MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MANCHESTER UNITED – MARCH 1997

Andy Cole is the cover star of Manchester United’s official magazine in a month which sees United return to European action after a Winter break.

There is speculation about Alex Ferguson’s future at United, saying he has no plans to retire this side of the millennium.

United’s forthcoming tie against Porto gets a four page preview, with former Porto manager Bobby Robson expecting his former side to go through.

United’s recent games get reviewed, a period that saw progress in the League but an FA Cup exit.

Ray Wilkins gets interviewed as he is nearing the end of his playing career at the age of 40.

Cover star Cole gets a four page interview as he aims to recover from injury to help United’s bid for trophies in the final months of the season.

The magazine ends with a Q and A with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who reveals he likes living in Altrincham.

UEFA 101 CLUB – UPDATE

It’s been a year, and the opening rounds of European competition are drawn tomorrow, with Irish League teams joining the action, so it’s a good time to update my pursuit to complete a rather pointless list.

You may have noticed the new title – further research has indicated that 101 clubs, not 100 have played in a European Final. It’s not my fault, I was basing it on the When Saturday Comes article that inspired it, which at the time of writing said 99 clubs had reached a European Final, with the next one being the 100th.

Turns out, there had already been 100 clubs. Since you ask, the honour belongs to Fulham.

So, what is the UEFA 101 Club? Well, 101 clubs have played in the final of one of European football’s three competitions (European Cup, European Cup Winners Cup, UEFA Cup) and there are people who try to see every team play live in person.

I’m doing it just for fun, but if I win the lottery, I might start taking it a bit more seriously.

Living in Northern Ireland, you’d think it would be hard trying to see some of these clubs, but tomorrow’s draw could see some clubs who’ve had greater European nights visiting Northern Ireland. It did last year.

In the European Cup, Cliftonville could have a rematch with Celtic. No use to me, as i’ve already ticked Celtic off my list.

Other possible opponents for Cliftonville include : Steau Bucharest, Dinamo Zagreb (already ticked off my list), Partizan Belgrade and Slovan Bratislava.

Frustratingly, Red Star Belgrade won’t be in the competition due to being thrown out due to Financial Fair Play. I would have loved to have seen them in the flesh, even though they’re now a shadow of their 1991 team, the mystique remains.

If they get drawn against Steau Bucharest, I might be tempted to go.

If Cliftonville get through, they could potentially face Red Bull Salzburg, Malmo or Dinamo Tblisi.

In the UEFA Cup, Linfield being seeded means they won’t be facing any members of the club, but there are opportunities for Crusaders and Glenavon.

By the way, i’m hoping the draw sends Linfield to Broughton (or Airbus UK, if you prefer)

Crusaders or Glenavon could face IFK Gothenborg, Aberdeen or Ferencvaros.

If any of the Irish League teams progress to the next round, there are no member clubs joining at that stage. Plenty of big clubs in the 3rd Round though.

This time last year, I was on 29 clubs, but I am on 31 clubs now, having added Dundee United and Everton to my list. I’ve applied for a ticket to the European Super Cup Final in Cardiff. If I get a ticket, that’ll be Sevilla ticked off the list. I’ve already got Real Madrid.

My list in full :

Team (Year first seen)

Aberdeen (2011)
Ajax Amsterdam (2012)
Arsenal (2003)
AS Roma (2007)
Aston Villa (1993)
Atletico Madrid (2011)
Barcelona (2011)
Benfica (2000)
Brimingham City (2010)
Celtic (2009)
Chelsea (1997)
Dinamo Zagreb (2008)
Dundee United (2013)
Everton (2014)
FC Porto (2011)
Feyenoord (1999)
Fulham (2001)
Leeds United (1993)
Liverpool (1994)
Manchester City (2000)
Manchester United (1993)
Marseille (1992)
Middlesbrough (1995)
Newcastle United (1993)
Nottingham Forest (1996)
Rangers (2002)
Real Madrid (2003)
SC Braga (2011)
Tottenham Hotspur (2010)
West Ham United (1997)
Wolverhampton Wanderers (2010)

THE UEFA 100 CLUB – UPDATED

You may remember a blog on here in September 2010 about something that was then known as “The UEFA 99 Club” based on an article in When Saturday Comes.

Basically, it was one man’s crusade to watch every team who had played in either the European Cup, European Cup Winner’s Cup and UEFA Cup, in the flesh.

Since the article was written SC Braga reached the UEFA Cup Final, so it is now known as The UEFA 100 Club. Obviously, when a club reaches a European Final for the first time, it will become the 101 Club, 102 Club, and so forth.

Living in Northern Ireland, you may think it will be hard to see teams, but if this season’s European draws were kinder, I could have added some. Cliftonville were drawn with Celtic, but i’ve already seen Celtic. Other potential opponents for Cliftonville were Dinamo Tblisi, Dinamo Zagreb (already seen …… twice), Steaua Bucharest, Partizan Belgrade and Slovan Bratislava.

For Linfield, Glentoran and Crusaders, potential UEFA Cup opponents included Malmo and Videoton. If Glentoran had beaten KR last night, they would have played Standard Liege. I might have been tempted along to add them to my list, cheering on Standard Liege, of course.

Linfield’s potential 2nd Round opponents included IFK Gothenborg and Red Star Belgrade.

Regular readers will know that I travel to Edinburgh every August. While i’m there, Hibs play Dundee United, so I can tick them off, a milestone one at that, as it would take me to 30.

In February, i’m thinking of heading to London for a weekend. While i’m there, Everton play Tottenham at White Hart Lane, so I might try and get a ticket for that one. Amazingly, in 20 years of travelling to Old Trafford 2-3 times a year, i’ve never seen Everton.

So, currently, i’m on 29, hopefully at least 31 by the end of the season. Here’s my full list.

Team (Year first seen)

Aberdeen (2011)
Ajax Amsterdam (2012)
Arsenal (2003)
AS Roma (2007)
Aston Villa (1993)
Atletico Madrid (2011)
Barcelona (2011)
Benfica (2000)
Brimingham City (2010)
Celtic (2009)
Chelsea (1997)
Dinamo Zagreb (2008)
FC Porto (2011)
Feyenoord (1999)
Fulham (2001)
Leeds United (1993)
Liverpool (1994)
Manchester City (2000)
Manchester United (1993)
Marseille (1992)
Middlesbrough (1995)
Newcastle United (1993)
Nottingham Forest (1996)
Rangers (2002)
Real Madrid (2003)
SC Braga (2011)
Tottenham Hotspur (2010)
West Ham United (1997)
Wolverhampton Wanderers (2010)

UEFA CUP IN PICTURES

As the UEFA Cup restarts tonight, this time next week, I shall be at Old Trafford for the second leg of the tie between Manchester United and Ajax.

That will be my 5th game attended in the competition since the 2009-2010 season, at various stages.

It’s sad that the competition is so maligned, as it’s enjoyable to follow. Not only that, the syndicated highlights programme on ITV4 and Channel 5 is the best football highlights programme on TV. Other broadcasters should take note.

I would really love it if United were to win it this season, purely so United could complete the hat-trick of European trophies after previously winning the European Cup (1968, 1999, 2008) and European Cup Winners Cup (1991)

Not only that, I have a UEFA Cup branded keyring. I am so cool.

So, I thought i’d share some of my photos from the last few years of the competition.

That season, I went to see the Second Leg of Linfield v Randers. If you think United playing in the UEFA Cup is a culture shock, it’s the same for Linfield playing in the competition as well.

Randers were 4-0 up from the first leg, but I headed down anyway, as I enjoyed the novelty of playing a home match away from Windsor Park.

As Windsor Park’s pitch was being relaid, Linfield used Mourneview Park for their solitary home match that season.

Mourneview Park is very friendly for amateur photography, so I managed to get some nice shots.

The following month, I was in Edinburgh for the festival. I arrived in the city on a Thursday afternoon, and by chance, Hearts were at home to Dinamo Zagreb that evening, so I headed to Tynecastle and managed to get a ticket.

Hearts were 4-0 down, but managed to pull back 2 goals to win 2-0.

Was a fantastice atmosphere, and if Hearts had managed to get a 3rd soon after their 2nd. They might have been able to get the tie to Extra-Time at least.

My next match in the competition was the following season in the Final in Dublin between Porto and Braga.

Was a poor game, but it was great to go to a European Final.

My next game came earlier this season, again at Tynecastle, as I managed to blag a ticket for Hearts v Spurs.

Was a fantastic atmosphere …….. for the first five minutes until Spurs went 1-0, then were 3-0 up inside 20 minutes.

After that, the match was a non-event, but still enjoyable to be at for a neutral.

Hope you enjoy this photo round-up, and that I can get some more photos this evening.

Hearts v Dinamo Zagreb Photo Album

Porto v Braga

Porto v Braga Photo Album

Hearts v Tottenham Hotspur

Hearts v Tottenham Hotspur Photo Special

STLFTEM ROUND-UP 2011

Seeing as it’s the end of the year, almost, I thought I’d keep you all up to date with my STLFTEM for 2011.

For those who don’t know, STLFTEM is basically Something To Look Forward To Every Month.

I started it in 2009, and it basically is to have something to go, see or do every month, and look forward to it.

The only rules are that it has to be something seen in person. Therefore, watching Euro 2012 on TV won’t count for June next year.

Also, I can have more than one STLFTEM each month. In fact, I can have as many as I wish.

January was a bit of a cheat, as I went to the Linfield v Glentoran match postponed from 26th December 2010. But, my lifestyle ethos, my rules.

February was a bumper month as I went to Barcelona for a weekend, and then the following Wednesday, I went to see Northern Ireland take on Scotland.

March was also a Northern Ireland match. A 0-0 draw v Slovenia. Yep, that was well worth the wait.

April was a bumper month with a title showdown for Linfield against Crusaders and three matches against Glentoran, one of which was an Irish Cup Semi-Final. Not only that, but there was also the matter of Beady Eye’s first concert in Belfast.

Four wins, and an excellent concert made it a worthwhile month.

May was all about travelling as I went to the UEFA Cup Final, and Manchester United’s last match of the season, against Blackpool.

June was quiet, but I did go and see 3OH!3

July was also quiet, but Linfield playing in Europe and a pre-season friendly against Derriaghy were enjoyable. As I stated earlier, some months are a struggle.

August was busy with the start of the new Irish League season and trips to Edinburgh and Brighton.

September was the Arthur’s Day concert at Ulster Hall (Any my ticket was free)

October was another concert at Ulster Hall, Noah and the Whale. There were fantastic.

I’d hoped that November would be going to the MTV EMAs. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a ticket, so I had to make do with a trip to Old Trafford to see United take on Sunderland.

December will be the Boxing Day match at The Oval. If that bites the dust because of the weather, I’ll make it the Ulster v Aironi match two weeks ago (Again, a free ticket)

Well, that is how i’ve managed to have STLFTEM throughout the year, but I’ve already got some lined up for 2012.

In January, I’m going to see Roy “Catchphrase” Walker as part of the Out To Lunch Festival.

February will be a busy month as I’ll be taking a break to Amsterdam from 3rd-6th, then going to see Noel Gallagher at The Odyssey on 16th, before flying to Manchester on 23rd.

I’m hoping to see United v Ajax. I’ve no ticket sorted as yet, but I’m confident I’ll get one.

Pretty tempted to go and see The Beat at The Limelight in March. Undecided as yet.

August of course, will see me head to Edinburgh for the Festival. If I could afford to, I’d spend the whole month there.

So that, is how I’ve managed to enjoy myself at least once a month this year and how I plan to do so next year.

If you have any suggestions for any of the months, feel free to get in touch and suggest.

2011 IN PICTURES – MAY

A month of travel, as I headed to the UEFA Cup Final in Dublin and went to Old Trafford to see United take on Blackpool.

Absolutely loved the experience of going to a European final, even though it was the ‘second competition’ and the match itself was poor.

I’d actually got good seats for the match, although the only incidents of note took place at the other end.

Unfortunately, my camera was on it’s last legs by then, and I got a new one, which made it’s debut during the Man United v Blackpool game.

Got an excellent seat for the game and some good photos.

Also managed to get some excellent sunset shots.

Enjoy

East Belfast Sunset

Four Winds Sunset

May 2011 Sunsets Photo Album

Linfield v Crusaders

Linfield v Crusaders Photo Album

Braga v FC Porto

Braga v FC Porto Photo Album

Schalke Stickers

Manchester United v Blackpool

Manchester United v Blackpool Photo Album

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : MAY

May, the month when trophies are handed out, and I got to see three, having seen the Gibson Cup presented on the last day of April.

The following Saturday, I was at the Irish Cup Final, and ignored the rain as Linfield came from a goal down to beat Crusaders.

The following week, I was in Dublin for my first European Final to see Porto take on Braga in the UEFA Cup Final, which I enjoyed being in the city of a European final and the atmosphere of the match, even if the actual game was very poor.

My final trophy presentation of the month came when I went to Old Trafford to see United’s last match of the season, against Blackpool, and made the most of my low seats to get photos as United were presented with a record breaking 19th title.

Whilst in Manchester and Dublin, I stumbled upon some ultras stickers, most notably from Schalke.

If you’ve enjoyed this season’s round-up, feel free to browse the photo round-up of the 2009-2010 season.

Here’s to more photos in 2011-2012.

Linfield v Crusaders

FC Porto v SC Braga

Manchester United v Blackpool

FC PORTO 1-0 SC BRAGA 18.5.2011

Was down in Dublin last night for the UEFA Cup Final, my first ever European Final that I have seen live.

At the start of the season, I booked to go down to be in the city on the day of the final, and hope to get tickets.

Thankfully, I managed to get a ticket last week, meaning I didn’t have to try and source one while down there. That said, it wouldn’t have been hard to get one seeing as there were no sides from a “Major” league involved.

I headed down on the Tuesday and spent a bit of time in the city. Wandered around the city on the Wednesday morning, and there was a greater number of supporters than on Tueday, and more visible.

With The Queen visiting, security was tight in Dublin, and with some streets being closed off, it turned out to be a major pain in the arse when trying to explore the city.

On Wednesday lunchtime, I headed to the FC Porto fanzone at The RDS, which was rather dead in atmosphere and disappointing.

Made it to the stadium just before seven and was seated behind the goal to the left of the TV screen as you look.

I was in that end for the Northern Ireland v Scotland game and had better seats than I did. That said, the first couple of rows in that stand are a nightmare for watching the game from due to the number of people stood at the side of the pitch blocking your view.

The match itself was very poor, but the atmosphere in the ground and city was enjoyable. Porto won the match deservedly 1-0

My camera, which had already failed me twice this month, failed me again during the second-half and has since been replaced.

It didn’t matter, as Porto players paraded the cup at the other end of the pitch. Managed to get some good shots of the stadium, but not much of action, mainly because there wasn’t much.

Photo Album

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : WORLD SOCCER – JULY 2003

The summer of 2003 is the latest subject in The Magazine Archive, a time when AC Milan were European Champions and France was getting ready to host the Confederations Cup.

The front cover image is of Paolo Maldini holding aloft the European Cup trophy after a penalty shoot-out win over Juventus at Old Trafford as red and black confetti rains down.

The first six pages are dedicated to reviewing the European Cup Final between AC Milan and Juventus.

Quite how they managed to get six pages out of a dour 0-0 draw, I don’t know.

Eight pages are dedicated to looking at football finances, in a month when it was announced that Real Madrid were the world’s richest football club.

Of the Top 20, 11 had won the European Cup.

Also in the Top 20, 10 of them were British (8 English, 2 Scottish) including 13th place (Unlucky for some you could say) Leeds United, who were relegated from the Premier League.

Newcastle United, ranked 15th, were relegated from the Premier League in 2009.

The Confederations Cup gets six pages of coverage, the same as the European Cup Final.

The editorial for the preview questions the merits of the competition, both in terms of workload on players, and the credibility of a competition, which is a poor cousin to the World Cup, and various continental competitions.

Sadly, the competiton is now best remembered because Cameroon midfielder Marc Vivien Foe collapsed and died during a match against Colombia.

Not to be forgotten, the 2003 UEFA Cup Final between Celtic and Porto got three pages of coverage, as Porto won 3-2, before winning the European Cup a year later.

In the round-ups from around the countries, England’s focuses on the battle for supremacy between Arsenal and Manchester United, as Arsenal retained their FA Cup, but lost the league to United.

A year later, the trophies were reversed. In October 2004, United ended Arsenal’s 49 game unbeaten run with a 2-0 win at Old Trafford, before United secured a double over their North London rivals in the return fixture, a game that saw Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira square up in the tunnel pre-match.

Arsenal had the last laugh that season, beating United in a penalty shoot-out in the FA Cup Final, Arsenal’s last trophy.

The emergence of Chelsea from 2004 onwards has meant that the United-Arsenal rivalry has become dormant, in comparison with it’s peak from 1997-2005.

Amongst the players who are profiled in this edition is Eric Djemba-Djemba of Nantes, who is described as “the latest up and coming talent in Le Championnat to be linked with a move to a big European club, with Juventus, Valencia and Manchester United all said to be interested in him”

He did eventually end up at United that summer, before being offloaded to Aston Villa in January 2005.

He currently plays for Odense in Denmark. That’s probably not where World Soccer would have imagined one of the most sought after players of 2003 to be playing in 2011.