English football in the 1990s was brilliant.
Modern football is great too, of course, but the birth of the Premier League in 1992 signalled the start of an era on these shores which will probably never be matched in terms of excitement.
The standard was nowhere near what it is today, but that’s what made it so good. There was such disparity in quality between some of the existing players and new signings from overseas that great goals, bad tackles and hilarious bloopers were happening on a weekly basis. Here are some more reasons why we love 90s football.
In 1990, you could get a ticket for £4. Four. Pounds. Just let that sink in.
The new Premier League
Sky Sports and the Premier League meant loads more televised games and an influx of exotic overseas signings. It was great!
Unknown overseas signings
YouTube, FIFA and Football Manager have made everyone an ‘expert’, but a lot of foreign players that moved to England in the 90s were complete unknowns to most people. It was a lot more exciting.
Some of them being brilliant
Yes, there was the odd Marco Boogers, but surprises like Georgi Kinkladze pushed the entertainment level to a new high.
Spectacular own goals
The standard is so good these days you simply don’t see own goals like this any longer. More’s the pity.
— QPR FC (@QPR) April 25, 2017
Football is a form of entertainment. And the best type of entertainment is comedy. The players are so good now that nobody is ballsing up, and if they do we’ve seen it on Twitter within 10 minutes. Poor Nick Hancock.
Outfielders going in goal
Back in the days of three subs, this used to happen quite a lot. It’s sadly a rarity now.
Everyone is so well media-trained these days that interviews like this are sadly are thing of the past.
Players we could relate to
Twenty-five years ago a player could walk into the pub on a Thursday night, order a pint and have a smoke without anyone batting an eyelid. Most footballers were just ordinary people like the rest of us…
Just like Britpop and Walkmen, football hardmen are no longer fashionable. Back in the 90s, the likes of Vinnie Jones, Stuart Pearce and Duncan Ferguson were some of the most popular players around.
Before ProZone, Opta and GPS, nobody cared how far a flair player had run so long as he was doing things like this.
Football on TV
As well as all the live games, there was Fantasy Football League, Soccer AM and, of course, Football Italia. Everyone still loved Match of the Day too…
Ceefax and Teletext
Before Soccer Saturday, this was how everyone followed the scores until Final Score started. Somehow, it was thrilling.
FIFA, ISS, Champ Man, Sensible Soccer, Kick Off 2…there were a ridiculous amount of brilliant football games in the 90s.
Song 2, Life of Riley, Out of the Sinking, World in Motion, Three Lions…so many 90s songs will forever make you think of football.
Italia 90 – World in Motion, Ciao the Mascot, Nessun Dorma and the semis for England.
USA 94 – Bebeto!
Euro 96 – The semis again.
France 98 – The greatest World Cup in living memory?
Even the sponsors were better in the 90s.
The facilities weren’t quite up to modern-day standards, but at least there was some variety.
Just look at that list!
If ever you're feeling down, just look at the list of the 1998 Ballon d'Or nominees 🤩 pic.twitter.com/CYFf5eWFjp
— Planet Football (@planetfutebol) April 27, 2020
The chance of winning
In the first half of the 90s, Leeds United, Crystal Palace, Sheffield Wednesday, Aston Villa, Norwich City, Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United and Nottingham Forest all finished in the top three at some point. True competition was still alive.