If you do one thing today, go and download the Manchester United podcast – however, if you don’t want to shell out a couple of pounds just yet, hang with me as I walk you through the first edition.
The Manchester United podcast was launched on August 14th, and is supposed to be a weekly release during the Premiership season, with a new episode due every Thursday (starting from the 24th). It’s hosted by Eammon Holmes, runs for 30 minutes and if the first one is anything to go by, it should be a lot of fun.
First Edition Review
I emailed Eammon Holmes about reviewing the podcast on Soccerlens but never got a reply (boo-hoo), so here’s a overview of what was in the first edition:
Eammon Holmes kicks it off with Gary Pallister (who is with Eammon for the whole show, on and off). They talk about his goals, United’s current defensive lineup, Michael Carrick, Chelsea’s buying power and Paul Scholes.
Pallister compares Carrick with Lampard and how Lampard and Carrick have improved since their days at West Ham
Eammon brings in a clip of a Scholes interview where they discuss his injury and how Scholes got bored sitting at home for so long, having nothing to do as he’d never been out for that long before and because of the nature of his injury he hadn’t been able to train either.
I figure his injury should add another season to his career…
After a brief chat with Pallister the next former Manchester United player on the show is Dwight Yorke. A lot of the conversation circulates around Yorke’s relationship with Ferguson and United, and the parallels between Yorke’s departure and Nistelrooy’s departure from Manchester United.
Pallister is back again – they talk about the new kit, then move on to Darren Campbell, sprinter, Olympic gold medallist and Manchester United fan.
Campbell talks about his youth, how he played football with Ryan Giggs as a kid, his favourite United players and his speed training work with David Jones. The Jones’ bit was particularly interesting for me – the story (according to Campbell) is that after Jones signed an extension with United, he emailed Campbell asking him to help him with his speed training because he felt that he wasn’t up to par with the current crop of midfielders in United’s team.
Eammon finishes off with a comment on the extended sections of Old Trafford, and takes a dig at “other Premiership clubs” who will struggle to fill their stadiums this year.
- The interviews are excellent, and will remain the selling point for the podcast.
- They’ve made a concerted effort to inject humour, and they’ve done a fair job of it (the ‘Premiership Reality Show skit’ could be a hit once the season starts).
- Not enough promotion. There’s a right-sidebar banner on ManUtd.com, but that’s all I’ve seen of it. They should have distributed free copies to leading Manchester United fan sites and let them review it.
- The second misstep Manchester United have made here is that they are charging money for the podcast. The cost is a mere 1.5 pounds, and I think the reason for this is to ensure that the podcasts are not bootlegged across the Internet (they are releasing it through Audible.com).
However, that’s bollocks – IMO the best way to promote the podcast would have been to allow United fans to download it as they wished, whenever they wished. For me this is a small gripe, but it would be interesting to see what other people think about it. In comparison, the SoccerNet podcast is for free.
To sum it up – a fair effort, but I expect them to improve. Where they lack is in marketing the podcast online (although they have circulated a press release) to fans and fansites – something that I really hope they work on. The other part – the cost – is not an issue for me but what do you guys think?