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.

Bring Back The Cup Winners Cup

The boys go all continental this week as they discuss famous European nights of the 90s. Ash is joined by Norwich fan Donald Parish, Man Utd supporter Billy Robertson and Gooner Scott Tweed. Former Leeds and Norwich ace Jon Newsome is on the phone too.

A West Twelve Media and Burble Media production sponsored by Classic Football Shirts http://ift.tt/1pnmE1

 

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The Top 10 Greatest Goals of the 90s

10 David Platt

England v Belgium, 26 June 1990

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtqiBAg2biw

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 11.23.39We kick-off with a goal right at the start of the decade, where our football education begun, at Italia 90. This second round game between England and Belgium was seconds from going to a penalty shoot-out until Paul Gascoigne floated a free-kick into the box, which was met on a spinning volley with his back to goal from David Platt. Gary Lineker’s beaming face in the subsequent celebration bundle a lasting image from the game.

 

9 Eric Cantona

Manchester United v Sunderland, 21 December 1996

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1uOZbH2qNg

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 11.23.59Football is wonderful when just a goal can sum-up a maverick footballer like Eric Cantona. From the skill and strength of getting past two Sunderland defenders, the vision of the one-two with Brian McClair and the audacious chip finish. All topped off with a non-celebration that screamed ‘all in a days work mate’.

 

8 Tony Yeboah

Leeds United v Liverpool, 17 August 1995

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RK2aU9m4nW8

1960872762This goal was beaten to Goal of the Season by another Yeboah strike against Wimbledon weeks later, but we’ve plumped for this worldy that Sky continues to show to this day. Tony Dorigo’s ball was headed on by Rod Wallace, and the Ghanaian met it with an explosive volley that hit the underside of the ball and went in.

 

 

7 Matt Le Tissier

Blackburn v Southampton, 10 December 1994

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-bxrIoxg-w

Matt Le Tissier- Southampton v Newcastle United, 1993–94We could have done a whole countdown just of Matt’s goals alone, with both his strikes against Newcastle at the Dell missing out. However this goal is probably his best, a couple of jinx past the Rovers defence was followed by a thunderbolt from all of thirty yards into the top corner, and past best mate Tim Flowers.

 

6 David Beckham

Wimbledon v Manchester United, 14 August 1996

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_R3f5OW2mN4

Generated by IJG JPEG Library

Generated by IJG JPEG Library

A goal that an footballing icon was born out of, who knows how the David Beckham story would have gone if this goal hadn’t kick-started it all. The young Becks received the ball on the halfway line, took one look up and launched the ball down field and beyond a helpless Neil Sullivan. A goal so good it should have been a shoe-in for Goal of the Season, however……

 

5 Trevor Sinclair

QPR v Barnsley, 25 January 1997

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpXWKKOVQWs

sinclairpa_3148502kYes, it was this acrobatic effort from QPR’s Trevor Sinclair that beat Becks to Goal of the Season, and unbiased loyalties aside, rightfully so. John Spencer hooked the ball towards goal, and with his back to goal Sinclair met the ball with an overhead/bicycle kick from outside the box that looped over the Tykes keeper.

 

4 Michael Owen

England v Argentina, 30 June 1998

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPC6Yv3BPVY

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 11.26.09An 18 year-old with no fear, against one the world’s best on the grandest stage of them all. This was the summer the Michael Owen announced his arrival, with this mazy run past three Argentine defenders and the cool slamming the ball into the top corner. Paul Scholes never had a chance of getting that ball laid-off to him.

 

 

3 Ryan Giggs

Arsenal v Manchester United, 14 April 1999

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quI_LkMj4HI

giggsThe image Giggs chest-wig may be the more iconic image, but it remains because one of the all time FA Cup goals. In the closing seconds of this Semi-Final replay, Giggs took advantage of a misplaced pass from Patrick Vieria, to skip past four Arsenal defenders and then smash the ball past England’s number one.

 

2 Paul Gascoigne

England v Scotland, 15 June 1996

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0NT6aUwN8c

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 11.26.43The 90s was all about Gazza, and this goal was one his finest moments of the decade, during the glorious summer of Euro 96. From Steve McManaman’s through ball, Gascoigne flicks the ball over Colin Hendry’s head and then volleys the ball into the bottom corner. Followed by the now infamous, but brilliant dentist chair celebration. What a summer.

 

1 Dennis Bergkamp

Holland v Argentina, 4 July 1998

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsZkCFoqSBs

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 11.26.58We’ve overlooked Dennis’ stunning goals against Leicester and chosen this peach of skill as the decades’ finest goal. Frank de Boar launched a ball fully sixty yards down field, which Bergkamp controlled in one of the greatest first touches ever seen, then nut-megged Roberto Ayala with the next touch, and then calmly lifted the ball into the net. The greatest goal of the 90s, and so say of all us.

 

You can listen to @AshRoseUK and guests @SiRothstein, @DavidEFraser and @vsanger talk about the decades greatest goals on the latest podcast. They also joined by former Middleborough midfielder Craig Higgnett on the phone.

Follow us on Twitter @AK90S

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United all kitted out in the 90s

It’s fair to say that Manchester United dominated most of the 90s, what with their five title wins, three FA Cups and ‘that night in Barcelona’. However, another genre of the decade they dominated was the very attire they adorned on match day throughout the 90s – their classic and somewhat infamous kits by adidas and umbro. So on the eve of United’s reunion with the German brand for the first time since the early days of the decade we celebrate, I’ve picked out some of most memorable Red Devils kits from what was a truly high (or low, depending how on you view it) point for kit design – especially at Old Trafford.

 

Adidas away kit 1991/92

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Easily my favourite of the decade – and one featured in my book, available here – this purple/blue toned adidas number was made up of load of jagged shapes that looked like the top half of a maple leaf. This unique design was repeated in some of the training range, and is rumoured addias have bought it back for United’s third kit this forthcoming campaign.

 

Umbro third kit 1992/93

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The gold and green halves paid homage to Newton Heath the club Manchester United emerged from in the early 1900s, and it was a splendid colour combination. Topped off with the laced collar that was the pinnacle of kit design at the time.

 

Umbro away kit 1992/93

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Another highlight from United’s first Premier League title win was this all-blue number, worn on their travels. The shade of blue is very 70s United, but it was combined with a scratch like doodle effect that included the Red Devils crest. Imaginative design we fail to see in kits nowadays.

Umbro away kit 1993/94

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Pre 1990s, football teams didn’t wear black kits, it just wasn’t the correct thing to do seeing as it clashed with the referees attire. However, the refs move to a fancy aqua-green shirt meant all-black strips made a real impact in the 90s – and United were the first. Topped off with a yellow trim, and Cantona ready collar this was the definitive little black number of football.

Umbro away kit 1995/96

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The reason we rarely see grey football kits these days is this effort, which was made famous by United’s capitulation at the Dell in 1996. It was the fourth defeat for the Red Devils whilst wearing this kit, so Alex Ferguson demanded they changed at half-time whilst 3-0 down to Southampton. Apparently claiming his players couldn’t pick each other out against the crowd. Shame, I quite liked the design.

Special mention must go to the goalkeepers kits too, as modelled by Peter Schmeichel in the article’s header. 90s keepers kits were the craziest by far, and big Pete had to put up with more ludrious designs than most.

Make sure you listen to our August 17 pod, where we’ll be doing a special on all the classic kits of the 1990s, and will be joined by kit expert John Devlin of True Colours.