Monday, 29 February 2016

1983/84: Aberdeen

Aberdeen may fall short in their bid for Scottish Premiership success in 2015/16, but in the 1983/84 season it was a very different tale.

As an Aberdeen fan you may have been forgiven for thinking that things could not get any better than the night of Wednesday May 11, 1983. For the thousands who had made their way to Gothenburg on fishing boats and for those who had slept rough in the streets, the trip was most definitely worth it. Winning the European Cup Winners' Cup was an outstanding achievement, even more so when you consider that Aberdeen defeated Bayern Munich in the quarter final, and the mighty Real Madrid on that unforgettable wet Wednesday in Sweden. How could you better that?

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

1988 FA Cup Fifth Round: Arsenal v Manchester United

Since being ever so slightly pushed towards supporting Arsenal by my dad in the summer of 1983, the FA Cup had not been very kind to me. Embarrassment at Middlesbrough; total humiliation at York; rolling over at Luton; and anger against Watford. Not the smoothest introduction to the greatest cup competition in the world.

For a while it looked as if 1988 would be different. Leading Manchester United 2-1 at Highbury with the minutes ticking away, Arsenal had one foot in the sixth round. But no sooner had my thoughts turned to possible opponents in the last eight, than that sinking feeling returned once more.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Sending offs in the 1980s

Whilst watching Per Mertesacker being dismissed against Chelsea recently, I realised that a red card is hardly a surprise occurrence in a match during the modern era. But rewind back to the 1980s and it was a different experience.

A red card - or a finger pointing the way to the dressing room - was often a genuine wow moment, partly due to the relative rarity of the event. This week I am looking back on ten dismissals during the 1980s, involving confusion, accusations, frustration, agony, and refereeing incompetence. Perhaps things don't change after all.