Chelsea v Ajax – the spectacle that nobody wanted to end

BACK IN 1970, one of the most captivating games of an outstanding World Cup, Italy’s 4-3 win over West Germany, was so exciting that the final whistle left you disappointed that the match had ended after 120 pulsating minutes. The same feeling was evident at Stamford Bridge when Chelsea and Ajax shared eight goals on an evening that reminded the near-40,000 crowd that the UEFA … Continue reading Chelsea v Ajax – the spectacle that nobody wanted to end

Great Reputations: Anderlecht mid-1970s, trusting in purple

BELGIAN teams never made much of an impact in Europe in the early years of UEFA’s club competitions, the country was largely seen as an also-ran when it came to football. Teams like Anderlecht and Antwerp sustained very heavy blows in the first European Cup tournaments, often suffering double figure aggregate defeats. But the dynamic across the continent began to change in the 1960s and … Continue reading Great Reputations: Anderlecht mid-1970s, trusting in purple

Europe’s finest in 1972

TO SOME people, the year 1972 was one of the finest in post-war football. The Football League title race was one of the most engaging of all time, with Derby County coming out on top, beating off the challenge of Manchester City, Leeds United and Liverpool. In Europe, Ajax Amsterdam were in their pomp, winning a second successive European Cup and the European Football Championship … Continue reading Europe’s finest in 1972

Piet Keizer – until Cruyff, he was the man

IT IS always sad to hear of the passing of a football great and Piet Keizer’s death is a reminder that the heroes of a golden era are gradually leaving the playing field of life. Keizer didn’t really figure in World Cup 1974, having played in just one of the Netherlands’ seven games in West Germany, a goalless draw with Sweden in Dortmund. In fact, … Continue reading Piet Keizer – until Cruyff, he was the man