Tag Archives: Alan Curbishley

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.

Advertisements

The Clubs: Charlton Athletic

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
304 93 82 129 342 442 -100 361 8

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Chris Powell 187
Luke Young 187
Radostin Kishishev 178
Dean Kiely 177
Jonatan Johansson 147
Jason Euell 139
Paul Konchesky 138
Hermann Hreidarsson 132
Matt Holland 126
Shaun Bartlett 123

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Jason Euell 34
Darren Bent 31
Jonatan Johansson 27
Shaun Bartlett 24
Claus Jensen 16
Graham Stuart 14
Kevin Lisbie 14
Matt Holland 11
Andy Hunt 10
Clive Mendonca 8

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Charlton Athletic 5-0 Southampton 22nd August 1998 1998-1999
Charlton Athletic 4-0 Manchester City 19th August 2000 2000-2001
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-4 Charlton Athletic 23rd August 2003 2003-2004
Charlton Athletic 4-0 Norwich City 13th November 2004 2004-2005
Charlton Athletic 4-0 West Ham United 24th February 2007 2006-2007
Manchester City 1-4 Charlton Athletic 30th December 2000 2000-2001
Everton 0-3 Charlton Athletic 29th December 2001 2001-2002
Charlton Athletic 3-0 Aston Villa 22nd February 2003 2002-2003
Charlton Athletic 3-0 Aston Villa 25th August 2004 2004-2005
Middlesbrough 0-3 Charlton Athletic 28th August 2005 2005-2006

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Charlton Athletic 1-6 Leeds United 5th April 2003 2002-2003
West Ham United 5-0 Charlton Athletic 26th December 2000 2000-2001
Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Charlton Athletic 9th December 2006 2006-2007
Charlton Athletic 0-4 Liverpool FC 19th May 2001 2000-2001
Manchester City 4-0 Charlton Athletic 28th August 2004 2004-2005
Arsenal 4-0 Charlton Athletic 2nd October 2004 2004-2005
Charlton Athletic 0-4 Chelsea 27th November 2004 2004-2005
Charlton Athletic 0-4 Manchester United 1st May 2005 2004-2005
Manchester United 4-0 Charlton Athletic 7th May 2006 2005-2006
Arsenal 4-0 Charlton Athletic 1st January 2007 2006-2007

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Alan Curbishley 7 8th May 2006
Iain Dowie 1 13th November 2006
Les Reed 1 23rd December 2006
Alan Pardew 1 22nd November 2008

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Charlton Athletic 0-4 Chelsea 27th November 2004 34,585 2004-2005
Charlton Athletic 0-2 Chelsea 17th September 2005 27,111 2005-2006
Charlton Athletic 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur 1st October 2005 27,111 2005-2006
Charlton Athletic 0-1 Arsenal 26th December 2005 27,111 2005-2006
Charlton Athletic 2-0 Liverpool FC 8th February 2006 27,111 2005-2006
Charlton Athletic 0-3 Liverpool FC 16th December 2006 27,111 2005-2006
Charlton Athletic 0-1 Chelsea 3rd February 2007 27,111 2005-2006
Charlton Athletic 4-0 West Ham United 24th February 2007 27,111 2005-2006
Charlton Athletic 1-1 Sheffield United 21st April 2007 27,111 2005-2006
Charlton Athletic 4-0 Norwich City 13th November 2004 27,057 2004-2005

 

Intro

Charlton Athletic reached the Premier League in 1998. They went down in their first season at this level but became stronger for the experience. After an instant promotion in 2000, Charlton spent the next seven years punching above their weight, finishing 7th in 2004. Alan Curbishley stabilised the club into a genuine force until his departure at the end of the 2005-2006 season. Three managers followed in 2006-2007 which ended in relegation and the Addicks look some way away now from re-integrating themselves into the elite.

 

1998-1999

Charlton’s maiden Premier League adventure started brilliantly. Alan Curbishley was Manager of the Month for August and the team kept three clean sheets in their opening three games. This saw them draw 0-0 at Newcastle United and Arsenal, as well as thrash Southampton 5-0 which still remains their biggest-ever Premier League victory.

A run of eight successive defeats in the winter months saw the Addicks drop into the bottom three and they rarely escaped that area in the table afterwards. They never gave up and recorded a tremendous 4-3 away victory on the penultimate weekend of the season at Villa Park. However, a final day home loss to Sheffield Wednesday ensured an instant relegation back to Division One.

 

2000-2001

After the hard lessons of their first Premier League season, Charlton improved greatly on their Premier League return, finishing with 52 points and achieving an excellent finish of 9th in the final standings. The Addicks also scored the Goal of the Season courtesy of Shaun Bartlett’s stunning volley in the 2-0 home win over Leicester City in April. Among the other season highlights were a New Years’ Day victory over Arsenal and a storming comeback from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 with Manchester United. However, they did leak 57 goals which was the worst defensive record outside of the bottom five teams.

 

2001-2002

Curbishley’s 11th season at the helm saw Charlton slip five positions from their previous season finish but it could have been very different. The club were in the race for the UEFA Cup positions and a Chris Powell winner away at Tottenham Hotspur in March took them into the dizzy heights of seventh position. However, they failed to win any of their last eight games to see them end 14th. Club-record signing Jason Euell quickly repaid the faith shown in him, top scoring with 11 goals whilst they were one of only three sides to defeat champions Arsenal, stunning the Gunners 4-2 at Highbury in November.

 

2002-2003

Charlton made a slow start to their 2002-2003 campaign and were bottom of the table in mid-October. A Jason Euell header to beat high-flying Middlesbrough started a rapid turn of fortunes for the playing squad and an undefeated February took them into the top six. It also saw Curbishley win a Manager of the Month award. Unfortunately for the second season running, the Addicks form declined in the closing months. Just one victory from the start of March onwards saw them finish 12th. Euell was top scorer again whilst Scott Parker’s excellent performances in midfield saw him nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year.

 

2003-2004

2003-2004 would be Charlton’s best-ever Premier League campaign. Despite winning just one of their first six matches, Curbishley’s side took full advantage of stumbling campaigns from Liverpool FC and Newcastle United. They sat in fourth position in early November and a 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough in March saw them reclaim that spot, which would have taken them into the UEFA Champions League. Once again, the season petered out with just two wins in their last 10 games but Charlton still finished in a Premier League high of 7th. Parker was sold to Chelsea for £10 million in the January transfer window, whilst Dean Kiely’s excellent showings in-goal saw him sweep the club’s Player of the Year awards.

 

2004-2005

Although they lost Claus Jensen to Fulham and Paolo di Canio to Lazio in the summer, Alan Curbishley strengthened his squad with the arrivals of Bryan Hughes, Francis Jeffers and Danny Murphy. There were some hefty early season losses though, with the Londoners losing 4-1 at Bolton Wanderers and suffering four-goal losses to Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea. A 2-0 victory over European rivals Tottenham Hotspur in March guided Charlton into seventh spot before their traditional end-of-season loss of form. There were no wins in their last 10 outings and therefore, an 11th place finish was slightly disappointing for the supporters after the pre-season expectations.

 

2005-2006

Charlton made a sensational start to their 2005-2006 campaign with Murphy winning praise for his displays in midfield. They won their first five away games which was a new club-record and the goals of Darren Bent helped plug an issue from the previous campaign. Bent scored 18 times to end as the top scoring Englishman, although it wasn’t enough to get him into England’s World Cup squad.

Charlton sat fifth at the end of October but seven defeats from their next nine games ended any European qualification dreams before the New Year. Murphy was sold to Tottenham Hotspur in January and sensing the club was stagnating, Curbishley announced he was leaving at the end of the season moments before they kicked off their final home match of the season against Blackburn Rovers. Charlton finished a lacklustre 13th as they said a fond farewell to the man who had guided them through a largely successful 15 seasons at the helm.

 

2006-2007

Curbishley’s replacement would be the former Crystal Palace boss Iain Dowie but his reign didn’t last long. Charlton won just two of their opening 12 fixtures and he was dismissed with the club in the relegation zone. First-team coach Les Reed stepped into the breach, but also proved unsuitable for the job and he was sacked following a 2-0 loss to Middlesbrough just before Christmas.

Former player Alan Pardew returned to become the club’s third different manager of the season and although there was an improvement in results and performances, the damage had already been done. In their last home match of the season, goals from Dimitar Berbatov and ex-Charlton youth player Jermain Defoe earned Tottenham Hotspur a 2-0 victory and consigned Charlton to the Championship. They haven’t come close to returning to the top-flight since.

Premier League Files: Paul Konchesky

Premier League Career: Charlton Athletic (1999, 2000-2005), Tottenham Hotspur (2003), West Ham United (2005-2007), Fulham (2007-2010), Liverpool FC (2010), Leicester City (2014-2015)

Paul Konchesky featured for six Premier League clubs in a much-travelled career which saw a degree of high and low points. Konchesky was an important figure in the West Ham United and Fulham sides that did so well in the mid-2000s but was ridiculed by Liverpool FC supporters for a horrific spell as the club’s main left-back after signing for the Merseysiders in August 2010. His career has continued until November 2017 when he departed ambitious non-league side Billericay Town.

A lifelong supporter of West Ham United, Konchesky signed for the club as a boy in their academy but he would first make the grade at Charlton Athletic, becoming a trainee with the Addicks in 1997. At the age of 16 years and 93 days, he made his first-team debut in a Division One match against Oxford United, becoming the club’s youngest player to feature at that particular point.

He got a brief flavour of Premier League football during Charlton’s first flirtation with the big league in 1999, coming on as a substitute in a 2-2 draw with Newcastle United, then playing the whole 90 minutes of their 2-0 victory over Wimbledon. That was Charlton’s first victory in 14 Premier League matches but they would be relegated at the end of the campaign.

Konchesky became more of a regular fixture in their second Premier League adventure, featuring 27 times as the club finished ninth in 2000-2001. In 2002-2003, he scored a brilliant free-kick at home to Blackburn Rovers and a cool lob over Chris Kirkland’s head as Liverpool FC were defeated 2-0 at The Valley weeks later. However, frustrated by not playing consistently in his regular left-back role, he submitted a transfer request in the summer of 2003 which was accepted by the Charlton hierarchy.

No offers were forthcoming though and a deal was eventually struck with Tottenham Hotspur for him to go on-loan for the 2003-2004 campaign. After playing 12 times for Tottenham, Charlton recalled him in December 2003 due to a mounting injury crisis and the differences between player and club were resolved.

Paul stayed until the summer of 2005 when the opportunity to play for the club he supported was simply irresistible to ignore. West Ham paid Charlton £1.5 million for his services and he was excellent all season, playing a significant role in the Hammers’ top-10 finish in their first season back in the top-flight after a couple of campaigns in the Championship. He also played and scored in the cracking 2006 FA Cup final against Liverpool FC when his attempted cross flew into Pepe Reina’s goal to put West Ham 3-2 ahead with just over 20 minutes to go. Steven Gerrard equalised and Konchesky was one of three players to be denied by Reina in the shootout as his day ended in sheer heartbreak.

Reunited with Alan Curbishley midway through 2006-2007 when he replaced Alan Pardew, it was clear there were still a few differences between the pair from their Charlton days. Curbishley preferred the more defensively-minded George McCartney in the left-back spot and Konchesky realised his days at the club were numbered. Despite West Ham’s late escape against the drop, he criticised the manager, claiming he made the players unhappy and miserable. He swiftly departed for Fulham in the summer of 2007.

The Cottagers snapped him up for £3.25 million and this was quite probably the best period of Konchesky’s career. You always felt he was a player who needed to feel wanted and he certainly got this at Craven Cottage. In January 2009, he scored a cracking drive from distance at West Ham which won the January Goal of the Month award and was shortlisted for Goal of the Season. His first Fulham goal was one to treasure and it was clear he enjoyed it too. In 2009-2010, he was part of the Fulham side that got all the way to the UEFA Europa League final before narrowly falling short in the showpiece event, going down 2-1 to Atletico Madrid after extra-time.

Roy Hodgson was Fulham manager when Konchesky was at the club and he took him to Liverpool FC when he was appointed the Reds’ new boss in the summer of 2010. Although Mark Hughes wanted to keep him, Paul’s desire to play for one of the biggest clubs in Europe was the deciding factor. He made a £4 million move to Anfield in August but it would turn out to be a nightmare six months on Merseyside.

He looked a pale shadow of the player that had established himself as one of the league’s best full-backs at Fulham and was heavily criticised for a late error at White Hart Lane which gifted Tottenham Hotspur all three points in November. When he was substituted against Wolverhampton Wanderers a month later, the fans cheered his departure from the field of play. It was clear they never took to Konchesky. When his mother rounded on Liverpudlian critics on Facebook, his time was over at Anfield.

One of Kenny Dalglish’s first acts as caretaker manager was to get rid of Konchesky. He was loaned to Nottingham Forest for the remainder of the 2010-2011 season and eventually, got a permanent move to Leicester City. Konchesky admitted later that his time with Liverpool was the hardest period of his career. He said: “One of the toughest, obviously, I went to Liverpool in the summer and when you move teams you think it’s going to be a big thing for you really. It obviously didn’t work out for different reasons.”

He had one final Premier League season with Leicester in 2014-2015, scoring a winning goal against Aston Villa and playing 26 times as Nigel Pearson’s side pulled off an incredible escape against the drop. His contract wasn’t renewed though and he dropped down the league pyramid to wind down his career with the likes of Queens Park Rangers, Gillingham and Billericay Town. He won two international caps during Sven-Goran Eriksson’s reign as England boss.

Paul Konchesky was always a strong and solid performer. He will always have his critics, slightly unfortunately for the tough experience he endured at Liverpool. In his prime with the London clubs though, he was always someone who you could count on to perform at the highest level.

The Managers: Alan Curbishley

Premier League Clubs Managed: Charlton Athletic (1998-1999, 2000-2006), West Ham United (2006-2008)

Alan Curbishley enjoyed some notable success in his reign at Charlton Athletic. He ensured the Addicks became a solid, consistent mid-table Premier League side at the start of the millennium and enjoyed 14 seasons as manager of the Londoners. As soon as he decided to step down at the end of the 2005-2006 campaign, Charlton became a pale shadow of the strong sides he’d built up and they were promptly relegated the season after his departure.

Playing between London and the Midlands

As a player, Alan featured for five clubs over the course of an 18-year career which began with West Ham United in 1975, a club he would later spend a couple of chequered years as manager. He made 85 league appearances for the Hammers and often competed for a place in midfield alongside the likes of Billy Bonds, Alan Devonshire and Geoff Pike. After falling out with manager John Lyall, he transferred to Birmingham City in 1979, spending four seasons at St. Andrews. A controversial move to Birmingham’s bitter rivals, Aston Villa followed before his first spell as a player at Charlton Athletic began in 1984. He helped the Addicks to promotion from the First Division in 1986 and achieved a similar feat at Brighton & Hove Albion in 1987, only this time it was into the Second Division.

He returned to Charlton in 1990 in a player/coach capacity under the guidance of Lennie Lawrence and when Lawrence left the following season, Curbishley became joint-manager, working alongside Steve Gritt.

Between the two of them, they laid down the foundations for future success at Charlton, starting the careers of the likes of Lee Bowyer, Shaun Newton and Richard Rufus. They were also in command when Charlton played their first game back at The Valley in 1992 after several seasons away due to a financial dispute.

Gritt stepped down in 1995, enabling Curbishley to take sole control of the team. In 1998, the Addicks reached the First Division play-off final and would meet Sunderland at Wembley Stadium in what is still considered as one of the finest play-off matches ever seen. The game ended 4-4 after extra-time, with Clive Mendonca scoring a hat-trick. The match went to penalties and Curbishley couldn’t look at the drama any longer. When goalkeeper Sasa Ilic saved from Michael Gray, Charlton were promoted to the Premier League.

Learning lessons to be better

Charlton made a fabulous start to life in the Premier League. They thrashed Southampton 5-0 in their first home match in the division and earned creditable goalless draws away to Newcastle United and champions Arsenal. That meant Alan won the first Manager of the Month of that season. The 1998-1999 season would be a campaign of learning lessons for both manager and club.

Winter 1998 was not good. Charlton managed to lose eight successive matches and failed to win in 13 games before beating Wimbledon 2-0 in February 1999. Back-to-back victories over Liverpool FC and Derby County followed and another Manager of the Month award for this mini revival but the earlier run of form had done the damage to the club’s survival prospects. Despite an entertaining 4-3 away win on the penultimate weekend against Aston Villa, Charlton’s 1-0 home loss to Sheffield Wednesday on the final day confirmed their relegation back to the First Division.

The club stuck with Curbishley and their faith was rewarded. Charlton won 27 of their 46 matches back at second-tier and finished First Division champions in 2000, two points clear of Manchester City. A resounding 4-0 victory over City on the first day of the 2000-2001 Premier League campaign suggested Charlton had learned greatly from their first experience of the big league.

They beat Chelsea and Arsenal at home, held Manchester United to a 3-3 draw and recorded a league double over Manchester City. Charlton finished a fantastic ninth place, despite not having a prolific goalscorer with only Jonatan Johansson achieving double figures.

14th in 2001-2002 was slightly disappointing given the previous season’s highs but they were one of only three sides to beat Arsenal that season with a wonderful 4-2 victory at Highbury in November 2001. In early 2003, the club were sitting as high as sixth after five successive victories at the turn of the year which earned Curbishley his third Manager of the Month award. However, eight defeats in their last 10 matches saw the Addicks fade to a 12th place finish in 2002-2003.

A nice blend of youth and experience

Charlton’s best Premier League season came in 2003-2004. Curbishley’s development of youth and experience was proving to be a nice blend, with Scott Parker flourishing in the first part of the campaign before high-flying Chelsea came in with a £10 million bid which Charlton simply couldn’t turn down in January 2004. They were fourth going into the New Year and still finished a fine seventh, only narrowly missing out on a UEFA Cup place behind the richer resourced sides like Newcastle United and Aston Villa.

His excellent work at Charlton was always noted and Liverpool FC interviewed him for the vacant managerial position in the summer of 2004 which eventually went to the reigning La Liga championship-winning manager Rafa Benitez. He was also considered for the England job in 2006 and even received praise from the likes of Sir Bobby Robson. However, he missed out on this position too, with Steve McClaren taking over after the World Cup in Germany that summer.

By now, things had got slightly stale at Charlton. Solid, if unspectacular campaigns followed in 2004-2005 and 2005-2006. Both had their high points, including a four-game winning sequence at the start of 2005-2006 but both campaigns faded away into mediocrity. He was offered a new contract but declined the opportunity to stay. Moments before the club’s final home match of the season against Blackburn Rovers, he revealed that he was leaving at the end of the season.

He said: “It’s a time of mixed emotions, but it is the right time for me and right for the club. I have done 15 years and wanted a break. I want to freshen up and not do anything for a little while.”

He left after 720 games in charge of the Addicks. Charlton would experience relegation a season after his departure and haven’t been anywhere close a return to the top-flight since.

Masterminding an incredible turnaround at Upton Park

After a six-month break to spend more time with his family, Curbishley returned to the managerial dugout in December 2006, succeeding Alan Pardew as manager of West Ham United. They were in the bottom three and already facing an uphill task to stay in the Premier League.

There was an initial bounce, with a 1-0 victory over league leaders Manchester United in his first game in charge but a harrowing run followed, which included defeat at home to bottom-placed Watford and a 6-0 New Years’ Day mauling at the hands of Reading. When Tottenham Hotspur won a 4-3 thriller at Upton Park at the start of March, West Ham were 11 points adrift of safety. The situation looked incredibly desperate.

However, Curbishley masterminded an incredible turnaround. The club won seven out of their last nine matches, including 1-0 away wins at Arsenal and Manchester United. Helped by the goals of Carlos Tevez, West Ham stayed up on the final day with the victory at Old Trafford. There was huge controversy off-the-pitch with the club not being deducted points for breaking transfer ownership rules over the signings of Tevez and Javier Mascherano but Alan deserved great praise for turning around an almost hopeless scenario into one of the league’s greatest escapes.

A more calmer 2007-2008 season followed with the club finishing 10th in the final standings despite long-term injuries to the likes of Craig Bellamy, Parker and Kieron Dyer who had all been signed in the summer by Curbishley. Speculation increased about his future though at the start of the 2008-2009 season and unhappy about the departures of defenders George McCartney and Anton Ferdinand, he resigned three games into the campaign. He launched a case of constructive dismissal against the club a year later, winning £2.2 million in compensation from the east Londoners.

That was his last managerial role. He has since worked briefly as a technical director at Fulham and is occasionally seen as a TV pundit. In a world where managers get sacked far too often nowadays, we won’t see the likes of Alan Curbishley’s reign at Charlton in terms of duration anymore. He often maximised the resources he had available to him and deserves credit for what he achieved as a result.

Premier League Rewind: 16th-18th December 2006

Results: Charlton Athletic 0-3 Liverpool FC, Arsenal 2-2 Portsmouth, Newcastle United 2-1 Watford, Reading 1-2 Blackburn Rovers, Wigan Athletic 0-1 Sheffield United, Aston Villa 0-1 Bolton Wanderers, Everton 2-3 Chelsea, Manchester City 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United 1-0 Manchester United, Fulham 2-1 Middlesbrough

The Christmas programme in 2006 was about to get underway and already, the 2006-2007 title race looked to be a straight shootout between Manchester United and Chelsea. Going into the 16th-18th December weekend, it was the Red Devils who had a five-point advantage. By the end of the weekend, Jose Mourinho’s champions had whittled the lead down after a dramatic Sunday afternoon involving the title contenders.

The Blues’ kicked off first on Merseyside and were given a very tough game by David Moyes and his Everton side. Everton were only 10th going into the match but just four points off the coveted UEFA Champions League qualifying positions and they led Chelsea twice in this match. In fact, Chelsea trailed 2-1 going into the last 10 minutes before amazing goals from Frank Lampard and then, another long-range special by Didier Drogba steered the Londoners home to a nervy and exciting 3-2 victory.

Later that afternoon, Manchester United travelled to Upton Park where West Ham United were welcoming their new manager. Alan Curbishley had been appointed a few days earlier, replacing Alan Pardew who had been sacked following a 4-0 defeat at Bolton eight days earlier. West Ham went into the weekend in the bottom three and desperate for a victory. They collected three much-needed points as Nigel Reo-Coker scored the only goal of the match and gave Curbishley a winning start. The gap between the top two was now two points.

Arsenal and Portsmouth were holding the other two Champions League qualification spots at the start of the weekend and they met each other at the Emirates Stadium. Pompey were flying and when Matt Taylor scored a looping volley, they were 2-0 up and looking set to become the first Premier League team to win at Arsenal’s new home. Arsene Wenger’s frustrations got the better of him and he was sent from the touchline but he will have been pleased to see his team’s battling qualities. Emmanuel Adebayor and skipper Gilberto Silva scored to ensure the points were shared.

Their draw allowed Liverpool FC to cash in and take third spot. Liverpool kicked off in the Saturday lunchtime game at second-bottom Charlton Athletic and it was one of the most one-sided away games in Premier League history. Liverpool had 24 attempts on-goal against Les Reed’s gutless side but only had a Xabi Alonso third-minute penalty to their name, squandering a host of opportunities. Luckily, Charlton were so bad, it didn’t matter. Craig Bellamy and Steven Gerrard did find the back of the net in the last 10 minutes to ensure the score had a fairer reflection given the visitors’ dominance. Reed lasted just one more abject match before being sacked as Charlton manager.

Elsewhere, Bolton climbed into fifth spot after Gary Speed’s penalty beat Aston Villa at Villa Park. Blackburn Rovers came from behind to pick up a valuable 2-1 victory away to Reading with David Bentley scoring the pick of the goals. Middlesbrough’s 2-1 defeat at home specialists Fulham on the Monday Night Football meant Gareth Southgate’s side slipped to 17th and just outside the bottom three on goal difference.

What else happened in December 2006?

  • Leona Lewis wins the X-Factor, becoming the first female winner of the ITV talent show.
  • Forklift driver Steve Wright is charged with the murders of five women in Ipswich between the 30th October and 10th December. He is sentenced to life imprisonment in February 2008.
  • Aged 93, Gerald Ford dies after years battling ill health. He was the 38th President of the United States, serving in office from August 1974 to January 1977.
  • Actress Wendy Richard leaves EastEnders after her character Pauline Fowler dies on Christmas Day. She had been in Albert Square since the very first episode in 1985.
  • Equestrian Zara Phillips follows in her mother’s footsteps by becoming BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2006.
  • 2,300 jobs are lost when the Ryton car factory closes in Warwickshire and production of the Peugeot 206 is moved to Slovakia.
  • An oil pipeline explodes on Boxing Day in Lagos, Nigeria, killing at least 200 people.