In the mag: Season Preview 2016/17! Vidic One-on-One! 81 things we want from the new season!

Is it really that time again? It feels like only yesterday that Wes Morgan and King Claudio were lifting the Premier League trophy and Jamie Vardy was havin’ a party. Leicester City, Premier League champions? You obviously read it in the FourFourTwo Season Preview 2015/16 first – our predictions were all spot on…

We’re gluttons for punishment (aka being called out on Twitter by you lovely lot), so we’re back with our previews, predictions and 81 – yes, EIGHTY-ONE – things we’d like to see during the 2016/17 season.

There’s even a dedicated page with space for you to take us on with your own predictions. As always, we want to hear from you. Have we missed a dead cert for relegation or overestimated what certain teams will achieve with their new managers at the helm? (We’re looking at you, Manchester).

Oh, and you may notice that we’ve had a bit of a facelift. All hail the FFT re-design. New season, new look. 

So… 12 months ago, all we asked for was a season better than the turgid campaign before it. Our prayer came true – and how! After an unforgettable 2015/16, we’ve been slightly more ambitious. From Pep vs Jose to young stars and mad mascots, behold: it’s the FourFourTwo 2016/17 wishlist, featuring interviews with Arsenal’s new hope Alex Iwobi, Manchester City hotshot Kelechi Iheanacho, Brighton’s returning hero Glenn Murray, Huddersfield’s Klopp 2.0 David Wagner, West Ham wideman Michail Antonio, Barcelona superstar Neymar, Liverpool hitman Firmino and… Partick Thistle mascot (yes, that mascot) Kingsley.

Another thing we could have added to our list of things we’d like to see in 2016/17 – the re-emergence of top-class centre-backs. Instead, we chose to catch up with a Premier League legend renowned for his no-nonsense defending and tough tackling – former Manchester United captain, Nemanja Vidic. He answers your questions about joining the army, whether he nearly signed for Liverpool and that chant.

Also in Upfront, we meet the teenage striker who’s the brightest young Brazilian around right now: Gabriel ‘Gabigol’ Barbosa; Shaun Bartlett recalls his 2001 super strike against Leicester in Great Goals Retold; and we Ask A Silly Question to Paul ‘Incy Wincy’ Ince.

Encased in tradition, steeped in folklore and blanketed by secrecy so watertight that footballers take a vow of silence that’s still active decades later… half-time team talks. But how much difference do they really make? We asked the question…

Mud, sweat and beers the night before – the themes of Sunday League football are near universal. Photographer Chris Baker talks us through how he captured them for his new book, Sunday Football.

The popular perception of professional footballers as pampered prima donna is over-simplistic and wrong… except when it isn’t. We delve inside the secret lives of football’s ‘Yes Men’ – the player liaisons who must cater to their every whim.

Your club has been linked with a player (or seven) but you’ve never heard of the bloke. Well, there’s only one thing for it… fire up the Wiki. But who the heck is updating that goal tally? And more importantly, why?! We meet the men making the football pages of Wikipedia bang up to date.

Action Replay takes us back to the late ‘60s and the blossoming of footballers opening their own shops. From boutiques to sports stores, it all began with Bestie in a Deansgate backstreet...

In Performance, Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata reveals how to give big defenders the slip, we stalk your favourite players on Instagram so you can use their training tips, and Tea vs Coffee: what’s the best pre-match caffeine?

Don’t forget we want to hear from you! Should our 2016/17 wish list be EIGHTY-TWO things we’d like to see? Tweet us your suggestions @FourFourTwo.

The September 2016 issue of FourFourTwo was brought to you by Nemanja Vidic, Gordon Banks, Nathan Smith, Gabriel Barbosa, Shaun Bartlett, Mark Canning, Mark North, Paul Ince, Gary Sawyer, Alex Iwobi, Sheyi Ojo, Demarai Gray, Javi Martinez, Brendan Galloway, Neymar, Glenn Murray, Roberto Firmino, David Wagner, Kelechi Iheanacho, Michail Antonio, Kingsley, Peter Barry, Paul Richards, Ian Ashbee, Damian Hughes, Brad Burton, Phil Brown, Tom Parry-Jones, James Wilson, Craig Harris, Chris Matterface, Mike Summerbee, Malcom Macdonald, Bryn Thomas, Juan Mata, Liam Holmes, Dr Rob James, Ben Davies, Karl Halabi, Jerzy Dudek.

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