The Spirit of 1990

Ok in the height of the interlull (or is that the bleak midwinter of it?) a trip down memory lane as requested by the Raven Haired Warrior Princess.

Watch from about ten seconds in to see the brawl that resulted in a 2 point deduction for us and a one point deduction for the Mancs. You will see Winterburn receiving an almighty kick in from McClair and then the melee starts. What most of us realise is that as much as this is the darker side of football we would all want to have played in that side, teammates alongside that will stand up and be counted when you’re in danger….no questions asked.

The reason we lost two points was as a result of a brawl in 1989 where a wholly innocent Smudger was turned upon by most of the Norwich team as we took a 4-3 lead, Arsenal players were celebrating on the half way line and suddenly you see Adams turn to his mates as they realise what’s going on with their mate Smudger and return to the scene and a 21 man brawl ensued, only Lukic was not involved.

After those two points were taken we went on to win the league in no small part due to the players chat with George Graham. He lined them up and explained how everyone was against us….the rest is history.

Are we starting to see this spirit re emerge in the current squad, there seems to be a lot more togetherness than in recent times, also like that team of 90 our current squad is not full of the most gifted players, but we all know what that 1990 team went on to achieve.

Let’s hope we continue to see the spirit of 90 on to this current squad.

Written by Gooner in Exile

43 Responses to The Spirit of 1990

  1. Thanks GiE.

    Sorry for the delay everyone.

  2. gunnern5 says:

    Here’s a compliation of our wars against Man U.


    Manchester United v Arsenal: A history of football warfare

    Manchester United and Arsenal’s meeting brings back memories of some of football’s ugliest encounters, stemming from a fierce rivalry.

    February 1, 2005: Tunnel trouble
    Both combative midfielders, captains Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane came to symbolise the fierce rivalry between the clubs. Their most famous altercation came when they squared up in the Highbury tunnel in 2005, eyeing each other with pure contempt and forcing referee Graham Poll to intervene. Keane had the last laugh as Manchester United went on to win 4-2.

    October 20, 1990: All-in brawl
    Often identified as the match where the intense rivalry originated, the 21-man brawl of October 1990 began after Arsenal’s Nigel Winterburn lunged at Denis Irwin. Manchester United lost one point, whilst Arsenal were docked two – but George Graham’s team still went on to win the title.

    September 21, 2003: Keown goes wild
    Thirteen years later, more controversy engulfs the fixture as Arsenal players goad Ruud van Nistelrooy following his last-minute penalty miss. Martin Keown leads the ridiculing of the Dutch striker, along with Ray Parlour and Ashley Cole. Arsenal were charged for failing to control their players, while Ryan Giggs and Cristiano Ronaldo were also hauled before the Football Association.

    November 9, 1997: Cash in hands
    David Platt scored the winner in Arsenal’s 3-2 victory, but the game was marred by the behaviour of fans who threw coins at both Peter Schmeichel and Nigel Winterburn.

    October 24, 2004: ‘Buffet-gate’
    United ended Arsenal 49-game unbeaten run in the Premier League, with Ruud van Nistelrooy hacking down Ashley Cole to the fury of Arsene Wenger. The action on the pitch was stormy enough, but afterwards a scuffle between players and staff in the tunnel ended with pizza and soup being hurled at Sir Alex Ferguson.

  3. So GN5 it all stems from 1990?

    That McClair has a lot to answer for!

  4. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the fighting talk GiE. That’s a great post. We used to be the kings of the red card 😛

    On another note, I am increasingly getting the feeling that Yann M’Villa is being lined up as a replacement for Alex Song. There have been rumours for some time (not just from LG!!) that Song has been looking around and is reluctant to sign an extension.

  5. And now Songs agent is…….

  6. evonne says:

    who?? who is song’s agent?

  7. RockyLives says:

    Nice one GiE

    The Mancs deserve our enmity.

    I used to hate the way they would practise rotational fouling on one of our players (usually Vieira) to try and get them to react. I remember one game at Highbury where PV4 was hacked down about five times in the first 15 minutes, always by a different Manc player. Of course the ref didn’t book anyone because in each case it was their first foul.

    Then Paddy fouled someone and got an immediate yellow.

    Jaap Stam in his autobiography explained how rotational fouling was a deliberate tactic used by the claret-conked Caledonian.

    Love the vids. That team of 1990 would have beaten any other team in a Wild West brawl (although Wimbledon would have provided a challenge…)

  8. RockyLives says:

    That’s the first I’ve heard about Song being unsettled. How long does he have to go on his contract?

    I assume it’s the dreaded Darren Dein, son of David and agent of $amir Na$ri.

  9. evonne says:

    GiE – I didn’t know you had it in you, I thought I was the one that likes when something kicks off on the pitch 🙂 It was well worth the 2 points, just to show them to we were not pushovers.

    What makes me smile is seeing PV and Roy Keane on CL games standing together and pretending the past is behind them, but they are not fooling me. The body language says it all – they still bloody hate each other. They both look so well and handsome in their dark suits, but the little side glances and shuffling feet are evil, they could still punch each other without a second thought

  10. evonne says:

    Rocky – oh no, not him again. Cannot DD stop him, he has already harmed us enough

  11. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky, I believe he is under contract until 2014 so it should not be urgent, but there is a story (Daily Mail, not the most reliable) that at this early stage we are trying to tie him down with an extension (and presumably a pay rise) but he is resisting.

  12. oz gunner says:

    Great post GiE love the battle type stuff. I loved seeing keown get in ruuds face. People whinged at the time but what else could he have done?! it would of taken everything he had not to snot him one.

    Cheers to TA, 98, and dandan for keeping me sane during a rather stressful exam period (All i wanted it a match to enjoy on a saturday night to wind down from a tough week, and what do i get international dribble. I’m sick of the breaks.)

    @ TA

    losing to Oman is definently a low-light in Australias international career. However, international football ended for me when we lost to Italy via a dive from a lucas neill tackle. Bloody ridiculous it was. Now all i care about is arsenal players having a good game and coming out unscathed!

    @ GiE

    Song???? are you serious? Wegner MADE him! if thats true that’d make my blood boil. Punishment: Song being shot into the middle of the sun!

  13. oz gunner says:

    the two deins couldn’t be more polar opposites. Snr needs to take him out back to remind him that we are not the enemies. Sounds very much like a snake that bloke

  14. dandan says:

    Great stuff GIE, in the end this game is always about memories, I have lain in bed in foreign lands, mucked up by jet lag and relived magic moments, goals, punch ups and favourite players. Better than counting sheep 🙂

    Just to make Evonnes day I read this morning that DD’s son although not Robins agent has become his special advisor. Is it so fanciful to wonder if DD Jr, is living a vendetta for his dads treatment.

  15. Oz I know as Rocky says that Darren Dein is his agent, plus what Rasp has reported earlier.

    Dein Junior seems to favour the leak the story to a paper mechanic of contract negotiation….which appears to annoy our board rather than encourage them to negotiate better terms. But from the Agents point of view (where money is king) it doesn’t matter what the player wants from a football perspective.

    Same as encouraging the player to change clubs mid contract as it brings extra money to his pocket earlier.

    Agents have a lot to answer for in the modern game not least that they take a chunk of money out of the game.

    2010-11 Football League £16.7m paid to agents in 570 of player transactions. In 2009-10 the Premier League clubs spent around £68m on agents!

  16. Rasp says:

    Can someone buy Peter Hill-Wood a muzzle for Christmas. I can’t remember a single time when he has released a statement through The Star that has been helpful to the club. This sentence from his latest offering is an exampe “He was quite difficult at Feyenoord, but we have had no trouble with him.”

    The last thing we want is PHW stirring up trouble over van Persie’s contract. It seems RvP wants to see how this season pans out before making his decision – and who can blame him?

    PHW probably represents a stuffy old-school type figure who has no connection with the players. It’s a shame his position apparently puts him beyond the control of the PR department. I’m not the biggest fan of club spin but on this occasion, it would be good if they could take the words out of PHW’s mouth!

  17. oz gunner says:

    @ GiE

    thats a ridiculous amount of money, and you are right they definently contribute to whats wrong with the game.

    Less Deins, more Jerry Maguires!

  18. Rasp says:

    Don’t forget the money paid into ‘Arry’s offshore account 😕

    He’s in court in January, but you can bet your life it will be a long drawn out affair, these proceedings typically are – still they eventually got Al Capone that way.

  19. Rasp I heard some scurrilous rumours that Redknapps heart op may have something to do with court case preparation. Seems to have taken an eternity to get here.

  20. Rasp says:

    One thing is for sure GiE, he’ll never be England manager. I wonder if they’ll keep him on at totnum if he’s found guilty?

  21. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp Of course they will Harry walks on water at SHL, they think he is just a cheeky East End lad

    Can’t believe it is 22 years since that Norwich game. I was on the North Bank right and recall evryone’s shock at O’ Leary’s golas. Was it a land mark game for him?

  22. evonne says:

    Oh yeah, that made me smile yesterday. Last week they were reported to be spying on the olympics’ committee, this week Arry is called a tax cheat.
    I wonder how those proud supporters feel now?? Scum

    Chas, where is that clip of Arry saying that he is not a f***g wheeler dealer but a football manager?

    Dandan – no, no, no. Robin is not going to be manipulated north, no, I refuse to belive it.

  23. Unfortunately he is only being charged in relation to about £200k so he won’t suffer a Lester Piggot style imprisonment. Methinks he should have just settled it though unless there are bigger numbers as yet undisclosed.

  24. Rasp says:


    ‘arry made a mistake by publicly criticising the police when they woke him ‘n ‘er indoors up early one morning for the first investigation, I reckon they’ve been gunning for him ever since.

  25. Raddy I believe it was game number 622 overtaking Geordie. Wonder if anyone will break his eventual total? (722).

    Wilshere has made 64 and is only 19 so he has the chance I guess 10-12 seasons with the club he could do it, as could Chesser (more likely being a keeper).

    Cesc had clocked up 303 appearances and he left aged 24….so I guess it’s possible.

    With so many more guaranteed games a season these days it should be easier for appearance record to be broken, shame we don’t have the loyalty to make it possible.

  26. Big Raddy says:

    It would be grand if both Szczesny and JW played 500+ games. Ramsey, CJ, Song, Gibbs, Theo, the Ox as well.

    Or am I being greedy?

  27. LB says:

    That’s a good attempt at getting some banter going but Song not IMMEDIATELY entering into talks to extend his contract beyond 2014 is, well, how can we put it……………very Daily Mail.

    Good read GIE

  28. LB true about the Mail and most of the tabloids I guess. Wouldn’t put it past Agents starting to angle for improved terms though. Especially as he has become important to the team and the last deal wads negotiated in 2009 when only one club was paying silly money. Now there’s competition it’s not as straight forward as “they’ve got Essien they don’t need you.”

    All those Long Term Contracts we signed with players are starting to come to an end.

  29. Didn’t finish last para:

    All those Long Term Contracts we signed with players are starting to come to an end, and they filled me with comfort when signed now I’m less assured”

  30. chas says:

    Just been catching up on posts and comments. Thanks TA and GIE.

    The day at Uttoxeter races yesterday was great fun but has left me feeling a bit ropey today.

    Here’s that video, Evonne.

  31. evonne says:

    Thanks Chas, I just love it….I am a f****g football manager 🙂

  32. Rasp says:

    My favourite arry clip

  33. Rasp says:

    Just found this clip, it made me sad I have to say, a great first goal from Theo, Cesc brilliant even then and Diaby showing what he can do……

  34. Morning all

    Just sorting todays post before I go to work.

    We need posts, posts, posts please for this week. Actually we need three because we have one waiting from FGG. Let me or Rasp know on the blog if you’re feeling inspirational 🙂

    So, boring with no football 😦

  35. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. I watch that clip and wonder what might have been but for 2 serious injuries, and such high expectations.

    Theo made it look so simple and instinctive.

  36. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. I will write one – I owe you 🙂 I will try to get it written this evening.

  37. Thank you GiE for highlighting the seminal moment for my dislike of all things ManUre.

    I disliked the way the media fawned over the Old Toilet mob before this incident but this crystallsed why a school kid growing up in south east London learnt to despise the hordes of London reds alongside him.

    Yes, I’m very late to this post – this interlull is killing me !

  38. evonne says:

    Rasp – OMG, that is showing him for what he is. Bloody hell, he has some temper

  39. Rasp says:

    Haha evonne, I like the way he won’t let it drop and he starts twitching and the comes out with “no wonder he’s in the f***ing reserves” – priceless, I bet that player really wanted to play for him after that.

  40. evonne says:

    I know, he keeps turning and gasping, if not for the camera he would deck the culprit

  41. Rasp says:

    On that note, I am pleased to announce that we have a ….

    New post……

  42. oz gunner says:

    it is an hilarious reaction, he went into twitching over-drive. I thought he was going to explode. Good ole ‘arry

  43. gossip blog says:

    gossip blog…

    […]The Spirit of 1990 « Arsenal Arsenal[…]…

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