If you’re reading this before midnight where you are on February 13, then it’s still Liam Brady’s birthday. The Arsenal legend is 57 today.
Who can forget his genius in the red and white, and sometimes yellow and blue? Setting up all the goals in the 1979 FA Cup Final, the amazing curling shot in the 5-0 win against Spurs (“Look at that! Just look at that!”), and of course his nickname of ‘Chippy’ due to his love of chips (French fries to some – or cheese eating surrender monkey fries if you prefer. I hear the French recently raised their terror alert level from ‘Run’ to ‘Hide’. There are only two higher levels: ‘Surrender’ and ‘Collaborate’. The raise in alert level was prompted by the fire at their white flag factory, which entirely destroyed their military capability. I’m here all week).
Well anyway, it appears that Arsenal could forget the derivation of Brady’s nickname, if this piece from the programme in 1983 is anything to go by. Apparently it was his ‘delightful ability to get back-spin on a ball as he lofted it over the defence on to the toe of a colleague’ that gave him the nickname, not the fact that all he would eat as a teenager away from home in London for the first time was chips.
We’ve been spoilt by having many great players at Arsenal over the last two decades, genuine world class players. Brady was one who would have been able to hold his head up among any of them.
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5 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Liam Brady”
The King of Highbury – 2nd best player of all time!
3. Thierry (soon to be replaced by Jack!)
Happy birthday to the best left foot I have ever seen. One of my enduring memories from the north bank was watching him make a 70 yard cross field pass from box to box, to Frank Stapleton to run onto. It was absolutely inch perfect and Frank didn’t break stride… that and of course the above mentioned curler against the Spuds.
because he was’nt english people kind of forgot about him during his 7 years in italy, but he was the finest midfiield general the english league had produced in a generation, When juve replaced him, they did it with michel platini, the best midfield player in the world at that time, that’s how good liam was,
On “Arsenal: 501 Goals,” Brady he admitted that his mother had told them when he signed, “All he needs is chips.” So I’m going to believe the man himself and his mother.
What everybody seems to forget about the “Look at that!” goal is that he started it as a great defensive play, a clean tackle that in no way endangered the fitness of the opponent. Brady was a complete player, who could play anywhere in midfield, and if there’s such a thing as having an extra brain in your foot, he had it. And yet, his greatest contribution to Arsenal may have been in his role as youth director. Which is sort of like saying that Cesare Maldini’s greatest contribution to AC Milan is Paolo, but it’s a justifiable opinion.
About the French surrendering: Merde de taureau. They threw away a million men to stop the Germans from taking over 100 years ago. The kind of losses that even Britain did not have to endure, and on home soil no less. But it worked. Then, when the Krauts came back with overwhelming firepower, they spent the next 4 years in a covert guerilla battle against their occupiers. Hardly the work of “surrender monkeys.” If the French were cowards for stopping their overt fight 1940, then so were the Saxons against the Normans in 1066, and the English in 1453 against… the French. And the only reason Britain beat France in 1814-15 is that they had strong allies and Napoleon had lost most of his men to cold and disease on the way back from Russia.
Is Arsene Wenger a “surrender monkey”? How about Emmanuel Petit? Robert Pires? (Okay, ethnically he’s not French, and he’d be the first to tell you.) Laurent Koscielny? I won’t even include Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira because they wouldn’t have been considered “French” in 1940. Face it, the only Frenchmen at Arsenal who seem too quick to surrender have been Nicolas Anelka, Mathieu Flamini and Samir Nasri. But outside Arsenal, how about Zinedine Zidane? Franck Ribery? Didier Deschamps? Laurent Blanc? And Henry’s and Vieira’s fellow Afro-Frenchmen such Lilian Thuram, Marcel Desailly, David Trezeguet? If you want to go back far enough, Michel Platini? Just Fontaine? Jean Nicolas?
Face it, the French deserve to have their toughness and resolve fully recognized. Or do I have to bring up how the British gave up after Yorktown in 1781? Which wouldn’t have been an American victory without… the French.