That Wigan bounceback fear: another view


Pete Sixsmith’s had his say. Another pal, Martin Emmerson, Sunderland through and through but working for BBC Radio N*wc****e, alerts me to his tuppence worth. Martin will be at Wigan, but fears it may be another case of a great result against top opposition followed by deep disappointment against lesser mortals. Up to the Lads to prove him wrong …

Is there life after a 9-1 drubbing?

Sunderland head to Wigan this weekend after The Latics’ mullering at Tottenham on Sunday.

And that got us thinking. What has happened to teams over the years who have been on the wrong end of a thorough spanking?

Do they bounce back in their next game, or is it the start of the path to oblivion?

So the team on BBC Newcastle’s Total Sport used a very unscientific method of finding out. We looked back through the results of yesteryear.

In most cases there is actually a relatively decent response from clubs after they’ve let the floodgates open in their previous match.

We’ve looked through a few of the best remembered games over the years and chucked in a few local to the North East as well.

September 1999. This was the first game after Ruud Gullitt’s sacking at Newcastle. The Magpies battered Sheffield Wednesday 8-0 with Alan Shearer scoring five. Wednesday bounced back with a 3-1 win in their next game against Stoke – albeit in the league cup.

September 86, Liverpool 10 Fulham 0. This was a League Cup match and Fulham were a few divisions below their conquerors that day. But they bounced back from that with a win and draw in their next two.

Spurs 9 Bristol Rovers 0, Second Division, October 1977. Rovers went unbeaten in their next two games before the wheels fell off again in a 5-1 defeat at Sunderland.

Liverpool 9 Palace 0. 12th September, 1989. This was John Aldridge’s last match for Pool before joining Real Sociedad. Palace bounced back losing only one of their next five!

Man City 10 Huddersfield Town 1. This game took place at Maine Road in November 1987 and the game was a second division encounter. Paul Stewart, Tony Adcock and David White all got hat-tricks in that one.

Even though Huddersfield were bottom of the table at the time they went unbeaten in their next three, winning two of them.

Two Sunderland defeats here now. Watford 8 Sunderland 0, September 25th, 1982. I was once told this game backfired on Sunderland because there was a very unexpected heavy frost and none of the Sunderland players had rubber studs with them. However after losing this one so heavily they beat Norwich 4-1 in their next outing and only lost one of their next five games.

Interestingly there were some pretty freakish scores in the first division that day with eight teams scoring at least four goals. Stoke and Luton drew 4-4. So maybe there was a strange frost or something else to contend with.

Sunderland also bounced back after their 7-1 defeat at Everton two seasons ago with a win over Derby.


Manchester United 9 Ipswich 0, March 1995. Andy Cole scored five that day and this is one of the few examples I found where oblivion followed. The defeat was the second in a losing streak of eight.

Newcastle 7 Spurs 1, 28th December, 1996. Newcastle were rampant. Interestingly when Kevin Keegan quit Newcastle early the next year he said he’d fallen out of love with the game and claimed that instead of getting excited at this hammering he actually felt sorry for Spurs manager Gerry Francis.

As for Spurs. They went another four games before they mustered a win following their 7-1 defeat.

Nottingham Forest 1 Manchester United 8 – February 1999
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came off the bench to fire four goals in the last 10 minutes in this rout of Forest, who went down at the end of the campaign. Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke each got two goals, with Alan Rogers briefly levelling matters for Forest.

The home team would not win for another five matches!

4 thoughts on “That Wigan bounceback fear: another view”

  1. Speaking of football heroes, a friend in Toronto is racking his brain trying to remember the footballing character in the Wizard, Hotspur, Rover or one of those ’50s/’60s comics who carried a rule book in his shorts in case he needed to argue with the ref (I can think of one or two real-life players who might try that). The only possibility that comes to mind is Roy of the Rovers but I’m by no means sure. Any other contenders?

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