Arsenal Gold: League Cup Finals Part 1 Feb25


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Arsenal Gold: League Cup Finals Part 1 take a trip down memory lane to recount our memories of previous Arsenal League Cup Finals, with our first of a two part special building up to the Carling Cup Final on Sunday.

Sunday represents a great opportunity to briefly satisfy Arsenal’s hunger for silverware, any silverware, which has rumbled since 2005. Not only that, it’s also a chance to register the first trophy of the season. Priority or otherwise, it’s better to have it in the bag than to watch someone else lifting the cup.

It’s not a coincidence that of the past 5 finals, a period Man United and Chelsea have dominated domestically, either or both have been in the Final, only failing to win on one occasion. It’s not the main course but it could be tasty starter.

Whilst I wouldn’t expect any of our players to break down in tears of joy like Robbie Keane did in 2008, I would hope it would give the lads the belief that they can see a job through.

Thinking about the Carling Cup this week led me down memory lane. I remembered that some of my earliest memories of being a Gooner were tied up with the League Cup. Allow me, if you will, to dispense with the usual razor sharp analysis and focus purely on nostalgia for a while.

Littlewoods Cup Final - 5th April 1987 – Wembley Stadium
Arsenal 2 – 1 Liverpool

Watching my Dad go through his pre match rituals and walk out the door, Wembley bound, is my first memory of being an Arsenal fan. This was the first time I can remember that rush of nerves and excitement. A feeling I still get every match day.

As I remember it was a beautiful early summer day. My Mum, my 2 sisters and my 2 month old brother were all in the front room, watching it on ITV. 1-0 down to an Ian Rush strike on 23 minutes was not a good start.

The mood in the house and coming through the commentary was that a goal down to Liverpool meant that was pretty much that. Not so.

Most of the game is a daze but I still vividly remember Perry Groves, jinking down the left, skipping to the bye line and pulling back for Charlie Nicholas to poke a scruffy shot past Grobbelaar.

Cue delirious scenes of a 6 year old Gooner, with a blonde mullet, sprinting round his garden in full Arsenal kit, screaming hysterically. I don’t remember a lot about the rest of the day, just pure pleasure.

This was the first trophy George Graham won for Arsenal and it was the first time I felt like a proper Arsenal fan.