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.

THE TWITTER LIST

This week, has seen The Independent newspaper reveal their Twitter 100 list, using a calculated formula to determine who Britain’s most influential Tweeters are.

Inevitably, this has provoked a reaction. I wouldn’t get too worked up about it, it’s just a bit of harmless fun. (Ok, I’ll admit it, I’m gutted I wasn’t included on it)

So, to commemorate this, I’m going to do my own alternative Twitter list of who to follow, and the best and worst aspects of Twitter.

I signed up for Twitter in February 2009 after hearing about it in the media and was a bit slow on the uptake. My sole purpose for using it was to plug my Flickr site everytime I uploaded something, and to plug my blog, which was then hosted on Bebo.

Gradually, I got more and more into it, after discovering the various news and information sites using it, and began to become more interactive, and moved away from using it as a tool to promote “Brandrew”

Twitter, like any other social media site is a hard sell to those not on it. You really need to use it to see the benefits.

THE TWITTER GOAL

Like a lot of people, I use Twitter for getting football scores. It would be fair to say, that watching football on Twitter is the new watching football on Ceefax, which is handy, as I will mourn Ceefax when it ceases to exist later in the year.

My first “Twitter goal” came during the Manchester Derby in April 2010.

I was at The Oval that day for the Irish Cup Semi-Final between Linfield and Coleraine. That match kicked-off 15 minutes before the game at the City Of Manchester Stadium.

As I left The Oval, I checked the score and it was 0-0. As it approached what would be 93 minutes, I checked again, still 0-0.

I then hit refresh on my phone, and there was a flurry of tweets alluding to the fact there had been a goal, but not actually saying who to.

Tweets such as “1-0”, “What a dramatic finish”, “Knew there would be a goal” flashed up, as well as one saying “This could be a definitive goal in the title race”

That made me think City had won 1-0 and finished off United’s fading title hopes. I hit refresh again, just to put me out of my misery, and a tweet flashed up “LATEST : Manchester City 0-1 Manchester United (Scholes 90)”

The Twitter goal. A 21st century method of loading up Ceefax and hitting refresh on the latest scores page in the hope that your team have scored.

GOOD POINTS

As you will have guessed, I love having instant access is one of my favourite things. I do have other uses for it. I have instant access to news sites, as well as events listings, and finding out info about TV recordings or free events in Belfast which I may not have been previously aware of.

Also, any question or query I may have, usually can get answered instantly, which is bloody great.

BAD POINTS

Twitter isn’t perfect and has some negative points. One of my main gripes is RT Phishers, who pester celebs for an RT. Worse than that, celebs usually grant these requests, thus filling up my timeline with a list of people who are celebrating their birthday or need cheering up because their cat has just died, when frankly, I couldn’t give a flying fuck.

Birthday requests and shout-outs are for local radio, not for Twitter.

As well as that, there is usually some sob story followed by “worth an RT?” – Ugh, just fuck off.

“Or, I need followers, please RT” – You could always try being interesting, funny, witty or informative. I’ve never followed anyone on the basis of a celebrity RT.

Also taking the biscuit is “Can I get an RT in memory of (Dead Celebrity) so we can get #ripdeadcelebrity trending?” – As sad as a celebrity death is, a hashtag isn’t going to make things better.

If I was a celebrity, I’d have a strict “No RTs” policy on Twitter.

One day, all marketing campaigns and strategies will simply be “Let’s ask Dermot O’Leary for an RT”

PIERS MORGAN

As much as I loathe to give him a chapter, it is quite funny to see him getting owned on Twitter. Though, it should be pointed out, it’s the intellectual equivalent of beating San Marino at football.

I don’t follow him, but people in my timeline RT him. He wrote a double page spread in the Mail On Sunday about being “Twitter pals” with Wayne Rooney.

Usually, he Tweets a “Joke” about Rooney looking like Shrek. Rooney then usually ignores him or replies “Fuck off” – Ahhh, what pals.

Morgan manages the impressive feat of making me feel sorry for Arsenal and their supporters. Some of his classics as self-appointed Gooner Spokesman include boasting about Arsenal demolishing Newcastle (they ended up drawing 4-4) and mocking Swansea just after Arsenal went 1-0 up (Swansea cam back to win 3-2)

NORTHERN IRELAND MEDIA ON TWITTER

Of the two main broadcasters in Northern Ireland, UTV were the first to really “Get” and embrace Twitter. So much so, that the opening credits to UTV Live now feature the show’s hashtag (#utvlive) and profile names appear on captions when reporters appear on screen.

Most of their reporters are on the site, and manage to strike the balance of forwarding on stories (local and national/international of interest) that have just come in through the newswire, as well as tweeting from the scene of stories they are covering, and from court cases (judge permitting)

They also have an automated account posting up stories added to their website and a “What’s on now?” account, like a cyber continuity announcer, announcing what’s on now, and other programming news. BBCNI have since launched a similar account to do BBC 1 NI and BBC 2 NI.

BBCNI were a bit slow off the mark but have come to embrace Twitter with most of their journalists and shows having an account, now signing off Newsline bulletins with a link to their Twitter account (as well as Facebook)

News Letter, mainly through Rebecca Black (@hackedoffhack) have begun to use Twitter to preview the following day’s front page from 10pm onwards. Belfast Telegraph doesn’t do this and have become very defensive in their content, trying to urge people to wait to buy the paper edition in the morning before posting links to stories on their website.

For UK wide newspapers, Sky News now posts the following days covers each night.

Belfast Telegraph, News Letter and Irish News are well represented on Twitter in terms of personnel, and most local papers within Northern Ireland are now starting to embrace Twitter.

NORTHERN IRELAND FOOTBALL

Irish League football has embraced Twitter. So much so, that Leon Knight got a ban (which was later rescinded) for comments made on the site.

A podcast, The Social Club (@thesocialclubni) has proved so successful, it has now moved to UTV’s website. It’s four contributors @holtchris @keith192 @markjmcintosh and @laurejames all have an active Twitter presence.

My own club, Linfield, doesn’t have an official Twitter account, but the unofficial account @linfield_fc offers fans an excellent service on matchdays if you can’t get to the game.

Linfield supporters site South Stand Says @southstandsays is also worth a follow.

Of the dedicated sports departments of print and television, worth a follow are @beltelsportsdes @utvsport @newslettersport and @bbcsportni

Of journalists, Graham Luney (@grahamluneybt) has been described as “Influential” by Joe Brolly. Not sure if that’s an endorsement or not. It’s unknown what Joe Brolly’s opinion of @garethfullerton is, but mine is that he’s worth a follow.

Liam Beckett (@liam_beckett) is worth a follow for his rants on the price of coffee in Belfast. His commentary partner on Radio Ulster Joel Taggart is a recent convert to Twitter (@taggartjoel)

Other journalists worth following include @ourlogie @ulsterrobbo @andrewgillan

As part of their sponsorship with the national team @vauxhallni is an official account with news and competitions for supporters. The IFA’s official account can be found @officialirishfa

Players and clubs worth a follow include @colerainefc @matthew_tipton @distilleryworld @ballymenaunited

Also worth a follow is @talkinballs and @theirishlegue

FOOTBALL

Match Of The Day @bbcmotd now has it’s own official account with goal updates and a running order for the show, which is always handy. For Premier League updates, it’s worth following @premierleague

There are numerous football parody accounts on Twitter, two of the best are Jamie Redknapp @literallyjamie and @thebig_sam

For statistics, trivia and oddities, @mirkobolesan is a must follow. For in-game statistics, it’s hard to look past @optajoe

Journalists and Broadcasters worth following include @stancollymore @iainmacintosh @danwalkerbbc and @henrywinter

Four Four Two (@fourfourtwo) is the best to follow of the football magazines out there.

NI MUSIC

Northern Ireland music is well represented on Twitter with alternative ulster (@aumagazine) and it’s editor (@_chrisjones_) both frequent tweeters.

Northern Ireland’s two biggest outdoor concerts, Belsonic (@belsonicbelfast) and Tennen’t Vital (@tennentsvital) are both on Twitter, keeping fans up to date of line-ups and ticket details.

For concert news, @mcd_productions is worth following.

For local music writing, @edwinmcfee is worth following

Local bands that tweet regularly and are worth a follow include @wondervillains @timwheeler1977 @ktcarnival and @tdcinemaclub

MUSIC

If you love the repeats of the 1977 Top Of The Pops currently running on BBC Four, then @yesitsnumberone and @totp1977 are a must follow.

For general music news @qmagazine and @popjustice are worth a follow.

Journalists worth following include @paulreesq @eve_barlow @petepaphides and @alexispetridis

UTV

As previously stated, UTV have really embraced Twitter.

@utvonair does what it says, and is an online continuity announce for what’s on now, and coming up later on the channel.

UTV journalists that are regular Tweeters and worth a follow are

@dt_utv @markmcfadden @judith_utv @jamie_utv @kenreid_utv @aideen_utv @pamballantine @sharon_utv @ruthgorman_utv @saraneill_utv @alifleming_utv @marcmallett_utv @hagan_utv and @paulclark_utv

BBC NI

Not to be outdone, BBCNI are also represented on Twitter.

@bbcnievents keeps people up to date with recordings and events, and how they can apply for tickets while @bbconeni is their online continuity announcer.

Journalists and presenters worth following are

@jimfitzbiz @lindseyha @mlchealth @jolong03 @tv_natasha @alansimpsonbbc @nialfoster @markdevenport

NORTHERN IRELAND JOURNALISTS/NEWSPAPERS

Northern Ireland journalists now in England and further afield that are worth a follow include @illneelyitv @yolympicorla @skyman64 @jenofcroths @kellyallen01@Eamonn_forde @eamonnholmes and @mrgordonburns

Special mention to @paul_gilmour who is set to join Sky Sports News

Ivan Little (@bigivanlittle) is a phem, phenon, phe, femon, phenomenon.

Unreality TV (@unrealitytv) is a TV blog based in Belfast and well worth folowing.

Journalists and publications based in Northern Ireland include @bmoney_times @janedaybreak @saragirvin @connollymaeve @maureencoleman1 @mrsghenderson @nicolarice82 @news_letter @hackedoffhack @sineaddoyle @kimsshowbizlife @weemcg @thesundaylife @banbridgechron and @gomagonline

UK NEWSPAPERS

Of UK papers, @theipaper is worth a follow, as are @gracedent and @caitlinmoran

For showbiz and celebrity, @deanpiper is worth a follow.

If you enjoy your news light-hearted and ripping the piss, you should follow @newsthump

TV/RADIO

Danny Baker (@prodnose) was made for Twitter, and never fails to entertain. Classic gags include breaking the news that busty girls in your local area waiting to chat were considering withdrawing their advertising from News Of The World due to the phonehacking scandal and breaking the news that a riotous mob had tried to set a barbecue store ablaze during the Tottenham Riots, but it just wouldn’t go up in flames. A must follow. Justin Moorhouse (justinmoorhouse) is also worth following

For news (@itvnews) while Gay Times Magazine (gaytimesmag) is also worth following for TV commentaries. They come into their own during X-Factor.

MANCHESTER UNITED

Manchester United are well represented on Twitter with players (past and present) and many journalists on the site.

Of players, @fizzer18 @themichaelowen and @gnev2 are worth following

From the media side of the fence, @andymitten and @nickcoppack are worth following.

For a supporter’s view @redissue @bbcredwednesday and @unitedrant are worth following

In you love topical and hilarious jpegs, then @beardedgenius is your man

LINFIELD

The Gods in Blue.

Get following @aburnsey14 @geoff20man @kris_lindsay @billyjoe_12 @carvill88 @spidermonkey888 @mulgrew22 @gaulty5

POLITICS

The world of politics has embraced Twitter, with the vast majority of Northern Ireland politicians using Twitter.

These are complimented with party accounts as well. Most Northern Ireland politicians usually engage with followers in debates, or if they have a query.

That said, if I needed to contact a politician about a business matter, I’d prefer to go through an official channel such as a phone call or e-mail.

Last October, Martina Anderson tweeted that she getting ready to appear as a panellist on the BBC TV show ‘Questions and Answers’

If you haven’t worked it out yet, it was Question Time she was booked to appear on.

Question Time (@bbcquestiontime) has become a massive Twitter success story, you often wonder how people watched Question Time without Twitter. It is commonplace for the Trending Topics during the show’s broadcast to be exclusively QT related.

It is always a joy to hear David Dimbleby speak about Hashtags and Tweets, as if he knows what he’s talking about.

The show has inspired a parody Twitter account (@dimblebot), a robotic version of David Dimbleby who frequently “Defeats” and “Eliminates” his panellists.

Andrew Neil (@afneil) is worth a follow

Many of the local journalists and news organisations previously mentioned RT local politicians as part of their work.

NORTHERN IRELAND

If you want to know what Christine Bleakley is up to but can’t be bothered buying Sunday Life, then you should follow the woman herself (@clbleakley)

Former Hollyoaks star Gerard McCarthy (@gerard_mccarthy) is very funny and worth a follow, though he is currently taking a Twitter sabbatical for lent. The Blame Game’s Jake O’Kane is well worth a follow (@jakeokane)

There are many public service on Twitter, with BBCNI providing Travel (@bbcnitravel) and Weather (@newslineweather)

Other public services include Peelers (@policeserviceni) and Met Office (@metofficeni)

If you love information about delayed buses and trains, then (@translink_ni) is the Twitter account for you.

To find out what people in Northern Ireland are Tweeting about, then Trendsmap (@trendsbelfast) is a must follow. Be warned, it’s usually Harry Styles and Justin Bieber.

Happy Tweeting, hope this has helped you find some accounts you previously didn’t know existed.

And I shall end on a shameless plug. You can follow me on @andrewastewart

SO BEBO HAS GONE ……

Seemingly so, or not, depending on who you believe. The site is seemingly offline at the moment due to a “temporary hitch”

There is an irony to it all. I found out about it on Twitter, the main social media I use in place of Bebo, and I am blogging about it on WordPress, the main blogging interface I use instead of Bebo.

It’s quite trendy to knock the site, but it was great in it’s heyday, back in 2006 and 2007.

The site was so big during it’s heyday, it was subject to weekly reports on Newsline about how it was corrupting the youth of the nation.

It seemed there were only two types of people using Bebo : Paramilitaries recruiting people and Paedos grooming people.

No paramilitary ever tried to recruit me and no Paedo ever tried to groom me. Feel quite left out.

Nowadays, the Newsline and UTV Live scare stories focus on Facebook and Twitter, with poor Bebo feeling left out.

It was an innocent text message that started it all for me. I’d been asked about a party that night. It was the first I knew about it, as it had all been organised via Bebo.

So, the next day, I signed up and got hooked. After adding my main circle of friends, people who worked at The Globe, I then sussed out people from school, and the period between school and The Globe, and found myself getting back in touch with old friends I hadn’t seen in ages.

I couldn’t help but think what life working at The Globe would have been like if the social media boom had happened while I worked there. I think every shift would have begun with “Andrew, a quick word about a recent status update”

It is thanks to Bebo that I fell back in love with photography. As per ettiquette, I needed to have a profile photo.

I hate getting my photo taken, so I uploaded some photos of graffiti and murals from my phone. The quality was rubbish, so I went and took better ones with a digital camera.

And thus, I got the bug, and now take photos of everything and anything.

To be honest, photos are the only reason I used Bebo the past three years, as there was very little interaction, but it was great for having a photo archive and for getting jpeg properties for putting onto WordPress.

Unfortunately, it looks like i’ll have to edit two years worth of blog posts containing photos. Thankfully, I made back-ups on Myspace (Yes, I know)

A social media site is only as good as it’s content. Facebook has friend updates, Twitter has news updates, Myspace has music uploads. Bebo …… well?

Also, I got the blog bug as well as I started writing a weekly update on what five songs I was enjoying the previous week, and my thoughts on the previous week’s football.

As well as this, I did concert reviews whenever I went to a concert.

I know that people were reading it, as songs I listed were appearing on people’s flashboxes soon after.

I’d been thinking about leaving for a while, and I took the plunge into WordPress in late 2009. There were so many better features, such as categrosiing and the ability to have more than three previous posts on a page.

Such was my Bebo inactivity, that I would get e-mails reminding me that it was a friend’s birthday, so I would log onto Facebook to wish them a Happy Birthday.

It will always remind me of the last year of my degree, as that’s when I signed up and got the most use out of it.

If this is the end of Bebo, it would have been nice if the pages were kept as an archive rather than being wiped totally.

LOL M8 XOXOXOXOXO BF4LYFE

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : Q – JANUARY 1997

January 1997 is the subject of the latest Magazine Archive, set during the peak years of Britpop, and featuring Oasis on the cover, focusing on the Q Awards, which had just been recently staged.

It was a period when Q was mourning one of their main writers, John Bauldie, who was a passenger in the helicopter crash which killed then Chelsea Chairman Matthew Harding, which is commemorated in the obituaries section.

A whopping fifteen pages are dedicated to the Q Awards, with the first page of the feature having a double paged photo of various guests on stage, engaging in small talk.

Eagle eyed readers will have noticed Dermot Morgan and Ruud Gullit in conversation. It is worth clarifying that Ruud Gullit wasn’t sat on a shed, possibly because it wasn’t Christmas.

1996 was the year that saw Q celebrate it’s 10th anniversary, and the awards ceremony saw various celebrities record video messages of congratulations.

Amongst them, was Tony Blair, then Leader Of The Opposition, recorded one saying “Ten years in power with no opposition – Sounds good to me”. It was almost prophetic.

Ian Brodie was riding on the crest of a wave in 1996 on the back of “Three Lions” and gets five pages looking at his career to date, with minimal mentions of Baddiel and Skinner.

That month, Lightning Seeds were 11 in the Album Chart, being kept out of the Top Ten by Robson and Jerome, Spice Girls, East 17, Simply Red, The Smurfs, Boyzone and Rod Stewart.

Sometimes, history is better off being rewritten.

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.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : Q – AUGUST 2005

In this edition of The Magazine Archive, i’ll be looking back at the August 2005 edition of Q, featuring Oasis on the cover, but also including a feature on Charlotte Church, then just about to release her first ‘pop’ album, and Michael Jackson, who had just been on trial for child molestation.

I should issue a disclaimer that when I was searching for magazines to review, a lot of them are editions of Q with Oasis on the cover.

In the news section, three pages are dedicated to a feature on a trend of bands reforming, prompted by rumours of a Stone Roses reunion.

A picture of the Spice Girls during their 1990s peak is caption “Spice Girls : returning in 2006”

In fact, it was 2007 that the Spice Girls would reform, releasing a single called “Headlines” for Children In Need.

The song failed to reach the top ten, and Spice Girls have never recorded since.

A sub-feature looks at the possibility of other bands reforming.

The Verve were listed at 10/1. They did reform and release an album in 2008 titled “Forth” but split up again soon after.

Take That were listed as 25/1, with the text stating “Robbie Williams is unlikely to be keen on playing second fiddle to Gary Barlow again”

Bet you wish you took up the offer of those odds back in 2005.

In the section titled “Rising”, looking at up and coming bands, this month’s feature focuses on Arcade Fire, who won Best International Group and Best International Album at the 2011 Brit Awards.

Not only that, but Arcade Fire also do the best walkout music of any football team in the world, I say without a hint of bias.

In the album chart, very few ‘pop’ acts are in the Top Twenty, with Coldplay just holding off Oasis at Number One.

In the download charts, animation ruled as Gorillaz were keeping Crazy Frog off the top spot.

The middle of the magazine was dominated by a feature called “Scandal” with a compilation of “The 50 Biggest Villains In Music”, and features on “Wildchild” Charlotte Church, and Michael Jackson’s recent trial.

Eight pages are then dedicated to an interview with Oasis. It’s standard Gallagher interview, with the obligatory swearing.

And that, was the world of music in August 2005.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : FOUR FOUR TWO – JULY 1999

The summer of 1999 is the focus for this edition of “The Magazine Archive”, looking at Four Four Two and their end of season awards.

Bizarrely, despite winning The Treble, there were no Man United players featured on the cover.

Cheltenham Town’s promotion to the Football League was the subject of parody with a mock tourist brochure being drawn up showcasing the delights of Cheltenham.

A column by Paul Simpson looking at footballing achievements remarks that Man United’s treble still has a long way to go before matching Linfield’s Seven trophies in 1922.

The always funny in retrospect feature “The Boy’s A Bit Special” makes an appearance profiling current Norwich City player Adam Drury, Clinton Morrison, and Seth Johnson, the player often used to personify the transfer excesses at Leeds United under the Peter Ridsdale/David O’Leary.

In the letters page, one reader wrote to express his opinions on the behaviour of players during a recent Old Firm game, and how their actions can affect crowd behaviour.

Given the recent furore about the Scottish Cup Replay between the two sides, it seems some things never change.

Dwight Yorke won the award for “Best Premiership Player” with Didier Domi being ranked 50th.

Kieron Dyer, who that summer signed for Newcastle United was voted best in Division One, while ex Portadown player Peter Kennedy was voted 36th.

In Division Two, then uncapped Northern Ireland players Maik Taylor and Steve Robinson were in the Top Ten.

Kevin Horlock was 41st, 4 places below former Glentoran player Glen Little.

It’s not too hard which goal was voted the best that season. If you haven’t worked it out yet, it was Ryan Giggs goal in the FA Cup Semi-Final Replay.

In the world of advertising, David Seaman, quite appropriately given the name, is advertising Admiral Aportswear.

Four pages are dedicated to the Youth World Cup, held in Africa (Nigeria to be precise) which was won by Spain.

History repeated itself when Spain left Africa with the World Cup trophy 11 years later, this time, the senior trophy.

A quick look through Wikipedia reveals that Iker Casillas, Carlos Marchena and Xavi played for Spain in both tournaments.

There is a feature on English goalkeepers and why there are so few of them.

A chart is made of the goalkeepers at each Premier League club, with comments on the situation.

For Manchester United, the comment reads “Bad news for Nick Culkin as Peter Schmeichel is likely to be replaced by Edwin Van Der Sar”

Van Der Sar did replace Schmeichel, unfortunately, he wasn’t signed until 2005.

The “More Than A Game” feature focused on the Welsh derby between Cardiff City and Swansea City.

In 1999, both clubs were in the bottom division of the Football League in run down stadiums. How times change.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : Q – JUNE 2006

The summer of 2006 is the focus of the latest “Magazine Archive”, as Oasis, on tour in Argentina, are the cover stars of Q, as part of a special themed “On Tour” edition, which also featured “20 Greatest Live Albums” and “50 Most Insane Tour Stories”

The magazine came with a free CD of covers from songs between 1986 and 2006, as Q geared up to celebrate it’s 20th anniversary later that year, with artists like Franz Ferdinand, Sugababes and Elbow contributing.

The spineline reads “Yo Soy El Diego”, which translates as “I am The Diego”

“Yo Soy El Diego” is the title of Diego Maradona’s autobiography. Diego Maradona makes a surreal appearance in this magazine, in the form of an article about the time he met Queen in 1981, sporting a hairstyle that is best described as “Mini Brian May”

George Galloway was the subject of that months “Cash For Questions” with the standard Galloway answers you would expect.

The monthly chart round-up was not including downloads. The Number One download was “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley.

Morrissey topp the album chart while being joined in the Top Ten by X-Factor rejects Andy Abraham and Journey South.

A double page spread is dedicated to a feature called “Rewind : Great Moments In Music” focusing on Diego Maradona meeting Queen in 1981, with Freddie Mercury weaing an Argentina top while Diego Maradona wears a Union Jack. The image of Maradona has been used on a piece of Banksy art.

The Argentina theme continues with seven pages dedicated to Oasis on tour in Argentina.

As well as the download chart, new technology also made an appearance with three pages dedicated to Podcasting, including a guide with everything you need to know about Podcasting.

Joe Cole also makes an appearance, talking about how Arctic Monkeys are his favourite band. This however, couldn’t inspire England to glory at the 2006 World Cup which was taking place at the same time.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : WORLD SOCCER – MARCH 2005

This edition of “The Magazine Archive” takes a look back at March 2005 when Adriano was “The King Of Siere A”, according to World Soccer, who had bagged an interview with Inter Milan’s Brazilian striker.

The editorial focuses on a match fixing scandal, and wether Wayne Rooney can have the same impact at the 2006 World Cup as he did at Euro 2004.

Ivory Coast’s national team was featured as they aimed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in their history.

Former French international Basile Boli, born in Ivory Coast says in the article that they could emulate Senegal’s success in the 2002 World Cup in 2006.

As it turned out Ivory Coast did qualify, but were eliminated after defeats to Argentina and Holland.

Franco Carraro, President of the Italian Football Federation was interviewed as Italy unveiled their bid to host Euro 2012.

Italy eventually lost out in the bidding process to a joint bid from Poland and Ukraine.

Italy tried to bid for Euro 2016 but were unsuccessful, with the tournament being awarded to France.

Meanwhile, the big story from Croatia during the monthly round-up was Nico Krankjaer’s sensational transfer from Dinamo Zagreb to Hadjuk Split.

Northern Ireland’s round-up consists of Linfield signing Shea Campbell, Newry City being thrown out of the Irish Cup, the launch of the Setanta Cup and Alan Dornan being sacked as manager of Crusaders. Quiet month then.

Meanwhile in South America, the player involved in the most expensive transfer between two clubs in that continent, Carlos Tevez, made his debut for Corinthians.

The recent South American Under 20 Championship allows for a feature on the 12 best young players in South America. Top scorer in the tournament Hugo Rodallega gets a lot of attention, alongside Lionel Messi.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : Q – NOVEMBER 2002

The latest edition of “The Magazine Archive” focuses on Q in November 2002, when U2 Foo Fighters, Graham Coxon and Vanessa Carlton were the cover stars.

The spineline simply reads “Stuart Morgan”. Unable to get it immediately, a quick websearch reveals that Stuart Morgan was an art critic who died in August 2002.

U2 are the main feature on the cover that month, which saw the release of their second Greatest Hits compilation “1990-2000”, while Graham Coxon speaks about his departure from Blur.

John Squire is the subject of “Cash For Questions” ,where readers submit their questions (and successful entrants get a cash prize, hence the feature title) with the questions, unsurprisingly, focusing on all things Stone Roses.

The album chart in late 2002 was topped by Atomic Kitten, with Enrique Iglesias and Nora Jones making appearances in the Top Ten alongaside Oasis, Ash and Coldplay.

Graham Coxon speaking about his departure from Blur gets a 3 page feature while Vanessa Carlton, then enjoying success in the charts with “A Thousand Miles” also gets a 3 page feature.

U2 get a a mammoth 10 pages dedicated to them. As at that time, they were promoting their 1990s Greatest Hits compilation album, the article mainly looks back at U2’s productivity during that decade, with quotes from all 4 members of the band.

Concert reviews that month focus on Rolling Stones, Morrissey, Avril Lavigne and Oasis.