THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

November issue available online and in stores

wsc333 The new WSC is out now, available from all good newsagents or dispatched on the day of order from the WSC shop.

- New approach at Aston Villa
- Scotland: independence and football
- Third party ownership debate
- Threat of technology
- When players wear glasses
- In praise of the FA Vase

Living the dream British players in NASL
"Many young British players arriving to play in the North American Soccer League had no clue about the geography of the United States. 'I thought it was the San Francisco Earthquakes. I didn't know it was San Jose until I read it on my jersey,' said former Newcastle United reserve Derek Craig after signing for San Jose in 1975. Middlesbrough's Alan Willey came to the Minnesota Kicks in 1976 and admits, 'I'd no idea where Minnesota was, I just remember getting out of the airport and the cars were massive and the freeways were huge, but I didn't know what to expect. lt was a real culture shock. I lived in a place called Houghton-le-Spring, half an hour from Middlesbrough, and that was the furthest away I'd ever been from home – into Middlesbrough; and here I was abroad living with a crowd of blokes.'" Buy here to read the full article


333 MOTMAston Villa 0 Arsenal 3

Optimism at Villa Park is quickly crushed
"There is one thing that cannot be denied about Villa Park: it is a handsome old place. Aston Villa's home may well be uniquely popular among longer-serving supporters of other clubs for the FA Cup semi-final memories it holds, and it is also one of our best-looking grounds. Indeed it is hard to think of a stadium elsewhere in English football that can match the red-brick elegance that greets you at the corner of Trinity Road and Witton Lane. First there is The Holte pub, originally a 19th-century hotel which Randy Lerner restored at a cost of several million in a goodwill gesture shortly after buying the club. Then you come to the Victorian-style façade of the Holte End, which was actually built in the early 1990s to mimic the old Trinity Road Stand." Buy here to read the full article


Appliance of science Dangers of technology
"Earlier this year the smartphone manufacturer HTC and the 'futurologist' Dr Ian Pearson collaborated on a document entitled The Future of Football. And very entertaining it is too – a techno-corporate version of those essays schoolchildren are asked to write imagining life 50 years from now. Admittedly some of the report's ideas seem better formed than others (I could have done with a bit more flesh on the bones regarding their proposals for 'electronic hats and scarves' for instance) but there's no doubting that some serious thought has gone into this." Buy here to read the full article


333 FivesCompetitive spirit Small-sided games
"He's just made it 5-2 to the opposition. And I hate him. Wearing his Barcelona shirt as if it is proof of his superiority, Jack, our lissom, agile tormenter, is just too good. He arrived as a friend of a friend last September. A couple of the other lads knew him as well and understood he was 'a bit good'. We don't really cater for exceptional players at Thursday night football: there are wily older blokes, not fast but evolved, their speed honed in the mind through years of experience; there are young 20-somethings who think a bit more of themselves, attempting fancy flicks and speculative efforts from 20 yards; and there are your middle-of-the-road players, just happy to unwind after the drudge of work." Buy here to read the full article

Plus
New grounds in London
Mini football's rise in popularity
Increasing options for players' final payday
Open letters need to stop
Chester and Wrexham caught in a bubble
Fulham's fast fall
Non-League fan ownership
Blackpool and Hereford's off-field messes
Swansea on the big screen
Photo feature: Marlow FC – the FA Cup club
Focus on Blackburn Rovers of 1882
Russia's second tier struggling
Dealing with fan violence in Algeria
Book reviews ~ Louis van Gaal, Bobby Moore, war stories, penalty kings

Availability
WSC is the only nationally available independent football magazine in the UK, and you can get it monthly for a very reasonable £3.50. 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. Ask your local newsagent to order it for you

Photo by Simon Gill, illustration by Tim Bradford

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