Premier League Drubbings
The final round of fixtures in last season’s Premier League bed us into the new normal of watching games without spectators, but nothing could have prepared us for the sheer lunacy of the 2020/21 campaign’s first few weeks.
A two-week pre-season paired with the lack of supporters has culminated in an unprecedented amount of goals with over three goals per game average across the first four rounds, which has never happened since the Premier League’s inception in 1992.
For the first time since the 1960’s we’re seeing 5’s, 6’s and 7’s on scoreboards becoming a routine thing and as usual goalkeepers have come under much scrutiny when goals are shipped.
David De Gea was handed some respite after Man United’s 6-1 defeat at home to Spurs with the incompetence of his defence the overarching issue, but Adrian was subject to much criticism on social media following Liverpool’s shocking 7-2 defeat at Aston Villa.
So how have goalkeepers fared after such drubbings in the past? This is familiar territory for David De Gea who featured in United’s identical reverse against Manchester City in 2011, but Liverpool’s Spanish ‘keeper may be looking at some of those who went before him who have suffered potentially scarring defeats in recent Premier League history.
Vito Mannone - Southampton 8-0 SUNDERLAND – 2014/15
Sunderland fans who made the 600-mile round-trip to Southampton in October 2014 were sent back to the North East having witnessed the joint worst defeat in their history, falling 8-0 to Ronald Koeman’s Saints.
Santiago Vergini spectacularly rifled the ball into the top corner of his own net, which Mannone was helpless for, but his stray pass to Dusan Tadic led to Southampton’s eighth to round off a terrible afternoon for the former Arsenal man.
The Italian goalkeeper was clearly impacted by the loss and after a miskick in the next game at home to Arsenal which led to a goal in a 2-0 defeat, he was subsequently dropped in favour of the giant Costel Pantilimon.
Mannone did not win his place back until well into the 2015/16 season to help Sunderland to another great escape, but again lost the number one spot after an injury the following campaign gave a route for Jordan Pickford into the first team fold.
After a spell with Reading, Mannone is now with Monaco as back-up and although his career was affected in the short-term by the humiliation at St Mary’s, he forced his way back into the Sunderland set-up to show that even in the fall-out of such a destructive set-back, there is always the possibility of a resurgence.
Angus Gunn - SOUTHAMPTON 0-9 Leicester City – 2019/20
Back to St Mary’s and the heaviest joint defeat in Premier League history, Angus Gunn was the unfortunate soul as Leicester romped to a 9-0 win over Southampton.
The misery was compounded with the Sky Sports cameras broadcasting the game live and the pictures of a rain-sodden Gunn fishing the ball out of his net multiple times cruelly beamed across the world.
Gunn was at fault for Leicester’s opening goal, spilling a shot into the path of Ben Chilwell but after Southampton were reduced to ten men, the England under-21 international could do little to prevent a ruthless Jamie Vardy and Ayoze Perez, both bagging hattricks.
Gunn was dropped for the following game away to Manchester City in favour for Alex McCarthy and did not play another Premier League game for the duration of the 2019/20 season.
Many touted a fierce battle for the gloves between Gunn and McCarthy at the start of the last season, but the 9-0 defeat and the shock to Gunn’s confidence swung the pendulum firmly in McCarthy’s favour.
With the return of Frazer Forster from Celtic, Gunn has not been included in Ralph Hassenhuttl’s matchday squads at all this campaign.
Has a legacy endured from the battering last October or is there more to his fallout from the first team? It certainly hasn’t helped.
Wojek Szczesny - Manchester United 8-2 ARSENAL - 2011/12
Wojek Szczesny is currently starring for Juventus regularly and has won all the domestic on offer to the Italian giants, but the early stages of his career were not without their bumps.
After his last-minute error cost Arsenal the League Cup, Szczesny could be forgiven for thinking 2011 couldn’t get any worse. However, in September of the same year the Gunners suffered their worst defeat since 1896 in an 8-2 drubbing at Old Trafford with the Poland international between the sticks.
Arsene Wenger’s men were in a state of transition, suffering a poor start to the 2011/12 season after selling Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas. It is worth mentioning that Arsenal recovered and finished in the top four.
United were ruthless and rather than taking their foot off the gas being 3-1 up at half time, went onto score five times in the last half an hour following Carl Jenkinson’s sending off.
Szczesny was exposed by a shoddy Arsenal defence, with pieces of brilliance from Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young meaning he was pretty much powerless to prevent a rout.
He would still play every single league game for the Gunners in the campaign and is now the undisputed number one at Juventus, so it's safe to say the defeat only served as character building.