MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MATCH – 23.12.1989

Clive Allen is the cover star of Match’s 1989 Christmas issue, as one decade ends and a new one is set to begin.

Mark Bright, Teddy Sheringham, Gary Mabbutt and Steve Ogrizovic are asked what they want for Christmas, with Mabbutt revealing he would like to spend Christmas Night with Michelle Pfeiffer.

Kerry Dixon does a double page interview with Match, where he reveals he is concentrating on Chelsea, and has given up hope of an England recall.

There is a poster of Bryan Robson’s recent goal for England against Yugoslavia, the fastest ever at Wembley, coming just 38 seconds into the game.

Match then dedicates a page to a statistical analysis of the clubs with the best defences in the English league.

Clive Allen gets a double page profile, where he reveals his favourite singers are Billy Joel and Phil Collins.

It wouldn’t be Christmas without bad presents, and Match canvasses various footballers for what their worst present is.

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MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MATCH – 12.5.1990

Later today, Alan Pardew will lead out Crystal Palace for the FA Cup Final. In 1990, he was playing for Crystal Palace, appearing on the cover of Match with current Stoke City manager Mark Hughes, then a Manchester United player, with the FA Cup sandwiched inbetween them.

As you open the magazine, Mark Bright is interviewed, urging Crystal Palace to make him a contract offer he can’t refuse, amid speculation over his future.

Across the page, Gary Pallister is interviewed, stating the the FA Cup offers a lifeline to a disappointing season for both him and United.

In traditional cup final fashion, the teams get profiled by a team-mate, Gary O’Reilly for Palace and Mike Phelan for United.

Phelan reveals that Steve Bruce is known as “Empty head” due to knowing a lot of useless facts, and Paul Ince is known as “Mr Quote” due to his love of speaking to the press.

In news, Ronnie Rosenthal states he won’t be returning to Standard Liege for the following season, with Liverpool, where he on loan, being his preferred destination.

It’s also Cup Final Day in Scotland, where Celtic face Aberdeen, and this gets a double page profile.

With the World Cup in Italy approaching, Match looks at those players with ambitions of being on the plane, and the choices Bobby Robson has to make.

Ally McCoist gets a profile, where he reveals a fondness for Brooke Shields, a fear of Spiders, and that his favourite thing about Match is photos of Ally McCoist.

In Match Facts, 18 year old Mark Bosnich made what Match described as a “reasonable” debut for Manchester United in a 0-0 draw with Wimbledon.

In their foreign round-up, Napoli win Serie A, but their star player Diego Maradona wants to leave and join Marseille.

As part of their World Cup preview, South Korea get a double page profile.

The magazine ends with a double page profile on Paul Gascoigne, as Match assesses his performance against Czechoslovakia in one of England’s warm-up games.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MATCH – 24.6.2000

Alan Shearer, in his trademark “Arm up” goal celebration pose, is the cover star of Match, midway through Euro 2000, as England have just beaten Germany 1-0 in a crunch group game, with the headline “Where were you on June 17th 2000?”

In my case, watching the game in work.

Michael Owen is interviewed for a featured called “My Favourite Goal”, which unsurprisingly, is his goal against Argentina in the World Cup two years earlier.

Pep Guardiola is interviewed in a feature called F.R.I.E.N.D.S, where footballers talk about their best friends, Guillermo Amor being his.

Marcus Stewart is interviewed for a “Taste Taste” feature, asking footballers to chooses between two things. He prefers A-Ha over Aqua, Pounds over Euros, and BMW over Rover.

Match dedicates three pages to England’s Euro 2000 diary, documenting the change in emotions from the opening defeat to Portugal, to the win over Germany in the second game.

Meanwhile, Match spends 48 hours with Holland, ahead of their opening game with Czech Republic, which they won 1-0 with a late penalty.

Posters on offer include stars of Euro 2000 such as Pavel Nedved, Paul Scholes, Edwin Van Der Sar and, um, Niclas Alexandersson.

It’s not just players who get multiple page features, as Match interviews supporters at the tournament, about who they support, how they got to Euro 2000, and if they have enjoyed it.

Mark Bright is now Match’s letters guy, the main topic being Euro 2000. He doesn’t hold out much hope for Belgium (they went out in the groups) and describes England as “Now having a superb team”

A new phenomenon, the internet, gets a review feature, as Match reviews England fanzines such as “And Waddle Steps Up”, “England Supporters Online” and “England FC”

Meanwhile, Scott Minto of West Ham takes on Damien Francis of Wimbledon in a Euro 2000 Quiz. Both players scored 8 out of 10. Both players incorrectly said the Euro 2000 final would be in Amsterdam, while Minto though Tommy Soderberg was the coach of Norway (the correct answer was Sweden) and Francis thought Alessandro Del Piero scored Italy’s opener against Turkey. The correct answer was Pippo Inzaghi.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 10.4.1993

Chris Waddle and Mark Bright are the cover stars as Shoot reviews the 1993 FA Cup Semi-Finals, both Derby games (Sheffield and North London) with the Sheffield game getting the most coverage on the cover.

Pages 4-5 are a double page spread on the Sheffield Derby at Wembley, won 2-1 by Wednesday after extra-time.

Page 6 is a curious competition where you could win a Sega Game Gear, and a shaving kit.

In news, Sergei Baltacha, top scorer with Oakbank under 13s in Perth, is having a trial with Ipswich Town, who is dad played for a few years previously.

He eventually converted to a left-back and played for St Mirren and Milwall. If the name sounds familiar, his sister is the Tennis player Elena Baltacha.

Meanwhile, Southend’s Stan Collymore had an unusual pre-match routine, trying to spot managers in the crowd, saying he’d spotted Trevor Francis (Sheffield Wednesday) and George Graham (Arsenal)

One man who had hoped to see was Ron Atkinson

“That would be the dream move, to Aston Villa, They were the first team I went to see”

Stan Collymore did sign for Aston Villa four years late, but under Brian Little.

Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Spurs got a double page spread, with a photo collage of Tony Adams, whos scored the winning goal, greatest moments.

Jimmy Greaves Letters Page sees Neil Sinclair from London write in about Australia and Ghana’s performances at the recent World Youth Championship, asking if the power in world football is changing.

Greavsie wasn’t sure about Australia, but that African football was on the march and there could be an African World Cup winner in 20 years time.

20 years on, we are still waiting for an African country to win the World Cup.

He adds that “By 2000, Africa will take over from South America as the leading exponent of free-style football”

Australia and Ghana took until 2006 to qualify for the World Cup.

Meanwhile, Philip Heaver from Norfolk complains about Mark Robins and Ruel Fox not being selected for England.

Still in this season’s competition, Marseille were already planning their attempts to win the 1994 European Cup with summer moves for David Platt and Julio Cesar.

Marseille were banned from the 93-94 European Cup due to a match fixing scandal. David Platt signed for Sampdoria that summer.

Sampdoria, coincidentally, had a centrepage poster in that edition.

With the title race in the final stages, Shoot attempts predicting the Easter Saturday games.

They predicted a 2-1 win for Manchester United over Sheffield Wednesday, though i’m not sure they predicted it to be as dramatic as it turned out.

Aston Villa, top of the league, were predicted by Shoot to beat Coventry City 3-1. It finished 0-0, and they were overtaken by Manchester United, who weren’t dislodged for the rest of the season.

The recent PFA Awards got a page, focusing on Paul McGrath and Ryan Giggs success.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 17.4.1993

Ian Wright and Mark Bright, former team-mates at Crystal Palace, now playing for Arsenal and Sheffield Wednesday, are the cover stars as Shoot looks forward to the League Cup Final between the two clubs.

In news, each member of the Scotland squad received a bottle of champagne from Berti Vogts, but Brian McClair was unable to collect his, so Pat Nevin claimed on his behalf. McClair was still waiting to receive his.

It was announced that week that Aston Villa were to face Everton in a friendly in Mauritius at the end of May 1993.

Meanwhile, if you wanted a bizarre piece of Arsenal memorabilia was on sale, with the infamous mural behind the goal while a stand was being built at Highbury going for sale.

Shoot does a double page report on reserve team football, taking a look at the game between QPR and Wimbledon, looking at the type of player (young, out of favour, returning from injury, etc) who are involved in these games, and how they use it in their careers.

Rangers, potentially one game away from the European Cup Final, get a full page preview of their game against CSKA Moscow, with Richard Gough being interviewed about their ability to come from behind in European games.

The set-up of the European Cup needs explained to give context, much different from today’s competition.

It was a straight knock-out until the Last 8, when, instead of Quarter-Finals, two groups of two, with the group winners meeting in the final.

After five games, Rangers were level on points with Marseille, but the French side had a vastly superior Goal Difference.

Rangers needed to get a better result than Marseille. Marseille won, making Rangers 0-0 draw at home to CSKA Moscow irrelevant.

Kris Lee writes to Jimmy Greaves to say that Arsenal should give David O’Leary a coaching role while Joao Miguel Marabuto Neves from Portugal writes in about Rangers, saying that despite beating Leeds in the European Cup, Manchester United and Aston Villa, challenging for the Premier League, wouldn’t fear playing them.

Peter Fox of Stoke City, aged 35, gets profiled, enjoying a return to Stoke City’s team as they try to gain promotion from the Third Tier. Earlier that season, Fox had spent time on loan at Linfield.

There is a 12 page pull-out previewing the League Cup Final between Sheffield Wednesday and Arsenal, with guest pundit Steve Bruce predicting a win for Wednesday. Arsenal won the game 2-1, a match best remembered for Steven Morrow falling over when being given a piggyback by Tony Adams. Morrow wasn’t even mentioned in the preview.

Shoot gives a double page spread on crowd safety, this poll coming just four years after Hillsbrough.

26% of people disagreed with all seater stadiums
21% of people had stopped standing since Hillsbrough
94% of people felt safer supporting their team
51% of people felt safer attending football matches than before Hillsbrough

Ryan Giggs, having just scored his first international goal, against Belgium, gets a full-page poster to commemorate this.

There is a competition to win a complete Panini Serie A stickerbook, and a Lotto football.

In Scottish football news, Raith Rovers manager Jimmy Nicholl is attracting interest from teams looking to replace long serving managers ….. Dundee United and Northern Ireland.

He has yet to manage either.

EUROBOLLOCKS – WEEK 2

The second week of Euro 2012 began in Donetsk, then stopped for an hour, then started again, with the farcical Ukraine v France game.

With live coverage of the Ukraine v France game getting in the way of their preview of England v Sweden, it was almost as if ITV prayed for an abandonment, and God replied “You want to talk about England for three hours? FINE! You bloody well talk about England for three hours”

I’d like to think if ITV did do a deal with God, it would involve them begging for forgiveness for Andy Townsend’s Tactics Truck, and just Andy Townsend in general.

With airtime now needing to be filled, ITV had the right man in their presenting chair, as all ten of Daybreak’s viewers can testify, Adrian Chiles is an expert at inane chatter and utter bollocks.

You can’t help but imagine what it would have been like if this game was being used as the punchline in a French version of The Likely Lads where they try to avoid the score in a football match that they have recorded.

UEFA’s rules state that any abandoned or postponed match must be replayed the following day. This would have been problematic for England if their match was abandoned or postponed with them due to fly to Krakow after the game, meaning they would all need to find a hotel for the night at short notice.

I’m kind of imagining it being like The Jolly Boy’s Outing episode of Only Fools and Horses where they all split up into different groups to try and find a hotel bed for the night. You could possibly write a sitcom about it. I’m already imagining John Terry in the Trigger role, standing alone, wearing a sombrero and carrying a toy donkey, saying “Alright Dave” everytime he sees James Milner.

England began with a 1-1 draw against France, despite one of their most high profile performers being unfairly banned by UEFA. Not Wayne Rooney, but the England Supporters Band. They were back with avengance against Sweden, managing to do an even worse version of Seven Nation Army than Marcus Collins.

With an hour gone in the Friday night game, Sweden led England 2-1, with the most unlikeliest of names on the scoresheet. Andy Carroll.

With England in trouble and facing elimination, Theo Walcott is brought on off the bench, but Mark Lawrenson was even more unenthused than usual with the change.

“Walcott’s been living off one good performance four years ago” said Mark Lawrenson, living off winning a few trophies with Liverpool in the 1980s

One goal and one assist later, we clearly see why Roy Hodgson is an international manager and Mark Lawrenson isn’t.

The following night, Greece shock Russia 1-0 to go through to the Quarter-Finals. As the Greek players celebrated at the full-time whistle, Mark Bright remarks “That it’s a case of Deja Vu from Euro 2004”

Hmm, Greece beat Portugal, drew with Spain, then lost to Russia in 2004 to reach the Quarter-Finals. In 2012, they drew with Poland, lost to Czech Republic then beat Russia to reach the Quarter-Finals.

It’s not really a case of Deja Vu is it?

The only real Deja Vu with Euro 2004 and Euro 2012 was that Mark Bright as probably talking bollocks in Portugal as well.

In the other game that night, Poland were eliminated with a 1-0 defeat to Czech Republic. In the post-match analysis, the BBC did a live OB with Damien Johnson, at a rather glum fanpark in Gdansk.

When handing over, Gary Lineker remarks “It was …… murder on Gdansk floor”, a joke that was trending on Twitter in reference to Republic of Ireland getting passacred by Spain. It wasn’t funny then, and it wasn’t funny when out of context two days later.

In Lineker’s defence, it is the second best Sophie Ellis-Bextor related football gag after the one about her being found dead at the home of a French footballer. Police said it was ………. Murder On Zidane’s Floor.

That’s the level of shit PUN-ditry you should be aiming for Gary.

Meanwhile, the fate of Group C went right down into injury time, or should that be injurytime.com?

Yes, Mark Bright managed to stoop to a new low towards the end of the Spain-Croatia game by saying “The game is going into the lastminute.com” and a nation collectively screamed FUCKOFF.COM!!! at their TV screeens.

I’m not a fan of product placement, so I won’t be using this blog to plug employment agencies that Mark Bright can use for work seeing as he won’t be commentating on football matches any more.

That match was on BBC 1, with Republic of Ireland v Italy moved to BBC 3 in another sickening act of British opression over Ireland, which somehow passed as a story in the Belfast Telegraph.

This is the last European Championship with 16 teams, as the competition expands to 24 teams from 2016 onwards.

Pundits and journalists have been quick to complain about this, that the quality of the competition will decline, if teams who finish 3rd in their qualifying group reach the finals. They’ve got a point. Just imagine how rubbish Euro 2008 would have been if England were in it.

The most bizarre incident of the tournament came when Niklas Bendnter was banned and fined for exposing his underpants with the brand name of a bookmaker after scoring a goal.

I watched the incident and was shocked at what I saw ……. Niklas Bendtner scored a goal.

On Tuesday, England faced a vital game with Ukraine where they needed to avoid defeat to ensure reaching the Quarter-Finals.

In the first-half, England were struggling and lucky to be drawing 0-0, with Wayne Rooney looking lethargic and off the pace after his suspension.

Early in the second-half, England get the vital goal through Wayne Rooney, looking refreshed and rejuvinated after his enforced break.

This set up a Quarter-Final with Italy. Italy shouldn’t even bother turning up if the pundits are to be believed, as they appear to have taken on the Germany role of being “In decline” with “Their worst ever team”

Quite what Emiliano from Milano, ITV’s star of Week 1 would make of that, is anyone’s guess.

Next week’s Eurobollocks will be fun, focusing on the fallout of Italy’s dramatic 1-0 win with a 93rd minute handball goal from Mario Balotelli, stood in an offside position.

Wonder will ITV’s panel be quick to describe it as “A bit of luck they deserve” and that “These things even themselves out” as they were when briefly discussing Ukraine’s wrongly disallowed goal on Tuesday night?

EUROBOLLOCKS – WEEK 1

We are now one week into this “Festival of football” which is harder to win than the World Cup, and always guarantees heavyweight clashes in the group stages.

Not only that, it guarantees bullshit punditry. I haven’t watched every game of the competition, but what I have watched hasn’t failed to see me bang my head against the wall at some of the punditry.

In the opening game between Greece and Poland, Mark Bright commented that neither side should provide too much concern to the players of Russia and Czech Republic “Sat in their hotel rooms with their feet up watching this” – Despite the fact that there was less than an hour before kick-off in that game.

As the game meandered to a draw, both commentators spoke about how “The opening games in tournaments are always draws” without any statistical analysis to back it up, suggesting that they were just spouting off cliches as the game entered the stage “When it is all about who wants to win it” and “Both teams will settle for a draw”

During the Poland-Greece game “Sir Chesney” trended on Twitter, in reference to Mark Bright’s pronounciation of Poland’s goalkeeper rather than Chesney Hawkes getting an overdue knighthood. At the end of the game Gary Lineker joked about it. It’s enough to make you want all analysis to be a blank screen with a compilation of tweets appearing on the screen.

The following day was Group B, taking on the role of “The Group Of Death”, though not literally.

BBC’s intro to coverage of Holland v Denmark began with a montage of previous “Groups of Death” which was hopelessly flawed. The montage included England’s Euro 88 group, though possibly because they were shite and lost all three games, and ignored the fact that the other Euro 88 group (Spain, Italy, West Germany, Denmark) was actually tougher.

Other “Groups of Death” ignored were the Euro 92 group with both Euro 88 finalists and the 1990 World Cup winners, and the Euro 2000 group with the Euro 96 finalists competing against the winners of 84, 88 and 92.

If you’re going to do a montage, at least do it right.

The Holland v Denmark game took place in Kharkiv at a stadium, which according to Jonathan Pearce, “Cost 50m Pound Euro to build” – I literally have no fucking idea what that means. Is it some sort of supercurrency he has created?

Denmark ended up getting a surprise 1-0 win, which some commentators seemed to equate with a non-league side winning at Old Trafford in the FA Cup 3rd Round.

Denmark, currently 9th in the FIFA Rankings, have reached the European Championships 7 out of the last 8 times, won it in 1992 and reached the Quarter-Finals as recently as 2004 ……. and yet BBC’s pundits and commentators viewed their win over Holland as a massive shock.

ITV have taken the step of hosting their coverage in the middle of Warsaw, doing their pre-match analysis of Spain v Italy in a cafe. You were kinda hoping the guy in the table behind them would be looking at porn on his laptop. Instead, we got Emiliano from Milano to give his opinions.

When talking about Italy, we are informed that “This is not a great Italian side” and “Italian football in decline” as Italy now appear to take on the Germany role of the footballing giant that pundits lazily declare as in decline with their worst ever team.

Meanwhile, Gordon Strachan’s analysis of Croatia v Republic of Ireland suggested that Republic’s players would be more hungry for this game, having not been in a tournament for ten years, and that Croatia players might be blase at always reaching tournemants. Croatia failed to qualify for the most recent international tournament.

Meanwhile, on Monday night, co-hosts Ukraine beat Sweden 2-1 in a game which, according to Lee Dixon “Had everything – two World Class players on the scoresheet”

Yes, the game that “Had everything” had two players scoring. That was it.

The “Had everything” is of course, a classic Shearerism, and not to be outdone, our hero reeled it out after a timefilling montage of Holland v Germany matches.

According to Shearer, Marco Van Basten “Had everything – pace and power”

Yes, according to Shearer, the player who ‘had everything’ only had two skills, basically running very fast and charging past people.

ITV, based in the centre of Warsaw, quite literally in the thick of the action as Polish and Russian hooligans beat seven bells out of each other nearby meant everytime Gordon Strachan opened his mouth, he was immediately drowned out by police sirens.

Last time there was that number of police sirens blasting out on ITV in the evening was in the glory days of The Bill.

Talking of grudge matches, the BBC weren’t slow in hyping up Holland v Germany. Somehow, nobody told Mark Lawrenson who sounded underwhelmed throughout.

Arjen Robben’s reaction to being subbed brought Lawrenson to life as he managed to fit in a bad pun that doesn’t really work that “There’s no Arjen team” – Geddit?

Amazingly, it got worse, as he morphed into full David Brent mode, proclaiming that TEAM means “Together Everyone Achieves More”

If the match lasted ten minutes longer, he would have started dancing to Disco Inferno and started singing ‘If You Don’t Know Me By Now’ by Harold Melvin

Mark Lawrenson : Friend first, Entertainer second, probably a Football Commentator third

Talking of bad puns, Tuesday’s Daily Mirror (There was a copy lying about in the cafe I was having my lunch) backpage headline led with “KINGS OF JOLOEN” in reference to England’s draw with France.

I’m just as confused as you are

Talking of bollocks in the written press, today’s Belfast Telegraph led with a story about shameless bandwagon jumper Gary Lightbody being “attacked online” for cheering on the Republic of Ireland in Euro 2012.

The report had no examples of this ‘Abuse’ nor did they quote any of this ‘Abuse’

Typing ‘Gary Lightbody’ and ‘@garysnowpatrol’ into Twitter doesn’t bring up any abuse. Strange that.

It’s almost as if they pre-empted a story which didn’t happen. Pretty fucking pathetic if you ask me.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 7th APRIL 1990

Today, we take a trip back to 1990, and Cup Semi-Final weekends in England and Scotland.

On the cover is Crystal Palace players in a celebratory huddle, with the headline “ONE STEP FROM HEAVEN”, a reference to the fact that they were 1 win away from their first ever FA Cup Final.

That match gets a double page spread across pages 2 and 3. Steve Coppell, then manager of Crystal Palace, is billed as “Tipped as a future manager of Manchester United” and hus tipped by Palace striker Mark Bright to lead his side out in the 1990 FA Cup Final against the club he served as a player.

As yet, Steve Coppell hasn’t managed Manchester United, but Mark Bright’s prediction that it would be a Palace v United final did come true.

The other Semi-Final between Oldham Athletic and Manchester United also gets a double page spread.

Mark Bright, who had predicted the two FA Cup finalists, also features in an ad for Arrow Boots alongside David Burrows.

Jimmy Greaves letter page, as ever, is a joy.

Stephanie Martindale of Islington asked about the possibility of Crystal Palace and Oldham Athletic upsetting their more illustrious FA Cup Semi-Final opponents, “No chance” said Greavsie.

Crystal Palace beat Liverpool and Oldham Athletic led before taking Manchester United to a replay.

Samuel Nelson from USA suggests that Terry Butcher should be punished by the FA with regards to his role in the England team after smashing a dressing room door after an old Firm game.

Daniel Holbutt from Yorkshire suggests that if they get promoted, Leeds United and Sheffield United would be the two worst teams in the history of England’s top flight. Sheffield United survived for 4 years before relegation, while Leeds United lasted 14 years, winning the title in 1992.

John Say writes in to congratulate Danny Blanchflower on gettin a well deserved testimonial between Spurs and Norther Ireland. Details of the match can be found here.

Mark Hateley gets the “Wally Of The Week” award for stating that he would be in England’s World Cup squad but for injury, and will be in the England squad for Euro 92. He didn’t.

In world news, it emerged that Lev Yashin was working on arranging a UK tour for Dynamo Moscow in 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of their tour in 1945.

The countdown to the World Cup is in full swing as Roberto Baggio gets a page dedicated to him, billing him as “The Italian Gazza”

To be fair, Gazza did once had a dodgy ponytail

Ray Wilkins gets a double page spread as Shoot does a scouting report on him during a match for QPR against Nottingham Forest, amid a clamour for him to be part of England’s World Cup squad.

Their verdict is that while Wilkins is a player in form, England should be looking to the future.

There is also an advert for the following week’s issue, which contains free World Cup stickers.

Meanwhile, there is a double page spread on Sheffield United, the suibject of a BBC documentary called “United”

The show was a fly on the wall look at events at the club. An eventful season saw them get promoted to what is now the Premier League, as reach the FA Cup Quarter-Finals.

There is an advert for Guy Whittingham Soccer Masterclass, a football camp in Lanzarote. For just ÂŁ199, you could be as good as a squad player for Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa.

Money well spent.