Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Boxing Day 1983: Tottenham 2 Arsenal 4

It's about beating Spurs. So said Tony Adams on this Sky Premier League promo back in 1996. Some of us already knew this though, way before the summer in which football apparently "came home". From an early age, my Dad had subtlety told me in no uncertain terms that Arsenal were to be my team, and that if we were to win only two matches in a season, then the derby games against our North London friends were the ones to win. He wasn't aggressive about it, he didn't teach me any abusive songs about that lot - I would discover enough of those myself - but he insisted that at no cost could we afford to lose any matches against them.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

1984/85: India v England - Gower's Glory

For my piece on the first Test of the series, please click here.

England didn't have much time to lick their wounds after their crushing defeat in the first Test at Bombay. Just two days later, the same XI - except for Vic Marks replacing Pat Pocock - won the first one day international at Pune, causing the home fans to show their disgust by hurling objects on to the field, almost causing a postponement in the process.

Amongst the mayhem, another century from a rejuvenated Mike Gatting led England home, justifying Gower's decision to install the Middlesex man as his vice-captain at the start of the tour. A drawn match in Bombay against North Zone, with a decent return of 3/29 by Richard Ellison in the first innings, and a century from Tim Robinson, gave England slight cause for optimism as the second Test at Delhi neared. On and off the field though, not all was well.

Monday, 10 December 2012

SPOTY: It was better in the 80s

"Once, this show was the flagship TV event of the sporting year, a straightforward retrospective clips-fest. In recent years, however, it has been meddled with, overhauled and modernised to the extent that it has become barely watchable." These are not my words, but they might as well be, as they neatly sum up my feelings on the once great BBC Sports Personality of The Year show (or the Sports Review of the Year as it was once known). David Stubbs of the Guardian wrote this accurate preview prior to the 2011 programme, and his description provided me with some reassurance that it wasn't just me who felt this way. This blog naturally steers me to waffling on about how great a decade the 80s were, often avoiding some painful truths in the shape of Thatcher, mass unemployment, football violence, and the impending threat of a nuclear war. Surely though when it comes to the Sports Personality of The Year, I can't be accused of being completely biased towards my childhood years?

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

1984-85 FA Cup: Second round

The second round proper of the FA Cup is the classic Jim Bowen style "let's look what you could have won" stage of the competition. A round where teams from the lower divisions know that they are just one win away from a potential day out at a glamorous location, such as Old Trafford, Ashburton Grove (That1980sSportsBlogger doesn't like referring to it as the E word), Anfield, et al. The round can be such a tease that losing will hurt that little bit more, to chairmen, managers, players and supporters alike. Just like the semi-final, it is not a round to lose in.