An Old International

Stats and how to bend them

In early August FC Magdeburg played St. Pauli in the German Cup and lost unfortunately. The main headlines however, focused on Magdeburg’s dominance in one particular part of the match statistics. While these are not wrong, they do give a wrong image of the game. Read more →

Football’s Coming Home – Debunking a Myth

The slogan „Football’s coming home“ from the song “Three Lions” by Baddiel and Skinner has enlightened the hearts of football fans across the globe for 25 years now.

The song was released in May 1996 just ahead of the European Championships held in England, thus the reasoning that football is coming home. Since it is English in origin, it is little surprise that it is full of references to the past and of course about the history of encounters between the national teams of Germany and England. While this is without doubt one of the most iconic and melodic songs about football, it is questionable wether the message is correct. As the country where modern football has its origins, the claim by England that football is coming home needs to be refuted, however.

Football has no home. Yet it is not homeless. It pops up every day of the week in parks and playing areas the world over and doesn’t care who plays with or against whom as long as a ball is kicked about. If Argentina would win another World Cup, many would argue that football is coming home because again many consider Buenos Aires the home of football with its clubs and fans being very passionate about the game. The same would be said about Brazil and of course, about England.
Yet, none of this is true. Football has no home.

Good writing does not come by chance, so consider this:

Christian Beck: the Player, the legacy

Football has become superficial, players and coaches migrate between clubs in short periods. The more remarkable it is when a player stays five years or even longer. In the case of Christian Beck whose departure was joylessly announced last week, it has been eight and a half! During this time he has become a legend for Club fans and been the face of the rise of FC Magdeburg. Read more →

The Great Escape 2…

Magdeburg have done it. Again. They have saved themselves from going down to the fourth division by beating FC Saarbrücken away; one of the best teams this season had no chance in a 3-0 home defeat against Magdeburg who are by now one of the in form in Europe. What a turn around but also what a nerve-racking season it has been. The fan community tore itself apart over the discussion whether the entire management team should be sacked: coach and his assistants, managing director, advisory board – the lot, while the team slowly but steadily trundled towards the drop. Read more →

Enough is Enough

The world of football took note on Sunday when a mere 200 fans stormed Old Trafford ahead of Manchester United’s home game against Liverpool – one of the most important games of the season for either club – and caused the game to be postponed. It is a strong signal that something is wrong in football, and it is not just the recently proposed and immediately binned Super League. This protest is a sign that the anger and the frustration touches upon sentiments that are much more intense and deeper than many may think. This protest is against owners who consider the possession of a football club to enrich themselves and to load the debt onto the club. Back in 2005 many fans left United for good when the Glazer family came in and created a new, their own football club, FC United of Manchester, currently playing in the Northern Premier. The club is the entire opposite to what Manchester United have become: owned by the fans and run by them.

The proposal of the Super League just a couple of weeks ago was the final drop that broke the dam and the result was for all to see inside the stadium. The protest outside was largely peaceful, yet there are always those taking a chance for mischief. This minority should not dominate the coverage of the events at Old Trafford but instead emphasis must be on those who have been protesting for years; against the idea of floating shares of Manchester United on the stock exchange or the proposed takeover by Rupert Murdoch. Football fans care about their club and they have a long memory.

Supporters have said it often enough: enough is enough. It is high time that those in charge listen.

Good writing does not come by chance, so consider this:

42 Years of Hurt

Magdeburg have done the almost unthinkable: beating Hansa Rostock at their own ground for the first time in 42 years. Read more →


Magdeburg vs Rostock is one of a few derbies of the former DDR Oberliga. Both find themselves at opposite ends of the table and the clash could destine either club’s fate this season. Read more →

Baris Atik: Magdeburg’s crazy diamond

Baris Atik is the man of the season even though he has only played since March and the seson is not yet over. His performances simply stand out in a team that lacked coherence and a player of his format. Read more →

Q&A: Chris O’Keeffe, editor Turnstiles Mag

The editor of Turnstiles Magazine has kindly answered some questions. Please note that this Q&A has been conductred via email and direct messages on twitter.

1. What was the decisive factor that turned you into an editor?

I always wanted to do my own magazine for years. I always dreamt of holding something in my hand that I had produced. After years of reading great magazines, I wanted to try and join in. Then when the second lockdown was announced in the U.K. I decided that now was the time to actually put my dreams into practice and give myself something to focus on and do in my spare time.

2. Why the name Turnstiles? Were there other options?

I’m a big Morrissey fan and have always loved his use of football imagery in his live shows/lyrics. So the lyric from his song “We’ll let you know”, Honest I swear it’s the Turnstiles, that make us hostile…had always been in my mind to use. There was no other contenders to be honest as I was dead set on using that.
It’s a line from the Morrissey song „We’ll let you know“: Honest, I swear it’s the Turnstiles, that make us hostile … There were no other options nor contenders.

3. From reading the magazine I got the impression that its focus is on Lacashire. Is there a particular reason for that? If so, why? I must admit, I’m not sure, if Bury is in Lancashire …

Lancashire is in my veins. I don’t consider myself English or British, I’m a Lancastrian! The Lancashire “special” came about as I had a few ideas of stories i wanted telling in Issue one like the Creative Football and interviewing TRiCKETT so it just seemed to grow from there when I got talking to people and people offering to write about local clubs. I always feel Lancashire is left behind too often in the football press and in the press generally really. It’s like a forgotten part of the U.K. in my opinion, even though so much good has come from here over the years. I always feel Lancashire clubs are talked down upon, like a patronising tap on the head when compared to our North West counterparts in Manchester United, Liverpool and I’m more recent years Manchester City. It’s always annoyed me when people from towns like Blackburn, Bolton and Preston support one of those other clubs I just mentioned. Just support your local team and go to matches with your mates! And Bury is traditional Lancashire. I won’t accept places like Bury, Bolton, Wigan etc etc being lumped in with the Greater Manchester tag.

4. THE inevitable question: which club do you support? And what has made you support them?

The greatest team in the world Blackburn Rovers. For such a small club in terms of fan base we have a very rich history. Walk round Ewood parks trophy room and it’s filled with trophies and medals. Add in European adventures in recent history and of course being one of only a handful of clubs to win the Premier League. Plus we gave the greatest striker ever, Alan Shearer the best days of his career! Being from Blackburn and having a dad and Grandad that we’re big rovers fans meant it was just a natural rite of passage. I used to go mostly midweek games when I was really small as my dad and Grandad both ran the family business. My Dad used to take me to reserve matches as my he thought, well if he gets bored then it’s only a few quid, but I loved it. When my Grandad finally retired we got our first season ticket and I’ve never looked back. I was really sad the day my Grandad told me he wasn’t getting another season ticket due to old age and not wanting to go out on a cold December Wednesday night. But I understood and just started going with mates instead.

5. Future: special issues on clubs/players?

In terms of other regional specials or club specials I’m not too sure at the moment. I don’t really want to plan too far ahead. I’ll just go with the flow. I don’t think I’d ever do a club special as I personally like to read a varied magazine. But in terms of regional specials I’d like to do would be the North East, South West and Midlands…at some point.

You can read the full review here.

You can find the magazine via the usual channels, twitter and instagram and a like and a follow is highly recommended.

Good writing does not come by chance, so consider this:

Review: Turnstiles Magazine

Nowadays new football magazines come along just like the turnstiles kept ticking over once people were still allowed inside football grounds, in a time before the pandemic. Fittingly, the magazine reviewed is called Turnstiles and its first number is looked at here. Read more →