Sunday, 27 September 2020

1988/89 League Cup: Liverpool v Arsenal

When the draw was made for the third round of the 1988/89 Littlewoods Cup, it was not difficult to spot the standout tie. Champions Liverpool, winners of the League Cup four times in the 1980s, were paired with a resurgent Arsenal, in a repeat of the 1987 final that George Graham's team had famously won

Thursday, 24 September 2020

1984: The curious case of John Abrahams

As England clinched an unlikely win in the second one day international of their recent series against Australia, an interesting opinion was expressed by a number of experts: Should Eoin Morgan have been handed the man of the match award due to his superb captaincy skills displayed at the back end of the Australian innings?

Sometimes a captain leads by example - Gerrard at Istanbul, Beckham against Greece in 2001, Atherton at Johannesburg in 1995 - yet in the case of Morgan at Old Trafford, it was his ability as a tactician that attracted praise. The idea of a captain earning the player of the match due to their leadership display is an interesting concept.

Inevitably perhaps, the name of John Abrahams cropped up as soon as this subject arose. In fairness to Morgan, he had top scored in England's innings. But this certainly did not apply in the curious case involving Lancashire skipper Abrahams in the 1984 Benson and Hedges Cup final. Even now, it is a decision that leaves you scratching your head.

Thursday, 17 September 2020

1986/87: Manchester United v Chelsea

Throughout the elongated 2019/20 Premier League season there seemed to be four words that were never far away from live reports, match commentary and social media updates: penalty to Manchester United. Awarded a record 14 penalties for a Premier League campaign - I've put feelers out to try and see if this is an all-time top-flight record - people will no doubt be scrambling to get Bruno Fernandes into their Fantasy Football teams.

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Golden goals: Mark Hughes (1985)

The rising star of Mark Hughes showed no signs of fading as the 1984/85 season progressed. Establishing himself as a Manchester United regular, the Welsh forward scored 24 goals in all competitions, as he helped the club win the FA Cup. Awarded the PFA Young Player of the Year, Hughes had gained recognition for his aggressive and committed style.