FourFourTwo September 2018

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Published 1st August 

By the time you read this, the World Cup will be a fading memory. Whether you got your kicks from watching Gareth Southgate's young England team punch above their weight, Luka Modric's midfield mastery or Vladimir Putin inadvertently raining off France's parade in the final, the festivities in Russia were a reminder of something we're all guilty of forgetting as fans from time to time: that football is supposed to be fun. This is something worth bearing in mind as thoughts turn to familiar rivalries and tensions ahead of the new season. It's with that sense of bonhomie we go into this issue. And what better way to commemorate the summer's feel-good vibe than by speaking to England's joker-in-chief, Jesse Lingard. The midfielder dances for the camera while reflecting on Russia, and looks ahead to Manchester United's attempts to dethrone their City foes. Meanwhile, Roberto Firmino talks title challenges while shooting, directing and starring in his own photoshoot. We also speak to James Milner and administer a comedy pie while asking your questions. 

There was also the small matter of the Season Preview to create this month, which led to us asking ourselves some intriguing questions: how do you spell Sokratis Papastathopoulos? When the hell will Chelsea sack Antonio Conte and appoint Maurizio Sarri? (Just in time, it turns out). Who will do a better job, Steven Gerrard at Rangers or Frank Lampard at Derby County? And can the season ahead deliver as much excitement as the World Cup? Of course. In this issue, we explain why...