A Blast from the Past

A Blast from the Past

Soccer on TV

A Blast from the Past

So it was a lazy Sunday night and the viewing options were aplenty. There are the Oscars (yawn), The Wire (my favorite TV show, bar none, but one I watched later on via TIVO) and a rerun of a Chris Rock special (seen it too many times). I decided to go with, yes, you guessed it, some mid-90s EPL soccer.

The match is a 1995 encounter between Manchester United vs. Ipswich Town, a match I would have easily skipped past if not for hearing the announcer say, "the Canadian." It takes a second to realize that Frank Yallop just might be playing in this match. I rewind the match (really match highlights) to the beginning and I’m glad I did.

I started out wondering why in the world this match would be shown in the EPL archives series, but it eventually became clear as the goals began raining in. When the damage was done, Man U had scored nine goals on the day, with five coming from Andy Cole and at least three coming at the expense of Mr. San Jose Earthquakes himself, Yallop.

The first came with the score already 1-0 Man U. Yallop was near the midfield stripe trying to send a ball downfield only to have his pass picked off by Ryan Giggs, who proceeds to speed down the left flank before delivering a perfect cross that Cole finished off.

Giggs and Cole combined again when Giggs blazed down the left flank, turning Yallop around a few times before finding Cole with another perfect cross. I couldn’t help but think of how much the 1995 Giggs looked like the 2008 Lionel Messi.

Yallop’s nightmare day wasn’t over. Cole capped the day with a turn and shot goal from close range that came with Yallop draped all over his back. Yallop’s face told the story of the horrendous day and the gloomy look was a familiar one. It was the same one Yallop wore on the sidelines last summer as head coach of a struggling LA Galaxy squad. It was probably the same face Patrick Ianni had after being fried in the Pan Pacific Championship final against Gamba Osaka.

I know there’s plenty of present-day soccer to watch on a regular basis but whenever there is a chance to catch a glimpse of the past I highly recommend it. You never know what you will see.

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