Stuck On You – Podcast

Got, got, got…..NEED! Yes, this week we take another look at stickers and collectibles in the 1990s – a golden era for collectors! Ash Rose is joined by regular Joel Young and author of ‘Stuck On You’ Greg Lansdowne, ahead of this ITV4 documentary of the same name airing next week. The boys chat through the early 90s days of Panini, the rise of Merlin and their Premier League collections plus Pro Set, Pro Match, Orbis, Upper Deck and loads loads more. There’s also an interview with former Man City and Sunderland goalie Tony Coton. Stick with us and don’t be swapping for any other 90s podcast….and of course Keep it 90s!

Find us online at http://www.ak90s.co.uk on twitter @AK90s and facebook https://www.facebook.com/ak90s

Find us on socials at Twitter, Facebook or subscribe via iTunes

I really rated him – Podcast

The AK90s team return with another XI, as they try and cobble together the most underrated players of the 1990s. Host Ash Rose is joined by regulars Joel Young and Sid Lambert as they each pick an XI of who they consider the decade’s most underrated footballers. Don’t agree? Why not play along and send us your own XI of who you think should have made the cut. We are also joined on the line by former Sheffield Wednesday and England midfielder Carlton Palmer, who chats about his new book, life under Big Ron and Graham Taylor’s England. #Keepit90s

Find us online at http://www.ak90s.co.uk on twitter @AK90s and facebook https://www.facebook.com/ak90s

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Into the Dragon’s Lair! – Podcast

It’s been twenty years since Sky One introduced Dream Team into our lives! So to celebrate this milestone of the best football-based soap that there’s ever been, we look back on Harchester United and all its glory! Ash Rose is joined by regulars Joel Young and Simon Needle (as well as a little assistance from @DieHardDT) as they relive the show’s very episode and then chat through the highs and lows of the Dragons. Talking Boardroom naughtiness, cup final shootings and the very many famous faces that made their name in Harchester. Plus, we’re joined on the phone by the one and only Luis Amor Rodriguez, aka actor Martin Crews. #Keepit90s

Find us online at http://www.ak90s.co.uk on twitter @AK90s and facebook https://www.facebook.com/ak90s

Find us on socials at Twitter, Facebook or subscribe via iTunes

1998-99 The Treble – Podcast

We’ve reached the end of the countdown, looking back at the 1990s season-by-season with the 1998-99 campaign. Host Ash Rose is joined by journalist and Man Utd fan Matthew Crist to relive the glorious treble as well as BBC journalist and author Cris Slegg who talks to us about Spurs roller-coaster of a season. Plus there’s chat on Di Canio’s push, Hoddle’s sacking and two more names from the past go into the 90s Players That Time Forgot vault. On the phone former Portsmouth, Spurs and England star Darren Anderton has a natter with Ash about FA Cups, Worthington Cups and major tournaments. #Keepit90s

Find us online at http://www.ak90s.co.uk on twitter @AK90s and facebook https://www.facebook.com/ak90s

Find us on socials at Twitter, Facebook or subscribe via iTunes

1997-98 Wenger’s Wonders – Podcast

It’s the penultimate episode in our season-by-season countdown of the 1990s as we delve into 1997-98 and took at two ends of the table. Joining host Ash Rose to talk all things Arsenal in a memorable double-winning season is author and journalist Chas Newkey-Burden, while at the other end director and podcaster with Filmmakers Pod, Giles Alderson recalls Barnsley’s Premier League campaign. There’s also chat on Tino Aprilla’s hat-trick, Roy Keane’s injury and lots of Dennis Bergkamp. Plus giving us an inside view on the Tykes, Ash chats to former Barnsley defender Nicky Eaden on the blower. #Keepit90s

Find us online at http://www.ak90s.co.uk on twitter @ak90s and facebook https://www.facebook.com/ak90s
A West Twelve Media Production

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1996-97 Bonkers Boro – Podcast

Back once again like a renegade master and back with our season-by-season countdown as we focus on the bonkers season that was 1996-97. None more so than at The Riverside so it’s only right that Ash Rose is joined by AK90s resident Joel Young to talk all things Boro as well as debutant Simon Needle who relives yet another glory laden season for Man Utd. The boys also chat through Arsene Who? Sean Bean adverts and Keegan’s last hurrah….which puts Joel firmly on his soapbox. Plus on the phone former Newcastle assistant manager and Liverpool hero Terry McDermott chats to Ash about his time with the Toon Army during the decade. #Keepit90s

Find us online at http://www.ak90s.co.uk on twitter @ak90s and facebook https://www.facebook.com/ak90s
A West Twelve Media Production

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When Ash met Alexi – Podcast

Alive and Kicking celebrates it’s milestone 50th episode with a very special show, as host Ash Rose goes one-on-one with 90s icon Alexi Lalas. The pair chat about Alexi’s early career in the US, through international recognition and then the 1994 World Cup when he exploded onto the scene – and of course THAT kit. There’s also memories of his time in Italy, he’s musical career and his memorable Fantasy Football League appearance with Baddiel and Skinner. There’s also time for some Q&A’s and some gushing thank you’s as AK90s hits the big 50! Keep it 90s!

Find us online at http://www.ak90s.co.uk on twitter @ak90s and facebook https://www.facebook.com/ak90s
A West Twelve Media Production

Find us on socials at Twitter, Facebook or subscribe via iTunes

1995-96 I’d Love it – Podcast

We resume our season-by-season countdown of the 90s with a look back at the 1995-96 campaign. This was a season dominated by the epic title battle between Manchester United and Newcastle United and we have a voice from each as Ash is joined by journalist Matthew Chris and the man behind the Championship Manager blog David Black. As well as Keegan, Ferguson, Anfield and all that, the boys also chat through the stellar set of signings who joined the Premier League that year as well as Gazza’s move to Scotland and yet more memories of Euro 96. Plus there’s an interview with former Blackburn, Newcastle and Bolton man Scott Sellars. Keep it 90s!

Find us online at http://www.ak90s.co.uk on twitter @ak90s and facebook https://www.facebook.com/ak90s
A West Twelve Media Production

Find us on socials at Twitter, Facebook or subscribe via iTunes

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40 signs you preferred football in the 1990s

40 Signs you preferred football in the 1990s….

1

You still believe that 4-4-2, and 3-5-2 are the most functional formations. Seeing a team come on to the pitch without a striker in a ‘false 9’ is basically your idea of hell.

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2

To you Alan Hansen was on the only pundit who made some actual sense – despite his famous ‘You won’t win anything with kids’ quip. Even Trevor Brooking seemed more knowledgeable than some of today’s tired lot.

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3

You’re adamant no one can quite commentate on a game like Brian Moore, Barry Davies or Tony Gubba. While John Motson isn’t nowhere as good as he used to be.

BBC sports presenters John Motson (left) and Barry Davies hold up a plastic copy of the coveted World Cup during a photocall in London today (Thursday) to promote the BBC's coverage of the forthcoming event, 'The World Cup Experience.' Photo by John Stillwell/PA

 

4

When you hear Ronaldo, your first reference is the phenomenon who played for Brazil. R9, not CR7.

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5

Despite playing for six Premier League clubs and winning 18 England caps, you still think of Scott Parker as that boy in the McDonalds advert.

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6

Even though it’s not accepted anymore, you can’t waive the undying urge to collect Premier League stickers in 2016. However, you’re quids-in when it’s tournament time and everyone else is doing it.

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7

Your Christmas isn’t complete without someone buying you the Shoot Annual. Even if you only open it once on Boxing Day.

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8

You think today’s football kits are just too boring. What happened to the ‘bruised bananas’ and tiger print? Why does it feel like all the clubs have the same kit, just in different colours?

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9

Even though it’s one the most defensive tournaments ever, you can’t be swayed by saying how Italia 90 was the best ever World Cup. Only USA 94 comes close.
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10

You have no problem seeing a two-footed challenge, after all you were quite happy in an era that included Vinnie Jones and Terry Hurlock.

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11

Friday Night Games are just plain wrong. Monday Night Football is where it’s at, even if you miss the cheerleaders and dancing Sumo wrestlers.

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12

The only matchday shirt you ever consider wearing is your replica away shirt from 1994. None of this ‘retro range’ knock-offs, the real thing – even if it’s a bit snug.

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13

Blackburn, Leeds, Coventry all still feel like top-flight clubs to you, even if it’s been years since all three were top-tier teams.

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14

You’re still trying to recreate Rene Higuita’s Scorpion Kick whenever you’re put in goal. That moment will come.

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15

For you the FA Cup Semi-Finals being played at Wembley is sacrilegious; it should always be only the final.

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16

Talking of Wembley, you much prefer the twin towers stadium to that arch. Who cares if the toilets were a mess and there were 20,000 less seats.

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17

You know that the reason the Europa League is seen as such a secondary tournament is because they got rid of the Cup winners Cup. True Thursday football.

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18

FIFA was so much more fun when you could foul the keeper, and play with the EA All Stars. Ken Law, was a superstar.

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19

You still say CHAMPIONSHIP Manager or ‘Champs’. Not Football Manager, even if it’s the same game.

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20

Young players getting England caps after three good months seems ridiculous, when you recall how long Alan Shearer had to wait.

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21

All players should wearing black boots, and they should be Predator’s, Tiempos or Puma Kings. Coloured boots are what Valsport should be blamed for.

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22

You shouldn’t treat the League Cup with distain; you should bring back the Zenith Data Systems Cup.

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23

Whenever you see a player make an almighty gaffe you are still sure it will end up on the next Danny Baker VHS.

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24

League Ladders are a must at the start of every season, and it has to be the ones from Match magazine.

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25

You think it should be compulsory for teams to record FA Final songs, no matter how bad they are. Where would be without ‘Blue Day’ and ‘C’mon You Reds’.

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26

Whenever you see someone in a bad suit, you compare it to the cream threads worn by Liverpool at the 1996 FA Cup Final.

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27

Coke-a-Cola, Rumbelows and Worthington seem to roll-off the tounge better than Capital One when talking about the League Cup.

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28

You haven’t made it until you’ve been made into a Corinthian Football Figure. That’s the dream.

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29

No one needed Sky Sports News when we had Clubcall for every team in the Football League.

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30

The days of waiting for Teletext to turn to the page your team’s score on seems so much more of achievement than just checking Twitter.

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31

‘Do I Not Like That’ is still a very much an important part of your vocabulary.

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32

For you, all European football coverage should involve James Richardson outside a café.

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33

Every time you see Carla from Coronation Street you shout ‘Lynda’ in a fake Spanish accent at the screen. Harchester is a real place after all. Go Dragons!

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34

Kicking a drinks can (preferably Lucozade) into a bin is better than any skill you’ve seen anyone do on a football pitch.

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35

You still proudly own football Pogs and any World Cup coin collection. Is there anything more 90s than Pogs?

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36

Whenever football stats are relayed to you, you have to point and chant ‘Statto, Statto’ at them as if Baddiel and Skinner were right next to you.

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37

The greatest rap of all time is John Barnes on World in Motion. Will Smith can only dream

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38

Match and Shoot are still better than any form of social media.

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39

You still drink out of a SMUG Mug, and you don’t care who knows it.

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40

And above all else no one in sports broadcasting is or will ever be as cool as the oracle Des Lynam.

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For more 90s football nostalgia, check out our podcast on that subject, Alive and Kicking; The 90s Football Podcast. You can also follow us on Twitter

Football and TV

This week the guys look back at what football coverage was like in the 1990s, and how it changed throughout the decade. Join Ash Rose and guests Chelsea regular Paddy O’Sullivan and Grimsby fan Paul Benson as they chat through everything from Elton Welsby to Thursday nights on Channel 5. Former Spurs, Pompey and one of the original Soccer AM crew Gary Stevens is on the phone too.

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Team of the 90; Defenders

Continuing our countdown towards picking the AK90s team of the 90s, this week’s podcast focused on the best defenders of the decade. Links can be found at the bottom of the page, so have a listen before we talk goalkeepers on Monday’s final show before the final XI is picked.

After some lengthy discussions on this weeks pod, we’ve shortlisted these ten defenders who we will pick from in 2015’s final pod. So as they say, in no particular order;

Tony Adams

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It’s quite hard to fathom just how much Tony Adams crammed into the 1990s, as he went from the blood and thunder hardman (or animal references elsewhere) to an articulate and accomplished captain for club and country. We like to concentrate on the good, and for Adams there was lots of it during the 90s. As Arsenal skipper he led them tot title glory under both George Graham in 1991, and Arsene Wenger seven years later. While as captain of his country he showed the world what a brilliant defender and leader he was at both Euro 96 and at the World Cup two years later. And his goal at Everton on the last day of the 1997-98 season was one of the decades most alluring images, and a classic bit of Martin Tyler commentary.

Roberto Carlos and Cafu

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We’ve put these two together, because so much of what they did (certainly at international level) was as a tandem pair of marauding full-backs unlike we’d seen before. They changed the way full-backs approached the game, as more like wingers-turned-defenders than the out-and-out stoppers we’d be used too. Their gun-hoe approach saw them as permanent fixtures in the Brazil team, firstly Cafu was who part of the 1994 World Cup winning squad and then as a pair in the run to the final four years later. At club level thunder thighs (in every good sense of the term) Carlos began the Galactico trend at the Bernabeu, while the slightly more defensive Cafu spent time with Real Zaragoza and later in Serie A with Roma. Add in Carlos’ wordly free-kick at La Tournoi, the 90s would not have been the same without these guys.

Paolo Maldini

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Has there ever been a more calmer defender in the history of the game than Paolo Maldini. As discussed on this week’s show, the man never looked like he broke a sweat, let alone looked like he was in trouble on a football pitch. A one-club man, who played for AC Milan from 1985-2009 and rarely ever put a foot wrong. Equally dependable at both full-back and centre-back, he won five Champions League’s and seven Serie A titles during his time at Milan, while also winning 126 caps for his country – playing at Italia 90 and captaining The Azzuri at Euro 96. If defenders were carved from stone, then they would look and play like Paolo Maldini.

Stuart Pearce

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If you could choose one man to run through a brick wall for you and come out unscathed, that man would be Stuart ‘Psycho’ Pearce. The man everybody wanted in their team during the 90s, not only because for his blood, sweat and tears, but because he was a mighty fine defender who could take a mean free-kick too. He was the everyday man, an electrician by trade but who made it as a footballer and went on to represent Nottingham Forest and Newcastle in the 90s, where you can count the bad games he had on one hand. But easily the undying moment of Pearce’s career was the spot-kick celebration at Euro 96. Burying the ghosts of Turin six years earlier, his rallying cry once he’d buried the ball past Andoni Zubizarreta became one of football’s most iconic images.

Gary Neville

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Dependable, consistent, reliable pick any one of those words and each of them would be associated with Gary Neville. Part of the ‘Class of 92’ who took-up the less glamorous right-back spot, it’s a testament to Gary that few can instantly recall who played in that position for Man Utd before him, and in-turn how long it’s taken to replace him. A combination of a traditional defender, with an attacking streak used to often deadly effect, his partnership with David Beckham on United’s right flank was almost telepathic. An England regular ever since his debut for the Three Lions in 1995, he played at Euro 96 and at the World Cup in France, and hard to ever remember him putting a foot wrong in an international shirt (Paul Robinson may differ a decade on..ahem). It’s no surprise how well he’s done as a pundit, because he’s someone who has always had a amazing understanding of the game.

Ronald Koeman

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As England fans we can’t help to grimace and irrational shout ‘Do I Not Like That!’ whenever Ronald Koeman the player is mentioned. Putting his misdemeanour on David Platt aside, Koeman really was one of THE best defenders of the decade. Could play at centre-back or full-back, he was perhaps the unsung hero of a Dutch squad that boasted the likes of Gullit, Van Basten and Rijkaard but was equally as important. A expert a long-range passing and set pieces, it was his free-kick that won Barcelona their first ever European Cup at Wembley in 1992, as well as the goal that ended England’s USA 94 dream. Yes Brian he’s going to flick one, he did just that. We can forgive him though, just.

Marcel Desailly 

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There many world-class talents in the France squad that won the World Cup in 1998, and Marcel Desailly was one of the very best. A colossal of a defender who could also play equally as effectively in midfield, Marcel was the blueprint of the African powerhouses you see today. A Champions League winner at both Marseille and Milan, as well as double title winner in Serie A, Desailly finished the decade in England with Chelsea, and flourished in the infancy of the Stamford Bridge we know now. A role model for the likes of John Terry, who often cites the Frenchman as one of his biggest inspirations in his early days with the Blues.

Paul McGrath 

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Someone we failed to really talk about on this week’s show, (Tim Breaker disturbingly got more air time) but few can begrudge McGrath’s place on this list. He may have been robbed by his ability to train by the time the 90s rolled around, but it didn’t matter when he performed so well on it for Aston Villa. The only defender to be named PFA Player of the Year during the decade, it speaks volumes how respected Paul was by this fellow pros. Always seemed to be in the right place at the right time, he was part of the last truly great Villa team’s that went a within a whisker of winning the title in 1993 and won the League Cup a year later. At international level he’s seen as one of Ireland’s all-time greats and played at both Italia 90 and at USA 94 where he famously blocked a Roberto Baggio shot with his face. That was Paul McGrath.

Des Walker

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All you need to know about Des Walker is summed up in one chant ‘You’ll never beat Des Walker’ and that was certainly the case in the 90s. A somewhat forgotten name of the era, maybe only because it’s rare you see Walker these days, but for a portion of the early 90s there wasn’t many better than Des. An excellent reader of the game, Walker always knew where danger was and few ever got the better of him. He excelled for England at Italia 90 and was a key part of Brian Clough’s last era of success at Nottingham Forest. The spell at Sampdoria never really worked out – a shame as European notoriety was something Walker deserved – but came back to England to enjoy eight impressive seasons at Sheffield Wednesday.

Read our shortlists on top strikers and midfielders too!

To listen to Ash Rose and guests Ralph Welch, Martin Gritton and Matt Wing talk through the decades best* defenders you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or listen here. Don’t forget to have your say on Twitter too, and tells us who’d make your back four in a 90s dream XI.bak

 

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Team of the 90s; Midfielders

Following on from our strikers show and post, on this weeks pod the team discussed the best midfielders of the 90s ahead of the ‘Team of the 90s’ pod on 21 December. Links can be found at the bottom of the page, so have a listen before we talk defenders and goalkeepers over the next two AK90s shows.

After some lengthy discussions on this weeks pod, we’ve shortlisted these eight midfielders who will pick from in 2015’s final pod. So as they say, in no particular order;

Ryan Giggs 

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There is no footballer who has spanned as many decades as Ryan Giggs. The man is a one-off, the most decorated British player of all time, and it all began in the 1990s. The Giggs of the 90s was perhaps the most exciting and flamboyant version of the Welshman we saw, as a fresh-faced out-and-out winger who became football’s first mainstream superstar. Giggsy was one of those players that lifted you out of your seat as soon as he got the ball, his quick feet, raw pace and ability to shame defenders in one movement saw him as integral part of Manchester United’s dominance throughout the decade, topped off by THAT goal in the 1999 FA Cup Semi Final.

Patrick Vieira 

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When this tall, gangly unknown Frenchman (technically Senegalese)  arrived at Arsenal in 1996 along with Remi Garde, few eyebrows were raised in his direction. However by the end of his nine-year stint in North London, the Gunners had been privileged to see one of their best ever midfielders, and the first in a new breed of footballer we saw in the late 90s. Vieira was the complete footballer, he could pass, tackle, score goals and dictate games in a a way Arsenal still lack today. His partnership with Emmanuel Petit brought double success at Highbury and World Cup glory with France, while his battles with this next guy was one the decades most fascinating rivalries…

Roy Keane 

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The heartbeat of Manchester United throughout the decade, Keane was the man every team wanted to have in their team when they went into battle. Keano began the decade as more an attacking midfielder with Nottingham Forest before his then record transfer to Old Trafford saw a more rounded midfielder emerge. As a driving force through the middle, Keane could do it all and his performance in Turin during United’s Champions League semi-final of 99 was one the 90s finest individual performances. The less said about Alfe-Inge Haaland the better though – oh and prawn sandwiches.

Zinedine Zidane 

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A once in a lifetime player who by the end of his career was been spoken about in the same breath as the likes of Pele, Maradona and Cruyff. A footballer of pure elegance who used to glide around a football pitch, while the ball just stuck to his mercurial adidas Predators. At France 98 he quite literally led the hosts to the final (minus the suspension for the mean streak that would rear it’s head on the most public of occasions), scoring two goals in the memorable win over Brazil in the final. His vision, his touch and his ability to score vital and often sensational goals, makes him not just one of 90s best, but one of the very best ever.

David Beckham 

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Becks may only really have made his name at the back end of the decade, but as we’ve learnt with him subsequently he knows how to do just that. It was the opening day of the 1996-97 season that Beckham announced his real arrival, with his halfway-line strike against Wimbledon and the fairytale career bloomed from there. As Cantona left, Becks became United’s new number seven and a key component in the great late nineties side that ultimately ended in treble glory. A crosser of the ball like no other before or since, even his infamous red card at France 98 can’t take away the impact on and off (Posh and Becks were born in 1998) the pitch David Beckham had in the latter part of the 1990s.

Paul Gascoigne 

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As we’ve said quite regularly on the podcast, Paul Gascoigne pretty much was the 1990s in football. From the moment he Cruyff-turned the Dutch defence at Italia 90, through injuries, Colin Hendry flicks, and spells in Italy and Scotland, the decade was dominated by Gazza. And rightfully so too, as behind the controversy was one of England’s greatest ever footballers. For a man of his stocky build, Gazza was so nimble, so quick and had the ability to bamboozle defenders on a football pitch like no other. He may have been ‘daft as a brush’, but between the burping at reporters and Fog on the Tyne was moments that have gone down in football folklore. Ask any fellow pro who’s played with him, and tell you the same thing; he’s the best they’ve ever shared a pitch with. Perhaps the biggest compliment of all.

David Ginola 

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Perhaps a surprise name on this list, but Ginola has become a symbol of the changing face of football throughout the 1990s. As the Premier League opened its doors to an influx of foreign names throughout the decade, David Ginola was easily one the most successful. As part of Newcastle’s irresistibly entertaining side under Kevin Keegan, Ginola went within a whisker of becoming a title winner, before moving to White Hart Lane in 1997. Here, he formed an unlikely alliance with George Graham and became the new darling of the Lane, with his undoubted charisma and skill lighting-up North London and winning him the 1999 PFA Player of the Year award ahead of United’s treble heroes.

Lothar Matthaus 

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Maybe not as highly regarded in this country, due to him never playing in England and the rarity of foreign coverage in the early 90s, but there’s no doubting what a world-class footballer Matthaus was. A real leader, who did the simple things in midfield, but was also capable of scoring some outstanding goals. The decade saw him captain his country to World Cup glory in 1990, as well as a glut of trophies for Inter Milan and Bayern Munich. He would finish his career with 150 caps for his country, and as one of Germany’s best ever players.

To listen to Ash Rose and guests Sachin Nakrani, Andy Rockall and Josh Landy talk through the decades best midfielders, you can subscribe to the pod on iTunes or listen here. Don’t forget you have your say on Twitter to, tell us who you would have up front in your dream 90s XI.

The Forgotten Tournament

Ash is joined by Paddy O’Sullivan, Ralph Welch and David Spencer as they look back at Euro 92 – the 90s forgotten tournament. At the other end of the decade, they are also joined on the phone by former Preston and Sunderland winger Kevin Kilbane.

A West Twelve Media and Burble Media production sponsored by Classic Football Shirts

Bets, Drugs and Naughty bank rolls

This week Ash is joined by Joel Young, Ralph Welch and Rob Gallagher as they look back at the biggest football scandals of the 90s. Plus there’s a top interview with former Coventry defender David Busst – whose injury was one of the most iconic of the decade.

A West Twelve Media and Burble Media production sponsored by Classic Football Shirts http://ift.tt/1pnmE1v

Whatever Happened To Rumbleows!

Welcome to another edition of Alive and Kicking! Today we talk league cup finals, Matt Le Tissier, Aston Villa and have an exclusive interview with 90’s Legend Nigel Jemson! Ash is joined in the studio by Andrew Raeburn, Jack Hussey and Rob Gallagher.

A West Twelve Media and Burble Media production

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Denim Delight

Every decade can be determined by it’s fashion and style; the 70s had big hair and flares, the 80s flock of seagulls while the 90s is remembered for changing colour t-shirts and curtains across your forehead. Each of these changing fashions can also be said of football kits throughout the years as well, with each style mirroring the decade it’s created from. None more so than the 1990s, where as we discussed on this weeks podcast, football kit manufacturers threw the rulebooks out the window in what is remembered as a truly iconic era of football kits.

From the ‘bruised banana’ at Highbury to the ‘refreshers kit’ England suffered at Euro 96, the 90s represented a true golden era for kit design – whether you think it was a good or bad thing. And one of the decades most decorated kits, for all the right reasons and just as much as the for the wrong ones is the USA’s 1994 away kit.

Launched for the first ever World Cup on North American shores, the USA’s change kit of 1994 is unique as much as it’s a beautiful part of football kit history. Thundering ahead in true patriotic glory, the shirt is decked-out in traditional red, white and blue and topped off with a glut of huge white stars from old glory, to produce a shirt that Uncle Sam would be truly proud of.

However the stand-out design feature of this truly memorable shirt is the shade of blue used. Years before 90s girl band B*Witched made it their trademark, the 1994 USA team took to the biggest stage in football wearing a football ‘jersey’ made-up from a tone of blue that was called, and was quite clearly based on denim. It had never been seen on a football shirt before (and has never been repeated, despite calls for a retro re-make from Nike last summer), but adidas gave the world it’s first ever sports attire that looked like it was taken from the latest Levis advert – no wonder it suited Alexi Lalas so much.

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The Americans wore it for all three group games during that brilliant World Cup in 1994, with 90s names such as Eric Wynalda, John Harkes and Roy Wegerle donning the denim delight. How they didn’t melt in the American heat I’ll never know, because I currently own this very shirt, and let me tell you the material is so thick it might as well have been made out of a pair of 501s. Even so, the kit and a rampant home crowd saw the USA reach the second round that summer, before eventual winners Brazil ended their colourful journey.

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The shirt still remains my favourite football kit ever produced, just down to it’s originality and a symbol of not just a nation over the moon to be hosting a World Cup, but how fun and different football kits used to be. How I long denim induced football strips rather than the wrath of templates we seem to get in today’s market.

 

On this weeks podcast we speak 90s football kits, including the 1994 USA kit. Join myself, kit oracle John Devlin, sponsor expert Liam Matthewman and Buzz Feed’s king of football quizzes Richard Beech on the homepage or subscribe on iTunes. 

 

 

 

All Kitted Out

Welcome back to Alive and Kicking! Ash Rose is joined in the studio by Scotland fan John Devlin, Bristol Rovers fan Richard Beach and Arsenal fan Liam Matthewman. The boys talk great players, classic kit sponsors and becoming a man. We also have an excellent interview with Sheffield Wednesday legend with Ritchie Humphreys! A West Twelve Media and Burble Media production

http://www.ak90s.co.uk

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Middlesbrough’s Messi

One phrase you’ll hear us bang on and on about over the season is how the 90s was ‘the decade that changed football’.  You’ll probably get sick of it by the time we reach the podcast’s run, but however many times we repeat it, the phrase will fail to become any less truthful. The reasons are plentiful too, whether it’s Sky TV, the Premier League, Italia 90 or Jean-Marc Bosman. However, one of the biggest reasons is the calibre of footballer that we first got to enjoy in the 1990s. The names read like a who’s-who of 90s football; Klinsmann, Cantona, Zola, Bergkamp and of course one Osvaldo Giroldo Júnior, or Juninho as we know him better.

When it comes to players that changed how the Premier League was perceived, for some reason Juninho is one that seems to get overlooked. Whether it’s because he signed for ‘lesser’ club at the time, or because he was just so god-dam nice, not enough credit is given to the Brazilian who took Teeside to his heart. In fact it’s the club he signed for, not once but THREE times that makes him so crucial to how the league changed in the proceeding years. Back then it was one thing for the well established clubs to bring a player such of Juninho’s calibre to the shiny new Premier League, but Middlesbrough? It paved the way for less glamours clubs to bring in names they never thought possible before ‘The Little Fella’ turned up at the Riverside – including Boro themselves who later signed Ravanelli, Emerson and Boksic.

However it just wasn’t the legacy he left for clubs like Middlesbrough that makes him such a important name in 90s football. But also the joy he brought onto the pitch for both fans of Bryan Robson’s men, and Premier League supporters alike.

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From the moment he arrived in England, to be greeted by a packed Riverside and serenaded by a ‘local’ Samba band, Juninho lit up the Premier League like very few Brazilian’s ever have. Of course us England fans had got a taster of his talent in that summer’s Umbro Cup with his goal against Terry Venables’ team (assisted by Robson, nice scouting Bry!), and it would be goals and performances like that we would become a custom to over the following eighteen months.

On his debut against Leeds in he set-up an equaliser for Jan Åge Fjørtoft, and would go on to score memorable goals against Arsenal and Chelsea that season before Middlesbrough’s roller-coaster of a 1996-97 campaign. Here Juninho, now wearing the number 10 shirt, dazzled and delighted the Riverside, aided by his countrymen Emerson and Blanco as well as the White Feather. Stand-out goals against Sheffield Wednesday and Hereford are well remembered, as he helped Boro reach both Cup Finals only to end in double heartbreak for the Brazilian.

Perhaps what was most memorable about Juninho, is just how much this unlikely union of Brazilian playmaker and unfashionable Middlesbrough meant to the player. Stories of him playing football with kids in the street are of plenty, but the the iconic image of him balling his eyes out at Elland Road as Boro’s season ended in relegation is one the decades most memorable moments – and evidence of how he’d fallen under the Boro’s charms.

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On our first podcast we spoke to the man who cruelly struck the blow that led to Juninho’s tears, Brian Deane – and who later played with the Brazilian during his second spell on Teeside. Deane described the midfielder as being in the same mould as Lionel Messi, at least to Middlesbrough anyway, and it’s no surprise he has been voted as the clubs best ever player. Even if he was robbed of personal honours in 1997 ahead of Gianfrano Zola.

Juninho would go on to win a World Cup with Brazil in 2002, and finally a trophy with Boro during this third spell with club. But it’s his impact on the 1990s and affection for an unlikely club that makes him such an important and entertaining part of the decade we celebrate.

 

To hear even more about Juninho, listen to our first podcast as Boro fan Joel Young gives us a supporters view of the club’s very best. Available on the homepage or to download on iTunes. 

 

A Whole New Ball Game

Welcome to the first ever Alive and Kicking in the 90s! Ash Rose is joined in the studio by Middlesborough fan Joel Young and Chelsea fan Paddy O’Sullivan. The boys talk Des Lynam, classic kits and Gladiators. We are joined on the phone by Blasco Jr Goes and we have an excellent interview with the Premier League (Premiership)’s first ever goal scorer, Brian Deane!

A West Twelve Media and Burble Media production

http://www.ak90s.co.uk

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Sky Sports are Alive and Kicking

As you may have seen this week Sky Sports launched their advert for the forthcoming Premier League campaign. It features Thierry Henry cleverly dropped into some of the most memorable moments from the League’s past twenty-three years – including many from the 1990s. If you haven’t seen it yet, I’d advise you to check it out because it’s one of the channels best for many a year.

It got me thinking and reminiscing about their first ever Premier League advert ahead of the inaugural season in 1992-93 (to be honest, it doesn’t take a lot for my mind to drift back to then anyway). Of course back then there was none of this high-tech tomfoolery of a current pundit reliving Fergie’s touchline dance or Keegan’s Anfield slump. No we had John Salako taking a shower, Anders Limpar getting breakfast in bed and Paul Stewart swanning around like he was the sixth member of New Kids On The Block. It sounds like a bad Alan Partridge pitch, but to be honest it was one of the most exciting advert’s of it’s era and echoed Sky’s slogan for that moment – a whole new ball game.

In between the memorable moments I’ve mentioned, the bulk of the advert is taken-up by at least one player from each of the twenty-two teams getting ready for the new season. This includes Vinnie Jones mucking around with a hairbrush, and Tony Daley showing off his glistening six-pack while lifting weights. All set to a backdrop of a song that has stayed for me for the rest of my life, and spurned a small brand in my portfolio of work.

‘Alive and Kicking’ by Simple Minds was the song chosen by Sky Sports to echo in this new era for football and the fledgling channel, and whoever made the final call on this deserves a bright coloured Richard Keys blazer for their efforts. As soon as I hear the first few bars of this wonderful ditty, I am transformed back to simpler time, a time when my only concern was football and my obsession with the beautiful game was in full swing. And by the time you get to the chorus and Jim Kerr is belting out the name of the song, I’m lost in a world of Gordon Strachan’s mullet, Darren Anderton doing sit-ups (yes, really) and a young Ash trying to spot Andy Sinton and the QPR badge every time the advert came on the telly.

It’s an advert that can evoke a feeling like no other can, and was why I chose the title of the song as the title of my book – and now subsequent podcast. Actually one of my favourite memories of writing the book was  kindly receiving the image from Sky Sports that accompanied this advert to use in the title. I hadn’t seen this picture for at least a decade, and the nostalgia almost got the better of me when opening that email for the very first time. That image now sits proudly as the cover picture on both our Twitter and Facebook accounts, as that picture and advert sums up the the beginning of the big changes we saw within football during the 1990s.

So for old times sake – and because we’ll be discussing this advert on our first pod next month – take yourself back and watch the advert all over again. Thierry and Sky Sports may have all the high-tech glitz and glamour in 2015, but give me Simple Minds and Sky’s 1992 dream team any day of the week.

‘Ba da da dah dah dah, ba ba dah dah,……’