Steven Whittaker

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Steven Whittaker
Steven Whittaker 2.jpg
Whittaker playing for Scotland in 2011
Personal information
Full name Steven Gordon Whittaker[1]
Date of birth (1984-06-16) 16 June 1984 (age 30)
Place of birth Edinburgh, Scotland
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Right Back
Club information
Current team
Norwich City
Number 2
Youth career
2000–2002 Hibernian
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2007 Hibernian 141 (4)
2007–2012 Rangers 150 (19)
2012– Norwich City 29 (2)
National team
2004–2006 Scotland U21 18 (1)
2009– Scotland 24 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21 April 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 29 May 2014

Steven Gordon Whittaker (born 16 June 1984) is a Scottish professional footballer who plays as a right back for Norwich City and the Scotland national team.

Whittaker began his career with Hibernian and made over 170 appearances for the Easter Road side. He also won the Scottish League Cup in 2007 before signing for Rangers in August that year. Whittaker won three Scottish Premier League titles, two Scottish Cups and three Scottish League Cups with Rangers. At the start of the 2012-13 season he signed for Norwich City as a free agent.

Club career[edit]

Hibernian[edit]

Despite being a boyhood Hearts fan,[2] Whittaker joined Kenny Miller and Derek Riordan in signing for Hibernian from the Hutchison Vale Boys Club.[3][4] He made his debut against St. Johnstone in a 1–0 win on 12 May 2002.[5] In the 2002–03 season, he went on to make further six first-team appearances before finally becoming a regular starter the following season. Due to Whittaker lacking a defined position his form suffered as he was deployed at right-back and across the midfield under Bobby Williamson. He scored his first career goal against Partick Thistle in a 3–2 win on 3 January 2004.[6] He was an unused substitute when Hibernian lost the 2004 Scottish League Cup Final.

The arrival of Tony Mowbray later that year saw Whittaker confirmed in the team's right back role, and with this new certainty, he flourished, becoming a regular in the Scotland Under–21 team and helping Hibernian to a third place league finish. Whittaker was a regular in the Hibs teams of both Mowbray and John Collins, and was in the side that won the 2007 League Cup Final. He made 174 appearances in all competitions for Hibs, scoring five goals.

Rangers[edit]

Whittaker completed a £2m move to Rangers on 1 August 2007, signing a five-year contract.[7] He was given the number 28 shirt and started his first game for Rangers on 18 August 2007 against Falkirk in the Scottish Premier League and marked his debut with the second goal in a 7–2 win for Rangers.[8] Having been deployed mostly at left back during the first half of the season, Whittaker established himself as first-choice right back after Alan Hutton's departure to Tottenham Hotspur in January 2008. Whittaker scored the second goal of Rangers 2–0 win over Sporting Lisbon in the UEFA Cup quarter-final second-leg on 10 April 2008.[9] He picked the ball up on the halfway line and weaved past several players before capping it off with a cool finish. He stated after the match that it was the best goal of his career.[10]

For the 2009–10 season, Whittaker was given number 16 and scored 11 goals in all competitions as Rangers won both the league title and the League Cup.

Whittaker signed a new five-year contract with Rangers in July 2011, after the club had rejected bids from Turkish club Bursaspor.[11] During the UEFA champions league qualifiers against Malmo FF, he was sent off for throwing the ball at an opponent player after receiving a poor tackle.

In June 2012, Whittaker lodged an objection against his contract being transferred from Rangers to a new company set up by Charles Green.[12] PFA Scotland had previously commented that players were entitled to become free agents if they objected to the transfer.[13] Whittaker explained in the news conference, saying "We owe no loyalty to the new club. There is no history there for us."[12]

Norwich City[edit]

Whittaker signed for English Premier League club Norwich City on 30 June 2012, signing a four-year deal.[14] Following his move, Whittaker stated that he was happy with a move to Norwich.[15] On 20 July, Whittaker received provisional international clearance from FIFA which allowed him to play while arbitration over his move from Rangers continued.[16]

Whittaker suffered an ankle injury during a friendly match against Celtic,[17] which caused him to miss the start of the 2012–13 Premier League season. Two months after receiving his ankle injury, he described it as the worst of his career.[18] He made his competitive debut for Norwich on 31 October, playing at right back in a 2–1 win against Tottenham Hotspur. A few days later, Whittaker made his league debut for the club, playing at right back and stayed on the pitch for 90 minutes, in a 1–0 win over Stoke City. After making his debut, Whittaker said he was pleased to make his debut with a win.[19] The following month on 8 December 2012, Whittaker scored his first goal in his Premier League career after an assist from Robert Snodgrass in a 4–3 win over Swansea City.[20]

Whittaker scored in the opening game of the 2013-14 Premier League season with a goal against Everton. His blasted shot struck the post and bounced back out, but he beat Tim Howard to the rebound to tap it back in. He also assisted débuting team-mate Ricky van Wolfswinkel; Whittaker sliced a shot with his foot which floated toward van Wolfswinkel, who was free to header it into the goal.[citation needed]

International career[edit]

Whittaker was a regular for the Scotland U21 squad, and in October 2006 he was added to the full Scotland squad for the Euro 2008 qualifying match against Ukraine, although he did not feature in the match.[21] Whittaker was then called into the Scotland B side to face Republic of Ireland's B team on 20 November 2007.[22] He played 68 minutes before being replaced by Ross McCormack.[23] He also played in the goalless draw between those two sides in November 2006.[24]

He made his debut for the full national side on 12 August 2009, in a 4–0 defeat to Norway.[25] His second appearance came in the 2–0 victory over Macedonia, when he came on for the injured Callum Davidson.[26]

Career statistics[edit]

As of 2 April 2014
Club Season League Cup League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Hibernian 2001–02 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2002–03 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
2003–04 28 1 1 0 4 0 0 0 33 1
2004–05[note 1] 37 1 4 1 2 0 2 0 45 2
2005–06 34 1 4 0 0 0 2 0 40 1
2006–07 35 1 6 0 4 0 4 0 49 1
Total 141 4 15 1 10 0 8 0 174 5
Rangers 2007–08[note 2] 30 4 6 0 3 0 9 1 48 5
2008–09[note 3] 24 2 4 1 1 0 2 0 31 3
2009–10 35 7 5 3 4 1 6 0 50 11
2010–11 36 4 3 2 3 0 10 1 52 7
2011–12 25 2 0 0 1 0 2 0 28 2
Total 150 19 18 6 12 1 29 2 209 28
Norwich City 2012–13 13 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 14 1
2013–14 16 1 2 0 3 1 0 0 21 2
Total 29 2 2 0 4 1 0 0 35 3
Career Total 319 24 35 7 26 2 37 2 417 35

Honours[edit]

Hibernian

Rangers

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Totals include match Vetra 1–0 Hibs. Whittaker started the match per the BBC match report, but his appearance is not recorded by soccerbase
  2. ^ Totals include match Werder 1–0 Rangers. Whittaker was used as a substitute per the BBC match report, but it is not recorded by soccerbase.
  3. ^ Totals include both matches versus FBK Kaunas. Whittaker started both legs per the BBC match reports (1st leg)(2nd leg), but it is not recorded by soccerbase (1st leg); (2nd leg).

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Bell's Scottish Football Review 2005.06. Cre8 Publishing. 2005. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-95485-561-1. 
  2. ^ Ralston, Gary (22 October 2011). "I grew up a Jambo but now my heart is at Rangers, says Steven Whittaker". Daily Record (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  3. ^ Scottish Football League (October 2004). The Bell's Scottish Football Review 2004/05. CRE8. ISBN 0-9548556-0-4. 
  4. ^ "HIBERNIAN : 1946/47 – 2008/09". Post War English & Scottish Football League A – Z Player's Database. Retrieved 25 July 2010. 
  5. ^ "Sad end for Saints". BBC Sport. 12 May 2002. 
  6. ^ "Hibernian 3–2 Partick Thistle". BBC Sport. 3 January 2004. 
  7. ^ "Whittaker in £2m Rangers switch". BBC Sport. 1 August 2007. 
  8. ^ "Rangers 7–2 Falkirk". BBC Sport. 18 August 2007. 
  9. ^ "Sporting 0–2 Rangers". BBC Sport. 10 April 2008. 
  10. ^ "That's My Best Ever". Rangers F.C. 10 April 2008. 
  11. ^ "Allan McGregor and Steven Whittaker pen long-term deals". BBC Sport. 4 July 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "Rangers: Steven Naismith & Steven Whittaker oppose newco transfer". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  13. ^ "Rangers: Players free not to join 'newco' says law expert". BBC Sport (BBC). 14 June 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  14. ^ "CITY SWOOP FOR WHITTAKER". www.canaries.co.uk (Norwich City FC). 30 June 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  15. ^ "Whittaker happy with his move to Norwich, despite threat of legal action". Daily Mail. 1 July 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  16. ^ "Video: Steven Whittaker gets Fifa clearance to join Norwich City". Norwich Evening News. 23 July 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  17. ^ "Steven Whittaker to miss start of season for Norwich". BBC Sport. 1 August 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  18. ^ "Steven Whittaker is ready to get stuck in for Norwich City". Norwich Evening News. 31 October 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  19. ^ "Norwich City defender Steven Whittaker pleased to make Premier League debut". Sky Sports. 5 November 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  20. ^ "Swansea 3 – 0 Norwich". BBC Sport. 8 December 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  21. ^ "Whittaker called into Scots squad". BBC Sport. 9 October 2006. 
  22. ^ "Forgotten man Iwelumo called into 'B' squad". The Scotsman. 10 November 2007. 
  23. ^ "Scotland B 1–1 Rep of Ireland B". BBC Sport. 20 November 2007. 
  24. ^ "Rep of Ireland B 0–0 Scotland B". BBC Sport. 14 November 2006. 
  25. ^ "Norway 4–0 Scotland". BBC Sport. 12 August 2009. 
  26. ^ "Scotland 2–0 Macedonia". BBC Sport. 5 September 2009. 

External links[edit]