Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Brian McDermott: then and now

Brian McDermott, though just an Arsenal fringe player pricked my Aston Villa supporting bubble twice during our glory years of the early eighties.
Now: Brian McDermott on the Royals touchline
He scored one of the Gunners goals on the final day of the 1980/81 to inflict defeat on us at Highbury. Luckily, it wasn't enough to stop Villa becoming champions that day.

He was also on the scoresheet as the Gunners ended an eleven-month unbeaten run at Villa Park. Tony Woodcock struck the other FIVE as dumbstruck European Champions Villa were smashed 6-2. It was the beginning of our end as a major force.

Then: as an Arsenal starlet
But maybe McDermott's greatest moment in football is reserved for steering Reading to a shock 1-nil win at Everton to reach the last eight of the FA Cup. Remember it was Everton who did for the cup holders, Chelsea in the previous round.

And Reading face Aston Villa in the next round. Let's hope he doesn't make a habit of slaying us again.

But he don't 'alf look different today! Presented to the media after beating the Toffees was a bald man with glasses; not the silky-skilled, mop-haired youngster of old. Two pictures for your Soccermongery delectation. The Then and Now of Maccy D!

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