Alex Barker | Videographer & Presenter for The Athletic

Inside Football Media
7 min readMay 15, 2024


Alex, thank you for taking the time to speak to us today. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you currently do?

Thank you! I’m a videographer (officially) and a presenter (unofficially) for The Athletic. I joined in May 2023, as part of a new vertical video project, aiming to create news-based content for a young audience. Over time however, my colleagues have allowed me to float into other areas.

As a Videographer and Presenter for The Athletic, what does a ‘typical’ week look like for you?

My typical working week, put simply, is a fun mix of writing, presenting, and editing both news and tactical videos.

Of course, as many in the industry will attest to, there’s often a lot of “soft” work that comes with the role if you want to stay on top of things. During weekends, I try and consume as much live football as possible, as well as watching back games. This is to stay on top of things both from a news perspective, but for me mostly, a tactical perspective. That attitude extends to every part of my day; The train to work is spent reading a book (“Tor” at the moment), the journey home is spent listening to a tactical podcast (usually “Devils in the Detail” or “The Pot Shot Podcast”).

Are there any specific projects or goals you’re currently working towards in your role at The Athletic that you’re particularly excited about?

I’m simply one person who helps contribute to our weekly Saturday show on The Athletic FC YouTube channel, starring Joe Devine, JJ Bull, Jon Mackenzie and Reuben Pinder and occasionally me!

We’re still early on in the show’s tenure and are perfecting it, but there’s some really rich conversations that take place every week. The production too, is excellent (shoutout to Don and Jamie). We’re trying to make the best football content possible, and helping perfect it every week is a great process to be a part of.

I want to discuss your TikTok channel — @Euroexpert. You’ve amassed a following of over 70k! Congratulations. For those that haven’t seen it, can you explain the type of content you produce and why you started it. Also, would you advise somebody starting out in this space to do the same?

Firstly, thank you for the kind words! Let me take you back to 2021. I was like many people subscribed to your Newsletter, trying to find a way into the industry without A). Much experience and B). Any real qualifications. I’m a Uni dropout.

However, I was always interested in making videos, having grown up devouring YouTube content. As a result, I’d been experimenting with vertical videos on my Twitter account, which at the time was on between 1000–2000 followers.

They were about transfers, looking to inform an English audience, no matter what team they supported, about their new star signing or potential transfers. For example, 40 seconds on Boubakary Soumare to Leicester, with a 6/10 rating at the end.

Sadly, the app has gone downhill — which means I can’t credit the person who probably changed my life. But someone DM’d me telling me I had to upload these videos on TikTok, and bet me I’d get 10k followers within months. I’d never used it — my girlfriend’s addiction to the app scared me off — but I took the bait and wow…

The platform is absolutely one I recommend other budding journalists exploit. My videos were getting thousands of views almost immediately. Quite simply, *anyone* can reach an audience on TikTok. Of course, the skill comes in maintaining it, but it’s a fantastic platform to build confidence and improve your work.

How do you see the future of football journalism evolving, especially in terms of video content?

I think we’re in an interesting, unpredictable spot. If you asked me this even a few months ago, I’d have probably said long-reads will die out. That video, and Twitter aggregators, were the winners of the attention economy. My opinion has since changed, because there’s been so many excellent long-reads I’ve read throughout the season.

From Billy Carpenter’s Toulouse piece for Scouted, to basically all of Jake Fox’s dissertations on set pieces, to so many Adam Crafton and Daniel Taylor reads across this season — it’s shown me that a talented writer can still reign supreme.

Well, almost supreme — I do work in video after all! And with a particular focus on that, there are so many creators around right now creating top work. I also think we’ve shifted through the era of copyrighted work, getting away from relying on showing match footage. People have begun to get more creative with the content they produce, but video is still in a spot where anyone has a chance to make a name for themselves. I hope that will still be true in five years’ time.

Could you share a memorable experience/highlight from your career to date that stands out to you?

I always find questions like these tricky, mainly because I know the effect of a self-celebratory answer can have. I’ve been there, a struggling journalist reading about how everything worked out for someone else, and been left with nothing but frustration. So let me tell you about my most challenging point, in terms of credibility.

It was September 2021, and on the surface, I was doing great! My videos were doing well, my social media was beginning to boom. But, I’ve always been something of a people pleaser, and that means I try and impress both casual fans, and those who are more educated than me. I want people smarter than me to learn something from my work. I mean quite simply, I want my work to be the best it can possibly be.

At this point in history, that absolutely wasn’t the case. My research wasn’t thorough , and I’d become satisfied just chasing clicks. I remember one video I did about Brighton signing Marc Cucurella — I quite simply didn’t put the effort in, said he wasn’t great, and those who had actually scouted him called me out. But the breaking point came a few weeks later, when I made a chart showing progressive carries + passes for central midfielders in Europe, titled it “the best midfielders in Europe”, and posted it to Twitter.

The post did great! It got picked up by some big accounts, nice numbers. But I noticed a few people in replies slating my use of data.

One of them was a guy called Cameron Herbert — who I got into a spat with. A few sarky replies were exchanged and I could have left it at that: But as I said, I wanted my work to be better. I want it to be the best it can possibly be.

I DM’d Cameron, and encouraged him to tell me how bad my work was (which he enjoyed doing a little too much). I had a similar conversation with @DrMukherjeeS, and the resulting conclusions I drew was that I had to up my game. That’s a mission statement I’ve always tried to run with ever since.

What advice would you give to aspiring journalists, videographers, and presenters looking to break into the world of sports media, particularly in football?

An unpopular one: Be prepared to do things for free. Early on at least. Go the extra mile.

Don’t get me wrong, please don’t sell yourself short. I’m terrible at undercharging people. But the first 18 months of my attempts to gain attention and traction consisted of writing free articles for Breaking the Lines, OneFootball, GetFrenchFootballNews and more. Perhaps I should have charged — but for me, the exposure and the experience it brought helped me grow as a writer. And for your CV, it’s great. “Wrote weekly features to audience of 50k people”. Goldust.

Also please stop DMing people on mass to retweet your work. It doesn’t come across well. Put as much effort into your request as you want them to give back.

Can you share 3 useful tools or resources which you find helpful to fulfil your role?

Most of my toolkit is from Adobe’s suite — which feels like cheating. It comes at a price not all of us can afford. So let me recommend some alternatives for Videographers:

- GIMP. It’s Photoshop for free. Download it now.

- Sony MovieStudios. You can’t make auto-transcribed subtitles on it, but it’s a nice relatively cheap piece of video editing software.

- 365 tips on Graphic Design. A book I wish I read earlier in my life.

What do you do to switch off outside of work?

Hahaha as kind of intimated, I don’t really! But infairness, when the international break comes round, I turn all the football off. During that time, I often look to spend time with my girlfriend (Morgan I’m sorry I missed our date because I was watching Marseille vs Le Havre), or watch some YouTube. TLDR News are my go-to.

And finally, Alex, where can people find you on social media to connect?

At EuroExpert_ on Twitter…. for now! But you can always email me at — where I tend to be more responsive. Please feel free to email me questions for help, I always respond. And later this year, I’ll do another CV-feedback weeks too!

Sign up to the Freelance Football Opportunities newsletter to receive freelance football work directly in to your inbox every week: