1996–97 Wimbledon F.C. season

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Wimbledon
1996–97 season
Chairman Lebanon Sam Hammam
Manager Republic of Ireland Joe Kinnear
Stadium Selhurst Park
Premier League 8th
FA Cup Semi-finals
League Cup Semi-finals
Top goalscorer League:
Efan Ekoku (11)
All:
Marcus Gayle (13)
Highest home attendance 25,786 (vs. Manchester United, 17 August)
Lowest home attendance 3,811 (vs. Portsmouth, 18 September)
Average home league attendance 14,416[1]

During the 1996–97 English football season, Wimbledon competed in the Premier League. The season marked 20 years since Wimbledon's election to the Football League and was their eleventh successive season of top division football. It was one of the most successful of the club's history as they finished eighth in the Premier League and reached the semi-finals of both domestic cups.

Season summary[edit]

The opening day of the season saw Wimbledon lose 3-0 at home to Manchester United in a game mostly remembered for David Beckham's late goal from inside his own half, but Wimbledon got their own back on United later on in the season by eliminating them from the FA Cup.

Wimbledon reached the semi-finals of both domestic cups, but lost both and were left with nothing but the memories after a final eighth place finish saw them blow their final chance of European qualification. The sale of Øyvind Leonhardsen to Liverpool at the end of the season left manager Joe Kinnear with a big hole to fill in a squad which had, so far, achieved so much on a shoestring budget.

Final league table[edit]

Pos Team Pl W D L F A Pts
1. Manchester United 38 21 12 5 76 44 75
2. Newcastle United 38 19 11 8 73 40 68
3. Arsenal 38 19 11 8 62 32 68
4. Liverpool 38 19 11 8 62 37 68
5. Aston Villa 38 17 10 11 47 34 61
6. Chelsea 38 16 11 11 58 55 59
7. Sheffield Wednesday 38 14 15 9 50 51 57
8. Wimbledon 38 15 11 12 49 46 56
9. Leicester City 38 12 11 15 46 54 47
10. Tottenham Hotspur 38 13 7 18 44 51 46
11. Leeds United 38 11 13 14 28 38 46
12. Derby County 38 11 13 14 45 58 46
13. Blackburn Rovers 38 9 15 14 42 43 42
14. West Ham United 38 10 12 16 39 48 42
15. Everton 38 10 12 16 44 57 42
16. Southampton 38 10 11 17 50 56 41
17. Coventry City 38 9 14 15 38 54 41
18. Sunderland 38 10 10 18 35 53 40
19. Middlesbrough *** 38 10 12 16 51 60 39
20. Nottingham Forest 38 6 16 16 31 59 34

Note: Middlesbrough deducted 3 points for failing to fulfil a fixture.

Key
Qualified for the Champions League
Qualified for the UEFA Cup
Qualified for the Cup Winners' Cup
Relegated to Division One

Results[edit]

Wimbledon's score comes first[2]

Legend[edit]

Win Draw Loss

FA Premier League[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
17 August 1996 Manchester United H 0-3 25,786
21 August 1996 Newcastle United A 0-2 36,385
26 August 1996 Leeds United A 0-1 25,860
4 September 1996 Tottenham Hotspur H 1-0 17,506 Earle
7 September 1996 Everton H 4-0 13,684 Ardley, Gayle, Earle, Ekoku
14 September 1996 West Ham United A 2-0 21,294 Clarke, Ekoku
23 September 1996 Southampton H 3-1 8,572 Gayle, Ekoku (2)
28 September 1996 Derby County A 2-0 17,022 Earle, Gayle
12 October 1996 Sheffield Wednesday H 4-2 10,512 Ekoku, Earle, Leonhardsen, Jones
19 October 1996 Chelsea A 4-2 28,020 Earle, Ardley, Gayle, Ekoku
26 October 1996 Middlesbrough A 0-0 29,758
2 November 1996 Arsenal H 2-2 25,521 Jones, Gayle
16 November 1996 Coventry City H 2-2 10,307 Earle, Gayle
23 November 1996 Liverpool A 1-1 39,027 Leonhardsen
30 November 1996 Nottingham Forest H 1-0 12,608 Earle
7 December 1996 Sunderland A 3-1 19,672 Ekoku (2), Holdsworth
14 December 1996 Blackburn Rovers H 1-0 13,246 Holdsworth
22 December 1996 Aston Villa A 0-5 28,875
28 December 1996 Everton A 3-1 36,733 Ekoku, Leonhardsen, Gayle
11 January 1997 Derby County H 1-1 11,467 Gayle
18 January 1997 Leicester City A 0-1 18,927
29 January 1997 Manchester United A 1-2 55,314 Perry
1 February 1997 Middlesbrough H 1-1 15,046 Cox (own goal)
23 February 1997 Arsenal A 1-0 37,854 Jones
26 February 1997 Southampton A 0-0 14,418
1 March 1997 Leicester City H 1-3 11,487 Holdsworth
3 March 1997 Coventry City A 1-1 15,273 Ekoku
15 March 1997 Blackburn Rovers A 1-3 23,333 Ekoku
18 March 1997 West Ham United H 1-1 15,771 Harford
23 March 1997 Newcastle United H 1-1 23,175 Leonhardsen
5 April 1997 Tottenham Hotspur A 0-1 32,654
9 April 1997 Aston Villa H 0-2 9,015
16 April 1997 Leeds United H 2-0 7,979 Holdsworth, Castledine
19 April 1997 Sheffield Wednesday A 1-3 26,957 Goodman
22 April 1997 Chelsea H 0-1 14,601
3 May 1997 Nottingham Forest A 1-1 19,865 Leonhardsen
6 May 1997 Liverpool H 2-1 20,016 Euell, Holdsworth
11 May 1997 Sunderland H 1-0 21,338 Euell

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1996–97 FA Cup
Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R3 14 January 1997 Crewe Alexandra A 1-1 5,011 Perry
R3R 21 January 1997 Crewe Alexandra H 2-0 4,951 Earle, Holdsworth
R4 25 January 1997 Manchester United A 1-1 53,342 Earle
R4R 4 February 1997 Manchester United H 1-0 25,601 Gayle
R5 15 February 1997 Queens Park Rangers H 2-1 22,395 Gayle, Earle
QF 9 March 1997 Sheffield Wednesday A 2-0 25,032 Earle, Holdsworth
SF 13 April 1997 Chelsea N 0-3 32,674

League Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R2 First Leg 18 September 1996 Portsmouth H 1-0 3,811 Holdsworth
R2 Second Leg 25 September 1996 Portsmouth A 1-1 (won 2-1 on agg) 4,006 Gayle
R3 22 October 1996 Luton Town H 1-1 5,043 Holdsworth
R3R 12 November 1996 Luton Town A 2-1 8,076 Castledine, Fear
R4 26 November 1996 Aston Villa H 1-0 7,573 Gayle
QF 8 January 1997 Bolton Wanderers A 2-0 16,968 Ekoku, Leonhardsen
SF First Leg 18 February 1997 Leicester City A 0-0 16,021
SF Second Leg 11 March 1997 Leicester City H 1-1 (a.e.t.) (lost on away goals) 17,810 Gayle

First-team squad[edit]

Squad at end of season[3]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Scotland GK Neil Sullivan[4]
2 Republic of Ireland DF Kenny Cunningham
3 England DF Alan Kimble
4 Wales MF Vinnie Jones[5]
5 England DF Dean Blackwell
6 England DF Ben Thatcher[6]
7 Norway MF Øyvind Leonhardsen
8 Jamaica MF Robbie Earle[7]
9 Nigeria FW Efan Ekoku[8]
10 England FW Dean Holdsworth
11 England FW Marcus Gayle[9]
12 England DF Chris Perry
13 England GK Paul Heald
No. Position Player
14 Republic of Ireland FW Jon Goodman[10]
15 England DF Alan Reeves
17 Scotland DF Brian McAllister
18 England DF Neal Ardley
19 England MF Stewart Castledine
20 England FW Mick Harford
21 England DF Duncan Jupp
22 England FW Andy Clarke
23 England FW Jason Euell[11]
24 England MF Peter Fear
25 England DF Andy Pearce
26 England FW Carl Cort[12]
33 Republic of Ireland GK Brendan Murphy

Left club during season[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
16 England DF Andy Thorn (to Hearts)

Reserve squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
England FW Gary Blissett

References[edit]

  1. ^ 374,821/26
  2. ^ "Wimbledon 1996-1997 Home - statto.com". Archived from the original on 2012-03-03. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  3. ^ http://www.footballsquads.co.uk/eng/1996-1997/faprem/wimbled.htm
  4. ^ Sullivan was born in Sutton, England, but qualified to represent Scotland internationally and would make his debut for Scotland during the season.
  5. ^ Jones was born in Watford, England, but qualified to represent Wales through his maternal grandfather; he made his international debut for Wales in 1994.
  6. ^ Thatcher was born in Swindon, England, and played for the England U21 side during the season, but also qualified to represent Wales through his grandmother and would make his international debut for Wales in March 2004.
  7. ^ Earle was born in Newcastle-under-Lyme, England, but qualified to represent Jamaica internationally. He made his international debut for Jamaica during the season, having previously being called up for England once without playing.
  8. ^ Ekoku was born in Manchester, England, but qualified to represent Nigeria internationally and made his international debut for Nigeria in 1994.
  9. ^ Gayle was born in Hammersmith, London, but qualified to represent Jamaica internationally; he made his international debut for Jamaica in 1998.
  10. ^ Goodman was born in Walthamstow, England, but qualified to represent the Republic of Ireland internationally and would make his debut for Ireland in 1997.
  11. ^ Euell was born in Lambeth, England, but also qualified to represent Jamaica internationally and would make his international debut for Jamaica in July 2004.
  12. ^ Cort was born in Southwark, England, but qualified to represent Guyana and would make his international debut for Guyana in 2011.