In this issue


Editor’s Note – Jonathan Wilson
Jonathan Wilson’s Editor’s Note from Issue Fifteen

The North-East

A Sentimental Journey – Jonathan Wilson
In a world of superclubs, what’s the point of the ordinary teams?

The Great Betrayal – George Caulkin
Mike Ashley and the cheapening of the Newcastle United dream

The Van Basten of Hartlepool – Harry Pearson
Adam Boyd and the glory of a talent that flickers without ever catching light

Bob Paisley and the Red Kennedys – Michael Walker
The north-eastern influence that underlay Liverpool’s period of domination


A Season in Turin – Dominic Bliss
Man-marking, training without the ball and a car crash: Denis Law on his year in Serie A

The Lost Weekend – Jim Davies and Juan Felipe Rubio
Spending two days with Faustino Asprilla on his ranch in rural Colombia

A Game for Individuals – Thierry Marchand and Philippe Auclair
Thierry Henry reflects on how football has changed in his 20 years at the top

Davids and Goliaths

The Boys who Never Grew Up – Luke Alfred
South Africa are African football’s greatest underachievers. What’s gone wrong?

When FFP Goes Wrong – Robin Bairner
Luzenac’s promotion to the French second flight should have been a joyous fairy-story but it killed the club

Defying the Odds – Will Unwin
How tiny Eibar have taken their place in the Spanish top flight

Fifa’s Exiles – Paul Watson
For Pacific islands, football development can be a haphazard and fragile process


The Roundhead’s Paradox – Nicholas Blincoe
Tony Pulis and the strangely conflicted character of British Puritanism

Wengerball – Amy Lawrence
Arsène Wenger, the Invincibles and the transformation of Arsenal’s philosophy

The Archduke and the Offside Law – Jonny Singer
Did the First World War lead to the most significant ever change to the Laws of the Game?

Pep Talk – Marti Pararnu
How Guardiola inspired Bayern Munich before the Super Cup shoot-out against Chelsea

The Sense of an Ending

Fallen Eagle – Ewan MacKenna
The death of the former Nigeria striker Rashidi Yekini remains shrouded in mystery

On the Road – Alessandro Mastrolucca
25 years ago the Cosenza midfielder Denis Bergamini was run over by a truck. Was it murder?


The Quantum of Bobby (Part Four) – Iain Macintosh
Spinning through time and space, Bobby Manager finds himself at Roy Keane’s Sunderland

Greatest Games

Liverpool 3 Newcastle United 0 – Scott Murray
FA Cup final, Wembley Stadium, London, 4 May 1974

Eight Bells

Dethronings – Rob Smyth
A selection of champions who surrendered their titles in decisive fashion

Issue Fifteen


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First published in December 2014, Issue Fifteen contains 20 articles in 8 sections, including: Jim Davies and Juan Felipe Rubio spend two days with Faustino Asprilla on his ranch in rural Colombia; George Caulkin on Mike Ashley and the cheapening of the Newcastle dream; and Denis Law speaks to Dominic Bliss about the year he spent playing for Torino in Serie A.