Arsenal – the club for every day of the week
By Ian Trevett, Editor of Highbury High
Untold Arsenal has kindly allowed me to write a feature for the site and invite readers of the Tony’s excellent blog to contribute features to the Arsenal fanzine Highbury High.
Highbury High has become a close ally to Untold Arsenal, as we both believe that we have the best manager around – and we are proud to say so. Both Untold Arsenal and Highbury High are necessary antidotes to the incredibly negative rants which, so often, appear online and in fanzines.
I believe that the quality of comments posted on this site is one of the strengths of Untold Arsenal. So, if you post comments on this site and would like to contribute to Highbury High, please email me at email@example.com
Anyway, onto the feature, and I thought I’d repeat one of my personal favourites from the fanzine. Several years back I wrote about why Arsenal is the greatest club – every day of the week. In my lifetime (born in 1966), Arsenal have won a big trophy every day from Saturday to Friday. Surely no other club in the world can match this?
So here goes, a day-by-day guide to the genius of the Arsenal.
Take your pick. FA Cups galore: Alan, Alan, Sunderland against the Mancs in 1979, or Vieira’s last kick for the club in 2005.
Completing the double in 1971 at White Hart Lane – or in 1998 at Wembley. Or maybe beating Chelsea in Cardiff with Tim Lovejoy’s unforgettable commentary: “Don’t worry it’s only Ray Parlour!” Or how about winning the league again at White Hart Lane in the Invincible Season?
May 3rd 1998. Arsenal 4 – Everton 0. In Wenger’s first full season, the title was wrapped up in style in front of a jubilant Highbury. After a Bilic own-goal and two goals from Overmars, the midfield maestro Stevie Bould split the Everton defence for the clinical forward Tony Adams to smash home.
May 3rd 1971. Half of North London (the red half, that is) tried to cram into White Hart Lane to see if Arsenal could win the league. Under the bizarre Goal Average rules (ask your granddad if you are under 40) Arsenal would win the league if they drew 0-0, but Leeds would be champions if Arsenal drew 1-1. It didn’t matter because minutes from the end Ray Kennedy headed home and the Gunners held on to become Champions – at Tottenham.
Surely nothing can beat winning the league (actually make that the double) at Old Trafford in 2002. Wiltord slotted home the winner as the Mancs tried to kick us off the pitch (some things never change). However, my co-founder at Highbury High, Tony Madden, swears the best night ever at Highbury was beating Anderlecht in the Fairs Cup in 1970. I’ll have to take his word for that as I was only three at the time.
“We’ll win ‘coz we’re Arsenal.” George Graham’s class of 1994 weren’t exactly easy on the eye, but they were certainly determined. Copenhagen was a sea of red and white for the Cup-Winners Cup Final, massively out-numbering the support for Parma. On the pitch, Steve Morrow and Ian Selley were unlikely heroes in midfield, and Alan Smith scored the only goal to clinch a rare European trophy.
We have become spoilt since and wouldn’t put up with this type of football now, but no-one cared in Copenhagen that night!
In 1993, Sheffield Wednesday must have hated the mention of Arsenal. In the League Cup Final, Steve Morrow scored the winner and must have instantly regretted it when Tony Adams helped him celebrate – by breaking his arm.
In the FA Cup Final, the match went to a replay, which for some reason was on the Thursday. It was a long night, with penalties looming, before Andy Linighan smashed a late header home.
The best is saved for last. Arsenal travelled to Anfield on May 26th 1989 needing to win 2-0 to snatch the title from Liverpool, in a game rearranged because of the Hillsborough tragedy.
Younger fans may not comprehend the enormity of the challenge, but in those days Liverpool were the most formidable opponents – and no-one came out of Anfield with a 2-0 win.
After Smith’s header put us one nil up, time raced by, until Steve McMahon signaled to his team that only one minute remained. But then Mickey Thomas broke through and it was suddenly “Up for grabs, now!”
Arsenal – the team for every day of the week!
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