Highbury Memories

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Re: Highbury Memories

Postby gzagee » Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:53 pm

This - I shall be reading later!

It's like an audience with...... Libertine, innit.
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Re: Highbury Memories

Postby gzagee » Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:28 pm

Read it
:eat: MORE!! MORE!!
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Re: Highbury Memories

Postby Cheese » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:14 pm

Great stuff Libs :clap:

Has this been on the blog?
“What a great day for football, all we need is some green grass and a ball.”
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Re: Highbury Memories

Postby Libertine » Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:54 pm

1986/87 - Part Two

one nil down, two one up!


So we turned into 1987 top of the table, having just beat the yids at their place, and we partied hard after that game in celebration. Good job too, because we didn't win another league game until April 11th!

Still never mind that. Not only had our early season form seen us shoot up the league, it'd also seen us progress in the cup competitions.
We'd begun our challenge for the League Cup with an easy enough win over two legs against Huddersfield. Martin Hayes, David Rocastle and Paul Davis scored the goals that saw us cruise past Man City at Highbury in the next round. Then Charlton were seen off 2-0 (again at Highbury) thanks to a Niall Quinn header and an own goal from the visitors. We were now into the quarter finals.

Before that though, our FA Cup campaign kicked off at Reading. On an ice-rink of a pitch Charlie Nicholas scored twice, after Martin Hayes had given us the lead from the penalty spot, as we ran out 3-1 winners in a game more memorable for its crowd trouble than the actual match. Plymouth were the visitors to Highbury for the next round and were duly thrashed 6-1.

Forest were our opponents in the quarter finals of the League Cup. Forest were a very strong footballing outfit in those days and were favourites to progress. An early Charlie Nicholas tap-in settled the crowd's nerves at Highbury. Steve Williams put in a brilliant shift to snuff out Forest's counter attacking game, whilst Rocky and Stuart Pearce had a right battle down the flank. Martin Hayes slotted home a penalty 10 mins from the end and we were into the semi finals. Where we drawn against.......the yids!

The first leg was at Highbury. We'd lost the right hand side of the team due to an injury to Viv Anderson and a suspension (for punching Norman Whiteside at old Trafford) for Rocky Rocastle.
A packed ground watched us turn in an abysmal performance. Williams and Davis never got going, Perry Groves (replacing Rocky) was never a threat and Tony Adams seemed intent on giving the ball back to the yids at every opportunity. A Clive Allen goal gave the yids a 1-0 win and, truth be told, we were lucky not have got badly beaten.

Rocky was back for the second leg but Steve Williams was out with injury. For our most important game in 4 years George Graham decided to play a young right back (with only half a dozen appearances to his name) in midfield, Michael Thomas. The yids were quicker out of the blocks than us again. Clive Allen gave them a 2-0 aggregate lead and by half time we were just hanging on.
Then we had, what i consider, the defining moment of our season.
During the interval the DJ played the old Chas'n'Dave records and announced over the PA how the yids should apply for their Wembley tickets. All this could be heard in the Arsenal changing room. George Graham said later: "i didn't need to give a team talk."
We came storming back in the second half. Thomas smashed Ardiles and Hoddle all over the park, Rocky started bombing down the right and Quinn and Nicholas awoke from their slumber.
A long throw from Rocky was flicked on by Niall Quinn and Viv Anderson bundled the ball over the line, 1-1 (1-2) and game on. Arsenal continued to stream forward and, with time running out, Rocky skinned his man and crossed for Niall Quinn to level the tie. We'd forced a replay and it was back to the yids on the Wednesday night.

In a tight battle, Arsenal-reject Clive Allen again gave the yids the lead and moments later Charlie Nicholas was stretchered off after a dreadful tackle from the sneaky little Argy, *** c*** Ardiles. There was 15 mins to go, we were away from home, we'd just lost our star player and replaced him with a free transfer from Colchester with a dodgy 'tache. Every player has their moment and this was Ian Allinson's.
With only 7 mins remaining, a long punt was headed on by Quinn and, with his first touch, Allinson controlled the ball and then, with his second, he squeezed the ball through Gough's legs and past Clemence, 1-1. As the yids waited to regroup for half time we piled forward. Ian Allinson cut in from the left, his goal bound shot bounced up into the air, Rocky controlled it and, with the last kick of the game, slid his shot under Ray Clemence. 2-1 and we were going to Wembley!

The all conquering Liverpool were our opponents in the final. Steve Williams and Charlie Nicholas returned from injury and everyone felt that Ian Allinson was desperately unlucky to not make the subs bench.
We started brightly and Paul Davis hit the post with a free kick. Then disaster struck. The scousers caught us on the break, Craig Johnston crossed and Ian Rush left Adams and O'Leary for dead to score. Ian Rush was a goal scoring machine and when he scored, Liverpool had NEVER lost. Things didn't look too rosy......
But one thing we'd learnt about this team that Graham had assembled, they wouldn't go down without a fight.

We bounced straight back. A free kick from Steve Williams caused panic in the penalty area, Nicholas slapped his shot against a post, Viv Anderson collected the rebound, drove it back across goal and Charlie put this effort into the net.
The game developed into a stalemate after that until, with 15 mins to go, both teams introduced their substitutes. Liverpool brought on the ex-European Player of the Year, Kenny Dalglish. We sent on Perry Groves.
Within minutes Groves skipped past Gillespie and crossed to Charlie Nicholas. Charlie's shot took a wicked deflection and crawled slowly the line, i don't think it even it even reached the back of the net.
2-1 to the Arsenal. Ian Rush's incredible record had been broken and Kenny Sansom went up the steps to collect our first piece of silverware in 8 seasons.

The season petered out after that. We'd lost a bad tempered FA Cup tie against Watford the week before the League Cup final and our league form was dreadful, as the players had started to concentrate on the cups. George had said all season that the team were too inexperienced to win the league and he was right
But you knew this team were destined for greater things. The Arsenal were back!
This was most definitely just the beginning........
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Re: Highbury Memories

Postby mikey_gooner » Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:57 pm

great read libs , brings back memories that does of standing in the top middle tier at wembley and the massive surge when we scored , bodies all over the floor people going mental , we had waited a long long time for that day and f**k me didnt we enjoy it :arse flag.gif:
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Re: Highbury Memories

Postby gzagee » Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:18 pm

Another excellent read, Libs! :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Highbury Memories

Postby StLGooner » Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:24 pm

Nice one Libs. Its good information for a new fish like myself.
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Re: Highbury Memories

Postby Git » Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:25 pm

Great read mate. :)
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Re: Highbury Memories

Postby arseman » Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:29 pm

Love the story about the WHL DJ talking about Wembley tickets, and what happened afterwards...

Great stuff!
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Re: Highbury Memories

Postby Libertine » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:22 am

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Re: Highbury Memories

Postby Libertine » Sat May 29, 2010 12:08 pm

Arsenal v Man Utd - FA Cup 5th round - 20th Feb 1988

People who refer to Highbury as "the library" never went on days like this...

Despite a succesful previous season Stroller was still fine tuning his line up. Viv Anderson was sold to Man Utd, Charlie Nicholas was packed off to Aberdeen and Steve Williams was frozen out as George Graham continued his purge on players that questioned his way of doing things.
There were some new faces though. Alan Smith had arrived as a record transfer signing from Leicester, Kevin Richardson was signed from Everton and Nigel Winterburn joined us from Wimbledon.

Games against United have been always a bit spicy. United had undeservedly beaten us 2-1 at Highbury in league (Niall Quinn had two perfectly good goals disallowed) the previous month so when they came out of the hat straight after us in the FA Cup draw, everyone was looking forward to gaining revenge.

The game was played in front of a full house. The word had gone round the pubs about half twelve that queues already forming, so by two o'clock Highbury was packed and a monstrous atmosphere was building.

United won the toss and chose to attack the Clock End first. This seemed like a sensible choice as Arsenal always preferred to attack the North Bank in the second half, especially if we needed a goal. It was however a decision that would come back to bite them on the arse.

Arsenal were out of the traps quickly. Spurred on by the sense of injustice of our previous encouter we looked hungrier and faster to the ball than United. Norman Whiteside in particular was getting no change out of Rocky and Mickey Thomas in midfield.
Twenty minutes in and Rocastle cleverly combined with Winterburn to put the full back in behind the United defence and his curling left foot cross was forcefully headed home by Smudger in front of the North Bank to put us one up.
This was the cue for some Arsenal fans, who'd mistakenly gone in the wrong end, to make themselves known to the United fans and ended up getting escorted back into the right section......
Arsenal continued to pile forward and we got our reward just before half time when Mike Duxbury's attempt to head the ball out for a corner but instead stuck it in his own net.

United looked a beaten team as they traipsed off at half time. All we had to do now was shut up shop, put our feet up and relax, sit back and see the game out. Hmmmm...
The Alex Ferguson hairdryer must've been set at "full blast" because a different United team emerged for the second half.
Within five minutes they'd pulled a goal back. Nigel Winterburn got turned out on the right hand side and Brian McClair volleyed United back into the game.
Even worse, David O'Leary had to go off with an injured ankle and, without his calming influence on Tony Adams, things fell apart a bit at the back.
United were now in the ascendency and, sensing that our young team were starting to waiver, they piled forward.

A last ditch goal-line block by Kenny Sansom and a couple of excellent saves by John Lukic prevented certain goals for Gibson, McClair and our old boy Viv Anderson.
All eyes were on our famous clock as it ticked toward quarter to five when, just when it looked like we'd weathered the storm, disaster struck.
McClair knocked a ball into Whiteside, he went over in an clumsy tangle with Mickey Thomas and, with a minute left of the game, the ref pointed to the spot.

As i mentioned earlier, United had elected to attack the North Bank in the second half and now, as Brian McClair tried to compose himself for the spot-kick, all manner of stuff was being thrown onto the pitch toward him as well as a fantastic crescendo of booing.
McClair was a horrible, cowardly little c*** and, like all cowards, when push came to shove his bottle went!
He ran up and skied his shot so badly i'm sure it cleared the roof of the North Bank.
Just make McClair feel better about his miss, Winterburn walked straight up to him and taunted him about it, something that would have further repercussions in a season or two....
Almost immediately the whistle went and we were through.

We didn't go on to win the FA Cup, Forest dumped us out in the next round.
But whilst i can barely remember the Forest defeat, this United game will stay fresh in my memory for ever.
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Re: Highbury Memories

Postby Libertine » Sat May 29, 2010 12:27 pm

The penalty miss... :sneaky2:

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Re: Highbury Memories

Postby SE13 » Sat May 29, 2010 12:46 pm

Gawd! That goes back a while!

Yes, it was rammed that afternoon, I was in quite early and even then I had to queue which was fairly unusual for the time of day.

That penalty, and I'm sure Mikey will confirm this, the ball ended up quite close to us, and we were almost at the back of The North Bank. The whole ground went potty after it.

Was that the game where there were an exchange of pleasantries between the two sets of fans on The North Bank, and a whole load of their lot were marched around the side of the pitch and literally thrown in to the away end, or was that the league fixture I'm thinking of?

Capacity was roughly 57,000 around that time, and I'm quite sure there were more than that packed in, but I seem to recall the crowd was announced at 54,000 or so. But then, back then, hop over the turnstile for giving the gateman a couple of quid, and you didn't register as going in. I used to take my little sister to a few games back in that time if I had enough spare cash for the train fares, and she always got in over the turnstile in exchange for a couple of quid in the gateman's pocket.

Great work Libs, and excellent memories.
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Please note that my comments are my own view, and not that of GoonersWorld. Everything I write is subject to © 2007-2013, and is my own work unless quoted otherwise.
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Re: Highbury Memories

Postby gzagee » Sat May 29, 2010 8:41 pm

Took your time getting round to it Libs :rolleyes: ;)

Wicked stuff again.

That game was just before i went to my first ever game against Everton in the league cup. So wanted to go to this cos it was United, but still had a great time against Everton. :arse fan:
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Re: Highbury Memories

Postby Libertine » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:48 pm

Quality video, quality tune! :arsesmile:

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