1992-93 A Whole New Ball Game

It’s the season of change on this episode’s Alive and Kicking as Ash is joined once agin by journalist Matthew Crist and talkSPORT’s Matt Davies to discuss all things 1992-93. The boys chat through the birth of the Premier League and Sky’s pivotal role – including THAT advert. Along with Manchester United’s title win, Forest’s demise, Arsenal, The Champions League and a whole load more. Plus there’s an interview with one of the decades most recognisable broadcasters Matt Lorezno and the guests also become the first to join in a new feature by naming two of the 90’s most obscure footballers! #Keepit90s

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1991 – 92 The End Of An Era

Continuing the look back at each season of the 1990s, Ash is joined by radio DJ John Isherwood and journalist Matthew Crist to discuss all things 1991-92. In the last season before the birth of the Premier League the boys look back on the tussle at the top between Man Utd and eventual league winners Leeds, Liverpool’s FA Cup win and the returns of Kenny Dalglish and Kevin Keegan. There’s even time for chat on memorable kits, ITV’s The Match and Ash waxing lyrical about a famous QPR result that was pivotal in the story of the season. Plus there’s an excellent interview with former Man Utd and England defender Paul Parker. Keep it 90s!

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1990-91- The beginning of the decade

Alive and Kicking begins a new series with a look back at each season of the 1990s, beginning with 1990-91. Ash is joined by Arsenal fan and author of ‘Stuck On You’ Greg Landsdowne as the pair chat through the Gunners championship winning campaign, look back at the famous 21-man brawl at Old Trafford and talk Gazza, Cup Winners Cup and even Jozef Venglos. There’s even room for some reminiscing about Pro Set Cards too. All that, plus Ash speaks to former Nottingham Forest defender Steve Chettle about the 91 Cup Final, Brian Clough and someone who he thinks could have been ‘The English Lionel Messi’. Keep it 90s!

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During the break

Ash Rose is once again joined by show regular Joel Young and the pair chat through the best and worst football adverts from the 1990s. From sports drinks to cereals, fast food to new boots, if there was an advert with a football connection in the 90s the boys have it covered. Also chatting on the phone to Ash is former Aston Villa and Tranmere defender Shaun Teale, as he talks Big Ron, League Cup success and playing in Hong Kong during the decade.
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Cashing in on potential XI

On a recent episode of Alive and Kicking, host Ash Rose and guest Sid Lambert came-up with their own particular XI’s. Using the lead character from Sid’s new book Cashing In as the lead, they both picked an eleven made-up of players who in the 1990s looked as though they were destined to become stars, but for one reason or another never fulfilled their potential.

So then in all their 1990 stickers glory is the two teams the guys picked. If you want to hear their reasons behind each choice, you can listen to the special episode here, which also includes a fascinating interview with 90s child prodigy Sonny Pike.

Sid Lambert XI

Goalkeeper; Richard Wright (Ipswich Town)

The 90s outstanding goalkeeper who’s promise at Ipswich earned him a big money move to Arsenal. Unfortunately he never made theta step up and became a perennial bench-warmer for rest of his career.

Right-back; Gary Charles (Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa)

A steady-eddie at Premier League level but was hotly-tipped to became an England regular in his early Forest days. It never happened, and despite a decent top-flight career gave into his demons once retired.

Sweeper; Chris Bart-Willams (Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest)

Seemed to be a jack of all trades in his time at Forest and Wednesday, hence he’s shoe-horned role at the back. A typically 90s name who starred for England’s U21’s but his never made the full grade internationally.

Central defender; Dean Blackwell (Wimbledon)

A name some may not remember but among Wimbledon’s crazy gang of the 90s Dean was seen in same vein as John Scales and Chris Perry. His mega money move never materialised and remained a Don for the vast majority of his career.

Left-back; John Harley (Chelsea)

A product of the Chelsea youth team (and someone Sid used to play football with), Jon broke through right at the end of the decade. However, his career stalled as he could never dislodge Graeme Le Saux or Celestine Babayaro from the number three slot.

Right midfield; Stuart Slater (West Ham United)

Hammers fans have fond memories of this tricky winger, namely for some impressive display in the FA Cup in the early 90s. His promise though was short-lived as injury slowed down his career and he never did recapture his early potential.

Centre midfield; Joe Parkinson (Everton)

One of Joe Royle’s ‘Dogs of War’ alongside Barry Horne in the Toffees central midfield, Joe was a proper combative midfielder. Won an FA Cup winners medal with Everton but a knee injury meant we never got to see the very best of him after that.

Centre midfield; Sasa Curcic (Bolton, Aston Villa)

The only foreign inclusion comes in the shape of Serbian (or then Yugoslavian) Sasa Curcic, who rocked up at Bolton in 1995 and bamboozled the Premier League. However, Sasa became more Ketsbia than Juninho after failed moves to Aston Villa and Crystal Palace and later went on to star in the Serbian Big Brother.

Left midfield; Ian Olney (Aston Villa)

Before there was Peter Crouch there was this gangly and unique looking forward in Villa’s early 90s line-up. He however, didn’t have that ‘great touch for a big man’ and despite become Oldham’s record signing in 1992, he quickly fell away from the game and today is a financial advisor.

Striker; Daniel Dichio (QPR)

Readers of Match magazine may remember Dichio being the coolest kid on the block when he broke into the QPR team – thanks to his DJ skills. But on the pitch it all came to soon for ‘Daniele’. Thrown in the deep end after Les Ferdinand’s departure the striker couldn’t repeat the goal feats he found at youth level. His Italian roots did somehow get him a move to Sampdoria after Rangers though.

Striker; Francis Jeffers (Everton)

He may have had to live with the tag ‘fox in the box’ for the majority of his career but before that ill-fated move to Highbury, Jeffers looked the real deal. Scoring 20 goals in his first 60 matches for the Toffees, many thought young Francis would be England’s next poacher supreme. Then came his move to Arsenal before a tour of world football that’s seen him play in Australia, Scotland and even Malta.

Ash Rose’s XI

Goalkeeper; Richard Wright (Ipswich Town)

The only player  picked by both Ash and Sid, Wright’s only competition came in the lesser renowned shape of Paul Gerrard and Steve Simonsen. Unbelievably still on Manchester City’s books as a their last resort choice for goalkeeper.

Right-back; Rob Jones (Liverpool)

Still highly regarded by Liverpool fans and someone who if it weren’t for injury could have gone on to rival Gary Neville for England’s right-back spot. Made his international debut the same night as Alan Shearer, but back and knee problems meant he never built on his early promise and won just seven further caps for the Three Lions.

Central defender; Paul Lake (Manchester City)

A somewhat City darling of the late 1980s who was seen as one the brightest products to ever come out of their youth team. Able to play in defence and midfield, Lake was an U21 international by the time the 90s rolled around but then suffered a ACL injury that he never recovered from and retired in 1994.

Central defender; Stuart Nethercott (Tottenham Hotspur)

Not an obvious name and he just edged out Ricky Scimeca in a position where youngsters didn’t flourish in the 90s. Nethercott was once seen as the potential long-term replacement for Gary Mabbutt and earned international recognition at U21 level as well as playing over 50 Premier League games for Spurs. However, Stuart – a Merlin sticker favourite – never kicked-on and with Sol Campbell breaking through was sold to Millwall in 1998.

Left-back; Danny Granville (Chelsea)

Chelsea’s left-back position was an embarrassment of riches in the 90s, we’ve already mentioned Jon Harley, but Danny was another youngster who vied for that spot during the decade. Signed from Cambridge with high-hopes, Granville was never given a fair run in the side – despite playing in the 1998 Cup Winners Cup Final. With Le Saux and Babayaro ahead of him, he went on to Leeds in 1998 and later Crystal Palace.

Right wing; Darren Eadie (Norwich City, Leicester City)

One of FourFourTwo magazines first ever players to feature in their ‘Boys A Bit Special’ section, Eadie was seen as one of the Canaries most popular players of the late 90s. Darren had the ability to play anywhere across midfield and had an keen eye for goal. Something which earned him 7 U21 caps and a call-up to the England squad for 1997’s Le Tournoi. A move to Leicester in 1999 was meant to the next step for Eadie but injury curtailed his spell and was forced to retire after just 40 appearances.

Central midfield; Darren Caskey (Tottenham Hotspur)

In Merlin’s first ever Premier League sticker album, Caskey was highlighted in the collections ‘Stars of Tomorrow’ section; looking resplendent in a classic England away kit of the time. The midfielder captained the famous U18 side that won the Euros in 1992 and was expected to go on and do the same at White Hart Lane. it didn’t go down like that and after never fulfilling his potential at Spurs went on to play for Reading and Notts County.

Central midfield; Ian Selly (Arsenal)

Made his Gunners debut aged 18 and was the youngest player on the field when Arsenal beat Parma to win the Cup Winners Cup in 1994. At that point the future looked bright for the central midfielder, until a cruel leg-break became the beginning of the end. He played just one further game in North London before being sold to Fulham and never recapturing that early glory.

Left wing; Lee Sharpe (Manchester United, Leeds United)

Alongside Ryan Giggs in Man Utd’s early 90s breakthrough, Sharpe became one of football’s first pin-ups. Signed from Torquay, his electric pace and pop-star looks saw him fast-tracked to United’s first team and his corner-flag shimmy was soon all the rage. Lee though, unlike his United team-mate fell fail to the bright lights and instead of filling the void on England’s left flank during the 90s (he won just 8 caps), he instead was filling up his score-cards of his own. Moved to Leeds in 1996 and later had spells at Sampdoria and Bradford.

Striker; Danny Cadamarteri (Everton)

There’s not many better ways of announcing yourself into the first team then scoring a winner in a Merseyside derby. That’s exactly what Cadamarteri did in once of his early appearances for The Toffees, but it was something of a false dawn for the striker. Despite looking like he had all the tools to become an Everton regular, he managed just 15 goals in four seasons for the club and after some scrapings with the law over assault charges was released in 2001.

Striker; Julian Joachim (Leicester City, Aston Villa)

Few players were quicker and more explosive in the early 1990s than Leicester’s Julian Joachim. Having impressed in the First Division as the Foxes achieved promotion, Joachim was on target with the club’s first-ever Premier League goal at the start of 1994-95 season. His speedy displays were enough to convince Aston Villa to sign him a year later, but Julian never settled on a larger platform and was eventually moved to the wing and then sent to Coventry – literally.

 

Sid Lambert’s excellent new book ‘Cashing In’ is available now. Don’t forget you can listen to Alive and Kicking across all podcast platforms and subscribe on iTunes here. #Keepit90s 

Tied to 90s

For the first show of 2017, Ash Rose is joined by AK90s regular Joel Young to discuss a list of things that are quintessentially 90s. So get ready for a look back at long-forgotten cups, toys that summed-up the decade and TV coverage that could only come from the 1990s. We are also joined on the phone by former ITV anchor Elton Welsby who talks about his time covering football and shares some memories of the late Graham Taylor. Keep it 90s!

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Stripped Down

We’re back for a Christmas treat – a new episode full of 90s football goodness. Ash is joined by acclaimed kit expert John Devlin as the pair countdown their top five football kits from the 1990s. With some surprise choices from each! We also chat to former West Ham and Man City midfielder Ian Bishop on the phone. Enjoy this festive piece of 1990s football nostalgia!

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Cashing In On Potential

With Christmas presents in mind, Ash is joined by author Sid Lambert to talk about his new novel centred around football in the 1990s, Cashing In. Taking inspiration from the theme, the boys then pick their individual XI’s of young players from the 90s who never quite made the grade. So get ready for lots of talk about Darren Caskey, Chris Bart-Williams, Rob Jones and many more. There’s also a fascinating interview with 1990s prodigy Sonny Pike, who tells us what it was like to be signed by Ajax before he was 10 years old. #Keepit90s

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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

Top of the Football Pops

The gang get their walkmans out and reminisce about the best and the very worst of football inspired music of the 1990s. Join Ash Rose, ITV’s Joel Young, Graham Large of Media 73 and Radio Yorkshire’s John Isherwood as they chat everything from World in Motion to Andy Cole’s Outstanding. There’s also a interview with former England and Villa star Tony Daley.

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TV and Football

The boys flip the theme from last week by looking at football inspired TV shows, films and adverts. Ash Rose is joined by regular ITV’s Joel Young, James Andrew from the Daily Mail and part of The Football Republic Neil Smythe to discuss the plethora of footy on TV in the 90s. What’s more there are TWO interviews, with Dream Team’s ‘Sean Hocknell’ aka Daymon Britton and former Liverpool winger David Thompson.

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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.