Tag Archives: Sunderland

Premier League Files: Andy Reid

Premier League Career: Tottenham Hotspur (2005-2006), Charlton Athletic (2006-2007), Sunderland (2008-2011), Blackpool (2011)

Turning professional in August 1999, Republic of Ireland international Andy Reid would start and finish his career in the same place – the second-tier of English football with Nottingham Forest. In-between that, he had spells with four Premier League clubs but never quite managed to scale the heights he achieved at Forest.

Reid started making a name for himself at a couple of Irish youth clubs – Lourdes Celtic and Cherry Orchard. There were a number of clubs queuing up to get his signature but ultimately, he chose Nottingham Forest over the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United. His breakthrough season came in 2003-2004. Despite missing a fair portion of the campaign due to injury, Reid finished as the club’s top scorer with 13 goals and was named in the PFA Division One Team of the Year. It was at this time he decided a new challenge was required.

On the eve of the 2004-2005 campaign, he handed in a transfer request but ultimately stayed until January 2005, moving on deadline day to Tottenham Hotspur alongside his teammate Michael Dawson. A combined fee of £8 million was paid to Forest by Spurs. However, his dream move quickly turned sour.

After his debut performance for Tottenham in a win over Portsmouth, manager Martin Jol was quoted as saying; “Andy Reid also did well on his debut, and you worry a bit how new players will cope with the Premiership.” You got the sense the manager was never certain of Reid’s qualities and neither were the Tottenham supporters.

He scored once for Tottenham in a 5-1 demolition of Aston Villa in May 2005 but he never hit the heights of his time at Forest and was derided as a flop by many journalists analysing the dealings in the January transfer market of that season. In August 2006, he moved to Charlton Athletic for £3 million. Once again, Reid experienced turmoil with three managers that season and Charlton were ultimately relegated from the top-flight.

Back in the Championship, Reid sparkled even when Charlton didn’t. Three years after his January deadline day move to Tottenham, Andy was moving again on the final day of the window – this time to Sunderland in a £5 million transfer. He was signed by fellow Irishman Roy Keane and the early signs were encouraging. Reid set-up a goal on his debut and scored a late winner against West Ham United at the end of March. However, his performances quickly went back to games where he was glorious and other matches where he barely existed on the pitch. By now, injuries were also taking their toll on a player who won 29 international caps for his country, scoring four goals.

His Sunderland career petered out in 2010 and after a three-month loan spell at Sheffield United; he signed for battling Blackpool in January 2011. It was his fourth Premier League club and once again, it ended in disappointment. Reid only made five appearances and the Tangerines’ lost their battle to stay in the top-flight. He returned to Nottingham Forest to finish his playing career. Although he was named Forest’s Player of the Year in 2014, Andy could not keep clear of the treatment table. Eventually, these setbacks caught up with him and he retired from the game in July 2016.

Andy Reid never quite settled away from Nottingham Forest and once a spate of injuries take their course, it is difficult to rediscover early heights. One thing you did get from him – he loved a January transfer.

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Memorable Matches: Newcastle United 1-2 Sunderland (August 1999)

Goalscorers: Kieron Dyer 28, Niall Quinn 64, Kevin Phillips 75

Teams:

Newcastle United: Tommy Wright, Nikos Dabizas, Didier Domi, Alain Goma, Warren Barton, Jamie McClen, Gary Speed, Kieron Dyer, Nolberto Solano, Paul Robinson (Duncan Ferguson 57), Silvio Maric (Alan Shearer 72)

Sunderland: Thomas Sorensen, Michael Gray, Steve Bould, Paul Butler, Chris Makin, Alex Rae, Stefan Schwarz (Kevin Ball 69), Gavin McCann, Nicky Summerbee, Niall Quinn, Kevin Phillips

Referee: Graham Poll, Attendance: 36,420

The Tyne & Wear derby has always been a passionate battle for supremacy and in August 1999, Newcastle United boss Ruud Gullit was under tremendous pressure. His side had made a terrible start to the season, conceding 11 goals in four matches and collecting just one point; a 3-3 draw with Wimbledon days earlier. His next move would ultimately seal his fate.

Captain Alan Shearer had been suspended for the Wimbledon match following a controversial red card on the opening day of the season at home to Aston Villa. He was expected to lead the line for this massive confrontation. However, Gullit incredibly took the decision to bench his skipper along with his strike partner Duncan Ferguson. In came rookie Paul Robinson and the untried Silvio Maric. It was a baffling decision amidst reports of a power struggle for supremacy at the club between the manager and his skipper.

Shearer could only watch on during a match that was played at a high-tempo despite the filthy weather conditions. Newcastle started well and took the lead in the 27th minute. Robinson did a good job in difficult circumstances and he created the opening goal for Kieron Dyer. Dyer, a summer signing from Ipswich Town was played in by Robinson and he chipped the ball over Thomas Sorensen as the Dane came out to block down the angle. It was his first Newcastle goal and good enough to ensure the home side went into the half-time interval 1-0 ahead.

It was the fourth time in a row that Newcastle had led a match this season and on all three previous occasions, they’d thrown away that position. The crowd must have feared the worst then when Sunderland equalised midway through the second half. The towering presence of Niall Quinn was too much for Newcastle’s defenders. His header flew into the back of the net from Nicky Summerbee’s free-kick delivery.

By now, Shearer had been thrown on by Gullit as he finally withdrew Maric who looked completely overawed by the occasion. Less than two minutes after the change, Sunderland were ahead through a wonderful moment provided by Quinn’s strike partner, Kevin Phillips. Back-up goalkeeper Tommy Wright came out from his goal to smother Phillips’ first attempt at goal. The ball returned to Phillips and he produced a swerving lob from an improbable angle that beat Wright all ends up and ended in the top corner.

Although Kevin Ball almost spared the Magpies’ blushes with a spectacular own goal in the final moments, Newcastle general response after going behind was lacklustre. Sunderland had the bragging rights and Gullit was out of a job. He resigned two days later. Sir Bobby Robson was his successor and guided the club to a safe mid-table finish, whilst getting Shearer back in the goals.

This was Sunderland’s night. It was the evening where Ruud Gullit gambled and lost big time.

Iconic Moments: Big Sam does it again (May 2016)

When Dick Advocaat decided to walk out on Sunderland in the early days of October 2015, things look grim again for the Black Cats. With yet another relegation scrap on the horizon, they turned to survival specialist Sam Allardyce to fill the managerial vacancy.

Initially, there wasn’t much of a bounce despite another Tyne & Wear derby victory over Newcastle United and Sunderland went into 2016 seven points adrift of safety. By early April, performances had steadily improved but results still weren’t coming. The Wearsiders’ still looked odds-on to be relegated.

They then beat relegation rivals Norwich City 3-0 at Carrow Road in mid-April, which turned out to be a decisive moment. It meant Allardyce now had managed to wrestle control in the battle to stay alive in the top-flight. It was a time when both Sunderland and Newcastle United were collecting points at a regular rate. It was still all to play for going into the final month of the season.

Sunderland had two games at home against Chelsea and Everton. Maximum points would be enough to see them beat relegation again for a fourth successive season where their long-term future looked risky. Jermain Defoe scored a crucial winner at home to Chelsea as Sunderland won 3-2. Newcastle’s failure to beat already relegated Aston Villa ensured a victory in the midweek fixture against Everton would secure safety.

What a time then for Lamine Kone to come up with his first two Sunderland goals. Patrick van Aanholt’s free-kick completed the scoring. Everton were very poor and the 3-0 final scoreline didn’t flatter Sunderland. This latest Everton performance cost Roberto Martinez his job a day later. For Sunderland, it kept them safe and this escape would earn Big Sam briefly at least the call to manage his country.

He had done it again and still has never been relegated from the top-flight with any club.

Premier League Rewind: 11th May 2002

Results: Arsenal 4-3 Everton, Blackburn Rovers 3-0 Fulham, Chelsea 1-3 Aston Villa, Leeds United 1-0 Middlesbrough, Leicester City 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool FC 5-0 Ipswich Town, Manchester United 0-0 Charlton Athletic, Southampton 3-1 Newcastle United, Sunderland 1-1 Derby County, West Ham United 2-1 Bolton Wanderers

Although the destiny of the championship had been settled a few days earlier, there was still some issues to address on the final day of the 2001-2002 season. The main factor at stake was the final relegation spot. Who would be joining Derby County and Leicester City on a one-way ticket to the First Division?

The favourites to join them in the second-tier were Ipswich Town. George Burley’s side had finished fifth the previous campaign but apart from a brief revival early in 2002, they had failed to find the form that took them so close to UEFA Champions League qualification in 2000-2001. They went to Anfield and had to win to stand any chance of survival.

Liverpool FC were in no mood to be easy either. Midweek results meant a victory here would guarantee their best-ever finishing position in the Premier League of runners-up. They had beaten Ipswich 6-0 at Portman Road in February and another thrashing was on the cards when John Arne Riise fired Liverpool into an 11th minute lead. Ipswich did hit the bar and the Reds’ lost Steven Gerrard to a groin injury which would destroy his World Cup hopes. However, as soon as Riise doubled his tally just before the half-hour mark, the Tractor Boys’ fate was sealed. A mistake from Titus Bramble allowed Michael Owen to score a third seconds into the restart and further goals from substitute Vladimir Smicer and Nicolas Anelka put the seal on the 5-0 final scoreline. Ipswich went down and Liverpool FC had beaten Manchester United in a final league standings table for the first time since 1990.

Ipswich’s nightmare on Merseyside meant Sunderland would survive, regardless of their result at home to Derby County. Kevin Phillips scored the opening goal and although Derby equalised, these sides would be playing in different divisions in 2002-2003. It was a worrying drop for Peter Reid’s side though – a fall of 10 positions on their previous two seasons.

It was a day of parties and celebration at Highbury. Arsenal’s midweek magic at Old Trafford had meant they’d won the double for the second time in four years. Thierry Henry scored twice in an entertaining 4-3 final day victory over Everton to pip Alan Shearer and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink to the Golden Boot award. It was the first of four occasions that the Frenchman would come out on top in this race. At the end of the match, Tony Adams lifted aloft the Barclaycard Premiership title which confirmed Arsenal were back at the summit of English football. Adams and Lee Dixon would announce their retirements from professional football shortly after the celebrations had concluded.

Another player saying farewell was Matt Le Tissier. ‘Saint Le Tiss’ had struggled with injuries for the past couple of seasons and had already played his last game for the club. However, he received a guard of honour and presentations on-field before Southampton’s final match of the season which was a 3-1 victory over Newcastle United.

At Old Trafford, there were no trophies to lift at the end of an unsuccessful season but David Beckham did sign a new contract on the eve of a sterile goalless draw between the former champions and Charlton Athletic. Beckham would only feature in one more Premier League season before joining Real Madrid in the summer of 2003.

After 111 years, Leicester City played their final match at Filbert Street before moving to the Walkers’ Stadium (later known as the King Power Stadium). They ended on a high – beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-1. The ground was demolished a year later. Elsewhere, Leeds United overtook Chelsea on the final day to finish fifth after beating Middlesbrough 1-0. David O’Leary was sacked though in June and Blackburn’s 3-0 triumph against Fulham ensured a top-10 finish on their return to the top-flight.

What else happened in May 2002?

  • Tragedy hits the rail industry with the fatal accident at Potters Bar railway station. A points’ failure was to blame, leaving seven dead and 76 injured.
  • After 21 years, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s award-winning musical “Cats” appears for the last time of its original run at London’s West End. It is revived in 2014.
  • Star Wars Episode II – Attack of the Clones debuts at cinemas.
  • Latvia wins the 2002 Eurovision Song Contest, held in Tallinn, Estonia.
  • African newcomers Senegal stun holders France to win 1-0 in the opening match of the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
  • After 26 years of occupation by Indonesia, East Timor regains its independence.
  • McLaren’s David Coulthard wins the Monaco Grand Prix for the second time in his career. It is the last time a team other than Ferrari will win a Formula One event for 10 months.

Memorable Matches: Newcastle United 3-2 Sunderland (October 2005)

Goalscorers: Shola Ameobi 34, 37, Liam Lawrence 35, Stephen Elliott 41, Emre 63

Teams:

Newcastle United: Shay Given, Peter Ramage, Jean-Alain Boumsong, Steven Taylor, Stephen Carr, Emre (Amdy Faye 81), Scott Parker, Charles N’Zogbia, Nolberto Solano (Lee Clark 80), Shola Ameobi (Michael Chopra 79), Alan Shearer

Sunderland: Kelvin Davis, Justin Hoyte, Steven Caldwell, Gary Breen (Alan Stubbs 42), Nyron Nosworthy, John Welsh (Julio Arca 45), Dean Whitehead, Liam Miller, Liam Lawrence, Stephen Elliott, Andy Gray (Anthony Le Tallec 79)

Referee: Rob Styles, Attendance: 52,302

In October 2005, both Newcastle United and Sunderland were struggling in the lower reaches of the Premier League. Sunderland had just one victory to their name all season, which had come in their last away match ironically at fellow north east rivals Middlesbrough. Newcastle didn’t even score a goal in their first four matches of the campaign and only Manchester City had left Tyneside pointless so far. This was a massive match for both where more than just local pride was at stake.

Graeme Souness was the Newcastle manager at the time and he was missing his summer arrival Michael Owen who was injured. Shola Ameobi was therefore recalled to the starting XI to partner Alan Shearer. He was a menace all afternoon and showed Geordie supporters that there was more to the team than just Shearer & Owen. Newcastle were the better side before taking the lead in the 34th minute. Ameobi connected with Emre’s inch-perfect corner and his header beat Kelvin Davis. It would trigger an incredible spell of four goals in just seven minutes.

Considering how low on confidence Sunderland must have been with just five points registered from nine matches, they didn’t show it. Liam Lawrence equalised almost straightaway with a precise drive that left Shay Given helpless. Sunderland were showing character. Unfortunately, their defending was not upto to scratch. Ameobi lost his marker again to nod in Charles N’Zogbia’s hooked cross just three minutes later. Ameobi always seemed to save his best football for derby days against the Black Cats.

Moments later, parity was restored once again. Stephen Elliott curled an absolute beauty into the net from 25-yards out. It silenced the St James’ Park faithful. Despite having bossed possession and having the better of the chances, Newcastle were not leading at half-time. They weren’t ahead at the interval but they would be by the full-time whistle. The excellent and energetic Emre crashed in a free-kick from distance that bounced off Davis’ left-hand post and into the net. The excitable Turkish midfielder then ran to the touchline to leap into Souness’ arms. This was a moment he would never forget.

Sunderland kept pressing as they looked to equalise for a third time in this see-saw battle. Elliott managed to lob Given when played in by Anthony Le Tallec but this time, the crossbar intervened. The Irish goalkeeper then managed to parry another effort from Elliott around the post.

Afterwards, Sunderland manager Mick McCarthy said: “I think we could have done better than to concede from corner kicks but my players are giving me, the club and the supporters’ value for money.”

Sunderland would win only two more matches all season and went down with just 15 points. Newcastle sacked Souness in February 2006 but rallied to finish seventh in Shearer’s final season as a professional footballer.

Iconic Moments: Saints thrash Black Cats (October 2014)

Sunderland arrived on the south coast in October 2014 boosted from their first Premier League win of the season a fortnight earlier at home to Stoke City. What happened next went down as one of their worst days in Premier League history. They left humiliated, shell-shocked and embarrassed as Southampton routed the Black Cats 8-0.

The writing was on the wall from an early stage. Saints took the lead through a nightmare for Santiago Vergini. The hapless full-back managed to smash the ball into his own net from 20-yards out. The reaction from his fellow defenders afterwards spoke volumes.

Sunderland were 3-0 down by the interval as the home side’s attackers had a field day. Graziano Pelle scored twice, there were two further own goals and midfielders Dusan Tadic, Jack Cork and Victor Wanyama all managed to get on the scoresheet too. Southampton had 11 shots on target in the game and eight of them found the back of the net.

It was Sunderland’s biggest defeat in 32 years. Manager Gus Poyet was understandably fuming afterwards, admitting: “It is the most embarrassing game I have ever been involved in.”

Things didn’t improve much at the Stadium of Light as the season progressed. Poyet was axed in March after a 4-0 loss at home to Aston Villa and Dick Advocaat somehow managed to galvanize the players to beat the Premier League drop again.

However, some of the Sunderland players who featured on this day have had to deal with being on the end of one of the Premier League’s most one-sided games in the last quarter of a century.

Great Goals: Eric Cantona – MANCHESTER UNITED vs. Sunderland (December 1996)

The 1996-1997 season would be Eric Cantona’s final campaign as a professional footballer. The Manchester United skipper was a genius on-the-pitch and against Sunderland, he showed why he had so many adoring fans.

United were already cruising to victory against the newly-promoted Black Cats when the Frenchman produced another sublime piece of quality. Receiving possession from just inside the halfway line, Cantona beats two defenders and sets off towards the Sunderland goal. He exchanges passes with Brian McClair before receiving possession back and going for the cheeky finish.

Spotting Lionel Perez off his line, the talismanic forward chips the ball over Perez and into the net off the post. He then just stands in an iconic celebration to take in the acclaim of the crowd of Old Trafford who received a pre-xmas gift of class and coolness.

Manchester United won the game 5-0 and whilst they won their fourth Premier League title in five seasons, Sunderland were relegated on the final day.

Shock Results: Chelsea 0-3 Sunderland (November 2010)

Goalscorers: Nedum Onuoha 45, Asamoah Gyan 52, Danny Welbeck 87

Teams:

Chelsea: Petr Cech, Branislav Ivanovic, Ashley Cole, Jose Boswinga, Paulo Ferreira, Ramires (Josh McEachran 69), John Obi Mikel, Florent Malouda (Salomon Kalou 58), Yuri Zhirkov (Gael Kakuta 75), Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka

Sunderland: Craig Gordon, Phil Bardsley, Michael Turner, Kieran Richardson, Nedum Onuoha, Titus Bramble, Lee Cattermole (Cristian Riveros 90), Jordan Henderson, Bolo Zenden, Danny Welbeck (Ahmed Elmohamady 90), Asamoah Gyan (Steed Malbranque 83)

Referee: Chris Foy, Attendance: 41,072

Beginning the game two points clear of Arsenal who had won an earlier kick-off at Goodison Park, Chelsea were expected to increase their lead again against a Sunderland side that just two weeks earlier, had caved in 5-1 in the Tyne & Wear Derby against Newcastle United.

The build-up to the match though was dominated by the mysterious decision by the champions to sack their assistant manager Ray Wilkins. The post-match headlines wrote themselves. The league leaders were outplayed by a brilliant Black Cats’ display. This result remains one of Steve Bruce’s greatest successes in football management.

Chelsea might have been missing John Terry to a back injury and Frank Lampard too but their makeshift central-defence partnership of Paulo Ferreira and Branislav Ivanovic couldn’t cope with the power of Asamoah Gyan and movement of on-loan striker Danny Welbeck.

Just before half-time, Sunderland took a deserved lead with an unbelievable solo goal from an unlikely source. Ivanovic, already lucky to stay on after fouling Welbeck when he was in on goal cleared the ball out to Nedum Onuoha. There didn’t look to be too much on, so the defender went on a mazy run, holding off the attentions of three defenders, before angling his shot past Petr Cech to the crowd’s astonishment. It was the first goal Chelsea had conceded at Stamford Bridge in this Premier League season.

1-0 became 2-0 shortly after the restart. Another free-flowing move involving Welbeck and Jordan Henderson ended with summer signing Gyan being played in to prod home a second goal. The home crowd were shell-shocked and this kind of performance was a sign of things to come for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

In the closing stages, Ashley Cole’s wayward backpass was intercepted by the excellent Welbeck and he finished the match off in the grand manner. It was Sunderland’s first win in a decade over Chelsea and took Bruce’s team into the top six. This defeat started a dreadful run of one win in nine matches that finished off Chelsea’s title defence and ultimately cost Ancelotti his job at the season’s conclusion.

Sunderland faded to 10th but their travelling supporters will never forget this day where they outclassed the reigning champions on their own patch.