In the magazine: The inspiring, irritable, incendiary Roy Keane! Plus the angriest players ever, Souness at Benfica, Fabregas exclusive and a deep dive at Napoli
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First a message from our editor, James Andrew:
Weeks since that incredible final between Argentina and France, the World Cup is now in the rearview mirror and we’re back to the hustle and bustle of domestic football.
One of the stars of the tournament was Roy Keane. Okay, like last World Cup in Asia he wasn’t on the field, but he was one of the most outstanding pundits on ITV, just like he was during Sky Sports’ Premier League. League coverage for some time. In this issue, we look back at the career of a no-nonsense midfielder who never took any prisoners – on or off the pitch.
Cesc Fabregas sits down for a chat with FFT, explaining why Serie B side Como will likely be his last club before hanging up his boots and moving into coaching. If he did, he could do a lot worse than reading our article on assistant managers. It’s a vital role at any club – those who do it don’t always get the credit they deserve.
Staying in Italy, we have an article about Napoli, who are aiming to win their first scudetto since 1990, when Diego Maradona was their star player. Argentina rose to glory after Maradona’s death – will Napoli do it too?
Enjoy the magazine and an action-packed 2023 ahead – there’s no shortage of matches between now and the end of this hectic season.
Roy Keane: mentality monster
Roy Keane was the beating heart of a Manchester United side that ruled the Premier League before also dominating the dugout and TV studio. But when he is nearby, a confrontation ensues…
From burglars and Chilean knockout artists to an Australian honey badger and King Eric, we’re touching gloves with the players who just couldn’t resist getting mad in the name of the beautiful game
The World Cup in pictures
Although Qatar 2022 cannot be seen separately from a justified check outside the field, the first Arab World Cup at least delivered on the field. FourFourTwo was there when Kylian Mbappe tore it up again and England burned fiercely, only for King Leo to finally rule the world. We’re sharing the very best images from the 2022 World Cup, as well as our account of what it was like to be there
Touch the hand of God
Napoli were once a club trapped in the memory of Diego Maradona, but now they feel inspired by it. They sit atop Serie A going into the new year on the ground that bears its name. Can Napoli’s new order create their own legend by winning their first scudetto since 1990?
While Napoli soars in Serie A with all of Italy’s big hitters in hot pursuit, a Premier League legend is on the rocks in Serie B. Cesc Fabregas is approaching retirement and meets FFT to talk to Arsenal, Barça, Chelsea… and Como
It’s not easy being two
The assistant manager has not been immune to football’s frantic growth spurt. The assignment of a modern number two has evolved from dress-up and banter to psychology, dates, book deals and even subtle Machiavellianism
Assistant pep talks
Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders is the epitome of a modern number two. The Dutchman has an agent, a book out and the ambition to manage himself. But when it comes to assisting, it’s only Klopp and Klopp, he says FFT…
Between the lines
Former Chelsea, Millwall and Newport County gloveman Lenny Pidgeley lost his love of football as he tried to keep up appearances while suffering from depression – then someone else announced his retirement
Graeme Souness likes big balls
And you needed that to play for Souey, especially when he took charge of crisis club Benfica more than a quarter of a century ago. FFT tells of the Scot’s 18 turbulent months in Lisbon, with fistfights, quarrels and admiration for the testicles…
around the grounds
Our dedicated section for all things EFL, non-league and Scotland features an interview with the longest serving manager in world football, Brent Peters became Bacup Borough boss in 1997! Rich Fayhost of Wrexham’s ‘RobRyanRed’ podcast, talk us through the best and worst players, matches and managers at the Racecourse Ground, Aston Villa’s Fin Azaz (on loan from Plymouth) gets ‘Boys a bit Special’ profile treatment and Preston’s 1994-1995 away shirt gets incarcerated for Kit Crimes. The Scottish cup game from which the famous “Super Caley Go Ballistic, Celtic Are Atrocious!” headline revisited, much to the delight of Inverness fans and the dismay of Celtic supporters, and a stay in Scotland John Robertson (not that one) goes under the microscope in Record Breakers as we look at his £750,000 move from Newcastle back to Hearts, where he earned cult hero status.
Kevin-Prince Boateng answers YOUR questions
The Euroclub tour guide talks to Spurs, Zlatan and Milan moonwalks
Leading us this month is an exclusive interview with Lukas Podolski, stories of Matty Cash hanging out with Ronaldinho on the beach, King Charles II visiting Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground, and Four Four Two officially declared a work of art. With Blossom’s lead singer, Tom Ogdens, stories about beers with Paul Dickov and strange photos with Roberto Mancini.
Joining us in the Players’ Lounge for interviews this week are: Newcastle entertainer, turned greengrocer, turned TV pundit Philippe Albert. Shearer bootshine turned target machine James Beattie. Haircut Queen Lioness turned expert Sue Smith, and Rangers hunk who Sean Connery and Lorenzo Amoruso thought should have been an actor.
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