Premier League Rewind: 30th August-1st September 1997

Results: Arsenal 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa 1-0 Leeds United, Chelsea 4-2 Southampton, Crystal Palace 1-2 Blackburn Rovers, Derby County 1-0 Barnsley, Manchester United 3-0 Coventry City, Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Leicester City, West Ham United 3-1 Wimbledon, Liverpool FC P-P Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers 0-0 Everton

The 1997-1998 season saw an action-packed August as the majority of teams played five games in the opening month of the campaign. Nine games took place on the final weekend of the month and 19 goals were scored. The tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales in the early hours of Sunday, 31st August 1997 led to the postponement of the match at Anfield between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United.

The early season pacesetters were current champions Manchester United and the former winners of the Premier League, Blackburn Rovers. Blackburn had largely been in the doldrums since winning the title in 1995 but looked like a revitalised side under the guidance of the former Inter Milan coach, Roy Hodgson. They were scoring goals for fun too, netting 13 in their first four matches. Their fourth win in five games came at Selhurst Park over newly-promoted Crystal Palace. First half goals from Kevin Gallacher and Chris Sutton spearheaded Blackburn to a 2-1 victory and therefore, top spot at the end of August on goal difference.

Manchester United’s start to the season had been business-like. They’d scored eight times in their first five games and Peter Schmeichel hadn’t conceded a goal yet. Coventry City were the latest side to feel the punch of the Red Devils. Andy Cole, new skipper Roy Keane and Karel Poborsky were on the scoresheet as the home side eased to a 3-0 victory.

Another team who had made a strong side to the season were West Ham United. Harry Redknapp’s side won a London Derby at Upton Park against Wimbledon, winning 3-1. All the goals came in the second half, with West Ham’s three goals arriving in a seven-minute period through John Hartson, Marc Rieper and Eyal Berkovic.

The Hammers moved above Arsenal who were held to a goalless draw at Highbury in the North London Derby by Tottenham Hotspur. It would turn out to be Gerry Francis’ final North London Derby match in-charge of Spurs and he left having lost just one of seven encounters against the enemy from Highbury.

Another goalless came would be a controversial one between Bolton Wanderers and Everton. It was Bolton’s first game at their new state-of-the-art ground, The Reebok Stadium. During the second half, referee Stephen Lodge failed to spot that Gerry Taggart’s header had fallen six inches beyond the goal-line when it was hooked away by Everton defender Terry Phelan. This came at a time when goal-line technology was only a pipe dream. Come the end of the season, the teams would finish level on points with Everton above Bolton on goal difference. They survived, Bolton were relegated. It was a cruel twist come the end of the 1997-1998 campaign.

Aston Villa had made a rotten start to the campaign, losing their first four matches, having only scored twice. Brian Little’s side finally got off the scoreboard with a 1-0 victory against Leeds United. Dwight Yorke scored the only goal to inflict a third defeat in a week on Leeds. Another side who achieved their first victory was fellow Midlands side Derby County, beating Barnsley 1-0. However, they were only playing their third match of the season and their first game at their new home, Pride Park which completed the whole 90 minutes.

What else happened in August 1997?

  • The United Kingdom is left in mourning by the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales. She is killed in a car crash in Paris, along with her companion Dodi Al-Fayed when the Mercedes she was travelling in crashes in a tunnel whilst trying to escape some paparazzi photographers.
  • Steve Jobs returns to Apple Computers, whilst Microsoft buys a $150 million share of the financially-troubled giant.
  • Korean Air Flight 801 crashes while attempting to land in the United States territory of Guam, killing hundreds of passengers.
  • Former Grandstand presenter Helen Rollason is diagnosed with cancer and will undergo emergency surgery.
  • The controversial animated sitcom ‘South Park’ debuts on Comedy Central.
  • Britpop band Oasis continue to break music records. Their third album, ‘Be Here Now’, becomes the fastest selling album in UK history.
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Memorable Matches: Southampton 3-2 Charlton Athletic (December 2003)

Goalscorers: Michael Svensson 14, Brett Ormerod 45, 85, Scott Parker 46, 65

Teams:

Southampton: Antti Niemi, Jason Dodd, Claus Lundekvam, Danny Higginbotham, Michael Svensson, Rory Delap, David Prutton, Paul Telfer, James Beattie, Brett Ormerod, Marian Pahars (Kevin Phillips 77)

Charlton Athletic: Dean Kiely, Jonathan Fortune, Hermann Hreidarsson, Radostin Kishishev, Chris Perry, Matt Holland, Scott Parker, Graham Stuart, Claus Jensen, Paolo Di Canio (Carlton Cole 76), Jason Euell

Referee: Peter Walton, Attendance: 30,513

Southampton and Charlton Athletic were two of the early season surprises in the 2003-2004 campaign. Both clubs were among the chasing pack fighting for European qualification alongside Fulham and regular challengers, Newcastle United and Liverpool FC. The Saints and the Addicks were about to produce a thrilling Sunday afternoon of entertainment on the south coast.

Before the game, Southampton paid their respects to club president Ted Bates, who passed away on 28th November 2003, aged 85. He was a former player, manager and director and had earned the title of Mr. Southampton.

Despite being winless in their last four matches, Southampton made the sharper start and took the lead after 14 minutes. Centre-back Michael Svensson managed to make enough contact on Rory Delap’s goal-bound shot and it crept over the goal-line, despite the best efforts of Jason Euell to clear. It was Southampton’s first Premier League goal in 371 minutes. Delap nearly made it 2-0 shortly afterwards, firing a low shot which forced Dean Kiely to make a good save at full stretch.

David Prutton and Saints’ top goalscorer, James Beattie also managed to sting the palms of Kiely before the home side got a deserved second goal right on the stroke of half-time. Beattie did brilliantly to square the ball for strike partner Brett Ormerod to turn home and ensured Southampton had a lead going into the interval which their dominance showed.

The game would be turned by some individual brilliance from rising talent Scott Parker. Infront of England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson, Parker immediately cut Southampton’s lead in half within a minute of the restart. The midfielder’s beautifully placed shot left Antti Niemi without a chance of saving. Graham Stuart then hit the crossbar as the visitors enjoyed their most prominent attacking spell of the game. With 25 minutes left, the comeback had been completed. Parker found some space and curled in another special effort. This time, it was a 25-yard strike which saw Niemi completely stranded.

Late on though, Southampton snatched the points. From another set-piece, Charlton struggled to clear their lines and Ormerod hooked home from close-range to ensure all three points would be claimed by Gordon Strachan’s side, taking them into eighth place in the table.

Southampton would spend Christmas in the top four but Strachan left in February to take a break from management and they faded to 12th by the season’s end. Charlton finished a brilliant seventh, their best-ever top-flight finish but did sell star asset Parker in the January transfer window to Chelsea for £10 million.

Premier League Rewind: 28th-30th September 2002

Results: Leeds United 1-4 Arsenal, Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Southampton, Charlton Athletic 1-3 Manchester United, Chelsea 2-3 West Ham United, Everton 2-0 Fulham, Manchester City 0-3 Liverpool FC, Sunderland 1-0 Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspur 0-3 Middlesbrough, Birmingham City 0-2 Newcastle United, West Bromwich Albion 0-2 Blackburn Rovers

Still undefeated at the start of the season, champions Arsenal were looking in irresistible form at the end of September 2002. The Gunners travelled to Elland Road to face Leeds United, aiming at more records and this performance demonstrated the growing gulfing gap that was emerging between the two sides.

Kanu’s opening goal after nine minutes ensured Arsenal had now scored in 47 successive top-flight matches, breaking a record that had stood for 71 years that had been held by Chesterfield. Kolo Toure’s header and a trademark Thierry Henry strike made it 3-0 just after half-time. Although Harry Kewell did pull a late consolation back for the hosts, Kanu’s second of the afternoon ensured a 4-1 win for Arsenal who blew Leeds apart. Terry Venables’ side had lost four of their first eight matches, whilst Arsenal maintained their two-point lead at the top.

Like the men from north London, Liverpool FC were still unbeaten too and they responded later that afternoon with their own masterclass away from home. Manchester City had no answer for the Reds and in particular, Michael Owen. Owen had made an indifferent start to the 2002-2003 campaign, scoring just once and that was from the penalty spot against Newcastle United. However, he rediscovered his scoring touch on Liverpool’s last league visit to Maine Road. Owen scored a hat-trick in Liverpool’s 3-0 victory.

In total, there were seven away victories across the weekend, making a complete mockery of the term ‘home advantage.’ One of the most impressive performances came from Middlesbrough who ran out convincing 3-0 winners at White Hart Lane over Tottenham Hotspur. Massimo Maccarone, Geremi and Joseph Desire-Job all scored and Boro had quietly asserted themselves into the Premier League’s top three. Having topped the table themselves in August, Tottenham had dropped to sixth and lost three of their last four matches. It looked set to be another inconsistent season for Glenn Hoddle and his troops.

Although they hadn’t found their peak form yet, Manchester United were just six points off the early pacesetters. They recovered from a Claus Jensen blockbuster to defeat Charlton Athletic 3-1 at The Valley and record their first win away from Old Trafford in the season. Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Ruud van Nistelrooy were all on-target for the visitors.

Chelsea dropped to fifth after losing their first Premier League match of the season. Once again, Paolo Di Canio was the man who caused them problems. Di Canio had taken a real liking to playing Chelsea throughout his career and he was at it again at Stamford Bridge, spearheading West Ham United to a 3-2 victory and their first win of the season. The maverick Italian scored twice, including the winner of September’s Goal of the Month but it wasn’t enough to lift the Hammers off the foot of the Premier League table.

Southampton remained in the bottom three after eight games after conceding a 90th minute equaliser to Youri Djorkaeff of Bolton Wanderers in a 1-1 draw between the sides at The Reebok Stadium. Lastly, Sunderland achieved a rare victory as David Bellion’s 70th minute goal defeated Aston Villa 1-0 at The Stadium of Light. The win would turn out to be Peter Reid’s final home match as manager. He parted company with the club 10 days later.

What else happened in September 2002?

  • The first anniversary of the September 11th 2001 attacks is marked by many services and memorials across the United States.
  • The body of the abducted British schoolgirl Amanda Dowler is found in remote woodland near Hampshire.
  • An earthquake is felt in Dudley which causes minor structural damage but no injuries. It is the biggest earthquake to strike the UK in 12 years, registering 4.7 on the Richter scale.
  • Switzerland becomes a full member of the United Nations.
  • Serena Williams and Pete Sampras win the singles’ events at the US Open. In Sampras’ case, his win over Andre Agassi is his 14th Grand Slam – the last of his phenomenal career.
  • Team Europe claims back The Ryder Cup from the United States at The Belfry in the first tournament of the 21st century. It had been postponed in 2001 due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
  • ‘Top of the Pops’ airs its 2000th edition.

Seasonal Records: 2009-2010

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from the 2009-2010 Premier League campaign. After three years of Manchester United dominance, Chelsea managed to wrestle the title back to the capital as Carlo Ancelotti achieved the league and FA Cup double in his first season as manager. Chelsea also became the first team to score 100 goals in a PL season.

FINAL TABLE

Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Chelsea 38 27 5 6 103 32 +71 86
2 Manchester United 38 27 4 7 86 28 +58 85
3 Arsenal 38 23 6 9 83 41 +42 75
4 Tottenham Hotspur 38 21 7 10 67 41 +26 70
5 Manchester City 38 18 13 7 73 45 +28 67
6 Aston Villa 38 17 13 8 52 39 +13 64
7 Liverpool FC 38 18 9 11 61 35 +26 63
8 Everton 38 16 13 9 60 49 +11 61
9 Birmingham City 38 13 11 14 38 47 -9 50
10 Blackburn Rovers 38 13 11 14 41 55 -14 50
11 Stoke City 38 11 14 13 34 48 -14 47
12 Fulham 38 12 10 16 39 46 -7 46
13 Sunderland 38 11 11 16 48 56 -8 44
14 Bolton Wanderers 38 10 9 19 42 67 -25 39
15 Wolverhampton Wanderers 38 9 11 18 32 56 -24 38
16 Wigan Athletic 38 9 9 20 37 79 -42 36
17 West Ham United 38 8 11 19 47 66 -19 35
18 Burnley 38 8 6 24 42 82 -40 30
19 Hull City 38 6 12 20 34 75 -41 30
20 Portsmouth* 38 7 7 24 34 66 -32 19

*Portsmouth were docked 10 points for entering administration in February 2010

 

THE BASIC STATS

Goals Scored 1053
European qualifiers Chelsea (UEFA Champions League)

Manchester United (UEFA Champions League)

Arsenal (UEFA Champions League)

Tottenham Hotspur (UEFA Champions League)

Manchester City (UEFA Europa League)

Aston Villa (UEFA Europa League)

Liverpool FC (UEFA Europa League)

Longest winning run 6 games (Arsenal & Chelsea)
Longest unbeaten run 12 games (Birmingham City)
Longest winless run 14 games (Sunderland)
Longest losing run 7 games (Portsmouth)
Highest attendance 75,316 (Manchester United vs. Stoke City)
Lowest attendance 14,323 (Wigan Athletic vs. Portsmouth)

 

AWARDS

PFA Players’ Player of the Year Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
PFA Young Player of the Year James Milner (Aston Villa)
Football Writers’ Award Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
PFA Team of the Year Joe Hart, Richard Dunne, Patrice Evra, Branislav Ivanovic, Thomas Vermaelen, Darren Fletcher, Cesc Fabregas, James Milner, Antonio Valencia, Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney
Manager of the Year Harry Redknapp (Tottenham Hotspur)
Premier League Goal of the Season Maynor Figueroa (Stoke City vs. WIGAN ATHLETIC)

 

HAT-TRICK HEROES

Player Teams Score Date
Jermain Defoe Hull City vs. Tottenham Hotspur 1-5 19th August 2009
Yossi Benayoun Liverpool FC vs. Burnley 4-0 12th September 2009
Robbie Keane (4) Tottenham Hotspur vs. Burnley 5-0 26th September 2009
Fernando Torres Liverpool FC vs. Hull City 6-1 26th September 2009
Aruna Dindane Portsmouth vs. Wigan Athletic 4-0 31st October 2009
Jermain Defoe (5) Tottenham Hotspur vs. Wigan Athletic 9-1 22nd November 2009
Wayne Rooney Portsmouth vs. Manchester United 1-4 28th November 2009
Carlos Tevez Manchester City vs. Blackburn Rovers 4-1 11th January 2010
Wayne Rooney (4) Manchester United vs. Hull City 4-0 23rd January 2010
Darren Bent Sunderland vs. Bolton Wanderers 4-0 9th March 2010
Frank Lampard (4) Chelsea vs. Aston Villa 7-1 27th March 2010
Carlos Tevez Manchester City vs. Wigan Athletic 3-0 29th March 2010
Salomon Kalou Chelsea vs. Stoke City 7-0 25th April 2010
Didier Drogba Chelsea vs. Wigan Athletic 8-0 9th May 2010

 

TOP SCORERS

Position Player Teams No of Goals
1 Didier Drogba Chelsea 29
2 Wayne Rooney Manchester United 26
3 Darren Bent Sunderland 24
4= Carlos Tevez Manchester City 23
4= Frank Lampard Chelsea 22
6= Jermain Defoe Tottenham Hotspur 18
6= Fernando Torres Liverpool FC 18
6= Cesc Fabregas Arsenal 15
6= Emmanuel Adebayor Manchester City 14
10= Gabriel Agbonlahor Aston Villa 13
10= Louis Saha Everton 13
10= Florent Malouda Chelsea 12
10= Dimitar Berbatov Manchester United 12
10= Nicolas Anelka Chelsea 11
10= Andrey Arshavin Arsenal 10
16= Craig Bellamy Manchester City 10
16= John Carew Aston Villa 10
16= Cameron Jerome Birmingham City 10
16= Hugo Rodallega Wigan Athletic 10
16= Carlton Cole West Ham United 10
16= Steven Gerrard Liverpool FC 9
16= Robin van Persie Arsenal 9
16= David Dunn Blackburn Rovers 9
16= Kenwyne Jones Sunderland 9
25 Kevin Doyle Wolverhampton Wanderers 9

BIGGEST VICTORIES

Tottenham Hotspur 9-1 Wigan Athletic 22nd November 2009
Chelsea 8-0 Wigan Athletic 9th May 2010
Chelsea 7-0 Stoke City 25th April 2010
Chelsea 7-1 Aston Villa 27th March 2010
Chelsea 7-2 Sunderland 16th January 2010
Everton 1-6 Arsenal 15th August 2009
Burnley 1-6 Manchester City 3rd April 2010
Liverpool FC 6-1 Hull City 26th September 2009
Chelsea 5-0 Blackburn Rovers 24th October 2009
Wigan Athletic 0-5 Manchester United 22nd August 2009

 

HIGHEST SCORING GAMES

No of Goals Teams Date
10 Tottenham Hotspur 9-1 Wigan Athletic 22nd November 2009
9 Chelsea 7-2 Sunderland 16th January 2010
8 Chelsea 8-0 Wigan Athletic 9th May 2010
8 Chelsea 7-1 Aston Villa 27th March 2010
8 Arsenal 6-2 Blackburn Rovers 4th October 2009
8 West Ham United 5-3 Burnley 28th November 2009
7 Chelsea 7-0 Stoke City 25th April 2010
7 Everton 1-6 Arsenal 15th August 2009
7 Burnley 1-6 Manchester City 3rd April 2010
7 Liverpool FC 6-1 Hull City 26th September 2009
7 Aston Villa 5-2 Burnley 21st February 2010
7 Sunderland 5-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 27th September 2009
7 Manchester United 4-3 Manchester City 20th September 2009
7 Manchester City 4-3 Sunderland 19th December 2009
6 Manchester City 5-1 Birmingham City 11th April 2010
6 Aston Villa 5-1 Bolton Wanderers 7th November 2009
6 Everton 5-1 Hull City 7th March 2010
6 Arsenal 4-2 Bolton Wanderers 20th January 2010
6 Manchester City 4-2 Arsenal 12th September 2009
6 Burnley 4-2 Tottenham Hotspur 9th May 2010

 

YOUNGEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Jack Robinson Hull City 0-0 Liverpool FC 16 years, 8 months, 7 days 9th May 2010
Lennard Sowah Portsmouth 0-0 Blackburn Rovers 17 years, 7 months, 11 days 3rd April 2010
Jack Wilshere Arsenal 3-1 Birmingham City 17 years, 9 months, 15 days 17th October 2009
Louis Moult Burnley 1-1 Stoke City 17 years, 9 months, 24 days 10th March 2010
Frank Nouble Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-2 West Ham United 17 years, 10 months, 22 days 15th August 2009
Jose Baxter Everton 2-0 Manchester City 17 years, 11 months, 9 days 16th January 2010
Jeffrey Bruma Chelsea 5-0 Blackburn Rovers 17 years, 11 months, 11 days 24th October 2009
Mark Cullen Hull City 0-1 Sunderland 18 years, 3 days 24th April 2010
Phil Jones Blackburn Rovers 1-1 Chelsea 18 years, 1 month 21st March 2010
Liam Cooper Liverpool FC 6-1 Hull City 18 years, 1 month, 23 days 26th September 2009

 

OLDEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
David James Portsmouth 3-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 39 years, 8 months, 30 days 1st May 2010
Edwin van der Sar Manchester United 4-0 Stoke City 39 years, 6 months, 10 days 9th May 2010
Brad Friedel Aston Villa 0-1 Blackburn Rovers 38 years, 11 months, 21 days 9th May 2010
Maik Taylor Manchester City 5-1 Birmingham City 38 years, 7 months, 7 days 11th April 2010
Graham Alexander Burnley 4-2 Tottenham Hotspur 38 years, 6 months, 29 days 9th May 2010
Mike Pollitt Chelsea 8-0 Wigan Athletic 38 years, 2 months, 10 days 9th May 2010
Marcus Hahnemann Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 Sunderland 37 years, 10 months, 24 days 9th May 2010
Mark Schwarzer Arsenal 4-0 Fulham 37 years, 7 months, 3 days 9th May 2010
Kevin Phillips Aston Villa 1-0 Birmingham City 36 years, 9 months 25th April 2010
Ryan Giggs Manchester United 4-0 Stoke City 36 years, 5 months, 10 days 9th May 2010

 

CLEAN SHEETS

Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1= Petr Cech Chelsea 17
1= Pepe Reina Liverpool FC 17
3 Brad Friedel Aston Villa 15
4= Heurelho Gomes Tottenham Hotspur 13
4= Paul Robinson Blackburn Rovers 13
6= Edwin van der Sar Manchester United 12
6= Thomas Sorensen Stoke City 12
6= Mark Schwarzer Fulham 12
9= Shay Given Manchester City 11
9= Tim Howard Everton 11

Premier League Files: Ronnie Wallwork

Premier League Career: Manchester United (1997-2001), West Bromwich Albion (2002-2003, 2004-2006)

Ronnie Wallwork is one of the fortunate players to have a Premier League title winners’ medal to his name. He made 12 appearances in the 2000-2001 season which meant he qualified for a medal as Manchester United cantered to their seventh league championship in nine seasons.

Having been capped four times by England’s Under-20 side in 1997, Wallwork was a player who did have the potential to go further but his career would take a dramatic fall from grace.

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, he joined the club as a trainee in July 1994 and signed professional forms less than a year later. He helped the Red Devils win the FA Youth Cup in 1995 and in 1996, was voted the club’s Young Player of the Year. Things were looking good for further progression.

By the start of the 1997-1998 season, Ronnie was a regular in the reserve teams at Old Trafford but needed to make a first-team breakthrough. He got his first experience of Premier League football in October 1997, replacing Gary Pallister as a 64th minute substitute in United’s 7-0 thumping of Barnsley. To further advance his education, he had loan spells over the next 18 months at Carlisle United, Stockport County and Manchester United’s feeder Belgian side, Royal Antwerp. It was whilst he was in Belgium that his first sign of a short temper became known.

After Antwerp lost a match to La Louviere which ended their hopes of promotion, Wallwork grabbed referee Amand Ancion by the throat. In the same incident, fellow United youth player and Antwerp colleague, Danny Higginbotham insulted the official. The Belgian FA took a dim view to both actions. Higginbotham was banned from football for a year whilst unbelievably; Wallwork was banned from playing in all FIFA-affiliated nations for life!  Antwerp secretary Rene Snelders was quoted as saying: “This is the equivalent of the death penalty.”

Whilst both actions were unacceptable, the sentencing was exceptionally harsh and after numerous appeals, both sentences were dropped down in length with Wallwork’s final penalty being a 12-month ban from all competitions in Belgium. After this messy incident, he got back to business with his parent club and made a breakthrough in the 1999-2000 season. Used largely as a defensive midfielder, he made seven appearances in the Premier League, just missing out on a title winners’ medal. The following season, he achieved the magical number required to get recognised for medals, finishing with 12 appearances but they were to be his last Premier League efforts. The signings of Juan Sebastian Veron and Laurent Blanc pushed Wallwork further down the pecking order and in the summer of 2002, he was released by his boyhood club.

In July 2002, he moved to West Bromwich Albion, becoming Gary Megson’s first signing after promotion to the Premier League. Sir Alex Ferguson had given his own high recommendation, saying Wallwork was the “best Bosman of the summer.” He played in 27 of Albion’s 38 Premier League matches in 2002-2003 which was a tough year personally for him after his mother passed away at the start of 2003. West Brom were relegated and after falling out of favour under Megson when the club were back in the First Division, he was loaned out to Bradford City in January 2004.

Bryan Robson was the Bradford manager at the time and he managed to add a few more goals to Wallwork’s game by playing him further forward in midfield. A broken toe sustained against Rotherham United cut short this period in Yorkshire but a four-goal return from seven appearances was impressive stats. So, when Robson succeeded Megson as West Brom manager in November 2004 with the club back in the top-flight, you could imagine Ronnie’s delight. He became an integral part of the team and started every single match from December onwards. In January 2005, he scored his first Albion goal to wrap up a 2-0 home victory over Manchester City which was Robson’s first victory as Baggies boss.

On the final day of the season, West Brom beat Portsmouth and with results going their way, they became the first club in Premier League history to be bottom at Christmas and still avoid relegation. He won Player of the Season recognition for his efforts and extended his contract in the process. There would be no happy ending though.

He played 31 games in the following season but West Brom were relegated for a second time in his stint with the Black Country club and he would be frozen out of proceedings when Robson left his position as manager. After surviving a stabbing incident at a Manchester nightclub in November 2006 which left him with wounds to his back, hand and stomach, he wound down his professional career with spells at Barnsley, Huddersfield Town and Sheffield Wednesday.

Wallwork’s fall from grace was complete in 2011 when he was charged with concealing criminal property in connection with offences relating to stolen cars. He was jailed for 15 months in December 2011 after pleading guilty to three counts of handling stolen cars.

It was an unsavoury end to a controversial career where a player never quite fulfilled his potential talent.

The Clubs: West Ham United

All data correct upto 23rd April 2018

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
840 273 220 347 1006 1209 -203 1039 22

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Mark Noble 314
Carlton Cole 216
Steve Potts 204
James Collins 187
Robert Green 177
Trevor Sinclair 177
John Moncur 175
Ludek Miklosko 169
Winston Reid 166
James Tomkins 164

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Paolo Di Canio 48
Carlton Cole 41
Mark Noble 36
Trevor Sinclair 36
Andy Carroll 33
Freddie Kanoute 29
John Hartson 24
Frank Lampard 24
Tony Cottee 23
Julian Dicks 21

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
West Ham United 6-0 Barnsley 10th January 1998 1997-1998
West Ham United 5-0 Coventry City 22nd April 2000 1999-2000
West Ham United 5-0 Charlton Athletic 26th December 2000 2000-2001
Derby County 0-5 West Ham United 10th November 2007 2007-2008
West Ham United 5-1 Sheffield Wednesday 3rd May 1997 1996-1997
West Ham United 5-1 Derby County 17th April 1999 1998-1999
West Ham United 4-0 Middlesbrough 16th May 1999 1998-1999
West Ham United 4-0 Derby County 26th December 2001 2001-2002
West Ham United 4-0 Aston Villa 12th September 2005 2005-2006
Tottenham Hotspur 1-4 West Ham United 4th April 1994 1993-1994

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Manchester United 7-1 West Ham United 1st April 2000 1999-2000
Blackburn Rovers 7-1 West Ham United 14th October 2001 2001-2002
Everton 6-0 West Ham United 8th May 1999 1998-1999
Reading 6-0 West Ham United 1st January 2007 2006-2007
Sheffield Wednesday 5-0 West Ham United 18th December 1993 1993-1994
Liverpool FC 5-0 West Ham United 2nd May 1998 1997-1998
Everton 5-0 West Ham United 29th September 2001 2001-2002
Newcastle United 5-0 West Ham United 5th January 2011 2010-2011
West Ham United 1-5 Leeds United 1st May 1999 1998-1999
Chelsea 5-1 West Ham United 20th January 2002 2001-2002

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Billy Bonds 1 10th August 1994
Harry Redknapp 7 9th May 2001
Glenn Roeder 2 24th August 2003
Alan Pardew 2 11th December 2006
Alan Curbishley 3 3rd September 2008
Gianfranco Zola 2 11th May 2010
Avram Grant 1 15th May 2011
Sam Allardyce 3 24th May 2015
Slaven Bilic 3 6th November 2017
David Moyes 1  

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
West Ham United 0-2 Manchester United 2nd January 2017 56,996 2016-2017
West Ham United 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur 5th May 2017 56,992 2016-2017
West Ham United 1-0 Burnley 14th December 2016 56,990 2016-2017
West Ham United 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur 23rd September 2017 56,988 2017-2018
West Ham United 1-0 Sunderland 22nd October 2016 56,985 2016-2017
West Ham United 0-4 Liverpool FC 14th May 2017 56,985 2016-2017
West Ham United 3-0 Crystal Palace 14th January 2017 56,984 2016-2017
West Ham United 1-2 Chelsea 6th March 2017 56,984 2016-2017
West Ham United 2-2 West Bromwich Albion 11th February 2017 56,983 2016-2017
West Ham United 0-4 Manchester City 1st February 2017 56,980 2016-2017

 

Intro

This is West Ham United’s 22nd Premier League season and the Hammers have often been in the headlines. They finished in fifth place in 1999 under the wise guidance of Harry Redknapp and narrowly missed out on a top six finish in 2016. They left behind Upton Park to move into The London Stadium in time for the 2016-2017 season but it has been a tricky time since the change in stadium. David Moyes is the current manager and looks to have guided them to another season of Premier League football for 2018-2019.

 

1993-1994

It was Billy Bonds who guided West Ham United into the Premier League and they finished a creditable 13th in the table, without ever looking like being dragged into a relegation battle. It was veteran Clive Allen who scored both goals in their first Premier League victory over Sheffield Wednesday but Trevor Morley led the goalscoring charts with 13 goals. Highlights included a 2-0 victory away at Blackburn Rovers in September and 4-1 thrashing of Tottenham Hotspur in April.

 

1994-1995

There was a change in management just days before the season started. Fearing that their assistant manager Harry Redknapp was about to return to AFC Bournemouth as manager, the directors promoted him to the manager’s post at Upton Park. Billy Bonds resigned acrimoniously and Redknapp immediately had a point to prove to the supporters.

Re-signing the likes of Tony Cottee and Julian Dicks helped but the Londoners spent a good portion of the season in the bottom four. Just one defeat in their last 11 games though steered them to safety and a 14th place finish which including impressive home wins over Blackburn Rovers and Liverpool FC.

 

1995-1996

West Ham achieved their first top-half finish since promotion to the Premier League. A 10th place result saw a best finish for the club in the top-flight since coming third in 1986. Left-back Julian Dicks was joint-top scorer with 10 goals alongside the experienced Tony Cottee and the season also saw Premier League debuts for future title winners, Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard.

 

1996-1997

There was plenty of excitement in pre-season about the arrival of Romanian forward Florin Raducioiu. However, he scored just twice and walked out on the club mid-season. It was a season of struggle and in early February, West Ham looked in genuine danger of being relegated. Redknapp then went into the transfer market and the double striker arrival of Paul Kitson and John Hartson took them clear of trouble. West Ham finished 14th with Kitson scoring an impressive eight times to finish top scorer despite not being with the club for over half the campaign.

 

1997-1998

A quantum leap forward was made in the 1997-1998 season as West Ham wound up in an excellent 8th place. John Hartson was the top goalscorer with 15 goals and young defender Rio Ferdinand won his first international call-up as his rise through the ranks continued. A 6-0 victory over Barnsley in January 1998 remains their biggest-ever Premier League victory.

 

1998-1999

There was another busy summer at Upton Park with the likes of Shaka Hislop, Neil Ruddock and Arsenal goalscoring great Ian Wright all arriving at the club. West Ham made a brilliant start to the season and a 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at the end of November took them into the dizzying heights of second position in the table.

Whilst the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea eventually overtook the Hammers, West Ham’s final finish of 5th place ensured UEFA Cup football and a return to European action for the first time in 19 years. This was despite selling John Hartson in January 1999 to Wimbledon for £7 million.

 

1999-2000

For the third successive season, West Ham United finished in the Premier League’s top 10 with a 9th place finish. Joe Cole and Michael Carrick were another two players from the famed academy to make the breakthrough into the first-team. Having arrived halfway through the previous season, Paolo Di Canio scored 16 times including winning Goal of the Season for a spectacular volley against Wimbledon in March.

West Ham were also involved in one of the games of the season, beating Bradford City 5-4 in February, despite trailing 1-0, 3-1 and 4-2 during the match. They did lose 7-1 to Manchester United in April which is their joint-biggest defeat in Premier League history.

 

2000-2001

This turned out to be Harry Redknapp’s final season as West Ham manager and one of his toughest. The sale of Rio Ferdinand in November 2000 to Leeds United for £18 million strained relations between the board and manager and Redknapp left just before the season ended. He fell out with owner Terry Brown over transfer funds for the forthcoming season. Youth coach Glenn Roeder would take over on a permanent basis in the off-season.

 

2001-2002

The Glenn Roeder reign got off to a dreadful start. West Ham won just one of their first seven matches and suffered back-to-back heavy thrashings at the hands of Everton and Blackburn Rovers in the autumn. So, he did brilliantly to steer the club away from trouble and they finished an impressive 7th in the final standings. Frank Lampard was sold in pre-season to Chelsea but Paolo Di Canio stayed despite nearly joining Manchester United in January and Freddie Kanoute was top scorer for the second successive season with 11 goals.

 

2002-2003

Despite having the likes of Joe Cole, Michael Carrick, Jermain Defoe, David James and Paolo Di Canio among their squad, West Ham United were relegated at the end of the season, despite achieving 42 points which normally guarantees Premier League safety. West Ham made a wretched start again, not winning until late September and spending Christmas Day bottom of the table.

They didn’t win at Upton Park until a 2-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers in January. Football didn’t matter in late April though when manager Glenn Roeder collapsed shortly after a victory against Middlesbrough. Roeder was diagnosed with a non-malignant brain tumour which was successfully operated on.

That meant club legend Trevor Brooking took charge of the final three games. He got them important wins over Manchester City and Chelsea and a final day draw with Birmingham City. However, the form of other sides at the wrong end of the table was just as impressive and that meant West Ham’s 10-year tenure in the top-flight ended.

 

2005-2006

After two years in the wilderness of the Championship, West Ham United returned to the Premier League in 2005-2006 with Alan Pardew as the manager. They made a good start and sat fourth at the end of September with 11 points from their first six matches. There were excellent victories away at Highbury against Arsenal in February and on the final day at home to Tottenham Hotspur. West Ham finished a very satisfying ninth in the table and reached the FA Cup final where they lost on penalties to Liverpool FC.

 

2006-2007

On transfer deadline day, West Ham shocked the football world with the signings of Argentine duo Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano. It would ensure for a dramatic season in the East End of London. Both players failed to sparkle and Mascherano would move on-loan to Liverpool FC in January. By this point, Alan Pardew had been sacked as the Hammers slipped into the bottom three. He was replaced by Alan Curbishley but form continued to elude the club.

They received a 6-0 mauling from Reading on New Years’ Day and when Tottenham Hotspur produced a dramatic fightback to snatch a 4-3 victory at Upton Park in March, West Ham were bottom and 10 points adrift of safety with just nine games to play. Relegation looked all but a formality. However, Tevez suddenly discovered his scoring touch, putting in some magical displays and West Ham won seven of their last nine matches to climb off the bottom and out of the relegation zone. On the final day, Tevez scored the winner at Old Trafford to ensure the club’s safety amidst high controversy.

The signings of Tevez and Mascherano breached Premier League rules regarding third-party ownership of players. West Ham pleaded guilty to the charges and rather than a points deduction, were given a hefty fine, much to the chagrin of relegation rivals Sheffield United, Fulham and Wigan Athletic.

 

2007-2008

Alan Curbishley’s first full season as West Ham manager was unremarkable to say the least. The club finished in 10th place, well clear of relegation danger but not strong enough to create a challenge for the European qualifying positions. Dean Ashton was top scorer with 10 goals after recovering from a broken ankle that had ruled him out of the whole of the previous campaign.

 

2008-2009

Despite winning two of their first three games, Alan Curbishley resigned as manager after stating not having full control over transfers. He was annoyed to see defenders Anton Ferdinand and George McCartney sold to Sunderland without his knowledge. He was replaced by Chelsea playing legend Gianfranco Zola. Despite winning just three of his first 14 Premier League matches, a 4-1 victory on Boxing Day over Portsmouth started an excellent sequence that took West Ham into the top half.

They finished in ninth spot, despite losing Craig Bellamy in the January transfer window to Manchester City and Dean Ashton to retirement.

 

2009-2010

An opening day victory away at Molineux hinted at another encouraging campaign but Zola found the going very tough and West Ham went winless until a late Zavon Hines goal defeated Aston Villa in early November. November was the club’s best month of the season, with seven points from four games.

There was a change in the boardroom in January with the former Birmingham City owners, David Gold and David Sullivan succeeding cash-strapped Icelandic owner Björgólfur Gudmundsson. They immediately identified Zola as the wrong man for the job and sacked him at the end of the season. West Ham finished a disappointing 17th, narrowly avoiding relegation after a 3-2 victory over Wigan Athletic in late April.

 

2010-2011

Avram Grant was appointed as Zola’s successor following Portsmouth’s relegation from the Premier League. It didn’t seem like an inspired choice and losing their first four matches put the Hammers on the backfoot for the entire campaign. Bottom on Christmas Day, there was a brief revival over the festive period with victories over Fulham and Wolverhampton Wanderers, along with a draw against Everton. However, West Ham won just three games in 2011 and after throwing away a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 to Wigan Athletic on the penultimate weekend, the club were relegated.

Grant was sacked pretty much straight after the game and replaced in the off-season by Sam Allardyce. The one crumb of comfort for supporters was the sensational form of Scott Parker. The midfielder won the Football Writers’ award, despite playing for a relegated side.

 

2012-2013

Sam Allardyce guided West Ham back into the Premier League at the first attempt via the play-offs. He strengthened the squad with the arrivals of experienced players like Jussi Jaaskelainen, Mohamed Diame and James Collins, who returned for a second spell after a stint at Aston Villa. Allardyce also managed to bring Andy Carroll into the club on-loan after he fell out of favour at Liverpool FC.

After winning four of their first eight matches, West Ham sat sixth in the table and never looked in any relegation danger. 14th was the lowest position they’d occupy all season which was after a defeat to Chelsea in March. In the end, a 10th place finish was a good season for all parties with skipper Kevin Nolan ending as top scorer. His 10 goals figure was helped by a final day hat-trick at home to Reading.

 

2013-2014

Sam Allardyce’s third season as West Ham United manager was his toughest as the Hammers struggled to find any consistency. The Hammers won just three games in the first half of the season, although one of those victories was a notable 3-0 away triumph at White Hart Lane over Tottenham Hotspur. After heavy cup defeats in early January to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup and a League Cup loss to Manchester City, there was big pressure on Allardyce from supporters.

16 points out of a possible 21 followed which guided the club away from trouble and West Ham eventually finished 13th but apart from a league double over Tottenham, there weren’t many highlights for the fans to remember.

 

2014-2015

After the general struggle of 2013-2014, West Ham were flying high in the early part of the 2014-2015 season. Liverpool FC and Manchester City were among their victims at Upton Park and the club sat in fourth place going into Christmas. Unfortunately, only another three victories followed against Hull City, Sunderland and Burnley. West Ham slipped to 12th place by the end of the season which was slightly disappointing considering how high they were earlier in the campaign.

Moments after the season concluded with defeat on Tyneside to Newcastle United, the board confirmed Allardyce’s contract would not be renewed and he would leave to take a break from football management. Aaron Cresswell was voted Hammer of the Year after an impressive debut campaign.

 

2015-2016

Former player Slaven Bilic was chosen as the man to lead West Ham through their final season at Upton Park. They began with a marvellous hat-trick of away victories at The Emirates Stadium, Anfield and The Etihad Stadium. A 2-1 victory over Chelsea at the end of October had the Hammers into the top three.

An injury to star player Dimitri Payet in early November started a dreadful run of eight games without a win which dropped the Londoners into the reaches of mid-table. However, a 2-1 victory over Southampton in late December started an excellent second half of the season that took the club onto the cusp of Champions League football. A run of four successive draws ended those aspirations but West Ham finished with 62 points (a new PL best) and finished seventh in the table.

Payet was top scorer in all competitions and football ended at Upton Park with a memorable 3-2 victory over Manchester United. Winston Reid scored the final-ever goal at The Boleyn.

 

2016-2017

West Ham’s first season in their new home at The London Stadium was always going to be tricky and despite a winning start, as Michail Antonio’s header beat AFC Bournemouth, heavy defeats to Watford and Southampton highlighted how hard life would be in their new surroundings.

Dimitri Payet scored a majestic solo goal in a home draw with Middlesbrough but he wouldn’t stick around. In January, he told Slaven Bilic that he wanted to leave and refused to play for the club again. He eventually got his move back to Marseille. West Ham eventually finished in 11th position but with few fireworks on-the-pitch and some heavy beatings to the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool FC.

There was a 1-0 victory right at the end of the campaign against Tottenham Hotspur which effectively ended Spurs’ title aspirations and made the fans very happy.

 

2017-2018

The conclusion of the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships meant West Ham couldn’t play any home matches until early September. Despite the arrivals of Joe Hart on-loan, Javier Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic, there was a lack of rhythm. Three straight defeats left them pointless at the end of August.

A Friday night horror show at home to Brighton & Hove Albion in October put the pressure on Bilic and he lost his job a fortnight later with the club languishing in 17th spot. David Moyes was his successor and a 1-0 victory over champions Chelsea in December started an impressive run of form which took the club away from danger.

A 3-0 defeat at home to Burnley in March saw some unsavoury scenes inside the stadium with some fans running onto the pitch and owners David Gold and David Sullivan being asked to leave the directors box for their own safety. It looks like West Ham will stay up this season but testing times seem to lie ahead for one of the Premier League’s regular members.

Premier League Rewind: 8th-10th April 2017

Results: Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Watford, Manchester City 3-1 Hull City, Middlesbrough 0-0 Burnley, Stoke City 1-2 Liverpool FC, West Bromwich Albion 0-1 Southampton, West Ham United 1-0 Swansea City, AFC Bournemouth 1-3 Chelsea, Sunderland 0-3 Manchester United, Everton 4-2 Leicester City, Crystal Palace 3-0 Arsenal

The 2016-2017 Premier League season had been dominated by Chelsea for the majority of the campaign. Antonio Conte’s side came into this round of games still seven points clear of London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, despite a recent slip-up at home to Crystal Palace.

The Blues knew that Tottenham would continue to crank up the pressure and for a while, Mauricio Pochettino’s side could close to within four points of the table-toppers as they kicked-off on 8th April earlier than Chelsea. They comfortably dismissed Watford 4-0 at White Hart Lane, despite missing the injured Harry Kane. Dele Alli scored the pick of the goals and Heung-Min Son continued to show his growing importance with two goals.

That was Spurs’ sixth successive victory but once again, Chelsea found a response. They dispatched AFC Bournemouth 3-1 at The Vitality Stadium in the teatime kick-off to go seven points clear again with just seven games left to play. Marcos Alonso’s sublime free-kick put the game beyond the home side.

Despite having played more games than both Manchester clubs, Liverpool FC had the points on the board and consolidated third spot with a hard-fought 2-1 success away at Stoke City. Jon Walters had put the home side into the lead with his customary goal against Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp needed two superb saves from Simon Mignolet to keep his side in the contest. Then, quick-fire strikes from Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino turned the game completely around. Since losing to Leicester in late February, Liverpool were now unbeaten in six games, winning four of these matches.

Both Manchester clubs recorded expected victories. Manchester City beat Hull City 3-1, who were relying solely on their home form to try and keep them in the Premier League. A day later, Manchester United cruised past a sorry Sunderland side 3-0 at The Stadium of Light. We didn’t know it at the time but this would turn out to be Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s final-ever Premier League goal. The Swede picked up a serious knee injury in a UEFA Europa tie against Anderlecht less than two weeks later and wouldn’t score again at this level before moving to the LA Galaxy in April 2018.

Sunderland were looking doomed but Crystal Palace were going in the right direction. Sam Allardyce’s side had now won four of their last five games and were six points clear of the bottom three after a fabulous and well-deserved 3-0 victory over a lifeless Arsenal. The Gunners put in one of their most insipid displays of recent times, leading to Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher calling them “cowards.” Their top-four chances were hanging by a thread.

Elsewhere, Craig Shakespeare tasted defeat for the first time as Leicester City interim boss. The reigning champions lost 4-2 in an exciting clash at Everton, who had drawn level on points with Arsenal, despite having played two games more.

Swansea’s 1-0 defeat to West Ham United at The London Stadium saw them remain in the bottom three and without a win in five matches. That win ended a four-game losing run that the Hammers had endured and effectively guaranteed Premier League football in their new home for another season. It was also looking bleak for Middlesbrough who drew 0-0 with Burnley and were still without a win for caretaker boss Steve Agnew, who had succeeded Aitor Karanka a month earlier. Boro were now six points adrift of safety and had scored just 22 goals in 31 matches.

What else happened in April 2017?

  • Prime Minister Theresa May catches everyone by surprise and calls a snap general election for Thursday 8th June.
  • A hijacked lorry is deliberately driven into crowds in Stockholm. Five people are killed, including one British national.
  • In boxing, Anthony Joshua beats Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium to become WBA World Heavyweight Champion.
  • Former Aston Villa and Middlesbrough centre-back Ugo Ehiogu suffers a cardiac arrest at Tottenham Hotspur’s training ground. He dies a day later, aged just 44.
  • According to the National Grid, Britain goes a full day without using coal power (21st April) to generate electricity for the first time since the Industrial Revolution.
  • TV actor and author Tim Piggott-Smith, who won a BAFTA for Best Actor in 1985, dies aged 70 in Northamptonshire from natural causes.
  • John Middleton makes his final appearance on the ITV soap opera Emmerdale after 21 years. His character Ashley Thomas dies after being diagnosed with incurable pneumonia.

Memorable Matches: AFC Bournemouth 3-3 Everton (November 2015)

Goalscorers: Ramiro Funes Mori 25, Romelu Lukaku 36, Adam Smith 80, Junior Stanislas 87, 90+8, Ross Barkley 90+6

Teams:

AFC Bournemouth: Adam Federici (Ryan Allsop 45), Charlie Daniels, Steve Cook (Adam Smith 45), Sylvain Distin, Simon Francis, Dan Gosling, Andrew Surman, Harry Arter (Glenn Murray 76), Matt Ritchie, Junior Stanislas, Josh King

Everton: Tim Howard, Seamus Coleman, Brendan Galloway, Ramiro Funes Mori, John Stones, Gareth Barry, James McCarthy (Tom Cleverley 68), Ross Barkley, Gerard Deulofeu (Aaron Lennon 86), Arouna Kone (Darron Gibson 90), Romelu Lukaku

Referee: Kevin Friend, Attendance: 11,228

This was AFC Bournemouth’s debut season in the Premier League and manager Eddie Howe’s demand to play attractive football meant the supporters were going to be in for plenty of thrills and spills. They played Everton in November 2015 in what turned out to be an astonishing match.

Everton went into the game in great goalscoring form, having scored 11 goals in their last three league encounters and they did a lot of the early pressing. Adam Federici had to deny forwards Arouna Kone and Romelu Lukaku twice before the visitors took the lead on 25 minutes. Argentine defender Ramiro Funes Mori headed home into the roof of the net from a corner. It was 2-0 nine minutes later. Gerard Deulofeu found Lukaku who demonstrated his power to hold off Steve Cook’s advances, before driving in a shot past Federici’s near post. It was his 10th goal of the Premier League season – matching his tally from the previous campaign.

Bournemouth looked in trouble and were forced into two half-time changes, most notably in-goal where Ryan Allsop came on for his Premier League debut after injury forced Federici off. They rallied in the second half with Charlie Daniels testing Tim Howard’s reflexes before Adam Smith set-up a grandstand final 10 minutes.

Everton failed to properly clear a corner and from 25-yards out, the full-back tried his luck and fired a shot into the top corner for only his second-ever goal for Bournemouth. He was given the space and properly punished Everton who were getting lax with the comfortable advantage they held. With three minutes left, it looked like the Cherries had rescued an improbable point. Josh King drove down the right-hand side, exposing youngster Brendan Galloway and he squared the ball back for Junior Stanislas to fire in the equaliser. Bournemouth had shown tremendous spirit but there was still time for more late drama.

Five minutes of stoppage-time were signalled by the fourth official and with what looked like being the last attack of the match, Everton regained their lead. Kone and Seamus Coleman were involved in the build-up and despite a good challenge to deny the Republic of Ireland international from ex-Everton defender Sylvain Distin, Ross Barkley was in the right place and his shot crept past the youngster Alsop’s defences at the near post.

However, there was incredibly more time added on by referee Kevin Friend and in the eighth minute of stoppage-time, Smith found Daniels in space on the left-hand side. The left-back delivered an inch-perfect cross and Stanislas connected perfectly with a flying header which gave Howard no chance. This concluded an extraordinary finish to one of the best matches of the 2015-2016 season.

Premier League Files: Darren Peacock

Premier League Career: Queens Park Rangers (1992-1994), Newcastle United (1994-1998), Blackburn Rovers (1998-1999)

Darren Peacock made nearly 400 league appearances in his career. He spent eight seasons in the Premier League playing for Queens Park Rangers, Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers. A very nasty neck injury ended his playing days at the start of the millennium.

Darren began his career in the lower leagues of English football with Newport County. When Newport went bankrupt, Hereford United picked him up on a free transfer in 1989 and turned him into a very capable and towering central defender. In his first full season with them, he was voted Player of the Year. Gerry Francis and Queens Park Rangers were impressed and in 1990, parted with £200,000 to bring Peacock to west London.

He made over 100 league appearances for the Hoops and was a constant threat at attacking set-pieces. On transfer deadline day in March 1994, he was sold to Newcastle United for £2.7 million. It is believed that this transaction started the rift between Francis and the club’s board which led to his decision to resign as first-team manager seven months later.

Kevin Keegan had every faith in Peacock’s abilities and he immediately broke into their first-team setup, helping Newcastle to a third-place finish in their very first Premier League season. In total, he would make 176 appearances for Newcastle, scoring four goals. One of his rare goals was the opener in the 5-0 demolition job Newcastle dished out on Manchester United in October 1996.

Kenny Dalglish started to break up the team that had come within a whisker of the Premier League title in 1995-1996 and in 1998, sold Peacock to Blackburn Rovers. This is where his injury problems began to occur. He scored just once against Southampton in a 3-3 draw but Blackburn’s decline was well underway and they would be relegated at the end of the 1998-1999 campaign. It was whilst he was on-loan at Wolverhampton Wanderers that saw the end of his career.

In a match against Fulham, he collided with his own goalkeeper, Michael Oakes and suffered damaged vertebrae in his neck and compression to his spine. Despite being knocked out in the collision, he carried on playing and it was only when he returned to Blackburn that it became clear how close he had come to paralysis. In December 2000, he retired on medical advice.

On retiring, Peacock moved to the Algarve with his family but returned to England for a two-year spell as manager of non-league side Lancaster City between 2013 and 2015 when his assistant manager was his former teammate at Queens Park Rangers, Trevor Sinclair.

Peacock also had one of the most famous haircuts in the 1990s. His long hair which stretched over the back of his shirt made him a firm favourite with supporters, especially at Newcastle.

Iconic Moments: Fowler’s sportsmanship (March 1997)

Arsenal and Liverpool FC were among the title challengers to Manchester United in the 1996-1997 Premier League season. They went head-to-head in March 1997 with the loser of the game at Highbury likely to be knocked out of the title race.

Liverpool were already 1-0 ahead through Stan Collymore’s strike when the controversial moment in this game occurred and also, remarkable sportsmanship at the heat of battle. Liverpool defender Mark Wright played a long-ball through for Robbie Fowler. Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman came charging out of his goal and Fowler went over under his challenge. Referee Gerald Ashby gave a penalty.

Amazingly, Fowler tried to challenge the referee’s decision, insisting no contact had been made by Seaman and he simply skipped over the attempted tackle and his momentum saw him fall over. Despite his pleas, Ashby insisted he wasn’t changing his mind. Fowler did take the resultant spot-kick which was saved by Seaman. Unfortunately for the England no.1 goalkeeper, Jason McAteer hammered home the rebound and Liverpool went home with all three points, winning 2-1.

Fowler received a UEFA Fair Play certificate for his sportsmanship approach. In 2017, he told the Liverpool Echo: “It wasn’t a penalty and because he was my mate from the England side, I just said it wasn’t a pen.”

Premier League Files: Danny Ings

Premier League Career: Burnley (2014-2015), Liverpool FC (2015-PRESENT)

In April 2018, Danny Ings opened the scoring for Liverpool FC in their 2-2 away draw with West Bromwich Albion. It ended a 930-day drought without a goal in the Premier League and no-one could deny him the feeling of finding the target again. This is after a horrendous couple of seasons with two serious knee injuries.

Ings started his career in Southampton’s youth team but was released as a schoolboy. He signed a two-year apprentice contract with their south coast rivals, AFC Bournemouth shortly afterwards and he made 27 appearances for their first-team between 2009 and 2011. He moved to Burnley in the summer of 2011 and linked up again with Eddie Howe, who was Burnley manager at the time and had been the Bournemouth boss whilst Ings was with the Cherries.

His first-team breakthrough looked like it would come in the 2012-2013 season following the departure of Jay Rodriguez to Southampton but after impressing in pre-season, he suffered a serious knee injury, tearing his knee cartilage and forcing him out of action for six months.

Finally, Danny managed to stay clear of the treatment table in 2013-2014 and revelled in the opportunity to play on a week-to-week basis. He ended the season with an impressive tally of 22 goals as Burnley finished second to Leicester City and won promotion to the Premier League. He also held off competition from Leicester’s Danny Drinkwater and Ross McCormack of Leeds United to be voted the Championship Player of the Year at the Football League Awards.

The big question now was whether he could make the step-up successfully to Premier League level. 11 goals in 35 appearances suggested he did in 2014-2015. It took him a while to score his first goal in the top-flight but when it came in a 3-1 home defeat to Everton, it was the lift-off Ings needed for his season. He struck twice in two minutes to ensure Burnley recorded their first away victory of the campaign in November 2014 away at Stoke City and finished as the club’s top scorer for the second successive season.

Ings joined Liverpool FC in the summer of 2015 and was looking to continue his good form from the previous two seasons. His first Premier League goal for the Reds came at The Kop end in September 2015, three minutes after arriving as a half-time substitute in the 1-1 draw with Norwich City. A month later, he opened the scoring in the Merseyside Derby in what turned out to be Brendan Rodgers’ final match in-charge of Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp succeeded Rodgers and in his very first training session, Ings cruelly suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury and was ruled out for the rest of the campaign. His rehabilitation went better than expected and he made a substitute appearance on the final day of the season at West Bromwich Albion. He began 2016-2017 in the reserves’ side in a bid to regain full match fitness with some sporadic outings in League Cup matches. Unfortunately, he replicated his previous injury in his right knee during a League Cup tie with Tottenham Hotspur in October 2016, keeping him on the sidelines again for a lengthy spell. After 11 months absent he returned in September 2017 to first-team action with a substitute appearance in the League Cup loss to Leicester City.

Whilst it is unlikely he will be a regular starter at Anfield, especially with the form of Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, Ings is well-liked by the coaching staff and fits into Klopp’s DNA style of high-pressing gameplay. It will be interesting to see if he is happy with his current situation as an impact player in the coming months.

Shock Results: Arsenal 0-3 Middlesbrough (April 2001)

Goalscorers: Edu 34 OG, Silvinho 38 OG, Hamilton Ricard 58

Teams:

Arsenal: David Seaman, Tony Adams, Lee Dixon, Martin Keown, Silvinho, Edu (Sylvain Wiltord 46), Patrick Vieira, Freddie Ljungberg (Ray Parlour 75), Robert Pires, Kanu, Thierry Henry

Middlesbrough: Mark Schwarzer, Ugo Ehiogu, Jason Gavin, Dean Gordon, Steve Vickers, Paul Okon, Paul Ince, Christian Karembeu, Alen Boksic (Robbie Mustoe 89), Hamilton Ricard (Phil Stamp 79), Dean Windass

Referee: Paul Durkin, Attendance: 37,879

Arsenal went into this match in April 2001 knowing they were in the position of needing to win to stop Manchester United being crowned Premier League champions. Arsene Wenger’s side had little hope of catching the dominant Red Devils but a victory over struggling Middlesbrough would delay the inevitable for another week at least.

Boro turned up at Highbury firmly in a relegation battle. They were scrapping with Coventry City, Derby County and Manchester City, trying to protect their top-flight status. This was predicted to be nothing more than a routine victory for the home side but with a bit of luck and help, the visitors were about to upset the formbook in spectacular fashion.

In the televised lunchtime kick-off, Manchester United had defeated Coventry 4-2 so Arsenal needed to respond. Naturally, they made the faster start and could have been ahead inside the opening 10 minutes. Thierry Henry’s through ball split the Teesiders defensive line but Mark Schwarzer managed to thwart Kanu’s effort. Henry then sent a curling effort from distance just fractionally over the crossbar as Wenger’s side looked to stamp their authority. However, they were about to experience a nightmare four-minute spell that left any mathematical hopes they had of the championship in tatters.

In the 34th minute, Dean Windass made the most of a timid clearance from Arsenal captain Tony Adams. The forward tried his luck with what seemed like an ambitious drive from distance. Fortune favoured the ex-Bradford man as his shot came off the heel of Gunners defensive midfielder Edu and completely deceived David Seaman to give Middlesbrough the lead.

Everyone inside Highbury got the inkling this would be Middlesbrough’s day with their second goal which incredibly was another own goal. This time, it was fellow Brazilian Silvinho who was the culprit. Dean Gordon made one of his trademark runs from left-back. His cross into the box should have been cleared comfortably by Silvinho. However, he made a complete hash of a simple clearance and diverted the ball beyond Seaman’s sprawling dive. His face spoke volumes afterwards. Arsenal needed a miracle to stop the title being settled quicker than expected.

Despite having loads of possession, the hosts were lacking the clinical cutting edge. Kanu headed wide from close-range and trying to make up for his earlier error, Silvinho bent a free-kick just past Schwarzer’s post. If there was luck around Middlesbrough’s first two goals, there was nothing fortunate about the third. Colombian forward Hamilton Ricard linked up brilliantly with Alen Boksic and Ricard produced the telling finish past Seaman to put the result beyond doubt.

It was a rare Middlesbrough victory at Highbury and produced the platform for them to survive under the temporary guidance of ex-England boss Terry Venables. Arsenal finished runners-up for the third successive season but their trophy famine extended to three years.

25 years of the most envied league in the world!