So the wait is almost over, the Premier League is back. And we couldn’t be happier. Love Island has pushed many a man over the edge and we can finally welcome back the sweet, sweet tones of Gary Lineker and the soothing voice of Gary Neville.
It all kicks off on Friday, yes Friday, sure to be a memorable moment in itself, but the English top flight has brought us so many unforgettable moments over the years. Here’s our favourites from opening days gone by…
“You Can’t Win Anything With Kids”
Alan Hansen thought Sir Alex Ferguson had gone mad when he let the likes of Paul Ince, Mark Hughes and Andrei Kanchelskis leave only to replace them with young whippersnappers Gary Neville, David Beckham, Paul Scholes and the rest of the now infamous Class of 92.
Defeat at Aston Villa on the opening day created one of the most memorable lines in football. “You can’t win anything with kids,” he cried. Of course, they did. Fergie’s fledglings went on to win the league, becoming Premier League favourites for seasons to come, becoming some of the most decorated footballers in the history of the beautiful game. Hansen left as red faced as Sir Alex himself.
The Arrival of Diving
If there’s one thing English football fans don’t like it’s diving. Add the fact Jurgen Klinsmann is German and it was never going to be an easy start for him at Spurs.
Signing in 1994 after the World Cup where he was widely criticised for diving, he immediately endeared himself to fans by celebrating with a huge dive as Tottenham ran out winners on the opening day in a thrilling game against Sheffield Wednesday.
Italian Fever In Middlesbrough
From one celebration to another, 1996 marked the arrival of Fabrizio Ravanelli to the Premier League at none other than Middlesbrough. Teaming up with Juninho, North Yorkshire was treated to a bit of glamour. The signing of the Italian immediately paid off.
Fresh off the back of a Champions League win the season before, Ravanelli scored an impressive hat-trick to earn a draw against a strong Liverpool side. What’s more, we saw that trademark shirt over the head celebration that will be forever remembered as “the Ravanelli”.
Becks’ Big Kick
Many try, many look complete idiots and get blasted by their manager for even thinking it. But David became saw, he struck, and he scored one of the most memorable goals in Premier League history.
It was arguably the turning point in Beckham’s career. The moment that helped make him a global superstar. Back in 1996, a young Becks saw Wimbledon’s Neil Sullivan off his line and, just inside his own half, did exactly what the former England captain does best, score a stunning goal.
We’ll no doubt enjoy many more memorable moments this weekend. Can newly promoted Brighton upset the bookmakers odds and see of Manchester City? Will Javier Hernandez come back to haunt Manchester United? Can Leicester do, well, a Leicester? The weekend will reveal all…