In this issue


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


The Inverted Sheepdog – Graham Hunter
The inside story of how Xavi emerged as the central hub of the world’s greatest team

Corrida of Uncertainty – David Winner
How the cruelty of tiki-taka resembles bull-fighting

The Other Rival, Another Way – Scott Oliver
When the nastiest rivalry in Spain was between Barcelona and Athletic


Alex Ferguson – Philippe Auclair
Sir Alex Ferguson discusses his early start, the importance of continuity and his need to be alone


Capital Failings – Ian Hawkey
Football clubs in democratic capitals tend to underperform and London is no exception

A Very English Visionary – Martin Cloake
How the understated radicalism of Arthur Rowe defined Tottenham’s style

South of the River – Nick Szczepanik
For a spell in the eighties, Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace, Millwall and Wimbledon challenged the elite

The Bald Eagle and the Modern Way – Bob Yule
How Jim Smith brought the 3-5-2 to Queen’s Park Rangers


Deschamps-Suaudeau – Patrick Dessault
Didier Deschamps and Jean-Claude Suaudeau debate the modern vogue for attacking football

The New Enganche – Sam Kelly
Javier Pastore talks about his move to Paris Saint-Germain and living up to the playmaking ideal


Unlikely Hosts, Unlikelier Winners – Pablo Manriquez and Backpagepix
Images from the 2012 African Cup of Nations.

Victory Song – Jonathan Wilson
How Zambia’s emotional triumph restored the zest to the Cup of Nations

The Barefoot Pioneers – Gary Al-Smith
CK Gyamfi explains how a bootless tour to Britain helped shape the game in Ghana

Ultra Violence – David Lynch
After the horrors of Port Said, the exact role of ultras in the downfall of Hosny Mubarak remains unclear

In Appreciation of…

Ronaldo in Moscow – Sheridan Bird
A slalom though the Luzhniki mud confirmed the genius of O Fenomeno

Toussaint on Zidane – Juliet Jacques
What the World Cup final headbutt meant to the Belgian writer


Pelé v Beckham – Pete Grathoff
Which of the icons had the greater impact on football in the USA?

The Other Cup – Brian Phillips
How do you solve a problem like the Europa League?

Continental Drift – Rob Langham
Kazakhstan has slipped behind Uzbekistan since it abandoned Asia

Football Manager

The Ballad of Bobby Manager: My Autobiography (Part Four) – Iain Macintosh
When somebody takes their game of Football Manager just a little too seriously…

Greatest Games

Racing 1 Celtic 0 – Dan Edwards
Intercontinental Cup final play off, Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, 4 November 1967

Eight Bells

Shirt Tales – Scott Murray
The history behind a selection of iconic kits

Issue Four


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First published in March 2012, Issue Four contains 22 articles in 10 sections, including: Jonathan Wilson on how Zambia’s emotional triumph restored zest to the Cup of Nations; Graham Hunter exploring how Xavi emerged as the creative hub of the world’s greatest team; and Dan Edwards’ Greatest Games feature looking back at the Intercontinental Cup final play-off between Racing and Celtic in 1967.