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United We Stand issue 230, out v Chelsea.

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    United We Stand issue 230, out v Chelsea.

    Issue 230 of United We Stand is at the printers. It hits the streets on Monday. We’ve held the price of your favourite fanzine for a seventh successive season.

    We’ll be posting subscription copies out on Saturday from Manchester, the mag will be in the shops next week, available to while you can also download a digital copy of the mag from Monday via our free app.

    Click here for all subscription options, which start at £5.99 for three months

    Here’s a sample of the contents.

    If you heard 10 minutes of Eric Steele speaking on our podcast, you’ll know how engaging United’s recently departed goalkeeper coach is. He spoke to us for two hours about De Gea, Ferguson, Van der Sar and Schmeichel. Read the first part of his fascinating interview.

    We travelled on the pre-season, speaking to the players and fans and taking photos in Sydney, Japan, Hong Kong, Stockholm and England. Read what it was like. Oh, and at Waterford away too.

    There’s an extract from the new Secret Player book – from the original secret footballer in FourFourTwo magazine – where he explains what it’s like in August. Sample:
    “You get some weird gifts after testimonial matches, enough carriage clocks to keep any grandparents – and their mates – happy.
    After one pre-season game in Scandinavia which I think was a testimonial for someone none of us had heard of, we were given a large wooden carving of a mobile phone. Telecommunications were big in the town. Initial reaction was: ‘What the fuck is this?’
    Later, for a laugh, one of the players went to the Scandinavian club’s president after the game and said: “Sorry for interrupting, but I’ve been tried to charge this up for an hour and can’t work out how to do it.” “But it’s wooden, it’s not a real mobile phone,” came the earnest reply.
    There’s always the suspicion that the manager is pocketing a few quid if we play friendlies at clubs he has been involved with in the past. If there are six or seven slots available for pre-season matches, the manager might have a say in two of those – a nice chance for a little earner, maybe.”
    Testimonials, though rare, can make players bitter. Firstly, if they don’t get one when they think it’s deserved, secondly, when they do happen and don’t make as much as they expect. Some players go into them naively because they have no idea of how much a football match costs to stage – why would they? In their innocent minds they tot up the crowd and multiply it by the average ticket cost. They think they are about to earn £300,000 and feel let down when it’s half that. One player, a major name at a big club who played with me, really got the hump. He said that they charged him for ball boys, new corner flags…as well as the people you’d expect (but he didn’t) including the police (he thought the government paid for them) and the p.a. announcer (whom he assumed was a mate working for free).”

    There are there regulars like They Bleed Red, White & Black, Ask the Anorak, Mad Cyril, the Editorial, How was it for you, Full Quota and Meatbag Manifesto, sample: “Ronaldo and Rooney, once the twin jewels in the crown, are both guilty of the same thing: namely, deciding that the Manchester United we all love and cherish weren’t good enough for them and wanting to be somewhere else, playing for a different set of fans and kissing a different badge. You can be sanguine about it, shrug and say that all footballers are self-serving and that United will carry on regardless – and you’d be right – but don’t treat one like purity incarnate and the other like a pariah.”

    And The Telegraph’s Jim White, sample: “I have been subjected to that Moyes glare and it is one of the most terrifying in football. At Everton he had a way of silencing an entire room – even the Anfield press room, packed as always with Liverpool-sympathising members of the Mersey press corps – with that look. This is not a man to be messed with.”

    Plus regulars like the column by James Scowcroft on what it’s like when a new manager joins a club. There’s Ian Hough, A Season In Brief, Transmission and Getting Away With It, who went to Swansea before writing: “The Manchester United that walloped Swansea of Wales was a far cry from the one that lost to a goal from Terratep Winothai of the Thai league five weeks earlier. It was even a vast improvement on the side that beat Wigan to win the Community Shield in the gloried ‘friendly’ showpiece six days before. This was the real Manchester United, not the one that rotated constantly from country to country and was sorely depleted because of summer internationals.” 

    Liverpool fan Peter Hooton is in 'We'll Meet Again', Mike Duff writes about Manchester’s criminal gangs, Steve Armstrong on United’s new backroom staff and Martin Hall on Billy Liar. There are more book reviews, BH on Moyes, a new ‘Shredded Tweet’ column, plus Guttersnipe. Of course.

    Here's the cover.
    Attached Files