Tag Archives: Newcastle United

Memorable Matches: Newcastle United 5-0 Manchester United (October 1996)

Goalscorers: Darren Peacock 12, David Ginola 30, Les Ferdinand 63, Alan Shearer 75, Philippe Albert 83

Teams:

Newcastle United: Pavel Srnicek, Philippe Albert, John Beresford, Darren Peacock, Steve Watson (Warren Barton 87), David Batty, David Ginola, Rob Lee (Lee Clark 87), Peter Beardsley, Les Ferdinand, Alan Shearer

Manchester United: Peter Schmeichel, Denis Irwin, Gary Neville, Ronny Johnsen (Paul Scholes 66), David May, Gary Pallister, Nicky Butt, Karel Poborsky (Brian McClair 66), David Beckham, Eric Cantona, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Jordi Cruyff 56)

Referee: Steve Dunn, Attendance: 36,579

Manchester United and Newcastle United had developed an intense and bitter rivalry in the mid-1990s. The Red Devils had snatched the title in 1996, clawing back a 12-point deficit in mid-January on the Magpies to take their third Premier League championship in four years. This match in October 1996 was Newcastle’s chance to get their revenge and they did so in a wonderful exhibition of football that saw the reigning champions destroyed on a wet Sunday afternoon on Tyneside.

Newcastle took the lead in the 12th minute. From a David Ginola corner, Alan Shearer won his header against Gary Pallister and Darren Peacock stabbed his shot towards goal. It looked like Denis Irwin might have cleared the ball off the goal-line but the linesman adjudged the ball had crossed the line before Irwin’s intervention. Despite the protests from Peter Schmeichel, the goal was given.

Alex Ferguson and Kevin Keegan had been involved in a feisty war of words at the end of the previous season, leading to Keegan’s “I will love it if we beat them” rant live on Sky television in April 1996. Five months later, Keegan definitely loved this performance and on the half-hour mark, his team went 2-0 ahead. Ginola held off the attentions of Gary Neville, who allowed him to turn inside. The Frenchman unleashed a powerful drive which flew past Schmeichel before he could react to it. It was a sensational moment from the winger who was enjoying one of his best games in a Newcastle shirt. Shearer was unlucky not to make it 3-0 before half-time too when he struck the post with a long-distance strike. The home side were performing at an unbelievably high level.

Manchester United had to improve after the break and they nearly found a way back into the match soon after the restart. Karel Poborsky’s header was well-saved by Pavel Srnicek before a combination of Steve Watson and Peacock produced a goal-line clearance to deny Eric Cantona. Victory was virtually secured on 63 minutes when Shearer produced a delightful ball into the box and Les Ferdinand outjumped David May. The forward’s header went in off the underside of the crossbar. Manchester United’s unbeaten start to the Premier League season was going to end spectacularly.

Goal number four arrived on 75 minutes. Schmeichel did superbly to deny Peter Beardsley and Ferdinand but Shearer finally added his name to the scoresheet and he enjoyed the moment, having been goaded all afternoon by visiting fans after turning down the opportunity to sign for Manchester United that summer to come home to his boyhood club. The crowning on the performance was produced by Philippe Albert with seven minutes left to play. Rob Lee and David Batty played a quick passing exchange and with no pressure on him and spotting Schmeichel off his goal-line, Albert chipped the Dane with panache and class to complete a memorable afternoon.

This was Manchester United’s worst defeat for 12 years and Newcastle’s first-ever Premier League success over the reigning champions. However, by the end of the season, the championship trophy remained in the trophy cabinet at Old Trafford.

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Iconic Moments: Time up for Shearer (April 2006)

Having delayed his decision to retire by a season, Alan Shearer was ready to bow out of professional football at the end of the 2005-2006 campaign. In February 2006, he broke Jackie Millburn’s record to become Newcastle’s highest-ever goalscorer. Two months later, he scored his 206th and last goal for his beloved boyhood club.

It came in a Tyne & Wear Derby against Sunderland to drive Newcastle into a 2-1 lead from the penalty spot. It was nice satisfaction for Shearer who had missed his last spot-kick against the Black Cats in November 2000.

Towards the end of the game, Shearer tore knee ligaments in a tackle which forced him to retire three matches earlier than planned. In total, he scored 206 goals in 404 appearances for Newcastle United and is the only player to have scored over 250 goals in Premier League history, finishing with 260 in 441 appearances in the top-flight for Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United.

Iconic Moments: 201 up for Super Al (February 2006)

2005-2006 was to be Alan Shearer’s final season as a professional footballer, having previously postponed his decision to retire a year before. Part of the reason for extending his career by a further season was to try and become Newcastle United’s record all-time top goalscorer. He was closing in on surpassing Jackie Milburn’s record of 200 goals for the Magpies.

The moment finally arrived in February 2006 against Portsmouth. Graeme Souness had been dismissed as manager a few days earlier and Shearer was now helping out on a part-time coaching basis alongside Glenn Roeder. However, he still had plenty to offer on-the-pitch and he made his historical mark in the second half.

Shola Ameobi played a significant role, taking on two defenders before producing a clever backheel into the path of his strike partner. Holding off his former Newcastle teammate Andy O’Brien, Shearer never looked like missing, smashing his strike past Dean Kiely to achieve the landmark of Newcastle’s all-time record goalscorer. It was his 201st goal for the club and infront of The Gallowgate End – the most famous stand at St James’ Park.

Shearer retired two months later, finishing with 206 goals for the Magpies. He admitted afterwards: “I know what Jackie means and meant to the people. I can now sleep easy that the pressure has gone.”

Great Goals: Xabi Alonso – LIVERPOOL FC vs. Newcastle United (September 2006)

In January 2006, Xabi Alonso scored a wonderful goal in a see-saw FA Cup tie away at Luton Town from inside his own half. However, the Spaniard was helped by the fact that Luton goalkeeper Marlon Beresford was way out of his goal having come forward for a Luton corner.

Alonso was never shy of trying his luck from long-range and he even admitted to practising efforts from the halfway line in training. The practice was worth it against Newcastle in September 2006.

Liverpool FC had made a slow start to the season, winning just one of their first four fixtures. They were leading this match through Dirk Kuyt’s first goal for the club but Alonso’s effort took centre stage. Spotting Steve Harper off his goal-line, Alonso decided to go for goal and he judged his strike perfectly. He was helped slightly by Harper slipping as he backpedalled but in terms of execution, it was inch-perfect and any goal from the halfway line shouldn’t be knocked.

Liverpool won the game 2-0 in a campaign which saw only Manchester United leave Anfield in the Premier League with all three points.

The Managers: Glenn Roeder

Premier League Clubs Managed: West Ham United (2001-2003), Newcastle United (2006-2007)

Glenn Roeder hasn’t managed in the Premier League since 2007. In fact, his last managerial post was now over a decade ago at Norwich City when the Canaries were struggling at the wrong end of the Championship table. However, this is a man who has had to deal with the pressures of management which saw him suffer a potentially career-threatening illness whilst managing West Ham United.

Roeder played as a defender in his club career and also took charge of Watford and Newcastle United alongside his spells at both West Ham and Norwich. Most recently, he served as a managerial assistant at League Two club, Stevenage.

Captain at the cup final

Having been rejected at scholarship level by Arsenal, Glenn Roeder began his professional playing career at Leyton Orient before earning his first major move which was to Queens Park Rangers in 1978. Four years later came arguably his greatest individual honour in his playing days.

QPR were only a second-tier team when they surprised many to reach the 1982 FA Cup final. They would play reigning holders and heavy favourites, Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium. Roeder got the privilege of leading his team onto the field for what at the time was the biggest football match in the country. Rangers earned themselves a replay but due to suspension, Roeder would miss the replayed match days later which Tottenham went on to win 1-0 to retain the trophy. QPR bounced back from that near-miss to win the Second Division title in 1983 and begin a 13-year association with England’s top-flight.

In 1984, Roeder moved to Newcastle United and during five years on Tyneside, he made close to 200 appearances, even playing alongside a youthful Paul Gascoigne during this time. A two-year stint at Watford followed before he wound down his playing career with an eight-game spell back at Leyton Orient in 1992 and then six matches at Gillingham in the following season. However by then, he was already immersed in the management side of things with the Gills.

Working underneath Waddle

Player-managers are nowadays nowhere near as common as they were in the early 1990s when they served as a useful transition between players finishing off their careers and starting off in management. Glenn was one of those who used this opportunity at Gillingham who were in the fourth-tier of English football and struggling when he was appointed. Relegation from the Football League was avoided on the penultimate weekend of the season when Gillingham beat bottom-placed Halifax Town who went down instead.

13 wins in 51 games doesn’t sound like great statistics but his former club Watford were impressed and with Steve Perryman leaving to become Ossie Ardiles’ assistant at Tottenham Hotspur, the Hornets were looking for a new manager. They managed to tempt Roeder away from Gillingham but not in an ethical manner. They were fined £10,000 for an illegal approach and then ordered to pay the Gills a further £30,000 in compensation. Roeder’s teams at Vicarage Road were open and expansive but he didn’t manage to get them out of the First Division. In 1994-1995, they finished eighth in the table which was the closest they got to a play-off challenge. In February 1996, he was sacked with the club rooted to the bottom of the First Division table. However, he did sign Kevin Phillips from local Hertfordshire team Baldock Town for only £10,000, beginning Phillips’ impressive career which hit its high point when he won the Premier League Golden Boot with Sunderland in 2000.

After a one-year sabbatical from the game to spend more time with his family, Glenn’s next appointment was as assistant manager to Chris Waddle at Second Division side Burnley. It was not a success. Burnley only narrowly avoided relegation after beating Plymouth Argyle on the final day and Roeder won no fans when he was accused of saying star player Glen Little was “not fit to lace the boots of Chris Waddle.” True or not, Burnley supporters were fuming and it was unsurprising that the partnership ended in the 1997-1998 off-season.

It looked like Roeder’s career would see him just end up as a regular first-team coach. After the dire time in Lancashire with Burnley, he worked briefly underneath Glenn Hoddle with England and then when Hoddle was forced to resign in February 1999, Harry Redknapp offered him the opportunity to return to club football at West Ham United. It paved the way for his biggest challenge yet.

Hammered and under pressure

In the summer of 2001, Redknapp left West Ham United after seven years as manager at Upton Park. West Ham tried to tempt Alan Curbishley away from Charlton Athletic but he stayed loyal to the Addicks and when Steve McClaren elected to take the vacancy at Middlesbrough, the Hammers hierarchy handed Roeder the opportunity to take over as boss.

It was a surprising move and one which didn’t fulfil the supporters with too much confidence considering he clearly wasn’t first-choice with the board. He splashed out £15 million in pre-season to snap up England goalie David James from Aston Villa, whilst bringing Don Hutchinson back to the club for £5 million from Sunderland.

Life didn’t start well for Roeder. West Ham lost back-to-back away games heavily in the autumn of 2001, hammered 5-0 by Everton and 7-1 at Blackburn Rovers. The writing seemed on the wall but he did have a talented squad at his disposal with the likes of Joe Cole, Jermain Defoe and Michael Carrick blossoming. West Ham recovered to finish an excellent seventh in the table in his first full season at the helm. It is a finish only beaten once by the club in their Premier League history which was the fifth place Redknapp achieved in 1998-1999.

Things took a major downturn though in 2002-2003. West Ham failed to win a home match until the end of January, were leaking goals at an alarming rate and when they drew 1-1 at home to Bolton Wanderers in December, they were rooted to bottom in the table on Christmas Day. At this point, no club had ever survived from this position and things looked bleak for Roeder.

Lee Bowyer, Les Ferdinand and Rufus Brevett all arrived in the January transfer window and there was uplift in some results but still, the Hammers looked favourites for relegation, especially when they lost a crucial match in mid-April away at Bolton who were their main rivals for survival.

On Easter Monday 2003, West Ham claimed a vital 1-0 home victory over Middlesbrough with Trevor Sinclair scoring the only goal of the game but after the match, football results became immaterial.

Recovery

The pressures of top-flight management were once again highlighted when moments after the full-time whistle; Glenn collapsed in his office and was rushed to hospital. Doctors soon confirmed he had suffered a brain tumour, caused by a blockage in a blood vessel.

The West Ham board quickly acted after this sudden shock and club legend Trevor Brooking moved downstairs for the final three matches of the season. Despite achieving seven points from the final three matches, West Ham were relegated on the final day of the season, despite amassing 42 points which normally guarantees safety from relegation.

Three months after his collapse, Roeder returning to work at West Ham but the board’s faith had run out and after a 1-0 defeat to Rotherham United in August 2003, they brutally sacked him. It was the end of a stressful few months for the Roeder family.

After two years away, Glenn returned to football in June 2005 as the Youth Development manager at his former club, Newcastle United. In February 2006, Freddy Shepherd sacked Graeme Souness after a string of poor results and Roeder was installed as caretaker manager until the end of the season. Newcastle were down in 15th place when he was appointed but they flourished underneath his management and finished in an encouraging seventh place. That was enough for an Intertoto Cup place and convinced Shepherd to keep Roeder in the job in a full-time capacity. That was despite missing the mandatory UEFA Pro Licence required to manage in the Premier League – something that had come into fulfilment since Roeder’s spell at West Ham United. Despite initial rejections from the Premier League, the other club chairman all agreed that Roeder could continue in a special dispensation case due to his previous illness whilst at West Ham.

The 2006-2007 season didn’t turn out as well as was hoped in what was the first Newcastle season since Alan Shearer’s retirement as a player. Despite winning the Intertoto Cup and therefore earning passage into the UEFA Cup, Newcastle struggled domestically and finished down in 13th position, hit by injuries to a large part of their first-team squad. Just before the end of the season, Roeder tendered his resignation and would be replaced by the outgoing Bolton Wanderers boss, Sam Allardyce. He left with a 45% win ratio.

After five months away from the game, Roeder’s next appointment and ultimately final managerial role came at Norwich City, who were in the Championship and struggling, four points adrift of safety. He managed to keep the Canaries away from relegation in 2007-2008 although survival was not confirmed until a 3-0 home success against Queens Park Rangers in the club’s penultimate fixture of the season. Supporters at Carrow Road though were unhappy by the lack of permanent signings and also the way Darren Huckerby had been released without being given a proper farewell. Although there was a 5-2 victory over league leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers in October, Norwich were at the wrong end of the table and in January 2009, Roeder was dismissed. An FA Cup exit in a third round replay to Charlton Athletic was the final straw and Norwich ultimately were relegated to League One at the end of the season.

Since then, Roeder has kept a relatively low profile. He has had coaching and advisor roles at Sheffield Wednesday in 2015 and Stevenage in 2016. The role at the latter ended in March 2018 when he left alongside manager Darren Sarll with the club in 16th position in the League Two table.

Glenn Roeder’s time as a Premier League manager was tough and fraught but after the health scare he experienced, he knows all too well that life is far more important than just a game of football.

Premier League Rewind: 1st-8th March 2003

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

In early March 2003, three teams still had genuine ambitions of the Premier League title. They were reigning champions Arsenal, seven-time winners Manchester United and Sir Bobby Robson’s exciting Newcastle United side. This round of fixtures produced plenty of intrigue if slightly short on goals.

Newcastle played twice in just a few days, as they had to play a rescheduled contest away at The Riverside Stadium against Middlesbrough. First up for the Magpies though was a battle with fourth-placed Chelsea. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scored a spectacular own goal to put Newcastle into the lead on 31 minutes. Frank Lampard quickly equalised but it wasn’t enough for the visitors. Hugo Viana and Olivier Bernard combined beautifully for the full-back to score a rare goal and seal a 2-1 victory for Robson’s side, which took them level on points with Manchester United and only behind Sir Alex Ferguson’s side on goal difference.

United weren’t playing on the weekend due to their League Cup final commitments against Liverpool FC which meant Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal had the opportunity to hold an eight-point lead for a few days at least. They seized the chance with a 2-0 victory over Charlton Athletic, ending the Addicks’ own five-game winning sequence.

So in the midweek matches, Manchester United and Newcastle were looking to bridge the gap again. The latter missed the opportunity to put the pressure back on Arsenal, losing 1-0 to local rivals Middlesbrough. Geremi scored the only goal of the contest on 62 minutes to hand Newcastle a first league defeat of 2003. Manchester United though defeated Leeds United 2-1 to reduce the gap back to five points. Leeds put in a plucky display but were beaten by Mikael Silvestre’s 79th minute goal, inflicting a fourth defeat in five matches on the Yorkshire club. Terry Venables only took charge of one more match before deciding to part ways with Leeds after a chastening seven months in the managerial hotseat of the financially troubled side.

Chelsea’s defeat on Tyneside meant they relinquished fourth position in the table to Everton who continued to defy the critics. They drew 1-1 at Middlesbrough. Liverpool FC moved back into the top six after beating Bolton Wanderers 2-0 at Anfield, a week after they beat Manchester United by the same scoreline in the League Cup final. El-Hadji Diouf was among the scorers on a rare day where the Senegalese player justified the £11 million transfer fee that had been paid for his services in the summer.

There was a tasty Second City Derby at Villa Park. Aston Villa completely lost their discipline in the second half with their meltdown beginning with Dion Dublin’s red card for a head-butt on Robbie Savage. Joey Gudjonsson also saw red late on for a reckless two-footed challenge and Birmingham recorded a memorable league double over the Villans with goals from Stan Lazaridis and Geoff Horsfield helping the Blues to a 2-0 victory on enemy territory.

In another local affair, West Ham United claimed three much-needed points against Tottenham Hotspur. Les Ferdinand scored against the club that had allowed him to leave for Upton Park only a few weeks earlier as the Hammers won 2-0 to go level with Bolton in the table and only behind the Trotters on goal difference in a relegation battle between the pair that would go all the way to the wire.

What else happened in March 2003?

  • The US and UK begin the invasion of Iraq as Tony Blair and George W. Bush start the plan for regime change in the country. It is the second war in Iraq in 12 years.
  • ITN journalist Terry Lloyd is killed just a few days into covering the war after being caught in crossfire in Basra.
  • A global alert is issued by The World Health Organization after the SARS epidemic spreads to Vietnam and Hong Kong have originated in China.
  • The Prime Minister of Serbia, Zoran Dindic is assassinated.
  • In separate referendums, Malta and Slovenia approve joining the European Union.
  • Australia becomes the first team to win three Cricket World Cups after defeating India in the 2003 final by 125 runs.

Great Goals: Jermain Defoe – SUNDERLAND vs. Newcastle United (April 2015)

After a spell playing for Toronto FC in the MLS, Jermain Defoe returned to the Premier League in January 2015, signing for Sunderland. He scored this memorable goal in his first Tyne & Wear Derby against Newcastle United.

On a weekend of great goals in the Premier League which had already seen world-class strikes from Charlie Adam and Bobby Zamora, Defoe’s effort ranked right up with these two goals. There seemed nothing on from the long punt up the pitch by goalkeeper Vito Mannone. Steven Fletcher won his aerial battle against Mike Williamson and his header fell into Defoe’s reach. He produced a clean connection on the volley and the ball flew into the top corner of the net.

It was the only goal of the contest as Sunderland continued their winning streak over their bitterest rivals, which means this effort was even sweeter for the Black Cats supporters.

Shock Results: Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Newcastle United (December 2015)

Goalscorers: Eric Dier 39, Aleksandar Mitrovic 74, Ayoze Perez 90

Teams:

Tottenham Hotspur: Hugo Lloris, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Danny Rose, Kyle Walker, Tom Carroll (Heung-Min Son 69), Eric Dier, Erik Lamela (Nacer Chadli 86), Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Harry Kane

Newcastle United: Rob Elliot, Fabricio Coloccini, Chancel Mbemba, Paul Dummett, Daryl Janmaat, Vurnon Anita (Yoan Gouffran 90), Jack Colback, Moussa Sissoko, Georginio Wijnaldum, Siem de Jong (Ayoze Perez 63), Papiss Cisse (Aleksandar Mitrovic 72)

Referee: Roger East, Attendance: 35,768

Newcastle United supporters were experiencing a very difficult 2015-2016 campaign. In mid-December, they travelled to White Hart Lane to play an ever-improving Tottenham Hotspur side. Newcastle came into the match rooted in the bottom three in the table and had only won once on their travels since January.

Tottenham were unbeaten since losing narrowly to Manchester United on the opening weekend and Mauricio Pochettino was being widely praised for giving youth a chance to shine. He continued that theme here, by handing midfielder Tom Carroll his first league start for the club.

Spurs had played three days earlier in the UEFA Europa League group stages but still started the brighter side. Rob Elliot though was in tremendous form and he needed to be. He kept out efforts from Harry Kane and Eric Dier before being forced into an outstanding save 10 minutes before half-time when Erik Lamela poked the ball towards goal, but saw his effort clawed over the crossbar.

Elliot was finally beaten six minutes before half-time. From the left-hand side, Christian Eriksen’s corner was spot-on and Dier made a run to the near post to connect perfectly with the delivery. His header ended up in the back of the net, despite Elliot’s best efforts. He got a hand to the attempt but couldn’t this time stop the ball from going past him. Spurs deservedly led at half-time.

Newcastle had recorded a morale-boosting victory a week earlier over Liverpool FC and started to grow into the game as the second half wore on. Manager Steve McClaren made a couple of double substitutions that would have a massive impact on the outcome of the match. When Danny Rose conceded a free-kick, the Magpies sensed their chance. Jack Colback’s delivery was headed back across the face of goal by Fabricio Coloccini. Chancel Mbemba’s effort was kept out by Hugo Lloris but the ball fell to Aleksandar Mitrovic who found the back of the net with the simplest of finishes just two minutes after his arrival from the bench.

With Tottenham running out of ideas and also, general energy, Newcastle’s confidence grew and in stoppage-time, stunned the home support. Mitrovic flicked the ball onto Ayoze Perez, who managed to time his run perfectly to get goal-side of Jan Vertonghen. His early shot from an acute angle seemed to surprise Lloris, who couldn’t get enough on the Spaniard’s shot to divert it round the post. The visiting supporters could rejoice in a fantastic victory that took them out of the bottom three, inflicting a first home defeat on Tottenham since May when Manchester City left with all three points.

Newcastle completed a league double over Tottenham with a 5-1 rout on the final day of the 2015-2016 season. However, they had already been relegated by that point.

Premier League Files: Stephen Carr

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Premier League Rewind: 16th-17th September 1995

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What else happened in September 1995?

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

Premier League Files: Duncan Ferguson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seasonal Stories: Newcastle United (2008-2009)

A calamitous campaign

Newcastle United’s 2008-2009 Premier League season turned out to be a calamitous mess. No fewer than four managers during the campaign, either in a full-time or caretaker capacity, mass demonstrations over the running of the club and it ended with the worst possible outcome on-the-pitch.

A final day 1-0 defeat at Villa Park against Aston Villa saw the club relegated to the Championship, ending their 16-year stay in England’s top-flight. No-one could argue at the end of the season with the ultimate final outcome.

Keegan walks away

It was Newcastle United icon Kevin Keegan who was the manager at the start of the campaign and with him in-charge, expectations were high with the supporters who were hoping to see the glory days of the mid-1990s return to the St James’ Park turf.

Among the arrivals in pre-season were midfielder Jonas Gutierrez and central defenders Sebastien Bassong and Fabricio Coloccini and in the first two games of the season, four points were collected. On the opening weekend, Obafemi Martins scored at Old Trafford as Newcastle recorded a creditable 1-1 draw at defending champions Manchester United before Bolton Wanderers were overcome 1-0. Even a 3-0 defeat at the end of August to Arsenal wasn’t seen as a complete disaster.

Shortly afterwards though, Keegan was gone. Furious with the sale of James Milner in the closing days of the summer transfer window to Aston Villa in a £12 million deal and other disagreements over the club’s transfer policy saw ‘King Kev’ tender his resignation on 4th September. Incensed, the fans began bitter protests against owner Mike Ashley and Director of Football Dennis Wise.

Response on Kinnear’s arrival

For the club’s next home match, the directors box was noticeably empty and the growing tension increased as newly-promoted Hull City recorded a 2-1 victory on Tyneside. Chris Hughton had taken caretaker charge following Keegan’s exit but Ashley elected to appoint Joe Kinnear as full-time manager at the end of September to the shock of many. Kinnear hadn’t managed in the top-flight since health problems ended his reign at Wimbledon back in 1999.

There was a response from the players on his appointment. Back-to-back home victories over West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa saw the Magpies climb out of the bottom three at the start of November. However, there was a damaging 2-1 defeat in the first Tyne & Wear Derby of the season at Sunderland which was their first reverse away to Sunderland in 28 years.

Newcastle’s first away victory of the season arrived in mid-December. Michael Owen scored twice as Portsmouth were comfortably vanquished 3-0 on home soil. That was part of a six-game unbeaten run which had the Geordies as high as 12th in the Premier League table. Considering the turmoil that had engulfed the club at boardroom and managerial level throughout 2008, it was a respectable position.

2008 did end though in humiliating fashion with a 5-1 loss at home to league leaders Liverpool FC. Shay Given was in sensational form, making a string of world-class saves in the first half and had it not been for him, Liverpool could have amassed a heavier margin of victory, such was the gulfing class between the two sides on the day. Newcastle’s plight was only about to get worse.

30TH DECEMBER 2008 TABLE

POS TABLE P W D L F A GD PTS
14 NEWCASTLE UNITED 20 5 7 8 26 32 -6 22
15 Sunderland 20 6 4 10 21 29 -8 22
16 Tottenham Hotspur 20 5 5 10 20 25 -5 20
17 Middlesbrough 20 5 5 10 17 29 -12 20
18 Stoke City 20 5 5 10 18 33 -15 20
19 Blackburn Rovers 20 4 6 10 22 36 -14 18

Another managerial change

The January transfer window did see the surprising acquisition of Kevin Nolan after the midfielder had grown tired of some criticism over his performances at Bolton Wanderers. However, there were another two notable departures. Goalkeeper Given ended his 12-year association with the club, signing for ambitious Manchester City whilst midfielder Charles N’Zogbia elected to move on to Wigan Athletic. The Frenchman was furious when Kinnear got tongue-tied during a TV interview after a 2-1 defeat at Manchester City, when he called him “Insomnia!” N’Zogbia gladly moved on with Ryan Taylor moving in part-exchange to Tyneside.

On the morning of 7th February, Kinnear’s reign at Newcastle would end. He was taken ill on the eve of Newcastle’s trip to relegation rivals West Bromwich Albion. He would require a triple heart bypass and would have to stand down. So once again, Chris Hughton took over in a caretaker capacity with former Tottenham defender Colin Calderwood arriving on the staff to help the Irishman out.

Newcastle rallied on the day at The Hawthorns, winning a see-saw contest 3-2 to keep the Baggies bottom of the table. However, it would be the only victory Hughton and Calderwood managed as a managerial combination.

The next home game against Everton saw Nolan sent off for a horrendous tackle on Victor Anichebe. There was no malice in the challenge but it was terribly mistimed and it would leave the Nigerian sidelined for months with bad knee ligament damage. That match finished goalless. A month later, Arsenal’s 3-1 victory on Tyneside saw Newcastle drop back into the bottom three. It called for desperate measures from an under-pressure Ashley who reached out for the Toon Army’s greatest-ever goalscorer.

No miracle with Shearer in-charge

With eight games left, Alan Shearer was persuaded to vacate his regular role as a BBC pundit to help out his boyhood club. The mission was to try and keep Newcastle in the Premier League. He brought in former Crystal Palace and Charlton Athletic boss Iain Dowie as his assistant manager. However, the Shearer effect would have no change on Newcastle’s fortunes.

He managed just one victory which was a 3-1 home success over Middlesbrough and that did briefly lift the Magpies out of the relegation zone on goal difference. However, on the penultimate weekend of the campaign, they slipped back into the bottom three after a home defeat to Fulham whilst Hull City claimed a priceless point away at Bolton.

On the final day, Newcastle needed to better Hull’s result. The Magpies travelled to Villa Park, hoping Hull would slip up against Manchester United. They received a helping hand from Sir Alex Ferguson’s side as they defeated the Tigers 1-0. However, Damien Duff deflected Gareth Barry’s wayward shot into his own net approximately 10 minutes before half-time to give Aston Villa a 1-0 lead. Youngster David Edgar was sent off in the closing stages and Newcastle never looked like equalising. On the final whistle, their players sank to their knees while Shearer looked motionless on the touchline. As Martin Tyler said when Newcastle’s relegation was confirmed: “From undermining Kevin Keegan to overtaxing Alan Shearer, it has been disastrous.”

In the days afterwards, Mike Ashley tried to sell the club for a second time but couldn’t find a buyer. Shearer’s contract as manager wasn’t renewed and Chris Hughton succeeded him as permanent boss and big-money players like Geremi, Owen and Duff all left in the summer.

It was a season of strife, frustration and desolation for Newcastle United supporters – one remembered for all the wrong reasons.

FINAL 2008-2009 TABLE – THE BOTTOM SIX

POS TABLE P W D L F A GD PTS
15 Blackburn Rovers 38 10 11 17 40 60 -20 41
16 Sunderland 38 9 9 20 34 54 -20 36
17 Hull City 38 8 11 19 39 64 -25 35
18 NEWCASTLE UNITED 38 7 13 18 40 59 -19 34
19 Middlesbrough 38 7 11 20 28 57 -29 32
20 West Bromwich Albion 38 8 8 22 36 67 -31 32