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Everyone’s welcome at Wrighty’s House


Everyone’s welcome at Wrighty’s House

In the often stuffy and stale world of football punditry, Ian Wright has always stood out. Whether on the Match Of The Day sofa or on international duty for ITV, Wright delivers his analysis with an infectious passion for the game. It’s obvious that the former Arsenal striker not only loves football but loves life itself. Wrighty’s House, a podcast hosted by Wright, joins Stadio as part of The Ringer’s “Ringer FC” collective, and has quickly become the perfect platform for the player-turned-pundit to share his enthusiasm with a newer generation of football fans.

Photo via @IanWright0 on Twitter

What instantly stands out is his willingness to share stories that give the listener a better understanding of the person as well as the player and pundit. Tales of his mother and his community growing up give us a better understanding of his respectful manner when engaging with others. He shares his experiences of being a father and grandfather to two sons and a grandson that have all played (or currently play) professionally. There’s words of wisdom only an ex-professional can instil laced with the emotions of his journey of discovery. This display of openness, and in some cases vulnerability, about his own experience is incredibly refreshing and in turn encourages his guests to do the same.

During a live episode in London, Wright expertly balanced entertaining a live audience with highlighting the strengths of his guest, Chelsea manager Emma Hayes. Amongst the playful back and forth between the two, Hayes identified the weaknesses of her up and coming opponents in a piece of analysis from a top level coach so rarely shared for public consumption. (Hayes’ Chelsea side would go on to beat Manchester City 4-0 a week later, exploiting those aforementioned deficiencies). This is just one example of the environment that Wright has created on the podcast for his peers. It’s hard to think of another place where Héctor Bellerín would speak so freely about his homesickness during the pandemic and his move away from Arsenal, or where Jamie Carragher could talk frankly about his own abilities and the career he had as a player. “The House”, as it is affectionately known, genuinely feels like a place where open-heartedness is applauded – not scoffed at. That environment has much to do with Ian’s regular collaborators as much as the main man himself.

The other tenants of Wrighty’s House are no supporting cast, contributing far more than just their bed and board. The duo behind Stadio bring with them their special brand of football podcasting. Ryan Hunn adds his ability to steer and drive a conversation, weaving and opening space for other collaborators to shine. His co-host, Musa Okwonga, utilises that space to create verbal imagery with a touch as deft as Wright’s former strike partner Dennis Bergkamp. Carl Anka and Flo Lloyd-Hughes add an exceptional understanding of the game, effortlessly giving in-sight with impressive clarity and the poise of an Arsenal offside trap. Jeanette Kwakye brings years of broadcast experience, not to mention those spent as an Olympian, covering every blade of grass with her multisport knowledge. Rounding out an impressive 6-a-side team, Mayowa Obiagu adds a broad viewpoint of modern football with an unmatched knowledge of the beautiful game on and off the pitch. 


Photo via @RyanHunn on Twitter

The Wrighty’s House team regularly champion the concept of giving someone their flowers while they can still smell them and no one deserves those flowers more than Ian Wright. As a player of a past generation, he could have so easily slipped into his peers’ apparent need to hammer home archaic viewpoints and bemoan anything new or different. Instead Wright embraces his colleagues’ contributions, taking the time to understand before using his platform to shine a light on their expertise. His own experiences in the game are never used to talk down to others, instead he uses them as a way to empathise and as a chance to form a connection. Wrighty’s House sits in the middle of modern football culture’s street, glowing with a sense of love and community. Their door is always open and everyone’s welcome. 


Ian Wright is the cover star and lead interview for Issue #019 of Pod Bible.
Read the magazine here or order a copy to your door here.

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