We Are The Champions

AK90s is back and celebrating the 1990s champions in all it’s glory! In a jam-packed show, Ash has all the winners covered and is joined by Freelance writer on Merseyside Richard Buxton, Photographer and Man Utd fan Matt Wing, freelance writer and Leeds supporter Vikram Sagnar and talking Blackburn BBC journalist John Harrison. Plus there’s former Arsenal midfielder and title winner David Hillier on the phone.

A West Twelve Media and JKR Media production

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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

Let The Battle Commence

On this week’s show we draw the battle-lines as we talk the biggest rivalries of the 90s. Ash is joined by Match of the Day magazine’s resident Geordie Matt Ketchell, Gooner and all things TNA wrestling Simon Rothstein and Shoot The Defence’s United fan Mike Pieri. The guys cover all the big clashes of the decade, and things get a little heated when Arsenal and Man Utd reminisce their 90s rivalry! There’s also top chat from Leicester legend Steve Walsh on the phone.

A West Twelve Media and JKR Media production

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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.

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Team of the 90s; The Strikers

You may have listened to our listened to our latest pod on Strikers this week – If you haven’t, you really should and links are at the end – well that is the first in a series of weeks where we’ll be discussing different positions that will ultimately lead to us picking our ‘Team of the 90s’. The planned ‘Team’ podcast is penciled in for 21 December’s pod, and before then we’ll have pods on Midfielders, Defenders and Goalkeepers where we’ll be discussing contenders and picking a shortlist of five to bring forward to the final pod.

After some lengthy discussions on this weeks pod, the guests unwittingly – as we’ve only since decided on the forthcoming team element – shortlisted these five strikers who will pick from in 2015’s final pod. So as they say, in no particular order;

 

Dennis Bergkamp

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 22.32.23Having already nabbed the AK90s ‘goal of the 90s’ gong (read here!) the non-flying Dutchman is a contender for team of the decade as well. He began the 90s at Inter Milan, but it was at Arsenal where Bergkamp not only became one of the best players in Europe at the time, but also one of the best to ever grace the Premier League. The 1997-98 double season was perhaps Dennis at his very, very best, as he scooped PFA Player of the Year and scored more memorable goals in one season than most do in a lifetime. However he left his crowning glory to THAT goal at World Cup 98. Not the typical striker in the 90s sense of the term, but more than worthy on this shortlist.

 

Ronaldo

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 22.32.50For anyone like us who lives the 1990s, then there really is only one Ronaldo. R9, ‘the phenomenon’ or Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, whatever you want to call him Ron was a bona fide superstar of the decade. Where as we’re used to the goal stats that a certain namesake now produces, the Brazilian was tallying them up at ridiculous speed long before anyone heard the name Cristiano. In his one season at Barcelona he notched 47 goals in 39 games, and was the true star of World Cup 98 (if you forget what happened in the final). A born goal-scorer and I quote from this weeks pod ‘If it weren’t for injuries, would have been talked about in the same breath as Pele and Maradona’.

 

Alan Shearer

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 16.28.33A man simply born to score goals, and lots of them – over and over again. I think thanks to Alan’s later day role as the bordering annoying Match of Day pundit, we forget just how bloody good Shearer was in his heyday. Twice a British record transfer holder (and once world), money was always well spent when it came to Alan Shearer. His goals and partnership with Chris Sutton led to title success with Blackburn in 1995, while his exploits at Euro 96 saw a record-breaking move back home to Newcastle – where he became the clubs record goal-scorer. His 260 Premier League goals record is unlikely to be beaten, and in an era of truly great English strikers Shearer was the very best.

 

Jürgen Klinsmann

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 16.29.15Perhaps not talked as much on the pod as perhaps he should have been – even if we did speak about old Jurgen during our transfers show back in episode three – there wasn’t much Klinsmann didn’t do successfully in the 1990s. The decade kicked-off with a World Cup winners medal at Italia 90, before becoming a key man in Inter’s Serie A charge. Somehow he was persuaded to join Spurs in 1994, and lit-up the Premier League in his solitary season picking up the FWA Player of the Year in the process. More international success was gained at Euro 96, before more goals and medals at Bayern Munich. An ice cool finisher, and one of the decades very best.

 

Gabriel Batistuta

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 16.29.45A legend in Florence and a scorer of 184 goals in 318 Serie A matches, ‘Batigol’ is the best striker Diego Maradonna has ever seen – that’s a direct quote too. Ok, so Diego is a little biased but that’s no discredit to Gabriel, who is still his country’s record goal-scorer with 56 Argentina goals to his name, a feat not even Lionel Messi has reached. Spent nine years with Fiorentina, even staying when they were relegated in 1993, and now has a bronze statue of himself in the clubs town. To this day possibly still underrated, but there’s no questioning his place on our final shortlist.

 

 

To listen to Ash Rose and guests Rob Gallagher, Peter Hunt and Xaiver Cantegreli talk through the decade’s very best strikers, you can download this weeks 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

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

Breaking News On Ceefax

It’s transfer deadline day and Ash Rose is joined in the studio by Spurs Fan Richard Claire, Arsenal Fan Natasha Henry and Newcastle Fan Matt Ketchell. The guys talk 90’s transfers, ClubCall, Ceefax,  arrogance, Tino Asprilla and Nicolas Anelka’s transfer fee. We also have an excellent interview with 90’s legend Paul Walsh! A West Twelve Media and Burble Media production http://www.ak90s.co.uk

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