David May, David Beckham, Teddy Sheringham, and the FA Cup are the cover stars of Match, as Manchester United have just won the double, a third in six years, but there’s more to come.
Unfortunately, printing deadlines mean that only a preview, rather than a review, of the European Cup Final against Bayern Munich can appear in the magazine.
In the news section, there’s a random story of a West Ham celebrity fan having a kickabout at West Ham’s training group with Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand ……. Tamzin Outhwaite from Eastenders.
Meanwhile, Alan Thompson predicts big things for Aston Villa in 1999-2000, despite their 1998-1999 title challenge falling apart after Christmas. They finished 6th in 2000, like in 1999, but did reach the FA Cup Final.
Peter Beagrie, having just helped Bradford into the Premier League, is interviewed for a feature called “My First …..” where he reveals his first concert was Diana Ross at the NEC in Birmingham, his first film was Jaws, and his first kit was QPR.
The FA Cup Final, where Manchester United beat Newcastle United 2-0, gets a five page round-up, mostly pictures, with quotes, with a page dedicated to a mimute by minute report of the game.
The rest of the magazine is dubbed “Champions Special”, dedicated to teams that have won their league. First up, is Rangers, and a double page interview with Andrei Kanchelskis ahead of the Scottish Cup Final between Rangers and Celtic.
Meanwhile, Sunderland (Division One) Fulham (Division Two) Brentford (Division Three) and Cheltenham (Conference) all get full page reviews of their title winning seasons.
Meanwhile, there is a five page preview of the European Cup Final, focusing on an interview with Ryan Giggs, while Yorke and Cole get a joint interview as well.
Bayern Munich get a full page, written by Steffan Effenberg, listing five reasons why they would win, that they were underdogs, well prepared, good at penalties, under no pressure, and most importantly, United had Roy Keane missing.
It was a bit laughable of Bayern Munich to pretend they were underdogs considering they actually won their group (though both games were draws) ahead of United.
There is a centre page poster for the game, where fans can fill in blank spaces with the team line-ups and goalscorers.
Manchester’s other team, City, also had a big match that week, as they headed to Wembley for the Division Two Play-Off Final, and Match does a double page interview with Nicky Weaver.
But it’s not all about Champions, as Dennis Bergkamp looks back at Arsenal’s season, where they missed out on the title by a point.
Gareth Southgate is interviewed about Aston Villa’s New Year collapse (They were top of the league at Christmas) and heaps praise on youngsters in their team such as Gareth Barry, Lee Hendrie and Darius Vassell.
In the letters page, a West Bromwich Albion fan worries that his side might lose top goalscorer Lee Hughes. He left for Coventry in a big money move in 2001, before returning to Albion, before being sacked by the club after being sentence to prison for causing death by dangerous driving.
In other letters, a young Wigan Athletic fan suggests that the town’s football team are in the process of becoming more high profile than it’s rugby team.
This week, is also one of the very first weeks where you contribute to Match’s letters page via e-mail. Modern technology.
Meanwhile, you could do a quiz on Aston Villa right-back Steve Watson, if you wanted.
Talking of quizzes, Karl-Heinz Reidle took on Gianfranco Zola in a football quiz, with Zola winning 9 (out of 10) to 8.
It was Karl-Heinz Reidle’s inability to answer who got promoted from Division Three that cost him.