Anfield ’89, some cheeky Champions League betting + Arsenal survey reminder

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Thomas celebrates his title-winning goalYesterday was the 20th anniversary of Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Liverpool to win the 1989 English Championship. On that night 20 years ago, Michael Thomas rushed forward in injury time to lift home the second goal of the game and etch Arsenal’s name into the history books as winners of perhaps the most dramatic English League season ever.

As far as exciting finishes goes that probably tops the lot and although I was only 4 years old at the time and a good few years away from discovering Arsenal for myself, it’s clear that most Arsenal supporters around the world – and every single one in the UK – have a special place for that goal.

For those that need reminding of Thomas’ great goal you can check it out here. Those wanting to relive the whole drama of the game can check out the detailed coverage of events on a special edition of the official Arsenal website here

Great stuff and a nice call from the commentator to who stayed quite calm under the circumstances. Imagine if that goal was scored in this day and age, whoever called it would probably fall over trying to declare it “the most amazing moment in human history”. Something like this is what I’m getting at.

Moving on and it’s all about the Champions League final tonight as Barcelona take on Manchester United in Rome. The feeling I get is that it should be a good game with the Spanish side possessing arguably the best attack in the world and United the most complete squad. Barca are without both wing-backs Eric Abidal and Dani Alves and will most likely field a reshuffled defensive unit of Sylvinho on the left, Yaya Toure and Gerard Pique in the middle and Carlos Puyol at the back.

It will be interesting to see how United come out and play against Barcelona given the success that Chelsea had in stifling them. You have to think that Alex Ferguson will adopt a counter-attacking style and let Barcelona have plenty of the ball and if that is the case, I can see Thierry Henry having a lot of luck down the right against John O’Shea. I’ve made no bones about who I will be supporting and nothing would give me more pleasure tonight than to see Barcelona give United a real touch-up which leaves Cristiano Ronaldo in tears at the end of the game. I can picture it now. Ahhh, bliss.

I might even put a couple of bets down on the game. In fact, I will. Bam! Done; Barcelona to win 2-1 and Thierry Henry to score the opening goal. Come on Barca! Don’t let me down!

Anyway, that’s it for today. Just another reminder that if you’re yet to complete the Arsenal FC Blog 2008/09 Survey you can do so by clicking here. There are books to be won and we’re up to 250 entries so far, but as I said yesterday I’d love to get at least 500 by the end of the week. It’s a pretty interesting survey and if you’re interested in having your say about Arsenal this season then get on it!

Cheers and good luck Thierry!

PS. I should add that the Youth Team beat Liverpool 2-1 in the second leg of their final overnight to complete a 6-2 aggregate FA Cup win. The future continues to shine bright for Arsenal.

Have your say on Thomas’ goal, the Champions League final or the Arsenal FC Blog Survey by leaving a comment.


39 thoughts on “Anfield ’89, some cheeky Champions League betting + Arsenal survey reminder

  1. What a game it going 2 be cant wait for it me 2 SF i will love 2 see that sisi-boy(christiano ronaldo)burst into tears 2nite last year he was lucky they didnt loose that game cos he missed da penalty en if they lose 2nite i can my money hez leaving 4 madrid .I just pray that barca dnt give man .u any free kicks around da 18 area cos ronaldo is good i wanna put my head on da block en say that barca will win 3-0 en henry wil score a brace en messi scoring the third cheers guys

  2. I saw of the much last week on ESPN,it was truly amazing at some point i wondered when the second goal was going to come. Great memories so to speak.
    As much as am supporting Barcelona, i don’t see them beating Man u.
    The Man U back four is so solid. Barcelona will attack from the word go and push their defense line up high and that would be their undoing.Two quick counter-attacks from Man U will settle the tie. I just hope am NOT right.
    @SF is AW targeting……
    .Hangeland, Mamadou Sakho, Yohan Cabaye,Eden Hazard,Sebastian Bassong, ETC???

  3. Congrats to the lads for winning the youth cup, they made us proud.

    I guess ill also be cheering for Barca tonight, the only down side to them winning it though is Mr Skeletor Hleb getting his filthy hands on ol’ big ears.

  4. Titi must win tonight, he deserves it. If manyoo wins it im going to puke.
    C’mon Barca! Henry to score a hattrick.

  5. Robert Pires says Henry will win it for Arsenal memories tonight against United.

    And who wants to argue with Le Bob? I’ll punch you right in the nutsack if you want to argue with Le Bob! :o)

    Barca 2 – United 1

  6. its gouing to be a tough game, either way i am srptin BARCA!!!. its just unimaginable for Man U to win this one too.
    as far as tis one is concerned, i just hope AW is going to do smthn to strengthen the squad for nxt season. am startin to see some clubs have already strted buying.

    go BARCA! GOOOO!!!!!!

  7. Arsene Wenger’s Magical Embryo Farm
    By Jonny Neale (Untold Arsenal)

    As we head into the silly season, replete with transfer rumours both in and out, acrimonious boardroom tales and disgruntled players all whipped up to a venomous froth by Fleet Street’s poisonous pens, I think it is worth pausing and taking stock. Reminding ourselves of what has already been built by this prestigious club and luxuriating a little in what is to come.

    Having watched the youngsters imperiously dismantle Liverpool in the first leg of the FA Youth Final, it is clear the conveyor belt of talent from below is starting to deliver. ‘Arsene Wenger’s Magical Embryo Farm’ has a bountiful crop and one feels that we will be harvesting it’s goodness for years to come.

    Hopefully most fans are in a more reflective mood and will have tempered some of the gnawing disappointment of this season. Personally, I take solace in the belief that this is a manager working to a longer plan. A club with a different blueprint to the rest; treasuring stability and ‘long-term success’ above all. A club which identified the perfect manager for this task. A manager unlike any other in the world.

    There is not a football club in the world which would not want him at the helm. Even Man Utd, who clearly would never dump Ferguson, would love The Professor as a replacement for when Fergie retires – anything to address their spiralling debt.

    What is happening at The Arsenal is an exciting, intriguing and unique experiment in ’sustainable football’. Whilst clubs across Europe are going to the wall The Arsenal have become the vanguard that other clubs are looking at with awe, green eyed envy and begrudging respect. On the back of Wenger’s visionary acumen something unique has been built. As a result we lucky fans are better placed to reap the long term rewards than any other club in global football.

    The perils of big but poorly run clubs will be all too evident at the moment for fans of Newcastle. The cost of demotion from the Premiership is usually estimated at £50m – £60m and Newcastle are estimated to have the fifth largest wage bill in the division. A fire sale of players seems inevitable and one would not be surprised to see a protracted stay in the lower divisions.

    As we listen all too frequently to whingeing eejits complaining about the lack of on-field success one should hold fast to the belief that Wenger and his experienced support staff, know more about where the club is in terms of talent and progress than any of the ignorant, sensationalist Fleet Street hacks and the multitudinous buffoons of bloggery (with three braincells, two fingers and one, very negative, opinion).

    I concede that the disappointment of the last few seasons hangs in the air like a nappy on a stick. And it is understandable to be a little blue but the move to a new stadium, whilst competing against clubs who sold their souls and bankrolled their way to the top through financial doping, was never going to be walk in the park.

    So be it. We grit our teeth and we come back stronger. Fans, players and management alike.

    The doom-mongers will think they know better, but if you actually listen to the messages emanating from our beloved club, there are myriad reasons to be optimistic. In recent weeks, Wenger has accepted that the squad needs a little more steel/experience but we know this is really no more than 2 players, 3 at the very most. As Rafa moans away about not having the finances to compete against the likes of Man Utd & Chelsea I have read it claimed that Liverpool are looking for another 5! It strikes me that Liverpool’s biggest problem is a paucity of great players coming through the ranks.

    As the season geared towards a tense finale Wenger had been extremely bullish about his team – it is clear that he believes that The Arsenal will enter into an era of dominance in the near future. Some think this the words of an old fool but we must know by now he is anything but? The foundation of his belief is the talent he sees every week. An unprecedented hotbed of youth – pregnant with promise and bristling with balls.

    It may come to pass that Arsene’s greatest challenge was that which he faces now – finding the right blend, retaining some, letting others go and all the while balancing the first team squad. But this is because of the sheer weight of talent coming through which is now coming through, year upon year.

    That he is having to make these vital decisions amidst a cacophony of dissent from ’so-called supporters’, simply makes the task more stressful and arduous. I do not envy him this task. Come to that, having seen how much he truly cares, I do not envy him his position full-stop. Those who have lambasted him from the comfort of the sidelines (and yet know less about football than he has ever forgotten) would do well to remember that no manager has ever done more for this club and no man has ever cared more about it’s success.

    It’s easy to criticise until you have sat in the hot-seat and made the decisions yourself. It’s easy to say, for example, that we would have won the FA Cup if Arshavin had started (though it is still utterly speculative, as his anonymous performance against Man Utd last week showed). It’s easy to think other managers could do better until you look at Scolari & Ramos and the welcoming arms with which they were welcomed.

    Whilst this has been a difficult period for the fans – especially having come so close last season – there is for me a tangible sense of eagerness for the young crop to really blossom. Talk of tomorrow’s stars, if anything, only serves to make us even more feverish. We salivate like starving dinner guests: stuck on 4 years of canapes and starters, all the while yearning for the main course…we have had glimpses of it being prepared in the kitchen but somehow it has never quite reached our table.

    But this was always going to be a process which demands patience – we are going through growing pains, trying to balance the pecuniary needs of the club against a backdrop of unprecedented financial chaos, and the needs of the team with it’s army of hungry fans.

    As Wenger himself has announced –

    “At the moment, what this team has done, with the average age we have now, no team has done that. The most important moment in the life of this club is to be strong now and support this team. At the moment, what this team needs is the support of people who are the fans of the club. That we have no trophies to present today, I’m very sorry”. How sad he felt it necessary to apologise.

    Perhaps a better way for Arsenal fans to appreciate his achievement is to view this as a journey – after all success tastes far sweeter when you have drunk from the well of despair (which amazingly is where some would have you believe we are now).

    Watching the crop of youngsters come through is, to my mind, a far more interesting experience than if we had splurged millions on spoilt-brat mega-stars who have no real affinity with the club. Not all of the enjoyment of football is measured in silverware.

    Those fans fans who are longer in the tooth (the one’s who tend to have a bit more perspective) will remember well the wilderness years between 1938 and 1948 and again 1953 and 1971. That’s ten trophyless years followed by eighteen! A sobering thought, as you watch the mountain of toys being thrown from prams all over the web.

    My dad, who celebrates his 80th birthday this August, is startled at the current furore whipped up by the media. As a wee lad he used to sneak into Highbury. He saw the glory of the Chapman years come and go and lived through those 28 trophy-parched ‘years of wilderness’. He would say that The Arsenal’s last two seasons have been excellent – playing exceptionally at times but in the end being beaten by good teams. Certainly he thinks that the football world has gone quite insane that there would be any Arsenal fan calling for Wenger’s head.

    But I digress, over the next few weeks, as a distraction to the pervasive negative nonsense, I plan to focus on a few of The Arsenal’s young hopes, those who have particularly piqued my interest over the last season. Hopefully you’ll find it of interest.

    Watch this space and for God’s sake! Stick by Wenger and the team – it’ll honestly be much better for your health and happiness if you just enjoy the ride.

  8. @ nigelp – I’ve told you before that you can’t just take chunks of other blogs and put them in the comments. Please make an original comment and link to the blog if you want to mention them. Please.

  9. Guys, my comment is about recent utterances by evra i just hate this guy he arrogant, pathetic, boring, too proud am afraid his attitude will cost them the match kudos to MESSI, HENRY, ETOO.

  10. I think we are missing one fundimental fact about AFC specifically and football in general. Cast your minds back to the halcyon days of Les Invincibles…aaahhh…Even further back to our unbeaten away and double winners of 02. Now fast forward to this season and our unbeaten 21 stretch. The one thing i’ve noticed, a common thread, is that MOST of the time our unbeatens, our 02 double winners and our 20-oners had practically THE SAME 11 EVERY GAME. Sure one or two changes were made due to injuries and of course subs were used when needed. But no coincidence that with our great team of ‘04 the starting 11 usually picked itself match after match. No coincidence (but for injuries/suspensions) that our 21 game unbeaten run this season coincided with the same back 4, same central mid Den & Song/ and Nasri with Ade/RvP up front. The problem Arsene will have ESP’ if he buys one or three is keeping ALL the players happy. He MUST (IMO) right from the start of next season know what his starting 11 is and stick with them save for injuries/suspensions. If next season we see Diarby left wing one week and Cesc c/mid and Theo up front then the following game we see Diarby r/mid (for arguements sake) and Cesc second striker and Theo left wing we will suffer just as we have this season. Arsene PLEASE right from KO first game next season know your starting 11 and stick to it. Make sure the players are drilled in those positions and tell them this is how its going to be. Its simple really you decide who your ‘best’ 11 are – playing players in their correct postions and play. If you do this I can practically see a trophy or two but if you don’t…well indecison breeds failure and the last thing any of us want is AFC to fail.

  11. I am looking forward to the two finals, tonights much more than saturday but it is just so difficult to bear that we could or even should have been in at least one of these finals. Thank god for the ladies and the youth team to keep our cabinet full of trophies.
    I am still unsure on which team I will be supporting, I think I will wear my Henry Barca shirt though.

  12. I just completed the survey SF. Some very good questions in there. I look forward in seeing the results.

    Go Barca. Henry to score the winner (PLEASE!!).

  13. I hope to Gawd it is a better final than last year and the year before which were awful football wise.

    As with everty other PL fan outside Guildford I will be shouting for Barca – even if it were not the Mancs I would want to see Barca with their footballing quality pick up the trophy

    Sylvinho, Henry, Kolo’s bruv and even the Ice cream man – just like arsenal old boys lol

  14. I was there 20 years ago. I had moved to the UK in 86 and was a long time Arsenal fan from Bermuda. It was actually the first away game I had ever gotten to go to. What a memory.

  15. hey, so that 1979 fa cup final on espn on Monday,the good dead match.Although man united still had more than 50% they still lost and fail to make clear cut chances until final 4 minutes.That was such a great final that back in sa gary bailey(man goalie) who is guest on a soccer channel ss3 still talks about that final, got my fingers cross that will happen again and break ronaldo self-confidents.

  16. still dreaming that these players come to emirates
    steven taylor( hates ronaldo)
    remember that comment
    ronaldo; you are a shit player
    taylor:I might be shit but at least I am not ugly
    It true comment he will make the grade at emirates

  17. completed that survey but that question on most improved player was kind of tricky. It was a hot/cold season for Song so no one had a better season on the list than Song.

  18. that game 20 years ago was the first time i can remember watching arsenal play, i was sitting on the sofa in my grannies house with my uncle (who got me into the gooners) and watching that amazing game. And ever since then i have been a gooner.

    thats what football was invented for and it was one of the best finishes to a game ever.

  19. I want our boy TH14 to kill Manure tonight. Messi should rip them apart and Henry has played greater defenders than John O’shea so he has a great chance to sink United and make us all cheer as if we had won the Champo leagie itself. Come On BArca!

  20. dont you just love the look on fergie,s face? ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,…… go on the barca!!!!

  21. The look on Ronaldos face is priceless, the feeling of Hleb getting a UCL medal is cancelled out by the look on Ronaldos face, and Fergie stopped chewing too. Haha. Class header from Messi to kill the game. 2-0. Our bouy TH14 had a great chance but couldnt thread it past VDS. Well Done Barca, Next up Everton to beat Chelsea at Wembley.

  22. Hooray for Barcelona. That was a really great performance by a great team. They really gave United the run-around.

    Congratulations to Henry too, a fully deserved victory!

  23. BEAUTIFUL BARCA. Incredible stuff. These are the teams you should support- Barca/ Arsenal and the like. Ran circles around Man U. The best is I invite all my media following Man U bandwagoners to watch with me- I have been sayng for 3 years to them that Man U and ROnaldo are all a media creationg- and to see it happen like that. SUblime. Iniesta, Messi are indescribable. Xavi is brilliant and Henry a living legend. Beautiful game

  24. yeah Barca are great. United are great.

    Arsenal are not great.

    Support your own team guys. Dont live in a dream that arsenal are barca cause your not. They are a million times better.

    Best team won today.

  25. Anyone notice hleb receiving his medal today… Barca flag draped over his back. how much time did he get this season or in the game for that matter?

  26. Ill let Ronaldo7 slide because its tough when you lose something like this…Hes always been a classy poster

    And nobody thinks we are as good as Barca. But the philosophy is similar, and we are one of the youngest teams around. They are what we aspire to be no question about it- but with all the problems we had we were still a game away from playing them in the final.

    Also- apparently after the first goal Henry took the ball out of the net and punted it into the Man Utd supporter section. He’s still a Gunner at heart. Couldnt care less about Hleb tbh…

  27. Nice work Barca, as Fergie said best team won. I don’t aggree with MoMoney, Arsenal dosen’t aspire to be Barca, we are Arsenal, Wenger was always inspired by the 1970s Ajax team.

    In this occasion football won, I’m just surprised that ManU couldn’t cope with Barca, I wanted to see a final like liv ac milan in istanbul but oh well. Barca did show the football world how triangular passing is supposed to be done.

  28. manure got lucky in their two Champions League wins under ferguson. Two goals in injury time after losing most of the match against Bayern. A penalty shoot-out win against Chelsea when Terry slipped. No slice of fortune to intervene for them this time though. It was just pure football – and so they lost.
    Maybe they’d have won if Felcher had played! Ha!

  29. Well I was disappointed with manure, I kind off wanted them to win, but in the end I thought they were very poor and they gave up, there was one point admittingly they were 2-0 down but barca were on the attack and the manure players were just walking. Why didn’t Fergi change it at half time, why did he leave Shrek out on the wing, he should have gone 4-4-2 and tried to get the midfield back. If I was a manure fan I would be pretty pissed with Fergi, I say call for his resignation!!!! It was great to see Henry get his winners medal and I was sure he was going to get on the score sheet, he still has what it takes, come on Arsene bring him home.

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