In a YYFP-first we bring a new voice into the fold. Lukas Tank (@SergiXaviniesta) was kind enough to join Sebastian for an hour long interview. Lukas has worked his way through football history, publishing his thoughts on the legends of the game along with his “Teams of the Decade” on his blog footballarguments.wordpress.com.
The over-arching theme for the talk turned out to be how yesteryear affects the modern game and what we can gleam from diving into old matches to help us understand football today.
We ran the gamut of topics, such as Cruyff’s ever-lasting importance, Matthäus’ longevity & standing in Germany, or who could be considered the greatest Italian player of all time?
Minutes in case you want to jump around:
0:03:00 What does Lukas’ process look like?
0:09:00 Does the big stage make the big player?
0:13:45 Could Benteke hack it in the ’60s?
0:17:15 Where does Lukas’ fascination with football history come from?
0:28:30 Who is the greatest Italian player ever?
0:33:00 Does Matthäus’ longevity aid or hinder his all-time status?
0:42:30 What might be learned about modern football by watching historic matches?
0:47:00 Looking for exellence in football/sports history
0:51:00 How did Lukas build his “Team Of The Decade ’75-85”; what are his criteria for inclusion?
0:57:00 Which “Team Of The Decade” is the easiest to break into?
1:00:30 Are we living in a silver or even golden age of football right now?
Three episodes in and we seem to have found the sweet spot: two and a half hours to cover a single game. Well and the season leading up to it.
Because this Ajax team was bonkers. Over the course of the 94/95 season they went unbeaten in their domestic league, only lost in extra time to Feyenoord in the Cup quarterfinals and stormrolled through Europe. For comparision: Ajax scored 106 goals in 34 league matches, Milan 53, exactly half. Our math is on point for this episode btw.
So we have the young up-and-commers going against the much older, more experienced veteran champions. Here’s the episode (as always you can download the mp3 from Soundcloud; or subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher):
Change of plans: Turns out these episode tend to be longer than expected. Way longer. Going from episode one to two we nearly doubled the runtime. Our second ever episode clocks in at a whooping 2 hours and 35 minutes. Since we’d like to release more than a handful of episodes a year, we’re putting the video part on hold.
While recording that will also allow us to go into some rabbitholes without worrying too much about how that syncs up to video. Or where to even get highlights to random Bundesliga games from the early 90s.
Instead you’ll get extended shownotes, links to more background and maybe video highlights on this website. We’ll also embed the full games as long as we find them. Lastly we’re now on iTunes, so hit subscribe over there.
Without any further ado…
Milan are back with a vengeance. Having lost to Marseille in ’93 after dominating the early phase of the game the Italian champions are now facing Barcelona. However the Rossoneri are more reliant on their defence than ever as Marco van Basten missed the complete season. Other injuries and suspensions (Lentini, Baresi, Costacurta) saw Milan go into the match as underdogs. Especially when looking at the opposition.
The Blaugrana had re-emerged from 80s obscurity thanks in no small part to Johan Cruyff. The Dutch legend revamped the tactical approach as well as the club academy. A slew of Spanish players coming through the youth ranks and foreign stars Koeman, Romario, Stoitchkov and Laudrup formed an impressive team. In 1993/94 they seemingly peaked just at the right moment. Going into the final they had not lost a match in three months.
Enjoy the show! You can also download the mp3 by clicking on the little arrow button in the top right corner.
The protocol to the episode:
0:02:00 Pop culture in 1993/94, including Academy Awards, celebrity power couples and Wrestlemania 10
0:08:00 Fallout of L’Affaire OM and rundown of first time participants
0:19:00 Linfield go to Tiblisi and Bulgaria eliminates Germany from the WC94
0:29:30 Van Basten was injured all along, Cruyff takes over at Barcelona in ’88
0:45:00 The finalists join the action against Kiev, A. Vienna and Aarau, Copenhagen respectively
1:00:00 Group stages rundown, who remembers Wynton Rufer?
1:15:00 Referee trivia, Semi finals and league run-ins
1:25:00 Your advertisement here?
1:28:30 Line-ups, match expectations, kick-off
1:42:00 Barca distribution from the back, Desailly, more Desailly, 1:0
1:57:30 Tactical observations
2:05:30 Milan break Barca physically (2:0) and psychologically (3:0)
2:16:30 Desailly secures MOTM award, 4:0
2:26:00 Final thoughts
Awards! Desailly won Man Of The Match by a landslide. Bakero got Best Hair through a lack of options. The match itself garnered a very favourable rating and a clear viewing recommendation.
If you watch anything from this match, make it the 3:0 of Savicevic. If you want to watch the whole match:
Sure, you could spend 90+ minutes watching the first ever Champions League final – contested between France’s Marseille and Italy’s Milan – or you could spend 90+ minutes listen to us talk about said match!
With it you will also get: video highlights (of course), background on the competition re-structuring, the composition of the finalist’s teams and their path to the final in Munich. So far the video is only available on Dailymotion, split into two parts:
And Part two:
There is also an audio-only version available on Soundcloud. This features an option to download the MP3 aswell. (The little button in the top right next to “share”.)
Hope you enjoy the show, feel free to comment, bookmark, share etc.