First a message from our editor, James Andrew
When Arsene Wenger arrived at Arsenal in 1996, he was infamously greeted with the headline, ‘Arsene who?’ By the time he bid Gunners adieu, 22 years and 10 major trophies later, there wasn’t a person in the land unaware of his impact on English football.
In this issue, we sit down with the Frenchman to reflect on a remarkable tenure – featuring many of his incredible highs, of course, but also plenty of wistful regrets. From tweaking training to landing Doubles and masterminding Invincibles, Wenger left a lasting legacy beyond Arsenal.
Now, he's ready to tell us all about it – including the time he rejected a major rival to stay put at Highbury.
Here's what else you can expect in another jam-packed issue...
Wenger speaks out
His glittering tenure at Arsenal cemented a reputation among the all-time managerial greats, even if his latter seasons in north London weren’t always so rosy. Thankfully, the Frenchman has plenty he’s ready to reflect on after two soul-searching years away from his beloved Gunners...
Luka Modric answers YOUR questions
Thiago: Liverpool's Kop idol
A record-breaking Premier League debut quickly had Reds rejoicing for their new Spanish ace – but smitten Kopites ain’t seen nothing yet. As FFT hears from those who know him, the shine from this so-called ‘deal of the century’ may never dim...
Razor Ruddock's hardest men
The former Liverpool and England man was incensed to learn from FFT recently that he had been ranked behind Patrick Vieira and Eric Cantona in one hard man list circulating online – so immediately demanded he compile his own rundown of British football nutcases. As if we were going to say no...
Coventry City: the great return
Twenty seasons ago, Cov were ending almost three-and-a-half decades of unbroken top-flight football – but as it turned out, that would be the least of their worries. Financial woes, a stadium crisis and even overweight elephants have made for a miserable existence... until now.
Gazza the Kettering gaffer
When Paul Gascoigne rocked up as Kettering gaffer, Poppies fans dreamed big. But despite plenty of affection outside the boardroom, his battle with the bottle led to a disastrous reign. We get the lowdown from those who were there for the sorry stretch...
Inside the WSL revolution
American megastars and world-record transfers have hogged headlines in the Women’s Super League this summer – but behind the scenes, an ambitious revolution is transforming the female game in England beyond recognition. FFT hears from those on the frontline with their fists held high.
Peter Schmeichel exclusive
Eight years, 10 major titles, and a final scene that Hollywood hacks would be proud of. Schmeichel beat Bergkamp, blazing rows and the sack from Fergie to become a bona fide Manchester United legend – just don’t quote Wikipedia at him...
The fall of Anzhi Makhachkala
They lived the dream of superstar signings, European football and first-class travel, bankrolled by a billionaire – but now Anzhi are in Russia’s third tier and struggling to survive. FFT learns why, from those who endured the madness.
Juninho at Boro, 25 years on
Twenty-five years ago, Juninho arrived at Middlesbrough with big ambitions and an even bigger suit. Now, Brazil’s pint-sized former No.10 reminisces about his Teesside love affair featuring hot-headed team-mates, heartbreak... and a very happy ending.
In the Players Lounge
Abel Xavier explains how his luminous locks have got him in trouble, John Hartson recalls the time he almost became a Rangers player, Alan Brazil fesses up to ruining Alex Ferguson's flower beds and Juliano Belletti takes us back to his big night in Paris for Barcelona...
Oh, there's more...
Singer-songwriter Jake Bugg discusses his love of Notts County – and boring a helpless Mick McCarthy at a Paul McCartney gig; Fredi Kanoute picks his Perfect XI; managerial legend Mircea Lucescu tells us why he risked the wrath of his own fans at Dynamo Kiev; Anderson remembers his huge role in one of the most mental football matches of all time; Guillem Balagué laments a beating from Jedward; and John 'Portsmouth Football Club' Westwood slams the manager who fibbed to him in Nigeria.
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