It was 20 years ago today ……..

Firstly let’s honour the boss and the team for avoiding Spursday for yet another season and allowing Didit and I an opportunity to continue our gastronomic tour of Europe.

I know all the arguments about 4th not being a trophy etc etc, we have done them to death in the blogs. I just ask this – would Everton, Spurs, MU etc like to swap with us? Would Moyes have been sacked had MU finished 4th?

Which brings us onto today and our final home game of the season against a West Brom side who need the points much more than we do. If WBA survive will Pepe Mel keep his job? I hope so. Yesterday’s results must have boosted WBA’s chances.

Who would you like to see relegated?

I am afraid I have never taken to WBA, don’t like their kit, don’t like their ground or their nickname – the Baggies – reminds me of Australians (cricket lovers will understand). In fact since their halcyon days of Big Ron and the 3 Degrees (look it up!) they have become just another Midlands club – sorry WBA fans but that is how it is. That said, I love that the Three Degrees are to honoured with a statue outside the Hawthorns

Then there is Jeff Astle. Let me explain. The year was 1970 and I was football obsessed. England were World Champions having won the Cup in ’66. We had a formidable team but had to travel to Mexico to defend our cup. England were drawn in a group with the favourites and eventual winners Brazil. This is the famous Brazil ’70 side which included Pele, Jairzinho, Rivelino and Carlos Alberto and is known as probably the finest football team ever assembled. Anyway ….. had we won that tie we would have avoided West Germany in the next round and probably gone on to win the thing again. Instead despite Gordon Banks worldie to save from Pele’s header and Bobby Moore’s unforgettable tackle on the great man, we were losing to a Jairzinho goal. As the game entered it’s final phase Astle came on as sub for Franny Lee. We were pushing for an equaliser and then Astle got his chance to become a hero; Terry Cooper knocked in a cross, the ball fell to Astle 5 yards out from an empty net and he scuffed it. The nation wept. We went on to lose to West Germany.

images

Jeff remains a hero at West Brom; there are the Astle gates into the Hawthorns and the fans still sing his name, but to millions of England football fans his miss heralded the end of England as an International force.

Arsenal: Do we finish the season on a high by sending out a first choice team and playing some risky full out attacking football or give some reserves a run out? Given 17 years of watching Mr Wenger, I will hazard a guess – the former :-D

Confidence must be high, Ozil and Ramsey are fit and firing, we are as injury free as an AFC squad can be, and it should be sunny. WBA have reason for concern.

Bacary must start in what could be his final game at The Emirates. It would be very sad to see him leave as I have a long standing man-love for our braided Frenchman, hopefully he will see the light and signdating. To those lucky enough to attend please sing him name loud and proud – he deserves it after a fine season.

The team almost picks itself. Podolski is playing his best football since his arrival – could it be he is playing for a move or showing AW he doesn’t need to sign another left-sided attacker?

My Team:

a v wb

It would be a surprise to see anyone replacing the above but perhaps Rosicky will be included – he is such a wonderful player and too good to ride the pine.

Sad that Ox and JW are not fit enough to stake a claim for the WC squad but being Arsenal-centric I am delighted. A long beach holiday followed by an uninterrupted pre-seasonshould set them up nicely for our tilt at the title.

20 years ago today a much younger Big Raddy began his day with a pint of lager in an airport pub. It was the start of one the most memorable days of my life. A pre-match drink up in bars all over central Copenhagen, followed by an unforgettable noisy walk to the Parken which is just 400m from where I sit to write these posts. An astonishing defensive display which could have been the pinnacle of the Famous 5’s achievements, and a rare as hen’s teeth Alan Smith goal from outside the area in front of 25,000 very nervous fans led to the lifting of a Euro Cup. It was a magical evening – my first magical Copenhagen evening of many.

Unknown

 

Here’s to the Winners of 1994 ….. could the current Arsenal team emulate their predecessors and win a Cup 20 years later?

Written by Big Raddy

 

 

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113 Responses to It was 20 years ago today ……..

  1. chas says:

    Superb, BR.
    We got the 3 degrees. Loved the Jeff Astle story and our majestic win in wonderful wonderful Copenhagen.

  2. Big Raddy says:

    Expect a quiet day on the blog.

    Sunday, lunchtime kick-off, a warm sunny day in London town and spring outings elsewhere.. Plus nothing really to play for ….

  3. Thanks Raddy

    I hope the singing will be loud and proud today afterall we haven’t been off to Wemberley for an FA Cup final for about thirty years ;)

  4. 26may1989 says:

    Well done, Radster. Funny to see your views of West Brom, I always quite like them. But then Arse v WBA in 1980 was my first time at Highbury (score was 2-2, Alan Sunderland and Bryan Robson starred). Nostalgia rules.

    Being a contrary sod, I’d taken against George Graham after the 1993 FA Cup win, on the basis that he’d destroyed everything that had been great up to 1991 (I was especially bitter about the sale of Rocastle) and we’d become this enormous force of anti-football negativity, that was slipping further and further from relevance in the league. We were like Pulis’s Stoke City without the creative bits. So I felt quite distant from the 1994 CWC Final, and not only because I wasn’t in Copenhagen. But all of that said, I can appreciate why many Gooners still look back at that victory, and given that the city has become your home, your fondness for that memory is clear!

    Today? Relaxed 4-1 win.

  5. crystals says:

    Nice write up Raddy (parts of which I could have written myself ).;)

    Totally agree that the line up should stay as you suggested and Sagna gets a good send off.

    You omitted the alleged jewellery nick by a certain Bobby Moore,which seemed at the time to die a quick death. Altitude was the main problem, as I was fortunate to attend.

    There will be a great atmosphere today through the pleasure and relief of obtaining CL footie once again.I have already predicted the two possibilities of how we will win today.

  6. Norfolk Gooner says:

    BR, Nothing to play for? Cough! Splutter!! This is a Must Win game if ever there was one!

    Don’t you realise that we are in a fight for third place? Norwich are going to stuff the Chavs who are demoralised after their Champions League exit. Then they have the daunting task of a final game away to Cardiff. We need to beat West Brom to maintain our momentum leading up to the Norwich game and then the Cup Final.

    Nothing to play for? Hmmmph!!! :D

  7. RA says:

    A terrific Post, Raddy, certainly one of the best, which given the high standard of all your Posts made it special for me.

    A rider to the Jeff Astle story, is that he was known for his heading ability apparently (I never saw him play) but when he died a while back it was stated that he had suffered with that terrible disease, Alzheimer’s, for some years, perhaps from years of heading the old waterlogged leather footballs.

    COYG

  8. Quite right NG ;)

  9. Big Raddy says:

    Norfolk. Sorry …… I will do better next time for the Norwich game which we will be well up for (won’t we :-D)

  10. White Bear says:

    I can hardly believe that this is the penultimate prematch already! It must be true that the older you get the faster the time flies by

    Thank you Raddy, good post, of course. I would be surprised if Wenger didn’t play some youngsters and rest the big guns for the FA final. Mind you, it is probably important that they don’t start the holidays too soon, and be sharp in 2 weeks.

    Of course 4th spot Is a trophy, worth some 200m euros

  11. RA says:

    Hi White Bear, Evonne and all,

    Technically as we have a game at Norwich and the Cup Final, this is more like a pre-penultimate Post.

    In addition, M. Wenger has said that he will play his full team and not the kids.

    Apart from that – you are right. :-)

  12. White Bear says:

    RA – 1 all
    2 games to go, you are right
    Of course Wenger said that, many fans would not bother their arses to go and see the kids playing

  13. Big Raddy says:

    RA, Thank you. Sometimes writing the PM is a chore but most times I really enjoy the process. Today was one of those, The chance to reminisce about Mexico ’70 and then CPH 1994 made it one of my favourite PM’s of the season.

    Crystals. Did you really go to Mexico? You lucky beggar ….

  14. Charybdis1966 says:

    Thanks for your ultimate pre match of the season Big Randy. I’m on a tube to THOF and looking like I will be on my bench outside the Tavern on my own……..again !

    Never mind, it’ll be a stress free game so I shouldn’t complain. UTA !

  15. Charybdis1966 says:

    Oops, I meant ultimate home pre match of the season.

  16. Charybdis1966 says:

    So it’s “ante-penultimate pre match”.

  17. RA says:

    Hi CharyB,

    Long time no sea.

    Enjoy the game and perhaps you can let us have your ‘Man at the Match Report’. It would make a nice change! :-)

  18. crystals says:

    I did actually go Raddy.

    Delia has been bending Arsene’s ear and promised to do all the catering at The Elms for free next season if we throw the match :)

  19. crystals says:

    OK RA

    you giving me the sack, well bugger off you one legged blind lost balanced fan ;)

  20. Big Raddy says:

    Crystals: Which games did you see? Must have been a brilliant experience.

  21. crystals says:

    All the England group games and the quarter final against West Germany.

    Gert Muller was the real fox in the box.

  22. Charybdis1966 says:

    Hi Redders, unfortunately im on a long term contract at Tim’s blog so the man at the match will be in the usual place.

    Hope you are well and looking forward to a long summer of transfer speculation. Woo-hoo !

  23. RA says:

    Crystalized,

    Is this your local pub?

    — “Delia has been bending Arsene’s ear and promised to do all the catering at The Elms”.

    Raddy, you should know better than to ask Crystal Balls questions like that, he did not physically attend the games and instead just used his Madame Crystals — while everyone else had to make do with TV. :P

  24. Big Raddy says:

    :-D That crystals is a rascal

  25. RA says:

    Very true, CharyB.

    Well just send me a copy of your Post, and I will put it out in Micky’s name – he won’t notice, and if there is any comeback, we can blame him.

    Don’t worry about Kelsey/Crystals he will have seen all this in advance – and there is a suspicion that he pinches your stuff anyway. :D

  26. crystals says:

    “West Brom need three points from their three remaining games to be 100% sure of their Premier League status – but that very much depends on Norwich finding a win at Selhurst Park this afternoon. They are almost there then – but will Pepe Mel still be there next term?”

    from the BBC website. Spot the deliberate mistake.

  27. crystals says:

    now they have amended it.

  28. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all,
    An absolutely blinding post Raddy,
    I remember all you spoke about, but sadly not as clear as you. Bad memory on my part.

    I have watched football all my life and of course being English, have watched most of them. 66 was a highlight i will never forget, maybe things are a little foggy now, but with your excellent memory it brought it back in focus.

    I believe Wenger will field the strongest side he can today, I feel he would want a win today, to show that if 4th spot hadn’t have been gifted to us yesterday we still could have achieved it anyway.

    I have always hated the thought that we may play a weakened team to save players for a cup final. I always believe in winning every game we play. We have a team of European experienced players, who have made it again, and i want them to go out there today and reiterate why we are. COYRRG’s

  29. crystals says:

    Team as last match and as Raddy predicted.

  30. crystals says:

    Ooops Ramsey out,Flamini in. Is he injured ?

  31. stevepalmer1 says:

    Sounds good Crystals, well predicted Raddy.

  32. Charybdis1966 says:

    Ha ha, good idea Redders. 😀

  33. crystals says:

    Diaby on the bench.Will get a three minute slot at the end as he is our first new signing :)

  34. White Bear says:

    did you see that DidIt??? Corner!!

  35. Big Raddy says:

    Didn’t predict that did you Crystals ?

    16 PL goals. :-D

  36. Big Raddy says:

    Good to hear the Gooners singing to Bacary

  37. Big Raddy says:

    It’s like a training game. No real passion either on the terraces or on the pitch.

    We are working hard but there is little inspiration apart from Santi an the occasional glimpse from Ozil.

    I expect to see changes.

  38. stevepalmer1 says:

    Diaby on 70

  39. Not really trying are we …………..

  40. Big Raddy says:

    I think the performance has put all our bloggers to sleep.

  41. eldergooner says:

    BBC say Loic Remy is in the stand at The Emirates and suggest this signifies he is on his way to Arsenal ? Good – or not good ?

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Elder. An OK signing as long as he is not an OG replacement. I hope for better. E.g. Can you remember him doing anything against us last Monday?

  43. Big Raddy says:

    Easy victory today. Defence looked very solid and it always felt as though we were in second gear.

  44. arnie says:

    Thanks, Raddy. Sorry I have been away. And sorry Steve. Away yesterday as well.

    Relieved. I hope we can keep the momentum up for the FA Cup Final.

  45. Lots of rumours in the press this week elder, we were linked with him before. I thought he’d done something too naughty to come to us.

  46. eldergooner says:

    Elaborate PLEASE peaches !!
    BR@3.28. Agree on both points.
    I´m disappointed to-day. Yes , it´s 3 points and great, but last home game of the season and I see so much of what I feel is wrong with us. Sorry for the negative take but goals do count and I , for a long time now, feel we never seem to realise that .
    Motivation ? !!

  47. stevepalmer1 says:

    A win is what we wanted, and that’s what we got.But we have to play better for the cup final.
    I don’t like to knock the team, but i have to say we were sloppy. Yes we did enough in the first half, and we did make many chances, but our passing was very average, we play the receiver into trouble and the crablike passing was not the way to play against the Baggies.

    I felt that Santi couldn’t find a cross field pass, if he tried all week. Sagna worked as normal and i am glad he did. Our defence kept them at bay, but the closing seconds we looked decidedly dodgy.

    I didn’t think that the team came out really looking for the three points. Challenges looked like Handbags, they looked as if they didn’t want to get injured.

    I was happy with the win but disappointed with the play. Points are what is important and points we got, but our game will have to be stepped up, No mistake.

  48. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Arsene must have given the team a copy of BR’s 10.38 comment to read. :D

    No passion, no pace, lackadaisical passing and some sloppy defending late on.

    Hardly the sort of thing to gee the fans up and encourage them to renew their season tickets.

    Still it’s three points and another clean sheet. Only one home defeat in the league and no new injuries, although Ramsey may have a problem.

    Remy was in the crowd, I hope that doesn’t mean we are going to sign him, I can’t see how he will improve the squad.

  49. Norfolk Gooner says:

    So that was probably Sagna’s last game at the Emirates, I wish him well wherever he goes.

    I just hope that his replacement can quickly grasp the concept that when taking a throw-in the object is to get the ball to a player wearing a shirt similar to your own.

    If Sagna is definitely leaving should he play in the Cup Final? Or should Jenkinson get the reward he deserves for riding the pine for most of the season?

  50. RA says:

    Peaches,

    Loic Remy was allegedly involved in a sex scandal case, but it was not proceeded with or some such.

    He’s an innocent man – so if Wengy wants him ……..

    Arsene said he knew he was in the ground and opined that he hoped he had paid for his ticket. :-)

  51. RA says:

    It felt like a boring training game today, but it must be difficult to get too excited when there is not much to play for – except pride and that should be enough.

    Chelsea escaped a double penalty claim in the first half – both should have been awarded in their own right. Ref chickened out!

  52. Big Raddy says:

    We already have more points than last season and the best haul since 2006/7.

  53. Norfolk Gooner says:

    From the Daily Mail May 15th 2013.

    £75,000-a-week Premier League footballer Loic Remy accused of gang-raping 34-year-old woman in his £2m flat with cousin and friend

    Queens Park Rangers striker held by Scotland Yard’s sex crime squad
    Woman, 34, alleges three men raped her last Monday in west London

  54. Norfolk Gooner says:

    From The Independent February 14th 2014

    On-loan Newcastle forward Loic Remy will face no further action after he was arrested over rape claims. The 27-year-old, who is on loan at the north-east club from QPR, was arrested in May last year along with two other men after a woman claimed she had been attacked in Fulham, west London. On Thursday the three were told that they will face no further action over the allegations. At the time of Remy’s arrest, his lawyers Harbottle and Lewis said the France international denied the claim. Scotland Yard did not name Remy,

  55. We need to win the Cup and then aim for the league next season.

  56. ai-zed says:

    Hello all, great sunny day here in Africa, seems the weather was the same for all today. Better defensive application from ozil & podolski today I noticed, & did Stewart “the twart” Robson say “sessegnon just stamped on flamini’s ankle there, that’s better from west Brom” ? WoW!!! anyways, cool 3points, on to the next one, Ramsey seems to have a thigh niggle, hope he’s okay for the final @ wembley

  57. JM says:

    Loïc Rémy previously had gang rape allegations cleared. Recently, he was arrested for drink driving (believed that carries a fine/driving ban/imprisonment) and will go on trial in July 2014, after his participation in WC2014.

    Loïc Rémy has a sponsorship contract with PUMA SE.

    Antoine Griezmann(Real Sociedad), Adam Lallana(Southampton), Diego Benaglio(VfL Wolfsburg), Stephan Lichtsteiner(Juventus) are similarly tied up with PUMA SE.

    From clubs with PUMA SE links:

    Leicester City (Kasper Schmeichel), Cardiff City (David Marshall), Sporting Lisbon (William Carvalho, Eric Dier), VfB Stuttgart (Alexandru Maxim, Christian Gentner, Timo Werner)

    And there might be one big catch (world class player) to headline promotions of our new PUMA kits.

  58. eldergooner says:

    Remy . good footballer – ? – but after reading the comments here reference the man – no ,don´t want him at Arsenal – we´re better than that. Guilty until proven innocent . yes . I know . But I don´t care – and I´m almost full of cider !!!! Room for a few more I think .

  59. ai-zed says:

    Crystals, if you could substitute wenger’s head for your crystal ball & look into it what do you reckon would have been his reasoning for fielding a full strength team instead of resting (as many suggested)?

  60. Big Raddy says:

    AW on fine form at his post match conference. He is a consummate performer.

    Says he knows nothing about a Remy transfer but he specialises in obfuscation.

  61. Big Raddy says:

    au-zed. Because you do not mess with a winning team.

    If Gibbs is fit for the FACF should he start ahead of Nachos?

  62. Big Raddy says:

    Chavs bore their way to a 0-0.

    Expect Merinho’s excuses about how Norwich parked the bus and play medieval football.

  63. ai-zed says:

    @BR, if gibbo is fit he definitely should start, he isn’t 1st choice LB for nothing, in fact, the only non first team player i’d want starting is fabianski. ChelShit draw, is 3rd place still possible?

  64. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cheers Raddy

    Dont know what people are moaning about? West Brom were desperate and we were desperate to avoid physical contact.

    Come on, weve all been there. Forced to give Big Berta a lift home from the Pub, living in dread as her man like hand carresses your thigh. Thats why I lost my liscense for speeding.

    Theres so many good ingredients within this squad. When we take a step up and win the title next year it will be done with style and flair not seen in the premeirship since the invincibles.

    Thats what we have to look forward to. A title winning side playing beautiful football that none of our domestic rivals can match.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring

  65. Big Raddy says:

    Terry. You made a mistake. Big Bertha was voracious, knew how to show a man a good time and for once I didn’t have to pay :-D

  66. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    You lucky devil Raddy, and no financial exchange is a great bonus.

    I recall with my first then to be wife that even after sleeping together for a whole year I would still offer her money. Habit I suppose.

  67. eldergooner says:

    You lot are NUTS – Great , still laughing.

  68. RC78 says:

    And the last home win of the season :-) Are we undefeated at home since our shock loss on Day 1? If so, this is quite positive news although it would have been great to beat with City or Chelsea at home as well :-)

    When the season ends, I think there will be frustration and hope. Frustration because we will not win the league and because we led the league for a while until we fell apart…Hope because our home form has been close to excellent and that we are edging closer to becoming title contenders…If we keep a good squad and add on three quality signings (+ signings to replace departing players), we may well be very close to winning the EPL next year…

    3 GK: Scezesny, GK2, GK3

    2 RB: Sagna or RECRUIT, Jenkinson
    2 LB: Gibbs, Monreal (I would get rid of Monreal but AW seems keen to keep hIm)
    4 CB: BFG, Kos, Vermaelen or Recruit + Young Top Talent (Not Merida! – maybe that young Greek guy playing in Germany)

    3 DM: RECRUIT, Flamster, Arteta or Recruit
    4 M: Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky, Diaby or Recruit
    2 AM: Ozil, Cazorla

    4 W: Walcott, OX, Gnabry, RECRUIT

    4 F/ST: Giroud, Recruit. Podolski, Campbell or Sanogo

    A squad of 28 players that should allow us to see through injuries and have good options in case of injuries…

  69. Big Raddy says:

    Terry. Strange but the last Mrs Raddy was offended when I offered her 50 quid after a night of passion.

    I thought it was decent money but apparently not

  70. neamman says:

    I always quite liked WBA, a small club who have a good tradition.

  71. neamman says:

    Remy’s unproven off field activities don’t bother me as I cynically believe all players get up to mischief.
    If he was found guilty then that’s a different matter but.. until then. Hes innocent, like RVP.
    That being said as a point of principle I don’t think a players private life or opinions have any relevance to his playing abilkity. We are not a social club, we are a football team.. I don’t care what his politics are, I am sure I will agree with some, disagree with others..but as long as he plays good football and isn’t a proven total pervert.. I don’t care.
    Just watched The World’s End with Simon Pegg. Founbd it very funny and it brought back many memories of similar nights growing up in the UK.

  72. Is anyone there? :)

  73. I’ll call back later

  74. crystals says:

    Nice to hear from you Michael.

  75. crystals says:

    I only managed just over 700 words in my preview.

  76. crystals says:

    Nice to hear from you,Michael

  77. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    GM hope all went well with your move

  78. chas says:

    Morning.

  79. crystals says:

    .I am in spam

  80. chas says:

    hello

  81. crystals says:

    This wordpress is all fecked up

  82. chas says:

    One Two, One Two

  83. RA says:

    Three Four, Three Four

  84. Big Raddy says:

    Can you hear me at the back?

  85. kelsey says:

    All my crystal comments go into spam there are gremlins somewhere

  86. crystals says:

    check it out please,Raddy

  87. ooooh gremlins …….. the one-armed one will take a look

    hello

  88. oh dear crystals, what did you do to upset wordpress?

    Morning everyone

  89. kelsey/crystals/hairy one do you want to have another try?

  90. kelsey – can i change your title to one a bit more kinky?

  91. crystals says:

    Kinky you really got me :)

  92. Ha ha, you know which one I mean, maybe we could have a kinky week?

    how come crystals got on this time?

    wordpress is nuts sometimes …………..

  93. RA says:

    Kelsey,

    It cost me 10p to the WordPress guy to keep you off – but looking at your many faceted crystal ball you already know that. :-)

    Peaches,

    Well, I’m up for a kinky week with a beautiful one armed woman.
    Be a first for me!! :-)

  94. crystals says:

    Have you still got any credit left on your card,RA :)

    The taxmans taken all my dough …..

  95. RA says:

    No, Kels, I am working hand to mouth at the moment and living off my dwindling savings. But it was worth the10p. :-)

  96. crystals says:

    peaches

    That was my original title but changed it.great minds and all that :)

  97. kelsey – are you in the post?

  98. RC78 says:

    Do you think that Sagna would leave us for the Citizens and join Nasri and Clichy? That would be quite awful to be honest :-(

    If he decides to leave, I hope he goes to Inter Milan and join Vidic there…Otherwise – he may come back to France to AS Monaco or PSG. Let us see…

    In any case, if he leaves – I think that we can say that he has been a consitant performer for us with an excellent attitude throughout his Gunners’ career

  99. crystals says:

    Ray Davies is a gooner.

  100. chas says:
  101. Great pic of Poldi and son.

    RC78 – I agree that should Sagna go up north I will be very disappointed in him but largely he has been fantastic for us.

  102. We have a New Post …………….

  103. Vinay says:

    13 wins 5 draws and a defeat at home, those 5 draws cost us the league.

    A season of what may have been yet again. We have been consistent as per the boss but the step up from being the best among the rest to the best still seems a large gap to fill.

    Remy will be a very good signing but what we are crying out for is a defensive midfielder and a right back.

    Time to go for Bender but end up with Matuidi or Schnedeirlin or even Diame, a right back and hopefully a GK, Iker you want to come mate?

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