Monday, 26 October 2020

1985/86: Manchester United v Arsenal

This article first appeared in issue 284 of The Gooner

Understandably many clubs have struggled when visiting Old Trafford in the Premier League era. But it’s a slight irritation to Arsenal fans that their record at this ground has been so poor. FA Cup wins in 2003 and 2015 were delicious, as were the league victories during the double winning campaigns of 97/98 and 01/02. But it’s a full 14 years since Arsenal last left Old Trafford with three points. 

Despite the claims of Sky, football did actually exist before 1992, and digging a little deeper into the record books reveals that Arsenal’s league record at Old Trafford leaves a lot to be desired. The famous 1990 Battle of Old Trafford win aside – another gained during a title winning season – a league visit to M16 has often been coupled with disappointment.

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Football and the Super League

As news of Project Big Picture broke recently, EFL chairman Rick Parry tried to calm down the understandable fears that the so-called Big Six - don't get me started on that - are basically trying to increase their power in the game. "They care about the pyramid. This will come out, the truth will come out, their passion for the pyramid will come out." Stop laughing at the back.

Timing is everything. At a time when a lot of EFL clubs are desperately trying to make ends meet, the promise of money from this proposal will undoubtedly be backed by many. It's almost as if those behind the scheme are taking advantage of a global pandemic to try and place their greedy hands on the steering wheel of the sport.

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Golden goals: Graeme Sharp (1984)

Every sports team needs that belief-affirming victory, the win that makes them feel like they belong. For England's rugby union squad, the backs to the wall win in New Zealand in June 2003 was a vital step along the path to World Cup glory. In 2005, that nail-biting win at Edgbaston saved a summer and made Ashes heroes out of those involved.

Football has produced a few examples of this. Manchester United edging past Sheffield Wednesday during Fergie Time in 1993; Arsenal winning at the same ground in 1998; Chelsea finally defeating Arsenal in the 2004 Champions League quarter final.