Mailbox: Were the 90s the golden age of football?

Was the 90s the golden age of football? Or is that only the case if you were a kid in the 90s? We also have emails on Arteta, Solskjaer and the strikers who have become managers. Send your comments to

The golden age of football
Thanks to Johnny Nic for making me relive some of the old days, and thanks to Matt Stead for this article on the worst assists, because one helped me answer the other’s question.

The golden age of football was the ’90s. I was raised as a Spurs fan, and around that time I saw people like Jurgen Klinsmann, David Ginola, Teddy Sheringham and, uh… Stephen Carr. But I was regularly sent to my aunt’s house in Middlesbrough, who was a consultant surgeon at the club and was invited to do stuff, so around that time I not only saw them play, but I also met people like Juninho. , Emerson, Ravanelli and, um… Colin Cooper. We lived just outside of Oxford so my dad took me to see them a few times, with legendary Joey Beauchamp tearing him apart in the Premier League. And I clearly remember Manchester City visiting in 1997 when Georgi Kinkladze absolutely stole the show and scored twice in a 4-1 win.

What other era has had players of this quality, along with Colin Cooper, in such a haphazard array of clubs across the divisions? It was as if football was playing for fun. Money was just starting to climb to levels high enough that players could fully engage and not worry about what will happen next. The tactical and lifestyle innovations of this era are well known. The ’90s were that glorious time between the old and the new, when it all got mixed up and sort of improved both versions.

Some highlights from elsewhere during this period: Beckham scoring halfway, Bergkamp being great but tied to the earth, Vinny Jones catching people’s balls, Gazza being magic, the whole of Euro 96, l Cantona kung fu incident, this whole Spice Boys affair in Liverpool…

I won’t put an official start and end date, but the Premier League formation until Man United winning the treble in 1999 seems like a good pair of scorers. But as Johnny Nic pointed out, your personal golden age is probably every time you were a kid. Back when things were better.

Have a nice day everyone.
Harry, THFC

Arteta up to the task
Since Simon decided to raise judging whether Arteta should already be fired, thought I would split my two cents.

Looking at the opening matches, I would say Arteta is probably roughly tied given the opposition. Brentford beat us was a shame, but they drew 3-3 against a much better side at Liverpool. Chelsea and City were inevitable humiliations, wins at Burnley and Norwich expected despite a low score, a win over Spurs is still demanded and a 0-0 draw against the team with the third best defense in the league and taking three points against Leicester (and for me the best tactical manager). So other than Brentford, things went well.

In the last four games, Arteta finally got “his team” and it ended with three wins and one draw. Coming up, Palace (w), Villa (d), Leeds (w), Leicester (d) and Watford (w) offer in my mind 11 more points which would represent good progress again for Arteta if he got them before the month of november. / December schedule. The defense looks a lot more solid, giving us a solid base to push on, but I don’t disagree, we need more goals if we were going to get those 11 points but I’m not sure that is. entirely Arteta’s fault, Aubameyang is clearly out of form, Saka looks tired. But he has to figure it out and quickly and that’s ultimately his job.

I would add that the 4-0 away from Slavia Prague, 4 goals at Leeds, 3 at Benefica, 3 at Newcastle, 4 at West Brom, 3 at Southampton and 3 at Chelsea prove that Arteta can stand out from his forwards, these were all in the second half of last season. It would be nice if it could come back, but it took the first half of last season to build a solid defensive base before we started scoring high numbers, hopefully we get there sooner this year.

As to whether we should renew his contract, I remain convinced that we have to wait until Christmas. If he is in the top six by Christmas I would be happy to have an extra time, no less and I will join Graham on the Arteta unless he has more bad luck than he does. already had some.
Rob A (Tomi, Ramsdale, Sambi and White all proving to be good transfers also helps fight his corner) AFC

Ole is not wrong to rest Ronaldo
I have seen many experts, and since this morning I now see Alex Ferguson says now that ‘you should always start with your best players’, I don’t really understand that yet, especially when it comes to United’s draw with Everton this weekend and how silly that seems.

Before kickoff, like many others, I thought Ronaldo should have started but he didn’t and guess what; United were in the lead in the first half, they didn’t quite dominate but had the best of luck with Cavani and Martial missing out on good chances, and the latter of course converting another chance. 1-0, a few breaks on the clock and a few conceded but deserved opportunities from leaders on the balance of the game.

After 60 minutes, Ronaldo and Sancho enter the pitch and United win when the “best player” comes onto the pitch to continue and shoot the game. He was brought in to find the extra goal, I understand that, but given the performance after joining United he might have been significantly worse (and I realize we’ll never know) if Ronaldo had started, they might have conceded earlier. In fact, I thank Ole for changing the team that lost a goal in their 5 (FIVE !!) previous games. Yes, Ronaldo has found the moment magical on several occasions, but it’s worth considering whether the moment (s) would have been necessary if we had played like we did in the first 45 on Wednesday, as a cohesive unit. .
Barry, MUFC, Dublin

McTominay, Striker-managers, and the real F365
I must disagree with McTominay review. He hasn’t had a good start to the season, but he’s just been laid off and is adjusting to a lot of changes in the first team, in terms of what’s going on behind and in front of him. McTominay plays in the heart of the Scottish defense and has done well against very good teams. Anyone remember the one game England didn’t score at Euro 2021? And as he has shown against teams like Leeds and Man City, he can appear to score. He also stood up to Neymar and co. Its problem is clearly the consistency and clarity of its role. He is physically strong and very energetic. He’s at the very least the Darren Fletcher mark 2, but has the potential to be much bigger. If he played for another club outside of the top 4 there would be rave reviews about him, that’s just the nature of the game.

And also for Tim, who begins with whether great forwards make good managers, but then goes on to describe the traits of any striker. While I agree with the logic – the midfielder and defenders see more of the game in front of them and need to think more about the patterns of play, I have 3 words for you: Sir Alex Ferguson.

Also, re the Optimistic article on Solskjaer and Man United – who are you and what have you done with the real F365?
Ved Sen (MUFC)

Just a short selection of lines on strikers turned managers
An attacker therefore cannot be a good manager.

I’m sure Sir Alex Ferguson would have something to say.
Sharath, Singapore

… I’m sure I won’t be the only one to point out to Tim that a certain A. Ferguson may have been a forward.

Wasn’t Mancini (winner of Euros and EPL) a second striker?

Maybe not a top, top (thank you Arry) manager, but didn’t striker George Graham win a title or 2?

Three that came to mind in the first 20 seconds.
Adam, Australia

… Just to pick up on Tim’s email this morning that strikers don’t make great managers. I would like to propose the following:

Ferguson, Sir Alex
Dalglish, Sir Kenny
Clough, Brian
Klopp, Jürgen
Hitzfeld, Ottmar
Heynkes, Jupp
Cruyff, Johan
Michels, Rinus
Mancini, Roberto

… I’m sure you’ll get a bunch of answers regarding this one, but I can think of a striker who has become a pretty good manager. A guy called Alex Ferguson, who Tim may have heard of.

Before becoming arguably the greatest manager of all time, he was also the top scorer in the Scottish Premier Division, back when it was competitive and Scottish sides won European Cups.

Then there is Brian Clough. A ridiculously prolific forward who became a coach at a young age after a career-ending injury. With his unconventional management style, he won the league with 2 small unassuming teams. He has also won the European Cup twice as well as a European Super Cup – with Nottingham bloomin Forest.

A more recent example is Roberto Mancini who has won major trophies in Italy, England and internationally. Pretty decent by anyone’s standards.

So of course Ole might not be living up to Man Utd’s expectations (he’s an Ole cash machine, right?), But that’s probably not because ‘he’s a striker, but rather because he’s an average manager.
Adonis (Ole in!) Stevenson, AFC

… Tim brings up a good point. Racking my brains for the forwards who have moved on to management, I remember a pretty astute Scottish striker who joined Rangers for a record amount at the time and scored crucial goals for them in Europe. I wonder what happened to Alex Chapman Ferguson?
Samwise, MUFC

… As Tim deliberately sets the bar high for a “great striker to become a great manager”, I’m sure I won’t be the only person to point out that to varying degrees, many talented forwards have become managers to success. Tim’s larger point, that they are exceptions to the general rules, but some of the most influential managers in football history were strikers, many of them very good: Fred Pentland and Steve Bloomer, for example, survived to the horrors of Ruhleben and made the Basque region a football power in the interwar period. After World War II, when European football competitions were properly established, Rinus Michels (and later Johan Cruyff) and Valeriy Lobanovskyi became stars; these competitions (and many more) would later be won by Brian Clough, Sir Alex Ferguson and Jupp Heynckes. Finally, there is the last coach to have won the English men’s elite with two different clubs: Sir Kenny Dalglish.

Really, this is just a front on a free attempt to get Steve Bloomer mentioned in the mailbox, so thanks Tim.
Ed Quoththeraven