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February issue available now online and in store

Inside
Clubs in crisis: Macclesfield on the brink | Charlton takeover complete

Ballon d'Or: Messi beats Van Dijk | Dusan Tadic – superstar

Plus
The football hypnotist | Goalkeepers' union | Red Bull in Brazil | Spurs v Chelsea: a drubbing for José | Who gives a toss? | Russia drugs ban | Munich's other clubs | Blyth Spartans v Brackley | Derby's Rooney gamble | Football stops in Chile | Remembering Ron Saunders | Eintracht at the Emirates | Norway's two-club fans | Ebbsfleet make a stand | Focus on Martin Peters | Lens win the title

395 MacclesfieldCMP

Gathering Moss Maccclesfield's financial fight
Macclesfield Town's grip on Football League status has traditionally been a fragile one, but the crisis currently engulfing the club goes far beyond matters on the pitch. Although no strangers to footballing miracles – winning the National League by ten points with the lowest playing budget in the division, then securing survival in League Two on the final day having been seven points adrift in November – the Silkmen's situation is the most precarious it has ever been. The club are now desperate for a resolution as unpaid wages, tax bills and breaches of EFL regulations threaten to put an end to their existence.

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Spurs SG

Tottenham Hotspur 0-2 Chelsea Frank Lampard savours victory
A souvenir stand on Tottenham High Road displays a contender for one of those lists of "things we'd have thought impossible in 2010": a T-shirt hailing José Mourinho as "The Kosher One". Never mind 2010. It could hardly have been imagined three months ago. That a poor league run might get Mauricio Pochettino canned was plausible given the endemic short-termism of club owners in the Premier League, but the 180-degree swivel from patient cultivation to the slash-and-burn Mourinho much less so.

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395 DoughtyGK

Safe pair of hands Secrets of the goalkeepers' union
James Shea tells a story which captures the fraternal spirit among goalkeepers. Back when he was a novice at Arsenal, before his meandering path from the wilds of non-League to current club Luton, new gloves felt like a luxury and, on an academy keeper's salary, were still a significant expense. Shea asked Lukasz Fabianski if he could borrow a pair for training. A few days later, Fabianski turned up with a big box full of gloves with Shea's name emblazoned on them.

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395 MiddletonHalifaxManCity

Brain training The early days of football psychology
"Look into my eyes," the hypnotist told 18-year-old midfielder Mick Kennedy. "I want you to go rigid, like a bar of steel." It was January 1980, and the players of Fourth Division Halifax Town were preparing to face Manchester City in the third round of the FA Cup. Kennedy lay across two chairs, with his head on one and his heels on the other. Then the heaviest player in the squad sat on him, and Kennedy didn't flinch. It was a gravity-defying trick, but the hypnotist, Romark, told the Halifax players: "I'm no magician. I'm not going to win the match – you are."

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Availability

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5. Ask your local newsagent to order it for you

Macclesfield Town photo by Colin McPherson; Tottenham Hotspur photo by Simon Gill; goalkeepers illustration by Adam Doughty; Halifax Town v Man City photo thanks to Keith Middleton

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