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Wales forced to cap young players early or lose them

Harry Wilson now country's youngest full international

icon youth18 September ~ As Wales fans are well aware, the eternal problem for small football nations is strength in depth. You might be blessed with an abundance of talented midfielders but lack any suitable centre-backs. Maybe you can cobble together a solid side, but when injuries and suspensions kick in, the understudies are not up to scratch. If that is not bad enough, holding on to your best youngsters is now becoming a constant battle.


A pioneering new goal celebration

But you need a hole for it to work.

WSC 332 out now

October issue available online and in stores

wsc332 The new WSC is out now, dispatched on the day of order from the WSC shop

- Fans protest ticket prices
- Can standing return?
- Broadcasting special: MOTD at 50
- Brazil goes backwards
- Shildon v Crook – FA Cup starts here
- Where are the black managers?

Badge of the week ~ Go Ahead Eagles, Netherlands

GoAhead15012 September ~ Apparently one cannot say Holland anymore. It is The Netherlands everywhere these days. No matter. The Go Ahead Eagles are represented by the Go Ahead Eagle, an eagle elevated among his peers through his commitment to working towards The Body Beautiful. Read more

Book review: Born Under A Union Flag

Rangers, Britain & Scottish independence

331 UnionThe editors of Born Under A Union Flag have taken on an ambitious task: to quantify Rangers fans' relationship not only with Scotland but the United Kingdom as a whole. A difficult terrain to map, as historically the club has been considered the team of a union that may be dissolving. That Rangers are in this position as a Unionist team in a country falling out of love with the UK is due to a particular set of circumstances which occurred at the turn of the last century, when a challenger was sought for a successful team of immigrants. The fanbase of this new champion just happened to be drawn from the Catholic-free zone of the Govan shipyards. Read more

Book review: Pirates, Punks 
& Politics

FC St Pauli

331 PiratesIt is often held to be one of the unwritten rules governing the life of a football fan that your allegiance, once chosen, remains unchanged. However many now feel priced out of what used to be an affordable form of popular entertainment, while any sort of supporter activism is seen by the clubs as a threat to the sanitised matchday experience. Only very few such people, however, have taken as radical a course of action as Nick Davidson, the author of the first English-language book about FC St Pauli. Read more

Berwick 5-0 East Stirlingshire ~ extra Shot! photos

11 September ~ Extra photos by Colin McPherson from the Shot! feature of WSC 332, where Berwick Rangers beat East Stirlingshire 5-0 at Shielfield Park in Scottish League Two on August 23, 2014. Berwick lies inside the border of England yet they play in the Scottish leagues, causing an interesting sense of identity for their supporters.

Book review: Falling For Football

The teams that shaped our obsession

331 FallingMy Favourite Year, the 1993 anthology co-published by WSC and edited by Nick Hornby, celebrated like never before the obscure, personal details of how supporters become smitten. Superficially Falling for Football seems little more than an equivalent for the Twitter generation, those for whom Chris Waddle and inflatable bananas represent earliest memories. The bloggers deserve a wider audience, though, and talented writers and editors such as Rob Langham (The Two Unfortunates) and Ian King (Twohundredpercent) have forced complacent broadsheets to up their game. Read more

Book review: Roy Mac – Clough's champion

by Roy McFarland and Will Price

331 RoyMacFollowing a home defeat to Reading and a couple of beers, the young Tranmere Rovers defender Roy McFarland goes to bed. A couple of hours later he is woken up by his mum with the news that "there's two men downstairs to see you, Roy, and one of them is Brian Clough". The other, of course, is Derby County assistant Peter Taylor. As McFarland enters the kitchen in his striped pyjamas, "looking like a convict", he finds that Clough has managed to charm Mr and Mrs McFarland, and the deal is already halfway done. Read more

Riverside home of Gaz Metan Medias in Romania

Rom300The Gaz Metan Stadium in Medias, Romania, is the 7,814-capacity riverside home of Gaz Metan Medias of the Liga I. Their best finish was seventh in 2010-11, while the Black Wolves were Romanian Cup runners-up in 1951.

Get with the programme ~ Leeds Utd v Derby

September 4, 1976, Division One

LeedsvDerby1504 September ~ Two recent League champions (Leeds in 1974, Derby in 1972 and 1975) had started the season with high expectations, but poor results – both were winless after three games. Leeds manager Jimmy Armfield says in his programme notes that the two goals conceded in the home game against West Brom "were what I termed sloppy goals by First Division standards even allowing for the fact that they were both well taken by Albion". Doesn't this cut right to the crux of one of football's centric philosophical questions? Did West Brom score twice because they were good, or because Leeds allowed them to be good? Are goals the result of good play by the scoring team, or poor play by the defending team?


 

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