In the mag: the return of Marcus Rashford! Plus, Ted Lasso talks, 100 years of Wembley, Alan Sugar at Spurs and an exclusive chat with Tammy Abraham

FourFourTwo Issue 351
(Image credit: Future)

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First a message from our editor, James Andrew:

The year 2020 was a strange one for everyone across the globe – a pandemic sweeping across the world, countries being plunged into lockdown, life grinding to a halt.

The immediate future was bleak and uncertain. School PE lessons were led by Joe Wicks, while a 99-year-old walked around his garden to raise money for the NHS.

Then there was Marcus Rashford, a young footballer from a working class Manchester background who was a regular on the back pages, but crossed over to the front pages after taking a stand. With schools shut, children couldn’t access any free meals – Rashford challenged the government and was rightfully lauded for his efforts.

Now, following a difficult period on the pitch, the England forward is in the form of his life and has guided Manchester United back into the winners’ circle. In this issue, we take a look at his remarkable recovery.

If Rashford is inspirational in the real world, so Ted Lasso is in a fictional one. With the award-winning sitcom’s third season now airing, we meet those behind a football show done well.

Elsewhere, we present our annual rundown of the Football League’s top 50 players, voted for by YOU. As ever, it was hotly contested...

Enjoy the mag.

P.s. If you haven't already, have a look at FourFourTwo's YouTube channel. We've been busy.

Marcus Rashford: The Return

FourFourTwo: Issue 351

FourFourTwo Issue 351: Marcus Rashford: The Return (Image credit: Future)

Since CR7’s Manchester United exit in November, a revitalised Marcus Rashford’s form has gone stratospheric. The journey to this point hasn’t been easy, though, via penalty shootout heartbreak and a brush with Boris. Andy Mitten takes a look at this incredible transformation.

EFL Top 50 Players

FourFourTwo: Issue 351

FourFourTwo Issue 351: EFL Top 50 Players (Image credit: Future)

As the season's run-in approaches, it can only mean one thing: with help from our readers, it's time for FFT's annual list of the finest stars outside the top flight. We speak exclusively to Leyton Orient keeper Lawrence Vigouroux, Northampton Town's Sam Hoskins, Derby County's Conor Hourihane, Sheffield Wednesday's Barry Bannan, Burnley's Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Sunderland's Amad Diallo, Watford's Joao Pedro and Coventry's Viktor Gyokeres.

Exclusive Tammy Abraham interview

FourFourTwo: Issue 351

FourFourTwo Issue 351: Exclusive Tammy Abraham interview (Image credit: Future)

He has loved life under Mourinho since moving to Roma in 2021, and while the striker is in no hurry to leave Serie A – or pesto – behind, he’s not ruling out a Chelsea return…

It's time to talk Ted

FourFourTwo: Issue 351

FourFourTwo Issue 351: It's time to talk Ted (Image credit: Future)

Love it or loathe it, seen it or saved it, we need to talk about Ted Lasso. The award-winning show kicks off a third – and likely final – season having captivated TV audiences in both the UK and US, even if you could fill two internets with what Ted doesn’t know about football. We speak to the cast to find out what makes Ted tick.

The tragic tale of Valencia 

FourFourTwo: Issue 351

FourFourTwo Issue 351: The tragic tale of Valencia  (Image credit: Future)

They won two Ligas, the UEFA Cup and reached two Champions League finals at the turn of the century, but a half-built stadium, Gary Neville in the dugout and Peter Lim’s toxic ownership threaten Los Che’s very existence.

100 Years of Wembley

FourFourTwo: Issue 351

FourFourTwo Issue 351: 100 Years of Wembley (Image credit: Future)

England’s national stadium celebrates its centenary this month. Ever since it opened in 1923, it’s hosted great football history, from the iconic to the downright weird...

The WSL Haaland

FourFourTwo: Issue 351

FourFourTwo Issue 351: The WSL Haaland (Image credit: Future)

Manchester City boast this season’s deadliest strikers in the men’s and women’s top flights. Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw tells FFT how carrots, peri-peri chicken and lots of patience have taken her from Jamaica to a possible Golden Boot…

Gimmie Some Sugar

FourFourTwo: Issue 351

FourFourTwo Issue 351: Gimmie Some Sugar (Image credit: Future)

Alan Sugar faced El Tel in court and angry fans in the stands during an eventful nine-year spell as Spurs chairman, it featured plenty of chances for him to hone his “You’re fired!” catchphrase...

Around The Grounds

FourFourTwo: Issue 351

FourFourTwo Issue 351: Around the Grounds (Image credit: Future)

Our dedicated section for all things EFL, non-league and Scotland finds us chatting former Golden Boot winner Kevin Phillips, while he chases promotion in the seventh tier of English football at South Shields. Former Fulham and Scotland midfielder Kevin McDonald tells the extraordinary story of his life-saving kidney transplant. Cambridge United podcasters Owen Kiernan and Jordan Worland, from Under the Abbey Stand  discuss the club's Irish Messi, Beckball and Lionel Perez's perm. Rangers' on loan Bayern star Malik Tillman goes under the radar in 'Boy's A Bit Special', and York City do time for kit crimes (featuring a superb shot of Graham Potter). Remember the Champions League winner who turned out for Walsall in 1998? We profile him in The Unlikely Lads. Wigan 8 (eight) Hull 0 is revisited for The Game's Gone section, and Kilmarnock's claims to fame get an airing, including their link to Marie Osmond.

Pippo Inzaghi answers YOUR questions

FourFourTwo: Issue 351

FourFourTwo Issue 351: Pippo Inzaghi answers YOUR questions (Image credit: Future)

Pippo Inzaghi insists he was born a metre onside as he addresses those Alex Ferguson taunts (and a jab from Johan Cruyff) plus he reveals he keeps a picture of himself playing at Fratton Park beside his bed, and discusses a move to Watford that almost materialised.


FourFourTwo: Issue 351

FourFourTwo Issue 351: Upfront (Image credit: Future)

The focal point of this month's FourFourTwo reveals Donny Dog's violent streak, Charlie Adam's Scotland gripe, an Egyptian who hates robots, and Jules Breach introduces herself ahead of an exclusive FourFourTwo collab. There's also news of a play about Gareth Southgate, while we chat exclusively with Marcos Rojo who holds back the tears when discussing a £300k fine he was handed by Louis Van Gaal.

Players' Lounge

FourFourTwo: Issue 351

FourFourTwo Issue 351: Players' Lounge (Image credit: Future)

Pull up a pew, in this month's Players' Lounge you'll find Stilian Petrov, Chris Hughton, Sunday Oliseh and Tony Dorigo all holding court. Dressing room scraps, poisoned chalices, Maradona and Howard Wilkinson are all up for discussion.

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Matthew Ketchell
Deputy Editor

Ketch joined FourFourTwo as Deputy Editor in 2022 having wracked up appearances at Reach PLC as a Northern Football Editor and BBC Match of the Day magazine as their Digital Editor and Senior Writer. During that time he has interviewed the likes of Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, Gareth Southgate and attended World Cup and Champions League finals. He co-hosts a '90s football podcast called ‘Searching For Shineys’, is a Newcastle United season ticket holder and has an expensive passion for collecting classic football shirts.