It’s mid February, the season is approaching the final run, with the resumption of European football less than a fortnight away, and David Beckham is the cover star, making the bold proclamation that “United are good enough to win it all”
As you open the magazine, there is a full page feature on Wimbledon, with defender Chris Perry giving a guided tour of Selhurst Park, lamenting the fact that Wimbledon don’t have their own stadium.
Perry says “We need our own base, but I can’t see us getting our own stadium in the near future”
Sadly, Wimbledon moved to Milton Keynes in 2003, and a new club was formed when the Milton Keynes move was announced in 2002.
The new club (though not at Selhurst Park) have had to groundshare, but are hopeful of a new stadium.
Nottingham Forest’s Alan Rodgers, pictured scoring against Manchester United, is mocked with a caption “THEY NEVER SAW IT COMING” as his goal made it 1-1. The final score was Nottingham Forest 1-8 Manchester United.
Adie Moses of Barnsley offers his top five bands : 1. Stone Roses 2. Shed Seven 3. Oasis 4. Blur 5. The Charlatans
Meanwhile, Match weighs up Howard Wilkinson’s chances of being pernament England manager (he was caretaker at this time after the sacking of Glenn Hoddle)
Their conclusion was that it would be better if it was given to someone else.
Andy Booth is in a feature called “My first ……”
His first record was by Phil Collins, but he can’t remember what it was, and then declares he’s “Not that big a fan of Phil Collins”
His first concert was a Take That concert (his girlfriend wanted to go) and he describes them as “they weren’t bad actually”, and his first car was a Peugeot he got for 250 quid.
David Beckham gets a 3 page interview, previewing United’s European Cup Quarter-Final against Inter Milan, looking to draw inspiration from the 4-0 win over Porto in 1997.
The interview with Beckham signs off with his analysis of United’s trophy hunt “We want to win the European Cup, the FA Cup, and the title. It’s hard, but I believe we are capable of doing it”
Well, we all know what happened next.
Michael Owen gets a three page interview to commemorate the fact it was a year since his England debut (at the time, he was England’s youngest player) and there was a symmetry as his debut was a 2-0 home defeat, and his most recent appearance (against France, earlier that month) was a 2-0 home defeat, focusing on the build-up to the game against Chile, and the 1998 World Cup.
In posters, you could have got one of Manchester United substitute goalkeeper Raimond Van Der Gouw. Yes, really.
Kevin Phillips, of runaway Division One leaders Sunderland, gets a double page, followed by two pages profiling the other clubs battling for the other two promotion places, with a brief interview with a player from each club.
Clubs featured included Grimsby Town, now in the Conference.
John Aloisi, recently signed for Coventry from financially struggling (just like now, sadly) Portsmouth gets a double page interview on his move to the Premier League. At the side of the page is ten facts about Aloisi, including that his favourite band is Savage Garden, but not because they’re Australian.
Kanu, recently signed by Arsenal gets a double page interview, revealing that Marc Overmars used to give him a lift when they played together at Ajax.
In competitions, you could win tickets to the launch of the new England kit at the NEC in Birmingham.
In a sign of modern football gone mad, Match accompanies referee Uriah Rennie as he does a photoshoot for Fila. Yep, you read that right.