Hold The Back Page



An Irish website hosting diverse, award-winning original football writing since 2009.


  • Ep 50: Are England the baddies?

    08/07/2021 Duration: 01h17min

    And then there were two...Kevin, Enda and Phil unpack everything from the two semi-finals, including Spain's super performance, incredible Chiesa, Chiellini's psychological warfare and the sports psychologist's dream that is Alvaro Morata.On the other side, we pay tribute to Denmark and their tournament run after the trauma of Finland, enjoy Mikkel Damsgaard's delicious free-kick, discuss the penalty fiasco and England becoming the baddies, consider Sterling for Player of the Tournament and preview the big final on Sunday.𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝗯𝘀𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗯𝗲, 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗮 𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗱𝘀!‏‏‎ ‎Contact: editor@backpagefootba

  • Ep 49: Final Four & Football's Coming Home

    05/07/2021 Duration: 01h16min

    Is it coming home? We'll see, as Mark Critchley (@mjcritchley) joins to talk about their tournament run that has them on the brink of the final. We talk about Southgate's superb man management, Raheem Sterling's remarkable turnaround, the system that has Rice and Phillips purring, Jordan Pickford's renewed image, why Rice and Grealish have well and truly moved on and the cultural impact this team could leave off the field. (from 35min)Elsewhere, the lads recap the quarter-finals including Spain's misfiring attack and shaky lefty defence, Italy's immense sh*thousery, Belgium's end of the road and Denmark showing they can do the dirty work.𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝗯𝘀𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗯𝗲, 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗮 𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘆𝗼

  • Ep 48: Last 16 madness & Danish Dynamos

    30/06/2021 Duration: 01h28min

    It's a Euro 2020 Last 16 recap, as we flick through each of the games and all the major talking points after a mental week - including Spain's new found scoring touch, the French madness on and off the field, Czech Republic's downing of disappointing Dutch, poor Portugal, unconvincing Belgium and unpack everything as England cast off the nightmares of Germans past.From 1hr 5mins, we're joined by Danish journalist Kenneth Jensen (@kennethjensen85) to cover Denmark at Euro 2020 - including the emotional impact of Christian Eriksen, the wave of positivity in the aftermath, the super talented side that people overlooked, some of the key cogs in the machine and expectations ahead of meeting Czech Republic.𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝗯𝘀𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗯𝗲, 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗮 𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝗵𝗮𝗿&

  • Ep 47: Euro 2020 so far & suave Azzurri

    22/06/2021 Duration: 01h15min

    In our first recap of Euro 2020, the lads take a look at all of the big hitters and big disappointments so far - including England's team selection head scratchers, the Netherlands' gung-ho march into the Last 16, the Group F insanity between France, Germany and Portugal, Belgium's class when de Bruyne is on the field and Spain's inability to recreate tika-taka of 10 years ago.From 45 minutes, we're joined by Emmet Gates (@emmetgates) to talk about Italy and the fantastic job Roberto Mancini has done since taking on the job. We look at the spread of talent across all of the top Serie A clubs, the group unity as Mancini looks to get everyone some minutes on the field, the selection headache he faces going into the knockout stages and their lack of experience facing some of the big hitters and why Mancini might have an eye on Qatar 2022.𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝗯𝘀𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗯𝗲, 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘃&#x

  • Ep 46: Euro 2020 preview & Ireland finally win!

    09/06/2021 Duration: 01h34min

    We preview the upcoming Euro 2020, looking at all the runners and riders and our favourites and dark horses for the tournament, paying special attention to Scotland with Padraig Whelan (@pwhelan88) and their chances at their first tournament since France '98, with two games on home turf and a trip to Wembley to face old rivals England(55min).We're also joined by James Burgoyne (@JAMBurgoyne) to discuss Wales and their chances of emulating the famous 2016 run, with a fresh looking side and recent managerial changes (1hr 17min).Before all that, the lads take in Ireland's first win under Stephen Kenny and consider the positives after a truly brutal season for the Irish team - plus, we discuss their kneeling protest that invited a chorus of boos from the Hungarian support.𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝗯𝘀𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗯𝗲, 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗮 𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲ǖ

  • Ep 45: Europa recap, manager merry-go-round & Champions League final preview

    27/05/2021 Duration: 01h20min

    To preview the Champions League final this weekend, we get the fan view from Ger Deegan (@gerradeegan) and Sean O'Connor (@seanocsport) - recapping Man City and Chelsea's seasons, what it feels like to be in the final, the manager mind-games, the key players involved and how the final could hinge on two homegrown products (46m).‎‏‏‎ ‎Before all that, the lads recap the Europa League final and the woes of David de Gea, look at the Pochettino/Conte/Zidane manager merry-go-round that is chugging around Europe, and take look at the Ireland summer camp selections and the allegiances of some who're there... and others who are not.‏‏‎ ‎𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝗯𝘀𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗯𝗲, 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗮 𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘆𝗼𝘂

  • Ep 44: Kane's future, Juve on the edge & the latest in Spain

    20/05/2021 Duration: 01h18min

    With one gameweek left around Europe, there's a title still up for grabs in Spain - Alan Feehely joins to talk about Atletico Madrid's season as they head towards the title, but Real Madrid are still in contention ahead of a summer of change with Zinedine Zidane's future uncertain. We'll also take a look at the mad house in Barcelona where Ronald Koeman, Leo Messi and a host of players' futures are still uncertain. (from 39m)‎‏‏‎ ‎Before that, Kevin, Enda and debutante Simon discuss the top four race in England with the final place now in Liverpool's hands, Brendan Rodgers' penchant for avoiding European competition, the Spurs job and the future of Harry Kane and his likely suitors. Plus: good news on the Irish front with the snag of Ryan Johansson, the summer camp selections and the latest goings on in Italy and France.‏‏‎ ‎𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝗯𝘀𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗯𝗲, 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗲 &#x

  • Ep 43: Rookie managers, the cult of Wes & the top four race

    10/05/2021 Duration: 01h15min

    The lads are joined by Chris Winterburn (@cmwinterburn) to debate the rise of rookie managers at high profile jobs - why teams are willing to hire them, the risk of becoming damaged goods, the pressure on them to take big jobs now rather than later, what the future holds for the likes of Frank Lampard and Mikel Arteta, the 'elite' coaching bracket and where the likes of Pochettino and Tuchel lie in it, and if it's unfair to lump Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in with the rookies. (from 29m)Before all that - we take a look at the top four race and Leicester's potential second bottling, Liverpool's chances of bridging the gap and if West Ham can hold on. Also, some Wes Hoolahan love, plus a look at the title races in France and Spain.Join the Discord & Newsletter: linktr.ee/ThreeAtTheBack𝐏𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐞, 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢ᵁ

  • Ep 42: Euro Trip & Portugal with Tom Kundert

    27/04/2021 Duration: 01h24min

    It's a European football bonanza this week - as talking about the Super League disaster and top four race in England, take a look at Julian Nagelsmann's immanent move to Bayern Munich in the German manager merry-go-round, talk about the top four race that is too close to call in Italy, the French title race that has Lille ahead of the powerful PSG and the La Liga race which is all to play for and has plucky Seville coming up fast in the wing mirror.To take a closer look at Portugal, we're joined by Tom Kundert (@PortuGoal1) from Portugoal.net to take a look at Sporting Lisbon's charge towards their first title since 2002, what's gone wrong at Benfica and Porto this year, the National side and their star-studded squad and if Jose Mourinho could be tempted in to take them to World Cup glory.Join the Discord & Newsletter: linktr.ee/ThreeAtTheBack𝐏𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐞, 𝐥𝐞𝐚

  • Ep 41: Super League & Jose Sacked

    19/04/2021 Duration: 01h14min

    It's a Super League special this week - going through the fallout of this weekend's major announcement that sees a breakaway competition attempt to carve their own way in a bubble of greed and exclusivity. The backlash, the logo, what "fans of the future" might look like, the player implications and the likelihood of it all actually happening.There's also quick words on the not so small story of Jose Mourinho's sacking at Spurs. Slow news day, eh?!Join the Discord & Newsletter: linktr.ee/ThreeAtTheBack𝐏𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐞, 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰, 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬 𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐚 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐩 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐰

  • Ep 40: PSG, Neymar & Champions League Final Four

    15/04/2021 Duration: 01h06min

    It's a Champions League recap as we look at Liverpool's knockout at the hands of a solid Real Madrid side - talking about the selection, Nat Phillips and whether Firmino would be better suited to midfield. There's also chat on Chelsea's lack of goals and whether Man City can finally end their European duck.From 36 minutes we're joined by Jeremy Smith of French Football Weekly to take a closer look at PSG - the arrival of Pochettino, why Neymar isn't hugely liked, how good Mbappe is and his likely departure, and also a quick look at the Ligue 1 table which is shaping up to have a fantastic finish.Join the Discord & Newsletter: linktr.ee/ThreeAtTheBack𝐏𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐞, 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰, 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬 𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐚 𝐟𝐫𝐢

  • Ep 39: German football & Champions League recap

    08/04/2021 Duration: 01h15min

    This week we're joined by Stefan Bienkowski (@SBienkowski) to run the rule over everything in German football, including Dortmund's dismal league form and the future of Erling Haaland, Marco Rose's imminent move and how Borussia Mönchengladbach's form as nose-dived as a result. We also take a look at Bayern Munich, Hansi Flick's likely move to the National team and why the RB Leipzig machine will keep chugging along. (from 36m)Before all that, the lads recap the Champions League games from during the week, discuss the Trent Alexander-Arnold form and his England situation, why Naby Keita's time could be numbered, rave over Ireland's new kid on the block - Norwich's Andrew Omobamidele - and discuss Ireland's removal of a host city of this summer's Euro 2020.Join the Discord & Newsletter: https://linktr.ee/ThreeAtTheBack𝐏𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐞, 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚 &

  • Ep 38: Ireland 0-1 Luxembourg

    29/03/2021 Duration: 48min

    How quickly things change... last week we were speculating a possible change in Ireland's fortunes, this week we lament the hole John Delaney's FAI has left Irish football in on an international stage, wonder if Stephen Kenny is the right man to take things forward and hope that a post-Covid world could see a bright future for an Irish team that has been well blooded before it's time.It's not all Irish doom and gloom however, we also take a look at Liverpool's interest in Ibrahima Konate and the breaking news that is Sergio Aguero's departure from Man City this summer.𝐏𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐞, 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰, 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬 𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐚 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐡𝐞𝐥

  • Ep 37: Human Rights and the Qatar World Cup

    25/03/2021 Duration: 57min

    With Norwegian clubs taking a stand against Qatar's hosting of the World Cup amidst serious human rights issues, the national side took that one step further this week with their protest. Nicholas McGeehan from FairSquare, a human rights advocacy group, joins us to talk about the wretched conditions workers are living in, the Guardian report that found 6,500 people had died since Qatar was awarded the tournament, as well as Norway's response, Xavi's promotional efforts, the likelihood of a real boycott when the tournament rolls around and why exactly Qatar and other Gulf states are so keen to invest in sports. (from 30m)Before that, Kevin and Enda breakdown Ireland's 3-2 loss to Serbia, looking at Kenny's line-up, who impressed and who still has question marks hanging over them.𝐏𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐞, 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢

  • Ep 36: Ireland kick off World Cup 2022 campaign

    22/03/2021 Duration: 01h09min

    We're onto another international break and it's a fresh start for Stephen Kenny's charges - we preview the upcoming World Cup 2022 qualifiers against Serbia and Luxembourg with Oisin McQueirns (@McQueirns), including who's best fit to lead the line, figuring out the midfield three to go with and how Josh Cullen could be the future in the #6 role, and how the back five will look in the absence of some big names. We also take a look at the League of Ireland options and the exciting U-21 squad.Before all that, the lads take a look at the Champions League draw and Xabi Alonso's arrival into senior management.𝐏𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐞, 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰, 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬 𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐚 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐧

  • Ep 35: League of Ireland 2021 Preview

    15/03/2021 Duration: 55min

    The League of Ireland season kicks off this weekend and we're joined by David Wilson (@thedavidwilson) from ExtraTime.com to run through all the goings on for 2021 - including Shamrock Rovers' bid to stay on top and replace some big departures, Dundalk's hopes to challenge them amidst confusion over their coaching structure, some of the best of the rest amongst the contenders, some big names and fresh faces, as well as a quick look at Division 1 (from 20mins).Before that - the lads talk about the North London derby, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's position at Arsenal, whether Harry Kane can now be regarded as a dirty player and why Chris Wilder's sacking wasn't a huge surprise.𝐏𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐞, 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰, 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬 𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐚 𝐟

  • Ep 34: The story in Spain as Gerrard rules Scotland

    08/03/2021 Duration: 01h27min

    It's a bumper show this week, starting with the latest in La Liga - Alan Feehely (@azulfeehely) is on to discuss Joan Laporta's return as Barcelona president, Atletico Madrid's title charge and Luis Suarez's rejuvenation - as well as if Spanish is football is suffering a downturn amongst the elite leagues and if Zinedine Zidane is feeling the pressure once again as Real Madrid boss (from 31mins).We're also joined by Jordan Campbell of The Athletic (@JordanC1107) to talk about Rangers' storm to the title under Steven Gerrard, the misconceptions of him as a manager, his long term future of the club, the state of Celtic and the overall health of Scottish football (from 59 mins).Before all that - the lads lament the recent awful feast football that has us wanting less, discuss the problems with Liverpool at the moment and the possibility of a squad overhaul and Enda has the latest update on Man Utd.𝐏𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐬𝐜𝐫ᵂ

  • Ep 33: Ole on top as Frank gets the boot

    26/01/2021 Duration: 01h08min

    The podcast is back for 2021 and a lot has happened since we left off before Christmas. Firstly, it's the little matter of Frank Lampard getting the boot from Chelsea - we discuss what went wrong, the timing and how Thomas Tuchel fits into the club as Roman Abramovich's next plaything.We unpack what's gone wrong at Liverpool over a winter slump that has in the chasing pack and struggling to score goals - and find healthy defenders.From 28 minutes we're joined by Chris Winterburn (@cmwinterburn) to discuss everything Manchester United - how Ole has led them to the top of the league, the club sticking by him, the role of Pogba, Luke Shaw's dramatic improvement and how sustainable this rise is.𝐏𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐞, 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰, 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬 𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐨

  • Ep 32: Arsenal, Kelleher & Klopp v Kelly

    02/12/2020 Duration: 01h01min

    We're joined by Art de Roche (@ArtDeRoche) of The Athletic to talk Arsenal this week - including what Mikel Arteta has got right so far and what he's gone wrong after starting the new season off less than impressively than they finished the previous one. We discuss their new-found defensive solidity, the midfield shape and Thomas Partey's role, whether or not Mesut Ozil will be welcomed back into the fold, the Aubameyang situation and his role in the attack and how the Emirates will look as it prepares to welcome back fans on Thursday night for the first time since March (from 30:00)Elsewhere, we praise Caoimhin Kelleher's performance for Liverpool in Europe, make sense of Klopp's war on broadcasters and why Des Kelly may deserve it, and look at Real Madrid and if Zidane is on the hotseat in a struggling season.𝐏𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐞, 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚 ᵂ

  • Ep 31: Frank's Chelsea on the rise

    25/11/2020 Duration: 50min

    We look at Chelsea this week with Oliver Harbord (@ojharbord) from Football.London, discussing their start to the season and Frank Lampard’s journey so far. We look at their summer signings and the ideal system to get the best out of them, where Callum Hudson-Odoi’s situation lies, the superstar potential of Christian Pulisic, Edouard Mendy and fans’ expectations for the season ahead. (from 27m)Before that, Kevin, Enda and Phil touch on the incredibly sad passing of Diego Maradona on Wednesday. We also discussed Liverpool’s hugely impressive win over Leicester, what’s going on at Sheffield United and the storm in a teacup that engulfed Stephen Kenny after Ireland’s international break.𝐏𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐞, 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰, 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬 𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐨 ǔ

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