THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

August issue available online and in stores

wsc306 The new WSC is out now, available from all good newsagents or dispatched on the day of order from the WSC shop.

Euro 2012 special:
Every match of the tournament reviewed
How Prandelli's Italy surprised Europe
Holland lose and then lose their heads
Russia collapse after their opening win
Underdogs Greece defy their lowly status
Watching in England with expats
English players are not coached properly
Roy Hodgson is still cherished in Sweden
Euro 76 and the birth of the Panenka penalty
Why Euro 2016 will be bigger but not better

Caught in a Trap Ireland's fall
"Ireland’s official song for the European Championship, The Rocky Road to Poland, debuted at number one in the Irish singles chart. A rather cumbersome 9/8 beat aside, it is standard team song fare: a mix of famous faces (the Dubliners), folksy humour (rhyming "Opel Corsa" with "Warsaw") and winsome, if misplaced, hope (“we can win the trophy”). The video closes with shots of a smiling Ireland squad bawling along to a refrain of "You’ll never beat the Irish". Six weeks and three defeats later, Ireland limped out of Euro 2012." Buy here to read the full article

306SpaincropThe three peaks

Spain's standards set impossibly high

"Spain went into Euro 2012 on a hiding to nothing. The expectation in Madrid was that La Roja would have few problems retaining the trophy and becoming the first team to win three consecutive major international tournaments. With coach Vicente Del Bosque able to leave the likes of Valencia forward Roberto Soldado out his final 23, optimism was widespread. This was despite Spain’s preparations being far from ideal. The rivaly between Barcelona and Real Madrid remained below the surface. Carles Puyol and David Villa were missing injured. Important players were tired after four years of constant football. The crazily scheduled Copa del Rey final meant players from Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao missed two warm-up games." Buy here to read the full article

 

 

Eastern promise Poland and Ukraine as hosts
"Up against one side of Kiev’s fan zone stood some small white tents. At a glance, the collection of photographs and caricatures on display might have suggested that this was a more weatherproof equivalent of the local art sales you will find in most major European cities. Except the displays were dominated by pictures of the imprisoned former Ukraine prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Here, just beyond the boundaries of UEFA’s happy-clappy football festival, were Ukrainians calling on foreigners to be concerned about what was happening in their country, rather than objecting to the warnings of others." Buy here to read the full article

306EuroTV You have been watching ITV edge out the BBC
"For England fans, said Adrian Chiles, this was “a tournament of low expectations”. The same was true for anyone planning to watch it on British TV. So let’s start with the positives. With a now undisguisably useless England approaching Euro 2012 like Braintree Town in the third round of the Cup, broadcasters went easy on the patriotic bombast – even ITV, whose usual fare resembles a party political broadcast for UKIP directed by Michael Bay." Buy here to read the full article

 

Plus
BT are the latest to throw money into players’ bank accounts
Ken Bates uses his programme notes to pick fights
The first black player in an FA Cup final
Tommy Boyle, Burnley's broken hero
Palace theatre with Simon Jordan
Remembering the early Cup heroes
Surveying the scene – We want to know what you think

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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5. Sign up for our digital edition and apps for iPhone, iPad and Android

Photo by Colin McPherson, illustration by Matt Littler

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