The Premiership 2006-07: Club-by-club guide (Man U-Wigan)

Fans' Forum: Moments that defined our season... or that made us laugh
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Manchester United

The lowdown

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson (Nov 1986).

Last season Prem (2nd), FA Cup (5th rnd), League Cup (winners), Champions' League (group stage).

Good boy Ruud van Nistelrooy (27 goals).

Bad boy Cristiano Ronaldo (8Y 1R).

Who's in Michael Carrick (Tottenham Hotspur, £18.6m); Tomasz Kuszczak (West Bromwich, season-loan to become permanent, £2m); Jon Obi Mikel (Lyn Oslo, undisclosed).

Who's out Jon Obi Mikel (Chelsea, £16m - £12m to Man Utd & £4m to Lyn Oslo); Ruud van Nistelrooy (Real Madrid, £11m); Jonathan Spector (West Ham, £500,000); Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (Plymouth, undisclosed); Paul McShane & Luke Steele (West Bromwich, swapped for Tomasz Kuszczak). Frees Phil Picken (Chesterfield); Tommy Lee (Macclesfield); Eddie Johnson (Bradford); Quinton Fortune (Bolton). Loans Tim Howard (Everton, season); Ben Foster (Watford); Lee Martin (Rangers); Gerard Pique (Real Zaragoza); Phil Bardsley (Rangers).

Total spent so far this summer £18.6m.

The questions

Answered by Peter Shaw editor at www.rednews.co.uk

Best performance last season? Chelsea at home. Gave glimpse of hope that the "Special Ones" could be got at.

And the worst? Chelsea away/Benfica away. Chelsea, we handed them the title. Benfica, no inspiration from team or bench.

Best player? [Wayne] Rooney. Runs his socks off. What a talent.

And worst? [Mikaël] Silvestre for his now copyrighted "momentary lapses".

Best young player? [Giuseppe] Rossi, who seems to score a hat-trick in every reserve game.

Money no object signing? [Fernando] Torres would be nice. And half the Juve squad bought for 10p each!

Money an object signing? [Dirk] Kuyt. Has a good scoring record.

Funniest moment last season? Graham Poll. World Cup. The pompous one got great come-uppance.

Best opponent? Benfica.

Best set of fans, besides your own? The ones who abuse Rooney all game then cheer him deliriously when he puts on an England top. Be consistent!

What would constitute a good season? For us to regain our footballing dignity.

Will you boo Cristiano Ronaldo?

No chance. He's one of ours.

Steve McClaren: Yes, or no? Who else could they get?

Middlesbrough

The lowdown

Manager Gareth Southgate (Jun 2006).

Last season Prem (14th), FA Cup (semi-final ), League Cup (quarter-final), Uefa Cup (runners-up).

Good boy Aiyegbeni Yakubu (19 goals).

Bad boy Emanuel Pogatetz (11Y).

Who's in Julio Arca (Sunderland, £1.75m). Free Herald Goulon (Lyon).

Who's out Franck Queudrue (Fulham, undisclosed). Free Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (Charlton). Loans Danny Graham (Blackpool); Brad Jones (Sheffield Wednesday). Released Doriva.

Total spent so far this summer £1.75m.

The questions

Answered by Robert Nichols editor of 'Fly Me To The Moon' fanzine

Best performance last season? Beating Chelsea 3-0. No one had beaten them by such a large margin since [Jose] Mourinho had taken over and the week before we had lost dismally to Villa.

And the worst? Villa 4-0 - looked like the end of [Steve] McClaren. It was compounded by the fan running on the pitch and throwing his season ticket at McClaren.

Best player? On the basis of the season as a whole, [Aiyegbeni] Yakubu: he got 19 goals.

And worst? [Abel] Xavier. Nothing to do with anything on the pitch, but because he failed a drugs test.

Best young player? A lot of them. Above all Lee Cattermole, who ended the season as captain. He already seems to be an all-round player. If he develops he could become an England regular, and could be the new [Roy] Keane.

Money no object signing? [Juan Roman] Riquelme would be great. He is comfortable on the ball and everything seems to flow through him.

Money an object signing? Need someone really good on the right - it's our current weakness; [Shaun] Wright-Phillips should be in our range, certainly if [Damien] Duff can go for £5m.

Funniest moment last season? Can't think of many - probably after beating Steaua Bucharest. We received loads of photos from Rapid Bucharest. The whole of their kop end spelt out "Thank you, Middlesbrough".

Best opponent? Daniel Alves. The Seville right-back destroyed us down the flank in the final.

Best fans, besides your own? Seville. I was blown away. We have tried to organise ourselves in the same sort of way. We learnt a lot on our European adventure.

What would constitute a good season? Getting close to the European places; a new manager means setting sights a little lower.

Will you boo Cristiano Ronaldo? No. I think the hate campaign in tabloids went too far; it gets to the point where the player's safety is jeopardised.

Steve McClaren: Yes, or no? I'm sad he's left, but he could be a great success if he's given enough time.

Newcastle United

The lowdown

Manager Glenn Roeder (Feb 2006).

Last season Prem (7th), FA Cup (quarter-final), League Cup (4th round).

Good boy Alan Shearer (14).

Bad boy Scott Parker (9Y 1R).

Who's in Damien Duff (Chelsea, £5m).

Who's out Amdy Faye (Charlton, £2m); Michael Chopra (Cardiff, £500,000); Hugo Viana (Valencia, undisclosed). Free Lee Bowyer (West Ham); Robbie Elliott (Sunderland). Retired Alan Shearer.

Total spent so far this summer £5m.

The questions

Answered by Mark Jensen, editor of 'The Mag'

Best performance last season? Beating Chelsea. It's always good to beat the champions - even though they put out a reserve team they had a player worth over £20m in it.

And the worst? [Graeme] Souness' last game as manager when we lost 3-0 at Man City.

Best player? Shay Given - that he was named as the Premiership's goalkeeper in the PFA team says it all.

And worst? [Albert] Luque and [Jean-Alain] Boumsong. Both were big-money signings who haven't produced.

Best young player? Even though it was an injury-disrupted season, Steven Taylor looked class. He will probably be a star of the future. We just have to make sure it's in a black-and-white shirt.

Money no object signing? A manager - it would be a hard choice between [Jose] Mourinho, [Sir Alex] Ferguson and [Arsène] Wenger. I would go for Wenger. On relatively limited resources, he has done an unbelievable job.

Money an object signing? Roeder was about as good as we could hope to attract. [Ruud] van Nistelrooy would have been ideal.

Funniest moment last season? The happiest moment would be Souness going. The unhappiest, but the funniest, was realising he would get a massive pay-off.

Best opponent? Wayne Rooney at Old Trafford - he always performs against us.

Best fans, besides your own? Man Utd and West Ham.

What would constitute a good season? To finish in the top six.

Will you boo Cristiano Ronaldo? Last season he was certainly the most obnoxious player and he's only added to his reputation.

Steve McClaren: Yes, or no? He is one of very few who could possibly make the situation worse than it was under [Sven Goran] Eriksson.

Portsmouth

The lowdown

Manager Harry Redknapp (Dec 2005).

Last season Prem (17th), FA Cup (4th rnd), League Cup (2nd rnd).

Good boy Lomana Tresor LuaLua (7 goals)

Bad boy Richard Hughes (9Y).

Who's in David James (Portsmouth, £1.2m); Frees David Thompson (Wigan); Sol Campbell (Arsenal). Loans Glen Johnson (Chelsea).

Who's out Gregory Vignal (Lens, undisclosed); Brian Priske (Club Brugge, undisclosed); John Viafara (Southampton, undisclosed); Frees Vincent Pericard (Stoke); Gary Silk (Notts County). Released Sander Westerveld; Collins Mbesuma; Aliou Cissé; Liam Horsted; Andrea Guatelli.

Total spent so far this summer £1.2m

The questions

Answered by Nigel Tressidar, chairman of Pompey Central Branch Supporters' Club

Best performance last season? Wigan away. We played extremely well and came away with a 2-1 win.

And the worst? Bolton away. We lost 2-1 and never looked like we wanted to perform.

Best player? There were three: first, [Pedro] Mendes; secondly [Andres] D'Allesandro, as he gave everything for the cause; and thirdly Gary O'Neil because he played his heart out over the whole season.

And worst? [Andy] Griffin - he just didn't seem to have any running in him.

Best young player? Matty Taylor - he is fast and knows how to whip a ball in.

Money no object signing? [Thierry] Henry. He has an excellent eye for goal.

Money an object signing? A striker - we could probably afford to spend £10m. [Ruud] Van Nistelrooy would have fitted the bill.

Funniest moment last season? When we played Everton, [Duncan] Ferguson scored an own goal - it was the best header I've seen for a long time.

Best opponent? [Thierry] Henry - he skinned us.

Best fans, besides your own? Wigan, they were very good.

What would constitute a good season? A mid-table finish.

Will you boo Cristiano Ronaldo? Ronaldo is the worst diver in the world, without a doubt. Referees should send off players who dive and they should be banned for three or four weeks. So, yes, more than likely I will be booing him.

Steve McClaren: Yes, or no? Yes, we've got to give him a go.

Reading

The lowdown

Manager Steve Coppell (Oct 2003).

Last season Championship (1st), FA Cup (4th round), League Cup (4th round).

Good boy Dave Kitson (22 goals).

Bad boy Dave Kitson (8Y).

Who's in Seol Ki Hyeon (Wolves, £1.5m); Sam Sodje (Brentford, £350,000).

Who's out free John Mullins (Mansfield); Conor Sinott (Limerick); Jamie Young (Wycombe); Chris Makin (Southampton).

Total spent so far this summer £1.85m.

The questions

Answered by Jon Keen the press officer for STAR (Supporters' Trust At Reading)

Best performance last season? Too many to list, but the away wins at Preston and Wolves stand out.

And the worst? Again, very few. Probably the away defeat at Luton and the draw at Derby.

Best player? The fans haven't been able to settle on a single name, as the record-breaking season was a team effort. There are easily seven or eight players who could arguably claim to be the best in the squad.

And worst? Mainly because he didn't get decent run in the team, many fans saw John Oster as the least effective.

Best young player? The two youngsters from Cork are a revelation. Kevin Doyle has already earned a full place in the Republic of Ireland team and Shane Long shows massive potential.

Money no object signing? First and foremost we're a team, so any star would more than likely come in and disrupt the superb team spirit that made us so successful.

Money an object signing? A little cover in midfield and the centre of defence would be nice - we're hoping our bid for Ghana's John Mensah will still be accepted.

Funniest moment last season? Last match of the season, with Graeme Murty, the only outfield player not to have scored this season, we get a penalty! Nothing was stopping Murts from taking and scoring it, and his lion-maiming celebration (where he mugged our mascot Kingsley) was hilarious.

Best opponent? Cameron Jerome for Cardiff at the MadStad [Madejski Stadium] sticks in the memory, but he still couldn't stop them being tonked 5-1.

Best fans, besides your own? Leicester - their warmth and congratulations when we were promoted at the Walkers Stadium was a credit to football.

What would constitute a good season? If we stay up everyone will be delighted. Sad that a season coming 17th would be seen as a success, but that's the Premier League for you.

Will you boo Cristiano Ronaldo? I think it's inevitable. Not so much for the diving but for the smug arrogance.

Who should run the game: the clubs or the FA? Neither. The most important stakeholders are the fans.

Steve McClaren: Yes, or no? Yes, but only because of the lack of alternatives.

Sheffield United

The lowdown

Manager Neil Warnock (Dec 1999).

Last season Championship (2nd), FA Cup (3rd rnd), League Cup (3rd rnd).

Good boy Neil Shipperley (11 goals).

Bad boy David Unsworth (10Y 1R).

Who's in Claude Davis (Preston, £2.5m); Rob Hulse (Leeds United, £2.1m); Mikele Leigertwood (Crystal Palace, £600,000); Chris Lucketti (Preston, £300,000); Christian Nade (Troyes, undisclosed). Frees David Sommeil (Man City); Ian Bennett (Leeds); Li Tie (Everton).

Who's out Simon Francis (Southend, undisclosed); Phil Barnes (Grimsby, undisclosed). Frees Gary Mulligan (Gillingham); Luke Beckett (Huddersfield); Bruce Dyer (Doncaster). Loans Kelvin Hurst (Chesterfield); Ian Ross (Notts County); Jonathan Forte (Doncaster, six months); Geoff Horsfield (Leeds). Released Jamie Green; Adrian Harper; San Lee; Sharu Naraji; Kyle Nix. Retired Stuart McCall; Brian Deane; Craig Short; Garry Flitcroft.

Total spent so far this summer £5.5m.

The questions

Answered by Pete Whitney, chairman of Sheffield United Supporters Club

Best performance last season? Hillsborough when we beat Sheffield Wednesday to complete the double over our rivals.

And the worst? 4-2 away to Leicester City. We were diabolical.

Best player? Phil Jagielka for his commitment, work rate and goals.

And worst? They all contributed in their own way to our promotion.

Best young player? Stephen Quinn, who plays in midfield.

Money no object signing? John Terry because he's as good a centre-back as there is around.

Money an object signing? I'd fetch in Danny Shittu - the best centre-back in the Championship last year.

Funniest moment last season? Neil Warnock's antics on the sidelines.

Best opponent? Marlon King for Watford at Bramall Lane when he scored a hat-trick.

Best fans, besides your own? Reluctantly say Sheffield Wednesday fans for continuing to support their team.

What would constitute a good season? Lower mid-table.

Will you boo Cristiano Ronaldo? No, I won't.

And is he the biggest diver? He is, but Everton's Andy Johnson is not far behind him.

Who should run the game: the clubs or the FA? The clubs.

Steve McClaren: Yes, or no? The jury's still out.

Tottenham Hotspur

The lowdown

Manager Martin Jol (Nov 2004).

Last season Prem (5th), FA Cup (3rd rnd), League Cup (4th rnd).

Good boy Robbie Keane (16 goals).

Bad boy Edgar Davids (9Y 1R).

Who's in Dimitar Berbatov (Bayer Leverkusen, £10.9m); Didier Zokora (St-Etienne, £8.2m); Benoît Assou-Ekotto (Lens, undisclosed); Dorian Dervitte (Lille, undisclosed); Tomas Peckhart (Slavia Prague, nominal).

Who's out Michael Carrick (Manchester Utd, £18.6m); Andy Reid (Charlton, £3m); Grzegorz Rasiak (Southampton, £2m); Stephen Kelly (Birmingham, £750,000); Dean Marney (Hull, undisclosed). Frees Mounir El Hamdaoui (Willem II); Johnnie Jackson (Colchester); Richard Heller (AFC Sudbury); Claude Seanla (Watford). Loans Mark Yeates (Hull City). Released Goran Bunjevcevic; Noureddine Naybet; John Kyriacou; Marcel McKie; Nathan Peprah-Annan.

Total spent so far this summer £19.1m.

The questions

Answered by Wyart Lane editor of 'My Eyes Have Seen The Glory' fanzine

Best performance last season? The win over Blackburn at home.

And the worst? Away at West Bromwich. We were poor throughout.

Best player? Michael Dawson. Solid, dependable, and most of all... ours !!

And worst? Paul Stalteri for costing us some trademark last-minute goals.

Best young player? Tom Huddlestone

Money no object signing? Michael Carrick.

Money an object signing? [Gianluca] Zambrotta or [Fabio] Grosso might have solved problems at full-back, but a left-winger is a major need.

Funniest moment last season? [Arsène] Wenger's hissy fit with [Martin] Jol about the self-inflicted injury to his players.

Best opponent? Thomas Sorensen, who saved everything we had to throw at Aston Villa.

Best fans, besides your own? Bolton fans, who stayed behind to applaud our Player of the Year awards after the last home game of the season.

What would constitute a good season? Winter - without dropping too many points. Or spring - without winter vomiting disease.

Will you boo Cristiano Ronaldo? Well, someone has to be the pantomime villain, don't they?

Steve McClaren: Yes, or no? No! And he can put his shopping list away too.

Watford

The lowdown

Manager Adrian Boothroyd (Mar 2005)

Last season Championship (3rd, promoted via play-offs), FA Cup (3rd round), League Cup (3rd round).

Good boy Marlon King (22 goals).

Bad boy Matthew Spring (8Y).

Who's in Danny Shittu (QPR, £1.6m); Damien Francis (Wigan, £1.5m); Tamas Priskin (Gyori ETO FC, undisclosed). Frees Claude Seanla (Tottenham); Sheku Kamara (Charlton); Chris Powell (Charlton); Scott Loach (Lincoln City); Albert Jarrett (Brighton). Loan Ben Foster (Manchester Utd).

Who's out Free Jamie Hand (Chester).

Total spent so far this summer £3.1m

The questions

Answered by Matt Rowson, editor at 'Blind, Stupid and Desperate' fanzine

Best performance last season? During the regular season, thumping Sheffield United away. But the three play-off games take some beating, not least the 0-0 second leg with Palace, who needed to score three but didn't have a shot.

And the worst? Burnley away.

Best player? Marlon [King]. Terrifying.

And worst? Betty [The manager Adrian Boothroyd] made a few panic buys early in the last pre-season; none of them got anywhere near the team and have since departed.

Best young player? Ashley Young and midfield cork Al Bangura.

Money no object signing? Michael Ballack. Not sure he'd get in the first XI, mind...

Money an object signing? Heidar Helguson [Fulham] and Paul Robinson [West Brom].

Funniest moment last season? Seeing flyers for "The Flying Eagle", a chartered train from Norwood Junction to Cardiff handed out outside Selhurst prior to the first leg of the play-off, which we won 3-0. Wonder if they sold many tickets...

Best opponent? Probably Millwall's captain, Matt Lawrence, during their win at Vicarage Road.

Best fans, besides your own? Leeds fans were cocky before the play-off final in Cardiff, but utterly gracious after it.

What would constitute a good season? Winning the Premiership, the FA Cup and our youth team getting to the League Cup quarter-finals.

Will you boo Cristiano Ronaldo? If there's any moral justification for the wages these guys earn, it's that they serve as valuable releases for the petty frustrations of the likes of me. Too right I'll boo him, but I'd have done so anyway.

Steve McClaren: Yes, or no? Not really fussed.

West Ham United

The lowdown

Manager Alan Pardew (October 2003).

Last season Prem (9th), FA Cup (final), League Cup (4th rnd).

Good boy Marlon Harewood (16 goals).

Bad boy Marlon Harewood (7Y).

Who's in Robert Green (Norwich City, £2m); Carlton Cole (Chelsea, £2m); Tyrone Mears (Preston, £1m rising to £1.9m); Jonathan Pantsil (Hapoel Tel Aviv, £1m); George McCartney (Sunderland, £600,000 plus Clive Clarke); Jonathan Spector (Manchester Utd, £500,000); Lee Bowyer (Newcastle, undisclosed).

Who's out Elliott Ward (Coventry, £1m); Carl Fletcher (Crystal Palace, £400,000); Chris Cohen (Yeovil, undisclosed); Clive Clarke (Sunderland, exchanged for George McCartney). Frees Darren Behcet (Yeovil); Matthew Reed (Bristol City); Shaka Hislop (FC Dallas); Ishmael Welsh (Yeovil). Loans Stephen Bywater (Derby). Released Yaniv Katan; Trent McClenahan; Darren Blewitt; Petr Mikolanda; Sekou Baradji.

Total spent so far this summer £7.1m.

The questions

Answered by Gordon Thrower, editor of 'Knees Up Mother Brown' fanzine website

Best performance last season? Arsenal away gave us a laugh. The Cup final gave us pride.

And the worst? Wigan at home or the 1-1 draw up at Sunderland.

Best player? Danny Gabbidon.

And worst? Probably [Jérémie] Aliadière or [David] Bellion.

Best young player? Anton Ferdinand and Nigel Reo-Coker enjoyed Premiership life.

Money no object signing? Ronaldinho.

Money an object signing? Fulham's [Steed] Malbranque might have been interesting.

Funniest moment last season? Spurs calling in the Met's finest to investigate "Lasagnegate".

Best opponent? [Wayne] Rooney.

Best fans, besides your own? Newcastle and Sunderland.

What would constitute a good season? Consolidation of our place in the Premiership - another top 10. A good European run. In a word, progress.

Will you boo Cristiano Ronaldo? Not sure I would bother.

And is he the biggest diver? Look no further than Stamford Bridge or Anfield.

Who should run the game: the clubs or the FA? A properly run FA with supporter representation.

Steve McClaren: Yes, or no? No.

Wigan Athletic

The lowdown

Manager Paul Jewell (June 2001).

Last season Prem (10th), FA Cup (4th rnd), League Cup (runners-up).

Good boy Henri Camara (12 goals).

Bad boy Stéphane Henchoz (9Y).

Who's in Emile Heskey (Birmingham, £5.5m); Fitz Hall (Crystal Palace, £3m); Denny Landzaat (AZ Alkmaar, £2.5m); Emerson Boyce (Crystal Palace, £1.5m); Tomasz Cywka (Gwarek Zabrze, undisclosed). Loans Chris Kirkland (Liverpool, six months); Luis Antonio Valencia (Villarreal).

Who's out Jason Roberts (Blackburn, £3m); Jimmy Bullard (Fulham, £2.5m); Damien Francis (Watford, £1.5m); Alan Mahon (Burnley, £200,000). Frees David Thompson (Portsmouth); Michael Hazeldine (Alloa); Kevin Lee (Southport). Released Stephane Henchoz; Matt Jackson.

Total spent so far this summer £12.5m.

The questions

Answered by Mark Ashurst from the Latics Independent Supporters' Association

Best performance last season? The 4-3 victory over Manchester City on Boxing Day.

And the worst? It's a tie between the 4-0 defeat at Old Trafford and the 4-0 defeat to the same boys in the League Cup final.

Best player? Pascal Chimbonda.

And worst? There wasn't one, although Josip Skoko talked a good game.

Best young player? Leighton Baines.

Money no object signing? John Terry would be an ideal partner for captain Arryy [Arjen De Zeeuw].

Money an object signing? I've no idea.

Funniest moment last season? The Arsenal fans following our last-minute winner in the semi-final at Highbury looked a little silly after spending the past 20 minutes shouting 'Ole'.

Best opponent? Danny Murphy was awesome for Charlton against us at the Valley early on in the season.

Best fans, besides your own? Spurs.

What would constitute a good season? Survival. We're still a growing club.

Will you boo Cristiano Ronaldo? Long before the World Cup he summed up everything wrong with the modern day overpaid footballer. He will get booed.

Who should run the game: the clubs or the FA? When you consider some of the clowns running some clubs, it's probably better the devil you know.

Steve McClaren: Yes, or no? Yes. He can't be worse than the last bloke, can he?

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