World Cup Connections - 1994

In 1994 we were on the crest of a wave after having got promoted to the Premier League with exciting players like Collymore and Bohinen in the side. On the down side England didn't go the World Cup. We surely would have sent at least one player for the squad in Stuart Pearce, and for the purposes of this article, one can only imagine the others. Des Walker, Carlton Palmer, David Platt, Ian Wright; all players with Forest connections who were in Graham Taylors squads for qualifying. Collymore may have pushed for a spot (and don't say second division strikers don't go to World Cups, because, Steve Bull did) Nigel Clough may have had an outside chance. But England didn't make it. But plenty of players who would play for or coach Forest did, in all a total of 8, from 5 nations.

 In the absence of England, we will start with Republic of Ireland.

Republic of Ireland
Well the notable player here is of course Roy Keane. Keane had moved to Manchester United the year before, and was just beginning the mark his authority there. He went with the Irish squad who famously beat Italy with Ray Houghton's looping volley over Gianluca Pagliuca's head. Two further players in that squad had Forest links, as covered in the 1990 piece, John Sheridan briefly played for us, and David "Ned" Kelly would later be Billy Davies assistant manager. But is surely Keane who is out strongest link in this squad.

Two of our players were in the Norwegian squad for 1994, Norway of course being instrumental in beating us to qualifying for the World Cup. Two of the players were current players for Forest. Lars Bohinen of course was a wonderful midfield maestro, and for me our decline kicked in when he left for Blackburn. Alf Inge Haaland was also in the squad, and back then he was a right back or centre half by trade before getting converted to a midfielder in the next season or so. Haaland would be a brief highlight in the more dismal next couple of years before leaving for Leeds. Both players played 2 games against Mexico which Norway won, and Mexico, before both missing the game versus Ireland. Norway went out finishing bottom of the group, but all 4 teams finished on 4 points, Norway having only scored once were eliminated.

Although not officially a Forest player as we was signed whilst the tournament was on, Bryan Roy featured for the Dutch squad, and rather than the bit part player he was in 1990, Roy got more game time. Roy of course went on to form a formidable partnership with Collymore, but lost form later on and in his third year for the squad seemed completely uninterested. He left to join Hertha Berlin. Roy would feature in all the games the Dutch played. He started the first few games but then was used a sub. The Dutch ultimately lost to eventual winners Brazil in the Quarter Finals.


A largely forgotten figure and one I had neglected to include in an early draft, Pascolo was a Swiss international keeper who never really settled at Forest. We signed him a few years later in the Championship season we were last promoted to the Premier League in. He was meant to replace Mark Crossley who ultimately came out as Number 1. Pascolo played every minute for Switzerland as they progressed through Round 1 and were eliminated by Spain.

John Harkes played a small number of games under Ron Atkinson for Forest in 1999. As mentioned in the 1990 piece, Harkes played most of his career at Sheffield Wednesday, but came to Forest as Atkinson hoped to reignite our season. He ultimately of course failed. Harkes could play right back or central midfield. Harkes featured in all 3 group games but missed out on the hosts round 2 elimination by eventual winners Brazil.

note: Although he wasn't selected by Italy, Andrea Silenzi was featured in the 1994 sticker album, meaning his name often gets linked, but he didn't in fact play. The least said about Silenzi the better.