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During the 1996–97 English football season, Liverpool F.C. competed in the FA Premier League (known as the FA Carling Premiership for sponsorship reasons).

Liverpool
1996–97 season
ChairmanDavid Moores
ManagerRoy Evans
Premier League4th
FA CupFourth round
League CupFifth round
Cup Winners' CupSemi-finals
Top goalscorerLeague:
Robbie Fowler (18)

All:
Robbie Fowler (31)
Average home league attendance38,436
Competition Result Top scorer
Premier League 4th England Robbie Fowler, 18
UEFA CWC Semi-finals England Robbie Fowler, 7
FA Cup Fourth round England Stan Collymore, 2
League Cup Fifth round England Robbie Fowler, 5
Overall England Robbie Fowler, 31

Contents

Season summaryEdit

Liverpool led the Premiership for much of the season, and established a five-point lead at the top before New Year's Day 1997. However, the team were overtaken by Manchester United in the latter stages of the season, and it was United who ultimately won the league, though Liverpool squandered several more chances to reclaim the top position.[1] The side were marred both by the rise of the "Spice Boys" culture, as well as by defensive aberrations; dropping points at their previously impregnable Anfield home. A 2–1 home defeat against bottom of the table Coventry City denied Liverpool the chance to return to top spot with six games to go, United having lost at home to Derby the previous day.[2] Indeed, a win over United at Anfield in April would have put Liverpool top with just three matches to go, but United won 3–1 to effectively clinch the title.[3] The title lost, Liverpool still went into the final match of the season in second place with a two-point lead over Newcastle and Arsenal, but a 1–1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday meant they ended up finishing 4th on goal difference, thus missing out on a place in the newly expanded UEFA Champions League[4] and leaving Roy Evans and his team with a UEFA Cup place as scant consolation for a season which had promised much and giving rise to the phrase "finishing fourth in a two horse race".

In the cups there was more disappointment. Liverpool's UEFA Cup Winners' Cup campaign ended in the semi-finals with a 3–2 aggregate defeat to Paris St Germain. In the FA Cup they lost 4–2 to eventual winners Chelsea in the fourth round, having led 2–0 at half-time and squandered chances to extend their lead. Liverpool were knocked out in the Coca-Cola Cup quarter-finals by eventual finalists Middlesbrough.

The side were nevertheless praised for their attractive attacking style of football. Steve McManaman and Robbie Fowler continued to excel for the club, and Fowler continued his prolific strike partnership with Stan Collymore, scoring 47 goals between them. Fowler's suspension for the final four games was a big blow and effectively ended any lingering hopes of title glory. Fowler also received a UEFA Fair Play award, for protesting that he had not been fouled by Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman when the referee awarded a penalty kick. The season also saw the debut of teenage prodigy Michael Owen.

Former defender Mark Wright stated in an interview that this was the season in the 1990s that the Liverpool team truly had the talent and opportunity to win the title but threw it away:[5] "We did come close to winning the league a few times and we finished fourth one season when we were the best team. We were better than Manchester United, better than everyone, and we finished joint second but ended up fourth because of goal difference. That was the season we should have won the title and we all know that. I remember some of the games we lost and the way we dropped points against certain sides. David James dropped a few clangers and I remember them because in certain games he didn't have anything to do, then all of a sudden he thinks he's got to be involved in the game. He would come rushing out and all of a sudden you would be 1–0 down", he said.

Final league tableEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification or relegation
2 Newcastle United 38 19 11 8 73 40 +33 68 Qualification for the Champions League second qualifying round
3 Arsenal 38 19 11 8 62 32 +30 68 Qualification for the UEFA Cup first round[a]
4 Liverpool 38 19 11 8 62 37 +25 68
5 Aston Villa 38 17 10 11 47 34 +13 61
6 Chelsea 38 16 11 11 58 55 +3 59 Qualification for the Cup Winners' Cup first round[b]
Source: Premier League
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
Notes:
  1. ^ Aston Villa was rewarded entry to the UEFA Cup through UEFA Fair Play ranking.
  2. ^ Chelsea qualified for the Cup Winners' Cup as FA Cup winners.

First-team squadEdit

TransfersEdit

InEdit

# Pos Player From Fee Date
15 MF   Patrik Berger   Borussia Dortmund £3,250,000 1 August 1996
28 MF   Nick Rizzo   Sydney Olympic Free 1 September 1996
3 DF   Bjørn Tore Kvarme   Rosenborg Free 10 January 1997

OutEdit

# Pos Player To Fee Date
27 GK   Stephen Pears   Hartlepool United Free 1 June 1996
18 MF   Phil Charnock   Crewe Alexandra Free 6 December 1996
3 DF   John Scales   Tottenham Hotspur £2,600,000 11 December 1996

ResultsEdit

Premier LeagueEdit

FA CupEdit

Football League CupEdit

European Cup Winners' CupEdit

StatisticsEdit

Appearances and goalsEdit

No. Pos Nat Player Total Premier League FA Cup League Cup CWC
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Goalkeepers
1 GK   David James 52 0 38 0 2 0 4 0 8 0
Defenders
2 DF   Rob Jones 3 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
3 DF   Bjørn Tore Kvarme 17 0 15 0 1 0 1 0 0 0
5 DF   Mark Wright 43 2 33 0 2 0 3 1 5 1
6 DF   Phil Babb 31 1 21+1 1 1 0 3 0 4+1 0
12 DF   Steve Harkness 10 0 5+2 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
14 DF   Neil Ruddock 22 1 15+2 1 0 0 2 0 2+1 0
19 DF   Mark Kennedy 8 0 0+5 0 0+1 0 0+1 0 0+1 0
20 DF   Stig Inge Bjørnebye 52 4 38 2 2 0 4 0 8 2
21 DF   Dominic Matteo 38 0 22+4 0 2 0 3 0 7 0
Midfielders
4 MF   Jason McAteer 51 1 36+1 1 2 0 4 0 8 0
7 MF   Steve McManaman 51 10 37 7 2 0 4 2 8 1
10 MF   John Barnes 47 7 34+1 4 2 0 3 0 7 3
11 MF   Jamie Redknapp 32 4 18+5 3 1 0 1 1 4+3 0
15 MF   Patrik Berger 34 9 13+10 6 1+1 0 3 1 6 2
16 MF   Michael Thomas 42 3 29+2 3 1 0 4 0 5+1 0
23 MF   Jamie Carragher 3 1 1+1 1 0 0 0+1 0 0 0
25 MF   David Thompson 2 0 0+2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Forwards
8 FW   Stan Collymore 37 16 25+5 12 2 2 0 0 4+1 2
9 FW   Robbie Fowler 44 31 32 18 1 1 4 5 7 7
18 FW   Michael Owen 2 1 1+1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
24 FW   Lee Jones 2 0 0+2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Players transferred out during the season
3 DF   John Scales 7 0 3 0 0 0 1 0 2+1 0

Top scorersEdit

Premier LeagueEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Smyth, Rob (10 September 2008). "Football: The Joy of Six: bogey teams". Retrieved 30 January 2019 – via www.theguardian.com.
  2. ^ "Football: Liverpool fall foul of Dublin". The Independent. 7 April 1997. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  3. ^ Smyth, Rob (15 February 2007). "On second thoughts ... Roy Evans". Retrieved 30 January 2019 – via www.theguardian.com.
  4. ^ "English Premier League Table on Thursday 8th May 1997 - Statto.com". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  5. ^ http://www.noticias.info/archivo/2007/200711/20071127/20071127_325231.shtm. Missing or empty |title= (help)

NotesEdit

  1. ^ McAteer was born in Tranmere, England, but also qualified to represent the Republic of Ireland internationally and made his international debut for the Republic of Ireland in March 1994.
  2. ^ Babb was born in Lambeth, England, but also qualified to represent the Republic of Ireland internationally and made his international debut for the Republic of Ireland in 1994.
  3. ^ Barnes was born in Kingston, Jamaica, but also qualified to represent any of the home nations internationally as he held a British passport and made his international debut for England in May 1983.
  4. ^ Warner was born in Liverpool, England, but also qualified to represent Trinidad and Tobago internationally and would make his international debut for Trinidad and Tobago in February 2006.
  5. ^ Matteo was born in Dumfries, Scotland, but was raised in England from the age of four and represented them at U-21 and B level before making his international debut for Scotland in November 2000.