2016 will soon be a thing of the past. It has been an incredible year in general with almost the unthinkable happening at every turn. From Leicester City winning the Premier League to the Brexit vote, I count down twelve of the shocking or surprising moments of 2016 in Football, F1 and politics…
12. Red Bull’s tactical reshuffle: Eyebrows were certainly raised in the F1paddock when Red Bull decided to alter their driver arrangements after just four races into the season. Despite scoring a podium in China, a couple of high-profile collisions with former driver Sebastian Vettel saw Daniil Kvyat sent packing from Red Bull and demoted back to the Torro Rosso team from whence he came. Going the other way was Max Verstappen. The move was perhaps tactical and pre-planned due to the tensions between Verstappen and Carlos Sainz as well as a ploy to stave off the interest in Verstappen from the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes. The move became justified almost immediately as Verstappen went on to become the youngest Grand Prix winner in history by taking the chequered flag in Spain in his first race with the parent team.read more
The clocks have gone back, the nights are getting longer and darker while the nation celebrated Guy Fawkes night. That is where English football started in November and as the month progressed, developments in the world of football were getting darker and darker. Meanwhile, it was also Movember as men around the country attempted to grow some embarrassing stubble in the annual stubble against Prostate Cancer.
Football News: November 2016
England and Scotland faced each other for the first time competitively since Euro 96; England won the game 3-0 with goals from Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Gary Cahill.
The Republic of Ireland defeated Austria for the first time since 1963 to go top of Group D in EUFA World Cup Qualification; James Maclean scored the goal.
Wales were held to another frustrating draw, this time with Serbia as Aleksandar Mitrovic equalised with 5 minutes remaining in Cardiff; the game finished 1-1.
Northern Ireland defeated Azerbaijan 4-0 at Windsor Park and finished 2016 2nd place in Group C in World Cup Qualification
The FA ended the month announcing Gareth Southgate as the new, permanent Head Coach after going unbeaten during his interim period
Football was rocked by allegations of historic sex abuse allegations with over 20 ex-professional players coming forward by the end of November.
In the Champions League, Manchester City progressed to the knockout stages with a 1-1 draw away to Borussia Monchengladbach while Leicester City achieved the same feat at the first time of asking after defeating Club Brugge 2-1 while a 2-1 defeat in Monaco knocked Tottenham Hotspur out of the competition. Arsenal also progressed.
Southampton celebrated perhaps the biggest night in the clubs history
after defeating Inter Milan 2-1 at St Mary’s.
Chelsea finished the month top of the Premier League after defeating Tottenham 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.
Lamia flight 2933 crashed in the Columbian Mountains killing 71 people, including 19 players of Brazilian club Chapecoense who were travelling to face Athletico Nacional in the Copa Sudamericana final having defeated San Lorenzo the previous week.
Six managers in English football lost their jobs in November taking the tally for the season to 18.
NUFC in November
Away from those dark developments in football, there was, of course, the action on the pitch and the beauty of the beautiful game. In the EFL Championship, Newcastle United had only four fixtures in November; three in the league and an EFL Cup Quarter-Final. November would not be as stellar as the previous month when Newcastle won all 6 of their games but there were still some highs.read more
The penultimate race of the season in Brazil was certainly eventful. The weather in Brazil is always a factor and it proved to be the case in 2016. The rain led to a delayed start due to Romain Grosjean crashing his Haas on the way to the grid so he did not start a Grand Prix for the second time this season. Inevitably, the race started under the safety car and eventually the drivers were allowed to race from the end of lap 6. This would not be the case as an incredible 33 laps were under the Safety Car as the race was also red flagged twice, taking the total race time to just over three hours!
When the racing did eventually start on lap 7, Max Verstappen showed glimpses of what was to come as he made a late great move on the inside of Kimi Raikkonen at turn 1. It could have been so much more for Verstappen in Brazil as when racing began again on lap 31, he produced another sublime move. This time, around the outside of Championship leader Nico Rosberg at turn 3. He wouldn’t finish ahead of the Mercedes driver though as Red Bull made the same mistake twice in pitting their drivers for Intermediate tyres. The second time, they reverted their drivers back on to the full extreme Wet tyres. This dropped Verstappen to 14th and allowed for his star of the race performance as he rose through the grid to take an astonishing 3rd place.read more
The leaves have been turning brown, the nights are getting longer and colder, the kids have had their Autumn half-term while the ghosts and ghouls have been out for Halloween! And that’s without Chris samara’s fashion sense! In English football, the league and cup competitions are in full flow with early promotion and relegation candidates appearing across all three divisions of the Football league. All the while, the national side has been without a permanent manager.
October 2016: 10 things in October
The managerial sack race picked up with 8 casualties over the top 4 divisions of English football
Gareth Southgate began his spell as Interim England Head Coach with an unconvincing 2-0 win at Wembley over Malta before taking a dull 0-0 draw away in Slovenia.
Wales thought to a credible 2-2 draw in Austria but was followed up with another draw as Georgia held Wales to 1-1 draw in Cardiff
Martin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland defeated Georgia 1-0 before defeating Moldova 3-1 to go joint top of Group D
Northern Ireland defeated minnows San Marino 4-0 before falling to a 2-0 away defeat to reigning World Champions Germany
Scotland scraped a 1-1 draw at home to Lithuania after scoring a late equaliser before Slovakia destroyed them in a 3-0 win.
Jose Mourinho made his first return to Stamford Bridge after his sacking by Chelsea last season and his first visit as a rival Premier League manager but his Manchester United side was blown away in a 4-0 defeat.
Meanwhile, Diego Costa had a strop with manager Antonio Conte
Pep Guardiola overcame his worst run of form in his managerial career with a 4-0 win at West Brom after 6 games without a win against Celtic, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, Barcelona, Southampton and Manchester United.
Sunderland were still yet to win a game in the league under David Moyes and became the first team in Premier League history to win in one of their first 10 games
At Arsenal, Arsene Wenger celebrated 20 years at Arsenal.
Newcastle United’s October
What a month it was for Newcastle United! No upheaval during the International break as has been the case at times under the ownership of Mike Ashley and for the first time this season; a 100% win record in all competitions. 6 games, 6 wins and 17 goals scored with only 2 conceded as well as a Quarter Final appearance in the bag! The feel good factor is certainly back now!read more