venerdì 13 marzo 2020

Merlin's Premier League 2002

Arsenal with the top goalscorer Thierry Henry (24 goals) won the title race of the season 2001/2002, followed by Liverpool and Manchester United. The team of Arsène Wenger had a brilliant squad especially at the offenside side, with Bergkamp, Henry, Ljungberg and Pires.
The official sticker collection of the Premier League 2001/2002 was published by Merlin. It is the first autograph edition, in which all the player stickers have the signature of the player. 
The album begins with an introductory page including two large size shiny stickers: the F.A. Premier League logo and trophy. Then the 20 competing clubs are shown in alphabetical order. For each club there are 20 stickers over four pages: the shiny badge, the team photo (large size sticker), and 18 players. These pages are enriched by the team statistics, the stadium photo and especially the player careers printed on the album. This makes the collection a complete guide of the season 2001/2002, an excellent product at the Panini level for the period. 

In the center of the album there are several special sections. The first one is "Merlin's Skill Zone", which focuses on some players with the best skills. Here there are the shiny large size action stickers of David Beckham, Floyd Hasselbaink, Rio Ferdinand and Michael Owen.

The "Guide of the season" is a section that explores the players to watch, the fixtures and the kits of each club. We find here 20 stickers of the players to watch, out of which 10 are shiny.

"The Transfer Desk" is about the new signings of the Premier League. Here there are the stickers of two star signings: Juan Sebastian Veron (from Lazio to Manchester United for  £28.1M) and Frankie Lampard (who moved to Chelsea from West Ham). 

back cover of the album

As an additional product of this collection, a mini-album "F.A. Premier League Super Stars" could be found stapled in the center of the album. The 80 stickers for this mini-album (numbered from W1 to W80) were released in promotional products from Walkers. All the stickers are square sized with players in action. There are four stickers per club.

The mini-album F.A. Premier League Super Stars

Thierry Henry, top goalscorer with 24 goals, and Alan Shearer, 2nd place with 23 goals

Profile and action stickers of Floyd Hasselbaink (Chelsea). He scored 23 goals in the Premier League 2002, second place together with Shearer and van Nistelrooy.

Finnish players of the Premier League 2002: Mickael Forssell and Jari Litmanen

The Italian stars Gianfranco Zola and Fabrizio Ravanelli

Shiny action stickers of Henry and Owen

The stickers of Henry and Hasselbaink from the mini album Super Stars. Stickers could be found in products from Walkers.

Stickers of Owen and Beckham from the mini-album Super Stars

The Brit boys David Beckham and Michael Owen

International stars from Man United: Ruud van Nistelrooy and Juan Sebastian Veron

Action stickers of David Beckham of this album from the sections "Skill Zone" and "Player to Watch"

Album details
Full name: Merlin's F.A. Premier League - Autograph Edition 2002
Publisher: Merlin
League: English Premier League
Season: 2001/2002
Number of clubs: 20
Stickers per club: 20
Special sections:
  • Introduction (2 stickers)
  • Skill Zone (4 stickers)
  • Players to watch (20 stickers)
  • Star signings (2 stickers)
Extra: F.A. Premier League Super Stars (Mini album + 80 stickers)

Checklist: click here

Total number of stickers: 428 (+80 Super Stars)

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