Rants and musings from the magazine team
So you’ve just got your breath back from Manchester City winning the league in the last second of the season, recovered from a summer filled with the Euros and Olympics - what you need now is a bloody good rest, Right? Wrong! The new season is upon us, and the September edition of FourFourTwo - out now - has the ultimate guide to the next nine months.
Not only do you get our biggest mag for years, packed full of new-season goodness – including FFT working out how the Premier League can top the sheer insanity that was 2011-12 and analysing the stars about to hit the Premier League stage like Shinji Kagawa, Oliver Giroud and Eden Hazard, and interviewing the likes of Petr Cech, Sandro, Fabio Borini and Pablo Zabaleta – there’s our bumper Season Preview supplement to keep you busy…
Every division from the Premier League to the Football League, the Blue Square, Scotland, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Portugal, Holland and Uzbekistan (OK, maybe not that last one) is put under the microscope, with the all-important FourFourTwo predictions as to who’s coming out on top and who’s going down – and if you think we’re wrong, put your money where your mouth is – there’s a free £10 bet courtesy of Coral.
Back in the main issue, ahead of the new season we answer the age-old question, settling many a pub debate – what is the best league in the world? Superstars, excitement, all-out craziness and the price of a pint are all taken into account as the Premier League battles in out with La Primera, Serie A, the Bundesliga and others to be crowned top dog.
Have your daydreams of being snapped up by your boyhood club shattered by reading a real-life account of a young footballer emerging from the wreckage of an injury-ravaged career, a nightmare concoction of Danish trials, missed buses and anterior cruciate ligaments.
What’s everyone waiting in anticipation to see before the new season? That’s right – the politics of the pre-match handshake. Is it a bright spot of sportsmanship, needed in the current climate, or an unnecessary distraction, turning the game further into a badly-written soap opera? FourFourTwo has the answer…
The biggest secret in football? An impending shock transfer? Dodgy dealings between agents and managers? What’s really in those pies? No, no and no. FFT has the formula behind the much-debated FIFA world rankings – including why England are in the heady heights of third place (stop laughing at the back) and why Brazil will only fall further from their lowly thirteenth.
We know it would be hard to chuck in your season ticket, but we’ve got a real challenge for you – spend a year following the world’s most dangerous team. With more football-related deaths than a Dream Team end-of-season cliffhanger, we go behind enemy lines to give you the full story of Mexico’s Indios.
If that gets a bit hairy, bask in the warm glow of nostalgia by reliving the halcyon days of Channel 4’s Football Italia. See how a generation was turned on to the stars of Serie A, with added Gazza, from the presenter of the show himself – James Richardson.
If all that’s not enough (but, frankly, we think you’re being a bit greedy) we pitch your questions to goalkeeping legend Neville Southall, get some pre-season tips from Ashley Young, have a good old chinwag with Vinnie Jones on his journey from Plough Lane to LA and – as always – much, much more…
The September issue of FourFourTwo is brought to you by… Petr Cech, Neville Southall, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Vinnie Jones, Edouard Duplan, Tom Boyd, Paul Bracewell, Andy Cole, Paul Lake, Alan Shearer, Brendan Rodgers, Pat Nevin, Pablo Zabaleta, Mark Lawrenson, James Richardson, Gary Mabbutt, Andre Santos, Gus Poyet, Stewart Robson, Fabio Borini, Enzo Scifo, Sandro, Sebastian Kehl, Ashley Young, Philippe Albert, Mickael Landreau, Malky Mackay, Robbie Keane, Yordany Alvarez, Darren Anderton, Osvaldo Alonso, Torsten Frings, Juninho Paulista, Don Goodman, Dida, Peter Beagrie, Gary Birtles, Emmanuel Frimpong, Murder City FC and the Maradona of Subbuteo
Munich, June 9, 2006: the opening match of the World Cup. After just six minutes Philipp Lahm would set
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