2nd August 1990
On the eve of the trip to Wolves for the first pre-season friendly of the summer on these shores, Arsenal held a photo opportunity at Highbury to celebrate the signings made in the close season. The madness of football’s finances is underlined in the fees paid now compared to then. Seaman arguably represented the best investment of Graham’s reign. We didn’t know it then of course, but for a fee of £1.5m, it’s hard to argue otherwise. Ian Wright might, I suppose, be a contender but Seaman’s honours won at club level and that he was first-choice for England, weighs matters in his favour.
English football was in something of a pickle, or was about to put itself into one. That won’t even raise an eyebrow given its capacity for self-destruction. The Football League had voted to restore the top flight to 22 clubs, as opposed to the 20 which existed then, with a breathtaking logic: England had won the 1966 World Cup with 22 First Division Clubs and full participation in European competition. Or that’s what the chairmen told the media when the removed their heads from the sand.
Incoming England manager was onto a hiding even before he had taken one training session with his squad. Mind you, George Graham probably didn’t watch many matches of Taylor’s stewardship either such was the poverty of the fare.