MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MATCH – 5.8.1989

Paul McGrath, in action for Republic Of Ireland, is the cover star, as Match leads with the headline “FORCED OUT!”, with McGrath having just left Manchester United for Aston Villa.

As you open the magazine, there is an interview with McGrath, who tells Match that Manchester United’s search for a Central Defender left him with no option but to sign for Aston Villa, almost a year after a move to Tottenham Hotspur broke down.

When you turn over the page, there is an interview with Norman Whiteside, who feels his move to Goodison Park will help his ambition of winning a league title.

With a new season about to start in Scotland, Mo Johnston tells Match he wants to win over the Rangers fans, having previously played for Celtic, adding that he is confident of Rangers making an impression in the European Cup, despite being drawn against Bayern Munich in the group stages.

Staying in Scotland, Hibs goalkeeper Andy Goram has received a dressing down for leaving Hibs pre-season training to play international Cricket for Scotland.

Arsenal will be playing Independiente in a friendly in Miami, which will be broadcast live on ITV that weekend.

Another English club on tour in 1989 were Ipswich Town, becoming the first English club to tour the Soviet Union.

Division Four gets previewed, with both Ian Muir of Tranmere and Tony Grealish of Rotherham expecting Scunthorpe United to win the division in 1990. They finished 11th.

In ads, John Barnes and Graeme Souness were advertising Diadora, while Jennifer Saunders was advertising Nat West.

Match’s cut out A-Z Fixture Lists for English clubs this week cover P to S

Mick Quinn has just signed for Newcastle, but tells Match of his frustration at being priced out of a move to a top flight club due to Portsmouth’s valuation of him.

Neil Webb advertises Nike, and Chris Waddle tells Match he is enjoying life at Marseille.

Advertisements

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MANCHESTER UNITED – APRIL 1997

David Beckham is the cover star of Manchester United’s official magazine, ad the 1996-1997 season nears it’s final stages.

In adverts, you could be the proud owner of a Manchester United Visa Card.

There are interesting fortunes for United players on international duty. Peter Schmeichel has recorded a single to gee up his Denmark team-mates, while Phil Mulryne scored on his Northern Ireland debut.

In Reviews, there was a review of Premier Manager 97, while in promotions, you could get 24 cans of Red Tribe Lager for only £19.99.

Back to international football, Gary Neville and David Beckham do a diary while they were away on international duty for England’s World Cup Qualifier against Italy.

There are reviews of United’s recent games against Arsenal, Chelsea, Coventry and FC Porto.

As the season is entering the final stages, there is a preview of the title run-in, with United and all the other contenders being assessed.

The magazine ends with Peter Schmeichel taking questions from fans, and believes that recent Coronation Street plots are wild and out of hand.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MATCH – 28.2.1987

Dundee United take on Barcelona in the Quarter-Finals of the UEFA Cup, and this is reflected on the cover of Match, with both sides represented.

There is a double page profile of the game, as well as a list of all the Quarter-Final games in the three competitions across Europe.

Alan McDonald answers questions from readers about plastic pitches, as his club QPR plays on one.

Another big debate is Play-Offs, introduced in 1987, with Match interviewing players and managers from clubs who could be affected on what they think of the idea.

Colin West gets a full page to tell Match he intends on staying at Rangers, while there is a full page profile of Manchester United player Nicky Wood, while Norwich City and Nottingham Forest get club profiles.

In Scotland, Graeme Souness isn’t coming out of international retirement. Also not playing for Scotland is Australian born Craig Johnston, who turned down the opportunity to play for Scotland.

Staying in Scotland, there is a full page profile of new Celtic signing Anton Rogan, who says he enjoys living in Glasgow more than living in Belfast.

As the season enters it’s final stages, Match gives it’s predictions for how the season will end, revised from their prediction in August.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MANCHESTER UNITED – SEPTEMBER 1999

Teddy Sheringham dressed as a 1970s Medallion Man is the cover star of Manchester United’s official magazine, as he shows off the medals he won during United’s historic treble season.

In news, there is a report on United’s friendly against Omagh Town which United won 9-0. The game was arranged to raise funds for victims of the bomb in the town the previous year, while Andy Cole has launched a music career with the release of a single called Outstanding.

Cover star Sheringham gets a five page interview as he looks back on a change in fortune after a difficult first year at United which failed to bring a trophy and he got criticism from fans and press.

Mark Bosnich has rejoined United from Aston Villa, and there is a look back at his first spell at the club, and the formative years of his career.

United have just brought out a dark blue away kit, and there is a behind the scenes feature of the promotional campaign and photo shoot for the kit.

An advert for the kit appears a few pages later.

The recently knighted Sir Alex Ferguson uses his monthly column to declare himself an honourary Mancunian.

There is a review of United’s pre-season games, which includes a match against Australia.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MATCH – 4.12.1982

Liam Brady of Sampdoria is the cover star of this editon of Match as he reveals that he wants to sign for Manchester United, but not until the summer of 1984 when his contract with Sampdoria expires. Ron Atkinson didn’t take him up on the offer.

Spanish football wasn’t all Tiki Taka in 1982 with players who have faced Spanish sides recently and even players playing in Spain complaining that the quality of play is poor due to the volume of fouls.

Meanwhile, Gordon Cowans of Aston Villa says he is back in form and ready to battle for a place in the England team.

One man who isn’t getting in the England team is Glenn Hoddle, who uses his column to bemoan his bad luck with injuries recently.

It’s the Scottish League Cup Final this weekend, and Match interviews Danny McGrain and John McClelland ahead of the game.

Arnold Muhren’s recent winner for Manchester United against Tottenham Hotspur gets the Steve McGarry treatment with a full page sketch.

Gordon Strachan of Aberdeen previews the Scottish League Cup Final in his column, predicting that Charlie Nicholas of Celtic will have a big say in the outcome.

Paul Mariner uses his column to plead with Alan Brazil to stay at Ipswich Town after the striker handed a transfer request.

The magazine ends with a profile of Mike Hazard of Tottenham, who reveals his biggest TV turn-off is the news.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : GEORGE BEST’S WORLD CUP PREVIEW

Later today, Russia will face Saudi Arabia in the opening game of the 2018 World Cup.

In a special edition of the Magazine Archive, we go back to 1970 when George Best brings out a World Cup preview magazine. You know it’s 1970 because there’s a sombrero on the cover, which means it’s the year that Mexico hosted the World Cup.

As you open the magazine, George Best comments on his jealously of listening to England players talk about looking forward to the World Cup when travelling to away matches with Manchester United. The reason why George Best is jealous, if you don’t know, is because Northern Ireland failed to qualify.

Best doesn’t believe England will retain the trophy, but says they will deserve applause if they do, predicting that Brazil and Italy, the two eventual finalists, were the most likely teams to win it.

Before even starting, the tournament has provided some diplomatic headaches, as El Salvador and Honduras were at war with each other during qualifying matches between the two countries, while Morocco requested not to be drawn against Israel, and Czechoslovakia asked not to play the Soviet Union.

All sixteen teams are profiled, with player biographies, player photos and a list of results of how they qualified.

The magazine ends with a look back at the 1966 World Cup, held in England, and an aerial shot of the Aztec Stadum in Mexico City, the ground that will host the final.

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : APRIL/MAY

April’s football watching began with a trip to Mourneview Park on Easter Tuesday to see Linfield grind out a 3-2 win away to Glenavon.

That was followed on the Saturday afterwards by going to see Linfield beat Ballymena United 2-0.

Good start to the month, but that was as good as it got, as Linfield could only managed one point from their next three games against Crusaders, Coleraine and Cliftonville, which would cause them to eventually miss out on European football.

There was only one match for me in May, a trip to Old Trafford to see Manchester United take on Watford.

And that, was the 2017-2018 over for me.

Here’s to more football and photos in 2018-2019.

Glenavon v Linfield

Linfield v Ballymena United

Crusaders v Linfield

Linfield v Coleraine

Linfield v Cliftonville

Manchester United v Watford

Manchester United v Watford Photo Album

MANCHESTER UNITED 1-0 WATFORD 13.5.2018

As I travelled over to this match the day before, it occurred to me that it was the 25th anniversary of my first ever United match.

That match was a 1-1 draw in a friendly against Aston Villa at Windsor Park, as United fans were still celebrating their side’s first title in 26 years. Little did they know what the next 25 years would bring, albeit the first 20 years of that period being a lot more enjoyable.

Aston Villa’s goal that night came from Dwight Yorke. Little did we know that he would be a future goalscoring hero for United.

As fans left Windsor Park that night, little did they know that a future United goalscoring hero would be born the next day. This game fell on Romelu Lukaku’s 25th birthday, but he wouldn’t be getting a chance to celebrate with a goal, as he missed out through injury, an injury which restricted him to a role as a substitute in the FA Cup Final.

When I booked this trip, I thought it would be the second successive season that I would be seeing Marco Silva bring a team to Old Trafford, having seen United take on Hull last season. That wouldn’t be happening as Watford change their manager every three months. I had to check Google to see that it was Javi Garcia.

This game was also the last game for United for Michael Carrick before retirement, having made his debut against Charlton Athletic in August 2006. If he had waited a few days, his first and last game would have been against Watford.

If he had made his debut a few days earlier against Fulham, I would have been at his first and last games for United.

Being out of sync is a familiar theme to United’s season.

If this game was about paying tribute to Michael Carrick, the weekend before, it looked like being a tribute to Sir Alex Ferguson, but thankfully he is on the road to recovery, as announced in the days leading up to this match.

There was not a lot to play for in terms of the League positions. United had confirmed 2nd prior to this, their highest finish in the post-Ferguson era, while Watford were floating about in mid table, with a forth successive season of top-flight football confirmed, a feat they haven’t achieved since their glory days under Graham Taylor in the 1980s.

Watford made a positive start to the game, having a lot of possession in United’s half.

It was United who had the first attempt on goal of the game when an ambitious Alexis Sanchez volley went wide.

Marcus Rashford was causing problems for Watford’s defence, trying to get in behind them. United weren’t slow in trying to give him opportunities to do so. He only needed to get lucky once.

And that he did, after a through ball from Michael Carrick played in Juan Mata who set up Rashford to score from close range.

Sergio Romero, getting a rare start in goal, made an excellent save from a Richarlison close ranger header. I was at the end of the ground and thought it was sneaking in. Thankfully, it didn’t.

In the early minutes of the second-half, Marcos Rojo lost possession but was saved by an offside flag as the ball fell to a Watford attacker.

United searched for the second goal that would secure the game, the closest they came was an Alexis Sanchez cross which evaded Juan Mata.

Having spent the first-half trying to run behind Watford’s defence, Marcus Rashford was now not running at Watford’s defence every time he got the ball, to audible groans in the stands.

It was a very dull game, the only moment of note in the final minutes of the second-half came when Michael Carrick was substituted to a standing ovation.

The match finished 1-0 to United, as United finished the season with a win ahead of the FA Cup Final.

The FA Cup Final would ultimately decide if it has been a season of progress. The fact that United have had their highest League position since Sir Alex Ferguson was Manager shouldn’t be overlooked, nor should the fact that United have beaten every team in the League, including come from behind wins against Manchester City and Chelsea.

On the flip side, United lost away to all three promoted sides, as well as dropping points to relegated Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion, as well as relegation threatened Southampton.

In those games, United only picked up the pace when they fell behind and the points looked set to be slipping away, when they should have been going at it from the start.

It was probably apt that the season should end with a similar performance and result in the FA Cup Final.

That attitude was the same against Bristol City in the League Cup, as United waited to win it in extra-time while Bristol City wanted to win it in 90 minutes.

United’s start to the season wasn’t that bad, but it was a run of dropped points in October and November killed off any hopes of a title challenge.

In any other season, United would only have been a couple of points off the top on New Year’s Day, but City’s start to the season put them out of reach.

The fixture list for the 2018-2019 season will be released on the morning of Thursday 19th June. Curious timing, as it is the opening day of the World Cup. That seems strange from a Marketing point of view.

When it is released, i’ll keep an eye out for possible games to go to, more than likely a midweek game. I’ll have to wait until the dates are released.

Pre-Season Fixtures have been announced and it looks unlikely there will be a Pre-Season game in Dublin, like there was in the Summer of 2017 against Sampdoria.

I forgot to mention in my last football blog that Institute will potentially be playing home matches at The Oval next season. Bit underwhelming that, was hoping to visit a new ground (for me).

In Scotland, unsurprisingly, Spartans failed to overcome a 4-0 deficit against Cove Rangers and will be playing in the Lowland League, meaning I won’t be seeing them in League Two action if I go to see them when I visit Edinburgh in August.

Meanwhile, the UEFA Cup Play-Offs went as disastrously as expected, with Linfield losing their Semi-Final 4-3 to Glentoran.

For a start, it is an absolute sham and it makes a mockery of the League that such a system is in place.

Could you imagine if the title was decided this way, and Linfield won the League after finishing 4th but winning two matches in May.

Imagine if something similar was in England, and Newcastle United were given an opportunity to play in Europe despite spending most of the season in the bottom half.

It’s not sour grapes me saying that, check my archives, my view has been consistent throughout.

Natural justice was done in 2016 and 2017, but sadly not in 2018. Having Play-Offs to decide UEFA Cup places is a reward for mediocrity.

As bad as Linfield have been this season, you can’t tell me that Cliftonville, Ballymena United and Glentoran are more deserving of a place in Europe.

Just wait five years when people are sitting about wondering why the Irish League’s co-efficient takes a battering because we let lottery winners play in Europe rather than deciding places on merit.

Having thrown away 3rd place during the regular season, Linfield should have been making no mistake in this Play-Off sham. We were 2-0 up at home to a team that finished 7th, and had lost three of their last four games – to the bottom three.

When it went to 2-1, you knew what was happening. Far too many times Linfield have capitulated and felt sorry for themselves after conceding a goal. Too many players hide when the going gets tough.

It is made even worse when you see how many times Linfield battled back from adversity to win the League in 2016-2017.

In November 2016, Linfield came from 2-0 down with nine men to get a draw at Glenavon. It spurred the team on for the rest of the season.

In October 2017, Linfield lost 2-1 at Coleraine due to a controversial goal. The response? a 5-2 defeat at home to Crusaders.

And on that note, being afraid of Crusaders. They can cut that shit out right away. I thought they had cut that out in 2016-2017.

A team of hoofers and thugs, and we made them look like Real Madrid. FIVE TIMES.

It’s a team of players approaching or in their 30s. It will need an overhaul over the next few years. There is a potential that this will blow up spectacularly for them. We have to be ready to pounce. Coleraine are no doubt ready to do so.

Departures have already happened. A new centre midfielder was a priority before Stephen Lowry left. It is even more so now. As is a striker who can put the ball in the net.

June 2018 will be the first month since June 2015 that Linfield haven’t played a competitive match. It’s simply possible that Linfield’s players experienced burnout this season, especially considering that players such as Jimmy Callacher, Mark Haughey, Mark Stafford, Niall Quinn, Matthew Clarke, Jamie Mulgrew, Stephen Lowry, Kirk Millar and Andrew Waterworth have been with the club during this period.

Hopefully, we can use a Europe free summer to our advantage, and get players such as Jordan Stewart, Jimmy Callacher and Andrew Waterworth back to full fitness so that they can hit the ground running in August.

So, Pre-Season wishlist. All away, grounds i’ve never been to or haven’t been to for a while – Moyola Park, PSNI, Knockbreda and QUB. Am I being ambitious to hope for an away game against one of Queen Of The South, Ayr United or Stranraer?

It is a League next season that will feature away game(s) against Newry, a ground I haven’t been to since 2010. Looking forward to that.

Of the Irish League teams in Europe, they will enter the competition between Tuesday 10th July and Thursday 12th July.

Any team at home that week will play on Tuesday 10th July. It’s common sense. That won’t stop Northern Ireland’s gutter press going to work, especially if one or two of them draw Glasgow teams.

After a season of fixture scheduling farces, here’s two to look out for next season.

Carl Frampton is having a fight at Windsor Park on Saturday 18th August 2018. You would expect Linfield to be away that day. You’d hope. It would be an utter disgrace if they have a home game scheduled that day that needs to be rearranged.

Saturday 23rd March 2019 is a date set aside for Euro 2020 Qualifiers. The draw is yet to happen. I’d like to think contingency plans are in place should Northern Ireland be at home that day.

That’s me for my football watching for 2017-2018. In some parallel universe i’d be writing about how i’m heading to Villa Park to see Morocco v Iran or going to St James Park to see Denmark v Peru.

Photo Album

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : DECEMBER

December’s football watching began with a trip to Windsor Park, a place where I would spend four of the five Saturdays during the month, to see Linfield scrape a 1-0 win over Dungannon Swifts.

Postponements would then frustrate my football watching, as Linfield’s trip to Carrick was postponed, as was the FA Cup Replay between Crewe Alexandra and Blackburn Rovers, which I had planned on attending.

The reason for this was that I was in North-West England to see Manchester United take on AFC Bournemouth, my first visit to Old Trafford of the season.

I then headed to Windsor Park on successive Saturdays to see Linfield take on Warrenpoint Town and Cliftonville.

That was then followed by a Boxing Day trip to The Oval, the less said about that, the better.

After that, it was back to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Crusaders. The less said about that, the better.

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Manchester Untied v AFC Bournemouth

Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth Photo Album

Linfield v Warrenpoint Town

Linfield v Cliftonville

Glentoran v Linfield

Linfield v Crusaders

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MATCH – 23.5.1987

Keith Houchen and Dave Bennett of Coventry City are the cover stars as Match reviews the 1987 FA Cup Final. Both players, holding aloft the trophy, were the two Coventry players to score. The winner came via Gary Mabbutt own goal.

The headline “Coventry’s Extra Specials” makes reference to the fact the game went to extra-time, as well as one of Coventry’s biggest exports of the 1980s, the band The Specials.

That match at Wembley gets a double page report as you open the magazine.

Derby County get a double page spread as they have returned to England’s top flight for the first time since 1980, the club having fallen into decline, being relegated to Division Three in 1985, just ten years after being League Champions in 1985.

England are playing Scotland in the annual fixture, which gets a double page spread.

Scarborough have made history by becoming the first club to win promotion to the Football League, and they get a double page spread.

Also celebrating promotion in 1987 were Portsmouth, who get a double page spread, having narrowly missed out in 1985 and 1986.

It’s not just about promotion, Match also looks at players who helped their club avoid relegation – Paul Goddard of Newcastle and Dean Saunders of Oxford.

In foreign news, Trevor Francis scores a title winning goal in Italy, as his goal for Atalanta against Inter Milan wins the title for Napoli.

There is a full page profile of Torquay United and Tottenham Hotspur.

In news, Manchester United have started using a computerised fitness testing programme called Body Talk.

Also getting a full page profile are Everton having just won the league.

Scotland isn’t left out, with posters of cup winners St Mirren and champions Rangers.

Staying in Scotland, Celtic are planning a summer spending spree after agreeing a sponsorship deal with CR Smith.

Scottish striker Joe Jordan gets a profile, as he prepares to play for Bristol City in a second successive Freight Rover Trophy Final, against Mansfield Town.