So Ron Atkinson swept into The City Ground with more photographers
following him than Peter Mandleson.
The City Ground pitch looked more
like Mablethorpe Beach rather than Barbados and he took his triumphal
position in the Arsenal dugout until the Arsenal subs told him he was in
the wrong place!
The game started off at a good pace on a difficult
pitch and both sets of fans were making their presence known.
and Gemmill looked comfortable in midfield and if it hadn't been for
Referee Paul Durkin booking Gemmill early on we may have seen Gemmill
making the difference between the two sides.
There had been nothing
between the sides until the 36th min when Petit put across one of his
long balls for Adams to head on and for Keown to put it in bouncing
It was an example of Lady Luck yet again playing against
Beasant brought off a great save from Anelka and then it was
time for the Bovril.
The half time conversation was that Forest were
looking better than they have for a long time but not looking as if
they could break down the Arsenal back four.
People were still returning
to their seats when Johnson put in a screaming shot that hit the post
and Pierre van Hooijdonk put in a shot that Manninger scrambled clear.
As the game went on it was apparent that Forest hadn't enough in their
Armoury to break down the Arsenal defence, but they showed enough that
with luck, Carlton Palmer, Steve Stone, and hopefully other new faces,
Ron Atkinson and Peter Shreeves may pull off the miracle.
The joy of
the afternoon to me was to see Emmanuel Petit dominate a midfield, never
moving too far away from the centre of the field except to put in his
long searching corners and free kicks.
It is the first time this season I have seen a really world class player
at the City Ground, and before you all bombard me with emails, it is
only my opinion!