Bradford’s Capital One Cup quarter-final win against Arsenal on Tuesday night evoked memories of some great night playing in the competition for Scarborough FC.
To see Bradford, whose team cost a mere £70,000 compared to the £70million their more illustrious opponents, go through on penalties was nothing short of outstanding.
No matter how they beat them, whether it be penalties, extra-time or in the 90 minutes, it is still a remarkeable performance.
Back in the 1992-93 season, we had a superb run in the Coca Cola cup.
Ironically, we played Bradford in the first rounf and we beat them 3-0 at home and then 5-3 away.
To beat them 8-3 on aggregate was a great achievement. The away leg in particular was one of the best team performances I ever played in. We were fantastic.
We were then drawn against Coventry and managed to go through to the next round despite losing the first leg away from home.
We beat Plymouth in round three to book a tie against Arsenal at the McCain Stadium. I remember it was a long trek back from the away game and it was a memorable bus trip. Everyone was ecstatic as we had got a 3-3 draw.
The replay at home had to be put back 20 minutes as loads more fans turned up than we were expecting.
We were expecting about 2,000 and about 4,500 turned up. We went 1-0 down but turned it round to win 2-1.
It was a horrible, foggy night when we played Arsenal and that ruined it a bit, for the fans and the players alike.
Lining up against the famous back five of David Seaman, Lee Dixon, Tony Adams, Steve Bould and Nigel Winterburn was quite nerve-wracking.
I thought we played really well and competed for the whole game.
A screamer from Nigel Winterburn was the difference in the end. A replay at Arsenal would have been nice but it wasn’t to be.
I remember thinking I’d scored a header but Seaman pulled off the best save I’ve ever seen - I couldn’t believe it.
They were good memories and teams used to take it more seriously back in those days.
Their manager at the time, George Graham, gave us all the respect we deserved. He said he’d been to watch a couple of our games, which was nice to hear.
Teams don’t take the League Cup as seriously anymore. I think both cups have lost a bit of their attraction from the bigger clubs.
It is a shame, but clubs will always prioritise with the Premier League or their european competitions.
We saw the ugly side of the game come to the fore in the past week as well.
The Manchester City fans throwing coins at Rio Ferdinand at the end of the Manchester derby on Sunday was bad for the game’s reputation.
We also saw the headlines coming out of Holland, where a volunteer linesman was kicked to death during a junior game.
It doesn’t matter what sport you’re involved in, or what level you’re involved at, you don’t expect to see or hear of things like that happening.
It seems the guy was just a volunteer who helped out in running the line at a junior football match and he was attacked.
It’s tragic and hopefully the football authorities will clamp down so this sort of thing doesn’t happen again.
Sadly, the coin throwing thing isn’t new to football, and it could have been a lot worse.
An inch lower and Rio would have lost his eye, all for the sake of stupidity.
I remember back when I was playing we’d get a hard time, especially at certain grounds that nobody looked forward to going to.
The coloured players used to get even more abuse. They would have bananas thrown at them and everything, which was sad to see, but it was just accepted back then.
There were grounds that players used to hate going to. There never used to be any volunteers to take penalties at Millwall, and I soon found out why.
The first time I played there I went to take a corner and wondered why nobody else wanted the honours.
No disrespect to some of the clubs we used to dislike going to, but playing at Millwall, West Ham, Chelsea and Leeds among others was a nightmare and nobody enjoyed those away days.
The issue seems to be creeping back into the game now and it is unacceptable.
Football seemed to be heading in the right direction too. More of a family orientated game with attendances up, but this is definitely a step back to the dark days of the 1980’s.
FOREMAN’S QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“He’s like Madonna or Prince in the world of sailing. He doesn’t need a second name. It’s just Ben.” Shirley Robertson pays tribute to BBC Sports Personality of the Year nominee Ben Ainslie.
FOREMAN’S PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK:
It has to be Bradford City doesn’t it? That could only happen in football. It was a cracking performance and they deserve all the plaudits coming their way this week.