2000–01 FA Premier League
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The 2000–01 FA Premier League (known as the FA Carling Premiership for sponsorship reasons) was the third season running which ended with Manchester United as champions and Arsenal as runners-up. Sir Alex Ferguson (who had been knighted in June 1999) became the first manager to win three successive English league titles, although three teams (Arsenal, Huddersfield and Liverpool) had achieved that feat in the past – but with managerial changes in between. Liverpool, meanwhile, managed a unique cup treble – winning the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup. They also finished third in the Premiership and qualified for the Champions League; they had not played in the European Cup since the 1985 final at Heysel in which their fans were accused of killing 39 spectators, and were given a six-year ban from European competition.
UEFA Cup places went to Leeds United, Chelsea, Ipswich Town, and Aston Villa, who qualified via the Intertoto Cup. None of the top six clubs in the Premiership had an English manager. The most successful English manager in the 2000–01 Premiership campaign was Peter Reid, whose Sunderland side finished seventh, having spent most of the season challenging for a place in Europe, and briefly occupied second place in the Premiership table.
Despite the success achieved by Sir Alex Ferguson and Gérard Houllier, the Manager of the Year Award went to George Burley. The Ipswich Town manager was in charge of a newly promoted side who began the season as relegation favourites and on a limited budget, guided his team to fifth place in the Premiership final table and a place in the UEFA Cup for the first time in almost 20 years. 2000–01 was perhaps the best season yet for newly promoted teams in the Premiership. Charlton Athletic finished ninth, their highest finish since the 1950s. The only newly promoted team to suffer relegation was Manchester City, who in the space of seven seasons had now been relegated four times and promoted twice. Relegated in bottom place were Bradford City, whose return to the top division after almost 80 years was over after just two seasons. The next relegation place went to Coventry City, who were finally relegated after 34 successive seasons of top division football, which had brought numerous relegation battles and league finishes no higher than sixth place.
- 1 Management changes
- 2 Transfers
- 3 Personnel and kits
- 4 League table
- 5 Results
- 5.1 Arsenal
- 5.2 Aston Villa
- 5.3 Bradford City
- 5.4 Charlton Athletic
- 5.5 Chelsea
- 5.6 Coventry City
- 5.7 Derby County
- 5.8 Everton
- 5.9 Ipswich Town
- 5.10 Leeds United
- 5.11 Leicester City
- 5.12 Liverpool
- 5.13 Manchester City
- 5.14 Manchester United
- 5.15 Middlesbrough
- 5.16 Newcastle United
- 5.17 Southampton
- 5.18 Sunderland
- 5.19 Tottenham Hotspur
- 5.20 West Ham United
- 6 Top scorers
- 7 Overall
- 8 Awards
- 9 References
- 10 External links
During 2000–01, more than half of the English league's 92 clubs underwent at least one managerial change and Premiership clubs also had their fair share of changes.
Bradford City manager Paul Jewell left for Sheffield Wednesday prior to the season, and his successor Chris Hutchings was dismissed in November to make way for Jim Jefferies, but the change of management was not enough to prevent Bradford from being relegated in bottom place.
Joe Royle was sacked as Manchester City manager shortly after they were relegated (in four seasons as manager he had seen the club get relegated to Division Two and then win two successive promotions before finally being relegated from the Premiership again).
George Graham was sacked as Tottenham manager in March despite guiding the club to the FA Cup semi-finals, the reason for his dismissal was that he had allegedly breached his contract. He was replaced by Southampton manager Glenn Hoddle, who in turn was replaced by Stuart Gray.
At the end of the season, Bryan Robson resigned after seven years as Middlesbrough manager. He had spent most of the 2000–01 as joint manager in partnership with Terry Venables, who also left the club. Middlesbrough replaced Robson and Venables with Manchester United assistant manager Steve McClaren.
Just before the end of the season, Harry Redknapp left West Ham United under mysterious circumstances after seven years as manager – it was uncertain as to whether he had resigned or been sacked. It turned out that Redknapp was sacked after making some injudicious comments to a reporter from a club fanzine. Redknapp was replaced by first team coach Glenn Roeder, whose two previous brief and unsuccessful spells in management had been in the lower divisions with Gillingham and then Watford.
In November 2000, the English transfer record was broken for the first time in more than four years. The £15 million record set when Alan Shearer moved from Blackburn to Newcastle United in July 1996 had been equalled in May 2000 when Chelsea paid Atlético Madrid £15 million for Dutch striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, but now it was broken when Leeds United paid West Ham £18 million for 22-year-old central defender Rio Ferdinand.
Personnel and kits
(as of 14 May 2001)
||Qualification or relegation
|1||Manchester United (C)||38||24||8||6||79||31||+48||80||2001–02 UEFA Champions League Group stage|
|3||Liverpool||38||20||9||9||71||39||+32||69||2001–02 UEFA Champions League Third qualifying round 1|
|4||Leeds United||38||20||8||10||64||43||+21||68||2001–02 UEFA Cup First round 1|
|8||Aston Villa||38||13||15||10||46||43||+3||54||2001 UEFA Intertoto Cup Third round|
|11||Newcastle United||38||14||9||15||44||50||−6||51||2001 UEFA Intertoto Cup Third round|
|15||West Ham United||38||10||12||16||45||50||−5||42|
|18||Manchester City (R)||38||8||10||20||41||65||−24||34||Relegation to 2001–02 Football League First Division|
|19||Coventry City (R)||38||8||10||20||36||63||−27||34|
|20||Bradford City (R)||38||5||11||22||30||70||−40||26|
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
1Since Liverpool qualified for the Champions League, their place in the UEFA Cup as FA Cup winners went to Ipswich Town, and as Liverpool also won the League Cup that place went to Chelsea.
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.
|Average goals per game:||2.61|
|Home ╲ Away||ARS||AST||BRA||CHA||CHE||COV||DER||EVE||IPS||LEE||LEI||LIV||MCI||MUN||MID||NEW||SOU||SUN||TOT||WHU|
|West Ham United||1–2||1–1||1–1||5–0||0–2||1–1||3–1||0–2||0–1||0–2||0–1||1–1||4–1||2–2||1–0||1–0||3–0||0–2||0–0|
Arsenal, for the third year running, came close to success in two major competitions but yet again finished the season without any silverware. By Christmas, most of the bookmakers had closed the books on them and anyone else catching Manchester United in the Premiership title race. When the Gunners were crushed 6–1 at Old Trafford in late February, just about all of the lingering doubts about the title's destination were crushed, and Arsenal's bid for the title was over by mid April.
But there was still some chance of success. They had just beaten local rivals Tottenham in the FA Cup semi-final to book their place in the first final at the Millennium Stadium while Wembley was being redeveloped.
Arsenal were also in a race with three or four other teams to secure second place, and in the end they won the race for runners-up spot to complete three successive seasons of finishing second to Manchester United in the league.
On 12 May, Arsenal took an early lead over Liverpool in the FA Cup final thanks to a Freddie Ljungberg goal, and with 5 minutes remaining the trophy was within touching distance. But two late goals from Liverpool's Michael Owen condemned Highbury to a third successive trophyless season.
Another season of decent (but rarely exciting) form saw Villa secure another top-10 finish, though this time they dipped slightly into eighth place after occupying sixth place a year earlier. Villa proved themselves as one of the hardest Premiership teams to beat, with only the top three sides suffering fewer defeats than Villa's 10. But a mere 13 wins and a staggering 15 draws ended any hopes of a title bid or even a top-six finish. The arrival of Yugoslav striker Boško Balaban at the end of the season gave fans renewed hope that next season might deliver more success.
A terrible start to the season saw inexperienced young manager Chris Hutchings dismissed after 12 games at the helm. In came Scotsman Jim Jefferies as his successor, but Jefferies could do little to alter Bradford's dismal fortunes and they went down in bottom place with just five Premiership wins all season – equalling Swindon's record low of Premiership wins which had been set seven years earlier.
Alan Curbishley and his Charlton side won many admirers after their Division One title glory gained them promotion back to the Premiership at the first time of asking. This time he kept them there with an excellent ninth place finish and 52 points. They would have finished higher still – and possibly qualified for Europe – had their defence not been the leakiest of any in the top 15 and the sixth leakiest in the division. Still, it was a superb achievement for a side who had been among the favourites of many punters to suffer an immediate return to the Nationwide League. The arrival of striker Jason Euell from Wimbledon in a club record deal gave fans hope of more success in 2001–02.
A slow start to the season cost manager Gianluca Vialli his job, despite having won five trophies since his appointment in February 1998. The last of these trophies came at the start of the season, when they defeated Manchester United 2–0 in the Charity Shield to win the last-ever club game at the pre-redevelopment Wembley.
The biggest success of the season was the effectiveness of club record signing Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who found the net 23 times in 35 Premiership games in a partnership with Chelsea's now 34-year-old Italian superstar, Gianfranco Zola who found the net on 9 occasions.
After 34 years and 10 close shaves with relegation, Coventry City's luck finally ran out and they were relegated from the top flight.
Another season of struggle plagued Pride Park, but Jim Smith's men were saved with one week of the season left after Manchester City lost their penultimate game of the season. The attention was then quickly focused on improving the squad for 2001–02 in a bid to prevent another relegation battle.
When Walter Smith was appointed as Everton manager three years ago, he was intent on reversing the decline which had turned Everton from title winners to relegation battlers in barely a decade. Three years on, they are still in the Premiership, but have played some of the most unremarkable football ever seen at this level and have frustrated fans who have spent the last five seasons living in fear of relegation. This season saw them finish 16th – their lowest finish under Smith's management. Even the arrival of Paul Gascoigne made little difference to the side, with the iconic Geordie performing like a thin shadow of his former self.
As the 2001–02 season approached, Smith was the favourite of many bookies to be the first managerial casualty of the new season.
Tipped by many to go straight back down to Division One after winning promotion, Ipswich surprised observers by consistently holding a place among the top six. For much of the season, it looked like they would finish in the top three and qualify for the European Cup for the first time in nearly 40 years. In the end, they finished fifth and qualified for the UEFA Cup for the first time since 1982. Manager George Burley was then voted "Manager of the Year" by his colleagues.
David O'Leary took Leeds to their first European Cup semi-final since 1975, where defeat at the hands of Valencia ended their chances of a repeat of the ill-tempered 1975 European Cup clash with Bayern Munich who beat Real Madrid in the other semi-final.
The club's league form in the first half of the season had been dire, and they had been just one place outside the relegation zone at Christmas. However, after a dramatic improvement in form they finished fourth in the final table, which meant that their place in Europe for 2001–02 would be in the UEFA Cup rather than the European Cup.
Failure to qualify for the following season's Champions League was considered a disappointment rather than a disaster by fans of the club at the time, given the success in reaching the semi-final. However, the directors of the club had secured tens of millions of pounds of loans which depended on successful Champions League qualification; the failure to qualify was a calamity that would see the club suffer financial disaster and be relegated twice in the coming seasons.
A superb start to the season saw Leicester begin October on top of the league just four months after the appointment of Peter Taylor as Martin O'Neill's successor – they had not occupied top place since 1963. Two weeks later, they surrendered their lead to Manchester United but were still in the top four by Christmas.
A shock defeat at the hands of Division Two underdogs Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup quarter-final midway through March had a negative effect on the Foxes, who endured 9 defeats and attained one win from their final 10 games. This slump dragged them down to 13th place – their lowest finish since winning promotion to the Premiership back in 1996. Several high profile end-of-season signings – including that of Chelsea legend Dennis Wise – gave fans hope that Leicester could regain their form and rejoin the challenge for honours in 2001–02.
November saw the announcement of plans to relocate to a new 32,000-seat stadium at a site adjacent to Filbert Street, with a targeted completion for the start of the 2003–04 season. Later in the season, it was announced that Leicester wound only have to be spend one more season at their Filbert Street ground before they could move into their new home.
The first trophy was secured on 25 February when a 5–4 penalty shoot-out victory followed a 1–1 draw with Birmingham City in the Worthington Cup final. The game was also the first club fixture to be played at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium while Wembley was being rebuilt. Part two of the treble was completed on 12 May when two late Michael Owen goals overturned Arsenal's lead in the FA Cup Final to give the Reds a 2–1 win. The final part of the treble was perhaps the most dramatic. The UEFA Cup final featured an amazing 9 goals as Alaves gave them a run for their money fighting back to equalise from 1–0, 3–1 and 4–3, before Liverpool finally ran out 5–4 winners after extra-time.
Promising young midfielder Steven Gerrard was voted PFA Young Player of the Year for his key part in one of the most successful seasons in Liverpool's 109-year history, and contributions from British stars Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, Jamie Carragher, Danny Murphy, and new signings Gary McAllister and Emile Heskey were matched by an increasingly continental side consisting of new captain Sami Hyypiä, Sander Westerveld, Jari Litmanen and Dietmar Hamann.
However, there was sad news just after the end of the season, when former manager Joe Fagan (manager of the 1984 side that also managed to win three trophies in a season) died at the age of 80 after a long illness.
Manchester City's return to the Premiership after a four-year exile was the consequence of back-to-back promotions. But it became clear after just a few games that Joe Royle's men would struggle to retain their top flight status.
Their relegation was confirmed by a defeat in the penultimate game of the season, and Royle was dismissed within days. Former England coach Kevin Keegan was appointed on a three-year contract and fans were given renewed hope of an immediate return to the elite.
Manchester United made an outstanding start to the season and it was quickly clear that they were in pole position for a third successive Premiership title. By Christmas, most of the bookmakers had closed their books on anyone catching them, and most of those who believed otherwise were silenced on 25 February when they crushed their nearest rivals Arsenal 6–1 at Old Trafford. The title was confirmed six weeks later.
But there were downsides during the season. A shock 1–0 home defeat to West Ham in the Fourth Round ended their FA Cup hopes, and their European Cup challenge was ended in the quarter-finals by Bayern Munich – their opponents from the victorious 1999 final.
After the end of the season, United broke their club record twice. The first signing was Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, the second was Argentine midfielder Juan Sebastián Verón. Both of these players were rated as world-class, and gave United fans extra hope of more glory being achieved in what was thought to be Sir Alex Ferguson's final season as United manager.
Some early season relegation worries saw Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson respond by installing former England boss Terry Venables as joint manager alongside Bryan Robson in December. This experiment with joint management paid off as Middlesbrough finished 14th to avoid the drop by a comfortable margin.
Bobby Robson's first full season as Newcastle manager saw them start well, the club in the top half throughout the first half of the season. However, after a 3–1 win at Leeds in January the club suffered a massive collapse in form, with no win until mid-April and only two further wins after that. The team was also hit by injury, with their £21 million strike-force of Alan Shearer and Carl Cort both missing large parts of the season.
In the end the team finished 11th once again – more than high enough to avoid relegation, but not high enough to get into Europe. However, they were given a route into Europe by entering the Intertoto Cup.
But Hoddle caused outrage by walking out on the Saints in late March and taking the managerial vacancy at Tottenham the next day. Coach Stuart Gray took over on a temporary basis, and with Southampton's good form continuing he was rewarded with the job on a permanent basis. Southampton's best moment was an 89th minute winner by Matthew Le Tissier to pull back from 2–0 down against runners-up Arsenal.
2000–01 was Southampton's final season at the Dell. After 103 years, they move on to the St Mary's Stadium on Brittania Road, which with 32,000 seats is more than twice the size of their old ground and is seen by many as the way forward for a club.
Sunderland enjoyed another strong season, and briefly occupied second place in February. But Peter Reid's men were unable to keep up their excellent form, and they had to settle for seventh place – just as they did last season, and not quite enough for UEFA Cup qualification.
Tottenham were thrown into turmoil on 16 March when it was announced that manager George Graham had been sacked for breach of his contract. Countless names were linked with the vacancy, and a popular decision was made two weeks later when it was announced that former player Glenn Hoddle would be returning to the club as manager. A few weeks later, he re-signed Teddy Sheringham from Manchester United as the first of many promised new signings in a new-look side which many fans feel will be just the right set of players to bring the glory days back to White Hart Lane.
West Ham United
The sale of Rio Ferdinand contributed towards a slight dip in West Ham's Premiership form, and mystery surrounded the departure of manager Harry Redknapp on 9 May after seven years as manager – was he resigned or was he sacked? Alan Curbishley, Steve McClaren and George Graham were just some of the many names linked with the vacancy before it was announced that caretaker manager and former youth coach Glenn Roeder would be taking over on a permanent basis.
Roeder's appointment was met with endless disapproval by fans who felt that he wasn't experienced enough to take charge of a side which had spent the last three seasons in the frame for European football. Many outsiders shared their views, and for the first time in years the punters started to take bets on West Ham being relegated.
|1||Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink||Chelsea||23|
|2||Marcus Stewart||Ipswich Town||19|
|Mark Viduka||Leeds United||17|
|6||Teddy Sheringham||Manchester United||15|
|Jonatan Johansson||Charlton Athletic||11|
|Frédéric Kanouté||West Ham United||11|
|Alan Smith||Leeds United||11|
- Most wins – Manchester United (24)
- Fewest wins – Bradford City (5)
- Most draws – Aston Villa and Middlesbrough (15)
- Fewest draws – Ipswich Town and Leicester City (6)
- Most losses – Bradford City (22)
- Fewest losses – Manchester United (6)
- Most goals scored – Manchester United (79)
- Fewest goals scored – Bradford City (30)
- Most goals conceded – Bradford City (70)
- Fewest goals conceded – Manchester United (31)
|Month||Manager of the Month||Player of the Month|
|August||Bobby Robson (Newcastle United)||Alan Smith (Leeds United)|
|September||Peter Taylor (Leicester City)||Tim Flowers (Leicester City)|
|October||Arsène Wenger (Arsenal)||Teddy Sheringham (Manchester United)|
|November||George Burley (Ipswich Town)||Paul Robinson (Leeds United)|
|December||Peter Reid (Sunderland)||James Beattie (Southampton)|
|January||Terry Venables (Middlesbrough)||Robbie Keane (Leeds United)|
|February||Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)||Stuart Pearce (West Ham United)|
|March||David O'Leary (Leeds United)||Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)|
|April||David O'Leary (Leeds United)||Gary McAllister (Liverpool)|
- "English Premier League 2000–01". statto.com. Retrieved 13 March 2015.