Tag Archives: Leeds United

Premier League Rewind: 2nd-3rd February 2002

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

The 2001-2002 Premier League title battle was becoming a very intense fight between many of the top-flight’s superpowers. Despite a lackadaisical start to the season by their high standards, Manchester United were now top of the table and chasing a fourth successive title victory.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side won their 10th match in their last 11 outings with a comfortable 4-1 home victory over an out-of-form Sunderland side at Old Trafford. All four goals were scored in the first half by the hosts with Ruud van Nistelrooy adding another two to his growing collection. There was also a rare goal for Phil Neville. Sunderland were now without a win in six games and slipped to 15th in the table, just three points clear of the relegation zone.

Arsenal were the Red Devils’ closest challengers going into the weekend but they ended it back in fourth position after being held at Highbury to a 1-1 draw by Southampton. On the weekend where the club revealed their new club crest to be used from the 2002-2003 season onwards, Sylvain Wiltord put the Gunners ahead five minutes before half-time. Jo Tessem’s equaliser would turn out to be the final dropped points of Arsenal’s season.

Newcastle United’s impressive campaign continued. Sir Bobby Robson’s side did trail twice at home to Bolton Wanderers but came back to win 3-2 with the winning goal coming from Craig Bellamy. After their bright start which had seen a maximum haul of points back in August, Bolton were now in the bottom three.

It wasn’t a happy reunion for Robbie Fowler in his first meeting with Liverpool FC since his £11 million transfer to Leeds United in November 2001. Liverpool were in devastating form at Elland Road, crushing the home side 4-0 with Emile Heskey scoring twice. Liverpool overtook Arsenal to move into third place with three successive victories for stand-in manager Phil Thompson. Having been top on New Years’ Day, Leeds were now down to sixth and nine points off the pace. Their title challenge looked as good as over.

Having resigned from his position as Aston Villa manager, John Gregory returned to his former club Derby County and made a winning start. Lee Morris scored a very scrappy goal to ensure the Rams edged out Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 at Pride Park. After four successive defeats, the victory kept Derby just about in touch with the pack above them in the scrap to survive.

Going in the wrong direction were Blackburn Rovers. After a positive start to their Premier League return, Graeme Souness’ side were going through a trough in terms of their league results. Their fifth reverse in six games came at Upton Park, losing 2-0 to West Ham United. This left Blackburn only above the relegation zone on goal difference  and it was a far cry from the corresponding fixture earlier in the season when the former Premier League champions had thrashed the Hammers 7-1.

Meanwhile, Ipswich Town were going in the right direction. The 2000-2001 surprise packages recorded their seventh victory in eight games with a 2-1 success away to Everton. Ipswich had climbed to 12th and were just three points off eighth place as they were recovering brilliantly from their horrific start to the campaign. Sadly for George Burley, a heavy defeat to Liverpool FC in their very next game would start a worrying drop down the table towards eventual relegation from the top-flight.

What else happened in February 2002?

  • There is sad news from Buckingham Palace as the Queen’s sister; Princess Margaret dies after suffering a stroke. She was 71.
  • The Winter Olympics take place in Salt Lake City and Great Britain win a gold medal thanks to the women’s curling team.
  • Actor John Thaw, best-known for playing lead roles in Inspector Morse and Kavanagh QC, dies just seven weeks after his 60th birthday. 
  • Saturday nights get a new hit as the first series of Pop Idol concludes on ITV. Over 8.7 million votes are casted as Will Young beats Gareth Gates to win the competition.
  • The trial of the former president of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic begins in The Hague.
  • More than 2,000 jobs disappear when Ford ends 90 years of British car production after the last Fiesta model is completed in Dagenham.
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Great Goals: Niclas Jensen – MANCHESTER CITY vs. Leeds United (January 2003)

Full-back Niclas Jensen won three Danish league championships with FC Copenhagen and also had spells playing for PSV Eindhoven, Borussia Dortmund and Fulham.

However, before he joined the Cottagers in 2005, he had already experienced English football with Manchester City. Goalscoring was not a forte of Jensen’s play (he only managed two for the Citizens) but against Leeds United in January 2003, he scored the goal of his life.

The home side were leading 1-0 early in the second half when Jensen produced this spectacular volley. Nicolas Anelka ran down the right-hand side, gamely being chased by Leeds’ Danny Mills. Anelka picked out Jensen on the other side of the pitch. The Dane’s control was magnificent and it was a special strike.

It was one of the finest goals to have been scored in the final season of professional football at Maine Road and ensures Jensen has a fond place in the hearts of many City supporters.

Great Goals: Stan Collymore – BRADFORD CITY vs. Leeds United (October 2000)

Signing Stan Collymore in October 2000 was seen as the final throw of the dice for manager Chris Hutchings, who badly needed a result to save his position in the post. Bradford were bottom ahead of this Yorkshire Derby with Leeds United.

Collymore made an instant impact on his debut with this glorious goal. Leeds presented the opportunity to the home side with some sloppy passing. Benito Carbone picked out Collymore with a brilliant cross and the forward produced an instinctive overhead kick which was straight out of the top-draw.

His stay at Bradford was largely forgettable apart from this moment and although Leeds did recover to earn a share of the spoils on this Sunday afternoon, this remains one of Collymore’s finest Premier League efforts.

Premier League Files: Olivier Dacourt

Premier League Career: Everton (1998-1999), Leeds United (2000-2002), Fulham (2009)

Former French international Olivier Dacourt was a big part of Leeds United’s run to the 2001 UEFA Champions League semi-finals and he is best known for some impressive power behind his shots on-goal.

Dacourt made his professional debut in 1993 playing for Strasbourg in the French league and featured 127 times for the club over the course of the next five years. Everton and Walter Smith brought him to the Premier League in the summer of 1998. He quickly became a fans favourite at the club and scored a wonderful goal in the Merseyside Derby of April 1999, even though the Toffees lost 3-2 to Liverpool FC at Anfield. Less than a month later, Dacourt stated his desire to leave having admitted he hadn’t settled as well as he hoped. Everton fans responded by booing him constantly during their final home game of the 1998-1999 season; a 6-0 thumping of West Ham United.

Olivier got his move back to France, joining RC Lens but after one season back in his home country, he was back in the Premier League. Moving to Leeds United for £7.2 million in the summer of 2000, he became Leeds’ most-expensive player. His tenacious style of play meant he became a favourite with the faithful at Elland Road. Playing alongside David Batty, he was a regular member of David O’Leary exciting side that impressed European football by reaching the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League before being beaten by Valencia over two legs.

He scored three times that season, including a free-kick winner to defeat league runners-up Arsenal. His form for Leeds saw him become an international regular with France and although he missed out on the country’s dire World Cup defence of 2002, he won the Confederations Cup twice and made their EURO 2004 squad. By now, he was playing in Italy after a spectacular falling out with Terry Venables led to him being frozen out of the first-team picture in Yorkshire. He then had nine games with Fulham on-loan in 2009 before ending his career with Standard Liege in 2010.

Dacourt is now a television pundit back in his native France.

The Clubs: Leeds United

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
468 189 125 154 641 573 +68 692 12

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Gary Kelly 325
Ian Harte 214
Nigel Martyn 207
Lee Bowyer 203
David Wetherall 201
Lucas Radebe 197
Harry Kewell 181
Rod Wallace 178
Alan Smith 171
Gary McAllister 151

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Mark Viduka 59
Harry Kewell 45
Rod Wallace 42
Lee Bowyer 38
Alan Smith 38
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink 34
Brian Deane 32
Ian Harte 28
Tony Yeboah 24
Gary McAllister 24

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Leeds United 6-1 Bradford City 13th May 2001 2000-2001
Charlton Athletic 1-6 Leeds United 5th April 2003 2002-2003
Leeds United 5-0 Tottenham Hotspur 25th August 1992 1992-1993
Swindon Town 0-5 Leeds United 7th May 1994 1993-1994
Derby County 0-5 Leeds United 15th March 1998 1997-1998
West Ham United 1-5 Leeds United 1st May 1999 1998-1999
Leeds United 4-0 Wimbledon 2nd October 1993 1993-1994
Queens Park Rangers 0-4 Leeds United 4th April 1994 1993-1994
Leeds United 4-0 Queens Park Rangers 24th January 1995 1994-1995
Leeds United 4-0 Ipswich Town 5th April 1995 1994-1995

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Portsmouth 6-1 Leeds United 8th November 2003 2003-2004
Liverpool FC 5-0 Leeds United 20th January 1996 1995-1996
Arsenal 5-0 Leeds United 16th April 2004 2003-2004
Sheffield Wednesday 6-2 Leeds United 16th December 1995 1995-1996
Manchester City 4-0 Leeds United 7th November 1992 1992-1993
Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Leeds United 20th February 1993 1992-1993
Leeds United 0-4 Norwich City 21st August 1993 1993-1994
Leeds United 0-4 Manchester United 7th September 1996 1996-1997
Liverpool FC 4-0 Leeds United 19th February 1997 1996-1997
Leeds United 0-4 Arsenal 16th April 2000 1999-2000

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Howard Wilkinson 5 10th September 1996
George Graham 3 1st October 1998
David O’Leary 4 27th June 2002
Terry Venables 1 21st March 2003
Peter Reid 2 10th November 2003
Eddie Gray 1 31st May 2004

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Leeds United 0-2 Manchester United 27th April 1994 41,125 1993-1994
Leeds United 3-4 Newcastle United 22nd December 2001 40,287 2001-2002
Leeds United 1-1 Manchester United 25th April 1999 40,255 1998-1999
Leeds United 1-0 Middlesbrough 11th May 2002 40,218 2001-2002
Leeds United 0-4 Liverpool FC 3rd February 2002 40,216 2001-2002
Leeds United 3-1 Aston Villa 11th May 2003 40,205 2002-2003
Leeds United 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur 4th November 2001 40,203 2001-2002
Leeds United 0-1 Newcastle United 6th February 1999 40,202 1998-1999
Leeds United 3-2 Everton 19th December 2001 40,201 2001-2002
Leeds United 1-4 Arsenal 28th September 2002 40,199 2002-2003

 

Intro

Leeds United were one of the biggest clubs in England when the Premier League was formed. They were the reigning English champions when the new era began in 1992 and were a regular finisher in the top six throughout the first decade. This included a 3rd place finish under David O’Leary’s management in 2000. Leeds spent big to try and break Manchester United’s dominance but this led to crippling debts. Just three years after reaching the Champions League semi-finals, Leeds were relegated in 2004 and haven’t been back in the top-flight since.

 

1992-1993

Having finished as champions in the last Football League season before the formation of the Premier League, Leeds United struggled and finished just two points clear of relegation. They were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by Scottish champions Rangers, bizarrely sold Eric Cantona to Pennines rivals Manchester United and failed to win a single league match away from Elland Road. Form was better on home turf for Howard Wilkinson’s side, with heavy wins against Blackburn Rovers and Tottenham Hotspur, whilst Lee Chapman was one of the star performers, scoring 13 goals.

 

1993-1994

Wilkinson broke the club’s transfer record in the summer of 1993 by paying Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United £2.7 million for Brian Deane’s services. There was a slow start with a heavy 4-0 loss to Norwich City among the low points. However, Leeds recovered and finished in a much-improved fifth place at the end of the season, only one point shy of qualifying for continental competition. Rod Wallace scored 17 goals but championship-winning player David Batty did depart during the season for Blackburn Rovers.

 

1994-1995

Consistency was a strong element of Leeds’ 1994-1995 campaign. They never dropped outside the top eight from the second match of the season. They did inflict a rare loss on Manchester United at Elland Road in September but goalscoring was a problem for Wilkinson’s side. Although there was initial promise from youngster Noel Whelan, it was the January signing Ghanaian striker Tony Yeboah from Eintracht Frankfurt that breathed new life into an unremarkable but solid side. Yeboah ended as top scorer with 12 goals and nine wins from their last 13 games ensured a second successive finish in fifth place.

 

1995-1996

Leeds made a fantastic start to the 1995-1996 season, winning their first three matches with Yeboah in stunning shooting form. He was forming his own Goal of the Season shortlist, with spectacular goals in victories over Liverpool FC, Wimbledon and Sheffield Wednesday. When his goal beat Chelsea on 18th November, Leeds sat fifth in the table but their season nosedived after this result. A run of six successive defeats following a League Cup final defeat at the hands of Aston Villa ensured a disappointing 13th place finish – well below the club’s lofty expectations.

 

1996-1997

It was the end of an era at Leeds United on 10th September 1996 as the club elected to sack their 1992 championship-winning manager Howard Wilkinson. Despite winning two of their first five league matches, a demoralising 4-0 home defeat to Manchester United spelt the end of Wilkinson’s successful reign at Elland Road. George Graham returned to management after a one-year suspension and made Leeds tough to beat. However, they scored just 28 goals in 38 matches, finishing with the worst goalscoring total in the Premier League. Nevertheless, Leeds kept a staggering 20 clean sheets and finished in 11th place with a better defensive record than champions Manchester United.

 

1997-1998

After two frustrating seasons, Leeds returned to the Premier League’s top five as George Graham secured UEFA Cup qualification. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink arrived in pre-season and finished as the club’s top goalscorer with 16 goals. There was a 1-0 win over Manchester United in September and resounding home victories against Newcastle United (4-1) and Blackburn Rovers (4-0). The foundations had been put in place for a successful few seasons for the Leeds faithful.

 

1998-1999

Unbeaten in their opening seven matches, the club were stunned in early October when George Graham walked out to move back to north London, filling the vacancy at Tottenham Hotspur. When no.1 target Martin O’Neill elected to stay at Leicester City, it was Graham’s former assistant, David O’Leary who was appointed as his successor. It was a young squad but O’Leary achieved great things. They strung together a seven-game winning sequence to match a record set by Don Revie’s all-conquering side of the 1970s and Leeds finished in fourth place. Hasselbaink shared the Golden Boot with Michael Owen and Dwight Yorke, scoring 18 times.

 

1999-2000

The 1999-2000 Premier League season was the most competitive for Leeds United. They launched a serious title challenge to Manchester United, topping the table at the end of 1999. Their youthful side really sparkled with Harry Kewell winning the PFA Young Player of the Year and Michael Bridges scoring 19 goals in his first season wearing Leeds colours.

A 1-0 loss to Manchester United at Elland Road in mid-February effectively ended their challenge and inexperience did catch up on them, ultimately finishing 22 points adrift of the champions from Old Trafford. Tragedy also shook the club to the core when two Leeds supporters were stabbed to death on the streets of Istanbul just hours before their UEFA Cup semi-final with Galatasaray.

There was a silver lining though. A goalless draw on the final day at Upton Park secured UEFA Champions League football for the following campaign with a 3rd place finish.

 

2000-2001

In Europe, Leeds United really made a statement of intent by reaching the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League. They beat the likes of Lazio, Deportivo La Coruna and AC Milan along the way before bowing out over two legs to Valencia. David O’Leary had now become one of the game’s most in-demand managers.

Initially, the demands of UCL action meant an inconsistent start to the Premier League season and Leeds even went into 2001 in the bottom half of the table. They rallied in the second half of the campaign but were edged into fourth place on the final day by treble cup winners, Liverpool FC.

Leeds broke the British transfer record for a defender during the season, spending £18 million on Rio Ferdinand in November 2000 but their failure to qualify for Europe’s premier club competition for a second successive season would start to have a worrying impact on their future finances.

 

2001-2002

Leeds launched another strong push for the championship in 2001-2002. They were part of a five-club battle for the summit, together with Newcastle United, Liverpool FC, Arsenal and Manchester United. Tough-tackling midfielder Seth Johnson and goalscoring hotshot Robbie Fowler were added to the squad during the season for a combined fee of £18 million.

O’Leary had plenty of options and a 3-0 victory over West Ham United on New Years’ Day took Leeds to the top of the table. However, a seven-game winless sequence followed which included defeats to Liverpool and Newcastle along with a shock FA Cup exit at Division Two side Cardiff City knocked the stuffing out of their season. Leeds eventually finished in fifth place.

Chairman Peter Risdale decided the manager was to blame and sacked O’Leary in June, with no silverware and no Champions League football either. He was now aware of a huge hole in the club’s finances.

 

2002-2003

By now, Leeds’ debts were racking up and were being noted in the public eye. Many star players were now being sold to balance the books. Manchester United signed Rio Ferdinand for £30 million, Robbie Keane was sold to Tottenham Hotspur and Robbie Fowler joined Manchester City in the January transfer window.

Terry Venables succeeded O’Leary as manager and despite winning four of their first six games; Leeds struggled all campaign and were closer to the relegation zone for much of the season. Venables quit in March, not fancying a tussle at the bottom and it was Peter Reid who steered them to the end of the season. A 3-2 victory at Arsenal on the penultimate weekend secured their Premier League safety but a 15th place finish was not what anyone wanted. Worse was to come though.

 

2003-2004

Debts had now reached the £100 million mark and Harry Kewell was the next star to leave, with the Australian joining Liverpool FC. Leeds collected just eight points from their first 12 games and after a 6-1 humbling at newly-promoted Portsmouth in November, Peter Reid was sacked.

Former player Eddie Gray was handed the poisoned chalice and Leeds did record a draw with Chelsea plus victories against Charlton Athletic and Fulham. However, a terrible run of seven successive defeats which started with a 3-1 loss at Wolverhampton Wanderers ended any realistic hopes of staying in the Premier League.

On Sunday 2nd May, Leeds’ 14-year stay in the top-flight ended with a 4-1 loss to Bolton Wanderers. More stars left in the off-season including Paul Robinson, Alan Smith and Mark Viduka. Finances have improved since but apart from one play-off final defeat in 2006, Leeds have remained a club in the mid-table reaches of the Championship.

Premier League Rewind: 4th-6th December 1999

Results: Aston Villa 0-1 Newcastle United, Bradford City 1-1 Middlesbrough, Leicester City 0-3 Arsenal, Manchester United 5-1 Everton, Southampton 0-0 Coventry City, Sunderland 4-1 Chelsea, Wimbledon 5-0 Watford, Derby County 0-1 Leeds United, Liverpool FC 4-1 Sheffield Wednesday, Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 West Ham United

December 1999 was the final month of the 20th century and the 1999-2000 season was a campaign that was seeing plenty of goals and a lot of drama too. On this particular weekend, fans at Premier League grounds up-and-down the country would see either no goals at all or a host of efforts hitting the back of the net.

The league leaders going into the weekend were David O’Leary young, exciting Leeds United side. Leeds had lost just one of their last 12 matches and been top of the table since early October. They travelled to Derby County looking to protect their narrow advantage over Manchester United. This was the repeat round of fixtures from the opening weekend of the season and for the second time in the campaign; it looked like Derby were going to get a goalless draw.

Then, referee Paul Alcock gave a slightly fortuitous penalty to the away side and Ian Harte dispatched the spot-kick to give the visitors a narrow 1-0 win and regain their two-point cushion at the head of the Premier League table.

Manchester United had spent a day at the summit after thumping Everton 5-1 at Old Trafford. For the second time in 1999, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored four times in a match as Sir Alex Ferguson’s side turned on the style in their first game back since winning the Intercontinental Cup in Tokyo.

Arsenal and Sunderland kept their challenges going with convincing wins. Arsenal enjoyed a good victory at Filbert Street; a ground which had caused them trouble in previous seasons. Marc Overmars was among the scorers in the 3-0 victory, although Leicester would later get revenge by knocking Arsene Wenger’s side out of the FA Cup two months later.

Sunderland’s season had been built around a deadly strike partnership and they tore Chelsea apart at The Stadium of Light. Both Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips scored twice as they raced into a 4-0 lead before half-time. Gianluca Vialli’s side were eventually beaten 4-1 and were miles off the pace. Since beating Manchester United 5-0 in early October, Chelsea had won just one of their last seven matches, slipped to ninth in the table and were now 14 points off the pace.

Liverpool FC recovered from conceding an early goal to Niclas Alexandersson of Sheffield Wednesday, eventually overcoming the league’s bottom side 4-1. This game was notable for the first goal in a Liverpool shirt for a youngster by the name of Steven Gerrard. He would score another 185 goals in all competitions for the club he cared about the most. With just one win from 16 games, Sheffield Wednesday’s situation already looked rather desperate.

They were joined in the bottom three by Derby County and Watford. Graham Taylor’s men were on the receiving end of a 5-0 thrashing by Wimbledon at Selhurst Park. This scoreline was Wimbledon’s biggest victory in their Premier League career and had them closer to mid-table than the drop zone at this stage of the season. Their downward plight would only begin in the new millennium.

What else happened in December 1999?

  • Celebrations take place across the world to herald the millennium. In the UK, this sees the unveiling of the London Eye and the opening of the Millennium Dome.
  • After eight years in power, Boris Yeltsin resigns as President of Russia.
  • Former Beatles singer George Harrison is attacked in his home in Oxfordshire, suffering minor stab wounds.
  • After 442 years of Portuguese settlement, the sovereignty of Macau is transferred to the People’s Republic of China.
  • Tori Murden became the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean by rowboat alone, when she reached Guadeloupe from the Canary Islands. She had been rowing for 81 days.
  • 137 people are killed by Storm Lothar which sweeps through southern parts of Germany, France and Switzerland.
  • Torrential rains cause catastrophic floods and mudslides in coastal regions of Venezuela, killing an estimated 25,000 people and leaving 100,000 others homeless.

Iconic Moments: Cantona joins Manchester United (November 1992)

In the very first Premier League season, one of the pre-season title favourites were Manchester United. However, they were misfiring badly, struggling in mid-table by the middle of November and falling off the pace of surprise pacesetters Norwich City.

Manager Alex Ferguson needed a new forward to help the team shoot themselves to the top. He ended up with one of the best bargains in the history of the football transfer. His initial top target was Sheffield Wednesday’s David Hirst but he rejected the move to stay in Yorkshire. His eventual buy started when Leeds United owner Bill Fotherby had telephoned his counterpart at Manchester United, Martin Edwards to enquire whether they would be willing to sell full-back Denis Irwin to the reigning champions.

That enquiry was quickly rebuffed by the Red Devils. At the same time, Edwards was asked by Ferguson to enquire about the availability of talismanic Frenchman Eric Cantona. Fotherby then spoke to Leeds boss Howard Wilkinson, who confirmed he would be happy to get Cantona off his roster. Cantona had sparkled in helping Leeds win the last Football League title in 1992 but he was a difficult person to please and Wilkinson decided that his presence at Elland Road was now having an impact on squad harmony.

A few days later, Cantona’s move across the Pennines was done. Manchester United paid Leeds just £1.2 million to sign him on the 26th November. 10 days later, he made his debut as a substitute in the Manchester Derby and the rest was history.

Cantona was considered the final jigsaw in the puzzle at Old Trafford. Manchester United stormed to their first league title in 26 years and the Frenchman won the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award in 1994. As future captain Roy Keane said: “Collar turned up, back straight, chest stuck out, Eric glided into the arena as if he owned the place.”

In five years in Manchester, Cantona won four league titles and two FA Cups, scoring 82 times before retiring in 1997. His move still remains one of the most important transfers in the first 25 years of the Premier League.

Premier League Files: Gunnar Halle

Premier League Career: Oldham Athletic (1992-1994), Leeds United (1996-1999), Bradford City (1999-2001)

Born in Larvik, Norway, Gunnar Halle spent the bulk of his playing career playing in England. He was one of the few foreign players who featured in the opening season of the Premier League and was a constant attacking threat from full-back.

Halle moved into the English game in 1991, joining Oldham Athletic for £280,000. He is often considered as one of the club’s finest players during their two-season spell in the Premier League era. In total, Halle played 212 league games for the Latics and scored 21 times. One of his goals came in the thrilling 4-3 victory over Southampton on the final day in 1993; a victory which saw Oldham protecting their Premier League status at the expense of Crystal Palace.

In the winter of 1996 and with Oldham’s decline well underway, Halle moved down to Yorkshire and joined Leeds United for £500,000. One of George Graham’s first signings, he would compete with the long-serving Gary Kelly at right-back and became a very useful addition to the squad at Elland Road. He played 83 times for Leeds, scoring four goals as they finished fifth and fourth under the stewardship of first Graham, then David O’Leary.

By the summer of 1999, Halle was 34 and Leeds decided to move him onto Yorkshire rivals Bradford City, allowing them to go and sign Danny Mills from relegated Charlton Athletic. Halle cost Bradford £200,000 and turned out for them 70 times, leaving the club one season after their relegation from the top-flight in 2002.

After a short spell with Wolverhampton Wanderers, he returned to Norway to finish his playing days with Lillestrøm. On the international stage for Norway, Halle scored a hat-trick against no-hopers San Marino in the qualification for the 1994 World Cup finals. Gunnar would feature at that World Cup in the United States and also at the 1998 edition in France. He won 64 caps for Norway, retiring in 1999.

Since retirement, Halle has moved into coaching and has served as assistant manager at several of the bigger sides in Norwegian club football, including Molde FK, Viking FK and Lillestrøm. He has also worked alongside former Manchester City forward Uwe Rosler, who is currently the manager of English League One side Fleetwood Town.

Halle is currently the assistant at Strømmen IF, a role he has held since 2013.

Great Goals: Rod Wallace – LEEDS UNITED vs. Tottenham Hotspur (April 1994)

On his day, Rod Wallace could produce the absolute spectacular and this was undoubtedly his greatest goal in his Leeds United career.

Against a Tottenham side in April 1994, Wallace took on all the opposition defenders and beat the lot of them. Receiving possession from around 60 yards from his goal, Wallace went towards the touchline and then jinked past two Tottenham defenders who couldn’t prevent him from going into touch.

His weaving run took him to the edge of the penalty area. By then, he had support in the box but Wallace’s eyes were focused on the goal and nothing else. He then produced a finesse curling shot to defeat the Spurs goalkeeper and take the acclaim of the Elland Road crowd.

This was voted the Goal of the Season by BBC viewers in 1994 and has also come out on-top in a FourFourTwo website vote too. This is a goal that has stood the test of time.

Iconic Moments: Keegan loses it live on Sky (April 1996)

In 1996, Newcastle United looked on course to become Premier League champions, just three years after returning to the top-flight of English football. Under the guidance of Kevin Keegan, the Magpies’ were playing some of the best football around, thrilling their supporters and also the neutral fan. They were even christened ‘The Entertainers’ by Sky Sports.

In January, they beat Bolton Wanderers 2-1 and put themselves 12 points clear of the chasing pack. Surely, the biggest prize in English football was on its way to Tyneside? Not if Manchester United had anything to do with it. Alex Ferguson’s side went on a spectacular run of form, winning 10 out of their next 11 games and Newcastle started to wobble. They lost at West Ham United, Arsenal and Blackburn Rovers and were edged out in a 4-3 epic by Liverpool FC at Anfield. Now, they were playing catch-up.

In mid-April, Manchester United were pushed all the way by their rivals in the Pennies, Leeds United. Leeds went down to 10 men early on, yet looked the more likely side to score before Roy Keane broke their resistance. Afterwards, Ferguson turned the heat on Keegan by making comments about the performance the opposition had put in at Old Trafford. He said: “Why aren’t they in the top six? They’re cheating their manager, that’s all it is. When they come to play Newcastle, you’ll notice the difference. It’s sad to say that but I’m very disappointed in Leeds.”

12 days later, Newcastle travelled to Elland Road needing a win to stay in the title race. Leeds battered Keegan’s side early on, hitting the woodwork twice and forcing Shaka Hislop into some decent saves. Newcastle dug in, scored a goal from Keith Gillespie and held on for a 1-0 victory – their third in a row. Keegan then went live on Sky and lost his temper, providing everyone with one of the greatest rants in football history.

“When you do that with footballers like he said about Leeds, and when you do things like that about a man like Stuart Pearce…I’ve kept really quiet but I’ll tell you something, he went down in my estimations when he said that. We have not resorted to that. You can tell him now, we’re still fighting for this title and he’s got to go to Middlesbrough and get something.”

“And I’ll tell you, honestly, I will love it if we beat them. Love it.”

Kevin Keegan had blown it and so had Newcastle. They drew at Nottingham Forest three nights later and Manchester United ended up Premier League champions by four points. Newcastle have never come close to winning the championship since.

Great Goals: Eidur Gudjohnsen – CHELSEA vs. Leeds United (January 2003)

Eidur Gudjohnsen scored 78 goals in his six-year Chelsea career which included two Premier League titles.

This was one of his finest against Leeds United in January 2003. Leeds were leading the match 1-0 but were pegged back in amazing fashion by this piece of glory from Gudjohnsen. The move began when Frank Lampard made a surging run down the right-hand side. His cross was a fraction behind Gudjohnsen for a header.

So the Icelandic international used a piece of instinctive quick-thinking. He produced a terrific bicycle kick which defeated Paul Robinson in the Leeds goal. Chelsea would end up winning this entertaining contest 3-2. Had it not been for this moment of magic from Gudjohnsen, they might have not found a way back into the contest.

Seasonal Records: 2000-2001

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from the 2000-2001 Premier League campaign, as two sides from the North West shared the major league and cup prizes between themselves.

FINAL TABLE

Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Manchester United 38 24 8 6 79 31 +48 80
2 Arsenal 38 20 10 8 63 38 +25 70
3 Liverpool FC 38 20 9 9 71 39 +32 69
4 Leeds United 38 20 8 10 64 43 +21 68
5 Ipswich Town 38 20 6 12 57 42 +15 66
6 Chelsea 38 17 10 11 68 45 +23 61
7 Sunderland 38 15 12 11 46 41 +5 57
8 Aston Villa 38 13 15 10 46 43 +3 54
9 Charlton Athletic 38 14 10 14 50 57 -7 52
10 Southampton 38 14 10 14 40 48 -8 52
11 Newcastle United 38 14 9 15 44 50 -6 51
12 Tottenham Hotspur 38 13 10 15 47 54 -7 49
13 Leicester City 38 14 6 18 39 51 -12 48
14 Middlesbrough 38 9 15 14 44 44 0 42
15 West Ham United 38 10 12 16 45 50 -5 42
16 Everton 38 11 9 18 45 59 -14 42
17 Derby County 38 10 12 16 37 59 -22 42
18 Manchester City 38 8 10 20 41 65 -24 34
19 Coventry City 38 8 10 20 36 63 -27 34
20 Bradford City 38 5 11 22 30 70 -40 26

 

THE BASIC STATS

Goals Scored 992
European qualifiers Manchester United (UEFA Champions League), Arsenal (UEFA Champions League), Liverpool FC (UEFA Champions League), Leeds United (UEFA Cup), Ipswich Town (UEFA Cup), Chelsea (UEFA Cup), Aston Villa (UEFA Intertoto Cup), Newcastle United (UEFA Intertoto Cup)
Longest winning run 8 games (Manchester United)
Longest unbeaten run 13 games (Leeds United)
Longest winless run 13 games (Bradford City & Derby County)
Longest losing run 8 games (Leicester City)
Highest attendance 67,637 (Manchester United vs. Coventry City)
Lowest attendance 15,523 (Bradford City vs. Coventry City)

 

AWARDS

PFA Players’ Player of the Year Teddy Sheringham (Manchester United)
PFA Young Player of the Year Steven Gerrard (Liverpool FC)
Football Writers’ Award Teddy Sheringham (Manchester United)
PFA Team of the Year Fabien Barthez, Wes Brown, Stephen Carr, Jaap Stam, Sylvinho, Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira, Steven Gerrard, Ryan Giggs, Thierry Henry, Teddy Sheringham
Manager of the Year George Burley (Ipswich Town)
Premier League Goal of the Season Shaun Bartlett (CHARLTON ATHLETIC vs. Leicester City)

 

HAT-TRICK HEROES

Player Teams Score Date
Paulo Wanchope Manchester City vs. Sunderland 4-2 23rd August 2000
Michael Owen Liverpool FC vs. Aston Villa 3-1 6th September 2000
Emile Heskey Derby County vs. Liverpool FC 0-4 15th October 2000
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (4) Chelsea vs. Coventry City 6-1 21st October 2000
Teddy Sheringham Manchester United vs. Southampton 5-0 28th October 2000
Mark Viduka (4) Leeds United vs. Liverpool FC 4-3 4th November 2000
Les Ferdinand Tottenham Hotspur vs. Leicester City 3-0 25th November 2000
Ray Parlour Arsenal vs. Newcastle United 5-0 10th December 2000
Thierry Henry Arsenal vs. Leicester City 6-1 26th December 2000
Kevin Phillips Bradford City vs. Sunderland 1-4 26th December 2000
Dwight Yorke Manchester United vs. Arsenal 6-1 25th February 2001
Sylvain Wiltord Arsenal vs. West Ham United 3-0 3rd March 2001
Marcus Stewart Southampton vs. Ipswich Town 0-3 7th April 2001
Michael Owen Liverpool FC vs. Newcastle United 3-0 5th May 2001

 

TOP SCORERS

Position Player Teams No of Goals
1 Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Chelsea 23
2 Marcus Stewart Ipswich Town 19
3 Thierry Henry Arsenal 17
4 Mark Viduka Leeds United 17
5 Michael Owen Liverpool FC 16
6 Teddy Sheringham Manchester United 15
7 Emile Heskey Liverpool FC 14
8= Kevin Phillips Sunderland 14
8= Alen Boksic Middlesbrough 12
10= Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Manchester United 11
10= Alan Smith Leeds United 11
10= Jonatan Johansson Charlton Athletic 11
13= James Beattie Southampton 11
13= Freddie Kanoute West Ham United 11
13= Eidur Gudjohnsen Chelsea 10
13= Les Ferdinand Tottenham Hotspur 10
13= Gus Poyet Chelsea 10
13= David Beckham Manchester United 9
13= Lee Bowyer Leeds United 9
20= Gianfranco Zola Chelsea 9
20= Marian Pahars Southampton 9
22= Andy Cole Manchester United 9
22= Sergiy Rebrov Tottenham Hotspur 9
22= Ade Akinbiyi Leicester City 9
22= Paolo di Canio West Ham United 9

BIGGEST VICTORIES

Manchester United 6-0 Bradford City 5th September 2000
Manchester United 6-1 Arsenal 25th February 2001
Arsenal 6-1 Leicester City 26th December 2000
Leeds United 6-1 Bradford City 13th May 2001
Chelsea 6-1 Coventry City 21st October 2000
Manchester United 5-0 Southampton 28th October 2000
Arsenal 5-0 Manchester City 28th October 2000
Arsenal 5-0 Newcastle United 9th December 2000
West Ham United 5-0 Charlton Athletic 26th December 2000
Manchester City 5-0 Everton 9th December 2000

 

HIGHEST SCORING GAMES

No of Goals Teams Date
8 Arsenal 5-3 Charlton Athletic 26th August 2000
7 Manchester United 6-1 Arsenal 25th February 2001
7 Arsenal 6-1 Leicester City 26th December 2000
7 Leeds United 6-1 Bradford City 13th May 2001
7 Chelsea 6-1 Coventry City 21st October 2000
7 Leeds United 4-3 Liverpool FC 4th November 2000
7 Leeds United 4-3 Tottenham Hotspur 30th September 2000
6 Manchester United 6-0 Bradford City 5th September 2000
6 Manchester United 4-2 Coventry City 14th April 2001
6 Chelsea 4-2 West Ham United 19th August 2000
6 Chelsea 2-4 Sunderland 17th March 2001
6 Tottenham Hotspur 4-2 Newcastle United 2nd January 2001
6 Leicester City 4-2 Tottenham Hotspur 5th May 2001
6 Manchester City 4-2 Sunderland 23rd August 2000
6 Manchester United 3-3 Chelsea 23rd September 2000
6 Charlton Athletic 3-3 Manchester United 9th December 2000
6 Southampton 3-3 Liverpool FC 26th August 2000
6 Charlton Athletic 3-3 Aston Villa 17th April 2001
6 Bradford City 3-3 Tottenham Hotspur 9th December 2000
6 Derby County 3-3 Middlesbrough 6th September 2000

 

YOUNGEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Calum Davenport Coventry City 0-0 Bradford City 18 years, 4 months, 17 days 19th May 2001
Jay Bothroyd Coventry City 1-2 Manchester United 18 years, 5 months, 30 days 4th November 2000
Carlos Marinelli Middlesbrough 1-1 Aston Villa 18 years, 6 months, 9 days 23rd September 2000
Nabil Abidallah Ipswich Town 2-0 Everton 18 years, 6 months, 19 days 24th February 2001
Jermain Defoe Middlesbrough 2-1 West Ham United 18 years, 7 months, 12 days 19th May 2001
Thomas Hitzlsperger Aston Villa 0-3 Liverpool FC 18 years, 9 months, 8 days 13th January 2001
Joe Cole Chelsea 4-2 West Ham United 18 years, 9 months, 11 days 19th August 2000
Shaun Wright-Phillips Charlton Athletic 4-0 Manchester City 18 years, 9 months, 25 days 19th August 2000
Brian Kerr Coventry City 0-2 Newcastle United 18 years, 10 months, 25 days 6th September 2000
Adam Murray Everton 2-2 Derby County 18 years, 10 months, 27 days 26th August 2000

 

OLDEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
John Lukic Arsenal 0-0 Derby County 39 years, 11 months 11th November 2000
Stuart Pearce Middlesbrough 2-1 West Ham United 39 years, 25 days 19th May 2001
Richard Gough Everton 2-1 Bradford City 39 years, 23 days 28th April 2001
Raimond van der Gouw Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Manchester United 38 years, 1 month, 25 days 19th May 2001
Steve Bould Manchester City 4-2 Sunderland 37 years, 9 months, 7 days 23rd August 2000
David Seaman Newcastle United 0-0 Arsenal 37 years, 7 months, 26 days 15th May 2001
Nigel Winterburn Manchester City 1-0 West Ham United 37 years, 4 months, 17 days 28th April 2001
Lee Dixon Newcastle United 0-0 Arsenal 37 years, 1 month, 28 days 15th May 2001
Andy Goram Southampton 2-1 Manchester United 37 years, 1 month 13th May 2001
Tommy Wright Manchester City 0-1 Newcastle United 37 years, 4 days 30th September 2000

 

CLEAN SHEETS

Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1 Fabien Barthez Manchester United 15
2= Sander Westerveld Liverpool FC 14
2= Paul Jones Southampton 14
4 Thomas Sorensen Sunderland 13
5 Richard Wright Ipswich Town 12
6 David Seaman Arsenal 11
7 Mart Poom Derby County 10
8= Nigel Martyn Leeds United 9
8= David James Aston Villa 9
8= Dean Kiely Charlton Athletic 9