West Ham United F.C.
West Ham United Football Club is a professional football club based in Stratford, East London, England. They compete in the top tier of English football; the club re-located to the London Stadium in 2016. The club was reformed in 1900 as West Ham United, they moved to the Boleyn Ground in 1904. The team competed in the Southern League and Western League before joining the Football League in 1919, they were promoted to the top flight in 1923, when they were losing finalists in the first FA Cup Final held at Wembley. In 1940, the club won the inaugural Football League War Cup. West Ham have been winners of the FA Cup three times, in 1964, 1975, 1980, have been runners-up twice, in 1923, 2006; the club have reached two major European finals, winning the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1965 and finishing runners-up in the same competition in 1976. West Ham won the Intertoto Cup in 1999, they are one of eight clubs never to have fallen below the second tier of English football, spending 60 of 92 league seasons in the top flight, up to and including the 2017–18 season.
The club's highest league position to date came in 1985–86, when they achieved third place in the First Division. Three West Ham players were members of the 1966 World Cup final-winning England team: captain Bobby Moore and goalscorers Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters; the earliest accepted incarnation of West Ham United was founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks F. C. the works team of the largest and last surviving shipbuilder on the Thames, Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company, by foreman and local league referee Dave Taylor and owner Arnold Hills and was announced in the Thames Ironworks Gazette of June 1895. Thames Ironworks was based in Leamouth Wharf in Blackwall and Canning Town on both banks of the River Lea, where the Lea meets the Thames. Thames Ironworks built the most famous being HMS Warrior; the last ship built there was the yard shut soon after. The repair yard of the Castle Shipping Line was a near neighbour and their work team known as the Castle Swifts, would informally merge with the Thames Ironworks own team.
The team played on a amateur basis for 1895 at least, with a team featuring a number of works employees. Thomas Freeman was Walter Parks, a clerk. Johnny Stewart, Walter Tranter and James Lindsay were all boilermakers. Other employees included William Chapman, George Sage and Fred Chamberlain, as well as apprentice riveter Charlie Dove, to have a great influence on the club's future at a date. Thames Ironworks won the West Ham Charity Cup, contested by clubs in the West Ham locality, in 1895 won the London League in 1897, they turned professional in 1898 upon entering the Southern League Second Division, were promoted to the First Division at the first attempt. The following year they came second from bottom, but had established themselves as a fledged competitive team, they comfortably fended off the challenge of local rivals Fulham in a relegation play-off, 5–1 in late April 1900 and retained their First Division status. The team played in full dark blue kits, as inspired by Mr. Hills, an Oxford University "Blue," but changed the following season by adopting the sky blue shirts and white shorts combination worn through 1897 to 1899.
Following growing disputes over the running and financing of the club, in June 1900 Thames Ironworks F. C. was disbanded almost relaunched on 5 July 1900 as West Ham United F. C. with Syd King as their manager and future manager Charlie Paynter as his assistant. Because of the original "works team" roots and links, they are still known as "the Irons" or "the Hammers" amongst fans and the media. West Ham Utd joined the Western League for the 1901 season while continuing to play in the Southern Division 1. In 1907, West Ham were crowned the Western League Division 1B Champions, defeated 1A champions Fulham 1–0 to become the Western League Overall Champions; the reborn club continued to play their games at the Memorial Grounds in Plaistow but moved to a pitch in the Upton Park area in the guise of the Boleyn Ground stadium in 1904. West Ham's first game in their new home was against fierce rivals Millwall drawing a crowd of 10,000 and with West Ham running out 3–0 winners, as the Daily Mirror wrote on 2 September 1904, "Favoured by the weather turning fine after heavy rains of the morning, West Ham United began their season most auspiciously yesterday evening.
In 1919, still under King's leadership, West Ham gained entrance to the Football League Second Division, their first game being a 1–1 draw with Lincoln City, were promoted to Division One in 1923 making it to the first FA Cup Final to be held at the old Wembley stadium. Their opponents were Bolton Wanderers; this was known as the White Horse Final, so named because an estimated 200,000 people came to see the match. The Cup Final match; the team enjoyed mixed success in Division 1 but retained their status for ten years and reached the FA Cup semi-final in 1933. In 1932, the club was relegated to Division Two and long term custodian Syd King was sacked after serving the club in the role of manager for 32 years, as a player from 1899 to 1903. Following rel
Wigan Athletic F.C.
Wigan Athletic Football Club is a professional football club in Wigan, Greater Manchester, which competes in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. Founded in 1932, the club have played at the DW Stadium since 1999, before which they played at Springfield Park, their colours are blue and white stripes, although all-blue shirts have been common throughout the club's history. Wigan were elected to the Football League in 1978, competed in the Premier League from 2005 to 2013, they won the 2012–13 FA Cup with a 1–0 victory against Manchester City at Wembley Stadium, when Ben Watson scored the winning goal. Wigan have won League One and are two-times winners of the EFL Trophy, they made their European debut in the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League. Wigan Athletic was formed following the winding up of Wigan Borough the year before. Wigan Athletic was the fifth attempt to create a stable football club in the town following the demise of Wigan County, Wigan United, Wigan Town and Wigan Borough.
Springfield Park, the former home of Wigan Borough, was purchased by the club for £2,850. Despite their initial application being turned down, Wigan Athletic were elected into the Cheshire County League following the resignation of Manchester Central; the club had made the first of many attempts to be admitted into the Football League, but failed to receive a single vote. On 27 August 1932, Wigan Athletic played their first league game against Port Vale Reserves; the team played in white shirts with black shorts. Wigan Athletic won their first honours in the 1933–34 season, finishing as champions of the Cheshire League. In the following season, the club won a second league championship and entered the FA Cup for the first time, defeating Carlisle United 6–1 in the first round – a cup record for the biggest victory by a non-league club over a league club. In the 1935–36 season, the club won their third consecutive Cheshire League title and the Lancashire Junior Cup. After the Second World War, Wigan Athletic adopted white strip.
The club struggled to assemble a competitive side, finished bottom of the league in 1946–47 season. Despite their pre-war success, the club failed to gain re-election and were replaced by Winsford United; the club joined the Lancashire Combination. In 1950, Wigan Athletic came close to election to The Football League, narrowly losing out to Scunthorpe United and Shrewsbury Town. In the 1953–54 season, Wigan played an FA Cup match against Hereford United in front of a crowd of 27,526 – a club record and a record attendance for a match between two non-league teams at a non-league ground. In the next round of the cup, Wigan Athletic were drawn against First Division side Newcastle United. Wigan Athletic held their top flight opponents to a 2–2 draw at St James' Park, but went on to lose the replay 3–2. In 1961, the club moved back to the Cheshire League. In the 1964–65 season, Wigan Athletic won their first Cheshire League title since returning to the league, with top goalscorer Harry Lyon scoring 66 times.
He remains the club's greatest goalscorer of all time. Wigan Athletic won four cup titles in the 1966–67 season and were Cheshire County League runners-up. In 1968, Wigan Athletic were founder members of the Northern Premier League. Winning the league title in 1970–71, leading goalscorer with 42 goals, including seven hat-tricks, was Geoff Davies who scored 28 goals in the following 1971–72 season. After 34 failed election attempts, including one controversial but headline-making application in 1972 to join the Scottish League Second Division, Wigan Athletic were elected to the Football League in 1978; as a non-league club, the team played at Wembley Stadium for the first time in the 1973 FA Trophy Final, where it lost 2–1 to Scarborough. Wigan Athletic finished in second place in the Northern Premier League in the 1977–78 season, behind winners Boston United, but as Boston's ground and facilities did not meet the Football League criteria for a League club, whereas Springfield Park did, Wigan Athletic were put forward for election to the league.
There was no automatic promotion to the Football League until 1987, at that time a club had to be'voted out' of the League to allow a non-league team to be promoted in their place. At the end of the 1977–78 season, Southport finished next to bottom of the old Fourth Division, faced near neighbours Wigan Athletic for their place in the league; the first round of voting was tied, with both clubs receiving 26 votes. After a tense re-vote which Wigan won 29–20, Southport lost their place in the Fourth Division and Wigan Athletic became an English League club on 2 June 1978. In the club's first season of league football, Wigan Athletic finished in sixth place, just six points off promotion and playing in front of an average crowd of 6,701. Two more top-half finishes came in the following seasons, though a weak 1980–81 season saw the dismissal of long-serving manager Ian McNeill shortly before the end of the season, they gained their first Football League promotion under the management of former Liverpool player Larry Lloyd in 1981–82, when a points tally of 91 saw them join the former Division Three for the first time, beginning a 10-year spell in English football's third tier.
The club struggled in their first season in Division Three, which led to Lloyd's sacking in early 1983, at which point Bobby Charlton, a director at the time, took over as temporary manager before being replaced by Harry McNally. Under McNally's management, the club stabilised in Division Three and secured a pair of mid-table finishes, but a dreadf
Liverpool Football Club is a professional football club in Liverpool, that competes in the Premier League, the top tier of English football. The club has won 5 European Cups, more than any other English club, 3 UEFA Cups, 3 UEFA Super Cups, 18 League titles, 7 FA Cups, a record 8 League Cups, 15 FA Community Shields. Founded in 1892, the club joined the Football League the following year and has played at Anfield since its formation. Liverpool established itself as a major force in English and European football in the 1970s and 1980s when Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley led the club to 11 League titles and seven European trophies. Under the management of Rafael Benítez and captained by Steven Gerrard, Liverpool became European champions for the fifth time in 2005. Liverpool was the ninth highest-earning football club in the world in 2016–17, with an annual revenue of €424.2 million, the world's eighth most valuable football club in 2018, valued at $1.944 billion. The club is one of the best supported teams in the world.
Liverpool has long-standing rivalries with Manchester Everton. The club's supporters have been involved in two major tragedies: the Heysel Stadium disaster, where escaping fans were pressed against a collapsing wall at the 1985 European Cup Final in Brussels, with 39 people – Italians and Juventus fans – dying, after which English clubs were given a five-year ban from European competition, the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, where 96 Liverpool supporters died in a crush against perimeter fencing; the team changed from red shirts and white shorts to an all-red home strip in 1964, used since. The club's anthem is "You'll Never Walk Alone". Liverpool F. C. was founded following a dispute between the Everton committee and John Houlding, club president and owner of the land at Anfield. After eight years at the stadium, Everton relocated to Goodison Park in 1892 and Houlding founded Liverpool F. C. to play at Anfield. Named "Everton F. C. and Athletic Grounds Ltd", the club became Liverpool F. C. in March 1892 and gained official recognition three months after The Football Association refused to recognise the club as Everton.
The team won the Lancashire League in its début season, joined the Football League Second Division at the start of the 1893–94 season. After finishing in first place the club was promoted to the First Division, which it won in 1901 and again in 1906. Liverpool reached its first FA Cup Final in 1914, it won consecutive League championships in 1922 and 1923, but did not win another trophy until the 1946–47 season, when the club won the First Division for a fifth time under the control of ex-West Ham Utd centre half George Kay. Liverpool suffered its second Cup Final defeat in 1950; the club was relegated to the Second Division in the 1953–54 season. Soon after Liverpool lost 2–1 to non-league Worcester City in the 1958–59 FA Cup, Bill Shankly was appointed manager. Upon his arrival he released 24 players and converted a boot storage room at Anfield into a room where the coaches could discuss strategy; the club was promoted back into the First Division in 1962 and won it in 1964, for the first time in 17 years.
In 1965, the club won its first FA Cup. In 1966, the club won the First Division but lost to Borussia Dortmund in the European Cup Winners' Cup final. Liverpool won both the League and the UEFA Cup during the 1972–73 season, the FA Cup again a year later. Shankly was replaced by his assistant, Bob Paisley. In 1976, Paisley's second season as manager, the club won another UEFA Cup double; the following season, the club retained the League title and won the European Cup for the first time, but it lost in the 1977 FA Cup Final. Liverpool retained the European Cup in 1978 and regained the First Division title in 1979. During Paisley's nine seasons as manager Liverpool won 21 trophies, including three European Cups, a UEFA Cup, six League titles and three consecutive League Cups. Paisley was replaced by his assistant, Joe Fagan. Liverpool won the League, League Cup and European Cup in Fagan's first season, becoming the first English side to win three trophies in a season. Liverpool reached the European Cup final again in 1985, against Juventus at the Heysel Stadium.
Before kick-off, Liverpool fans breached a fence which separated the two groups of supporters, charged the Juventus fans. The resulting weight of people caused a retaining wall to collapse, killing 39 fans Italians; the incident became known as the Heysel Stadium disaster. The match was played in spite of protests by both managers, Liverpool lost 1–0 to Juventus; as a result of the tragedy, English clubs were banned from participating in European competition for five years. Fourteen Liverpool fans received convictions for involuntary manslaughter. Fagan had announced his retirement just before the disaster and Kenny Dalglish was appointed as player-manager. During his tenure, the club won another three league titles and two FA Cups, including a League and Cup "Double" in the 1985–86 season. Liverpool's success was overshadowed by the Hillsborough disaster: in an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest on 15 April 1989, hundreds of Liverpool fans were crushed against perimeter fencing. Ninety-four fans died that day.
After the Hillsborough disaster there was a government review of stadium saf
Arsenal Football Club is a professional football club based in Islington, England, that plays in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. It has won 13 League titles, a record 13 FA Cups, two League Cups, the League Centenary Trophy, 15 FA Community Shields, one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, one Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. Arsenal was the first club from the South of England to join The Football League, in 1893, they reached the First Division in 1904. Relegated only once, in 1913, they continue the longest streak in the top division, have won the second-most top-flight matches in English football history. In the 1930s, Arsenal won five League Championships and two FA Cups, another FA Cup and two Championships after the war. In 1970 -- 71, they won their first FA Cup Double. Between 1989 and 2005, they won five FA Cups, including two more Doubles, they completed the 20th century with the highest average league position. Herbert Chapman died prematurely, he helped introduce the WM formation and shirt numbers, added the white sleeves and brighter red to Arsenal's kit.
Arsène Wenger won the most trophies. He won a record 7 FA Cups, his title-winning team set an English record for the longest top-flight unbeaten league run at 49 games between 2003 and 2004, receiving the nickname The Invincibles, a special gold Premier League trophy. In 1886, Woolwich munitions workers founded the club as Dial Square. In 1913, the club crossed the city to Arsenal Stadium in Highbury, becoming close neighbours of Tottenham Hotspur, creating the North London derby. In 2006, they moved to the nearby Emirates Stadium. In terms of revenue, Arsenal is the ninth highest-earning football club in the world, earned €487.6m in 2016–17 season. Based on social media activity from 2014 to 2015, Arsenal's fanbase is the fifth largest in the world. In 2018, Forbes estimated the club was the third most valuable in England, with the club being worth $2.24 billion. In October 1886, Scotsman David Danskin and his fellow 15 munitions workers in Woolwich, now South East London, formed Arsenal as Dial Square, with each member contributing sixpence and Danskin adding another three shillings to help form the club.
Named after the heart of the Royal Arsenal complex, they took the name of the whole complex a month later. Royal Arsenal F. C.'s first home was Plumstead Common, though they spent most of their time in South East London playing on the other side of Plumstead, at the Manor Ground. Royal Arsenal won Arsenal's first trophies in 1890 and 1891, these were the only football association trophies Arsenal won during their time in South East London. In 1891, Royal Arsenal became the first London club to turn professional. Royal Arsenal renamed themselves for a second time upon becoming a limited liability company in 1893, they registered their new name, Woolwich Arsenal, with The Football League when the club ascended that year. Woolwich Arsenal was the first southern member of The Football League, starting out in the Second Division and winning promotion to the First Division in 1904. Falling attendances, due to financial difficulties among the munitions workers and the arrival of more accessible football clubs elsewhere in the city, led the club close to bankruptcy by 1910.
Businessmen Henry Norris and William Hall became involved in the club, sought to move them elsewhere. In 1913, soon after relegation back to the Second Division, Woolwich Arsenal moved to the new Arsenal Stadium in Highbury, North London; this saw their third change of name: the following year, they reduced Woolwich Arsenal to The Arsenal. In 1919, The Football League voted to promote The Arsenal, instead of relegated local rivals Tottenham Hotspur, into the newly enlarged First Division, despite only listing the club sixth in the Second Division's last pre-war season of 1914–15; some books have speculated. That year, The Arsenal started dropping "The" in official documents shifting its name for the final time towards Arsenal, as it is known today. With a new home and First Division football, attendances were more than double those at the Manor Ground, Arsenal's budget grew rapidly, their location and record-breaking salary offer lured star Huddersfield Town manager Herbert Chapman in 1925. Over the next five years, Chapman built a new Arsenal.
He appointed enduring new trainer Tom Whittaker, implemented Charlie Buchan's new twist on the nascent WM formation, captured young players like Cliff Bastin and Eddie Hapgood, lavished Highbury's income on stars like David Jack and Alex James. With record-breaking spending and gate receipts, Arsenal became known as the Bank of England club. Transformed, Chapman's Arsenal claimed their first national trophy, the FA Cup, in 1930. Two League Championships followed, in 1930–31 and 1932–33. Chapman presided over multiple off the pitch changes: white sleeves and shirt numbers were added to the kit. In the middle of the 1933–34 season, Chapman died of pneumonia, his work was left to Joe Shaw and George Allison, who saw out a hat-trick with the 1933–34 and 1934–35 titles, won the 1936 FA Cup and 1937–38 title. World War II meant The Football League was suspended for seven years, but Arsenal returned to win it in the second post-war season, 1947–48; this was Tom Whittaker's first season as manager, after his promotion to succeed Allison, the club had equalled the champions of England record.
They won a third FA Cup in 1950, won a record-breaking seven
Leicester City F.C.
Leicester City Football Club is an English professional football club based in Leicester in the East Midlands. The club competes in the Premier League, England's top division of football, plays its home games at the King Power Stadium; the club was founded in 1884 as Leicester Fosse F. C. playing on a field near Fosse Road. They moved to Filbert Street in 1891, were elected to the Football League in 1894 and adopted the name Leicester City in 1919, they moved to the nearby Walkers Stadium in 2002, renamed the King Power Stadium in 2011. Leicester won the 2015 -- their first top-level football championship, they are one of only six clubs to have won the Premier League since its inception in 1992. A number of newspapers described Leicester's title win as the greatest sporting shock considering at the start of the season they were favourites to face relegation. Multiple bookmakers had never paid out at such long odds for any sport; as a result, the team was dubbed "The Unbelievables", a spin-off harking back to Arsenal's undefeated team "The Invincibles".
The club's previous highest finish was second place in the top flight, in 1928–29 known as Division One. Throughout Leicester's history, they have spent all but one season in the top two leagues of English football, they hold a joint-highest seven second-tier titles. The club have been FA Cup finalists four times, in 1948–49, 1960–61, 1962–63 and 1968–69; this is a tournament record for the most defeats in the final without having won the competition. Leicester have several promotions to their name, two play-off final wins, one League One title. In 1971, they won the FA Community Shield, in 2016, they were runners-up; the club have won the League Cup three times in 1964, 1997 and 2000, as well as being runners-up in 1965 and 1999. Leicester City have competed in European football, featuring in the 1961–62 European Cup Winners' Cup, 1997–98 UEFA Cup, 2000–01 UEFA Cup, most the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League, reaching the quarter-finals of the competition in that year. Formed in 1884 by a group of old boys of Wyggeston School as "Leicester Fosse", the club joined The Football Association in 1890.
Before moving to Filbert Street in 1891, the club played at five different grounds, including Victoria Park south-east of the city centre and the Belgrave Road Cycle and Cricket Ground. The club joined the Midland League in 1891, were elected to Division Two of the Football League in 1894 after finishing second. Leicester's first Football League game was a 4–3 defeat at Grimsby Town, with a first League win the following week, against Rotherham United at Filbert Street; the same season saw the club's largest win to date, a 13–0 victory over Notts Olympic in an FA Cup qualifying game. In 1907–08 the club finished as Second Division runners-up, gaining promotion to the First Division, the highest level of English football. However, the club were relegated after a single season which included the club's record defeat, a 12–0 loss against Nottingham Forest. In 1919, when League football resumed after World War I, Leicester Fosse ceased trading due to financial difficulties of which little is known.
The club was reformed as "Leicester City Football Club" appropriate as the borough of Leicester had been given city status. Following the name change, the club enjoyed moderate success in the 1920s; however the 1930s saw a downturn in fortunes, with the club relegated in 1934–35 and, after promotion in 1936–37, another relegation in 1938–39 would see them finish the decade in Division Two. City reached the FA Cup final for the first time in their history in 1949, losing 3–1 to Wolverhampton Wanderers; the club, was celebrating a week when a draw on the last day of the season ensured survival in Division Two. Leicester won the Division Two championship in 1954, with the help of Arthur Rowley, one of the club's most prolific strikers. Although they were relegated from Division One the next season, under Dave Halliday they returned in 1957, with Rowley scoring a club record 44 goals in one season. Leicester remained in Division One until 1969, their longest period in the top flight. Under the management of Matt Gillies and his assistant Bert Johnson, Leicester reached the FA Cup final on another two occasions, but lost in both 1961 and 1963.
As they lost to double winners Tottenham Hotspur in 1961, they were England's representatives in the 1961–62 European Cup Winners' Cup. In the 1962–63 season, the club led the First Division during the winter, thanks to a sensational run of form on icy and frozen pitches the club became nicknamed the "Ice Kings" placed fourth, the club's best post-war finish. Gillies guided Leicester to their first piece of silverware in 1964, when Leicester beat Stoke City 4–3 on aggregate to win the League Cup for the first time. Leicester reached the League Cup final the following year, but lost 3–2 on aggregate to Chelsea. Gillies and Johnson received praise for their version of the "whirl" and the "switch" system, a system, used by the Austrian and Hungarian national teams. After a bad start to the season, Matt Gillies resigned in November 1968, his successor, Frank O'Farrell was unable to prevent relegation, but the club reached the FA Cup final in 1969 for the last time to date, losing to Manchester City 1–0.
In 1971, Leicester were promoted back to Division One, won the Charity Shield for the only tim
Defender (association football)
In the sport of association football, a defender is an outfield player whose primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals. There are four types of defenders: centre-back, full-back, wing-back; the centre-back and full-back positions are essential in most modern formations. The sweeper and wing-back roles are more specialised for certain formations. A centre-back defends in the area directly in front of the goal, tries to prevent opposing players centre-forwards, from scoring. Centre-backs accomplish this by blocking shots, intercepting passes, contesting headers and marking forwards to discourage the opposing team from passing to them. With the ball, centre-backs are expected to make long and pinpoint passes to their teammates, or to kick unaimed long balls down the field. For example, a clearance is a long unaimed kick intended to move the ball as far as possible from the defender's goal. Due to the many skills centre-backs are required to possess in the modern game, many successful contemporary central-defensive partnerships have involved pairing a more physical defender with a defender, quicker, more comfortable in possession and capable of playing the ball out from the back.
During normal play, centre-backs are unlikely to score goals. However, when their team takes a corner kick or other set pieces, centre-backs may move forward to the opponents' penalty area. In this case, other defenders or midfielders will temporarily move into the centre-back positions; some centre-backs have been known for their direct free kicks and powerful shots from distance. Brazilian defenders David Luiz and Naldo have been known for using the cannonball free kick method, which relies more on power than placement. In the modern game, most teams employ three centre-backs in front of the goalkeeper; the 4–2–3–1, 4–3–3, 4–4–2 formations all use two centre-backs. There are two main defensive strategies used by centre-backs: the zonal defence, where each centre-back covers a specific area of the pitch; the sweeper is a more versatile centre-back who "sweeps up" the ball if an opponent manages to breach the defensive line. This position is rather more fluid than that of other defenders who man-mark their designated opponents.
Because of this, it is sometimes referred to as libero. Though sweepers may be expected to build counter-attacking moves, as such require better ball control and passing ability than typical centre-backs, their talents are confined to the defensive realm. For example, the catenaccio system of play, used in Italian football in the 1960s, employed a purely defensive sweeper who only "roamed" around the back line; the more modern libero possesses the defensive qualities of the typical libero while being able to expose the opposition during counterattacks. The Fundell-libero has become more popular in recent time with the sweeper transitioning to the most advanced forward in an attack; this variation on the position requires great fitness. While seen in professional football, the position has been extensively used in lower leagues. Modern libero sit behind centre-backs as a sweeper before charging through the team to join in the attack; some sweepers move forward and distribute the ball up-field, while others intercept passes and get the ball off the opposition without needing to hurl themselves into tackles.
If the sweeper does move up the field to distribute the ball, they will need to make a speedy recovery and run back into their position. In modern football, its usage has been restricted, with few clubs in the biggest leagues using the position; the position is most believed to have been pioneered by Franz Beckenbauer, Gaetano Scirea, Elías Figueroa, although they were not the first players to play this position. Earlier proponents included Alexandru Apolzan, Ivano Blason, Velibor Vasović, Ján Popluhár. Other defenders who have been described as sweepers include Bobby Moore, Franco Baresi, Ronald Koeman, Fernando Hierro, Matthias Sammer, Aldair, due to their ball skills and long passing ability. Though it is used in modern football, it remains a respected and demanding position. A recent and successful use of the sweeper was made by Otto Rehhagel, Greece's manager, during UEFA Euro 2004. Rehhagel utilized Traianos Dellas as Greece's sweeper to great success, as Greece became European champions.
Although this position has become obsolete in modern football formations, due to the use of zonal marking and the offside trap, certain players such as Daniele De Rossi:, Leonardo Bonucci, Javi Martínez and David Luiz have played a similar role as a ball-playing central defender in a 3–5–2 or 3–4–3 formation. Some goalkeepers, who are comfortable leaving their goalmouth to intercept and clear through balls, who participate more in play, such as René Higuita, Manuel Neuer, Edwin van der Sar, Fabien Barthez, Hugo Lloris, among others, have been referred to as sweep
Reading Football Club is a professional association football club based in Reading, England. The team play in the second tier of English football. Reading are nicknamed The Royals, due to Reading's location in the Royal County of Berkshire, though they were known as The Biscuitmen, due to the town's association with Huntley and Palmers. Established in 1871, the club is one of the oldest teams in England, but did not join The Football League until 1920, had never played in the top tier of English football league system before the 2006–07 season; the club competed in the 2012–13 Premier League season, having gained promotion at the end of the 2011–12 season after winning the Championship, but were relegated after just one season back in the top flight. The club played at Elm Park for 102 years between 1896 and 1998. In 1998 the club moved to the new Madejski Stadium, named after the club's co-chairman Sir John Madejski; the club holds the record for the number of successive league wins at the start of a season, with a total of 13 wins at the start of the 1985–86 Third Division campaign and the record for the number of points gained in the professional league season with 106 points in the 2005–06 Football League Championship campaign.
Reading finished eighth in the 2006–07 Premier League, their first season as a top flight club. Reading were formed on 25 December 1871, following a public meeting at the Bridge Street Rooms organised by the future club secretary Joseph Edward Sydenham; the early matches were played at Reading Recreation Ground, the club held fixtures at Reading Cricket Ground, Coley Park and Caversham Cricket Ground. The switch to professionalism in 1895 resulted in the need for a bigger ground and, to this end, the club moved again, to the purpose-built Elm Park on 5 September 1896. In 1913, Reading had a successful tour of Italy, prompting the leading sports newspaper Corriere della Sera to write "without doubt, Reading FC are the finest foreign team seen in Italy". Reading were elected to the Football League Third Division South of the Football League in 1920. Reading's best performance in the FA Cup came in 1926–27 when they lost to eventual winners Cardiff City at Wolverhampton in the semi-final, a placement the club would not match again until 2015, when they lost to holders Arsenal in the semi-final.
Reading lost their place in Division Two in May 1931, remained in Third Division South until the outbreak of World War II. The club won the Southern Section Cup, beating Bristol City in the two-legged final in 1938, when taking part in the regional London War League and Cup competitions, gained another honour by beating Brentford in the London War Cup Final of 1941 by 3–2 at Stamford Bridge; when League football resumed after the war, Reading came to prominence once again. The club's record victory, 10–2 versus Crystal Palace, was recorded in September 1946, Reading twice finished runners-up in the Third, in 1948–49 and 1951–52, but they were denied a return to Division Two as only the champions were promoted; the side's moment of cup glory came in 1988 when they won the Simod Cup, beating a number of top flight sides en route to their Wembley win over Luton Town. Reading were promoted to the Second Division as champions in 1986 under the management of Ian Branfoot, but were relegated back to the Third Division in 1988.
The appointment of Mark McGhee as player-manager, shortly after the takeover by John Madejski, in 1991 saw Reading move forward. They were crowned champions of the new Division Two in 1994. Thirty-five-year-old striker Jimmy Quinn was put in charge of the first team alongside midfielder Mick Gooding and guided Reading to runners-up in the final Division One table – only to be denied automatic promotion because of the streamlining of the Premier League, from 22 teams to 20. In 1995, Reading had eased past Tranmere Rovers in the play-off semi-finals and looked to have booked their place in the Premier League only to lose against Bolton Wanderers in the final. Quinn and Gooding's contracts were not renewed two years after Reading had slid into the bottom half of Division One, their successor, Terry Bullivant, lasted less than one season before being sacked in March 1998. The year 1998 saw Reading move into the new 24,200 all-seater Madejski Stadium, named after Chairman John Madejski. Tommy Burns had taken over from Terry Bullivant but lasted just 18 months before being replaced by Alan Pardew, reserve team manager before being released.
The club finished third in 2000–01 qualifying for the play-offs, losing 2–3 in the final against Walsall at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Reading returned to Division One for 2002–03 after finishing runners-up in Division Two; the following season, they finished fourth in Division One and qualified for the play-offs, where they lost in the semi-final to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Alan Pardew was replaced by Steve Coppell. Reading won the 2005–06 Championship with a league record 106 points, scoring 99 goals and losing only twice. Reading were promoted to English football's top division for the first time in their history; the 2006–07 season saw Reading make their first appearance in the top flight of English football. Reading defied pre-season predictions of relegation to finish the season in eighth place with 55 points. Reading turned down the chance to play in the UEFA Intertoto Cup. In the run up to their second season in the Premier League, Reading took part in the 2007 Peace Cup in South Korea.
This second season was less successful and Reading were relegated back to the Championship. Reading started the 2008–09 season with a 15 match unbeaten home run, they finished fourth and qualify for the play-off