Stick With Soccer, what we have here is their follow up from 1988.
There are some noticeable changes from the 86/87 album and, perhaps sadly given how different that album had been from the usual Panini fayre, most of them seem to have been done to fall more in line with the accepted version of the sticker book format. What I'm saying is, they Paninified its ass!
The 2 most obvious changes come with the name. While "Stick With Soccer" had followed the numbering format to match the league season it related to (86/87), Soccer 88 adopted the traditional (i.e. Panini) approach of the year the book was released in.
Secondly, "Soccer 88" is now the actual title (as opposed to the last one being officially titled "Stick With Soccer - 1986/87 Season"). This one does however, have a nice subtitle - "Britain's Top Sticker Album". Note, there's no asterisk there linked to a footnote with something like "in the Gateshead area for 3 weeks in March", nope this was apparently Britain's top sticker album. One can only assume that to be true as it's highly unlikely a tabloid newspaper would print any outlandish claims without facts to back it up. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is satire.
There's also been a price reduction...from 25p to FREE!
The intro does reveal that in the 87/88 season the top flight was in one of those transition phases between 22 and 20 clubs...in other words, 21.
There's also 360 stickers in total, up from 286 the previous year (thanks Bryan).
|Wot no Villa?|
As with 86/87, we dive straight into the teams (all 26 of them...I'll come to the other 5 later) and of course it's perennial sticker book openers, boring boring Arsenal. These are of course followed by...Charlton. Eh? Where are Aston Villa? This is 1988, they're in the 2nd Division...which is funny...much much funnier than being in the 3rd tier with no home and -10 points oh yes! (SISU OUT!).
|Sansom and...is it midnight?|
Where the Italian foils are lovely and magpie-temptingly shiny, the Mirror's are just...dark. Sure if you shine a bright light on them they just about display their wares, but they're hardly what you'd call a mirror finish (and there we have ourselves a whole plate of pun...a punnet even...I'm on FIRE!)
|CCFC...because I can...|
|Rangers? Rings a bell...|
The final pages are taken up with a quite-common-at-the-time World Stars selection, featuring the best of the football world at the time, from Josimar and Maradona to Sanchez and...er...Glenn Hysen and the ultimate England squad as chosen Sir Alf Ramsey. One can't really argue with his choices, although the choices do seem to be either 1966 or 1988...the 2 decades in between seem to have been skipped over. Keegan, Brooking? Nope, but we do have Alvin Martin...nah, I'm kidding...he's not there.
|Class from home and abroad|