Tony Adams, Issue 32, April 1997
“Remember the Tony Adams who captained England to the European Championship semi-finals and then hit the bottle?”
That’s how this cover story starts, as a startlingly open interview with Adams – six months after the appointment of Arsene Wenger as Arsenal manager, and a year before Adams’ acclaimed autobiography, Addicted – goes deep into the defender’s ongoing battle with alcoholism.
Nick Callow’s sit-down with the Gunners captain reveals how he overcame his initial scepticism of Wenger’s appointment (“Oh no, bloody hell. French? I’ve got to play for a Frenchman?”) to become a talisman for the new boss’s early years at Highbury.
Ian Wright, Issue 39, November 1997
Wrighty, ‘The Gunslinger’, shows off his confident side in this interview ahead of England’s crucial clash with Italy to qualify for the 1998 World Cup.
Speaking to Ian Ridley, Wright covers some ground that sounds familiar in 2019 (“They [journalists] are just writing what they think I am like … I know in myself I am a better person that the one they are trying to portray.”). It features a photo shoot from Robert Wilson and remains one of the coolest FFT stories to this day.
On the pitch, England got a 0-0 draw in Rome and qualified for the World Cup in France. Back on home turf, Wright’s 10 goals later helped Arsenal lift the Premier League for the first time – in his final season at Highbury.
Thierry Henry, Issue 146, October 2006
The French forward answers questions from FFT readers, including why he decided against moving to Barcelona the previous summer. “In the end I couldn’t let down the fans and my team-mates,” he said. “This club has a special place in my heart … I said I’d announce it before the World Cup and I announced it before the World Cup. Voila.”
The following June, Henry joined Barcelona. Voila.
The Masterplan, Issue 223, January 2013
It was coming up to nine years without a trophy for Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal. Robin van Persie had been sold. The first signs of unhappiness were starting to show on ArsenalFanTV.
But FFT saw something stirring in north London. In a deep-dive feature that interviewed Wenger, players, chief executive Ivan Gazidis, directors and head of youth development Liam Brady, the key players plotted out the Gunners’ route back to the top.
While another Premier League title still eludes them, three FA Cup victories over the next four years helped Wenger quieten his critics and extend his reign.
Mesut Ozil, Issue 235, January 2014
Just a few months after arriving from Real Madrid, FFT landed an interview with Arsenal’s then-record signing.
Reluctant to talk about leaving Madrid – having been pushed out following the signing of Gareth Bale – the most fascinating element of this interview is on a subject that has returned in the past year, and led to his retirement from the German national team.
Speaking on his sense of Turkish and German identity, Ozil said that: “Modern football is multi-cultural and we can be proud that Germany is a multi-cultural country today.”
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