2001–02 FA Premier League
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The 2001–02 FA Premier League (known as the FA Barclaycard Premiership for sponsorship reasons) was the tenth season of the competition. It began with a new sponsor, Barclaycard, and was titled the FA Barclaycard Premiership, replacing the previous sponsor, Carling. The title race turned into a battle between four different sides – Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Newcastle United.
2nd Premier League title
12th English title
|UEFA Cup||Leeds United
|Intertoto Cup||Aston Villa
|Goals scored||1,001 (2.63 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||Thierry Henry (24 goals)|
|Biggest home win||Blackburn Rovers 7–1 West Ham United
(14 October 2001)
|Biggest away win||Ipswich Town 0–6 Liverpool
(9 September 2001)
|Highest scoring||Tottenham Hotspur 3–5 Manchester United
(29 September 2001)
Blackburn Rovers 7–1 West Ham United
(14 October 2001)
Charlton Athletic 4–4 West Ham United
(19 November 2001)
West Ham United 3–5 Manchester United
(16 March 2002)
Newcastle United 6–2 Everton
(29 March 2002)
|Longest winning run||13 games
|Longest unbeaten run||21 games
|Longest winless run||16 games
|Longest losing run||7 games
Manchester United v Middlesbrough
(23 March 2002)
Leicester City v Middlesbrough
(18 September 2001)
Arsenal clinched the title on 8 May 2002 after a convincing win against Manchester United at Old Trafford, in the penultimate game of the season. This new attacking Arsenal side had won the FA Cup five days before and made history by accomplishing their third double, their second under the reign of Arsène Wenger, who showed his commitment by signing a new four-year deal with Arsenal.
The season started on 18 August 2001 and ended on 11 May 2002.
Race for the titleEdit
At the start of 2002 the title race was wide open, with the likes of Newcastle United and Leeds United contesting at the top of the table along with the usual likes of Arsenal and Manchester United. Newcastle, after back-to-back away wins at Arsenal and Leeds during the Christmas period, confirmed themselves as genuine title challengers and led the league at the turn of the year. Leeds had topped the table at Christmas prior to losing at Elland Road to Newcastle.
Despite being top of the table at the start of December – eleven points clear of Manchester United – Liverpool underwent a severe slump, falling to fifth place, five points behind United. Would-be contenders Chelsea, Newcastle United and Leeds United had by this point disappeared into the chasing pack.
January saw Liverpool travelling to both Highbury and Old Trafford in the space of a fortnight. Liverpool's Danny Murphy scored a late winner to give the Merseyside club all three points against United, and John Arne Riise then salvaged a point for Liverpool against Arsenal, allowing Manchester United to top the table for the first time that season.
In March, Arsenal were installed as strong favourites for the Premiership title after Liverpool's defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. Arsenal's April triumph against Bolton Wanderers brought them to within three points of a second Premier League title under Arsène Wenger.
Fittingly, the Premiership title would be decided at Old Trafford as Arsenal and Manchester United faced one another in a decisive encounter. Arsenal only required a draw to guarantee their second title in five seasons to go with their FA Cup victory against London rivals Chelsea four days previously; United had to win to take the title race to the last day. In the end, Arsenal emerged victorious as their record signing Sylvain Wiltord scored the only goal of the game as Arsenal was confirmed Premiership champions with a game to spare. Manchester United's disappointment was compounded by Liverpool leapfrogging them into second place by virtue of their 4-3 victory against Blackburn Rovers.
On the final day of the season Liverpool confirmed second place by trashing already relegated Ipswich Town 5–0 at Anfield. Arsenal rounded off their successful league campaign in style, beating Everton 4–3 at Highbury. Manchester United limped to a poor draw against Charlton Athletic, completing a disappointing campaign for the deposed league champions.
Promotion and relegationEdit
For the first time in the history of the Premier League, all three promoted teams avoided relegation – Fulham, Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers. Blackburn Rovers & Bolton Wanderers avoided relegation until 2011–12, when the three promoted teams of 2010–11 coincidentally avoided relegation again, whilst Fulham avoided relegation until the 2013-14 season.
Fulham had splashed out £34 million on new players during the close season, their owner Mohamed Al-Fayed one of the wealthiest benefactors in English football. He even boasted that they would win the Premiership title in 2001–02, and most pundits tipped Fulham, managed by former French international Jean Tigana, to push for a place in Europe. However, Fulham finished thirteenth, 47 points away from Arsenal.
Bolton Wanderers went top of the Premiership after winning their first three fixtures of the season, causing an upset by beating Gérard Houllier's Liverpool in the latter stage of the game. Manager Sam Allardyce was boasting that his side were good enough to win their first ever league title, but Bolton's league form slumped after the first two months of the season and they finished 16th place – their survival confirmed in the penultimate game of the season.
Blackburn Rovers were the most successful of the promoted sides. Graeme Souness' men beat Tottenham Hotspur 2–1 in the League Cup final to lift the trophy for the first time, and then climbed from 18th place in the Premiership in late February to finish in a secure 10th place – higher than any other newly promoted team that season. Blackburn secured a UEFA Cup place for 2002–03.
Leicester City was the first team officially relegated from the Premiership, finishing bottom of table with just five Premiership wins in their last season at 111-year-old Filbert Street before relocation to the new 32 000-seat Walkers Stadium. The club went through the regime of two different managers during the season – Peter Taylor was replaced by Dave Bassett in early October; six months later Bassett joined the club's board to be replaced by former assistant manager Micky Adams.
Just after the start of the 2002–03 season, Leicester's relegation (which cost them extensive television revenue) and the cost of their new stadium had created debts in excess of £30 million, and the club went into administration before being taken over by a new owner. Despite this setback, Leicester gained promotion back to the Premiership at the first time of asking, although they slipped back down again after just one season and Adams had since resigned to make way for new manager Craig Levein.
Next to go down were Derby County, who had been promoted alongside Leicester six years earlier. Manager Jim Smith was sacked in early October to be replaced by assistant manager Colin Todd, who was sacked three months later after Derby were knocked out of the FA Cup by Division Three strugglers Bristol Rovers.
The last team to be relegated were Ipswich Town, who had qualified for the UEFA Cup and earned manager George Burley the Manager of the Year award the previous season after finishing fifth. Ipswich made a terrible start to the season, winning just one of their first 18 Premiership games. They then went on a strong run of form, winning seven out of eight games, which looked to have secured their Premiership survival, but they then suffered another setback which George Burley's men were unable to reverse, and their relegation was confirmed on the final day of the season by a 5–0 thrashing at Liverpool.
- Aston Villa manager John Gregory resigned in January and was replaced by Graham Taylor.
- Derby County sacked Jim Smith in October and replaced him with former Bolton Wanderers boss Colin Todd. Todd lasted 18 games before being replaced by John Gregory.
- Everton sacked Walter Smith and replaced him with Preston's David Moyes.
- Leeds United sacked David O'Leary after a four-year spell as manager had failed to land a trophy despite a £100 million outlay on new players. He was replaced by Terry Venables.
- Leicester City sacked Peter Taylor in early October and replaced him with Dave Bassett. Following the confirmation of their relegation, Micky Adams became manager for the last three games of the season.
- Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier was forced to take most of the season off due to a major heart problem. Assistant Phil Thompson took charge in his absence.
- Middlesbrough parted company with joint Coaches Bryan Robson and Terry Venables. Manchester United assistant boss Steve McClaren took over at the Riverside.
- Southampton sacked Stuart Gray in October; he was replaced by Gordon Strachan.
- West Ham appointed former first team coach Glenn Roeder as permanent manager following a spell as caretaker the previous season, after parting company with Harry Redknapp.
|Home \ Away||ARS||AST||BLB||BOL||CHA||CHE||DER||EVE||FUL||IPS||LEE||LEI||LIV||MUN||MID||NEW||SOU||SUN||TOT||WHU|
|West Ham United||1–1||1–1||2–0||2–1||2–0||2–1||4–0||1–0||0–2||3–1||0–0||1–0||1–1||3–5||1–0||3–0||2–0||3–0||0–1||—|
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Qualification or relegation|
|1||Arsenal (C)||38||26||9||3||79||36||+43||87||2002–03 UEFA Champions League Group stage|
|3||Manchester United||38||24||5||9||87||45||+42||77||2002–03 UEFA Champions League Third qualifying round|
|5||Leeds United||38||18||12||8||53||37||+16||66||2002–03 UEFA Cup First round[b]|
|7||West Ham United||38||15||8||15||48||57||−9||53|
|8||Aston Villa||38||12||14||12||46||47||−1||50||2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup Third round|
|10||Blackburn Rovers||38||12||10||16||55||51||+4||46||2002–03 UEFA Cup First round[c]|
|13||Fulham||38||10||14||14||36||44||−8||44||2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup Second round|
|18||Ipswich Town (R)||38||9||9||20||41||64||−23||36||
|19||Derby County (R)||38||8||6||24||33||63||−30||30||Relegation to the 2002–03 Football League First Division|
|20||Leicester City (R)||38||5||13||20||30||64||−34||28|
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
(C) Champion; (R) Relegated.
- Despite relegation, Ipswich Town qualified for the 2002–03 UEFA Cup Qualifying Round as Fair Play Award winners
- Since Arsenal qualified for the Champions League, their UEFA Cup place as FA Cup winners defaulted to Chelsea, the losing finalists.
- Blackburn Rovers qualified for the UEFA Cup as League Cup winners.
Personnel and kitsEdit
|2||Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink||Chelsea||23|
|Ruud van Nistelrooy||Manchester United||23|
|Alan Shearer||Newcastle United||23|
|6||Ole Gunnar Solskjær||Manchester United||17|
|7||Robbie Fowler||Liverpool/Leeds United||15|
|10||Andrew Cole||Manchester United/Blackburn Rovers||13|
- Most wins – Arsenal (26)
- Fewest wins – Leicester City (5)
- Most draws – Aston Villa, Fulham and Charlton Athletic (14)
- Fewest draws – Manchester United (5)
- Most losses – Derby County (24)
- Fewest losses – Arsenal (3)
- Most goals scored – Manchester United (87)
- Fewest goals scored – Sunderland (29)
- Most goals conceded – Ipswich Town and Leicester City (64)
- Fewest goals conceded – Liverpool (30)
|Month||Manager of the Month||Player of the Month|
|August||Sam Allardyce (Bolton Wanderers)||Louis Saha (Fulham)|
|September||John Gregory (Aston Villa)||Juan Sebastián Verón (Manchester United)|
|October||Glenn Hoddle (Tottenham Hotspur)||Rio Ferdinand (Leeds United)|
|November||Phil Thompson (Liverpool)||Danny Murphy (Liverpool)|
|December||Bobby Robson (Newcastle United)||Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United)|
|January||Gordon Strachan (Southampton)||Marcus Bent (Ipswich Town)|
|February||Bobby Robson (Newcastle United)||Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United)|
|March||Gérard Houllier & Phil Thompson (Liverpool)||Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal)|
|April||Arsène Wenger (Arsenal)||Freddie Ljungberg (Arsenal)|