The New Wembley Stadium has yet to craft its own legend. For all the improvements in convenience and safety modernity has brought about, one aspect feels lacking: the roar of the crowd. Whatever the cause, the dropping prestige of the FA Cup itself, a generous helping of corporate tickets in the allocation for the final or tepid atmospheres up and down the country in general, the sound emitting from either end of the Old Wembley used to be spine tingling in comparison.
As the teams emerge from the tunnel to kick off the 1979 final, the volume level is already deafening. Referees, players, and coaching staff are visibly giddy with excitement as the noise engulfs them. Before the match, though, protocol awaits. Charles, Prince of Wales, with a host of dignitaries in tow, has to be introduced to the players. As the entourage pass by the two sides, lined up to face each other, the players exchange quips like school boys behind their teacher’s back.
Any joviality is gone with the opening whistle. From the first Arsenal attack, Frank Stapleton and Jimmy Greenhoff collide. Both go down, receive treatment, and carry on shortly after. It’s nothing malicious from either player, but goes to show neither side will hold back. Continue reading →
We thought it fit to give 2016 the old review treatment; so we opened a couple of cold ones and reminisced about the game of football over the last 12 months. Our review covers both the most important events on the pitches all around the world as well as the essential off-field stories of 2016. To cap off we gave out the first ever set of Yesteryear-end awards.
Here are the minutes if you want to jump around:
0:01:30 Jan/Feb: Zidane becomes manager at Real Madrid; Man City sign Pep Guardiola
0:06:45 March/April: Johan Cruyff & Cesare Maldini pass away; their influence on the game today
0:11:00 May/June: Leicester, Real Madrid & Chile pick up trophies, Argentina & England don’t
0:17:00 July: Cristiano with a final performance for the ages
0:20:00 August: Brazil’s Men & Germany’s Women pick up Gold at Olympics
0:21:30 September: Big Sam gets the sack
0:25:00 October/November: Carlos Alberto Torres dies, LaMia Flight 2933 crashes
0:31:30 December: Cristiano receives his fourth Ballon D’Or
0:33:30 YYFP Awards; Best Hair of 2016
0:38:15 Most Ridiculous Governing Body Decision of 2016
With half the season gone and the FA Cup claiming the weekend it’s the ideal time to take a look at the title race in the Premier League.
Our main focus lies on Manchester, naturally. We ponder Pep’s motives and approach, while rejoicing in United’s good run. (Of course, we always had faith in Mourinho.) The big question, though, is: With a Top 4 finish now looking reasonable for United, what two sides would they overtake by season’s end?
Here are the minutes in case you want to jump around:
02:00 Can Burnley plan for PL football in 2017/18?
06:30 What sort of impact will Joey Barton have at Turf Moor?
08:30 Is this the Man Utd of old?
12:30 Will we see Memphis Depay again for Man Utd?
16:00 Can Man Utd sneek into the top 4? What competition will they prioritize?
20:30 Do Arsenal suddendly have grit?
23:00 Is there defeatism setting in for the blue part of Manchester?
Once more during the international break it’s time for our Premier League special/recap. The fourth so far. We’ve jinxed Tottenham, now it’s time for Liverpool.
While doing that, we take a relaxed look at the six championship contenders. Yes, United are still in the race we’ll have you know! But that doesn’t mean we pull any punches on Mourinho, Schweinsteiger & Co.
After musing over what the next stretch of the season might hold in store for the teams we pay a visit to the Bundesliga and our unofficial adopted team.
Here are the minutes, if you want to jump around:
0:02:00 Can Burnley stay up despite their away troubles?
0:07:45 How will Liverpool keep up their intensity through christmas?
0:15:30 Can Chelsea distance their London neighbors in the next few matchdays?
0:21:00 Will The Real Man City Please Stand Up?
0:27:00 Can Arsenal avoid their November-drop?
0:34:15 Could a dual-leadership of Southgate & Wenger work for England?
0:38:30 Should Tottenham pick either League or Europe and go all-in?
0:52:00 Where do Man United go from here?
1:04:00 Has Mourinho lost the plot?
1:10:00 Who would you start, bench, sell: Mkhitaryan, Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger?
1:17:30 Can Leipzig maintain their momentum in the Bundesliga?
1:22:00 Is the end nigh?
1:29:00 Will we see SV Horn in the Champions League soon?
We’ve made it. The match we’ve been working towards. The mother of all comebacks. Of course we went so far down the rabbit hole, that we split the episode up.
In Part One we cover the Champions League season 1998/99, and in detail the path the finalists took to get to Barcelona: Manchester United of England and Bayern Munich of Germany. Topics include Beckham’s summer ’98, the managerial musical chairs of Munich and the learning curve of United’s Class of ’92. Throw in some extra tangents and you end up with a stand-alone episode and a great nostalgia trip.
The minutes, in case you want to jump around:
0:00:00 Memories of the night
0:05:45 England’s exit at France ’98, backlash against Beckham
0:12:45 United’s mentality under Ferguson, missing out on silverware in ’97/98, re-tooling
0:20:40 CL format, qualifiers
0:24:00 State of Bayern Munich in the 90s (managers and performances)
0:35:00 Enter Hitzfeld
0:42:00 Group D for death (United vs Bayern I & II)
0:53:30 Knock-out draw, Quarter-finals (United vs Inter, Bayern vs Kaiserslautern)
1:04:00 United in the CL before ’98/99 retrospective
1:11:30 Semi-finals, United vs Juve
1:16:30 Bayern vs Kiev, a Basler restrospective
1:24:00 End of the season run-ins
As full games go, here’s the match that sent United to Barcelona – their semi-final win in Turin: