The new WSC is out now, available from all good newsagents or dispatched on the day of order from the WSC shop. A World Cup special with a match by match TV diary:

"A goal for all Africa." "Our knowledge of these teams is limited." "I didn't fancy him, still don't." "Got to change it now, the Svenster." "Ghana are as keen as a badger." "Weather you'd expect at Port Vale." "Dancing to the African beat." "Brazil score a British goal!" "Oof. Now will you go to church?" "A knee to the lower carriage." "What's Spanish for a Bafta – a Bafto?"

Also in this issue:

Cheap joke The banality of James Corden's primetime show
"The separation of football and the intellect isn't always a wholly bad thing, but too many people make a career of it. Put that thought to the guilty men – including almost everyone who works in television – and the chances are they'll scoff. 'It's only a laugh – that's what footy's all about, isn't it?' Well... no, that's not what 'footy' is all about, not exclusively. It's a bit of a stretch to link the media's increasingly blockheaded treatment of football to the blockheadedness of the England football team – plenty of better explanations for that. But it's all part of the same thing, really: a thickening culture of bullish arrogance, absolute pride in not thinking. This idea that it's all a bloody laugh. It's eating away at everything now, and it's only getting worse." Buy here to read the full article

National psychosis How the Premier League has failed to boost England
"All modern World Cups are accompanied by nostalgia for earlier tournaments, but for England the build-up to this one was more resonant than most, 20 years on from the last truly gripping campaign by the national side. How far we've failed to come. It was resonant too because in the aftermath of that tournament, and the explosion of public interest in the game that followed, a far-reaching document was published by the English game's governing body that promised 'a pyramid of playing excellence with the England team at its apex'. The FA's Blueprint for the Future of Football, published in 1991, talked of a slimmed down 18-team top flight that provided the scope for the national team to advance. It brought us the Premier League, the Frankenstein's monster that has loomed large over every campaign since." Buy here to read the full article

Virtual reality
The perils of trying to watch every game of the tournament on the internet
"Doing the Sixty-Four – watching every single game in a World Cup, as they happen – has been a tantalising yet impossible dream, but, like a solar eclipse, all the celestial forces appeared to click into alignment for me in 2010. I was old enough to live away from my parents (so no dad saying: 'Get this bleddy rammell off, Taggart's on' – West Germany v Uruguay, 1986) and mature enough not to go on dates when games were on (England v West Germany, 1990 – yeah, I know). The hosts were in a decent time zone – so no missing games due to Sunday morning lie-ins (South Africa v Paraguay, 2002) or conking out on the settee at stupid o'clock (most of USA 94)." Buy here to read the full article

Seeing South Africa A reporter's impressions of the host nation outside the media bubble
"Maybe what I did was stupid – certainly the South African woman sitting next to me on the plane home thought so – but, frankly, the air of paranoia was driving me insane. In most cities in the world walking ten minutes out of a football stadium to a bar would be a normal thing to do; not in Johannesburg." Buy here to read the full article

England's vicious circle
Why the tabloids had a subdued summer and the complicated relationship between Fabio Capello and the Italian press
France flops while Berlin salutes Germany's progress
Despair in Brazil but elation in Uruguay
Second-round elimination for the US fails to convince the critics
Crowd scenes – getting noticed on the big screen
The deserving and the disgraced – very different reactions to the World Cup finalists
Supporting England no matter what and even enjoying it
Mike Straight, Talkballs DJ, on why everything will be fine
The WSC survey – have your say on the World Cup, football grounds and WSC

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

Illustration by Ben Tallon, photo by Alistair Berg

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