In this blog series – “What Happened Today”, we are going to revive some of the moments from past which will revive moments of the golden history of the league.
Wednesday’s papers in the UK were covering the latest controversy over the substitution rules after Ipswich Town replaced their sent off goalkeeper with another one from the substitutes, the mounting injury crisis at QPR ahead of their derby against Spurs, Chelsea set to shelve plans to shelve defensive reinforcement after solid displays from makeshift backline, fraction between Liverpool supporters overturning the Kop into an all-seated section and Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson’s plea to his players to focus on premier league after a disappointing campaign ended.
Controversy irrupted over the new substitute rules after Ipswich Town’s goalkeeper saw red in the previous week’s match against Sheffield Wednesday but under the new rules the manager could substitute one of the outfield players for a goalkeeper which meant that though Ipswich was down to 10 men they did not lose a goalkeeper. Craig Forrest was sent off for a professional foul only in the second minute but Clive Baker came in place of Eddie Youds and played the remaining match between the sticks. The rules were changed earlier that allowed each team to name a substitute goalkeeper along with other outfield players.
QPR’s hectic start to the season continued to take a toll on them as a number of first-team players were out due to injuries and fatigue for their upcoming London derby with Tottenham Hotspurs at Loftus Road later that week. With key players like Alan Macdonald & Clive Wilson still missing, the responsibility was to fall on likes of Les Ferdinand and Gary Penrice to score the goals against a Spurs side that had already conceded 15 goals so far that season.
Chelsea boss Ian Porterfield was set to put out a new back four as he prepared to face Arsenal later that week. David Lee & Frank Sinclair were proving to a very solid central defensive partnership while Kevin Hitchcock had kept three clean sheets in a row. The rumors had it that he was still planning to bring in Polish International defender Roman Swewzyck for £500000 as well as Dimitri Kharin, the CSKA Moscow goalkeeper to replace Dave Beasant.
A Liverpool supporter group was set to move a motion against turning the Kop into an all-seater section despite the recommendations after the Hillsborough Tragedy. The group had already collected over 3000 signatures under the campaign “No To Kop Seats” The group admitted that the issue may end up dividing the fanbase in two sections and make the atmosphere in the stadium toxic but insisted that what happened at Hillsborough was not a fault of Liverpool’s supporters or standing terraces but of faulty maintenance and infrastructure designs. After the tragedy, every stadium was required to turn their standing terraces into an all-seater section and likes of Everton, Arsenal and Manchester United had already begun the process of complying with it.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson asked his players to pick themselves up and focus on the premier league after a heartbreaking exit from the European Cup after a penalty shootout loss against Torpedo Moscow. Lack of goals in the side cost the Red Devils dearly and the manager admitted that it was a concern, “At the end of the day you have scored the goals and not take for granted that you can outplay the opposition. We let Torpedo in from the back door”
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