MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : WHEN SATURDAY COMES – JULY 2012

England are at the European Championship, with Ashley Young on the cover of When Saturday Comes confidently predicting that England will do better than they did at Euro 2008.

He has good reason for his optimism, as England failed to reach Euro 2008.

There is a review of the recent Scottish Cup Final, where Hearts beat Hibs 5-1, including a feature on 102 year old Hibs fan Sam Martinez, who says he hopes to see Hibs win the Scottish Cup before he dies, with their drought now at 111 years.

In Northern Ireland, Linfield won their sixth double in seven years, to some apathy from fans, with one fan arguing that history will be a lot kinder to David Jeffrey in the future than it is now.

To cover the full length of the UK, we then move to Wales, where Cardiff City fans are upset at an attempt to rebrand the club, including a change of colours by Vincent Tan.

At Aston Villa, there is an article on the future of manager Alex McLeish, whose time was believed to up when he celebrated a draw at home to Stoke.

Match Of The Month is the Championship Play-Off Final between Blackpool and West Ham, two clubs aiming to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

There is also review of the season in all three divisions of the Football League.

On the continent, Serbia’s Cup Final was held outside Belgrade and ended up in a riot, while Auxerre have been relegated from France’s top flight.

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MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : WHEN SATURDAY COMES – AUGUST 2012

Joined by Juan Mata, Fernando Torres is the cover star of this month’s When Saturday Comes, looking back in a horrendous season for him that saw him become a European champion for club and country, top scorer in Euro 2012 and an FA Cup winner.

Euro 2012 dominates this edition, with a day by day diary of the competition, looking back at every game, including a photographic look at how fans watched the tournament in the UK, while there was a feature on those who did travel to Poland and Ukraine, where the welcome for travelling fans wasn’t as bad as feared.

There is a look bad at some of the tournament’s failures, with group stage exiters Holland and Russia getting full page features on their failure.

Underdogs get profiles, with Republic of Ireland and Greece getting a full page looking back at their respective fortunes, as did both finalists Spain and Italy.

There is a look forward to Euro 2016, with sceptical analysis on the decision to increase the tournament from 16 teams to 24 teams.

In club football, there is a look at Harry Redknapp’s sacking as Tottenham Hotspur manager, and the polarising nature of the reaction to his departure from fans and media.

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF A FOOTBALL YEAR

Having done a statistical analysis of the 2011-2012 season, I thought i’d do one for my football watching in 2012, with today having been my last match attended of the year.

Here is the breakdown.

Games : 48

Goals Seen : 149

(Should have been 151, but I managed to miss two goals this year. Was late for second-half of Linfield v Portadown on 27.10.2012 and missed a goal. Missed the start of Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan on 14.11.2012 and missed a goal)

Red Cards: 10

(Doesn’t include red cards awarded in the dressing room to David Armstrong and Terry Fitzpatrick during Dungannon v Linfield on 13.10.2012)

Missed/Saved Penalties : 4

Hat-Tricks : 3

Aaron Burns (Linfield v Dungannon Swifts)
Peter Thompson (Linfield v Newry City)
Matthew Tipton (Orangefield OB v Linfield)

Teams Seen : 33

Ajax (1st time), Australia (1st time), Azerbaijan, B36 Torshavn (1st time), Ballinamallard United (1st time), Ballymena United, Carrick Rangers, Cliftonville, Coleraine, Crusaders, Donegal Celtic, Dungannon Swifts, Excelsior Rotterdam (1st time), FC Utrecht (1st time), Glenavon, Glentoran, Harland and Wolff Welders (1st time), Heart of Midlothian, Hibernian, Holland (1st time), Linfield, Lisburn Distillery, Luxembourg (1st time), Manchester United, Newry City, Northern Ireland, Norway, Orangefield OB (1st time), Portadown, Queens Park Rangers (1st time), Rosenborg, Scotland, VVV Venlo (1st time)

Stadiums Visited : 16

Amsterdam Arena (1st time), Ballymena Showgrounds, Ballyskeagh, Easter Road, Ferney Park (1st time), Gibson Park (1st time), Mourneview Park, Old Trafford, Seaview, Shamrock Park, Solitude, Stangmore Park, The Oval, Tillysburn Park (1st time), Windsor Park, Woudestein (1st time),

Competitions : 9

County Antrim Shield, Eredivise, European Cup, FA Premier League, Irish Cup, Irish League, Scottish Premier League, UEFA Cup, World Cup

Curiosities

4th February – Watched a match in a stand named after Robin Van Persie

18th February – Twins (Aaron and Andrew Burns) on opposing sides in a competitive game