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Having already won the League, Arsenal were attempting the "double" for the second time in their history (having achieved that honour previously in 1971). Arsene Wenger had assembled an amazingly talented team with a formidable defence including England no. 1 David Seaman in goal and Dixon, Winterburn, Keogh and Adams across the back while the midfield was loaded with class and pace with the likes of Parlour, Vierra, Platt, Petit and Overmars and an embarassment of riches up front including the legendary Ian Wright, Bergkamp, a 19 yo Anelka and Wreh.
Newcastle had finished a full 34 points behind Arsenal in the Premier League and were massive underdogs in this game, although history was on their side after having won both previous FA Cup Final encounters (in the 1930's and 1950's) between the two teams. Kenny Dalglish had taken over the helm from Kevin Keegan (an irony in itself given that both are the most famous players to have worn the Liverpool number 7 shirt, Dalglish having replaced Keegan back in 1977) and his managerial style was not the most popular with the Geordie faithful; his dour pragmatic approach in stark contrast to the entertaining but cavalier attacking style employed by his predecessor - but it had gotten them to the FA Cup Final!!
The Newcastle squad included some aging superstars with the likes of Stuart Pierce and John Barnes and they had a very dynamic midfield including Rob Lee, David Batty and Gary Speed and of course, England's premier goal scorer Alan Shearer spearheading the attack.
As ever, the sun seemed to shine down on another amazing Wembley cup final.
Note: Slightly grainy due to VHS transfer.
Includes pre-match preamble and both clubs' respective routes to the final
--- File Information ---
File Name: 1998 FA Cup Final Arsenal v Newcastle.avi
Duration (hh:mm:ss): 2:42:10
File Size (in bytes): 2,595,063,725
--- Video Information ---
Video Codec Name: XviD 1.1.0 Final
Video Bitrate (kbps): 187
frame Width (pixels): 512
frame Height (pixels): 384
frames Per Second: 25.000
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