Tag Archives: Wigan Athletic

The Clubs: Wigan Athletic

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
304 85 76 143 316 482 -166 331 8

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Emmerson Boyce 194
Maynor Figueroa 179
Paul Scharner 159
Chris Kirkland 131
James McCarthy 115
Hugo Rodallega 111
Ali Al-Habsi 101
Gary Caldwell 101
Mario Melchiot 97
Titus Bramble 96

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Hugo Rodallega 24
Henri Camara 20
Emile Heskey 16
Charles N’Zogbia 15
Paul Scharner 14
Franco Di Santo 13
Emmerson Boyce 11
Arouna Kone 11
Jordi Gomez 10
Lee McCulloch 10

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Hull City 0-5 Wigan Athletic 30th August 2008 2008-2009
Wigan Athletic 4-0 Manchester City 21st October 2006 2006-2007
Wigan Athletic 4-0 Newcastle United 28th April 2012 2011-2012
Wigan Athletic 3-0 Charlton Athletic 17th December 2005 2005-2006
Wigan Athletic 3-0 Sunderland 18th August 2007 2007-2008
Wigan Athletic 3-0 Blackburn Rovers 13th December 2008 2008-2009
Aston Villa 0-3 Wigan Athletic 29th December 2012 2012-2013
Reading 0-3 Wigan Athletic 23rd February 2013 2012-2013
Wigan Athletic 5-3 Blackburn Rovers 15th December 2007 2007-2008
Wigan Athletic 3-1 Chelsea 26th September 2009 2009-2010

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Tottenham Hotspur 9-1 Wigan Athletic 22nd November 2009 2009-2010
Chelsea 8-0 Wigan Athletic 9th May 2010 2009-2010
Wigan Athletic 0-6 Chelsea 21st August 2010 2010-2011
Wigan Athletic 0-5 Manchester United 22nd August 2009 2009-2010
Manchester United 5-0 Wigan Athletic 30th December 2009 2009-2010
Manchester United 5-0 Wigan Athletic 26th December 2011 2011-2012
Manchester United 4-0 Wigan Athletic 14th December 2005 2005-2006
Wigan Athletic 0-4 Liverpool FC 2nd December 2006 2006-2007
Chelsea 4-0 Wigan Athletic 13th January 2007 2006-2007
Manchester United 4-0 Wigan Athletic 6th October 2007 2007-2008

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Paul Jewell 2 14th May 2007
Chris Hutchings 1 5th November 2007
Steve Bruce 2 30th June 2009
Roberto Martinez 4 28th May 2013

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Wigan Athletic 0-2 Manchester United 11th May 2008 25,133 2007-2008
Wigan Athletic 0-1 Liverpool FC 11th February 2006 25,023 2005-2006
Wigan Athletic 4-3 Manchester City 26th December 2005 25,017 2005-2006
Wigan Athletic 2-3 Arsenal 19th November 2005 25,004 2005-2006
Wigan Athletic 0-3 West Ham United 28th April 2007 24,726 2006-2007
Wigan Athletic 0-1 Liverpool FC 29th September 2007 24,311 2007-2008
Wigan Athletic 0-1 Chelsea 14th August 2005 23,575 2005-2006
Wigan Athletic 1-2 Manchester United 6th March 2006 23,574 2005-2006
Wigan Athletic 2-2 Aston Villa 19th May 2013 23,001 2012-2013
Wigan Athletic 1-4 Arsenal 11th April 2009 22,954 2008-2009

 

Intro

Wigan Athletic’s journey in the Premier League was exciting and enjoyable for their supporters. Their maiden campaign saw them as high as second in November 2005 before finishing 10th which turned out to be their highest top-flight finish. The Latics had a knack of pulling off heroic escapes and dramatic turnarounds in the Spring period having looked cast adrift at winter time. Their luck eventually ran out in 2013 but not before the supporters could enjoy a shock FA Cup final victory over Manchester City.

 

2005-2006

It was Paul Jewell who took Wigan Athletic into the Premier League and he masterminded a memorable debut campaign for them in the top-flight. After losing cruelly 1-0 on the opening weekend to reigning champions Chelsea, Wigan went on a marvellous run of eight wins in nine matches to take them into second spot in mid-November. Their form did eventually take a dip but Wigan remained in the top half all season, finishing a brilliant 10th with the likes of Henri Camara, Jimmy Bullard and Pascal Chimbonda impressing greatly.

 

2006-2007

With Chimbonda moving to Tottenham Hotspur and Bullard going to Fulham, it was always going to be a tougher second season in the Premier League for Wigan Athletic and so it proved. There were impressive performances from left-back Leighton Baines and summer signing Emile Heskey, who scored nine league goals but apart from a four-game winning sequence in late October and early November, Wigan’s form was iffy all season.

Going into the final day, they had to win at Bramwall Lane against Sheffield United or face up to relegation. Paul Scharner put the visitors infront and although Jon Stead equalised for Sheffield United, a penalty from January arrival David Unsworth (who had started the season as a Sheffield United player!) was decisive. Wigan’s 2-1 victory kept them up and sent Neil Warnock’s Blades down. Manager Paul Jewell resigned as manager 24 hours after their survival was confirmed.

 

2007-2008

Wigan owner Dave Whelan gave the manager’s job to Chris Hutchings, who had been Jewell’s no.2. He did start with two wins in his first three matches but that was as good as it got for Hutchings. Nine games without a win saw him fired after a home defeat in early November by Chelsea. Whelan began his pursuit of the Birmingham City boss Steve Bruce and was successful, bringing Bruce in towards the end of November.

His first win was a thrilling 5-3 success over Blackburn Rovers where Marcus Bent scored a hat-trick. Bent finished as top scorer despite only being on-loan for the season from relegated Charlton Athletic. Meanwhile, Paul Scharner’s excellence saw him voted as the club’s Player of the Year. Wigan ended up finishing 14th with safety secured by a fine 2-0 away win at Aston Villa on the penultimate weekend of the season.

 

2008-2009

It was a much more comfortable campaign for Wigan Athletic supporters who finished in mid-table in 11th place. Amr Zaki made a blistering start and although his star would fade, he finished as the club’s top goalscorer with 10, which included a blistering bicycle kick in defeat at Anfield. Wigan did reach as high as seventh after defeating Hull City 1-0 in March but a run of six defeats in seven ultimately saw them drop outside of the top 10 by the season’s end.

 

2009-2010

Steve Bruce left Wigan in the summer to take over at Sunderland and he was replaced by former Latics player Roberto Martinez, who had been managing at Swansea City. Martinez began with a brilliant away day victory at Villa Park, whilst there were enjoyable home wins over eventual champions Chelsea and Arsenal.

Maynor Figueroa’s long-range strike from the halfway line away at Stoke in December was voted Goal of the Season and Wigan avoided relegation, finishing in 16th and six points clear of the drop. However, they conceded 79 goals which was the most of any of the sides that survived, not helped by a 9-1 humiliation at Tottenham and an 8-0 loss on the final day at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea.

 

2010-2011

Wigan’s 2010-2011 season began with two heavy home defeats against newly-promoted Blackpool and Chelsea, shipping 10 goals in the process. There was a 1-0 triumph in their next fixture away at Tottenham Hotspur but their form was not good for much of the season and in early April, they were bottom of the division and looking like favourites for relegation. However, they won 3-1 at Blackpool, picked up priceless points against Everton and Aston Villa and pulled off two victories in the last two weeks at home to West Ham United and away at Stoke City to secure survival on the final day of the season.

 

2011-2012

Wigan’s joint-top scorer from the previous season, Charles N’Zogbia was sold to Aston Villa in the summer and it showed. Eight successive defeats in the season’s early weeks had Martinez’s men bottom of the table and set for a long winter. In fact, they remained in the bottom three for much of the campaign and the omens didn’t look good after a 1-1 home draw against West Bromwich Albion in March.

Then, their annual Spring escape began with a 2-1 away win at Anfield and Wigan would win seven of their last nine matches. This included a surprise win at The Emirates, a 4-0 demolition of Champions League qualifying contenders Newcastle United and a 1-0 victory at home to Manchester United. Antolin Alcaraz’s late header at Blackburn in the final week of the campaign secured another top-flight season for the Latics and they finished 15th.

 

2012-2013

Despite interest from Liverpool FC, Roberto Martinez stayed on at Wigan Athletic for what turned out to be another rollercoaster season for the club. As expected, Wigan spent much of the campaign at the wrong end of the table, although they did win away at Tottenham and beat Reading 3-2 where Jordi Gomez scored a hat-trick.

There were signs of another escape from the drop after back-to-back victories in March over Newcastle United and Norwich City but it never quite materialised this time around. A costly 3-2 home defeat to Swansea and a 4-1 defeat away at Arsenal ultimately saw Wigan’s Premier League adventure come to a sad end.

However, the supporters will always remember the FA Cup journey. Wigan blitzed Everton 3-0 in the quarter-finals and beat Millwall in the semis to reach the final at Wembley. No-one gave them a chance against big-spending Manchester City but the Lancastrians had other ideas. They frustrated City and in stoppage-time, Ben Watson popped up to score the winner from a corner to ensure a new name on the famous trophy.

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Premier League Files: Maynor Figueroa

Premier League Career: Wigan Athletic (2008-2013), Hull City (2013-2015)

Four years have passed since Maynor Figueroa’s last Premier League appearance but he has continued his career in the United States. The current captain of the Honduras international team is getting ready for another campaign in the MLS, now with Houston Dynamo. In his Premier League time, he made 179 appearances, mainly at Wigan Athletic alongside a two-season stay at Hull City after the Latics relegation from the top-flight in 2013.

Figueroa started his career with Club Deportivo Victoria before moving to Club Deportivo Olimpia in 2003. He became club captain and made exactly 100 league appearances for them. In January 2008 and after interest from several clubs in the United States and Mexico, Figueroa moved to Wigan Athletic, initially on-loan before joining permanently in December 2008. He immediately endeared himself to the Wigan supporters and scored his first-ever Premier League goal in January 2009 with a flying late header to beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 at The JJB Stadium.

Figueroa’s greatest Premier League moment was undoubtedly in December 2009. From a long-distance free-kick at Stoke’s Britannia Stadium, Figueroa spotted Thomas Sorensen off his goal-line and struck the ball towards the goal from inside his own half. He hit it absolutely perfectly and the ball flew over a red-faced Sorensen and into the net. It was simply stunning and a very deserving winner of the Match of the Day Goal of the Season for the 2009-2010 campaign.

At the end of that season, Maynor was part of the Honduras team that went to the World Cup finals in South Africa. They enjoyed their experience, even though it ended with the side failing to score in their three group matches and being eliminated before the knockout rounds. Figueroa would also be a senior figure at Honduras’ 2014 adventure in Brazil and took part in three CONCACAF Gold Cups. Figueroa has the honour too of being part of the Honduras men’s squad that took part in the football competition at the 2012 Olympic Games in London as one of the three over-23 Honduran players that were allowed by the regulations. As of March 2019, Figueroa is one cap shy of the magical 150-cap mark for Honduras having made his debut for his country in 2003. He has five goals to his name.

The 2010-2011 Premier League season was a trickier campaign for Figueroa but he still came up with two critical moments. In March 2011, he scored a stoppage-time winner against fellow strugglers Birmingham City. It was a crucial goal as Wigan ultimately survived and Birmingham were relegated. On the final day of the season, Wigan still needed a win to guarantee Premier League safety and again at Stoke, Figueroa did the damage. It was his surging run on the left-hand side and beautiful cross into the penalty area that allowed Hugo Rodallega to score the only goal of the game with 12 minutes left to play.

Figueroa continued to shine for the Latics and has an FA Cup winner’s medal in his collection from their shock victory in the 2013 final against Manchester City. Unfortunately, injured denied him a place in the final itself. Days later, a 4-1 defeat at Arsenal saw Wigan’s exciting and eventful Premier League journey come to an end after eight successive seasons. With his contract expiring, Figueroa left the club that summer.

He joined newly-promoted Hull City, who were managed by Steve Bruce, the man who brought Figueroa to this country during his days as Wigan boss. He played 32 times in the Premier League as the Tigers finished 16th to achieve Premier League safety and for the second successive season, was part of a squad that reached the FA Cup final.

Having been injured in 2013, Figueroa was in the matchday squad in 2014 but an unused substitute in Arsenal’s 3-2 victory over Hull. Bruce decided to change his formation to a 3-5-2 setup and therefore, preferred a third centre-back, his son Alex to play instead of Figueroa. He probably didn’t know it at the time but it was the beginning of the end of his time at Hull.

He returned to Wigan on-loan in October 2014 before being recalled two months later by Bruce. Hull were relegated and with just three league appearances made all season, it wasn’t a great surprise to see the Honduran released at the end of the season. He joined Colorado Rapids in August 2015 and has since gone on to play for FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo, joining the latter in January 2019.

Memorable Matches: Arsenal 4-2 Wigan Athletic (May 2006)

Goalscorers: Robert Pires 8, Paul Scharner 10, David Thompson 33, Thierry Henry 35, 56, 76 PEN

Teams:

Arsenal: Jens Lehmann, Ashley Cole, Emmanuel Eboue, Sol Campbell, Kolo Toure, Gilberto Silva, Cesc Fabregas, Aleksandar Hleb (Robin van Persie 79), Robert Pires (Freddie Ljungberg 74), Jose Antonio Reyes (Dennis Bergkamp 79), Thierry Henry

Wigan Athletic: Mike Pollitt, Leighton Baines, Pascal Chimbonda, Mat Jackson, Paul Scharner, Reto Ziegler (Damien Francis 66), Graham Kavanagh, David Thompson (Andreas Johansson 73 (SENT OFF), Lee McCulloch, Henri Camara (David Connolly 82), Jason Roberts

Referee: Uriah Rennie, Attendance: 38,359

After 93 years, football was about to say goodbye to Highbury as Arsenal prepared to play there for the very last time on the final day of the 2005-2006 season. The Gunners had to better the result of north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur to claim fourth position in the final table and a chance to qualify for the following season’s UEFA Champions League.

Wigan Athletic had nothing to play for as they arrived to complete their first top-flight campaign but they played their part in an entertaining final farewell to Highbury. Before the match, Thierry Henry collected some of his individual prizes, including the Golden Boot and the Football Writers’ Award. There was one more day for the Frenchman to produce another grand performance at the ground.

Arsenal led after just eight minutes. Wigan failed to deal with a corner and from Sol Campbell’s flick-on – Robert Pires scored at the second attempt, having been denied first time round by an instinctive save from Mike Pollitt. It was Pires’ last Premier League goal for the club. He was to be released at the end of the season.

Two minutes later though, the visitors were level. David Thompson’s well-measured free-kick was steered in by centre-back Paul Scharner. Scharner had scored his first Wigan goal earlier in the season in a League Cup semi-final between the teams so he was finding a real liking for playing the Gunners. 12 minutes before half-time, Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann left a gaping hole at a free-kick and Thompson exposed this flaw with a clever set-piece that ended up in the back of Lehmann’s net. Paul Jewell’s Latics were threatening to be the party poopers.

Their lead lasted just two minutes. Aleksandar Hleb won back possession and played Henry through to equalise for his 135th Highbury goal. It was 2-2 at half-time and with Tottenham’s game also level at 1-1 against West Ham United, it was Martin Jol’s side that were on-course to finish fourth.

Into the second half and on 56 minutes, Thompson’s dreadful backpass put Henry through. He evaded Pollitt’s dive, stayed on his feet and put Arsenal 3-2 infront. With 14 minutes left, Arsenal won a penalty. In his first involvement since arriving as a substitute, Freddie Ljungberg went down under a challenge from Andreas Johansson. Uriah Rennie gave the spot-kick and sent the Wigan forward off. Henry made no mistake from the spot, completing his hat-trick, kissing the turf after scoring.

Dennis Bergkamp arrived into the game for his final-ever league match as a professional footballer and on his arrival, cheers went around the ground as Arsenal fans discovered West Ham had taken the lead against Tottenham. The Hammers held on for a 2-1 victory meaning this win was good enough for Arsenal to secure fourth place in the final standings.

There was then a glorious closing ceremony with 90 former players and staff welcomed back for a lap of honour before Arsene Wenger counted down the clock to 00:00:00 with a spectacular fireworks display. Football had finished at Highbury but it had gone out in sensational style.

Seasonal Stories: Wigan Athletic (2005-2006)

An impressive debut

Wigan Athletic made their Premier League debut in 2005-2006 and impressed many throughout. The Latics made a stunning start, reaching the dizzy heights of second position in the table in early November following a nine-game unbeaten run. A run to the League Cup final also added to an exciting season for the supporters. Although results were harder to come by in the second half of the season, a 10th place finish was still considered a remarkable achievement.

Heading for the summit

After promotion to the Premier League, Wigan Athletic initially struggled to attract new players but made some breakthroughs just before the start of the new campaign. Among the new recruits were Henri Camara from Wolverhampton Wanderers for £3 million, Damien Francis for £1 million from Norwich City and the experienced Stephane Henchoz on a free transfer.

Wigan’s first fixture in the top-flight was against champions Chelsea and they played incredibly well. Francis hit the crossbar and the home side deserved something from the game in terms of points. They were cruelly denied by a spectacular strike from Hernan Crespo in stoppage-time. Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho immediately went over to Paul Jewell afterwards to console him, admitting the newly-promoted side didn’t deserve the ultimate final result.

Another narrow defeat followed next time out away at Charlton Athletic but Wigan would then embark on a nine-match unbeaten run, winning eight of those games. Their first victory came at home to Sunderland where Jason Roberts’ 2nd minute spot-kick proved to be the decisive difference. Straight after the international break, the likeable Jimmy Bullard scored a stoppage-time winner away at West Bromwich Albion to ensure Wigan claimed a first-ever Premier League away victory.

They were helped in this sequence of results by a terrific defensive record. By early November, Wigan had only conceded five Premier League goals with Jewell settling on a consistent back four line-up, helped by the experience of Henchoz and the talents of the unheralded Pascal Chimbonda. The right-back had arrived quietly in the summer for just £500,000 from Bastia but he was making a big impact, scoring a stoppage-time winner against Fulham and the opening goal of a 2-0 victory against Portsmouth. Wigan went into the November international break just six points behind reigning champions Chelsea.

TABLE ON 7th November 2005

POS TABLE P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Chelsea 12 10 1 1 28 7 +21 31
2 WIGAN ATHLETIC 11 8 1 2 13 5 +8 25
3 Bolton Wanderers 12 7 2 3 14 11 +3 23
4 Manchester United 11 6 3 2 16 11 +5 21
5 Arsenal 11 6 2 3 16 8 +8 20
6 Tottenham Hotspur 12 5 5 2 13 8 +5 20
A reality check

November and December would bring together a tough run of fixtures for the Latics as the top five clubs in the Premier League awaited them in succession. First up was Arsenal but Wigan gave them a real contest, only losing 3-2 to the Gunners and that was largely to some brilliance from Thierry Henry.

Tottenham Hotspur won the following weekend at The JJB Stadium with Edgar Davids scoring his first goal in English football, before Peter Crouch finally broke his goalscoring duck for Liverpool FC in the Reds’ convincing 3-0 victory.

Chelsea and Manchester United also inflicted defeats on Wigan with the latter strolling to a 4-0 victory but Wigan still were sitting in the top six after this sequence of results.

It was a reality check for the supporters after such a sensational start.

Jason and Henri combining well

Jason Roberts and Henri Camara combined well in-attack for Wigan during the season. The club scored 45 goals in 38 games and 20 of them came from this attacking duo. Senegalese striker Camara enjoyed his best season in the Premier League, scoring 12 times including a hat-trick in a 3-0 victory over Charlton just before Christmas.

After the five-game losing sequence, Wigan bounced back fabulously, stringing together another run of three consecutive victories. The 3-0 triumph over Charlton was followed by a thrilling 4-3 Boxing Day win against Manchester City where Roberts scored twice. Both Roberts and Camara then scored in a fine 2-0 success at Upton Park 48 hours later. Wigan finished 2005 inside the Premier League’s top six.

The January transfer window saw Jewell add to his squad with the arrivals of Austrian utility player Paul Scharner and midfielder David Thompson, whilst Neil Mellor joined on-loan for the rest of the season from Liverpool FC.

Injury restricted Mellor to just three appearances for Wigan but he did score a stoppage-time winner away at Middlesbrough, whilst Scharner’s first Premier League goal earned the club another point in a 1-1 draw with Everton at the end of the month.

A top-half finish secured

Away from the Premier League, Wigan enjoyed a fairytale run to the League Cup final. Watford, Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers were among the victims on the way to the semi-finals, where Roberts scored a dramatic away goal in the closing moments of extra time at Highbury to knock Arsenal out in the semi-finals over two legs.

Wigan faced Manchester United in the final at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium but lost the showpiece event 4-0. They weren’t helped by losing goalkeeper Mike Pollitt to an injury early in the first half. A week later, a late Chimbonda own goal saw the Red Devils record their third victory of the season over Wigan, whose league campaign started to fall away.

Their only home victory in the Premier League in the second half of the season came in April as Aston Villa were beaten 3-2. Camara scored twice and Bullard also found the target. It was the last goal Jimmy would score for the club. The fans’ favourite would agree a transfer to Fulham days later for the 2006-2007 campaign.

The Latics ended the campaign with three successive defeats, including a 4-2 loss on the final day of the season at Highbury as Arsenal and Henry bid farewell to the historic ground in-style. Although there were only three league victories after the League Cup final appearance, Wigan’s 51-point haul and 10th place finish in their debut top-flight campaign was a brilliant achievement.

The 10th place result remains their best-ever top-flight campaign to-date.

FINAL 2005-2006 TABLE

POS TABLE P W D L F A GD PTS
7 Newcastle United 38 17 7 14 47 42 +5 58
8 Bolton Wanderers 38 15 11 12 49 41 +8 56
9 West Ham United 38 16 7 15 52 55 -3 55
10 WIGAN ATHLETIC 38 15 6 17 45 52 -7 51
11 Everton 38 14 8 16 34 49 -15 50
12 Fulham 38 14 6 18 48 58 -10 48

Shock Results: Wigan Athletic 3-1 Chelsea (September 2009)

Goalscorers: Titus Bramble 16, Didier Drogba 47, Hugo Rodallega 53 PEN, Paul Scharner 90

Teams:

Wigan Athletic: Chris Kirkland, Emmerson Boyce, Titus Bramble, Maynor Figueroa, Mario Melchiot, Paul Scharner, Mohamed Diame, Hendry Thomas, Charles N’Zogbia, Hugo Rodallega, Jason Scotland (Marlon King 88)

Chelsea: Petr Cech (SENT OFF), Jose Bosingwa (Salomon Kalou 68), Ricardo Carvalho, John Terry, Ashley Cole, John Obi Mikel (Juliano Belletti 46), Michael Essien, Frank Lampard, Florent Malouda (Hilario 52), Nicolas Anelka, Didier Drogba

Referee: Phil Dowd, Attendance: 18,542

Carlo Ancelotti had made a business-like start to his career as Chelsea manager. Six straight victories had the Blues top of the table and defending a 100% record. They were anticipated to extend that run when they travelled to The DW Stadium to face Wigan Athletic in September 2009. Since beating Aston Villa on the opening weekend, Roberto Martinez’s side had recorded just further victory and sat dangerously close to the bottom three. This was a real turn-up.

The Latics had never beaten Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United or Liverpool FC since joining the Premier League party in 2005. So, they were looking to create some history here and they took a deserved lead after 15 minutes. Charles N’Zogbia collected the ball from a short corner and delivered an inch-perfect cross. Titus Bramble took advantage of a Chelsea backline that looked surprised by the nature of the set-piece and his header found the back of Petr Cech’s net.

Wigan dominated the first half and could have increased their lead. Cech had to show his superb reflexes to keep out another defender in the form of Emmerson Boyce. Meanwhile, only a last-ditch tackle from skipper John Terry stopped Jason Scotland from finding the back of the net on his first Premier League start for Wigan.

Martinez’s side were applauded off-the-pitch by the fans after an excellent opening first half performance. However, they only had the one goal to show for their efforts and within 90 seconds of the restart, Chelsea had awoken from their slumber and drew level. Florent Malouda made a game breaking run and this created space for Didier Drogba to squeeze a shot in-between Chris Kirkland’s legs. This was Drogba’s 100th goal for Chelsea in all competitions as he continued to set the early season pace in the race for the Golden Boot.

Six minutes later though, Wigan were back ahead with a moment which would prove to be decisive in the contest. Hugo Rodallega was tripped in the penalty area by Cech. The penalty was given by referee Phil Dowd and with the Colombian set to score had he not been impeded; Dowd had little option but to show the red card to the Chelsea shot-stopper. It was Cech’s first red card of his Blues career. Malouda was sacrificed by Ancelotti to allow the substitute goalkeeper, Hilario, to come on as Cech’s replacement. His first job was to pick the ball out of the net as Rodallega picked himself up, dusted himself down and drove his spot-kick down the middle of the goal to restore Wigan’s lead.

Chelsea actually finished with nine men as Ashley Cole limped off in the closing stages with injury and the home side consigned Ancelotti to a first loss as Chelsea manager when Paul Scharner tapped home from close-range in stoppage-time after reaching Maynor Figueroa’s cutback across the penalty area.

Chelsea got their revenge spectacularly on the final day of the 2009-2010 season. They beat Wigan 8-0 to wrap up their third Premier League title. However, this was one of Wigan’s finest results in a season that also saw Arsenal and Liverpool FC beaten at The DW Stadium.

Great Goals: Maynor Figueroa – Stoke City vs. WIGAN ATHLETIC (December 2009)

Honduran international Maynor Figueroa was a slightly underrated player. He put in some great displays during his time as a Premier League player for both Wigan Athletic and Hull City. At Wigan, he produced an eye-catching moment in December 2009 at Stoke’s Britannia Stadium which ended up deservedly winning the 2009-2010 Goal of the Season award.

Wigan’s on-loan winger Scott Sinclair won a free-kick just inside his own half. There didn’t look like to be any danger for the Stoke defenders to seriously worry about. Figueroa though had other ideas. Quick-thinking and spotting Thomas Sorensen off his line, he launched the free-kick at goal from 50+ yards. He judged it absolutely perfectly as the ball flew over Sorensen and into the net. Some goals from the halfway line are considered to be lucky. This one was all about judgement and perfection. Figueroa clearly meant this and it worked to perfection.

The points were shared on the day between the sides in a 2-2 draw but the headlines were all about this brilliant moment from an unlikely goalscoring source.

Premier League Files: Victor Moses

Premier League Career: Wigan Athletic (2010-2012), Chelsea (2012-2013, 2016-PRESENT), Liverpool FC (2013-2014), Stoke City (2014-2015), West Ham United (2015-2016)

Victor Moses enjoyed a resurrection in his Premier League career when Antonio Conte used him as a wing-back during his first season as Chelsea manager in 2016-2017. Having been discarded completely by Jose Mourinho, Moses did a great job in his new position having previously made his mark as a flying winger. The rewards were greatly demonstrated as Victor ended the season with a Premier League title winners’ medal.

Moses was born in Lagos and suffered tragedy in his childhood when both of his parents were killed in religious riots in Kaduna. Less than a week later, his remaining relatives paid for him to travel to the UK to claim asylum. Placed with a foster family in south London, he took up education in the city and played plenty of football in his spare time.

Spotted by Crystal Palace, he was offered a place in their academy and he made his first-team debut for the Eagles aged just 16 in November 2007 vs. Cardiff City in the Championship. He played 16 times in the 2007-2008 season and tasted the play-offs too although it ended in disappointment as Palace lost in the semi-final stage over two legs to Bristol City. He signed a new contract that summer and continued to shine even if the club struggled, both on and off the pitch.

As the south Londoners slipped into administration in January 2010, he moved to Wigan Athletic for £2.5 million on the final day of the winter transfer window. He made his debut seven days later as a substitute in a 1-1 draw with Sunderland and by the end of the season, was a Premier League goalscorer when he scored in a 2-2 home draw with already-relegated Hull City in May.

It was clear that there was plenty of promise in Moses’ game but his rawness meant his final ball or finishing ability sometimes let him down at the crucial moment. His first full Premier League campaign was a struggle with competition for places meaning he was never a guaranteed starter. Injuries also hampered his progress but when Charles N’Zogbia departed for Aston Villa in the summer of 2011, Moses began to blossom. He scored six times in 38 matches, helping Wigan towards another unlikely escape from relegation.

By now, there was a tug-of-war for his services on both a club and international scale. Having represented England’s junior levels, Moses elected to stick to his birth roots and accepted the opportunity to play for Nigeria at senior international level. He was part of the successful Super Eagles squad that won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, scoring twice in the group stages against Ethiopia.

Chelsea liked what they saw too and pursued Moses all throughout the summer of 2012, making four unsuccessful bids. After an impressive outing against the reigning Champions of Europe on the opening day of the 2012-2013 season, Chelsea came in again with a fifth bid and this time, Wigan accepted, moving to the Blues in the closing days of the summer transfer window.

Moses’ early involvement for Chelsea came in League Cup and European games but his late equaliser to rescue a 1-1 draw at Swansea City in November 2012 saw him gain further opportunities in the Premier League, especially when Rafa Benitez became interim manager later that month. The goal at The Liberty Stadium was his only Premier League strike of the season but he made 23 appearances and saved his goalscoring form for the UEFA Europa League. Moses scored in 50% of his European appearances, including crucial goals in both legs of the semi-final success against FC Basel 1893. He was bitterly unfortunate to miss out on a place in the squad for the victory in the final over Benfica.

Mourinho’s second coming as manager though spelt the end of Moses’ time as a first-team player at Stamford Bridge as he went on-loan for the next three Premier League campaigns. First stop was Liverpool FC in 2013-2014 and although he scored on debut against Swansea, the form of Raheem Sterling restricted Moses to a handful of appearances. He only made nine Premier League starts for the Reds.

Next port of call was Stoke City for 2014-2015 and again, there was a positive start. A Man of the Match performance in the home win over Newcastle United and a goal in a draw with West Ham United indicated he could flourish at Stoke. Unfortunately, he sustained a thigh injury in a shock home loss to Burnley in November 2014, keeping him on the sidelines for two months. He never regained his early-season form and even rejected the opportunity to go back to Chelsea when Mourinho tried to recall him after selling Andre Schurrle to VfL Wolfsburg and loaning out Mohamed Salah in the January transfer window.

In September 2015, he made another loan switch, this time to West Ham United who were about to embark on their final season at Upton Park. This time, the loan had a purchase option at the end of it and once again, Moses started well. He was the first player in the 2015-2016 season to score past Joe Hart as West Ham picked up an impressive 2-1 victory at early season pacesetters Manchester City. Moses made 21 appearances for the Hammers but again had injury issues, with a hamstring injury meaning he missed two months of the campaign and West Ham elected not to take up the option on making the loan move into a permanent switch.

By now, Mourinho had gone and after impressing Antonio Conte in pre-season, it was decided Moses would remain around the Chelsea squad for the 2016-2017 season. When Conte switched formation to a 3-4-3 following back-to-back league defeats to Liverpool FC and Arsenal, Moses was one of the main beneficiaries. He started playing a regular role as a wing-back and seemed to have discovered a new-found confidence with the knowledge he would be starting on a regular basis for his parent club. He scored goals in wins over reigning champions Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur; the goal against the latter ending their unbeaten start to the season. He ended the campaign with 34 league appearances, three goals and a title winners’ medal. Moses had been one of the revelations of the season. It did end on a sour note though, becoming the fifth player to be dismissed in an FA Cup final after being caught diving in an attempt to win a penalty against Arsenal.

Moses remained a regular fixture in 2017-2018 and matched his goal tally from the previous season and he won the FA Cup but Conte’s departure has led to him falling again to a peripheral role under new manager Maurizio Sarri in the early weeks of this season. This summer, he also represented Nigeria at the 2018 World Cup finals and scored an equaliser in the group stage game against Argentina. Marcos Rojo’s late winner though knocked Nigeria out of the tournament and in August 2018, he elected to retire from international football after winning 37 caps for the Africans, scoring 12 goals.

Victor Moses has proved that even though barriers can sometimes look permanently shut, they can be brought down through hard work, persistence and desire to prove people wrong. His efforts in achieving this mean he has a Premier League title winners’ medal safely stored in his honours roll.

Shock Results: Wigan Athletic 0-4 Blackpool (August 2010)

Goalscorers: Gary Taylor-Fletcher 16, Marlon Harewood 38, 43, Alex Baptiste 75

Teams:

Wigan Athletic: Chris Kirkland, Emmerson Boyce (Ronnie Stam 45), Antolin Alcaraz, Maynor Figueroa, Steve Gohouri, Mohamed Diame (Hendry Thomas 45), James McCarthy, Ben Watson, Victor Moses (James McArthur 72), Mauro Boselli, Hugo Rodallega

Blackpool: Matt Gilks, Alex Baptiste, Craig Cathcart, Stephen Crainey, Ian Evatt, Charlie Adam, Elliot Grandin, David Vaughan, Gary Taylor-Fletcher (Jason Euell 76), Marlon Harewood (Chris Basham 60), Brett Ormerod (Ludovic Sylvestre 59)

Referee: Mark Halsey, Attendance: 16,152

The opening day of the 2010-2011 Premier League season is one that supporters of Blackpool will never forget. The Seasiders were playing in their first Premier League match away in Lancashire to Wigan Athletic. Initially having come out as a home match for Blackpool, the clubs had agreed to switch the venue whilst ground redevelopment was being completed at Bloomfield Road.

Blackpool had made seven new signings in the off-season and three of them made their debuts in this match including the experienced Marlon Harewood, who had the guile upfront to cause problems for any Premier League defence. He took advantage of a Wigan side that was missing Charles N’Zogbia through injury and had a backline that looked in complete disarray.

This was the first meeting in the top division between the sides and The DW Stadium was made silent inside of 16 minutes. Blackpool broke down the right-hand side. Harewood squared the ball for Gary Taylor-Fletcher to finish commandingly. Brett Ormerod, who had scored the play-off winner against Cardiff City a few months earlier missed a couple of earlier opportunities and Taylor-Fletcher had a second goal for the day chalked off for offside by linesman Paul Thompson.

Wigan looked scared. Blackpool were rampant and fully deserved their two-goal lead, achieved by Harewood on 38 minutes. The former West Ham striker tried his luck from distance. Chris Kirkland was beaten for pace but knew he should have saved it. Five minutes later, Harewood doubled his tally as he enjoyed his return to the big stage. Fellow impressive debutant Elliot Grandin had a shot from distance. Kirkland saved but again couldn’t hold onto the ball and Harewood was fastest to the rebound to score his second of the afternoon. Wigan were jeered off at half-time by their own supporters. This was an opening day to forget so far for manager Roberto Martinez.

He made two substitutions at the break with Ronnie Stam and Hendry Thomas replacing Emmerson Boyce and Mohamed Diame. It looked like they had pulled a goal back when defender Steve Gohouri nodded the ball into the net from Ben Watson’s free-kick. However, for the second time in the day, linesman Thompson had his flag up to disallow the goal.

With 15 minutes remaining, Blackpool added further gloss onto the scoreline with a fourth goal. Defender Alex Baptiste tried his luck and his shot which looked more like a cross managed to creep in past Kirkland’s defences at his near post. It was a horrid afternoon for the Wigan shot-stopper and he would lose his place in the team shortly after this display. Blackpool’s first top-flight win in 31 years had them briefly top of the table for a few hours and Holloway’s side were thrilling to watch all season.

Sadly though, there was no happy ending. Defeat on the final day at Old Trafford saw them relegated. The Latics lost 6-0 in their next match to Chelsea but Martinez’s side rallied in the closing weeks and avoided relegation on the same day Blackpool were relegated.

Referees in the Middle: Steve Tanner

Premier League Career: 2006-2009

First Premier League Match: Reading 0-2 Everton (23 December 2006)

Final Premier League Match: Manchester City 1-0 Sunderland (22 March 2009)

Steve Tanner’s career as a Premier League referee was fairly brief. He got to experience the limelight of officiating top-flight matches just 26 times, giving out 79 yellow cards at an average of three yellow cards per game.

Tanner took up the referee’s whistle in 1987, eventually officiating in the Southern League all the way until 2002. Four years earlier, he had made the step-up to the Football League as an assistant referee before becoming a referee at this level in 2003.

Everyone has to start somewhere and that was the case for the official from Bristol, whose first Football League match was an encounter in the Third Division between Mansfield Town and Kidderminster Harriers. In 2006, his impressive work was being noted and it was decided he should have a ‘trial’ at doing a couple of Premier League matches. His first game was two days before Christmas in 2006 as Everton won 2-0 away at Reading. He let the game flow brilliantly, not even handing out a single yellow card in this match in Berkshire.

A week later, he was at a New Years’ Eve fixture between Watford and Wigan Athletic that was abandoned midway through the second half with the scoreline at 1-1 due to a waterlogged pitch. Three months later, he did take charge of a Wigan game that did go the distance; an uneventful goalless draw with Fulham.

Tanner made it onto the Select Group of officials in time for the 2007-2008 season and he spent two years on the list, largely without any major controversies. In fact, his trickiest match was arguably his last as Manchester City defeated Sunderland 1-0 in March 2009. In this game, he handed out eight yellow cards, sent off George McCartney for a professional foul after just 13 minutes and awarded a penalty which Marton Fulop saved from Robinho.

Along with Keith Stroud, he lost his Premier League rights at the end of the campaign and gave up the game after three further seasons back in the Football League. He is now Referee Development Officer for the Gloucestershire Football Association.

Premier League Rewind: 28th-30th April 2012

Results: Everton 4-0 Fulham, Stoke City 1-1 Arsenal, Sunderland 2-2 Bolton Wanderers, Swansea City 4-4 Wolverhampton Wanderers, West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Aston Villa, Wigan Athletic 4-0 Newcastle United, Norwich City 0-3 Liverpool FC, Chelsea 6-1 Queens Park Rangers, Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United

For months, every football supporter had been building up to the showdown in Manchester. It was billed as the title decider as the two giants from the city clashed on Monday 30th April 2012. Manchester United had the three-point advantage going into the match. Manchester City had restored their title push with three successive victories; whilst United had recently lost to Wigan Athletic and thrown away a 4-2 lead to draw 4-4 at home with Everton. The stakes couldn’t be any higher.

Naturally, the game itself wasn’t an all-time classic with so much to gain and lose in both camps. The only goal came on the stroke of half-time. David Silva’s corner was met by a towering header from Manchester City skipper, Vincent Kompany. The Belgian climbed highest to put the home side infront.

City held on in the second half to go top of the Premier League table on goal difference. 1-0 was the final scoreline and with two games to go, the destiny was back in their control as the leadership changed hands for the 11th time in this enthralling battle. Sir Alex Ferguson had seen his Manchester United side throw away an eight-point lead in the space of 22 days.

17 points further back, Arsenal led a tight battle for third position and the final automatic UEFA Champions League qualification place. Arsene Wenger visited one of his bogey grounds – The Britannia Stadium and left with another point added to their total. Robin van Persie equalised Peter Crouch’s opener as Stoke and Arsenal shared the points in a 1-1 draw. The Stoke supporters made fun of Wenger in the second half as he bitterly complained to the fourth official about Stoke’s physical style. Even BBC Match of the Day host Gary Lineker joined in during his amusing closure to that weekend’s highlights.

Tottenham Hotspur kept the pressure on by beating Blackburn Rovers 2-0 at White Hart Lane. Kyle Walker scored a spectacular free-kick and later that evening, he would be crowned the PFA Young Player of the Year for the 2011-2012 campaign, whilst Van Persie won the PFA Players’ award. Newcastle United lost vital ground after a first half shocker away at Wigan Athletic. Wigan led 4-0 at half-time, through two goals from Victor Moses, Shaun Maloney and Franco di Santo. That was how the final score ended and added Newcastle to a list of recent conquests for Roberto Martinez that included Liverpool FC, Manchester United and Arsenal.

Wigan swapped places with Queens Park Rangers who were now only outside the bottom three on goal difference. QPR were dismantled 6-1 at Stamford Bridge by Champions League finalists Chelsea. It was one of Fernando Torres’ best days in a Chelsea shirt. The Spaniard scored his only Premier League hat-trick for the club. However, it was becoming very likely that Chelsea were going to have to win the final in Munich against Bundesliga heavyweights Bayern Munich to qualify for next season’s competition.

Bolton Wanderers drew level on points with QPR and had a game in-hand too after coming from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Sunderland. Kevin Davies scored both of the goals. There was another hat-trick hero at Carrow Road as Luis Suarez tormented the Norwich City defenders. The Uruguayan scored his first hat-trick for Liverpool FC as the Reds recorded an impressive 3-0 victory, ending Norwich’s hopes of finishing above the men from Anfield in the table for the first time since 1993. It wouldn’t be the first time Suarez would score a hat-trick against the Canaries either. He would repeat the feat in future seasons to come.

What else happened in April 2012?

  • The centennial anniversary of the sinking of RMS Titanic is marked around the world.
  • James Murdoch resigns as Chairman of BSkyB in the wake of the News International phone hacking scandal.
  • The 158th University Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge is stopped mid-race due to a swimmer in the water. Cambridge would end up winning after a later clash of oars at the restart leaves Oxford with a broken paddle.
  • Former Liberian President Charles Taylor is found guilty on 11 counts of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Sierra Leone Civil War.
  • The Metropolitan Arts Centre opens in Northern Ireland.
  • The UK economy returns to recession after shrinking by 0.2% in the first three months of the year.
  • April 2012 in the UK is the wettest in over a century according to figures released by the Met Office.

Seasonal Records: 2006-2007

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from the 2006-2007 Premier League campaign. After a three-year period watching dominance from the capital, Manchester United regained that winning feeling to claim their ninth Premier League title, spearheaded by Cristiano Ronaldo, who began to show why he would become one of the greatest players to ever play football.

FINAL TABLE

Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Manchester United 38 28 5 5 83 27 +56 89
2 Chelsea 38 24 11 3 64 24 +40 83
3 Liverpool FC 38 20 8 10 57 27 +30 68
4 Arsenal 38 19 11 8 63 35 +28 68
5 Tottenham Hotspur 38 17 9 12 57 54 +3 60
6 Everton 38 15 13 10 52 36 +16 58
7 Bolton Wanderers 38 16 8 14 47 52 -5 56
8 Reading 38 16 7 15 52 47 +5 55
9 Portsmouth 38 14 12 12 45 42 +3 54
10 Blackburn Rovers 38 15 7 16 52 54 -2 52
11 Aston Villa 38 11 17 10 43 41 +2 50
12 Middlesbrough 38 12 10 16 44 49 -5 46
13 Newcastle United 38 11 10 17 38 47 -9 43
14 Manchester City 38 11 9 18 29 44 -15 42
15 West Ham United 38 12 5 21 35 59 -24 41
16 Fulham 38 8 15 15 38 60 -22 39
17 Wigan Athletic 38 10 8 20 37 59 -22 38
18 Sheffield United 38 10 8 20 32 55 -23 38
19 Charlton Athletic 38 8 10 20 34 60 -26 34
20 Watford 38 5 13 20 29 59 -30 28

 

THE BASIC STATS

Goals Scored 931
European qualifiers Chelsea (UEFA Champions League)

Manchester United (UEFA Champions League)

Liverpool FC (UEFA Champions League)

Arsenal (UEFA Champions League)

Tottenham Hotspur (UEFA Cup)

Everton (UEFA Cup)

Bolton Wanderers (UEFA Cup)

Blackburn Rovers (UEFA Intertoto Cup)

Longest winning run 9 games (Chelsea)
Longest unbeaten run 14 games (Chelsea)
Longest winless run 11 games (Aston Villa, Watford & West Ham United)
Longest losing run 8 games (Wigan Athletic)
Highest attendance 76,098 (Manchester United vs. Blackburn Rovers)
Lowest attendance 13,760 (Watford vs. Blackburn Rovers)

 

AWARDS

PFA Players’ Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
PFA Young Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
Football Writers’ Award Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
PFA Team of the Year Edwin van der Sar, Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville, Nemanja Vidic, Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo, Dimitar Berbatov, Didier Drogba
Manager of the Year Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)
Premier League Goal of the Season Wayne Rooney (MANCHESTER UNITED vs. Bolton Wanderers)

 

HAT-TRICK HEROES

Player Teams Score Date
Wayne Rooney Bolton Wanderers vs. Manchester United 0-4 28th October 2006
Didier Drogba Chelsea vs. Watford 4-0 11th November 2006
Peter Crouch Liverpool FC vs. Arsenal 4-1 31st March 2007

 

TOP SCORERS

Position Player Teams No of Goals
1 Didier Drogba Chelsea 20
2 Benni McCarthy Blackburn Rovers 18
3 Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United 17
4= Wayne Rooney Manchester United 14
4= Mark Viduka Middlesbrough 14
6= Kevin Doyle Reading 13
6= Darren Bent Charlton Athletic 13
8= Dirk Kuyt Liverpool FC 12
8= Dimitar Berbatov Tottenham Hotspur 12
8= Yakubu Middlesbrough 12
11= Frank Lampard Chelsea 11
11= Robin van Persie Arsenal 11
11= Robbie Keane Tottenham Hotspur 11
11= Andy Johnson Everton 11
11= Nicolas Anelka Bolton Wanderers 11
11= Obafemi Martins Newcastle United 11
11= Bobby Zamora West Ham United 11
18= Thierry Henry Arsenal 10
18= Jermain Defoe Tottenham Hotspur 10
18= Kanu Portsmouth 10
18= Gilberto Arsenal 10
22= Peter Crouch Liverpool FC 9
22= Mikel Arteta Everton 9
22= Gabriel Agbonlahor Aston Villa 9
22= Brian McBride Fulham 9

BIGGEST VICTORIES

Reading 6-0 West Ham United 1st January 2007
Arsenal 6-2 Blackburn Rovers 23rd December 2006
Manchester United 5-1 Fulham 20th August 2006
Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Charlton Athletic 9th December 2006
Middlesbrough 5-1 Bolton Wanderers 20th January 2007
Bolton Wanderers 0-4 Manchester United 28th October 2006
Chelsea 4-0 Watford 11th November 2006
Wigan Athletic 0-4 Liverpool FC 2nd December 2006
Reading 0-4 Arsenal 22nd October 2006
Manchester United 4-0 Watford 31st January 2007

 

HIGHEST SCORING GAMES

No of Goals Teams Date
8 Arsenal 6-2 Blackburn Rovers 23rd December 2006
7 West Ham United 3-4 Tottenham Hotspur 4th March 2007
6 Reading 6-0 West Ham United 1st January 2007
6 Manchester United 5-1 Fulham 20th August 2006
6 Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Charlton Athletic 9th December 2006
6 Middlesbrough 5-1 Bolton Wanderers 20th January 2007
6 Everton 2-4 Manchester United 28th April 2007
6 Blackburn Rovers 4-2 Manchester City 17th September 2006
6 Watford 4-2 Portsmouth 9th April 2007
6 Wigan Athletic 3-3 Tottenham Hotspur 15th April 2007
6 Blackburn Rovers 3-3 Reading 13th May 2007
6 West Ham United 3-3 Fulham 13th January 2007
6 Watford 3-3 Fulham 2nd October 2006
5 Manchester United 4-1 Bolton Wanderers 17th March 2007
5 Manchester United 4-1 Blackburn Rovers 31st March 2007
5 West Ham United 1-4 Chelsea 18th April 2007
5 Liverpool FC 4-1 Arsenal 31st March 2007
5 Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 Bolton Wanderers 25th February 2007
5 Everton 4-1 Fulham 6th April 2007
5 Blackburn Rovers 4-1 Charlton Athletic 28th April 2007

 

YOUNGEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Matthew Briggs Middlesbrough 3-1 Fulham 16 years, 2 months, 4 days 13th May 2007
Daniel Sturridge Manchester City 0-2 Reading 17 years, 5 months, 2 days 3rd February 2007
Theo Walcott Arsenal 1-1 Aston Villa 17 years, 5 months, 3 days 19th August 2006
Ben Sahar Chelsea 4-0 Wigan Athletic 17 years, 5 months, 3 days 13th January 2007
Sam Hutchinson Chelsea 1-1 Everton 17 years, 9 months, 10 days 13th May 2007
Adel Taarabt West Ham United 3-4 Tottenham Hotspur 17 years, 9 months, 8 days 4th March 2007
Scott Sinclair Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea 18 years, 1 month, 11 days 6th May 2007
Andy Carroll Wigan Athletic 1-0 Newcastle United 18 years, 1 month, 19 days 25th February 2007
Micah Richards Chelsea 3-0 Manchester City 18 years, 1 month, 27 days 20th August 2006
Emiliano Insua Portsmouth 2-1 Liverpool FC 18 years, 3 months, 21 days 28th April 2007

 

OLDEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Alec Chamberlain Watford 1-1 Newcastle United 42 years, 10 months, 23 days 13th May 2007
Teddy Sheringham West Ham United 0-1 Manchester City 40 years, 8 months, 28 days 30th December 2006
Pavel Srnicek Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Newcastle United 38 years, 9 months, 16 days 26th December 2006
Gary Speed Bolton Wanderers 2-2 Aston Villa 37 years, 8 months, 5 days 13th May 2007
Chris Powell Reading 0-2 Watford 37 years, 7 months, 27 days 5th May 2007
Jens Lehmann Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea 37 years, 5 months, 26 days 6th May 2007
John Filan Wigan Athletic 0-3 West Ham United 37 years, 2 months, 20 days 28th April 2007
Arjan de Zeeuw Sheffield United 1-2 Wigan Athletic 37 years, 27 days 13th May 2007
David James Portsmouth 0-0 Arsenal 36 years, 9 months, 11 days 13th May 2007
Tugay Blackburn Rovers 3-3 Reading 36 years, 8 months, 19 days 13th May 2007

 

CLEAN SHEETS

Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1 Pepe Reina Liverpool FC 19
2 Tim Howard Everton 14
3= Petr Cech Chelsea 13
3= Marcus Hahnemann Reading 13
5= Edwin van der Sar Manchester United 12
5= Jussi Jaaskelainen Bolton Wanderers 12
5= David James Portsmouth 12
5= Thomas Sorensen Aston Villa 12
9 Scott Carson Charlton Athletic 11
10 Jens Lehmann Arsenal 10

Premier League Files: Pascal Chimbonda

Premier League Career: Wigan Athletic (2005-2006), Tottenham Hotspur (2006-2008, 2009), Sunderland (2008-2009), Blackburn Rovers (2009-2010)

Frenchman Pascal Chimbonda played for four Premier League clubs across five years, turning out most recently in the top-flight for Blackburn Rovers. Unquestionably, his best season was his maiden campaign where he was one of the stars at Wigan Athletic during their debut Premier League adventure.

Chimbonda began his professional career with Le Havre in 1998 spending five years with them before joining Bastia in 2003. Following the latter’s relegation from the French top-flight in 2005, Chimbonda turned down the chance to go to Marseille and signed for Wigan Athletic on a three-year contract. The Latics paid just £500,000 for his services and he would become one of the bargains of the 2005-2006 season.

He featured in 37 of the club’s 38 matches as Wigan finished 10th in the table. He scored twice, including a dramatic late header to beat Fulham in October 2005. Chimbonda’s excellent performances saw him voted into the PFA Team of the Year in the right-back position, beating off competition from title-winning Paulo Ferreira of Chelsea and Manchester United’s Gary Neville. However, he left Wigan in fairly distasteful circumstances.

Feeling he could progress and the club couldn’t, he handed in a transfer request on the final day of the season after Wigan’s 4-2 loss at Highbury to Arsenal. The hierarchy at the JJB Stadium were furious, considering he had signed a new contract only a few months earlier. Wigan set a high asking price and after a summer of lengthy negotiations and several bids rejected from Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United, Chimbonda eventually moved to Spurs on the August transfer deadline day.

He started well enough for Tottenham under Martin Jol, starring in their first-ever Premier League triumph over Chelsea in November 2006 despite playing the majority of the game with a knee ligament injury. His first goal for the north Londoners came against Fulham to salvage a 1-1 draw in January 2007. He won the League Cup in 2008 but missed the crucial spot-kick which saw Spurs knocked out of European competition by PSV Eindhoven.

In the summer of 2008, he moved to Sunderland along with his Tottenham colleagues at the time, Steed Malbranque and Teemu Tainio. He featured just 13 times in the Premier League for Sunderland and a return ticket to Tottenham came in January 2009 as Harry Redknapp looked to reshape his squad. However, he only figured three times in the league for Redknapp and was moved on that summer to Blackburn Rovers.

His only Blackburn goal came in October 2009 and meant he went down well with supporters. It came in a Lancashire Derby victory over Burnley. He was the regular right-back in 2009-2010 for Sam Allardyce, playing 24 games. He lost his place though for the following season to the experienced Michel Salgado and his final game for the club was part of a 7-1 hiding at the hands of Manchester United in November 2010. Blackburn agreed to terminate his contract two months later.

Since then, Chimbonda has played in the lower leagues for Queens Park Rangers, Doncaster Rovers, Carlisle United and AC Arles-Avignon. Currently, he is turning out for Washington FC who are playing in the Northern League Division One. Chimbonda signed for them in October 2017.