Tag Archives: featured

Shock Results: Crystal Palace 2-1 Chelsea (October 2017)

Goalscorers: Cesar Azpilicueta 11 OG, Tiemoue Bakayoko 18, Wilfried Zaha 45

Teams:

Crystal Palace: Julian Speroni, Scott Dann, Mamadou Sakho, Patrick van Aanholt, Joel Ward, Yohan Cabaye (Jairo Riedwald 86), Luka Milivojevic, James McArthur (Timothy Fosu-Mensah 85), Jeff Schlupp (Jason Puncheon 75), Andros Townsend, Wilfried Zaha

Chelsea: Thibaut Courtois, Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso, Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Victor Moses (Davide Zappacosta 39), Tiemoue Bakayoko, Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard, Willian (Charly Musonda 65), Michy Batshuayi (Pedro 57)

Referee: Andre Marriner, Attendance: 25,480

Crystal Palace looked in dire straits at the start of October 2017. Seven games into their campaign and the Eagles had made the worst start ever in Premier League history. Seven defeats, no points earned and not even a goal scored. Their situation seemed hopeless already. Frank de Boer had been sacked just four games into his reign, replaced by Roy Hodgson. Hodgson had a reputation to repair himself. He had been out of work since England’s humiliating exit in the 2016 European Championships at the hands of Iceland. The chance to revive Palace’s fortunes and put himself back on the managerial map was too good to turn down.

After the October international break, Selhurst Park was packed to welcome the visit of league champions Chelsea. Antonio Conte’s side had recovered well from a shock opening day loss at home to Burnley and were boasting a 100% away record following fine victories away at Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City and Stoke City. The Blues were widely anticipated to keep that record going.

After 641 goalless minutes at the start of the season, Crystal Palace finally registered a goal to take a surprising early lead. Andros Townsend picked out Yohan Cabaye who showed great persistence in the penalty area, causing havoc which Chelsea’s defenders couldn’t deal with. David Luiz panicked and the ball eventually came off his teammate Cesar Azpilicueta and rebounded into the back of the net. It set the tone for an uncomfortable afternoon for the reigning champions.

Conte’s side were missing the energy of N’Golo Kante, who had been injured playing for France during the international break and it showed. However, his replacement did provide the equaliser. Tiemoue Bakayoko escaped his markers to guide home a corner from his central midfield partner, Cesc Fabregas. However, Chelsea’s front three of Michy Batshuayi, Willian and Eden Hazard failed to seriously test Julian Speroni on a regular basis.

It was another Palace returnee who would ultimately score the winner. Wilfried Zaha had been out of action since the opening day of the season but he returned with perfect timing. On the stroke of half-time, he escaped Azpilicueta’s challenge and slotted the ball beyond Thibaut Courtois.

Despite enjoying 60% of possession and piling the pressure on in the second half, Conte’s side couldn’t find a way through. He experienced back-to-back defeats for only the second time as a Premier League manager. Palace were finally off the mark for both goals and points. Their season finally had lift-off, thanks to the management guile of Hodgson and the skill of Zaha, who proved to be their integral matchwinner throughout the 2017-2018 season.

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Great Goals: Sofiane Boufal – SOUTHAMPTON vs. West Bromwich Albion (October 2017)

In his two seasons with Southampton, Sofiane Boufal has only shown flashes of the promise he demonstrated whilst playing in France. The Moroccan though did produce this exceptional piece of solo brilliance in a fairly sterile game against West Bromwich Albion.

The game on the south coast looked like it was petering out towards a pretty ordinary 0-0 draw when Boufal took centre stage in the 85th minute. The tricky winger, who had only arrived into the contest as a substitute four minutes earlier, he twisted past Allan Nyom in his own half before using his speed to leave Jake Livermore trailing in his wake. As Boufal continued his surge towards goal, he bamboozled past Craig Dawson. Desperate to keep up having been the first man beaten, Nyom ran into Dawson and both hit the turf. Gareth McAuley was the next defender who backed off and was beaten and lastly, goalkeeper Ben Foster couldn’t stop his neatly-placed effort into the bottom corner.

It was a goal fitting to win a tight match between two sides who would ultimately spend the majority of the campaign at the wrong end of the table. It didn’t sparkle Boufal’s season into life though. He was left out of Morocco’s squad for the 2018 World Cup finals and was recently excluded from the Saints’ pre-season tour of China by new manager Mark Hughes. His future at the club looks bleak.

However, this tremendous solo goal was voted by fans as the Carling Goal of the Season for the 2017-2018 campaign.

The Clubs: Brighton & Hove Albion

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
38 9 13 16 34 54 -20 40 1

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Lewis Dunk 38
Pascal Gross 38
Mathew Ryan 38
Shane Duffy 37
Solly March 36
Dale Stephens 36
Glenn Murray 35
Davy Propper 35
Anthony Knockaert 33
Jose Izquierdo 32

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Glenn Murray 12
Pascal Gross 7
Jose Izquierdo 5
Anthony Knockaert 3
Tomer Hemed 2
Lewis Dunk 1
Jurgen Locadia 1
Solly March 1
Leonardo Ulloa 1

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Brighton & Hove Albion 4-1 Swansea City 24th February 2018 2017-2018
West Ham United 0-3 Brighton & Hove Albion 20th October 2017 2017-2018
Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 West Bromwich Albion 9th September 2017 2017-2018
Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 West Ham United 3rd February 2018 2017-2018
Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 Arsenal 4th March 2018 2017-2018

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Brighton & Hove Albion 1-5 Liverpool FC 2nd December 2017 2017-2018
Brighton & Hove Albion 0-4 Chelsea 20th January 2018 2017-2018
Liverpool FC 4-0 Brighton & Hove Albion 13th May 2018 2017-2018
Manchester City 3-1 Brighton & Hove Albion 9th May 2018 2017-2018
Brighton & Hove Albion 0-2 Manchester City 12th August 2017 2017-2018

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Chris Hughton 4  

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Brighton & Hove Albion 1-5 Liverpool FC 2nd December 2017 30,631 2017-2018
Brighton & Hove Albion 0-2 Leicester City 31st March 2018 30,629 2017-2018
Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 Arsenal 4th March 2018 30,620 2017-2018
Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 Manchester United 4th May 2018 30,611 2017-2018
Brighton & Hove Albion 0-4 Chelsea 20th January 2018 30,600 2017-2018

 

Intro

Brighton & Hove Albion made a successful debut in the Premier League. Chris Hughton’s side secured their survival on the penultimate weekend of the season but in truth, they were relatively comfortable all campaign. The Seagulls produced some fine performances on home soil and aided by the goals of Glenn Murray and creativity from Pascal Gross, they can look forward to a second successive season in the top-flight.

 

2017-2018

Having been promoted to the Premier League as Championship runners-up, Brighton & Hove Albion couldn’t have asked for a tougher start as title favourites Manchester City were their opening opponents. Chris Hughton’s side performed admirably but eventually lost 2-0 at home to the would-be champions at The Amex Stadium. August saw just one point gained and no goals scored.

However, Brighton started going in the right direction in September. Summer signing Pascal Gross scored the club’s first Premier League goal in their 3-1 victory at home to West Bromwich Albion which was also Brighton’s first victory in their Premier League life. Forward Tomer Hemed also scored in the win over the Baggies and a fortnight later, it was Hemed’s diving header that ensured back-to-back home victories as Newcastle United were defeated 1-0.

Home form was excellent all season for the men from the south coast. Just Manchester City, Liverpool FC, Chelsea and Leicester City left with all three points and there were some notable scalps along the way. Lewis Dunk’s only goal of the season started Hughton’s side on their way to a famous 2-1 victory over struggling Arsenal in March; Brighton’s first victory over the Gunners since 1982. Gross, who was voted the club’s Player of the Season, then made major contributions in two other impressive results. His spot-kick earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur in April and a month later, it was the ex-Ingolstadt player who produced the winning goal against Manchester United that ultimately secured Brighton’s safety.

Hughton’s deals in the transfer market were impressive too. Gross had been signed for a bargain amount and other astute deals included the signings of Davy Propper from PSV Eindhoven, Jose Izquierdo from Club Brugge and the January arrival of Jurgen Locadia, also from PSV. The highlight away from home was a stunning 3-0 triumph at The London Stadium over West Ham United in October. Glenn Murray scored twice and he was the top goalscorer with 12 goals in an excellent campaign for him personally.

Brighton finished the season in 15th place and have already started to put the foundations in-place for a second campaign in the Premier League.

Shock Results: West Ham United 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur (May 2017)

Goalscorers: Manuel Lanzini 65

Teams:

West Ham United: Adrian, Sam Byram, James Collins, Jose Fonte, Winston Reid, Aaron Cresswell, Cheikhou Kouyate, Mark Noble, Andre Ayew (Robert Snodgrass 84), Manuel Lanzini (Edimilson Fernandes 90), Jonathan Calleri (Ashley Fletcher 89)

Tottenham Hotspur: Hugo Lloris, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen (Mousa Dembele 67), Ben Davies, Kyle Walker (Kieran Trippier 80), Eric Dier, Victor Wanyama (Vincent Janssen 73), Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son

Referee: Anthony Taylor, Attendance: 56,992

Unbeaten in the Premier League since losing at Anfield in mid-February, Tottenham Hotspur had put up a valiant fight in the chase for the title for a second successive season. They were four points adrift of Chelsea with four games left to play. They had the opportunity to pile the pressure on Antonio Conte’s side with victory on a Friday Night Football trip to The London Stadium.

West Ham United’s debut season at their new home had been underwhelming to say the least. They had lost to all of the Premier League heavyweights on their own patch but they often seemed to bring their ‘A’ game to a meeting with Spurs. They needed to produce a performance for the supporters who had experienced a frustrating campaign.

West Ham were unbeaten in four matches coming into this encounter but still needed another point to be certain of another season in the top-flight. They created the first major opening of the contest but Manuel Lanzini dragged his effort wide of the post. Tottenham’s first chance came on 20 minutes. Harry Kane’s ambitious effort was spilled by Adrian. Dele Alli followed up but his shot was blocked before Adrian recovered and made a good save with his foot to deny Kane. Christian Eriksen tried his luck from distance right on the stroke of half-time but his left-footed drive whistled wide of the far post. It was 0-0 at half-time and already, this looked like a contest where only one goal might be enough.

It duly came in the 65th minute. Aaron Cresswell hung a cross upto the back post and in a fairly messy goalmouth scramble, the ball eventually fell to the dangerous Lanzini at point-blank range. The Argentine made no mistake, drilling his shot beyond Hugo Lloris and it put West Ham into the lead with virtually their first attack of the second half.

It was the home side that were finishing as the better team. A mistake by the usually reliable Toby Alderweireld gave on-loan forward Jonathan Calleri the chance to finish the contest off but he was denied by Lloris. In stoppage-time, the Hammers had another opportunity which was put wide by substitute Ashley Fletcher when he was played through by Robert Snodgrass.

Tottenham had been rattled by the occasion and when Anthony Taylor blew his whistle to signal the end of the contest, the body language of the players said it all. It was only their fourth league defeat of the campaign but one loss too many.

Chelsea now only had to win their next two matches to seal the title. A week later, the Blues had recorded those victories over Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion to regain the crown they’d meekly surrendered in 2016 to Leicester City. For West Ham, this was the highlight of their campaign which eventually saw them finish in 11th position.

The Clubs: Queens Park Rangers

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
278 81 65 132 339 431 -92 308 7

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Andy Impey 142
Simon Barker 132
David Bardsley 131
Clive Wilson 118
Alan McDonald 116
Les Ferdinand 110
Ian Holloway 107
Trevor Sinclair 101
Ray Wilkins 84
Steve Yates 82

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Les Ferdinand 60
Bradley Allen 20
Charlie Austin 18
Kevin Gallen 18
Gary Penrice 17
Simon Barker 15
Danny Dichio 13
Andy Impey 11
Trevor Sinclair 10
Djibril Cisse 9

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Queens Park Rangers 5-1 Coventry City 23rd October 1993 1993-1994
West Ham United 0-4 Queens Park Rangers 28th August 1993 1993-1994
Queens Park Rangers 4-1 Tottenham Hotspur 3rd October 1992 1992-1993
West Bromwich Albion 1-4 Queens Park Rangers 4th April 2015 2014-2015
Queens Park Rangers 3-0 Ipswich Town 2nd October 1993 1993-1994
Everton 0-3 Queens Park Rangers 20th November 1993 1993-1994
Queens Park Rangers 3-0 Newcastle United 4th February 1995 1994-1995
Queens Park Rangers 3-0 Southampton 30th March 1996 1995-1996
Queens Park Rangers 3-0 West Ham United 27th April 1996 1995-1996
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-3 Queens Park Rangers 17th September 2011 2011-2012

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Fulham 6-0 Queens Park Rangers 2nd October 2011 2011-2012
Manchester City 6-0 Queens Park Rangers 10th May 2015 2014-2015
Chelsea 6-1 Queens Park Rangers 29th April 2012 2011-2012
Queens Park Rangers 0-5 Swansea City 18th August 2012 2012-2013
Leicester City 5-1 Queens Park Rangers 24th May 2015 2014-2015
Queens Park Rangers 0-4 Leeds United 4th April 1994 1993-1994
Blackburn Rovers 4-0 Queens Park Rangers 26th November 1994 1994-1995
Leeds United 4-0 Queens Park Rangers 24th January 1995 1994-1995
Queens Park Rangers 0-4 Bolton Wanderers 13th August 2011 2011-2012
Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Queens Park Rangers 24th August 2014 2014-2015

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Gerry Francis 3 11th November 1994
Ray Wilkins 3 4th September 1996
Neil Warnock 3 8th January 2012
Mark Hughes 2 23rd November 2012
Harry Redknapp 3 3rd February 2015
Chris Ramsey 2 4th November 2015

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Queens Park Rangers 2-3 Manchester United 5th February 1994 21,267 1993-1994
Queens Park Rangers 1-3 Manchester United 18th January 1993 21,117 1992-1993
Queens Park Rangers 0-1 Liverpool FC 23rd November 1992 21,056 1992-1993
Queens Park Rangers 0-0 Arsenal 2nd September 1992 20,868 1992-1993
Queens Park Rangers 4-1 Tottenham Hotspur 3rd October 1992 19,845 1992-1993
Queens Park Rangers 1-3 Liverpool FC 18th August 1993 19,635 1993-1994
Queens Park Rangers 2-1 Leeds United 24th October 1992 19,326 1992-1993
Queens Park Rangers 2-3 Manchester United 10th December 1994 18,948 1994-1995
Queens Park Rangers 2-1 Aston Villa 8th May 1993 18,904 1992-1993
Queens Park Rangers 3-0 West Ham United 27th April 1996 18,828 1995-1996

 

Intro

Queens Park Rangers have experienced an up-and-down adventure in the Premier League. They were the best team in the capital in the 1992-1993 Premier League season but were relegated just three seasons later. Neil Warnock ended their 15-year hiatus in 2011 but QPR have since gone down on two more occasions, attempting to spend big and not getting the balance of their squad right. Former Premier League manager Steve McClaren has recently replaced Ian Holloway and will try to get the club away from the mid-table reaches of the Championship on a regular basis.

 

1992-1993

Queens Park Rangers finished as London’s top team in the first Premier League season, ending in an excellent fifth position. Les Ferdinand achieved back-to-back hat-tricks during the Easter programme and finished runner-up to Teddy Sheringham in the race for the Golden Boot. It wasn’t quite enough to achieve European football for the following season but it showed how far Gerry Francis’ side had come.

 

1993-1994

Although there was a drop from fifth to ninth place, Queens Park Rangers were once again an entertaining side to watch in 1993-1994. Francis’ excellent reign saw him linked to the England job when Graham Taylor resigned and he then turned down the chance to manage an ambitious Wolverhampton Wanderers in Division One in March 1994. The sale of Darren Peacock to Newcastle United frustrated the manager but Les Ferdinand sparkled again with 16 goals.

 

1994-1995

Queens Park Rangers underperformed badly in the 1994-1995 early weeks and a nine-game winless sequence early on saw them struggling in 20th after a 4-2 loss to Norwich City in October 1994. Their season kick-started at the end of October with back-to-back home victories over Aston Villa and Liverpool FC but the corner would be turned without Gerry Francis. He resigned in early November after feeling trust had broken down between himself and the board over the planned appointment of club icon Rodney Marsh as a Director of Football.

Francis was replaced by former player Ray Wilkins, who was released by Crystal Palace to take his first job in management. He guided QPR to a fine eighth-place finish and the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. Les Ferdinand was top scorer again but would leave in the off-season to join Newcastle United.

 

1995-1996

The decision not to reinvest the Ferdinand money was a bad decision, even though both Kevin Gallen and Danny Dichio did well in a struggling side. Three wins in the first eight matches did have QPR in 12th place at the end of September but that was the highest the Hoops would get all season in the table.

A dire run of seven successive defeats from Boxing Day to 11th February would give Wilkins’ side too much to do. Despite a 3-0 victory in their final home match of the season against London rivals West Ham United, Queens Park Rangers were relegated in 19th place – ending their 13-year stay in England’s top-flight.

 

2011-2012

After an absence of 15 years, Queens Park Rangers returned to the top-flight in-time for the 2011-2012 season with Neil Warnock as the club’s manager. He invested in experience in the summer, with the likes of Joey Barton, Anton Ferdinand, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Kieron Dyer among the new recruits.

QPR actually made a decent start and when they won 3-2 away at Stoke City in mid-November, they moved into ninth place. However, that would be Warnock’s final win as manager. Two points from the next eight matches saw them drop into relegation danger and Warnock lost his job as a result. He was replaced by Mark Hughes.

Loftus Road became a tough place for stronger sides to visit. The likes of Liverpool FC, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur were all beaten there in the run-in and it was this fortress that ensured QPR escaped relegation on the final day of the season by just a single point.

 

2012-2013

It took Queens Park Rangers a full 17 matches before they even tasted victory in a wretched 2012-2013 campaign. When it came in a 2-1 success over London rivals Fulham, the die looked like it had already been cast. Mark Hughes was sacked in mid-November and an ageing squad just didn’t perform even for Harry Redknapp. It was a team with plenty of individuals but they didn’t seem to gel as a team.

Redknapp did make QPR tougher to beat when he arrived but just three further victories were achieved against Southampton, Sunderland and most surprisingly, away at Chelsea in January 2013. Shaun Wright-Phillips’ winning goal at Stamford Bridge was the only bright spark in a wretched season. Relegation was officially confirmed by a forgettable 0-0 draw at Reading in April, who also went down on the same afternoon.

 

2014-2015

After a late winner from Bobby Zamora in the Championship play-off final against Derby County, QPR returned to the top-flight and Redknapp was still at the helm. He spent £32 million in the summer in a bid to try and avoid the problems of the last Premier League campaign.

He did have a proven goalscorer in Charlie Austin. Austin scored 18 Premier League goals and netted a hat-trick in a thrilling 3-2 comeback victory over West Bromwich Albion in December. It was part of a home sequence that saw QPR amass 13 points from five games, including a 2-2 draw with defending champions Manchester City, where Austin again starred with two goals.

Away form was less impressive though. They collected just seven points on their travels and none under Redknapp’s time at the club. He stepped down in early February, citing a knee operation as the cause for his abrupt departure. Chris Ramsey took caretaker charge but QPR were fighting a losing battle and their fate was sealed by a 6-0 loss at Manchester City in May.

Iconic Moments: Zola arrives in England (November 1996)

In the summer of 1996, the foreign revolution was starting to arrive in English football. This was none more apparent than at Chelsea where new manager Ruud Gullit was beginning to make his mark by signing players from the continent.

Italians Roberto Di Matteo and Gianluca Vialli had already arrived and a third Italian player would join the Londoners before 1996 was over. £4.5 million was paid to Parma for the small, but technically gifted Gianfranco Zola to arrive at Stamford Bridge.

Zola was a lynchpin of the Italian national side but had become frustrated at being forced to play in a deep-lying role for Parma in Serie A. Wanting to access a new challenge; there was just as much attention from the Italian press than from the English media when he was introduced as a Chelsea player.

He made his debut in a 1-1 draw at Ewood Park with Blackburn Rovers days later and made an incredible impact. Having been in the country for only seven months, he had won over the supporters, the neutrals and the football journalists, who crowned him the Football Writers’ Player of the Year for the season.

 

 

Zola left Chelsea in the summer of 2003, just a week before Roman Abramovich’s takeover of the club. He left after seven seasons of enthralling skills, exceptional goals and a set-piece expertise that was among the best in world football. His final gift was to help the Blues into the Champions League that helped Abramovich towards his takeover that turned the club into one of Europe’s real superpowers.

 

 

The Managers: Sam Allardyce

Premier League Clubs Managed: Bolton Wanderers (2001-2007), Newcastle United (2007-2008), Blackburn Rovers (2008-2010), West Ham United (2012-2015), Sunderland (2015-2016), Crystal Palace (2016-2017), Everton (2017-2018)

Sam Allardyce is one of the great survivors of the Premier League. He is often one of the first bosses that worried owners turn to when their club look to be flirting dangerously with the depths of a relegation battle. Everton chairman Bill Kenwright was the latest in this situation when the Toffees elected to call on his services in November 2017. Everton slipped into the bottom three when they lost 4-1 at Southampton under David Unsworth’s difficult reign as caretaker manager. They were in freefall and needed the expertise of Allardyce to get themselves out of a very sticky situation.

The Merseysiders didn’t have to worry. The football in terms of overall quality was not good but ‘Big Sam’ is one person who doesn’t care about style. The result is vitally more important over substance and that’s why Everton finished in eighth position despite some underwhelming displays. It was another case of mission complete for Allardyce. His reward was the sack 72 hours after the conclusion of the 2017-2018 season!

All this and a successful salvage mission at Crystal Palace has come after his ill-fated short spell as England manager in 2016 which seemed to have put him on the managerial scrapheap.

Over 500 appearances

During a 21-year playing career, Allardyce made 578 league and cup appearances. After spending his youth days at semi-professional level with Dudley Town, he joined Bolton Wanderers in 1969 and spent nine seasons as a player with the Trotters. During his time with them, Bolton were promoted to the First Division in 1978. It was the most productive spell of his playing days.

He spent much of the 1980s on the road, playing for no fewer than eight clubs. This included a brief period playing in the North American Soccer League with the Tampa Bay Rowdies and a second 14-game spell with Bolton Wanderers in the 1985-1986 season. A year later, he won promotion out of the Fourth Division with Preston North End, also earning a spot in the PFA Team of the Year.

Early coaching days

Allardyce was hired as a player-coach by Brian Talbot at West Bromwich Albion in February 1989. He spent the rest of the season managing and occasionally playing for the reserves before being promoted to first-team coaching duties. That role ended in January 1991 when he and Talbot were sacked following the Baggies shock FA Cup exit at the hands of non-league Woking.

So, ‘Big Sam’ went to Ireland and despite huge financial pressures, he managed to guide Limerick to promotion into the Irish Premier Division. After a year in Ireland, he returned to English shores, coaching at Preston North End. When manager Les Chapman was sacked 10 games into the campaign, Sam had a stint as caretaker manager but despite promise, he was overlooked for the job permanently by the Preston hierarchy. He left after 18 months at Deepdale, frustrated by being forced to work at youth team level after his taste of first-team management.

His first permanent managerial breakthrough came at Blackpool, who appointed him manager in July 1994. In two seasons at Bloomfield Road, he took them to 12th and 3rd place finishes in the Second Division. After narrowly missing out on promotion in 1996, losing in the play-off semi-finals to Bradford City, Allardyce was sacked by Chairman Owen Oyston. Five years after his departure, he said: “I was stunned but it didn’t put me off football management otherwise I would never have returned. Looking back, Blackpool probably did me a favour.”

In January 1997, he returned to management with Notts County, who were struggling in the lower reaches of Division Two. He arrived too late to save them from relegation but earned them instant promotion as Third Division champions in 1997-1998, becoming the first post-war side to earn promotion from any division in the month of March.

He remained at County until October 1999, resigning to return to Bolton Wanderers.

The spirit of Bolton

Allardyce did inherit a talented squad that had just missed out on promotion the previous season via the play-offs. Among the players at his disposal were Eidur Gudjohnsen, Dean Holdsworth, Claus Jensen and Mark Fish. Despite being in the bottom half when he took over, Bolton did reach the First Division play-offs but came up short at the semi-final hurdle, losing to Ipswich Town over two legs.

There were no such mistakes in 2000-2001. After three years in the First Division wilderness, Bolton returned to the Premier League with a 3-0 play-off final victory over Preston North End. Now, ‘Big Sam’ had his chance in the big time.

It was a remarkable start. Bolton won their first three matches to top the table in August, including a 2-1 victory over Liverpool FC, who had won five trophies in the calendar year of 2001. In October, reigning champions Manchester United were added to the list of scalps and Bolton finished in 16th place and avoided relegation for the first time in their Premier League existence.

It was at this point when Allardyce was able to use his astuteness in the transfer market, bringing in big European names that seemed to be at the twilight of their careers. They included Bruno N’Gotty, Youri Djorkaeff, Ivan Campo and Jay-Jay Okocha. The 2002-2003 Premier League season was a real struggle but some inspirational displays from Okocha, most notably on the final day saw the Trotters just about avoid the drop at the expense of a much-more expensively assembled West Ham United squad.

That was Bolton’s last season of survival struggle. They enjoyed a real purple patch from 2003 to 2007. Allardyce took them to the 2004 League Cup final although they lost 2-1 in the showpiece event to Middlesbrough. They finished in the Premier League’s top 10 in four successive campaigns, including a stunning 6th place finish in 2004-2005 and fans at The Reebok Stadium enjoyed European football for the first time.

All this success led to Allardyce being shortlisted for the England job in the run-up to the 2006 World Cup finals. He was interviewed for the post but lost out to Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren, who was Sven-Goran Eriksson’s assistant at the time. In 2007, Allardyce’s relationship with owner Phil Gartside became strained when he was refused more money to spend on players to make a bigger push for Champions League qualification. With two games left to play in 2006-2007, he resigned and was replaced by his assistant, Sammy Lee.

Victim of the Venky’s

Just two days after the season finished, Allardyce was confirmed as Newcastle United manager but it turned out to be an unhappy eight months on Tyneside. When he got the contract to manage the team, Freddie Shepherd was chairman but he was soon replaced at the helm by Mike Ashley.

Not the owner’s man, he was on a hiding to nothing and parted company in January 2008 after a disappointing run of results which included a Boxing Day defeat to relegation-threatened Wigan Athletic and collecting just one point from a possible six against hapless Derby County.

After 11 months on the sidelines, Sam returned to the dugout in December 2008 as the new manager of Blackburn Rovers. Blackburn were second-bottom and had lost five games on the bounce before his arrival. They went nine games unbeaten immediately on his arrival and guided them to safety in 15th position.

Despite being forced to sell Stephen Warnock and Roque Santa Cruz in the summer 2009 transfer window, Allardyce managed to balance the books and took Blackburn to a 10th place finish in 2009-2010 and a League Cup semi-final, where they lost 7-4 on aggregate to Aston Villa. Owner John Williams put the club up for sale in the summer of 2010 and four months into the 2010-2011 campaign, Blackburn became the first Premier League club to come under Indian ownership when the Venky’s took control.

Although Blackburn were sitting in a fairly secure 13th place in December 2010, he was sacked by the owners 24 hours after a late 2-1 defeat in the Lancashire Derby to his former club, Bolton Wanderers. His departure surprised many, including his great friend, Sir Alex Ferguson. One of Allardyce’s coaches, Steve Kean took over but Blackburn went down in May 2012 and haven’t been back in the Premier League since.

Revitalising West Ham

In June 2011, he was given the task of revitalising West Ham United, who had just been relegated from the Premier League. During the course of his first full season at Upton Park, 25 players left and 19 others arrived. It was mission accomplished as West Ham returned to the top-flight after just one season away, defeating Blackpool 2-1 in the play-off final.

Another 11 players arrived in the summer of 2012 including the likes of Matt Jarvis, Andy Carroll and James Collins. West Ham finished in a solid 10th place in 2012-2013 and at the end of the season; he extended his contract by a further two years.

The 2013-2014 season was much tougher and after back-to-back heavy defeats in cup ties in January 2014 at the hands of Nottingham Forest and Manchester City, ‘Big Sam’ received the dreaded vote of confidence from owners David Gold and David Sullivan, who vowed to stick by him despite growing fan pressure. Their loyalty was rewarded when Allardyce won the Manager of the Month award for February 2014 after steering the Hammers to four successive victories. They eventually finished in an uninspiring but safe 13th.

Teddy Sheringham was bought in as an attacking coach in 2014-2015 in an attempt to satisfy annoyed fans and try to give West Ham a more attacking feel to their play. It worked early on and the Londoners sat in fourth place on Christmas Day. However, they fell away dramatically in the second half of the campaign, fading to 12th place. Moments after the final whistle blew on West Ham’s campaign at St James’ Park, it was confirmed his contract would not be renewed by the board. The decision was amicable with Sam deciding to take a break from management.

That pause wouldn’t last long though…

Saving Sunderland…then the England call

In October 2015, he answered the call to help out Sunderland. The Black Cats were second-bottom and without a win from their first eight games. Dick Advocaat had resigned and it was up to Allardyce to keep the survival specialists afloat again in the Premier League.

Although there was an early Tyne & Wear Derby victory, results didn’t come in the early months and going into 2016, Sunderland were seven points off safety and second-bottom. He then made some astute signings in January, bringing in Jan Kirchhoff and Lamine Kone to shore up the backline and adding some creative spark with the addition of Wahbi Khazri.

On 16th April, Sunderland recorded a priceless 3-0 away win at Carrow Road against relegation rivals Norwich City which put survival in their hands. Back-to-back home  victories over Chelsea and Everton in the last eight days of the season secured another Great Escape for Sunderland.

Then, the call came to manage his country, 10 years after his near-miss with the role. England was his biggest challenge. It was an appointment that lasted just 67 days and one match. Adam Lallana scored the only goal of a 1-0 victory in a World Cup 2018 qualification match against Slovakia. It left him with a 100% win ratio but not a record he wants to remember.

In September 2016, The Daily Telegraph began an investigation into bribery within the game, posting a series of allegations about several senior figures. One was a video where reporters posing as businessmen filmed Allardyce allegedly offering to give advice on how to get around on FA rules on player third-party ownership. With searing public pressure growing, he parted company with the FA via mutual consent just over two months after landing his dream role. It looked like his managerial career was in tatters.

Salvation with Palace

He was back though in the Premier League dugout just three months later when Crystal Palace turned to him after firing Alan Pardew. He guided them to survival on the penultimate weekend as they defeated Hull City 4-0, consigning them to relegation in the process. Again, his signings were smart with title-winner Jeff Schlupp, Patrick van Aanholt and Luka Milivojevic among the January arrivals. There were victories in the run-in too over Arsenal, eventual champions Chelsea and Liverpool FC.

He resigned in May 2017 and hinted that the job he’d completed at Selhurst Park would be his last club position. However, he was back for his seventh spell at a Premier League side in November, signing a two-year contract to become Everton manager. Victory in Unsworth’s final match as interim boss meant he took over with the club sitting 13th but just a couple of points clear of the relegation zone. He guided them to a seven-match unbeaten run, taking them away from danger.

Despite a horrific away record, Goodison Park became a tougher place for sides to come with just the two Manchester clubs winning on Merseyside after his arrival at the club. Everton finished in eighth place and he had been hoping to build or even match his best-ever top-flight finish with the Toffees in 2018-2019 before being dismissed on 16th May 2018.

If there’s a great survivor of the management game in today’s industry, look no further than Sam Allardyce. Don’t be surprised to see him back in the dugout at a club who need a saviour next season.

Great Goals: Pajtim Kasami – Crystal Palace vs. FULHAM (October 2013)

Now playing for FC Sion in Switzerland, there are two things Pajtim Kasami is probably known for. One is a brief fling with X-Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger, the other for this amazing long-range volley in October 2013 against Crystal Palace.

It was a London Derby which both sides needed to win as both teams had made slow starts to the 2013-2014 season. Palace had scored early on but this goal from Kasami completely shifted the momentum away from the home side. Sascha Riether claimed the assist as his long ball found Kasami. The Swiss international controlled his pass superbly on his chest and with his second touch, produced an outstanding volley that Julian Speroni had simply no chance of saving.

Fulham won 4-1 and Ian Holloway left his position as Crystal Palace manager two days later. It didn’t quite win Goal of the Season for 2013-2014 but it was a strike that was talked about all over the country.

Shock Results: AFC Bournemouth 2-1 Manchester United (December 2015)

Goalscorers: Junior Stanislas 2, Marouane Fellaini 24, Josh King 54

Teams:

AFC Bournemouth: Artur Boruc, Steve Cook, Charlie Daniels, Simon Francis, Adam Smith, Harry Arter (Eunan O’Kane 86), Andrew Surman, Dan Gosling, Matt Ritchie, Junior Stanislas, Josh King (Glenn Murray 65)

Manchester United: David de Gea, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Daley Blind, Paddy McNair (Phil Jones 90), Guillermo Varela, Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini (Nick Powell 74), Jesse Lingard (Andreas Pereira 31), Juan Mata, Anthony Martial, Memphis Depay

Referee: Anthony Taylor, Attendance: 11,334

Confidence was seeping through the AFC Bournemouth squad ahead of this fixture in December 2015. Eddie Howe’s side had shown tremendous resilience to rescue a 3-3 home draw with Everton a fortnight earlier before pushing Jose Mourinho closer to the exit door at Chelsea with a surprise win at Stamford Bridge.

They still weren’t fancied to get a result against a wounded Manchester United. They were bound to exact some kind of reaction to their dismal exit from the group stages of the UEFA Champions League in midweek to Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg. Louis van Gaal was hamstrung by injuries to several of his key players, including Chris Smalling, Antonio Valencia and Wayne Rooney.

Bournemouth were keen to make a fast start and with a bit of help from the windy conditions on the south coast, they took the lead inside two minutes. Junior Stanislas took a corner which curled directly into the back of the net. It was his third goal in two matches and all the Bournemouth players immediately ran towards midfielder Harry Arter, who was playing just days after his partner lost their child at birth. All of Bournemouth’s players wore black armbands as a mark of respect and this showed their terrific team unity for a teammate’s personal grief.

Question marks for the opening goal would be aimed at David de Gea. The usually reliable Spaniard had completely misjudged Stanislas’ corner and whilst Anthony Martial’s lack of intent in helping out at the far post didn’t help, De Gea didn’t need anyone to tell him he shouldn’t have been beaten directly from a corner.

Manchester United equalised in the 24th minute. Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini scored a scruffy goal from close-range. To show the lack of finishing edge from Van Gaal’s side, it was just their sixth Premier League goal in their last seven outings. The out-of-form Martial squandered two great opportunities to hand the Red Devils the lead and his wastefulness would cost his team dear in the second half. From another set-piece, Bournemouth regained their lead. Matt Ritchie played a corner across the box and no defender took responsibility to mark Josh King. His half-volley had an awkward look to it but it nestled in the bottom corner and the Cherries were back infront.

This time, there was no response. Fellaini looked despondent when he was replaced for youngster Nick Powell in the 74th minute and the scoreline could have been even greater if the hero of Stamford Bridge, Glenn Murray, taken two late opportunities of his own.

This result compounded a miserable week for everyone connected with Manchester United and Van Gaal was about to face serious questions about his job. For Howe, the sky was the limit and these unexpected back-to-back successes spearheaded the Cherries clear of the bottom three. They would finish 16th in their debut Premier League campaign.

Memorable Matches: Wimbledon 3-3 Newcastle United (December 1995)

Goalscorer: Les Ferdinand 8, 29, Dean Holdsworth 19, 65, Efan Ekoku 21, Keith Gillespie 35

Teams:

Wimbledon: Paul Heald, Kenny Cunningham, Alan Kimble, Andy Pearce (Alan Reeves 46), Chris Perry, Robbie Earle, Oyvind Leonhardsen, Jon Goodman, Efan Ekoku (Marcus Gayle 46), Mick Harford, Dean Holdsworth

Newcastle United: Shaka Hislop, Warren Barton, John Beresford, Steve Howey, Darren Peacock, Lee Clark, Rob Lee, Keith Gillespie, David Ginola, Peter Beardsley, Les Ferdinand

Referee: Gerald Ashby, Attendance: 18,002

Newcastle United had made a flying start to the 1995-1996 Premier League campaign. Kevin Keegan’s side had only failed to win twice when they travelled to Selhurst Park in early December to play Wimbledon. Their record at Selhurst Park against the Dons was dismal, having lost six of their previous seven visits there. This would be another difficult afternoon against Joe Kinnear’s side that needed points themselves. Wimbledon came into this match in the bottom three in the table.

It was the league leaders who broke the deadlock inside eight minutes. Mick Harford lost possession and Newcastle made a sweeping break forward. Former Wimbledon player Warren Barton produced a super ball for Les Ferdinand to score his 16th Premier League goal of the season. It was his fourth of the current campaign against Wimbledon, having grabbed a hat-trick on Tyneside back in October.

However, if Newcastle thought it was going to be a routine afternoon from that point onwards, they would be seriously mistaken. Wimbledon often raised their game for matches against the more prestigious clubs in the division and they demonstrated this with two quick-fire goals to lead 2-1 by the 21st minute. First, Dean Holdsworth levelled the game, finding some space in the box to curl the ball beyond Shaka Hislop after being picked out by Jon Goodman. Then, Hislop made a mess of a looping ball into the box from Alan Kimble. Goodman lobbed the ball back across the box and ex-Newcastle player Harford’s shot was diverted into the net by Efan Ekoku.

Within half an hour, Newcastle were back on level terms in a free-flowing match where attacks were definitely doing better than defences. Ferdinand scored his second. David Ginola dropped a ball into the near post and Ferdinand evaded his marker in the penalty area to make it 2-2. It was only early December and in all competitions, Ferdinand already had 20 goals to his name – firmly justifying the £6 million price tag Newcastle had paid Queens Park Rangers in the summer for his services.

By half-time, Keegan’s Magpies’ were leading for the second time. Ferdinand turned goal provider. He had the beating of Chris Perry on the left-hand side, before cutting the ball back into the danger area. Keith Gillespie went for the ball with Kenny Cunningham and the ball came off one of them and trickled into the net. Replays later showed that Gillespie had got the faintest of touches and so could be credited with the goal. Injuries to Andy Pearce and Ekoku at half-time forced Kinnear into two half-time substitutions but Wimbledon showed great character to level the match again with 25 minutes remaining. Kimble did brilliantly to shake off Gillespie, before delivering a brilliant cross. 36-year-old Harford won the header in the air against John Beresford and Holdsworth was there to score his second of the contest, despite Hislop getting a strong hand to his header.

The final outcome was a fair result in an enthralling contest. Newcastle had trouble in the capital all season, failing to win in London and that was one of the reasons why they surrendered a 12-point lead in January to finish runners-up to Manchester United.

Seasonal Records: 2010-2011

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from the 2010-2011 Premier League campaign. Manchester United made history by becoming the most successful club in English top-flight history, achieving their 19th championship.

FINAL TABLE

Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Manchester United 38 23 11 4 78 37 +41 80
2 Chelsea 38 21 8 9 69 33 +36 71
3 Manchester City 38 21 8 9 60 33 +27 71
4 Arsenal 38 19 11 8 72 43 +29 68
5 Tottenham Hotspur 38 16 14 8 55 46 +9 62
6 Liverpool FC 38 17 7 14 59 44 +15 58
7 Everton 38 13 15 10 51 45 +6 54
8 Fulham 38 11 16 11 49 43 +6 49
9 Aston Villa 38 12 12 14 48 59 -11 48
10 Sunderland 38 12 11 15 45 56 -11 47
11 West Bromwich Albion 38 12 11 15 56 71 -15 47
12 Newcastle United 38 11 13 14 56 57 -1 46
13 Stoke City 38 13 7 18 46 48 -2 46
14 Bolton Wanderers 38 12 10 16 52 56 -4 46
15 Blackburn Rovers 38 11 10 17 46 59 -13 43
16 Wigan Athletic 38 9 15 14 40 61 -21 42
17 Wolverhampton Wanderers 38 11 7 20 46 66 -20 40
18 Birmingham City 38 8 15 15 37 58 -21 39
19 Blackpool 38 10 9 19 55 78 -23 39
20 West Ham United 38 7 12 19 43 70 -27 33

 

THE BASIC STATS

Goals Scored 1063
European qualifiers Manchester United (UEFA Champions League)

Chelsea (UEFA Champions League)

Manchester City (UEFA Champions League)

Arsenal (UEFA Champions League)

Tottenham Hotspur (UEFA Europa League)

Fulham (UEFA Europa League)

Stoke City (UEFA Europa League)

Birmingham City (UEFA Europa League)

Longest winning run 5 games (Chelsea)
Longest unbeaten run 24 games (Manchester United)
Longest winless run 10 games (Blackburn Rovers)
Longest losing run 5 games (West Bromwich Albion, Bolton Wanderers, Blackpool & West Ham United)
Highest attendance 75,486 (Manchester United vs. Bolton Wanderers)
Lowest attendance 14,042 (Wigan Athletic vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers)

 

AWARDS

PFA Players’ Player of the Year Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur)
PFA Young Player of the Year Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)
Football Writers’ Award Scott Parker (West Ham United)
PFA Team of the Year Edwin van der Sar, Ashley Cole, Bacary Sagna, Vincent Kompany, Nemanja Vidic, Jack Wilshere, Nani, Samir Nasri, Gareth Bale, Dimitar Berbatov, Carlos Tevez
Manager of the Year Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)
Premier League Goal of the Season Wayne Rooney (MANCHESTER UNITED vs. Manchester City)

 

HAT-TRICK HEROES

Player Teams Score Date
Didier Drogba Chelsea vs. West Bromwich Albion 6-0 14th August 2010
Theo Walcott Arsenal vs. Blackpool 6-0 21st August 2010
Andy Carroll Newcastle United vs. Aston Villa 6-0 22nd August 2010
Dimitar Berbatov Manchester United vs. Liverpool FC 3-2 19th September 2010
Kevin Nolan Newcastle United vs. Sunderland 5-1 31st October 2010
Dimitar Berbatov (5) Manchester United vs. Blackburn Rovers 7-1 27th November 2010
Mario Balotelli Manchester City vs. Aston Villa 4-0 28th December 2010
Leon Best Newcastle United vs. West Ham United 5-0 5th January 2011
Dimitar Berbatov Manchester United vs. Birmingham City 5-0 22nd January 2011
Robin van Persie Arsenal vs. Wigan Athletic 3-0 22nd January 2011
Carlos Tevez Manchester City vs. West Bromwich Albion 3-0 5th February 2011
Louis Saha (4) Everton vs. Blackpool 5-3 5th February 2011
Dirk Kuyt Liverpool FC vs. Manchester United 3-1 6th March 2011
Wayne Rooney West Ham United vs. Manchester United 4-2 2nd April 2011
Maxi Rodriguez Liverpool FC vs. Birmingham City 5-0 23rd April 2011
Maxi Rodriguez Fulham vs. Liverpool FC 5-2 9th May 2011
Somen Tchoyi Newcastle United vs. West Bromwich Albion 3-3 22nd May 2011

 

TOP SCORERS

Position Player Teams No of Goals
1= Dimitar Berbatov Manchester United 20
1= Carlos Tevez Manchester City 20
3 Robin van Persie Arsenal 18
4 Darren Bent Sunderland & Aston Villa 17
5 Peter Odemwingie West Bromwich Albion 15
6= Javier Hernandez Manchester United 13
6= Florent Malouda Chelsea 13
6= Rafael van der Vaart Tottenham Hotspur 13
6= Dirk Kuyt Liverpool FC 13
6= Andy Carroll Newcastle United & Liverpool FC 13
6= DJ Campbell Blackpool 13
12= Clint Dempsey Fulham 12
12= Kevin Nolan Newcastle United 12
12= Charlie Adam Blackpool 12
15= Wayne Rooney Manchester United 11
15= Didier Drogba Chelsea 11
17= Frank Lampard Chelsea 10
17= Samir Nasri Arsenal 10
17= Roman Pavlyuchenko Tottenham Hotspur 10
17= Salomon Kalou Chelsea 10
17= Fernando Torres Liverpool FC & Chelsea 10
17= Asamoah Gyan Sunderland 10
17= Johan Elmander Bolton Wanderers 10
17= Maxi Rodriguez Liverpool FC 10
17= Steven Fletcher Wolverhampton Wanderers 10

BIGGEST VICTORIES

Manchester United 7-1 Blackburn Rovers 27th November 2010
Chelsea 6-0 West Bromwich Albion 14th August 2010
Wigan Athletic 0-6 Chelsea 21st August 2010
Arsenal 6-0 Blackpool 21st August 2010
Newcastle United 6-0 Aston Villa 22nd August 2010
Manchester United 5-0 Birmingham City 22nd January 2011
Manchester City 5-0 Sunderland 3rd April 2011
Liverpool FC 5-0 Birmingham City 23rd April 2011
Newcastle United 5-0 West Ham United 5th January 2011
Newcastle United 5-1 Sunderland 31st October 2010

 

HIGHEST SCORING GAMES

No of Goals Teams Date
8 Manchester United 7-1 Blackburn Rovers 27th November 2010
8 Newcastle United 4-4 Arsenal 5th February 2011
8 Everton 5-3 Blackpool 5th February 2011
7 Fulham 2-5 Liverpool FC 9th May 2011
7 Manchester City 4-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers 15th January 2011
7 Wigan Athletic 4-3 Blackburn Rovers 5th February 2011
7 Blackpool 4-3 Bolton Wanderers 14th May 2011
6 Chelsea 6-0 West Bromwich Albion 14th August 2010
6 Wigan Athletic 0-6 Chelsea 21st August 2010
6 Arsenal 6-0 Blackpool 21st August 2010
6 Newcastle United 6-0 Aston Villa 22nd August 2010
6 Newcastle United 5-1 Sunderland 31st October 2010
6 Bolton Wanderers 5-1 Newcastle United 20th November 2010
6 West Ham United 2-4 Manchester United 2nd April 2011
6 Sunderland 2-4 Chelsea 1st February 2011
6 Aston Villa 2-4 Arsenal 27th November 2010
6 Tottenham Hotspur 4-2 Blackburn Rovers 13th November 2010
6 Sunderland 4-2 Wigan Athletic 23rd April 2011
6 Bolton Wanderers 4-2 Tottenham Hotspur 6th November 2010
6 Manchester United 4-2 Blackpool 22nd May 2011

 

YOUNGEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Josh McEachran Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea 17 years, 6 months, 27 days 25th September 2010
Jack Robinson Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool FC 17 years, 7 months, 16 days 17th April 2011
Louis Laing Sunderland 1-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers 18 years, 2 months, 8 days 14th May 2011
Abdul Razak Manchester City 3-0 West Bromwich Albion 18 years, 2 months, 25 days 5th February 2011
Jon Flanagan Liverpool FC 3-0 Manchester City 18 years, 3 months, 10 days 11th April 2011
George Thorne Newcastle United 3-3 West Bromwich Albion 18 years, 4 months, 18 days 22nd May 2011
Phil Jones Blackburn Rovers 1-0 Everton 18 years, 5 months, 24 days 14th August 2010
Jack Wilshere Liverpool FC 1-1 Arsenal 18 years, 7 months, 14 days 15th August 2010
Jonjo Shelvey Liverpool FC 2-1 Blackburn Rovers 18 years, 7 months, 27 days 24th October 2010
Chris Wood Liverpool FC 1-0 West Bromwich Albion 18 years, 8 months, 22 days 29th August 2010

 

OLDEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Jens Lehmann Blackpool 1-3 Arsenal 41 years, 5 months 10th April 2011
Edwin van der Sar Manchester United 4-2 Blackpool 40 years, 6 months, 23 days 22nd May 2011
Brad Friedel Aston Villa 1-0 Liverpool FC 40 years, 4 days 22nd May 2011
Mike Pollitt Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Wigan Athletic 38 years, 10 months, 7 days 5th January 2011
Mark Schwarzer Fulham 2-2 Arsenal 38 years, 7 months, 16 days 22nd May 2011
Marcus Hahnemann Blackpool 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 38 years, 5 months, 5 days 20th November 2010
Kevin Phillips Birmingham City 0-2 Fulham 37 years, 9 months, 20 days 15th May 2011
Carlo Cudicini Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Birmingham City 37 years, 8 months, 16 days 22nd May 2011
Robert Pires West Bromwich Albion 2-1 Aston Villa 37 years, 6 months, 1 day 30th April 2011
Ryan Giggs Blackburn Rovers 1-1 Manchester United 37 years, 5 months, 15 days 14th May 2011

 

CLEAN SHEETS

Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1 Joe Hart Manchester City 18
2 Petr Cech Chelsea 15
3= Edwin van der Sar Manchester United 14
3= Pepe Reina Liverpool FC 14
5 Mark Schwarzer Fulham 11
6= Tim Howard Everton 9
6= Ben Foster Birmingham City 9
8= Simon Mignolet Sunderland 8
8= Asmir Begovic Stoke City 8
8= Paul Robinson Blackburn Rovers 8

The Clubs: Blackpool

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
38 10 9 19 55 78 -23 39 1

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Ian Evatt 38
Charlie Adam 35
David Vaughan 35
DJ Campbell 31
Stephen Crainey 31
Neal Eardley 31
Gary Taylor-Fletcher 31
Craig Cathcart 30
Luke Varney 30
Matt Phillips 27

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
DJ Campbell 13
Charlie Adam 12
Marlon Harewood 5
Gary Taylor-Fletcher 5
Luke Varney 5
Jason Puncheon 3
Alex Baptiste 2
Matt Phillips 2
David Vaughan 2
Craig Cathcart 1

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Wigan Athletic 0-4 Blackpool 14th August 2010 2010-2011
Blackpool 3-1 Tottenham Hotspur 22nd February 2011 2010-2011
Newcastle United 0-2 Blackpool 11th September 2010 2010-2011
Sunderland 0-2 Blackpool 28th December 2010 2010-2011
Blackpool 4-3 Bolton Wanderers 14th May 2011 2010-2011

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Arsenal 6-0 Blackpool 21st August 2010 2010-2011
Chelsea 4-0 Blackpool 19th September 2010 2010-2011
Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-0 Blackpool 26th February 2011 2010-2011
Fulham 3-0 Blackpool 3rd April 2011 2010-2011
Everton 5-3 Blackpool 5th February 2011 2010-2011

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Ian Holloway 4 3rd November 2012

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Blackpool 2-3 Manchester City 17th October 2010 16,116 2010-2011
Blackpool 2-2 Everton 6th November 2010 16,094 2010-2011
Blackpool 2-1 Liverpool FC 12th January 2011 16,089 2010-2011
Blackpool 3-1 Tottenham Hotspur 22nd February 2011 16,069 2010-2011
Blackpool 1-2 Sunderland 22nd January 2011 16,037 2010-2011

 

Intro

Blackpool might have only been part of the Premier League party for a single season but they were a neutral’s favourite. Their all-out attack policy won many fans and saw the Tangerines involved in some of the best matches of the 2010-2011 Premier League season. Ian Holloway’s side were box-office material, enjoying a league double over Liverpool FC along the way. Sadly, form and confidence caught up with the Seasiders in the second half of the season and a 4-2 loss on the final day to Manchester United saw them relegated exactly a year to the day when they were promoted.

 

2010-2011

Blackpool began the 2010-2011 season as bookies favourites to be relegated after their surprising promotion via the play-offs. However, Ian Holloway and his side didn’t read the script on day one. They tore Wigan Athletic apart in a game moved to Wigan’s home ground whilst development work was being completed on Bloomfield Road to meet Premier League standards. Blackpool won 4-0, with debutant Marlon Harewood scoring twice.

There were sensational away victories at Newcastle United, Stoke City and Sunderland as Blackpool fast became away day specialists. In October 2011, they gave Liverpool FC one of their darkest results in their Premier League history, beating the Reds 2-1 at Anfield. DJ Campbell was top scorer with 13 goals, backed up by some heroic performances from Charlie Adam.

Blackpool sat eighth at the turn of the year and completed a league double over Liverpool FC in the early weeks of January 2011. A 3-2 loss to West Bromwich Albion days later though started a dramatic turn in their fortunes. Holloway’s men lost seven of their next nine matches and began to fall down towards the relegation places. When Wigan gained revenge for their opening day defeat in mid-April with a 3-1 away win at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool had dropped into the bottom three for the first time in the season.

A four-game unbeaten run followed and a belting 4-3 victory over Bolton Wanderers in their final home match left Blackpool outside the bottom three going into the final day. A positive result at Old Trafford on the final day and they could still achieve survival. Adam and Gary Taylor-Fletcher scored to have the visitors leading 2-1 early in the second half but defensive frailties caught up with them. They lost 4-2 and that condemned them to relegation regardless of other results. Despite scoring as many goals as fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, Blackpool’s leaky defence would cost them. They shipped 78 goals and that meant they were heading back to the Championship.

It was short-lived but a season their supporters will never forget.