THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

The new WSC is out now, available from all good newsagents or dispatched on the day of order from the WSC shop. Including:
Fighting to keep the army out of football
A tribute to Gary Speed
Headless chickens at Blackburn Rovers
Tight-fisted Newcastle breaking even under Mike Ashley
The effect of the Berlin Wall on the city's football clubs, players and supporters
A new biography of Brian Clough analyses his tactical approach
Passing progresses in the Championship
The record-breaking 66 goals scored on Boxing Day, 1963

In this issue:

Managerial special
25 years of Sir Alex
"'Guess what, Mum, Manchester United never won the League once between 1967 and 1993. That's 26 years!' To my numerate nine-year-old, this statistic is mind-boggling. He just cannot conceive how that could have happened. I could have fobbed him off with the platitudinous 'no team has an automatic right to win anything, son' spiel by way of explanation. But it is an unfair world and big clubs, with all their advantages, should win big titles. Over that quarter-century of 'failure' (in inverted commas in a vain attempt to mollify those supporters of clubs who never win anything and are doubtless chewing the carpet while reading this), Manchester United had the wealth, the players and the opportunities to be League champions but only rarely even came close. The inescapable conclusion is that the difference between then and the subsequent pot-laden decades is simply, as I informed junior, the arrival of Alex Ferguson." Buy here to read the full article


Everton 2, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1

Fan protests at Goodison

"Step into the parish hall of St Luke's church on the corner of Goodison Road and Gwladys Street, and you enter a world that could not be any further removed from the ad-man's fantasy of the face-painted, replica-shirted modern 'footy' fan and their agony-and-ecstasy matchday experience. In this dusty old hall, pensioners in blue and white aprons are pouring tea from large metal pots – 70p a cup, 80p a mug – and selling sandwiches, scones, fruitcake and, of course, Everton mints." Buy here to read the full article

End it like Beckham Life after David in the USA
"Major League Soccer has learned one major lesson from the big leagues in Europe it aspires to eventually compete with, and that is the ability to blow its own trumpet. Crowds are up! Sponsorship and TV revenues are up! New stadiums are being built! We are expanding the number of teams every season! Big name players are coming from abroad! That is the public relations checklist, and they're all true. But at 16 years old, this is still very much a teenage league with some growing up to do, particularly in terms of the quality of its football. The cocky pubescent may think he already knows it all, but wise old men who saw the demise of the North American Soccer League would counsel caution." Buy here to read the full article


Guilty pleasures Man City's vulgar wealth
"Imagine how boring being a billionaire must be. Not so much the process of becoming a billionaire, which is presumably studded with the thrill of ticking off those billionaire-entry marks: beachhouse-overload, mistress-profligacy, servant-saturation. But just being a billionaire, sealed within your own frictionless seven-star world, conveyed by helicopter gunship from lobby to suite to private island. This must surely be quite dull. Kingsley Amis once wrote that it was only the first stage of getting drunk, the move from sobriety to drunkenness, that was actually enjoyable. Remaining drunk for any length of time was always a bit of let-down, a doomed attempt to recapture the magic of those transitional glasses. Surely billionaire-dom must be similar: like being perpetually drunk, deprived of the vital thrill of thirst or need." Buy here to read the full article

Plus
Steps are made towards the introduction of safe standing 
Political games in Israel
Ronnie McFall's 25 years in management
Dario Gradi steps aside at Crewe
Lower league players pay the price for representing their countries
Leeds LFC v Nottingham Forest LFC photo feature
Focus on Dennis Tueart, king of the Geordies
Media migration at the BBC
The QEII sets sail in Enfield
Huddersfield's record run comes to an end
Ireland qualify for Euro 2012
Tragicomedy in Darlington
Foul play on abused referees
Cypriot travellers in Europe; Cruyff v Van Gaal at Ajax
Al Sadd's lucky win; Azkargorta returns to Bolivia
Old school collecting; dull Scholes; lucky man Gamble; Captain Hargreaves

Availability
WSC is the only nationally available independent football magazine in the UK, and you can get it monthly for a very reasonable £2.95. You should be able to find a copy in your local newsagent, otherwise outlets that stock WSC include WH Smith, mainline train stations plus selected Tescos. If you're having trouble finding the magazine, you could do one of the following:

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3. Subscribe now
4. Buy the latest issue direct from WSC
5. Sign up for our digital edition

Photo by Paul Thompson, illustration by Tim Bradford

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