2006/07 Premier League Champions: Manchester United
Champions League places: Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal
UEFA Cup places: Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers (Intertoto Cup)
Promoted (from 2005/06): Reading, Sheffield United, Watford
Relegated: Watford, Charlton Athletic, Sheffield United
Leading Scorer: Didier Drogba (Chelsea) 21 goals
Premier League Table 2006 – 2007
|15||West Ham United||38||12||5||21||35||59||-24||41|
2006/07 Season Review
In one of the closest-fought seasons for years, Manchester United wrestled the title away from Chelsea – thwarting the Londoners’ attempts to be on top of the 2006/07 Premier League table for the third consecutive year.
The Blues’ hopes of retaining the title were dealt a significant blow when Petr Cech suffered a horrendous injury during their victory at Reading. The goalkeeper was out for three months after undergoing major surgery and wore protective headgear for the remainder of the season.
Neck-and-neck up to that point, Manchester United soon started to pull away. Chelsea’s first defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in 16 years, coupled with United’s 3-0 victory over Portsmouth, saw the Red Devils open up a three-point gap.
There was no stopping Manchester United as Cristiano Ronaldo dazzled Barclays Premiership defenders around the country. Last-gasp winners against Fulham and bitter rivals Liverpool kept United firmly in control. The title’s destination was mathematically decided when United came back from two goals down to beat Everton 4-2, and Bolton Wanderers held Chelsea. A week later, the Blues lost 1-0 to Arsenal, and the title was headed back to Old Trafford.
West Ham United pulled off a great escape at the other end of the table as manager Alan Curbishley dragged them to safety. In an act the great Houdini himself would have been proud of, the Hammers beat Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford on the last day of the season to secure Barclays Premier League football for another year. In a season of turmoil and struggle, it should be noted that they won all of their games against the Champions and Arsenal.
The Hammers’ escape was primarily down to Carlos Tevez, who joined the club on 31st August along with fellow Argentine Javier Mascherano. Mascherano left for Liverpool in January, but Tevez stayed to fire the Hammers to safety.
Watford First Team Relegated
Watford was the first club relegated and on the bottom of the 2006/07 Premier League table, recording only five victories in the campaign. The beginning of the season saw a new manager in Charlton Athletic’s dugout for the first time in 15 years. But Iain Dowie was sacked after only 12 games. So Alan Pardew exchanged one relegation-threatened club for another. Sacked from West Ham, he stepped into the hot seat at Charlton Athletic. However, despite the improved form and some good results, including a win over the Hammers, he couldn’t keep the Addicks up.
The last match of the season saw West Ham, Wigan Athletic, and Sheffield United all desperate to avoid the drop – with the latter two playing each other. Sheffield United were the unlucky losers as a 2-1 defeat sent them down. Wigan escaped on goal difference while West Ham’s win at Old Trafford saw them finish in the 15th spot.
In its 15th season, the Premier League saw its 15,000th goal. Fulham’s Moritz Volz scored this in their victory over Chelsea on 30th December. Ronaldo made a clean sweep of football awards, becoming only the second player to win both the Professional Football Association (PFA) Players’ Player of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year titles in the same season.
He also won the PFA Fans’ Player of the Year – making him the first to win all three PFA awards in one season – and the Football Writers’ Association Award. Ronaldo’s extraordinary form prompted team-mate Patrice Evra to claim, “nobody can stop him. Probably the only way to do it is to kill him.”
2006/07 Cup Results
2006/07 FA Cup Winners: Chelsea [Final – Chelsea 1 v 0 Manchester United (aet)]
2006/07 League Cup Winners: Chelsea [Final – Chelsea 2 v 1 Arsenal]
2006/07 Champions League Winners: AC Milan [Final – AC Milan 2 v 1 Liverpool]
2006/07: UEFA Cup Winners: Sevilla [Final – Sevilla 2 v 2 Espanyol (aet) Sevilla win 3-1 on penalties]
2006/07 Managerial Changes
Aston Villa: David O’Leary out, Martin O’Neill in
Charlton Athletic: Iain Dowie out, Les Reed in, Les Reed out, Alan Pardew in
West Ham United: Alan Pardew out, Alan Curbishley in
Fulham: Chris Coleman out, Lawrie Sanchez in
Bolton Wanderers: Sam Allardyce out, Sammy Lee in
Newcastle United: Glenn Roeder out, Sam Allardyce in
Rhett is an Australian-born, globe trotter who is a UEFA ‘A’ Licence Soccer Coach. With his family, he has traveled and coached soccer in more than 30 countries, while attending World Cups, European Championships, and some of the biggest local derbies in the world!