MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 7.8.1999

The last ever pre-season of the 20th century dawns, and Ryan Giggs is the cover star of Shoot, an edition where you can win signed England shirts.

In news, Andy Cole is launching a pop career with the release of his single ‘Outstanding‘, dubbed by Shoot (possibly sarcastically) as “Britain’s answer to Will Smith”

Also at United, they launched a new away kit in Central Manchester, while in rumours, Portsmouth were linked with a move for Georgi Kinkladze.

Jonathan Pearce is featured in a Q and A as Bristol City’s celebrity fan, who admits to having a Crystal Palace season ticket.

Ryan Giggs gets a four page interview, looking back at the past year (United won the treble, in case you didn’t know) and looking forward to the future.

When asked what else he can achieve, he points out that Juventus played in three successive European Cup Finals, though Giggs would go on to play in three out of four, a decade later.

When asked about his favourite position, he give the standard footballer answer of just being happy to be picked, adding “I’d play in goal as long as i’m playing for United”, commenting on how footballers have a much higher public profile since he made his United debut, and how he can’t see himself playing for another club.

George Boateng, having just joined Aston Villa, is interviewed on the move, stating that he wanted to join a bigger club to raise his profile so he could force his way into the Dutch squad for Euro 2000, being co-hosted by Holland.

Boateng did force his way into the Dutch squad, but not until 2001, only winning 4 caps.

John Beresford is interviewed in a Desert Island Discs style feature, except that it is about one item to take onto a Spaceship. He would take a Robbie Williams CD. He wasn’t fussy about which one, describing Williams as “A top singer”

He would also take a copy of “The Life Of Brian”, Milk and Chocolate, and invite Paul Whitehouse as his celeb guest.

Kevin Phillips gets a feature on his favourite game, which he chose as making his England debut in a friendly away to Hungary the previous season. Little did he know, he would go on to be the Premier League’s top scorer in the forthcoming season.

Chelsea’s new signing Chris Sutton makes an appearance at a football tournament sponsored by a chocolate bar to hand out prizes and sign autographs, giving advice to aspiring footballers, while adding that he believed Chelsea could win the league. Chelsea finished 5th that season.

Jermaine Pennant, Britain’s most expensive 15 year old gets a poster, where the bio says “Expect him to be hitting the sports pages for all the right reasons soon”, a reference to an FA investigation into agents payments in his move to Arsenal.

Shoot writers then make their season predictions. Of the ten featured, five correctly predicted Manchester United to win the League.

Adam McEwen predicts that Gianluca Vialli would be the first Premier League manager sacked. He was a season early.

Martin Keown is interviewed, giving the lowdown on his Arsenal team-mates. then poses for a photo as a spy. Agent Keown, reporting for duty.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 23.1.1993

There’s a Welsh theme to this week’s cover of Shoot, as Gary Speed and Dean Saunders, battling for possession are the cover stars.

The editorial for this edition looks at recent postponements, and dismisses the idea that English football should have a Winter break. Seems some debates never die.

Posters included in this week’s edition are a random bunch : Don Hutchinson, Lawrie Sanchez, Dundee United team, Martin Keown and Jorginho.

It’s the weekend of the FA Cup 4th Round, and Manchester United take on Brighton at Old Trafford, in a repeat of the 1983 Final. Steve Foster, in a second spell at Brighton, played in the replay (He was banned from the final) and was interviewed about the game, and his memories of 1983.

In Jimmy Greaves Letters Page, a reader from Corby writes in to question QPR’s 5 million pound valuation of Les Ferdinand. In 1995, Les Ferdinand left QPR for Newcastle for a fee of 6 million pounds.

Shoot dedicates a double page spread to reviewing the standard of punditry on BBC, ITV and Sky Sports.

Gary Lineker is described as “His attempts at humour are like Ian Botham on A Question Of Sport (ie – not funnny at all)” – I could not possibly comment.

Shoot also mocked Andy Gray for his frequent use of the term “That’s a great example for all the kids watching”

Meanwhile, Kevin Keegan is given a platform to showcase his four point plan for the future of English football, which includes reducing the Premier League to 18 teams (It was reduced to 20 teams in 1995), Professional referees, five subs (This was introduced to the Premier League in 1996) and games being split into four periods of 25 minutes.

Oh well, three good ideas out of four aren’t bad.

Neil Webb, having rejoined Nottingham Forest from Manchester United gets a double page profile about the move.

Shoot did a series during this season where they visited clubs to see who could win a 100m Sprint, Hardest Shot, Long throw.

There was a shock at Dundee as goalkeeper Paul Mathers had the hardest shot. Unfortunately, his score for Longest Throw and Hardest Shot weren’t enough to get him in the overall Top Three, taken from all the clubs who had participated so far.

Maybe it was that article which convinced David Jeffrey to sign him for Linfield in 1999?

Harvey Lim of Gillingham (Longest Throw) and Neil Masters of Bournemouth (Hardest Shot) were the leaders, since you ask.

EUROBOLLOCKS – THE KNOCKOUT STAGES

The group stages are over and the serious stuff was ready to begin, as eight sides battled to be crowned the Champions of Europe.

First up, were Czech Republic and Portugal, in a game that was known as The Cristiano Ronaldo Show.

Christiano Ronaldo was on a one-man mission to get Portugal into the Semi-Finals, which he succeeded in doing, winning the game, and the heart of Jonathan Pearce, in a show of fawning not seen on the BBC since they wheeled out a load of 40 something minor celebs to reminisce about the Bay City Rollers and David Cassidy et al on the ‘I Love The 70s’ series during the early 00s

To give you an idea of the mancrush, when Ronaldo scored, Pearce let out a scream not heard since Volcanosaurus obliterated Titanorator in the 1999 Robot Wars final.

Meanwhile, Portugal had a penalty shout in the first-half, to which Martin Keown commented “It’s just like WWE”

You have to admire Martin Keown for his research, as most football commentators describe penalty area manhandling as “It’s just like WWF” which as everyone knows, is no longer the name for the Wrestling organisation.

Next up, was Germany v Greece, or, Christmas for people who like doing shit topical jokes.

You see, Germany are meeting Greece in the Euros (And I fucking hate that term, it’s the European Championship) and off the pitch Germany and Greece are in some shit about the Euro, the currency, or something like that.

Having covered the FA Cup for the last four years, ITV have perfected the art of being patronisingly biased towards an underdog, and my word, ITV made sure Greece were the mid table League Two side of Euro 2012.

ITV were so biased, if Greece won, I would have expected them to cut back to the studio, and Adrian Chiles is dressed like he is in Dad’s Army, and proceeds to sing “Who do you think you are kidding Angela Merkel?”

Thankfully, Jamie Carragher wasn’t on punditry duty for that game, and thus, we were spared him talking about the nucleus of the Germany team that plays for Beyyynnn Mooonik.

Greece were heroically holding the Germans 0-0 for a long period of time, promptong co-commentator Jim Beglin to remark that “Germany are struggling to break down the Greece wall” which was surprising, as if any country specialised in breaking down a wall, it was Germany.

The following night, Spain met France in a game which was boring, which prompted a debate as to wether Spain are boring.

Spain are boring, but it’s boring to say that Spain are boring, but it’s boring to say it’s boring to say that Spain are boring.

I don’t know what position to take in this debate.

Sunday night, the one we are all waiting for, England v Italy.

Italy of course, are in decline with their worst ever team, there should only be one winner.

Before the match coverage had even started, modern journalism hit a nadir, as journalists queued up to provide live coverage of the England team getting off the bus at the stadium.

Yes, live coverage of people getting off a bus.

The pre-match analysis focused on the job Roy Hodgson had done with England, with Alan Hansen commenting on his ill-fated spell at Liverpool “It was the first time he’d managed a big club”

In Alan Hansen’s parallell universe, 18 time Siere A champions and 3 time European champions Inter Milan aren’t a big club.

Any big match these days isn’t complete without a wanky pre-match montage, and England v Italy didn’t disappoint. It wasn’t the worst one of the tournament though, as the BBC previewed England’s match against Sweden with a Joe Hart montage.

No harm to Joe Hart, but he’s a goalkeeper. You know a team is crap when the goalkeeper gets a montage. Prior to England’s opening game, the BBC had a montage of Stewart Downing prepared but had to scrap it.

It wasn’t the fact that Downing wasn’t selected for the game against France that saw the montage scrapped, but the fact that they couldn’t find any footage of him scoring or setting up a goal for Liverpool.

Italy is of course, the home of dirty tricks, and they pulled a real dirty trick by unveiling a player nobody had ever heard of before, Andrea Pirlo.

Apparantly, Andrea Pirlo has two European Cup winners medals and a World Cup winners medal, while Scott ‘Scotty’ Parker starred in a McDonalds advert. Amazingly, Pirlo turned out to be a bit better than England’s midfield.

England were in trouble, and Alan Shearer had a cunning plan …… that England should bring on Andy Carroll as “Italy won’t have played against a player like him”

In Alan Shearer’s parallell universe, there are no tall players in Siere A.

Ironcially, when Andy Carroll did come on, the only person who struggled with him was commentator Guy Mowbray, who kept calling him ‘Ashley Caroll’

And so to penalties, the most frustrating part was that Italy’s Christian Maggio didn’t take a penalty, purely for the commentator to say “So here’s to you Christian Maggio, a nation turns it’s lonely eyes to you …….”

So, England lost, and the end credit montage music was an acoustic cover version of ‘In The End’ by Linkin Park. Hadn’t England fans suffered enough?

The first Semi-Final between Spain and Portugal was boring, which wasn’t surprising as Spain are … wait, what’s the official line?

As the game was in extra-time, Martin Keown spoke for no-one when he commented “Nobody wants penalties”

Fuck off! When a game we don’t care who wins goes to extra-time, the thought of a penalty shoot-out is the only thing that keeps us going throughout extra-time.

The following night, as Italy went 2-0 up against Germany, Jonathan Pearce described it as “A major upset”

Yes, four time World Champions Italy now reduced to that status of a League Two team in the FA Cup 3rd Round.

Balotelli’s two goals against Germany made Alan Shearer look stupid (nothing new there) who dismissed him as “Having done nothing in his career”

When this was brought up in the build-up to the final, Shearer um ahhed that he meant at international level.

Fair point.

In an unrelated note, Lionel Messi has done nothing of note in his career*

(*In Irish League football, how many County Antrim Shields has he won?)

And so, to the game itself, Spain go 1-0 up through David Silva, prompting Guy Mowbray to quip “Silva strikes Gold for Spain”

No mater how many times you say it, it’s a pun which just doesn’t work.

I’m not even sure what the final score was, as I was too busy watching the match on CBBC.

Yes!!! CBBC showed the game live with various stars commentating on the game, including Hacker T Dog, who unsurprisingly made more sense than Mark Lawrenson and Andy Townsend combined.

If only this had existed in past European Championship finals.

Just imagine Saturday Swapshops’ Noel Edmonds and Keith Chegwin commentating on Panenka’s chip, or a Dream Team of Sarah Greene, Edd The Duck and Gordon The Gopher commentaing on Marco Van Basten’s goal against the Soviet Union.

And so, that was it, Euro 2012 was over, there was only one more battle …….. the end credit montage-off.

ITV had ‘Tonight Tonight’ by Smashing Pumpkins, while BBC went with an acoustic version of ‘Thriller’ by Michael Jackson that was so depressing, it was almost as if Mark Lawrenson was singing it.

Fair to say, ITV won the montage-off.

Gary Lineker signed out on “The reign of spain continues in Ukraine”

I’ll go fucking insane if Gary Lineker tries a joke like that again.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MATCH – 25th JULY 1992

We are now in the summer of 1992 as Ray Houghton, soon to be sold to Aston Villa is the cover star of Match.

The page 3 star of this episode has long, flowing black hair …….. Darren Peacock.

Darren Peacock is being honoured as the player of the 1991/1992 season based on the average ratings in Match Facts with an average rating of 7.51 from 38 games.

Bizarrely, the clubs who finished in the Top Three that season (Leeds United, Manchester United, Sheffield Wednesday) didn’t have a player in the Top Ten.

A readers poll gives readers the chance to nominate their two centre-backs in England’s team for the 1994 World cup finals.

Options include : Des Walker, Mark Wright, Martin Keown, Gary Pallister, Steve Bruce, Tony Adams, Paul Elliott, Chris Fairclough, Steve Sedgeley, Carlton Palmer, Keith Curle, Darren Peacock, Alan Kernaghan and Nicky Tanner.

Bit of a pity that England failed to qualify.

Incidentally, alan Kernaghan did get to play in the 1994 World Cup …….. for the Republic Of Ireland.

In rumours that look a bit silly now : Arsenal want to sign Geoff Thomas and Keith Curle, Chelsea want to do a swap deal with Manchester United for Andy Townsend, Everton want to sign Duncan Ferguson from Dundee United (well, they did, but from Rangers two years later)

In actual news, Bristol City sign unknown Arsenal forward Andrew Cole for £500,000. Two and a half years later, he is Britain’s most expensive footballer.