The Blizzard: Issue One

Jonathan Wilson (editor), 2011

What would you do, when you try to establish a new soccer magazine, which is not going the usual way of game reports and transfer gossip? Would you start with an article about the best player of that time or maybe try to portray the system of the currently most dominant team. Jonathan Wilson starts his first issue of The Blizzard with a report about the first game of the Israeli national team which is burdened with a lot of political propaganda and with an article about a pre-war french national player who became a traitor to his country and a hunter of Maquisards and Jews. Then he continues to put at spotlight on the worst decisions of two of the most famous Scottish coaches and he interviews the mentor of Pep Guardiola but hardly touches any details of tactics.
I guess it takes some guts to wander off the beaten paths that much but it works very well. Although the combining topic of all articles is soccer, it is in many cases that the background, the fates and life stories of the players, coaches and teams are far more prominent then the results and statistics achieved by them and by that it does not differ very much from a quarterly literature magazines like “The Paris Review”. It is also interesting that the major consensus narrative about soccer history, which usually starts with the World Cup 1930 and hops in four year cycles from event to event explaining the progression of soccer, is so full of white and unexplored spaces, that just this one issue of the magazine shows you that there must be tons of stories and biographies out there, which will never make it to the mainstream media but are worth to explore, because they make the oversimplified version of soccer history so much more colorful and diverse.
The first issue of the magazine is a very good start into a new type of soccer journalism and one just can hope that this type of quality in reporting about soccer is also spreading out to other countries and to a broader audience.
Worth to mention from this issue is also the description of the way of the Denmark national team during the Euro92, the story of the greatest greek player ever who never played for the national team and the report about the finances of the Premier League clubs, claiming that they will never get bankrupt, simply because they have the highest profits in the world and bright future, because they were the first to explore the markets of all the other continents in the world.

Biography: 1/3
History: 3/3
Background: 2/3
Tactics & Game philosophy: 1/3

Must read for: No One >> Fans of soccer tactics >> Soccer fans >> All readers