MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 5.9.1992

Ipswich Town, promoted to England’s top flight for the first time since 1986, are the cover stars of Shoot, having made a good start to the season.

Lee Sharpe, hoping for a return to form after missing most of 91/92 through injury, is the subject of a Q and A, mostly covering his absence from the first team, stating that he wished to be ready for action in November.

Meanwhile, Michael Laudrup of Barcelona is advertising Patrick boots. The small print states that his brother Brian also wears Patrick boots.

After a disappointing Euro 92, Shoot assembles an expert panel to decide what England’s first choice team should be. This panel featured : Jimmy Greaves, Geoff Hurst. Kenny Sansom, Trevor Brooking. And John Fashanu.

Due to a printing error, a picture of Rob Jones appeared where Ian Wright should have been in their line-up

Turning over, Ian Wright appears in a double paged advert for Nike, with him on the right, and the left being taken up by red test saying ‘GARY WHO?’, a reference to Gary Lineker’s departure from English football.

Meanwhile, for most of Europe (some countries who failed to qualify for Euro 92, including Wales and Northern Ireland, began during the 91/92 season), the qualification campaign for the 1994 was about to start, and Shoot combines England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland games into a double page spread.

Flags, are not their strong point. Northern Ireland have the St Patrick’s Saltire, Latvia have a Soviet Latvia flag (outdated since 1990), Wales have no Dragon in their flag, and Faroe Islands have a Czechoslovia (also in the group, but played under the name of RCS during 1993) flag next to them.

England were playing Spain that week, in an international friendly, their World Cup campaign not starting until October 1992.

Ominously, England’s preview begins with a quote from Doug Ellis warning Graham Taylor that the next two years were going to be tough for him.

The reason for this was due to the number of games played by top flight English clubs, but that they were hoping to reduce the Premier League to 20 clubs within three years (The Premier League was reduced to 20 clubs for the 95/96 season)

Ellis said that Taylor’s ambition was for England’s top flight to be 18 clubs. That has yet to happen.

Shoot dedicated a page to readers letters on the recent ‘Back Pass Rule’, none of which had any sympathy for goalkeepers, now unable to pick up backpasses.

Ipswich Town were visited by Shoot to appear in a ‘Superstars’ type feature, trying to see tho has the Hardest Shot, Longest Throw, and longest Keeper’s Throw.

Neil Thompson (Hardest Shot, Longest Throw) and Craig Forrest (Keeper’s Throw) were the early leaders in the early stages of this competition.

Both players have an interesting Old Trafford connection. Both played in the Ipswich team which lost 9-0 at Old Trafford in 1995, while Thompson (Barnsley, 7-0 in 1997) and Forrest (West Ham United, 7-1 in 2000) both suffered large defeats with future employers.

Nigel Worthington is given a page to predict the results on six games over the weekend, of games involving his former clubs, and those games being televised.

Leeds United travelled to Old Trafford for Sky’s Super Sunday in a battle between the previous season’s top two, with neither side making a good start to 92/93. Worthington said it was close to call, but that Leeds were a slightly better team because they had Eric Cantona.

Little did we know happen then, that Eric Cantona would be playing at Old Trafford as a home player in just three months time.

Worthing predicted a 2-1 win for Leeds. It finished 2-0 to Manchester United.

That weekend, Football Italia launched on Channel 4, with (Des Walker’s) Sampdoria taking on (Gazza’s) Lazio. Worthington wasn’t convinced.

“I’m not sure about the introduction of televised football from Italy, and i’d rather watch Arsenal v Liverpool. I think people will soon realise that the English League is still the best”

During the 90s, Italian clubs won 3 European Cups (5 Runners-Up), 3 European Cup Winners Cups (1 Runner-Up) and 7 UEFA Cups (6 Runners-Up)

Meanwhile, Les Ferdinand gets a profile, answering questions, his favourite band are The Whispers.

A full page is given to a competition, that all the cool kids want, a VIP Day Out at Hearts ………. and a complete Hearts kit and tracksuit. All you had to do was answer three easy questions.

Over the page is another competition, which was probably a bit better, a Juventus shirt signed by David Platt, at the bottom of a double page spread where David Platt previews the forthcoming Serie A season.

Jean Pierre Papin gets a double page spread, having just joined AC Milan from Marseille.

Unfortunately, the move wasn’t as successful as people had predicted.

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MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 21.12.1991

It’s Christmas 1991, and as bizarre covers go, this is up there, as Michaela Strachan is dressed as Cinderella, accompanied by John Fashanu and Vinnie Jones dressed as ugly sisters.

Let’s face it, if there was a role that suited John Fashanu and Vinnie Jones, it was that of panto villains.

The reason for this, was that Strachan was appearing in panto at a theatre in Wimbledon, so Shoot arranged for ‘The Fash’ and ‘Vinnie’ to do a photoshoot with her.

Strachan gets to the ball (a football, of course) after her feet fits into one of Fashanu’s football boots.

Modest as ever, Fashanu declares that he is good enough to play for reigning champions Arsenal, but that he wouldn’t be keen to play under George Graham’s style of management.

All you had to do to find more laughs, as Andy Townsend declares that he is good enough to play in Siere A. 18 months later, Townsend did leave Chelsea, but not for Italy ………….. to Aston Villa.

Townsend did make a valid point asking why so few British players are prepared to move to Mainland Europe, pointing out the struggles of Chris Waddle to get picked for England while playing for France.

The draw for the 1994 World Cup Qualifiers had just taken place, and Shoot covers this.

“England look to have been given a trouble free passage to the 1994 World Cup Finals” says the feature on England’s draw. Oh dear.

There is and end of year review, with a collage of all the front covers in 1991.

Stuart Pearce is subject of a player profile. The best ever Christmas present he received was a signed photo of the Marx Brothers. Something to bear in mind in case you’re buying a Christmas present in the future.

His ideal Christmas Number One was ‘No More Heroes’ by The Stranglers (Brilliant song, not my favourite Stranglers song, but still a brilliant song)

If he had to meet one person, it would be Hugh Cornwell, to ask him why he left the band. After one meeting with Stuart Pearce, I would imagine Hugh Cornwell would be quickly rejoining The Stranglers.

There is an advert for the following week’s edition, which comes with a free wallchart for the 1991-1992 FA and Scottish Cups.

Meanwhile, it was announced that England and Portugal were the only applicants to host Euro 96. It was also announced that the deadline for bids was put back, seemingly to allow Holland and Austria to apply. A footnote to this story was that England were favourites to host Euro 96, which could be the first European Championship to have 16 teams.

As it turned out, England hosted Euro 96, while Holland (co-hosts), Portugal and Austria (co-hosts) all hosted the next three European Championships after that.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MATCH – 25th JULY 1992

We are now in the summer of 1992 as Ray Houghton, soon to be sold to Aston Villa is the cover star of Match.

The page 3 star of this episode has long, flowing black hair …….. Darren Peacock.

Darren Peacock is being honoured as the player of the 1991/1992 season based on the average ratings in Match Facts with an average rating of 7.51 from 38 games.

Bizarrely, the clubs who finished in the Top Three that season (Leeds United, Manchester United, Sheffield Wednesday) didn’t have a player in the Top Ten.

A readers poll gives readers the chance to nominate their two centre-backs in England’s team for the 1994 World cup finals.

Options include : Des Walker, Mark Wright, Martin Keown, Gary Pallister, Steve Bruce, Tony Adams, Paul Elliott, Chris Fairclough, Steve Sedgeley, Carlton Palmer, Keith Curle, Darren Peacock, Alan Kernaghan and Nicky Tanner.

Bit of a pity that England failed to qualify.

Incidentally, alan Kernaghan did get to play in the 1994 World Cup …….. for the Republic Of Ireland.

In rumours that look a bit silly now : Arsenal want to sign Geoff Thomas and Keith Curle, Chelsea want to do a swap deal with Manchester United for Andy Townsend, Everton want to sign Duncan Ferguson from Dundee United (well, they did, but from Rangers two years later)

In actual news, Bristol City sign unknown Arsenal forward Andrew Cole for £500,000. Two and a half years later, he is Britain’s most expensive footballer.