Arsenal failure inspires Layth to pen book on Copenhagen 1994
PUBLISHED: 15:30 16 May 2016
Arsenal fans are used to failure. On Sunday, the dubious honour of stealing the Premier League runners-up spot from Spurs was as good as it got this season.
It hasn’t been any better in the Champions League. Every season since 2011, the Gunners have been eliminated at the first knockout stage.
This got the Gazette’s occasional Arsenal correspondent Layth Yousif thinking back to Copenhagen, 1994. It was the last time the club won a European trophy, the now defunct Cup Winners’ Cup.
Layth, 43, a season-ticket holder of 30 years, was at the Parken Stadium when Alan Smith’s volley saw George Graham’s team win 1-0 against Italian side Parma.
Those memories, and the repeated failures of Arsene Wenger’s team, inspired him to write a book, The Miracle of Copenhagen, launched at Piebury Corner in Holloway Road on Thursday.
The father-of-three, of Hitchin, said: “A couple of years ago, I was standing with old friends in the Highbury Barn pub after another European disappointment.
“All our stories kept returning to our glorious European Cup Winners’ Cup run and triumph of 1993/94. We were all in our late teens and early 20s at the time and for many of us our first European away game was the never-to-be-forgotten 7-0 win in Liege.
“We went to all the games home and away that season including Torino, PSG – and, of course, the final in Copenhagen.
“I called the book The Miracle of Copenhagen as the team was continually written off. But through the old Arsenal way of never giving in we triumphed against what were on paper far superior teams.
“Perhaps our teams of the last few years could take a leaf out of George Graham’s tough teams.”
The book draws on interviews with players, including Alan Smith himself, as well as fans and journalists.
To buy the book, visit amazon.co.uk/Miracle-Copenhagen-Arsenals-Unbelievable-European/dp/1445649497
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