8th August – Louis Saha

The scorer of the quickest goal in an FA Cup final turns 36 today and that man is someone that scored consistently most of his career.

Whenever Louis Saha stepped on the pitch defenders knew they were in for a long afternoon and had to deal with his clever movement and fantastic finishing ability. The only reason the striker did not quite get as many goals as his quality deserved was because of injury problems but he still enjoyed a lot of success, particularly in England where he spent most of his career.

He began his career with Metz in 1995 before moving to the senior squad in 1997 where he played 21 league games in his first season scoring one goal. His performances impressed enough to earn him a move to Premier League club Newcastle United on loan in January 1999. While at the club he scored one league goal in 11 games and also scored in their run to the FA Cup final, however he was left out of the squad to play in the final and returned to Metz. He stayed at the French club for one more season before moving back to England.

Fulham signed the striker for £2.1 million in 2000 and scored 27 goals in his first season to help the club get promoted to the Premier League. He took to the league much quicker this time and ended the year with eight league goals. In the following season he was not as successful because of injuries but did still manage five goals in 17 games. In his final season he showed his true quality and by January he had 15 goals in just 22 games which convinced Manchester United to sign the forward for £12.4 million.
Saha Fulham
Saha impressed immediately by scoring seven times in his first 10 starts including a goal on his debut against Southampton. The following year was very stop start as he had niggling injuries and only made 22 appearances. In the 2005-06 season he became Wayne Rooney’s main strike partner after a good run of form in front of goal which meant that Ruud Van Nistelrooy had to settle for a place on the bench for large periods of the season. Saha ended the campaign with 15 goals and began the next very well however injuries once again caught up with him and he could not fulfil his potential.
Saha MU
The 2007-08 season followed a similar pattern and this turned out to be his last at Old Trafford as he left for Everton. It was in this season that he scored after just 25 seconds in the FA Cup final against Chelsea, unfortunately Everton went on to lose the game. In the 2009-10 season he also went on a good goalscoring run by scoring in seven consecutive games and ended the season with 13 Premier League goals. He left Everton in January 2012 to join Tottenham Hotspur and on his full debut for the club he scored twice in a 5-0 victory over Newcastle United.
Saha Everton
Despite his good form he was not given an extended contract and signed for Sunderland. But his time there was less successful as he failed to score in 14 appearances and left for Lazio on the 6th February 2013 and after six league games for them he announced his retirement.

The final word can go to Sir Alex Ferguson. “Louis is a young and exciting talent and has made incredible progress. We have got a young and gifted centre forward. To have finally secured this deal is fantastic and great boost to the club.”


20th June – Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard’s 36th birthday may have been ruined by England getting knocked out of the World Cup but he has still had a phenomenal career and is Chelsea’s all time top scorer.

The midfielder has now officially left Chelsea but he will have a lot of offers to consider and it could be his last move before retirement so he will probably take his time to decide. He has been one of the best ever goalscoring midfielders in Europe and has always worked hard to get to the level that he wanted. Frank Junior started his career at West Ham United but had to get his first taste of first team football on loan to Swansea City where he played nine league games and scored his first professional goal against Brighton.

He eventually made his West Ham debut on the 31st January 1996 after coming on as a substitute against Coventry City and in the following season he started his first game against Arsenal. He made a further 15 appearances that season but a broken leg ended it early. The 1997-98 season was the breakthrough year for Lampard as he played a lot of games and scored his first Premier League goal on the opening day of the season and later scored a hatrick against Walsall in the League Cup. In total he played 42 times and scored nine goals.
Lampard WH
He played every game for West Ham the following season as they finished fifth in the Premier League and qualified for the Intertoto Cup. Lampard scored a few important goals in their European run, including one in the final against FC Metz. He finished the season as the club’s third highest scorer with 14 goals. However, the 2000-01 season was not as good for the club as they struggled in the league and finished 15th, despite this Lampard still managed nine goals from midfield. This would be his last season at the club as he joined Chelsea for £11 million in June 2001.
Lampard Chelsea
In his first few seasons at Chelsea he was a solid player for the club but he did not exactly look like he was going to break any records but he did spring to life in the 2003-04 season as he reached double figures for the first time in his career and was named in the PFA Team of the Year. The next season he really announced himself as one of the best with impressive performances both in the league and in Europe. In April 2005 he scored twice in a victory over Bolton Wanderers that won Chelsea their first title in fifty years.

After a lot more trophies and even more goals Lampard was one of the most feared midfielders in the world as he continued to break into the box and cause the opposition problems. There are many strikers that are jealous of his record and on the 11th May 2013 he scored twice against Aston Villa to equal then beat Bobby Tambling’s goal record. His final season at Chelsea started off brightly with him scoring in the opening day win over Hull City and later in the season moved into fourth place in the all time Premier League goalscoring list but he was not on the pitch as often as he would have liked and at the end of the season his contract was not extended and he leaves Chelsea after playing 648 times for the club and scored 211 goals.
Lampard England
The final word can go to his club captain John Terry. “He is different class. He’s not just done it for one year and then tailed off as we have seen a lot of players do. We have seen him for the past four, five, six years playing at a top level, scoring goals, passing brilliantly and working on things he’s not good at in training.”

3rd June – Papiss Cisse

The Newcastle United number 9 shirt is one of the most famous in English football and Papiss Cisse really lived up to its reputation when he first joined the club.

In his first half a season in England the striker, who turns 29 today, scored 13 times in just 14 games and scored one of the best goals ever seen in the Premier League in a game against Chelsea. He hasn’t quite been able to live up to his early potential but he will be hoping that when he comes back from an injury that ruled him out of the end of last season he can once again hit the back of the net on a regular basis as he has done for the majority of his career.

Cisse started his career at Senegalese club Douanes Dakar where he scored 23 times in 26 games and was very highly rated. In the summer of 2005 he transferred to French club Metz but was not ready for first team action there so he signed for Cherbourg and played well scoring 11 times in 26 games which meant Metz started to use him and he helped them to promotion from Ligue 2 in 2006-07 season scoring 12 times. However he did not perform well in the top French league and was once again sent out on loan to Chateauroux before returning to his parent club where he scored another 24 goals in two seasons.
Cisse Metz
On the 28th December 2009 he joined Freiburg in the Bundesliga and started well by scoring six times in his first 16 games. In his first full season he finished as the second top scorer in the league with 22 goals and in the summer there were rumours he was going to leave. He stayed at the club for another half a season and continued his great goalscoring record by getting another 9 goals in just 17 games.
Cisse Freiburg
He joined Newcastle United in January 2012 and started his incredible spell by scoring on his debut against Aston Villa after coming on as a substitute. He followed this up with a goal in his first home start against Wolves. His form then got even better as he scored twice against West Brom, Liverpool and Swansea City in consecutive matches, bringing his tally to nine goals in eight games. He finished the season scoring past Bolton Wanderers, Stoke City and a double against Chelsea.

However, the next season started slowly for the striker and he had to wait until the 28th October to get his first Premier League goal of the season and it was a fortunate one as it just hit his back from a Sammy Ameobi strike. During this season he became known for his late goals, as he scored injury time winners against Stoke City, Anzhi Makhachakala and Fulham. Cisse scored the same amount of goals in all competitions as he did in the previous season despite playing 33 more games.
Cisse Newcastle
The 2013-14 season was even tougher as he only scored two Premier League goals all season, one from the penalty spot against Stoke City in a 5-1 win and a last minute winner against Crystal Palace.

The final word can go to Alan Shearer who commented on his great start and he and all Newcastle fans will be hoping he can get back to this form. “I don’t think you can be anything but very impressed. The guy has just gone in and blown everyone away with his performances and goals. As a striker you are judged on goals, but even if you take his goals away his movement and hold up play have been excellent.”