts Cameron Wilson in Shanghai and Brandon Chemers in Beijing for this week's episode.
35 minutes | 2 years ago
Away Day Special: The Chinese Football Podcast s3e23
In our latest "fan journey" special, we take the term literally - host Steve Crooks and regular pod expert Cameron Wilson are joined by a packed sleeper train compartment of Shenhua fans from Shanghai and afar for this live recording.The fans hold court on their long journey to Beijing to watch their struggling side - this raw and honest recording gives an insight into the traveling fan mindset, and explores the reasons binding people from a range of backgrounds into this shared experience.There's less of the football itself than a typical pod, but plenty of cultural insight and exploration of the factors on and off the pitch which bring us to the game we love - this is a don't-miss recording for fans of Shenhua or the game itself.
26 minutes | 2 years ago
“My Fan Journey”: Brandon Chemers: s3e22
We continue our series of in-depth explorations of the personal journeys taken by WEF's leading contributors - this week host Steve Crooks speaks one-to-one with Brandon Chemers to learn more about a story leading from Chicago to Beijing, via Shanghai - just how close did Brandon come to taking up the Shenhua religion?We chat about the great Beijing-Shanghai rivalry and how it manifests in football, and some stories from away trips over the years - including a recap of a harrowing away debut in Henan.A wide-ranging conversation also covers the club-country condundrum, process from football tourism through to getting behind a club and becoming part of a fan group - and then transitioning from solo matchgoing to getting a young family into the game and a top parenting tip on 'stadium language'.Along with some top anecdotes and matchgoing memories, Brandon shares some recommendations to encourage newer fans to get into the game in China and embrace their local club - and hints at a couple more stories which may come out in future interviews.If you enjoy listening to the pod and appreciate the considerable time and effort which goes into producing each episode, please consider supporting us financially via Patreon.You can also subscribe on Patreon, and on itunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, or various other platforms. You can also download the pod to your device. We are also very pleased to be hosted and broadcast on Football Nation Radio. Don't miss the chance to get involved in the discussion on Twitter at #chinafootypod - we love hearing feedback and do our best to field your questions and suggested topics every week.
26 minutes | 2 years ago
Three teams through in ACL, one huge game in the title race: s3e21
This week we wait until the dust settles on the AFC Champions League group stage before reflecting on the last-day drama - how disappointed will Guoan be to exit the competition, and what were the key moments in their campaign? With the other three sides making it through to the knockout stage, we review a job well done and preview a tricky tie for SIPG along with an all-China affair between Evergrande and Shandong - is this good news for the fans, or a disappointingly local feel for the Champions League?There's plenty to look back on in the CSL before moving to the title picture - we've opinions on Evergrande breaking their own rules, Chris Coleman's tenure in Hebei, Tianjin TEDA's quiet achievers and some fun nominations for Phenomenon of the Week.Attention shifts to the top-of-the-table clash between Shanghai International Port Group and Guoan - will this be a knockout blow for Guoan, or are the reigning champions still set to retain their crown? Predictions differ, but the panel agree this will be a must-watch game for the CSL fan or neutral, both in terms of drama and quality.
40 minutes | 2 years ago
Late drama in the league, crunch time in the ACL, and the heavy expectations on foreign players:
This week's pod opens with a review of Beijing Guoan's ninth straight win, and more goals for Cedric Bakambu - begging the question of why some fans are still dissatisfied with the striker. With Marek Hamsik coming in for criticism early into his time with Dalian too, the panel reflect on the need for patience with big-name signings despite the great expectations.There's also some late drama in Shanghai and Guangzhou, the question of why statistics and analytics aren't widely available, and more shenanigans circumventing the U23 rule.We wrap up with a review of the state of play in the ACF Champions League with the final round of the group stage looming - are Shandong better suited to continental football, and how do we fancy the chances of Guoan, Evergrande, and SIPG joining them in the knockout phase?Host Steve Crooks is joined by Chinese football experts Cameron Wilson in Shanghai and Brandon Chemers in Beijing for this week's episode.
40 minutes | 2 years ago
Eight straight for Guoan as Evergrande transition stalls: s3e19
There's only one place to start this week, with a high-quality top-of-the-table clash at Tianhe seeing Beijing Guo'an walk away with their eighth consecutive win. It's still early in the season, but just how good are the capital side looking?The struggles of a Talisca-less Evergrande give the panel pause to reflect - are Evergrande moving on from that all-conquering team and preparing for future success, or is their managed decline a sign of a political gamble gone wrong or ownership which is running out of motivation or money?We dip quickly into a range of listener questions, including the peculiarity of no managers being fired yet - and the struggles at latest crisis clubs Hebei and R&F. The Yuexiushan side suffered the biggest upset in the CFA Cup this week - how surprising was the brinksmanship in the heavy rotation, and can we make any previews for the round of 16? We wrap up with some U23 rule and transfer quota confusion, along with a brief dip into conditional probability.
38 minutes | 2 years ago
Praising Guoan and puzzling over Talisca and Lippi rumour mill: s3e18
The pod is back to regular business this week, and there's only one place to start - with Beijing Guoan setting a new CSL record by opening with seven straight wins, we reflect on what's changed in the capital this season - and who or what can stop them, with plenty of speculation around just how long Guangzhou Evergrande's key man Talisca will be sidelined for ahead of this week's top-of-the-table clash.There's a quick hat-tip to some crucial Champions League games coming up next week and an early season in which no side is getting cut adrift at the bottom just yet - great viewing for the neutral.Along with a range of listener questions, the pod rattles through confusion and disappointment around a number of off-field issues, taking in the managerial situation at Guangzhou R&F, crackdowns on fan culture in Langfang, the worst reserve 'keeper in the league, and of course the end of Fabio Cannavaro's interim reign as national team coach and the mooted return of Marcelo Lippi.
40 minutes | 2 years ago
“My Fan Journey” Part 1: Cameron Wilson: s3e17
We take a break from weekly matters and dive into the first of a new series of in-depth chats to shine a more personal light on some of our contributors’ stories.Kicking off the series is none other than WEF Founding Editor Cameron Wilson. In conversation with host Steve Crooks, Cam shares his origin story - hear how football joins the dots and makes connection throughout. This first interview takes us from Dunfermline to Shanghai with a few stops in between, and leaves us with our subject fully integrating into Shenhua’s famous Lanmo supporters group. There’s time to reflect on some of the characters met along the way, and the role football plays as a mirror on culture and a means to integration and identity.We’ll be following up with part two including some unredacted stories from the terrace and away trips, and a deeper dive into Shenhua fan culture - share your questions for part two and beyond!Host Steve Crooks is joined by Cameron Wilson in Shanghai for this week's episode.
43 minutes | 2 years ago
Red cards, selection policies and ACL halfway report card: s3e16
After the goals last week, referees take centre-stage here - with the CSL seeing a record number of red cards and penalties but relatively little controversy, should we look back with satisfaction at VAR implementation and improved refereeing?One of the more controversial cards was Paulinho's early bath for a high foot in Evergrande's surprising defeat to Renhe - the panel debate the decision and then get stuck into how badly the former champions' self-imposed selection limits are hurting both them and the league.We take in some listener questions on an out-of-sorts reigning champion and a resurgent Chongqing, tip our hats to Tianjin fan culture, and settle in for a group-by-group review of the AFC Champions League - with three games played all of the Chinese sides are decently placed in their groups. Who do the pundits think will make it, and will our pre-season ACL pessimism be proved unfounded?Host Steve Crooks is joined by Chinese football experts Cameron Wilson in Shanghai and Brandon Chemers in Beijing for this week's episode.
41 minutes | 2 years ago
Some Green, Green Grass and Goals: s3e15
It's been raining high-quality goals in the CSL - and whether your preference is cheeky backheels, long-range screamers or hilarious last-minute goalkeeper snafus, there's something here for you - the panel discuss their personal favourites from a week high on action and drama.We look back at a home upset for the champions - just a bad day at the office or something more worrying? - and the steady starts being made by Guo'an and Evergrande. After some poor starts for R&F and Renhe, which of the CSL's Serbian managers should be feeling the heat, and could next week's Tianjin derby or Dalian - Shandong match throw up another early-season crisis club?Moving away from the pitch, the farcical last-minute postponement in Wuhan gets discussed - neither club nor government come out of this one looking good. With painted grass and music concerts the norm in many municipal stadia, should we be feeling sympathy for the clubs or is this another example of a stunning lack of professionalism? The discussion then turns to another club who have had some teething troubles with grounds - will City group be rueing their investment in China League Two already, and what are are thoughts on them starting so low in the pyramid and outside a Tier 1 city?Host Steve Crooks is joined by Chinese football experts Cameron Wilson in Shanghai and Brandon Chemers in Beijing for this week's episode.
46 minutes | 2 years ago
Debating China's Naturalized Player Big Brother Scheme: The Chinese Football Podcast s3e14
There's plenty of off-the-pitch goings-on for the pod to debate this week - whether it's enjoying Wuhan's Rafael da Silva's school-style apology letter or arguing the merits of checking how patriotic newly-naturalized players are, there's plenty of stranger-than-fiction tales for our April Fool's recording.There are some tight wins for the teams at the top to reflect on, and we take a moment to salute Gio Moreno as the #10 becomes Shanghai Shenhua's all-time top scorer - a made-in-Colombia special winner aside, what's the fallout from a dreadful game in Henan?Staying with on-field action we review an encouraging debut from Nico Yennaris and a less promising start for Alex N'Dombou, and look forward to some tasty fixtures coming up - including a fan's-eye preview of the Guangzhou derby from local-based fan Matt Parker. There's time as always for a phenomenon of the week nomination and some listener questions delving into the mysteries of China League One.Host Steve Crooks is joined by Chinese football experts Cameron Wilson in Shanghai and Brandon Chemers in Beijing for this week's episode.
38 minutes | 2 years ago
China Cup 2019 - Oh Dear: The Chinese Football Podcast s3e13
Once again the pod find themselves forced to answer the questions of whether the China national team has hit a new low, just how this big-spending football-power-in-waiting manages to underachieve so badly, and why things seem to be getting worse.We pull no punches in discussing where responsibility lies - is Fabio Cannavaro a fraud or a scapegoat, just how naughty has Wei Shiaho been, and is all this a smokescreen to mask official ineptitude?We get stuck into some great listener questions - what's the point of the China cup, when will we get to see naturalized players make their club debuts, and is a domestic manager the solution? We wrap up with a preview of some big fixtures in the CSL this weekend - does another slip-up await Cannavaro in Dalian, how will Shenhua manage with their u23 contingent crocked on national team duty, and what's the mood in the capital ahead of the Beijing derby?Host Steve Crooks is joined by Chinese football experts Cameron Wilson in Shanghai and Brandon Chemers in Beijing for this week's episode.You can also subscribe on Patreon, and on itunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, or various other platforms. We are also very pleased to be hosted and broadcast on Football Nation Radio. Don't miss the chance to get involved in the discussion on Twitter at #chinafootypod - we love hearing feedback and do our best to field your questions and suggested topics every week.
36 minutes | 2 years ago
Champions League and Football Fashion: s3e12
Resisting the urge to talk about the China Cup until the dust has settled, the pod takes the extended international break as a chance to catch up on some lesser-discussed topics.We kick off with a discussion of the AFC Champions League - with a mixed start for the Chinese sides in the group stage, how optimistic or otherwise are the pundits about their chances - and will the ACL really be a priority in a year which is all about Olympic and World Cup qualification for the powers that be? We share a couple of balanced views on what the ACL gets right and wrong, and why direct comparisons to the European equivalent aren't really fair. The second half of a free-wheeling discussion turns to terrace fashion - do Nike deserve all the criticism their league-wide contract and template designs get? What is the fabric to be seen in on the Chinese Curva in 2019? Is the myth of fake shirt sales one we can finally put to bed - and which shirts should the football hipster consider importing (and how) for this season?Host Steve Crooks is joined by Chinese football experts Cameron Wilson in Shanghai and Brandon Chemers in Beijing for this week's episode.
39 minutes | 2 years ago
International breaks longer than the season so far: The Chinese Football Podcast s3e11
Two rounds in with the season picking up momentum - what better time could there be for an extended break to accommodate the China Cup in Nanning? With no squad announced yet and a lack of official confirmation on the rumours surrounding Fabio Cannavaro's rumored job-share between Guangzhou Evergrande and the national side, the panel do their best to cut through the swirling rumours - and the reaction to the alleged new boss is lukewarm at best.With only two games played, does the table already reflect the season to come - and which sides will be enjoying this chance to catch their breath more than others?We include a domestic fan's perspective on the national side with WEF contributor Zhao Xiao'ou making his pod debut - and have plenty of time for listener questions in a wide-ranging discussion taking on government interference, which CFA rules we'd like to export internationally, how well (or badly) nicknames translate between Chinese and English, and how this stop-start schedule might impact Chinese sides' ACL campaigns.There's time to let a couple of pod favourites rear their heads too - stadium renovations get a shout-out, as does the Manzano-for-China bandwagon and a return for a lesser-spotted chainsmoking playmaker.Host Steve Crooks is joined by Chinese football experts Cameron Wilson in Shanghai and Brandon Chemers in Beijing for this week's episode.
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