SniperTube episode 2: East Anglia vs The World; and Phil, King of the World

It hasn’t been a vintage week for English clubs in Europe so far this week; as for tonight, with 6 first-teamers unavailable for Arsenal’s match against Olympiakos and Chelsea facing a tricky tie away at Valencia, it’s probably not going to get much better, either. So we cast our eyes back to headier days.

On the back of their best ever league finish (3rd in 1992-93), Norwich City competed in the UEFA cup for the first time. After breezing past Vitesse Arnhem in the first round, they were drawn against Teutonic giants Bayern Munich. Written off and advised by the press to try and keep the score down, they turned football ever-so-briefly on its head:

Contextually, people still cared about the UEFA cup back then; Norwich drew 1-1 in the return leg at Carrow Road, but lost in the next round to eventual champions Inter Milan; Jeremy Goss’s dipping volley has since been voted the greatest Norwich goal of all time by their fans.


Staying in East Anglia, Ipswich Town’s most famous European moment came in 1981 when Wor Bobby, Johnny Wark and Frans Thijssen inspired them to UEFA cup glory against AZ Alkmaar. More recently, the Tractor Boys finished 5th in the top flight in 2001, then their first season in the Premier League in 5 years. The following season, George Burley’s men negotiated their way past ties against Torpedo Moscow and Helsingborg, before coming up against Norwich’s conquerors in 1994, Inter Milan.

The Nerazzurri clearly weren’t expecting a tough task; they left Original Ronaldo (this one – bloody hell) at home for their trip to Portman Road in the 1st leg. However a highly lacklustre Inter were caught short by an Ipswich Team then suffering from chronic second season syndrome (they were duly relegated at the end of the season), sunk by this Alun Armstrong goal:

This sparked the Italians into life, and while they were unable to pull a goal back in the final 10 minutes of the match, Ipswich eventually succumbed 4-1 in the San Siro. Burley left early the following season, with the side 18th in Division 1 and the club in administration due to the abscence of Premier League TV money. His 8 years there are his only managerial success to date, aside from taking Hearts to the top of the SPL after 10 games but then leaving when it all blew up with Vladimir Not Mental Romanov.


After pooping the parties of Norwich and Ipswich, it seems only fair we look back at Inter getting the rug pulled out from under them. Under the stewardship of Ron Atkinson (who once said of Jens Jeremies: “he’s got a very unfortunate face”), Villa won the League Cup 3-1 in 1994 against a Schmeichel-less Man Utd (the excuse given by Man Utd fans for the defeat at the time was the abscence of their Danish stopper; I think they expected Villa to grant a replay of the game based on having to play their reserve keeper).

In the subsequent UEFA cup campaign, Villa were handed a first round match against the reigning champions, Inter. Though they had finished just one point above relegation in the previous season, Inter’s team had a genuine superstar tinge to it; Giueseppe Bergomi, Dennis Bergkamp, Ginaluca Pagliuca and Ruben Sosa to name but a few. A Bergkamp penalty in the first leg gave the Nerazzurri a slender lead to take to Villa Park, however it was soon cancelled out by a close range strike from Ray Houghton, who must have been close to becoming Scourge of the Italians after his winner for Ireland at USA ’94.

Imagine if Guy Whittingham’s chip had gone in…anyway, after missing in the shootout, he was sold to Sheffield Wednesday for £700k that December. Phil King’s finest hour came after one of only 20 starts he made for the club in 3 years. Also worth noting Nigel Spink playing in goal, due to the 3 foreigners rule in force at that time – Irishmen Steve Staunton, Andy Tactics Truck Townsend and Ray Houghton keeping Mark Bosnich out of the team. Villa subsequently lost on away goals to Trabzonspor in the next round; Atkinson was sacked 10 days later.

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