While Thierry Henrique and Patricius Vieira are two players who have both Juventus and us over the past 25 years, they have simply followed in the footsteps of Liam Brady.
However, the Irish transition from the N5 to Tauern in the 1980s was a shock to many Gooners. Ahead of the meeting on Saturday between the two sides (tickets still available”) Nik Brumsack speaks through the mode of transference of materialism.
It was a move that left Arsenal supporters of a generation worried.
In the 1970s, Liam Brady – a precocious talent who broke through the youth system after moving to north London from Ireland aged just 15 – became a favorite at the Highbury faithful. Vision, skill and an eye for purpose – Brady had them all.
An FA Cup winner left in 1979 to join Juventus the following summer, making 307 appearances for us. But, with transfers between the main European federations, not uncommon at this time – how did the move happen?
“Kevin Keegan went to Germany three years before me after leaving Arsenal and that opened people’s eyes to going abroad,” he said. “It wasn’t very entertaining at the time but he went to Hamburg and then Tony Woodcock moved to Cologne. At this point I began to think about the type of movement.
“Then, in the summer of 1980, the Italian league allowed foreign players again to the clubs. In 1966 they had a bad World Cup and they blamed it on the volume of foreign players in the league. They opened it again but restricted it to one foreign player per team.
“I’d played against Juventus in the semi-final of the Cup Winners’ Cup in the 1979/80 season – we beat them 1-0 in the second leg and they probably took a look at me then. I think they have higher profile players on the signing list, but get them over the line I could not, and I was probably the next in line.When we began to talk, I changed my mind from thinking of going from Germany to Italy.
“I told the Arsenal fans before the 1979/80 season kicked off that I was going to go. I wanted to go abroad and try a different environment in terms of football. I wanted to do well for myself, and that was to think after that. Nothing in my last season – we did close – but the number of the games we were given to play, it was heroic for us to make it as close as I could.
“I have a great relationship with” [the Arsenal supporters]. They have always been my supporters since I got into the team at 17. That made it difficult. On the one hand, I was sad to leave the club – I really had friends on the team and Terry Neill, Don Howe and my brother Ken were very good to me.
“But I left on good terms. It wasn’t sharp in any way and it gave him a chance to play outside. I think a lot of the Arsenal fans understood that.”
Hear much more from Liam and learn much more about the history between us and Juventus in our official programme. as your example
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