(Image credit: Future)
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First a message from our editor, James Andrew:
Being the new boy isn’t easy – whether that be at a new school, in a new job or, in this case, at a new football club.
Add in the label of being the most expensive British player ever, and you could forgive Declan Rice for feeling like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders.
When FFT met up with him for this issue though, there was no sense of that at all – he couldn’t have seemed more relaxed as he went through the various wardrobe changes for our photoshoot, including Arsenal’s 1990s bruised banana shirt, supplied by Classic Football Shirts.
The fact that the £105m man seems so comfortable off the pitch has paid dividends on the field in his early days at Arsenal, making an impressive start to life at the Emirates, as Mikel Arteta’s men look to go one better than last term and win the Premier League.
Rice will play a key role in the heart of England’s midfield as they hope to go one better at next summer’s Euros, too: two years after heartbreak against Italy at Wembley.
At just 24 and with silverware already in the bag, courtesy of his fairytale farewell to West Ham in June, Rice appears to have the world at his feet. He’s enjoying every minute of it, and long may that continue.
Enjoy our interview with him and the rest of the mag.
Declan Rice exclusive interview
FourFourTwo issue 357: Declan Rice exclusive interview (Image credit: Future)
Recent months have been memorable for England’s rapping midfielder – after lifting a European trophy in his last game for West Ham, he joined Arsenal for a club record £105m in July. He tells FFT, he’s determined to guide the Gunners to glory.
Eddie Nketiah exclusive interview
FourFourTwo issue 357: Eddie Nketiah exclusive interview (Image credit: Future)
Rice’s old pal tells FFT why he opted not to leave the Emirates.
Money, money, money
FourFourTwo issue 357: Money, money, money (Image credit: Future)
Declan Rice became Arsenal’s most expensive player ever this summer, but every one of the other 50 clubs to have played in the Premier League have also spent big. FFT ranks each side’s record buy in the top tier since 1992, from the terrific to the tragic and even the one who managed to insult a whole town.
Aaron Ramsey answers YOUR questions
FourFourTwo issue 357: Aaron Ramsey answers YOUR questions (Image credit: Future)
“I was 17 years old and I was getting voicemails from both Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger – it was all a bit mad”
Enjoying life back home in Cardiff the former Arsenal, Juve and Wales star answered everything our readers threw at him: the Shawcross tackle, the 2012 Olympics, the Bale bromance, Cristiano Ronaldo and more.
FourFourTwo issue 357: Queen Sarine (Image credit: Future)
During childhood, Sarina Wiegman pretended to be a boy just to play football – now, she’s the best female coach in the world. After Euros glory and the Lionesses’ first World Cup final, FFT uncovers the story behind their greatest-ever gaffer.
Miracle in the Faroe Islands
FourFourTwo issue 357: Miracle in the Faroe Islands (Image credit: Future)
Alone in the middle of the North Atlantic, the Faroe Islands were once the continent’s whipping boys – now one club in the archipelago have reached a first European group stage, thanks to an unlikely bunch of part-timers…
Peter Drury exclusive interview
FourFourTwo issue 357: Peter Drury exclusive interview (Image credit: Future)
After 30 years of turning football into poetry, Peter Drury has stepped into Martin Tyler’s sizeable shoes this term – from Tshabalala to Manolas, Sky’s new commentator relives some of his most famous moments, and tells FFT why he’s happier out of the spotlight.
Athletic Bilbao’s La Liga title – 40 years on
FourFourTwo issue 357: Athletic Bilbao’s La Liga title – 40 years on (Image credit: Future)
Four decades ago, Athletic Club took the fight for Spanish supremacy to Real Madrid and Barcelona. Showing spirit and skill, the Bilbao boys won La Liga… and then defended it, too.
30 years of EA Sports’ FIFA
FourFourTwo issue 357: 30 years of EA Sports’ FIFA (Image credit: Future)
EA Sports releases a new game under a new name this month, following the end of a 30-year partnership with FIFA. From Sol Campbell to Avril Lavigne and a Polish MMA fi ghter, it’s an era that’ll live long in the memory.
James Beattie’s Perfect XI
FourFourTwo issue 357: James Beattie’s Perfect XI (Image credit: Future)
The ex-Southampton, Everton and England striker picks an attack-minded line-up full of players from his Saints days, plus a Stokie blessed with a wand of a left foot.
Around the grounds in the EFL, non league and Scotland
FourFourTwo issue 357: Around the grounds in the EFL, non league and Scotland (Image credit: Future)
Shrewsbury’s new boss Matt Taylor discusses his coaching aims, scoring worldies and the day he dared to turn down Roy Keane.
Once a walking yellow card, Lee Cattermole has discovered his inner peace on the golf course since retirement, and he might be even better than Gareth Bale. We interviewed him.
Dan Taylor from Sutton United blog Gandermonium recalls cup magic, ‘Piegate’ nightmares and a lifetime FIFA ban…
Like father like son, we look at the EFL players with famous fathers, from Mitchel Berkamp to Charlie Savage.
When a lucrative football tournament in Ireland offered stars of the sixties an opportunity to pocket a bit of extra cash, Celtic legend Jimmy Johnstone and his pals couldn’t resist the temptation to turn up in disguise… This is Celtic Undercover.
FourFourTwo issue 357: The Mixer (Image credit: Future)
Each month we round up the best football kit, fashion, art, design, books and tech. On our shopping list this month are Messi’s new boots, a football shirt from outer space, and Alejandro Garnacho’s Nike tracksuit.
Seen something you want to put in The Mixer? DM Deputy Editor Matt Ketchell on Instagram
FourFourTwo issue 357: Up Front (Image credit: Future)
Playing off the last defender, it’s the big-man little-man partnership of football and funnies…
Hampton & Richmond are sponsored by Movember and their staff, fans, children and even a dog celebrated it by donning comedy moustaches during games. We have the picture to prove it.
Dietmar Hamann explains which four games changed his life, you should be able to guess at least one of his picks, and there’s the small matter of a World Cup Final included too.
Our 18-question quiz features puzzlers on Italians, Spice Girls, records and relegations.
FFT columnist Jules Breach gets giddy about the prospect of her beloved Brighton taking Europe by storm.
Shunted out of Old Trafford in 2019, but now key at Roma Chris Smalling speaks to us about life in Italy.
Brazilian great Ronaldo pacifies angry Cruzeiro fans via a fox on a quad bike.
FourFourTwo Staff Writer Ed McCambridge and Editor James Andrew have a disagreement over which Prem club had the best transfer window. So they settled it via words, typed out in our Debate column.
In the Players’ Lounge this month…
FourFourTwo issue 357: Players’ Lounge (Image credit: Future)
Sharpen your elbows. George Boateng, Shay Given, Pablo Hernandez and Geoff Thomas all enjoy a sup on the FourFourTwo tab this month. George tells us how Juninho was ‘a little s**t in training, Shay reveals the incorrect name Sir Bobby Robson used to call him, Pablo recalls developing with David Silva, destroying Pep’s Barça and winning silverware at Swansea, with Geoff Thomas talking FA Cup heartbreak while finding common ground between himself and Pele (er, sort of).
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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.
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