||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (June 2013)|
Wallace playing for Sunderland in 2007
|Full name||Ross Wallace|
|Date of birth||23 May 1985|
|Place of birth||Dundee, Scotland|
|Height||5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)|
|2008–2009||→ Preston North End (loan)||23||(3)|
|2009–2010||Preston North End||57||(9)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13:55, 3 May 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Born in Dundee, Wallace started his career with Celtic, signing for the club in May 2003 on a four-year deal. A pacy left winger, Wallace made only a handful of first-team appearances in his first year, before finally scoring his first goal for Celtic in a 5–0 win over Dunfermline on 8 November 2003. Whilst clearly a skilful player, Wallace made only a few more first team appearances that season as Alan Thompson remained the first-choice wide left player at Celtic. Wallace did however pick up his first silverware at the end of the season, coming on as a second-half susbtitute for Stephen Pearson in Celtic's 3–1 win over Dunfermline in the Scottish Cup Final.
The following season (2004–05) saw Wallace play more games for Celtic, including three appearances as a substitute in the Champions League. However he made little impact in either his league or European appearances. Wallace did however score a hat-trick in an 8–1 rout of Falkirk in a Scottish League Cup tie in September 2004. That performance earned him public praise from his manager, Martin O'Neill. Alan Thompson also said that Wallace was likely to succeed him in the future at left midfield.
With the arrival of new manager Gordon Strachan at the start of season 2005–06, Wallace found himself on the sidelines for the first few months of the season. However, in late 2005, Strachan began to play Wallace at left-back in place of Mo Camara. This was a strange selection given Wallace's slight build and inexperience of playing in a defensive role. Strachan persisted with this team selection for several weeks to the bemusement of fans who could clearly see Wallace's lack of aptitude for playing in defence. Wallace's own goal in the New Year game against Hearts at Tynecastle (Celtic still won 3–2) highlighted his lack of positional awareness in playing in defence. Towards the end of the season, new signing Mark Wilson replaced him at left back even though it is not his natural position (Wilson is a right back). Wallace did, however, play the whole of the Scottish League Cup Final at left back because Wilson was cup tied after having played in the competition for Dundee United.
It was during his time at Celtic that the 'Ross Wallace fan club' was created by another man called Ross Wallace, this time from Blackpool. The club has over 5000 members with 3000 active forum users.
Wallace made two more appearances for Celtic at the start of season 2006–07. However, he was clearly no longer part of the plans of the Celtic management and was sold to Sunderland in August 2006 in a deal including team-mate Stanislav Varga for a combined fee of up to £1,100,000.
Despite having trial at Birmingham City, He joined Sunderland from Celtic on 31 August 2006 along with teammate Stanislav Varga. He made his first team début on 9 September against Derby County and scored the winner in a 2–1 win. His arrival on Wearside saw him keep the number 33 that he wore at Celtic, which had previously belonged to former Sunderland favourite Julio Arca (now with Middlesbrough).
He had made an excellent start as a Sunderland player with a match-winning goal on his début at Derby and again at Hull City. On both occasions he removed his shirt after scoring, which at Hull earned him a second yellow card and his second red card of the season. He later apologised and promised not to do it again, though Wallace doesn't have regret over it.
Sunderland fans were more than pleased with the promising form Wallace showed throughout the 2006–07 campaign as Sunderland won the Championship. His early formed did tail towards the back of the season only for him to re-find his form as the season ended. The left-wing position had been highly contested between Wallace and team-mate Tobias Hysén.
Wallace started the season as Sunderland's first choice left-back despite several new defenders joining the club during the pre-season. On 11 August 2007 Wallace lined up against Tottenham Hotspur on the first game of the season and successfully provided the 93rd minute assist that enabled Michael Chopra to score and Sunderland to win the game. This form has continued into the second game away to Birmingham City when once again Wallace played an integral part in the decisive goal when he provided the free kick that eventually led to Stern John's late equaliser. The match finished 2–2.
He scored his first goal of the season against Reading at the Stadium of Light in a 2–1 victory for Sunderland, scoring again on a 3–2 loss to Arsenal scoring the first ever goal for Sunderland at their first ever game at the Emirates Stadium. Despite his impressive season so far, Roy Keane stated he would consider offers for Wallace. Wallace was linked with a MLS side Toronto want to sign him but it never started having talks. On 18 January 2008 it was reported that Wallace had sustained an Anterior Cruciate Ligament knee injury and would therefore miss the rest of the 2007–08 football season. But in an unxpected turn out of an event, Wallace made his return on the final game of the season in a 1–0 loss against Arsenal.
Preston North End
In the 2008 summer transfer market, it was announced that Wallace had rejected an offer from Preston North End, so that he could fight for his place in the Sunderland squad. But due to the summer signings of Sunderland, Keane told Wallace that he was even further down the pecking order and unlikely to get many games next season Wallace signed a year long loan at Preston with a view to a permanent deal at the end of the season. After being un-used in the substitute bench two times, Wallace finally made his debut, after coming on for Barry Nicholson, in a 1–1 draw against Sheffield Wednesday on 23 August 2008; would score his first goal two months later in a 2–0 win over Watford. At Preston, Wallace soon became a fan favourite, due the number of times he has provided excellent crosses, mainly to Jon Parkin. Wallace signed a permanent four-and-a-half-year contract with Preston on 12 January 2009. In his first season, Wallace made 39 appearance, scoring five times and with nineteen assists.
The next season, Wallace continued to play, having retained his first team status at Preston. Unlike last season, Wallace couldn't able to provided more assist, with seven and was able to score goals. However, he received thirteen bookings, resulting missing two games.
Wallace transferred to fellow Championship club Burnley for an undisclosed fee on 2 July 2010, signing a three-year contract. Upon completion of the transfer, he was described by manager Brian Laws as "one of the best left-sided players in the Championship". He was linked with a move to Burnley after the club had ended interests in signing Hearts's midfielder Andrew Driver.
Wallace scored his first goal in a Burnley shirt a week later on his debut in a pre-season friendly against local side Bury. On the opening game of the season, Wallace made his debut in a 1–0 win over Nottingham Forest, playing 90 minutes. Wallace would score his first league goal and provided assist for Chris Iwelumo in a 3–0 win over Leicester City. Ahead of a Preston-Burnley rivalry, Wallace says he was disappointed of not to say goodbye to his Preston teammates. Wallace made appearance against his former club and set up the opener for Iwelumo and a winning goal for Jay Rodriguez in a 4–3 win. At the end of the season, Wallace made an impressive season at Burnley, making 40 appearance, scoring three times and with five assists. However, Wallace had a frustrating season as he made twelve starts.
The next season, Wallace was placed in various position in defenders and midfielders and had since become ever-present in the side this season and had become the club's most consistent performers so far From 22 October to 5 November 2011, Wallace scored four goals in four consecutive games. At the end of the season, Wallace made an impressive season at Burnley, making Forty Four appearance, scoring five times and with nine assists. Unlike last season, Wallace was present in a match in the league.
The next season, Wallace was placed in the right midfield for the last eleven games at the start of the season, before going left midfield or wing before going back to right midfield. On 22 December 2012, Wallace scored his first goal of the season in a 2–2 draw against Birmingham City; his second came from a penalty, in a 2–0 win over Sheffield Wednesday and set up a goal for Keith Treacy on 1 January 2013. During the season, Wallace contract with Burnley on the verge of expiring at the end of the season and willing to stay at Burnley. In early February, Wallace signed a two-year extension, keeping him until 2015.
On 13 August 2007, two Sunderland players were called into the Scotland national team: defender Russell Anderson and goalkeeper Craig Gordon. Although pleased with the two nominated players, many Sunderland fans expressed disappointment in the fact that Wallace had once again been overlooked for the squad, especially as he had started the new season so well and that Scotland manager Alex McLeish had selected four goalkeepers in his squad. Wallace was called up to the Scotland squad to play Japan in October 2009.
- As of match played 3 May 2014.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other||Total|
||Scottish Premier League||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||—||1||0|
||Scottish Premier League||8||1||2||0||1||0||3[a]||0||—||14||1|
||Scottish Premier League||16||0||1||0||1||3||3[b]||0||—||21||3|
||Scottish Premier League||11||0||1||0||1||0||1[b]||0||—||14||0|
||Scottish Premier League||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||—||2||0|
|Preston North End (loan)||
|Preston North End||16||2||0||0||0||0||—||2[c]||0||18||2|
- As of match played 10 October 2009.
- Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Mainstream Publishing. p. 427. ISBN 978-1-84596-601-0.
- Rollin, Glenda; Rollin, Jack, eds. (2012). Sky Sports Football Yearbook 2012–2013 (43rd ed.). London: Headline. p. 445. ISBN 978-0-7553-6356-8.
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- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_prem/4569382.stm BBC Sport 1 January 2006 Match Report – Hearts 2 Celtic 3
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/c/celtic/4773164.stm BBC Sport 4 March 2006 Wilson happy to fill in on left
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