10 years ago: O’Neill takes the lead
Ten years ago on Monday, Newcastle United, with Alan Pardew as manager, were in seventh place in the Premier League. Sunderland with Martin O’Neill at the helm was 16th while Middlesbrough with the admirable Tony Mowbray at the helm was third in the championship. Here’s how our big three clubs fared over the weekend ten years ago.
NEWCASTLE, winless since November 5, was still able to draw fans to St James’ Park as their turnout on Saturday December 17, 2011 to visit Swansea City was 51,767, the biggest turnout in the Premier League of the weekend.
The Magpies dominated the game: shots on target were 5-0 in favor of the Geordies, shots off target 18-3 for Newcastle and corners 9-1 in their favor.
Geordie striker Demba Ba was guilty of wasting plenty of chances but was still voted man of the match, while center-half Fabricio Coloccini hit a post in the first half. Philosophical Director Pardew said: “Sometimes you just want a break. We put balls across and hit a post, Demba had a brilliant pivot that could have entered.”
Newcastle United: Krul, Simpson, Perch, Coloccini, Santon, Obertan (Sammy Ameobi 82 min), Cabaye, Tiote (Vuckic 82 min), Gutierrez, Best (Shola Ameobi 70 min) Ba.
City of Swansea: Vorm, Richards, Williams, Caulker, Taylor, Britton, Gower (Augustien 45 min), Routledge, Allen, Sinclair (Dyer 77 min), Graham.
Sunderland’s Titus Bramble soars higher than Spurs’ Emmanuel Adebayor in the game 10 years ago this weekend
Tottenham Hotspur 1 vs. 0 Sunderland.
THIS game took place in London on Sunday, December 18, 2011. It was the Cats’ fourth loss in six games, but Martin O’Neill had been in Sunderland’s hot seat for just two weeks.
The blow that sparked Spurs’ goal came in the 61st minute when Luka Modric fed Rafael Van Der Vaart. With Wes Brown out of position for one of the few chances in the game, the Dutchman managed to thread a ball to Roman Pavlyuchenko who swept a clean shot into the lower left corner of the net.
In his match report in The Northern Echo, Scott Wilson said: “Faced with a Spurs side that continue to hang on to the tail of the two Manchester sides at the top of the Premier League table, the Wearsiders have shown proof commitment and determination bodes well for the weeks to come. ”
Scott was right as results improved under O’Neill who recorded four wins in his opening six games, including taking the scalp from league leaders Manchester City.
However, it went horribly wrong and on March 30, 2013, O’Neill was fired. He had a 35.2 winning percentage at Sunderland which, with most games in the Premier League, is as good, if not better, than any other Sunderland manager, with the possible exception of Peter Reid. . You must be wondering if he, and men like David Moyes and Chris Coleman, were all bad managers? What do you think? Write to us and tell us.
Sunderland: Westwood, O’Shea, Brown, Bramble, Bardsley (McLean 69), Larson, Colback, (Gardner 75), Vaughan, Richardson, Wickham (Bendtner 46), Sessegnon.
Tottenham Hotspur: Friedel, Walker, Gallas, King, Assou-Ekotto, Parker, Sandro (Livermore 82), Lennon (Pavlyuchenko 27), Van Der Vaart (Rose 89), Modric, Adebayor.
Middlesbrough Scott McDonald celebrates scoring his side’s tying goal to make it 2-2
Cardiff 2 v 3 Middlesbrough
Top scorer Martin Emnes was absent from the Boro squad with a hamstring injury, so Faris Haroun returned to the squad. The 26-year-old Belgian had been back and forth in the first team since scoring on his debut in a 3-1 win over Birmingham in August.
Ogbeche put the Boros ahead in the 15th minute, Turner equalized for Cardiff in the 23rd minute, then just before the break Gunnarsson put the locals ahead. McDonald equalized at 60 minutes before, with 14 minutes of regulation time remaining, Julio Arca threw an inviting cross into the box. Faroun took the ball to his chest before applying a dead end volley into the net to win the game for Middlesbrough.
Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte, Bennet, Bates, Williams, Bailey, Robson, Arca, Haroun, Ogbeche, McDonald.
Swansea: Marshall, Hudson, McNaughton, Taylor, Turner, Conway (Mason 68 minutes), Cowie (Gestede 68 minutes), Gunnarsson, Ralls (Kiss 32), Whittingham, Miller.