In this blog series – “What Happened Today”, we are going to revive some of the moments from past which will revive moments of the golden history of the league.
Friday papers were discussing the matches that were to be played in the Premier League at the weekend including Norwich City’s Captain’s warning to their rivals, Eric Cantona’s injury, Middlesborough on the verge of signing Robert Lee as well as the clash between Aston Villa and Liverpool.
Norwich City’s captain Ian Butterworth warned other clubs in the Premier League that the Canaries had it in them to go all the way and win the league and their excellent results at the start of the season were not to be considered a fluke. He said, If we end the season in the top four or five, it will be like winning the league for us but I wouldn’t write us off as championship contenders. If we hang in there, anything can happen.” He also acknowledged the fact that maybe the team had not convinced all the supporters yet as, despite the excellent start to the season and them being top of the table, Carrow Road was still not seeing full crowds with only 12000 turning up for their last home game against Southampton. They next face Sheffield Wednesday at home on the following day.
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Eric Cantona, the talismanic goalscorer of the previous year’s Champions Leeds United was set to miss up to eight weeks after suffering a hamstring injury that he picked up during their disappointing loss to Stuttgart in the midweek UEFA Cup match where they lost 0-3. The Frenchman had an impressive start to the campaign where he had already scored six goals which included a hat-trick against Tottenham Hostpur and a brace against Oldham Athletic.
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Middlesborough boss Lennie Lawrence and transfer target Robert Lee were reported to be locked in heavy negotiations for the previous two days. Lee was given the go ahead to travel to Teesside after Lawrence had finally hammered out a fee with first division Charlton Athletic. “It has developed into quite a saga, but he is the man I want. We may not get him in time to play at Queens Park Rangers on Saturday but that doesn’t matter. “I have made the mistake of rushing through deals in the past but I don’t need to do that this time,” Lawrence said before meeting Lee. Middlesborough’s initial bid was around £40000 and it took three long weeks of negotiations for them to finally offer a deal closer to Charlton’s demands of £650000.
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Aston Villa would have extra motivation to beat Liverpool that weekend considering that the current Villa side had three players who had been brought in directly from the Merseyside. The trio of Steve Taunton, Ray Houghton and Dean Saunders all made the switch to the midland club. The fixture had arrived at a particularly crucial time where after an impressive victory over Crystal Palace, Villa’s form had been patchy and three points were needed to ease the pressure.
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