2008–09 Tottenham Hotspur F.C. season

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Tottenham Hotspur
2008–09 season
Chairman Daniel Levy
Manager Juande Ramos (until 25 October)
Harry Redknapp (from 25 October)
Premier League 8th
FA Cup Fourth round
League Cup Runners-up
UEFA Cup Round of 32
Top goalscorer League:
Darren Bent (12)
All:
Darren Bent (17)
Highest home attendance 36,183 (vs. Liverpool, 1 November 2008)
Lowest home attendance 35,507 (vs. Bolton, 26 October 2008)
Average home league attendance 35,929
Home colours
Away colours
Third colours

The 2008–09 season was Tottenham Hotspur 17th season in the Premier League, their 30th successive season in the top division of the English football league system and the 126th year of their history.

After finishing 11th in the 2007–08 season, Tottenham began the season under the leadership of Spaniard Juande Ramos, drafted in to replace Martin Jol mid-way through the previous season. However, after suffering the worst start of a league season in Tottenham's history, with no wins in eight league games and only two points, Ramos was sacked and replaced by seasoned manager Harry Redknapp, who quickly eliminated the continental structure that the club had established over the past seasons. Tottenham's league form improved and mainly remained positive with the final position of eighth a far cry from the relegation places Tottenham had occupied throughout the campaign. Spurs also reached the final of the League Cup, and, as the reigning champions, faced league leaders Manchester United but lost 4–1 on penalties. With an average attendance of 35,929, Tottenham had the ninth highest attendance in the Premier League.

Tottenham drafted in a total of 15 players through transfers and sold 19 players during the combined summer and winter transfer windows.

Season 2008–2009[edit]

Pre-season[edit]

Transfers[edit]

Luka Modrić – Tottenham's most expensive signing of the 2008–09 season

At the end of the 2007–08 season, which saw Tottenham finish 11th in the Premier League, the club announced the signing of Croatian playmaker Luka Modrić[1] and reiterated that any club wishing to sign their Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov would need to offer more than £30 million.[2] Tottenham's transfer movement began immediately with Czech goalkeeper Radek Černý moving on a free transfer to QPR following the end of the season;[3] Černý's loan deal had expired and was not offered a contract extension by Tottenham nor his parent club Slavia Prague. Little under a month later, Tottenham agreed a deal with Barcelona for 19-year-old Mexican forward Giovani Dos Santos for an initial fee of £4.7 million.[4] Not long afterwards, Tottenham reached a deal with Dutch club PSV Eindhoven for Brazilian goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, valued at around £8 million.[5]

Following comments made by Sir Alex Ferguson indicating confidence over signing Dimitar Berbatov even though negotiations were not yet underway, the club issued a press statement on 18 July 2008 on behalf of Daniel Levy, saying that both Manchester United and Liverpool had been reported to the Premier League over comments their respective managers had made which were seen as unsettling both Dimitar Berbatov and Irish striker Robbie Keane with a view of enticing them away from Tottenham.[6] Levy said of United boss Alex Ferguson:

"Today's public comments by Manchester United's manager, announcing that he has made an offer for Dimitar and is confident that the deal will go through with time working in their favour, is a blatant example of sheer arrogance and interference with one of our players. It is also probably one of the worst offences by any manager in the Premier League to date and is unbelievably hypocritical given his recent comments in respect of Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid.

I have absolutely no wish to sell either player and to date we have not accepted any offer for either. However, when a player's head is turned and their commitment is absent, particularly when they occupy key positions such as that of striker, they become a negative influence in a team dressing room in which they were once a positive addition and influence. This is the situation we now have on our hands, with both Dimitar and Robbie having made it clear that they wish to leave for Manchester United and Liverpool respectively."[7]

Throughout July, Tottenham parted ways with many first team members of the squad, On 23 July 2008, it was announced that the club had sold the services of Teemu Tainio. The Finnish midfielder joined Sunderland on a three-year contract,[8] French defender Pascal Chimbonda followed him a day later, joining the same club for an undisclosed fee.[9] The following day, former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson signed a five-year contract with Blackburn Rovers for £3.5 million, having played for Spurs for four years. Robinson joined the club from Leeds United in May 2004 and made 175 appearances for the club in all competitions, scoring once against Watford in 2007.[10]

On 28 July 2008, Tottenham agreed to sell Robbie Keane to Liverpool for a total that could amount to £20.3 million. With the sale, Tottenham also agreed to drop its official complaint to the Premier League about Liverpool's pursuit of Keane after Liverpool issued a formal apology and made a donation to the Tottenham Foundation.[11]

Dimitar Berbatov joined Manchester United within moments of the summer transfer window's closure

Levy issued a statement coinciding with the confirmation of the Keane transfer:

"I was incredibly disappointed when I first heard, not only that Liverpool had been working behind the scenes to bring Robbie to Anfield, but that Robbie himself wanted to go and he submitted a transfer request to this effect. I have already made my opinion clear on the nature of this transaction. I don't regard it as a transfer deal – that is something which happens between two clubs when they both agree to trade – this is very much an enforced sale, for which we have agreed a sum of £19m as compensation plus a potential further £1.3m in additional compensation."

On 30 July 2008, French midfielder Steed Malbranque became the third player in a week to leave, following Tainio and Chimbonda to Sunderland for a fee of £7.8 million.[12] Later the same day, Tottenham announced they had reached agreement with Blackburn Rovers for the transfer of David Bentley to the club for £15 million.[13]

Totttenham made their first transfer move in the month of August with the signing of veteran goalkeeper César Sánchez from Real Zaragoza on 8 August 2008. The deal was initially a season-long loan with the permanent signing being completed at the end of the 2008–09 season.[14] The first Tottenham departure in August was French defender Younes Kaboul, when, on 11 August 2008, he joined Portsmouth for an undisclosed fee.[15] Towards the end of August, two more players left, with Anthony Gardner moving to Hull City[16] and Lee Young-Pyo leaving for Borussia Dortmund.[17]

Friendlies[edit]

As part of their pre-season preparations, Tottenham held a training camp in Spain, along with numerous friendlies, in July.[18] Their first friendly, against local side Tavernes, saw Spurs stroll to an 8–0 success, with Giovanni Dos Santos scoring his first goals for the clubs,[19] Tottenham then faced two of Juande Ramos' former teams in CD Dénia and Hércules. Spurs beat Dénia 4–2[20] and then curtailed the Spanish section of their preparations with a 1–1 with Hércules.[21]

Tottenham returned to England to play Norwich City, recovering from being a goal down to win 5–1, with Darren Bent netting four of the strikes.[22] They later played Leyton Orient, again winning 5–1 with Luka Modrić scoring his first goal for Spurs and Darren Bent scoring a hat-trick to take his tally to nine goals in five games.[23] Tottenham then embarked to Holland to play in the Feyenoord Jubilee Tournament, held in Rotterdam at the start of August, with a 2–0 victory over Celtic thanks to goals from Darren Bent and David Bentley.[24] Spurs followed this with another win, over German club Borussia Dortmund 3–0 with goals from Bent, Dos Santos and Jamie O'Hara. Tottenham Hotspur were crowned the winners of the tournament on 3 August.[25]

Tottenham finished their pre-season preparations with a 5–0 victory over Serie A giants Roma, which ensured they stayed unbeaten throughout the period, scoring thirty-three goals and conceding five in a total of seven games, with Darren Bent scoring 13 times.[26]

August[edit]

Stamford Bridge was the venue for Tottenham's first point of the season

Tottenham Hotspur's league season got off to a bad start with a 2–1 loss to Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium,[27] followed a week later by another 2–1 defeat to Sunderland, with debutant Djibril Cissé scoring the winning goal in the final minutes.[28] The defeats against Middlesbrough and Sunderland were punctuated with the on-going transfer saga concerning Dimitar Berbatov and Manchester United; rumours that Berbatov had refused to play (later revealed to be true[29]) began to circulate, along with the theory that this refusal from one of Tottenham's best players was hurting team morale. Tottenham got their first point of the season eight days after the Sunderland loss in a 1–1 draw at Stamford Bridge against title contenders Chelsea.[30] With both the end of August and the summer transfer window approaching, the Berbatov saga ended with him making a transfer to Manchester United for £30.75 million and young striker Fraizer Campbell coming in loan for the whole season.[31] Manchester City had tried to enter the fray in the final hours with a £30 million bid accepted but Berbatov rejected the move.[32] Vedran Ćorluka also completed his move from Manchester City to join Croatian team-mate Luka Modrić and provide competition for the right-back position.[33]

September[edit]

Tottenham's first match in September led to another 2–1 loss, at home to Aston Villa.[34] This resulted in three losses in four and one point from a possible twelve, rooting Spurs to the bottom of the Premier League table. Tottenham achieved their first competitive win of the season in the UEFA Cup against Wisła Kraków, with David Bentley scoring his debut and the winning goal.[35] Spurs returned to the league with a goalless home draw against Wigan Athletic[36] and a tepid 2–0 away defeat to Portsmouth, with ex-Tottenham player Jermain Defoe scoring a penalty.[37] At the end of September, Tottenham Hotspur were bottom of the league and officially suffering their worst Premier League start. However, Spurs were able to make a successful start to the defence of their League Cup title, defeating Newcastle United 2–1 at St James' Park to progress to the fourth round of the competition.[38]

October[edit]

Roman Pavlyuchenko scored his first league goal in Tottenham's first win over Bolton Wanderers at White Hart Lane

October started with progression to the group stages of the UEFA Cup for Tottenham with a 1–1 draw in Poland against Wisła Kraków in their second leg tie,[39] but Spurs' horrendous league form continued with a home loss to newly promoted Hull City, Geovanni's long range free-kick in the early minutes of the game condemning Tottenham to another loss,[40] They then followed this match with another battle against a newly promoted side, Stoke. The match concluded with Tottenham conceding two penalties and having Michael Dawson & Gareth Bale sent off in a 2–1 loss.[41] This loss meant that Tottenham had only two points from eight games, were bottom of the Premier League and now were amidst the worst start to a season in the 126 year history of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. The ever-increasing pressure on manager Juande Ramos grew after a 2–0 loss in Italy to Udinese in the first match of the UEFA Cup Group stage.[42]

On Saturday 25 October, the club announced the departure, with immediate effect, of Sporting Director Damien Comolli, Head Coach Juande Ramos and First Team Coaches, Marcos Álvarez and Gus Poyet, It was announced, within hours, that the club had agreed a deal worth £5 million with Portsmouth F.C, allowing manager Harry Redknapp to become the boss at Tottenham.[43]

Redknapp was unveiled as Tottenham manager the same day before the home match against Bolton Wanderers F.C. and gave the team talk, although the team itself was selected by Clive Allen and Alex Inglethorpe. Tottenham eased to their first league win of the season, with Roman Pavlyuchenko scoring his first Premier League goal.[44] Tottenham then faced bitter rivals Arsenal in the latest installment of the North London derby, the match ended 4–4 and viewed as one of the best games in the long history of the North London derby. Tottenham took the lead with a stunning David Bentley volley from 35-yards, Arsenal then responded with a Mikaël Silvestre header and found themselves 3–1 ahead deep inside the second half, Darren Bent made it 3–2 before Robin Van Persie seemingly wrapped up the points making it 4–2 to Arsenal. With 5 minutes left, Jermaine Jenas made it 4–3 after capitalising on a Gaël Clichy slip, and then Aaron Lennon grabbed a point for Tottenham when he, four minutes into stoppage time, made it 4–4 with a tap-in.[45]

November[edit]

Tottenham's revitalised form continued into November with a win over league leaders Liverpool,[46] Dirk Kuyt blasted Liverpool into an early lead before a Jamie Carragher own goal and a Pavlyuchenko tap-in gave Spurs the three points. five days later, Harry Redknapp took charge of his first Tottenham UEFA cup match which ended with Tottenham thrashing Dinamo Zagreb 4–0, including a Darren Bent hat-trick, resurrecting the UEFA Cup challenge.[47]

The first away win for Tottenham's season came on 9 November 2008, with a 2–1 win over Manchester City and Darren bent scoring his 5th goal in two games,[48] Tottenham's fourth game in 11 days sent them to fifth round of the League Cup with a 4–2 win over Liverpool, which also included the first goals for on-loan striker Fraizer Campbell.[49]

Tottenham's six game unbeaten run ended with a 2–1 loss to Fulham, A mistake from Heurelho Gomes helped Fulham into a two goal lead before Fraizer Campbell pulled one back.[50] Tottenham recovered quickly with a 1–0 win over Blackburn Rovers,[51] increasing the pressure on Blackburn manager Paul Ince and another 1–0 win over NEC Nijmegen in the UEFA Cup almost assuring safe passage to the next round.[52]

November ended with a 1–0 home loss to Everton, Steven Pienaar's deflected effort, later attributed as a Vedran Ćorluka own goal, was enough to get the victory for Everton.[53]

December[edit]

Tottenham began December by putting themselves into the semi-finals of the League Cup with a 2–1 win over Watford F.C, Watford had taken the lead through a Tamas Priskin strike but a penalty from Roman Pavlyuchenko and a goal from Darren Bent earned Spurs a tie versus Burnley in the semi-final.[54] Tottenham continued their decent league form with a 2–0 win over West Ham which also included Ledley King's first goal for three years.[55]

Spurs then faced defending league champions Manchester United in a home tie which ended in a 0–0 draw, which meant that Tottenham were now unbeaten against the Premier League Top Four,[56] Tottenham then completed their UEFA Cup group stage with a 2–2 draw with Spartak Moscow,[57] they proceeded to the next stage in runner up place to face Champions league drop-outs Shakhtar Donetsk.

Tottenham faced Newcastle United at St James' Park in a losing 2–1 effort, The match was heading for a 1–1 draw until Damien Duff scored in stoppage time to give Newcastle the three points, five days later,[58] Tottenham opposed Fulham in the return match at White Hart Lane, the match ended 0–0.[59]

December ended the same as November with a loss, this time to newly promoted West Brom. The 2–0 win was controversial however, as defender Michael Dawson claimed that he had been fouled by Albion striker Roman Bednar while the latter scored the opening goal. The goal stood and Tottenham ended the year still very much in a relegation battle.[60]

January Transfer Window[edit]

Robbie Keane returned to Tottenham only 6 months after his move to Liverpool

With the January transfer window opening on 1 January, Tottenham made movement in the market straight away. On 6 January 2009, Jermain Defoe returned to the club from Portsmouth in a deal worth an initial £9million with extras and the writing off of past transfer fees in Pedro Mendes and Defoe himself meant the media announced the fee £15 million,[61] Just over 2 weeks later, Tottenham came to an agreement for the transfer of Wilson Palacios for a fee of £12 million from Wigan, the deal for Palacios was concluded on 30 January with the approval of a work permit.[62] Tottenham also signed experienced goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini from Chelsea on a free transfer[63] and also concluded a deal to re-sign Pascal Chimbonda from Sunderland for a fee thought to be around £3 million,[64] On the final day of the transfer window, Tottenham resigned their third former player in a month, signing striker Robbie Keane for a fee of an initial £12 million, which, depending on circumstances, can rise to £15 million.[65]

The departures in January saw Andy Barcham made his loan move to Gillingham permanent for an undisclosed fee,[66] four days later, Charlie Daniels left Tottenham to join Leyton Orient on a free transfer.[67] On 21 January, Veteran goalkeeper Cesar Sanchez contract was cancelled so he could return to Spain to play for Spanish club Valencia.[68] and two days later, Tottenham outcast Hossam Ghaly joined Saudi-Arabian club Al-Nasr for an undisclosed price.[69]

January[edit]

January began well for Tottenham, advancing to the next round of the FA Cup with a 3–1 win over Wigan[70] and then following that with a 4–1 win against Burnley in the League Cup semi-final first leg,[71] however Tottenham's league form again suffered when in the next game, against Wigan, Spurs lost 1–0 when Maynor Figueroa powered in a header in stoppage time to confine Tottenham to another loss from last minute goals.[72]

Tottenham responded seven days later with a 1–1 draw against Portsmouth, at White Hart Lane, The match had massive publicity because of the return of Harry Redknapp and Jermain Defoe,[73] In the match, David Nugent scored a deflected goal before Defoe returned to haunt his old club by scoring the equaliser.[74]

Tottenham, then, faced Burnley in the League Cup semi-final second leg. Burnley could only progress by winning by three clear goals and it was widely seen as unlikely that Burnley would offer much in terms of opposition, however after 90 minutes, goals from Robbie Blake, Chris McCann and Jay Rodriguez took the game to extra time and if they held on they would progress thanks to the away goals rule, but facing elimination with under three minutes left to play, goals from Pavlyuchenko and Defoe saw Spurs progress to the final 6–4 on aggregate.[75]

Three days after the extra-time tie, Tottenham faced Manchester United in the FA Cup, losing 2–1, having taken the lead through Pavlyuchenko before a deflected goal from Paul Scholes and a strike from Dimitar Berbatov ended the FA challenge for the 2008–09 season.[76]

Thre days later, Tottenham got their first league win in 6 games with a 3–1 home win over Stoke, brilliant play saw Spurs take a 3–0 lead in the first 30 minutes before James Beattie scored a consolation goal for the visitors,[77] January ended in defeat for Spurs with 3–2 loss to Bolton, Bolton took a 2–0 lead before a Darren Bent double levelled until another last minute goal from Kevin Davies claimed the points for the home side.[78]

February[edit]

February for Tottenham Hotspur started with a North London derby against fierce rivals, Arsenal. The highly anticipated match ended 0–0 with Spurs enjoying the dominant moments in the game thanks, in part, to the first half sending off of Arsenal midfielder, Emmanuel Eboué.[79] An eleven day rest, ended with a trip to Ukraine to face champions league drop-outs, Shakhtar Donetsk in the Last 32 of the UEFA Cup. Tottenham lost 2–0, thanks to late goals from Evhen Seleznyov and Jádson.[80] The match incurred much criticism from some quarters, due to Tottenham playing a weakened side,[81] however the criticisms were brushed aside by Harry Redknapp, emphatically prioritising the Premier League and League Cup over the UEFA cup.[82] On 23 February, Tottenham faced Hull City at the KC Stadium in the Monday night fixture. Spurs eased to a 2–1 win with goals from Aaron Lennon and Jonathan Woodgate sealing a valuable set of points.[83]

Tottenham ended the February set of fixtures only three days later with the return leg of Shakhtar Donetsk, Tottenham again fielded a severely weakened team, due in part to the 2009 Football League Cup Final being only three days away, and earned a valiant 1–1 draw, with Giovani Dos Santos scoring his first Tottenham goal before a late Fernandinho goal sealed the leg for Shakhtar in the dying moments to eliminate Spurs from the European competition.[84]

March[edit]

Tottenham visited Wembley two years consecutively, In 2008–09 they entered as incumbent League Cup Champions

March began with the 2009 League Cup Final against Manchester United, the frantic final ended 0–0 and resulted in a penalty shoot-out, which Manchester United won 4–1 to win the first major trophy of the 2008–09 season.[85]

Tottenham rebounded from the heart-break of the final loss,[86] three days later, with a comprehensive 4–0 win over Middlesbrough to ease the immediate relegation concerns.[87] The unbeaten run continued with a 1–1 at Sunderland on 7 March, the tense match began with an early goal for Kieran Richardson and remained so until in the dying embers of the game, Robbie Keane struck a volley to earn Spurs a point.[88] Eight days later, Tottenham faced fourth placed Aston Villa at Villa Park, an early goal from Jermaine Jenas gave spurs the lead until early in the second half when the lead was extended thanks to a Darren Bent tap-in, John Carew stuck a consolation goal as Tottenham took the three points.[89] Days before the last match of the March fixtures, Tottenham announced a record amount of profit in the 2008 fiscal year.[90]

Tottenham faced Chelsea in the final match in March at White Hart Lane, In a thrilling London derby, Tottenham took maximum points, thanks to a second half goal from Croatian Luka Modrić and a much improved performance by goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, putting Tottenham only three points behind a European place.[91]

March ended with three call-ups into the England squad with Aaron Lennon in, thanks to being in mercurial form during the month of March and Ledley King earning a shock call-up, however with the constant injury situation surrounding the goliath defender, King had to pull out three days later.[92][93] Darren Bent also received a call up, on 28 March, after an injury to Carlton Cole ruled him out of the world cup qualifier against Ukraine.[94]

April[edit]

The penultimate month of the Premier League season began with a trip to Ewood Park, on 4 April, to face relegation-battlers Blackburn Rovers, Tottenham took the lead through a Robbie Keane penalty and led until the 80th minute, when the contentious sending off of Wilson Palacios swung the game back in Blackburn's favour and two late goals from Benni McCarthy and Andre Ooijer gave the three points to the home side.[95]

Seven days later, Tottenham faced West Ham in a London Derby, the match ended 1–0 thanks to a solo effort from the returning Roman Pavlyuchenko.[96] The win ignited Tottenham's charge into the final Europa league place which was consolidated eight days later on 19 April, with another 1–0 win, this time over struggling Newcastle. An early Darren Bent goal was enough to secure the points and help steer the club further towards European football.[97]

April ended with a defeat to league leaders, Manchester United, At Old Trafford. Tottenham led 2–0 through two quick-fire strikes from Darren Bent and Luka Modrić, but in the second half, Manchester United were awarded a penalty by referee Howard Webb, and went on to win the game 5–2. Webb later admitted that he had got the penalty decision wrong.[98] The loss damaged Tottenham's hopes of 7th place.[99]

May[edit]

Against the norm, there were four Premier league fixtures in May. Tottenham took on relegation strugglers West Bromwich Albion at White Hart Lane, looking to bounce back from the heavy defeat at Old Trafford. The game was settled by a well placed Jermaine Jenas effort from just outside the area on the stroke of half time, and secured Spurs' fifth home win a row. It was their fourth 1–0 win at home in a row, and sixth consecutive home clean sheet, leaving them on the verge of a club record of the fewest goals conceded at home in a season.[100]

A week later, Tottenham travelled to Goodison Park, The game was marred by the pre-match news that the brother of Wilson Palacios had been confirmed dead in his native Honduras, causing him to leave the team hotel hours before the game.[101] This was one of many factors that caused Harry Redknapp to go with an unorthodox 3–5–2 formation, notably bringing in Gareth Bale at left wing-back for the Welsh youngster's first league start for four months. A game that finished 0–0 for the second consecutive season earned Tottenham a point in their European quest.[102]

The following Saturday, Tottenham went into their final home game of the season against Manchester City, with a target of setting a new club record for goals conceded at home. They simply had to concede no more than a goal to break the record of eleven which had stood since 1920. Spurs could also end Manchester City's hopes of Europe next season, while increasing their own slender hopes. Tottenham took the lead in the 29th minute, when Jermain Defoe improvised with a back heel from close range from Tom Huddlestone's cross. In the second half Spurs were forced to rue their earlier missed chances when Valeri Bojinov grabbed an equaliser, in the process scoring the first away goal at the lane since James Beattie's consolation in January. A draw was looking increasingly likely until Fraizer Campbell was brought down to win a penalty, which was converted by Robbie Keane. The game finished 2–1 and Tottenham, having conceded just ten goals at home all season, broke their own club record and ensured ending the season with the best home defence in the 2008–09 season.[103]

Tottenham went into the final game of the season at Anfield, with a small chance of making 7th place and Europe, needing to beat Liverpool, and hoping that Everton could get three points against Fulham at Craven Cottage. Everton won 2–0. Fernando Torres and an own goal by Alan Hutton had Liverpool 2–0 up. A goal from Robbie Keane on his return to Anfield gave Tottenham a glimmer of hope, but just three minutes later allowed Yossi Benayoun to sew the game up for the home team with Tottenham Hotspur finishing the season with a 3–1 loss.[104]

Spurs finished the season in 8th place, a turnaround in form pushing them into higher reaches of the league, when they were as low as 19th place as recently as January and 20th for a part of the season. Having made their worst start to a league season in their 126 year history, Tottenham made a three place improvement on the 2007–08 season.

Premier League table[edit]

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Qualification or relegation
1 Manchester United (C) 38 28 6 4 68 24 +44 90 Group stage
2 Liverpool 38 25 11 2 77 27 +50 86
3 Chelsea 38 25 8 5 68 24 +44 83
4 Arsenal 38 20 12 6 68 37 +31 72 Play-off round
5 Everton 38 17 12 9 55 37 +18 63 Play-off round
6 Aston Villa 38 17 11 10 54 48 +6 62
7 Fulham 38 14 11 13 39 34 +5 53 Third qualifying round
8 Tottenham Hotspur 38 14 9 15 45 45 0 51
9 West Ham United 38 14 9 15 42 45 −3 51
10 Manchester City 38 15 5 18 58 50 +8 50
11 Wigan Athletic 38 12 9 17 34 45 −11 45
12 Stoke City 38 12 9 17 39 55 −16 45
13 Bolton Wanderers 38 11 8 19 41 53 −12 41
14 Portsmouth 38 10 11 17 38 57 −19 41
15 Blackburn Rovers 38 10 11 17 40 60 −20 41
16 Sunderland 38 9 9 20 34 54 −20 36
17 Hull City 38 8 11 19 39 64 −25 35
18 Newcastle United (R) 38 7 13 18 40 59 −19 34 Relegation to Football League Championship 2009–10
19 Middlesbrough (R) 38 7 11 20 28 57 −29 32
20 West Bromwich Albion (R) 38 8 8 22 36 67 −31 32

Updated to games played on 24 May 2009.
Source: Barclays Premier League
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

Transfers[edit]

In[edit]

Date Player Previous Club Cost
30 May 2008 England John Bostock England Crystal Palace £700,000[105]
30 June 2008 Italy Mirko Ranieri Italy Perugia Undisclosed[106]
1 July 2008 Democratic Republic of the Congo Jose-Paul Mpoku Belgium Standard Liège Undisclosed[107]
1 July 2008 Croatia Luka Modrić Croatia Dinamo Zagreb £16 million[108]
1 July 2008 Mexico Giovani Dos Santos Spain Barcelona £5 million[109]
1 July 2008 Brazil Heurelho Gomes Netherlands PSV Eindhoven £7.8 million[110]
30 July 2008 England David Bentley England Blackburn Rovers £15 million[111]
8 August 2008 Spain César Sánchez Spain Real Zaragoza Undisclosed[112]
30 August 2008 Russia Roman Pavlyuchenko Russia Spartak Moscow £14 million[113]
1 September 2008 Croatia Vedran Ćorluka England Manchester City £8.5 million[114]
6 January 2009 England Jermain Defoe England Portsmouth £9 million[115]
21 January 2009 Honduras Wilson Palacios England Wigan Athletic £12 million[62]
26 January 2009 Italy Carlo Cudicini England Chelsea Free[116]
26 January 2009 France Pascal Chimbonda England Sunderland £4.5 million[117]
2 February 2009 Republic of Ireland Robbie Keane England Liverpool £12 million[118][119]
Total
£104.5 million +

Out[edit]

Date Player New Club Cost
1 July 2008 Czech Republic Radek Černý England QPR Free[120]
1 July 2008 England Joe Martin England Blackpool Undisclosed[121]
7 July 2008 England Tommy Forecast England Southampton Undisclosed[122]
23 July 2008 Finland Teemu Tainio England Sunderland £5million[123]
25 July 2008 England Paul Robinson England Blackburn £3.5million[124]
26 July 2008 France Pascal Chimbonda England Sunderland £5million[9]
28 July 2008 Republic of Ireland Robbie Keane England Liverpool £19million[125]
30 July 2008 France Steed Malbranque England Sunderland £7million[12]
11 August 2008 France Younes Kaboul England Portsmouth £6million[126]
14 August 2008 England Anthony Gardner England Hull City £2.5million[127]
27 August 2008 South Korea Lee Young-Pyo Germany Borussia Dortmund Undisclosed[128]
1 September 2008 Bulgaria Dimitar Berbatov England Manchester United £30.75million[129]
21 December 2008 Canada Paul Stalteri Germany Borussia Mönchengladbach Released[130]
29 December 2008 Norway Dag Alexander Olsen Spain Valencia Undisclosed[131]
2 January 2009 England Andy Barcham England Gillingham Undisclosed[132]
6 January 2009 England Charlie Daniels England Leyton Orient Free[133]
21 January 2009 Spain César Sánchez Spain Valencia Undisclosed[134]
23 January 2009 Egypt Hossam Ghaly Saudi Arabia Al-Nasr Undisclosed[135]
9 February 2009 England Leigh Mills Unattached Released[136]
Total
£78.75 million +

Trials[edit]

Date Player Club Result
6 January 2009 Ghana Stephen Appiah Free Agent Unsuccessful[137]
16 January 2009 Ghana Quincy Owusu-Abeyie Spartak Moscow Unsuccessful[138]

Loan arrivals[edit]

Date Player Club Loan Length
2 September 2008 England Fraizer Campbell Manchester United 24 May 2009[139]

Loan departures[edit]

Loan Start Date Player Club Loan End Date
11 July 2008 England Jake Livermore Crewe Alexandra 23 July 2008[140]
26 August 2008 England Charlie Daniels Gillingham 29 September 2008[141]
8 August 2008 England Troy Archibald-Henville Norwich 10 November 2008[142]
16 October 2008 England Ben Alnwick Carlisle 17 November 2008[143]
19 September 2008 England David Button Grays Athletic 20 November 2008[144]
2 July 2008 England Simon Dawkins Leyton Orient 1 January 2009[145]
8 August 2008 England Leigh Mills Gillingham 1 January 2009[146]
26 August 2008 Czech Republic Tomas Pekhart Southampton 1 January 2009[147][148]
25 September 2008 England Andy Barcham Gillingham 2 January 2009[149]
1 January 2009 England Lee Butcher Grays Athletic 15 February 2009[150]
16 January 2009 England David Button Bournemouth 16 February 2009[151][152]
25 February 2009 England Kyle Fraser-Allen Macclesfield 1 April 2009[153]
6 March 2009 England David Button Luton 7 April 2009[154][155]
10 March 2009 EnglandLee Butcher St Albans 11 April 2009[156]
13 March 2009 Morocco Adel Taarabt QPR 24 April 2009[157][158]
17 April 2009 England David Button Dagenham & Redbridge 1 May 2009[159][160]
20 January 2009 England Troy Archibald-Henville Exeter 4 May 2009[161][162]
29 January 2009 France Dorian Dervite Southend 4 May 2009[163]
3 March 2009 England Danny Hutchins Yeovil 4 May 2009[164][165]
12 March 2009 Wales Chris Gunter Nottingham Forest 4 May 2009[166]
13 March 2009 Mexico Giovani Dos Santos Ipswich 4 May 2009[167]
19 March 2009 England Jonathan Obika Yeovil 4 May 2009[168][169]
19 March 2009 England Andros Townsend Yeovil 4 May 2009[168][169]
24 March 2009 England Danny Rose Watford 4 May 2009[170]
26 March 2009 Spain Yuri Berchiche Cheltenham 4 May 2009[171]
26 March 2009 Republic of Ireland David Hutton Cheltenham 4 May 2009[171]
18 April 2009 England Lee Butcher Grays Athletic 4 May 2009[172]
11 January 2009 Germany Kevin-Prince Boateng Borussia Dortmund 24 May 2009[173]
2 February 2009 Czech Republic Tomas Pekhart Slavia Prague January 2010[174]

Season 2008–09 Long-term injury list[edit]

Date Injured Player Injury Return Date
8 November 2008 Mexico Giovani Dos Santos Ankle Ligament 2 January 2009[175]
17 January 2009 England Ledley King Hamstring strain 23 February 2009[176]
20 November 2008 Scotland Alan Hutton Foot fracture 23 March 2009[177][178][179]
29 January 2009 England Jermain Defoe Broken metatarsal 15 April 2009[180][181][182]
19 April 2009 England Michael Dawson Torn ankle ligament Start of 2009–10 season[183]
25 April 2009 England Darren Bent Medial ligament injury 24 May 2009[184][185]
26 April 2009 England Jamie O'Hara Knee Injury Start of 2009–10 season[186]
18 May 2009 England Tom Huddlestone Knee Injury Start of 2009–10 season[187]

Match results[edit]

Pre-season[edit]

Date Opponents H / A Result Scorers Attendance
14 July 2008 Tavernes N 0–8 Lennon 27', Pekhart 47', 63', Dos Santos 53', 68', Malbranque 76', O'Hara 84', 85' N/A
19 July 2008 CD Dénia N 2–4 Taarabt 30', Jenas 38', Townsend 54', Bent 59', N/A
24 July 2008 Hércules A 1–1 Bent 34' N/A
28 July 2008 Norwich A 1–5 Stefanovic 10' (o.g), Bent 44', 57', 72', 75' 25,243
30 July 2008 Leyton Orient A 1–5 Bent 45', 59', 76', Lennon 47', Modrić 51' 9,250
1 August 2008 Celtic N 0–2 Bent 24, Bentley 79' N/A
3 August 2008 Borussia Dortmund N 0–3 Bent 9', Dos Santos 54, O'Hara 87' N/A
10 August 2008 AS Roma H 5–0 Bentley 2', 45', Bent 4', 53', Lennon 49' 35,841

Premier League[edit]

Date Opponents H / A Result Scorers Attendance
16 August 2008 Middlesbrough A 2–1 Huth 90' (o.g) 32,623
23 August 2008 Sunderland H 1–2 Jenas 73' 36,064
31 August 2008 Chelsea A 1–1 Bent 45+1' 41,790
15 September 2008 Aston Villa H 1–2 Bent 87' 36,075
21 September 2008 Wigan H 0–0 35,808
28 September 2008 Portsmouth A 2–0 20,352
5 October 2008 Hull City H 0–1 36,062
19 October 2008 Stoke City A 2–1 Bent 25' 27,500
26 October 2008 Bolton H 2–0 Pavlyuchenko 17' Bent 76' (pen) 35,507
29 October 2008 Arsenal A 4–4 Bentley 13', Bent 67', Jenas 89', Lennon 90+4' 60,043
1 November 2008 Liverpool H 2–1 Carragher 70' (o.g), Pavlyuchenko 90' 36,183
9 November 2008 Manchester City A 1–2 Bent 29', 64' 41,893
15 November 2008 Fulham A 2–1 Campbell 81' 25,139
23 November 2008 Blackburn H 1–0 Pavlyuchenko 9' 35,903
30 November 2008 Everton H 0–1 35,742
8 December 2008 West Ham A 0–2 King 68', O'Hara 90' 34,277
13 December 2008 Manchester United H 0–0 35,882
21 December 2008 Newcastle United A 2–1 Modrić 29' 47,982
26 December 2008 Fulham H 0–0 35,869
28 December 2008 West Brom A 2–0 26,344
11 January 2009 Wigan A 1–0 17,500
18 January 2009 Portsmouth H 1–1 Defoe 70' 36,011
27 January 2009 Stoke City H 3–1 Lennon 8', Defoe 21', Dawson 25' 36,072
31 January 2009 Bolton A 3–2 Bent 73', 75' 21,575
8 February 2009 Arsenal H 0–0 36,021
23 February 2009 Hull City A 1–2 Lennon 17', Woodgate 86' 24,742
4 March 2009 Middlesbrough H 4–0 Keane 9', Pavlyuchenko 14', Lennon 40', 79' 35,761
7 March 2009 Sunderland A 1–1 Keane 89' 37,894
15 March 2009 Aston Villa A 1–2 Jenas 5', Bent 50' 41,205
21 March 2009 Chelsea H 1–0 Modrić 50' 36,034
4 April 2009 Blackburn A 2–1 Keane 30' (pen) 21,891
11 April 2009 West Ham H 1–0 Pavlyuchenko 65' 35,969
19 April 2009 Newcastle H 1–0 Bent 24' 35,850
25 April 2009 Manchester United A 5–2 Bent 29', Modrić 32' 75,458
2 May 2009 West Brom H 1–0 Jenas 43' 35,836
9 May 2009 Everton A 0–0 36,646
16 May 2009 Manchester City H 2–1 Defoe 29', Keane 85' (pen) 36,000
24 May 2009 Liverpool A 3–1 Keane 77' 43,937

FA Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponents H / A Result Scorers Attendance
Third Round 2 January 2009 Wigan H 3–1 Pavlyuchenko 52' (pen), 90+3', Modrić 76' 34,040
Fourth Round 24 January 2009 Manchester United A 1–2 Pavlyuchenko 5' 75,014

League Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponents H / A Result Scorers Att
3R 23 September 2008 Newcastle United A 1–2 Pavlyuchenko 62', O'Hara 66' 19,577
4R 12 November 2008 Liverpool H 4–2 Pavlyuchenko 38', 52', Campbell 42', 45' 33,242
5R 3 December 2008 Watford A 1–2 Pavlyuchenko 45' (pen), Bent 76' 16,501
SF 6 January 2009 Burnley H 4–1 Dawson 47', O'Hara 52', Pavlyuchenko 65', Duff 68' (o.g) 31,377
SF 21 January 2009 Burnley A 3–2 Pavlyuchenko 117', Defoe 119' 19,533
F 1 March 2009 Manchester United N 0–0 88,217
1 March 2009 Manchester United 4–1 Penalties

UEFA Cup[edit]

UEFA Cup First Round[edit]

Round Date Opponents H / A Result Scorers Attendance
FRL1 18 September 2008 Wisła Kraków H 2–1 Bentley 33', Bent 72' 35,751
FRL2 2 October 2008 Wisła Kraków A 1–1 Glowacki 58' (o.g) 15,000

UEFA Cup Group Stage[edit]

Round Date Opponents H / A Result Scorers Attendance
Group D 23 October 2008 Udinese A 2–0 22,000
Group D 6 November 2008 Dinamo Zagreb H 4–0 Bent 30', 33', 70', Huddlestone 59' 32,788
Group D 27 November 2008 NEC Nijmegen A 0–1 O'Hara 14' 12,500
Group D 18 December 2008 Spartak Moscow H 2–2 Modrić 68', Huddlestone 75' 28,906

UEFA Cup Group Table[edit]

UEFA Cup Round of 32[edit]

Round Date Opponents H / A Result Scorers Attendance
R32 19 February 2009 Shakhtar Donetsk A 2–0 25,000
R32 26 February 2009 Shakhtar Donetsk H 1–1 Giovani 55' 30,595

Manager Statistics[edit]

Manager Games Won Drawn Lost H-Win% A-Win% Pos Pts PPLG Lge Cup FA Cup UEFA Cup
Spain Juande Ramos
(August '08 – October '08)
12 2
(16.6%)
3
(25%)
7
(58.3%)
20% 14.2% 20th 2 0.25 Fourth Round Not Entered Group Stage
England Harry Redknapp
(October '08 – Onwards)
42 20
(47.6%)
10
(23.8%)
12
(28.5%)
66.6% 28.5% 8th 49 1.63 Runners-Up Fourth Round Last 32
England Tottenham Hotspur
(August '08 – May '09)
54 22
(40.7%)
13
(24%)
19
(35.1%)
57.6% 25% 8th 51 1.34 Runners-Up Fourth Round Last 32
  • Pts = League Points
  • Pos = League Position
  • H-Win% = Home Win%
  • A-Win% = Away Win%
  • PPLG = Points Per League Game
  • Data includes all competitions

Player statistics[edit]

No. Pos. Nationality Player PL FA CC UC Total PLG FAG CCG UCG TG Ast Yellow card.svg Red card.svg
1 GK Brazil Brazil Gomes, HeurelhoHeurelho Gomes 34 1 5 8 48 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
2 DF Scotland Scotland Hutton, AlanAlan Hutton 8 0 1 2 11 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 0
3 DF Wales Wales Bale, GarethGareth Bale 16 2 5 7 30 0 0 0 0 0 3 4 1
4 MF Ivory Coast Ivory Coast Zokora, DidierDidier Zokora 29 2 6 7 44 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 0
5 MF England England Bentley, DavidDavid Bentley 25 2 3 5 35 1 0 0 1 2 3 5 0
6 MF England England Huddlestone, TomTom Huddlestone 22 1 2 6 31 0 0 0 2 2 4 3 0
7 MF England England Lennon, AaronAaron Lennon 35 1 5 6 47 5 0 0 0 5 8 3 0
8 MF England England Jenas, JermaineJermaine Jenas 32 0 3 4 39 4 0 0 0 4 3 7 0
9 FW Russia Russia Pavlyuchenko, RomanRoman Pavlyuchenko 28 2 6 0 36 5 3 6 0 14 2 2 0
10 FW England England Bent, DarrenDarren Bent 32 1 3 6 42 12 0 1 4 17 2 1 0
11 DF Brazil Brazil Gilberto 1 0 0 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
12 MF Honduras Honduras Palacios, WilsonWilson Palacios 11 0 0 1 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1
14 MF Croatia Croatia Modrić, LukaLuka Modrić 34 2 4 4 44 3 1 0 1 5 7 6 0
15 FW Republic of Ireland Ireland Keane, RobbieRobbie Keane 14 0 0 0 14 5 0 0 0 5 3 1 0
16 DF Wales Wales Gunter, ChrisChris Gunter 3 1 1 7 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
17 MF Mexico Mexico Dos Santos, GiovaniGiovani Dos Santos 6 1 1 4 12 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0
18 FW England England Campbell, FraizerFraizer Campbell 10 1 4 7 22 1 0 2 0 3 4 2 0
19 MF Morocco Morocco Taarabt, AdelAdel Taarabt 1 1 1 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
20 DF England England Dawson, MichaelMichael Dawson 15 2 5 5 27 1 0 1 0 2 2 3 1
21 DF France France Chimbonda, PascalPascal Chimbonda 3 0 0 2 5 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
22 DF Croatia Croatia Ćorluka, VedranVedran Ćorluka 33 2 4 0 39 0 0 0 0 0 3 4 0
23 GK Italy Italy Cudicini, CarloCarlo Cudicini 4 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
24 MF England England O'Hara, JamieJamie O'Hara 15 1 6 6 28 1 0 2 1 4 4 5 1
25 FW England England Defoe, JermainJermain Defoe 8 1 1 0 10 3 0 1 0 4 1 0 0
26 DF England England King, LedleyLedley King 24 0 2 3 29 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 0
27 GK England England Alnwick, BenBen Alnwick 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
32 DF Cameroon Cameroon Assou-Ekotto, BenoîtBenoît Assou-Ekotto 29 1 4 2 36 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 2
39 DF England England Woodgate, JonathanJonathan Woodgate 34 1 4 5 44 1 0 0 0 1 0 5 0
51 MF England England Bostock, JohnJohn Bostock 0 0 0 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
52 MF England England Parrett, DeanDean Parrett 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
77 MF England England Mason, RyanRyan Mason 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
80 FW England England Obika, JonathanJonathan Obika 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
No. Pos. Nationality Player PL FA CC UC Total PLG FAG CCG UCG TG Ast Yellow card.svg Red card.svg
  • Data includes all competitions
  • Substitution appearances included as full
  • PL – Premier League
  • FA – FA Cup
  • CC – League Cup
  • UC – UEFA Cup
  • XXG – Goals
  • TG – Total Goals
  • Ast – Assists

Top scorer[edit]

P. Player Position Premier League FA Cup League Cup UEFA Cup Total
1 England Darren Bent Forward 12 0 1 4 17
2 Russia Roman Pavlyuchenko Forward 5 3 6 0 14
3 England Aaron Lennon Midfielder 5 0 0 0 5
4 Croatia Luka Modrić Midfielder 3 1 0 1 5
5 Republic of Ireland Robbie Keane Forward 5 0 0 0 5

Most appearances[edit]

P. Player Position Premier League FA Cup League Cup UEFA Cup Total
1 Brazil Heurelho Gomes Goalkeeper 34 1 5 8 48
2 England Aaron Lennon Midfielder 35 1 5 6 47
3 England Jonathan Woodgate Defender 34 1 4 5 44
4 Ivory Coast Didier Zokora Midfielder 29 2 6 7 44
5 Croatia Luka Modrić Midfielder 34 2 4 4 44

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