New Year, time for a fresh start. Time to make grand plans and insist that, this year, you will see them through. As everyone resolves to avoid old failings, it seems only right that our first cover story of 2017 focuses on Arsenal, perhaps the Premier League’s biggest habitual underachievers. Could this be the year the Gunners break some all too familiar patterns – getting knocked out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage (by Bayern Munich!), losing key players to injury, stumbling through their league fixtures in January – and go on to win the league?
With Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Özil up front, anything is possible. Find out if the revamped front two can emulate Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp and bring the title back to north London. Then see how they compare to some of the game’s other dynamic duos from Pirlo and Gattuso to Keegan and Toshack (dressed as Batman and Robin). Believe me, it will help to ease some of those January blues.
32 of the best dynamic duos
Even the very best players can’t do it all on their own. FFT profiles the most successful and iconic twosomes the game has ever seen.
Granit Xhaka exclusive
It’s been a while since the Gunners had a man who could mix it in midfield and have a pop from distance. Strap in... Granit’s here.
Have today's players gone soft?
Chris Waddle’s rant was not a lonely one. Today’s footballers are aided by an army of player liaison officers, sports scientists and psychologists, with tech on tap. Do they have the stomach for a scrap?
The Africa Cup of Nations' most mental moments
Premier League bosses will grumble at losing players to AFCON 2017, but if the competition’s sometimes bonkers history is anything to go by, they’ll return with some amazing tales to tell.
Bullard the manager
People smirked when renowned japester Jimmy Bullard took to the Leatherhead dugout, but FFT discovers that when it comes to coaching, the former Wigan and Fulham schemer is deadly serious...
The unbelievable true story of East German football
RB Leipzig reaching the Bundesliga summit has put East German football back on the map. But why has it been so long since a side from the region hit such heights?
MLS Cup final
Eurosnobs give MLS a bad rap, but keep your opinions to yourself when Seattle and Toronto fans are about.
Former Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt answers your questions in this month's One-on-One, including: was Fernando Torres better than Luis Suarez? Did Peter Crouch nearly run him over? And has he ever met a player who worked harder than him?
Former Premier League ace Steven N'Zonzi discusses Sevilla, Barcelona links and almost turning out for England. Plus, Roma's Alessandro Florenzi talks FFT through his greatest goal, Peter Reid remembers the games that changed his life and John Obi Mikel explains why he likes to wrestle Rottweilers wearing a onesie.
The Talking Point
Rory Smith tackles managerial paranoia in this month's Talking Point, and why Fergie's mimics are now losing the plot.
No Real Madrid player is more beloved by the die-hard Blancos than the irascible Juanito, who died in a car crash at 37 – though Lothar Matthaus wasn’t a fan.
Crystal Palace powerhouse Christian Benteke tells FourFourTwo Performance how to become an 18-yard box bully, while Leicester City speedster Demarai Gray offers his tips on how to make an impact off the substitutes' bench.
Got your copy of the new FourFourTwo? Tweet us @FourFourTwo #MyFFT.
The February 2017 issue of FourFourTwo was brought to you by: Dirk Kuyt, Peter Reid, John Obi Mikel, Steven N'Zonzi, Alessandro Florenzi, Robert Pires, Nigel Winterburn, Paul Merson, Alan Smith, Nial Quinn, Charlie Nicholas, Nelson Vivas, Granit Xhaka, Danny Cadamarteri, Trevor Brooking, Adam Morgan, Paul McGuinness, Robbie Keane, John Bostock, Mike Dove, Tom Vernon, Hans-Jurgen Kreische, Jimmy Bullard, Rohan Ricketts, Christian Benteke, Joseph Foy, Simon Arundel, Gregg Blundell, Demarai Gray and Dimitar Berbatov.
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