Sunday, 27 February 2011
We're on our way to Wembley.....
So to follow then are my top five games, that I've witnessed (be it live on the TV or by actually being there) at Wembley Stadium the home of English football.
My first game at Wembley was back in 1982! England against Holland and I think England won two nil, it was the last game for them before the Spain World Cup and too be honest I can't remember much more about it! Although I do know that I couldn't see a lot.......but anyway we're starting with those same two teams.
Number 5 - England 4 Holland 1 Euro 1996
Number 4 - Manchester Utd 2 Brighton & Hove Albion 2 1983
Number 3 - Tottenham Hotspur 2 Notts Forest 1 FA Cup 1991
We're well into FA Cup Final territory now and our next entry takes us to the beginning of the Nineties and for me the last of the great FA Cup Finals. For me many of the recent finals have been one sided predictable affairs with only the one goal settling it, I want goals, drama & the occasional upset in my FA Cup finals. Well this one definitely had the drama, could Forest manager Brian Clough win the one trophy that that alluded him his entire career or would Spurs FA Cup veterans, win again for a then record eighth time? Since his tears in Turin at Italia '90 Gazza had become a footballing superstar and he arguably got Tottenham to the final single handedly. Following on from his wondrous free kick in the first ever FA Cup Semi Final to be played in front of the twin towers he was certainly up for the final. But as we all know now he was just too psyched up and a reckless challenge early in the game on Gary Charles saw him stretchered off injured, many would say that this saved the ref his job of getting the red card out instead. So as half time came any Spurs fan would be thinking, what else can go wrong? Your star player is off the pitch injured, you're one nil down as a result, you've had a goal disallowed for off side and to make matters worse you've seen only the second penalty to be saved in an FA cup final as the usually cool as a courgette Gary Lineker had missed the chance to draw the teams level.
But fate and maybe a bit of karma were on hand that day, as following an equaliser from Paul Stewart which took the game into extra time, Gary Mabbutt came up for a corner, his last appearance in a final saw him score a freakish own goal and his presence behind Des Walker saw the Forest defender head the ball into his teammate Mark Crossley's net giving Spurs the victory.
Number 2 - Manchester United Crystal Palace FA Cup Final 1990
More drama and stories now, going back the year previous, 1990.Crystal Palace had performed miracles in the Semi Final knocking out Liverpool to set up a clash with Manchester Utd. It would be Palace's first final while United were looking for their seventh win.I think as a neutral when it comes to these sort of games, you pick your side and cheer them on and nine times out of ten we'll go for the underdog. Palace weren't given a hope, their main man Ian Wright had just come back from a broken leg and would start on the bench. But as is the way for these things the Londoners showed grit and determination,they were too physical for Manchester United and went a goal up. But with the scores reversed by United leading two one it looked like Palace were dead and buried. Roy of the Rovers stuff was to follow as Wright came off the bench and scored with his first touch with twenty minutes to go, having got the equaliser that took the game to extra time he scored again to put his team ahead. It wasn't enough of course as Mark Hughes scored his second of the game to take it to a replay which United eventually won by one goal to nil, but for a while it was heart in the mouth stuff.
Number 1 - Coventry Tottenham Hotspur FA Cup Final 1987
So there we are my top five, you won't agree of course but that's what it's all about! I could have come up with many more but we like these little bite sized nuggets for you to savour.
Let me know your views below.......