Rants and musings from the magazine team
If you’re worried about the season coming to a close and long football-less summer stretching ahead of you, then you’ve clearly forgotten about the European Championship. Not to worry: it’s our job at FourFourTwo to remind you, so that’s what we’ve done – and how.
This month's issue of FourFourTwo comes with our legendary tournament supplement. That’s 68 silky pages on Euro 2012, with the full lowdown, strengths, weaknesses, kit guides, tactical analyses and interviews with a player from every nation, including Xavi, Petr Cech and Yohan Cabaye.
Plus, we look back at how the European Championship turned from an unliked mini-tournament into a glorious monster cup, and why this year’s event will be the best ever.
And in the main issue, we have not one, not two, not even three but FOUR different covers for you to choose from. Or you can buy all four if you want. That’d be nice for us, but don’t feel you have to. (Do it.)
Poland and Ukraine will host the most hotly anticipated Euros tournament in years, and with a number of teams in it to win it, we bring you the interviews and the inside stories on Spain, Germany, Holland and, of course, England.
Some say that England are in freefall, devoid of a captain, Rooney for two games and any hope of success. We say: nonsense. The Three Lions can lift the trophy, and by looking at lessons from history and speaking to members of heroic underdogs Denmark in ’92 and Greece in 2004, we tell you how.
We also speak to Joe Hart, Ashley Young and two young striking hopes in Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge, both looking to step into Rooney’s shoes, to see why they’re confident of springing a shock. And if you’re still not convinced, tactical experts detail how England can win without Wazza.
And now: a road trip. First, we look at how Holland recovered from the night that killed a proud tradition of Total Football, “destroying a 40-year tradition and dragging it through the s**t” (not our words). Rafael van der Vaart explains how they’re going to restore pride to the Dutch game.
Next stop, Germany. FFT investigates how a foreign invasion made the Germans a modern power in world football. They could win the Euros this summer, thanks to a little help from a Brazilian player, a Pole, a Nigerian ...you get the picture. And just to make it even clearer, we speak to Polish-born Lukas Podolski about his dream of winning the European Championship in his home country.
So one of England, Holland and Germany could win the Euros... but what about holders Spain? Sorry, chaps. FFT can reveal that La Roja’s dominance will end this year, due to dressing room unrest, crushing fatigue and... well, you’ll have to read the feature to find out. In the sake of fairness, Fernando Llorente and Vicente Del Bosque tell us they’re not worried, and Xavi explains why England “intrigue” him.
But the June issue isn’t all about the Euros. We travel to Argentina for the exclusive story on football’s biggest ever mistake. One day in early 2000, a kid by the name of Lionel Messi tried out for River Plate and scored eight goals. Naturally, River went straight ahead and signed... his mate. Find out how they dropped the ball in a decision that changed history, and how it all came down to an argument over a window seat.
Back on home soil, we go to watch the team that tackles criminals on a daily basis but only gets cautioned at the weekend. The Metropolitan Police FC, and their two fans, are looking for promotion – and they’re even less popular than Crawley.
And that’s not all. The madness of the Football League hasn’t excited just Manish and Claridge on a Saturday evening – we love it. We look back on the moments when the lower leagues went berserk, from rants and text pests to a severely disturbing injury to the nether regions.
You wouldn’t have seen that kind of controversy down at Portman Road when Alf Ramsey was at the helm. We mark the 50-year anniversary of Ipswich’s title triumph by recalling and celebrating what could have been Ramsey’s real finest moment.
What’s more, we put your questions to Shay Given ahead of the biggest summer of his career. Likes include: Bobby Robson and Kenny Dalglish. Dislikes include: Ruud Gullit and being reminded of that Dion Dublin goal.
Still not enough for you? Luckily, we’re feeling generous. Buy the new issue and you can also feast your eyes on interviews with Nicklas Bendtner, Mikel Arteta, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Bryan Robson, plus many more besides.
If you buy one football magazine this month, make it this one.
The June 2012 issue of FourFourTwo and Euro 2012 supplement was brought to you by... Xavi, Nilmar, Bryan Robson, Alan Shearer, Daniel Sturridge, Shay Given, Giorgio Chiellini, Nikica Jelavic, Sebastian Larsson, Darren Anderton, Ashley Young, Vicente del Bosque, Matt Le Tissier, George Cohen, Neil Danns, Rafael van der Vaart, Hugo Almeida, Yohan Cabaye, Mikel Arteta, Koloman Gogh, Richard Gough, Clarke Carlisle, Nobby Solano, Petr Cech, Nigel de Jong, hurdles champion Dai Greene, Udinese manager Francesco Guidolin, Paul ‘Sensible’ Merson, Julian Gray, Joe Hart, Peter Schmeichel, Mark Burchill, Christopher Wright, Lukas Podolski, Fernando Llorente, Cameron Jerome, Nathan Pond, Ruslan Rotan, Georgios Samaras, Nicklas Bendtner, Ray Crawford, Danny Welbeck, Tulio Maravilha, Wayne Routledge, Teddy Sheringham, Jason Demetriou, Per Mertesacker, Jakub Blaszczykowski (try saying that drunk), Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (and that), Shane Long, Santi Cazorla, Stelios Giannakopoulos, Michel Salgado, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Gibraltar’s manager, football’s WAGs, the worst professional team in the UK and the man who was better than Messi.
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