The Greatest FA Cup Finals of the 1990s


The 20th Century was a time when the FA cup was still at its peak. Still the end of season fixture. Still a competition teams took seriously. The decline would soon start to set in as the 21st Century entered its first decade but the 1990s was a time when the FA Cup mattered and the FA Cup Final was one of the biggest games of the year….let us take a look at the 5 best finals.

  1. Manchester United 4 – 0  Chelsea – 1994

The first Ferguson double was capped off with a display that showed this era of Manchester United at their very finest. Cantona’s majesty, Kanchelkis ripping defences apart, Hughes potency and Paul Ince running the midfield. Glenn Hoddle ripping off his tracksuit to enter the field of play remains a memorable moment of a game in which one of the finest managers of all time had a team that felt they could never lose.

  • Crystal Palace 3  – 3 Manchester United

Forget the replay, the original game between two sides eager for silverware was a thriller. No hot prediction site could have predicted this drama. This is just before “peak Ferguson” and you could already see the team Manchester United would become kicking into gear. Both teams lead at some stage when the game ended 2-2 and both teams scored in extra time. Ian Wright almost thought he had the cup won for Palace but a dramatic late equaliser for United took the game to a replay. Goals, drama and quality…what a final!

  • Liverpool 2 – 0 Sunderland

Plucky Sunderland had fought to their first final since the dramatic upset of 1973. Liverpool, faints of the game without a League title in the 1990s, still had a squad bursting with talent and although Sunderland under Malcolm Crosby gave their all, they didn’t have the quality to match Liverpool on the day. But the drama, the hope of another Wimbeldon-esque upset and the occasions itself made this a memorable final for all the right reasons.

  • Liverpool 0 – 1 Manchester United

There is something special when two genuine rivals meet in the FA Cup Final and what bigger rivalry than Liverpool vs United. Everything about the game from the wide suits to the Cantona winner was edge of your seat stuff. A game Manchester United fans will remember for a long time and one Liverpool faithful will be quick to forget…

  • Chelsea 2 – 0 Middlesbrough

Di Matteo left little time to sit down when he scored a 33 second goal to fire this Final into life, but the real story was Bryan Robsons team. Assembled with global superstars, a season of promise had ended in relegation but 2 cup finals had been rwached given hope of an upset. All the flair of Juninho, the potency of Ravenelli and Emerson passion could not stop a rampant Chelsea but whilst there was hope, this final remained gripping!

Ways to Pay for Online Sports Betting


Technology is constantly revolving as has the world of sports betting. No longer do you need to trek all the way to your local bookmakers to place your football coupon – you can now do this online! Not only that but on the best sports betting sites – you can do this via your mobile phone. The theme these days is definitely convenience – and unlike when you visit the bookmakers where you need to bring cold, hard cash – there are other faster ways of paying that could be more suitable for you. We’ve outlined some payment methods that you may want to use should you wish to visit an online sports betting site. 

Debit or Credit Card

This is the most obvious method of payment and still the most convenient for some. Pretty much all online casinos allow you the option to make a deposit using your debit or credit card. They also tend to affiliate with the biggest merchants out there. So, if you have a Visa, MasterCard, Maestro etc. – the reality is the betting brand has you covered! Depositing this way will ensure the money comes off your bank account pretty much instantly.

PayPal

This is one of the most famous e-wallets around and probably made famous by the likes of eBay. With PayPal the advantage is that you don’t need to enter your bank details online all the time – you can simply use your PayPal login details. PayPal is an entirely safe and secure method of payment, so there’s nothing to worry about when it comes to the transaction itself.  The fact that PayPal is widely used amongst other types of e-commerce sites also puts a further element of trust in the users’ mind when they are making a deposit.

Mobile Phone

This is the most convenient way to make your deposit on site. Think of contactless, but for mobile sports betting sites. The beauty of using this method is that the amount you have deposited will simply be added to your phone bill if you are part of a mobile phone contract. If you have a Pay As You Go phone – then the amount will simply be taken off your credit. This completely takes away any hassle or fuss from depositing on an online gaming site.  The only thing with this however is that just like when you use contactless, it can seem as if you aren’t really playing with your own money – as you can’t see it leave your bank account straight away. Bear that in mind and make sure you gamble responsibly. 

Skrill

Skrill is a payment method that has been created and developed specifically for iGaming websites and has proven to be incredibly popular with players. They have over 10 years of experience and allow instant balance transfers. It’s accepted at the majority of online casinos, bookmakers and poker rooms – and you can register any of your bank accounts with them. Your transactions are also completely safe and secure – so there’s nothing you need to worry about on that front. If you use this payment option a lot – then you can also get rewarded as a Skrill VIP.

Paysafecard

Paysafecard can be used across gaming, social media communities and film and entertainment. It works as a prepaid card and is so simple to use. You don’t need your debit or credit card, all you need to do is head to your local venue and top up your Paysafecard account. You will have a PIN that is 16 digits long, and all you need to do is enter that pin when you head to your favourite online gaming site. There is also an exclusive rewards scheme and loyalty scheme you can take advantage of. Make sure you take care of your PIN numbers though so it’s easy enough to make your deposits. 

Neteller

The primary attribute of Neteller is that it’s fast and simple. It’s accepted across a lot of iGaming sites such as Stakers – and is popular with players. All you need to do is sign up for your free Neteller account, add funds to it via various methods – and then make your fast and secure payment.  Again, it means that you don’t need to enter your credit or debit card details online which is a positive for a lot of players.

Zimpler

With Zimpler all you need is your mobile phone. All you need to do is select Zimpler as your chosen payment method and then enter your mobile phone number. Once you do this – Zimpler will send you your unique code. This option is also great in terms of responsible gambling as you can set budgets – so you can make sure that you spend within your means. These guys also have a fantastic customer services team; they have 24/7 support waiting for you.

ecoPayz

With ecoPayz – you can have an online account set up within minutes. It’s completely free to use – and there are no credit checks involved. You can top up your account whenever it suits you, and your cash will be available whenever you need it. You can rely on them for total safety and security of any online payment – and they make your personal information their priority.

As you can see there are loads of ways to deposit on betting sites these days – you aren’t limited to just debit and credit cards. You can make your deposits swiftly, securely – and are sure to find something that will suit your individual needs. Be sure to check out the payment methods that are available on the sports betting site that you join before parting with your hard earned cash. The processing and withdrawal requirements can also change depending on the method you choose – so be sure to read the small print.

When you go onto a sports betting sites their payment methods are usually outlined at the very bottom of the site.  Now hopefully you will have a clearer idea as to what all of them mean. 

9 Great Online Slots For The Footie Fan


Mahrez free kick 1” (CC BY 2.0) by Ronnie Macdonald

If you’ve ever played online slots, you’ll know there’s a themed game for just about everyone. And for footie fans, there’s not just one but an abundance of online slots based on the beautiful game.

Foxin Wins Football Fever

Created by NYX Gaming, this video slot gives its players a playful hero in the guise of a fox to play football in the slots environment with 25 paylines along with free spins, a random bonus and, when you access the superbet option, a chance to really win big.

Football Star

Full of twists and turns, Football Star brings the game to life via the spin of the wheel with the chance, for example, to win a free kick for the Striking Wild Bonus or take a shot into the reels to turn either reel 2, 3 or 4. To see Betway’s offer of up to £1000 in bonuses, which can be played on this game at its online casino, check out Bonus Source.
 

The Champions

Created by Pragmatic Play, The Champions captures football better than most slots games as its progressive play provides momentum akin to a real match. You score goals and shoot penalties as you hope to move towards the 20x multiplier. You can even achieve a 100x multiplier if you score all your penalties.

Top Strike Championship

20 paylines make this football themed online slots game attractive with an exciting knockout stage bringing the excitement of tournament play to the slots environment. Top Strike Championship, like Foxin Wins Football Fever, was created by NYX.

The Cup

Boasting free spins, multipliers and wilds, this 11-payline video slot is a fairly simple game that while lacking some of the extravagances of other football-themed slots can provide some potential big wins.

Soccer Safari

A new slots game from Micrograming boasts free spins with multipliers, wilds, and a second scatter which triggers the bonus of a penalty shootout round.


Arsenal vs Chelsea” (CC BY 2.0) by wonker

Soccer Babes

The attraction is in the title, at least for some. Football is combined with beautiful women to offer a slots game featuring wilds, multipliers and free spins combined with the excitement of “reading” an FHM top 100 issue.

Goool

Now considered a classic, Multislot’s soccer-infused game is simple, easy to play and fun with its 25 paylines and a RTP of 97.01%. The bonus round offers only free spins and a wild but that’s why this game is great for straightforward satisfaction.

Euro Golden Cup

Created by Microgaming, Euro Golden Cup offers players the chance to tackle different levels as they navigate through the game beginning with level one’s Trophy Collection which, by collecting trophies, unlocks further levels. Hit a flag simultaneously on the first and fifth reels and you earn a trophy. That moves you to free spins featuring stacked wilds. You can move to level two with ten free spins before the last level offers Striker, Play Maker or Penalty Shootout options.

The attraction of online slots and football is obvious. It combines the passions of its target audience with the thrill of the spinning wheel. For footie fans, there’s probably no better slots games than these.  

4 years to go…..Qatar’s Winter World Cup


December 18th marked four years until the World Cup Final in Qatar. The most controversial tournament in recent years, a tournament many think either should not, or will not happen. Particularly given the objection from the Premier League. But as we already begin to dream of the Three Lions lifting the trophy, there are other positives to consider about this tournament that has been awarded to a country in the most controversial of circumstances. Unbeknown to many Qatar’s involvement in sport is not new which the tiny nation having a passion for Horse-racing. In fact it is estimated that per capita per head they will spend more on Grand National Betting 2019 than any other nation! Anyways, back to the World Cup

Whether or not you believe this was a fair victory for Qatar, pitting aside the questionable aspects of the country itself and the suitability of such a small, hot nation to host the tournament, the more the weeks tick by the more we are going to have to get used to the fact in 2022 we are facing a winter world cup for the first time in history. Yes, I am one of many who agree that this World cup being changed as late as 2021 to be held in another country would not be a total shock. But there are some positives to this…

Travelling fans for one….if you are one of the fans lucky, or shall we say brave enough, to get to travel to the world cup, the size of Qatar means that this will be a fans dream as walking between games is a realistic option and being able to see 2-3 games per day in person is possible for the first time in World Cup History.

This will also help the players as there won’t be long travelling to games. They can get rooted in one location knowing that there next game isn’t too far away. Remember all the negativity about the distances needed to travel across Russia? Qatar won’t have that issue.

For the arm chair fan, one positive is that the kick off times will be perfect for fans in the UK with 7pm, 10pm and 1am kick offs. Yes the 1am games will be a stretch, and town centres will be packed if that involves England, but two games in Prime Time…yes please.

And above all else, maybe it is just me being selfish, but that fact that we have a winter world cup with a final 7 days before Xmas….what a Xmas that will be. Instead of the hustle and bustle of the Xmas rush, the Mariah Carey songs and the overall hype of the season…a few beers, lots of food…and World Cup Football. I say roll on Qatar 2022! And while you wait check out our World Cup Quiz page!

Top 5 England Moments….

Platt 1990


As we eagerly await this years Grand National we preview the Semi Finals of the first ever Nations Cup, with England involved and tipped to go all the way, creating a possible moment for the ages…what are the top 5 moments for England fans? Which 5 stand out above the rest……Here is a countdown…..

5. Owen 1 – 0  Brazil – I will start with something very selfish and something that will probably not appear on many lists…but in 2002 I believed.  I believe harder and stronger than I have ever believed. Sailing through to the Quarter Finals England met Brazil. Everyone said we couldn’t do it. Every one said I was crazy for planning a day off when England were in the Semi. But for that brief moment, when Lucio missed the ball and Owen nipped in to score…I was on top of the World

4. Shearers Header –  Ignore what followed. The nation collectively jumped up and down when, at Euro 96, facing the old enemy of the Germans Alan Shearer snuck in from a corner to head home an opening goal. The dream seemed more alive than ever…

3. David Platt – Belgium. Last 16. World Cup….the sweetest of last minute volleys. Need  I say more?

2. Colombian Penalty Win – 2018 was a fine summer. Yes we had the easy route, yes we lost 3 games and lost every time we played someone good but who can ever take away that moment, late into the night, when the pattern of classic England defeats occurred. Penalties loomed, we all feared the worst, but, and Ill say this quietly. We won. After the tears of Italia 90, the pain of Portugal, the Southgate miss, Batty and Ince in Argentina…..this was the moment and boy did it feel so darn good!

1.1966 – It can only be. The moment that is mentioned constantly by the England fans and the media, often wondering when it happened again. Yes it happened in our own back yard, and yes there is the whole “was it over the line” debate, but 4 glorious years we were champions of the world and even better we defeated the Germans on the way to doing it. If the hairs on the back of your neck do not stand up when you heard “They Think Its All Over….” Are you even an England fan? So as we await the newly formed competition why not relax and focus on the British sporting institution that is the Grand National and 2019 Grand national betting offers . Nothing can replace football in our national physch but the national provides a welcome distraction.

The Championship – Race to Promotion

Championship


The third best attended league in the world with the fifth highest wage bill……what can it be? The English Championship of course. One of the most competitive, fierce and unpredictable divisions in any country anywhere in the world. With the ultimate prize of the riches of the Premier League at stake, every game is a dog fight and every point is scrapped for! With 2019 beginning and the table shaping up let us take a look at some of the contenders for the crown!

Leeds United – At the time of writing Leeds are top of the tree and in all fairness have looked the tidiest side all season, with the most consistent performances and the best football on the pitch. Given the investment made in a world class manager and a team he wants, there can be little doubt where the success has came from and Lees are likely to be playing Premier League football next year.

Norwich – Fans may disagree but it is perhaps fair to label Norwich, in the bracket with the likes of West Brom, as a yo yo club who will spend the odd season or two in the top flight before plummeting back to a few seasons in the second tier. It seems their time to rise has come again and consistent performances, genuine goal threats and a solid back line leave them in a steady place to be a real contender for the top 2.

Middlesbrough – See above….a yo yo team who can’t quite find the balance of staying in the top flight for a good stretch. Again, like all the teams at the summit of the championship this year Middlesbrough have a great attacking threat and score goals. The odd slip up here and there perhaps down to some questionable team selections, has saw them slump behind the pace and will probably mean a play off pace is their aim.

West Brom – Can I really use YoYo team a third time? Well I am going to! West Brom are the ultimate modern day YoY o team. For whatever reason it is, they can usually conquer the Championships within a few season and return for a brief stay at the top before the inevitable relegation. What can be done to counter this? Maybe the strong squad they have now will be enough to get them promoted via the automatic places….but I think promotion via the play offs is more likely

Sheffield United – Tough years, relegations, squad battles…but its good to see The blades come out of the other end with a glimpse of the big time. Automatic promotion may just be out of reach but there are no reason they can’t put together the form needed to win via the playoffs!

Derby – The players are there, the coach seems to be working but the results won’t flow as consistently as they would like. For derby to get promoted they need a run of form that will leave them in good stead for the play offs. But perhaps Pride Park faithful may need to wait another season.

Prediction: Automatic  – Leeds and West Brom

Play Offs –Norwich City

Should the Premier League follow the NFL?


One of the main differences between the top sports league in the UK compared to those across the other side of the Pond in the USA, is the factor of promotion and relegation. Because the major American sports leagues began the franchise system some time ago, with the NHL, NBA, MLS and of course NFL, follow this method then they do not have the worries of relegation, promotion and can plan ahead knowing where they will be next season.

In recent years, as the money continues to flood into English football, the talk of a franchise system has increased and increased. This is essentially seen as an attempt for the elite clubs to keep onto the money coming into the game and would essentially be a system of the same 20 clubs being in the Premier League season after season with no real punishment for coming bottom. Would you be in favour of this or against? What odds would you get for a good title race? Would it mean a more level playing field where any team/rider could win like the 2019 Grand National ?

My initial reaction to this is one of negativity. As a life long Sunderland fan, the thought of being stuck in a league with no where to go, removing all of those joyous escapes from relegation and the championship title runs disappearing does not sound appealing. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the NFL but not having relegation systems starts to make the league redundant for teams early on and as the season reaches halfway some games become formalities. Imagine watching Wolves vs Crystal Palace with both teams having nothing play for?

But then again, would a Franchise system improve the quality. The teams at the very top level would not be affected as they can plan well ahead knowing that money will flow in, the Premier League payments will be there and they will be playing at the very top level. But what about the middling teams? Knowing there is no threat to relegation teams like Southampton, Wolves, Cardiff, Newcastle etc could throw money at better players and raise the league’s lower end to be more competitive. This would push the bigger clubs to keep improving to get those all important champions league places and all round the money would improve quality.

But then again should  the game be all abut money and quality, or should the passion and drama come first? After all the Premier League is growing at a time when the NFL is fading in attendance numbers and TV viewing figures! The answer remains, don’t try and fix something that isn’t broken!