THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

From some WSC contributors

icon fantasyThe issues of match fixing and blood doping must be addressed if the game is to emerge stronger in the long run. A more immediate challenge comes this summer in Brazil. One can only hope the naysayers are given little fuel for their fire and the tournament proves a success. While the Champions League has long since surpassed it for quality, nothing can inspire like a World Cup and football really could do with a good one. If England manage to avoid being seen as a wheezing embarrassment, all the better. Adam Bate

A fans' representative on the board of every Premier and Football League club; unlikely I know but without fans there can be no professional football and greater recognition of this fact is needed from the vested interests that control the game. Steve Menary

It might be quite simple, but continuing the unpredictability in the Premier League. For the first time in ages, it's absolutely impossible to predict the results at the moment, and I'm rather enjoying it. Within reason, Match of the Day has become something to look forward to rather than be endured, and that's largely down to the football on offer. Long may it continue. Gary Andrews

That the World Cup is entertaining enough to stop people yammering on about how club football is all that matters any more. Not if you couldn’t care which overly funded billionaire’s plaything wins it this year, it’s not. At least international football is nominally a cash-free level playing field. Also, I hope the Conference doesn’t see a team finish with 100 points and still fail to get promoted, as is appearing increasingly likely in the Cambridge v Luton title race. OK, if Cambridge finish second, I’ll be less fussed. John Earls

That Ryan Gauld doesn’t get a nasty injury. The 18-year-old midfielder isn’t the only reason why Dundee United have embarked on a stunning run of form, but his movement with the ball and his passing are of a quality rarely seen in Scotland. He’s been linked with most of Europe’s top clubs, but hopefully he’ll be playing at Tannadice for a few seasons yet. The way the team are playing at the moment, we may even see them giving Celtic a run for their money in next season’s Scottish Premiership, which would be good news for everyone (except Dundee fans, perhaps). Mark Poole

I guess it should be something about football getting the leadership it needs or the 2014 World Cup bringing new hope to the favelas: but they’re not going to happen. So, I’ll settle for Oldham Athletic signing a striker whose strike rate actually improves after joining us rather than going down. Brian Simpson

A good old-fashioned, rollickingly skillful and unpredictable World Cup (not least because it might silence the tactical technocrats forever telling us the Champions League is "the biggest game in town now"). It might be the last proper World Cup for a while, maybe ever. If it can be combined with some kind of unlikely success at Brisbane Road, so much the better. Tom Davies

I love Astrud Gilberto. I also enjoy a quick blast of Tamba Trio’s seminal version of Mas Que Nada as much as the next man, but it would be great if one of our national broadcasters was to think a little out of the box this summer when it comes to World Cup theme tunes. Someone has to go for Os Mutantes and their wah-wah freakbeat take on Gilberto Gil’s Bat Macumba, surely? Matthew Barker

That Gordon Strachan’s steadied Scotland ship transforms into a luxury yacht. I know we need perspective but – Christ – thinking about February’s Euro 2016 qualifying draw I found myself genuinely hoping we get lots of teams beginning with “A”... because I haven’t seen most of the countries beginning with A... because we may as well get knocked out by someone different. That’s what 18 years without a major finals does to you. It can’t be 20. Just can’t. Alex Anderson

It’s quite a specific one. My hope for next year is that England go out of the World Cup – that’s right, you heard me – shortly after the group stage, having played one good game. In fact, having managed an inspirational 15 minutes of purposeful, free-flowing football against Costa Rica would be fine. I’d settle for that. Maybe one or two of the team might express themselves, on finding themselves one on one. Just something to remember from this tournament would be nice, other than the grim hours of defending a 1-0 lead or another backs-to-the-wall attempt at avoiding normal-time defeat in the knockout stage. Cameron Carter

Boavista are set to be reinstated in the top flight in Portugal after six years in the wilderness of the second and third tiers. One question is whether they’ll be able to register for the Liga at all – they’ll need to settle some debts first, notably unpaid taxes and social security. If they’re allowed to register, I hope they’ll be able to put together a squad that can make a decent fist of the return. Phil Town

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