Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Soccer Memories-Part 39 (April 28, 1993, WC Qualifier, England vs. Holland)

 England faced the Netherlands for an important World Cup qualifier at Wembley on April 28th, 1993.

Just a year prior, no one would have imagined that the two would be fighting it out for the second place behind Norway in the race to qualify to the American World Cup in 1994.

England’s form under Manager Graham Taylor had been unspectacular since the 1990 World Cup to say the least, yet not qualifying to the World Cup would have been un-imaginable.

This calendar year would get worse and worse for Taylor and this match would be the first step on the road to dismissal at the end of the year.


This was a match at home that England had to win to have an edge in qualification as they had lost a lifeline with a home draw vs. Norway in October 1992. England could not afford any more dropped points at home.

But worse was yet to come to another busy end of season/summer for the National Team.

For the English, Alan Shearer was out with a long-term injury, but Les Ferdinand had been called up to deputize for these early 1993 matches. Despite not starting for Juventus as the extra foreigner (pre-Bosman days remember), David Platt, had been exemplary for England and the best avenue for goals. Paul Gascoigne had been back after an entire year out injured and had been slowly finding his feet at Italian side Lazio.

There were the customary criticisms for the inclusion of far from fit John Barnes and the continual selection of Carlton Palmer, that many believed was not International material.


Photo From:  World Soccer, June 1993

(John De Wolf and Les Ferdinand, April 28, 1993, World Cup Qualifier, England 2-Holland 2)

The Dutch were missing Ronald Koeman and Ballon d’or Winner Marco Van Basten. Ruud Gullit was also far from ideal in a season, where he had also been the victim of the extra-foreign player rule.

Holland’s new star was Ajax’s Dennis Bergkamp, on his way to the Serie A himself the following season to Internazionale Milano.

He had impressed in the 1992 Euros and was becoming a global star.


Photo From:  Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 8, August 1993

(Des Walker and Dennis Bergkamp, April 28, 1993, World Cup Qualifier, England 2-Holland 2)

For the match itself, given their predicament, England came out more determined. The much-criticized John Barnes scored from a free kick in the very first minute.

In the 23rd minute, England doubled the lead, with Platt knocking in a rebound after Ferdinand’s shot had hit the post.

England seemed headed for a win but an injury to Gascoigne would perhaps change England’s fortunes in this match.

Jan Wouters elbowed the Gascoigne and fractured his cheekbone. He would wear a face protective mask for the rest of the first half before being substituted.


Photo From:  Het Nederlands Elftal, de histoire van oranje, 1989-1995, Authors Matty Verkamman and Henk Mees

(Jan Wouters elbowing Paul Gascoigne, April 28, 1993, World Cup Qualifier, England 2-Holland 2)

The Dutch would take advantage of this dis-array in England’s play by pulling a goal back in the 34th minute with a brilliant volley through Dennis Bergkamp.

This goal gave the Dutch some hope as England went into the break somewhat dejected after the goal.

England held onto to this slim lead until Walker gave away a penalty as he was unable to keep up with the pace of Dutch winger and future Gunner Marc Overmars.

Photo From:  World Soccer, September 1993

(Des Walker fouling Marc Overmars in the box, April 28, 1993, World Cup Qualifier, England 2-Holland 2)

Peter van Vossen scored from the ensuing penalty kick to earn the Dutch an important away point and perhaps the psychological edge in the battle for qualification.

A distraught Taylor told the media afterwards that he had felt like crying after a win eluded them in the closing stages.


An opportunity had slipped by England, at the time it did not feel immediately catastrophic, but was clearly the start of the end of the qualification hopes, even if many matches still remained.



1-In the Italian Serie A that season (1992/93), clubs could have as many foreign players as they liked, but only three would be authorized to feature on the teamsheet for a given match.



Questions and Analysis

I have asked my friend and podcast partner Mr. Paul Whittle of, @1888letter for his memories of this match.


Link to Mr. Paul Whittle’s book (Before the Premier League: A History of the Football League's Last Decades):



Soccernostalgia Question: Going into this match, what was your pre-match feeling for the result?


Mr. Paul Whittle @1888letter Response: I was certainly not too optimistic, as England had never really been convincing under Graham Taylor, and the Dutch were obviously one of the best teams in Europe at the time.


Soccernostalgia Question: Do you remember watching the match?


Mr. Paul Whittle @1888letter Response: I can’t actually remember where I watched it, not at home as it was on Sky. I still watched most England games, and with it being an important qualifier I would have seen it somewhere. It hasn’t remained in the memory as strongly as the return game in Rotterdam…


Soccernostalgia Question: It was a match of contrasting fortunes. Did you believe England could hold on after a (2-0) start or cautious?


Mr. Paul Whittle @1888letter Response: It was definitely one of the better, if not the best, performances by England under Taylor and got off to a great start but always cautious, especially against such dangerous opposition.


Soccernostalgia Question: I assume Ruud Gullit and Rijkaard would have been well-known in England, do you remember if Dennis Bergkamp was known in England at the time?


Mr. Paul Whittle @1888letter Response: He didn’t yet have the profile he would later on, but he was known from his impact on the 1992 Euros and as another outstanding young player produced by Ajax.


Soccernostalgia Question: The sight of Paul Gascoigne playing with a protective mask is another indelible image of this match. What are your thoughts on the clash with Wouters and had VAR been in use at the time?


Mr. Paul Whittle @1888letter Response: The game between the countries at the 1990 World Cup really established Gascoigne on the international stage, the Dutch would have known he was England’s main (if not only) creative force by this time. Wouters was the obvious player to mark him and only he knows if the elbow was deliberate. It didn’t look good – VAR and a sending-off might have changed this result, and the group.


Soccernostalgia Question: Des Walker losing his foot race with Marc Overmars is often referenced. Did you feel as well that he was no longer the same player?


Mr. Paul Whittle @1888letter Response: Yes, he seemed to lose so much confidence during the season in Italy and it was very unusual to see him outpaced. In hindsight, he might have tried to bring down Overmars before he got into the penalty area!


Soccernostalgia Question: Did you feel at the time, this was the reference point that England’s WC qualification hopes crashed?

(Bearing in mind, the loss vs. Norway would be in June)


Mr. Paul Whittle @1888letter Response: Qualification got off to a bad start with the draw at Wembley against Norway, who were really England’s main rivals for the second qualifying place as I think the Dutch would have been clear favourites. However, dropping points after being 2-0 up was another blow, and winning this game would have been a big boost.


Soccernostalgia Question: Historically, the return fixture in October is much referenced for obvious reasons, but do you think by then the die was already cast with this match in April?


Mr. Paul Whittle @1888letter Response: To some extent, as I think the confidence from a win over Holland can’t be underestimated. Gascoigne’s injury was a disruptive factor too, but qualification was still in England’s hands at this point. They never played as well again under Taylor, the remaining performances (especially in Norway) were more and more disjointed, I don’t think Taylor knew his best team or tactics.


Soccernostalgia Question: From a historical standpoint what was the takeaway for England, vis-à-vis Graham Taylor’s reign? As a follow-up, was that your opinion at the time as well?


Mr. Paul Whittle @1888letter Response: It was a missed opportunity to beat a major rival and get some confidence ahead of the rest of the qualifiers. Graham Taylor unfortunately never seemed to fit as England manager, even when winning you always felt a bad result or performance was just around the corner. My feeling was (and is) that even had results gone their way in the key games and they somehow qualified for the World Cup, it could have been embarrassing.



Date: April 28, 1993

Competition: FIFA World Cup Qualifier-Group 2

Result: England 2-Holland 2

Venue: London - Wembley

Attendance: 73,163

Referee: Peter Mikkelsen (Denmark)

Kick-off time: -


(England): John Barnes 1, David Platt 23

(Holland): Dennis Bergkamp 34, Peter van Vossen 85 pen

Summary of goals:

1:0 (1st minute, England): John Barnes scored from a free kick

2:0 (23rd minute, England): From the middle, Gascoigne advanced and attempted a combination play with Platt, he received the ball back, but mis-kicked and the ball reached Ferdinand on the right shot, his ground-level shot hit the post and Platt knocked in the rebound.

2:1 (34th minute, Holland): From the middle, Wouters lobbed a ball at the edge of the box and Bergkamp volleyed it first time.

2:2 (85th minute, Holland): On the right side, Overmars advanced into the box before being pulled down by Walker. Peter van Vossen scored from the ensuing penalty kick.



1- Christopher Charles Eric Woods (Sheffield Wednesday Football Club)

2- Lee Michael Dixon (Arsenal Football Club-London)

6- Anthony Alexander Adams (Arsenal Football Club-London)

3- Martin Raymond Keown (Arsenal Football Club-London)

5- Desmond Sinclair Walker (Unione Calcio Sampdoria-Genova / Italy)

4- Carlton Lloyd Palmer (Sheffield Wednesday Football Club)

11- Paul Emerson Carlyle Ince (Manchester United Football Club)

10- John Charles Bryan Barnes (Liverpool Football Club)

7- David Andrew Platt (Juventus Football Club-Torino / Italy)

8- Paul John Gascoigne (Società Sportiva Lazio-Roma / Italy) (14-Paul Charles Merson (Arsenal Football Club-London) 46)

9- Leslie Ferdinand (Queens Park Rangers Football Club-London)


Coach: Graham Taylor

Booked: Martin Keown 74

Other Substitutes:

12-Nigel Howard Clough (Nottingham Forest Football Club)

13-David Andrew Seaman (Arsenal Football Club-London)

15-Lee Stuart Sharpe (Manchester United Football Club)

16-Edward Paul ‘Teddy’ Sheringham (Tottenham Hotspur Football Club-London)


Team Captain: David Platt

Official Kit Supplier/Designer: Umbro

Uniform Colors: White Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, White Socks



1- Eduard Franciscus ‘Ed’ de Goey (Feyenoord Rotterdam)  

2- Dirk Franciscus ‘Danny’ Blind (Amsterdamse Football Club Ajax-Amsterdam)  

3- Franciscus ‘Frank’ de Boer (Amsterdamse Football Club Ajax-Amsterdam)

4- Jan Jacobus Wouters (Fußball-Club Bayern München e.V. / Germany)

5- Robert ‘Rob’ Witschge (Feyenoord Rotterdam)

6- Aron Mohamed Winter (Società Sportiva Lazio-Roma / Italy)

8- Franklin Edmundo ‘Frank’ Rijkaard (Associazione Calcio Milan / Italy)

10- Rudi Dil ‘Ruud’ Gullit (Associazione Calcio Milan / Italy) (12-Peter Jacobus van Vossen (Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht / Belgium) 70)

7- Dennis Nicolaas Maria Bergkamp (Amsterdamse Football Club Ajax-Amsterdam)

11- Marc Overmars (Amsterdamse Football Club Ajax-Amsterdam)

9- Johannes Jacobus ’John’ Bosman (Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht / Belgium) (14-Johannes Hildebrand ‘John’ de Wolf (Feyenoord Rotterdam) 46)


Coach: Dirk Nicolaas ‘Dick’ Advocaat

Booked: John de Wolf 66

Other Substitutes:

16-Theodorus Antonius Gerardus ‘Theo’ Snelders (Aberdeen Football Club / Scotland)

13-Jan Jacobus ‘Sonny’ Silooy (Amsterdamse Football Club Ajax)

15-Marciano Carlos Alberto Vink (Amsterdamse Football Club Ajax)

Team Captain: Jan Wouters

Official Kit Supplier/Designer: Lotto

Uniform Colors: Orange Shirts, White Shorts, Orange Socks


Photo From:  MagzinesHet Nederlands Elftal, de histoire van oranje, 1989-1995, Authors Matty Verkamman and Henk Mees

(Holland squad, April 28, 1993, World Cup Qualifier, England 2-Holland 2)

Photo From:  France Football, Issue 2456, May 4, 1993

(April 28, 1993, World Cup Qualifier, England 2-Holland 2)

Friday, August 5, 2022

Soccernostalgia Talk Podcast-Episode 77 (Interview with Mr. Tony McLaughlin on John William Madden, the Scottish pioneer of Czech Football)

 This is the 77th episode of my podcast with Mr. Paul Whittle of, @1888letter.

We interview Mr. Tony McLaughlin as we discuss John William Madden, the Scottish pioneer of Czech Football.

Mr. Tony McLaughlin is a Scottish national who has lived in the Czech Republic for many years.


For any questions/comments, you may contact us:

You may also contact me on this blog, on twitter @sp1873 and on facebook under Soccernostalgia.


Mr. Paul Whittle, @1888letter on twitter and


You may also follow the podcast on spotify and now on Google podcasts,  Apple podcasts and stitcher all under ‘Soccernostalgia Talk Podcast’

Please leave a review, rate and subscribe if you like the podcast.

Mr. McLaughlin’s’s contact info:

twitter: @czechokelt


Link to his article on John William Madden:



Link to Mr. Paul Whittle’s book (Before the Premier League: A History of the Football League's Last Decades):



Listen on Spotify / Apple Podcasts / Google Podcasts / Stitcher:

Thursday, July 28, 2022

The Soccernostalgia Interview-Part 33 (Interview with English Author Mr. Robert Fielder and Paul Whittle of France Football’s Ballon d’Or for the year 1982)


For this interview, I look back at France Football magazine’s European player of the year award (Ballon d’or) for the year 1982.

Issue Number: France Football, Issue 1916, December 28, 1982

This will be a semi-regular and continuous series.

The Interviewees are:

Mr. Robert Fielder

Mr. Fielder is the Author of ‘The Complete History of the World Cup’ (2014) and ‘The Complete History of the European Championship’ (2016).


Mr. Fielder’s contact info:

twitter: @ademir2z

Book links:*Version


The Interviewees are:

Mr. Paul Whittle, English Blogger and Podcast partner


Mr. Whittle’s contact info:

twitter:  @1888letter


Link to Mr. Paul Whittle’s book (Before the Premier League: A History of the Football League's Last Decades):



Soccernostalgia Question: Let’s start of by discussing the winner Paolo Rossi, was this is a fully deserved win or was it regarded as controversial at the time?

Mr. Robert Fielder @ademir2z Response: I think at the time it was seen as less controversial than it potentially is now. As well as the Ballon d’Or, Rossi also won the inaugural World Soccer player of the year and the Onze d’Or. He was top scorer at the 1982 World Cup and also named as the best player of the tournament. From 26 jurors, he was named 1st by 21 of them and in the top three by another three. So he was streets ahead of his rivals in the voting and on that basis it’s one of the clearest victories we have seen.

Mr. Paul Whittle @1888letter Response: I think any other winner would have been controversial!

Photo From: France Football, Issue 1916, December 28, 1982

Soccernostalgia Question: Briefly, describe the merits of the winner Paolo Rossi and the main reason the player won?

Mr. Robert Fielder @ademir2z Response: Quite simply, he won because of the World Cup. His hat-trick against Brazil in Barcelona, double against Poland in the semi-final and important goal in the final against West Germany were decisive in transforming Italy from an underwhelming side in the first group stage to world champions. Rossi arguably didn’t play as well, goals aside, as he did in 1978, but he turned up when it really mattered. In particular his performance against Brazil in the 3-2 victory (one of the greatest World Cup matches of all time) was an exceptionally clinical one.

Mr. Paul Whittle @1888letter Response: His outstanding performances and decisive goals in the closing stages of the Spain World Cup meant it would be difficult to look elsewhere.


Soccernostalgia Question: Playing devil’s advocate, what would be the legitimate arguments against his selection?

Mr. Robert Fielder @ademir2z Response: Returning from his ban for conspiring in a match-fixing scandal, he had only played three times for Juventus in Serie A and only scored one goal in the 1981-2 season. So, I think there is quite a fair argument that he simply didn’t play enough football in the time period to be the winner of such an important prize. Even in the World Cup he started the tournament, like the whole Italy side, very slowly. He really had two particularly good games.

Mr. Paul Whittle @1888letter Response: The lack of club football (while his ban expired) in the first half of the year, and the fact that he was then part of an Italian side which was immediately underperforming after the World Cup in Euro 84 qualification.


Soccernostalgia Question: Let’s discuss the top 5 (1-Rossi, 2-Giresse, 3-Boniek, 4-Conti, 5-Rummenigge). How do you assess this list and were there any surprises?

Mr. Robert Fielder @ademir2z Response: Putting Rossi to one side, I think it’s a pretty good reflection of the Europeans who played well at the World Cup. Boniek was a particular star and someone who was less well known prior to the finals but ended up as a major player.

Mr. Paul Whittle @1888letter Response: I think it’s a fair selection, no real surprise and only the order might have changed as there’s probably not much to choose between them.


Photo From: France Football, Issue 1916, December 28, 1982

Soccernostalgia Question: From the top 5 selections, which one please you the most?

Mr. Robert Fielder @ademir2z Response: I’m a big admirer of Alain Giresse so it’s nice to see him included in the list. Playing with someone as great as Michel Platini, he was sometimes overshadowed but was technically excellent, gritty but full of guile and craft and it’s quite an accolade for the diminutive Frenchman.

Mr. Paul Whittle @1888letter Response: It’s nice to see two of the World Cup’s most creative players in Giresse and Conti were recognised, for more than just goalscoring.



Photo From: France Football, Issue 1916, December 28, 1982

Soccernostalgia Question: Any notable omissions in the top 5 (or top 10)?

Mr. Robert Fielder @ademir2z Response: Of the players who received any votes I might have expected Platini to be higher up. He had as good a World Cup as some of those more highly rated and was coming off the back off an excellent final season in France. Really though what was notable was the almost total exclusion of players who hadn’t performed well at the World Cup. Kevin Keegan arguably enjoyed his best club season, scoring 26 for Southampton and ending as the First Division top scorer. Ruud Krol had a terrific season with Napoli but neither earned a single vote in the Ballon d’Or. Of those eligible and who played well at the World Cup, Lato is an omission. He was one of the best players of the tournament. He might not have scored the goals he got in 1974 but his performances were consistently very good and he had a good combination with Boniek.

Mr. Paul Whittle @1888letter Response: I see there were no English selections at all, despite providing the European Cup winners and going unbeaten at the World Cup! Kevin Keegan was still scoring goals and had he played more in Spain, I imagine would have made the list. Bryan Robson would have been the other English possibility. From the Football League champions Liverpool, Kenny Dalglish and Graeme Souness probably missed out due to Scotland’s early World Cup exit, and a young Ian Rush could also have featured with more international exposure. For France, it’s a little surprising that Amoros and Tigana were overlooked.


Soccernostalgia Question: Any player who should have received more votes than they received (For myself, Tardelli only one fifth place vote)?

Mr. Robert Fielder @ademir2z Response: Scirea was coming off the back of a great club season with Juventus and was outstanding at the World Cup. How he only got one vote, I’m not sure because he was an outstanding player. I agree with Tardelli as well as he was arguably Italy’s most consistent performer throughout the World Cup.

Mr. Paul Whittle @1888letter Response: Scirea and Tardelli might have expected more votes on their World Cup showings alone, and maybe suffered from the Italy nominations being ‘shared out’.


Photo From: France Football, Issue 1916, December 28, 1982

Soccernostalgia Question: Which players benefited from the World Cup and which ones were recognized for their performance during the entire calendar year?

Mr. Robert Fielder @ademir2z Response: Really almost all of the top players were selected on their World Cup showings exclusively. In 1982 it seemed like the World Cup was the only show in town.

Mr. Paul Whittle @1888letter Response: The World Cup obviously dominated these selections, when there was relatively little television coverage outside the major European competitions. On that basis Bernd Schuster and Torbjörn Nilsson were chosen on club performances.


Soccernostalgia Question: Let’s analyze the previous winner Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. What counted against him this year?

Mr. Robert Fielder @ademir2z Response: Although he made it to the final and scored five goals, I’m not sure Rummenigge was quite at his physical peak in this World Cup. His domestic season with Bayern Munich wasn’t as strong as some of his previous ones and the Bavarians were also beaten in the European Cup final by Aston Villa.

Mr. Paul Whittle @1888letter Response: Again, the fact that he was not fully fit for the closing stages of the World Cup – despite his goals – and possibly Bayern’s loss to Aston Villa in the European Cup Final. Still a very good player but not quite at his best in the biggest games this year.



Photo From: France Football, Issue 1916, December 28, 1982

Soccernostalgia Question: If the voting had been open to non-Europeans at the time, who would have been the main beneficiaries(s)?

Mr. Robert Fielder @ademir2z Response: Even though they lost 3-2 to Italy, most observers came away from the 1982 with very fond memories of Brazil. Had they been eligible I think Paulo Roberto Falcao, who also played extremely well for Roma, and Zico would have been major contenders, perhaps not for the top spot but in terms of the top 5. That team played some great football and either would have been a worthy winner. Maradona had a bit of a hit and miss tournament in comparison, so I don’t think he’d have been among the leading players for this year. Of the Argentines Daniel Passarella was probably the best player in Spain.

Mr. Paul Whittle @1888letter Response: I would have thought that Falcão would have been very high up in the rankings, not only for his World Cup performances but also his influence on Roma (who would win the 1982/83 scudetto). As an outside choice, maybe Thomas N’Kono, whose World Cup for Cameroon earned him a move to Europe with Espanyol in La Liga.


Photo From: France Football, Issue 1916, December 28, 1982

Soccernostalgia Question: Let’s discuss the jurors, which were the most interesting votes from a correspondent?

Mr. Robert Fielder @ademir2z Response: Probably the choice of Torbjorn Nilsson by the Danish juror. He had enjoyed a great time with IFK Gothenburg who had won the UEFA Cup, beating Valencia, Kaiserlautern and Hamburg on their way to the title. He had ended up as the top scorer in the tournament and earned a move to the Bundesliga as a result. The selections of Eric Gerets and Walter Schachner were also a little more unusual though both were merited. Gerets was one of the best full-backs at the World Cup and Schachner had played very well with Cesena in Serie A.


Mr. Paul Whittle @1888letter Response: Austria’s had Rummenigge second and Breitner fifth, that seems almost as suspicious as the game in Gijón! Bulgaria’s placing Schuster second and Denmark’s placing Rinat Dasaev also second are quite generous votes.



Photo From: France Football, Issue 1916, December 28, 1982

Soccernostalgia Question: What were the most unbelievable or baffling selection from a juror?

Mr. Robert Fielder @ademir2z Response: By and large this was a year in which jurors stuck to familiar names who had done well at the World Cup. Even Dermot Ashmore, the Irish juror who often went off piste, played it straight with his choices. Probably the most unusual was the choice of Bernd Schuster by the Bulgarian juror Nicolas Ignatieff. Schuster had only played 13 times in the league for Barcelona and hadn’t featured at the World Cup.


Mr. Paul Whittle @1888letter Response: Turkey’s found room for two Austrians...


Photo From: France Football, Issue 1916, December 28, 1982

Soccernostalgia Question: In closing, what is the legacy of Paolo Rossi’s selection as Ballon d’Or, how is it regarded after all these years?

Mr. Robert Fielder @ademir2z Response: I think in the modern era, where we get to see so much of top players and the Champions League has taken on so much importance, it’s hard to look back and understand someone being named the best player in Europe by virtue of three great World Cup games. For Rossi it ensured immortality in the football pantheon but it’s hard to entirely subscribe to that in retrospect. Ultimately, Rossi did extremely well for Italy but only scored 82 goals in total in Serie A, thanks in part to all the disruption caused by his earlier ban. Had there been a broader focus, with more TV coverage of the top leagues and the World Cup taking less of the attention, someone else might have won.


Mr. Paul Whittle @1888letter Response: This year – specifically the World Cup – cemented his reputation as one of the great strikers. It’s impossible to think of that summer in Spain without his goals coming to mind and the Ballon d’Or was a fitting reward.

Photo From: France Football, Issue 1916, December 28, 1982