10 Nineties Football Gems on YouTube

Posted: March 23, 2020 in Uncategorized

sprint

Fall down a rabbit hole with these hidden treasures from the first half of the decade…

10) The BBC Review of USA ’94

The Beeb’s World Cup reviews, usually screened at Christmas following a tournament summer, are typically classy affairs, and this one is no exception, instantly transporting you back to this most vivid, colourful of World Cups from the moment the title theme – America from West Side Story – kicks in. Every goal and controversy is here, as is every missed penalty, from Diana Ross to Roberto Baggio. It’s anchored by the incomparable Barry Davies to boot. Heaven.

9) Match of the Day Goal of the Season, 1992-93 and 1994-95

Two contests from the glorious Life of Riley era which are as much fun for the goals you’d missed or forgotten as those you remember. The 1992-93 selection was dominated by Ron Atkinson’s Aston Villa entertainers, runners-up in that inaugural Premier League campaign. The standout, naturally, is that remarkable solo effort from the late Dalian Atkinson against Wimbledon. Beyond that, its a surprisingly egalitarian list. The inclusion of FA Cup goals means there’s room for Julian Joachim’s sensational outside-of-the-boot scorcher into the top corner for Leicester against Barnsley, as well as an unlikely appearance from Altrincham’s Clive Freeman.

The ‘94-95 compilation is owned lock, stock and barrel by a Mr M. Le Tissier of Guernsey, but look out too for a fine individual goal from Peter Ndlovu, and Andy Clarke capping off a superb, Ajax-style team goal for, er, Wimbledon. Nayim embarrassing David Seaman from the halfway line for Real Zaragoza rounds things off, presumably just as a 1995 prototype of ‘bantz’.

Because I like you, here too is Saint and Greavsie’s Goal of the Season for 1991-92, which is worth it for an early introduction to the audacity of Eric Cantona…

8) Saves Galore 1990-91 and 1991-92

If you’re of the opinion that goals are overrated and prefer your sheets unsoiled by such sinful penetration, Saves Galore is for you. The VHS tapes from both of the final two pre-Premier League seasons are on YouTube in their entirety courtesy of Steve Stacy. 1990-91 has the heavyweights you’d expect – your Grobbelaars, your Seamans, your Southalls – but also serves as a reminder of what a talent the taken-too-soon Les Sealey was. Here he makes a save against Nottingham Forest that literally leaves Brian Clough agape.

1991-92 is notable for Peter Schmeichel introducing himself to English football and for John Lukic’s contribution to Leeds’ title win. Some of the less celebrated custodians get their moment to shine too however – Norwich understudy Mark Walton probably didn’t make too many more of these videos.

7) Rumbelows Sprint Challenge Final

A bizarre side quest running alongside the League Cup during Rumbelows’ sponsorship of the competition (other defunct electrical retailers are available), the Sprint Challenge sought to find the fastest player in the Football League over 100m. The final, broadcast at half time of a soporific League Cup final between Nottingham Forest and Manchester United, is somehow even weirder than you remember, introduced by horse racing ‘personality’ John McCririck, with ‘expert’ analysis from Steve Cram. Alan Parry meanwhile, is still mourning the exit from the competition of Keith Curle, whom he’d bollocked on about in every. bloody. round. only to see him fall at the semi final stage. It takes the athletes themselves to restore sanity – whatever happened to the flying postman?

6) Goallllazzo – Football Italia Goals

Compered by the immaculate James Richardson, this compilation of Serie A goals from 1994-96 demonstrates why Italy really was football’s penthouse during the 90s. Batistuta, Baggio, Signori, Weah and Gazza all pop up, but it’s hard to beat the collection of Gianluca Vialli volleys that kicks things off.

5) Soccer’s Hard Men

It’s hard to believe now, but in 1992, English football still had enough of the old Corinthian spirit left that this VHS could raise a veritable maelstrom of controversy. With hindsight, it’s almost quaint – the video itself is laughably lame, comprised mainly of Tony Francis going full Partridge from the outset while a bored Vinnie Jones talks politely over clips of assorted 70s and 80s hatchet men trying to murder Kevin Keegan.

The outcry stemmed from Jones’ revelation of the “tricks of the trade”, most of which anyone who’d played in or watched any game at any level already knew about – the crafty elbow when challenging in the air, the studs raked down the back of the Achilles, yanking a felled opponent to their feet via their armpit hair. Ooh, you’re hard…

There was much media pearl-clutching around why such a video had been commissioned in the first place (naturally, it proved the stocking filler for impressionable young fans that Christmas). Jones, for his part, was charged with bringing the game into disrepute by the FA, receiving a six-month suspended ban and what was at the time the biggest fine in English football history (£20,000). He also faced censure from employers Wimbledon, who definitely didn’t agree with this sort of thing, being slammed as “mosquito-brained” by Sam Hammam.

4) The Football Men – Busby, Stein and Shankly

Made in 1997, this BBC documentary, presented by colossus of football journalism Hugh McIlvanney, looks at the lives and careers of three all-time managerial greats, and the impact on them of the Scottish mining communities that spawned them. That rare beast – a documentary that treats football fans as grown ups – this is marvellous. Parts two and three are also available.

3) Match of the Nineties

If Premier League Years can be a bit long and bombastic, Mark and Lard’s breeze through the decade is decidedly shorter and more fun. 1993-94 is posted but 91-92, 96-97, 97-98 and 98-99 are also present and correct.

2) Assorted Danny Baker videos

Baker is a marmite character, but none of the hired gun ‘banter’ presenters of seasonal Own Goals and Gaffs videos have come close to his passionate, fan-to-fan links. Own Goals and Gaffs and its sequel are the two best known compilations, but Freak Football is a terrific exploration of some of the game’s less common phenomena (from the high scoring game, to the first minute goal, to a bloke repainting the penalty spot while John Motson combusts in the background). Right Hammerings meanwhile, does what it says on the tin.

Baker was also a regular guest on the seminal, groundbreaking Fantasy Football League, which…hasn’t aged entirely well in places, but at its best is irresistibly silly and a welcome antidote to the modern portentousness of ‘Super Sundays’ and ‘Red Mondays’. The best of videos (volumes one, two and three) offer the most accessible viewings.

1) All the Goals of Italia ’90

As the 30th anniversary of this most celebrated of World Cups approaches, one which is responsible for so many 90s children falling in love with the sport, a barrage of nostalgia pieces is imminent (the Vincerà podcast in particular sounds tremendous). Criticisms of the lack of goals, an overabundance of defensive play and a tournament so cynical it led to the backpass law aren’t invalid; but Italia ’90, arguably more than any other World Cup, was a competition of moments, of characters, of stories. The sheer drama of football, almost Shakespearean in its heft, was on display in so many of the plots and subplots running throughout. They’re all here, narrated with considerable gravitas by the late Brian Moore. The bug-eyed glee of zero-to-hero Toto Schillachi. Roger Milla, the oldest swinger in town. The madcap antics of Rene Higuita. Ireland’s maiden World Cup. The sheer hatred emanating from West Germany vs The Netherlands. Gazzamania. The end of Maradona’s love affair with Naples. Drink it in. When something’s good, it’s never gone.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s