Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Big Match - Week 13

Tottenham and Chelsea duked it out on Saturday and the same sides met at Stamford Bridge 45 years ago this very weekend; Chelsea v Tottenham is this week's Big Match.

There's no fancy 3-4-3 and Charlie Cooke takes the Victor Moses role in grabbing the 1971 winner but the real highlight is the old goals at the Bridge.

There's the classic hooked hardware (similar were seen at Barcelona and the Wankdorf Stadium in Switzerland) and the software has the added net-within-a-net 2nd layer stanchions protection (as seen at Colchester and Tottenham around the same time).

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Match of the Day - Week 13

This week's Match of the Day focuses on the Celtic v Aberdeen Scottish League Cup final at Hampden Park, looks back at three previous finals between the sides (all of which Aberdeen won) and highlights the sad history of goal nets at Hampden Park.

The first match is the 1976/77 Scottish League Cup final which featured a penalty from Kenny Dalglish in his last season in the hoops, an Aberdeen side on the ascendancy under Ally McLeod and the old Hampden nets pulled tight over the made-from-girders stanchions in all their imperial glory.

The sides met in the Scottish Cup final seven years later. Aberdeen, under Alex Ferguson, were then in their imperial pomp while the octogenarian Hampden Park was in freefall, best seen in the nets which now hung loose and randomly over the old hardware.

Sure, everything was still present and correct but something was lost at Hampden after the riot of 1980 and it never recovered.

By the Scottish Cup final of 1989/90 the Continental D's which had replaced the old stanchions in 1987 and which the blazers at the SFA no doubt thought trendy, were a great symbol of the Band Aids applied to the patient on life support.

While the old square goals had been installed when the old ground was first built and so were architecturally as one with the great bowl of an arena, the Continental D's were out of time and completely out of place.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Big Match - Week 12

While Arsenal and Manchester United played out a 1-1 draw between the box nets at Old Trafford on Saturday, the sides also met on the same weekend 41 years ago.

This week's Big Match is that game from 22 November, 1975, a 3-1 win for the Gunners featuring a great dig by Stuart Perason, a crazy OG and an early Alan Ball goal that rebounded off the classic green stanchions at Highbury.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Match of the Day - Week 12

This week's Match of the Day previews the clash between Manchester United and Arsenal by looking back at two previous matches between the sides and the changing History of Goal Nets at Old Trafford.

United took the honours in the 1975/76 season, running out 3-1 winners between the classic A-frames which stood at Old Trafford until Alex Ferguson's time. Check out Steve Coppell's goal for 3-1, the ball striking the stanchion - classic!

The game between the sides in 1990/91 was a 0-1 win for Arsenal played out between the Continental D's with which Alex Ferguson replaced the old A-frames, details mostly forgotten as this game is remembered for The Fight.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Big Match - Week 11

The Big Match this week is Luton Town v Arsenal from the weekend of 6 November 1982.

While the space available behind the goals at Kenilworth Road didn't change, Luton changed their old A-frames (which were curved and narrow, exactly like those other clubs similarly challenged for space - West Ham, QPR, Southampton etc) for a stylish set of Continental D's.

And though there is little space behind the line for a goal area, Luton have done their best to help with ball retention by hanging too large nets which are permitted to hang loose, making for a great aesthetic experience when viewing the four goals.


Friday, November 4, 2016

Match of the Day - Week 11

This week's Match of the Day previews the north London derby - Arsenal v Tottenham.

As Arsenal are at home this Sunday, Match of the Day would usually highlight a game from an Arsenal home game - Highbury - and the wonderful history of goal nets there.

However a game from White Hart Lane - though painful for Spurs fans - offers different angles of focus, so this week's Match of the Day is the 0-5 from December 1978.

First, though TV coverage offers only a narrow, camera-eye view of the pitch, how do you know the game is at White Hart Lane? Easy - the sloping, square stanchions, totally distinctive for Tottenham.

Second, given his spectacular goals for 0-4 (and the Motson commentary) you probably always remembered this game as the Liam Brady game. Then poor Alan Sunderland, who scored a hat trick!

Lastly, in this era of Guardiola pressing and Klopp heavy metal football, check out Brady pressing the defender and stealing the ball for his goal. Plus ca change...