Australian FourFourTwo February 2018

FourFourTwo is Australia’s only soccer magazine! If you live, sleep and breathe football you’ve come to the right place… With access, insight and passion, we take you deep inside the game delivering world class, entertaining content on the English Premier League, the world’s best players, top European club sides and leagues, the Socceroos and the A-League.

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in this issue

2 min
straight from the stands

It’s been a helluva year for Australian football and the rollercoaster ride is far from finished now. But it’s not all doom and gloom... A-League crowd and TV ratings might be disappointing this year – but at the halfway stage, the action is not. Sydney are just sensational to watch... and if they can hold this side together to the end of the calendar year, our prediction of the treble at the start of the season might even be pessimistic. They will go into the Asian Champions League fielding easily the strongest side the A-League has ever offered up to face Asia’s best. Where they end up will be a real test of just how good the A-League can be on the continental stage. If they can sustain their domestic form…

20 min
one-on-one chris sutton

“WHEN THE MATCH FINISHED, I PEGGED IT DOWN THE TUNNEL AND ALL THE ARSENAL PLAYERS CHASED AFTER ME, SO I THOUGHT: ‘SOD THIS’ AND GOT IN THE TOILET” CLUBS 1991-94 Norwich 1994-99 Blackburn 1999-2000 Chelsea 2000-06 Celtic 2006 Birmingham 2006-07 Aston Villa COUNTRY 1997 England MANAGER 2009-10 Lincoln Chris Sutton is midway through his FFT photo shoot at the BT Sport studios in Stratford, when Robbie Savage bursts through the door. “What on earth are you doing popping emoji balloons? Pathetic, pathetic man!” Savage shouts, laughing, before exiting as quickly as he’d arrived. Chris resists the temptation to respond to his fellow pundit, briefly smiling before the stern look returns, and he gets back in character to mercilessly destroy some more balloons. It’s clear from meeting Sutton that his hard-faced UK television persona is partly that – a persona. “I’m perceived as being miserable, but…

5 min
around the world in 12 stories

1 “NURSE, I’M HALLUCINATING ABOUT LEV YASHIN AGAIN!” Russia Moscow FFT knew Lev Yashin was great, but we’ve gained a whole new respect for him after seeing FIFA’s official poster for the 2018 World Cup: showing that footballs were the size of huge great wrecking balls back in the USSR. Confusingly, the pitch is tiny and circular – it’s almost as if they were depicting what a match would look like if viewed while on some sort of drugs. Write your own punchline... 2 WHEN TRUMP MET LIAM Sweden Stockholm From Stan Collymore letting off a fire extinguisher in La Manga back in the day, to the events of Thailand 2015: squad trips abroad have not always gone well for Leicester City. Thankfully it was more peaceful this time: players jetted to Stockholm and dressed up as…

3 min
gabriel paulista

“I WAS ‘BLIND’ AND WANTED TO FIGHT COSTA, BUT A FEW DAYS LATER WE WERE SPEAKING LIKE THE BEST OF FRIENDS” You joined Valencia in August after 18 months at Arsenal – how did the move come about? When you’re at a club like Arsenal, it isn’t easy to make the decision to move on. But Marcelino was my coach at Villarreal and I learned a great deal from him. He helped me get to Arsenal and accomplish my dream of playing in the Premier League. When he joined Valencia in the summer, he called and asked if I was interested in working with him again. Arsenal didn’t really want to sell me, but Marcelino fought hard for a deal. What was the deciding factor? I was suffering with a knee problem, and I…

1 min
mascot of the month wolfie

Wolfie loves nothing more than spending a relaxing morning with wife Wendy, but be warned: he has a violent streak. Never was that better displayed than in the 1998-99 campaign, when Wolves’ mascot was involved in not one, but three altercations. There was a fracas with a photographer, then he was reported to the Football Association by West Bromwich Albion fans because of “crowd incitement and bringing the game into disrepute”, after kicking Baggie Bird to the turf on derby day. Even worse, Throstles fans complained he “goaded us with a wave”. The devil. However, all of that paled into insignificance compared to events at Wolves’ First Division clash at Bristol City, when Wolfie found himself face to face with sworn enemies The Three Pigs, who had been hired for…

1 min
sean dyche: pub landlord?

Gruff centre-halves during the ’90s were supposed to run pubs after retiring – not have a boozer named after them. Many ex-stoppers aren’t in with a real chance of leading unfancied Burnley into Europe, though. If Sean Dyche does just that, the local pub has promised to change its name: from The Princess Royal to The Dyche. Originally it’d only offered the Clarets’ manager free shandy. “He said he preferred a pint but he has not been in, so I came up with this,” landlady Justine Lorriman tells FFT. To start off with, the pledge had been a quirky message on an advertising board, but a TV crew “asked him about it”, Justine says. “He joked that if his face was above our door, it’d stop underage drinking.” The pub is clearly the…