Friday, 30 August 2013

1980s: Arsenal and the transfer deadline day

I'm sure most of us Arsenal fans would agree that this is Arsene Wenger's most important transfer window since, well, the last one. Failure to invest wisely could spell trouble for both manager and club, and leave plenty of us gnashing our teeth and banging our heads against the nearest brick wall come deadline day. Am I prepared to put myself through another torturous deadline day ordeal on Monday September 2? Of course I am, yet I'm not holding my breath that anything exciting will happen (if you read this after we have signed Di Maria, Ozil and Benzema, then I am happy to be proved wrong).

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

1980 US Open: Borg v McEnroe

Think of the Bjorn Borg-John McEnroe duels and generally the mind instantly shoots back to 1980, that classic Wimbledon final, containing that magical tie-break, with the cool Swede eventually coming out on top in five thrilling sets that seemed to define the pair and their rivalry. But barely two months later came another encounter which, as Dennis Norden would have no doubt stated, could have been filed under the category of all-time great matches. The 1980 US Open final may not receive the same plaudits and recognition as the preceding major, certainly not in Britain at least, yet for both men it would mark a significant moment in their respective careers.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

1985 Challenge Cup final: Wigan v Hull

If I think back to the sporting year of 1985, I can instantly relate to Marty McFly and his desperation to return to that period of time. From that world snooker final to Europe's Ryder Cup triumph, via McGuigan's Loftus Road glory, Lyle's Open win, Mansell's breakthrough, to the arrival of Becker at SW19, it was a time of my life when sport seeped into every pore of my body. My discovery of new sports, such as cricket, thanks to England's Ashes victory, seemed almost pre-destined, and has helped make me the slightly obsessive person that I am today.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

1988 US PGA: Jeff Sluman

As the 1988 US PGA championship neared, the golfing nation of America continued to search for their next hero, someone to take over the mantle of world leader in the manner of a Palmer, Nicklaus or Watson. Curtis Strange may have won the 1988 US Open, but there was a feeling of trepidation as the final major of the year approached, that America had been overtaken as the premier force in the sport, and with the continent of Europe scooping three of the last five majors played, plus the last two Ryder Cups, the shift in power seemed significant.