In terms of consistency he could, and probably should, do better. Ray Houghton would chastise himself for not at least trying to bring Thomas down. How Partey can help solve Arsenal’s creativity issue. He was surprised by the reception he received and, as he recently told the Liverpool Echo’s excellent podcast the Brink, he was charmed by the number of youngsters asking him for his autograph. The Mirror ran a headline which caught the mood of the day: You Haven’t Got A Prayer, Arsenal. The information contained in may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of, Michael Thomas's championship-winning goal in the dying seconds of a 2-0 win over the Reds changed the way football was perceived in England, Arteta’s Willian gamble backfires for Arsenal, Suarez’s La Liga goal mark second only to Ronaldo, Liverpool denied in derby by 'completely unforgivable' VAR, Who needs Aouar or Ozil? He delivers that outrageous boast in deadpan Scouse, as if nobody in the world would even quibble with the assertion. On that occasion, Arsenal had lost 6-1 at Old Trafford in 1952 as the title went to Matt Busby’s dashing young team. Arsenal had confounded expectations in that first half, biding their time and not looking particularly rushed or desperate.They’d fielded three central defenders. However, while Arsenal’s 2-0 win at Anfield is more popularly remembered as a defining moment in changing the landscape of the sport, the Taylor Report had a more important impact on the future of the sport.

Stadia becoming structurally sound helped make football grounds safe and inviting, and the formation of the Premier League reinvented football as a dazzling entertainment industry.

They scored through Alan Smith on 52 minutes. Although Liverpool went on to win their match against Arsenal 3-1 on Monday evening, the score slightly flattered the hosts in the end. But physical and emotional fatigue appeared to take over. Liverpool wasn’t abandoned or left to decline, at least not officially, but the neglect continued. Somehow, the team managed to tap into their knack for producing important results in the vital moments. In both instances, stadium decay and police focus on preventing violence, rather than safety, were partly to blame.

However, former Arsenal legend, Michael Thomas, thinks the forward gets a bad rap that isn’t deserved.

“And that means that other basic things like safety precautions and treating people properly at football were overlooked.”.

“Aldridge is down. Fortunately for Thomas, the ball fell back into his path.

Worse, a scurrilous series of allegations printed in the Sun newspaper placed the blame for the disaster with the Liverpool fans in one of the most infamous pieces of journalism in the long centuries of the print tradition. Michael Heseltine, the minister for the environment, had gone on a three-week walkabout of the city and returned as a voice of conscience, adamant that neglect was the source of the trouble.

And it catches something of the swagger and unassailable self-belief that cuts through Liverpool, an inherent sense of pride and place that nothing; not the bleakest Tory vision nor the 30-year trauma of Hillsborough nor the fact that the events of that tragedy clearly knocked the football club off its axis nor even the spooky unalterable drama of that Friday night could change. The celebrations, at the start of the year, had a hollow, half hearted feel about them because it had been a nightmarish decade for the national game.

Michael Thomas, who would play the most significant role in the outcome and later joined Liverpool under Graeme Souness, remembers feeling already beaten when he and his team-mates gathered two days before to find out which team Graham had selected for this unique match.

Heseltine’s report, It Took A Riot, implored Margaret Thatcher and the cabinet to commit to serious funding for Liverpool and other cities wracked with socio-economic problems, arguing that conditions were “not compatible with the traditions of social justice and national even handedness which the party prides itself on.’, “Isn’t this pumping water uphill?” wondered Howe in a private memo. Arsenal fans will love this as Arteta explains why debut performance was so impressive, Frank Lampard’s rift with Chelsea star wrecked another defender’s potential exit, ‘I could talk for five or six hours’ – Busquets lays bare the problems at Barcelona, Partey’s dad ‘hoped’ a ‘bigger team’ than Arsenal would sign Thomas amid Chelsea and Juventus interest, Arsenal transfer window performance: Analysis of signings, sales and missed targets in strong summer for the Gunners, Arsene Wenger hints at his preferred successor to Mikel Arteta as Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta would do well to heed Wenger’s advice on how to deal with Ozil, Arsenal target Houssem Aouar speaks out after failed Gunners transfer, ‘Allows us to play different formations’ – Arteta on Partey’s importance to Arsenal, Arsenal considering strengthening midfield further with transfer of 19-year-old talent, Confirmed: Four big names left out of Arsenal’s Europa League squad, Pundit makes big claim about top four battle between Arsenal, Man United and Tottenham, Mikel Arteta had key role in stopping Arsenal star sealing Barcelona transfer, Arsenal owners approved Thomas Partey deal after Mikel Arteta’s personal plea. Demonized and neglected, football had been left to decay, its hooliganism problem spiralling out of control as Thatcher’s government looked upon the working-class pastime in the same way they did the miners; an inconvenience, a problem. “The whole agenda was dominated by the hooliganism problem, that informed people's reactions, it informed the authorities' reactions to everything,” Malcolm Clarke, chairman of the Football Supporters' Federation, told Sky News in 2016.

Four days later, they won the FA Cup with a 3-2 win over cross-city rivals Everton.

This one wouldn’t be so much celebrated as marked. The implications of the disaster, coupled with events at Anfield seven weeks later, changed football forever, shifting it away from a trajectory that would have made the sport a modern irrelevance.

Slowly but surely the relationship between football and wider society was repaired, and while there are numerous factors often cited in the nation’s reimagining of the sport in the 1990s – from the tenderness of Gazza’s (Paul Gascoigne) tears at Italia 90, to Britpop’s love of football, to Nick Hornby's book 'Fever Pitch', which centred on Thomas's title winner at Anfield, making football palatable to the middle classes – there is no doubt about the two biggest factors. I’ll always fail to fully understand how a passage of football play that happened over 30 years ago has always managed to retain something of the omnipotence of the future even as it unfolds in replay.

It was the moment when Michael Thomas wrote his name in Arsenal folklore. Barnes is down. Then, in stoppage time, Liverpool’s John Barnes tried a dribble infield when he could have taken it towards the corner. They’d finished sixth in 1988 and George Graham was rebuilding a team, shedding glossy, attractive players like Charlie Nicholas and Viv Anderson with more uncompromising forces- Lee Dixon, Steve Bould, Alan Smith. 31 May 2017. “It wasn't a question of 'This is a massive opportunity to change the way we market the game', it was more a question of 'How are we going to pay for this?'”. This name will appear beside any comments you post. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber. However, former Arsenal legend, Michael Thomas, thinks the forward gets a bad rap that isn’t deserved. After the Hillsborough tragedy, the team played no football for over two weeks. It meant that anything better than a two-goal defeat for Liverpool and the title would be theirs; victory by two goals for Arsenal would deny them the double and crown George Graham’s side champions by virtue of number of goals scored.

This night, this year and perhaps the entire decade had been building towards the end game which was now occurring before their eyes. “First and foremost he is aggressive in the tackle, likes to win aerial duels and doesn’t look like he’s going to be bullied, knows when to play it simple and looks forward with his passes. GGG6: Michael Thomas v Liverpool, 1989 31 May 2017 It's time to reveal the Gunners' Greatest 50 Goals - as voted for by Arsenal's fans. We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the, For the best site experience please enable JavaScript in your browser settings, Stephen Kenny: Matt Doherty’s Spurs switch a ‘great deal’ for player and club, La Liga sides with Barcelona over Lionel Messi’s contract, Messi split-up: How Barcelona and their greatest ever player drifted apart, Dublin flex their muscles and get the better of old rivals Meath, Clifford shines, Kerry win and some normality is felt in Monaghan, GAA should be thanked for performing a national service, Big six pay-per-putsch is two fingers to English football’s history and heritage, How to get a warm, energy-efficient home now and into the future, Choosing a pension? “It just flashed before you, the goal. Although Liverpool secured the title again the following season, the 23 years since have been barren in league terms and it was this match which proved that Liverpool were no longer invincible. Dalgish is just standing there.

It was as a direct consequence of Hillsborough that the title decider was moved to a Friday night after every other team had completed their seasons, making it an isolated event in the calendar.

Hooliganism had become a standard feature of club seasons. “Yes he could add more goals to his game, but at the same time I don’t think his strike partner would get the amount of goals he does without Lacazette in the middle.”, More Stories / Latest News There was a confidence that we’d be champions.”. The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription.

It looked, to all the world, like an impossible task. Instead, he did what Barnes always did: he took his man on, he tried to create.

Partey’s dad ‘hoped’ a ‘bigger team’ than Arsenal would sign Thomas amid Chelsea and Juventus interest It kicked off at 8.05 pm and the sky was still bright. It also meant the entire nation was watching when Thomas did the unthinkable.

Aldridge is down, Barnes is down; Dalglish just stands there, Nicol’s on his knees, McMahon’s on his knees.”.

Jurgen Klopp calls convinced Thiago Alcantara to join Liverpool despite late offer to rejoin Barcelona “Should we rather go for managed decline? This is not a term for use even privately.”.

One of the most chilling political terms of the last century was “managed decline.” It was attributed to Geoffrey Howe, the Chancellor in the Conservative government then privately debating what to “do” about Liverpool in the wake of the nine-night riots in Toxteth in July of 1981. 1 month ago Former Arsenal and Liverpool midfielder Michael Thomas has assessed Gabriel’s impressive debut for the Gunners, exclusively to …

Arsenal, meanwhile, were faltering in the glare, losing to Derby, drawing with Wimbledon. If there’s one thing that stops Lacazette from being termed a world-class striker, it would be that he tends to blow hot and cold.

GGG6: Michael Thomas v Liverpool, 1989.

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