Veteran football pundit John Giles has launched a war of words between Ireland’s two most listened to football podcasts.
Giles has been a regular guest during the first few weeks of Eamon Dunphy’s new podcast The Stand, along with Liam Brady and Didi Hamann.
After just four episodes, the podcast made the top of iTunes’ Irish charts this week, ahead of the Second Captains podcast.
And in the latest episode of The Stand, Giles took a swipe at Ken Early, Second Captains’ resident football expert.
Introducing a segment about the defensive vulnerabilities of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side, Dunphy referenced Early’s column on City in this week’s Irish Times.
“There’s a column by Ken Early in which he actually accuses the Manchester City fans of letting Guardiola down because they were very uneasy when they saw Otamendi and Stones exchanging a series of passes together going nowhere.
“Some journalists and some people have made a cult hero out of Guardiola, in which you can’t question him and I would question his attitude to defending.”
That was Giles’ cue to dismiss Early’s opinion.
“It’s not necessarily an opinion that football people have. The press come and go, as we know. You mentioned Ken Early. I wouldn’t necessarily agree with anything Ken Early says about football.”
The Irish football podcast space has become increasingly crowded, with a host of offerings battling for listeners.
There is also Newstalk’s Off the Ball Football Show, The Football Show from Balls.ie, and the You Boys in Green podcast.
The Guardian’s Football Weekly regularly features near the top of the Irish charts, while podcasts by Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville and European football journalist Graham Hunter are also popular.
This week, the Irish Examiner launched its Monday Football Show, hosted by Larry Ryan, with weekly contributions from Irish Examiner Soccer Correspondent Liam Mackey.
Ryan said: “It is an extremely competitive area but Liam spends all day talking anyway, he's one of the best talkers in the business, so we may as well harness that.
“Where we also think we have an advantage is in the range of reporters and correspondents we can talk to. The Examiner have reporters at all the big Premier League games each weekend, so those lads will bring insight from the grounds and press conferences.
“We’ll also have regular features on European football and the League of Ireland once the domestic campaign resumes.
“But we won't be starting any war of words yet. Not with Gilesy anyway. I'd say he still has a reducer in his locker.”
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