Premier League Files: Stephen Carr

Premier League Career: Tottenham Hotspur (1993-2004), Newcastle United (2004-2008), Birmingham City (2009-2011)

Stephen Carr made 377 Premier League appearances across 18 years, scoring eight times. He was voted into the PFA Team of the Year twice and was highly regarded by supporters of the clubs he represented, Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United and Birmingham City. Primarily, Carr played at right-back but when required, he would deputise as a left-back or centre-back. He was capped 44 times by the Republic of Ireland between 1999 and 2007.

Carr was signed by Ossie Ardiles when the Argentine was manager of Tottenham Hotspur after a successful trial period with the club. He made his debut as a tender 17-year-old in September 1993 at Portman Road as Tottenham drew 2-2 with Ipswich Town. It would be his sole appearance for several years as his development continued in the Spurs youth team.

His breakthrough campaign came in the 1996-1997 season. Gerry Francis gave him the opportunity to blossom in the right-back position and Stephen made 28 appearances. He became one of the stars of a Tottenham side that often hovered in the mid-table positions. In 1999, he won the first of his two League Cup winners’ medals when Tottenham defeated Leicester City 1-0 in the final. The 1999-2000 season saw Carr produce some stunning performances and also, a memorable goal in the driving White Hart Lane rain as reigning champions Manchester United were beaten 3-1.

Carr’s performances throughout the 2000-2001 season were recognised by his fellow peers, who voted him into the PFA Team of the Year even though Tottenham finished in a rather underwhelming 12th position in the final table. However, a cruel twist was about to hit him. Problems with his knee began to emerge in the summer of 2001 and an operation in September of that year meant he missed the entire club season and from a personal perspective, the cruel disappointment of missing out on the Republic of Ireland’s adventure at the 2002 World Cup finals.

Carr missed an entire 15 months of action before returning to first-team duty and immediately was re-stablished as one of the first choices on the Tottenham teamsheet. He saw off competition from Gary Neville, Lauren and Steve Finnan to earn his second nomination in the PFA Team of the Year at the end of the 2002-2003 season.

In the summer of 2004, Carr ended his 11-year association with the Londoners and moved to Tyneside, joining Newcastle United for £2 million. He would end up as one of Sir Bobby Robson’s final signings. Robson was sacked just weeks after Carr’s arrival. He scored his only goal of the season in Graeme Souness’ first game as Newcastle manager with a fierce shot to defeat Southampton 2-1 and played 26 times as the Magpies reached the UEFA Cup quarter-finals. In truth, Stephen struggled to fully recapture the fantastic form he showed at Tottenham and injuries were going to hinder his time at St James’ Park. A persistent knee injury in 2005-2006 ruled him out for two months and a broken foot limited his impact on the 2006-2007 campaign. With the arrivals of Geremi and Habib Beye, Carr slipped down the pecking order and Kevin Keegan decided that due to fitness levels, he would release Carr at the end of the 2007-2008 season.

That looked like it would be the end of his career. As a free agent, he was linked with moves to Aston Villa, West Ham United, Hertha Berlin and Bohemians but none of these sides offered him a contract. Nigel Pearson did offer him a trial at Leicester City but this didn’t materialise into a full-time deal and in December 2008, Carr elected to announce his decision to retire.

Birmingham City thought otherwise and just two months after calling it quits, they managed to tempt Stephen out of retirement. He signed a one-month contract in February 2009 and after proving his fitness, his deal was extended until the end of the season. Birmingham achieved promotion back to the Premier League and Carr accepted a two-year contract, becoming a key figure on their return.

He captained Birmingham regularly when the official skipper Lee Carsley was injured or rotated by manager Alex McLeish. The Blues enjoyed a 12-game unbeaten run which was a club record in their top-flight existence. The only blemish was receiving a one-match suspension by the FA for making an “offensive gesture” towards Aston Villa supporters following Birmingham’s controversial late Second City Derby defeat in April 2010.

Carr captained Birmingham to their surprising victory over Arsenal in the 2011 League Cup final but was relegated on the final day of the season, ironically back at his former club, Tottenham. In August 2012, he sustained a knee injury in pre-season which ultimately ended his career. Although his former teammate Lee Clark, who was Birmingham boss at the time of his retirement announcement, did attempt to tempt him into coaching, Carr turned his back on football altogether.

He and his family moved to Spain where he is currently a major shareholder in the Sala Group that own a range of clubs and bars in Marbella.

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The Managers: Manuel Pellegrini

Premier League Clubs Managed: Manchester City (2013-2016), West Ham United (2018-PRESENT)

Manuel Pellegrini is among a group of high-profile managers who have managed to win titles in four different countries. The Chilean enjoyed great early success at Manchester City and has also had the privilege of managing one of the biggest clubs in the world in Real Madrid. In May 2018, he returned to the English top-flight, succeeding David Moyes as boss of West Ham United.

Born in Santiago to Italian parents, Pellegrini graduated in civil engineering in 1979 at The Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. During that time, he spent his entire playing career with Universidad de Chile, featuring 451 times in the Chilean league between 1973 and 1986. He also won 28 international caps for his country. For him, a coaching career beckoned.

Attracting Real Madrid’s interest

Pellegrini took football coaching courses in Europe but started his managerial career in South America. He had spells in-charge as manager of Palestino, O’Higgins and Universidad Católica. He left his homeland behind for a spell as manager of LDU Quito in 1999, guiding them to a national title and attracting the interest of some of the leading sides in the Argentine game.

He became only the second non-Argentine coach to manage Buenos Aires-based club San Lorenzo in 2001 and led them to victory in the Copa Mercosur, South America’s equivalent to the UEFA Cup. His work at San Lorenzo was noted by River Plate, where he won the Clausura championships in 2003 before the jump into European coaching.

First port of call was Villarreal, who offered him their managerial position in July 2004. In his first season in-charge, Villarreal reached the UEFA Cup quarter-finals and finished third. In four seasons with El Submarino Amarillo, Pellegrini never finished lower than seventh in the La Liga table and Villarreal enjoyed their best-ever campaigns in Europe. In 2006, the club reached the Champions League semi-finals, missing out on the final 1-0 on aggregate to Arsenal. It was the Gunners who ended their run too in the 2008-2009 campaign, defeating the Spaniards in the last eight.

His fine work at Villarreal attracted Real Madrid’s interest and in June 2009, the likeable Chilean was appointed Los Blancos boss on a two-year contract. He wasted no time in spending the cash to bring some world-class players to The Bernabeu. The world transfer record was broken to bring Cristiano Ronaldo to the club from Manchester United, whilst Xabi Alonso, Karim Benzema and Kaka were also acquired for hefty transfer fees.

His team amassed an impressive 96 points in La Liga but still finished three points shy of Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona side. A disappointing European campaign which ended with a round-of-16 exit to Lyon saw Florentino Pérez give Pellegrini an ultimatum – win the league or face up to losing your job. Despite achieving the club’s highest points tally in their history, the runners-up position was not enough to keep him in the role at the end of the season. His contract was terminated and he was succeeded by Jose Mourinho who was leaving Inter Milan after winning the UEFA Champions League with the Italians.

Malaga to Manchester

Although he received an offer to manage the Mexican international team following the 2010 World Cup, Pellegrini elected to stay in club management, taking charge of Malaga in November 2010 who were under Qatari ownership at the time.

After guiding them to a mid-table position in 2010-2011, Malaga enjoyed their best-ever season in 2011-2012 as Pellegrini guided them to 58 points, fourth position in the table and qualification for the following season’s UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history. By now, the Qatari owners had decided to put all their investment into Paris Saint-Germain and pulled the plug on their involvement with the Spanish side. Star players like Santi Cazorla and Salomon Rondon moved on but Pellegrini carried on and took the team to within an inch of the following season’s UEFA Champions League semi-finals. They were 2-1 ahead in the quarter-finals, second leg against Borussia Dortmund before conceding two late goals to lose 3-2 on the night and on aggregate. With the club excluded from European competition for the following season due to breaching Financial Fair Play rulings, Pellegrini announced his departure at the end of the 2012-2013 campaign. Manchester City beckoned for him.

In June 2013, he was officially confirmed as City’s new manager and immediately started work on making some changes to the first-team. Alvaro Negredo, Jesus Navas and Fernandinho were among the new recruits whilst Carlos Tevez was moved on to Juventus. He became the first Chilean to manage in the Premier League.

He made a shaky start, especially away from The Etihad Stadium where City lost four matches upto the end of November but after a surprising 1-0 reverse at Sunderland, the Citizens went on a 20-match unbeaten run in all competitions which included a 7-0 thumping over Norwich City, a 6-0 thrashing of Tottenham Hotspur and a comeback 3-2 win in the UEFA Champions League away to Bayern Munich.

City hit top spot in January 2014 and Pellegrini won back-to-back Manager of the Month awards during this period. They’d scored 100 goals in all competitions by mid-January and in early March; a 3-1 victory over Sunderland in the League Cup final saw him earn his first piece of silverware with the club. In the Premier League, Manchester City were locked in a tense fight for the title with Liverpool FC and Chelsea but after a 3-2 loss at Anfield, they dropped just two points in the run-in. On the final day of the season, goals from Samir Nasri and Vincent Kompany saw West Ham United beaten 2-0 and earned Manchester City their second Premier League title in three seasons. Pellegrini became the first coach from outside Europe to win the Premier League.

Unable to build on initial success

Pellegrini was roundly praised for his attacking managerial style, calm demeanour and excellent man management. However, his second season at Manchester City was disappointing as they were unable to build on his initial success. Disappointing defeats at home to Newcastle United and Middlesbrough in the domestic cups and failure to progress further than the round-of-16 in the UEFA Champions League set the tone for an underwhelming campaign.

City were joint-top of the table on New Years’ Day but claimed just 18 points from their next 12 games which included defeats to Arsenal, Burnley and Crystal Palace and dropped to a distant fourth spot after a 4-2 reverse in the Manchester Derby at Old Trafford in April. A run of five successive victories in the run-in ensured a runners-up finish in the Premier League but some way behind eventual champions, Chelsea.

So it was a surprise to many in August 2015 when Pellegrini’s contract was extended by another season by the board. Manchester City began the 2015-2016 campaign in ruthless fashion, winning their first five matches without conceding a goal. However, a home defeat to West Ham United started an inconsistent run of form that plagued their league season. In early February 2016, Pellegrini confirmed he would be leaving at the end of the season with Guardiola finally arriving after confirming his departure from Bayern Munich two months earlier.

The Citizens stumbled over the finishing line in fourth spot and enjoyed their best season in the UEFA Champions League, reaching the semi-finals before bowing out over two legs to Real Madrid. Pellegrini left with the fifth-highest win percentage in Premier League history.

Unfinished business in the capital

In August 2016, Pellegrini moved to the Chinese Super League, succeeding Li Tie as boss of Hebei China Fortune. He won 22 of his 52 games in-charge of them before leaving in May 2018. Three days after his departure, he was confirmed as David Moyes’ successor at West Ham United.

On his arrival, he vowed to bring attacking, winning football to West Ham but despite plenty of investment in the first-team in the summer transfer window, the Hammers lost all of their first four matches. A 3-1 away victory in mid-September at Everton kick-started their campaign and a recent run of four wins in a row took the club upto eighth position in the Premier League table just before the 2018 festive period fixtures. 2019 began with an excellent 1-0 success over Arsenal but disappointment followed with a humiliating FA Cup exit at the hands of League One basement club, AFC Wimbledon.

It feels like Manuel Pellegrini has unfinished business in the Premier League. It is good to have one of football’s genuine likeable managers back on our shores and it will be interesting to see his progress at The London Stadium with West Ham United.

The Clubs: Southampton

All statistics correct upto 27th January 2019

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
753 233 208 312 912 1056 -144 907 20

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Jason Dodd 329
Claus Lundekvam 290
Matt Le Tissier 270
Francis Benali 243
Matt Oakley 232
James Beattie 202
Ken Monkou 198
Steven Davis 193
Paul Jones 191
James Ward-Prowse 176

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Matt Le Tissier 102
James Beattie 68
Marian Pahars 42
Rickie Lambert 28
Egil Ostenstad 28
Jay Rodriguez 26
Graziano Pelle 23
Kevin Phillips 23
Iain Dowie 21
Sadio Mane 21

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Southampton 8-0 Sunderland 18th October 2014 2014-2015
Southampton 6-1 Aston Villa 16th May 2015 2014-2015
Southampton 5-1 Swindon Town 25th August 1993 1993-1994
Southampton 4-0 Middlesbrough 28th September 1996 1996-1997
Leicester City 0-4 Southampton 8th December 2001 2001-2002
Southampton 4-0 Newcastle United 29th March 2014 2013-2014
Southampton 4-0 Newcastle United 13th September 2014 2014-2015
Southampton 4-0 Arsenal 26th December 2015 2015-2016
Sunderland 0-4 Southampton 11th February 2017 2016-2017
Southampton 6-3 Manchester United 26th October 1996 1996-1997

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Everton 7-1 Southampton 16th November 1996 1996-1997
Liverpool FC 7-1 Southampton 16th January 1999 1998-1999
Tottenham Hotspur 7-2 Southampton 11th March 2000 1999-2000
Manchester United 6-1 Southampton 22nd December 2001 2001-2002
Arsenal 6-1 Southampton 7th May 2003 2002-2003
Arsenal 6-1 Southampton 15th September 2012 2012-2013
Manchester City 6-1 Southampton 4th November 2018 2018-2019
Charlton Athletic 5-0 Southampton 22nd August 1998 1998-1999
Newcastle United 5-0 Southampton 16th January 2000 1999-2000
Manchester United 5-0 Southampton 28th October 2000 2000-2001

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Ian Branfoot 2 10th January 1994
Alan Ball 2 2nd July 1995
Dave Merrington 1 14th June 1996
Graeme Souness 1 1st June 1997
Dave Jones 3 27th January 2000
Glenn Hoddle 2 28th March 2001
Stuart Gray 2 21st October 2001
Gordon Strachan 3 13th February 2004
Paul Sturrock 2 23rd August 2004
Steve Wigley 1 8th December 2004
Harry Redknapp 1 3rd December 2005
Nigel Adkins 1 18th January 2013
Mauricio Pochettino 2 26th May 2014
Ronald Koeman 2 13th June 2016
Claude Puel 1 14th June 2017
Mauricio Pellegrino 1 12th March 2018
Mark Hughes 2 3rd December 2018
Ralph Hasenhüttl 1  

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Southampton 0-1 Arsenal 29th December 2003 32,151 2003-2004
Southampton 0-1 Chelsea 22nd November 2003 32,149 2003-2004
Southampton 0-1 Liverpool FC 18th January 2003 32,104 2002-2003
Southampton 0-2 Manchester United 1st February 2003 32,085 2002-2003
Southampton 3-1 Liverpool FC 16th March 2013 32,070 2012-2013
Southampton 1-0 Manchester United 31st August 2003 32,066 2003-2004
Southampton 1-2 Manchester United 15th May 2005 32,066 2004-2005
Southampton 1-1 Newcastle United 14th December 2002 32,061 2002-2003
Southampton 2-0 Liverpool FC 14th March 2004 32,056 2003-2004
Southampton 1-1 Aston Villa 8th May 2004 32,054 2003-2004

 

Intro

Austrian Ralph Hasenhüttl recently became Southampton’s 18th permanent Premier League manager in 20 seasons of top-flight football since 1992. The Saints were an ever-present from 1992 to 2005 when three managers couldn’t save them from relegation. Administration and a drop into League One followed but Southampton returned in 2012. Their best-ever finish was 6th under Ronald Koeman in 2015-2016 although times have been much tougher since the Dutchman’s departure that summer.

 

1992-1993

Southampton’s first Premier League season started slowly, winning just two of their first 10 games as they struggled to adapt to life without Alan Shearer who had been sold in pre-season for a British transfer record fee to Blackburn Rovers. Form did improve in the second half of the year and a 4-3 win over Ipswich Town in mid-March saw the Saints hit ninth place. However, six defeats in their last eight games saw the club finish 18th and just one point above the relegation zone. Goalkeeper Tim Flowers was named Southampton Player of the Season for the second successive campaign.

 

1993-1994

For the second successive season, Southampton finished in 18th place and again, just one point clear of trouble. A point on the final day at Upton Park against West Ham United was enough to protect their top-flight status. Tim Flowers left the club in November 1993, becoming the most expensive goalkeeper in British football when he joined Blackburn Rovers for £2.4 million.

The goals of Matt Le Tissier ultimately kept Southampton afloat. Le Tissier scored 25 goals including hat-tricks against Liverpool FC and Norwich City. Unpopular boss Ian Branfoot was relieved of his duties in mid-January and was replaced by Alan Ball.

 

1994-1995

Southampton made a positive start to the 1994-1995 season, winning four of their first nine matches before a struggle in the winter months saw them slide to 20th place in the table. The goals of Matt Le Tissier once again kept Southampton away from danger and a decent run-in saw the Saints actually finish a creditable 10th, their best top-flight finish since 1990. However, manager Alan Ball resigned at the end of the season to take the post at Manchester City.

 

1995-1996

Long-serving coach Dave Merrington took charge as manager for the 1995-1996 season but it was another struggle against relegation. This time, survival was achieved only courtesy of goal difference on the final day of the season. One notable highlight was a 3-1 win over eventual champions Manchester United in April but Merrington was sacked at the end of the campaign.

 

1996-1997

Former Liverpool FC boss Graeme Souness returned to English management but couldn’t spark a huge revival in Southampton’s fortunes. For the third time in four seasons, the Saints’ survival in the top-flight was only secured on the final day, even though they lost at Villa Park. Yet again, a resounding win over Manchester United was the highlight with the Saints winning 6-3 in October against the Red Devils. Souness quit at the end of the season.

 

1997-1998

Former Stockport County manager Dave Jones was the next person to try the Southampton hotseat and he enjoyed a successful debut campaign. Although just two wins from the first 11 matches had Southampton down in 19th position, a strong winter saw the Saints move comfortably into mid-table which is where they remained for the rest of the campaign. They recorded a 3-2 win at Anfield and a third successive home victory over Manchester United. They finished in a fairly comfortable 12th place.

 

1998-1999

Southampton went backwards in 1998-1999 and a 5-0 defeat on the second weekend to debutants Charlton Athletic set the tone for a difficult season. Southampton won three of their first 20 games, collecting just 14 points and sat second-bottom going into 1999. They stayed unbeaten at home in the second half of the season and three victories in their last three matches over Leicester, Wimbledon and Everton secured Premier League safety at the expense of Charlton. Planning permission was also granted for the club to move into a new stadium on the banks of the River Itchen.

 

1999-2000

In April 2000, Matt Le Tissier became the first midfielder to score 100 Premier League goals when he struck from the penalty spot in a 2-1 defeat to Sunderland. Southampton finished in 15th place with 44 points and well-clear of any relegation danger. Dave Jones stepped down towards the end of January to concentrate on clearing his name in connection with child abuse charges. Former England and Chelsea boss Glenn Hoddle replaced him as manager.

 

2000-2001

After 103 years, Southampton said goodbye to The Dell as they prepared to move into St Mary’s. They bid farewell in-style with a 3-2 victory on the final day against Arsenal with club legend Matt Le Tissier scoring an 89th-minute winner in what turned out to be his last-ever Premier League goal. Southampton finished in 10th position but lost manager Glenn Hoddle’s services in late March when he walked out on the club to take over at the club he represented as a player, Tottenham Hotspur.

 

2001-2002

Stuart Gray, who had finished the season as caretaker manager following Glenn Hoddle’s departure, led Southampton into the 2001-2002 season but was sacked in October after a terrible start to the season. Gordon Strachan took over and galvanised the club to an 11th place finish, recording their first-ever victory at St Mary’s in late November against Charlton Athletic. At the end of the season, Matt Le Tissier announced his retirement from professional football.

 

2002-2003

Southampton languished in the drop zone after eight matches but a run of just two losses from their next 15 encounters including an unbeaten home record until mid-January when Liverpool FC won 1-0 at St Mary’s saw them climb into the top half. Manchester United were the only other team to win on the south coast as Southampton finished in a best-ever Premier League finish of eighth. James Beattie was the highest English goalscorer and there was also a run to the FA Cup final which ended with a narrow 1-0 defeat to Arsenal at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

 

2003-2004

Southampton started strongly and even enjoyed a 1-0 home victory over reigning champions Manchester United in August courtesy of a late Beattie goal. They sat in fourth place in the table on Christmas Day but finished ultimately only in 12th spot. Gordon Strachan resigned as manager in mid-February to take a break from football management. He was ultimately replaced by Paul Sturrock after supporters opposed owner Rupert Lowe’s initial plan to bring back Glenn Hoddle to the club.

 

2004-2005

Just two games into the season, Paul Sturrock left by mutual consent after rumours of player unrest. He was succeeded by his first-team coach Steve Wigley but results didn’t improve and from early November, it became clear that Southampton were to be embroiled in a four-way relegation dogfight with the newly-promoted trio, Norwich City, West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace.

In December, Wigley was sacked and Harry Redknapp was drafted in following his departure from arch-rivals Portsmouth. Form did marginally improve and there were notable wins over Liverpool FC and Middlesbrough but Southampton were still in the bottom three going into the final day of the season. A 2-1 home defeat to Manchester United condemned the Saints to relegation from the top-flight, ending their 13-season run in the Premier League.

 

2012-2013

After achieving back-to-back promotions, Southampton returned to the elite in 2012 after a seven-season absence. The Saints made a terrible start, losing five of their first six matches including a 6-1 loss at Arsenal but rallied from November onwards and always looked like they had enough to survive. It was a shock then to see Nigel Adkins parting company with the club in January, two days after coming from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Chelsea. He was replaced by Mauricio Pochettino who impressed many with his style of play. Southampton finished 14th, five points clear of any danger.

 

2013-2014

Mauricio Pochettino’s first full season in English management saw him guide Southampton to an excellent eighth position in the Premier League table, surpassing their best-ever points tally in the process. Pochettino’s determination to promote English youth saw Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Jay Rodriguez all win their maiden England senior caps although a terrible knee injury in early April at Manchester City ended Rodriguez’s chances of going to the World Cup. Pochettino became a man in high demand during the season and he would leave in the summer to take over as manager of Tottenham Hotspur.

 

2014-2015

Pre-season was a concern for Southampton fans. Pochettino had gone and was replaced by Ronald Koeman, whilst Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw, Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana all left for higher-profile clubs. However, any relegation fears were quickly dispelled as Koeman’s team gelled together and was a contender for the UEFA Champions League qualification places all the way until early March. They eventually finished seventh which was still a best-ever Premier League finish and also recorded their biggest-ever Premier League win; an 8-0 mauling of Sunderland in October.

 

2015-2016

Nathaniel Clyne and Morgan Schneiderlin were the next key players to depart Southampton but yet again, Koeman’s side continued to defy the critics. The signing of Virgil van Dijk from Celtic was a smart piece of business. Southampton enjoyed a fantastic Boxing Day, defeating Arsenal 4-0 whilst Chelsea were also overcome 3-1 at Stamford Bridge and Tottenham Hotspur defeated 2-1 on the penultimate weekend. Despite falling to 14th position in early January, Southampton recovered brilliantly and secured sixth position on the final day of the season, earning another campaign of European football in the process.

 

2016-2017

After two full seasons at the helm, Ronald Koeman controversially left his position as Southampton manager to join Everton and he was replaced by Claude Puel. Under the Frenchman’s guidance, the Saints finished in eighth position and reached the League Cup final. However, home supporters were frustrated by a more sterile style of football deployed by Puel and he was dismissed at the end of the season by the board.

 

2017-2018

Southampton turned to Mauricio Pellegrino to fill the managerial position but the appointment was disastrous. The Saints recorded just seven league victories all season with the highlight being an impressive 4-1 win over Everton at the end of November. Virgil van Dijk was sold to Liverpool FC during the season for £75 million and Pellegrino was fired in March after a limp display and 3-0 defeat at St James’ Park. Former player Mark Hughes came in as manager and saved the club from relegation, helped by a Manolo Gabbiadini winner in the final week of the season at Swansea which kept Southampton safe at the expense of the Swans.

 

2018-2019

Having kept Southampton safe, Mark Hughes stayed on as manager but he managed just one victory away at Crystal Palace in September and he was dismissed in early December after a 2-2 draw with an out-of-form Manchester United. His successor was the former RB Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhüttl, who has spearheaded the Saints to victories over Arsenal, Huddersfield Town, Leicester City and Everton which has given supporters hope that the club can avoid relegation once again this season.

Premier League Rewind: 16th-17th September 1995

Results: Arsenal 1-0 West Ham United, Aston Villa 2-0 Wimbledon, Chelsea 3-0 Southampton, Leeds United 1-3 Queens Park Rangers, Liverpool FC 3-0 Blackburn Rovers, Manchester United 3-0 Bolton Wanderers, Middlesbrough 2-1 Coventry City, Newcastle United 3-1 Manchester City, Sheffield Wednesday 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur, Nottingham Forest 3-2 Everton

There were early signs in the 1995-1996 title race that Newcastle United and Manchester United were destined to be involved in a huge two-way scrap for the championship. Six games into the season and they were equal on points, victories and defeats. Those records were maintained in this round of action in mid-September.

Newcastle bounced back from a disappointing defeat in their previous fixture away to Southampton. The Geordies were far too strong for a hapless Manchester City side at St James’ Park, losing 3-1 to remain at the foot of the table with just one point to their name so far. The visitors’ cause wasn’t helped by Richard Edghill’s cheap dismissal and Les Ferdinand added another two goals to his tally. Ferdinand had made a brilliant start to his Newcastle career and had now scored six goals in his first six games for the club.

After their own slack opening to the season at Villa Park, Manchester United were starting to find their form. Alex Ferguson’s team made it five successive victories as newly-promoted Bolton Wanderers were simply no match for the Red Devils at Old Trafford. Paul Scholes scored twice and Ryan Giggs added his name to the scoresheet. United were still missing Eric Cantona who was a fortnight away from completing his eight-month suspension for a kung-fu kick at a Crystal Palace supporter.

The defending champions were Blackburn Rovers but they were well off the pace and looking more like relegation candidates. They returned to Anfield just four months after lifting the title there in the previous season and were crushed by Liverpool FC. Liverpool scored three times in the first 29 minutes, courtesy of Robbie Fowler’s diving header and long-range efforts by Jamie Redknapp and Stan Collymore. Henning Berg’s second half dismissal compounded to a miserable afternoon for the champions who had just four points to their name from six games and were only outside the relegation zone on goal difference.

Liverpool FC finished the weekend in fourth place, one point adrift of Aston Villa. Villa had struggled throughout the previous season but were keen for this to be an anomaly. Mark Draper and Ian Taylor scored the goals in their 2-0 home victory over an inconsistent Wimbledon.

Only two sides were unbeaten at this stage of the season and they sitting pretty in the top six. The sides in question were Arsenal and Nottingham Forest. The Gunners hadn’t really sparkled under new manager Bruce Rioch so far and Dennis Bergkamp was still goalless since his summer arrival from Inter Milan. It was Ian Wright’s penalty that was good enough to edge out West Ham United 1-0 at Highbury.

A day later, Nottingham Forest beat Everton 3-2 on Super Sunday. Ian Woan’s long-range effort was the pick of the goals as Forest recorded their first win since the opening day of the season. Everton were about to embark on a seven-match winless run that would prove damaging to their chances of launching a top three challenge. Having achieved 10 points from four matches in August, Leeds United lost back-to-back games in September. They were surprisingly beaten 3-1 at home by Queens Park Rangers.

What else happened in September 1995?

  • Frank Bruno defeats Oliver McCall on points to finally win the WBC World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Regular DAB radio broadcasting begins courtesy of the BBC from the Crystal Palace transmitting station.
  • Led by Bernard Gallacher, Europe regain The Ryder Cup, beating USA at Oak Hill 14 ½ to 13 ½.
  • Despite attempts to bring an end to the conflict, the Bosnian War continues with NATO air strikes against Bosnian Serb forces.
  • Accused of Mafia connections, the trial begins of former Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti.
  • British racing driver Kieth O’dor, who won the 1993 British Touring Car Championship race that supported the British Grand Prix, is killed in a touring car race in Berlin. He is just 33-years-old.

Memorable Matches: Manchester United 3-3 Southampton (September 1999)

Goalscorers: Marian Pahars 17, Teddy Sheringham 34, Dwight Yorke 37, 64, Matt Le Tissier 51, 73

Teams:

Manchester United: Massimo Taibi, Henning Berg, Denis Irwin, Jaap Stam, Mikael Silvestre, Nicky Butt, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Teddy Sheringham, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Dwight Yorke

Southampton: Paul Jones, Francis Benali, Jason Dodd, Claus Lundekvam (Chris Marsden 69), Dean Richards, Trond Egil Soltvedt (Matt Le Tissier 46), Matt Oakley, Hassan Kachloul, Stuart Ripley, Mark Hughes, Marian Pahars (James Beattie 89)

Referee: Steve Dunn, Attendance: 55,249

Southampton fans must have been visiting Old Trafford with trepidation in September 1999. Their record at the Theatre of Dreams was dismal, having lost their last 10 league games. The home side were the reigning champions and were still unbeaten, despite being held to a surprising draw by Wimbledon a week earlier.

With extra demands and more fixtures in the UEFA Champions League for Manchester United, Southampton were looking to expose a potential weakness and they silenced the home support by taking the lead after 17 minutes. On his return to Old Trafford, Mark Hughes played through his strike partner, Marian Pahars. The Latvian showed a deft piece of individual brilliance to nutmeg Jaap Stam and then finished coolly beyond Massimo Taibi who was preferred to Mark Bosnich in-goal for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.

For the Red Devils, it was a shock to the system but they found their stride just past the half-hour mark, especially David Beckham. His pinpoint cross to the near post on 34 minutes was guided into the net by another textbook finish from Teddy Sheringham, who had just managed to evade his marker, Dean Richards.

Three minutes after getting back on level terms, United were infront, although Paul Jones was very unfortunate to concede. Yet again, Beckham was at the heart of it. His great cross found Sheringham again, who was denied brilliantly by Jones’ athletic double-save. Sheringham didn’t show his disappointment though. He reacted quickly to cross the ball back into the box. Dwight Yorke was there to nod the ball into the net and complete the first half turnaround.

The reigning champions could have taken the game beyond Southampton early in the second half. Jason Dodd made two tremendous goal-line clearances in quick succession. Meanwhile, Matt Le Tissier had been kept on the bench by Dave Jones but he had been brought on at half-time for Trond Egil Soltvedt. Within six minutes of his arrival, he had Southampton back on level terms but through a huge slice of luck. His shot on-goal from 25 yards was on-target but was very weak and looked easy to save for Taibi. Somehow, the ball wriggled through his arms and squirmed underneath his body for one of the biggest goalkeeping gaffes we’ve seen in Premier League history. Oh dear!

Going forward, Ferguson’s side still continued to fly. Nicky Butt played through Yorke for his second of the afternoon on 64 minutes but defensively, they looked very charitable. With 17 minutes remaining, Silvestre was robbed of possession in a dangerous position by the alert Pahars. He showed his astute awareness to pick out Le Tissier who couldn’t miss. Southampton were level again and fully deserved the point they collected here.

Manchester United lost 5-0 in their next match to Chelsea and that would turn out to be Taibi’s final Premier League outing. Despite the problems with replacing Peter Schmeichel, Ferguson’s side cruised to their sixth title in eight seasons whilst Southampton finished 15th.

Iconic Moments: Bizarre tactics cost Manchester City dear (May 1996)

Young Manchester City supporters might not remember that there was a time where the club really struggled in the Premier League. In the 1995-1996 season, the Citizens made a terrible start to the campaign, not winning any of their first 11 matches. It was Alan Ball’s first season in the dugout and he struggled to win over the supporters and get the players producing performances of high-quality proportions.

On the final day of the season, City needed to better the results of relegation rivals Coventry City and Southampton in a bid to avoid the drop to the First Division. It didn’t start well. An own goal from Steve Lomas and Ian Rush’s deflected strike gave visitors Liverpool FC a 2-0 half-time lead. The hosts recovered the deficit in the second half thanks to Uwe Rosler from the penalty spot and Kit Symons. However, they needed one more goal to avoid relegation.

Not according to one supporter who spread a message around the ground suggesting the draw was enough. That got through to Ball, who bizarrely believed this without checking the source. He then told his players to take the ball into the corner flag and run down the clock rather than score again.

By the time they realised that the previous message had been incorrect, three minutes of time had been wasted and time was up. With Coventry and Southampton both drawing their matches 0-0, they survived and City were relegated in bizarre circumstances that summed up a manic season at Maine Road.

Premier League Rewind: 17th-19th October 2015

Results: Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Liverpool FC, Chelsea 2-0 Aston Villa, Crystal Palace 1-3 West Ham United, Everton 0-3 Manchester United, Manchester City 5-1 AFC Bournemouth, Southampton 2-2 Leicester City, West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Sunderland, Watford 0-3 Arsenal, Newcastle United 6-2 Norwich City, Swansea City 0-1 Stoke City

After the second international break of the season, the Premier League resumed in October 2015 with goals, hat-trick heroes, managerial debuts and a fond farewell to arguably, Everton’s greatest boss.

On the morning of the Toffees home match with Manchester United, the news broke that Howard Kendall had died. Kendall had three spells as Everton manager and led them to their most successful period in the 1980s, beating Rapid Vienna to win the 1985 European Cup Winners’ Cup and achieving two league championships in 1985 and 1987.

There were fond tributes throughout the afternoon from Everton supporters and also from Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney, who scored the third goal of the day in the Red Devils’ 3-0 victory. It was his first away goal in the Premier League in 11 months. The result saw Louis van Gaal’s side maintain their position in third place in the table.

That was because the top two at the start of the weekend, Manchester City and Arsenal both recorded resounding victories. League leaders City dished out a thrashing on Premier League newcomers AFC Bournemouth, beating the Cherries 5-1. They might have been missing Sergio Aguero after he sustained an injury on international duty but Raheem Sterling filled in with devastating effect. He scored his first Premier League hat-trick and Wilfried Bony also scored twice on a chastening afternoon for Eddie Howe’s side. Luck hadn’t been on his side. He’d already lost three key players, including top goalscorer Callum Wilson to serious knee injuries during Bournemouth’s debut top-flight season.

Arsenal had to show a bit more patience in the Saturday evening kick-off at Vicarage Road but the goals did eventually flow against Watford. Mesut Ozil sparkled with two assists and Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey all scored in a 3-0 victory for Arsene Wenger’s side, keeping them just two points adrift of top spot.

At White Hart Lane, Liverpool FC had turned to Germany in a bid to revive their faltering fortunes. Brendan Rodgers had been sacked just before the international break and replaced by former Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp. Klopp’s high-pressing style of play had already caused season-ending injuries to Joe Gomez and Danny Ings in training. However, his players stuck to the task well to earn a hard-fought goalless draw with Tottenham Hotspur.

With no wins again after eight games, Sunderland were once again under new management after Dick Advocaat resigned. Survival specialist Sam Allardyce was called in to try and save the Black Cats but he didn’t get the start he was hoping for. Sunderland lost 1-0 to West Bromwich Albion. Saido Berahino poked home the only goal from close-range on 54 minutes.

That meant Allardyce’s side would finish the weekend bottom of the table. Newcastle United finally got their first win of the season in an enthralling Super Sunday clash with Norwich City. There were five goals before half-time and eight in-total as the Magpies eventually prevailed 6-2. Georginio Wijnaldum produced a magical display, scoring four times.

Defending champions Chelsea climbed into mid-table after a comfortable 2-0 victory over Aston Villa. It was just their third win of the season from nine outings, whilst two late goals in a 3-1 victory at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace took West Ham United into the dizzying heights of fourth position.

What else happened in October 2015?

  • Nadiya Hussain wins the sixth series of The Great British Bake Off.
  • With winds of 215 mph, Hurricane Patricia becomes the most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere.
  • England are knocked out of the Rugby World Cup in the pool stages for the first time in their history and Stuart Lancaster steps down as Head Coach. New Zealand retained the trophy after beating Australia in the final.
  • England becomes the last country in the UK to introduce a mandatory 5p charge for plastic carrier bags at supermarkets.
  • At a peace rally in Ankara, Turkey, a series of bombings kills 100 people and injures more than 400 others.
  • A new law banning smoking in vehicles carrying children comes into force in England and Wales.
  • The former Chancellor of the Exchequer and Deputy Leader of the Labour party, Denis Healey dies aged 98.

Great Goals: Matthew Lowton – Stoke City vs. ASTON VILLA (April 2013)

Aston Villa looked to be in serious relegation danger going into the penultimate month of the 2012-2013 season. They needed to start winning fast. What their fans probably didn’t expect was a goal of a lifetime strike from a rookie right-back in his debut top-flight campaign.

Matthew Lowton had quietly gone about his business throughout the season but he came into the conscience of Villa supporters with this stunning goal away at The Britannia Stadium against Stoke City. From a Villa corner, two Stoke players, Geoff Cameron and Charlie Adam initially cleared the ball away from danger. When Lowton controlled the ball on his chest, there didn’t seem to be much threat for Asmir Begovic and his defenders.

Having controlled the ball beautifully, Lowton’s second touch was inch-perfect as his dipping volley looped over Begovic and into the net. It was a fitting goal to win an important match and was the spearhead towards an impressive run that secured safety for Paul Lambert’s side.

The Clubs: Nottingham Forest

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
198 60 59 79 229 287 -58 239 5

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Steve Chettle 174
Mark Crossley 162
Ian Woan 132
Scot Gemmill 128
Stuart Pearce 123
Steve Stone 118
Des Lyttle 113
Colin Cooper 108
Bryan Roy 84
David Phillips 83

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Bryan Roy 24
Stan Collymore 22
Stuart Pearce 18
Ian Woan 17
Steve Stone 16
Jason Lee 12
Nigel Clough 11
Kevin Campbell 9
Gary Bannister 8
Colin Cooper 8

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Sheffield Wednesday 1-7 Nottingham Forest 1st April 1995 1994-1995
Leeds United 1-4 Nottingham Forest 5th December 1992 1992-1993
Nottingham Forest 4-1 Sheffield Wednesday 10th September 1994 1994-1995
Tottenham Hotspur 1-4 Nottingham Forest 24th September 1994 1994-1995
Nottingham Forest 4-1 Ipswich Town 10th December 1994 1994-1995
Nottingham Forest 4-1 Wimbledon 6th November 1995 1995-1996
Nottingham Forest 3-0 Chelsea 16th January 1993 1992-1993
Nottingham Forest 3-0 Southampton 18th March 1995 1994-1995
Nottingham Forest 3-0 Leeds United 22nd March 1995 1994-1995
Nottingham Forest 3-0 Manchester City 30th September 1995 1995-1996

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Nottingham Forest 1-8 Manchester United 6th February 1999 1998-1999
Blackburn Rovers 7-0 Nottingham Forest 18th November 1995 1995-1996
Manchester United 5-0 Nottingham Forest 28th April 1996 1995-1996
Newcastle United 5-0 Nottingham Forest 11th May 1997 1996-1997
Nottingham Forest 1-5 Blackburn Rovers 13th April 1996 1995-1996
Liverpool FC 5-1 Nottingham Forest 24th October 1998 1998-1999
Nottingham Forest 0-4 Manchester United 26th December 1996 1996-1997
Coventry City 4-0 Nottingham Forest 9th January 1999 1998-1999
Blackburn Rovers 4-1 Nottingham Forest 5th September 1992 1992-1993
Nottingham Forest 1-4 Sunderland 21st August 1996 1996-1997

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Brian Clough 1 8th May 1993
Frank Clark 3 19th December 1996
Stuart Pearce 1 30th June 1997
Dave Bassett 1 5th January 1999
Ron Atkinson 1 30th June 1999

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Nottingham Forest 1-8 Manchester United 6th February 1999 30,025 1998-1999
Nottingham Forest 1-1 Manchester United 27th November 1995 29,263 1995-1996
Nottingham Forest 1-1 Liverpool FC 15th March 1997 29,181 1996-1997
Nottingham Forest 1-0 Liverpool FC 23rd March 1996 29.058 1995-1996
Nottingham Forest 0-4 Manchester United 26th December 1996 29,032 1996-1997
Nottingham Forest 1-0 Manchester City 6th May 1995 28,882 1994-1995
Nottingham Forest 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur 4th March 1995 28,711 1994-1995
Nottingham Forest 2-2 Liverpool FC 5th April 1999 28,374 1998-1999
Nottingham Forest 1-1 West Ham United 8th April 1995 28,361 1994-1995
Nottingham Forest 2-0 Chelsea 11th January 1997 28,358 1996-1997

 

Intro

It has been nearly 20 years now since Nottingham Forest last graced the top-flight of English football. They still remain one of the biggest teams outside of the Premier League and still one of the most successful sides to have graced the European Cup following those back-to-back victories in 1979 and 1980. Forest have been relegated in three of their five Premier League seasons but also finished a fantastic third under the guidance of the shrewd Frank Clark in the 1994-1995 season.

 

1992-1993

Nottingham Forest began the new season with victory over Liverpool FC in the very-first live match on Sky Sports in the new league with Teddy Sheringham scoring the only goal of the game. Sheringham was sold shortly afterwards though to Tottenham Hotspur and the club followed up this Liverpool victory with six successive defeats. They were six points from safety going into the New Year.

A brief revival early in 1993 saw them climb out of the relegation zone at the end of February but just two wins from their last 10 matches saw their fate slide out of their control. On the eve of the final home match of the season against Sheffield United, legendary manager Brian Clough announced he was retiring from football management. Sadly, there was no happy ending. Forest lost 2-0 to the Blades and were relegated to the First Division. Clough would be replaced by Frank Clark.

 

1994-1995

After impressing at the World Cup finals with the Netherlands, Bryan Roy was signed by Frank Clark to help lead Nottingham Forest’s attack on their top-flight return. They enjoyed a brilliant season, staying unbeaten in their first 11 matches and sitting in second spot for much of the first three months of the campaign. After a 2-0 loss at home to Blackburn Rovers, there was a six-game winless sequence but Clark’s side continued to figure inside the top six throughout the season.

Stan Collymore scored 22 goals and he was also the first player in the season to score at Old Trafford when Forest pulled off a stunning 2-1 victory away at the reigning champions. In April, they recorded the biggest away victory of the season, thumping Sheffield Wednesday 7-1 at Hillsborough. A draw on the final weekend away at Wimbledon ensured a third place finish and UEFA Cup football for the following season. No promoted club has finished higher than this in Premier League history.

 

1995-1996

Progress at Nottingham Forest stuttered in 1995-1996 after Collymore was sold in the summer to Liverpool FC for a British transfer record fee. Andrea Silenzi was signed as his replacement and proved to be a complete flop although the additions of Kevin Campbell from Arsenal and Chris Bart-Williams from Sheffield Wednesday were useful acquisitions.

Again, they enjoyed a lengthy unbeaten start to the season. A 12-match unbeaten sequence which culminated with a 4-1 victory at home to Wimbledon in early November took Clark’s side into third place in the table. Two weeks later, that unbeaten run ended dramatically with a 7-0 beating away at Blackburn Rovers. Their domestic season never quite recovered from that demoralising performance and Forest faded to ninth place and mid-table mediocrity.

Ian Woan sparkled and scored a crucial long-range effort to deny Newcastle United a vital victory in their title run-in challenge whilst a quarter-final run in the UEFA Cup was the best effort from a British team in European competition that season.

 

1996-1997

Nottingham Forest topped the table after the opening round of fixtures when Kevin Campbell scored a hat-trick on a scorching afternoon at Highfield Road against Coventry City. That 3-0 victory was the high point in a dreadful campaign for the club. Frank Clark failed to win another league match during his reign and in mid-December; he resigned after a 4-2 loss at Anfield. Club captain Stuart Pearce was given the opportunity to manage the team and he did spearhead a shock victory over Arsenal in his first match in-charge.

A three-game winning sequence at the start of January took the Midlands side out of the bottom three but Dean Saunders’ winner at White Hart Lane in early March would turn out to be the last victory of the season for Nottingham Forest. They collected just six points from their remaining 11 fixtures and were relegated on the final Saturday of the season after failing to beat Wimbledon at home. Pearce left at the end of the season to continue his playing career at Newcastle United and was replaced by Dave Bassett.

 

1998-1999

After romping away with the First Division title in 1998, Nottingham Forest made an instant return to the Premier League but their plans were thrown in disarray when unhappy that Kevin Campbell had been sold to Trabzonspor, star striker Pierre van Hooijdonk went on-strike in the summer!

Forest did win two of their opening three games but soon fell into trouble and didn’t record another victory until the end of January. By then, Van Hooijdonk had returned to the club and Dave Bassett was sacked following an FA Cup loss to First Division Portsmouth. Ron Atkinson answered the call to save the sinking ship but even he couldn’t prevent the inevitable.

Van Hooijdonk did score a winner at Goodison Park in Atkinson’s second game in-charge but a week later, they lost 8-1 at home to Manchester United in a scoreline that still remains as the biggest home defeat in Premier League history. Relegation was confirmed at the end of April at Villa Park, although they did win their last three matches of the season against Sheffield Wednesday, Blackburn Rovers and Leicester City.

Premier League Files: Duncan Ferguson

Premier League Career: Everton (1994-1998, 2000-2006), Newcastle United (1998-2000)

Off-the-pitch, Duncan Ferguson has shown compassion, kindness and consideration for the city of Liverpool and especially, the club he fell in love with – Everton. Ferguson is a true blue and is back at the club now as a first-team coach – a role he has held since 2014. His passion could make him a manager of the future if he wants it.

On-the-pitch, “Big Dunc” was a fearsome, savage, no-nonsense character. In his career, he collected nine red cards and eight of those were in the Premier League. This means he holds the joint-record for dismissals in the Premier League Years along with former teammate Richard Dunne and Patrick Vieira.

Ferguson began his professional career in Scottish football with Dundee United in 1990. As a 22-year-old, Rangers showed great interest in his services after scoring 28 goals in 77 league appearances for the men from Tannadice. In 1993, Ferguson moved to Rangers for a British transfer record fee of £4 million. The move to Glasgow didn’t go well and in 1994, he was booked in a 4-0 victory over Raith Rovers for a head-butt on visiting player, John McStay. He was subsequently charged with assault and as it was his fourth conviction after other altercations off-the-pitch, he would end up in court for these actions.

With a lack of playing time at Rangers, Ferguson moved to Everton in October 1994 on a three-month loan deal, along with teammate Ian Durrant. Under-pressure manager Mike Walker was desperate to turn his fortunes around and hoped the pair could produce for him. He was sacked three weeks after their arrivals but his successor, Joe Royle, was immediately impressed by Ferguson. He quickly turned the loan switch into a permanent move and Duncan responded by scoring the first goal in Royle’s Everton’s management – a 2-0 victory over Liverpool FC in November 1994. Ferguson would later score a winning goal that season against Manchester United and ended the campaign as an FA Cup winner – his only club honour.

The 1995-1996 season was less successful. A hernia problem restricted him to just 18 appearances, scoring five goals in the league. Also, his Ibrox head-butt saw him convicted in the autumn of 1995 and jailed for three months – sweeping the prison floors for £6.50 a week. He came back into the first-team on his release and in December 1997, became the first-ever player in Premier League history to score a hat-trick of headers when he achieved the feat in a 3-2 victory against Bolton Wanderers. They were crucial goals as the Toffees avoided relegation on goal difference, at Bolton’s expense.

In November 1998, Everton beat Newcastle United 1-0 at Goodison Park. During the game, the respective owners of the two clubs reached an agreement for Ferguson to be sold to Newcastle for £8 million. Toffees manager Walter Smith wasn’t consulted about the transfer and furious that his club captain could be sold behind his back. Ferguson wrote a two-page goodbye letter in the club magazine to fans. He admitted he would never forget the fans or the club but was looking forward to pairing up with Alan Shearer, saying at his press conference unveiling: “Everybody knows that Alan Shearer is one of the best players in Europe and I’m looking forward to teaming up with him. I think it will be a good partnership.”

He made a brilliant start to his Newcastle career, scoring twice on his debut in a 3-1 victory over Wimbledon. However, injuries ruined his 18-month spell on Tyneside. He did experience a second FA Cup final in 1999, appearing as a second half substitute in the 2-0 loss to Manchester United. After just 30 league appearances, scoring eight goals, Sir Bobby Robson sold him back to Everton in August 2000 for £3.75 million. That was for less than half the price the Magpies had paid for him.

Ferguson again enjoyed a successful debut, scoring on his return to the club against Charlton Athletic. He made 123 further league appearances but injuries and the form of the likes of Tomasz Radzinski, Kevin Campbell and an upcoming Wayne Rooney meant Duncan became more of a back-up player in his second spell with the club. In September 2005, he received the final red card of his Premier League career for violent conduct against Wigan Athletic and received a seven-match ban for his confrontations with Paul Scharner and Pascal Chimbonda.

His final game was against West Bromwich Albion in May 2006, scoring in his final match. He retired after his contract wasn’t renewed and moved his family to Mallorca. After five years in Spain, Ferguson returned to Everton in a coaching capacity, working first in the academy before taking a first-team coaching role when Roberto Martinez succeeded David Moyes, joining the backroom team in March 2014 when he successfully completed his UEFA coaching badges. Ferguson has since remained part of the coaching team under the management of Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce and Marco Silva.

Memorable Matches: Norwich City 4-4 Middlesbrough (January 2005)

Goalscorers: Damien Francis 18, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink 34, 78, Franck Queudrue 49, 55, Dean Ashton 80, Leon McKenzie 89, Adam Drury 90

Teams:

Norwich City: Robert Green, Adam Drury, Gary Doherty, Marc Edworthy, Craig Fleming, Jim Brennan (Leon McKenzie 59), Phil Mulryne (Gary Holt 64), Damien Francis, Andreas Jonson (Paul McVeigh 60), Dean Ashton, Darren Huckerby

Middlesbrough: Mark Schwarzer, Gareth Southgate, Tony McMahon, Franck Queudrue, Michael Reiziger, Doriva (James Morrison 45), Ray Parlour, Stewart Downing, Bolo Zenden, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Joseph Desire-Job (Danny Graham 74)

Referee: Matt Messias, Attendance: 24,547

Middlesbrough were enjoying a strong 2004-2005 season in the Premier League and were favourites going into their match at Carrow Road against Norwich City. A remarkable match would follow and leave both managers sensing a missed opportunity by the full-time whistle.

Boro had only won once in their last five outings. Nevertheless, they made the better start to the contest. Midfielder Doriva fired a shot just wide of Robert Green’s goal before the England international closed down his angles to block a Stewart Downing effort. So, it was against the run of play that Norwich took the lead on 18 minutes. Darren Huckerby’s shot was saved by Mark Schwarzer but the ball fell perfectly to Damien Francis to tap home his sixth goal of the season as the visiting defence appealed for an offside that never came.

The Canaries had only won twice all season and hadn’t kept a clean sheet in the top-flight since mid-October. It was very unlikely they would keep one here and Middlesbrough’s pressure eventually told on 34 minutes. Downing’s shot on-goal was deflected into the net by the right foot of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. It was the Dutchman’s 10th goal of the season in his first campaign as a Boro player.

It was 1-1 at half-time but after the break, Middlesbrough took full advantage of some charitable defending from Norwich at set-pieces. In the 49th minute, Downing’s corner was powered home in the six-yard box by defender Franck Queudrue at the near post. Just six minutes had passed when Queudrue incredibly doubled his tally for the afternoon. From yet another Downing corner, Gareth Southgate won the first header at the near post and Queudrue ghosted clear without being spotted by any home defender to provide the simplest of finishes. The game looked comprehensively over with 12 minutes left. Hasselbaink’s terrific free-kick dipped over the wall and into Green’s net. 4-1 ahead, surely game over and Middlesbrough would head back to Teeside with all three points?

Nigel Worthington’s side weren’t going to roll over though and just two minutes later, reduced the deficit to 4-2. Huckerby crossed for Dean Ashton. The new club-record signing from Crewe Alexandra beat Schwarzer to the loose ball to score his first Canaries goal on his home debut. At this stage, it looked like a goal to add some respectability to the scoreline but hope was restored for the supporters when another Huckerby assist led to substitute Leon McKenzie scoring with a header in the 89th minute. All of a sudden, Middlesbrough became a bag of nerves.

Then in stoppage-time, Huckerby’s corner was delivered onto the head of club captain Adam Drury. He got a free header and equalised with his first-ever Premier League goal, saving Worthington’s team from a fourth successive defeat. It was a remarkable comeback but despite this fightback, Norwich were relegated back to Division One on the last day of the season.

Iconic Moments: History for Rush (October 1992)

Liverpool FC have had a history of great goalscorers, ranging from Kenny Dalglish and Kevin Keegan, to Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler. However, leading the list of all-time goals for the 18-time English champions is Ian Rush.

In October 1992, Liverpool FC travelled to Old Trafford to play Manchester United and made a blistering start. Don Hutchinson’s deflected effort gave Graeme Souness’ side the lead before a moment of history from Rush made it 2-0. From Ronny Rosenthal’s cutback, Rush smashed the ball into the back of Peter Schmeichel’s net to score his 287th goal for the club, surpassing the tally achieved by the legendary Roger Hunt.

Although Mark Hughes scored twice in the second half to ensure the spoils were shared, it was Rush’s achievement that made the headlines. After the game, he said: “Obviously I am proud and privileged to have beaten the record of a great player like Roger Hunt. He was my father’s hero.”

Rush finished his Liverpool FC career in 1996 having scored 346 goals in 660 appearances across two spells, winning five league championships, five League Cups and the European Cup in 1984.