FA Premier League 2001-02

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This article describes the FA Premier League 2001-02 season.

2001-02 was the tenth season of the FA Premier League. It also began with a new sponsor, Barclaycard, and was titled the F.A Barclaycard Premiership. For much of the season the title was contested between the top six teams: Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Newcastle United, Leeds United and Chelsea. But Arsenal won their final 12 Premiership fixtures (as well as lifting the FA Cup) and beat deadly rivals Manchester United 1-0 away in the penultimate game of the season to clinch the title - and make them only the second English side to win the league championship/F.A Cup double three times. Arsenal, whose top league goalscorer was 24-goal Thierry Henry, had lost just three league games all season (none away from home) and scored in all 38 games. Liverpool finished second to achieve their first top-two league finish since 1991. Ironically, third placed Manchester United finished outside the top two since 1991. Their relatively disappointing final position was down to a terrible run of form in the first half of the season, in which they had suffered six league defeats in seven games. Having been knocked out of the European Cup, F.A Cup and League Cup, it was also the first time since 1989 that Sir Alex Ferguson's team had not been winners or runners-up of a major competition. Sir Alex had intended to retire at the end of 2001-02 but before the end of the season he had signed an new three-year contract extension.

The first club whose relegation from the Premiership was confirmed in 2001-02 was Leicester City. They finished 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, and had changed their manager twice during the season (Peter Taylor was replaced by David Bassett in early October and six months later Bassett joined the club's board to be replaced by assistant manager Micky Adams). Just after the start of 2002-03, Leicester's relegation (which cost them extensive television revenue) and the cost of their new stadium had created debts in excess of 30million, and the club went into administration before being taken over by a new owner. Despite this setback, Leicester won 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 Craig Levein.

Next to go down were Derby County, who had been promoted alongside Leicester six years earlier. Their manager Jim Smith resigned in early October to be replaced by assistant manager Colin Todd, who was sacked three months later after Derby were knocked out of the F.A Cup by Division Three strugglers Bristol Rovers. Todd was replaced by former Aston Villa manager John Gregory, who was unable to prevent relegation after Derby lost seven of their last eight league games. Gregory has since been replaced by George Burley and Derby County have yet to regain their Premiership status.

The last team to be relegated were Ipswich Town, who the previous season had qualified for the UEFA Cup and earned manager George Burley the Manager of the Year award. 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. Their relegation was confirmed on the final day of the season by a 5-0 thrashing at Liverpool.

For the first time in the history of the Premier League, all three promoted teams avoided relegation: Fulham, Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers.

Fulham had splashed out 34million on new players during the close season, and their owner Mohamed Al-Fayed was 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 to push for a place in Europe. But they finished a relatively disappointing 13th place in the final table.

Bolton Wanderers went top of the Premiership after winning their first three fixtures of the season, and 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 was confirmed in the penultimate game of the season.

Blackburn Rovers were the most successful of the promoted sides. They 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.

At the end of 2001-02, as usual three clubs were promoted to the Premiership - two clubs were promoted as champions and runners-up of Division One while a third team went up through the playoffs.

Manchester City, in their first season under the managership of former Newcastle United and England manager Kevin Keegan, were promoted as runaway champions of Division One having scored more than 100 league goals. They had retained their Premiership status at the first time of asking.

The two other promotion places went to two neighbouring West Midlands teams who had both been outside the top division since 1986. And who had both been ruled out of the promotion race earlier in the season.

West Bromwich Albion had been 10 points behind deadly rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers with nine games of the Division One campaign to go. But Gary Megson's team went into overdrive and overtook their neighbours, whose form took a dive during the final phase of the season. Albion's promotion was confirmed when they won their final game of the season.

Birmingham City had parted company with manager Trevor Francis in October 2001, and after one month of wrangling were finally able to appoint Crystal Palace's Steve Bruce as his replacement (in a bizarre role reversal, Francis later took charge at Crystal Palace). Even at the turn of the new year it seemed likely that Birmingham would have to settle for a mid table finish and wait another season before pushing for promotion. But a run of good form saw the club qualify for the Division One playoffs and win promotion after being Norwich City on penalties in the final.

There were several Premiership managerial changes (resignations and sackings) during 2001-02. John Gregory resigned as Aston Villa manager in January to be replaced by Graham Taylor, while Gregory made a quick return to the game as manager of Derby County who had sacked Colin Todd just three months after he took over from Jim Smith. Leicester City had sacked Peter Taylor in early October and replaced him with David Bassett, who spent just six months in charge before becoming Director of Football and vacating his manager's role to make way for assistant Micky Adams. Stuart Gray was sacked as Southampton manager in October and replaced by Gordon Strachan. In March, Everton had sacked manager Walter Smith and replaced him with Preston's David Moyes.

After the season was over, Leeds United sacked David O'Leary after a four-year spell as manager had failed to land a trophy despite a 100million outlay on new players. Over the next two seasons, the club's debts spiralled to 80million, key players had to be sold to pay off the debts, three managers (Terry Venables followed by Peter Reid and then Eddie Gray) came and went, and Leeds were relegated from the Premiership at the end of 2003-04, just four seasons after they reached the semi finals of the Champions League.


Promoted teams

Relegated teams

Final League Table

Final League Table for FA Premier League 2001-02 Season
Team P W D L F A Pts
1 Arsenal 38 26 9 3 79 36 87
2 Liverpool 38 24 8 6 67 30 80
3 Manchester United 38 24 5 9 87 45 77
4 Newcastle United 38 21 8 9 74 52 71
5 Leeds United 38 18 12 8 53 37 66
6 Chelsea 38 17 13 8 66 38 64
7 West Ham United 38 15 8 15 48 57 53
8 Aston Villa 38 12 14 12 46 47 50
9 Tottenham Hotspur 38 14 8 16 49 53 50
10 Blackburn Rovers 38 12 10 16 55 51 46
11 Southampton 38 12 9 17 46 54 45
12 Middlesbrough 38 12 9 17 35 47 45
13 Fulham 38 10 14 14 36 44 44
14 Charlton Athletic 38 10 14 14 38 49 44
15 Everton 38 11 10 17 45 57 43
16 Bolton Wanderers 38 9 13 16 44 62 40
17 Sunderland 38 10 10 18 29 51 40
18 Ipswich Town 38 9 9 20 41 64 36
19 Derby County 38 8 6 24 33 63 30
20 Leicester City 38 5 13 20 30 64 28

P = Games Played; W = Games Won; D = Games Drawn; L = Games Lost; F = Goals For; A = Goals Against; Pts = Points

Top goal scorers

Scorer Goals Team
Thierry Henry 24 Arsenal F.C.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink 23 Chelsea F.C.
Alan Shearer 23 Newcastle United F.C.
Ruud van Nistelrooy 23 Manchester United F.C.
Michael Owen 19 Liverpool F.C.

See also

Template:FA Premier League teamlist
FA Premier League seasons

1992-93 | 1993-94 | 1994-95 | 1995-96 | 1996-97 | 1997-98 | 1998-99
1999-00 | 2000-01 | 2001-02 | 2002-03 | 2003-04 | 2004-05 | 2005-06 edit (

Football in England

League competitions

The FA

Cup competitions

FA Premier League FA Cup
The Football League (Champ, 1, 2) England
League Cup
Football Conference (Nat, N, S) FA Community Shield
Northern Premier League (Prem, 1) (women) Football League Trophy
Southern League (Prem, 1W, 1E) List of
FA Trophy
Isthmian League (Prem, 1, 2) FA Vase
English football league system Records FA NLS Cup

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