Friday, 2 November 2007

Great Games and Flying Pizza

JJ here,

From the hilarity of pizza being lobbed at Alex Ferguson’s red face to Roy Keane telling Patrick Vieira “see you out there” after the Frenchman attempted to strike a blow for humanity by telling Gary Neville he’s a tosser, Arsenal and Man United tend to serve up controversy as well as good games.

The last two years may have been less intense but Arsenal’s fightback at the Emirates in 06/07 wasn’t a bad affair and tomorrow promises to be a step up on recent meetings. Mainly due to the fact that they both have so much to play for. Whoever wins this game finishes top of the league at the end of the weekend. They won’t win anything for it but it’ll give whoever claims three points a huge boost.

Were United to win for instance it would put them about six leagues above Liverpool’s standard as Arsenal were at least five divisions classier than the scousers last week. Chelsea still have some ground to make up on their rivals too and three points for either Man U or Arsenal would put a great deal of daylight between them and Avram Grant’s increasingly dangerous looking side.

The build up will take up a lot of today’s papers so, considering the fact that I think this could well be a bit of a classic in the making (come on, how many players on the field at 12.45 tomorrow have a habit of hoofing the ball for starters - fuck all at last count), I thought I’d list off a few of the Premiership’s greatest games. At the very least you’ll get a few damn good YouTube clips to send you into the weekend.

Liverpool 4-3 Newcastle 95/96
Okay it’s obvious but that doesn’t make it wrong, and yes it is the first game not the unbelievably freakish second 4-3 a year later. Two teams playing excellent football, with John Barnes in top form in the middle, while Newcastle’s imports (Ginola, Asprilla etc) brought a little class to proceedings for the visitors. I couldn’t see the game due to a knackered satellite dish and had to listen to it all on the wireless (ah we were poor but we were happy in the old days says I). In typical Liverpool fashion though they would go on to lose 1-0 at Coventry four days later, effectively ending their title hopes. If that doesn’t sum up the last 17 years of the Pool I don’t know what does. Anyway, Stanley Collymore will forever remain a Merseyside legend for his 93rd minute finish:

*** Though he’ll be less likely to be remembered for this: (not necessarily work safe by the way)

West Ham 3-4 Spurs 06/07
Absolute insanity and my game of last season. Two nil to West ham after Mark Noble marked his debut with a cracking finish from outside the box and Carlos Tevez’s first goal for the club. It was back to 2-2 with fine football from Spurs, and then Tevez set up a third with five minutes left before Tottenham grabbed two in the 89th and 95th minutes, the first of which was a peach of a free from Berbatov. West Ham looked dead and buried at the time which made it all the more dramatic. Alan Curbishley throwing up his notebook and attempting to volley it away after the fourth went in was hilarious as well. YouTube:

Arsenal 2-4 Man United 04/05
Forget Keane and Vieira in the tunnel (we’ve covered it at length in the past: the great big, bloody huge shock of this game came late on when United were three-two up and with Arsenal pressing for an equalizer, one John O’Shea found himself in space up the other end and lobbed Almunia with a beautiful finish. He turned to be congratulated by his teammates but had a wait a few seconds, presumably as they couldn’t believe it had actually happened (then again, he does have his moments: A great game, we can only hope tomorrow matches up. Here’s the United goals and a few more against Arsenal through the years, apologies for the tune though:

Portsmouth 2-1 Man City 05/06
Bit of a leftfield choice here but bare with me. Pompey under Alan Perrin had looked as gormless as this backing singer - - but along came old ‘Arry Redknapp to save them. Though considering three of his first signings were Spurs reserves Pedro Mendes, Sean Davis and Noé Pamarot, Portsmouth fans weren’t bursting with optimism. However this game included two peaches from Mendes, with the second coming in the last minute after a Richard Dunne equalizer.
It was a great Premiership moment - – the very start of their recovery and it set them on the road to their current status as one of the finest sides to watch in the league.
One other reason for picking it, and one that unfortunately is not available on YouTube, is that RTE’s commentator on the game, one Adrian Eames, emitted a high-pitched sound after Mendes’ winner that was… well a little TOO excited. If memory serves correct the exact line went something like: “Mendes, the shot… aaawwwouuuuuuuooooooaaaaaaaaaaaa”. Reports that he had a cigarette afterwards before changing his trousers are unconfirmed.

Spurs 3-5 Man United 01/02
There is a legendary story of one Spurs fan who, once his team had gone three-nil ahead at home to Man United in September 2001, bet his mortgage on the home side winning just to impress his girlfriend. Whether the lady in question is still with him or not I don’t know but his debts won’t be paid off for a few decades yet. Five second half goals from a rampant United were rooted in a magnificent performance from Seba Veron (“a fuckin great player” as Fergie said). Brilliant and bloody hilarious stuff.
Original report here: and YouTube here:

Your favourites?


tyduffy said...

I can't see this one having the same classic element as the earlier Arsenal-Man U clashes. Perhaps because there will be no true enforcers on the pitch. Flamini and Hargreaves are not exactly Vieira and Keane.

Mark V said...

tis all too hard to remember the great games... I used to love the monday night games before it turned into borefest because the top teams couldn't play anymore cos of the champions league.

anyway, surely bolton or boro would get on the list somewhere...:)

back to reality - liverpool 2 arse 1, when neil mellor ("the loss to football") scored that great winner at the death.

every newcastle game from back in the day, 95, 96.
Portsmouth 7-4 Reading
i can't really think further back...

JJ said...

Yeah it was harder than I thought to find some decent efforts, maybe we all have our standards too high. That Mellor goal was a peach and earned him a place in the �100 players who shook the kop� poll on the pool�s website.

Check out how surprised Carragher is that �the loss to football� made it into the top 100:

It should be noted that Erik Meijer came in nine places below him though

Mark said...

this is great, leandro from sao paulo celebrating

Is this betting said...

Thanks JJ for pointing me towards the Mad Erik clip - though now I know the full hundred looks to be on youtube I don't think I'll get much work done this weekend.

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