In this issue


Editor’s Note – Jonathan Wilson
Jonathan Wilson’s Editor’s Note from Issue Thirty One

Education – Brendan Archbold
Because after all, “it’s only football”


The Big Man – John McManus
What football can tell us about the reign of Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Darkness Falls – Tim Vickery
How football facilitated the rise of Brazil’s new leader, Jair Bolsonaro

Away from Home – James Montague
The exiled Thai billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra explains what it was like to own Manchester City

The Unlikely Mariner – Jon Spurling
Why the foreign secretary Tony Crosland took Henry Kissinger to watch Grimsby Town v Gillingham


The Pure Spectacle – Alexander Shea
Sochaux, Roland Barthes and football’s rupture from its industrial roots

Photo Sensitive – John Williams
Celebrating the photography of football and a new exhibition from Stuart Roy Clarke

Cantona is the Parthenon – Justin Muchnick
Reflections on Jackson Pollock, AEK Athens, football and the nature of art

The Top Corner – David Owen
Hunting down the earliest depictions of football in postage stamps

The Two Cultures – Adrian Pecotic
The stats geeks and the football men and why both can learn from the other


Horror Shows – Sean Cole
Remembering the two brutal Birmingham-Aston Villa derbies from the 1983-84 season

The Mouse that Roared – Gunnar Persson
Åtvidaberg, the Swedish village side that nearly ended Bayern’s glory years before they’d begun

The Land of the Bat – Jarrod Kimber
The stuttering attempts of Sri Lankan football to establish itself it a country where cricket is king

The Old Order – Tim Wigmore
Football’s dominated by those who play in western Europe, and what can be done about it

The Eagle and the Goat – David Shaw
Exploring the rivalry between Eintracht Frankfurt and Cologne through their meeting in February 2018

The Misunderstood

Oedipus and the Gallowgate – Bob Yule
Hatem Ben Arfa and the importance of father figures in the development of a star

Extremely Fast and Incredibly Straight – Richard Jolly
A celebration of Jesús Navas and his capacity to do the same thing, over and over again

The Indulgence – Tim Rich
Georgi Kinkladze could devastate opposing defences but he rarely did his own clubs much good


Vossa Excelência – James Young
After Brazil’s 7-1 defeat to Germany, a new president decides to abolish nationalism

Greatest Games

Argentina 0 Colombia 5 – Carl Worswick
World Cup qualifier, 5 September 1993, El Monumental, Buenos Aires

Eight Bells

Eight Bells – Greg Lea
A selection of classic games from the Intercontinental Cup

Issue Thirty One


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Published in December 2018, Issue Thirty One features 20 articles in 7 sections, including James Montague looking back on Thaksin Shinawatra’s ownership of Manchester City, Carl Worswick on Colombia’s 5-0 victory over Argentina in 1993, the misunderstood geniuses of Hatem ben Arfa, Jesus Navas and Georgi Kinkladze, and the time Henry Kissinger went to watch Grimsby Town v Gillingham