The Double Pivot

The Double Pivot


Introducing The Double Pivot from Howler Magazine, hosted by Mike Goodman and Michael Caley. The Double Pivot is for people who want smart soccer/football commentary with a healthy dose of analytics to back it up.


Two very different Manchester vs. Merseyside clashes  

Two draws were received very differently this week. The two Mikes take a longer look at the scoreless draw at Anfield (sorry in advance), and then flip to the 1-1 result at the Etihad. They examine a few questions along the way. Can this United team win a title, or even finish in the top four with this approach? Is Daniel Sturridge a problem for LFC? Should expectations be shifting higher for Everton? And of course, the annual wave of "Is Pep a fraud?" narratives.

Life cycles and time horizons  

During a riveting international break, the two Mikes desperately search for something else to talk about, and land on the windows of opportunity in front of four premier league clubs. How badly do Manchester City need a fullback? Does Liverpool need a left back or a midfielder more, and does that change if Jürgen Klopp thinks they can win the title this year? Should Swansea City and Sunderland buy or stand pat when the January window arrives with relegation potentially looming?

Spurs stun City, Barca in crisis and Bob Bradley is a Swan  

Tottenham Hotspur played a slightly different style against Manchester City, and it totally freaking worked. The two Mikes discuss whether the outcome outlined the ways in which City are vulnerable, revisit the idea that Barcelona might possibly be in trouble, walk the path of the hottest takes to assess Swansea City's hiring of Bob Bradley, and then spend a lot of time talking about Hamilton (the play, not the Scottish team).

Introducing The Goalmouth, Howler’s newest podcastisode  

The Goalmouth is a new, 5-minute podcast that will show up on your phone by 7 a.m. EST every weekday morning so you can hear the latest soccer news and nonsense on your commute. In collaboration with the Total Soccer Show and Dirty Tackle. For more information, visit:

Introducing The Goalmouth, Howler’s newest podcast  

The Goalmouth is a new, 5-minute podcast that will show up on your phone by 7 a.m. EST every weekday morning so you can hear the latest soccer news and nonsense on your commute. In collaboration with the Total Soccer Show and Dirty Tackle. For more information, visit:

True injury impact and re-evaluating some hot takes  

How much will injuries to Messi and Harry Kane affect Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur, respectively? The two Mikes dive into the numbers, and then re-examine their preseason assessments of four English clubs: Manchester United, Chelsea, West Ham and Stoke City.

Taking stock of the Premier League's Top 6  

After four matches, the two Mikes assess whether their preseason predictions are playing out as they expected. Is Manchester City's terrifying attack enough to overcome issues at the back? Yes, Chelsea looks fantastic, but there are some problems. Speaking of problems, Arsenal has a whole mess of them. Plus, thoughts on Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, and even Everton(!).

Expected Goals Extravaganza  

This episode answers the age old question: Is football played on spreadsheets? In the heart of the international break, the two Mikes take the extra time to dive deep into everything you could ever possibly want to know about expected goals, and then talk about it some more.

Pressing Matters  

What we talk about when we talk about pressing actually varies more than most pundits would have you believe. For instance, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur have similar approaches, but one big difference. Bayer Leverkusen has a tendency to turn their pressing into hockey on grass. The two Mikes dive a little deeper into types of pressing and their desired results, and then sort out all these Champions League changes everyone is freaking out about.

Should we be more worried about these English teams, or Messi's hair?  

The two Mikes provide the hottest of takes regarding a certain Barcelona star's bleached quaff, but also marvel at how good Barcelona looks in spite of its best player's hair. A bit farther north, Manchester City and Liverpool put in some eyebrow-raising performances, and is it time to be concerned about Crystal Palace, Sunderland, and Bournemouth?

What we absolutely did not learn from Week 1 of the Premier League  

You might think you can learn a lot about a team by watching them play for 90 minutes, but when those are the first 90 minutes of the season, all bets are off. The two Mikes review the most interesting results from the Barclay's Premier League opening weekend, and decide which parts were worth filing away for later, and which were worth throwing out the minute the final whistle blew.

Premier League Preview Blowout – Part 2  

Get comfortable with life in the middle, as the two Mikes assess the dealings and futures of the "Middle 7" – teams that probably won't win the title, and probably won't get relegated. Much is covered, including: Liverpool’s favorable schedule, Spurs’ reinforcement of their core, Leicester City’s understandable variance, Southampton’s process, West Ham’s ugly numbers, Stoke’s lack of moves, and Everton’s perplexing moves. Then, it's time for the opposite of Hot Takes: it's Cold Gives. Which somehow translates to: What are the biggest question marks in the league for the 2016-17 campaign?

Premier League Preview Blowout – Part 1  

The first installment of this preview covers the top 4 (teams with the best shot to win the title), and the bottom 9 (teams that will probably fight relegation). The two Mikes discuss Manchester City’s attacking options, Arsenal’s lack of significant upside, Chelsea’s seemingly perfect additions, and Manchester United’s high risk/high reward moves. Then the real fun starts with odes to the talents of Pardew and Moyes.

Transferpalooza 3: The Legend of Florentino's Gold  

The only thing stranger than the players Barcelona has signed this summer is the fact that Real Madrid has signed so few. The two Mikes examine what those clubs and Atletico Madrid and Sevilla are building toward, and whether the pieces fit right now or down the road. They also welcome in their first-ever show guest, Stephanie Yang of Stars and Stripes FC, to break down the USWNT's chances at the impending Olympics.

Transferpalooza 2, The Paul Pogba-ing  

Juventus looks like it's going to get a whole lot of money for Paul Pogba, and that's good because they've already spent all the money on Gonzalo Higuain. The two Mikes examine the domino effect of mega transfers, the pros and cons for all the clubs involved, and what these big money deals tell us about where world football might be headed.

Transferpalooza! A guide to strategies, styles and spending  

Do you think the math in the Sadio Mané and the Henrikh Mkhitaryan transfers is a little fuzzy? Are you trying to figure out what the heck Borussia Dortmund and PSG are doing? Ever wonder what's really holding back Liverpool and Everton in the transfer market each year? The Two Mikes explore these conundrums and more in this episode.

How did Portugal pull that off, exactly?  

You could argue that France's approach in the Euro 16 final was right, it just wasn't right enough. It was also completely unnecessary. The two Mikes break down the final, remind you that the latest international tournament wasn't so bad (and you'll be excited about the next), and then spend some time breaking down how they evaluate managers. With club seasons approaching, they also ask: Why was the Premier League so weird last season? And will it be weird again?

France's attack vs. Portugal's impenetrable wall for the Euro 16 final  

Les Bleus faced their first true challenge and dismantled Die Mannschaft, while Portugal made sure Wales' greatest accomplishment of the tournament would be the quarterfinals win over Belgium. Now, Ronaldo's band of disruptors square up with the first squad that may be up to the task of running straight at them for 90 minutes.

Euro 16 mega episode: Recapping the quarterfinals and previewing the semifinals  

The two Mikes keep riding with Portugal (who, along with Ronaldo, is getting a bad wrap), while Wales made Caley look prescient, Germany vs. Italy wasn't the chess match we were looking for, and Iceland's dream died an honorable death. Plus: Will Germany be able to adapt with so many missing pieces against France, and can Wales keep the miracle run going against Portugal?

Previewing the Euro 2016 quarterfinals  

The two Mikes tackle a number of misconceptions including: Poland might be doing well because their best player is struggling, Belgium has at least one really great tactic, Italy is not a defensive team in the way that many are saying, and France is actually the underdog against Iceland (ok, we lied about the last one).

Video player is in betaClose